Rollin’ with the Model S

A little more than 2 months with the Tesla Model S, and I am loving this car more and more every day. It’s not as plush as a Mercedes. Hasn’t got quite the raw sex appeal of a 911 or the stunning looks of an Aston Martin. Not as, well, garish as the Fisker Karma. …

Continue reading

Tesla and the long-distance drive

I have just completed a 400m round trip from Palm Beach to Orlando and back in my two-month-old Tesla Model S sedan. Let me say right off that, with each passing day of driving, I enjoy this car more and more. It is a balanced, smooth, powerful joy to drive, and the new software update …

Continue reading

The ultimate digital camera. Buy more disks.

    The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) will survey the entire visible sky every week, creating an unprecedented public archive of data – about 6 million gigabytes per year, the equivalent of shooting roughly 800,000 images with a regular eight-megapixel digital camera every night, but of much higher quality and scientific value.     …

Continue reading

Veterans and brain disease

We are creating a slow-motion disaster for military families and their communities. This appears to be an incurable, untreatable pathology that gets worse over long periods of time. His brain had been physically changed by a disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or C.T.E. That’s a degenerative condition best-known for affecting boxers, football players and other athletes who endure …

Continue reading

Education on a massive scale: free online Ivy League courses

MITx + HARVARDx = edX…Harvard has partnered with its Cambridge neighbor on edX, an open source online learning platform featuring courses designed specifically for the Internet. According to the edX website, features of the platform will include “self-paced learning, online discussion groups, wiki-based collaborative learning, online assessments and laboratories.” The New Equation For Free Education

Fun with webfonts.

At last, real typography for the web… kern.js | fun with webfonts

When you can’t find your way home…

Try a pair of GPS shoes. Dominic Wilcox GPS Shoes

The patent mess: why and how

Everyone who even occasionally reads about the endless rounds of high-dollar patent litigation (think Apple vs. Samsung) or the abuse of purchased patents by shell companies with no business other than to carpet-bomb an industry with patent claims (“trolling”) knows that the patent system has seriously broken over the last 30 years. Processes and methods …

Continue reading

The farthest ever view of the universe

Just in case you still have it in your head that we are alone in the universe… Hubble Goes to the eXtreme to Assemble Farthest Ever View of the Universe

The tipping point for orbital debris

One question this poses: are future launches of manned and unmanned missions at greater risk just because they must transit through the accumulating debris field? Could we be trapping ourselves on the planet by surrounding ourselves with broken glass? We’ve Already Passed the Tipping Point for Orbital Debris

Swastika-bearing Buddhist statue was chiseled from a meteorite

In 1938 a team of Nazis traveling in Tibet came across the statue and—possibly intrigued by the familiar bent-armed cross—brought it back to Germany. There, the “Iron Man” remained in a private collection in Munich until 2007, when the statue became available for study. Since then, Elmar Buchner of the Planetology Institute at Stuttgart University has been analyzing …

Continue reading

Voter registration fraud in Florida?

Remember ACORN? Yes, well, the Republicans are now doing the same thing that so outraged them… A consulting firm engaged by the RNC has been filing voter registrations with county supervisors of elections that have forged signatures. The firm claimed that a “bad apple” was responsible — but this was exactly what happened with ACORN …

Continue reading


Do you need to get a call when someone tweets? Or have your house email you when it detects someone inside? Then you need duct tape for the Internet: About IFTTT.

Desolation Sound Cruise: Bellingham (southbound)

Something seemed to be a awry with the water heater circuit breaker on the Escape, and we awoke to cold showers. But since it was slightly warmer now that we were down the San Juans, it wasn’t too much of a hardship. We untied early from Roche Harbor and made our way slowly on a …

Continue reading

Desolation Sound Cruise: Roche Harbor

Progress out of Vancouver was slow because we had to zigzag our course to avoid wet rolling seas on the starboard beam. I plotted a route across the Strait of Georgia to cut through the Gulf Islands at TK passage, which would both be more direct and offer us a chance of seeing whales. The …

Continue reading

Desolation Sound Cruise: Vancouver (southbound)

The three amigos arose with no planned destination, beyond eventually reaching Roche Harbor to check through US Customs in the next three days. Surfbirdhad mentioned than they were going to remain in nearby waters, but we realized that if we did so as well we would have to rush to finally make it back to …

Continue reading

Desolation Sound Cruise: Princess Louisa Inlet (evening)

After a late afternoon rest (which included re-watering the tanks, cleaning the galley, showering, etc.), and after a short visit to the guests aboard Surfbirdto reflect on the cruise, the last remaining members of the NYYC fleet boarded a cramped and charming commercial fishing boat for a short trip across to the dock of the …

Continue reading

Desolation Sound Cruise: Princess Louisa Inlet (day)

After a slightly uncomfortable night on a bed a bit wetter than I had thought (thanks to the good seamanship exhibited by all three of our crew in forgetting to shut the portholes on the drenching southbound cruise yesterday), I rose early this morning and dressed quickly for our 9am boat trip up to Princess …

Continue reading

Desolation Sound Cruise: Garden Bay (southbound)

All of us were exhausted by Saturday night’s celebrations, and we slept in unusually late – 8am. When we awoke, we discovered that some kind soul had left us a mascot for our vessel, knowing our sad reputation as the three amigos aboard the only stag boat of the fleet. Unfortunately, we knew that the …

Continue reading

Desolation Sound Cruise: Cortes Harbour

We slept late on Saturday morning: our destination was only a few miles away, south on Cortes Island at the Seattle Yacht Club’s northernmost outpost in Cortes Harbor. After malingering aboard, Glenn and I set out for the oyster beds to replenish our cache of shellfish. Slippery rocks and shallow waters made it difficult but …

Continue reading