My ballot has been counted.
The man they call ‘President’ (of the United States) attacked Dr. Fauci today, and called Joe Biden a criminal – and all journalists criminals as well.
Those are not good arguments to make with 15 days to go, and given that you are the criminal and the liar!
The sun did not come out today, but the soft rain had cleared up by the afternoon so that I could go for a walk.
The high was 60 °F/ 15 °C.
Below is the panel from the book again that I use to compare the translations with (Tintin and detectives on the motorcycle). The two bungling detectives with similar-sounding names (in Spanish: Hernández & Fernández) say the same thing as usual, but just in different words.
18 days until Nov 3.
I walked down to the ballot drop box on Broadway this afternoon to drop in my ballot.
17 million people have voted in the election already, a number vastly outpacing the early vote numbers from 2016.
My mail-in ballot arrived in the mail today, and I will get it in the mail ASAP. Psst! Donald Trump, I’ll let you in on a secret. You’re not getting my vote.
P.S. Check out the appeal to voters from the New York Times editorial board, in the black frames below.
Below is the last batch of superheavy element slides that I had made for my collection.
Oganesson, atomic number 118, is the element with the heaviest atoms. Can even heavier elements be made, with atomic numbers 119 and 120?
Here’s what Samanth Subramanian wrote for Bloomberg Businessweek in an article from Sept. 2019:
‘The periodic table was never expected to furl out endlessly. In these extreme reaches of the table, cramming proton after proton into a nucleus renders it more and more precarious. The positive charges repel one another until the nucleus decays near-instantly—before electrons have had a chance to settle into orbit to provide an atomic structure and before the passage of a hundred-trillionth of a second, the time an atom must exist to count as a new element.
Were you to reach element 173, scientists theorize, matters could get even stickier. The eﬀects of Einsteinian relativity would kick in, and electrons would behave in peculiar ways. Those atoms may not even be atoms as we know them—their electron clouds dissolving and the regular periodicity of their properties swerving wildly oﬀ course.
But physics presents diﬃculties long before 173. Even for 119, waiting just oﬀstage, scientists aren’t sure which two elements they might fuse. Oganesson, No. 118, was the product of an especially stable isotope of calcium slamming into californium. But that calcium can’t just be directed toward einsteinium, the next element after californium; a handful of nuclear reactors around the world generate only a milligram or so of einsteinium for research every year.
Seven years ago at GSI, Christoph Düllmann and his team tried a combination of titanium (22 protons) and berkelium (97 protons), without results. In Japan, Haba has been working with vanadium (23 protons) and curium (96 protons). In a $60 million Superheavy Element Factory in Dubna, inaugurated in March, scientists are pelting berkelium with an extra-stable titanium isotope, its nucleus fat with six neutrons more than standard titanium. But at the moment, Düllmann says, 118 “is the end of the story. We now need one more idea. Maybe we’ll get enough einsteinium at some point. But we have no idea what combination of elements is best for 119 and 120. The number of theories is the same as the number of theorists you talk to.’
I waited a little this year to get my flu shot, but got it today.
I got it too early last year – in August! – and then I learned that the protection from it wanes a little too early as well (when flu is still going around, at the end of the season).
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that in the 2018–2019 season, some 35.5 million Americans came down with the flu and that about 34,000 of them died from it. Flu shots prevented another 4.4 million cases and about 3,500 deaths. [Source: Scientific American].
It was Indigenous Peoples’ Day today here in the United States, and I wondered how long ago the first humans had reached the North American continent.
The answer: We don’t know for sure! Some 10,000 to 25,000 yrs ago. Indigenous Americans, who include Alaska Natives, Canadian First Nations, and Native Americans, descend from humans who crossed an ancient land bridge called Beringia, connecting Siberia in Russia to Alaska.
P.S. Anatomically modern Homo sapiens evolved by at least 130,000 years ago from ancestors who had remained in Africa. As far back as 2.5 million years ago, our ancestors – apelike creatures in Africa that began to walk habitually on two legs – were flaking crude stone tools.
There was French Open tennis very early this morning on TV: the final between Rafael Nadal (Spain, 34) and Novak Djokovic (Serbia, 33).
Nadal played like the champ that he is, against a Djokovic that could not find his footing, and won in straight sets, 6-0 ( a rare bagel for Djokovic), 6-2, 7-5.
Nadal and Roger Federer each holds 20 Gram Slam tennis titles now, the largest number amassed by any player in the history of the game.
‘A mesh network is a group of devices that act as a single Wi-Fi network; so there are multiple sources of Wi-Fi around your house, instead of just a single router. These additional Wi-Fi sources are called points or nodes’.
– definition from support.google.com
My Wi-Fi signal downstairs was too weak for my new smart TV, so I opted for a mesh network to get a better signal downstairs — instead of adding a Wi-Fi extender to my existing network. Per my limited understanding, Wi-Fi extenders repeat the signal and thereby slows down its speed. Many times extenders broadcast a new network name, which could be a hassle for a user moving around a lot in the space.
I went with Google Nest Wi-Fi. For a small apartment, one node will do, but for a bigger space two nodes or more can be used.
Once I had the issues with my old Wi-Fi-enabled modem-router resolved (aka throwing it out and replacing it altogether with just a simple cable modem!), the set-up of the Google Nest Wifi mesh network was straightforward.
Trump and at least 34 White House staff members & other contacts have tested positive for the virus. If anything, it’s a surprise that it took so long for this spate of White House infections to happen. All of them from Trump & Pence down, regularly flaunted standard safety measures.
Just recently 200 people were packed into the Rose Garden for the Supreme Court nomination of Amy Coney Barrett. Was it a super spreader event? Yes, it probably was, says Dr. Tony Fauci.
It’s Fat Bear week in Katmai National Park in Alaska, and the winner has been announced: Bear 747, nicknamed ‘Jumbo Jet’. Rangers post pictures of the bears online (just a handful of the more than 2,000 in the park), and fans get to cast a vote for Fattest Bear.
These last few weeks bears could gorge themselves one last time before winter sets in, on the salmon swimming upstream to spawn in the Brooks River, in Katmai National Park. Bears can lose up to 40% of their weight while hibernating through winter.
Lord of the Flies is a 1954 novel by Nobel Prize-winning British author William Golding. The book focuses on a group of British boys stranded on an uninhabited island and their disastrous attempt to govern themselves.
The vice presidential debate between candidates Kamala Harris (Democrat) and Mike Pence (Republican) took place in Salt Lake City, Utah tonight.
There was a fly that made itself comfortable in Mike Pence’s hair for a good 4 minutes, and screenshots made the rounds on Twitter (naturally).
Only four weeks remain until The Election of a Lifetime on Tuesday, Nov 3.
Polling done after that disastrous debate, shows that candidate Joe Biden had widened his lead over Trump in the national polls. (Trump’s positive Covid test and the drama of the last few days have not been factored in).
Biden also holds sizable leads in most of the swing states, and is at a statistical draw in Florida (come on, Florida – don’t vote for Trump!).
It was a gray Sunday, with just a little bit of sunshine coming late in the day.
I walked down to the Pike/Pine corridor to check on the freshly repainted Black Lives Matter artwork on the street.
P.S. It’s impossible to know how seriously ill Trump is. One of the doctors ducked and sidestepped questions about the president’s condition. Trump said he’s doing well, but his chief of staff (Mark Meadows) said he was not. So far Trump has gotten oxygen and remdesivir and antibodies .. were all these necessary, or just given as a precaution? Trump even went for a jolly ride today in The Beast, around the hospital, to wave at his supporters gathered there. Did he care that the Secret Service or other staff might get infected by him? Of course not.
It’s been foggy in the morning here in the city all week.
The air quality has been decent, in spite of a number of fires still burning in Washington State and on the West Coast.
Here are the next three elements that I had made little panels for, to add to my extended ‘Elements’ picture collection.
Life is short for these, the elements with the heaviest atoms. Their atoms emerge from high-energy nuclear collisions, usually with scant time for detection before they break up into lighter atoms.
(United States) any political event orchestrated (or apparently orchestrated) in the month before an election, in the hopes of affecting the outcome.
“even the much-vaunted October surprise might fail to move the race in one direction or another”
It was still 1st of October here on the West Coast, when Trump tweeted that he and wife Melania had tested positive for Covid-19. They may have gotten it from aide Hope Hicks, who came down with mild symptoms on Wednesday and then tested positive.
Trump has to cancel his campaign rallies for now, and the two remaining presidential debates will probably be cancelled as well.
And if Trump gets sick? Under the 25th Amendment, a medically incapacitated president has the option of temporarily transferring power to the vice president and can reclaim his authority whenever he deems himself fit for duty.
A little history from the New York Times:
Four presidents have died in office of natural causes: William Henry Harrison, Zachary Taylor, Warren G. Harding and Franklin D. Roosevelt, while Wilson endured a debilitating stroke and Dwight D. Eisenhower had a heart attack in his first term and a stroke in his second.
Four others were assassinated while in office: Abraham Lincoln, James A. Garfield, William McKinley and John F. Kennedy.
My Samsung TV was 10 years old, and at long last it was time to upgrade to a smart 4K* TV. I picked a Samsung again, and was planning to replace my 55″ screen with a similar size .. and then at the last minute in the store, opted for one with a 65″ screen.
I paid $1,899 in 2010 dollars for the old TV (that’s $2,264 in 2020 dollars). The new one was all of $529, practically given away for free. (Alright, so not completely free).
*Smart= the TV can connect to the internet and offer all kinds of online content from providers such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube and others.
4K= the screen resolution is 3840 x 2160; a fourfold increase over Full HD (1920×1080 pixels).