Random Thread 2017.1
Happy New Year, MuseBlog!
Monday, 27 February 2017
Life, the universe, pies, hot-pink bunnies, world domination, and everything
Happy New Year, MuseBlog!
Happy New Year!
I didn’t find another skeet-shooting target on the beach today, but I *did* find several clear sea jellies, despite how cold it’s been. We see their species around here all the time in the summer, but I’ve never seen any washed up in the winter before. They don’t sting, though, so I just picked them up and threw them back in anyway.
Happy New Year everyone.
Is/was ever legal to challenge the President of the United States of America to a duel? (asking, *erm*, for a friend)
That depends on where both parties are at the time the challenge is made and where you intend to fight. I don’t know about Austria, but dueling with deadly weapons is illegal in many states in the US, including my home state of New York, and in Washington DC. In Rhode Island, you can go to jail just for challenging someone to a duel. It’s also illegal for members of the US military to duel or challenge people to duels, which might include the President as Commander-in-Chief.
There are some places, like the city of Seattle, that allow “mutual combat”, where two consenting adults can fight each other unarmed without being prosecuted for assault or battery as long as it’s not in a public place and no third parties will be hurt, however.
As to when if ever it *was* legal, I don’t know of any laws specifically forbidding challenging the President to a duel but the law against challenging people to duels or accepting challenges in DC was passed in 1839, and since the President spends most of their time in Washington DC, that would be a big wrinkle in one’s plans. At least two 19th-century presidents fought duels before taking office (Andrew Jackson fought several in the early 1800s, Abraham Lincoln accepted a challenge to a duel in the 1840s but they didn’t actually fight because Lincoln’s opponent took one look at the big sword he brought and decided to make peace instead), but I don’t think any did so while serving as President.
So, all in all, I think you friend’s best bet is to dig around in your closet, find those old Yu-Gi-Oh cards, and challenge the President to a d-d-d-DUEL!
Does anyone have any New Year’s resolutions? I’ve never been a big “resolutions” guy, but this year I’d like to:
– buy fewer things
– eat less meat and more vegetables
– exercise more
– be more diligent about noticing/avoiding advertisements
– learn more Python
– write more poetry
– do more charitable work
– be more helpful
– Spend more time outside
– Go rock climbing at the gym more
– Go to bed earlier
– Spend my free time working on the things I want to improve at (learning to juggle, studying French, improving my writing and drawing, etc.) instead of doing silly things
– Be more helpful
Today my brothers and their girlfriends went to visit one of our other friends and play some video games. I’d never played “Mario Party” before and I wasn’t very good, but I still enjoyed it. We had a lot of fun and got to meet their dog, Nova, who was a puppy when I left for college.
I saw the end of “Zootopia” with P. and his girlfriend. What a powerful movie and a great mystery plot.
Mom and Dad were at a meeting about planning for Dad’s retirement and we didn’t have any leftovers, so I got to cook for the first time in 2017! I made pasta and peeled large carrots, both with olive oil. It tasted great and I didn’t set anything on fire.
I’ve just started reading this essay on history and progress, but it seems very relevant to the current moment and some of the thoughts I’ve expressed here. www . exurbe . com / ?p=4041
Thank you, POSOC. I needed that.
Isn’t she great? I’m going to be meeting her irl soon /brag
I’m so envious. I need to get my hands on Too Like The Lightning ASAP.
Such a good book.
I have joined the army of Americans who have phones.
Charged it. And that’s all.
Mom and I made salmon-Gouda-and-spinach crepes, yum!
That sounds good! I’m hoping to make a spinach quiche or something this week.
Our supermarket has been offering a free magazine with recipes since it reopened under new management last year, and the January issue starts with a recipe for rice noodles with spring roll veggies that Mom and I want to try.
We got to make it tonight, with peanut sauce! It tasted really good and my Mom actually ate half of it even though we made enough for four people.
(Yeah, I don’t really do much on break after my brothers go home because my parents don’t really want to drive anywhere. So cooking is the highlight of my day.)
Does anyone know how I could find 50-year-old seismographic records for Barbados?
You know, I think I’m going to find the geology department anyway just because that website is so hard to navigate and someone there will probably be familiar with it.
Knock on wood!
My mantra for the next week: think of sharks, think of sharks,…
I swear, if I manage to get through the whole presentation without calling it Svarovski’s theorem, I’ll buy myself a cookie.
A crystal shark would be a cool monster design, though. Maybe its mouth looks like a pointy geode cave, and it has countershading like a real shark with dark rock on top and shiny gemstones on its belly. And glossy black rock eyes.
I think I saw a drawing of a shark with an amethyst geode mouth once.
Yo GAPAs, did we ever have an “advice column” thread around November 2008? I want to find something I posted there (maybe under a fake name) for reasons. Thank you!
Also, while digging through old threads trying to find it I remembered we used to have virtual Muse Academy dances. Would anyone be interested in doing that again? Maybe a Spring Fling type event? Possible themes:
– Mystery theme, with secret codes in the music and decorations and everyone knowing different bits of the puzzle and having to put them together. Maybe someone gets fake-murdered or something gets fake-stolen and we have to solve the crime?
– Under the sea theme, with ocean life-inspired outfits and food, big coral reef-looking structures around the walls and projections of sharks and fish swimming overhead on the ceiling in a dim watery light. Johnny B. Goode has to be on the playlist.
– Futuristic theme – neon lasers, shiny spacey outfits, floating antigravity platforms, big metal automatic doors and robots serving the food.
I would love an “under the sea” party. We had an “in-space” party, why not an underwater one?
Yes, that’s it. Thank you!
Yeah, since we haven’t had the magazine as a source of neophytes for some time, and the blog can’t be found on Google, it seems to be just a dwindling group of old bloggers now. I’ve thought about telling my friends about it but “Hey would you like to join a family-friendly science magazine forum with around 20 active members that’s completely secluded from all other websites and has a number of impenetrable customs and in-jokes dating back to 2006” doesn’t seem like it would sell them.
I am quite prepared to fight for my right to party.
We have a Slack group now??
Yes, and it’s wonderful!
I know it’s a ways away and our last party was three years ago and it’s because I have the America’s Cup on the brain, but if we have a May Day Ball this year could the theme be “Nautical/Summer in a Seaside Town”?
Since I haven’t been on here lately, there’s a good chance someone has brought this up already, but… suddenly I’m getting emails about people replying to posts I made years ago. There wasn’t any link to stop getting email notifications from MuseBlog, either. It’s annoying & it could be worse than annoying for someone using a parent’s email, so… something should be done about that. I expect this is a general wordpress thing that nobody here chose, but if it can’t be fixed right away I also feel like it’d be good to have some kind of big prominent warning about this.
Okay, so I have to finish my summary of what I plan to do in the future before term starts on the 23rd and I’m going to be TAing and writing my Master’s thesis equivalent this semester, but then there’s going to be the summer and the America’s Cup and I’ll get to be Professor Crabtree’s lab assistant and hopefully go to Turkey with her and maybe Israel, and then there’ll be the eclipse in August.
I think the Southeast is the region most heavily represented in the military, but don’t quote me on that. I’ve texted my brother to ask his opinion, although the service academies might have different patterns than general enlistment.
Wait, he just wrote back! For West Point, he says:
“Virginia has the highest number of applicants and cadets at the academy, followed by Texas, generally Midwest follows with the least coming from the north eastern portion of the country.”
I think a few people from my graduating High School class (New York) did join the military, but only about a handful and none I knew well.
Mel doesn’t post here much anymore, but a number of us have kept in touch. She’s in the Navy at present, though she didn’t go in till after undergrad.
With my lack of direction, I’ve been tempted, but I don’t think it’d be a good fit for me even if I wasn’t medically disqualified.
I agree, and getting tougher every year. I do have the advantage of graduating with minimal debt, which makes me luckier than a lot of people. I don’t have to pile that anxiety on top of everything else.
I don’t think I could have handled the strictness.
Quite a few people from my high school class are in the military as well. We have an air force base nearby, so there are number of military families. I also suspect that military service is generally more valued in more conservative areas.
Poverty’s also a factor, I think. When you can’t afford college, military service is often the best option for a guaranteed job with health benefits and an opportunity for higher education (through the GI Bill) or better employment afterwards.
Yes, very true. Thanks for pointing that out.
Wooo! Armel Le Cleac’h is the winner of the Vendée Globe 2016-2017, circling the world in only 75 days!
Alex Thomson’s impressive second-place finish makes him a rare male holder of a gender-qualified record– he is the first British man to finish second, but the first Brit overall was Dame Ellen MacArthur 15 years ago.
Yeah, a few people are talking about it on the Geeky TV Shows thread! Really fun, quirky, dark show that’s a very faithful dramatization for fans of the books, but also easy to get into for people who haven’t. I highly recommend people watch it tomorrow, since there won’t be anything else worth watching on TV.
That was meant to be the words “Geeky TV Shows thread” linked, sorry. Link still works though.
In other apocalypse news, Google’s AI software is starting to design AI software. Singularity, here we come!
Have they tried not ushering in the apocalypse?
There are many of whom it applies far more than Google.
I think I’ll be okay with keeping most of my biological parts but I would like to replace my inner ears with gyroscopes to prevent ever getting travel sick again and tweak my stomach to be able to digest anything easily so nothing I eat can ever disagree with me again.
I’m fine with being half robot or more. I would upload my consciousness into an entirely metal body GLaDOS style if I could.
Of course if I could digest and excrete every food in the same way without having problems, I would probably never eat anything but fruit and end up with various deficiencies.
Hey Kai (and other space-interested ‘bloggers): My boyfriend and I just decided that we’re going to teach high schoolers a ~2 hour class on space exploration. Topics, depending on class interest, may include biological effects and limitations of space travel, current and futuristic propulsion technologies, potential targets for exploration, reasons to explore, and more. He’s in astrophysics and I’m in biology, so we partly know what we’re talking about, but I was wondering if you might suggest any top-notch resources (especially online) for learning more about such topics. Especially resources which have activities that we might be able to do with the students!
I’m a bit overwhelmed by first-day-of-term stuff at the moment but I will make a nice long post on this tonight to help you.
Thank you! Take your time, though! We’ve got almost a month to plan it, so you can focus on first-day-of-term stuff as much as necessary.
How many class sessions are you going to have?
To what extent do you want to include historical information and to what extent is it more a focus on astronomy or physics?
Can I come help you?
If you have any chance to meet with them at night, even as a one-off event outside of regular class hours, you should probably do actual stargazing. Reading books, watching videos, and looking at pictures is great, but seeing the places you talk about as physical objects out there in the sky helps reinforce that they aren’t just science fiction and really do exist.
If you do get that chance, then you should go to https:// spotthestation . nasa . gov/ and see if the International Space Station will pass overhead during your observing time. It’s really cool to see pass over your head– my Dad said it looked like “God shining down a flashlight”.
If you can’t go stargrazing at night, you could try buying eclipse goggles and going outside during the daytime to look at the sun with them on– the goggles make it safe to stare at the sun and you can sometimes see sunspots!
The NASA Education Office is probably the best place to find resources–
https://www . nasa . gov/offices/education/about/index . html
The link for Grades 9-12 is: https://www . nasa . gov/audience/foreducators/9-12/index.html
If you have the chance to make model rockets and launch them outside, that would be a lot of fun, but it can get expensive, so if you don’t have the money available then I guess not.
One activity that I’ve done at a few different places, including Space Camp, is an Egg Drop Challenge, where you have a lesson about the ways probes have been landed on other planets (Spirit and Opportunity’s airbag shell, Curiosity’s Skycrane, etc.), and then split the class up into groups of 2-4 people. Each group gets a raw egg and a set of the same raw materials (cardboard, scissors, string, duct tape, plastic straws, cloth, paper, cotton balls, etc.), and is tasked with designing a capsule that can protect their egg when it’s dropped from a second-story window (do this outside). The winner is the one whose egg is most intact.
(The formula that’s worked best for me is a parachute plus a tetrahedral cardboard “capsule” with soft material inside but don’t tell them that!)
Another activity could be multiplying their weights by the right formulae to determine how much they would weigh on different planets. If you have gym weights, you can illustrate Earth gravity vs. Mars gravity vs. lunar gravity with a 90-pound weight, a 30-pound weight, and a 15-pound weight.
(I’ll add more ideas as I think of them.)
Springs sound like a very good idea to distribute the force. Is there any limit for how big the frame can be? We had a size limit for the egg drop.
Oh, and as it’s the anniversary of the disaster, I’ve realized that I didn’t recommend the Challenger Center as a website to look at for activity ideas.
My first day back and I already have a lot of work and a problem with my financial aid to resolve. There are moments when I love Grad School and moments when it drives me crazy.
I think the financial aid problem is taken care of.
Okay, NOW it went through and I owe just 7,110, which I think I have, but it’s been weeks!
When illusion spin her net,
I’m never where I want to be
And Liberty, she pirouette
When I think that I am free…
Every time I call a congressional office and get a staffer I want to end by asking if they still have the club salad wraps in the Rayburn Building cafeteria even though I know that would be undignified.
Those were good wraps, they had croutons and pieces of hard-boiled egg in them, and big nuggets of blue cheese.
I wrote an impassioned email to Dianne Feinstein about why I marched in the Women’s March last Saturday and it ended up being nearly 800 words long.
Gosh I hope someone reads it.
I bet someone will. Did you read the relatively recent NYT article about the mailroom in the Obama White House? It was really interesting, especially because Obama made a particular habit of reading 10 selected letters from regular Americans every day.
I did read that article! And yeah, someone probably will. I just learned that she is actively encouraging people to email if the phone lines are full, so looks like I did the right thing.
One of my sister’s friends wrote a letter that made it to that top 10 list just in the last couple months of Obama’s presidency! Pretty cool.
Wow, that’s wonderful! What was it about?
I know that in the office where I worked, things would get passed on to the Chief of Staff and the Congressman– a minority of letters, but some.
I finally bought a new screwdriver to replace the batteries in my solar lamp so it can start charging again. The batteries were a bit corroded, so I was careful taking them out over the trash and then washed my hands twice, but I hope it won’t interfere with the new batteries’ working.
It wouldn’t turn on even after a few days in the sun, so I put on rubber gloves and took the batteries out, then cleaned off the corrosion with cotton swaps dipped in vinegar. It will dry tonight and tomorrow I’ll add another set of batteries.
They were flying for me,
They were flying for everyone
They were trying to see
A better day for each and every one
They gave us their life,
They gave us their spirit
And all they could be
They were flying for me.
They were flying for me.
I finally managed to send away for my Solar Impulse 2 patch. I think having a way of showing my commitment to a Future That’s Clean is even more important now than it was in July.
A moment so close in time and so clear in my memory and yet already 14 years away. Hail Columbia.
Are we getting a February thread?
I see what you mean but It just feels wrong not to have a new thread with a new month.
I made mac and cheese and peas with my roommate! This stove is terrifying.
Hello, MuseBlog! I still exist, and I felt like now is as good a time as any to return to MB.
Although I kind of want to change my screen name. Twelve-year-old me had questionable taste in aliases.
It’s okay, lots of people have changed their names. Do you want us to call you The MuseBlogger Formerly Known As Koppar until you pick a new one?
Yes, that will do until I come up with a suitable replacement.
And TMBFK Koppar for short, like FYROM Macedonia?
That is a much less unwieldy acronym than the one I was coming up with.
Hello, welcome back!
It’s good to be back!
I fixed my lamp!
Today was a good day!
I woke up an hour earlier than unusual, ate some of this new cereal that has pieces covered in blueberry yogurt, and got to class with enough time to read over the paper the professor had said I was supposed to present on in his e-mail that morning. (He promised to give us more notice in future weeks.)
Even though I hadn’t taken notes, he liked my presentation, and because we were talking about Pleistocene Europe, we got to talk about extinct Ice Age mammals and I got to write the sentence “Mammoths had a flap over their butts to prevent heat loss.” in my notebook. I also asked some good questions about the Pleistocene European steppe terrain vs. the modern Central Asian steppe, telling dire wolf fossils from normal wolf fossils, and Ice Age horses. We ended by talking about the Aurochs, and the professor said that they all went extinct in Renaissance times, which means he must not know about Bo.
After class, I went to the student center again to see if the problem with my bill had been fixed yet– they said I had done everything I needed to do and now the other parties were just doing the paperwork, so I didn’t need to worry and could stop coming every day. Phew!
The student center was right by an art supply store and I was looking for black cloth to patch up a hole in one of my shirts, so I went in and got some black felt pretty cheap and then some white felt and fabric markers so that I could make signs for the Climate March in April.
So then I was getting hungry and it was just getting dark, so I went back to my room and warmed up the leftover mac n’ cheese n’ peas and took advantage of the unseasonably warm weather to eat it on the balcony while watching the city lights turn on. My roommate came out to watch, too, and I pointed out Venus to her.
She went to class, and now it was pretty dark, but I turned on my solar lamp and made the signs, and then patched my shirt and fixed up a pair of pants that also needed to be sewn up. Once that was done, I remembered that I needed to buy soap and hand sanitizer, so I went out again and got those things, and then stopped at Forbidden Planet where they’d just gotten the latest issue of “Scooby-Doo Where Are You?”
And then I came back home and found out tomorrow is a snow day.
Eh, the typo suits me, I always aim to be unusual.
20 bucks for two sticks of deodorant is highway robbery.
My roommate and I walked on the High Line in the snow and then bought nuts and dried fruit to keep in our pantry as snacks. Then I made pasta with olive oil.
I think I am getting better at climbing the rock wall at the gym. Today I climbed every green (second-level) route, one without using any holds not on the route and another almost without. I can feel calluses building on my fingers. I just hope I’m not too sore tomorrow.
Finally, some good news!
Sometimes Sundays just get away from you. I was going to do most of my homework and cook dinner; instead, I read one article and made a grocery list.
Same. Still have to read a book so that I can read another one tomorrow and be ready for Thursday. Mobile Internet is the worst thing that ever happened to my productivity.
There’s nothing short of dying quite as lonesome as the sound as homework still unfinished and Monday morning coming down.
We’re having another poetry symposium here this Saturday evening, as we’ve been doing once or twice a semester. After compline, a bunch of us gather in a cozy-ish room with a fireplace to eat snacks, drink beer, and read poetry. One of the professors gives a talk at the beginning–this time, it’s about Dante’s Divine Comedy–and then anyone who wants to can recite a poem and say a few words about it. I haven’t nailed down what I’m going to recite, but I’ve got it narrowed down to a couple of choices.
But between that and rewatching some of Hyouka, I had the idea a couple days ago to compile some sort of anthology of seminarian-made poetry, fiction, nonfiction, drawing, photography, or whatever other types of art that can be printed in a book. I’ve been tinkering around with some typesetting software to do it with, but I’m not quite sure whether I’d find enough people to submit material for it. It wouldn’t be a lengthy collection, of course, but would it be long enough to be worthwhile? I think this would be a purely internal thing, not distributed outside the seminary, and I don’t think there’s many people forging bold new artistic trails here, so I can afford to have low standards.
Does anyone have experience doing something like this–high school litmags or that sort of thing?
I don’t have any direct experience in anything like that at mature levels, but I think it sounds like a good idea and I wish you good luck.
It sounds like a really good idea! I’m sure a lot of people would be interested in submitting to it.
My high school’s writing club put together something similar. It was a rudimentary staple-bound booklet- more in the vein of a zine. All the copies were done on my friend’s printer, so it was a pretty low-scale project.
I also recently made a zine which I distributed to friends IRL and anyone who was comfortable with sending me a mailing address. It was one of those ones that are folded from a single sheet of paper.
For a bigger-scale endeavor you’d probably want to take it to a print shop. I’m trying to get more involved with my college’s student-run art/literary magazine. If I was more successful on that front I’d be able to say more!
I helped run a weekly arts and culture “magazine” (printed as an insert into the campus daily newspaper) in college, so I scheduled pieces, edited them, etc. We had a couple people who did the layout on InDesign and the newspaper was responsible for printing.
The elliptical trainers at the gym have this cool feature where a video of a hike through a particular landscape plays as you work out, adjusting speed to match your speed and incline as the trail becomes more or less inclined. Today I did almost all of the one filmed on trails in Hawaii.
That’s a really good idea. Hiking is way more interesting than going to the gym, personally.
Agreed. But I guess simulating one at the gym is the best you can do in the city.
I went to the Bronx Zoo today for the first time in several years and finally saw the snow leopards! It’s incredible to be able to see them in person even in a zoo, knowing how elusive they are in the wild.
Is there a set cliched adjective for describing brown hair like “raven”, “copper”, “amber”, and “golden”? I was trying to think of a joking way to describe my hair today and I couldn’t think of one.
I guess “mousy” is the closest to my hair color.
My murine locks?
Hair the color of random-walk noise?
((I mean, why we take astronomy classes if not to paint with the colors of the noise?))
Those of you who were on MB in the summer of 2013 may remember my rant about the submarine NR-1 being scrapped despite its significance to oceanography and underwater archaeology and seeing pieces of it in a lot behind a fence at the Submarine Force Museum in Connecticut. While I am still mad that it was retired and madder that more of it wasn’t preserved (although I know the nuclear reactor added complications to its decommissioning that several other historic ships I’ve seen in museums did not), I am glad to see on the museum website that the pieces that DID go to the Submarine Force Museum (sail and propellors) have been moved out of the lot and into a proper exhibit. I hope to be able to go see it there someday even though I know that my childhood dreams of taking part in a shipwreck excavation onboard it like Robert Ballard will never come true.
I would also like to repeat my statement from 2013 that at whatever point in the distant future DSV Alvin is retired, if it is similarly treated instead of being given to a museum and displayed intact, I will be very angry, and probably organize a riot.
They did remove the reactor and de-contaminate the Nautilus to be the centerpiece of the museum and you can even go onboard, so it’s not like a nuclear submarine can’t be made visit-able. It might be that because the NR-1 was used up until its retirement in 2008, there were security risks in letting people see it’s capabilities– but as far as we know, it was a unique design and has no replacement, so I don’t know what that knowledge would be used against. And even if that’s the case, they could have left it in storage for a few decades and displayed it once all its military activities were declassified.
I apostrophe’d “it” once where I shouldn’t have there. Posessive “it” has no apostrophe.
Someone tell me what genius in the public works office thought 2:30 AM was the right time for jack-hammering outside of an apartment building.
They have the road closed off both day and night, though. At least tonight they did the noisy stuff before midnight.
Oooh, Solar Impulse book coming out soon… not in English, yet, though.
I got to visit the Museum of Natural Histor with my friend Steph today– she was willing to take photos of me in the Hall of Planet Earth dressed like Katia Krafft!
I misspelled “history”. HISTORY. Why do I keep making these typos?