Lists of Things retiring

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Why? I’m a bit tired of lists. And only three kinds of people read this any more:

  1. Me
  2. Mary Beth
  3. People who Googled “I hate LabView”

But all is not lost! I have just moved my personal web page to a new server and probably shall continue to blog occasionally at

some stuff I need to do in zero-g

Wednesday, 20 May 2009
  • Point to the enemy’s gate
  • Somersault
  • Bring some space Legos to float around in front of me
  • Bring a Nalgene of water and turn it upside-down

Some questions for Wolfram Alpha

Monday, 18 May 2009
  1. “What is the answer to the Ultimate Question?”
  2. “What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?”
  3. “How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?”

some good things

Saturday, 9 May 2009
  1. Passed my A exam! Now I get an M.S. in rocket science!
  2. Only one final paper left in the semester.
  3. Moved into some awesome new lab space!
  4. Getting together with new friends.
  5. The new Star Trek movie. Woah! J.J. Abrams must have been watching a lot of Galactica, I think, from the intense first fifteen minutes. Really like some of the cinematic and editing choices, too. “This year’s Iron Man,” indeed.
  6. The Red Sox now lead the AL East.
  7. Ithaca’s weather these days – it’s so green out there!
  8. NASA.
  9. Got to fly the glider recently!
  10. My general emotional state right now. :)

past v present in US space

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Ranges depend on whether you measure from the first or last flight of a program that was active over some time period.

Past achievements in space exploration:

  • First US satellite in orbit to first man in space: 3 years
  • First US satellite in orbit to first man in orbit: 4 years
  • First man in orbit to first Moon landing: 8 years
  • Moon landings to LEO space station: 1-4 years
  • Moon landings to LEO Space Shuttle: 9-11 years
  • Pioneer 10 to Voyager 1 and 2: 5 years

Current vision of space exploration:

  • First LEO Space Shuttle to LEO space station completion: 19 years
  • From LEO Space Shuttle to Moon landing: 10-29 years
  • From LEO Space Shuttle to Mars landing: 17-36+ years
  • Cassini to Europa Jupiter System Mission: ~10 years

Where did the ambition go?! Maybe I will help re-inject some this summer.

Some suggestions for holidays that athiesm or agnosticism might have as an organized religion

Friday, 17 April 2009
  • 21 March, 21 July, 21 September, 21 December – Solstices and equinoxes. Times to celebrate each season, the passage of time, events that occured in the past season, new growth, harvests, etc.
  • 9 November – Carl Sagan’s birthday. A day to celebrate the wonder of the physical universe and its exploration.
  • 15 February – Galileo Galilei’s birthday. A day to celebrate the ability of the human mind to investigate and comprehend the universe. Another possible Galileo-related suggestion: 31 October, the anniversary of the day in 1992 when the Vatican officially admitted that they were wrong about the Sun going around the Earth.
  • The date when Roger Williams founded Rhode Island. This holiday would celebrate the independence, diversity, and tolerance of thought and philosophy.
  • A day honoring Ibn al-Haytham (Alhazen), pioneer of the scientific method and experimental physics.

I need some suggestions that counteract my Western history educational bias…

The best and worst of “Battlestar Galactica”

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Here’s my list of the best and worst episodes of the 2003-2009 series “Battlestar Galactica.” For MB’s benefit, I’m going to hide all my spoilers behind a jump this time! But if you are partway through and feel like reading anyways, I have organized the list chronologically by episode, so you can stop whenever you need to. Read the rest of this entry »