Finally managed to see comet Neowise tonight. Had to use binoculars to find it, but once I knew where to look I could see the coma and tail very faintly even with my old eyes. (Living where there's no light pollution helps.)

I tried when it was early morning only–but never had a good clear night sky. Tried last night, but I guess it wasn't high enough in the evening sky yet.

If you want to try, find the Big Dipper and draw a line across the bottom of the pot to the horizon; then look up a tad.

This is very bad news –  immunity from antibodies may last only months, UK study suggests.

Also? We already know some people are getting sick twice.

All of this has bad implications, both for the already failed notion of 'Herd Immunity', but also in terms of vaccine effectiveness.

The universe might have a fundamental clock that ticks very, very fast. Time could be the result of particles interacting with a ticking cosmic timepiece.

Does this mean I can hack the universe with a timing attack?

Politics, WTF 

This Republican senator has a wild idea about what voters will care about in November. North Carolina Republican Sen. Thom Tillis has a theory about the 2020 election that you need to hear.

"The stakes are very high this election, but you know why I know we're going to win? Because people remember how good their lives were back in February."

Uh what? So, in November I'm going to forget everything that happened in the previous 9 months and vote Republican?

Kim Jong-un’s Sister Just Put an End to Trump’s Nuclear Talks.

Basically, the nuclear deal Trump was so positive about two years ago is not only dead, but now it's been erased from the blackboard.

Trump came into office touting his abilities as a dealmaker and negotiator. Has even one of his deals or negotiations worked out?

Serious question, because I can't think of one offhand. Maybe the updated NAFTA treaty? Or did that fall apart too?

Making Smalltalk on a Raspberry Pi

Today, you probably don’t think much about object-oriented programming, it’s just part of the landscape. But decades ago, it was strange and obscure technology. While there were several languages that led up to the cur…

Original tweet :

Politics, Free Speech 

Illiberalism Isn’t to Blame for the Death of Good-Faith Debate.

This opinion piece places the blame for our current cultural mess around free speech squarely (and, in my mind, fairly) on and, especially, the birdsite.

This bit says it all, "Look: A professional Twitter troll is president. Trolling won. Perhaps it’s time to acknowledge that despite their centrality, online platforms aren’t suited to the earnest exchange of big ideas."

Clouds drift low, curling;

Making secret the mountain.

Sudden sun, then gone.

– Jack William Bell, June 12 2020

Dog dances on green grass.

Happy to be outside, free.

Time to go in now.

– Jack William Bell, June 12 2020

Politics, Seattle 

If you aren't from Washington State you probably don't know who Tim Eyman is. But, apparently, our local Republican Party is worried about what might happen with both Eyman AND Trump on the ballot.

Why? Because both are poison to your average voter; and Seattle is the tail that wags the whole state's dog.

Personally, this Independent voter is all for seeing the GOP go down in flames come November. The party has proven itself unworthy of power.

The game is rigged: A former marketer shows you how Big Tech’s advertising practices harm us all.

Are we going to finally see Google and Facebook trust-busted? I have my doubts.

But one can hope.

Some things on my mind this morning:

* English muffins are neither English nor muffins

* In France they call french fries 'belgian fries'

* In Belgium they call french fries 'belgian fries' - only they make them differently

* Belgian-made belgian fries are *way* better than anywhere else's french fries

* Way better, seriously, but then they ruin them by putting mayonnaise on them

"I was arrested, jailed and assaulted by a guard. My ‘crime’? Being a journalist in Trump’s America"

"In his 30-year career, The Independent’s Chief US Correspondent Andrew Buncombe has filed dispatches from across the world. Last week, while reporting on protests in Seattle, he was arrested for the first time. What he saw next throws the spotlight on a broken criminal justice system."

Read the whole thing…

Politics, Old Fart Grumblings 

I was born during the Eisenhower administration. In the sixty some odd years since I've seen eleven presidents come and go.

The single best one, and I am very serious about this, was Obama. He had his deficiencies but he was, by far, a better leader than any give him credit for. If nothing else, the very lack of drama from his administration serves as proof of that.

The fact he was followed by the absolute worst US president in history? [Shakes head in disbelief…]

This seems to be a global warming thing. Old timers up here tell me Prairie Mountain used to reguarly kept it's snow until August and some years retained a snow cap until fresh snow came in the fall.

I suspect the remaining patches I see now will be gone by the end of the month. For some reason, that always makes me a little sad.

If you want to see evidence of global warming with your own eyes, look at old pictures of glaciers and then see them now for yourself. The mountains tell the story.

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One of them, Prairie Mountain to my south east, rises more than forty degrees of arc into the sky and is visible from any south window of the house. I can see it now by glancing out the window from my desk.

As of today in mid July, Prairie Mountain still has a few patches of snow on it.

The year I bought this property, a dozen years ago, the snow didn't fully melt until the second week of August. In the years since the snow was usually gone by early to mid June and never lasted until July.

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I mentioned earlier that I live in a deep river valley high in the north Cascade mountains. Oddly, this river runs north instead of west due to the fact the valley was carved out by a glacier a couple of ice ages ago.

(Normally rivers on the ocean side of coastal ranges run towards the sea.)

Anyway, this means my house is entirely surrounded by mountains on all sides. Most of them aren't very impressive, barely large enough to block my view of bigger ones. But they aren't little hills either.

Was up late hoping to see the comet; but an overcast rolled in about 2:00 AM so I went to bed.

Probably couldn't have seen it anyway, Comet Neowise is currently rising only 5 to 10 degrees above the horizon and I live in a deep river valley up in the mountains. Meaning it wouldn't have been high enough in the sky.

we told you ice were fascists 

Immigration Rights Groups Raise Alarm over ICE Plan to Host “Citizens Academy” | Democracy Now!
ICE plans to launch a six-week so-called citizens academy class in Chicago, where the agency plans to teach attendees “defensive tactics” and “firearms familiarization” to arrest undocumented people. Immigrant rights advocates are sounding the alarm on the initiative, which ICE hopes to expand nationwide. Silky Shah, executive director of detentionwatch, said ”ICE is recruiting an army of 'citizens' to fuel its propaganda machine and forge hatred in our communities. … [T]he outcome of this program will be more terror unleashed upon immigrant communities and people of color.” #AbolishICE

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