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February 15, 2019

Black Earth Rising

New on Netflix, an 8-part series set in London, Paris, and Rwanda.

It stars a fantastic new actress: Michaela Coel.

John Goodman, who used to be blah, has somehow become a superb actor, powerful and believable.

Highly recommended.

February 15, 2019 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

I feel your pain*


Constant readers may have noticed that over the past six months or so, the frequency of broken picture links (above) on boj has increased to the point that it's a pretty much daily occurrence.

This is the result of a FAIL in the software/code of TypePad, my blog host, though they refuse to come out and say this but instead attribute it to my stubbornness in refusing to alter some template they say is the root problem.

Since I have no idea what a template is nor have I ever made any alterations to the backroom setup I've been using since I joined TypePad in 2004, 

1) I refuse to buy in to this explanation, and 

2) I am loath to alter anything behind the scenes because, as I have learned from many, many years in the OR: it can always get worse.

Sure, my blog's broken, but it's still mostly functional.

Know this: I am diligently looking for a better place for bookofjoe.

I've been increasingly active on Twitter and now have over 300 videos on my YouTube channel but neither has proved to be the solution.

Nor did Google Glass, though I had high hopes for it when I got mine in 2013.

Perhaps Apple's upcoming AR/VR worlds will provide a better home.

Stay tuned.

*It doesn't even approach mine, trust me on this

February 15, 2019 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Mystery solved: What causes the holes in Swiss cheese?


From the Guardian:


Holes that form in cheeses such as Emmental caused by hay particles in milk, not CO2 released by bacteria

After about a century of research, scientists in Switzerland have finally solved the mystery of the holes in Swiss cheese.

Experts from Agroscope, a state centre for agricultural research, said the phenomenon — which marks famous Swiss cheeses such as Emmental and Appenzeller — is caused by tiny bits of hay present in milk — not bacteria as previously thought.

They found that the mystery holes became smaller or disappeared when milk used for cheesemaking was extracted using modern methods.

"It's the disappearance of the traditional bucket" used during milking that caused the difference, said Agroscope spokesman Regis Nyffeler, adding that bits of hay fell into the milk and then eventually caused the holes.

Agroscope said the mystery had been studied since at least 1917, when American William Clark published detailed research and came to the conclusion that the cause was carbon dioxide released by bacteria present in the milk.

Agroscope scientists noted that Swiss cheeses had fewer holes over the past 10 to 15 years as open buckets were replaced by sealed milking machines that "completely did away with the presence of tiny hay particles in the milk."



Below, the abstract of the original scientific article, published in the International Dairy Journal.


The production of Swiss-type cheeses with a typical number, size, and distribution of eyes is a difficult task, especially when bactofuged or microfiltrated milk is utilised. In this study, the potential of microparticles (plant origin) to influence eye formation in cheese, was assessed. Eight experimental Emmental cheeses were produced with one replicate from microfiltrated milk with addition of 0.0625–4.000 mg of powdered hay to the milk (90 L) and ripened for 130 days. Eye formation was quantified by means of X-ray computed tomography (between 30 and 130 days). The contents of fat, water, citric acid, lactic acid, and volatile carboxylic acids were determined at 130 days. The results demonstrate that microparticles of plant origin act as eye nuclei that control the number (P < 0.001) and size of the eyes in cheese in a dose-dependent manner. The findings also provide new insights into the formation of eye defects.



February 15, 2019 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

High velocity (2,865 mph) .204 Ruger bullet effect on 5 pound gummy bear

Videre est credere.

[via RealityCarnival]

February 15, 2019 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

2020 Tesla Roadster



From Barron's:


The first Tesla Roadster, produced from 2008 to 2012, was stunningly fast for the time, capable in its fastest iteration of achieving 60 miles per hour in 3.7 seconds.

And 244 miles of range was quite impressive, too.

Just 2,450 were built.

But, with the second Roadster due in 2020, Tesla is seriously increasing the stakes — and taking aim at the world's supercars.

Let's do the numbers.

The all-wheel-drive Roadster, with three electric motors, will have four seats instead of the two in the previous car, a removable glass roof, and insane acceleration of 1.9 seconds to 60 mph.

The company says 250 miles per hour is possible.

The torque figure is given as an awesome 7,400 pound feet.

The Roadster will go 620 miles on a charge of the 200 kilowatt-hour battery pack, which tops any electric on the road.

But the Roadster won't just be competitive with other electric cars; rather, it will rival the performance of any vehicle on the road today.

The price is squarely in supercar territory, too.

The first cars will be "Founder’s Editions," selling for a lofty $250,000 — with the full amount due at reservation time.

Only 1,000 will be built.

After that, the car will go down to $200,000 and you'll need a $50,000 deposit to get in line.

If this wasn't Tesla skepticism would be warranted, but Elon Musk's cars have usually matched his performance claims.

Prospective buyers will probably have to suspend their disbelief, though, when it comes to the SpaceX technology that Musk says could be on board — composite overwrapped pressure vessels (COPV), a.k.a. thrusters, adopted from those used by SpaceX's Falcon rockets.

Musk says they could replace the rear seats for customers for whom the stock model is too slow.


Jessica Caldwell, executive director of industry analysis at Edmunds.com, notes that Tesla's Model Three has been out for a while and the company needed an "image booster" like the Roadster.

"Anything that is considered cool has a shelf life," she says. "New and exciting models like this continue Tesla’s moment in the sun."

I saw the Tesla Roadster, which shares some DNA with the Model Three, as a static display at Art Basel in Switzerland last September.

But since then the car seems to be, literally and figuratively, on a fast track.

Tesla test drivers say the performance numbers aren't theoretical, but have actually been reached where the rubber meets the road.

So maybe the car will be that fast if available tires can keep it on the road.

But judging by past performance, there could be delays before the Roadster reaches customers.

And because the battery pack is twice as large as that seen in the range-topping Model S 100D, at-home charge times could be quite long.

But Tesla's newest V3 Superchargers, due this year, should be up to the job.

Tesla doesn’t advertise in the Super Bowl, but it does use a variety of guerrilla marketing tactics, including referrals.

Tesla fanatics — and they are legion — were told they could get a free Roadster if they made enough confirmed referrals.

Electrek reports that so many participants have achieved the goal that the program is being halted, and more than 80 Roadsters will have to be given away.

Since special editions are very popular, Tesla likely won't have any trouble selling out its 1,000 Founder's Edition cars. It's what happens afterward that we'll be watching closely.

Making only Roadsters was never a feasible business plan for Tesla, which is why its next three models were far more family friendly.

The new Roadster is what’s known as a 2+2, which means its rear seats will be sized for compliant children.

"The Roadster is a prestige vehicle," Caldwell says.

She adds that Tesla has made us think about electric cars differently — as performance oriented, not just as sluggish eco-boxes.

"The car is delivering for the brand," she says, "but the market for $200,000 cars is very small."

The new Roadster is indeed a morale enhancer for Tesla as the company navigates tricky financial waters, and it will achieve its purpose simply by being the baddest, fastest supercar on the block.


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February 15, 2019 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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