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Politics / Re: Political Correctness
Last post by Asmodean - Today at 07:54:37 AM
Political correctness is not so much about the thinking, but about lying about your thoughts - or simply never disclosing them - when they deviate from some orthodoxy or from what someone wants to hear.

It's "towing the line" to make the groundless and the illegitimate appear factual and/or well-supported through the weight of lip service received.

There is another, more "current day" component to it, which has to do with protecting the thin-skinned from ever being offended, although... Yeah, when I say "modern day," I suppose I should concede that "of course not" has been the preferred answer to "does this dress make me look fat?" probably for as long as there have been dresses.
Laid Back Lounge / Re: What's on your mind today?
Last post by Asmodean - Today at 07:44:15 AM
Quote from: MarcusA on June 03, 2023, 09:18:09 AMI must be really boring because I am loud and emotive.
Actually, it's the dark and quiet types who tend to be on the boring side - unless of course they make up for it by being skilled conversationalists, for example.
Science / Re: NASA Nails Mars Landing
Last post by Recusant - Today at 04:56:56 AM
The connection with Ingenuity is becoming a bit more tenuous.

"Mars helicopter went silent for six sols, imperilled Perseverance rover" | The Register

QuoteNASA has revealed a six-day stretch during which it could not contact its Ingenuity Mars helicopter.

In a lengthy post, chief engineer Travis Brown explained that after the copter's 49th flight, radio contact was lost for six sols – just short of six days and six hours of terrestrial time.

Initially, NASA's Mars boffins weren't unduly concerned. The Perseverance Rover had moved behind a rocky outcrop that created a "communication shadow." Brown wrote that since Sol 685 the helicopter "had unfortunately been drifting in and out of night-time survival mode" which made daily contact with the craft difficult. So a day or two without contact wasn't worrying.

But once Perseverance moved to another location and Ingenuity still could not be found, Brown wrote "the situation began to generate some unease."

"Poor telecom performance was seen as a plausible explanation, but there were reasons to doubt it," he wrote. "In more than 700 sols operating the helicopter on Mars, not once had we ever experienced a total radio blackout. Even in the worst communications environments, we had always seen some indication of activity."

But the signal received on that day, sol 761, was just a simple ACK (acknowledgement). The next day, the copter again acknowledged a command, but did little else.

Mission staff determined that the ridge separating Ingenuity and Perseverance was a challenge for the copter's radio. It didn't help that Perseverance's helicopter base station (HBS) antenna is mounted low on the vehicle's right and is subject to occlusion effects.

[. . .]

With the rover on the move, and the helicopter stopped, it became imperative to get Ingenuity moving.

"Relying on the helicopter's onboard pre-flight checks to ensure vehicle safety and banking on solid communications from the rover's imminent proximity, the team uplinked the flight plan," Brown wrote.

Ingenuity did more than just ACK that upload. It ingested and executed it, resulting in its 50th flight and an altitude record of 18 meters.

"It would be an understatement to say that the helicopter team was relieved to see the successful flight telemetry in the Sol 763 downlink the following morning," Brown wrote.

But he added that anxious days lie ahead.

"It now appears that the dust covering our solar panel will ensure that Ingenuity will likely remain in this transitional power state for some time," he wrote. "This means that, much to the chagrin of her team, we are not yet done playing this high-stakes game of hide and seek with the playful little helicopter."

[Continues . . .]

Science / Re: All things brain...
Last post by Recusant - Today at 04:21:59 AM
Let Mr Musk put a discreet item in your head, why don't you?

"The FDA finally approved Elon Musk's Neuralink chip for human trials. Have all the concerns been addressed?" | The Conversation

QuoteIn February 2021, Musk said Neuralink was working with the FDA to secure permission to start initial human trials later that year. But human trials didn't commence in 2021.

Then, in March 2022, Neuralink made a further application to the FDA to establish its readiness to begin humans trials.

One year and three months later, on May 25 2023, Neuralink finally received FDA approval for its first human clinical trial. Given how hard Neuralink has pushed for permission to begin, we can assume it will begin very soon.

The approval has come less than six months after the US Office of the Inspector General launched an investigation into Neuralink over potential animal welfare violations.

The FDA had quite a list of issues that needed to be resolved before human trials could commence, as was reported in a Reuters investigation, which claimed to have spoken to several Neuralink sources.

Most of these concerns called for Neuralink to perform thorough and repeated testing and data collection over an extended period. This was likely a deciding factor in why the approval process to begin human testing took as long as it did.

It can't be said with certainty that all of the issues have been fully resolved. But considering the rigour of the FDA's approval process, we might conclude they have at least been resolved to a point of satisfaction for the FDA.

[Link to full article.]
Laid Back Lounge / Re: where do you live?
Last post by Bluenose - Today at 03:01:06 AM
Quote from: Icarus on June 04, 2023, 12:51:35 AMA fine example of mother natures ambition, Bluenose.

The density does not appeal to me for a hike in that forest. There may be drop bears, funnel webs, angry kangaroos, and all sorts of Antipodean hazards in there.  It is beautiful nonetheless.

The only notable wildlife I've encountered in mountain ash forest are lyrebirds, echidnas and sundry other birds. Drop bears prefer dry sclerophyll forest (LOL), you might see the occasional brush tailed wallaby, but large roos prefer open grasslands.  Our lizards are generally harmless, even if they look ferocious, but again they're unlikely to be found in cool, moist mountain ash forest.  Oh, and Sydney funnel-web spiders (the deadly ones) only occur within about a 100-mile radius of Sydney, so you're well out of their range down here...

I like playing the "Aussie critters will get you" game as much as the next guy, but the reality is that you're pretty safe in the bush.  We don't have large predators to worry about (except estuarine crocodiles up north - but that's thousands of kilometres away), remember it's in North America that you might get eaten by a bear!
Music / Re: What are you listening to?
Last post by billy rubin - June 04, 2023, 09:03:29 PM

Music / Re: What are you listening to?
Last post by billy rubin - June 04, 2023, 09:01:57 PM

first heard this on the west coast of malaya, many years ago.

watching the ships transit the straits
Laid Back Lounge / Re: where do you live?
Last post by billy rubin - June 04, 2023, 07:53:37 PM
not many yet, anne.i have a big net to put over my bed when they get numerous.

ony two places in my life have ever needed a mosquito net. malindi and ohio
Laid Back Lounge / Re: where do you live?
Last post by Anne D. - June 04, 2023, 05:07:29 PM
Gorgeous pictures, bluenose and billy. Be mindful of those mosquitoes, billy, sitting out there in the buff.  ;)
Laid Back Lounge / Re: where do you live?
Last post by billy rubin - June 04, 2023, 04:41:30 PM
my year is marked by milestones

first peepers

vernal equinox

first kingbirds

first hyla versicolor

first mowing

and so on . . .

we're at the first mowing. up until today the hayfields have been masses of agelius phoenicius, staking out territories. the sturnella neglecta have laid out their first nests in the fields days. threee ago the lightning bugs came out in force.

today the neighbors came in with the mowing machines. the hay is high enough to bale, and so the blades are coming through about 6 inches up. if youre a black bird and havent got the fledglings out, theyre dead. same with the meadowlarks. the lightnng bugs can fly, so theyll mostly be okay.

occasional mammals get chopped up by the sickle bars. possums and such. not much in the wider scheme, but a big deal to people like me who live the details. i can remember killing hundreds of small mammals before my sea change in belief. i wont kill things anymore.

but the day is still a benchmark in the year. up until now, the hayfields bseides urs have been a metre high in monocots. now theyll be turned into fodder for the milk and beef cows around here that are part of the local unsustainable variety of farming.

we're doing okay-- broadleaf nut trees, as many native fruits as i can get in the ground. if i have free space, i cver it in sunflowers, milkweed, or whatever else will support the local native insects, pollinators or not.

we only have 25 acres in th emidst of a different mindset, but in a hundred years we ll have something to show for it maybe.