Constructed of various thoughts over an undetermined timeframe
Martin Luther King (Credit: Lance Ulanoff)
There were literally hundreds of things that had to go right for the James Webb Telescope to reach its current status, which is nearly a million miles away from earth and fully deployed (solar array and intricate mirror system).
Now it just has to head out to its final destination (Lagrange Point 2) and start capturing completely new views of the Universe.
But first, it has to avoid (or endure) some space debris. It’s not big chunks like a piece of an exploded Russian Satellite. No, this is tiny, salt-crystal-sized debris that is, I guess, not all that uncommon that that part of space. The Hubble telescope has been hit by similar debris and suffered no ill effects.
Now that we’ve all breathed a sigh of relief, we can focus on what a huge achievement this is for NASA. Sure, it took way too long and suffered huge cost overruns, but I think it’ll be worth it in the end. I simply cannot wait to see what the JWT teaches us about distant galaxies and our place in the Universe.
Maybe it’ll get a better look at this oddly-shaped exoplanet.
Facebook might be a monopoly, Part II
A federal judge revived the FTC’s antitrust case against Meta (nee Facebook) after the FTC revised its filing.
The question here is if Facebook is in a class all by itself and boxes out all competitors. My knee-jerk response is no. Not everyone is on Facebook and, if you want to enjoy a social media experience, you have other options like TikTok and Twitter.
Also, aren’t our monopoly rules becoming sort of toothless? There was a time where content creation and distribution were purposely kept separate (the government literally broke up movie studios and theaters). Now we have Apple and Amazon making the hardware, providing the streaming service, and making the content (though not exclusively). Plus, streaming services like Disney+ and Discovery+ are basically digital theaters showing home-grown product.
I think the FTC’s celebration will be short-lived, as a Federal Judge will surely recognize the reality of Facebook’s competitive space. Ultimately, I think it’s time to stop trying to break these companies up and get serious about regulations that can protect consumers and site members.
I wore an analog watch all day for the first time in at least a year. It’s a gorgeous Bulova automatic (it winds itself with motion). Not digital readouts, no notifications, just a barely perceptible ticking.
I felt guilty, though, not wearing my Apple Watch. It was probably sitting on the charger vibrating away with notifications and wondering why it wasn’t on my wrist.
Did I miss the notifications? No. The one thing I will miss is credit for any movement and standing I did (that my iPhone, which was not in my pocket most of the day) did not pick up.
As a watch collector (I have drawers full of analog and old digital watches), I admit to missing the specific feeling you get from a traditional watch. Its almost steampunk design feels nostalgic – romantic even. It wants nothing from me and runs only to serve and tell me the time (as well as seconds and how much of the day’s 24 hours are left).
I’ll still probably go back to my Apple Watch tomorrow. I need to track my workout, after all.
Today, something different
It’s Martin Luther King Day in the U.S. We’re recognizing the monumental achievements of the slain civil rights worker. Social media will be filled with tributes, but the reality is King’s memory demands action. One of his chief efforts revolved around voting rights for all people. In case you hadn’t noticed, the U.S. Government is failing to protect those rights and states are doing their best to circumvent them. I suggest remembering the great man not by cashing in on “holiday” sales but by making your voice heard. A representative government isn’t such unless it represents the will of all its people, not a powerful, select few.
See you soon