## Monday, December 31, 2018 ... /////

### 2019: the International Year of the Periodic Table

In a few hours, the first TRF readers – probably starting with those in New Zealand – will make the transition from 2018 to 2019 = 3*673. The United Nations General Assembly didn't have a better idea. So it declared the new year to be the International Year of the Mendeleev Periodic Table.

It's surely a better pick than a year celebrating e.g. invaders and terrorists who are flooding and decomposing Western Europe. Here you have the Czech verses that helped me memorize the periodic table.

The year 2019 is a good choice for such a "chemical" year because on March 6th, 1869, i.e. exactly 150 years ago, Dmitri Mendeleev made the formal presentation to the Russian Chemical Society.

## Saturday, December 29, 2018 ... /////

### Roy Glauber: 1925-2018

I was just told that my former colleague Roy Glauber passed away on the Boxing Day, at age of 93 which is a respectable number.

The Improbable Research remembers him as a janitor at the Ig Nobel Prize ceremonies (focusing on paper airplanes) but aside from that important work, he has done some other things in his life as well, e.g. having won the 2005 Non-Ig Nobel Prize. See also The Optical Society for some memories and data.

I remember Roy Glauber from a few dinners at Harvard – and from the celebration of his Nobel Prize. The Nobel Prize was stolen in 2010.

## Thursday, December 27, 2018 ... /////

### Backreaction's jihad against particle physics continues

Three weeks ago, I discussed Sabine Hossenfelder's insane attack against an innocent promotional video for a future particle collider.

## Thursday, December 06, 2018 ... /////

### Hossenfelder's pathetic attack against CERN's future collider

Sabine Hossenfelder became notorious for her obnoxiously demagogic and scientifically ludicrous diatribes against theoretical physics – she effectively became a New Age Castrated Peter Woit – but that doesn't mean that she doesn't hate the rest of particle physics.

Her latest target is CERN's new project for a collider after the LHC, the Future Circular Collider (FCC), an alternative to the Japanese linear ILC collider and the Chinese circular CEPC collider (the Nimatron).

This is just a 75-second-long FCC promotional video. It shows just some LHC-like pictures with several of the usual questions in fundamental physics that experiments such as this one are trying to help to answer. The video isn't excessively original but you can see some updated state-of-the-art fashions in computer graphics as well as the visual comparison of the FCC and its smaller but more real sister, the LHC.

### It's spin to call 1850-1900 "pre-industrial era"

The climate hysteria has faded away but some people keep on doing their propaganda work as if it were 2007. Tomorrow, I have an introductory talk about physics of the climate change in front of some selected audience, including a young presidential candidate from 2018.

At the beginning of the talk, I mention some elementary-school science such as the days and nights and seasons. Everyone understands why we have days and nights and why the weather changes during the year as well, doesn't she? Well, when I opened a news app in the morning, I could see that the media-savvy geologist Mr Cílek claims that the traditional seasons will disappear.

Holy cow. So I looked inside the article, to check what he actually wanted to say. He can't be this insane. He claims that springs and autumns will shorten and mostly disappear. I think that even this claim is mostly a pseudoscientific superstition. Any "global warming" affects all the seasons almost equally and the differences don't change much. But the worse news is that most of the actual readers who interact with this article will really start to believe that the Earth will stop spinning or its axis will cease to be tilted or that these astronomical facts will stop affecting the weather on Earth. What "helps" them to change the opinion is that they don't feel terribly certain about the spinning Earth or the tilted axis in the first place.

No, these processes really, really won't stop. It's terrible that people are being "de-educated" because believing in bombshell claims such as the disappearance of seasons is helpful for someone's political goals.

## Tuesday, December 04, 2018 ... /////

### Four new LIGO-Virgo BH mergers

Some of them, using 3 detectors, allow to test predictions of polarization

On Saturday, two LIGO plus one Virgo gravitational wave detectors announced the discovery of four new black hole mergers – those from Summer 2017. Why it took 1.4 years isn't entirely clear to me. Their IDs, GW170729, GW170809, GW170818 and GW170823, reveal they arrived in July or August and the first, late July detection is the most massive and most distant merger ever detected.

These two black holes merged some 5 billion years ago – at the same cosmic time when the Solar System was created over here – and out of some 80 solar masses, a whopping 5 solar masses of energy were radiated away in the form of gravitational waves. The collaborations have released some new papers (see also the LIGO paper server).

### Bureaucrats have the power to turn a tiny glitch into an insurmountable hurdle

...and in too many cases, they face no consequences when they do so...

As you know, I hate bureaucracy – and some very real and viscerally unpleasant experience with bureaucratic operations is a substantial part of my opposition to the ideals of the Big Government, or almost any government or a left-wing social construct, for that matter. In the U.S., I used to spend a month with the tax forms and immigration documents (not just the visas) during the average year.

It doesn't mean that I really needed 30 times 16 hours of hard work every year. The number of hours filled with some "substantial bureaucratic work" was much smaller. But the uncertainty, meaninglessness of this work, and other partly psychological aspects really depleted my energy for those 480 hours. For a decade, those things have been more tolerable – every year, a few days are partly occupied with some one-hour-long or two-hour-long work.

In the most recent week, I was facing a bureaucratic nightmare that I don't remember for a decade. The main villains was a female bureaucrat who was clearly acting to spite me – and a power of attorney ("plná moc", literally "full power", in Czech). I was recommended by someone to fulfill the task using a power of attorney. It had to be simple. Many others agreed.

## Monday, December 03, 2018 ... /////

### Yellow vest revolution shows the surrealism of decarbonization

Tom Vonk who lives in France has written a concerned message about the Yellow Vest protesters.

They protest against the increased price of fuels from the beginning of 2019 that is scheduled to follow from Macron's version of the carbon tax. The president uses the slogan "Make the Planet Great Again".

## Saturday, December 01, 2018 ... /////

### EU lawyers: Czech PM should return billions in subsidies

Conflict of interests is self-evident to everybody with a brain, Czech culture of the bending laws clashes with different EU habits

Hours ago, Le Monde (FR) and The Guardian (UK) – and now e.g. Süddeutsche Zeitung (DE) and Reuters (UK) – informed their readers that the lawyers of the European Commission have determined (according to a leaked report that you can read now) that the Czech PM Babiš is still the actual owner of Agrofert, a 3-billion-dollars corporation in agriculture, food industry, chemical industry, reproduction hospitals, and media, and therefore the billions of crowns (hundreds of millions of Euros) he has received in 2018 violate the EU rules and should be returned.

The European Commission is usually acting according to the recommendation of its lawyers in such situations although it's not quite certain that this will be the case now.