Sunday, August 29, 2010
A short excerpt from Ben Gingernut's new book "Penknives and Cockpits":
'In 1957 Geoff "Yaegermeister" Benton was searching for inspiration to drive forward a project code named "TP-1x". As he drove home one dusky spring evening, he passed a local school where two of the kids were playing with a stick, pretending it was a plane and throwing it from one to the other. Like a bolt of lightning striking him in the cerebellum, he knew what he had to do. He raced home and, without even answering his wife Brenda's greetings, he set to work in his study, slaving feverishly through he night, and well into the next day, ignoring calls from his office when he failed to show for work. He returned to work later on that afternoon rushing straight into his supervisor's glass fronted cubicle and waving aside his superior's anger at his late arrival. Ignoring the room's other occupants, his boss's 4 o'clock, he announced his breakthrough to an increasingly open-mouthed audience. When he was finished, everyone was silent. No one could quite take in the depth of his new discovery or the implications of what it would hold for he future of aviation. Work started almost immediately and within two months the prototype TP-1x rolled off the production line.
The euphoria didn't last long.
The paint wasn't even dry when the news came in. Everyone was devastated. No one could quite believe that they could have raised their expectations so high, only to have them dashed so brutally. In their excitement to go ahead with the project, especially in light of Geoff's ground-breaking discovery, they had overlooked one vital element in the complexity of the development. It turned out that the TP-1x, which on paper had seemed like the answer to all their prayers, was in fact only 4 inches long and made of sticks.
Geoff was inconsolable and two weeks after the discovery, he left his wife and drove off into the night. No one ever saw him again, but the next day his Brenda found his mini-leatherman lying on the sofa with a note. It read simply,
"I follow a pretty simple philosophy - there's just me and the board and the road, and we're, like, together. If you can imagine a stream of being where everything (like, the physical and the spiritual) are combined in harmony, it's kinda like that. And if you can just dip your hand in that stream you become part of it and it becomes part of you. But mainly, it's about the ride. Just the ride."
"Oh, did I not mention that I'm made up? That's the other part of the philosophy."
Back in the day, if you were bad, they'd put you in a tower. If you'd been really, really bad, they'd put you in this tower.
Details are sketchy, but it kind of looks like you'd have to be blended and then some of you would get poured in through the top. Only a bit, mind. So the rest of you would probably just get thrown away. A pretty comprehensive punishment, but also an awesome deterrent.
(They probably didn't have blenders back then, so it was most likely just a pestle and mortar job).
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Table space at the West Show allowed me to see for myself how the public react to something that they quite literally can't comprehend.
Although, perhaps they were all looking at me and I've just tried to shut it out of my mind.
Monday, August 23, 2010
Sometimes these small boats made simply from sticks found on a windswept beach can seem so much like life.
Our bodies, our genetic makeup (and one could argue perhaps even our very consciousness) made up of parts found on the beaches of time and pieced lovingly together by some great creator, to then be set adrift on the turbulent sea of existence, where we are tossed to and fro', at the mercy of whatever forces we find ourselves enclosed by.
All follow clear and distinct paths, separate from each other, but all are destined to fall or be torn apart and reclaimed by the sea and the wind and the passage of the years.
The boats here might so easily be echoes of our very substance and their plight could so easily be ours.
But they're not.
I gave one to Kristyna and the other one got trod on.
All that metaphorical stuff is just hooey and they're just boats.
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!! A GIANT FOOT IS CRUSHING ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Commissioned in 1936, HMS flotsam sailed the inshore bays of the
In her heyday the flight deck would be a hive of activity with mostly (sometimes entirely) imaginary crews prepping the aircraft for inland reconnaissance missions. Shortly before take-off, pilots would brace themselves for the force of "the hand" and subsequently "the throw", which would launch them to their almost certain doom.
Details of the original vessel are captured lovingly in this scale model:
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
When the waves are way over mast height and there's no room for error, you have to be able to rely on your vessel. That's why I sail the PS001 and 002 series. I've been in this game for over 117 months and if there's one thing I know, it's how to pick a stable seaworthy craft that'll ...
... *&$£!@!!ing things sunk!
oh well, I guess half an hour was all I should've expected from a bunch of twigs
Sunday, August 08, 2010
In no particular order, the shapes and colours of the water that flow slowly through my consciousness can be interpreted as follows ( if there's anyone out there willing to take these up, just do it):
A hole punch for leaves in the shape of tiny people' silhouettes, so that you can leave a little trail wherever you go.
Thingy for joining cartons together to make huge temporary sculptures, so that you can have something a little more inspirational in your house than a pile of waxy paper waiting to be recycled.
Cable drum which leaves messages on the sand - I've seen this before, but there so much more that could be done with it.
There are a couple of other personal bits that are just on my list of things I have to make, such as picture frames for pooh sticks, rake art, eggs and tiny planes (which I am now referring to as natural curiosities, for some reason). Also picture books, more boxes for sparebots, and some other goinks and dooh-dahs.
With that out of the way, here' a thing:
So I'm on the path to making an amp with a speaker, set in a nice wooden box which also works as an iPhone charger and dock. Now, I've looked around extensively for hints on how to get around the new 3G and 4G iPhone wierdnesses when it comes to charging and it seems that it's a little more complicated than just providing power and ground to the unit. Anyhoo, I found a video tutorial about how to wire the thing to work and I starred (bookmarked) it in google reader - and all trace of it has disappeared! It's not on the awesome Make Blog where I saw it and there's no mention of it's deletion anywhere on the site. I'm really not conspiracy theorist, but it all sounds very much like a conspiracy. OMG! I AM A CONSPIRACY THEORIST!!! Aieeeeeeeee!
Wait a minute, who are you anyway? I have no idea who's reading this. I have to get out of here. I MUST FIND A PLACE TO HIDE!
I'll sit in the shed - it's where I normally go when this happens.
Tuesday, August 03, 2010
Monday, August 02, 2010
At around half an inch in length, she's the smallest member of our line, but don't let that fool you. With the omission of engines of any sort and the use of materials found lying on a beach, we've managed to cut emissions down to a poultry 0 (unless it accidentally gets dropped on a fire, in which case that figure increases very slightly). But far more groundbreaking that that is the projected safety of the TTP1. With her lack of propulsion and fuel, and with no means of movement at all, coupled with being too small to fit into (by a long way), we've managed to completely eliminate any chance of fatality from all conventional forms of danger present in today's air transport. In fact, so benign is the TTP1, that we can now guarantee that your flight (such as it is) will be 99.995% safe. Were it not for the slight possibility of choking on the aircraft, we'd be looking at a completely clean sheet.