clips
Why Are Drone-Makers Helping Governments Crack Down on Drones? 28 January 2015

DJI’s brute force regulation through software
The dangers of users lacking control over the devices they use, as illustrated by one drone-maker’s reaction when one of its aircraft crashed on the White House grounds.
[Slate]

A small step backward for mankind 5 November 2014

Why America needs to embrace a culture of risk in order to build the next-generation space program.
How and why to be resilient in the face of failed spacecraft, and the loss of life.
[Foreign Policy]

Sayur Manis: Delicious, But Also Deadly, Greens From Borneo 14 August 2014

Eat too much of it raw, and it can cause lung failure
Also known as sabah veggie, and a multitude of other names, sayur manis tastes like spinach crossed with asparagus
[NPR]

Book Review: ‘The Interior Circuit’ by Francisco Goldman 9 August 2014

Ka Wong Seng looks as if it fell into a Chinatown wormhole and emerged complete with roasted duck.
Review of Goldman’s memoir of Mexico City, which I think does not succeed in its aims.
[Wall Street Journal]

Not So Offal: Why Bone Soup, A ‘Perfect Food,’ Tastes So Meaty 16 July 2014

In praise of Tulang Soup, the most delicious thing I ate in Singapore
Trying to figure out the richness of bone marrow
[NPR]

How Gobbledygook Ended Up in Respected Scientific Journals 27 February 2014

The IEEE and Springer published dozens of algorithmically generated articles
What a slew of nonsensical publications says about the state of science.
[Slate]

Responding to the New York Times off-base math education editorial 10 December 2013

Math doesn’t have to be boring, but it does have to be math
The New York Times editorial board doesn’t understand the first thing about mathematics, and this is a big problem.
[Slate]

Chang’e 3 5 December 2013

The Second Space Race
Short voiceover of a photograph of China’s lunar rover.
[The Weekly Wonk]

PR Stunts 2 December 2013

Amazon Prime Drone Delivery? It’s Hot Air
Why Amazon won’t be delivering packages with drones by 2015.
[Slate]

How many nuclear weapons does China have? 11 November 2013

Consensus: China Offers Limited Deterrent
Probably fewer than 300.
[Aviation Week and Space Technology–Subscription Required]

Bard of Folly 21 October 2013

Book Review: ‘Command and Control’ by Eric Schlosser
A fantastic new book about nuclear weapons, and what it says about technology more generally.
[The American Prospect]

How High the Moon? 4 October 2013

Book Review: ‘Dreams of Other Worlds’ by Chris Impey and Holly Henry
Where the Milky Way’s missing arms went and other tales of astronomical discovery.
[Wall Street Journal]

America’s Last Nuclear test 3 October 2013

A photograph of divider
And the wacky names for other nuclear tests; a short voiceover.
[The Weekly Wonk]

Jack Ryan’s Quest 3 October 2013

Hunting Red October
In praise of Tom Clancy’s early work (and in criticism of his later work) on the occasion of his death.
[The Millions]

In Praise of Joe’s Shanghai 1 September 2013

Discovering The Small Miracle Of The Soup Dumpling
An appreciation of one of the deliciousest foods.
[NPR]

Voyager, the Pioneer anomaly, and NASA’s good old days 15 July 2013

The modest, mighty Voyager and Pioneer probes are still generating news today.
An essay on what made the Voyager and Pioneer spacecraft great, with special emphasis on the Pioneer Anomaly, treated in more detail in my new book, The Pioneer Detectives.
[Slate]

Red Rover: Inside the Story of Robotic Space Exploration, from Genesis to the Mars Rover Curiosity by Rogers Wiens 12 May 2013

A Review
When does NASA take risks? How it’s still possible to improvise, and what it’s like to run a scientific instrument on Mars.
[Washington Post]

Eyes in the sky 3 May 2013

What the rise of the helicopter tells us about the future of domestic drones.
How to think carefully about the spread of drones.
[Slate]

Warp Factor 1 April 2013

An investigation
The saga of a NASA scientist who claims to be on the verge of faster-than-light travel.
[Popular Science]

The end of the “La-Z-Boy era” of sequential programming 20 March 2013

What comes after Moore’s law?
The challenge of parallelism.
[Zocalo Public Square]