Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wow... Just Wow...

Obama freezes salaries of some White House aides

"President Barack Obama's first public act in office Wednesday was to institute new limits on lobbyists in his White House and to freeze the salaries of high-paid aides, in a nod to the country's economic turmoil."

"In an attempt to deliver on pledges of a transparent government, Obama said he would change the way the federal government interprets the Freedom of Information Act. He said he was directing agencies that vet requests for information to err on the side of making information public — not to look for reasons to legally withhold it — an alteration to the traditional standard of evaluation."

"He said the orders he was issuing Wednesday will not "make government as honest and transparent as it needs to be" nor go as far as he would like.

"But these historic measures do mark the beginning of a new era of openness in our country," Obama said. "And I will, I hope, do something to make government trustworthy in the eyes of the American people, in the days and weeks, months and years to come.""


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tweaks and changes

I've started playing around with the Blog Template, so you may notice some changes. Wanted to make it a bit more user friendly. I also shut off the autoplay on that damned google video. The thing was driving me bonkers.

Oh, did you listen to the inauguration speech? "We will restore science to it's rightful place..." YES!!!! Bout damned time too.

Here's a vid:

That's one change that I really can believe in. Haha

Nanotubes to the Future?

How many companies have attempted to break through into the nanotube market, I wonder.

One problem is ramping up the nanotube production while bringing down the impurities and reducing defects. Another problem that needs to be addressed is creating defectless nanotubes of sufficient length that they can be woven together. Thus far, none of the centennial challenges teams have been able to overcome those two core issues. If they can pull that off, the near term applications are far more exciting to me personally than the idea of a space elevator.

The military and commercial applications of super strong fibers are extensive (to put it mildly). This new weaving method Cambridge has come up with looks promising. I could obviously poke a number of holes into this reporter's assumptions about space, but those aren't my focus. Toss everything he says about space in the garbage, because most of it is inaccurate, and skip to the second page about the nanotubes. That's where the good stuff happens.

Could this be the breakthrough that we've been waiting for?

Update: Brian Wang over at the Lifeboat Foundation is also covering this in his blog.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

NASA is merging with the Air Force

I keep getting asked about the NASA merger with the Air Force. It just doesn't stop. I'm tired of explaining it, and it's pissing me off having to repeat myself when I keep getting asked the same questions by the same people saying:

"Oh, but the news says..."

"But it's practically a done deal once Obama gets in office..."

Etc Etc. Don't believe everything you see on TV, ESPECIALLY if it's the "news." With this in mind, I now have a blanket response. Hide your children in 5.. 4.. 3.. 2.. 1..

Lets clarify a couple of things (again, this time in technicolor):

Air Force Space Command HAS NO ROCKETS in that class. EELVs are NOT military rockets. Not, Not, Not, Not, Never have been, Never will be, military rockets. Development was subsidized with air force money, but they are ****COMMERCIAL**** vehicles. Anybody can buy them. I could walk in to ULA and buy one myself if I had the money, and shoot my sperm into space, fling my feces at Mars, or do whatever the hell I wanted with it. Nasa already buys these vehicles. There IS NO AIR FORCE FLEET OF ROCKETS. They buy them, use them, they’re gone. It’s like KY jelly. You don’t keep a fleet of KY laying around. You only buy it when you need it and you sure as hell don’t make it yourself (I hope).

There is no merger. Never has been, never will be. Just because you buy the same car as your friend does not mean you’re getting married in Massachusetts and making out under the five color rainbow. Just because you buy your beer at the same store as the Air Force guy down the road doesn’t mean your joining the Air Force and beating each other with soap-in-a-sock. This idea is NONSENSE that was thought up by some complete retard at Bloomberg news who had no idea what he was talking about. Being an extremely juicy pile of complete bullshit, it was quickly picked up by Fox News and a variety of overseas outlets known for publishing absolutely juicy complete bullshit, like The Register and Sky News.

Holy Shit...

That's exactly what I said. Oh, and there was an "Oh my fucking God!" in there somewhere as well. Is it blasphemy for a Pastafarian to take *another* deity's name in vain?

Monday, January 5, 2009

The other side..

It isn't often that I post anything related to contentious issues. This is due to the rampant irrationality of "true believers" on all sides. However, in some rare cases I feel it necessary to point out that there are multiple sides to any story. I feel it personally necessary to hear all sides of a situation before drawing my conclusions. To do otherwise is folly. This case in particular involves a heated issue both political AND religious. Below is one of those sides that we, as westerners, rarely hear about.

Full Screen

"True believers" can start posting their emotionally charged flames in the comment section.

Update - 1/20/09
Figured out how to turn off auto play because it was just plain annoying. Also, a full screen link was added right before I started tweaking the dimensions of the blog template.