When I was a kid, what I wanted was lots of money to spend on frivolous things. (that’s a kind of universal thing, right?)
When I got older, we had plenty of money and what I really wanted more of was time. (yeah, you can trade money for time to some extent, but it’s generally messy and it’s not like we were millionaires or anything)
Now that I have kids, time would be nice, but what I really want is more energy. I feel like I can’t fully enjoy the time I have with the kids because I’m too exhausted! Hoping things will get better as the kids get older…
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was fun, as I expected (who doesn’t want to read about Obama and Biden going around solving mysteries??) but the characters were actually kind of deep, which I didn’t expect. Anyway, it’s a fun read, especially if you read Obama’s words to yourself in his voice 🙂
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- Disney Is Spending More on Theme Parks Than It Did on Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm Combined – to my surprise I really enjoy Disney theme parks and am looking forward to this!
- Why Doctors Hate Their Computers – a very long article that is surprisingly nuanced. It seems like the root of the problem is that doctors are used to being in control of the charts, and now control lies with management and the makers of the software, I guess? (that daylight savings time bug is inexcusable, though…)
- This Thermometer Tells Your Temperature, Then Tells Firms Where to Advertise – this is an episode of Black Mirror waiting to happen… (a reminder from the article: turn off any “smart” features on your smart TV, they’re privacy nightmares!)
- The Ivy League Becomes the Future of Football – this is encouraging, I guess, but I’m skeptical that football can ever be anything less than “pretty dangerous” without making fundamental changes to the game.
- There’s a Better Way to Elect House Members – yay ranked-choice voting! If you missed it, it was used in Maine this year and changed the result!
- It’s Easier Than Ever To Get The Recommended Amount Of Exercise – just a reminder that exercise is really good for you and you don’t have to do a lot of it and any amount is better than nothing.
- They Said Seattle’s Higher Base Pay Would Hurt Workers. Why Did They Flip? – seems like good news, generally!
- A Baseball Bat Dies, and Chopsticks Are Born – Neat! (and Christmas is coming…just saying 🙂 )
- ‘They’re Bold and Fresh’: The Millennials Disrupting Boston’s Transit System – Good for them! (and good for Boston transportation officials for being open to suggestions) (thanks David!)
- Are Pop Lyrics Getting More Repetitive? – cool investigation with nice visualizations! (although the whole scroll down and different parts of the chart appear is annoying to me…)
- ‘The SOS in my Halloween decorations’ – wow: amazing story with a surprisngly happy ending!
If you like world-building scifi, you will probably like this book. I usually like world-building scifi, but the book is so long, and I was so sleep-deprived that I didn’t super get into it.
But the characters are interesting, and the plot is kinda bland and straightforward until it wasn’t, so I think it’s a good book!
I have a bit of a fascination with airplane crashes, and while feeding baby Nick in the middle of the night I’ve been watching a lot of Air Disasters (also known as Mayday/Air Crash Investigations/etc.). It’s pretty well done and does a good job of presenting the investigation as a mystery that needs solving, although I have a feeling things are dramatized a little bit to preserve this narrative.
After watching way too many episodes, one of the takeaways is that commercial aviation is incredibly safe, so when a plane crashes it’s because a bunch of things went wrong, not just one thing. This is know as the chain of events, and I recently watched an episode that really encapsulated this well.
The flight was Garuda Indonesia Flight 152. Here are all the links in the accident chain:
– The air traffic controller used the wrong callsign for the plane when giving instructions, because he was confused with an earlier flight that day (“Merpati 152” instead of “GIA 152”). When he realized his mistake, he repeated the instructions with the correct callsign, but forgot to say again that he was putting them on a course to approach the runway from the right side instead of the typical approach from the left side. (this was done because there was a plane departing from the runway at the time)
– Then when the plane was told to turn right, the captain (who was used to flying the normal approach) instead turned left, presumably out of habit.
– The first officer was distracted during the turn because the captain was complaining about the cockpit being hot. (In the US, this would be a violation of the Sterile Cockpit Rule, although I’m not sure if there’s a similar rule in other countries)
– As a part of the turn they were cleared to descend to 2000 feet. But the plane continued to descend lower than that – the assumption is that the captain set the autopilot wrong, although this is unclear.
– Because of forest fires in the area, the air was smoky so the pilots couldn’t see the ground.
– For some reason, their GPWS didn’t activate telling the pilots they were getting close to the ground. This was presumably a bug in the GPWS or something.
If any one of these had not been present, the accident would have been avoided. And during the investigation, safety agencies like the NTSB will try to address all the causes. For example, in this case a recommendation was made that flights going to the same destination should not have the same flight number, even across airlines. This is what makes commercial aviation so safe!
(this is similar to the computer security idea of defense in depth – you want to be protected at multiple layers)