Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Is There a Trivago Equivalent for Tools?

A place that gathers the best prices for tools for many different vendors so that you can find the lowest price?  If not, I see a market opportunity.

Why I ask is that I needed some 9/64" 1/4" drive hex bits.  I have made 4 attempts to buy
from Amazon, and every time they send me a bag clearly labeled 1/8".  (I keep trying to get someone to learn to read, but that is too much to ask.)

Anyway, MSC Direct had them for $5.83 each.  I need a number, because they are small, and I am clumsy, so I lose them often.  Zoro has them for $0.91 each.  Easy choice.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Unfortunately Thunderbird 60.2.1 Does Not Work

And I cannot seem to download previous versions.  Found 60.0; it still works.

Today's Curious Question

I have seen increasing mention that the correlation between high-fat diets and cardiovascular disease (CVD) may be because high-fat diets make people overweight, and overweight is recognized as a CVD risk factor.  Intrisically, or because overweight people get too little exercise?  All pre-Agricultural Revolution societies have been heavily dependent on meat, like these walking supermarkets:
Now, pre-Agricultural Revolution societies do not have many fat people.  (Even pre-Industrial Revolution societies usually do not.  Hunters are too busy hunting fleet-footed game; serfs are too busy feeding the nobles.)  It would be a little odd for meat-eating to survive in the gene pool if it was a net disadvantage.  Of course, CVD kills us off usually past the age when we procreate; perhaps the net advantage from improved brain function and muscle repair outweighs the disadvantages.  

But I suddenly had a thought: do overweight vegetarians have high CVD rates?  First, have you ever met an overweight vegetarian?  It beggars the imagination how this could happen.  I like lentil soup and hot bread with butter, but I am hard pressed to see how you could eat enough to get fat.  Still, they must exist.

When I went searching for "overweight vegetarians CVD" in scholarly articles, I could not find any articles examining this.  I did find articles that looked at CVD risk factors, but not CVD itself.  (The assumption is that the CVD risk factors adequately predict CVD.)  It would be an interesting study.  Find 500,000 vegetarians so that you can find a sample of them that are overweight (n=1000, maybe), then compare their CVD rates.

I am working on the overweight risk factor theory myself.  I am 209.0 pounds this morning; BMI 29.2 (still overweight, but no longer obese).  

BTW, this Samsung Health app that I use, while it has been very helpful, has one serious defect.  It categorizes my  calorie burn as resting or light exercise.  I suppose that if I ran, it would recognize that as heavy exercise.  But even the work that I did shoveling part of 30 tons of road mix was still "light exercise," because the phone only saw me walking.  When my wife takes me and the dog on a walk, the climb back up the hillside or driveway is just walking;  but it is actually "heavy exercise."  The slopes are substantial.

My Nephew Makes a Living As A Photographer

Some nice work, especially astrophotography and landscapes here.

Amazing What Unsharp Mask Does to a Hopeless Picture


There Are Times I Think PETA is Really A Meat Eater Front Organization

From PETA's website:
Why Cow’s Milk Is the Perfect Drink for Supremacists
As when Christoph Waltz’s character in Inglorious Bastards drinks a glass of milk and a character in a pivotal scene of Get Out sips the cow secretion, dairy milk has long been embraced as a symbol of white supremacy.
Aside from “lactose-tolerant” white supremacists, cow’s milk really is the perfect drink of choice for all (even unwitting) supremacists, since the dairy industry inflicts extreme violence on other living beings. PETA is trying to wake people up to the implications of choosing this white beverage and suggesting that they choose something else pronto.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Amazing how many "failures" clean up nicely after some processing.  Pretty sure this was with a 25mm eyepiece projection; 1/80th; ISO 400
1/320th; ISO-400; prime focus

As the magnification increases, critical focus gets more important.  This was with a 12.5mm eyepiece; 1/15th sec.; ISO-100.
There are several strategies for improving critical focus: the Hartmann Mask and its variant, the Scheiner Mask.  There is also a new device, invented recently, the Bahtinov Mask.  This picture will tell you why few amateurs make them.

There Are Times When the Fog Rolls In, That It Feels Like We Are Alone in the World

and without fog:

This Explains a Lot

10/19/18 CNN:
(CNN)A New York man was arrested and charged Friday by federal prosecutors with threatening to assault and murder two US senators in retaliation for their support of Justice Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation to the Supreme Court.
The man, Ronald DeRisi, left more than 10 threatening and "expletive-laced" voicemails for the two senators beginning September 27, according to the complaint unsealed Friday by prosecutors in the US Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York.
In one message, DeRisi said he had a "present" for one of the senators, the complaint says, adding: "It's a nine millimeter. Side of your f---ing skull, you scumbag motherf---er." He finished the call by saying, "Yeah, Kavanaugh -- I don't think so."...
On Friday, a frail DeRisi was wheeled into court wearing a blue T-shirt and jeans. DeRisi made small whimpers of pain as he heard Assistant US Attorney Justina Geraci lay out the case.
Geraci said DeRisi went to great lengths to hide his identity by using burner phones, a fake name, notes to remind himself what that fake name was and a separate credit card to replenish the phone that he hid in his car from his wife.
They were measures that show "a level of criminal intent," Geraci said.
His defense attorney explains:
DeRisi's attorney, Peter Brill, said that his client posed no flight risk and was not a threat. He tried to explain away DeRisi's actions by saying his brain had been atrophying.
"There is no doubt that this is something that he should not have been doing. But is he a flight risk? No. Is he dangerous? No," Brill said, later clarifying that he meant physically dangerous because DeRisi is so frail.
"He's not a violent person. He's a belligerent person," Brill said. "This is an ongoing neurological problem that has manifested itself in this way."
Atrophying, and neurological problem?  That explains a lot of the #Resistance.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

More Pleasant Weather for Astrophotography

Using a new 2" camera adapter.  Alas, no eyepiece projection tube. 1/320th; ISO 400.  Enhanced with GIMP; converted to gray scale with IrfanView.  (GIMP must have that capability--but where?)
Trying to get perfectly sharp focus on a telescope and camera is not easy.  Unlike older film 35mm cameras, there seems to be no ground glass center for ultrasharp focus,

Here I used unsharp mask in GIMP:
I also did some eyepiece projection (using the 1.25" camera adapter) to increase magnification.   This is with the 25mm eyepiece; ISO 100; 1/20th.

Eyepiece projection is hard.  Getting sharp focus is even harder; exposures get longer; more opportunity for wind to move the scope during exposure.  Sometimes everything comes together.  Prime focus; 1/160th; ISO 100:

And Where is the Delay Photo Control?

When taking astrophotos, it is vital to let everything stop moving after pressing the button.  With my old Pentax, there were two options: wait three seconds or twelve seconds.  I know the new Pentax has them, but trying to find them in the dark was no fun.

The blurred version, not because of tracking problems but telescope still moving after pressing button:
1/1250th second, ISO 3200, 17.5" f/4.5.

1/2000th; ISO 3200.

Trying to use GIMP to improve them.  Why does it take more than a minute to start GIMP?

One picture that was entirely washed out was saved by GIMP:

1/125th; ISO 400.

Try again at ISO 100 with enough delay.

I Doubt You Need This

Strictly for parts.  This unit provided 12 years of trouble-free service in our home, until the Alarm light started coming on, and it kept stopping.  The plumber who replaced it thought the absence of a backflow valve might have been the problem, but let me emphasize: this is non-functioning, and might be a useful source for parts ONLY.  No returns, no whining.  Remember, this beast is heavy and large: shippimg charges are substantial.

But someone paid $50 + shipping for it.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Different Levels of Government, Different Rules

Three Forks of Wolf, Tenn. (1868)
11/29/1868: “[A]n aged widow lady, by the name of Galloway” had the day before received $300 back pay for her husband, who had died in military service.  A robber “most foully and brutally” murdered her and her three daughters in pursuit of that windfall.
Category: residential
Suicide: no
Cause: robbery
Weapon: unknown[1]

[1] “A Whole Family Murdered in Fentress County,” [Memphis, Tenn.] Public Ledger, Dec. 10, 1868, 1.

The story explains these scum were turned over to the federal courts not state courts because blacks could testify against whites in federal courts; remember that after the Civil War, the antebellum rule that a black person could not testify against a white person persisted.

Next Obscure Electrical Question

Are there LEDs that will only illuminate at some threshold  volume, such as 2 VDC.  My reading says that 2.1 VDC is needed to illuminate a green LED.  Here's the application: I really want an LED that tells me if there is enough power from the two AAA batteries that I do not need to change them.  I would prefer to know this before trying to observe for the night.  At the same time, I do not want too much power draw that drains the batteries too quickly.

I can almost visualize a use of XOR and OR gates that would produce a 1 output if the battery pack voltage is below 2 VDC.  But I would expect LEDs, or logic combos with an LED, that already have this capability to light up a low power LED.

Just to clarify since some of the answers seem to show that I failed to communicate my hopes:  I want an illuminated LED when voltage is >2 VDC or thereabouts, and dark below that level.  No intermediate brightness.  I want a "change the batteries LED."

This looks useful; 51 ohms with a 3 VDC battery pack for a yellow LED will draw little current from the battery pack. Now that Radio Shack is no more, where do you buy one 51 ohm resister and one LED?  Here for the resistor.  Here for the yellow LED.  Red would seem the best choice: forward voltage 1.8 V to 2.2 V.   75 ohm resister.  Red LED with resisters for 6 V-13 V (100 units).  I am guessing the included resisters won't be of any use.  20 mA draw at 3VDC would be .006 watts.  That does not sound like a fast drain on two AAA batteries.  This says a AAA holds 750 mA-hours.  Even if I had the power switch on four hours a night, that should be 125,000 hours consumption for the LED, far more than the motor will draw.   Not sure what to do with the other 99 LEDs.  (Make a red night light to avoid destroying my night vision when doing astronomy?)  Am I on the right path here?

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Help Me Construct the Adjective

hemidemisemiquaver (and, yes, I knew what that was before going to Wikipedia) is a 1/64th note.  We know now that Sen. (Lieawatha) Warren is six to ten generations removed from anyone who might Indian.  So she isn't a half-breed.  A hemidemisemihemidemisemi-breed?  A mouthful.  And yes, this remains one of the most amazing songs by Cher.

Obviously Sent By a Pro-Gun or Pro-Life Extremist

10/15/18 CNN:
A spokesperson for Collins tweeted Monday evening that Collins' husband, Tom Daffron, "today received a threatening letter that the writer claimed was contaminated with ricin, a highly hazardous substance which was used in a previous attack against the United States Senate."
Sen. Collins (sorta R-ME) has always been a squishy Republican.  Do you think this will make her more or less sympathetic to the progressives?

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Today's Electrical Question

I suspect that I learned this in high school physics 1973-74.  But Nixon was President, so I likely forgot.

You have a 3VDC source (two AAA batteries); you add another 3VDC source to the same wires.  Do they add, or do you only get 3VDC?

STOP!  I have more evidence of how smart my readers are, dozens of answers in agreement.  Alas, mechanical issues rendered my idea impractical.  The Crossbow Equatorial Platform  runs on two AAA batteries (remarkable since it is moving more than 100 pounds of telescope at one revolution per day.  It is good for 120 hours, but you must remember to turn it off when you are done.  The switch is in an awkward position, so easy to forget at the end of the evening. 

I was thinking of hooking up the 12 VDC power source that I use for the Sky Commander through a 12 VDC to 3 VDC gadget that I assembled from parts.  Turn off  the power source when closing up for the night, and the switch does not matter.  But the problem with both cables is that as the telescope turns it winds the cables around the base.  I even thought of bungee cording the power pack to the side of the telescope base so it rotates with the telescope and the Sky Commander, but the platform does not rotate, so the cable to the 12 VDC to 3 VDC converter will wind instead.  Besides, the power pack is very heavy and affects operation of the platform.  I may consult with my wife, who is very good at spatial conception.

I can live with batteries on both electrical parts; replacing 12VDC and AAA batteries after forgetting to turn them off isn't really that hard.

Let Us Now Praise Great Bargain Eyepieces

I think I mentioned the struggle I was having getting my 35mm Plossl sufficiently in focus.  The obvious solution was another low power eyepiece with less in focus.  So I bought this Russell Optics 50mm 2" eyepiece:
Okay the stick on label is cheesy, but it cost me less than $80 delivered.  Wondering what 2" means?  You are obnviously not an amateur astronomer.  Telescope eyepieces come in three common barrel diameters: .965" (an older Japanese standard), 1.25" (the American standard), and 2.00".  The larger eyepiece gives a really glorious feel of looking through the spaceship's portal.  In addition, Televue (an American maker of very fine optics) has produced a great many very wide field eyepieces in 2" format. However, these are eyepieces which are priced accordingly (hundreds of dollars for something that a few amateurs compare to a grenade in mass and dimensions).  

Enough with the tangent.  A 50mm eyepiece gives 18x in my 5" refractor, and 40x in the 17.5" reflector.  So why would I want a low magnfication eyepiece?  The field of view gets larger as the magnification drops.  If you are hunting for low surface brightness, large area objects (like galaxies) a wide field is very useful.  In the refractor this eyepiece gives a 2 degree field of view.  Even in the reflector  this is a .875 degree field.  And objects like the Moon are crisp and beautiful against the inky blackness around it.  My wife was enchanted by how much more AWESOMITUDE this eyepiece gave on the Moon (sorry for breaking into surfer English; I grew up three blocks from the Pacific).

I bought this because some years ago, Russell Optics sold an 85mm cousin at a bargain price.  At the time they said it was a prototype that they had made to decide whether to do these commercially.  It has an acetal barrel which greatly reduces its weight.

As with any long focal length eyepiece, they work great in refractors, but until it gets dark, the central obstruction of the diagonal mirror produces a very noticeable black spot in the field of view.  They warn you about this.  It is a minor nuisance until it gets dark, at which point the dark spot goes away.

Now, what I do with old 50mm eyepiece?  It has no brand name or markings on it.  It is a brass barrel and weighs 15 ozs.  (That weight makes it a bit clumsy on my telescopes because it alters the balance a good bit.)  If it could talk, I suspect that  it would tell stories of sinking Japanese destroyers.  It has the look of something war surplus.  It was one of eyepieces that came with the bargain 17.5" reflector I bought at a Boise Astronomical Society auction some years ago.

Any ideas how to chase down its lineage?

 The  number stamped into the top is 233061-9.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Two Incredibly Good Bricks-And-Mortar Stories

My glasses frame cracked, preventing any additional adjustment to fit my shrinking head.  I bought these originally at Wal-Mart and they are well out of warranty.  The gal at the Garden City Wal-Mart hunted around trying to find frames that would accept my lens.  Apparently the frames and lens change dimensions annually, perhaps to force you to buy new lenses, frames, or both.  She did suggest going to the Wal-Mart SuperCenter on Franklin in Boise.  The gal there found some frames that were close enough that will a little grinding on the edge of one lens, they fit.  It was about $40 for new frames, compared to $300 for new lenses and frames, even under the VSP plan that Blue Cross of Idaho provides.

The rear door knob failed quite severely, requiring disassembly to get the door open.  The maker is something like Faultless (a Taiwanese company) which has a lifetime replacement warranty.  The last time they replaced one of these (for the front door), it took a couple weeks to arrive, so I went to Home Depot.  Nice old guy found a nearly perfect match on shape and color (satin nickel to match my wife's .380), rekeyed it to the current key.  And he was patient!  The Kwikset knob was giving up its key cylinder very reluctantly.

Are You or Have You Ever Been..."

10/10/18 CBS Los Angeles:
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – City contractors who have ties to the National Rifle Association must now disclose them, under a motion passed unanimously Wednesday by the Los Angeles City Council.
The motion, approved by a 10-0 vote, does not ban NRA-linked contractors from doing business with the city, but would require them to disclose any contracts or sponsorships they have with the gun rights advocacy group.
Does that include membership?  To paraphrase Joe McCarthy: "I have a copy of your NRA card right here."

Thursday, October 11, 2018

But the Century Was Only Half Done

Dennis L. Breo and William J. Martin, The Crime of the Century:
 Richard Speck and the Murders That Shocked the Nation.

Another Fake Hate Crime


Another anti—gay hate crime turns into a false report charge.  The constant need for attention does not speak well for emotional stability, does it?

Like the Previous Chart, By No Means Complete

Especially from the 1970s forward, but I doubt it will much change the trends.

Now, back to entering data.

Does Anyone Have U.S. Population 1790-2010 as a CSV?

It must be out there somewhere.  Or let's dream big, as an Excel spreadsheet?  Found 1790-1990.

By No Means Complete

These are raw counts of mass murder incidents and dead victims, not adjusted for population, and still terribly incomplete for 1970 forward, and I suspect, the 1870s, 1880s, and 1930s,

Never Mind the Data Base

I can get all the data that I need through abuse of Excel, and perhaps some use of grep and wc on the CSV version.  Too much hassle for a relatively small advantage.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Venus: Death of a Planet

Interesting documentary on YouTube. Obviously caused by the Venusuians using fossil fuels.

Unfortunately, OpenOffice Base Really Does Not Implement SQL Correctly

Every source I can find shows this:
SELECT COUNT( * ) as "Number of Rows"FROM orders WHERE ord_amount>1500;
Note that the word TABLE is not there.  OpenOffice Base complains about the absence of TABLE and says syntax error with the word TABLE in there.  The query wizard is non-functional; conditions do not generate WHERE statements.  Some of you suggested MySQL, but I cannot find a download that isn't an upgrade only version.

I will try the LibreOffice variant next.

I Hate Doing This The Hard Way

I was hoping to write a SQL query to produce a table showing mass murders and dead by decade: 1790-1799, 1800-1809, subtotals and then totals, ideally with counts for each weapon category, but I cannot get the GROUP BY clause to work, so I am doing this as a series of separate queries.
SELECT "MassMurder"."ID" AS "ID", "MassMurder"."month" AS "month", "MassMurder"."date" AS "date", "MassMurder"."year" AS "year", "MassMurder"."city" AS "city", "MassMurder"."state" AS "state", "MassMurder"."dead victim count" AS "dead victim count", "MassMurder"."undead victim count" AS "undead victim count", "MassMurder"."suicide?" AS "suicide?", "MassMurder"."UNKNOWN" AS "UNKNOWN", "MassMurder"."AX" AS "AX", "MassMurder"."HATCHET" AS "HATCHET", "MassMurder"."KNIFE" AS "KNIFE", "MassMurder"."OTHER SHARP" AS "OTHER SHARP", "MassMurder"."BLUNT" AS "BLUNT", "MassMurder"."EXPLOSIVE" AS "EXPLOSIVE", "MassMurder"."POISON" AS "POISON", "MassMurder"."STRANGLE" AS "STRANGLE", "MassMurder"."DROWN" AS "DROWN", "MassMurder"."ARSON" AS "ARSON", "MassMurder"."HANG" AS "HANG", "MassMurder"."OTHER" AS "OTHER", "MassMurder"."FIREARM (unidentified)" AS "FIREARM (unidentified)", "MassMurder"."shotgun" AS "shotgun", "MassMurder"."rifle" AS "rifle", "MassMurder"."pistol" AS "pistol", "MassMurder"."machine gun" AS "machine gun", "MassMurder"."cause" AS "cause", "MassMurder"."category" AS "category" FROM "MassMurder" "MassMurder" WHERE "MassMurder"."year" >= 1800 AND "MassMurder"."year" < 1810
Yes wrong way to do it.

The Kavanaugh Smear Circus Seems to be Bearing Fruit

10/10/18 The Hill:
Rep. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) holds a 6-point lead over Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) in a new poll of their Arizona Senate race.The ABC15-OH Insights poll, which was released on Wednesday, found that 47 percent of likely voters favor McSally in the race to replace Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who is retiring. Meanwhile, 41 percent of voters said they favored Sinema. Four percent said they support Green Party candidate Angela Green. The survey said Green may be taking away support on the left from Sinema.“Our September 5th poll showed McSally taking the lead over Sinema and continues to lead into October,” chief pollster Mike Noble said in a statement. “The combination of Angela Green entering the race and Trump’s approval increase is having a negative effect on Sinema, making her numbers go down.”

Vivaldi Seems Faster Than Brave

Maybe slower than Chrome, but Brave slows my PC to a crawl as the number of tabs increases beyond about six.

Goes Both Ways

On Friday, when Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) announced her support for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, ensuring that he would receive the votes required for confirmation, a Google executive tweeted an ominous message about America's system of government. He also joined an effort to bribe a U.S. senator.
"Abolish the Senate," tweeted Ken Norton, a former project manager at Google and currently a partner at GV — formerly Google Ventures — the company that directs the venture capital investments for Alphabet, Google's parent company. Norton has been at Google for 12 years.
Abolish the Senate.

I Hate Asking SQL Questions To Which I Used to Know the Answer

SELECT COUNT(ID) AS IncidentsByDecade, SUM('dead victim count') AS DeadByDecade FROM TABLE 'MassMurder' GROUP BY 'year';
What's the syntax error?  And is there a way to GROUP BY year/10?  Or do I need to create a separate field of decade calculated from the year field?

Amazon, Monopoly Power, and Brick-And-Mortar Failings

Mu wife really does not like to buy from Amazon (but still does it) because she is concerned about the loss of brick-and-mortar stores.  Part of why I do not let this bother me (much) is that there is a niche for brick-and-mortar stores: service and immediate pickup, especially of cheap items.  Best Buy will be installing an AM/FM/CD Bluetooth stereo for my wife's Jeep because they have installation, and when I went into the Boise store, there was a very sharp and knowledgeable salesperson, Stacy, to help me find what I needed.  The downside is that when I needed to reschedule the installation appointment, there was no way online to do it, and no people available at any phone number.  When you call the store number, you get store hours and a warning that Apple inventory goes so quickly that online counts are usually wrong.  No button to push for meatware.

But lots of brick-and-mortar stores are falling down on the one place where they could justify higher prices: the inventory of stuff that you need today.  I needed ONE M3x0.5 thumbscrew, preferably 12mm long or more.  Industrial Hardware in Garden City almost always has whatever odd fastener I need.  Not this.  I went to Home Depot, which not being a real hardware store, also disappointed me.  Ace Hardware in Eagle, which keeps an impressive collection of fasteners, had inch-size thumbscrews, but not a single metric thumbscrew of any size.  So I ordered a bag of 20 of 
M3x0.5 20 mm long thumbscrews.  Way more than I need, but $9.81.  (Smaller bags were black or small knurled heads.)  And I doubt that I could find even one if I called every hardware store in Boise.

Brick-and-mortar stores: Keep a variety of goods in inventory, even if they take a couple years to sell.  The inventory cost on 20 metric thumbscrews is tiny, and you can charge $4-$5 for one, just to satisfy the "need it today" guys.  And stay in business.

Done With Aerobic Earthmoving

We have spread two 15 ton piles of road mix in position to wipe out the punctureweed. The exercise has been good but the shear mass of it brought to mind this song, which may explain why so many 19th and 20th century mass murders involve coal mimers and labor disputes.

It is very easy to be angry at labor unions and their militancy, but look back at the conditions and hours and it is actually unsurprising.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Not Sure Brave is Worth the Hassle

It protects me so well that I cannot get much done.  Disabling cookies everywhere means that it does not remember user names and passwords, at least not consistently.  I cannot get it to allow cookies.

SQL Question

SELECT SUM( "MassMurder"."ID" ) AS "ID" FROM "MassMurder" "MassMurder" GROUP BY "month", "date", "year", "city", "state", "dead victim count", "undead victim count", "suicide?", "UNKNOWN", "AX", "HATCHET", "KNIFE", "OTHER SHARP", "BLUNT", "EXPLOSIVE", "POISON", "STRANGLE", "DROWN", "ARSON", "HANG", "OTHER", "FIREARM (unidentified)", "shotgun", "rifle", "pistol", "machine gun", "cause", "category" where "MassMurder"."AX" = 'TRUE' OR "MassMurder"."HATCHET" = 'TRUE'

The WHERE clause seems defective in some way.  Am I not testing a boolean field correctly?  I cannot find any examples by searching for a WHERE clause using a boolean field.  Everything else, but not that.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Sad Failure to Take Physics

Daily Wire has a sad video of the Kabanopes trying to force their way into the Supreme Court building to prevent Kavanaugh taking the oath of office.  Apparently they are unclear on the concept that pounding and clawing at solid wooden doors only hurts your hands and cracks your nails.  If you wanted a video to falsely portray all women as clueless idiots, unprepared for real life, this would be it.

Anyone Using OpenOffice Base?

Importing my spreadsheet was easy, but when I used the query wizard, I asked to see records where year =191 (or "1911" in case someone was confused about its type, I got all records.  Here is the SQL the wizard created:
SELECT "MassMurder"."ID" AS "ID", "MassMurder"."month" AS "month", "MassMurder"."date" AS "date", "MassMurder"."year" AS "year", "MassMurder"."city" AS "city", "MassMurder"."state" AS "state", "MassMurder"."dead victim count" AS "dead victim count", "MassMurder"."undead victim count" AS "undead victim count", "MassMurder"."suicide?" AS "suicide?", "MassMurder"."UNKNOWN" AS "UNKNOWN", "MassMurder"."AX" AS "AX", "MassMurder"."HATCHET" AS "HATCHET", "MassMurder"."KNIFE" AS "KNIFE", "MassMurder"."OTHER SHARP" AS "OTHER SHARP", "MassMurder"."BLUNT" AS "BLUNT", "MassMurder"."EXPLOSIVE" AS "EXPLOSIVE", "MassMurder"."POISON" AS "POISON", "MassMurder"."STRANGLE" AS "STRANGLE", "MassMurder"."DROWN" AS "DROWN", "MassMurder"."ARSON" AS "ARSON", "MassMurder"."HANG" AS "HANG", "MassMurder"."OTHER" AS "OTHER", "MassMurder"."FIREARM (unidentified)" AS "FIREARM (unidentified)", "MassMurder"."shotgun" AS "shotgun", "MassMurder"."rifle" AS "rifle", "MassMurder"."pistol" AS "pistol", "MassMurder"."machine gun" AS "machine gun", "MassMurder"."cause" AS "cause", "MassMurder"."category" AS "category" FROM "MassMurder" "MassMurder"
Shouldn't there be a WHERE clause?   So I added "where MassMurder.year = 1911" and saving it caused:
Syntax error in SQL statement
Ah, I needed quotes:
"MassMurder"."year = 1911"
So why doesn't the query wizard work?

Disabled Going Back to Work

10/5/18 Washington Examiner:
Disabled Americans are going back to work at a better pace than those with no disabilities, another sign that the Trump economy is opening up the job market.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics Jobs Report released Friday said that a higher ratio of those with disabilities gained jobs than those without them
“The employment-to-population ratio for working-age people with disabilities increased from 30.4 percent in September 2017 to 31.4 percent in September 2018 (up 3.3 percent or 1 percentage point). For working-age people without disabilities, the employment-to-population ratio also increased from 73.8 percent in September 2017 to 74.0 percent in September 2018 (up 0.3 percent or 0.2 percentage points),” said BLS.
I thought they were disabled!  I think I blogged a while back (or just thought it very loudly so you should have heard it) that many of the older people going on disability were likely depressed that they were over 40 and employers therefore classed them as "senile."  I do not mean that these aged people engaged in fraud.  If you are sufficiently depressed, you really cannot work.

There has been a burst of hiring going on.  I get frequent inquiries about positions.  If I had some confidence that my brain would work reliably again as a software engineer, it would be tempting.  Teaching I could perhaps do full-time.  It would reduce my disability check, but by the amount that I earn working, with no loss of Medicare.  The advantage is that I could again contribute to Social Security, perhaps increasing my retirement check at retirement age (but I am already only $6 per month from the maximum amount you can get).  A full-time job, however, would give health insurance for my wife.  Maybe I will see if teaching two classes a semester is possible, to see if full-time would be possible.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

A Rally in Boise About Kavanaugh

Pretty sad when you cannot find anything smarter to say than repeating "Shame" forever.  If you do not understand the rage, I have been having a prolonged discussion with a number of my relatives by email.  Many were molested or raped.  Because the guilty parties are beyond any Earthly punishment (and one was fortunate enough to commit statutory rape in Bezerkley, where there is no real justice system) there is no available justice for what they suffered.  Taking out this rage on the man who did not do it, Kavanaugh, makes a lot of sense emotionally.  I am happy to see Kavanaugh confirmed, but try to understand the irrationality you are seeing.

I Think the Feinstein/Ford Circus Has Not Caused the Blue Wave to Stop

10/4/18 Investor's Business Daily poll:
Meanwhile, the Democrats' advantage on the "generic ballot" question has all but disappeared. This asks only registered voters whether they'd prefer a Congress controlled by Democrats or Republicans after the midterm elections in November.
The latest poll shows that 45% say they'd prefer Democrats in control, while 43% say they want the GOP to retain control of Congress.
This is a huge swing from last month, which had the Democrats up by 11 points over Republicans (50% to 39%).
Good news.  Heavy rain or a sale on Teslas might be enough to sink the Democrat hopes.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Nothing as Much Fun as Leftist Autophagy

10/5/18 The Guardian:
For a full week, a big black banner was posted from a sidewalk in Berkeley, California. “OCCUPY WHOLE FOODS”, it declared in large, white block letters.
But the protesters who created it, a group from the animal rights activist organization Direct Action Everywhere (DxE), were not actually able to do much occupying. Just days before a weeklong protest scheduled for late September, in which the activists had planned to call attention to alleged animal welfare violations by suppliers to Whole Foods’ parent company, Amazon, the Berkeley store filed a restraining order.
“We are not allowed to even step foot in the parking lot right now,” said Cassie King, a DxE organizer. “We can’t go inside the store and ask our questions.”
Yes, I know, there is nothing intrinsically leftist about Whole Foods, but I suspect a "Confirm Kavanaugh" bumpersticker would lead at least to some serious yelling, if not a foot deep door ding.  And in Bezerkley!  Does it get any better?

So Many Things Forgotten

I have successfully imported the spreadsheet into Access.  Two issues hard to figure out.  I had it normalize one of my columns, but it discovered some errors UNKNOWN and UNKOWN are both in the column.  How do I find all UNKOWNs and convert them to UNKNOWN.  I have a few similar problems.

I have forgotten too much SQL.  I thought SELECT count(*) FROM Massmurder where date > 1820; would give me a count of records where the date column (which is defined as an INTEGER) < 1820.  No.  I get
Solved that one.  I want to change the column headers from the field names.  I used to know how to do this, and all the online references say this is correct:
SELECT  Table3.year AS 'decade', Count(*) as "total mass murders"
FROM Table3 where year >=1820 and year < 1830;
<1830 blockquote="">But when trying to run it:

Every source says field AS HeaderName.  What am I doing wrong?\
Beginning to wonder if Access works.  The suicide column has lots of -1s where the imported spreadsheet had 1.  So:
UPDATE Table3 SET suicide =1 where suicide = -1; 
Nothing changes.  I know SQL well enough to know that this should work.  Nor does replace work.  This field is defined as Yes/No.  Does Access store Yes as -1?  Shouldn't it show TRUE or FALSE?

I think that I have learned my lesson: Microsoft's idea of SQL is not the same as everyone else's.  MySQL?  I am frustrated that Microsoft Access, a purportedly commercial product, does not do SQL the same as everyone else's SQL.  Let me try OpenOffice.

OpenOffice is not a general purpose database.  When you try to create a database, you are given the choice of a business database and a personal database.  There is no apparent way to start from scratch building an arbitrary database.  You start with one of the two existing databases and modify the fields as you need.

I should have realized the MySQL download could not be complete: 15 MB.  That is only an update.  I am now down loading their 471 MB file, which I suspect is the useful product.

Simpler Solution

The smartest guy that ever worked for me once told me that the best software engineers were the laziest, because they found smart ways to solve complex problems.  (So weird that he was pleased as punch to be able to write a seven character Sieve of Eratosthenses in 7 characters of APL.  And a member of 4 Sigma.  Mensa is 2 sigmas above the average; 4 Sigma tells it all.  (He had a couple of genetic difficulties that would have made him a subject of the various eugenics programs of the early 20th century.  Me too.)

The number of columns that required moving comma separated lists of firearms into separate columns was really not that many.  Remember guns are not commonly used for mass murder until recently.  Those were quick to do by hand in Excel.

The date issues?  Load a CSV of it into emacs where you can regex searches.  With keyboard macroes this will be easy to fix.

I Blame The Kavanaugh Circus

Trump has a 51% approval rating. http://m.rasmussenreports hurt hurt.com/public_content/politics/trump_administration/prez_track_oct05 I no longer smell a blue wave, maybe even a red wave.  The Democrats made such an obviously slanderous attack that many Americans are moving to Trump's side. Of course, lowest unemployment rate since 1969 does not hurt.

Are You Hold Enough to Remember the SNL Skits About Counterfactual History?

The commentators analyze questions such as, "What if Eleanor Roosevelt could fly?"  And we see her flying over Berlin (no airplane) dropping bombs.  I would love to have the date that aired or other detailed reference to it.  Here's the abstract for the article for which I need it.

Abstract: Would the Framers of the Second Amendment and the 14th Amendment have been so willing to grant such a broad general right to be armed if they been aware of today's mass murder problem?   Yes.  Some of the requests and debates about this right recognized a need for reasonable restrictions tailored to deal with dangerous individuals in the interest of public safety.  Also, mass murder is hardly a modern problem:  mass murder in America was a problem throughout the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, yet it did not prevent ratification of the broad guarantee recognized in DC v. Heller, incorporated to limit the states in McDonald v. Chicago, and the numerous state constitutional guarantees.

You Need to Laugh

So watch this:

If You Are Not Old Enough to Remember This Show

It was only a so-so sci-fi anthology, but it had one of the great openings:

The Poor Polar Bears Now That the Ice is Melting

10/5/18 The Guardian:
Authorities in Canada’s Arctic north are scrambling to transport critical supplies to three isolated communities after the early arrival of sea ice prevented delivery barges from reaching in the region.
Paulatuk, Kugluktuk and Cambridge Bay, which have a combined population of nearly 3,000 people, have been unable to receive shipments of food, fuel and lumber after ice moving from the high Arctic sealed off the Amundsen Gulf.

Just Makes My Day

Kathy Griffin and Michael Moore in a food fight, and unsurprisingly Grifin is the more adult.  10/4/18 The Wrap:
Kathy Griffin had some sharp words for Michael Moore on Thursday, after “Fahrenheit 11/9” filmmaker implored the left to “Stop hoping & start acting!”
In a tweet published Thursday, Moore made an apparent reference to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who became the subject of an FBI investigation due to a sexual misconduct accusation leveled against him by Christine Blasey Ford.
With Sen. Jeff Flake, who supported the probe, saying Thursday that the report on the FBI investigation showed “no additional corroborating information” against Kavanaugh, Moore took to Twitter criticizing “Dems & ‘liberals'” for “foolishly placing their hopes in the FBI.”...
To which Griffin replied, “Michael…WE LOST.” “What more could we have done? We don’t have the Senate or the Presidency. What more can we do for god sakes?”

Two Headlines on DrudgeReport

If you cannot read that top one "Poll: Trump Approval 51%"

One More Request For Sed Help

I believe that I have figured out how to do what I need to this spreadsheet for export inside Excel except for the date transformations. 
sed -E "s!^[[:digit:]]\{4\}!0,0,&!" massmurder.csv|sed -E "s!\([[:digit:]]\)/\([[:digit:]]\(4\)\)!\1/0/\2!"
The first command does convert YYYY to 0/0/YYYY.  The second command should convert M/YYYY to M/0/YYYY.  But the second command produces:
sed: -e expression #1, char 47: invalid reference \2 on 's' command's RHS
What am I doing wrong?

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Modest Request for Help

I have been battling my fading brain to write a program to convert a CSV file into something Microsoft Access can import.  With enough time, I can do it myself.  But I have final edits due for a Southern Illinois University Law Journal article in the next couple of days, and another to write for a symposium in January.  I also need to start preparing first semester American History for spring.

The CSV has a number of columns with a header row.  The first column are MM/DD/YYYY dates.  In some cases YYYY only or MM/YYYY.  These need to turn into three columns, month, date, year.  Where missing a month or date, substitute a zero. The second column is a year number only and can be discarded.  A later column is: "if firearm, type."  This field may contain one or more comma separated types: shotgun, musket, pistol, rifle.  These two columns need to become "firearm (unidentified)" "shotgun" (which includes musket), "rifle" and "pistol".  Everything else remains the same.  All other fields are either text or numbers (usually indicating that a particular class of weapon was used in this mass murder).

If you can help, I think you can see why this data is so important.

Okay, I Am Downloading Eclipse for Java

As much as I like emacs, and terminal emulator, I think an IDE is the right way out of this, and I have done more recent Java than C.  Of course, I think Java is now obsolete.

Believe All Women!

My wife reminded me last night that all a white woman  in the South of had to do was accuse a black man odd rape or a wolf whistle (like Emmett Till) and if he was lucky, he would get at least a pretense of a trial before being killed.

One of You Recommended a Virus Cleaner That Was Free

But slow.  So use it once and delete it.  Which was that?

Too Much Lost

char* line;
FILE* source;
source = fopen(argv[1]);
if (source != NULL)
    fgets(line, 2000, source);
segmentation fault on fgets.

It is so discouraging that something that used to be simple for me to do for a living is now gone.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

gcc for Windows 7

I have been looking for bcc and related tools for Windows 7. Three is something called minGw, but it is anything but min.  Downloading all the components takes at least an hour, and the installer is utterly incomprehensible.  I had hoped that cygwin would include gcc and gdb but no such luck. I can do what I want in the virtual Linux on my Windows PC, but it naturally runs a bit slower than native apps.  Something which is a downloadable executable would be nice.  (I am not really interested in compiling gcc, gdb, and related tools.)  This seems better.  It now looks like I should have been looking for cc, not gcc in cygwin.  Whatever cc is in cygwin, it is not an executable.  There is a gcc there, but no obvious debugger.  There is a reason Linus remains popular.

There Should Not Be This New Label

But believe all rape accusations has become the new slogan of the left, so a new label: false rape accusations.  These are cases not where the prosecution failed to prove its case, but where prosecutors dropped charges when evidence demonstrated that the victim made it up. 10/1/18 Las Vegas Review-Journal:
Prosecutors dropped charges Monday against four California dentists, including three brothers, who defense attorneys said were falsely accused of raping a woman at a Las Vegas Strip hotel.

“After review of the facts of the case, it was clear that the allegations were completely fabricated,” lawyers for the men wrote in a prepared statement before a court appearance. “The evidence confirmed the men’s innocence, and the state has cleared them of all charges.”

19th Century Journalists Needed Thesauruses (Thesauri?)

The same two words keep appearing in newspaper headlines: horrible, and horrid.  Perhaps horrifying, terrifying, horribilicious?

Today's Reminder That English is Not Being Adequately Taught in Nigeria or India

The phishing scheme from "American Express":
There is a recent security report for your American Express(R) Account(s). At the time of report scrutiny, An error was detected validating your profile. In view of this, Cardmember information needs to be updated and your mandatory effort is required.

Count on the #MeToo Crowd to Sexualize Everything

From Newsbusters:
The Second-Amendment haters at March for Our Lives decided to produce another celebrity-endorsed political sales pitch for the upcoming election this November. Desperate times call for sleazy advertising, so the political organization decided to get a bunch of pretty people together behind the camera to explain their “first time doing it.”
It was quite the video. The first 30 seconds of the ad was all sexual innuendo, with the likes of Scarlett Johansson, Don Cheadle, Chris Evans, and Zoë Kravitz awkwardly squirming in their seats with embarrassment as they explained that first time. Johansson mentioned that during her “first time” she was nervous, while Kravitz claimed that her “first time” was in “the back of a firehouse.” Cheadle ramped up the scandalous feeling by mentioning that his “first time” was in a church.

Civil War Coming

Even at the heights of the pre-Civil War crisis, members of Congress did not require police escorts, although Sen. Sumner should have had one.  Roll Call:
A number of Republican senators received police escorts Tuesday afternoon to get them past demonstrators gathered in the basement of the Russell Building near the terminus of the Senate subway.
Among them were Republican members of the Judiciary Committee Sens. John Kennedy of Louisiana and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.
In addition to uniformed Capitol Police, Graham was accompanied by the deputy sergeant at arms James Morhard.
At one point, protesters who said they were representing sexual abuse survivors started shouting at Graham in the Russell basement.
Morhard shouted back.
“I’m sorry, I’m talking to him, alright?”

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Feeling Very sed Stupid Today

Trying to replace all four digit strings at start of line (yes, that's a year with no month and date):
sed -e "s\[:digit][:digit][:digit][:digit]\0/0/&\" massmurder.csv
Using the cygwin sed in a Windows 7 terminal window:
sed -e expression #1, char 57: unterminated 's' command
The s command terminates with the last backslash.  What am I missing from my brain that I still had in 2014?

One reader suggested using \ as a delimiter was the problem because it was read as an escape character.  So I replaced them with =.
I tried a very simple sed command: 

Does cygwin sed just not work?  & should substitute the matching pattern, but does not.  Does not work under Linux, either until I rep[ace [:digit] with [0-9].  Weird.  Still fails under Windows 7.  Beginning to suspect some weird shell issue.  Use " not ' and the problem goes away.

Even under Linux, sed does not work as advertised:
sed -E -i "s!\([0-9]\)\([0-9][0-9][0-9][0-9]\)!\1--\2!"
should grab the first digit into one logical region and the next four digits into another logical region and then output region 1--region 2.  Instead:
invalid reference \2 on 's' command's RHS. 
Do I need to write my own sed?

Of course, not an entire sed.  A C program to read the CSV file and do the various needed transformations.  Use strtok to break the cells up on the commas, but there are internal c commas in some cells, so start out using strrep to replace all commas in the line with a character never used, such as logical or ("|"), then strtok.  At time to export the line, use strrep again to put the commas back in.  There is enough work that needs to be done in other parts of the spreadsheet, such as converting lists of firearms types (pistol, shotgun) into booleans that I may just continue entering data inn Access manually; I do find errors along the way. 

Just started coding.  Commas in a CSV file are enclosed in commas so translating all commas to | won't work.  I will have to write something a bit more difficult, looking for opening and closing quotes and commas instead of using strtok. If inside quotes, then everything inside is a cell, including commas.  No opening quotes: everything until the next comma is a cell. 

I also have two columns that need work: there is a firearms column and a type of firearm if known column which may contain several types separated by commas.  The database has a firearm (type unknown) and rifle, pistol and shotgun columns.  So I have to separate the known firearms column into the three column booleans and one firearm unknown column if the types column is empty.  The header line needs similar adjustment.  Of course, a CSV uses left and right quotes instead of ", so I have to be wary of automatic translation.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Another Trump Victory

Even 9/30/18 Reuters https://www.reuters.com/article/us-trade-nafta/canada-u-s-reach-deal-to-update-nafta-canadian-sources-idUSKCN1MA0UJ?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=twitter (about as establishment a news organization as there is) is calling the revised NAFTA a big win for trump

Amazing the Power Those Rascally Hoops Have

https://www.newsweek.com/puerto-rico-jews-op-ed-781912  Newsweek reports on how the biggest newspaper in Puerto Rico blames Jewish control of Congress for problems recovering from a hurricane.  At least they are not blaming Jews (who control the weather, as a DC councilman claimed a while back) for the hurricane.  Jews are apparently obsessed with making money and starting wars.  And you wonder why Jews in America keep voting and contributing to the Democrat Party?

Access Experts Out There?

I have a spreadsheet that was clearly not designed to import into Access and the default import Excel command will not work.  Why?  I have some date fields that are a year only, because the primary sources do not have month and date.  In some cases, I have inconsistencies in the text: FAMNONRES in some lines, and NONRESFAM in others.  (Yes, I should have used the enumerated list feature of Excel instead of typing this.  I can fix this with Replace in Excel, and that might be simplest.)  How do I tell Access to replace the year only column with 0/0/year?

Okay, I will just copy and paste as best I can.  I only have 233 records in the spreadsheet so far.  In some cases, I can also fill in a column that I not originally planned and are missing from first few dozen mass murders.

I will solve the mm/dd/yyyy problem by saving as CSV, then using SED to make yyyy into 0,0,yyyy, and m/yyyy into m, 0, yyyy.