Category Archives: Transportation

Metropolis II by Chris Burden

Chris Burden seems to have had two very distinct artistic selves… Those two selves would be Chris Burden the Younger and then Chris Burden the Elder. He has gone from the extreme self-mutilating performance artist of his early years in the 1970’s into his current incarnation as the Willy Wonka artist who brings to reality the wildest dreams of many pre-adolescent children.

A short doc about a kinetic sculpture that took four years to build. We had the honor of spending three days in Chris Burden’s studio filming this sculpture before it was moved to the Los Angeles Country Museum of Art (LACMA) where it is being reinstalled…

Directed by Henry Joost & Ariel Schulman
Edited by Max Joseph
Cinemtography by Schulman, Joost & Van Neistat
Music by Tortoise (Ten-Day interval) & Mahogany (Windmill International A)

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Filed under Art, Automotive, scale modeling, Transportation

Classics, Wrecked

Here's a perfect excuse for clever a "wrecked 'em" pun and I can't think of one.

Classic Wrecks is your one-stop Etsy shop that will help you build the junkyard of your dreams.  John Findra builds 1/24 scale models of classic automobiles and then, as they would say in the fashion industry, distresses them.  I’ve always been a fan of scale modelers who build airplane crash or battle damaged armor dioramas.  The idea of cutting a brand new model off the sprues, and putting it together in the exact opposite condition of factory fresh puts a big smile on my face.

Helen Killer over at Regretsy listed John’s work as her number one favorite purchase of 2011.

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Filed under Art, Automotive, scale modeling, Transportation

The Sense of Flying

These wingsuits that people have been designing are really intriguing to me. This video takes the viewer alongside the guy who jumped off a cliff and soared 2.5 kilometers at speeds up to 250 kilometers per hour dangerously close to cliff sides and treetops and then landed safely exactly on a road where his ground crew was stationed.

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Filed under Aviation, Transportation, Uncategorized

My Hero, Zero

The Planes of Fame Museum in Chino, CA has an extraordinary collection of aircraft.  Even more extraordinary is that most of their historic planes still fly.  One of the crown jewels in their collection is this Mitsubishi A6M5 Zero.  It’s the only original Zero in existence that still flies.  They flew it this past weekend and I took my son to see it.  It was magnificent.

At the start of WWII, the Zero was probably the best fighter plane around.  In fact, US Navy pilots were told not to engage in dogfights with the Zero.  They were designed to be light, fast, and maneuverable.  But it didn’t take long for the US to catch up, building fighter planes like the Hellcat that may not have been as agile, but could take punishment.  As you can tell by looking closely at the photos, this Zero doesn’t look as rugged as the American planes that would later take them on and bring them down in huge numbers.

For one thing, they didn’t have resealable fuel tanks, which would become standard on US planes.  So whereas a plane like the Hellcat could take several 50 caliber rounds and suffer little damage, one or two well-placed shots could turn the Zero into a fireball.  That’s why there are so few left.

Sleek as it looks on the ground, it’s nothing compared to the way it looks in the air.  My son and I have gone to many flying events at Planes of Fame and we’ve seen more warbirds fly than I can count.  But the Zero looked positively majestic.  It seemed to fly effortlessly as a bird.

As graceful as it looked in the sky, it was hard not to think about what it must have been like to hear that exact engine roar overhead 70 years ago as machines like this one and its cousins unleashed their fury upon an unsuspecting Pearl Harbor.  I’m not exaggerating when I say it was exquisitely chilling.

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Filed under Aviation, Living History, Transportation