North Dakota is Famous for Something Very Tall

KVLY tower






This brings back memories… I grew up in Fargo and I remember driving past this massive tower a number of times. All the photos you see of it just don’t do this structure justice. When I was a kid the TV station was called KTHI-11 but the name was changed a few years back to KVLY-11. The tower is still just as impressive as it once was and is once again the worlds tallest supported structure. It was pushed to second tallest by a transmitter tower in Poland in 1974 but that tower collapsed in 1991. At a height of 2,062 feet it serves the North Dakota and Minnesota area with a footprint of over 190 miles in diameter.

[via digg]

The KVLY-11 TV Tower – Tallest in the world

Wikipedia – KVLY-11 Tower

StarTrek – Behind the Scenes Restoration

Star Trek restoration project

If your a fan of the classic Sci-fi TV series Star Trek your going to love this.
Once cinematographer and now graphic artist, Curt McAloney has set out to compile and restore the aging behind the scenes photos and clips. This is good stuff! His attention to detail makes this a true labor of love. And this project couldn’t come at a better time, with the 40th year anniversary of the original series being marked by the airing of restored episodes of this classic (check out the side-by-side comparisons) these photos are just what the good doctor ordered. You can’t have enough Trek in your life can you.StarTrek

StarTrek – Behind the Scenes Restoration

[Shore leave and an extra ration of Romulain ale to Bill for sending me this link]

The Sad Fate of Buran


Back when the former Soviet Union was still shelling out the mega bucks in the space race someone decided that they needed a space plane. I guess they read and believed all the hype and press that the US shuttle program had gotten back in the Nixon years. Two week turn around times, $50US per pound as a payload cost, on budget… Yeah, if everything would have worked out things up there would be pretty sweet. Anyway, The Soviets ‘found’ some plans and built there own. By 1988 they were flight testing the crafts. The Russian shuttles were never launched with a crew, for it’s space testing everything was done by remote. That’s something that the Russians have mastered, running entire space missions 100% from the ground (I’m not counting space probes, those aren’t man rated vehicles). By 1993 the Buran program was cancelled and they fleet of five space shuttles were either dismantled or sold. The one in these pictures could be of Buran Ptichka or ‘little bird’, if they are somewhat current. Wikipedia says that it’s in the MIK building at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. It’s sad to see such a fine example of space hardware just sitting out in the open like that.

[via English Russia]

Ukrainian site

Veterans Day, Remembrance Day

poppysToday as I get ready to do some holiday server upgrades where I work, I can’t help but think about Veterans Day (or in other parts of the world, Remembrance Day or Armistice Day). Today is when we thank all of those who have fought for our freedoms and our way of life. We can never forget what they have done for us, if it wasn’t for them the world could be a much different place. I wish I could personally thank each person that has served their country but many have passed on either naturally or because they never came back from their mission. But for the ones that are still here, either still serving or living their lives like all of us now, I thank  you for what you have done. On the 11th hour or the 11th day of the 11th month or the year 1911, hostilities ended on the western front. It was hoped to be the war to end all wars, World War I. Sadly this was not true. At 11am people around the world pause for two minutes of silence in honor of those who gave their lives during those great conflicts. One minute for each war. It’s also a tradition to buy a poppy pin in support of veteran groups everywhere. If you see someone selling poppy pins today, buy one and shake the hand of the veteran selling it. Thank them for whey they have done because you have just met a true hero.

The Sparkmuseum

Influence machine
Here are some fantastic examples of equipment from the heady days of electrical experimentation, lots of beautiful photos of static devices, crystal radios, and vacuum tubes. For the past 35 plus years John Jenkins has been collecting various examples of early wireless sets, electrostatic devices, books and just about anything else related to the discovery of electricity. Much of his collection can be seen in the American Museum of Radio and Electricity in Bellingham Washingtion.

I’ve been fascinated by antique electrical aparatus like leyden jars and electrophorus. And sites such as these can give valuable tips on how these devices were created. With all the digital cameras, smart cards, and wifi communications its nice to be able to look back on a time where things were simpler and new discoveries were frequent.

Sparkmuseum – Antique Wireless And Scientific Instruments