Feeling like a school-kid seeing a live big-name rock band. Bill Whittle is doing a show at our gorgeous Mt. Baker Theater tomorrow night.

I am soooo stoked... Here are a few of his earlier speeches - good stuff.

Very cool technology - Structure

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Check out this site: Structure

This is going to have a very large impact on graphics, CAD, 3D modeling, games, architecture, etc... Price is $379 to $499 - affordable to anyone serious about working in 3D.

I could not embed the video but it is worth going to the site and watching. This is a game-changer and you know the technology is just going to get better and better...

A bit too much fun in Seattle

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Someone must have been thinking about the old Volkswagen commercial (YouTube at the end of this post) - from the Seattle Post Intelligencer:

Man drives car into Ship Canal, refuses rescue
Police recovered a man's body Thursday morning after he drove a Nissan Sentra into Seattle's Ship Canal at high speed overnight then refused to be rescued by a police boat, officials said.

About 11:30 p.m. Wednesday officers were looking for a car that was seen speeding on Queen Anne, said Neil Low of the Seattle police. The car is thought to have been stolen from Phinney Ridge.

As they were investigating, they saw a cloud of dust off Ewing Place, and witnesses pointed them to where a car was seen driving through a gate and into the water at high speed.

"The officers went down to the water -- saw the car in the water, lights in the water," Low said.

The driver of the car came to the surface of the water but refused to be rescued by a police patrol boat. 

Officers in the harbor unit threw him a rope four times, but the man wouldn't grab it, police said. He also pushed away an officer who tried to grab him.

He then went underwater. 

 Thining out the gene pool a little bit...

 

Yikes - do not drink the water

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Being on our local water board, I am sensitive to stories about other water systems. This one takes the cake.

From the New Orleans, LA CBS affiliate WGNO:

St. John Parish drinking water tests positive for brain-eating amoeba
More than twelve and a half thousand people in St. John parish are at risk of a brain eating amoeba detected in the water system.

A water sample taken two weeks ago by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals tested positive for the potentially deadly amoeba called Naegleria fowleri.

Residents in Reserve, Garyville and Mt. Airy have been advised to take precautions.

Talk about poor water quality - they should have been monitoring a bit more closely. With our little system (200 houses and 30 businesses) we are checking every couple months and regularly flush the pipes.

10,648 neodymium magnets

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Someone with a bit too much time (and money) on their hands - looks fun though...

Hat tip Mental Floss.

Stunningly bad science at the EPA

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Quite the scandal rearing its ugly little head - from Rod Adams writing at Atomic Insights:

How Proposed EPA CO2 Rule Rewards States for Replacing Nuclear With Gas
On August 20, 2014, Remy DeVoe, a graduate student in nuclear engineering at the University of Tennessee, published an earthshaking piece on ANS Nuclear Cafe titled Unintended Anti-Nuclear Consequences Lurking in the EPA Clean Power Plan. Unfortunately, there has been a bit of a delayed reaction; so far, only the most carefully tuned instruments have noticed any movement.

In his article, Remy described how he and Justin Knowles, another UT nuclear engineering graduate student, chose to spend part of their summer in the very “nuclear” activity of digging deeply into a mathematical model to find out the basic assumptions underlying its results. The model they chose was the formula that the EPA has described as a “consistent national formula” for calculating each state’s existing CO2 intensity (CO2 mass per MW-hr) — using 2012 data.

Aside: Please forgive my use of the underline format for a phrase that is not a link. Though underlines generally indicate the existence of a link here on Atomic Insights, I wanted to reproduce the phrase exactly as it appears — including text formatting — on EPA Connect: The Official Blog of EPA’s Leadership in a June 4, 2014 blog post by Janet McCabe titled Understanding State Goals under the Clean Power Plan End Aside.

Remy and Justin entered a hypothetical scenario into the model in which each state with nuclear generating stations shut down all of their nuclear plants and replaced their zero emission electricity generation with natural gas fired generation. Remy and Justin uncovered a starting fact. In 15 states the carbon intensity in pounds per MWhr as calculated by the EPA’s spreadsheet model decreased.

That result made no sense to them. They thought that someone had to have made a mistake somewhere in the formulas used in the model that had not been caught by any of the reviews that must have taken place inside the EPA before the rule was issued for comment.

Much more at the site. The comments are worth reading

From WeatherBELL founder Joe Bastardi writing at Watts Up With That:

Bastardi: warm water brings potential for East Pacific hurricanes
Joe D’Aleo and I have noted that one of the analogs showing up is 1976 with the type of ENSO coming on. In fact, with Tom Downs analogs thrown in, for winter, 76-77 got ranked 2nd as of Aug 10.  We look each month and update.  But  that was one heck of a year for Mexican tropical cyclone hits. We were saying back in spring, the interior  southwest was going to get wet as this pattern evolved and it has, right in the heart of the perma-drought area and back west.  But the September-Oct rain idea was because we have felt the SE pac would be the site of recurring tropical cyclones that can hit Mexico and dump a lot of rain.

The winter went wild that year, we all remember ( the winter of the ice age scare) and for good reason  the SST  by December was similar to what is forecasted this  year  warm water off the west coast and the ENSO event.

Joe compares the sea conditions of 1976 to those of today (very similar) and cites the four hurricanes that hit Mexico. He concludes with this:

The pattern is such that this area will be of concern going forth in Sep. and Oct.  So if ( when???)  it does occur,  the AGW propagandists have been warned.. we are setting it up already to a similar pattern evolution  that in the  following winter people wound up screaming ice age.  We did it with Arthur, so let see if there are a couple of recurves that make headlines, if they take the bait.  ( They will, they have no qualms about walking into traps, no matter how foolish)

They scream about storms out in the middle of nowhere, so certainly the trap is set for them if it occurs.  It happened before, and there is a good chance its about to happen again.

Its a dirty job, but someone has to do it

Heh... It will be interesting to follow.

The times they are a-changin' and some industries are not keeping up. From Billboard:

Album Sales Hit A New Low
As streaming gathers momentum, the U.S. music industry keeps breaking sales milestones -- the wrong kind.

This week's 3.97-million album sales tally is the smallest weekly sum for album sales since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking data in 1991. It's also the first time weekly sales have fallen below four million in that time span.

Last week was fairly slow for the top releases. The top album, Wiz Khalifa's Blacc Hollywood, debuted with sales of 90,000 units, a figure below the first-week sales of many other top debuts of 2014. Three other albums debuted inside the top 10 but averaged only 31,000 units apiece. And the Frozen soundtrack is no longer moving in excess of 100,000 units per week.

To compare, a year ago this past week (ending Aug. 25, 2013), 4.88 million albums were sold. But sales have been losing steam all year. The weekly average number of album sales fell from 4.75 million units in the first quarter to 4.55 million units in the second quarter. In the first 8 weeks of the third quarter, the average has fallen further to 4.2 million.

Any business will be in a constant state of flux and not keeping track is a guaranteed avenue for failure. The music business has been deeply entrenched for way to long - time to shake things up a bit. It used to be that the music industry controlled the recording studios but now, you can set up an amazing facility for under $2,000 in your own bedroom. 

Industrial Music

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Fun stuff - sampling industrial sounds and using them to create music. Nothing new but Matthew does it well.

More here: Soundcloud

Heading into Bellingham this evening

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Had a big run on people recieving Western Union funds so heading into town to get some more cash.

Some of the Democrats have their panties in a bunch over Burger King's move to Canada to save on corporate taxes. From Yahoo:

Boycott talk taints Burger King deal
Small, medium or large? The amount of outrage over Burger King’s deal to buy a Canadian donut chain could possibly determine whether the deal goes through — and helps Burger King dodge millions of dollars in U.S. taxes.

Just figured out where I will grab a bite to eat: Burger King. The branch is right across from Home Depot and I need to stop there too for some electrical conduit.

 

Socalist mayor de Blasio has turned New York City into a workers paradise - he said so himself.

From The New York Times:

Police Sergeants’ Union Warns Against Democratic Convention in Brooklyn

A union of New York City police sergeants warned the Democratic National Committee on Tuesday against holding its 2016 convention in Brooklyn, issuing an open letter that doubled as a broadside against a mayoral administration with which some officers have grown increasingly frustrated.

In the letter, addressed to the group Mayor Bill de Blasio wooed during its visit to New York two weeks ago, the president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, Edward D. Mullins, said the city was going “backward to the bad old days of high crime, danger-infested public spaces and families that walk our streets worried for their safety.”

He presented a city overrun with “squeegee people” and other panhandlers, with shootings on the rise and morale among police officers flagging.

“The D.N.C. should choose another venue,” said the letter, which appeared as an advertisement in The New York Times and The New York Post. “Mayor de Blasio,” it continued, “has not earned the right to play host to such an important event.”

And of course, like a true statist, Mr. de Blasio counters with name calling and finger pointing (not facts - because the facts don't look good for his agenda): 

Mr. de Blasio, speaking at an unrelated news conference in Brooklyn on Tuesday, called the union’s actions “opportunistic” and “irresponsible.”

“It’s fear-mongering to try and benefit their own position in contract talks,” he said. “Don’t stoke fear in the city we love.”

Looking to see a conservative become mayor within two election cycles. 

From The New York Times:

Obama Pursuing Climate Accord in Lieu of Treaty
The Obama administration is working to forge a sweeping international climate change agreement to compel nations to cut their planet-warming fossil fuel emissions, but without ratification from Congress.

In preparation for this agreement, to be signed at a United Nations summit meeting in 2015 in Paris, the negotiators are meeting with diplomats from other countries to broker a deal to commit some of the world’s largest economies to enact laws to reduce their carbon pollution. But under the Constitution, a president may enter into a legally binding treaty only if it is approved by a two-thirds majority of the Senate.

To sidestep that requirement, President Obama’s climate negotiators are devising what they call a “politically binding” deal that would “name and shame” countries into cutting their emissions. The deal is likely to face strong objections from Republicans on Capitol Hill and from poor countries around the world, but negotiators say it may be the only realistic path.

One of the worst things that President Eisenhower did was to shoot down the Bricker Amendment:

Bricker Amendment
The Bricker Amendment is the collective name of a number of proposed amendments to the United States Constitution considered by the United States Senate in the 1950s. Each of these amendments would have placed restrictions on the scope and ratification of treaties and executive agreements entered into by the United States and are named for their sponsor, Senator John W. Bricker of Ohio, a conservative Republican.

Non-interventionism, the view that the United States should not become embroiled in foreign conflicts and world politics, has always been an element in American politics but was especially strong in the years following World War I. American entry into World War II temporarily suppressed non-interventionist sentiments, but they returned in the post-war years in response to America's new international role, particularly as a reaction to the new United Nations and its affiliated international organizations. Some feared the loss of American sovereignty to these transnational agencies, because of the Soviet Union's role in the spread of international Communism and the Cold War.

Frank E. Holman, president of the American Bar Association (ABA), called attention to state and Federal court decisions, notably Missouri v. Holland, which he claimed could give international treaties and agreements precedence over the United States Constitution and could be used by foreigners to threaten American liberties. Senator Bricker was influenced by the ABA's work and first introduced a constitutional amendment in 1951. With substantial popular support and the election of a Republican President and Congress in the elections of 1952, Bricker's plan seemed destined to be sent to the individual states for ratification.

The best-known version of the Bricker Amendment, considered by the Senate in 1953–54, declared that no treaty could be made by the United States that conflicted with the Constitution, was self-executing without the passage of separate enabling legislation through Congress, or which granted Congress legislative powers beyond those specified in the Constitution. It also limited the president's power to enter into executive agreements with foreign powers.

Bricker's proposal attracted broad bipartisan support and was a focal point of intra-party conflict between the administration of president Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Old Right faction of conservative Republican senators. Despite the initial support, the Bricker Amendment was blocked through the intervention of President Eisenhower and failed in the Senate by a single vote in 1954. Three years later the Supreme Court of the United States explicitly ruled in Reid v. Covert that the Bill of Rights cannot be abrogated by agreements with foreign powers. Nevertheless, Senator Bricker's ideas still have supporters, and new versions of his amendment have been reintroduced in Congress periodically.

Much more at the site - an interesting look at history.

If President Stompy-feet is able to get away with this, I am hoping that it will trigger a major shift in the way people vote. We really need some adults in the room now, especially in the Senate...

Taking care of a lot of stuff this morning - minimal posting until later today.

This Saturday is the 5th ANNUAL MT. BAKER  CAR & MOTORCYCLE SHOW & ROD RUN

I have done the announcing for these and will be there Saturday. The weather forecast does not look that good - 70% chance of showers but it is clear today so we will see...

This about sums it up...

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The sooner we follow this path, the sooner we reach economic recovery and prosperity as well as world political security. It is just that simple.

Karl Marx's big screw-up is that there is not a fixed pool of capital. Money can be created or destroyed. Letting the rich prosper will let those poorer to prosper as well. Maintaining barriers to wealth through crony capitalism and statism does more to hinder growth than any kind of free market.

Burger King got tired of the US 39.10% Corporate tax rate (the highest in the world) and figured out how to lower it to 26.3%

From The Washington Post:

Have taxes your way: Why Burger King wants to become a Canadian citizen
Yet another American company is aiming to move its headquarters out of the country.

International fast food behemoth Burger King Worldwide Inc. confirmed Tuesday that it will pay about $11 billion to buy Canadian chain Tim Hortons Inc., which sells coffee, donuts, and other breakfast food fare. The deal would merge America's second-largest burger chain, which is valued at nearly $10 billion, with the Canadian equivalent to Dunkin' Donuts, which is valued at more than $8 billion. It would also move the new company's headquarters to Canada, where corporate taxes are significantly lower.

The newly merged company would become the world's third-biggest "quick service restaurant company," with more than 18,000 restaurants in 100 countries, said Burger King and Hortons in a statement Monday. The deal would create a business capable of rivaling Yum Brands, which owns Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, and is valued at more than $30 billion. But while Yum Brands operates from Louisville, KY, the new Burger King and Tim Hortons parent company would likely station itself in the Ontario province of Canada.

On the surface, the reason for a headquarter shift across the country's northern border is simple: lower corporate taxes.

As we have have noted before, when a company reincorporates abroad, as the practice is known, what it's really doing is shifting its corporate citizenship; and when a company shifts its corporate citizenship, what it's really doing is trying to pay less in taxes. The nominal corporate tax rate in the U.S., which combines national, state, and city-level tax rates, is nearly 40 percent—the highest across all 34 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) member countries. Canada's, by comparison, is just over 26 percent.

Of course, the Democrats are trying to stop this by doing absolutley the wrong thing - passing another law - from the Ways and Means Committee website:

H.R.4679 : Stop Corporate Inversions Act of 2014
On May 20, a group of nearly a dozen House Democrats today introduced legislation to tighten restrictions on corporate tax inversions, limiting the ability of American companies to avoid U.S. taxation by combining with a smaller foreign business and moving their tax domicile overseas. The House legislation – the “Stop Corporate Inversions Act of 2014” (H.R. 4679) – and companion Senate legislation introduced by U.S. Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) largely mirror the inversion proposal included in the President’s FY 2015 budget.

Co-sponsors of the legislation include Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI), Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA), Rep. Richard E. Neal (D-MA), Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Rep. John Larson (D-CT), Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-IL), Budget Committee Ranking Member Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL).

Gee - all they would have to do is cut back on Federal spending and cut taxes. If we lowered Corporate taxes to 25%, business would flock back to the USA. Overseas manufacturing would flock back to the USA. Profits and jobs would flock back to the USA.

But nooooo - we must smash the free market.

Humans need not apply

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Great video from C.G.P. Grey:


Here is his website: C.G.P. Grey, and YouTube channel

A weak link in the chain - Bearings

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From Eric Worrall writing at Watts Up With That:

Bearings: The Achilles Heel of Wind Turbines
A few years ago, I used to know a senior wind turbine engineer. One evening, over a few beers, he told me the dirty secret of his profession:

“The problem is the bearings. If we make the bearings bigger, the bearings last longer, but making the bearings larger increases friction, which kills turbine efficiency. But we can’t keep using the current bearings – replacing them is sending us broke. What we need is a quantum leap in bearing technology – bearing materials which are at least ten times tougher than current materials.”

At the time there was very little corroborating online material available to support this intriguing comment – but evidence seems to be accumulating that bearings are a serious problem for the wind industry.

Siemens citing bearing failures as part of the reason for a substantial fall in profit; http://www.offshorewind.biz/2014/05/07/siemens-energy-division-profit-down-54-pct/

In the announcement of the opening of a new Siemens research facility; http://www.greenoptimistic.com/2013/03/19/siemens-wind-turbine-research/
“… The Brande test center would evaluate the main parts of their wind turbines such as main bearings …”

http://www.geartechnology.com/newsletter/0112/drives.htm (an attempt to make direct drive turbines, to reduce bearing wear)
“… More accurately, it is typically the bearings within the gearbox that fail, in turn gumming up the gearbox, but that’s a story for another time. …”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burbo_Bank_Offshore_Wind_Farm
“… During summer 2010 Siemens decided to change the blade bearings on all 25 turbines as a pre-emptive measure after corrosion was found in blade bearings found on other sites. …”

And of course, there is the obligitory YouTube video:

 

 

alt.energy is a dead end for baseline energy. For remote areas -- sure. For the National Electric Grid -- no frickn' way.

 How many of our tax dollars are being sent down this rat-hole...

Quote of the day - academia

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Personally, I liked the university. They gave us money and facilities, we didn't have to produce anything! You've never been out of college! You don't know what it's like out there! I've *worked* in the private sector. They expect *results*.
--Dr Raymond Stantz

 

Dr. Stantz? Ghostbusters

Fox!

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We both spotted a fox about two weeks ago - just a blur running off into the woods.

Saw it again this morning and it is peacefully hanging out in the field chowing down on wood mice.

Curious because the dogs are normally very good about running other critters off - deer and coyote set them to barking and they will chase them to the fence. This guy? Meh. Another canine friend.

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