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  1. You make it sound like the Roman Empire and Ming Dynasty slacked off if they didn't develop warplanes. The vacuum tube is conceptually simple, too. The devil is always in the details, hence Edison's famous aphorism about genius being 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. There will not be 15 high-speed 1000-person trains per hour between Columbus and Chicago (or Pittsburgh), regardless of its technological feasibility. It makes no sense to focus on theoretical capacity with no realistic scenario in which that much capacity is actually used.
  2. Yeah, his animosity for Big Tech does seem to also permeate to many of the users of the platforms as well as the owners of those platforms. I'm definitely not saying I agree with him on everything.
  3. Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) is becoming even more interestingly heterodox, and I wonder if he'll win converts (open or otherwise) within the Republican Party. He gave a speech recently in which he was surprisingly negative on unrestrained individualism and surprisingly laudatory of labor unions, which most Republicans have used as a punching bag for the last generation. I'll be interested to see where he goes from here. Josh Hawley’s Striking Critique of American Life https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/11/josh-hawleys-striking-critique-of-american-life/
  4. I'm betting I can find sentiments like this in the newspapers of 1900-1902 regarding heavier-than-air flight. Probably even from 1903 and later, too, from people who didn't think the Wright Brothers had actually pulled it off (and, most likely, somewhat ironically, were probably pushing to stop wasting time and attention on this pipe dream and just focus on building railroads--how far we've come in 120 years). No one had orbited the Earth until someone did, either. The question isn't whether it has been done yet. The question is what it would take to actually do it, regardless of whether it has been done before. It's fair to say that it's a long time yet in the future, as the CU article that @infrafreak posted noted: "All that uncertainty adds up to an estimated timeline for actually building a Hyperloop that is pretty far out in the future. Walsh told the Dublin City Council that work could start on a certification track in 2023 or 2024. As for the eventual completion of a Hyperloop system along the Chicago to Pittsburgh corridor, 'We’d be looking more 2040s, 2050s,' she said." I share the reservations of many that it would be a very sensitive and fragile system. But I might have been saying the same thing in 1905 about flying in a giant box or tube held up by fans pulling a passenger cabin along with thousands of gallons of flammable liquid through the sky.
  5. The communal table idea is a good one. Any Viking mead halls in the Cleveland area?
  6. I actually don't think it would be political suicide even in the MeToo era, but I also don't want to get this thread too far off topic talking about it.
  7. Given the severity of the initial hammer, what are the chances of an appeal being successful?
  8. That's true, but it doesn't change the truth of what you said earlier--this is a job review more than a criminal trial. (Otherwise, tell me what Andrew Johnson's alleged crime was.)
  9. Very true, but this is also a good thing for both sides to remember, and why Republicans may well not break and vote against the president even if they believe the evidence of what actually occurred.
  10. Hah! I didn't consider that angle. This could be a protective piece in case Trump loses in 2020, as seems likely at the moment. Then they can say that they were encouraging fiscal restraint even while he was still president.
  11. Maybe, but this only goes so far before you run up against the market reality that in order to sell vehicles, you have to make the vehicles people actually want to buy, not the ones you wish they'd buy from you. Of course, marketing efforts are directed towards making customers want the vehicles the companies want them to want. But there is only so far that even the best marketing campaign can move the needle from its starting point, or fight larger cultural trends. We need the minivan because we have three kids and might have a fourth. The large sliding doors and lower step-up from the ground for smaller humans are major advantages that an SUV can't offer. Meanwhile, we don't need off-road capability or towing capability, we need road-trip capability. Some SUVs do offer third-row seating but it's not going to be as convenient. I did look at a one (Highlander hybrid) just to confirm that I was right about the effects of smaller, outward-opening doors and the higher climb to get in. But if you only have two kids and will seldom actually use the third row for passengers, then that inconvenience is only occasional, and you might want the other features of the SUV more. In other words, my working theory is that the decline of the minivan largely tracks the decline of the family with 3+ minor children at home at the same time. As additional evidence, despite the decline of the minivan overall, my kids' daycare parking lot at pickup and dropoff times is chock full of them. People with reason to get them are still finding ways to get them. There just aren't as many such people as there used to be.
  12. The ship may be turning in conservative circles (a long-overdue course correction) on fiscal sanity, though I won't hold my breath that this rare vestigial hint of old-school conservative fiscal restraint actually makes it into the Republican Party platform for next year. Nevertheless, it's stunning to see this headline make it into National Review: Enough with the Tax Cuts Already https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/11/republican-tax-cut-proposals-long-term-budgetary-problems-must-be-fixed/ And quite frankly, it’s shocking that anyone is even thinking about tax cuts as a smart policy right now. (Politically, a brazen attempt to bribe voters makes more sense.) Our deficit has grown by a quarter since the 2018 fiscal year to hit nearly a trillion dollars in 2019, Baby Boomers are retiring, and the president has consistently said he has no intention of cutting the old-age entitlements that drive our spending. The 2017 tax law already addressed some major issues with corporate taxes and cut taxes for families and businesses alike, while adding maybe $1.5 trillion to the debt over ten years. There are no doubt a lot of revenue-neutral reforms we could still make to the tax code, but tax cuts at this point would just add to the debt and hasten the day of our fiscal reckoning. We have a bunch of bills piling up. Let’s start paying them.
  13. This looks like the Cincinnati branch campus of Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters. Except that Cincinnati already has two schools named Xavier, so that would just be gilding the lily a bit.
  14. Well, on the one hand, if we can't beat Rutgers without Chase Young, we don't deserve our ranking. On the other hand, still bullsh*t.
  15. LOL Actually, the Honda Odyssey appears to be the most expensive, feature for feature and mileage for mileage, even without AWD. The Sienna was definitely a close second, though.
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