Trump installed his third Supreme Court justice on the bench today, with the help of Moscow Mitch and his conniving Senate Republicans.
The American people, who have preferred the Democratic nominee for president in six of the last seven presidential elections, are now subordinate to a solid 6-3 conservative majority on the Supreme Court.
I again picked up my groceries that I had ordered online, yesterday.
I forgot to review the substitutes that that the in-store picker had made, beforehand. (They pick a ‘similar’ item if they had ran out of the exact one that you had ordered).
Well: the Marmite that I had ordered was replaced with dry yeast.
Yikes. No! Cannot do that. They are absolutely not equivalent! I told the store this on the feedback form afterwards (without yelling at them).
I missed the final presidential debate (Lucky me. I was playing tennis in the cold. We lucked out with dry courts on Tuesday, and again today).
Here is the Washington Post’s takeaways of the debate: 1. Trump offers no course correction on coronavirus. 2. Biden sharpens his coronavirus closing argument. “Two-hundred twenty thousand Americans dead,” Biden began. “If you hear nothing else I say tonight, hear this: Anyone who is responsible, for not taking control — in fact, saying I take no responsibility initially — anyone that is responsible for that many deaths should not remain as president of the United States of America.” 3. Trump tries to make an issue of Hunter Biden, in fits and starts (unsubstantiated claims of corruption). 4. Biden’s dicey* energy comments ..
Trump then pressed Biden on whether he would “close down the oil industry,” to which Biden responded, “I would transition from the oil industry, yes … because the oil industry pollutes significantly.” Biden added that this should be part of the process of transitioning to renewable energy.
*Says Ezra Klein on Twitter: ‘It is amazing, in the year 2020, that anyone would treat a presidential candidate saying we need to transition away from oil as surprising or scandalous. The reckless, scandalous position — ruinous to both lives and economies — is denying the need to decarbonize’.
5. It was a better debate than the first one.
Fact checker Daniel Dale on Twitter: ‘From a lying perspective, Trump is even worse tonight than in the first debate’.
CNN Poll: Biden wins final presidential debate, 53% to 39%. (I guess 8% said it’s even or could not say who won).
The Guardian newspaper: Biden fends off flailing Trump but most voters have already decided. (And 47 million have already voted).
You know you’re old when you didn’t even know about the existence of ‘Among Us’, a massively popular online game on Twitch.
(Twitch is a platform for streaming online games to viewers that follow the players. The players can talk live, but viewers usually participate via text chat. Amazon owns it; bought it in 2014).
In the game Among Us, up to 10 players work together to complete tasks located around a map or a series of rooms. One player is secretly designated as an Imposter. When a body is found or an emergency meeting is called, the players all must vote for who they think the Imposter might be.
Anyway: on Monday, progressive politician with star power, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (elected to represent New York’s 14th congressional district in Congress at 29 yrs old), also known by her initials AOC, tweeted that she will participate in a game of Among Us.
Even before the game started, some 300,000 viewers were signed on, and later on the count reached 430,000, making it one of the most popular streams ever.
Why would AOC play in an online game? That’s where the young people are, and she told them how important it is to vote, and how to check how voting works in their State. (I suspect it is a little late to register, if you have not yet done so, though).
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!
And here is the Spanish translation of King Ottokar’s Sceptre (see my recent posts about its translations into Scots, Irish and Welsh).
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.
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.
‘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).