“Laundry Taken in Here”

(Originally posted at http://joelnoche.multiply.com/journal/item/104/Laundry-Taken-in-Here on July 16, 2012 11:12 PM)

Here’s a nice quote from page 294 of S. M. Ulam’s Adventures of a Mathematician (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1991):

Chen Ning Yang, the Nobel prize physicist, tells a story which illustrates an aspect of the intellectual relation between mathematicians and physicists at present:

One evening a group of men came to a town.  They needed to have their laundry done so they walked around the city streets trying to find a laundry.  They found a place with the sign in the window, “Laundry Taken in Here.”  One of them asked:  “May we leave our laundry with you?”  The proprietor said:  “No.  We don’t do laundry here.”  “How come?” the visitor asked.  “There is a such a sign in your window.”  “Here we make signs,” was the reply.  This is somewhat the case with mathematicians.  They are the makers of signs which they hope will fit all contingencies.  […]

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Knight Rider

(Originally posted at http://joelnoche.multiply.com/journal/item/103/Knight-Rider on July 2, 2012 9:28 AM)

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Another TV series that I used to watch when I was a child was “Knight Rider.”

The vehicle used by the show’s main character, Michael Knight, was “an advanced, artificially intelligent and nearly indestructible” “heavily modified” 1982 Pontiac Trans-Am called KITT (for Knight Industries Two Thousand).

As a child, my favorite toy car was a black Hot Wheels Pontiac Trans-Am (most likely the Hot Bird).  It could go very fast.  Unfortunately, a cousin lost it.  I had another Trans-Am, a Matchbox (shown at the right), but it wasn’t as fast.  Lately, I was able to buy an official Knight Rider KITT made by Hot Wheels.

The A-Team

(Originally posted at http://joelnoche.multiply.com/journal/item/102/The-A-Team on July 1, 2012 1:36 AM)

One TV series that I used to watch when I was a child was “The A-Team.” The Wikipedia entry states:

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The violence presented in The A-Team is highly sanitized.  People do not bleed or bruise when hit (though they might develop a limp or require a sling), nor do the members of the A-Team kill people.  The results of violence were only ever presented when it was required for the script.  In almost every car crash there is a short take showing the occupants of the vehicle climbing out of the mangled/burning wreck (even in helicopter crashes) […]

The van that the A-Team used was a 1983 GMC Vandura.  From Wikipedia:

It is a common error that the van is said to be all-black, whereas in fact the section above the red stripe is metallic gray; this error was even continued on most toy models of the van.

ateamjAs a child, I would pretend that my Matchbox No. 68 Chevy van was the A-Team van.  (Yes, it experienced a lot of collisions.)  Lately, I was able to buy an official A-Team van made by Hot Wheels.  (No collisions this time.)

SIKU: 2012 Catalogue

(Originally posted at http://joelnoche.multiply.com/journal/item/101/Siku-2012-Catalogue on June 17, 2012 3:34 AM)

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A few weeks ago I got the SIKU 2012 catalogue I ordered.  I was quite surprised to receive it; I didn’t expect they would actually send it for free.

Some of my favorites are the scale 1:32 dog with kennel, the scale 1:87 pulling tractor I mentioned in a previous blog entry, and the three school buses 1319, 1864 (1:87), and 3731 (1:55).

Tucker Torpedo

(Originally posted at http://joelnoche.multiply.com/journal/item/100/Tucker-Torpedo on June 1, 2012 2:24 AM)

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I first learned about the Tucker Torpedo when, as a child, I read the March 1983 Popular Mechanics article “Automakers who Dared–and Lost,” excerpts from which I’ve included below.  (The complete article can be found here.)

Preston Tucker tried to bring another revolutionary car to market but ran into problems of a different sort.  Unlike the Airflow, public enthusiasm for Tucker’s 1948 Torpedo sedan ran high.  The car had greatly advanced styling, with a “cyclops” central headlight that turned with the front wheels.  It used an aluminum, opposed, six-cylinder, 334-cu.-in., 166-hp engine built by Franklin for Bell helicopters.  The engine was converted to liquid cooling and lay lengthwise at the rear of the car, mated to a remanufactured version of the old Cord preselector transaxles from wrecking yards.

The Tucker car stood very low for its day, and it had some other revolutionary eye-catchers, among them a “basement” or crash compartment that the front-seat passenger could throw himself into just before a crash.  Doors lapped up into the roof for greater head clearance. And the trunk, of course, was under the hood.

Preston Tucker built some 50 cars before the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission closed him down on purported stock fraud charges.  Meanwhile, his auto venture had put Preston Tucker some $28 million in debt.  He died in South America in 1956 while trying to start up another auto-making company.

tuckerI had never seen a scale model of it until I found a Hotwheels Boulevard Tucker Torpedo a few weeks ago.  Hotwheels first released a Tucker Torpedo in 2009 as part of its Classics Series 5 collection.  It was then released as a Treasure Hunt in 2011 (regular and super).  The Boulevard version has Real Rider wheels, a metal body, and a metal base.

Train ride

(Originally posted at http://joelnoche.multiply.com/journal/item/99/Train-ride on May 26, 2012 1:23 AM)

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Last week, I rode the Bicol Express from Naga City to Alabang.  (More information about it can be found here.)  It left Naga City at exactly 6:30 PM and arrived in Alabang at around 5:15 AM.  Each coach has a comfort room with a toilet room for males and a toilet room for females.  The sink in the toilet room had water, but it seemed that the sink outside the toilet room didn’t work.  I took the “aircon ordinary sleeper” (which has beds) and a ticket cost 665 pesos.  (For comparison, the cheapest seat (not a bed) in a Naga-Alabang airconditioned bus costs around 700 pesos.)  Each compartment has four beds (two double-deckers).  Each bed has curtains and a lamp.  In addition, each bed at the bottom has a retractable table and a retractable bed guard rail.  Each compartment has a retractable chair in the hallway.  It was ridiculously cold even though I had a jacket and a blanket.  The constant shaking and the squeaking of the door to the comfort room kept me awake the whole trip.  It was a good experience but I can see why not everyone would like it.

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Tony DeZuniga

(Originally posted at http://joelnoche.multiply.com/journal/item/98/Tony-DeZuniga on May 12, 2012 10:33 AM)

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According to Wikipedia, Tony DeZuniga “was the first Filipino comic book artist whose work was accepted by American publishers, paving the way for many other Filipino artists to do break into the international comic book industry.”  He passed away yesterday.

Last year my sister bought a print (shown on the left) by DeZuniga (the initials “adz” are on the lower right) and gave it to me as a gift.  The print is signed (but not numbered) and the paper size is 13 inches by 19 inches.  (I made some minor edits to the edges of the picture.)

The print is apparently a pinup (on page 57) from Savage Sword of Conan #59.  (The picture on the right was taken from here.)