Elon Musk, Tesla, SpaceX and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, by Ashlee Vance, 2015

What a great read, about Elon Musk and the driving force behind Tesla, Solar City and SpaceX.  The common thread behind all of Musk’s pursuits is getting man to Mars.  The side products and benefits of this mission, especially new battery technologies, may change our world much the same way that the original push to the moon led to the computers of today.

Elon Musk, Tesla, SpaceX and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, by Ashlee Vance, 2015

96 “I came very close to dying,” Musk said. “That’s my lesson for taking a vacation: vacations will kill you.”
113 SpaceX’s mission would be to emerge as the “Sourthwest Airlines of Space.”
122 three-hundred acre test site in McGregor, Texas.
165 Rarely did Tesla get hung up overanalyzing a situation. The company would pick a plan of attack, and when it failed at something, it failed fast and they tried a new approach.
228 Musk pushed the company to master friction stir welding, in which a spinning head is smashed at high speeds into the join between two pieces of metal in a bid to make their crystalline structures merge. It’s as if you heated two sheets of aluminum foil and then joined them by putting your thumb down on the seam and twisting the metal together. This type of welding tends to result in much stronger bonds than traditional welds.
229 Within SpaceX, Blue Origin (Jeff Bezo’s secretive rocket company) is mockingly referred to as BO.
329 “A six-month offset would be like, like Gallipoli. You have to make sure you charge right after the bombardment. Don’t fucking sit around for two hours so that the Turks can go back in the trenches. Timing is important. We have to do everything we can to minimize the timing risk.”
338 Musk really had become the closest thing the world had to Tony Stark, and he could not let his adoring public down.
343 mer·cu·ri·alˌmərˈkyo͝orēəl/ adjective (of a person) subject to sudden or unpredictable changes of mood or mind. “his mercurial temperament”
351 Zee Aero, a start up in Mountain View, has a couple of former SpaceX staffers on hand and is working on a secretive new type of transport. A flying car at last? Perhaps.

Fourth rule is…


The fourth rule is:


The fourth rule is:


The fourth rule is:


The fourth rule is:

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Shavuot- The Day of Marriage

On Pesach (Passover), the people of Israel were freed from centuries of bondage and enslavement to Pharoah.  Led out of Egypt by Moses after the ten plagues, they crossed the Red (Reed) Sea into the desert.
Fifty days later (Counting of the Omer) on Shavuot (Pentecost), the Torah was given on Mount Sinai.  Moses brought the bride (the nation of Israel)  to the bridegroom (God) at the Chuppah (Mount Sinai, represented by the canopy you see at most weddings).  The marriage contract (ketubbah) was the Torah.
Shavuot is the fourth of the four spring feasts of God, the last of the spring feasts, and the fourth of seven annual feasts of God.  The four spring feasts were fulfilled the year Yeshua was crucified (Pesach/Passover), buried (Matzah/Unleavened Bread), rose again ( Bikkurim/ First Fruits) and sent the Holy Spirit (Shavuot/ Pentecost).
In what some refer to as the birthday of the church (Pentecost as described in Acts Chapter 2) the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh) descended on 120 apostles of Jesus Christ and other followers of Yeshua / Jesus.
The day the Torah was given (3000 people died) was the same day of the year centuries later that the Holy Spirit was given (3000 people were saved).
Shavuot is also traditionally the day that King David both was born and died.

Work is the curse of the drinking class — Oscar Wilde

beer coasters 2 001

Bring Back the Draft?


I Want YouAfter a day skiing at Taos and hitting the Brewfest that night, we were all sitting around in the cabin’s sunken living room. Paul, a retired investment banker, made the mind-bending statement that if we still had the draft, the U.S. would not be in all these ongoing wars. Paul said that he had had a draft number in the below fifty range I think. For some reason, the U.S. is continually stirring up and fighting wars in other people’s countries. I think I read somewhere that Afghanistan is the longest war in US history.

I remember the draft. I remember my brother, nine years older than me, drew a fairly low number (I think it was the lower the number, the more likelihood of getting drafted). He considered moving to Canada, or Sweden or one of those countries over there that many young men were re-locating to to avoid going to fight in the Vietnam jungle. I was beginning to sweat bullets myself as I approached the age to register for the draft. As it turns out, the draft was ended right about the time I would have to register. All I knew is I definitely did not want to go. Even the thought was terrifying.

So now we have the volunteer army. A young man who works at my mom’s independent living home is thinking about enlisting. I don’t think that is such a great idea these days. I’ve had young veteran employees who were unable to keep a job because of the issues related to the trauma of war. I personally have no idea of what I am talking about, but I have definitely seen the sad effects on people’s lives first hand.

Younger people today probably have no idea what an ominous prospect an active draft held over one’s life. I’ve read several accounts lately of avoidance steps taken to get out of the draft. Greg Allman told the story in his book, My Cross to Bear, of how he planned for and actually shot himself on the foot to avoid the draft, studying physiology charts to know where exactly to shoot and minimize permanent damage. David N Meyer, in Twenty Thousand Roads, tells how Gram Parsons deprived himself of sleep for three days and then took a partial hit of acid in his successful attempt to avoid getting drafted.

With two grown children of my own, I can imagine what parents went through also, worrying about their kids getting drafted. Jim Rogers, in Hot Commodities, talks about how the parental fear can possibly affect national policy:

In 1980, the (China) leadership initiated a national policy rewarding couples for limiting their families to one child. This one-child policy was terminated in 2002, but the damage was done. Tens of millions of families are likely to resist sending their only child or grandchild off to war.

Not advocating a one child policy here, of course, but showing how having ”skin in the game” affects our thinking.

Bring Back the Draft? I never would have thought I would even think that could have merit or that I would ever think that thought. I still don’t think we should. But it actually might help break this cycle of war.

I guess we are not so worried about instigating wars everywhere, as long as we have mercenaries (volunteers) to send to do the dirty work.