Monday, March 25, 2019

What Sailing and Flying have in common

For purposes of rapid skill acquisition, in his chapter on windsurfing, Josh Kaufman corrects a common misconception about the sail itself. It's not because wind fills the sail and pushes the boat along.
Sails work by creating differences in air pressure on the front and back of the sail. In most conditions, as air flows around the sail, the flow creates an area of low pressure in the front (toward the bow), and an area of high pressure in the back (toward the stern). The combined effect of these two different pressure zones creates a force that moves the craft in the direction of the low-pressure area. As a result, the wind pulls the sail as much as it pushes it. Airplane wings work much the same way.
The commonality with aviation is especially intriguing, and all the more so considering how long principles of aerodynamic pressure were used vertically on sail masts for thousands of years before being applied horizontally on airplane wings.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Moses' First Visit to the Promised Land

But to the glory of the grace of God we can add that what the law could not do for Moses the Gospel did; and he who could not pass over the Jordan under the old dispensation is seen on the very heights of Hermon with the Son of Man, sharing His Transfiguration glory, and talking of that death on Calvary to which be owed his glorious destiny.

That grace we have inherited under the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Simpson, A. B. (Albert B.). Days of Heaven Upon Earth (pp. 56-57—February 24). Kindle Edition.

Friday, March 22, 2019

20th Century History

I've been reading History of the Twentieth Century lately, and it is a long book. Apparently it's the condensing of three books into one, but at 1,000 pages, it's still running about 10 pages per year of history for a century. It feels a lot like reading weekly summaries on politics from The Economist in book form.

My main takeaway so far is that tension, conflict, and bloodshed have been happening regularly for a long time. After 100 years we tend to only remember bigger more consequential events, but there were many more along the way that are remembered less, but still were highly consequential in their own right for the people nearby affected.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Hiring is aimed at the future, depending on the past

The hiring process in America is built to repeat the past.

The number one criteria for finding a job is how much experience you already have doing that job.

This makes getting a job in a newer field a bit mysterious. It feels a bit like saying you want someone with 20 years' experience in social media even though social media has only been around for 15 years.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Spring Constellations

Happy spring vernal equinox!

Near the end of last year I read about astronomy and learned some basics. Worldwide, officially there are 88 constellations—one for every key on a piano. Some are visible only in the northern hemisphere, some only in the southern hemisphere.

Within those latitudinal limits, not all of them are visible all year long. During half the year the sun blocks are view of some constellations altogether, and then half a year later blocks the other half. There are a couple lists that show which is visible when.

Northern hemisphere spring constellations include: Bootes, Cancer, Crater, Hydra, Leo, and Virgo.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Near-Earth Object Explodes

CNN: A meteor exploded in the Earth's atmosphere with 10 times the energy of the Hiroshima atomic bomb

We track near-earth objects, right?

Stories like this make me wonder which of these two conditions was met:

1. We knew about this object, but we thought it wasn't big enough to worry about.

2. We didn't know about this object even though we thought we would catch things like this.

Monday, March 18, 2019

39 Steps

I read the first part of Robert Kennedy: His Life, and therein is mentioned how the Kennedy brothers enjoyed spy novels like The Thirty-Nine Steps.

I subsequently read the short novel, and I can concur it is an engaging read. Near the beginning, John Buchan's character shows, at 37, he is on the cusp of a mid-life crisis: “I looked up into the spring sky and I made a vow. I would give the Old Country another day to fit me into something; if nothing happened, I would take the next boat for the Cape.”

Little surprise he captured the imagination of a generation for half a century including a future President.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Reckoning

A.B. Simpson once called “reckon” “one of the key-words of Scripture.”* Reckoning, or reconciling, is what one does when debts come due and it's time to even accounts.

In our society today, we've forgotten about reckoning. It's become a word that is associated with a drawl that means little more than a passing comment: Perhaps, “I reckon that's the way things are.”

This may be because we've been living on debt without end, seemingly without limit. This is true nationally and personally in many areas. We've been doing this long enough, few seem to have any sense of gravity that a day of reckoning is coming, much less having any sense of what that would look like. The days of “deficits don't matter” have their limit.

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