“I must have a few hundred years of bad luck ahead of me”

This headline is a quote from Brian Turner, captain of the Kansas City Space Pirates, and is found in today’s (July 1st, 2007) New York Times Magazine.  He’s referring to all the mirrors he’s broken as part of his effort to build his team’s entry into the Space Elevator Games Climber/Power Beaming contest.  A picture of Brian, happily engaged in his workshop, is on the cover of the same magazine.

The author of the article, Jack Hitt, covers many of the NASA Centennial prizes, and talks about how NASA is using these prizes to reach out to amateur inventors, like Brian, to help reinvigorate its exploration programs.  It’s a fine article and a great read (though I’m going to have to email him about what a “liftport ambassador” really is)…  The article also discusses how Peter Homer won a Centennial prize by building a better Space glove

If you want to read the entire article (which I highly recommend you do), you can either purchase today’s NY Times or you can view the article online here.  The online article also contains a link to a video made about Peter Homer and his winning glove entry.  Of note here is that, like the NASA Tether competition the “Build a better glove” contest also has a destructive test; pumping the glove full of pressurized water until it springs a leak.  Frankly, I think the Tether test is more fun 🙂

And Brian, what kind of dog is that?  Those are the longest legs I’ve ever seen on a dog – it reminds me of the Star Wars AT-AT.

(Photo credits: Jeff Riedel for the New York Times – click on the thumbnails to view a larger version)

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