A Ring of Fire

Fine Ring NebulaThis rather unusual planetary nebula is the Fine Ring Nebula. Planetary nebulae form from dying stars when they have expanded into a red giant phase and then eject a shell of gas as they evolve into the next phase of their stellar evolution, white dwarfs. Most planetary nebulae are either spherical or elliptical in shape, or are bipolar (featuring two symmetric lobes of material), but the Fine Ring Nebula looks like an almost perfectly circular ring. Astronomers believe that this unusually shaped planetary nebula was formed from a binary system. The interaction between the primary star and its orbiting companion shapes the ejected material.

The stellar object at the center of the Fine Ring Nebula does appear to be a binary system, orbiting with a period of 2.9 days. Observations suggest that the binary pair is almost perfectly face-on from our vantage point, implying that the planetary nebula’s structure is aligned in the same way. Our point of view looks down on the torus (doughnut shape) of ejected material, leading to the strikingly circular ring shape in the image.

Image Credit: ESO


Today is the 41st anniversary of my marriage to Mrs. Hoge, and it is the 4th anniversary of her death.

During the last week of 2014, Connie went to an orthopedist complaining of back pain. It turned out that the cause was cancer in her spine, and the cancer turned out to be stage four metastatic breast cancer with no evidence of any tumor in her breasts. After back surgery in early 2015, she began chemotherapy, and when she began to lose her hair, she had her head shaved. She didn’t want to wear a wig, so she had an artist draw a henna tattoo on her head—a creative response showing her determination not to be overwhelmed by the disease.

The picture on the left was taken a few months before her diagnosis.

I’m thankful for those 37 years.

I miss her, but as I’ve written before, our separation is temporary. One of the things we share is a firm belief that

this perishable body must become imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. But when this perishable body will have become imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then what is written will happen: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”

I’ll just have to wait.

UPDATE—My son is working in the basement this morning. He’s going through boxes that have been in storage for years, culling them so that we can make room to store other stuff that needs to make way for some recording equipment upstairs. He brought me a box of old paperwork to go through. It was one of those boxes of “important” papers that is no longe all that important—mostly. It contained mortgage papers, deeds, etc., on houses Connie and I had owned in Tennessee and California. Nothing related to any real estate we’ve owned in the past thirty years. However, there was also a small pack of photographs that included prints and slides of our honeymoon. I rescued the photos and sent the rest to the shredder and dumpster. That find was an interesting gift for today!

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

One of the more amusing things about watching Team Kimberlin is the harebrained schemes they come up with. A particular favorite of mine was one of Bill Schmalfeldt’s attempts to get the anonymous blogger “Paul Krendler” to sue him for copyright infringement. It appears that he thought that by plagiarizing some of Krendler’s work and copyrighting it, he would be able to get Krendler to begin legal action which would require Krendler to give his true name and address for service of process. However, Schmalfeldt also included work from the blog in his book, so I was able to go after him, and Paul Krendler was able to sit on the sidelines and laugh.

This post On Copyrights from five years ago today tells a bit of the story that shows that Schmalfeldt’s own tale proved that he wasn’t entitled to a copyright in the first place—or that the whole thing was a lie—or both.

* * * * *

I was rereading Confessions of an Undercover Internet Troll, and noticed something interesting about how the blog described in the book got started. The character known as Hoggy hired the author to write the blog, offering to pay him with a cut of money raised via Hoggy’s tip jar. If that’s true, then all of the TMZ blog posts contained in the book should be work-for-hire and, therefore, should belong to Hoggy.


UPDATE—After my conversation with CreateSpace this morning, this is what searching for the Cabin Boy’s™ book turned up on Amazon at 12:15 ET this afternoon.Amazon_Confessions_20151124


* * * * *

Nothing proceeded as the Cabin Boy™ had hallucinated.

What Norms and Which Institutions?

While Hillary Clinton eventually conceded the 2016 election to Donald Trump, she and her enablers/allies among the Democrats, Media, and Deep State spent four years peddling lies about Russia! Russia! Russia!, the Mueller investigation, an impeachment falsely accusing Trump of doing the sort of thing Biden actually did, and more.

It’s 2020, and Trump is using litigation and other processes prescribed by law to challenge apparent fraud in the election. A significant portion of politicians and the media say the President’s insistence that the game be played by The Rules is a threat to “our norms and institutions.”

Well, yes, it is.

It was Trump’s pledge to drain the swamp of a grifting Elite whose norms and institutions force one set of rules on the Deplorables but are not binding on themselves that led to his winning in 2016. I was Trumps modest success in beginning to drain the swamp that led a sufficiently large majority of voters to support him that the logistical planning for stealing the election was overwhelmed, causing the shutdown of vote counts and mad scramble for extra ballots in various places around the country.

America’s constitutional DNA assumes that men are fallible, so our system is rigged with checks and balances as a form of immune system. Thus far, we’ve been able to through off infections from various tyrannies. I hope we survive this time.

Genealogy, Extended Family, and Thanksgiving Gatherings

My parents grew up in a small town in Tennesse.  A few years after they married, one of my father’s cousins (actually, a first cousin once removed) married my mother’s sister. Their children are my first cousins on my mother’s side and second cousins once removed on my father’s.

Are you following me so far?

Both my father’s and my mother’s families arrived in the colonies prior the Revolution.  A few years ago, one of my aunts on my mother’s side decided that she’d like to join the Daughters of the American Revolution. When she went looking for a Revolutionary War ancestor, she found that she (and my mother, of course) were descended from my father’s great-great-great-great-grandfather who had been in the Pennsylvania militia at Valley Forge. My father and my mother were fifth cousins.  That means those first cousins of mine are also fifth cousins twice removed on my mother’s side and fifth cousins once removed on my father’s side.

It also means that I’m my mother’s fifth cousin once removed and my own sixth cousin.

And none of the family has ever lived in West Virginia.

Alas, we are no longer holding the gatherings of four or five generations of the family for a potluck on the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend. This year’s Thanksgiving dinner will just be for my son and me, not enough people to justify doing a whole turkey on the grill. We’ll have a venison roast prepared using one of the recipes Mrs. Hoge left for us.

I look forward to a larger gathering next year.

The Pleiades in IR

Pleiades_WISEOne of my favorite objects in the autumn sky is the Pleiades. This false-color image shows the star cluster as seen through the eyes of WISE, the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer. It’s a mosaic of several hundred images from the more than one million WISE captured in its first survey of the entire sky in infrared light.

All four infrared detectors aboard WISE were used to make this mosaic. Blue and cyan represent infrared light at wavelengths of 3.4 and 4.6 µm, which is dominated by light from stars. Green and red represent light at 12 and 22 µm, which is mostly light from warm dust.

Image Credit: NASA

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

One of the striking things about Team Kimberlin is its member’s belief that they haven’t done anything wrong. Indeed, when steps have been taken to hold them accountable for their actions, they often haven’t claimed that they didn’t do what was alleged but that they were justified in doing it. This post about DABDA from seven years ago shows one example.

* * * * *

That’s a acronym for the Kübler-Ross model for the five stages of grief. Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. Bill Schmalfeldt seems to be oscillating through the middle three. When he pulled the plug on political radio and stopped using @wjjhoge in his tweets, it looked as if he might be moving into the Depression stage, but some of his recent tweets appear to show that he has slipped backward.

I became aware of those tweets when I checked out this link that Stacy McCain sent.@rsmccain201311232037Z

Here’s what I found—DBR20131123So many lies, so little time … I’ll just hit the highlights.

1. I don’t want Bill Schmalfeldt to go to jail for over 350 years, but I do want him held accountable for his harassment. It’s a judge’s job to sort that out, not mine. He is the one who chose to violate the peace order 351 times, to engage in a course of harassing conduct intended to alarm or seriously annoy me, and to do it by means of electronic messages sent to me and received by me. I have merely shown what he has done to the proper authorities.

2/3. I do not recall ever leaving a comment on one of Bill Schmalfeldt’s blogs. Perhaps he is upset because so much of what he publishes makes into my Prevarication Du Jour feature. An easy way to avoid that is to stop lying. If he didn’t want me to know what he was blogging, he shouldn’t have sent me pingback comments or tweets announcing the posts.

4. What makes the Cabin Boy think that I’ve gone to any significant effort to search for his Twitter accounts? There are lots of folks who have been looking for information about him, and some of them share it with me. Of course, it’s trivially easy to do a search for “Schmalfeldt” on Twitter. That returns such interesting accounts as @SchmalfeldtTeam.

5. I prefer not to get into the Cabin Boy’s scatological fixation.

6. I have my reasons.

7. I don’t. However, on any day that I have received a tweet from Schmalfeldt, I have backed up his Twitter account because of his habit of deleting tweets or whole accounts. I’m not the only person who does such logging.

8. If the Cabin Boy believes that I am stalking him, then he probably thinks that Mrs. Walker was stalking Brett Kimberlin when she photographed him stalking her in the parking lot of the Howard County Courthouse. It’s as if he’s saying, “No fair! You’re documenting what I’ve done.”

There’s one other significant, I hope, thing I see in those tweets. They refer to me without using @wjjhoge. Perhaps this means that the Cabin Boy has finally figured out how to write about me without writing to me.

We will see.

* * * * *

The immediate result of the Cabin Boy’s™ behavior was the extension of the peace order. He eventually collected ten more issued in four more states. And he lost LOLsuits I through VIII. Those case are matters of public record.

He now complains that he has trouble passing background checks.

Well, duh.

NGC 986

A spiral in a furnaceNGC 986 is found in the constellation of Fornax (The Furnace), located in the southern sky. NGC 986 is around 56 million light-years away, and its golden center and barred swirling arms are clearly visible in this image assembled from data captured by Hubble’s Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2. (The stars in the upper right appear a little fuzzy because a gap in the Hubble data was filled in with images from ground-based telescopes. The view  is accurate, but the resolution is no match for Hubble.)

Barred spiral galaxies are spiral galaxies with stars forming a central bar-shaped structure. NGC 986 has the characteristic S-shaped structure of this type of galaxy. Young blue stars can be seen dotted through the galaxy’s arms, and the core is also alight with star formation.

Image Credit: NASA / ESA

The Other Podcast

Stacy McCain and I will be at our mics again for Episode 16 of The Other Podcast Live at 7 pm ET this evening. Join us on Podbean.

Likely topics include Science, Freebies, Fraud, and Crazy People Are Dangerous™.

Episode 16: Science, Freebies, Fraud, and Crazy People Are Dangerous™ The Other Podcast

Stacy McCain and John Hoge discuss the week's news/
  1. Episode 16: Science, Freebies, Fraud, and Crazy People Are Dangerous™
  2. Episode 15: Censorship, Our Betters, Foxit, and Crazy People Are Dangerous™
  3. Episode 14: The Steal Dossier™, Going Forward, Simon Jester, and Crazy People Are Dangerous™
  4. 2020 Election Coverage B
  5. Election 2020 A

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

Not all of Brett Kimberlin’s interactions with Ukraine have been successful. The TKPOTD for seven years ago dealt with one failure.

* * * * *

It seems as if The Dread Pirate Kimberlin has a great deal of difficulty with the truth and that this is not a new problem. Beginning on page 360 of Citizen K, Mark Singer tells the story of a June, 1996, trip to Ukraine he took with Brett Kimberlin. The purpose of the trip was to develop business deals for Lada Express, a company that TDPK founded as he was being released on parole. The tale paints of a picture of Kimberlin cutting significant business deals.

Hindsight cuts through the smoke and mirrors. By November, 1997, Kimberlin’s parole was being revoked. There were two reasons given. First, he had failed to make any restitution payments to a victim of one of his bombings which was one of the terms of his release on parole. Second, he had committed fraud on a mortgage application.

He was bankrupt. If the hundreds of thousands of dollars of profits on those deals ever existed, they could not be accounted for, and his company Lada Express became defunct. In 1998, the Maryland Department of Assessment and Taxation revoked its corporate charter for failure to file paperwork due in early 1997.LadaExpress

* * * * *

Failing failures gotta fail.

Control of the House

When we speak of control of the House of Representatives, we usually mean having a majority of the members. A majority of the members elects the Speaker who then runs the body. However, there is another form of control: the majority in each state’s delegation. This has been important twice, 1800 and 1824. Those were the years that no candidate received a majority of votes in the Electoral College, so the election of the President was the duty of the House. When the House votes for President, each state’s delegation gets one vote. As of now, the delegations from 26 states are controlled by Republicans, 20 are controlled by Democrats, 3 are equally divided, and Iowa has an uncalled election that will either leave it equally divided or flip it Republican.

Normally, this wouldn’t be important, but given how 2020 has gone so far, …

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

This is from an article at protectourelections dot org posted in 2017.I’ll zoom in on the copy to make it more easily read.Funny, but there haven’t been any comments from the Dread Deadbeat Protector Kimberlin about electronic voting machines during the 2020 election cycle.


Quote of the Day

If you consider the great journalists in history, you don’t see too many objective journalists on that list. H. L. Mencken was not objective. Mike Royko, who just died. I. F. Stone was not objective. Mark Twain was not objective. I don’t quite understand this worship of objectivity in journalism. Now, just flat-out lying is different from being subjective.

—Hunter S. Thompson