Oh hey would you look at that, I’ve got HTTPS now.
The New Horizons space probe is about to reach Pluto to take high resolution photos of the surface, and there’s a public vote page to select a list of names for the features on its surface.
Fantastic effort and should be interesting, but I’d just point out the time at which New Horizons was launched, Pluto was still a planet. STILL A PLANET, GENTLEMEN!
The 21st century seems like it just started, but we’re already half way to 2030.
Remember 1995? The way we thought of the 60s then is how someone who today is the age you were then thinks of the 80s. The way you thought of the 70s then is exactly how far in the past the 90s are today.
How about 1980? It’s closer to FDR, Churchill and Hitler fighting each other than it is to 2015.
The perspectives given by classic movies hurts just that little bit more than you’d expect, along the lines of XKCD’s movie age chart (which is now 4 years old).
I knew the aurora was beautiful, and it was kinda always on the bucket list, but this video makes me want to move it way, way up the list. Majestic.
This was the “bad old days” of computers and the only way to reset her station was from my central console. On this day, I highlighted her workstation and hit the F6 key to reset. But my screen went temporarily black and then seemed to be starting again. I realized that I had mistakenly hit F7 and reset all the workstations in the embassy. This realization didn’t bother me much, because no one except the Agriculture section secretary was usually on the computer system this early in the morning.
It was only weeks later that I began to comprehend the effects of this single keystroke mistake.
F6, restart one workstation, F7, restart all, and the implications multiply. This is a perfect butterfly effect example.
This … 14 year old? How old is a freshman? Anyway, this kid in high school who is only 6’2″ has the most insane hops I’ve ever seen – and the kid can dunk:
Her mother drops her at five and tells me what she likes to eat now. There are times I look at this woman and feel an echo of affection. But not today. She won’t eat peas any more, apparently. I am to encourage her to eat peas.
And she’s had nightmares, says her mother. Two.
Bad dreams. It’s common at this age.
Dreams about what?
Fish, she says. Don’t make a big deal out of it.
I say, How would I make a big deal out of it?
I need to start writing again.
I wanna learn trampolining purely so I can set this up and do it one day:
First: an observation on house prices being driven by land use regulations: Rethinking Urban growth boundaries:
A related unintended consequence of urban consolidation is that ‘densification’ has often ceased to occur at its historically natural locations nearer the urban core and has instead shifted further away into less efficient locations (i.e. far away from employment and amenities). The reason for this is that the price of land is forced up so much by the growth constraint that households are unable to afford the ‘premium’ price commanded by more efficient locations, and are forced to locate instead at ‘less unaffordable’ but also less efficient locations. Essentially, budgets are squeezed so much by high land prices that households are forced to trade-off both space (smaller homes) and location efficiency (i.e. live further out).
This is happening in Sydney; closer to the city or in the east, NIMBYism and high prices to begin with leave those suburbs close and most easily commutable as medium density at best, while further out in brownfield sites like Rhodes are getting high density developments. Rhodes makes little sense; transport is severely constrained by georgraphical limitations, and it’s still a 30 minute commute to the CBD, but it’s getting two 25 storey apartment towers that would never be approved in Potts Point or Paddington because it wouldn’t be “in keeping with the character of the area”.
And second, a question regarding ratings agencies that I’ve had on my mind since before the 2008 crash – who rates the ratings agencies?
The 2008 crash might have been thought to have dented the agencies’ credibility. Enron products were still getting investment-grade ratings four days before it went bust. Freddie Mac preferred stock was top-rated by Moody’s till mid-2008. Shortly before its bail-out by the Fed, the insurance giant AIG had entered into credit default swaps to insure $441 billion of AAA-rated securities on the London market. In the FCIC’s words, ‘the three credit rating agencies were key enablers of the financial meltdown’. Moody’s comes in for particular flak. In 2000-7, it rated nearly 45,000 securities as AAA. Eighty-three per cent of the securities given that rating in 2006 were ultimately downgraded.
Not that there’s any answers on that page, but I have no idea how S&P, Moody’s and Fitch have a fig-leaf of credibility remaining, but yet governments remain hooked to maintaining the highest credit rating possible from these three agencies that utterly failed in their role as independent advisors of risk. It’s insane, and yet the circus continues.
Norway’s Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg drives a taxi for a day, doesn’t reveal who he is until the passenger gets an inkling. Fascinating to see the attitudes on display, and how comfortable and casual things are. Can’t imagine that happening with any of the Aussie PMs since Hawke.