Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Bitchin' Dave's Newsletter - May 7

 Dave’s Musings

I typically don't make this space about politics, per se. I do talk about things like social issues and climate change that have become political hot topics, but that's usually the extent of my musings.


But I have to ask the question: how is the "orange menace" still relevant? How is it that there's even a chance he could win an election again? Shouldn't the person leading the most powerful nation be a decent person? Smart and savvy enough to lead without emotion? Should s/he be a person that is beyond reproach?


He incited the insurrection, and essentially committed an act of sedition. There are very many charges that have been filed directly related to this. He undermined the Constitution, and people are okay with this?


And beyond that: he's a fraud, and a tax cheat, as we learned through the trial in NY. He raped a woman, as we learned in another case - and later he defamed her and she won a second judgement against her. He's currently in a courtroom where he faces charges of providing hush money (illegally) to a porn star - who he had sex with after his (4th!) wife gave birth. He repeatedly violates court orders because he only cares about himself. He doesn't sound like a good guy, or a christian does he?


And so on and so on. And hey there's evidence he committed treason while in office (though he was never charged with anything - although there are many questions about to whom he showed classified documents, and perhaps what will come out in a trial).


I simply can not understand why people are still following him like he's someone to be worshipped and idolized.


Are we that dumb?


You may recall that the psyche mission had a major component that was an ability to send larger amounts of data from longer distances. 

Until now, we've been using radio waves to transmit data from longer distances (though we have compressed data from shorter distances, which ups the amount of data that can be returned). This technology allows us to use lasers to achieve the mission parameter, about 1 MBps. 

While it was still "near" to earth, they transmitted a prerecorded cat video with no data loss. 

Now, they are transmitting telemetry and "new" data from a distance about 1.5 as far as the earth to the sun … and achieving an astonishing 25 MBps. 

It's exciting. And opens up new possibilities for deep space communication.  

It's a function of the equipment used and distance, but for context, Apollo missions to the moon had a latency of about 3 seconds. This would be essentially real time.  

https://www.iflscience.com/nasa-just-received-laser-message-beamed-from-a-colossal-226-million-kilometers-away-73968



GM is trying to create a totally new battery configuration.  Early development was going well, and they were on to something and got a patent.  But they are struggling to build this at scale for a number of reasons.  

Still, I like what they are thinking, and it may just take a while longer to get there.

https://www.thecooldown.com/green-tech/gm-ev-battery-patent-general-motors/



There was a post to a theme-park site that "allows for all views" (or some such nonsense; its clearly skewed to the conservative point of view, so I shan't link to it here) about a manufactured problem someone had at Disney World.


In short, when they visited a character themed meal, the Malificent character was "quite clearly a man" and they were offended! The horror! They recounted their interaction with the cast members, and no one could absolutely confirm it was a woman (though I would argue that based on their own account, Disney did, in fact, do just that).


They railed about how "woke" it is, and how things are going downhill, and how drag queens shouldn't be around children! As I say, the horror!.


They also pointed to a TikTok featuring a male castmember at the Bibidi Bobidi Boutique (where your little one can made up to be a princess - or prince), who was dressed in what you might think of as a female's costume (as per Disney's costume policy).


And that led the poster to say it has gone too far! And they wanted people to know about the offense to their sensibility "as christians"... the comments on the post were supportive of the poster. But the comments on other sites were not nearly as kind to him (hey look at me assuming its a him, what's wrong with me?!)


While it appears the character was a woman based on their comments, I point out that Disney represents society on the whole.


When I was working there 30+ years ago, hair had to be a certain length, no facial hair was allowed, and tattoos were forbidden.


All of these things have changed, and while it "feels different" than what it used to be, it is exactly what we see when we leave the theme parks, and even among the guests that are there.


So...what is the big deal? And why cause a stir about something so insanely trivial?



I found this interesting. We had another bit of space debris return to earth recently. Scientists suggested it would burn up on reentry and thus didn't plot an exact course for its de-orbit. 

It did not burn up. It did hit a house on the west coast of Florida and caused some amount of damage to the house and the surroundings. 

The homeowner talked with the insurance company about repairs, and were told that they'd have to pay the deductible - and that would not cover some of the other damage. 

This was not something that happened to the house due to an issue inside. This was not a natural disaster. And yet, insurance told them "sorry."

And then there was a complicating factor that the debris in question was part of a European space agency experiment. Which may have made this an international issue. But since it was attached to the ISS (which is under NASAs purveyance), NASA agreed to cover at least some of the costs. 

But it leads to much bigger questions. Can we accurately predict what will happen with these things? Who is responsible? What if it was a private company's satellite? What if people were actually harmed? 

There's a lot of junk in space, and we need to be planning to do something with it. 

https://www.npr.org/2024/04/23/1243676256/space-station-junk-hits-florida-home-liability



Latest video

I charged to 100% then left the car in the sun… and didn’t have enough energy to get home…
https://youtube.com/shorts/4S1bcR-rTak?feature=share




One Little Spark … 


Two things happened a few weeks ago that are welcome news: salaried employees making around $58k or less will be due overtime if their hours exceed 40 in a week. It stops organizations from taking advantage of salaried employees in the middle management group. 

And then there was the decision to do away with non-compete clauses, meaning employees are free to leave and go and work elsewhere without consequence. 

Companies HATE this and are suing to stop it. In so many words, companies are saying their work is so important and so secret that they have to prevent employees from leaving; and rubbing salt in the wound by saying "we don't care about you - only our profit!"

Here's to hoping things continue to tilt in favor of the workers…


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