austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

We don't really need a king

Queen Elizabeth finished her visit with, among other things, a trip to the Singapore Turf Club to preside over the Queen Elizabeth II Cup, which got started when she visited in 1972. The winning horse was King and King. I thought things like that only happened in comic movies where the desperately poor characters played by our stars try figuring out the right long shot to bet on so they can win the five thousand dollars they need before midnight tonight. (They bet on the wrong long shot.)

On Orchard Road was one of the regular stands of people trying to badger passers-by into doing things for publicity stunts. This one was for a group labelled ``Adventure Singapore'', challenging people to go beyond their limits. The limits in this case were gathering teams of people to bounce a beach ball between one another. The poor barker organizing this was getting no help from the crowd, which had about the same reaction to a limit-testing ball-bouncing contest that I had and which I imagine you have too. Another publicity thing just down the road, as I walked past, gave some lucky person a colour pencil.

I was watching one of those Discovery Channel documentaries -- you know the kind, where it doesn't much matter what the subject is because the tone and the pacing and the writing style is the same as it is for every topic, so you can gather information without actually learning anything -- which happened to be on early aviation. It's got me wondering now what the last aviation record set by a Wright Brothers design was. I don't mean ``team records'' like longest flight time for a Wright airplane, but rather just a general, open-to-all-comers, record. And I mention it because I can think of maybe five people who have me as Friends last I checked who could be riled by the question into finding an answer and saving me the hard work of doing it myself.

Trivia: On 19 March 1963 the Manned Spacecraft Center received from Lear Siegler Incorporated an eight-pound slow-scan television camera, capable of one picture each two seconds, for Gordon Cooper's Mercury-Atlas 9 flight. Source: Project Mercury: A Chronology, James M Grimwood, NASA SP-4001.

Currently Reading: The Aluminum Man, G C Edmonson.

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