Intel's Ronler Acres Plant

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

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Smokey and the Bandit

How BUFORD T. JUSTICE (Jackie Gleason) spoke in code to his assistant while on SMOKEY & THE BANDIT!
LandumC goes there

I was talking to my oldest the other day about movies, shoot we talk about movies or TV shows every time I see him, and that might be why I watched this video. It caught my eye with the 'spoke in code' phrase in the title. I was imagining Jackie was doing this while they were filming and I am wondering how could he be doing any speaking that wasn't in the script and not get in trouble for it? Okay he's Jackie Gleason, even if he did screw up, the most he might earn from the director would be a scowl and they just shoot the scene again. But hey,  he's Jackie Gleason, and Jackie's a smart guy. If anyone could do this he would be the one. Now I'm speculating on how he could do this, could he be substituting words in his lines, or maybe just changing the pronunciation with inflection, accent or slurring? Alas, nothing so esoteric, he was simply using 'hamburger' for 'vodka' when he asked his assistant to get him drink. It shows up about halfway through the video for maybe 30 seconds. Its clickbait, basically. And yeah, it worked.

But for some reason this video just sucked me in. The bit about Coors beer is something I was telling my kids about recently, who knows why. And then there's Alfred Hitchcock, which was a big surprise. But I guess maybe the kind of movies you are good at making are not the kind of movie you enjoy watching. Anyway there was enough trivia to keep me entertained for a few minutes. 

Burt and Sally were in four movies together, I had heard of three of them, but I didn't recognize the fourth, so I went looking. Didn't help that I was looking for The Inn when what I should have been looking for was The End.

The narrator's delivery is a little slow paced with unexpected short pauses, but he tells a coherent tale and his delivery is clear and audible (is that how you say loud enough?), so he gets posted here.


I'm browsing questions on Quora and I come across one asking for the square root of 12,309.  Questions like this always irritate me. I mean, what is wrong with people? Don't they know how to use a calculator? Or Google? They have to post their idiotic question on Quora  and waste people's time? Okay, let's cut them a little slack, maybe they've been cooped up in their compartment for so long that the lack of contact with actual people has turned their brains to mush and they are desperately reaching out hoping someone will talk to them about anything. 

Still, I'd hope for something better than this, so I want to dump a smart-ass answer on them, so I go looking. Google turns up a bunch of addresses which isn't unexpected, but Wikipedia turns up four places with a population of 12,309. Now I know there a zillion places in the world, but what are the odds of getting four places with this same number of people? I suspect it's a census taker's secret code.

Places with a population of 12,309

I plotted them on a map and they are widely separated.

Places with a population of 12,309

This one I generated using the Save function. I drew the lines using the 'measure distance' function which shows up with a right click of the mouse.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Ford Flathead V8

All the Oddities of Ford's Famous Flathead V8 (Full Engine Build)
The Horsepower Monster

I've been hearing about the Ford flathead V8 since forever, but I was a little confused as to why it was such a big deal. By the time I was old enough to know what a car was, all cars had V8 engines. V8 engines have been around for a long time. They were used to power airplanes during WW1 and Cadillac had one back in 1915, but those were for people with money, not for the common man.

I thought that surely Chevrolet would have come out with a V8 shortly after Ford did, but that was not the case. Ford brought out their V8 in 1932. General Motors built numerous V8 engines, but it wasn't until Chevrolet brought out their small block V8 in 1955 that it became popular.

I posted another video of a flathead Ford V8 rebuild a while back, but it was a time lapse and it glossed over all the horrible problems you would encounter when working on this engine. The way the bell housing is cast with the block is an annoyance I could live with, but the business of setting the valve clearance is just nuts! I had a couple of motorcycles that had mechanical lifters. Setting the clearance on them was straightforward, but it was still a pain. A couple of iterations of that was enough to sell me on the infinite superiority of hydraulic lifters.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Airplane of the Day - Boeing E4

KC-46A refueling a Boeing E-4 Advanced Airborne Command Post
at 25,000' MSL over Lone Pine, California on February 19, 2021

The E4's function is to serve as a command post in case of nuclear war. Yes, with a zillion nuclear bombs on hand, nuclear war is still a possibility. Wikipedia has a long article about the E-4. Here's some more pictures.

An E-4B approaching a KC-10 Extender of Travis AFB in preparation for aerial refueling

An E-4 airborne command post on the nuclear  EMP (electromagnetic pulse) simulator for testing

I didn't know there was an EMP simulator, though I should have known. I mean, if nuclear war is a possibility, you want to be prepared, right?

The EMP simulator is at the Kirtland AFB (Air Force Base), Albuquerque, New Mexico. Kirtland AFB uses the same runways as the Albuquerque civilian airport.

National Emergency Airborne Command Post internal configuration, April 1976

We've been playing this game for a long time.

The Night Watch - Rembrandt van Rijn - 1642

The E-4 is the current "Nightwatch" aircraft.  The name "Nightwatch" originates from the richly detailed Rembrandt painting, The Night Watch, that depicts local townsfolk protecting a town; it was selected by the Squadron's first commanding officer.

Wikipedia's digital copy of the painting is available in several different sizes, most of which are suitable for display on a digital display. I don't know what you would do with the largest size, unless you were trying to reproduce the original. It measures 57,813 × 48,438 pixels and requires 274 megabytes of storage space. The original painting is more than 12 feet square, so the resolution works out to about 325 pixels per inch, which is probably good enough to produce a reasonable facsimile. 

Wikipedia's description also names all of the people in the painting:
  • Frans Banning Cocq, heer van purmerlant en Ilpendam, 
  • Capiteijn Willem van Ruijtenburch van Vlaerdingen, heer van Vlaerdingen, Luijtenant, 
  • Jan Visscher Cornelisen Vaendrich, 
  • Rombout Kemp Sergeant, 
  • Reijnier Engelen Sergeant, 
  • Barent Harmansen, 
  • Jan Adriaensen Keyser, 
  • Elbert Willemsen, 
  • Musketier Jan Clasen Leydeckers (behind the Lieutenant in Yellow blowing into the powder pan of a musket which once belonged to Jan Snedeker), 
  • Jan Ockersen, 
  • Jan Pietersen bronchorst, 
  • Harman Iacobsen wormskerck, 
  • Jacob Dirksen de Roy (the Governor on far left of the cut off section of the painting), 
  • Jan vander heede, 
  • Walich Schellingwou, 
  • Jan brugman, 
  • Claes van Cruysbergen, 
  • Paulus Schoonhoven
The order does not seem to have anything to do with the placement of the figures in the painting.


Federal Election Commission

I don't watch the news on TV or listen to it on the radio or on podcasts. I do read, but what I read is almost entirely blog posts. Big newspaper websites either have a paywall or so many ads that it tests my patience waiting for them to load so you can actual start navigating without the screen being redrawn every second. And then it takes real determination to follow the story past all the fluff.

So what I get is other people's reactions to what the media is reporting, and most of it is of a conservative bent.

There is a great deal of complaining about certain members of congress, how they are no good, rotten so and so's. If they are so rotten, how is it they keep getting reelected? How? I'll tell you, it's plain and simple, they run a well financed campaign that tells people exactly what they want to hear. What they tell people might not, shoot, probably will not, have anything to do with what they will try and accomplish once they get elected, but that doesn't matter, because once the election is over most people will go back to their real lives and completely ignore whatever the government is doing, unless it actually bites them. Then they might pay attention, for a moment or two anyway.

It we want to unseat these despicable members of Congress, you have to find someone to run against them, you need a boatload of money to pay for the advertising and you need a message, a message that tells the people what they want to hear, which is kind of a problem because that is exactly what the incumbent is saying. So crafting a message is going to be a bit of a trick. Somehow you have to convey the impression that your message is saying what the people want to hear, but more better, to use the vernacular.

But that's not going to be enough. You are also going to need a network of people out there hobnobbing with the leaders of various groups, like unions and churches, persuading them to vote for your candidate and not the despicable incumbent, and that is going to be tough, because the incumbent will have a history of granting special favors to his/her supporters and those favors buy a certain amount of loyalty.

Another problem that conservatives face is that they tend to be more reclusive than social, so networking, actually going out and meeting with people is going to be more like work than it is for liberals, who seem to thrive getting together in big crowds. Or maybe that's just me.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

The Iron Winter and the Raggedy Old Man

St. Nicholas

The Russian winter of 1910 was the severest in memory. It was so cold that it was known as the ‘Iron Winter’.

Because of its location, a prosperous and popular hotel some twenty kilometres from Moscow, suffered particular loss of business. No one had stayed there for weeks and the owner had laid off most of his staff.

One evening, he was surprised to hear a knock on his front door. Upon opening it, he was confronted by a grey bearded, raggedy old man. The old man said that he had been out in the snow for several days. He was freezing cold and starving hungry. Could the hotelier give him a meal and a bed for the night?

“I can certainly do that”, said the hotelier, “For one night’s accommodation plus a meal, the charge is three roubles. Can you pay?” The old man confessed that he had no money, but if he was sent away, he would surely die in the cold.

The hotelier felt sorry for the old man and told him to come inside. He took him to the kitchen where, bubbling away on the stove was a pot of borsch (beetroot soup). The hotelier ladled out a large portion of the borsch, added a twist of sour cream and for good measure, gave his visitor half a loaf of rye bread. The raggedy old man was obviously very hungry and soon disposed of the bread and the soup. The hotelier laughed to see a great beetroot stain along the bottom of the old man’s moustache

The raggedy old man thanked the hotelier for the food and said, “You won’t see the going of me in the morning, but although I have no money now, I will pay you the three roubles when I have it”. The hotelier said nothing but did not expect to see either the three roubles or the old man ever again.

The snow eventually cleared and business began to pick up. In fact the hotel became busier than it had ever been.

In the spring, being a devoutly religious man, the hotelier decided to go to the great cathedral in the city to give thanks to God for the hotel’s recovery and continued success.

Upon arrival in the capital he made straight for the cathedral. Once inside, he gazed around the interior of the ancient church. His eyes fell upon the many icons that adorned the walls. He was drawn in particular to one image in a far corner.

It was painted in the likeness of an old man with a grey beard and seemed vaguely familiar. As he drew closer, he noticed a dark, beetroot like stain upon the moustache. He looked at the name inscribed beneath the image. It read, “Saint Nicholas”

He reached for a candle to place in front of the icon and as he moved the loose earth into which he would fix the candle, his hand touched something small and hard. It was a coin, a rouble. Beside it were two more. He picked them up and looked again at the icon.

The beetroot stain was gone and the face was smiling.

Funny Man

Phil Joy, House Mover

Phil moved a two-story Victorian house to a new location in San Francisco.
Joy said this move is tricky in part because the first part of the journey involves going downhill.
“That’s always difficult for a house,” he said. - KCRA
There was also this little bit:
Old houses like 807 Franklin St. are worth saving, the mover said.
“Why don’t we demo it?” he pondered aloud, the word “demolish” not slipping easily through his lips. “Look at it. It’s historic. Original lumber. You cannot get lumber like that any more. Tight grain from 800-year-old trees. No knots. It’s a beautiful thing. Move a house, save a tree.” - San Francisco Chronicle (paywall)
That reminded of the time I replaced an old partially rotten deck at my previous house in Beaverton.  The lumber used in that thing was beautiful. The deck was conventional, 2 x 6's spaced about an eighth of inch apart. Since there was a patio below, I elected to make the new deck a solid surface and cover it with weatherproof carpet. I used 2 x 6 tongue and groove lumber, pretty standard for subflooring here, and boy was it ugly. The benefit was it was cheap enough I could afford it. Pristine lumber like that used in the original deck would have cost a fortune.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Cold War Dreams

Boeing Resource Carrier One - The Biggest Cargo Plane Ever Designed
Found And Explained

On one hand it looks ridiculous, I mean who would build an airplane that big, I mean besides Paul Allen? Even worse, the whole idea of using an aircraft to transport crude oil sounds ridiculous. But you've got to give them credit for dreaming big.

The whole Cold War era was full of grandiose projects, mostly championed by the defense department. I doubt we could tally the number of yards of concrete, tons of steel and zillions of dollars we spent on the Cold War arms race. But it was the threat of war with the Russkies that gave us the impetus to pursue these mad ideas, and some of that washed over into the civilian sector.

The guys who made this video got some of their information from the Aerospace Projects Review website, which, near as I can tell, is run by the same guy who posts The Unwanted Blog, which I follow sporadically.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Beer Can Labels

Buoy Beer Can

The boys brought some Buoy Beer over the other day. The label is a separate piece wrapped around the can and stuck on with adhesive. I have never seen this before. All beer cans I am familiar with, the labels are printed directly on the can. The beer is lager, not one of those wretched ales.

Kitchen Sink Strainer

California Bob replaced the strainer in his kitchen sink.

I'm frequently impressed at the ingenuity of everyday devices -- things I wouldn't conceive of in a hundred years, yet sell for a couple dollars on the shelf.

The kitchen sink started leaking where the strainer joins with the sink bowl. It looked like the huge zinc locknut that screws onto the strainer was destroyed so I planned on getting a new nut.  And because my makeshift strainer-wrench is subpar, thought I'd buy a legit strainer wrench.

Kitchen Sink Strainer
At Home Depot, found this alternative strainer that was less than cost of the locknut+wrench.  Instead of a threaded strainer with locknut, this uses a yoke-and-thumbscrew approach. Crawling under the sink to tighten that big zinc locknut is a pain, this looked much easier to install.

It was easier to install. However, the yoke goes on the strainer above the tailpiece, so you have to wait to attach the tailpiece to the strainer until after you put the strainer in the sink and get the yoke on -- so that's an additional step required, but still easier than the locknut.

Thumbscrew with screwdriver slot
They even put slots in the thumbscrews so you can tighten with a screwdriver.

Now there's the question about whether the 3 tightening screws will provide even sealing pressure. The standard locknut applies even pressure around the whole strainer; this thing applies pressure through 3 screws. But the yoke is pretty sturdy and the putty squeeze-out looked even so I think it's fine.


The Thirty Tyrants

Leonidas I, King of Sparta, Commiefied

The deal that the American elite chose to make with China has a precedent in the history of Athens and Sparta

Opening paragraphs:
In Chapter 5 of The Prince, Niccolo Machiavelli describes three options for how a conquering power might best treat those it has defeated in war. The first is to ruin them; the second is to rule directly; the third is to create “therein a state of the few which might keep it friendly to you.”

The example Machiavelli gives of the last is the friendly government Sparta established in Athens upon defeating it after 27 years of war in 404 BCE. For the upper caste of an Athenian elite already contemptuous of democracy, the city’s defeat in the Peloponnesian War confirmed that Sparta’s system was preferable. It was a high-spirited military aristocracy ruling over a permanent servant class, the helots, who were periodically slaughtered to condition them to accept their subhuman status. Athenian democracy by contrast gave too much power to the low-born. The pro-Sparta oligarchy used their patrons’ victory to undo the rights of citizens, and settle scores with their domestic rivals, exiling and executing them and confiscating their wealth.

The Athenian government disloyal to Athens’ laws and contemptuous of its traditions was known as the Thirty Tyrants, and understanding its role and function helps explain what is happening in America today.
This essay explains a great deal of what's been going on in America. Some might feel Lee is being too cynical, but everything he says agrees with what I've been hearing. The American elite don't care about the country or the people who live here. All they care about is making more money. 

You could argue that they wouldn't be making money if they weren't providing a valuable service, and they might be improving the lives of people living in Asia, but if you are destroying your country you are still a dirt bag.

"$2 billion for a five-year oil supply of 130,000 barrels a day" works out to $42.14 per barrel which is probably a pretty fair price. Oil from the Urals is about the same, other oil is around $60 a barrel today.

Wikipedia articles:

China's Tiny Cars

Tiny Car charing - Yan Cong for Rest of World

Good story about the growing number of tiny cars in China:

An excerpt:
As they don’t technically require licenses, tiny cars tend to be popular with migrant workers, who struggle to pay for driving lessons and other car-related costs. The elderly, too, find tiny cars attractive since, up until October of last year, people over 70 could not apply for a driving license in China. They’re also convenient for anybody who wants a car to pick up groceries or their kids from school: No tiny car is longer than 1.5 meters, and their speed tops out at between 40 and 56 kilometers an hour. They’re for the short trips of daily life, not for traveling from one side of the city to another.

Via Detroit Steve

Monday, February 22, 2021

Shame & Guilt

Guilt and Shame Matrix from Dr. Sanity
Notice the difference between the blue and red text

These three posts explain a great deal about all of the crazy loose in the world.

Honor – Definitions and Meditations - Head Noises

Honor – Definitions and Meditations - Cat Rotator's Quarterly


P.S. A little bit of Greek Mythology for those who are weak in that area, like me:

Between Scylla and Charybdis is an idiom meaning
  • to choose the lesser of two evils
  • on the horns of a dilemma
  • between the devil and the deep blue sea
  • between a rock and a hard place
The mythical situation also developed a proverbial use in which seeking to choose between equally dangerous extremes is seen as leading inevitably to disaster.


Perseverance delivers new Mars surface pics, including rocks in wheel!

It's not really a video, they are just panning and zooming across a couple of still images, but it's quick and easy enough to embed. And hey look! Little bitty Martian rocks in the wheel! What? Is that the best headline they could come up with? Whatever.

Here's an image that escaped the censors:

Alf on Mars

Proof positive there are alien life forms loose in our Solar System.


Thoisoi2 - Chemical Experiments!

Not sure why I like these chemical videos. The speaker's accent is a little thick and his English is not perfect. And what do I care about Tellurium? I have gotten by perfectly well up till now without knowing anymore than its name. Could it be that this video is densely packed with information, i.e. the signal to noise ratio is high? Could it be that I am becoming more robot like? i.e. I don't care about the actual value of the data as long as it is densely packed and that tickles my internal receiver so it doesn't have to work so hard to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Personal foibles aside, Tellurium is certainly a strange duck. One thing that bothers me is the differences between elements that are adjacent in the periodic table. With all the organization that the periodic table brings, you'd think adjacent elements would share similar characteristics and might only differ in some subtle way, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Every one of the elements seems to have properties that are wildly divergent. It's just kind of weird.

Old Home Week

The plumbing aisle of a Home Depot in Dallas TX this afternoon

Saw the image and immediately felt right at home. That should give you some idea of how much time I have spent in Home Depot lately.


CAPITANI - English Netflix Trailer
What's on Netflix

Present day murder mystery set in the village of Manscheid, Luxembourg, except the real Manscheid is in Germany, not Luxembourg (no street view in Germany). It's 25 miles away, so close enough for our purposes, close enough to catch the bus to Belgium for the day.

A 15 year old girl dies alone in the forest and Detective Luc Capitani is assigned to investigate. The girl has a twin sister. One is the goodie two shoes and the other is the wild one. But which one died? And is anyone telling the truth? No, no they are not. Plus Luc's former girlfriend from another life turns up in the same town. Coincidence? I think not, and the nasty woman from Internal Affairs doesn't think so either.

A pleasant little show. Always nice to see what other towns look like, and nice to be reminded of the downsides to living in a small town. You know, mostly what we hear is that people abandoned the farm and moved to the big city for the greater economic opportunity available there. But what if the main reason was because of the anonymity that the big city offered? Maybe people moved to the city to escape the busibodies poking their nose into their everyone's business.

Netflix, 12 episodes, about 30 minutes each. They go fast.

Enola Holmes

Enola Holmes | Official Trailer | Netflix

As my wife says: "a cute little movie". Sherlock Holmes and his older brother Mycroft have a younger sister, Enola. When their mother disappears the two brothers return home, meet the sister they haven't seen in a coon's age, and the adventure begins. Pleasant little Victorian fantasy.

Netflix, 2 hours.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Nancy's Great Wall

EXCLUSIVE: Tour Of The Great Wall Nancy Pelosi Built [Benny On The Block 37]
Turning Point USA

When I first heard about this wall I thought it was silly. Then there are the umpteen zillion National Guard troops. All that would make sense if an armed insurrection was really imminent, but I don't think there is. Mostly what we've got is a bunch of pissed off keyboard warriors. So if I'm right and there is no army poised in the hills surrounding Washington D.C., then all these troops and this wall are all kinds of silly. Now it could be that there is an army hiding on the outskirts of town getting ready to attack, but I doubt it. I think what we have is an internal feedback loop that got started by some foolish comment from one of our oh-so-reliable intelligence services and it just spiraled out of control. And now that this wall is up I doubt it will be coming down anytime soon.

If you want to take a pessimistic look at the future, this wall may prove useful when the Federal government's policies drive the economy into the ground and all those keyboard warriors pick up their guns.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Jet Engine Failure

United 328 Engine Failure B777-200 Denver-Honolulu

This seems to happen on a regular basis. though given the zillions of flights that are made every day I suppose it's inevitable.

Via Brian Micklethwait's New Blog

Robots Invade Mars

Rover being lowered to Martian surface

Eye of the Tiger

In Roman times, the so-called ′ Tiger Eyes′ (small white stones) were placed among the stones on the road so that they could be seen at night

Stolen complete from daily timewaster

Friday, February 19, 2021

Tell It Like It Is, Larry

Larry F. Correia has a few words for the scum-sucking weasels. 

Update a few minutes later:

Airplane of the Day - Air Tractor AT-802 Fire Boss

Air Tractor AT-802 Fire Boss In ACTION on Vaseux Lake
VMC Aviation Videos

A new job for the Air Tractor: fighting forest fires. The Air Tractor is a crop duster. This video is a little long and somewhat repetitive. It was recorded in British Columbia.

AT802 Fireboss Scooping Performance
Eder Navacerrada

This video has a different viewpoint and was shot in Portugal, Spain and Sweden.

Water bombers have appeared here before, but they were all larger aircraft.

World's Fastest Donut

Donut Media

Donut Media is one of my go-to guys when I want something light. It helps that cars are one of my weak points. I drive an aged Asian sedan and I am very comfortable with it, especially since it's paid for, but I still drool over fancy machines. I can just see me in the old folks home. When the candystriper brings me a copy of Road & Track, she'll also bring me a bib.

Note that these are production cars, these are not absolute land speed records. I was expecting a different car every year, but that is not the case. Several cars held the record for ten years. Recently the speed record has been getting broken more often. I also didn't know that the McClaren F1 is nearly 30 years old. I must be getting old.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Fx Bricks & LEGO Trains

Fx Track System Debut
Fx Bricks

We used to build all kinds of Legos here, but then the kids grew and the bricks got shunted off into storage. Then the Saturn V appeared on Christmas and I've been poking around in Lego land again. I keep threatening to set up our Lego train, once I find it. It's probably at the bottom of the pile.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Soong Mei-Ling

1943 Soong May-ling in White House Oval Office gave a press conference.

The clue for today's Jumble is "Eric Gugler’s 1933 Oval Office redesign was underway and things were —". Seems the oval office was an FDR thing. Here I thought it had been there forever. I go looking for pictures and I am not finding much, and then I trip over this one. Since China seems to be feeling their oats, building all kinds of infrastructure all over the 3rd world, stomping on personal freedom in Hong Kong, and pushing everyone else out of the South China Sea, this photo makes me think it might be time to pause and reflect on how we got here. It wasn't pretty. 

German Engineering Insanity

3D Printed Pistons Are Changing the Game
Donut Media

I don't like Porsche cars. I don't know why. Most of the world seems to love them. Near as I can tell it's the snob appeal, though why it only seems to apply to Porsche I can't tell you. Whatever, the engineers are obviously very good.

3-D printing has been around for a while and has been getting better and better. This might be the first (or second) time I've come across 3-D printed metal parts that were actually used in a high stress application.

Right now this is a cute trick to make fancy parts for fancy cars, but is it ever going to be a real thing with mass applications? A while back I would have said no, but then I found out about Invisalign braces.

Tin - Metal of the Gods

Thoisoi2 - Chemical Experiments!

Rattling around this morning I came across this video. Tin is very weird. I've come across stories about tin whiskers before, but that is about the only thing in this video I had heard about before.

Monday, February 15, 2021

The Little Things

THE LITTLE THINGS – Official Trailer
Warner Bros. Pictures

Yet another Los Angeles serial killer police investigation. The opening is super creepy, I didn't like it all, but it was over pretty quick. It's got Denzel, which is a plus. He's always good. Then we've got Rami Malek who is kind of an odd duck. The way he moves is like he all wound up with tension, his movements are not fluid. These two are the cops and they latch onto a guy who is just a little suspicious. He's definitely a little strange, but is he the killer? We never find out. 

There's some driving around in cars that's a little curious, but not that enlightening. And they don't have cell phones, which is kind of weird since all the of the recent cop shows we have seen all rely heavily on cell phones. So it's kind of a throw back. I give it 3 out of 5.

On HBO running time 2 hours and change

Shark Bite Pipe Fitting Silicon Tape Wrapping

Shark Bite Pipe Fitting Silicon Tape Wrapping
Chuck Pergiel

Almost a year ago this brass pipe fitting failed. We replaced it, but I wondered why it had failed. Corrosion was the answer. Brass is apparently immune to plain water, but evidently there is acid in the soil, so underground brass fittings need to be protected. Shark Bite provided me with a free roll of the silicon tape which we finally got around to applying when freezing weather appeared imminent.

The silicon tape (I think it's silicon) doesn't have any adhesive, it just sticks to itself.

The video ends abruptly because I was kneeling on some concrete blocks and my knees started to hurt. 

Because my Smart Phone camera is set to high resolution, the above video is uses almost 500 megabytes of storage, 3% of Google's free allotment.


Penguins Do Fly in Antarctic Ballet

Penguins are the bomb! They are kind of like little spaceships, awkward on land, but dynamite in the their element, they even have to bring along their own air.

Via Don't Shake the Flask

The Secret Corvette Chevy Tried to Kill | Bumper 2 Bumper

The Secret Corvette Chevy Tried to Kill | Bumper 2 Bumper
Donut Media

A semi-interesting video. He talks a bit about the state of the US automotive industry back in the late 1950's, and he goes through a lot of what goes into making a race car out of a production car, but his presentation is what makes it worth watching. He's a hoot!

I do like the all-aluminum 377 engine, especially with the Weber carburetors. Evidently Weber paid more attention to what racing engines needed as opposed to family cars, so racers used them.

Twitter: Making You Stupid & Sick. QUIT.

Twitter: Making You Stupid & Sick. QUIT.
Kirsten Joy Weiss

Kirsten Joy Weiss has been here before. She is a phenomenal shooter, she might even be better than Jerry. But this video isn't about shooting, it's about all the crazy people running around loose in our crazy world making themselves even crazier. Kristen does a very thorough job of deconstructing the whole Twitter thing. It's a little long, but she is nice to look at (stop staring at her boobs, glorious though they are). And I find her affect (if that's the right word) agreeable, unlike the guy in the Shepard Tones video. And no, I don't think it's just because she's a she and he's a he.

I've noticed a similar effect with myself, Feedly and Blogger. I spend a fair amount of time on Feedly, flipping through postings. I skip over most of them, looking for ones that grab my attention. Sometimes it requires a certain amount of will power. For instance, I try to skip over stories about small disasters even though they are intriguing. I mean there are a zillion small disasters every day, they are awful for those people involved, but that's life. I have my own problems, like getting to the end of this unending stream of REALLY IMPORTANT STUFF flowing out of the wire.

Maybe what I am looking for is just a good story so I can have something to post on Blogger.

Kristen's website: Joy of Shooting

Shepard Tone

The Infinite Sound That Can Drive You Insane—Shepard Tones
The Action Lab

I've run into Shepard Tones before, enough so that I recognized the term, but that was all, so I did a little digging and came up with this video. The guy does a pretty good job of explaining how Shepard Tones work, but some reason I find him a little off-putting. Is it the tone of his voice, or maybe his affect (one of them terms that psychology has repurposed from it's original use)?

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Knowledge & Desire

diary 2021 02 15 — The difficulty of knowing what really happened!

I used to watch S. G. Collins but then I didn't but now I do. This one is interesting because of it's psychological aspect, which has become more important to me lately, and because of the story that Jesus was a Buddhist. I had never heard that one before and I have to admit it has a certain appeal. It fits with my general outlook that everything I know is wrong.

According to Google Translate the phrase that shows up at the end, 'fijne avond verder!', is Dutch for 'have a nice evening!'.

Mt. Peale Tree

Toyota Tacoma Bent Tailgate

Many moons ago IAman backed into a tree on Mt. Peale in Utah and put a big dent in his tailgate. Now, sitting in Baja California he has time on his hands so he decides to see if he can undent it. Given limited tools and equipment, ingenuity is required. Clever guy, IAman.

Mt. Peale Utah

Argentinian gun chair fight

Argentinian Robbery Turns Into A Family Affair
Active Self Protection

Bad guy tries to steal a motorcycle at gunpoint, owner and his posse drive him off with sticks and stones.
Via IAman who says: "This was different. Helps me understand the appeal of Argentina." Or maybe Chicago? Whatever. I put a stop to the video at a minute and a half. It goes on, but it's mostly just a rehash of what happened. I saw the clip, I'm good.

Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect

Fickle Finger Of Fate COMPILATION | Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In | George Schlatter* 
Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In

Marcel tells us that The New York Times is a stinking pile of shit. He doesn't say so explicitly, I just summarised what you should already know. He refers to the Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect, which sounds vaguely familiar. Michael Crichton, who coined the term, provides us with his description:

“Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray's case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward—reversing cause and effect. I call these the "wet streets cause rain" stories. Paper's full of them.

In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story, and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about Palestine than the baloney you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.”

But how did this effect get it's name? A little digging unearths Michael's explanation:

I refer to it by this name because I once discussed it with Murray Gell-Mann, and by dropping a famous name I imply greater importance to myself, and to the effect, than it would otherwise have.

For some reason that prompted me to check me blog, and lo and behold, I posted about this subject once before. Funny how I forget names like Murray Gell-Mann but remember Michael Crichton.

Who runs the NYTA. G. Sulzberger, great-great-grandson of Adolph Ochs who bought the paper in 1896, that's who. Should we blame him for the crap his media empire produces? Yes, we should, not that it is likely to do any good, but we can feel good about pointing the flying fickle finger of shame at him. He is just like any other media mogul, out to maximize profit, never mind the truth or any of the little people who get squashed. Which brings to mind this quote from H. L. Mencken:

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.

* Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In was on the air circa 1970 when the dollar was worth about ten times what it is now, so the $9 billion dollars they mention is like $90 billion now. It's not a trillion dollars, but it's still a fair chunk of change.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Hidden (Caché)

Hidden / Caché (2005) - Trailer (English Subs)

We saw this once before, possibly when it came out. It's been long enough that I didn't remember the title but as soon as I saw them rewind the surveillance video tape I knew exactly what it was, and what it was is a creepy little visit to a nice normal household when a little bit of serious crazy brushes up against them. There are long scenes where nothing happens, well, maybe not that long, just long enough to make you wonder what's going to happen, because surely something will happen, it's a movie after all. So the pacing is unusual, but then the story is unusual as well, so maybe they suit each other.

One thing that gets mentioned is an altercation in Paris in 1961 when 200 Algerians drowned in the Seine. I totally missed that the first time I saw this movie.

BluRay DVD in French, English subtitles.

Airplane of the Day - Canberra Redux

Martin WB-57

Martin WB-57

WB-57 (the weather bomber?) comes from the RB-57, the reconnaissance version, which in turn was derived from the B-57 which was a licensed copy of the English Electric Canberra. The English plane first flew in 1949, 72 years ago. 

In the 1950's the Canberra was at the top of the heap. Flight records set by Canberras
  • January 1951 – first non-stop unrefuelled transatlantic crossing by a jet.
  • August 1952 – the prototype B.5 made the first double transatlantic crossing by a jet.
  • May 1953 – world altitude record 63,668 ft
  • October 1953 – winner of the London-Christchurch Air Race. 12,270 miles
  • August 1955 – altitude record 65,889 ft
  • August 1957 – altitude record 70,310 ft

Best Story Wins

Richard Feynman Fire

Best Story Wins by Morgan Housel is an excellent story on storytelling. Here's one good line:

Novelist Richard Powers put it this way: “The best arguments in the world won’t change a single person’s mind. The only thing that can do that is a good story.”

Just realized this the second post about story telling this morning. I was a little short on sleep when I first posted this a couple of hours ago.

Via Detroit Steve

The Real World And The Narrative World

Cool Matrix-like vision of the Earth

The Real World And The Narrative World by Caitlin Johnstone makes some interesting observations about reality. Well, the first half of her essay is pretty clear. She kind of wanders off into la-la land at the end, but hey, we all like to dream, don't we?

Friday, February 12, 2021

Gina Carano


Instagram Post by Gina Carano

There's been a lot of flak in the blogosphere because Gina lost her job with Disney, supposedly because of this post or possibly some others. I am ambivalent about Disney. They made some wonderful films and the dream world they created filled the imaginations of a zillion people. I totally believed in that dreamworld until I actually went and visited Disneyland and discovered it was nothing more than the same kind of carnival you find at the state fair. To be fair, it was higher quality, but it wasn't a dreamworld. 

On the other hand they have become a giant soulless corporation and all that entails, including getting special treatment from the US Congress on copyright laws. Anyway, Gina should have known better than to open her mouth if she wanted to keep working for the giant evil overlord Disney has become. Maybe she didn't and that's why she said something. or maybe she had just had enough. In that case, good for you, Gina.

But that's not why I am posting this. I'm posting this because I had never heard this business about how the Nazi's got the common people to hate the Jews long before they started rounding them up. I don't know if it's true, but it makes a lot of sense, and it does sound a whole lot like the noise now coming from the nutcases on the left.

People are just naturally hateful creatures, and why shouldn't we be? The world is forever trying to screw us over. Every since we learned to communicate, people have trying to convince other people to do their dirty work for them.

Because you can't easily search for text that only exists as an image, I have included it here:

Jews were beaten in the streets, not by Nazi soldiers but by their neighbors… even by children.

“Because history is edited, most people today don’t realize that to get to the point where Nazi soldiers could easily round up thousands of Jews, the government first made their own neighbors hate them simply for being Jews. How is that any different from hating someone for their political views?”

Wednesday, February 10, 2021



I wonder whether the increase in domestic conflict we have been seeing over the last few months (years?) might be because we haven't been engaged in enough combat overseas. War is baked into our DNA. If we don't have a target to focus on, we'll find one or make one up. Rumor has it that Trump didn't start any new wars and according to our standard set of beliefs, that should be a good thing. But maybe he should have. If he had, all those people who want to pick a fight would have had an external enemy to focus their self-righteous anger on and we could have avoided some of this lockdown stupidity that we are still saddled with.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Sahara Dust

Dust and Clouds Over the Sahara - Alex Gerst, September 2014
from the International Space Station

A dust storm from the Sahara is blowing over Europe. I went looking for picks but they weren't too impressive, just some streaks of brown, but then I found this one. It's not the current storm, but it's pretty cool.

High Cost of Flight Time

Hourly Cost of Operating U.S. Military Fighters

Fuel is a big chunk of the bill. At cruise an F-18 will burn about 3,000 pounds of jet fuel per hour. At full power that rate jumps up to around 8,000 pounds per hour. Given the old rule of thumb that 'a pint's a pound the world around', that 8,000 pounds works out to be about 1,000 gallons. If the military was getting their fuel for $3 a gallon like you and me, that only comes to about $3,000 per hour, but you know they are probably paying more like $100 a gallon because of some contract bullshit.

Doomed! We are doomed, I tell you!

Annoying Puzzles (and Cognitive Reflection Problems) - Numberphile

Our brains sabotage our minds, or is it that our* minds are sabotaging our brains? Anyway, whatever you think about most anything is probably wrong.

I was going to say 'are our minds' but I can't say it or even think it without tripping over it.

Technique, Schmekteek

[First Heterogeneous Fighting Race (Oval Super Battle in Kawaguchi 2015)]

Watch the guy in the yellow jacket. He does everything wrong. What is he doing out there? You'll see.

Monday, February 8, 2021

Pump It Up

Elvis Costello & The Attractions - Pump It Up (Official Music Video)
Elvis Costello

I don't know how this song got on my play list. I think I may have been rooting around in the archives, but in any case I've been playing it a bunch lately. I knew it was an old tune, but I was thinking, you know, like maybe 20 years. Sorry bub, 1978. Criminently, that's 43 years ago. Elvis' spastic footwork suits the tune perfectly. He's show up here before. I looked at a bunch of his tunes but there are only a couple that I like and this is one of them.


How a Lawsuit Killed Youtube’s Most Exciting Project Car
Donut Media

I remember hearing a while back how copyright laws had been extended to protect Disney but I hadn't heard anything lately. There is just too much excitement going on in the world.

I wonder how the courts would view a car that was 'not Eleanor'? Um, yes, this car looks just like Eleanor #1 (or #2), but no, it is not named Eleanor. Could you call it 'Not Eleanor'? Or abbreviate it to '!Eleanor'? Reminds me of the 'Axis of Weasels' remark.