Mixed Bag of Thanks

It is a joy to be returned to Castellum SCP. It rained much of the night, provoking thankfulness that we motored home Saturday before the rains set in although it looks as if quite a bit of the week will be wet, at least according to the threats of the weather beavers.

On which note, back to gym this morning, commencing an abbreviated week since the truly Amerikan holy day of Thanksgiving will be observed, in compliance with the actions of POTUS#16, who, despite being a representative of Illinois, has little else in common with the current incumbent, especially with regards to maintenance of the nation. It seems amazing how well the previous did under such dire circumstances and how the current seems to promote dire circumstances.

The podcast this morning, at least the primary one, was an episode of the CBC’s “Best of Ideas” dealing with freedom of expression. I became rather distraught with the liberal babbling when they declined to explore the tool character of an axe and only concentrated on its weapon character. So much for objective discussion. I was re-attracted towards the end when the discussion bent into the realm of limits on free speech. This gave rise to my consideration is talking about the effects of climate change, such as reduced lifespan, disease, and starvation could be considered restrictable as hate speech?

But perhaps the best information I got this morning was a closed captioning on one of the electromagnetic audio-visual receivers – not sure what channel/network – that indicated, if I translated the hate text that results from speech recognition accurately, is that the Yankee government department of agriculture has declared, indirectly, that fast food – as in fast food restaurants – is unhealthy. What is notable here is not that we, at least the geeks and nerds, didn’t know this, but that the Yankee government would actually own up to it.

Speaking of admitting, I have to admit that I am very happy to get back to my own network. After most of a week’s stay at a hotel of a chain of the family of a pseudo-celebrity I am happy to once more make use of a network that (a) has some security, and (b) does not eat my browser tabs every time it wants me to revalidate my legitimacy. As a word of warning, if you plan on staying at one of these chain hotels and using their network – wired or wireless – make sure you have a good session manager in your browser. Otherwise you will lose links when it demands revalidation and takes over every tab in your browser, flushing the tab history when it does. I am not sure how much money I wasted but it was more than the cost of the room for a day with bashed connections.

Not that I expect most folks who stay at these hotels to benefit from this. After all, the chain caters to the business community and most business people are bogs but there are a few who are geeks or better and may save themselves some pain and loss hereby. It is also amazing that the network is open. Why the last three or four stays in a lesser chain all had secured networks. All it took was a call from a house phone to the front desk to get the ‘daily’ (?) key. And much better behaved validation. I guess the expensive hotels can get away with stercus IT because their clientèle are so techno-negative. Neuro-negative too?

The only bad thing I have experienced since returning was that I note the channels on the electromagnetic audio-visual receiver have already begun showing banal, saccharine, irrational, superstitious, mystical, unbelievable christmas programs. We ain’t even finished giving thanks yet and now we have something to be thankful for when the next holy day is past? Sounds like a cross between abortion and self-abuse. Except that it is only self abuse if we watch it, but regardless it’s either sadism or masochism.

No wonder parents tell children there is no Santa Claus as soon as they can. That way they can avoid being exposed to this audio-visual swill.

God of the Gaps

While FD SCP and I were off on gallop – yes, we are safely returned, thank you – I ran across a pointer, I think in Lifehacker?, to a graphic [Link]

that was intriguing mostly from what it didn’t say. It seems that microbes like little nooks and crannies where they can be sheltered from the dangers and threats of the external world.

What is appalling is that apparently, at least in the minds of the folks who built this poster, is that bogs are unable to deal with that kind of general information. And hence they are not even told such but rather the incomplete delineation of the spaces between input buttons and suchlike on electronic gizmos.

Maybe we should tell them about the microbes in the cracks in the seats and backs of church pews? Or between the blades in the McGyver knife? Or under fingernails or between teeth? Duhhh. Of course not.

But maybe the gap between hair and skin? Might make them all go bald and then we could identify them easier.Dog

Sixth Watering

Back into the saddle today! A quick (?) return to Greater Metropolitan Arab.Our route is not yet selected to confuse those who wish to compromise us. Somehow FD SCP has managed to purchase less than last time and I have comfort in my belief that I can pack the motorcar in less than an hour or so, which will likely be a boon given the foretellings of the weather beavers realized this morning.

I heard on the electro-magnetic audiovisual receiver last evening that the Amazing KF has network interaction issues. This is hardly a selling point for an appliance that is supposed to be the bog’s entertainment conduit.

I can also – happily – announce that the Unity experiment has been concluded. After struggling with it and the hotel’s network last evening, I reached a conclusion that Unity also has interaction issues. But what is it about business hotels that they are so miserly paranoid about their networks for guests? It makes me happy to go home to my own network that has security and is not as antisocial.

Limiting Speed

OK. Experiment repeated with some care to better speed measurement. [Link] Same result, minor reduction in Time-of-Flight as given by speed-of-light. But has anyone considered that neutrinos in matter laden environment may have a speed greater than photons naturally?

Both neutrinos and photons have essentially zero rest mass. Photons have dipole moment. Neutrinos have very small dipole. Electromagnetic drag? 

Tacoma Narrows Tablet

Yesterday I walked into a BandN and there was a staff guy setting up a Nook tablet display. I got my hands on one in seconds.

The real estate is not small. If anything it is much more comfortable than an iPud. It is also not slow, for an Android device. But it does have a failure mode.I downloaded a copy of MacRobert’s Functions of a Complex Variable and found it unreadable. The eBook app did not fully support the display of equations. Once more the IT guys and the content providers have failed in the middle. Once more the center did not hold.

So the quest continues to find a tablet that supports what I want to read and not just what the book merchants want to sell.

It appears [Link] that the Amazing tablet may be even more whacked although this will probably not prevent it selling much better. Amazing may have started as a book seller but the culture never got past the skull. Still, another article [Link] indicates that tablet toters are more video voyeurs than text tramps. Given the shorter lines that Amazing has for video this may make the economic difference.

I personally am unthrilled. Too much of modern technology is a failure on ergonomic grounds. Cellular telephones are rivers of static occasionally polluted by bits of intelligible audio. Watching a video on any but the widest land line connection is an anti-fugue, a paradigm of the military with its long periods of intense boredom punctuated by moments of stark terror, or entertainment in the case of video. This may be acceptable to mind drones commuting to work on mass transportation but I have better uses for my period of existence on planet Tellus and it isn’t waiting for the stuttering display of a mediocre video.

I ran across an analysis piece [Link] on MakeUseOf about why eTexts are broken, a list of four failures although two of them are so poorly presented as to be incomprehensible. Is this inability to compose and communicate characteristic of the modern? The two I got, the equation failure and that a tablet isn’t a writing tablet are pretty obvious after a few minutes of trial. The other two, something to do with open text testing being impossible, presumably because of the multifunctionality of the tablet?, and something to do with synching different sources, strike me as something between laziness and information greed. But then, I was an undergraduate before there was common access to Xerox machines and so I only know how to take notes – and do.

Part of this problem lies in the difference between what is a tool and what is an appliance. The other part may be called McGyver’s rule. What too many young lose is that the act of writing is part of the act of learning. Marginalia, of any form, does not embed in memory very well. From my standpoint, wanting a tablet to let me replace pounds and cubic feet of book with grams and cubic centimeters, some of the student complaints are ossification of the intellect. Turning off the 802.11 and installing a (legal?) cellular whacker will take care of the ‘note passing’. Synching is a matter of a simple pointer database program, which the average acomputate code illiterate college bog is incapable of, used the old fashioned way – probably also beyond their capacity. The equation display failure is a matter of holding the tablet community responsible and given the greater market for stuttering entertainment perhaps a bridge too far? And notetaking? No pity here. Write it out on paper and use a scanner.

One more datum that education is unpresent on the modern college campus.

Fifth Watering

Last day – tomorrow we start the return to Greater Metropolitan Arab and I think we shall both be happy to do so. Even with decent quartering the premises pale.

Yesterday was a relatively quiet day. Other than a bitter wind and reduced temperatures the only excitement was avoiding being struck by automobiles. I have noted Nawth Alibam drivers becoming less courteous and more impulsive of late but here is the lees of Atlanta it gets up to suicidal. Never mind right of way or legal rules, just barge into any hole however small and transient.

I raided a Barnes and Noble yesterday – more below – but that was the substantive extent of my rambling. The chief work of the day was finishing up on a simple ordnance model that had suggested itself the other day. It’s not what the textbooks have but it is close enough to illustrate the physics involved.

As it stands the challenge today will be mental preparation for packing the motorcar tomorrow, accommodating all the stuff FD SCP snagged in her sewing course.

Stuffing Questions

I ran across an article [Link] that was strangely compelling. Seems some U Colorado archaeologists had uncovered a Bronze Age buckle in a millennium old Eskimo dwelling (ruins) in Alaska. At first I thought this one of those usually pointless exercises in untestability conducted by the social science types but if so, why the grrr brrr. Apparently the editors of the source consider this worth commenting, perhaps as some sort of expression of inherent human insecurity? Will there be human archaeologists a millennium hence to wonder over our gear trash?

Meanwhile, there has been a lot of mumblage over the Amazing and BandN tablets.[Link][Link] What I find missing in all this analysis is how the marketplace has been reset by Hewlett Packard. Except for those with good cost analysis skills and Apple slaves, no one wants to pay iPad prices for a tablet any more. The magic cost is no longer 0.5 K$ but 0.2! This raises the question of whether the mediaists are just too schmuck to realize this, or dominated into silence by editors more interested in advertising than accuracy?

I personally am going to visit a book temple today to see what I can find about the latter beast. I have to admit that the two leave me low in heat quantity but less so for the Nook. After all, do I want to buy eBooks from a bookstore or a general store. In absence of the latter, the former is wonderful, but in presence of both the latter is vapid and tawdry, even if 0.2 cheaper. The question I really want some insight into is how ell it handles nerd books.Film at 11 if anything worth noting.

4th Watering

What a difference a decent inn makes. Despite the rain yesterday, perhaps because of, and a period spent standing and watching rain awaiting the arrival of a tornado/wind storm that never intruded on my locality, much was done. FD SCP was busy with her information gathering mission and I romped over a bit of the landscape.

The morning started with a visit to a chain restaurant that I used to frequent during my graduate shul days. They have recently added fast breaking fare to their menu and I decided to sample the food space. The food itself was quite good, which probably indicates any number of things wrong with it in terms of health and longevity. I do not envy these corporate ogres their dilemma over pleasing customers so they repeat and killing them off. Alas, American business has always been congenitally weak in balancing short and long term activity.

I did my bit for making life miserable when I lectured the manager about the inapplicability of the term "lactose intolerance" to adult humans and shamed him for lacking a supply of dairy-free coffee whitener by bringing a supply from my motorcar. I did refrain from lecturing further on the inconsistency of this matter in the popular (?) physics sit-com Large KaBoom Kitsch, that any real physicist who lacked one of the cattle herder’s mutations would not use the "I" term except to communicate with mind stagnant bogs.

Then I motored over to the Kennesaw Mountain Battlefield National Park to photograph ordnance for my colleague, Total angular Momentum Magnetic Inductance. The mountain proper was closed for safety reason – a good high optical depth fog – so I was limited to photographing the few pieces at the museum/people center. In the midst of this I found myself drafted into a rather lengthy discussion/impromptu lecture for some college students on the basic physics of cannons. Thus was much of the morning consumed.

I returned to quarters for an ablution and then sallied out to find a stray foodstuff or two but was recalled by FD SCP to perform the sacred Southron ritual of tornado temple whereby people crowd in tight spaces and contemplate their end at the hands of a whacked atmospheric environment. While the contemplation of futile existence and unfulfilled possibilities may be sound, the crowding in with bogs is not and so I elected to stand outside under an awning, next the door to the shelter, and enjoy the elements while I awaited what Nature might deliver.

After a half-hour the holy alarums were sounded ending the service of stupidity enumeration and I could sally forth to damage luncheon. Afterwards I sat about and gave in to the temptation to contemplate the interior ballistic differential equation of motion of cannon projectiles, which is rather nasty. Thus was an afternoon diverted from report writing to physics.

Wet Spanning

In the wake of transfusion of ersatzblud, I ran across this article [Link] on "fecal transplants". The immediate thought I had on this is that it really makes sense, especially when the vermiform appendix fails in its function. The name however, is not slightly accurate. Yes, it is a transplant but not of stercus per se. For one thing, you technically can’t transplant stercus since there is no planting. Stercus does not grow, but is manufactured. I am not sure what the accurate term should be, grafting is also probably too static as well? Anyway, what is transplanted are microbes and the stercus is merely the packaging.

Sounds like a better idea than those clear plastic packages that require special tools to open lest you do yourself a serious injury.

Next, a research [Link] on telecommuting in Japan. The results look quite positive, and are the first actual data I have seen on the subject. Mostly all you get is organizational propaganda with no real substance behind it, giving you the feeling it is either the Yankee government wanting to not spend money on transportation instrumentality or corporations not wanting to spend money of office space (or harassment litigation?) The difficulties I have with this are that the sample is very small, even for the corporation using telecommuting, and whether there are social variations across regions or nations?

Next, I have to express my admiration for the citizens of Sarnac Lake [Link] who told MalWart to purchase sand and amuse itself, and built their own box store. I can only hope this is the start of a new way of doing things in the Yankee republic.

And lastly, researchers in Italy have data that indicates daily beer is as beneficial for health as daily wine. [Link] And since Italy is wine country, definitely not beer country, there is a sort of moral affirmation implicit. This may be better news than the fake blood thing, at least for physicists.

Third Watering

The title is more than metaphorical and allegorical this morning, it is also weatherical. Simply put, the weather beavers have strick back! 

Yesterday was one of the nastiest days I have survived in quite some months. First FD SCP and I got bitten – diverted – by the absence of signage coming out of Dawsonville. When we realized this we had to resort to the Garmin, which is a continual renewal process of hatred and loathing for talking computers. Once more we discovered that under no circumstance will a Garmin offer up a route congruent with what was compounded on Gooey the night before.

Since there were two of us, and we were a bit desperate, we were able to effect an ansatz. Whenever we wanted to change a waypoint, we would switch the Garmin off for a few minutes while we manifestly changed our location so the beast wouldn’t get into that hideous nag evinced by missing a turn because the distances were off or traffic was too nasty. Eventually, after the third intermission the box gave us the route we wanted and we arrived here in Kennesaw.

But speaking of traffic being nasty, it was. This is the AO of Atlanta after all, and the bogs are arrogant and frustrated. Overall the day was a dozen flinches and gasps from FD SCP and several bursts of ‘colorful language’ from mebefore we got here. 

This is a new model Garmin that I was forced to acquire because the Garmin web site sneered at my old Garmin as being pre-paleolithic and asked more for an update than a new box would cost. And then the web site declined to let me register the new box. Perhaps it is time to change manufacturers.

Things begin in earnest today. FD SCP has mission to perform and I have tasks to perform including making images of ordnance. Somehow that seems fitting for the weather.

And spell check still works fer stercus in Chrome.