Minor Characters

In life, there are no minor characters: only other people, and if each of us is the protagonist of our own story, we are also the reader of others.

— Emily Allen, Ph.D,
Associate Professor of English, Purdue University

Brilliant. Emily Allen’s lectures make me want to go back to college and study literature.

Dark Swift

“Boys only want love when it’s torture.”

Taylor Swift.

Oh, Taylor. You have so much to learn.

Seriously, though, in one song, America’s reigning queen of pop has given us a teeny-tiny window into her dark side. The question that vexes me is, will she keep hiding it? Or will she just let go in a musical atomic blast of anger and vituperation?

Forgive me. I’m praying for the latter.


New York Ignoring California’s Lessons. Again.

MTA outsources $235M Verrazano Bridge project to China – NY Daily News. Bad, bad idea. We tried this on the Bay Bridge in San Francisco, and less than a year later engineers are finding cracks and rust in the welds. NYC could learn a little from us about China’s newest toxic export: tofu construction.

When Birdmen Ruled L.A.

In “Aerospace: The Industry that Built the South Bay,” which has to be one of the best articles I have ever read about the aerospace industry in Southern California, Rachel Reeves of the Easy Reader gives us a tour through the air-tech history of the region that will appeal to everyone and will especially tickle aviation enthusiasts and those of us with a connection to the industry. I’ve got a longer piece in the works about where the industry went, but I wanted to post this now so you could read it first. Really superb.

California Space

The Economist offers a superb overview of the space renaissance that is taking place in and around Mojave in Private space flight: Cluster analysis. The region is serving a similar function for Aerospace that Silicon Valley has for computing: it is a power-cluster of some of the most innovative companies in the business. Against a background of companies shifting headquarters out of the state – particularly in Southern California – the growth of New Space in the high deserts is a welcome development for the state.

Pictures of the Past

Composite Then and Now Photos of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake « PixTale  A brilliant but chilling collection of composite images that bring the present and the past together in single images. These are more than just great art – they are a hammer-blow reminder that cataclysm is just a strike-slip away for many of us here in the Golden State.