Critical Section

Archive: January 13, 2016

<<< January 12, 2016


January 14, 2016 >>>

Wednesday,  01/13/16  09:31 PM

Today I rediscovered for the billionth time that coding to music is WAY better than coding to silence.  Sigh.

(Bowie of course - on the always awesome Slacker :)

Facebook politicsI am -> <- very close to abandoning Facebook entirely.  I am SO very tired of my politically minded friends hammering away at me with their views.  I don't care if you're left or right or green or blue, I'd much rather see pictures of your cat and hear about your latest epiphany regarding plant dusting than hear about your politics.

NY Times races to the bottom on immigration.

See what I did there? :)

NASA's "new" Space Launch SystemAfter watching the Martian and watching SpaceX land their booster rocket, you are probably pretty excited about what NASA are doing, right?  Well then you need to know about the Space Launch System, "the world's most powerful rocket".  "Another consideration for using these engines for future spaceflight was that 16 of them already existed from the shuttle program. Using a high-performance engine that already existed gave us a considerable boost in developing its next rocket for space exploration."  Riight.  Meanwhile NASA delays Orion's first manned flight until 2023.  Do not hold your breath.  Instead, root for SpaceX and Blue Origin!

InSight Mission to MarsNASA's next mission will be the InSight Mission to Mars.  Cool right?  Yeah, except it has just been delayed two years, because of a problem with a French seismological instrument.  Sigh.  What would JFK say?

Kurt Schlichter: 'The Martian' was our world just 50 years ago.  "'The Martian' is superficially about space travel, but it is really about time travel. The plot may focus on characters leaving Earth to explore the red planet, but the strange world the movie depicts is really our own world just over 50 years ago. The can-do, optimistic liberalism it depicts is utterly alien to today’s sobby, whiny, excuse-laden version."  I think history will record the Apollo program as an incredible aberation, in which a government program actually worked.

In the meantime, marvel at the space-beauty of Cassini's final close-up of Saturn's moon Dione.  Okay!  (click to enbiggen)

Seth Godin: After you've done your best work ... you really have no choice but to do it again.  I was afraid of that.

Brad Feld: The Confidence / Competence ratio.  "Over a long period of time, I’ve come to realize that a balance between confidence and competence is very appealing to me. I’m attracted to people who know what they know and know what they don’t know."  Same.  He goes on to define cluefulness as confidence divided by competence.  Heh.

two kinds of people: waterTwo kinds of people.  Yep.

One of the more interesting announcements at CES last week was GM's Bolt.  Wired precelebrates:  How GM beat Tesla to the first true mass-market electric car.  Um, Telsa has been shipping electric cars for five years.  GM has yet to ship their first.  (I don't count the Volt, which can only go 40 miles as an electric car.)  Stay tuned on this one...

Ada Lovelace - mother of computer programming?Steven Wolfram untangles the tale of Ada Lovelace.  In many ways she apparently anticipated the work of Turning and others.  Steven has a great blog; he doesn't post often, but when he does, its usually a deep and interesting article, like this one...

Another great blogger is Jamie Zawinsky, aka jwz; here, he exercises vague caution...  (And the sign said, you got to have a membership card to go inside.)

Edward Snowden solves the Fermi Paradox:  Maybe we haven't discovered intelligent life elsewhere in the Universe, because their communications encryption is indistinguishable from cosmic background radiation.  Heh.

Related: now @Snowden.  And verified!

3D-printed car armorAnd finally: 3D-printed car armor.  Why of course!  (And people ask me why I have a 3D printer :)


Hell's Club

Wednesday,  01/13/16  11:45 PM


(please click to play video)


This is incredible. Wow.
More proof, if any were needed, that some people have too much free time :)
(via jwz, of course)



Return to the archive.

this date in:
About Me

Greatest Hits
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