Intel's Ronler Acres Plant

Silicon Forest
If the type is too small, Ctrl+ is your friend

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

The Jews Brothers

Happy Feet - The Jews Brothers Band

Happy little tune, snappy little video. I got this from a Joseph's Machines video. Bayou Renaissance Man got me started.

P.S. The tune is from Paolo Conte who has appeared here before.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Quote of the Day

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, left, and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan, on Jun. 28, 2019. Jacques Witt/AFP/Getty Images
It's like two James Bond movie villains in real life. - The Silicon Graybeard

What do you want?

Ozark Season 3 | Official Trailer | Netflix

It's totally insane, just like the first two seasons. I can't believe I haven't posted anything about it before. Maybe this is a new kick I'm on, posting trailers for every show, or nearly ever show, we watch. Season 1 came out in 2017 and season 2 was in 2018, but season 3 just showed up.

Marty Byrde (Jason Bateman) is an accountant from Chicago who gets entangled in laundering money for a Mexican drug cartel and due to things happening he moves to the Lake of the Ozarks to set up the grand daddy of all laundering schemes. He keeps getting in deeper and deeper, so deep that the head of the cartel is wondering where his head is at, hence the question - "What do you want?" Just to show you that Marty has no idea what he is doing, his answer is - "I don't understand the question."

Marty is not just an accountant, but he is a typical suburban guy with a wife and kids, and they are all along for the ride.

It's a great show. You've got fourteen flavors of gangsters and you can almost guarantee that someone will get whacked in every episode. Well, maybe not every episode, but, on average, way more than one death per episode.

Ozark has a page on Wikipedia
CNN has a review

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Idle Speculation

Chinese Communist Party celebrates 70th anniversary
In the MIDDLE of the RIGHT speculates that the Chinese government may have tried manipulate the flow of information about COVID-19. I don't doubt that they would try, however I suspect that their information control and dissemination apparatus is so creaky and hide-bound that any attempt by the leadership to direct the output would be ham-handed and counter productive. Remember:
"Dictatorships foster oppression, dictatorships foster servitude, dictatorships foster cruelty; more abominable is the fact that they foster idiocy." - Jorge Luis Borges

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Writing is Revenge

Writing is Revengeby JMSmith
Stolen Entire from The Orthosphere
I have been reading Theodore Dalrymple since his first and I think best book, Life at the Bottom. Dalrymple’s style of irony worked best when he wrote as a prison doctor reflecting on his patient’s self-deception, since the gentility of his bourgeois diction contrasted with the degeneracy of his underclass subjects in a way that was both amusing and instructive. When Dalrymple retired, moved to France, and began to write about bourgeois culture and the petty vexations of his bourgeois life, this style of irony worked less well, and has sometimes lapsed, I fear, into a degree of cranky pomposity.
But many of the articles he now publishes at Taki’s Magazine are worth reading, and the article that appeared this morning is one of them. His subject is, as usual, a petty vexation of his bourgeois life, namely a loudly complaining woman with whom he was trapped on a train from the south of France. Dalrymple tells us that the woman was at first a source of irritation, since he was attempting to read, but that he accommodated himself to her loud and ceaseless grousing by resolving to make it the subject of an article.
For as Dalrymple says near the end of the article that he did, in fact, write:
“Writing helps one to endure what might otherwise be unendurable . . . . the knowledge that you are going to write about something unpleasant puts a screen between yourself and your own experience.”
This is exactly right, for I daresay most writing is undertaken as revenge. Apart from a certain facility with words, the writer’s greatest needs are to be constantly rankled by life, and to endure the pain of this rankling by anticipating the pleasure of written revenge.  Written revenge is by no means limited to mockery, satire and vituperation, for genial and generous words will often serve to settle the score.
I known that thinking I will post it on the Orthosphere helps me endure many inanities and indignities that would otherwise drive me to drink.
Dalrymple fails to note his kinship with the obstreperous woman on the train, but the truth is that he is every bit as much of a public complainer as she is. That he does it with greater art cannot disguise this. Nor can the fact that his complaints appear in print and hers are broadcast to all within earshot of her hotly vibrating larynx. She takes her revenge on the world in loud vituperations; he takes his in mordant scribbling.
And I am able to endure the likes of both of them by rubbing my hands, cracking my knuckles, and anticipating my revenge.

I don't know if revenge is my motivation. I got started writing by explaining computer system problems, sometimes just to clarify the problem in my own head, and sometimes to explain it to a number of other people so I wouldn't have to sit down and explain it in person to each one individually. Personal, audible explanations might have been more effective, but it would have taken more time. Now I write because I am compelled. Having an audience is encouraging, but I suspect I would still be writing even if no one was reading. My brain is full, much like my house, and I need to be constantly clearing out old stuff to make room for the tsunami of new stuff that is constantly arriving.


Exploring old water damage
When we first looked at the new house we noticed that the floors squeaked, all the floors in most all of the rooms, but it didn't seem like that big a deal, easily solved with some magic screws or maybe just some more nails. A carpet guy came out and looked at the situation, and he didn't think it would be a big deal. He'd just take up the carpets, nail down the subfloor and put the carpets back down. $1,500 for the whole house, which might have 2,000 square feet of carpet.

We finished deconstructing the kitchen and then we pulled up the hardwood flooring and now we can see the subfloor and what we see isn't pretty. The subfloor is nailed down solidly with 16d sinkers. The problem isn't poor nailing, the problem is the material itself. The subfloor is some kind of hybrid of plywood and particle board. It has wood plys on top and bottom and a center made of particle board and it is at most 5/8" thick. This house was built 40 years ago. In contrast, my current house, which was built 25 years ago, the subfloor is 1 1/4" (1.25 inch thick) plywood.

So we need to replace this low grade subflooring. All of it. All three floors. @#$%^. We started tearing up the kitchen floor yesterday and it was a struggle. Half the time trying to pry up the subfloor, the nails come with it. Half the time the subfloor comes up, but the nails stay in the floor joists and just rips a hole in the subfloor. $%^&&*.

Near as I can tell this kind of hybrid of plywood and particle board is only used for finish work these days, where they use nice veneers over some kind of mickey mouse bullshit, not for anything requiring strength.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Isolate versus Quarantine

A loosely enforced cordon sanitaire during a cholera epidemic in Romania, 1911
Rogue Medic turned me on to a paper looking back at how we handled the Spanish Influenza epidemic of 1918. I got about half way through when I came across this:
For one, both physicians and patients were often hesitant to bring attention to cases. “Physicians are not reporting their cases to prevent homes from being quarantined.” (Note: At the time of the 1918 influenza pandemic, the separation of the ill from the general population, what is now referred to as isolation, was termed “quarantine.”) 
My immediate reaction was "what kind of bullshit is this?" Quarantine was a perfectly cromulant word, one that has a very specific meaning. It's also a word that everyone knows, or should know, and now you want to substitute some mealy mouthed euphemism. Isolate? Really? That's what you do with an engine when you don't want the whole machine to vibrate, or to a variable in an algebraic equation. Even if you restrict the meaning to a person, it's still vague. I mean, take away their cell phone, that will isolate them pretty well. Very irritating.

So I went and looked it up. Here's what the CDC (Center for Disease Control) has to say:

  • Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick.
  • Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.
I'm sorry if I don't see a difference, except if you want to be persnickety, isolate doesn't restrict a person's movements, which seems a tad idiotic. What do you do? Put them in one of those giant inflatable plastic balls? Let's them go anywhere they want carrying their own toxic atmosphere along with them?


We've been watching Season 5 of Detective Harry Bosch on Amazon Prime. It's entertaining. We've got multiple story arcs all winding through the season. Some are serious, some are funny, the characters are all well settled in their roles. A couple of airplanes make an appearance.

de Havilland DHC-6 Twin Otter
The Otter plays a continuing role ferrying shills from Los Angeles to an encampment in the desert. The bad guys are running a scam collecting prescription opioids from a pill mill. The purported reason for using an airplane is so that Russian mobsters won't find out where their base is, which is important because they are stock piling supplies to make fentanyl. So they are using the pill mill scam to finance the stock piling. Once that is complete, they can break into the big time!

Jerry Edgar talking to an airport copper
That's a Fouga CM.170 Magister sitting on the other side of the fence.
A Fouga Magister makes a brief appearance around 9:55 in episode 3.

Thursday, March 26, 2020


Just a couple of things I found today.

Brian Micklethwait's multiple self portraits

URAL Key Fob to Knob

Via Notes from Mosquito HillThis is such a small project, I wonder why I am posting it. No complicated machinery, no high technology. I guess it's because it looks like something I would do. A small, moderately precise mechanical action to correct an annoyance.

The Social Butterfly and the Toilet Paper

Toilet Paper Roll Butterfly
I got to wondering about the great toilet paper panic, and then I read about the problems with food distribution, and I conjured up this story.

The big crunch at the grocery stores was caused by all the restaurants shutting down. The story is that America was a 50-50 country, 50% of our meals were eaten at home and 50% were eaten away from home, i.e. restaurants. The food distribution system was set up to distribute food that way. Trucking companies have schedules, drivers have routes, people have jobs to do, and it all depends on everything running, well, if not smoothly, smoothly enough that we can tolerate the minor bumps and bangs. But when one end of the chain comes to a halt, well everything goes to handbasket heaven, hence rampant confusion and hordes of locusts descending on hapless grocery stores.

So there is a certain level of society that spends their days flitting about, talking to people, going out to eat. Maybe it's their job, maybe they are politicians, maybe they are making deals, and maybe they are just social butterflies. In any case when they suddenly found themselves without lunch, they went home looking for something to eat, found nothing, decide to go to the bathroom before they head out to the grocery store and discover, because they haven't used this bathroom in six months, that there isn't any toilet paper! OMG! What a disaster! Whatever will I do?

Is the cure worse than the disease?

Wall Street Bull
Yes, I realize that asking this question makes me sound like a right wing, Trump supporting thug, but I wonder. Forbes has a story, wherein I found this:
The business-first side, meanwhile, cites lost dollars. [doom & gloom from the banks] One Federal Reserve official, Mercer Bullard, said yesterday that unemployment could reach 30%, the highest in American history. (During the Great Depression, joblessness peaked at 24.9% in 1933.) These numbers feel like an almost self-inflicted wound given that just four weeks ago, the economy seemed headed to another year of healthy growth amid the longest expansion in American history. - Abram Brown
And before you go quoting the number of dead, remember that in the USA, 7,500 people die every day.

Knife Abuse

Hoffritz Knife and Liberated Sink
Portion of Granite Countertop at upper right
Note missing rivet in handle

We got rid of the granite counter tops from the kitchen as well as all the old cabinets today. It took us several days to take everything apart and get the counter tops loose from the cabinets. They had been attached with copious amounts of silicon sealer and getting them apart without breaking the granite or doing too much damage to the cabinets was a bit of a challenge. The last, and possibly most difficult part was separating the counter tops from the sink. This was the last bit to be done so I had the advantage of being able to wedge the far ends of the counter up a fraction of an inch. I drove the knife in between the granite and sink by tapping on the end of the handle with a ball peen hammer. After it had gone in a couple of inches, I was able to cut around the sink by more hammer blows to the back edge of the blade. It was a pretty nice knife, I don't know if it will ever qualify as cutlery again, but it served a useful purpose. It didn't actually suffer much damage, just the one rivet (photo) and it was recovered and reinstalled and seems to be good.

Crew, rig, and trailer full of granite

I put an ad on Craigslist yesterday evening and was promptly inundated with calls and letters. I quickly pulled the plug. E-mails and texts don't cut it. Only phone calls work for this kind of thing. Too much back and forth. In any case one guy showed up at the appointed time, looked over situation, went away and came back with a truck and a crew to haul it all away. Suits me. It took all six of us to move some of these pieces. We had to carry them down a half flight of steps and some of them weighed near 400 pounds. I can't imagine how the guys who do this for a living manage it.

I was originally going to have ReStore take the kitchen apart and cabinets away, but they had to be scheduled. I had a couple guys I needed to put to work, and one day I just reached the tipping point where I said "it's time" and we started deconstruction. Call ReStore a couple of days ago to see about having them pick up the cabinets, and wouldn't you know it, they are shut down because of Corona.

I've never had much luck with selling stuff on Craigslist, probably because I have a poor idea of what kinds of things people want to buy, but giving it away in the Free section works wonders. I might have been able to get some money for this, but compared to overall cost of the project and the amount of hassle and delay involved in selling it didn't make it seem like a worthwhile proposition. I might have been wrong, but I don't really care. The granite is gone and I can move on to the next phase of this project: ripping up the old kitchen flooring.

Update March 2021 replaced missing photos that Blogger apparently lost. First time that has happened.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020


Simpsons on the Zika virus

I tend to think that all this fuss about the Corona Virus is just so much bullshit. Zillions of people die every year from the flu, and the numbers they are talking about with this Corona Virus are nowhere near that, so where is all this panic coming from, and more importantly, is it justified? I suspect all the noise is coming from a well coordinated media campaign. As to whether it's justified, well, we won't know that until we get farther down the road.

Kind of cool that someone figured out that it was a new disease and were able to identify the culprit. That must have taken some considerable sleuthing. I'm pretty sure viruses can only be imaged with an electron microscope, so they must have developed some kind of chemical test that enables them to identify the culprit. I wonder how much effort went into developing that test. Was it something a master whipped up in an afternoon because he knew just what to do, or did an army of chemists run a battery of a zillion tests to find one that worked?

Even if the panic does not prove to be justified in this case, it is still good for us to go through this exercise. Diseases are funny things. A new, deadly disease could crop up at any time and if that happens we will be very glad that we know what to do.

What did you say?

Samsung Galaxy J7 Crown
My son showed me how the volume control on my smart phone works today. I'd never bothered about the volume before, it always just worked. But today my phone is sitting in the dash and it's making this funny noise. Why's it making that noise? Because it's vibrating, it's vibrating because someone is calling you. Why isn't it ringing? Because you turned the volume down. I didn't turn the volume down! Yes, you did. You see this long button on the side? You press one end and it turns the volume up, press the other end and it turns the volume down. Well, sure, that's what you told me, but what's that got to do with the ringer? [frown] You mean the volume control controls the ring volume as well? Well, that's dumb. The volume control should be for music (which is irrelevant for me because I don't use my phone to listen to music because I don't have headphones and the USB link to my car stereo doesn't work). [continuous low level grumbling and cursing ending with this post]. Yes, this paragraph is a condensed version of a conversation. You can assign the speaking roles as you see fit.

OK, fine, the volume bar controls the ringer volume as well as other volumes. I wonder if it controls the telephone volume as well, and does the phone keep separate volume levels for the phone for hold-it-to-your ear mode and speaker mode (which I use the heck out of), or does it only have a rule to convert from one to the other and so when you change the volume in one mode, it changes the volume in the other mode as well? It might do that in a really old cell phone, but I bet they keep the levels independent.

I really like speaker mode. I get someone on the phone who wants to talk for longer than 30 seconds and my hand starts to cramp up if I have to hold it to my ear. Speaker phone works and it works well. Clear enough for me. And if my wife is with me she can hear the whole conversation so I don't have replay the whole thing from memory.

The speech-to-text function is also really nice. I'm not going to use that itty-bitty keyboard if I can help it, and I'm not going to leave voice messages. If you don't answer, I'll send you a text. I'll record the text using the speech-to-text function. Likewise, I haven't enabled my voice mail. We still have voice mail on our land line, which is actually a cell phone, but it still works with our cordless phones. I wonder how long we've had them. Better not guess, might jinx myself. Reminds me that plastics and electronics are constantly improving in strength and reliability.

My Tracfone cut me off in the middle of a call last week and then wouldn't let me make any other calls. Checked my account online (using my computer, which has a FULL SIZE keyboard) and found I had run out of minutes. Bought some time with my credit card and 30 seconds later my phone was back in business. That was pretty phenomenal.

Can you speak up?

MSTRKRFT - Party Line (Official Video)

I came across video while looking for an image to accompany my previous post. I can't recommend listening to the whole thing, I stopped about half through. The music might be okay background noise while you are working, I'll have to give it a try later. But! What got my attention was watching these two guys. They are totally into what they are doing. Maybe it's just the camera work or the editing, but you see every change they make, every knob they tweak, and you hear the results. It's pretty spectacular.


Belle and Sebastian The Party Line
Brian has fun with a telephone: A twenty-first century moment. Very amusing in techno-geeky kind of way. Enough to make you swear off technology if you are an easily irritated kind of person.

If that isn't enough Liz is contemplating video conferencing. Horrors!

P.S. The title in the picture gives us a tenuous connection to this post, but I thought it was a striking image, so coolness wins out over lack of relevance. The link goes to a page about a music video from six years ago.


Blade Runner - Voight-Kampff Test (HQ)

I don't know what we were talking about, but Ross mentioned this scene and I recalled the tester was smoking. Funny the kinds of things you remember. As you can see, this time I was right about the tester smoking. That isn't always the case. It's equally likely I could have been completely wrong. This whole movie felt like a smoke filled room.

P.S. Just found out that I posted a link to this video a year ago.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020


Snow View
We had some snow last weekend, or maybe the weekend before. Dumped a couple of inches, turned Skyline Boulevard into winter wonderland. Took a couple of photos out the back door, stitched them together with Hugin. Everything worked, the Synaptic Package Manger (because I'm running Linux), download and installation, and the program itself. Amazing.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

GIF of the Day

Wind turbines doing the digital camera dance
Via Bustednuckles

The Last Thing He Wanted


Intrepid girl reporter trying to report on what's going on in Central America back during the Reagan years, basically the Sandinistas, the Contras and the CIA. Anyway, she gets roped into an arms deal to bail out her near psycho father. It's pretty great, though you kind of wonder who some of these people are, but that's kind of the way it is out in real world where you don't have a script. The ending is a little disheartening, but it's a grim little story all around. I kind of expected it to be 'based on a true story', but no, it's from a novel. Still, the basic story is true: we were shipping arms to Central America.

I looked for a decent review but I didn't find one. It seems to have been universally panned. I thought the movie was pretty great, thoroughly engaging, totally realistic, and yes, top level government officials could very well be cold blooded killers. The ending was a little disheartening, but realistic. Do you think Putin is only world leader who kills reporters?

P.S. Spell check doesn't recognize Sandinistas or Contras. Could it be we're not allowed to talk about that anymore and that's why the reviews were all bad? Right now I wouldn't put anything past any of the powers-that-be.

Conspiracies Я Us, Part 2

The Dark Side Of The Singularity | Answers With Joe

I don't understand why the Corona virus has taken over everyone's attention. It's the flu, we get a flu epidemic every year, some years are a little worse than others, but this year it's like everyone has lost their mind. On one hand, it might just be a self-reinforcing panic, some people talk about it, they talk to more people, and it just kind of grows organically. Or maybe the Illuminati (whoever they are), or maybe just some scumbag like Bloomberg or Murdoch (is he even still alive? Yes, he is.) are promoting this panic for their own nefarious reasons. In any case the reaction seems to be way out of proportion to the actual problem.

But then we have this video from Joe (above, it's two years old) where he's talking about automation putting vast numbers of people out of work and how universal basic income might, might, be the solution.

And we have some people in the government talking about sending everyone a check because they (the government) have crashed the economy.

So maybe somebody (the mysterious Illuminati?) saw the economic disaster that automation is going to deliver, realized a universal basic income might be the answer, and saw this stupid flu epidemic as way to panic the nation into adopting universal basic income as a policy.

Gawd, I hate politics. It's the downside of free speech. Everybody gets to voice their opinion, even the terminally stupid. I'm going to go read a nice story about smart people, not stupid ones.

Saturday, March 21, 2020


Bill & Erma Bombeck
Found this digging through some old files.

By Deseret News  May 9, 1996, 12:00am MDT
Bill Bombeck

This one time I will do what Erma admonished all who challenged her words, and that was to"go out and get your own column".

In 1947, three or four couples were outside the Lakeside Ballroom in Dayton, Ohio. We were too early to be admitted for the big-band dance, so we all wandered over to the adjoining amusement park.

Not far from the ballroom was the roller coaster. All of the boys began cajoling their dates to ride with them. The girls giggled and said no. It was too frightening, and it would mess up their hair and dresses.

I looked at my date and asked her if she wanted to go. She didn't hesitate. She said, "Sure, I'll go." I was surprised and looked at her again. She was slight, narrow-shouldered, with tiny hands and feet. But she had the greatest smile and laugh. Her smile had a charming space between her two front teeth. I thought, this is some kind of girl.

The Lakeside roller coaster was a rickety old leftover from the Depression. The frame was mostly made of unpainted two-by-fours. No modern inspection by OSHA would have ever approved this for man's use.

The cars were linked together with what looked like modified train couplers. They were mostly red-painted wood with metal wheels and a coglike device that clicked loudly. The seats had worn black leather padding. There were no belts, but there were worn steel bars that had to be raised and lowered by the attendant.

The attendant was an old man in oil-stained bib overalls. He said little, but raised the bar and she entered the seat first, and I followed by her side. The bar clicked in place just above our waistlines.

There were two tapered two-by-fours on the platform, each angled away from the other. He moved the one closest to the car to an upright position. The car moved forward, slowly picking up speed. The metal wheels on the metal track made so much noise you had to yell to your partner to be heard.

The car left the level starting track and began a slow ascent. In about 20 or 30 seconds, when the track became steeper, the cog device engaged the car. You could feel it grab. Then there was a distinct rhythmic clacking sound as the cog device labored to overcome the near perpendicular angle of the track. You felt like it wouldn't make it, but just when it reached a point that forced the passengers to stare, not at the car ahead or the track, but only at the night sky, it plunged downward, a wild, almost free-fall. Maybe whatever controlled the speed was now broken.

She made her first sound since she had said, "Sure, I'll go." She screamed and clenched my arm. I said, "Hang on to the bar." She kept hanging on to my arm. Suddenly we were at the bottom, and we both were so relieved that we laughed, and I saw that smile again.

The ride continued, with bone-jarring twists and turns, dizzy heights and abrupt plunges. Sometimes we would enter a dark tunnel, so dark the sparks from the wheels and tracks made it look like it was on fire.

She kept hanging on to my arm. I was gripping the metal bar so tightly I thought I would bend it. This was some ride. We were thrilled and exhilarated, scared and breathless.

We had been in and out of many tunnels. Each time they ended with almost blinding light in our eyes, and then on to another straight-up climb.

We started in a tunnel that seemed to plunge deeper than all the others. It kept dropping. We both sensed this one was really different. Finally, instead of the bright lights, we were back at the platform.

We looked at each other. We didn't speak, but we sensed the ride had changed. The man in the bib overalls was standing by the tapered two-by-fours. He started to push one from its angle to a straight-up position. The car stopped. I told him the ride was great, but it was too short; we wanted to go on. He raised the bar. She smiled again. I looked at the attendant again. He said this is April 22, 1996 - your ride is over. I looked over at her seat. She was gone.

Hell's Kitchen

Hell's Kitchen
Found this going through a pile of old letters and I just howled.

A Word on Statistics

by Wislawa Szymborska
(translated from the Polish by Joanna Trzeciak)

Out of every hundred people,
those who always know better:

Unsure of every step:
almost all the rest.

Ready to help,
if it doesn't take long:

Always good,
because they cannot be otherwise:
four -- well, maybe five.

Able to admire without envy:

Led to error
by youth (which passes):
sixty, plus or minus.

Those not to be messed with:

Living in constant fear
of someone or something:

Capable of happiness:
twenty-some-odd at most.

Harmless alone,
turning savage in crowds:
more than half, for sure.

when forced by circumstances:
it's better not to know,
not even approximately.

Wise in hindsight:
not many more
than wise in foresight.

Getting nothing out of life except things:
(though I would like to be wrong).

Balled up in pain
and without a flashlight in the dark:
eighty-three, sooner or later.

Those who are just:
quite a few, thirty-five.

But if it takes effort to understand:

Worthy of empathy:

one hundred out of one hundred --
a figure that has never varied yet.

Going through a pile of old letters this morning and found this on the back of a letter from my dad, or rather, Dad's letter was on the back of a printed copy of this poem.

The poem can be found on numerous websites, The Atlantic has a little information about the author.


Corona Virus is as deadly as the Spanish Flu
Came across this graph and I thought "that's pretty cool", shows just how deadly the Corona virus is in comparison to other well known diseases, but there was no link to the source, so I went a-Googling, and found this graph:

No, it's not
It is almost identical to the one above, except the Spanish Flu has moved from a 1% percent fatality rate to 10%. And once again, no link to the source, just vague references.

The Spanish Flu is the one that killed a bazillion people a hundred years ago. The top graph shows that the Corona virus has similar fatality rate. The bottom says the fatality rates for these two diseases differ by a factor of ten. Of course, we won't really know how deadly the Corona virus was until it's all over.

The panicked reactions of government officials are doing more damage to our world than this virus could ever hope to inflict.

An enterprising dude (or dudette) could clean up in the restaurant business by putting up glass partitions between dining booths. Meals would be served through slots in the door, just like in prison. It would help get people acclimated to life after the zombie apocalypse.

Today's Funnies

Mostly from Dad's Deadpool blog

Friday, March 20, 2020

The Valhalla Murders

Brot: The Valhalla Murders (2019) TV trailer w/subs

This is the third European murder mystery series we have watched that were based on revenge killings for abuse suffered in children's homes. This one and one other were based in Iceland, the other was based in Wales. This one was pretty good.

Thursday, March 19, 2020


Putting out fire with gasoline
Some people just like to stir up stuff, drama queens, it you will. Put the most agonizing spin on even the most mundane events. That would be okay if people were not susceptible to having their emotions shanghaied, but unfortunately they are, especially if they are stuck at home because the morons in charge panicked.

Have we found the epicenter of the Corona virus panic?

Dow Jones Industrial Average for the last year showing the precipitous decline in the last month
It might be Bill Ackman, billionaire and prognosticator. He had a dream (like when you are asleep, not like Martin Luther King) which led him to incite panic in the stock market, and that may have what led to the general level of panic among people and the government. Now we know who the Illuminati are.

I'm taking him off my Christmas list.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Babylon Berlin / Gustav Stresemann

1923-29: Stresemann's Strategy | GCSE History Revision | Weimar & Nazi Germany

Season 3 of Babylon Berlin begins and ends with the stock market crash of 1929. Midway through the last episode Gustav Stresemann's state funeral reminds Dr. Litten of an old bit of case law that can save his client, and a few minutes later Lotte's frantic run to deliver a crucial document runs afoul of the same funeral procession. So who's this Stresemann?
Gustav . . . was a German statesman who served as Chancellor in 1923 (for a brief period of 102 days) and Foreign Minister 1923–1929, during the Weimar Republic. He was co-laureate of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1926.
A couple of black & white clips of the original funeral were included in the show.

I hadn't really considered that the Great Depression might have given a boost to Hitler. I mean, the Great Depression was something that happened in America, and Hitler happened in Germany. There couldn't possibly be a connection, could there? But now that I think about, it's pretty freaking obvious that there was a connection, wasn't there?

Monday, March 16, 2020

Babylon Berlin - Season 3

Babylon Berlin - Staffel 3 - Official Trailer - Sky Show [HD]

We started watching season 3 of Babylon Berlin this weekend. It's pretty intense. We took a break from watching dramas for about a month, and it's been a couple of years since we watched the first two seasons, so jumping back into this story was a bit of a shock. The stock market crash of 1929 is looming and Nazi thugs are making their presence known. Plus the local mafia has a traitor in their midst and our hero is carrying something of an albatross around his neck. Not a very happy state of affairs.

Before we started season 3, we went back and watched parts of a couple earlier episodes. I thought I had a pretty good grasp of the story but I was surprised by how much stuff I had forgotten.

Previous posts about Babylon Berline here.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Last Thursday

Guantanamera - The Sandpipers

Driving down the road and this tune comes on the radio, probably KQRZ (the website is down). It sounds like they are singing 'for he's a guantanamera', but I check the lyrics and the only word I got right was guantanamera, which means 'a woman from Guantanamo'. No trace of "he's a", nor is there even anything in there could possibly be construed as "he's a". Huh. Just for grins, here's another link to a copy of the lyrics. This one goes to Google Translate and the URL contains the entire Spanish version of the song, which is just over a kilobyte.

Guantanamo? Haven't heard that name in a while. Wasn't it all over the news, what, a couple of years ago? With me it's a crap shoot whether I can come within a dozen years of being able to tell you when something happened. Mostly, something will come up in converstation and I will think it was a recent event, like a year ago and then I find out whatever it was was actually five or ten years ago.

Anyway, back to Guantanamo. Funny how the news only seems to capture our attention one crisis at a time. I suppose it's a form of entertainment, and possibly a little enlightening, even if it's only the light resulting from the flames from someone fanning the fire. Anyway, whatever happened to Guantanamo? Last I heard nothing had changed.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I went to the eye doctor this morning for a check-up and got my eyes dilated. Driving down TV (Tualatin Valley) highway and I see a traffic light up ahead. It's a little far away and I can't make out whether it is red or green. No matter, there is a pickup truck in front of me. If the light is red, he'll stop, so it doesn't matter if I can make out the signals on the traffic light. We get a little closer and now I can see that the light is red. So okay, I don't need to rely on the pickup truck anymore, which is very good because he just sails right on through the red light.

The speed limit on Jackson School Road used to be 35 MPH, but a couple of weeks ago they changed it to 25 MPH because of construction, but no construction has been done. I suppose they were trying to get it done before the construction starts, but this is silly. And very annoying.

Spin Recovery

20 turn fully developed spin in a Robin aircraft

Pretty spectacular. Very similar to a video posted on daily timewaster.

Sewer Repair

Joe & Thomas from Mr. Rooter, hard at it
$3K. 2 guys, 2 days, 1 dump truck, 1 truck full of tools. Concrete man coming Monday.

The 'problem' was that the sewer inspection showed that the sewer line sagged a couple of inches in a section under the driveway. It's probably been that way since the house was built. Probably could have left it alone, but there's this report and it bothers some people, so I decided to get it fixed.

Seems like they didn't properly support the line when they were pouring the concrete because the low point was right where it went through the concrete wall under the driveway.

The guys from Mr. Rooter plugged their electric jackhammer into the outlet in the front of house which worked fine for a while until it didn't. Figured they had tripped a breaker. They switched to their generator until I got there. Checked all the breakers, none tripped. Realized that the fingers in an outlet had probably given up the ghost, so we got an extension cord and plugged them into another outlet in the garage.

Means we need to go through the entire house and replace all the old outlets. Cost will be minimal, outlets only cost 68 cents, but it's going to take some time.

Driving Dream

1969 Dodge A100 Van
I'm driving some kind of rattle trap contraption, maybe one of those old style vans where you sit over the front tire. There is no front to the body so I have an unrestricted view of the road. It has a manual transmission because I have clutch and brake pedals, but no steering wheel. It has a steering box where the steering wheel would normally connect, but there is only a stub shaft sticking up with a screwdriver slot in the end, so I am steering this thing with a screwdriver. This works fine as long as I can keep the tip of the screwdriver in the slot, but because it's simply a slot and the vehicle is bouncing around, like vehicles do, sometimes the screwdriver slips out of the slot.

The steering box is down by my feet, but my screwdriver is only a regular size screw driver, maybe a foot long, and I am not having to bend over even though I am sitting upright, so we have some dream distortion happening here.

In any case I pull up to the edge of a main street and stop to check for traffic. Oh, yeah, it's raining just like it always is in Portland. When it's clear I pull out into the road, making a left turn. All goes well until I am in the travel lane and then the screwdriver slips out of the slot and since the wheels are still turned to the left the van continues it's leftward course and we make U-turn before I can correct the steering. Now I am looking for a place along the left side of the road where I pull over as the first step in correcting my course. And then I woke up.

Old Electrical Outlet
Does this dream have anything to do with real-life messing around with old electrical outlets where all the screws seem to be slotted instead of Philips?

Helium, the iPhone Killer

MEMs oscillator sensitivity to helium (helium kills iPhones)
Applied Science

Helium diffuses into the microscopic silicon tuning forks and causes them to lose their minds, but hydrogen doesn't. Odd. Presumably, hyrdrogen will also diffuse into silicon, I mean it diffuses into steel, but perhaps the molecular structure of the silicon isn't affected by hydrogen, but it is by helium. There isn't much difference between hydrogen and helium, both atoms are very small, but there isn't much difference between carbon 12 and carbon 13, but corn can tell the difference, so maybe that small difference is enough to bring Apple to its knees.

This is the second time I've posted a video from Applied Science.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

That'll be the Day

I think it must be John Wayne Day or maybe it's John Ford Day. Came across a couple of posts and just had to grab 'em and run.

Monument Valley Arizona showing the "Mittens"
Bradley J. Birzer has a post about the movie Stagecoach, starring John Wayne. Portions of Stagecoach and several other John Wayne movies, like The Searchers were shot in Monument Valley.

Via daily timewaster
I remember that tune! It's great!

Buddy Holly & The Crickets - That'll Be The Day

Spider Shovel

Menzi Muck M545 digging out a reservoir in Switzerland on a extrem steep slope

This is just nuts. Me thinks this is a poor design for this dam that you have to clean out the drain periodically, but it's just the kind of job this machine was designed for. The operator must have nerves of steel.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Pic of the Day

Mental Arithmetic in the Rachinsky SchoolNikolay Bogdanov-Belsky - 1895
The problem on the board is (102 + 112 + 122 + 132 + 142 ) / 365. The answer is 2.       (highlight to reveal the answer). Kind of a cute little problem. I didn't notice the problem on the board at first, I thought it was just a cool picture, but then I started looking around and mathoverflow pointed out the problem on the board.

Via Starts with a Bang!

P.S. I made the superscript exponents using the html <sup> tag. I originally tried using the html code I found on mathoverflow, but the html was like four pages long and I couldn't make head or tails of it. PeggyK, a Platinum Product Expert, gave me a clue.

Corona Virus Unknowns

Corona Virus
Came across another post, this one on With Varying Frequency, about the Corona Virus that takes a somewhat skeptical view of what we know. Remember Rumsfeld's 'known knowns, known unknowns, and unknown unknows'? Something to think about in these panic stricken times.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Mother Nature Hates You

The 'Killer Lake' Powering Rwanda - BBC Click

This video is about Lake Kivu. It hasn't killed anybody yet, at least not in recorded history, which might not go back very far in this part of the world. But Lake Nyos is also in Africa, about 1500 miles west northwest in Cameroon. I remember hearing about Lake Nyos a while back. I should say I remember the incident, I didn't remember the name. Up until then I didn't think it was possible for a thousand people to die all at once without anyone even knowing anything was wrong and without there being any obvious evidence left behind. One minute everything's fine and an hour later everyone in town is dead. Of course, we live within a hundred miles of a couple of volcanoes, and if one of them decided to really blow their top, well, me and everyone else in Portland would be a memory. But one of those volcanoes had a pretty good blast not too long ago, so maybe that relieved some of the pressure in the magma down below. It did, didn't it?

But back to our lakes. There are a bunch of lakes that have two layers like this one. However, there are zillions of lakes, and straitifed lakes are relatively uncommon, so killer lakes are pretty rare.

The lake water is really weird. The upper layer is fresh and fine for most everything. The lower layer has a bunch of gases dissolved in it, which makes it denser and so prone to sit on the bottom. Dissolved means you have added something to a liquid and volume doesn't change. (Doesn't it? I did a little checking and it seems that the volume does change, but only by a very small amount compared to the change in weight.)

This reminds me of the fresh water lenses that appear on atolls in the South Pacific.

KivuWatt and Kivu 56 Power Stations
The KivuWatt Power Station is the one mentioned in the video, but there is another one under development, the Kivu 56 Project, about twenty miles to the North.

P.S. Spell-check could not fix 'releaved'. It did not suggest 'relieved', so some days I am still worth my salt.