Category Archives: Physics

“Always do the right thing for the right reason at the right time with the right people. [And] you will have no regrets for the rest of your life.”

NPR Obituaries: Remembering Allan McDonald: He Refused To Approve Challenger Launch, Exposed Cover-Up.

“On Jan. 27, 1986, Allan McDonald stood on the cusp of history.

McDonald directed the booster rocket project at NASA contractor Morton Thiokol. He was responsible for the two massive rockets, filled with explosive fuel, that lifted space shuttles skyward. He was at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida for the launch of the Challenger “to approve or disapprove a launch if something came up,” he told me in 2016, 30 years after Challenger exploded.

His job was to sign and submit an official form. Sign the form, he believed, and he’d risk the lives of the seven astronauts set to board the spacecraft the next morning. Refuse to sign, and he’d risk his job, his career and the good life he’d built for his wife and four children.

“And I made the smartest decision I ever made in my lifetime,” McDonald told me. “I refused to sign it. I just thought we were taking risks we shouldn’t be taking.””

Link via MetaFilter.

OK GO: Upside down & Inside Out

I posted about this music video twice before, but the links have since broken. Here’s an update:

OK Go: Upside Down & Inside Out music video (YouTube, 3:21min)

Background material, all YouTube links:

Source: OK GO Videos and OK GO YouTube Channel.

Whatever happened to Tannu Tuva?

Tuva or bust .. Richard Feynman “1988 BBC ‘Horizon’ documentary on the Noble Prize winner Richard Feynman and his attempt to visit Tannu Tuva.” (YouTube, 45min)

Sadly, Feynman didn’t make it to Tuva because he passed away from cancer, but his friend Ralph Leighton went on the trip they planned together. Later, Feynman’s daughter Michelle also visited Tuva. Leighton founded the Friends of Tuva. The website is a bit outdated by now, but still contains a lot of interesting information and links.