Category Archives: Science/Engineering

No-crash policy still in effect

My good Southwest Airlines (which was called the National Airline of Texas in the 1980s before it went national) maintained its sterling no-crash policy even after a horrific engine explosion at 32,500 over Western Pennsylvania.

“One person is dead after an engine exploded on a Southwest Airlines flight on Tuesday, sending a piece of shrapnel flying back into a window which caused the woman sitting next to it to be nearly sucked out of the aircraft.”

But she wasn’t and the pilots and crew got it down safely. Good show!

Via Daily Mail

UPDATE: The pilot-captain Tammy Jo Shults is a former Navy fighter pilot who is being celebrated for her coolness. “Southwest 1380 has an engine fire,” she announced. “Descending.” Later she says “Actually no fire now but we are single engine.” Hear the entire talk between her and Air Traffic Control. More on her past here.

Artemis

The Martian author Andy Weir has done it again with Artemis, a police procedural on the moon. The characters are sharply drawn and engaging but the real star is the Artemis moon city and the precisely correct life therein and thereout on EVAs. Makes me want to visit, if not actually live there. Can’t wait for his next one.

Air pocket instead of a brain

Proof positive that the brain is just a receiver-transmitter for non-local consciousness. Of course the preferred scientific/rational narrative is that what’s left compensated for the missing mass. But that’s very hard to swallow.

Via Instapundit

Border wall protoypes

“President Donald Trump promised to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. Prototype construction began last month, with crews given 30 days to complete their models. Watch these latest construction videos from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.”

They look a lot like the slabs of concrete separating Israel proper from the West Bank—halting wouldbe terrorists and random snipers.

Via Breitbart

UT in on volcano forecast

UT-Austin is teaming with Italian scientists in predicting the possible impending eruption of a supervolcano west of Naples in southern Italy.

“Scientists have found the first direct evidence of a so-called ‘hot zone’ feeding a supervolcano in southern Italy that experts say is nearing eruption conditions.”

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-09-scientists-potential-magma-source-italian.html#jCp

Via Drudge Report

Historic flooding

Not at the rancho, fortunately, as we are on the northwestern side of Austin at a higher elevation than most of the rest of the city. But more likely in the downtown area, along Shoal, Waller and Onion creeks, and definitely south and east of I-35: Bastrop, La Grange, Giddings, Kyle, Lockhart.

Because as of 1 a.m. Sunday they have had upwards of 17 inches of rain. With much more to come. Wave after wave. Through Thursday. Rain all day, every day. All because Harvey has stalled about 80 miles due south of Austin and is stationary and pulling Gulf moisture up and around Austin. In a counter-clockwise rotation. Like a fire hose. With no atmospheric event to stop it.

Houston likewise is being hit hard already. A town where 4 inches of rain causes flooding has, so far, had 15 inches and more. With more to come. This is as KVUE’s chief meteorologist Alberto Ramon says an historic event. A potentially catastrophic event as the Colorado and Guadalupe Rivers get out of their banks.

There’s been nothing like this in a hundred years or more.

Power’s been out, will be again

Power’s been out at the rancho since noon. Just came back on about 6:30 p.m. Charging iPhone and Fire tablets and quick checking the weather radar which still shows lots of yellow rain bands swirling overhead. Training, the weather liars call it.

Had about three inches of rain since midnight. Plus the wind is gusting to 20 mph or so now. So I expect we’ll lose power again soon. Doesn’t take much wind speed to knock the power lines down in our neighborhood.

Nevermind Harvey. This is the third time this year, second time this month. You’d think the city would want to fix it. You’d be wrong. My theory: There’s not enough minorities live over here to make it worth their while politically.

UPDATE: Nothing posted by JD since Friday so he may have cleared out. Andy’s hanging in, but he’s well west of most of the action. He’s sure right about the state planning ahead. No repeats of Katrina here yet or likely to be either. Hell, we bailed out New Orleans and Houston took hundreds of refugees.

MORE:  Power lost again late Sunday night for a couple of hours.