Yep…that’s what we got today so let’s get right to it after an update on generalized life in North Fort Myers.
Other than the aforementioned 3 bits o’ news…not much going on round here. We are staying home mostly but at least the election crisis is starting to recede as the various states certify their Electoral College totals and it looks like the demands by the far progressive left are pretty much getting ignored as Mr. Biden sets up his administration.
OK…Very Good News.
We sold our New Horizons Majestic today to a couple that lives 20 miles or so north in Punta Gorda. It’s been on the market since February and we didn’t get as much as we hoped we would but it went to a good home…Gary and Ruthie seem like nice folk and they’re going to live in it down in the Keys until they get old enough to retire. Here’s a shot of it as it went by the pool at Seminole Campground after we did the paperwork and Gary headed home with it.
We believe they’ll be happy with their new home…and we’re happy that it’s moved on to the next chapter in it’s life.
Not So Good News…and the Medium Good News is mixed in with this.
Both Connie and Neil have had the Covid…the too long didn’t read version is they’re both better.
The longer version…
Back on Nov 4 we attended the Elks Lodge meeting, this particular one included an initiation but the problem turned out to be that it was also the District Deputy visit. This means that you have a lot more (4-5 times) people than a normal meeting and none of those extra folk are any of the regulars at our lodge. Turns out that both Connie and Neil had some misgivings about attending since we knew it would be a big crowd, it’s a small room, and there’s not much ventilation…but neither of them said anything to the other about it or else we would not have attended. They kept their masks on most of the meeting but 5 days later on Monday the 9th Neil came down with some sniffles that he thought were just allergies. By Thursday he had a fever and was feeling pretty lousy so went off to the doctor Friday AM. The doctor said he likely didn’t have Covid but a sinus infection since lungs sounded great but did a test anyway. His test was positive so he was in Covid jail at home until 10 days past symptoms and 24 hours with no fever per the CDC guidelines. Then on Sunday the 15th Connie came down with symptoms so she was either infected by Neil when he became infections on the 8th or 9th or by one of the also infected ladies she saw at the Ladies of Elks meeting on the 10th.
Both of them had pretty mild symptoms…lots of post nasal drip, low grade fever (mostly Connie, Neil didn’t have any after a couple of days but hers lasted almost the whole 10 day average) some GI issues (you don’t wanna know the details on those) and fatigue. What got us the most was how tired we were. We would literally get up and make a couple of sandwiches for lunch and then need to go rest for awhile and for over a week they were in bed by about 2100 or so every night and straight to sleep.
Neil got out of Covid jail late last week and Connie on Monday…so both of them turned out to be in the 98%-99% of patients that survive. I’m not meaning to minimize the deaths or the effect those had on their families…but the reality is that the vast majority of patients that are infected either have mild or no symptoms, don’t go to the hospital, and survive the disease. Based on the TV shows we’ve been watching the past month or so one might think that almost all patients died but I guess Hollywood does what they need to do for drama despite the actual fact of a pretty high survival rate. Again…not minimizing it but just recognizing the facts.
As of today…they’re pretty much recovered. The Covid infection part is over but some of the symptoms last a few weeks afterwards…in particular the fatigue but even that is starting to recede a little for us. The good news is that having been infected and recovered they’re immune through at least February or so. They’ll likely still get the vaccine when it becomes available but in the short to medium term they can’t get it again. Nonetheless…they’re still wearing their masks when going out and about.
That’s ’bout it for news so let’s see what else.
We did get some more wildlife this week…none of it is new except for the Ibis which we haven’t seen in our pond before. They’re likely not the same individuals of each species we’ve seen before but to a large extent each of the species is pretty standard looking so telling individuals apart is not possible.
Great Blue Heron
Snowy Egret…we don’t recall when we’ve ever seen 3 individuals of this species this close together, but as some of the later photos show breeding plumage on the pair on the left they may be mated for the season and just looking for breakfast. We originally thought the one on the right was a Great Egret as the neck appeared longer but they’re all Snowy Egrets. Male and females look pretty much the same but the breeding plumage visible on the pair to the left indicates they might be mates.
One of the mated pair flying off…the solo one had left earlier.
Things that might interest only me.
Take Pi for instance. We all know of it by the symbol 𝛑 but just what exactly is it? Pi is an irrational number which means that it’s decimal place continue without end and without repeating…the digits to the right of the decimal point never end. It’s useful for calculating the circumference of a circle when it is multiplied by the diameter and also has usage with circle area, sphere area and volume, and a bunch of other stuff. Most of us remember that is is about equal to 3.14159 or maybe even 3.141596728459045 if you’re really a math geek…but how many digits are really necessary and how do you calculate them.
There are a bunch of ways to calculate the value…but the most common one is known as the Chudnovsky formula which was developed by a couple of Russian brother mathematicians. Here’s the formula…and no, I have no idea how they figgered it out but it’s based on a formula from an Indian mathematician named Ramanujan.
Since this is a summation formula…it’s readily calculable by computers and as recently as this past January somebody actually paid for the computer time to calculate the value of 𝛑 to 50 trillion decimal places.
Me…I can’t figure out why anybody would bother to spend that kind of supercomputer money other than to get into the Guinness Book of Records…but then somebody else will calculate it to 100 trillion places and bump them out…so whatever. What is really more important is how many decimal places do we really need.
Strangely enough…NASA has actually figured this out and they use only 15 decimal places for all of the calculations they use to aim spacecraft as they zoom ‘round the solar system and beyond. Here’s why 15 decimal places are enough.
Let’s take the Voyager 1 spacecraft which as of 2020 is about 12.5 billion miles or about 20 billion kilometers from the sun…the orbit of the formerly known as a planet Pluto varies between about 4.4 and 7.4 billion kilometers from the sun so Voyager 1 is outside the solar system and is about twice as far as Pluto. According to
this article by the chief engineer for NASA’s Dawn Mission if we calculate the circumference of a circle centered on the sun at the distance of Voyager I then the circumference is about 125 billion kilometers. You can do the math to get the exact number if you like…but the important thing is how much error is introduced by using 15 decimal points of 𝛑 in the equation instead of the more precise metric buttload of decimal places (like 50 trillion or whatever).
Turns out that the error introduced in the value of the circumference…which again is about 125 billion kilometers…is about 1.5 inches or the length of your little finger.
Brought down to a more reasonable and relatable number like the circumference of the earth…using 15 digits results in an error of about the size of a molecule…or 10.000 times smaller than the diameter of a hair.
Taken out to the size of the known universe and figuring out the circumference of a circle that size…and if you wanted to have the number accurate to the size of a hydrogen atom…you only need about 39 decimal places even at that large distance.
So again…why 50 trillion…other than because they can?
So…any more than 15 digits is wasted…so why again would anybody spend the money to calculate it out to 50 trillion places other than…because? Got me.
Another that might only interest me.
Just how far away is space? By most definitions…the Kármán Line which is 100 kilometers above the surface is defined as the edge of space and the space station orbits at about 400 kilometers (250 miles) in height…and we typically think of that as really high. However…the earth is about 8,000 kilometers in diameter so just how high are the Kármán Line and the orbit of the space station. The image below which shows the southern part of North America occupied by Mexico shows you. The coin stack on the left represents the Kármán line and the one on the right the 250 mile height of the space station. Not that far up really.
this experiment which is best known as Elephant’s Toothpaste…and the only way to appreciate it is to go watch the video…go ahead, I’ll wait. Essentially…this is the decomposition of Hydrogen Peroxide into water and Oxygen using potassium iodide as a catalyst to speed things up.
Ok…on to interesting stuff found on the net.
This one is true…Kamala Harris failed the bar the first time and Amy Coney Barrett was first in her law school class at Notre Dame. USA Today fact checked this and agreed it was true but then diminished it by saying how hard the CA bar exam is and how class rank has nothing to do with legal competence…news flash…yes, it does.
The evolution of the wolf
Only math or science nerds will get this one
Ever seen Swamp People and how they talk about monster leviathans that are 10 or 12 feet long. This is the skull of a caiman (essentially a crocodile or alligator) from the Miocene period…now that’s a leviathan.
Saving the environment.
Speaking of Covid deaths…most people have forgotten about this.