Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Grave Concerns

Washington, D.C.
FBI National Press Office

January 31, 2018
FBI Statement on HPSCI Memo

The FBI takes seriously its obligations to the FISA Court and its compliance with procedures overseen by career professionals in the Department of Justice and the FBI. We are committed to working with the appropriate oversight entities to ensure the continuing integrity of the FISA process.

With regard to the House Intelligence Committee’s memorandum, the FBI was provided a limited opportunity to review this memo the day before the committee voted to release it. As expressed during our initial review, we have grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy.

-- Statement issued by the FBI in response to a memo drafted by House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, which calls into question FBI procedure with respect to a FISA warrant to surveil then-Trump campaign adviser Carter Page

Monday, January 29, 2018

Pizza, Funnel Cake, And Fries

The only thing you could argue is that New Jerseyans are more flammable than people in the other 49 states.  Because we eat so much oily pizza, funnel cake and fries, maybe you could make that argument.  Otherwise, it's simply ridiculous.

-- Declan J. O'Scanlon Jr., a Republican assemblyman from Monmouth County, on New Jersey's distinction as the last state in the nation where drivers are not allowed to pump their own gasoline, New York Times, 6 January 2018

Friday, January 26, 2018


This is a field where one does not write a principia, which holds up for two hundred years.  This is not a field where one paints a painting that will be looked at for centuries, or builds a church that will be admired and looked at in astonishment for centuries.  No.  This is a field where one does one's work and in ten years it's obsolete, and really will not be usable within ten or twenty years. ...

It's sort of like sediment of rocks.  You're building up a mountain and you get to contribute your little layer of sedimentary rock to make the mountain that much higher.  But no one on the surface, unless they have X-ray vision, will see your sediment.  They'll stand on it.  It'll be appreciated by that rare geologist.

-- Apple Founder Steve Jobs (1955-2011), discussing his legacy in an interview at NeXT (1994)

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Other People Annoy Me

I find that the more empathy I have, the less other people annoy me.

-- Alan Alda (28 January 1936 -), American actor, director, and author, on the Hidden Brain podcast, January 2018

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

A Different Road

To oppose something is to maintain it.

They say here "all roads lead to Mishnory." To be sure, if you turn your back on Mishnory and walk away from it, you are still on the Mishnory road.  To oppose vulgarity is inevitably to be vulgar.  You must go somewhere else; you must have another goal; then you walk a different road.

-- Ursula K Le Guin (21 October 1929 - 22 January 2018), American writer, winner of the Hugo, Nebula, Locus, and World Fantasy Awards; The Left Hand of Darkness (1969), Chapter 11 "Soliloquies in Mishnory" (p. 151)

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Old Measurements

The only man I know who behaves sensibly is my tailor; he takes my measurements anew each time he sees me. The rest go on with their old measurements and expect me to fit them.

-- George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950), Irish playwright, 1925 Nobel Laureate for Literature, Man and Superman (1903) p. 37

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Allies Of The Truth

Together, united in the purpose to do our jobs under the Constitution, without regard to party or party loyalty, let us resolve to be allies of the truth -- and not partners in its destruction.

-- Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ), in a speech condemning President Trump's attacks on the media as Stalin-like , 17 January 2018

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Wow Much Coin How Money So Crypto

It says a lot about the state of the cryptocurrency space in general that a currency with a dog on it which hasn't released a software update in over 2 years has a $1B+ market cap.

-- Jackson Palmer, creator of Dogecoin, as quoted in a web article by Akshay Gangwar, 7 January 2018

Friday, January 12, 2018

Water Ice Cliffs On Mars

Thick deposits cover broad regions of the Martian mid-latitudes with a smooth mantle; erosion in these regions creates scarps that expose the internal structure of the mantle.  We investigated eight of these locations and found that they expose deposits of water ice that can be >100 meters thick, extending downward from depths as shallow as 1 to 2 meters below the surface.  The scarps are actively retreating because of sublimation of the exposed water ice.  The ice deposits likely originated as snowfall during Mars' high-obliquity periods and have now compacted into massive, fractured, and layered ice.  We expect the vertical structure of Martian ice-rich deposits to preserve a record of ice deposition and past climate.

-- Exposed subsurface ice sheets in the Martian mid-latitudes, Abstract, Colin M. Dundas, Ali M. Bramson2, Lujendra Ojha3, James J. Wray4, Michael T. Mellon5, Shane Byrne2, Alfred S. McEwen2, Nathaniel E. Putzig6, Donna Viola2, Sarah Sutton2, Erin Clark2, John W. Holt7, Science, 12 January 2018: Vol. 359, Issue 6372, pp. 199-201

Thursday, January 11, 2018

One Must Improvise

To succeed, planning alone is insufficient.  One must improvise as well.

-- Isaac Asimov (1920 - 1992), Russian-born American biochemist, prolific writer of both fiction and non-fiction, Foundation (1951) Part V, The Merchant Princes, section 3

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

[T]hroughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart. ...  I went from VERY successful businessman, to top T.V. Star to President of the United States (on my first try).  I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius....and a very stable genius at that!

-- President Donald Trump, posting as @realDonaldTrummp in a series of tweets, 6 January 2018

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

50th Known Mersenne Prime Found!

January 3, 2018 -- Persistence pays off.  Jonathan Pace, a GIMPS volunteer for over 14 years, discovered the 50th known Mersenne prime, 277,232,917-1 on December 26, 2017.  The prime number is calculated by multiplying together 77,232,917 twos, and then subtracting one.  It weighs in at 23,249,425 digits, becoming the largest prime number known to mankind.  It bests the previous record prime, also discovered by GIMPS, by 910,807 digits.

Just how big is a 23,249,425 digit number?  It's huge!!  Big enough to fill an entire shelf of books totalling 9,000 pages!  If every second you were to write five digits to an inch then 54 days later you'd have a number stretching over 73 miles (118 km) -- almost 3 miles (5 km) longer than the previous record prime.

-- Statement by the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search (GIMPS) announcing M77232917, 3 January 2018

Thursday, January 04, 2018

We Live In The Future

We live in the future: car features being brainstormed in real time on a global social network, over Christmas, to be implemented the next quarter.

-- Jason Calacanis (1970-), American Internet entrepreneur, angel investor, and blogger, posting as @Jason on Twitter at 13:46 on 26 December 2017, in a thread in which Tesla owner Dustin Moskovitz tweeted a feature request to Elon Musk at 12:36, and Musk replied "Done" at 12:45, just 9 minutes later

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

It's All Of That

The three senior guys in the campaign thought it was a good idea to meet with a foreign government inside Trump Tower in the conference room on the 25th floor -- with no lawyers.  They didn't have any lawyers.

Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic, or bad shit, and I happen to think it's all of that, you should have called the FBI immediately.

-- Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, quoted in Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff, per an article in The Guardian, 3 January 2018