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InitialsDiceBear„Initials” ( by „DiceBear”, licensed under „CC0 1.0” (
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But don't say it out loud
  • After thinking about this REALLY REALLY HARD…offing him will do nothing to stop the creep of [fascism]

    Who would step in to replace Trump? Trump has worked hard to discredit anybody who could potentially challenge him. Strongmen often groom a son to take over for them, but only after they've been in power for many years. Trump might want Junior to take over, but I doubt even Trump's hand-picked yes-men would accept Junior at this point.

    Instead you'd almost certainly get a power vacuum with various Republican factions trying to take over.

    You cut one head off and 3 more will pop up

    And those 3 would start snapping at each-other trying to become the dominant head. And, as long as they're distracted snapping at each-other, they're not going to be focusing on us.

    IMO, Trump is also the only thing holding this right-wing coalition together. As soon as he's gone the factions are going to turn on each-other. The bad thing is that they've already shown that they're going to get violent when they feel their grip on power is slipping. I'm sure this assassination attempt is going to lead to right-wing violence, and if it had succeeded it would have been a lot more violence.

    The most dangerous thing about Trump is that he's he's got almost half the US behind him. There are probably more cruel Republicans, and probably some who would be more effective at implementing their cruel policies. But, not many who would be able to get so much support and keep the coalition together.

    The Republican base is getting smaller each year as old people die. It's not a popular platform with the younger voters. If the US can avoid a Trump win this year, the MAGA version of the Republican party will probably fall apart. Then it will be back to the regular corporatocracy that the US has been dealing with for decades. If he does win... well I'm glad I don't live in the US.

  • Obama's response...
  • The best take I've seen is that Democrats should take this opportunity, dust off an old gun control bill that failed, rename it the President Trump Assassination Prevention Act and try to pass it. Republicans will still vote against it, but they'll be on record as voting against the President Trump Assassination Prevention Act.

  • We're cooked...
  • Silicone Valley

    Los Angeles? But seriously...

    Generally, surviving an assassination attempt gives you a boost in support. That is a pattern that has been repeated often. Another recent example is the attempted assassination of Bolsonaro in Brazil. He's often called Brazil's Trump. This case could be different, but odds are it's not going to result in undecided voters saying "hmm, the shooter was probably right, I'll side with him".

    The situation in the US was a disaster even before this happened. IMO this can only make things worse.

  • We're cooked...
  • People who weren’t voting for him before aren’t going to start now just because he was shot

    The decided voters are pretty much irrelevant. They made up their mind a long time ago. The issue is the swing voters.

    Unfortunately, we have evidence that surviving an assassination attempt leads to a boost in approval. Reagan surviving an assassination attempt led to a big jump in his approval rating:

    "In the wake of the assassination attempt, Reagan's approval ratings jumped -- providing a new baseline that propelled his legislative agenda forward and helped translate to his broad-based re-election. "

  • Electrons are easy
  • Sure. So, imagine a rectangular pool of water. You have a little weight on one end of the pool bobbing up and down producing waves. Then you put a wall halfway down the pool with two gaps in the wall. The waves from the wave-generator hit the gaps and go through. At the back wall of the pool you can measure the wave height. What you see is that at some points there are big waves, and at other point no waves at all. What's happening is that the waves coming through each gap travel different distances. If the wave from one gap is at a trough when the wave from the other gap is at a peak, they interfere with each-other and the water doesn't move much. If, instead, the distance is right so that both waves are at a trough or both waves are at a peak, the wave height is doubled at that point.

    If the weight bobbing up and down is very regular, the pattern stays very regular. The places on the back wall with no waves are always in the same spot, and the places with big waves are in the same spot.

    Now, do a similar experiment but instead of using water, you use light. To keep the waves all the same wavelength / frequency, you need a laser. So that laser shines forward and hits a barrier with two small slits in it. When the laser hits a wall after that you get the same pattern of bright spots and dark spots. Light is acting like a wave and the light waves are interfering with each-other in the way you'd expect.

    But, what if you turn the laser way down. You can reach a point where instead of getting a continuous pattern on the back wall of the experiment, you only get an occasional "blip". What's happening there is that the intensity of the laser is so low that you get a single photon being emitted, passing through the slits and hitting the back wall.

    So, this basically shows that light is acting like a particle. It is emitted from the laser, passes the slits, and hits at one single, specific point on the back wall. So, this shows that light is both a particle in some ways (individual light "packets" can be emitted and strike one specific spot on the back wall), and it's a wave, because the light passing through the two slits interferes and produces a strong/weak pattern on the back wall.

    But, the truly mind-blowing part of the experiment is what happens if you record the positions of each hit on the back wall when the laser is tuned way down and only emitting one photon at a time. If you record the location of the hits (or say, use something like photographic film that you expose over multiple days while you run the experiment), what you see is that there are points where you get many single-photon hits on the back wall, and points where you don't get any single-photon hits on the back wall. And, the points where you don't get any hits are exactly the points where you get dead zones from the wave interference when you run the laser at full intensity. Even though you're only allowing one photon to go through at once, it's still acting as if it's going through both slits in some way.

    The obvious question at that point is "Which slit is it actually going through?" So they measured that, and as soon as they could determine which slit the photon went through, the interference pattern disappeared. Instead it looked exactly how it would look if you blocked the other slit. But, when they stopped measuring which slit the photon went through, the interference pattern comes back.

    This revealed a few fundamental things in quantum mechanics:

    1. Everything is both a particle and a wave. That applies to things we mostly think of as particles like protons and electrons, but also to things that mostly act like waves like electromagnetic radiation (light, gamma-rays, x-rays, radio waves, etc.)
    2. Measuring fundamentally changes the result. It's not possible to observe passively. This isn't just a vague statement though. There's an equation that says that the uncertainty in position multiplied by the uncertainty in momentum is always bigger than a certain value which is related to the Planck Constant. It's a tiny, tiny value so it doesn't much affect human-scale things, but massively influences things at a sub-atomic scale.
    3. For many quantum phenomena, something can be in an indeterminate state and interact with the world in some ways until something forces the quantum state to collapse. Instead of going through either of the two slits, there's a probability distribution about its position, which doesn't collapse until it interacts with the back wall of the system, which forces the wave function to collapse and results in a single spot being produced on the back wall.
  • be honest was it your first instinct to check if they are?

    From what I remember, on my first play-through the first thing I tried to do was explore, and when I got near the critters I was attacked. I don't think I even knew how to use my gun, so I just ran away.

    In the real world, non-evil animals are often territorial. OTOH, they're often also curious, and if you approach slowly you can end up interacting with them without it coming to violence. But, the biters in Factorio go straight from ignoring you to attacking you with no in-between.

    As for colonizing, it's worth noting that the goal in Factorio isn't to establish a colony, but to escape after your ship crashed.

    I do like that the game subtly makes it clear that you're causing a lot of pollution, and that basically the only reason the natives attack is because of your pollution. OTOH, it would have been better if the biter "nests" contained something like worker ants who didn't attack you but needed to be killed to wipe out the nest. I guess you could argue that the spawner things fill that role, but they don't seem to do anything other than pump out enemies who immediately attack. So, not really.

  • In Factorio you pollute, but there isn't much evidence the native critters are intelligent. They sure don't act intelligent. There also doesn't seem to be any way to live in harmony with them.

  • Making it worse is that many games don't punish you for things we'd consider pretty "evil". Like, you can walk into people's houses and search their cupboards and other containers for useful things, and it's mostly not considered stealing. So, as long as you choose the nice dialogue option when talking to them you stay good.

    A real good vs. evil choice would be one where resources are always tight, and you constantly meet people who need your help along the way. Helping them stretches your resources even more. Or, have people who are able to help you, but you have to stretch the truth about who you are or about your goals to get their support.

  • Also young Magneto got played by Michael Fassbender
  • The difference is that narcissist, rapist Donald Trump still thinks of himself as a good guy. OG Magneto was even more two-dimensional than that. I mean, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby gave his group the name "Brotherhood of Evil Mutants".

  • Families urge judge to block law forcing display of ‘Protestant version of the Ten Commandments’ before kids return to public school in Louisiana
  • Interestingly though, Henrietta Maria was named after her parents (Henry IV and Marie de Médicis / Maria de' Medici), and it's likely her mother's name came from their Catholic faith.

    So Maryland was named after Henrietta Maria who was named after Marie de Médicis who was named after the biblical Mary. (Unless she was named after another Mary)

  • Electrons are easy
  • That's not a good analogy because typically cameras don't change the things they're observing. But, a camera with a flash...

    Imagine a guy driving down a dark road at night. Take a picture of him without a flash and you'll get a blurry picture.

    Take a picture of him with a powerful flash and you'll get an idea of exactly where he was when the picture was taken, but the powerful flash will affect his driving and he'll veer off the road.

    You can't measure something without interacting with it. This is true even in the non-quantum world, but often the interactions are small enough to ignore. Like, if you stick a meat thermometer into a leg of lamb, you'll measure its temperature. But, the relatively cool thermometer is going to slightly reduce the temperature of the lamb.

    At a quantum level, you can no longer ignore the effect that measuring has on observing. The twin-slit experiment is the ultimate proof of this weirdness.

  • Electrons are easy
  • It's not that it doesn't make sense in words, it's more that it isn't something we can intuitively understand. Basic physics is intuitive. Advanced physics is much less intuitive but you can sort-of get it if you use analogies to things that are understandable. Truly advanced physics is so far removed from the world we experience that you just have to trust the math.

    IMO, everything being a wave is not quite pure math territory. Things like constructive and destructive interference are ideas you can understand using water waves or sound, so when concepts are explained in those terms you can sort-of get it. But, things like electron spin or quark flavours are things you just have to accept.

  • (PDF) National Bank of Canada: Canada is caught in a population trap, something normally the preserve of emerging economies

    Note: National Bank of Canada is a commercial bank, not the Bank of Canada which is Canada's national bank. Um. Which is Canada's central bank.

    The graphs in the presentation are the key takeaway for me. But, some key words:

    "Canada is caught in a population trap that has historically been the preserve of emerging economies. We currently lack the infrastructure and capital stock in this country to adequately absorb current population growth and improve our standard of living."


    "To put things in perspective, Canada's population growth in 2023 was 3.2%, five times higher than the OECD average."


    "But to meet current demand and reduce shelter cost inflation, Canada would need to double its housing construction capacity to approximately 700,000 starts per year, an unattainable goal."


    An electric car completed the world's first-ever drive from the North to the South Pole (kinda) An electric car completed the world's first-ever drive from the North to the South Pole

    Scottish adventurers Chris and Julie Ramsey completed their 'Pole To Pole EV' expedition with a Nissan Ariya electric car.

    An electric car completed the world's first-ever drive from the North to the South Pole

    Earlier today, Scottish adventurers Chris and Julie Ramsey were finally able to announce their completion of the nine-month, 17,000-mile "Pole To Pole EV" expedition, the world's first drive from the 1823 Magnetic North Pole to South Pole.

    Other links:


    Microsoft travel article recommends that Ottawa tourists visit the Ottawa Food Bank: "Consider going into it on an empty stomach"

    The article was clearly AI generated. Microsoft has killed the original article, giving a 404, pretending it never existed. But, you can see an archived image of it on Imgur.

    Even ignoring the ridiculousness of including the Ottawa Food Bank as a destination. Even ignoring the callousness of the line "Consider going into it on an empty stomach", the article is just full of spicy autocomplete nonsense.

    • "Participate in the Winterlude, the Capital's winter festival, skate on the world's largest skating rink, or play on North America's largest snow."
    • "Go to an Ottawa Senators Game: Ottawa, as Canada's capital draws visitors from around the world who come to see its historic buildings and landmarks, experience its arts and culture and take in the sights and sounds. Denis Potvin are two NHL heroes from Ottawa..."
    • "The World's Largest Naturallyfrozen Ice Rink"
    • "Discover a Winter Wonderland at Omega Park" (along with a picture of the Canal)