Category Archives: Technology and Society

Patching Vinyl

I’m sleeping on an aerobed in Florida (the house is basically devoid of furniture while we prep it to sell). It was a fairly cheap one, just a double, low to the ground. It’s developed a leak (two, actually) and I’ve been waking up on a hard tile floor in the middle of the night. I tried patching it with a standard tire kit, and no joy. I went to Walmart to get a vinyl repair kit. No joy. Only thing I can try at this point is to try to clean it with acetone, then try once more, but I suspect that the glues simply don’t work on this material.

Fortunately, I had the foresight to purchase another bed at Walmart, so I guess that’s what I’ll sleep on for the next couple nights.

[Thursday-afternoon update]

OK, a tube of Loctite 60 and duct tape seems to have done the trick. I now have a double-thick mattress. Should be the most comfortable sleep I’ve had since I moved back in here.

[Update a few minutes later]

Oh, fun. I got glue on my index finger, and now my phone won’t recognize my fingerprint. #21stCenturyProblems

On The Road Again

I’m flying to Miami this afternoon, to make more progress on the house in Florida, then I’m off to London on Friday night from there. I’ll be staying with Samizdata people there, then to Vienna on Sunday for the Legal Subcommittee meeting of COPUOS, to see what’s going on in terms of space law and particularly property rights. Not sure when I’ll be back in London after that, but I’ll be back in Florida on the 18th. I’ll be taking devices and try to check in occasionally, but blogging may be light and scattered for the next couple weeks.

Writing Science Fiction

A guideline to how to woke-ify it, from Frank Fleming (who has a new book out), over at Sarah Hoyt’s place.

[Update a few minutes later]

Yes, this is a problem I’ve always had, too:

This one is going to be harder for some than others. Sarah Hoyt has been pretty good about this, while I have always struggled. But if at all possible, when you sit down to write, don’t be a straight white male. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with being a straight white male — you were born that way, no fault of your own — it’s just that everyone hates you. So stop it.

I don’t think I’m even going to work on that one.

[Update a couple minutes later]

Sarah has some blurbs about the book.

End Of An Era

I didn’t mention this at the time he announced it was happening to his staff, but George Nield has retired from the FAA. Not clear what the future holds for the Office of Commercial Space Transportation, or who the next head of it will be, but it’s unlikely to remain within the FAA, given the mood on the Hill. It never should have been there. The entire federal regulatory apparatus needs to be restructured for the coming era in commercial spaceflight, both launch and for on-orbit activities.