Jumpman: the 5 year project.
August 30, 2012
August 27, 2012
August 26, 2012
Saturday, August 25, 2012
“We are heartbroken to share the news that Neil Armstrong has passed away following complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures.
“Neil was our loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend.
“Neil Armstrong was also a reluctant American hero who always believed he was just doing his job. He served his Nation proudly, as a navy fighter pilot, test pilot, and astronaut. He also found success back home in his native Ohio in business and academia, and became a community leader in Cincinnati.
“He remained an advocate of aviation and exploration throughout his life and never lost his boyhood wonder of these pursuits.
“As much as Neil cherished his privacy, he always appreciated the expressions of good will from people around the world and from all walks of life.
“While we mourn the loss of a very good man, we also celebrate his remarkable life and hope that it serves as an example to young people around the world to work hard to make their dreams come true, to be willing to explore and push the limits, and to selflessly serve a cause greater than themselves.
“For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil, we have a simple request. Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.”
August 25, 2012
August 20, 2012
From the Stanford Law Review:
The Dirty Little Secret of (Estate) Tax Reform – Stanford Law Review: “Spoiler alert! The dirty little secret of estate tax reform is the same as the dirty little secret about many things that transpire, or fail to transpire, inside the Beltway: it’s all about money. But no, it is not quite what you think. The secret is not that special interests give boatloads of money to politicians. Of course they do. That may well be dirty, but it is hardly secret. The dirty little secret I come to lay bare is that Congress likes it this way. Congress wants there to be special interests, small groups with high stakes in what it does or does not do. These are necessary conditions for Congress to get what it needs: money, for itself and its campaigns.”
Again, I think friends on both sides of the aisle (and on no-side) would agree that this is an intolerable status quo that should not continue.
MIT students reveal PopFab, a 3D printer that fits inside a briefcase: “PopFab was developed by students Ilan Moyer and Nadya Peek, from the MIT CADLab and MIT Center for Bits and Atoms respectively. Billed as a ‘portable fabrication multi-tool,’ the machine was revealed through an online video showing the whole device folding out from a metal briefcase and almost immediately printing a small object after a bit of setup. All it takes is to attach the printing head to the fold-out arm, feed in some printing material, and connect a computer to transmit a design”
Meet Digispark, Arduino’s little brother: “The open-source Arduino micro-controller is a very useful piece of kit which has been implemented by hackers to power countless endeavors from Musical Umbrellas to Angry Birds Slingshot Controllers. For some projects however, the flexibility of the Arduino can be overkill and it’s this issue which prompted Digispark to create a simpler, cheaper alternative – a tiny Arduino-compatible developmental circuit board that costs as little as US$12.”
August 19, 2012
Good to know that so many people knew what a great guy he was.
Tough times for Mr. Jefferson — victim of the culture wars: “I suppose that’s the main reason that the Texas Board of Education has now removed Jefferson from a list of Enlightenment political philosophers. Yes, believe it or not, the all-powerful Texas textbook vetters have written Jefferson out of at least part of the K-12 curriculum, apparently because they believe their America is more authentic (or comfortable) than that of the author of the Declaration of Independence, the founder of the University of Virginia, the first secretary of state and the third president of the United States.”
August 18, 2012
“Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, you ought to set up a life you don’t need to escape from.”
“The Telegraph reports that Oxford Professor Julian Savulescu, an expert in practical ethics, says that creating so-called designer babies could be considered a ‘moral obligation’ as it makes them grow up into ‘ethically better children’ and that we should actively give parents the choice to screen out personality flaws in their children such as potential alcoholism, psychopathy and disposition to violence as it means they will then be less likely to harm themselves and others.” link
Ever seen GATTACA?
As a wise man once said: “sure as I know anything, I know this: they will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean. A year from now, ten, they’ll swing back to the belief that they can make people … better. And I do not hold to that.”
brave strange new world we live in.
August 17, 2012
“It behooves every man to remember that the work of the critic is of altogether secondary importance, and that, in the end, progress is accomplished by the man who does things.”
“Anyone old enough to be a “senior” is old enough to know that you cannot have everything and there are real-life consequences to behaving as though you can.”
As an ever growing portion of the country has been saying for years, it all comes down to a sustainable budget. Nothing, not foreign policy, defense, science research, domestic programs, nothing, is safe if the overarching issue of our deficit isn’t addressed. You may not like the bipartisan (Paul Ryan/Ron Wyden) plan that’s currently being put forth, but I think (hope?) that we can all see the absolute necessity of not running up the national credit card until it melts. That doesn’t work in a personal or family budget and there are many catastrophic cautionary examples throughout history that demonstrate it won’t work on a national scale.
Just played my first (sadly solo) game of Wiz-War. I purchased the game at a local game store the other day after reading many, many raves about this classic game (Fantasy Flight Gaming brought it back in a re-release after several years). Even just playing against myself I can see that it’s a game of significant depth and craziness. Lots of variability for nutty gameplay. Kind of like Mario Kart but with wizards tossing spells chaotically around. It was loads of fun.
I can’t wait to teach Sean and the crew how to play and see this thing fully armed and operational with 4 opponents. It’s wild.
August 16, 2012
Matt sends what is quite possibly one of the coolest TED talks I’ve ever seen (Stephanie, you’re going to love this).
Self-contained, solar powered domestic toilet wastewater treatment plants.
Pretty amazing tech using relatively simple chemical reactions and low power requirements. It’s a bit expensive for global use right now, but that’ll change with economies of scale. Read more about it here. I think if you could couple this with a Kamen water purifier (which distills pure water from any source) as well as some of the Star Wars inspired “Moisture Vaporator” tech that’s coming online, you’d have a real winner. Get free water from the air. Use it to flush your toilet. Use resultant effluent for fertilizing crops or filter for flushing or even consumption. A neat cycle, all powered by the sun, that significantly reduces resource usage and also decentralizes utility use, making homes more self-sufficient and less dependent on the grid. Neat all around.
As funny as it is to see Bill Gates with imitation poo, I think the implications of such a “dirty tech” as a reinvented toilet represents a pretty noble technological ideal.
Pallets: The single most important object in the global economy.: “And yet pallets are arguably as integral to globalization as containers. For an invisible object, they are everywhere: There are said to be billions circulating through global supply chain (2 billion in the United States alone). Some 80 percent of all U.S. commerce is carried on pallets. So widespread is their use that they account for, according to one estimate, more than 46 percent of total U.S. hardwood lumber production.”