atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#2118: Now THAT is just FREAKIN' awesome.

Arse Technica has an article about the masses of neutrinos not lining up with the Standard Model, and it includes this description of the experiment:
...[T]he work was done by Fermilab's MINOS team, which produces neutrinos and antineutrinos using the Tevatron's injector ring. The resulting beam is sent to a detector in a mine in Minnesota, over 700km away, a trip that takes about 2.5 milliseconds.
Making neutrinos to order and detecting them with a machine that's 438 miles away is just made of awesome. I don't care what the Euro snobs at CERN say about Fermilab; our boys still got it!

...not that I think CERN looks down its nose at Fermilab or anything. In fact they're doing some remarkably interesting stuff there, aren't they?

The red dot is the "nominal" mass value for antineutrinos. The red loops around it are the error thresholds (dotted line is 68%, solid is 90%). The blue dot is the mass for neutrinos and the blue loops are for error values, same as with antineutrinos.

The current state of particle theory states that a particle with properties like mass, charge, and spin, will have an antiparticle with properties of mass, inverse charge, and inverse spin. A positron, for example, has a certain mass, a postive charge, and a spin opposite that of an electrion, which of course has a negative charge and the same certain mass.

For neutrinos to violate this, it means that something about the standard model is incorrect. That's what makes this an important bit of science; every time the real world fails to match a theory, it ends up making the theory better.

* * *

Unless, of course, the "real world" in question refuses to agree with what the climatologists claim it will do. Then they--rather than modify their theories--simply change the data, and no one calls them on it.

* * *

20 things you should never buy used. I had hoped they wouldn't include underwear and swimwear, because it's bleeding obvious. *sigh* In any case, you soak used clothing in a good strong solution of bleach and it won't matter what diseases the prior owner had. (It also won't matter what color it was, but WTF, if you're desperate enough to wear used underwear you're probably not going to care about style.)

I do take exception with some of the items on this list...but then I remind myself that as a 99th percentile computer and electronics consumer, I can fix stuff that would lead other people to toss and replace something.

Laptops, for example. I can fix computers. Ebay is a great place to get parts for laptops, too; but if all you need is a new hard drive you can get that from Best Buy.

TVs: solid-state electronics--generally speaking--either fail quickly or go on for years. Most of the failures of electrical and electronic devices come in their first forty hours of operation. After that, it's pretty much a crapshoot how long they'll last...but the odds favor "years" once you get out of that initial break-in period. (Moving parts lower this, of course. Mileage always varies.)

The thing to watch for with a plasma or LCD TV is burn-in; if there's an image present on the screen when it's not actually on, you probably don't want that particular unit unless the price is fantastically good.

(Regarding that semi-famous Craigslist ad, the one where a guy's idiot friend put a still image from gay pr0n on his new plasma TV and left it for two weeks while he was on vacation? If you could find that exact image and reverse the colors, then leave it displayed for a couple of weeks, I believe it would take care of most of the burn-in....) (BTW if anyone did that to me, he would be buying me a new television. With his kidneys, if nothing else. What an asshat.)

* * *

Greece's debt is now junk. This is not good for a very large variety of reasons, and if you've been reading the Fungus at all regularly you don't need me to spell them all out again.

* * *

The big oil spill fiasco continues.

Obama is making to seize control of the money BP will pay for cleanup.

Boortz says it's another crisis the White House won't waste. And one paragraph in particular is really chilling:
One of the ideas floating around in Washington right now is to force BP to suspend its dividend payouts, which was $10 billion last year, and set up an escrow account to pay for any damages and cleanup. Democrats particularly prefer this scenario. Democrats .. the people who see shareholders as second-class citizens in the wake of this crisis. For example, Rep. Ed Markey has decided who he believes should be receiving revenue from BP: "I think we have to put the victims at the top of the list and the shareholders and the bondholders down below them. And I don't think there will be any debate about that. And if there is a shareholder that actually holds that position, then if you kick them in the heart, you break your toe. It is there company, they invested in it and unfortunately they did so not in good times, but in as bad times as well." Talk like this really has the British upset. Truly. There is a quiet international brouhaha happening here that the Obama administration is trying to keep on the hush-hush. You see, these dividends that American politicians are calling to suspend happen to be the longtime favorite investment choice for British pension funds. BP's dividend payments accounted for 13% of all dividends handed out by British companies last year. So the demonization of BP and its shareholders has a lot of Europeans, particularly in Britain, upset with Obama and America. It seems as though Obama enjoyed popular ratings abroad, until he decided to assault their piggy bank.
In other words, we're going to see more bills of attainder and government interference in private contracts, both of which are things which the Constitution still prohibits.

Obama got away with violating the Constitution when it came to seizing General Motors and Chrysler and turning legal and orderly bankrupcy proceedings into payoffs for Big Labor. There is no reason to expect that he can not get away with it this time, or indeed as many times as he pleases. Who's going to stop him? Who's even going to try?

It amounts to a tax placed squarely on BP shareholders--and only BP shareholders, thus violating the Constitution--many of whom are not even US citizens.

But--haw! Haw!--what can Great Britain and the BP stockholders do about it, anyway?

People are starting to realize that Obama is not mobilizing or enabling a cleanup because it suits his political agenda. I said before: this gives Democrats a perfect excuse to shut down offshore drilling, so it behooves them to allow the eco-damage to escalate.

Think I'm wrong? Obama is "pining for his own 9/11," says Michelle Malkin.

* * *

I do love throwing around that "what can they do about it?" bullshit, indeed I do. I suppose I should thank the cravenly anonymous liberal troll who flung that particular wad of feces at me, because it does lend itself rather nicely to all these other situations where Obama and the Democrats are acting like the tyrants they so desperately wish to be.

Obama treats Israel badly--what can they do about it?

Obama makes plans to seize money belonging to citizens of a foreign country with which the US is allied--what can they do about it?

Obama blows off making good on campaign promises to his gay supporters--what can they do about it?

Obama leaves Iraq in the lurch--what can they do about it?

It's funny, to a point. That point comes when you realize that though these people can't really do anything about it now it will change how they treat us in the future.

Will Obama's gay constituency continue to support him? I know the Democrats think they have no choice, but is that really true?

Will Israel be willing to help Obama should he need help? Will Great Britain? I know plenty of people on Obama's side think the US will never need Israel's help--but there are things Israel can do which will make it harder for us to accomplish our own ends, and feel perfectly justified in doing so. Throwing away any ally is stupid, particularly when that ally is the one country in an entire region which shares the same ideas about freedom and democracy that your country does. (Even nominally, in the case of the Democrat regime now in power here.)

Even more worrisome is that the administration seems to have the same attitude: "Bah, there's nothing they can do about it but suck it." That kind of arrogance may make Obama feel like cock of the walk, but he's got nothing to back it up save the dignity and authority of the office he currently holds. He won't be holding it forever, and when he's gone someone else is going to have to clean up the messes he makes.

He's making some big ones, too.

* * *

BY the way, as of now the Fungus has a new comment policy: if you don't sign your comment, or have some other way of identifying yourself in the comment, I'm deleting it. I'm tired of unnamed asshats peppering my comments with their crap and hiding behind the "anonymous" tag.

It can say "anonymous" in the header, but if you don't put some kind of useful identifier in the comment--some way I can know who you are--it's getting axed as soon as I notice it.

And I get to decide what "some way I can know who you are" means.

* * *

I don't like stupid people. I used to have tolerance for the stupid; I used to think, "Well, he can't help it; he's stupid. If he wasn't stupid, he wouldn't act like that."

But these days I'm running thin on tolerance for stupidity. Too much of it has frustrated me too many times; and so now it no longer matters to me that the stupid can't help being stupid. No; I just hate 'em anyway, for taking up space and oxygen as well as the impact their stupid behavior has on me. I hate 'em for making me angry; if they weren't so damned stupid I wouldn't get angry at them.

I'm not talking about people with low IQs, though. The learning disabled, for example, aren't "stupid". They're learning disabled. They can't help it. No, I'm talking about people who are otherwise fully functioning members of society, people who are so adept at hiding their stupidity that they get high-paying jobs and drive fancy cars and make people think they're smart. Those stupid are the ones I hate; and I hate them because if they just gave their actions the tiniest little bit of thought they would be so much less asinine.

They tailgate. They tailgate while texting. They think the use of turn signals is optional. They take ten minutes to order a hamburger in the drive-through. (After cutting in front of you.) They buy big and expensive four-wheel-drive trucks meant for the occasional off-road foray, lower them, and put $5,000 worth of wheels and tires on them, thus completely ruining any off-road capability the vehicle had. They insist that the homeless be treated gingerly and then complain when a homeless man poops in their driveway. They put $5,000 worth of speakers and amplifiers into their vehicles specifically so one can hear the bass a mile away. They vote Democrat. They have unprotected sex with strangers. They yell at cashiers for a mistake made at the corporate level. They park across more than one space. They live far from work, buy big vehicles with big engines in which to commute, and then complain about the price of gasoline. They vote for an empty suit and then complain that their guy isn't the man they thought he was. They demand price controls and then whine about scarcity. They call themselves "tolerant" and then look down their noses at "rednecks". They demand a high level of social services and then take issue with high taxes. They drive foreign cars and lament the loss of American manufacturing jobs. They ride motorcycles without helmets.

...the damn list is endless. You get the idea: in a myriad of ways they shit where they eat and then complain about the flavor. Nothing is ever their fault; it's always the other guy, the government, the machine, the dog, the cat.

Stupid people! I hate 'em.

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