Atmospheric Attenuation of UV to IR Radiation

I think I have gotten a good grasp of the effects of Rayleigh and Mie scattering on radiation from the ultraviolet, through the visible, and into the far infrared bands. I have had the basic parts put together for some time (years, in fact), but it hasn’t been until recently that I’ve been forced to automate all the processes. The results were not particularly interesting by themselves. But the the fact that I’ve made my algorithms more readily accessible via other routines means it is only a matter of time before I have a user-friendly GUI-based laser safety application available to the community.

Great fun.

Recycling Scandals

Very little of any new Clinton “revelation” is truly new. Anyone with a long enough memory can recall a predecessor to each supposed scandal. It is odd, then, that the infotainment industry has skipped over major news in favor of minor recycled “scandals” already shown to be non-issues. Serious ethics/corruption questions have been raised regarding Trump’s campaign donations and the serendipitous dropping of fraud lawsuits by states whose attorneys general had received said campaign donations. Perhaps, as is claimed, nothing untoward happened. What seems a clear case of graft to us laypeople “does not,” by the reckoning of some great legal minds, “give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption.”

Bribery legalization notwithstanding, the unwashed masses (i.e. we the people) are easily distracted by shiny new scandals. So why have all Trump’s numerous scandals been quietly swept under the rug even as each investigation of Clinton proves just another baseless accusation and/or wild goose chase? Part of the answer may be that the media as a group have a vested interest in keeping the election as close as possible. Despite Trump’s profound unsuitability for any high level position (let alone the highest position on Earth), members of the press seem willing to abrogate their duties as journalists in favor of their duties as lackeys to their industry.

I never thought the vocation entrusted with protecting democracy would actively subvert democracy to protect its business model.

I’m so naive.

Reince Priebus

My psychic powers sometimes allow me to enter the minds of others. The night of the closing of the RNC, I awoke drenched in sweat. It may have been a bit of food poisoning. It may have been mixing NyQuil with bum wine. It may even have been shooting up with an infusion of bloodworm venom and demon ichor (and daffodil petals, for some reason). Whatever the case, I was transported into the troubled soul of the current RNC PR BS Guy, Reince Priebus.

Over and over, I heard it. I still can’t shake the image.

Michael Steele calls me sometimes.

He doesn’t say anything.

He just laughs.

The despair in that weasel-like voice will haunt me forever.

Fairness (Both Sides)

The main idea exploited by Fox News since its inception was to capitalize on the “liberal bias” of whose existence right wing radio personalities had been insisting since Reagan did away with the “Fairness Doctrine.” Research has since revealed the existence of a strong liberal bias in journalism. What the research did not look into, however, was the most important aspect. Legitimate journalism was strongly biased against the claims of movement conservatives in the same way that science texts are strongly biased against the claims of witches.

The general pattern for the decision-making process is roughly this:

  1. Traditionally, liberals’ claims are often biased in their favor.
  2. Traditionally, conservatives’ claims are often biased in their favor.
  3. The public, in the interest of fairness, gives equal weight to both sides.
  4. The resulting ideas are often fairly accurate assessments.

Roger Ailes’ strategy seems to be this:

  1. Allow the liberals to make somewhat biased claims. (i.e. 2+2=3)
  2. Answer with profoundly biased claims. (i.e. 2+2=39)
  3. Wait for the rubes to to accept the middle point between the two claims as fact.

Result: the rubes accept that 2+2 = 21

Mission accomplished.

or, perhaps, fait accompli.

Twittering Away

Owing largely to a dearth of time, my online activities have been limited mostly to Twitter. Today, a tweet I sent as an offhand comment to the proprietor at Balloon Juice appeared in a front page article. This one.

Each alert that someone had “liked” that tweet or “reweeted” it or responded to it in some other way was like a little reward.

When I think about it, though, I suppose that it resembles the bells and flashing lights so enjoyed by the folks at the slot machines in Las Vegas.

We are so very like trained rats.