Daily Update: Monday, June 20th, 2016

Summer Solstice

With no Saints to honor today, we note that today is the date of the Summer Solstice, marking either the Beginning or the Middle of Summer (you decide), and that today is the birthday of our former neighbor Pam, mother of several of the Assembled who are friends with our own kids (1959).

The Summer Solstice occurs exactly when the Earth’s axial tilt is most inclined towards the sun at its maximum of 23° 26 ′ (at my locale, at 5:34 pm CDT). Except in the polar regions (where daylight is continuous for many months during the spring and summer), the day on which the summer solstice occurs is the day of the year with the longest period of daylight (14 hours, 7 minutes, and 11 seconds at my locale). Thus the seasonal significance of the Summer solstice is in the reversal of the gradual shortening of nights and lengthening of days. In some cultures the Summer Solstice is held to start the season of Summer, while in others cultures it marks the middle of Summer. (Which is why we have Mid-Summer’s Day three or four days after the Start of Summer.) Worldwide, interpretation of the event has varied among cultures, but most recognize the event in some way with holidays, festivals, and rituals around that time with themes of religion or fertility. Perhaps the most famous festival in the United States is the Fremont Solstice Parade, an annual event produced in June by the Fremont Arts Council (FAC), a non-profit organization that supports the arts and artists in and around the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle, Washington. It is a Mardi-Gras styled, entirely human powered event that is distinguished from mainstream public parades by its unusual rules. These four rules are ‘No written words, signage or recognizable logos; No motorized vehicles (except wheelchairs); no live animals (except guide animals); and no functional weapons. The event appears as a slowly paced music, dance and character procession where direct crowd interaction is encouraged and ensembles of actors in costume entertain with political and social commentary. The Solstice Parade was founded in 1989 by Barbara Luecke and Peter Toms, and quickly grew to thousands of participants and tens of thousands of spectators. The parade kicks off the Fremont Fair, a benefit for Solid Ground (originally known as the Fremont Public Association). And today is the birthday of our former neighbor Pam, mother of several of the Assembled who are friends with our own kids (1959).

Last night Richard gathered up the trash and wheeled the trash bin out to the curb.

I posted to Facebook that today was the date of the Summer Solstice, and did my Book Devotional Reading. I put my blood pressure and blood sugar sheets that I printed out yesterday in my bag, and on our way to work I did my Internet Devotional Reading. Once at the casino I called the Pharmacy and renewed two prescriptions. Once we clocked in, Richard was on a Blackjack table, closed that table, was the Relief Dealer for the Sit-Down Blackjack table and Four Card Poker, and ended up at the dealer on Let It Ride. Meanwhile, I was on Three Card Poker all day. On my breaks I continued reading Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King, and the Full Moon arrived at 6:05 am.

After work, Richard and I went to the Clinic. At the Pharmacy Richard picked up my prescriptions (thank you Richard), then had his appointment with the Nurse Practitioner (he got a clean bill of health, and will see the Nurse Practitioner again on October 10th). I had my appointment with the Doctor instead of the Nurse Practitioner; he asked if I had had to cancel being at the Renal Clinic on Thursday, and I told him that I had not heard anything in months about going to the Renal Clinic. The Doctor will see me again on September 19th, and the Nurse will call me at some point to arrange me seeing the doctor at the Renal Clinic (which is always on Thursdays, which means I have to drive to the Casino complex on my day off). On our way home I finished reading Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King.

We arrived home a good hour later than usual (due to our appointments), and I read the morning paper while eating my lunch salad from yesterday. I then got on the computer and did my Book Review for this weblog and for my Goodreads and Facebook accounts for Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King, and then did an Advance Daily Update Draft for my weblog while Richard scrubbed the tub and our commode in our bathroom. I then decided that I was too tired to do much of anything else, so I am finishing up today’s Daily Update; when I am done, I will go to bed early. And the Summer Solstice will officially arrive at 5:34 pm.

Tomorrow is the Memorial of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, Religious (died 1591). We will work our eight hours at the casino, and on my breaks I will return to my magazine reading. After lunch I will take a nap, then I will wake up, watch Jeopardy! at 4:30 pm, then head to Lafayette to attend the Third Tuesday Book Club meeting at Barnes and Noble to discuss Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King.

Our Monday Afternoon Parting Quote comes to us from Jack Kilby, American physicist. Born in 1923 in Jefferson City, Missouri, he grew up and attended school in Great Bend, Kansas. Upon graduating from high school he received his bachelor of science degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, In 1947 he received a degree in Electrical Engineering, and he obtained his master of science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Extension in Milwaukee (which later became the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee) in 1950, while simultaneously working at Centralab in Milwaukee. In mid-1958 Kilby was a newly employed engineer at Texas Instruments who did not yet have the right to a summer vacation. He spent the summer working on the problem in circuit design that was commonly called the “tyranny of numbers” and finally came to the conclusion that manufacturing the circuit components en masse in a single piece of semiconductor material could provide a solution. On September 12, 1958 he presented his findings to the management, which included Mark Shepherd: he showed them a piece of germanium with an oscilloscope attached, pressed a switch, and the oscilloscope showed a continuous sine wave, proving that his integrated circuit worked and thus that he solved the problem. U.S. Patent 3,138,743 for “Miniaturized Electronic Circuits”, the first integrated circuit, was filed on February 6, 1959. Along with Robert Noyce (who independently made a similar circuit a few months later), Kilby is generally credited as co-inventor of the integrated circuit. Kilby also is noted for patenting the electronic portable calculator and the thermal printer used in data terminals. In total, he held about 60 patents. From 1978 to 1985, he was Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering at Texas A&M University. In 1983 Kilby retired from Texas Instruments; that same year he was awarded the prodigious Kyoto Prize by the Inamori Foundation. He was awarded both the Washington Award, administered by the Western Society of Engineers and the Eta Kappa Nu Vladimir Karapetoff Award in 1999. In 2000 Kilby was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his breakthrough discovery, and delivered his personal view of the industry and its history in his acceptance speech. After his death Texas Instruments created the Historic TI Archives, and his family donated his personal manuscripts and his personal photograph collection to Southern Methodist University (died 2005): “I’ve reached the age where young people frequently ask for my advice. All I can really say is that electronics is a fascinating field that I continue to find fulfilling. The field is still growing rapidly, and the opportunities that are ahead are at least as great as they were when I graduated from college. My advice is to get involved and get started.”

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