atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,
atomic_fungus
atomic_fungus

#1242: Morons suing CERN. Still.

Sigh. Okay, can we get a grip? We can't produce a quantum black hole (QBH) large enough to "eat the planet from the inside." Okay? The liklihood of a proton collision producing a QBH large enough to survive long enough to interact with any matter at all is inifinitesimal.

Let me explain it thus:

Imagine, if you will, a typical domed sports arena. Somewhere near the 50-yard line is a volume about the size of a typical living room. This is the nucleus of a hydrogen atom, a single proton.

The electron? It's somewhere in the seats. (Just "somewhere". We can't know more than that.)

Now imagine a QBH suddenly coming into existence somewhere in that stadium; it's about the size of a typical home. It's moving at 50% of the speed of light and has a 90% chance of evaporating via the emission of Hawking radiation before it can move more than about half the radius of the atom. Let's be really generous and say that it has a 50% chance of being on a collision course with the nucleus. This incredibly off-the-cuff-back-of-the-napkin estimate implies that the QBH has a 5% chance of colliding with and absorbing the proton, thus extending its lifespan.

The problem with this is, CERN's machine operates under an incredibly high vacuum. There isn't going to be much of anything for the QBH to absorb, even assuming that it somehow manages to find a stray atom of something to absorb. If the QBH is flung off in some random direction to spin wildly through the particle detectors, it's still unlikely to last long enough to collide with anything: remember that matter is mostly empty space, and that even the uranium nucleus is a thin ghost of particles, not really solid. Solidity is an illusion thoughtfully provided for us by the strong, weak, and electromagnetic forces.

You might as well worry about the moon falling.

* * *

Did any right-wing protestors do stuff like this? I don't recall hearing anything about it. Of course, I stayed far from the news during the past couple weeks, seeing as I'd gone to Maine in order to relax.

There were a couple of psycho nut jobs who reportedly were going to attempt to assassinate Barak Hussein Obama, though.

And what about this? In a dazzling display of courage and fortitude, these protestors reportedly "...targeted the older and female delegates."

* * *

Steven Den Beste, an athiest, correctly characterizes Christian attitudes. Steven is the kind of atheist I respect: he came to his conclusions through careful consideration, yet acknowledges that his answers are not universal truths: they work for him, but may not--probably will not--work for everyone. He is content to hold his beliefs and allow others their own beliefs. I think the world would be a lot nicer of a place if more people behaved this way.

Anyway, his analysis is dead-on, as usual, and the piece makes me long for the old U.S.S. Clueless days. *sigh*

* * *

Like Neal Boortz I too must commend Barak Hussein Obama for his (belated) assertion that Sarah Palin's family is off-limits, as the families of all politicians should be.

In fact, the entire story is a non-issue, to be honest. I can sum up my reaction to Ms. Palin's daughter's plight with two words: So what? She's not the first girl/woman to get knocked up out of wedlock. She's not the first child of God-fearing Christian parents to do so, either. For the Democrats to suddenly declare that having a pregnant teenager in the family disqualifies you for public office is incredibly disingenuous.

Then again, having been an avid spectator of the political process for 16 years, now, I am not at all surprised at Democrat hypocrisy. I'd be more surprised, in fact, if the Democrats stopped behaving hypocritically.

* * *

It's been 100 years since the sun has been this quiet. Suddenly climatologists are saying that the sun has an effect on Earth's climate:
he event is significant as many climatologists now believe solar magnetic activity – which determines the number of sunspots -- is an influencing factor for climate on earth.
What? I thought that the sun's 0.7% variability wasn't enough to have any effect on Earth's climate! What the hell happened?

Anyway, a quiet sun means cooler temperatures. (Do I have to explain all this again?) It's nice to know that some actual scientists exist somewhere in the climatology community, anyway.

* * *

Interesting factoid, for which I have no source or reference to support, so I'm going to present it as "I heard this recently":

Apparently a credible source--whose name I don't know--has said that if you look at the statistics, lung cancer occurs with equal frequency in both smokers and non-smokers.

This--if true--is a highly interesting fact; and why the hell haven't we been told about this?

* * *

As I'd predicted, Receiving was an utter disaster area. The boss tried taking down a pallet of bleach and ended up dropping about a dozen cases of the stuff. No one has had time to clean up because Receiving has been getting short shrift, and the only guy around who actually cares about doing it right was on vacation for two weeks.

I should have a talk with the boss about this nonsense. If Receiving is done correctly a couple times a week (say, when I'm there...) the place will stay cleaner and operations will be more efficient.

What I refuse to do is attempt to do 6 hours of work in 2 hours. That shit won't fly; it won't even roll. If you want Receiving done right, then I've got to start on it right after the truck unload and have all night to do it without any interference from anyone. (EG, "Go help out in the back room and then...." or "Do it when you get back from the warehouse..." or "Can you re-profile this and that and the other thing and then do Receiving, and once you're done with Receiving go do cardboard...?")

I think that I--from now on--will leave at 6 whenever they try to pull this kind of crap. If you want me to get it done, give me the time I need to do it. If you don't want it done right, don't ask me to do it in the first place, because if I can't do it right I don't want to do it at all.

That's my strategy, I think: "Look, if you're not going to give me the time I need to do it correctly, I'd rather you not put me back there in the first place. Anybody can half-ass it; if you want it done right, put me there--but give me the time I need to do it."

* * *

So I took Mom for her eye appointment this morning. The appointment was for 10 AM. We got there at 9:55. I proceeded to wait in the car for nearly two hours. Mom was in the waiting room for an hour before she was shown in; she's decided that next time she'll just arrive an hour late and save us both a bunch of waiting.

That doctor annoys me. If you can't see Mom until 11, why set the appointment for 10? Just set it for 11, for Christ's sake.

That's one of the things that I intensely dislike about doctors: they assume that no one else's time is valuable, only theirs. It's perfectly all right for a doctor to keep you waiting for a freaking hour after your appointed time, but you had better show up on time or else, buster! It's horseshit. If nothing else, common freaking courtesy dictates that you should not treat your patients like they're less than the dust beneath your feet.

Look, I get that doctors go to school for a long time and are highly educated people. I get that their time is valuable, that they make more in an hour than I make in a week. I'm fine with that. But my time is valuable to me and it's inconsiderate and asinine for a doctor to waste my time just because he consistently underestimates the amount of time it takes for him to treat a patient.

If the doctor is running late, the secretary could easily pick up the phone and call people and say, "Doctor's running late, could you come in later?" Oh no, they can't do that, because the doctor is important.

I bet that if Mom does arrive an hour late, the secretary will say, "Oh, you missed your appointment...." Fuckers.

I guess the logical thing for me to do is to begin presenting the doctor with a bill for my time. I know there's not a whelk's chance in a supernova that I'd actually receive any payment for it, but at least I'd get my licks in.

* * *

In the "it must really suck to be that guy" department:

On the way to the doc's office, a moron in a Cadillac SUV was riding my ass so close I couldn't see his headlights. (I guess 40 in a 40 zone is too slow.) He then passed me in a no-passing zone--in front of a police station!--and ran a red light. I really wish I'd had the radar gun with me; it would have been fun to see him stand on the brakes at the red light.

It must suck to be in that much of a hurry.

Then, on the way home, I saw a moron with a 1980s Cadillac with dubs, and laughed. I mean, I actually laughed in derision at the doofus, the same way I laughed at the worst prom dress ever--making that the second time in a month that I'd done so.

The car had had to be lifted in order to fit the tires underneath, of course, and watching the thing go down the road I saw that he had ruined the car's ride, handling, braking, and maneuverability...and had probably paid $4,000 to do it, too, and thinks he's the shit--I have no doubt whatsoever that the guy was proud of his moron-mobile.

But me? I just laughed at it; and I laughed more when I saw him try to make a right turn in the thing. It was pretty freaking funny, let me tell you.

It must suck to have to spend that kind of money to compensate for having a small penis.
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