Links 8/29/2022

Lambert and I, and many readers, agree that Ukraine has prompted the worst informational environment ever. We hope readers will collaborate in mitigating the fog of war — both real fog and stage fog — in comments. None of us need more cheerleading and link-free repetition of memes; there are platforms for that. Low-value, link-free pom pom-wavers will be summarily whacked.

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* * *

Watch live: NASA launching Artemis 1 moon mission today Space.come

NASA builds for keeps: Voyager mission still going after 45 years The Register

When Fireflies Await a Night That Never Comes NYT

The Double Life of an American Lake Monster Wired

Will the cloud kill the data centre? Jim Chanos thinks so FT


Water shortages must be placed on the climate-change agenda. This is why World Economic Forum

Comment: To tackle the global water crisis, companies must be made to reveal their water impacts Reuters

Frozen MIT Technology Review

Chipmaking’s Next Big Thing Guzzles as Much Power as Entire Countries Bloomberg

This Farm Cracked the Code #1: Water Wizard of Oregon (video) YouTube. Permaculture water systems.


COVID vaccines slash risk of spreading Omicron — and so does prior infection Nature. The deck: “But the benefit of vaccines in reducing Omicron transmission doesn’t last for long.” Summarizes a preprint. Prison study, n = 22,000:

The team found that among individuals with COVID-19, those who received at least one vaccine shot were 24% less likely to infect close contacts— in this case cellmates — compared with unvaccinated prisoners. People who had been infected before were 21% less likely to infect others compared with prisoners with no prior infection, and those who had been both vaccinated and previously infected were 41% less likely to pass on the virus compared with unvaccinated individuals without a previous infection.

[Nathan Lo, an infectious-disease researcher at the University of California, San Francisco] says he is surprised at the dose–response relationships; each vaccine dose a person has had reduced the risk of passing on the virus by a further 12%, on average. How recently people had been vaccinated was also important. For every 5 weeks that passed since a person’s last vaccine dose, the risk of transmitting the infection to a close contact increased by 6%.

Fit-Tested N95 Masks Combined With Portable High-Efficiency Particulate Air Filtration Can Protect Against High Aerosolized Viral Loads Over Prolonged Periods at Close Range Journal of Infectious Diseases (dougiedd). From the Abstract: “Healthcare workers (HCWs) are at risk from aerosol transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2…. N95 masks that have passed a quantitative fit-test combined with HEPA filtration protects against high virus aerosol loads at close range and for prolonged periods of time.” NOTE: “in combination with face shield, gown, and disposable gloves,” this being an HCW environment. On the fit-testing: “Quantitative fit testing was performed via TSI PortaCount Fit Tester Model 8048, which measures the concentration of particles in the ambient air relative to within a respirator to calculate a fit factor.” For fit-testing, here is something you can try at home. Thread:

Reducing SARS-CoV-2 in Shared Indoor Air JAMA. From June, still germane:

Through the American Rescue Plan, Congress has appropriated nearly a half trillion dollars ($350 billion to state, local, and tribal governments and $122 billion to schools), roughly half of which remains available to support indoor air quality improvements in small businesses, industrial settings, commercial buildings, low-income housing, transportation hubs, and schools. To ensure that maximum benefit is realized from these resources and to protect the public from ineffective or potentially harmful technologies, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently issued guidance for building owners and operators as part of the agency’s Clean Air in Buildings challenge.5 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance likewise highlights proven interventions to improve ventilation and filtration in buildings.

Apparently, Biden wouild rather that American Rescue Plan money was spent on cops. So here we are.


Shenzhen shuts world’s biggest electronics wholesale market Huaqiangbei for 4 days as city steps up Covid-19 control South China Morning Post. Commentary:

(Wu is from Shenzen.)

China’s Fragile Economy Is Being Hammered by Driest Riverbeds Since 1865 Bloomberg

Why Kennan’s containment won’t work on China Asia Times

The past is not dead:

Cambodia, some interesting speculation:

Pakistan flooding deaths pass 1,000 in ‘climate catastrophe’ AP


In a first, India refers to ‘militarisation’ of Taiwan Strait by China The Hindu


From the Politico Brussels Playbook email:

EU JUDGES SUE TO FREEZE CASH FOR POLAND: Four organizations representing European judges on Sunday sued the Council of the EU in an unprecedented case that seeks stronger action against Warsaw’s attacks on the rule of law.

Appeasement:The judges are taking aim at the Council’s decision to greenlight EU recovery funds for Poland, even though Warsaw has not met conditions set out by the European Court of Justice to re-establish the independence of its judiciary. The judges’ groups argue that the Council’s approval of the recovery plan harms both Polish judges and the European judiciary system.

Background: In June, the Council signed off on a plan that paves the way for Poland to access billions in coronavirus recovery funds if it meets a set of conciliatory “milestones,” including reforming a controversial disciplinary regime for judges. And while Warsaw has yet to receive funds under the plan, the blueprint itself is now being challenged.

Disharmony: As Playbook first reported, a number of European commissioners protested against that decision over fears the milestones weren’t solid enough, while the approval of the plan sent the wrong signal to Warsaw, which has not yet complied with CJEU rulings.

The 4 organizations suing the Council— the European Association of Judges, the Association of European Administrative Judges, Judges for Judges and MEDEL, an association representing European judges and prosecutors — said the plan’s targets are problematic. “These milestones fall short of what is required to ensure effective protection of the independence of judges and the judiciary and disregard the judgments of the CJEU on the matter,” the groups wrote in a statement.

The Court of Justice, the organizations note, “has ruled that the Polish judges affected by unlawful disciplinary procedures should be reinstated at once, without delay or a procedure, while the third milestone would introduce a procedure of more than a year with an uncertain outcome.”

* * *

Households could get 25% discount on energy bills if they back local fracking plans Daily Mail. Ingenious!

Solar power is booming in Germany as Russia turns down the gas CNN

England’s gardeners to be banned from using peat-based compost Guardian (Furzy Mouse). Good.

‘Missed opportunity’: No agreement in latest UN high seas talks Al Jazeera

New Not-So-Cold War

Live: IAEA mission departs for Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant Agence France Presse

EU set to suspend visa travel agreement with Russia FT. Trapping dissidents and cosmpolitan PMCs in Russia permanently, good job. And how come the Baltic puppy is wagging the EU dog?

Russia divestment promises by US states largely unfulfilled AP

Why was the Soviet Union created? Branko Milanovic, Global Inequality

Lula and Bolsonaro land blows in heated Brazilian presidential debate FT

Biden Administration

Government to pause free at-home COVID tests by Sept. 2 Axios. Seems legit. It’s not like we’re in the midst of a pandemic or anything. Auto-kinbaku-bi.

Fall Vaccination Campaign Will Bring New Shots, Worse Access NYT. The deck: “Updated Covid vaccines, expected soon after Labor Day, were designed to thwart Omicron variants. But money to distribute them has dried up.” Commentary:

More auto-kinbaku-bi.

* * *

How a Corporate Law Firm Led a Political Revolution NYT. Jones Day.


Intelligence Officials Will Assess Security Risks From Mar-a-Lago Documents New York Times. No doubt.

‘Make a TON of money’: How 2 Floridians tried to cash in on Joe Biden’s daughter’s diary McClatchy

Supply Chain

Long Beach sets record but East, Gulf Coast ports’ gains bigger Freight Waves

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

Class-Action Lawsuit Accuses Oracle of Tracking 5 Billion People PC Magazine

Imperial Collapse Watch

We’ve isolated them all!

China and Russia join forces for Vostok military exercises FT

Iran and Russia Are Cementing an Alliance With Grain, Drones and Satellites WSJ

* * *

UK’s biggest warship, HMS Prince of Wales, breaks down off south coast shortly after setting sail for US Sky News. “An emerging mechanical issue.”

A Holy British Island, Where the Reckless Try to Outrace the Tide NYT

Guillotine Watch

Everyone pays the cost as the rich keep spending FT

Private Jets to Ibiza, Paris Surge as Rich Evade Travel Chaos Bloomberg (Furzy Mouse).

Luxury Residential Community at Sea Storylines. “Averaging three days in each port, you have ample time and options to explore the cultures and customs beyond our ports-of-call.”

Class Warfare

MLBPA sends out union authorization cards in first step toward unionizing minor leaguers ESPN

Measuring Intergenerational Exposure to the U.S. Justice System: Evidence from Longitudinal Links between Survey and Administrative Data (PDF) University of Michigan. From the Abstract: “We find substantially larger prevalences of intergenerational exposure to the criminal justice system than previously reported: 9% of children born between 1999–2005 were intergenerationally exposed to prison, 18% to a felony conviction, and 39% to any criminal charge; charge exposure rates reach as high as 62% for Black children.”

Book publishers just spent 3 weeks in court arguing they have no idea what they’re doing Vox (dk).

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote:

Double bonus antidote:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. FreeMarketApologist

    Re the “Luxury Residential Community at Sea”: I only note that all the stateroom floorplans have prominently marked ‘bar’ (even the smallest one, which lacks a real window/porthole).

        1. The Rev Kev

          Just wait until they get hit with noravirus. That is when things get messy no matter how much money they have.

        2. Eureka Springs

          Here in our tourist town we have an AA convention. A friend who owns a liquor store says it’s always the busiest weekend of the year.

    1. Lexx

      I think that we could be comfortable in a space that’s just $5.4m (lifetime of the vessel was only option). But the yearly maintenance fees are killer: $181,742

      Annual Inclusive Living Fees Equals just $7,573 per person per month
      Based on 2 people twin share
      all inclusive*

      Wonder how they plan to keep them from becoming plague ships?

      You would have to really love your neighbors. Landlubbers can just walk away.

    2. JohnnySacks

      Just looking at that home page I can feel the moldy oppressive dankness of that waterline open space. Then further thought about being trapped in a floating steel prison with that type clientele being some form of hell.

      I guess there’s a world out there unknown to me who sees that and thinks “Wow, seems like a nice idea, why not give it a try?”

      1. Ignacio

        Indeed! Imagine being trapped there with the second class Musk types of the world. What killed my heart is that their sales pitch deem this as ‘sustainable travelling` and compliant with ‘social responsibility’. Unbelievable. Hallucinating might be better description.

    1. Lexx

      Here’s the thing that stands out for me in that photo. I clean, card, spin, dye, and knit wool. Sheep stink. The longer their coats, the greater the lanolin and “vegetable matter”. This includes poop tags and dead insects. Kitteh enjoys the sheep for all of that and/or despite the offense to her sense of smell. Cats are normally fastidious about their own coats.

      Not sure there’s anything in the encounter for the sheep.

  2. Steve H.

    > This Farm Cracked the Code #1: Water Wizard of Oregon (video) YouTube. Permaculture water systems.

    The Water atlas: traditional knowledge to combat desertification

    The most important practical book I know of, only Mollison’s ‘Permaculture’ comes close. There are free pdf’s available online, tho I bought the hardcover, which is on par with Christopher Alexander’s ‘Nature of Life’ series for integral beauty. One picture is extraordinary for the hope it gives me:

    99. The erg oases in the Algerian Souf region with artificial craters (bur) dug out and protected by barriers of leaves, regulate the dune movements and shape the great sandy desert landscape.

    1. vao

      You must have acquired it a long time ago. It does not seem that the book can be ordered from the UNESCO. A search with a variety of online booksellers (including Amazon) mostly returns blanks, and the very few with a reference to the publication indicate that it is unavailable, out of print, and the like. As for a downloadable PDF — a couple of links, all draw a blank. No success either in those much decried sites posting the full PDF version of books. I also looked in a couple of networks for inter-library loans — no luck; perhaps by scouring those in other countries may one be able to flush out a copy. I did not try Google books though.

      There was a time when it was argued that with electronic publishing, on-demand printing, online e-books, interconnected libraries, etc, one would reach a nirvana where any kind of publication could finally become fairly easily available, including the much discussed “long-tail”. Similar arguments made for movies and music. Disappointment, in all cases.

    2. JAC

      Just FYI, their farm is just about 50 miles south east of the growing Rum Creek Fire.

      These ideas would have been great to start 50 years ago but I think it is all too little too late. Maybe good stuff to know after collapse.

  3. griffen

    An American Lake Monster story. First thought after completing the article, is that the indestructible cockroach has legit competition for surviving the apocalypse. Second thought, those are real ugly creatures. Reading that one finds inspiration for any manner of low grade horror direct to consumers (Tremors! Gremlins!).

  4. digi_owl

    “Will the cloud kill the data centre? Jim Chanos thinks so FT”

    Hardly, cloud will just be someone else’s data center.

    Cloud is nothing more than 70s mainframe and terminal computing returning, worse.

    1. SocalJimObjects

      Cloud is nothing more than 70s mainframe and terminal computing returning, worse.

      I am not getting the reference. I wasn’t able to read the article because it’s behind a paywall, but if I were to make an educated guess, Jim Chanos thinks that companies like Amazon will be increasingly using and owning their own data centers, so what’s going to die off is public generic data centers. That actually makes sense. When developers say they are using the cloud, they use cloud technologies like AWS S3 (Storage layer) and EC2 (Compute layer). Those technologies can not be optimized easily if Amazon were to build them on someone else’s data center because Amazon really needs to own the whole stack from top to bottom. Interestingly enough, Dropbox actually decided to move most of their workloads from AWS to their own data centers, starting 3 or 4 years ago? They claimed that what AWS had built could not be optimized for their needs, so there’s a parallel here.

      1. digi_owl

        For a time, before the personal computer got its killer app in the spreadsheet, companies made good money renting out time on a mainframe to people connecting to them via terminals over phone lines.

        Replace said mainframes with “cloud” and the terminal with a web browser (see Google’s Chromebooks as the epitome of this) and you are right back at this way of doing computing.

          1. vao

            Actually, this is back to the future with “smart terminals”, not dumb ones.

            In the Unix world, there were diskless workstations connected to a central computing, disk storage and print server, but with substantial local CPU power and large main memory, and great user interface. There was also the later client-server model — where tasks were split between a central Unix/Windows server and a PC (itself no dumb terminal). Much earlier, in the mainframe environments, computing and storage were centralized but the local terminals had capabilities to execute some standard operations, and thus, like the famous IBM 3270, were dubbed “intelligent”.

            Nowadays we have Chrome notebooks, ultraslim laptops or smartphones, with local storage, connectivity, peripherals and self-contained programming reduced to rely upon the cloud for databases, storage, and applications (e.g. Office 360).

            Just like endless supply chains, this requires all components of the system to work — networks, gateways, clouds, load balancing, failsafe task redistribution, power plants, etc. Trouble at major providers of cloud services (including Amazon, Facebook, and banking/payment networks) have shown that when something breaks down on their side really lots of people are affected simultaneously. Recently, even Google data centers failed because of the heat wave in the UK. Therefore, one can reasonably expect some relocalization of computing in the coming years.

          1. digi_owl

            In a sense France was ahead of the game there.

            And thanks to it being operated by France Telecom, they could have properly pr read billing rather than the ad and paywall infested hellscape the web has become.

            This is perhaps the one place where a blockchain would make sense, as a way to do pr read accounting and billing.

            So rather than leave your credit card info everywhere you buy a bunch of blockchain tokens, maybe have them attached to your monthly internet service bill, and then transfer them to the various sites as you read their articles etc.

            I wonder if that is the plan/hope with Brave’s BAT…

        1. SocalJimObjects

          Interesting. I never thought about it that way. The company I work for is an AWS shop, so I am quite familiar with Amazon’s tech stack. I think your analogy is not quite apt though. First of all there are no mainframes in AWS. Having worked in another shop that used mainframes, people would KNOW when they go down, because they are built like tanks. The way cloud services (AWS, GCP, Azure) work though, developers can not assume that any particular machine will always be up. In fact the assumption is that any machine can go down anytime. Also, AWS allows customers to reserved dedicated instances that are not shared with other people/companies. And finally, developers don’t use web browsers to interact with the cloud when building their apps. That’s what API (Application Programming Interfaces) are for. So basically you write your code using whatever language you like (Java, Python, etc), and you can use AWS provided libraries for your language of choice to invoke AWS functionalities. That’s very far from the dumb terminal model. You actually need to know what you are doing. Anyone who does not bother to understand AWS IAM (their permission model) will not get very far when it comes to building secure applications.

      2. vao

        Believe it or not, but what is offered nowadays under the name “cloud” was already proposed back in…1965.

        From F.J.Corbató, J.H.Saltzer, C.T.Clingen: “MULTICS — the first seven years”:

        The goals of the computer utility, although stated at length in the 1965 papers, deserve a brief review. By a computer utility it was meant that one had a community computer facility with:

        (1) Convenient remote terminal access as the normal mode of system usage;

        (2) A view of continuous operation analogous to that of the electric power and telephone companies;

        (3) A wide range of capacity to allow growth or contraction without either system or user reorganization ;

        (4) An internal file system so reliable that users trust their only copy of programs and data to be stored in it;

        (5) Sufficient control of access to allow selective sharing of information;

        (6) The ability to structure hierarchically both the logical storage of information as well as the administration of the system;

        (7) The capability of serving large and small users without inefficiency to either;

        (8) The ability to support different programming environments and human interfaces within a single system;

        (9) The flexibility and generality of system organization required for evolution through successive waves of technological improvements and the inevitable growth of user expectations.

        While MULTICS achieved impressive results, it could never fulfil those ambitious requirements (but it had a considerable influence on other other endeavours, most notably Unix). However, the concept of a computing utility that a large number of users would rely upon was formalized then.

    2. Polar Socialist

      For decades it’s been obvious that from a bean counters point of view company’s own data infrastructure is not an asset, but an expense. There are probably thousands of companies that have been burned by understanding way too late that one should never outsource the critical parts of the company.

      1. digi_owl

        And by that time the execs that implemented the divestment, over the head of sysadmins etc, have absconded with whatever bonuses they got for goosing the quarterlies and thus the share value.

        In the end there are two ills leading the world to its fate, boardroom’s myopia about quarterlies, and the way accounting files something as either expense or investment.

      2. hazelbrew

        there is a good look at the cost of cloud computing vs build your own data centre from Andreesen Horowitz (a16z):
        The Cost of Cloud, a Trillion Dollar Paradox

        This looks at the link between cloud computing as part of COGS and the impact on margin, and hence valuation. There comes a point at which it makes financial sense to move OFF cloud and back onto your own physical infrastructure. The article analyses 50 public cloud SaaS companies, and looks at how much their market cap is impacted by their commitment to cloud vs repatriating workloads to their own physical infrastructure.

        The article has too many gems in it so I will call out their tldr:

        You’re crazy if you don’t start in the cloud; you’re crazy if you stay on it.

    3. PlutoniumKun

      I suspect a lot depends on contractual issues.

      Its not my area of expertise, but I’ve been told that increasingly data users, especially in Europe, are specifying that their data must be held within particular jurisdictions and in identifiable locations. Several smaller governments in Europe are building their own data centers specifically to prevent legal issues if cloud based data crosses boundaries.

      1. digi_owl

        Yeah, much of that has come after the various “Eyes” revelations etc.

        And i would not say they are building their own as much as demanding that companies they contract with set up centers there (or somewhere with compatible legislative environments).

        There was also some effort in courting data centers with access to cheap cooling and electricity, but i suspect the recent droughts and price spikes have thrown a wrench into that. Never mind that it was already getting heat (heh) from news that most centers would be cryptocurrency related.

        1. hazelbrew

          Yeah, much of that has come after the various “Eyes” revelations etc.


          increasingly data users, especially in Europe, are specifying that their data must be held within particular jurisdictions and in identifiable locations

          I am not sure what you mean by the “eyes” revelations digi_owl.

          what PlutoniumKim is referring to can trace history back to 1981.

          things to search for – “data residency”, “GDPR”.

          A brief history of the General Data Protection Regulation (1981-2016)

          and the recent history from the European Data protection Supervisor:
          The History of the General Data Protection Regulation

          This all goes back to 1981 .
          then 1995 the European Data Protection Directive
          GDPR is an evolution from there.

          anyone doing business in europe gets hit by it, which caused no end of “interesting” discussions and reactions from the silicon valley types I work with.

    4. hazelbrew

      replying here to both digi_owl and socialjim.

      social jim is closer to what I understand.

      I don’t agree that cloud is nothing more than 70s mainframe and terminal computing.

      I think you are both conflating three things
      a mainframe is a type of computer with a certain history and longevity, suited to certain types of workload

      “cloud computing” is more a style – building on top of services, be that infrastructure as a service, compute as a service (like EC2 or google compute or msft equivalent), storage as a service (AWS S3) etc. as such its perhaps closer to a Unix philosophy but at mega scale. i.e. lots of small processes that do one thing well, combine them to get what you need, accept that things may fail

      a data centre is a building designed to provide power and network, and remove heat.

      you can’t really compare the three.

      cloud computing runs in a data centre. be that one of the FAANGS, a bank or telco – those computers need to run somewhere.
      a mainframe or hundreds or thousands of them can be colocated in the same DC that contains cloud computing infrastructure. Cloud and mainframe are different technologies to solve different problems.

      Best way and simplest to think about what a DC really is? It is an enormous shed, full of 100s of resistors that turn power into heat 24×7, with a side effect of doing some useful computational work. Main problems? clean power supply, decent network and then cooling, always cooling.

      how do I know this? I used to work for a company that created software to model the energy flow through a data centres, as a means of testing designs before they were built, or improving operations in existing facilities. and its all about the energy – energy in (electrical), out – heat. and physical space. if you can model it, you can allocate and predict cost.

      Last thing to consider is the scale – I’ve seen designs from at least 2 of the FAANGs. The scale is enormous – 100s of million to a billion to build. Redundant power feeds of the scale 50 MVa – one had 4 incoming 50 MVa feeds. to put that in perspective that is roughly 1/5th of the fukushima nuclear reactor output.
      Cloud computing as one benefit allows developers to take advantage of that scale in a way that a mainframe simply does not. i.e. for peta and greater scale compute problems that need a high degree of parallelization and horsepower.

      at a small scale cloud computing allows a start up to get started quickly without bearing the cost of your own physical infrastructure. but there comes a scale (and dropbox is given as an example below) where it is cheaper to build and run your owh physical infrastructure. or in the case say of the banks it is worth it for those extra milliseconds shaved off your network latency to an exchange.

  5. The Rev Kev

    “Watch live: NASA launching Artemis 1 moon mission today”

    Wow. This is real cutting edge science here. NASA’s chance to shine and show that science can be both bold and adventurous. I really gotta watch this one. Haven’t seen anything like it. Well, except for the time as a kid back in 1968 when Apollo 8 took off and did a lunar orbit. And that one had a crew of three aboard-

    1. Stephen V

      Bbbut heard an NPR snippet yesterday: Space-X has a reusable stainless steel tube rocket which is a fraction of the cost so…enjoy NASA while you can was the er, thrust of the story.

      1. digi_owl

        Yeah, i am seeing an Economist article being bandied about “tech” circles questioning the need for anything NASA now that SpaceX exists.

        1. orlbucfan

          Most of the design brains/engineering for SpaceX come from NASA. Yes, launch scrubbed today. Shame cos right now, weather would have been launch perfect down here in east central FL.

          1. digi_owl

            Indeed. An incredible amount of tech that both businesses and individuals take for granted were funded by cold war blank checks.

            NASA didn’t just bootstrap space travel, they basically funded the microchip industry.

            But it seems to be some kind of homo economicus reflex to dismiss any and all subsidies once rich. Effectively pulling the government provided ladder up behind them, while lobbying to privatize the ladder factory.

            1. nick

              Well in this particular case, NASA also benefited from work that was what might well be euphemized as, um, “pre-cold war”

              1. Larry Carlson

                “Once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down
                That’s not my department,” says Wernher von Braun

      2. PlutoniumKun

        The Space X super heavy lift vehicle (the Starship) isn’t ready yet. Its due a first launch later this year, but it will be several years before its operational.

        Nasa is now using what amounts to a stripped down un-reusable space shuttle as a heavy lifter. While the launcher is technically new, most of the main parts (boosters and engines) are tried and tested from the shuttle program so it makes sense to use this to get the program going before the Space X starship is fully ready and proven.

        Fond as I am of dumping on Musk, his Space X vehicles really are good. It freerides of course on Nasa’s hard work, but this applies to nearly all high tech, whether chips or airliners or phones – its always government funded base tech that can lead to something better and cheaper.

        1. Reaville

          One forgets so easily that SpaceX got its start and a LOT of its current sustaining revenue from NASA. NASA internally is likely very positive about Starship and that’s why they made the moon lander contract award to SpaceX using Starship.

          However, Starship is so SO hard because space is hard; the schedule for Starship first launch is slipping as problems come up and get solved. SpaceX will execute faster and better because they are a true “hardware rich” program that builds things and operates them with expectations that there will be “failing forward” events. The suborbital tests of the upper half of Starship last year were breathtakingly bold.

          SLS is not bold. It uses old, difficult hardware that did not meet anything like the hopes for short turnaround/rapid reuse on the shuttle. However, hoping it works because working hardware is useful. SLS is bizarrely expensive and has no real future if Starship works.

          1. digi_owl

            I seem to recall that the SLS was more or less imposed by congress in order to keep the pork barrel money flowing to the south where the parts were originally being made for the shuttle.

  6. DJG, Reality Czar

    Book-publishing antitrust trial. Years ago, when I first went into publishing, it was received wisdom that the bean counters would ruin everything. And they have.

    This quote is typical of the sort of bilgewater that one could expect at any meeting from an imported executive who was sent in to tame the natives:

    “Everything is random in publishing,” Penguin Random House CEO Markus Dohle told the court during his testimony. “Success is random. Bestsellers are random. That is why we are the Random House!” He went on to describe the editors and publishers of PRH as “angel investors in our authors and their dreams, their stories.”

    Dohle is from Germany and from giant German publisher Bertelsmann. On the other hand, given the current economic suicide of Germany, I’m wondering if the oh-so-rational Germans have been hiding something from the rest of us. He trained as an industrial engineer, and says things like this in public?

    I’m hesitant to be hard on these migrant managers, who likely consider it a crowning point of their careers to go to the U S of A and tell docile and craven Americans what to do. I have met plenty of incompetent home-grown U.S. publishing types, male and female. They were the ones, curiously, who couldn’t figure out why black people didn’t want to work at many of these publishers…

    Ahhh, but then there was the time when some grifting Englishman (and the English do come to the U S of A to grift) introduced himself as Doctor (although not medical, natch) and the rest of his department as Doctor, Doctor, Doctor, and Doctor. They were all Ph.D.s in something or other (not medicine, natch). It was an attempt at something like the Marx Brothers, I suppose, except that these Doctors were useless idiots. The head Doctor, who wasn’t exactly a big producer, got dumped about a year later.

  7. SocalJimObjects

    Wait till the Chinese public hears that Singapore has considerably relaxed its Covid policies from no longer requiring masks other than in public transport and hospital settings to not requiring unvaccinated visitors to quarantine. Singapore is the only country in the world other than China whose population is majority ethnic Chinese, so I think Mainland Chinese people especially those living in first tier cities like Shenzhen will be more apt to compare themselves with Singaporeans.

    I personally don’t think the pandemic is over, and I am very flummoxed by the decision the Singapore government has taken. Singapore’s medical industry is arguably the best in Asia, so presumably the country’s medical professionals would know a thing or two about Long Covid, but seems to me the entire country basically just decided to turn a blind eye to the whole thing.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      I suspect that in Singapore there will still be strong controls on the casual workforce (mostly coming from Malaysia). Plus they may be able to rely upon the very conformist population not to go a little crazy.

      I get the impression in China that the anti-lockdown movement is mostly located in the cities that are more traditionally open to trade and the world in general. But its very hard to get a handle on what people believe in the regular mid-tier cities where most Chinese live. The one thing I’ve noticed is that in my local area, Chinese people are by far and away the most consistent maskers, indoors and outdoors. Although whether this is just a local thing or not, one thing I’ve noticed is that in businesses here owned and operated by Liaoning people (who tend to see themselves as ‘not quite Chinese’ as many are ethnic Korean) there is far less mask wearing than in the Fujianese owned places.

      1. digi_owl

        Or look at Japan, where a common site for ages have been men in business suits wearing face masks because they have a sniffle.

        Supposedly there is a lament among Japanese intellectuals that the younger generations are abandoning traditional community values over western individualist ideas.

        One area you can see this is computer entertainment, where in the early days we barely heard about individual designers (and even today these veterans will try to shift focus to the group or company) these days it is more and more about them.

        Something similar may be going on inside China, primarily seen in the coastal cities with a strong foreign trade element (Naomi Wu ragged in the “western” behavior of Shanghai in dealing with the previous lockdown round).

        1. PlutoniumKun

          To be fair, Japanese intellectuals have been complaining about this for as long as there have been Japanese intellectuals.

          There still seems to be a cultural aversion in Japan to taking on too much personal credit – I’m often surprised at how many very famous Japanese writers stay anonymous – an example being the incredibly successful Koyoharu Gotouge, writer of Demon Slayer, who still manages to keep her privacy (its not even certain that she is a ‘she’). Its as if J.K Rowling had managed to keep her identity secret. Some even reverse their fame –Setsuko Hara simply willed herself into anonymity for decades after retiring from acting, and her adoring public pretty much just accepted this and it seems that nobody bothered her when she went to live in a small house in a semi-remote village. Its hard to see this happening anywhere but Japan.

          1. digi_owl

            Mostly thanks to the bloodsucking gossip press we have here in the west, with their massive lenses etc.

            1. JTMcPhee

              It probably helps (?) that there is such a strong demand for personality-cult paparazzi shooting images of even the few actual artists who dare to try that “I vant to be alone,” Greta Garbo trick. The bloodsuckers do have a ready flow of startlets and star-men who are happy to expose their throats and naughty bits to the sucking parts…

    2. haywood

      Presumably they’re going to see how bad it goes and reassess. The strong central government and collective nature of the citizenry mean that renewing covid restrictions won’t be as big a pull as it would be in the west, perhaps.

      Or they’re just giving up like everyone else did over the last year.

      Or, my own favorite conspiracy theory, they expect covid to mutate into something much much worse in the next year or two, at which point severe lockdowns will have to return, so they’re getting while the getting is good now.

      1. SocalJimObjects

        “so they’re getting while the getting is good now.” The Singapore Tourism Board projected that tourism will only return to its pre Covid levels sometime in mid 2020s. I do have a feeling that the Singapore government knows that something bad is going to happen soon. Mind you, it’s probably not going to be Covid related, but probably something along the world’s economy going to hell in the next few months.

    1. Questa Nota

      If you squint, you can practically see the prison hulks on the Thames. Where will the new Antipodal Prison Colonies be, now that Georgia and Australia have done their time?

  8. Lexx

    ‘Solar Power is Booming in Germany as Russia Turns Down the Gas’

    ‘We need to get ourselves off this dependence — cubic meter per cubic meter, windmill per windmill, PV installation per PV installation,” she told CNN’s Sara Sidner, referring to the units used in building solar and wind energy capacity.

    “Because we see that our dependency on fossil fuels is used as a weapon in a war,” Gewessler said.’

    Or really any basic need (dependency) will be or is being used as a weapon against the populace (8 billion) as the struggle for resources heats up along with the planet.

    I did some math to try to wrap my head around the numbers Europeans will be expected to pay for energy this coming winter. We live in a two story well-insulated house in a state that gets very cold in the winter, and has 23 solar panels on the roof. Our combined energy bill of gas and electricity comes to $87 a month, or $1044 a year. Gasoline is around $67 a month. Water in winter averages $19.

    Using the numbers projected for the increase in energy costs in the UK this winter, those folks are looking at between $550 – $648 every month. Add in the rest of their utilities, gasoline, food, and shelter. The basics. So many ways to kill off excess humans without looking like your trying (and can be held accountable).

    I recall that German families pay high costs (compared to Americans) for food as well. Food is a much bigger chunk of their income. Maybe that has changed since I last looked?

    1. Solarjay

      The distributed solar market in Germany has been down for some years. So it being up is good but it’s not a huge increase.
      Germany has pretty poor weather in the winter which means solar panels don’t work very well. In general Germany has worse weather than Seattle, solar wise.

      And solar electric isn’t going to replace gas for heat unless someone is also getting heat pumps.
      But it’s not going to make a dent in the lack of oil/gas this winter.

      Which so far are pretty available her in the US. Many are now DIY which can reduce costs dramatically.

      I was quoted a Mitsubishi, very good reputation for about $12k, I bought a diy for $1.8k. Yes was 1 days work which I can do.

  9. The Rev Kev

    “UK’s biggest warship, HMS Prince of Wales, breaks down off south coast shortly after setting sail for US”

    So of course the question is how that starboard propeller shaft got damaged if that what was what happened to it. An encounter with a submerged container or something similar is one thing. But if it is a result of a manufacturing fault, that is another and a much more serious one that. And it can happen. It was only several years ago that the British commissioned new warships which then proceeded to break down because they could not deal with – wait for it – warm water, I kid you not-

    At least the front didn’t fall off- (2:08 mins)

    1. Stephen

      The Daily Express claims: “The carrier reportedly spent fewer than 90 days at sea after springing leaks twice in five months, during the its first two years at sea.”

      Another awesome western wunderwaffen that no doubt has the Chinese and Russians running scared.

      In the age of Nelson, once the innovation of coppering the hulls was developed, Royal Navy warships frequently spent over a year at a time at sea. It was a major advantage versus France and Spain: the sailors knew their trade. The modern Royal Navy would have Nelson turning in his grave. It is a sad joke in reality.

      That is before we even get into the discussion of whether it makes any sense at all for Britain (or anyone) even to have aircraft carriers.

      1. Polar Socialist

        whether it makes any sense at all for Britain (or anyone) even to have aircraft carriers

        I think carriers are a part of balanced naval force, but should be the last element to be added. Not as much as a force projection tool, but by being the equivalent of light cavalry for the fleet.

        In a war against peer that can use massive EW to deny satellite or other intelligence, a recon plane can still find the enemy, even if radar is useless, by getting eyes on. And fighters can both keep enemy recon away and shoot down anti-ship missiles way much further away than any ship-borne defense system can.

        1. vao

          Those vessels are so expensive to build and operate that they suck men, budgets, shipyards, etc, that could be allocated to other parts of the navy. For a country with constrained resources, this means that achieving “balanced naval forces” becomes illusory.

          The argument applies to France as well.

        2. Tom Stone

          I see a place for Escort carriers since you always have to get the beans and bullets from here to there, however super carriers like the “Ford” class are little more than expensive targets.

        3. ambrit

          Orwell finessed the problem by making the entirety of the Islands a stationary aircraft carrier: Airstrip One.

      2. Andrew Watts

        Maybe naming a ship after another one that was sunk is a bad idea? I don’t buy into that superstitious nonsense and if I ever own a boat I’m gonna christen it the Titanic out of spite.

        Your move, God.

    1. orlbucfan

      Somehow, I have no pity for the woman featured in this interview. Sure, NASA grew out of the MICC (courtesy of the Navy and Air Force), but the commercialization/privatization garbage makes me sick at times. Wonder why?

      1. Bugs

        Oh yes, she’s in neoliberal mindlock, whence Obama’s appointment of her. No sympathy here either.

        That said, NASA is not distinguishing itself by sticking with outdated rocket tech for its manned ships just for strategic reasons of having talent in place.

  10. ProNewerDeal

    Does the NC Covid Brain Trust or any others here have any predictions on Covid say through 2025?

    Are these nasal vaccines in development likely be effective? Do they provide sterilizing immunity?

    Is it likely that the status quo will continue? That any infection or existing vaccines currently in use in any nations provide Temporary Partial immunity at best? That any infection adds to the cumulative infection risk of Long Covid, and increased other morbidities including cancer risk due to Covid possibly permanently lowering T-cell counts?

    What is the best-case scenario for the prophalytic weekly I-vitamin patients in this status quo environment? Reducing but not eliminating serious damage of Long Covid and increased cancer risk by X%? What is X, 70%?

    Outside of China and perhaps a few other regions like Western Australia, is 80%+ of World Population in a Long Covid Denial Bubble, that by 2025 will cause a health crisis and follow-on economic crisis that is as bad or worse than the worst of the 2020-2022 health and economic crisis? Eg instead of the 0.9% UK increase in 25-64 disability, could it be 5% or worse in most nations by 2025?

    Predicting the future is always tough, but much tougher currently in my view.

    1. Raymond Sim

      Is it likely that the status quo will continue?

      Data is so scarce, and my trust in what’s available so low, that this is necessarily a w.a.g. – but I find it hard to reconcile the available wastewater data with scenarios where the median number of infections per year is much less than 1.5. This situation has persisted for months now.

      Likewise the virus persists in adapting rapidly to medical interventions. Until that capacity is fully plumbed the ongoing high rates of transmission make it seem likely that, absent effective nonmedical interventions, infection rates will stay high. High infection rates make frequent emergence of new variants which handily defeat existing immunity a safe bet.

      This kind of frequent emergence of viral variants occurs in settings like confinement rearing of livestock, where it seems to typically involve the unpredictable emergence of status-quo shattering variants, with mass casualties.

      All of which is to say that our current status quo appears to contain the seeds of its own breakdown. Paging Mr. Minsky!

    2. Mike Mc

      Curious about our COVID future as well.

      Wife and I caught whatever the current variant is thanks to anti-vaxxers at church getting too close; so after 30 months, two states, two airplane trips, two vaxxes and two boosters – bam!

      Hers was mostly upper respiratory and nasal passages; mine went straight to bronchial tubes and after a day of racking coughs and copious phlegm, browbeat my local clinic for Paxlovid. Worked wonders in a day or two; also had the worst sore throat since H1N1 in 2009 but mostly recovered in about 10 days.

      So – we’d like to know if/when/how we can get tested for long COVID. Both in our 60s, I’m a Type II diabetic (controlled by diet and Jardiance), she has Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (controlled by diet and Synthroid)… would like to have some intel on what the immediate future might hold health wise.

      1. Anthony G Stegman

        How can you be sure that you were infected by “anti-vaxxers at church getting too close”? By now you should know that the available vaccines do not prevent virus transmission. It is more likely that you became infected because you were in an enclosed space (church) densely populated with church-goers. The ventilation was likely sub-par. Churches have long been places that facilitate viral spread of all sorts.

      2. m

        There are people here in the hospital for other reasons and covid, mild symptoms. These people have had 4-5 shots, so let’s stop blaming the unwashed, unvaxxed.

        Maybe booster #20 will do the trick

    3. none

      There is not currently a diagnostic test for long covid, but there are starting to be more markers recognized, like reduced cortisone levels in the blood.

      There are some hypotheses (not considered confirmed, but a current research topic) that long covid comes from 1) blood microclots, thus potentially treatable with anticoagulants, and (separately) 2) reactivation of the person’s earlier viral infections, particularly from the herpes family, which includes Epstein-Barr (responsible for mononucleosis and maybe also for MS).

      If a person gets covid multiple times, I have been wondering whether the likelihood of getting long covid is the same each time. It could be that some people are more susceptible than others, so if they dodge it the first time, they are more likely to dodge it other times too. I don’t know of any research about this.

  11. Screwball

    ‘Make a TON of money’: How 2 Floridians tried to cash in on Joe Biden’s daughter’s diary McClatchy

    Two things about this story. 1) We don’t know what is all true, but it sure looks disgusting in various ways. Watching the Biden PMC backers twist themselves in pretzels poo-pooing this away is quite entertaining.

    2) As this headline shows, the narrative is on the thieves, which is where the PMC are focused because of what these thieves did to Joe (those dirty rotten scoundrels). I’m guessing, but if this diary didn’t have any salacious materiel in it, this wouldn’t be much of a story.

    But it has to be spun somehow, so this is as good as any I guess.

    1. Questa Nota

      All those pretzel people will have plenty of company in the media. The truth can’t stay hidden forever, and leaks out at inopportune times.
      When those pretzels get found out, will they have any shame?
      The same could be said for so many in media and academia on many matters, so the shamelessness rolls on.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      Neither one of uncle joe’s surviving offspring seems to be able to keep track of their personal belongings, despite the fact that they seem to be inclined to write a lot of damning personal / “professional” shit down and save it.

      The narrative managers must have whiplash going from trying to dirty up the Trump kids to trying to clean up the biden ones.

    3. Louis Fyne

      The diary in isolation would’ve been a nothing-burger.

      Combine some of the passages in the diary with certain hair-sniffing and hugging = whoa nelly, if true.

    4. Eureka Springs

      Imagine if these PMCs were discussing a story exactly like this only of a man from Florida rather than Cornpops best buddy. The PMC’s would be screaming – string him up!

  12. The Rev Kev

    “Households could get 25% discount on energy bills if they back local fracking plans”

    Those households should put that saved money into a bank. They will need it before too long – to either repair all the earthquake damage to their home or for long-term cancer treatments. Anybody think that Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak will care? They wouldn’t even pay for ‘No Open Flames!’ signs to be set up next to all those people’s water taps.

  13. Katniss Everdeen

    Apparently a government plan to pay UK families a monthly stipend to temporarily house Ukrainian refugees is breaking down, creating increasing numbers of “homeless” refugees.

    Some 50,000 Ukrainians could be homeless in the UK next year, as the government’s scheme to match refugees with British families breaks down, The Guardian reported on Sunday. With the cost of living spiraling, the opposition wants the government to boost payments to host families.

    …According to a recent government survey, only a quarter of those quitting the scheme after six months said they were doing so because they could no longer afford to take part, and just four in ten said that more money would encourage them to extend their participation.

    A majority (58%) said they only ever intended to provide short-term accommodation.

    It just gets worse and worse. How much longer will Europeans put up with this? The latest military “aid” package from the u.s. provides weapons that won’t be available for two years. Yeah, I don’t think so.

    1. Magpie

      Good conversation about this with the two Alexes and Mr Lira on the Duran channel from earlier this morning. I feel fortunate not to live in Europe, at least for now.

      Also, see at about 47:50 where Mr Lira continues to not comprehend MMT. Mystifying to see him single out MMT given the many economic ‘policies’ that actually drove the crises of the past generation.

      Their interesting conversation is also leavened with the claim that the Weimar Republic’s horrible inflationary period of 1921-23 led directly to the National Socialists seizing power. This overlooks the fascinating decade of political struggles to save the Weimar Republic from the reparations spiral and the Depression, which all took place AFTER said inflation crisis, and is a story well worth revisiting (for instance, Hjalmar Schacht’s rise and fall) and I would really recommend Liaquat Ahamed’s Lords of Finance and Adam Tooze’s The Deluge and/or The Wages of Destruction for those interested.

  14. The Rev Kev

    ‘Might be going out on a limb a bit on this one, but something I saw in imagery of China’s ongoing construction at Cambodia’s Ream naval base caught my eye today.’

    Personally, I would have thought that it is all up to China and Cambodia what they do. And I wouldn’t be surprised if the Chinese were taking defensive preparations at all. Still, thought it a bit rich how a guy from the MIC is worried about China developing Base Number Two whereas in his Navy career, Shugart must have visited many of the 800 bases of his country scattered around the planet-

      1. Raymond Sim

        Yeah, but construction of anti-aircraft infrastructure at a military facility doesn’t usually rate the Cuban Missile Crisis treatment does it?

        I feel as though I see a lot of screeching at trees while forests go ignored. The big news is the base itself right?

      2. The Rev Kev

        It’s still only Base Number Two. They are allowed to build them if the local government agrees.

  15. Lee Too

    Lake monsters: I grew up on the Great Lakes and always like to cite lampreys as the business model for private equity firms: Attach to a living process and suck the guts out of it.

    But I thought maybe the article would be about South Bay Bessie, the inspiration for Lake Erie Monster double IPA.

  16. Jason Boxman

    Health experts encouraged making Covid shots a routine part of people’s medical care, including by enlisting more primary care doctors in the rollout. More creative marketing could also help generate demand, said Dr. Kevin Schulman, a Stanford University professor.

    One example, he said, would be a campaign framed around protecting older relatives at fall or winter holiday gatherings. Despite the scientific uncertainties, he also said the time had to come to promise Americans that they would not be asked back for further Covid vaccines for at least a year — and that, when they were, it would be for an “annual Covid vaccine,” rather than a “booster.”

    LOL. An annual vaccine! These people are nuts.

    1. Anthony G Stegman

      Dr. Schulman likely has a side gig consulting for Big Pharma. Many Stanford professors have side gigs consulting for various business interests.

  17. Tommy S

    I don’t wanna post a daily Kos link…….maybe you all will but it draws info from a Food and Water report…and it’s called new research reveals outsized water…almonds…..absolutely amazing the democrats in CA from Brown to Newson, not only are not reducing fracking and stupid water use. they increase it, every goddamn year….

  18. Francine

    “Biden; spend Covid relief money on police, crime prevention”

    Now that the social utility, votes, neighborhood busting housing bills and spending packages have been wrung out of the BLM rioters, equity protestors and other race hatred fomenting activists , the elite need protection from the growing number of carjackers, thugs and homeless that other Biden policies and their social justice derivitives have encouraged.

    Chicago is on pace for 1,960 carjackings in 2022, according to data compiled by Wirepoints, blowing through the 1,848 record set just last year.

  19. CaliDan

    Water shortages must be placed on the climate-change agenda. This is why World Economic Forum

    Has the term self-evident completely disappeared from public discourse?

    1. hunkerdown

      Political speech aims for effect, not evidence. The “climate-change agenda” is a euphemism for the next round of taboo-breaking against vital resource privatization.

        1. Polar Socialist

          According to the Russian media and telegram channels some battles are still raging and the Ukrainians were sending more troops into the fire – “Kiev destroying it’s reserves”, as Vzglyad news put it.

          According to some experts/pundits, Ukraine chose to attack in Kherson – Krivyi Rog area because the US satellites give them the best intel there. The ground is flat and huge open fields, so the Russian positions and movement can be observed from space.

          The videos available show multiple tanks and AFVs speeding over fields raising huge clouds of dust only to be stopped by heavy artillery before reaching the treeline at the other end of the field. Of course there is a selection bias in the footage.

          If the Russians hold trough the night, I would not be surprised to see a Russian counter-counter-offensive tomorrow or day after that. Provided they have the troops to spare and the timing fits their overall schedule. It would be a classic example of the Art of War.

        2. The Rev Kev

          RT went more into their losses-

          ‘Russian troops caused “great losses” to the Ukrainian attackers during the day’s battles, a statement read. Kiev saw 26 tanks, 23 armored fighting vehicles, nine more armored vehicles, and two SU-25 ground-attack jets destroyed, while more than 560 troops were lost, according to the summary.’

          Polar Socialist describes the area as flat and open so the Russians had them where they did not have much cover. I think that the Russians have about 25 battalion tactical groups in the region so there is the opportunity to launch a counter-offensive to go to Mykolaiv maybe.

  20. LawnDart

    Re; Live: IAEA mission departs for Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant

    We see so many gutless, scummy and sociopathic government “leaders” that it’s rare but encouraging when a person in a leadership position actually puts their butt on the line for their people and their mission.

    International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Rafael Grossi deserves praise for accompanying his team to Zaporizhzhia NPP, and hopefully providing them with an additional layer of protection by doing so when he could have simply remained at home, at his office, awaiting their reports.

    Hopefully someone buys him a beer after they’ve completed their mission, because he deserves it.

  21. JTMcPhee

    The NASA that built the Voyagers probably does not exist any more. Sure seems like different engineering inspirations in the current tech and clearly big budgets have brought out the MiC-think types. How about that Boeing Starliner, hey?

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