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  1. Claia Bryja commented on Betty 2 days ago

    I get the impression that waiting until Nov. 12th is not that hard of a rule anymore, but I know it used to be. Remembrance Day (Nov. 11th) is a much bigger deal in Canada than in the U.S.

    As for when to take the decorations down, I used to live in Edmonton (Betty and Bub’s home town), and we always kept our decorations up through Eastern Orthodox Christmas on Jan. 6th as a gesture to the many Ukrainian-Canadians who don’t celebrate it on Dec. 25th.

  2. Claia Bryja commented on Betty 3 days ago

    In Canada, one should wait until at least Nov. 12th.

    In the U.S., one should wait at least until the Friday after Thanksgiving.

    Either way, though, November just feels too soon to me. Dec. 1st seems like it should be the right time.

  3. Claia Bryja commented on Candorville 3 months ago

    This physics is so strange compared to our everyday experiences that every one of us— including the professionals who currently are doing the work of trying to figure it all out— probably is misinterpreting what it all means or implies.

    Yet, so far, science does have command of certain facts— like how dark matter definitely surrounds us, very likely penetrates us (but possibly not), and very definitely binds the galaxy together. Dark energy, meanwhile, speeds up the expansion rate of space; but, according to Einstein’s theory of general relativity, this expansion would have been occurring anyway— even if the dark energy was not there.

    But in the far stranger realm of quantum particles, entanglement, and collapsing a simultaneously held spread of different particle positions into one when the particle is “observed,” misinterpreting the meaning of “observed” leads to some far-fetched misconceptions about what’s actually happening.

    It’s physically impossible for any scientist in a lab to make a direct measurement of where a subatomic particle is, or what it is doing, without hitting that particle with some other particle. And that’s the rub. If you hit it with another particle, you’ve interfered with it— you’ve moved its position and changed which way it was going. You’ve messed up the information that you were hoping to measure in the first place.

    So the act of “observing” a particle simply means having that particle interact with another particle. Whatever happens at that point presumably will happen the same whether or not a mentally conscious scientist is taking notes. Conscious decisions do not enter into the physics in any way.

    What’s so weird about quantum physics is that we can set up subtle experiments to demonstrate that particles really must be smeared across a whole range of different places, and have whole ranges of different values for other properties, until they encounter another particle and settle down. (But this seems less mysterious if you get used to thinking of all particles as waves of some kind.) Meanwhile, with entangled pairs of particles, when any one member of the entangled pair has an encounter with some outside particle, both members of the entangled pair respond to the encounter by settling their properties at once.

  4. Claia Bryja commented on Doonesbury 9 months ago

    Did anyone here know that Rubio chairs the Commerce Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard?

    (I am concerned that he doesn’t seem to want to apply himself to this job; but, perhaps that’s a deliberate choice, and some part of why he’s been missing so much of his duty time in the Senate.)

  5. Claia Bryja commented on Darrin Bell 10 months ago

    I “got it” immediately— perhaps because I agree with the specific criticism of what Hillary seemed to be saying to Bernie, and because that exchange in the debate had left an impression on me.

    My political views range a bit over the spectrum, but they average to the left of center, and my feelings about Hillary mostly are positive. I question whether the tint of one’s political glasses really matters all that much to understanding the cartoon without help. I’m a bit surprised that so many right wingers got it without help, however, since the reason I believe I got it is that I found Clinton disappointingly uninspiring in that debate moment, while I don’t imagine many right wingers shared the same reaction.

  6. Claia Bryja commented on Darrin Bell over 1 year ago

    If a full and proper externally-based investigation is done, and if this investigation ends up proving that you are wrong, would that motivate you to self-reflect on what made you feel so certain it could not have been murder?

    I mean, I can see how someone who is in denial about just how horrifyingly low some police offers can go would say she “probably” hung herself. Someone in less denial could say she “might” have hung herself. (Sometimes, people who seem the least likely to commit suicide actually do go there.) But to declare— with absolute certainty— that she hung herself in a case with so many red flags suggesting something far more sinister…

    It makes me think your denial isn’t just naive; it’s willful.

  7. Claia Bryja commented on Candorville over 3 years ago

    I’m late to the discussion, but I hope I can clear up a common confusion.

    According to Einstein’s relativity theories, the ultimate speed limit for travelling through space is the speed of light. No particle can travel faster than 299792.458 km/sec.

    The expansion of space, however, is an entirely different thing, and it can’t even be measured in the same units. A speed is a ratio of distance divided by time, whereas space expansion is a ratio of speed divided by time. The current expansion rate of space in the universe is roughly 70 kilometres per second per million parsecs (a parsec is a distance greater than 30,000,000,000,000 km). This means that any two objects in the universe that are one million parsecs apart are being separated by the expansion of space by a relative speed of 70 km/sec, whereas any two objects that are two million pc apart are being separated at 140 km/sec, three million parsecs apart are being separated at 210 km/sec, etc. Another way of thinking about it is to say that every million parsec length of space everywhere is getting 70 km longer every second. The ratio of 70 km/sec per million parsecs is the same ratio all throughout the universe. It is that ratio— not any specific speed— that is increasing at an accelerating pace, and Einstein’s relativity theories set no restriction on how large that ratio may grow.

  8. Claia Bryja commented on Candorville over 3 years ago

    How about starting with episodes #4 and #5 (i.e. the first two in the order that they were made and released), then after episode #5’s “I am your father” shock ending, do episodes #1, #2, and #3 as a flashback sequence before returning to finish with episode #6?

  9. Claia Bryja commented on Candorville over 3 years ago

    Well… There was one episode where an important plot element was that Spock’s body, being “borrowed” for use by an advanced energy being, supposedly was killed by a super overdose of some drug. Everyone had to be fully convinced that Spock had received a fatal dose so that the energy being also would believe it and would flee the body.

    Many of the other deaths of major characters also turned out to be staged. Others were mistaken impressions, with passing out being mistaken for death, or with death assumed without direct witness, etc. Right now, I can think of only two (Scotty and McCoy) that were genuine deaths “fixed” shortly afterword by amazing bring-people-back-from-the-dead medical interventions via alien machines.

    I guess I must have been a serious old serious junkie while growing up that I would remember all of this. #sigh#

  10. Claia Bryja commented on Doonesbury almost 4 years ago

    May I be the first to say that I find this story arc depressing?