Who doesn’t love a black hole? 

These ultra-dense objects regularly star in movies, in popular idioms, and in a nonstop stream of headlines reminding us that Einstein was right. However, we’ve had a scientific description of black holes for just over a hundred years, when Karl Schwarzschild solved key equations in Albert’s newly minted theory of general relativity. It took scientists until the 1960s to then move black holes out of pure mathematics and show that they can, in fact, form across the cosmos.

These days, we have evidence of black holes eating stars, messing with the motion of nearby objects, belching out jets of high-energy particles, and crashing into each other with such force they send ripples through the fabric of spacetime. At the same time, our telescopes are getting so powerful, astronomers were able to capture the first-ever direct glimpse of a black hole’s gaping maw in 2019.

Now, three researchers are sharing the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics for their work making black holes such scientific all-stars. One, Roger Penrose, was part of the team that offered the first evidence black holes exist in nature. The other two, Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez (pictured above), conducted foundational work showing that a whopper of an invisible object (thought to be a supermassive black hole) lurks in the center of our galaxy, the Milky Way.

 

SOURCE 

I love actor Sam Neil

 

“I am very worried about America. I love America. I just love the States. I’m the sort of age that saw America as everything that was good: rock’n’roll, cars with fins, James Dean, John F. Kennedy, baseball and chewing gum. All these things were just fantastic for someone from a little country on the other side of the world. And now I’d be reluctant to set foot in the place. It’s unrecognisable.

“It’s terribly damaged. It’s traumatized. I hope things do change in November but whoever wins that election, there will be staunch resistance from the other side. How you reunite a country that has been systematically taken apart by this administration I just don’t know.”

  • Sam Niell

https://www.smh.com.au/culture/movies/three-decades-on-from-jurassic-park-sam-neill-is-more-adored-than-ever-20200929-p560fn.html

 

Anti-Trumper Republican strategist Steve Schmidt pleads with top administration officials to stop the madness

GRABBED FROM  Steve Schmidt’s TWITTER  FEED 10/2/2020:
 
Steve Schmidt
 
@SteveSchmidtSES

 

Replying to 

Trump is losing. He is failing. The campaign is out of money. The former campaign manager allegedly stole $40 million and is reported to have beaten his wife and waived a gun at her. 5-0 took him down like he was on COPS. Guilfoye is disgraced and going down.
 
 
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Don jr is clearly distressed. It’s Everyman and woman for themselves now.  

. Old friends, you came to Washington, most of you with idealism in your hearts and a love of country and her people. Look what’s happened. It’s not too late. We will protect your

 
 
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Steve Schmidt
 
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Confidentiality. What is happening inside? Is there talk of inciting fascist militia’s like the proud boys? Is there talk of proclaiming illegitimate victory? Is there talk of illegal voter suppression? It is not too late to do right. Remember all you had to do, once upon
 
 
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a time was be in the Resistance by midnight on June 6, 1944. The time to act is now. Reach out. We will protect you. What are you seeing in the inside. We know about the mutiny tonight. So many of you are working from home now. No one is watching. Slow it down. Do no more
 
 
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Damage. Incite no more racial animus. Incite no more violence and insanity. Be complicit in no more lies. Look at the monuments in Washington. Remember what they stand for. We are your friends. The American people are your friends. Hurt us all no more. Help us end this. Reach out
 
 
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let us help you help all of us. Be Patriots in this hour of crisis. It is your next act that will be remembered. Trump will ask more of you. If you do as he asks there will be no place to return from. Infamy will linger forever around

 
 
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Your names. It is America or Trump in the final analysis. It is time to come home. The sickness is spreading among you because Trump doesn’t care about you. His recklessness has put your families in danger as he has put all Americans in danger. Help us end this nightmare.
 
 
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What is happening on the inside? What gears and machinery can you throw sand in ? Fight back at long last. Vote him out.

Newspapers are essential for our democracy. But they don’t get paid for it.

… a blast from the past (2003)

“Or, suggests Peter Bakke, online manager at the Concord Monitor, perhaps it’s a downfall of newspapers in general, be they print or online. “Why (should politicians) advertise with somebody who’s writing about you every day anyway?” he asks.”

Source:

https://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/17348/early-state-news-sites-not-as-primary-as-you-migh.html

         Democracy Dies in Darkness

 

The concept of “help thy neighbor”

 

peter bakke - golden rule - Confucius

In Debt: The First 5,000 Years, anthropologist and economist David Graeber proposes a concept of “everyday communism” which he defines, when analyzing peasant lives as “The peasants’ visions of communistic brotherhood did not come out of nowhere. They were rooted in real daily experience: of the maintenance of common fields and forests, of everyday cooperation, and neighborly solidarity. It is out of such homely experience of everyday communism that grand mythic visions are always built”. Also, “society was rooted above in the ‘love and amity’ of friends and kin, and it found expression in all those forms of everyday communism (helping neighbors with chores, providing milk or cheese for old widows) that were seen to flow from it”.

Closer to home, he gives this example: “If someone fixing a broken water pipe says, ‘Hand me the wrench,’ his co-worker will not, generally speaking, say, ‘And what do I get for it?’ … The reason is simple efficiency…: if you really care about getting something done, the most efficient way to go about it is obviously to allocate tasks by ability and give people whatever they need to do them.” Moreover, we tend to ask and give without thinking for things like asking directions, or

“…small courtesies like asking for a light, or even for a cigarette. It seems more legitimate to ask a stranger for a cigarette than for an equivalent amount of cash, or even food; in fact, if one has been identified as a fellow smoker, it’s rather difficult to refuse such a request. In such cases—a match, a piece of information, holding the elevator—one might say the “from each” element is so minimal that most of us comply without even thinking about it. Conversely, the same is true if another person’s need—even a stranger’s—is particularly spectacular or extreme: if he is drowning, for example. If a child has fallen onto the subway tracks, we assume that anyone who is capable of helping her up will do so.”

The thing which makes it “every day” is this argument: “communism is the foundation of all human sociability. It is what makes society possible. There is always an assumption that anyone who is not actually an enemy can be expected to act on the principle of “from each according to their abilities”, at least to an extent, which is to say, the extent just described.

He proposes studying these practices and says that the “sociology of everyday communism is a potentially enormous field, but one which, owing to our peculiar ideological blinders, we have been unable to write about because we have been largely unable to see it”. Nevertheless, Graeber’s ideas were later discussed by journalist Richard Swift as being a type of “a reciprocal economy”—which makes use of the “ethic of reciprocity” or the “Golden Rule“.

From: Debt: The First Five Thousand Years

See also: Primitive communismOriginal affluent society, and Gift economy

 

Republicans Don’t Give a Damn

Democrats will have a field day if Republicans leave town without another stimulus deal with just 90 days until the election. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) have already bashed Republicans over and over again for failing to come to the aid of Americans facing poverty, eviction and food insecurity while proposing in their bill a tax deductibility for business lunches. Pelosi had this stunning exchange with CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Thursday:

Jim Cramer: I like your spirit of being more upbeat, more optimistic, so I will offer this: Why can’t you go across the aisle and say, ‘Representative Lewis, civil rights legend, would have loved it if we could do something for the totally disenfranchised in this country. No matter what, can we give a huge chunk of money to the people who are disenfranchised, to minorities who want so badly to stay in business and can’t and to people who are trying to go to college or have student loans who are minorities who are the most affected because they had the least chance in our country?’ That’s got to be something both sides can agree to.
Speaker Pelosi: Perhaps you mistook them for somebody who gives a damn for what you just described.
Jim Cramer: Ooh, jeez.
Speaker Pelosi: Yeah. That’s the problem. See, the thing is, they don’t believe in governance. They don’t believe in governance, and that requires some acts of government to do that. . . . And basically, economists tell us, spend the money, invest the money for those who need it the most, because they will spend it. It will be a stimulus or at least a stabilization of — and that’s a good thing. Consumer confidence is a good thing for the economy. You know that better than anyone.
OUCH!! The truth hurts, Trumpistas.
Karma is a bitch or a bastard, huh? Take your pick.

Harlan James Bakke

16 December 1928 – March 7, 1984

Photo of Commander Harlan J. Bakke copied from page 486 of the 1951 edition of the U.S. Naval Academy yearbook 'Lucky Bag'.
UNITED STATES NAVAL ACADEMY, ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND

Harlan James Bakke was born in Hutchinson, Minnesota, on December 16, 1928, son of Edgar N. and Alice (Anderson) Bakke. He attended Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minnesota (1946-1947), prior to entering the US Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, on appointment from his native state in 1947. Graduated and commissioned Ensign on June 1, 1951, he subsequently advanced in rank to that of Commander, to date from August 1, 1965. In the fall of 1970, he was selected for the rank of Captain.

Following graduation from the Naval Academy in 1951, he reported onboard USS Cushing (DD-797) and in June 1952 was detached for flight training. Designated Naval Aviator on July 3, 1953, he then joined Patrol Squadron THREE, operating from the Naval Air Station, Jacksonville, Florida to Iceland and Argentia. Transferred in October 1955 to Heavy Attack Squadron ONE, also based at Jacksonville and later onboard USS Forrestal.

He was an Instructor at the Jet Transitional Training Unit, Naval Air Station, Olathe, Kansas, from November 1957 to October 1959, then became an Instructor with Heavy Attack Squadron THREE, attached to the Naval Air Station, Sanford, Florida. He joined Heavy Attack Squadron ELEVEN (Sanford, Florida and USS Franklin D. Roosevelt) in October 1960 and in October 1961 transferred to Heavy Attack Squadron SEVEN (Sanford, Florida and USS Enterprise). He continued service with that squadron until October 1963, when he was assigned to Reconnaissance Attack Squadron, Florida.

Ordered to London, England, he had instruction (Exchange Pilot) at the Royal Air Force Staff College, from October 1965 to January 1967 and in March of that year reported as Executive Office of Reconnaissance Attack Squadron FIVE. He assumed command of that squadron in January 1968. In May 1969 he reported as Operations Officer of USS Ticonderoga (CVA-14) and is entitled to the Ribbon for and facsimile of the Meritorious Unit Commendation awarded on that attack aircraft carrier for meritorious service while engaged in combat operations in Southeast and Northeast Asia during the period February 18 to September 7, 1969. He received 6 air medals and a Bronze Star.

In February 1970 he reported as Electronic Warfare Project Manager at the Naval Air Systems Command Headquarters, Washington, DC.

In 1952, he married Carol Marion Pinske of Gaylord, Minnesota and had three sons: Paul,  Phillip, and Peter.

In addition to the Meritorious Unit Commendation Ribbon, Captain Bakke has the Navy Occupation Service Medal, Europe Clasp; National Defense Service Medal with bronze star; Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Korea) and the Vietnam Service Medal. He also has the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.

Vote! And stay safe.

I wish,  I wish November would arrive SOON!

 

                                               The sane thing to do. Wear a mask, people.

Joe Biden is a Mensch. We need a Mensch for President.

This is a story from the “I Know Joe Biden” email series.

Please, take the time to read below and get to know Joe Biden. And once you’re done reading, can you chip in to send him back to the White House to represent us? Chip in to elect Joe Biden here »


The story I’m about to share with you about Joe Biden is special — in fact, I’m fairly certain I’m the only living person left who actually witnessed it firsthand.

It was about 16 years ago, and I was a young rabbi, brand-new to Delaware, on my way to lead a shiva minyan — a worship service following a death of a Jewish person. I was from California. Back then, I didn’t know Claymont, Delaware from Scranton, Pennsylvania.

A quick bit of background: When someone passes away in the Jewish faith, we observe seven days of mourning, called shiva. We gather a group of ten Jewish adults together — a minyan — to say the Mourners’ Kaddish. It usually happens in a person’s home — somewhere intimate.

In this case, the deceased individual — her name was Mrs. Greenhouse, of blessed memory — had not been a person of means. She had lived in rent-controlled senior housing in a tall high-rise building off of Namaans Road. Her apartment had been too small to fit everyone into, so we conducted our worship service in the building’s communal laundry room, in the basement of the high-rise.

We assembled the ten elders together, and it was in this most humble of places that I began to lead the kaddish. Toward the end of the service, a door at the back of the laundry room opened, and who walks in but Senator Joe Biden, his head lowered, all by himself.

I nearly dropped my prayer book in shock.

Senator Biden stood quietly in the back of the room for the duration of the service.

At the close of the kaddish, I walked over to him and asked the same question that must have been on everyone else’s mind: “Senator Biden — what are you doing here?”

And he said to me: “Listen, back in 1972, when I first ran for Senate, Mrs. Greenhouse gave $18 to my first campaign. Because that’s what she could afford. And every six years, when I’d run for reelection, she’d give another $18. She did it her whole life. I’m here to show my respect and gratitude.”

Now, the number 18 is significant in the Jewish faith — its numbers spell out the Hebrew word chai, as in “to life, to life, l’chayim!” But it’s also a humble amount. Joe Biden knew that. And he respected that.

There were no news outlets at our service that day — no Jewish reporters or important dignitaries. Just a few elderly mourners in a basement laundry room.

Joe Biden didn’t come to that service for political gain. He came to that service because he has character. He came to that service because he’s a mensch.

And if we need anything right now when it comes to the leadership of our country — we need a mensch.

I know this is such a simple, small story. But I tell it to as many people as will listen to me.

Because I think that, in their heart of hearts, when people are trying to think about the decision they’ll make this year — this is the kind of story that matters.

Joe Biden is a mensch. We need a mensch.

Thanks for reading.

— Rabbi Michael Beals of Delaware