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Stephen Tack
Never a feather better fell.
Never a feather better fell.

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Have a dented Subaru? You won't believe what a difference this one easy trick will make!

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I don't have time to write much today, but I want to remind you all of this:

Right and wrong have not changed since yesterday. An "accommodation" which goes in the face of that is not an accommodation, it is collusion in a moral wrong which does not gain any innocence by the defense of "I had to" or "those were the orders."

We will all be sorely tried in the months and years which are to come; we will see our fellow citizens and neighbors harmed and harassed, fired and fired upon. To stand up for them will not be easy, nor will it come without a price. We will pay the price, because the price of refusing is measured in lives and in souls.

But I will also tell you this: we will survive. We will, now and always, use every tool at our disposal, to fight and to shelter, to speak and to listen, to think and to act. This country is not, and has never been, the Promised Land; there was never a promise, only what we chose to build out of it. That choice is undiminished today.

I want you to remember, today, the words of Tarfon: "it is not yours to finish the task, but neither are you free to set it aside." We do not stop, we shall not stop, and we shall never surrender our morals.

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Today, a simple illustration of physics. You might wonder why so much liquid splashes backwards; you can see what's happening most clearly with the water bottle (second from the bottom). The bullet strikes the liquid and starts transferring energy to it. (That energy transfer is why a bullet damages things) This, in turn, pushes a wave forward, moving faster than the bullet until it strikes the front wall and begins to break it. That breakage will be amplified by the bullet's impact a moment later, but before that, the wave has started to bounce back -- until shortly afterwards, it strikes the back wall, already damaged by the bullet hole, and blows it open.

All of this works because the bullet is travelling slower than the speed of sound in the liquid. (The speed of sound in liquid is much higher than it is in air) If the bullet were travelling much faster, around 3,400mph, then you would see a different reaction: the bullet would strike the front wall before the wave did, and by the time the wave hit it there would be much less for it to bounce against. Almost all of the splatter would fly forward, in that case.

If the bullet were travelling faster still, at around 11,000mph, it would be going faster than the speed of sound in glass, and things would change even more: the bullet would make it out of the glass before the shock waves from the impact had a chance to spread, and it would punch a fairly clean hole through it rather than shattering it. Of course, the impact of the water wave (if it were a filled bottle target) would then shatter the glass anyway.

I know this thanks to Prof. Bob Laughlin, a slightly mad physicist (and Nobel laureate) for whom I TA'd for many years. He asked a version of this question on the qualifying exam for the PhD, asking students to design a new "Star Wars"-type defense system called Brilliant Potroast. The idea (an improvement, no doubt, over the real "brilliant pebbles" design) was that we would attach rocket engines to a bunch of pot roasts, put them in orbit, and then fire them at incoming ICBM's; students were tasked with doing all the calculations for this, from calculating fuel needs to describing what would happen when a pot roast struck a nuclear missile.

The correct answer turned out to depend on the angle and position of impact, because (given orbital speeds and so on) the relative speed of the pot roast and the missile could fall anywhere above or below the speeds of sound in pot roast, structural Aluminum, and Plutonium. In almost all the cases, though, the effect would look sort of like a "water balloon:" the pot roast would punch a hole almost straight through the missile, and splatter outwards as it flew like a water balloon hitting, well, an ICBM.

Hopefully, this would damage critical components of the missile, and/or make it aerodynamically unstable once it reentered the atmosphere. Alternatively, you could design the flying meatsacks to deliberately hit the missile at an angle so that it would always be below the speed of sound in structural metals, and cause much more shattering along the length of the missile.

As a footnote: When Prof. Laughlin won the Nobel, the department held a party for him. A bunch of students got together and got him a very large pot roast as a gift.

h/t +Steven Flaeck and +İsmet D. İstanbul for the wonderful image.

[Edit for those who want to know more: Here's a reply to +Isaac Kuo from the comments, discussing the other pictures below.]

In the milk glass, as you say, the significant step is shattering: the bullet strikes the glass (far) below the speed of sound in glass, and so cracks spread and the glass is fully shattered long before the bullet strikes the other wall. As it shatters, the weight of the milk dropping downward (no longer restrained by the wall) pushes it outward in all directions, and the bullet simply flies out through the mess, which is why the milk glass is most symmetric.

The egg is doing something similar with the shell, but the material is lighter and doesn't fall as much, and the shell has a sticky inner layer that probably gives it a bit more cohesion. On top of that, the curve causes shock waves to bounce every which way. So the kinetic energy of the bullet is probably getting much more dispersed in the egg body, and is blowing it out symmetrically as well.

OTOH, the apple has the least of this effect, its skin barely counting as a hard surface. There's still a bit of reflection (off the apple/air boundary), but far more of the energy is coming from the "direct" wave of the bullet, which is why the right side blows out far more than the left side.

The ketchup bottle seems similar to the milk glass.

The watermelon has its cracks spread far more slowly, but it still has a meaningful surface, so it's more like the water bottle, with a fairly even front/back splash.

So the summary is:

* If there's no surface to crack (apple): Most of the blast goes forward, a little goes back.
* If there's a surface but it doesn't entirely explode from the bullet impact (watermelon, water bottle): You get a much more symmetric front/back explosion.
* If there's a surface which cracks fast in the plane of the bullet's motion (milk glass, ketchup bottle): You get an explosion that's nearly symmetric in that horizontal plane.
* If there's a surface that cracks fast in all directions (egg): You get a more spherically symmetric explosion.

For those keeping track, a human chest cavity is more like an apple, while the skull is closer to a watermelon in this regard. Many crime shows on TV tend to neglect this fact, with people shooting other people in the head and not getting sprayed with bits.
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Some very interesting food for thought!
( +Yonatan Zunger​ is the reason for G+ to continue)
+Steven Flaeck shared this article, together with an apt critique: "Liberty University is a good example of a problem with institutions on the right: they were built largely as a response to classically liberal institutions but the model wasn't those institutions themselves, it was the conservative caricature of them. So it's unsurprising to find that Liberty University runs like a communist country, since the people who founded it and run it sincerely believed that's how mainstream universities operate."

The article is well worth reading, but with an understanding that it isn't about Trump in particular so much as it is about the profound disconnect between the "religious right" and the "populist right." While these groups have been forced into an uneasy marriage within the Republican party, they have profound and fundamental differences. This is especially true in the younger (Millennial) generation, for whom there is no automatic relationship between religion and segregation, and many of the whispered truisms which kept that marriage going in previous generations start to sound more like what they are -- anathema to the Christian tradition.

There was a similar shotgun marriage between the religious right and the "business right," forged between the late 1940's and the late 1960's on a basis of shared anti-Communism. This relationship started out no less strained, as Brad Hicks' famous essay "Christians in the Hands of an Angry God" ( details, because many of the core ideas of the business right are fundamentally incompatible with Christianity.

If that last sentence makes you immediately want to interject that this isn't true, and that Christianity can (for good or for ill) accommodate ideas such as the positivity of the accumulation of wealth, or the evil of providing social services, then what you're responding to is the profound shift in American Christian teaching in the decades since this marriage -- for example, a profound shift in emphasis from the "red letter" (the personal word of Jesus) to the Pauline epistles, with their focus on ideas like grace and resurrection, and on the organization of the Church. A reading of the Gospels (especially the earlier ones) with a focus on Jesus' own preaching would suggest that placing him in a room with most modern business leaders would lead to overturned tables at the best and a riot at the worst.

This marriage was far harder to accomplish than the one with the populist right, and for several decades church and party were extremely wary partners. What changed it was the observed public reaction to Roe v. Wade, which was really the sum of a built-up reaction among what would become the religious right to the social (especially sexual) changes of the 1960's and 1970's. The focus of both Republican party and Evangelical political discourse on "social issues" like abortion and homosexuality (as opposed to "social issues" like poverty or war) ever since is not a coincidence: it was something which the religious right could be passionate about, and which the business right was compatible with, which could thus energize the base without splitting the party.

In fact, it's fair to say that the "religious right" didn't exist as a group prior to this. The original deal chronicled in Hicks' essay wasn't between existing political ideologies; it was between a coalition of business-friendly and anti-Communist groups in control of the Republican party and a number of churches and theological institutes (like DTS) about cooperation during elections. But these churches didn't see themselves as a unified "cultural ideology" so much as Christian institutions, in the world but not of it. The post-Roe world saw the creation of a group which referred to itself as the "religious right" (and formal groups like the "Moral Majority"), largely defining itself as an antithesis to the "social left" which emerged during the 1960's.

The religious right, however, became increasingly associated with both a regressive-seeming intolerance (around sex and gender, for example) and with the racism of the populist movement it had involved itself with. (There was a profound mixing of the two, not just because of their alliance within the Republican party, but because of things like the "segregation academies;" it was in fact this early mixing which made the fusion of the populist right into the Republican coalition such a workable strategy in the late 1960's) This has led to a real shrinkage of its political clout in recent years, as a younger generation sees it as increasingly hostile and outdated.

If the "social issues" which it has used to unify itself cease to hold, we may end up seeing a schism between the religious and business wings of the Republican party comparable to the schism currently seen between the pair of those wings and the populists, as Trump has made clear that his followers support Republicanism only insofar as it supports him.

This has all the ingredients of another "great reshuffling" of American politics, much like the breakdown of the Democratic coalition after FDR's famous swing towards economic populism in 1932. 

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Beep Beep, Yeah!

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SITREP: Operation the last piece - 6th degree homogeneous field -
世界初の全6重多重CF 3度目で成功 (∩´∀`)∩ワーイ (日本語あとに続きます) 

This is the full report for the 6th degree homogeneous field our team created on 13th March. Glad if you enjoy the beauty of CFs with this enigmatic constellations of portal-networks.

Fact Sheet
1. The first 6th degree homogeneous field(6th HCF)* ever made 
2. 124 portals, 366links and 364CFs inside one triangle 
3. 30 minutes fielding duration
4. Operation finally made on our 3rd attempt
5. Over 50 members of fielding enthusiasts took part in this effort

* Our team defines "a nth degree homogeneous control field(nth HCF)" as a field where all inner control fields are homogeneously multi-layered nth times. For the HCF with all portals inside a triangle being optimally used for linking, we call it a "perfect" or "complete" HCF.

[Prep Phase:Initial Planning]
Shortly after we successfully completed perfect 5th HCF about 2 months ago, our team naturally targeted 6th degree one that had never been achieved before. 

See the link below for an example of a complete 5th degree homogeneous field that our group created.

[Prep Phase:Investigating the portal network]
Our research team investigated and dug deep inside the portal network all over Tokyo to find the portal layout that can generate the 6th level HCF. At first, we tried to find the complete 6th level HCF without void portals. But our initial research suggested that it is hardly possible to find it, so we decided to turn our focus on creating the ordinal 6th level HCF. 

The link-plan was finally decided considering primarily the symmetricity of portal-network where the core central portal is placed in close proximity to the centroid. It was a pure surprise that the core central portal was the same one as that of our first 5th degree HCF. 

At the same time, our link planning team devised a very smart way of linking where the whole 366 links are divided by 6 inner parts and 3 outer parts so that each of 9 teams could concentrate their own tasks. In the end, a very detailed procedure manual over 100 pages were prepared. (see uploaded pics for the part of the manual) 

[The first attempt - one missing link]
The first attempt was on 27 of February. About an hour long operation seemed progressing quite well with just slight obstructions from the ENLs. Though it looked successful at first glance, a close look at the intelmap said otherwise. There was just one link missing. We had to suspend the operation as attacks from the Enls became severe on the middle course to the recovery.

[The second try - jeopardized by the ENLs]
The second try on 5th March was demolished by the seemingly coordinated attack by the ENLs on the final course.

[The final try]
Consecutive failure led us to the long discussion whether we should try other locations or completely abandon the plan. But in the end we concluded that it is a fielding speed that of the key to the success of this operation. Less than 30 minutes from start to finish was set as a target for avoiding very alarmed local ENL's attacks. In order to achieve this previously unimaginable target, we thoroughly reviewed the whole processes of the operation, such as adjusting and optimizing the movements of every fielders, linking orders, rechecking methods and so on. 

On 13th March, the determined fielders gathered together midnight in Ginza,

AM 02:30 Around 30 agents secretly gathered together

AM 03:06 The Op started - link-clearing and fielding

AM 03:22 The inner links/CFs completed, outermost CFs created

AM 03:31 The mission completed 

Thank you for all the agents involved, including the local ENLs who always provide us good rivalry with mutual respects. Our journey to discover the mystery of portal networks continues. Stay tuned 

Homogeneous Field Society of Resistance Japan

(Japanese version below)



こうしたフィールドは、フィールディングマニアが集う国際コミュニティ Plan Ingress では、homogeneous field(均一フィールド)と呼ばれているもので、我々チーム内では内部に使っていないポータルがあるものを、全N重(nth degree homogeneous field)、そのうち、特に、内部のポータルが全て利用されポータル数に対してCFの数が最大化されている全N重CFを、完全N重(perfect/complete nth degree homogeneous field)とよんでいます。




完全6重は世界中のどこかにあるんでしょうか? フィールドが均一にN重になる他の方法は? 他の幾何的な特徴を持つフィールドは? 多重を愛する青AG集団「完全多重を愛でる会」による探求は続きます・・・

ちなみにoutlinkの制限により全/完全多重は6が最大になります。Softbank Ultra Linkを4つ使用しても7重以上は作成できません(Softbank Ultralink強化はよ)


[準備段階① 理想的なポータル配置の調査]
実は、内部に使わないポータルがある前提だと、ポータルが内部に数百個以上ある任意の三角形を選択すると、全6重を形成する多くのリンクパターンを発見することができます。そこで、今回、凄腕調査チームは できるだけ美しい全6重を捜索。いくつものパターンから中心のポータルが、完全5重のときにも中心だった「真珠王の記念碑」を発見し、真珠王御木本幸吉のお膝元で、美しい多重CFをつくろうということでリンクプランが決定しました。

* ほかにも「銀座のトイレ」、「ブルガリ銀座タワー」を中心とするリンクプラン等、複数のリンクプランをわいわいと検討しました。

[準備段階② フィールディング修行、手順書の作成]



さらに、青フィールダー虎の穴も立ち上がり、日夜 完全多重のソロ構築修行とそのチェック作業を実施。この間、やたらと日本のRES Agentが完全4重の構築結果をG+にあげているのはほぼ?このせいです。

[実行段階① 最初の挑戦 あと1リンク]



[実行段階② 2回目の挑戦、3層目で断念]



[実行段階③ 3回目]



「妨害される前に速攻で構築 目標は30分」



午前03:06 周辺AGの活動が鈍ったタイミングでリンクカットと構築をスタート。

午前03:22 内部構築が終了、外周のCFを作成

午前03:29 徐々に多重度をあげていく

午前03:31 全てのCFが6重になり、成功を確認 (∩´∀`)∩ワーイ


完全多重を愛でる会(Homogeneous field society of Resistance Japan)では、日本各地から多重好きエージェントが集まり、完全/全多重の探索/作成や、そのほかの不思議な多重プランの企画検討など、エージェントの皆さんに観て・参加して楽しい多重を求めて活動を継続していきます。

【Involved agents】
eugle nozoa

+John Hanke 
+Masashi Kawashima 
+Ingress Japan 
+Anne Beuttenmüller 
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I've been missing this function for the ~8 years I've been using Chrome... Finally found it!

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Crazy times!
This is a news story that hasn't gotten enough press attention. Earlier today at Belgrade airport, bomb-sniffing dogs alerted on a pair of wooden coffins which had been shipped as cargo from Beirut, with a manifest bound for Portland. Inside were a pair of AGM-114 "Hellfire" missiles. (Fully live: it was the explosives in the warhead which the dogs spotted)

The FBI is investigating, and there aren't many details yet, but questions like just who was trying to get Hellfire missiles in Portland, and why come up pretty quickly. There is pretty much no use for these which isn't dangerously alarming.

Hellfire missiles were originally designed as air-to-surface missiles to be fired from helicopters, and are a major part of the loadout of Predator drones. However, they can also be fired as surface-to-surface weapons, as e.g. when they are mounted on assault boats. They come in a few variants, with anti-tank, blast-fragmentation, and thermobaric warheads, and various aiming and guidance options; the precise variant in the cargo has not been announced. (However, it's a fair guess that it's a laser-guided missile, where the operator "paints" the target with a laser dot which the missile homes in on; all other guidance types only work if they're coupled with something else pretty sophisticated, like an Apache helicopter's "Longbow" system) They have a range of 8km.

The good news, such as it is, is that the Hellfire was not designed for surface-to-air use, and so it's unlikely that the plan involved firing on civilian aircraft. (Or if that was the plan, it's unlikely to have succeeded)

From a practical smuggling perspective, this route makes good sense: Beirut is a place where you could get missiles (likely transported to there from active war zones in Syria or Iraq), and by routing it through a country where security may be lax enough for something to get through, but not so lax that security at the arriving country will be extra-tight, you maximize the odds. Hiding them in coffins similarly is a way to distract attention. So this definitely has the air of professional arms smugglers trying to get a shipment to someone. But who?

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+Samsung USA​ is the anti-Apple!
Sticking with Micro USB, combined with making the phone thicker (for more battery), bringing back the Micro SD card, and waterproofing make me consider an S7 for sure!
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