WEEK 1 2014
Mon- Tue- Wed-
Picture of the Week
17 March 2002
Ago, This Week, 2003
Ago, This Week, 2006
Ago, This Week, 2007
Ago, This Week, 2008
Ago, This Week, 2009
This Week, 2010
|One Year Ago,
Saturday - Not much going on. Did a bit
of house cleaning, put up some pictures after moving some furniture
about. Tossed a bunch of truly ancient linen, stuff that predates my moving to this house...
Lunch at the Korean place, bulgogi, yummm. It really hit the spot for some reason.
friends laptop hiccuped again, wouldn't boot, except into Safe Mode.
She eventually got it going, but it's probably time to retire the ca.
2006 machine. Even a lower end machine would have a lot more power and
I was thinking about one of the books from last year, #53, The Devil's Eye.
This had a bit of mystery, and governmental cover-ups and so on, but
the basic premise was that there was a planet located near a star
called the "Devil's Eye". The star had gone nova some hundreds of years
prior to the time of the story, and when the government discovered
this had happened, they covered it up because it would be impossible to
evacuate 2 billion people, or shelter them from 3 days of gamma
There are several interesting things here. One is the
idea of knowing ahead of time that you are going to get hit by a nova's
radiation. Without faster than light travel, like that in the book, you
can't really know this. In the book they have faster than light travel
but the nova is discovered too late and only by accident - there are
hundreds of billions of stars, after all, and not all of them can be
visited and monitored.
Benedict's cosmos is interesting -
there is faster than light travel, but the ships are rather small, a
few thousand people at most. About the size of a cruise liner in our
time. He places the nearest habitable alternate some hundreds of light
years away, so that between the small ship sizes, and the round trip
distance, and the gamma ray front being only a few years away
evacuation isn't an option.
He says that shelter isn't possible,
but I don't think I agree. A gamma ray burst is easily survivable, as
long as you are under a few centimeters of soil. We can calculate how
big a shelter for 2 billion people would be:
The densest place
on earth is, according to Wikipedia, Manila. Manila has a population
density of 43,000 per square kilometer (one person per a 16ftx16ft
room). Dividing 2 billion by 43,000 gives a requirement of 46,000
square kilometers, or a square 215km on a side. Huge, but not crazy
huge. If people don't permanently have to live there we might scale
that by 50%, 23,000 SKm, or 150Km a side. If we stack living quartrers,
or bury them, then we can get away with even less space.
Thursday 2 January
- Working on the app mostly. Gotta get back on that horse.
I did take a nice 4 mile walk in the bright warm winter weather we're having. Crazy stuff.
called, said that removing all the images from the laptop, then
restoring, fixed things. What? I checked Task Manager, there was plenty of RAM and Disk while all the problems were going on. Voodoo Computer Science. Oh well, as long as it works again.
now wants to play "fetch", every day. I throw it, she chases, bats it
around for a while, then brings it back and drops it at my feet. So
cute! I have to be careful in my desk chair not to roll over her by
accident, though she's gotten clever and often stands on
the chair legs - safe from the wheels. Being a cat she gets distracted
and sometimes forgets to bring the toy back with her, sitting at my
feet and looking forlorn.
Book #1 was A Talent For War (Alex Benedict #1),
by Jack McDevitt. I'd read it before, but so long ago that it isn't
even mentioned on this blog. A lot of the details had escaped me. I
actually bought it, since I couldn't find my old copy.
The passengers on the Akademik Shokalskiy has been airlifted to the Aurora Australis using the helicopter from the Xue Long, and the AA
is slowly (1/4 knot) making it's way out of the ice pack. But they have
to go to another Antarctic station before heading back to Australia, so
it may be many weeks before all the passengers from the AS get home.
In fact, the diversion of three separate ships - the Aurora Australis, the Xue Long, and (for a time) the L'Astrolabe,
is causing a lot of hardship for real Antarctica scientists and
personnel, with supplies and equipment not being delivered. And more
can be expected if the Polar Star has to spend several weeks getting the Akademik Shokalskiy out of the ice.
Wednesday 1 January
New Years Day.
Not much going on. Got up, had breakfast and R&S's, then went
home to check on the cats. Everything was fine, I fed them some soft
food, took a shower, had a cup of coffee, napped.
Then we went down to Palmdale for lunch, and to looks at laptops at
Best Buy. Rather than buy a new one right away she's decided to try to
do a reset to factory, then reinstall the s/w, just in case it's some
sort of bit rot issue with XP. But as long as we were there we decided to take a look.
The issue with a new one is that it would probably have to be Windows
8, rather than Windows 7. You can, after fiddling about, make Windows 8
work like Windows 7, but it looks like a real bother.
- See last week.
- See last week.
- See last week.