Wed. Jan. 22, 2020 – volunteer day today so short shrift

Cold and wet.

42F when I got up yesterday by the kitchen thermometer. It did get nicer as the day wore on, and it was clear and sunny, but it cooled back down by evening.

I’ve got my Hands On science day today, so I’ll be out all morning. We’re going to erode some dirt with water and wind… and talk about our ever changing planet. My last slide says “Despite all this, we live in a golden age where more people have more food, health, and wealth than ever before.” and I’ll wrap by saying that it’s all because of…. SCIENCE!

n

29 thoughts on “Wed. Jan. 22, 2020 – volunteer day today so short shrift”

  1. BTW, if the Chinese admit to 400+ cases, there are WAY more than that…..

    just going by history.

    n

    Could be we’ve been worrying about the wrong virus. Preps are the same.


  2. My last slide says “Despite all this, we live in a golden age where more people have more food, health, and wealth than ever before.” and I’ll wrap by saying that it’s all because of…. SCIENCE!

    And engineering. Don’t forget the people who APPLY science to make the things that more people have.

  3. Site seems a bit faster today. But it’s not something I did, although I will take credit for it.

    Somebody should, I guess.

  4. From JimB yesterday.

    The guy who wanted the Leaf wanted to save money, but also he thought an electric car would be better for the environment. He is an engineer. No comment. On saving money, I suggested a brand new car of any type would not save money over a nice used car. There is a pattern here. Few people buy cars to get by with the lowest practical cost. Fine, but admit it. Have fun. Just don’t think you are saving money.

    Most engineers are ecologists by nature as they generally want to minimize the amount of materials required to make a product. It does not matter if that product is a new widget or tortured electrons.

    However, some engineers (yours truly included) get emotional about a neat gadget and do not count the costs involved in getting that gadget to meet their needs. And their needs may be modified so that the gadget will work even if the gadget does not meet the original needs. And then the gadget does not meet their needs once their needs change by the slightest amount. This is why I have driven a truck for the last 24 years.

  5. Site seems a bit faster today. But it’s not something I did, although I will take credit for it.

    Somebody should, I guess.

    Congrats !

  6. ““Now we see the violence inherent in the system”” by Simon Black
    https://www.sovereignman.com/trends/now-we-see-the-violence-inherent-in-the-system-27089/

    Just ignore his advertising. The message is worthwhile reading though.

    “Apparently Bill Gates has sat on his ass and contributed nothing to Microsoft’s success over the past 44 years… at least, according to Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.”

    “At an event commemorating Martin Luther King on Monday, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez told the audience that wealthy people “sat on a couch” while “undocumented workers” earning “slave wages” created all the wealth and value.”

    ““No one ever makes a billion dollars,” she said. “You take a billion dollars.” And the crowd went wild.”

    “She went on, chuckling that “there is a case” that “billionaires are inherently, morally corrupt,” and that “if Jeff Bezos wants to be a good person he’d turn Amazon into a worker cooperative. . .””

  7. AOC is nuts. A million uneducated workers do not produce Amazon, or Google, or any other innovative company. A million uneducated workers eek out livings on subsistence farms, until someone like Gates, or Musk, or Bezos comes along and offers them something better.

    Let me grant one small part of AOC’s rant, though: no one needs to be a billionaire. There comes a level of wealth that is unhealthy for the surrounding society. Capitalism is the best system we have yet discovered, but capitalism does lead to extremes. Government regulation should ameliorate those extremes. Abuse of monopoly power is the classic example. I think extreme concentrations of wealth are another. The Gates foundation, the Clinton foundation, etc. should not survive their founders.

  8. “billionaires are inherently, morally corrupt”

    Funny, that’s what I think about members of congress.

  9. AOC is nuts. A million uneducated workers do not produce Amazon, or Google, or any other innovative company. A million uneducated workers eek out livings on subsistence farms, until someone like Gates, or Musk, or Bezos comes along and offers them something better.

    AOC wants to be the Fidel Castro of the United States. When she is elected President in 2025, there will never again be a free election until after the civil war. Robert Heinlein predicted her wrongly, he thought that she would be Nehemiah Scudder, a radio preacher in the South.

  10. OK, home now. Did my class, stopped for groceries. It’s been a while for the groceries and I ended up spending about $300, with a savings from coupons of $20. I saved more buying on sale versions of things too.

    Class went well. Activity and demo and PPT fit the time perfectly. I’m getting better at gauging that. My volunteers thought so too, and they’re having enough fun they’re joining me again tomorrow. Since it’s a new module, I’ll do basically the same for the Fifth graders as the Fourth. The kids are mostly bright and inquisitive, with some being REALLY bright. And talking with the one dad after class, I’m much more convinced he’s like minded on a variety of issues. Meatspace baby.

    Next month’s classes will be new and my creation too. I’m planning to link their astronomy module (just starting) to the earth science module (just finishing) to some of the physics and forces stuff we did. I want to spin a ball on a string- and talk about the moon, centripetal and centrifugal forces, why the moon doesn’t fly away, the effect on tides, etc. Then I want to spin a plate covered with sand and have the sand migrate to the rim, and talk about that, the shape of the earth (oblate spheroid) and why. Lastly or firstly, I want to drop same sized but different mass objects to demonstrate gravity constant (I’ll probably drop cubes into a graduated cylinder just to control the movements.)

    We’ve already talked about inertia, momentum, density, and mass vs weight so if I do it right, it should extend what we’ve done, and tie some of it together.

    Rain started last night. Gauge says a little over half an inch since midnight. It’s a light misty drizzle. Unpleasant but not debilitating. It does limit me to stuff that will fit inside the Expy and not the back of the pickup.

    Whew, and I’m beat. Four hours of being “on” with the kids is exhausting.

    n


  11. no one needs to be a billionaire

    Private rocket companies were formed by billionaires, accomplishing something that the US government and ordinary corporations were demonstrably unable to do.

  12. Let me grant one small part of AOC’s rant, though: no one needs to be a billionaire. There comes a level of wealth that is unhealthy for the surrounding society.

    Why not have billionaires ? Why do you say billionaires are unhealthy for society ?

  13. Let me grant one small part of AOC’s rant, though: no one needs to be a billionaire. There comes a level of wealth that is unhealthy for the surrounding society.

    Billionares. “Tres commas”. Note that she does not specify millionaires … for now. I’m guessing that Sugar Daddy is an X-er dot com millionaire in the 8-9 digit range.

    Shot Girl will never be President. Despair is a sin.

  14. AOC wants to be the Fidel Castro of the United States. When she is elected President in 2025, there will never again be a free election until after the civil war. Robert Heinlein predicted her wrongly, he thought that she would be Nehemiah Scudder, a radio preacher in the South.

    Shot Girl is no Fidel Castro. Growing up, my doctor in FL was a Cuban exile who knew Fidel personally, and he told me that the key to Fidel’s success was that Castro never forgot anything he read. Eidetic memory.

    I don’t see that in Shot Girl. She has biology on her side, but that advantage is diminishing quickly now that she’s 30.

  15. AOC is nuts. A million uneducated workers do not produce Amazon, or Google, or any other innovative company. A million uneducated workers eek out livings on subsistence farms, until someone like Gates, or Musk, or Bezos comes along and offers them something better.

    I believe open borders might mean a million or so additional migrants added to the unskilled work force, but not much more. There are only so many drywall hanging jobs to go around in the US, and even a mild recession will motivate the day laborers to go home, where the cost of living is lower.

    The bigger problem in the US with open borders will be the 10-20 million skilled (well, sorta, on paper) workers who will arrive from the Subcontinent and China, staked by families to establish a beachhead in the country and for whom living costs, including real estate, will not be a primary concern. Once they’re here, Congress will come under tremendous pressure from big companies to issue them work visas, and the votes will come from both sides of the aisle in Congress.

    I’ve seen the process at work in my grad programs, the last one being, essentially, an OPT diploma mill funded by the State of Texas.

  16. rich people feed my kids…

    No poor people gonna be doing $1000/plate bar mitzvahs….

    n

  17. AT&T is dead to me. I killed the DirecTV yesterday, I will kill the DSL line after we move to the new used house in a couple of weeks after we pack our precious stuff up into 200 boxes.

    Somebody cloned my Mastercard over the weekend and used it at an Exxon 30 miles away from here. Fraud detection called me for validation, it was not me. So they killed the card and sending me another. I do not have any more credit cards, I cannot keep track of them.

    So AT&T decided to stop sending me paper bills in November. Funny, I don’t remember being asked. But all of sudden I start getting emails from them that I am late paying my bill. What bill ??? I never got a bill. Turns out I am suppose to log into AT&T website and download my bill. Screw that. And I tried it today and the PDF print feature does not work, says under construction.

    So I went by a AT&T store today at lunch time to pay my bill. They spent ten minutes clustered around a cash register trying to figure out bill pay. Then the head dude says, “we don’t take checks”. I left. I will take the late charge as a learning experience to never ever do business with AT&T again.

    Dead to me.

    And I have five business phone lines and two DSL lines from AT&T at the office. I will figure out how to to kill them off now.

  18. rich people feed my kids…

    No poor people gonna be doing $1000/plate bar mitzvahs….

    Two billionaires paid for half of the replacement of the 105,000 seat football stadium at Texas A&M University five years ago. They both wrote checks for $125 million. Each. Total cost of $500 million.

    Then they bought Jimbo Fisher and are paying 80% of his $7.5 million salary per year. They want TAMU to be the Alabama of the west. They even brought Sagan to TAMU for a day trip but he was only using them to up his salary to $11 million per year.


  19. Private rocket companies were formed by billionaires, accomplishing something that the US government and ordinary corporations were demonstrably unable to do.

    Yes, and after the Wright Brothers designed and flew the first airplane, all the billionaires jumped in.

  20. Private rocket companies were formed by billionaires, accomplishing something that the US government and ordinary corporations were demonstrably unable to do.

    Yes, and after the Wright Brothers designed and flew the first airplane, all the billionaires jumped in.

    The first “billionaires” in the USA were George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. I read an article recently that claimed that GW was 3% of the economy of the New World before the American revolution.

  21. Then they bought Jimbo Fisher and are paying 80% of his $7.5 million salary per year. They want TAMU to be the Alabama of the west. They even brought Sagan to TAMU for a day trip but he was only using them to up his salary to $11 million per year.

    The State of Florida taxpayers thank the TAMU and UT boosters for their generosity.

    Sagan? You mean Saban, right? No, that was never going to happen. ‘Bama is *the* job in college football.

    “Mr. X” never coached football, but, like many of the game’s players, he was fond of weed.

  22. This could be interesting:
    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/washington-secrets/civil-war-ii-gun-control-could-push-virginia-counties-to-join-west-virginia

    The article claims that state line adjustments do not require federal approval. I would like to see a streamlined means for groups of counties/buroughs/parishes to form new states. There have been initiatives to break California up into several states, and I think the two problems with them is that they don’t go far enough and don’t leave the border decisions in the hands of the local people. California should be cut up into about sixteen states, which would have an average population of a couple of million each.

  23. Why are billionaires unhealthy for society? It’s not so much the billionaires themselves, it’s the legacies they create and leave behind.

    Look at the Kennedy clan: their wealth comes from the 1920s and 1930s. This wealth, once established, supported a family renowned for its corruption and decadence, which they have inflicted on everyone else through their continual political involvement.

    Or the Clinton foundation: it’s bad enough with Bill and Hillary still around. What will it turn into when they are gone? It it clearly corrupt, and will wield enough wealth to have substantial political influence.

    Bill Gates is trying to do mostly non-political “good stuff” with his foundation. However, that much money will attract politics like sh*t attracts flies. Once he’s no longer personally directing things, that concentrated wealth will become a problem.

  24. Family wealth doesn’t usually survive more than a couple of generations, and in the mean time, it’s the rich that spend money.

    The Kennedy legacy is already dissipating with them killing themselves by accident and design.

    The Clinton Foundation cut staff and basically shuttered when Hillarity lost, didn’t it?

    BTW, I agree that extreme wealth distorts everything it comes in contact with. I dn’t see limiting it or stealing it as a solution though, because that process will quickly become corrupt too.

    n

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