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AnSionnachRua  ·  105 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: June 6, 2018

It's HOT. 23 Celsius outside, which is enough to make most Irish people melt. I'm going to go for a walk to get some vitamin D - it's a shame how much of life is spent indoors. I'm developing a wicked farmer tan lately, though. Brown just above the elbows, milky white at the shoulders.

Getting ready for this Ten Peaks thing in a couple of weeks. I think my feet are about ready, but I'm more worried about my legs than anything else. I was instructed to update the poster with a picture of my face and a little blurb, which I found a bit embarrassing. Have a gander:

kleinbl00  ·  224 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: February 7, 2018

I had an epiphany maybe three, maybe for years ago. I was running, as always. Up the dune, as always. A mile into my 3-4 mile run, as always, same as it ever was, as I have been doing since 1988.

This dude smoked me. Trotted right on by like I was standing still. Made me feel like shit. Then I thought about it and realized that I was old enough to be his dad. I'd been running longer than he'd been alive.

I was faster when I was younger. But I'm still going. I'm doing pretty goddamn well, thankyouverymuch, and all the shit that holds me back isn't bad enough to hold me back much. I'm healthier than my parents were at my age; I'm healthier than my grandparents were at my age, I'm healthier than my friends at my age.

I'll take it. In the end, we're only competing with ourselves, and we only get to win until we lose. I'll take every win I can get.

francopoli  ·  342 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: October 11, 2017

200 hours of outreach work this year, not counting setup and tear-down. About 300 hours total over 55 events since January. Write that shit down, document every-fucking-thing and submit paperwork. Wait two weeks or so. And in the end you get these pretty little pins showing that you have done something that only 800 some-odd people have done. I'm tired, I'm a bit stressed from work and life, and the health situation is not in a good place. But these two awards have hit me a bit harder than I thought they would. The awards are numbered, and I honestly believed that there had been thousands of the awards given out. I know other people are doing astronomy outreach, they must not be paying membership dues and doing paperwork. With these two small bits of metal and ceramic and enamel, I have tangible proof that 2017 did not entirely suck a bag of erect cocks.

If the motto of our small community is "pushing back against the darkness" then I can say, with no hesitations, that I am doing my part.

kleinbl00  ·  532 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: April 5, 2017x 2

We had our first birth in the birth center last night. Success. And we get to bill for nitrous. That means the infernal machine needs to be used only nineteen more times to pay for itself. My daughter, on the other hand, called for attention every time I was about to fall asleep for the first two hours and then woke up from a screaming, bawling nightmare. My wife is asleep in the other room which prevents me from finishing the background pass on the not-very-good movie, unless I put on headphones, which I hate doing when I'm doing surround work.

Our burn rate is a few thousand dollars higher per month than we anticipated, due entirely to construction delays. This means it will be longer before the center is profitable. Nonetheless, confidence is high. My wife pointed out last night that it was effectively equivalent to me putting her through college all over again. This morning I'm mulling over the fact that aside from a brief, glorious nine months between relationships in 2002, and a semi-refreshing, maybe-we'll-make-it period of about a year before we had our daughter, I have given over the overwhelming majority of my earnings to the care of others for more than 20 years now.

I'm partly bitter about that and partly contemplative. A friend of mine was in Variety on Friday because he's got a show set up with Granada and Netflix. He, of course, came to LA about a year after I did. Then his wife (whose family is not just wealthy, they're royal) supported him while he did free work for two solid years, had two kids, went through treatment twice and lived i a $4k/mo apartment while we were grinding dried placentas to make ends meet. They don't tell you that: if you're trying to break in while earning a living, you're breaking in against dilettantes with zero cost-of-failure and infinite hang-time. Then Sunday I discovered that another below-the-line friend had died of a heart attack at 36.

It's all about anchoring, I guess. I've got a tree surgeon coming over to tell me what it's going to cost to make sure the three massive firs in the back don't fall on the house. I'm hoping I can afford it. At the same time I was talking to the neighbor Sunday; her roof is leaking because she got a deal from another neighbor's then-boyfriend but he's a junkie now so whatever warranty there was, yeah notsomuch anymore. Meanwhile they're building out, not up, because it's cheaper, because there's seven of them in there, six adults, and they've got one bathroom and fewer square feet than we do, and one of them is in a wheelchair. But she's on 100% disability, her daughter is on 100% disability, her son works two jobs, both of which are custodial, her one grandson got thrown out of his mom's house for fighting and her other grandson -

He was howling Sunday. Not sure why. It was dark, there was lots of shouting. We're debating calling CPS. He hangs out with me but he's rough. He's eight and enjoys the company of my 4-year-old daughter who is brighter than him by far. He's on the spectrum among other things and he breaks stuff. We let him play with our daughter out doors but he's not allowed in our house unless one of his family members are there. And we're crowded with three people and all our shit in this house but fuckin'A we can still park a car in the garage. They've got seven people in there and I don't even know who the seventh is.

They're building out. They're getting a loan. The contractor is a friend of a friend which worked out oh-so-well last time, right? There's seven of them, two fixed incomes and maybe three jobs between them, none of which make much money. I mean, they've got a blue tarp keeping the rain off half the house (not the roof leak; apparently that's just sort of happening without any remediation).

Anchoring. I don't have a blue tarp keeping the rain out of the family room, my toilet-to-person ratio is 1.5, and we have retirement savings as if we were 20 years older than we are now. And I'm not in Variety but I'm not in the ground, either. And as formidable as our burn rate is, we fuckin' made it this month.

This month, anyway.

kantos  ·  826 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: June 15, 2016

Green tea, please.

There've been a lot of vigils around town - yes, I'm bringing it up, I can't escape it when I live at the epicenter. Though I will say, this is likely the last bit I want to say about it for a long, long time. The cliche thing to say is "It's different when it's your city on the screen," and it is. Oddly, maybe I'm just in a better circle of people, but my feeds and interactions generally don't involve politic'n an bullshit'n. People here are just sad. Sad and angry and hurt and confused. Once the initial wave of press and media and calls for change receded, we saw more of what Orlando has done for those personally affected. In this light, I'm proud of my city and what it's done following this weekend.

Check this out from a friend's post who has her ear to the ground:

    The City is donating $7500 to each victim's family for funeral expenses and the burial plots are free. The plots will be lined up in the cemetery so that they can be seen even when the cemetery is closed and will face the Orlando skyline. If anyone needs information about how to obtain this, please send me a private message and I will assist you.

    Also, ALL airlines are offering free flights for the families, not only Jet Blue.

Here's the center of my Student Union, a shot before the vigil (one of many to come):

I had left before it all started, yet here's a shot from a friend of mine during the vigil:

And, lastly, a shot from a buddy who was downtown:

I read Obama is coming in town tomorrow (no public event: only to visit the families and survivors), which I just got an e-mail reminder about tomorrow's luncheon for the Mental Health Association to be sure to leave even earlier due the President's presence in town maybe making a commotion traffic-wise. The luncheon itself is viewed as "part of the community spirit" now, which is a plus. ?

In training for it last week we were informed there's going to be multiple layers of security due to a celebrity appearance. I didn't even think of it, though it makes sense (Did you know that Glenn Close has her own personal detail?). Unfortunately, we'll be tight on time, so I won't be able to get a picture (like a scrub) with a movie star. :(

Back on topic of communities, scrolling through, I'm relatively impressed the discussions on here didn't devolve into utter flame war(s). For all the divisive topics that come with events like this, there were interesting opinions, arguments and so forth from all angles. Tensive on given threads; still the atmosphere was far different than I expected for "the internet"...

All is said and done, I think this is really the last bit I hope to discuss about it, for whatever it's worth.

EDIT: Thank you for the badge, WanderingEng.

francopoli  ·  1113 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Carbon dating suggests early Quran is older than Muhammad [really?]

God. Fucking. Dammit. I did an outreach event today and explained carbon dating to 20 people standing around me. I'll do here what I did out in the real world.

Let's start with some basics. First off, Journalists suck as science. All of 'em. Even the science reporters suck. So, we got to take a step back and explain what "carbon dating" is. Carbon has two stable isotopes C12 and C13. C12 is about 99% of all the carbon and C13 is about 1%. EXCEPT! Biology has a preference to C12 and C12 will be a higher percent of organic material. This, by the way, is how we know oil and coal are biological in origin, and how the increase in CO2 being released is from burning coal and oil.

Moving on. There is an unstable form of Carbon called C14. C14 has a half life of roughly 5700 years +/- 50 years. This means on average, 1/2 of your C14 will decay into Nitrogen14 roughly every 5700 or so years. So, why is there still C14 if it all turns into something else? C14 is made in the atmosphere due to the nitrogen in the air being bombarded by cosmic radiation. This is a fairly steady rate, and has been verified by tree ring counting, archaeology, and sediment studies. (For example, we know a house was made in 1072 from trees that were cut down at that time, so we carbon date the wood. Since we know the exact year the wood died we can calibrate the measurements. Scientists do this all over the world as each biome has different tree ring patterns) As a living plant inhales C02, it takes the carbon from the air and locks it into the plant via photosynthesis. (Trees grow by sequestering carbon from the air and turning it into wood which is why growing trees is a way to combat global warming.) Animals eat the plants and accumulate C14 as well, but the C14 in animals is not as reliable due to may reasons. C14 does not work on anything that was not alive, and works best in woody plants, trees, shrubs and other perennials that live multiple seasons. C14 also does not work well on aquatic plants and animals due to the way that the C14 is produced.

While alive, the plant or animal will intake C14 at a reasonable steady rate and lock that into its body. When the plant or animal dies, it stops taking in C14, which will then decay into the N14 mentioned above. We measure the dates of C14 testings, called radiocarbon dating, from C.E. or Common era, a date set at 1950. Why 1950? Because we set off so many nukes in the 50's and 60's that it screwed up the levels of C14 in the air. We can also easily tell art forgeries due to the levels of isotopes that were only created in the 50's and 60's in the nuclear detonations.

So, basics done. What they did is they took an old piece of paper, made of wood and plant material, and radiocarbon dated it. They then got a range of dates within the expected margin of error that overlapped Mohamed's life. ALL THIS MEANS IS THAT THE PAPER WAS PRODUCED IN THIS TIME FRAME. That's it folks. There are bibles and Torahs that have been dated way earlier than they have been know to be produced due to the authors and copiers using older parchments and wooden blocks that they already had on hand. Some of the original Gutenberg bibles date to 60-70 years before they were printed as they used old materials lying around. A Torah known to have been printed in the 1400's dated to the 1300's for the same reason.

So, we have a piece of paper that was created in a date range that may be earlier than Mohamed. And journalists who either don't understand or don't care about how C14 dating works, yet are desperate for page views. This is why the news sucks and this is why I scream at a monitor watching this garbage be treated as anything other than a curiosity. Fuck the news.