260 thoughts on “Open Thread For April”

  1. “Honkaku” is a Japanese detective fiction genre that emerged in the 1920s and has prevailed for a century. These whodunit stories give the readers all the information they need to solve the crimes.
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    BTW was EAP named Edward *Allen* Poe ? I have seen “Allan”, too.

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  2. A reference to the radio broacast of H G Wells’ War of the Worlds:
    The skeptic Harris Sultan just published “Godzilla in Pakistan” on Youtube.
    People in a neighborhood were scared when they woke up to loud roars echoing through the streets.

    It turned out an imam that had been calling out for the evening prayers through a loudspeaker had forgotten to turn off the power to the microphone before falling asleep.

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  3. Comet Borisov, the extrasolar visitor in 2019 had more carbon monoxide than water, showing it was a really pristine object that never had been near a star before. It was probably ejected from a nascent planetary system as it passed too close to a Jupiter-type planet.
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    Mike Lindell, the “My Pillow” guy has published another…film, I suppose you can call it, titled Absolute Interference.
    God Awful Movies have made a detailed review of it so you do not need to risk your sanity.
    “GAM 297 Absolute Interference”, see Youtube.

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  4. “US president tells joint sessions of Congress Xi Jinping is ‘deadly earnest’ about China becoming the most consequential nation in the world.”

    American presidents lying is becoming beyond tiresome. Xi Jinping has never said, to either an international or domestic audience, that he wants China to become the most ‘consequential’ nation.

    He has spoked often about his ambition for China to take its place as one of the world’s great nations alongside the other great nations and working harmoniously with them in a multilateral manner. He has said that over and over again, until he is blue in the face. Just about every time he opens his mouth, he talks about multilateralism.

    So maybe Mr Xi is lying and covering up his real ambition, that he wants China to replace the USA as the globally dominant nation, the global hegemon. Do you think? Compare the military spending of the two countries and that notion should be dispelled immediately. The American military budget is far larger than China’s.

    So why is Biden lying?

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  5. Empty hotels seemed to present a good solution to quarantine returning travelers. But governments (plural) and ‘experts’ in multiple countries have been very slow to realise that hotels are not built to be quarantine camps, and that airborne transmission within hotels is a very likely cause of cross-infection. Doesn’t need to be a room directly opposite, it could be from down the hall, or even on a different floor. It is past time that the health authorities wake up to this. https://theconversation.com/more-than-a-dozen-covid-leaks-in-6-months-to-protect-australians-its-time-to-move-quarantine-out-of-city-hotels-159808

    So now, both Australia and Hong Kong have had cases of cross-infection in hotels used to house people under quarantine. HK makes arriving air-travellers do 21 days of quarantine, not 14. So it turns out that putting an uninfected person into a quarantine hotel for 21 days is worse than for 14 days, not better, because it just exposes them to the risk of cross-infection for longer.

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  6. China launched first module for the next space station.
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    A question for people used to hammering rocks and shovelling rocky debris.
    To get inside the lava tubes on Mars or the Moon (expected to be 10 resp. 100 times wider than those on Earth, and very useful for shelter) the easiest way would be through collapse structures like skylights or the sinous valleys where part of a gallery has collapsed.
    But at most of such sites debris from the collapse will block the entry.
    The easiest way down would be to dig a shaft with intact rock on one side and excavate debris until you clear the ceiling of the remaining lava tube.
    But granular material is notoriously difficult to dig down through (which is why Mongol khans dug out their burial chambers in sand, as looters would lack the engineering skill to dig down deep enough).
    Just how challenging is rocky debris, if you need to dig a vertical shaft?

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    1. When civil engineers blast vertical shafts, which they do quite often, after each blast you have a hole in the ground full of pieces of as-blasted rock that you have to get out, like big angular chunks, and they do that with a mechanical grab that has teeth on it. When the shaft gets deep enough, you need to operate the grab with cables.

      A good thing about blasting vertical shafts is you can fill the shaft with water before you detonate the shot, and the water will hold down the fly-rock, to prevent it from flying out of the hole and maybe hitting someone or doing some other kind of serious damage. You can’t do that with a face blast.

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  7. The “My Pillow” guy has made a ‘documentary’ that ‘proves’ Trump won the election. The team of God Awful Movies has dissected it in great detail.
    ”GAM 287 Absolute Proof”

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    1. Due to the conservation of angular momentum. The tides cause friction which slows down the rotation of the Earth (it used to be 16 hours in a day or whatever), and to compensate the Moon recedes from the Earth. It was thus once much bigger in the sky than now.

      It is a complete coincidence that the angular sizes of the Sun and Moon are the same, allowing the total solar eclipse where the corona can be seen, but that is possible for only a very short time in the history of the solar system.

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  8. Calculated to make you sick – HK still only has a pathetic 6% of its population vaccinated, after vaccinating for 2 months. It’s not a lack of capacity that is the constraint, it is a lack of people willing to turn up to get vaccinated free of charge.

    So? So now we are to have mandatory vaccination of all foreign domestic helpers. Yep, all of the Filipinas and Indonesian women, and some Sri Lankans and Thais, working here on contract as domestic helpers will be required to be vaccinated, or else they will have their work contracts cancelled and will be sent back to their home countries. Sure, some of them are already infected when they arrive here to start a new contract, because the pandemic is raging out of control in the Philippines and Indonesia, but they have to do 21 days quarantine and get tested several times before they are let out into the general population. They are supposed to have a negative test result before they even get on a plane, but in those countries, India, Pakistan and no doubt lots of other countries, you can buy a piece of paper that says you tested negative for a small amount of money.

    Why only FDHs? Why not the local population? Because the FDHs are in no position to object – get vaccinated or lose your job and get out. The locals – nah, they will object; some might even start rioting again. It is their basic human right not to be vaccinated.

    Actually, the biggest risk to HK now is Indian people who are HK permanent residents, who keep flying to India and back again, and come back infected, despite waving a piece of paper that says they tested negative. Suggest to them not to fly to India right now while the disease is raging through the Indian population? No – howls of protest about rights and whatever. Racism against Indians.

    Colour me utterly disgusted.

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    1. So the big turnover with steppe ancestry occurred ca 2600 BC if I get it right.

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  9. Oh, the really good (cough) part – there are 370,000 foreign domestic helpers in HK, and they all have to go for testing before 9 May. The whole lot of them. No one else, just them.

    HK just turned into Nazi Germany.

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  10. The latest virus statistics in Sweden are not significantly different from earlier. Most contagion happens with the young.
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    An asshole in the Stockholm region is under suspicion for 26 rapes.
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    Good news: no tsunami or asteroid impact has occurred today.

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  11. Last year authorities in some towns in Sweden tried to stop young people from celebrating the last April by spreading chicken manure where people use to gather in the evening.
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    China is delaying publishing the result of the wossname (when the authorities count the whole population) of 2019, because it is controversial to admit the population has started to decline.
    At 1,4 billion you might think China has already enough people, but to keep the economy going it is essential to have enough young working people. As the older demograpic retire it may become hard to replace them.

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  12. Joel Greenberg has flipped on Matt Gaetz, and saved the encrypted electronic communication with him instead of erasing it- this has presumably given him leverage to cut a deal with the prosecutors.
    I don’t see how Gaetz is going to wiggle out of this.

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  13. Tonight, Sweden would traditio-nally celebrate “ValborgsmĂ€ssoafton” abbreviated Valborg. Across countries culturally affiliated with Germany, this is a custom Germans call Walpurgis-nacht (really a pre-christian feast repurposed by catholics).
    Since the English lack this custom I just explain Valborg as “the anniversary of the Valar defeating Morgoth”.

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  14. China publishes the result of the 10 yearly census, showing an increase in population.

    Journalists everywhere try desperately to clean egg off their faces. I don’t know why – you’d think they would be well accustomed by now to publishing lies and then having to admit they were wrong.

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    1. They predict the population will start to fall by 2027, but one ‘expert’ commentator thinks it will happen in 2022. I have become very wary of ‘experts’, though.

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  15. Huh. Walpurga was born in England (in Devon in A.D. 710, to be approximately precise). Never heard of her, myself. That would make her a pretty early English Christian.

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  16. The Lombok Strait is notorious. Just making the surface crossing on a small vessel from Bali to Lombok is perilous (which is one of the puzzles about how humans got to New Guinea and Australia). It forms part of the Wallace Line, and was an ocean barrier even during the LGM. Having said that, you would think that the Indonesian navy would be well aware of the hazards.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2021-05-01/indonesian-sunken-submarine-internal-waves-what-do-we-know/100107196

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