About marc

I am a scientist interested in laser safety, modeling and simulation, and statistics. I speak some Spanish, German, and Chinese.

A Little Math on the New Plague

Let’s consider the infection rate. I have heard a rough approximation of a doubling every two days. From a purely mathematical perspective, this may be considered as two to the power of n/2 (where n is the number of days). In a week, this would be:

2^3.5 = 11.3

Now allowing for some of the afflicted to have recovered (or died), let’s reduce that number from 11.3 to 10.

In this simplification, we simply add a zero each week. Without delving deeply or referencing the source from which I found this, I recall the following (top three rows, obviously, and extrapolating from there):


where the -2 means two weeks ago, and the +1 means a week from now.

Now obviously there is a catch. We approach saturation as time moves forward. Six weeks from now, there will not be one billion infected people in the US, as there are only about 325 million of us to begin with. Which means that, as the numbers increase, the curve will begin to flatten. This has already begun to happen in China and, more obviously, in South Korea. The South Korean government has been a case study in a sober, active, and pragmatic response to an emerging threat. In South Korea, the curve began to flatten far below the saturation level. Despite being home to one of the great world cities (Seoul), South Korea was able to rein in this virulent pathogen in a way no other country has yet approached.

I hope our country’s response ultimately more closely resembles that of South Korea than that of China, but I fear it may end up worse. If this administration emulates the regime of its benefactor, the US populace will simply be kept in the dark as an unchecked pathogen is left free to exact whatever price it will.

Foreign Princes

I hear a lot of complaining about the fact that the sherbet-colored abomination’s campaign was largely driven by an enemy state. What people need to understand is that the enemy states purchasing offices for puppets is the only logical conclusion of the Roberts Court’s Citizens United decision.

Many Revolution-period Americans were born in Europe. There is a single reason the U.S. Constitution expressly restricts the office of President to “natural born citizens.” That was to prevent European powers from installing foreign princes to the U.S. Presidency. The laws put in place to limit the power to purchase political offices have been winnowed away since World War II. Once the Roberts Court declared the de facto sale of political offices “Constitutional,” all that was needed was a “natural born citizen” who intensely hated this country, was at least a C-list celebrity, and could be made popular in white supremacist circles.

The only obstacle to this plan is a Republican who places the country ahead of his party.

But Ronald Reagan made loyalty to the nation, the Constitution, and one’s personal ethics secondary with his so-called 11th Commandment, “Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.”

In order to follow this, one must condone child molestation, bribery (though, again, the Roberts Court declared this legal for the foreseeable future), and even treason.

Putin’s installation of that tangerine nightmare was perfectly legal according to the Roberts Court. And any Republican is effectively muzzled by the “party above country” policy instituted by Reagan.

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.