Sweet Tartarus

Now is the fall of our dissatisfaction. The primary dissatisfaction is “where did fall go?” Definitely beyond brisk this morning. Mostly because of being summer adapted, of course, but still not what is wanted for now. The weather beavers foretell some improvement but this has been a foretaste of the nasty that is winter in Alibam. Especially now with climate change.

Which leads to the matter of politicians and denialism. The two are synonyms these days. Here in Alibam, with a heavy campaign going on, the matter is an unmentionable. So the denialism is deep and cancerous. Which impacts the race for guvnuh between a dermatologist incumbent and an ambiguous oncologist. Given what all is wrong with the state of the state, I favor the latter more with the idea of jamming up the wheel spokes than actually accomplishing anything.

Along which azimuth, I read once that “Hell is people.” I forget the source and am rather too chilled this morning to go look, but I do know that politicians are Hell. And that for an introvert and the pictures of heaven proselyted by the religionist organizations, heaven is hell. So its all about people. And all people are a mixture of good and bad. But more the latter in politicians. Of which the not least bad is claiming their bad is good. 

Which reminds me of an article [Link] about how the development of the cerebellum in primates led to humans. The title was a bit trashy, talking about monkeys becoming human but what does one expect from journalists/ Another group whose good is actually bad. But maybe not as much so as politicians? And how can we measure that to decide?

I have to admit that the older I get the less difference I see between monkeys and humans. Both are very adept at slinging poo. Just in different forms. And monkeys are not as handicapped as humans because their tails are longer. And yes, Virginia, humans do have tails. And mine is broken and hurts this type of weather. 

On which note, I noted an article this morning [Link] that saccharin causes diabetes. Or perhaps more correctly, increases markedly the probability of developing adult diabetes. So it seems that sweetness is damned. If you use sugar you get fat and diabetic and if you use artificial sweeteners you get diabetes or cancer or brain seizures or some such. But since we’re gonna discorporate anyway I suspect the right answer is to use whatever you prefer. But don’t proselyte or evangelize. The relgionists do enough of that and if we can believe their prevarications (?) things will get worse after. Regardless. 

Selah. If you don’t go to pseudo-shabbes services today, it’s understandable. On several azimuths.

Cartoon Failure

Definitely reduced heat in atmosphere. The local Arab weather station, part of NWS amateur network, sez 46.5 degF. Big difference. I bundled up to go to park. Even gloves, as ridiculous as that may seem, but this is a Southron boy (all right that’s absurdist) and handled the constitutional without – quite – crossing the boundary into shivering.

And the weather beavers foretell even less heat tomorrow morning. 

Nice fall. I fear I missed it, but it must have been nice to not have been noticeable. Or else so short it wasn’t measurable?

On which note, I came across a cartoon; [Link]

that rather upset me with the first line.

They say that water cannot be created nor destroyed.”

Which has a pony to poo ratio of ZERO! Absolutely STERCUS! Sturgeon’s rule raised to a high, perhaps infinite, power.

If I could have commented on the website I probably would have but then I would have probably been deleted for nastiness. What cartoonist wants to be told he fails at suspension of disbelief? Utter failure. 

Let’s start with the chemistry:

2 H2 + O2 <-> 2 H2O

Note the two headed arrow. That means I can combine oxygen and hydrogen and make water. It can be created. It is, every time we ‘burn’ hydrogen. As in a hydrogen fueled vehicle.

And if we put it in a sealed container and heat the container up to 2 kilodegC, then it comes apart. 

Now we don’t get temperatures of 2 kilodegC on Tellus and we don’t have many naturally occurring sealed containers so dissociated water is rare on Tellus, except…

In a solution of itself. Water is weakly ionic. So it dissociates in solution. 

So the premise is whacked.

It’s still a quite good cartoon series, just that this one is unbelievable. And shakes our confidence in the cartoonist. 

Physical Failure

A bonnie day. Dihydrogen oxide falleth. Goodly. When I arose this morning the fall was moderate and tapered as I performed ablutions and robed myself – in old clothes – so that while I wore a repellant jacket and hat when I departed Castellum SCP I needed them not except for heat retention.

By lap 3 the fall had resurged and I needed the buffering garments. And upon my return I divested down to nether garments and even now sit with left foot unshod while the toe of the sock demoistens. Obviously the old walking shoes I wore have a leak.

As a bit of a variation I listen to an episode of “Linux Luddites” that I had started on Thor’s day. I( found it gave me quite a different pace although since I was also being wetted the experiment is not conclusive. But my frame of mind was decidedly different. Much more amused. And hence to review a few articles on my return.

The first [Link] dealt with the demands of the Olympics Administration to the host country:

They demand to meet the king prior to the opening ceremony. Afterwards, there shall be a cocktail reception. Drinks shall be paid for by the Royal Palace or the local organizing committee.

Separate lanes should be created on all roads where IOC members will travel, which are not to be used by regular people or public transportation.

A welcome greeting from the local Olympic boss and the hotel manager should be presented in IOC members’ rooms, along with fruit and cakes of the season. (Seasonal fruit in Oslo in February is a challenge …)

The hotel bar at their hotel should extend its hours “extra late” and the minibars must stock Coke products.

The IOC president shall be welcomed ceremoniously on the runway when he arrives.

The IOC members should have separate entrances and exits to and from the airport.

During the opening and closing ceremonies a fully stocked bar shall be available. During competition days, wine and beer will do at the stadium lounge.

IOC members shall be greeted with a smile when arriving at their hotel.

Meeting rooms shall be kept at exactly 20 degrees Celsius at all times.

The hot food offered in the lounges at venues should be replaced at regular intervals, as IOC members might “risk” having to eat several meals at the same lounge during the Olympics.

Talk about arrogance. This even transcends that of members of the Yankee government council of thieves congress and their staffers. I don’t mind that they want to meet the tyrant. But it will be a real waste of time since no one will learn anything from the experience. 

I have to admit to not being a fan of the Olympics. I have no objection to them being held but I don’t want my tax money spent in them nor do I want my usual audio-visual viewing to be abolished by their perverse voyeuristic events. Participating is questionably healthy; watching is definitely evil. 

I rather like the original approach. Have a dedicated site for the olympics. Someplace that can be used summer and winter. Let it support itself by honorable means other than blackmailing others. Let those who want to compete go, on their dime, not mine. And don’t make me avoid information in general to avoid seeing and hearing their competition. It’s criminal and immoral to force people to be perverts. 

And do what you want with the governing aristocrats. They should be gainfully employed. Perhaps as ticket takers or custodians of latrines? 

The second article [Link] is about the (American) football instrumentality of the campus of the Black Warrior paying other teams to play with them. Why? The article never makes that clear. Is that the only way they can get opponents? And if so, why do they continue to exist? Bread and Circuses? Probably.

Given the number of people who want to be on that team, and who really can’t cut it as students, it would seem somewhat cheaper if the campus just had two teams and let them play each other every game during the season. That way every game could be a home game, more seats would be available to sell to the non-alumni fanatics, and the cost of operation would be reduced. And if things sagged a bit, they could always alter the rules to permit gladiatorial combats during the mid game recess. Preferably between the coaches so that some monies could be saved on their exorbitant salaries.

I keep coming back to the question: what does athletics benefit anyway? I know that exercise has it benefits, but this voyeurism and intense competition? That isn’t healthy. How can we pretend to be modern and civilized if we still perpetrate such troglodytic activities? At least we shoudl make them pay their way and benefit the rest of us rather than us paying for the perversions and immoralities of a few. And I don’t mean the athletes. 

Mouth Leather

Yesterday, one of my news subscriptions brought me this article [Link] entitled “FBI Director Comey Gives Apple and Google a Tongue-Lashing”. And I rolled out of my chair onto the floor laughing. Which I regret this morning because I am sore in places I would prefer not to be sore. 

I keep telling me that this fellow is a political appointee and political appointees and politicians are techno-schmucks. But this fellow now qualifies for being a real schmuck, if not a ferd, just by his so-called ‘tongue lashing’.

Let’s start in that order since it will be a bit clearer. The techno bit comes about because both OS phones have had encryption add-ins (apps) for some time. These are not built into the OS but since both OS are *NIX OS, adding on is rather simple and inherent. So the only distinction we can raise here is that the OS masters have added a capability that already existed as an add-on. This practice has a long history. It goes back to CPM and DOS and probably before that.

So bitching about ‘smartphone’ encryption is techno-stupid. But more important, since the capability has been around for some time, the esteem political appointee grand exalted kudzu of the FBI has demonstrated that he is a social stupid by chewing on folks for what has been established as acceptable. 

Privacy issue or no the sure result of this is that the nation’s, or at least the IT community’s, trust in the FBI has been serious eroded by this brazen display of incompetence. 

Chalk up another success for the antediluvian district!

Impasse and Insecurity

Not bad so far. Back to week in. Didn’t want to arise this morning. But my bladder did and so hence to empty it and thence to gum. The fall of dihydrogen oxide has been less than predicted by the weather beavers which is not the best of news. It will be enjoyed by the bogs but since we are under our mean the water balance will be strained.

The podcast this morning was an episode of the CBC’s “Best of Ideas” dealing with Nietsche. Lots of noise, not much signal. But diverting more than usual. Which is about as much as one may hope for in a podcast.

On which azimuth I noted a couple of articles yesterday in the RSS accumulator tap yesterday. The first, [Link] dealt with whether we, as a society, are producing too many or too few STEM graduates. The basis of the question seemed to be a disconnect between the graduating STEMs and the needs (demands?) of corporations. Much was made about this. Nothing was made of its mirror image.

Point being, I am not surprised at this. From what I have seen of GEN Y and corporations in recent years, the disconnect is mutual and probably mostly the fault of the corporations. Pensions have disappeared, if not actually stolen. By corporations. Trust in corporations is low, almost nil. Corporations want puzzle piece employees. They have no interest in diversity unless it makes them money.

The graduates are, in my observation, equally discriminating. They do not want to work at a job that is neither fun nor conducive to their life style. Sacrifice is not going to be forthcoming. Loyalty must be earned continuously.

In a way, this is an analog of the situation in the Yankee congress between demodenialists and repubdenialists. There seems to be no interest in compromise, in finding middle ground for the sake of accomplishment.

The second, [Link] is about a PEW poll that indicates that the public is losing interest in organized religion. This would be welcome if it indicated an increase in rationality but my observation of bogs leads me to doubt that. But what is noteworthy is that the religionists want a greater say in politics. As if Amerikan politics weren’t already overcomplicated to the point of impasse.

This smacks rather desperately of insecurity. The religionists, despite the constitution, have had great implicit influence in politics previously. Now, with their social importance waning, it would seem they are unwilling to accept their minority status and must set themselves up in a master role. (See! I did listen to the podcast!) Which is a very unchristianist thing to do.

Electro-phonon Debacle

Yesterday was a young disaster. Got up, went to gym. Good, relatively speaking. Low density of educationalists and weight bouncers. Not much harassment. Podcast, two episodes of the “UK Ubuntu podcast”, was passable. Not much useful information but adequately diverting. Got in motorcar, drove towards Castellum SCP and as soon as I got to the city (?) limits, the dark engulfed. 

Total power outage. No house lights. No street lights. Perhaps no traffic lights although I didn’t get that far. It was so dark that I missed my turn off and had to overshoot and return. Since no electron potential difference, no point in awakening FD SCP. So I sat for a half hour. FD SCP woke up – it’s a sinus season – and after another ten minutes the potential difference was restored.

Sidebar: it just seems as if Alibam is one continuous sinus nightmare. It isn’t. There are actually several distinct sinus seasons,most months long and separated by a few days to a week of not-sinus season. Some are lucky; they are only susceptible to one or a few nose nasties. Our spectrum of pollen is enormous, spanning most of the spectrum of the nose. Even the dead of winter has its nastiness. 

Anyway, while FD SCP was doing her ablutions I did the tooth abrasion thing and then busied myself resetting the clocks in the castellum. Did my own cleansing ritual, attired myself, distributed seed to the tree mammals and dinosaur descendants and then assayed the orge. 

Rebooted both my deskboxes successfully and then discovered there was NO internet. The ass hats at Oneonta Telephone Company had economized again and fired more IT staff. This in a company that is bleeding land line users at thrice the speed of ISP users and still they maintain land line service is their core competency. Happily FD SCP motored off to her employment and I was free to say foul things in languages other than that uttered in Alibam.

Departed on errands and when I returned an hour later.- well after the 0800 opening for the corporate tardigrade that is Oneonta Telephone Company – the internet was back and I could get my network reconnected. But by that time I was mentally and emotionally drained and hence no blot.

Not that this travesty is much of a story. Other than a micro-paradigm of corporate greed, stupidity, and denial. Which seems to fit quite well in Alibam. 

One of my colleagues, Magnetic Inductance Force, asked – rhetorically? – on Face Scroll the other day when politician and denialist became synonyms. I thought that most apt. So I am considering renaming the two brands of Amerika’s oligarchs as Demodenialists and Repodenialists. Neither likes science. Both have their own way of ignoring reality to service their masters. None (?) have integrtity? Or if they do, we can’t tell it from the facade of the others. 

I keep getting propaganda from both sides urging me to assure that I exercise my franchise in November. The dilemma is that the only choices are those of the two parties and neither candidate is acceptable nor worthy. It’s a true Hellerian Catch-22. Everyone gets to vote but it does no good because no change nor benefit can be obtained. 

The only good thing I can say about it is that at least it is smarter than the Soviets with their one party/candidate elections.

Life Physics

Another morning of inadequate wind speed. Comfortable so long as one moves but not stationary. Of course a constitutional in the park is ab initio and de facto kinetic. Rather enjoyable podcast this week out. The guest was not only knowledgeable and engaging but also not the usual pen/pencil/paper for the sage of pen/pencil/paper geek. Although the grammar was egregiously bad and hurt the mind sharply. Smartly, even, if I may assay a bit of a pun.

My colleague, Magnetic Inductance Force, sends me cartoons of what he – rightly, almost always, > 0.9 – perceives as mutual interest. Which usually mean physics and a few other nerdish practices. The first [Link]

is rather hurtful. Not, of course, for the tag line. We physicists admit we are rather immature. In fact, we brag of it in the gravest of insecurity since physics is really only done by the immature and to call a physicist mature is really a horrible insult.

No, what is hurtful is the “rubbing it in”. Prizes are largely irrelevant, negative even. They do no good for the recipient and they are embarrassing no end. How does one act? Falsely humble? We know what our strengths and weaknesses are and usually, what we have accomplished. And we don’t need some outsider to affirm that to everyone else. What do I care what you think? Thank you, RF!

But the Nobel is moderately acceptable. It lets you make a boring speech on physics to a bunch of bogs who have to sit through it nicely. So it is like a Scots’ confection. Very sweet. 

I noticed that the Scots have declined “independence”. Wonderful. Very satisfying. It is nice to know that among nations they are still one of the most rational, perhaps the most. This was an enormous display of rationality – not having to pick up all that boggish nonsense of getting along with others, and furriners at that, something better left to the English who are rather too stuffy to realize how unpleasant it really is – and charity, rescuing Great Britain from its own stupidity and incompetence. Absent the Scots the rest of the house of cards would soon collapse into children fighting in a sand pile over a plastic pail. Or the Bog equivalent thereof. 

And they, alone of all nations, know how to spell whisky. And make it. 

The other cartoon [Link]

is a bit more fun. It reminds me of a delightful seminar presentation I heard at an interdisciplinary conference on philosophy and the sciences. The seminar dealt with the idea of the vacuum. No, not a suck broom. Nothingness. This is a topic at the basis of science. We forget often that Boyle labored mightily on this matter at about the same time Newton was inventing fluxions and gravity and poking his eyeball. 

Of course that’s not what the cartoon is about. It’s about bogs and lectures and how their minds work. Or is it all children. The problem with schule, especially the oppressive public schules, is that what they present is what someone else has decided is important and MUST be impressed into the minds of the youth. And thereby it is in some degree rot and cancer and garbage.

For me, my years in schule were torture and pain until I got to college. Then I got to college and could, increasingly, ignore the unpleasant and useless and concentrate on what was pleasant and useful. I am told that is not the way any more, that even college is unpleasant and useless, and not just because it admits everyone. So one more reason to be glad to be old.