Intel's Ronler Acres Plant


Silicon Forest

Monday, June 26, 2017

Chicago Trains

Posthip Scott sent me this link to a story about an ancient railroad switch control system that is still in use. NBC has a pretty good video summary.

Metra’s 'tower' at the A2 interlock, built 1907.
Metra must be the new name for the Chicago Transit Authority

Switch control system, installed in the tower in 1932.
This machine was state of the art way back when. It's fiendishly complex and was no doubt custom built for this application. The company that made it made similar equipment for other railyards, but every configuration is unique. BroadwayLion has an explanation of how these things are operated (last post on the page).  I think the actual switching is done with pneumatics.

Small, gnarly portion of the railroad switches controlled by the Tower.

Beetle Juice

Betelgeuse captured by ALMA
Our first picture of a star. Up till now a star was only a pinprick of light. This image was captured by ALMA, which is more of a radio telescope, so this image was generated from a bunch of bits using mystical software written by gnomes. Still pretty cool. ESO story here.

ALMA is a big, as in billions big, project. I've posted about it before.

Via Detroit Steve.

Who's a smart doggy?

I look at how Germany and Italy went fascist in the 1920s and 1930s — how two European democracies willingly committed suicide and became tyrannies. I look at how Augustus in ancient Rome claimed to have restored the Roman Republic when he had done nothing of the kind — he was just a military dictator. And so was every Caesar after him. - Judy Klass on Quora
Ms. Klass has a keen insight into what's going on with Trump. You should read the whole thing. Why? Because you are my minion, and yours is to do or die, not to ask a bunch of tom-fool questions.

Via Iaman

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Sergeant Floyd

Sergeant Floyd' grave - George Catlin 1832
We're planning a trip to Sioux City for later this summer, so I'm looking around to see if there might be something worth seeing, and I stumble over this painting of a big hill covered with grass. I like big fields of green grass. The painter, George Catlin, famous for paintings of American Indians, was probably the only white man in the area. Sergeant Floyd was a member of the Lewis & Clark expedition and died en route in 1804. Sioux City wasn't founded until 1854. There is a monument on top of the hill now.

Paint It Black

My Linux Desktop
Linux pulled a fast one on me the other day, locked me out of my apps. It could be a bug, or it might be somebody's feature that I inadvertently activated with some random key combination. I started a discussion on the Linux Mint Forum to see if anyone knows what it could be. So far, nada.


Murders in Chicago vs. American War Dead
Kind of puts things in perspective.
Via Bayou Renaissance Man