Gongol.com Archives: July 2009
Brian Gongol

July 8, 2009

Science and Technology How a flying styrofoam cup can break a windshield
If this is the kind of story that it takes to get ordinary people interested in science, then perhaps scientific-minded people ought to be looking for more opportunities to explain things in scientific terms. We need vastly more scientific literacy in America (if not the world), and there's something to be said for finding ways of getting people hooked on scientific thinking, rather than hoping that they'll find it on their own. Science and economics alike share a sort of popular mystery -- it's considered socially acceptable in many circles to say "I don't know anything about money" or "Science is too complicated for me", even by people who can rattle off football statistics or automotive dimensions as though they're tattooed on the back of the speaker's hand. An understanding of complexity and complex issues can be enormously worthwhile -- especially if people realize that complexity is better embraced than feared. And if it's true that a lot of people are dumber than many might realize, then perhaps it's more important than we might think to get the vast population of capable-but-unchallenged minds up to a higher gear. At least once in a while.

Iowa Towns not actually hit by devastating tornado get recovery money anyway
Something about it just doesn't seem quite right, especially considering the state of Iowa has a huge budgetary shortfall right now.

Aviation News Passenger happens to know how to fix his broken airliner
...and manages to get the plane working quickly enough that the flight was only 35 minutes late

Humor and Good News A field guide to tattoos
(Warning: Not for the easily-offended)

Science and Technology A catalog of "mental models"
The "mental models" idea is repeated frequently by Charlie Munger

Water News How will vision drive infrastructure investment?

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