The Longest Now


The color of infinity
Wednesday July 21st 2004, 9:21 pm
Filed under: Glory, glory, glory

Homestarrunner meets They Might Be Giants. Holy moneybags, Batman!

And speaking of Flash, what’s up with this presidential cartoon anyhow? They project 30TB of downloads this month… ”nice”.

The color of infinity …



Adirondak Real Estate
Friday July 16th 2004, 6:06 pm
Filed under: %a la mod

Bruce Francsisco et frere have been developing a lovely bit of land in the Adirondaks for some years now… and how I love it! The land there
is up to $10k/acre (double after being cleared and septicized), with
road and airstrip access — and a great view of Whiteface, a mountain
I grew up on. And it seems their fabulous silo home is still
available. If I can find a

Now that the runway has been improved and lots are being developed, I felt it was a good time to contact you prior to our
advertising releases…



Implanted channels
Thursday July 15th 2004, 6:49 pm
Filed under: null

You always knew it was possible. Now people are working on metrics to describe how well, for how long, with what reliability and detail. But couldn’t they find researchers with good faces?

And don’t forget that they’re already implanting chips in schoolkids in Japan

Implanted channels …



Trickster’s time, in suborbit
Thursday July 15th 2004, 6:27 pm
Filed under: fly-by-wire

Flying slightly under the radar recently was a groundshaking achievement in the aviation community — the first private flight
to pass the 100km crystal ceiling separating “space” from our atmosphere. Scaled Composites launched their baby, SpaceShipOne, from 15km up, at which point it climbed to 100km before returning and gliding back to the newly-appointed Mojave Spaceport. A try from the same port at claiming the $10M X-Prize is expected in late September.
Here’s a fairly long video of the flight from a mounted camera.

Patti Grace Smith, the Federal Aviation Administration’s associate administrator for commercial space transportation, awarded [Mike] Melvill the first astronaut wings ever granted by the FAA and the Department of Transportation. — Alan Boyle reporting on the aftermath of SpaceShipOne’s first flight to 100km

Tricksters come in every shape and size, and at every altitude.
It’s the ones which act like normal, risk-averse people that worry
me; are they so unrealistic they will be shocked and amazed at the
first disaster? Only if it happens to them? Is it a marketing ploy well before its time? TGV comes to mind: Michelle-B can be ready to fly again in a few hours. The small ground crew inspects and services the vehicle for rapid turnaround… [she] allows any person or organization to participate in space activities with minimal cost and maximum utility. Our simple mini van will do for aerospace what the PC did for computing.

Oh, and then what? It’s fun to evoke change, to be the punctuation in the equilibrium. It’s also fun to pretend we have, even collectively, free will. Suggestions welcome.

“This is going to be disruptive innovation, and disruptors live on small margins. If this was going to make a phenomenal return, Boeing would be doing this.” — TGV’s Pat Bahn, on revolutionizing spaceflight with commodity suborbital RLVs



Mehran Karimi Nasseri
Wednesday July 07th 2004, 4:54 pm
Filed under: indescribable,international

Finally granted a residency permit in 1999, and now wealthy enough to support himself on the outside, Nasseri did not leave Paris National Airport until he fell ill in 2006. (Update: see Reinventing Mehran Nasseri.)

As of 2004

As of the summer of 2004, Nasseri is still living in the airport. He does not lack for money — Dreamworks paid him a rumored $250,000 for the rights to his story.

He had no bank accounts, so the checks were being held by Christian Bourguet, the famous lawyer who took on his case a decade ago.

As for the plastic red bench, which has served as his de facto home for the last 15 years and must by now be a collector’s item, he says, “I’ll take it to DreamWorks… and send it by FedEx.” [NYT]

Search for Mehran Karimi Nasseri …

2006-2008

Tina comments:

Nasseri’s life at the airport ended in July 2006 when he was hospitalized and his sitting place dismantled. Towards the end of January 2007, he left the hospital and was looked after by the airport’s branch of the French Red Cross; he was lodged for a few weeks in a hotel close to the airport. On March 6, 2007, he transferred to an Emmaus charity reception centre in Paris’s twentieth arrondissement. As of 2008, he continues to live in a Paris shelter.

Since 2008

I have been unable to find reliable information about Nasseri’s whereabouts and life since his transfer to a Paris shelter or halfway house in 2007. If anyone knows of his whereabouts since then, or has visited with him, please post details to this longer essay about him.



The Wadi al Batin
Thursday July 01st 2004, 1:30 pm
Filed under: indescribable

I recently read How to Defeat Saddam Hussein, By Col. Trevor Dupuy, US Army (Ret.), a book published just as we were declaring war on Iraq for the first time, back in 1991 — a charming hour’s read. An important feature which is listed on most maps but remained unmentioned in the text was the Wadi al Batin, forming the lower half of Kuwait’s border with Iraq.

It turns out that it is a broad shallow valley, was a riverbed in ancient times — one of many in the region which might have travelled out to the sea from the Tigris/Euphrates Valley. I can just imagine the fertile crescent extending all the way across the middle east. Perhaps I should give slightly more respect to the theories about Atlantis or Eden being hidden under the waters of the Mediterranean or the Persian Gulf.




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