|« January 2013|
"Oh. That's not your baby ... that's the Stevie Ray Vaughan boxed set."
But I do notice a disturbing trend in the example services. So far we've seen:
Nevertheless, the most disturbing thing to me about the whole affair is learning that, even if they knew there was a serious problem with the tiles, there would be nothing they could do. In such a case, I suppose there's always the chance of a rescue mission by one of the other shuttles or by a Russian craft. But you can also think of dozens of reasons why such a thing wouldn't be able to happen in time. So NASA says they didn't even do an EVA to check the tiles, presumably on the assumption that it would be better not to know. It's hard to argue with that, assuming that they really couldn't do anything about it.
I don't guess I'm really surprised by this. Working in vacuum and microgravity is difficult, and putting those tiles on is notoriously tricky under the best circumstances. I know they use a special adhesive, and who knows whether that would adhere or dry properly in vacuum, or in the cold? And maybe they have to be applied under high pressure. But even though I'm not surprised, it's very troubling to think about that situation: there's something badly wrong, and it seems trivial (missing tiles!), but the crew will die, and there's nothing they or anyone else can do.
It points to the next big challenges of spaceflight. Somehow we have to have a cheaper, simpler way out of the gravity well, so that we can have ships that are simple enough to be repaired in space. And we need to work on technologies that make it easier to work in microgravity and vacuum: lighter, less constricting and more flexible spacesuits, as well as thrusters or other tools that make it easier to get around, and ways to gain leverage in the absence of weight and friction.
(Oh, and I'll second what Rael said.)
So now I'm downstairs waiting for lunch with Mike, and we're talking about weblogs. I just showed him NetNewsWire, and used James' blog as an example. And to my great amusement, James added a blog entry today: Why Do Hotels Close the Drains?
I've always thought that, in particular, the music on Blue's Clues stands out. They incorporate music from every genre you can imagine, mostly cleverly adapted versions of the various themes from the show. And nearly all of it is much better than the usual music from children's TV. Today, believe it or not, the stage show included a distinctly Koyaanisqatsiish minimalist Philip Glass-style piece. But to the kids, it was all just music, which is the way it should be.
Today on the way to work I was approaching a toll plaza. This plaza comes fairly soon after a major entrance ramp, so people who enter the turnpike at that entrance have to cross multiple lanes quickly if they want to make it over to the high-speed tolltag lanes. This morning some goon cut across about four lanes, just in front of the toll plaza. *sigh*.
Cutting across multiple lanes isn't ever a really bright idea. But this was worse for several reasons: