hopefully not quite the final frontier

February 4, 2003
Link of the Moment
This 1980 look at the Space Shuttle points to it as an expensive and dangerous boondoggle. It's foresightful in some ways and shortsighted in others.

If you haven't heard about it, there is some interesting work going on in the private sector on reusable space launch components...one of the coolest is the Roton Rotary Rocket, which actually has a helicopter like rotor at the top. It's an ingenous approach which helps the craft gain speed at liftoff while consuming much less fuel (and being more efficient has a nice virtuous circle effect: the less fuel you need for liftoff, the less fuel mass you have to carry. The less fuel mass you have to carry, the less fuel you need...) as well as helping to slow the craft as it re-enters the atmosphere.

You know, for someone who was complaining about all the Shuttle coverage, I sure am talking about it an awful lot.

Phrase of the Moment
"Come, shall I stroke your 'whatever', darling? I am so randy..."
"So am I, darling. Whatever your stroke, I shall come."
--from that book of euphemisms...it's a palindrome sentence (you can read it backwards, word by word, and get the same result) that's been stuck in my head for a bit. At first it didn't seem that impressive, but now the form seems cooler than regular palindromes...this one depends on how "stroke" and "whatever" can be completely different grammatical types depending on the context.