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Comment Re:First Time (Score 1, Insightful) 639

a national budget is a much more interesting beast

When I read that, I thought you were going to explain why it is an interesting beast in the next paragraph and tell us exactly what you mean by "interesting".

Simpleminded folk like myself think that spending more than you have is a bad idea, and spending more than you will have is an even worse idea (i.e. ballooning debt). I would love to know if I'm wrong. However, your paragraph #2 is about taxes, R&D, infrastructure and retirement age. Now I'm confused.

Comment Re:Awesome post (Score 1) 117

...recounts the story of the computer that translates the phrase "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." from English to Russian and back and what they got was "The wine is good but the meat is rotten."

That's nothing. "Out of sight, out of mind" to Russian and back is "Invisible maniac".

Comment Re:These are some big IFs (Score 1) 420

The biggest IF is that there may not be planets at all:

...Tuomi's team warns that disturbances on the star itself, rather than orbiting planets, may be producing the small velocity changes...

"They're pushing the envelope," says Gregory Laughlin, an astronomer at the University of California, Santa Cruz. "Some or even many of these planets could go away...

Comment Re:Funny idea... He He He... (Score 1) 231

why not? I try not to let irrational fear rule my life, while you apparently do.

I applaud you for your bravery.

I am, in fact, talking about taking the risk before the technology is human rated to that level (after which there is no risk to speak of and even those with no scientific knowledge can feel safe flying in one). The key is redundancy, which a big part of the reason why air travel is considered safe (the other being the fact that it is now based very mature technology). Most modern helium airships don't have (nor need) multiple gas compartments but hydrogen dirigibles should have them.

Comment Re:What happened to engineers....? (Score 1) 271

They all did MBA :D

This is why I refuse to get one. I do read a lot of business books and periodicals and I'm often involved in management. But I steer clear of anything with the words "strategic", "marketing", "smarter-not-harder", "S.M.A.R.T goals", "empowerment" etc.

Maybe this is just unique to my industry or my circumstance, but in many ways, when you start thinking like management, you're compromising some of your professional integrity as an engineer. I prefer to get managers to think like engineers instead...

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