Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Clearing Vivaldi Cache

Instructions that I can find say to pull down the Tools menu.  I cannot find one.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Another Number To Block

866 872 8023

Microsoft Technical Support calling to renew my Windows 10 key on my voicemail.  When I called back, East Indian woman.  Aren't there enough jobs there undercutting American workers in HP contractors?

Monday, October 29, 2018

Instapundit Suggested A Satirist Could Not Improve on This

I agree.  10/29/18
In a really strange turn of events, it has been discovered that bombing suspect Cesar Sayoc worked at Ultra Gentleman's Club in West Palm Beach, FL, the same strip club that Stormy Daniels performed at back in April, WPTV reported.  

Remember: Crazy is Bipartisan

10/29/18 Orlando Sentinel:
At least four shots were fired into the Volusia County Republican Party’s office in South Daytona, police said Monday.
No one was injured, according to South Daytona police Capt. Mark Cheatham, but the shooting broke the offices’ front window and caused some damage to the drywall inside.
Cheatham said a volunteer reported the incident on Monday, which could’ve happened between Sunday afternoon and Monday morning at the office located at 2841 South Nova Road.

Behave Yourselves!

10/29/18 AP reports on attacks and insults that even local journalists are receiving for being "fake news."  There is a lot of fake news, like reporters pretending a hurricane's winds are pushing them around while people in the background are unaffected, and a steady stream of false reports so bad that some have led to a suspensions by news organizations--and many more that were not punished.  (Remember that many live in bubbles where they only see America from a distance.)  Violence is not ever acceptable and insulting local journalists (many of whom are not necessarily on the left) accomplishes nothing useful.  Just make sure you vote on Election Day, and give the Democratic Party PR wing something to really go ballistic over.

Today's Painful Financial Lesson

If you hold individual stocks or bonds, you must keep a regular eye on them and any news about them.  One of the mildly risky bonds in the oil business (PVL) was attractive because it had a high dividend.  Sometime when I was not looking, the dividend dropped to .8% per year.  A few others have gone from decent dividends to very poor, like FTR.  Of course the value of those bonds and stocks has fallen with the rest of the market, to levels that profoundly disappoint me.  I would like to think this is going to turn around soon, but the risk that the probably overestimated Blue Wave might happen in a few days means that I do not expect any dramatic recovery in the near future.  A Red Wave might help, but higher interest rates are likely to keep a damper on the party.

I had taken out loans on the Jaguar and the Jeep because when I was getting 28% gains in portfolio balances, paying 2.3% and 0.6% interest on car loans made sense.  Tomorrow I will sell some of the losers and pay off both loans, saving about $1000 a month in cash outflow.  Also, no need for gap insurance rider on my car insurance.  It would be nice if today's bloodbath was followed by some recovery tomorrow as I sell.

And I think I will pay off the mortgage, too.  Debt free and $2100 less bills to pay each month.


Not with this many false rape accusations.  10/23/18 Seattle Times about rape accusations against Bellevue police chief and two of his detectives:
His accuser, a 44-year-old Issaquah woman, came forward in early August with claims Mylett had raped her two years earlier during an encounter at his Bothell home arranged through an adult sex website. The allegations emerged as the King County Sheriff’s Office separately investigated the woman’s claims against two other Bellevue police officers that initially led to domestic-violence assault and witness-tampering charges against one of them....
Bothell investigators found Mylett’s accuser had gone so far as to create phony, backdated email exchanges that contained the address of a Bothell rental home where Mylett temporarily lived. But lease records and other evidence proved Mylett had moved out of that house prior to when the woman claimed the assault occurred, and DNA tests ruled Mylett out as a possible match to genetic evidence gathered from clothing the woman turned over as part of the case.
Rape claims should always be taken seriously, but false rape accusations are hardly rare, and due process and burden of proof need to be taken seriously--and not just Supreme Court nominees.

A Victory in Brazil

10/19/18 Bloomberg News:
With former Army Captain Jair Bolsonaro on the cusp of winning Brazil’s presidency, his allies in Congress plan to deliver on his campaign promise to ease the country’s restrictive gun laws as early as this year.
Gun ownership is one of the flagship campaign pledges of the former paratrooper, who regularly greets his fans by cocking his hands in a gun-shaped salute. Way ahead of his rival Fernando Haddad in opinion polls, Bolsonaro is on course to be elected Brazil’s next president on Oct. 28.
Although gun ownership is already legal in certain restrictive circumstances, a bill already in Congress aims to expand access. "The key point is to simplify the law and allow any citizen to own a gun," said Sostenes Cavalcante, a lawmaker from the influential evangelical caucus, most of whom supports Bolsonaro in the lower house.
The bill, which is ready to be voted on the floor of the house, proposes granting citizens "the right to own and bear firearms for legitimate self-defense and the protection of personal property". It would also cut taxes on guns and reduce the minimum age requirement for purchasing guns from 25 to 21.
Keep in mind the importance of a pro-gun U.S. Congress when you vote in a few days.  And he won.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Took This a Couple Years Ago--Moonrise Over Bogus Basin

Needs Astrophotos for Your Kid's Science Report?

Not labeled and often >5 MB.

Proximate Causes of Mass Murder

Still not done with the data input.

Causes are proximate causes of the crime. 

·       Robbery is a mass murder performed as part of a robbery or to eliminate witnesses to the robbery.
·       Mental illness includes all crimes where either contemporary accounts describe the murderer as insane, or where the nature of the crime makes other explanations implausible (this is necessarily a judgment call, on which my experience with mentally ill relatives and friends informs my opinion).  Remember also, the legal definition of mental illness is much narrower than the medical definition.  Through most of U.S. history, the McNaughton Rule (sometimes spelled M’Naughten) defined legal insanity as: "at the time of committing the act, the accused was laboring under such a defect of reason, from disease of the mind, as not to know the nature and quality of the act he was doing or, if he did know it, that he did not know what he was doing was wrong."[1]  A person who did not know he was doing wrong, was insane.  Persons who are medically mentally ill sometimes know that they are doing wrong and try to escape arrest and conviction (perhaps because the “aliens,” or the CIA or KGB “agents” that they have just murdered are still after them).  Such persons are legally sane, while in any conventional sense, they are as “mad as hatters.”
·       Resist is a criminal resisting arrest. 
·       Unknown describes a very large number of crimes where either the motivation is unclear or the newspaper coverage is silent; this also includes some mass murders where the inability to identify the murderer makes cause impossible to determine. 
·       Religion is mass murders committed as part of religious persecution.  (And yes, in America!)
·       Racism is its frequent cousin.  In some cases, these include revenge or retribution against Indians for crimes not, or at least not necessarily, committed by the victims. 
·       Politics are terrorist acts committed to advance a political cause. 
·       Revenge are mass murders committed to take revenge for real or perceived injuries by the murderer, his family, or acquaintances. 
·       Indian are crimes between Indians and settlers that are not official acts of war, but that might have been seen that way by the murderers.  I have classified all attacks against peaceful travelers and settlers in this cause.
·       Poverty is a strange subclass of family murders committed, usually by a parent concerned their family is about to become impoverished, who then “protect” them from that suffering by mass murder.  In some cases, this seems to be a form of mental illness: at least one example below involved a mass murderer who was in no way in such danger of impoverishment.
·       Labor are crimes committed during labor disputes, sometimes against strikebreakers, sometimes against labor unionists.  (One lesson to be learned: do not  upset miners!)
·       Quarrel are incidents that start out as some relatively minor dispute before escalating into disproportionate response.
·       Cult refers to mass murders committed by oddball religious cults, of which I was surprised were widespread in the early 20th century.
·       Rape are mass murders committed to eliminate witnesses to a rape.
·       Greed are mass murders carried out to obtain wealth other than by robbery, often by inheritance from the deceased.
·       Divorce is a subclass of Revenge; someone is being divorced or has been and is seeking retribution.  My understanding is that those who have been through such an event will immediately understand the rage.
·       Adultery: a subclass of Revenge.
·       Jealousy: should be obvious.
·       Intoxication are crimes attributed to alcohol or drug-induced stupidity.  As mentioned above, the strong overlap between mental illness and substance abuse makes some of these hard to distinguish, especially 150 years after the crime.
·       Bullying is a recent category, and one that I suspect reflects some deeper mental illness; I was bullied as a child, had access to low-grade explosives and never even thought of mass murder.

[1] “The insanity defense’ and Diminished Capacity,”

I See the Mass Murderer in Pittsburgh Claims the Jews Control Trump

There are days that I don't think even Trump controls Trump.

More Mass Murder Data

Again, I am still gathering data.  These charts show the weapon used in mass murders.  Many mass murders involve multiple weapons: ax or blunt object to disable victims, then knife to slit the throat.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Today's Tragedy

By an anti-Trump Nazi

Europe is Fork-Ready

10/26/18 Fox News:
The freedom of speech does not extend to include defaming the prophet of Islam, the European Court of Human rights ruled Thursday.
The Strasbourg-based ECHR ruled that insulting Islamic prophet Muhammad “goes beyond the permissible limits of an objective debate” and “could stir up prejudice and put at risk religious peace.”
The court’s decision comes after it rejected an Austrian woman’s claim that her previous conviction for calling Muhammad a pedophile, due to his marriage to a 6-year-old girl, violated her freedom of speech.
The ECHR ruled Austrian courts had “carefully balanced her right to freedom of expression with the right of others to have their religious feelings protected.”
This is hardly defamation.  His marriage to Aisha (consummated when she was 9) is widely recognized in Islamic tradition.  Now, if someone defamed Jesus by saying the 12 apostles and Jesus were gay, would the European Court of Human Rights decide that is outside free speech?  Of course not.

Stilll Cannot Get Over How Effective GIMP's Unsharp Mask filter Is

Another Fake Indian

The guy being held for the bombings is a Filipino pretending to be a Seminole Indian with a long criminal and mental illness history.  Oh, and a male stripper.  I could not make this up, and I would not expect you to believe it if I did.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Linux Question

FileZilla will not connect through sftp to the Linux client in VMWare.  I believe the problem may be that openssh is not running there. ps -aux|grep openssh returns nothing.  The package manager claims openssh is installed.  The /usr/lib/openssh directory has a sftp-server executable, but starting it seems to change nothing.  And yes I have verified the IP address with ifconfig.

Never mind: FileZilla was trying to use port 24.

While I have your attention: part of why Linux, with all its virtues, is not replacing Windows is because it is often impossible to find complex things like installing the latest version of eclipse.
This page claims to tell you how to install Java 9.  But after
add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/java
apt-get update

It claims
apt-cache search oracle-java9
will give a list that includes the installer.  Nope.

I was downloading a 64-bit executable.  While my PC is 64-bit, the Linux version in VMWare is 32-bit.

But even after downloading, unzipping and untarring the open jdk 11 version, I still get

Failed to find a Main class in /home/clayton/Downloads/eclipse/plugins/org.eclipse.equinox_launcher_1.5.100.v20180827-1352.jar
when I start Eclipse.  It may be that jdk11 conflicts with older JREs and JDKs so I am removing them.  Nope.

Still Gathering Data

1990 forward is still unfinished; 1870s and 1880s are mostly unfinished.  But you might be interested in some of the data so far.  Total mass murder incidents: 271; dead (not including suicides)  2227; unknown weapon used 81; non-firearms: 416; firearms: 190. 

Note that these are incidents in which at least one weapon of this type was used.  It was often difficult to accurately count dead by weapon; if you beat someone's head in with an ax, then cut the throat, which caused the death? 

Many are scalpings; sometimes done on the dead but ocassionally on the living and even the conscious (one horrifying victim described the sound of his scalp being pulled off).  (Do you now understand the ferocity of white views of Indians in the 19th century?)    In many cases, the news stories do not even identify the weapon.

Sorry, But the Source of the Problem Has Been Misidentified

10/.25/18 Chicago Tribune:
Primary care doctors 'not doing enough' to curb STDs
 As rates of sexually transmitted infections steadily rise nationwide, public health officials and experts say primary care doctors need to step up screening and treatment.
"We know that doctors are not doing enough screening for STDs," said David Harvey, executive director at the National Coalition of STD Directors. The failure to screen routinely "is leading to an explosion in STD rates," he said, adding that cutbacks in funding and a lack of patient awareness about the risks make it worse.
I would think the unwillingness of men and women to keep their pants on unless in monogamous relationships is what is causing the explosion of STD rates.

Lunatic Politics Everywhere

10/24/18 WTMJ:
A Wisconsin man is accused of trying to buy a lethal dose of a radioactive substance on the Internet to try and kill someone. 
Justin Tolomeo, Special Agent in Charge of the Milwaukee Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation said in a news release Jeremy Ryan, 30, of the Town of Madison has been charged with attempted possession of radioactive material with intent to cause death. ...
Ryan, who was dubbed “Segway Boy” faced multiple felony drug charges in 2016. He got the nickname after he was seen riding a Segway around the state capitol in 2011 taunting Republican lawmakers. 
He also attempted a congressional run against Paul Ryan in 2012. 
Obviously Trump's fault.

The Details of This Arrest in Florida

Make me wonder if social media has a feedback loop effect on the emotionally unstable.  I shudder to think of my late father-in-law on social media.  My wife says the lack of immediate negative feedback is part of the problem. Things that would get you punched in the noise in a bar have no immediate effect on social media. Why am I imagining Facebook with a little hand coming out of the screen and slapping you?

This is Really Good News

10/25/18 Houston Chronicle:
For the first time in American history, a U.S. Senate race will top $100 million in spending as U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and his Democratic rival Beto O’Rourke battle down the stretch in one of the most-watched races in the nation.
That milestone was certain after Cruz announced on Thursday that he has already raised $5.3 million this month. O’Rourke announced he has pulled in another $8.4 million during the same time period. Combined, the two have raised $110 million for the race.
Good news, becasuse the $61 million sunk into what is likely going to be an O'Rourke loss is money that could have been used in other Democratic races.  Even the billionaires have limited money.


C was my first modern programming language (okay, Pascal, but I only wrote a few Pascal programs) and like your first girlfriend, there are details you will never forget, like the powerful emotions when you smell her perfume in an elevator, but finally:

An awesome song, and an awesome video.

"If I code you like this": my wife's attempt at parody.

Scheiner Mask

I spent yesterday making one from posterboard.  My wife was gone overnight and did not want me to use an Exacto knife while she was gone.  (She is terrified that I will injure myself.  When I bleed, the results are stunning.) 
It is not a perfect fit on the front of the tube because there is a light block opposite the focuser, which I can easily remove if I need to do so.

Now if I could just get some clear nights!

Bombs for Democrats

10/26/18 CBS New York:
All of the parcels were sent in similar packaging, and the devices were made to appear like active bombs. None of them detonated, which experts say will be helpful in tracing where the materials came from.
Investigators are working to determine whether the bombs were just poorly designed or if they were simply meant to scare the recipients.
I'm guessing Antifa or the DNC trying to create sympathy for Democrats ahead of the election.

Unfortunately, an emotionally unstable person with a MAGA hat has been arrested.  I wish that I could discount this as a frame-up, but there are lots of fiercely crazy people out there, and they are not all Democrats.

A Little Late

But at least 10/25/18 NBC News is admuitting that the lurid gang rape story about Kavanaugh was made up by porn actress lawyer Avenatti:
 In the NBC News interview that aired on Oct. 1, Swetnick back-tracked on or contradicted parts of her sworn statement where she alleged she witnessed then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh "cause girls to become inebriated and disoriented so they could then be 'gang raped' in a side room or bedroom by a 'train' of boys."
NBC News also found other apparent inconsistencies in a second sworn statement from another woman whose statement Avenatti provided to the Senate Judiciary Committee in a bid to bolster Swetnick's claims....
In the second statement, the unidentified woman said she witnessed Kavanaugh "spike" the punch at high school parties in order to sexually take advantage of girls. But less than 48 hours before Avenatti released her sworn statement on Twitter, the same woman told NBC News a different story.
Referring to Kavanaugh spiking the punch, "I didn't ever think it was Brett," the woman said to reporters in a phone interview arranged by Avenatti on Sept. 30 after repeated requests to speak with other witnesses who might corroborate Swetnick's claims. As soon as the call began, the woman said she never met Swetnick in high school and never saw her at parties and had only become friends with her when they were both in their 30s.
Sen. Grassley has referred this to DOJ for a criminal inestigation into Avenatti and Swetnick.  TYes.  Make it a risky business to submit perjury to Congress.  There was stupid talk of Avenatti being a 2020 Democratic candidate for President.  Even Demos aren't that stupid...,or are they?

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Will Someone Remind Me Why the Resistor is Needed Between LED and DC Power?

Is it to reduce power loss?  Shouldn't applying the leads of the LED to a 9VDC battery light it up?

Relearning Java

Eclipse is only a little head scratching.  Oh yes, must download the JDK as well.  Not sure that I could handle a full-time job, but it is worth making sure that I could actually say, "Yes, I can teach beginning Java."

Utterly perplexed.  Eclipse will not compile:
import java.util.Arrays;
It cannot find it, so I installed the latest JDK, added it to the PATH environment variable and Eclipse still cannot find it.  I am guessing that somewhere in Window->Preferences there is something that tells it where to look.  Obsolete version of Eclipse.  New download solves the problem.

No question about it: not going back to work full-time.  A couple hours of this has worn me to a frazzle.  I just hope that leach field does not turn out to be $20,000, if it is failing.

Leach Field Subsidence

Where I believe our leach field is located is now several feet lower than it used to be, if my memory serves me correctly.  This seems odd.  I know leach fields typically last 10-30 years, and we have been here about 12 years.  Does this subsidence indicate a problem?

I walked down again.  No soggy soil, and it is not quite where I remember the leach field being.  It was covered with sunflowers for several years because of the upturned soil.  Here you can see boulders in the trench, which tells me that this was not where the leach field would have been placed then covered over.  You can also see our crazy puppy trying to get a vole.  The soil was not giving way easily.
In general, I am much relieved.

Always Get Written Estimates Before Work Commences

We needed some gutters added to the front of the house and the telescope garage.  When my wife started calling around, gutter people would not come to Horseshoe Bend.  One gal, GuttersRUs quoted her $5.50/foot.  They installed 74 or 75 feet of gutter.  The bill was $600 for the gutters.  When I called her, she insisted that she would never have quoted $5.50/foot in Horseshoe Bend.  The bill also included a $60 traveling fee for coming to Horseshoe Bend.  So why $6/foot in Horseshoe Bend?  I suspect, they saw the house and decided that they could put the screws to us.  Rhonda is a very trusting person, and tends to believe people.  Never believe anyone until they have given you reason to do so.  Fortunately, my wife had preserved enough of the emails for her to back down almost $200.  Still way more than it should have been, but guttersnipes are hard to find that will drive 20 miles north.

On top of replacing the booster pump last week ($1250) and the loss of $70,000 in the recent stock market crashing*, it has not been a good month.  So let me remind you, if you are going to buy something from Amazon any way, use the link on the right side of the blog.  Also, I found out that PR firms are incredibly expensive, so promoting Lock, Stock, and Barrel seems to be impractical.  (If you know, or have contacts with any radio talkshow hosts, I could use the help.)

If gun magazines were interested in gun history, I might sell an article or two, but I cannot find any gun magazines that care about this.

*To clarify, reduction in net assets.  You only lose money if you sell.  I am assuming my mutual funds did a lot of buying at the bottom.  Still, for someone who grew up hungry, it is still a bit scary.

As Amazing An Argument As You Can Imagine

The always thought-provoking Heather MacDonald:
Harvard caps the number of Asians it admits, allege the plaintiffs—a coalition of Asian-American groups called Students for Fair Admissions—in the lawsuit against the university. As a result, Asian applicants must present higher academic qualifications than any other racial or ethnic group in order to be considered for admission. According to Harvard’s own data, test scores and a high school GPA that would give an Asian-American high school senior only a 25 percent chance of admission would provide a virtual admissions guarantee—95 percent—for an otherwise identical black applicant, a 77 percent chance of admission for a Hispanic student, and a 36 percent chance of admission for a white student. Asians would make up more than 50 percent of the admitted class if Harvard were colorblind, estimates Students for Fair Admissions, instead of the 18.6 percent Asian average maintained over recent years. The white student population would go down from 43 percent to 38 percent. Asians account for 6 percent of the national population; whites, 61 percent....
Yet Harvard’s defenders, including some Asian Harvard students, claim that the suit is really about shoring up white privilege. At a Defend Diversity rally held in Cambridge the day before the lawsuit began, demonstrators held signs reading “Asians Will Not Be Tools for Your White Supremacy.” A Harvard undergraduate who will testify for the defense used the identical language during the Defend Diversity rally: “I, along with so many other Asian-Americans, refuse to be tools of white supremacy.”
That makes perfect sense: arguing that the current system which actively disadvantages Asians and should be replaced with race-blind admissions is "white supremacy."  If Republicans in Congress had any interest other than drunken pages and groupies, they would prohibit federal grants to institutions that discriminate based on race.  But they are terrified that supporting equal access for Asians will be called "white supremacy" by CNN.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

"If You See Something, Say Something" Worked!

10/22/18 Yahoo News:
On Wednesday, Koeberle Bull of Lumberton, N.J., woke up to a racist message on Facebook from a man in Kentucky. “It was really vulgar — he called my kids the N-word and hoped terrible things for them,” Bull tells Yahoo Lifestyle. 
The mom of three biracial children, ages 16, 11, and 8, was especially concerned about the man’s profile picture in which he showed off a gun, so, going on a “gut feeling,” she called her local police station and filed a report. “But I felt like it wouldn’t really go anywhere, so I posted a screenshot of the message on Facebook,” she says. ...
Local and state police followed the mom’s tip, and on Thursday, officers drove to the home of a 20-year-old man named Dylan Jarrell, just as he was leaving his house with more than 200 rounds of ammunition, a bulletproof vest, a firearm, a 100-round high-capacity magazine, and a “detailed plan of attack.” He was headed toward two school districts in Anderson County and Shelby County, the Kentucky State Police said in a press conference Friday
I doubt he was bringing them for "Show 'n'Tell."  This remains good advice: someone shows up the gun store trying to buy a rifle while wearing an ISIS T-shirt; someone starts drunkenly whining about how teachers are propagandizing our kids (they are, because taxpayers don't mind...much) and should be stopped permanently; someone asks how to make a pipe bomb that won't be detected at CNN's mailroom: time to call the police.  If someone is just being stupid, a conversation about their stupidity will be better than another tragedy.

2001: A Space Odyssey

The last time I watched it, I was in a movie theater in 1968. Even on the small screen, it is amazing.  The final high-speed journey on acid had such a powerful sensation of speed in the theater that I could not lift my arms, much less rise from my seat.  That and the rest of the ending make far less sense than the strangely mystical end of Arthur C. Clarke's novelization of it.  Still, an amazing film.  Watching it today it is still masterpiece of film; with amazing special effects; all before the wonders of CGI.  And of course Also Sprach Zarathustra and the Blue Danube Waltz, both by Strauss.

Oh yes the little cultural symbols now gone, like PanAm and the Bell Phone logo in the videophone booth.

The Axes Are Winning

Later in the 19th century, the axes and hatchets keep showing up with disturbing frequency and in especially disturbing crimes.  When someone is researching mass murder and he says that they are especially disturbing crimes...

Weirdness of a Less Grotesque Kind

From [Columbia, S.C.] Daily Phoenix, Mar. 26, 1869, 1:

One of Those Weird Stories With Things That Make No Sense

Kinston, N.C. (1869)
Before 2/2/1869: Five men, one white, four black had been jailed for stealing the body of a Colonel Williams from his grave to location and for purposes unknown.  A mob of 20-30 men used a subterfuge to introduce an armed, and supposedly bound captive into the jail, where he forced the jailer to turn over the five accused men, who were apparently killed by cutting their throats and thrown into the Nense River.
Category: lynching
Suicide: no
Cause: impatience
Weapon: cutting instrument[1]

[1] “The Ku Klux in North Carolina,” [Columbia, S.C.] Daily Phoenix, Feb. 2, 1869, 2.

Why would you steal a body, except for a medical school or to hold it for ransom (as was attempted with Lincoln's body).

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.