Category Science

The Homely Gangsters Episode 4; The Paris Agreements

https://www.buzzsprout.com/255212/949605-the-paris-agreement.mp3?download=true As the greenest podcast in the history of podcasting, the Earth-Mothers Mia and Jen team up with primitive survivalists Ben and Jamal to talk global warming, Trump vs. the UN and the largely ignored conflict between fighting climate change and helping poor people in industrializing countries.  Advertisements

Science Popularizers in the 19th Century

We are, as I’m sure you’re aware, in the middle of a boom for scientific prestige. Never before have we been so impressed with the scientist as a heroic figure and only once before have we been willing to listen seriously when scientists (like Niel De Grasse Tyson, Richard Dawkins and Stephen Hawking) pretend that […]

The Saturn Five Rocket and Human Suffering

Look upon the Saturn V rocket. It is 110.6 meters tall, taller than the Statue of Liberty. It’s 10 meters in diameter, weighs nearly 3 million kilograms and cost 700 million dollars in today’s money. The first stage of this rocket created more than 3.4 million kilograms of thrust and consumed 2.3 million kilograms of […]

In the Name of Smaller Car Fires

I have participated in five track days at full sized road courses. The first time was in a 1990 Eagle Talon at the Reno-Fernley Raceway. That car had sporty brake pads and stock rotors. It made around 230 horsepower and weighed around 3000 lbs. I pulled that car into the pits after my second session and […]

Race Report!

Man it feels good to get back on a racetrack! My lovely new Brocinante, recently recovered from open chassis surgery, finally made her debut in the arena, and what an arena it was. Injae Speedium, a new circuit in the rugged mountains of northeastern Korea, slots into that sweet spot between beautiful and diabolical. Just […]

The Face of Oppression is Positively Adorable

While walking to my local grocery last Wednesday I found four hamsters in a trash pile. Unfortunately, two had already died and the other two looked like they were well on the way to freezing. I don’t really think of myself as the sort of person who has hamsters, but I also wasn’t going to […]

Kurt Godel and the Limits of AI

About two months ago I had the distinct pleasure to read Self Aware Patterns’ fascinating article on artificial intelligence. Mike Smith, author of that excellent blog, argued that AI need not fail because of Kurt Godel’s incompleteness theorem. He approached this problem from an empirical and deterministic theoretical framework. This inspired Tina Forsee, the writer […]

Ghost Town Exploration

With all the casinos defining Reno’s skyline, and the gambling halls studding the main drag of almost any small town in Nevada, it’s easy to forget how our state began—mines. More specifically, Nevada began as a source of financing for the Union during the Civil War. Like Liberia with its conflict diamonds, our silver helped […]

Rocinante Gets Sharper Teeth

Crappy econo-box racecars, versions 1.0 and 2.0 The great and legendary Rocinante, my 2002 Hyundai Avante (Elantra), spent an entirely unacceptable 12 months in stock configuration. How I bowed my head in disgrace as beloved ancestors sneered at my pathetically stock ride. “Bah,” my mother said. “These springs sag like your spirit. Your Rocinante rocks […]

Part One – Dr. McN, Professor CL and the Niceness Trap

Where does leadership come from? I’d like to start this series by telling you about the best and worst teachers I ever had. This is partly because I feel the story is interesting, partly because I want to recognize and thank the previously mentioned best teacher and partly because this will work better if we […]