From Associated Press:
Tesla CEO Elon Musk offers to buy Twitter in cash deal
Posted: Apr 14, 2022 / 03:44 AM PDT
Elon Musk is offering to buy Twitter, just days after the Tesla CEO said he would no longer be joining the social media company’s board of directors.
Twitter Inc. said in a regulatory filing on Thursday that Musk, who currently owns slightly more than 9% of its stock and is the company’s biggest shareholder, provided a letter to the company on Wednesday that contained a proposal to buy the remaining shares of Twitter that he doesn’t already own. Musk offered $54.20 per share of Twitter’s stock.
That’s an 18% premium over Twitter’s closing stock price on Wednesday and up 38.6% since April 1.
“I invested in Twitter as I believe in its potential to be the platform for free speech around the globe, and I believe free speech is a societal imperative for a functioning democracy,” Musk says in the filing. “However, since making my investment I now realize the company will neither thrive nor serve this societal imperative in its current form. Twitter needs to be transformed as a private company.” …
I was talking to somebody last week who had a strong opinion on the subject of Elon Musk and Twitter, but, damn, I can’t remember what he said. He did say that he’d heard the Chinese are testing nuclear weapons on the dark side of the Moon.
In 1958, the U.S. began a project to consider blowing up a nuclear bomb on the light side of the Moon. From Wikipedia:
Project A119, also known as A Study of Lunar Research Flights, was a top-secret plan developed in 1958 by the United States Air Force. The aim of the project was to detonate a nuclear bomb on the Moon, which would help in answering some of the mysteries in planetary astronomy and astrogeology. If the explosive device detonated on the surface, and not in a lunar crater, the flash of explosive light would have been faintly visible to people on Earth with their naked eye. This was meant as a show of force resulting in a possible boosting of domestic morale in the capabilities of the United States, a boost that was needed after the Soviet Union took an early lead in the Space Race and was also working on a similar project.
The project was never carried out, being cancelled after “Air Force officials decided its risks outweighed its benefits”, and because a Moon landing would undoubtedly be a more popular achievement in the eyes of the American and international public alike. If executed, the plan might have led to a potential militarization of space. A similar project by the Soviet Union (Project E-4) also never came to fruition.
The U.S. wasn’t the only superpower thinking about nuking the Moon in 1958.
A late iSteve reader’s dad had come up with the idea in 1958 that the USSR should blow up a Soviet nuclear bomb, which with Andrei Sakharov he’d helped invent, on the Moon.
How else would anybody trust that the Russkies had actually sent a rocket to the moon other than to blow up a nuke visible from the Earth?
My reader was a brilliant professor in Florida and his dad was a genius Soviet physicist. So the historic Russian-Ukrainian rocket scientist Sergei Korolev, the Soviet equivalent of Werner von Braun, who’d won the first two legs of the Space Race, mocked up his proposal.
The primary aim of the project was to prove to the whole world that a Soviet spacecraft had really reached the surface of the Moon. XXX had the following in mind: The spacecraft would in itself be quite small and its flight to the moon would not be possible to observe for any astronomer on earth. Even if filled with conventional explosives, its drop on to the lunar surface would not be possible to observe from Earth. But, if a nuclear device was exploded on the Moon’s surface, the whole world would be able to observe the event and nobody would be able to pose the question: has a Soviet spacecraft really reached the Moon? It was assumed that a nuclear explosion on the Moon would be accompanied by such a light flash that it would easily be observable by all observatories on Earth.
Despite the number of opponents to such a project it was studied, like the other proposals, in detail. OKB-1 (S.P Korolev) even manufactured a mock-up of the spacecraft. Its dimensions and mass were determined by nuclear physicists basing their work on the rather inefficient nuclear weapons designs of that time. The container with the nuclear charge was to be equipped with initiator rods in every direction, like an anti-shipping mine, to ensure an explosion at the moment of contact with the Moon’s surface.
Fortunately the project never advanced beyond the stage of a mock-up. Already at the initial stage of the project the safety issues associated with such flight were raised. Nobody could provide a 100 percent guarantee that the charge would be safely delivered to the Moon. If the carrier rocket would fail during the operation of the first or second stage the container with the nuclear charge would fall on the territory of the Soviet Union. In case the third stage would fail, the charge could possibly fall on the territory of other countries causing a highly undesirable international incident. Also, the charge could end up in Earth orbit from which it would fall at a time and place that nobody could predict. To miss the Moon and to send the charge on an infinite journey around the Sun was also an unpleasant thought.
There was also an organisational-political problem. In order for the explosion to be observed by foreign observatories these had to be notified in advance. The method of doing so nobody could find. Finally it was decided to drop the E-3 [E-4] project.
As Tom Wolfe explained in The Right Stuff, both the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. conceived of the Space Race as a sort of Single Combat alternative to World War III. The Soviets won the first two legs (putting a satellite and a man into orbit), so they got cool allies like Fidel Castro. But the US won the third leg by putting a man on the moon, so we got the better quality of the next generation, such as Chou En-lai and Anwar Sadat, while the Soviets were stuck with Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddaffi.
Ultimately, we didn’t have a nuclear war, so I admire the guys who got the human race out of a very sticky situation. As I’ve mentioned before, it would be really stupid to have World War III in 2022 when the stakes are so much lower.