Go-Fast Technology

You Have to Land Sometime


No doubt you have wondered to yourself while watching Star Wars, “Sure, the Millennium Falcon is fast in space, because spacecraft shape doesn’t matter in a vacuum, but what would the reentry be like?” After all, one you finish the Kessel Run you’ve still got to deliver Logan or whatever else it was you were running, and that means landing on a planet or moon. (Unless it is no moon.) Now, certainly this could be simply explained away with shields and other such-not, but that’s just not all that interesting, now is it? So how about a wind tunnel model, with speeds up to Mach 3!

“Supersonic wind tunnel testing and schlieren flow visualization of a Millennium Falcon model at Mach 3. The high-speed images show startup, steady state, and shutdown of the blowdown wind tunnel facility at Penn State University. The oblique shock waves over the model are observed. The boundary layers on the bottom of the wind tunnel are also imaged”.

Continue reading You Have to Land Sometime

Covet Thy Neighbours' Swag

Other is a Very Broad Term


The great thing about the “Other” categories on eBay Motors is that occasionally, instead of getting some random suspension parts that someone just listed poorly, instead you get something really out there. An example, a recent listing for a narrow gauge locomotive pair. What is better than one stream engine? Two.

The ad is for Baldwin Locomotives engines Halawa and Sister engine Manana . Selling as Pair. From the ad:

The engines were built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works, of Philadelphia, for plantation service on the island of Oahu. Delivered in 1899 and 1916 respectively.
Sold to a sugar plantation in the Philippines in 1947, the engines worked there until 1998 when they were set aside. Recovered in 2004, these two steam locomotives represent some of the very few Hawaii engines to have survied.
The 1899 engine was nameed”” Halawa” and is an 0-6-2 tank engine of 18 tons- her sister engine, named “” Manana” was built in 1916 to the exact same design. Both ran on the Honolulu Plantation Co operation near Pearl Harbor until 1947, when they were sold to the Hawaiian-Philippine Surgar Co, of Silay City, Island of Negros, Phillippines. To have located a matched pair of Baldwin engines with Hawaii History is a major feat.

Both engines are 36″ gage. Manana was in operating condition when we purchased it from the Philippines, but I think the boiler will need to be replaced. Halawa will need a new boiler for sure. Also the tops of the cabs were cut off for shipping.


Is there certain information that seems to be missing? Do the pictures look like cell phone photos of a computer screen showing images of previously taken photos? Is $275,000 a whole lot of money to spend on something you would have to build a special railway for? Yes on all counts!

Continue reading Other is a Very Broad Term

Deconstructing Technology

Secrets Revealed


The Magic Eight Ball is a wonder of wonders, a see-er of seers! But have you ever been the least bit curious how it works? Or what the frequency of positive versus negative answers are? If you harbor no such curiosity, and prefer your spoilers unspoiled, then I would suggest you not hit the jump…


Invented by Albert Carter, the first versions of his future telling device were simple tubes, decorated with mystical promises! Later versions had the look of a crystal ball, for enhanced mysticism. He partnered with Abe Bookman to mass produce this device, but Carter passed away before seeing his product sold to the world. The company they formed, Alabe Crafts, did begin to market the device, and was approached by Brunswick Billiards in 1950 and asked to convert some of the crystal ball style seers into billiards balls for advertising. The powers of the Eight Ball were such that it remains with us today. There is even a digital eight ball, for those who don’t care to venture out into meat space!

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I Heard You Like Space

My kids happen to all be huge fans of the Disney Buddies franchise. Now, I would imagine side of you probably missed out on the whole Buddies thing and have no idea what I am talking about, so let me briefly explain. At some point in the 90s, Disney made a movie about a dog, a golden retriever to be specific, that could play sports. And then he could do more things, which meant more movies. Then, they hit on the true genius of the form, the only thing cuter than a golden retriever doing human things and talking–golden retriever puppies talking and having adventures. To date, there have been something like 12 Buddies movies made (I have no idea what the actual number is, but it is seriously a bunch, they are trying to give The Land Before Time a run for their money), and one of those movies just happens to involve space. And a Russian space dog that gets rescued from Mir. Also, one of the friends from the Drew Carey show lives on Mir and is crazy Russian cosmonaut!

My point with all this being, the dogs in said film wear cheesy, fake looking space suits. But there have been actual dogs sent to actual outer space wearing actual pressure suits! And now, thanks to to victory of capitalism over communism, you have the chance to own one! You will have to hurry, because the auction it’s this weekend! And in Berlin.


Continue reading I Heard You Like Space

Deconstructing Technology

Surreal Stop-Motion


Very early in the days of film, certain highly creative, perhaps you could even say weird, filmmakers, saw an opportunity to show the world just what sort of oddities had bouncing around in their brains. Welcome to the world of the surreal, a new reality that expanded the bounds of what you could believe. Call it surreality, brought to life through the magic of film.

Without a doubt, the brains behind the film you can watch just beyond the jump, was one of the pioneers of surreality. Charley Bowers was a filmmaker and film actor during that transition time between silent film and talkies, after getting his start as a tightrope walker in the circus at the age of 6. He started as a cartoonist around 1912, making mostly Mutt and Jeff toons, but by the late 1920s he had perfected his self-proclaimed “Bowers Process”, his way of combining live action and stop-motion animation. There seems to be little detail on how exactly this process worked, but the stop-motion it’s impressive, even in today’s CGI world, perhaps even more so, and his films have a certain feel, a style of a dream come to life.

““It’s a Bird” is a strange little stop-motion animated short directed by film pioneer Harold L. Muller in 1930 that features a shoe-wearing, metal-eating bird (that actually looks a fair bit like a pterodactyl) that devours a car, piece by piece. Slapstick comedian Charles R. Bowers plays an explorer who encounters both the bird and a gruff-voiced talking worm on his travels to Africa.” (laughingsquid) As a note, Bowers and Muller collaborated on several films, but the stop-motion effects that really set this apart were created by Bowers.

Continue reading Surreal Stop-Motion

Atomic Hangovers

We Still Like You


Likely some of you have noticed that not only has the site been slow, but now you can’t even comment on the posts that are there! We do apologize for the troubles and hope to have it all sorted soon. It seems that some of the seedier elements of the webs got their grubby paws through an exploit of some sort and were causing a to-do in the server whatsits. According to our very good friend and master of that dark server arts Mr. Mad_Science, these troubles were the cause of Toasters and Hooniverse being briefly down Friday.

Root cause was us, Atomic Toasters, being behind the power curve on behind the scenes updates, and bringing shame upon both our houses via a vulnerability to an exploit that was exploited. Plus, “at the same time (maybe related, maybe not), AT was, and is still getting hammered with tons of comment spam. This got so bad that I had to disable comments over there. They’ll stay off until this passes.

Part of the problem is that even if a comment is caught in the filter, the bot still hits the comment function (post-comment.php) to generate it. Do this once per second and the hardware gets unhappy.”

Thanks everyone for your patience, the folks that know what they are doing are working hard to get us where we need to be. Next up, getting to work on that pesky content issue!


Startdown: How Long?


Not only do kids today not know how to make a mix tape, they also have no appreciation for the work that went into it!

Image via carabaas.


Startdown: Beachcombing


Summer is almost over, so get out there while you can!

Image via carabaas.


Startdown: I Want to Vacuum


I came across this ad on the Craigslist just the other day: 65,000 Electron tubes. Amplifier / Radio tubes – $9999999. Before you get too worried, it is okay, they don’t actually want 9 billion dollars or however much that it. They do want to try to sell you all those tubes for the low low price of $25000. Which, while actually a mentally conceivable sum of money, is probably just as unrealistic as 9 billion for most of us. I also am not a huge fan of trying to sell anything on the internet without a picture, but they are supposed to be forthcoming! (I had to just google the webs for the lead image.)

Large collection of tubes and testers.
Brands include
Hickok telefunken Mullard, Rca Ge sylvania tungsol GEC Brimar philips Amperex Western electric and others.
Many types of tubes. Including gold pin audio tubes and some rare antique power tubes
over half are 6 volt tubes Example; 6ak5 6as6 6bq5 6aq5 6sn7 6sl7 6922 6av6 6v6 6k6 6l6 5702 420a 403a 2c51 6ba6 5687 6cg7 42 43 45 26 27 80
also 1000s of 12ax7 12au7 12at7 6111 12sn7 12sl7 12sc7 12sj7 12ac7 6112 12bh7 12by7
other tubes 274a 274b 201 301 6×4 5y3 5u4 5r5 6ca4 6×5 6au5 6ac7 6bk7 845

Over 30,000 tubes in this load NIB new in boxes
All the tubes should be good at least 98% of all the tubes will work great
Note: many types not listed
Serious buyers only.
Asking $25,000 OBO Valuable tube lot. This is an Estate audio tube collection .
Also including a few tube testers and other amplifier parts and equipment.
Will list photos soon.


Startdown: Another Delivery


Hurry up, we don’t want to stay late. It’s Friday!

Via the Green Box.