Portland, OR: actually I don't have any local news from Portland. I'm visiting, it's my second visit in less than thirty days to see the 10-month-old grandsons.
Stimulus checks: my daughter tells me they just received their $600 stimulus checks -- one each for her and Tim. They will get the checks for their boys when she and Tim file their income taxes later this spring, this round of checks plus checks from the initial round, which seems so long ago. And they will get another $1,400 each later this spring, and again, something for the boys.
Amazon Prime: my wife told me she doesn't watch Amazon Prime videos because she doesn't want to "take advantage of Amazon." Say what? We pay an annual subscription for Amazon Prime which includes a number of perks including a pretty extensive library of movie and television programs. My wife, Mayumi, thinks she is taking advantage of the "system" if she logs on to our account when she is in Portland, OR, and I am logged in while in Grapevine, TX. LOL. I told Mayumi that Jeff Bezos is the second richest man in the world. She should not be worried about taking advantage of the "system."
PSA: during that conversation I earned from our daughter/son-in-law, that not only is my wife, Mayumi, NOT taking advantage of Amazon but Amazon actually encourages all family members to log onto their Amazon Prime account. They now allow two adults and two children (or something like that) to set up individual sub-accounts on the main Amazon Prime account. Separate billing accounts are set up and no one can see what the others are doing. So, Mayumi can use our Amazon Prime account to shop for things for me (or others) without me knowing what she is buying. She also pays for those things with her own credit card so I'm not hit for unforeseen credit card charges. I can watch R-rated movies on Amazon Prime without Mayumi knowing what I'm watching. Maybe Amazon has done this all along and I simply did not know. But I find it amazing that we can have several sub-accounts -- completely separate and "secret" -- under the one Amazon Prime account. I assume the way Amazon controls this is requiring identical billing addresses on the various credit cards.
The Book Page
A reader sent me this item from The [Minneapolis] StarTribune: Dakota Attitude: Interviews from Every Town in North Dakota, Jim Puppe. The tag: a North Dakota man traveled 113,000 miles in 14 years to gather stories from elders in every town in the state. The author, Jim Puppe, recorded 617 stories, every town in North Dakota, from Abercrombie to Zeeland, from the Red River to the Badlands.
My favorite story from the StarTribune article: the story of WWII POW Maurice Bonemeyer.
And on the day he was freed, Bonemeyer said, "Here comes this Sherman tank. That was the greatest sight I ever say."
The Book Page
Over the past week or so I've been re-reading The Los Alamos Primer: The First Lectures on How to Build an Atomic Bomb, Robert Serber, c. 1992.
This was a real find for me. I bought it at a small museum in Los Alamos when we visited last winter while on a ski vacation. It's a thin little book, only 63 pages, not including end notes, an appendix, index, etc. I think I've talked about it before on the blog; I don't remember.
As the title says, it is a transcript, along with explanatory notes, of the first five lectures given to every scientist arriving at Los Alamos in 1943 working on development of the "gadget."
It's amazing how little these scientists actually knew when they began this process and how fast and how far they advanced. The physicists who were there, who were involved is simply mind-boggling.
For anyone with a high degree of interest in this story, who already have three or four biographies of the men and women involved and another two or three books on the Manhattan Project, this book is must-have. It was very, very expensive at the museum; I assume it can found for much less on line.