Bottoming Out

We come to the dragging derrière of the week, sundae. The night was full of storms and the portent of whirlwinds but somehow castellum SCP survived once more. The new portent is of a wasteland of a day stretching before me replete with lack of will and absence of distraction. What no one bothered to tell me about becoming a senior was that your concentration went too.

So once more I turn to cleaning up the tabs that have sunk to the bottom of the queue unremarked and see one last time if they are remarkable. The task seems easier on sundae, as if the absence of intensity permits some communing that is desperate and grasping.

The first thing I note is more evidence of the earlier settling of the Americas. [Link][Link] A settlement of pre-Clovis humans has been found near Austin in the former Republic of Texas by researchers from Texas A&M U.. Or I should say, the remains of a settlement. This site dates back 15 KYA which puts it about 2KY prior to Clovis. As scientists do, there will be many discussions and arguments among archaeologists for years to come over whether the site is pre-Clovis or early Clovis.

The first question is why are there archaeologists at an ‘ag and mech’ (agriculture and mechanics) shul? Is archaeology a new trade? (“Yeah, dude, I got a minor in HIVAC and a major in southwestern archaeology!“) The second question has to do with how this fits into the data about when homo sapiens actually colonized the Americas and how did they get here? The sea rote is looking increasingly more attractive as the entry date moves back putting more years before the opening of the gap between the Cordillerian and Laurentide ice sheets about 12 KYA. Of course that dating of the gap may be off too, since there wasn’t anyone to observe and document it there.

I am not knowledgeable of knapwork (projectile points, choppers, hand axes, ……) but these really do look less developed than a lot of Clovis knapwork I have seen.

Next, the Russians who got the Nobel for graphene can sober up. Seems that the silicon analog has been discovered and offers yet more potential for purposeless consumer electronics. [Link] The strongest comment that bubbles up first is ‘ain’t surprised’. Unlike the way science journalism implies these days, most physics and chemistry nerds do actually study the periodic table and learn of its quantum mechanics. This is not the expectoration from the vacuum of creativity that public affairs bogs portray. We all, the nerds at least who paid attention starting in high shul to the chemistry lectures know the silicon lies immediately under carbon in the periodic table and hence has similar outer shell electronic (read chemical, read quantum mechanical) behavior. If anything we would expect the two-dimensionality to be more pronounced in silicene since the pair of l = 1 (angular momentum quantum number = 1, which indicates a “p” for principal spatial distribution of charge probability) is less tightly bound due to the inner shell shielding.

But I have to admit I ain’t taken with the name. After all, Silicene alludes over into ‘Silly Scene’ all too easily and offers all those jocks taking remedial freshman chemistry a butt to whack.

Finally, another piece of indication that the human sense of smell is quantum mechanical in operation. [Link] The noteworthy thing about this article was the poor literature review; the vibrational mode theory of smell was around back when I was a graduate student, which was a LONG time before 1996. But then, we expect that sort of behavior from the folks at the shuls on the Charles. They have a long history of declaring themselves first and ignoring all those who came before. Its how you get big bucks from rich bogs.

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