Los Angeles magazine is telling the history of LA through 232 objects. I'm learning a lot about my city! For instance:
#24: Explorer 1 Spacecraft
The first object the United States launched into Earth orbit came from Pasadena. Explorer 1 was the beginning of space exploration and carried thirty pounds of high tech experiments that measured cosmic rays, meteor impact and solar radiation but had much larger political ramifications as it was launched from atop a retrofitted missile. The craft was created at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the same time as Sputnik, but launched four months later and marked America’s entry into the space race against the Soviet Union. A Universal newsreel described it as a “A three-way collaboration between private industry, academic science and the military.” The team that created it included ex-Nazi rocket scientist Dr. Wernher Von Braun, who also created the Saturn V that took astronauts to the moon in 1969, Dr. James Van Allen, who has that radiation belt named after him, and William Pickering, who ran JPL at the height of the space age. The vessel was shipped from Pasadena to Cape Canaveral and was sent into the dark night atop a Jupiter rocket. It remained in orbit until 1970 when it burned up upon re-entry over the Pacific Ocean.
My friend Dave Rosser, the NOLA-based guitarist for the Afghan Whigs (and the Gutter Twins, and Mark Lanegan, etc.), was just diagnosed with inoperable colon cancer. Dave is a brilliant musician, a true gentleman, and a total laugh riot. Now he has a long, hard road ahead of him and the medical expenses he faces […]
This week on HOME: Stories From L.A., a member of the Boing Boing Podcast Network: Some stories don’t end when you think they do. Some stories just pause. And then they sneak back around and whap you across the back of your unsuspecting head. So here’s one I didn’t expect to revisit, although maybe I […]
Holiday shopping is in full swing, and the Striiv Touch is one of the best gift ideas I’ve landed on. Its simple design works for females and males, and its wide range of features makes it suitable for even the non-fitness enthusiasts in your life.Unlike traditional fitness trackers, the Striiv Touch also acts as a smartwatch. It […]
The Pocket Tripod PRO had massive Kickstarter success in 2013, raising almost $85,000 in a single month. But this isn’t just another case of pre-release product hype. This ingenious little device folds out from a credit-card-shaped plastic slab into a sturdy stand with a surprisingly wide range of motion. In portrait orientation, your phone slides […]
Loot Crate is a totally different kind of subscription service that mails subscribers monthly boxes filled with curated geek, pop culture, and gamer paraphernalia. Its cult following awaits a box every month filled with everything from bobble heads to T-shirts to special edition collectibles. But nothing gets Loot Crate fans as excited as the limited […]