February 2021 archive
Wordle reminds me of Jotto which I played some as a teenager.

I read the code for Wordle to see where it gets the dictionary to check your words against. It's in the page's JavaScript code, an array of 10657 five‑letter words starting with aahed and ending with zymic. 2315 daily target words are in another array.

It displays "Genius" if your first guess is correct (even though first‑guess success is more likely due to luck or cheating rather than genius), Magnificent if your second guess was correct, Impressive, Splendid, Great, and Phew for third through sixth.
click for PostScript source
Daniil Dubov has endeared himself to many chess players with his bold play in an era where so many games among top players end in placid draws. Some are calling Dubov a modern day Mikhail Tal.

I like his attitude as well. From an interview today after the first round in a tournament in the Netherlands:

interviewer:
Daniil, did you feel in any danger during the game?
Daniil Dubov:
[shrugs] Not really, no. I think I was probably lost but it's not about feeling danger. I felt very comfortable but was probably lost.
interviewer:
Comfortable in what sense?
Daniil Dubov:
Life is good.
Wren Williams, a rookie Republican member of Virginia's House of Delegates, introduced a bill a few days ago to amend Virginia's laws about public education. It's dopey in some ways you'd expect and in some ways you might not. It tells public schools things they can't do and things that they must do. Among the musts is to require that students demonstrate understanding of "the first debate between Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass".

Not that this bill will pass as is, but a guy who's careless enough to confuse Stephen Douglas and Frederick Douglass has no business telling schools what to teach.
A single bitcoin transaction uses on average about 2265 kWh of energy, as much as is released in the explosion of two tons of TNT. A bitcoin transaction takes over a million times as much energy as a VISA transaction.

2265 kWh is about how much electric energy I use in six months. At right, an excerpt from my electric bill.
two-month billing periods
This morning I dreamt that a jackrabbit was in my house. That alone should have tipped me off that I was dreaming and it wasn't even the strangest thing in the dream.
Last month David Stockman wrote an article objecting to President Biden having said it was a patriotic duty to be vaccinated. He said,
As to the surge of US cases—again largely asymptomatic or just mildly ill—where's the beef that justifies another presidential call to arms? As dramatized by the chart below, the 7‑day case rate in the US as of December 20 was just 420 per million. That was still well below the 495 per million rate reported on September 3rd and far, far below the 757 per million rate reported at last January's peak.
As dramatized by the chart below. He embedded the chart from ourworldindata.org, it updates continually, and now looks a bit different than it did two weeks ago: screen capture, January 5 Stockman responded to President Biden:
Sorry, Joe. But it's none of your business what people chose to do about a vaccine that does not stop transmission and infection from this latest mutation; and it is most certainly not the "patriotic duty" of Americans who think the risks are not worth the benefits to take the jab on your say so.
Being vaccinated does reduce the incidence of virus transmission but that's too subtle a point for Mr. Stockman who is stuck at vaccines-don't-prevent-transmission-so-nyah-nyah-nyah.

(posted not because Stockman is especially influential but rather because his article exemplifies a lot of what I see in the anti-vax right)
Happy perihelion day, everyone.
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