July 7th, 2015

#4798: THIRTY DEGREES COOLER?

When I left work last night it was muggy, probably in upper 70s with a dewpoint north of 68. I didn't pay any attention to the outside weather after I got home.

Got up this morning at 9:30 needing the can; poked my nose outside and then promptly shut off the fans and AC and opened a few windows. It was fifty-five degrees outside.

That was thirty, maybe thirty-five, degrees cooler than it had been around two PM Monday. With a dewpoint to match.

If this is global warming, bring it. Holy crap.

* * *

So, this sort of thing is why illegal immigration is a problem. Short form: illegal alien who had been deported some five times previously and had multiple felony convictions was somehow still in the US, and he shot and killed a woman.

...no, that's impossible. How did he shoot her? Doesn't he know that California requires permits and registration for firearm ownership? As an illegal alien and convicted felon, he can't have had a gun; that would have been illegal.

Oh, wait.

So, big surprise: guy who broke the law some six times to be in the US and has been convicted of other felonies isn't scared of the big bad gun laws, and furthermore apparently isn't all that worried about a murder rap, either. Besides all that, he's living in a city which purposely refuses to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

But of course this kind of thing never has any effect on Democrats' commitment to open borders. After all, folks like this pendejo are just killing the people that Americans won't. Right?

* * *

News flash, which I'm sure comes as a complete shock to anyone who doesn't understand basic economics: your electric car is worse for the environment than one that runs on gas or diesel.

Wouldn't be nearly as bad if we were allowed to build nuclear power plants, but of course that notion's a non-starter. Your electricity is produced by burning coal or oil or natural gas, and the Laws of Thermodynamics mean you don't get a discount for buying in bulk.

* * *

Bernie Sanders is an avowed socialist, and he's the current Democrat frontrunner. Democrats have historically avoided the "socialist" label; hell, I remember there being a huge foo-raw over some Dem candidate being called "liberal" by his opponent. "How dare you" etc etc, because of course "liberal" is a huge turn-off for about half the country. It worked, hence the foo-raw.

Sanders' admission is a rare breath of honesty from a party which normally cloaks everything it does in a veneer of centrism. Clinton was perennially referred to as "moderate" but the only reason he governed that way came from his self-interest; he cared more about feathering his own nest than principle. Bill Clinton first, liberalism second--oh, he wanted liberalism to triumph, just not as much as he wanted himself to. Clinton was a true believer in liberalism, but it wasn't a hill he wanted to die on. You can't get jiggy with interns if you're not in power.

That's the limiting factor for a lot of Democrats in particular, and politicians in general; as members of the aristocracy they have their own ideas about how things should be run, but they must be careful about getting votes.

The GOP, for example, would much rather have issues to run on than political victories.

* * *

This is important. Most people don't understand how important astronomy really is, and plenty will never know--or care--that this is money well spent.

Heck, I can't even explain it. All I can do is shake my head and say that if you don't already understand why it's important, you probably never will.

A 12-meter mirror is 468 inches, more or less, which would make it the largest telescope ever. (By four inches. But a win is a win.) It's limited to that size by the diameter of the launch vehicle, worse luck, or it might be even bigger. Still, at 12 meters, it should be able to see exoplanets.

In any case, the money needed to build, launch, and operate this thing will pale in comparison to what the US spends on welfare payments every week.

I remember when the 200 inch telescope at Mount Palomar--the Hale instrument--was the biggest telescope in the world. That seems like centuries ago.

* * *

Went to Og's place last week, for a quick visit, while he was working on the "short bus", as he calls it. (The lemon yellow Escape.) Among other things, he gave me a handful of heim joints and some aluminum rod--steering parts for the go-kart.

I really need to get in motion, damn it.