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Enabling Sci-Fi Disaster Movies July 30, 2020

Posted by geoff in News.

With all the advances in artificial intelligence and robotics, it’s like every old sci-fi mass devastation movie is coming true. And now we have this:

The First Gene-Altered Squid Has Thrilled Biologists

I’m sure that pretty soon it’ll thrill the rest of us.

Mail Ballots Fail July 30, 2020

Posted by Retired Geezer in Crime.

Owl July 29, 2020

Posted by Sobek in News.


Why I Hate Science Writers July 29, 2020

Posted by geoff in News.

Phys.org trumpeted this headline:

Steps toward room-temperature superconductivity

Wow! I said as I clicked on the link. After all, room temperature superconductors would change the world. It would be amazing if they could get superconduction at room temperature (~300K).

But when I clicked on the link, I was sorely disappointed:

“Superconductivity occurs at very , close to absolute zero or 0 Kelvin,” said Mauricio Terrones, …. “The alpha phase of Moly carbide is superconducting at 4 Kelvin.”

When layering metastable phases of molybdenum carbide with molybdenum sulfide, superconductivity occurs at 6 Kelvin, a 50% increase. Although this is not remarkable in itself—other materials have been shown to be superconductive at temperatures as high as 150 Kelvin—it was still an unexpected phenomenon that portends a new method to increase superconductivity at higher temperatures in other superconducting materials.

It certainly is completely unremarkable itself, and is nowhere close to being room temperature superconductivity. [Not that the work itself was bad – it’s actually very nice]

When one says “steps toward room temperature superconductivity,” it’s usually interpreted as “steps from the current state-of-the-art.” Not “steps from ground zero because we started back at 4K.”

Science writers these days are sensationalistic click-baiters. I hates ’em.


Dems Forget What’s Important July 29, 2020

Posted by geoff in News.
1 comment so far

It used to be almost axiomatic that policy-makers would protect their tax-paying citizenry. It was obvious: the whole system falls apart if taxpayers can’t go about their business and lives with confidence that the government will ensure their safety, protect their assets, and allow them to express their policy preferences via the voting process.

But the Democrats seem to have forgotten about the importance of the taxpayer. They’ve abandoned businesses (and their employees) in cities with rioting; in fact, they haven’t even expressed any empathy with those businesses. They’ve left residents unprotected in the CHAZ/CHOP anarchy zone, and routinely allow protesters/rioters to block traffic on major thoroughfares.

It’s ridiculous that they’ve magnified the tiny number of police shootings of unarmed blacks to an issue that supersedes the Social Contract that has been the rationale for our government for almost 250 years. And it’s sad that they don’t realize that they are undermining the reason for their existence in the spheres of politics and governance.

I can only hope that they wake up and develop an awareness that if they’re not meeting the fundamental security needs of the median taxpayer, the taxpayer is also going to stop participating in the Social Contract.

If the government refuses to protect their families, properties, and businesses; if the government refuses to protect their ability to use the roads that they paid for; if the government refuses to protect their right of free speech; if the government refuses to protect the integrity of their vote; . . .

. . . well, then the government shouldn’t be surprised if the taxpayer rebels.

The View from my Backyard July 28, 2020

Posted by Sobek in News.


How are things in your town?

Skateboard Freestyling July 28, 2020

Posted by geoff in News.

Think I broke my coccyx just watching this:

COVID-19 Update: Through 7/26/2020 July 27, 2020

Posted by geoff in News.

The casualty data continues its slow rise:


Sanity Amidst the Chaos July 26, 2020

Posted by geoff in News.

Some language not safe for work.

Why Is a Duck? July 22, 2020

Posted by Sobek in News.

I got some pastels, so I watched a couple YouTube videos and did this:


Shostakovich, A Major Fugue July 21, 2020

Posted by Sobek in News.
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So this is an incredible piece of music, but one thing I really love is that the pianist gives both some historic context and some music theory, so you can enjoy the music on other levels:

Hiatusing Again July 20, 2020

Posted by geoff in News.

It’s a shame, because we were picking up momentum here, but I’m going to have to drop out for 4 – 6 weeks. I’ll be working 60-80 hours a week through at least August, so I won’t have any time or energy left for this place.

Hopefully Sobek and Retired Geezer can keep things alive.