Thursday, January 31, 2019

Random Thoughts!

I’m with the crowd that thinks it is a bad idea for the Starbucks guy to run as an Independent.  Another ego trip for a rich man.  Bad idea!

Brexit is another bad idea.  I want it to go down in flames.  Let the people vote again.  This time the “Let’s Remain in the EU” will win.

When the Super Bowl matchup was set I was on the fence.  I’ve never been anti-Patriots and never cared much one way or the other about the Rams.  But as the days have gone by I find myself off the fence and strongly pro-Rams.  Dunno why.  Just feel that way.

I’m conflicted about Afghanistan.  On the one hand, we should get out of there.  In the end, the Afghans have to choose what they want.  We can’t beat them into doing it our way, nor can we win their “hearts and minds.”  On the other hand, my problem is that I hate to open the door for a Taliban-led country again.  No easy answers here.

A happy thought:  Trump is now more than half way through his term.  Less days to go than have already gone.  Time flies, but not fast enough.

Antarctic weather in the Midwest.  Brrr!  No way.  Better them than me.  For the record, its 58 at the moment here in San Francisco.

I just finished reading “The Spy and the Traitor,” by Ben Macintyre.  Incredible story, well told.  I recommend it.

Also, watched the Jimmy Breslin/Pete Hamill documentary on HBO.  Interesting and very well done.  Reminded me of when I lived in New York – a lifetime from the past.

Stay warm.  Have a nice day!

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Science Times!

Today’s Science Times section was full of interesting stuff:

North Korea’s biological arms threat is greater than its nuclear weapons.  Unleashing a smallpox virus will kill a third of those infected.  A gallon of anthrax, if suitably distributed, could end human life.

A big, ugly creature they’re calling a dicynodonts roamed the earth with the dinosaurs 200 million years ago.  Ranging in size from a pig to a hippo, the thing had a short neck, a large skull, beaks and tusks.

Good news.  Scientists may have discovered a new way to kill brain-eating amoebae.  This monster is a lethal microbe that invades through the sinuses and feeds on human brain tissue.  Not many people are infected, since 1962 only four of 143 known victims in the U.S. have survived, but if you are one of the unlucky ones, any promising med would be welcome.

The average American man weighs 198 pounds, is 5’9” tall, has a 40” waist and a body mass index of 29, at the high end of the overweight category.  The average woman is 5’4” tall, weighs 171 pounds, has a 39” waist and a body mass index of 30.  We used to weigh a lot less.  Since 1960, both men and women have gained an average 32 pounds.

Notice to women:  Removing your pubic hair has health consequences.  You are at greater risk for vaginal infections and sexually transmitted diseases.

Not in Science Times, but funny.  In a Japanese hotel managed by robots a man trying to sleep was awakened frequently when his room robot assistant kept saying it didn’t understand what was being said and asked to repeat the instructions.  Turns out the man’s snoring kept activating the robot.

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

In Case You Forgot!

I was curious about what might have happened on this date, January 9, in history.  Here’s some of what I found:

475 - Byzantine Emperor Zeno is forced to flee his capital at Constantinople.

1296 - Earl Floris V signs accord with French King

1317 - Phillips V, the Tall, crowned king of France

1349 - 700 Jews of Basel Switzerland, burned alive in their houses

1431 - Judges' investigations for the trial of Joan of Arc begin in Rouen,    France, the seat of the English occupation government

1760 - Afghans defeat Marathas in battle of Barari Ghat

1839 - Daguerreotype photo process announced at French Academy of Science

1909 – Ernest Shackleton as part of the British Nimrod Expedition reaches a record farthest South latitude (88°23' south)

1941 - 6,000 Jews exterminated in pogrom in Bucharest, Romania

1959 – “Rawhide” with Clint Eastwood premieres on CBS TV

1969 – First trial flight of the Concorde supersonic jetliner

1991 – Baseball officially bans Pete Rose from the Hall of Fame for betting on baseball

2007 - Apple Inc CEO Steve Jobs announces the iPhone

Everything you wanted to know, right?  Have a nice day!