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Thursday, June 4, 2015

Ion Drive rocket by Chesley Bonestell




A long time ago we posted a brief piece about our love of rockets and mentioned the peerless space artist Chesley Bonestell (1888-1986).  Two of the books he illustrated for author Willy Ley, The Conquest of Space (1949) and Beyond the Solar System (1964), really excited the young Triple P's imagination back in the late sixties.  One picture in particular, from Beyond the Solar System, we found particularly evocative.  It was this one of (we seem to remember) an ion drive ship in deep space, it's fins glowing red as it radiated excess heat.  It's a simple image, compared with some of his paintings of pod and booster encrusted rockets orbiting a bright earth (like the illustration of the same rocket on the cover) but, at the time, those tiny cabin lights spoke of men (no women would have been contemplated as spacefarers in 1964; something Star Trek would change within two years) journeying far from earth.  Where are they going?  How long will it take?  Fuel for Agent Triple P's imagination forty five years ago.  The picture conveys the cold darkness of space in a way that modern science fiction films and TV with their brightly lit spacecraft just don't.  




We have been looking for  a good copy of this image for some time and came across it the other day while looking for something else.  Literally, back to the future for Triple P!


Cover painting for The Conquest of Space


Bonestell was originally an architect and worked on both the Chrysler Building and the Golden Gate bridge but his interest in astronomy saw him taking an artistic path which was always firmly rooted in science and he really pioneered astronomical art.  He was still working on a painting in his home in Carmel, California when he died in 1986 at the age of 98.

190 complaints about revealing dresses on Britain's Got Talent...good grief



Apparently, 190 people have complained to UK broadcast watchdog OFCOM or TV station ITV about the low-cut dresses worn by judges Amanda Holden (44) and Alesha Dixon (36) on Sunday's Britain's Got Talent final.  190?  Out of over 10 million viewers.  Not suitable for a family show, cried the moaners.  We despair, we really do!   Are their complaints about the number of male competitors who took their shirts off this year?  I don't think so.  It's this trying to shield children from sex (which the prudes still equate with bodies) thing again; which will actually do them more harm than good in the long term.




The previous week Holden  had been complained about for her dress during the semi-finals (above).  The only strange thing about that number was why she had the White Tree of Gondor sticking out of it.   Holden gets a lot of criticism in Britain because she cheated on her husband (a TV comedian) with another TV comedian about fifteen years ago.  Most of her vilification now, however, seems to be based around the fact that she shouldn't be wearing provocative clothing st her age (she is 44).  So, if we discount the fact that the tiny percentage of complainants aren't outraged Muslin clerics then we suspect they are middle aged, gone to seed mothers who resent the fact that she is still in tremendously good shape in her forties.  It's similar to the hate that Madonna got when she posed topless not long ago.  Britain has an ageing population but the press still hasn't got their heads around the fact that this large group of older people born in the sixties and seventies, don't want to act like "older people" did in the past.  It is incredibly ageist to say that someone shouldn't be able to dress how they like because they are in their forties.  We think Holden and Dixon look tremendous!