Google Exec hands Silicon Valley the Stratospheric Jump Record

Google's Vice President of Search, Alan Eustace, has just smashed the altitude record for stratospheric skydiving. His liftoff was from Roswell, New Mexico is where the record was first set in 1960 by USAF Colonel Joseph Kittinger. Paragon Video link. (Credit: Paragon Space Development Corporation)

Google’s Vice President of Search, Alan Eustace, has just smashed the altitude record for stratospheric skydiving. His liftoff was from Roswell, New Mexico, where the record was first set in 1961 by USAF Colonel Joseph Kittinger. Paragon Video link. (Credit: Paragon Space Development Corporation)

Just a little over two years since Felix Baumgartner broke USAF Colonel Joseph Kittinger’s stratospheric jump record, Alan Eustace from Google has independently smashed the high altitude skydiving record again. This brings home to Silicon Valley a record that might stand for a while. Eustace took a minimalist approach to the jump. His setup involved a helium filled balloon and just him hanging from the balloon in a spacesuit. Pure and simple, this permitted his system to reach 135,890 feet above the Earth, over 41 kilometers altitude, exceeding Baumgartner’s record by 7000 feet.

The simple design of his balloon launch might remind one of a bungy jump. How can anyone break that record? Can someone rise to a higher altitude? So what is next for the Google high flyers? Will Baumgartner take this as a challenge to retake the record?

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New Studies, Reports Heighten Need for Action on Climate Change

For years our Congress has ignored humans’ impact on climate change.

Many members of Congress have used terms like “pseudoscience” and ignored the fact that 97 percent of scientists studying the issue have concluded that climate change is real, that its impact will significantly worsen with time and that human activity is the principal cause.

It is about time for Congress to address the issue and pass legislation that provides an innovative approach to both mitigating and adapting to climate change. Ignorance, benign neglect and self-interest need to be overcome. That is what leadership is all about.

Consider: The state of New York, through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), recently released a report titled “Responding to Climate Change in New York State: The ClimAID Integrated Assessment for Effective Climate Change Adaptation.” The report was prepared for NYSERDA by researchers from Columbia University, the City University of New York and Cornell University. The findings are both predictable and sobering.

The study reviewed the impact of climate change on seven geographic areas of New York state in the areas of water resources, coastal zones, ecosystems, agriculture, energy, transportation, telecommunications and public health. The report states, “Temperatures are —> Read More Here

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