From a letter of recommendation Robert Oppenheimer wrote for Richard Feynman:
Wigner said, "He is a second Dirac, only this time human."
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:

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.
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, 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.
this morning
When I heard that people in Berlin have alternate names for many places around the city, e.g. Schweineöde (pig wasteland) instead of Schöneweide (beautiful pasture), I thought wow, they're just like my co‑workers, whose attitude was why use the usual name for something when a variant is more entertaining.

Some years ago, after my doctor had called a skin condition a paronychia, I called it a paramecium but he didn't get that I was joking and corrected me. My thought was, he must not hang out with software engineers much.

My favorite instance of a subsitute word used by a co‑worker was crustacean instead of escutcheon. The guy who said this was named Dave Hicks but of course we called him Have Dicks.
When the house next door was built around 20 years ago, my neighbor's dog walked on part of the concrete floor before it was finished curing. My neighbor asked the builder not to remove the prints. They are my favorite detail about the house.
From an online magazine's submission guidelines:
We would much rather run a baseless piece of speculative criticism than a rehearsal of the commentary found everywhere else.
seven is a nice number
A device to let researchers keep up to seven books open at once: an earlier era's equivalent of multiple browser tabs.
NY Times, Nov. 1, 2000:
Nader Sees a Bright Side to a Bush Victory


Mr. Nader said he did not think there would be much difference between the justices Mr. Gore would choose and those Mr. Bush would appoint. After all, Democrats had helped confirm Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, hadn't they? Besides, "You can't really predict how Supreme Court justices will behave."

And he called the possibility that a court packed with Republican appointees could overturn Roe v. Wade a "scare tactic." On Sunday, Mr. Nader said in a television interview that even if Roe v. Wade was overturned, the issue "would just revert to the states." Just?

"Here's what happened on that," he said wearily. "The scare tactic is that would end choice in America, and I just said that's not true, but I should have been astute enough not to mention that."

He said he did not in any case believe for a moment that Mr. Bush would seek to overturn Roe v. Wade. "The first back alley death, and the Republican Party is in deep trouble and they know it," he said. He described the party's opposition to abortion as just for show, "just for Pat Robertson."

Ralph Nader's third-party candidacy siphoned off votes from Al Gore, thereby helping to enable George W. Bush's election and thus Supreme Court justice Samuel Alito and chief justice John Roberts. And the Iraq War.
Games in the recent World Chess Championship were on a good schedule for me. The middle game phase was starting around when I woke up and I was following each game through to completion. The turning point in the match was the sixth game, which lasted 7¾ hours.

Players in championship matches are supported by teams of seconds; players often keep the identities of their seconds secret until after the match is over. When it came to light that Daniil Dubov was one of Magnus Carlsen's seconds this year, grandmaster Sergey Karjakin was not happy that a Russian was supporting Carlsen and not Nepomniachtchi, the Russian challenger. This isn't the cold war era and most players doesn't see chess matches in so nationalistic a light anymore. But Karjakin is an avowed supporter of Vladimir Putin (Dubov is not).

The reason I'm bringing this up, though, is that I thought (Norwegian grandmaster) Jon Ludvig Hammer's response to Karjakin was perfect: click to see on Twitter

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