Daily Archives: December 4, 2013

Views from the Solar System (176)


Sunlit Edge of Saturn’s Largest Moon, Titan

NASA – The sunlit edge of Titan’s south polar vortex stands out distinctly against the darkness of the moon’s unilluminated hazy atmosphere. The Cassini spacecraft images of the vortex led scientists to conclude that its clouds form at a much higher altitude — where sunlight can still reach — than the surrounding haze.

Titan (3,200 miles, or 5,150 kilometers across) is Saturn’s largest moon. This view looks toward the trailing hemisphere of Titan. North on Titan is up and rotated 32 degrees to the left. The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on July 14, 2013 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 938 nanometers.

The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 808,000 miles (1.3 million kilometers) from Titan and at a Sun-Titan-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 82 degrees. Image scale is 5 miles (8 kilometers) per pixel.

> View a color image of the south polar vortex on Titan

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

Does Obamacare Put Too Much Faith in Markets?

Market Street

Market Street (Photo credit: glennharper)


Social Limits to Growth, Author: Fred Hirsch.

By Mark Buchanan – The idea of Obamacare was to harness the power of the market to deliver better health care. Perhaps the resulting monstrosity is our punishment for being so slow to see that markets aren’t the solution to everything.

Putting profit-seeking at the core of a health-care market may indeed stimulate innovative new technologies and cost savings. But the more caring for the sick comes to be seen as a simple profit opportunity, the more we risk losing or crowding out established nonmarket norms about caring for others, norms on which effective care really depends.

Hirsch predicted that the competition for comparative success would, if unchecked, erode the values of community and social cohesion that capitalist societies inherit from earlier times, displacing these norms with an “everyone for themselves” ethos. more> http://tinyurl.com/kh2aoet

Systems Thinking: How to Lead in Complex Environments


The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of the Learning Organization, Author: Peter Senge.

By Robert Bullock – By starting early and building skills and experience that will help leaders account for internal and external conditions, competing forces, and complex systems, your organization will make itself more capable of catching whatever the future throws€¦ and throwing it back! Specific skills and abilities that contribute to systems thinking include:

  • Ability to see relationships between organizational systems and the external environment, and between organizational systems and themselves
  • Ability to see the “big picture,” look at systems holistically, examine aggregates rather than individual activities
  • Appreciating the complexity of cause-and-effect relationships – they are rarely linear and are influenced by multiple interacting factors
  • Being able to bring multiple people/perspectives together – accepting that no single view has the answer
  • Ability to promote a learning orientation in others and oneself
  • Taking a long-term approach (5+ years)

more> http://tinyurl.com/ocvxo9g

Updates from BOEING

CRVS: Total Immersion Flight Training

BOEING – Constant Resolution Visual System (CRVS) – The centerpiece of a complete training suite providing 360° of immersive, low cost and highly effective training.

CRVS is optimized for popular commercial digital cinema formats. A range of low to high-end projectors are available to meet customer cost and performance targets, including options that provide near 20/20 visual acuity. CRVS can easily take advantage of technology improvements without replacing either screens or structure, protecting the initial investment. In addition to a full 360° field of view, CRVS is available in 300° and 180° versions.

The patented principle of Constant Resolution allows each projector to cover a larger portion of the field of vision, requiring fewer projectors to build a fully immersive environment. Fewer projectors equates to lower acquisition, maintenance and operating costs.

CRVS is fully compatible with a wide range of fast jet and rotary-wing cockpits. Its large sidelocated ingress/egress module provides cockpit access without moving the cockpit.

CRVS works with flight hardware Night Vision Goggles (NVG’s),
the Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS) and with emerging systems, such as the Panoramic Night Vision Goggles (PNVG) and the Night Vision Cueing Device (NVCD).™¦


Economic theories misfit for technology adoption

An automobile engine partly opened and colored...

An automobile engine partly opened and colored to show components. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By George Mattathil – Joining the chorus on the failure of economics theories (partial list below)…

Current economic theories may be adequate for Tulip Trading, but they are grossly inadequate when popular fascination is with Google Glass and Drone Delivery [CNN].

The primary driver in modern economy is technology. Each technology has its own intrinsic characteristics that limit and constrain its use and applications in commerce by humans. Current economic theories, financial systems and legal principles were developed in simpler times to constrain, limit and control human activities related to innovations and novelties – starting with tulips.

For each primary technology, there are clusters of associated technologies that also need to be integrated into the economic, social and political activities for them to be effective. Economic theories are the means by which these technology adoption cycles are implemented. But economic theories and financial systems do not factor in the natural potential and limits of the emerging technologies and resistance generated by technologies currently in use. Steam engine, railroads, internal combustion engine, jet engine, telephone are examples of past large scale technology  adoption cycles.

The constraints imposed on the technology adoption cycles by economic theories more often than not inhibit their adoption, turning progress with them in fits and starts — and often in bubbles.

We need better ways of managing, introducing and propagating innovations, especially innovations with technology, into the economy.™¦



CONGRESS WATCH Kristi Talks School Lunch Reform on Fox and Friends, YouTube [VIDEO 3:35]