Author Archives: Billy Lee

Billy Lee

About Billy Lee

Billy Lee is a retired machine designer. His bona-fides include: raised a Navy brat; former anti-Vietnam War activist; Francophile; math lover; Egyptology enthusiast; MSU grad; likes Blues and Culver's fish sandwiches; father; grandfather; married to Bev, his best friend; Christian---but loves Obama, Hillary, and the gay people. Biggest problem facing civilization?---lack of CAPS on income, which permit the wealthy to loot corporations and public institutions. Possession by anyone of excessive wealth must be a felony enforced by international courts. The alternative is to continue the widespread poverty and human misery that have plagued civilization from before forever.

47 TONS

In the entire universe plutonium is found above trace amounts at one location and one location only: planet Earth. Plutonium went extinct due to radioactive decay billions of years ago. It can be created during rare cosmic events, but the bomb-making kind—Pu 239—is a manufactured element that does not occur in nature. It is a by-product of nuclear fission reactions. It hides itself within the matrix of elements that make up the remnants of spent fuel rods.
Plutonium is among the most poisonous substances known. The speck of plutonium dust that kills you, you will likely never see. Some scientists today have downplayed the lethality of plutonium 239. My advice is to be skeptical whenever vast amounts of money and power fuel a controversy.
[…] By this time next year the Japanese will have accumulated enough high-grade Pu 239 to make as many as 12,000 atomic bombs. Should it make that choice, Japan would possess the world’s largest nuclear arsenal.
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EYE TO EYE

Can anyone give a geometric reason why an imaginary number raised to the power of an imaginary number generates four real numbers and no imaginary ones? Continue reading

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What is e exp (-i π) ?

I posted a long answer on Quora.com where it sort of didn’t do so well. Answers given by others were much shorter but lacked geometric insights. After two days my answer was the most read but least upvoted. It did receive a few positive replies, though.
I can’t help but believe that there must be nerds in cyberspace who might enjoy my answer. Why not post it on my blog? Maybe someday one of my grandkids will get interested in math and read it. Who knows? Continue reading

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ILLUSIONS

It’s hard to say who is worse off during these mass-casualty events, the dead or the wounded or those who witness the violence up close and personal. So many people are traumatized for no good reason. I suspect that even viewers of television coverage get a sick feeling in their stomachs when these horrors occur. I know I do. Continue reading

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Begging For It

The point is, we aren’t listening to the North or South Koreans. Most want the peninsula unified. We don’t. Most folks want to live in a safe and fair place where billionaires don’t reduce the average person to poverty. South Korea doesn’t want us to sacrifice millions of its own citizens in a military strike, possibly a nuclear conflagration, to make a point. It’s simple, really. 
The only sensible solution is to leave Korea and to assist reunification as best as we can, if we are invited to do so. Continue reading

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OCEAN WAR

Our Navy is a mess. Everyone knows it. The optics of powerful warships limping into port under the power of a dozen or so tugboats emboldens our enemies and demoralizes our patriotic fighting men and women. We have the wrong ships, designed the wrong way, for the wrong wars, for the wrong reasons. And our Navy is overworked to the max. We all know it’s true. Continue reading

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DEATH TAX

It’s un-American for the wealthy to leave fortunes to their children and grandchildren. It creates a caste system, which is what we fought a revolution to avoid. Under current tax policy anyone who dies can leave up to $5.5 million tax-free to relatives. Any excess above $5.5 million is taxed at 40%, generally speaking. It’s a bit more complicated, but taxation always is. Loopholes are important to rich people. They pay tax attorneys a lot of money to maintain their power and financial privileges.

Forty percent is not generous enough for people like our current president and his GOP associates. They want the “death tax” (as they derisively call it) eliminated. I’m arguing that the rate should be increased to 100%. Handing out hundreds of millions of dollars to spoiled brats is destroying the USA. A corrosive degeneracy is creeping into every sphere of the lives of the wealthy. Continue reading

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RISK

Let’s smarten up for a few moments and defend our reputation among the kingdoms of the animals and the plants. Let’s think about best case scenarios for survival and whether we can make them come true. One statistic to keep in mind that is easily verified (and it might startle some readers): one-third of all deaths are not caused by aging. Continue reading

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Renormalization

There’s a big problem inside the science of science; there always has been. People noticed the problem as soon as they started doing science. Continue reading

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ANNUAL VACATION

Billy Lee and his entire staff of sycophants are on vacation during June and the first half of July. Billy Junior and his slut-girlfriend, Fannie Jeane, will handle emergencies and approve reader comments until the Pontificator A-team returns. Junior has promised not to publish salacious articles during its absence, like he did last year. THE EDITORIAL BOARD Continue reading

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