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July 11, 2006



The combination of my continuing obsession with MySpace and my recent obsession with KIIS-FM in the morning means I get to listen to "SexyBack" over an over again (some nsfw language). Two thoughts: First, I like Timberlake's Flea-ish pose here; second, "SexyBack" shows what you can do when you really know how to use a sequencer. It is all about the emptiness between the noise. Which makes this single some sort of pop music bushido. The whole thing feels like it is about to fall over and then it swivels around and you realize your head is slowly sliding off your shoulders.

Five by five Update: On a mostly unrelated note... mostly... excepting for also being hellacool is news of the proposed Marine "Hot Eagle" Fast-Insertion Space Plane. This baby is sure to be widely referred to by its proper name: Pelican Dropship.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at July 11, 2006 11:51 AM


I was thinking the UD-4L Cheyenne dropship, actually.

Posted by: Chris Taylor [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 11, 2006 12:52 PM

Ha! Though I suppose it all comes from Heinlein at the source. I have been trying to remember what his Starship Troopers used for planetary insertion... was it a full on drop ship or did their spacesuits let them land independently?

In my googling I came across something I did not notice when I first read the book (probably aged 13 or so), Johnnie Rico's boot camp: Camp Arthur Currie. It is excellent to find a Canadian acknowledged by one of the sf greats.

Posted by: Ghost of a flea [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 11, 2006 01:07 PM

From what I recall the Mobile Infantry were ejected while in orbit, making exo-atmospheric transit (i.e. reentry) via indepedently-steerable spacesuits. This is decades-old memories talking, and I don't even have a single Heinlein (or hell, any SF book) in the library anymore, so I may have gotten it wrong.

I was kind of disappointed the Starship Troopers movie took the Aliens dropship approach, but I suppose that was a studio budget consideration above all.

Posted by: Chris Taylor [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 11, 2006 01:13 PM

What is the significance of the handkerchief over his face?

Posted by: agent bedhead [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 11, 2006 03:22 PM

Hoo boy. Chris Taylor is basically correct, but Heinlein spent several pages in the opening scene of Starship Troopers describing the drop procedure in detail. The drop ships dipped down from orbit and unloaded the Mobile Infantry about thirty miles up, each packed into a capsule that shed heat and velocity with a series of ablative layers and drogue chutes before the MIs finally jettisoned the capsules about two miles up and landed using more conventional parachutes.

I would stick around to discuss this at greater length, but I think I have an appointment to get a set of Spock ears surgically grafted onto the sides of my head.

Posted by: utron [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 11, 2006 03:57 PM

See somebody out there remembers this stuff. And wouldn't that have been about ten times cooler than any single scene in the Starship Troopers movie -- including the bit where there's full frontal nudity?

Posted by: Chris Taylor [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 11, 2006 04:17 PM

Gentlemen: This is why I contend Halo and Halo 2 are the most respectful homages to Heinlein yet to be made (though their Marine landings make a nod to James Cameron's in Aliens). Both the Spartans and ODST Marines ("Orbital Drop Shock Troopers") are shown landing in capsules having been inserted into the atmosphere (though even here they do not show a parachute stage).

Posted by: Ghost of a flea [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 11, 2006 04:24 PM

Agent Bedhead: Not sure about the handkerchief. Though I am hoping this does not suggest a persistent Michael Jackson influence.

Posted by: Ghost of a flea [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 11, 2006 04:25 PM

I enjoyed HALO, but my one big complaint with the whole thing was that it was utterly unbelieable that any number of Covenant fellows (with comical Jawa-like voices) could not have been wiped out wholesale by even present-day non-bioengineered soldiers.

Posted by: Chris Taylor [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 11, 2006 05:32 PM

There's an Aliens-influenced dropship in Starcraft.


Posted by: The_Campblog [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 12, 2006 06:40 AM

The "express elevator to hell" always seemed to be a great idea. Now that it might become a reality, the sheer kewlness factor is just too much to be borne.

Just be sure that somebody wake up Hicks.

Posted by: Jimmy Levendia [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 12, 2006 09:37 AM