Monday, July 25, 2011

Hot Enough For Ya?

While the Bay Area continues to enjoy relatively mild temperatures this summer, much of the rest of the country has faced oppressively hot conditions for weeks. How hot? Hotter than you think. From the AP:

"Northeast Braces For Temps Near Boiling Point."

The headline is not misprint; they really mean it: "The extreme heat that's been roasting the eastern U.S. is only expected to get worse, and residents are bracing themselves for temperatures near and above boiling point... Washington, D.C.'s 103 degrees may seem the same as a melting 116 degrees."

In other news, the AP has modified its hiring practices to require its writers to demonstrate a grasp of the differences between the Celsius and Farenheit scales. Applicants may be granted a waiver of this requirement if they can demonstrate proof of possessing at least a fourth-grader's understanding of the boiling temperature of water (or any other liquid they care to discuss).

Friday, July 08, 2011

Last Flight

The Space Shuttle will launch for the last time in a few moments (11:26 am EDT). I got up early to watch the first shuttle launch on TV. Thirty years later, I'm sitting in my office, mid-career, watching the last launch on my computer screen.

The shuttle was more expensive and cumbersome to operate than was promised. But it was always a magnificant machine. Here's hoping that sometime in the future we will get back to designing, building and using machines that are even more extraordinary and inspiring.