Illustrated Guide to Rockets of the World

This illustration of the world’s major rocket systems is from physics professor Peter Alway’s book “Rockets of the World”. Click the image for the hi-res version.

Rockets Of The WorldImage Credit: Peter Alway

The sheer size of the Saturn V is pretty amazing. Already almost 40 years retired, the Saturn V was designed to lift 200 tons into low earth orbit.

The Cheapest Time To Buy Airline Tickets

The Observer points out that economist Makoto Watanabe has determined, using the formula ∏A = gUG + min(k – g, (1 – g)(1 – r)), that the best time to buy airline tickets is at noon, eight weeks before flying.

An economist, Makoto Watanabe, has calculated that the optimum time to buy an airline ticket is eight weeks in advance of flying. His yet-to-be-published findings also suggests that airline tickets are cheaper when purchased in the afternoons, rather than the mornings, prompting him to speculate that airlines are assuming business travellers will book their tickets at work in the morning on the company account, whereas leisure travellers are more likely to book from home in the afternoon.

Maps Of City Skylines

New York City Skyline Map
Map courtesy of Andy Woodruff

A few weeks ago, Eric Fischer put together a set of maps that attempted to compare the areas of a city that were most often photographed by locals versus the areas most often photographed by tourists. A look through the maps of 60 different cities shows concentrations of web-posted tourist pictures in museums, parks, historic sites, architectural marvels, etc. Other (more) interesting areas of the city are filled in by photographs from the locals.

Another cartography tool to add to your travel-photography-belt are Andy Woodruff’s maps depicting the best areas to photograph a city’s skyline (as defined by photos tagged “skyline” on Flickr). They were put together in a sort of heat map style where brighter red and yellow marks indicate a higher density of photos (and presumably a superior view of the skyline). His blog has maps of several cities, including Boston, Seattle, Vancouver, and Chicago, among others.

Unfortunately, neither Eric’s tourists maps nor Andy’s skyline maps contain locations in Denver.

2009: My Year In Cities & Towns

Below is a list of cities and towns I’ve visited in 2009. I spent one or more nights spent in each place. Those cities marked with an * were visited multiple times on non-consecutive days. Travel for me this year was about average. None of my traveling was for work last year, it was all for leisure and fun.

Frisco, CO
Vail, CO
Edwards, CO
Winter Park, CO
Avon, CO*
Saint-Berain-sur-Dheune, France
Paris, France
Brekenridge, CO
Niwot, CO*
Leadville, CO
Jacksonville, FL
Las Vegas, NV
Littleton, CO
Denver, CO*

2008: The Year In Cities & Towns

Taking a cue from Jason Kottke, this is a list of cities and towns I’ve visited in 2008. One or more nights spent in each place. Those cities marked with an * were visited multiple times on non-consecutive days. Travel for me this year was probably slightly above average for my life. None of my traveling was for work last year, it was all for leisure and fun.

Vail, CO
Edwards, CO*
Denver, CO*
Niwot, CO*
Frisco, CO
Breckenridge, CO
Henryetta, OK
Tulsa, OK
Salt Lake City, UT
Philadelphia, PA
Napa Valley, CA
Santa Cruz, CA
Big Sur, Ca
San Luis Obispo, CA
Los Angeles, CA
Laguna, CA
La Jolia, CA
Jacksonville, FL

Brotherly Love

I was really impressed with Philadelphia as a city. I only spent a long weekend there but I felt like I got to see most of the sights and get a real flavor of the city (though that flavor was slightly greasy [in a good way]). As soon as I stepped of the plane it was straight to Johnny Manana’s for their giant griddle of melted cheese. The queso was excellent, the margs were horrible. I then got settled into my friend’s house who were hosting me for the week, at a yummy home cooked meal and washed it all down with a few beers at the Dark Horse in the city. The Dark Horse is a Philadelphia style Irish pub with strong roots, located in a 2 story colonial rowhouse complete with dark wood, exposed brick, and one of the oldest working fireplaces in the city.

We kicked off our first full day in the City Of Brotherly Love with Philly cheese steaks of course.

One of the people I was staying with was a highschool history teacher, and a native Philly who’s in love with his city. He was the perfect tour for all of the historical sights we visited on Saturday. We spent the entire afternoon seeing all the historical sights. The liberty bell, Independence hall, First national bank, The oldest residential street in the US, the National Constitution Center, and a bunch more. I think I might have been a little bored if it weren’t for the interesting anecdotes and facts provided by our good friend/tour guide.

Over There

For dinner we went to the tasty but slightly overpriced White Dog Cafe. A restaurant known for there social activism as much as their food. The atmosphere was cool and a little fancy. It made for a great “nice night out”.

Sunday I slept in and had a leisurely breakfast then went to the Mütter Museum. This has to be one of the most interesting museums I’ve ever been to. It was filled with biological/anatomical oddities – conjoined twins, casts of heads suffering from acute, a 30 foot colon, the soap woman, the Chevalier Jackson collection of over 2,000 objects swallowed and removed from the trachea, celebrity body parts, encased longitudinal slices of the head showing the brain. It’s all enough to make you gasp and then get a little queasy. Muffled shouts of “My God, look at that BABY MONSTER!” are often heard and quite appropriate.

Then it was off to the impressive Philadelphia Museum Of Art. I must have spent nearly four hours exploring this place.
Felix Gonzalez-Torres.

On Monday we spent the morning hiking around the Wissahickon Creek. It’s so great that Philly has a such a large, heavily wooded park right next to the city.
Thomas Mill Road Covered Bridge
In fact, Philly was filled with parks and was one of the many things I found attractive about it. Anyway, our trip ended shortly after with a flight back to Denver that seemed to take forever.

SLC

Alabaster

I recently returned from a little weekend vacation in Salt Lake City and have a few recommendations should you ever decide to visit.

  • Meet old friends. These old friends will be incredibly gracious to there guests and are generally just a ton of fun to be around. Spend the entire time with them.
  • Relax for the full length of your time there. Remember, you are on vacation.
  • Go get mole from the Red Iguana. Get many different types of mole. Eat until it hurts. Then drink margaritas.
  • Briefly tour downtown.
  • Go to the Japanese festival to feel like you are in some warped scene from SLC Punk.
  • Take your dog for a walk down in Parley’s Hollow/Tanner Park
  • Get a pitcher of bud light and a garlic Burger at Busy Bee Bar & Grill
  • Check out Cocker’s in the Sugerhouse district (I’m pretty sure it’s the only place in Salt Lake City you can buy a butt plug without having to purchase club membership).
  • Spend the afternoon, and evening, drinking away in The Bayou. Sample all sorts of framboise, ipa, tripel, and maker’s shots.
  • Visit the Tabernacle, preferably with an ex-mormon so you can get the secret about the LDS and tips to avoid the onslaught of missionaries.
  • Spend an entire afternoon watching kids play in the park.
  • Come home refreshed.