Category Archives: Art

Remarkable automobile photographers who’s work you might enjoy!

Here are several photographer’s who’s work I’ve admired on Flickr. They all inspire me. I don’t know how to search Flickr for specific cars or manufacturers as photographed by a specific photographer, but if you start with their Albums, or Photostreams, you won’t go wrong. You can try their “Favorites” to find other people you might enjoy too.

live links to Albums <-Monterey/Carmel/Bay Area cars Pro <– 24 Hours of LeMons! Bernal GT! <-central eastern europe, rally <– Perico001 Belgium <– Clay Netherlands

live links to Photostreams <– Carl Madson karl madsen, not CM…

Photobucket and Pintrest are also worth a look, but so many pictures are barely tagged, or not tagged at all. Hence brute force wanders through photostreams and albums. Join these sites so you can at least mark “favorites” or “follow” the photographers.

Rennaissance Models have reference pages for their kits, well worth looking through.

Gerry Winker, ComicOzzie Motorsport Photography

Here’s a nice article on SpeedHunters about the #38 Champion Porsche 1997 evo car.

My own references into other people’s Porsche 911 GT1 photos are at
John Wiley and John Sinkgraven’s work are pointed to there, as well as pointers into UltimateCarPage, which I also recommend.

John Sinkgraven’s Porsche GT1 work isn’t on line at the moment, but I captured a couple of his images, and I have his permission to post my derivative work based on them.
Porsche 911 993 GT1 1996 or 7  06_40 colorCoded version  15
John Sinkgraven has at least one Ferrari competition photo at, probably other places.

Here’s my pictures and favorites,

TV Shows to binge-watch 

On Acorn

Antipodian: New Zealand:

800 Words“,  Suddenly a widower, an Australian writer moves with his kids to the NZ village he spent summers in as a kid. Complications ensue. Great stories, charming characters, excellent writing and acting, several seasons.

Brokenwood Mysteries“,  Brokenwood, a medium size town in NZ, gets a new senior detective, colorful but as it happens, good at his job. Slightly flaky-seeming local Maori guy turns out to know everyone and something about everything. He’s like a benificent Trickster god. Detective Sims, 2nd most senior, is the only actual adult in the plain-clthes part of the station.

Antipodian: Australian:

Rain Shadow“, – a former grain-growing area of South Australia now in drought. Perminently? Story follows a young vet from the big city

Crownies“, – Crown Prosecuturs: Ensemble, very long-form stories, each lawyer has multiple cases moving at different points in the system. 
Janet King”  (sequel to Crownies), Crownies refashioned to center on one lawyer in particular, and with a brilliant freienemy mixed in
Jack Irish“. A winning, low-rent PI, only takes cases he wants…
Mr. and Mrs. Murder” – mostly comedy, two crime-scene cleaners show up after the cops are done, but often discover what really happened. The couple are charming and their neice keeps it in the family. The slightly hapless cop they are consistantly bailing out is at least grateful for the help

My Life Is Murder” – A retired ace detective neglects her baking to come back to the force, from time to time, solving crimes her old boss can’t get cleared by anyone else. Stars Lucy Lawless, formerly Xena, Warrior Princess.


Striking Out” lawyer drama, wonderful cast and writing- Brief adult situations. 2 seasons!
Finding Joy“, – a lot of the same cast as Striking Out.. Newspaper copy editor suddenly assigned to local-color TV reporter’s beat. Bungie Jumps, New Age retreats. Serious fish out of water.
The miniseries of Tara French’s In The Woods and The Image. Really, really, dark, but gripping.
Jack Taylor” about a former Guardi working as a private investigator. Noir-ish.


No Offense” – perfect cop comedy drama, funny as hell. But bad bad guys are in earnest, dark stuff happens. Story arcs are season-long but each episode has a point and arc of its own. Inspector Deering leads her squad with if-it-isn’t-true-it-ought-to-be-true verve. Mostly.
Ackley Bridge” – luminous comedy / drama about public school for a mixed stone poor Anglo and stone poor Pakistani imigrant/2nd generation community. Colorful cast of teachers and administrators. Superb writing and acting. We didn’t expect a 3rd season, but there is! and we’re enjoying it. Drop dead funny, and heart-breaking when it gets dramatic. An amazing amount of characters and their lives are stuffed into each episode.
Loch Ness“, the protagonist detective is leading her first murder investigation, on the shore and environs of the famous Loch. Her husband does “Nessie” tours for tourists, and gets a bit of education too.
Agatha Raisin” – former fashonista / publicity person moves to the Cotswalds and starts solving murders. The senior local cop is utterly incompitent, but she can work with the junior, and local worthies. Some of the outfits Agatha gets to wear may perimently damage older TVs…
Murder (Investigation) Squad“,  – London- based squad similar to Vera Stanhope’s Northumberland and City bunch- different people with different skills, one old-school white guy in a coat and tie, Inspector is a short, intense woman, her bagwoman is a taller, quieter Mc(something), not quite as driven. This is a DENSE show- You get more in one hour than some 2 hour or multi-part shows.”Line of Duty“. Anti-corruption/internal affairs procedural, in Northern Ireland. Complex plots.”The Good Karma Hospital” British doctor returns (?) to India, running a clinic with volunteer locals, ex-pats and returning migrants. Engaging stories move around the location of the hospital. 



19-2” as good as TV gets, but dark. A country cop with back-story moves to Montreal, teams with a city cop who’s former partner was disabled in a horrific shooting. Each has to prove himself to the other, while meeting their own high personal standards. And avoiding the machinations of the creepy captain. Crimes tend to be smaller and involve less gunfire than US cop shows- sometimes they get called for a fight in a bar, and assualts, property crimes, public safety and the usual sorta-organized illegal stuff you expect in a big city. One story starts with a homeless guy who’s outdoors, that the city cop knows. on a clear night that’s going to freeze. He should be indoors… and there-in lies the tale.

We loved the first episode, and thought, “lets have another, even if they can’t all be *that* good”. But they *are* that good. Each better than the one before. Stories build and interconnect. The characters, and the rest of their station (19th precinct, they have car #2) have stuff going on, and histories. Substance abuse, domestic violence, everyone’s stupid problems and the cops own relationship issues offer a range of situations that don’t go as hoped, or planned. There are losses, and hurts that don’t heal quickly.  Yet, after 4 seasons, and the cruel and senseless challenges that most survive, there’s the matter of an out of season deer carcas that the country cop’s brother arrives with one night. Its cleaned and hanging in the back of the tractor-trailer the brother drives for a living.  The short term solution involves packages wrapped in pink butcher’s paper, but one of the cops at the station has a venison pie recipe… and there’s the happy ending!


Rebecka Martinsson” A detective from the forest and lakes part of the country is about to marry a guy from the big city, then things get complex and she has to stay where she grew up and get it all sorted out. Beautiful locations, a smaller town with more rural and less agricultural land than Wallander.

Straight Forward” A second-generation con-artist flees Denmark when her father is killed, going to ground in New Zealand and trying to rescue her daughter…

Megahertz Network / Cable channel 17:

Beck” – Swedish detective squad led by older widower, nearing retirement. Comedic relief by his wacky neighor- guy with orange-tinted glasses who always appears with a neck brace, like he just had whiplash… usually meeting inconveniently in the hallway or out on the balconies of their flats. Beck’s squad has a hot-dog guy who’s cynical but a good shot, a female nerd, normalish plainclothes dudes and one  guy clearly descended from Vikings- wild red hair and beard, He’s the emotional one. Beck has a daughter who’s a uniformed cop. Not as bleak as “Wallander,”

Baantjer“: Dutch detective, older guy, younger team, like “Beck”, or “Wallander” come to think of it.

Inspector Manara“: Groovy Italian detective, has a Zappa poster up in his apartment  and plays solo saxaphone to soothe his soul.


Animal shows, In order of best and most soothing staff and animals.

Bronx, NY, Zoo:

Chester, UK, Zoo:

Columbus, OH, Zoo:

Want more?

Houston, TX, Vet Clinic:

San Diego, CA, Zoo:

Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Aus. :

The Georgia Aquarium, GA


Big Little Lies“, both seasons. Very dark. Spectacular cast and writing, set in Monterey! Extra intense 2nd season goes past the source book and brings in Meryl Streep!

Six Feet Under” The unexpected death of the owner/father of a family morturary in L.A. leaves his widow, their 3 kids and the partner in the business, mourning, and existentially challenged. The painfully disfunctional family have to pull together,  with the partner, to chart their own course for the business. And as idividuals, to build new lives with or without significant others. It takes 63 episodes, in 5 seasons, to figure it out, with one of the coolest end-of-the-last-episode-endings ever made.

Tremé,” set in the neighborhood of the same name in New Orleans, starting some months after Huricane Katrina. The superb cast and writing show how great TV can be made from stories of normal people trying to make a living and stay relatively honest in tragic times. Great food and music never hurt, even when the apocolypse has come and gone. Death is still in business. Love isn’t always enough. But even a character who seems to only be for themself can find some redemption, doing something for someone else.

The Wire“, further proof that good TV is character and story driven. One season follows one character into his new career as a public school teacher. No superheroics, just seemingly hopeless disfunction only occasionally redeemed by small success. Or rare grace. And yet. Andre Royo, the actor who portrays the recovering heroin adict, “Bubbles”, so intensely inhabited his role that people, in Baltamore, would see him on the street and press money on him, because he *was* that character, and that character needed the help. The good guys are good, the bad guys bad, and like any story it has to end. After far too much death and destruction. Besides its quality as art, the practical tutorial on drugs, crime, poverty, hollowed city centers and race is well worth your time.


Masterpiece detective procedurals:

Vera“, “Shetland“, “Broadchurch“,(UK version), “Foyle’s War


I’ll Have What Phil’s Having” A gentler, “Parts Unknown”: travel+food

KQED’s “Check Please Bay Area”

On PBS and also on Acorn:

BBC’s venerable: “Doctor Who” The new Doctor had her break-out role in Broadchurch (UK).
Endeavor“, – Inspector Morse prequil. Interesting stuff, but the imagined Morse is a bit of a stretch, the senior Inspector he works with is fun, as is the young officer Strange and young medical examiner.
Inspector Lewis“,
Inspector Morse
Last Tango In Halifax“.
New Tricks“, An active duty detective gets assigned to cold cases and recruits 3 retired detectives as her squad. They’re all characters, the cold cases are a wide range, and the retirees change, and then the lead detective, as the seasons run on. Watch from the beginning if you can.

Recently, at our house, on cable TV:

Last week BBC miniseries “Pride and Predjudice”: (Collin Firth)
“A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” – Fred Rogers’ biopic.
“Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit”
“The Best of Enemies” (recent, not David Niven WWII movie)
“Pride and Predjudice”: (2005 Kira Knightley)
“A Star is Born” (most recent version)
at a theatre: “Onward”
Before that: “Parasite”
We enjoyed “The Bridge” (Texas/Mexico) and “The Tunnel”, UK/France, both of which are very, very dark, though also very good

Don’t Forget: (From our DVD collection)

“Rivers and Tides: Andy Goldsworthy Working With TIme”
“My Neighbor Totoro”
“A Grand Day Out With Wallace and Gromit”
“Porco Rosso”
“Spirited Away”
“Howl’s Moving Castle”
“Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams”
“A Taxing Woman”
“Hidden Fortress”
“Seven Samarai”
“Le Mans” (Steve McQueen, 1970 = sequel to “Ford Vs. Ferrari”, in some ways…)
“Endless Summer” (Bruce Brown, mid 1960s)
“The Kids Are Allright” (The Who’s biopic, ending just before Keith Moon’s death)
“The Way Things Go” (31 minute Rube Goldberg machine made of industrial junk in a dis-used industrial space)


Stay safe!

Follow up to Dave Itzkoff’s NYT column about his 4 year old and home video, “Yellow Submarine & Me” .

Follow up to Dave Itzkoff’s NYT column about his 4 year old and home video, “Yellow Submarine & Me”  .

(I posted this as a comment on his greeting on Redit. Never been signed up on Redit before. I couldn’t send a message on Twitter and the letters section for the article was closed. I liked what he wrote, I hope he enjoys this additional info.)

Hi Dave, I’m Bill Abbott and I greatly enjoyed your NYT piece about “Yellow Submarine“. My kid, now 22, was also a big fan at that age. Great stuff! Same kid prefers “Help!” to “Hard Day’s Night”. Admittedly, “Help!” has more tigers, and the four attached home front doors leading to one room, with John’s bed below floor level. How I wanted one of those! Same kid offered a Nina Simone song as “what’s going through my mind now” this afternoon. I have no complaints.

Not long after “Yellow Submarine“, we were lucky enough to have another pre-schooler loan us a copy of “My Neighbor Totoro“. We didn’t know the film, didn’t know Miyazaki or Studio Ghibli. But we learned in a hurry! VERY kid friendly, and (spoiler) their mom is in the hospital but gets better! No Hollywood Movie disease! Totoro? You’ll meet the neighbor. You’ll be happy you did.

Then my brother loaned us a VHS of “The Way Things Go“. Its a 31 minuite Rube Goldberg machine made of industrial and consumer junk, in a disused factory setting. One thing knocks into a second, which tips a third, whick pulls a string, which releases a weight that falls on the end of a folded, partially inflated, vinyl boat, which unfolds, starting a tire rolling up (!) a ladder, which hits a second tire, starting it, and then a third, and a forth… you get the idea. Eventually the rhythms of the events , repetitions and variaions become identifyable, and after that, you start seeing the pauses where they had to reload the camera, every 3 minutes to 3:30 or so. I’ve probably seen it 100 times by now. When it ends, the delighted child says, “Again!” So always leave enough time to watch it twice.

Around age 5 or so, the family across the street loaned us a copy of “Spy Kids 2“. There were 3 “Spy Kids” movies, by Robert Rodriguez, and now there’s a fourth. We started with “Spy Kids 2”, because that’s what our neighbors loaned us, and they were right! Like “Night At The Museum 2“, “Spy Kids 2” explains nothing. There are characters. They have relationships. It will be come clear as it goes along. And there aren’t 30 seconds wasted in either film. “Spy Kids 2” has the great cast (Alan Cumming, Teri Hatcher, Cheech Marin, Danny Trejo, Tony Shalhoub.) of the first film, adding Ricardo Montalban and Holland Taylor as the Kids grandparents, on their mother’s side, a second Spy family, mom, dad, sister, brother, and Steve Beucimi as the mad scientist hiding in the volcano on the invisible island because he’s afraid of the creatures he’s created. Half to himself, he wonders “…if God hides in Heaven because He’s Afraid of what He created.”

“Spy Kids” explains everything, how the Kids parents (Antonio Banderas, Carla Gugino) work for the OSS, and the kid’s Uncle Machete built the tree house next to their house. You get more explanation about the Cumming and Shalhoub characters. Then truey odd stuff happens, big adventures, and it winds up ok. Takes a while, but OK. That’s nice but its not the one to start with.

Spy Kids 3” involves video games and Sylvester Stalone, not as successful in my opinion. ßtart with “2”, then watch “1”. Be happy.

If you liked “Totoro” then “Kiki’s Delivery Service” is a good second helping.

If you like “The Way Things Go“, there are two follow-ups, “Rendezvous“, “C’était un rendez-vous”, by Claude LeLouch, offers an 8 and a half minute, completely illegal, drive through Paris starting at about 5:30 am, so a man can meet his wife at Sacré-Cœur Basilica A “rendezvous”. They embrace in the headlights of his car. The whole thing is one shot, from the front of the car. What you see is the streets. The stop lights (they are red, the driver doesn’t even lift their right foot). Pidgeons. An early dog-walker, a trash truck. The route includes the courtyard of the Louve, because you used to be able to drive through it.

A second follow-up to “The Way Things Go” is “Rivers and Tides. Andy Goldsworthy Working With Time“. It starts with Goldsworthy up before the sun, in Newfoundland. He has a little cup of water and some icicles, which he breaks into short pieces with angled ends. He is using the water to glue them to a rock, then build a loop that goes out, curves, and returns to the rock. With one loop in place, he goes to the other end of the rock and makes tne next loop, higher. And back and forth. When he’s done, he steps back to take a photograph, and thats when the sun rises. The whole icicle “sewn” back and forth “through” the rock lights up like a Neon lamp. Like Steve Martin’s gag “arrow through the head”.

I had admired Goldsworthy’s work on exhibit around the Bay Area, and in books like “Hand To Earth”, but in the movie, you see an imperinant, temporal side of what he does. He builds something between the low tide and high tide mark, and the water rises and inundates it. He pins together bracken with thorns, and the little puffs of a light wind wrench it appart. All the rest of the film consists of wathching Goldsworthy go out into the wild world, make something with what he finds, take a picture, and leave it. And film of projects he did in the past. He narrates everything. Not every project succeeds. There’s a pinecone-ish shape he likes to build with stones, and he’s trying on a rocky shingle beach, and he hasn’t figured out how to use the rock. It keeps falling. Be talks about it while he works.

Another project is just jaw dropping. He’s drawn to the meandering shape of an old river on a nearly level plain, big loops that will be come oxbows, etc. He draws one in light snow on a frozen stream. He is offered a  wall in a gallery, and he builds a meander on it, using a soft, porus, material, and soaks it with water. Then he covers the whole wall with mud. So its a uniform, hand-smoothed, wall, entirely made of mud. And he lets it dry. Well, part of it dries quickly, there’s no water source under it. But part dries slowly, stays dark, and when it does, eventually dry, its immediately aparent where the meander is because the mud  that dried quickly has one characteristic set of cracking and the mud that dried slowly has a different looking cracking, and the two couldn’t be clearer in their difference. Although both are dried mud, the same dried mud. You can see the shape he wanted to show. How cool is that?

Duck’s Breath Mystery Theater on-line!

Thanks to my friend Eric Lindberg, I can report that the 45 rpm “The Ballad of Ronald McDonald“, can be found at ““, from 16:00 to 19:15 or so.

and Dr. Science: 20:33 to 21:40 – the Human Brain compared to the Computer.

Also found “Household Appliances“! = #2 Behind the Comedy, from 32:50. Sounds like the lp version from “Out of Season“, with acoustic intro, then studio, rock and roll, contents.

Here’s the complete set of Behind the Comedy:






The Ballad of Ronald McDonald – Merle Kessler / Duck’s Breath Mystery Theater

Thanks to my friend Eric Lindberg, I can report that the content of the 45 rpm “The Ballad of Ronald McDonald“, can be found at ““, from 16:00 to 19:15 or so.

The Ballad of Ronald McDonald – Merle Kessler

His face painted gayly, young Ronald did ride

All with his soldiers, 2 Shakes and Large Fries

Big Mac he rode with him, and Mayor McCheese

To fight Colonel Sanders, his worst enemy


While in the White Castle fair Wendy did stay

She watched all a-tremble her lord ride away

She loved not Lord Ronald, though she was his McBride

Another clown had the franchise on her pride


All in the moonlight Jack’s onion rings shone 

To court this fair damsel he’d come all alone

The Taco Bell struck the young lover’s McDoom

As Ronald McDonald stepped into the room.


“My burgers are bitter!” young Ronald he cried

as he wiped a McTear from his orange McEye

“I blew-up your boxes, Jack, outsold you too”

“And Wendy, oh Wendy, I did it all for you!”


It was not Colonel Mustard in the hall with a knife

That parted the lovers away from their lives

But Ronald McDonald killed them and himself

Crying, “No need to go-o-o anywhere else!”


The Burger King found them on the sanitized floor

The blood thick as catsup, it grieved him full sore

He said, “Millions consumed your fast food while they roamed!”

“Now your arches have fallen, we’ll eat burgers at home”


This was a single put out by Mr. Kessler but also performed as part of Duck’s Breath Mystery Theatre shows. He was a member of that comedy troupe. I have the 45 rpm disc, autographed, somewhere, I hope. I meant to keep it.

This song was written and performed by Merle Kessler, and he holds the copyright to it. This publication of the lyrics is intended to keep knowledge of the song alive, and provide a reference for discussion. I assert that this is “fair use” under current law.

The rhythm is 10 syllables, 1,2,3; 12, 3; 12, 3; 1; : da da da, da-da  da, da-da  da,  da

It looks like 4 bars, or  6 groups of notes, per line, repeated 4 times per verse.


11/9/18 – add *what* struck the McDoom, then follow Eric’s note and get the rest! Thank you!

11/8/18  – add McDoom line & one after

*Fortunate* Motorcyclist survives driving off cliff

My comments to CNN:

Cliff-diving motorcyclist Matthew Murray, 27, passes a “25 MPH” advisory sign in the 12th second of CNN’s video clip. This is in the 2nd run through of the crash video. In the 15th second he’s going 68 MPH as he starts to lean into the turn. He’s still going more than 50 MPH as he slides off the pavement and onto the dirt. Text on the screen says something to the effect that he “was following the turn when he thinks his steering locked up”. The video shows no such thing. He was going too fast, and could not turn sharply enough to follow the turn. He started at more than 2.5 times the advised speed. He left the pavement at 2 times the advised speed. His speed “locked” his path, not his steering.

Get the an accurate map of the curve, the size and tread pattern of the motorcycle tires and a description of the motorcycle (make, model, horsepower, brakes,weight-as-crashed) and rider (weight). Give to “Mythbusters”. Have them duplicate the failure, during deceleration, then do a binary search for the steady speed at which a motorcycle on those tires, at that weight, could follow that turn. Braking uses traction, does that change maximum speed?. Find the entry speed, before braking, that would allow the bike to make the turn. Put a GoPro on the bike for comparison pictures, and a second one showing where the front tire touches the road.

An example that pleased me: The difference between an abstract class and an interface, in Java:

Here’s the punch line:

In Java, Prussia can extend (“be a”) one of the super-classes, Holy, Roman or  Empire, but only one. Prussia can implement the other two as interfaces, but only with methods and fields uniquely its own. If Prussia is to be Holy, be Roman and be an Empire, the strictly hierarchical relationship of those three super-classes has to be worked out separately and in detail, in advance. I can only imagine Herr von Bismark would approve.


And the whole magilla:
1) What is the difference between an interface and an abstract class?

An abstract class defines data (fields) and member functions but may not, itself, be instantiated. Usually, some of the methods of an abstract class are abstract and expected to be supplied by a sub-class, but some of the methods are defined.  Unless they are final, they can be overridden, and they can always be overloaded. Private parts of an abstract super class, for example, data, are not available to a subclass, so access methods (public or protected) must be used by the subclass. An abstract superclass is “extended” by a subclass. A given subclass may only extend one super-class, but a super-class may extend another super-class, in a hierarchy. (This avoids the complexities/difficulties of multiple inheritance in C++)

An interface is a proper subset of an abstract class, but has a different scope and use. An interface has ONLY abstract member functions and static, final, fields, aka constants. Any subclass has to provide all the variable fields and code which implements an interface. The implementing class cannot override the interface’s member signatures – the signatures are what the interface *is*. It is possible to overload an interface’s signatures, adding or subtracting variables, changing return or variable types, but the overloads do not satisfy the requirements of the interface. The implementing class(s) must contain actual member functions to satisfy all of the signatures in the interface, because there is no default, no code in the interface.  As used above, a given class ‘implements’ an interface, it does not ‘extend’ it. These limitations to an interface allow a given class to implement more than one, which retains most of the utility of multiple inheritance without, as it were, opening Plethora’s bag. (grin)

For example: In Java, Prussia can extend (“be a”) one of the super-classes, Holy, Roman or  Empire, but only one. Prussia can implement the other two as interfaces with methods and fields uniquely its own. If Prussia is to be Holy, be Roman and be an Empire, the strictly hierarchical relationship of those three super-classes has to be worked out separately and in detail, in advance. I can only imagine Herr von Bismark would approve.

Colors & materials for Apollo 11 CM, SM & LM. What the hardware looked like. For the Dragon kit.

Thanks to my beloved wife Jean, I got a Dragon Apollo 11 on the Moon kit, for Christmas! 1/72 scale, new tooling (same as their die-cast metal collectable?)

The short form on real, as-flown-in-1969, surfaces and finishes:

Command Module.

The actual Apollo Command module was covered with strips of mirror finish aluminized plastic micrometeoroid shield and thermal insulation, on the visible surfaces. The ablative heat shield, not visible until the CM and SM are separated, is said to have been painted a light gray color. During re-entry to Earth’s atmosphere, the mylar was mostly burned off and a light-gray painted structure under it became visible. Below that paint appears to have been a composite honeycomb material. I think it is unlikely that the actual pressure vessel that the crew lived in touched the outside surface except at the hatch edges.

In pictures of the remaining, unused, Apollo CSM (the emergency rescue vehicle for Skylab), you can see the stripe pattern of the plastic tape on the CM exterior, but in contemporary photographs, it looks like one piece of mirror polished aluminum. Like an American Airline’s jet airliner.

The fold-flat handles on the outside of the CSM, for astronaut Extra-Vehicular Activities (EVAs) were painted a glossy yellow, like the similar hand-rails on the the Hubble Space Telescope.

The docking capture and latch mechanism mounted on the outside of the tunnel, above the front hatch of the CM, is primarily titanium-looking metal, with a chromed, presumably retractable or spring loaded or damped, shaft.  There are darkened metal handles in the mechanism, probably painted or anodized a dark blue dark gray or black.

The inside of the tunnel itself, behind the docking capture mechanism, is light gray with 12 blue-anodized cylinder-topped arms at the top, some black and some other colors of boxes, and wires,

Service module:

The Service module exterior was  painted with an aluminum paint, except for radiator areas fore and aft which were white, two “ram’s horn” antennas that were white or light gray, and 24 narrow stripes (about 25%) on panels under the RCS thrusters. The area under “United States” may or may not have been light gray, and many labels on the exterior appear to be black text on light gray background.

The main engine exhaust bell is complex, but a bluish gray for the biggest, lower, part, outside, and reddish gray for the upper part, outside, is a good start. The top of the bell joins the reddish part at a flange, with bright bare metal fasteners by the dozen. The top of the bell, the last part visible beyond (below) the Inconel heat shield, is wrapped in the mylar and-or “H-film” ( aka “Kapton”) insulation and micrometeoroid shield. The back of the CM is mostly covered by 4 stamped quadrants what looks like thin Inconel nickel-copper high temp metal. The furthest outer edge of the end of the Service Module is painted with aluminum paint just like the sides.

Lunar Module:

The Lunar Module has two very different areas of finish: The descent (lower) stage is primarily wrapped in thermal insulation / micromedeoroid protection, a multilayer collection of  Kapton (“H film”) and Mylar, and other, exotic, things, with metal evaporated/ plated on them for protection. A lot of what looks ‘black’ is actually a black-finished foil or mylar.

The descent engine has a medium gray exterior and nestles in an Inconel-lined cavity in the descent stage.

The ascent (upper) stage of the Lunar Module is about half black-finished and half anodized Aluminum. Yes, the Aluminum looks like its dark, like Titanium, or has a distinct gray-beige-green tone. All true, many have remarked on the hard-to-describe colors. Grumman’s construction documents for the whole thing, facet by facet, are on line, and they specify Phosphoric acid and Sulfuric Acid anodizing of the various aluminum alloy pieces.  Some Mylar or “H film” wrapping is on the the outside of the ascent module. The ascent engine has a semi-gloss white exterior, with a textile-like “wrapped” texture. This may be thermal insulation, similar to the thick batts of insulation wrapped around the F1 engines of the Saturn V first stage.

There are two dish antennae on the ascent stage, Both have white-painted dishes and are generally black otherwise. The antenna directly above the lunar egress hatch and the front windows has black foil everywhere except the inside of the dish. The signal radiator in the center of the dish is white.

The antenna off on the starboard side of the ascent stage has a semi-gloss black mechanism and flat black on the back on the dish. Black, also, on the 4 legs and the forward reflector in front of the dish.

In more detail:

Command Module.

The Reaction Control System (RCS) engine nozzles on the CM have an oxidized copper color in their throats, and a slightly corrugated texture. Photos of post-re-entry CMs show a ring of the same oxidized copper color outside the nozzles, but the aluminized mylar covers these rings up to the edges of the RCS engine bells.

The forward and side windows for the two outside crew stations have black anti-glare finish around the windows, and red-orange silicone seals at every layer of the windows.

Below or behind the port side windows and the crossed RCS nozzles are a pair of drain valves, white 5/8 spheres with gold-toned dots at the outside. A very similar purge valve is installed on the starboard side of the side hatch.

On both sides, below windows, RCS nozzles, etc and the edge of the ablative re-entry shield, there are translucent white dots. Under the Mylar there are black partial circles around these two translucent circles,. On the Service Module, there are matching white partial circles painted on the fairing at the top edge of the SM

A minor (very minor) mystery is what kind of plastic the reflective stuff on the CM is. The expected temperature range in the space environment was wider than NASA was comfortable using Mylar, generally, uncovered, in the thermal insulation blankets covering the LM Descent Stage. Therefore, the outer layer of those blankets is always Kapton (“H film”), which is usable over the expected temperature range.  Of course, a blanket of up to 25 layers of plastic, using microthicknesses of vacuum deposited metal for insulation, is fundamentally different from a pressurized honeycomb structure wrapped with a layer of glued-on plastic tape. Maybe the thermal mass and inertia of the CM (and the slow-rolling passive thermal control regime) kept conditions on the outside of the CM suitable for Mylar, Maybe the CM plastic has the metal side “out”, unlike the majority of LM applications which are generally plastic side out (hence the gold-amber color: its not gold foil, its aluminized Kapton with the metal in and the plastic out.

Service module:

Inside the main engine exhaust bell is complex. At the bottom, inside the bluish gray outside, are 16 dark metal petals with strong textures. Inside the reddish-gray part of the bell are a set of 6 petals and then a solid ring- all a glossy dark color.  Above the dark, solid, ring, is a white metal ring, something like aluminum colored. Above that is an orangey brown and then at the peak of the engine is a light, metallic-finished plate with 5 stamped spokes and a central cap.

Lunar Module:

How I plan to reproduce these colors:

Command Module:

The glued-flat aluminized mylar on the real thing doesn’t look like any paint, even mirror polished aluminum. It looks like mylar, darker than polished aluminum. I have seen photos on-line of Apollo CMs finished in Bare Metal Foil, in the correct striped pattern. But I don’t see the stripes unless I look very closely in the 1960s photos- they’re easy to see in flash photos taken today, on the leftover CSM lifeboat for Skylab that never flew. But not in pictures of Apollo 11, or 15, or any of the other hardware that was flown.

Sooooo: Bare Metal Foil remains possible, or very thin aluminum foil, polished and clear-coated. “Chrome” spray paint would not be a bad choice. Having the kit part polished and then vacuum coated with aluminum would be very close to the real thing. Brush-painting Testor’s Chrome Silver oil-based paint or another similar non-water-based product is also a thought – the occasional brushmark could be said to represent the stripes of the Mylar…

“Chrome” spray paint or Metalizer Buffable Aluminum rattle can are the top two contenders at the moment. I’m going to do a study with each and see which I like more  watch this space.

Service Module:

Polly-scale Reefer White (that’s as in Refrigerator White, the rail-road color) is my call for the white paint on the lower and upper ring radiators, the two ‘tabs’ containing the ram’s horn antennas, and the white areas near the RCS boxes. My own mix for Boeing Aircraft Company #707 Gray is my first choice for the Light Gray RCS boxes, unless they’re white too, have to check again before I commit myself. The Inconel heat shield could be Polly Scale Stainless Steel, maybe with a bit of yellow added to bring out the nickel ‘color’… Inconel is a copper-nickel alloy and its attraction is that it holds its strength at high temperatures, not that its intrinsically tough stuff like titanium. It actually cuts and polishes pretty readily, but the important thing is that its clearly NOT aluminum. Completely different color. Not unlike stainless steel, which is, itself, not like steel OR aluminum.

Lunar Module:

Lego Album Cover Art: More questions than answers!

First, have a look. If you are in the cultural group that recognizes these symbols, you may get a giggle:


Second, remember (or remember hearing about) all the tiresome discussions of

whether song lyrics were poetry, or could be;

whether album covers were art, or could be;

whether representations of real things were art, or could be;

whether non-representational collections of colors, textures, objects and lighting effects were art, or could be?

blah blah, blah blah blah, (Don’t forget gender, gender-role, ethnicity, class and other forms of differentiation…)

Well, faghedaboutit, ok? This is fun, not work!

And my hearty thanks to the makers of this work. And what it represents, imperfectly.


Recursion II, K&R C, worked out in advance

Earlier I posted the C++ solution to a tree/web traversal programming problem. Here’s the C solution, including a vector-like array for pointers to children, so one doesn’t have to hard code left, right, etc. In this case Max Children is 5 but it can be any number.  A sample output is included below

/* recursion.C */
/* Follow-up to _ recursion problem, web prowling question at _  */

/* input:
|   \
(N)  (P)
|  \    \
(Q) (S)  (T)

(3 level b tree, M has two kids, N and P, and N has two kids, Q and S.  P has one child – T.)

Q, S, T, N, P, M


#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>

#define MAX_NAME_N_LEVEL 1000
#define MAX_KIDS  5

/* Structure in which the input data arrives: */

struct node {
char name;  struct node *(kids[MAX_KIDS]);

/* Structure the result vector (array) is built from: */
struct nameNLevel  {
char name;   int level;

/* Global scope variables for putting struct node + name data, as discovered in recursive part. */

struct nameNLevel* nsNLs[ MAX_NAME_N_LEVEL ];
int nmLvlCount = 0;

* Synopsis:  void recur( int level, struct node* n ) {
* args:
*    int level
*    struct node* n
* returns: void, BUT puts a record into nsNLs[] and increments nmLvlCount.
* The record contins a node name and the level it was found at.
* Apr 5, 2011  Bill Abbott

void recur( int level, struct node* n ) {
/* first make the new record in the list of names and levels */

struct nameNLevel* thisNmNLvl = (struct nameNLevel*) malloc( sizeof( struct nameNLevel));    /* allocate name string & level num struct */
if (0 == thisNmNLvl ) { /* allocation failed! */
printf(“Memory allocation failed at level %d, struct node %s, go ahead and crash!\n”, level, n->name );

thisNmNLvl->level = level;            /* fill in level, */
if ( n != 0 ) thisNmNLvl->name = n->name;             /* 1 char name… */
nsNLs[ nmLvlCount++ ] = thisNmNLvl;

printf(“recur level: %d    n: 0x%x   name: %c\n”, level,  n, n->name );
printf(“(long)*(n > kids)  :  0X%x \n”, (long)*(n->kids) );
printf(“(long)(n > kids[0]):  0X%x \n”, (long)(n->kids[0]) );
/* those two should be the same… */

if ( 0 != n->kids ) {  /* this pointer should always have an array where it points, but just in case… */

int j;
for (j=0; j<3; j++ ) {
printf(” (n > kids[%d]) = 0x%x  “, j, (n->kids[j]) );
if ( n->kids[j] ) { printf(”   >name = %c\n”, (n->kids[j])->name ); }
else { printf( “\n” ); }
}   /* ha! This was the hardest part… */

int i;
/* now look for any child nodes an call recursivly for them… */
for ( i = 0; n->kids[i] != 0; i++ ) {
recur(level+1,  n->kids[i]);
} /* for int it… */

} /* recur */

* Synopsis: void passThrough( struct node* n )
* args:
* returns:
* no return value. creates and outputs vector of node names,
* “highest” level first, in ascending order of child vector contents..
* Mar 27, 2011  Bill Abbott

void passThrough( struct node* n ) {

int i;
for( i = 0; i< MAX_NAME_N_LEVEL; i++ ) { /* not strictly required…*/
nsNLs[ i ] = 0;  // set ’em all to null to start with.
} /* for i… */

int level = 0;
nmLvlCount = 0;

recur( level, n );

int maxLevel = 0;
for (i = 0; i < nmLvlCount; i++ ) {
if ( nsNLs[ i ]->level > maxLevel ) {
maxLevel = nsNLs[ i ]->level;
} /* if…*/
} /* for int i… */

/*    printf(“\nlevel  %d    nmLvlCount  %d     maxLevel %d \n”, level, nmLvlCount, maxLevel ); */

int lvl;
for ( lvl = maxLevel; lvl >= 0; lvl– ) {  // this is serious, collect and print, all done.
for ( i = 0; i < nmLvlCount; i++ ) {
if (nsNLs[i]->level == lvl ) {
printf( “%c, “,  nsNLs[i]->name );
} /* for int i… */

for ( lvl = maxLevel; lvl >= 0; lvl– ) {  // this is serious, collect and print, all done.
for ( i = 0; i < nmLvlCount; i++ ) {
if (nsNLs[i]->level == lvl ) {
printf( “%d, “, nsNLs[i]->level );
} /* for int i… */

} /* passThrough */

* Synopsis: int main( int argc, char* argv[] )
* args:
* int        argc    count of command line arguments
* char*    argv[]    vector of zero-terminated arrays of char containing command line args
* returns:
* no return value. creates a tree of nodes, outputs vector of node names,
* “highest” level first, in ascending order of child vector contents..
* Apr 7, 2011  Bill Abbott

int main( int argc, char* argv[] ) {

/* 3 level b tree:
* M has two kids, N and P, and
*    N has two kids, Q and S.
*        Q has no kids
*        S has no kids
*    P has one child – T.
*        T has no kids

char nameIt[] =”malloc “;
char theRest[] = ” failed. Out of memory\n”;

struct node* T = malloc( sizeof(struct node));
if ( 0 == T ) { printf(“%s T %s”, nameIt, theRest ); return( 0 ); }
T->name = ‘T’;
T->kids[MAX_KIDS] = (struct node*) malloc(sizeof(struct node*) * MAX_KIDS);
if ( 0 == T->kids ) { printf(“%s T->kids %s”, nameIt, theRest); return( 0 ); }
T->kids[0] = (void*) 0;
T->kids[1] = (void*) 0;
T->kids[2] = (void*) 0;

printf(“(long)(T > kids) = 0X%x   \n”,  (long)*(T->kids) );
if ( (T->kids[0]))  printf(“*(T > kids[0]) = %c\n”,   *(T->kids[0]) );
if ( (T->kids[0]))  printf(“( (T > kids[0]) >name = 0x%x  %c\n”,   (T->kids[0])->name, (T->kids[0])->name );
if ( (T->kids[1]))  printf(“( (T > kids[1]) >name = 0x%x  %c\n”,   (T->kids[1])->name, (T->kids[1])->name );
if ( (T->kids[2]))  printf(“( (T > kids[2]) = 0x%x\n”,   (T->kids[2]) );

struct node* S = malloc( sizeof(struct node));
if ( 0 == S ) { printf(“%s S %s”, nameIt, theRest ); return( 0 ); }
S->name = ‘S’;
S->kids[MAX_KIDS] = malloc( sizeof( struct node*) * MAX_KIDS);
if ( 0 == S->kids ) { printf(“%s S->kids %s”, nameIt, theRest); return( 0 ); }
S->kids[0] = (void*) 0;
S->kids[1] = (void*) 0;
S->kids[2] = (void*) 0;

struct node* Q = malloc( sizeof(struct node));
if ( 0 == Q ) { printf(“%s Q %s”, nameIt, theRest ); return( 0 ); }
Q->name = ‘Q’;
*(Q->kids) = malloc(sizeof(struct node*) * MAX_KIDS);
if ( 0 == Q->kids ) { printf(“%s Q->kids %s”, nameIt, theRest); return( 0 ); }
Q->kids[0] = (void*) 0;
Q->kids[1] = (void*) 0;
Q->kids[2] = (void*) 0;

struct node* P = malloc( sizeof(struct node));
if ( 0 == P ) { printf(“%s P %s”, nameIt, theRest ); return( 0 ); }
P->name = ‘P’;
P->kids[MAX_KIDS] = malloc(sizeof(struct node*) * MAX_KIDS );
if ( 0 == P->kids ) { printf(“%s P->kids %s”, nameIt, theRest); return( 0 ); }
P->kids[0] = T;
P->kids[1] = (void*) 0;
P->kids[2] = (void*) 0;

struct node* N = malloc( sizeof(struct node));
if ( 0 == N ) { printf(“%s N %s”, nameIt, theRest ); return( 0 ); }
N->name = ‘N’;
N->kids[MAX_KIDS] = malloc(sizeof(struct node*) * MAX_KIDS );
if ( 0 == N->kids ) { printf(“%s N->kids %s”, nameIt, theRest); return( 0 ); }
N->kids[0] = Q;
N->kids[1] = S;
N->kids[2] = (void*) 0;

struct node* M  = malloc( sizeof(struct node));
if ( 0 == N ) { printf(“%s N %s”, nameIt, theRest ); return( 0 ); }
M->name = ‘M’;
M->kids[MAX_KIDS] = malloc(sizeof(struct node*) * MAX_KIDS );
if ( 0 == M->kids ) { printf(“%s M->kids %s”, nameIt, theRest); return( 0 ); }
M->kids[0] = N;
M->kids[1] = P;
M->kids[2] = (void*) 0;

/*  printf(“\n”);
printf(“(long)(M > kids) = 0X%x   \n”,  (long)*(M->kids) );
printf(“*(M > kids[0]) = %c\n”,   *(M->kids[0]) );
printf(“( (M > kids[0]) >name = 0x%x\n”,   (M->kids[0])->name );
printf(“( (M > kids[1]) >name = 0x%x\n”,   (M->kids[1])->name );
printf(“( (M > kids[2]) = 0x%x\n”,   (M->kids[2]) );

passThrough( M );

return( 1 );

} // main…

Macintosh-6:interview Bill4$ cc recursion.c
Macintosh-6:interview Bill4$ a.out

recur level: 0    n: 0x100260   name: M
(n > kids[0]) = 0x100220     >name = N
(n > kids[1]) = 0x1001e0     >name = P
(n > kids[2]) = 0x0

recur level: 1    n: 0x100220   name: N
(n > kids[0]) = 0x1001a0     >name = Q
(n > kids[1]) = 0x100160     >name = S
(n > kids[2]) = 0x0

recur level: 2    n: 0x1001a0   name: Q
(n > kids[0]) = 0x0
(n > kids[1]) = 0x0
(n > kids[2]) = 0x0

recur level: 2    n: 0x100160   name: S
(n > kids[0]) = 0x0
(n > kids[1]) = 0x0
(n > kids[2]) = 0x0

recur level: 1    n: 0x1001e0   name: P
(n > kids[0]) = 0x100120     >name = T
(n > kids[1]) = 0x0
(n > kids[2]) = 0x0

recur level: 2    n: 0x100120   name: T
(n > kids[0]) = 0x0
(n > kids[1]) = 0x0
(n > kids[2]) = 0x0

Q, S, T, N, P, M,
2, 2, 2, 1, 1, 0,
Macintosh-6:interview Bill4$