Open Thread: March for Science

I don’t know if you are aware that scientists are rallying to march in many cities in April.

Here is the list.

One awesome little guy is setting up a bow tie stand for the march.:

This St. Louis 6-year-old is collecting bow ties for science

Isaac Stork, a big fan of bow tie-wearing Bill Nye the Science Guy, will set up a bow tie stand at the upcoming March for Science. All proceeds will benefit The Planetary Society.

203 replies
  1. 1
    Doug R says:


  2. 2
    JordanRules says:

    What a great little guy! He must never know that Tucker Carlson exists. Protect him at all costs!

  3. 3
    Jerzy Russian says:

    Nerds rule, [insert the name of an appropriate non-nerd group here] drool!

  4. 4
    Gindy51 says:

    Hot damn he’s adorable.

  5. 5
    Suzanne says:

    We are excited to attend the March for Science. We also went to a local solidarity rally at the Islamic Community Center yesterday. It was not hugely attended, probably a thousand people or so for the two hours that we were there, but it was fun and Spawn the Younger got to go inside the mosque for the first time. There were, of course, some right-wing jackasses across the street trying to ruin the fun and spirit for everyone. Fuckers.

    Oh, and Mr. Suzanne and I each caught a wild Snorlax as we walked t the event from where we parked the car. So he was in a great mood.

  6. 6
    pamelabrown53 says:

    Thanks for this thread, TaMara. I hope we get more of these to build excitement and participation. Spouse and I have been planning to go to Washington. I’m not as gungho, because the trip will be expensive and you can’t spend it twice.

    I’m more for attending a satellite march and since I’m in FL., I think the “Space Coast” is most appropriate. Since I am not a scientist (IANAS), I could use some sign making tips: is there an equation for something equivalent to “#resistance”?!
    Talk to me.

  7. 7
    Jerzy Russian says:

    @JordanRules: You typed a “T” there instead of an “F”. Easy mistake to make since the keys are next to each other.

    Also keep the existence of George Will hidden from Isaac…

  8. 8
  9. 9
    Baud says:

    Hey Republicans – we have the best people on our side.

    Thanks, TaMara!

    ETA: oh, you meant the kid…

  10. 10
    ThresherK says:

    A sign I’ve seen but cannot Google for some reason:

    What do we want?


    When do we want it?


  11. 11
    amygdala says:

    I can’t get to DC, because I’ll be on a redeye to Boston that night, but with several Bay Area Science Marches that day, should be able to participate that way.

    In the meantime, I’m crocheting a brain beanie. We’ll see if I get it finished in time. Magic 8-Ball says, “Maybe.”

  12. 12
    FlyingToaster says:


    is there an equation for something equivalent to “#resistance”?!

    Ohm (Ω) is the unit measure for electrical resistance.

  13. 13
    Mike J says:

    Happy Darwin’s birthday!

  14. 14
    cosima says:

    @pamelabrown53: Unit of electrical resistance = Ohm.

    Which would actually be fairly clever in that it combines science & zen-relax…

    I’m not good with clever/catchy phrases, so can’t be much more help than that.

  15. 15
    Lapassionara says:

    I am glad to hear that there will be a science march in St. Louis, and with bow ties makes it extra special. Do you think a clip-on would be ok with Isaac?

  16. 16
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Republicans believe in science if it’s based on Creationism, aka Biblically-based, God did it. Wonder if anyone from the Discovery Institute will turn up to counter protest. Their side has the ear of our country’s ruling party — at least for the next couple of years.

  17. 17
    pamelabrown53 says:

    @amygdala: #11

    Hah! How appropriate that “amygdala” is knitting crocheting a brain beanie. I hope the knitters organize to provide both brain beanies and pu$$y hats, otherwise Cafe Press ill fill the vacuum.

  18. 18
    FlyingToaster says:

    @ThresherK: search Google Images with “After Peer Review protest” and you’ll get a page full.

  19. 19
    cosima says:

    Now I’ve just got to break this inertia that current political circumstances have got me stuck in, and sew that little cutie some bowties.

  20. 20
    cosima says:

    @Lapassionara: the facebook page says the little cutie is taking all kinds of bowties — sizes, colours/patterns, clip, traditional, etc.

  21. 21
    Betty says:

    Since this is an open thread, I wanted to toss out the idea of sending faxes to our Congress people on Valentine’s Day with a message like this, “Have a heart and save the ACA.”

  22. 22
    pamelabrown53 says:

    @cosima: #14

    Thank you, cosima. I love it! Wouldn’t it be great if there were several more equations to “#resistance! Enough to make a killer sign?

  23. 23
    amygdala says:

    @pamelabrown53: I gotta represent, since I’m a neurologist with a science undergrad degree. If I can’t get the beanie done in time, I can always wear my brain baseball cap.

  24. 24
    Brachiator says:

    Apparently, singer Al Jarreau has died:

    Renowned for his unique vocal style and musical expressiveness, Al Jarreau died Sunday, February 12, at the age of 76, just a week after being admitted to the hospital for exhaustion. The seven-time Grammy Award winner was the second vocalist in music history to receive the coveted award in three categories: jazz, pop and R&B.

    Perhaps not as well remembered as other singers, but a tremendous talent.

    His “We’re in This Love Together” is a nice song for Valentine’s Day.

  25. 25
    WereBear says:

    @Lapassionara: Sure. True science is about results.

  26. 26
    Brachiator says:


    A sign I’ve seen but cannot Google for some reason

    Popped up for me with this search term: EVIDENCE-BASED SCIENCE! sign under Images.

    Don’t know if this link will work: here

    ETA: A better example of the sign is here:

  27. 27
    EBT says:

    Looks like garbage day is here. Frank Ancona was found dead in a river.

  28. 28
    Mike J says:

    Bad boys rape our young girls but Violet gives willingly?

  29. 29
    amygdala says:

    @pamelabrown53: You could always derive it from Ohm’s law, which is V = I/R (R would equal I/V). I think it’s delta V, actually.

    The juicer physicists could comment on whether that would be too obscure (and fix my physics, which was my worst score on the MCAT).

  30. 30
    Baud says:

    I’m looking forward to hearing She Blinded Me With Science on the radio.

  31. 31
    Brachiator says:

    And again, in honor of science, Darwin, etc., go see “HIdden Figures.”

    It will make you happy.

  32. 32
    Tenar Arha (same Tenar, more Nameless Ones) says:

    Just saw this on Twitter
    & it seemed like something I should boost out to NY area Juicers. Sweet/shy/quiet 13yr old adult female cat needs a home in NYC/Newark NJ area after her human passed away v. suddenly! @ me for details. RT!

  33. 33
    EBT says:

    @Mike J: My first electronics class my teacher told that one, not seeing the black student just out of his periphery.

  34. 34
    cosima says:

    @pamelabrown53: There’s energy, resistance, force & momentum, and many others, that could collectively be considered active forms of power/resistance (that go along nicely with the pro-science movement).

    The science crowd will understand most (if not all) of them, but it will go over the heads of the RWNJs — so it does depend on what your aim is. There are lots of clever t-shirts & mugs out there that can give some good ideas.

    If I were marching for science (not sure if there will be one here on this side of the pond) I’d probably go with a quote from a scientist & the ohm (symbol or word, both work). But that’s because I’m not clever or witty enough to come up with something sign-worthy on my own.

  35. 35
    Baud says:


  36. 36

    @amygdala: Your formula is wrong, Ohm’s law is
    V= IR

  37. 37
    cosima says:

    @Brachiator: That one will be playing at our local (community centre) theatre that screens movies a couple of times a month. Little Cosima’s birthday is in March, and it’s being shown that month, so I was thinking of getting tickets for her & her little bday party friends to see it. Their knee-jerk reaction to it would likely be ‘noooooooo’ but I do think a bunch of 12 year old girls are excellent candidates for some pro-science/pro-women brainwashing, so I’m going to do it!

  38. 38
    HeleninEire says:

    Speaking of marches, I’ll be back in NYC next week. There’s a march on the 19th with the theme “we are all Muslims today.” I am soooo going.

  39. 39
    Jerzy Russian says:


    And again, in honor of science, Darwin, etc., go see “HIdden Figures.”

    I did that yesterday. It was the best movie I have seen in quite some time. I especially liked the part about FORTRAN being the language of the future. I still use it my self, roughly 55 years after that scene took place.

  40. 40
    HeleninEire says:

    @HeleninEire: TaMara I will try to take pics like at the Dublin Women’s march and send them to you.

  41. 41
    amygdala says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I stand corrected–thanks. I should stop trying to post while crocheting, evidently. Oy.

  42. 42
    Brachiator says:


    Their knee-jerk reaction to it would likely be ‘noooooooo’ but I do think a bunch of 12 year old girls are excellent candidates for some pro-science/pro-women brainwashing, so I’m going to do it!

    It would seem to me that 12 year old girls would be the perfect audience.


    @Jerzy Russian:

    I especially liked the part about FORTRAN being the language of the future.

    That tickled me as well.

  43. 43
    EBT says:

    @schrodingers_cat: All three versions are equally Ohm’s law. Which one you learned first is up to who taught you.'s_law#Circuit_analysis

  44. 44
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @EBT: V=I/R isn’t one of those three.

  45. 45
    Baud says:

    E=mc², motherfuckers.

  46. 46
    EBT says:

    @Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism: Haha it’s V= I*R I am a fool of a took.

  47. 47
    amygdala says:

    @EBT: Nah, I got the equation wrong.

  48. 48
    Zinsky says:

    A 2010 study found that only 6% of scientists are Republican. This shouldn’t be surprising, though. Modern Republicans are so brainwashed and delusional from the 24/7/365 deluge of right wing propaganda and unsubstantiated drivel that is churned out, they can’t think clearly.

  49. 49
    rikyrah says:


    Pence is surrounded by Kremlin comrades in the Trump campaign and WH and he’s not suspicious of any of it? Sorry, that doesn’t wash.

  50. 50
    evap says:

    The National Math Festival is in DC on the same day. The spousal unit is involved in the math fest and is getting airfare and a hotel room paid for by someone else, so I am tagging along to take advantage of the free place to stay. I’ll be at the march!

  51. 51
    Ruckus says:

    The best would just be a large Ω. Very sciencey, very clear meaning (at least to the scientists!)

  52. 52
    01jack says:

    This is what I want for my sign.

  53. 53
    rikyrah says:


    billboard Verified account

    Al Jarreau, legendary jazz singer, dies at 76

  54. 54
    Lizzy L says:

    @Zinsky: Six percent? So many?

  55. 55
  56. 56
    Aleta says:

    Why are Republicans like atoms?
    They make up everything.

  57. 57
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    I hope there will be a March in my neck of the woods (NorCal, university town 90 miles north of Sacramento).

  58. 58
    rikyrah says:

    Will Saletan Verified account

    Miller on judges: “Our opponents [will] see, as we begin to take further actions, that the powers of the president…will not be questioned”

  59. 59
    Zinsky says:

    @Lizzy L: I know, right? These people are shit wrapped in skin.

  60. 60
    Baud says:

    @Lizzy L: Meteorologists.

  61. 61
    Brachiator says:


    A Pew Research Center Poll from July 2009 showed that only around 6 percent of U.S. scientists are Republicans; 55 percent are Democrats, 32 percent are independent, and the rest “don’t know” their affiliation.

    I worry about the “don’t knows?” Absent minded and can’t remember?

  62. 62
    rikyrah says:

    Nick Adkins

    this is from an IRL friend of mine. this is NOT my america. EVER#MuslimBan Siid is a US Citizen. @CustomsBorder u say “Welcome Home” #NASA

  63. 63
    efgoldman says:


    I should stop trying to post while crocheting, evidently. Oy

    It’s not brain surgery!.

  64. 64

    @Brachiator: Or don’t want to be on record, because they have left countries where you can be persecuted for your political beliefs.

  65. 65
    Spanky says:

    Is anyone knitting brain hats at the volume that p-hats were created? My immediate group of 4 or 5 (so far) could use them for the March.

    On another topic, I was reading WaPo’s synopsis of last night’s cold SNL opening with Melissa McCarthy as Spicey and noticed this:

    Then, Spicer pulled his leg up to reveal that he was wearing high heels: “Don’t get me started on her shoes because these babies are a real head-turner.”

    Of course it was McCarthy who pulled up her leg. The conflation is interesting. Intentional? A correction has the potential for more hilarity.

  66. 66
    amygdala says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while): There’s one in Sacramento. This site’ll help you find the one closest to you.

  67. 67
    Citizen_X says:

    @rikyrah: Boy, that’s not scary, huh?

  68. 68
    joel hanes says:


    2010 study found that only 6% of scientists are Republican.

    This is a BIG change. Back in the Pleistocene when I was a sprout, that number was well over 30%. Starting with Reagan, the Rs drove working scientists out of their party by repeated attempts to suppress scientific ideas that countered the preferred Republican narratives. Political minders were appointed to head government scientific research groups. Reports were reworded without the knowledge or consent of the researchers. Budgets for pure research were slashed. They killed the Superconducting Supercollider (Waxahachie Texas COULD have been a world center for particle physics research. But NOOO ….). Creationism is a big problem for biological scientists, and the Rs are now wedded to it. I think that climate change denialism has been the final impetus — watching the Rs suppress accurate reporting on an existential threat to our civilization, and actively work to prevent action to save what can be saved, has been a “hair on fire” thing for a couple decades.

  69. 69
    Ruckus says:

    The 32% is the Apathetic party.
    Their motto is “we don’t give a fuck”
    They can’t even be bothered to capitalize or punctuate.

  70. 70
  71. 71
    Seth Owen says:

    I’m planning on making my second trip to DC this year on April 22nd. I’m still pissed I never got to go to the moon base I expected by now, but DC will do.

  72. 72

    @EBT: OK I see you got the right equation yourself.

  73. 73
    rikyrah says:

    Stephen Miller Is a ‘True Believer’ Behind Core Trump Policies
    FEB. 11, 2017

    WASHINGTON — Staff members on Capitol Hill recall Stephen Miller, the 31-year-old White House adviser behind many of President Trump’s most contentious executive orders, as the guy from Jeff Sessions’s office who made their inboxes cry for mercy.

    As a top aide to Mr. Sessions, the conservative Alabama senator, Mr. Miller dispatched dozens and dozens of bombastic emails to congressional staff members and reporters in early 2013 when the Senate was considering a big bipartisan immigration overhaul. Mr. Miller slammed the evils of “foreign labor” and pushed around nasty news articles on proponents of compromise, like Senator Marco Rubio of Florida.

    One exhausted Senate staff member, forwarding a Miller-gram to a reporter at the time, wrote: “His latest. And it’s only 11:45 a.m.”

    The ascent of Mr. Miller from far-right gadfly with little policy experience to the president’s senior policy adviser came as a shock to many of the staff members who knew him from his seven years in the Senate. A man whose emails were, until recently, considered spam by many of his Republican peers is now shaping the Trump administration’s core domestic policies with his economic nationalism and hard-line positions on

  74. 74
    joel hanes says:

    I’m going to march. This is my sign :

    Eppur si muove.
    Even so, the Earth still moves.

    Yes, I’m aware that it’s apocryphal.

  75. 75
    pamelabrown53 says:

    @cosima: #34

    cosima, for not being a science nerd you’ve given me the best ideas on how to proceed. It’s true that all the signs can’t be esoteric “scierotica”. The Ohm symbol, plus a pithy quote that all points to #resistance, has my creative juices flowing. Again, thanks so much!

  76. 76
    rikyrah says:

    David Yankovich Verified account

    David Yankovich Retweeted Sherry Frost

    From this point forward, I will be calling Trump “SCROTUS”. Thank you for this.


  77. 77
    joel hanes says:


    Is anyone knitting brain hats at the volume that p-hats were created?

    Not strictly necessary.
    A white shirt and narrow tie with a pocket protector, or a white lab coat, or a belt-cased calculator or slide rule, will work perfectly well as tribal markers.

  78. 78
  79. 79
    rikyrah says:

    Aros ‏@Orcanist Feb 10

    conservatives: it’s actually about states rights

    states: *sue the trump administration and win*

    conservatives: no not like that

  80. 80
    CaseyL says:

    I’ll be going to the satellite march in Seattle. Or plan to – hopefully the turnout will be as good as for the Women’s March.

    FSM knows we’ve got scientists up the wazoo here, between all the big tech companies based here and University of Washington/UW Medical Center/Fred Hutchinson. If they can’t be bothered to represent…

    I’d prefer a beanie copter to a brain hat because I like the classics. Not sure where to get a good one these days. Archie McPhee? Display and Costume?

  81. 81
    amygdala says:

    @efgoldman: Heh. Being any kind of surgeon requires a visuospatial skill that I don’t have. I’m good with my hands, but can’t spin complex 3D images around in my head the way surgeons have to be able to do.

  82. 82
    amygdala says:

    @pamelabrown53: I saw a funny one recently, something like “E=mc^2, according to some immigrant.”

  83. 83
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    @joel hanes:

    Not bad! I’ve been pondering a riff on McConnell’s “Nevertheless, she persisted…”

    Galileo was warned. He was imprisoned. Nevertheless, he persisted.

  84. 84
    Cheryl from Maryland says:

    There are also many variations on this for a Science March Poster.

  85. 85
    rikyrah says:

    Luvvie is at it again…

    This twitter rant is EPIC….and long overdue, cause I’m tired of these folks too.


    Where is Hillary Clinton? Hopefully Taking ALL the Naps She Deserves!
    Awesomely Luvvie — February 11, 2017

    People really have some nerve. I keep seeing folks asking where Hillary Clinton is as everything goes to hell and it floors me. People are really wondering where the woman who won the popular votes by 3 million but still lost the highest office of the land is hanging. Folks fixing their faces to ask where the person who could almost taste history is as her opponent wins, and tries to bring on World War III. OH OK.

    So last night, I went on a rant on Twitter because I’m sick of people on her behalf.

  86. 86
    efgoldman says:

    @joel hanes:

    or slide rule, will work perfectly well as tribal markers.

    You mean the marchers will be older than I am?

  87. 87
    joel hanes says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while):

    Galileo was warned. He was imprisoned. Nevertheless, he persisted.

    Giordano Bruno …

  88. 88
    Kathleen says:

    @rikyrah: Oh, thank you so much for sharing that! So true. I agree with Luvvie 100%.

  89. 89
    Phylllis says:

    There are four marches in South Carolina. I’m equally amazed/thrilled.

  90. 90
    Lizzy L says:

    Will Saletan Verified account

    Miller on judges: “Our opponents [will] see, as we begin to take further actions, that the powers of the president…will not be questioned”

    Yeah, no. In your authoritarian dreams, you NeoNazi creep. “Governments are instituted by the consent of the governed.”

  91. 91
    joel hanes says:


    Hey! I’m at least a couple years younger than you, and I was given a fine Pickett slipstick for high school graduation in 1971.
    The electronic calculators didn’t take over completely until the mid-70s; my 1976 freshman engineering course still had a required section on slide rule use, and the $700 HP 65 programmables were chained to the desks in the lab.
    We had to learn how to use printed tables of logs and antilogs, too.

  92. 92
    Baud says:

    @rikyrah: I agree 100% with @Kathleen. A perfect response.

  93. 93
    cmorenc says:

    @joel hanes:

    I think that climate change denialism has been the final impetus — watching the Rs suppress accurate reporting on an existential threat to our civilization, and actively work to prevent action to save what can be saved, has been a “hair on fire” thing for a couple decades.

    Remember when the GOP rally cry against any immediate action to counteract global warming was: “we need more scientific research to understand what’s going on” before undertaking any potentially expensive, disruptive, counterproductive measures to address it. (?) That was the mainline GOP argument during the Bush administration.

  94. 94
    hovercraft says:

    Poor little Jason Chafetz, people are being mean to him.

    Chaffetz: Constituents Who Told Me To Do My Job At Town Hall Tried To ‘Bully’ Me

    It’s funny how bullies are always the first to whine and cry when anyone gives them a taste of their own medicine. Not that I’m equating telling someone to do their jobs with his stupid investigations into Hillary and Obama, but still given all the things he’s said about the two of them, you’d think he could tolerate some dissent among his constituents without going all “paid outside agitators” bullshit.

  95. 95
    rikyrah says:


    Dear People Demanding to Know Why Hillary Clinton Isn’t Doing Whatever It Is You Think She Needs to Be Doing in This Moment:

    Hillary Clinton doesn’t owe you a goddamned thing.

    Hillary Clinton ran for president. She ran despite a hideous game
    of cajoling her to run, only to shame her for running. She ran despite the fact that the media has treated her like garbage for decades; despite knowing they would treat her like garbage again—which they did.

    She ran despite knowing, as keenly as any other woman in the country and more than most, the hellscape of vicious misogyny that would be unleashed against her. She ran despite the fact that she knew, should she win, she would face Republican obstructionism and vitriol so vast and relentless that it would take a tenacious beast to govern. She ran knowing she would have to be that tenacious beast, and could be.

    She ran for president on the most progressive Democratic platform ever, and her campaign was remarkably devoid of the typical unforced errors in most presidential campaigns (including her previous one). She showed herself to be a candidate capable of learning and willing to learn—when she changed positions, it was because she came to the more progressive one.

    Which is not to suggest that she was a perfect candidate, but she was a damn good one. Yet her insufficient perfection was somehow considered a fatal flaw by people who now demand she dance at their command.

    She wanted to lead this nation—and, more importantly, she wanted to govern it. And she had the knowledge and capability to do it, and do it well.

    She put out an enormous number of policy papers and factsheets, so we could see exactly what she wanted to do and how she would do it. She gave detailed policy addresses, and she answered voters’ questions with both compassion and seriousness and details.

    She conveyed, in every conceivable way, that she had the experience to be our president, and an abundance of talent, and she was offering both to us.

    And we passed.

    More of us voted for her, of course, but there is a reason she is not our president. And it’s not just because of Russian interference and James Comey being a colossal wanker. It’s also because enough votes for Jill Stein threw key states to Donald Trump, and because millions and millions of people voted for Trump despite his reprehensible platform.

    I am hardly the first person to observe that I would much rather be
    spending my days encouraging Hillary Clinton to be more progressive than documenting the fall of the republic under the presidency of Donald Trump.

    But here we are.

    And now there are people—many of whom are self-identified Bernie Sanders supporters who voted for Stein in those aforementioned key states, or who voted for Trump, or who didn’t vote at all—who are demanding to know why Hillary Clinton isn’t “doing something” to stop Donald Trump and his authoritarian onslaught.

    She did do something, you ungrateful wrecks. She campaigned for
    18 months, the last of them against Trump himself, day after exhausting day, keeping up a ruthless schedule that would drive most people half her age to collapse after three weeks, no less a year and a half. She gave up time with her family, her grandchildren; gave up anything resembling free time; gave up her privacy. She made countless sacrifices on behalf of this country in order to prevent this exact outcome.

    You took a hard pass, and now you have the unmitigated temerity to want more from her? Fuck you.

    I note with all the mirthless laughter in the universe that one of the
    incessant criticisms of Hillary Clinton was that she was entitled.

    She gave it everything she had already. You don’t get to ask for even more.

    And what, pray tell, do you expect her to do, anyway? Crash the
    confirmation hearings? She’s not a sitting Senator anymore. That’s not the way it works. Show up at a protest, dragging the Secret Service with her, constantly on the lookout for people who sent her death threats; chanted that she should be locked up or killed? That’s not the way it works, either.

    Even if you could name some meaningful action that you’d like her to be taking in this moment, this darkest of moments in our nation’s history, she doesn’t owe it to you.

    It hurts my heart when I think about how not only did we reject her in
    favor of the shitlord who currently occupies the Oval Office, but we
    sought to humiliate her, over and over, for even trying to defeat him.

    And now, to add breathtaking insult to that grievous injury, people are mad at her for not showing up?! She tried to show up. And a bunch of progressive purists told her to GTFO and spit in her face for good measure.

    Hillary Clinton doesn’t owe you shit.

    Rest at link above.

  96. 96
    cosima says:

    @pamelabrown53: Ah, I’m somewhat science nerdy, as I’m an engineer, but not creative or witty — very boring! Hope that you come up with something fab!

  97. 97
    laura says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while): Not the number 1 party school in the State I trust. ;-)

  98. 98
    joel hanes says:

    Any college town that has both the awesome Madison Bear Gardens and the summer delight of Upper Bidwell Park is more or less doomed to be a superior party venue.
    MBG in particular has the ultimate hot wings, the standard to which all others aspire but seldom achieve.

  99. 99
    lollipopguild says:

    @hovercraft: Jason C, still number one in the contest for “The most punchable face” Sad!

  100. 100
    Jim Parene says:

    @pamelabrown53: OHM’s Law? Drat! someone beat me too it!

  101. 101
    Eric S. says:

    @FlyingToaster: And now I’m in the market for a shirt with the Ohm symbol.

  102. 102
    p.a. says:

    @Lizzy L: Probably all engineers.

  103. 103
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:


    Indeed, at least thirty years ago.

  104. 104
    Spanky says:

    @joel hanes: Bruno, by some accounts, was about as likable as Trump.
    He was a dick about it, yet he persisted.

  105. 105
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:


    My vote goes to dead-eyed Tom Cotton.

  106. 106
    efgoldman says:

    @joel hanes:

    The electronic calculators didn’t take over completely until the mid-70s; my 1976 freshman engineering course still had a required section on slide rule use, and the $700 HP 65 programmables were chained to the desks in the lab.

    We have a nice slide rule in the cellar somewhere – don’t know where we got it or from whom.
    If I go, my sign will say “I was a Music Major / Music is science, too.”

    I remember how excited my dad was when he got a Bowmar Brain on sale for only something like $65!

  107. 107
    FlyingToaster says:

    I’m sending HerrDoktorToaster to the Boston march while I remain on WarriorGirl duty. I’m still looking for a good shirt for him (he won’t wear hats). Unless we collectively decide to all just fucking go, and I loan her my phone in case she gets separated. She’s not comfortable with crowds, yet. And a few years too young for her own phone.

    Some of the best stuff I saw at the Boston Women’s March were from various grad students. A cohort of female MIT women wore cheap pink tank tops over sweatshirts with sharpie-lettered “Climate Scientists Deserve Respect”.

  108. 108
    Kay says:

    Stephen Miller Trump aide falsely claims on TV 1000s MA residents bused into NH to vote

    Prove it. assholes.

    The Trump Administration and their low quality hires are making false claims again. They’ve been asked to prove this claim by election officials in New Hampshire. When do they put up?

    They’re discrediting the Presidency and the United States with these lies. When does someone in power demand they show proof? Where is the attorney general of the United States on this? Does he endorse this claim? Is the attorney general willing to stand by these claims by the Administration he supports and campaigned for? What about the FBI? Was there a massive criminal conspiracy in New Hampshire they missed?

  109. 109
    Lapassionara says:

    @rikyrah: this!

  110. 110
    Bruuuuce says:

    @pamelabrown53: Alternatively to Ohm’s Law or the omega, you could use a picture of a resistor (electronic component) or its symbol in electronics diagrams

  111. 111
    trollhattan says:

    Not since they canceled Pioneer Days. :-)

    WOTR tasked with bringing the beer (pro tip: Torpedo available in kegs).

  112. 112
    efgoldman says:

    @Eric S.:

    And now I’m in the market for a shirt with the Ohm symbol.

    Cafe Press is your friend (probably other places, too)

  113. 113
  114. 114
    hovercraft says:

    AMEN !!

    Leave her alone, she tried her best, and so many of these same people bitched about every little thing she did. Now it’s time for them to STFU.

    And before they turn to their next favorite target, leave Barrack Obama the fuck alone too. He did his best, and you bitched the entire time about him too, he campaigned more for Hillary than any modern president has for his parties nominee, and still too many of you were not motivated to get out and vote. That’s not his fault so leave him alone. He’s earned his rest, he’ll be back if and when he’s ready to come back. Till then STFU.

  115. 115
    Spanky says:

    @Bruuuuce: ZOMG! Charlie Brown was a resistor!

  116. 116
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Unless we collectively decide to all just fucking go, and I loan her my phone in case she gets separated. She’s not comfortable with crowds, yet. And a few years too young for her own phone.

    Could you get a cheap burner phone for WG and program in your number and that of HDT (and you program her number into yours)? Inexpensive and uncomplicated peace of mind. I don’t know how old she is, but the March for Science could be the making of a great family memory!

  117. 117
    Kay says:

    The Trump Administration are claiming there was a huge interstate election fraud ring operating in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

    Maybe someone could ask the new attorney general if he agrees? What about Mr. Comey? Any evidence of a huge criminal conspiracy in the election in New Hampshire? I mean, my God. The President of the United States is saying this. Is it a lie? What else do these people lie about?

  118. 118
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    Temps were in the mid 90s in Tulsa yesterday, 99 in other parts of that state.

    No climate change, though…

  119. 119
    Kay says:

    President Trump and his Administration are lying about election fraud in New Hampshire. How are they credible on anything after this? How is Sessions credible if he doesn’t refute these lies? Will he prosecute people for election fraud based on lies, too? How can anyone trust him?

  120. 120
    Bruuuuce says:

    @Spanky: You bet!

  121. 121
    pamelabrown53 says:

    @amygdala: #82

    See. that has the making of a good sign. It’s a crossover for those of us who aren’t scientists but support them. Meaning any photos will be apprehended by a larger % of the populace. Add the Ohm + #resistance, we’re almost home.

    Thanks, everybody. Have we finally agreed on the resistance equation?

  122. 122
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:


    I’m on it! I also dig Oregon’s Mirror Pond, brewed by Deschutes.

  123. 123
    Kathleen says:

    @hovercraft: Amen to that!

  124. 124
    trollhattan says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:
    Holy crap, in mid-Feb? Hope everybody is ready for summer.

  125. 125
    Ruckus says:

    @joel hanes:
    Ef might not be older than dirt but he is more than a couple yrs older than you. And I was already floating about in the middle of the Atlantic on a wonderful 4 yr working boat trip in a world of gray paint and ugly uniforms about the time you graduated. We are so old we had to learn to sharpen pencils with a knife because no one had figured out how to sharpen them with electricity yet, let alone have any idea what a calculator might be. A slide rule? I still have my first abacus!

  126. 126
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    If you could choose four living or dead scientists to have dinner with, who would it be? I’d go Sagan and Oppenheimer. Einstein and DeGrasse-Tyson.

  127. 127
    trollhattan says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while):
    Deschutes has amazing beer and their Portland place is a must-visit–excellent food and lots of special releases.

  128. 128
    Kay says:

    Bradd Jaffy ‏@BraddJaffy 5h5 hours ago
    Trump aide Stephen Miller repeats Trump’s blatantly false claim about mass illegal voting. There is zero evidence.

    No one in the country can trust the President or anyone he hired on voting rights. They’re accusing thousands of ordinary people of committing felony voter fraud with no evidence. This is an attack on voters- ordinary people- and no one in federal law enforcement has the courage to put a stop to it. You’re paying these people and they’re attacking your right to vote and accusing you of felony fraud. The attorney general doesn’t have the spine to stick up for voters. He’s already violating his oath.

  129. 129
    efgoldman says:


    I mean, my God. The President of the United States is saying this. Is it a lie?

    I wonder if NH election authorities could sue WH staff for slander/libel? They are not subject to impeachment, there’s precedent for both prosecutions and civil suits.

  130. 130
    🚸 Martin says:

    So I just got back from an immigration rally in my neighborhood this morning. It wasn’t huge – a few hundred people. Its kind of a big deal, though.

    1) I live in Orange County. More, I live in one of the most Orange County neighborhood in one of the most Orange County cities. We have immigrants, but few are latinos. Almost nobody at the rally was latino. Most of our immigrants are from India, Iran, Af/Pak, South Korea, China, Vietnam, Japan, and eastern European/Ukranian/Russian. We have large Muslim/Jewish communities. We have very few african americans. ICE would never in a million years consider a raid anywhere near my neighborhood.
    2) The rally was organized by the catholic church with the other churches in the area including the predominantly asian congregations, synagogue, and Mormon church. It was clear the women were in charge.
    3) The rally best as I can tell was primarily attended by people with 6 figure household incomes that live in homes that start at $600K and go to a few million, that were predominantly white and asian. We’re a slightly blue community trending more blue.
    4) Effectively, this was a rally of my homeowners association. I’ve never seen a rally anywhere near my neighborhood before. To a large degree, nobody in this community is from here – we’re all imports – so this tends to be a kind of political DMZ. It got active in 2008 with Obama and Prop 8, lots of relationships were destroyed that year, and there’s been almost no overt activity since. That changed again today.

    As I suspect with most rallies, immigration was the central message, but it was clear that this was as much a broad opposition to Trump and his policies. The travel ban affects a LOT of people here. This is one of the largest Persian communities in the country. We also have large Jewish and Mormon populations who both tend to be quite sensitive to any kind of minority persecution. The city doesn’t have a great history regarding treatment of minorities, but it’s improved a lot and there’s a concerted effort to keep improving. Throughout the crowd word of the latest fascist ramblings from the sunday shows was spreading.

    That we had a rally here, even a smallish one, should trouble republicans. This is the kind of community that Reagan would have carried in a landslide, but Obama turned it ever so slightly blue, and Clinton won it pretty easily. The property value covered just by this HOA is around $10B. Household income is an aggregate $1.4B. Just my HOA could fund a run for a House seat, and the GOP has lost it almost completely at this point. And it’s going from an apolitical community to an activist one. I suspect we look an awful lot like Darrel Issas constituency.

    Maybe this is California continuing to be an outlier, but it’s quite a notable turn of events IMO.

  131. 131
    D58826 says:

    @rikyrah: HMM, if I click on it will my PC catch fire? Thta is one angry person and with extremely good reason to be.

  132. 132
    Bruuuuce says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while): Richard Feynman, Brian May (of Queen, but also an astrophysicist), Da Vinci, and Einstein. At the very least, I’d want to jam with Feynman and May after dinner.

  133. 133
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    A big “THIS” to your entire comment.

    Stephen Miller Trump aide falsely claims on TV 1000s MA residents bused into NH to vote

    That claim is just wildly absurd on its face. Like nobody would notice caravans of buses pouring in across the MA-NH border, or the laughably ridiculous idea that “thousands” of fraudulent voters could operate under the radar in a state where the entire voting-age population is probably not more than a million.

    These people are just shameless.

  134. 134
    FlyingToaster says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: She’s 9. And a very tall 9 (nearly as tall as I am), so people think she’s 11 or 12. And used to very small groups (private school, private music school, block with fewer than a dozen kids, etc.).

    She’s perfect for the march, spending her summers at NEAQ and MOS camps. Plus she has two scientist parents :)

    Unfortunately, she’s very much like, “Mom, is this like [redacted] with 8 gazillion people? Because I hate that.” And this being Boston, it will be a very big march 🤓

  135. 135
    efgoldman says:


    I was already floating about in the middle of the Atlantic on a wonderful 4 yr working boat trip in a world of gray paint and ugly uniforms about the time you graduated.

    What i wanna’ know is: How did you keep the string between the tin can on the tin can, and the tin can on shore, dry and with tension.

  136. 136
    joel hanes says:


    Music is science, too.

    Music is science employed in service of beauty.

    You should see the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nurnberg, with 500 years of musical instrument evolution lined up in huge glass display cases.

  137. 137

    @West of the Rockies (been a while): Isaac Newton, Emily Noether, Subramanyam Chandrashekhar and Enrico Fermi.

  138. 138
    FlyingToaster says:

    This is such a stupid lie. New Hampshire has Voter ID.

    The only place in New Hamster that a Masshole drivers license will get you is the State Packie.

  139. 139
    efgoldman says:

    @🚸 Martin:

    Maybe this is California continuing to be an outlier

    From where I sit and look at the ocean on the correct side, California as an outlier has always been the trend setter, too, both for good and bad.

  140. 140
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:


    Oh,booo! (or alternatively, Yay!!!)

  141. 141
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:


    Oh, dear… I have a couple names to wiki, I see.

  142. 142
    zhena gogolia says:



  143. 143
    joel hanes says:


    he is more than a couple yrs older than you

    Oh, I know. But I’m also aware of my own unfortunate propensity to overstate, and try to compensate with deliberate understatement. You can think of it as an attempt at “wry”. I’m not a skilled enough writer to consistently pull that off.

  144. 144
    joel hanes says:

    Fermi, Feynman, Witten, Rovelli.

    (can’t resist mentioning my very favorite scientific co-authorship, for a very-broadly cited paper: Alpher, Bethe, Gamow)

  145. 145
    efgoldman says:

    @joel hanes:

    You should see the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nurnberg, with 500 years of musical instrument evolution lined up in huge glass display cases.

    I might have seen it summer of ’63. I was in Nurnberg (Furth, Erlangen) because my dad was stationed there, and Uncle sent stateside student/dependents over and back for free.
    Went to so many, things, though. And it was a long time ago.
    I did find a fantastic little musical instruments store; they silver-plated my trumpet, with a gold inside bell, for the equivalent of $25/US.
    I used to love to take the trolley that went beside or inside (again, don’t remember) the old city wall.

  146. 146
    Baud says:


    Trump is too insecure to get past his popular vote loss, so he invents stories of voter fraud to make himself feel better. The only question is how many taxpayer dollars he will waste to promote his delusional fantasies.

  147. 147
    🚸 Martin says:

    @efgoldman: I’m 48 and best as I’ve been able to determine through the years, I’m about the last person to learn how to use a slide rule in school, probably a function of me being younger than my classmates, sometimes by a few years.

    My dad loves to tell the story of when he blew $150 (~$800 today, and consider that we were still living in a single-wide at the time and he driving my mom’s first car – a ’57 Chevy, which he soon sold for a more reliable vehicle, pissing my grandfather off to no end.) of his hard-earned money on TI 2500 calculator in 1973 so he could be a better insurance salesman, only for his fucking 5 year old kid to spill his milk into it, making the keys all sticky. Thankfully, he saved that calculator and gifted it to me, and I still have it fully functional with case and instruction manual – which is kind of hilarious since it covers both the abstract concept of what a calculator IS as well as the still fairly rare concept of rechargeable batteries. It served as a great learning platform for my son, who is studying electrical engineering, to see how things were at the very advent of integrated circuits.

    In college I still had professors that would give physics problems that would deliberate exceed the capabilities of calculators at the time in order to force students to employ algebraic tricks, or to resort to those log/antilog tables. But they were just barely able to stay ahead of the technology. I think within 3 years they would have to give that game up.

  148. 148
    🚸 Martin says:

    @Baud: I think that’s why he pushes it. But that’s not why Miller and the rest do. Fascism and elections don’t mix. Their goal is to shut down elections entirely by convincing the public that they are so fraudulent that they are worthless. They won’t get that far, but they might get some states to crank them down so hard that it becomes near impossible for Democrats to get elected.

  149. 149
    Baud says:

    @🚸 Martin: My father was an engineer and had a slide rule. I never leaned how to use it but was always fascinated by it.

  150. 150
    Baud says:

    @🚸 Martin: Agree. But Trump is the president. The buck stops with him whether he wants it or not.

  151. 151
    joel hanes says:


    the trolley that went

    beside. The bahnhof is just outside the walls.

  152. 152
    Ruckus says:


    Hillary Clinton doesn’t owe you shit.

    Best last line I’ve seen in a very long time. Especially coming at the end of that.
    Bravo to the author.
    Thanks for the link.
    She showed up. She stood up. She spoke up.
    She has given far more than most any other in the pursuit of a better country.
    She owes us nothing.
    We owe her a rousing roar of thanks for giving it a damn good try.
    She owes us nothing.

  153. 153
    NeenerNeener says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I’ve only ever lived in two states, NY and Ohio, and I remember having to pre-register to vote in both. In New York they check my address for my voting district and my signature against my registration every time I vote. Are there no registration requirements in New Hampshire? How the hell would millions of MA residents be able to vote in NH even if you could logistically bus them there?

  154. 154
    amygdala says:

    @🚸 Martin:

    I live in Orange County.

    Condolences. :p

    I moved out of there nearly 25 years ago after what were possibly the longest 3 years of my life. My boss used to joke that he hired me because he was tired of being the only liberal Democrat in the county. Election day was painful. I’d be the lone D in a sea of Rs on the voter list. I may as well have said I had drug-resistant TB or something.

    But it has been amazing seeing the change, slow but inexorable, away from the dark side. A couple of friends still live down there, and I visit from time to time. You really have to wonder how Republicans thought a place that’s home to Little Saigon and a large Latino community would stay frozen in the 1950s.

  155. 155
    efgoldman says:

    @🚸 Martin:

    only for his fucking 5 year old kid to spill his milk into it, making the keys all sticky.

    Soda does a much better job.

  156. 156

    @🚸 Martin: That’s the most idiotic thing you have written that I have read. You think a fancy calculator is all you need to solve a difficult physics problem? Its not the calculator, its what’s between your ears, that matters.

  157. 157
    joel hanes says:

    I never leaned how to use it

    It’s terribly difficult.
    To multiply 3.1 by 2.7 you move the sliding bit until the 0 mark is right over the 3.1 on the non-moving bit, and then look for 2.7 on the moving bit, and read the number that’s right under it on the non-movng bit.

    I’d draw an ASCII picture if the comment formatting supported fixed-width fonts and leading spaces.

  158. 158
    efgoldman says:

    @joel hanes:

    The bahnhof is just outside the walls.

    And across the street, there was a restaurant that was several hundred years old, in the cellar. They made a schnitzel sandwich on a hard roll, to die for. Plus they would serve me beer even though I was only 18.
    Probably still there. I’d love to go back, but financially it’s probably impossible.

  159. 159
    Bruuuuce says:

    @Baud: There may be another motive for his ridiculous assertions about millions of “illegals” voting against him, His advisors might be setting up a defense for Senators to validate his SCOTUS pick despite Democrats throwing Republicans’ own words — letting the people choose, which was their bullshit reason not to even examine President Obama’s choice — back at them. If they can blow enough smoke about the vote, especially about the popular vote totals, they have cover to stack the court with their ideologues.

  160. 160
    Elizabelle says:


    A man whose emails were, until recently, considered spam by many of his Republican peers

    I think that’s the best diss I’ve seen in ages. Re the deplorable Stephen Miller. From the deplorable Fuck the Fucking New York Times, but they get brownie points for that one.

    And I LOVE your Hillary Clinton item. That one will be making the rounds on Facebook.

  161. 161
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    @Ruckus: Not only that, but her absence means that they have to address us, the people. If Hills was leading the charge, Trump could make it into a proxy fight, “sore loser” fight and focus all his attention on her.

    It’s worth noting though, that through certain ads and articles that they are trying to draw her out for that fight, though.

    BTW, HIlls, if you are reading this-thank you. We will take it from here.

  162. 162
    Ruckus says:


    What else do these people lie about?

    There are several options here.
    1. The current line All of them Katie!
    2. How do you know they are lying? Their lips are moving.
    3. It isn’t just speech, if they are writing, thinking, using hand signals, morse code, or just breathing, They are lying.
    It’s all they know. Most people study to find some level of truth about a subject, they study it to find the lies so they can repeat them.

  163. 163
    joel hanes says:


    Even on re-reading, I can’t make Martin’s story say what you seem to think it said.

  164. 164
    Larkspur says:

    @amygdala: Surgeon and commercial airline pilot: two professions I am physically, psychologically, emotionally, and existentially unable to even think about doing. Unpossible. Even if I were the only person left on the plane with two working arms and everyone was yelling “You gotta fly this plane!” I would simply blink out of existence. I might be able to learn to crochet, though. I think I will try.

  165. 165
    efgoldman says:


    Its not the calculator, its what’s between your ears, that matters.

    I expect that these days, you can get an app for your phone.

  166. 166
    Peale says:

    @FlyingToaster: ids can be counterfeit in great quantities using the democrat party connections to organized immigrant criminal organizations. That’s why it worked in New Hampshire and not Michigan or Pennsylvania.

    (I’ve decided to try to make my fortune in wingnut conspiracy theorizing)

  167. 167
    Elizabelle says:

    @Larkspur: Probably not true.

    Just tell yourself, the plane is full of dogs, dogs in every seat. You would save the flight.

    Besides, W could keep a plane in the air, and land it. How hard can it be?

  168. 168

    @joel hanes:

    In college I still had professors that would give physics problems that would deliberate exceed the capabilities of calculators at the time in order to force students to employ algebraic tricks, or to resort to those log/antilog tables. But they were just barely able to stay ahead of the technology.

    I was specifically referring to this. Physics problems with numbers are what you give freshman physics students. I can give you a problem with no numbers and no matter how fancy your calculator is you won’t be able to do it, if you don’t know the underlying theory. Its can be something as simple as Newton’s Law based problems.

  169. 169
    Elizabelle says:

    Gonna head back out for some more sun, but saw PBS’s The American Experience about Tim McVeigh’s bombing of the Murragh Federal Building last night.

    The times that gave rise to him are still with us, on steroids. Timely documentary. Hope they run it frequently.

  170. 170

    @efgoldman: App on the phone, TI-85, Mathematica are worth shit if you have no idea what you are doing.

  171. 171
    trollhattan says:

    It’s the little squidgy bit between being in the air and being on the ground that’s key.

  172. 172
    efgoldman says:


    if I were the only person left on the plane with two working arms and everyone was yelling “You gotta fly this plane!” I would simply blink out of existence.

    If flight attendant Julie can do it, so can you!

  173. 173
    joel hanes says:


    AFAIKT, Martin reminisced about his actual freshman physics class. He did not draw a conclusion or moral. At all. He didn’t say that the professor was doing a good thing. Or a bad thing. He reported that the professor did a thing.

    I agree that physics is not about arithmetic.
    However, my physicist friends tell me that Wolfram Mathematica is very very useful.

  174. 174

    @joel hanes: Agreed about Mathematica. They have a great app too and a free online version.

  175. 175
    Bruuuuce says:

    @Peale: That would be brilliant (and typical) GOP projection, considering that the Republicans in charge of Wisconsin and Michigan are themselves criminals and there are serious questions about the honesty of the results in those states.

  176. 176
    Ruckus says:

    I could tell you but as it is top secret info, I’d have to kill you. And that’s not my style. So I’m going to just keep it under what passes for my hat. Besides it’s all scientific and crap like that and would take me way to long to present here in civilian form.

  177. 177
    joel hanes says:


    The physicists and mechanical engineers and antenna engineers at work get very put out when the software licensing for the full-bore version of Mathematica gets bollixed for a couple hours.

  178. 178
    Kathleen says:

    @Baud: I’m old enough to remember that my friends from School of Engineering (all male at the time) used slide rules and the campus computer took up an entire floor in the Engineering building. The printouts of Snoopy on top of his dog house were state of the art, and less than 5 people (and 1 dinosaur) on campus knew anything about computers. This was 1967-1969.

  179. 179
    Ruckus says:

    The only way the ocean is on the correct side for you is if you face south. The ocean is then on your port side, that being the correct side. Of course if you are facing the ocean then it’s not on either side.
    And on a side note, I’ve sailed on both oceans and lived on both coasts so that makes me an expert on which one is best.

  180. 180
    Ruckus says:

    @joel hanes:
    Who of us is?

  181. 181
    amygdala says:

    @Larkspur: I got nothin’ to add to Elizabelle’s and efg’s comments (edit) above.

    Even if planning a surgical approach took skills I lacked, suturing patients up was always gratifying. Once we were done with pre-ops and post-op checks as a student, you could go to the ED and help the intern get caught up with all the folks who had lacerations that needed to be stitched up. My chief resident, who mostly hated me for the combined sins of being female and an obvious nonsurgeon, watched me in the ED one night on call. And then asked what lab I’d worked in to be able to suture so well. He was not pleased when I told him it was all the embroidery, needlepoint, and macrame I’d done as a kid. But it was true!

  182. 182
    Larkspur says:

    @Elizabelle: OH YES. You are right. I could save those dogs. Dogs in every seat. I could do a tracheotomy on a dog if I had to as well. Thank you, Elizabelle. You have empowered me.

  183. 183
    Larkspur says:

    @amygdala: Good story! Thx.

  184. 184
    Larkspur says:

    @efgoldman: Not if it means re-inflating the emergency pilot. We’ll all die. Except…wait, DOGS. Okay, I’ll be Julie.

  185. 185
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    Stronger North Carolina’s Facebook page has some great photos of this weekend’s march.

    Unfortunately, the album doesn’t include some of my favorite signs, one which asked “Does conversion therapy work on bigotry?” and another announcing “I’m with her” with an arrow pointing at the Statue of Liberty.

  186. 186
    Larkspur says:

    @Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism: Those are going on my List o’ Signs.

    I also just ordered a copy of the photo of the ship that carried my Grampa to Ellis Island in 1909. He was just a little kid. His parents bought a farm in Connecticut and never learned English. They were from Germany and thus unpopular during the Great War. But he and they became citizens and no one ever tried to deport them. It’s going on a sign on some sort.

  187. 187
    Ruckus says:

    Was going to answer Martin but this is a better place. I’m old enough that I was taught not just how to use non existent calculators but pencil and paper and then a slide rule. It forced us to learn how to look at a problem, not just look for an answer to put on a test. Martin’s prof was doing the same thing, showing that the how is as important as the what. To this day I have to do this for some of the fellows at work, show them how and why you arrive at an answer to a design issue or for us, more important, how to arrive at a finished product. It is as you say not just the end result but how you get there. Politics has exactly the same problem. Take healthcare. Universal healthcare would be best, it operates on the same principle as the VA, the goal is taking care of the person, not making the most money for someone else. But getting there, designing a system based on what we have now so that we can move forward, getting better rather than getting richer, that’s the same complex problem solving morass that science runs into all the time, what is best may not be possible, so how do you look at a problem and find workable solutions, base upon on what you know and what you have to work with.

  188. 188
    Another Scott says:

    @schrodingers_cat: What’s new?

    c / λ

    Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk.


  189. 189

    @Ruckus: I agree with you. Most of the physics classes I took, we couldn’t use calculators, at most if the instructor was feeling particularly generous they would let you use integral tables. Calculators, slide rules are all tools. If you don’t know how to use them they are useless. If you give me the fanciest power drill and saws I couldn’t make furniture, because I don’t know the basics. Fancy calculators don’t make you good at problem solving.

  190. 190
  191. 191
    FlyingToaster says:

    @Peale: But how do you get extra registrations into the NH database? It’s not a densely populated state, the poll workers will notice if a busload of strangers pulls up at the fire station.

    You might be able to do fraud in places where they have 5 precincts in a high school gym, but that isn’t how we roll in New England. Precincts are by municipality and ward/district. There’s a big book of registrants you check in at by address and name (plus showing your ID in NH), then you get your ballot. Vote. Go to checkout, repeat the process and feed your ballot into the scanner. Fraud would require a fucking time machine to go back in time and add fraudulent addresses to the registrants’ books.

  192. 192
    Ruckus says:

    Grandmother used to crochet, she even had this machine that looked like a piano the did a lot of the work. She made large table cloths on it, among other things.
    Don’t worry about not being able to fly the plane or drive the fastest race car or run the farthest. We have people who do that, worry about continuing to be a good person, a role model for citizenship, we need far more of those.

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    @joel hanes: Right tools for the right job make the job easy, where I have disagreed with that.

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    Ruckus says:

    But the proper use of tools and the improvement in tools is what makes the world better. Most of the time. A chain saw on a stick is still not a good idea. Yes we have to know the underlying concepts to use the tools better but I see no argument that better tools keep us from learning better. Take the machine that I spent laying in every day for 9 weeks. It’s a complex example of a machine designed to do a dangerous job a lot better than the old system. Which I have a friend who’s buddy went through. It was horrible, far, far worse side effects than me. Same idea, same X-ray technology, but improved thousands of percent. Better aiming, better control, better outcomes….. The base concepts work the same but the output can be far better because the tools are far better. I’ve said this many times before but I’m a machinist, have been for decades, even as I’ve done other jobs in life. I’m still doing that now, making things out of metal. Some of the tools are the same but some are so far different and better than there really isn’t a valid reason to teach the old ways for so many things. It’s history, but it’s not valid, unless you are studying history. I can talk of the way machines were at the turn of not the last century, but during the industrial revolution, because a lot of what was around when I started out hadn’t changed. Today most every tool is different and better. We still move metal, the concept hasn’t changed all that much but the process is far different. Faster, better, safer and in today’s dollars, even cheaper.
    I was working on a calculus problem at the board in college and my prof asked me how I knew what I was doing and explaining. I told him I didn’t have to prove the theorems, that work had been done, by the very nature that other theorems built upon them and had also been proven. I had to understand what they were for, how they worked and why, so I could use them as tools, I wasn’t trying to be a theoretical mathematician, I was trying to apply them. That’s what most people do, even at the highest levels. That some find new things and new ways is great but that’s graduate work or daily life for the fortunate few, not what most of us do.

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    @Ruckus: I agree with what you have said. I was trying to make a slightly different point. I have seen students with fancy graphing calculators get the most basic trig wrong because they forgot to change the angle measure to radians from degrees.
    If you don’t know what you are doing fancy equipment is not going to help.

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    🚸 Martin says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Well, the calculator was far from sufficient to solve the problems, however, the instructors recognized the importance of good fundamental math skills in solving physics problems, and that is what they thought would be lost with the calculators. I never said I agreed or disagreed with it, merely that I experienced it.

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    🚸 Martin says:

    @Baud: No question, but don’t take your eye off why the advisors are pushing him that way. It’s all too easy with Trump for these lies to get so much media attention that Texas or North Carolina slides something really damaging through without much notice. And those states will be able to use Trumps words as cover to do it.

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    🚸 Martin says:


    If you don’t know what you are doing fancy equipment is not going to help.

    Yep. Corollary: buying your way into the presidency is no substitute for understanding policy and how governance works.

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    @🚸 Martin: My temper has been pretty short today. My comment was rude and unwarranted. Sorry.

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    Larkspur says:

    @schrodingers_cat: You just made my day. Truly. Thank you.

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    Ruckus says:

    I don’t think it was all that.
    It depends on what we are discussing exactly that makes this a good discussion in my opinion. I have trained lots of people in lots of things including being a math tutor in college at the suggestion of one of my professors and one of the things that I’ve noticed over the decades is exactly what you pointed out, that people learn to use tools to hide that they don’t know how some process/theory works. Too much emphasis placed on correct answers and not enough on how to get from point a to point g. In a pure learning environment that is a real issue. In a process environment there is more emphasis on getting that correct answer because there is a reward, a good grade or more money to be made. But there is a need for both, at some balance. Much of school work, which I think should be closer to a pure learning rather than a process environment is exactly backwards, at least in my experience. Just had a memory float into my tiny brain. In the navy I attended school for a year before being stationed on a ship. I was taught electronics, something I had a passion for long before I got there so a lot of the school was boring. But they taught from the basis of what was known about atoms, right on up to how then modern electronics functioned. You didn’t need to know anything about electronics when you walked in the first day, they covered it. Even if you only ended up being a parts changer later on they presented it. I never saw anything like it in public school, including college. It was however 40 hrs a week for months.

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    Joy in FL says:

    @01jack: That link took me to a site that my browser said is suspected of phishing. I assume that was not your intent, but want to alert you.

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    SiubhanDuinne says:


    I know. It’s just totally absurd.

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