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Jason Holliston
Friday, August 19, 2005  
Another Busy Weekend

I have another busy weekend in store for me, but in a good way. Tonight Danica and I are having dinner with friends, tomorrow we're going to the company picnic at the Oregon Zoo, and on Sunday we're driving up to White Salmon to spend some time with family and friends. I do believe I've forgotten what it was like to finish work on a Friday night, go home, crack open a beer, and see nothing going on for the following 60 hours. A world of unknown paths and of countless possibilities. I'm not complaining, mind you. I despair more at the loss of opportunity to work on personal projects more than have free time. Life is an everchanging thing, and it's all good.

In other personal news, some friends of mine are finally entering the last flurry of activity before they own their first house. It's a great thing, but dear God they've turned into stress monsters with the whole experience. I honestly don't remember the process being that difficult. Find a house, make a deal, find the money, pay the money, sign your name a million times, get the keys. Not easy, but pretty simple, as long as broke it out step-by-step. I think that one reason it was so stress-free for me was the fact that it was only me making the decisions. From the sidelines, it appears that doubling the number of decision makers in buying a house quadruples the pain you suffer.

On a last note, Charles Stross, one of my current favorite authors, points to a pretty amazing recent breakthrough:

Every so often a sign that we are living in the 21st century bites me on the nose: Scientists have created the ultimate ribbon. A thousand times thinner than a human hair and a few centimetres wide, the carbon sheet is stronger than steel for its weight, and could open the door to everything from artificial muscles to a space elevator capable of sending astronauts and tourists into orbit.

He goes on to link to the Wikipedia space elevator entry, which explains how this whole idea would work, and how this would revolutionize space access, commercial or otherwise. If you want to see what the very possible future of space travel is, read the whole entry. Relatively cheap access to orbit will likely come from something like this, and not chemical rocket technology.

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