Some items around the web I found intriguing

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Like most people, I like roaming around the web looking for cool things, and sometimes get the feeling that I’ve run across something worth bookmarking, something I want to mull over in the future. Some of them are worth saying a few words about, and I was thinking I would put these up on the blog in hopes that someone might find them fascinating too.

  • This is the kind of video I think people are looking for in the middle of a frightening epidemic while there is talk of unrest liable to…

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Not your average year, all in all

On whether all doctorate holders should be called doctor

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Photo by Muzammil Soorma on Unsplash

There is a controversy out just now about whether holders of doctoral degrees other than medical doctors ought to use the title of Doctor before their names. I have some thoughts on the subject as a PhD holder in Physics.

When I was in graduate school we would joke about the German practice of using honorifics for people according to their precise level of advancement, so a Herr Doktor would be outranked by a a Herr Professor Doktor and so forth. I was working at places which related to my subject…


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Photo by Jason Abdilla on Unsplash

I read a piece today about how prolonged stress can lead to persistent fatigue in a person who might be at a loss as to an obvious cause, and I’m thinking that that is what’s going on with me now. The worst comes at the end of what seems like a terribly long working day, which is frequently one where I felt like I came up short in results. I had a Telehealth call with my dietician this morning and was recounting the last six weeks since we talked. It seems like the stress of losing a family member to…


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Photo by Clark Van Der Beken on Unsplash

I like saying “I’m entering my seventh decade” today. It’s completely factual, because of the way we count things starting with one, and at the same time it sounds more weighty.

The first decade was childhood and grade school.

The second decade was high school and college in Illinois.

The third decade was graduate school in Massachusetts, teaching in New York, and marriage.

The fourth decade was research in Pittsburgh and then a break away to engineering in New Jersey and a start in writing.

The fifth decade was 9–11 and an interlude into self-employment, then back into engineering.

The…


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Attribution: Spinal Tap by Thomas Quine under a Creative Commons license

Here is a time capsule from the Covid-19 plague year for future readers who might be interested in what it was like around these times.

The cold rain has come back, comfort to those who worry about drought, but making it difficult to go outside to take in a little bit of exercise. Spring has been as slow to come as it has been every year, and since it doesn’t snow here we don’t have the receeding line of old drifts to tell us how much progress we’ve made since the beginning of January. It’s been the strangest kind of…


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Photo by Eugene Triguba on Unsplash

Last week we picked up our fifth car this month, a white Nissan Versa. It’s a little snug but will be fine just for getting around.

We have this because car number four, a Nissan Altima, is in the body shop to repair a scrape it acquired a few hours before we bought it. The seller agreed that the repair would be done at their expense without our having to argue about it, and we’re hoping it will turn out fine.

We turned in car number three, a Toyota Camry, the day after we bought number four last weekend. The…

Richard Magahiz

Software engineer by day, writer by night

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