Elite high school senior thesis

From $55,000/year (tuition alone) Boston University Academy, a senior thesis project for 2024:

To make sure that the scholar won’t be identifiable if the academic discipline of Comparative Victimhood ever wanes in intellectual prestige, I have removed his/her/zir/their name from the poster and added a fashion item.

Note that the poster on the left is all about Simone de Beauvoir, “Beaver” to Jean-Paul Sartre.

Here’s a close-up of the brilliant young person’s work, supervised by Dr. Kristin Jewell:

Let’s check the teacher’s Facebook page:

Let’s return to the poster…

A few unusual spellings and punctuations:

  • feeligns
  • non_American (generates warm feeligns in my Oracle RDBMS programmer’s heart)
  • instnace

A book jacket with the author’s name “Cathy Park Hong” is depicted while, above, the author’s name is spelled “CATHAY Park Hong”.

“The issues in pursuing status in a system that once [targeted?] and continues to target people of color” needs some help to qualify as Standard English?

“Despite the massive contributions [by] and exploitation of Chinese immigrant workers none were allowed in the commemorative photo” is missing a word?

Cathy Park Hong (from Cathay?) wrote about “What minor feelings are”, according to the poster. What if the minor feeling is “For $55,000/year in high school tuition, the teacher should show students how to run posters through spellcheck”?

More substantively, does the poster imply that “people of color” in South Korea (i.e., Koreans) are worse off today because the American military prevented the North Korean government from taking over what is today South Korea? Whites got a great deal because we can buy Samsung phones, sophisticated semiconductors, and Kia Tellurides while “people of color” suffer in Seoul?

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Why would there be any Hamas fighters left in Rafah?

Israel has given everyone weeks of warning about an upcoming battle in Rafah. Here’s my dumbest question of the week: Why would there be anyone left to fight the IDF in Rafah? After weeks of warnings, why haven’t fighters from the Islamic Resistance Movement (“Hamas”), UNRWA, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, etc. all left Gaza along with the reported 800,000 other people who’ve left (Al-Jazeera). There has been no news coverage of 800,000 people being screened at a checkpoint (and, even if there were a checkpoint how would an Israeli be able to discern a Hamas fighter from a “civilian” Palestinian (i.e., typically a supporter of Hamas and PIJ)).

CNN has covered the story, but doesn’t mention anyone being checked when leaving. In fact, it doesn’t look as though there would be any obstacle to bringing RPGs and rifles out as part of a family evacuation.

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How is Intel able to sell CPUs if they’ve already told people that the current socket is obsolete?

Here’s a question at the intersection of marketing and electronics: who is buying Intel CPUs right now after Intel has told the world that they will render the current socket, and therefore all current motherboards, obsolete before the end of 2024?

“Intel’s next-gen desktop CPUs have reportedly leaked” (Tom’s Hardware):

Arrow Lake will reside on new Intel motherboards with LGA1851 sockets and 800-series chipsets. Although the upcoming socket has 9% more pins than the existing LGA1700 socket, the dimensions didn’t change, so you might be able to recycle your existing CPU cooler.

Intel hasn’t provided details on when Arrow Lake will hit the market. But we suspect it’ll be sometime in the fourth quarter of the year since AMD’s upcoming Zen 5 Ryzen processors are on track for launch before the year is over.

Especially given that AMD is not rendering its socket obsolete for another few years, I am having trouble figuring out why demand for Intel desktop CPUs, at least at the high end, doesn’t fall off a cliff.

The news about the socket is actually almost a year old at this point. A July 2023 article:

I guess it is tough to keep a secret when there are so many independent motherboard manufacturers, but shouldn’t we expect a demand collapse, massive price cuts for both CPUs and motherboards, etc. as the Arrow Lake release gets closer?

Is the explanation that anyone who cares about CPU/computer performance buys AMD? I think that Intel claims that their new chips have an onboard AI-optimized GPU.

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When low-skill immigration, divorce litigation, DEI, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ intersect

Today we celebrate the 20th anniversary of what used to be called “gay” or “same-sex” marriage here in the U.S., in which Maskachusetts led the way (modern-style opposite-sex marriage, in which divorce litigation may ensue, seems to go back about 4,300 years to Mesopotamia). (Joe Biden also reminds us that today is International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia, not to be confused with the Pride Month that starts in two weeks.)

Let’s check in with a formerly happy couple… “A Broken Marriage, a Big Inheritance and the Murder of an Art Kingmaker” (Wall Street Journal, May 11, 2024):

Brent had long held sway over a cerebral corner of the New York art scene, promoting women and diverse artists in the early 1990s when few galleries or museums exhibited either. … friends gravitated toward his wicked sense of humor, a zest that extended to an ebullient social life, often populated by a revolving door of lovers. “He liked younger men,” says his friend, the artist Vik Muniz.

DEI box… checked. 2SLGBTQQIA+ box… checked.

Now, landing in Rio, Brent was trying to move past a personal low point. Despite his outward success, close friends say he had been emotionally drained after nearly two years of hashing out a divorce settlement with his estranged husband, with whom he had a 13-year-old son. In Rio, he could spend a few weeks relaxing, maybe walk along Copacabana beach to meet locals or meditate.

Miracle of biology… checked. Winner-take-all divorce litigation in New York State… checked. The proud parents and future plaintiff/defendant:

What can New Yorkers do with all of the free time they have because they never have to go to Home Depot?

After work, he and Brent sought out the same nightlife, going to sex clubs and swapping ribald stories, Renaud-Clément says.

Does marriage interfere with going to the sex club?

friends of both men say the couple was known to have an open marriage

Personal background?

Daniel was born in a tiny town in the Cuban province of Camagüey. … Daniel was fleeing a troubled childhood and doing whatever he could to survive in Havana and later Madrid, including sex work, according to Daniel’s 2006 memoir.

Low-skill immigration box… checked.

Daniel got a WhatsApp message from Prevez, his former caretaker in Cuba. Prevez had since moved to São Paulo and wanted to catch up, according to his police statement. … Like Daniel, Prevez had struggled for years to scrape together a living in Cuba, repairing bicycles by day and working as a night security guard. In September 2022, he moved to Brazil in hope of a better salary. … Prevez says he took a job making deliveries for an online marketplace known as Mercado Livre in a borrowed Fiat Palio, but he wasn’t earning enough to support his own family in Cuba.

Low-skill immigration box… checked a second time. (Mr. Prevez migrated from his caretaker job to live in Brazil.)

Prevez said Daniel told him about the ongoing divorce. Then, he told police, Daniel made him an offer: $200,000 and a free place to stay in Rio in exchange for killing his ex.

According to New York law, Daniel could seek a third of Brent’s net worth as the surviving spouse—likely more than he would get in any divorce settlement. Daniel’s lawyers say they intend to claim his share as a surviving spouse.

A European friend: “Big irony is that these gay dudes fought so hard to be able to get sued for divorce.”


  • “Couple who led gay marriage fight to divorce” (NBC): Julie and Hillary Goodridge were among seven gay couples who filed a lawsuit that led to a court ruling making Massachusetts the first state to legalize same-sex marriages in 2004. The couple became the public face of the debate in the state and married the first day same-sex marriages became legal. The divorce case was filed last week in Suffolk Probate and Family Court and was not unexpected. The couple announced they were separating in 2006.
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Climate change is an existential threat, but China is a bigger threat

Joe Biden, 2023 (whitehouse.gov):

You know, I’ve seen firsthand what the reports made clear: the devastating toll of climate change and its existential threat to all of us. And it is the ultimate threat to humanity: climate change.

“Biden to Quadruple Tariffs on Chinese EVs” (Wall Street Journal, May 10, 2024):

The Biden administration is preparing to raise tariffs on clean-energy goods from China in the coming days, with the levy on Chinese electric vehicles set to roughly quadruple, according to people familiar with the matter. … signs that China was ramping up exports of clean-energy goods prompted concern in Washington, where officials are trying to protect a nascent American clean-energy industry from China.

Officials are particularly focused on electric vehicles, and they are expected to raise the tariff rate to roughly 100% from 25%, according to the people. An additional 2.5% duty applies to all automobiles imported into the U.S. The existing 25% tariff on Chinese electric vehicles has so far effectively barred those models, often cheaper than Western-made cars, from the U.S. market. Biden administration officials, automakers and some lawmakers worry that wouldn’t be enough given the scale of Chinese manufacturing.

In other words, it is better for all humans to be killed by climate change (the “existential threat” turning out to be real) than it is to drive a Chinese car or use any other “clean-energy good” from China.

One might think that the cognitive dissonance would start to become apparent even to climate change alarmists themselves. Greta Thunberg has switched to pro-Hamas activism (e.g., protesting against the 20-year-old Eden Golan singing in the Eurovision contest; this reminds me to wonder if there will be a sequel to the Will Ferrell movie). Even if we accept that Palestinians are the world’s most noble people, how is the status of their war against the Israelis more important than the impending death of all humans that she previously warned us about? Of course, there are the climate change alarmists who use private jets. And we have the Biden administration, which says that climate change is on track to kill all humans and also keeps the border open so that millions of migrants from low-carbon societies can become high-carbon-output residents of the U.S. (the quickest method of accelerating CO2 emissions imaginable). Finally, we now have these huge tariffs to discourage Americans from adopting what we’ve been informed are planet-saving/humanity-saving technologies.

Separately… the YANGWANG U9 from BYD, with the 1 horsepower that is required for moving at Miami Beach traffic speed and 1,299 hp in reserve.

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WaterGuru: pool monitor for a country where average IQ is falling

Average American IQ is falling (The Hill; note that this cannot be due to a massive increase in low-skill immigration from countries with a low average IQ because #Science proves that IQ is not heritable). Those who get jobs doing pool maintenance, a process that involves some chemistry, tend not to be the best and brightest within a labor pool whose overall trend is away from high intelligence.

We recently switched pool maintenance companies because our old one wasn’t answering texts and emails regarding how to recover from a coconut assault on the pool heater (cracked case; heater still works). To make sure that the new company was doing a good job, I invested in a WaterGuru Sense S2 that sits quietly in the skimmer:

Instead of buying two months of test strips from Amazon for $12 and suffering the indignity of interrupting your TV watching and Xbox-playing to put a strip in the water you pay these folks a higher price/test every day for the rest of your pool’s life. In return, you get notifications and recommendations from the app.

The new pool maintenance company sent out a young man who had only just gotten out of training. He was seemingly unable to keep the pH anywhere near where the WaterGuru thought it should be. After a few weeks, I asked him what his target was. He said that he was trying to keep the pH “above 8”. I said “Your test kit maxes out at 8. How can you target a value that is above the maximum range for your test?” This question hadn’t occurred to him, but he agreed to add some acid because the app said to do so. I asked “why does the acid bottle say the pH should be between 7.2 and 7.6?” He responded “I was trained to keep it above 8.” (I later talked to his managers who said, ‘He must have misunderstood the question because he is aware that 7.4-7.6 is the ideal range.”) If you’re trying to maintain the pool chemistry yourself, the app gives helpful recommendations and pitches for supplies to order:

The next dramatic event was that the pool monitor reported a normal level of chlorine (4.2 ppm of “free chlorine”) and the kid, based on his own test kit and I’m not sure what target chlorine level, decided to dump a bottle of chlorine into the pool (which has a continuous chlorine generator so it shouldn’t ever need a bottle). The monitor went nuts the next day, reporting chlorine at 10 ppm and only because that’s the top of its test range (an indoor pool with more than 5 ppm is illegal in Florida; the app says a good target is 3 ppm). A detail page showed the actual measurement at 13.5 ppm (24 hours after the chlorine addition). I bought some test strips at the local pool supply place and the chlorine level was somewhere between 10 and 20 ppm. I turned off the chlorine generator and the numbers came down gradually.

If you’ve created a society where humans aren’t smart it is nice to have robots like this one! (Once the chemistry is under control it is possible to reduce the frequency of the tests in order to save on the 28-day cartridges.)


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Can a Free Tibet, Stop Oil, or Pro-Israel group camp out in Harvard Yard?

“Pro-Palestinian protesters reach agreement with Harvard University to end encampment” (CNN):

A group of pro-Palestinian protesters maintaining an encampment at Harvard University have reached an agreement with the university and will end their encampment, the group said in a news release Tuesday.

For 60 students and student workers facing disciplinary procedures, the university has agreed to expedite their cases “in line with precedents of leniency for similar actions in the past,” according to Harvard Out of Occupied Palestine (HOOP), the organization behind the encampment.

Alan Garber, Harvard’s interim president, in a message to the university community, said he has asked schools to “promptly initiate applicable reinstatement proceedings for all individuals who have been placed on involuntary leaves of absence.” Garber did not say how many students were involved.

HOOP said the university will meet with the protesters “to begin discussions on disclosure, divestment, and reinvestment.” Harvard will also engage in conversations about creating a “Center for Palestine Studies at Harvard,” the group said.

I’m wondering what other groups could camp out in Harvard Yard to get publicity, suspensions, and then reinstatements after negotiations with university bureaucrats.

Progressives used to be passionate about Free Tibet (or at least say that they were). Could a Free Tibet group camp out in Harvard Yard to demand that Harvard divest from companies that do business in China? (Before the Israelis became the gold standard for committing “genocide”, the Chinese were accused of having killed Uyghurs via a “genocide”. Searching CNN and NYT one must conclude that either the Uyghurs are dead or American progressives stopped caring. But I guess we could ask whether progressives who remember the Uyghurs could set up a pro-Uyghur encampment.)

Harvard informs us that climate change is an existential threat (then appoints a president with no training in science or engineering). Could a Stop Oil group camp out until Harvard agrees to stop consuming massive amounts of energy via heat and A/C?

Or, how about the flip side of the pro-Hamas group that occupied the Yard? Could a pro-Israel group set up tents to demand that Harvard make more investments in Israeli companies?

If the answer to all of the above is “No” then the natural question is why Harvard tolerated an anti-Israel encampment.


  • From a friend in the Boston suburbs: “I saw a yard sign today in Lincoln: ‘Let Gaza live'” (My response: “It makes sense because most of them are followers of Greta Thunberg and she has abandoned climate change alarmism in favor of supporting Hamas.”)
  • If you want to learn about people whom progressives used to care about, I recommend “Tibet: History, Culture, and Religion” (Great Courses). taught by Constance Kassor, PhD (she/her), a professor right near Oshkosh!
  • from The Hill:
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Don’t let your kids take challenging classes in high school

I’ve been talking to Canadian and American friends after this latest round of college admissions and they have one message in common: Don’t let kids take honors and AP classes in high school. College admissions these days are mostly about GPA, which means that a B in AP physics is toxic compared to an A in basket-weaving. It’s also important to send kids to a high school where grading is relatively easy. From a Maskachusetts friend:

I found out that even though you need just 60% to score a 5/5 on AP Physics C, our [rich suburb public] school still applies the scale where 92+ is an A. So [my son] is scoring 80+ on the tests consistently and will end up with a B+ or even a B- and obviously will get a 5. I asked around and most schools apply the 60+ = A scale to APs. People in 3 private schools said that 70+ on AP Calc BC in their school is an A.

I’m not sure how this would work in Florida where high school kids are entitled to take college courses in actual colleges (for free and the state also pays for their textbooks). Does the college class grade end up being rolled into their high school GPA? This FAQ suggests that dual enrollment grades are weighted into a GPA the same as an AP course grade.

Also toxic:

  • applying from rich suburbs of Northeast cities
  • activities that sound elite (unless the kid is good enough at an elite sport to get admitted via athletics)

Speaking of schools, it was almost exactly four years ago (May 2020) when Donald Trump denied Science (Anthony Fauci) and said that American public schools should be reopened (which Democrat-run cities did… 10-16 months later). “Trump Pointedly Criticizes Fauci for His Testimony to Congress” (NYT, May 13, 2020):

Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, who had warned against reopening the country too quickly and stressed the unknown effects the coronavirus could have on children returning to school.

“I was surprised by his answer,” Mr. Trump told reporters who had gathered in the Cabinet Room for the president’s meeting with the governors of Colorado and North Dakota. “To me it’s not an acceptable answer, especially when it comes to schools.”

The president’s desire to reopen schools and businesses in order to bring back the economy has often led to public clashes over the guidance provided by Dr. Fauci, who has warned that taking a cavalier attitude toward reopening the country could invite unnecessary suffering caused by a virus scientists are still struggling to understand.

Dr. Fauci also told the Senate panel that a vaccine for the coronavirus would almost certainly not be ready in time for the new school year, and warned of the dangers of the virus to children.

“Now when you have an incident, one out of a million, one out of 500,000, will something happen? Perhaps,” Mr. Trump said, minimizing the risk to children of returning to school. “But you can be driving to school and some bad things can happen, too.”

Mr. Trump added: “This is a disease that attacks age and it attacks health and if you have a heart problem, if you have diabetes, if you’re a certain age, it’s certainly much more dangerous. But with the young children, I mean, and students, it is really just take a look at the statistics, it is pretty amazing.”

As someone who has spent a lot of time teaching probability theory, I am cheered to see that the president of the U.S. in 2020 was using it!

Speaking of Canada… (Toronto Star)

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Anti-Jewish protests in Latin America and attacks on Jews and Israelis in Europe

Israelis and Jews were being attacked in Europe. Latinx protesters were explaining that Zionism was a variant of National Socialism (Nazi), decrying a “Palestinian holocaust”, supporting the liberation of Palestine, and chanting “Death to the Jews”… in 1982:

(As part of helping my mother move from Maryland to Florida, I found this in an album (the flip side of the page above contains an article about a book that mom wrote about Herman Perlman, an artist).)

What happened to the Palestinian population after the 1982 “holocaust” mentioned in the article? “Number of Palestinians worldwide increased 9 times since the 1948 Nakba – statistics bureau” (2019). Here’s the Statista chart of Gaza population, up from 0.46 million in 1980 to over 2 million today:

Regarding our inflation-free economy, I also found these Kennedy Center main concert hall tickets from 1980… $7.50.

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Helicopter from Los Angeles to Maskachusetts, Part 3 (They Built the Wall in Texas)

Our story picks up again on an April Saturday morning in Tucson. When checked the previous night, the forecast weather beyond El Paso was a combination of ugly and iffy. Despite the weather forecast and having flown 5 hours (collective-cracked time, so closer to 6 hours of rotor-spinning time), we were at the airport a little after 7:00 am.

After weight gained via the previous night’s Sonoran hot dogs it would have been nice to steal this civilian Blackhawk with which we shared the ramp (they were dropping supplies into the forest for powerline construction):

Here’s Interstate 10 climbing over some of the hills in southern New Mexico. It is possible to do the trip at 5,500′, the highest elevation that we must fly in order to bring a helicopter from coast to coast along I-10:

We stopped for the bathroom and found some porn for pilots:

Due to a slight headwind, we couldn’t make it to El Paso on one tank. We stopped in Las Cruces for fuel and on-airport bbq:

Once we arrived in El Paso, just after noon and having flown only three hours from Tucson, we discovered that the forecast wall of bad weather in Texas was, in fact, impenetrable by prospective helicopter migrants. My copilot wanted to press on, pointing out that conditions weren’t so bad at various airports to the northeast, e.g., 1200′ ceilings were available in Carlsbad (elevation 3295′). I reminded him that we’d have to climb above 8,000′ to clear the mountains between El Paso and Carlsbad and that the 1200′ ceiling wasn’t going to follow the terrain. It hadn’t occurred to him that airports tend to be built at the lowest elevations in a region, not on hilltops or mountaintops. (He had more than 500 hours of airplane time and nearly 200 hours of helicopter time so I can’t explain this gap in knowledge.)

Million Air KELP is a favorite spot for military instructors and students. It’s also a great place to make sure that you don’t get sunburned when transferring from your pavement-melting SUV into your Greta Thunberg-approved Gulfstream:

We headed downtown:

More about El Paso in our next thrilling installment…


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