From time to time, I’ve liked to post some memories of those whom I’ve come across during life. I had a neighbor who was a character – I seem to gravitate towards characters – people who like to carve their own path through life instead of blindly following the paths of others. And I thought that most of the time, these “snapshots” – memories held and cherished to be occasionally revisited by the owners, leave us when the owner leaves us, never to be known by others.
Several of these friends, in telling me their stories, had me at the time believing silently that it was “hyperbole”. My neighbor was telling me that he enlisted in the Marines when he was 16 during WW2 (there were a few who did that). He was at Tarawa and Saipan. Then after WW2, recalled to Korea where he was one of the “Frozen Chosin”. I thought this was hyperbole, until he invited me to a Chosin Reunion. There were a couple of Army guys there too. He liked to remind me that it took a Marine General who took the place of the Army General to finally get them out and not be slaughtered by the vastly bigger invading Chinese force.
He would tell me things that one who lived by lies about service would not say. They are always about their “heroism” and made up units.
A couple of days ago, a friend and I did something I had wanted to do for years.
Take the commuter ferry from Vallejo to San Francisco. It’s a scenic 45 minute ride across the bay and under the San Rafael bridge to the ferry terminal at San Francisco’s Embarcadero.
Taking the ferry was also a practical matter, since parking is, if not at Manhattan-level expenses, pretty bad.
The last time I took my car there – 15 years ago – for an extended period was when my nephew, visiting from Minnesota, wanted to see Alcatraz.
Parking at a lot along Fisherman’s wharf was at the time $50 for about 4 hours.
But I will say that the NPS really set up the Alcatraz tours right – I had been there once before, with a guided tour. But this time you got a headphone and walked around at your own pace – hearing from former inmates and guards at various stops telling you what it was like.
Richard Phillips Feynman was an American theoretical physicist, known for his work in the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics, the theory of quantum electrodynamics, the physics of the superfluidity of supercooled liquid helium, as well as his work in particle physics for which he proposed the parton model. For contributions to the development of quantum electrodynamics, Feynman received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965 jointly with Julian Schwinger and Shin’ichirō Tomonaga.
Feynman developed a widely used pictorial representation scheme for the mathematical expressions describing the behavior of subatomic particles, which later became known as Feynman diagrams. During his lifetime, Feynman became one of the best-known scientists in the world. In a 1999 poll of 130 leading physicists worldwide by the British journal Physics World, he was ranked the seventh-greatest physicist of all time.
A few days ago, one of the Lexicans posted this to the Facebook Group:
Posted by lex, on February 24, 2008
During the Cold War, India was the largest of the so-called “non-aligned” states that took no open position in the ideological clash of the epoch. Despite their neutrality, India’s government remained military clients of the Soviet Union. In gratitude for their custom, the USSR showered India with capable but low cost ships, aircraft and air defense systems.
Posted by lex, on February 14, 2008
Justice in the 21st Century Kingdom:
Human Rights Watch has appealed to Saudi Arabia to halt the execution of a woman convicted of witchcraft.
In a letter to King Abdullah, the rights group described the trial and conviction of Fawza Falih as a miscarriage of justice.
The illiterate woman was detained by religious police in 2005 and allegedly beaten and forced to fingerprint a confession that she could not read.
Among her accusers was a man who alleged she made him impotent.
Of course, an alternative theory might be that it was his unreasoning superstition that unmanned him.
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I’ve had some questions about this from the beginning. The video seen around the world is really damning towards the 4 officers who, having Floyd under restraint and control, suffocated him.
Or to put it more accurately, one who suffocated him while the other 3 did nothing.
The question that I have had from the beginning is what – or who – protected Derek Chauvin, the officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck that killed him?
In the 70s and 80s, Sacramento had some notorious serial killers. I suppose by definition if you are not a run-of-the-mill murderer and kill multiple times seemingly randomly then you are notorious. We had a little old lady, Dorothea Puente, who owned an old Victorian house on F Street and rented out rooms. There’s a lot of Victorian homes at what we call “Midtown”, most with the front door leading up some steps about 8-10′ or so.
Until the levees were built on the Sacramento River, Sacramento would flood on a regular basis. The Sierra snows would melt in the spring, and where the river goes to the San Francisco Bay through the Carquinez Straits, like a funnel there is only so much water that can get through in a given time frame.
It had to go somewhere, and in the Sacramento Valley, that which didn’t immediately go through the Straits went…out into the Sacramento Valley. Sometimes for miles, which gave the Valley some of the richest agricultural land in the world.
In the 1880s, as the world was getting ready for electricity, there was a tremendous technological battle going on. Should direct current be used as a standard, or alternating current?
Just saw a good movie detailing this battle, called The Current War. With hindsight, it seems obvious who the winner should have been, and it was the eventual winner – alternating current (for reasons brought out in the movie).
But the movie highlights the battle between direct current’s proponent, Thomas Edison, and alternating current, championed by both George Westinghouse and Nikola Tesla.
From what I know of the rivalry it was factual so what I didn’t know I will assume to be factual.
Ever since I got an iPhone 5S, I have been enamored with Apple products. The fit and finish, and ergonomics seems to be well thought out.
Heard about the new iOS 13 and I “upgraded” it for my SE the first hours it was available.
Now my reminder app, which I relied upon so heavily, is in shambles.
Over the years it has amazed me at how little so much software seems to have been tested before public release. And in many instances, that which has been sufficiently tested was not used in the “real world” by the people actually needing it, but some programmer’s idea of how things should be.
Heck, look at the mess involving the 737 Max. Not much thought was put into the “what if’s”.
I think we can all relate to software like that.
What occasionally amazes me is how little we know about many things in the world’s past.
When I was in Egypt years ago, every guide had a different story as to how the pyramids were built.
My late father had to me a rather profound observation years ago: “Other than electricity we’ve been been pretty much the same since the ancient times.”
Think about every modern conveyance that requires electricity. Just about everything.