Friday, May 12, 2017
Going through old Scientific Americans. I like how they did brain scans of tango dancers trapped in positions of limited mobility to see how they respond to music. Claustrophobia makes tango dancers unhappy. But also, an answer to how fast people would have to be in order to run across water. Turns out, it's 30 m/s (65 mph). Expend 15 times as much muscular power than people can do. Time to improve aerobic conditioning!
Are you feeling the creeping terror? Me too. I've been trying to avoid joining the more conspiracy-minded brethren of the anti-Trump brigade for the last 110 days of his presidency, but this move makes it increasingly difficult not to suspect the worst.
There is no one, absolutely no one, in the federal government to hold the president of the United States accountable for anything he does.
Enter Rep. Tom Garrett of Virginia ... Compared to Hitler, life’s pretty good.
“America has overcome amazing challenges that Donald Trump, as frightening as he is to some people, small potatoes compared to Nazi Germany,” Garrett told an incredulous town hall meeting at a church in his congressional district on Tuesday — hours after Trump fired the head of the agency looking into any possible ties between him and Russia.
When the crowd began jeering Garrett’s tasteless analogy, the congressman simply replied, “So he’s worse?”
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
American press is banned, but Russian press is present.
The civilian space program was hardly much more than a cover for the military space program, and now that cover has eroded away. Welcome to the X-37B, the successor to the Space Shuttle.
The US Air Force’s X-37B space plane returned to Earth on Sunday after completing a secret space mission that lasted nearly two years. The reusable, unmanned X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle landed at the Shuttle Landing Facility at Nasa’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, an airport used by the US space agency’s Space Shuttle for landing until the programme’s end in 2011.
The just-ended mission, known as Orbital Test Vehicle mission 4 (OTV-4), was launched in May 2015 and conducted secret experiments for a total of 718 days while in orbit, Xinhua news agency reported. It’s the fourth and longest-running mission for the X-37B programme, run by the US Air Force’s Rapid Capabilities Office. The programme began as a Nasa project in 1999 but was later transferred to the Pentagon.
Today's moment of excitement was playing dodgeball with a giant spare tire that suddenly dropped out of the bottom of a pickup truck rolling towards a red light in front of me. I momentarily parked on a freeway on-ramp beside the truck, and tried to convey to the puzzled driver my emotional state with hand-waving semaphore - something like "the rubber bomb you dropped nearly killed me" - but I don't speak American Sign Language, or even rudimentary gestures, so the moment was lost. I'm just glad it didn't all happen at freeway speeds.
That was fun! Did some yoga too.