Saturday, February 06, 2010

Potpourri CXXI

To follow up on my comments re: the NASA budget, I really am sick of talking about this issue. "Burned out" would be putting it mildly, and we're only on Day 6 of the President's budget proposal being on the street. Part of my problem is that I used to do space stuff for fun in my free time, then I got a day job in the space business; so now it's space 24/7, and if things are not going well on that front, it's like a week-long session of watching CNN International--you come out of it thinking that the world is going to heck in a handcart, it's all your fault, and there's nothing that can be done about it. So anyway, here are the most common questions I've gotten and answers I've given:
  • "Do you know what's going to happen with the NASA budget?" No.
  • "Are you worried about your job/is your job affected?" Yes.
  • "When would that take effect?" I don't know.
  • "What are you going to do if they kill the Constellation Program?" I'm working on it.
You'll know more when I know more. Thanks for tuning in.


Back to clearing out the inbox...lots of diverse items, plus I specifically asked for referrals to sites that would help me understand where technology and the web are going...this is to help with the novel, not out of any particular desire to participate. I was perfectly happy being a 19th century man until my career ruled otherwise. :-) Here are some of those sites:
Next up, from Father Dan, a really cool card trick for you mathematicians out there.

This is the only blog I'll add regarding the Constellation Program's problems because I respect Dr. Spudis and because he usually has smart things to say.

From Martin, a site featuring fan art of spacecraft. Pretty cool, but it takes a minute to load...very graphics-intensive.

From Lesly, a request to support her "Polar Plunge." The idea being, Lesly wades into a freezing pond somewhere in Illinois, and you make a charitable contribution to Special Olympics. There's got to be a less painful way of doing things, but I commend her climatic courage. Note that I moved south to get AWAY from the cold, but I'm nutty that way...

From the Down Under Defense Expert (DUDE), a suggestion on where I could emigrate if I can't find productive work here. Great in theory, but New Zealand doesn't have a space program...

From Jerry Pournelle:
  • An interesting chart on trends in global temperatures.
  • It's not just in America...Canada's students are failing spelling and grammar because of the chaotic nature of writing on Twitter and other 140-character writing environments.
  • Ever heard of a "cyber geneticist?" The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is looking for technologists who can think like scientists to develop and use the cyber equivalent of fingerprints or DNA to pinpoint the origins of a cyberattack.
Last item: This week HAL5 had as our guest speaker a recent graduate student, Audra Herriges, who presented her paper on a proposed lunar city. She has also self-published the paper as a book, which I have purchased. Also good research for the novel!

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