Critical Section

Friday,  02/03/06  07:09 PM

Venus Express blasts offWow, I'd missed this.  Venus Express blasted off (last November).  "European-built spacecraft designed to explore the hot, dense atmosphere of Venus made contact with mission control after blasting off on its five-month journey to Earth’s neighbor, scientists said.  The European Space Agency’s unmanned Venus Express probe, which lifted off from the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, should take 163 days to reach Venus."  That's excellent.  Mark your calendars!

I'd saved this but haven't linked it:  In response to the challenges faced by the Space Shuttle, Xeni Jardin asked "what would Burt Rutan do?"  And then she got this answer: "One can argue that Rutan could make a design that could make orbit cheaply.  However, his building SS1 is not good evidence of that.  That is a completely different requirement requiring entirely different engineering.  A much harder and much more expensive requirement."  Exactly.  Which makes what Elon Musk is trying to do with SpaceX (launch next Wednesday, BTW) so impressive.  Check out the post for lots of hard numbers.

I guess we'll find out more when SS2 launches, followed by SS3.  "Orbital vehicle SpaceShipThree (SS3) will be developed by space tourism company Virgin Galactic and Mojave-based SpaceShipTwo (SS2)-developer Scaled Composites, if the planned SS2 suborbital service is successful, says Virgin Galactic president Will White­horn."  So be it.

Lance Armstrong and Sheryl Crow have split.  So be it.  I still love them both :)

Windows 1.01 screenshotO.M.G.  Screenshots from Windows 1.01.  Wow.  Brings back memories.  Good ones, oddly enough.

Penn JilletteSlate on Penn Jillette.  One of my very favorite entertainers, because he doesn't assume the audience are idiots, he assumes they aren't idiots.  And has fun anyway :)

Eric Raymond: The Cheesecake Factory Must Die.  "When some soulless android of a chain restaurant designer willfully perverts the meaning of 'traditional' so he can sell dreck to the ignorant with the illusion that said dreck is just like what his Yiddish grandma made, that’s where I reach my limit."

Continuous partial attention.  Say what?  (Are you paying attention :)  Yes, this is a meme of the moment, to which people are paying some portion of their attention.  Somewhat related to attenuation: "Any time you have to make a choice about anything is a time when you need to attenuate, and maybe you could externalize that method of choice into the system itself; any time there's too much complexity to be understood immediately is a time when time-based attenuation can help."  Riiight.  Clive Thompson tries to clarify; "Can anyone find a way to make your constantly beeping computer leave you alone and let you work?  Inside the nascent field of interruption science."  There is something to this; I find excluding external interrupts so I can concentrate is crucial.

Ottmar's sunsetOttmar: contemplationTonight's sunset is courtesy of Ottmar Liebert (at left, click for bigger pic).  Awesome!  Puts me very much in mind of the artwork at right (click for bigger pic), entitled "contemplation", which Ottmar received from a viewer.  That could be him, composing a haunting ode to the sunset...


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