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China military says aware of U.S. carrier in South China Sea -

China military says aware of U.S. carrier in South China SeaChina's defense ministry said on Thursday it was aware of the presence of a U.S. aircraft carrier strike group in the South China Sea and China respected freedom of navigation for all countries in the waters there. The U.S. navy said the strike group, including the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier the USS Carl Vinson, began "routine operations" in the South China Sea on Saturday amid growing tension with China over control of the disputed waterway. Defence ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang said China had a "grasp" of the situation regarding the carrier group in the South China Sea.


Thu, 23 Feb 2017 05:46:22 -0500

Seven Earth-like planets discovered around single star -

Seven Earth-like planets discovered around single starResearchers have announced the stunning discovery of seven Earth-like planets orbiting a small star in our galaxy, opening up the most promising hunting ground so far for life beyond the Solar System. All seven roughly match the size and mass of our own planet and are almost certainly rocky, and three are perfectly perched to harbour life-nurturing oceans of water, they reported in the journal Nature Wednesday. Most critically, their proximity to Earth and the dimness of their red dwarf star, called Trappist-1, will allow astronomers to analyse each one's atmosphere in search of chemical signatures of biological activity.


Thu, 23 Feb 2017 05:13:52 -0500

The Latest: Some San Jose evacuees allowed to return home -

The Latest: Some San Jose evacuees allowed to return homeSAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on storms in California (all times local):


Wed, 22 Feb 2017 20:01:57 -0500

An inside look at the differences between life at NASA and SpaceX -

An inside look at the differences between life at NASA and SpaceX

When Elon Musk sets his sights on an industry, he does so with purpose and with the intention of completely turning said industry on its head. While most people are readily familiar with Musk's efforts at Tesla, the groundbreaking work being done by SpaceX, Musk's other company, has only recently started to attract attention from the mainstream.

To be sure, Elon Musk was bold for thinking that Tesla could revolutionize the auto industry. That said, Musk's plans to enter the aerospace industry with SpaceX and compete with and work alongside NASA wasn't just bold, it was downright crazy. And yet, both of Musk's ventures continue to amass greater success with each passing year.

Earlier this month, we stumbled across a thread on Quora asking if it's better for engineers to work at NASA or SpaceX. Of course, the question itself was a bit misleading because it's not as if one company is superior to the other. Without question, some of the smartest minds on the planet can be found at both. Still, there are a number of interesting differences between the work environment at NASA and SpaceX that are worth highlighting.

Tackling this issue, an engineer named Andre Lavoie -- who has spent significant time at both companies -- details a number of fascinating differences between life at NASA and SpaceX.

Not surprisingly, the fact that NASA is a government agency, as opposed to a private company like SpaceX, impacts the work environment in both positive and negative ways. While Lavoie points out that the work-life balance at NASA is a positive, the work there can sometimes be encumbered by "an institutional aversion to risk" and predictably slow-moving bureaucracy.

Projects can start with much fanfare and then be cancelled. Repeatedly. Maybe this is because there are many worthy things that should be studied but funds are always limited. It can be rewarding because you have more opportunity to really dig in and understand things and learn. Your job is very secure, even when budgets get cut or you yourself don't succeed.

As for life at SpaceX, the work environment there, not surprisingly sounds awfully similar to a forward-thinking start-up, albeit on steroids.

In contrast, Space X is a product company. It designs, builds, sells and launches rockets. Your job there is to make that happen no matter what. Nobody gives up. Failure is acceptable, to a point. Risk taking is expected, but stupidity and recklessness is punished unceremoniously. You just get fired. There is no job security. Schedule is critical because as a privately funded company if it fails to succeed before the money runs out then it's game over. The sense of urgency is huge. At Space X you can have plenty of responsibility even if you have little experience. This is great if you are energetic, resourceful and work obsessively. If not you will probably fall behind and then your days will be numbered.

Lavoie's full answer, along with the full thread is well worth digesting in its entirety. You can check it out over here.


Wed, 22 Feb 2017 19:00:20 -0500

Sanders Supporters Are Taking Over The Democratic Party -

Sanders Supporters Are Taking Over The Democratic PartyThe progressive senator's most loyal supporters appear to have a bold agenda for the DNC during the Trump administration.


Wed, 22 Feb 2017 17:44:16 -0500



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