Monday, August 26, 2013
26 August 2013
Chris Pine b. 1980 (Star Trek re-boot)
Yvette Vickers b. 1928 died 2010 (Attack of the Fifty Foot Woman, Attack of the Giant Leeches)
Ms. Vickers gets the Picture Slot not only for being The Cute Girl but also for having a more compelling bio that the new Captain Kirk. She was a starlet in Hollywood, she posed for Playboy in 1959, she worked steadily until about 1963. Her last claim to fame is that her body was found mummified in her home in 2011 and it was assumed from the state of decomposition that she might have been there a year before it was found.
Many happy returns to Mr. Pine at least.
Prediction: A nuclear powered blimp to advertise the safe uses of atomic energy
Predictor: Mechanix Illustrated, published March 1956
Reality: Using the quote from last week, nuclear energy is safe unless you do something monumentally stupid. A nuclear blimp is monumentally stupid.
Problem #1: It would have to be huge. Dirigibles are lighter than air because of counterbalance and you would need a massive amount of counterbalancing helium to make up for a fully shielded nuclear reactor. It's hard to know how far away the ship below is supposed to be, but making the airship as big as a battleship is probably about right.
Problem #2: High winds. Blimps aren't as weather dependent as old sailing ships used to be, but even keeping something as big as this tethered to the ground in a serious wind storm would be a very risky proposition. The six appendages at the bottom look like pontoons, so if water landings are intended, add "choppy seas" as a related co-problem.
Problem #3: Public relations. The public was nervous about nukes, which were definitely "new fangled" and reeked of Progress! The scientists knew what was best for us and would take us into the bold new future, kicking and screaming if need be. Link this idea to dirigibles, whose most famous public moment was the 1937 crash of the Hindenburg.
These are three very good answers to the question "Why don't we build an Atoms for Peace dirigible?"
Note: this is yet another example of nuclear powered transportation from an article on io9.com that was suggested by regular reader Zombie Rotten McDonald, and so I give thanks to him.
Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!
Robert A. Heinlein with a scientific prediction, though he wasn't actually a scientist.
Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!