Nov 112009
 

Sven Knudson has an incredible archive of old model rocket catalogs! Estes and Centuri! Check it out.

I financed my first rocket purchase by winning big at a game of Bingo. Ten bucks got me started.

I never did get the “Designers Special” but I did spend hours going over that parts list.

I even made my own launch system from an old doorbell and an old VW ignition switch.

 Posted by at 12:53 AM
Nov 072009
 

I saw this article the other day in the New York Times about how the Iraqi security forces have spent an estimated $85 million dollars on crap. The crap is the ADE 651 built ATSC (site under repair!). It’s a two-pronged disaster: 1. a waste of money and 2. the devices don’t detect shit.
Check out the website for the ADE 651. It’s pathetic and full of spelling errors.

Here are some choice quotes from Maj. Gen. Jehad al-Jabiri, head of the Ministry of the Interior’s General Directorate for Combating Explosives.

“Whether it’s magic or scientific, what I care about is it detects bombs”

“I don’t care about Sandia or the Department of Justice or any of them, I know more about this issue than the Americans do. In fact, I know more about bombs than anyone in the world.”

I’d be inclined to call Jehad al-Jabiri an idiot, but my guess is that the way the device works is that Jehad pockets a portion of the total contract. Either that, or his skull is hollow. This guy is crook or an idiot.

Anyhow, this is just the most recent, depressing incident in the long (and I guess profitable) history of dowsing rods. In the past, these scams were limited to the uninformed prospector and treasure hunter.

Here’s an incomplete list of bullshit dowsing technology websites:

The Sniffex. Notice how similar it is to this golf ball detector.

Here’s a video of the Sniffex in action!

The ADE 651

The ADE 651 blog

Electroscopes

Rangertell

DKL Lifeguard

Here’s an incomplete list of sites debunking Dowsing:

Sandia Labs evaluation of the DKL Lifeguard

Sniffex Questions blog

Carl Moreland has a wonderful series of reports disecting various dowsing gizmos. My favorite is the Ranger-Tell Examiner. It’s got a crappy Chinese calculator glued to the top! What a howler.

Honorable mention is the Lectra Search Model X-50. It’s got mounting holes drilled through the traces of a do-nothing PCB inside the case.

How this stuff survives is a mystery to me.

 Posted by at 5:23 PM
Nov 062009
 

If you know me, you know that I’m currently enamored with my 1980 Westfalia Vanagon (aka Pokey). But check out this marvel over on dinosaurs and robots. It makes the Vanagon look positively sporty! It’s got a 1594 cc Vauxhall engine. Bummer.

There is even an owners club.

I wonder if I could get it shipped over from the UK? Here are the details on the Bonhams auction site.

Very tempting.

 Posted by at 2:59 PM