Laser Pumpkin

Once more an attempt to write a blot. I am still looking for a text editor that does auto-save and embeds links – and is not nauseating to use – but no success yet. If you want to suggest any – Linux ONLY please – I will entertain investigation. 

Low temperatures have set in. We are below the liquid -> solid phase transition temperature for dihydrogen oxide as I key this. And I can feel a heat sink about my ankles as the window casing behind my computer desk sucks calories from my aged and frail corpus. Ah well, so much for woe is me! The real woe is that SCPdatter is demanding her mother’s attendance to allay her insecurity (?) of a social activity and I am ill at ease in her (FD SCP’s) protracted absence. It is situations like this that inform me of why men live shorter lives than women.

So far the Arab Electron Uncooperative has not failed us yet but the morning is only slightly commenced. Certainly Redshift (the program) is still convinced it is dark – which it is, at least outside – and has the illumination level of my monitor set down. And my work area lamp has developed a bit of a blink of one of its LEDs so I am working a bit on a winter headache in continuation of a night of uncomfortable slumber and humidification attempts. 

It being ice cream day – in perhaps several azimuths? – I shall use the occasion to clear a few tabs. First, I ran across an article [Link] entitled “Scientists use a laser to cool liquid things down for first time ever”. This describes some rather disappointing work done at U Washington. The boffins involved didn’t actually finagle a freeze ray, what they did was to put a crystal in water and illuminate it with slightly less energy than it fluoresced at and entropy did the rest. Namely the cooling. Pray note that while cool is subjective and not thermodynamic, cooling is. Thermodynamic, at least. But it is subjective unless measurements of a meaningful nature are made.

Still it is a neat thermodynamic, if not exactly quantum mechanic, trick. If they can just do this with those “cooling rocks” it may have a use in reducing the temperature of whisky. 

Next, some work from U Warwick [Link] that indicates that humans did something beneficial while they were killing off the mastodons and mammoths. Or is that theory out of favor right now? I can’t quite keep up. The whole thing rather reminds me of Pluto. Is is or isn’t it a planet? Does it wander? Yes. Is it big enough? No. What is the basis for the distinction? Arbitrary, at least to large part.

So about all we can garner is that humans get emotional about fuzzy things. I never cease to be comforted when I visit a zoo at the disillusionment of small children who have never seen – nor smelled! – a real elephant before. Not a cuddly plush stuffed toy. Not clean and neat. But characterized by the same (approximately) time to void bladder as the child. Thanks to work from pretzels at Jawjah Tech. (If the residents of Jawjah are “crackers” then their boffins must be “pretzels”?) 

Anyway, it seems we humans preserved gords and pumpkins and such after the demise of the tusked ones by domestication. (Rather reminds of another Jawjan, William Calley. “We had to destroy that village to save it from the Cong.” or We had to enslave that pumpkin to save it.} Seems that only the big herbivores like Mastodons enjoyed pumpkin and squash and the like. And the herbivores remaining after the demise didn’t like the taste. So the pumpkins didn’t get eaten and digested and their seeds spread via feces. No eat, no junior in the poo. 

I do not like pumpkin. It’s taste is unenjoyable for me. Back when I was a bairn it was still fashionable for pumpkin pies to be built for thanksgiving consumption. Happily, mince meat pies were also produced and I could ameliorate the indignation of not eating pumpkin pie by eating mince meat pie. Which I miss today. In fact that is the theme, or, at least, a theme, of my life. I find something I like and it goes away. 

Needless to say, I find all of the current nonsense about pumpkin spice to be just that. Annoying nonsense. The only good part is that it gives me another reason to avoid Starbucks. Their coffee is already terrible and ill tasting so I am not exposed to the addition of the taste of gourd that should have disappeared during the Lesser Dryas. 

But I do miss mince meat pie. And I do greatly dislike winter. It is subjectively unpleasant to the point of painful discomfort. 

But blasting a pumpkin with a laser until it explodes? Quite enjoyable except for the aroma. Much more satisfying than immersing the pumpkin in liquid phase nitrogen and dropping if off the roof. 

When is the punkin chunkin contest?