OPEN THREAD 20200102

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


12 thoughts on “OPEN THREAD 20200102

  1. Lanthanum is generally regarded as the first of the lanthanide series of rare earths — although there are some quibblers. It is, as we have seen in Yttrium previously, generally found with other rare earths — comprising up to a quarter of some rarer minerals, but generally eclipsed by others. It is the 28th most common element in the earth’s crust, making it about three times as abundant as lead.

    However, like the other rare earths, it is one thing to say you’ve got some and quite another to actually isolate it — which only happened in 1923 [Although, what might have happened if Sir Humphrey Davy hadn’t been persuaded to quit after 1808…..].

    ‘Tis the nature of the rare earths to have several “generic” rare earth properties, making it useful in things like gas mantles, cigarette lighter flints (in mischmetal), anodes for nickel-metal hydride batteries, and carbon arc lamps. Considering the ease of accomplishing a generic rare earth “soup”, compared to the difficulty of extracting pure lanthanum, these tend to be popular.

    On the other hand, specific rare earths tend to do some very peculiar things in very specific areas. Practically every rare earth, for instance, can dope glass telecommunications fiber for various peculiar effects. They may be in phosphors that emit specific light under specific conditions, or photosensors that react in specific ways. It may also be used in catalysts.

    Finally, it is favored to be used when scavenging phosphates out of systems. It’s been approved as a medication to scavenge phosphates out of people with end-stage renal failure; it can scavenge phosphates out of swimming pools to minimize algae growth; and it can scavenge phosphates out of lakes.

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  2. There are certain pieces of music that you know, but might not know you know. Perhaps you recognize the chorus, or the intro, but never listened all the way through. Maybe it’s been covered so many times you don’t know which one is the original. Maybe it’s in the background of a number of your favorite movies. Here’s an example.

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  3. Sixty years ago, California could have Democrat politicians and not be a failed state. IMHO, the beginning of the end was when Gray Davis was successfully pressured by party apparatus into a number of unpopular policy efforts, including a much-loathed car tax.

    He was then succeeded by Arnold Schwarzenegger on October 7, 2003. Arnold was a very good Governor, making important and valued reforms while referring to his political opponents as “girlie men”, and putting up four important reforms as ballot measures in a special election in November 2005. Weeks before that election, he completely folded — and all four measures were defeated. After that point, he might as well have been a Democrat. It is generally known that Epstein didn’t kill himself and that Schwarzenegger was blackmailed in late summer/fall of 2005.

    And that was it. It didn’t matter whose face was on TV, or what their official bio said — instead, it was what money they danced for or what video was hidden away in safes, all managed by faceless groups with nameless leaders.

    Even Governor Moonbeam (v1.0 — 1975-1983) wasn’t all that bad. He really cared about issues and studied them, instead of merely rubber-stamping the party line. He eschewed the trappings of wealth, living in an apartment instead of the Governor’s mansion (that was probably seismically unfit) and driving himself around in a Plymouth Satellite instead of riding in the traditional limos. He generally didn’t ask the people of California to do things that he wouldn’t do himself, like bangin’ Linda Ronstadt. Unfortunately, Governor Brown 2.0, 2011-2019, was clearly part of the latter dynamic and corrupt up to his balding pate.

    So, for humor, I have a rough quote from Jesse M. “Big Daddy” Unruh, Democrat, Speaker of the California Assembly from 1961-1969. It’s interesting in a lot of ways, because there are many varieties with slight differences in wording (possibly due to watering-down the language), it has been attributed to various years and places (some of which may have intended to be private) — but there is overwhelming consensus that he said it.

    “If you can’t take their money, eat their food, drink their booze, screw their women, and then come in here the next day and vote against them, you don’t belong here.”

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  4. I should note that I don’t put stuff here to see my name in print. I hope to amuse and inspire people to engage as a community. Wolfie put one hook into the water, with an element. I try to put a worm on that hook with my element discussions. I also try to put other hooks out there with music and humor.

    This is a free discussion zone. Feel free to share your own jokes. Feel free to riff off the music (and explanation) I suggested for this evening [music that is familiar to everyone] or post music you like. Feel free to share your love and appreciation of this great wide wonderful wonky world that God has gifted us and that we can just barely figure out small parts of.

    ‘Cause, otherwise, it’s just me being a smartass — and I pretty much experience that 24/7.

    Liked by 2 people

        1. They’re usually country songs, which I’m hearing the SECOND TIME, and I’m remembering them at the moment I’m hearing them, and realizing it’s a new song that I like, but I have no idea who it is.

          There was one lately, but I remember NOTHING about it now! Sorry!!! 😀


          1. OK, how ’bout

            — there’s a reason that you don’t know the originals. “Are You Washed in the Blood” and “I’ll Fly Away”.

            “Are You Washed in the Blood” was originally published in 1878 with lyric copyright (now expired) Elisha A. Hoffman. Since the phonograph was only invented in 1877 and only became popular once it moved off of cylinders in the 1890’s, folks in 1878 weren’t all that interested in who first recorded the piece.

            “I’ll Fly Away” was written in 1929 by Albert E. Brumley and published in 1932 by the Hartford Music Company. Under the 1909 copyright rules effective at the date of publication, the copyright should have terminated 56 years after publication (in 1988). In the meantime, the 1976 act extended copyright to 75 years from publication (2007), and the 1998 act extended copyright to 95 years (2027). Mind you, any humans involved are likely long dead and gain not a whit from these extensions……which were extensively lobbied-for and gained by an immortal media corporation with vaults of beloved, though aging, creative properties. In the meantime, any talented up-and-coming animators desiring to produce “Mickey Mouse v. Godzilla” cartoons are just SOL.

            Liked by 2 people

  5. Starts the run of the lanthanides.

    These (plus Yttrium and Scandium) are the “rare earths” we keep worrying about China having a monopoly on.

    As Cthulhu noted, many aren’t particularly rare, but the name is an artifact of history; they were once perceived to be rare and have in general been a pain in the ass to purify.

    “Mischmetal” (a mix of lanthanides, whatever came out of the mine that day) was often used as a lighter flint; it sparks a LOT. A lot of them seem to have no use, but apparently companies that make studio and stage lighting, if no one else, do know of a use–the emission spectrum might just fill in a useful part of the visible spectrum when trying to get lighting to look natural.

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    1. It wasn’t so long ago that the US lead the world in production of purified rare earths……but the purification of same got environmentalist-ed offshore because it’s a painful, ugly process……then the production of ores got offshored because the purification wasn’t local. As with fracking, we could be self-sufficient in rare earths after kicking the utopians to the curb…..while still being the best in the world at responsible production by being realistic.

      Liked by 3 people

  6. And, for another *BONUS* humorous interlude…..

    Phil Bronstein, Editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, married the actress Sharon Stone in February, 1998. They adopted a one-week-old son in May, 2000. In June, 2001, Stone arranged a private tour of the LA Zoo as an early Father’s Day present. During this tour, Bronstein was encouraged to enter the enclosure of a Komodo dragon.

    The dragon’s keeper encouraged Bronstein to remove his white sneakers and white socks because they would too-closely resemble the dragon’s favorite prey — white rats. So, Bronstein entered the enclosure barefoot, with his pasty-white feet and alluring wiggly toes, while Stone watched from outside the enclosure.

    No, really — this happened —

    Mind you, I’m somewhat of an adventurous sort, myself — and may have gone along for the gag had there been a pair of steel-toed stompy boots available in black or brown. But BAREFOOT?!?!?!?……NFW.

    They divorced in 2004, and Bronstein was awarded full custody of their adopted son in 2008, because he could “provide a more stable environment” where relatives were not set-up to be fed to giant carnivorous lizards.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hopefully his name wasn’t “Stumpy” by that time.

      A komodo bite is no joke.

      It’s possible to go see them in the wild, but you will be accompanied by a park guide who knows their ways, can fend them off (non-lethally) and they won’t let you get too close.

      Liked by 1 person

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