Monday, November 30, 2015

Weird Request

I need an adapter for 1/2"-13 male to M10x1.5 female.  Any suggestions what industry needs this?  I really don't want to make these myself.

All sorts of adapters out there, mostly for pipe threads.  I guess I will start with 3/4" aluminum rod, drill and tap 1/2"-13 in one end, and turn the other end to .3937, then use a die in the lathe to make a male M10x1.5 stud.

Is aluminum adequately strong for this part?  I was doing the math in my head while trying to fall asleep,  Shear strength for materials is usually 60% of tensile strength,  or for 601T6 aluminum: 165 Mpa.  How much can a 10mm piece of aluminum handle? 165 Mpa/(10mm^2)=1.655 x 10^6 pascals. A pascal is one newton of force over one square meter.  The newton is one kilogram under 1 m/sec^2 of acceleration: so converting one newton under our gravity to mass is 1/9.8.  A 1.655x10^6 pascals force is what 168887 kilograms would exert.  Yes, I don't think I need steel for this.  Even better, this is same order of magnitude of what I computed in my head.  I am not completely useless yet.

Maybe easier: start with a block of aluminum.  Drill and tap a M10x1.5 hole in the top.  Drill and tap a 1/2"-13  hole in the bottom.  Drop a M10.1.5 bolt from bottom with lock washer to hold it in the hole facing up; Now screw the 1/2"-13 stem up from the bottom, which holds the M10 bolt in place.  No need to cutM10 threads on a stem, amd need to turn a rod down to size for the die.  Just drill one very long hole for the M10, enlarge it from bottom for tapping 1/2:-13, and tap top of hole for M10.  Two drill operations and two taps, and one bolt.

UPDATE: Clever not clever enough.  The socket head on the M10x1.5 bolt is too large to drop into the hole for the 1/2"-13 caster stem.  Another possibility is to buy some M10x1.5 studs for that end.  


Politics follow culture.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Federal Gun Charges After Dismissal of Most State Charges

From Nov. 29, 2015 THOnline:

Martin L. Smith, 20, is charged in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa with possession of a firearm and ammunition by an unlawful user of a controlled substance. He was ordered to remain in federal custody after a preliminary hearing last week.

According to court documents, Dubuque police on Sept. 22 received multiple calls about shots fired in an alley in the 1600 block between White and Jackson streets. Police arrested Smith at 1889 1/2 Jackson St.

Smith told an officer he was in the alley during the shooting and claimed he was shooting back out of self-defense, court documents stated. Officers located a gun hidden at his home. A urine test for Smith came back positive for THC, police said.

Smith initially was charged with going armed with intent, being a felon in possession of a firearm, reckless use of a firearm causing property damage, assault while displaying a dangerous weapon and first-degree harassment.

However, Iowa District Court Judge Thomas Bitter on Monday dismissed all but the first-degree harassment charge.
It appears his claim of self-defense was believed by the judge.

NAU "Rampage Shooting" Apparently Not

I completely missed this tragedy.  From Oct. 9, 2015 AFP:
Los Angeles:  One person was killed and three others wounded in a shooting at an Arizona university early on Friday before police captured the gunman, university officials said.

The deadly shooting at Northern Arizona University (NAU) comes just over a week after the October 1 shooting rampage at Umpqua Community College in Oregon, in which a 26-year-old gunman shot dead nine people, then committed suicide.

The first emergency calls came through to police at 1:20 am Friday, when most NAU students would have been in bed at the university campus in the city of Flagstaff.

The motive for the shooting -- just the latest at colleges and universities in the United States -- was not immediately clear and the identity of the shooter and the victims was not immediately known.
But there's another side to the story.  From Nov. 20, 2015 Arizona Republic:
Northern Arizona University shooting suspect Steven Jones told police he was being charged by other students when he fired shots, killing one student and wounding three others, according to reports released Friday by the NAU police.

Jones, 18, claimed he and two friends were first attacked and beaten outside an apartment complex in the Oct. 9 incident and then chased to his car by another group of students who shouted obscenities and threatened to kill them.

But the surviving victims and other witnesses told varying stories that corroborated some of Jones' statements and contradicted others.

Jones, who wept during police interviews, claimed he got his Glock pistol from the car and told the pursuers, who were then surrounding his friends, that he had a gun. He said he shot two of the attackers, again saying they would kill him, when they charged him.

Colin Brough, 20, was pronounced dead at the scene. Nicholas Piring, 20, was the second student shot.

One of the friends who was with Jones corroborated the initial fight and that they ran from their attackers. He told police that Jones pointed the gun and told two men to get to the ground, but one lunged at him and was shot twice. Then he shot the other student, he said.
Jones has been indicted, but it sounds like he has at least a plausible argument for self-defense.

UPDATE: The story gets more interesting.  From Nov. 30, 2015 Arizona Daily Sun:

Accused killer Steven Jones was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol when he shot four fellow Northern Arizona University students, killing one.

But all four of the victims had alcohol, drugs or both in their systems on the night of the fatal shooting.

According to a new section of the police report released by NAU Police Department Monday, Arizona Department of Public Safety Crime Laboratory technicians found no alcohol or drugs in blood recovered from Jones, 18, after he shot Colin Brough, Nicholas Prato, Nicholas Piring and Kyle Zienteck, all 20 years old, in what he characterized as an act of self-defense in the early morning hours of Oct. 9.

The same police report cited lab results that listed Prato’s blood alcohol content at 0.92 percent, Zientek’s blood alcohol content at 0.181 percent and Piring’s blood alcohol content at 0.208 percent. All three readings were above the 0.08 percent blood alcohol content used to determine whether a person is driving under the influence, although, as 20-year-olds, having any alcohol in their systems would be illegal. The lab tests also detected cannabis in Prato and Zienteck’s blood. Piring’s drug screening results were not included in the report.
Jones' claim looks more and more believable.

Jury Rules Self-Defense

From Nov. 20, 2015 Tri-City Herald:
A Benton County jury decided Tyree Q. Houfmuse was acting in self defense when he fired six shots at his girlfriend’s ex last Thanksgiving eve.

Jurors deliberated for a little more than 3  1/2 hours Thursday before returning the verdict against Houfmuse for the shooting that left Anthony L. Asselin paralyzed.

If convicted, Houfmuse, 33, could have faced more than 30 years in prison for first-degree assault with a gun.

Jurors, however, found him guilty of second-degree unlawful possession of a gun by a felon.
Houfmuse had been in custody on $200,000 bail since December. Since he’s facing a sentence of time served, Judge Robert Swisher released him without bail.

Read more here:

Remember: Self-Defense With A Gun Is Really Rare

From Nov. 29, 2015 KJRH:
TULSA - Police say a man was shot Sunday evening during an attempted armed robbery at a Burger King in midtown Tulsa.

Officers responded to the fast food restaurant near East 41st Street and South Memorial Drive around 5:30 p.m.

They say a suspect was carrying a crowbar when he tried to rob another man outside the restaurant.
Police say the victim then pulled out a gun and shot the man accused of threatening him once in the shoulder.

Police say the suspect was able to drive away from the scene in a blue car with license plate number 828-BDX. Once they find him, police say he will face assault with a deadly weapon charges.
They say the shooter will not face charges because he was acting in self-defense.

When Even the Washington Post Womders...

From Nov. 28, 2015 Washington Post:
Standing atop a 60-foot cliff overlooking the Atlantic, James Hansen — the retired NASA scientist sometimes dubbed the “father of global warming” — examines two small rocks through a magnifying glass. Towering above him is the source of one of the shards: a huge boulder from a pair locals call “the Cow and the Bull,” the largest of which is estimated to weigh more than 1,000 tons....

Hansen and Paul Hearty — a wiry, hammer-slinging geologist from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington who has joined him here as a guide — have a theory about these rocks. It’s so provocative — and, frankly, terrifying — that some critics wonder whether the man who helped spawn the whole debate about the dangers of climate change has finally gone too far.

The idea is that Earth’s climate went through a warming period just over 100,000 years ago that was similar in many ways to the warming now attributed to the actions of man. And the changes during that period were so catastrophic, they spawned massively powerful superstorms, causing violent ocean waves that simply lifted the boulders from below and deposited them atop this cliff.
Where did Pleistocene man fill up his SUVs and jet planes?  You might start to wonder if man is the cause.

Imagine if dundamentalist Christians were telling a story of a giant flood and animals two by two to scare us away from sodomy?  Would the Post take them seriously?

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Time for Bikinis and Flip-Flops

Horseshoe Bend is up to a blistering 15 degrees.

New Design Work

For some time, I've been considering how to expand ScopeRoller's telescope mobility solutions to Dobsonian mounts.  If you aren't familar with them, here's an example:

These lack the ability to track objects across the sky (unless you put an equatorial platform under it like this:

which means you still need casters under the ground board of the platform), so they aren't very useful for astrophotography, but they are a cheap way to get a large reflector built, so they are popular.  And these are often very heavy telescopes, especially when you get to the aptly named Obssession 36":

The problem is that while it is pretty obvious how to put wheels under a conventional tripod, attaching to the ground board of a Dobsonian is a bit more complex.  My competitors build cart like things to put the ground board on.  Heavy to ship and expensive to make without welding.  Anyway, I think I have a solution that has a similar form factor to what I sell now, and is rugged and durable.

What Will They Ban Next? 3D Printers? Or Brains? How About Banning the Koran?

Nov. 23, 2015 Computerworld reports:
Possessing files that can be used to 3D print firearms will soon be illegal in New South Wales after new legislation, passed last week by state parliament, comes into effect.

Among the provisions of the Firearms and Weapons Prohibition Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 (PDF) is an amendment to the Weapons Prohibition Act 1998 stating that a person "must not possess a digital blueprint for the manufacture of a firearm on a 3D printer or on an electronic milling machine."

Thanks to Shall Not Be Questioned for the link.

Let's have some fun.  Get governments convinced that there are STL files that will let you 3D print concealable 10 MW carbon dioxide lasers.

Of Course Obama Is Going After Guns

Guns are the problem, Obama says.  But news accounts suggest another issue in play.

Robert Lewis Dear, 57, is suspected of killing a police officer and two civilians when he arrived at the clinic on Friday wearing a trench coat and opened fire with an assault-style rifle.
Police said that he was from North Carolina, and were looking for clues as to what exactly motivated the attack.
Neighbors of Dear from his time in rural Black Mountain said that he would often keep to himself and had a rambling manner when he talked, but that he did not openly discuss religion or abortion....

Black Mountain resident James Russell said, '"If you talked to him, nothing with him was very cognitive — topics all over place'.
'You can tell his personality is just off. The way he looked at you, the way he talked, he just seemed off,' he said.

Who Would Have Guessed The Nation

From Nov. 27, 2015 New York Post:
More Swiss people are having sex with horses, according to a sickening new report.

There were 105 cases of the maltreatment of horses in Switzerland in 2014 — 10 percent of which involved people having sex with them, according to Tier im Recht, an animal welfare group.

“This rate is relatively elevated compared with other types of animals,” Andreas Rüttimann, a legal expert with the group, told reporters, The Local reported.
Those sophisticated Europeans that progressives want us to be like.

Weird Stuff in my Spam Folder

This guy seems to be selling himself as the New Age gift advisor:

Lucky Day

You know, there is no doubt in my mind, clicking this link right now, will be the best decision you make today.

The Path to Happiness

I have helped thousands of people to follow the path of happiness by guiding them with my gift.
I will certainly surprise you, if i tell you that today, it is you and i that choose.
I will provide plenty of explaniation of what happens to you - and what will hapeen to you soon.
Get my free reading now...

Need A Christmas Gift For Someone With Hardwood or Tile Floors?

My wife bought one of these Shark steam mops for cleaning our vast expanses of tile floors.  Light and easy to use it cleans the floors without leaving any residue of soap.  Very important if you have a cat, because they clean their paws by licking them.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Not Everyone in Los Angeles Is A Fool

From AmmoLand:
Ft Collins, CO –-( City of Los Angeles Council Members recently passed an ordinance banning magazines that hold more than ten rounds.
Of course, that number will soon be reduced to six!
City residents were granted a “grace period” of sixty days within which to “turn them in,” or otherwise get rid of them. That period just expired.

During the sixty-day period, not a single one has been turned in!

How stupid does the os Angeles City Council think its people are?  Criminals aren't going to turn them in because felons are prohibited from possessing ammo, and a magazine without ammo is useless.  No one else is stupid enough to believe that this is motivated by public safety.

So glad I don't live in that idiotic state anymore.

LED Bulbs

I was so happy with the first set of these:

that I ordered more. The master bathroom vanity had five 52 watt incandescents (mostly because of heat concerns) so replacing them with these has transformed the room.  Far more light for shaving and applying makeup, and much whiter (like daylight).  And even with the dramatic increase in illumination, I am using 1/4 of the electricity. 

When I tried putting the LED bulbs in the outside security light fixtures, the lights flickered.  Some pages I visited suggested cleaning the inside of the socket to get a better connection, or see if all the electrical connections to the fixture were good.  So I wiped the interior of the socket (with power off), then removed the fixture from wall, where I found not wire nuts, but some other type of connector that looked far too solid to easily disassemble or suspect.  I now wonder if the issue is that these lights are so bright that they are turning off the light sensor of the fixture for a fraction of a second and when darkness arrives, the power goes back on.  This may require some tuning of the fixture's light sensitivity.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Sef-defense With AR-15

From the Nov. 26, 2015 Wyoming Tribune-Eagle:
 - While detectives continue to investigate a dual homicide that happened here Sunday night, the Cheyenne Police Department announced Friday that at least one of the deaths seems to have involved self-defense.
Justin Morrison and Darius Mathis, both 23 and of Cheyenne, were killed by shots fired around 11:30 p.m. Sunday outside 4523 E. 14th St. in east Cheyenne.
"The investigation's not completed, and we're still waiting on some of the physical evidence," police spokesman Officer Dan Long said. "(But) they've gotten a lot of that preliminary information back."
Newly released information says Mathis, who died on scene, was shot with an AR-15 rifle by a third person, identified by police as 20-year-old Brandon Painter.
Painter reportedly was a resident of the house along with Morrison and two others.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Are Religious Tests For Refugee Status UnAmerican As Obama Claims?

According to law Professor Michael McConnell it is required by current law:
Americans have heard a lot of nonsense in the past week about the role of religion in our refugee policy – from both sides. Senator Ted Cruz has been derided, mostly justly, for saying that no Muslim refugees – but only Christians – should be admitted to this country from the killing fields of Syria and Iraq. But President Obama’s angry reaction that use of a “religious test” for evaluating asylum seekers would be “shameful” and “not American” is even more wrongheaded. “That's not who we are,” he said to an audience in Turkey, apparently in response to Cruz. “We don’t have religious tests to our compassion.”

Except we do. It’s in the law.

The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which governs these issues, defines “refugee” as someone who has fled from his or her home country and cannot return because he or she has a well-founded fear of persecution on account of “religion” – as well as race, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group. This certainly doesn’t let us use a religious test to filter otherwise-eligible immigrants out. But it does mean that when we’re deciding who to admit as refugees, religion matters.
UPDATE: Entertainingly enough, some readers got this ad below the posting:
The ads are picked by a computer based on the text, much like my often hostile postings about homosexuality often run gay dating site ads.  I am hoping the sign is for the gal, not the kid.

The Things We Forget Without Practice

I am so glad that I did not need to dazzle anyone with my knowledge of C recently..  I am writing a bit lately for the CNC mill project, and the things I have forgotten, hurt.

Switchblade Case from Wisconsin

Wisconsin bans possession of switchblades in one's home.  The Wisconsin Court of Appeals agreed with defandant's claim that the law
violates his right to bear arms, as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I, section 25 of the Wisconsin Constitution.  We agree with Herrmann that §941.24(1) is unconstitutional as applied to him.  We therefore reverse that portion of the judgment convicting Herrmann of possession of a switchblade knife.

Winter Has Arrived

It was raining last night but this morning is all snow and as near as I can tell, I am in a Twilight Zone episode where the aliens have beamed up our part of Earth.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

I'm Offended: Don't Show Me the Past

From Nov. 24, 2015 Inside Higher Education:
In 1934, Ann Rice O'Hanlon painted a fresco -- then the largest one ever painted by a woman -- in the University of Kentucky's Memorial Hall. Ever since, thousands of students have walked past it on their way to and from various events each semester. Some have been oblivious to the work, which depicts Kentucky's history, while others have admired it and considered it an outstanding example of the Depression-era Public Works of Art program, which paid for the fresco.

Many black students over the years have noticed the mural, which offers a version of history that includes black people working in tobacco fields, black musicians performing for a group of white people and a Native American holding a tomahawk. As campus protests over issues of race have spread in recent weeks, black students at Kentucky held a meeting with President Eli Capilouto and talked about how the fresco hurt them by relegating black people to roles as slaves or servants, without portraying the cruelty of slavery and Jim Crow. On Monday, Capilouto announced his agreement that the mural's location is inappropriate.
 Why do I find myself thinking of fig leaves on Michaelangelo's David?

If you don't want anyone to know about slavery and America's dark past, fine, we can give you a cleaned up, unoffensive American history where slavery is not mentioned. Or perhaps they would prefer a mural where a black man is climbing out of the LEM on to the Moon's surface.

A Very UnPC Film

"The Day of the Siege: September Eleven 1683 (2014)  

In case you didn't know: what do croissants, Polish cavalry , and 9-11 have at the nexus?  Why is there a blog titled Gates of Vienna?  Because the 9-11 of the 17th century was the 300,000 Turks attempting to take Vienna as the first step towards making Europe Muslim.  

 There is a widely held belief that croissants were first baked as celebration of defeating trhe Muslims at the gates of Vienna.  (Crescent being a symbol of Islam and their Moon God.)  The first written evidence for this claim appears mpore than a century later, so it might be true, who knows?  Feel free to go eat a croissant as a symbolic rejection of Islam.

 Of course, 9-11 as the date of the WTC attacks was no coincidence, because that was a date of Muslim failure.   

You may be aware that at the start of World War II, it is claimed that Polish cavalry made an attack on the German tanks.  This is apparently not true.  Still, King Sobieski's heroic cavalry attack on the Turks--the largest such charge in history--is one of moments of which the Poles and all of Western Civilization can be proud.



Ms. Clinton: Are You on the Side of Law Enforcement or Do "Black L:ives Matter"?

Nov. 23, 2015 AP reports that she is arguing for Syrian refugees to keep Muslims from getting upset:
RENO, Nev. (AP) — Hard-line stances against admitting refugees to the United States are a mistake because they hurt law enforcement's ability to build ties within Muslim communities, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton said on Monday.

The U.S. should not want to send a message that gives any support to terrorists looking create divisions between the U.S. and Muslims, Clinton said at a round-table discussion with Nevada reporters, adding, "That is not smart,"

"If you're in law enforcement, ... you want the people in the communities that you are looking to get information from to feel like they want to help you," Clinton said. "And if the message from people who are running for president, for example, is that we don't want to take any Muslims whatsoever, that's not good for law enforcement."
It also isn't good to give them more terrorists to deal with.  But that will just be an excuse for more gun control.

Sure Enough Obama Is Intent on Allying Us With ISIS

From Nov. 24, 2015 Washington Times:
The U.S. military on Tuesday labeled as an “incursion” the Russian fighter jet that was shot down by Turkish aircraft over the Syria-Turkey border.

Army Col. Steve Warren, the top military spokesman in Baghdad, confirmed the Turk’s version of events in saying they repeatedly warned the two Russian SU-24 pilots to back off.

Turkey and Russia have longstanding hostilities.  Russian invasion of Turkey during World War I led to Armenian collaboration with the invaders, and this was the excuse for the Armenian genocide (not that Muslims need much reason to behead Christians).  Turkey being a member of NATO, this leads to an emergency meeting:
Brussels (AFP) - NATO allies will hold an "extraordinary" meeting Tuesday at Ankara's request to discuss Turkey's shooting down of a Russian fighter jet along the Syrian border, an alliance official said.

"At the request of Turkey, the North Atlantic Council will hold an extraordinary meeting at (1600 GMT). The aim of this extraordinary NAC is for Turkey to inform Allies about the downing of a Russian airplane," the official told AFP.

I am sure Obama is going to spin this as either a need for Russia to disengage, or as an excuse to not fight ISIS:
President Obama said the shoot-down “points to an ongoing problem with the Russian operations” in Syria, including attacks against moderate Syrian opposition groups near the Turkish border.

Idaho Is Not California

More evidence: I went to my doctor this morning for a blood draw, and the incredibly sweet and cute gal poking me was pleased that she was headed home to Orofino for Thanksgiving and to hunt a deer.  (She didn't go elk hunting this year.)

What Happens When I Get Bored

I have long wanted to have some identifying mark on ScopeRoller products, but paper labels don't last, and using marking letters has always been a lot of work for disapointing results.  What about this?
This is the result of experiments with scaling, and the second line should say, but I need a thinner end mill.  This is the result of using this text engraving program.

Monday, November 23, 2015

How Much Real Racism Is There?

From MLive:
Police in Michigan have arrested a man suspected of posting a message on social media, in which he allegedly threatened to “shoot every black person” on the Saginaw Valley State University campus.
 “I’m going to shoot every black person I can on campus. Starting tomorrow morning,” a message on the anonymous social media app Yik Yak read. The ominous message was posted Nov. 13, shortly after midnight.

And here's his picture:

Emmanuel D. Bowden, 21, is charged with making a false report or threat of terrorism, a felony that carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.
Obviously racism in charging him.

Bad News For Trump or Good?

Rush Limbaugh (who I seldom listen to) was complaining a couple of days back that Pew had published a study showing that Mexicans are leaving the U.S., not coming here.  The news media, of course, are covering this. Rush sees this as dishonesty intended to make Trump and his concern about illegal immigration seem wrong.  I don't know.  If, as claimed, the weak U.S. economy is driving more Mexicans back to Mexico than are coming here, it tells me that enforcing our existing laws about hiring illegals would drive vast numbers back to Mexico: self-deportation.

Economy Must Be Improving

My adjustable rate mortgage adjusted upward to 3.25%; only the second increase I have ever seen on this.

What Did We Do Before the Internet?

The Jaguar's low pressure tire warning came on, indicating front left tire was low.  No, all four tires 32-33 psi.  Before taking it to the dealer, which is 45 minutes away, I checked with the Jaguar forum and found a discussion of what happens when cold weather confuses the tire pressure monitoring system, and how to solve it.  The solution (lower tire pressure 25%, turn car back on, and reinflate) worked perfectly.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Just Bought More Ruger and Smith & Wesson Stock

Obama is promising to focus on gun control for the rest of his time in office, having solved the ISIS problem.  This sounds like a good argument for both stocks rising, as Obama will end up selling a gun to every American who isn't an idiot.

USB Mixer

I have been looking at USB mixers.  These are gadgets that combine inputs from RCA jack devices (like microphones and electronically enhanced guitars) and allow you to mix the levels, producing a single USB signal for the PC to grab.  Amazon has many like this one, not very expensive.  I need to combine my wife's voice and guitar tracks without going to a studio.  Suggestions?  Experience with such gadgets?

Saturday, November 21, 2015

What Does ISIS Want?

Interesting Article in Cracked:

7 Things I Learned Reading Every Issue Of ISIS's Magazine

Among other things calling them Daesh as Obama and his lackeys now do does not upset them:
On top of being OK with the "terrorist" label, there are many, many pictures in the magazine of captives they've beheaded, mass graves filled with massacred civilians, and tons of explosion porn. This stark honesty about the physical realities of the war they are waging surprised me for a while. Eventually, after dozens of articles, I started to understand: Every story of some terrorist attack or execution started with "thanks be to Allah for this" or some comment about how the tragedy was part of the "perfect will" of Allah. It's the same thing as the Westboro Baptist Church praising hurricanes and IEDs because, if God is all-powerful, then even awful and ugly things are God's will and, thus, to be celebrated. That's why every picture of jihadis at the site of some battle or terrorist attack has them pointing up at the sky:...

The warriors of ISIS are proud to be terrorists and proud to be brutal. And learning this has made the Internet crusade to convince people to call them "Daesh" seem extra dumb.
Daesh is an acronym for the original name ISIS fought under before declaring their "caliphate" (a formal religious-led Islamic state) and, so the argument goes, they just hate it when you call them that. But from what I can tell, ISIS doesn't seem to care much about that themselves. On Page 38 of Issue 4, they note that some Westerners call them Daesh matter-of-factly, without seeming to care much about it either way. It's never brought up again and barely comes off as an annoyance within the context of the article.

"They even imitated the nusayriyyah and secularist opposition by labelling the Islamic State as 'Daesh' and 'Tandhim ad-Dawlah,' in a manner precisely mimicking the satellite channels and palace scholars of Al Salul and Qat ..."

Attention Internet: People who celebrate pictures of civilians they've killed as well as pictures of their own friend's murdered corpses don't give a shit what you call them. I've heard it said that one man's terrorist is another man's freedom-fighter. But the folks at ISIS don't consider "freedom" a good thing (they refer to themselves as "slaves of Allah" on virtually every page), and they are happy calling themselves "Soldiers of Terror" ...
As for what they want:
Dabiq is an area in Northern Syria where, according to prophecy, Allah will do the whole "pillar of salt" thing on the armies of the West. For that to happen, we need to actually put our armies in Dabiq first. One thing reading 11 issues of Dabiq makes very clear is that ISIS considers a future U.S.-led invasion to be inevitable. They view the regional powers around them as destined to fall and, when that happens, in rides Uncle Sam and out pops the apocalypse.

I am inclined to think that instead on boots on the ground, glass on the ground makes more sense.  Pretty much every civilian in the area is going to be raped, beheaded, or sold into slavery anyway.

About to Lose My Mind

There are so many how-tos out there that explain how to share Windows 7 and Ubuntu 10.04 files... but none of them work.  Does anyone have one that does?  Sharing files by emailing them is dumb.  I am sure Microsoft is at falt, but the enormous number of different how-tos using Samba and NFS is discouraging, since none actually work.

If This Was A Fundamentalist Christian and the Subject was Evolution...

From Breitbart:
Wednesday on Newsmax TV’s “The Steve Malzberg Show,” veteran journalist Sharyl Attkisson said her sources have told her that President Barack Obama does not want and will not read intelligence reports on groups “he does not consider terrorists,” despite being on a U.S. list of designated terrorists.

Attkisson said, “I have talked to people who have worked in the Obama administration who firmly believe he has made up his mind. I would say closed his mind, they say, to their intelligence that they’ve tried to bring him about various groups that he does not consider terrorists, even if they are on the U.S. list of designated terrorists. He has his own ideas, and there are those who’ve known him a long time who say this dates back to law school. He does not necessarily—you may think it’s a good trait you may think it’s a bad trait—he does not necessarily listen to the people with whom he disagrees. He seems to dig in. I would suppose because he thinks he’s right. He is facing formidable opposition on this particular point.”
 Instapundit points to this New York Times report:
A 2012 report by the United States Defense Intelligence Agency was direct: The growing chaos in Syria’s civil war was giving Islamic militants there and in Iraq the space to spread and flourish. The group, it said, could “declare an Islamic state through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria.”

“This particular report, this was one of those nobody wanted to see,” said Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, who ran the defense agency at the time.

“It was disregarded by the White House,” he said. “It was disregarded by other elements in the intelligence community as a one-off report. Frankly, at the White House, it didn’t meet the narrative.”
If "narrative" means the telling of a story to you, you aren't spending enough time in the ivory tower:
The simplest way I can think to explain it is that it's a particular way of explaining everything that happens in a society. It is an ideology which seeks to explain every aspect of a civilisation from its own perspective. Societies function because people will hold similar metanarratives to be true, which gives people a common way of explaining, judging and functioning within society. 

Some possible examples of master narratives/metanarratives could be feminism, Marxism or certain extremely fundamental religious groups. Each will try to explain (and influence) every element of society... the roles of men and women, how an economy should work, what language should be used etc. etc. 
The other academic term for this is "reductionism," in  which you attempt to reduce complex problems to a simple (usually too simple) explanation: an example, all financial/economic problems are caused by international Jewish bankers.  Usually this term is a negative in academic circles, but metanarratives ARE JUST FINE.

Obama's Delusions of Kingship

From Nov. 20, 2015 AP:
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Pushing back against efforts to bar Syrian refugees from resettling in the U.S., President Barack Obama vowed Saturday that his country will be a welcoming place for millions fleeing violence around the world "as long as I'm president."
 For someone who reportedly taught constitutional law, he seems confused about who makes the laws on this matter: Congress does.  Essentially, Obama is saying that he makes the laws.  If a Republican President said something like this, it would be a major media event.  But all you have to say is "racist!" and the news media bend over.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Windows 7 Updates

I mentioned a while back that some Windows 7 security updates were causing conflicts with some of Lenovo's drivers, so after reverting to a previous version, I turned off automatic updates.  This is a bit risky, so updated to current yesterday, and sure enough, Windows would not boot.  Eventually, it repaired itself, and the driver conflicts seem to be past, so I now have auto updating turned on again.

Returning to an Old Drug

Before my stroke, I was taking a medicine called metformin (glucophage).  An endocrinologist started me on it because I was having trouble staying awake at work without what I considered excessive amounts of sugar.  Her diagnosis was impaired glucose tolerance which is a term used to describe a number of problems  involving blood  sugar that are considered prediabetic.  As it was explained to me, the problem is that my cells were failing to take sugar out of my blood until it had reached a very high level, hence fatigue until I pumped up the sugar level.  This website says that:
Metformin’s main site of action is at the liver to reduce the excessive sugar release seen in type 2 diabetes. Metformin does not cause weight gain, and is usually the first choice of medication to treat type 2 diabetes. However, if you have kidney or liver problems, heart failure, or are very sick, metformin cannot be used.
 Of course, those don't match at all.  Metformin has a number of interesting and positive benefits:
Metformin  often  promotes  weight  loss  in  patients  with  obesity with  non-insulin-dependent diabetes  mellitus  (NIDDM).  The  mechanism  may be  attributed  to decreased  food  intake.  This study  has  tested  the  effect  of  metformin on satiety  and  its  efficacy in  inducing  weight  loss.  Twelve  diet-treated  NIDDM  women with obesity  were  randomly  given two dose  levels  (850  mg  or  1700  mg)  of  metformin  or  placebo  at  0800  for three  consecutive  days  followed  by  a  meal  test on  the third  day  on  three  occasions using  a  3x3  Latin  square  design.  The  number  of  sandwich  canapes eaten in  three  consecutive  10-minute periods  beginning  at  1400  hours  was  used  to  quantitate  food  intake,  and  the  level of  subjective  hunger  was  rated  just  before  the  sandwich meal  with  a  linear  analogue  hunger rating  scale  at  1400  after  a  6-hour  fast.
Of course, weight loss is one of my goals.  But there are others.  It apparently delays or prevents type 2 diabetes (a subject of concern because my father developed diabetes in his 50s and my brother died from it).  It apparently reduces cardiovascular disease although my physician pointed out that it is unclear if that is a consequence of metformin, or that it prevent diabetes, which increases cardiovascular disease.

So Glad New York City Has Gun Control Laws

From Nov. 20, 2015 FoxNews channel 5:
(NEW YORK - FOX5NY) There were scary moments as police tackled and arrested a man who went into the flagship Apple store near Central Park with a sword and threatened himself.  It happened about 4 p.m. Friday afternoon.

Police say the man entered the store on 5th Ave in Midtown and was confronted by security.

Episcopalian Islamic Terrorists Attack in Mali

Nov. 20, 2015 Daily Mail reports on it.   

The victims being mostly black, progressives now have permission to be upset without the mandatory "butt..." justification and excuse making.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

ISIS Intent on Chemical Weapons

From Associated Press:

BAGHDAD (AP) -- The Islamic State group is aggressively pursuing development of chemical weapons, setting up a branch dedicated to research and experiments with the help of scientists from Iraq, Syria and elsewhere in the region, according to Iraqi and U.S. intelligence officials.

Their quest raises an alarming scenario for the West, given the determination to strike major cities that the group showed with its bloody attack last week in Paris. U.S. intelligence officials don't believe IS has the capability to develop sophisticated weapons like nerve gas that are most suited for a terrorist attack on a civilian target. So far the group has used mustard gas on the battlefield in Iraq and Syria.
This is likely to produce a remarkable political shift in America.  Name a major population center in America that isn't flaming liberals.  ISIS using asuch weapons will move the U.S. from progressive "We look forward to submission to the Caliphate" to "make the Middle East a glassy plain."

Windows 7 Speech Recognition

There are times this works pretty well.  But right now it is possessed.  B the USB plug and play ut the problem seems to be too many possible microphone inputs.  When I bring up a list of all small recording devices I can see the law plug and play USB headphone mike, LifeCam VX-5000 microphone (disabled), Lenovo USB audio (disabled), Realtek would high definition audio (disabled).  I seem to be using the Plug and Play headphone mike according to the list of recording devices but experimentation shows the LifeCam microphone is the actual input.  It appears that only the LifeCam microphone works consistently.  The plug and play headphones would seem to be inconsistent. It seems to work with Word, but not Blogger in Firefox.  It does not seem to work with Internet Explorer either.  What a dreadful product.  Apparently a known problem that it only works with Microsoft apps.

At least part of the microphone issue is that the integrated camera in the Lenovo wasn't working.  You do not want the updated driver here.  It is the newest one, but as this explains, it does not work on some x140e notebooks.  What you need is here, a generic Microsoft USB camera driver.

The Realtek device is the integrated microphone.  The Lenovo USB Audio is nothing as near as I can tell.

More Strange dreams

I guess I must be sleeping better, because I'm having very odd dreams.  Those of you who regularly read this already know that I have pretty odd dreams.  This dream involved my mother and I returning from the Moon on an Apollo mission.  As we approached Earth, we were outside the command module in space suits, and the ascent stage of the LEM was, instead of attached to the command module, flopping around on a tether.  As we reached Earth, the LEM started flailing about.  In retrospect, this was because the command module was firing its reaction thrusters to position it for re-entry.  We start looking for her house on the Oregon coast, but cloud cover makes it invisible.  And then while we are still outside, the command module begins re-entry.  We grab the top of the command module, while the flames from the heat shield start flying up.  Then I wake up.


How Did They Catch Them?

NBC Dallas-Forth Worth reports:
Multiple Syrians have been detained trying to gain entry into the United States, including eight at the Texas border, according to the Department of Homeland Security and a report from Breitbart News.
 I am sure this is all going to work out just fine


A new area of adventure.  Just setting this up now.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Today's Silly Question

Back when I was young, I learned that chlorine kills bacteria in drinking water not directly but by breaking up water molecules, releasing free oxygen, which is the actual bacteriacide.  But when I look at the electronegativity of chlorine (3.0) and oxygen (3.5), I don't see how chlorine could replace oxygen in a water molecule.  Can someone who has taken freshman chemistry recently than me explain this?

GIMP Experts!

I need to fade some JPGs to use as background and I am trying to use the various descriptions of how to  do this that are out of the WWW.  None actually work with GIMP 2.8. This one says to:

Add a Layer Mask

  1. Open up the Layers menu [CTRL][L]. If you're opening just a basic jpeg or png there should be just one layer at this point.
  2. In the Layers menu, right click on the layer and select Add Layer Mask.
  3. Make sure White (full opacity) is selected and click Add. You should see a white box show up next to the thumbnail of your image in the Layers menu.

but there is no Add Layer Mask command.

This one describes exactly what I am trying to do:

Add a layer using the layer dialog box. It doesn't matter which color it is, because you will be filling it.
How? I can create a new layer, but then how does this next step appear?
Decide on the color that you want the image to fade into. Use the bucket fill tool to fill the empty layer with it. A light blue will be used here.
How do I select the new layer? It appears that there should be a Layers tab.  How do I make it appear?  Ctrl-L!

Not enough.  I suspect the people writing these things are leaving out steps or relying on settings in GIMP that are not default after installation.

UPDATE: Much simpler and it works!