Daily Update: Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

Summer Solstice

Today is the date of the Summer Solstice (except in Eastern Daylight Tme), marking either the Beginning or the Middle of Summer (you decide), And 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 11:24 pm CDT; in the Eastern Daylight Time zone, at 12:24 am EDT tomorrow). 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 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 at the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska, our #3 LSU Tigers were very thoroughly whipped by the #1 Oregon State Beavers by the score of 1 to 13.

I woke up half an hour early, posted to Facebook that today was the Summer Solstice (except for Eastern time), and did my Book Devotional Reading. I then finished my packing, and Richard loaded up my bags and the ice chest with the boudin into my car. We left the house driving separate vehicles, and at the Casino we signed the Early Out list, with me using my Golden Ticket. When we clocked in, Richard was on Three Card Poker, and I was on the second Mississippi Stud table.

At 3:45 am I got out, said my goodbyes to Richard, and drove home; on my way home I stopped at Wal-Mart for some supplies, and I was going to get gas for my car at Valero, but I could not find my Valero card, so I went to the Chevron station instead. Once home, our mail from yesterday (which was delivered very late) was out in the box, so I brought it in, and reconciled the Discover bill. I then posted my Vacation Weblog entry, fed the cats, and locked up the house.

I left on my trip at 6:00 am, with the car milage at 22833. I took US 190 East to Opelousas, then took I-49 South. At the Carencro Branch oh the Lafayette Public Library I returned When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi. At Lafayette I took I-10 East to Baton Rouge. I was eating my breakfast and reading the morning paper at Louie’s Café at 7:45 am. I then took I-12 to Slidell. I tried calling Julie when I got to Slidell at 10:45 am, but she had phone problems, and I was not able to get in touch with her.

After 11:00 am I called Richard, who had not gotten out of work early, and he told me that he was going to Baton Rouge to see Butch. I reached Mississippi at 11:15 am, got a Facebook Messenger message from Julie, and called Gus’s phone and talked to her; I told her I would see her next week. I then got another call from Richard that he was about to head got Baton Rouge. My phone kept going off with weather alerts for Tropical Storm Cindy, and my Third Tuesday Book Club eventually decided to postpone tonight’s meeting to next week (which I still will not be able to attend). I reached Alabama at 2:00 pm; I ate lunch at the McDonald’s in Livingston, Alabama at 2:30 pm and continued reading Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner via Kindle on my tablet. At 5:00 pm Richard called; he was back across the river in Port Allen, and I told him that I was about an hour from stopping.

At 6:00 pm I checked in at the Holiday Inn Express in Gadsen, Alabama. Once I was settled into my room I called Richard. I then called Liz Ellen’s cell phone and left her a message. And when I finish this Daily Update I will go to bed; I cannot remember the last time I was on the road, doing all the driving, for twelve hours.

Tomorrow is the Memorial of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, Religious (died 1591). I will be driving again tomorrow, and plan to arrive at Liz Ellen’s house about 5:00 pm. At the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska, our #3 LSU Tigers (49-18) will play the #17 Florida State Seminoles (46-22); if our Tigers win, they will play the #1 Oregon State Beavers again on Friday afternoon, and if they lose, they go home.

Our Tuesday Evening 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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