Noah here. Honored to fill in for Spencer.
- A side booster for SpaceX's Falcon Heavy was spotted going to their McGregor, TX test facility. Demo flight is expected later this year.
- In the meantime, SpaceX is also scheduled to fly an International Space Station resupply mission on Saturday. They just completed a static test fire on their newly refurbished launch pad.
- The Air Force's secretive X-37B space plane might be coming in for a landing.
Automated wheeled things.
- Ford is investing $1 billion over the next five years in Argo AI, a local-to-me startup developing autonomous vehicle technologies.
- GM spent a billion dollars of their own money on self-driving car startup Cruise Automation last year, and just released new video of their technology navigating San Francisco.
- Boston Dynamics let slip a sneak peak of a new and terrifying wheeled robot.
The infrastructure of New York City.
- The New Yorker had a great, in-depth piece about the history and context of the recently opened (and well received) Second Avenue Subway. Complaints and breakdowns are up throughout the system, however.
- The New York Times has been running a series called New York 101 focusing on different pieces of NYC's infrastructure. Most recently, How New York City Gets Its Electricity.
- It takes a lot of work to keep New York City clean.
Life at the South Pole.
- The Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station was looking for a machinist to spend the winter at the last minute.
- This tour of the station made me think it would be a pretty nice place to spend some time, but maybe not six months of darkness.
- Every year, the "winterover" crew at the station is in charge of designing and making a marker for the geographic south pole. The 2017 marker was recently unveiled.
- You can do amazing things with mason's line. Also, literal explanations of blacksmith idioms.
- Great explanations of high speed steel and carbide tooling for metal lathes.