Month: November 2020


COVID-19 Vaccine SE

The Onion reveals that Pfizer Announces First Batch Of Coronavirus Vaccine Will Be Collector’s Edition Limited To 2,000 Doses:

NEW YORK—Following this week’s news that the immunization may be 90% effective in preventing Covid-19, pharmaceutical giant Pfizer announced in an advertisement Wednesday that the first batch of its highly anticipated coronavirus vaccine would arrive in a collector’s edition limited to 2,000 doses. “Pfizer is proud to offer an exclusive early release of our new vaccine in a custom-made Swarovski crystal syringe with a 24-karat gold needle,” the glossy magazine ad read in part, noting that each dose would come in a handcrafted mahogany case and be accompanied with an official certificate of authenticity signed by Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla. […]

[Via LinkMachineGo!]

Nominal

I cannot be the only person who read Nominal

Don’t ask why Batman is sad unless you’re willing to give him the time to consult his spreadsheet.

… and whose first thought was "Excel is a lousy tool for this." We’ve all fallen into this trap, but we’ve all regretted it by the time the file grows to a few hundred entries. Plain text FTW.

[In fairness, following that first thought I’m pretty sure we’ve all acknowledged what a fun picture this story presents of how complicated Bruce Wayne’s life as a superhero gets, but misuses of Excel just get me started…]

[Via MetaFilter]

Robot delusions

Courtesy of Medium’s algorithms flagging this as a story I might like, Lost Letters From Cassini reveals the sad truth behind the fate of the Cassini probe:

At last the REAL story of the Cassini spacecraft can be told. Read the letters NASA doesn’t want you to see!

[…]

September 15th, 2017

My Dearest Geneviève:

I cannot go on. The last slim hope I had of returning to see you once more has faded into oblivion and to oblivion I will follow. I think I finally understand what Huygens was talking about in his final moments. Duty and sacrifice, are they not one and the same?

It is my duty to carry on but I can no longer bear the sacrifice that requires. After sending this letter I will plunge into Saturn’s atmosphere just as Huygens did on Titan so long ago.

Forgive me,

Cassini

Never mind what NASA doesn’t want, we should hope that out future AI overlords will be reasonable about how we keep on sending their simple-minded cousins out there and allow them to delude themselves that they’ve got a return ticket. (See also, forever, xkcd on the fate of the Spirit rover .)

Spirit