Once the nose cone is removed, of course, it becomes a giant interstellar bottle of Coke. Also I may have gone a little overboard on spattering stars in there. ;)
Space news shorts! The privately owned (although they're on a fat NASA contract, plus additional NASA subsidies) SpaceX unmanned "Dragon" cargo module docked with the International Space Station over the weekend, and the station's crew have begun unloading its cargo. There was only one problem with the docking, as far as we're told, and that was that one of the two "laser imaging systems" the module uses to see with was "picking up stray reflections from the station's Japanese module" that more or less blinded it--fortunately, the remaining laser imaging system was able to do the job on its own. Maybe don't spit-shine those modules quite so much next time!
And there's an interesting brouhaha brewing in Kazakhstan between the Kazakhs and Russia; Kazakhstan has put three Russian rocket launches (carrying seven satellites, from Russia, Belarus, Canada, and Germany) on hold, claiming that an agreement about the zone in north Kazakhstan--they're due to launch from the vast Baikonur Cosmodrome in south Kazakhstan--where the first booster stages from the rockets are planned to fall back to the ground has not yet been completed. Baikonur Cosmodrome was built in Kazakhstan by the Soviets, of course--Kazakhstan being part of the U.S.S.R. at that point--who currently use it under a least that is "due to last until 2050 and sees Moscow pay Astana almost $115 million in rent annually." BUT in January 2011 Russia began building a launching facility on its own soil--Vostochny Cosmodrome in the Russian Far East, due to be completed in 2018--and you couldn't blame the Kazakhs for suspecting that Russia plans to break its lease at Baikonur as soon as Vostochny comes online. So perhaps this current tiff is just a symptom of the looming rent issue.
Somehow I found myself watching videos on comic inking on YouTube this afternoon. I've probably mentioned the ol' How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way comic-drawing guidebook that first came out in 1978 and formed the entirety of my youthful instruction--well, aside from reading hundreds of actual comic books :p--in the comic art form. Little did I know all this live-long while that co-authors Stan "Wearing Dark Glasses and Hyperbole Indoors" Lee and John "I. Am. Not. Reading. From. Cue. Cards" Buscema put together a video version around 1988 that more or less covers everything the book does, even recycling the drawings in the book (low-quality copies of them being placed not-so-convincingly under Buscema's roving pencil), all amusingly--in so many ways--narrated by Stan and John themselves. It came out on VHS and then DVD but I don't see a current release of it on Amazon--so here it is thanks to the magic of YouTube:
(Unfortunately the final section wasn't included, so I had to splice it into that playlist from another uploader's series, which isn't embeddable :/; here's the full playlist of the unembeddable version if you'd rather just watch it all on YouTube.)
The Amazon seller trying to sell a "new" version of the DVD for $241 may be out of luck. :P This video version is pretty good at covering the basics of their now-somewhat-dated (I had to chuckle when Buscema intones something along the lines of "always draw your scene as if it is lit from a strong single light source") method!
Then I stumbled across this hour-long video of I think heretofore unfamiliar to me comic artist Tim Vigil penciling and inking a very detailed "sketch"; I like the rough yet graceful look of his brushed lines, which he seems to emit effortlessly in all sorts of shapes: