OPEN THREAD 20191120

Basically, all legal free speech is allowed. We will assist the authorities in dealing with illegal speech. You are each other’s moderators. Have fun. And don’t forget to MAGA at nuclear levels.

Citizen U

PS – today – the 20th of November, is DAY 14.

The 14th element is SILICON.

Silicon has 3 stable isotopes – 28, 29 and 30.

Silicon is why we have Silicon Valley. Yes, pencilneck helped, but still – silicon helped pencilneck, and then somebody did something. So it’s still silicon’s fault that we have Silicon Valley. Silicon is not getting out of this one!

This version of the periodic table is quite awesome to see where your Silicon Valley originally came from – exploding massive stars (Hollywood) and exploding white dwarfs (80’s and 90’s TV shows, Austin Powers movies).

Here is a nice video about Silicon that just barely touches the highlights, but is nevertheless extremely fascinating!

56 thoughts on “OPEN THREAD 20191120

  1. In special honor of PHC…

    Sometimes the best revenge is living well and beatin ’em at their own games, having fun the whole time. Who’s that remind you of? πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Liked by 3 people

  3. Silicon dioxide is extremely common — it generally appears as sand. Carbon dioxide is extremely common as a result of combustion. They both take four bonds (of which oxygen takes two). Many have speculated that there might be a possibility of an alternative “organic chemistry” based on silicon.

    One of the more fascinating (yet horrifying) silicon demonstrations involves the immersion of mice in highly oxygenated silicon fluid. They can survive quite well, and I’m sure they can get used to it — but their initial introduction must seem a lot like drowning. This was considered as a method for deep-water human diving (and for all I know, might now be routine) because liquids don’t compress with pressure the way gasses do. An individual breathing silicon fluid would not experience the same compression issues as someone diving on air.

    Glass (AKA silicon dioxide), is also part of fiberoptic cables. In terms of fun physics tricks, you can introduce trace amounts of the rare-earth erbium into a glass fiber, then excite it with a 980 nm laser……and any 1550 nm signal introduced into one end will be stronger when it exits the other. This is frequently referred-to as an “Erbium-doped fiber amplifier” or EDFA.

    Essentially anything having to do with glass involves silicon.

    Semiconductors are usually built upon highly-pure silicon wafers using photolithography. This used to be done in Silicon Valley, but those were the days…..

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I am guessing you meant a silicone fluid. (It still has silicon in it, if so.) That concept (providing divers with something they could breathe) showed up in the Crichton novel Abyss. Which only means it may still be utterly fictitious. (He can sound very good when he’s bullshitting, but he really needed to learn that ASCII isn’t encryption and isn’t spelled “askey.” Biggest blooper of the year in a piece of “science fiction.” I watched someone once as they read the page that appeared on.)

      Unlike carbon, silicon will not form long chains without intervening oxygen atoms. So you get Si-O-Si-O-Si, whereas carbon will do C-C-C-C. In both cases the Si or C has two extra bonds that can link to other chains, or to simpler groups like a carbonyl group or even just hydrogen atoms. As far as I know, doesn’t, under any circumstances, form nice hexagonal rings like carbon does. This is why silicon isn’t considered as promising for serving as the basis for life forms (though it may still serve at higher temperatures than we have here on earth).

      Silicon dioxide is what quartz is made of.

      OK end of silicon brain dump.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Even before Crichton, it showed up in the Time-Life Science books. A black and white photo of a poor mouse held to the bottom of a flask of liquid by a weight attached to its tail. (Evidently, it’s dense enough that mice float in it.)

        It was considered as a potential basis for life back in the 60s (cf. Horta, “I’m a doctor, not a bricklayer!”). I note, however, that “organic chemistry” is still chemistry with carbon.

        Some might say that ASCII is a form of encryption……while others might reply: 01001110, 01101111, 01110000, 01100101, 00100001.

        Liked by 3 people

          1. All things are code. We have no ability to perceive reality directly.

            Consider looking at a color photograph of a scene. Whatever ambient light is falling on the photograph and the pigments of the picture only allow certain colors to be reflected. These are sensed by cells in the human retina named “cones”.

            Lifting from : “Humans normally have three types of cones. The first responds the most to light of longer wavelengths, peaking at about 560 nm; this type is sometimes designated L for long. The second type responds the most to light of medium-wavelength, peaking at 530 nm, and is abbreviated M for medium. The third type responds the most to short-wavelength light, peaking at 420 nm, and is designated S for short. The three types have peak wavelengths near 564–580 nm, 534–545 nm, and 420–440 nm, respectively, depending on the individual.” Digging into , one finds that 560 nm is normally referred to as “Green” [520-570 nm]; 530 nm is normally referred to as “cyan” — even though that is generally held to be be 490-520 nm; and 420 nm is normally referred to as “violet” [380-450 nm]. In addition, rod cells have a peak sensitivity at about 498 nm — but there are significantly fewer of them. Nice chart at

            So if we’re looking at a splotch of color on a photograph, what we’re really getting is four independent level readings from organic light sensors tuned to four different colors (which, BTW, vary from person to person). And this is heavily processed in your eyes, optic nerves, visual cortex, and brain… be a splotch of yellow. “Yellow” doesn’t actually exist at all — every possible object that tickles those four sensors the same way would be perceived the same way, and dumped into the yellow bucket.

            This is particularly of interest when you have ambient light that doesn’t look like sunlight — . Note that fluorescents radiate in spikes where their phosphors are more reactive.

            And, just for something extra special to consider…..while we’re up here talking about pretty colors in 400-600 nm, chip designers are trying to etch things onto silicon at 7, 10, and 14 nm.


        1. ASCII is definitely a code. It’s not encryption, though. because there’s no key, anyone can read it. It’s not intended to hide info from all but the recipient–in fact, it’s the opposite of that; it’s designed to help computers communicate with people.

          The specific reference in the Abyss was some character wondering if the alien computer data was in “an askey code.” Mispelled, and the implication was that “askey” was a category or class of code. But there is only one ASCII code; it’s not a class of code. (It has been extended to make Unicode and other variants, but those extensions are generally backward compatible.)

          It was clear the Crichton had no actual idea what ASCII code was or what it was for, yet he had written in great detail on all that diving technology, so I immediately doubted everything he had written about that.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. You are, of course, technically correct — “crypto” comes from the Greek, where it specifically references “hidden, secret” and is a combining form, used to build words. One might well note that a universal worldwide encoding system is anything but “hidden” or “secret”.

            OTOH, as people are lead to be increasingly superficial, to experience their lives through television and smartphones, maleducated with propaganda until dumped into unchallenging jobs of role playing and virtue-signalling…..the basic underpinnings of civilization are becoming less-and-less well-known.

            Indeed, things like: how gasoline engines run; where electricity comes from; how the letters, numbers, and symbols on your screen are shipped from device to device; how refrigeration works; how water comes out of your tap; where stuff goes when you flush… the average person, this information is becoming increasingly cryptic. And to someone who doesn’t understand fundamental concepts……well, Arthur C. Clarke had an expression for that: “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

            So ASCII might as well be encryption for a lot of people. I used the cheat sheet here — .

            Incidentally, while wandering my way through composing this, I happened to stop on . In scanning it for something useful, I couldn’t help but notice the “intentional typo” in the first message.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Yeah, it’s a mystery to most people, I agree. The real issue Crichton’s characters had is dealing with a totally unknown language. Such a situation stumps our archaelogists routinely; we’ve never deciphered Linear A Minoan, the different system used on the Phaistos Disk, nor have we deciphered the Indus Valley script. The cases where we HAVE deciphered things, we’ve always had help (a translation to something we do know, like the famous Rosetta Stone, or the carvings of cuneiform on the side of a mountain in Iran).

              ASCII isn’t *intended* to obscure, so it’s not a crypto style code, even if 98% of humanity is too clueless to know how to read it. (For those 98 percent it could be used as a code, but that wasn’t it’s original purpose.) Likewise a language isn’t intended to obscure either, even if it can be used that way in front of non-speakers (cf. the Code Talkers and Navajo. Though even the code talkers encrypted what they were saying somewhat just in case the Japanese found a person who knew the language.)


  4. did something change here ?

    has there always been a Home Page ?

    there’s a new look…a new feel…much less cumbersome to navigate thru !

    much less scrolling ! πŸ˜€

    well done, Wolf.



    Liked by 5 people

      1. Yes, I just did it through the horrid theme API, which tries to override those tags (apparently) at every opportunity.

        We’re still partially screwed on posts beyond the most recent 50, in that the theme defaults to the earlier behavior in the “see entire feed” mode, which can only be accessed through one feature of one widget.

        It’s still a crappy theme, IMO. But SEARCHES come back with “read more”, so I may stick with it. That’s the best way to look beyond 50 recent posts anyway.

        Liked by 3 people

    1. I basically played with a combination of the theme and the WordPress settings to make it more like the default of other themes. This theme defaults to “show the whole post, infinite scroll”. I had to really play with things to make it default to showing the feed as excerpts with the “read more” tags, which I can only make it do SOMETIMES.

      But good enough, IMO. Beyond 50 posts back, best to SEARCH, not show all.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. the lying megalomaniac ….

    ….mole ….

    …had an agenda…

    Vindman broke Chain of Command To Get Word Out of Trump – Zelensky Call


    Nov 19

    watch the slob perjure himself…during the outing-the-whistleblower farce…questioned by Nunes and Jordan..

    …in this article, embedded vid…

    Nov 19, 2019

    Vindman Outs Himself !

    Liked by 5 people



    EXCLUSIVE : Leftist Activism Is A Requirement of New Elementary School Curriculum

    Nov 18, 2019

    the new elementary school Racial Literacy Curriculum is being implemented in grades K-8 in various schools throughout 8 American states…

    …particularly highlighted in the article is what’s called the Pollyanna stage of that curriculum…starting in grade 3, it “fabricates an image of a racist America that children are taught to rebel against .”

    then, by grade 8, after 9 years of “acute indoctrination”, the kids are ready to fight on behalf of Leftists in America.

    a lot more on this, at the link.

    oh…and guess who is the poster child for this sort of “curriculum” ….

    give up ?

    well….how dayuh you !

    take a bow, Greta dear…

    Liked by 4 people

  7. thinking about home-schooling ?

    …or you know someone who is ?

    …or you just want to be informed ?

    suggested reading….

    written by co-authors, Colin Gunn and Joaquin Fernandez…first pub’d in 2012…

    rec’d 5 star reviews…and a movie was made based on the book…

    for more about it, here’s the site…

    Liked by 4 people

    1. “…a look behind the uncomfortable myth of an educational system actively at work to alter your child’s ..

      moral values
      world view
      religious beliefs…”

      Liked by 4 people

      1. and if you look up the word UNRELIABLE in the dictionary, Sondland’s bobbling bullet-head face will be there !

        clueless much ??

        reminds me of Holder being questioned…but Holder’s craftier .

        Liked by 2 people

          1. JIM JORDAN IS AWESOME !

            this slimebag sondland is a textbook case of LYING including all the clueless facial smirks…

            he’s too damn DUMB to even realize how stupid he is…pathetic.

            Jordan rocks.

            Liked by 1 person

          1. I think he does, Wolf, and sees it as an opportunity to come out a hero. SC is basically Conservative so it will play well in his re-election efforts. Plus, POTUS will feed his ego…which I think he needs.

            Liked by 1 person

  8. Damn.
    How the hell does Daughn do it?
    I’m monitoring the DemonicRat “Debate”… (Bullshit on parade)
    Faux news….. (More Bullshit recently)
    Q Tree and here…. (REAL News and Intelligent Commentary).

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Ok….. I give up πŸ™‚
    The DemonicRat “Debate” is a useless waste of time.
    Faux Snooze is repeating what I already know (Thanks Flep)
    Back to the X22 Report…..


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