Posted on 15/07/2011 at 01:54

Good bye, shuttle.

A few days ago, the orbiter Atlantis took off. That's the 135th, and very last, mission for the american space shuttles..
Chris Bray was on the site of the launch of the first shuttle in 1981 (Columbia), and again for the last one ; hence this picture, took 30 years apart...

That's the end of an era, which takes its origins in the Cold War. Remains the feeling that with the disparition of this tool, the future of Man in space seems farther than ever.
What will we dream about after ISS is closed in 2020?...

Speaking of which, here's a pic I kept since Januray.
Shot by Thierry Legault (go check his website, unbelievable pics/vids!), who calculated than during the last solar eclipse, the sun, the moon and ISS would be aligned... for 0.86 seconds. And that would only be observale from the Sultanate of Oman. I reckon that guy didn't ditch the Math class. icone smiley laugh
So, he went there, and actually got the picture (click on it to see it full res) : bottom left is the Moon, 400.000km from us ; ISS orbiting at 500km ; and the Sun in the background, at 150 millions km.
Just for fun, the black dot bottom right is a solar eruption... the size of the Earth.

I leave you with a few links : a brilliant video, some 360° panoramic views, and a great galery of night sky pics...

Ni-night, everyone... Good-bye, shuttle.
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Posted on 23/02/2011 at 14:18

Uncle Sham Needs You!

(sorry for the crappy wordplay, I couldn't help...)

Ok, I don't have high hopes, but I give it a try anyway : I have a big garage/parking issue.

I only have a small garage/box in the basement of a building, and I'm too old to play hide'n'seek with the other co-owners who prohibit me from doing mechanics' work ; additionally, the hosting of the Albatross was only temporary, it has to move by the end of may. Consequently, all my project are "on hold", which is seriously ruining my nerves.
So, priority N°1 now is to find a place were I could finally work at ease! icone smiley wink

Im looking for a garage/workshop/warehouse/shed, something like 30 to 40 sqm with electricity (or even just a plot of land for the Albatross), to store my toys, and more importantly work on them. And obviously, the whole thing has to bee affordable, I'm no Rothschild ; yeah, I know, such a place on the Riviera, I'm day-dreaming, but I need to give it a try, unless I'll have to drop everything... icone smiley sad

In conclusion, if you, my dearest reader, have the mere hint/tips/advice/knowledge about a place that would match my expectation, for rent or for sale, within a 20km radius of Antibes... Please, tell me asap! You'll have my eternal gratitude in return! And a picture of you on ShamWerks! Thanks! icone smiley laugh

Edit 24-03-2011 :
OK, I've found a solution... Far from perfect, but anyway : I've found a garage for rent like 5 minutes walking from my place, it'll allow me to store the Albatross or the Karmann, depending on needs. Meanwhile, I'll renovate my current garage, which I've been working in for 15 years, trying to make it more "livable".
Again, the solution isn't ideal, but it will buy me some time to organize. I have to face the ugly truth : prices are so high in the area, having a proper workshop isn't conceivable... I'll probably end up leaving the region for that same reason.
Anyway, that means you should expect some "workshop enhancement" posts real soon! icone smiley wink
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Posted on 30/05/2010 at 13:31

RIP Dennis

Easy Rider is gone, two month only after finally having his star on Hollywood Boulevard...
A good occasion for me to watch that DVD again. Safe trip Dennis.
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Posted on 04/11/2008 at 15:02

50.57 knots...

Exactly one month ago, a barrier went down, while nobody really noticed. Well, OK, I can understand that the world economical crisis is more important in people's mind right now than this kind of announcement. Whatever.

In Lüderitz, Namibia, took place the Luderitz Speed Challenge 2008, an annual speed sailing contest, validated by the very uncompromising WSSRC (World Sailing Speed Record Council)...
And that's where occured that new record, and not the least one, as the mythical 50 knots frontier was breached! And for the sailing people, this was like the sound barrier!
Plus, not only its a KiteBoard that performed this amazing speed (and I do like kiteboarding!), opening a new era after decades of Windsurf hegemony, but it's a French who did it!

So, on October 3rd, Sébastien Cattelan reaches 50.26 knots, writing his name in history books as the first one ever making "one small step for man" above the 50 knots... Two days later, Alexandre Caizergues (yet another frenchy) takes the record back at an outstanding 50.57 knots, i.e. 92.6 km/h or 81.38 mph (1 knot = 1,852 km/h).

And that fast, on water, standing on a small board, that's huge... Here's a video of Caizergues' run for you to make up your mind.

Next step : 100 km/h... It took 10 years to the windsurfers to get from 30 to 40 knots ; kiteboarding being quite a young sport, in constant evolution, some think the 60 knots could be reached in the next years...

It's high time I go to Mauritius...
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Posted on 03/03/2008 at 00:39

Volume of water on Earth

Here is a picture that made me think... I found it on the blog of Dan Phiffer.

On the left Earth, the volume of the ball sitting on Europe represents the total volume of water existing on our planet (sea water, ice, lakes, rivers, ground water, clouds).
On the right one, the volume of the ball represents all the air of our atmosphere (at sea level density).

I was a bit surprised regarding the volume of water, so I did the calculus myself : 1.4 billion cubic kilometers of water, that's a 1387 kilometers diameter sphere... From which only 1% of liquid fresh water.

So, and of my ecologist story... Back to the usual concerns of ShamWerks...

Be sure that if I see anyone of you guys, dumping his wasted oil down in the nature, he'll get my fist in his face...

Picture credit : Adam Nieman and the Science Photo Library
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