I Have A Weird Empathy

…with this woman:

I…know a Gentile lady who wishes to go to Israel if things “completely go to hell there,” just because she thinks if bombs fall on them, they should fall on her, too. She thinks if humanity lets the Jews go down, humanity is lost.

She is more motivated and braver, and firmer in her convictions than I, but I completely understand the impulse. And I am ashamed of many American Jews who, once again, as in the thirties, don’t see it coming, and continue to support those who not will only allow it to happen, but encourage it.

Vampires

We stopped clicking for a few minutes and found a show that looked interesting, and watched it for a few minutes. Then we discovered it was about vampires.

Click.

What is it with modern culture (or even popular culture going back decades, or centuries) that is so fascinated by immortal blood suckers? I know there are lots of pseudopsychological explanations for it, but they just leave me cold. I have zero interest.

Kind of like Barack Obama, now that I think about it. And I wouldn’t deny a relationship.

I mean, parasites are parasites…

BP

Is it too big to fail?

Just more crony capitalism, despite the fact that the president won’t meet with BP’s president.

By the way, this is one of the reasons that I don’t like the Marxist term “capitalism.”

Can you imagine the phrase “crony free enterprise”?

My Sidebar For Popular Mechanics

…didn’t run, so I’ll run it here.

In Monday’s Wall Street Journal, Andy Pasztor reported that SpaceX’s CEO, Elon Musk, has claimed that it will cost a billion dollars to develop the launch escape system for the Dragon capsule needed to allow it to carry crew. This would be twice the amount that it has cost to develop both the Falcon 1 and Falcon 9 rockets, and the Dragon itself, from scratch, and seemed quite improbable to many who have read it.

Mr. Musk notes in an email:

“I definitely didn’t tell Pasztor that our LES would cost $1B. He is off by a factor of ten! All I told him is that there is no way it would cost us more than $1B to demonstrate crew transport. That includes development, testing and certification to the most stringent NASA standards of everything needed for a seven-crew vehicle. I’ve also said that our price per person would be $20M, assuming the seven-person configuration and minimum of four flights per year. This compares to $30B for Ares I/Orion and a per person cost of ~$250M.”

In a follow up, he noted that the billion (if it goes that high) will include two abort flight tests (one on the pad, one high altitude) and a demonstration flight to and from ISS. Sounds like a bargain to me.

Commercial, One For One

Government, Oh For Two:

A half-Russian, half-Korean rocket likely exploded a few minutes after liftoff Thursday, dealing a second blow the South Korea’s $400 million program to develop its own satellite launcher.

They spent almost as much on this as SpaceX has in their entire company history, to develop two rockets and a capsule, not to mention manufacturing and test facilities, and launch infrastructure.

There’s an idiot commenter (well, there are a lot, actually) over at Space Politics who keeps repeating the mantra, “There is no cheap.” Well, maybe not, but there does seem to be inexpensive and affordable, as long as a government isn’t intimately involved.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!