October 2014

I am one of those individuals who likes a coffee in the morning.  Every morning.  Even on the weekends and vacations.  I go to the hotel and have to do two things: look for the coffee maker and jump on the bed. (I don’t know where the jump on the bed thing started, but maybe because I don’t do it at home.)  During Kairos, I was having this discussion (without the bed jumping, of course) and the inmate made the observation that caffeine was one chemical that was uniform across many plant species.  I thought that was rather interesting.  After all, I had read the biochemistry of caffeine in the body and understood its inhibition of the cAMP degenerative pathway, but had never heard what its purpose was in a plant.  Do they have to wake up in the morning too?  So I started to look for the purpose of caffeine in a plant and found an interesting purpose – insecticide.  The chemical is toxic to some bugs and keeps them from eating the plant.  Look at the abstract here, or here.  “For the plants, caffeine acts as a natural pesticide. It paralyzes and kills insects that attempt to feed on the plants.” Spouseinbox had an interesting idea as I was describing this: place my coffee grounds around the trees out back to protect them from bugs.  I might even consider churning some into the dirt where the garden is to go next year.  Let’s make life interesting for those insects, and protect our food.  Think of this the next time you have your cup of Joe.  Pesticide and a doughnut in the morning – the perfect combination.   🙂



I won’t say this is relaxing reading, considering the subjects, but siblinginbox as sent another link list.  I have added a couple of comments enclosed in []:

JERRY POURNELLE: A New Ebola Czar; Military deploys to plague zone. Competence in government. “God protects fools, drunks, and the United States of America. Of course we were a much more devout nation when Bismarck made that observation.”
Plus: “The rest of the article is worth your time. Five of the 58 medical professionals involved in the Science Magazine study died of Ebola before the paper was published. . . . Nine Doctors Without Borders physicians, all equipped with the best of isolation and prophylactic gear, have died of Ebola. Of the physicians and nurses who have died of Ebola in this epidemic, most (more than 60%) had what was considered more than adequate protective gear and were instructed in its use. The US Military being sent into the plague zone have had four hours of instruction.” [bold mine. We are still told that isolation is the remedy for this.  I agree.  Let’s isolate it in Africa.  It’s probably too late now.]

MICHAEL WALSH: Ten Things the Ebola Crisis Tells Us About the Obama Administration.
The announcement of Ron Klain as the new Ebola “czar” checks all the boxes: Harvard Law, longtime Democrat party op, veteran of the Clinton, Al Gore and John Kerry campaigns. The problem is, it checks all the wrong boxes. The Progressive myth is that we ought to have a government of experts — top men! — to handle the nation’s problems in a calm, deliberative manner. The reality is that we have a nation of unscrupulous lawyers, amoral apparatchiks and political hacks whose only area of expertise is manipulating the electoral and governmental systems and getting rich by doing so.
I mean, does this make you feel confident?

German Language Compared to other Languages

WAIT, THE WHITE HOUSE LIED? Aides knew of possible White House link to Cartagena, Colombia, prostitution scandal. “As nearly two dozen Secret Service agents and members of the military were punished or fired following a 2012 prostitution scandal in Colombia, Obama administration officials repeatedly denied that anyone from the White House was involved. But new details drawn from government documents and interviews show that senior White House aides were given information at the time suggesting that a prostitute was an overnight guest in the hotel room of a presidential advance-team member — yet that information was never thoroughly investigated or publicly acknowledged. . . . Office staffers who raised questions about a White House role said they were put on administrative leave as a punishment for doing so. Later, Edwards, the acting inspector general, resigned amid allegations of misconduct stemming in part from the dispute.”

HEADS NEED TO ROLL FOR THIS STUFF, AND I’M NOT SURE I MEAN FIGURATIVELY: EPA tells court it may have lost text messages.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) told a federal court that it may have lost the text messages at the center of a lawsuit by a libertarian think tank.
The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) sued the EPA last year in federal court to compel the release of text messages to and from Administrator Gina McCarthy and her predecessor under the Freedom of Information Act.
In the Tuesday filing to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, Justice Department lawyers representing the EPA said the agency will soon file a notice that it may have misplaced records that it was legally required to retain.
“Defendant has decided to formally notify the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) about the potential loss of federal records relating to text messages,” the lawyers told the court.
Once it files that notice the CEI’s claim will become moot, since the records do not exist, the agency said. Lawyers will ask the court for a hearing to dismiss the case.
They told me if we elected Barack Obama, government would turn into a criminal enterprise. And they were right!
[From the comments]
The dems learned the real lesson of Watergate – burn the tapes
[Hildabeast show this under oath…”I forgot…I can’t recall.”  The testimony equivalent of burnt tapes.  Doesn’t that just give you a thrill that she wants to run the country?  How’s your leg doing Chris? ]

ROGER SIMON: What Happens If Republicans Win? “It’s time for Republicans to give serious thought to what happens if they win the Senate and House this November, as it looks increasingly that they will. . . . Barack Obama is a man unaccustomed to losing. Life has been exceptionally kind to him, sailing, as he did, through balmy Oahu sunsets, college, law school and career on into the presidency with scarcely a bump. He has been a protected man beyond any in recent memory, feted and praised virtually everywhere he went until the last couple of years. Even now, despite catastrophe after catastrophe, there are acolytes who continue to celebrate him, paying tens of thousands merely to have their photographs taken with him. When such cosseted people are forced to confront failure, they typically do not do so with grace.”

As expected, a large document dump was dropped on Friday at the start of a three-day weekend, hoping most Americans wouldn’t pay attention. Politico reports on many of the revelations from Clinton’s term as President, but this one about militias is especially interesting:
In the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing, the Clinton administration considered the possibility of aggressive new regulation of domestic militia groups, including publishing membership lists of such organization, requiring them to register with the federal government or to get permission before offering “paramilitary” training.
Some of the ideas were championed by Clinton adviser Dick Morris, who was known for advancing policy proposals that resonated well in polls.

[This is the same Dick Morris I heard  interviewed on the radio stating that the senate had Bill Clinton for a conversation – will you govern as we want, or do we remove you?   The rest is history.  I wonder if I’m the only one who picked up on that radio tidbit?]

So you’re the Canadian oil industry and you do what you think is a great thing by developing a mother lode of heavy crude beneath the forests and muskeg of northern Alberta. The plan is to send it clear to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast via a pipeline called Keystone XL. Just a few years back, America desperately wanted that oil.
Then one day the politics get sticky. In Nebraska, farmers don’t want the pipeline running through their fields or over their water source. U.S. environmentalists invoke global warming in protesting the project. President Barack Obama keeps siding with them, delaying and delaying approval. From the Canadian perspective, Keystone has become a tractor mired in an interminably muddy field.
In this period of national gloom comes an idea — a crazy-sounding notion, or maybe, actually, an epiphany. How about an all-Canadian route to liberate that oil sands crude from Alberta’s isolation and America’s fickleness? Canada’s own environmental and aboriginal politics are holding up a shorter and cheaper pipeline to the Pacific that would supply a shipping portal to oil-thirsty Asia.
Instead, go east, all the way to the Atlantic.
And if you’re a fed-up Canadian, like Prime Minister Stephen Harper, there’s a bonus: Obama can’t do a single thing about it.

[Just a side note, considering the amount of oil found, the amount being used, and the potential fields still out there, can we start calling it Earth provided energy, and not fossil fuels?  I’m really doubting there were that many dinosaurs to create this stuff.  Just that term keeps the concept of origin alive, whether right or not.]

Modern journalism is all about deciding which facts the public shouldn’t know because they might reflect badly on Democrats.

LOL The corollary is that it is also about deciding which subset of facts will reflect most badly on Republicans via context removal.

[My term: Main Stream Propagandists]

Glen Campbell – I’m Not Gonna Miss You
Music legend Glen Campbell has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and recently recorded his last song “I’m still here but I’m not going to miss you”.  It has gone viral with scenes from the doctor’s visit and his family.  Touching…

HILLARY HYPOCRISY: Clinton Talks Student Debt While Being Paid $225K By UNLV Charity. “Hillary Clinton spoke at University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) last night about how millions of young people are burdened by student debt. She would know – her contract demanded she be paid $225,000 by the UNLV Foundation to speak there.”
[From the comments]
Earning 13x yearly minimum wage for a single speech, Clinton discussed how capitalism is unfair to the poor, how the rich oppress the poor, how rich whites exploit the poor, ….

Penny Pritzker used the University of Chicago to funnel money to Obama. His job as an Adjunct Lecturer at the Law School was created at her behest and his appointment avoided the normal faculty review and hiring process. It was done directly by then Dean of the Law School, and later Provost of the University, Geoffrey Stone. At the same time Michelle Obama was given a job at the Dean’s office for The College of the University. When Obama got into the US Senate Michelle’s salary was tripled. Penny Pritzker is now the US Secretary of Commerce. That puts her in charge of interesting things, such as the Census.

[Of course, this is how these birds get the idea that money is just something traded.  There has to be an unspoken unacknowledged internal acknowledgement that his speech is not worth 225K.  He showed up, and money was transferred from them to him.  There is no real earning, no real work like those of us who support this socialism.  He showed up and received more in one night than I will earn in many years of work.  As I noted a bit back, that is why this kind of philosophy gravitates to this kind of vocation.  Real work isn’t even a consideration.  They just go to where the spigot from others’ labors can be drained into their bucket.]

According to a story at Northwest Public Radio, the state of Virginia’s board of education has decided to institute different passing scores for standardized tests, based on the racial and cultural background of the students taking the test. Apparently the state has chosen to divide its student population into broad categories of black, white, Hispanic, and Asian — which takes painting with a rather broad brush, to put it mildly. From the article (there’s an audio version linked as well):
“As part of Virginia’s waiver to opt out of mandates set out in the No Child Left Behind law, the state has created a controversial new set of education goals that are higher for white and Asian kids than for blacks, Latinos and students with disabilities. … Here’s what the Virginia state board of education actually did. It looked at students’ test scores in reading and math and then proposed new passing rates. In math it set an acceptable passing rate at 82 percent for Asian students, 68 percent for whites, 52 percent for Latinos, 45 percent for blacks and 33 percent for kids with disabilities.” (If officially determined group membership determines passing scores, why stop there?) Florida passed a similar measure last month.


ED DRISCOLL ON THE DAILY NEWS’ OBAMA DISAPPOINTMENT: If only the New York Daily News had taken its own advice in 2008. “The 2008 covers above, just a small example of the daily hagiography pumped out by the MSM back then, reflect a very different, but similarly self-destructive contagion that rapidly enveloped the MSM starting in early 2007. The virus began to subside around mid-2009, when it slowly became obvious that the MSM had sacrificed their credibility to elect a false messiah. But as a dangerous aftereffect to Obama fever, the MSM quickly turned viciously on its readers, in the form of their unceasing racialist attacks on the Tea Party and anyone who dared oppose The One. . . . After November, it will be fascinating to watch the MSM similarly go all-in to aid Hillary, and act as if 2008 never happened, and pretend that they had no role to play whatsoever in electing a president about to go as deep into the memory hole as Woodrow Wilson, and
for similar reasons. It isn’t just that the MSM got things so wrong, it’s that they permanently shattered their credibility to make it happen. Don’t let them forget what they’d like the world to forget.”

How Companies Cheat on H1B Visas.
Some of you may recall seeing Michael Teitelbaum’s name mentioned often in the ongoing debate on the H-1B work visa and related issues.  Among other things, he published a major book with Princeton University Press earlier this year, debunking the myth of a STEM labor shortage.  In it he also explains how desire to get Congress to expand the H-1B work visa program underlies the shortage claims made by those with vested interests and their allies, such as the tech industry, the immigration lawyers and so on.

Another notable aspect of Michael’s visit to my class was that he recalled for us how a Microsoft official had told him privately that the firm has tons of applicants, but that it rejects most of them by applying an automatic computer algorithm, with no human involvement at all.  One student was very surprised by this, and seemed to find the news a bit distressing.  Actually this is a common practice in the industry, but Michael made the important point that this information is in stark contrast to Microsoft’s testimony to Congress that qualified American applicants just don’t exist in sufficient numbers.  (See also a related incident with Dropbox.)



Crossness Pumping Station at east London ( http://www.crossness.org.uk/ ) near river Thames contains four big sewage pumping engines, one of them — Prince Consort — restored to working condition. Besides their pure size — length overall approximately 68 ft (20.4 mtrs) and height 72 ft (22 mtrs) they show two features of special interests: grasshopper counter beam and Corliss valve gear.
The engines are three-cylinder triple expansion engines – upgraded from single cylinder Watt engines (1865) in 1899. This means, that the steam is now used three times in the cylinders, always with decreasing steam pressure. Therefore the cylinders have different diameters (the low pressure cylinder is the largest in diameter) to compensate this fact and to develop the same force ( force equals steam pressure times piston area).
The Corliss valve gear can be seen in detail in my video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3QvNT… .
The grasshopper counter beam allows parallel motion for the low pressure cylinder’s piston rod. For the other two rods (air- and waterpump) exact parallel motion is not more guaranteed by the grasshopper principle and so these devices are fitted with additional crossheads. I have built an engine model with a Märklin metal set for a better understanding of the grasshopper kinematics. My grasshopper animation was done with the well priced German program Cinderella 2 (Math in Motion). Enjoy the video!

You may remember the letter from Jake a few weeks back.  I will admit not heeding its plea, and Batman is still with us.  The radius of comfort has diminished considerably, but there are still moments where that personal space gets invaded.  My best description takes its position on the highway.  Imagine driving down the road with the windows down, the radio off (yes, it’s quiet) and you pass the eighteen wheeler.  The roar of the engine maintains an even bass sound as this is a patch of road that’s level and no switching gears is needed.  While passing this truck, the air tank on the brake system reaches full capacity and the pressure relief valve activates to get the pressure back to operating range.  That moment when the valve releases is like Batman getting into Jake’s personal space.  Quiet, quiet, quiet, PSSSSSSS!!!, or, hmmm, hmmm, hmmm, PSSSSSSS!!!  All in all, things are getting better.  At least Jake hasn’t written any more letters.

I have heard a small murmur of an order signed by Zero recently allowing the feds to enter citizen’s homes and take whatever provisions they find there in excess of what some bureaucrat feels is needful for the individual.  Let me posit the first thought of this behavior, that is it is only possible for someone who doesn’t believe in private property.  If there was a belief in private property, this kind of action could not even be considered.  Zero did this because he doesn’t believe what you have is yours.  That said, consider the propaganda presented for this – to give to those who don’t have enough.  Next, consider that what the federal government gives out has to be certified by themselves to the individuals receiving it.  Inspectors go through food plants and hassle farmers all in the name of maintaining food quality.  In a nation of 300 million people, how many of those knowing that the feds are now planning to steal their wares would sabotage the food.  For the individual saboteur, it’s just simply, “avoid the red can on the third shelf.”  For the feds who then would claim responsibility for what was provided to others, inspections and testings would have to commence to ensure safety, or they would simply have to destroy the food for protection from contaminated supplies.

That is my proposed evaluation of this rule.  The feds have given themselves permission to steal our very food so it may be destroyed and we more dependent upon what they do provide.  After all, it’s much harder to control a population that can care for itself, feed itself, and think for itself.

There is an interesting molecule, commonly called water which makes up most of our bodies and is instrumental to the operation of the biosphere.  The molecule is composed of three atoms: an oxygen and two hydrogens.  The hydrogens are attached to the oxygen at an angel of about 118 degrees.  I am pulling that out of my memory bank, so won’t certify its accuracy.  The electrons around these atoms are pulled slightly to the side that the hydrogens occupy and provide a positive charge there and a negative charge near the oxygen.  The oxygen atom attracts additional association with hydrogens, but not a bond like with its molecule.  As every molecule is attracted to every other one, water tends to be a rather associative compound.  We did an experiment in chemistry: take a penny, use an eye dropper and count how many drops of water you can place on the penny.  It’s rather impressive.

When water gets cold, it turns to ice.  In actual practice, there is additional movement that happens because the atoms associate this time with groups of 6 other molecules and force a shape in a more definite pattern than is known in the liquid state.  This pattern lowers the density of the water meaning it requires more space than the liquid water takes.  A lower density is what lets ice float.  The liquid water is denser and stays under the lighter, less dense ice.

What you see above the water is about 1/8 of the piece of ice.  The dimensions from the water line to the bottom of the ice will equal the amount of water displaced of a weight equal to the entire piece of ice.  In other words, when the ice melts, it will occupy the space displaced by the bottom 7/8 of the ice.  If you think about it in that fashion it becomes easy to see that melting ice will never raise or lower the level of the water in which it floats because it displaces the amount of water equal to its weight.

Remember this the next time someone tells you about melting ice flooding our cities.  It can’t.   The only place where the ice is on the land (and hence not floating) is Antarctica, and there is no melting there.  The ice is actually getting thicker, whether the greenies in their stuck ship think so or not…

It’s not a whole list, but a link that deserves consideration as once socialism is adopted, thought needs to be controlled.  That is the origin of  “politically correct.”

You remember all that talk about how legalizing gay marriage wouldn’t require priests, ministers, or rabbis to conduct same-sex marriage ceremonies in violation of their religious beliefs. There wasn’t going to be any slippery slope, or so we were told.

Two ministers in Idaho are facing up to 6 months in jail and up to $1000 in fines for each day that they continue to refuse to perform a same-sex wedding that a gay couple requested last Friday.

H/T http://hogewash.com/2014/10/19/slip-sliding-away-2/

[I repeat]
Which is why I keep asserting that, in any socialistic system, eventually all thought, speech and behavior must be categorized as either forbidden or mandatory. Isn’t that at base, what political correctness amounts to? It must be so because socialism’s very survival is dependent upon it. All forms of rejection of reality, must eventually be imposed.

I went through my first haunted house at Sea World yesterday.  I went with kidinbox and picked the ICU as it did have a “medical” theme.  While standing in line, I had to note that it will probably be problematic as I will spend time noting their errors as I have been in the hospital with partial body parts removed, and had to do the dressings.  I have set up traction and cared for protruding pins.  I have held the hand of someone in cancer ward and told them it was all right to let go, and held their hand until the carotid artery beat its last.  I didn’t see that there would be too much they could do which I haven’t seen.  Just saying.  What we were greeted with was a representation of an old time psych ward with all kinds of patients wanting out, sneaking up behind, tied to the bed, etc.  Well, I did 5 years in a state institution and afterwards had to say that the biggest difference was that we were assured there would be no touching there.  It’s not so in the state school.  I have had my head hit such that my description was feeling like I was struck with a 2×4.  There is no assurance of coming out unscathed.  I guess this is from where the saying comes, “you can’t scare me, I’m a nurse.”

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