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Posts Tagged ‘Space exploration’

The Cold Depths of Space

Posted by Dirck on 23 March, 2018

Let me start with a still photo.  Outside my window at The Regular Job, right this moment:

Yep.  Three days after the vernal equinox.  That’s Canada for you, I guess (portions of south-west coast subject to exemption).

ANYWAY, let’s use that as a jumping off point.  Snow, wind… these are as nothing to the hostile depths of space, right?

Two final observations:

  1. I am very affected by the end.  I blame a confluence of good acting and a very subtle trick of the writing;
  2. Because I am a Canadian and used to harsh conditions, I was slightly distracted by the fact that he never put on his damn hat.

Today’s pen: Parker 51
Today’s ink: Skrip Black


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Happy Birthday, Dear Spheroid

Posted by Dirck on 6 October, 2017

I’m a couple of days late on this, I know, but this week marks the sixtieth anniversary of the proof that “What goes up must come down” has a caveat which reads “…unless you can throw really, really hard.”

Today’s pen: Sheaffer Targa
Today’s ink: Pelikan Violet

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Salve Atque Vale

Posted by Dirck on 15 September, 2017

Uh-oh.  Like the school film presentations this Friday feature of mine was inspired by, I’m veering perilously into undisguised educational material.  Well, too bad.  Today was the last day of the Cassini space probe, and as one who grew up watching things like the latter Apollo missions (which, damn it, were real) and Skylab I take a small interest in the probing of space.  Apart from the science expansions it offered, which I admit to comprehending imperfectly, the whole enterprise produced some really cool pictures.  Thus, we have a retrospective of a fallen robot’s valiant efforts.

Also, I rather like the fellow’s voice.

Today’s pen: Lamy Safari
Today’s ink: Iroshizuku Fuyu-Syogun

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The Joy of Science

Posted by Dirck on 28 April, 2017

There is an argument to be made that today’s film has some educational content.

…but I don’t have the energy to construct one that will stand up.  Here, then, are two people having fun with science, but not at the expense of science:

Today’s pen: Parker Challenger
Today’s ink: Diamine Evergreen

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Sailing Away

Posted by Dirck on 23 June, 2015

Not an entry on my own behalf, but a plug for the Planetary Society’s Lightsail kickstarter, which is in its final few days.  Apart from contributing to an effort which may slightly increase the chances of putting humanity’s eggs in more than one basket, if you throw in at least $150, you’ll get a rather neat pen!  Check it out:


I may occasionally get mystical here in when muttering about pens and the creative process, but I’m also a big supporter of science.  The Planetary Society does some pretty cool stuff in that direction.

Today’s pen: Sheaffer Imperial Triumph (which as Carl Sagan pointed out, is covered in stuff made by the death of stars)
Today’s ink: Herbin Vert Empire (very slightly more mundane ingredients)

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To Infinity And cetera….

Posted by Dirck on 14 November, 2014

I’m still riding high on the whole Rosetta/Philae thing, so in the spirit of this little item from the Book of Face…


…I’m making free with the online bounty of British Pathé newsreels for a look back at some other notable achievements in space flight.

And no, I will not link to the photoshopped thing so future readers will have a context.  That gets to wilt into obscurity, as far as I’m concerned.  I will record, however, that my son first heard of Philae’s landing on the car radio when I collected him from a grandmother’s house.  His eyes went very wide, his jaw dropped, and he repeated the CBC news-reader’s description of it in tones of astonishment, awe and wonder: “Space robot?!

Today’s pen: Parker 75
Today’s ink: Diamine Sherwood Green

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Over the Moon

Posted by Dirck on 24 June, 2011

It is somewhat foolish of me to have done so, in light of the current postal strike, but I have made an on-line purchase.  The government, with the degree of concern for labour which we all might have forseen, is hurrying some back-to-work legislation into place, and even without that surety of seeing the (angry, demoralized) postal workers back on their beat presently, how could I resist this:


This is coming at me from Russia, and I am indecently excited about it.  Apart from being a PEN! shaped like a ROCKET!!, it has a very interesting connection with actual history.

That pentagonal plate on it reads:


The first line is clear enough, but the second line took a very little effort to discover: “September”.  With that in hand, a little bit more research brought me to this image:

 This is part of a write-up about the Luna 2 probe, which was one of the many successes of their early space programme which the Soviets were able to taunt capitalist world with.  Luna 2 was the first man-made item to hit the moon, and the image here shows what became on landing the commemorative shrapnel.  It landed on 13 September 1959.

I say “connection” with history, and that’s a little strong, since I have no evidence that the thing was manufactured within ten years of the indicated date.  It is, however, strongly suggestive of an interesting bit of history only slightly predating me, and that adds a cherry and sprinkles to the sundae of coolness it otherwise represents.  Speed hence the post!

Today’s pen, of space age materials: Lamy 2000
Today’s ink, made in a re-united Germany which 1959 would not have expected to see: Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Brown

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