2021-01-11 4 min read


Notes, 2021-01-11.

It should go without saying, but I oppose violent threats to democracy.

I’ll be working on The Prepared’s 2020-Q4 report for Members this week; I’ll also be quashing loose ends from my plan for December, attempting to dig myself out of an email hole, and trying generally to maintain a sense of calm.

-Spencer Wright

The most clicked link from last week's issue (~13% of opens) was an apparently legal homemade "hail cannon" that's been bothering neighbors in NJ.

Planning & Strategy.

  • Site Selection is the magazine of corporate expansion and area economic development - in other words, the magazine devoted to helping corporations select new sites to expand their operations to. Recent headlines include Kansas: The Biggest Economic Engine You Haven’t Heard Of, Mississippi: Hello World, We’re Mississippi, and an intelligence report on Long Island (where I grew up) that brags about it as “an international hub for the pharma industry and has thriving tech, beverage and manufacturing segments.”
  • Another good article on the Avro Arrow, the impressive Canadian fighter jet that cost the equivalent of $7.5B USD in today’s dollars and was cancelled after just a handful of units were built. The first Arrow was unveiled the same day that Sputnik launched, and “within hours of the Arrow’s cancellation” the head of NASA’s Space Task Group reached out to Avro’s chief of technical design “with the offer of bringing former Arrow engineers to NASA to work on the fledgling space program.” Thirty-two of them eventually took job offers, with many becoming totally critical to what would become the Apollo program. “By cancelling the Arrow program when he did, Deifenbaken inadvertently gave the American space program its most fortuitous break since when Wernher von Braun found and surrendered to American troops after the Second World War.”
  • From last summer, a piece on BP’s climate goals and diversification into renewable projects. Meanwhile, “for [Exxon and Mobil], rushing to renewables - where they have no competitive advantage and see smaller returns in a more regulated industry - is not the answer.”
  • It has of course been covered elsewhere, but the National Association of Manufacturers’ statement on last week’s riot, Trump, and the 25th amendment is more strongly worded and than you’d think.

Making & Manufacturing.

Maintenance, Repair & Operations.

  • A good, short twitter thread on snow removal operations in Montreal, QC. “The city spends more than any other in the world on picking up snow and putting down salt on its 10,000 km of roads: in 2019–20, its snow removal budget hit $166.4 million...Plowing snow is a 1,000-person & 1,000-truck project; removing it takes another 3,000 people & 2,200 trucks.”

Distribution & Logistics.

Inspection, Testing & Analysis.


Photos of how Trumpf, Zeiss, and ASML create extreme ultraviolet lithography equipment for chip fabs.

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