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Google Lens: a fun translation

Tonight my wife and I went to the 99 Ranch Market, a Asian grocery store. My wife saw a fun cat themed air freshener, but wanted to know what scent it was. The packaging was only in Japanese. So I whipped out my Google Pixel and took a photo. Using the Google Lens translate feature I deciphered the text. Apparently the Fluffy freesia scent attracts cats, but my wife was not interested.

Tesla the next GE

There isn't another organization like Tesla. Not one company is as highly invested in anti-climate change technology; however, I have qualms with the grandiose plan. The solution to climate change is not satiating market pangs. Mainly because technology doesn't mix well with markets. Eventually, science will not keep up with a glut of either consumption or investment; then creative destruction takes over and Tesla will be out of the picture. Don't believe me... look at General Electric. Tesla will not end the tragedy of the commons. The best answer to climate change is resolving our property rights. Defining property rights disputes will ensure financial and environmental coexistence across the entire world.

Tech move to Texas: vote from Red to Blue?

If Corporations and their employees leave CA for TX, could changing demographics swing the State of TX from Red to Blue? It is a sign of our times, Corporations in the Tech industry have spawned an exodus from the West Coast. Corporations have changed their preferences, and are taking action to formally "Vote with your feet", which may swing politics in both states. Notably Tesla and Oracle are leaving CA to lower their costs. Interestingly, when it comes to the ballot box, 89% of Tesla employees and 74% of Oracle employees register with the Democratic party (according to Zippia). Oracle could bring 10,000 new jobs to Austin HQ, while Tesla plans on hiring 30,000 workers at their new plant. The 2020 election in TX saw Republican Trump prevail over Democrat Biden by 631,221 votes a margin of 5.8% (notably that margin is down from 9% in 2016).

If we take a closer look in the coming years I wouldn't be surprised to detect that a significant swing has occurred. I admit this might catch you by surprise, but economically we all benefit from freedom of migration. If this was just corporate business as usual, then it would turn a blind eye to human information exchange. Freedom of movement fuels change beyond the ballot box. Our country is alive, moving isn't something to fear but something to embrace. 

Sightings of the 'great' conjunction

 

The first sighting of the Jupiter and Saturn in the night sky from Santa Barbara.

You can watch it live virtually


Skofield Park - Santa Barbara

Over the Christmas Holiday Phuong and I meet my family in Santa Barbara for 4 days. On our second day we took to the hills. With views of the Pacific Ocean we headed up a steep climb in Skofield Park. The steep climb calls for a descent, an undulating path that was 40 feet above a winding creek. A few tricky valleys meant for some scrambling on logs and boulders.  Paragliders soared over our heads taking the windy skies down to the beach miles below. 












NASA Selects Companies to Collect Lunar Resources for Artemis Demonstrations

NASA Selects Companies to Collect Lunar Resources for Artemis Demonstrations: NASA has selected four companies to collect space resources and transfer ownership to the agency: Lunar Outpost of Golden, Colorado; Masten Space Systems of Mojave, California; ispace Europe of Luxembourg; and ispace Japan of Tokyo. Overall, the new NASA contracts with these companies totals $25,001.

WORD OF THE DAY: REGOLITH 


Lake Perris

It took me over 14 years to return, but I've finally made it back to the park. Last time I was here the water level was lowered because of a recent earthquake (this was back in 2006). Where I previously hiked is now submerged, I found old snorkel equipment and fishing tackle. We took a leisurely stroll around the reservoir. It was almost 10 miles round trip. We were pleasantly occupied by the wildlife we spotted: pheasant, coyote, and other birds of prey (I think it was a falcon). We were surprised by a mass gathering during the pandemic, it turned out to be a dog show among the picnic sites. The path was paved the entire way, we might return to rollerblade.













Scale of our Solar System and Beyond

 I don't see how my elementary school teachers expected me to be able to visualize this:

Credit: NASA, ESA, and B. Sunnquist and J. Mack (STScI) Acknowledgment: NASA, ESA, and J. Lotz (STScI) and the HFF Team
Credit:

NASA, ESA, and B. Sunnquist and J. Mack (STScI)
Acknowledgment: NASA, ESA, and J. Lotz (STScI) and the HFF Team

This video is pretty comprehensive:

A day trip at Powder Canyon

We hiked the well traveled trails of Powder Canyon in Rowland Heights, with some coworkers and friends. Social Distancing was observed and we wore masks most of the time. The popularity of the trail was obvious from the crowds, probably because of it's proximity to the urban forest, and it had easy access from several trailheads.










 

Hiking Box Springs in the Rain: spotting Burros (aka Donkey)

We hiked Box Springs Mountain in Moreno Valley, CA. It was a rainy day with our friend, and some misplaced Burros (from the bygone age of Spanish imperialism). The hills were steep in many spots but the rain eventually laid off and we made it to the top. The trail going down the hill was much steeper, but that meant for a faster descent. A day hiking in the rain is underrated.












 

October Santa Ana Winds




The wind yesterday was at another level. We're glad our tree was removed this Summer, we found rot at the core, the winds would have blown it over. That isn't rain it's dirt.



Bryce Canyon National Park

Our Trip to Brian Head this year was highlighted by a freezing snow, which greeted us on the Tuesday after checking into the resort. We decided to take a hike, driving to Bryce Canyon we made a 8 mile trip on the Hoodoos. The views were spectacular and we got a work out. The weather held up, climate change pulled a trick on us, and the day was warm despite a bit of wind.










This was the highlight of our week in Utah. The trail wasn't crowded but we did share some pleasant conversation with our fellow hikers. Around every bend another stunning setting. To describe the any view in one word is hard but I can try here:
falic