Artificial intelligence (AI) is many things, among them a technology, an investment opportunity, and an intense subject of study by academics and experts from a wide variety of fields. If you want to learn about AI, you have to start somewhere, like using the laptop, desktop, or mobile device that you are using to read this article.

Artificial intelligence is very much about math and logic
Humans have intelligence that is based in part on biology and experience. Your mind takes in information, including lessons learned from your personal experiences and the experiences of others, and you make decisions and take…


If you are getting close to retirement and you have been contributing to Social Security, perhaps the most important decision you can make is when to start collecting your payments. The Social Security Administration gives you a choice, you can start getting paid a fraction of your benefits as soon as you turn 62, or you can wait until your full retirement age and collect a full payment each month.

While the Social Security Administration gives plenty of guidance on the matter, but if you want to make sense of it, you have to do a little work, starting with…


Figure 1: Illustration of COVID-19 viruses (source: Harvard University)

During the COVID-19 pandemic, just about everyone is at risk of getting exposed to the virus and getting infected. You don’t have to be a medical or scientific expert to understand how to protect yourself, but you do have to understand how your choices for protecting yourself can change your risk of infection. If you know even a little bit about ladders, you know more than enough about risk and how to make choices to reduce your risk.

COVID-19 realities

There are a few basic realities about the COVID-19 virus that everyone has to face:

  • If you get infected with…

Image by cytis from Pixabay

In a number of US states and the entire nation of Canada, any adult is able to purchase small amounts of marijuana (cannabis), without any prescription, license, or other special permission.

These legal purchases are available not only to citizens and residents of the US and Canada, but also to anyone visiting any location in these two countries where recreational marijuana can be purchased or consumed.

Although marijuana laws and regulations have changed in some US states and in the nation of Canada, the laws in these two countries are very different, and because of those differences, any domestic air…


Because of the social and economic disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a very significant reduction in the demand for air travel. For those who either want to fly or have to fly, perhaps the biggest concern is how to keep from getting infected with coronavirus during their trip.

A travel companion who is very happy that the author is taking appropriate travel precautions. Photo by Todd Curtis
Gidget Wiliams and Todd Curtis flying in a socially distant section of a JetBlue A321

As will all other safety issues around flying, the key is to understand the risks and to take steps to either eliminate the risk, reduce the likelihood of that risk happening, or minimizing the negative effects should that risk happen. …


The fight against the virus that is causing the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic will need the skills of public health and medical professionals, but it will also need an army of volunteers to help identify people who may have been exposed to the virus. If you think you may want to be one of these volunteers, you can prepare yourself for this challenge by taking a no-cost online course from one of the world’s premier universities that will provide you with the basic skills needed to help identify those at risk of getting infected.

For a variety of reasons, the COVID-19…


As the media constantly reminds the public, the events that have happened in the United States and around the world since the murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020 have been both unexpected and unprecedented. The triggering event was a blatant act of unnecessary police violence that was caught on video and shared by both traditional and online media. The consequences are still unfolding, but they could lead to fundamental changes in the relationship law enforcement authorities in the United States and in other countries have with their citizens.

Comparing George Floyd’s death to major civil rights events

In…


On June 9, 2020, I became aware of the trending hashtag #ShutDownSTEM and a plan in many quarters of the academic and technology world to take a global stand against anti-black racism in science. This was to take place the following day on June 10, 2020. …


For those who are short on time, I’ll start with the sound bite. If you have the time, please read the rest of the story.

The number of US deaths from the coronavirus pandemic may be as low as 356,000 and as high as 1.25 million. By comparison, the total number of US military fatalities since 1775 is about 1.14 million.

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is affecting not just the US, but the entire world in ways that were unimaginable even a few weeks ago. …


Communicating about coronavirus is not just for the experts

Given the unprecedented and rapidly evolving issues around coronavirus (also known as Coronavirus Disease 2019 or COVID-19), the public has a real and practical need for information about the pandemic, and about what they can do about it. The major news media responds to that public interest by interviewing all kinds of experts in public health, medicine, and government about what you should do to deal with it. …

Todd Curtis (airsafe)

Former USAF and Boeing engineer and creator of aviation safety and security site AirSafe.com.

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