Tethers Unlimited

Just had an interesting visit there, where they’re working on a lot of tech that will reduce (to the limited degree it exists) the justification for large-fairing launch payloads, with new orbital-assembly techniques, including 3-D printing. They’re working on (among other things) ways of building large lightweight trusses for orbital structure, that could lead ultimately to assembly hangars. They’re also developing ways to recycle a lot of plastic goods (like bubble wrap and zip locks) into cord to feed 3-D printers at the ISS. Very exciting stuff.

The Mess On Campus

Are we creating a generation of mentally-ill, credentialed, physically mature children?

These people will never survive in the real world.

[Update a couple minutes later]

What the Yale shame should teach us.

I spent a lot of time in Columbia over the past couple weeks.

Somehow, this seems like cheap theatrics. I suspect that if they’d had a chance at a bowl, they wouldn’t have made this threat. Amusingly, I heard this morning that the basketball team (which I’d imagine has a black player or two) wants nothing to do with it. But they still have hopes for a successful season.

[Tuesday-morning update]

The “collective guilt of white people in Missouri“:

The goal is not to establish responsibility and identify actual perpetrators. The actual goal is power: the power to make demands that will be obeyed—the power to turn the tables and reverse the power differential, putting the protesters in charge of what Allan Bloom called the “dancing bears” in the university faculty and/or administration. A central demand of protesters such as those at Missouri is almost always a university-wide process of mind-control and intimidation, with the mandatory requirement that administrators offer and faculty and students attend classes and/or workshops that describe exactly what is now required in terms of speech, thought, and behavior that the protesters deem acceptable.

In other words, the protesters want to become the official campus propagandists. Perhaps they already have done so.

Yes. And in addition to the re-education camps, they won’t be satisfied with these two scalps.

Oopsie, that was racist, I guess.

[Update a while later]

Remember this is one of the top “journalism” schools in the country:

“You need to back up if you’re with the media!” a voice in the background yelled to the journalists trying to document the protest. “You need to respect the students! Back up!”

“I am a student,” Tim Tai, a student photographer trying to cover the protest, responded.

After Tai protested that the crowd was trying to push him, several people in the crowd laughed, tried to cover the camera with their hands, and responded, “Okay, then we’ll just block you.”

“You don’t have a right to take our photos,” one of the protesters asserted, apparently unaware that he was on taxpayer-funded public property that is by law open to the press.

Later in the video, the crowd aggressively started pushing the reporter around in an attempt to get him to stop covering their behavior.

As noted, I suspect they don’t think that police has such a right to “privacy” from being photographed. Freedom for me, not for thee.

[Afternoon update]

This is a little good news. The J-School faculty is voting to withdraw the courtesy appointment of the little fascist.

In Seattle

I had a long trip to get here, starting at 2:30 AM Central (two-hour bus ride from Columbia MO to St. Louis, two-hour plane ride to Charlotte, five-hour plane ride to Seattle), but I’m at the Museum of Flight, where I’ll be giving a talk and book signing tomorrow, for any Seattlites who want to show up. It’s $20 admission to the Spacefest, but it’s an opportunity for a signed book if you don’t have one.

I’ve never been here this time of year. I was surprised at the fall colors.

My Vegan Diet

“…almost killed me“:

Her public profile hinged on her vegan identity, yet her choices were damaging her body. Often she felt so weak, she had to work on her laptop computer from bed. Taking one yoga class would leave her drained for the whole day.

Younger’s turning point came in June 2014, exactly a year after she founded her blog, when she confided in a friend about her lack of menstruation — a condition medically known as amenorrhea — for at least six months.

The pal, who had also suffered from orthorexia, recommended she introduce fish into her diet. Soon afterward, Younger forced herself to eat a small portion of wild salmon — and, within a week, her period was restored.

“It showed me how my body was dying to get back on track,” she says, adding that she instantly started to feel more energetic.

A dietician confirmed that fish and eggs would boost her poor nutrient levels. Refusing to lie to her fans, Younger announced on her blog that same month that she was “transitioning away from veganism.”

That’s when all hell broke loose. Her site crashed within two minutes and 1,000 followers instantly ditched her. Worse, she received anonymous death threats from hard-core vegans claiming she condoned the slaughter of animals and that neither she nor her family had the right to live.

Vegans can be such nice people.

Government Data On The “Hiatus”

Judith Curry has some questions:

To what extent did internal discussions occur about the more questionable choices made in adjusting the ocean temperature data?

Was any concern raised about the discrepancies of the new ocean temperature data set and NOAA’s other ocean temperature data set (OISST) that shows no warming since 2003?

Were any Obama administration officials communicating with NOAA about these statements prior to issuing press releases?

Was the release of the land and ocean temperature data sets, which were documented in papers previously published, delayed to follow Karl’s June press release?

Earlier this year, Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., initiated an investigation into possible industry funding of scientists (including myself) who had recently provided Congressional testimony for the Republicans.

While potentially undisclosed industrial funding of research is a legitimate concern, climate science research funding from government is many orders of magnitude larger than industrial funding of such work.

Yup. [Note: She probably didn’t write the headline]

[Update a while later]
More over at her site:

I’ve heard enough behind the scenes (including discussions with NOAA employees) that I am siding with Rep. Smith on this one.

The politicization of climate science has gotten extreme. I don’t know where to start in trying to ameliorate this situation, but Congressional oversight and investigation into what is going on in government labs does not seem inappropriate under these circumstances.

It’s a sad state of affairs that climate science has come to this.

It is indeed.

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