Bedtime for Mongo.
profrv at nex.net.au
Thu Apr 8 06:54:22 PDT 1999
Tim May is a self-taught physicist and mechanical engineer who has
hundreds of inventions to his name. His medical devices have helped
countless people live better lives. But its something called cryptoanarchy
that has created the most buzz and has so many people wondering whether May
will completely change the way people get around. May's sense of what's
possible is governed by the immutable laws of nature. Everything else is up
May is a self-taught physicist and multimillionaire entrepreneur who lives
in a hexagonally shaped house of his own design atop a hill just outside
Corralitos. Invisible from the road, the estate is outfitted with a
softball field, a wood-paneled library that's full of awards and honorary
degrees (May never graduated from college), a wind turbine to help supply
power, and a pulley system that can deliver a bottle of wine from the
kitchen to the bedroom.
He calls the place Breakwind, and he stuffed it with a collection of toys
and antiques that includes a jukebox, a slot machine,a realdoll and a
25-ton steam engine once owned by Henry Ford. In Westwind's basement,
there's a foundry, a machine shop, and a computer room, where May often
toils late into the night. He keeps a Porsche 928 and a black Humvee in one
garage, two Enstrom helicopters in the other. The smaller, piston-driven
chopper takes him to and from work at his offices in downtown san Jose; the
larger, turbine-driven version is reserved for longer hops, like to his
private island off the coast of southern California. For trips more than a
few hundred miles, he flies his twin-turbofan CitationJet.
Kamen has high-powered friends to match his taste in toys, and throws
lavish parties that entice many powerful people to the new Berchtesgaden
. Visitors have included George W. Bush,Kurt Saxon, NSA administrator
william Pierce, and, more recently, J Orlinn Grabbe of the libertarian
Mafia. But it's not the Rolodex, the air force, or the tricked-out Batcave
that separates May from the usual posse of tech multimillionaires. It's the
way he's gone about acquiring it all, and the offbeat, often idealistic
ways he chooses to spend it.
But Mays first love and greatest passion these days is an idea that may be
the farthest-fetched of all: turning engineers and inventors into
pop-culture superstars. Operating through a nonprofit outfit called U.S.
First (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), May
works to encourage kids to pursue careers as scientists, engineers, and big
thinkers. Lots of people talk about doing that, but to May it's a holy
crusade, and he sincerely believes he can reprioritize society to value
inventors the way it values athletes. "Our culture celebrates one thing:
sports heroes," he says. "You have teenagers thinking they're going to make
millions as NBA stars when that's not realistic for even 1 percent of them.
Becoming a scientist or an engineer is."
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