Monthly archives of “October 2009

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Three quick notes…

Note 1 – A VERY local Failblog

If you haven’t ever heard of Failblog, it’s simply hilarious. Every day there are a ton of photos and videos that can only be described as “FAIL.”

But Thursday there was a post called “Bus Driver Fail“. What’s great about this is that the video was taken at my local bus stop! It’s literally just a couple hundred meters from home.

Just check out the video here:

[If you can’t see the video, just click here.]

Note 2 – A Wikipedia entry for a 500-person town

When I was very young, I grew up in the rural Minnesota town of Danube, Minnesota. The other day I just happened to look it up on Wikipedia, and found the entry hilarious. Clearly some local has turned it into a bit of a brochure for small-town America. Examples include:

Danube Pride

While the people of Danube may appear to be normal small-town dwellers, they in fact have a very rare and highly regarded sense of pride for their quaint city in Minnesota. Many residents have been noted as saying proudly, “Danube is the heart of God’s Country.” or a blunt reply, “This is Danube, of course it’s awesome.” This is most evident in the people who were born and raised in or near Danube. This sense of pride typically continues into adulthood and in many cases it continues even after they have moved away from their hometown.

and

Activities

The youth of Danube enjoy some unique activities that help to keep Danube special. The youth ride bicycles as their way of getting around, and typically have ridden their bikes through the streets and sidewalks of Danube enough to accumulate 5,000 miles (unofficially). Skinned knees are an epidemic with these youth. […]
In their teenage years, residents will typically discover that the Danube water tower can be climbed (much to the chagrin of the city maintenance workers and the lone police officer) for a great view of the city and the surrounding area. […]
Adult activities include “going up town” for lunch at the cafe, catching up with the gossip at “The 1-Stop”, “going up town” to get the mail, or attending the high school’s various sporting events. Nightlife is monopolized by Miller’s on Main – the residents’ only choice for a place to sing some karaoke.

On a side note, my mother used to own the cafe mentioned above…

As a former resident of Danube, I suppose I have to have that “Danube Pride” described above. And to be fair, I do have fond memories of the town, though generally through visits with family friends after we moved away…

Note 3 – Google Waving

If you haven’t heard of Google Wave, it’s a new tool for collaborating that Google announced earlier this year. I recently got an invite and have been playing around with it. (If you’d like an invite yourself, just let me know.)

But here’s a video of Google Wave, um… “simulating” the movie Pulp Fiction. It’s pretty funny. Check it out here: (Not safe for work)

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A Marc Andreessen blog archive

I noticed a few weeks ago that Marc Andreessen had deleted virtually everything off his blog. The only thing that’s left is the post announcing the formation of his VC firm, Andreessen Horowitz.

I’ve been such a huge fan of Marc’s writing, and hated to see so many brilliant and incredibly helpful posts lost. So I went to the Internet Wayback Machine and copy/pasted all the posts they had (through March 2008). I had also subscribed to Marc’s blog via Feedburner e-mail, so grabbed all of the e-mails I had saved to fill in the gaps.

To be clear, I have no ulterior motives other than making sure that Marc’s posts can be found and useful to entrepreneurs everywhere. (And if Marc wants me to take it down, I would reluctantly do so… hopefully he won’t!)

blog.pmarca.comwas like a meteor from June 2007 through the spring of 2008. Here are a bunch of my favorite posts:

Click here for the full archive on pmarca-archive.posterous.com

Some quick cautions and warnings!

  • The link addresses aren’t changed, which mean they’re prefaced by the Internet Wayback Machine archive link. If you look at the link you’ll figure out which part to delete to go to the right address.
  • Some videos have been taken down, or I couldn’t find the embed code.
  • I tried to include every post he made and not filter anything. However, I may have missed a few. Please let me know (via comment below) if you have any that aren’t in the archive.

I hope this is useful to some of you out there. And Marc, if you read this, I’m a big fan and only mean for this to help the millions of entrepreneurs you’ve inspired.

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Why I chose to be an aero major?

So my undergraduate degree is in aerospace engineering, from the University of Michigan. (Go BLUE!) As I wrote yesterday, I am and always will be an aero geek.

But perhaps I also chose it for long-term earning potential? A blog post in the New York Times showed this graph of the “Top 10 College Majors That Lead to High Salaries”:

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Of course, I didn’t choose it for the salaries; I just love aerospace technology.

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More on SpaceX…

So I’m an aero geek; always have been, always will be. But with SpaceX’s latest big update, I have to say that I absolutely can’t wait to see the first Falcon9 launch.

(See an earlier post on SpaceX and Falcon 9 here.)

For background, Falcon 9 can lift just over 10,000kg to Low Earth Orbit. The future Falcon 9 Heavy (which is the standard Falcon 9 with two additional Falcon 9 1st stages bolted on for a total of 27 engines at the start) will be able to lift 29,610kg to Low Earth Orbit!

To put that in relative terms, here is what other rockets/systems can lift to LEO:

  • Apollo: 118,000kg
  • Space Shuttle: 24,400kg
  • Delta IV Heavy: 22,950kg

In other words, this small, entrepreneurial rocket company that was founded less than ten years ago is building some of the biggest rockets around.

But enough of that… let’s get to the pictures! (Which are all from the SpaceX updates page here.)

The nine engines of the Falcon 9 first stage:

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The assembled Falcon 9 first stage engines & thrust assembly (at 17,000lbs this is over half the weight of the unfueled rocket):

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The first stage engines getting ready for shipping:

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The Dragon capsule, which sits at the top of the rocket for Space Station resupply missions:

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The full rocket, on the launch platform at Cape Canaveral:

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