What I've been doing offline since my last post was brush up on my Morse even though the FCC doesn't require that for amateur tickets anymore because there's still a lot of utility to code--it'll get through intelligibly when voice can't, and that's a fact. Also wanna shoot for an Extra ticket one of these days. And even though EARC is still an icy, inhospitable old boys club, I'm actually looking forward to working with Hoenigsberg in the upcoming weeks to re-certify and re-activate. With the other amateur clubs I belonged to in the past (all of them vastly more hospitable than EARC) I rather enjoyed working as a member of the team, and, come to think of it, that's what I enjoyed most about working with Civil Defense when it existed, young as I was at the time.
My current ticket expires in September so I'd like to make good use of that time to maybe up to a higher grade so I can work those ARES phone frequencies for a change. Getting better at Morse will put me on some of them with just a Tech Plus ticket even if the FCC won't let me do phone there.
I'm admittedly rusty at stormspotting and can use a refresher, but some things kinda stick with ya from the first time, like for instance what I spotted today as I departed the parking lot at Oakwood Mall...
That formation on the right end of that cloud bank is something I recognized as the start of an updraft tower. I was right, because 2 intersections past that parking lot, the thing grew huge and anvilled...
...so yeah--I can still recognize an updraft cell before it becomes a tower. A tower that anvils, though, indicates a high likelihood of hail, and from the reports I've heard from south of here, there was hail, alright, from tennis-ball size to pea-size that fell like snow.
Here's the last shot I took of that cell...
It's good to know I remember a li'l somethin'.
Tuesday Insert: I attended a stormspotting class given by Garfield Co. Emergency Management, where I just got a refresher on this stuff and there were useful graphics presented...and so I'm going to borrow one to show the exact anatomy of what I was looking at. Comparing the diagram to this cloud formation I noticed, you'll more clearly see that what caught my eye the first time was what's called the overshoot. And yeah--the next two pics of the formation show what's properly called an anvil.
I also found this gem on YouTube...
It also looks like there's gonna be some storm action shortly--the night sky is alight with the sparks of lightning. To the north and to the west.
Now if y'all 'll excuse me, I got some brass pounding to do, hi.
It's a Monday UPDATE preceding the Sunday UPDATE below because it's great stormspotting news that just arrived--Hoenigsberg is hosting a stormspotting class tomorrow evening. DAMN this is extremely short notice, but I'm dropping everything to go.
Mini Sunday UPDATE, PBS Nova Edition: I just watched the re-play of the Great Math Mystery presentation, which evoked a couple of chuckles at the apparent attempt to mystify math with statements along the lines of how everything in the universe seems to conform to it--this, after observing that pi's myserious inability to achieve a finite quantity in the decimal system, as if the decimal system was the only number system out there to work physics with. It isn't, and in a number of previous posts (as well as in different discussions elsewhere in cyberspace), I've made repeated mention of the shortcomings of our numbering system and certain aspects of math that are forced to depend on it.
Honestly now--Declaring that the universe is mathematics itself is like declaring that because a daisy can be described in English means that the daisy itself is English. Please.
Coders know all too well that in machine code, it's the binary system that rules, and hexadecimal is used to make binary more palatable to human conceptualizing. It's no different with the decimal system also being a physics code for the purpose of interfacing with human conceptualizing and there's no mystery to that, either. It's also true that whether machine code or physics code, math is a language--and in the case of physics, including astrophysics, math is a language that expresses relationships. Therefore there's no mystery in what the Nova narrator expressed astonishment at: that relationships in physics can apply anywhere in the physical universe. He says "WOW!" and I say "DUH!" because it's so obvious when you get beyond the star-struck blithering.
Pi is a finite quantity that appears to be infinite because it's been confined to decimal system analysis. Math can't work productively without quantification and you can't quantify either infinity or zero--and when you add the shortcomings of the decimal system onto the failure to quantify infinity or zero, you've got a serious problem with expressing certain relationships in the universe that continue to escape us. Just as Western Civilization was hobbling its own science by its adherence to the Roman number system until the far more scientifically advanced Arabs taught them the Arabic number system, algebra, and the basics of how their number system worked better, we have now arrived at the limitations of THIS numbering system as well.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, as it can't be said often enough--the Arabs defined a workable zero for Europe, and at our current mathematical impasse, re-defining the zero is the key to get beyond that impasse.
And speaking of mathematics and physics...
Postscript for hackers re: "ransomware": He who laughs last has made a backup. People who backup regularly will just laugh in your sorry faces. I know that *I* will. Every file that I consider to be important is a file that I have a copy of offline, losers. I also refer you to the posting I made about taking revenge on hackers who leave files on my computer in the NCH malware incident, in which I also mentioned getting revenge on Yatoula/Xiti. You can't do anything you want to do unless you're online yourselves, and when you're online, that's MY opportunity, because I know how to use your software to find you where you live.