G4 Rocket

New Things to Fear!

Pelee's overall tectonic earthquake activity is falling, but there've been two distinct harmonic tremors in the past week. Is the lava rising, or is it draining back to the main chamber? Inquiring minds want to know!

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A new variety of COVID from California.

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The Christmas Tree of DOOM!

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Exploding vagina candles! In other news, this woman apparently has cedar and geraniums, among other things, stuffed up there. Perhaps it's no surprise that it exploded. ***** Original posted at https://rain-gryphon.dreamwidth.org/194926.html
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    Jefferson Airplane: Streiten Sie Nicht mit einem Deutschen wenn Sie Mūden sind!
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G4 Rocket

Historical Revisionism -or- In Yur Heaven, Blowin' Up Yer Doodz

I was exposed the other day to an interesting theory of why the Emperor of Japan surrendered so quickly after we atom-bombed them. None of the conventional explanations really make much sense. On the one hand, there's the theory that our ability to instantly obliterate cities made him realize that continuing the war would see Japan largely depopulated. That doesn't really hold up though. We inflicted a far worse bombing on Tokyo, the night of March 9-10, which burned out the heart of the city, and killed at least 100k (an almost certainly low estimate), right in his backyard, where he could go and see what had been done. He toured the wasteland, saw the hordes of charcoal corpses, and didn't bat an eye. It was pretty obvious at that point that we were going to kill as many of them as it took, even if the number were 'all of them'. Hirohito didn't care, and let the war rumble on.

The other chief contender is that the Soviet Union's declaration of war made them realize that they couldn't win. That seems just overall wrong to me. They were enthusiastically preparing to receive the American invasion with bamboo spears, and single-shot pistols made from gas pipe. Top generals, including Anami the War Minister, were openly admitting that they'd be wiped out, but didn't really seem to see that as much of a drawback. Anami in particular gave this absolutely psycho speech about how Japan would be destroyed like a beautiful jewel shattering, and the deaths of 70 million Japanese would inspire the world for all time to come.

What did happen, then? On the day that Hiroshima was bombed, Truman gave this speech about it, where he said, "The force from which the sun draws its power has been loosed against those who brought war to the Far East." He had it slightly wrong, of course, but it was a new technology. At the same time, Yoshio Nishina, Japan's sole heavy-duty physicist, was sent to Hiroshima to see what had happened, and make a report to the Emperor. He phoned into the Emperor's cabinet meeting on the ninth to make his report, just before or just after they got the news of Nagasaki. He reported back that it had indeed been an atomic bomb, just as Truman had said. The Emperor announced his decision to surrender shortly afterward.

Is the idea that this was a weapon using 'the force from which the sun draws its power' what provoked surrender? Hirohito was, after all, considered the direct descendant of Amaterasu, the Sun Goddess. Japan even has the sun on their flag. The idea of the Emperor's divinity was widely accepted at the time, and it needs no great leap of imagination to suspect that Hirohito himself believed it as well. Having your chief diety and many-times great grandmother turned against you would be a bit of a shock. I think this makes a lot of sense.

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Street scene in Munkacs, Hungary, 1930.
Click to Embiggen


This is a scenic view of the provincial city of Munkacs, in eastern Hungary, taken in 1930, and probably intended for a post card. Do you see the four men on the left-hand side. Now look above them - it very much looks to me as though the one guy (prolly a teenager) is in the process of surprising another with a kick in the butt. ***** Original posted at https://rain-gryphon.dreamwidth.org/194660.html
G4 Rocket

Techno-Nuisance

I really like my Motorola phone, EXCEPT that they've developed this proprietary gesture system, built on top of the Android gesture system, where you can control all of the device's functions with a series of cryptic taps and swipes on the screen. I disabled that during the initial setup, and now, at least twice a week if not more, I get this popup about "Let's Learn the Gesture System!" It's incredibly annoying, and shows very little respect for the end-user, IMHO. There's probably a way to root that out in the registry, were I sufficiently motivated. I really oughta learn to do that stuff anyway. It's not like Android isn't here to stay.

***** ***** Original posted at https://rain-gryphon.dreamwidth.org/194458.html
G4 Rocket

Meanwhile, in Indiana...

We learn that driving down a residential street at 80mph during rush hour is a bad idea. Although I must admit that I did once have Al Unser Jr. blow by me in a black 911R, at a similar speed, under similar circumstances in Indianapolis. The outcome was much happier, though.

It has to be a bit of a shocker when you're sitting at home, minding your business, and suddenly there's a car in your living room. People are just driving like maniacs these days.

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People 70 and over can now schedule their vaccinations. Being part of the "second priority" Group 1A didn't really work out like I expected. I should be allowed to schedule before the end of the month, I think. They do seem to be adding additional capacity rather quickly.

***** ***** Original posted at https://rain-gryphon.dreamwidth.org/194115.html
G4 Rocket

And So, Another Season Rolls 'Round...

Pat Patrick has died. As they note, he won the 500 (as team principal) several times, and the Championship as well. The man's actual first name was "Ueal", which I have never before heard in my life* - everyone just called him 'Pat'. What always comes to mind when I think of him, though, is that he was Dave Savage's car owner, for the two brief seasons allotted him.

Patrick had the STP sponsorship for years. Beautiful dayglo blue and red cars.

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After last year's false start, autonomous cars are going to race at the Speedway come October. It has the potential to go really smoothly. At the same time, it also has the potential to be a debacle on a rarely-seen scale. I'm looking forward to it.

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* I had thought for some years that Ueal was probably a character in the Bible, but if so, I can't find him, even with modern search routines. I wonder if his parents (or possibly the recording clerk) were trying for Ewell?

***** ***** Original posted at https://rain-gryphon.dreamwidth.org/193877.html
G4 Rocket

Getting Vaccinated

So, I finally got my mom signed up to be vaccinated. Her appointment isn't until January 21st. Indiana is doing an absolutely ridiculous job administering these. I signed her up with the County Health Department, and their schedule is 8am to 5pm, five days a week, with an hour break for lunch. They administer shots one every ten minutes. Despite close to a year of being told that this is a dire emergency, one that justifies intense government intrusion into private lives, our 'frontline heroes' in the health bureaucracy move at their regular, glacial pace when administering remedies.

In 1947, NYC vaccinated over 6 million people in a month for smallpox. As they note, we've made such a farrago of requirements, records keeping, and the like that'd be impossible today.

I remember being vaccinated for smallpox in either 1967 or 1968, a few weeks before school started, as part of a mass effort. The health department set up an outdoor station in front of the elementary school, right under the flagpole (so that getting bravely vaccinated conflated with patriotism in my mind - I've no idea whether that was intended - if so, it was well and wisely done), and you joined the end of the line and marched on past the desk pretty rapidly. They did several hundred that day, at least. IIRC, it only took a minute, if that, to get stabbed with the scratcher and your name checked off on the list. I had to stand in line for some time, but some of my friends were there, so it was interesting. My grandmother took me there, IIRC.

I got a serious lecture about not touching the bandaid, serious enough that I recall being afraid of accidentally touching it as I slept. I think I ended up wearing long sleeve shirts that week, just to be sure. It got changed once a day, the scab examined, then re-bandaided with some gauze over the top. After about a week or so, the scab fell off, and got ceremonially tossed into the furnace, where all of the bandaids had preceded it. A big enough deal was made of that such that it still sticks with me. I still have vague feelings of patriotically protecting America when I get a flu shot. ***** Original posted at https://rain-gryphon.dreamwidth.org/193551.html
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G4 Rocket

So...

So, the Ayatollah, Louis Farrakhan, and the Chinese government - their opinions are all allowed on Twitter. Donald Trump and his supporters, however, are silenced. This is how democracy is slowly strangled. ***** Original posted at https://rain-gryphon.dreamwidth.org/193345.html
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G4 Rocket

Only Four Days Ago...

I wrote to my senior Senator (Todd Young)...

I'd like to urge you to join with Senator Braun and colleagues in demanding an emergency audit of the results of the recent election. The numerous, well-documented allegations of counting irregularities, violations of chains of custody, and outright brazen fraud are without precedent in our lifetime, perhaps without precedent in the history of the Republic. It's tempting, I know, to try and paper over the situation, and hope that things will settle down. That path leads, I fear, to civil insurrection, and perhaps in time to civil war. Let us please, while we still can, halt the certification process, and conduct a fair, independent investigation of what happened. No real harm can be caused by delaying the certification, and even the inauguration, for a few weeks on an emergency basis until we're sure of what happened. Great, possibly irreparable harm to the Republic will surely result if we rush onward, following the letter of the Constitution into a situation which the framers never anticipated. Please lend your voice to the calls for an emergency audit. Thank you.

And now, we are going to find that it is much harder to put Humpty Dumpty back together again than had been estimated. ***** Original posted at https://rain-gryphon.dreamwidth.org/193038.html
G4 Rocket

Revolution!

Yeehaw! As much as I normally deplore civil unrest, it has its time. ***** Original posted at https://rain-gryphon.dreamwidth.org/192883.html
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G4 Rocket

Sigh...

Already, over the course of the New Year, I have lost or mislaid three pair of reading glasses. While all of them are the cheap sort from the revolving rack at the drug store, it ne'ertheless augurs ill. ***** Original posted at https://rain-gryphon.dreamwidth.org/192520.html
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