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Category Archives: Uncategorized

Roger Penrose

I am not the first person to say that we are very lucky to be living during the lifetime of Roger Penrose. He is, I believe, the Einstein of our time. Though Penrose is very much a celebrity with certain types of nerds, the popular media have paid little attention to him, even after he […]

Cigar boxes for storage

At least around here, tobacco and “vape” stores seem to be everywhere these days. Normally I would have no reason for going inside of one. But I’ve been picking up my Amazon packages at an Amazon “hub counter” so that trucks don’t have to drive down my unpaved road. The nearest hub counter is a […]

How we model the world, and how well we adapt to it

Hidden Order: How Adaptation Builds Complexity. John H. Holland. Addison-Wesley, 1995. 176 pages. This is not a book review. Rather, this is about why I think the ideas in this book are important, and how those ideas apply to what we think and what we do. This is one of the most important books I’ve […]

Workouts for the brain

In a few days, I’ll turn 74. And though I don’t feel my memory or logic circuits slipping, I don’t want them to slip. I read an article recently that mentioned something that I should have known but didn’t know. Reading fiction is very good exercise for the memory, because one has to remember at […]

Cigar boxes

Tobacco and “vaping” stores seem to be all over the place these days, but I had never been inside one until today. My mission was to see if the shop would be useful as a drop point for Amazon packages. It’s the nearest Amazon drop point, and I’d like to keep those big Amazon trucks […]

Upgrading our masks

As the pandemic wears on, we need to consider switching to better masks. The simple pleated masks, or homemade fabric masks, no longer cut it. N95 masks are certainly an upgrade. But from an article last week in the Economist, I learned about an even better mask, the FFP2 mask. The FFP2 masks are available […]

Stars

Source: Hubble telescope, NASA, Jesœs Maz Apellÿniz, and Davide De Martin via Wikimedia Commons An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics. Bradley W. Carroll and Dale A. Ostlie. Cambridge University Press, 2017. 1,342 pages. Quick now: How old is the universe? Answer: About 13.8 billion years. If you were to walk out under the night sky this […]

Oh no. I hear the hum.

I first noticed the hum many weeks ago. When I first became conscious of it, I gave it little thought. Though this area is very quiet, engine noises can carry a long way. When I heard it in the middle of the night, it became more puzzling, because I couldn’t think of any reason why […]

The coveted card

I’m including an image of the card, because I think everyone would like to know what these cards look like. I’ve obscured identifying information and information that could be useful to counterfeiters. What the blank card looks like is no secret. I have hesitated to post very much here about having gotten my Covid-19 shots, […]

Gothic weather for a gothic election

Source: Screen shot from Windy.com, 8 a.m. EDT, Oct. 29, 2020. The remnants of Hurricane Zeta, moving northeast, will pass over Acorn Abbey in a few hours. Here in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, we’d be hard pressed to say which time of year is the best. The two choices are pretty clear, […]