Thursday, September 16, 2021

Using LiveView on my K-S 2

 Focus is sharp on the screen but no sharp on the picture.  Turn off Live View and use the viewfinder and focus is slightly different.  GIMP fixes a lot.  17.5" f/4.5 1/100 second ISO 100 prime focus.

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

Better off at 1/100.

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

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

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

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

Be-10, Sunspots, and Climate Change

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

Time Variations of 10BE and Solar Activity

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

 Originally published in Space Science Reviews (2000):

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

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

What We Can Learn From the Black Death?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other risk factors.  5/13/21 CDC:

Main Findings:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How Long Does Ammo Remain Viable?

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

This Vaccination Requirement Must Be REALLY Important

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

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

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

Monday, September 13, 2021

Vaccine Hesitancy. Why?

1. They are lying to us again.  This Tablet article really captures the loss of trust in the official media:

Imagine you’re a normal person. The year is 2016. Rightly or wrongly, you believe most of what you see in the media. You believe polls are broadly reflective of public opinion. You believe doctors and scientists are trustworthy and independent. You’re a decent, reasonable person who follows the rules and trusts the authorities.

Imagine your shock, then, when Brexit, which you were assured couldn’t happen because it was a fringe movement led by racists for racists, happens. The polls, which widely predicted it wouldn’t happen, were wrong. The experts and pundits who told you day after day that it wouldn’t happen were also wrong. “Oh well,” you say, “these things happen.”

Imagine that soon after Brexit, Donald Trump is running for president. You are told by the most trustworthy media outlets that he is going to lose. Some experts say his opponent has a 99% chance of winning. Imagine waking up the morning after the election to discover that the pollsters, experts, and politicians you still trusted were wrong again. Now the racist monster who you were told would never get near the White House is the leader of the free world.

“How did this happen?” you ask yourself. How could everyone I rely on for good information be so wrong? “It was the Russians,” they tell you. “The Russians did Brexit, and they got Trump elected too.” Imagine that for the next three years, day after day, the media and politicians you still trust keep you up to date on this story of Trump’s collusion with Russia. They tell you the how, when, where, and why: the dossiers, the whistleblowers, the peeing prostitutes. Imagine your desperation for things to somehow make sense again.

Here comes the Mueller report. Hard evidence of foreign meddling in Brexit and the 2016 U.S. election is coming to set the world right again.

Imagine your shock, then, when you discover that Brexit had little to do with foreign meddling, and Robert Mueller has very little to report about Trump and the Russians. The collusion story, which dominated your news intake for the better part of three years, slowly dies down. Then it’s gone. No one talks about it anymore. Imagine that bit by bit, you’re starting to feel that the events you were told would not and could not happen not only happened, but happened without some sort of malign interference. Instead, millions of your fellow citizens simply voted for them. In the American case, it turns out many of your fellow citizens who simply voted for Trump come from states that have been devastated by an opioid epidemic enabled by a corrupt system of incentives involving the Food and Drug Administration, doctors, and Big Pharma. (You might want to take note of this. It will come up again later.)

2. Anecdotal Evidence is All Most People Believe

This is not specific to medicine.  Almost everyone puts more credence in personal experience than reports and statistics, especially when it is reported by the liars discussed in #1.

I would guess that most Americans are like me.  We know several families who got sick from COVID.  They were either really miserable (like a bad flu) or sometimes not that sick, and they recovered.  Because so few people have died (a few hundred thousand out of 328 million), very few people have any friends or relatives who have died of it or even been hospitalized for long.  So how serious is it?  The liars in #1 have discredited themselves.  Are there any reliable sources?

3. Antivax sentiment is strong.  There has been a lot of it for years, and antisocial media has spread it faster than COVID.  Yet the antisocial media companies try to suppress differing opinions.

4. Hostility to Big Pharma has been strong for a long time, with lots of claims that their greed caused them to push expensive treatments to the detriment of cheaper ones.  (This is likely true.  They are suppressing a one pill cure for cancer?  No.  The insurers would not tolerate that.)  But so many people on the left hollered about how greedy Big Pharma is, that many people now see the vaccine makers as cashing in on a problem, especially because some alternatives are being or have been used with varying levels of success.  The Rolling Stone ivermectin fraud just adds #1 to #4.

5. The politicization of the issues. 

Now you wonder why Trump supporters do not trust Biden and Fauci?

6. Changing Truths

At the start, we were told masks would do no good for the general population; then everyone needed to wear masks.

The lockdown would be a few weeks to get medical system capacity past the peak, then it became indefinite.

No one directly promised that the vaccines would give permanent immunity, but it was certainly implied.  Now it turns out to good for six months or so. (It still reduces risk from delta.)

Even if all of this reflects the everchanging nature of warfare, it has not provoked much confidence.

Marijuana stores were essential industries but houses of worship were not.

7. "My Body, My Choice"

For years, this was the leftist mantra.  Now it is a sign of antisocial sentiment.  If you really believe that individual rights must sometimes take a backseat to community needs, that is a perfectly reasonable claim, but after 40 years of screaming "My Body, My Choice" do not expect everyone to get in line behind your ordering people about.

8. I Do Not Follow My Own Rules

French Laundry, Obama birthday party/super spreader.  If it is really a crisis, then act like it is a crisis.

Now do you understand why so many people are pushing back?

Go ahead and get vaccinated but let's get back to work and living.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Samsung Has Shifted All Monitor Production Out of China

To India.

I may be buying a huge (32" or larger curved) UHD monitor in the near future.  Nice to show some companies had the sense to leave China.

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Yes President*, Our Patience is Wearing Thin

9/9/21 New York Times:

“My message to unvaccinated Americans is this: What more is there to wait for?” President Biden said on Thursday. “We’ve been patient, but our patience is wearing thin.”

I support vaccination.  But Presidentish* seems to have forgotten for whom he works.  Those who refuse vaccination primarily put themselves at risk.  If you get sick, it is sad, but you put few people at risk who have recovered and just a few more people whose vaccine immunity turned out to be shorter than was assumed and that Presidentish* seems to think vaccination will provide.

Yes, small and therefore unvaccinated children are at risk from sick unvaccinated people, but not enormous risk; small children rarely catch it and almost never die. 

Biden has essentially told tens of millions of Americans that he knows better than they do.  "My body, my choice" is the leftist mantra but not this time.  

He is playing with fire.  If even .1% of Americans decide to play Antifa games, Civil War 2 will erupt.  0.1% of 80 million people is 80,000 people.  Lone wolf attacks on federal law enforcement agencies will likely wipe out all federal LEOs after 10% quit and join the resistance.  Large numbers of Americans may not actively participate in this bloodletting, but I can see them refusing to convict on criminal trials.  What is the chance that 0 1% of angry Trump voters might decide that stupid riots at the Capitol were ineffective and require a more serious response?  Bear spray works fine to prevent ursine tyranny, but bears are not the problem.  Senile fascism is.

Am I angry?  Yes.  He has accomplished more damage to the U.S. domestically and in world affairs than any President I can remember.  Even LBJ was not this destructive and that is an astonishingly low bar to mambo under.

My Cat

He is 19.  He cannot really clean himself anymore (or does not want to do so) so his fur is matted.  If I stroke him the excess fur comes off and he seems happy.  I think the excess fur is dirty or oily and that is why it matts.  He is not an indoor cat now.  The dogs seem to make him mark in the house.  In summer the outdoor temperatures seem to make him happy.  In winter he sleeps in a doghouse with a pressure activated heating pad.

It is hard not to empathize.  I am beginning to feel like Tater.

Never Forget


Imagine the terror of seeing flames approaching and saying, the collision be so fast that I will not feel it.
We remember his picture but about 200 people either was pushed out by the explosions or jumped that day, Everyone someone's tragedy.

And having failed to civilize Afghanistan, Biden leaves them a fortune in weapons.

Terrorist acts are always to be condemned but the various forms of Islamic terrorism seem among the most savage.

Moore's Law and Monitors

 My wif'e's external monitor failed.  It was quite old and at current monitor costs, it seemed silly to repair, so I handed one of monitors to her and bought a new Philips 27" HD monitor for about $170  To my surprise and pleasure this now allowed me to put both the newspaper page and the Word document in which I summarize long ago tragedies on the same screen in a readable size.

It has been a long time since I hit the PrtScrn button.  In MS-DOS 1.1 this literally printed the screen to the parallel printer on LPT1.  Am I showing my antiquity?  When I helped build Khufu's pyramid...

Friday, September 10, 2021

Looking for gun ads that promise too much, or at least might be interpreted as such

 I am writing an article for America's First Freedom about the Sandy Hook Remington suit.  Ads like these:

On an apparently separate note: I remember a 1979 Pontiac Firebird brochure with a stunning brunette wearing a halter top stretched across the hood of a TransAm.  Buy this car and gorgeous women will follow you home was the idea, I guess. Do you remember that or have a copy?

Why Are So Many Americans Vaccine-Hesitant?

9/9/21 Knoxville News article lists all the last year seemingly authoritative reasons to not trust the vaccines, many of which boil down to Trump Derangement Syndrome.  "This is Trump's witchcraft so I'm against it."

The Left needs to introspect a little and stop assuming this is all ignorant deplorables. 

You may ask, "Why would Trump voters refuse it, then?"  People already skeptical of vaccines and government mandates are easily spooked.  As I mentioned a few days ago, PhDs and professional degrees are the most vaxcine-hesitant and that does not seem a Trump-voting demographic.

Biden using his executive order to require it is not helping.  The businesses above 100 employees seems like the limit used for the Civil Rights Act of 1964. But that required Congressional passage.

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Ammoland Has the Best Stories


U.S.A. – -( “The Isabella Joy Thallas Act, a gun control measure requiring gun owners to report lost or stolen firearms to law enforcement within five days of realizing that they’re missing, goes into effect Tuesday,” Denver NBC affiliate KUSC 9News reports. “SB21-078 was signed into law by Gov. Jared Polis in April, and through an amendment, the bill was renamed as the “Isabella Joy Thallas Act” in honor of the woman who was murdered on June 10, 2020, while she and her boyfriend were walking their dog outside of their apartment in Denver’s Ballpark neighborhood.”

One glaring problem is there are still question about if the gun used in the murder, described by the media as a “high-powered semi-automatic rifle … AK-47-style rifle” was really lost or stolen. It belonged to Denver police sergeant Dan Politica, who only reported his gun “missing” after the murder. He subsequently resigned. And as Westword documented in May, the story gets even sketchier.

It turns out the accused murderer, who has entered “a not-guilty-by-reason-of-insanity plea,” was “allegedly friends” with Politica. He has not been charged with stealing the gun. An attorney for the boyfriend says the firearm used “is illegal in Denver.”

Remember: only police are responsible enough to own guns. Like this DEA agent:

Solar Activity and Climate

From University of Wyoming, a discussion of the effects of solar activity on climate. 

"Lane et al (3) constructed a profile of atmospheric climate "forcing" due to combined changes in solar irradiance and emissions of greenhouse gases between 1880 and 1993. They found that the temperature variations predicted by their model accounted for up to 92% of the temperature changes actually observed over the period -- an excellent match for that period. Their results also suggest that the sensitivity of climate to the effects of solar irradiance is about 27% higher than its sensitivity to forcing by greenhouse gases."

This is Not a Drill

 A woman from church has been in the ER for three days waiting for a hospital.  My wife is teaching in a middle school, and the number of kids out with COVID is increasing.

The surging is not Idaho reactionaryism about masks.  Idaho new cases 7-day average is 1007US 7-day average is 148,538.  For Idaho, that is .0006 cases per capita; for U.S., .0005 cases per capita.  U.S. deaths 7-day average is 1537 or 4.68x10?^-6 per capita; Idaho: 8 deaths 7-day average, 4.47x10^6 per capita.

This is not the Black Death, but it beginning to look like Solaria in Isaac Asimov's The Naked Sun might be the sensible future.  The scattered population lives on 100 square mile parcels, are largely cared for by robots, and communicate largely via Zoom (okay, 2-way TV).  Fear of disease means that they only meet for mating.  Each of us scattered even on 50 acre plots with all our needs delivered by Amazon is looking better and better.

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

The Robots Are Taking Over

We went into the Eagle Wendy's the other day.  Along with two guys behind the counter there was an ordering and payment accepting device that sent orders directly to the cooks.

I am still imagining the robotic downstate restaurant.   A hostess seats you.  You look at the menu, place your order, a few minutes later a robot trolley moves your order from kitchen to your table perhaps sliding plates and cups across the table in front of each occupied seat.  After paying the cashier machine and leaving the busboy rolls up and drags all the plastic, metal, and paper debris on the table into the continuous process washing machine, sanitizes the table, repositions and refills the hald and half and sugar dispensers.  Then it drops the utensils and dishes in place.  Drink refills from dispensers at table.

No servers, no busses, no dishwashers.   A hostess/complaint fixer and cooks.  Probably faster than the standard model. Smaller payroll with less accounting. I think if I had the energy and the mechanical engineering skills I would start with the busser robot. 

Fluorescent Tube Replacement

At the old house, as fluorescent light fixtures (not the tube themselves) started to fail I replaced them with LED fixtures of the same shape giving similar brightness with lower consumption. 

The tubes in the master closet fixture failed and I was pleased to find LED tubes that were exact replacements for the fluorescent rubes.  Same light, less than half the power consumption, and likely I will never replace them!  Win, win, win!

Please Explain Why PBS Became a Climate Change Skeptic


Not exactly a skeptic but admitting this whole climate change thing is a lot more complex system than Al Gore would admit.

Peak Wokeness?

The federal government's web page for the Constitution now has a "see NARA’s Statement on Potentially Harmful Language" warning. We have raised a generation of children.  Or a generation of children has raised our children.

Low Class People Carrying Concealed Weapons

 I was aware of the 1837 concealed Bowie knife fight on the floor of Arkansas House of Representatives and the 1813 fight on the floor of the Louisiana House of Representatives that ended when the attacked drew a concealed pistol.  But when I searched for all instances of pistol within 5 words of carry, I found a Wisconsin Territorial legislator drawing a concealed pistol (apparently a Colt) to shoot another in 1842.  I wonder how many other signs of the "lowest class" of Americans I can find shooting up legislative buildings? 

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Count on Someone in the White House Imagining a Different Meaning


NICS: Gun Sales for August 2021 Second Highest on Record

Someone in the White House is doubtless spinning this to Biden and Congress as "Sales are dropping from last year.  Support for gun  bans is rising!"

Funny Looking White Supreamcist

 Everyone knows the Proud Boys are a white supremacist group, right?  A Proud Boy shot in the foot at a Proud Boys/Antifa confrontation:

I am not keen on the Pinochet T-shirt, but it really does scramble the white supremacist label, doesn't it?

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Old News (Sorta)

7/14/21 JAMA reports that those recover from COVID-19 (which is almost all) have lasting immunity 12 months later although vaccine strengthens it.

It may be that the right strategy was to vaccinate those at highest risk, provide care for the rest, and wait for the natural immunity to make it a rare but annoying disease.

Do You Wonder Why People Are Reluctant to Get Vaccinated?

Because the same media pushing for everyone to get Because the same media screeching that we all need to get vaccinated are carrying stories about ivermectin ODs straining ERs quoting hospitals that say the claims are just false.

First, it was Russia! Russia! Russia!  Then it was Trump is a rapist!  Kavanagh is a rapist!  Then if we do not fully lockdown our hospitals will fill up (and where they did lockdown they still filled up). Now this set of lies.  The left wonders why no one believes them?  I wonder why?

Saturday, September 4, 2021

They Better Check the Hardware Section Next

 9/4/21 Reuters:

WELLINGTON, Sept 4 (Reuters) - New Zealand supermarket group Countdown said on Saturday it has removed knives and scissors from its shelves, a day after a man the authorities called an Islamist extremist stabbed six people in one of the company's stores.

"Last night, we made the decision to temporarily remove all knives and scissors from our shelves while we consider whether we should continue to sell them," said Kiri Hannifin, Countdown's general manager for safety.

Police knew he was an ISIS supporter and were following him, but not into the market.  I hope there are no hammers, screwdrivers, or hatchets for sale.  I am sure the recent Taliban victory had nothing to do with this.

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Do Not Shoot People: We Will Pay You

9/2/21 Fox News reports the San Francisco city government is going to pay at-risk sorts $300 not to commit crimes. 

If you are not going to arrest and punish, what's left?

Need An Analogy

 The claim is Massachusetts law effectively banned carry of firearms.  Boston adopted a fire safety  ordinance that prohibited storing loaded cannon in your home, barns, outbuildings or carrying loaded firearms into buildings.  Fire would set off a musket, kill a firefighter obviously.  Pretty clearly there were enough people carrying loaded firearms to make this necessary.  I need a modern analogy less silly than, "Do not leave the plutonium pit in your fission bomb in town."

Some of the Equipment Was Disabled

9/1/21 Fox News is reporting the Taliban feels betrayed by Biden that the U.S disabled some of the helicopters we left behind.  Alas, not enough. 

An honest Congress would beginning impeachment. 

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

That Lithium Battery Did The Trick

Where the aged lead-acid battery (made in China) faded rapidly in voltage even with a <30mAh draw, the US made Dakota has been sitting at a steady 13.1V for several hours now. And wow is it light  

Monday, August 30, 2021

Taliban Using Blackhawks for Hanging

Video here.  Would throwing a grenade in each helicopter been that hard?  REASON says that is not what it is.

The good news: an army this incompetent will not be hard for ten million even average intelligence militiamen to defeat.  If they were ordered to leave these weapons for the Taliban they are probably too stupid to think of anything but following orders from Slow Joe and the oh so elite Ivy Leaguers who have made themselves look ridiculous even to the journalists. 

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Most Impressive Small Company YouTube Ad

Technical Question for Photographers

Some years ago, I bought a 35mm SLR from a co-worker.  The lens cap was captive to the lens by a string glued to both the lens cap and body of the lens. 

I suspect this is a common technique, because replacement lens caps are often sold with a leash (to keep them from attacking other lens caps, I guess). 

It was a translucent white  glob perhaps 1/4" diameter.  It worked very well to make sure the lens cap did not get left behind or lost. I would love to know what this might have been.  Epoxy? Silicone sealant? Whte glue (probably not, it was translucent).  I think the globular nature matters to keep the leash attached.  Detachability is not important. 

Saturday, August 28, 2021

How Dangerous Is COVID-19 to Your Kids?

In 2020, there were 1266 kids <16 killed in traffic accidents.

If you are terrified of sending your kids to school because of COVID-19, do not let them go anywhere by car.


Children do not seem to drive transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). We isolated culture-competent virus in vitro from 12 (52%) of 23 SARS-CoV-2–infected children; the youngest was 7 days old. Our findings show that symptomatic neonates, children, and teenagers shed infectious SARS-CoV-2, suggesting that transmission from them is plausible.

Okay they may well bring it home, but CDC is reporting 

"Children do not seem to drive transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)."

Be careful.   Wash your hands regularly.  If you feel the need, wear N95 compliant masks (I just bought some USA made ones on Amazon MedicPro). Unlike the cheap and not-NIOSH KN95 Chinese ones these wash and keep filtering.

With Good Behavior He Will Be Out in 400 Years

I am not making fun of this guy or his actions, but of the concept of a sentence of two lives plus 120 years. 8/26/21 KTVB:

" 2018, Kinner, a homeless man with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, was staying at a Boise apartment complex when he was asked to leave for bad behavior. He returned the next day and stabbed a 3-year-old to death during a birthday party. He also stabbed eight other people. 

"In March, Kinner pleaded guilty to murder and a dozen other charges, including eight counts of aggravated battery. In June, Fourth District Judge Nancy Baskin sentenced Kinner to two life terms in prison plus another 120 years. "

At its core again is untreated mental illness leading to murder.

Unique Place Names

Good Grief, Idaho near the Canadian border.

Friday, August 27, 2021

Building the Less Chinese Power Bank

 started with the salvaged 9Ah, 12VDC lead-acid battery put in a small plastic toolbox from Ace Hardware.  It took a while but they are called "female connectors" to go on the flat battery terminals. To get them on the wires to the female cigarette lighter socket involved crushing the clamps on the female connectors.  They I verified functionality by taking this combo to my mount.  It powered up.  To make it more convenient, I drilled a whole in the top of the toolbox to push the socket through. 

The socket is 1.05" OD.  I have a 1" Forstner bit, but the socket does not quite fit and filing was not doing it, so I did an episiotomy, slicing at the edges to let the head through a tight space. 

The last time I watched a real episiotomy, I was almost sick thinking of her pain but compared to pushing our son out, this was probably unnoticed.   I put an aluminum block under to prevent insertion into the socket pushing it down. Tomorrow I graft the cigarette lighter end on the 15VDC wall work and verify that it charges.  A digital volt meter or LED is purely a luxury.  Both the female disconnect and wire nuts are Taiwanese. 

I believe the charger is doing its job.
With the charger plugged in, I get 13.2V at the battery terminals.  Unplugged 13.17V.  I assume that overcharging a lead-acid battery is deleterious in some way.  Until I put a DC voltmeter in the circuit, I will leave the wall wart unplugged.

Charging voltage.  It drops voltage fast enough that I suspect the battery is too old.  (I bought about four years ago, I think.  But unlike when I swapped the battery out of the old power bank, I can do this quickly and easily.)  From 13.1 to 12.7 V in 7 minutes with no load but the display.  Time for a new battery?  But I recharged it, and has been holding 13.3V for several hours. 

The display is currently held on by Scotch tape.  I need the next size machine screw and nut below 4-40.  Do you have two?  D&B Supply in Eagle had them 2-56 screws ($0.45 each) and nuts ($0.55 each).

I still need a couple spacers at the end of the box.  I had no pieces of acetal large enough.  Aluminum would take a long time to mill.  Milling oak chars and makes smoke.  My chopsaw just is not precise enough for a tight fit.

My wife pulled out two jewelry boxes; one required decapitation to fit adequately. 

Thursday, August 26, 2021

So California

 8/25/21 Washington Free Beacon:

California models are urging their social media followers to oust Democratic governor Gavin Newsom, who faces a recall election in less than three weeks.

Model and actress Korrina Rico said on Tuesday she was going to spend every day until the Sept. 14 election rallying influencers to speak out against Newsom, who she says has "literally trashed the state."

"If you wanna save the state of California, you need to vote yes," Rico said. "I'm calling out all the influencers right now, September 14 is the day we need to recall him."

Rico's call prompted a reply video from Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Chelsea Heath, who used her platform to bash Newsom.

"If you live in the state of California, let's please get this guy out of office," Heath said in a Tuesday Instagram post. "He's done so much damage to our state and there isn't a point of return right now, so the best thing to do is vote. I don't care if you vote Democrat or Republican, let's just get this guy out and get our state back to where it needs to be."

Which is where?  On the beach in a two-piece?  At least based on the pictures. 

Woke Astronomy

 8/23/21 Minding the Campus:

A cosmic storm is roiling the Astrophysics community. Focused on the name of a NASA space telescope, the controversy is one more in a decade-long whirlwind of accusation that has made clear to straight white men that their days of pursuing science free of guilt and obeisance are decisively over.

As an academic field, Astrophysics became ‘woke’ years ago and is now one of the most rigidly doctrinaire of the hard sciences. It has seen numerous purity campaigns against non-believers, first against insufficiently feminist-compliant men. A blog called Women in Astronomy promotes indignant tales of female suffering, profiling young women shattered when men expressed sexual or romantic interest, or deeply hurt when researcher Matt Taylor, whose team put a space probe on a comet, appeared on television wearing an ‘inappropriate’ shirt.

It gets worse from there, reminding me of the physicist Pauli:

Quite recently, a friend showed him the paper of a young physicist which he suspected was not of great value but on which he wanted Pauli’s views. Pauli remarked sadly ‘It is not even wrong.’ 

If that does not make sense to you: you can prove something right, or you can prove something wrong, but there needs to be some claim that is even provable. 

Still Scratching my Head....



Petitioner, age 34, is a resident of New York City. Petitioner has no criminal convictions and no historically recognized prohibitors to the purchase or possession of firearms. App-9-11. In 2018, Petitioner applied to the NYPD License Division for a license to possess a handgun in his home for self-defense. 2 App9. Notwithstanding this Court’s holding in Heller, that the right to possess handguns for self-defense is absolute, barring the existence a longstanding and accepted disqualifier to firearm possession (i.e., felons and the insane), the License Division denied his application. The License Division determined that Petitioner was ‘ineligible’ to possess handguns due to (i) his lack of good moral character and (ii) other ‘good cause’ to deny the application under Penal Law §§ 400.00(1)(b), (n). App-9-10. In New York City, lack of good moral character and/or ‘good cause’ to deny a handgun license application is determined by the enumerated “Grounds for Denial” found in the Rules of the City of New York, Title 38 at § 5-10. App-51-53. Relying on 38 RCNY 5-10(a), (h), (l), and (n), Petitioner was deemed ineligible and unfit to possess a handgun in his home for self-defense based on an arrest at the age of 15, which the N.Y. City Law Department declined to prosecute, untimely-paid  fines, non-criminal infractions, and his driving history. App-9-12.

Okay, he failed to pay some fines in a timely manner, was arrested but not prosecuted so they denied him a license to have a gun in his home.  It gets better.  They denied him a license.  He filed suit:

After Petitioner’s brief was fully submitted, detailing the unconstitutional analysis conducted by the district court, and just days before the City’s brief was due, the License Division emailed Petitioner directly and instructed him to pick up his handgun license at Police Headquarters. App-57. At the time of the email, there was no handgun license application pending, as Petitioner did not reapply after the City found him ineligible and unfit to possess handguns in 2019.  

So they deny a license because this guy is not law-abiding and is too dangerous to have a handgun at home.  They get sued, then issue a license to this dangerous unconvicted non-criminal.  These guys are idiots!

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

All is Not Fair in Love and Politics

 I have been surprised by the number of mass murders committed for political reasons.  What should not have surprised is how many involved the Klan.  Gunfights and sending a bomb to an opponent that killed three in Muskegon, Mich.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

if You Want to Feel Pride in America

Here is the documentary (and alas it is history) from BBC.

How the U.S. won World War 2 by outproducing Germany (and everyone else) in weapons of war.  It is a stirring paean to American industrial capitalism.  And BBC made this?

Monday, August 23, 2021

EE Question

12VDC lead-acid battery. The terminals connect to a cigarette lighter outlet to provide 12VDC power.  A 15VDC wall wart connects to a cigarette lighter plug to recharge the battery through that socket (power flows from 15V to 12V).  There is no real need for a battery minder; I just want to know when the battery is back to 12VDC so I can disconnect the charger and when it drops below say 10VDC and is therefore not producing enough current for feeding the telescope mount.  My guess that an LED on the line to one of the terminals with appropriate resistor will show when the battery is outputting 12VDC (green LED) and something lights a red LED when output drops below 10VDC. (This number does not to be exact: 9V or 9.5V would do.) Similarly, I intuit that when the charger has charged the battery to 12VDC, a green LED identifies fully charged.

But what does the circuit for the red and green LEDs identifying low and full voltage connect?  One terminal to the other with LED on that circuit? What about the fully charged LED?

Yes I am using the salvaged  battery from the telescope power back and two very inexpensive 12VDC cigarette lighter connectors.   I am sure they are Chinese, but not so much ammo for them as an entirey new unit.  It also makes an interesting do it yourself project. 

One of you suggested these adorable digital voltmeters.  (Chinese of course.)  Simpler than connecting diode and resistor.  They draw 30mA, so with my 9Ah battery they should take 300 hours to drain.  I can also disconnect the battery if not in use.

The female connectors for the battery turn out to be Taiwanese!  Not only not from an enemy, but from a nation that needs to be working on nukes and IRBMs, right now, before the Big Guy sells them out.

3%ers and Oathkeepers: Thanks for Giving Us President Biden

I know that was not your intent, but the disruption successfully destroyed any chance of a challenge in the House.

My wife and I watched a New York Times video about Jan. 6th and yes, it was a pretty biased and carefully selected set of videos, but mob action is never pretty. This event will be used to tar Trump, Republicans, and conservatives for many years.

Yes, BLM/Antifa was held to a very different standard for violence against police and government buildings, but what were you expecting? The rules for us are different and you should have known that.  When the time comes where armed resistance to genocide or political oppression becomes necessary, baseball bats and bear spray will not be the weapons to use.  

In the meantime, remember that the most powerful weapon to distinguish yourselves from Antifa is obedience to laws and clearly lawful self-defense. 

Biden's either incompetent or malicious withdrawal are just going to build on traditional mid-term opposition party rebound.   The Democrats know they will lose the House next year (and maybe the Senate).  I am hoping the Trumpian wing of the party will be strong enough to align with the RINOs trying to score points for the 2024 election to do some serious investigation of what happened on dozens of stupid/corrupt deals and policies. 

I Went Over Some of This a Few Days Ago

 8/22/21 Epoch Times:

Over the past few weeks, the American public has been told by all the leading news outlets and commentators that white America is on its death bed as the country moves to a rainbow future led by an explosion of growth among Hispanics and Latinos.

While this is in line with the presently popular narratives of the coming demise of America’s white oppressors, it is not at all in keeping with the facts. Indeed, the U.S. Census Bureau seems to have turned to magic in order to make the numbers fit the narrative.

For the 2020 Census, the Bureau reports a total U.S. population of 331 million, up about 6 percent from 308 million in 2010. Of these 331 million inhabitants, 204 million are said to be white. Another 31 odd million are white with some racial mixture making for 235 reported white Americans. The purely white number is reported to be down by a bit over 8 percent, but the number of mixed-race whites is up by nearly 10 percent. Thus, depending on to what extent mixed-race whites consider themselves more or less white, the decline in the white share of the total population is not really known but ranges from 8 to 3 percent.

That is just the appetizer for this report. The main course is the treatment of Hispanics and Latinos. Why we reserve a slot in the Census for them is a mystery. Hispanic and Latino are not racial identifications. A Hispanic person is someone with a Spanish speaking background and a Latino is one with a background of speaking one of the languages of Latin origin that include French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Romanian, and Romansh. These languages are spoken by people of many different races. What is the point of identifying some people by race and others by language? It seems to be comparing apples and oranges....

The problem is with the construction of the Census Bureau’s survey and its interpretation. The 2020 survey gives elaborate choices to responders that were not available to responders in earlier surveys. For instance, a responder in 2020 could say he/she is all white or white in combination with some other race. This choice was not available in earlier surveys. Thus, a person who might have reported him/herself as white in 2010 might have changed that to combination white in 2020. The number of people would not have changed, but the number of whites alone would show fewer in 2020 than in 2019. The story line would become that whites are dying out when in fact the numbers haven’t changed that much.

Did I Miss This?

8/21/21 Daily Mail reports on a new University of Waterloo study that found cloth masks were far less effective than N95 masks at controlling spray and only slightly better than nothing at all:

"The blue, cloth surgical masks that have become popular during the pandemic were found be only 10 percent effective as it doe not cover the face properly....

"Yarusevych team added that ventilation tests revealed even modest ventilation rates provide about the same level of protection as the highest quality masks."

As I have mentioned; the WHO found no evidence they reduced spread of influenza. With this level of ineffectiveness at preventing aerosol dispersal, I am not surprised.  What amazes me is this:

" Earlier this month, President Joe Biden's former COVID-19 advisor and top epidemiologist warned Americans 'that many of the face cloth coverings that people wear are not very effective'.  

"Michael Osterholm spoke with CNN saying that people need to start wearing N95 respirators which are more effective against COVID-19."

How many of you have N95 masks?  Where can you buy them?  Here are instructions from Singapore General Hospital. 

Royal Navy is Not Narrow-Minded About Alcohol on Board Unlike Our Navy

8/23/21 Daily Mail:
"A Scottish Royal Navy sailor who drunkenly tried to force a female colleague to give him oral sex on a nuclear submarine has escaped being thrown out of the military. 

"Able Seaman Calvin Denver, 28, had been drinking with others in the mess of the Trident missile-armed vessel for over five hours when he started harassing the woman."

I presume they have sobriety tests before the guy with the keys goes back on duty.

Saturday, August 21, 2021

The Only Honest Methods of Complaining About Western Cultural Appropriation*

Petroglyphs, smoke signals, cuneiform on clay tablets, single page woodcut printing, shouting really loud.

There is one exception: if written in Korean (who appear to have created movable type even before Gutenberg).

*Cultural appropriation=complimenting other cultures by using their best ideas and ignoring suttee, refusal to create safe water sources, and keeping women illiterate and politically powerless. 

Deer in the Headlights

8/20/21 Financial Times does not allow excepting text, but the headline quotes a former CIA official that the Biden Administration are like "deer in the headlights."  No, like the deer looking back in pain at the taillights. 

Friday, August 20, 2021

In the Atlantic Of All Places

By Anne Applebaum, whose history of the Gulag Archipelago I recommend even if she is anti-Trump.

She argues that liberal democracy (tolerance, religious and civil freedoms, a capitalist underlying economy) is worth defending and the Taliban are very nearly the perfect example of liberal democracy's antithesis: a system of fierce misogyny and brutality.  

Even if Afghanistan was impossible, there are nations sufficiently advanced that we need to stand together against its enemies: Europe and Taiwan listed explicitly.   

I fear Biden's incompetence makes this increasingly difficult as the untenable position into which Biden has placed our NATO allies raises questions as to whether being allied with us is either safe or useful.

How to Win Friends and Influence People


Thursday, August 19, 2021

Good News From Kabul

 8/16/21 Reuters:

KABUL, Aug 16 (Reuters) - Taliban fighters in the Afghan capital, Kabul, started collecting weapons from civilians on Monday because people no longer need them for personal protection, a Taliban official said.

"We understand people kept weapons for personal safety. They can now feel safe. We are not here to harm innocent civilians," the official told Reuters.

Only the guilty women who are not wearing burkhas, or not marrying men against their will or women who have college educations. 

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Thoughtful Examination of the Afghanistan Failure

In The American Mind.  It echoes many of my thoughts (which were not my thoughts immediately after 9/11).  Worth reading in full.  This was written by someone who was in the National Security Council when some of these well-intentioned policies were developed.  Islam and liberal democracy are incompatible. 

CNN Does Journalism

8/18/21 CNN criticizes Biden for continuing Trump's withdrawal from Afghanistan plan Biden saying he had no choice.  But CNN points out that Biden reversed course on the Iran nuclear deal without any problem.   When the hard left loses CNN, that is news. 

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Megachurches Are Not a Solution

This is from my wife's blog but it describes my feelings perfectly why politics is necessarily (or at least should be) downstream from Christianity.  We cannot improve the morality of a society through political action alone.  At best, politics can slow down the popular culture's degradation of what remains.

A nation of righteousness is solely built on hearts that are transformed by Christ, for He is our Righteousness.  We have to be guided by His light in order to create light; His wisdom, to create wisdom and His love to create love in all we do.


My greatest fear today is the evolution of the mega-church, where individuals come in to a large worship center, the lights darken, and the congregation becomes a crowd.  Everyone is enveloped in a sense of self-focus:  I am worshiping God as opposed to We are worshiping God together as His Body.  

The lights come up and the focus is now on the pastor.  He alone dispenses the Word; have we been in the Word at all this week, and come to church already fed?  Or do we rely on him to feed us in a fun and exciting way, that will make personal Bible study later on seem rather boring by comparison?  His stories, his analogies, his jokes seem to make the Word interesting; just sitting there at home, simply reading the Word, is comparable looking at the sheet music, as opposed to going to a symphony. 

Why Masks Matter

 From WHO, "Non-pharmaceutical public health measures for mitigating the risk and impact of epidemic and pandemic influenza" (2019):

So if WHO says masks do not work on influenza (which is closely related to COVID-19) and both Fauci and WHO initially discouraged masking, what changed?

Masking tells our elites how afraid we can be made and also signals to the little people who follow rules (unlike Gov. Newsom and Whitmer and ex-President Obama) that they need to go along.

I Sense a Loss of Confidence in President* Legitimacy

U.S. flag and the Jolly Roger.  Even some Democrats are becoming upset with the Kabul madness.

But No Mean Tweets!

Watching the video of an Afghani trying to escape by clinging to a USAF jet and the jumpers from the Twin Towers 20 years ago reminds me that Islam is the religion of really bad falls.

Trump also planned withdrawal from Afghanistan but does anyone think he could have planned it worse than Biden and his woke generals?

All those people who hated Trump over fear of repeal of Roe v. Wade and transgender rights can now pride themselves on the rape and murder of educated Afghani women and execution of LGBT Afghanis.  I hope they feel PRIDE.

How to Interest Academics in the Taliban

 8/17/21 Inside Higher Education:

Mujaddedi's thoughts were focused on the displaced people he and fellow AUAF students had helped earlier that day -- the children without food, the women without access to toilets -- and on the future of his country. He worried that the progress of the last 20 years and the rights that had been gained for women and for members of minority groups would be rolled back.

“I don’t want it to go away; I don’t want it to be demolished. All my worries are about the dignity of Afghans, about the beautiful country that we have, about the educational development that we have made so far,” Mujaddedi said Saturday night.

Kabul fell to Taliban control the next day.

“Basically, all over,” Mujaddedi said Monday. “Afghanistan moved 20 years to the past.”

Officials at AUAF, which was established with U.S. development funding in 2006 in the wake of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan as the country’s first and only private, secular, coed nonprofit institution, did not respond to messages on Monday. The university’s website was down, and its Twitter and Facebook accounts appeared to have been deleted....

The rapid takeover by the Taliban raised particular fears about women’s rights, which were severely curtailed during the Taliban’s previous five-year rule of Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001. The Taliban forbade almost all education for women and girls during its reign.

“Now the Taliban have seized control of Kabul, a new reign of terror for people living in Afghanistan has begun,” the European Parliament said in a news release Monday. “For Afghan women and girls, this means systemic and brutal oppression in all aspects of life. In Taliban-controlled areas, women's universities have been closed, they are denying girls access to education, and women are sold as sex slaves.”...

Victoria Fontan, vice president of academic affairs at AUAF, spoke to FranceInfo about evacuation efforts.

"We burned the university's servers, all the documents we were able to take before leaving, such as the lists of professors, students," Fontan told the publication (translated from French). "We especially do not want to leave information on the people who were able to help us." 

Wow!  Removing the Mean Tweeter has consequences.