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March 31, 2005

A Tribute to Charles Whittaker

Gail Heriot offers a tribute to this mostly forgotten Supreme Court justice: "I love him for what he said on March 31, 1962, the day he resigned. Whittaker found the job exhausting, physically and emotionally. He said that he just wasn’t sure he had the talent necessary to do it well. He wanted to give somebody else a chance."

Posted by Gordon Smith in Supreme Court | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

The Turbo Tax Defense

Not a defense exactly, but still an interesting private letter ruling. Paul Caron has the scoop.

Posted by Gordon Smith in Taxation | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

March 30, 2005

Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr., 1937-2005

Oscar Madison has a moving tribute to Johnnie Cochran. Here is a teaser: "Yes, he was a showman, yes he was something of a self-promoter -- though what highly successful self-made man or woman isn't something of a self-promoter? But side by side with these traits was the integrity of a man who acted on deeply held convictions." Read the whole thing.

Posted by Gordon Smith in Law Schools & Lawyering | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Crisco Car

Martin Tobias discusses "greasecars": diesel vehicles that have been modified to run on vegetable oil. I just encountered this about a month ago, as a friend is in the process of converting an old Mercedes. He drives a lot, and he figures that it will save him about $40 a week in gas. I really can't conceive of doing this myself, but I wouldn't mind having a hydrogen car.

Posted by Gordon Smith in Food and Drink | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Managing VC Deal Flow

Robin Bordoli has written an interesting post on the Art of VC in which he asks: "What do VC and great comedy have in common?" The answer: timing. He also quotes George McGovern, so you know he must have a sense of humor.

Posted by Gordon Smith in Venture Capital | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

March 29, 2005

Firefox on Steroids

If you use the Firefox browser, you might be interested in this to increase your download speed. I just did it, and it works. If you don't use the Firefox browser, Repent! You can download it free here.

Posted by Gordon Smith in Internet | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

March 28, 2005

NASA World Wind

Your tax dollars at work. NASA has created a nifty piece of software that allows you to see the earth from space and view shots of anyplace on the planet. It is a bit clunky at times, but the images are worth the hassle.

Thanks to my colleage Art McEvoy for the tip.

Posted by Gordon Smith in Games | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

The Space Elevator

Is this really possible?

Getting the first space elevator off the ground, factually, would use two space shuttle flights. Twenty tons of cable and reel would be kicked up to geosynchronous altitude by an upper stage motor. The cable is then snaked to Earth and attached to an ocean-based anchor station, situated within the equatorial Pacific. That platform would be similar to the structure used for the Sea Launch expendable rocket program.

Once secure, a platform-based free-electron laser system is used to beam energy to photocell-laden "climbers". These are automated devices that ride the initial ribbon skyward. Each climber adds more and more ribbon to the first, thereby increasing the cable's overall strength. Some two-and-a-half years later, and using nearly 300 climbers, a first space elevator capable of supporting over 20-tons (20,000-kilograms) is ready for service.

Thanks to Alex at Marginal Revolution for the tip.

Posted by Gordon Smith in Science | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Mom's Business

The Houston Chronicle has a story today about mothers who own their own businesses passing on the entrepreneur spirit to their children.

Posted by Christine Hurt in Entrepreneurship | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

The World's #1 "Gordon"

Not me. According to Google, that would be Gordon College. (Do they have t-shirts?) I am not even the top result for "Gordon Smith," though I am third after the Senator and Gordon Smith Guitars. The linked article is about the #1 "Matt" -- 21-year-old software developer Matt Mullenweg, who created WordPress.

Posted by Gordon Smith in Miscellany | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

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