Frank Borman – American Hero

1957 – America was losing the Cold War with Russia. The year ended with the shit really hitting the fan.

October 1st – The Strategic Air Command initiates 24/7 nuclear alert in anticipation of a Soviet ICBM surprise attack. Something was brewing with the Russian Rocket Force but it turns out it wasn’t an attack. Because

October 4th –  The Sputnik satellite was launched. President Eisenhower is depressed though he noted to Mamie that an ICBM attack would have been worse.


November 3rd –  Sputnik 2 was launched. Khrushchev smirks ‘with little Laika aboard’. The dog dies and becomes a Soviet hero. Eisenhower kicks Heidi, Mamie’s husky Weimaraner. Heidi survives with a bruised rib but Ike ends up missing a week of golf as he takes Mamie and Heidi to Kansas City so Mamie can spend time with her mother.

November 7th – Admiral ‘Rip’ Radford, Chairmen of the Joint Chief of Staff, recommends President Eisenhower initiate an urgent campaign to build fallout shelters. The Russians are ready to ‘completely fuck us over’ was Admiral Radford’s assessment.


You’re joking of course. Right? Right? Hmm.

November 15th – Khrushchev challenges Eisenhower to a missile ‘shooting match’ to prove Russia is far ahead of the United States in missile capabilities. Eisenhower, however, declines.

1958 – America grits its teeth against the swarthy Russians. Republicans in the House steal Herbert Hoover’s ‘Make America Great Again’ slogan to stir up the folks down home.

January 21st – Eisenhower delivers his famous ‘Duck and Cover’ State of the Union address. Congress immediately approves a national program to build bomb shelters in all American cities and insure schools are equipped with strong metal desks.

March 12th – Yakety Yak is recorded by the Coasters

April 17th – Frank Borman, an Air Force professor at West Point, requests a transfer back to aircraft testing. He is pissed. Fucking Russians. By 1960 he is finally back flying experiment aircraft. He joins NASA in 1962. A picture of Khrushchev’s ass hangs in his locker. Fucking Russians

Frank Borman turned 90 this year. Most of us remember him as the leader of the first space craft to orbit the moon. Neil Armstrong would come next. But Frank proved you could get there, circle around it for a couple of days, and then come back all in one piece. He was a hero. A true American Hero.

At 90, people badger you to reminisce. NPR (who else would have remembered, eh?) interviewed him hoping (I assume) he would revel in the excitement of shooting into space, the thrill of being the first person to see the far side of the moon and relish the experience of being in space for six days, of seeing the first ‘Earthrise’ in history.

Actually, he said, “it was very boring.” In fact, he seemed to have had an awful time. The moon sucked. Borman described it as ” Devastation. Meteor craters. No color at all, just different shades of grey. I wouldn’t want to go there.” Wow, that would have surprised Neil Armstrong. Why didn’t Frank tell anyone about it? “Nobody asked”, he said. A sensible answer I guess but still, he could have at least told Armstrong not to get his hopes up.

Fuck the Russians!

To Borman, it was just a job. Fly a rocket to the moon and back. The Russians had never come close to doing anything like that and he wanted to be the guy to rub it in their faces. “I wanted to participate in beating the Soviets. But that’s the only thing that motivated me. Beating the damn Russians.” How about being in space, experiencing weightlessness? “Boring after 30 minutes”, he didn’t spend a second thinking about his answer. NASA asked him if he wanted to land on the moon in a subsequent Apollo mission but he turned them down. “No interest. Why would anyone want to do that?”

Well America’s idiot savant Elon Musk would. Actually he just wants to fly around the moon ($200K per ticket); it’s Mars he wants to land on. That’s where the idiot part comes in. Not only does he want to fly there, he wants to live there – in a big self-supporting city which would be part of a huge earthling settlement which would grow into the place humans would escape to when the earth is destroyed by climate change/nuclear catastrophe/unsustainable population growth/Donald Trump/whatever. He quips he plans to die on Mars. Well if he can figure out a way to get there, I am with him – he will probably die there. Luckily, we won’t have to wait long to see how he fares. The first Mars launch is scheduled for 2023. If Musk is aboard the thing – and how can he not be – he will arrive by the end of 2024.

It’s a longer trip so we have more in-flight movies. And beer.

The savant part of Musk built the Heavy Falcon rocket that lifts huge payloads into space and can recover its spent rocket stages by softly landing them on a target as small as Mamie’s dog Heidi. That is quite a trick. The Heavy Falcon is the most powerful rocket every built (take that you dirty Russkies) and SpaceX, Musk’s rocket company, has basically becomes NASA’s space travel outsourcer.

Musk is now working on the Big Falcon Rocket (BFR). The BFR is the fucker that will take passengers to the moon and back (first flight already sold out) and then on to Mars. Yea it’s a big jump from a two day trip to the moon and a year’s trip to Mars. That’s when the idiot Musk pops back in. This whole moon trip thing was supposed to happen by now but, as usual, Musk is running late. 2020 is the new date. To the Moon Alice, to the Moon. And then on to Mars in 2023 three years after that! I can’t wait.

It is hard not to come back to Frank Borman’s opinion of space travel. Why in the name of Heidi the dog would you do this? A Moon trip for $200K? At least two years of your life wasted just to step foot on red dust?


They charge 200,000 dollar round trip; we only charge 150 thousand.  No assigned seats though. Bring your own food.

Maybe I am an old fogey. But what I like about space travel is that it could get me from New York City to London in 15 minutes. I’d pay good money for that. Who’s working on that angle? Richard Branson who owns Virgin Airlines, started his own rocket company, Virgin Galatic, twelve years ago to develop a rocket that could take a bunch of people 80 miles up above the earth’s atmosphere and then bring them down again a few minutes later. The aircraft could connect any two places in the world in 20 minutes or less. If done on a large enough scale to be affordable, it would change the world. Lunch in Paris, see a show in New York, back in time to hit the hay in Honolulu. But a couple of years ago, Branson dropped this dream. Now he wants to take people to the moon. An intercontinental rocket that can hold a hundred people sounds a whole lot more affordable, valuable and safer than one that can fly a dozen people to the moon and back.

I haven’t mentioned Jeff Bezos yet. He has rockets too. His goal is modestly similar to Branson’s – ferry people to the moon and back and maybe deliver some packages to the International Space Station along the way. But if Musk gets enough people to live on Mars, Bezos will find a way to get them their Prime deliveries.

I still just wish one of the loonies would figure out a way to get me to London in 15 minutes.


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Allways Always

Nature’s deepest secrets are always there for anyone to see and understand. But you have to look.

Albert Einstein

Third Lecture: On Tensor Differential Principles

Mrs. Baker’s Sixth Grade Science Class, Matawan Primary School

Matawan, NJ

We have never promoted a product on this website. Sure, we have bashed a few – Microsoft, Panera Bread, Kmart (R.I.P), and everything made by Fiat/Chrysler to name a few. Nobody listens (since 2009, Jeep continues to be the best selling SUV in America and also the least reliable, most unsafe vehicle in the world. Go Figure!!), but if you sell junk, we like to write about it. Promotions are another story. This site isn’t here to sell anybody anything. Up until now: we found a revolutionary new design to a common, utilitarian product used by millions of people every da. We had to share it. This isn’t just someone who has made a better mousetrap, this is someone who has rethought the whole mice catching business.

What are we talking about? Glasses. That’s right – the thing that hangs on your nose so you can see what you’re doing. They have been around for century and principle has never changed. Stick two pieces of magnifying glass in front of your eyeballs and voila, you can read a menu and see the car in front of you. How do you majorly change something as simple as that? Well Shimshoo Hunan did – it’s called Allways Glasses and they are the world’s first ever reversible glasses.

Why hasn’t anyone thought about such a thing before? We will answer that question in a bit but first let’s describe how these glasses work. At first glance they look just like ordinary glasses, but once you look closely – you see that one temple part bends one way while the other the is turned opposite. This means you can wear the glasses with the nose pads resting on your nose (the classic glasses look) or flip them over and have the bridge between the two lenses rest on your nose. Because of the ingenious shaping of the two temple pieces, the glasses feel snug and comfortable no matter which way they are put on.

Now why would you want to flip your glasses over and wear them like that? Well, if you wear glasses for any length of time, try it. When you reverse the position of the lenses bridge so that it rests on your nose, there is a miraculous freeing of the nasal canals; your near field of vision opens up and you see things that were only blurred outlines with glasses worn the conventional way.

ALLWAYS RIGHT!

People who wear bifocals will love Allways Glasses. When you work on a computer, read a books or review memos at your desk, you are holding your head at an unnatural angle so your eyes align to a bifocal’s reading lenses. The muscles in your neck, jaw and eye sockets are stretched and bent. Over time this increase fatigue, and in some people, leads to headaches or bruxism. Flip your glasses over and try it. Now you are working on your computer with you head up, pointed straight ahead – no neck strain or tired eyes from continuously looking down. Older business men and sports fans who enjoy a few drinks at the downtown strip club every week will love them. Ever offer a dancer five bucks to have her flap her buttocks two inches from you nose and you can see those little tattooed messages running down her ass crack but you can’t read them because your looking up and your eyes are directed to the bifocal’s distance lenses? With Allways, you just flip those glasses around and every detail of the lady’s body snaps into focus including all the clever tattoos.

Who would have thought such a simple design could so profoundly change the way you see things? It’s much like cracking gasoline from crude oil, making atoms out of quarks or disposing radioactive waste. The simplicity of the design belies its genius.

So why did it take so long for a company like Shimhoo Hunan to figure out a completely new way to make glasses? One word – Luxottica. Luxottica is the company who owns just about every brand of glass eyewear that exits. You probably never heard of them because they market little under their own label but if you wear glasses, you are Luxottica customer. Lens Crafters – owned by Luxottica. Pearl Vision – ditto. Oakley, the same. Those five hundred dollar designer glasses from Coach or Ralph Lauren or Chanel or from wherever one can buy five hundred dollar designer glasses; every darn one of them is made by Luxottica. It is an Italian company, long thought to be a Mafia front, based in Milano. Their sole business plan is to make cheap glasses in hundreds of styles and sell them at enormously inflated prices (plus launder Italian construction company money). True innovation would eat into sales and that, my friends, is where the Italians draw the line. So maybe they tried out the reversed temple parts in the lab but when the big wigs figured out that if you could simply flip your glasses upside down to see something close better, people are going to buy less reading glasses. It’s that simple.

Shimshoo Hunan may be their next victim but right now, this small group of engineers and entrepreneurs is kicking sand in Luxottica’s face. They are selling Allways Glasses in fifteen different styles for men and women. They make their lenses using the same high quality computer controlled lens grinders Luxottica employs. They sell a basic set of prescription glasses for seven dollars. Ten dollars will get you bifocals. The price range of their designer glasses starts at fifteen dollars and ends at thirty. They say they are making a healthy profit on every pair of glasses they make.

We like Shimshoo Hunan. We have had a couple pair of their bifocals for six months and they are superb; scratch resistant lens in a light weight bridge on a set of frames that looks like Gucci. You should try some of their stuff as well. It is only a matter of time before the Luxottica hoodlums start leaving a horse head in the boardroom of Shimshoo Hunan. Then it will be too late to get the best darn eye glasses anybody ever made. Allways Glasses at www.allwaysglasses.cn

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Meyers And Sons

It is August in Miami. That means hot humid weather. It’s in the low 80s when you wake up and still in the 90s when you’re ready to call it a day. It also rains every day. August is right in the middle of hurricane season, but our luck has held; the Caribbean has been mighty calm so far this year. But we get rain and when it rains, it comes down thick and hard with plenty of lighting and thunder to make sure it gets your attention. It rolls in fast on the wings of a western wind that drops the temperature ten degrees in sixty seconds, dumps rain by the buckets for 10 minutes, then bang, its gone; the sky clears and the sun quickly turns the wetness into a miserable outdoor sauna. It happens every afternoon. Sometimes twice.

Joe Meyers ran a paint store across the street from where I then had studio. He sold house paint, the Sherwood Williams kind. He also sold all the accoutrements you’d need to paint a room or a house: brushes, rollers, ladders – stuff like that. If you ever wondered where painters get their nifty white painters outfits, they get them at places like Joe’s. Pants and coveralls made from a heavy white canvas material, T-shirts with the ‘Sherwood Williams’ logo on the back in bright green ink, and white hats that looked like baseball caps someone squared in right angles with a pair of scissors. I asked him why painters wore white outfits since you figured anybody worth their salt in spreading pain around was bound to get some on their head or legs or arms. Joe didn’t know. What he did know was that your pro painters wore clean white clothes every day which meant their stuff got washed a lot which, in turn, meant they wore out fairly quickly. Joe said his biggest selling item was the white pants.

The store was called Meyers and Sons Paint. Joe was the one and only son. His father, also named Joe, started the business when Joe was a toddler. That was right after WWII ended in 1945. North Miami was still mostly sand and swamp then but Miami developers had started building north in the early 1940s. The war stopped things for three years but by 1946, subdivisions were exploding all over Miami’s northern suburbs. Joe senior built his store in what was then a tiny little strip mall and waited for suburbia to catch up to him. It didn’t take long. When it did, he was ready to sell them some paint. The sign went up when Joe was born. Joe’s dad must have figured he would have a brother or two before it was all over but it didn’t happen. Joe had a sister, who was born two years after he was; after that, no more little Meyers.

There was never a question in either of the Joes’ minds on what Joe Jr. would do when he graduated from High School. He would work in the store and eventually take it over from daddy. He did too. His father formally turned the store over to him in the late 80s. Joe senior was in his late 60s by then and thought he wanted to finally take some time off and travel around the country with Joe’s mother. The travelling bug didn’t bite too long. Whether his dad tired of the travel or his mother tired of his dad, Joe wasn’t sure. But Joe senior was back in the store within six months helping at the cash register, dusting shelves, and sitting in the back office drinking coffee with some of the old painters. He was there every day the store was open up until the week before he died in 1993. He loved the store; he loved his son cared about it as much as he did. His only disappointment was he had no grandson – Joe junior and his wife, Thelma, had no children.

I moved into the area in 1991. Joe was in his early fifties; daddy in seventies. I never bought a lot of paint there; maybe a half a dozen quarts over the twenty years I knew him. In fact the first time I met him was when I was walking back from the corner deli with a sandwich and one of those August downpours hit and I high tailed it to the closest shelter which was the awning the covered the front of Meyers and Sons Paint store. Joe had also been out there people watching when the storm blew through. He said then what I was to hear again at least a thousand times – “Your skin is waterproof you know. People don’t seem to understand that.” Standing under the awning, I could see what he meant. There were people completely soaked zigzagging up the street as if running in angles would somehow make them a smaller target for the rain drops. There were mothers under giant umbrellas walking up the sidewalk with a clutch of kids clinging to their waists. And then the little old Jewish couples in long sleeve slickers that hung below their knees walking patiently though rain with the same cadence they would when the weather was clear and dry. They dressed like that no matter the weather. I had learned long ago that old people in Miami – and there are a lot of them – somehow lost their ability to absorb warmth from the sun as they aged. They walk around on the hottest days in long sleeves and a jacket. When the evening temperature dropped into the 80s, they usually don a sweater too.

Mr. Butterfield On His Evening Walk Yesterday – It Was 92° Outside.

Joe and I got to be good friends. He always had a pot of bad coffee on the hot plate in the back room office and most mornings, I’d stop by after he opened to sip a cup with him before the morning started. By the time I knew him, there was a Sears store a couple of miles west in Opa-locka that sold pain a lot cheaper than Joe did so most of his business was with pro guys who bought paint by the five gallon bucket and had been buying from Joe or his daddy for years and years. These guys were dying out but there still were enough of them to keep the place going. And that was nice. Joe might not have sold a lot of paint in the neighborhood but it was convenient to be able to buy a paint brush or roller refills right around where you lived instead of having to trek all the way to Opa-locka. Plus the store had turpentine and for whatever reason, Joe sold a lot of that in the neighborhood. Joe said it was a good cockroach killer. He might have been right; lord knows we had tons and tons of cockroaches.

Joe closed the shop eight years ago in 2010. He was seventy two. I never met Thelma. They had a two bedroom bungalow down in Miami Shores. Joe and Thelma had been married for 26 years when the shop closed. They tried to have a kids Joe told me, but they couldn’t. He didn’t say why.

A carry-out open up in the store’s space in 2012. It last three years but lost their beer license for selling to minors. It has been empty ever since. The awning still covers the store front. The deli is still on the corner and I go there almost every day for coffee or a snack. Yesterday I was walking back when the skies opened up with drenching rain. I made it under the awnings without hardly a drop hitting me. Then I heard “Your skin is waterproof you know.” And walked across the street.

 

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A Fortune In Rocks

By Guest Contributor Ping Pong Wilson

Mo Brooks Talking Rocks With Ted Cruz

In May, the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology held hearings on rising ocean levels allegedly caused by global climate warming. Mo Brooks, a senior member of the committee and a Representative of the great state of Alabama, questioned Phillip Duffy on his view of what’s causing the ocean to rise. Mr. Duffy, who is president of Woods Hole Research Center, offered usual liberal mumbo jumbo of how fossil fuels were raising the temperature of the atmosphere. He didn’t know who he was playing with. Rep. Brooks is no dummy. He has extensive knowledge in science and had done a little research of his own.

Philip Duffy Lectures At Green For All Institute – A George Soros Front Organization For ‘Progressive’ Climate Change

Looking across the table at the scientist, Rep. Brooks said, “Mr. Duffy, have you guys ever considered rocks or dirt falling into the ocean? Every time you have that soil or rock whatever it is that is deposited into the seas, that forces the sea levels to rise. Because now you’ve got less space in those oceans because the bottom is moving up.” 

Duffy was silent, completely flummoxed. Brooks pointed to the White Cliffs of Dover and to California “where you have the waves crashing against the shorelines” and “you have the cliffs crash into the sea. All of that displaces the water which forces it to rise, does it not?” Brooks asked. 

OUCH!! – Imagine This Times Billions Of Rocks

Duffy waffled by stating he didn’t think there would be enough falling rocks to have an effect. It was clear he really had no clue about it at all.

Shortly after reading this exchange, we started Googling research on rocks and ocean levels. Mo Brooks was right; scientists have completely ignored one of the most common occurrences on earth – rocks falling in the ocean – and the global rise in sea levels.

The English Are Destroying The World

This, of course, is simply another example of George Soros and his international tangle of agitprop organizations working to undermine American and its coal and oil industries. Listen to Hillary Clinton or Angela Merkel or any CNN commentator and it’s all big oil or dirty coal or SUVs that are heating up the planet and flooding Miami beach. Just about every university in the world gets millions of dollars from Soros or Gates or Bezos to ‘prove’ this claptrap. But Mo Brooks, using physic principles so simple that even a child could understand, latched onto the real reason ocean levels are rising. And nobody was looking at it.

No one – no government, university or business group – is researching what causes rocks to fall into the ocean, the impact when they do and, most importantly, how to stop or at least slow down the rate in which they fall. Yet the United States government is spending billions – 211 billion in 2017 alone – on research on environmental issues like climate change, fossil fuel emissions and weather research. You read that number right – 211 billion last year.

Who in the government decides where that 211 billion gets spent? Why it’s the House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology that’s who. And who on that committee would really like to encourage research on why rocks fall in the ocean – the senior Representative of Alabama, Mo Brooks. The need is obvious. We have created the solution. Here is the plan:

Last month, we incorporated a new research institute whose mission will be to assess damage of falling rocks to our oceans, develop tools to reduce or eliminate falling rock damage and create the capability to start removing rocks from the ocean floor. It’s called The American Falling Rock Research Organization, AFR²O.

AFR²O will become a massive organization and it will need money, a lot of money to achieve its goals. But as Rep. Brooks clearly noted, science has missed the boat on climate change and the time has come to invest in real solutions to fix a problem that could devastate cities around the world. Why should we let Singapore slip beneath the waves of the Indian Ocean or allow sharks to freely roam through the streets of downtown Miami? It will be expensive, but all this ocean rising nonsense can be stopped once we understand why rocks fall into the ocean and start taking them back out.

Our initial effort will be to identify the major causes of why rocks weaken and crash. We estimate that it will take about 500 million for that research to be completed. With another couple of billion, we can start a program to strengthen the most vulnerable rock areas and freeze their impact on ocean levels. After that, we begin reclamation. That will be a long expensive process; but that is where the money is in terms of saving earth’s major coastal populations.

AFR²O’s Initial Research On How Rocks Fall

That’s the plan. Right now, we are looking for five partners to ante up 10 million each to establish AFR²O’s Washington DC office and write first set of grant proposals. We should get our first 500 million in 2020, the second a year after that and then the real money starts to come in. Our business model shows a market cap of over 10 billion dollars for AFR²O sometime around 2024; that’s when we take the company public. Anyone to sticks 10 million in now will see that multiplied at least 20 times in four years.

Some Preventative Steps Are Simple

Some Complex (Preliminary Engineering Sketch – Dover Retaining Wall)

The dynamics of rising oceans is not some esoteric secret. It is simply one rock, two rocks, three rocks and on and on. The solution is just as simple. Generations of scientists have deliberately ignored literally the ground on which they walk upon because of ideology based ignorance and a misguided belief that demonizing fossil fuels will allow George Soros to put his puppets in the White House. It didn’t work in 2016 and it won’t work now. We have brave men and women like Mo Brooks to thank for that. But now we have to pay the piper and the AFR²O to restore nature’s balance in the world.

If you don’t have 10 million dollars, you can still help. Mo Brooks is on our side. We need to get the rest of his colleagues to join us too. Their names and emails are below. Write to them. Tell them you how you will contribute to their campaigns if they start helping to get the rocks out of the oceans rather than trusting the rocks in Philip Duffy’s head.

The House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, 115th Congress, Members

Lamar Smith, Texas, Chair lsmith@house.gov

Dana Rohrabacher, drohrabacher@house.gov

Frank Lucas, Oklahoma, flucas@house.gov

Mo Brooks, Alabama mbrooks@house.gov

Randy Hultgren, Illinois Rhutgren@house.gov

Bill Posey, Florida wposey@house.gov

Thomas Massie, Kentucky tmassie@house.gov

Eddie Bernice Johnson, Texas, Ranking Member ejohnson@house.gov

Zoe Lofgren, California zlofgren@house.gov

Dan Lipinski, Illinois dlipinski@house.gov

Suzanne Bonamici, Oregon sbonamici@house.gov

Ami Bera, California abera@house.gov

Elizabeth Esty, Connecticut eesty@house.gov

Marc Veasey, Texas mveasey@house.gov

Don Beyer, Virginia, Vice Ranking Member dbeyer@house.gov

Jacky Rosen, Nevada jrosen@house.gov

Jerry McNerney, California jMcNerney@house.gov

Ed Perlmutter, Colorado eperlmutter@house.gov

Paul Tonko, New York ptonko@house.gov

Bill Foster, Illinois wfoster@house.gove

Lamar Smith, Texas, Chair lsmith@house.gov

Dana Rohrabacher, drohrabacher@house.gov

Frank Lucas, Oklahoma, flucas@house.gov

Mo Brooks, Alabama mbrooks@house.gov

Randy Hultgren, Illinois Rhutgren@house.gov

Bill Posey, Florida wposey@house.gov

Thomas Massie, Kentucky tmassie@house.gov

 


 

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How To Build An Atomic Bomb

Ralph’s simple atom bomb recipe.

Building an atomic bomb that you can shoot across the Pacific Ocean on a ballistic missile takes a lot of work. But if all you’re going to do is clear some bush out in the country, you can make this simple atomic bomb in a matter of hours!

The Secret Is In the Black-Eyed Peas

Ingredients you will need:

2 four quart metal mixing bowls

4 lbs of uncooked black-eyed peas

1.5 lbs of enriched uranium (or 1 lb plutonium if available)

(Can’t find enough enriched uranium? see our recipe “How to Enrich Uranium The Easy Way” )

5,000 firecrackers (approximately 1 lb black powder when unwrapped)

2 lbs of Silly Putty®

1 roll of duct tape

1 box cutter

30 feet of #3 string

8oz Zippo® lighter fluid

1 9×13 baking pan

2 large plastic mixing bowls

Approximate Prep Time: Two Hours

Yield – 1 Megaton

Directions:

  1. Divide the Silly Putty® into thirds. Put aside two of the pieces. Place the remaining piece into one of the plastic bowls and mix in the uranium quickly and thoroughly. Form into a ball, approximately six inches in diameter.
  2. When finished put the bowl in the refrigerator, oven or any convenient metal box.
  3. Inside of each firecracker is about .1 oz of black powder. With the box cutter, slice open each of the firecrackers and empty its black powder into the other plastic bowl. Discard fuses, wrappers, etc.
  4. Knead the black powder into the remaining two pieces of Silly Putty® for five minutes or until the black powder is evenly distributed.
  5. Smooth the Silly Putty® mixture evenly into the 9×13 baking pan.
  6. Take the uranium ball and place it in the middle of the baking pan. Quickly wrap the sheet of black powder Silly Putty® around it to form another, larger, ball.
  7. Cut a four foot piece of # 3 string from the roll. Push one end of the string at least half way through the Silly Putty® ball.
  8. Pour 1 lb of black-eyed peas into one of the 4 quart mixing bowls. Take the Silly Putty® ball and place it on top of the peas. Cover the ball with more black-eyed peas until the bowl is nearly full. Leave the remaining piece of string looped over the edge of the bowl.
  9. Pour five oz of Zippo®lighter fluid evenly around the black-eyed peas.
  10. Now cover the bowl with a sheet of plastic wrap. The plastic wrap should be large enough to extend over the edges of the mixing bowl by at least an inch. Near the edge on one side of the bowl, make a ¼ inch hole in the plastic wrap and pull the string through. Pull the wrap snugly over the rest of the bowl and secure it to the sides of the bowl with duct tape. Again, make a ¼ inch hole in the duct tape to pull the string through. It is important NOT to tape the string to the side of the mixing bowl. Ensure the string hangs freely through the hole in the duct tape.
  11. Fill the second four quart mixing bowl with black-eyed peas. Cover with plastic wrap and secure it in place with duct tape.
  12. Lay each mixing bowl on its side and carefully duct tape the bowls together, the mouth of one bowl to the mouth of the other. Work the string around the duct tape so that it remains exposed. You will now have one large eight quart spherical container.
  13. Double or triple wrap everything up with more duct tape. Make sure to leave the string hanging freely.
  14. Tie the remaining #3 string to the piece of string that goes into the Silly Putty® ball.

You are pretty much done. The big duct taped metal sphere you have is an atomic bomb. But don’t worry. It is harmless until you activate the fuse.

Ralph’s Hint: Make them two at a time. It doesn’t take much more time and you’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll use them up.

Getting your bomb ready to explode is simple. Take the bomb to where ever you want to set it off. Remember, this is an ATOMIC Bomb – it makes a big bang. Ensure there are no children or pets about. Watch out for windy conditions that could carry radiation where you don’t want it to go.

Once your bomb is in place, unroll the string so the end of it is at least twenty feet from the bomb. Liberally squirt the remaining Zippo® lighter fluid along the length of the string. It will not take much before it is thoroughly doused. Then simply light the end of the string with a match. Run.

Enjoy!!

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Golden Rears

 

The Tim Rogan Acoustic Love Seat

I made my first audio chair when I was seventeen. J. Gordon Holt had just reviewed the Dale Swanson Black Lightning Eams chair in this magazine. It wowed me! How could something a simple as a listening chair make such a difference in how you heard music? But it did. JGH was not ready to give up his standard Nekkers Headroom seat but he sure convinced me that the Nekkers was just as important in his sound room as his favorite Mark Levinson 20.6 monoblocks.

J. Gordon Holt’s Original Nekkers Headroom Chair

The Black Lightning sold for $8,500 in 1981. No way a high school kid running a neighborhood lawn mowing business was going to buy one of those beauties. But JGH’s review was full of details; enough for me take one of mom’s old French provincial living room chairs stored in the cellar and rebuild it into an simple listening chair: two pieces of grey duct tape on each of the panels that stuck out on the head rest; a couple pairs of panty hose pinned to the back of the seat and four two inch wide strips of rubber on the arm rests. Boy could you hear the difference!

Now my day job is refurbishing old audio equipment for a high end shop here in Chattanooga. When I am not tinkering with old set of Carver amps or refoaming a vintage AR, I am playing music in the listening room I set up in the shop. And I now have a Nekkers Headroom chair pretty much like JGH’s – updated with electronic ergonomic controls and polylaminate latex covers but still with the classic Nekker J shaped listening design. I have tested at least a half a dozen other chairs over the past ten years but the Nekker has never been surpassed in coupling absolute sonic neutrality with a listening position so darn comfortable that that you forget it is even there. I figured it would be Nekker’s for life just like they were for JHG.

Until last month.

Enter the Tim Rogan Acoustic Love Seat. A love seat? So right away you’re thinking, how can a love seat possibly work as reference audio chair? The whole idea of setting up a listening room is to pick the precise spot where the two sonic lines of whatever toed in speakers you are listening to intersect and put your head in exactly that spot. What use is a love seat? Only one person can be in the magic position.

Well – how about you and your buddy being able to listen to the same piece of music played through your show case reference system and hear exactly the same thing? Impossible? That is what I would have said to until Tim Rogan (Rogan’s Audio Heights, Madison, WI) offered to loan me one of his Acoustic Love Seats to play with for a while.

How could it possibly work? I spend an afternoon chatting with Tim to learn the secrets of his design. First you start with two skeleton frames that look like an airplane version of an Eams chair. The seat portion of each frame is a medium size square that slopes backwards into frame’s back. The back attaches at a rather straight 105 angle and rises up to the sitter’s shoulders. Individual headrests sits on top of each of frame.

The two frames are bolted together and the whole thing is covered with about four inches of speaker foam encased by polyester/latex blended cover. Each sitting position is taunt, upright and surprisingly comfortable.

The magic is in the headrest. Each headrest extends from the middle of your neck to about three inches above the top of your head. The headrests have two wings at ear level that protrude inward four inches towards your head at about 35 degrees. The headrest and wings are fully adjustable. Tim recommends a starting position with the wing’s placed so that they are centered on your ears and bending the wing angle so that it just catches your peripheral vision if you are staring directly ahead. You start from here and adjust things to optimize the sound.

Each of the headset wings are covered with what look like hundreds of sea shells covered by a thin layer of rubber. Tim will not say exactly what they are but it is these little shell thingies and the pattern in which they are layered to each wing that allow both listeners on each side of the love seat to hear the same sounds from the speaker exactly if you were sitting on a normal chair set in the sweet spot of the listening room.


The E. Dickinson XP-30 Limited Editon

None of this was convincing to me until I spent an evening with just me, my Nekker and the Acoustic Love Seat. First I set up the Nekker in its usual place for serious audio listening. My normal system is a Linn Sondek Lp12 with the SME M2-9 tonearm plugged a E. Dickenson XP-30 preamp fed into a pair of Ralph Cramden monoblocks. I am currently using a pair of Rutherfor Streaker 2000 speakers that Jerry Rutherford sent me to evaluate six month ago but sound so good in my room, I don’t think I will ever give them back. o

I started with Daniel Barenboim’s version of Pickleman’s Te Mentula Magna (LP, Decca DL1430). I have heard this contata with the TSO at Symphony Hall many times and the Decca recording captures the complex string timber and overtones of the first movement better than any other recording I have ever heard. I settled into the Nekker with the Dickerson turned up to 11 o’clock. Te Mentual Manga is a sonic masterpiece if done right. Barenboim uses four violas in the first section and they open the symphony with yawing bow work between the C and G strings creating a delicious harmonic that has a biting, almost rustic timbre. After eight measures, the seconds repeat the seesaw bowing as the firsts move up an octave and smooth the bow work into a liquid wave. The effect is mesmerizing if played right and captured accurately on the recording. In the Nekker, I heard familiar perfection.

Kramden Only Built A Dozen Of These Babies – I Have Two Of Them. Ha

I moved the Nekker out of the room and slid in the Rogan. Tim had told me to position the tip of inner wings of the two headrests exactly where the sweet spot of the Nekker was. And so I did. I then sat on the right seat of the love seat. I adjusted the headrest legs to the right height and length for my head. This, of course, threw off the position of the inner wings. I slid the chair slightly back to reposition the wings and adjusted the seat height downwards about an inch. The inner wings were back in the sweet spot.

I could not believe Te Mentula Magna when I played it again. It sounded almost exactly as when I listened with the Nekker. The first violas’ low rumble that starts the first movement was slightly darker than it should have been. I moved the outside headseat wing outward five degrees (Tim had told me never to move the inside wings once they were in the speakers sonic center). The darkness darkened even more. Then I adjusted them 10 degrees outward. The viola’s timbre was now restored to just what I had heard with the Nekker. It seemed to work every time – adjusting the wings outward, lightened the sound, sometimes making the 4-6Khz range sound a little watery. Slant the wings inward, and tones darkened with the bass then the treble starting overpowering everything else. But once you got the wings adjusted right, the effect was amazing. The sounds of the instruments was simply the SAME has when sitting in the Nekker Headroom chair.

But the soundstage was not. On Jason Bruels Hoppin Gitters, (LP, Columbia CS23945), Ray Crumble plays one rhythm guitar on the right side of the stage; his brother Eric plays on one the other side. On Watch The Dog, they are both playing the same notes but Ray is one octave higher than Eric. With the Nekker, I always knew their exact position on the stage – ten feet apart. The Rogan’s blurred the separation. Yes they were on opposite sides of the stage but four feet, six feet? I couldn’t tell.

I tried multiple adjustments with the various components of the chair. If I got the separation a bit more distinct, I lost the purity of the music’s sound. After futzing with the chair for a couple of hours, I called Tim for some advice. He came over the next day and basically repeated all of seating alternatives I tried and finally said it looked like they a bit more design work to do.

Don’t get me wrong. The Rogan Acoustic Love Seat hits right on all of its cylinders 90% of the time. But it’s not the Nekker.

A week later, I invited Tom Swift, a close audiophile friend, to listen with me. This was the first time two people who really appreciated great music reproduction could sit down together and hear nearly the same thing at the same time. Tom was an old hand with my reference system and the Nekker. His amazement match mine after 10 minutes listening to Golden Records’ re-issue of the Stone’s original Beggar’s Banquet recording (LP, Golden Records, O0100) on the Rogan Love Seat. He was asking ‘how is this possible?’ just like I did the week before.

Ears don’t lie. The Tim Rogan Love Seat would be a top notch audiophile chair if it only sat one person. But as a love seat – it is a piece of genius. You get it at a bargain price too – at just over $15,000 love seat is little less expensive than the standard Nekker Headroom chair and way way less than the Nekker Platinum version which comes in at $25,750.

Tim called me last week. They had the separation issue figured out (latex coating on the shells had to be changed) and he expects to have the new design in production next month. I am getting one of the first off the line as a replacement to review.

Unless are you are some kind of audiophile nut case, you should seriously consider the Rogan Acoustic Love Seat as your next listening chair upgrade. Your wife probably already thinks you’re a dope just because you coop yourself up in the listening room for hours each evening. Now you can invite her in and share your favorite music together. Who knows what will happen next?

 

 

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