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Lester Haines

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Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Sizzling sag aloo

We're disappointed to report that despite our attempts last week to raise the tone of our post-pub neckfiller nosh recipes by the classy use of a soupçon of français, we have not yet attracted a sponsor willing to back our efforts to push the culinary envelope. No matter, because the latest offering for your wobbly dining …
Lester Haines, 01 Feb 2015

Virtual Vulture 2 swoops into Spaceport America

Vid Last weekend, our Vulture 2 spaceplane finally swooped down to an automated landing at Spaceport America, thanks to some hot hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) action by Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) Pixhawk autopilot wrangler Linus Penzlien. Linus has been working on ArduPilot HIL simulations using Tennessee X-Plane ace …
Lester Haines, 28 Jan 2015
Sag aloo mixed with our chickpea stew

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Chickpea stew à la Bureau des Projets Spéciaux

As winter tightens its frosty grip across the land, and a chill wind bites hard to the quick, the moment has arrived to contemplate a hearty post-pub dish designed to fill bellies on a budget and warm the cockles of the heart. So hereforth, mes amis, we present for your dining pleasure our very own Special Projects Bureau …
Lester Haines, 24 Jan 2015

Is it humanly possible to watch Gigli and Battlefield Earth back-to-back?

Our piece earlier this week on a study which proved The Wizard of Oz is the "most significant" movie ever – by dint of being the flick most referenced in subsequent works – provoked some interesting comments from our ever-lively readers. It goes without saying that a lot of your output centred on the researchers' possibly dodgy …
Lester Haines, 23 Jan 2015

Oz father and son team plan suborbital spaceplane

An Australian father and son team is attempting to develop a radical low Earth orbit spaceplane ultimately intended as a "space courier service" to return payloads from aloft. High-altitude ballooning (HAB) vets Robert Brand and son Jason, 12, (pictured below after one of their balloon flights) are in the initial stages of " …
Lester Haines, 22 Jan 2015

Wizard of Oz OFFICIALLY 'most significant movie' EVER, says PNAS

Researchers have used an interesting yardstick to determine that The Wizard of Oz is the most "significant" US movie ever, pipping Star Wars and Psycho into second and third spots in the significance league table. Forget the critics' opinion, audience figures or box office take: what really sets a film apart is the number of …
Lester Haines, 21 Jan 2015

Penguin high-flyers: Andrew Tridgell on the Linux autopilot

Vid The indefatigable Andrew Tridgell popped up at linux.conf.au in new Zealand last week, where he delivered an entertaining presentation on the state of play of porting ArduPilot to Linux. ArduPilot is the open source software which controls our own Vulture 2 spaceplane on the 3DR Pixhawk autopilot. As Tridge demonstrated, it …
Lester Haines, 20 Jan 2015

Alabama tops US teacher-pupil sex league

Alabama sits proudly at the top of the US teacher-pupil sex league, with one school employee per 193,975 residents being "accused or convicted" of engaging in illicit relations with a student during 2014. That's according to a enlightening study by Terry Abbott - "a former chief of staff of the U.S. Department of Education" - …
Lester Haines, 19 Jan 2015

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: 1.5 MILLION SCOVILLE masala omelette

"Lester Haines is evil. Not once did he ever say, 'No Shax, don't do it'." Those were the last words heard yesterday from Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) rocket wrangler Paul "Shax" Shackleton after he recklessly took our post-pub nosh neckfiller recipe for masala omelette, added two Carolina Reaper chilli peppers to …
Lester Haines, 16 Jan 2015

Bacon-smoking locals provoke noxious Chinese smog

The city of Dazhou in China's southwestern Sichuan Province is taking a hard line on what it believes is a significant contributor to the metropolis's "lingering" smog – the traditional practice of smoking bacon. According to Xinhua, Dazhou has been suffering a nasty bout of persistent airborne PM2.5 particulates since the …
Lester Haines, 15 Jan 2015

Icelandic brewers knock up whale 'nad beer

Icelandic beer botherer Stedji has unsurprisingly rather annoyed conservationists with the imminent release of a winter brew flavoured with smoked whale testicles, Visir reports. The "Hvalur 2" brew comes on the heels of last winter's successful Hvalur ("Whale") concoction, which contained "among other things the viscera and …
Lester Haines, 13 Jan 2015
Plate of lengua ready to serve

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Hot Spanish tongue action

Let's face it, anyone with any sense knows cows are far more agreeable when they're in pieces, and while throwing prime bovine bits on the barbecue is one the discerning gourmet's preferred methods of serving Miss Daisy, there are parts which, for whatever reason, have fallen from favour among Brit carnivores. We can't speak for …
Lester Haines, 10 Jan 2015

World's largest ship swallows 900 MEGATINS of baked beans

The BBC is having an Olympic swimming pool-sized field day at the news that the world's largest ship – the CSCL Globe - has docked at the Port of Felixstowe. According to Auntie, the China Shipping Container Lines-owned behemoth "is more than 400m (1,312ft) long, the equivalent of eight Olympic-size swimming pools", while its …
Lester Haines, 09 Jan 2015

LOHAN sponsor Pulse-Eight: Supplier of hi-def TV to dogs

It's fair to say that providing high-definition video to dogs was not a mission priority for the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team, but when a certain Pulse-Eight answered our Kickstarter tin-rattling last year, we were suddenly presented with the chance to push the envelope of canine entertainment solutions. UK- …
Lester Haines, 07 Jan 2015

Finally, some recognition: 'Selfi' snaps Spanish Word of the Year

The all-encompassing "selfie" has snapped the Fundéu BBVA's Spanish word of the year title for 2014, albeit in the leaner, meaner, and adapted form of selfi. The choice acknowledges the continuing influx of Anglicisms into Spanish, despite previous efforts to suggest that local constructs autofoto or autorretrato might serve to …
Lester Haines, 05 Jan 2015

Festive post-pub noshtastic neckfiller: HEARTY HOG MAW

We're now well into the season of festive excess, and doubtless readers will already be sustaining a severe pummelling to livers and credit cards in equal measure. We can't do much to mitigate the effects of excess Yule spending, but we can offer you something substantial and yet a bit different to soak up the booze: the hearty …
Lester Haines, 26 Dec 2014

Vulture 2 design hero describes epic 'hobby' project

It's a traditional SPB tip of the hat today to Vulture 2 spaceplane designer Chris Dodd, who's been chewing the fat with The Engineer about his involvement with the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) project. Chris Dodd and the virtual Vulture 2 on a computer monitor Long-term LOHAN fans will recall Chris (pictured …
Lester Haines, 19 Dec 2014
Lester firing an AR-16 at the gun range

American bacon cured with AR-15 assault rifle

It's been quite a week for the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team, as myself and Edge Research Laboratory's David Patterson travelled to Spaceport America in New Mexico, and took delivery of the Vulture 2 spaceplane in Denver, picking up a couple of rocket motor reloads along the way. We covered plenty of road …
Lester Haines, 17 Dec 2014
Our LOHAN mission patch design

El Reg's mighty rocket spaceplane Vulture 2 arrives in US of A

The Vulture 2 spaceplane arrived safely in the USA last week, and is currently resting at a secure facility in Denver courtesy of Jeff Anderton of video production outfit Mass Transit. Our rocket ship's relocation came as part of my own trip Stateside, which saw myself and Edge Research Lab's David Patterson on a reccy to …
Lester Haines, 16 Dec 2014
Our Playmonaut on the runway at Spaceport America

LOHAN's Plucky Playmonaut touches down at Spaceport America

Our plucky Playmonaut sensationally landed at Spaceport America in New Mexico last Thursday, although sadly not this time at the controls of the Register's soaraway Vulture 2 rocket ship. The diminutive Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) pilot walked the tarmac of the fabled gateway to the heavens as myself and David …

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The fantastical Francesinha

Legend has it that in the 1960s, one Daniel da Silva returned to his native Portugal following a stint in France and Belgium, with a vision of adapting the classic grilled ham and cheese croque-monsieur for local palates. The result was the Francesinha ("Frenchie"), an example of what happens when you take a simple sarnie, crank …
Lester Haines, 06 Dec 2014

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Masala omelette

The Brit post-pub gourmets among you will doubtless have indulged in the national pastime of staggering from the boozer to the nearest curry house, so it's no surprise that reader Martin Gregorie got in touch last week to suggest we venture into the hot and spicy by cooking up something with a bit of a kick. A splendid idea, and …
Lester Haines, 29 Nov 2014

LOHAN sponsor Lucidica explains the benefits of being French

Back in October, the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team welcomed our magnificent Kickstarter sponsors to Vulture Central, and among those who rolled up to be frisked by security at the door were representatives of London-based IT support firm Lucidica. The Lucidica team at Vulture Central With fighting livers at …
Lester Haines, 26 Nov 2014
Our Playmonaut celebrates with a brace of blondes

El Reg reanimates Cash'n'Carrion merchandising tentacle

We're pleased to announce that we've reanimated our merchandising tentacle Cash'n'Carrion, so Reg fans can once again get a fix of top-notch Vulture Central kit. Back when it was all fields round here, I was involved in setting up the original emporium, so I'm dead chuffed that we're back in the business of punting quality stuff …
Lester Haines, 25 Nov 2014

Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray

Wannabe Bond villains who'd been planning a world-domination strategy involving sharks armed with a frikkin' lasers should be aware that Wicked Lasers has announced it's withdrawing its "horrendously dangerous" handheld death rays. Long exposure shot showing laser in street According to a brief email from the company's press …
Lester Haines, 24 Nov 2014
Plate of bryndzové halušky

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Bryndzové halušky

It's onwards and eastwards this week with our post-pub nosh neckfiller as we travel to Slovakia in search of bryndzové halušky. This traditional dish of potato dumplings (halušky) is topped with bryndza sheep cheese, and endears itself to British palates with the inclusion of bacon, the miracle powers of which to counter the …
Lester Haines, 22 Nov 2014
Our plucky Playmonaut celebrates his riches with a bevy of beauties

NXT: The first SPAAAACE cryptocurrency

It's fair to say that our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) mission has attracted a broad spectrum of sponsors, and among those who've climbed aboard is NXT, which aims to be the first cryptocurrency into space, or at least the stratosphere. NXT is a Bitcoin rival launched in 2013, "currently positioned at #5 by …
Lester Haines, 20 Nov 2014

Vulture 2 spaceplane tumbles onto BBC World Service

We invite Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) fans to stick the kettle on, make a nice cuppa and enjoy a recent interview myself and Vulture 2 rocket motor wrangler Paul "Lord Shax" Shackleton did with Gareth Mitchell for the BBC World Service's Click. Good stuff, and we'd like to add that the Southampton Uni design boys …
Lester Haines, 18 Nov 2014

Pics in SPAAAACE!: Hasselblad sells for $275,000

The first Hasselblad camera to travel into space sold last week at auction for an astronomical $275,000. View of the first Hasselblad in space The first Hasselblad in space, and now sold for a cool $275K The 500c and 80mm Zeiss lens accompanied Walter M Schirra on the Mercury MA-8 mission in October 1962. Fellow astronaut …
Lester Haines, 17 Nov 2014

Give it up for SecQuest - a rabbit-hunting spaceplane sponsor

We invite Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) fans to give it up today for SecQuest, one of the magnificent corporate responders to our Kickstarter tin-rattling to take the Vulture 2 ballocket launch to Spaceport America. We'll be bringing you details on all our splendid sponsors in due course, but let's kick off with a …
Lester Haines, 17 Nov 2014
Selection of eggs on the bar

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg

It's been two years since we at El Reg's Special Projects Bureau brought hungry readers the last of our post-pub nosh deathmatches – a lively head-to-head featuring souse versus scrapple – and by popular demand we've decided to reheat the concept as part of Vulture Central's Weekend Edition. To recap, the idea was to present …
Lester Haines, 15 Nov 2014

Hey, you, PHONE-FACE! Kickstarter in-car mobe mount will EMBED your phone into your MUG

It's Friday, so we invite those of you who are counting down the seconds until pub o'clock to spot the fatal concept error in the Alfah Mobile - "a small suction free attachment that attaches the back of your mobile device to your steering wheel or dashboard for convenience and hands free driving". This less-than-ingenious …
Lester Haines, 14 Nov 2014

Lindsay Lohan ignores El Reg's tender twitterly advances

We're distraught to report that thesp Lindsay Lohan has ignored a recent Twitter request for a few words on our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) mission - the audacious namesake ballocket initiative which will see her moniker written gloriously across the stratosphere. Our tweet to Lindsay Lohan No doubt Ms Lohan …
Lester Haines, 07 Nov 2014

First space Hasselblad goes under the hammer

The first Hasselblad camera to travel into space will go under the hammer next week, over 50 years after it was carried aloft by Walter M Schirra on the Mercury MA-8 mission. View of the first Hasselblad in space The first Hasselblad in space - yours for $10k+ Camera enthusiast Schirra bought the 500c and 80mm Zeiss lens at …
Lester Haines, 06 Nov 2014

Spaceplane fan sips sweet nectar from LOHAN's copious cup

We're obliged to spaceplane fan Mike Kimber for sending over the first evidence we've received of our magnificent Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) mug in the wild, and being put to extremely laudable use. Mike wrote: "A while ago you published a recipe for a super strength mead in honour of the LOHAN project... Well …
Lester Haines, 05 Nov 2014

LOHAN test flight: Results in from Oz jury

Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) brain surgeons Linus Penzlien and Andrew Tridgell* have scrutinised the log flies from the recent test flight which saw a Pixhawk autopilot, batteries and servos (pictured below) sent aloft to 27,700m to determine in real-world conditions how the Vulture 2 spaceplane's bulging …
Lester Haines, 03 Nov 2014
Video still from Saturday's Edge flight

LOHAN avionics survive 27,700m stratospheric ordeal

Pics+vid It's beers all round today as we announce a successful final Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) test flight, which saw our Vulture 2 spaceplane's avionics rig sent to 27,700m over Colorado and return to terra firma in fine fettle. Video still from Saturday's Edge flight Our US allies at Edge Research Lab kindly …
Lester Haines, 28 Oct 2014

Moment of truth for LOHAN's servos: Our US allies are poised for final test flight

The matter of whether our Vulture 2 spaceplane's servos will freeze at altitude will be resolved on Saturday by our US allies at Edge Research Lab, when they send a complete spaceplane autopilot/battery/servo rig stratowards. Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) regulars will be aware we've been fretting about our …
Lester Haines, 24 Oct 2014
The SPB shirt in close-up

Luscious LOHAN t-shirts fly into Vulture Central

It's all go at Vulture Central today as skilled operatives prepare to ship our LOHAN Kickstarter reward t-shirts, which flew in the door late last week and will shortly be flying straight back out. We're sure those of you who stumped the cash for this top-notch apparel will be as pleased as we are with the finished products, …
Lester Haines, 21 Oct 2014

Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box

Amid all the LOHAN excitement over the last couple of weeks - which saw a right royal knees-up at Vulture Central, our audacious spaceplane mission crash-land on CNN and me apparently called "burly and bald" by Die Welt - we have actually been doing some real work ahead of our relocation to Spaceport America. LOHAN regulars will …
Lester Haines, 17 Oct 2014
Lester poses with the Vulture 2

LOHAN crash lands on CNN

It's a tip of the hat today to CNN, which has unleashed a news report nicely capturing the spirit of our audacious Low orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) mission. CNN operatives were down at Vulture Central last Friday during a right royal spaceplane knees-up, as was Nina Trentmann of Die Welt. Those of you of a German …
Lester Haines, 15 Oct 2014

Beers all round as Vulture 2 lands in Blighty

Pics The Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team has just about recovered from a lively night last Friday at Vulture Central, which saw mission sponsors, Register hacks and a select group of our individual Kickstarter backers mix it up with the international press. The spaceplane landed in Blighty a couple of weeks back …
Lester Haines, 14 Oct 2014

Tearful LOHAN Playmonaut bids adiós to Spain

Our plucky Playmonaut is feeling a tad emotional today as he prepares to bid adiós to Spain and travel to Blighty with the Vulture 2 spaceplane, before shipping out to Spaceport America. Our rocket ship is back in LOHAN's substantial box, which will on Monday once again cross the Bay of Biscay, en route to an encounter with the …
Lester Haines, 26 Sep 2014
The forward view from the aircraft in the stratosphere

US team claims PARIS paper plane launch crown

A US team has announced it's broken El Reg's Guinness World Record for the highest launch of a paper plane by releasing a substantial paper dart at 96,563ft (29,430m). A group of cadets from Fox Valley Composite Squadron of the Illinois Wing, Civil Air Patrol, sent their vehicle aloft on 13 September from Kankakee, Illinois, and …
Lester Haines, 23 Sep 2014

LOHAN wraps Kickstarter tin-rattling at £30,725

We invite all of you who backed our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) mission Kickstarter tin-rattling to award yourselves a beer or two, in celebration of the campaign closing yesterday at £30,750. Yup, a total of 653 generous souls gave it up for Spaceport America ballocket tomfoolery, and we very much appreciate …
Lester Haines, 22 Sep 2014
Our LOHAN mission patch design

Last chance to snaffle LOHAN Kickstarter goodies

There's just one day to run on the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) Kickstarter tin-rattling, and as our plucky Playmonaut celebrates already hitting the £30,000 target needed to take the ballocket mission to Spaceport America, we're busy getting ready to ship our generous backers' magnificent rewards. If you haven't …
Lester Haines, 20 Sep 2014
Our Playmonaut celebrates with three members of his fan club

Plucky Playmonaut parties as LOHAN hits Kickstarter goal

It's with the traditional portentous drumroll and mighty fanfare of trumpets that we announce we've hit our Kickstarter target to take the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) mission to Spaceport America. Thanks very much to all our generous backers, and we're right on the case sorting the magnificent rewards which will …
Lester Haines, 19 Sep 2014

Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight

We're on final approach for the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) ballocket mission to touch down at Spaceport America. Since we're relocating Stateside, it seems appropriate that the final high-altitude test flight should be carried out by our US allies at Edge Research Laboratory. As we reported yesterday, we appear …
Lester Haines, 17 Sep 2014

Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS

It's with a great degree of relief that we can report today we appear to have cracked our Vulture 2 spaceplane's pesky servo power supply issue. As Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) regulars know, we were having a few issues with juice to our Pixhawk autopilot and servos. We originally had the whole rig powered from …
Lester Haines, 16 Sep 2014

LOHAN tin-rattles to a whopping £27,000 on Kickstarter

With six days left to run on our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) Kickstarter campaign to take the Vulture 2 ballocket mission to Spaceport America, we're tantalisingly close to hitting our £30k target. We thank the more than 560 backers who have so far chipped in for a total of 60 LOHAN sticker sets, 160 mugs, 120 …
Lester Haines, 15 Sep 2014