Puerto Rico

There are a reported million and a half people without drinking water. How about airdropping a million Sawyer Squeezes. I’ll bet the terminal velocity on them would be such that they wouldn’t even need parachutes.

[Update a few minutes later]

I just sent an email to Sawyer to ask how many they have in stock, and how much it would cost per unit.

[Update mid afternoon]

No response from Sawyer yet, but using weight of 3 ounces, area of 3 square inches, coefficient of friction of 1 (WAG), I’m getting about 10 ft/s. That seems safe enough. Anyone want to verify?

Writing The Future

Over at The Weekly Standard, I remember Jerry Pournelle:

…he had an outsized influence on U.S. space and defense policy. In the late 1970s and early ’80s, he and others would gather at Niven’s home in Tarzana, California, to hammer out policy recommendations. These meetings evolved into something more formal, the Citizens’ Advisory Council on National Space Policy, which Pournelle chaired. In addition to several science fiction authors, the group included Buzz Aldrin and a handful of other astronauts, retired military officers like Army General Danny Graham, and several figures from the aerospace industry. (I was too junior to be invited, but my then-boss at the Aerospace Corporation participated.) Congressman Newt Gingrich was involved, too. The group recommended to Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger the commencement of a missile-defense program, a proposal that helped inspire President Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative in 1983. To the extent that the prospect of American missile-defense technology hastened the end of the Cold War—by making it plain to Soviet leaders that mutually assured destruction would no longer be mutual—Pournelle can be said to have played a small but not insignificant part in nudging the world toward freedom.

RTWT, despite the fact that I wrote it.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!

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