“For a story, I spent 10 months analyzing Landsat imagery of the state of Florida”
Now, take a picture of that tree from space and do the same thing. Given a powerful enough sensor, you will be able to see it. You’ll be able to describe it in meaningful ways. You can say things about the leaves, or the size of the tree. But, there are thousands of feet of atmosphere between the tree and the sensor. There are changes in the air density and makeup, in particulate matter in the air, in cloud cover. All of those things—and more—can alter the data recorded by the sensor and analyzed by you. Greens aren’t as bright, infrared radiation values get skewed, what you know about the tree changes, if only slightly. You will perceive the tree differently than you will standing next to it. Those descriptions may be true in the light of the data you have, but they are not True in the way being able to touch the tree makes them True. They will not match the sensor values you got standing next to it. It’s the consequence of the remote part of remote sensing.
In other words, remotely sensed data will tell us things about the world that are broadly true, but they will never be True. They can’t be. There’s too much distance between the object and the sensor. Too much to go wrong. But that doesn’t make what the sensor tells us wrong. It makes it something else. It introduces doubt.”
“As was noted in an episode of the BBC television series Coast, radio transmissions from Prospero could still be heard on 137.560 MHz in 2004 (though the signals used in the episode were actually from an Orbcomm payload, rather than Prospero). Prospero had officially been deactivated in 1996, when the UK’s Defence Research Establishment decommissioned their satellite tracking station at Lasham, Hampshire, but the satellite had been turned on in past years on its anniversary. It is in a low Earth orbit, and is not expected to decay until about 2070, almost 100 years after its launch.”
“Many of the phones sold today are 14-day phones: phones which were returned by European customers within 14 days of purchase, which retailers buy at a discount and sell on.”
“Prof Mathews estimates that in 2008, about 20% of mobile phones in use in sub-Saharan Africa had been sold in Chungking Mansions, although that number has since decreased.”
“The Pride Parade the next day was a different sort of electric. I donned a TwitterOpen t-shirt and walked with our rented trolley-bus, dancing along to the music spun by our rented DJ, and started to feel a little leased myself. I had fun, to be sure, and went into the parade expecting a mile-long dance party. I failed to prepare for corporations capitalizing gleefully on said mile-long dance party. Walmart had a contingent, clad in corporate blue. Eventbrite’s employees carried big orange logo signs. I took the train home alone, surrounded by inebriated straight people in Giants jerseys.”
“BuzzFeed reached out to Sky Sports, the UK broadcaster of the Scottish Open, for comment. A Sky Sports spokesperson denied that it was a flying ship, and added “This is a ridiculous story.””
In order to achieve an unprecedented level of stealth, the team changed all antennas on the aircraft to signature control variants and the air data boom on the nose of Taranis was removed. Following these modifications Taranis used a specially-designed system which allowed the aircraft to generate a full set of flight data, without the use of an external probe or boom.
Taranis also used a cutting edge communications system to ensure it was able to stay in touch with its mission commander without giving away its position to the enemy.”
“It is absolutely true. I happened to be in the cloakroom at the World Economic Forum in Davos, getting my coat and I bumped into Lakshmi Mittal. It was the first time in my life that I’d met him. I said hello and we had a very friendly conversation that lasted approximately 45 seconds. In that time I explained the idea and he said: “Great, I’ll give you the steel.” That was the beginning of a conversation that went on for many months. ArcelorMittal gave considerably more than the steel, and I’m very, very, very grateful because without that private donation it’s perfectly obvious that this thing could never have happened.”
“Airborne trackers on Musk’s private jet and a NASA WB-57 reconnaissance plane were also in the area to monitor the rocket’s return.”
Within months, Heaton was journeying through the desolate southern stretches of Egypt and into an unclaimed 800-square-mile patch of arid desert. There, on June 16 — Emily’s seventh birthday — he planted a blue flag with four stars and a crown on a rocky hill. The area, a sandy expanse sitting along the Sudanese border, morphed from what locals call Bir Tawil into what Heaton and his family call the “Kingdom of North Sudan.”
There, Heaton is the self-described king and Emily is his princess.”
“In a historic district like Oakwood, the preservation guidelines discourage attempts to build new Victorians and instead support contemporary design. This reflects the prevailing view of historic preservationists who frown on the practice of designing new buildings to look as if they’re old. And indeed, Ms. Wiesner’s arduous efforts to save Oakwood from the Cherry-Gordon house aren’t garnering the support of those whom she claims to speak for — the historic preservationists.”
“I have yet to see it myself, but I have heard that the ultimate wind calamity—a geodesic dome rolling across the lake bed like a massive steel tumbleweed destined to wrap itself around a SUV—is a hell of a sight.”
The glitch, it turns out, originated with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation during a transfer of nearly 400,000 records to the Selective Service. A clerk working with the state’s database failed to select the century, producing records for males born between 1993 and 1997 — and for those born a century earlier, PennDOT spokeswoman Jan McKnight said Thursday.
‘‘We made a mistake, a quite serious selection error,’’ McNight said.
The Selective Service didn’t initially catch it because the state used a two-digit code to indicate year of birth, spokesman Pat Schuback said. The federal agency identified 27,218 records of men born in the 1800s, began mailing notices to them on June 30, and began receiving calls from family members on July 3. By that time, it had sent 14,250 notices in error.
‘‘It’s never happened before,’’ Schuback said.
The men are almost certainly all dead, given that the youngest would be turning 117 this year. Families of those men who received the notices can simply ignore them, he said. Their files will be deactivated and they shouldn’t receive additional communications from the Selective Service. The agency also posted a notice and an apology on its website Thursday.”
“We passed a Mayan pyramid topped with the giant thumbs up icon of a Facebook ‘like’, which would later be set on fire.”