25 February, 2010

Control Room

Watching the NASA broadcast of the LCROSS mission in October was rather depressing in one aspect. Because modern computers are so powerful and well integrated with all manner of systems the mission control for LCROSS was simply a modest looking office with half a dozen desks - each with a bog-standard PC. It might as well have been a small call centre (pic here). Where was the enormous illuminated map taking up a whole wall? The serried ranks of technicians at banks of cool machines? It should have been something from Ken Adams' sketch pad not an IT department.

Similarly the PS10 Solar Power Tower in Spain is a project worthy of coming from Adam's fertile imagination - all Bond-villainesque architecture and grand vision. Unfortunately again the control room is barely more than a small plain room with a PC in it, very disappointing.

This panoramic photo of the Mirejovice hydroelectric power station's control room is from a different age when bespoke interfaces were the only solution. I love the period dials and gauges. Each bank of controls is gorgeous - check out the lovely green and red lamps and the decorative detail on the metalwork. Set it to fullscreen and drink in the detail.

Hydroelectric Power Plant, Mirejovice - Control Room Gigapixel in Czech Republic

Here's another panorama, this time of the control room of the substation at Lea Marston, Warwickshire, the only surviving building from the huge Hams Hall power station complex. It's got a different more utilitarian aesthetic but they still put in a lovely skylight.


Went to the design museum today - primarily to see the Designs of the Year Awards again along with catching the last week of the awesome Dieter Rams exhibition...

...interestingly there was also an exhibition on ergonomics which along with lots of other stuff included a display on how the control centre at CERN was designed. As you can see it's off the shelf computer monitors all the way - I guess it's unlikely that there'll ever be another custom designed fantasy control room again. Apart from in the movies, they'll endure there for a long time which I think is a good thing.

24 February, 2010

gear ring

I do not wear jewellery. Unless you count a wristwatch. It's not through some firmly held belief or anything, I used to sport a ring through my nose and several in my ears but they came out many years ago - I guess I'd finally blown all those square's minds yeah? Their button-down suburban values had been stripped away by that nosering... take that! society.

Hmmm perhaps not, I just took them out one day and have not worn any since.

I do like this though...

found at kinektdesign.com

20 February, 2010



and primer'd

19 February, 2010

belt up

Very pleased with the Continental Gatorskins I've got on my bike right now, they weren't cheap but so far no punctures... (touch wood) and what price can you put on that?

Naturally the OE Kenda's are hanging up in the man-shed - they may be somewhat buggered around the rims from one too many puncture repairs but I find it very difficult to throw that kind of thing away...

Help could be at hand with some rivets and fixin's...

Inspired by Jiro Belt


18 February, 2010

Wallpaper 13



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Like all bodywork repairs... it's gonna get worse before it gets better.

A lot worse.

I've managed to fibreglass the damaged portions the rest is just cosmetic. Plenty of filler - some to blend where I had to 'glass on the outside and quite a lot where I'm rebuilding the right hand top edge.

I reckon it's gonna look okay.

A few more layers of filler and then it's the tedious but necessary task of working through the grades of sandpaper until it's primer time.

I just hope that the first time I flex it to get it onto the bike all the filler doesn't pop out onto my shoes.

16 February, 2010


I thought I had one of the geekiest tattoos ever, but I like the cut of these guys gib.

They're a team of lo budget car nuts taking part in the 24 Hours of LeMons and have all got the same tat.

Kudos gentlemen.

08 February, 2010

all the fun of the fairing

Won for a bargain price from the 'bay. Hopefully these will fix up real nice, it's been an awful long time since I did any fibre-glassing but as long as it looks okay from a few paces I'll be happy. In fact, come to think of it, if I've got the resin out I may as well mould in permanent camera positions to save time between sessions moving the cameras about... hmmm .

The good news is that the RSVR's indicators are in the mirrors - so it should be reasonably straightforward to make it road-legal.

The only downside is that now the Al Italia sponsored RSV4 has been unveiled, I'm suddenly reluctant to do my own Al Italia rep in case folk think it's just a terribly bodged version of the WSB bike (*pouts* rather than my own idea that I had ages ago actually I'll have you know!)

Maybe a tribute to another classic rally Lancia is in order...

07 February, 2010


Here's a rather lovely Public Information Film on road safety. It eschews the current fashion for graphic scenes of injury and takes a different tack.

04 February, 2010

talent on a different scale

Michael Paul Smith makes fantastic models. He also takes beautiful pictures. But when he puts these skills together something absolutely magical happens. Michael uses natural light and one of the oldest camera tricks in the book, forced perspective, to get images so damn good I'm staggered.

Check out his Flickr page there's so much good stuff there.

03 February, 2010

Rings my bell