Congratulations Starship Serial Number 8!

This stuff unfortunately doesn’t hit the mainstream media nearly enough, but SpaceX performed an historic test launch today. Starship Serial Number 8 (the 8th prototype) attempted to fly to 12.5km. I believe there was an engine failure during ascent but it was able to continue on with just two engines. I’m not sure if it made it to 12.5km but it successfully did its “belly-flop” maneuver, which I think is the first time that’s ever been done with a rocket. Then it drifted down for a surprising amount of time,…

Read More

Custom Data Organizer 0.7 (beta) Release, Themes and Icons

I made another release, 0.7 (beta), of my app. This release has mostly visual enhancements. Improved theming and icon selections. I’m kinda proud of my theme system since I rarely see apps that let users fine-tune the specific colors of the app they’re using the way this does… even though I would not use this feature as a user myself unless I had some brand colors I needed to match. I actually had this working before CSS variables became available, using brute-force javascript on every possible element I needed to…

Read More

New Custom Data Organizer Feature: Save to File

I just released the beta version 0.6 of my Custom Data Organizer app and I opted to make my own videos again about the new features instead of hiring someone on fiverr. It went a lot smoother than I expected. I made two demonstration videos tonight and did it without writing scripts, so I’m getting slowly better at this. If I haven’t told you about this, this is my crazy “spreadsheet-killer”, app that I’ve been working on since 2016 that I hope will change the way everyday people keep track…

Read More

My paperback

I got a paper copy of my new book from Amazon the other day. Here’s a picture of it next to the original Robert Silverberg book that inspired me to start writing this story when I was fifteen. It was essentially the first thing I started writing. I literally worked on this book for a quarter century. I have to charge $12 each for the paperback, which is more than I wanted and most of that goes to printing and shipping, but it turned out higher quality than I expected.…

Read More

My Red Cross New Orleans Trip

When the coronavirus lockdown started I quickly became desperate to get out of the house and do something, so I volunteered for The Red Cross. It took six months and a whole lot of back and forth but I finally got set up to deploy to a disaster area. So for the end of October they sent me to New Orleans to help with the shelters after hurricane Delta (while they were still recovering from hurricane Laura). I don’t normally have the time to write journal type entries but I…

Read More

Easy Crock Pot Teriyaki Beef Stew

Aldi Teriyaki Asian sauce (the only good store-bought teriyaki I’ve been able to find. Or you can use my teriyaki recipe.) Beef stew meat Sliced onions Broccoli (or other suitable vegetable) Oil or butter Sriracha (optional) Toss the meat, teriyaki, oil or butter, sriracha, and onions in the crockpot. Set on low for six to eight hours. In the last half hour, toss in the broccoli. Serve with rice, raw broccoli, and sriracha marinated broccoli. The sriracha is optional but I found that just a touch of it added a…

Read More

How to Win at Monopoly and Life

One of the more important life lessons I learned as a kid was from the game Monopoly. The way to consistently win at Monopoly is embracing mutually-beneficial trades. Monopoly is all about trading. Human society is all about trading. You start trading early and aggressively work to make a trade. However, you do not attempt to get the best possible trade. You never try to take the other person for all you can. Think from their perspective and get creative to try to get them what they want. In Monopoly…

Read More

Coronavirus Lockdowns have Worked in Trump’s Favor

With the coronavirus lockdowns in place, most of our political interactions are now conducted online where we are able to disconnect from the humanity of the situation. We are able to forget that these are real people we’re talking to with real feelings. We rarely have real discussions online. We have meme-battles and mic drops but we don’t actually talk to each other, even though the capacity to do so is right there in front of us. This is a perfect environment for Trump supporters. They know how to post…

Read More

The Abrasive “Defund” Term is a Result of the Police Using Abrasive Terms

The term “defund the police” does sound aggressive and abrasive. I’ve decided to start using the term “re-invent crime prevention” or something like that – I haven’t quite decided. But remember again where we’re coming from. The police use terminology like “war on crime” or “war on drugs”. But we all know when we say “war on crime” what we really mean is a war on street crimes. We’re not talking about wage theft, embezzlement, environmental damage or any of the crimes rich people commit. Same is true for the…

Read More

I Want a New Way of Looking at Law and Order

I personally will not be satisfied until we have a new way of looking at law and order. It’s not just about banning choke-holds or prosecuting a few bad cops. I want a system based on real mental health science. I want one that recognizes that showing criminals compassion and allowing them basic human dignity is going to push them to a productive life much more effectively than threatening them. I want a system that puts counselors and interventionists first and guns and prisons second. This will reduce crime, increase…

Read More

The Importance of the Baker’s Dozen

I bought a dozen donut holes last night. I could swear I ate five, then my roommate told me she ate one, but the next day there were seven in the bag. This reminded me of when I was very young and my dad explained the concept of a baker’s dozen: it’s about doing that little extra beyond what you promised to ensure no one gets mad at you and to ensure that next time they have an urge for a donut they think of you. This concept works metaphorically…

Read More

The first time I heard a conservative republican speech…

Sorry everyone about the violent subject here. The first time I heard a conservative republican speech, I was in sixth grade. My teacher had just found out two of the students were gay and sexually active. He called everyone together to tell us, and gave an impassioned speech about respect, rules, order, discipline, knowing your place, and all those conservative republican values. I remember it making a lot of sense to me at the time. The next day a bunch of kids dragged those two boys out into the field,…

Read More

Blame Yourself if Someone Lies to You

If someone is lying to me, I like to look at myself instead of blaming them. It’s counter-intuitive but very advantageous. Don’t focus on what might be wrong with them, which you can’t control. Instead, focus on what you can do to make them more comfortable. Think about how you react to what they say and what they might be thinking as a result. People often lie because they don’t trust us to be compassionate. If we show people that we will be kind and caring regardless of the horrible…

Read More

Are police supporters all criminals?

I have been into the idea of defunding the police for 20 years now and when talking to people I have noticed a recurring theme. It seems the most criminal-minded individuals are the ones who most vehemently support the police. In my early years, in one of my more heated arguments, someone was trying to tell me about how awful criminals were and how we need more police and I responded by listing all the crimes I’d seen him commit. He gave excuses and acted like they weren’t really crimes…

Read More

Vegan Tempura (no eggs or milk)

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon cornstarch 1/8 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt cold carbonated water as needed (plain water could be used I think but I haven’t tried it). I may try beer instead for beer-battered fish. avacodo oil (or any frying oil) Mix up the dry goods, then slowly add the water until you get the correct batter consistency. Use enough oil in the pan to nearly cover whatever it is you’re cooking. Remember to get the oil hot first. I found using two forks works…

Read More

Will Jeff Bezos also Revolutionize Schools?

When Jeff Bezos revolutionized retail and shipping, he did it by giving the power over to the customer and then making himself valuable to us. People don’t remember how time-consuming, manipulative and degrading the retail experience was before Amazon. When he revolutionized the publishing industry, he did it by handing the power over to the authors and readers, then making himself valuable to us. People don’t remember how locked-down, censored and controlled the publishing industry was before Amazon. The old publishing companies didn’t even want readers to be allowed to…

Read More

A Really Gross Video of Joe Biden

Someone in my facebook feed posted this video and I felt it required its own post. It’s a collection of clips of Biden getting really touchy with some women and young girls. It’s pretty gross and makes Biden look like a pedophile. I’ll post it at the bottom. This is disgusting behavior and I’m not defending Biden. I’ll get to him later. But the fact that someone made this into a music video speaks volumes. I’ve seen Trump supporters express great humor at this. This reinforces my theory that many…

Read More

Trump is Working for Communists

If you look at the Trump administration’s choices, it all seems perfectly designed to make capitalism appear evil, democracy look stupid and communism look more inviting than ever before. Look at Trump’s complete disregard for rule of law while claiming to be the president of law and order, his relentless attacks on the constitution, his choice of words that always seem deliberately designed to offend the maximum number of people, his attempts to destroy our post office and the public parks. Children in cages. Coronavirus denial. Tear gassing for a…

Read More

Trump has Been Sued 400 times by ACLU

The Trump administration has been sued by the ACLU over 400 times. Trump is not an idiot. You don’t get sued by the ACLU 400 times because you are dumb and don’t understand the law. The Trump administration has been sued 400 times by the ACLU because they’ve deliberately and knowingly declared war on our constitution, declared war on democracy and declared war on common human decency.

Read More

Why I’m a Space Nerd

The best reason to be a space nerd is compassion for the unknown millions of people who are suffering because they don’t have access to the vaccines, therapies, artificial organs, and other medical treatments that can only be developed, implemented, or manufactured in low gravity. But you may also like how the space industry improves the technology of practically all the tools we use to make our lives better on a daily basis, from refrigerators, air conditioners, cars, airplanes, computers. You name it. You may also want some ultra-high speed…

Read More

The Psychology of Make Liberals Cry Again

A year or two ago I wound up eating dinner with a guy who was wearing a hat that said “Trump 2020: Make liberals cry again”. It was interesting to think of the kind of mentality he must have to sit across at dinner with someone while wearing a hat openly declaring hatred for that person while pretending to be nice and respectful. His motivation for supporting a political candidate was literally to cause other Americans to suffer and cry. It wasn’t about disagreeing on religion or economics or other…

Read More

Why Some People Oppose Civil Rights Laws

I’ve seen Ron Paul getting attacked for his view that businesses should be allowed to discriminate and the government shouldn’t intervene and enforce anti-discrimination laws. When you first read this, it sounds awful. Your gut reaction is to think he doesn’t support equality, and that he won’t stand up for minorities, and I totally understand why it would seem this way. However, I’ve been opposed to these kind of laws for a good decade now, though I have not been vocal about it because I think there are far more…

Read More