The last ride on a Russian rocket
The U.S. ended the Space Shuttle program in 2011 and since then has depended on Russia to ferry astronauts to the International Space Station. The price of a seat on a Soyuz rocket is $86 million. Today’s launch of Chris Cassidy is the last scheduled trip with the Russians, as the U.S. will turn to both SpaceX and Boeing to launch U.S. astronauts from U.S. soil later this year. Wired
dis-rup-shun: What would JFK say if we asked him how he felt about his space dream being outsourced to Russia? In the age of Trump and renewed nationalism, NASA is relying on the free market to renew the space program and again compete in the space race. While both Boeing and SpaceX have had their share of challenged test flights, the plan to send an astronaut to the ISS this year remains intact, with the Russians on standby to sell a seat “as needed.”
The Animal Crossing phenomena
Animal Crossing: New Horizons, a new version of a beloved Nintendo Switch game, was released on Friday, March 20. It sold an amazing 1.88 million physical copies in Japan in its first weekend, setting a record for Nintendo Switch content. In the rest of the world, the game has created so much social media buzz that many celebrities are joining in the discussion, fueling the excitement for the life sim game. Wired
dis-rup-shun: Now is clearly an exceptional time to immerse oneself in a game. What makes this game so intriguing? Perhaps it is because it gives players a new opportunity to live a sim life as they expect that real life should be — providing new opportunities to build skills, trade, interact and even recreate with others with outcomes following expectations. Life is difficult when it doesn’t follow expectations, and retreating into a fantasy world where things are the way they should be is comforting — until you stop playing.
How to help your car shelter in place
Your car was built to drive. It was not designed to sit in the garage or driveway for weeks. Keeping the battery charged is the primary concern, and running the car for 20 minutes per week keeps up the charge and keeps lubricants circulating throughout engine, steering and brake systems. Cleaning all interior surfaces with a mixture of water and rubbing alcohol will make the vehicle ready for post pandemic use. Wired
dis-rup-shun: Sheltering in place has temporarily decreased air pollution in major cities, and given Mother Earth a little reprieve. It has also decreased the time spent and stress created by commuting in heavy traffic. Will our societies have a different outlook on daily routines post-pandemic, encouraging more work from home and less resource wasted on getting knowledge workers to an office location where they may sit, isolated in cubicles, working on a computer?
Drop a line to Asia
How do you keep the Internet infrastructure across the globe working, especially with a spike in demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic? Answer, you run a new cable connecting the U.S. mainland to Taiwan. Google has gained approval by the U.S. Department of Justice to run a sub-sea fiber optic cable to Taiwan, citing increased demand. CNBC
dis-rup-shun: We are all extremely dependent on the Internet for work, for shopping, for entertainment and for communication. But just who owns the Internet, builds and maintains it? There are a number of articles that answer the question, but many companies own, operate and charge tolls for its use, and one of the big players, of course, is Google. While Google bashing has become en vogue due to aggressive use of personal information, it is important to remember that Google’s sale of your personal shopping and political preferences generates the revenue that pays for the cables on the sea floor that enable you to WeChat or Facebook across the globe for “free.”