Archive for
March 2023

Comments for Sunday, March 19, 2023, thru Sat., Mar. 25, 2023:

March 22, 2023 - So, Trump was wrong again.  He wasn't arrested yesterday, as he claimed he would be.  However, it's certainly possible that he could be arrested today - or tomorrow - or sometime soon.  So, maybe everyone just needs to cross their fingers and think positive.

Meanwhile, Fox and TMZ produced a story yesterday in which it was speculated that there was a fifth plane that was going to be hijacked on September 11, 2001, but United Airlines flight 23 never took off.  The New York Post has an article about it.  The evidence is fairly compelling, but the main question seems to be: So what?  What is the point of such a "news" story?  The "point" seems to be the same point that was exposed when Dominion recently filed its lawsuit against Fox News: Fox doesn't report "news stories," Fox just generates stories that its right-wing viewers like, stories that get their viewers angry against the establishment.  They want their viewers to scream, "See, the establishment screwed up again and didn't catch all the Muslim terrorists they should have caught and thrown in jail on 9/11!!!!

It's the logical thinking versus emotional thinking issue once again.  Those who think logically accept the fact that there may have been some terrorists on flight 23, but there wasn't enough evidence that they actually committed any crime.  Those who think emotionally will argue, "Who cares about evidence when terrorists are getting away!  They should have been locked up until the evidence could be found!"  There's something wrong with any 'system' that lets terrorists get way!"

Who decides when people should be locked up without evidence?  Answer: Someone should!!!  Who?  Someone!!!
  Who?  Someone!!!  Who?  Someone!!!  Who?  Someone!!!  Who?  Someone!!!  And that argument can go on for 23 years or 230 years and more.

Of course, there are some who have an answer, but they do not voice that answer except among themselves.  That answer: "Dictators can do it!  We should elect a dictator like Hitler or Mussolini or Putin or Xi, so that suspected terrorists can be locked up without evidenceThen we wouldn't have to worry about such things.  Trump would make a great dictator!  That's why so many people voted for him!  But the establishment undermined him and didn't let him do what he should be able to do: get rid of the establishment and just dictate!"

March 20, 2023
- This morning, I decided to set aside the book I'd been reading for the past few weeks, titled "People vs Donald Trump: an Inside Account", and to move on to something else.  I was on chapter 17, and the book only has 23 chapters, but I simply lost interest. The book is about the case that the Manhattan District Attorney is expected to bring against Trump sometime this week.  The book was written about a year ago, when it was uncertain whether they were going to actually file such a case or not.  It contains just too many legal issues and technicalities to keep me interested.  Here's the last part that I underlined in the book:
The right way to proceed, we thought, was to bring felony charges based on the full panoply of false business records that Trump had helped to generate: the phony documents relating to the hush money payment and Michael Cohen’s reimbursement, the false financial statements, the false certifications attesting to the accuracy of the financial statements, the false accounting spreadsheets that were created to support the financial statements, and so forth. We could allege that the records had been created with the intent to commit or conceal a variety of state and federal offenses. Even if the federal offenses were ruled out of bounds as a legal matter, we would be left with felony charges as to the financial statement records and misdemeanor charges as to the hush money records. Those charges would be immune from legal attack, and we were confident that we would reach a jury with them.
The author (one of the Assistant District Attorneys on the case) was confident, but his boss was not.  Today it appears that the situation has changed and the Manhattan District Attorney is now also confident that Trump can be convicted of a serious crime.  That means they do not think that Trump's lawyers can successfully argue that his crime was just a misdemeanor, or that it was unintentional, or that there was no crime at all. 

Here's what the book has to say about a previous crime that Trump had committed:
Trump University closed in 2011, after its operations generated many complaints and much litigation from unhappy students. The business became an issue in the 2016 presidential campaign. Then–New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman brought a consumer fraud lawsuit against Trump and the Trump Organization, alleging that the training program had been an elaborate “bait-and-switch” scheme, involving teachers that Trump said he had selected and materials he claimed to have approved. He had done neither. Cohen confirmed that the whole thing had been a scam. The materials had no special value, and most of the students just lost their money.
The legal case was settled when Trump agreed to pay $25 million to reimburse the students who had been suckered into his scheme.

When you swindle people, you can often avoid going to court by getting them to settle and by paying them back.  When you commit a State or Federal crime, however, the usual way to "settle" the case is to put the culprit on trial so that a judge or jury can decide what the punishment should be.

It should be interesting.

March 19, 2023
- According to a CNN article from yesterday:
Former President Donald Trump said Saturday he expects to be arrested in connection with the investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney next week and called for protests as New York law enforcement prepares for a possible indictment.

In a social media post, Trump, referring to himself, said the “leading Republican candidate and former president of the United States will be arrested on Tuesday of next week.”

“Protest, take our nation back,” he wrote.
Here's another relevant quote from the article:
Some of Trump’s advisers had urged him privately not to call for protests, concerned about the optics of a mass protest in the streets of Manhattan growing out of control or resembling the 2021 insurrection.
Will there be a mass protest in Manhattan?  Or have most of Trump's former supporters finally learned what kind of person he is?  The lack of any large turnouts for his recent speeches indicates that Trump may have lost most of his supporters. 

Somewhat coincidentally, I'm currently reading a book written by one of the lawyers who worked on that same Trump criminal case and resigned in protest a year ago when Manhattan’s district attorney refused to act.  That newly elected district attorney, Alvin Bragg, was reportedly skeptical that the evidence his office’s attorneys had gathered against Trump would be enough to convict him.  Evidently, Bragg now feels the has enough evidence.  And Trump is also giving the impression that District Attorney Bragg has enough evidence.

Jordan Klepper has often interviewed Trump supporters for The Daily Show.  It seems clear in virtually every interview Klepper has conducted that Trump supporters are
acting emotionally, not logically.  Very often their statements make absolute no sense.  There are dozens and dozens of interviews at these links:
The video below contains a bunch of recent of Jordan Klepper interviews at a "rally" shortly after Trump announced that he was going to run for President again in 2024:

It's a rally where very few people showed up, so the video contains a lot of opinions about whether it should be called a "rally" or not.  There's also a strange belief that "the military" is still under Trump's control.  But only "the good military," not "the bad military."  At about the 4-minute 20-second mark one Trump supporter claims there is no war in Ukraine.  She says she gets her news from Newsmax, and Newsmax had never mentioned any war in Ukraine.  So, the year-long war in Ukraine is evidently all just "fake news".

Looking at the comments section following the YouTube video I found an interesting point:
Do these people realize that if Trump is still the president that he can't run in 2024?
Hmm.  That is a very interesting point. If Trump is still President, as he and his fans believe, he cannot run for a third term.  It's against the law.   It violates the 22nd AmendmentThat is totally logical and correct. Unfortunately, that probably means no Trump supporter would understand it.

Comments for Sunday, March 12, 2023, thru Sat., Mar. 18, 2023:

March 14, 2023 - Hmmm.  While looking through newly available podcast episodes this morning, I found another podcast episode about the 3D printed rocket. It's dated today, and it's on the Wired Science podcast.  It's less than 6 minutes long, but it contains a lot of information I wanted to make note of and paste here.  Then I noticed that the podcast is advertised as  "the spoken edition."  Is there a "printed edition"?  I did a search for it, and, yes, there is a print format edition HERE.  And here is the key paragraph I wanted to download:
Despite its unconventional assembly process, the Terran 1 launch vehicle looks like any other: The two-stage rocket stands 110 feet tall and is 7.5 feet in diameter. Eighty five percent of the rocket by mass, including its major structures, were 3D-printedonly the computing system, electronics, and readily available parts like fasteners were not. (The company is shooting for 95 percent for future rockets.) Other companies have used 3D-printed parts before, but this is on another level: Relativity Space refers to Terran 1 as the world’s largest 3D-printed object.
So, the outer skin of the rocket and the large internal parts, like fuel tanks and rocket motors, were all 3D printed.

Here's another interesting paragraph:
Other companies are also exploring space-related 3D-printing applications. For example, Australia’s Fleet Space has already been producing lightweight, 3D-printed radio frequency antennas for satellites. Next year, using printers half the size of a bus, they plan to create a satellite constellation called Alpha that will be entirely 3D-printed. An advantage for 3D-printing satellites and their components is that new versions can be upgraded and built in 24 hours, without taking months to gather parts from the supply chain, says Flavia Tata Nardini, the company’s CEO.
3D printing is like something from the future, but that "future" is already here.     

March 13, 2023
- Yesterday afternoon, I decided I had nothing better to do than to listen to some podcasts.  So, I listened to episode #361 of the 
Are We There Yet? podcast
.  I was intrigued by the episode's title "A 3D printed rocket could soon take flight. Where does it fit in to a growing launch market?"  The episode is dated March 7, 2023.
A 3D printed rocket???  The last time I heard anything about 3D printing they were just printing screws and bolts and tiny statues and small nick-knacks.  The episode said they planned to launch the "3D printed rocket" on March 8!  What happened?  This morning I researched it.

I found a CNBC article from March 11 titled "Relativity at the last moment calls off launch attempt of Terran 1 rocket after briefly igniting engines." It begins with this:
3D-printing specialist Relativity Space postponed its debut launch on Saturday, stopping one of its attempts in the final second of the countdown after igniting the rocket’s engines.

Relativity’s system triggered a launch abort with just 0.5 seconds remaining before liftoff, which shut down the rocket’s engines after briefly firing up.

The company’s Terran 1 rocket is attempting from LC-16, a launchpad at the U.S. Space Force’s facility in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The mission is called “Good Luck, Have Fun,” and aims to successfully reach orbit and demonstrate the viability of the company’s ambitious manufacturing approach.
Searching further, I found an article from February 4th titled "Inside the ‘Wormhole,’ Relativity Space’s monster factory 3D-printing reusable rockets."  Here's a picture of one of their 3D printers:

3D printer for rocket parts

The 3D printer is the robot device on the left, and it is making the circular rocket part on the right.  The picture below is of the finished rocket.  It's 110 feet tall, and about 85% of its parts are 3D printed.

3D printed rocket

According to the podcast, there are about 100 rockets currently being prepared for launch around the world.  Most will never fly.  The satellites they will launch fall into 3 groups: military satellites, science satellites, and the biggest group: commercial satellites.  Satellites have a life-span of from 5 to 20 years.  So a lot of rockets will be needed to send up replacements.

There was a lot of information in that podcast that was totally new to me.

March 12, 2023
- Hmm.  It appears that I have already tried twice to write a book about "Logical Relativity."  The version I mentioned here in my March 9 comment was evidently the second version.  The first version began with me describing all the arguments about Relativity that I'd been having on the Internet, mostly with Bill Gaede and his followers.  I had argued with Gaede and his followers on the Rational Scientific Method Facebook group and elsewhere for years.  A Google search finds I commented on some arguments from May of 2015, June of 2015, and just about every month from then until January of 2016.

I got about 14 chapters done of that version before I gave up.  I think I must have realized that no one would want to buy a book about people on the Internet arguing different theories of Relativity.

Then, while doing research sometime later, I saw that just about every college physics textbook had a different description of Einstein's Relativity.  And it was clear that the problem was the incompatibility between Quantum Mechanics and Einstein's Relativity.  So, I started a second version of my book.  I gave up on that one when it became clear that I had to describe Einstein's Relativity more thoroughly before getting into Quantum Mechanics.  Plus, there seemed to be endless variations of Quantum Mechanics, each with a different argument against Einstein's theories.  Time Dilation was, and evidently still is, the main point of conflict.

So, if I try a third version of my book, it would have to thoroughly describe Einstein's Relativity, and how experiments fully verify Time Dilation, before I even mention all the arguments from Quantum Mechanics mathematicians and how just about every college textbook has some screwball version of Einstein's theories.

But first I'll have to regain some of the will power that is required for such a project.

Meanwhile, the fact that some people think logically while others think emotionally seems to be in the news every day lately, and they are constantly discussing it on late night talk shows.  Only they talk about it as being the difference between how Republicans think and how Democrats think.  Republicans love Fox News because Fox News doesn't care about facts, they only want to prey upon the emotions of their Republican listeners.  By preying on their viewers' emotions, Fox News can be certain that their customers will continue listening.  It's like getting them hooked on some soap opera.  What evil deeds did the evil Democrats commit against the poor honest Republicans today? 

The lawsuit Dominion filed against Fox News is exposing everything.  All the Fox News hosts apparently knew that they were spouting lies just about every time they opened their mouths.  They exchanged emails stating to each other how they didn't believe anything they were saying on the air.  It was just nonsense to please their conspiracy theorist listeners.  The podcast "Pod Save America" recently had a podcast about Tucker Carlson's views and another about how the owner of Fox News, Rupert Murdoch "knew that Fox News hosts were lying about the 2020 election," but he evidently didn't care.

It was a long time coming, but it's nice to see Fox New liars finally being exposed.  However, I doubt that it will change anything about how Fox news operates.

Comments for Sunday, March 5, 2023, thru Sat., Mar. 11, 2023:

March 9, 2023 - This morning, after finishing my regular morning routines, I sat down on my easy chair in my front room and started to listen to some podcasts.  That's also been part of my regular morning routine for quite a while.  But, this morning I only listened to about 3 minutes of a Profoundly Pointless podcast episode that was a 1½ hour interview with Hollywood Animal Agent Joel Norton.

I'm not sure why it took me 3 minutes to realize that listening to an interview with a Hollywood agent who represents animals was indeed "profoundly pointless."  I think I started listening because I knew nothing about animal agents and I'm always curious about things I know nothing about.  But then my brain told me I should find something better to do, something more productive.  "Productive?"  What should I be producing -- other than a new entry on this web site?

I should be producing a book.  I've already "produced" 17 chapters of my book on "Logical Relativity."  Why did I stop?  I haven't worked on it since July of 2022. 

Browsing through the chapters, I can see why I stopped.  Here's the first paragraph of the book:
Much has been written about the “battle between Relativity and Quantum Mechanics,” a battle that has raged for over 100 years.  Albert Einstein’s Relativity Theories are perfectly logical, straight-forward and fairly easy to understand, since they mostly apply to the universe we can see around us.  Quantum Mechanics, on the other hand, works best with atoms and sub-atomic particles, which we cannot usually see but can only measure and approximate with percentages and averages.  
And here's the first paragraph of Chapter 17:
There are at least 4 major points of conflict between Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, but there definitely could be many more, depending upon how you define “conflict”.  The three areas that I constantly come across are (1) The size of the Universe, (2) Time Dilation, (3) the particle-wave duality, and (4) the “invariance of the speed of light.”
I'm not interested in arguing with Quantum Mechanics mathematicians.  I did it for years, and it was totally pointless!  There's no way to change their minds.  Instead, I think I should be trying to simplify and clarify Einstein's theories for anyone interested in science.  That is what I was trying to do in most of my science papers.  Simplifying and clarifying Einstein's theories is my way of better understanding those theories myself.  If everything I write is clear and logical to me and supported by quotes from Einstein's works, who gives a damn what Quantum Mechanics mathematicians claim or believe???

So, does this mean I need to start from scratch when writing my book?  Yes and no.  Nearly all the arguments about Quantum Mechanics may have to be scrapped, and then most of the book will relate to what I wrote in my science papers.  There's already a lot of that in the book.  Chapter 8 is titled "What is Time?"   A lot of it is similar to what I wrote in my 2016 paper titled "What is Time?"  But I now think that chapter should probably be earlier in the book.  Here's the table of contents for the book as it exists today:

Introduction                                Page   1
Chapter  1  -  What Einstein Knew           Page   3
Chapter  2  -  Stationary Points in Space   Page   6
Chapter  3  -  What is Light?               Page  11 Chapter  4  -  c+v and c-v                  Page  20
Chapter  5  -  Radar Guns and Relativity    Page  29
Chapter  6  -  Time Dilation                Page  44 Chapter  7  -  The Twin Paradox             Page  58
Chapter  8  -  What is Time?                Page  65
Chapter  9  -  The Variable Speed of Light  Page  69
Chapter 10  -  Inertial Systems             Page  71 Chapter 11  -  General Relativity           Page  76
Chapter 12  -  The Edge of Reality          Page  81
Chapter 13  -  The Big Bang                 Page  84
Chapter 14  -  Mathematics vs Reality       Page  94
Chapter 15  -  The Textbook Problem         Page 101
Chapter 16  -  Our Conflicted World         Page 119
Chapter 17  -  Physics' Most Sacred Belief  Page 125
Chapter 18  -  Conclusion                   Page
About the Author                            Page

Chapter 8 should definitely be placed before Chapter 4.  But rewriting the book could take many months.  And sometime this year I will be moving from Wisconsin to Virginia.  That is going to take a lot of planning and preparing.

Sigh.  As usual, I have a lot more to do than I have time to do it.

March 7, 2023
- Yesterday, I finished listening to episode #30 of the
science fiction podcast titled "Relativity."  While there are a total of 60 episodes in the series, I have no interest in listening to any more.  What started out as an interesting show with lots of snappy dialog between a man alone on a spaceship and a woman back on earth, plus funny quips when the man talks with the ship's computer, turned dull for me when the story started involving other people.  The woman on Earth started arguing with another woman over cryogenics and whether it was "right" to freeze a terminally ill young woman for 50 years to a time when a cure would be found for her disease.  The young woman's life might be saved, but she would be living in a world where she knew no one.  The sci-fi story turned into a soap opera.

I now realize I shouldn't even have mentioned the podcast.  I only did so because I couldn't think of anything else to write about.  I'm overwhelmed with things to do:  I'm reading another book about Donald Trump, I'm listening to an audio book about spies in World War II, I've  got lots of interesting science and history podcasts to listen to, plus I have all the other things that "normal" people do.

I just need to stop fretting over what to write comments about. 

March 6, 2023
- Yesterday, I spent about 4 hours listening to 19 episodes of the
science fiction podcast titled "Relativity."  It's a very strange but also very interesting show that consists almost entirely of discussions between two people, a man who is on a gigantic spaceship far out in space, and a woman who is back on earth.  The fact that they can have a simple conversation even though they are many light-years apart is explained the same way they explained such discussions on Star Trek: they use a "relativity compensator" - or something similar.  Basically it's just an imaginary device that allows people to have such discussions, because if they couldn't have such discussions there couldn't be a show.

The man is the only person left on the space ship.  He's a doctor, not an astronaut, so he knows nothing about how to operate the space ship.  All twenty of the ship's crew and other people who had been on the ship inexplicably committed suicide by jumping out into empty space via one of the airlocks.  And they left the airlock's inner and outer doors open.

The woman back on earth also has problems.  There's some kind of revolution going on outside of the U.S. space center where she and some other scientists are locked inside.  The man doesn't know why the space ship crew committed suicide, and the woman doesn't know what the revolution is all about.  Their discussion is about their attempts to figure things out.  The man's main goal in the current episode is to close the airlock's outer door, because the inner door is also open, which means there are many rooms in the spaceship that have been depressurized and therefore cannot be accessed.

It's difficult to see how they can continue their discussions for 60 episodes, but they often talk about the science involved in their struggles, and that science is both interesting and logical.  So, I'll keep listening as long as they continue to make sense.

March 5, 2023
- It's another Sunday where I have absolutely nothing prepared for this Sunday comment.  I want to write something about the political situation here in America, but I keep thinking about it as a conflict between people who think emotionally and people who think logically, and I don't want to get into spouting amateur psychology.  I also keep thinking that Ed Asner's book
"The Grouchy Historian: An Old-Time Lefty Defends Our Constitution Against Right-Wing Hypocrites and Nutjobs" is still the best book I've seen on the subject.  I wrote a review of it 3 years ago.  I listened to the audio book version, and transcribed quotes from it.  I'm tempted to read the Kindle version, just to find more things to quote.  But, I also realize that there are probably other books out there that I should read before I start reading a book that I've already listened to.

I also want to write something about podcasts.  I'm constantly finding and evaluating new podcasts.  Yesterday, while I was listening to and evaluating some Wired Science podcasts to see if they were worthwhile, on one of the episodes there was an ad about the I Know Dino podcastHuh?  There's a podcast about dinosaurs???  Yes, there is, and they have been podcasting for eight years!  They've done 433 episodes!  And each episode is about an hour long! 

While I have no particular interest in dinosaurs, I enjoyed the movie Jurassic Park and all of its sequels, and if there's something about dinosaurs on TV, I'll usually check it out to see if it contains anything new and interesting.  So, of course, I downloaded 5 "I Know Dino" episodes.  The plan was that I'd try listening to them later today to see if I might want to listen to more of them. 

Then, as I was about finished writing this comment, I wondered what I'd find if I simply did a search for podcasts about Relativity.  So, I did such a search.  And among the things I found was a science fiction podcast titled "Relativity" that produced 60 episodes starting in January 2017 and ending in September 2020.  Science fiction??  I love science fiction!  Each episode is about 10 minutes long.  I listened to most of the first episode and found it very interesting.  So, I downloaded the first 15 episodes into my MP3 player, and I'll start listening to them as soon as I finish this comment.

This comment is finished.

Comments for Wednesday, March 1, 2023, thru Sat., Mar. 4, 2023:

March 3, 2023 - I decided to give up on regaining access to my detect at outlook dot com emails.  I only used that email address when arguing on social media, and on my science papers.  I haven't argued on social media in more than a year, and it's a relatively simply process to simply change the email address on the latest version of each of my science papers

I've finished my state and federal income tax submissions.  So, that issue is no longer hanging over my head, either.

What I seem to need now is the ambition to get back to work on my book about Logical Relativity.

What I'm doing instead is listening to podcasts.   Yesterday, I learned about a podcast called Wired Science.  I downloaded a half dozen sample episodes, but I haven't yet had time to listen to them.  During the process of downloading the episodes, however, I have to listen to some of the beginning and the end of each episode.  And the episodes are mostly less than 10 minutes long, so I've listened to enough to be fairly sure that it will be worth my time to listen to some entire episodes.

Here's the blurb for a 7½ minute episode titled "On-Demand Rocket Launches Are Coming":
In a factory on the outskirts of Glasgow, aerospace manufacturer Skyrora is building rockets for a space-bound taxi service for satellites.
Hmm.  That's news to me.  And here's the blurb for a 10 minute episode titled "Rovers Are So Yesterday. It’s Time to Send a Snakebot to Space":
The student winners of a NASA competition designed a serpentine bot that could sidewind across lunar regolith or roll down hills.
That is also news to me and definitely worth checking out.  That's what I'm going to do right now as I end this comment.

March 1, 2023
- The comment I wrote on February 26 about the
Profoundly Pointless podcast interview with "CERN Particle Physicist Dr. James Beacham" caused me to once again want to try to regain access to my detect at outlook dot com emails.  It's the email address that I use on all of my science papers.  I lost access to that email account  months ago when I had problems with my old computer.  Additionally, since I had that email account for many years, and the password was always inserted automatically, I was no longer certain about what password to use.  For some reason, the place where I have my passwords written down has several different passwords for outlook dot com.  And none seem to work.

I tried many times to contact Microsoft about the problem, but I can't get past their robots.  Someone sent me a link to a web page that listed 10 different ways to contact Microsoft:  I tried 9 of the 10 ways and got nowhere.  The 10th way involved using a credit card to make a purchase that didn't actually get processed (supposedly).  I didn't like the idea of using my credit card that way, and I never used that option.

But I kept thinking about it.  Then, about a week ago, I decided I'd give that option a try.  But when I accessed the website with those 10 different ways to contact Microsoft, it was a totally new web page.   It now has 11 different ways to contact Microsoft, and none of them is the option I was going to try.   Instead, they have new options such as trying to contact Microsoft via Twitter, or via their FAQ page, or via their Store Support page, or their XBox support page, etc.  I don't use Twitter, their FAQ page doesn't have the question I want to ask, and my problem doesn't have anything to do with the other new options.  So, the only options available to me are the two that were also on the previous version of that web page: to call Microsoft or to use their chat option.  Both involve getting past their robots.  They are the same options I was trying for months.

I need to find some new way to try those options. 

Meanwhile, yesterday I finished filing my Federal Income Tax forms, and they were accepted, so now I have to file my State Income Tax forms.  I probably should do that next, so that I'll be able to focus on the Microsoft problem when I get back to trying to solve it.

© 2023 by Ed Lake