The Little Ice Age was even littler than I thought.

It is amazing to realize that I ever thought of the Little Ice Age as an ice age at all. It was so small, in fact, that it really isn’t even a blip in global temperature change.

IFLS has an article titled The Little Ice Age Was Very, Very Little:

In particular, they found that the average temperature in the northern hemisphere dropped by just 0.5°C (0.9°F) during the supposed Little Ice Age period. By comparison, the most recent actual ice age 12,000 years ago saw a drop of 8°C (14.4°F).

That is absolutely amazing. Only a half of a degree C drop? That wouldn’t even counteract the recent global temperature increase that we are facing right now.

And as for the recent actual ice age? 8°C? Wow.

I wish everyone would take the time to learn something about the facts before they dismiss the science behind the problems that we are facing.

What it means to be American

A recent survey highlights some of the differences between Democrats and Republicans on what it means to be an American. The survey shows that, while each takes pride in their country, we disagree on the parts that we believe are important.

First, the good news. We each think that there are core elements about being an American that are important:

Note: all quotes are taken from the CBS News article titled Poll: 7 in 10 people say America is losing its identity

There are some points of resounding agreement among Democrats, Republicans and independents about what makes up the country’s identity. Among them: a fair judicial system and rule of law, the freedoms enshrined in the Constitution, and the ability to get good jobs and achieve the American dream.

Those seem to be pretty good ideals. While it is possible to disagree on what constitutes a good job or the details of the rule of law, at least we can agree that they are important.

But here are some things on which we disagree:

About 65 percent of Democrats said a mix of global cultures was extremely or very important to American identity, compared with 35 percent of Republicans. Twenty-nine percent of Democrats saw Christianity as that important, compared with 57 percent of Republicans.

Democrats are far more likely than Republicans to say that the ability of people to come to escape violence and persecution is very important, 74 percent to 55 percent. Also, 25 percent of Democrats said the culture of the country’s early European immigrants very important, versus 46 percent of Republicans.

Those are some pretty basic disagreements. The article also goes on to say that these disagreements have caused problems to spring up in the past. Given these basic differences in philosophy, it is going to be difficult to steer the country in any direction that doesn’t put is in direct conflict with other Americans.

10 prescient quotes from Terry Pratchett

Poking through my twitter feed, one of my friends posted a link to a list of quotes taken from Terry Pratchett’s writing that was just too good to ignore. It is a list of quotes that should be remembered by everyone. Not only do the quotes reflect the world better than the most polished mirror, they also act as a bar that I — as a writer — would like to reach.

From 10 Discworld Quotes You’ll Desperately Need for the Next Four Years:
Continue reading 10 prescient quotes from Terry Pratchett

Using the tkinter.messagebox library

Previous entries in this series:

  1. Welcome to tkinter
  2. Questions and answers for a basic tkinter GUI
  3. Feet to Meters using tkinter and ttk

While I am mostly looking at the ttk module at present, there is a module in the tkinter library that is so useful that I want to take a break and cover it. The module is called messagebox. It is located in the tkinter library.
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Feet to Meters using tkinter and ttk

Previous entries in this series:

  1. Welcome to tkinter
  2. Questions and answers for a basic tkinter GUI

Previously we have made an application that doesn’t really do anything. Its purpose was to show the necessary code to create the application in a GUI on the screen. Now it’s time to create an application that actually does something.

The application that we are going to make is based on the wonderful tutorial provided by TkDocs. specifically, we are going to be recreating a first (real) example, but instead of using non-object-oriented code, we will be using python classes.
Continue reading Feet to Meters using tkinter and ttk

Welcome to tkinter

I have fallen in love with the python programming language. It has everything that I commonly use when I am programming in C/C++, but it also has the advantage of being cross-platform. As a C/C++ programmer, learning the language was relatively easy, and the joy of my programs being able to run on virtually any system without heroic efforts was truly exhilarating. The only thing that seemed to be missing was the ability to have a GUI that was available across all platforms while still avoiding those aforementioned heroic efforts.

Python already had a self-contained answer to my desire for a cross-platform GUI. When I installed python, it brought along its own GUI for the ride. While it is true that the GUI might not be as all-inclusive and robust as, say, the Windows GUI or GTK+, it seems to be just perfect for the same reasons that the python language, itself, is so wonderful.
Continue reading Welcome to tkinter