All posts by Rand Simberg

Elon’s Announcement

I didn’t see it, and I couldn’t view it on my notebook because Firefox can’t handle HTML5 (WTF?).

But from what I can glean from my Twitter feed, the plan to send a bunch of artists into space excited a lot of people on Twitter not normally excited about what SpaceX has been doing (we saw a similar effect with the FH launch of the Tesla and rocket man, though some who didn’t like that love this). Anyway, I’ve been saying all weekend, and told people at the conference today that I’d be very surprised if someone booked an entire BFR flight and didn’t take friends along. The other thing that seems clear is that the schedule is slipping (Commercial Crew has slipped from November to December for test flight, and from next April to “second quarter” for first crewed launch).

Only about 5% of SpaceX resources are going to BFR currently, but once development is done on Commercial Crew, that will increase dramatically, but a 2023 lunar mission means no Mars prior to that. His flight, given the amount of the down payment, will be the highest BFR priority. Here’s a link from Business Insider.

[Tuesday-morning update]

Here‘s Eric Berger’s take.

A Sea Change In Dietary Advice

Low-carb should be the first approach in treating diabetes and obesity.

[Update a few minutes later]

Meanwhile, “Big Pasta” Barilla has been meddling in nutrition science.

[Sunday-morning update]

No, despite the headline, there is zero scientific evidence that listing calories on menus is helping people lose weight, and this article provides none. This “study” is nonsense. First, it’s self reporting. Second, it’s premised on the assumption, for which there is zero evidence, that counting calories is helpful, when calorie counting is a scientifically bogus concept, that assumes all calories are equal in their effects on metabolism. The kind of calories matter, and the way they measure calories, by literally burning food, is not how your body metabolizes calories, so it doesn’t even make sense thermodynamically.

BFR News

Among other things, its fins are growing. This happened with X-33, too. Hope BFR has a better fate.

In terms of the passenger announcement, it’s worth noting how different this trip will be from Apollo 8 (whose fiftieth anniversary comes in December), in terms of how spacious the accommodations will be. This is not your grandfather’s moon voyage.

[Update a while later]

Tim Fernholz has some questions. I have one for him: What does “certifying the Falcon Heavy to carry people” mean? Or look like?

[Update late morning]

Scott Manley analyzes.


The New York Times (shockingly!) gets it wrong. (Again)

[Update a while later]

And then there’s this misleading hed. You have to get deep into the story to find out that this decision was made during the Obama administration, and had nothing to do with Haley. Unless the headline is “Ambassador Haley’s Quarters Have $52,000 Curtains Ordered By The Obama Administration,” what is even the point of this story? Other than, of course, to make the Trump administration look bad.

[Noon update]

With regard to the latter story:

IOW, there was no point to the story. I wonder if the Public Editor will have anything to say about this?