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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Doo doo doo sitting in my back yard

So we were sitting out back this afternoon listening to the Pat Miller Show on WOWO, and I thought I would share some reactions to the topics that came up.


As many of you no doubt know, the carnage to be that is the upcoming games in Brazil are spiraling ever downward.  First responders who haven't been paid in five months are warning people that they are taking their lives in their hands here, and none too subtly.  At the international airport there:

This, of course is just the tip of the sewage dump, and Laurie asked how it is that somebody thought sending the games to a podunk like Brazil was a good idea in the first place.  "If they had used logic or common sense," she added.

So I explained to her the common sense of it.  Follow:  First, let's look at the similar case of FIFA choosing Qatar for the World Cup Soccer upcoming.  Why on earth would you allow a tournament that involves games played on grass (at least traditionally) to be played in a desert?  We found out soon enough- FIFA leadership has spent the last decade or so tripping over each other to take bribes, and here comes a nation with more idle money per square foot (based on 2010 GDP, about $6400 PSF) than I can make in 2 1/2 months with OT, and guess what happens.  Second, the President of Brazil is currently under suspension looking at impeachment because most of the government has taken bribes from the state-run petroleum company Petrobras (which sounds like oil-based undergarments to me).  Third, the people that run the IOC are the same kinda joes that run FIFA.  Any questions?


The media goes on and on trying to figure out why this happened when it did.  Again, there's an easy answer.  Several months back, Turkey shot down a Russian bomber that allegedly cut across Turkish airspace for about 3.7 seconds.  Putin went ballistic, cutting ties with the Turks until Russia got an apology.  Eight months later- also known to you and I as the day BEFORE the attack- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan apologized to Russia.  And a sleeper cell, just waiting to see if he would dare to kowtow to the hated "westerners", made him pay for it.

Terrorists aren't hard to figure out.  They are so empty of the joy and meaning of life, and so unskilled in virtually any positive means of living, that they are basically just mass-murder machines looking for an excuse to vent.  Erdogan was a turkey if he didn't see it coming.  Oh, wait...


One of the things I have been speculating on with Bobby G is just why our dear mayor (alternately known as King Tom) was so desperate for more civic income.  For you out of towners, he recently tried to annex a large section to the northeast of the city, ostensibly bringing civilization, Christianity, and city water and sewage to a bunch of people who really didn't want it (and with the water company's 30 % rate increase recently getting shot down, who could blame them?), and it got voted down.  In what appeared at the time to be a fit of pique, he then had his toadies in city council pass a new "wheel tax" to "improve our road infrastructure".  That did go through a few days ago, and I kept asking, what has he done to us that he needs quick money so bad?

Well today, he announced the first phase of a $20 million riverfront development.  “Our time is now to make Fort Wayne’s riverfront a world-class development,” said Henry. “We must be committed to moving our City forward to continue the positive momentum we’re experiencing. "

Ah, another playground for the Ft Wayne elite.  Now we get it.  So I'm guessing that means that road infrastructure fund is going to grow a bit slower that we thought, hmm?


We had been discussing the Brexit- and who isn't?- and I mentioned that Britain looks to be making former London mayor and still whackjob Boris Johnson the new Prime Minister, and I noted how he and Trump being in charge of the Free World would likely really give Putin something to laugh about.  Moments later, I did a quick survey of our other allies, wondering if the next President of France might be Jerry Lewis, and adding the current PM in Canada, Pierre Trudeau's son, I believe, isn't exactly tightly knit together either.  Just then Pat mentions that the latest words of wisdom from our POSUS was from a tri-lateral presser with Trudeau and the poor schmuck running Mexico.  "Did you ever think you'd see the day,"  I asked, when those three would be together and the Mexican would be the smartest man in the room?"

Monday, June 27, 2016

Super-stupid physics post

So here I was in search of something I could be both snarky and informative about, without teeing anyone off.  And I decided, you know, you haven't told the story of how four new chemical elements got named recently.  Of course all I really knew about them were:

a) the names- Nihonium, Moscovium, Tennessine, and Oganesson.
b) the symbols- Nh, Mc, Ts, and Og.
c0 They managed to discover them by creating about enough to cover the hole in a gnat's butt, and what they made didn't last long enough to say the "he-" in "hey, lookit that".

So I had to go in search of what would make them undyingly fascinating.  And here we go!


The smallest of the quartet, numerically speaking, is element 113, which means scientists had to construct the artificial Latin-ish name of Ununtrium (roughly meaning 113) until the powers that be decided yes, it does exist and who got to name it.  It was discovered in a Japanese institute called RIKEN (which, by name, should be abbreviated KKKHRK, but somehow in translation it comes out RIKEN), so one of the early choices for the name was Rikenium, as well as Japonium, Nishenanium (after scientist Yoshio Nishina), and the winner, which is another Japanese name for Japan.  Apparently, it roughly means Land-of-the-rising-sun-ium, but thankfully they found a shorter way of putting it.

They actually got a hunk of this stuff to be the longest lasting of the four- it lasted about 20 seconds before half of it went poof (aka the half-life).  What really amused me here was the fact that they have calculated its melting point- well, within just under 700° (between 430-1100 degrees C); and just how you figure out something that you don't have enough of to tell if it's a solid, liquid, or gas will even melt, let alone counting dialing in a 700-degree range as an accomplishment, well, I'll let them dope that out.


This name almost went a few rounds back to element 116, but instead it got Livermorium after Lawrence Livermore.  116 really needed a name, for sure- the Latin-ish holder name they gave it was Ununhexium, which got the symbol Uuh...  It was 115, aka Ununpentium (Uup) that became Moscovium in the end.  The longest lived chunk of this stuff lasted 220 milliseconds half life- about the time that Google Chrome beats Internet Explorer in opening a website, I found out.


Like many of these discoveries, it was an international group of scientists working together to discover this one- but they sure did it the hard way.  Russian scientists had come up with a way to make element 117 ( and like all of them, it involved smashing hunks of stuff they did have together in hopes that something new would stick together long enough to count), but to do it, they needed to get a hunk of Berkelium from the US of A.  But the only place that was making the 97th element had stopped, and it was too expensive to make more just for a trial.  So the next way to do the same thing involved getting ahold of some Californium.  Now, Californium is made commercially in small quantities, but it is Veeeeery expensive (read $27 MILLION per gram), so they were going to wait until a commercial order was placed, because you get Berkelium as a "waste product" of making Californium.

In 2008, an oil company placed the order (apparently they can use it to detect deposits), and a small amount of the Berkelium was procured.  But now, they had to get it to Russia- and they had about 300 days to do it.  On top of that, it had to be cooled for 90 days, and purified for 90 more.  Then the rocket scienti- excuse me, the physicists couldn't get the paperwork right- not once but twice- and the stuff crossed the Atlantic FIVE TIMES before they got it to the lab.

Naming it was another matter of pussyfooting around.  But Vanderbilt University's Joseph Hamilton finally said,  "I was crucial in getting the group together and in getting the 249Bk target essential for the discovery. As a result of that, I’m going to get to name the element. I can’t tell you the name, but it will bring distinction to the region".  And what he came up with sounds more like he bred a new citrus fruit than discovered a chemical element, but considering the next one on the list, I guess it could have been worse.


The final member of our quartet was named after a dude critical in the stories of most of the group, one Yuri Oganessian.  And being 118 on the periodic table makes Og a Noble Gas (aka like Neon, Krypton, Argon, and Xenon), which means it had to end with an -on.  And that's why it becomes the element that sounds most like a sexual experience.

It was first thought to be discovered back in 2002, and was going to be named Ghiorsium after Albert Ghiorso; but on replay review it was overturned and Albert had to content himself with having created two children (none named Albert) and co-discovering every element from 95 to 106.  He wouldn't have been getting a real winner: the half-life of this stuff is about the time it takes a sound wave from a word to get one foot away from your mouth.

Black Pines 2016

So a trip to Black Pines animal rescue Saturday with KC, Jessica, and the young'ns.

I had animals to deal with in the back seat on the way up... did KC in the front.

Saw them when we first pulled in.  Never saw them again.

This guy had a big part in the second half of the story.

Lemmee out, damn you!  I tooted and there's no ventilation!

Remind me to be excited later.

Lily, on the cougars hiding in their houses:  "Maybe they're taking a pee."

The long climb back up from the bear area.  Jessica (pregnant) and I (old) declined that part of the feeding tour.

I got a lot of tiger photos.  Because they have a LOT of tigers.

I call this one, Bird Brain

At this point, the bird is miffed because we're all ready for the tour and no one is coming to see him.  Unfolds his feathers, rocks up and down, and screams like he just entered the sixth ring of hell.  Tell me again how you'd like one for a pet.  I'll wait for your ears to clear.

A small fraction of the tour group

If you're reading this, I apologize, but this guy's name was Luna.

Normally, I take mine with a dash of spirits, but it's so beastly warm today...

My favorite, Joey the Patagonian cavy.

Hey!  Gimme that!

Like I said, lots of tiger pics.  But my favorite... this one.

Even at feeding time, the heat was wearing out some animals...

Mufasa is the star of the show... and he knows it.

And, she's out.