Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Bitchin Dave's newsletter - October 17


October 17, 2023

Insights, news, ramblings, and other serious nonsense from Dave 
Dave’s Musings
The story about the murder of two Swedes in Belgium was striking on several levels. If you’re not familiar with the back story, there have been incidents of burning the Quran in Sweden. 

It would appear that a Muslim man took exception to this and attacked these tourists who were in Brussels for a soccer match.  The police tracked the man down, and wound up killing him, and it was labeled a terrorist act. 

What strikes me, first, is that these people were killed by a gun. Which is very unusual in Belgium (and frankly, in most of Europe). 

Second, was the outrage that the people felt about the murder of people; not being jaded as we are. There was no shrug, and no “thoughts and prayers” as the primary response. 

And third was the overall reaction.  The country raised the terror level and set about preventing any further attacks. And then proceeded to cancel the soccer game (which the tourists were there to see) as it reached halftime - because “it seemed like the right thing to do.”

Sometimes we need to consider the rest of the world and its actions - and take heart that we are an exception of sorts. 

Although they have yet to really delve into the details of the asteroid sample that returned to Earth last month, scientists have begun the process.

And what have they noted so far? That the sample contains both Carbon and water.

As you may know, these are the two primary things needed to produce life as we know it.

Of course, its impossible - for now - to really know what this means. But the prospects are exciting as they embark on the years of study that lay ahead.

Dante Lauretta, the principal investigator said:

“The bounty of carbon-rich material and the abundant presence of water-bearing clay minerals are just the tip of the cosmic iceberg. These discoveries, made possible through years of dedicated collaboration and cutting-edge science, propel us on a journey to understand not only our celestial neighborhood but also the potential for life’s beginnings. With each revelation from Bennu, we draw closer to unraveling the mysteries of our cosmic heritage.”

During World War II, everyone tried to gain an edge in warfare, in whatever way they could.

And while much of the progress was is fairly well documented, every once in a while, you hear about something that was mostly unknown.

I just read a story about a catapult that England was building, which would allow them to launch bombers without needing a long runway.

It wasn't practical at the time, but some of the innovations did lead to advances in catapult launches from ships.

Catapult discovery

Disney always has a wealth of entertainment-related ideas, and regularly submits patents which allow us to see their thinking. 

They noticed an “opportunity” as it relates to electric vehicle charging. 

While Tesla vehicles have an integrated infotainment system and allow you to watch a movie or play a game on the display, other vehicles have no such means of passing the time. 

Enter the patent:

Disney wants to create what it describes as an immersive entertainment pod into which people can drive their vehicles. Disney provides a lot of examples via illustration and explains its broader idea this way. 

'In one embodiment, the entertainment system includes a display external to the vehicle and viewable by an occupant of the vehicle. The entertainment system includes a communication module to receive occupant preferences from an occupant, and a processor configured to generate or modify content to be presented on the display based on the occupant preferences," the company wrote in the patent abstract. In the drawings, the pod looks a lot like a rounded garage. That pod, according to the filing, could include vehicle charging, and it would allow for immersive experiences. That would include "driving" around environments, with a safari given as an example.

Two researchers at MIT have proposed a method for free, universal healthcare that should get a lot more press. 

What they propose is radical to be sure. They propose doing away with the current system and starting off. 

The theory is that the cost would go down, the results would improve, and care would get better. 

I’d love to see this enter an actual discussion. 


Details can be found here:

Fixing Healthcare 

One Little Spark … 

… for your imagination

One of the (many) things that bugs me is the way black Americans are treated because of the way they look, dress, or wear their hair. 

There’s a student in Texas who has dreadlocks. But they don’t conform to the school dress code, so he was told he had to cut them. He refused, and was suspended. 

The school tried “reasoning” with the parents (a misnomer. He was told he had to comply), but when that failed, he was told he was no longer welcome at the school and had to enroll at an alternate school, which appears to be a reform school of sorts. 

This is not who we are. This isn’t acceptable. He needs to be treated with dignity and respect and not singled out because of how he chooses to wear his hair (and to be fair, he keeps it very neat, so that shouldn’t even be considered as a problem)

Dave’s latest video

I took a trip see a space launch. I talk about the experience and do a little sciencing.

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