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Lionel Mandrake

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: The Left Coast
Home country: USA
Current location: electrical wires
Member since: Sun Jul 1, 2007, 06:47 PM
Number of posts: 3,306

About Me

I study, play the piano, play chess and go, and enjoy the company of my wife, children, grandchildren, other relatives, and friends. I am a perennial student at a local university, where they let me take classes and use the library for free (because I'm old). My serious reading includes math, science, history, and biography. I enjoy science fiction and mysteries, which my wife and I refer to as "mind rot". And now on to politics. I hated Nixon and Reagan. I think W is a war criminal and was easily the worst president in US history. Thank Darwin he's gone. I will support any candidate who is a "dove". I support "plan B" without prescription for girls of all ages. I support free abortion on demand, without delay, and without the requirement to notify anyone, for all women and girls who want it. I think it's time to repeal the Bush tax cuts for corporations and the very rich. I think other damage done by conservative Supreme Court Justices rivals that done by the monster they put in the White House.

Journal Archives

"Particle Fever"

is now streaming by NetFlix. I started to watch it last night. It's an excellent popularization of the search for, and discovery of, the Higgs boson at CERN.

The movie includes polemics against the SSC by some idiots in the US Congress. If it hadn't been canceled, the SSC would probably have found the Higgs . Shame on us for electing so many idiots to Congress.
Posted by Lionel Mandrake | Tue Jul 22, 2014, 02:09 PM (2 replies)

Why are we spying on Germany?

Are we trying to get the Germans to hate us? Do we wish to see Germany aligned with Russia? WTF?
Posted by Lionel Mandrake | Fri Jul 11, 2014, 05:04 PM (44 replies)

Things Are Getting Better

That's the title track of this album. The tune was written by Cannonball Adderly.

Cannonball Adderley -- alto saxophone
Milt Jackson -- vibes
Wynton Kelly -- piano
Percy Heath -- bass
Art Blakey -- drums
Posted by Lionel Mandrake | Tue Jul 8, 2014, 08:07 PM (2 replies)

R. I. P. Horace Silver

Horace Silver died yesterday. His Wikipedia article has already been updated to show this.


Here is a recording of his that I like a lot.

Posted by Lionel Mandrake | Thu Jun 19, 2014, 08:44 PM (4 replies)

Donald Knuth and a deplorable trend in the history of science

The creator of TeX and Metafont is passionate about the history of science in general, and the history computer science in particular. He praises historians of math, who continue to publish articles with technical content. He despises the "externalist" trends in histories of other sciences.

I agree with him. The problem as I see it is that most so-called historians of science don't know squat about science, and what's more, they don't want to learn squat about science. They are underachievers and proud of it, man. They are interested only in the view of science from the outside, and their pseudo-scholarly articles lack technical content. George Sarton (the founder of the discipline of history of science) must be turning over in his grave.

Here is Donald Knuth's lecture on this preposterous state of affairs:

Posted by Lionel Mandrake | Sat Jun 7, 2014, 12:45 PM (2 replies)

Today is the 70th anniversary of D-day,

June 6, 1944, when Allied soldiers and sailors stormed the beaches of Normandy. American losses at Omaha Beach were terrible, but the invasion succeeded. Eleven months later the Germans surrendered, and that was the end of the Second World War in Europe.
Posted by Lionel Mandrake | Fri Jun 6, 2014, 10:56 AM (17 replies)

Hallelujah Time

written by and played by the great Oscar Peterson!

Posted by Lionel Mandrake | Tue May 6, 2014, 08:07 PM (2 replies)

Erroll Garner - Eldorado

I heard this on the radio and decided it was too good not to share.

Posted by Lionel Mandrake | Thu Apr 17, 2014, 09:07 PM (5 replies)

Which should I blame, Netfucks or 20th Century Fucks?

Trying to start up the 20th Century Fucks movie "12 Years a Slave" on a DVD, I ran into the usual pile of advertisements for other movies. But this time I could neither skip past nor fast forward through the shit. I'd like to know which company perpetrated this outrage.
Posted by Lionel Mandrake | Fri Apr 4, 2014, 02:01 AM (5 replies)

Twenty arrested at UC Santa Cruz as teaching assistants strike

Source: Los Angeles Times

Twenty picketers were arrested Wednesday morning for blocking traffic at UC Santa Cruz as unionized teaching assistants and tutors began a strike at two UC campuses.

The arrests came around 8 a.m. as the picketers, mainly graduate students, tried to block auto entrances into the Santa Cruz campus, according to university spokesman Jim Burns. The 20 cited on charges such as failing to disperse and being a pedestrian in a roadway were taken to the Santa Cruz County jail and were expected to be released soon. One of the 20 also faces a charge of resisting arrest, Burns said.

Student academic workers walked off the job at Santa Cruz and UC Berkeley on Wednesday. Union officials said the strike would extend to all nine UC undergraduate campuses on Thursday.

The United Auto Workers Local 2865 which represents about 13,000 teaching assistants, tutors and readers called the strike to protest what it called unfair labor practices and intimidation by UC administrators. Among other issues, the union contends that growing class sizes and workloads are making it difficult to offer quality teaching and tutoring.

Read more: http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-uc-arrests-20140402,0,4374812.story#axzz2xpxOKsBO

University administrators in the UC system, like those in the CSU system, view graduate students as a plentiful source of cheap labor. The administrators don't hesitate to call in the cops to remove picketers. The picketers were breaking the law, but where, exactly, should they set up their picket lines on a sprawling university campus?
Posted by Lionel Mandrake | Thu Apr 3, 2014, 11:37 AM (9 replies)
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