What's up at Ravens March.

Vintage pens-Handmade books-Silly statements

Posts Tagged ‘Space exploration’

An Impediment to Worldbuilding

Posted by Dirck on 24 September, 2021

While I haven’t been doing as much of it as I would like, I still call myself a writer. And as a member of that self-torturing happy breed, I spend a lot of time weaving whole new worlds out of the cobwebs and bits of moss that lurk in my head. One of the tricks to worldbuilding is coming up with something which doesn’t knock someone’s disbelief off the hook, because then it will get all fractious and start asking uncomfortable questions.

With that in mind, here’s an interesting explanation of why you can’t have suns of a particular colour if you’re writing a world with extant physics:

I’ll freely admit this was not a thing I had known until this week. So, there’s me learning new things and (hopefully) staving off dementia for another few days.

Today’s pen: Waterman 52
Today’s ink: Diamine Evergreen

Posted in 1 | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

It’s Not Going to Clean Itself

Posted by Dirck on 27 August, 2021

I am a big fan of the sort-of-dull exploratory science fiction films from the very dawn of the space age, like Destination Moon (which is not the same at the Tintin adventure of the same name, but the storylines are remarkably similar). Just about my favourite, though, is Conquest of Space. That one was somewhat based upon the Chesley Bonestell images in a book of the same name written by Willy Ley, a German rocket enthusiast who got out of Germany before the war and thus had less practical experience and fewer potential war crimes.

…ANYWAY…

The plot of Conquest of Space was an mildly utopian and extremely mechanistic description of an expedition to Mars. It’s great. And today’s film pokes some of the same buttons.

I suppose naming the ship Bradbury would be a little too on the nose. I think I might have gone with Burroughs, for a laugh.

Today’s pen: TWSBI Diamond 580 ALR
Today’s ink: TWSBI Royal Purple

Posted in General Blather | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

A Brisk Walk

Posted by Dirck on 13 August, 2021

There’s been a fair amount of noise recently about stacking starships (which sounds like a deeply unwise version of Jenga). While I’m not a specific proponent of SpaceX, not a Musk-ovite at all, I do like the idea of the current future including (semi)realistic plans for space-faring.

This sort of thing, after all, is what I grew up with as “what to expect from the future!”

I can’t decide if it would be a good idea or not to wave this under the noses of those pushing space currently. The existence of the Segway suggests we might be able to work out more intuitive controls… but the “make mistakes and break stuff” mode of at least one of the parties makes me fear for potential test-pilots.

Today’s pen: Eversharp Skyline
Today’s ink: Monteverde Malibu Blue (which I chose because I happened upon something written on a date I was previously using this ink, but it’s nothing like as vibrant– either I was using something else then, I didn’t clean out the Skyline well last time, or I can still be surprised by how much effect the pen can have on the look of the ink)

Posted in General Blather | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

To The Stars!

Posted by Dirck on 22 January, 2021

Right, so, the US didn’t collapse into civil war over the past couple of weeks, and looks like it probably won’t (fingers crossed). That’s a treat, eh?

With that corner (hopefully) turned, perhaps we can look forward to that brave sci-fi future I was pondering last week. And what’s more brave futuristic sci-fi… as imagined in the middle of last century… than a provocatively dangerous means of space exploration?

I’m trying to not harsh the mellow of this delightful plan by wondering how one would get all that edge-of-critical material into space in the first place. I guess we need to find a big ol’ pitchblende asteroid.

Today’s pen: Pelikan 120
Today’s ink: Monteverde Malibu Blue (oh look, something else I need to come up with a page for)

Posted in General Blather | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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

Posted in General Blather | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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

Posted in General Blather | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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

Posted in General Blather | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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

Posted in General Blather | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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:

spacestar

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)

Posted in General Blather | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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…

Philaeass

…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

Posted in General Blather | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »