All of this has nothing at all to do with checkers, and I apologize for the digression. Except, perhaps, that my early fascination with space technology also lead to a fascination with computers - and that lead to CheckerBoard, many years later!
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
The shuttle has landed!
Going completely off-topic, I watched the space shuttle land today. As a child, I was fascinated by rockets and spaceships and the like, and I still can remember quite well how I first read about the Challenger disaster: it was the headliner of the Swiss tabloid "Blick" that day. Later it became clear that the Challenger disaster was a direct consequence of managers overruling scientists and engineers, something which has lead to catastrophes before (e.g. Titanic) and afterwards (e.g. Chernobyl). Today, my fascination for manned space flight has disappeared; I tend to agree with the article A Rocket to Nowhere - there's not much point in sending humans into space. My interest in engineering problems however has increased, since I'm more of an engineer today than the physicist I was by training. Gregg Easterbrook's article from 1980 (before the first shuttle flight) has a nice description of the engineering tasks involved in building the space shuttle.