Thursday, June 25, 2009

Unique Historic Structure may be Lost

Yes, there are many, many historic structures endangered by neglect. But you have to admit, Hangar One at Sunnyvale's Moffett Field is pretty exceptional.

This enormous structure, which covers more than 8 acres, was built to house the USS Macon, a Navy scouting and recon dirigible. The Macon itself was pretty exceptional - it was one of the largest helium airships ever built, and actually carried five Sparrowhawk biplanes, making it the world's only flying aircraft carrier!

The Macon crashed in 1953, after less than two years of service.

The historic Hangar One may become a victim of budget battles between the US Navy and NASA. The structure needs a costly environmental clean-up, and in these days of tight budgets, nobody has been willing to commit to the costs of restoration and maintenance.

For more about the structure and the battle to preserve it, visit

Monday, June 22, 2009

SteamPunk Macintosh

There's something wonderfully demented about modifying a state-of-the-art computer to look like it was built in the 1800's. Kudos to Dave Veloz for his beautiful Mac Mini conversion.

Read more about this project (and see lots of great photos) at the Steampunk Workshop website.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Word Oddities

I'm always intrigued by unusual words, or word trivia. Here are a couple:

A reflexive verb is one in which the subject and object are the same. In English, I've heard there is just one verb that can only be used reflexively: perjure. (You can perjure yourself, but you can't perjure someone else.)

Let me know if you can think of another example.

And here's an unusual word I hadn't heard before: bespoke, meaning "custom made." The term originally referred to custom suits and clothing, but is now applied to other luxury, hand-made goods. (Thanks to Michael's Custom Suits and Clothing of Los Angeles.)