Category Archives: Science

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to The Other McCain, Pirate’s Cove and Bacon Time for the Rule Five links!  Thanks also to our blogger pals over at The Daley Gator for the linkback!

I find stuff like this interesting:  Sometime in the next 100,000 years, the star Betelgeuse, which is 640 light-years away in the constellation Orion, will go supernova.  Excerpt:

Right now, Betelgeuse is absolutely enormous, irregularly shaped, and with an uneven surface temperature. Located approximately 640 light-years away, it’s more than 2,000 °C cooler than our Sun, but also much larger, at approximately 900 times our Sun’s radius and occupying some 700,000,000 times our Sun’s volume. If you were to replace our Sun with Betelgeuse, it would engulf Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, the asteroid belt, and even Jupiter!

But there are also enormous, extended emissions around Betelgeuse from material that’s been blown off over the past few dozen millennia: matter and gas that extends out farther than Neptune’s orbit around our Sun. Over time, as the inevitable supernova approaches, Betelgeuse will shed more mass, continue to expand, dim-and-brighten chaotically, and will burn progressively heavier elements in its core.

And:

All of a sudden, the luminosity of Betelgeuse would spike by about a factor of 7,000 from its previously steady value. It would go from one of the brightest stars in the night sky to the brightness of a thin crescent Moon: about 40 times brighter than the planet Venus. That peak brightness would only last for a few minutes before falling again back to being just about 5 times brighter than it previously was, but then the traditional supernova rise begins.

Over a time period of approximately 10 days, the brightness of Betelgeuse will gradually rise, eventually becoming about as bright as the full Moon. Its brightness will surpass all the stars and planets after about an hour, will reach that of a half Moon in three days, and will reach its maximum brightness after approximately 10 days. To skywatchers across the globe, Betelgeuse will appear to be even brighter than the full Moon, as instead of being spread out over half a degree (like the full Moon), all of its brightness will be concentrated into a single, solitary, saturated point.

The future may be amazing!

What’s kind of cool about all this is that Betelgeuse may have gone supernova 600 years ago, and we still won’t see it until on or about my 100th birthday!

This of course serves to point out how vastly huge, how enormously immense, even our stellar neighborhood is.  In the cosmic scheme of things Betelgeuse is a near neighbor; but it takes light, traveling at 186,282 miles per second, 640 years to reach us.  That means that Betelgeuse is 3,762,320,000,000,000 miles away.

And that’s a hop, skip and a jump, cosmically speaking.  The nearest galaxy from ours is Andromeda, and it takes light 2.5 million years to travel the 1.4696563 x 1019 miles from there to here.  When we look at Andromeda, we are seeing fossil light.  We are literally looking into the past.

Do these facts have any immediate impact in our lives?  No.  But that doesn’t stop me from thinking that it’s cool.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

And now – on to the links!

Right now, I’d buy Ricky Gervais a beer.  I have no idea who he is, but I’d buy him a beer.

Michael Moore is an idiot.

Alexandria Occasional Cortex is an idiot. (Again.)  And so is her Moron Squad buddy Ilhan Omar.

The first British astronaut is an idiot, and possibly nuts.

Hunter Biden is an idiot.  But not too big an idiot to accept enormous fat sacks of cash from Ukraine and China for having the last name “Biden.”

But wait!  There’s more!  Move over, Hunter Biden:  Chelsea Clinton is also getting rich because of her last name.  Great (non-)work if you can get it, I suppose – and if your last name is Clinton or Biden, you can get it, qualifications or not.

Both old Groper Joe and Her Imperial Majesty Hillary I, Dowager Empress of Chappaqua, are laundering payoffs through their children, and there’s no other way to put it.   What crooked, lying, conniving, hypocritical assholes.

Loony old Auntie Maxine Waters, one of the top five finalists for the Stupidest Member of Congress prize (granted she’s up against some pretty stiff competition), got punked.  Heh heh heh.

Cities are responding to poor people’s lack of purchasing opportunities by campaigning against…  affordable purchasing opportunities.

Is the President holding all the 2020 cards?  Maybe, maybe not, but I’d argue that it’s waaaaay too soon to predict.

There may be active volcanoes on Venus.  I think I’ll pass on going there to see for myself.  Speculative image from the article:

Yeah, no.  To make up for that, here’s something else with a little bit of the same color palette:

And with that, we return you to your Wednesday, already in progress.

Animal’s Daily Time Travel News

Make sure to check out the latest in my series on the thirty-something rifle cartridges over at Glibertarians!

Ever wanted to travel back in time?  Astrophysicist Ron Mallett thinks you might be able to.  Uh huh.  Excerpt:

Joining the ranks of movie inventors like Doc Brown of “Back to the Future” are a few real-life scientists currently trying to realize the dream of turning back the clock to travel to the ultimate destination.
Among them is Ron Mallett, an astrophysicist who has dedicated much of his adult life to the notion that time travel is possible. He’s come up with the scientific equations and principles upon which he says a time machine could be created.

While acknowledging that his theories and designs are unlikely to allow time travel in his lifetime, for years he’s been working in parallel to a respected academic career to fulfill his dream of venturing back in time to see his beloved father again.

Mallett was aged 10 when his father died suddenly, of a heart attack, an event that the scientist says changed the track of his life forever.
“For me, the sun rose and set on him, he was just the center of things,” he tells CNN Travel. “Even today, after all of these years, there’s still an unreality about it for me.”

Mallett’s father, a TV repair man, instilled in his son a love of reading, and encouraged his budding passion for science. About a year after his father’s death, a grieving Mallett stumbled across an illustrated version of the classic sci-fi novel “The Time Machine.”

“The book that changed my life,” he says.

Color me skeptical.  Not necessarily on Mallett’s personal story; but rather on his assessment of the possibility of traveling back in time.  Now I’m not an astrophysicist, nor do I play one on television, but I do read a lot about a variety of topics.  Time travel into the future is possible; we all do it, every moment, at the rate of one minute per minute.  You can speed that up; all you have to do is go out into space and buzz around at nearly the speed of light for, say, a year, then come back to find several years have passed on Earth.

But backwards? I don’t believe that.  I’ve never read anything credible that suggests it’s possible.

I feel for Ron Mallett and the loss of his father.  I lost my own father not too long ago, and it’s not something you can ever really recover from; it’s still hard for me when it hits me that the great, solid, immovable, stable boulder at the center of my young life is gone now.

I haven’t launched into flights of fancy over it.  But, I suppose, whatever brings a body some measure of comfort and peace of mind, eh?

Although…  If this ever did work…  Anyone up for a safari into the Cretaceous?  I think I could find room on a wall for a tyrannosaur head.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to The Other McCain, Pirate’s Cove and Bacon Time for the first Rule Five links of 2020.

This fall, we’re likely to see a Colorado ballot initiative on the re-introduction of wolves into the state.  One former wildlife commissioner thinks that’s a bad idea.  I like wolves, but I’m inclined to agree with his stance here. Excerpt:

Rick Enstrom, former Colorado State Wildlife Commissioner from 2000 to 2008 and Chairman for three years is an expert on wolves in Colorado. Enstrom also served on the first wolf working group that developed the wolf plan for Colorado in 2004.  He warned against the reintroduction measure in an interview with Complete Colorado on Thursday.

“You only have to look at what happened to the Wyoming elk population,” Enstrom said. “Their herds have been knocked back to 10 percent of what it was.”

“I know folks in Wyoming,” Enstrom continued. “The past director of the wildlife commission in Wyoming said there are two big problems; Grizzlies and wolves. ‘Don’t do it, don’t let it happen’ he said to me.”

Predation is hardly the only problem with wolves in Colorado says Enstrom. The biggest issue is money. The proposed initiative calls for wolf management and predation compensation to be paid out of the Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) wildlife cash fund “to the extent that they are available.”

The wildlife cash fund pays for all wildlife operations of CPW. It’s replenished primarily by hunting and fishing licenses, and it’s always over-budgeted says Enstrom.

Where compensation for livestock losses will come from when there is no money available in the wildlife cash fund is left unstated.

According to the state’s fiscal impact statement on the initiative, just setting up the program will cost nearly $800,000.

“There are two issues,” said Enstrom. “One is the effect on the people in the pickup trucks doing the Lord’s work for the Forest Service and Colorado Parks and Wildlife, who are in short supply on both sides. The other big problem is that the funding structure is predicated on the sale of big game licenses.”

“That’s the money we [use to] manage everything, from greenback trout to Prebles meadow jumping mice to stocking trout, to the establishment of state wildlife areas and their management,” Enstrom said. “Any time you do anything to a budget they just start taking it out of other budgets because there is no extra money.”

Enstrom said the state Legislature is tired of allocating money to the CPW, which is supposed to pay its own way.

“We went back last year with a big increase again. When we sold that to the state legislature, there were more than a few legislators with their fingers in my chest saying, ‘don’t you ever come back here again.’”

And that’s the problem:  Money.

Many years ago, I took an extended solo canoe trip through the Boundary Waters area in northern Minnesota and southern Ontario.  It was a wonderful time, and one of the neater things was the number of nights I heard wolves singing somewhere out there in the woods.

But the wolves in the  Boundary Waters area were  already there.  It’s a vast stretch of wilderness, and wolves belong there.

Colorado’s different.  Much of the state is heavily settled now, and what isn’t housing is farmed and ranched; cattle even graze on the National Forest and BLM lands.  Wolves would certainly have an impact on livestock and thus the livelihoods of ranchers, but the major expense of this idea would be the reintroduction and management itself, which as Enstrom points out, would put a major strain on the wildlife department which is supported almost completely by hunting and fishing license revenues.

Yes, wolves once lived in Colorado.  Yes, human activity is why they don’t live there now.  But this ballot initiative is misguided.  Like many of its ilk, it’s based on emotion, not solid analysis of policy.  As pro-wilderness as I am, I’ll vote no.  We simply can’t afford it.

Animal’s Daily Hot Peppers News

Apparently eating chili peppers cuts your risk of heart disease.  If that’s true, I’ll live forever.  Then again they say every slice of bacon you eat takes a minute off your life; if that was true I’d have died in 1794.  Excerpt:

For many years, chili has been hailed for its therapeutic properties, and now researchers have found that eating chili peppers regularly can cut the risk of death from heart disease and stroke.
Carried out in Italy, where chili is a common ingredient, the study compared the risk of death among 23,000 people, some of whom ate chili and some of whom didn’t.

Participants’ health status and eating habits were monitored over eight years, and researchers found that the risk of dying from a heart attack was 40% lower among those eating chili peppers at least four times per week.

Death from stroke was more than halved, according to results published Monday in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

“An interesting fact is that protection from mortality risk was independent of the type of diet people followed,” said study lead author Marialaura Bonaccio, an epidemiologist at the Mediterranean Neurological Institute (Neuromed).

In other words, someone can follow the healthy Mediterranean diet, someone else can eat less healthily, but for all of them chili pepper has a protective effect,” she said.

That’s good news!

I have a very high tolerance for hot foods, and I regularly test the limits of that tolerance.  I make an awesome chili, although I have to tone it down some for the family; my unadulterated version is known as “Animal’s Thermonuclear Bowel-Basher Chili.”  I love hot food – Mexican, Thai, Indian, you name it.  Spicy food should make your head sweat.

I’ve been fortunate here; plenty of guys lose their tolerance for spicy food as they approach sixty.  But while some people can be said to have cast-iron stomachs, I’ve always been even more fortunate than that; my entire alimentary canal is 316 stainless.

But to find out that hot peppers are even health-enhancing?

Bring on the habaneros!

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

On to the links!

Some zoo chimps were spotted… dancing.  Well, sort of.

I’ve had the chance to see two great apes up close.  The second was a young male chimp, who was on the other side of a thick plexiglass wall at the Honolulu zoo.  He sat there against the wall while I watched him from maybe a foot away.  We made eye contact a few times.

The first time, though, was at the home of an old friend who was an orangutan trainer in Las Vegas.  Mrs. Animal and I sat on the couch in his living room for an hour or so with his young orang Katie.  This was different; we interacted with her, had contact with her; it was fascinating.  Katie seemed fond of Mrs. Animal and held her hand most of the time she was on the couch.

When you look in the eyes of one of these apes, it’s not like looking at a cat or dog, but it’s not like looking at a human, either; there’s a weird uncanny valley thing going on there.

Moving on:  The U.S. has apparently been missing a standard of international measurement by…  a foot.

Virginia Democrats are threatening to call out the National Guard if local law enforcement in 2nd Amendment sanctuary counties refuse to cooperate with a gun confiscation.  I predict that won’t end the way they think it will.

The Post-WWII world order is changing.  Maybe not for the better.

Exercise bikes with benefits.  Uhm… OK…

Chuck Schumer is an idiot.

This city is run by idiots.

All these people are idiots.

I’m just going to leave this here:

Speaking of encroaching senile dementia:

And for the finale:  Last Sunday, Chris Wallace vivisected James Comey in front of a few million people.  Watch it all.  It’s worth it.

I’m feeling generous, so here’s a little something extra from the archives.

And on that note, we return you to your Wednesday, already in progress.

Animal’s Daily Golden Rice News

Check this out:  We Pioneered a Technology to Save Millions of Poor Children, But a Worldwide Smear Campaign Has Blocked It.  Read that as:  “A bunch of well-meaning but ill-informed knuckleheads are responsible for the deaths of thousands of children.”  Excerpt:

Food: everybody needs it, and many are fortunate enough to have enough, even too much of it. Food is a highly emotional subject on every continent and in every culture. For a healthy life our food has to provide energy, as well as, in very small amounts, minerals and vitamins. A varied diet, easily achieved and common in industrialised countries, provides everything. 

But poor people in countries where rice is grown often eat little else. White rice only provides energy: no minerals or vitamins. And the lack of one of the vitamins, vitamin A, is responsible for killing around 4,500 poor children every day. Lack of vitamin A is the biggest killer of children, and also the main cause of irreversible childhood blindness. 

Our project is about fixing this one dietary deficiency – vitamin A – in this one crop – rice – for this one group of people.  It is a huge group though: half of the world’s population live by eating a lot of rice every day. Two of us (PB & IP) figured out how to make rice produce a source of vitamin A, and the rice becomes a golden color instead of white. The source is beta-carotene, which the human body converts to vitamin A. Beta-carotene is what makes carrots orange. Our rice is called “Golden Rice.”

Here’s the frustrating bit:

The anti-GMO crop campaigns, and especially anti-Golden Rice campaigns, have been extraordinarily effective. If so much regulation by governments is required, surely there must be something to be suspicious about: ‘There is no smoke without fire’. The suspicion pervades research institutions and universities, the publishers of scientific journals and The World Health Organisation, and UNICEF: even the most scientifically literate are fearful of entanglement in activist-stoked public controversy.

The equivalent of 13 jumbo jets full of children crashes into the ground every day and kills them all, because of VAD. Yet the solution of Golden Rice, developed by national scientists in the counties where (Vitamin A deficiency) VAD is endemic, is ignored because of fear of controversy, and because poor children’s deaths can be ignored without controversy.

The entire anti-GMO hysteria is as one with anti-vaxxers and chemtrails kooks – it has no basis in fact.

The fact is, humans have been genetically modifying food crops for thousands of years; only the techniques have changed, from selective breeding and hybridization to direct genetic editing.  The fact is, golden rice has been proven safe.  The fact is, thousands would lead better-fed, healthier and happier lives if the idiot anti-GMO nuts in the WHO and UNICEF would just back the hell off.

But hey.  These are just poor brown people, right?  Isn’t that the argument the left uses to make proponents of free markets look heartless?  You know, the kind of free market economies that develop innovative products like golden rice?

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

On to the links!

Apparently Barney Google-Schiff has a “guiding philosophy” he’s using for impeachment.  Who knew?  Well, probably not Schiff; he almost certainly said this because he thought it sounded cool.

Want to know which industry isn’t feeling the effects of the Trump boom?  The media.  Surprised?

CNN’s S.E. Cupp is an idiot.

The New Yorker‘s John Cassidy is an idiot.

Business Insider‘s Michael Gordon is an idiot.  By way of evidence, from the linked article:  Ask any middle schooler about the basic role of government and they will answer – correctly – that it is to represent the views and ideas of the American people. Policies supported by a clear majority deserve action.   I searched through the Constitution for some mention of rule by the majority, and couldn’t find it.  Can anyone help out here?

Fort Collins, Colorado, breaks a record for smooches.   There’s worse things to be known for.

ManBearPig is the next logical step.

Sanders and Warren supporters want jail time for “hate speech.”  Here’s some hate speech for them:  Fuck off, slavers.

Here’s something new: The Bongino Report.  I’ve seen Dan Bongino on the news once in a while.  He’s a hoot.

Liberal Democrat and Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz says House Democrats are acting like the KGB:  Show us the man, and we’ll find you the crime.

Fuck off, slavers.

Russia has been banned from the Olympics and the World Cup for four years.  Whoops.

Geraldo Rivera tells David Frum to fuck off.  Heh heh heh.

Boy, it sure is a good thing Mexico has such strict gun control.

File this under “terminally clueless”:  Her Imperial Majesty Hillary I, Dowager Empress of Chappaqua, is still the first choice among Democrats to oppose President Trump next year, presumably so she can lose worse than she did in 2016.

And on that sagging, elderly note, we return you to your Wednesday, already in progress.

Rule Five Climate Apocalypse Friday

I stumbled across this last week, read it a couple of times to digest it properly, and found it interesting.  In short, if puts the boots to many of the arguments of the climate-apocalypse doom-criers.  Excerpts, with my comments:

First, no credible scientific body has ever said climate change threatens the collapse of civilization much less the extinction of the human species. “‘Our children are going to die in the next 10 to 20 years.’ What’s the scientific basis for these claims?” BBC’s Andrew Neil asked a visibly uncomfortable (Extinction Rebellion) XR spokesperson last month.

“These claims have been disputed, admittedly,” she said. “There are some scientists who are agreeing and some who are saying it’s not true. But the overall issue is that these deaths are going to happen.”

“But most scientists don’t agree with this,” said Neil. “I looked through IPCC reports and see no reference to billions of people going to die, or children in 20 years. How would they die?”

Well, they won’t.  That’s the point.  The alarmists like Extinction Rebellion and their enablers (like the Swedish Pippi Longschpieling and the American dullard Alexandria Occasional Cortex)  are just plain wrong.  Sure, the climate is changing; it always has.  Through the vast majority of Earth’s 4.55-billion-year history it’s been warmer than it is now.  Solar activity and ocean currents are major factors, and yes, human activity has some effect – but not enough to justify destroying the global economy.

In fact, it is the global economy and modern technology that will shield billions from the effects of any warming:

Last January, after climate scientists criticized Rep. Ocasio-Cortez for saying the world would end in 12 years, her spokesperson said “We can quibble about the phraseology, whether it’s existential or cataclysmic.” He added, “We’re seeing lots of [climate change-related] problems that are already impacting lives.”

That last part may be true, but it’s also true that economic development has made us less vulnerable, which is why there was a 99.7% decline in the death toll from natural disasters since its peak in 1931. 

In 1931, 3.7 million people died from natural disasters. In 2018, just 11,000 did.  And that decline occurred over a period when the global population quadrupled.

What about sea level rise? IPCC estimates sea level could rise two feet (0.6 meters) by 2100. Does that sound apocalyptic or even “unmanageable”?

Consider that one-third of the Netherlands is below sea level, and some areas are seven meters below sea level. You might object that Netherlands is rich while Bangladesh is poor. But the Netherlands adapted to living below sea level 400 years ago. Technology has improved a bit since then.

In other words, as is true in so many ways, the modern world is a better place to live than at any other point in human history.  It’s also important to note which nation has done the most to assure that statistic noted above, where in 2018 only 11,000 people perished in natural disasters.  Which nation, for example, immediately sent a naval task group to succor the victims of the Indonesian tsunami?  The United States.  Examples abound.

And as for agriculture?  The Chicken Little folks are also forecasting mass starvation; again, it just isn’t true:

What about claims of crop failure, famine, and mass death? That’s science fiction, not science. Humans today produce enough food for 10 billion people, or 25% more than we need, and scientific bodies predict increases in that share, not declines. 

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) forecasts crop yields increasing 30% by 2050. And the poorest parts of the world, like sub-Saharan Africa, are expected to see increases of 80 to 90%.

Nobody is suggesting climate change won’t negatively impact crop yields. It could. But such declines should be put in perspective. Wheat yields increased 100 to 300% around the world since the 1960s, while a study of 30 models found that yields would decline by 6% for every one degree Celsius increase in temperature.

Rates of future yield growth depend far more on whether poor nations get access to tractors, irrigation, and fertilizer than on climate change, says FAO.

So what’s the answer for that?  Well, liberty, of course.  Modern, free states, with economies unfettered by central control, have done more to assure human rights, prosperity, technological advancement, and rising standard of living than any other system in human history.  Today’s problems are solved with tomorrow’s technologies, and tomorrow’s technologies are most effectively developed by free people with ideas and a free market.

The doom-criers will never get that.  Neither will most of the politicians.  And that, True Believers, should be cause for much more concern than a couple of degrees of warming.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Hard to believe we’re in the last month of the year already – 2019, we hardly knew ye.   Meanwhile, thanks to Pirate’s Cove and Bacon Time for the Rule Five links!

So, speaking of energy – there’s a new kind of fission reactor being developed called a traveling-wave reactor, and if it works as predicted, it could change the face of energy production.  But here’s the catch:  It’s being developed, using American funding, in China.  Why?  Because too many Americans are morons when it comes to nuclear power.  Excerpts, with my comments:

For well over a decade, Bill Gates has funded TerraPower, a startup seeking to design, build, and commercialize a revolutionary nuclear reactor. Their traveling-wave reactor design uses depleted uranium to operate, rather than uranium-235 like in current reactors, and is built so that if left unattended, it will slowly shut down, making a catastrophic meltdown a near impossibility. Optimistic estimates from the company suggest that current American stockpiles of spent nuclear fuel could be used in traveling-wave reactors to electrify the entire country for hundreds of years, and for far cheaper than current nuclear plants. This is carbon-free, baseload electricity that could easily provide the foundation for a next-generation, renewable-focused energy grid.

This would rattle a lot of cages.  Combined with clean natural gas for various purposes (like heating, for example) this would be great for delivering cheap energy.  And cheap energy is like octane-booster for a nation’s economy.  In the case of something like this, there’s really no down side.  So why China?

In partnership with the state-owned China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), TerraPower was preparing to break ground on a prototype 600 MegaWatt reactor in Fujian province, but then political disaster struck. Late in 2018, Department of Energy policy changes stemming from the U.S. – China trade war forced TerraPower to end its agreement with the CNNC, leaving their potentially game-changing reactor without a home.

So bring it home.  Let’s start building this reactor here, in the United States.

We can’t, you say?   Why not?

Science!

This saga brings up a key question: why was an American company, funded by one of America’s most wealthy and respected philanthropists, going to China to build their next-generation nuclear reactor? Why not here? The simple answer is that Americans are notoriously afraid of and unfriendly toward nuclear power. Though nuclear has reliably and safely provided roughly 20% of electricity in the U.S. for the past quarter-century, a majority of Americans oppose it and politicians have repeatedly erected more and more regulatory roadblocks, driving up costs and making new nuclear power plants nearly impossible to build. Even innovative ideas like what Bill Gates and TerraPower are proposing are not welcome.

As I said, too many Americans are morons when it comes to nuclear energy – and too many of those morons are warming chairs in the Imperial City.

Seriously, folks, there are few better examples of how an overbearing government can screw things up for everybody.  Here we have an innovative technology that could deliver cheap, clean, nigh-unlimited energy to millions, and it’s being logjammed because OMG NUKULAR!

The article closes with:

There’s no guarantee that TerraPower’s traveling-wave reactor will work in practice. Its system of liquid sodium cooling has been attempted before with little success. Moreover, power production efficiencies could end up far lower than what their simulations suggest. Other, unforeseen problems could also arise.

But we’ll never know unless government gets out of the way and allows our scientists, entrepreneurs, and engineers to build the nuclear reactor prototypes that could power the future.

The government won’t get out of the way.  Not voluntarily.  The Nuclear Energy Leadership Act mentioned in the article would be a spit into a hurricane.  The only way we’ll know if a traveling-wave reactor will work is to build one, and I’ll be the most amazed guy around if the Imperial government allows it in our country.

I could be wrong.  I’d love to be wrong.  But I don’t think I am.