columbia ship

How is everyone enjoying sunny Los Angeles? We hope you have all had the chance to check out the park. We wish a happy spring break to those who have remained at Mousai or made alternate plans for the week as well!

Here are somethings to check out at the Disney parks!


  • Main Street Electrical Parade @ 8:30 and 10:30 pm
  • Mickey’s Soundsational Parade @ 4:30pm
  • Fireworks Spectacular! @ 9:25pm 

Closed for Refurbishment

  • Mark Twain Riverboat
  • Sailing Ship Columbia
  • Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes
  • Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island
  • Fantasmic!
  • Disneyland Railroads
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds

Disneyland California Adventure

  • World of Color @ 9:45pm

    During the golden age of flight test, the name of the game was higher, faster and louder. No manned x-plane ever exceeded the X-15 in any of these categories. X-15 66670 (Ship 1) flew 81 times, all originating from the undisputed home of experimental flight test – Edwards Air Force Base, California. The flights were first operated by its manufacturer North American Aviation (NAA), then as a joint NASA/USAF venture. Together, they would embark on the most successful and exciting flight test program in history.

     Before any of this could start, lots of strange new problems had to be overcome. One of the big unknowns was the thermal properties of operating in the hypersonic speed regime. Robert Hoey (X-15 Primary Flight Test Engineer) recently offered insight into these early stages. “At the time it was all being put together, there was nothing on the ground that would come close to duplicating the flight conditions with respecting to heating. Just nothing. You couldn’t get the combinations of Mach number and Reynolds number to even come close to duplicating flight conditions, so you had a bunch of different theories. There were about six of them, as I remember. Six different theoretical calculations that were to predict what the temperatures would be at various parts of the airplane. And we didn’t know which one was going to be right. At that time, the proper approach was to over-design for the worst case. We had an airplane that had all kinds of built in backup structure to handle the high temperatures. As soon as we got into it, it became pretty obvious that there were a couple equations that were better than the others.” I have learned from the personal experience of handling large pieces of X-15 structure that the plane is heavy. Rather than using lightweight aluminium, the X-15 skin and structure is primarily made of Inconel steel. This material acts as a heat sink, keeping structural rigidity at temperatures of over 2,000 ºF.

    The X-15, unable to take off under its own power, was carried aloft by a B-52H mothership, then dropped to begin its flight. Four captive flights were made before the first free flight of Ship 1, which NASA test pilot Scott Crossfield bravely flew on June 8, 1957. This was an unpowered flight, testing the glide characteristics of the new airframe. Its optimization for high speed flight was shown as it glided to a speed of Mach .79 before landing safely on Rogers Dry Lake at Edwards Air Force Base. Hoey remembers this NAA orchestrated flight, “For the other North American flights, we were in the control room but we weren’t controlling anything. We were just watching. But for that flight, of course, we wanted to go out on the roof and watch.”

    After the successful glide flight, Ship 1 met the next milestone by making its first powered flight on January 23, 1960, again flown by Crossfield. He fired the propulsion system, reaching a speed of Mach 2.53 and an altitude of 66,843 ft. This flight was propelled by two XLR-11 rocket engines, totaling 16,000 lbf of thrust. Later flights would use a much more powerful XLR-99 engine, throttleable from 15,000 lbf to 57,000 lbf of thrust. The fuel and oxidizer tanks only held enough fuel for to burn for 80 to 120 secons. As the propellant level decreased, the aircraft quickly became lighter, but the force of the engine remained the same. This subjected pilot to 4 gs near the end of the burn. NASA pilot Milt Thompson was once said “The X-15 was the only aircraft I ever flew where I was glad when the engine quit.”

     However, things would become even more dangerous if the engine failed to light in the first place. At the end of a typical mission, the fuel tanks would be empty resulting in a safe landing weight. If the engine didn’t fire, the X-15 was too heavy to land safely. In this case, a fuel dump was initiated, but the aircraft plummeted to the ground so quickly that there wasn’t enough time to make a dent in the heavy on-board fuel supply. This resulted in a very dangerous overweight landing on Mud Lake, a dry lakebed in Nevada positioned under the launch zone. The first time Ship 1 met this fate, Marine pilot VADM Forrest Peterson was at the controls on January 10, 1962. Peterson came out unscathed, but in other incidents, these forced landings at Mud Lake severely injured man and machine.

    After landing so far away from home base, the X-15 had to be loaded on a flatbed trailer and transported back to Edwards. The aircraft was fairly wide, so the convoy moved at night with safety vehicles leading and following the flatbed. This could sometimes prove just as harrowing as the emergency landing itself. Hoey recalls one such incident; “Some guy went by with a camper. He didn’t see the airplane with the wing sticking out and the wing took the top right off of his camper. It didn’t damage the X-15 at all.”

    Two different profiles could be flown; either a “hot flight” (which aimed for speed) or a high flight. Ship 1 made it to a maximum speed of Mach 6.06, piloted by USAF Maj. Gen. Robert Rushworth on December 5, 1963. Its highest flight of 267,500 ft was reached by NASA pilot Bill Dana on August 21, 1968. Hoey explains how his job made these incredible figures possible. “There were of us who were working as flight planners in the early days. One of them was Dick Day, he was the NASA guy, and I was the Air Force guy. Our job was to go around and talk to all the research and systems guys and find out how things were going, what happened on the last flight, what kind of additional information did they need. We’d gather all of that information and decide what we needed to do next. Of course, on the envelope expansion, we were gathering all that information, but we were primarily controlling the max speed and max altitudes so we could take it in small steps.”

    Ship 1 is now on display at Smithsonian’s National Air Museum in Washington D.C. This is the world’s second busiest museum following only the Musée du Louvre in Paris, France. The aircraft hangs in the Milestones of Flight Gallery above the Command Module “Columbia”, the ship in which Neil Armstrong sailed to the Moon during Apollo 11. Most museum visitors do not realize that Armstrong also flew X-15 Ship 1. Both vehicles earned their place of honor through the blood sweat and tears of individuals on the ground and in the air. The X-15 flight test program is often cited as the most successful such endeavor in history, causing a paradigm shift in our understanding of hypersonic aerodynamics, paving the way for programs like the Space Shuttle and future ideas yet to be conceived.

Solangelo and The Mafia Part 2

Here it is guys! I made you guys wait so long I am terrible i know, please forgive me. If you haven’t read part one here it is! Hope you guys enjoy and please please please give some feedback! (also there will be a part three and we will be seeing some more characters in the third part so (((: the more feedback i get he quicker i get stuff out (usually))

Nico tapped the sides of the cup he had ordered half an hour ago with nerves as Will folded up his apron and tucked it underneath the front of the register. He didn’t know how Will was going to react.

Would he be mad? Would he tell him a “hey thanks but get outta my life you creepo?”. And what if he found out Nicos profession? He wasn’t exactly a good guy. He’d been called things. Bad things. A monster, a murderer. True things, he reasoned in his head, but it didn’t make it hurt any less.

Nico was still deep in thought when a chair scraped out from across him. He looked up and saw a hard look on Wills face, the blond haired mans eyebrows slightly furrowed and mouth set straight, contrasting with his messy, curly halo hair. Will cleared his throat and opened his mouth.

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Tips for going to Disneyland alone 

  1. It’s all about you! Ride what you want, when you want. Take advantage of Single Rider lines and ride a favorite attraction over and over again (often available on Soarin’ Over California, Splash Mountain, Indiana Jones and California Screamin’).
  2. Showtime! Skip the rides and take in some shows. Especially the ones you might otherwise skip, such as Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, Muppet Vision 3-D or Billy Hill and the Hillbillies.
  3. Get to know the “locals”: Chat with a Cast Member or two and do some pin trading. Maybe they’ll have a tip about the Parks for you!
  4. Relax with Walt Disney: Enjoy a Dole Whip on a bench in the Hub at the end of Main Street near the Partners statue. It’s a great place to soak in the sunshine and notice the extraordinary floral display and the bronze character statues in the roundabout.
  5. Say Cheese! Go on a photo adventure. Snap pics of the little (and amazing) details throughout the Parks. Ask Cast Members or other guests to take your photo. (Offer to take theirs too!)
  6. Take in some Southern hospitality: Stroll through New Orleans Square, grab a Mint Julep and have a caricature drawing made while you listen to the sounds of VooDoo spells and N’awlins jazz in the alleyways.
  7. All Aboard! Take the Disneyland Railroad on a full circle tour of the Park. And then go around again. Ask a Cast Member at the Main Street station if can ride in the engine. 
  8. Vino: Enjoy a nice glass of wine while you watch Guests pass by from the peace and quiet of the Wine Country Trattoria patio in California Adventure, not into drinking? grab a frozen treat and cook down and wander around Disney Animation. 
  9. Giddyap! Take a turn on King Arthur’s Carousel in Fantasyland. There’s rarely a line for this classic attraction so you can hop right on. 
  10. Cat Patrol: Ride the Mark Twain Riverboat or the Sailing Ship Columbia and keep an eye out for Disneyland’s elusive (but hard-working) feline residents who can sometimes be spotted on the shores of the Rivers of America.
BEYOND THE SEA: The Beginnings of BioShock’s Big Daddy

MILD SPOILERS WARNING:_ If you’ve never played BioShock before, would you kindly wait a little bit before reading this behind-the-scenes look at the Big Daddy?

Easily one of the most iconic characters of the BioShock series has got to be the Big Daddy. From the first moment one lumbers into view as you’re unconscious on the floor, there’s no doubt about it – you’re in a world of trouble. But to really appreciate the Big Daddy, you need to understand where it came from.


Before they were called Big Daddies, these hulking beasts were named “Protectors.” Makes sense. After all, these were envisioned as the guardians of Rapture before they became devoted to protecting Little Sisters – which we’ll get to in a bit. As with the enemies of Rapture, Big Daddies found their own special place of honor in BioShock as the fiction of the game grew. They turned from sluggish beasts to men in diving suits to the giant, menacing creatures we love (and fear) today.

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submitted by Alex Ogden

External image

An updated view at my EDC, as I recently lost my CRKT Endorser (a wonderful little EDC knife if I may add). Anyways. I’ve recently acquired CRKT’s M4-02W by Kit Carson, and I’m already in love. Other than that, its a pretty standard EDC by me. Everything I need in the classroom, at home, at work, or when I want to unwind and continue writing my novel, or read some Dostoevsky.

Disneyland Date Ideas:
  • Eat dinner at the Blue Bayou restaurant in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.
  • Cuddle on the Haunted Mansion, You can pretend to be scared.
  • Watch Fantasmic, Disneyland’s laser light and water show, from the shore of the Rivers of America. For an extra charge ($59 per person), you can reserve riverside seats and enjoy a catered dessert box while watching the show
  • Watch the fireworks show from Main Street, looking toward Sleeping Beauty Castle.
  • Take a night sail on the Sailing Ship Columbia or the Mark Twain Riverboat.
  • Kiss in the darkness of “Pirates of the Caribbean” or “Peter Pan’s Flight.”
  • Make a wish at Snow White’s Wishing Well (just to the right of Sleeping Beauty Castle).
  • Share a Dole Whip outside the Enchanted Tiki Room.
  • Wear Mickey Mouse ears.

attractions found only at Disneyland Park

Indiana Jones Adventure

Tarzan’s Treehouse

Pinocchio’s Daring Journey

Storybook Land Canal Boats.

Mr. Toad’s wild ride

Casey Jr. Circus Train

Alice in wonderland

Matterhorn bobsleds

Sailing ship Columbia

and they only have Seasonal Fantasmic

Roger Rabbit’s Car toon Spin

Chip and Dale Treehouse

Goofy’s Playhouse

Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage