Recent Reading

50 years to orbit: Dream Chaser’s crazy Cold War backstory — Fascinating Ars Technica article on the esoteric history of Dream Chaser, Sierra Nevada Corp’s upcoming commercial spaceplane.

Project Icarus: Laying the Plans for Interstellar Travel — Atlantic Tech article on Project Icarus plans to build a 100-year starship capable of interstellar travel to nearby exoplanets.

Computer Love — Looking back at Star Trek: The Next Generation on its 25th anniversary — a fun cultural retrospective on ST:TNG by Brian Philips for Grantland (which oddly seems to be more of a sports publication).

Hollywood’s Spacesuits — interview with Gray Westfahl, author of The Spacesuit Film: A History, 1918–1969, on a specific genre of 20th Century science fiction that he has dubbed the “spacesuit film.”

Space Suit: 1949 — on a related note, a look back at what the British Interplanetary Society of 1949 thought spacesuits would need to be like, by D.S.F. Portree of the retro-what-if blog Beyond Apollo.

Caves of Nottingham — Exploring the vast natural cavern system under Nottingham, England with Geoff Manaugh of BLDGBLOG.

Inequality and Its Perils — Jonathan Rauch for National Journal on growing evidence that the large gap between rich and poor produces socioeconomic instability and slows growth, hurting society at all levels. (Could have told you that just from experience in the Philippines.)

This Presidential Race Should Never Have Been This Close — Rolling Stone’s Taibbi again, pointing out the cultural and journalistic dysfunctionalities which produce the illusion that a vulture capitalist like Romney is in any way a reasonable pick for the Republican candidacy.

Real Loudoun: Mike Farris and the Lyme Disease quacks behind Loudoun’s “initiative” — enlightening article on unsound medical conspiracy theory surrounding long-term Lyme Disease. The lasting nervous system impact of a Lyme infection is untreatable by antibiotics (outside of placebo effect) — but a certain sector of practitioners stand to profit from persisting in the long-term IV antibiotic approach.

How the GOP Destroyed Its Moderates — Jonathan Chait for the New Yorker on the ongoing marginalization of voices of reason by dogmatic extremists in the Republican Party.

Suddenly everyone wants New Yorker style content. Only one catch: Who is going to write it? — Sarah Lacy on fresh needs for writing and editing long-form journalistic content.

Stop Pagination Now — Yes. We can scroll just fine. Artificially inflating pageviews with pagination just makes me leave a site sooner.

It’s okay to be a hater because everything is bad.