Hubskihttps://hubski.com/A thoughtful web.Hubskihttps://hubski.com/images/discussion.pnghttps://hubski.com/https://hubski.com/pub/458832Indiana life insurance CEO says deaths are up 40% among people ages 18-64 #covid19 #publichealthhttps://hubski.com/pub/458832“We are seeing, right now, the highest death rates we have seen in the history of this business – not just at OneAmerica,” the company’s CEO Scott Davison said during an online news conference this week. “The data is consistent across every player in that business.”OneAmerica is a $100 billion insurance company that has had its headquarters in Indianapolis since 1877. The company has approximately 2,400 employees and sells life insurance, including group life insurance to employers in the state.“Just to give you an idea of how bad that is, a three-sigma or a one-in-200-year catastrophe would be 10% increase over pre-pandemic,” he said. “So 40% is just unheard of.”https://hubski.com/pub/458613"I Don't Know That I Would Even Call It Meth Anymore" #drugs #goodlongreadhttps://hubski.com/pub/458613In the early 1980s, the ephedrine method for making meth was rediscovered by the American criminal world. Ephedrine was the active ingredient in the over-the-counter decongestant Sudafed, and a long boom in meth supply followed. But the sample that arrived on Bozenko’s desk that day in 2006 was not made from ephedrine, which was growing harder to come by as both the U.S. and Mexico clamped down on it.https://hubski.com/pub/458244Midnight Pub #web #communitieshttps://hubski.com/pub/458244https://hubski.com/pub/458209My Brain Tumour #stateofthelil #thehumanconditionhttps://hubski.com/pub/458209Hi HubskiI'm scheduled for brain surgery next Thursday: US Thanksgiving. If you're wondering how someone finds out they have a brain tumour, here's my story.This is Act One of "My Brain Tumour" - a comedy written for my 70th birthday next August.thenewgreen agreed that it should be posted here. Thanks for watching tng.It's 25 minutes, so if you intend to watch, settle in.https://hubski.com/pub/458093SpinLaunch conducts first test of suborbital accelerator at Spaceport America #spacehttps://hubski.com/pub/458093The centrifuge ran at 20% of its maximum power, he said. He declined to give specific details about the projectile’s flight, but said it flew at supersonic speeds and reached altitudes of “tens of thousands of feet.” The projectile was instrumented and collected data, but did not have any active controls, instead flying a ballistic trajectory.Previously:I wish I could have conducted that class.https://hubski.com/pub/457895What the fuck happened to Boise, Idaho?https://hubski.com/pub/457895A long time ago, in a life long lost to all but memory, I was homeless and living in a truck. Some nearly 36 years ago I ended up in Boise, Idaho. "Ending up" is the best choice of wording here, as Boise is not a place you aspire to go to, its the place you end up when you have nowhere else to go. Back then, Idaho was being over-run with literal Nazis and National Socialists trying to create a "White Christian Utopia." Instead, as expected, they created an inbred shithole that gives Alabama a run for its money. Idaho is a place known for not being known, for being utterly unforgettable, the true meaning of Flyover Country.Which leads me to my recent health adventure. I'm dying, in a slow motion train wreck of consequences of a life filled with dubious life choices. Turns out one of the docs writing a book on what we think is wrong with me travels the country and offers services to Catholic hospitals around the US to verify treatment gathering data for medical researchers. My doc suggested last year that when she is nearby I go see her. Now that I am on government healthcare, this became a possibility. Turns out she was going to be in Boise, ID and I got set up to go see her over two days for a series of tests and information. Boise is a seven hour drive over two mountain passes that would require a multiple day stay in town. Current doc convinced me this is a good thing for me to do, so I agreed. Only problem? The dates were in October. For those that don't understand what Idaho is like in October, think wild swings from 25°C to feet of snow.. in a 24 hour time frame. Not a fun time to be on the freeway. . I'm not homeless and don't live in a truck, but looks like I will be living in a camper trailer for a week or so.I realized that this was going to be the first "Big City" I'd visit since 2019. I was going to be in town for at least a week, so I made a list. One thing that has been annoying is something wrong with the truck. If I took the time, read the manuals, got lucky with tools and parts I could probably fix it. This issue is that if I got the truck apart and could not put it back together again, I'd be in trouble and stuck on the mountain until spring. Being smart is knowing when to let the professionals do the work. I called a dealership, explained the issue, set up appointments, verified parts are available (horray for a 20 year old truck) and made the arrangements to hang out in the dealership while the work was done. The other issue, since I'm not exactly the beacon of health, and Idaho is basically a soup of Covid, I asked the hospital about parking my trailer on thier property to save on the risks of staying in a hotel during a labour shortage. They have parking set up for "non-terminal" patients that wish to not enter the hospital since all the Idaho hospitals are using portable morgues right now. with me being gone at lest a week, I decided to winterize the house, bear-proof the yard, do a ton of clean up, and made sure that the solar panels were waxed and cleaned. I spent time at the library in town to get a list of addresses and directions since I do not have a smart phone any longer. List set, homestead locked down, bad weather incoming, so off to Idaho I go.The first pass was no issue, the rain and snow started as I stopped to get gas at the half way mark. Anyone living in real weather knows that first good snowfall of fall is a shit show. Non-locals forget that snow exists, chains may be required and your front wheel drive car needs to slow the fuck down. My trailer is 2500 pounds loaded, and I ended up putting chains on the trailer up the second pass. My guess is they got 4-5" of snow by the time I got there, and another like amount by the time i came down and could see the city of Boise. The seven hour trip took 11 hours. By the time I made it close to town, I made the correct decision to stop at the rest area and bunker for the night to start fresh in the morning. The rest area... man first big change. Brand new building, high efficient toilets, very nice place. The last time I had been on this stretch of road it was like a drive back in time and everything was shit. Instead, the rest are was... nice? We'll go with nice as the descriptor here.Rolling into town I got my first real shock. The place had grown and become a real place. In the last thirty years, Boise became a metropolis of just about a million people. The rest of the drive into town was a confused WHY BOISE? WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED HERE? Million dollar homes? Yuppie chain stores? Boutique shops? Tourist Trap souvenir shops? What the ever fucking hell happened here? I got settled, checked in with the hospital, they gave me a sign to put in the window of the trailer that I am a patient, and went right to the dealer to get the truck fixed. Here, I had my first of three incidents that defined my week. I'm sitting in the lounge area, drinking shitty but free coffee, reading a book trying to ignore everyone else around me. In the periphery of my alert profile is a "kid" being loud and annoying. The kid, probably early 20's, is dressed like a trust fund baby (expensive looking loudly colored jacket, hat on sideways, jewelry, shoes not boots for the snow on the ground) there to get a sports car fixed. I know this because he dropped the name of the car loudly several times. At one point it is just him, his I guess girlfriend, and I. He says something, then I hear him say "some weird old dude reading a book" and now I am paying attention. Up until this point I have no idea what the kid is saying as I am actively ignoring him. I look his way, and he looks at me and says "yea, you asshole, got something to say?" I put my book down and stand up.One thing I try to notice on people that want to square up is where are their wrists? Lay flat on the ground. Now, pull a leg up so your leg makes a 90° angle to the floor. Lay your arms flat and your writs will be right about where your hip joint is. My writs are about a hand lower than my hip giving me a reach of about 32" something I learned to memorize in high school when it came time to fight the sheet wearing protestant assholes. This kid has short arms. Don't fight a guy with long arms, folks, his reach will fuck your day. Second thing to notice, the first two knuckles. If the first two knuckles on the guys hands are all weird looking, scarred, rough and knobby? the owner of those hands has hit a few things in his time and probably knows how to fight. This kid had better manicured hands than a few women I've known. Soft hands, loud mouth, short arms. I'm not in the fucking mood for this shit.end part 1 of 3 due to posting limitshttps://hubski.com/pub/457288'bl00s Reviews 2fer: "The Rise of the Warrior Cop" by Radley Balko / "No Good Men Among the Living" by Anand Gopal #bl00sreviews #tellhubskihttps://hubski.com/pub/457288(Bank Gothic inna haus)I read Balko's book, like, half a pandemic ago? It's a good read, but grim because of course it came out eight years before BLM and CBP dusting protesters and rent-a-thugs sans insignia vanning Antifa in Portland and all the rest. Things were terrible then, they're way worse now.I read "No Good Men Among the Living" like, this morning. It's just as fucking grim for exactly the same reasons and also came out like eight years ago. Okay, seven. Spot me a year for symmetry.I'm reviewing them together because they're the same goddamn book.Yeah, one of them is about domestic police response and the other is about a failed invasion by any other name but the basics are the same.RISE OF THE WARRIOR COP1) Conservatives (Nixon) wish to crush counterculture (Hippies)2) Crime is down, but everyone fears crime, so a boogeyman must be invented3) Local approaches don't make national campaigns look good, so crime must be nationalized4) Violent raids make good television so violent raids are preferred5) Any setbacks can be countered by arguing that the raids weren't violent enough6) Individual grifters profit off of the massive largesse7) The system becomes self-perpetuating8) NO GOOD MEN AMONG THE LIVING1) Conservatives (Bush) wish to crush counterculture (muslims)2) Terrorism is down, but everyone fears terrorism, so a boogeyman must be invented3) Local approaches don't make national campaigns look good, so terrorism must be nationalized4) Violent raids make good television so violent raids are preferred5) Any setbacks can be countered by arguing that the raids weren't violent enough6) individual grifters profit off the massive largesse7) The system becomes self-perpetuating8)The core problem with fighting crime with troops is that you're never going to get the bad guy. If you're focused on kicking ass you care not a lot whose ass you kick, and if you don't bother to understand the situation the wrong ass is going to get kicked every time. The War on Drugs was invented to give the DEA something to do, and the DEA was invented to win Nixon re-election. Ever since, the DEA has been who you call if you want justification to kick down some doors, and ever since you could easily get justification to kick down doors, kicking down doors has been what you do instead of investigating. If you need a SWAT team one day a year? And you don't have it? That one day will be the day that makes you lose the election because you weren't prepared to be "tough on crime." So now you have a SWAT team, and you only need them one day a year. So you use them when they aren't needed. I'd watch this on the CBS feed down in LA - CBS would put up a bird twice a day because of course they did, and then they had nothing better to do, so they'd fly around looking for filmable shit. LAPD simplified things by having no less than eleven frequencies for their radios but the minute it involved hot pursuit, SWAT, K9 or anything interesting, it went to "hot shots" so that if all you cared about was the interesting stuff, it was all right there for you. So every single day, LAPD SWAT was there to kick down someone's door, and every single day, every copter was there to film it and before too long, you aren't doing your job if you aren't rolling on a daycare.You don't care if you're white, of course. I was pulled over once and a stammering kid with two guns and a taser on said "I-I-I'm s-sorry sir I didn't realize you were white" and got back in his car. Had two officers bang on my door at 3am demanding to see the wife I was supposedly beating - they got awfully damn circumspect when I was clearly not brown and lost that circumspection immediately upon banging on the neighbor's door (apartment was vacant - see previous about "investigating"). SWAT's a backronym, by the way. After the Watts riots, Daryl Fuckin' Gates wanted a "Special Weapons Assault Team" to go crack darkie skulls and everyone told him the name didn't exactly scream "law enforcement." So they worked their way back to "special weapons and tactics" and poured 5,000 rounds into a house with four people in it. From that point forth, darkies got warfare. An aside? This is a book about how white people who blow up buildings end up teaching at NYU while black people who blow up buildings get assassinated.LET'S PUT SOME AFGHANISTAN ON ITGopal does a preamble for Afghanistan kinda like how Ridley Scott did a preamble for Blade Runner - 2017 Los Angeles had Replicants, Afghanistan has Purdah. Gopal makes the point that Purdah isn't an Islamic thing, it's a Hindu Kush thing. He also points out that Afghanistan is only 12% arable land, of which less than half is actually under cultivation:The rationalists have long pointed to Afghanistan to make their case - history is basically a fat'n'happy valley getting prosperous and raided by the starving mountain tribes, who move in, get fat'n'happy and raided by the starving mountain tribes. Afghanistan, they point out, is always under totalitarianism or anarchy because it's not a country, it's a region of hardscrabble valleys with no shared law, no shared religion, no shared culture and no shared infrastructure where life is nasty, brutish and short. Thus, the only thing you have of value is your women and the only people you can trust not to steal your women are the men who gave them to you and everyone else is one lost goat from murdering you.Gopal goes one further by pointing out that the first example of white people bitching about the Taliban is about three hundred years old - "Talib" means "student" and in a tribal society where justice is self-serve and ownership is hereditary, the best way to make good is to join the priesthood. His tribe and your tribe may have absolutely nothing in common other than you've both heard of Allah, so the guy who knows Allah becomes the interlocutor for everything.Afghanistan was, of course, veering from totalitarianism to anarchy when the Soviets stepped in, so the Americans challenged their totalitarianism with anarchy. Once the Soviets left anarchy reigned, and the only thing providing any sort of mutually-accepted justice was ruthlessly-applied Islamic law. Enter bin Laden and the one thing the Americans wanted was the one thing the Taliban couldn't do - hand over a Muslim to the Infidels. Thus, Taliban totalitarianism was replaced with American anarchy.Gopal follows three people for twelve years - A warlord who was rescued on the day of execution by his buddy Mohammed Karzai, a low-level grifter Talib who went by "Mullah Cable" under the Soviets because of his choice of whips, and a college-educated woman who makes the mistake of canvassing for elections under the Americans. They're all fucked. You know they're all fucked. The woman is the only one who doesn't fuck anyone else over so of course she's the one who's fucked the most. And that was in 2014; she's super-fucked now, of course. Because it's tribal. It's not who you are, it's who you're related to, and even that may not matter. Mullah Cable describes the experience of American air strikes the first time and is absolutely gobsmacked by the god-like powers of the Americans, but also emboldened by the fact that if you shoot at them they run away because without air support, they're utter cowards. And that's the thing. The Americans came to Afghanistan to kick ass and chew gum and they didn't bring any gum. So the question was always "who do we shoot" and the answer invariably was "whoever the Afghan we're friends with at the moment tells us to." Gopal details a detainee at Bagram whose principle crime was aiding and abetting an Afghan warlord... who contracted with the Army to build Bagram. Because it's all trade-it-up-the-chain bullshit which means the more important you're supposed to be, the further removed you are from anyone who can judge who you actually are. While the Soviets basically pitted urban Afghans against rural Afghans and paid both sides to rat on each other, the Americans didn't even have the discipline to keep track of who they'd paid and who they were shooting at. Entire villages were emptied because rival clans could say "this Taliban guy is in there" and men would be shot and buildings bulldozed and women widowed four times in five months because I guess you just showed up on the wrong day, Yankee. Gopal interviews a guy who told Centcom "I can get you al Qaeda, give me five million dollars" so they did, so he went to his friends in al Qaeda and said "give me a million dollars and I won't rat you out to Centcom" and they did, so he went to the ISI and said "al Qaeda's on the run give me 500,000 dollars and I'll show you where they're going" and ISI told him to fuck off "because they are not like you! They pay attention!" Of course that guy was murdered by rivals like two months later because Afghanistan.Afghanistan was never not going to be a failure. It was going to be a failure for the Soviets whether we were involved or not, it was going to be a failure for us no matter how long we stayed or how much money we threw at it. What Gopal's book illustrates is that our failure was thunderously obvious from day one because we simply didn't apply the resources or attention to figure out what the fuck was going on, so we were forever at the whim of whoever we were talking to in the moment, various grifters calling down the lightning on each other in the interests of getting ahead in a society where you have either anarchy or totalitarianism but usually something in between. Yet what were we doing? "Nation building."The title comes from a Pashtun aphorism: "there are no good men among the living, and no bad men among the dead." Partway through the book, Gopal interviews Mullah Cable/Akhbar Ghul about an action against the Americans in which he ambushed a column, blew up a few trucks, and caused the Americans to rain down an air strike on a defenseless village.That evening, the commanders regrouped in the mountains. Remarkably, there were no injuries. They spoke among themselves about how cowardly the Americans were, how without their airplanes this war would be over in months. Their mood was triumphant, their narrow escape evidence that God was on their side. Then they received news from the village: the airstrike had flattened a house whose wall Akhbar Ghul had used for cover, and ravaged the apple orchards through which they had escaped.Akhbar Ghul felt deeply ashamed. He wondered how he could possibly face the villagers. But was it his fault? The Americans had chosen to come to Wardak, he reasoned. he'd never asked for it. They had placed themselves in the middle of the village, and he was doing the best he could - the best anyone could - under such conditions.Much later, I asked him if he felt remorse. He gave me a surprised look, and said "You can't ask me that. Americans won't ever feel what we feel. Your problems have solutions."https://hubski.com/pub/4569932021 Barkley Fall Classic 50K #runninghttps://hubski.com/pub/456993 https://hubski.com/pub/456807Done.https://hubski.com/pub/456807aka "kleinbl00's kovid kasting korrespondence kourse kurrikulum kapstone"https://hubski.com/pub/456729Ironman Wisconsin 70.3 2021 #racereport #triathlonhttps://hubski.com/pub/456729This past Sunday I completed the Ironman Wisconsin 70.3 triathlon, my first half iron tri. Swim: 1.2 miles took me 40:27Bike: 56 miles took me 3:30:46Run: 13.1 miles took me 2:10:15Final time with transitions: 6:33:40SummaryOverall it went very well, and I exceeded most of my goals. Only my run was spot on my goal of 2:10.TrainingI didn't really follow any real training plan. I did several short distance triathlons this summer. These helped with experience but also distracted from longer distance training. Generally I tried to do three swims, three bikes, and three runs a week, knowing I'd probably only get six or seven workouts in. I did get some good open water swims in, including some 2500 yard swims. I could have been more consistent about doing swim intervals. Biking is my weaker sport, and I did make a point of getting out to do a long ride most weekends. This included riding sections of the course and up to the full course a couple weeks out. There are a few big hills, and riding them several times really helped because I knew what to expect. I've been running the longest and trained the least deliberately for the run, expecting to lean on my years of running base. I did do a ten mile trail run a few weeks out, and that helped reassure me I could do a longer, challenging run.Race WeekI picked up my packet Friday and took a dip in the lake after. The lake temp had come down from the August highs and was comfortable in the low 70s.Saturday was mandatory bike drop off. All bikes had to be checked in Saturday. I didn't do any other fitness Saturday, feeling like all the walking around Friday and Saturday was enough to get me moving. Race DayMy half Ironman was the same day as the full. They started at 6:45, but we had until 7:00 to get our transition area set. That meant filling up water bottles, packing food for the bike, and arranging the bike and run gear. I'd gotten there about 5:10 as I'd been worried about parking, so by 6:00 I was just killing time. Around 6:30 I headed to the swim start to watch the full start. My race started at 8:40, and around 8:00 I started getting my wetsuit on and took a little dip in the lake. That helped get my arms moving and get some water in my wetsuit. That always helps me slip the suit on another little bit. SwimThe swim is a rolling start, with swimmers self seeding based on expected swim time. I lined up with 43-46 minutes but clearly should have been a little further forward. My swim went great. Swimming is the one discipline in triathlon where drafting is legal, and with so many people in the water I think I was almost always behind someone. The swim course itself was a simple rectangle. Three right turns and then a left turn back to land. Transition 1The transition area was up a parking garage, so coming out of the water we ran up the spiral ramp to our floor. By the time I got to my bike my wetsuit was unzipped and arms free. I sat down to pull my wetsuit off, socks and shoes on, and swap my swim cap and goggles with helmet and glasses. BikeThe bike goes down another spiral ramp to ground level. The course was really well marked, though it helped that I knew the course well already. I had with me a bottle of Gatorade and finished that a little before mile 20. I'd planned to stop at an aid station there to refill but must have read the map wrong. It was only water, which was better than nothing. The hills start around mile 25 and continue for about 10 miles. I'm still not the most confident going fast, but I'm glad I'd ridden them and was a lot more confident than I'd been my first time down them. The ride was a little dicey when the course merged back up with the full course. The two come together part way down the steepest hill, and when I turned on there was a rider right in front of me hard on her brakes while others were flying by at 30+ mph. I did get by them eventually and got some decent speed. At the bottom of the hill I found an ambulance and an athlete sitting in the grass. It's a fast hill with a turn at the bottom. Another hill as I came down a guy was weaving on the road to come to a stop which was super dangerous. I'm not sure what he was doing but called out "on your left" as I approached. Around mile 45 a cyclist ahead of me steered into a driveway, started to dismount, and then just tipped over. I called out "are you ok" and he returned "I'm ok!" as he grabbed his leg. My in-the-moment conclusion was he was lucid and probably cramping badly but not having a medical emergency. I rode on. By that point a little wind had picked up, but I pushed through it ok. My bike is a road bike, but I have aero bars that can help me get out of the wind a little. The road back to transition is totally flat which was some nice relief. Transition 2I felt good off the bike. I did change my socks and don't regret the time. My feet felt good all run. RunI've mostly switched to Altra shoes. They're good for me in general but especially off the bike the zero drop helps my calves not blow up. I'd say I felt pretty good for about a mile, probably the adrenaline of being off the bike. Normally I'd take a gel every three miles or so, and did have one around mile two. But something about gels just wasn't what I wanted, so I was drinking Gatorade and Coke every aid station. They had grapes, too, which I took a couple times. I saw cookies and bananas and Red Bull which I didn't try. I think I stopped at literally every aid station except the very last one a half mile from the finish. I walked at them and sometimes walked a block past. I wasn't struggling but wasn't exactly feeling energetic. But once I got back less than a mile from the finish, I was able to muster the energy to put in a solid finish. It felt good to run to the finish! I felt good across the line, though they have catchers because many people get across and collapse, especially in the full. AfterWeather was perfect all day. A friend found me and congratulated me, then I found a bathroom and the provided finisher food. The food was disappointing and the same thing served at small local races. I still ate it, of course. I got my bike, loaded up my car, and went home to a much needed shower. After a little recovery, I went back to look for a friend doing the full. He ended up finishing in 14:40! Just a colossal day for him and a lot of people. FutureI used to like to say doing a half Ironman wasn't a goal, but it was said with a bit of a wink. I think I want to do another. There's one in Door County, WI in July that's supposed to be good. It isn't Ironman branded so I assume it's a little cheaper. IM has 70.3s in Indiana and Michigan that might also be options. They haven't announced Wisconsin 70.3 for 2022. I won't commit one way or the other on doing a full. I can see the allure, but I can also see the absolute time sink. I don't know how I'd find the time to double the training I did this year.https://hubski.com/pub/456661Get Your War Onhttps://hubski.com/pub/456661https://hubski.com/pub/456392The Outlaw Ocean Music Project #music #journalismhttps://hubski.com/pub/456392https://hubski.com/pub/456358Edward Snowden: The All-Seeing "i": Apple Just Declared War on Your Privacy #privacy #applehttps://hubski.com/pub/456358https://hubski.com/pub/456218Mysteries around obesity and the contaminant hypothesis #science #medicinehttps://hubski.com/pub/456218Once upon a time I spent most of my research time reading about obesity and I remember from back then that people in the field were disagreeing on what causes obesity and how to tackle it.The concept of a weight "set point" was floating around since people noticed that it is very hard to lose weight in a stable manner, but once a new setpoint was reached and stabilized, the body would defend that setpoint. Similar to temperature regulation (the main topic in my current lab).The idea is, that something changed in the past 20-30 years that lead to a global change of the setpoint. This thread (and associated book) go through some of the possibilities that caused this change.https://hubski.com/pub/456204Evidence of Fraud in an Influential Field Experiment About Dishonesty #science #fraudhttps://hubski.com/pub/456204https://hubski.com/pub/455826Seawind Saga: Pilot who crashed in Lake Michigan had 7 crashes in 7 days #aviationhttps://hubski.com/pub/455826Link related: 68-year-old out-of-towner dies 10 miles into a 12-mile hike in Death Valley in Julyhttps://hubski.com/pub/455457Dying Vet's letter to President Bush and VP Cheney #war #iraqhttps://hubski.com/pub/455457This is an old letter, but one recently shared with me. It's an interesting read eight years later. It's of particular interest to me in thinking about the US withdrawal from Afghanistan.https://hubski.com/pub/455395Delta Variant #covid19 #healthhttps://hubski.com/pub/455395Just waiting to get our 9yo daughter vaccinated, here.https://hubski.com/pub/455127All the right words on climate have already been said #climatechangehttps://hubski.com/pub/455127ButterflyEffecthttps://hubski.com/pub/455064demure puts satellites in space (edit: 30 June): 12:31 PDT / 3:31PM EDT / 17:31 UTC / 21:31 CEST #space #tellhubskihttps://hubski.com/pub/455064YAM-3 (separation confirmed but not on camera):YAM-2 separation:https://www.loftorbital.com/whatwedohttps://hubski.com/pub/455045Heaven or High Water: Selling Miami's last 50 years #realestate #climatechangehttps://hubski.com/pub/455045The sea level in Miami has risen ten inches since 1900; in the 2000 years prior, it did not really change. The consensus among informed observers is that the sea will rise in Miami Beach somewhere between 13 and 34 inches by 2050. By 2100, it is extremely likely to be closer to six feet, which means, unless you own a yacht and a helicopter, sayonara. Sunset Harbour is expected to fare slightly worse, and to do so more quickly.Thus, I felt the Sunset Harbour area was a good place to start pretending to buy a home here. Amazingly, in the face of these incontrovertible facts about the climate the business of luxury real estate is chugging along just fine, and I wanted to see the cognitive dissonance up close.It feels like I'm reading something out of a Joseph Heller novel.kleinbl00https://hubski.com/pub/454858My Mother's Beautiful Life Ended Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. #obit #familyhttps://hubski.com/pub/454858The funeral was Thursday afternoon. Here’s an obit written by my brothers: Mary Blum Devor’s family came to Canada from Poland in 1926. Mary was born three months later, in Montreal. The youngest of four siblings, her parents were poor Jewish immigrants who valued education and culture. In time, Mary and all her siblings earned university degrees.Mary was fascinated with child psychology but set her ambitions aside when she married Sid Blum, a brilliant and charming veteran from New York and started to raise a family. Sid was a civil rights activist and the two of them were at the centre of a cohort of young idealists who were changing the world.In the summer of 1966, Sid was diagnosed with cancer; he died three years later.With five children to feed, Mary knew she would have to get a job. She was 39 years old.Rekindling her passion for psychology, she began her search for work as an unpaid volunteer, doing testing and psychological assessment of children in the care of the Catholic Children's Aid Society in Hamilton, Ontario, where she lived. Soon the Hamilton Board of Education, hearing of her work, asked her to do assessments of children having problems in school. As word of her effectiveness spread, she was offered a full-time job as a child psychologist at Hamilton's Mental Health Clinic for Children and Adolescents. Family court judges began asking her to assess children caught in custody battles. And before long she was named Chief Psychologist, and then Director, of the clinic.Understanding that troubled children need someone who will listen to them, and care about them, Mary started a program in which she taught volunteers how to listen to children with empathy, and nurture their self-worth. Each volunteer was assigned one child, and given weekly counselling in groups that she led.Four nights a week, after coming home to have dinner with her own children, she drove back downtown to work with existing volunteers, and to train new volunteers. In this way, hundreds of ordinary citizens learned how to listen to, and care about, Hamilton's troubled children.As the benefits of her programs became evident, she was able to open a second clinic for children's mental health, and place it in one of Hamilton's poorest areas.After ten years of widowhood, at the peak of her achievements, her life took another turn. One of Sid’s best friends from his university days, Berko Devor, came into her life. A prosperous lawyer now settled in Israel, Berko successfully wooed Mary and they were married in 1979, dividing their time equally between Jerusalem and Hamilton.In Israel she revived her Hebrew language skills and immediately began working with children in a hospital in Jerusalem. Appreciating her value, the hospital offered to pay her. But instead of accepting payment, she asked the hospital to use the money to hire another therapist to work with children. The therapist never knew the source of their salary.These years with Berko, living in two countries and travelling together to many more, were some of Mary’s happiest. Her private counselling practice grew to attract many in the Orthodox community and to help alleviate the anxiety of some of her male clients who were reluctant to be alone in a room with a woman, she trained Berko as a co-therapist.Berko died in 1993, also of cancer, and Mary returned to Hamilton. Here, in the house that she'd bought thirty years earlier, she continued working, doing marriage counselling and family therapy in her home, and over the telephone with clients in Canada, Israel, and the U.S.Dying at the age of 94, Mary Blum Devor is survived by her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and hundreds of volunteers and former clients who adored Mary for changing their lives. Her work will reverberate to the corners of time.https://hubski.com/pub/454779Kip Kinkel Is Ready To Speak #goodlongread #thehumanconditionhttps://hubski.com/pub/454779At 15, he shot and killed his parents, two classmates at his school, and wounded 25 others. He’s been used as the reason to lock kids up for life ever since.https://hubski.com/pub/454263The Battle of SHARKS! #art #cgpgreyhttps://hubski.com/pub/454263https://hubski.com/pub/454232Teshuvah: A Jewish Case for Palestinian Refugee Return #goodlongread #israelhttps://hubski.com/pub/454232https://hubski.com/pub/453912Starlink is a very big deal #spacehttps://hubski.com/pub/453912Neal Stephenson wrote the definitive essay on cybertourism when the first internet-dedicated oceanic optical fiber cable was laid, all the way back in 1996. His characteristic sharp prose ably describes the sheer cost and difficulty of building these wretched lolcat pipes. For much of the 2000s, so much cable was being laid that the rate of deployment, combined across multiple ships, was supersonic.More from the Countering misconceptions in space journalism series:There are no known commodity resources in space that could be sold on EarthLet’s consider a representative list of the most expensive materials in the world. In descending order, they are:Antimatter, currently $62.5t/g.Californium, $25m/g.Diamond, $55k/g.Tritium, $30k/g.Taaffite, $20k/g.Helium 3, $15k/g.Painite, $6k/g.Plutonium, $4k/g.LSD, $3k/g.Cocaine, $236/g.Despite their high value density, none of these make good candidates for commercial extraction from the Moon or asteroids, for a few different reasons....Space-based solar power is not a thingthe fundamental problem with space-based solar power is that it’s obtaining a commodity, power, somewhere where it’s expensive and selling it somewhere where it’s cheap.... What are the extra costs? Broadly, they fall into the following categories: Transmission losses, thermal losses, logistics costs, and space technology penalty.https://hubski.com/pub/453881Just released my second electronic EP! (includes 8 guest artists) #music #newmusichttps://hubski.com/pub/453881I'm so flubbing excited about this!Each song accompanies a paintings I currently have on display at the Kansas City Artist Coalition. Track two is especially special. The lyrics are are a letter I wrote to my dad, translated to Spanish, and a friend translated and is reading in Mayan. On this same track I'm also playing the hompax, a pre-Hispanic Mayan instrument akin to the didgeridoo. I'd love to hear your thoughts!https://hubski.com/pub/453127You Won’t Remember the Pandemic the Way You Think You Will #goodlongread #thehumanconditionhttps://hubski.com/pub/453127The stories you hold on to will be colored by your own experience—but also by the experiences of those around you.https://hubski.com/pub/452947Beneath The Table #hubskioriginalmusicclub #musichttps://hubski.com/pub/452947lil steveHere we go... By the time they got out of the carThey couldn't hear a thingThe blood dripping from their earsMeant I'd never see the sameThe sun don't shineThe moon don't stirWhen I'm hiding beneath the tableThe dogs don't biteThe shouting blursBeneath the tableWhen I finally found my voiceIt was too late to say a thingThe terrors that I'd seen Came as tidal waves in dreamshttps://hubski.com/pub/452732I Like That The Boat Is Stuck #shipping #suezcanalhttps://hubski.com/pub/452732It's bad that the boat is stuck. It's bad for lots of people and for lots of reasons. I know that. Please don't think that me liking the stuck boat is an ideological stance. This is not an opinion I have about boats, or about canals, or about things generally being stuck.https://hubski.com/pub/458976https://hubski.com/pub/458976I've been learning to fly tailwheel airplanes for the past 6 months, flying roughly once a week. Now I've got 42.3 hours of flight time, with 0.5 hours of that now being PIC--pilot in command!Frankly, flying solo was not as nerve-wracking as I expected it to be. I've been learning new things each lesson with my instructor, but I haven't had to be corrected on stick-and-rudder pure flying technique in a while, so I didn't feel the absence of my instructor's remarks. We flew a couple laps in the pattern (takeoffs and landings in loops, in the airport vicinity) and then he got out, took his stuff out of the plane, and sent me off! I did three landings (and one go-around), and that was that! I did get the feeling of "hey, I'm flying an airplane--by myself. sweet!"This is the type of plane I fly, a Bellanca Citabria. Many of them are around 50 years old. Fabric wings and fuselage! Roughly 110 horsepower! a 4-cylinder engine with a carburetor! Two seats, in tandem (rather than side-by-side)As you can see, the little wheel is in the back ('tailwheel')--it's a more traditional gear setup (most modern planes have a nosewheel) and is harder to fly (takeoffs and landings). The word on the street is that tailwheel pilots generally have better "stick and rudder" skills (i.e. flying technique). I can't really be the judge of that, but it's kind of the equivalent of learning to drive a manual/standard transmission car.Because it's fairly straightforward for a tailwheel pilot to transition to nosewheel aircraft, and not the other way around, you must have a "tailwheel endorsement" on your license to fly tailwheel airplanes. I had to earn that endorsement (even though my license is a student license) to fly solo--so yes, I can do wheel landings. I've also gotten very proficient at performing slips, because there are no flaps on this model.Here's what I see inside. Notice that there isn't even an attitude indicator (also called an artificial horizon)! (Yes, I've had to do my simulated instrument training "partial panel" by default, learning to fly the plane without looking outside and without an attitude indicator)I've got a few things left to do to earn my private pilot certificate-- get 10 hours total solo time, get 3 hours total cross-country flight time, do my cross-country solo, do 3 hours of night flight, and prep for (and pass) the oral exam and checkride (flight exam)!I can't wait for electric airplanes to become more common (https://www.diamondaircraft.com/en/service/electric-aircraft/ !!), but in the meantime I buy carbon offsets because the one thing that really makes me ambivalent about pursuing this as a hobby are its carbon emissions...https://hubski.com/pub/458640https://hubski.com/pub/458640So much of hookup culture is a result of ancillary contact. School events. Concerts. Parties. Work events. Unless you live in the middle of Trump county chances are the vast majority of these have been cancelled due to the pandemic. Which basically leaves you with two options, either tough it out with your partner, or pray that somehow the invitation to "grab a drink" sometime with some stranger you just met on dating app isn't interrupted by either you or the other person getting sick, and being forced to drive over to their house through the highways on three hours of sleep. The consequences for failure are through the roof. When your "best friend for life" flakes for the eleventeenth time, it's no longer cute anymore. It's time you could have spent doing something positive towards your own survival. When an entire population is forced from creative mode into survival mode, the first thing to go is your polyamorous throuple or whatever. And yes, I too did match with my roommate on Tinder but I ain't doing anything cause it's exam season and that's awkward. I mean, when I was in grade 12 the entire school had a giant camp-out on the field to raise money for cancer research. Tents everywhere, refreshments, loud music. An outdoor stage. My band was headlining. Fricking cuddle puddle? Even remembering that today seems like Creed from The Office reminiscing about the '60s or some shit. It begs the question whether or not things will eventually return to normal. They will, but with ripple effects. The "two years of COVID-19" will be forever implanted in our collective memory with full knowledge that it could happen again at any point. This will, I imagine, lead to an overall sense of caution in large social events and a vast increase in funding for various institutions that deal with infectious diseases. I imagine it will take at least five years until certain ingrained habits and the fear fully dissipate. I’ve come to believe that video dating will remain a permanent fixture in the modern courtship process even after the pandemic ends. It is an efficient, economical and effective way to do a “vibe check” before meeting in person.M'lady, I appreciate the compliment. Can we meet up on Zoom first? Sorry, just vibe check. I'm a Capricorn. That's good? Alright, bet.https://hubski.com/pub/458574https://hubski.com/pub/458574Still plugging away at this painting. I feel like I need to get a bit adventurous with the lighting.We are headed to Puerto Rico for 4 nights. It will be the first family air travel in the aftertimes. Looking forward to it.Drastically improved some regenerative medicine technology this week for Forever Labs. I need to spend the afternoon making sketches. Did some experiments in the lab on Monday, and it felt good. It had been a while since I had my hands in a bio hood.In other news, I have been obsessed for some time with the idea that we need a new mobile OS that took full advantage of Ethereum applications. Anyway, I started tweeting about it enough until about three weeks ago a guy in Austria reached out and was like let's do it. So we made a discord, and now we have about 130 people and a number of them are building and designing, and we have a v0 Android fork that has an Ethereum client and apps on it can interact with it, and we have a v0 DappStore and a test Dapp.Here's the site that went live today: https://ethereumphone.orgIt's crazy that with github, discord, figma, notion, etc., people can quickly coordinate and build with very little knowledge of each other. When you couple that with tokens and DAOs, you basically have inverted the capitalist process. It now goes: people gather, sort by talent, build product, issue shares, elect executive leadership.Organization of production used to be the value-capture, but now that aggregates with little more than an idea.https://hubski.com/pub/458324https://hubski.com/pub/458324There are a lot of emotions running deep today. The past nine years have one hell of a trip. The person I was when I signed my name on the dotted line is vastly different from the one who signed out today. I've had quite a few drinks to celebrate the end so it's a little bit difficult to truly reflect but.. man idk. I'll try and put together a small album together within the next couple days of my favorite moments. The military has allowed me to meet countless interesting people, visit 30+ countries, and develop myself to a level I would have never before thought possible. While I never posted much on hubski I would like to thank y'all for keeping me somewhat grounded-just lurking and reading has been significant. When surrounded by the echo chamber of the army this website has always been a refuge to maintain at least a little intellectual capacity.https://hubski.com/pub/458310https://hubski.com/pub/458310popping in to say how grateful I am for all of you.all of you makersall of you scientistsall of you artistsall of you doersall of you listenersall of you writersall of you teachersall of you random internet strangersall of you hubskiersI am forever in your collective debt. It's been kind of a weird and wild and rough couple years and you all have helped pull/push/inspire me through. I love you all even if I'm not sharing much lately... but I read often and appreciate you.https://hubski.com/pub/458305https://hubski.com/pub/458305Got my booster yesterday. Dying today. No exciting holiday plans beyond homework. First final is one week from today. All done December 13th. Might plan for a Dec 15 or 16 virtual happy hour. Haven't done that in forever (sorry) and that is damn near the 11th hubskiversary. So keep your eyes peeled for that!https://hubski.com/pub/457642https://hubski.com/pub/457642Cumol is the slickest ‘skian to ever grace this site. Don’t @ me.RIP the West.https://hubski.com/pub/457539https://hubski.com/pub/457539i think that jokes about a discriminated minority should primarily be funny to that minority more than any general audience. i think that jokes about a discriminated minority that are designed to be funny to a general audience, but not to that minority, are not jokes that work.trans people take these jokes seriously because they aren't funny to trans people. it's hard to not take something seriously when it's not funny to you. i want to repeat that i'm not insulted by the jokes in the special, they just make me sad. i think that these kinds of jokes don't help the community and just add onto the pile of cultural messaging against trans people. i think that this is the new battlefield of the culture war, and that trans people who react negatively to this special will continue to become targets. when you say "why is it being taken so seriously," this is why. comedy doesn't just float in the air - comedy is powerful. comedy can be used to reinforce certain attitudes, or undermine them. comedy and politics are connected to each other. you can be a carlin-type of comedian and use comedy to show how society is rigged for the powerful, or you can be the kind of comedian that uses comedy to reinforce existing stereotypes. i do not feel liberated by chappelle's humor about trans people. i do not welcome his takes on trans people. again, if i was to get up on stage and postulate about The Black Experience In America, i would fully expect to be reamed for it because i don't know what i'm talking about. when i hear dave's jokes about trans people, it is very clear that he doesn't know what he's talking about.i don't want to censor comedy. i don't want to "cancel" anybody. it's very clear that the trans community at large is unable to cancel anybody, given that chappelle and ricky gervais and the like all still have careers. they can continue to make hacky jokes at my expense for as long as they want to for all i care. i just don't see why i have to pretend that it's all in good fun, and to lighten up - it's the standup comedian version of "boys will be boys" - he snapped your bra strap in front of your friends, but it's because he likes you, so just let him do it - it was just a jokei will never be a model minority that puts up with being mocked, no matter whether you think that makes me a killjoy.https://hubski.com/pub/457393https://hubski.com/pub/457393Believe it or not, I'm sanguine bordering on ebullient... long term. Short term?So that graph says two things without you even really needing to know what it's graphing: (1) "holy shit" (2) "that can't continue." There's an aphorism in commodities markets: "the cure for high prices is high prices." We're all in the commodities market now, bubba. You and I have talked about this at length for several years now: automation is coming and that right soon. There's been a steady pressure to unstaff. Hey, great! They're letting you work from home! That means you're now competing against the entire goddamn world for your job. Which means if they can fob it off on a bot rancher from Bangalore to save 20%, they'll do it. And now everyone who could barely afford Silicon Valley is looking at Nowhere Gulch and dreaming of owning serfs, and he'll happily pay for the house with a check because this'll be easier if the wife and five-year-old can get settled in before school starts.Food? You're literally asking "what happens if Democrats cut entitlements for some reason" and they ain't. They ain't ever. They learned that shit under Clinton - when you fuck with poor people you get Newt Gingrich. Which isn't to say every Republican governor out there isn't going to try on every possible variation of "fuck poor people" because it's "important to their base." Performative evil - that's where the Right is right now.I used to say "there's opportunity in the Delta." Now I say "It's just the Churn." I was in the music industry when MP3 happened, the movie industry when Netflix happened, and tried to write a book when all the publishers sued Amazon. Before I ran off to join the circus, I interviewed with every acoustical consultancy in Seattle. When I came back, the only one still in business was the one I left.We knew this. We saw it coming. We looked at the graphs, we looked at the lines, we looked at the empty streets and restaurants and we knew it would be seismic. Now? Now we're all trying to pretend COVID is over as if that fundamental a crash isn't going to leave some deep and lasting scars. But look.Michael Lewis wrote an entire book about the skeletonization of the federal government under Donald Trump. Any semi-competent bureaucrat was able to evaluate that there was no room for competence in government, so they left or retired. This was also documented by Bob Woodward in Peril - there was literally zero vaccine distribution plan by the Trump white house. None.Trump knocked over the sand castle. Dude three-finger-saluted the entire goddamn government for us. 'cuz I tell you what: opportunistic hangers-on don't hang on after the opportunity is gone. Which left an entire ecosystem open to exploitation by pie-eyed, opportunistic Lefties driven by mission. And now? Now every crisis is gonna be an "add moar socialism" moment. - Student loans. The Biden administration can literally forgive all of it through executive order. They won't, but they'll definitely fuck with it. They'll wait until things are really painful, though, so that they "won't have a choice." - Medicaid. Can be expanded aggressively to anybody who got any pandemic assistance whatsoever under emergency proclamation, which is over when Biden says it's over. I'm currently paying $2 a month for healthcare because I cashed an unemployment check. I believe that rate is good for a calendar year at least, and that's only because nobody's pushed it out further. I'm effectively on nationalized healthcare and the Republicans didn't even notice. - Housing. They've already started murdering the flood insurance subsidies. They could come after the mortgage interest deduction, too. They could also dump money into rural broadband to improve work-from-home feasibility. - Food. Republicans have been picking away at SNAP for decades but the pandemic gives the Democrats an excuse to expand it, keep it expanded, and nationalize its management. Every state that fucks over its poor people is a poster child for "government overreach." Don't get me wrong. Everything - everything - is gonna get worse before it gets better. A whole lotta lives gonna get destroyed. Personally? I've already mourned them. This was evident in the data eighteen months ago. All these disruptions are going to fuck up some lives, and I say that with 700,000 dead.The people flying the plane actually care about the passengers and have actual flight hours under their belt. It's not a state I'd want any of us to be in, but we're here, and I feel like we're looking at the least worst option.I've been kinda shellshocked since this.That bill? Right there? Was the first time the Republicans went "actually we don't have the juice to block socialism anymore." They fucking gave up every principle - BEFORE Trump lost! because they knew in their very bones that small government market capitalism would go up like flash paper in a national emergency. Every bill since has been small, un-speechable death-by-a-thousand-cuts socialism and they haven't had shit to say about it because the kinds of guys who really just want Trump to be president because he's Trump are going to cock their heads quizically at some Buckley National Review diatribe against the risk against innovation by subsidized broadband as if they were Jack Russell terriers hearing Their Master's Voice. it's over their heads, man. The "base" barely believe in the gospel of Number Go Up. What they know is their grandsons are doing better with Gamestop puts, whatever they are, than they are with their social security.I think this has a happy ending. I think it has a happy ending the way Game of Thrones has a happy ending in that a lot of people are gonna die, a lot more are gonna get fucked, everyone with a short attention span is gonna be mad that they didn't see it coming but the world will be a better place and generally-good people will get a generally-good outcome but it's still a happy ending.We just gotta be among the survivors.https://hubski.com/pub/457337https://hubski.com/pub/457337Ummmm, remind me: Did the baby-killing Zika virus arise 300 meters from the only lab in the world who holds similar Zika viruses and whose stated research goals are to modify the Zika virus in exactly the hyper-pathological way that it behaves in the wild, while that behavior has never before been observed among the tens of thousands of other known Zika viruses? Can't remember.https://hubski.com/pub/456888https://hubski.com/pub/456888I'm making a fairly significant career shift. I'm leaving the safety of four years at a comfortable gig as a mid-level manager in operations/tech to be an individual contributor learning and development guy at a startup. It's a move I've been pondering for a while, and trying to figure out how to break into, and somehow I just convinced this company I'm the right person for the job. I'm equal parts excited and terrified. The swag from the new company showed up in a box yesterday moments before my current CEO passive aggressively (and embarrassingly) pleaded with me to stay at the current company (in a meeting in front of other people) - It was awkward and awful. I start the new job next week. Lots of change in the pub this week, and I'm happy to be a part of it.https://hubski.com/pub/456813https://hubski.com/pub/456813Kirksite and bronze.Sterle did a pretty nice set for Chaumet. Totally the inspiration for doing this. The FLW stuff looks cooler, the Chaumet stuff is better executed. But then, that's House Chaumet.Great is the enemy of good enough. I've gone from being pretty damn proud of them individually to being pretty damn annoyed by the inconsistencies caused by shitty investment, challenging forms, awful mold chemistry, failed equipment and a partridge in a pair tree but I'm also cognizant that as heirlooms go, ain't nobody on either side of my kid's family touched that.it also beats tar out of the official resin garbage.https://hubski.com/pub/456671https://hubski.com/pub/456671I remember the day. It was weird. I went to junior high school back then, I think I was in 7th or 8th grade... At home, my father had the TV on aljazeera and he kept repeating "bin Laden finally got you, you maniacs", while his face mirrored the horror he was watching on TV, and knowing fully what that meant for everyone. The next day at school everyone was talking about it in class, and everyone was EXTATIC. Celebrating. I remember that some discussions broke out about it where some students were arguing that the attack killed civilians, but many were quick to counter that many many more civilians were killed by the USA all over the middle East and that this was the only way to do anything against the military power that is the US. In case you didn't realize, virtually everyone in the middle East hates the USA, and usually has a valid reason why to.I didn't know what to think. I understood both arguments. And even though it is obvious what was right and wrong and that terrorist attacks should never be supported, I still struggled in taking a stance. Once I made up my mind though, I kept my opinion to myself. Because loudly speaking out against the attacks was an act of treason.While reading the article, it struck me how the same 12% in the states that were against the war in Afghanistan (and were called traitors), are probably the parallel group to the ones in the middle East who did not support the attacks and were also seen as traitors.That day, hatred won. Everyone knew what was coming. The wrath of the almighty would thunder down onto the whole middle east for decades. The results of which we see today. What did it bring? More hatred. More trauma. More generations of hatred. I sometimes wonder what would have happened if we would rather have the "traitors" on both sides in positions of power instead of the "warriors" and "heros".https://hubski.com/pub/456406https://hubski.com/pub/456406Should be fixed now, as well as the issue that came out of the fix where you couldn't log in.https://hubski.com/pub/456170https://hubski.com/pub/456170Today is my 10 year anniversary of being a Hubski member. Long time. A lot has happened in that time. I have easily spent more time on this website than any other over that stretch. Big ups to mk for making this place. I had the good fortune to help out in a rotating group of 4 or 5 of us who used to try to help keep the lights on here. Met a lot of good people that way, including some intense relationships that are and were very meaningful to me outside of the internet, some of which faded away and some of which were soured by my sometimes inept social abilities. Though I regret that the activity on the site isn't what it once was, it's a great community nonetheless.https://hubski.com/pub/456004https://hubski.com/pub/456004The reply to this keeps 502'ing on me so I will drop it here for kleinbl00Okay grumpy old man you earned yourself some devil's advocacy.Your response pissed me the fuck off. Then I sat on top of my hill, and thought about this while watching the smoke from California and Oregon destroying the sky. Since I am camping out in the parking lot of a hospital after my injections, and have wifi access, I'll answer you. I am not nearly as good of a writer as you and I think we talked past each other, so let's see if I can expand our ideas here.That means the median visual astronomer was 30 years old when the HST went up, and 37 when WFPC2 went online. You discount the visual astronomers that have died off in the last 30 years. I bring up people don't like space and you reply with the ultimate example of "pretty space picture nobody knows shit about." Why was this picture taken? What question was being asked? Yea Yea Yea first image with the Hubble Palette, whatever. Even here on Hubski, you and I are the only two people that know what "Hubble Palette" means, and I'll get to that in a moment. I've been in a room with Jeff Hestor http://www.jeff-hester.com/about-dr-hester/ and got to talk to him one on one a long time ago when I still gave a shit. He's a fantastic person, he's fighting the good fight for what it is worth. But the person and the idea behind the image means not-a-fucking-thing. Pretty picture on a college dorm, all that matters. PEOPLE DO NOT LIKE SPACE THEY LIKE PRETTY PICTURESThat sounds about right - I was lugging a Coulter 10" Dobsonian around in the back of a Buick Skylark in those years where you could still pretend the ground was relevant. That shining period between billion dollar astigmatism and the Pillars of Creation shot. ... 'cuz I'm sorry - all the SBIG in the world will never fucking compete with that. Not ever. I tried a little game before I started writing this: I googled "most famous Hubble photographs" and "most famous Palomar photographs" and you know what? The Palomar shots are of Palomar.There are five Messier awards in the Astronomical League Observing programs. https://www.astroleague.org/al/obsclubs/AlphabeticObservingClubs.html I have all of them. I have the Hershell 400 and Hershell 400 (2) awards. I have enough awards to start making a run at the Master Observer certificate if I feel like making that effort. I have used remote telescopes to assist with the confirmation of exoplanets to the point my name is on five scientific papers, and used my own gear back home to track two more that are still being worked on and may finally publish this year. I have a NASA placard on my wall thanking me for engaging in outreach to over 50,000 people. I also have a NASA award for organizing a science campaign during the 2017 eclipse where we rounded up 600 boy scouts to do real data collection backing up the pros in aircraft and satellites that is going to be published this year if not already out. Now that we are done comparing prom gowns and all the other girls think we are pretty, let's cut the bullshit and get to the point. Oh, and Hubble is in the news at least quarterly, and again PRETTY PICTURES; how many people outside of us even know what the hell Palomar is? People do not like space, they like PRETTY PICTURES.Ever been to the Griffith Observatory? It's pretty funny reading their plaques trying to justify the place as if it ever did any real science. They pretty much boil down to "we stare at sunspots sometimes." 1.6 million visitors a year, beyotch.Never been to Griffin, but I've paid for a few nights with the 60" at Mt. Wilson twice. $1500/night for the group. The second evening myself and a few other people used the night to drag some impressive glass up there. I think between the ten of us, we had a combined $25,000 of eyepieces on us. And honestly, I think I had a better view through a 32" Obsession at the star party that got cancelled mentioned above. Of your 1.6 million visitors I wonder how many are there because the Griffin people used to whore themselves out to every movie and TV production they could wedge themselves into. 161 productions according to IMDB. LA is a city of 20 million people, that visitation number is impressive but let's not kid ourselves that the people of Los Angeles give a shit about Griffin, Mt. Wilson or any of these places. What percent of these visitors are out of state tourists? I remember star parties out in the desert. We had good sky. The Pleiades are a loose cluster from the Sangre de Cristos, they aren't seven sisters. The Milky Way is a naked eye object from under a streetlamp. Rich fuckers, too, with like 12" Meades'n'shit. And what were things pointed at? ... and maybe some rogue crankiwumpus like you insistent on making people look away from the center of the eyepiece so he could claim he showed them M81.I have data on the state of astronomy clubs across the nation. Clubs with a combined 2700 members in areas representing 36+ million people in the USA. But some few rich people bought a $5000 coat rack they take out a few times a year means Astronomy is healthy? Are you going to seriously make the argument "rich people most effected" to me? Because if that is your argument fuck you and your fucking high horse. YOU.. FUCKING YOU of all people are better than that and I expect better from you. Note the numbers on those clubs. People in astronomy clubs are not even a rounding error on a statistical blip on the long tail. The older guys who did all the work either got Covid and died or noped out because they don't want to deal with the 40% of America that turns out to get its reality from foreign Facebook bullshit memes and flat earth groups. And fuck you, we don't show people galaxies at outreach we show open clusters and globular clusters like M3, M5, M92, M15, M11, M52 etc because those are easy to train someone to see quickly. You pull a "rich people impacted" argument on me of all people then toss around "elitism hur hur?" eat shit. Now - I didn't drag 50lbs of sonotube above the frost line to stare at planets. I did my dark sky shit, and I enjoyed it. Doodled in notebooks by red light and everything. But I did that shit alone and I didn't expect anyone to come with me. The serious hunting? That shit is solitary. And you yourself, homie, spent half your time photographing and the other half processing. I've seen your shots. The social aspect pretty much demands a trophy. Sure maybe you can get some accolades for your dedication if you describe your adventures but the picture's worth a thousand words. And with the amount of post-processing that's been de rigeur in astronomy since Clyde Fucking Tombaugh, that means an equatorial mount or a steppermotored Dobsonian hack. And that means $$$$$.Done the visual from dark skies, documented it, have the certificates and notebooks to prove it. Even started on the Urban observing programs because work was killing me and I was unable to travel anywhere. You know why visual observers go into astrophotography? I know 'cause I was one, and talked to dozens if not hundreds who did the same. LIGHT POLLUTION. You know how many people in the USA care about light pollution? NONE. Even the AMA cannot get traction on the idea of overlighting residential neighborhoods is increasing breast cancer rates and has a possible link to the rise in autism. Photography lets me at least pretend that I am doing astronomy even if photos are shit for experiencing the world around us. What would you rather have? Someone looking at nothing put pictures of the Grand Canyon, or actually GOING there and experiencing it. Would you rather have people looking a the moon with their own eyes, or relegate everything to flat images on a screen. I made my choice and walked away from the shit show becasue I see where the world is going; I don't want any part of a society that wants pictures but not the experience.Try and tell me Stellarvue was selling more than 200 scopes a year ever. I remember when the ex-Soviet Maksutov Cassagrains came out and holy shit you could do planetary astronomy for less than $4k. My family paid $400 a night to go to an astronomy B&B and they couldn't afford a 16" Dobsonian. $22k for a 10" MCT? Hot diggedy damn! You got anything aspirational for little shits like me who saved up half his summer's wages for a cardboard and particle board clunker with a telrad and a $150 Orion focuser?Six years ago, I got invited to be a part of a focus group, as someone doing outreach and talking to the public. I got to have two days of talks with the folks making beginner telescopes. I think that I am still technically under that NDA, but the telescopes we thought up are now on sale. https://www.celestron.com/products/starsense-explorer-lt-80az They are on mounts that do not suck, the optics are "fine" and just enough tech to make it easy to use. This is what you should be recomending for kids with birthday money, or paper route money etc to get. And no I do not get paid to promote them, never did. Now that Orion owns Meade, I am hoping that the software guys on the Meade side make the Orion stuff better and easier to use. We also promoted the Starblast 4.5" table top reflectors and got some 20 put into the local library system. You almost certainly know that you can get a not-bad beginner telescope for roughly $250 which is a lot of money for someone on minimum income, but doable. You acuse me of eliteism, remember? I'm trying to get people to not buy shitty hobby killing telescopes at Walmart and target, you see to think all there is out there is $10,000 glass. Know what kills hobbies? Elitism. That's why vinyl still exists, and why skaters are still listening to Dinosaur Jr. 30 years later. That Icona Pop LP you bought at Whole Foods to play on the Salvation Army Technics you paid too much for because you didn't know any better? That's a gateway. So are those shitty Instagram-class Celestrons.Hobbies die when the people that have been around for a while stop helping the newcomers. Youtube vids are cool and all, but without someone to look at face to face and say "can you help me" you lose the new blood to the learning curve. Write all the checks you want, build all the shit you think you can get. Hell build public accessible observatories like I have done. No volunteers? You are fucked. Chase away the volunteers? Yer fucked. Have a lot of money but nobdy to do the work needed to keep the hobby/club/organization going? You die. Elitism is a minor problem compared to the lack of suckers and fools like I used to be doing all the work cause Duty, Honor, "the Cause," outreach, whatever. When the old greybeards stop attending gatherings, when the old timers like me walk away, when the apathy kicks in, the hoby dies. Make the rewards for doing an incredible amount of shit work not worth the squeeze, and your hobby dies just as dead as "elitism." Insult and berate the people on the ground doing the work, most of whom do it for the love and not much else, and your organization will die. I'll betcha if you threw another one on the University grounds they'd shut up. Yeah you're right - nobody serious could see anything serious seriously. But nobody following Neil DeGrasse Tyson on Twitter is ready to venture an hour into the hinterlands to pretend they can see Neptune anyway. Couple times *hanging out with their normie buddies? Sipping cocoa and schnapps while staring at things they could legit see through binoculars? That's another matter.The Devil's advocate question is this: Why the fuck would I do that? The college already showed that they would not back us up, after working with them for TWO FUCKING DECADES where their physics students got extra credit for hanging out with people owning better gear than the bloody university did! All that time of working with them to the point where the star party was a 400ish paying customer event twice a year. What in the HELL makes you think they would step in and help and/or support us in a new adventure? When someone shows me their true colours, and shows me exactly what value they place on my efforts, I remember that. My friends got thrown under a bus for a bunch of idiots chasing social media clout, people that would have forgotten the event even took place as soon as the new thing got more likes and upvotes. The people we worked for free to add value to their students, and asked for nothing in return other than the use of their name to help with the Park Service and the Dept. of the Interior were tossed aside without even an afterthought. Fuck ever associating with people like that ever again. The couple that ran the show since the mid 90's are rumored to put together a very private event with no advertising, no door prizes, no sponsors once the Covid shit is mostly over. The University and its students won't be welcome.The disconnect here, and this idea hit me in the middle of one of my drives into town to deal with society crap, is that you are not Human. Don't get mad, this is compliment, but I need to dig deep and make sure I am saying what I mean to say with that statement. You and I, and the people on this website are not human. Sure we are all homo sapiens with four limbs, 20 digits, forward facing binocular vision etc, but that "sapiens" part of the name? We are outliers looking in on the human experience. My county has a population of roughly 12K people. The county seat has a population of some 2500 people. There is a library in town, and since librarians are bigger gossips than any bartender I try to befriend them. In June of 2021 the total number of checked out books was under 200. Not 200K, TWO HUNDRED. This includes digital rentals as I specifically asked if there was an uptick during the pandemic. TWO HUNDRED BOOKS A MONTH. Between you and I, I bet we hit that in a typical year. Two people read more in a year than an ENTIRE COUNTY OF PEOPLE do in a month. Now, there are no bookstores in the county, I checked, not even a used book store! It is possible that everyone here, a county where 80% of households are below the poverty line, are buying books online or pirating PDF's, but I've met the neighbors and let's say I have doubts. YOU read more than just about anyone else I've even known, online or off. More importantly, you retain the info you ingest, can process it and explain it to others in context. That skill alone puts you in the top 5% of the smart people in this country. If you last name was gates, or bezos, or Boringoldmoneywhitedude the fourth, you'd have gone to an ivy league, made your business connections and almost certainly be running a Fortune 1000 class company by now. You exist on a level that at times I don't think you understand, maybe you do and just feel guilty or whatever and keep that offline. You and I got the shit rolls on the family dice and had to make due with what we were given. Yet somehow we if not thrived as least did not suck on a shotgun or die of a drug overdose or any other multitude of pitfalls that you and I have shared stories about. We are both retired, and let's be brutally honest here, most people in our generation are NOT going to retire until the last two years of their lives when the body and brain break down from over work and their employer can no longer accommodate their needs, so ship them off to die at home on government health care to keep the health insurance costs low for the rest of the drones in the factory. You and I are talking on a website with maybe 30 active users, four of whom have PhDs in the sciences, and this place is run by two guys using STEM cells to help prolong healthy living, a technology that I bet at most 1 out of 500 people even know exists. How many people know this place exists? 2000? Maybe? When you look at where we are, and where everyone else is, you and I are not even a statistical blip on the very end of the very long tail of human existence. How many people here are into what can be roped into pop culture? None of us, I mean I don't know what a Dinosaur Jr was and had to look it up, some meh band from 30 years ago. Talk to most people and all they spit out is tv shows and movies, and not much else. I could sit here for a few hours and list line item after line item that makes not just you and I but most of the people on this website outside the base human experience. We are "human" by the proxy of our biology, but if we walked into a city council meeting or a PTA meeting, how many people there would we be able to connect with?The problem you and I both have is that we are in a bubble. Might be different bubbles, but each of the bubbles we exist in protect us from the normal shit normal people go through every day. We can read a book, we can listen to a politicial speach and understand the language about the people they are rallying, but we see this all from the outside. We have the Time, money and privilege to be able to do something that in not directly paying the bills. You can watch your neighbors make poor choices about thier house, but talk about it as an academic exercise to explain the housing market to the rest of us outliers. You get to talk to the rich and wealthy, you mentioned you have had relationships working and otherwise with the famous etc. I've talked to people who have space hardware on the surface of other planets. I can pick up my phone right now and call someone working in mission control for the ISS. Kids I met at outreach events 15 years ago are now building Artemis hardware. This puts me in a VASTLY different head space when it comes to space and astronomy that just about anyone but the guy here that launched satellites earlier this year. Your reply to me really pissed me off until I realized you are coming at this as someone looking in from a 50,000 foot level. Do either one of us really remember what it is like to live on minimum wage? I bet neither of us has 50K in student loan debt. We both own where we live. Neither of us is living paycheck to paycheck. I was homeless living in Truck Center Parking lots off the interstates, and now can barely offer advice from that time nearly four decades ago. We both have expensive esoteric hobbies that the average person cannot comprehend the cost to get into. You can drop a few grand on some widgit thing for your watchmaking and not feel the dread of not eating for a month. Everything about you is outside of a normal human living experience in the current world except your family and upbringing. How many humans do you know that can build a $100K plus milling machine just because they want to fuck around a little bit? Hell, I can't do that, then again I have no income either. Once I calmed down and actually though about what you wrote, I realize you are not being a cunt just to be a pissant, you are just tone deaf and out of the loop of what is going on at the ground level. Congrats, you won the game.https://hubski.com/pub/455012https://hubski.com/pub/455012Astronomy is a hobby for old people, mostly men. It also is a hobby for people with time and disposable income, but that is a separate rant. The median age of an amateur astronomer given by people in marketing is 54. Visual astronomers, like me, are a decade older. And we are dying off. The number of people buying high quality large visual telescopes is numbered in the hundreds per year. AstroPhysics, one such vendor sells under 200 telescopes a year most going to research universities. Stellarvue, another company of high quality gear, sold about 300 telescopes last year. The number of companies building these devices are in the single digits. Two companies building large Dobsonians style telescopes for visual observing see the writing on the wall, took their final orders and are closing forever. The three best mirror makers are no longer taking orders for visual mirrors, focusing instead on equipment for astrophotography and university research institutions as they upgrade decades-old telescopes. Looking at what Celestron offers and has in stock now, you have gear aimed at the instragram astrophoto community (median age 40) and shit-tier beginner garbage.The pandemic ripped a massive hole in the astronomy community. So many older people either died or won't go to club events or star parties due to the Pandemic risks. We are a tightly knit community of weird people with a weird hobby and any loss of one of us is a massive loss of talent, skill, and knowledge. There is about to be a flood of good, higher end, visual astronomy gear on the market, but no buyers. Visual astronomy is hard, and very few people any more want a hard hobby. In the next few years there is going to be some high end gear that ends up donated to the dying astronomy clubs where it will collect dust until it is thrown out because it is taking up space. I saved one such device, rescued from an estate sale from a man I never met but talked to for years online. The 'scope is in my car outside this library I am using for wifi. I have a pad for it, and once lumber is not worth more by weight than platinum I intend to build a home for the telescope. I need to buy a few car batteries on the way home now that I think about it so I can power my new gear.I know the argument incoming. But space is popular. No, it is not. Useless celebrity cunts like Neil Tyson are popular. I've met him before he was THE Neil DeGrasse Tyson back at TAM6... geezus that was only 8 years ago? He was a guy passionate about something he was WAY down the rabbit hole of knowledge and wanted to grab you and scream in your face "THIS IS AWESOME!" Now, he sits on fucking twitter all day. He's gone off the plot, just like every other famous person. The guy behind the "Bad Astronomy" blog/page/books got famous and then became too good for us mortals more than a decade ago as well. People do not like space, they lice celebrity. People like Hubble images. People like hurricane warnings and weather reports but do not understand where those come from. The less said about Elon Musk the better. They don't like SPACE as an industry or technology. Astronaut talks do not sell tickets. The most popular astronomy podcasts get 10-15K views if they are popular; talk about the boring stuff like doing the work and your talk may hit 2K views/listens. A child unboxing toys, to put this number in perspective, gets 100K views a video and makes 10 million USD a year. One of the younger people with a youtube channel gets 30K views... if he talks about his dog and then shows a pretty image at the end of the video. People do not like space, they don't want to put in the work to be good at a hobby, all these people want to do is post results. And stopping part two of the argument here, its not just college kids. The number of older "adults" throwing tantrums that they have to work at something to get good at is makes me glad that my nearest neighbor is 6 miles away.The last star party I helped run and organize ran afoul of the local college social media religious fanatics because we did not have "women friendly" facilities. At a primitive campground in a national park with no electric, running water or cell service. A place chosen for its off-grid location and lack of lights, electricity, and its isolation from even aircraft overflights. This was a shock to the dozen or so women astronomers that had been attending the event for a decade, the wives that tagged along for the peace and quiet and the two wives of the organizers running the organization since the 80's. We lost the financial and in-kind support from the local college because the lack of conveniences was "exclusionary." When the college pulled out, we lost the park service assistance with permits and the other hundred little things you need assistance with to make an event like this work. The state agency that had been helping us with portable toilets, traffic control, signage etc stopped returning our calls. From what we were able to gather, there was some popularity on social media for astrophotos in 2018-2019 and the group that wanted to participate were pissed they could not upload images to their websites or charge their phones and equipment. They complained to university officials and the state park service about us. There was a demand that we lug in a generator and build showers. The star party no longer exists; the two older couples all but said "fuck this shit" and noped out. They blame the pandemic, but the real reason is that none of the older volunteers feel like dealing with this crap, a lot of work for ungrateful people, no money and all the joy having been sucked out. I got forced back online to buy gear. Since I am online, I reached out to some people I know in multiple clubs across the country. People bought telescopes during the pandemic, saw the hobby is hard, and dumped that gear on whatever organization showed up when someone googled "local astronomy group." The clubs that saw massive growth in numbers of members are now struggling with the loss of the clubs culture as people that have been around for years are pushed out by the flood of new people. I hope they ride the wave, get tons of new blood, volunteers and cash, but I've seen this before and these types of clubs will rarely last once the old timer volunteers are gone. The death knell of any niche hobby is popularity. If you are into a small hobby with a close community, pray to your deity of choice you never get noticed or popular. Its a shame because with the internet, the 10 people in Idaho into blacksmithing can get together virtually and learn from each other. They can share tips about gear, technique and design, and get better with effort and passion for something they enjoy. Then some big social media celebrity gets a following of people, notices you guys doing your own thing and seemingly enjoying yourselves and now your hobby is shit and you cannot buy equipment, your forums are flooded with new people without a clue drowning out the people with knowledge and those 10 original people all slip away offline and won't talk about their achievents and passions due to the connection with the influx of toxic shit and idiots. This story may be anecdotal fiction, or it may be a second hand account from the guy that moved my trailer to the property and helped me tie it down. Go find a knitting group that has been around 10 or more years if you think this is only a dude-bro issue. Because damn, those poor people got fucked over, hard, by the newcomers with their "bitch and stitch" stores and runs on yarn, thread, canvas and equipment. Back before I moved, a lady into video games and knitting told us all how she was kicked out of her knitting group because her being a 60 year old woman with grandkids and a husband of 40ish years made some of the new people uncomfortable. (The new people kicked her and her two "grandma" friends out of the facebook group and changed the venue on her) I watched cooking groups implode in real time due to the popularity of the terrible cooking channels and youtube famous "chefs." Giant 1000 people LAN parties died the same way, popularity of video games killed them and nobody will volunteer to run them any more. The new people that think they can get famous gaming do nothing but whine and stir shit swamping out the old timers; the culture that made these events fun died.This rant is not just about a hobby I love dying (in this case literally). Its an old man rant on the state of the world and how social media is evil. Fame is a moral evil and social media feeds off its pursuit. Fame is the death of honor and dignity. Nobody chasing fame is a decent human being in my opinion. The character needed to dig in and get good at something, that mentality of put in the work with a plan to get good at something, that drive, that passion, that "This is fun and I don't give a shit who else cares" attitude is fading. Post a stupid video that hits the right algorithm on social media and the next thing you know you are being flown to be on a talk show and now can sponsor some crap product and cash out for simply existing. I've heard kids say they want to be youtubers, not realizing that those famous people work 100 hour weeks and the only reason they got famous is pure stupid chance. Tell them the work that goes into making a video worth watching, and you can see their face try to process a foreign concept for the first time. Social media is a moral evil that gives the unaware the idea that fame is good and easy. The few good parts of fame are shared and normalized; the bad, the struggles, the work is shoved into a memory hole because it only got three upvotes or likes. Everything worth doing has been converted into an instant gratification treadmill and that is why social media is terrible. I am not sure anymore if the concept of "happy" exists. I think this idea is something we have a faith-like dedication to, to our detriment as a society. There is an emotion attached to accomplishment, not quite self-esteem, but something along those lines. You want to find a "happy" kid in a school? Find the kid that busted his ass to get a good grade on a test and ask him how he did it. Watch their face light us as they talk about the work they did. Is that happiness? Or is it something else? Find the kid that just completed his first skateboard trick. Find the kid that just built her first 3-D printed model from scratch. Find the guys in whatever shop class still exists and ask them about the stuff they are building. Find the kid that just nailed a guitar riff after 20 hours of trying. Find someone that just baked their first sourdough that does not suck from scratch. Those people will light up like a commercial parking lot if you get them talking about what it took to be successful. Is that "happy?" Or is it something else? Excluding the people with medical issues that need help, I think one of the reasons so many people are down, depressed and unfulfilled is because people are not DOING anything any more. Watching a movie is not DOING something. Consuming products is not DOING something. Merely existing is not DOING. Hobbies are dying, and go ahead and argue if you want but I've seen the sales numbers. This could just be the ramblings of an old bitter jerk that walked away from a good job to go live in BanjoStan in a 700 square foot off grid trailer to watch the world die as he prepares to dance with the Reaper. Or it could be the observations of someone that first hand saw the decline of union labor, the stagnation of wages, the destruction of the middle class, the implosion of the nuclear family, the housing crisis and rent affordability bomb, all that big picture stuff no longer serving people that need or want to work for a living. If you are working two jobs to pay rent because multi-billion dollar hedge funds are destroying house affordability, you won't have a passion project. And guess what folks, overwork and no down time are not going to make you happy if all you are doing is treading water. One thing I picked up from the pandemic is the number of people that were forced to stay home, then started feeling better. They cooked at home, they worked out a bit, they felt less stress. Now that people are going back to work, I hope they can keep any hobby they picked up and use that to get a sense of accomplishment and feel good about themselves. and it makes me happy as hell that shitty service providers like restaurants and retail are closing because they won't pay their people and treat them with respect. Out here, the local wallmart is cutting hours because even at $18/hour nobody will work for them. Better to make $15 in construction outside and not deal with screaming idiots, mentally ill church people with entitlement complexes, and a management structure that sees you as sub human.Life is way too short to hate your situation; I'm still angry it took me this long to figure that one out.https://hubski.com/pub/454953https://hubski.com/pub/454953I'm just gonna post this here, since I'm sick of tormenting Hubski with these types of articles. This is a devastating long read.https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2021/06/the-lab-leak-theory-inside-the-fight-to-uncover-covid-19s-originshttps://hubski.com/pub/454913https://hubski.com/pub/454913Quite a wild week.First, I am done with my PhD. The defense went well. Different than I expected and quite tough, but the examiners were happy. The worst was my boss telling me that "we would have given you a summa cum laude, but you didn't publish yet". And the reason I didn't publish yet, is him. Then he wanted to give a short speech and decided to tell the anecdote that my previous PIs gave him contradictory recommendations about me. My Masters' supervisor was very positive while the guy that supervised my first PhD attempt (where I left after 3 months) told him that he should "not touch me". But you know, he gave me a "chance" and he is happy about it... And then went on to talk about our "conflicts" (which were quite few in 6 years in the lab). I was like.... I worked here for 6 years, and that is what you come up with? fuck you. Anyway. there was cake, and arabic food, and non-alcoholic drinks (so my father doesn't freak out) and all was well :)Here is me, mid-incantation. I have a tie-dyed labcoat I wear to festivals (so people know where to get their drug infos and testing). My lab made me a new one to add to the collection :)One of the few good family pictures! And one of the few times people will ever see me in more fancy clothesSecond, I might have a spot for a PostDoc! Through some contacts in an NGO that supports psychedelic research in Europe I got connected to a lab in Frankfurt, ran by two female PIs. One working on mice and the other on monkeys. They are doing cross-species translational studies in behavioral neuroscience. Additionally, they are interested in researching psychedelics :) Had two interviews with them and they liked me (and I like them!). They are a younger generation of idealists and it sounds quite nice. The only issue, I need to get my own money. Which means, writing grants... But I am excited to get a chance to work on a topic I am interested in with people that seem to be interested in supporting me for a change.After the defense (which my family attended) we head to the alps (with a short visit in Ulm, the city I lived at before moving to Heidelberg). A day later, my aunt and grandma from Germany joined us. They just landed back from Mexico a day before and booked a room in the same hotel as us. My grandma was quite tired when she arrived, we all thought it was jetlag. The area we were at has strict COVID guidelines for unvaccinated people. So my grandma (85 years old) and my aunt had to do an antigen test every morning. Two days later my grandma tested positive. The test was repeated and again positive. The hotel urged us to pack our stuff and head back to Germany (in retrospect, they were just scared shitless and me and my parents shouldn't have left, but that's another story). My grandma and aunt head back to my aunts' place and me and my family were on our way back to Heidelberg. Yesterday I started to have a cough. Today I had a fever and a headache. The antigen test turned out positive today in the morning, currently awaiting the results of the PCR test.Grandma is doing okay. Mild symptoms. I will also be fine. I am just super pissed because my goddamn aunt scared my grandma so much that she didn't get vaccinated, even though she had appointments back in February. And now, through her anti-vaxx shit and lack of responsibility (who the fuck flies to Mexico right now??) she managed to get my grandma and me infected and multiple people across Germany into a 2-week quarantine. In addition, ended a two-week holiday for a whole family which was quite expensive for us (we are not a wealthy family) and adding much more extra costs for everyone involved. I always asked myself "who the hell are these people bringing all these variants into the countries?". Well, "my aunt" is now a definitive answer.So, yeah, I will be spending my holidays at home, instead of the Austria alps or berlin. Exactly what I needed after a 6-month thesis crunch. I hope my infection doesn't go that bad. Luckily I already had one shot which is supposed to reduce the severity of infection and transmission. So, if you have any recommendations for TV shows, games, movies, books (audio), let me know!View from our room in austria, it was lovely!There was still some ice on the tops. This one looked interesting...https://hubski.com/pub/454623https://hubski.com/pub/454623COVID AIN'T GONE YETSo my wife has a colleague. Known her for... fifteen years? Trained under her backintheday, filled in for a couple years when her practice exploded, threw a couple employees her way, their network was built by me. Things have been congenial and polite through COVID 'cuz (A) they're Republican (B) they're anti-vax. So we don't hang out like we used to.Colleague has a 80-year-old mom who lives with them. And about a month ago they decided fukkit let's vaycay so they ran off to Hawaii for ten days, leaving our posse to cover half their practice. Came back not feelin' great.They decided to shine it on.So we've got one person coming into the office with active, confirmed COVID and another person who would if only she weren't so goddamn sick and we're trying to keep this from becoming a public health problem and counseling their one about-to-bail-now employee as to how to not end up in dire peril with the health department. None of this was direct, mind you, all of it was back-channel, our hands are scrupulously clean. Ain't nobody died, errbody on the mend, and when we asked "hey wanna go halvesies on a crate of medical supplies" the answer was monosyllabic. They ain't talkin' to us. Not because of anything we did, but because their worldview was wrong, our worldview was right, and now we're the bad guys.Got another friend. She's delivered every grandkid for her ex-boss from back when she was an EMT. Which is a tradition that meant that rather than sticking to her own back yard 80 miles away, she decided to come deliver 20 miles north of us... in our support structure, where we know the EMTs, we know the hospitals, yadda yadda. Home birth, which is always less of a controlled experiment, and the mom was acting woozy and weird. Things stretched out to the point where it wasn't happenin' so it's time to transport to the hospitals we use.At which point they show up, mom has a temp of 104, crash to emergency c-section, baby hits the NICU, grandma gets kicked out of the suite, and both mom'n'dad pop a rapid COVID positive. But not before they've tromped through half the goddamn hospital.Greetings from Big Brother! as healthcare providers we can look your ass up in the vaccine database. Which means we know that while this couple said they were vaccinated to the friend? They also said they'd NEVER get vaccinated to the grandma and as it turns out, dad was vaccinated, mom wasn't. 'cuz, you know, lying to your healthcare provider is small potatoes compared to I dunno sub rosa supporting treason.We'd been talking about going back to home births but we just had this catastrophe where another mom was so stoned out of her gourd that labor pain transmogrified into "my hip hurts" so they sat there smoking spliffs until we had to come crash their house because they weren't gonna make it. That combined with this "Patriots will happily lie to liberal traitors to get what they want" mentality is noping us the fuck out of that. Right now? 97% of COVID cases are among the unvaccinated. If you're in the hospital? With COVID? There's a 99.7% chance you didn't get two shots.So yeah we're rolling back protections but that's not because COVID is gone. It's because if you get COVID now it's because you fuckin' earned it and if you earned it, the hospitals now have the bandwidth to deal with your irresponsible, lying ass. The conversation between the friend and the dad (mom just got off Oxygen yesterday, is still in the ICU) was framed around "well we meant to get vaccinated we just... forgot." Which, okay, if that's what you need to maintain your friendship across the gap of "thanks for driving a hundred miles to leave a flaming bag of poo on the doorstep of one of your friends" more power to you. We'll just not mention the Big Gulp's worth of nyquil and other shit you shouldn't be taking in labor that y'all were using to mask your symptoms 'cuz at the end of the day they aren't our patients (except they are now because we have pediatricians so fuck us I guess).But fuckin' hell man my kid don't have a vaccine yet and neither do her friends, and the variants coasting around these days are mean.So also fuck off.https://hubski.com/pub/453937https://hubski.com/pub/453937https://sci-hub.se/https://hubski.com/pub/453826https://hubski.com/pub/453826We have based our algorithm on the data from this article from Soundcharts.Once we have the number of monthly streams from Spotify, we multiply the price-per-stream of each platform by the number of Spotify streams. "Elon Musk walks into a pipefitter's union hall. The average wealth shoots up by a billion dollars per plumber."So... the "this article" referenced has numbers. Those numbers don't match up to anyone else's numbers and everyone else's numbers don't match up to anything either. There's this need to believe that you can simply figure out how much money someone makes off of Spotify because then we can continue to feel good about paying a pittance to listen to our favorite artists over and over and over again. Your link:Another major streaming player is Amazon Music.As the other platforms, Amazon, don't publicly share the price-per-stream. This value approximates to $0.01196.Taken into account this value, 83K monthly streams are needed for reaching the $1000 mark, the lowest so far, but still high! The link they took their data from:In full detail: Amazon Music Unlimited, Napster and Tidal got the top-3 rates at $0,0119, $0.0106 and $0.0099 respectively. However, don’t get too excited about Amazon’s numbers. The lion’s share of the tech giants subscribers are in fact over at Amazon Prime bundled streaming service — and for Amazon Prime, the average rate came to just 28% of the Unlimited’s payout, or $0,0034. I worked with a guy who made his revenue entirely off of Youtube. He broke the economics (for him) down quite simply: any video with less than a million views earned him nothing. Did not even show up on his invoices. Any video with more than a million views made him about five thousand dollars. Each subsequent million views earned him about a thousand dollars. But those numbers were really wiggly and I guarantee that's what Youtube was paying him.Look - a plane ticket from Seattle to Los Angeles used to cost about $300. I've probably bought a hundred of those. The least I've paid is $29 (no airline miles or other nonsense used - Delta was trying to assassinate Alaska Airlines). The most I've paid is $437. The most I've seen, however, is $5998.And flight prices are hella easier to scrape than Spotify royalties.https://hubski.com/pub/453803https://hubski.com/pub/453803flac Sorry for the wait. Been busy. Here is what I did. I think the song was probably better before :)https://hubski.com/pub/453780https://hubski.com/pub/453780Tbh, the feature of this website I am most interested in is chat, but I am having difficulty obtaining a hub wheel. This week has been great. I'm worried my mil is going to kill my cat bc she is psycho, and everyone in the house being vaccinated and starting to live our lives again shatters her Karen fantasy of being the only one allowed to leave the house and have all the power in her mind. I started dieting bc I finally weighed myself for the first time in a year and I gained a lot over quarantine. Hopefully I will finally get to see my parents for the first time in months on mothers day unless MIL snaps and poisons us all first. My website is getting more page views than ever, but I'm still only making about $200 a month in sales, which after shipping costs and costs of materials actually comes out to like $80 a month. I'm not trying to be a debbie downer, I am actually very excited for the months to come, and I'm not too bothered by the things I mentioned above, I just wanted to talk about what is on my mind.Also I learned this week that tumblr hates Elon Musk... like why tho? People really do not care how much good a person does for the world, if they are on Forbes list they are automatically public enemy and I think it's stupid. I bought a used crock pot on Ebay. I'm gonna try my hand at hot process soap making this week. It'll save a day on waiting to unmold loafs, and I will know for sure this way they are gelled all the way through.https://hubski.com/pub/453404https://hubski.com/pub/453404I don’t believe in “work-life balance.” I don’t think our experience of living is binary. Life is life and can include work, nature, climbing, biking, picking up aluminum, parent care, child care, studying, and so on. If we need, say, music in our lives and don’t have it, be attuned to the hunger. If you don’t feed yourself what you need (rest, contact with others, touch, hockey, whatever) you might become passive-aggressive, aggressive, or even develop panic attacks.https://hubski.com/pub/452494https://hubski.com/pub/452494Moving in two weeks. Excited to be not living with my roommate anymore who doesn't know how to clean up any common area but can also clean his bathroom damn near weekly. Also excited to not be living with him because he makes a very hostile living area by just not saying anything which always makes me feel like I pissed him off somehow. Like dude we live together say hi or something. I can go weeks without talking with the guy. Much less excited to be moving back in with my parents, but the saving grace is I know it's very short-term. Not going to rent for a few months it's time to save like there's no tomorrow because I'm going to be heavily in debt in a year so now's the time to save. Gotta break the eggs to make the omelette. So that's the sacrifice I'm making. Also, if y'all didn't see, I set up a NCAA March Madness bracket for full bragging rights if anyone chooses to join. Looks like we did one successfully 9 years ago and there was an attempt 8 years ago that was unsuccessful to get people to sign up, and nothing since. I'd say y'all are going down, but I'm guessing just as much as y'all are. For CumolIt's a two part recipe. Fancy up tahini and the actual hummus. Tahini will be first, followed by the hummus. I tried to find it online but all of them were ever so slightly off in one way or another. This is what the book says, plus the little changes I make. Yield 4 cups, which is about double what you need for the hummus recipe, so I always halve this part. 1 head garlic3/4 cup lemon juice (~3 lemons)1 1/2 tsp kosher salt2 generous cups tahini (Find super high-quality stuff, I got a dude near me that uses his parents' sesame crusher from Syria and stuff is phenomenal)1/2 tsp ground cuminIce water -- variable amountDon't peel the garlic, just rip the cloves apart and throw that, the lemon juice, and 1/2 tsp salt (other full tsp will be used later) into a blender. Blend it so the garlic is broken into a coarse puree. Only takes a few seconds. Then let that rest for like 10 minutes or so, allowing the garlic to mellow. While that's sitting for 10 minutes, in a bowl throw together the tahini, rest of the salt, and cumin. Once the lemon garlic is done with its ten minute rest, get a very fine mesh strainer, and pour the lemon juice through it into the bowl with the tahini. Press down on the garlic chunks to get as much of the liquid out as you can. With a good whisk (I've broken crappy whisks before doing this) start mixing that like there's no tomorrow. It's going to get really tough. As it thickens and toughens up, add ice water bit my bit (per the book ~1 1/2 cups, but I never measure I just keep adding until it's right. And it'd be 3/4 since I halve it, but again, you do you). Keep adding until it's super smooth. It'll lighten up in color and when I say super smooth I really do mean it. It'll be smooth and creamy and you'll have to stop yourself eating it all with a spoon and actually putting it in the hummus as it's supposed to be. So now that we're done with that, we got the hummus recipe. I don't follow it perfectly because I think there's one step that's unnecessary but again, you do you. 1 cup dried chickpeas2 tsp baking soda1 1/2 cups tahini from above1 tsp kosher salt1/4 tsp ground cuminOkay so here's where dude gets crazy. He wants you to soak a cup of dried chickpeas and one of the two tsp of baking soda in a bowl covered with at least 2 inches of water overnight.That's what I feel is unnecessary. I just use a can because it's damn near the same quantity and then I don't have to actually plan ahead. Idk can size in Europe, but over here a can of chickpeas is 15.5 oz and that size works perfectly. So then he has you throw the chickpeas into a pot with the other one tsp of baking soda and bring it to a boil, then cover and lower to a simmer for an hour. I've forgotten the baking soda before, don't do that. It helps the skins all fall off in some magic science way. So as all that is simmering for an hour, skim the skins off every once in a while. Make sure they're all covered in water the whole time. And if they go longer that's totally fine the goal is to really cook them through and make them very tender and damn near fall apart. You'll probably have some fall apart that's fine. While all that's boiling, put the tahini, salt, and cumin in a food processor. I use all the tahini not just 1 1/2 cups, not worth keeping that extra bit I wouldn't use it for anything, though I'm sure it'd have plenty of good uses, like a salad dressing or something, or just a straight spoon. Once the chickpeas are done boiling and you've skimmed off a good portion of those skins, dump them in a strainer to drain them, and then throw the cooked chickpeas in the food processor with the other stuff. Turn that on and let it run and run and run. I let it go for a few minutes just really make sure it's all really super smooth. And then, since you were boiling the chickpeas, it's still nice and warm at this point and you should really just eat it all in one sitting :)https://hubski.com/pub/451932https://hubski.com/pub/451932Agreedhttps://hubski.com/pub/451727https://hubski.com/pub/451727I have somehow tricked Emory into accepting me to their MPH program on top of the Johns Hopkins MHS. Global epidemiology and epidemiology respectively. Now only waiting for EuroPubHealth (will be notified by March 3) and Georgetown (no notification timeline). Apartment lease ends at the end of March. I'll be moving in with my parents for a few months before shipping off to wherever I go come late summer/early fall. Parents still don't know I've applied. Waiting to hear back from EuroPubHealth before I tell them I applied so I can have some idea of whether or not I'm staying in these great United States. Covid cases slowing down sharply which is great. It's allowing me to do a lot of data cleanup which was badly needed.https://hubski.com/pub/451151https://hubski.com/pub/451151So let me get this straight:We have a financial system of investments that "worked", by which I mean for the sake of this simplification that it produced decent return on investment with relatively little investment risk. Over time, it has stopped working because the foundation has slowly eroded underneath it: the returns on things that are relatively low-risk are lower than ever, hardly beating inflation. This has pushed people controlling large sacks of money into more and more risky, more predatory investments just to keep the returns on their investments good enough, attempting to secure future wealth. The financial Overton window has shifted dramatically towards risk, the solid foundation of alpha gains falling out. We have a financial system that used to be limited by the speed of a broker's mind. That used to be limited by the ingenuity of an Ivy League econ major to come up with new risks to create out of thin air on top of existing market and goods movements. Over time, the yelling at phones in a big room in NYC was replaced by computers, the creation of financial markets by computers, they're all interconnected in strange ways. The dark side of the pools are now squarely out of view of anyone with regulatory power, the frequency of high-frequency trading bots from companies gobbling up CalTech and MIT grads so high it's measured in nanoseconds.We have a financial sector that got not much more than a mild burn from the Financial Crisis. No real strucutral repercussions, of course. With the bailouts left and right, and the money printer going brrr evermore, we have a financial sector that is not restricted but spurred on into madness, totally fine with taking obscene risks because their Clubhouse buddies are doing it too and you gotta keep up with the Jonases over at Goldman, right? So they short what they want. Who cares about a bit of leverage here and there if you're right.We have a generation (or two) of the 99% who had the 'boomer dream of college-jobbyjob-house-pension shattered in front of our eyes in 2008, who are no stranger to nihilism in their 9-years-out-of-college 180sqft bedroom their degree got them. A generation who have not forgotten the tents of Occupy that did not colonize an inch of the bank accounts of Big Money. Enabled by the slot machine of Robinhood, unhindered by any lack of expertise, some gather on Reddit and speculate on the straight white bro horoscope that is the NYSE. They move a market here and there, but only if they align their lulz with their cash for a bit. They tell themselves this is how they reclaim their grip on the(ir) future, but deep down they know it's mostly a game of which they're a bunch of duck-sized horses fighting against an army of horse-sized ducks. UNTIL someone came up with a plan that is equal parts nihilism, meme, and a call-out of the madness of the market. A plan that squarely points the middle finger at the amorphous class of the Rich who destroyed their future, by destroying their future with their own hubris. A plan that's easy enough to communicate in one of the few thousand Twitter threads that popped up as soon as $GME started getting traction. Easy enough to follow through on, throw a bunch of cash that wasn't growing anyway into it just to believe in the long arm of justice. Throw in some Musk and crying billionares to keep the train steamin'.Cue billionaires crying because the wrong people are getting rich. A friend of a friend is actually hit badly by this! Can you imagine them picking something in my portfolio? Let's gear up the scare tactics and make Very Important Calls with Very Important People to put an end to these plebs. Let me call up that guy we lost to those Robinhood losers. He can buy us some time, for sure. We have a stock market that has still ignored the largest health crisis since WW2. We have economists screaming recession for the last eighteen months. We have a market that has done nothing but radicalize, on the flimsiest of economic foundation, for the past decades. We have books left and right telling us how close we got to a meltdown a decade ago. And now have Bed, Bath & Beyond going places. I'm not saying generations to come will learn Gamestop and Lehman in the same breath? But it's not unlikely.https://hubski.com/pub/451150https://hubski.com/pub/451150pointing a kaleidoscope at a turdHad to try it.Real hero: Wife.