Once in a Blue Moon

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This July will have a Blue Moon - the Moon is full tonight - July 1st. It will also be full on July 31st.

The second full moon in the same month is called a Blue Moon.

 

The websites for MegaBots and Suidobashi Heavy Industries. Now if they could get Mark and the wonderful people at Survival Research Laboratories to join in on the fun, that would be a kick-ass show...

Tip of the hat to Jalopnik

Quote of the day

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Never blame a legislative body for not doing something. When they do nothing, they don't hurt anybody.
When they do something is when they become dangerous.
--Will Rogers

Politically incorrect

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Indeed but I love it - from Fred on Everything:

Are White Men Gods?: Getting the Facts Straight
I find Cornel West, a black professor, complaining of White Supremacy, which he believes our black President needs to remedy. Obama, he says, is “niggerized.”

“A niggerized black person is a black person who is afraid and scared and intimidated when it comes to putting a spotlight on white supremacy and fighting against white supremacy,” West said.

I would like to explain to Professor West a few things about this dread supremacy:

We have White Supremacy, Professor, because for 2500 years we, whites, have produced the best minds on the planet, the greatest flourishing of the arts and sciences ever seen, the most complex and organized societies. We have White Supremacy, whatever exactly it may be, because we have been the earth’s most successful race. No other has come close. Deal with it.

We put probes on Mars and invented the thousands of technologies needed to do it. We developed the symphony orchestra, the highest form of musical expression. We invented the airplane, the computer, the internet, and tennis shoes. Putting it compactly,  we invented the modern world. A degree of privilege, however you may conceive it, goes with the territory.

Blacks may not have the background to grasp the extent of our achievements. Still, permit me a brief and very incomplete list of things white people have done or invented:

Euclidean geometry. Parabolic geometry. Hyperbolic geometry. Projective geometry. Differential geometry. Calculus: Limits, continuity, differentiation, integration. Physical chemistry. Organic chemistry. Biochemistry. Classical mechanics. The indeterminacy principle. The wave equation. The Parthenon. The Anabasis. Air conditioning. Number theory. Romanesque architecture. Gothic architecture. Information theory. Entropy. Enthalpy. Every symphony ever written. Pierre Auguste Renoir. The twelve-tone scale. The mathematics behind it, twelfth root of two and all that. S-p hybrid bonding orbitals. The Bohr-Sommerfeld atom. The purine-pyrimidine structure of the DNA ladder. Single-sideband radio. All other radio. Dentistry. The internal-combustion engine. Turbojets. Turbofans. Doppler beam-sharpening. Penicillin. Airplanes. Surgery. The mammogram. The Pill. The condom. Polio vaccine. The integrated circuit. The computer. Football. Computational fluid dynamics. Tensors. The Constitution. Euripides, Sophocles, Aristophanes, Aeschylus, Homer, Hesiod. Glass. Rubber. Nylon. Roads. Buildings. Elvis. Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. (OK, that’s nerve gas, and maybe we didn’t really need it.) Silicone. The automobile. Really weird stuff, like clathrates, Buckyballs, and rotaxanes. The Bible. Bug spray. Diffie-Hellman, public-key cryptography, and RSA. Et cetera.

A bit more:

Now,  Cornel, I have often heard blacks demanding reparations  for slavery. All right. I agree. It is only fair.  I will pay a half-million dollars to each of my slaves, and free them immediately.  I am not sure how many I have, but will try to give you an estimate in even dozens. Further, I believe that all blacks are entitled to a similar amount for every year in which they were slaves.

However,  I think you owe us royalties for the use of our civilization, which can be regarded as a sort of software. There should be a licensing fee. After all, every time you use a computer, or a door knob, you are using something invented by us. Every time you sharpen a pencil, or use one, or read or write, you infringe our copyright, so to speak. We have spent millennia coming up with things–literacy, soap, counting–and it is only fair that we receive recompense.

The accounting burden would be excessive if we tried to distribute royalties in too fine a granularity, such as three cents per use of a boom box or a Glock, so we should probably use a bundled approach–so much per year for use of the wheel, refrigerator, and television. The amount could be deducted first from reparations payments and then automatically from EBT cards.

Fred is not politically correct by any means but he does make a good point...

Progressivism in one sentence

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Copied in full - from Powerline:

The Decadence of the Liberal Mind in One Sentence
As the Greek economy continues its predictable slow motion collapse, one of the early WSJ account of the inevitable bank closures and capital controls imposed yesterday has one of the funniest sentences I’ve read in a long time, but which is also fully revealing of the decadence of the liberal mind:

“How can something like this happen without prior warning?” asked Angeliki Psarianou, a 67-year-old retired public servant, who stood in the drizzle after arriving too late at one empty ATM in the Greek capital.

No warning? Check.  Retired public servant?  Check.  But, but . . . how can we run out of other people’s money? We still have pension checks left. Hello, Detroit? I think we’ve found your next mayor.

100% spot on...

Last night

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Here is a screen-cap of last night's leap second from the program Lady Heather running on a Trimble Thunderbolt:

 

20150701-tbolt-leap.jpg

Counting down the seconds

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Leap second tonight.

Also, for your consideration - these two words:

HYPHENATED and
NON-HYPHENATED

Discuss...

Back from town - still hot

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Getting the grill ready for some steak. Picked up some frozen crinkle-cut french fries from Costco and have those in the oven roasting.

Next project is getting the ham shack organized - bought a shelving unit and will be reorganizing some others for test equipment and electronics supplies. I have been doing electronics since I was six years old (Dad taught me to solder then) and had all the equipment out in the DaveCave. The radio shack is a small room off the Garage and this will be perfect - it faces where I want to put my antennas and is far enough away from the music room that there should be no interference.

Dinner is almost ready so more posting later tonight.

This day will be one second longer than the day before or the day after.

Today is the 2015 Leap Second Day. From the UK Telegraph:

Clocks to read 11:59:60 tonight as time lords add leap second
Airlines, trading floors and technology companies are braced for chaos today as world timekeepers prepare to add a leap second to global clocks.

Immediately before midnight dials will read 11:59:60 as clocks hold their breath for a second to allow the Earth’s rotation to catch up with atomic time.

When the last leap second was added in 2012 Mozilla, Reddit, Foursquare, Yelp, LinkedIn, and StumbleUpon all reported crashes and there were problems with the Linux operating system and programmes written in Java.

In Australia, more than 400 flights were grounded as the Qantas check-in system crashed.

Experts at Britain’s National Physical Laboratory (NPL) who will officially add the second to UK time, warned that markets which are already jittery from Greece could suffer transaction delays if their software was not prepared.

“There are consequences of tinkering with time,” said Peter Whibberley, Senior Research Scientist in the Time and Frequency group at NPL, who is known to colleagues as ‘The Time Lord.’

“Because leap seconds are only introduced sporadically it is difficult to implement them in computers and mistakes can cause systems to fail temporarily.

 99.999% of civilization will be unaffected. Cool idea though. The title of this post? The good Doctor of course.

This from an antique radio forum:

Vacuum Tube Dangers
I'm a high school students who was suspended yesterday for bringing a box of vacuum tubes - mostly small triodes - to school. I was told that vacuum tubes are toxic and would explode if they are dropped. I was told that there are strict EPA regulations regarding vacuum tubes. I was also told there was cadmium and other hazardous, toxic, heavy metals present in vacuum tubes, as well as being told that there was a vague poisonous gas present in vacuum tubes, which seems very contradictory, because vacuum tubes are, well, vacuums. I was told that you must be a qualified and licensed technician to handle and replace vacuum tubes. It seems now that the entire school administration and the students fear that I've brought toxic explosives to school, when in reality, I just brought, what to me, were harmless vacuum tubes, mostly small triodes, to show one of my friends. I've repaired phonographs, worked in old televisions, tape recorders, and the like, and have, as a result, collected many old vacuum tubes. I grew familiar and well-acquainted with them, studied them electrically, physically, and historically, and have never learned or been alerted of these hazardous claims. Have I been ignorant by having risked my health and safety by working with vacuum tubes? Have I risked and compromised the health and safety of my school by exposing them to these vacuum tubes and their potentially explosive and toxic qualities? Are vacuum tubes really this dangerous, especially in a high school? Or, has the school administration been ignorant in their knowledge and judgment of vacuum tubes? Am I being wrongly troubled by the school for something harmless and innocent? Please, can somebody explain to me the dangers and safety of vacuum tubes, and clarify the claims above?

Thank you so much.

Good Lord - the stupidity of the school administrators! IT BURNS!!!

Most generic Vacuum tubes have no cadmium, hazardous toxic or otherwise "heavy metals". The shiny part is barium which is pretty benign - it is used as a medical dye for  imaging. They can implode if dropped but the only danger is a small amount of broken glass. The only training or qualifications needed are for those people working on broadcast transmitters where interference with other radio services could be an issue.

There is this graph again:

 

cato_education.jpg

 

I bet that there is a better vacuum in the cranial cavity of the school administrators then was ever in those tubes. Also, the fluorescent tubes buzzing above their heads have much more mercury than any of the so-called dangerous tubes (mercury was used in tubes to convert AC to DC until silicon rectifiers became available.

Back to town today

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Was in town yesterday but still need a few more items plus have some banking to do.

My front-of-house manager's birthday is being celebrated today so stopping in for some B-Day cake. When I was first looking at buying the store in 2007, I asked her and the back-of-house manager if they would stay and work with me. That would have been a show-stopper as they are both wonderful people and amazing people to work with.

Paying some bills and then I am outta here for a few hours.

From the UK Guardian:

Pope Francis recruits Naomi Klein in climate change battle
She is one of the world’s most high-profile social activists and a ferocious critic of 21st-century capitalism. He is one of the pope’s most senior aides and a professor of climate change economics. But this week the secular radical will join forces with the Catholic cardinal in the latest move by Pope Francis to shift the debate on global warming.

Naomi Klein and Cardinal Peter Turkson are to lead a high-level conference on the environment, bringing together churchmen, scientists and activists to debate climate change action. Klein, who campaigns for an overhaul of the global financial system to tackle climate change, told the Observer she was surprised but delighted to receive the invitation from Turkson’s office.

“The fact that they invited me indicates they’re not backing down from the fight. A lot of people have patted the pope on the head, but said he’s wrong on the economics. I think he’s right on the economics,” she said, referring to Pope Francis’s recent publication of an encyclical on the environment.

When Pope Francis was first elected, I thought he was a good man - humble and true to the Holy Spirit. No more. He is as corrupt as the rest of them...

People forget that for all of its faults, it was Capitalism that made the first world nations very rich. We did not take the capital from other nations. Capital is fungible, it can be created. It can be destroyed. Who are we to say that OK - now the rules have changed and none of the third-world nations can become rich.

Who are we to condemn these people, these households, these families and communities to a life of wretched poverty all to bolster some ideological dream, some narrative that has no basis in fact.

I rebuke these weak-minded ideologues. I spit on them. Pope Francis included.

Yes, he is old and yes, he will die sometime but how much needless misery will he cause in the interim because he chose to associate with the glitterati instead of his true flock.

We seem to be edging closer and closer to the brink.

I am not going to excerpt - just go here and read: Is a financial crisis about to erupt worldwide?

Keep a month or two of cash on hand. If you do not have a marketable skill, develop one now. Buy, make or grow trade-goods but make sure that these are usable without electricity or running water. Learn how to operate a radio - something as simple as one of the "family radios" sold at Costco or a Citizens Band rig. An amateur radio license takes about 20 hours of very casual study and the buy-in cost is under $200 for a decent setup. Get to know your neighbors and see if there is a local CERT team or Blockwatch program.

Proponents of this claim that it will make severe weather events stronger and more frequent - witness the claims about Katrina and Sandy where the storms were actually weak and the damage was due to poor preparedness, management and infrastructure.

From the horse's mouth - CNS News:

NOAA Says It’s a Record: No Major Hurricane Has Struck U.S. Mainland in 10 Years
No “major” hurricane--defined as a Category 3 or above--has made landfall on the continental United States since 2005, according to records compiled by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Hurricane Research Division.

That is the longest stretch of time the United States has gone without a Category 3 or above hurricane striking somewhere on the mainland of the country, according to NOAA hurricane records going back to 1851.

“It’s easily the record -- with all the necessary caveats,” the National Hurricane Center’s Eric Blake told CNSNews.com.

Blake, a specialist with the center, is the co-author of The Deadliest, Costliest, and Most Intense United States Tropical Cyclones from 1851 to 2010.

Blake said that the ability to measure hurricanes is better now than it was in the past.

Prior to the current pause in major hurricanes striking the U.S. mainland, the longest pause had been the eight years between 1860 and 1869—146 years ago. NOAA has published its calculation of the categories of all hurricanes striking the U.S. going back to 1851.

Yeah - stick a fork in it - that scam is done...

Fun with a tape measure

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 And a tip of the hat to the fine people at Neatorama.

Back from town - hot hot hot

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Started off nice and cool - was 63°F when I left - dressed in a sweatshirt.

Had to buy a cooler shirt at Costco when I was there at 10:30AM.

Title? From Buster Poindexter (David Johansen from the New York Dolls):

 

Back home and it is 88°F outside - we got a little bit of rain yesterday but less than a 10th inch and not enough to water the garden.

Doing the last of the Feijoada for dinner.

Coming soon to a Walmart near you

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Yeah right. This howler from Stanford University:

Single-catalyst water splitter from Stanford produces clean-burning hydrogen 24/7
Stanford University scientists have invented a low-cost water splitter that uses a single catalyst to produce both hydrogen and oxygen gas 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

The device, described in a study published June 23 in Nature Communications, could provide a renewable source of clean-burning hydrogen fuel for transportation and industry.

"We have developed a low-voltage, single-catalyst water splitter that continuously generates hydrogen and oxygen for more than 200 hours, an exciting world-record performance," said study co-author Yi Cui, an associate professor of materials science and engineering at Stanford and of photon science at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

Electrolysis is horribly inefficient - you spend much more energy than you can ever receive from the Hydrogen output. Catalysts are great but they only get you so far. It is still a $$$$$$ in and a $ out situation. That this device runs 24/7 has absolutely zero bearing.

I just invented a wonderful new machine! You shovel out your fireplace, put the ashes into the reaction chamber and connect a battery. In a few minutes, chunks of firewood begin to appear. My machine is just as viable as any electrolysis machine - water is an ash. Water is the product of combustion of hydrogen and oxygen. Reconstituting it back to the original elements takes a lot of effort - a lot more than will be produced when the two gasses are burned again.

I would love to be proven wrong but the science doesn't add up...

End times in Greece

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The next few days are where the pedal hits the metal.

From Reuters:

Greece imposes capital controls as crisis deepens
Greece moved to check the growing strains on its crippled financial system on Sunday, closing its banks and imposing capital controls that brought the prospect of being forced out of the euro into plain sight.

After bailout talks between the leftwing government and foreign lenders broke down at the weekend, the European Central Bank froze vital funding support to Greece's banks, leaving Athens with little choice but to shut down the system to keep the banks from collapsing.

Banks are expected to be closed all next week, and there will be a daily 60 euro limit on cash withdrawals from cash machines, which will reopen on Tuesday. Capital controls are likely to last for many months at least.

A bit more:

After months of wrangling, Greece's exasperated European partners have put the blame for the crisis squarely on Tsipras' shoulders. The 40-year-old premier caught them by surprise in the early hours of Saturday by rejecting the demands of lenders and calling a bailout referendum.

The creditors wanted Greece to cut pensions and raise taxes in ways that Tsipras has long argued would deepen one of the worst economic crises of modern times in a country where a quarter of the workforce is already unemployed.

After announcing the referendum, Tsipras asked for an extension of Greece's existing bailout until after the July 5th vote. Euro zone officials refused, and in his televised address Tsipras bemoaned the refusal as an "unprecedented act".

They are both wrong - raising taxes is a 100% guaranteed way to get capital to flee the nation. Lower taxes and make the tax structure fair and simple and your revenues will increase.

As for the pensions - these promises are seriously underfunded.. The Greek Government and Labor Unions have too many people working for them. They cannot afford these people and their jobs need to be cut. Not a popular move but real solutions are never popular at first.

This is not without precedent - Iceland's economy crashed in 2008 (too high national debt, banks playing with stupid investments and too large government - sound familiar?) and they spent several years in a deep recession with inflation rates up to 14%. They tightened the belt, lowered taxes and are now roaring back to life. This can be done folks - it is not rocket science...

Somebody wrote me a letter

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Got my first radiogram this evening. Received a telephone call from an operator in Gig Harbor, WA. They had received a radiogram from another operator in Beavercreek, OR who had sent me best wishes on acquiring my General License. A really nice gesture!

At the Sea-Pac conference, there were about 600 radio operators and only one or two of them were a**holes - met some really nice people. Got buttonholed by one person who wanted to monopolize the conversation and talk at me without listening to what I had to say. I do not like being talked at so I recognized this behavior and gradually incorporated a third party into our one-sided discussion. I cited a pressing matter and left the poor soul. Sometimes I have no mercy...

The other people I have met in this hobby are really nice and the emergency people are delighted to have us helping them.

Dinner was great - did 8oz burgers with some dried onion, garlic, bread crumbs and salt and pepper mixed in the meat. Form the patties and refrigerate them for 4 hours and grill on a hot grill. Rest for six minutes. We were so stuffed that we never got around to the pie...

Our water board meets on the last Sunday of each month - nothing much to report so it was a fast meeting. A bear has been sighted on the road leading to my house. They are putting in a large logging road on the hillside so the bear is probably displaced by the noise of construction.

Having an early bedtime today as I have the shopping run for the store tomorrow and want to get an early start.

July 2015

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