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Improving on Tufte

Edward Tufte did an awesome job of picking apart the Columbia post-launch analysis slide:

As I was lifting sheets of ice off my car this morning, I thought of what the engineers *should* have done. They should've gotten a piece of the foam about the same size (about a cubic foot), soaked it in water, frozen it, and taken it to the briefing.
At the appropriate moment, take it out and drop it on a desk, then say "this is what we think hit the Columbia's wing at 450mph"

[for some reason throwing stuff on the desk always seems to get the attention of managers]


Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Reminds me of Feynmann's stunt with the ice water in the O-Ring hearings...

Joel Spolsky (Fog Creek Software)
Wednesday, January 28, 2004

It would've been more effective to take them to a test range and launched the iceball out of a cannon AT a piece of wing attached to the side of a barn.

One of those old cannons with the fuze, and have the guy who lit it dress up like Wile E Coyote.

The presentation could go something like this:

"For those of you who think Nasa couldn't hit something the size of a barn on the Moon, and for those of you who think we don't know how to have fun, here's a simulation of what we think happened."
Wednesday, January 28, 2004

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