Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Bitcoin (cryptocurrency) Mining in Iran causes blackouts and smog?

2021, things will get better, right?  Well...  

In a strange dystopian twist last week, a story has been developing in Iran.  Massive power disruptions have been sweeping across Iran.  Apparently this has been an issue since January 13.  At the time, the cause was unclear, as reported by GardWorld.  

The dystopia is worse.  Due to the demand on power over the past month, power plants in Iran have been forced to switch over to burning low-grade fuels oil, causing massive "toxic" smog around the capital city, as reported by Bloomberg.  Other reports about increased smog go back to January 3.

Here's what makes the whole thing even more surreal.  According to Iranian officials, a major contributing factor (in addition to the unusually cold winter) is apparently illegal cryptocurrency mining operations, as reported by the Washington Post.  However, this is may not be a major cause, as cryptocurrency miners state their operations have nothing to do with the current power crisis.

Iran reportedly cracked down on cryptocurrency mining operations on Sunday by confiscating 45K machines.  Supposedly, these machines were consuming 95 megawatts per hour, while paying a reduced rate on the electricity.   However, the crackdown may not be about power consumption, as other reports suggest power consumed in cryptocurrency mining has only a minor role in Iran's current power crisis, as reported by coindesk.  In July 2020, "Iran penned a registration directive forcing [cryptocurrency] miners to disclose their identities" and "the size of their mining farms".  

Friday, January 15, 2021

Deadly Decoy in CSGO

 

Sometimes, just sometimes, it's a bad idea to ignore a decoy in CounterStrike: Global Offensive (CSGO)

Saturday, January 09, 2021

G8 SF Bay Area Meet Jan 10th 2009, 12 years ago

 

#TBT Pontiac G8 and GTO cruise 2009, stopped  for lunch at the crossroad of Woodside and Skyline at Alice' s Restaurant.

The road you didn't take because of a lie

I thought of writing about Robert Frost's poem The Road Not Taken because many (most?) people misinterpret it.  Well, Today I Found Out covered the topic so well, there's no sense in my writing about the poem's meaning.  Please enjoy their video:


The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference..

Friday, December 25, 2020

Do And Die, not Do or Die - common misquote

The poem by Lord Alfred Tennyson called The Charge of the Light Brigade is often misquoted.  Lines 14 and 15 are commonly verbalize as "Ours is not to ask why, but to do or die", or something similar.  The key here is that a choice is present; "do or die".  In other words, we follow our orders or be will held accountable.  Or perhaps, do or die trying.

However, within the actual poem (below), such a choice never is present.  The lines are actually "Theirs not to reason why, theirs but to do and die".  The soldiers of the poem never question their order, even though the order is clearly erroneous.  For these soldiers, these six hundred brigaders, a choice is never even in their thoughts.  They would ride headlong into cannon fire, being cut to pieces, while knowing there was no hope of success nor life afterwards.  

When one applies this poem to one's own situation, the phrase "do and die" is far more powerful, potent and critical.  No choice is available, even though the required action surely leads to failure.  In this regard, one might be unintentionally critiquing their orders as folly.

Of course, the poem is poetic. Though the poem does mention some survivors, it romanticizes the sacrifice of the brigade on the whole.  In reality, many of the soldiers survived.  Further, history has characterised the order to charge as a misunderstanding or miscommunication.  However, the order being a mistake of some sort is not undermined by the fact that some brigaders survived.  The Light Brigade was decimated in their charge of the cannons, and that decimation was obviously inevitable. 

The Charge of the Light Brigade

                    I
Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
   Rode the six hundred.
“Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns!” he said.
Into the valley of Death
   Rode the six hundred.

                    II
“Forward, the Light Brigade!”
Was there a man dismayed?
Not though the soldier knew
   Someone had blundered.
   Theirs not to make reply,
   Theirs not to reason why,
   Theirs but to do and die.
   Into the valley of Death
   Rode the six hundred.

                  III
Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
   Volleyed and thundered;
Stormed at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of hell
   Rode the six hundred.

                   IV
Flashed all their sabres bare,
Flashed as they turned in air
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army, while
   All the world wondered.
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right through the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reeled from the sabre stroke
   Shattered and sundered.
Then they rode back, but not
   Not the six hundred.

                    V
Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
   Volleyed and thundered;
Stormed at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell.
They that had fought so well
Came through the jaws of Death,
Back from the mouth of hell,
All that was left of them,
   Left of six hundred.

                   VI
When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
   All the world wondered.
Honour the charge they made!
Honour the Light Brigade,
   Noble six hundred!

Saturday, December 05, 2020

Just saw yet another shooting star

In a strange coincidence, I've seen another shooting start last night as I walked out to my backyard. I looked up, and there it was.  This one was different than the previous sighting a couple of weeks ago.  The sky was perfectly clear.  This shooting star was just a point of light that streaked across the sky, but with no tail.  I noticed it just as it lit up.  It got brighter as it moved Westward until it dimmed a second or so later.  Similar to the previous shooting star, it moved East in a Westerly direction.

The Geminid meteor showers will happen in a week or so.  Maybe these early shooting stars are their vanguard.

Friday, December 04, 2020

Lunch today


There was an attempt to get In-N-Out Burger on a whim at the new location in Aurora. 2.5hr wait from this spot. A spontaneous decision to see if we could get In-N-Out today turned into a long discussion about if we should. In-N-Out is good, but we're too hungry. Another day. 

 
So, we ended up at La Sandia in Stapleton for a delicious lunch of Mexican cuisine. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Weird math - 10in plus 6mm equals 26cm



 

Today I just heard the phase "every mushroom cloud has a silver lining" twice from difference sources

Today I just heard the phase "every mushroom cloud has a silver lining" twice from two difference channels on Youtube in different contexts, though both referring to atmospheric nuclear explosions.  One source (11/23/20) was ranting about the ill effects of religious extremism, while the other was talking about how wine vintages from before 1945 cannot be faked today due to worldwide radiation contamination from all the nuclear explosions from WWII and the Cold War (11/22/20). It's a strange phrase to heard twice in one day.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Slower Than Usual Shooting Star

Slow Shooting Star - © 2020 Matthew Lorono
I just happened to see a shooting star as I walked out to my backyard while taking the dogs outside.  At first, I caught a glimpse of a light in the sky above me and thought it was a plane.  I quickly realized it was a shooting star as I looked up to see the streak across the sky.  The shooting star had a burst-head that was followed by a long white line which momentarily marked the night sky just above where Mars appears.  

The streak was much longer than usual and started in the East and weirdly headed almost perfectly West.  This shooting star was also a bit slower and more long lasting that other shooting stars I've seen, though it still dissipated very quickly.  I was also surprized that the shooting star was so visible, given the wisps of clouds and the suburban light pollution.  

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Things that aren't happening right now

COVID-19
There's a lot of things not happening right now due to covid-time. For me, I've not seen family in a year.  However, it seems there's many who are actually planning gatherings for Thanksgiving.  I hope many reconsider, especially in light of the recent surge in both COVID-SARS-2 cases and related hospitalizations.

Allie and I were lucky to be able to visit Sydney, Australia late last year.  Even still, the Australian fires, which kicked off this crappy year in late 2019 and early 2020, were already starting to consume large regions.  The fires got much worse after we returned home from our vacation.

Allie did get a chance to visit family in Asia in February.  She was very lucky to get back home before things got covid-crazy.  Since then, we've been keeping mostly to ourselves.  Multiple plans to spend time with friends and family were cancelled.  We have no plan to meet other people until covid-time is over.  

That's not to say we've been hiding indoors as shut-ins.  Face masks and copious amounts of the appropriate hand sanitizer are always ready for our visits to the store and other necessary locations.  I've also been working from home almost 100% of the time, only going into the office (after site approval) a couple of times to access specific stuff on my work desktop computer or paperwork at my desk.

I am weary of the need to keep vigilant against the nasty virus.  However, out of love for my neighbor (and of course, family members), my resolve is not weakened.  


Month Event
January Australia fires
February Africa locust plague begins
March COVID-SARS-2 explodes
April Relatively minor events
May George Floyd's horrific murder
June Worldwide protests about George Floyd's murder
July Multiple natural disasters in Asia
AugustBeirut explosion
September Western US fires
October Terror attacks in France
November Massive COVID-SARS-2 resurgence
December Arecibo Observatory collapse
January 2021 Riot on Capitol Hill