I recently received three books on various subjects that are quirky, but kind of neat.
The first book is for engineer types – RMS Titanic Manual: 1909-1912 Olympic Class (Haynes Owners Workshop Manuals) by Richard F. Hutchings and Richard de Kerbrech. Here is a brief description of the bok from Amazon:
The world famous ocean liner Titanic, which sank on her maiden voyage in1912, is the latest subject to receive the Haynes Manual treatment. With an authoritative text and hundreds of illustrations, see how this leviathan was built, launched, and fitted out. Read about her lavish passenger accommodation. Learn about the captain’s responsibilities, including the operation of a transatlantic liner. Consider the chief engineer’s view—how did he manage the huge engines and other onboard systems? What was it like to operate the luxury ocean liner from the perspective of Titanic’s owner, the White Star line?
Years ago, Burt Rutan told a reporter for Popular Mechanics, “If we make a courageous decision like the goal and program we kicked off for Apollo in 1961, we will see our children or grandchildren in outposts on other planets.” Legendary science-fiction writer Arthur C. Clark would later recall Rutan’s quote in a piece he wrote about SpaceShipOne and comment, “Fortunately, we need not rely solely on governments for expanding humanity’s presence beyond the Earth.”
Burt Rutan’s Race to Space showcases Rutan’s herculean efforts to do just that. Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum displays his most celebrated achievements, including SpaceShipOne, which won the coveted $10 million Ansari X Prize for private spaceflight; Voyager, which hangs with SpaceShipOne in the Milestones of Flight gallery; the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer; and the VariEze.
His many aerospace innovations preceding his most recently conceived designs, SpaceShipTwo and WhiteKnightTwo, chronicle a progressive, step-by-step attempt to break barriers with engineering know-how and a wondrous imagination, all the while remaining on the forefront of the burgeoning private spaceflight industry.
Rutan’s X Prize triumph and subsequent spacecraft designs are not a beginning, nor an end, but are steps in Burt Rutan’s continuing adventure to expand humanity’s presence beyond the Earth and into space.
The third book is for Cold War afficionados – Survive the Bomb: The Radioactive Citizen’s Guide to Nuclear Survival by Eric G. Swedin. The description below is from the book’s cover:
Attention, citizens and fellow travelers of the Cold War: Survive the Bomb is your family’s ultimate fallout shelter companion. Keep this book at the ready next to the emergency drinking water and vacuum-packed canned meats and vegetables for that moment when the saber-rattling between the world’s superpowers turns Atomic.