They’re not prisons, they’re bunkers

Writing in arch daily, Ann Sussman and Katie Chen explain why 20th century architecture is so ghastly. Synopsis: the “greats” of 20th century architecture were perceptually and socially impaired. We live in a world designed by whackos. Tip from the Wrath of Gnon. Continue reading They’re not prisons, they’re bunkers

Good news for windmill operators

Good news from a long-term experiment in Norway: painting a single blade of a power-generating windmill may reduce fatal birdstrikes by as much as 70%. This is certainly an experiment that bears replication, especially at facilities that (1) keep careful records of birdstrikes and (2) care enough to make the effort. It’s pretty sad that the Norwegians spent 7 years on this, and few other researchers got on board with it. If this were clinical research for a debilitating disease, mobs would be clamoring for more trials.  Bird conservationists should be outraged at the pace. Of course, they’re not even … Continue reading Good news for windmill operators

A Riverwalk Outing

I’d seen some news photos and heard rumors that the Stay at Home Directive in San Antonio had an unexpected side effect:  the San Antonio River is clearing up!  My wife and I took a a quick trip downtown to See the Elephant, and behold! It ain’t crystal clear, but you can certainly see the junk on the bottom, and how shallow the river is (SA safety tip:  If you fall in the San Antonio River and can’t swim, just stand up.  Then go take a long hot shower.) The Riverwalk is pretty much deserted and closed for business, with … Continue reading A Riverwalk Outing

Old Software Never Dies…

…it just keeps byte-ing.  All of a sudden, with payroll and government financial systems being stressed, large institutions are desperate to find COBOL programmers.  Foolishly, they pensioned off all those crusty old codgers, instead of keeping a few on staff to tinker and optimize and untangle all the old code running payroll and inventory and scheduling and… I made Captain at SAC HQ wrangling a room filled with COBOL programmers back in the late 70’s.  Every n00b was given a stack of horribly-written report generators and tasked with (a) making the code beautiful and comprehensible and (b) making it modular … Continue reading Old Software Never Dies…