Friday, September 17, 2021

Too Stupid to Inhale

9/13/21 Fox Channel 32:

"As Chicago's gang violence spirals out of control, Mayor Lori Lightfoot is coming up with a new plan to fight back.

"Lightfoot wants to hold the gangs accountable by allowing the city to sue the very people who are pulling the trigger.

"Authorities want to take away the guns, cars, jewelry and money from gangs to eliminate their profit motive."

You cannot just charge them with murder?

More Action From the Durham Investigation

 Many discouraged Trump supporters believed John Durham's special investigation would yield nothing. 9/16/21 ABC News:

A lawyer whose firm represented Hillary Clinton's campaign during the 2016 presidential election was indicted Thursday by special counsel John Durham on a single charge of making a false statement to the FBI.
Michael Sussmann, an attorney for the Perkins Coie law firm who previously represented the Democratic National Committee following the hacking of its servers by Russia during the 2016 campaign, is accused of lying "about the capacity in which he was providing allegations to the FBI" when he met with a top lawyer from the bureau in September 2016 and provided him information about potential ties between a Russian bank and computer servers in the Trump Organization.

"Specifically, SUSSMANN state falsely that he was not doing his work on the aforementioned allegations "for any client," which led the FBI General Counsel (James A. Baker) to understand that SUSSMANN was acting as a good citizen merely passing along information, not as a paid advocate or political operative," prosecutors write in the indictment.

They allege instead that Sussmamn intentionally misled the FBI general counsel because he was acting at the time on behalf of an unnamed tech executive, an "U.S. internet company" and Hillary Clinton's Presidential Campaign.

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Using LiveView on my K-S 2

 Focus is sharp on the screen but not sharp on the picture.  Turn off Live View and use the viewfinder and focus is slightly different.  GIMP fixes a lot.  17.5" f/4.5 1/100 second ISO 100 prime focus.

As an experiment I did everything the same but at 1/500.  Very dim but after GIMPing it:

Better off at 1/100.

ISO 100, 1/80th sec. 25mm eyepiece.  I am not immediately sure how to calculate the magnification but I am guessing it is about 5x over prime focus.

Here I went to 12.5mm eyepiece.  1/5th sec. Image quality noticeably worse.

Why so much worse?  I took video at several points. Some of them were all white.  Wrong ISO?  White supremacy?  But this video at the same magnification will give a clue.

See the atmosphere waving at you?  And perhaps a little vibration was pressing the shutter.  (The stills were done with a 12 second delay.)  No wonder resolution was so poor.  That black line is not a rill.  It only appears in the 12.5mm images, so likely a hair in the eyepiece.

Be-10, Sunspots, and Climate Change

 What causes climate change?  The climate change crowd claim that they have accounted for changes in solar output.  The problem is that they are looking only at primary effects.  Changes in solar output appear to affect interstellar origin cosmic ray flux.  The abstract from Harvard:

Time Variations of 10BE and Solar Activity

It is demonstrated that Be-10 is a useful tool to reconstruct the history of solar activity. A comparison of neutron flux at the earth's surface with the number of sunspots exhibits a clear negative correlation which is due to solar wind interaction with the Galactic cosmic-ray flux. Since cosmogenic Be-10 production is proportional to the n-flux in the atmosphere, it also shows the inverse correlation with solar activity. Other sources of Be-10 variations in geologic reservoirs are changes of the geomagnetic dipole field and transport, and deposition processes within the atmosphere. Polar ice cores record the atmospheric fallout over the last ca 100,000 yr. Detailed Be-10 studies in these cores reveal the expected negative correlation and phase lag with sunspots. Periods of low solar activity, such as the Maunder minimum, are clearly reflected by higher Be-10 concentrations. In order to reduce the climatic signal introduced by atmospheric transport, Be-10 records from Greenland and Antarctica were combined and compared with C-14 tree-ring data. The generally good agreement of these comparisons strongly indicates that the main source of the short-term Be-10 variations is solar modulation of the cosmic rays and that several Maunder-minimum-type periods occurred during the last few millenia.

 Originally published in Space Science Reviews (2000):

 Thus, a moderate influence on atmospheric aerosol distributions from cosmic ray ionisation would have a strong influence on the Earth’s radiation budget. Historical evidence over the past 1000 years indicates that changes in climate have occurred in accord with variability in cosmic ray intensities. Such changes are in agreement with the sign of cloud radiative forcing associated with cosmic ray variability as estimated from satellite observations.

Lower solar output -> more cosmic ray input -> changes in Earth's climate.  Amazing how you never hear the alternative theory, isn't it? 

What We Can Learn From the Black Death?

 The Black Death was far deadlier than COVID-19.  About 1/3 of Europe died in the 1348-51 outbreak.  Doubtless, many Europeans were not exposed.  But who survived and why?

First of all, the malnourished and others in poor health were disproportionately struck down.  1/28/08 Reuters:

An analysis of 490 skeletons from a London cemetery for Black Death victims demonstrated that the infection did not affect everyone equally, two U.S. scientists said on Monday.

While many perfectly healthy people certainly were cut down, those already in poor health prior to the arrival of the plague were more likely to have perished, they found.

“A lot of people have assumed that the Black Death killed indiscriminately, just because it had such massive mortality,” anthropologist Sharon DeWitte of the University at Albany in New York, said in a telephone interview.

People already in poor health often are more vulnerable in epidemics. “But there’s been a tradition of thinking that the Black Death was this unique case where no one was safe and if you were exposed to the disease that was it. You had three to five days, and then you were dead,” DeWitte said.

Think of these as comorbidities.  Some historians tie the malnutrition to the Little Ice Age.  12/10/20 Nature:

Cooler climate conditions during the Little Ice Age further weakened afflicted groups, making European populations less resistant to pathogens, through malnutrition and deteriorating living/sanitary conditions.

Today, the big risk factors include obesity, which is not not malnutrion but misnutrition3/8/21 CDC:

Overweight and obesity were risk factors for invasive mechanical ventilation. Obesity was a risk factor for hospitalization and death, particularly among adults aged <65 years.

Other risk factors.  5/13/21 CDC:

Main Findings:

  • 29.9% of inpatients and 74.9% of outpatients diagnosed with COVID-19 had no comorbidities as defined in the study.
  • The most common comorbidities were hypertension (30,236 [46.7%]), hyperlipidemia (18,744 [28.9%]), diabetes (18,091 [27.9%]), and chronic pulmonary disease (10,434 [16.1%]).

So what happened during the first big round of bubonic plague?  The comorbids died in large numbers.  Many people either came through with an acquired immunity or were lucky enough to be genetically superior.

Some scientist argue that people with the CCR-delta32 gene were if not immune to bubonic plague, at less at risk than the general population.  See 5/29/14 PBS:

Knowing who died and who lived through the early years of the plague is somewhat problematic. Deaths among the general English population were not recorded in the 14th Century — the height of the Plague — and most communities did not begin recording parish registers until around 1538. Fortunately, Eyam began keeping a parish register in 1630. Thus historian John Clifford began by examining the register, noting everyone who was alive in 1665, the year the plague came to Eyam. He searched for evidence of life through the year 1725 — marriages, baptisms, burials that took place years after the plague had left the village. Deleting the names of those lost during the plague period, he was able to determine who the survivors were....

After three weeks of testing at University College in London, delta 32 had been found in 14% of the samples. This is a genetically significant percentage, yet what, really, did it mean? Could the villagers have inherited delta 32 from elsewhere, residents who had moved to the community in the 350 years since the plague? Was this really a higher percentage than anywhere else? To find out, O’Brien assembled an international team of scientists to test for the presence of delta 32 around the world. “Native Africans did not have delta 32 at all,” O’Brien says, “and when we looked at East Asians and Indians, they were also flat zero.” In fact, the levels of delta 32 found in Eyam were only matched in regions of Europe that had been affected by the plague and in America, which was, for the most part, settled by European plague survivors and their descendants.

Those who are getting sick with COVID-19 are going to either die or recover.  Of those who recovered, 23.2% reported long-lasting symptoms.  Bubonic plague returned, killing fewer people each time.  2008 NIH:

Despite repeated claims in textbooks, the plague of Marseilles in 1720–1 was not this pandemic's European finale.4 In 1743, 48,000 perished from plague in Messina; in 1770–1 over 100,000 in Moscow; and in the Balkans, Egypt, Asia Minor and Russia this Black-Death-type of contagious plague may have persisted as late as 1879.5

The “third pandemic” began in the mid-nineteenth century and crept slowly through the Yunnan peninsula until it reached Hong Kong in 1894. From there, steamship commerce carried it across much of the world. However, except for China and India and a few other subtropical regions, its spread (unlike that of the other two pandemics) was limited in epidemic force to coastal cities and even there hardly penetrated beyond docklands. Instead of millions killed, as happened with the previous two pandemics and as Europe feared at the beginning of the twentieth century, death counts of this third pandemic in temperate zones rarely exceeded one hundred.

The Black Death killed off lots of peasants, many of them doubtless malnourished.  This improved peasants improved the economic bargaining power of those who survived.  (See Bertha Haven Putnam's The Enforcement of the Statute of Laborers (1908) if you want a very detailed examination.)   I would expect this improved their nutrition even as the Little Ice Age persisted.  Some of the drop was likely the increased CCR5-delta32 genes in the European population.  I suspect that we are going to find that those who survive this pandemic will include at least a few who carry similar genetic advantages against COVID-19.  The deaths of those with comorbidities will reduce mortality rates during the next pass of the Angel of Wuhan Death.

If you have a comorbidity over which you have any control (such as obesity) start working on it now.  I have managed with considerable effort (where's my cinnamon roll?) to go from obese to overweight.

How Long Does Ammo Remain Viable?

 For prepper, this is probably useful information.  For dealing with gun banners who think banning new ammo sales might achieve the same result (although over a very long period), this is also useful.  Rimfire ammo is considered especially prone to degradation compared to centerfire.  9/15/21 AmmoLand reports on testing 65 year old .22:

After accuracy testing, 50 shots were fired to register on the chronograph to obtain average velocity, standard deviation, and extreme spread.

The rest of the 500 rounds was fired for reliability. The manufacturer recommends the rifle be cleaned after firing 200 rounds. The rifle was cleaned at the beginning of the test, and every 250 rounds after that, so test conditions would be the same for both sources of ammunition. Most shots were fired with a few seconds between shots. Nearly all shots were fired from magazines loaded with 10 rounds.

The test is for the ammunition, not the rifle. A semi-automatic rifle was used for uniformity of action.  A semi-automatic is considered a bit more ammunition sensitive than single-shot rifles or manual repeaters. If the ammunition will cycle a semi-automatic action, it should work in manually operated repeaters or single-shot firearms.

For practical uses of .22 rimfire ammunition, there is no significant difference between the nine-year-old CCI ammunition and the 65+-year-old Remington ammunition.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

This Vaccination Requirement Must Be REALLY Important

9/9/21 Washington Post:
  • U.S. Postal Service workers were not included in Biden’s executive order requiring all federal employees to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.
What branch is most heavily black?  And who is most vaccination hesitant?  Maybe Biden does not care if blacks die?

A reader points out that USPS employees are not federal employees.  The USPS was theoretically privatized several decades ago.  They would be subject to the employers with >100 employees requirement.  Never trust Fake News from the official media!

As a commenter observed many of the vaccine hesitant have already recovered and do not need the vaccine.   More than 32 million have recovered.  Suddenly the vaccine hesitant do not sound so high.