Wednesday, June 20, 2018

You Have All Heard of the Stanford Prison Experiment

Apparently fraud.  6/7/18 Medium:
Whether you learned about Philip Zimbardo’s famous “Stanford Prison Experiment” in an introductory psych class or just absorbed it from the cultural ether, you’ve probably heard the basic story.
Zimbardo, a young Stanford psychology professor, built a mock jail in the basement of Jordan Hall and stocked it with nine “prisoners,” and nine “guards,” all male, college-age respondents to a newspaper ad who were assigned their roles at random and paid a generous daily wage to participate. The senior prison “staff” consisted of Zimbardo himself and a handful of his students....
For Korpi, the most frightening thing about the experiment was being told that, regardless of his desire to quit, he truly did not have the power to leave.
“I was entirely shocked,” he said. “I mean, it was one thing to pick me up in a cop car and put me in a smock. But they’re really escalating the game by saying that I can’t leave. They’re stepping to a new level. I was just like, ‘Oh my God.’ That was my feeling.”
Another prisoner, Richard Yacco, recalled being stunned on the experiment’s second day after asking a staff-member how to quit and learning that he couldn’t. A third prisoner, Clay Ramsay, was so dismayed on discovering that he was trapped that he started a hunger strike. “I regarded it as a real prison because [in order to get out], you had to do something that made them worry about their liability,” Ramsay told me.

The formal name for this is "kidnapping" and yet this, along with Milgram's shock experiments are at the core of progressive thought.

Get Woke, Go Broke

6/19/18 Bloomberg:
Starbucks also plans to close about 150 company-operated stores in densely penetrated U.S. markets next fiscal year, three times the number it historically shuts down annually. Shares slid as much as 5.1 percent in early trading on Wednesday.

The Future Belongs to Those Who Reproduce (The Handmaid's Tale!)

Or so I remind my students.  06/20/18 New York Times:
WASHINGTON — Deaths now outnumber births among white people in more than half the states in the country, demographers have found, signaling what could be a faster-than-expected transition to a future in which whites are no longer a majority of the American population.
The Census Bureau has projected that whites could drop below 50 percent of the population around 2045, a relatively slow-moving change that has been years in the making. But a new report this week found that whites are dying faster than they are being born now in 26 states, up from 17 just two years earlier, and demographers say that shift might come even sooner.
White progressives see this as a good thing, because the darker the skin, in the progressive mindset, the easier it is to appeal to envy. I am not so sure this really makes that much of a difference, except that progressivism is mostly a white person's ideology (perhaps from growing up economically privileged).  My wife and I stopped at two because we lived in California and two was about what could be supported properly on a software engineer's salary.

I am reading Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale at the moment.  Where that fertility crisis was pollution-induced, this one is by choice.

Dropping Disability Applications (Blame Trump!)

6/19/18 WRAL:
The number of Americans seeking Social Security disability benefits is plunging, a startling reversal of a decades-old trend that threatened the program’s solvency. It is the latest evidence of a stronger economy pulling people back into the job market or preventing workers from being sidelined in the first place.
The drop is so significant that the agency has revised its estimates of how long the program will continue to be financially secure. This month, the government announced that the program would not run out of money until 2032, four years later than its previous estimate last year. Two years ago, the government had warned that the funds might be depleted by 2023.
My impression when I applied after my stroke, was that many of the newly disabled were suffering psychological problems.  A lot of older workers, at least in my field, software engineering, were unemployable because the GenXers who run nearly all software companies consider everyone over 40 to be either senile or obsolete.  (What value can 30+ years experience have?)  This was provoking serious depression which made many of these workers unable to work.

Seeing people again able to work is very gratifying.  I wish that I could return to full-time work; I lack the mental endurance I had before the stroke.  Three hours of writing or teaching one class a term is about all I am good for now.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Mass Murder Reports Are All Depressing. Some Generate a WTF


Villisca, Ia. (1912)
Jun. 9, 1912, Joseph Moore, his wife Sarah, their four children and two visiting children were murdered “by a fiend who crushed their skulls with an ax.”  An “itinerant minister” was charged.  The Iowa Attorney-General “sought to commit” the minister “to an insane asylum, a step which would bar the prosecution of any other person suspected of the crime.”  Relatives of the victims claimed that the wrong person was being tried; in response, the Iowa legislature passed a law prohibiting public discussion of the crime, leading to an “injunction against J.N. Wilkerson, a detective, whose four years’ investigation of the murders cast suspicion on a prominent state senator.”  The public meeting by Villisca residents took place in Omaha, Neb., instead.
Category: family?
Suicide: no.
Cause: unknown
Weapon: ax.[1]


[1] “Villisca Ax Murders to Be Discussed in Mass Meeting,” Omaha Daily Bee, Jul. 6, 1917, 1.

That "Church of the Sacrifice" is Looking Bigger and Bigger


Monmouth, Ill. (1912)
“William E. Dawson and his wife and 13-year-old daughter” were murdered with an axe.
Category: Cult.?
Suicide: No.
Cause: There are similarities to the “church of the sacrifice” mass murders in previous entries and description of the accused as “all negroes” that suggests a possible common cause.  In addition police in two other nearby towns sought to interrogate the suspects that suggest common elements. [1]
Weapon: axe.


[1] “Ax Murder Cases Nearing Solution—One Confession,” The Day Book [Chicago, Ill.], Mar. 24, 1915, 23.

Bizarre Mass Murder


Chicago, Ill. (1916)
[Redacted] “colored religious fanatic," and his wife opened fire from their home with “a high-powered rifle,” killing one man and two women (one pregnant) and wounding another woman (picked apparently at random).  Police backed by 200 armed citizens were unable to pick them off; incident ended by dynamiting house.
Category: public
Suicide: Not exactly
Cause: likely cultic; murderer’s walls proclaimed him “King of the Negroes” who were all of his victims.
Weapon: rifle[1]


[1] “Maniac Kills Five—Barricades Home—Fights Police for Hours—Dynamite Finally Brings Battle to End,” The Day Book [Chicago, Ill.], Jul. 18, 1916, 3.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Most Inspiring Movie I Have Seen in Many Years

I Can Only Imagine, about the abusive childhood of MercyMe's lead vocalist, and his ability to forgive his father and how the Gospel changed a monster into a friend.


Remember: If Armed Civilians Get into a Gunfight, Innocents Will Die

6/18/18 Miami Herald:
A group of armed would-be robbers tried to take advantage of a couple Friday night in DeKalb County, Ga, police say - but it didn't go as planned.
Police say a group of individuals began following a couple through a Kroger grocery store in metro Atlanta Friday afternoon, according to Fox 5. Police say when the group followed the couple outside hoping to either rob or carjack them, the parking lot turned into a battlefield.
"It was chaos," one witness told WSB. "I saw the guy was shot. I saw him on the floor, shot."
Police say three armed individuals approached the couple outside, but realized one of the members of the couple was armed as well, and a shootout began, according to WXIA.
"It was like the Wild Wild West. I was terrified," a witness, who was sitting in her car during the fight, told Fox 5. "I'm just glad I'm safe."
Police say four different people were all firing at some point, but the only people who were hit were the alleged attackers, according to CBS 46. Three of those alleged attackers were shot, with one bloodied man entering the Kroger store.

The Greatest Wit of the Modem World is in Internet Comments

Admittedly,  diamonds in sewage most of the time.  I do not remember the article, but it was about "sex" vs. "gender" with one idiot claiming Victorians created the word "gender" so they could discuss what sex they were without using the naughty word "sex."  A few comments on, someone complained about the tired conversation about pronouns.  Someone else claimed that somewhere on the Internet there were videos of pronouns having sex.

The Lamestream Media Are Losing the Battle

6/18/18 Gallup:
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Thirty-eight percent of Americans are satisfied with the way things are going in the United States today, similar to last month's 37% satisfaction rate but marking the numerical high since a 39% reading in September 2005.
And this is how Democrats are going to surf the Blue Wave to control of Congress?

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Think of All the Crimes Our Police Can Solve If Not Watching Their Backs for Armed Criminals!

6/17/18 Daily Mail:
Less than one in 20 street robberies and burglaries are being solved in the UK, shocking new figures have revealed.
Official police data shows that just four per cent of robberies and three per cent of burglaries were solved in England and Wales in 2017. 
The figures will fuel concerns that there is a crisis in the nation's policing, with one MP describing London as 'the Wild West'.

Father's Day

I normally ignore this greeting card created holiday,  but it seems a good day to praise my father.   He was tall and muscular.   His careers included bookkeeper,  welder,  encyclopedia salesman.  He had an exceptional memory.   He was an excellent chef and a very gentle and loving father.   A letter he wrote to my grandmother in 1949 from Fairbanks complained that they were 247 bars: "I counted them," and no bookstores.  He encouraged me to be interested in all forms of learning and was very widely read.  He was a big fan of Ayn Rand.

He was married to my mother for more than 25 years until he died.  This makes him the most patient man on Earth.

The Pants the Gal Behind Me at Church Was Wearing

Imagine if a Christian Required "Jesus is Lord" as a Password

Campus Reform reports on a University of Connecticut professor who required students to praise Allah and remove shoes before entering office.  The university had since fixed the problem ands the professor had retired.  What is the state of public universities that a professor would think this an acceptable practice.   Defund public universities until they stop encouraging  these attitudes

Obviously Fake News

NBC Philadelphia 6/17/18 reports on a mass shooting at a Trenton,  NJ art festival.  Bringing culture to the oppressed  does not seem to be solving the violence problem.  In a gun control heaven, New Jersey.

Weird Weather

It is just a few days from summer and it is in the 50s and raining.  We have only needed to turn on the air conditioning one day this day.

The Dog Went to the Veterinary E/R Yesterday

Hard lump under jaw.  Vet thought it was an abscess caused by cheat grass.  But because location and feel seems like a bubo. he had to call the state epidemiologist for bubonic plague screening.  I rather doubt it.  For one thing, I am not hearing:

Procedure to remove abscess went well; she is home.  I wonder if this might be related to the snake she pulled out of a hole a few days ago, running away with both ends of the snake flopping up and down attempting escape.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Cleaning Colt/Walther .22 Government Model First Time

Instructions say to reassemble by reversing disassembly.  Hah!  The recoil spring plug that holds the recoil spring in place does not go far enough back for the slide stop to go through the frame.  There is no hole through that recoil spring plug and it would need to go at least another .25" back in the frame for the slide stop to go through.  The only instructions I can find online are videos that skip this step, or the useless manual that came with the gun.

The silvery piece the recoil spring goes up to must not be all the way back in the frame when you put the slidestop in.

Ever Wondered How Trump Won?

Campus Reform described this 6/8/18 Washington Post op-ed in a way that seemed so over the top as to be misleading.  The title tells it all:
Why can’t we hate men?
And it goes down from there.  This piece of hatemongering in America's second most important progressive newspaper is by:
Suzanna Danuta Walters, a professor of sociology and director of the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at Northeastern University, is the editor of the gender studies journal Signs. 
Ever wonder why university education lacks the popular adulation it use to enjoy?

Was This a SNL Skit?

6/12/18 WSVN:
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (WSVN) — Police say a man who tried to carjack two people was thwarted after the victims both pulled out guns to protect themselves.
According to Fox 30, Jacksonville police officers arrested 36-year-old Christopher Raymond Hill, charging him with strong-arm robbery, carjacking with firearm or deadly weapon, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and trespassing.
Detectives said the incident began when Hill robbed a Walmart liquor store, and attempted to flee in a silver Ford SUV. However, witnesses said the vehicle would not start, so he first tried to carjack Scott Reardean at knifepoint, cutting him on his arms and legs.
“I reached in between my glove box and my console, between my seats, reached down and got my weapon and brandished it for him,” Reardean told WJXT. “He was like, ‘Don’t shoot me.’ I was like, ‘Then get out of here.’”
Hill then jumped into the passenger seat of a woman’s car in a Starbucks drive-thru. Police said the woman got out of her car and grabbed a pistol from her trunk, pointing it at Hill until he ran off.

How Many of You Knew of This Biological Warfare Attack in Oregon?

By the followers of the Bhagwan.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Eyepiece Adapters

It is often a surprise to those without any interest in astronomy that maximum magnification is often not very useful.  This is why cheap, department store telescopes often advertise "up to 500 power!"  Most of the time, atmospheric turbulence or poor clarity (usually because of humidity trying to become clouds) means that as much or more detail can be seen at 120x as at 500x, sometimes more.  A common rule of thumb is that 50x-60x diameter of the objective diameter (big lens on refractors and mirror on reflectors) is the highest power you are ever likely to find useful or pleasing.

There are exceptions.  Extraordinarily made refractors, like the Televue and Astro-Physics refractors and the Questar Maksutov reflector (for those of you with money to burn) can often benefit from much higher magnifications.  Here I describe a comparison test I did many years ago of a Televue Ranger to a couple of the cheap refractors, where I found even 97x aperture on the Ranger to still be a very pleasing result on Saturn.  I understand Questars often tolerate 100x.

Planets and the Moon are sometimes beneficiaries of stupid-high magnification. (Yes that's the technical term among amateurs for >50x per inch.)  One night in California, we had an extraordinarily hot day, and because it barely cooled at night, there was no humidity and nearly no turbulence.  I found 700x on the Moon with my 8" reflector (which has a very fine Coulter mirror) was still sharp and beautiful.  But this was a rare night, one that I have never repeated.

You get some often startling results.  When I first built that 8" reflector with my father, we lived in Santa Monica.  What I lost in transparency from smog was compensated for by low turbulence.  (I think the inversion layer that gives Los Angeles its smog problem does something good for reducing turbulence.)

If you are hunting for deep sky objects, like galaxies and nebulae, which usually occupy lots of area, a wide field of view and therefore low magnification are of high value.   Eyepieces have what is called the apparent field of view (AFOV); this is how much of the true field of view your eye will see.  So the 25mm eyepiece that I use with that 8" reflector is  1414mm/25mm = 56x.  AFOV of the eyepiece is 45 degrees.  Actual field of view is therefore 45/56=.8 degrees,  There is plenty of black field around the Moon which is .5 degrees.

When I started buying eyepieces, the 45 degree apparent field of view was considered awesome.  Then a troublemaker named Al Nagler who came off the Apollo mission as it ended, and started Televue.  He used his expertise to produce eyepieces that had 82 degree AFOVs, and now such absurdly wide eyepieces come from many makers; show it can be done and everyone applies their expertise to the problem.  Competition makes everyone better off.  These eyepieces are priced the way you expect, and are hand grenade heavy.

That older homebuilt 8" f/7 reflector was a project my father and I did in 1970. It has a 1.25" diameter focuser of course, as nearly all American telescopes did back then.  (Most Japanese scopes until recently used .965" barrels.  In spite of making splendid telescopes, the ,965" eyepieces sold with most cheap refractors are much worse than objective.)  I have acquired a few 2" diameter eyepieces over the years. Two came with a 17.5" Dobsonian that I bought at auction for $600: one is an 18mm University Optics orthoscopic, the other a 50mm brass barrelled item that might have seen service during World War 2. The third is an 85mm Super-Plossl made by a company that offered it as evidence of what they could do (about 35 degrees of AFOV).  That 85mm eyepiece gives about a 2 degree field.   I have wanted to use the 85mm and 50mm eyepieces to create a wider field for deep sky hunting. So I bought this Solomark 2" to 1.25" adapter. It naturally adds a couple of inches to where you are going to be able to focus, but my focuser is one of the absurdly long focusers that University Optics used to sell (3 3/4" of travel), and these 2" eyepieces are long focal length. I am able to use all three 2" eyepieces now.

I also bought a Solomark 1.25" to ,965" adapter as well.  I am supposed to help a friend collimate his Japanese-made reflector and my laser collimator is 1.25" diameter.  This adapter will let me do this operation.

Both of these products were cheap enough that turning adapters myself made no sense: division of labor wins.  They are beautifully finished, slide into the focusers as they should, and accept the eyepiece barrels by just sliding in,  They also use brass compression rings which clamp the eyepiece when you tighten the set screw by squeezing a ring of brass around the barrel.  This is both a tighter grab and does not mark up the barrel.  I suspect it better centers the eyepiece also.

The Great Urinator

If you haven't seen The Great Impostor, let me recommend it. 

Switching to wet food at first seemed to help Tater's bad habit as did taking down the drapes in the family room.  (We thought he was frightened by seeing the dog poorly, and mistaking him for another, much larger cat.)    But he is back to it.  At least only on the leather couch, which cleans up well.  My wife wants him outside as much as possible.  This is not a long-term survival strategy in our area.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

I Have Long Thought of the FBI as a More Subtle KGB

IG refers five FBI employees for investigation, as more anti-Trump messages revealed

MYE, or "Midyear Exam," was the code used in the FBI to refer to the investigation into Clinton’s private email server.
“Some of these text messages and instant messages mixed political commentary with discussions about the Midyear investigation, and raised concerns that political bias may have impacted investigative decisions,” the report read.
The report noted that it was specifically concerned about text messages exchanged between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page that “potentially indicated or created the appearance that investigative decisions were impacted by bias or improper considerations.”
Strzok and Page, who were romantically involved, both served for a short period of time on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation team. Strzok was reassigned following the revelations of his anti-Trump texts. Page resigned last month.

But while many of those texts were made public in late 2017, the IG report revealed a new one in which Strzok vowed to "stop" Trump from becoming president -- and made clear that as many as five total FBI employees exchanged politically charged messages. "The text messages and instant messages sent by these employees included statements of hostility toward then candidate Trump and statements of support for candidate Clinton," the report said.

The report revealed instant messages between unnamed agents, labeled “Agent 1” and “Agent 5,” discussing their jobs in August 2016.
“I find anyone who enjoys [this job] an absolute f---ing idiot. If you don’t think so, ask them one more question. Who are you voting for? I guarantee you it will be Donald Drumpf,” Agent 1 sent.
“I forgot about drumpf…that’s so sad and pathetic if they want to vote for him,” Agent 5 responded. “Someone who can’t answer a question. Someone who can’t be professional for even a second.”
In September, Agent 1 and 5 conversed again, bashing Trump supporters as “retarded.”
“I’m trying to think of a ‘would I rather’ instead of spending time with those people,” Agent 5 sent.

Agent 1 asked, “stick your tongue in a fan??”
How stupid do you have to be to exchange messages like this, knowing they can be pulled up for later examination?  The IG's report is here and juicy.  FBI agents with no public information role talking to "journalists"; receiving gifts from those "journalists" (and not just sex).  No matter how paranoid Trump is, the FBI was clearly engaged in criminal acts to subvert the election.

And the Asst. A-G Peter Kadzik tried to get his son a job with the Clinton campaign!

Have You Ever Wanted to be a Researcher Helping Defend the Second Amendment?

You are doubtless aware that I am writing an encyclopedia of American mass murder.  But how do you search newspapers for mass murders?  The phrase is not commonly used before 1952.  This URL will take you to the Library of Congress' Chronicling America page where you can search through tens of thousands of newspapers from 1789 to 1963.  If you look for the word "murders" as in the search at that URL, you will find lots of matches, most of which are not mass murders (three or more victims).  But if everyone took a decade (1801-1810) and did such a search, you could forward me the text that appears below the page (Example:
It would greatly speed up this project.

1801-1810 and 1821-1830 are taken.

MAEA: Make Americans Employed Again

6/14/18 CNBC:
New applications for U.S. unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week and the number of Americans on jobless rolls declined to a near 44-1/2-year low, pointing to a rapidly tightening labor market.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 218,000 for the week ended June 9, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Claims data for the prior week was unrevised. [emphasis added]
Glad we have Nancy Pelosi (D-Sodom) reminding us that lowering unemployment really isn't that important.  I sure hope whatever Republican is the sacrificial lamb against her in November runs footage of that statement.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

This Secondary Mirror Holder That I Have Invested Too Much Time In

I have had concerns about the design for some time.  I found this wonderfully simple design here:



Unlike my design which used a hexagonal part and three legs, this uses a square hub, very easy to machine, and much easier to attach the legs to.  At the end of the video you can see how the three adjustment screws move the diagonal holder.  This can also use the diagonal holder that I have already made.  I just need to machine a .75" x .75" x .5" aluminum square, cut the legs from .055" aluminum sheet, tap some 6-32 holes in the hub, drill holes in the legs and put it all together. 

However, along the way I found that Destiny makes spiders and diagonal holders (and elliptical mirrors) at a price that does not justify my labor.  The several week wait is the case for building one on this design, and the sense of accomplishment.  But if this isn't complete by tomorrow afternoon, I may just put up with the wait.

Color Me Surprised

6/13/18 Associated Press:
California voters' decision to reduce penalties for drug and property crimes in 2014 contributed to a jump in car burglaries, shoplifting and other theft, researchers reported.
Larcenies increased about 9 percent by 2016, or about 135 more thefts per 100,000 residents than if tougher penalties had remained, according to results of a study by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California released Tuesday.
Thefts from motor vehicles accounted for about three-quarters of the increase. San Francisco alone recorded more than 30,000 auto burglaries last year, which authorities largely blamed on gangs. Shoplifting may be leveling off, researchers found, but there is no sign of a decline in thefts from vehicles.
What a shocker! 

How to Tell the Left is Scared

They are promoting censorship.   06/03/18 Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jun/13/populist-talkshows-fuel-rise-of-far-right-german-tv-bosses-told reports that the gatekeepers in Germany are preparing the ends of talkshows because they are leading to hostility to Islam.  No discussion of unPC ideas allowed!

Is SurveyUSA an Android Virus?

When I click links on Instapundit.com I sometimes get dropped into something that looks like a virus.  It is a survey that has no obvious way to close it and will not allow you to go back to the previous page.     The organization seems to be a legitimate survey organization,  but I never see it on my PC, and the behavior is odd,  to say the least

A Victory in Mississippi

Mississippi legislature allowed enhanced concealed carry licensees to carry in state courthouses although judges had authority to decide about individual courtrooms.   Some judges decided that they had authority to ban carry in courthouses.   Mississippi Supreme Court told the judges that the legislature had authority to pass laws, not judges.

A reader noticed the dissent pointed to the racist intent behind Mississippi's concealed weapon laws.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

America's Skyrocketing Suicide Rate

This page has data:
This statistic shows the death rate for suicide in the United States from 1950 to 2015. In 1950, there were 13.2 deaths by suicide per 100,000 resident population in the United States. In 2015, the suicide death rate stood at 13.3 per 100 thousand. It has been found that the death rate for suicide in the U.S. for males has remained higher than that of femalesfor the entire period of 1950 to 2015.
The low point was 2000.

Curiously, since the gun control crowd insists guns need banning because of gun suicides (the majority of gun deaths in America), the 2015 suicide death rate list has America at #48 of 183 countries.

Vacation Plans

We were planning a vacation to White Sands National Monument and Carlsbad Caverns this summer.  Because I am flying to San Antonio in September for the Texas Bar Association Firearms Law Seminar, we are thinking of flying to San Antonio, driving to White Sands and Carlsbad Caverns then flying home from Albuquerque.  If they don't have a problem paying for a very strange round trip, this gives us a nice vacation at half the airfare in a better season.

Whoops, had not realized how hideously expensive one way car rental fees have become.  Actually, no, I just was not adding up how many days I was requesting a quote on.

Curious News Story

I do not have time to read or research it.  (I was trying to ascertain how often the phrase "mass murder" appears in early American newspapers.  The answer is: "Often, where 'mass' is the abbreviation for Massachusetts.)  “Written Authority to Walk in Your Own Town,” . The Day Book [Chicago,Ill.], Feb. 5, 1912,  The photograph shows two men being asked for their pass by a guy in uniform at bayonet point.

Make Sure Read This Article About the Immigration Law Change

Every Facebook and Twitter user is going to be besieged with, "See?  See?  These are evil people" remarks.  Red State explains in some detail what A-G Sessions has done, and why.

Very Nice Summary of Why the Mainstream News Media Cannot Be Trusted

Sharyl Atkinson, the former CBS reporter who pursued Fast & Furious when her bosses clearly did not want this looked at, has a list of what she politely calls "media mistakes," although most were clearly intentional lies.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Saw Ben-Hur Too Many Times

What Do You Call This Part?

A potential customer decided to buy a competing product because it had levelling screws.  (This is actually a good idea because few driveways are truly flat to the Earth.)  I never considered it before because my design is not a dolly, so where would I put it?  The answer: a 1/4" or 1/2" thick steel plate that goes between the caster and the sleeve in which the leg sits.  (Probably 1/4": steel is very stiff and the hole the caster screws into is 1" deep with a 1" stem on the caster.)  Make it 2" longer than the widest part of the sleeve; tap a hole for a thumbscrew with a lobed handle.  I could sell it as an addon to existing customers.

But you don't want literally a screw end hitting the ground.  It will not grab or hold well, and might chew up asphalt.  So something flat a couple inches diameter that screws on to the end of the thumbscrew.  I could make these by cutting slices from a piece of steel round, drill and tap, perhaps with a set screw to lock it to the thunbscrew, but if I know what is called, I could buy it.

Screw Jack Pads!  How obvious.  Maybe making them makes more sense: they are absurdly expensive.  Complete assembly at MSC Direct.

That 45 Degree; Cut

Whoever suggested starting with a 2" long piece and cutting to length after milling that angle, thank you.  I started with a 2" long x 1" diameter aluminum workpiece, bored the center hole on the lathe with a 1/2" end mill to .75" depth, drilled and tapped a 1/4"-20 thread, then put it on the mill as below.  Face milling was not working so well, so I switched to edge milling.  I zoom in after a few seconds.
I am removing .001" per slice at 3 ipm.  I could probably be more aggressive, but why bother?  This is a one-off project.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Is It a "Madness of Mazdas"

Driving up ID-55 first there were three red Mazda 323's in a row.   Then 12 (not all red), then a Mazda RX-8.  Coincidence or Mazda club?   Do you call them a flock of Mazdas?  My wife and I finally settled on a madness of Mazdas.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Why Democrats Cozy Up to Louis Farrakhan

Confusing Hollyweird With Reality

6/6/18 Indiewire interviewing Jodie Foster about gun control:
“I had a lot of thoughts in terms of the power of the instrument and why it’s so problematic that human beings should have an instrument of death at their fingertips so freely when we are emotional human beings,” Foster said. “I mean, I’d be much more comfortable having robots have them, but we are designed to have emotions that overflow and that are not guided by our heads … To have sentient beings that are completely and entirely guided by their emotions have the power to administer life or death using one kilowatt of energy in a nanosecond is just unfathomable with me.”
News for you, Ms. Foster.  Real people are not like Weinstein and the rest of Hollyweird.

Friday, June 8, 2018

No Wonder the Iran Deal

Mohammad-Javad Larijani, the international affairs assistant in the Iranian judiciary, confessed in unprecedented remarks that Iran facilitated the passage of al-Qaeda members who carried out the September 11, 2001 terror attacks in New York.
In an interview with the Iranian state TV broadcast on May 30 and circulated by activists on social media networks, Larijani narrated the details of the Iranian regime’s relations with al-Qaeda and how the Iranian intelligence supervised the passage and relocation of al-Qaeda members in Iran.
In the interview, which Al Arabiya translated a part of, Larijani said: “The lengthy report of the 9/11 commission which was headed by figures like Lee Hamilton and others mentioned in pages 240 and 241, i.e. in two or three pages, queries Iran’s role in the issue (and said that) a group of reports stated that al-Qaeda members who wanted to go to Saudi Arabia and other countries like Afghanistan or others and who entered Iranian territories by land or by air asked the Iranian authorities not to stamp their passports (and told them) that if the Saudi government knows they’ve come to Iran, it will prosecute them.” 
“Our government agreed not to stamp the passports of some of them because they were on transit flights for two hours, and they were resuming their flights without having their passports stamped. However their movements were under the complete supervision of the Iranian intelligence,” he added.
No wonder the Obama Administration wanted to unfreeze  Iranian funds.

Another Cultural Elite Suicide

https://www-m.cnn.com/2018/06/08/us/anthony-bourdain-obit/index.html. CNN reports Anthony Bourdain's suicide.  I enjoyed his shows and in spite of being part of the oppressor class, a show in the Southwest had him shooting a modern sporting rifle and admitting the leftist hatred was irrational.  

Is losing control really this hard for the elites? This is not the Russian Revolution -- we are not confiscating their ill-gotten  wealth, their jets, or their TV networks.

Jeep 4WD Selector

My wife's Jeep has 4 selectors, auto snow, mud, and sand. Auto means AWD.  The Trailhawk model includes a rock or boulder mode for the real crazies.   I want the Planethawk model: mountain ranges,  ocean trenches. Mid-ocean plate separation ridges.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Shots Fired in Anger

She did not hit the coyote,  but the sound sent the message that the two springer spaniels,  Rosie and her mother Eden ate NOT prey.  Now for a coyote target. ..

They Aren't There to protect You: That's Your Job!

6/7/18 ABC News:
A city police officer acting as a security guard didn't do his job and more than two dozen of his colleagues failed in their duties or violated the civil rights of surviving victims after the 2016 Orlando, Florida, nightclub massacre, according to a new federal lawsuit.

I Love Robots

I mentioned that I was moving from acetal inserts in the ScopeRollers to aluminum; stronger; prettier; cheaper.  But I found a foot of the 1.75" acetal.  So I cut it up and am now running it through the mill.  I wrote a program that edge mills workpieces by a specified width, and it is doing a bangup job.  Once I figured out safe feed rates and depths, I just put in the workpiece and it trims to a size that just barely slides into the aluminum tube.

I also had a scrap of that 1.75" acetal that was too short to hold in place on the chop saw, but long enough from which to get an insert, so I used a finishing 1/2" end mill to slice off the excess, then edge milled to the correct length.  I hate throwing away money!  The end mill produced a very decent finish on the acetal's edge and cut at 25 ipm without difficulty.  Because the cutting length was only about 1", it took two passes.  I see some real advantages to longer end mills on soft materials.  I have one 3" long finishing mill.  If only someone would spam me about a drug that lengthens my end mills!

LR 1330 Watch Battery: Where? (LR1130)

I need some of these as spares for the new finder on Big Bertha.  Celestron thinks these are available at drug stores like Walgreen's.  Nope.  They are available on Amazon, but reviews indicate these are outdated, often nearly flat--with the strong implication that while they say Maxell on them, they are probably counterfeits.  Have you seen these in your local chain store?  They are the diameter of the 357 batteries, but 1/3 the thickness and higher voltage, it appears.

Yes, LR1130.  The paper is right here in front of me.  Now that I am searching for the right number: WalMart has them! Rayovac lists the AG10 and 390 as replacements.

Democrats in Trouble

This article in 6/7/18 The Week is ferociously progressive and admits Republicans stand a good chance of coming out ahead in the mid-term elections.

Today's Silly Machining Question

Edge milling is turning out to be much faster and less likely to jam the workpiece (which burns out the drive belt if I am not paying attention) than face milling.  Why?  Should I be using a different end mill?

Places to Shoot in Southern Boise County

If you live in Idaho, you are probably thinking, "Isn't that everywhere?"  No.  Private property owners may not want the noise or hazard of a ricochet, and some areas lack adequate backstops.  Amazingly enough, I live in a development with "no shooting" in the CC&Rs.  (I don't mind for the reasons above.) 

I recalled a spot on Harris Creek Road east of Horseshoe Bend, that while not a formal pistol range, had a constructed dirt backstop facing away from the road.  I went searching today, without success.  But I did find two ideal spots 6 and 7 miles east of the Harris Creek Rd. and ID-55 junction.

In both cases, they are below the road, accessible by short roads from Harris Creek Road.  Neither requires 4WD, but you need some ground clearance; I took my wife's Jeep, not the Jaguar.  Both are flat spots of perhaps 1/2 acre with no significant visual barriers behind which hikers or animals might be missed.  Both have several miles of dirt and granite as backstop.  (Don't bring your armor piercing 2000mm cannon.)  There is no debris or shells on the ground, so leave them as you find them; I only shoot paper, plastic bottles, and metal cans in such places so I can clean up and leave the spot as nice as I found it. 

There is not enough room to work on your 1000 yard sighting in, but pistols and .22 rifles make sense.  If you live in Eagle or Boise, these are a shorter drive than Blacks Creek and other south of town locations.  They are also a billion times nicer: evergreens and deciduous trees, and usually much cooler (higher elevation and shade).

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Improving Reflecting Telescope Performance

I had dinner with someone who has a 4" reflector with less than stellar optical performance.  One of the reasons why refracting telescopes tend to outperform reflectors of the same aperture is intrinsic to the refracting scheme.  But another advantage of the refractor is that once the objective lens is mounted in its cell, and the cell on the tube, there is little that needs adjusting.  Reflectors often require an adjustment called "collimation."  This gets the optical axis of the primary mirror aligned with the diagonal mirror and the eyepiece tube.  A benefit is that fuzzy little discs often turn into a very detailed images!

This is the hard way to do it, without a laser collimator:



Simpler way, but not quite as perfect:

1. Find a 35mm lens can (you still have one in the attic, right?)
2. Drill a very tiny hole in the center of the cap.  Use a ruler to be sure it is centered.  Larger hole in the bottom of the can.
3. Put in the 1 1/4" eyepiece focuser.  It just fits.  Remove it.
4. Look through the eyepiece focuser, and make sure the diagonal is fully visible as a circle.
5. Adjust the screws on the diagonal holder until you see the entire disc of the primary mirror in the diagonal, and not the interior of the tube unless it is symmetrical around the primary mirror..
6. Put the 35mm lens cap in the focuser tube.
7. If the diagonal mirror is centered in the primary mirror through that tiny hole, you are done.
8. If not exactly centered, turn the adjustment screws (usually three) on the back of the mirror cell until everything is centered.  Relatively small turns of these screws should do the job.  (Some mirror cells have nuts that lock the screw in position once you have everything in place.  You may want to loosen these first.)

And with a laser collimator, which is far easier:


The more you move a reflector around, the more often it will require collimation.  Big Bertha gets it every month or so.  If you want a crisp, high contrast image, buy one of the laser collimators, or persuade someone you know with one to come on over.  You will likely be amazed at the difference.

Laser collimation should be done in a fairly dark room. I do it in the telescope garage in the hour before the sun sets.  The reason you want a dark room is that the first try may have the laser beam reflecting off the primary mirror and completely missing the diagonal mirror.  Seeing where it has ended up simplifies adjusting the mirror screws to hit the diagonal.

I just collimated Big Bertha and if you collimate your mirror you will almost certainly need to realign your finder with the main scope: your optical axis is now pointing a new and more correct direction.
Once Jupiter appeared, the difference was obvious: higher contrast and more detail.  Venus also improved from a fuzzy blob to a clearly recognizable gibbous image. 

That gibbous phase was one of the early proofs of heliocentrism.  See this diagram that shows why:


Venus has to be on the far side of the Sun from us to be gibbous.

Film? Who Still Used Film in 2012?

11/15/13 Los Angeles Times article too repulsive to summarize (except for "Yuck!") involving a teacher sent to prison for 25 years (most of which he will regret with an intensity that he probably needs):
Berndt was arrested in January 2012 after a South Bay drugstore photo technician alerted authorities to images of children blindfolded, some with tape over their mouths, on film Berndt left at the store for processing.
And who is stupid enough to send stuff like that to a photo lab?

Was This Racist Propaganda?

Apr. 3, 1912 Cairo [Ill.} Bulletin reported:
Girl Confesses Killing 17 out of 35 Persons
 Lafayette, La., Apr. 2--A mulatto girl, 19 years old, told the police here today, that as high priestess of a negro cult, "church of the sacrifice," she had killed with her own hand 17 of the 35 negroes mysteriously murdered in southwestern Louisiana and Texas towns during the last fourteen months.
If racist propaganda, would this have not had at least some white victims.  Otherwise, this is one of the more shocking stories that I have never heard.  Oh yes, axe murdering entire families.

The Dec. 1, 1911 Democratic Banner reported her confession and testimony against her father in the 1911 mass murder of the Norbert Randall family and the Andrus family.  Name spelled Barnabet here.  Lots of local coverage of the mass murders in local papers.

"The Horror, the Horror!"

From Apocalypse Now.  No, nothing like this.

Sep. 29, 1912, Charles Pfanschmidt, his wife, daughter and a school teacher who lived in the same house were dismembered, beheaded, skulls split open, and their bodies burned before the house was set afire.[1]  His son attempted to hide Charles’ body, in the hopes Charles would be blamed for the murders.[2]  He was eventually convicted of the murders.[3]
Category: Family.
Suicide: No.
Cause: Apparently, greed.  Murderer attempted to buy 20 used automobiles.[4]
Weapon: axe, at least.[5]


[1] “Four killed in Sleep in Farm Home,” Rock Island [Ill.] Argus, Sep. 30, 1912, 1; “Burned Bodies in Stove,” The Daily Gate City [Keokuk, Ia.], Apr. 8, 1913, 6.
[2] “Demands Death for Pfanschmidt,” The Day Book [Chicago, Ill.], Apr. 19. 1913, 3.
[3] “Delay for Pfanschmidt,” Rock Island [Ill.] Argus, Oct. 18, 1913, 14.
[4] “Burned Bodies in Stove,” The Daily Gate City [Keokuk, Ia.], Apr. 8, 1913, 6
[5] “Horrible Deed of Despondent Man,” Dubuque [Ia.] Telegraph-Herald, Dec. 28, 1911, 87

Interestingly enough, I was looking for mass murders not in the Wikipedia list.  The phrase "mass murder" appears to be uniquely 20th century.  So I hunted for family and murders within 10 words of each other.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Warning: Riflescopes Are Gun Parts to PayPal

I assumed that because riflescopes are often sold on eBay (39,406 riflescopes there at the moment) and nearly all eBay payments are through PayPal, that riflescopes are not "gun parts" which are prohibited for PayPal transactions.  I have suffered no injury from this policy, but clearly selling through eBay is not safe.  I guess PayPal has adopted the Google policy: "Don't be not evil."

Monday, June 4, 2018

It's Not the Anniversary Date That Bugs Me

Some people are upset that an Anglican Cathedral is holding a Ramadan service commemorating the ISIS London Bridge attack.  I am more upset that a church is so remote from Christianity that a Muslim service is ever appropriate.  I look forward to when a Muslim country allows the building of a church or synagogue.

What a Baker Does in Private is None of the Government's Business

Reuters reports that the Court had ruled that freedom of religion allows you to refuse to bake a cake against your conscience.   They were careful not to challenge antidiscrimination laws in general which are so longstanding and to challenge severe racial discrimination often encouraged or required by state and local governments.   The Gaystapo is being told to stop the abuse of those who want to say " No," instead of forcing them over the counter and saying,  "Do as I say and enjoy it. "

If This Appeared in National Review, I would Not Be Surprised

But in 6/1/18 The Nation (a hard left magazine?
A glaring example, just one of many from recent months, arrived at my door on February 17. My outrage spiked when I opened to the Times’ lead editorial: “Stop Letting the Russians Get Away With It, Mr. Trump.” I had to ask myself: “Did the Times’ editors perform even the rudiments of due diligence before they climbed on their high horse in this long editorial, which excoriated ‘Russia’ (not individual Russians) for ‘interference’ in the election and demanded increased sanctions against Russia ‘to protect American democracy’?”
It had never occurred to me that our admittedly dysfunctional political system is so weak, undeveloped, or diseased that inept Internet trolls could damage it. If that is the case, we better look at a lot of other countries as well, not just Russia!
The New York Times, of course, is not the only offender. Its editorial attitude has been duplicated or exaggerated by most other media outlets in the United States, electronic and print. Unless there is a mass shooting in progress, it can be hard to find a discussion of anything else on CNN. Increasingly, both in Congress and in our media, it has been accepted as a fact that “Russia” interfered in the 2016 election.
A long and thoughtful article that demonstrates how hopelessly delusional the fascist wing of the Democratic Party (and their media pimps) really are.

Paper Maps Still Have a Purpose

My wife and I went on a ghost town exploring trip yesterday.  But how do you do this without paper maps.  Once you away from the zone where Starbucks, Facebook, and Spotify are the dominant culture, the Maps app on your cell phone does not help.  Worse, many of these now obscure and remote place do not appear on GPS-based navigation systems.

I have always had a thing for paper maps; when I was young, I had a Mercator projection map of the Earth on which I was laboriously marking the Ice Age coastlines (100 meters below current sea level) by consulting National Geographic undersea maps.  I sometimes fantasized about having a house with just a map room.  (Okay, I was a weird kid.)

When we first moved to Idaho, I bought a Delorme Idaho Atlas & Gazetteer, a very detailed and complete collection of Idaho maps.  That's what we should have had yesterday.  Now, where is it?


Why Does This Sound Like a Joke About How Conservative Texas Is?

University of Texas of the Permian Basin:  I found it in a list of university libraries.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Blogging From My Phone

So copying the URL for this video will have to wait until I get home,  but look it up for a reminder that only LEOs can be trusted to carry guns in public.  An FBI agent, obviously drunk, is dancing, does a backflip,  dropping his gun.  While trying to retrieve it, he shoots a bystander.   I would never drink while armed,  never do a backflip while armed, unarmed, drunk, or sober.  Curious is that will be any criminal charges or employment consequences.

Coconut Factory

Weekly Standard article about Portland intolerance of differing opinions when they conflict with the Divine Truth of LGBTQQ.  https://www.weeklystandard.com/kevin-d-williamson/soccer-player-jaelene-hinkle-is-protested-in-portland-for-declining-to-wear-an-lgbtq-jersey

Worth reading for the coconut factory comparison alone.

Remember, Only Police Have the Skills and Knowledge to Carry Guns Safely

6/2/18 Denver Post:
An off-duty FBI agent allegedly accidentally shot a man in the leg early Saturday after the agent’s gun fell from his holster on the dance floor of Mile High Spirits, according to a Denver police news release.
“The victim was transported to the hospital with a good prognosis,” the news release read.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

How You Can Tell the Democrats Are the Party of the Billionaires

http://www.theamericanmirror.com/means-little-sour-pelosi-craps-on-trump-economic-success/ says that Nancy Pelosi (D-PRCal) is compelling that record low unemployment numbers mean little,  because rising health insurance premiums which she blames on the Republicans (who have done nothing to Obamacare ) will overwhelm the advantages of having jobs.  

Do these idiots have any idea how absurd they sound?   Or is the bubble's wall that thick?

Definition of Insanity

5/24/18 WLRN http://wlrn.org/post/parkland-victim-families-file-lawsuit-against-gun-manufacturer-and-dealer

Reports that parents of victims of the Parkland mass murder are suing Smith & Wesson for selling a gun that could be criminally misused.   You may recall a few years back that the gun control groups persuaded parents of a victim in the Aurora mass murder to sue Lucky Gunner for selling ammo.  Of course PLACA and the corresponding Colorado law meant not only that the makers won the suit, but the parents were stuck with a $220,000 bill for Lucky Gunner's legal fees.   I am guessing that the gun control groups either have learned nothing from that,  or they want to turn another set of parents into victims, not only of the tragedy that happened at Parkland, but also of the gun makers defending themselves from a meritless suit.  The lawyers pushing this clearly are bloodthirsty monsters.

Reasons to Go Back to Primary Sources

As a starting point, I have been looking up domestic mass murders from this Wikipedia list. In some cases, the cited newspaper articles do not appear in the Library of Congress' Chronicling America newspaper archive.  While searching for details of the Jan. 12, 1896 mass murder in Chicago, I found an Indianapolis Journal article that described not only that one, but also the Feb. 5, 1896 mass murder in the same city, and an 1895 Chicago domestic mass murder that does not appear in that Wikipedia list.

The Feb. 5, 1896 mass murder: Both police and doctors believed the murderer was “mentally unsound, and his act was the result of brooding over a recent similar crime in this city, the perpetrator of which was [the Jan. 12 murderer*].”[1]


[1] “Family Blotted Out,” Indianapolis Journal, Feb. 6, 1896, 1.

*Yes, I am excluding names of these monsters.  (Yes, monsters.  Few are mentally ill in any conventional sense.  Who, but a monster smashes in the skulls of his family with an axe to prevent them from living in poverty?)  Publicity drives these crimes, which why CNN makes them 24/7 news.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Seeking Obscure Book

Trial, Confession and Execution of Robert M'Conaghy, for the Murder of Mrs. Brown and Her Five Children

Here's a list of East Coast libraries that have it.  It is 16 pages, so cheap to photocopy.

ILL says too rare to get.

Thanks, now have it.

Really Depressing Research

I am working up a comprehensive list of American mass murders.  The 19th century mass murders are generally families, usually by an alcoholic father.  In some cases, mental illness is clearly an issue.  But even the whiskey ones may be mental illness related because substance abuse and mental illness are comorbid.   Here is one that did not involve alcoholism:
Monroe Co., Ill. (1878)Father murdered his wife and six children apparently with an axe or blunt object, and burned the house down around them and him. 
There were at first news accounts suggesting the deaths were accidental or even that a vagrant in the area might have done it, but examination of the remains of two of the seven dead demonstrated death was by some method that crushed the skulls.  The remaining corpses were too badly burned for a postmortem cause of death. [1]
The prospect of impending poverty for his children appears to be the cause of his murder of his family: “how can I move into that log house.  My poor wife and children to be so reduced.” [2]Category: Domestic
Suicide: Yes
Cause: Fear of poverty.
Weapon: Crushing weapon, perhaps arson.

[1] “The Monroe County Tragedy,” Chicago Daily Tribune, Mar. 5, 1878, 5.
[2] “Horrible.  A Family of Seven People Murdered,” Sedalia (Mo.) Weekly Bazoo, Mar. 12, 1878, 3.
And yes the newspaper was really the Weekly Bazoo!

If you are one of those weirdos who reads 19th century newspapers, and you find a non-governmental mass murder, tell me about it.