Mars!

I watched the entire 80-minute SpaceX update with Musk on the stage explaining things, and I came away fired up. Musk isn’t a great speaker, but his message is mind-blowing. This is really history in the making, science fiction become reality. And the guy is 100% authentic, 100% committed to his goal of getting us to Mars ASAP. You couldn’t make this shit up – the richest guy in the world building giant silver rockets that do things we never believed possible. Well, maybe Tony Stark, but Musk isn’t a comic book character – he’s a real guy building real shit in Texas and Florida and California and Nevada. And lobbing it into orbit. Maybe the best applied engineer in history. He’s talking about delivering a million tons of payload onto the surface of Mars to make sure the Martian colony is self-sustaining. Think NASA times a billion.

He plays down the interim milestone of a base on the Moon, and that’s OK, even though I’m a little obsessed about a Moon colony. I think I’ll see that in my lifespan (knock on ALL the wood), but not sure I’ll be around for the timeline for the Mars colony.

The more I listen to the guy, the more I realize he’s a complete anomaly. One in several billion. Brilliant, fearless, visionary, childish, churlish, pragmatic…and ultimately the perfect person to get us out of our gravity well jail once and for all.

I listened to the questions of the journalists attending the event, and I’m embarrassed. Most of them were about “what will you do if TX/FAA/NASA regulations get in your way and force you to delay/try again/move your operations”? They don’t get it. His only real oppositions are physics and engineering. He’s pushing the state of the art of materials science, automation, manufacturing, chemistry…all at once. The government’s rules and regulations are nuisances, but not on the critical path to his goal – getting us to Mars.

If you’re a Star Trek fan or just an aerospace geek, watch the video. And get fired up.

News other than Ukraine

Everyone else on the Internet is writing about Ukraine and Russia today. I decided to write about some other things.

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Here’s a little bit of gambling history I did not know. The man who beat the roulette wheel.

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If you like movies, I highly recommend Dennis Hartley’s Den of Cinema. Dude has a great take on films from all eras. His Top 10 lists are a lot of fun. He *does* have the occasional political post, so it’s not all fun and games.

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Yesterday’s UK loss to Arkansas was painful. We could have won, but made some bad mistakes in the final couple of minutes. Oscar Tshiebwe was amazing with 30 points and 18 rebounds, but that wasn’t enough to make up for the mistakes and some poor guard play. Only two more games in the regular season – where did the time go?

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I really enjoy reading this summary of Elon Musk’s Feb 2022 update on Starship and the Super Heavy booster. The full video with the man himself is here. I’d give a lot to see one of those launches up close. His approach to launch systems is just so practical, so anti-NASA. Starship should really launch the commercial Space Age.

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My friend Jon in NOLA had his big Mardi Gras parade last night. His spooky costume, worn while riding his Krewe‘s float (his Krewe is Endymion) through the streets, is featured in the picture below.

It’s a pretty big deal. From the MardiGrasNewOrleans website:

The Krewe of Endymion is host to Samedi Gras, the greatest block party on earth. drawing 30,000+ from Mid-City neighborhoods to help kick off Endymion. The krewe’s motto is “Throw ’til it Hurts.” They estimate that they toss more than 15 million throws along the parade route which ends with a ride through the Mercedes Benz Superdome for the Endymion Extravaganza.

I was there in person for it once, and it was surreal. Hope to do it again sometime.