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A federal judge presiding over a terrorism case has been in the news for his blunt remarks. Among other things, he thinks that DoJ personnel from DC are clumsily interfering in a case better left to local prosecutors. In an "Order on Ineptitude", he berated the Washingtonians for not knowing how to order a transcript of an in-chambers conference. The transcript in question has been quoted in media reports, primarily for the parts where Judge Hughes bares his contempt for a lawyer brought in from Washington ("You don't add a bit of value, do you?"). The rest of the transcript is not without entertainment value, e.g.:
THE COURT:... Now, there may be other data he wants to see raw. He ought to be able to do that. But delivering to you or to him 1.3 terabytes of data -- my Greek is not good. It's a billion? Because a megabyte is a million bytes, isn't it?
MR. ADLER:So, terabyte -- I don't even know.
MR. MC INTYRE:A trillion maybe.
THE COURT:Something like that anyway. Don't you speak Greek?
This is the same Judge Hughes known for various racially insensitive remarks. His personal page on the Texas Southern District's web site autoplays an mp3 file, a scratchy recording of Battle Hymn of the Republic. He is, of course, a Republican appointee (Reagan).
The Michelson-Morley experiment:Michelson-Morley apparatus A beam of light is split, sent in two perpendicular directions, and recombined to produce interference patterns.

LIGO Hanford Observatory The LIGO experiment that's been in the news: a beam of light is split, sent in two perpendicular directions, and recombined to produce interference patterns.

My favorite part: when Michelson-Morley-type experiments detect no difference between the two beams, that's considered a confirmation of Einstein's theories. And when LIGO detects difference between two beams, that's considered a confirmation of Einstein's theories.
I placed an order with Amazon a week ago. They never shipped it but that didn't deter them from saying it was arriving. Yesterday's screenshot: between 8pm and midnight Friday, it still said "Arriving today by 8pm"
When you say it's gonna happen now
Well when exactly do you mean?
See I've already waited too long
And all my hope is gone
Now, Saturday, it's "Expected Feb 5". ("was" is implied)

This is my second attempt at ordering this item. The order I placed last month was "Shipping soon" for two weeks before Amazon mysteriously deleted it altogether. Medical offices in the USA recently started using ICD-10, an updated diagnosis classification system. It's been in the news for a few entertaining categories, e.g. V95.43 (Spacecraft collision injuring occupant).

Some diagnoses are phrased in curious ways, e.g.
Z89.121 (Acquired absence of right wrist)
Y62-Y69 (Misadventures to patients during surgical and medical care).

Richard: W53.2 is for you.
Paul: W61.6.
JD: your ilk is not specifically listed. 8½ years ago, I wrote about a new typeface ("Clearview") for use on road signs in the USA. I wasn't thrilled with it then, and I like it even less after having seen instances of it on the road. In response to complaints back then that Clearview wasn't beautiful, one of its designers said, "But it isn't supposed to be."

I'm pleased to report that the Federal Highway Administration has seen the error of its ways and is ditching Clearview. The arc of signage is long, but it bends away from typefaces not intended to be beautiful.
A few years ago, the BBC made a documentary on David Bowie. Among the musicians interviewed was Robert Fripp; this exchange* was edited out:
BBC:Why was Bowie so influential? (paraphrase).
Fripp:He spoke on behalf of what is highest in all of us.
I read this as distinguishing Bowie from, for example, the musicians Fripp had in mind when he said (in 1974)
Most rock guitarists are thrashing around onstage using a very low‑grade energy and this energy comes from a very nasty quarter.
If I had children, I'd hope they grew sensitive to what makes music vital and true (or alternatively: barren and insincere). And I hope I would understand that this is inherently subjective and that it would be up to my kids to find their own way of connecting with music.
* recounted in text posted with a 2000 performance of Heroes
Sadie gives you this look when she's brought an object she wants you to throw. She holds still and makes eye contact at length, affecting a look of earnestness as if playing fetch were a matter of life and death. It's enough to make you wonder whether dogs do irony.
Abdul-Aziz ibn Abdullah Al ash‑Sheikh, current Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, recently declared chess to be forbidden in Islam as it encourages gambling and is "a waste of time and money and a cause for hatred and enmity between players". This is probably an advisory rather than an edict, but even so.

Ali al-Sistani of Iraq has a helpful Q&A page explaining that chess is wholly forbidden. But he says boxing is OK as long as there's no gambling and nobody gets hurt too bad. I'm old enough to remember when rock and roll was shocking to adults. Had David Bowie died in the 1970s, I suspect that a few commentators would have said good riddance. But this is 2016, and even a well‑known conservative talk radio host admitted to liking a few of David Bowie's songs rather than calling him a corrupter of youth. Enough people like rock and roll that putting one of its icons down would alienate a good part of just about any audience.

Other obituaries I saw in various conservative media were respectful, although I saw comments from readers wondering whether Bowie got (the right) religion before he died so that he wouldn't be spending eternity you‑know‑where.

The most plainly uncomplimentary remarks I read about Bowie this month came from someone who admitted not knowing who he was—as if trying his damnedest to exemplify the message of Nicolas Slonimsky's Lexicon of Musical Invective:
[This book's] animating purpose is to demonstrate that music is an art in progress, and that objections aimed at every musical innovator are all derived from the same psychological inhibition, which may be described as Non-Acceptance of the Unfamiliar.
Pretty much any type of criticism leveled against rock and roll—that it's satanic, trivial, Corybantic, repetitious, too loud, ...—was once said about some piece of music now deemed classical.

About 45 years ago, an uncle of mine said that rock bands had outlandish names, e.g. The Doors. Well then; from the New York Musical Courier, October 27, 1897:
Rimsky-Korsakov—what a name! It suggests fierce whiskers stained with vodka!
Go to NASA's picture of the day,
appreciate the pic of the sand dune,
then find the link that says horizontally compressed
and click thereon.

Happy nineteenth, everyone.