2019-11-04 3 min read


Planning & Strategy.

Making & Manufacturing.

Maintenance, Repair & Operations.

  • Made In Space is putting a mini plastic recycling "facility" on the ISS, to complement the "AMF" printer that's already in service there. As a non-chemist I'm a little unclear on the chemistry here, but the system "takes in plastic bags, bubble wrap, or old used 3D prints" and reprocesses it into new filament. I reached out to MIS to clarify, and they tell me that it "can handle a variety of polymer blends" and that "for the most part, anything that AMF can print with, Recycler can process." This presumably includes ABS, HDPE, PEI/PC (all of which are listed in the AMF's user guide), and also includes a sugarcane based polyethylene made by Braskem. Related: Bagasse is "the dry pulpy fibrous residue that remains after sugarcane or sorghum stalks are crushed to extract their juice. It is used as a biofuel for the production of heat, energy, and electricity, and in the manufacture of pulp and building materials."

Distribution & Logistics.

  • In 1930, the Indiana Bell building - an 8-story steel and brick building that was 27 years old at the time - was moved 16 meters to the south, rotated 90 degrees, and then moved 30 meters to the west. "A movable wooden sidewalk allowed employees and the public to enter and leave the building at any time while the move was in progress. The company did not lose a single day of work nor interrupt their service during the entire period."
  • The Engineered Materials Arrestor System (EMAS) is a bed of material ("crushable cellular cement blocks") that's installed on the ends of short runways. If an airplane drives off of the end of the runway, its wheels plow into the EMAS and crush it - absorbing and dissipating energy and slowing the airplane to a stop. This video is terrible in quality but shows EMAS pretty well.

Inspection, Testing & Analysis.


  • Craig Mod on walk-n-talks, a strategically planned vacation (ish) that optimizes for thoughts.
  • The Nazca Lines are a group of large, geometric designs carved into the soil in the Nazca desert in Peru, created roughly 2000 years ago.

Mapping 9.5 million links in the US food supply chain.

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