ISPC Reporting

I couldn’t make it to the International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight this year (for the second year in a row), but Alan Boyle did, and he has a report on yesterday’s talks, including two disparate views from Augustine panel members Lester Lyles and Jeff Greason. Regular readers will know that I’m with the latter. The panel results will be revealed in less than three hours, in a press conference to be broadcast on NASA TV. I’m encouraged that the airmail analogy has become a prevailing NASA meme. But unsurprisingly, Senator Shelby has already launched a monumentally ignorant pre-emptive strike against it.

Something that I’ve noticed in the debate is that, while opponents make cogent arguments against Constellation, and shoot down the arguments of proponents, the latter simply ignore the opponents arguments, and simply continue to repeat the same nonsense. For example, I never hear anyone defending Constellation address the operational affordability issue that Jeff and Sally Ride made last summer, in which they stated that the program would have to be cancelled for lack of budget even it if was delivered, developed, for free. And the press, even most of the space press, seems too clueless to parse or sort the arguments, instead turning it into a Battle of the Astronaut Stars (as though astronauts are experts in launch economics).

[Update a few minutes later]

Jeff apparently also demolished the nonsense (and Shelby’s primary “argument”) that Ares is safer than other approaches. I would also add the (politically incorrect) point that in fact safety should not be the highest priority. Anyone who says that it is is unserious about opening up space. In one sense, the Ares proponents are right about it being the safest vehicle. If a system is so expensive you can afford to fly it rarely, or not at all, you’re unlikely to lose many people on it.

The Potemkin Rocket

Well, OK, Potemkin missile. I had a brief email exchange with Patrick Peterson over at Florida Today a couple weeks ago, and he apparently used it in this article on next week’s planned Ares-1X test. I should sit down and put together a list of things that half a billion dollars could have gone to that would have advanced us in space much farther than this flight.

I’m guessing that this article isn’t going to result in a flurry of consulting requests for me from Marshall and its contractors…

[Update a few minutes later]

As is often the case with newspaper comments sections, the comments are pretty uniformly idiotic. Except the one that agrees with me, of course. 😉

Whales, Fish And Minnows

Roger Pielke explains how the left-blogosphere works. I would note this in particular:

In the case of Romm and Delong they also engage in outright lies and character assassination. Neither links to my own words on my blog, apparently afriad of what might happen if people view what I have to say directly, rather than their cartoonish caricatures. Gavin Schmidt of Real Climate contacted my university once and demanded that they sanction me for opinions that he did not like on my blog, under a vague threat of harm to reputation. Joe Romm has ordered the media not to talk to me (given the response, I assume that the folks who listened to him were the same folks who feed him quotes;-). What is even more disturbing is how these folks interact on a personal level. I was completely taken aback by the unprofessional email responses I received from Brad DeLong yesterday. I have occasionally seen faculty members throw hissy fits in a faculty meeting, but never have I seen the degree of unprofessional behavior displayed routinely by professionals in the liberal blogosphere. What is with these guys?

I’ve noticed this, too. While obviously the exceptions are many, I’ve noticed in general that leftosphere bloggers are much less professional and much more incivil in both public and personal communications than those on the so-called “right,” who tend to be more courteous even in disagreement. For example, some have done studies that found use of the F-word and other crudities much more prevalent to port than starboard. And I (and Roger) are not the only people who have noticed this, which makes me think that it’s something more than anecdotal. As to theories of why that may be, I’ll let others speculate.

End The Tyranny

What kind of man would think that this is attractive?

Answer: a gay fashion designer.

How much longer are women going to allow some Paris pouf who doesn’t find women attractive to dictate what they should wear and how much they should weigh? How much longer are they going to put up with being forced to look like skinny boys with long hair (and sometimes without the long hair)? What will it take for them to rebel against the schmecker-in-a-concentration-camp look, and demand that actual voluptuous women, the kind that heterosexual men like, be considered alluring again, as they once were in the fashion world and Hollywood?

And yes, before you comment, I know that Ralph Lauren has a wife and kids. But I wouldn’t be shocked to learn that he likes guys, too. And even if he doesn’t, he goes with the anorexic flow because he thinks that’s how you make money in this sick business.

[Update a few minutes later]

How did we get from Marilyn Monroe to Kate Moss? I’m wondering if this had something to do with it. Has the pill made women want their men to look more like women, and for themselves to look more like boys? There’s a lot we don’t know about hormones.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!