Looking ~SSW over the OSU campus
From the parking lot off 16th, looking ~SE.
Same as the previous location, looking ~ESE, a few minutes earlier.
Looking east along Monroe Ave.
Same as above.
“I wanted generally to apologize to every one of you all for letting you down,” Mr. Sanford told the gathering of his cabinet secretaries in a mahogany conference room in the ornate state Capitol complex. “Part of what it means going forward is every one of you all has specific duties to the people of South Carolina that you have to perform, that is with or without me doing right on a given day.”
At the meeting, he gave no indication that he was considering resigning, despite growing calls for him to do so by members of his own Republican party as well as Democrats. Instead, he compared himself to the biblical King David, who he said “fell mightily, he fell in very significant ways, but was able to pick up the pieces.”So. We have delusions of grandeur. We have what I take as an admission that this may very well happen again. We have a sense of entitlement to taxpayer dollars, while living in a time when people can't feed themselves or their chldren, and at the same time claiming that government is bad because it takes money away from people.
"This is almost like, 'I don't give a damn, the country's going to Hell in a handbasket, I just want out of here,'" said Limbaugh. "He had just tried to fight the stimulus money coming to South Carolina. He didn't want any part of it. He lost the battle. He said, 'What the Hell. I mean, I'm -- the federal government's taking over -- what the Hell, I want to enjoy life.'"To which Freud would respond, I think, "...and sometimes it's not."
"The point is," he added, "there are a lot of people whose spirit is just -- they're fed up, saying to Hell with it, I don't even want to fight this anymore, I just want to get away from it." (From TPM; audio at the link)
BECKMAN: And the people who are out of work, you know, they’re not much concerned right now about, about who saves them, whether it’s the private sector or public, they just want to be saved."
STEELE: Yeah, that’s true, but there’s a danger that lies in that. And I think that’s where an appreciation, if not an education, of the consequences of certain policies has got to get talked about and people really need to understand. You know, it’s like the guy who, you know, is in the water and you know, he wants to get saved from the sharks, but then — from the sharks — but then he gets picked up by a bunch of pirates or, you know, or some bad guys. You know, what’s worse being in the water or being in the boat where they’re beating the heck out of you every day? So, you know, the reality of it is, it does matter who saves you. It does make a difference who is throwing you that lifeline because there could be things attached to that lifeline that may in the long run not save you as much as you think you are being saved.
Yesterday the BBC's Farsi service reported that Neda's full name was Neda Agha-Soltan, and that she had been stuck in traffic in her car with her music teacher when she decided to get out "because of the heat" – "just for a few minutes", said her fiancé, Caspian Makan "[and] that's when she was shot dead".
I ask myself, ‘how much longer can these officers tolerate stress? How many among them would be willing to give their lives for somebody like Ahmadinejhad?’
64. JediBear @Lockwood: This isn’t science-vs-culture. As I pointed out, culture had it right in the first place. Before we called them solstices, english-speakers referred to the days as “midsummer” and “midwinter,” correctly noting their positions in the middle of the respective seasons.I suspect it’s actually meteorology (a science, of sorts) that’s brought us to the pass where culture and astronomy find themselves arrayed together against the calendar.
68. @JediBear- exactly: a different culture, in a different place and time, defined them differently. We don't live there. We live here, in this culture. So for a minor splinter of this culture (us astronomy nerds) to unilaterally declare that the vast number who are not astronerds are "mistaken" is more than a little presumptuous. Perhaps an analogy would help clarify: this culture defines "Christmas" as December 25. It also has a mistaken belief that this date is the anniversary of the birth of a person called "Jesus Christ." The fact that this is a mistaken belief does not change the date of Christmas. So, JediBear, yes it is science vs. culture. And as I perhaps haven't said clearly enough, when science tries to dictate to culture about what it should believe- particularly about a matter that is so trivial- I don't see any good coming as a result. As I did say in my previous comment (59), "There is some truth and value in these endeavors, but to single-handedly declare that nearly everyone else is “wrong”, and a few astronomy nerds are “right”, with respect to what I think we agree is a culturally-based word, is at best silly. At worst, it’s heavy handed overreaching, and it’s the kind of thing that makes many people hostile to science."We'll see if the "April Summer" people comprehend what I'm tryin' to "splain.
If you want to treat it as a joke, then we're in agreement. That's what I was trying to get at in the latter part of the above post. However, if you see science as the final arbiter of what is right and wrong for a culture to do, believe, and celebrate, then you put yourself in the same position as religions, and you deserve the same disdain with which I hold them. Science is not about "truth," whatever that means, it's about evidence. The evidence is that you and Phil are dissatisfied with the dominant definition of seasons- and I'm not trying to criticize or denigrate that dissatifaction. The evidence is also that you are in a very distinct minority. All I'm trying to say is that defending your position with the cloak of SCIENCE, and announcing to the world "I'm right and all you poor sods are wrong," is not going to convince people, and is potentially damaging to the general attitude toward science.
The issue of "seasons" is not what we're discussing here. What we're discussing is the proper use and role of science. If you want to turn science into a faith-based dictatorship that imposes arbitrary standards, based on accurate, repeatable, observations that, nevertheless, have no significant impact on the lives of most people, and that, sadly, most people don't know or comprehend, that's your right. It's my right to point out that I think that's a really, really bad idea.
Likewise, to argue that people in the English middle ages celebrated the solstice as "midsummer," therefore they're right, and the vast majority of modern citizens are wrong, seems a little ridiculous too. What do you and Phil think about wearing scarves around your mouths and noses to prevent breathing the bad air that causes the black plague and malaria (malaria literally means "bad air")?
Tonight marks the summer solstice, the midpoint of summer (and what you’ll hear many people mistakenly call "the first day of summer"). The exact moment of the solstice occurs at 05:45 on June 21, but that’s June 20th in my part of the US (11:45 p.m. for me in Mountain time).
7. Lockwood Says:
June 20th, 2009 at 4:14 pm
I disagree with the “bad seasons” idea. Seasons are first and foremost climatic; the concept exists because the expected weather at various times of year have (and still do, to a lesser extent) determined what people have to do to survive. Where I’m sitting, at 3:00 Pacific time, we’re still having spring weather… and we usually are at the summer solstice.
If you want to talk about intensity of insolation, I’m on board. If you want to talk about the meaning of the word “seasons,” this is bad bad astronomy.
48. Phil Plait Says:
June 21st, 2009 at 8:33 am
Lockwood (37): [actually, I was (7), but no biggie] I make a point in the linked article that defining seasons climactically is silly, since different places have different climates. In that case, why define them at all? In reality, having any hard and fast definition of seasons is rather silly, but if we’re going to do it, it should at least be somewhat logical.When people say “Today is the first day of summer” how is that any more right than what I am saying?
...which is really a claim that the word "seasons" has no meaning, so the "rational" thing to do is to define them astronomically, in conflict with the experiences, expectations, and conventions of the vast majority of people. I have little problem when astronomers want to redefine Pluto as a "plutoid," "plutino," "dwarf planet," "minor planet," or whatever damned term they've come up with in the last few hours (OK, maybe a little problem). But science is based on empiricism- the idea that first-hand experience which can be reported, replicated and shared, is a valid and important basis upon which knowledge claims can be built. And while, yes, experts such as astonomers deserve special status in terms of the validity granted to their knowledge claims in certain areas (as do geologists, electricans, farmers and so on in their respective areas), I argue that a culturally embedded word such as "season" having an astronomical correlate and cause does not give an astronomer license to redefine such a word in the face of the experience, the empirical evidence, shared and, yes, known, by the vast majority of the world's inhabitants who are not astronomers. In fact, carried to its predictable conclusion, such license might lead to some fairly unintelligible results. Science cannot answer all questions, and scientists need to understand the areas in which their opinions carry great weight (and generally they do), and in which areas their opinions carry no more than anyone else's. Too often, with respect to the latter, they don't.
59.There is plenty more to be said about this kind of issue- libraries full of books worth, in fact. I'm not going to write them today.
June 21st, 2009 at 2:53 pm Says:
Phil (#48) says: "I specifically say here that I am avoiding using weather in my reasoning.” OK, so let’s avoid referring to “fusion” when reasoning about stars. And the “different places have different climates” argument seems more than a little facile. Yes, Churchill, Manitoba has a different climate than Key West, Florida, but I’d be willing to bet that the climate is warmer in both places from June 21 to Sept. 21 than it is from ~April 6 to ~August 6. Another way of putting it is that August 6 to Sept. 21 is much more “summery” (sorry, another cultural reference that isn’t defined in astronomical or physical terms) than is the period from April 6 to June 21 for the vast bulk of inhabited extratropical areas in the northern hemisphere. Within the tropics, of course, “the seasons” aren’t a terribly useful concept; climate is much more contingent on regional geography than on the sun’s position in the sky. I didn’t bother getting into the heat inertia issue; I’m assuming that’s evident.
Phil, I can relate to your desire to nail things down, and your tendency to look for astronomical nails. Many of my physics friends tend to look at things the same way, and I tend to try to rationalize ways in which geology is the root cause of everything on earth. There is some truth and value in these endeavors, but to single-handedly declare that nearly everyone else is “wrong”, and a few astronomy nerds are “right”, with respect to what I think we agree is a culturally-based word, is at best silly. At worst, it’s heavy handed overreaching, and it’s the kind of thing that makes many people hostile to science.
Looking back, this seems to have a sterner tone than I’d prefer, over an issue that (again, I think we agree) is pretty trivial. So. Here are my suggestions for clarifying and physically defining common cultural concepts with an Astronomical and Physical Approach:
*Colors will no longer be named; we will teach people to refer to them by their frequencies. So, for example, “yellow” will henceforth be called “589 nm.” This has an added benefit in that people may come to comprehend that so called “microwaves” (which will now be called “0.1 to 10 cm”) are actually much less energetic or “dangerous” than visible light.
*ALL astronomical bodies that do not sustain fusion will be referred to as “STAR FAILs!” Let’s put this silly planet-plutoid-dwarf planet issue behind us for once and for all.
*The periodic table needs clarification too; it just keeps getting more and more cluttered:
1-Hydrogen; 2-Helium; 3- Metal. This will allow even kindergartners to memorize the entire thing.
*All physical entities will be referred to by their masses and appropriate stoichiometric chemical formulae. Care must be taken to calculate the molar proportions rather than mass proportions. Living entities should probably be designated as “O” for organic, 15 (see below). Non-living matter resulting from the death of a once-living entity will be likewise be distinguished with a “16″ notation, for “post organic.” Using myself as a simple example, I should henceforth be addressed as (roughly) 100kg H10M6(15). Post mortem, I will be recalled by the same designation, but my corpus will be referred to in the present tense as 100kg H10M6(16)
*Musical Tempos will be redefined in terms of a range of pulsars. I have provided the groundwork for this conversion by finding the periods of three well-known examples, but I leave it to others more musically and astronomically knowlegeable to fill out the list and match them to corresponding passages of music. The notation in sheet music and scholarly research should use the appropriate astronomical designations (in parentheses below), rather than their common English names:
Crab Pulsar 0.033403347 s (PSR B0531+21)
Vela Pulsar 0.089298530 s (PSR B0833-45 or PSR J0835-4510) (Phil, why does this object have two designations?)
Vulpecula Pulsar 0.144457105 s (PSR B1937+21, sometimes written as PSR B1937+214) (!!!! Again? This isn’t science!)
*Musical notes will henceforth be designated by frequency (rather than by wavelength, to keep music distinct from light). Who was the dingbat that used letters, which aren’t defined physically, to describe music, which is first and foremost a physical phenomenon of both Stars and STAR FAIL’s! (the latter provided they have atmospheres of H, He, and/or M)? So, for example, “middle C” will now be referred to as “261.626 Hz.”
*Speaking of letters, this system is entirely culturally-based and needs to be brought up to tight, Mathematical Standards, worthy of being described as “Science.” Here’s my suggestion: each letter will act as an equivalent digit in a base-26 numerical system. So “and” represents 1*676 + 14*26 + 4 (base 10, our “native,” cultural base. We’ll work on that cultural influence later), or 1044. 1044 has a variety of meanings, which can be represented by using sub- and superscripts (though not in the word processing utility I’m working on at the moment. 1044 can act as a conjuction, it can imply addition, and it is a logical operator. Converting the English language to its base 10 equivalent will effectively and logically convert all discussion in that language to a series of calculations- the accuracy and truthfulness of which can be simply and quickly tested with a mere calculator. No more spin zone. No more propaganda from the anti-science and science illiterate. The lies and avoidance of truth will no longer be possible! Puntuation is currently an unresolved problem, but enormous strides forward are expected from research currently underway.
*(Hope you enjoyed this discussion. I did)