Not much new going on ‘round here so just a random assortment of stuff from the web, corona, old people, and what have you. No new wildlife to report.
Connie and Neil are both slowly improving from the Covid…the get-tired-really-easy thing is still going on and the GI-tract-just-ain’t-right thing is also still going on…but overall we continue to improve and are really glad to be out of Covid jail as we were calling it.
The weather here in Fort Myers has cooled off a lot…highs mostly in the upper 70s the last week and in the 60s and 70s next week…so we’ve got the windows and doors open and are enjoying the best time of the year in SW FL.
We got ourselves a bed for the spare bedroom on order…thank goodness for online ordering at Rooms2Go…but it’s not getting delivered until late February…guess there’s a lot of people buying furniture down here after moving in. The one we picked shows as in stock so maybe it’s just the delivery folks that are backed up. Last week after we were out of Covid jail we did get out and order a mattress and box spring to go on the aforementioned bed…they’re getting delivered on Wednesday but we could have had them as soon as the next day when we ordered it…so maybe the bed isn’t actually in stock and they are awaiting delivery…either than or Rooms2Go delivery is just inefficient.
After we ordered the mask we ran by Home Depot and got a bunch of assorted minor stuff for some projects…an additional light for the lanai so Neil doesn’t have to grill by flashlight, a 7.5 foot pre-lighted fake Christmas tree since there are no you-cut-em places down here and the ones in the lots got cut so long ago and are sitting around in the heat as they traveled to FL and sit in the lots…they look pretty scraggly and not worth hauling home. The fake one isn’t as nice…but it is what it is I guess.
I saw this week
where the Squad…ya know, those 4 ridiculously left women reps including AOC…anywhere they want Mr. Biden to cancel student debt completely. Now actually he can’t do this…he might be legally able to cancel federally owned student debt but even that is questionable…and the vast majority of debt is held by various financial institutions and not the federal government so that debt can’t be cancelled under the takings clause of the Constitution unless the government makes the financial institutions whole…which requires Congress to appropriate the money. Student debt is on the order of $1.6 trillion and at least $1.2 trillion of that is not government owned…so that’s another $1.2 trillion of money that we don’t have…and there’s simply not enough money held by the “rich” people to finance that sort of bailout on top of climate change bailouts, failed Democratic state bailouts, health care bailouts, USPS bailouts, and all the other bailouts the progressives are demanding.
But the real kicker…is that the 4 members of the Squad would personally benefit to the tune of several hundred thousand dollars.
And the cancellation would only apply to those people who have not repaid their loans. It isn’t the government’s fault they took on loans they couldn’t afford to pay…and it is simply unfair to wipe away the debt of the deadbeats while telling those who worked to pay off their student loan tough nuggies.
Speaking of progressive demands…so far Mr. Biden seems to be pretty much ignoring their demands for all the far leftists to be put into his cabinet simply because the progressives do not represent the majority of the people in the country and their agenda is just too socialist for the vast majority of the population.
President Trump gets routinely blasted for appointing conservatives to the bench and for mostly appointing white male people to his administration…so then why aren’t the WAMM up in arms over Ms. Harris appointing a 100% female communications staff. It isn’t that there aren’t qualified women…there certainly are…but appointing only women is misandry…which is the female equivalent of misogyny. Appointing only women simply because they are women is just as reprehensible as appointing only white males or only black males or whatever other group one might pick.
this from the CDC…the actual Covid-19 infection rate is likely 8 times the reported rate. Now I’m not minimizing the threat of the disease but it does seem that with that being the actual infection rate the death rate is way less than 1%…and of the same order of magnitude as the seasonal flu. Again…I’m not comparing Covid to the flu as they’re distinct infections…but on balance it seems that we just might…might…be over reacting to the problem with shutdowns, middle seats being closed on planes, bars being closed and all the other economically harmful things various states and cities have done. Yes…we need to be careful but a Presidential administration and government has to take a lot of factors into account…deaths are bad obviously, as is overloading the capacity of the medical system to treat patients…but keeping people employed so they can pay rent, buy groceries, and pay the power bill also needs to be considered. It’s a hard problem…but too many people don’t realize all the factors that need consideration and government needs to make the best overall decision.
Only in Seattle…
they’re slashing the police budget there…despite homicide levels being the highest in the past decade. Now I’m sure that there are some bad apples in the law enforcement business…just as there are bad apples in the progressive movement, lawyers, doctors, computer guys, car repairmen, and every other segment of life. I’m also sure that the vast majority of law enforcement doesn’t go to work in the morning hoping to shoot a person of color today…in fact I’ll wager that their two highest priorities are (a) to be alive and go home to their family at the end of their shift and (b) that they don’t have to shoot anybody because shooting people is generally not career enhancing and shooting a person of color is even worse. I’m not suggesting that all police shootings are justified…but in the vast majority of cases they turn out to be justified…and part of the trouble is that people of color commit crimes at a far greater percentage than their percentage of the population…FBI statistics bear out that his is true. As the 40s and 50s bank robber Willie Sutton said when asked why he robbed banks…”That’s where the money is”…perhaps some of the blame for people of color getting shot is because they commit crimes. Not all of them…and not every situation…but the “white cops just want to murder innocent black men” trope is simply not true.
Anyway…seems like slashing the police budget in the midst of a homicide pandemic…well it just seems stupid to me.
Facebook…well they’ve decided to just be Facebook and let their political opinions influence their policies.
According to this…FB has long had a hate speech algorithm that is race blind…in other words whether a particular post was hate speech and got banned was not racially influenced…it was language and meaning influenced. While we hate FB personally…that seems like a pretty good policy that would help eliminate all hate speech.
No more though. FB has gotten into trouble with the WAMM because they…shockingly…deleted some black user’s posts…because they were hate speech under the old algorithm. Not acceptable to blacks and the WAMM though…after all it’s only conservative white males that can possibly have hate speech. So the new FB hate speech algorithm will only go after the “worst of the worst” like blackface, Holocaust denial, stereotypes about Jewish financiers controlling the world, and other anti muslim, anti black, and anti LBGTQ posts. So in other words…it’s only the hate speech that progressives don’t like that will get banned…hate speech from their favored groups is just fine.
Another example of “do what I say, not what I do”. As we all know…the President has raised a whole bunch of lawsuits over mail in ballots, signature verification, counting procedures, and assorted other complaints about the election. Naturally…the WAMM and progressives have roundly condemned him for this.
Now personally I think that most of the lawsuits are BS and should never have been filed…but in America one can sue over anything and if a candidate wishes to sue over whatsoever that should be his right. We’ve seen all this BS ever since the election over whether the President would leave the White House willingly or not and frankly that’s just a bunch of hooey…there are enough certified EC votes so that Mr. Biden will be the next President.
What’s unacceptable is that the WAMM only chooses to condemn conservatives or Republicans who cry foul over elections. According to this article…the election for a retiring Democrat House member was originally called for the Republican candidate by 47 votes which triggered a mandatory recount. After the recount…the winning margin as certified by Iowa election officials was 6 votes and the Republican candidate was certified as the winner.
Under Iowa law…the losing candidate can contest the election and a panel of 5 Iowa state judges who would consider the matter and make a decision on who the winner is…which then could be appealed (presumably, the article doesn’t say) to the state Supreme Court. So…did the losing Democratic candidate do this?
Of course she didn’t…instead she is filing an appeal to the House of Representatives under the Federal Contested Elections Act…under this act the losing candidate can appeal to the House directly and the House will make the decision on who won rather than Iowa voters or the Iowa legal system. So…instead of following state law to contest the results…she is appealing to the Ms. Pelosi controlled House of Representatives who will almost surely find after their investigation that the election was corrupt and the Democratic candidate actually won.
So tell me again how interested in fair play the Democrats are?
So mathematicians…I’ve about decided that they have too much free time on their hands and spend it on completely useless information.
Recall my last post when we talked about the value of 𝛑…and how they wasted who knows how much computer power and electricity to calculate the value out to 50 trillion decimal places…despite the fact that 15 is plenty enough for NASA to calculate space trajectories and 49 is enough to measure the circumference of the known universe to the precision of the diameter of a hydrogen atom.
Not to be outdone by coming up with completely useless information…let me tell you about the Munchausen Number or more precisely the concept of Perfect Digit to Digit Invariant or PDDI. A Munchausen number is a number such that if you take each digit and raise it to the power of itself, then add the resulting values up you get the number itself. For example…
As you can see…such numbers exist but according to Wikipedia there are exactly 2 known examples in our normal base 10 number system as shown above.
I guess they’re cool and an interesting concept…but even mathematicians admit that they are of no use whatsoever for anything other than…gee whiz, we found some numbers that exhibit this strange property. So my question is…since they’re useless then why oh why would anybody waste mental cycles on inventing the concept or figuring out which actual numbers fit their useless concept.
Then there’s Anagram Arithmetic…again a useless concept invented by math people for no other reason other than because.
The example is composed of the numbers 11, 2, 12, and 1…and as we learned in probably first grade
11 + 2 = 12 + 1.
Yes…13 equals 13. But wait, there’s more as Ron Popiel used to say. Taking the above formula and converting it to the words instead we get
Eleven + two = twelve + one
And here’s where the anagram comes in. As you may (or maybe not) know…an anagram is when you take letters in a word or phrase and jumble them around into another word…for example spot becomes tops or heart becomes earth.
You guessed it…if you anagram the words eleven and two you get the words twelve and one.
Not to be outdone…the math nerds came up with another example
Thirteen + twenty – one = (ninety/two)-ten – three
Yup…another example with a grand total of 2 examples in the English language…and yup again…completely useless.
Second hand smoke…that’s when non smokers health and welfare is compromised by breathing in the exhaled smoke containing tar, nicotine and all those other harmful chemicals from the ever decreasing percentage of the population that smokes. Now I’m not really interested in whether the rights of the smokers should outweigh the rights of the non smokers to remain smoke free…that’s another debate…but I only bring it up as an example of progressive hypocrisy.
Out in San Francisco…it has been illegal for years to smoke in public except in dedicated smoking areas and they recently passed an amended ordnance to prohibit smoking in apartments because of the second hand smoke being moved by the ventilation system into neighboring apartments…and I’m actually just fine with prohibiting smoking in apartments for the same reason it’s prohibited outside…those of us who don’t smoke are the majority and we have the right not to have our health compromised and our hair and clothes stink from smoker’s disgusting habit. However…in an “only in the liberal utopia”…or perhaps “only in the Peoples Republic of California” decision…the law prohibiting smoking in apartments to protect others does not apply to marijuana. Yes…despite the drawbacks of that particular form of smoking both medically and otherwise…and despite the fact that it is perfectly legal in the PRC to smoke the disgusting stuff…and despite the second hand smoke effects on the other denizens of the apartment building…only tobacco smoking is prohibited in apartments…smoking dope is perfectly fine and legal.
Only in the PRC I guess.
Things that might only be of interest to me.
Last time we had the giant caiman and but it’s not the only really big creature from back in the past. Back in the Carboniferous period (whenever that was) they had some dragonflies like this.
And then there is the Megalodon…which was a shark that lived some 2.5 million years ago…and no, I have no idea what period that was…go google it if you care. Here’s a shot of the fossilized jaw of the Megalodon.
That little fish in the middle is a current era Great White Shark which gets 20 feet long and 5,000 pounds in weight with most females in the 16 feet range and males in the 12 foot range. The Megalodon…well it was some 60 feet long and probably 100,000 pounds.
Fifty one years ago this week there was an expansion in the internet…in a single day it grew by 33% to a total of 4 different sites. This is a map of the internet in 1969.
Speaking of really hard things becoming pretty much routine…
Today SpaceX conducted the 100th successful launch of a Falcon 9 rocket with (I believe) only 2 failures. Today’s launch was the inaugural launch of the improved Dragon cargo capsule to the ISS and used a first stage which has now flown and landed successfully 4 times…including the Demo-2 mission a few months back which was the first launch of the manned version of the Dragon to the ISS. After a flawless 8 minute ride to orbit the cargo is on the way to the ISS and the booster successfully landed on the SpaceX drone ship off the coast of Florida.
I know space flight is hard…and I also know that Elon Musk is pretty much an arrogant asshole…but he did build a rocket company that launches rockets routinely for a cost of about $62 million per flight, recovers the first stage booster which is then reused in as little as a month after checkout, and has a better success rate and lower cost per launch than either NASA or the other companies trying to commercialize space launches. Gotta give the twerp credit for that…although I can’t say the same for his car company as it is still heavily subsidized and in the long term electric vehicles aren’t really going to cut it until or unless somebody spends a metric buttload of money on charging infrastructure.
We all know what a black hole is I figure…but in the astronomy world there is this thing called a super massive black hole…I didn’t bother to look up the precise definition but you can…again…google it if you care.
Anyways…the largest known super massive black hole is named S50014+81…and it’s a long way from our solar system…but just how big is it.
Well…the picture below shows you the calculated/estimated size of this thing. It is about 40 billion times the mass of the sun and approaches the theoretical size limit for black holes that formed via the conventional accretion disk method…and it has a diameter of 1,580 AU or astronomical units. 1 AU is the average distance from the earth to the sun or about 93,000,000 miles. The three circles in the middle represent the size of the solar system depending on how you define our solar system but it ranges from 80 AU to 180 AU depending on whether you define the solar system as the largest orbit of a body in the system or several other definitions of the edge of the solar system and the beginning of interstellar space. In any of the cases…this super massive black hole is really, really big.
A little Christmas humor
I don’t mean to be a grinch, however…. to those of you who are placing Christmas lights/decorations in your yards, would you please avoid anything that has Red or Blue flashing lights together? Every time I come around the corner, I think it’s the police and I have a panic attack. I have to brake hard, toss my wine out the window, fasten my seat belt, throw my phone on the floor, turn my radio down, and push the gun under the seat. All while trying to drive. It’s just too much drama, even for Christmas. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.
this video which shows you the hazards of launching fireworks during the holidays. Our friend Adrienne sent it along.
Interesting stuff found on the net.
I wonder why we really need step 6 in these directions.