Yup…pretty much just some random stuff today as nothing else is really going on.
Neil’s new laptop arrived…14 inch M1 Pro MacBook Pro with 32 GB RAM and 2 TB drive…and it’s pretty wicked fast compared to the old one. Of course…that necessitated the purchase of some new USB C external drives and thumb drives since all of our current devices can use them…but that’s just fine with the IT department.
We went out to Bonefish for Date Night this week…decent dinner and great wine sitting at the bar before heading home. Elks board meeting tonight and then Ladies of Elks Bingo at the lodge on Sunday but other than that pretty much nothing really happening.
Oh yeah…we got a new grill for the lanai. When we moved into the house in Feb 20 our CharBroil infrared grill was about at the end of its useful life…3 years or so is about all you get out of a grill. So after we moved in in late summer we got a supposedly much longer lasting and much more expensive Sea-B-Que from Dickinson Marine…it’s designed for use on boats and according to their propaganda…and several people who recommended it to us…they last practically forever. So we sprung for the extra money and got one hoping it would last longer.
Not. So. Much.
In fact…extremely Not. So. Much
Neil had been noticing over the past couple of months that he only got flames from the burner on the left side which is opposite of where the gas connection is, so he figured the burner was clogged with rust or something. Took the grill grates off and discovered the entire burner assembly had failed…so it lasted less than a year for all the extra cost.
We went back to the CharBroil infrared model we had before…it’s less than half the price of the Sea-B-Que and will last well over 3 years based on our experience. Tossed the old one out with the garbage Monday evening…they pick up stuff like that on regular pickup days here…and by 0900 Tuesday morning somebody had opened up the top and checked it out to make sure that they didn’t want to steal/requisition/repurpose or whatever you want to call it. Neil had already dismantled it to see if the gas valve was aa standard valve and if so he would have kept it as a spare for the CharBroil but it is designed differently so out it went.
In other exciting news…we used to have garbage pickup on Tuesday and recycle on Friday…that got changed effective Nov 1 to both on Tuesday by the county.
Ok…let’s see what’s happening in the news this week.
You probably read about or heard about the Rittenhouse trial out in Wisconsin…he’s the now 18 year old who went over to Kenosha in the aftermath of a shooting there by the police to protect businesses from rioters. Now…he was an idiot for going over there and playing vigilante…but being an idiot isn’t illegal. However…he ended up shooting 3 people and killing 2 of them…and from everything we have been reading in the media ever since one would have believed that he deliberately targeted and gunned down 3 innocent peaceful protestors.
Once the trial started though…not so much.
The prosecutor clearly did not do a very good job of reviewing the evidence or or preparing his witnesses. The kid claimed self defense…and under the law there the prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that it was not self defense.
Of the 3 people who were shot…there is actually video that shows each of them were the aggressor in the encounters and in fact shows that the kid was trying to get away from them. One prosecution witness reported that one of the two dead people actually threatened to kill the kid and tried to take his gun away while the other dead guy aimed a handgun at the kid. The surviving shoot-ee admitted that he pulled his handgun and aimed at the kid…but he “wasn’t planning to shoot anybody”. Seems to me that if you aim your handgun at another person and admit that he wasn’t aiming at you first then he’s got every right to defend himself.
The defense clearly…at least to an unbiased observer…has demonstrated reasonable doubt about the prosecution case but I guess we’ll see what the jury does.
The prosecutor also tried…in the presence of the jury…to suggest that the kid not answering police questions during the investigation was tantamount to guilt…and also tried to bring up items…again in front of the jury…that the judge had previously disallowed. That earned him a tongue lashing from the judge.
With the case by the prosecution going so well…the media shifted to attacking the judge saying that he is biased. Some of their examples…when told that lunch was being delivered by an Asian restaurant he quipped the he hoped it wasn’t on one of the ships over in Long Beach or LA or else it would be a long wait…and on Veterans Day he asked if anybody in the courtroom was a veteran and led the courtroom attendees in a round of applause for the single veteran who was there, this supposedly gave extra credibility to the man who was an about to testify defense witness…then the judge’s ring tone is God Bless the USA.
One of the prosecution witnesses was asked if he ever had words with one of the dead men…and he admitted that he never exchanged words. At that point…the DA asked him how he could have anything to say about what the dead guy was thinking…the witness then testified that the dead guy said “F&%^ you to the kid and pulled his weapon. Duh…really bad witness prep there Mr. DA.
The prosecution’s own medical expert confirmed on the stand that the dead guy in the video shown reaching for the kid’s rifle had gunshot residue on his hands meaning he grabbed the barrel. Again…great witness prep.
From reading the testimony of the various witnesses in the media…it is pretty clear that the prosecution lost the case easily…so at the last minute they got the judge to allow the jury to consider lesser charges while deliberating…even though they were not originally included. The DA thought he had such a great case that he didn’t charge the lesser offenses…in order to not give the jury an out…but then when his case went south he wanted them added back in. I’m really fine with lesser included charges being included or not as the prosecution wants…but they should have to stick with their decision and not change the rules in the middle of the game.
Ok…enough on the trial…how about the Pentagon.
GM is actually making a
military prototype of their Hummer electric vehicle at the request of the Pentagon in the President’s quest to divest all carbon fueled vehicles from the government. Yeah…and electric only military vehicle. Because we all know that there would never be any electrical outages in a war zone and that there’s a plethora of charging stations in likely conflict spots like the Middle East in the sandbox.
A professor at
Arizona State is calling for an “end to white supremacy language” in grading criteria in favor of an effort based system which will “redistribute power”. In his proposed system…getting the right…or wrong…answer isn’t what a student will be graded on. Rather…students should be graded by “how much labor they put into their work”. Nuts, eh?
editorial in the Wall Street Journal…quotes from a NY Times article that says Democrats will keep losing elections until they have an “honest conversation in the Democratic Party about how to return to the moderate policies and values that fueled the blue-wave victories in 2018 and won Joe Biden the presidency in 2020.”…and this from the decidedly liberal and left wing paper in NYC. The problem is that…just as happens on the other side…the fringes of the party are responsible for platforms and candidates that are far out of touch with mainstream America…progressives and Tea Party people do not represent the majority of the population but they are the people in charge of platforms and who vote in primaries on both sides and this results in candidates that can’t win the regular election.
video by a Washington Post staffer last week teamed up with a NY Times editorial board writer and wondered why Democrats who have a super majority that can override a governors veto or a complete control of the legislative and gubernatorial branches of government aren’t doing more to solve the long standing goals of the party…they have that advantage in 18 states. Democrats in DC frequently blame the GOP for foiling their progressive vision…so how are they doing in the states the Democratic Party controls? Housing is one of the bedrock things in their 2020 platform…so let’s take a look at the Peoples Republic of California. The Democratic leaning editorial staffer says that you can’t say you’re interested in housing unless you’re willing to have affordable housing in your neighborhoods.…yet CA has the worst housing crisis and the most homeless encampments of any state in the union…and local governments frequently vote against multi family housing units because it will result in declining home values…an argument made by the well off people who already live in that neighborhood.
Taxation…the platform says that the tax policy has been rigged against the American people…so let’s look at Washington state…another Democratic stronghold. Looking at the percentage of income paid in taxes by income bracket…the percentages are far higher for low income people.
Schooling…Democrats want to fix the education system…so let’s look at Cook County in IL…this is where Chicago is. If they were really interested in fixing it…how about a single school district for the entire county which takes the property taxes and distributes them fairly to all schools in the county. Sounds good, right? However…the county has divided itself into more than 140 school districts…and by law the property taxes in a district must be distributed to schools within that district. So…the more well off districts pay more in school taxes which goes to make the schools in their neighborhood better…but the poorer neighborhoods continue to fall further and further behind. What are Democrats thinking here?
And it isn’t just states…let’s look at the federal government in DC. Again…we see folks like Schumer and Pelosi giving speeches how the “rich need to pay their fair share”…while completely ignoring the fact that almost all of the income tax collected by the IRS is paid for by people in the higher income brackets. However…let’s look at the actions of Democratic leadership rather than their words.
Ever since the 2017 tax law changes…which limited the state and local tax (SALT) deduction on federal taxes to $10,000…the Democrats have been complaining about how unfair it is that large, blue, Democratic states like NY, CA, OH, and IL aren’t allowed to fully deduct their SALT taxes. Personally…I feel like it’s perfectly fair. I have no issue with those states charging whatever tax rates they want…but then the residents of those states are responsible for paying them. Allowing the residents of those states to deduct their high tax bills from their federal taxes essentially means that they’re transferring the liability for the high taxes in those states to taxpayers in lower tax states…it seems fair to me that things that benefit those states should be paid for by those states.
In the currently under negotiation by the House Build Back Better bill…the Democrats are
trying to insert a repeal of the SALT tax limitations to allow their blue, Democratic, heavily taxed states to be subsidized by the rest of us. In fact…this $285 billion tax cut is one of the largest expenditures in the proposed bill. So…let’s look at who it benefits. From the article…here’s a chart that shows by income bracket where those benefits would be going.
Taxpayers in the bottom 40% will receive zero benefits from this provision…and the Tax Policy Center says that people in the top 5% will get 70% the benefits of this provision. So…in other words…it only benefits rich people living in CA, NY, IO, OH, and WA.
And…the provision is being pushed by representatives from the aforementioned high tax states who complain that not being allowed to deduct their SALT is an “undue burden” and “is pushing some high income residents to leave their state”.
Another example of “rules are for thee, not for me” by our progressive friends. I’m not pointing the finger only at the Democrats though…the other side does plenty of stupid things as well…for instance the article this week about Michael Flynn and Sidney Powell urging the Defense Department to investigate to help them overturn the election. In the first place…the Pentagon has no authority to either investigate or overturn elections and those two people have no authority to ask the Pentagon either. However…they may or may not have actually done it…it’s in a new book by long time ABC White House chief correspondent Jonathan Karl. I have no idea about his political persuasion…but hopefully he has some evidence or reporting or investigative journalism to actually support that claim and it isn’t just to help sell his book.
Ok, on to interesting things found on the net.
Our friends the mathematicians…they’re at it again.
Apparently…somebody thought it was necessary to investigate the value of Pi to determine how often a digit appears multiple times in a row…and after deep and careful research they’ve determined that the digit 9 appears six times in a row starting at the 762nd decimal place and again at position 193,034. I’m not sure why they only did the research for 6 consecutive digits and not 4 or 5 or 12…and I’m also quite sure that you only need 15 decimal places when using Pi in a calculation. That’’s what NASA uses to calculate the trajectories of space missions and is enough precision so that if you used15 decimal places and calculated the circumference of a circle with a diameter equal to the size of the known universe the calculation would be off by less than the size of an atom of hydrogen. However…calculate it they did.
Then there’s how you calculate Pi. As everybody knows…it is the ration of a circle’s circumference to its diameter and is an irrational number that never repeats and goes on for an infinite number of decimal places. There are numerous ways of calculating an approximation of Pi and in a recent post I reported how it had calculated out to 32 trillion decimal places or something like that (not withstanding the fact that 15 is plenty). Anyways…there’s another way to calculate that I saw yesterday…it’s known as Wall’s Formula and was published in 1656.
Me…I just push the Pi button on my calculator or I ask Neil who quickly reports the it is 3.1415962653589 because that’s how many digits he memorized in college. Similarly…he knows that the constant e is 2.718281828459045…again because that’s how many digits he memorized.
Have you ever wondered what the longest word in the English language is?
Me neither…but if’n you were go guess…what would you guess. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
Ok, whatcha got? Neil had no idea but figured it might be something the 30 or 40 letters long range…but I guess you’re both wrong.
The longest word in English is 1,909 letters long and is the expansion of the chemical formula for the compound C1289H2051N343O375S8…yeah, those numbers are supposed to be subscripts but I can’t figure out how to make it happen so I just made them smaller instead.
What is C1289H2051N343O375S8 you say? Why it’s a protein with 267 amino acids in it…but it turns out that whether it’s really the longest depends on how you define the word “word”. There’s another chemical compound with the short name titin which is the largest known protein and that one has 189,819 letters in it but according to wikipedia there’s some dispute about whether either it or C1289H2051N343O375S8 is actually a word. The longest word in any major English language dictionaries is the 45 letter long
which is a lung disease contracted from the inhalation of very fine silica particles from a volcano, otherwise it would just be known as silicosis.
A computer study in 2009 of a million examples of normal English prose reported that the longest word one is likely to encounter on an everyday basis is uncharacteristically which is 20 letters long.
And a few the need little to no explanation.
Neil says his is already up to the year 2350 or so.
And Neil’s fave of this bunch.