About wjjhoge

An expert on nothing with opinions on everything.

A Lonely Dwarf


The Local Void is a vast, empty region of space adjacent to the Local Group, the group of galaxies that included our Milky Way. It’s composed of three separate sectors which are separated by bridges of “wispy filaments” of gas and dust. The exact size of the Local Void is unknown, but it is at least 150 million light-years across—and possibly 3 to 6 times larger still. It’s called a void because it has significantly fewer galaxies than expected from standard cosmology.

The irregular dwarf galaxy in the foreground of the picture is cataloged as KK 246, and it’s one of the few galaxies in the Local Void.

Image Credit: NASA / ESA

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day


Today is the eighth anniversary of my first blog post about Brett Kimberlin. It was called No Thugs Zone.

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Fellow blogger and Maryland resident Stacy McCain has had to move his family out of the state because of threats related to blogging about Brett Kimberlin. He is not the only blogger suffering abuse from Kimberlin.

Mr. Kimberlin was unwise in choosing to pick a fight with the blogosphere. He is likely to find that, while we don’t always agree with one another, we have each other’s backs when the freedom of the Internet is threatened. Mr. Kimberlin and those who have supported him (I’m looking at you, Ms. Streisand) have bitten off more than they can chew. The pushback is just beginning.

UPDATE–The McCain family is having a ton of unforeseen expenses because of their sudden move. I just hit his tip jar. Why don’t you?

UPDATE 2–Expect more, a lot more, about this on Friday.

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I’m not done with him yet.

Yeah, It’s 2020


This year has been … um … interesting, and it looks as if the summer and early autumn may bring us more intriguing events.

I’m an amateur radio operator. Many of us provide backup communications support for government agencies and NGOs (like the Red Cross and Salvation Army) during natural disasters. One of the agencies we support is the National Hurricane Center through the Hurricane Watch Net. I received an email yesterday that contained the following:

Long-range forecasts for the 2020 Atlantic Basin hurricane season, which begins on June 1 and extends until November 30, anticipate above-normal activity. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) 2020 outlook calls for a season about 140% more active than average, with four Category 3 to Category 5 hurricanes. The 2019 season saw three major hurricanes (out of six).

“The above-average prediction is largely due to the hot Atlantic and Caribbean waters and lack of a substantial El Niño in the Pacific,” the NHC explained, noting that the combination of a busy hurricane season and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic could create a nightmare scenario for affected areas. FEMA and local emergency management agencies are already issuing COVID-19 guidelines for hurricane shelters, which include face masks and social distancing.

Given the way 2020 has gone so far, …