atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#6980: Hey, we're close to the seventh millennium!

Pity I wasn't posting a bit more over the past month; could have rung in 2020 with #7000. Oh well!

* * *

Environmental catastrophe is still ten years away. It's what doomsayers do when their predictions fail.

* * *

The killer was stopped by a gun range owner. The facts were wrong and so Reuters goofed them up and said the killer owned a gun range.

I do think this is an honest mistake on the part of the Reuters reporter; it was just a case of his own unconscious bias getting the better of him, is all. He heard that the owner of a gun range was involved and naturally reported it according to his own prejudices.

* * *

Tulsi Gabbard is still the Democrats' best hope for beating Trump which is why the party is doing its best to marginalize her. Not because they don't want to beat Trump (you can bet they sure as hell do) but because they seem to think that a lunatic frothing-at-the-mouth socialist like Bernie Sanders is their best hope for doing so, and that someone like Tulsi Gabbard who actually looks and acts like a resonable human being is completely unelectable.

Given her stand on the issues her "present" vote on the impeachment makes perfect sense to me; and her insistance that impeachment is a losing proposition for Democrats is only what I've been saying since the idea was first floated.

And guess what? It is!

The longer that the Democrats drag this thing out, the worse it gets for them. I don't see how it can be otherwise; there's nothing to the charges against Trump and there has been nothing all along. Everything we're seeing from them is naked partisanship, nothing but Trump Derangement Syndrome, and I think the only way this can possibly go for them is down. Nancy Pelosi was wise to resist impeachment, was foolish to cave to it.

Well, we tried to tell them. All kinds of right-wing commentators said that impeachment was a bad idea for Democrats, that it was a losing proposition. Oh well.

* * *

Betelgeuse is probably not going to blow up soon. All the articles say that.

What they don't say is whether or not the current dimming has reached a nadir and stopped, or if it's continued. They say the star is currently the 21st brightest star in the night sky (down from sixth) and that it reached that point in mid-December.

I recall hearing that in the past fifteen years the star shrank and dimmed by about one percent per year. What was going on with that? Is that part of this? Is that a separate cycle? Is something else going on?

As I said before, dimming and shrinking is behavior you'd expect from a red supergiant that was entering iron fusion; that's why everyone's so interested in this. Iron accumulation in the star's core will lead to a gradual dimming, until a critical tipping point is reached--and once it's at that point the process does not take very long at all, a matter of days or even hours. I expect neutrino detectors all over the world to go nuts for a couple of minutes, maybe, shortly before Betelgeuse begins to get very bright, but we probably won't know about that until days after the thing actually blows up.

(Speaking in terms of what we see, of course, because the star is hundreds of light years away. If we see it happen within our lifetimes then it already actually took place centuries ago.)

* * *

I'm a little annoyed that I didn't even think to look at the live cameras in Japan that I frequent on YouTube just before 9 AM today. That would have been just before midnight in Japan. What happened last night was that I was about to go to bed (having brushed my teeth etc) and then decided I would sit and read for a few; then after that I decided I wanted to listen to some music, so I did thing I knew it was 3 AM. *sigh* When I did finally crawl into bed there was absolutely no energy for sentient thought left. No alarm set, and so I--with only brief interruptions--slept until it was not quite three PM, because I am still recovering from the sinister illness that seized me over the past weekend. Woke up without a trace of headache or other issues, indicating that I desperately needed that sleep.

Oh well.

Just finished an excursion to one of the nearby supermarkets for NYE and anniversary provisions. That was pretty tiring. But I feel markedly better than I did yesterday, so that helps.

The real worrying thing was the pain in my sides, right at the bottom of my rib cage. Bilateral and everything; an ache that at first I only felt when coughing, but which gradually became a mild, nagging ache. But I woke up today without it, so I guess that's okay. (If I had to guess, and without being able to check, I'd suspect "lymph nodes", but I don't have any clue about the anatomy of the lymphatic system.)

Appetite is still weird but I expect to get around tonight's dinner without trouble.

Did some research and found that what got us was gastroenteritis and not influenza. The important distinction is that influenza involves the upper respiratory system; you have a cough and runny nose and sore throat when you've got the flu, not just nausea and diarrhea and vomiting etc.

So, not the flu; the flu shot did not (and would not have, in my case) have anything whatsoever to do with this.

* * *

Yesterday's weather was mainly cold and craptastic. It snowed a bit last night; we got perhaps an inch or so. It might have accumulated more if it weren't for the wind, but it blew around a lot.

So, back to work on Thursday. Happy new year!

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