Yo, Brian Stelter!
When I was a kid, I got nicknamed “Bald Eagle” because I actually was getting notably thin “up there.” Of course today “Bald Eagle” might be a cool nickname, but in junior high school, it definitely was not a cool thing.
Fast forward to today, and now here I am over twenty years older than you are, and even in spite of that poor start, I have better hair than you do.
And I am not a piss-guzzling, shit-gobbling communist “journalist” (what a sick joke) either.
On both accounts you must absolutely hate looking into the mirror.
And Oh By The Way probably more people read my posts than watch you bloviate on air. And yes, I know your ratings dropped again. One would think there’s be a limit to that…you can’t drop below zero, can you?
RINOs an Endangered Species?
According to Wikipoo, et. al., the Northern White Rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum cottoni) is a critically endangered species. Apparently two females live on a wildlife preserve in Sudan, and no males are known to be alive. So basically, this species is dead as soon as the females die of old age. Presently they are watched over by armed guards 24/7.
Biologists have been trying to cross them with the other subspecies, Southern White Rhinoceroses (Rhinoceri?) without success; and some genetic analyses suggest that perhaps they aren’t two subspecies at all, but two distinct species, which would make the whole project a lot more difficult.
I should hope if the American RINO (Parasitus rectum pseudoconservativum) is ever this endangered, there will be heroic efforts not to save the species, but rather to push the remainder off a cliff. Onto punji sticks. With feces smeared on them. Failing that a good bath in red fuming nitric acid will do.
But I’m not done ranting about RINOs.
The RINOs (if they are capable of any introspection whatsoever) probably wonder why they constantly have to deal with “populist” eruptions like the Trump-led MAGA movement. That would be because the so-called populists stand for absolutely nothing except for going along to get along. That allows the Left to drive the culture and politics.
Given the results of Tuesday’s elections, the Left will now push harder, and the RINOs will now turn even squishier than they were before.
I well remember 1989-1990 in my state when the RINO establishment started preaching the message that a conservative simply couldn’t win in Colorado. Never mind the fact that Reagan had won the state TWICE (in 1984 bringing in a veto-proof state house and senate with him) and GHWB had won after (falsely!) assuring everyone that a vote for him was a vote for Reagan’s third term.
This is how the RINOs function. They push, push, push the line that only a “moderate” can get elected. Stomp them when they pull that shit. Tell everyone in ear shot that that’s exactly what the Left wants you to think, and oh-by-the-way-Mister-RINO if you’re in this party selling the same message as the Left…well, whythefuckexactly are you in this party, you lying piece of rancid weasel shit?
Justice Must Be Done.
The prior election must be acknowledged as fraudulent, and steps must be taken to prosecute the fraudsters and restore integrity to the system. (This doesn’t necessarily include deposing Joe and Hoe and putting Trump where he belongs, but it would certainly be a lot easier to fix our broken electoral system with the right people in charge.)
Nothing else matters at this point. Talking about trying again in 2022 or 2024 is pointless otherwise. Which is not to say one must never talk about this, but rather that one must account for this in ones planning; if fixing the fraud in the system is not part of the plan, you have no plan.
This will necessarily be piecemeal, state by state, which is why I am encouraged by those states working to change their laws to alleviate the fraud both via computer and via bogus voters. If enough states do that we might end up with a working majority in Congress and that would be something Trump never really had.
Lawyer Appeasement Section
OK now for the fine print.
This is the WQTH Daily Thread. You know the drill. There’s no Poltical correctness, but civility is a requirement. There are Important Guidelines, here, with an addendum on 20191110.
We have a new board – called The U Tree – where people can take each other to the woodshed without fear of censorship or moderation.
And remember Wheatie’s Rules:
1. No food fights
2. No running with scissors.
3. If you bring snacks, bring enough for everyone.
4. Zeroth rule of gun safety: Don’t let the government get your guns.
5. Rule one of gun safety: The gun is always loaded.
5a. If you actually want the gun to be loaded, like because you’re checking out a bump in the night, then it’s empty.
6. Rule two of gun safety: Never point the gun at anything you’re not willing to destroy.
7. Rule three: Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to fire.
8. Rule the fourth: Be sure of your target and what is behind it.
(Hmm a few extras seem to have crept in.)
Mozart wrote two distinct pieces called “Symphonia Concertante), both in E flat major.
The more famous of the two (at least, judging from youtube hits) is K 364. Three movements, Allegro Maestso to start, 2nd movement (Andante) at 13:06, 3rd movement (Presto) at 23:47.
But I think I like this one better, to be honest. KV 297b, also in three movements: Allegro at the start, Adagio at 13:53 and Andantino con Variazione at 22:37. This one has considerably more in the way of woodwinds to add color.
This week, 3 PM MT on Friday, markets closed for the weekend
PGMs going down and the “traditional” precious metals going up indicates to me that we are expecting inflation and a recession. Or it will tell me that if the pattern holds for more than a few weeks (so far, one week and counting). Why? Because the platinum group metals are valuable primarily for their industrial uses, so they will tend to go down if industry expects to be in trouble, while gold and silver tend to be places people go when they’re worried–perhaps because industry is expected to be in trouble. Or perhaps because they think the dollar will suddenly approach its intrinsic value.
On the other hand, inflation tends to show up as rising stock and gold prices. A company’s nominal value goes up due to inflation, just like gold’s value will.
This market bears watching in light of recent world events, and recent couldn’t-be-worse-if-they-tried-which-makes-sense-because-they’re-probably-trying economic policies.
James Webb Space Telescope Update
Multi-instrument alignment continues. There are no less than five instruments inside the telescope, behind the mirror, and the mirrors have to be able to focus light accurately on all five instruments’ sensors.
One of the instruments is MIRI (Mid InfraRed Instrument) and it requires temperatures even colder than the telescope is getting just from being shielded from the sun. This is because it’s sensitive to longer wavelengths of infrared, wavelengths given off as black body radiation from even things quite a bit colder than the other instruments. It actually gets cryogenically cooled even more with liquid helium. But right now it is actually the warmest instrument of the five, at 94 K (-291 F). It needs to get down to 7 K (-447 F), which is still about 18 degrees K warmer than Hitlary Clinton’s personality.
Finally, I have found some time to work on a “science” post. I’m going to cover a topic I skipped over the first time around through the physics series, because initially my main goal was eventually to talk about neutrinos. And every once in a while I regretted it. So if there’s a logical place for this in the old sequence, it’s somewhere in between a pair of the single-digit posts. But there’s more than one part to this, so I wouldn’t go renumbering things just yet! For now I’m going to treat these as a separate series, with numbers T1, T2 and so on. (T for “Thermal.”)
The issue of heat is important in physics, and chemistry, and biology. I’ve talked about “black body radiation” being dependent on temperature before.
(To refresh memories: The hotter something is the brighter it glows, and the higher the wavelengths it glows at; if if gets hot enough it glows in visible light, if it gets even hotter, it glows in ultraviolet light or (really, really hot) x rays or even gamma rays. Many stars visible in the night sky glow in primarily blue wavelengths, these are basically the hottest objects we have everyday (well, everynight) experience with, at 10,000 K or even higher. Fortunately they’re quite far away so they don’t barbecue us.)
But I never really talked that much about heat as such, just this one side effect that’s very important to astronomy since it can tell us a lot about a star.
Newton’s first law of motion is: A body remains at rest, or in motion at a constant speed in a straight line, unless acted upon by a force.
But we see moving objects come to a halt all the time with no obvious “push” being given to them.
Even billiard balls stop eventually, and those are the inevitable example given for working with momentum. Or air hockey pucks. Or cars on ice. (I have occasionally found myself in a pickup game of two-ton-puck road hockey. Not fun. The only way to win is not to play at all.)
Outer space is actually the only place this seems to be true; objects in orbit will stay that way forever, at least when you can ignore third-body influences. (Which, even when dealing with the planets of our solar system orbiting the sun, you really can’t, not in the long term.)
This is probably why it took us so long to get to the point where Newton could do his thing. For one thing we had to figure out how, in fact, the planets moved, so that Newton could explain that with universal gravitation (thank you Johannes Kepler for the setup). And Galileo had to do all of his experiments with kinetics. Before this the theory was objects would be given an initial impeteus, which would then bleed away. Then, they might want to return “home.” Smoke’s home was Up There; a cannonball’s home was Down Here (and most things were like that). Fire a cannonball, and you give it an impetus. It travels in a straight line as the impetus bleeds away, finally halts, then drops straight down. That was the theory anyway. (Actual artillerymen knew this was bullshit, though, even before Galileo showed that cannonballs moved in parabolas. And then Newton showed that no, they were really moving suborbitally, in very small sections of a very eccentric ellipse–effectively indistinguishable at the ranges cannonballs could be fired in the 1600s. By the way, high school and college freshman physics teaches the parabola, not the ellipse.)
But in fact Newtonian dynamics works very well. The problem is, in order to teach it effectively, you have to pretend, at first, that friction doesn’t exist, because friction, though covered quite well in Newtonian dynamics, makes the story problems more complicated. Only after you master frictionless behavior do they throw friction at you and expect you to account for it as well.
Friction is a force from the air, or the ground, or something touching the object in question, and is both proportional to the speed of the object, and opposite in direction.
OK, I’d better unpack that with an example. Imagine you’re pushing a heavy box across the floor. And you’re able to shove the sucker at 1 MPH. It requires a certain continuous force to keep the box moving at a mile per hour. It would require twice as much force to move it at two miles per hour, half as much to move it at half a mile per hour. Since the box is not speeding up, the net force on it must be zero (by Newton’s second law of motion, good old F = ma). But you’re applying a force. But it’s countered–precisely–by the friction between the box and the floor, which is in the exact opposite direction. Now if you double how hard you’re pushing on the box, it speeds up, but eventually settles in on moving twice as fast as it was before, without moving, so your push and the friction are again in balance. So the force from friction is proportional to how fast the box is moving. Hopefully you can go back and reread the previous paragraph and it will make more sense to you.
OK, so Newtonian dynamics can, with added difficulty, account for friction. It’s a variable force working “against” us pushing that box across the floor. (And to save effort, we get a dolly, which reduces the friction. Our salvador is dolly.)
But we’re not done yet. Remember how momentum is supposed to be conserved? When the box quits moving because we stopped pushing, where does that momentum go? Well, let’s suppose we are pushing the box eastward, so our applied force is eastward. The force of friction on the box is westward, then. But that force of friction must also be acting on the floor, which is attached (ultimately) to the Earth, and the friction force acting on the floor must be pointed eastward (because of Newton’s third law, the one about every action bringing about an equal but opposite reaction). So the earth is getting pushed on by the friction. But it’s roughly a godzillion times more massive so you can’t see the effect. The effect (as invisible as it is) disappears when the box stops moving, because at that point the friction force on the box, and therefore on the floor-attached-to-the-earth, is zero.
And one more thing…the one that’s actually where I’m going with this (took my sweet time about it, didn’t I?). Isn’t energy conserved?
The box, while moving, has kinetic energy. Then it stops. This doesn’t seem like much of a problem, though, does it? After all we routinely swap kinetic and potential energy, pretty much any time gravitation comes into play, and orbiting bodies do this all the time unless they’re in perfectly circular orbits.
Indeed. We are free to swap potential for kinetic energy. But we are pushing the box across a level floor and it still comes to a stop when we quit pushing! The very definition of “level” is a surface where the potential energy is the same no matter where you are standing on it* so the kinetic energy cannot be getting turned into potential energy.
(*[skip this if you don’t want your mind blown] Incidentally, you can get some very weird shapes that are “level.” A non-rotating planet would have a spherical surface, all at the same potential but level, a rotating planet will have that surface be an oblate spheroid (i.e., one a bit squashed looking), with the equator being the maximum bulge, but then you have the moon and sun pulling on the earth which raises tides and makes the “level” surface a bit more complicated (and ever-changing). That level surface nevertheless looks flat to us, because it’s so doggone big.
You could conceivably have a double planet orbiting so closely that the two planets would each form a teardrop shape, with the points of the teardrops each pointing at the opposing planet. If they were close enough together they might even touch. And that would be “level” ground to the people on those planets, though the force of gravity would be zero where the teardrops touch.)
If energy is conserved, and at everyday scales it most certainly is, the kinetic energy of the box must be going somewhere, and it is: it becomes heat energy.
Not only that, but since you were pushing the box against an opposing force (before you quit and let it stop) across some distance, you were doing work, and that too is a form of energy, and it too all became heat energy.
I’m not quite sure when heat was recognized as a form of energy, as opposed to the older theory that it was a fluid named calor that flowed from one object to another (sort of a reverse-phlogiston; or rather phlogistion was a reverse of calor). Antoine Lavoisier, who late in the 1700s dismantled phlogiston theory and came up with a largely correct but incomplete list of elements, actually considered calor (as well as light) an element.
Chemists were able to determine that different substances required different amounts of heat energy to change their temperatures. The amount of heat energy needed to raise the temperature of one gram of water one degree Celsius (or one Kelvin) was defined as the calorie (note a small c). A thousand calories was a kilocalorie, enough energy to raise the temperature of a kilogram of water one degree C or one K. But sometimes a kilocalorie is written as “Calorie” with a capital C. (It is this Calorie-with-a-big-C that you contend with when you are dieting.)
A substance like iron, on the other hand, could heat up a degree per gram with a lot less energy than a calorie. In fact, it only takes 0.107 calories to do this.
How do you determine this? In principle, you can drop a one gram lump of iron at, say, 20C into a gram of water at 21C, then wait for the heat to transfer. Once everything is at a uniform temperature, you can measure the temperature, and notice that the water barely cooled down at all, but the iron nearly reached 21C. So the water dropped a little bit in temperature but the iron heated up quite a bit. If the energy is constant, the iron heated up a lot more (with the same amount of energy) than the water cooled off (by giving up that energy); thus iron takes less energy to heat up than water. Obviously, you can alter the mass of the water or the iron, or the temperature difference, and things change in proportion; you can do the math and figure that iron’s heat capacity is 0.107 calories per gram, per degree K, if water’s is 1 calorie per gram, per degree K (which it is, by definition).
Water’s heat capacity happens to be one of the highest. Iron’s is more typical.
It turns out that experiment is difficult to run precisely because, of course, the heat leaks out of the container of water while you’re trying to do it. Still, you can try to control this by putting the water in a thermos…a very good thermos, or something better than that. (These sorts of painstaking efforts to eliminate outside effects are why science is harder to do than it is to write about…or read about, no matter how badly I write these posts.)
On to James Prescott Joule, 1818-1889, who came up with the first definitive way to relate heat energy to mechanical energy. Calories were convenient for chemists working with water and other substances, but just how big is a calorie compared to other forms of energy?
In the metric system, we’ve built up our units of force, and so on, from meters, kilograms and seconds (MKS, also known as the international system or SI (its French initials)); there’s also an older system that worked off centimeters, grams, and seconds (CGS). Thus the Newton, the unit of force, is one kilogram-meter-per-second-squared (kg•m/s2 or, preferred by pedants, kg•m•s-2). Work is a force applied by a distance, so the natural units for this ought to be Newtons times meters, N•m, or substituting in, kg•m2•s-2. And indeed that’s what energy’s metric unit is. (It even has a convenient name, but I’ll hold off on telling you what it is for now.)
So can we somehow equate the calorie with this natural metric unit of energy? How many metric units of energy does it take to make up a calorie?
Joule was able to do a known amount of mechanical work on water and measure its temperature change, thus he could determine how much mechanical work it would take to raise the temperature of a gram of water one degree C, and so he knew how many natural metric units were equivalent to a calorie. In fact, he ran multiple different experiments, including some using electricity to heat the water, and (the most direct), the weight of an object hung from a pulley to turn blades in the water to stir it and thereby heat it up. He always got close to the same answer, working in English units (foot pounds of energy).
Over the years we’ve refined his work and have a very precise answer (and we express it in metric.) And the answer is: 4.184 natural metric units equals one (small c) calorie.
And because of Joule’s work on this and related topics, we gave that natural metric unit of energy the name joule, symbol J.
We have also named the metric unit of power, which is to say, the rate at which energy is delivered, the watt, yes the same “watt” you see on light bulbs and microwave ovens. (It’s a metric unit as are volts and amperes and ohms…which, if you’re anti-metric, ought to chap your hindquarters.) One watt is one joule per second, or one joule is the energy delivered by one watt, for one second. A kilowatt-hour (which you might be more familiar with since electric companies like to use them to bill you) is one kilowatt (a thousand watts), delivered for an hour, which is 3600 seconds, so a kilowatt-hour is 1000 x 3600 = 3,600,000 watt-seconds or joules. (Of course, it could also be 500 watts, delivered for two hours…or 2000 watts delivered for half an hour…anything that will multiply out to 3,600,000 watt-seconds.)
Returning to heat, 4.184 joules equals one calorie, but this isn’t the usual number you’ll see. Remember, a calorie is the amount of heat necessary to raise the temperature of one gram of liquid water 1 kelvin (or one degree C), but today, almost everyone works in MKS (meters, kilograms, seconds, newtons, joules, watts), not CGS (centimeters, grams, seconds, dynes, ergs…), so kilograms of water are preferred over grams and you’ll generally see that 4,184 joules equals one kilocalorie (abbreviated kcal preferentially, because “big C” versus “little C” gets confusing especially when talking). Or better yet, 4.184 kJ (kilojoules) = 1 kilocalorie.
(But note, the kilocalorie is still just called a “calorie” when we’re talking about food; the author of your book on the new fad kumquat diet may bother to capitalize it…and may not.)
Chemists still use kcals and calories, because it’s convenient for them, but offically, they are neither base units (kilograms, meters, seconds, kelvins, amperes), derived units (newtons, watts, joules, coulombs), nor even the list of non-SI units mentioned in the SI (like the astronomical unit, electron volt, or minute (of time or arc, take your pick).
I’ve talked a lot about temperature, as if we knew what it means. And everyone thinks we do because we measure it all the time, for weather and cooking and refrigeration. But our everyday understanding is very incomplete. (It’s certainly not the same thing as “heat” because different amounts of heat energy change temperatures by different amounts depending on the materials being heated.)
Physicists, of course, looked into this as well and gained a deeper understanding. And with that cliffhanger, I’ll stop here. Next time we move onwards.
Obligatory PSAs and Reminders
China is Lower than Whale Shit
To conclude: My standard Public Service Announcement. We don’t want to forget this!!!
Remember Hong Kong!!!
Zhōngguò shì gè hùndàn !!!
China is asshoe !!!
China is in the White House
Since Wednesday, January 20 at Noon EST, the bought-and-paid for Joseph Biden has been in the White House. It’s as good as having China in the Oval Office.
Joe Biden is Asshoe
China is in the White House, because Joe Biden is in the White House, and Joe Biden is identically equal to China. China is Asshoe. Therefore, Joe Biden is Asshoe.
But of course the much more important thing to realize:
Joe Biden Didn’t Win
Qiáo Bài dēng méi yíng !!!
Joe Biden didn’t win !!!