The Future of Torture

A thoughtful post from a friend of a friend has me thinking about the issue of torture. Is it permissable? Is it moral? Is it right? Not quite the same questions, and I wrote a sort of a rambling reply to her about a framework for considering this unpleasant topic: […]

The Death of Music

Or at least, the death of the music industry is fort0ld in this article.  While the author perhaps overstates the case in some respects, the concerns certainly seem valid to me. And it doesn’t take the usual angle of “the kids’ music is terrible” — he comes at this from a different direction.

A good […]

High Voice

I was asked yesterday about the “surly bonds of Earth” reference in the post about Neil Armstrong’s death.  There is indeed a story behind that and a very unusual young man.

John Gillespie McGee Jr. was born in Shanghai to a US ambassador, thus was American. His initial school was in Shanghai, “The American School” […]

Neil Armstrong once again slips the surly bonds of Earth

Neil Armstrong, first human to set foot on another world, passed away today.


Another Day Made of Glass

This is Corning’s new video on their future technologies. The previous one was nicely done, and I wrote about it some time back.

===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

The Cats Trying to Kill Curiosity

I was delighted, as were millions, by the successful touchdown of the Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars. It was a monumental achievement, of equipment working right (thanks to tremendous engineering and science) despite nearly a year’s exposure to extraordinary conditions and extremes in rapid succession. But as Sam Rayburn (48th, 50th, and 52nd Speaker of the House) notes, “Any jackass can kick down a barn. It takes a real carpenter to build one.” We’ve seen NASA in the role of “real carpenters” here. Who’s the “jackass”? […]

Mars the Record of Nuclear Power

Tonight — 10:31 Pacific Time Sunday, or 1:31 AM Eastern on Monday — the Curiosity rover will hopefully touch down safely on the surface of Mars. The events actually take place about 14 minutes in advance, but we cannot know the results until the radio communications get from Mars to Earth. The vehicle is big. While the two famous rovers Opportunity and Spirit were roughly grocery-cart sized, this one is more like an automobile. It has tremendously greater science capability — and it is too big, and needs too much power, to operate from solar panels. So it does not: Curiosity is nuclear-powered. […]

The July 9 DNS Changer attack

Many news outlets have been talking about a virus and July 9. This connection is a bit peculiar: The virus doesn’t take effect then, but a government “patch” that has been supplying service will be removed that day (tomorrow). This is a bit complicated, but you can check quickly to see if you have a problem by clicking here: […]

The Space Shuttle: It was time

President Obama decided to uphold the Bush plan to end the Space Shuttle’s operations. This was an Obama decision that I fully supported, though many conservatives were critical, and I wrote “In Praise of President Obama” as a result. […]

The 1932 Duesenberg Model

There’s an email floating around about an extraordinary 1/6th model of a 1932 Duesenberg SJ. I’ve added some information to it, from various sources. The original email is at the end: […]