That Fountain Pen

The weekend and another FYI that actually teaches some history……today’s post is about the invention of the fountain pen…..

When I was working as a field analyst in the Middle East a Palestinian friend because of my extensive note taking called ibn al-Qalam….loosely translated from Arabic it means “son of the pen”……to this day I still write with a fountain pen plus I have a massive collection of them.

Background behind us……the history part of the post…..

For the longest time in history a dip pen was used to write……you write awhile and then have to dip the tip in ink to continue….so when did the fountain pen come into existence?

Well the first patent was given to a Belgian named Folsch…..

From the beginning of the 19th century, the number of fountain pen designs patented and produced began to multiply. The first English fountain pen patent was granted to Frederick Fölsch in May 1809, followed by Joseph Bramah’s feed patent of September 1809. John Scheffer’s patent of 1819 was the first design to see commercial success, with a number of surviving examples of his “Penographic” known. Another noteworthy pioneer design was John Jacob Parker’s, patented in 1832 — a self-filler with a screw-operated piston. Three subsequent advances, however, paved the way for the fountain pen’s widespread acceptance: the invention of hard rubber (a naturally-derived plastic, resistant to chemicals, easily machined, and relatively cheap); the availability of iridium-tipped gold nibs; and improved inks, not laden with clogging sediment. All three factors fell into place around the middle of the century; it was in the later 1870s and 1880s, however, that fountain pen production took off in earnest.

But actually the idea of a “fountain pen” was made by an individual named al-Mu’izz in 973 in North Africa.

Earliest mention of a pen that has an ink reservoir is from year 973. Ma’ād al-Mu’izz, the caliph of the Maghreb, region of Northwest Africa, asked for a pen that would keep his hand clean while he uses it and would not leave as much mess as standard pens and quills. His wish was fulfilled with a pen that held ink inside and could be held upside-down without spilling but we don’t know precisely how this pen worked or how it looked like. Next mention of a pen with inner reservoir comes from 17th century when German inventor Daniel Schwenter invented a pen made from two quills. One quill was placed inside the other; it held the ink and was closed with a cork. Ink left the reservoir through a small hole which led to a nib.

Like I said he had the idea but not the patent….so who was the first to come up with the idea?

This means little to most nowadays…..for the art of writing is slowly disappearing….at least I will keep the tradition alive as long as I breath.

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Saturday’s Space Stuff

Today I return to the days of yore and the subject that few are watching…that topic would be space…..

First the Earth has a new moon…but before I write on that….why do other planets have cool names for their moons and ours is just….. MOON?

The new moon…..

Take a gander at the stars, and you might spot … no, you won’t. It’s way too small. But scientists say Earth likely has another moon—at least for now—that’s no bigger than a car, New Scientist reports. Astronomers at the Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona noticed it crossing the sky on Feb. 15 and posted a tweet with images. The Minor Planet Center followed up with a statement that “this object is temporarily bound to the Earth” and “no link to a known artificial object has been found.” The upshot is that it’s likely an asteroid, about 6 by 11 feet, that was ensared by Earth’s gravity. What’s interesting is how rarely astronomers notice these “minimoons,” considering all the millions of asteroids zipping around our solar system.

Only one was officially observed before now, back in 2006. It orbited Earth for 11 months before breaking free into space, Popular Mechanics recently recalled. Such minimoons also get pulled into Earth’s atmosphere and become meteors, like fireballs that were spotted in Australia in 2016 and Europe in 2014. Seems they might be useful, too: A scientist told Astronomy in November that minimoons are “awesome” because they’re “the most accessible object” we can reach in the solar system. The magazine explained they could be used “for sample return missions, tests of asteroid redirection technologies or resource mining.” As for the latest minimoon, dubbed 2020 CD3, it’s probably bound to our planet for the next three years.

Its big and we should take notice…..or not……your choice.

Originally discovered by the Kepler space telescope, G 9–40b has just been confirmed as an exoplanet by a team of Penn State researchers using the Habitable-zone Planet Finder (HPF) located in Texas.

This world, G 9–40b, is at least twice as large as Earth, and is likely significantly larger — possibly closer to the size of Neptune. It orbits its parent star just 100 light years from Earth once every five days and 17 hours at a distance of 5,760,000 km (5,580,000 miles), roughly 25 times closer than the distance between the Earth and Sun.

https://thenextweb.com/syndication/2020/02/25/extremely-big-and-incredibly-close-meet-the-new-neptune-sized-exoplanet-g-9-40b/

Astronauts and their “human needs”……

As space agencies work to launch crewed missions deeper and deeper into space, they tend to overlook one crucial variable: astronauts are people, meaning they sometimes get horny.

That’s the problem presented in an essay published in The Conversation last week: that NASA and other groups are failing to prepare for crewmembers’ human needs. In other words, astronauts may face undue psychological and mental strain due to space abstinence.

https://futurism.com/the-byte/scientists-astronauts-bone-space

I wrote about that guy that wanted to prove the world is flat by launching himself into space in a home-made rocket…..(that just does not sound like it will end well)…..

And it did not!

For years, a daredevil named Mike “Mad Mike” Hughes has been trumpeting his plan to launch himself in a homemade rocket in order to prove that Earth is flat.

This weekend, Hughes finally launched himself in his homemade rocket — and crashed a minute later, dying in the wreck.

https://futurism.com/the-byte/guy-builds-rocket-earth-flat-crashes-dies

And that sums up the not so important news that you will never use…..besides MoMo has her “walk me” look….

Image

I shall return when I return…..Peace Out!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–28Feb20

Minnesota is full of news these days…..first the thing about finally outlawing slavery statewide….and now this…..

Running For Congress While Running From The Law!

That is one candidate in Minnesota, Danielle Stella……she is running against Rep. Ihan Omar…..

It seems that Ms Stella is wanted for non court appearances on multiple occasions…..

Stella first stirred the pot in July over tweets suggesting she supports the QAnon conspiracy theory, which claims that Trump is engaged in a ceaseless secret war against high-ranking pedophile-cannibals in the halls of power. At the same time, The Guardian reported that she had been arrested twice in the Minneapolis area’s Hennepin County on shoplifting charges, including an allegation that she stole $2,300 from Target. 

Stella insisted she didn’t break the law. According to records, though, Stella failed to show up for multiple October court hearings about her alleged felony. After Stella missed another hearing, a judge issued a still-outstanding warrant for her arrest. 

https://www.thedailybeast.com/ilhan-omars-challenger-danielle-stella-is-literally-on-the-run-from-the-law

We have all kinds of voter antic….from running dead people to running the same person through on many occasions…..and yes this is not something new……I am sure it has happened before…..and how many times have we heard the old cry. “I did nothing wrong” or “I am innocent”?

And this woman is not something new…..there have been felons running for office and candidates running from a felony charge….

I just think it is crazy that a criminal is accusing a Representative of things that are blatant lies and the people are allowing it to continue…..

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

I love the games we play with our election process…..is that because NO one takes it seriously?

I say it is….and offer the present president as a prime example of the ignorance and stupidity some show when voting.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

 

The Coronavirus Hype

I feel the media is spreading fear and building ratings by the use of hype around the coronavirus…..

Does anyone remember the word “Ebola”?

Just a few years ago the media hyped the Ebola crisis without shame….

The current Ebola outbreak is “the most severe, acute health emergency seen in modern times,” Ian Smith, the World Health Organization’s executive director, announced at a mid-October press conference.

Huh? Worse than the “Spanish flu” of 1918-19? Extrapolated to today’s world population, that would mean 60 million to 150 million deaths. Worse than AIDS, with its 35 million deaths?

But the media weren’t asking skeptical questions. The next day, reporting on a separate WHO conference, a New York Times headline blared: “New Ebola Cases May Soon Reach 10,000 a Week, Officials Predict.”

The “soon” in that warning from the WHO’s Bruce Aylward was “by the first week in December.”

https://nypost.com/2014/12/14/the-great-ebola-lie-outbreak-hyped-for-funding-media-attention/

I am not saying that there is nothing to worry about and that we should not prepare….just that we have been lied to before by the media……think Ebola……

It can be difficult to survey the health status of a world with 7 billion people. News organizations play the role of information curators and provide portals through which to stay in step with world affairs. Yet the realities of health are often be distorted by media bias, bringing dangerous consequences for global health projects.

Reporters and editors filter events taking place across the globe into presentations of selected reports. What gets published then goes on to shape how readers and viewers perceive the world — precisely why media organizations occupy a position of immense responsibility — and why a better job needs to be done.

The equation is straightforward: the media informs the public, the public is presented with a skewed set of information on the state of public health, they draw from that skewed conclusions about public health.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/chentim/2017/04/06/the-ebola-effect-how-media-hype-distracts-from-silent-epidemics/#690fd14a55e9

Be prepared!

Another thought about the White House response by putting Pence in charge…..not a good idea with his track record…..

Vice President Mike Pence is now leading the administration’s response to the coronavirus outbreak—but critics say his record shows he isn’t the right person for the job. Early in his career, Pence wrote an op-ed claiming “smoking doesn’t kill,” and, as governor of Indiana, he was strongly criticized for his response to an HIV outbreak in 2015, the Guardian reports. Pence, who had slashed public health funding, resisted efforts to set up needle exchanges. Trump appointed “someone absolutely not up to the task to this crucial position,” tweeted Gregg Gonsalves, assistant professor of epidemiology at Yale University. Pence won bipartisan praise Thursday, however, for appointing AIDS expert Debbie Birx as the coronavirus coordinator, the Washington Post reports.

Government officials and scientists have been told to coordinate all statements with Pence’s office, the New York Times reports, though administration officials say the vice president is seeking to avoid confusion and contradictory statements, not control what people say. Sources tell the Times that Trump chose Pence because he felt Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, who had been leading the effort, was too “alarmist.” Pence said Thursday that Azar will continue to play a major role in the response. “I’m leading the task force, will continue to rely on the secretary’s role as chairman of the task force and the leader of Health and Human Services,” he said in a meeting at HHS headquarters.

Pence is the perfect choice to lead the operation……Trump will need someone to blame if it goes to Hell.

Please use common sense and be prepared……please do not buy the hype or the fear mongering….check for yourself on these reports.

If you have no idea how to prepare then go to this link for hurricanes and replace the term “hurricane” with “virus”…..https://www.southernliving.com/travel/hurricane-survival-kit

Be Calm!

Be Prepared!

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Biden, The Luck Of A Centrist

College of Political Knowledge

I personally am sick of the media and others that want this cowardly corporatist candidate, Joe Biden, to win the 2020 election.

His only endearing quality may be his “Uncle Joe” persona…..and that is a sham many years in the making.

Biden’s fortune seems to be waning…..but that could have happened much earlier if the other Dem candidates had pushed him on all his weaknesses….but they did not want to look like they were picking on him….and yet at this point he is pulling no punches against his remaining opponents…..

They should have struck sooner and continuously….

A column by David Leonhardt in the New York Times on Sunday raises a provocative question with its headline: “Did Joe Biden Scare Off Our Next President?” The thinking is this: Biden’s entry into the race as an instant front-runner kept promising moderates such as Mitch Landrieu on the sidelines. Others, including Deval Patrick and Michael Bloomberg, entered later than they might have. Leonhardt writes that something similar happened in 2016 when Elizabeth Warren opted not to run against Hillary Clinton, a decision that led to the rise of Bernie Sanders. Would Warren be the 2020 front-runner had she taken the risk? “By now, the lesson from this history should be plain,” Leonhardt writes. “If you want to be president of the United States and have an opportunity to run, you should not let another candidate keep you from running in the primaries.”

He notes that Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Donald Trump, and Ronald Reagan all started as long shots, too. Leonhardt also applies the lesson to Cory Booker and Kamala Harris in regard to their decisions to drop out early. They could have instead followed the blueprint of John McCain in 2008, who struggled early, too, but bet on the uncertain nature of American politics and won the nomination. The problem here lies in “the way other Democrats overreacted” to Biden, writes Leonhardt. “They committed a classic error of presidential politics, believing that campaigns were more predictable than they are.” The 2020 race would surely look much different right now had they not done so. (Read his full column.)

Politics is full of lost opportunities and the remaining Dems may have lost their chance.

Keep this in mind…..Kerry, Centrist–LOST, Clinton, Centrist–LOST, Gore, Centrist–LOST…..Obama was a centrist that pretended to be progressive……I would say the centrist candidates have a shitty record….so why vote for another failure?

Learn Stuff!

VOTE!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Peace Comes To Afghanistan

We have a peace deal……or should we more correctly call it a cessation of violence for a couple of weeks that could lead to a broader deal…..

Some have  asked….a peace deal but at what price?

Bitter experience shows that a “rotten compromise” will carry within it the seeds of future war.

Albert Einstein warned humanity to beware of rotten compromises. Philosopher Avishai Margalit sought to explain this warning in an entire book. With the U.S. and the Taliban poised to sign a peace agreement, now more than ever is the time to be wary of a “rotten compromise” on Afghanistan.

Rotten compromises, in the words of Margalit, are agreements that establish or maintain an inhuman regime, a regime associated with cruelty and humiliation, a regime that does not treat humans as humans. But a rotten compromise involves two sides – an active perpetrator committing the brutality, and the passive participant who supports and signs an agreement that maintains an inhuman regime.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2020/02/25/a_us-taliban_deal_what_price_for_peace_115068.html

Could this, if successful, be the road to a peace deal that would bring the US troops home…..and the same question could be asked……at what price?

This week: recent developments in the original 9/11 conflict, the war in Afghanistan. News reports suggest that the Trump administration is close to signing some kind of deal with the Taliban. But it’s not a peace accord. The emerging details of the deal—and the preemptive concessions the U.S. is apparently willing to make for the Taliban to agree to it—suggest that the deal is less about securing a lasting peace and more about political and diplomatic cover in anticipation of an exit decided on long ago. First, some background.

https://vitalinterests.thedispatch.com/p/are-we-headed-toward-an-ignoble-end

On a bummer side of this deal……

Arguments about the Afghanistan peace deal that the US is about to sign with the Taliban continue, with substantial concerns that secret annexes exist to the peace language which would threaten the deal’s sustainability.

Recent reports claimed that among a series of secret annexes, the US included language saying they’re not actually going to leave Afghanistan militarily, and that this seeming deal-breaker was accepted on the grounds it would be a secret.

Pressed on the matter, top Pentagon figures claimed complete ignorance on it. Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Gen. Mark Milley both claimed to have no idea if there were ultimately any secret annexes.

Esper said he knew there were/are annexes to the final deal, but that he doesn’t know if any of them are formally secret or not, saying he would ask the Secretary of State at some point.

The chance of our troops coming home is appealing and I personally do not care about the consequences of our leaving……our troops have been there long enough…..long enough so that if progress could have been made it would have….it was not….time for us to depart.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–27Feb20

Coronavirus….was covered by the president in his presser last night…this is something that a hero of Trump had to say before the presser…..

There is lots of copy these days on the virus and its spread around the world into a pandemic.

I write a lot about the mental midgets on the Right…and one that needs to be ignored is good old Rush……now he has theories on the virus that he shares with the dullards that listen to his “news” and “comment”……

Rush Limbaugh is back in the news again, this time while airing some controversial theories about the coronavirus. “It looks like the coronavirus is being weaponized as yet another element to bring down Donald Trump,” Limbaugh said during his Monday radio show, per HuffPost. “Now, I want to tell you the truth about the coronavirus,” he added. “Yeah, I’m dead right on this. The coronavirus is the common cold, folks.” Limbaugh pointed out that only a small fraction of people who contract the illness die. “The survival rate of this is 98%,” he said. “You have to read very deeply to find that number, that 2 percent of the people get the coronavirus die. That’s less than the flu, folks.” He’s right about the survival stat, notes the Washington Post, which adds that, unlike the flu, the very new coronavirus has no vaccine and relatively little is known about it.

Still, Limbaugh sees an anti-Trump agenda behind much of the media coverage. “It’s really being hyped as a deadly Andromeda strain or Ebola pandemic that, ‘Oh, my God, is going to wipe out the nation. It’s going to wipe out the population of the world,'” he said. The idea, he added, is to spread the idea that “Trump and capitalism are destroying America and destroying the world.” It wasn’t the only controversial virus theory he espoused. Limbaugh also raised a widely debunked claim about the origin of the coronovirus. He alleged that “ChiComs,” or Chinese Communists, were trying to “weaponize” the virus in a lab, “and it got out.”

How nice Capt Orange hangs a medal around his neck and he instantly becomes a health care expert. (If only that were true)  Although I do agree with him, Rush, on one issue…the hype is getting out of hand.

But not to worry Trump’s choice as head of Homeland Security is just as incompetent as all his other advisers…he proved it when questioned by the Senate.

Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) slammed acting Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Chad Wolf on Tuesday for Wolf’s lack of answers during a tense grilling on the U.S. response to the coronavirus outbreak.

In a subcommittee hearing on the 2021 DHS budget, Wolf failed to provide specific answers Kennedy’s questions, including one on how many people are predicted to become infected with the new strain of virus.

“We’re working with HHS to determine that,” Wolf said, repeatedly deferring to the Department of Health and Human Services.

“Yes, sir, but you’re head of Homeland Security and your job is to keep us safe,” Kennedy shot back, often talking over Wolf. “Don’t you think you ought to check on that?”

https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/484523-sen-kennedy-slams-acting-dhs-secretary-on-coronavirus

I feel confident that we as a nation are screwed by these incompetent tools at the president’s side.

And a closing thought to the closing thought…..what a difference 5 years can make….for his orange highness…..

What a difference five years and winning a presidential election makes.

In the summer and fall of 2014 — less than a year before he officially launched his presidential bid — Donald Trump posted about 100 mostly panicked tweets about the Ebola virus. Many of them attacked then-President Obama for his handling of the outbreak, and some of them went as far as to accuse the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) of lying about what was going on.

America is now confronting the possibility — or even likelihood — of a coronavirus outbreak within its borders. The novel virus and Covid-19, the disease it causes, could quickly become President Trump’s problem, and it’s instructive to look back at what had to say about Ebola and Obama’s response to it.

Spoiler alert: None of it is reassuring.

https://www.vox.com/2020/2/26/21154253/trump-ebola-tweets-coronavirus

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”