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11 July 2008

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Hello Telstar Logistics!

Your excellent space-age logo reminds me of what was, for a few decades, the official seal for Pinellas County, Florida. In the late eighties I rendered this seal in AutoCAD for the title block of some survey drawings my employers were preparing for the county's Engineering Department.

Here is the entire seal. A scroll underneath reads "Board of County Commissioners". Rising from each end is a palm tree. (Palm trees, incidentally, are endemic to South Florida. I hate them; I even wrote a poem about it once, ahem:

I think that I shall never see
A palm as lovely as a tree
Palms that roaches crawl within
Fall over in a gust of wind
Drop ugly fronds into the street
Afford no shade against the heat
Still, Tampa highway landscape guys
Adore those palms which I despise
All along the rights-of-way
They plant those damn things anyway )

In the center of the seal is a boss labeled all around "PINELLAS COUNTY * FLORIDA". In its center is the sun setting gloriously across the ripples of the Gulf of Mexico - come to Madeira Beach and see, it's wonderful! - and arrayed around that are a golfer, a fisherman, a pretty girl bouncing off a diving board, and in contrast to all that recreation, a boxy industrial plant under a great sky-high carbon atom.

The industrial plant on the logo was the General Electric krytron works on Bryan Dairy Road in Pinellas Park. This is where they manufactured the ultra-high-speed triggers which are used to detonate, precisely simultaneously, the explosive charges surrounding the core of an atomic bomb. This (and the Honeywell missile navigation works on Roosevelt Blvd., and the Sperry gyroscope works on 584 up Oldsmar way) made Pinellas a strategic target; on site they had a tall tower with sirens to warn of Soviet air raids. The plant leaked a bit of tritium - tritium is notoriously hard to wholly contain.

So what's that little dot in the right-most doorway? In AutoCAD one can zoom in by a factor of a million; for a cheap Cold War laugh I drew in a door greeter, like they've got at Wal-Mart.

i liked the second half of the video best, especially seeing the cockpit.

i remember growing up that whenever i'd be on a plane they'd take me up to see the cockpit, and i absolutely loved it.

i've heard they no longer do that, sadly.

What an incredible machine!

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