Sunday, December 16, 2018

Dark Days of the Idiot

Whether we express it or just experience it, the days get darker in December.  The Darkest Day is coming soon.  It can happen on the 20th, 21st, 22nd, or 23rd.  This year it is Friday, December 21st, at 22:23 UTC or 5:23 EST.

In the next few days, notice how early the sun sets.  Today it will set at 4:43, and the evening darkness starts to descend around 4:00.  The pink colours will peek out between the December clouds over on the escarpment.  

Are there some astronomical events to look forward to in 2019?  The top 10 events listed HERE have beautiful pictures with them, so worth the 'hop over'.  To demonstrate what I mean, here is the moon's calendar for 2018. 


I would be remiss if I didn't find something interesting about the U.S. senate committee that asked Google's CEO to explain why Donald Trump shows up in 'idiot' searches.  (Do the search - the news story shows up making this a double retrieval now).

Here are excerpts from an article in the South China Morning Post - the article is  HERE.  

"Google chief executive Sundar Pichai was in for a grilling by Republicans suggesting it was a liberal conspiracy to ridicule Trump as part of what they perceive to be an anti-conservative bias built into the internet giant’s search engine".
Pichai explained that it was all about algorithms, and matching queries with billions of indexed pages – every time a keyword was typed in, results would be ranked according to hundreds of factors such as “relevance, freshness, popularity, how other people are using it”.  The article continues with this:  "It seems Mark Twain was not far off the mark when he once wrote: “Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself.”

This 'opinion style' contrasts with the coverage by American news organizations who highlighted Republican senators pointing to a Google conspiracy - that  Google could 'humanly' intervene and that there was a 'man behind the curtain.'  Check out how differently they cover this.

Our picture today is an allegory - The darkest day will soon be completed for the year, and light will guide our way to a beautiful garden.

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