Hi everyone, welcome to March! And to Super Tuesday; today citizens of 10 states will vote in Presidential primaries ... Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and Virginia will hold contests for both Republicans and Democrats. Additionally Republicans in Alaska will hold caucuses, as will Democrats in Colorado. There are 661 Republican delegates at stake, out of 1,237 needed for nomination, and 865 Democratic delegates at stake, out of 2,068. Here's a nice analysis of where each candidate in both parties stands, with some nice maps.
My biggest fear is the most likely outcome: that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will win decisively, moving them into near-certainty as their party's nominees. I can't imagine two worse candidates for President, and yet, these are apparently the choice we will have. (Where by "we", I mean the ten states in which Presidential votes actually count.) I'm going to try to have a nice day anyway :)
Did you watch the SpaceX non-launch on Sunday? It was the third attempt for their SES-9 mission, and it *almost* went off. I was sort of live-blogging on my Facebook... in case you missed it, with about two minutes until launch, a vessel entered the "keep out zone" downrange of the rocket, postponing the launch for about twenty minutes, and then at T-0 the rockets fired, there was a huge blast of flame ... and the rocket shut itself down! Apparently it has the ability to do that, which is pretty impressive, and it did. The reasons haven't been shared publicly yet, but some computer somewhere must have detected something amiss, and the launch was scrubbed. The vehicle is fine and now we just have to wait for the next attempt which is scheduled for 5:05PT today. Onward!
Did you watch the Oscars? If you did, apparently you were one of ever-fewer; the Academy Awards have fallen from favor, especially among young people. Watching millionaire winners of the genetic lottery lecture us on liberal talking points does get a little old after a while. I especially enjoyed Leonardo DeCaprio warn us about climate change, just before jetting off in his Lear Jet. I didn't mind the Chris Rock lecture about racism, it was tempered with humor and it did cut both ways. In my household the "red carpet" is actually more important than the awards, and the best dressed winner of the night was apparently Chrissy Teigan; my vote went to Margot Robbie, and was promptly ignored on the grounds that I was not actually voting for her dress. Fair enough.
Please check out this wonderful rant from Paul Watson about the homogeneity of popular music today. I cannot agree more. Where are the David Bowies, the Led Zeppelins, and the Talking Heads of today? Apparently the 15 most popular songs in 2015 were written by just four people / organizations. That's just weird.
Did you see this? China have apparently declared "no more weird buildings", after a spate of rather creative efforts by various world-renowned architects. The combination of a rapidly growing economy and a desire to appear "modern" led to some amazing buildings. Of course with modern steel and engineering just about anything is possible. Maybe now they'll go back to the 30s for some design inspiration ... that would be excellent.
Progress on the microprocessor front continues: the new Raspberry Pi 3 has a 64-bit processor and built-in WiFi and Bluetooth, for $35. Wow. If you ever wanted to use an array of inexpensive computers for distributed applications, here you go. These little machines typically run Linux, and include an HDMI output that can drive a 5mp monitor, too.
Update: Wow, how did I miss this? Tonight, Scott Kelly comes home from space after nearly a year. "According to the flight schedule, Kelly and Russian cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko and Sergey Volkov will undock from the International Space Station tonight at about 8pm ET. After maneuvering away from the space station, they will be in position to begin their de-orbit burn about 2 hours and 30 minutes later." The International Space Station has been part of our world for so long now ferrying astronauts to and from it almost seems routine, but ... it isn't, it's amazing. Good luck!
Well, onward. It should be an interesting day ... let's root for Rubio and Sanders and SpaceX and Kelly, and see what happens!