Brett is out getting some emergency dental work done, and his dentist has an accent and an odd attitude. I’ll be interested to hear how this turns out. And he’ll be interested to hear how the links turned out, since I’m doing them interstitially with my real work, so I might accidentally edit in something about Nyquist representations of electrochemical impedance.

The Nobel in physics was announced today. And it’s nice to see affirmative action in action.

The Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded to a woman for the first time in 55 years. Donna Strickland, from Canada, is only the third woman winner of the award, along with Marie Curie, who won in 1903, and Maria Goeppert-Mayer, who was awarded the prize in 1963. Dr Strickland shares this year’s prize with Arthur Ashkin, from the US, and Gerard Mourou, from France.

Of course, there’s always sexism.

Reacting to her win, Dr Strickland, who is based at the University of Waterloo in Canada, said: “First of all you have to think it’s crazy, so that was my first thought. And you do always wonder if it’s real. “As far as sharing it with Gerard, of course he was my supervisor and mentor and he has taken CPA to great heights so he definitely deserves this award. And I’m so happy Art Ashkin also won.”

I hope you’re all asking why HE is HER mentor and not the other way around! And I thought it was important that females have female role models and that was why we had to do preferential hiring in academia?

Speaking of science, our news media seems fascinated with the pronouncements of some hyperpituitary millionaire. A very contrite hyperpituitary millionaire.

“At the time, I was, like, innocent in it,” Irving said Monday. “But you realize the effect of the power of voice and even if you believe in that, it’s like, don’t come out and say that. That’s for intimate conversations because perception, how you’re received, it just changes. Like, no. I’m actually a smart-ass individual. So it’s not like I was just coming out and saying that. So at the time, I just didn’t realize the effect.”

“I’m sorry about all of that,” Irving said. “For all the science teachers, for everybody coming up to me like, ‘I have to re-teach my whole curriculum!’ I’m sorry. I apologize.”

I hope he really is sorry. After all, the foundations of science depend on the wisdom of basketball players.

And in yet more science news, global temperatures continue to regress to the mean.

The Version 6.0 global average lower tropospheric temperature (LT) anomaly for September, 2018 was +0.14 deg. C, down a little from +0.19 deg. C in August. The linear temperature trend of the global average lower tropospheric temperature anomalies from January 1979 through September 2018 remains at +0.13 C/decade.

Clearly we’re doomed!

No, I’m serious, we really are fucking DOOMED.

“Maybe a black hole could form, and then suck in everything around it,” writes Rees. “The second scary possibility is that the quarks would reassemble themselves into compressed objects called strangelets. That in itself would be harmless. However under some hypotheses a strangelet could, by contagion, convert anything else it encounters into a new form of matter, transforming the entire earth in a hyperdense sphere about one hundred meters across.”

One hundred meters is roughly the size of an American football field. That’s the entire Earth, condensed into that tiny space. Obviously, it would mean the end of life on our planet.

So how would that affect the point spread? These scientists sure don’t know everything.

OMG, we’re DOO… well, you know.

Website Space Weather states: “The sun is entering a deep Solar Minimum, and Earth’s upper atmosphere is responding. “Data from NASA’s TIMED satellite show that the thermosphere (the uppermost layer of air around our planet) is cooling and shrinking, literally decreasing the radius of the atmosphere.”

The sunspots was [sic] not expected to head into a solar minimum until around 2020, and if it is heading in early, it will mean a prolonged cold snap.  The last time there was a prolonged solar minimum, it led to a ‘mini ice-age’, scientifically known as the Maunder minimum – which lasted for 70 years. The Maunder minimum, which saw seven decades of freezing weather, began in 1645 and lasted through to 1715, and happened when sunspots were exceedingly rare. During this period, temperatures dropped globally by 1.3 degrees Celsius leading to shorter seasons and ultimately food shortages.

At this point, I don’t know whether to shit or wind my wristwatch.

I have a better idea- some Old Guy Music. High on my list of “people who should have been more famous than they were” is Don Byas. I would argue that without Byas, there would have been no Trane. His choice to leave the US and spend his most productive years in Europe probably didn’t help. But still, he was a sax player’s sax player. Perfect tone, timing, and phrasing. Perfect. Here he is, wailing on that old Juan Tizol standard, “Perdido.” Because, after all, we’re all doomed.