How not to keep in touch

I am retired. However, I am extremely busy with my writing and my study of those areas of physics that I did not pay much attention to during my active career. Right now, I am studying general relativity in all its mathematical complexity and finding it enormously challenging but fun. These things keep me very busy and so I do not find time hanging heavy on my hands and thus do not need to find ways to fill the days. I am so busy that I do not have time to read all the books or see the films that I thought I would be able to catch up on when I retired.
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Stranded dog rescued from snowy mountain ledge

Via Carla Sinclair I came across this heartwarming story of a dog rescued in Scotland whose presence in the snowy region was first picked up by infra-red cameras.

It was a routine winter training mission in northeastern Scotland until the Maritime and Coastguard Agency crew spotted a stranded dog on the snowy Cairngorms mountains below.

They couldn’t fly away and leave the dog in trouble, so winchman Mark Stevens on Wednesday was lowered to the ground, scooped up the cold and frightened animal, and both were raised back to the helicopter.

The dog, named Ben, was cuddled and warmed on board before being rushed to a veterinarian.
It turns out Ben had been missing for two days in dangerous weather caused by Storm Gareth.

Officials say Ben has recovered from exposure and has been reunited with his owner.

Here’s video of the rescue.

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Not your typical Lincoln image

We are used to envisaging Abraham Lincoln as an older, bearded man, formally attired, the way he is presented in the memorial to him in Washington, DC. Pretty much all official representations of Lincoln adopt that basic look. Hence I was startled to come across this image of an 8-foot tall statue of a young Abraham Lincoln situated in a Los Angeles federal courthouse where he looks like he was posing for a Ralph Lauren ad, though the statue was commissioned eighty years ago.

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That was a l-o-o-n-g return journey!

My return from visiting my grandson took much longer than anticipated. After arriving at the airport at 2:30 pm yesterday for my 4:40pm flight, the flight kept getting delayed and delayed until finally they cancelled it, after I had been at the airport for seven hours. Fortunately, they were able to book me on a flight early the next day and they gave me hotel accommodation for the night. But staying in a strange hotel room knowing that one must get up early usually results in poor sleep and that was the case with me. But then the next day, after arriving at the airport at 6:30 am, that flight was delayed another three hours so I came home pretty exhausted and crashed for a few hours.

But now I feel refreshed.

One thing I have noticed is that long delays and cancellations makes people at the airport much more sociable, with mutual tales of woe being a good conversation starter. I had enjoyable chats with many people who happened to be either sitting next to me or when we were standing in line to reschedule our flights, which confirms my view that people are in general nice and we miss out by not interacting more. I had a particularly long chat with a couple who, when they found out I was a physicist, asked me a ton of questions about physics involving dark matter and energy and cosmology in general. I essentially conducted an hour long tutorial.

Why is it that it seems like it is only adversity and problems that break down the barriers between people?

Now that’s a good apology

Shannon Gabriel, the West Indian fast bowler who was suspended from the next four international games, has issued a statement where he apologized for the behavior that led up to the suspension. What he had said was not picked up by the microphone embedded in the stumps, only the response by England captain Joe Root who told him that it was unacceptable, Gabriel gave a good apology where he described what he said, what had led up to him saying it, acknowledged that it was wrong, and apologized.
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‘First Amendment auditor’ gets shot

You may recall my post from a couple of weeks ago about people who deliberately use their First Amendment rights to taunt and provoke police officers in the hope that they will react against them, giving them fodder for their YouTube audiences. They claim that they are protecting the right of free speech by using it legally. I said that this was a dangerous practice since the police are armed.
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