October 31, 2012
October 30, 2012
“The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of doubt, what is laid before him.”
October 28, 2012
The island of magnificent sculpts. Great 10 minute interview with a wonderful subtle music cue starting around 5:50.
October 24, 2012
“Study without desire spoils the memory, and it retains nothing it takes in.”
Leonardo da Vinci
October 23, 2012
“Science City is in the desert. Wide flat planes, faultlessly predictable weather, close to the Equator, an ocean not far to the east for safe splashdowns. At night the gantries creak in the wind and change shape because of the cold. By day, it’s huge, it’s flat, it’s baking hot and there’s nothing underfoot but metal and rock and dust. This is hardcore spaceflight, in an environment almost as hostile as the universe gets without leaving Earth entirely. This is hardcore recycling: building vital components of your tin can from the titanium that made up the monument to four men whose own tin can blew up on the same pad one thousand, five hundred and fifty years ago. This is spaceflight for a country – a planet, even – where there’s absolutely nowhere worth looking but up; for people with a primal, spiritual understanding of “because it is there” and “forever mankind”; for people who measure human achievement by their furthest living representative’s distance from home.”
From the novella I discovered online: Fine Structure. If you like speculative science fiction (Scott, Matt, Sean, others), you’ll love this. No, it doesn’t make sense at first. Yes, it comes together (Read in order). It’s a wild, wild ride. I just told Erin that it makes my brain feel like I’m 14 years old and hiding under the covers at 2am while I discover this thing called science fiction. The strange thing here is that I do not even know the author’s name.
Why is this guy unpublished?!?
Left in the kitchen by Erin. She knows I tend to get working and forget to eat.
October 20, 2012
“Nothing is true merely because it is eloquently said, nor false because the signs coming from the lips make sounds deficient in a sense of style. … Wisdom and foolishness are like food that is nourishing or useless. Whether the words are ornate or not does not decide the issue.”
October 19, 2012
“The mind is sharper and keener in seclusion and uninterrupted solitude. No big laboratory is needed in which to think. Originality thrives in seclusion free of outside influences beating upon us to cripple the creative mind. Be alone, that is the secret of invention; be alone, that is when ideas are born. That is why many of the earthly miracles have had their genesis in humble surroundings.”
October 18, 2012
I’ve posted here that I’ve been saving up for a MakerBot for a few years now (with a big setback due to unexpected medical costs). I’ve been slowly rebuilding the fund in anticipation of getting a ‘Bot some day.
Well, that day didn’t arrive today. But I did get a MakerBot, in a manner of speaking. I also got a CNC ShopBot, Epilog Laser Cutter, fully equipped electronics shop, quarter-million dollar water jet cutter, TIG/MIG/Plasma welding setup, industrial sewing shop, screen printing layout, vinyl cutter, CNC machine shop, etc, etc, etc.
Yup, I’m a TechShop member! The membership officially activates November 1st (I’m too busy now to do much with it until then) but I start taking classes as soon as I can schedule them.
I’m just giddy that I’ll be able to use all this cool stuff. And as the shop is still in its formative stages (it just opened), there are only a hundred or so members there, so hopefully scheduling won’t be too bad. I do know that since I have much more freedom to schedule things during the day I should be able to pick some off-prime times.
Erin and I are already compiling a list of things to make around the house, and I’m already hatching plans on how the TechShop is going to affect this years’ prop building endeavors. Win-win!
Full of win.
October 16, 2012
Experience: a head injury made me a musical prodigy | Life and style | The Guardian: “It’s as if my knock on the head unlocked something latent, or enabled me to use some part of my brain I simply couldn’t access before. But I still can’t read or write music conventionally, and have to rely on special software to translate what I play into scores. I’ve played alongside a classically trained concert pianist, who was fascinated by my technique – in some respects, I play like someone who has just started learning, in others my skills outstripped his. It can be exhausting, though. The music often keeps me up at night, and I’ll sometimes wake my girlfriend by ‘playing’ her arm in my sleep. “
October 14, 2012
Felix Baumgartner makes history by jumping from 128,000 feet.
I tuned in just in time to see his feet emerge from the capsule. Incredibly dramatic jump. He looked confused and was uncommunicative during the pre-jump, then he tumbled for the first 50,000 feet or so. Honestly thought he wasn’t going to make it. Wow.
October 13, 2012
“Once in a Civilization” Comet to Zip past Earth Next Year | Observations, Scientific American Blog Network: “After it loops around the Sun and forms this tail, the comet should then pass relatively close to Earth—not near enough to cause any worry, but close enough to put on a great show. Viewers in the Northern Hemisphere will get the best view as the comet blooms in the weeks approaching Christmas 2013. The comet could grow as bright as the full moon.“
Comet brightness predictions sometimes exceed their performance. Amateur astronomers of a certain age may remember the Comet Kohoutek hype of 1973 – not quite the ‘damp squib’ it has been portrayed, since it reached naked eye visibility! Even if C/2012 S1 takes on the same light curve as Kohoutek it is certain to be spectacular, quite possibly a once-in-a-civilisation’s-lifetime event.
October 11, 2012
Something I’ve wondered for several years now:
America’s federal debt-to-GDP ratio has more than doubled from 28 percent to 62 percent since 1970, and the borrowing has benefited boomers far more than folks my age. A majority of boomers want no part of paying that debt off through higher taxes or reduced benefits: A recent Pew poll found “little appetite [among boomers] for debt-reduction proposals that will take a bite out of their pocketbooks.”
And boomers seem to know that the future won’t be brighter for Max and his friends. Nationwide, optimism that today’s youth will fare better than their parents is down from a peak of 71 percent a decade ago to 44 percent today, the lowest level since 1983, according to Gallup. Pessimism is highest among–you guessed it–baby boomers.
My emotional argument seals the case. Where I finally best my dad is on the question of why his cohort hasn’t stopped the freight trains of generational woe that have been barreling down America’s tracks for a few decades now. The question he can’t answer is this: How could the members of a generation so willing to lecture everyone else on personal responsibility not recognize, even at this stage in their lives, their collective responsibility for ending this mess?
Good article worth reading. It’s not all damning for the boomers, but it certainly get the issues out in the open. Too bad we had to wait until we were up against the wall before we started talking about it.
I think it’s a rare thing throughout cultural history to have preserved such a clear documentation of one generation’s feckless attitude toward the next. That’s as much a creation of modern technology (internet, TV archives, newspapers) as it is with the fact that the boomers were able to illustrate what happens when there are historical economic excesses for fifty years. Not even good intentions survive in the face of such plenty. But hey man, the future is so far off… except when it isn’t.
You used to be such an idealistic generation, I say. You were going to change the world. Yet you’ve known all this was coming and haven’t tried seriously to stop it. You’ve reaped all the benefits and left the rest of us the bill. And you knew what you were doing. Why?