585 thoughts on “Open Thread For September”

  1. In a few years, the Nancy Grace Roman space telescope will be launched, to look för gravity microlensing events that reveal exoplanets and other substellar objects. Some of the discoveries are expected to be “free-floating” planets that long ago were ejected into interstellar space.
    (For details, see Anton Petrov at Youtube)

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  2. Aaah…(sighs with pleasure) God Awful Movies are out with a new entry.
    GAM 267 Rumors of Wars has the antichrist making people put RFID chips into their bodies because….it is the same evil chips the aliens used in the X-file, or something?
    I will listen until I fall asleep, and ignore the TV debate between the geezer and the idiot.

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  3. Well might you have ignored the first debate. My wife watched it – I could hear her derisive laughter coming from the living room. Then her head appeared in my doorway and she said: “They are so childish, I can’t be bothered to watch it any more.” There was so much of vital importance to the American people to talk about, but it just turned into a slanging match, trading insults.

    Announcement: Australia is full. It can’t take any more commercial airliners, the facilities to park them in are full. They are going to have to extend the facilities, because there are more planes that need to be parked. The manufacturers and airlines prefer to park them in the desert in central Australia because it is so dry there that it minimises problems with corrosion. They have a staff of 70 to maintain them, but there are so many planes parked there now that they must be run off their feet with work.

    The way things are going, the whole thing could turn into a huge aeroplane graveyard. It could make an interesting tourist attraction, I guess, except there won’t be any tourists to go to look at it. Aboriginal people could take to living in them, I guess, after they have all been cannibalised for parts. There is still a thriving air cargo industry, and airlines like Thai Airways can try to stay afloat with internal flights; same with the Chinese airlines. HK, Singapore and some of the Pacific island nations that have air carriers have no internal flights, so their passenger services are largely just going to die.

    Hundreds of thousands of airline jobs are ‘at risk’. No, I’d say those jobs are gone, and most of them won’t come back. The world will never return to the way it was in December 2019. It can’t. There will be no “return to normal.” I don’t know what the future will look like, but it won’t look like the past.

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  4. I assume they are reasoning like those in 1945 who thought Britain was still boss of the world and everything would be like before.
    Or the Mericans, post-Bush
    (The French have a habit of blowing up an atoll every time they feel insecure, but they still are has-beens).

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  5. I don’t know how many of you know this – humans have a very high rate of miscarriage. Of the order of 50% of all pregnancies miscarry. A lot of the time, no doubt it happens early in the pregnancy and the woman might not even be aware that she has miscarried. Before my daughter was born, my wife miscarried – she realised it when it happened, but she had not been aware that she was pregnant.

    That is selection happening in humans, right there, during the first 9 months (the mean gestation period is actually 9 months and 10 days, but no one ever tells you that) which clearly means that humans are still evolving.

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    1. This was well known decades ago- the pope who was pope a couple of days before dying (John Paul 1) was open to allowing abortion because nature itself treats embryos as disposable I think the estimate back then was 30% early spontaneous abortions.
      But he died, and instead we got the regressive Polish guy who crushed the movement to make the church socially relevant by pushing for dealing with poverty…

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  6. Oh, how tasteful – a local American-style restaurant (Ruby Tuesday) has sent me a junkmail to inform me that their monthly special is “Yummy Shrimp Mummies” – prawns wrapped in a coccoon of noodles. Mummified prawns – yum.

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    1. Special for October – Halloween. That’s what that is about.

      Halloween is becoming like Christmas – it used to be for one night, but now it lasts for the whole month of October – sell more crap to the punters.

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      1. When the eejits were screaming about a bogus war on christmas, Jon Stewart pointed out the Christmas holiday was growing. Chistmas is eating other holidays!

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  7. Netflix series – Criminal: UK was bloody good. Criminal: Spain was crap. Criminal: Germany was good in parts but creepy. So far, Criminal: France is just banal and unconvincing.

    Same setting for all of them – all of the action takes place in a police interrogation room, behind the one way observation mirror looking into the interrogation room and in the hallway outside. Identical, so they have used the same set for all of them. It’s rather demanding to keep it interesting, but the UK and Germany have done pretty well. Well, the UK did very well; two series and they were both riveting.

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  8. Die Farbe by Michael Kausch is a German adaptation of you-know-what.
    .
    Blade Runner 2049 is on Swedish TV tonight, för other people like myself who lack Netflix.
    Unfortunately it collides with another cinematic masterpiece on another channel; Police Academy-Moscow.
    Decisions, decisions.

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  9. Quiz question: what is a therianthrope? In the context of Australian rock art, it’s a being with the head of a kangaroo and the body of a human.

    This sort of representation seems like a human universal.

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  10. Sea floor sediments have traces of manganese-53. This is believed to have originated in a relatively nearby supernova ca 2.5 million years ago. Too distant to cause harm, it would have increased the inflow of cosmic rays for thousands of years.
    Charged particles moving through the atmosphere would have increased condensation and maybe made the skies cloudier.

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  11. October (sigh)…..
    I am told the Simpsons have gotten funnier with season 31, I might actually go back to watching it.
    Naah, even watching TV requires too much energy.
    The bears have the right idea about how to deal with this season.
    One advantage is, regions with a mediterranean climate may finally get rain, like California.

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  12. Headline in the South China Morning Post today: “Chaos is not happening.” LOL

    Several things have happened. 1. During the past year lots of the radical extremists have been arrested and charged with violent offences, and are awaiting trial, and an unkown (but likely sizeable) number of them have fled from HK illegally to escape going to court and being sentenced. 2. Pandemic. 3. Passage of the new national security legislation at the end of June this year, which makes it much more risky to engage in violence and vandalism. 4. Very significantly, a new guy was appointed to the White House in June this year, and one of the first things he did was cut off funding for American tech support for the HK radical extremists, so they can’t keep their communications secret from the HK cops any more. So their communications about organising attacks on the police, setting up roadblocks, setting fire to things, etc. are being intercepted, and the cops are arresting them. (The US Congress actually objected to that funding being cut off, in the process inadvertently openly admitting that, yes, the Americans had been directly aiding the violent extremists in HK).

    So, today is National Day, to celebrate the founding of the People’s Republic of China, and a certain amount of trouble was anticipated. But the cops had intercepted all of the communications intended to organise violent attacks and nabbed the organisers (so much for a ‘leaderless’ movement). And they mobilised 6,000 riot police on the streets. So the cops are greatly outnumbering the few protesters who try to do anything. So “chaos is not happening”.

    How do you report the news when there isn’t any? I guess you report what is not happening.

    “In Stockholm today, naked people are not playing leapfrog and staging cream pie throwing competitions.”

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