Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Don Jr. High as a Kite

Yeesh. Didn't this guy have presidential aspirations, and don't some Republicans support him? This was originally posted to Rumble on June 19th.

Monday, June 28, 2021


Beyond ridiculous. An all-time record, beating yesterday's 113°F. However
But a major cooldown is coming, and Salem residents should be able to feel it by this evening. By 8 p.m. Salem’s temperature is forecast to be in the 80 degree range and by Tuesday morning temperatures could be as cool as the low 60s.

Wet Bulb 35

"Wet Bulb 35" was what Kim Stanley Robinson labeled it in The Ministry of the Future, where his book opens with an episode of such temperatures killing millions of people, setting the stage for the climate crisis finally creating deep anger and a commitment to drastic action in many people.

Here's more from The Telegraph's article:

Here the humidity has been in the 20-25% range and wet bulb temperatures have only been around 70°F (21-22°C).

Wanting to Get Wobbly

I like this, from an article about the third-place finisher, Alicia Monson, at the Women's 10,000 meter run to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, held in Eugene, Oregon on Saturday in searing heat. (The top three finishers go to the Olympics.)

Sunday, June 27, 2021

43°C at 7 pm

43°C here where I live at 7 pm.

Heat as the Present Natural Calamity

This morning as I was leaving the window at the my drive-through coffee shop, the girl said, "Good luck today," which was new.

There's a feeling like a hurricane or other natural disaster is bearing down.

At 3:18 pm it's now 111°F. Supposed to go to 113°F.

This is really crazy. I've only ever see such temperatures in Tempe, Arizona, where I lived for a year and a half in the 1990s. Not even in New Mexico. And I don't have air conditioning here. So far I'm surviving with cold showers and fans, but it's still not pleasant. But it doesn't feel dangerous indoors. Right now the relative humidity is only 19%, so the wet bulb temperature is only 71°F (22°F), far below the death threshold of 35°C. I haven't heard of any deaths yet, but that was of yesterday -- today it's 6-7°F higher, but a little less humid. And residences/apartment buildings here aren't made of brick, which I believe was a big factor in the Chicago heat wave of 1995 that killed 739 people, because the buildings didn't cool well down at night.

Perhaps it's time the government subsidized air conditing units for the poor, and the electricity to pay for them.

Here's an interesting map of the degree of the heat dome over southern Canada and northern western US. You can notice the jaggly coast of British Columbia on the left edge of the 4-sigma bubble, and the straight US-Canadian border is right near the bottom of the same bubble. So it says Oregon is only in the 2-sigma range, which surprises me because our normal high for today is 78°F, and we're going to be 35°F above that. (?)

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Think the Insurrection is Done? Not by a Long Shot

A call for the execution of those who honestly counted the vote in the 2020 presidential election. No kidding:


It's supposed to be 108 deg F here in Salem, Oregon on Sunday. It would be a record for June. I don't have air conditioning -- I read somewhere today that 1/3rd of residences in Portland don't -- and so far have gotten along OK with fans, even when it's been above 90 F for a few days (though it was a bit tough in the late afternoons). But 100+ F is going to be difficult, no doubt about it. My Weatherbug app is calling for 105 F on Saturday and 107 F on Sunday.

Wow, look at this piece of pure fascism:
TALLAHASSEE — In his continued push against the “indoctrination” of students, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday signed legislation that will require public universities and colleges to survey students, faculty and staff about their beliefs and viewpoints to support “intellectual diversity.”

The survey will discern “the extent to which competing ideas and perspectives are presented” in public universities and colleges, and seeks to find whether students, faculty and staff “feel free to express beliefs and viewpoints on campus and in the classroom,” according to the bill.
Republicans are the most dangerous group in America right now. And DeSantis is considered a leading candidate for the 2024 Republican candidate for president, even, I just read somewhere, polling above Trump.

Hockey: One thing I've noticed is that crowds at the NHL semifinal playoffs have been loudly singing the national anthem, in both the US and Canada. But especially in New York where the Islanders play. (US crowds are much larger than the Canadian crowds, due to greated pandemic restrictions still in Canada.) Somehow I think it's related to the pandemic ending.

Everyone says it, but it's true: there is nothing like playoff hockey. Every second of the game is such a battle. The puck is battled for no matter where it goes -- every movement results in a real fight for possession. I don't know of any other sport where every second of the game is such a battle between players. The intensity is an order of magnitude (in some units) above regular season play. The referees call almost no penalties, so it's often a free-for-all. All the playoff series are best of seven, so there's plenty of time for the development of team and personal animosities. Plenty of bad blood gets developed. Half the players have scraps or stitches on their face, and who knows what other injuries they're playing with. (Yet there are surprisingly few of the classic drop-the-gloves fights.) It's really something else.

I haven't confirmed this:

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

COVID-19 Herd Immunity

The Washington Post has a nice, short video on herd immunity for the coronavirus -- what it is, whether we can reach it, what happens if we do not. If we don't it's possible probable the disease will rip through the unvaccinated population, for whom it will be difficult to have much empathy (except for those who, for medical reasons, are unable to be vaccinated, such as the immunocompromised, who will suffer because of the thoughtlessness of the unvaccinated). But there remains the possiblity that new variants may arise in the unvaccinated population that will be able to infect even the vaccinated population. So we see how the unevolved "vaccine hesitant" are playing with a fire that could burn all of us down. Perhaps a better term is "vaccine stupid" or "vaccine don't-give-a-shit." Harsh, but people will suffer and people will die because of their ignorance or whatever twisted point they think they are trying to make about freedom or liberty, when in fact they're just proving the opposite -- true freedom and true liberty happens in a community, in a society, one where people look after one another and hold a responsiblity to the community, to others. You'd think we'd all know this after 10,000 years of civilization, but some people are extremely slow learners, it seems. Perhaps they need to be mandated into the present.

Monday, June 21, 2021

Norman Rockwell Sketch on "Mississippi Burning" Killings

I never knew this, but Norman Rockwell became socially liberal in his older years and the sketch below is an example. But it seems he never painted it. According to another Beschloss tweet, Rockwell was told by some of his editors at the Saturday Evening Post magazine that he wasn't allowed to portray blacks as anything other than servants.

The title of my post comes, of course, from the 1988 movie Mississippi Burning, starring Gene Hackman, about the FBI's search for the bodies of the murdered young men and for those who killed them. A great movie if you've never seen it.

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Pig with Nicholas Cage - Trailer

Nicholas Cage looks for his lost pig in the Pacific Northwest, and apparently some degree of redemption in Portland:

Looks as wild as you'd expect from him. Opens July 16th in theatres.

Wednesday, June 09, 2021

"The Trick," a Movie About ClimateGate

The BBC is making a movie about Climategate, a "thriller" about the computer hacking scandal, to be titled "The Trick." Somewhat of a double entendre there.
The Trick will tell the story of how Professor Philip Jones, director of climate research at the University of East Anglia, found himself at the eye of an international media storm after leaked emails which suggested climate change researchers had exaggerated claims about the severity of global warming....

It led to Norwich scientists receiving death threats and one of the most rigorous scrutiny processes in UK academic history that ultimately found the research to be watertight.

The new film will chart the unjustified persecution of Prof Jones, to be played by Line of Duty and The Crown star Jason Watkins, and the fierce support as he fights to exonerate himself of his wife Ruth, to be played by Victoria Hamilton.
Phil Jones suffered greatly during Climategate, personally, and reportedly at one point even considered suicide. This "thriller" is exactly what he doesn't need.

You may recognize the actor playing him from his recent role in the popular Netflix series "The Crown," where Jason Watkins played the weak, uninspiring socialist Prime Minister Harold Wilson.

Let's see how badly the BBC -- who of course was part of the story -- gets this wrong for the sake of dramatization.

Tuesday, June 08, 2021

On Stealing the 2024 Presidential Election

This is from Jay Rosen, a prominent journalism professor at New York University, as mentioned in today's NY Times column by Ross Douthat, "Are We Destined for a Trump Coup in 2024?"

Personally it's difficult for me to see it coming to that. Trump looks more insane unhinged every day, is apparently obsessed with the recounts going on and convinced he'll be reinstated by August (which is beyond insane, into utterly delusional), and will be in enough legal difficulties by then that even all the Republicans afraid of him will breathe a little. But what do I know. Douthat writes.
In February, seven Republican senators voted to convict Trump in his second impeachment trial; just a few weeks ago, 35 House Republicans defied him and voted for the Jan. 6 inquiry. Even in a future where the G.O.P. takes back the House and the Senate in 2022, any attempt to overturn a clear Biden victory in 2024 would require most of the Republicans who cast these anti-Trump votes to swing completely to Team Let’s Have a Constitutional Crisis, with someone like Susan Collins or Lisa Murkowski casting the decisive vote. Which is imaginable only if some transformative political wave hits the Republican Party in the meantime — and barely so even then.

Then keep in mind, too, that in the event of a Biden-Trump rematch in 2024, Biden, not Trump, will enjoy the presidency’s powers; Kamala Harris, not Mike Pence, will preside over the electoral count; and Trump will be four years older, unlikely to run a fourth time, and therefore somewhat less intimidating in defeat. In that landscape, it’s at least as easy to imagine him going more limply into the good night as it is to imagine top-to-bottom G.O.P. enthusiasm for the Great Coup of ’24.

Which, again, does not make the worriers unreasonable; it just makes their we’re all doomed attitude seem extremely premature.
What do you think?

Sunday, June 06, 2021

Video Clip of the Tank Man, and More

This clip is so much more than the singular image, and its initial seconds of the long, intimidating line of tanks rolling gives a sense of how much courage it took for this man to step in front of the tank line. Amazing that after all this time he's still unknown, but somehow, in the best sense of the mysteries and subtleties of history, wonderful too that he is. Everything doesn't need to be known.

On the other hand, here is a frightening image of what these tanks left being in terms of broken people and bicycles:

The Dream of a Ridiculous Man

"The more I learned, the more conscious did I become of the fact that I was ridiculous. So that for me my years of hard work at the university seem in the end to have existed for the sole purpose of demonstrating and proving to me, the more deeply engrossed I became in my studies, that I was an utterly absurd person."

Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Dream of a Ridiculous Man