Friday, September 21, 2012

Global perspective

It's been almost a month since a series of events conspired to usher me out of the Jakarta Globe. I'm still pretty narked off about the whole thing, but that's not the purpose of this post. There are some pictures floating around my desktop that I want to post -- some of them even contain people. The shots are somewhat large, so I've left them after the jump.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Living in interesting times

Things are pretty crazy at the moment, no? Nutjobs rioting abroad, craven jerks pandering their way to political office here, the world economy is tanking and the NFL's replacement refs are ruining everyone's fun. It's enough to make you want to hole up in a bomb shelter for a few years until all the Stupid passes.

But take heart, friends, and listen to Uncle Henry.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Humanity, high and low

Like its constituent components, humanity seems to have its good and bad days. Sometimes you come across news that makes you think this bunch of hairless apes might just make something of itself, and other times you wonder how we haven't wiped ourselves out of existence.

Today is the 35th anniversary of Voyager 1's launch. After three and a half decades and billions of miles, this hunk of 1970s technology is about to leave the solar system and enter interstellar space -- the first man-made object to do so. Considering the technological limitations NASA faced back in those days, that the Voyager twins are still functioning and exploring new territory is just mind-boggling.
Voyager 1 is currently more than 11 billion miles from the sun. Twin Voyager 2, which celebrated its launch anniversary two weeks ago, trails behind at 9 billion miles from the sun
They're still ticking despite being relics of the early Space Age.
Each only has 68 kilobytes of computer memory. To put that in perspective, the smallest iPod — an 8-gigabyte iPod Nano — is 100,000 times more powerful. Each also has an eight-track tape recorder. Today's spacecraft use digital memory.
Uplifting, isn't it? When we humans put our minds to something, we can do some damn impressive stuff. Of course, that particular blade cuts both ways.