Archive for ‘Science’

August 24, 2013

From The Mailbag … — #Genealogy, #Royalty, #Polish, #Szlachta

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

From the Post Office Department

From the Post Office Department

The minions in the Email-Room dropped off a missive at my virtual cubicle today. Today’s question is about Polish Royalty & DNA as it relates to genealogy …

Hi, I stumbled across your blog and thought you might could help me. We are searching for my father’s ancestry and think he is a Poniatowski. My grandfather Andrzej changed his name when he came to America in 1909. The story we always heard was that he was royal. So I have my father’s yDNA markers but cannot find a surname project online for the Poniatowskis or other Polish nobles. Do you know of any? Maybe you can give me some advice? I sure would appreciate it! Thanks in advance for sharing anything.
Sincerely,
Kristian Krawford
—  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —

Kristian,

Welcome to the blog. DNA plays a role in genealogy in some ways, but it is NOT for every genealogist. It is due the certainty factor (I favor >97% certainty) takes you back beyond the number of generations that most people tracing Slavic/Polish genealogy can do UNLESS they have royal blood. Your question gives me yet another reason to endorse limited use of DNA in genealogy. I am in favor of using DNA in your case because, you want to determine if you have royal blood or not and specifically whether or not you are related to Poniatowski szlactha (nobility).

Now to the crux of your question. You have your family DNA and want to compare it. Ancestry.com has some capacity, but perhaps because they have so little Polish emphasis in their data, their DNA may be lacking from Polish genealogists families. So…

You can Google:  

  Y-DNA project of Polish Nobility families 

That led me to:

http://www.familytreedna.com/public/polish/default.aspx?section=ysnp

This web page had a very extensive list of family names with their DNA markers. I hope you can find your markers in these that are available. Notice that is “Y-DNA”. The mt-DNA will not work for you as that is the maternal/mitochondrial DNA that is passed from Mother to all children (relatively unchanged, except by mutation) and the Y-DNA is the paternal DNA passed from father to sons (23rd chromosome). The rest of the DNA is called autosomal / atDNA (see  Genealogical DNA test). This link is a good link for introduction of DNA terms to the genealogist.

Good Luck!

Stanczyk

August 18, 2013

Speculative STEM Thoughts — #Musings, #Pangaea

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

pangea_politik

Image Source: Popular Science

Popular Science posted an article on Pangaea a week ago or so (8/8/2013). It had a beautiful graphic that caught my eye on what the supercontinent looked like, if we super-impose today’s geo-political boundaries upon the supercontinent for reference. This is the source of my musing today.

Pangaea was a supercontinent that existed during the late Paleozoic and early Mesozoic eras, forming about 300 million years ago. I look at this image and it immediately evoked a serious of questions in my mind:

  • Did any landmasses disappear and should the map be more fuller?
  • For example, Atlantis, would it have appeared near England/France water areas?
  • How about the four great rivers of Genesis?
  • Did the islands, like Hawaii or the Azores appear after Pangaea?
  • Were there other islands that existed when Pangea did, but disappeared since?
  • Would Canada’s Hudson Bay & Great Lakes areas be land or water?
  • What about Caribbean Islands?
  • Does this SuperContinent shed any light on dinosaur fossil finds, if plotted against this map?

Well those were some of my musings when I saw that map? How about you? Did it give you pause to wonder? Email me!

July 28, 2013

FamilySearch.Org — #Genealogy, #STEM, #Database

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Dateline 22 Jul 2013 — FamilySearch.Org  New Database

FamilySearch.Org has some new databases (don’t they always — they are amazing). One in particular caught this jester’s eyes.

United States, National Register of Scientific and Technical Personnel Files, 1954-1970,

By training and long years in the field, Stanczyk is a STEM worker. So I was drawn to this database. But who did I know had a degree and was a professional in 1954-1970 ? How about one of my favorite authors … in a register of Science / Technical professional? Well, yes — if you thought of  Isaac Asimov .

So what data is in this database …

If click on the FamilySearch.org link, then query on Isaac Asimov, you will see:

Asimov

January 24, 2013

#Book #Review – The Violinist’s Thumb by Sam Kean

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

The Violinist’s Thumb by  Sam Kean -

contact:  samkean.com/contact

KeanCoversStanczyk is a BIG reader, definitely a bibliophile. My background is a computer scientist which means I am both a mathematician and computer specialist, with a school of engineering training. I have had a life-long affinity for science as well as mathematics (of which I view computers as just a branch thereof). However, in the spirit of this era’s memes, specifically, the STEM meme – we separate S.T.E.M. into constituent parts as: Science, Technology (computers no?), Engineering  and Mathematics. I had always thought of STEM as just Science & Mathematics (Ummm S&M ??) with Engineering being the School within which these topics were taught and Engineering being the rigorous discipline that is applied to various fields (Chemical Engineer, Construction Engineer, Electrical Engineer, Computer Engineer, Mechanical Engineer, etc.) and technology just an ubiquitous part. So Stanczyk considers himself a STEM knowledge worker.

Computers (Technology) often borrow concepts from other disciplines. For example, there are a whole set of “genetic” algorithms: cross-over, insertion, deletion, duplication, mutation, etc. Obviously, all branches of mathematics are represented in a wide swath of computer programs. So I have always viewed that a computer scientist would be a better professional by being well read and being able to borrow concepts from other fields to be able to bring to bear the broadest toolset to solve the great variety of challenges that a software developer is often faced with.

So now I come to this blog’s topic for today … a new book I read, The Violinist’s Thumb by  Sam Kean.

As a genealogist, I am fascinated by the thought of using genetics/DNA as another tool – however I do have some reservations (another blog post, another time). So when I saw this Kean book (published July 2012) I was intrigued. Perhaps you already know Sam Kean from his prior book, The Disappearing Spoon.

When I read a book or even before I decide to read a book, I examine a book’s “DNA” (cover, table of contents, author, etc.) to form an opinion of whether I want to invest myself in the effort. A quick scan of the book yields … the book’s organization: Introduction, Chapters (16), Epilogue, Acknowledgement, End Notes, Selected Bibliography, Index, spanning 401 pages including the index. Do not skip past the title page so quickly here. Part of the charm was the page after the title and before the table contents. It prodded my curiosity (see for yourself, I won’t ruin the surprise in this blog post, but I will email the author). Examining these parts, I linked this book in my mind to  Lewis CarrollDouglas Hofstadter and especially Stephen Jay Gould (a favorite science author of mine). So all-in-all, I decided to invest myself.

What is The Violinist’s Thumb About?

It is right there on the first page of the Introduction (which is actually page 3 – where is page 1 and 2 ??). The book is about DNA. Do not let that dissuade you. There is an interesting narrative about science and scientists and the history of DNA thought/understanding and how that understanding  evolved. The book is not bogged down in science jargon and your eyes will not gloss over with a baffling “scientific paper and statistical data” send-up. If you have read Stephen Jay Gould, then that is the tone and style of Sam Kean’s writing and it is comfortable for the non-scientist (like Stanczyk) and engaging with interesting stories and anecdotes while presenting the topic and the teaching/learning is subtle – this is not a text book nor scientific abstract, just an enjoyable read on a science topic that you may have an interest in or a curiosity about.

Criticism

Let me state up front, that my literary criticisms are slight and should not dissuade you from reading this book nor does it invalidate any of the author’s points.

[1]  ‘*’ -> look in Notes & Errata for that chapter;

It would be much better if Kean had numbered each ‘*’ note as  1,2,3 …

[2]  Page 216 referring to chimps & gorillas as “monkeys” instead of apes

[3] Chapter 14 is not about its title at all; No answer, nary any mention of the 3Billion and does not answer the title’s question

[4] 25,947 genes was lowest guess, but the actual number was not given. Was this the actual, exact number of genes?

Chap. 14, page 312.

[5] DNA debases???? I say no. The proper analogy is DNA is a historian/scribe. However, DNA history is not flattering.

[6] It took me really until Chapter 12 to understand the book title (was a reference to Paganini and his thumb)

Things I Learned

  • Radiation can be used to create mutations on demand
  • Lack of Variety in Human Genes (compared to the great apes)
  • 1815 Tambora Eruption caused 1816 year with no summer
  • Toba super-volcano Eruption 70,000 years BCE exacerbated that Ice Age, possibly causing a dire near-extinction event of humans (that did not affect the apes as much because the apes were further inland, away from Toba).
  • Zipf distributions in languages – DNA as a human language or Musical language
  • The greater the language diversity, the greater the DNA diversity. That is language diversity and DNA diversity go hand-in-hand (i.e. 1:1 correspondence). Click languages 100 sounds, English 40+ sounds, Hawaiian  around a dozen
  • mtDNA – mutation rate: once every 3,500 years
  • Mitochondrial Eve lived 170K years ago (see Wells book for a differing estimate)
  • At the DNA level, humans are 99.9 identical. So humans have less variability than the great apes.
  • Contrary to the Book of Mormon’s theological tenets, Native Americans were NOT descended from a Jewish tribe.

Things I Liked

  • Chapter 4 – The Musical Score of DNA  – DNA as a language, music (music as DNA), distribution of amino acids
  • Chapter 4 – Palindromes, in particular,  the palindrome square (from Pompeii)
  • Chapter 14 – The Human Genome Project – Science Race and Craig Venter’s impact
  • Epilogue – Craig Venter mapping his own genome

Things That Made Me Laugh

  • Craig Venter’s surprising chimp DNA (Chapter 14, page 313)
  • Chapter 8, pages 173-174 – The “gay bomb”
  • Lewis Carroll’s Mock Turtle appearance in Chapter 4
  • Bolsheviks & Humanzees (Stalin was a very naughty boy)

Things I Was Horrified By

  • Chapter 3 and  nijyuu hibakusha (Tsutomu Yamaguchi)
  • Chapter 7 and Machiavelli Microbe – Toxo (Toxoplasma gondii)
  • 8% of human genome is not human at all. It is virus DNA !
  • Human DNA suggests widespread cannibalism in all Haplotypes – although maybe that is explained by an early occurence in Africa >100,000 years ago before the diaspora/migration of modern humans
  • Chapter 12 and Paganini’s Thumb – ah the raison d’etre

Impressions

I decided to go back and re-read Deep Ancestry by Spencer Wells in parallel with this book. I wanted to consider Haplotypes and the historical migrations as it impacted and documented the human DNA’s evolution. I wish Sam Kean had included something on this – not a criticism, just a wish. I wanted a book about the human genome, its DNA and how it evolved. For me I wanted to form in my mind the DNA that is genealogy related and what that DNA implies. Kean’s book definitely gives the reader a flavor for the Human Genome Project (HGP).

Therefore, I needed to supplement Kean’s book with Deep Ancestry by Spencer Wells to answer my question about the parallel to Mitochondrial Eve (i.e. Y-Chromosome Adam ??). It turns out that Y-Chromosome Adam dates back to 60K years ago. Now I had to explain why Eve’s DNA goes back 40,000-110,000 more years than Adam’s DNA. So I needed the following factoids from Deep Ancestry :

  1. The Human genome contains about 30,000 genes
  2. 2.9-3.0 Billion  base-pairs (nucleotides) make up the human genome
  3. An average gene is 47.5K nucleotides in length (paired up in an helix) giving 95K on average in each gene. [derived by CME-S]
  4. Chromosomes vary in length from about 47M to 247M nucleotides
  5. There are 46 chromosomes. [derived, Ergo each Chromosome has on average nearly 62M nucleotides.]
  6. The Y chromosome (male sex indicator) does not recombine and is passed down intact (identical). [How often does mutation affect Y chromosome?]
  7. mtDNA (mitochondrial DNA, female lineage) has  16,569 nucleotides
  8. mtDNA has 37 genes (<448 nucleotides/gene)
  9. mtDNA is circular, while nuclear DNA (DNA from the cell nucleus) is linear
  10. mtDNA (DNA from the cytoplasm) is purely a copy of maternal mtDNA
  11. In nature only bacterial DNA is circular
  12. Mitochondrial Eve dates back to about 100K years ago
  13. Y-Chromosome Adam dates back to 60K years ago
  14. Modern humans date back to 200K years ago.

Actually I was dissatisfied by the rough figure of 30,000 genes in the human genome. Kean’s book had left me hanging with the winning pool guess of 25,947 genes (the lowest guess). But the actual number was not given.  So I had to go to Wikipedia, and on the Chromosome article I found the breakdown of the genes by chromosome and then I understood. Women have 31,731 genes and men have 30,339 genes (since the Y-chromosome of men is nearly 1400 less genes than a woman’s X-chromosome).

Stanczyk is an avid wrestler of numbers. Even though I am highly numerate, the numbers are at once boggling and also breathtaking to consider. How would I tackle the computer storage requirements of this science and the parallel processing requirements of analyzing the data. How do we go further with this data? How do you manage this data? How do you detect data errors and correct them?

Stanczyk also loved trying to construct a theory on the huge gap in years between Mitochondrial Eve and Y-Chromosome Adam. Modern humans date back to 200K years ago. Both male and female DNA has gone extinct and whole branches of modern humans’ family tree are gone. Modern humans left Africa about 100K years ago. So Y-Chromosome Adam (only 60K years ago) only dates back to the time after the human diaspora/migration began and Haplotype diversity had already begun. Since male DNA does not go back as far as the female DNA it must be something in men’s DNA or men’s nature that causes their more frequent DNA extinction. My theory is that warfare in tandem with consequences from wars (pestilence, violence, disruption of living standards, etc.) and any global natural disasters that preceded the wars or followed the wars to cause a “bottle-necking” of the human population to near extinction levels. Possibly this bottle-necking occurred a number of times over the 200,000 year history of the modern human species (before and after the human diaspora/migration out of Africa. The fact that female DNA goes further back may be explained, if they were taken as slaves/property to the victors of these wars, while the males (including male children) were eliminated thus extinguishing their male DNA Haplotypes. This demonstrates that some human DNA has been lost, since neither male nor female DNA goes back the full 200K years of modern humanity’s arrival. Ergo, some of the original ADAM/EVE DNA is now lost. We have become less diverse. This shows in comparing the diversity of HUMANS to the Great Apes (chimps/gorillas). Apparently, the DNA or behavior of the great apes is less warlike or by their lifestyle was less prone to extinction events in the past. None the less, the loss of diversity does not mean that humans are more likely to become extinct than the great apes. Indeed, our numbers and adaptability to more diverse habitats actually mean that now it is more likely that the great apes will become extinct before humans even though human DNA is less diverse, relatively speaking. The probability of humans out-surviving apes was not always so at various times over the last 200K years and could still change again.

Recommendation.

Read the Kean book. If you only have time for two chapters, then read chapter 4 and chapter 14. If you have a bit more time, also read chapter 7 too. Read the whole book. You do not need to read it sequentially, just jump in where your interest takes you. I did find reading the Introduction and the first two chapters provided me with a good starting point to jump around from. They gave me a sense of what was the author’s narrative that he was developing.

I would also recommend a quick read of  Deep Ancestry by Spencer Wells in parallel with (or before/after) reading The Violinist’s Thumb by Sean Kean.

On a lark, I also read Douglas Hofstadter’s book, Metamagical Themas. Metamagical Themas is a set of material derived from the 2.5 years that Douglas Hofstadter wrote for Scientific American (overlapping with and following after Martin Gardner (whose column Mathematical Games was anagrammed to create Hofstadter’s Metamagical Themas). In the book, Metamagical Themas, is a Chapter 27, written originally in March 1982, asking the question,  is the genetic code arbitrary (entitled, “The Genetic Code: Arbitrary?”). I found this material also extremely helpful in rounding out my knowledge of DNA. So I recommend you read all three sources:

These should whet your appetite for more and instill in you a gnawing sense of more interesting questions that still need answers.  All three sources are readable by the lay-science person or any person with an interest in science or science history.

So where did I, Stanczyk, get left at? I had read these books to learn more about evolution and science vs. religion boundaries. What I was left at is some kind of cross between those topics and a crossover with computational biology and DNA/Human Genome. Four broad topics viewed through my lenses of computers and genealogy. What an interesting Gordian Knot to unravel !

August 23, 2012

Rapes of Wrath – Tea Party War On Science — #Opinion, #Politics, #Science

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk is a STEM worker. What is STEM? STEM = Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (S.T.E.M.). OK, STEM is an acronym for an area of focus in business and also in education. We need STEM to have a viable growing economy that produces jobs again.

Do not misunderstand me, we also need business people (especially entrepreneurial types), writers of all stripes, lawyers, teachers, etc. The USA (and indeed every country in the world) is not a country of PRODUCERS and NON-PRODUCERS! It is not. We need every worker and we need everyone to be a specialist in something and to do that something to the best of his/her ability because we are all interconnected. A rising tide, raises all boats, not just the yachts. STEM will raise the tide.

So why do Congressmen like Todd Akin ["Legitimate Rape" and "Forcible Rape" dude] (and PAUL RYAN ["Forcible Rape" co-sponsor dude], Steve King (Iowa) ["No Rape If I Didn't See  It Happen and I have NEVER seen Rape By Incest or Statutory Rape" dude] try to redefine rape? Does anyone not understand the definition of rape? This is NOT an English class exercise — we do not need to rewrite English or Law. They also pretend that Doctors [presumably the medical kind] say there is a “magical” hormone that shuts down rape pregnancy — ignoring 10,000 years of history [Young Earth time frame -- or a few million year history for STEM workers].

Now these same kind of People deny the following science:  Biology (“Legitimate Rape”/”Forcible Rape” and magic hormones), Evolution, Climate Change/Global Warming, Economics [defying paying US Bills by a steadfast refusal to raise the debt ceiling which was routine until 2011 Tea Party Caucus], Environmental Science, Geology (except that related to Oil/Gas drilling),   Cutting NASA, Cutting NIH/CDC, etc.

It does NOT stop at STEM subjects. The Tea Party kooks try to rewrite history (“The founders were against slavery” ??? or the Barton faux-history book that said,  “Thomas Jefferson freed his slaves” — this is egregious to Polish Americans as well as African Americans, because it diminishes Taduesz Kosciuszko’s historical will where he left money to buy the freedom of Jefferson’s slaves — something that Jefferson did NOT honor. They have tried to rewrite Christian Holy Tradition by saying that Jesus was a Capitalist (an Ayn Rand Selfish Capitalist at that) and that he did not try to help the poor [ignoring the overturning of temple tables story, sermon on the mount, or camel/eye of the needle parable, prodigal son, etc.]. Most religious people would be deeply offended by them rewriting the Bible and calling it “The Conservative Bible”. [did they not finish the Bible? Read the last chapter of the last book, Revelations for why this is sacrilegious]  This intense rewriting of facts from science, to history, to religion is now flowing into US law, as they try to write laws based upon these “faulty/fake notions”.

There are other consequences too. Did you see BP Oil try to discredit scientists about the rate of oil flow from the blown up Gulf well? This is a consequence of the “anti science” attitude in congress. Blame the worker, the STEM worker, not the corporation-who-is-a-person-and-yet not-an-ethical-person-or-who-cannot-be-imprisoned-person. Science jobs, outside of government or academia are scarce.

If we do not create STEM jobs the economy will continue to falter. Worse yet, if we do not have science researchers/workers then the next pandemic will have far more than economic consequences — real lives will be lost. We are overdue on a pandemic (nearing 100 years since the last pandemic) and we are ensconced in a Great Recession. Perhaps we need more Paul Krugman (New Keynesian) economists or we need to start actually listening to them and creating laws to create jobs, not new definitions of Rape! Isn’t that what the present Congress was elected to do? Then why did they spend time on 40 Rape bills or how many Voter-Id bills the last two years? Wake up America and throw out the Tea Party Caucus who just want to make up their own set of facts nonsense rather than to actually work using REAL knowledge to solve REAL problems.

STEM workers are you listening (or reading) — I am calling you out? This November VOTE and fire Tea Party caucus people. They are easy to find:

  1. They are REDEFINING RAPE
  2. They are PLEDGED to an unelected NH man (Grover Norquist)
  3. They are pushing to EXCLUDE REGISTERED VOTERS — an American Right (not a privilege)

Anyone who made the pledge to NH  or sponsored laws for “Forcible Rape” or passed laws in 2/3 of the US States to exclude REGISTERED voters need to be voted out. Just Fire Them — Mitt Enjoys Firing People, maybe you should turn the tables on Mitt and Paul Ryan and Todd Akin and Steve King and just fire them.

P.S. My apologies for the temperament of my title’s literary allusion to John Steinbeck’s great novel, The Grapes of Wrath. His title came from the song/lyrics …

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage where the Grapes of
Wrath are stored;

Battle Hymn of the Republic, Julia Ward Howe 1861

August 14, 2012

Ayn Rand – A Producer’s Intellectual Criticism of Objectivism — #Meme

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

  The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand

–Paul Ryan @ 2005 “Atlas Society “

Perhaps last weekend you heard that Paul Ryan was named the presumptive GOP Vice-Presidential candidate? But do you know that his espoused reason for being in politics is because he read, one of Ayn Rand’s fictional novels, Atlas Shrugged (a dystopian sci-fi novel)? It kind of makes you sad, that Paul Ryan’s parents did not have more books, because if they had, then perhaps Ryan would have read, Asimov (also Russian born) or Bradbury or Clarke (collectively, the ABC’s of science fiction) and been moved by one of them instead. Perhaps if Ryan had read one those talented writers, he might be in favor (or not) of robots, free speech or intellectual property or renewable resources or evolution (think 2001 Space Odyssey). If only he had read Asimov’s Foundation trilogy, perhaps Ryan would have become a Paul Krugman. Krugman cited Asimov’s series for his inspiration at becoming an economist.

Instead, Ryan thinks the top 1% should isolate itself from the other 99% (who are not “productive”/”creative”) and his budget seems to favor that 1% greatly. That is what Atlas Shrugged is about. The “creative” separate themselves and the non-creative types should just die-off. If you read Atlas Shrugged you will see parallels to today. It is the Tea Party creating chaos to “minimize the federal government until they can strangle it.” Go Google “Strangle the government”, this is not my phraseology , but the mantra of Paul Ryan and the Tea Party thugs. So what we have here is a lower-brow variant of L. Ron Hubbard (another sci-fi writer, whose followers started a “philosophical” organization) devotees.

Ryan upon being named as Mitt Romney’s running mate said, “I’d like to thank nature … (slight pause) and God …”. This is a rather odd statement to be uttered by a person professing belief in Objectivism and also Catholicism. You see my dear readers, the phrase “I’d like to thank nature” is the pointed code-phrase of atheists (not that there is anything wrong with being an atheist). They say their coded phrase meant either to cue their listeners into the fact that they are an atheist or for the more militant atheist to mock people of religious faith who say (and have said for thousands of years), “Thank God for …”. It is a parallel construct to the religious thanks and the atheist version is of a very recent invention (i.e. less than a decade, I have found no reference to the phrase on the Internet to before 2008). It probbaly dates from the arise of the New Atheists (Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, and Daniel Dennett) in 2007.

Now as I have said being an atheist is not necessarily a bad thing. What made Ryan’s quote bad / hypocritical / unethical is that he said “nature and  God”. If you were a devout Catholic (other Christain denominations too, but Ryan espouses to be a Catholic) you would only thank God. You would not thank nature which is just a part of God’s creation. Likewise, if you were an atheist or an Objectivist you would absolutely NOT thank God. So, where does that leave the American voter? What are we to believe? The only logical / reasoned conclusion is that Ryan does NOT believe in any of: Atheism, Objectivism, or Catholicism.

So I call on all Atheists, Objectivists and Catholics to repudiate Ryan for his deceptive practice and of trying to portray himself as any/all of those ‘isms’. Now I know  that you are thinking this is the first time that Atheists, Objectivists, and Catholics can all agree on something — so lets agree Ryan is deceitful and vote for the other political ticket. If you are Pro-Deceit than the Romney-Ryan ticket would seem to be what you have been waiting for.

Because this Presidential election cycle seems to be about Ryan/Tea Party and their espousal of Objectivism, then let’s examine Ayn Rand’s life and see what it says about this absurdist sci-fi drama being foisted upon us by Mitt Romney. This is a blog with an oft genealogy theme, so let’s apply genealogy to Ayn Rand. We will use a timeline and add in  seminal documents and 1st-hand accounts of witnesses to examine her life and her followers’ lives (aka the Collective) for context and we finish with a reasoned critique of Objectivism.

The Ryan Budget is the greatest political fraud. That is how Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman’s reasoned analysis of Ryan’s proposed raising taxes on the middle class to lower taxes on the upper class without any deficit reduction for at least 20 years sees the Ryan Budget ??? So we the Asimov motivation in opposition to the Rand motivation — you be the judge on the basis of which is your favorite author/producer. But this jester’s premise is that the author Ayn Rand may influence how the USA is governed and you should be conversant on what the two parties are proposing before November.

I hope you are ruled by reason and will read these articles on Rand, Objectivism and Election 2012.

Lets start with some definitional ground work …

Ayn Rand Objectivist Concepts

  • Man as Heroic
  • Reason, only absolute reason
  • The Productive and The Creative in relation to others
  • Motivation for Man is the pursuit of his own happiness (no altruism)
  • Witch Doctor vs Attila vs Producer
  • Espoused – Atheism, Non-Violence/No-Force, Disgusted By Homosexuality (but favored protecting their rights), Anti Collective Efforts of any kind (Individualism)

Some of this sounds good and some sounds odd and all points need some explaining and a bit of context, so lets delve into these concepts in the next few articles.

Next … A Genealogical View of Ayn Rand

July 5, 2012

Celsius 233* — A Bradbury Tale — #Humor, #Science, #Religion, #FreeSpeech

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Dear Readers this neo-post-compassionate-conservative-apocalyptic-dystopian history is from the days of the year 2019. Contrary to the comical Internet Mayan conspiracy kooks, the world did not end in 2012 despite Mitt Romney being elected President of the USA and then re-elected leader of the entire English Speaking Free World in 2016 — an election that everyone now knows he purchased with his considerable undocumented wealth. We should have listened to  Vanity Fair back in 2012 — but there were just too few readers back then. Oh the misery we have endured since …

It has been a hard seven years under President Romney.  Because, of the influence of the Tea Party Evangelicals and Romney’s considerable undocumented wealth he became President.

Back on 4th July 2012, the World Science community discovered the Higgs Boson quantum particle  – the God Particle. This so enraged Romney, that the first thing that President Romney did was have Vain Capitalist LLC buy all the newspapers (especially the Murdoch Press & Hacking Software company) and leverage the hell out of them — supposedly to enhance his own considerable undocumented wealth. But that was just the ostensible reason.

They ended up bankrupting all of the press and media outlets — not hard to do in those days of the Great Recession and barely anybody reading at all and almost none at all in the South. So the newspapers and other media  went out of business and now there were only the bloggers and the Internet to keep data and information alive.

Then in 2017 when President Romney was re-elected in a very suspect election. He immediately moved to control the Internet and to ban blogging software. This precipitated World War III , which he financed with his considerable undocumented wealth while the European leaders were still so busy talking about their imaginary currency (I believe it was called, the Euro) the USA conquered the UK and then most of the European continent (except for Greece, Spain and Italy — which were non-profitable countries), Canada, New Zealand and Australia. That is why he is President of the English Speaking Free World. He is now trying to eradicate blogs and by so doing eliminate the “dangerous” bloggers too. Oddly that is how the USA finally got its first metric standard (Celsius) which it used to confuse the issue of Global Warming.

It has been historic this anti science and publication administration. First they denied the age of the Earth and its fossils, then they denied Evolution, then they denied Global Warming — even when half the US was baking like HELL back in 2012??? The last straw was the Higgs Boson, ironically the God Particle caused these religionists to pursue the pogrom against science and information.

There has been a long history of this anti knowledge movement. First the Catholics tried to censor scientists like Copernicus (who took his knowledge to the grave) and then Gallileo. By the time  Darwin had appeared, Prostestants had joined in too. So by 2012, America had a breed of religionists called “Evangelicals” who were people who Evangelized against science and reading and such things calling them the Devil’s playground. They used to rewrite biblical stories to say that the Bible’s prophets were all about the profit and were against charity. I know this sounds incredible and even unbelievable to you future historians, but I swear it is all true. If you can find any Internet documents or archived newspapers (a physical piece of pages of paper with printed texts that contained information — completely devoid of any digital means) you may be able to read it for yourself — if anyone still does that in the future.

So for the sake of the future. I am asking my blog readers to memorize my blog posts. Just pick your favorites and commit them to memory. Maybe you can write them down on paper if your family has a history of dementia. At any rate, pass them down in your family. Read them at holidays.

All remaining bloggers that have not yet been silenced are calling for their readers to do this for their blogs too. We must be able to preserve knowledge through these information Dark Ages that we are entering.

God (or Nature as the scientists are wont to say) save our immortal souls!!!

*a terrible homage to Ray Bradbury‘s Farenheit 451

July 4, 2012

Higgs Boson, #CERN, #Science, and #Comic Sans

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

 Today, CERN, announced that with a certainty of 5 sigmas they had detected a particle, akin to the Higgs Boson (via the energy, 126.5GeV, it emits as it decays). This VERY closely matched the predicted Standard Model of a Higgs Boson.

My only disappointment was that I was expecting the 1812 Overture as they made their announcement but all I got was the Comic Sans font  of the fabulous scientist, Fabiola Gianotti (member of CERN’s ATLAS team).

What was trending this early AM?   #Higgs, #CERN, #ATLAS, #LHC, #Fabiola Gianotti, and #Comic Sans .  Huh? What was a casual computer font like, Comic Sans,  doing trending?

You see Fabiola Gianotti is the Italian particle physicist in charge of the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN in Switzerland. In her presentation, she rather humorously chose to use Comic Sans, for her presentation’s font. Well apparently that insignificant detail of this momentous occasion was enough to set the entire blogerrati all a-twitter.

Five Sigmas?

What the heck is five sigmas and why did they write that as 99.9999 (six nines), just shy of 100? Sigma (σ) is known as the standard deviation. The variance from the norm either positive or negative variance from the expected value. So what the scientists were looking for was a confidence level in the data so significant, that there could not be any other conclusion. They usually accept 5 sigmas (99.9999) as their hurdle for acceptance. The only people who routinely deny five sigmas are TEA Party politicians and their followers.

Motorola in the 1970’s was searching for a level of excellence and stability and repeatability in their processes called Six Sigma. To give you an idea of Six Sigma and its impact on business, especially in the IT world from which Stanczyk did some of his best works. We would often discuss achieving six sigmas of “UP TIME” for our massive databases (Data Marts, Data Warehouses). In one year’s time there are 525,600 minutes. So to achieve six sigmas, we would need to make our databases available the entire year, except for less than 40 minutes of unavailability. The uptime would have to be more than 525,560 minutes out of 525,600. Quality/Certainty at this level comes at a very high price – so in the business world we would usually accept something less than Six Sigma.

In statistics 2 sigmas of deviation on either side of the bell curve (you remember the bell curve don’t you),  would mean you have 95% of the area under the curve, 3 sigmas would account for about 99.7%, so 5 sigmas accounts for 99.9999% of the area under the curve, leaving almost no room for error. That is a LOT of confidence.

The error function for five sigmas gives you:

0.999999426697 (so five sigmas is more accurately written as 99.9999426697 – when you multiply by 100 to get a percentage). The possibility of error is 1 minus the 5 sigmas or: 0.000000001973 . All zeroes until  the 9th decimal place. So that is pretty close to no chance for error.

 

Higgs Boson

 

Oh, today’s hullabaloo was really all about a quantum particle called the Higgs Boson (prosaically called by media types, the “God Particle”, which of course the godless, atheists (the majority) of scientists refuse to use   J  ) .  The Higgs Boson was named after Peter Higgs. Who was one of six people who came up with the theoretical model predicting the Higgs Boson. Higgs was annoyed that the particle became nicknamed the “God Particle” by the media. Higgs thought it might offend religious types. But in actuality it really just offends those who do not believe in any religion or who want to credit everything in the universe to “randomness”.

 

This boson is the one whose appearance quickly after the Big Bang is what gave mass to all other particles in the universe. Today, science has said they are 99.9999426697% (five sigmas) certain that the decay and energy release their experimental data that they have recorded show that the LHC created a Higgs Boson predicted by Dr Peter Higgs’ theoretical model.

 

Happy 4th of JULY!   Cue the 1812 Overture and the Fireworks (our big bang in the USA).

November 7, 2011

Madame Sklodowska Curie, #Scientist

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Did you catch the Classic Home Google logo today? It features Madame Curie, whose birthday is today. It is still true that women do not go into science and/or engineering in the same numbers as men do. That makes Marie Sklodowska Curie and her daughter, Irene, all the more remarkable that their family had two women scientists (both Nobel Prize winners) and that the entire family had a preponderance of Nobel Prizes amongst them.

A few weeks ago I wrote about the Smithsonian Magazine’s article, “Madame Curie’s Passion“. Clearly, she was a woman ahead of her time. The Smithsonian thoughtfully included additional pics (including Nobel Certificate).

Marie Curie won a Nobel Prize in Physics(1903) and another in Chemistry(1911). Only Linus Pauling was able to duplicate this feat — They are the only two people who won Nobel Prizes in two separate fields and Madame Curie was the first. Of course, she honored her homeland (Poland), by naming the first radioactive element she discovered, “Polonium”.

She was born, Maria Salomea Skłodowska, in Warsaw (Kingdom of Poland, part of the Russian Empire) 7th-November-1867 to Wladyslaw & Bronislawa Sklodowskich. Wladyslaw’s father was Jozef Sklodowski and his mother was Salomea z. Suktinski. So Maria’s middle name was from her paternal grandmother. She married Pierre Curie and had two daughters (Irene, Eve) with Pierre. She died on 4th-July-1934, Skłodowska-Curie died  in Passy, in Haute-Savoie, France.

Madame Curie's Father, Wladyslaw's Birth Record

September 21, 2011

Smithsonian Institution Libraries – Books, Images Online

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Brown Tree Duck

Being a jester brings with it a lot of name calling and chief among them is “bird-brain” — which Stanczyk has taken to heart.

A Number of times, I have written about the Smithsonian Libraries & Museums or the Library of Congress. These treasures of America should be enjoyed  and are provided for the diffusion of information. Every American should make a pilgrimage to Washington D.C. and see the statues and museums — taking care not to wander too close to politicians lest you contract a serious case of lunacy.

I have lived in the Village of Audubon, the hometown of the Franco-American Naturalist, John James Audubon. My connection to my genealogy is a fascinating one. Many of the persons from my grandparent’s ancestral villages have Bird Names! Names like: Czapla, Dudek, Kruk, łuszcz, Orzeł{owski}, Ptak, Siewki(Siwiec), Sroka, Skowronek, Sokol(owski),   Szczygieł,  Wrobel, Zięba, żuraw(ski), (and even Włecial=flew) etc. Now one thing had nothing to do with the other; It was just a weird juxtaposition of my life. To couple these two things with my obsession with ducks and yea verily all manner of water fowl — well you get today’s posting. Maybe birds really are in my DNA (in more ways than one).

Actually, today’s posting came from my iGoogle page (Genealogy & Libraries). I have hooked the Smithsonian Libraries blog into the iGoogle page. Today they blogged about their Gallery of Images. Now I thought this was going to be another mention of their flickr pages. But I was wrong. WARNING: do not go to the Gallery of Images if you suffer from ADD. You can easily become lost in the SIL efforts to bring these images and their information online.

The picture at the top is not from Audubon’s Birds of North America, but it is from “The Birds of North America” by Spencer Fullerton Baird, published in 1860 (Philadelphia).

[click on read more to Polish-English Bord List]                                  

August 27, 2011

Earth Status – Blowin’ – Blogging About Hurricane Irene

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

9:50 am Saturday Discovery.com allows you to track Hurricane #Irene. Watch for Periodic updates to this article to chronicle this storm from Stanczyk’s point of view. Today we should all crowd-source the chronicling of Irene, since somewhere between 10% and 20% of the American populace will be affected by Irene’s weather pattern. Are you game?

Hurricane Irene 2011 First Bands near Philadelphia

9:50 am Saturday

Satellite Photo -

This indicates the first bands are arriving in the Philadelphia area.

0950 Saturday

0950 Saturday

9:50 am Saturday Outside Window Photo.

No Rain

Wind 4mph

Humidity 95%;

Temp 75 degrees Fahrenheit

11:52 am  Saturday The Satellite photo shows that the outer band has reached Philadelphia.

Well not much of a perceptible change outside  from two hours ago, maybe a bit darker. I am hoping to determine the radar maps accuracy relative to me and my readings.

No Rain

Wind 4mph

Humidity 87%;

Temp 77 degrees Fahrenheit

1152_Sattelite

Hurricane Irene 2011 First Bands over Philadelphia

Since Donna P. from the Blog, “Whats Past is Prologue” raised the question of media over-hype; Let me add a note.

Yesterday’s Philadelphia Inquirer published a graphic showing #Irene ‘s projected route/timeline. I noted it said, Landfall (pretty close to where the actual landfall actually occurred) would happen at 14:00. The actual time of landfall was 07:30. The projected arrival was to be a day later in Philly. So I will see whether it arrives in Philly at 07:30 Sunday or not. All times are Eastern US timezone.

1152_outside

1152 Saturday

12:50 Saturday  Previously in my comment to Donna P. I had said I’d compare to Hurricane Hugo (which happened in 1989). But I meant Hurricane Floyd in 1999 is the one in my mind that I wanted to compare.

From wikipedia in 1999 Hurricanes, we see that Floyd came ashore in ” Cape Fear as a Category 2 storm on September 16. It returned to the ocean near Norfolk, Virginia, and traveled up the coasts of the Delmarva Peninsula and New Jersey as a tropical storm. It passed over Long Island and into New England.[32] Floyd caused record rainfall across the east coast, with Wilmington, North Carolina, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, setting 24-hour rainfall records of 15 in (380 mm) and 6.63 in (168 mm) in respectively. Portions of New England had rainfall totals nearing 11 in (280 mm). Floyd generated 9 to 10 ft (2.7 to 3.0 m) storm surges across North Carolina. There are 57 deaths directly blamed on Floyd, 56 in the United States and one on Grand Bahama. Most of the deaths were due to freshwater flooding in North Carolina. Floyd was one of the costliest hurricanes on record, with an estimated $4.5 billion (1999 USD; $5.93 billion 2011 USD) in damage.”

For comparison, we look at the Discovery.com website and we see the a prediciton on cost damages has already been made:

“Kinetic Analysis Corp., a company that does computer modeling of predicted storm damage, predicted on Friday[8/26/2011] that Irene would cause $5-10 billion in damages, based on the latest available weather data. “

So it would appear that a Floyd comparison may be a sound benchmark to compare with afterall.

1447_Sattelite

Hurricane Irene 2011 1447 Satellite

14:47 Saturday Well the rain started about an hour and five minutes ago (while I was at the supermarket ;-)   ). It was busy and many items were sold out. The supermarket manager was heard saying what the contingencies would be if the power went out to his subordinate — so we are all preparing for #Irene.

The Satellite now shows the forward band extended out past Philly and out all the way to Harrisburg — so I guess the rain should be happening (as I indicated the rain started about 13:42).

1447_outside

1447 Saturday

My outside image is the last I will now be able to take from outside. The remainder will have be shot through windows.

Rain Total: 0.03″ [inches]

Wind: 6mph[variable 0-6mph]

Humidity: 98%

Temp: 75 degrees Fahrenheit

1800_Sattelite

1800 Saturday Satellite

18:00 Saturday If you look closely at the 18:00 Satellite image you will see that the entire Eastern Seabord from North Carolina to Connecticut is now covered by Hurricane #Irene or its bands of rain/wind.You can now see all Harrisburg again so the cone up here seems narrower while more completely covered. In fact the bands are now indistinct — just seems to be one great big mass of rain — less wind then in most of our thunderstorms.

Here by me the region has 5 flood warnings and one Tropical Storm Warning (Irene is supposed to be slower up here and this far inland from the coast) so it will lose Hurricane status when it does arrive here.

Well the weather outside has not changed much — still rainy. The Temps are fluctuating up/down a degree or two.

No image of the outside this time [same as before but darker as we approach dusk].

Rain Total: 0.30″ [inches]

Wind: 2mph[fairly steady]

Humidity: 100%

Temp: 72 degrees Fahrenheit although it had dropped as far as 71.

19:34 Saturday No new  Satellite image. Hurricane #Irene is moving slowly. It is about Newport News, VA (partially offshore. Here by me the region now has 6 flood warnings and one Tropical Storm Warning .

Darkness has descended and the weather outside has changed only slightly — still rainy. The Temps are at projected low (71 degrees).

Rain Total: 0.72″ [inches]; Wow quite a change in 90+ minutes it more than doubled.

Wind: 1-12mph[variable, mostly 5-10mph]

Humidity: 100%

Temp: 71 degrees Fahrenheit.

21:21 Saturday No new  Satellite image. Hurricane #Irene is moving slowly. It is about Newport News, VA (partially offshore. Here by me the region still has the same 6 flood warnings and one Tropical Storm Warning .

Rain Total: 1.12″ [inches]; In less than 60 minutes we added 0.4″ of rain to the total.

Wind: 4-15mph[most of evening we have had gust in 20+ mph range]. Now we have mostly double-digits wind speed though it seems awfully variable. Data Collector is not realtime so I have not seen the gust speeds, but I have heard them outside.

Humidity: 100%

Temp: 70 degrees Fahrenheit. 1 degree below earlier predictions.

Next update tomorrow morning.

04:19 Sunday No new  Satellite image.  Too early for that rigamarole. Lats night, shortly after sign-off we lost power twice in quick succession, both outages very short in duration. Kudos to PECO.

Let me see what data is still available to be shared. I have not yet turned on the TV. The very fact we have power and a connection to the Internet is a blessing. Moja zona and our dog Java are safe and sound so far — Thanks be to God.

Rain Total: Yesterday’s rainfall total is yet unknown. Sunday’s total to this point: 0.28″

Wind: 5 mph. I can only assume by such low wind speeds that #Irene ‘s eye must be near my location.

Humidity: 100%

Temp: 71 degrees Fahrenheit.

Next update will occur after I collect some data. Possibly shortly. So far the effects of Irene seem to have been exaggerated, except for that period when we lost power for a few minutes. I am leaning to media and government over-hype — This is not as bad Floyd so far.

05:08 Sunday No new  Satellite image.  Too early for that rigamarole. Tornado watch just expired (uneventfully) for my area. Picked up another flood warning overnight so we still 7 flood warnings and 1 tropical storm warning in my area.

I was correct that the eye of #Irene is about Atlantic City, NJ (which east  and  a bit south of Phill). So that explains the relative slow winds speeds I am seeing/hearing. It appears that Irene’s greatest affect have been at the shore and the further inland you were the better off you were wind-wise — flooding has been worse inland. Storm surge at the shore is bad  and especially so during the high tides. Irene being so slow, that two high tides can occur. during the event horizon. So Shore flooding and beach erosion have been problems  –hence the necessity of evacuation orders.

Still it seems more people have died from falling trees or tree branches — why are you outside?  One of those fatalities was actually indoors.

Rain Total: Yesterday’s rainfall total is yet unknown. Sunday’s total to this point: 0.46″. An impressive 0.18″ increase in less than 1 hour. They are calling for 1-4″ (two sources: one says 1-2″ more and the other says 2-4″ more). Best I can determine is that 1.88″ fell yesterday in my area. Do not know the accuracy of that as I suspect it was higher as we were getting about 0.40″ inches an hour when I stopped recording yesterday night and it was accelerating still.

Wind: Variable 5-13 mph. Eye near my location. Gusts into the 20′s though I have heard them my data collector has not measured them (due to it not being continuous I am sure).

Humidity: 100%

Temp: 70 degrees Fahrenheit. It appears we have been in the 70-71 degree range for hours now — fairly cool for this time of year. It is  a 15-19 degree drop since the weather pattern entered the area.

0858 Sunday Satellite

08:58 Sunday Satellite image shows that #Irene has left town;  Uneventfully for my area. We still have 7 flood warnings in my area. The flooding will continue throughout Sunday as water flows down from the North down the rivers and bays back into the ocean.

The local TV and emergency responders say that this was not as bad as Floyd [so even others are comparing Irene to Floyd].

A final note: We lost power a 3rd time since my last post but only for a few minutes.

Rain Total: Yesterday’s rainfall total was 2.98-6.33″ depending on source. Sunday’s total to this point: 0.98″. Most sources say 2-4″ are likely for Sunday. We are way past the rainfall record books for August in history of Philadelphia area and we still have three days to go after today.

Wind: Variable 6-10 mph. Gusts into the 30′s though. It looks like a trailing band [down in Baltimore] will still bring some more wind until Irene fully clears the greater Philadelphia area.

Humidity: 100%

Temp: 67 degrees Fahrenheit. That is fairly cool for this time of year. It is  over a 20 degree drop since the weather pattern entered the area.

Blessings and Thanks to God for my good fortune. Things could have been much worse and I had little time/resources to prepare/protect my family from this disaster (#Irene).

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 371 other followers

%d bloggers like this: