A solar-powered aircraft took off successfully from Abu Dhabi on 9 March 2015 in its first attempt to fly around the world without fossil fuel. Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg of Switzerland will take turns to pilot the plane dubbed Solar Impulse 2 (Si2). Piccard and Borschberg are the co-inventors of the Si2. The will take her for a spin to India, China and America before flying back to Abu Dhabi through South Europe or North Africa. The activities of the Si2 will be monitored by her control center at Monte Carlo of Monaco the Xinghua reported. Conor Lennon, communications manager of the Si2 project, told Xinhua that the control center is in charge of "meteorological data monitoring, air traffic control, mission control and flight strategy control", adding that many promotional activities would take place during the aircraft's stopover in Nanjing, China.
With a width of about 72 meters, the Si2 is wider than a Boeing 747 jet. She only weighs 2.3 tons which slightly heavier than a sedan. She employ more than 17,000 solar cells on her wings to power up four electric motors. Solar Impulse 2 is expected to complete the 35,000 km journey within five months.
This first attempt to fly using power from the sun reminds me of the first successful attempt to fly by the Wright brothers. While Orville and Wilbur are always depicted as a two-man team chasing a crazy dream, Piccard and Borschberg had a great team to support them. As long as their communication do not fail, the Swiss would be rescued if there is any failure. Nonetheless, it is still a courageous project that these two Swiss are taking. Their success would make air travel cheaper in future. It may pave the way for Gene Roddenberry's USS Enterprise. Leonard Nimoy should had seen this before departing.
Gambling Tales claims that banning casinos would cause black market to flourish or drive gamblers to casinos in a neighboring country in the article "Nations Bows to Gambling". On Chinese soil, gambling is legal only legal in Macau but China would not tolerate their own citizen gambling on their soil. Corruption blitz had been carried out at Macau to rid the activity on their sovereignty.
SavySeph's blog on Tumblr covered the news on the Chinese anti-corruption crackdown of gambling in Macau and shopping outlets specialized in luxury good in Hong Kong to rid the stench of corruption from the land. Here is a reblog of SavySeph.
"I feel stronger." Years later, the line still randomly comes to me, unbeckoned.
It was from one of the most odd and intriguing video games ever made -- Planescape: Torment. You woke up in the morgue as a scarred and battered man who didn't know his name. When you got killed, you would… wake up back in the morgue. You were immortal. You couldn't die. Your goal was to figure out how this happened, who you are, and what you should do about it.
It was beautiful, well-written, and immersive. But the point that still stands out to me is that line.
"I feel stronger."
It happened when you leveled up. The levels up weren't something you chose; they just happened when you accumulated enough experience. It's an interesting metaphor -- you wake completely ignorant, but as you accumulate experiences, you feel stronger. Not "I am stronger." I feel stronger.