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J. Steven York
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Lives in Coastal Oregon
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J. Steven York

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According to the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the National Institute of Justice, 91% of high-speed chases are in response to non-violent crime. 

http://thefreethoughtproject.com/protect-bad-drivers-police-chases-killed-thousands-innocent-bystanders/
A shocking new report shows just how dangerous being an innocent bystander can be when police are attempting to pull someone over for a minor traffic offense.
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“Imagine the Internet without HTTP and TCP/IP,” Kimchi said. “That’s basically where we are now. So we’re putting our foot down, and we’d like everybody to feel an urgent need to come together and create these standards and adapt them.”

Amazon thinks we need to be working on airspace rules to regulate and integrate drones. Seems like a good idea to me, though some of what they're proposing seems slightly simplistic. I suspect rules would also need to take into consideration some class structure of drones, based on power and especially weight. A delivery drone weighing 50 pounds presents greater hazards than, say, a commercial photo drone with much less power and weighing only a couple of pounds.

#drones   #multicopters   #amazon  
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/innovations/wp/2015/07/28/amazon-details-its-plan-for-how-drones-can-fly-safely-over-u-s-skies/
It includes a 200-foot tall highway in the sky for package delivery.
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So sad.
 
First we hear the brother is protecting Cecil's cubs. Now some monster kills the brother. Unfortunately, the odds are that people are being paid off to permit this up and down the line in Zimbabwe. There's no way this could be happening without nods and winks from bribed government officials.
Cecil the Lion's brother, Jericho, was shot and killed today, the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force said, in the wake of Zimbabwe calling for the extradition of the American dentist who admitted killing Cecil in early July. "It is with huge disgust and sadness that we have just been informed that Jericho, Cecil's brother has been killed at 4pm today," the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force said in a Facebook post.
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The rumors of Jericho's demise have been greatly exaggerated.
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"if they send them all out, the skies darken."
+Elon Musk on the competitions lobbying effort
Warning: graphs
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What Watermelons Used to Look Like

You've probably seen a watermelon and think you know what they look like, and you'd be partly right.  Modern watermelons look like the image on the right below.

But do you see that image on the left?  That's a watermelon as depicted by a Renaissance artist.

As you can see, selective breeding has had quite an effect on it.  In truth, many of the fruits and vegetables we eat today are quite different from their counterparts of previous centuries.
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Yes, but... I'd argue that current watermelons are overwatered. And certainly not enough black seeds for a proper spit-battle. I used to enjoy them; I can't find any flavour besides sugar, nowadays.
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(via +Janice Gelb )
‘Nothing looks untoward’ says researcher after reports of shooting while second researcher tells Guardian Jericho seen ‘probably mating’
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Poor SpacePort America. Too early to the party, and unable to catch a break.
 
SpaceX Removes Testing Equipment from SpacePort America
"Officials with Spaceport America on Wednesday confirmed tenant SpaceX is moving some of its equipment back to a testing facility in McGregor, Texas. But the company will maintain its lease with the spaceport for future launches after additional testing.

The unmanned +SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched on June 28, carrying 4,000 pounds of cargo to resupply the International Space Station. The rocket exploded nearly three minutes into its ascent, and Space X officials now believes they have determined the cause.

At a news conference on July 20, SpaceX CEO +Elon Musk said the preliminary conclusion is a "strut in the second stage liquid oxygen tank" broke free during the rocket's flight.

Christine Anderson, executive director of Spaceport America, confirmed the move Wednesday but said #SpaceX remains a tenant at the facility.

"After the crash, they said they were rethinking their testing," Anderson said. "They said 'we are going to do more testing at McGregor for a while.' They are keeping their lease but moving equipment.

"They are focused on returning to flight," she added.

Last year's fatal crash of +Virgin Galactic's test vehicle pushed back that company's timetable for launches from the spaceport, but company officials hope to be back testing at the taxpayer-funded, $218.5 million facility north of Las Cruces in Sierra County by late 2016.

UP Aerospace, another tenant at the spaceport, has an August launch opportunity with #NASA .

Davin Lopez, a member of the Spaceport Authority board, said the nature of aerospace testing means tenants will utilize the spaceport when their vehicles are ready. It's not an unexpected part of doing business.

"From my viewpoint ... we have to continue looking at this as not a one-tenant type destination," Lopez said. "Much like what happens at the flight test center, or any other testing evaluation destination, we are going to see a number of tenants come and go."

Read article here (warning pop up ads may crash your browser):
http://www.lcsun-news.com/las_cruces-news/ci_28556179/spaceport-tenant-spacex-moving-equipment-but-will-maintain
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It's not a material setback, but it's a symbolic one, and for a facility so much on the brink (they're bleeding money, and revenue has been only about half of operating expenses for the past three years. At this stage of the game, a lot of this is about appearances and anticipated activity, especially when it comes to tourist dollars (and building the infrastructure to support tourist structures, such as near-by hotels, restaurants, and attractions).

I don't intend this any any slight of Spaceport America, and I wish them well. That's why I framed things the way I did. They've suffered a series of setbacks completely beyond their control. If Virgin Galactic can get flying soon, and if they can be successful in light of their test-crash, then I think SPA will be fine. But right now it's politically and financially weak and vulnerable, and every setback, no matter how small, is just salt on the wound.

Maybe in a few years, if spacecraft can be seen flying out of there on a daily basis and tourists are lining up to watch, this will all seem like a bump in the road.

We'll see.
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It's interesting that the Dragon cargo capsules are recovered by such a small boat, while most NASA capsule missions were recovered by huge aircraft carriers. In fact, if you look at NASA's list of recovery ships, it becomes clear than an entire fleet of military ships was assigned to each recovery mission.

Some of this can doubtless be attributed to the risk and uncertainties of reentry and landing location in those days. It's still an uncertain process, but we've gotten much better at it.

There's also the matter of launching recovery aircraft, something best done from carriers back in the day. Now helicopters routinely fly from much smaller ships, so that might be less of a factor.

And I'm sure that, given the cold-war, there was a security aspect to it. We didn't want another power (especially the USSR) sweeping in to pick up the capsule, either for propaganda or intelligence-gathering reasons. Also on the propaganda front, there was doubtless a matter of showmanship, waving the flag and showing our military might to the world.

Whatever the reasons, the number of listed recovery ships shrinks over time. Twenty four ships were assigned to early Mercury orbital missions. It tapers down over time, until the first two Skylab missions got three ships each. The third one got two. The Apollo-Soyuz mission lists only a single ship.

One has to wonder what will be used for the first manned commercial crew missions. My assumption is that military ships may not be involved at all. One imagines though that they may use multiple ships, and that the primary vessel will be somewhat larger than the ship shown below, possibly something with a helipad, and room on board for more comfortable astronaut accommodations, and possibly some more extensive medical facilities in case of emergency. This ship doesn't look much more luxurious than the crab boats we see on "Deadliest Catch," and probably isn't a lot different below decks.

#space   #spacex   #boeing   #nasa   #commercialcrewprogram   
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Coastal Oregon
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Chancellor, Alabama - Eugene, Oregon - Seattle, WA - Los Angeles, CA - Vista, CA - Escondido, CA - Hurst, TX - Pensacola, FL - Radcliffe, Kentucky - Renton, WA - Des Moines, WA - Kirkland, WA - Redmond, WA - Seattle, WA
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I think, I dream, sometimes I write it down. People seem to enjoy it when I do. www.YorkWriters.com
Introduction
(Check out my "Panorama Beach" Florida mystery series, and my "Clockwork Cowboy" steampunk western series, plus other work, at your favorite book or ebook vendor...)

I tell stories.  I'm not a writer.  That's secondary.  I tell stories, and I can tell them in may forms.  Sure, mainly I write prose fiction, novels and short stories, but I could have made movies, or computer games, or shoot photo-cartoons using action figures (and in fact, I've done all those things too.)  It's all storytelling to me.

I am fascinated by the world around me.  I love science, technology, and the way they fit in with the world of people and emotions,

In particular, I have, since I was in infant, been fascinated by space exploration, and I'm a keen observer and commentator of those efforts to this day.  I hoped I'd live to see us land on Mars.  Now I'm just hoping my grand-kids might see it, or something as profound.  

But I see signs of the long log-jam breaking, of new light that might get us off this lovely little ball of rock that we take for granted as our eternal home, and that excites me.

Science, tech, and the human equation, those things are frequently the subjects of my stories, but not always.  I love characters: the quirky, twisted, fascinating possibilities of human existence.  Give me a couple good characters in an interesting setting, and I can run all day without a Big Idea in sight. 

I can be cynical, and I am always sarcastic, but I still believe in the future.  I still believe in truth, justice, and the American ideal.  I believe we can be better than we are.  I believe someday we will be.  I believe in heroes, because they remind us what we could be, if we only tried a little harder.

My wife, Christina F. York tells stories too.  She's written science fiction, fantasy, and romance, but these days she mostly writes mysteries under the names Christy Evans and Christy Fifield, with the second book in her cozy mystery novel series about to hit print.

Two writers, several cats, and a house by the sea.  Now that's an adventure.  Let me tell you the story...

#writer #mystery #space #sciencefiction #fantasy #steampunk #spaceenterprise #future #engineering #makers
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National-best-selling author of over a dozen published books and many short stories.
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Author of Mystery, Steampunk, Fantasy, and Science Fiction
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Writer, thinker, observer, maker of things both aesthetic and functional
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  • National best-selling Writer
    1975 - present
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Everything is good and prices are reasonable. Run by a professional diver who knows where the good local fish is (though quality and selection will depend on what is available). Check the specials white-board, as there may be something fresher and tastier than the standard cod and halibut available (fresh rock-fish is my favorite). Recommended for take-out as the dining room is small and not especially comfortable. Food is cooked to order and the kitchen is small, so service can be slow when they're backed up, but generally worth the wait. Definitely the best take-out fish on this part of the coast (tourist favorite Mo's is vastly over-rated). Only the lack of better indoor dining prevents me from giving this five stars.
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