Shovel Ready

Please, sir, may we have another?

(CNN) — A NASA satellite crashed back to Earth about three minutes after launch early Tuesday, officials said.

“We could not make orbit,” NASA program manager John Brunschwyler said. “Initial indications are the vehicle did not have enough [force] to reach orbit and landed just short of Antarctica in the ocean.”

“Certainly for the science community, it’s a huge disappointment.”

The $273 million satellite, called the Orbiting Carbon Observatory, would have collected global measurements of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the Earth’s atmosphere to help better forecast changes in carbon-dioxide levels and their effect on the Earth’s climate. [more]

Burnt Orange and Green

A typical Texas intersection
(I’m not exaggerating quite as much as you think I am,
there are literally dozens of intersections on this scale in and around the five biggest cities):


Update on the image above: I should also point out for the non-Texan reader that Texas “urban” (I use the term in its loose southwestern sense) expressways are typically six lanes wide, and paralleled by two-lane one-way commercial streets for a total of ten lanes in four distinct paths. [more]

Airline Mag: Green Edition

Hi, y’all, from beautiful Montreal (that’s in Southern Canada, you understand), where it is unseasonably warm and sunny today. The trees seem a bit paler and less spectacular than usual this autumn, too… hmm….

I’m a bit out of the loop this week, what with the excitement of launching Correlations (come on over and give me some grief…) and visiting with family. [more]