1. Interstellar and throughly enjoyed it. Giggled endlessly at the wonderfully kerbal spin-docking, and sighed exasperatedly at the magical SSTOs with near infinite fuel (except when the plot required otherwise) and an ascent profile of “well, uh, we take off… and go up… and we’re in space now. YAY!”.

    Also: props to Hans Zimmer for the best use of a pipe organ in a film score I’ve heard for a long time. Caught me by surprise!

  2. Marcus Povey: This game looks fascinating... how accurate are the physics involved in terms of success? Do you have to hit escape velocity/learn orbital mechanics to rendezvous with the space station etc?

    Oops, sorry for not replying — I didn’t see your mention for some reason! Yep, KSP is an amazing game. You do indeed have to hit escape velocity, from a planet 1/10th the size of earth but with equivalent acceleration due to gravity, and yes you have to learn orbital mechanics to rendezvous, or get to other planets. Highly recommended, but watch out — there’s a steep learning curve but once you get it it sucks you in :)

    Oh, and the fan community is amazing. So many tutorials, fan videos and mods. Example:


  3. Latest invention: Reverse Bamboo Staging! Like asparagus, except you blow spent fuel tanks off the top of the stack (helped along by some separatrons) rather than blowing the engines off too:

    Successfully gets me into LKO with a full main tank. Haven’t decided what to do with it yet…

  4. Tried Kerbal Space Program — surprisingly difficult, though I attribute that partly to the unclear design and pedagogy. Great fun though, and an immediate emotional connection with the characters — esp. the way my kerbonaut gets all excited when rocket’s launching.