Critical Section

Archive: August 3, 2015

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dog days

Monday,  08/03/15  11:09 PM

Maxie and BijouThis is being blogged with a dog on my lap. You have been warned...

NASA crash testingMission creep?  NASA is crash-testing Cessnas so we can find more planes when they do crash.  This is all very exciting but doesn't seem to be within NASA's mission.  Or it shouldn't be...

NASA's SOFIAAnd meanwhile ... Star Trek's Uhura will join a NASA mission (but not to space).  This 747 is a Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy.  As with testing Cessnas, this seems like noble work, but not within NASA's mission.

Mission creep is one of the two key problems with government agencies, they never willingly do less, and their work is never done.  (The other problem is they're inefficient, having no motivation to do less or finish.)  If there is work we taxpayers agree to jointly fund - such as crash testing aircraft, or infrared observatories - then our government agencies' only role should be to pay for it.

Stratolaunch RocIn private spaceflight news, Largest plane in the world to perform test flights in 2016.  This is the Stratolaunch Roc, built from melding two old 747s together, and designed as a reusable way to launch rockets.  This is what space exploration looks like...  (By all means click through and view the video!)

How interesting: Twitter collapses 5%, tumbling toward IPO-level prices.  As a business Twitter are doing just fine, but they're not growing fast enough to satisfy their investors; hence the trouble.  I remember the Twitter IPO was considered a success because it had a big bounce, but now look.  Meanwhile Facebook, whose IPO was considered a failure because there was no bounce, is growing nicely...

More government regulation gone wild: California has a plan to end the auto industry as we know it.  Well actually, to mandidate electric cars.  I love electric cars, but in no way is this the government's business.  Setting emissions requirements ... sure, but mandating technology ... no.

SoCal wildfires!This sucks: Massive wildfire threatens 6,300 properties North of San Francisco.  There are currently 23 wildfires burning in California, the result of a dry winter, summer, and lots of lightning storms.

the Mobius bagelFinally, news you can most definitely use: how to slice a bagel along a mobius strip.  Excellent.


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Correlation vs. Causality
The Tyranny of Email
Unnatural Selection
On Blame
Try, or Try Not
Books and Wine
Emergent Properties
God and Beauty
Moving Mount Fuji
The Nest
Rock 'n Roll
IQ and Populations
Are You a Bright?
Adding Value
The Joy of Craftsmanship
The Emperor's New Code
Toy Story
The Return of the King
Religion vs IQ
In the Wet
solving bongard problems
visiting Titan
unintelligent design
the nuclear option
estimating in meatspace
second gear
On the Persistence of Bad Design...
Texas chili cookoff
almost famous design and stochastic debugging
may I take your order?
universal healthcare
triple double
New Yorker covers
Death Rider! (da da dum)
how did I get here (Mt.Whitney)?
the Law of Significance
Holiday Inn
Daniel Jacoby's photographs
the first bird
Gödel Escher Bach: Birthday Cantatatata
Father's Day (in pictures)
your cat for my car
Jobsnotes of note
world population map
no joy in Baker
vote smart
exact nonsense
introducing eyesFinder
to space
where are the desktop apps?
still the first bird
electoral fail
progress ratches
2020 explained