Saturday, September 30, 2017

Always Have At Least Two Of Every Drill Bit Size

I finished making the base plate on which the mirror sits: 3" diameter 1/2" thick.  I really only needed a hole slightly larger than 1/2" in the center to hold it on the outside of the jaws for turning the exterior.  I center drilled on the lathe, then used a 1/4" twist drill in the tailstock, then a 1/2" end mill.  Next step was trying to use a 19/32" twist drill bit in the tailstock.  This was not as successful as I had hoped, so I used the 1/2" hole to center the 19/32" drill bit in the drill press.  Then I bored the interior on the lathe to get an even centered hole.

Now comes the next step.  Getting holes 120o apart on the face using the rotating table is easy; getting them on the edges, not so easy.  For some reason when I bought this rotating table, I was under the impression it would mount on Sherline's tilting table, to allow a right angle use.  No, it won't.  They do sell an adapter for using the rotating table at a right angle to the bed, but both price and apparent complexity of using it scared me off.

There is a lip on the rotating table that is .385" high.  There are two .188" diameter through holes on that lip.  I bought some .390" thick hot roll which I will fit on that lip giving me a flat surface to go on the bed, with some T-fasteners to lock the assembly in position.  The threaded holes in that piece of hot rolled steel require drilling two .144" holes, then tapping to 8-32.  Unfortunately, my drill bit was an older not very sharp one, and it melted in use.  I changed sides, but the closest size that might still tap okay is not very sharp (likely the problem that melted the other bit).  A much finer drill bit, with the titanium coating sliced right in.  I need to buy some titanium tipped .144" drill bits tomorrow.

Time Detective

Statute of Limitations

It has been a few months since I last told you about my adventures working for the Historical Integrity Verification Project.   Since no one has come to me from the Office of the Inspector General, I am going to assume that either you found my previous accounts implausible, or any journalists you approached decided that you were crazy.  That's fine.  I just have to tell someone. It's just too hard to have adventures like this, and hold them in.

My boss, Jane, called me in to her office.  “Ryan, we have a new problem for you to solve.  We need you to solve a burglary.”

 “Where?” I was thinking of valuable equipment from the lab, or our carefully crafted counterfeits of 17th century goods.

 “No, when: 1694.”

 “Just a moment.  When I was attending FLETC,” (the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center), “I learned about something called 'statute of limitations,' and I am pretty sure we are a few centuries too late to prosecute.  Also, not sure how to subpoena witnesses from a graveyard.   But I suspect that this is not the reason you called me in.”

She smiled at my wit (or she was embarrassed by my attempt at wit).  “No, it's not.  We recently discovered a 1694 burglary; we fear that it might be something done by either one of our researchers (you will recall Dr. Williams), or an unintentional consequence of one of our travelers’ visits.  We aren't sure that the burglary is our doing, but if it is, there might be consequences beyond just the book change that uncovered it."  I must have looked more stupid than usual; having worked HIVP as long as I have, I usually smell a time paradox centuries before most of you 21st century residents.   “The problem is that we only know of the burglary being dependent on a change in the past by a fortunate coincidence.  One of our researchers was reading a digest of an early 18th century Massachusetts diary, and while he read the page, it changed.  This burglary description just appeared on the page as she read it.  Suddenly, text moved from the bottom of one printed page to the top of the next.  She blinked her eyes, and the new text did not match what she had just been reading.”

 “So how do we know it happened at all?  Is there a version of this book not altered?”

Jane gave me her superior smile.  “Every printed copy of that diary, and the original version in the Massachusetts Historical Society’s collection has the burglary now.  We’ve checked.  A change in the past propagates everywhere.  Only her memory gave it away.  Her memory is not altered by events of the past.   That’s why I call it a fortunate coincidence.  Otherwise, we would never have known about it.”

“So why is it a problem?  The sky hasn’t fallen.”

“You remember when you first arrived here for training, we had you read that story about the professor showing his students that minor changes in the past really do not change much of subsequent events?  He starts a pendulum swinging through a time portal into the Mesozoic Era.  The first swing kills a butterfly.  A proto-mammal starves, removing a very useful mutation from that species’ gene pool.  Mammals do not take over after the extinction of the dinosaurs.  On each swing of the pendulum through the portal another trivial change happens; after each pass, the classroom, the students, and the professor subtly change.  By the end, instead of humans, a reptilian professor is telling his reptilian class that nothing changed.”

I suddenly remember that story and saw why Jane (and doubtless her higher-ups) were worried.  “So we might have made a change so subtle that our recent memories do not detect it, but the risk is high that it might cause an unexpected and disadvantageous change.”

Jane’s triumphant “My student is finally getting it” look appeared.  “Did we cause this change?  If so, where’s the Undo button?  Why does CIA spend so much money for our field trips?  They want to know how malleable history is.  We are not killing butterflies, but we are imposing at least tiny effects as we walk through Danvers and ask questions.”

I was feeling dangerously clever.  “How much change could one little burglary make?”

Jane grimaced.  “Maybe nothing.  The anger of the diary entry is about a gold locket. with sentimental value.  Its value for that era is not enormous; there may be something of greater value in the burglary that has an economic impact.  If Ms. Ballard’s loss of assets causes her grandson Samuel Barrett to lack the funds to open up a gunmaking business in Concord, perhaps it causes a critical battle of the American Revolution to be lost.  Or a gunsmith he trained, plays an important part in Eli Whitney’s efforts to create interchangeable parts.”

I recited: “For want of a nail the shoe was lost, for want of a shoe the horse was lost, and for want of a horse the man was lost. For want of a man, the war was lost.   And all for the want of a nail!  I get it.  The change might mean nothing today, but in twenty years, it might mean thermonuclear war or a pandemic.  We might not see it because our memories have forgotten some important change that would clue us in.”

“So you said 1694?”  I thought I might have misheard the year.

“Yes, we are beginning to expand the range of years we can visit.  Still--only a few year range.  The hope is to expand that to a more useful range for the Company’s counter-espionage mission.  No progress on destination yet.  We still seem to be locked to the current location of the portal.”
I was too polite to ask if the Agency’s the primary destination target was Lenin’s World War I Zurich, Hitler’s Vienna, or Osama bin Laden’s 1990s Afghanistan.  All would be tempting targets if you were prepared to risk turning reptilian.

Jane could see I was deep in thought.  “Ryan: We are going to drop you in the day before this burglary.  I hope that it isn’t a criminal form of what Dr. Williams did.  Perhaps some of the stolen goods have some unusual modern value.  If it isn’t a direct action by one of our researchers, try to figure out if our presence in some way encourages this burglary.  Mr. Masolini is visiting at the moment of the burglary, examining the nature of cast iron pricing in the Boston area.  See if there are any contacts that might explain this.  We may have you leave instructions in the drop box describing this interaction.”

The drop box is what Dr. Williams used to deliver 17th century artifacts to the present day.  This is now our method of correcting future mistakes.  A warning letter left in the drop box in 1694 would provide enough information to make mission instruction changes in our present.

Two hours later, I was walking through a snowstorm in December of 1694.  For once, the overly heavy clothing was welcome.  Unfortunately, none of it was leather except my boots; oilcloths were still decades away, as was vulcanized rubber for overcoats.  By the time I reached the Ship Tavern, I was soaked to the skin and cold.  I modestly changed into some dry clothes that I had packed before the fireplace while the customers of the bar politely stared out the door.  All were sympathetic to the miseries of walking in the snow.

This was not my first stay at the Ship Tavern.  If the innkeeper remembered me from 1692, he gave no indication of it.  It was good enough for him that I, a cold and soaked stranger, wanted some warm mulled wine, a Cape Cod Turkey (codfish cooked with bacon), and baked beans.  I paid him with one of the silver Pine Tree shilling coins we had counterfeited.  These are not a terribly complex coin; having the resources of the U.S. Mint made it easy.  I would love to know the cover story CIA told the Mint for counterfeiting 17th century coins.

The next day, after a fitful night asleep on a quilt on the floor, I walked over to Mercy Ballard’s home, a clapboard salt box.  I had decided that after familiarizing myself with all the possible entrances, and watching to see the inhabitants come and go, I would wait for nightfall. 

The one exception to the “no modern technology” rule made for this mission was night vision goggles.  To prevent era contamination, they came with a small explosive charge designed to render them incomprehensible fragments if my fingerprint (and only mine) was not placed on the head mount assembly every few minutes.  To avoid forgetting, there was a brief, low volume beep a few seconds before the autodestruct started.  I had used them the previous night walking through the forest toward town.

I retreated into some nearby trees and waited.  Within a couple hours after dawn, I had seen Mercy’s husband start on farm chores, followed by Mercy, and their seven children.  Briefly, I wondered if Mercy saw me through the trees.  This was a rather small Puritan family.  Of course, Mercy was only in her 30s, I guessed so probably she was not done having children.  No wonder so much of America is descended from these first settlers!  Breeding like rabbits has consequences. 

I had seen no sign of Mr. Masolini.  This was probably good; he would certainly recognize me.  I really did not want to think he had committed this burglary; he seemed such a nice guy.  But greed can misdirect even the nicest of people.

The sun set.  I had arranged with the innkeeper to package up some cod and baked beans; was this the first “to go” meal in New England?  Dinner was cold, but better than being hungry.  Even candy bars had been nixed; dark chocolate would have been immediately recognized by the New Englanders, but the wrapping and labelling would have been both incomprehensible and confusing.

I spent the night using caffeine tablets to stay awake.  Where was the burglar?  Dawn came.  I removed my night vision goggles, turned them off, and walked to the road in front of the Ballard house.  There in the weeds, something glinted in the morning sunlight.  A gold locket on a chain!  I opened it and found a small carved image of a man’s face.  Not a burglary at all, but a valuable and sentimental piece of jewelry, lost in the grasses.  Now that I thought about, one of the girls had stumbled here the previous morning; perhaps she had “borrowed” it without asking? 

What to do with it?  Knocking on the door to return it seemed an unneeded interference with the past, although completely normal behavior for the time.  It was simpler to hang it over the doorknob.  This should not change history at all.  The family would no doubt offer a brief prayer of thanks over the evening meal, but the future would experience no economic impact; nor would Mercy’s upset perhaps embitter one of her children.

I returned to the era of Big Macs, drivethroughs, and even (shudder) the joy of self-heating MREs and gave Jane my happy news: a lost locket; a stranger in the trees; no burglary.  The self-revising book was back to the text our researcher had read.

Hard to Believe But I Used to Live in the Bay Area, So Any Possible Fluid Could Be Involved

State officials are investigating several flutes that were distributed to some students in at least three Orange County school districts as part of a music program. Authorities say the instruments may have contained bodily fluids.
In emails sent to parents of students Friday afternoon, Sept. 29, district officials notified them there was an investigation regarding flutes given to students — as young as elementary-school age — by an individual who is also being investigated.
Bodily fluids?  Which kind?  And HIV+ or what?

Friday, September 29, 2017

Mass Murders Without Guns

Next time a gun control advocate tells you how well gun control worked in Australia at preventing mass murders: 12/19/14 Telegraph:
Eight brothers and sisters aged from 18-months to 15 years old have been found stabbed to death in a house in Australia, prompting the nation’s leader Tony Abbott to lament that “these are trying days for our country”.

Followup on That Knife Mass Murder in Canada Four Years Ago

5/25/16 National Post:
In determining de Grood, 24, was not criminally responsible, Justice Eric Macklin accepted the opinions of three experts that the admitted killer was experiencing a psychotic episode at the time of the slayings.

Major Victory for Concealed Carry

DC went "good cause" on concealed carry licenses and they lost at the DC Court of Appeals in July.  Naturally, DC sought an en banc rehearing.  While I can't seem to find the refusal to do an en banc  hearing officially, this Second Amendment Foundation press release crows about the victory:
According to the court, not a single judge on the court requested a hearing.
DC can either go shall issue or appeal to the Supreme Court.

Here's the order refusing en banc rehearing, and indeed not a single judge requested rehearing the decision.  I tried to use Blogger's instructions for embedding PDFs but they do not work.

And How Much Social Services Would This Buy?

9/28/17 UPI:
Sept. 28 (UPI) -- A massive statue of a nude woman is set to stand alongside the Washington Monument later this year.
Organizers of Catharsis On The Mall event have launched a crowdfunding campaign seeking $90,000 to transport the 45-foot-tall statue, titled R-Evolution, to Washington D.C.

Progressive Ignorance of History

9/28/17 USA Today:
A woman suspected of leaking U.S. secrets to a news organization claimed she stuffed a classified report into her pantyhose and walked out of a National Security Agency office in Georgia, mainly because she hates America "like three times a day."...

In their latest filing Wednesday, prosecutors also included a partial transcript of a Facebook chat between Winner and her sister in February. 
“Look, I only say I hate America like 3 times a day,” Winner wrote. “I’m no radical. It’s mostly just about Americans obsession with air conditioning.” 
Her sister asked: “But you don’t actually hate America, right?”
Winner replied: “I mean yeah I do it’s literally the worst thing to happen on the planet. We invented capitalism the downfall of the environment.”
Her high school or college teacher needs severe punishment.  Or her mother.  Naming your child "Reality" sounds like something one of those "Reality-Based Community" sorts would do.

What Would Adam "The Wealth of Nations (1776)" Smith have to say?

Home Invasion: Meridian, Idaho

I became aware of this because Russ Fulcher, an Idaho politician, lives nearby and used it as "Why I will ALWAYS uphold the Second Amendment."  9/29/17 KTVB reports an intruder forced entry after being confronted by deputies, then set the house on fire, killing himself and two occupants.  They had enough warning to call 911, so I presume their lack of armed response to the forced entry indicates they are members of that minority of Idahoans without a gun.

Massive Fail: Packers vs. Fans

The Green Bay Packers wanted fans to join them in their Black Lives Matter protest.  Some did, but as Breitbart shows us with an AP video, many chanted "USA" instead.

Look, police abuse of authority (and not just against black people)  is a real problem and should not be ignored, but protesting during the National Anthem sends very mixed messages.  Besides, until black men murdering black men ceases to be half of all murders, it is apparent that Black Lives Matter (But Not to Blacks).

Interesting Map

NOAA isn't just a center for global warming claims.  This map from them shows hot springs across the West.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Coming Soon

Lock, Stock, and Barrel: How American Gun Culture and Manufacturing Created the Modern World.  Pre-orders starting in the next few weeks.  Shipping in February.  Retail: $48. 

If that seems steep: Greenwood mostly sells to university libraries so paper and bindings are 300 year projected lifetimes.  Buy it, read it, make a charitable contribution to your local library where it will influence people for generations.  (Okay, that's my ego speaking.)

First CPAP Night

Not sure how much effect our had.   My wife says that my voice is clearer and I have less flat affect.   I only slept until about 2:00 AM.  Put the mask back on at 4:00.  I think I need to increase humidity.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017


Machine in hand.  I have high hopes.

Book 10

I received an NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund grant to research and write a book tentatively titled Mass Murder: Who, WhereWhy?   That is my next major task.  While I do not have a commitment from my publisher yet,  they have expressed interest.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Genetic Testing

I have long been curious about the genetic testing provided by companies like 23 and Me.  My daughter received enough of a discount from a recent special study group to do it.  Contrary to family tradition, there's no Italian in their.  And contrary to my suspicions, because of an g-g-g-grandmother whose maiden name was Kahn, there's no Jewish DNA, either.  We are entirely northern European.  Expectedly British and German, but also a surprising amount of Norwegian.  Some of my ancestors came from the region of England called the Danelaw, where Vikings ruled for generations and generously provided their DNA to the indigenous population.  Among the genetic diseases, we are amazingly free except for thrombophilia a tendency to form clots.  Why that name?  We don't have a  love for them.  After the stroke, I developed a profound hatred of them.

It struck me that the National Socialists would have loved genetic testing of this sort.  I recall reading that they at one point they required farmers to prove their "Aryan" ancestry back to 1700.  That's hard to do because of poor record keeping and children born the wrong side of the blanket or the result of adultery.

Monday, September 25, 2017

If a Victim Uses a Gun to Stop a Mass Murder...

Then it doesn't qualify as mass murder, does it?  So another case where a good guy with a gun failed to stop a mass murder.  9/24/17 Nashville channel 5:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - At least one person was killed and seven others injured in an a shooting at an Antioch church.
Officials with the Metro Nashville Police Department identified the woman killed as 39-year-old Melanie Crow Smith from Smyrna. Smith was walking to her vehicle after the church service ended. She died at the scene.
Police rushed to the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ on Pin Hook Road around 11:15 Sunday morning on reports of several people shot. Reports stated the shooting happened as services were letting out.
Authorities said the gunman, later identified as 25-year-old Emanuel Kidega Samson, arrived in the parking lot in a blue SUV. He was reportedly wearing a neoprene half face mask. Reports stated Samson, who moved here from Sudan in 1996, has been living in Murfreesboro. He was a legal US resident but not necessarily a US citizen, according to police....
During the struggle, Samson’s gun discharged, hitting himself in the left chest.  The wound sent him to the floor.  Engle, despite his head injuries, ran out to his car in the parking lot and retrieved a pistol he then held Samson at gunpoint until police arrived.  

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Free Speech Needs to Go  UC Berkeley leftist raving leftist (surprise, surprise) aegis that the First Amendment should be reinterpreted to exclude "hate speech," by which she means Ben Shapiro.  While we are at it, we should resist the Stromberg decision that struck down California law against flying the Communist flag, and resume enforcement of the loyalty oath that when I briefly worked as a TA for a state university still required.  The left simply has no awareness to what extent their hate-filled rhetoric is protected by the First Amendment.

Hat tips: Small Dead Animals,  and Campus Reform.

Slow Learner

9/22/17 New York Post reports on a teacher already arrested in 2015 for sex with a student getting arrested again on same charge.

Respect Yourself

Remember this song?  Clinton is accusing women who backed Trump of "disrespecting themselves"

All I can think of,  from the woman whose aides called the women who accused her husband of rape "tramps," is an incident some years ago in Boise.   A woman scalped another woman for disrespecting women, then dropped her at the ER.

Why do the leftist media keep giving this delusional sore loser so much press?   I think they are preparing for her to run again in 2020.  This should guarantee an easy victory for Trump  especially in a strong economy.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Is There Data Showing Average Age of Housing by Race

I have long wondered if lead poisoning might explain both high murder rates and lower average IQs among blacks.  Lead poisoning causes violence and aggression and when children are poisoned,  mental retardation.   Since lead was removed from house paint in 1978, homes with leaded paint are automatically older homes, which means ghetto homes are high risk.

John Donohue some years ago claimed the decline in murder rates in the 1990s was because Roe v. Wade aborted a whole generation of black men, just in time to explain the fall in murder rates.   Donohue's  paper was a turd in a punchbowl.  Pro-choice did not want to admit that murder was racially specific;  conservatives were not interested in finding any silver lining in Roe.

Dr. Lott has argued that Donohue is mistaken because legal abortion was very common in many states commonly believed to be affected by Roe v. Wade.  Some states actually had lower abortion rates after Roe.

Anyway, I am curious to see if there is a correlation between race and pre-1978 houses, especially before 1978.  (Many blacks living in leaded housing in 1978 may not be today.)

I realize it would not be PC to find an environmental cause for two very destructive racial differences, and worse, a problem that we could fix in a generation,   but you have to chase truth where it leads.

To my surprise,  Mother Jones has published an article aimed at lead in gasoline

I Wish That I Had Been Paid That Well

$437,000 for 8 months of work.  Some fatcat CEO?  No.  9/22/17 APTN News:
The former Liberal candidate appointed by Indigenous-Crown Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett to conduct consultations on First Nation child welfare issues was given a $437,000 contract to do eight months of work, according to internal documents.
Bennett appointed Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux, chair of truth and reconciliation at Lakehead University, as her special representative on child welfare in August 2016. The appointment, which ended on March 31, was made following the January 2016 ruling from the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal which found Ottawa discriminated against First Nation children by under-funding child welfare services on-reserve.
Chair of truth and reconciliation?  How do I create such a program at my college?
Wesley-Esquimaux, who ran for the Liberals in 2011, was required to conduct consultations on child welfare, act as a mediator and conduct media interviews and produce a report on the issue, according to the contract obtained by NDP MP Charlie Angus.
A lot of 80 hour days with sweat and suffering, I am sure.

Hat tip Small Dead Animals.

The Success of Obamacare

Axios has a map of counties and the number of insurers available under Obamacare from 2014 to 2017.  No need tp repeal Obamacare; at current rates of insurer drop out and rate increases, Democrats will be claiming the Republicans forced them to pass Obamacare.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Just in Case

Received 14 iodine tablets today for thyroid blocking just in case Short Fat sets one off upwind of us.  It was cheap,  unlike enough .223 to improvise a fallout shelter from.

Home Invasion

Being utterly muttish, I never expected to own an AKC Springer spaniel.

Next Step on the Mirror Cell

I needed three holes for 8-32 machine screws at 120 degree angle from each other.  So I secured the rotating table to the mill's table. and attached the 3-jaw 2.5" chuck.  (The table has a 3/4"-16 screw that holds it.)  Then I locked the base to the chuck using the internal jaw setting.  Here you can see that I have drilled six holes 60 degrees apart.
You can see the coarse degree markings on the round part.  This gets you close, but this handwheel:
Each division is 1/10th degree.  The coarse measure gets you close enough to find the right line.

Why six pilot holes?  Three are for the 8-32 bolts, three are where I will make lightening and airflow holes.  Probably overkill for this size, but why not?

Are these machining posts of interest?

UPDATE: One bad thing about centering the hole this way is that it is never perfectly centered, unlike centering in a lathe with a drill in the tailstock.  But since I am enlarging 1.25" to 1.5" by boring, the result is decent.   For the mirror cell base, yes.  The bottom of the mirror holder was far from centered.  The 6" chuck was big enough to hold the workpieces for center drilling.  This piece is functional but ugly, so I will get another chunk of 3" aluminum and try again.

My Current Shop Project

I mentioned a few days ago that as part of rebuilding my 3" f/4.5 telescope, I was building a new mirror cell to replace this tragedy made when I did not even have a drill press:
The black part is a too large (3 3/8" ID) part that holds the mirror.  The base (below the springs) is made of oak and slides into the telescope tube.  The mounting screws go through the tube and into the threaded holes in the oak.

So far, I have made the aluminum base:

This started as a 4" OD piece that was too large to fit in the Sherline 3-jaw chucks.  In any case, I needed to turn it down to 3.93" OD to fit in the tube.  So I drilled a 1/2" hole in the center.  To find the center quickly, I used one of those "scratch lines across diameters" tools and drilled a 1/2" ID hole, which really means 1/4", then 3/8", then 1/2" drill bits in the drill press.

Then I put it in the 6" Sears chuck to bore that hole large enough to mount the interior hole on the outside of the jaws of the 2 1/2" chuck.  The 6" chuck was really intended for woodworking and likely not very accurate.  This requires putting two headstock and tailstock spacers on the Sherline lathe.  (Do not tell Sherline; I am sure they would disapprove.)
Boring from 1/2" to 1 1/2" is very boring, so I dug around my drill bits collection.  You will see why I ignore the spam offering tool enlargement:
That is 1 1/4" diameter.  At 500 rpm, it rapidly enlarged the hole.  I don't have any larger drill bits but boring 1.25" to 1.5" was not too bad.

Squaring the faces was hard because acetal spoils me into forgetting the need for lubrication of the workpiece.  One that was solved, the surface came out adequately smooth, or at least with the spirals of proper machined aluminum.

Now I had something to  mount on the outer jaws of the 3" 3-jaw chuck so that I could turn it down to 3.926" OD.  It just barely slides into the tube, requiring some slight pressure to do so.

Next step will be setting up the rotating table on the mill table so that I can get three holes 120apart for the collimation screws.  Last time I used a protractor with only so-so accuracy.

Dr..John Lott Causing Trouble Again

From a recent email:
My recent testimony before the President's Advisory Commission on Election Integrity received coverage in hundreds of news stories and a couple of op-eds in the Chicago Tribune and The Hill. The idea is a simple one: Democrats have long lauded the NICS system as a simple, accurate, and fair way to check whether people can legally own guns “without in any way abridging rights," so why not use that system to check whether voters are legally eligible to vote? The reaction to my proposal was swift and harsh. “Horrified,” “patently absurd,” and “flabbergasted” were some of the attacks. That I just wanted to “suppress” voting. Democrats and the media didn't think that any of their concerns applied to the restrictions on buying guns.
The real issue is that the Democrats do not want voter registration accurate.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Remember When Valerie Plame Was the Left's Favorite Victim?

Valerie Plame Wilson, a former CIA agent and author, came under fire on Thursday after she tweeted a link to a piece titled “America’s Jews are driving America’s wars.”...
The article included statements saying that anyone who touches on the subject of the US-Israeli relationship and American Jews runs the risk of a “quick trip to obscurity” because “Jewish groups and deep pocket individual donors not only control the politicians, they own and run the media and entertainment industries.”
Focused on a potential impending war with Iran, it asserts that “what makes the war engine run is provided by American Jews who have taken upon themselves the onerous task of starting a war with a country that does not conceivably threaten the United States.” Giraldi went on to assert, “the issue that nearly all the Iran haters are Jewish has somehow fallen out of sight, as if it does not matter. But it should matter.”
Remembers neo-Nazis and other white supremacists are a right-wing group.

First Day of Fall

And there is more snow on the mountains around us.  I sense a hard winter again.

The Good News

I have been having swallowing problems for some months that was impairing my speech a bit. The first guess was acid reflux and a medication for that helped slightly at first.  Today I had a swallowing study,  and they found that my problem was weak right side throat muscles.  They have me some exercises to do.  You should see the barbells☺.

Trump's Speech at the UN

Okay, it's Monday morning quarterbacking, and not like any conservative listens to me:

"In 1945, the U.S. used nuclear weapons to end World War II by utterly destroying two cities of what is now a peaceful and ally.  In retrospect, this may not have been the best way to end World War II, but it seemed like the best way to save millions of American lives, and at least millions of Japanese lives."

This makes all the non-TDS left coo.

"The world has changed since then.  If needed to protect ourselves for a nuclear-armed enemy making continual threats and provocative actions, we can easily make all of North Korea into Hiroshima.  If Russia and China find that a disturbing possibility, as they well should, it is time for them to stop this madman."

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Weirdest Phone I've Ever Seen

A phone that is a very good replica of an M1911.  See RJ11 jack in magazine picture.

Yesterday's Amazon Dropping

We are about to get a dog,  but only a puppy so we will not need this for a while.

I Can See Global Warming From My House

I blogged in November of 2015 about an earlier than expected snow on our surrounding mountains.  This is more than a month earlier.  Better order those snow tires and mammoth recipes soon.

President Threatens War With North Korea

No, not Trump, starting at 2:35 in:

Where Progressives Are Going

It appears her master's is in Africana Studies from Morgan State University.

Why Rising Temperatures Precede Carbon Dioxide Increases

I can't sleep. It has been observed that over tens of thousands of years, CO2 concentrations sometimes follow temperature increases:

Why? Solubility of gases declines as water temperature increases. Rising ocean temperatures would drive dissolved CO2 into the air.

Hollywood's Enthusiasm for the Confederacy

9/19/17 National Review article by Victor Davis Hanson about how Hollywood was unabashedly pro-Confederate as part of its anti-Vietnam War stance.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

When You Can't Tell If This Is Real Progressivism or Parody

This decor is WRONG on SO many levels. There is nothing decorative about raw cotton... A commodity which was gained at the expense of African-American slaves. 

A little sensitivity goes a long way. 

The cotton hasn't been picked yet.

Tragically Funny

At first I thought this was a parody of a Democratic Party campaign ad but it seems to be real:

Not Sure How This Comes Up

The National Science Foundation is spending over $100,000 to create "safe zone" inclusion training so more members of the LGBTQ community become engineers.
The project, which will not start until January 2018, is a joint study being conducted by the American Society For Engineering Education, Rowan University, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The focus of the study is to find ways to combat what the researchers call a "chilly" environment for lesbian, gay, and transgender individuals in engineering labs.
Two separate grants totaling $587,441 were awarded Thursday. A grant worth $473,325 was awarded to the American Society For Engineering Education, and $114,116 was given to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
"You used the wrong formula for figuring out the load this truss can handle.  I'll bet you have a rainbow sticker on your car!"

Rogue One

I watched this on Netflix.  If you saw the first Star Wars movie (as I did in 1977 in a theater on Wilshire Blvd. just east of Westwood) you will find yourself wondering why they needed to recycle the plot of that first movie and many of the risk schemes intended to heighten audience excitement.  Almost every component from the original movie appears here: breaking into a secure facility; a tower with thousands of feet of drop (never a railing, of course; the Empire lacks OSHA); vigorous dogfights; ATATs collapsing; the Jedi killed in heroic defense of his colleagues.

The weapons are even more obviously modeled on today's weapons than in the original: H&K 91 or FN FAL; belt fed machine gun; pump action shotgun (one character even pumps it to fire next projectile).

I heard criticism when it came out of being too obviously PC in the diversity of human races.  It did not seem particularly over the top to me; thank heavens none of the black actors were speaking Ebonics.  Considering the first movie opens with "In a galaxy far, far away, a long time ago," the humans are too obviously intended as a college administration's preferred faculty mix, or a Democratic Party convention.  It  seems a bit odd that one Hispanic has a Mexican accent  But as science fiction, Star Wars has always been closer to a space Western.  Never analyze the assumptions and you can enjoy it; otherwise, you just laugh too much.

The blind Zen Asian Jedi immediately brought to mind the blind teacher in the 1970s classically bad TV show Kung Fu (which yes, I enjoyed).

California Exodus?

9/18/17 Sacramento Bee:
More than half of California voters say the state’s housing affordability crisis is so bad that they’ve considered moving, and 60 percent of the electorate supports rent control, according to a new statewide poll.
The findings from UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies reflect broad concerns Californians have over the soaring cost of living. Amid an unprecedented housing shortage, rents have skyrocketed and tenants have faced mass evictions, especially in desirable areas.
“It’s an extremely serious problem,” said poll director Mark DiCamillo. “People are being forced to consider moving because of the rising cost of housing – that’s pretty prevalent all over the state.”
Bad problem?  Add rent control to make it worse.  I have noticed a lot more California plates in Boise of late.

Do You Use CCleaner?

A very nice and useful cleanup tool.  But 9/18/17 CBS Philadelphia:
CCleaner, the computer-optimizing tool made by software company Piriform, was successfully infected by malware, according to security firm Cisco Talos. The malware reportedly tried to connect to unregistered websites in order to remotely download even more harmful programs to users’ computers.
Security experts say the Trojan horse-style attack hackers launched affected over 2 million CCleaner customers who downloaded the product in August....
Piriform’s parent company, Avast, released a statement after the breach was announced saying the infected software had been dealt with.
“Piriform believes that these users are safe now as its investigation indicates it was able to disarm the threat before it was able to do any harm,” an Avast spokesperson said. 
If you downloaded it in August, get a fresh download.

Global Warming Not Meeting Desired Expectations

Computer modelling used a decade ago to predict how quickly global average temperatures would rise may have forecast too much warming, a study has found....
The study, published this week in the journal Nature Geoscience, does not play down the threat which climate change has to the environment, and maintains that major reductions in emissions must be attained.
But the findings indicate the danger may not be as acute as was previously thought.
Myles Allen, professor of geosystem science at the University of Oxford and one of the study’s authors told The Times: “We haven’t seen that rapid acceleration in warming after 2000 that we see in the models. We haven’t seen that in the observations.”
Caught with their pants down.  and 9/19/17 Daily Nail:
In a study just published by the respected journal Nature Geoscience, a group of British academics reveals that the immediate threat from global warming is lower than previously thought, because the computer models used by climate change experts are flawed.
According to these models, temperatures across the world should now be at least 1.3 degrees above the mid-19th century average, which is taken as a base level in such calculations. But the British report demonstrates that the rise is only between 0.9 and 1 degree.

Read more: Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Is This Self-Awareness or Death Rattle?

9/18/17 Daily Mail:
American physician assistants are being enticed over to the United Kingdom amid staffing shortages - with promises of long vacations in Europe.Physician associates, medical professionals who assist doctors in making a diagnosis and analyzing test results, train for two years, roughly a quarter of the training of a doctor. 

Read more: Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
Comments at Instapundit point out that pay with NHS is about a third of US PA salaries; so much for student loan debt.

Monday, September 18, 2017

This Joke is Becoming Tiresome

Clinton is considering challenging the legitimacy of the election because of Russia.  Even there were some truth to the Russia fantasy,  what provision of the Constitution applies?  What clause requires foreign governments not influence our elections.  Would this apply retroactively to the Chinese involvement in the 1996 election?  Right after the election,  like Gore tried to do in 2000 would have been disappointing,  but now?  She is raising sore loserdom to new levels.

Always Fun Watching Democrats Self-Destruct

DREAMERS disrupt Pelosi press conference.   Not Cruz or Trump,  but their strongest ally.

Why Do I Imagine a Walking Base 8 Computer?

9/17/17 Daily Mail:
Non-binary Georgia Tech student, 21, is shot dead by campus police after 'refusing to stop approaching officers while carrying small knife'
Read more: Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
Shouting "shoot me," suggests suicide by cop.   Tragedy, but "non-binary" is a weird choice for "gender confused."

I Had a Good Laugh

Shocking: Politicians Keeps Campaign Promise

9/14/17 Dallas Morning News:
ICE agents are detaining many more unauthorized immigrants than were arrested by this time last year, and North Texas has been a leader in those efforts.
Arrests have increased about 43 percent nationwide since President Donald Trump took office after promising a tough crackdown on illegal immigration.
ICE’s acting director, Thomas Homan, has said that “there was no population off the table,” and the width and breadth of ICE detentions have proved he’s keeping his word.As recently as January, ICE efforts were primarily focused on removing immigrants who were convicted of  crimes. More recently, people who fled violence and who are awaiting the outcome of asylum cases have been detained. There have also been cases in which unauthorized immigrants who agreed to provide guardianship for newly arrived immigrant children have been detained.
Of course, enforcing our laws, is just  doing his job.

British Police Make Arrest in Terrorist Bombing

The second man arrested in connection with the Parsons Green Tube attack is a party-loving Syrian refugee who worked as a nightclub promoter.
Yahyah Farroukh, a 21-year-old refugee and former foster child, is registered as living at the address in Stanwell where police today conducted a search.
Hence, the Democrat insistence that Trump allow without question, refugees from the six countries on Obama's  high risk list.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

I Am Sure Someone Answered This in a Comment in the Last Few Years

But blogger lets me search posts, not comments.  There is a sci-fi story where a scientist demonstrates to his class that time is actually quite resilient to changes in the past.  He starts a pendulum swinging  through a time portal.  The first swing kills a bug, which causes the ancestor of an early mammal to starve, removing a useful mutation from the gene pool.  It is a short story, but it adequately demonstrates the long-term effects, with each swing slowly altering the classroom and its inhabitants.  At the end, the professor and his students are now reptilian, not primates, and he croaks, "See!  Nothing has changed!"  Author, title?  "Anyone, anyone."

Finally, the Left Repudiates the ACLU

A big chunk of UC Berkeley's faculty are explaining why the college should close:

We recognize that as a public institution, we are legally bound by the Constitution to allow all viewpoints on campus. However, there are forms of speech that are not protected under the First Amendment. These include speech that presents imminent physical danger and speech that disrupts the university’s mission to educate. Milo, Coulter and Bannon do not come to educate; they and their followers come to humiliate and incite. If the administration insists upon allowing the Alt-Right to occupy the center of our campus for four days to harass, threaten and intimidate us, as they did during Milo’s visit in February, then faculty cannot teach, staff cannot work and students cannot learn.
Yup, they come to say things that irritate your complacent self-righteousness.  And that isn't educational?  9/14/17 Los Angeles Times interviewing UC Berkeley Chancellor Christ (with a name like that how did she get hired):
Free speech has itself become controversial. We have a generation of students now who are much more willing to think about restrictions on speech. There are certainly faculty who also believe that. I grew up feeling the libertarian language of John Stuart Mill was absolutely natural. It’s what I believe. But that’s not true of a lot of students today. They grew up having lots of instructions in anti-bullying, … on what constitutes harassment. They’ve been told strongly and repeatedly that certain kinds of speech are inappropriate. And so they don’t understand the difference between how we say it’s right to act in a community, whether it’s a classroom or a dormitory, and what a public speaker is allowed to say in a public square

Rationality in Unexpected Places

There is a very obnoxious Young Earth Creationist named Kenn Hamm whose answer to every question is, "It's all in Genesis."   Regular readers will know that I find the Young Earth claim absurd and not Biblically-based.  Furthermore, the reason that some Creationists cling to the Young Earth claim, is a belief that only by denying enough time, can the evolutionary model be debunked.  As I have previously pointed out, the oldest plant fossils are less than 200 million years younger than the end of the Late Heavy Bombardment, when the Earth's surface was 600 degrees.  Running Out of Time would be a fine title for a book about the battles over the age of the Earth.  (May get to that at some point.)  9/15/17 Fox News:
A Christian numerologist claims that the world will end next Saturday when a planet will, supposedly, collide with Earth.
According to Christian numerologist David Meade, verses in Luke 21:25 to 26 are the sign that recent events, such as the recent solar eclipse and Hurricane Harvey, are signs of the apocalypse. 
Imagine my surprise to find a thorough debunking of this apparently widely heralded claim at Kenn Hamm's site:
First, there is nothing particularly unusual about the sun appearing in the constellation Virgo. As we orbit the sun each year, the sun appears to move through the 12 constellations of the zodiac, spending about a month in each one. The month that the sun appears in Virgo is around the time of the autumnal equinox, from mid-September through late October. Nor is it unusual to find the moon near the feet of Virgo. The moon takes 27 1/3 days to orbit the earth with respect to the stars. Therefore, for a day or two each month, the moon appears near the feet of Virgo. (I keep mentioning the feet of Virgo. Although I am very familiar with Virgo, I have never been able to see a woman in the sky there, so I can hardly pick out what is supposed to be her feet, and I seriously doubt anyone else can either.) Therefore, for a day or two each September or October, the sun appears in Virgo with the moon at her feet, so this is not that remarkable.
It was more than 15 years ago that I first heard the suggestion that this annual event might be a fulfillment of Revelation 12 in some particular year. Since then, interest in this idea has increased, with some people speculating or even predicting that “this is the year,” only to forget about it when nothing significant transpired before moving on to the next year’s occurrence.  

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Today's Amazon Dropping

Too narrow for my Samsung.   Maybe a newer Samsung or iPhone?

More Detail on My Stupid

Some of you want to know how I cut myself.   I ordinarily sand the ends of a workpiece in the lathe by turning up the speed and placing sandpaper on the end.  If the workpiece is sticking several inches from the ends of the jaws,  this is perfectly safe.

 In this case,  the workpiece was only about .25" longer than the end of the jaws. Even a slight misadjustment reminds you why we call them jaws: they might as well have teeth.  I am thinking of wearing gloves a bit thicker than the depth of skin sliced by that 6" chuck.   If it rips off that much glove,  I will not be in Urgent Care.

 I will also not try to sand an end that is not at least an inch or two longer than the jaws.   Next time,  the belt sander, even though it produces an inferior finish.   Looks really do not matter for this part.   I just like stuff that I make to be pretty.   Of course,  blood does not help it cosmetically, nor does a Forensic Files blood spatter exercise.

Any Guesses Why I Am Not Surprised?

9/15/17 Philadelphia Inquirer:
Jeffrey S. Sandusky, the 41-year-old son of convicted child-sex abuser Jerry Sandusky, pleaded guilty Friday in Centre County to attempting to persuade two teenage sisters into sexual acts.
The younger Sandusky, who worked as a corrections officer at Rockview State Correctional Institution in Bellefonte, was facing a trial this month when he agreed to the plea deal, which requires him to serve at least three to six years in state prison. Prosecutors said they will seek a sentence of four to eight years. His sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 8.
Sandusky, one of six children adopted by the former Pennsylvania State University assistant football coach, was charged with soliciting naked photos from a 16-year-old girl in 2016. In 2013, officials said, he asked the girl’s older sister for oral sex. That victim was 15 at the time.
Any guesses on how close his relationship was with Dad?

Comic Book: An Implausible World for Kids

9/13/17 Hollywood Reporter:
In the recent issue of Action Comics #987, "The Oz Effect," released Wednesday, Superman arrives in the nick of time to protect a group of undocumented immigrants from a white man sporting an American flag bandanna, wielding a machine gun, who is going to shoot them for taking his job. 
Excuse me, for SJWs, who are really still kids emotionally.

No, Not A Satire

According to a new survey from Credible, a personal finance website, 50 percent of all respondents (ages 18-34) said they would give up their right to vote during the next two presidential elections in order to never have to make another loan payment again.
Other extremes include a willingness to ditch ride-sharing services like Uber or Lyft (44 percent) and giving up travel outside of the country for five years (42 percent) to have student loans forgiven.
Yet, only 27 percent said they would be willing to move in with their parents for five years or give up texting at 13 percent. Of the 500 millennials surveyed, only 8.2 percent of them chose to keep paying off their debt and not give up anything.
Priorities; texting more than voting.

I am pleased that our son graduated without student loan debt (we had the money) and our  daughter only acquired student loan debt after she married.

Racism Has Its Costs

Evergreen State College has settled a tort claim against it from embattled Professor Bret Weinstein and his wife, Professor Heather Heying, for $500,000, according to an email sent to faculty Friday evening.
“They have resigned from their faculty positions at Evergreen, effective today. The college will pay them a total of $450,000 and contribute an additional $50,000 toward their attorney fees,” according to the email, sent by John Carmichael, chief of staff and secretary to the board of trustees.

The underlying claim was because the college declared a "Day of Absence," telling white students and faculty they should stay off campus, but still denies that this was racist.  As near as I can tell, Weinstein was a liberal, blindsided by progressive racism.

Democratic Party Primary Fun & Games

For those who thought the DNC's attempts to prevent Sen. Bernie "Chavez" Sanders from getting the nomination for Felonia Pantsuit was an aberration: 9/16/17 Roll Call:
Lawyers for a former Democratic primary challenger to Pennsylvania Rep. Robert Brady said his client plans to plead guilty to hiding a $90,000 payment from Brady's campaign after dropping out of the primary in 2012.
Court documents show that former Philadephia city judge Jimmie Moore met with Brady and said the arrangement was “agreed and understood” that the payment would be disguised, The Associated Press reported.
Not just Moore's claim against Brady's denial:
Moore’s former staffer Carolyn Cavaness admitted to falsifying Federal Election Commission records in July. The case was under seal after prosecutors argued Brady tried to influence a witness but was unsealed after Cavaness pled guilty. 

What Am I Doing in the Shop to Hurt Myself?

Many years ago, when I was in junior high, I was on a telescope mirror making bender.  I bought a number of Pyrex mirror blanks and the required abrasives and polishing compounds.  This is a task that requires more time and patience than I had at that age, and these rapidly turned into oddities on my shelves.

When we bought our first house in San Jose in 1986, I decided that I now had enough room and time to complete one of these projects. I had originally bought two 3" diameter, and two 1" diameter blanks.  (You buy these in pairs, because one will become the mirror, the other the grinding tool.  You can use a plate glass tool, but it was widely believed then that using two identical pieces produced a better mirror.)

My original "There's nothing that I can't do, I'm in junior high school" plan was to build a Gregorian reflector which uses a paraboloid primary mirror and an ellipsoidal secondary, which sits at the focal point of the primary mirror and reflects the image through a hole in the primary.  By adulthood, this was so obviously too hard for a first mirror that I decided to build a 3" f/8 Newtonian reflector.

If you have spent anytime looking at commercial telescopes, you have likely noticed that 3" reflectors are nearly always 3" f/10 spherical mirrors, not paraboloids, unlike larger aperture telescope mirrors.  The reason (which I should have researched) is that a 3" f/10 spherical mirror is within 1/4 wavelength of a paraboloid, and so close enough that it is hard to see a difference for telescope purposes.  But as usual I stumbled forward, making a 3" f/4.5 paraboloid (I went a little deep on grinding phase: hence f/4.5).  It turns out that the final figuring phase of a paraboloid mirror involves moving glass in 1/4 light wavelength depths from the surface.

How do you know you have achieved a paraboloid accurate to fractions of a wavelength of light?  A Foucault knife-edge tester.  This is a shockingly simple device, which allows you to verify paraboloid accuracy as long as you can measure movement of the knife-edge to and from the mirror's focal point in thousandths of an inch.  In a more primitive time, you did that with a nomograph similar to this:
The problem is that as the mirror diameter shrinks and the focal ratio gets shorter, the distances to measure get finer and finer.  This makes getting 1/4 wave accuracy (the usual minimum standard), harder and harder.  These days, with what I have learned, I would have mounted the knife-edge on a 1/4"-20 screw, put a 50 division knob on the end and no problem.  But I have learned much since those days, which nostalgia is making feel better by the day.  (It was not a good time.)

Amusing story: You do Foucault testing in darkness or near-darkness.  My wife came home, and the garage was completely dark except for a very faint light coming from the tester.  She was utterly confused by what she saw.  In later years, she would tell people of this and say being married to me was many things, but never boring!

So, I ended up with a 1/2 wave mirror when I decided to not put any more effort into it.  Not great, but about what the Hubble telescope had on its first failure.  It made a pretty effective, very light and compact telescope.  But because of its size, many of the individual components had to be cobbled together, with sometimes ugly results. 

A mirror cell holds the mirror in the tube and allows for adjustment of the face to the path of incoming light.  At the time in the 1980s, there were no web pages and finding parts was as second millennium as you might expect.  The best that I could find was a mirror cell for a 3 3/8" diameter mirror.  Using it as a source for parts, and with my limited tool experience of the time, I created this Frankenstein:

That is foam tape shrinking it to 3" diameter and the base that mounts in the tube is oak (which taps well and holds bolts better than you might expect).  I am now machining a mirror cell out of aluminum.  More details after my finger stops reminding me of my stupid.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Went To Urgent Care

No stitches, but glad I went.   Doctor very impressed with my wife's bandaging.   No machining for a day or two.

Bad Thing About Blood Thinners

There are no minor cuts.  The room from the garage looks like an episode of Forensic Files.  Luminol would lead to a conviction.  Ended up at urgent care because it would not stop bleeding.  At urgent care, I was down to a slow bleed.  They used this material that provides a similar matrix function as fibrin, and now I am just all bandaged up.  Next time, gloves!  I have some about as thick as the layer of skin that was torn by the chuck's jaws.

I Needed a Polar Fleece Today

I went to my anticoagulation clinic today, and actually needed a pillar fleece!  After months of oppressive heat,  this is glorious news!

The good news is that my INR level is now in the safe range of 2.0 to 3.0 so no need to go back to those painful Lovanox affords.