2018-02-19 3 min read


Happy Chinese New Year, everyone! My shipments *just* made it on the boat; I hope the same for you :)

A quick shout-out to Omar, who is helping out with planning, operations & outreach on The Prepared. Holler!

Planning & Strategy.

Making & Manufacturing.

Maintenance, Repair & Operations.

  • A good piece in the New Yorker about paper jams, which rather cleverly suggests paper jam engineering as "the ultimate challenge," involving "knowledge of physics, chemistry, mechanical engineering, computer programming, and interface design." However, an important note: In an aside, this article mentions the Bernoulli principle and the theory (which you may have been taught in high school) that the pressure differential between the top and bottom sides of wings is what make airplanes fly. This is incorrect.
  • A very cool looking - and renewably powered - harbor cleanup system in Baltimore.
  • NASA's page on micrometeoroids, orbital debris, and the Kessler syndrome. I have a hard time reading between the lines on NASA's take on the Kessler syndrome, and it seems as if the private companies working on rockets don't have micrometeoroids at the very top of their list either (though this blog post by Planet Labs is somewhat encouraging). See this moment in a recent Radiolab for context.

Distribution & Logistics.

  • Last year, Maersk "managed to reduce facilitation payments [which are bribes in essentially every aspect but name] by 96%."
  • First Jump (née Social Bicycles) teamed up with Uber, now Lyft is aggregating & sponsoring the city of Baltimore's bike share program. US bikeshare speculation seems to finally be moving forward in earnest (if low risk) ways. Related, I spotted what appears to be a dockless CitiBike recently.
  • A short post on the out-of-proportion typical public transit times between Montreal and New York City, and how they could be cut down dramatically and inexpensively with a single bus transfer.

Inspection & Testing.


Replacement controls & instruments at NASA Ames.

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