Geek stuff

Producing items additively by combining small pieces instead of starting with unshaped materials and cutting into them offers many intriguing possibilities, most notably the ability to make structures which would be implausible or impossible to make via conventional techniques and the option to customize every item produced to the dimensions and other specifications chosen. This […]

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Promoted by a recent Economist article on biodiversity and Alie Ward’s podcast on foresting ecology, I am trying out the iNaturalist app. My outdoor pursuits mostly consist of walking at a steady pace for exercise, so plant and wildlife observations aren’t my priority. Nonetheless, it’s neat to be able to take a break anywhere in […]

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It seems that after a recent computer failure the Hubble Space Telescope is back online in a backup mode.

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Researching social movements — where relevant information is often on social media, or the websites of NGOs, universities, or corporations that reorganize them frequently — link rot is an acute problem. Increasingly, the default way to let a reader see the source you’re referencing is to provide an internet hyperlink, and yet there is no […]

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I’ve noted before the exceptional and enduring influence Hyman Rickover (‘father of the nuclear navy’) has had over the subsequent use of nuclear technology. Richard Rhodes’ energy history provides another example: At the same time, Rickover made a crucial decision to change the form of the fuel from uranium metal to uranium dioxide, a ceramic. […]

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Nancy Grace Roman with the Hubble Space Telescope; Mae Jemison and Sally Ride with the Space Shuttle; and Margaret Hamilton with listings of the software she and her MIT team wrote for the Apollo Program

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In part because of housing uncertainty — and mindful of George Monbiot’s excellent advice about true freedom arising from low living expenses “If you can live on five thousand pounds a year, you are six times as secure as someone who needs thirty thousand to get by” — I have been avoiding and minimizing taking […]

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