Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Europe Rips Up the Rulebook - France and Germany get away with overspending. By Scott MacMillan

This is sort of important. How important? It may well be the event that 10 or 15 years from now we will look at as the official inflection point for EU's Western economies.

The disregard for common European rules Germany itself insisted on in order to shore up its own economy and budget gives new ammunition to the critics of the EU in Britain and elsewhere. It will also give pause to the EU-proponents. This seems like a classic lose-lose situation where European politicians have behaved in a way that would make any member of the US Congress blush with pride.

Full article here - Europe Rips Up the Rulebook - France and Germany get away with overspending.

Javascript error fixed

For a little while now, the site has been afflicted with a javascript error that appeared whenever you tried to open this url. It came about as a result of the outage a couple of weeks ago. I have finally gotten around to updating the template with new javascript to point to the proper blogroll. Sadly, all of the previous links were lost and it will take me some time to reconstruct them. But at least the error has been with.

I also want to make clear that outages happen to everyone, and I am very happy with the service has been freely providing to me and my fellow bloggers.

U.S. Detains Wife and Daughter of Wanted Iraqi General

U.S. Detains Wife and Daughter of Wanted Iraqi General

The American military said today its forces had detained the wife and daughter of a former top Iraqi general, Izzat Ibrahim al-Duri, who it believes is at large in Iraq and coordinating some of the attacks against foreign occupation troops.

A spokesman for the 4th Infantry Division, Master Sgt. Robert Cargie, said the women were picked up at a residence in Samarra, north of Baghdad, on Tuesday. The son of General Duri's physician was also detained, and all three were being regarded as material witnesses, he added.

Is not this sort of illegal. While holding them as "material witnesses" is not by itself illegal, is not this really an obvious and crude attempt to intimidate the enemy by pressing on its possible emotional vulnerability. Were Iraqis to do something like this, we wold consdier this a hostage situation and treat them with comptempt for resorting to such low-life methods of intimidation. After all of our loud talk about the atrocities Saddam committed, about how he humiliated his own peoples -- why are we doing something that is going to be widely interpreted as a weak and cowardly move?

Particularly rank is the arrest of the son of a physician possibly traveling with the general. This is a person who has at best tangential relevance to the hunt, and while he may indeed possess the information as to his father's whereabouts, are we basically presenting ourselves as grasping for straws? In the battle for hearts and minds this is one tactic that is sure to backfire.

All methods should be persued to save the lives of American soldiers (and yes, I do care about American lives more than Iraqi lives. Just like Iraqis care more about their compatriots than Americans). However, using methods that seem unlikely to bring results unless these witnesses are tortured (which seems rather impossible) but will inspire a feeling of disgust and disappointment will not save more lives than it will cost in the future - both near and far.

Full Article here - U.S. Detains Wife and Daughter of Wanted Iraqi General

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

photoSIG » A. Strolling.

This photo actually made the "front page". A first for me - A. Strolling.

Usually I link to photos I find interesting and amazing. Today I am just linking to a picture designed with one goal in mind -- to bring sounds of "oh, how cute" from delighted relatives. sorry.

update 11.26.2003: Actually, thsi was not the first time I made the "front page" on Photosig. But it has definitely been a while, as evidenced by the fact that I forgot about acheiving this distinction before.


RDK mentions this item you might want to consider for the holiday season. A USB Memory LAKS watch

It is a watch with 32-256MB of RAM built inside and a USB cord built into the strap. Keychains are so passe....

Monday, November 24, 2003

from "The Ornery American"

As always I get to an article much later than I would wish. And is very often the case, Orson Scott Card wrties a powerful essay that should be read, considered, and meditated on. By all sides. A short excerpt

Our current war against terrorism is not the first time that western civilization has faced a widespread terrorist threat.

A century ago, there were bombings and assassinations all over Europe and America. Followers of a radical, utopian ideology (and the wackos who used that ideology as an excuse for murder) murdered a Tsar of Russia, a President of the United States, a President of France, a Premier of Spain, an Empress of Austria, a King of Italy, and various lesser officials.

They also, occasionally, attacked random innocent civilians. The man who killed one person and injured twenty others with a bomb he placed in the Café Terminus in Paris said he chose that site because there came "all those who are satisfied with the established order, all the accomplices and employees of Property and the State

He concludes, in no uncertain terms that were we to falter,

And if we abandon this war, then a day will almost certainly come when all of us will look back with deep regret to the time when we might have rid the world of the scourge of extremist Muslim terrorism (meanwhile liberating more than a few Muslim nations from tyranny) at the astonishingly slight cost in blood and horror, compared to most wars, that we have paid so far in Afghanistan and Iraq.

But we're Americans. We neither study history nor learn from it.

heh. "But we're Americans. We neither study history nor learn from it." ... More properly it should be said that there always enough disagreement over what the lesson of history is that no action on that lesson can ever be taken.

original link from Dean's world

Op-Ed Columnist: Missing Links Found

William Safire on Atta-Iraq connection

It's a fairly brave piece, taking on the prevailing journalistic winds and the FBI. Of course, this column was a lot easier to do now that the Weekly Standard has blown the case open once again. Frankly, this again shows that whoever thinks the US government acted rashly does not understand the reasons we have a National Security policy, and why Americans elect their leaders. Whether Atta did get money from Iraq is not truly important. The fact that there was a strong possibility that he did, and the fact that lots of people had a lot of other facts, thoughts, and connections between Al-Queda and Iraq is the important factor here.

Critics of George Bush forget the pillorying they themselves administered post 9-11. What did he know? When did he know it? Yet, they would prefer he did not act on new intellegences in the post 9-11 world and be pillorred again? Our executive branch has to act on the best intelligence they can, and 9-11 has definitely lowered the threshold of what is actionable and what is not.

Given the preponderance of evidence that Saddam had and was working on building more and better chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons, his connections with various terrorist organizations, and his willingness to kill any number of civilians to hurt the United States and its allies, how could our Government not act?

Complete text of the op-ed - Missing Links Found

Friday, November 21, 2003

Good and brave speech by Lawrence Summers

via Horsefeathers
Without thinking about it much, I attributed all of this to progress-to an ascendancy of enlightenment and tolerance. A view that prejudice is increasingly put aside. A view that while the politics of the Middle East was enormously complex, and contentious, the question of the right of a Jewish state to exist had been settled in the affirmative by the world community. But today, I am less complacent. Less complacent and comfortable because there is disturbing evidence of an upturn in anti-Semitism globally, and also because of some developments closer to home. Consider some of the global events of the Last year:

There have been synagogue burnings, physical assaults on Jews, or the painting of swastikas on Jewish memorials in every country in Europe.

Observers in many countries have pointed to the worst outbreak of attacks against the Jews since the Second World War. Candidates who denied the significance of the Holocaust reached the runoff stage of elections for the nation's highest office in France and Denmark. State-sponsored television stations in many nations of the world spew anti-Zionist propaganda.

The United Nations-sponsored World Conference on Racism--while failing to mention human rights abuses in China, Rwanda, or anyplace in the Arab world--spoke of Israel's policies prior to recent struggles under the Barak government as constituting ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. The NGO declaration at the same conference was even more virulent. I could go on. But I want to bring this closer to home. Of course academic communities should be and always will be places that allow any viewpoint to be expressed. And certainly there is much to be debated about the Middle East and much in Israel's foreign and defense policy that can be and should be vigorously challenged. But where anti-Semitism and views that are profoundly anti-Israeli have traditionally been the primary preserve of poorly educated right-wing populists, profoundly anti-Israel views are increasingly finding support in progressive intellectual communities. Serious and thoughtful people are advocating and taking actions that are anti-Semitic in their effect if not their intent. For example:

Hundreds of European academics have called for an end to support for Israeli researchers, though not for an end to support for researchers from any other nation. Israeli scholars this past spring were forced off the board of an international literature journal.

At the same rallies where protesters, many of them university students, condemn the IMF and global capitalism and raise questions about globalization, it is becoming increasingly common to also lash out at Israel. Indeed, at the anti-IMF rallies last spring, chants were heard equating Hitler and Sharon.

Events to raise funds for organizations of questionable political provenance that in some cases were later found to support terrorism have been held by student organizations on this and other campuses with at least modest success and very little criticism.

And some here at Harvard and some at universities across the country have called for the University to single out Israel among all nations as the lone country where it is inappropriate for any part of the university's endowment to be invested. I hasten to say the University has categorically rejected this suggestion. We should always respect the academic freedom of everyone to take any position. We should also recall that academic freedom does not include freedom from criticism. The only antidote to dangerous ideas is strong alternatives vigorously advocated.

I have always throughout my life been put off by those who heard the sound of breaking glass, in every insult or slight, and conjured up images of Hitler's Kristallnacht at any disagreement with Israel. Such views have always seemed to me alarmist if not slightly hysterical. But I have to say that while they still seem to me unwarranted, they seem rather less alarmist in the world of today than they did a year ago. I would like nothing more than to be wrong. It is my greatest hope and prayer that the idea of a rise of anti-Semitism proves to be a self-denying prophecy--a prediction that carries the seeds of its own falsification. But this depends on all of us.

"I love my mother much more now than before.", she says with a shy smile

"My mother did this because she does not want us to be punished by people," Fatima explains with a shy smile. Leaning into Qaoud's arms, the little girl adds: "I love my mother much more now than before."

what did she do?

ABU QASH, West Bank - Rofayda Qaoud - raped by her brothers and impregnated - refused to commit suicide, her mother recalls, even after she bought the unwed teenager a razor with which to slit her wrists. So Amira Abu Hanhan Qaoud says she did what she believes any good Palestinian parent would: restored her family's "honor" through murder.

Armed with a plastic bag, razor and wooden stick, Qaoud entered her sleeping daughter's room last Jan. 27. "Tonight you die, Rofayda," she told the girl, before wrapping the bag tightly around her head. Next, Qaoud sliced Rofayda's wrists, ignoring her muffled pleas of "No, mother, no!" After her daughter went limp, Qaoud struck her in the head with the stick.

the complete horror story is here (link via Horsefeathers

Germany’s East Is Able to Prevent Industrial Flight to Third World

About East Germany and China

What a strange article. Purportedly, it is about a new factory in East Germany, but really, it seems aimed at explaining how inevitably the investment and jobs will *still* go to China. It really feels like the article was originally requested and written to address the general issue of China and investment into it, but repurposed at the last moment. Too bad. This is an important and interestign topic that is much greyer than Times and other publications make it out to be, IMO.

See the compete article here - Germany’s East Is Able to Prevent Industrial Flight to Third World

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Yahoo! News - Man Dies After Winning Vodka-Drinking Contest

1.5 liters in 30 minutes.

The winner of a vodka drinking face-off downed 3 half-liter bottles of vodka in 30 minutes.

A vodka-drinking competition in a southern Russian town ended in tragedy with the winner dead and several runners-up in intensive care.

"The competition lasted 30, perhaps 40 minutes and the winner downed three half-liter bottles. He was taken home by taxi but died within 20 minutes," said Roman Popov, a prosecutor pursuing the case in the town of Volgodonsk.

"Five contestants ended up in intensive care. Those not in hospital turned up the next day, ostensibly for another drink."

Popov said the director of the shop organizing this month's contest had been charged with manslaughter. He had offered 10 liters of vodka to the competitor drinking the most in the shortest time.

from Yahoo! News - Man Dies After Winning Vodka-Drinking Contest

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Kagan on Rumsfield

Following porphyrogenitus's lead, read this long article by Fred Kagan on the military transformation and his extraordinary strong dislike of Donald Rumsfield. The article is a nice overview of the current operational capabilities by some parts of the armed forces, and of the current US Military doctrine. The latter is really primarily an overview of the doctrine as Fred kagan sees Rumsfield understand it. It is not entirely clear that this is really what either the Pentagon, DoD, Chiefs of Staff, White House, or even Rumsfield himself see, only what Kagan thinks they see. Some of his thoughts definitely struck a cord with me, as they mirror my own concerns and I have not yet seen anyone address them publicly

The problem with the current program is that it relies on maintaining an overwhelming advantage in a single area of military performance indefinitely. The failure to contemplate having to fight creditable opponents and the imbalance of the effort to transform the military both create serious risks and vulnerabilities for American armed forces in the future.

Indeed. When a couple of M1 tansk were destroyed by russian-made anti-tank missiles, an cry of exasperation seems to have gone up from the observers and the DoD itself. "Iraqis are not supposed to have these weapons. Thus they should not be using them - we did not plan on it." The solution -- threaten Russia to stop supplying such missiles to Iraqis. How exactly were we planning on fighting the Soviet Union then? How do we plan to contain China or N.Korea when both of them undoubetdly have similar weapons? What was the plan?

American desire to preserve lives of its personnel is admirable. I am of drafting age and certainly appreciate a doctrine that would take care not to sacrifice me needlessly. However, precisely because I would be fighting for this country, I would like to know that the General Staff and the Pentagon Procurement offices are not going to just throw their arms up in the air when an inevitable Russian or Chinese weapon makes an appearance.

Having said that, I have to submit that the quest for effeciency Kagan deplores is not by itself at all bad. While Kagan would bemoan the disappearance of redundancy, I would welcome more accountability for taxpayer's money. The real key to everything is planning [ed -- real profound]. The reason Soviet Union was able to produce great tanks and planes in large quantities during WWII was not simply because they matched Germans after 1941. Quite the contrary. They matched Germans before that -- they just did not produce enough of the right kind of equipment and did not train the right strategies and tactics. If USSR had to invent, design, and test the T34 during the war it would have never gotten to that point. Ditto for the Americans. I think the transformation of the military needs to center around more planning and preparedness for all eventualities rather than less. Being able to ramp up production of a any specific munition or armament quickly is incredibly important, and I do not feel that this kind of flexible manufacturing is receving the attention and research it needs. If we have a tested small-scale deployment of a measure or counter-measure for any situation and the ability to quickly create a large number of these armaments and a dispersed group of personnel trained in using these tools and skilled in tactics that apply to using them then we would have achieved a real unified command with a versatile and inherently adoptable Defense Force.

Certainly I am glossing over really huge potholes and I do not mean to imply that the DoD is not currently pursuing these strategies, or that they have not found them useless and therefore discarded them. But Kagan seems to say that they did, and while his sources are definitely better than mine, I think it is a really large statement to make.

1000 hits

As of this moment in time and space a thousand (1,000) hits have been counted on this site since its inception.

That's pretty pathetic for a multi-months effort.

More on blogrolling problem

I see that Arguing with signposts has also been affected by the same issue as I have. That's sort of good news. I was worried my password was snooped. Which may well have been the case, but at least if more people at are affected it points to a possibility that the system itself was breached, but possibly (if they did the right thing with hashing passwords) no passwords were given out to the intruder.

Monday, November 17, 2003

Hijacked account

It looks like over the past weekend my blogrolling account has become hijacked in some fashion. I do not yet know whether my username and password were compromised, or whether it was some kind of security break on itself, but I would certainly urge my readers not to think that I have suddenly become Laura's blog biggest fan and now link ot her exclusively.

Needless to say this is very disturbing. I use a similar username and password for various other low and medium security accounts and would hate to find out all them have been compromised. While it would suck for a lot more people, I am hoping blogrolling itself was somehow compromised and the attackers did not actually learn my username and password. Frankly, chances of this are slim. I am only hoping there is some way for me to figure out how the password got compromised, but even that is doubtful.

Sucky beginning to the week.

Saturday, November 15, 2003

Revived Girl Baffles Medical Experts

Cool - Yahoo! News - Revived Girl Baffles Medical Experts:
Detective Mike Kendrick began photographing the body of a little girl on an emergency room table for an investigation of a drowning. Then, through the lens, he saw her chest move. Just spasms, he thought. Then he saw it move again. And again.

Friday, November 14, 2003

Foreign Language Followup

Did not California Proposition 63 make English the official language of the state? If so, then would not any language other than English truly be considered a foreign language? No matter how upsetting it might be for people to be told that their native tongue is a "foreign" language in a curricullum description, it has to be immeasurably more important for them that the state of Califronia does consider Englsh to be exclusive official language of the state, thus making every other language foreign.

The real question, clearly, is whether the otherness expressed by the word "foreign" extends farther than its pure linguistic component of meaning, "different from" into the semantic sphere of "foreigner", with all attendant (for many people) negative connotations that have nothing to do with the language and everything to do with some presumed birthright.

[Foreign?] Language Requirement

via Volokh Conspiracy from the San Diego State University student newspaper:

San Diego State is . . . dropping the word "foreign" from the general catalog's "Foreign Language Requirement."

According to Dean of Division of Undergraduate Studies Geoffrey Chase, the University Senate decided to delete the word "foreign" from the title last Tuesday. Chase said the extraneous word carries negative connotations and should, therefore, be omitted in the next publication of the general catalog.

Members of the Undergraduate Council, who drafted a rationale, in support of this initiative wrote: "The term 'foreign' has been used to designate something alien and is as ethnocentric and inappropriate as using 'oriental' to designate a person of Asian descent." Moreover, members pointed out many universities that have already changed the wording of the requirement such as Stanford University, University of Michigan, University of Chicago and University of Texas.

Chase said he knew of some Cal State Universities that have already made the transition. CSU San Marcos did so in 1999. Prior to this, Chase said other alternatives for the existing title included "Non-English Language" and "Second Language," but were both rejected by the council since English is not always a primary language in the household. . . .

Communication sophomore Tamara Murray said the movement from "Foreign Language Requirement" to "Language Requirement" doesn't bother her.

"It makes sense," Murray said. "By assuming English is the only non-foreign language, the term could seem discriminatory. It's something I don't usually think about as a native speaker."

After being dumb-founded for a second, I see the logic of the change. Nor am I particularly bothered by the decision. However, I am not sure what the problem was with "Non-English Language". The logic of, "rejected by the council since English is not always a primary language in the household." does not seem to hold since this phrasing does not imply that the requirement if for a foreign or second language, simply one other than English. Moreover, many students who do speak another language at home often take the proficiency exams and fullfill the requirement without having to take any classes. (You fulfill the requirement, but do not get the credits, and so still have to take something else, like another language or a different subject altogether)

After reading the article I am also amazed at how inarticulate a professor can be.

Classics and humanities professor Nicholas Genovese, who also opposes this motion, said a 'Language Requirement' does not suffice.

"The original purpose of our 'foreign' language requirement (is) to introduce liberal arts and sciences majors to foreign cultures, traditions and nations through other languages and literatures," Genovese said. "A 'language requirement' does not ensure this."

Why not? Presumably the requirement still has not changed. A person must demonstrate some kind of achievement in a language other than English in order to fulfil the requirement, and so how is the removal of the word "foreign" bothering professor Genovese? Of course, the students are not always much better.

Biology senior Ken Colburn said he doesn't think the word "foreign" is necessary, but also believes the issue is a little irrelevant.
"I think it shows how our society has become more and more politically correct to the point where we're afraid to offend anyone," he said.

Should not a society care enough about its member to take care not to offend whenever possible. Let's presume that someone was offended by the term "foreign language" and the change is esteemed by Mr. Colburn to be irrelevant, wold not the net result be a plus for the society? Presumably a large number of UC San Diego students are fluent or conversant in Spanish, perhaps it does make sense to stop treating their primary or first language as a foreign one.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Plastic memory promises cheap, dense storage

Plastic memory promises cheap, dense storage
(from New Scientist)

A conducting plastic has been used to create a new memory technology with the potential to store a megabit of data in a millimetre-square device - 10 times denser than current magnetic memories. The device should also be cheap and fast, but cannot be rewritten, so would only be suitable for permanent storage.

Obivously, given my interest in digital cameras, I am rather interested in this type of application:

However, turning the polymer INTO an insulator involves a permanent chemical change, meaning the memory can only be written to once. Its creators say this makes it ideal for archiving images and other data directly from a digital camera, cellphone or PDA, like an electronic version of film negatives.

The last sentence is really interesting. If huge amounts of data could be written to it, and this stuff can obviously be made cheap since it is used to coat billions of rolls of film today, it would help solve the problem of storing pictures, and the card reader would be a type of a scanner to transfer the permanent copy of the raw image perfectly onto a device capable of altering it - a computer equipped with Photoshop.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Failed Pensions: A Painful Lesson in Assumptions

A good NYT article about pensions

I do not know how many people these days actually expect to get a pension that is separate from their Social Security or 401K and IRA contributions, but apparently a lot of the people are. Strangely, the cynical companies of today dole out smaller benefits, but because they are tied to the much more transparent 401Ks and IRA accounts, you have a much better idea of what to expect.

Read the whole article here - Failed Pensions: A Painful Lesson in Assumptions

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Technical: Security " target="_blank">whitepaper (pdf)

From the Vigilant company. A good overview of issues associated with security outsourcing and options of doing it inhouse.

Company has thus decided to explore other options for
IDS and firewall monitoring and management. The first option is to outsource the monitoring and management of Fortune 1000 Company’s IDS and firewall devices to an outside organization experienced in assimilating and processing IDS and firewall log files. The second is to build an internal Security Operation Center (SOC) capable of consolidating the vast quantities of log data and enabling Fortune 1000 Company’s Information Security personnel to be thoroughly effective in identifying intrusions in real-time. This document compares these two options in terms of:

  • Cost
  • Risk
  • Efficacy

read more (pdf).

Technical: Good .NET vs. J2EE Paper

Technical: Good .NET vs. J2EE Paper

Keeping in mind this was paid for by Microsoft, this is a thorough and not uninteresting paper -

Review: Millenium Actress

What a great movie. Rented it from NetFlix and enjoyed it tremendously. It is clealy made for children, but the two adults who saw it last night would not know it. It has real comic relief, beautiful montages moving the story along, great "acting" and, a necessity for a great movie, a moving and well-paced plot.

The plot is pretty simplistic on its face value. An aged actress recounts her life to a man who has adores her for years and is now making a documentary about her ilfe. She is about to die, and relives her adventures and hearaches on screen, with the interiviewer and his assistant as voyeristic viewers. Well, they do get involved more than most observers would, but you have to see it for yourself.

It is an unusual movie for me to like. The dialog is not, by any means, clever or insightful. The story is common and after the first montage begins its pretty clear where it is going to end up. Nevertheless the sincerity of writing, the raw emotion and care shown by the characters are overwhelming. You get to live through 60 years of Japan's history with a remarcable "woman", and the format of segueing from movie to movie as a way to move the plot along was ingenious - like everything else that is brilliant iti s simple and effective.

A good movie or play, animated or not, makes you forget that it is the actors with prepared lines you are watching. It is even harder to do that iwth animated movies, but the "Mllenium Actress" succeeds admirably. Except for being impressed by some beautiful scenes you will not remember that this is an animated movie, or a movie for children. Like best examples of the genre it captures and moves you more than a cartoon for children has any right to.

Movie runs for a shade under 1 1/2 hours and makes for a great evening watching.

Semi-bizarre - TV star's baby handed to gorillas

Semi-bizarre - TV star's baby handed to gorillas

No, really.

Television presenter Donna Air and her zoo-owner boyfriend Damian Aspinall intend to place their daughter in the care of a gorilla.

The couple plan to put Freya, who was born in September, in the gorilla enclosure at Howletts Zoo near Canterbury, Kent.

They will then let her be carried off by the female of the group.

read the whole article - BBC NEWS | England | Kent | TV star's baby handed to gorillas

photoSIG » Pushing the Envelope

[The obligatory envious] Photo link

Steve Chong always gets it done in a nice manner. Goes the extra step and it is always an ingenious step. As a bonus, he always explains how he did it. -- Pushing the Envelope

Friday, November 07, 2003

UCMJ and the Cowardice

UCMJ and the Cowardice

Cowardice charges are very rare. The last recorded conviction occurred in 1968, when Pvt. Michael Gross was found guilty of running away from his company in Vietnam and sentenced to two years in prison. Officials say there have been only four or five formal cowardice charges since 1950.

That's quite impressive. Of course, often charges brought against a person are lighter in nature but easier to prove.

Earlier today, a military court dismissed charges against Sgt. Georg Andreas Pogany, who had been accused of committing "cowardly conduct as a result of fear" while serving in Iraq. Pogany's commander then charged him again, this time with "dereliction of duty." What is "cowardly conduct" and how does it differ from other insubordinations?


"Dereliction of duty," the charge Pogany now faces, is a more frequent and easier-to-prove crime, punishable by discharge, forfeiture of pay, and up to six months of confinement. Article 92 of the UCMJ explains that dereliction of duty occurs when a member of the armed forces refuses to perform a task either explicitly assigned or reasonably known to be a duty. The crime has nothing to do with fear or the presence of adversaries.

What Fuel Does Voyager 1 Use? - Plus, why it will run out in 2020. By Brendan I. Koerner

30,000 miles per gallon

What Fuel Does Voyager 1 Use? :

The propellant is hydrazine, a simple concoction of nitrogen and hydrogen that smells like weak ammonia. It was chosen—and remains favored today—because it's cheap and has a very low freezing point. The Voyagers' jets are used to orient the vessels; the geek term for the hydrazine is "attitude control propellant." (There's no need for constant propulsion, of course, because space is gravity-free, so the initial boost went a long way; the spacecraft additionally took advantage of the outer planets' gravitational fields, which act like slingshots to increase speed.) NASA estimates that the Voyagers' fuel efficiency is upwards of 30,000 miles per gallon of hydrazine.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

photoSIG » trite city etude

A short of New York - photoSIG » trite city etude



Sorry for not writing more and better. I have been swamped with a new project (or three) at work and just have not had a chance to put something together. Have not read any of the blogs or news sources I usually follow, nor have the energy to write anything amusing yet insightful about how busy I am.

I hope it will get better in a few days. In the meantime - bear with me, the 2 readers I seem to have.