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Flight 370: or the search for a landing strip

Monday, March 17th, 2014

[ by Charles Cameron -- whose own quest is for a long-enough strip of reliable mental silence to land an original thought on ]
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Here is Foreign Policy‘s map of landing strips that Flight 370 might have used, offered with the caveat that as with a wiki, individuals may add or have akready have added spurious information or uninformed speculations at this point:

You may of course prefer the greater density and spread of James Fallows‘ offering from The Atlantic — both are interactive, but Fallows’ version as formulated by Atlantic reader David Strip doesn’t allow you to add landing strips if your own devising, though “if you click on any of the individual dots on this map, you’ll see popup information about the site — runway length, location, elevation, etc.”

Thankfully, someone at NASA was not satisfied by the “in the box” thinking for which Google is renowned, raised their scopes to the heavens and looked “outside the planet”:

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Conclusion?

In the memorable words of Alan Watts: Cloud-hidden, Whereabouts Unknown

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Sunday surprise 8: introducing “Quotes from Outer Orbits”

Sunday, October 13th, 2013

[ by Charles Cameron -- eccentric cleanliness and uncleanness, and a righteous blast of Handel ]
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I ran across two quotes the other day that made me decided to start a collection of what I’ll call “Quotes from Outer Orbits”. Here are the first two:

My first pick comes from the label of one of Dr Bronner’s Magical Soaps:

Replace half-true Socialist-fluoride poison & tax-slavery with full-truth, work-speech-press & profitsharing Socialaction! All-One! So, help build 4 billion Hannibal wind-power plants, charging 96 billion battery-banks, powering every car-factory-farm-home-monorail & pump, watering Babylon-roof-gardens & 800 billion Israel-Milorganite fruit trees, guarded by Swiss 6000 year Universal Military Training

My second is a lot fiercer, but no less strange — it’s from radio host Pete Santilli, speaking on air:

I want to shoot her right in the vagina and I don’t want her to die right away; I want her to feel the pain and I want to look her in the eyes and I want to say, on behalf of all Americans that you’ve killed, on behalf of the Navy SEALS, the families of Navy SEAL Team Six who were involved in the fake hunt down of this Obama, Obama bin Laden thing, that whole fake scenario, because these Navy SEALS know the truth, they killed them all. On behalf of all of those people, I’m supporting our troops by saying we need to try, convict, and shoot Hillary Clinton in the vagina.

I’ll take the literal soap box over the metaphorical one, thanks!

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But I don’t mean to leave you depressed at the state of the world. Meanwhile the Ensemble Zaïs, led by Benoît Babel, plays one of Handel‘s Organ Concerti with a vitality that inspires me…

Who can despair at this?

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Unrenormalizable

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

[ by Charles Cameron -- a quick quantum DoubleQuote in music and jewel -- humor, edutainment ]
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Nibbling at the tasseled fringes of science is as close as I get, but these two otherwise unrelated pieces caught my eye…

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My first entry:
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Pretty cool, pretty popular — and my second?
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Read all about it: A Jewel at the Heart of Quantum Physics

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A little video music, a little digital art, a little physics — what’s not to like?

And my title, Unrenormalizable? In physics, so I’m told, “Unrenormalizable theories contain infinitely many free parameters”. I’m no theory, but I suspect I’m unrenormalizable too.

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There will always be a breakfast

Sunday, September 15th, 2013

[ by Charles Cameron -- for all those who worry about the state of the world ]
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Ideologies? It really doesn’t matter who wins or who loses, so long as the butler brings me breakfast in bed with a neatly ironed copy of The Times.

Except, that is, for the Oxford and Cambridge boat race.

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Oh, I don’t really mean it — as Logan Pearsall Smith once said:

I got up with Stoic fortitude of mind in the cold this morning: but afterwords, in my hot bath, I joined the school of Epicurus. I was a Materialist at breakfast; after that an Idealist; and as I smoked my first cigarette I transcendentally turned the world to vapor. But when I began to read The Times I had no doubt of an externally existing world…

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Sources:

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Chewing Qat with a spork?

Monday, September 9th, 2013

[ by Charles Cameron -- a popular catch-phrase fumbled ]
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TE Lawrence was an original. The “second senior official” either has a poor memory for quotations, or wishes he were an original, sad in either case.

Hat-tip to the Small Wars Journal editors, who noted the combo — they referenced John Nagl, who borrowed his book title from Lawrence, while I prefer to attribute the spoon to Lawrence directly, but no matter.

What comes next? Chewing Qat with a spork?

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