A few months ago I blogged about the Space Elevator. For science optimists, the space elevator is a cool idea and perfectly feasible given the right technology. The idea is to attach a paper-thin ribbon constructed of carbon nanotubes to a platform on earth and counter-weight it in orbit. People and materials can then be run up the ribbon at a fraction of the cost of a shuttle launch. It seems there might be a setback, however.
Nicola Pugno is publishing a paper questioning how durable the carbon ribbon will be. Pugno argues that atomic-scale defects in the ribbon will make it much weaker than currently estimated. I'm sure other physicists will debate this, especially the space elevator's main advocate, Brad Edwards. He contends he could construct the ribbon in 3 years given the right funding. I'm a little skeptical of that myself, but I'm glad people are going to keep working on this. Perhaps in my lifetime we'll have our first elevator going up.
Posted by Cameron at 6:13 PM
A Senate committee voted 10-8 to bring a a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages to the full Senate. What a waste of time. With all of the problems facing our country and the world, they spend time and money on this ridiculous issue. Same-sex marriage hurts no one. I'm not going to suddenly leave my wife and become gay just because other gay couples can marry. No wonder Congress has an 18% approval rating.
Posted by Cameron at 10:49 AM
kids do say the darndest things. My wife was teaching her 3rd graders about similes. They had to fill out a paper with the following template:
As [blank] as a [blank]. One of her boys wrote:
As fast as a fart out of my butt.
He got full credit although she pointed out that perhaps he should keep those type of things to himself in the future.
Posted by Cameron at 11:43 AM
Here are a couple of links to some interesting reading.
Over at the Atlantic Monthly, Marc Bowden has an article on the attemped Delta Force rescue of the Tehran hostages. If you read and enjoyed Black Hawk Down, this is right up your alley.
In Rolling Stone is an article by Princeton historian Sean Wilentz titled "The Worst President in History?" Do you agree?
Posted by Cameron at 2:45 PM