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  • Marie Patino, Leonardo Nicoletti and Sophie Alexander for Bloomberg:

    A Bloomberg analysis of the use of primary private planes among some of the richest people in the world finds that Musk comes out on top. For example, his private jet took more than twice as many trips as Ellison’s in 2022.

    ​​The roughly 2,112 metric tons of greenhouse gas emitted in 2022 from flight’s on Musk’s personal jet — not the Tesla or SpaceX corporate jets — is a tiny fraction of the 8.4 million metric tons that Tesla estimates its customers avoided emitting in 2021. But it’s more than 140 times the average American’s carbon footprint and, to make it up, a Tesla Model 3 would have to replace an average premium internal-combustion car for 7 million miles.

    On average, a normal person emits about 4 tons of carbon per year. This asshole contributed over 500x the amount of CO2 in 2022. Some additional context, Musk is infamous for creating problems for himself, micro-manages his teams and can’t seem to figure out teleconferencing. Musk continues to maintain a ridiculous illusion that he truly cares about the environment and is concerned for the future of humanity. It is all a facade. If he truly gave one iota, he could simply adjust his schedule to be more remote-friendly or I don’t know, maybe not take a private flight every day. Musk is and always has self-righteous silver-spooned spoiled piece of of shit.

  • Apple describes interaction with visionOS in their recently published Human Interface Guidelines:

    When people wear Apple Vision Pro, they enter an infinite 3D space where they can engage with your app or game while staying connected to their surroundings.

    The Vision Pro is a uniquely different kind of general computing device that operates in 3D space. Often referred to as spatial computing. Apple lists 7 fundamental interface guidelines to be aware of:

    1. Space: The Vision Pro offers a limitless canvas for virtual content and immersive experiences.
    2. Immersion: Users seamlessly transition between different levels of immersion in either Shared Space or Full Space modes.
    3. Passthrough: Live video from external cameras allows users to interact with virtual content while seeing their surroundings. Using the Digital Crown users can dial in and out of passthrough
    4. Spatial Audio: Sonic characteristics of the surroundings are modeled for natural audio experiences.
    5. Focus and gestures: Users interact with Vision Pro using their eyes and hands. Using their eyes to bring focus and tapping is called an indirect gesture. Interacting with virtual objects with touch is called a direct gesture.
    6. Ergonomics: Content is automatically adjusted or scaled relative to the wearer’s head for visual comfort.
    7. Accessibility: Vision Pro supports various accessibility technologies for customized interactions such as VoiceOver, GuidedAccess and more.

    P.S. Apple also published their Design Library and Templates for visionOS in Figma here. Enjoy!

  • The last supernova that was remotely visible by the naked eye was Supernova 1987A. It was an impressive display then. But will we see another supernova again?

    For context, our closest red supergiant star is Betelgeuse. It is currently on the cusp of exploding, as it transforms into a supernova. The star is already spewing gases from its surface as it prepares to ascend into supernova — superheating nearby celestial gas and dust into a spectacular light-show.

    As the star prepares to self-destruct, there’s a nearby wall cloud formation of dust. According to the ESA, it’s technically the edge of a nearby interstellar cloud, being illuminated by Betelgeuse. The two are posed to collide:

    If the bar is a completely separate object, then taking into account the motion of Betelgeuse and its arcs and the separation between them and the bar, the outermost arc will collide with the bar in just 5,000 years, with the red supergiant star itself hitting the bar roughly 12,500 years later.

    This image of Betelgeuse is comprised of bow shock (right) and a wall cloud of dust and debris (left). It will take thousands of years for the two to collide. Photo: ESA
    The first photo of a star other than our sun, taken with the Hubble Space Telescope in 1996. Betelgeuse is a red supergiant in the constellation Orion. This photograph is an ultraviolet image. Pictured on the right is the full constellation Orion, with Betelgeuse marked by the yellow cross. Note just how large the size of the star is compared to the size of Jupiter’s orbit. Enormous.

    Check out more photos of Betelgeuse at WIRED,

  • Chase Purdy at Quartz writes:

    On Oct. 7, it was announced that astronauts on the International Space Station had successfully grown their own meat from microscopic animal cells, using a process called cell-culturing. The bit of cow muscle they produced was small, but it was a historic accomplishment nonetheless.

    The ISS project was part of a joint venture by San Francisco-based Finless Foods and Israel-based Aleph Farms, just two of many startups pioneering the concept of cell-cultured meat. Their technology isn’t just a sci-fi fantasy, conceived to nourish future space colonies: It has very real implications for our food systems right now.

    The omnivore’s dilemma deepens. Cell-culturing is a pretty straightforward, and interesting solution for decreasing our carbon-footprint while keeping us well-fed. For the rest of us, vegetarianism seems to be the best way to reduce your carbon-footprint. Not into that idea? Even just cutting beef from your diet alone can reduce your carbon footprint a sizable amount. But, replacing farm-grown meats with lab-grown meats? This introduces new wrinkles into an already complex problem our society needs to solve I we want to end climate change.

  • The New York Times reports:

    The company has been mired in the worst crisis in its 103-year history since the crashes of two 737 Max jets killed 346 people. The plane has been grounded since March, and Boeing has faced cascading delays as it tries to return the Max to the air. 

    The company said David Calhoun, the chairman, would replace Mr. Muilenburg on Jan. 13. Until then, Boeing’s chief financial officer, Greg Smith, will serve as interim chief executive, the company said.

    Firing Muilenburg won’t mend the damaged reputation nor will it fix the highly problematic MCAS system that plagues the 737 Max aircraft, but it will catalyze Boeing to switch gears. Never mind the fact, Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft test over the weekend was an orbital failure.

    Previously, the ramifications of Boeings accumulated failures had begun as a slow moving tidal wave affecting airline operators such as Southwest being forced to leave Newark. Now, as the plane’s future remains unclear, aerospace supply chains have begun to feel the pressure as well. Boeing, just a week ago — halted the production of the Boeing 737 Max airplane. As many as 8,000 suppliers and third-party vendors will be affected by the halted production.

    Not good.

  • From NBCNews:

    An asteroid bigger than the Eiffel Tower hurtled past Earth early on Saturday at a speed of 10,400 miles per hour, missing us by 4.6 million miles — not quite a close shave, but not so far in astronomical terms.

    Had the fast-moving space rock, dubbed 2006 QQ23, been following a different trajectory, it could have slammed into our planet with an explosive force of up to 500 times that of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan.

    This isn’t the first time this has happened. To be clear, this happens a lot. Plenty of orbital objects follow a trajectory that is hard to track, and many are invisible until the celestial objects are close, and even more are invisible until they’ve passed. Basically, if an objects geometry is directly in-line or obfuscated by solar activity, it flies invisible. This is because our largest array of telescopes are on Earth. From the ground, we can only track asteroids, and other celestial bodies at night. We are at the whims of third-dimensional space. Space telescopes however, do not have this problem.

    The most notable and well-known photographed object to enter Earth’s atmosphere was last seen in Chelyabinsk, Russia. It was a superbolide, sized at around 20m. It produced a very large flash and vapor trail:

    For comparison, the Tunguska Event was likely caused by a 65m meteoroid. The asteroid that missed us is called 2006 QQ23. The diameter of 2006 QQ23 is approximately 250–570m. A collision with that type of orbiter would level a large city and decimate the surrounding area — devastation never before seen.

    It and others like it, are called Aten asteroids. To be brief, this means the asteroid follows an arc that crosses Earth’s orbit within close proximity. It is only luck that keeps life afloat on Earth. The universe we live in is very efficient at extinguishing life. We should all be thankful and celebrate this meteoroid missed us… this time.

  • I haven’t owned a telescope since high-school, but this calendar from The New York Times is absolutely stellar (pun-intended).

    If you’re like me, your digital calendar is your best friend. I can’t function without one personally. I prefer to use Fantastical for iOS and Mac, from Flexibits. The subscription works all the same in Outlook, Google Calendar, or whatever client you prefer.

    For one, I like to know when astronomical events are happening (visible to the naked eye, or not). But what I like the most about this calendar subscription — is it lets me know the who, what, when, where, and why. Replete with a handy link at the bottom of the notes for more information:

  • Ellison Onizuka was a careered Air Force test pilot, flight engineer and American astronaut. He was born and raised in Kealakekua, Hawaii. He flew on Space Shuttle missions for the Discovery and Challenger.

    He, of course, was tragically killed in the Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster. El, as he was often referred to, was a warm and loving father. He was an assistant coach to The Lady Falcons, the Clear Lake High School girls soccer team. Tony Malinowski at ESPN writes:

    In January 1986, “Rocky IV” was in theaters, gas was 93 cents per gallon and Janelle Onizuka was sitting through her sophomore classes at Clear Lake, waiting to get to soccer practice. All week, the team had been passing around a ball to sign. It was just a practice ball, a little scuffed up and not the best brand. By all accounts it was unremarkable, except for one very remarkable fact: Janelle’s dad, Ellison, was going to take it into space.

    The mid-January evening that Ellison came to pick up the ball was one of those nights he was supposed to be in quarantine. Janelle hadn’t seen him for weeks; the astronauts were kept isolated before missions to avoid getting sick. But there he was, jogging across the practice field, and suddenly the whole evening buzzed with the electric feeling of being part of something special as a kid — literally, in this case, part of something far beyond your own small world.

    The players on the team presented Ellison with the ball, looking one last time at all their names and “Good Luck, Shuttle Crew!” written in careful strokes, knowing it was a way for each of them to be a part of the great human achievement of the time — a way to touch the heavens.

    Truly heartbreaking. But, brings joy to my heart that his daughter and her teammates got to see Ellison one last time before the disaster. Ultimately, the ball made it’s way to space after all. In 2016, on Expedition 49 the ball was whisked to the ISS. It spent 173 days aboard. A reminder of El’s determination and destiny, and personally a reminder of our frail mortality. A lovely gesture.

    It also turns out, Ellison gave a compelling and inspiring commencement to his high school alma mater in 1980 — his words have been honored and immortalized in millions of US passports.

    His expanded quotation reads:

    Every generation has the obligation to free men’s minds for a look at new worlds … to look out from a higher plateau than the last generation. Your vision is not limited by what your eye can see, but what your mind can imagine. If you accept these past accomplishments as commonplace, then think of the new horizons that you can explore. … Make your life count, and the world will be a better place because you tried.

    Per aspera ad astra 💫

  • Our Patch of Dirt

    In cosmological terms, we exist as an exception to the rule. The rule (as far as we know as I’m writing this at least), is their is no life beyond Earth. But somehow, billions of years ago, by shear dumb luck, soupy primordial proteins assembled amidst the backdrop of chaos. They wiggled themselves into a fortressed heap of snot and somehow managed to morph into complex multi-cellular systems. All of this, happening slowly over epochs of time, across an ever-changing and unfamiliar landscape — on a patch of dirt and water whirling through icy-cold space.

    It’s amazing stuff. We take it for granted so often. We really are lucky to be here. This morning as I was commuting to work, I was reminded of just how crazy it is we’re here — like doing things, working and living under one roof on this humid lump of soil. Needless to say, I went down the rabbit-hole on the web and found some great reading about Abiogenesis, life on Earth and other topics I wanted to share:

    Even further reading:

    • A Nihilists Guide to Meaning [Melting Asphalt]
    • Empty half the Earth of its humans. It’s the only way to save the planet. [The Guardian]