David Thompson
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August 12, 2011

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WTP

Interesting article on the Ruskie Shuttle program and its "stolen technology":

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18686550/ns/technology_and_science-space/t/how-soviet-space-shuttle-fizzled/#.TkRlrb_DRIo

The US shuttle program was never classified, so the Soviets just walked down the street from their embassy in Washington and bought the plans. But a few of the details weren't there, so we made available to them some poor tile designs that we had previously tried and rejected:


Gus Weiss, a Reagan aide at the National Security Council, wrote about how the plan was conceived in the CIA’s “Studies in Intelligence”:

“I met with William Casey, Reagan’s Director of Central Intelligence, on a frosty afternoon in January 1982. ... I proposed using the Farewell material to feed or play back the products sought by [the Soviets], only these would come from our own sources and would have been ‘improved,’ that is designed so that on arrival in the Soviet Union they would appear genuine but would later fail. U.S. intelligence would match Soviet requirements supplied through Vetrov with our version of those items, ones that would not — to say the least — meet the expectations of that vast Soviet apparatus.”

When I worked at Kennedy Space Center, in our DoD launch area there were posters showing the Soviet shuttle with the phrase "Stolen technology". That poster used to annoy me because it seemed as if we workers were being given a guilt trip over something that was never classified in the first place. Amusing that there was so much the Ruskies still didn't know and that we leveraged the whole thing into a means of tying up so much of their capital in such a money pit.

vanderleun

I'm keeping Ka-Ching open just for you Thompson.

mlrosty

It’s a sign of the End Times.

Mindbleach, stat.

Also, best cat scan…

http://thecatscan.tumblr.com/post/8682772498/submitted-by-tapelion

David

Vanderleun,

I’m honoured.

Incidentally, this may be of interest. Why California is so broke. (Or, your tax dollars at work.)

Anna

How to deal with vehicle thieves.

Understatement of the week: "The officer decides to approach the vehicle and negotiate with the driver..."

:D

TDK

Curious as to why you've linked to wordaroundthenet's discussion of BigHollywood's Bond ratings rather than to BigHollywood directly?

Moonraker appears to be as universally disliked as much as Goldfinger is held as the best. Some of the other placings are rather odd. I mean OHMSS is underated, sure but as good as Goldfinger? And is Live and Let Die as bad as Moonraker?

I personally like You Only Live Twice if only for the sublime idea that someone could hollow out a volcano and install all that equipment without anyone knowing. Utterly brilliant and no wonder we have Austin Powers!

Fred

I personally like You Only Live Twice if only for the sublime idea that someone could hollow out a volcano and install all that equipment without anyone knowing. Utterly brilliant and no wonder we have Austin Powers!

cf. lunatic ideas such as the 9/11 controlled-demolition "theory"...

David

TDK,

“Curious as to why you’ve linked…”

Erm. Didn’t give it that much thought. Though I now notice Big Hollywood don’t have a convenient index for the series – so this will have to do.

“…the sublime idea that someone could hollow out a volcano and install all that equipment without anyone knowing.”

The logistics of supervillainy are boggling. Just the generators, furniture and wine cellar would be a feat of relocation. Maybe that’s a way to rate Bond films – by the sheer improbability of the villain’s lair.


P.S. Tangential, largely irrelevant grumble re Big Hollywood reviews: I also wish writers wouldn’t generalise the word nemesis, which obscures its particular, rather useful meaning(s).

witwoud

Nemesis: The goddess of retribution or vengeance; hence, retributive justice personified.

So if anyone is a nemesis in these films, it is Bond himself.

Terrific. Another thing to get irritated about.

David

Witwoud,

“So if anyone is a nemesis in these films, it is Bond himself.”

Well, I suppose if Bond were particularly cocky and complacent and subsequently found himself outwitted by some wily minx, she might also qualify. And with Holmes and Moriarty, the roles can even flip back and forth. And nemesis needn’t be a person at all. It could be bacteria, as in War of the Worlds. But yes, Bond is generally the nemesis of the megalomaniacal bad guy. It’s basically about hubris and comeuppance.

Trimegistus

I imagine Kennedy Space Center will look like those Russian photos in a short time.

Col. Milquetoast

The remarkable head stability of the Brown Owl.

"This is Science! Of course, I have to film it!"

The Classic Refuse Trucks site is great. I'm glad other people are obsessive about things like that so I don't have to be. Have you previously covered the internet Movie Firearms Database?
http://www.imfdb.org

Col. Milquetoast

...the megalomaniacal bad guy

There is a time and place for modesty and an "aw shucks" attitude and, speaking for myself, I think after you've hired, trained and uniformed thousands of henchmen, lackeys & bikini clad assassins, rented out a hidden lair, equipped it with all manner of blinking lights, built a doomsday machine that is beyond the capability of most, if not all, nations and are on the cusp of worldwide domination then it's okay to show a bit of pride in your efforts.

ojo

the internet Movie Firearms Database

I'll be busy for the next few hours...

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