“a train wreck for the Obama administration.”

“A train wreck for the Obama administration.”

Trying to determine what the Supreme Court will rule on any issue by analyzing the questions they ask beforehand has generally been a poor predictor of their final decision. Sadly, we really won’t know what the Supreme Court will do until they do it.

Moreover, from my perspective it would be far better for Congress to repeal the law rather than have the court rule it unconstitutional. In the former it will be done by legislative action, backed by the voters. In the latter it would be the decision of nine unelected individuals, essentially expressing their personal opinions. In a true democracy the former is definitely preferred.

Pick a destination already!

A report issued today illustrates once again to me that those running our space program in both Congress and the Obama administration have a profound lack of common sense or basic intelligence:

The NASA Advisory Council (NAC) – a body that provides the NASA Administrator with counsel and advice on programs and issues of importance to the Agency – has insisted a human exploration plan, or at least a destination, should be selected as soon as possible.

This request specifically applies to the Space Launch System (SLS), the heavy-lift rocket mandated by Congress that will use the Orion capsule. SLS is also the same rocket system that is costing the taxpayers $3 billion per year, and is expected to cost between $18 to $60 billion total by the time it flies its first operational mission in about nine years. The advisory council also noted that

While the vehicle hardware development is now moving forward at full speed, specific destinations – or a roadmap – is still lacking from NASA’s exploration plan.

It took nine different committees plus a central committee formed from the original nine committees to come to this Earth-shattering conclusion.

To put it in plain English, Congress and the Obama administration have committed billions of taxpayer dollars to the construction of a rocket and manned capsule without ever putting much thought into the specific mission they want to send that rocket and capsule on.
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A toy company has designed building blocks that make it possible to combine multiple brands, from Legos to Tinkertoys.

A toy company has designed building blocks that make it possible to combine multiple building block brands, from Legos to Tinkertoys.

By downloading free designs and using a 3D printer, you could have your very own pieces to connect ten different brands of building toys to each other and construct even more elaborate contraptions and structures.

As the first commenter on the webpage noted, “This is the next singularity.”

Boeing vs Boeing.

Boeing vs Boeing.

The story describes how Boeing is considering upgrading the X-37B to become a manned ferry to ISS, thus putting it in direct competition with the company’s other manned capsule, the CST-100.

At the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics’s Space 2011 conference in November, Boeing’s Arthur Grantz revealed that the company is studying a new derivative of the Boeing/USAF X-37B. The new X-37C would be 65-80% larger than the current B version. Launched by an Atlas V rocket, X-37C could carry pressurized or unpressurized cargo or 5-6 astronauts. Grantz is chief engineer in charge of X-37 at the Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems Experimental Systems Group .

Hat tip to Clark Lindsey.

James Cameron has set a new record for the deepest solo dive, a depth of 35,756 feet.1James Cameron has set a new record for the deepest solo dive, a depth of 35,756 feet.

James Cameron has set a new record for the deepest solo dive, a depth of 35,756 feet.

And he is still down there at this moment.

Hovering in what he’s called a vertical torpedo, Cameron is likely collecting data, specimens, and imagery unthinkable in 1960, when the only other explorers to reach Challenger Deep returned after seeing little more than the silt stirred up by their bathyscaphe. After as long as six hours in the trench, Cameron—best known for creating fictional worlds on film (Avatar, Titanic, The Abyss)—is to jettison steel weights attached to the sub and shoot back to the surface. Meanwhile, the expedition’s scientific support team awaits his return aboard the research ships Mermaid Sapphire and Barakuda, 7 miles (11 kilometers) up.

The effort of a private company to salvage a communications satellite stranded in the wrong orbit has been rejected by the company that owns it. Instead, the satellite will be de-orbted today, buring up over the Pacific.

The effort of a private company to salvage a communications satellite stranded in the wrong orbit has been rejected by the company that owns it. Instead, the satellite will be de-orbted today, burning up over the Pacific.

New research shows that the Medieval Warm Period was a global event, reaching all the way to Antarctica.

New research shows that the Medieval Warm Period was a global event, reaching all the way to Antarctica.

Pseudo-scientists and global warming activists like Phil Jones and Michael Mann had argued that the warming was local, limited to Europe and parts of North America. The new data proves them wrong. Instead, the evidence shows that in the recent past, before the input of human technology, the Earth’s climate has naturally varied on global scales by significant amounts. And the most likely known cause for the Medieval Warm Period (c1000) and the Little Ice Age (c1600) that followed appears to be related to the Sun.

The four best legal arguments against Obamacare.

The four best legal arguments against Obamacare.

The fourth is probably the most devastating to Obamacare. No contract can be enforced if you are forced to sign it.

American contract law rests on the principle of mutual assent. If I hold a gun to your head and force you to sign a contract, no court of law will honor that document since I coerced you into signing it. Mutual assent must be present in order for a contract to be valid and binding.

Once again, we are skirting around that forgotten word called freedom. Obamacare has nothing to do with freedom. It requires participation, something that is fundamentally hostile to this country’s culture and law.

“This is a stunning power for an agency to arrogate to itself when there is absolutely no mention of it in the statute.”

“This is a stunning power for an agency to arrogate to itself when there is absolutely no mention of it in the statute.”

The agency is the EPA, and the words were written by an Obama-appointed judge in her ruling that told the EPA it had no right to unilaterally cancel already approved permits.

As I’ve said, the law is such an inconvenient thing for this administration.

Last night a piece of space junk missed ISS, but not by much.

Last night a piece of space junk missed ISS, but not by much.

The debris was only 8.7 miles from the station when it zipped by at about 16,000 miles per hour. That is very close, and had it hit, it would have done very significant damage.

The fragment was from an old Russian satellite, Cosmos 2251, that collided with an Iridium satellite in 2009, producing hundreds of fragments more than two inches across.

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