Well, last one at our house, anyway. And I guess it hasn’t actually been summer for a while now, but it’s sure felt like it. Yesterday it got up to something like 80 degrees which, while not exactly unheard of in mid-October around here is almost as rare as Syracuse football beating the defending National Champions (actually that second thing is a lot more rare). There was a strong breeze all day, which made it feel absolutely perfect out there, and I was able to get the grass cut one last time (that’s gonna have to do it – shit started falling off the tractor, and I had to cobble things together because I didn’t have the right parts on hand).

Summer finally came to an end overnight, though, as a pretty strong storm front passed through with strong winds and heavy rains that got the dog all upset (his happy pills just aren’t getting the job done – next time maybe I’d be better off taking them myself), and this morning it was about 40 degrees cooler.

So, that’s that for that.

Not that we won’t get a few more decent days before winter settles in, but you can feel it in the air. Winter’s definitely coming (I just stepped out the door and walked about half a block, and, damn, it feels decidedly wintry out there).

Time to get the chains, plow, and cab on the tractor and see about mounting the little golf cart propane heater I bought (probably turn out to be a waste of money, but who knows – hopefully it’ll help at least a little). Fortunately, I have a 4WD truck now, so there won’t be quite the same sense of urgency to plow.

In other news…I don’t wanna talk about other news. At best it’s depressing and at worst it’s infuriating. Except for one item, and it’s only for those of you who actually “believe” in science.

We finally have an answer to that age-old question, “what is the sound of two neutron stars colliding.

The outburst took place in a galaxy called NGC 4993, located roughly a thousand billion, billion km away in the Constellation Hydra.

It happened 130 million years ago – when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. It was so far away that the light and gravitational waves have only just reached us.

OK, so if you’re one of the fundie Kristian types, I guess we lost you right there, since as you know dinosaurs roamed the Earth just a couple thousand years ago. But as for the rest of us…

The stars themselves had masses 10-20% greater than our Sun – but they were no larger than 30km across.

They were the crushed leftover cores of massive stars that long ago exploded as supernovas.
They are called neutron stars because the process of crushing the star makes the charged protons and electrons in the atoms of the star combine – to form an object made entirely of neutrons.
Such remnants are incredibly dense – a teaspoonful would weigh a billion tonnes.

That’s nearly as dense as Sean Hannity. But at least something good comes out of neutron stars. Though Hannity might be something interesting for scientists to study – I mean, how cam something be so dense, and yet so vacuous at the same time?

Oh well, time to get on with killing Monday. Gotta kill a 5-day week this week (two in a row, in fact, and both on-call as well), and I’ve got a feeling it aint gonna be pretty.