Saturday, February 25, 2017

DAPL -- What A Waste -- February 25, 2017

I'm sitting here on a Saturday night reviewing the most recent dockets and listening to music from the 1960s which, of course, included the huge Vietnam protest movement. Regardless of how one felt about the Vietnam protests at the time, the music that came out of that movement was incredible. And, of course, the high point might have been Woodstock.

I'm not sure there were any environmental activists there at the time, but in the big scheme of things, the tens of thousands that descended on rural New York treated the land a whole lot better than what we saw in Standing Rock -- and Standing Rock was an environmental activist movement co-opting Native Americans and their "sacred land."

What they did to the land at Cannonball was a travesty. From Twitter:
“This is probably the biggest ecological mess on the entire Missouri River system from top to bottom in this country” Governor Doug Burgum said in his recent interview with KFGO 790 AM. Clean up efforts continue this weekend to lessen environmental impacts left by the protest camps. #DAPL #NDResponse
But the worst part: we didn't get one good song out of  the months and months of their protests.

One wonders.

A Most Sad Story

My heart goes out to the family. The picture at the link is most poignant. I served alongside many radar intercept officers during my time in the USAF though by that time the career field had morphed into Weapons Systems Operators.
A Marine radar intercept officer missing nearly 48 years after he was shot down over Laos during the Vietnam War has been accounted for after his remains were found last year.
The remains of Marine Corps Reserve 1st Lt William (Billy) Ryan, of Bogota, N.J., were identified through DNA tests conducted by the Defense Pow/MIA Accounting Agency at the Pentagon, the paper reported Friday.
Ryan’s plane crashed on a combat mission in southern Laos near the Vietnam border on May 11, 1969, the day before his son’s first birthday.  
A lab identified the remains as Ryan's and notified Michael last month.
The next day Ryan’s widow Judith was diagnosed with stage-4 stomach cancer.
It's interesting. Perhaps this is the only story that will "affect" me this weekend. It puts everything into perspective. A young wife. A son who cannot remember his father's touch.

Not many (any?) countries would still be obligating money to track down and identify remains. I wonder if Meryl Streep will comment on this. Or Jodie Foster. Or Martin Scorsese.

Going Up The Country

Going Up The Country, Canned Heat
Modern Technology
In Syria, ISIS is using drones to direct driver-less suicide bombing trucks into soft targets as well as military posts. 
Notes To The Granddaughters

Sophia: 2 1/2 years old: gymnastics and swimming today.

Olivia: soccer; her team won by a convincing margin, 4 - 0; Olivia, a mid-fielder, the only one playing up (one year younger than the rest of the team); lots of assists; no goals by herself

Arianna: flute competition; math and science competition

A busy, busy day, with lots of moving parts, and everything happened on time, on budget. 

The only real problem: Sophia had one of her few temper tantrums -- she refused to leave the swimming pool. 

Tomorrow, Sunday:

Sophia: soccer practice

Olivia: US Olympic development practice -- an hour and a half away

Arianna: lots of homework

The Book Page

If you are at all interested in quantum theory, I would highly recommend Quantum Fuzz: The Strange True Makeup of Everything Around Us, Michael S. Walker, c. 2017.

I probably have ten to fifteen books related to quantum theory in my library. Of course, I don't understand any of it but I keep reading. Little by little a few things "click."

I finally understand several concepts that I never understood before -- the author does a great job explaining things.

From the book, page 136:
The first general-purpose electronic computer, the ENIAC, was designed to produce artillery firing tables for the US Army But it was soon diverted under the influence of the mathematician John von Neumann (then working at Los Alamos on the Manhattan Project) to run calculations on the feasibility of producing a hydrogen bomb.

ENIAC's existence was announced to the public in 1946. It was 8 x 3 x 100 feet in size, contained 17,468 vacuum-tube electroinic switches (bits), and ran with a 100-thousand-cycle-per-second clock (=100 kilohertz = 100kHz).

Each instruction took twenty clock signals to process, and so it had an instruction processing rate at 5 kHZ.

For comparison, note that my Mac mini desktop computer 9which is four years old at the time of this writing) has a 2 gigabyte memory (2 billion bytes, 16 billion bits, a million times the bits in ENICA) and runs with clock speed of 2.4 billion clock signals per second (2.4 GHz), that is, 24,000 times faster than ENIAC.
2 bits, 4 bits, 6 bits, a dollar! How many bits in a byte? Yup, 8.

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