Thursday Throughput

Michael Siegel

Michael Siegel is an astronomer living in Pennsylvania. He blogs at his own site, and has written a novel.

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16 Responses

  1. Oscar Gordon says:

    Muscling in on my territory, eh? Well welcome, FSM knows there is more Science & Tech news happening these days than any one person can keep track of, much less write about as a hobby.

    So is Swift your baby, or are you doing analysis of the data?

    ThTh4: Instinct? No, most certainly not. However, I think people can find the process… comforting, easy to grok? I was drawn to science as early as the age of 6, when I found my parents Time-Life series on The Elements and I watched Cosmos for the first time on PBS.Report

  2. Pinky says:

    ThTh8 – Shingles. Depending on where you get them, they can either be crazy worse than you’d imagine, or crazy worse than that. They can also act up in unexpected ways, leading to misdiagnosis. The virus lives in the spinal cord, and when it flares up, it affects the nerves in whatever part of the body is connected to the particular portion of the spinal cord. If/when you get the cluster of blisters, it’s easy to diagnose. Before that, it’s sheer luck.

    It’s all so unpredictable. Best of luck.Report

  3. Mine is a very classic case. Blisters starting at the spine and wrapping around the trunk following the exact path of the T5 nerve. When the doctor says, “Boy I wish my student was here so he could see this”, you know you’re a textbook case.Report

    • Mike Schilling in reply to Michael Siegel says:

      I recently had what is apparently the world’s mildest case of shingles. I had the blisters, but no associated pain. They eventually went away.

      But there’s no guarantee it won’t reappear and be much worse next time.Report

  4. Aaron David says:

    ThTh4 – Oh god yes!

    ThTh8 – I feel your pain. I was diagnosed with something in the last few months that has been life changing and quite awful. I haven’t been in a place to write about it, as I am still sorting out the implications and feelings. So, best of luck with everything!Report

  5. Oscar Gordon says:

    ThTh5: I’ll have to see if I can find it, but I was reading the other day that college students who have requested absentee ballots are not voting because they can’t be bothered to figure out where to buy stamps. Part me is skeptical because this sounds like another “College kids is teh dumb”, but college kids can also be lazy and clueless, so it’s not outside the realm of possibility. That said, you can print postage or order stamps from the USPS website. Just takes a bit of forethought.Report

    • James K in reply to Oscar Gordon says:


      Wait, you need a stamp for a ballot? Literally every envelope the New Zealand government uses is market Freepost, including the return envelopes.Report

      • Michael Cain in reply to James K says:

        But wait, there’s more! In the case of certain disputes with the IRS, things must be sent by mail. Pop for the stamp(s) or have your bank account seized.Report

      • Oscar Gordon in reply to James K says:

        Varies from state to state. In WA, you had to put a stamp on your ballot. In AZ, postage is paid by the Sec of State. I can certainly see states requiring stamps for absentee ballots.

        Personally, I’d be fine with ballot postage being paid with tax money, but a stamp is such a minor thing I don’t sweat it.

        I do, however, expect college students to have become proficient enough at adulting to be able to figure out how to get a stamp. Or rather, if they can’t figure out how to acquire postage (or are just too lazy to do so), I’m pretty sure I don’t want them voting.Report

    • Surely some GOTV organization would buy first-class stamps and have volunteers set up a table in the student union. Even carry the stamped ballots to a mailbox and dump them in. Per returned ballot, that’s got to be dirt cheap.Report

    • dragonfrog in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

      It’s been years since I owned any postage stamps. Probably over a decade.

      The very rare time I have to send something by post, I take it in to the post office and buy exactly enough postage to send it.Report

  6. Oscar Gordon says:

    ThTh7 – Oooh, Super Symmetry. That’s a theory I kinda hope is right, because (from what I understand of it) it’s just so damn elegant.Report

    • Since I no longer even pretend to follow physics, would a super symmetry replacement for the current Standard Model and quantum mechanics have impacts in the real world? In the sense of new energy sources, or new devices, or new processes, or something? Even hypothetical things, as in “If this version of super symmetry is correct, it might lead to X eventually?”Report