Archive for ‘Science’

September 21, 2020

Repair 101

Duct Tape

– Moon River fender fix. The fine dust kicks up under spirited acceleration as the Apollo 17 astronauts venture up the slope of Taurus-Littrow valley in search of geological samples. Gene Cernan and Harrison Schmidt were the last people to venture past low earth orbit nearly 48 years ago. A damaged fender was repaired by taping moon maps together and clamping them across the mesh tires.

September 3, 2020

Invention

Science & Technology

– the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment. This publication has been in circulation for nearly 150 years so undoubtedly there has been various suggestions for the improvement of motorcycles. The tracked adventure bike looks particularly intriguing.

September 1, 2020

Lord of the Rings

Pioneer 11

– on this day in 1979 a NASA probe became the first to encounter Saturn and its impressive rings. A gold anodized aluminum plaque designed by Carl Sagan, was attached to the robots body in case in some distant future should it be intercepted by some alien intelligence its graphics may explain its origins. We’ll be long gone by then… but at least in some far flung corner a little hint of our existence will be drifting about.

August 16, 2020

Fox River

Fabyan Windmill

– standing proudly on the east bank of the Fox River near Geneva IL a mid Nineteenth Century Dutch mill offers an historic backdrop to my early morning ride along the Tri-City region between Elgin and Aurora. The all wood structure is fully functional driven from its fabric covered sails. This pre-industrial age technology was a stark contrast to the particle accelerator at nearby Fermilab with its circular Tevatron which runs its circular path around a prairie grassland.

August 12, 2020

Neurology

Of Brains & Bikes

“Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.” Dr Oliver Sacks

July 8, 2020

In Orbit

Spaceman

– Major Tom Foale spent 6 months on the International Space Station. Army Air Corps Officer, Astronaut, Britain. His choice of ride is appropriate: 1200 Triumph Scramble. Boxed adventure.

April 19, 2020

Stargazing

Yerkes Observatory

On a bluff overlooking Lake Geneva sits the 1893 building that houses the largest refracting telescope, a 40” light capturing behemoth. It is currently closed to the public right now but I always like to stop by whenever I ride the loop around this lake.

March 9, 2020

Comrade Cosmonaut

Юрий Гагарин

– Born this day in 1934 Yuri Gagarin became a hero of the world when, in 1961, he orbited the globe aboard Vostok 1 to become the first Star Voyager.

August 10, 2019

42

Six by Nine | I managed to get a spin on the Tiger yesterday going between project locations. Weather was perfect and a quiet backroad empty of traffic.

July 20, 2019

Intrepid

50 Years Ago | We ventured, only a small step in the vastness of the Universe, beyond our earthly home. A journey of 3 days over a quarter million miles to our neighbor the Moon. A scheme so daring and difficult it gave us a glimpse of what was possible as a race when minds and courage come together. This iconic photograph taken by Neil Armstrong of Buzz Aldrin shows a man standing on a grey dusty plain under a black sky lit by a bright sun. We really are amazing… it’s just a shame a a civilization we’re quite dumb some of the time too…

July 15, 2019

Standing Room Only

LEM | Lunar (Excursion) Module. Three days after embarking on the Trans Lunar Injection the Apollo spacecraft entered orbit around the Moon. Separating from the Command Service Module the LM descended to the surface with the Commander and Pilot standing at these controls in their full spacesuits. The descent and landing is well documented as one of the coolest pieces of flying by anyone anywhere. Like landing a telephone box, using the computing power of a Casio scientific calculator, onto a grey dust surface under a black sky…. with diminishing fuel and alarms going off.

July 11, 2019

Apollo

Command Module | Fifty Years ago this month three intrepid explorers headed off into a lunar rendezvous with destiny. Backed by countless engineers, scientists, mathematicians, computers (women who crunches the complex equations for orbital mechanics), skilled laborers, wives, budget analysts, lingerie manufacturers (the space suits required impeccable needlework); they headed beyond the surly bonds of earth atop the mighty Saturn V rocket. The cramped confines of the Command Module ‘Columbia’ took them the quarter million miles to our closest neighbor in the skies.

March 6, 2019

Chaika (Seagull)

Hero for All | Valentina Tereshkova celebrates her 82nd birthday today. Launched atop Vostok 6 on June 16 1963 she spent 70 hours in space orbiting the Earth 48 times becoming the first woman cosmonaut.

January 2, 2019

R1-D1

I, Robot – in 2017 Yamaha displayed their autonomous riding motorcycle being hurled around a racetrack at speed. Today is the 99th birthday of science writer Isaac Asimov who created the three rules of robotics:

  1. First Law – A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. Second Law – A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. Third Law – A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.
November 16, 2018

Cornerin’

The Leaning Lady- not much beats a sweeping corner on a motorcycle. As the tires grip the road a fine balance between verticality and the gyroscopic effect of the wheel as you push into the inner grip is needed. It’s as if defying gravity is an effortless exercise…. which on a bike is very true!