Zeppelin Fever

Airships are in the news today, with a big article in the NY Times about the latest uptick of commercial interest in lighter-than-air transport.

Of course, somebody’s always trying to reanimate Zeppelins, but so far all those attempts have ended in failure (except as tourist attractions). So why would anyone think that this time will be different?

Well, here’s the thing about airships: they float, so you don’t expend energy to keep them in the air. They move much slower than planes, but they eat less fuel per pound carried. As oil becomes more expensive—not to mention destructive to our planet and our foreign policy—that advantage becomes bigger, and bigger, and bigger . . .

So maybe airships aren’t viable right now. But does anyone think that in the long term, oil’s going to get cheaper? Sure! Because the middle east will stabilize, the Chinese will decide they don’t really want cars, and Americans are going to stop wasting fuel at every possible opportunity! But just in case that stuff doesn’t happen, we may find Zeppelins in our future. The French post office is already looking at them for freight transport, as is DARPA, the US military’s mad-scientist group.

There are lots of cool pictures in the article, but one really caught my eye. A French architect named Jean-Marie Massaud has designed a lighter-than-air hotel that looks a bit like a whale. As you might suspect from the title, so does the airship in Leviathan!

I’m still sworn to secrecy on Leviathan art, but here’s Massaud’s vision:

Courtesy Jean-Marie Massaud

Pretty cool, huh?

Here’s the slide show for the article.

Must write now. At 56,717 words, about 20,000 to go!

491 thoughts on “Zeppelin Fever

  1. I haven’t played the game either. Um it’s about these six kids who were recombinent DNA structures or something like that, and before they were born they like injected them with avian DNA so they’re 98% human and 2% bird, so they have wings and powers and stuff. And they were like trapped at this “school” which was a lab thing and they have to like try and escape and it’s much better than I make it sound, so I’ll stop there.

  2. Dude seriously, I couldn’t put it down. I ended up reading the first two books in the same day and they were like 420 pages and 409 pages. Ya, I’m weird like that.

  3. Ya, so did I. Well technically it was two days cuz I was up past midnight reading, but whatever. My parents teased me cuz I had my nose in that book all day not paying attention to anything they’re like “Well hello Miss Potter, glad you could join the rest of us muggles.” So yeah…

  4. no I waited for over 12 hours at borders for it
    in the first 20 people yeah!
    then stayed up till about 4 reading since I got the book only a couple minutes after midnight
    then prolly finished it at about 6pm the next day 🙂
    that was a happy day

  5. Ya, I was at Borders and I got there like 2 freaking hours early and there were already like over a 100 people! I’m like sheesh! So I had to wait in line FOREVER. Gosh. And then my friend walks up to me, carrying the book. And I’m like “Holy crap! How’d you get it already???” and she just points nextdoor to the SafeWay and says “There’s no line there.” And my jaw just like dropped and I’m like “You have GOT to be kidding me.” So yeah, but I’d already pre-ordered it and everything…

  6. Ha, wow. My parents got bored and ditched me after a couple hours of waiting. But I was with friends so it was cool…but boring. Gosh, I just noticed how much I use this: … Wow, probably cuz most my thoughts aren’t complete, lol.

  7. There were a buncha crazy people wearing costumes and yelling things in funny languages…I think it was like Latin or something but they were creepy! LoL.

  8. YEAH!
    we had a costume contest
    there was Umbridge and she looked so much like her, pink tweed suit thing and everything
    then there was a little girl who looked like moneing metil she was so cute
    I might be mixing the 7th with the 6th though, it as the same kinda thing
    there was one guy who did a documentary on it tooI was in it hehehe

  9. hehe there were 4 girls dressed as the mauraders it was so cool, we sat right next to them in the romance section
    we played fun games like find fabio and open a random ramance and read
    it was slightly creepy some of them

  10. I’ve never been before, I’m totally excited. I’m going for this writing academy, that’s like a boarding school thing for a few weeks. Gonna be wicked awesome.

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