The scientific tourist #341 — the Concorde

Here, you’ve got an excellent example of the Concorde, on display with some friends at the National Air & Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia:

Concorde and friends

The Concorde began life as parallel supersonic transport (SST) studies in the United Kingdom and France in the mid- and late-1950s, respectively. By 1960, both teams were looking for a partnership as a way to share costs, and as no U.S. company was interested in such an arrangement, they formed a joint venture (with the backing of government subsidies and an international treaty) in 1962. Continue reading

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Carnivalia — 11/12 – 11/18/2014

The past week’s selection of science-related blog carnivals for you:

Carnival of Space #380

Friday Ark #497

Morsels for the Mind — 14/11/2014

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The scientific tourist #340 — Short-Necked Plesiosaur

On display at Kansas’ Sternberg Museum of Natural History, it’s a Short-Necked Plesiosaur (a.k.a., Dolichorhynchops):

Short-Necked Plesiosaur (Dolichorhynchops)

Dolichorhynchops was a genus of plesiosaur in the Late Cretaceous (93 – 70 million years ago), back when modern-day Kansas was a bit of sea bottom. This is a reconstruction of a Dolichorhynchops osborni, one of the three species in the genus, and pair to a fossilized skeleton of the same creature on display at the museum.  In their day, they grew to about 3 meters / 10 feet in length.

D. osborni is an appropriate match for the museum, particularly since the holotype specimen of the species was discovered in Logan County, Kansas by George Sternberg as a teenager, circa 1900.

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Carnivalia — 11/05 – 11/11/2014

The past week’s selection of science-related blog carnivals for you:

Carnival of Space #379

Health Wonk Review: The Election Week Edition

Morsels for the Mind — 07/11/2014

 

 

 

 

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The scientific tourist #339 — Apollo Soyuz

On display at the Kansas Cosmosphere in Hutchinson, Kansas — it’s a snapshot of a breather in the cold war (on the left, a mockup Apollo spacecraft; on the right, a Soyuz mockup):

Apollo Soyuz

Conducted in 1975, the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP) was an opportunity for the Soviet and American human space programs to experiment with working together.  In retrospect, it makes sense that the respective technical communities (despite fairly divergent philosophies w.r.t. engineering) worked together more easily than did the two countries’ politicians.

Still, the joint mission wasn’t possible until U.S./U.S.S.R. tensions started to ease in the early 1970s as the Vietnam War began to wind down.  The two nations committed to the mission in 1972, with the two spacecraft launching 7-1/2 hours apart on 15 July, 1975.  They docked on 17 July, spent 44 hours together, then the two spacecraft spent several days conducting separate investigations in low Earth orbit.

The ASTP mission was considered a great success by both sides, and set a number of milestones.  Along with being the first joint mission for the U.S. and U.S.S.R., ASTP was the last flight of an Apollo spacecraft.  It would also be the last time American and Russian craft would dock in space until the STS-71 mission saw the space shuttle Atlantis dock with the Mir space station in 1995.

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Carnivalia — 10/29 – 11/04/2014

The past week’s crop of (mostly) science-related blog carnivals for you:

Carnival of Space #378

Friday Ark #496

History Carnival #139

Morsels for the Mind — 31/10/2014

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The scientific tourist #338 — Lord Shield Jaguar and Lady Xoc

Another excellent piece from the Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed traveling exhibit, it’s a replica of Lintel 24 from Yaxchilan in Chiapas, Mexico:

Lord Shield Jaguar and Lady Xoc

The original piece is now in the British Museum in London, but this particular example is considered a masterpiece of Maya sculpture, so it has spawned replicas in a number of museums.   Continue reading

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Carnivalia — 10/22 – 10/28/2014

The past week’s bumper crop of (mostly) science-related blog carnivals for you:

Carnivalesque #106 (pre-modern history)

Carnival of Space #377

Friday Ark #425

Health Wonk Review

Math Teachers at Play #79

Morsels for the Mind – 24/10/2014

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The scientific tourist #337 — Rough horsetail (Equisetum hyemale)

Seen at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, near Austin, Texas — but found nearly worldwide — it’s a living fossil:

Rough horsetail (Equisetum hyemale)

Equisetum (a genus containing 15 species) is the only living genus of the once-diverse family Equisetopsida.  These now-odd plants first appeared in the late Devonian (some 100 million years after the first land plants made their appearance), and for more than 100 million years dominated the understory of Earth’s forests.  Members of the family even grew as large trees, some 30 meters tall.

But today, the horsetails play a more humble role, typically growing no more than 1.5 meters tall, but native to nearly the entire planet’s surface — essentially all but Antarctica, Australia, and New Zealand.  Unlike most plants, they reproduce via spores (rather than by seeds), and so are closely related to ferns.

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Carnivalia — 10/15 – 10/21/2014

The past week’s selection of science-related blog carnivals:

Carnival of Space #376

Friday Ark #494

Morsels for the Mind — 17/20/2014

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