Friday, June 02, 2023

Wooden. Satelite.

 Coming to us from Japan, a satellite made of Magnolia wood.

A satellite made of wood could be launched into space in 2024.

The high durability of wood in space was recently tested and confirmed at the International Space Station (ISS) by an international group of scientists led by those from Kyoto University.

Their experiments showed wood samples tested at the ISS for durability underwent minimal deterioration and maintained good stability.

Preliminary inspection, including strength tests and crystal structural analyses, of the wood samples was also done once they were brought back to Earth from the ISS by Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata.

We all know (or bloody well should know) that the Mosquito bomber of WWII was made of plywood, and very successful as well. 

 It turns out from a quickie interwebz search that the Ranger moon probes of the 1960s had an "impact limiter sphere" made of plywood.

The wooden sphere held by NASA Systems Design secretary Pat McKibben.

They really knew how to do things back in the 1960s, eh? Get the fabulous secretary to pose with the exotic spacecraft part as if it was a Holly carburetor in a hot-rod magazine.

One of the reasons for trying to make spacecraft parts out of wood, mentioned in this article, is space junk. More specifically, powdered aluminum raining down on the Earth as satellites and rockets inevitably fall out of orbit and burn up in the atmosphere. 

I must say that I don't really share the concerns of the people mentioned in the articles, but on the other hand we really don't know what the long-term effect of vaporized metals in the atmosphere will be. At a guess, it probably won't help anything.

Therefore, it couldn't hurt to make things out of wood, if this can be done. Using wood as an aerospace material also has the advantages of hugely reduced cost of materials, impressive strength-to-weight ratios, and ease of fabrication.

Something else to consider, for the future, is the possibility of deliberately growing trees and shrubs into desired shapes.

Grown from a sapling, not bent.


Industrial scale version in pine, from Poland.

This could be an exciting application of vat-grown vegetation, you put the shape you want into the tank as a form, and the wood grows into it. 

Makes me wonder how vat-grown bone would do as a space material. You could probably get it to grow much faster than wood. Cows grow to full size in a couple of years, right?

Friday, May 19, 2023

Woke medicine 2023: racial apartheid is de rigueur again.

You know how I always say the medical journals are not to be trusted, that they are full of shit and act as propaganda organs for the Left? This is why I say it.

Racial Affinity Group Caucusing in Medical Education — A Key Supplement to Antiracism Curricula

April 27, 2023
N Engl J Med 2023; 388:1542-1545
DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp2212866

That's the title. Here's the begining:

As academic medicine begins to recognize and examine racism as the root cause of racially disparate health outcomes, we need curricula for training physicians to dismantle the systems that perpetuate these inequities. Since traditional approaches to medical education are themselves founded in inequitable systems, new approaches are essential.

Yes my friends, the existing hospital and medical school "systems" are hopelessly racist and need to be "dismantled." Here's their suggestion to replace everything:

 Racial affinity group caucuses (RAGCs)

Hmm. Interesting bafflegab, what does that mean in English?

Cultivating sacred spaces: a racial affinity group approach to support critical educators of color

Despite repeated pleas for diversifying the U.S. teacher force, teachers of color who are committed to social justice are often unsupported and even pushed out via structural, interpersonal, and pedagogical obstacles within the profession. In response to neoliberal, colorblind, and apolitical approaches to teacher development and support, educators and organizers have reclaimed and reframed their pedagogies through critical professional development and grassroots activism to center healing from the impacts of oppression in its myriad forms . The ethnographic case study in this article examines how, over the course of three years, a grassroots racial affinity group became an important space for learning and healing for its members. I explain how the group explicitly centered twelve members' voices, needs, and collective knowledge, and in so doing: (a) collectively cultivated a critical, humanizing, and healing space for their sustainability; and (b) navigated various positions within socially toxic education institutions and organizations. I conclude by discussing how and why critical racial affinity spaces for educators of color are necessary in order to support their personal, political, relational, and pedagogical growth, which has implications on their retention and leadership within the field.

Ohhh, I see. It means this:

  1. An official policy of racial segregation formerly practiced in the Republic of South Africa, involving political, legal, and economic discrimination against nonwhites.
  2. A policy or practice of separating or segregating groups.
  3. The condition of being separated from others; segregation.
Apartheid. Except chaged up to discriminate against Whites.

Capital W on White, by the way, from the article.

Founded on legacies of colonialism and racism, medical education has historically centered White learners and continues to perpetuate structural racism.4 Pedagogical approaches often center White learners and ignore the differential impact of content on BIPOC learners (Black, Indigenous, or people of color) with personal experiences of racism that are nuanced and have been informed by interactions and observations over their lifetimes. Immersion in the existing medical education system can therefore be retraumatizing, resulting in imposter syndrome, heightened anxiety, and a reduced sense of belonging. Especially as we seek to recruit more medical students who are BIPOC, we need to recognize this harm and encourage pedagogical approaches that support the needs of BIPOC learners.

RAGCs have been studied in a range of settings, including K–12 education, undergraduate education, and workplace environments, but have not yet been well studied in medical education.1,3 Some BIPOC people have been socialized to care for the egos of White people, to express their emotions only in ways that are palatable to White audiences, and to tread lightly around "White fragility" (White people's discomfort and defensiveness regarding their legacy of racism and complicity in systems of inequality) in order to maintain their relationships, professional status, and safety.5 In a space without White people, BIPOC participants can bring their whole selves, heal from racial trauma together, and identify strategies for addressing structural racism.1,2,5

 Yeah. Just kick Whitey out of class, and everything will be way better, and all the non-White kids won't have to tread lightly around all that White fragility.

Haven't we seen that before though? I mean, didn't we address this shit in the 1960s? Oh that's right, we did. Equality under the law is a thing in every nation in Western civilization now. Even South Africa.

But these guys say that's not good enough anymore. They don't want to be equal. They want a special deal. They want to make all the White kids and the White teachers go to the White school, so the BIPOC people can... relax? I guess? Because that forcible seperation thing worked out so well in South Africa, you know.

There's a name for this type of thing. I think it starts with an R, or maybe an N. Some guy with this weird mustache started it, I'm trying to think where I've heard it before....

Saturday, May 13, 2023

Speed of light violated, spooky action at a distance confirmed.

The experiment wasn't the first to show that local realism isn't how the Universe works — it's not even the first to do so with qubits. But it's the first to separate the qubits by enough distance to ensure that light isn't fast enough to travel between them while measurements are made. And it did so by cooling a 30-meter-long aluminum wire to just a few milliKelvin. Because the qubits are so easy to control, the experiment provides a new precision to these sorts of measurements.

So, long story short, quantum entanglement DOES transmit information faster than light.

In practice, this meant giving the entire assembly built to keep the wire cool access to the liquid helium refrigeration systems that housed the qubits at each end—and building a separate refrigeration system at the center point of the 30-meter tube. The system also needed flexible internal connections and exterior supports because the whole thing contracts significantly as it cools down.

Still, it all worked impressively well. Because of the performance of the qubits, the researchers could perform over a million individual trials in only 20 minutes. The resulting correlations ended up being above the limit set by Bell's equations by a staggering 22 standard deviations. Put in different terms, the p value of the result was below 10-108.

The distance traveled by the speed of light in a nanosecond is roughly a foot. Computers easily run at speeds that are measured in nanoseconds, making it possible to see the resulting measurements made of entanglement connecting one chip to the other faster than the speed of light. One chip reacts to the other sooner than light can travel 30 meters. By the look of that 10^-108, a hell of a lot faster.

So there you go, you -can- transmit information faster than the speed of light. Somewhere, Albert must be grumbling about it.

Update: Welcome Small Dead Animals! Thanks for the linkage, Kate!

Tuesday, May 02, 2023

We're gonna Dieeeeeee!!!

 Reposting this comment I made at According To Hoyt.

Yes, we’re all doomed. All going to die, the end is nigh, hasta la vista, baby. Doom and destruction all over TV, radio, streaming. Films, music, books. Yer gonna die.

Well, unless you listen to Korean pop idols. K-Pop is making HUGE AMOUNTS OF MONEY internationally by being sweet bubbly candy with cute girls and fun dancing that kids can actually -do- while they sing along. Lots of blown kisses and making your hands into heart symbols.

Leaving aside the fan armies and social media dramatics of K-Pop, their business model is to sell entertainment to kids.

No one (that I know of) is doing this in the USA/Britain/Canada right now. The closest you get is Trance, where there’s no singing and you just zone-out while moving your feet. There’s no “Positive Message” in Western music right now, the best you can hope for is “never mind, just drop some molly and dance until you puke.”

Being a geezer I can’t pretend to an encyclopedic knowledge of trendy trends for 2023, but if you look at the -wasteland- of modern entertainment the only shiny spots are in Asia. Japan, Korea, and weirdly, China.

That, my friends, smacks of an Arrangement.

We know for sure, given Sad Puppies, that dead-tree publishing is rigged to favor grimdark grey goo. Books, comics, all the same. Goo.

We know for sure it isn’t selling because bookstores (the few that are still open) are filled with manga now. Western SF/F, one bookcase. Manga, three -aisles- of book cases.

So they are deliberately doing what they KNOW doesn’t work. They know it. For sure. The proof is in the sales numbers. But there they are, persisting. So wtf are they doing?

Well, where else do we see this? Gun control, one example. I know -for sure- it doesn’t work to accomplish the stated purpose of reducing violent crime. Everybody knows it doesn’t work. It is exquisitely obvious that it doesn’t work. But they still do it.

Renewable energy, another example. Windmills and solar can’t supply the electrical grid with reliable power. Everyone knows this. Self evidently, solar doesn’t make power when the sun goes down. Windmills don’t make power when there’s no wind. But what are they doing? Putting up windmills and solar. Which don’t work. For sure.

There are many other examples like recycling, veganism, electric cars, carbon taxes, paper masks for the flu etc. Waste motion, all of it.

So I look at all that, the steady diet of grimdark, the waste of resources, the oppression of individuals at every turn, and it occurs to me I don’t really care any more why they’re doing it. It doesn’t matter why, even if I knew it wouldn’t help.

I’m pretty well done trying to figure out their motivation, and I’m done trying to convince by sweet reason. Where I’m at now is actively subverting their actions by simply saying the truth.

Recycling, sacred cow of Enviros, is a lie. Gun control, sacred cow of the Perennially Concerned and Caring, is a lie. Renewable energy, lie.

Grimdark literature, sacred cow of the Cognoscenti, is worse than a mere lie. It is a mind poison aimed at harming the people who read it.

K-Pop. Manga. Anime. That’s the thing.


Friday, April 21, 2023

Regarding a recent disturbance of sacred cows.

Recently some sacred cows were gored by Larry Correia. Sick of people leaving two-star reviews on his books because George Martin, David Gerrold and Patrick Rothfuss couldn't be bothered to finish their epic fantasies, Larry told their disapointed fans to suck it up and move on. Epically, as he usually does. 

But then, Chinese bot farmers decided that the Sacred Pillars of Fandom had been defiled and they needed to smear Larry. Again.

This rant is what my brain would do if it could. ~:D 

In the middle of said rant, regarding Rothfuss, Martin and Gerrold, Larry asks a question:

“How much did these vapid fucks screw over their own industry?” 


It may interest one and all to know that there is a number for that. The number is $8600.00. 


$8600 is the -median- (not the average, but the most common) annual income from writing in Britain. The bulge in the bell curve, as it were. Which means that Dead Tree published authors, generally, are not making any money. 

Their books, to put it plainly, are not selling. At all. (All those Hugo-beloved tomes? Nope. Not selling.) 

Which is not at all surprising, given the collapse of the retail book business. Which collapse was inevitable given the Woke TM garbage that passes for science fiction/adventure/fantasy these days. 

You guys know what the TOP SELLER is in comics these days? Manga. From Japan, you know. In translation, no less. Because why? Because Marvel and DC are all-Woke, all the time. Same for novels, but we don’t have sales numbers for those, because shenanigans. 

But you can tell, because authors are flipping burgers instead of writing. 

Now, is all this George Martin, David Gerrold and Patrick Rothfuss’s fault? Like, personally theirs? No. Clearly not. This is a publishing-wide phenomenon. 

But did they contribute to this decline? Oh yeah. That’s three BIG selling series that they just couldn’t be assed to finish, leaving BIG fandoms disappointed and pissed off to the point where they just stopped buying SF/F books. 

Look at it this way. My book sold hundreds of copies. Best case scenario, there are people waiting for the next one. (Its coming, I SWEAR.) If I were to crap out for some reason, those people would be mildly disappointed. 

GRRM has -millions- of fans. (I can’t understand why, but he does.) -Millions- of people are disappointed that he’s promised another volume and not delivered. 

That’s a pretty big deal. That level of disappointment has had an impact on the sales of other people’s books. Readers just gave up. 

And now the median author income is $8600 a year. Meaning the next Tolkien/Rowling/Correia is FLIPPING BURGERS so he/she can eat, instead of writing. Because time spent writing does not make any money. 

So, to quantify how full of shit China Mike and the Viletones are, they’re $8600 bucks worth full of it. That’s a lot of horseshit right there. 



Saturday, March 25, 2023

Finally, something cool. Breakthrough in tiles.

Never mind the politics bullshit, this is actually interesting.

Previously, the least number of shapes required to tile a 2 dimensional plane with non-repeating patterns was two. Sir Roger Penrose invented his Penrose Tiles in 1974. They have a fivefold symmetry, which is supposed to be impossible in mathematics. They assemble to an infinite space and the patterns never repeat. Infinitely variable.

The Hat.


A quartet of mathematicians from Yorkshire University, the University of Cambridge, the University of Waterloo and the University of Arkansas has discovered a 2D geometric shape that does not repeat itself when tiled. David Smith, Joseph Samuel Myers, Craig Kaplan and Chaim Goodman-Strauss have written a paper describing how they discovered the unique shape and possible uses for it. Their full paper is available on the arXiv preprint server.

When people tile their floors, they tend to use simple geometric shapes that lend themselves to repeating patterns, such as squares or triangles. Sometimes though, people want patterns that do not repeat but that represents a challenge if the same types of shape are used. In this new effort, the research team has discovered a single geometric shape that if used for tiling, will not produce repeating patterns.

This, believe it or not, is a Big Deal. A completely novel way to tile the 2D plane with no repeating patterns. Amazing.

You're welcome. ~:D

"You people do not deserve freedom." Liberal Party of Canada

I've been saying this for years. The ruling principle of Canada in particular and socialists everywhere is: People are stupid. They must be controlled.

Someone at the National Post and the Spectator UK seems to have finally noticed.

A few days ago, Britain's Spectator magazine did a tremendous job of summing up all the intrigue, machinations, politics, and noise surrounding Chinese interference in Canadian elections. And it came to a remarkable conclusion.

"There are those who bemoan declining trust in our leaders. Here we see the damage that can be done by a leader who does not trust the public," wrote their correspondent Sam Dunning.

 They go on to cite a laundry list of Liberal Party scandals from the Rule of Pony era, and the response from the Shiny Pony always being a shrug of the shoulders, as if such things were beneath his notice and what's all the fuss about.

Their conclusion:

When it comes to China, we see the same ingrained paternalism. Trudeau knew there was a problem with Chinese interference; the Prime Minister's Office had reports that Chinese money was being funnelled to Liberal candidates in federal elections, national security agencies had warned that Chinese Canadians were being recruited to assist in distributing illegal donations, and to vote for preferred candidates in nomination races.

But Trudeau's reaction was to keep silent and keep Canadians in the dark. Why? Maybe Trudeau is a traitorous villain who allowed China to do their worst. But the more obvious explanation from his past actions is that he didn't think Canadians needed to know. In his arrogance, he almost certainly thought he and his party were not only best to handle it, but that they could learn little from anyone else's input.

This is the core of the thing, which the authors do not address directly. They blame it on Shiny Pony narcissism, which while certainly true, falls short of the reality.

Reality is that Freedom, capital F, is for the Great and the Good. The leadership of the nation, you know. People who know what's what. For the rest, there is Obedience. Capital O, which stands for "shut up and get back in line you filthy peasant."

Naturally they don't trust the sheep. Sheep are too stupid to live. The job of the shepherd is to guard the flock and keep it in line. The job of the flock is to be fleeced for the shepherd's benefit. Of what use is freedom to a sheep?

That's us. We are the sheep in this saga. That's the governing principle of your country, normies. How do you feel about that?

Thursday, March 23, 2023

The stupid. It burns.

I haven't posted anything since January, there hasn't been anything sufficiently surprising to amaze me or sufficiently stupid to gain my ire. Until now.

The Idaho Supreme Court has vacated a Mountain Home man's conviction for felony drug possession and delivery after it ruled that a police drug-sniffing dog trespassed and conducted an illegal search by putting its paws on his vehicle, prompting the search that led to his arrest.

The court issued its decision Monday, with three of the five justices in agreement and two dissenting.

The case centered on the 2019 arrest of Kirby Dorff. According to court documents, the officer said Dorff was stopped by a patrol officer in Mountain Home after Dorff drove across lanes of traffic without using a signal. A second officer arrived with a police K-9 named Nero who was trained to detect illegal drugs.

While Dorff explained to the first officer that he didn't have a valid driver's license or proof of insurance in the vehicle, Nero began sniffing around the car. Police body camera footage showed the dog jumped up against the car multiple times, including once when his paws rested on the driver's side door and window as he sniffed the "upper seams" of the car, officials said.

Oh noes, the dog put his front feet on the car! Like dogs never do that.

The legal opinion:

 Justice Robyn Brody in the majority opinion wrote that justices weighed whether the dog's intrusion on the exterior of Dorff's vehicle constituted trespassing as it would have if the dog had entered the interior of the vehicle.

Ultimately, Brody wrote, she and justices John Stegner and Colleen Zahn agreed that the exterior of the vehicle is protected by the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unlawful searches. They said the drug-sniffing dog "intermeddled" with Dorff's personal effects by jumping up on the car.

"Intermeddling is the difference between someone who brushes up against your purse while walking by and someone who, without privilege or consent, rests their hand on your purse or puts their fingers into your purse before your eyes or behind your back," Brody wrote.

According to the majority opinion, it doesn't matter that the unlawful search included the exterior of Dorff's property or was performed by a drug-sniffing dog.

The dissent:

 Bevans in a separate opinion reiterated his view from an earlier case that a drug-sniffing dogs canine instincts aren't the same as intentional police intrusion.

For justices to equate a drug-sniffing dog "instinctually jumping onto the exterior of a car" to a government agent placing a tracking device on a vehicle "stretches logic beyond the breaking point of reasonableness," Bevans wrote.

The dissent, unsurprisingly, is a longer version of what I said. Dogs jump up on shit when they're excited. That's how they are.

The real issue, apparent from the utter stupidity of the majority opinion and the fact that the news article doesn't mention it, is that the Court does not want police to have drug-sniffing dogs present at traffic stops. Or possibly to have them at all. Because politics, at some level or other, has created two opposing factions. One faction represented by the majority opinion, one by the dissent.

The problem with letting courts decide things is that they invent stuff like this to disguise that they're really doing something else. Somebody doesn't want Idaho police to have dogs, or they want less drug dealers in jail, or they just want to fuck over Idaho by letting criminals have a free hand. But they can't get the votes to do it in the legislature. So they get their bros onto the court, and they do it that way.

Oh and Mr. Dorff got booked again in February 2023. Going by his picture he's a real pillar of the community.