atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#753: Assortment

Abbreviations can be entertaining. At work someone has preserved a box label which informs the reader that the box contained "Barnyard Animal Ass".

Yeah, it was from the toy department. Go figure.

* * *

I can never keep orbital motion with respect to the ground straight in my head. Put a space elevator near the Galapagos Islands, above the equator--more or less--and a proper orbit will keep the Earthside terminal right on the equator.

But if you want to have the terminal at some minor latitude, plus or minus, then what?

It should oscillate with a 24-hour period--+L° to -L°--with a maximum rate-of-change as it passes the equator in either direction. It will "dwell" a bit at the extremes.

I can never keep that straight.

Depending on what you use for a cable, you should be able to park the upper terminal over the equator and tether the bottom end where you want it. That'll cause some side loading, but as long as you're not building the thing at the limit of what your materials science can handle, you should be able to manage it. The side loading would (should) be a minor fraction of the total tension that the cable can handle.

"Where you want it", by the way, is not to exceed about 10° latitude in either direction. Let's not be crazy.

I think you could get away with this by adjusting the height of the upper terminal's orbit--park it a little farther out so its angular velocity matches that of the lower terminal--but I'm not entirely certain. Within a certain range of latitudes it wouldn't really matter.

...that's about all the "big thinking" my still-sick brain can handle today.

* * *

Now it's not supposed to start snowing until evening and the total expected accumulation has risen. I'm still skeptical.

* * *

I got to see Crete's Christmas parade in 2004 and enjoyed it. We've had an assortment of stupidity here but so far they're managing to do "small town Christmas" correctly. Of course, for the antique capitol of the "Chicago Southland" (still hate that term) Christmas is a must; if the politically correct nonsense gets its foot in the door here, a lot of small businesses will be most unhappy.

I guess we're fortunate in that Crete isn't the kind of place the PC crowd likes to hang out. There's no Starbucks here--none, not-a-one, not even a facsimile; Crete doesn't like franchise chains--the McDonald's is 'way out on the edge of town, out by I-394, and didn't exist before 1990 IIRC. The only long-lasting arcade the town had closed because it's at the north end of about a mile of highway with no sidewalks, no way for anyone who can't drive to get there.

There is no night life here. There are two real bars, separated by about a mile of Route 1, plus a "restaurant with bar" across from the police station. There are no trendy hangouts.

No, pretty much anyone who would be likely to complain about Crete having a "Christmas" parade would be bored to tears trying to live here and make life difficult for the rest of us. That would serve 'em right, too.

* * *

Interestingly, I never once thought of Crete as being "boring". I heard people describe Cedar Rapids as boring, too. I guess if you have an active imagination and are able to entertain yourself, no matter what's outside the house, you find things to do with your spare time.

I like living in a boring town. I really do. You want excitement? Go live in Detroit. That'll be exciting enough for anyone. I'll take "boring" any day of the week. At least I can take out the garbage without worrying about getting mugged or something.

* * *

The hunger reflex is back. I want food for dinner, not liquid. We'll see. I've tolerated two peanut butter sandwiches today, so far, and I had cup ramen for breakfast. Gut is still on the unstable side but much of the crampiness has subsided, I think.

* * *

I don't even know what I'm doing out of bed, to be honest. I got up to use the bathroom; then I had a sandwich, and now I'm blogging. WTF.

* * *

LiveJournal went and added "Adult Content" tagging. The three tiers are: "No adult content", "adult concepts", and "Explicit adult content".

When did they add that? Why do I care? If you read the Fungus, you real all the Fungus, baby!

* * *

Somewhere along the line I discovered that many declarative statements made in commercials make perfect sense even if you add "...or we'll kill you!" to the end of them.

Not going anywhere for a while? Try a Snickers. ...or we'll kill you!
Try new Pepcid AC. ...or we'll kill you!
Call [any fricking phone number in any ad ever] today! ...or we'll kill you!

It's almost like they're threatening us. I think something has to be done.

And really you can make any threat work. "...or we'll beat you senseless, rape your cat, and steal your sacred writings!"

* * *

"Ed, WTF? 'Steal your sacred writings'?"

In Mika Waltari's The Egyptian that comes up as a consequence of war or civil strife or something--all kinds of bad stuff plus "their sacred writings were stolen".

In The Untouchables, when Capone gets pissed off at Ness and says he wants Ness dead! he wants his family dead! he wants his house burned to the ground! and he wants to go over there at midnight and piss in the ashes! my friends didn't thing that was good enough.

"I want his dog run over by a car!" One friend said. Then I got into the act: "I want his favorite meal cooked and burned!"

...and then I found the quote from The Egyptian and I added that one to the list: "I want his sacred writings stolen!"

Waltari wrote a total of four books which were kind of an epic about religion, sort-of. It starts with The Egyptian; then there is The Etruscan, The Secret of the Kingdom, and The Roman. Waltari came from a family of clergy; he was the "black sheep".

But they are fascinating reconstructions of the cultures as they were understood in Waltari's time, which probably is not all that inaccurate. I've noticed that present-day discussions of ancient cultures assume that politically correct notions are "proven", but I doubt that's the case.

* * * sad is that? I prefer 50-year-old science to the cutting-edge stuff, just because the cutting-edge stuff has been "informed" by Marx and Engels and a host of goons who think it's more important to minimize the white male's role in the history of western civilization.

I'm not kidding; when you have people talking about physics and mathematics being "racist", there is something seriously broken--and with the people who say that, I mean.

* * *

"All of Western Civilization is just a footnote to Plato." Someone told me that once. Who was Plato? A white male.

* * *

Of course, if our entire culture had instead come from Africa, all else being equal, these idiots would be bitching about how the culture of "dead black males" had enslaved the entire planet, rather than "dead white males". If it had come from China, "dead yellow males". Mars? "Dead green males." It doesn't matter--these are people who are anti, and if everything switched to what they liked tomorrow, the day after they would be bitching about something else.

It has nothing to do with "justice" and everything to do with "sticking it to the man", "questioning authority" and generally trying to remain rebellious adolescents approximately forever.

These are idiots who were brought up in an environment of plenty--who were so spoiled it wasn't even good enough for them when their parents literally got them the Moon!--and who know nothing but criticism and destruction.

* * *

Yeah, I should go back to bed now.

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