NASA’s Juno Flies Past the Moon Ganymede and Jupiter

On June 7, 2021, NASA’s Juno spacecraft flew closer to Jupiter’s ice-encrusted moon Ganymede than any spacecraft in more than two decades. Less than a day later, Juno made its 34th flyby of Jupiter. This animation provides a “starship captain” point of view of each flyby. For both worlds, JunoCam images were orthographically projected onto a digital sphere and used to create the flyby animation. Synthetic frames were added to provide views of approach and departure for both Ganymede and Jupiter.

The agony of speaking

words 351

My SO and I are doing some painting. Mostly it’s fun, but as we discuss colors and color combinations, it has become glaringly obvious that it can be extremely difficult to talk about what we want but easy to convey our ideas by showing an example of what we want.

I wanted to do something in brown. Words flew all over the room but got us no closer to mutual understanding, let alone agreement. We looked at color charts on the computer but couldn’t agree on what we meant by saturation, muted, lighter, or darker.

My SO, who is much better with color than I am, thought the meanings of those terms were obvious. “You’re overthinking this! You must know what lighter and darker mean!”

“Not when I consider luminescence or saturation, I don’t. I really don’t.”

Is a red-brown lighter or darker than a blue-brown? More or less saturated? I honestly was lost in the terminology and was driving my poor SO crazy.

After several days of this, at some point I noticed my wallet lying on the table. “This is what I mean,” I said. “I want a color like this.” The wallet was a well-worn, dark, leathery brown.

She immediately knew what I was talking about now. “What you want is a really dark brown… that’s almost a black.”

Excited, we went back to the color chart (which has 3,500 color variations) and looked into a different classification of browns. Low and behold, the darkest one available—Tarpley Brown—is exactly what I wanted.

So,  I had something in my mind’s eye but failed repeatedly to convey it to my SO through the use of language. She tried to figure out what I meant but kept searching for a more woody sort of brown while becoming increasingly confused by my groping attempts at description.

From this, we can see how difficult it is to understand other people or even ourselves. Many important aspects of being human simply do not have clear examples in the world around us and are much more difficult to put into words than a color.

first posted JULY 15, 2020

2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America first ride review

Harley-Davidson has introduced an adventure motorcycle that will redefine the approachability of large adventure bikes.

I’ll spend the next 4,000 words or so dissecting that statement, but if you read nothing else, you can walk away with my general thesis.

Let’s take a second to appreciate the significance of this model. This is Harley-Davidson’s first time venturing outside of the cruiser and touring segments since before I was born (at least with a gasoline-burning model). So for them to branch out into the wildly popular and hugely competitive ADV segment is a big deal. For them to introduce such an innovative and impressive machine is even more important.

link to original

On Flannery O’Connor’s portrayals of “poor whites”

Below is a very good comment on an essay about Flannery O’Connor. Everything below is the comment, which can also be found here.

To be fair to Flannery O’Conner, it’s easier to be tolerant of the vices of others than it is of those of your own people. It may merely have been a matter of Ms. O’Conner expecting more from her own people than she did from blacks.

But that’s the whole point. Poor whites, working class whites, whites educated more by experience than books, etc. are not O’Connor’s people at all.

The USA in general and whites in particular (the two used to be practically synonymous) could never bring themselves to talk seriously about the family and social class.

These things just hit too close to home for too many people. So, they don’t just avoid them, they reject them. Instead, they talk about race.

They reject the obvious and the concrete for something abstract. That’s why O’Connor, like so many today, not only side with blacks, but would rather be them than a poor white person. Exactly because she doesn’t have a relationship with blacks. But poor whites, though not her people, are her race. And that just hits too close to home.

But, since the 19th century the white aristocracy has been replaced by the white middle class. And the aristocracy had one very good quality, noblese oblige, a sense of responsibility to their social subordinates. But the middle class, for hundreds and hundreds of years have always hated both the aristocracy and the poor.

In fact, the middle class has always been the insecure social class. And that insecurity comes out in the need of the middle class to relentlessly and cruelly scapegoat poor whites.

But it looks like history has a joker up its sleeve and those of the white middle class are about to get what’s coming to them, a taste of their own medicine.