Clarifying

I talked to Elon for half an hour or so last night, to make sure that I was getting the story straight on an article I’m writing for Popular Mechanics, but he didn’t really tell me anything that changed the relevant aspects of my story. It does, however, change the spin on the story that AvLeak did a few days ago, and they’ve provided a correction, based apparently on a similar conversation with him. It’s always possible to read too much into technical papers presented at professional conferences (not to mention retirement aspirations), and that seems to be what occurred here. SpaceX would like to build a heavy lifter, but they don’t see the market for it absent NASA interest, which sort of makes the point that I’ve always made — that it’s not affordable, or even necessarily the best way to do the exploration job. I am sure, though, that if NASA really needs a heavy lifter, funding SpaceX to build it is the most affordable option.

The Bermuda Triangle

Solved?

Oceanographic surveyors of the sea floor in the area of the Bermuda Triangle and the North Sea region between continental Europe and Great Britain have discovered significant quantities of methane hydrates and older eruption sites.

Because of the correlations and existing data, the two envisioned what would happen when gigantic methane bubbles explode from natural fissures on the seafloor.

Makes sense to me. There would be no warning, and nothing you could do. You might be able to set up a warning system for aircraft, though, perhaps with satellite monitoring. I don’t think that ships would have the ability to escape. Too slow and unmaneuverable. Better to avoid the area, or perhaps to better map the deposits, and put them on the charts like other hazards.

[Via Geekpress]

The Magic Is Gone

Thoughts on the obsolescence of Barack Obama:

It was canonical to this administration and its functionaries that they were handed a broken nation, that it was theirs to repair, that it was theirs to tax and reshape to their preferences. Yet there was, in 1980, after another landmark election, a leader who had stepped forth in a time of “malaise” at home and weakness abroad: Ronald Reagan. His program was different from Mr. Obama’s. His faith in the country was boundless. What he sought was to restore the nation’s faith in itself, in its political and economic vitality.

Big as Reagan’s mandate was, in two elections, the man was never bigger than his county. There was never narcissism or a bloated sense of personal destiny in him. He gloried in the country, and drew sustenance from its heroic deeds and its capacity for recovery. No political class rode with him to power anxious to lay its hands on the nation’s treasure, eager to supplant the forces of the market with its own economic preferences.

Obama never understood that the notion of a leftist or “progressive” Ronald Reagan was an oxymoron.

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