Pot black?

Our special Disasteroid correspondent Gas Giant reports that French scientists are studying ways of protecting Earth from incoming asteroids by deflecting them with a "billiard shot" using a smaller asteroid as the "striker".

...and over to the Crucible in the asteroid belt where the Intergalactic Snooker Championships are being held:

"You join us just in time to see Alex 'Asteroid' Higgins attempt to pot the 100m diameter Artemis into the black hole. A very tricky shot, eh, David?"

"Yep, absolutely. I think Alex may try and get it in the hole by glancing 1999 VK12 (that's the blue one to you lot watching in black and white) in off the cushion. Ronnie O'Saturn tried that a few years back with disastrous results when the ball disintegrated, taking the table and most of the Crucible with it. Let's hope he's got his rocks in a row this time!"

Junior jets galore

The floodgates have opened in the quest to "name that genre". Jetlet or Franco-like derivatives Jetette, Jet-ette, Jette and Jetlette appear to denote the appropriate "flavour". Other, perhaps less wholesome, suggestions include the following: Subjet, Underjet, Loungejet, Bubblejet, YuppieJet, PerkiJet, FlappieJet, PoofyJet, Snort Warbler, Ginko-Flinky Jet, ExpressoJet, LatteJet, Taxjet, TaxiJet, PinkieJet, Lawyer Destroyer, Squirt, WoosieJet, KookyJet, Relief Tube and - possibly the least attractive of the lot - Barf Box! The suggestion of Nephew Pete Donkin is also worthy of note: "How about 'JT' for our abbreviated txt culture?" he asks.

Plus ça change

Budgie News (to senior Hairbrush exec): "And what about Megaplane's latest project. Does that worry you?"

Alphonse Aurevoir: "I am as concerned about the 7E7 as I was about the Sonic Cruiser."


After the recent publication of the photo of an Alitalia A300 I-BUST, Nephew Massimo T writes to ask if Meridiana-operated MD-82 I-SMEL is also a special case. Is it, he asks, registered this way as part of an EU rule denoting slightly environmentally unfriendly aircraft? My elderly, but most respectful Nephew Ren‚ Francillon also reminds me that this unfortunate Italian registration trend goes back many years to at least 1956 when Linee Aeree Italiane-operated Douglas DC-6B I-LEAD proved to have a tragically apt identity when it failed to gain altitude and crashed shortly after take-off from Paris Orly.

Source: Flight International