I'd like to know is, if Richard Mourdock's, Todd Akin's or Paul Ryan's
wife or daughter were to be raped and become pregnant, would they be
happy to let these female relatives and loved ones go through 9 months
of gestation and raise the babies in their homes as if nothing happened?
And what of the father's, I mean rapist's, rights? Visitation, partial
custody? Can you imagine? Maybe they think that would make a great
sitcom (I'm sure Fox would jump on that.)
Do these guys even
have a half a brain to think this through? Oh, and of course there would
be no government benefits, although in this equation the financial
strain is a tiny fraction of the anguish.
And even more: Only
one third of fertilized eggs even implant in the womb, and there is
further attrition from there, so taking steps to ensure a theoretically
possibly fertilized egg doesn't implant is hardly "abortion".
Just say no to these clowns and their millennia old religious views
which should not be involved in any way in making laws in the 21st
One of the things I have come to appreciate as I have been exposed to it over the years is accessible technology. What is accessible technology? Basically anything that allows people with disabilities or functional limitations to participate fully in society - limited by only their own desires rather than as lack of access to all that life has to offer.
The earliest accessible technologies were things like braille and guide dogs for the blind. These are still of immense importance in the world of accessibility, but the meteoric rise in the capability of personal computers and the internet has created both a fantastic opportunity to connect people and a great challenge to make it accessible to everyone.
How accessibility technology advances in the connected world is a complex interweaving of hardware companies, software companies, advocacy organizations, charitable foundations, government policy making and the sheer determination of individuals coming up with solutions to problems they deal with every day.
Dan and Gary have an itinerary that has them dropping in on many companies and agancies on their way down the west coast. Fortunately, the west coast is ripe with opportunities to find out more about accessible technologies.
My favorite though is when Dan and Gary visit Yahoo! which highlights how technology companies can collaborate to provide the best possible experience for the end user. Alan Brightman, Yahoo's Chief of Accessibility is a great interview. Biggest takeway -building in accessiblity from the start costs about 2% of the cost of a project. Adding it later the cost is 100% - i.e. you have to spend all that money all over again. The same general principle holds for all kinds of desing - airplanes included. It's best just to get the requirements right at the beginning...
My first expericence with a Mac was in 1985 when my work group at Boeing Helicopters got a Mac II. Color! 13" monitor! Next to the monochrome early PCs it was a piece of beautiful genius. It took a few years before I got my own Mac at home - a Macintosh LC, and I was a Mac diehard for all of the nineties. It was in 2002 that I was due to replace my five year old Power Mac 6400 and just couldn't see the Apple product that was going to get me what I wanted for less than twice the price of a top end PC. I ended up buying a Sony desktop machine and that started a 7 year hiatus from Apple products.
Well, not entirely true, because I did buy several iPods over that time. Oh, and an iPhone 3GS eventually. It was when I decided to dabble with writing iOS apps that I got back into Apple computing hardware, as that's kind of necessary the way Apple works. I ended up buying a Mac Mini, which is possibly one of the most underrated and understated pieces of hardware around. I bought the slick bluetooth keyboard and the magic trackpad and that is just a beautiful system.
Then, when the old Dell laptop was due for replacement last year I ended up buying a 2nd generation Macbook Air, which is just amazingly beautiful and oh so functional.
Steve Jobs was brilliant. He had a knack for figuring out ways to get a hand in your wallet and your pocket no matter what and make you enjoy the experience. iPods? Sell 'em for we premium and keep milking it with iTunes. iOS - sell the iPhones/iPods/iPads for a premium and cream 30% off the app store revenue.
He was no saint - he did kill off all the corporate philanthropy programs at Apple when he came back in the 90's (then again, I'm not a big fan of corporations playing fairy godmother anyway, so it would be interesting to discover his motives for that). He was a bit of a tyrant by all accounts, but he did lead an insanely great company to dizzying heights.
I think all the hand-wringing about the future of Apple is misplaced - Jobs needed lots of talent around him to do what he did, and that is still in place. Just don't screw it up...
Remember the last time we had a Texas governor for President? Didn't that go well?
Well, let's not repeat that egregious misstep.
Rick Perry has opined about many things and shown himself to be less than smart, but his latest tirade attempts to blame the current president (in office 2 years and 6 months) for decisions that are the result of decades of poor political leadership on space issues and gross mismanagement at NASA.
"Forty-two years ago yesterday, America captured the world's imagination by putting a man on the moon, highlighting an era of excellence in space exploration. Unfortunately, with the final landing of the Shuttle Atlantis and no indication of plans for future missions, this administration has set a significantly different milestone by shutting down our nation's legacy of leadership in human spaceflight and exploration, leaving American astronauts with no alternative but to hitchhike into space.
"The Obama Administration continues to lead federal agencies and programs astray, this time forcing NASA away from its original purpose of space exploration, and ignoring its groundbreaking past and enormous future potential. It is time to restore NASA to its core purpose of manned space exploration, and to define our vision for 21st Century space exploration, not in terms of what we cannot do, but instead in terms of what we will do."
Yes, how dare President Obama shut down a shuttle program (photo: Shuttle re-entry to earth taken from the ISS) that features hardware that was conceptualized in the 60's, designed and built in the 70's and flown for 30 years! The flight computers on the shuttle are less powerful than a Commodore 64. They are barely better than a four function calculator. When you consider all the other systems on the airplane that cost a fortune to maintain and the fragility of the shuttle overall, it's remarkable that it has been as successful as it has been and that it lasted so long.
Is Rick Perry driving a 1981 Chevy Monte Carlo with a tank of rocket fuel in the trunk that could explode any minute? I don't think so.
Programs like the Space Shuttle take 20 years to come to fruition, so the time to be working on it was... 1990. Even 1980. But was it? Hell no. The political process gets worse and worse for pushing through visionary programs that look ahead decades. In retrospect it's amazing the shuttle managed to stay funded through the turmoil of the seventies.
So if there's blame to be laid at anyone's feet it should be laid at the feet of Bush Sr., Clinton and Bush Jr. and the Congressional members of the same era for 20 years of a spectacular collective failure to see a way forward and fund it. It wouldn't have hurt them to appoint NASA amdinistrators who weren't political flacks either.
And let's not forget where NASA Mission Control is located... Pork barrel politics coninues unabated.
Interesting to see VW's direction with the new new Beetle. The last one has been around a while and hs survived on quirky charm and a lot of female buyers. It vied with the new Mini for least amount of usable interior space, so it's really no wonder it's been more of an image car than a practical one.
People are saying the new, less curvy style is aimed more at men, which may well be true, but it sure seems to me that VW has gone for a retro fusion look between the Beetle and the Karmann Ghia.
Somebody should tell this Airbus A380 Super Jumbo pilot he isn't driving a dinky little A320 any more...
From AvWeb (also with photos of damaged areas on both planes):
The Comair flight had just arrived from Boston and was stationary. What happened next is one of the reasons passengers are supposed to keep their seatbelts on until the ground crew person crosses his or her arms.
It was extremely fortunate that no-one on the CRJ700 was injured, but if there had been that "must stand up in the aisle yakking on my cellphone getting my bag out of the overhead before we get to the gate" guy/gal They could have been badly injured - not to mention injuring other people in the process.
This has been around for a while, but I thought I'd lob it out there with a few comments.
This is Hans Rosling's 4 minute look at longevity and affluence through the last 200 years. It's a slick way to show how data changes over time. I've seen people quibble over his definitions of wealth and longevity, but he does paint an extraordinary picture in a mere 4 minutes. You can see the impact of the Industrial Revolution, both World Wars, the progress made in the West and the catching up of most of the rest of the world. What's interesting to me are the countries that go against the general trend.
For instance, if you look carefully at around 1939 and you can see a mid-size European country drop to almost zero life expectancy and then bounce back up by the end of the war. I'm guessing that was Poland that got flattened. Then watch China in the late 1950's bounce like a basketball.
Post WW2, Africa (blue dots) was unsurprisingly lagging behind as most colonies just started to become independent about then, but got swept along for a couple of decades with rising world trends, and then it stopped. The rest of the world kept improving, leaving the majority of Africa languishing.
Rosling's point about regions in China having different health and wealth could, of course, apply to any country. New York and West Virginia in the US are quite different, as are Surrey and Tyne & Wear in the UK.
But overall, a fascinating way to look at history. The point is not so much what questions Rosling answers, as much as the ones it provokes us to ask ourselves and dig deeper.