It’s a bunch of hype… I mean a scooter! Although, if you’ve ever seen Kegan’s wheelchair in action (climbing stairs, etc), you know that the guy can put gyroscopes to good use. Here’s the problem. The scooter is being sold as an auto replacement. But to focus on getting from point A to point B as the only value of autos, and then design an alternative around that analysis is very short-sighted. Autos don’t simply get you there, they get you there comfortably in all sorts of weather. They allow for contingencies, such as taking on passengers, or carrying a bag with a change of clothes.

Kegan’s scooter looks fantastic, but they should be marketing the thing explicitly for the market it is obviously designed to reach, city pedestrians. And even then, at 65 pounds for the consumer model, it won’t be altogether easy to load it in the taxi when it starts to rain.

Russia on the ground

The Russians are now acting like a staunch ally? This is rather incredible, yet I’ve seen nothing in the press admitting bias or error in the early assessments that Bush was stirring up all sorts of trouble with Russia and was doomed on the foreign policy front. Here’s a quote that captures the flavor of what is going on:

Labeling himself “an old Cold Warrior,” one U.S. intelligence source said the transformation of U.S.-Russian cooperation from initial wariness to trusting cooperation “is the most mind-boggling change I’ve seen in my career.”

Nuclear Arsenal

Wow. I find it remarkable that a two-thirds reduction in our nuclear arsenal will leave over 1700 operationally deployed strategic nuclear warheads. I don’t know the average, but I’d guess it’s between 3 and 5 warheads to delivery vehicle (i.e. missile). That’s still a massive capability.

Growing up on Kwajelein in the Marshall Islands, we used to get up in the middle of the night when there was a mission to watch the warheads blossom from the delivery vehicle (usually an ICBM, I think) upon re-entry and rain down into the lagoon. The missiles were launched from California, about 5k miles away… they reached the atoll in about 25 minutes if I recall correctly.

Rice crushes Tulsa

Rice resurrects bowl hopes with rout of Tulsa. This is a Very Big Deal. Keep in mind Rice is the smallest Division 1-A school in the nation, not to mention that they actually have academic standards of some sort for the football team. The year before I showed up at Rice (1989), the team won a single game in the season. The team was gradually improved until it could post an occasional winning season (the 6-5 variety). But this year, things have finally started to gel. Here’s the highlights:

Tulsa (1-8, 0-6) was helpless against the Owls’ offense, which amassed a school-record 653 yards of offense and averaged 9.3 yards per play. Rice scored on its first six possessions and led 38-13 at the half.
The 498 yards rushing were the second-most in Rice history (505 vs. Arkansas in 1953), and the 59 points were the most the Owls have scored in a conference game. Tulsa, which lost its eighth straight game, finished with 506 yards of offense.

Wow! That rushing performance should hopefully ensure we finish second in the nation behind Nebraska in rushing offense… very cool! Stop by here to revel in all things Rice football.