Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Two Physics Articles

Here are two articles you ought to carve out time to read.  While both are written at a non-specialist's level, they both give good depth and coverage.

Next-Gen Nuclear is Coming – If Society Wants It
These meltdown-proof power reactor designs have been roaming the wilds for three decades now, stuck between the rock of public histrionics and the hard place of obsolete bureaucracy.  It'd be a hell of a note if the "free, open, and fast-innovating" country of The Peoples' Republic of China scooped us on this technology, but it looks like exactly that is happening.  At least somebody is moving on it.

The Peculiar Math That Could Underlie the Laws of Nature
This is so far removed from my sub-field(s) in physics that I really shouldn't comment.  However, since this is a blog and so I ought to shoot off my mouth from time to time, here goes.  I think it's safe to assume that the peer reviewers of the work have done a competent job and that there are no obvious errors.  Beyond that, the mathematical results seem to align well with both current theory and experimental results, and in a way that nothing else manages.  Looks promising, will stay tuned.

There, two content-rich articles for your summer reading.  Think I'll take a short break from blogging now.  See you in a...  well, whenever another morsel of worthwhile content presents itself.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Ruminating on The Ramones

(1) Does it seem weird to you that The Ramones have been gone (since 1996) for as long as they were around (1974-1996)?  Twenty two years in each case.

(2) Here, listen to their Do You Remember Rock 'n Roll Radio, and recall that in a fundamental way they were always a nostalgia act.

(3) Read this guest post over at The SWLing Post blog: The Days of AM Pop Music in NYC   Tampa's WLCY was about all we could handle on the Gulf coast, I can't even imagine what it was like to have several top-notch DJs competing on the local AM band.

(4) Waste another hour digging around at Ramones videos over at youtube.

Think I'll go mow the grass now before it gets too hot.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Never Gotten That Bad

Although I've never gotten quite this bad (xkcd 2023):

... I will have to admit using a log(log(y)) axis once upon a time.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

And just when I was thinking "this sounds pretty good"...

.... the joke's on me:  yesterday's SMBC.  Be sure to read the mouse-over text.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Meanwhile, down at the Hamfest

Attended the Slidell Hamfest today, and did something different.  Instead of treating it as a shopping trip and social event, I made a point to attend several of the forum meetings.  Here's a link to the complete list; I just took in the NWS's Severe Weather and Hurricanes and a club member's Overview of Digital Modes talks.  Both were really informative, without getting too far off into the weeds either.  I'm going to make a point to look ahead at these forum schedules in the future.  Time well spent, and once in the door they didn't cost a dime more.

Having said all this, naturally I got sucked in while passing the solar guy's table, and picked up a 27 watt foldable panel and associated hardware.  At about 3 lbs, it's really too heavy for backpacking, though I could if pressed.  It's really more of a car camping item.  Realistically, a 27 watt panel will put out 1.6 amps of useable current over the course of a 5 hour day.  That's plenty to keep an FT-817nd happily running indefinitely with something left over.  It's also enough to extend 50 watt radio operations by about 2x, which will let me skate for a weekend pretty easily if I start with a full 12 A-H LiFePO4 battery.  I'm estimating it'll give about 7 hours total operating time under those conditions.  In any event, it's a lot smaller and lighter than a rigid 100 watt panel, which is what I'd been taking along before.

So back to my plan of "gain knowledge not stuff, and don't spend a bunch of money," it sort of worked, if only in principle.  Anyway, it was fun running into friends and making a long morning of it.

Hm yeah, don't do that.

Cyclist falls into drawbridge gap

"Alcohol may have been a factor in this incident."  I am shocked!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Some Interesting Destinations

Abu Simbel – Egypt's only portable* temple
The Sinai Trail – hike it in 42 days.  For me, there's not enough sunscreen in the world.
Lac Assal – pretty, but don't touch

All over at the BBC's site.  They all look like really great places to visit, certainly off the beaten tourist-path.  One of these days I could almost be tempted.

*For very, very large values of portable.