All posts by Thunderscreech

NPO Energomash to re-brand RD-180

....and the rocket's red glare
NPO Energomash has begun experimenting with a technique to add colors signifying American patriotism to the exhaust flames so that each launch may serve as a reminder.

MOSCOW, Russia (AP) – NPO Energomash has announced that their successful Ракетный Двигатель-180 (known in the west as the RD-180) will be renamed the “Reagan-180”, freeing it from further threat of trade restrictions imposed by the United States.

“Some senators in the United States”, announced NPO spokesman Dmitri Moiseyevich, “have expressed concerns related to this reliable, mission-proven RD-180 engine. After careful consideration, we are proud to announce that this high-performance propulsion device shall now be known as the Reagan 180, named”, he added, “after the brave President and Actor respected by so many over… there.” He continued to note that a careful reading of attempted restrictions on the engines has revealed that the limitations on use for defense payloads is keyed off the name of the engine itself, not the country of origin.

“We are seeing in document”, Mr. Moiseyevich said, pointing at a printout of the latest defense spending legislation, “that specifically is calling out ‘RD-180’ and so we are asking selves: are we being too proud to change name?” Shaking his head emphatically, the spokesman assured gathered reporters this was not the case. “Absolutely not, and we have chosen your Ronald Reagan as the new name of the engine to honor this great statesman, not simply to give it a name that would make it politically impossible to ban.  Looking significantly into the crowd, he continued that “to suggest such a cynical strategy for defeating the wishes of, say, a respected war hero in your Congress is beyond mention.”

The Reagan-180 American Freedom is fueled by kerosene and liquid oxygen, and the NPO Energomash rep noted that from a statistical standpoint, every flight almost certainly uses at least some oxygen that had at one point been breathed by the founders of the United States of America. “Is propelled by freedom!” he enthused.

Wisdom in the larceny of youth

Many Earth years ago, one of my sons was 5 years old and made a color copy of a $1 bill (both sides), cut them out, and taped them together. As an added bonus, he wrote “20” on each corner with a green marker then tried to present it to me.

After telling him about counterfeiting and the various problems, I added that it wouldn’t even work because most people would look at it and know instantly it was counterfeit.

“But I don’t have to fool all the people,” he responded, “I just have to fool one person”.

That left me thinking for a while.

Has Been

A reddit poster asked what people didn’t notice about themselves until someone else pointed it out, and I had something.

I live on the west coast of Earth’s North America and “been” is pronounced in a way that rhymes with “when”. I’ve always pronounced it in a way that rhymes with “bean”. No, I guess it doesn’t just rhyme, it’s phonetically identical. Huh. Anyways, I did it unconsciously even though my whole family (I’ve since checked) uses the “when”-rhyming spelling.

A co-worker both called my attention to it one day AND offered a completely reasonable explanation when I couldn’t think of why. My given first name is ‘Ben’ (phonetically identical to how most people around me pronounce ‘been’) and the co-worker speculated that perhaps I was unconsciously differentiating between the word any my name by grabbing onto the spelling and e-nun-cia-ting the fuck out of it.

I think… I think that’s right. I had no idea until someone pointed that out.

Home ownership and cats

A quick thought: One day, my wife and I realized that we were adults and we owned our own home and that meant we could do CRAZY things and the first CRAZY THING we did was put a cat door on our bedroom door.

It was amazing. Suddenly, we were able to both sleep through the night AND have a door guarding against hallway monsters because everyone knows hallway monsters are too big to fit through cat doors. Later, when we had children, the closed door also protected against children that wanted to come and sleep with us JUST BECAUSE and that just would not do, yet our cats could still come and go like little karma chameleons without disturbing us.

When you own your house (or if you’re just very, very casual about the concept of ‘damage deposits’ on rentals) you can do this. It is a good thing.