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Another of the grand dames of astrophysics has passed away.  Margaret Burbidge passed away at age 100, after suffering a fall.

 

She was last surviving author of the landmark B2FH paper, which set out a framework for the understanding of stellar nucleosynthesis in 1957.  (The other authors were her husband Geoffrey Burbidge, Willy Fowler, and Fred Hoyle; the initials B B F H are referred to in the strange nickname for the paper, "B squared F H".)  She was a leader in a number of things famous in astrophysics, and was energetic in combating discrimination against women in astronomy and astrophysics.

 

Though I saw her on a number of occasions, I can't say I was acquainted with her.

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1 hour ago, Michael Hopcroft said:

I don't understand the new definitions of short and long forms in the Dramatic Presentation categories. Miniseries like Good Omens are in the same category as feature films like Avengers: Endgame. At the same time, two separate episodes of Watchmen are nominated for Short Form but the series as a whole isn't nominated in Long Form. I know the landscape is changing, but I don't understand this.

 

I don't quite understand it either, but HBO's Watchmen series was really good, and those episodes absolutely deserve their nominations.

 

 

1 hour ago, Michael Hopcroft said:

 

I wonder how the events of this year will affect the Hugos,

 

Compared to the ballot stuffing from 3-4 years back I think this year will be pretty quiet by comparison.

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I once saw a letter writer in Willamette Week refer to the state of the world as "pre-apocalyptic", meaning that we were racing towards a destruction of our own devising. He apparently believed that human nature is such that we have no realistic way of turning it around and we are going off that cliff, like it or not.

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1 hour ago, Michael Hopcroft said:

I once saw a letter writer in Willamette Week refer to the state of the world as "pre-apocalyptic", meaning that we were racing towards a destruction of our own devising. He apparently believed that human nature is such that we have no realistic way of turning it around and we are going off that cliff, like it or not.

 

I kind of see that too.  A population cull might be the only way, I am too uncomfortable with that, so best we all go together.

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1 hour ago, Badger said:

I kind of see that too.  A population cull might be the only way, I am too uncomfortable with that, so best we all go together.

 

In order of preference:

1- We find better, cleaner ways to produce and manage resources for a larger population.

2- If the population must be culled - please don't cull me and mine.

3- If everyone goes I'll be hunting coyotes with a pointy stick to the bitter end.  I'm not going with you guys.  :P

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7 hours ago, ScottishFox said:

 

In order of preference:

1- We find better, cleaner ways to produce and manage resources for a larger population.

2- If the population must be culled - please don't cull me and mine.

3- If everyone goes I'll be hunting coyotes with a pointy stick to the bitter end.  I'm not going with you guys.  :P

 

Well, yeah, 3 is acceptable.  I'd plan on that myself.   I was just musing about being uncomfortable about going about choosing livers and dyers.  

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1 minute ago, Pariah said:

I never learned COBOL, but I could probably dust off my FORTRAN or Modula-2 if there were a need.

 

Wanted urgently: People who know a half century-old computer language so states can process unemployment claims

 

I learned COBOL in high school in the 80s, but I'd need a refresher on how to program it again. I learned FORTRAN in college, and it was similar enough to Pascal and C for me that I'd probably remember a little more of it.

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12 minutes ago, Pariah said:

I never learned COBOL, but I could probably dust off my FORTRAN or Modula-2 if there were a need.

 

Wanted urgently: People who know a half century-old computer language so states can process unemployment claims

 

I shouldn't laugh at this, but as I know some old programmers this is hilarious. Their time has come.. again!

 

 

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I have a stack of those old punch cards, salvaged out of the final recycle barrel as a keepsake.

 

Other than printer plots, I didn't do the line printer picture thing myself (it was done as a demo for my class back in 7th grade, IIRC).

 

I do know an old COBOL programmer, but I would be surprised if he was interested in working for New Jersey.

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22 hours ago, ScottishFox said:

3- If everyone goes I'll be hunting coyotes with a pointy stick to the bitter end.  I'm not going with you guys.  :P

You shouldn't be hunting coyotes. Leave them to the roadrunners. Besides, coyote tastes horrible if it's like any of the other predators people hunt.

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9 minutes ago, Michael Hopcroft said:

You shouldn't be hunting coyotes. Leave them to the roadrunners. Besides, coyote tastes horrible if it's like any of the other predators people hunt.

 

I just figured they'd be the 2nd last to die (living off of roaches) and I don't want to eat roaches.  :D

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3 hours ago, Lord Liaden said:

Last time I took a formal computing course, we were punching out holes in cardboard cards and making pictures on alphabetic printers. 👴

 

I called that age, "The Age of the Last Time I Understood Computers"

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59 minutes ago, Michael Hopcroft said:

You shouldn't be hunting coyotes. Leave them to the roadrunners. Besides, coyote tastes horrible if it's like any of the other predators people hunt.

 

You'll eat it, if you get hungry enough.  Except coconuts, I might choose to starve.  Black-eyed peas are on the border.  

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51 minutes ago, ScottishFox said:

 

I just figured they'd be the 2nd last to die (living off of roaches) and I don't want to eat roaches.  :D

 

Between coconuts, black-eyed peas, and roaches?  I'll eat the roaches.

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4 hours ago, Cancer said:

I have a stack of those old punch cards, salvaged out of the final recycle barrel as a keepsake.

 

Other than printer plots, I didn't do the line printer picture thing myself (it was done as a demo for my class back in 7th grade, IIRC).

 

I do know an old COBOL programmer, but I would be surprised if he was interested in working for New Jersey.

 

Many other states are facing the same problem. Maybe you should point him toward the story -- he might be able to make some quick money, and almost everyone can use that, nowadays especially.

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1 hour ago, Badger said:

 

You'll eat it, if you get hungry enough.  Except coconuts, I might choose to starve.  Black-eyed peas are on the border.  

I'm with you on coconuts. 

 

 

But blackeye peas (especially purple hulls) and mustard greens are the food of the gods! 

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41 minutes ago, Bazza said:

I learnt to program COBOL on a VAX. 

 

For me, it was a Sperry-Univac V77-800 with 256KB of memory for 11 concurrent users. 

 

I learned both FORTRAN and VAX assembly on a PDP-11.

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