Mind Munching

I have been cogitating on a variety of things, so I thought writing about some of them would help shake them loose.

First, I note that the Veteran’s Administration has a new Director, this time a military physician. The previous director, who was one of the POTUS’ favorite types of people, a conspicuously cruel and nasty capitalist, was sacked for hiding his waste, fraud, and abuse a bit too blatantly. The incumbent has already been poo-pooed by veterans as lacking the skills and knowledge to run the organization.

The problem here is that the VA is a “cat food” situation, in particular known as “push me, pull you” from Dolittle nomenclature. The “cat food” aspect is that the consumers are the veterans and the customers are the Congress Critters and the latter don’t really care a whit about the former. In fact, most Congress Critters want veterans to be either dead or wholly hale but never in between.

So the veterans are only going to be happy – maybe – if the director is a veteran (and not a serving military,) and the Congress Critters want a business type to reduce expenditures, appropriations already being woefully inadequate because, as noted, the Congress Critters just don’t care.

Second, I have been enjoying the blatant display of religious discrimination here in Greater Metropolitan Arab. If you aren’t a Christianist, then you aren’t, at least here in Arab. In fact, if you are an Arab, you aren’t wanted. Anyway, all of the city facilities and businesses – except the capitalist chains – will be closed all weekend in observation of the discorporation of a Jewish boy.

Of course, all the Jews in town are not only shunned, but they won;t be able to do anything the day after shabbat because everything will be closed up.

But that’s how the society here is and how government in Arab serves the citizenry.

Enough. I am nauseated enough by these behaviors I have to take a rest.

Gag-Giggle Reflex

Yesterday I took in some of the Association of the Yankee Army group grope in Nawth Alibam’s Shining City on the Hill. My stay was limited. Between the urge to regurgitate and another to roll on the floor laughing, I had to cease.

The grope was mostly about how the Yankee Army has become antiquated and outperformed by almost everyone except Chritiaphobe Terrorists using surplus 1960’s era Soviet Hardware.

The nausea and galgenhumor arose from recalling a decision by the people who held the same power positions as the hand wringers twenty years ago to rein in and spay the Army R&D centers so they could enrich the capitalists.

The latter incidentally have never had any innovation not forced on them by the Yankee Army and then only through the wit and creativity of the Amry R&D Centers.

Anyway, twenty years ago the Yankee Army adopted a development and procurement policy of Low Risk – Low Performance.

And now they’ve suddenly discovered the rest of the world has outpaced us.

The weeping will arrive shortly, I fear.

Big Bangs

I have been mulling this week out. It was foretold to have long rain and that absence has thrown me off. And I am changing cellular telephones and the frustration of that is numbing my will power, which needs to be numbed less I get the heavy rubber mallet.

Aside from a bandersnatch of a appropriations bill, much of the grrr brrr of the nation has been the marches about gun violence and the remembrance – mostly not in the Yankee republic because of its wholesale love affair with ignorance – of Stephen Hawking. My mulling has been led into the stream of thought of the commonality of those two things.

One of the things that has popped out so far is fatalism

Stephen Hawking was a great human. Since that is a subjective determination, comparisons are largely meaningless. Under modal circumstances we would thus expect lots of such comparisons in the Yankee Republic except, of course, for the ignorance of who and what Stephen Hawking was. 

But we can hypothesize that much of that greatness had its roots in his illness. That’s where the fatalism set in. He knew he was early doomed as surely as being zapped by a neutron bomb. And that illness reduced what his options for activities were. And in the midst of that fatalism he embraced his uncertainty and turned it to his advantage.

Obviously a lot smarter and more disciplined than SCP.

But it strikes that fatalism is at the root of the problem of gun violence. When I was a bairn growing up and in early adulthood, we had fatalism. We had to live with the idea that nuclear war was a half hour away (or there about.) But we used that to make our lives more dedicated to doing things and because of the economic politics of the time, we could indeed turn dedication into quality of life success. Even the folks who flunked out of college and got a government provided vacation in Vietnam, had that outlook. 

Not any more. Kids in high school these days know that high schule is the end of the good life. Thereafter they are on the hook for getting through college, not just grades like my generation, but the cost as well. Looking back, that was fortunate for us because we were all whack-oh in high schule. And we had college to make mistakes and grow up in. Without the specter of slavery or death as a result of a failure. 

No more. Kids in high school who are dealing with brain chemistry variations and emotional maelstroms also have to deal with fiscal burdens. They are like tools. Put them under an amount of stress they can withstand and they get stronger; put them under more stress and they break.

And its no wonder that the majority of this occurs in “Red” states, because their state governments are totally disengaged from treating such problems – not that “Blue: states do very well, but at least they try. 

The rest is left as an exercise. 

Food and Genes

Once more on the back end of week-out and suffering from an absence of motivation and will power to take on heavy tasks so hiding in the excuse of hawgin’ tabs.

First, a lovely article [Link] entitled “No human DNA found in Neanderthal genome .” For once the journalist actually got a useful title. I include this for several reasons. First of all, there has been a great deal of grrr brrr lately about the presence of neandertal and denisovian DNA in homo sapiens. Much of this grrrrr brrrrr arises in the redneck community. (It is amazing that redneck bogs can read and comprehend something like this, to say nothinbg of reading sources of such information. We may have to revise our estimation of such folk?)

Anyway, the quandary they find themselves in is that the only folk who have “pure” homo sapiens DNA are folks who only left africa in the last few kiloyears. So these rednecks find themselves confronted with either admitting they have “unhuman” DNA (because only homo sap is “human”!) or that they have some afroamerican heritage. Both of these are socially impossible, at least in redneck society. (Remember, these are the people who normally inbreed and such like.) So many arguments over whether they have “N” DNA or non-human DNA. 

Second, and more interesting, if less amusing, is the absence of homo sapiens DNA in neandertals. Does this indicate that sapiens DNA is contra-survival? This is an idea that makes sense given our current prediliction to do things that seem assured to result in sapiens’ extinction in a few years.

Next, an article [Link] entitled “Ranking the Places with the Most (and Least) Fast Food in America.” The article is basically a list 1-50 of the states of the Yankee Republic ordered by how many fast food “restaurants” they have:

We note from this that Alibam is once more the first among states in doing something bad. In this case, it seems safe to say that Alibam’s restaurant food is easily the worst (and least healthful) in the Yankee republic. 

Take that Alibam Council of Thieves Legislators. Also please note the enormous difference between Alibam’s score and number two’s score. When it comes to food, we are really REDNECK! In fact, we are so redneck that rednecks in other states think we are trash. 

If it wasn’t so friggin’ amusing, I would be ashamed. No wonder our politicians are so cancerous and evil, carrying around all this guilt and insecurity.

Selah. Gotta roll around on the floor for a while.

Saturnish Puck

Six Day and running the RSS accumulator to see what I may have missed this week in the Bogplace. The answer seems to be “not much.”

First, I ran across an article [Link] entitled “How Do You Make Beer in Space?” What was attractive about this was not the matter of beer in space, since I have no plans to journey there, but its claim:

“A cynic might say the reason Budweiser is trying to stake out territory on the fourth rock from the Sun is that its turf on the third is slowly shrinking. Last year, for the first time in decades, Bud was not among the top three best-selling beers in America. Sales have slumped for all industrial-scale brews, due in no small part to the rapid fermentation of craft beers.”

This is a mitzvah. I didn’t take up serious beering until I got to grad schule; as an undergrad I mostly made do with reagent grade ethanol “liberated” from a chemistry laboratory. As I recall that was 0.96 ethanol with the rest water azeotrope, so it had to be diluted not to do a Sherman on one’s mouth and esophagus. So beer was a welcome change. Except for the carbonation.

That’s why learning that the big, evil, capitalist brewering factories are failing is good news. They don’t so much make beer as soda pop with ethanol added. Beer for bogs. Maybe. If I can call it beer. Which makes my neck hurt to mumble about.

The other goodness was an article [Link] entitled “How Much Energy Can You Store in a Rubber Band?” It’s not a bad article. The theory is a bit annoying in its presentation, which tells me that the author probably has a lot of students sleeping in class. In fact, I fell asleep halfway through the first equation which probably indicates why I don’t abuse children in classrooms. 

Anyway, being in a snarky mood, I thought about how to do the experiment. Now, let me warn you: not only do they not let me lecture any more (except to graduate students and matriculates,) but I am a theorist and anyone can tell you that theorists are not very good at designing (or performing) experiments.

To perform this experiment you will need a kitchen scale, a long steel tape, a watch, and a rubber band powered balsa model airplane. When I was a bairn we could buy the latter all over but you may have to resort to Amazing these days?

  1. Assemble the airplane
  2. Weigh the airplane and note the weight
  3. Without winding the rubber band, launch the airplane with a flick of the wrist.
  4. Note how long it takes to land and how far it went.
  5. Retrieve the airplane
  6. Wind the rubber band, hold the propeller, and launch it again, releasing the propeller just as you flick your wrist.
  7. Note how long it takes to land and how far it went.
  8. Subtract the first time from the second time, and the first distance from the second distance
  9. Multiply the weight of the airplane by the distance traveled difference squared divided by the time difference squared, the acceleration of gravity, and a factor of two.

That’s the energy in the rubber band. Approximately.

The geeks and nerds will have noted that I neglected to talk about units. That’s left as an exercise.



Before the Alimentary Canal

Been a parsing week. Too many thing to do and hence too much multitasking – and cognition has suffered as a result. So as week out approaches perhaps I can breathe deeply and mentate.

Some time ago I ran across an article [Link] about how many grocery stores people habitually shop at. 

“Of 1,321 households studied, only 12 stayed loyal to just one store. More than half, at 51.1 percent, went to an average of five to seven different stores. Eighty-eight households, or six of every 100, went to 10 or more.”

I find myself close to modal. The amodality, or even adistributionality, is that I motor to Nawth Alibam’s Shining City on the Hill to do most of my provisioning. Only emergency and forgotten foodstuffs are bought here in Greater Metropolitan Arab. That’s because the choices here are between MalWart and two very back-of-beyond rural chain grocery stores. One of these actually has carpenter-built shelving, at least in part. Both have excellent produce, almost as good as the “organic” stores in Huntsville. 

MalWart, of course, has a huge but largely irrelevant selection, crippled by its lack of product consistency and its studied apathy to the needs of those who care about their health. Finding No-Salt-Added foodstuffs at WalMart is a depression experience. This is why I am proud to say I haven’t set foot in the MalWart in over a month.

But I primarily buy in Huntsville at a mixture of “organic” and “senior oriented” stores. And the number there is five, three and two, respectively, of the genres. I use parenthesis because the “organic” stores are rather laughable in their jargon and pretension. They basically sell dull, unengaging foods (with a taste that makes unsalted grits seem a thrill ride on the tongue.) They seem to delight in selling both packaged and store-made foodstuffs that are void of an positive taste although excellent texture. And their prices are close to double of the “senior oriented” stores, which are also less than the Arab stores who claim they have to charge more because they are smaller and have fewer customers, which they do not, in either instance.

In fact, the term “organic” is a continual amusement. Having studied chemistry, I am steeped in the idea that “organic” means molecules largely composed of covalent carbon. To them, “organic” seems to mean something anti-scientific and decidedly social justice mumbo-jumbo.

I accept the stupidity because they have excellent produce, superb coffee – at least 20dB better than the big brand floor dirt sold as coffee by everyone else – and hideously hilarious in their arrogant ceremonial self-satisfaction. Rather like hippies who have a permanent LSD trip and are making mysticism out of stercus

They also have rather exceptional produce, at least 10dB above MalWart’s. 

The “senior-oriented” stores are much less demanding of lucre and actually have some “senior-oriented” foodstuffs. Some NSA foods can be obtained there, but not enough to eschew mail-ordering from specialty groceries. They are truly “senior-oriented” in terms of selling that trope to seniors. When I go the only people lacking gray or white hair are some of the employees, who seem to take delight in daring the seniors to play bumper carts with them. Somehow, the layout of the store seems to be anything but senior-friendly from a standpoint of efficient provisioning.

The moral that seems to be emerging here is that the grocery business has become so fragmented that real humans can’t get what they need at a small number of stores.  That’s a degree and not a quality. When I was a bairn my maternal parent shopped at two grocery stores – one for meat and the other for packaged foods – and the city farmer’s market for produce. 

Amerika: where sophistication is measured by the number of grocery stores you frequent. 

Ve Haff Vays

Back when I was an undergraduate, there were two television programs that my “band” (of nerds, admittedly, but therefore a bit small for even a lower case band,) made great sacrifice to watch each week. Because there was only one television in the men’s dorm complex, we had to walk (all but two of us) a half-mile off campus to the apartment of two of our number and watch there.

The programs? Star Trek (The Nimoy vector) and Laugh In. The transport of this blot takes its tenor from the Arte Johnson Nazi Soldier character of the latter. 

If seems [Link] that MegaHard is once more at its old tricks of forcing its Winders serfs to use particularly deficient pieces of software. It started out as Internet Explorer, interred without gravestone by Mozilla and FireFox, now itself largely abandoned for, in the first case, MegaHard like stupidity and in the second, utter ruination. Now Megahard is repeating this Fascist suppression by forcing its WX users (sic) to use their Edge browser to open links in its mail client.

And ThunderBird has been equally ruined by Mozilla’s death wish.

Happily, there are lots of other Winders email clients. All, or, at least most, vastly superior to anything MegaHard can make. 

Rather makes one wonder why anyone trusts them and their OS? But then 0.9 of everyone is a Bog and Bogs lack the mental ability to even consider this matter.

Hence, much laughter in the remaining 0.1 of humanity. 

Why, then, should we worry? The answer is altruism and revulsion of child abuse. Although, strictly speaking, the people involved don’t even have child-level rationality. 

But yanking wings off flies is still revolting and nasty. 

So if you want to decrease social psychopathy, reject Winders. Down the MegaHard Reich!