Schedule Will Be A Little Weird

The posting here will be a little weird for a few days. Yeah, I know it’s been weird for a week and a bit, because sleep disruption is weird, but it’s going to get weirder than that.

For the next three days I’m going to be teaching a 4 hour course on writing alternate history (today) and one two-day course on writing short stories.

The problem is I’m still finalizing slides and hand outs, mostly because of that disruption thing. Also my body seems to have decided this is a wonderful time to come down with a cold. (Could be allergies. I haven’t gone anywhere in forever.)

So things here are going to be weird. I’ll try to do posts, but they might not be at any hours known to humans. (And not just because, as in the last week, I spent the entire day doing them and only posted at six or seven pm.)

RES had linked my post at PJM in the comments, the one that’s subscription. If he does that again, I’ll link it. I searched PJM and it seems to have vanished, which is ….. weird. It’s about how the corrupt market in the dem side, for political ideas reveals the fraud is long ongoing and more massive than we can guess.

And now I’m going to finish handouts and slides, since I’m teaching in four and a half hours.

221 thoughts on “Schedule Will Be A Little Weird

  1. Go on, Sarah; at this point we’d have to make major adjustments to cope with things NOT being weird!

  2. Well, as long as it’s only a *little* weird. If things got really weird we’d have sapient cows and dragons showing up in the comments . . .

      1. It is a bit awkward that there is not a term like “human” that encompasses both woman (and girl…) and man (and boy…) for my species. Using the plural as singular (so help me, I have been called “a cattle”) is likewise weird.

        And.. I believe the correct is response is either “Awwww… ” or “Thank you” and not pondering if the lockdowns have prevented optometric exams.

          1. Hmm… According to the etymology that means “beef.” Kind of implies that we keep Orvan around as an emergency food supply, and I’m not sure I want to go all Milliways here.

            How about “bovinoid?” More sci-fi than mythology, I admit, but I think it works well enough.

      1. Oh That could NEVER happen that is impossible to believe. No one would ever read such a book because it could NEVER happen No publisher would ever print it (sarc)

              1. Aye. With the right ginger beer (not the one they say, but I think Sioux City) the result is “Where did the CHOCOLATE note come from?!?).

                And very OT (Off Topic, not Orvan Taurus… then again..) does Peter have Book 3 (or after?) of the Ames Archives series in print form? I’d get it/them for Ma, but she’s strictly paper when it comes to books.

                1. in regards to the Kraken being on strike management is bringing in Nessie as a strike breaker

                1. My wife likes Kraken black also. Not that she drinks much other than an occasional glass of wine, but if she is going to have a drink when we go out somewhere it is going to be Kraken.

                    1. Them as drink rum in my household dearly enjoy Appleton rum although there is some difference of opinion as to whether the 12-year is just too damned good. All agree it is a fine, fine, sipping rum.

                      Appleton sits on Jamaica’s oldest sugar estate and is the country’s oldest continuously run distillery.

      2. When you release the kraken, it’s prone to try to get through the minion pool

        You know, the place where the sea serpent hangs out?

        then she gets cranky and then Fluffy gets annoyed. . . .

              1. I think the green penguins mucked about with that.

                The aardvark’s not saying, and of course he’s the only one who remembers. Besides, he points out that they fake it to avoid the clause.

              1. Oh crap, we DID forget to put her back on the chain, didn’t we?

                RED ALERT! We have a containment breach!

                1. The aardvark reports she’s still admiring the cherry blossoms over in the cherry orchard. The one with the temporal anomaly that rotates the twelve months through the parts of the orchard.

  3. I have found that I get sick when the stress comes off (Programmer, used to death marches). Even with the uncertainty, there is probably less stress than during the counting.

    1. Immunes system in hyperdrive until the job is finally done?

      Yeah, I can see that.

      Much like how some live to 100 (or some ‘marker’)… and then it’s like “Made it…”… and drop dead not much later.

        1. You *couldn’t* “be sick”until finished, so you weren’t. Even if the thing would’ve been one day, but delayed it was 5+.. because…. ‘CRITICAL MISSION – ENGAGE EMERGENCY BACKUP SYSTEMS’.

            1. Yep. Worst is mild symptom, “I know I’ll be sick when I’m done” kind of sick. Can’t bother with it, too much to do, then *bam.* Weekend, holiday, whatever, insta-sick.

              It sucks.

    2. Programmer, used to death marches

      Probably why I was (overall) less likely to get sick the last 12 years I worked. We did not have programming deadlines. Rare. I know. Worse pressure I had was solved with “It’ll be done probably less than a day after I figure out how it needs to be done (or fixed). Now. Ask me how long it will take to figure it out?” 🙂 Yes, I got away with that. Plus our son was out of the germ factories (also known as daycare/grade/middle school; HS and college weren’t as bad, especially since he didn’t live at home for college). Then too interaction in the office with, well, anyone (team environment it was NOT) was limited to non existent.

      Now the prior job to that … OMG. If I heard once too many times that “you promised it would be done …” when the correction was “No. YOU (as in the accuser, also known as marketing) said it must be done … I said it couldn’t be done then. I promised it xxx, and we aren’t there, yet.” Plus I swear the, open air office, was worse that the germ factories listed above. I actually took illness home to the kid! I didn’t handle the stress well. I was constantly getting sick. Not a fun environment.

        1. Seems that ought be a calypso song …

          Click, click, click, senora, click your box online – Whoa
          Click, click, click, senora, click it all the time
          Click, click, click, senora, click your box online
          Click, click, click, senora, click it all the time

          My blog’s box, she sends you the comments
          I tell you friends, I adore her
          Sends all the comments to your email
          She’s a download of all of the comments

          (Click in de box, get your comments emailed) – OK, I believe you
          (Click in de box, get your comments emailed) – OK, I believe you
          (Click in de box, get your comments emailed) – OK, I believe you
          (Click in de box, get your comments emailed) – Whoa

          Click, click, click, senora, click your box online – Whoa
          Click, click, click, senora, click it all the time
          Click, click, click, senora, click your box online
          Click, click, click, senora, click it all the time

  4. Imagine that somebody named Sarah wrote a book. That’s not so hard. 😀

    Now, imagine Sarah’s book included a Presidential election featuring Candidate B, Candidate T, and some minor-party folks who were expected to split maybe 2% of the vote. There were eight states where the election was expected to be close, highly contested, and therefore likely to determine the overall outcome. In particular, the large cities in those states were expected to be critical to winning the election. All of those cities were strongholds of Candidate B’s political party, which controlled the polls.

    In Sarah’s book, all through Election Day, Candidate B’s party interfered with the right of Candidate T’s supporters in those cities to monitor the polls, and the vote counting, in violation of state laws, federal laws, and court orders. After the polls closed on Election Day, Candidate T’s people were completely excluded from observing the vote counting, in some cases by force. No one other than Candidate B’s partisans were permitted to watch the votes being counted.

    Then, in six of the eight states, where Candidate T was leading by wide margins, and ONLY in those six states, all at the same time, vote counting was suddenly halted by Candidate B’s party in the middle of the night. When counting was resumed three hours later, Candidate B had somehow gained hundreds of thousands of votes in all six states while the vote counting computers were shut down — and Candidate T didn’t get a single vote.

    Candidate B’s party loudly proclaims that there was nothing suspicious. All of the people who testify to seeing, and even participating in widespread election fraud, why, they’re all liars. Anybody whose online posts even mention election fraud gets censored, defamed, their accounts blocked, their names published for attention from ‘peaceful protestors’. They deserve it, because they are paranoid and delusional and they say mean things.

    And close to half of the country believes that bullshit.

    Would you praise that book, or throw it against the wall?
    Fiction must be plausible. Reality just has to happen.

    1. Oh That could NEVER happen that is impossible to believe. No one would ever read such a book because it could NEVER happen No publisher would ever print it (sarc)

    2. > watch the votes being counted.

      Forty years ago, Michael Crichton made a movie called “Looker.” It pretty much sank without a trace, but I liked it a lot. Had Albert Finney, James Coburn, and Susan Dey. It was a murder mystery, basically, with the bad guys being a tech corp that had developed real-time video processing, which they were using to subtly alter “live” debate between political candidates, and thereby election results.

      It was, perhaps, the first “computer” movie that showed computers doing something besides deus ex machina devices or talking boxes… and it’s something that could be done with off-the-shelf software now. How many pols actually watch their own debates? And how many compare the broadcast tapes to their own tapes, or have someone else do it?

      The technology exists *now*, for anyone who will spend the time to bolt all the prefabricated bits together.

      1. More recently, in the 2006 Robin Williams movie “Man of the Year,” a glitchy electronic voting system led to a transfer of votes to a comedian running as an independent candidate, allowing him to unexpectedly “win.”

      2. Looker perhaps sank at the box office, but a bunch of us who were overly fascinated with it petitioned the publisher and finally got it out on DVD. The DVD reportedly sold something like 18,000 copies in the first week. And yes, I bought one. 😀

        As you say, it’s no longer SF. We have all that tech and more.

      3. I would hope that if someone tried what you describe in “Looker” that one of the candidates would catch a snippet of video gone viral, and say “Wait a minute… I didn’t say that! Where are the on-site originals?”

        We already see defenses against this with Republicans who make their own recordings of interviews with outfits like The Daily Show and 60 Minutes.

        1. Republicans who make their own recordings of interviews with outfits like The Daily Show and 60 Minutes.

          Wouldn’t it be fun for a Republican campaign to compile their own edit of such an interview and replace the actual intended segment for broadcast? Given increasing automated production and broadcast technology all it would require is a disgruntled technician at the network to provide the timing of the segment and insert it in the queue.

          1. Trump should have used the Emergency Broadcast System to override 60 Minutes with his recording.

    3. Lies. Utter and completely scandalous falsehoods. I can’t believe that anyone would suggest peddling such a blatantly false and untrue idea. You have forever damaged my opinion of you.

      Now if you had written that Candidate T hired hookers to piss on a bed in a foreign country that former President O had once slept in during an international relations tour, THEN you’d have a fantastic book!

      Now get to writing that. Chop! Chop! I’ll wait.

        1. Even Obama claimed to be somewhat embarassed by the constant fainting at his rallies (and that was pretty tame compared to most of the stuff). It was all so over the top that people wouldn’t believe it in a novel.

          1. I don’t find his claims credible given that he actively promoted the cult of personality around him; his initial nomination acceptance in 2008 was on a stage that was made to look like fricking Mount Olympus. His “memorial” to a deceased astronaut was a picture of HIMSELF looking up at the moon.

            What I find obnoxious is that the Dems/leftists constantly accuse those who support Trump of creating a cult of personality, yet they are the ones who do so, not only to Obama, but Ginsburg, AOC, and numerous others.

    4. “And close to half of the country believes that bullshit.”

      I really don’t think anyone with a functioning brain and a clue “believes” it. There are plenty of clueless and more than a few stupid, but not that many in the grand scheme of things, I think.

      What they are is “delighted.” Their team is so audacious and so clever to scam the Orange Man team and beat them, because obviously the Orange Man team was cheating all over the place in all those blue states where the rednecks live. It is impossible that the nast/evil/bad Orange Man would get any votes at all, therefore cheating is the only explanation.

      But their team are the Good Guys, so obviously it’s okay for them to win by cheating better. They think excluding the Republican poll watchers in Philly was a stroke of genius.

      1. I think a lot of people still don’t realize how unrealistic the numbers look right now. If your primary news source is the mainstream media, then you’re not being provided the information that you need to drill down to what happened. And in that case, it all sounds like a crazy conspiracy theory. To add to that, there are a lot of rumors being pushed right now – some of which are likely pure misinformation, and others are honest mistakes – that are further muddying the issue. Those cause problems both because they obscure what’s really going on (even if it’s from the opposite angle), and because when/if they’re disproven they cause people who did believe that something was amiss to decide that it was all just fever dreams and ranting.

          1. And it sounds entirely more fantastical than some of the stuff that I’m pretty sure is bad info.

            Last week I was looking forward to Election Day in part because I hoped that Trump would be reelected, and in part because I could finally put all of the campaign crap behind me. It would be over and done with. There would be a whole new set of political crap to deal with. But the election would be finished.

            And then this unbelievable level of blatant fraud happened. Among other reasons, I’m pissed off at the people who engineered this mess because they prolonged the election.

          2. It never happened. Katie Hobbs, Arizona’s Democrat Secretary of State has assured the nation that NObody had their ballot rejected because of having used a sharpie:

            Arizona secretary of state says alleged voter Sharpie problems a ‘nonissue’
            Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D) responded to claims that ballots in her state were filled out in Sharpie and are therefore illegitimate, saying that it does not currently pose an issue.

            “This is absolutely a nonissue. Election workers are not going to give voters pens that would intentionally invalidate their ballot,” Hobbs told CBS News. “Every single validly-cast ballot, regardless of the pen you used, is going to be counted.”
            msn . com/en-us/news/politics/arizona-secretary-of-state-says-alleged-voter-sharpie-problems-a-nonissue/ar-BB1aJk77

            Only a sexist hater would dare suggest that the fair-minded, non-partisan woman who tweeted

            would do anything improper or mislead the MSM.

            HatTip Townhall Tipsheet
            Arizona’s Secretary of State’s Anti-Trump Tweets Resurface
            townhall . com/tipsheet/jeremyfrankel/2020/11/12/az-secretary-of-state-tweets-n2579989

        1. One of the hidden benefits of Corona this year has been the number of previously oblivious Normies who are now doubting government sources and news media for the first time in their lives. They can SEE the lies for the first time ever, and they can -see- the cost to them personally of the insane policies.

          People -hate- wearing masks. They really do. If you’re going to make them wear a mask, there better be a seriously fatal disease out there waiting for them and they better see some friggin’ fatalities or they’re not going to do it.

          But nobody is seeing anyone getting sick from this thing. It’s the flu, as far as they can tell. There are no middle aged men keeling over dead in the middle of Walmart. No extra page in the local paper for the extra obituaries. Front line doctors of my acquaintance from Florida, Arizona, Ontario, are saying they’re not seeing many people getting badly sick from this thing.

          So when the government is making masks 100% mandatory, and closing stores and businesses, and running around handing out fines for standing too close, and arresting people for having friends over to their house… but there’s no health danger… then even the blind and the stupid start getting suspicious. If the government lied about the masks and they lied about Corona, what the hell else are they lying about?

          In this environment, the DemocRats tried to steal an election.

          That’s why the trolls are so frantic over at Larry C’s place, and why Twitter/Farcebook/Google are “fact checking” and memory-holing anything to do with statistics and Benford’s Law. None of this is going the way it usually does. Philly and Chicago have crooked elections EVERY ELECTION. But this year, it’s not working. Because this year, the Normies are restless.

          Hilarious that it took a fucking plague to wake them up.

          1. And yet a lot of people still don’t see it. My co-worker almost certainly doesn’t. We generally keep our politics to ourselves (he’s aware that I’m on the opposite side of the aisle from him), but yesterday he couldn’t help blurting out something about how unfortunate it was that McConnell retained his seat. This was a very unusual comment on his part, but it indicates that his political focus is on something completely different from the presidential election fraud. I can be pretty certain that he believes that any fraud that happened in the presidential election was no worse than what usually happens. The reasons for that are a combination of things. Some don’t have access to the right sources, and refuse to believe just how blatant the numbers are this time. Others have access to the right sources, but have closed their eyes and ears in denial. And finally, there are those who are aware that something happened, but tell themselves that “everyone does it”, not realizing that what happened here beggars belief.

            1. “…yesterday he couldn’t help blurting out something about how unfortunate it was that McConnell retained his seat.”

              Dunno, junior. That one sounds like he sees it just fine, and he’s good with it. DemocRats are the Good Guys, therefore any vote theft is a Robin Hood kind of thing, y’know?

              Ask him how he likes wearing a mask all the time, then you’ll hear something. ~:D

            2. Friend in Michigan says the state government has just released a commercial featuring a mask-wearing man who explains he wants to EARN HIS FREEDOM by wearing the mask, washing hands, etc.
              So, obeying draconian regulations is the key to “earning,” one’s freedom in Michigan.

              Amazed more people aren’t thinking about the feather supply.

          2. *raises paw* I’ve got a coworker in the hospital from the stuff, another person out just sick with it, and a herd of people out quarantined. But, we’re a recent hot spot, so we don’t fit the national pattern at the moment.

            1. How does that differ from your typical flu season (except that no one quarantined; we just accepted we would catch it and dealt)?

              1. As you’re already aware of, what we call “the flu” is usually recorded as ILI– Influenza Like Illness– and the CDC does have it, main page is here:


                Linking because finding the bloopin’ thing without getting COVID numbers instead is a pain.

                This is the same number that was way high at the start of the year, before the kung flu had been officially recognized.

                1. Downloaded the chart of data for the pretty image, pardon ugly formatting, started one week from most recent on chart:
                  Year, % deaths P&I, % deaths PIC, Expected Threshold, All Deaths, Pneumonia Deaths, Influenza Deaths, COVID-19 Deaths, PIC deaths

                  2019 40 5.1993759988 5.1993759988 5.34806 5.65526 52564 2716 17 0 2733
                  2019 41 5.274062912 5.274062912 5.42356 5.73061 53090 2784 16 0 2800
                  2019 42 5.5412418565 5.5412418565 5.50738 5.81426 54338 2993 18 0 3011
                  2019 43 5.6004736443 5.6004736443 5.59825 5.90498 54049 2997 30 0 3027
                  2019 44 5.4708155379 5.4708155379 5.69483 6.00139 54087 2928 31 0 2959

                  2020 40 7.8166871877 11.322155428 5.31779 5.62162 55228 4310 7 3702 6253
                  2020 41 8.1822574583 11.974515454 5.39367 5.69749 55877 4561 11 4169 6691
                  2020 42 8.4114988797 12.628640869 5.47807 5.78189 52666 4416 14 4261 6651
                  2020 43 8.6235357292 13.378811082 5.56977 5.8736 50281 4322 14 4397 6727
                  2020 44 8.0221402214 12.319803198 5.66748 5.9713 40650 3253 8 3215 5008


              2. In the years I’ve been associated with the school, we’ve never had this many adults out sick at the same time, even in a very bad flu year. Now, I know the argument will be “That’s because we have flu shots, and more people are more resistant to flu anyway from having had similar strains.” Granted. However, that still means the area in which I live is getting hit hard by the new-to-us virus.

    1. Now RES, you know perfectly well the only reason it’s scheduled is because someone took a sharpie and wrote “weirdness” across the entire month on the calendar. *flips to Dec* Looks like they did for next month, too.

          1. Um.
            No. The sad thing is that I’d welcome going to Jan 2020…..
            Because I could see all the parts of Denver now pretty much destroyed (like downtown) and say goodbye to normalcy knowing what was coming.

  5. Side note: ran into a very through breakdown of the interview with the USPS whistle blower here:

    Basically, WaPo is lying, as are the agents who are claiming what they got was a retraction. Also a very handy read for recognizing if an official is trying to manipulate you into harming yourself.

  6. There’s all kind of internet weirdness, and some of it makes no sense– Final Fantasy 14 has been having reaaaaallllly odd dungeon and raid lag, and it doesn’t even seem to line up with server load.

    1. Yeah, I am seeing this as well – no delays getting to gergle or other TechLord places, but delays and timeouts intermittently getting to Insty or other corners of the intertubes.

    2. A day or so ago Youtube videos weren’t loading, or taking a long time to start loading. And I mean videos in general, not just specific ones.

      1. Yes; Mallard is available at Jewish World Review’s site, where they usually put up a page for every week, containing perhaps five of the week’s strips. He used to have a dedicated site but that seemed to stop working a while back — months, I think, and seems to be served by

        Still as enjoyable as ever (assuming you ever found him enjoyable.)

  7. Good luck, have fun, make money!

    The alternate-history workshop, especially, sounds fascinating — but having had an ongoing inspiration for a rewrite of the Civil War Between The States 2-3 years ago (hard-SF steampunked, 3 corners, 11 years), I’d have to admit the real limiting factor there is “so go write the thing already!” far more than “I don’t know, how could I make this idea work?” (Still love to do one of those workshops sometime, some day, some way, maybe on-line??)

    Meanwhile, since I’ve recently developed a deep and abiding hunger for something engrossing that isn’t political anything or following the latest (D) coup attempt, would anyone here be interested in something like

    Mini Ringworlds are Still Really Big

    either as a guest post or simply a series of WP-bite-sized installments?

    (A “mini” ringworld orbits its sun like a planet, instead of spinning in place with the sun in the center like Niven’s original. About 2 million miles across for a 24-hour period and Earth gravity. It turns out you can pretty easily, in relative terms, get much more faithfully Earthlike conditions there than on a full-size “classic” Ringworld too.)

    1. Sounds like the Halos from the Halo series of games (although I don’t think they are that big more like 50-1000 KM).
      Can you build them without unobtanium (aka Scrith)? Also how do you get day night cycles? Shadow squares were a kludge and a half and ultimately they’re dynamically unstable (One of Nivens readers/buddies sent him the proof). Rotate them on an axis across the circumference? sounds like an interesting Hard Sci-Fi idea though why you’d do do that instead of say a Klemperer rosette is another question.

        1. I suspect A-E-M intends to provide simulated gravity via centrifugal force. That will work poorly with a Mobius strip 🙂 . Of course if you can control gravity anything goes. Nivens Protector has a walkable Mobius strip (as well as a working copy of Escher’s Relativty). Of course Gravity control is probably handwavium of its own sort…

          1. True enough. Caught the end of a thought/memory there, and Protector sounds like what was at the root of it. Thanks for that! Couldn’t recall the story for the life of me.

      1. [~6th try, some days Willie Pete is not your friend.]

        Also how do you get day night cycles? … Rotate them on an axis across the circumference?

        Short answer: yes, exactly.

        Longer/better answer: That’s the tricky / easy answer, to night and day and to ‘gravity’ at the same time. If you use spin-gravity (really centrifugal force, and if anyone says “that’s not a real force” I can re-play some of the hours-long fun our college’s Relativity Group had pounding on that classical-mechanics line), you have to rotate the ring around its center anyway; if you make the ring narrow instead of wide, you get the entire visible “sky” rotating around as seen from anywhere on the ring, once per revolution of the ring. Once you set the gravity you want, and the period (we’d want 24 hours, right?), you get the size of the ring from that: r = g / omega squared, where r is the radius and g is the acceleration of gravity and omega is the ‘angular velocity’ or 2 pi over the period for one revolution.

        You need the ring to be narrow (I picked it to be the same size as the sun or moon as seen from Earth at its ‘highest’ point) so you can see the Sun over most of its path in the sky, which (like something in the sky as seen from the equator on Earth) will be a circle centered on the ring’s axis. So, unlike a full size Ringworld where the sun never moves, it goes around and around like a ‘real’ celestial body — at least at the equator, because a Ring is basically all equator, just sort-of turned inside out.

        A ring like the one I’ve described is still wider (though not by much) than the circumference of the Earth. As in, still really big.

        And, if you assume the ring’s axis is more-or-less fixed in space, up to the same slow ‘precession’ that also affects the Earth’s axis, you also naturally get some kind of seasons ‘for free’ — like the ones you get at our equator, and that’s the sort of thing I ought to write slowly and carefully and premeditation. It turns out you can play some games with the tilt and the orbit and get close to temperate-zone seasons across all the Ring, but that’s best discussed with more care and maybe even some graphs and so on. (And I will point out that Niven’s full-size Ring, as readers will remember, has no seasons at all.)

        If you can build one of these things at all, you probably have other options like artificial gravity, artificial sunlight, etc. But maybe even then, simplest is best.

        1. Well, if you put it in an orbit with eccentricity of about 0.25 you’d get seasons, but they’d be short summers and long winters.

          1. Ah, now we’re getting into real design parameters. With an eccentricity just a little lower than yours, 0.23 (or about like Mercury IIRC, which is high), and an axial tilt of about 45° (Earth is 23.5 or so), you get an ‘insolation’ curve (that’s incoming daily solar radiation, to a flat plate at the top of the atmosphere) very like the one for latitude (N or S) 40, except for a milder (‘hotter’) midwinter and an odd double-humped summer — over the whole mini-ring at once.

            (You need a high inclination, tilt, or you get much longer eclipses twice each year around the equinoxes as the sun passes through the ring plane going N or S in your sky.)

            But to see all that you really need something like a program, or a (long) input file for Apple’s Grapher (which works too) — and that’s why I said above you really do kinda-need graphs & such to explain all this really clearly.

            This kind of pseudo-temperate season cycle is interesting; the winters have the sun low on one side (longer because planets move slower farther from the sun), call that south, spring and fall have the sun high overhead like in our tropics, and summers have the sun low on the opposite side (call it north), but bigger and stronger due to the orbit carrying it nearer. (So if you plant a nice big tree on the north side of your cabin, it shelters you from the summer sun.)

            Going to see now if WP will try to ‘eat’ this one…

        2. Another issue is, the back side of your ring would be heated at night. You might have to put the whole shebang farther from the sun to accurately imitate Earth-like conditions.

          1. Oh, that is So Definitely a Thing. Except for the ‘rims’ (to help keep the air in / on the Ring), half the sunlight hitting this kind of Ring will hit the back. Multiple options for dealing with this may exist:

            1. Make it 99+% reflective in the visual / near-infrared (‘raw’ sunlight in space actually has more IR energy than visible). For a bonus, also make it ‘black’ in the farther, ‘thermal’ infrared. (This is known, e.g. in solar collector or space vehicle design, as ‘a/e’ — visual / near-vis ‘absorptivity’ over thermal-infrared ’emissivity’.) Do this well enough and it’ll drop well below room temperature, or you could use it as an effective (but weak) radiator, even in full sunlight.

            2. Make the ‘back’ surface (especially if it’s Magic Foundation Material) able to absorb and convert visual-near-IR something vaguely like a solar cell, but (very plausibly) even better, maybe something like 97-99-ish %. (Combine with the ‘black in the far IR’ thing for better limiting, ‘Carnot’ efficiency.) Over a surface area of hundreds (IIRC) of Earths, even solar energy gets pretty, well, impressive.

            (I’d say ‘my’ ring mostly does 2, with maybe a little bit of ‘works as a radiator’ too.)

            By the way, a ‘thin’ ring also does something important: since most of its visible ‘sky’ (on the habitable surface) is simply dark night or free space, it gets rid of the heat the same way a planet does — by direct radiation.

            This is not true of some other such designed things or such places, say for instance an O’Neill cylinder colony (Island Three design, for example), and in a more traditional, literary way… Pellucidar.

            (Heat comes from the inner Sun, okay, Mr. Burroughs. But where does it go? Yes, I know, fantasy not hard-SF… but read his stuff more carefully and in places it really is more like SF, or even hard SF.)

    2. Why yes, actually, I can do this Socratically… though spending a bit of time to do this ‘all in one’ might be somewhat more coherent.

      Can you build them without unobtanium (aka Scrith)?

      Short answer: No.

      Longer/better answer: Uh, not even close with any substance we know how to find / make with today’s technology. (Even Earth-to-synchronous-orbit “skyhooks” [Clarke] or “beanstalks” [Sheffield] really push the limits of cutting edge materials like fullerenes and, maybe, diamond fiber.)

      But, remember, building something like this requires a lot more than material, it requires the industrial / operational capability to make a lot of this material, “out there” in space, and so forth. One might imagine technology can advance to the point of having something strong enough, on the way to being able to construct / deploy something that big anyway. If such a thing even exists to be discovered and developed at all…

      There are ultimate physical limits to how strong anything material can be, or even sort-of material like “force fields” (mumble-mumble, but still yes). As we’d say in the general relativity world, it’s “T = m” — the tension is equal to the mass density. (That’s actually what you get with, for instance, a ‘cosmic string’ a la Alexander Vilenkin — ‘made’ of basic field-physics stuff.) And that’s way stronger than even Ringworld foundation material, a.k.a. scrith in Niven’s later Ringworld books. There’s no question (basically) such materials could exist, this isn’t Wells’ “Cavorite” or anything; it’s whether they do.

      But a full-size Ringworld has to be able to carry about 100x the tensile stress as a mini-ringworld, simply because it’s ~100x larger. (Each meter, foot, etc., of a Ringworld’s width has to carry one radius’ worth of weight — much like a suspension bridge, or even a Starship fuel tank, engineers know this as “hoop stress” load. Much easier to carry a millon miles’ worth than 93-odd million.)

      Finally, Larry Niven and I (yes, there’s a story cooking in the background) went the same way… nobody in the story action actually built the thing, they (more or less) found it in place. (Niven’s explorers, my ‘People of the Phoenix’ a.k.a. descendants of the Phoenicians). This “punts” that whole question into the realm of Galileo’s famous remark: e pure si muove, ‘but still it moves.’

      Next: day and night. (Listening to Sean Hannity as I do this, so…)

      1. It has been many years since I looked at this, but IIRC the same CNT strands (possibly even lesser ones) that can make an Earth based elevator work can also make a reasonably big ringworld.

        Not Banks Orbital size, closer to Halo size. But that is still pretty big.

      2. Ok so we’re into low grade scrith. Mr Bruene seemed to have something that might work for the much smaller Halos (100 to 1000 times smaller). And yes Mr. Niven did push it off the plate by the subterfuge you spoke of. Definitely the made by the Pak model doesn’t work. What Pak Protector would EVER populate kzin onto a place where his descendants were going to be. A Pak Protector’s first action would be to genocide darn near any other race more dangerous than a sheep, and they might kill them too just so they don’t evolve in 10 million years.

        1. Okay, WP(DE) is in screaming bonkers Snit Mode and has managed to ignore ~6 tries to post the 2nd part of the Mini Ringworld stuff. (It did let half of it into Moderation Purgatory, is that better?) But I did write it, and look forward to trying this a few more times, after I get something to eat (and let it calm down too).

          I like the “shot-up Ringworld” idea. It reminds me of part of a Timothy Zahn book (Spinneret?) from a while back, though that one had some slightly dIfferent super-tech and macro-structures.)

      3. Or to make it even more interesting, your characters discover a Ringworld in ruins, clearly abandoned for a million or so years, with battle damage. Which raises the question of what kind of weapons can damage (but not destroy) fundamental-forces unobtanium — and are their creators still out there somewhere?

        1. OK (there be Spoilers for Ringworld Engineers and Ringworld Thrones here ) that is essentially what happened in Ringworld. The cowardly Puppeteers put a virus on the Ringworld that attacked the superconductors they used and so the Ringworld Civilization (which was already pretty decadent and headed into decline) crashed totally. Fist of God doesn’t help the situation.
          This is thousands of years before the puppeteers run into the humans. Unless I’m remembering it wrong, but definitely SOMEONE hacked the Ringworld by tanking its superconductors.

          1. Which is why Nessus was so sure his superconductors wouldn’t be affected…

            And, calling a Puppeteer cowardly is a compliment.

  8. NPR this morning ran a story about the potential vote fraud last week. Reporter Miles Parks: “There are so many accusations flying around right now, it’s kinda hard to keep them all straight, but generally, they’re allegations based on one person’s account with no corroborating evidence.” Which is why you should ignore them all, according to NPR.

    I seem to recall a major Senate investigation, a couple of years ago, based on “one person’s account with no corroborating evidence.” Does the name Kavanaugh ring a bell? NPR certainly thought that accusation was worthy of extensive coverage.

    I’d love to see NPR’s explanation for their double standard here.

    NPR story is here (audio only, unfortunately). The quote starts at 1:36.

    1. “I’d love to see NPR’s explanation for their double standard here.”

      Their explanation is “SHUT UP!” and then many bad words in a row. They know they’re lying. They do not want to hear that you also know they’re lying. They fear it will disturb the rubes they’re still trying to gull.

      Tell you what, for comedy it is hard to beat all the English majors trying to explain how Benford’s Law can’t apply to elections, because mumble-mumble. What I know about Benford’s Law all came from a television science series on quirky mathematics, but it appears that I’m a PhD compared to some of the journalism grads.

        1. REEEEEEE!!!! That’s pretty much all there is to hear once you drop a logic bomb on them. They default to “screaming frog” mode.

          When all the races in a district follow the Benford curve -except- the race for President, that means mumble mumble RAAAACIST!!!!

      1. One of them succeeded today: PA court said to toss everything that came in after Election Day.

        A small victory to be fair, and one which is probably nullified due to dumping all the ballots in a pile. But it is a start and a demonstration that the courts can be sane.

        1. No, the ruling was that the PA Secretary of State’s arbitrary extension of the deadline for fixing identity problems with absentee ballot violated state law. Therefore, any mail-in ballots with identity problems not fixed by 6 days after the election could not be counted. A good decision, IMHO, but only impacts about 10,000 ballots. Still, it is a start.

    2. NPR is apparently so insular they make middle school girls look like cosmopolitan sophisticates.

      1. NPR can afford to be insular – their funding is sucked from taxpayer’s pockets without their permission and without restraint.

    3. There was also an impeachment based on “one person’s account with no corroborating evidence”. In fact, both the impeachment and the Senate investigation had notable bits of evidence that completely contradicted the accounts in question.

      1. That impeachment was also based on acknowledged hearsay evidence. The “whistleblower” was not party to the call (and unlike a real whistle-blower kept his identity undisclosed.)

        I know – that’s different because Orangmanbad means rules of due process and confronting your accuser go out the window because they impede the lynching.

  9. No worries, Sarah. It’s that kind of week. The least strange thing at Day Job was an invisible student. (Can’t give more detail) I just shrugged and went on with class.

    1. >> “Can’t give more detail”


      You do NOT drop a teaser like that and leave the story untold.

  10. PA case has been assigned to a judge. GOP member and Federalist Society member, but appointed by Obama so most likely a pedophile or something.

  11. My brother is visiting us and we had a fight over politics today. At least there was no shouting but I didn’t appreciated him calling me and our mother strumpets because we voted for Trump. The whole thing ended with me telling him he was a useful idiot for the left who bought every lie the media tells hook, line, and sinker. He said no hard feelings and we enjoyed the rest of the day together but I regret letting him bait me.

  12. Whole year has generally sucked and looks like will end that way. Two close friends are in hospital, one critical, and our country is on life support going downhill rapidly. I am old, tired, and have no more desire to continue in the world that I foresee is coming. Thank you all who continue to resist.

      1. Tomorrow and Saturday is short stories.

        I realize that English is not your first language but oughtn’t that be “Tomorrow and Saturday am short stories.”?

          1. That is unprobable! I am one of the English Language’s greatest defenderers! I protect the English Language like Joe Biden protects young children!

        1. Um….
          My husband said for the people who wanted to take it — many — I should offer these on my own, weekends till Christmas.
          Thing is, he’s working weekends.
          And my car needs tires.
          He also suggested a future history one, (how to come up with one) since people have asked.
          …… do you think it’s worth it?

          1. I do. Of course, it’s not “I’m killing myself with stress and my family is detonating around me” worth it. But I think lots of people would like to know how a writer goes about building a history from and for the imagination. I mean, Larry Niven’s Slaver timeline still blows my mind. So does the Xeelee saga. On the other hand, a certain series featuring warmed-up Hortatio Hornblower stories and Napoleonic history is tiresome. How is a good imaginary history done? What elements go to make it up? What should not go into it? I think hearing those and other subjects I can’t even imagine would be a fantastic day, and I don’t plan to write fiction. So anyhow, thanks for all the wisdom you put into posts.

              1. It’s tough. I’m sort of with you there. Blatant “on its face” fraud going on, nobody cares, acting as though they were simply like poker chips, supposed “leaders” melting away and already gaming profit strategies for the New Reality[TM], communication and interconnection denied, it’s like the gust front of something really ugly, Volume II of human history entitled “How were we supposed to know?” (Volume I being, “What could it hurt?”). Two things keep me going — Job “Even though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him” and St. Kowalska’s “Jesus I trust in you.” But that’s just me explaining me, not preaching. …

                I think the thing to remember is that the Left is pure hatred of the glory of God, which as St. Irenaeus says, is “man fully human.” The Left hates humanity. As long as we are humans who know and respect what’s right, and take joy in things we find (not things “found” for us) we defeat the Left. I’m seriously not kidding when I say fixing your own house, writing something, or making a batch of cookies and giving them to people you like, are all death-blows to the Left. ….

                Anyhow, I had another question. What happens when the story one is writing needs to take a turn that conflicts or messes up one’s future history? Do you reassess everything or just remake it as you need it? How do you / can you even tell if the history you’ve created is too limiting for its purpose (novel, series of universe stories, etc.). Man, I would really enjoy that discussion. I hope such a class is taught, and I can find out when / how to attend and (dammit) pay for it. Sorry to yak on, but I can’t help myself and don’t much care to either!.

              2. I forgot to say I really enjoy reading your posts on history and current things. It’s nice to read an independent, free-thinking and clear mind reflect on things.

          2. I do; if I wasn’t in the middle of three projects at work I would have been at your Fyrecon ones. I’d still like to listen to the recordings when I can if they exist.

  13. Arggggh. Some chick saw her late husband, James Blalock, listed as a dead man who voted, and now she is claiming that it was her, voting as Mrs. James Blalock.

    1. That wouldn’t be a legal voting registration. Voters use their full legal name, not their formal name of courtesy.

    2. Unless her birthdate is the same day and year as her late husband, the voter roll and her ballot request would have clearly differentiated between any and all James Blalocks.

    3. The stupid, it burns.

    1. Pity the stupid burns as in caustic, and not as in heat. Then we could least use it to ‘fire’ a boiler and get some power from it. Sure, concentrating stupid is dangerous (can it go prompt critical?) but isolating and containing it would be another benefit.

    2. Wouldn’t that mean any vote cast under her name “Jane Doe Blalock” was fraudulent? It seems she is confessing vote fraud either way.

    3. >> “Some chick saw her late husband, James Blalock, listed as a dead man who voted”

      That’s nothing. Jill Biden’s late husband is listed as a presidential candidate.

  14. regarding the schedule here:

    this isn’t youtube, you aren’t trying to beat an algorithm that will stop reccommending you if you dont give us free ice cream every day.

  15. I’m having a lot of trouble being productive. Retired and tax season hasn’t started so no formal work, but there are things I could be doing around the house and the traditional ton of unfinished projects. But I’m getting internal resistance varying from, “Don’t feel like it,” to, “That’s a waste of your time, you should be doing something important.” Of course, when I ask what that inner voice has in mind, it shuts up or gets angry.

    1. I’m having the same problem. Though I’ve also been eating too much, sigh. Rage eating… Every once in a while I encounter some pseudo-information from the msm or a never trumper saying “no proven fraud” and there it goes again. I run through my list of sites and start over again at the beginning.

    1. Would prefer it with the greek variant of the text

      μολὼν λαβέ

      But otherwise perfect 🙂

    2. Only improvement I could suggest might be background elements like a few books and/or a long gun or five. (Things to ‘cling’ to.)

      1A, 2A, First Thanksgiving again. Check.

  16. Today is Mother Cabrini’s post-Vatican II feastday. She’s a saint of pretty much all the blue and battleground states, including doing great stuff in Denver, and she fought all kinds of shady local and national government treatment as well as riots. She believed in the US and was both a legal immigrant and became a citizen. Plus she notoriously helps with parking as well as healing. Let’s ask for her prayers!

  17. K, trying to game the wrapping system, here’s the numbers I mentioned up above. Expanded to weeks 40-45, even though 45 for this year is clearly incomplete.

    Year Week % P&I % PIC All Deaths Pneumonia Deaths PIC deaths
    2013 40 6.6179567085 6.6179567085 47492 3140 3143
    2013 41 6.6527143582 6.6527143582 47304 3135 3147
    2013 42 6.7791269274 6.7791269274 47602 3216 3227
    2013 43 6.6225442969 6.6225442969 47746 3151 3162
    2013 44 6.7306312401 6.7306312401 48777 3271 3283
    2013 45 7.0414189093 7.0414189093 48939 3429 3446
    2014 40 6.3710994851 6.3710994851 48359 3075 3081
    2014 41 6.382849385 6.382849385 49351 3142 3150
    2014 42 6.2916463514 6.2916463514 49224 3084 3097
    2014 43 6.5492211076 6.5492211076 49044 3201 3212
    2014 44 6.4743498069 6.4743498069 48947 3152 3169
    2014 45 6.3059349976 6.3059349976 50952 3202 3213
    2015 40 6.3022571148 6.3022571148 50950 3197 3211
    2015 41 6.2974111981 6.2974111981 49830 3131 3138
    2015 42 6.3749580595 6.3749580595 50667 3214 3230
    2015 43 6.311527469 6.311527469 50384 3163 3180
    2015 44 6.5932991907 6.5932991907 51158 3353 3373
    2015 45 6.3925949317 6.3925949317 50668 3225 3239
    2016 40 5.9182879377 5.9182879377 51400 3024 3042
    2016 41 6.1468805157 6.1468805157 52124 3193 3204
    2016 42 6.1921611323 6.1921611323 51436 3178 3185
    2016 43 6.0677926886 6.0677926886 51864 3130 3147
    2016 44 6.0223033958 6.0223033958 51741 3100 3116
    2016 45 6.1419541543 6.1419541543 52524 3207 3226
    2017 40 5.8303107068 5.8303107068 52107 3022 3038
    2017 41 5.8534977509 5.8534977509 51576 3001 3019
    2017 42 6.0970472215 6.0970472215 52222 3156 3184
    2017 43 6.2844962126 6.2844962126 52542 3279 3302
    2017 44 6.0577263495 6.0577263495 53667 3215 3251
    2017 45 6.0574755823 6.0574755823 53240 3180 3225
    2018 40 5.689783601 5.689783601 52357 2969 2979
    2018 41 5.5507338618 5.5507338618 51849 2866 2878
    2018 42 5.6739462806 5.6739462806 52979 2988 3006
    2018 43 5.7455871138 5.7455871138 53763 3065 3089
    2018 44 5.6452515008 5.6452515008 53638 3003 3028
    2018 45 5.6981759116 5.6981759116 53561 3022 3052
    2019 40 5.1993759988 5.1993759988 52564 2716 2733
    2019 41 5.274062912 5.274062912 53090 2784 2800
    2019 42 5.5412418565 5.5412418565 54338 2993 3011
    2019 43 5.6004736443 5.6004736443 54049 2997 3027
    2019 44 5.4708155379 5.4708155379 54087 2928 2959
    2019 45 5.5925600101 5.5925600101 55699 3084 3115
    2020 40 7.8166871877 11.322155428 55228 4310 6253
    2020 41 8.1822574583 11.974515454 55877 4561 6691
    2020 42 8.4114988797 12.628640869 52666 4416 6651
    2020 43 8.6235357292 13.378811082 50281 4322 6727
    2020 44 8.0221402214 12.319803198 40650 3253 5008
    2020 45 6.5905003703 8.9072252195 18906 1238 1684

    1. Total deaths for week 40 of each year are:
      47492, 48359, 50950, 51400, 52107, 52357, 52564, 55228.

      US population for those years are:
      316,400,538, 318,673,411, 320,878,310, 323,015,995, 325,084,756, 327,096,265, 329,064,917, 331,002,651

      Average age went from 37 and a bit to 38 and a bit.

  18. This bit of election-(fraud)-related news is good… in a “can’t pour p*ss out of a boot with written instructions and a training video” kind of way.

    Intervenors for Democrats in PA Lawsuit Prove Trump Campaign Claims of Fraud

    uncoverdc dot com slash 2020/11/12/intervenors-for-democrats-in-pa-lawsuit-prove-trump-campaign-claims-of-fraud/

    In a stunning filing on Tuesday, November 10, potential intervenors in the Trump campaign’s lawsuit against the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, proved one of the allegations of illegality the Trump campaign brought forth in their initial complaint against the Secretary and several boards of elections. …

    Basically what happens in this court filing is that these pro-D groups / people first quote current law(s) prohibiting pre-opening ballots and “curing” them by contacting voters and letting them ‘fix’ defective (and therefore invalid) ones, note (even) the Pa. Supreme Court has upheld this part of the law…

    And then (wait for it) attach roughly half-a-dozen sworn statements by people who were contacted — before election day while mail-in ballots were supposed to be kept in sealed containers and not opened until 7 A.M. Election Day — by either precinct officials or (worse) the Democrat Party itself — and told to come in and “cure” their ballots, so they could be (illegally) counted. Many (or most?) of them go on and describe (under oath) actually doing that.

    There’s a companion video (~15 min.) with more details, and rolling screen shots of the filing itself (incl. both the law and the affidavits):

    youtube dot com slash watch?v=qCdb0r6Xm2Y

    And the stunned, bemused, “could they have been thinking??” tone of voice of the reporter ( / founder of Uncover DC) is something to hear. Of course, the video comes up with that familiarly-odious “tag” right below:

    U.S. elections
    The AP has called the Presidential race for Joe Biden. See more on Google.

    Robust safeguards help ensure the integrity of elections and results. Learn more.

    As the saying goes, in this present context, “that does not mean what you (seem to) think it means…”

    1. The AP has called the Presidential race for Joe Biden. See more on Google.

      AP calls don’t mean [squat]. In other news: AP calls 2021 Super Bowl LV Champion, AP calls 2021 World Series Victor, AP declares winner of 2021 Kentucky Derby, AP determines Dewey beat Truman in 1948 presidential contest.

      You know who else agrees on the irrelevancy of the AP?

      Gambling sites refuse to call election for Biden, leaving $600M in limbo

      People with money on the line.

      1. The bookies clearly see something that the media propaganda machine doesn’t, as the odds for Trump winning they are putting out are improving, not worsening during the post election day challenge period.

  19. IOW “talk is cheap, but money talks.”


    (Goes double for propaganda / propa-news, too.)

  20. well, my schedule is gonna get very weird.
    Lord Northam, Governor-General of the commonwealth of Virginia, has decided he needs to shut everything back down to impress the incoming President with his ability to kill economies and be a good little drone.

      1. Oregon is on 2 week shutdown effective 11/18 … gotta capture the Thanksgiving weekend. No more than 6 immediate family members gathered at the same time … Um, I know of local families that have more than 6 living in the same household …

        What? Turn the house over to the minors? Put one or two or more kids in the dog house with grandma and/or grandpa?

        #idiots #sarcasmoff

        Mom & friends (4 total, all well over 70) fly out to Branson (spell), MO(?) Sunday morning out of the Eugene Airport. Fly back next Sunday. Then she’s to quarantine for two weeks … eh, she’s 86, we won’t tattle … whatever she chooses.

        1. Other news. Had dinner with mom, sisters and their spouses, last night. Mom’s 86th birthday is today. Actually talked politics, no meltdowns. No, we aren’t on the same page. Five of us are, the other two, not so much. OTOH BIL hasn’t been able to call to state “4 more years” to the disagreeing couple. At this point the majority are going to be calling each other with “Thank god! Finally. 4 more years!” when (not if dang it) it finally all comes together. N not starry eyed, just hope, at this point. Will deal either way. Won’t like it, but can and will deal.

          Also DIDN’T “discuss” (blindside) mom about her trip this next week or her giving up her driver’s license. Latter is something my sisters have discussed. There is no reason for it, yet. So what she refuses to drive 80 mph when it is posted 70 or 75 … Guess what? So do I.

      1. oh, and no more gathering in groups larger than 25, and its a class 1 misdemeanor to break the rules. I want to hold a meeting for a few hundred of my closest friends, all request the same court date, and then drag the governor into court and get him to explain exactly when the Assembly passed the law to let him do that (hint: they didnt)

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