National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Terry Williams said the agency was "in the very early stages of the investigation and will have more information tomorrow." Officials identified the plane as a North American SNJ-5 (T-6), a trainer aircraft used by the U.S. Army Air Forces, U.S. Navy, Royal Air Force and others during World War II.
Chris Rushing, president of the nonprofit Condor Squadron, said the plane belongs to his organization. According to its website, the group was formed in 1965 to preserve World War II history.
"The pilot obviously had a catastrophic failure and had to put it down on the 101," Rushing said. "Thank God he's OK and no one got hurt on the ground." Rushing said the pilot, whom he identified as Rob Sandberg, was able to get out of his plane.
"We are changing the planet on timescales of a 1,000, 10,000 or even 100,000 years and we're completely incapable of psychologically appreciating the power that we have," Keats told me on the phone. "They're a means to have a sort of cognitive prosthesis, a mechanism for us to be able to see ourselves from that far-future perspective."
Keats' placed his Millennium Cameras at four locations around Lake Tahoe. Each camera is made of copper and is only 2.75 inches long and 2.25 inches in diameter. Inside the camera is a sheet of 24-karat gold pierced by a small hole. As light passes through this small hole, it causes a reaction with the rose-colored pigment inside the camera, which causes the color to fade where the light is the brightest. This will slowly imprint an image on the pigment over the next 1,000 years. [...]
"The changes that happen may wipe out the camera or wipe out the institution that's in charge of it," Keats told me. "I just signed a contract with Sierra Nevada College that is for an exhibition of these four photographs in the year 3018. We're certainly taking chances with this, but that's also part of the picture in a way."
The Saudis are being assholes in public again, so some people are starting to wonder if they're willing to be picky about where their money comes from. Hackernews isn't, for the most part, but they seem attracted to the idea that it's probably okay to take money from assholes if you think nobody will notice. Failing that, try to get some other people between you and the assholes. A few Hackernews just declare that there's no such thing as an asshole. I rarely* recommend reading "Hacker" "News" comments, but if you want to see the inner strugglings of people who just aren't sure if they should, through their labor, enrich murderers, this is the place to do it.
Put simply, the money spent providing for hundreds of thousands of bathroom uses per year -- millions since the program's inception -- is money you don't spend power-washing urine and feces off the street. It's money you don't spend gathering needles out of gutters and planters and sand boxes.
It's money you don't spend cleaning up dogshit, either.
Not only is providing a place for people to sanitarily relieve themselves or safely dispose of needles a decent thing to do, it's also bottom-line beneficial: As is the case with every other element of administering to the homeless population, things cost so much more when you react, rather than act.
The Pit Stop program's annual budget is now $3.1 million. Out of context, that's a fair amount of money; a single Pit Stop can cost between $170,000 and $205,000 a year to operate, with labor making up most of the costs. But, as a point of comparison, the city spends upwards of $1.19 million per year on toilet paper.
San Francisco, meanwhile, puts a jaw-dropping $65 million toward cleaning its streets; Mayor Mark Farrell dolloped an additional $12.8 million into street-cleaning in the latest budget cycle alone.
It is, frankly, difficult to say this glut of street-cleaning funds is money well-spent. Without providing people with a place to relieve themselves, putting ever more money into street-cleaning is a bit like buying a bigger bucket instead of patching the hole in the boat.
As we noted last week, cleaning the streets is reactive. Even Mayor London Breed's headline-grabbing "poop patrols" are merely proactively reactive. Power-washing filth off the streets will always be a necessity in this and every city. But, even viewed merely as a spreadsheet item and giving no consideration to human dignity, Pit Stops aren't just an expense -- they're an investment. In June of 2014, there were 742 requests for steam-cleaning in the Tenderloin. Three years and multiple Pit Stops later, in June of last year, there were 298.
It is only now, a decade after the financial crisis, that the American public seems to appreciate that what we thought was disruption worked more like extraction -- of our data, our attention, our time, our creativity, our content, our DNA, our homes, our cities, our relationships. The tech visionaries' predictions did not usher us into the future, but rather a future where they are kings. [...]
Economist Mariana Mazzucato chips away at another myth of Silicon Valley exceptionalism: the idea that big tech and its investors deserve massive profits because they are risk-taking innovators who create value, rather than extract it. "In the case of venture capitalists," Mazzucato writes, "their real genius appears to lie in their timing: their ability to enter a sector late, after the highest development risks had already been taken, but at an optimum moment to make a killing."
Much of the hard work of innovation, she argues, has been funded by the government, which sees little direct return. Contrary to tech industry sneering, public funds are responsible for a lot of the technology we attribute to Silicon Valley. Mazzucato points out that GPS was funded by the US Navy, touchscreen display was backed by the CIA, both the internet and SIRI were funded by the Pentagon's DARPA, and Google's search algorithm was funded by a National Science Foundation grant.
Yet the government reaps few of the rewards. For instance, the same year the government loaned $535 million to solar-power company Solyndra, it also loaned Tesla $465 million. "Taxpayers footed the bill for Solyndra's losses -- yet got hardly any of Tesla's" gains, she says. Solyndra has become "a byword for the government's sorry track record when it came to picking winners," a story that has helped keep regulators at bay, she says.