Woke up this morning and was going through my Drivetribe notifications when I saw this posted in the comments to Flightline 182:
That's it, my brush with greatness.
Woke up this morning and was going through my Drivetribe notifications when I saw this posted in the comments to Flightline 182:
That's it, my brush with greatness.
So I didn't really talk about it last year, what with the Coronapocalypse and all, and even now I don't like making a deal about it because I don't feel like I did much beyond showing up places, but I had (outpatient) surgery and chemo last year for seminoma.
I had noted a change in the left one late in 2019, and subsequent to talking it over with my doc during a checkup early in 2020 she gave me a referral to a urologist. After an initial visit with him I had an ultrasound and a few other tests, after which he recommended removing the testicle. The worst part of that was having to wake up at 5 for an early morning visit to the hospital, but still, I was home by noon. Took me about a week and a half to heal up , during which they determined that it was cancer (tentatively categorized Stage 0/1) and I was off to see an oncologist. He was relatively confident that the cancer was confined, but ordered a PET scan and bloodwork to be sure. The PET indicated a minimal swelling of a few lymph nodes, and he felt a single round of chemo was prudent. After having a PICC line put it (which, thanks to my deep, narrow veins took forever) I went in on 5/22 for chemo.
-Sitting in a chair for an hour, tied to an IV pump, the worst part of the process.
The infusion went without issue, and two subsequent PETs have show no further changes in my nodes. I have to go back annually for the next few years, just to keep an eye on things, but so far things look fine.
It's a lot smaller than I was expecting, and it's not all that realistic; 1/10.
Nah, I'm just messing with you. This was the Rocket Ride freebie I got with the Shuttle. I should have pics of that soon, and it's well worth the price...
I'm a bit late on this, but Monday was the 25th anniversary of the release of The Fifth Element.
Luc Besson began dreaming up the story of The Fifth Element when he was 16, though it had massively evolved by the time he had the early scripts written in the early 1990s. Besson met French comics creators Jean Giraud and Jean-Claude Mézières in late 1991; the latter's graphic novel The Circles of Power inspired Luc to change character Korben Dallas's background from a worker in a rocket-ship factory to a taxi driver who flies his cab around a futuristic New York City. After the commercial success of Lèon, Columbia Pictures was willing to produce Besson's script, and he approached both Bruce Willis and Mel Gibson for the lead role. Willis, though smarting from the failures of Hudson Hawk and Billy Bathgate, eventually agreed to star. Gary Oldman (who had starred in Léon) and whom Besson had described as "one of the top five actors in the world, was signed for the role of the antagonist Zorg. For the character Leeloo, Besson chose Milla Jovovich from the 200 to 300 applicants he had met in person. To practice "Divine Language", invented by Besson, the two held conversations and wrote letters to each other in the language. Besson was then married to Maïwenn Le Besco (who played the role of Diva Plavalaguna), though he left her to take up with Jovovich during filming. Jovovich and Besson later married but divorced two years later in 1999. For the character of Rubi Rhod (initially named Loc Rhod), Prince was initially cast, but could not schedule filming around his touring dates. Chris Tucker and Jamie Foxx were then considered for the role; Besson liked Foxx but felt that Tucker's smaller body suited the character better.
Filming began in 1995 with production mostly in London, primarily at Pinewood Studios on a total of seven soundstages, including the 007 Stage. Scenes set in the cruise ship's theater were filmed in the Royal Opera House, while scenes from the prologue set in Egypt were filmed in Mauritania. Filming with actors began in late January, and was completed 21 weeks later. Willis and Oldman filmed their scenes a week apart, and never share any screen time. Jean Paul Gaultier designed each of the 900 costumes worn by extras in the Fhloston Paradise scenes and checked each costume every morning. His designs, described as "intellectually transgressive", were said to challenge sexuality and gender norms. A single jacket he designed for the film cost $5,000. Three different teams handled the three different types of special effects used in the film: Nick Allder directed mechanical and pyrotechnical effects, Nick Dudman was placed in charge of 'creature' effects, and Mark Stetson headed the visual effects team. The film featured a combination of live action, scale models, computer-generated imagery, and particle systems. Among the scale models used for filming were the buildings representing New York City: dozens of apartment blocks and 25 skyscrapers, some 20' high, were constructed in 1/24 scale. It took a team of 80 workers five months to build all the models. The windows of the buildings were cited by the team as one of the most time-consuming tasks, along with details behind the windows, such as furniture, blinds, lightboxes, and tiny pieces of flat artwork. Virtual sets built within digital environments were created to enhance the use of miniatures, while the lanes of traffic in the scenes in New York City were created with particle systems: Other techniques used included digital matte paintings for backgrounds and the NURBS mathematical model for certain animations, including the sequence in which Leeloo's body is reconstructed. Total budget for the movie was $90 million ($171 million in 2022), at the time the most expensive European movie ever made.
-One of the physical mockups of a NYPD car used in filming.
-A model of Korbin Dallas' taxi
-Prop for the Stone of Water
The film premiered at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival, where it was chosen as the opening film. The film debuted at number one in the US, earning $17 million on its opening weekend, and became a box-office success, grossing over $263 million, almost three times its budget. About 75% of the receipts for The Fifth Element were from markets outside the United States, and it was the ninth-highest-grossing film worldwide in 1997. It was the most successful film at the box office in France in 1997, with almost eight million people seeing the film. In Germany, the film was awarded the Goldene Leinwand, a sales certification award for selling more than three million tickets at the box office. The Fifth Element became the highest-grossing French film at the foreign box-office, a record it held for 16 years until the release of The Intouchables in 2011.
Critical response was more mixed, with Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times describing the film as an "elaborate, even campy sci-fi extravaganza, which is nearly as hard to follow as last year's Mission: Impossible.", though he concluded that The Fifth Element was "a lot warmer, more fun, and boasts some of the most sophisticated, witty production and costume design you could ever hope to see." On 'At the Movies', both Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel gave the film a "thumbs up".; Ebert also gave the film 3 stars out of 4 in a review for the Chicago Sun-Times, calling it "One of the great goofy movies", and concluding, "I would not have missed seeing this film, and I recommend it for its richness of imagery. But at 127 minutes, which seems a reasonable length, it plays long." Todd McCarthy of Variety wrote, "A largely misfired European attempt to make an American-style sci-fi spectacular, The Fifth Element consists of a hodgepodge of elements that don't comfortably coalesce.", while David Edelstein of Slate said, "It may or may not be the worst movie ever made, but it is one of the most unhinged." Still, The Fifth Element holds a 71% approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes, based on 68 reviews, with an average score of 6.4/10. The site's consensus reads: "Visually inventive and gleefully over the top, Luc Besson's The Fifth Element is a fantastic piece of pop sci-fi that never takes itself too seriously." At Metacritic, the film has a weighted score of 52 out of 100 based on reviews from 22 critics, indicating "mixed or average" reviews. Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale.
The Fifth Element was nominated for Best Sound Editing at the 70th Academy Awards, and for Best Sound Editing at the 1998 Golden Reel Awards, though it lost to Titanic in both cases. It won the BAFTA Award for Best Special Visual Effects as well the Lumières Award for Best Director. The Fifth Element was nominated for seven César awards, winning three: Best Director, Best Cinematography and Best Production Design. It was also nominated for Film of the Year at the 1997 European Film Awards as well as the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, and the Satellite Award for Best Visual Effects. Thierry Arbogast was awarded the Technical Grand Prize at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival for his work on both The Fifth Element and She's So Lovely. The film received four Saturn Award nominations: Best Science Fiction Film, Best Costume, Best Special Effects, and Best Supporting Actress for Milla Jovovich. Jovovich's fight against the Mangalores was nominated for the MTV Movie Award for Best Fight, and she was also nominated for Best Actress – Newcomer at the Blockbuster Entertainment Awards. Conversely, Jovovich received a Golden Raspberry nomination for Worst Supporting Actress, while Chris Tucker was nominated for Worst New Star for his performances in both The Fifth Element and Money Talks. The film also received four nominations at the 1997 Stinkers Bad Movie Awards: Worst Picture, Worst Director, Worst Supporting Actor for Tucker and Worst Supporting Actress for Jovovich.
The original home video release of The Fifth Element took place in North America on 10 December 1997, on VHS, LaserDisc (!), and DVD. An "Ultimate Edition" set of two DVDs was released on 11 January 2005, with the first disc adding a "fact track", which when turned on displays trivia about the film, cast, and crew as the film plays. The second disc contains special features on visual production, special effects, fashion in the film, as well as featurettes and interviews with Willis, Jovovich, and Tucker, as well as featurettes on the four different alien races in the film and the Diva Plavalaguna. A Blu-ray release on 20 June 2006 was criticized for poor encoding and quality, with Sony releasing a remastered disc being released on 17 July 2007, with the studio offering an exchange for consumers who purchased the first release. The 20th-anniversary 4K remaster was released on Ultra HD Blu-ray on 11 July 2017.
So I picked up a new keyboard last week, as the one I've been using was giving me grief. I decided to bite the bullet and spring for a mechanical keyboard, and snagged one with RGB lighting. Plugged in yesterday and everything was fine, except there was no instructions or indication on how to install the drivers to run the lighting. Took an email to the mfgr, but I finally found the site and got the drivers on my desktop (I won't be able to run the lighting effects on my work laptop, but that's a minor issue). Everything was fine for 30 minutes, then I walked away to work on fixing a broken stair.
When I came back the pc was rapidly repeating the number 7. Odd, but not worrying (yet), I tried a few things to work the problem (unplug the keyboard, close programs, yadda yadda), but the 7's kept coming. Figuring it was the drivers, I tried to remove them, except the 7's kept interrupting me from getting to the settings screen, so I tried restarting. Got to the login screen, still repeating 7's, so I couldn't enter my password.
Trending towards doog.
Tried a few permutations of unplugging the keyboard, mouse and wireless dongles and restarting, but that only changed the number to 6.
The panic of having picked up a hitchhiker with the drivers is now setting in.
I decided to try yanking a few more USB cables from the back, along with pulling the Cat5 so I'd be off the net if there was something lurking, and that's when I found something plugged into the old ps/2 port.
Following the line, I found the old MS keyboard I had left attached last year when WFH started and I stopped really using my PC. While shuffling some stuff around, I'd knocked the keyboard over without realizing it, and it was now resting on the number pad. Simultaneously relieved and mad at myself, I unplugged the old keyboard and restarted the PC. No 6's or 7's. Signed in and everything's fine.
On display at the Army 2022 exhibition in Moscow this week is the M-81 from Intellect Machine. The company claims the M-81 is being developed to transport weapons and ammunition, and will also be able to fire them in the near future. Video posted online shows the M-81 walking with what appears to be an RPG-26 anti-tank rocket launcher, as well as assuming a prone position.
According to the 'developers' of the 'robot dog,' who spoke with Russian state news outlet RIA Novosti at the exhibition but remain unknown, the dog is “capable of target shooting and transporting weapons,” performing “reconnaissance,” and “walking-through debris and delivering medicines.” Moreover, the developers claimed the dog was designed “using bionics – principles, structures, and mechanics typical of the animal kingdom – so they resemble dogs, especially in dynamics.”
“In combat use, the robot can also engage in target designation, patrolling, and guarding,” the developers added.
Sharp-eyed viewers of the video noted the black fabric "ninja" outfit worn by the M-81, and have pointed to the Unitree Go1, available for around $2,700, as the true identity of Intellect Machine's robot dog.
-N1792TS, operating as Advanced Air flight 92, on approach to Dallas Love Field in 2019. - Photo: Carguychris
Of the 110 328JETs built between '98 and '02, a total of 33 Dornier 328JET aircraft remained in airline service (As of 2019). The only commercial operators are Sun Air of Scandinavia with 14 aircraft, Key Lime Air and Ultimate Jetcharters with 7 aircraft each, Taos Air operated by Advanced Air with 2 aircraft, and Calm Air, Sepehran Airlines, and Air Peace with 1 aircraft each.
Pratt & Whitney Canada owns and operates one Dornier 328JET, registry number C-GCPW, between its Montreal and Toronto facilities as an employee shuttle.
Through a series of mergers and acquisitions, the type certificate is now owned by 328 Support Services GmbH, a division of Sierra Nevada. In 2007 Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works submitted a design incorporating the 328JET to the USAF's Advanced Composite Cargo Aircraft (ACCA), a demonstrator program dedicated to advancing composite construction of future tactical air mobility transports. The nose, crew compartment, wings, horizontal stabilizer and rudder of a 328JET were mated to a newly designed fuselage and tail fabricated with advanced composites selected to allow curing without the use of an autoclave (which traditionally limits the size of composite assemblies. The USAF Research Labs selected the Skunk Works submission over Aurora Flight Sciences (Acquired by Boeing in 2017), designating the plane the X-55.
-Diagram of the X-55 showing the new composite assemblies in gray.
-The fuselage of the X-55 during fabrication.
First flight of the X-55, nicknamed the Carbon Comet by the Skunk Works, occurred at LockMart's Palmdale Plant 42 in 209, and the plane completed an unknown number (less than two dozen) of test flights but was retired in the early 2010s.
-The Carbon Comet in flight.
-The aircraft is on display at Joe Davies Heritage Airpark in Palmdale.
I still cannot figure out why the repair to JA8119 was carried out the way it was, even with the explanation and images from this article:
-I cut up the one image taken from Flight Magazine to make it a little more clear. This is the diagram of the full bulkhead, with the splice point between the new and old parts called-out.
Boeing engineers determined that they would need to replace much of the bottom part of the bulkhead on JA8119 due to damage sustained during the tailstrike. A new portion of bulkhead was fabricated separately and then riveted onto the remaining parts of the original.
Each of the 18 bulkhead sections is supposed to be bolted to each adjacent section by two rows of rivets. But upon installation of the new bottom portion of the bulkhead, the engineers found that the overlap at the joint between the new portion and the original portion was insufficient to install two rows of rivets.
To solve this problem, they decided to slip a metal splice plate in between the overlapping edges of the two adjacent sections. The splice plate would extend both above and below the overlapping area and would be secured by three rows of rivets. The bottom row of rivets would pass through the splice plate and into the lower skin section. The middle row would pass through the upper skin section, the splice plate, and the lower skin section. And finally, the uppermost row of rivets would connect the upper skin section, the splice plate, and one of the radial stiffeners. This way, both the upper and lower skin sections would be attached to the splice plate by two rows of rivets.
But while executing this repair, the engineers made a colossal mistake. Over part of the joint between the two skin sections, they used a splice plate that only overlapped the bottom two of the three rows of rivets. The uppermost row of rivets connected the upper skin section directly to the stiffener with a filler plate in between without intersecting the splice plate. The result was that the lower skin section was connected to the splice plate by two rows of rivets as designed, but the upper skin section was connected to the splice plate by only one row of rivets — the middle row. The filler plate between the upper skin section and the stiffener was performing no function except to fill in the gap where the upper part of the splice plate should have been. A Boeing inspector reviewed the work soon after its completion but failed to detect that it had been carried out improperly, because the mistake had been covered up by a fillet seal.
'Scuse me a moment...
People from JAL and Boeing really should have seen jail time for this clusterfuck.
Why reuse parts from the original? Even if some of the existing parts weren't damaged, why not just build an entirely new bulkhead and avoid the issue entirely? Moving on though, if the parts aren't fitting together the way that they supposed to, WHY? I'm assuming that: A. The new pieces were bespoke, as the 747SR had been out of production about 3 years at this point, and B. That Boeing had all the measurements of the original bulkhead to reproduce the new ones. Provided that both of those things are true, this should have been a red flag that either the original parts, the new bits, or BOTH, were out-of-spec.
Edited to add one last bit of nightmare fuel:
Eyewitness photo of 123 missing its tail.