Lovelace and Babbage in Lego

Lego enthusiast Stewart Lamb Cromar is currently proposing a LEGO set containing Ada Lovelace, Charles Babbage and the Babbage Analytical Engine. If he can gather 10,000 supporters during 2015, the Lego company will evaluate its commercial potential. So if you like this idea, please click on the following link to go to the LEGO Ideas website to read more about it and give it your approval — link >>>

Child Prosthetics Lego-style

Colombian designer Carlo Arturo Torres has designed new prosthetic technology for children in conjunction with Lego’s experimental research department Future Lab, and Cirec, a Colombia-based company for physical rehabilitation. Using sensors to track muscle movement in the stump, a signal is sent to control the robotic attachment. The young wearers will be able to customize it according to their wishes and needs.

Read more here — link >>>

A diesel-era moon project

The BIS Moonship, a picture based on drawing by by R. A. Smith

The British Interplanetary Society, a scholarly organization whose most famous member ought to have been the late Sir Arthur C Clarke, started studying how to carry out a manned landing on the moon already before World War Two. Their approach was realistic and it appears that their technical studies came as close to the mark as was possible with the knowledge available in those days. After all, nobody predicted the semiconductor revolution that appeared soon after the war’s end; it transformed all types of advanced technology.

Illustrator BA Smith did some artwork based on those studies. Now a group of present-day illustrator have used his works to do some nice 3D renderings. The result: great-looking retro-technology. Space travel as it ought to have been, Read more here — link >>>

Diesel-era Floatplane Leviathan

The CANT Z.511 floatplane, designed by Filippo Zappata

The CANT Z.511 floatplane was conceived in the mid-1930s as a long-range mail and passenger carrier that would fly between Italy and South America. Its size and performance were outstanding for those days — wingspan: 39 meters; gross weight: 34 metric tons; cruise speed 330 km/h; range: 4500 km.

However, the outbreak of World War Two shut down Italy’s transoceanic air traffic and put the venture on hold. The prototype found use in the military and, purportedly, there was a Ian-Fleming-ish plan to let it transport minisubmarines to New York for a daring raid on the city’s huge port. However, Italy surrendered in 1943 before the plan could be put into action.

Read more here — link >>>

Bernard Barbarian of Mars

For many years Swedish comic-book artist Åke Rosenius has enlivened the pages of gaming magazine Fenix with the misadventures of Bernard the Barbarian, a beer-quaffing overweight rogue, whose antics poke fun at fantasy and gaming clichés left and right. Åke knows of my interest in all things Martian and he has graciously given me permission to publish Bernard’s recent encounter with a certain heroic warlord on a Red Planet far away. (Click on the strip to get a larger version.)


ESA’s Vision: A Village on the Moon

Credit: Science Photo Library

Credit: Science Photo Library

Johann-Dietrich Woerner, Director-General of the European Space Agency (ESA), wants to establish a human village on the far side of the moon. Its purpose: astronomic research and the development of technologies for interplanetary spaceflight. “The Americans are looking to go to Mars very soon – and I don’t see how we can do that – before going to Mars we should test what we could do on Mars on the Moon,” says Dr Woerner.

Read more here — link >>> .

“Wanderers” — our future in the solar system

Wanderers is a short science fiction film by Erik Wernquist, a digital artist from Stockholm, Sweden. He explains its underlying idea:

The film is a vision of our humanity’s future expansion into the Solar System. Although speculative, the visuals in the film are based on scientific ideas and concepts of what our future in space might look like, if it ever happens. All locations depicted in the film are digital recreations of actual places in the Solar System, built from real photos and map data where available.

Wanderers – a short film by Erik Wernquist from Erik Wernquist on Vimeo.