30 August 2015
cancer has taken Dr Oliver Sacks at age 82. Like so many others, I was inspired by his curiosity and engagement with patients -- and his capacity to tell their stories and the story of the human condition. What came as a later surprise was his willingness to discuss his own demons, including a severe shyness, face blindness, and "staggering bouts of pharmacological experimentation" in his youth.
25 August 2015
The Telegraph's Alan Tovey writes of renewed interest old idea...
"US defence group Lockheed Martin has developed a “hybrid” airship which does not need mooring towers or runways, enabling companies to operate more easily in remote areas. [...] The hybrids are “heavier than air” machines, meaning the helium they carry is not enough to lift the craft’s entire weight when loaded. The gas provides 80pc of the lift required, with the remainder being generated as the airship -- which is shaped like an aerofoil -- is driven forward by its propellers. The engines rotate so their thrust can be directed to give extra lift, meaning the hybrid airship can also take off vertically when not fully loaded."This is fantastic for both the reasons Lockheed spells out in their video -- i.e. military, mining, construction, etc -- but also as an alternative form of ferry for crossing rivers, bays, and lakes, plus can provide new ways of moving people in cities! Here's how "hybrid" fits in...
23 August 2015
16 August 2015
09 August 2015
I'm looking forward to seeing the full documentary A Doctor's Sword telling Dr Aidan MacCarthy's WWII saga from Dunkirk to Nagasaki, a story full of disaster, compassion, resilience, and amazing luck. Here's the trailer...
05 August 2015
03 August 2015
01 August 2015
The Guardian shares interactive database -- The Counted -- of everyone killed by police in the US in 2015 (and counting). I've personally witnessed grotesque police brutality and -- like the rest of the 'Net -- have seen the seemingly endless number of videos of bullies with badges brutalizing citizenry. And we're not talking about gangsters or terrorists, but everyday people. Here we can see the ridiculous scale of the wanton moral (and legal) corruption and inhumanity run amok. Who protects us from our so-called protectors?
In her Bloomberg piece Goldman in Ventureland, Katrina Brooker writes of newly emergent players in later stage financings in so-called unicorns and more...
"Wall Street used to wait for startups to go public before investing in them. These days, however, entrepreneurs don’t need the public markets like they used to; private capital is plentiful. Uber has raised some $6 billion in equity and debt, and it hasn’t announced any plans to go public. “By the time you IPO as a company with a $60 billion market cap, you are really in the stratosphere,” [...] “The opportunity to invest has passed; the explosive growth is often behind them.” This market moves fast: When Airbnb raised money in April 2014, the company was valued at $10 billion; a year later, that valuation had more than doubled to $25 billion, when it raised another $1.5 billion. Included in the latest round were East Coast investors, most of whom would never have invested at such an early stage in the last tech boom..."