Intel's Ronler Acres Plant

Silicon Forest
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Monday, February 28, 2022

Emergency Landing at Hillsboro Airport

Cessna Catastrophic Engine Failure Emergency with Video and ATC Audio
Cessna Twoohfive

The engine on this Cessna airplane quit while enroute from Seattle to Sacramento, California, last week. Fortunately, he was only a few miles from the Hillsboro Airport and was able to glide in and land safely. He was at 9,000 feet of elevation and six miles from the Hillsboro Airport when the engine quit. A Cessna 205 has a theoretical glide ration of 1.5 miles for every 1,000 feet of altitude, so he had a little cushion of time and space, not a lot, but some, and he was able to land safely. Hillsboro Airport, home to Nike, Intel and the Portland Trail Blazers charter flights, is just a mile from my house.

Cessna 205, same one as in the video

The Cessna 205 was only made in 1963 and 64 before is was superseded by the 206.

Continental 470 Engine

There are some photos at the end of the video that show the catastrophic damage to the engine. I hope to hear more about the causes in the near future.

Via Byron


Ted Nugent - Stranglehold (Official Audio)

I have not been able to access the RT (formerly Russia Today) website from my home the last couple of days. That wasn't too surprising given the amount of piling on being done by all those who know better, but Feedly was still showing me a full range of articles from RT. Today I am over at the new house accessing the internet using my cell phone modem that is connecting to Verizon and I am not having any trouble at all bringing up RT. My home connects to the world wide web via a fiber optic cable administered by Ziply. Makes me wonder if there is some conspiracy afoot to keep me from hearing the words of master Putin.

Meanwhile on the world stage, all kinds of folks are threatening Russia with all kinds of sanctions. Every time I see something about that I have to laugh. Russia has a stranglehold on Europe's natural gas supply. Make things too painful for Russia and they could just cut off the supply to Europe. But maybe the leaders of the free world don't care if a quarter of their people freeze to death this winter. They certainly haven't shown any concern about the people who have been getting trampled by their idiotic policies lately.

Sunday, February 27, 2022

Nightmare Alley - Psychiatrist's Office

Cate Blanchett plays psychiatrist Dr. Lilith Ritter in the movie Nightmare Alley. Her office blew me away, it is just fabulous. Most photos (2, 3 & 4) from Architectural Digest. Click any image to enlarge to get the full effect.

Cate Blanchett and Bradley Cooper in “Nightmare Alley.”(Kerry Hayes/20th Century Studios)

Shown here is the office of Lilith Ritter (played by Cate Blanchett), which was inspired by classic 1930s Art Deco design. Photo: Kerry Hayes

Roughly 80% of the film’s interiors were built studio sets, including the office of Lilith Ritter (Cate Blanchett). Much of the Art Deco furniture came from CooCoou27 and Queen City Antiques in Buffalo, the Finch Hudson showroom in Hudson, New York, as well as the NYC Modern showroom in Mount Penn, Pennsylvania. Photo: Kerry Hayes

This one isn't Kate's office, this is the mark's office. Photo: Kerry Hayes

Dr. Lilith Ritter (Cate Blanchett) & Stanton Carlisle (Bradley Cooper) scheming - Searchlight Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

Previous post about this movie.

Conversion Calculations

Simple Conversion

The total US LNG output according to the EIA for 2022 is 11.5 bcf per day, which is 115 bcm per year, or roughly the capacities of Nord Stream 1 and 2 combined. 

I take bcf to mean billions of cubic feet and bcm to mean billions of cubic meters and I notice that  the number give for bcm per year is ten times the amount given for bcf per day, which makes me wonder if this could be right? So I haul out my trusty spreadsheet and check, and lo and behold it does. 

Of course a little mental arithmetic could assure you that the numbers are at least in the same ball park. A cubic yard holds 27 cubic feet and cubic meter is a little bigger than a cubic yard. Ten times 27 is 270 which is roughly the same size as 365, so yeah, it could be, but it still seems to be too much of a coincidence so I had to check.

Nightmare Alley

NIGHTMARE ALLEY | Official Trailer | Searchlight Pictures

Nightmare Alley is a modern remake of the 1947 film of the same name. It's a lush picture, every scene is like an old master's painting, full of color and detail. It's the story of a man who joins a carnival during the depression just as WW2 breaks out. It's not really a carnival, it's more a collection of sideshows featuring acts like a strong man, a contortionist, and a 'geek' who eats live chickens. He starts as a roustabout, loading trucks, setting up tents, the hard work involved in tearing down and setting up the show when they move to the next town. He soon moves up the ranks offering suggestions to improve some of the acts. He shows himself to be a true carny, totally committed to the game of fleecing the marks that walk through their gates.

As an aside, that word 'carny' has an interesting etymology. Note the boldface text:
Carny is thought to have become popularized around 1931 in North America, when it was first colloquially used to describe one who works at a carnival. The word carnival, originally meaning a "time of merrymaking before Lent" and referring to a time denoted by lawlessness (often ritualised under a lord of misrule figure and intended to show the consequences of social chaos), came into use around 1549. - Wikipedia

Think we could use a little of that? Of course that presumes that people can learn anything at all. Sometimes only being hit over the head with a two-by-four will dissuade them from their headlong plunge into idiocy, but we're getting sidetracked here. 

Back to the movie. He falls under the tutelage of an old man who used to be a successful performer but has since succumbed to demon alcohol. He has a meticulous notebook of verbal codes used with his assistant in his mentalist act. Stan, our not-a-hero, studies the book assiduously and with a doll from the carnival starts up his own mentalist act and soon becomes a sensation in the big city, traveling around the country, living in fancy hotels, living the high life.

Now he starts to encounter some high rollers, and this is where it starts to get weird. A mentalist act can be very entertaining, much like a magic act, but some people take it seriously. Add in obsessive grief or guilt and a conniving mentalist, such as our boy, and we can see an opportunity to make off with a boatload of moola. Remember, too, this in the 1930's, the height of the depression, and people's fascination with all forms of the occult was rampant.

The psychiatrist gets involved, big money changes hands and then disaster strikes and everything collapses.

The movie tells a story, and while the scenes on the screen are glorious, the story and the characters are just rough sketches. That might be due to the dialog, which was full of odd phrases and pronouncements. People would say things and my brain would say 'what?', but the story is moving along. It was kind of like watching John Belushi's Samurai character from SNL making a sketch, big slashing motions accompanied by incomprehensible yelling.

Now the cast, that was interesting. Bunch of people I had seen before but didn't know their names. IMDB provide us with a page of stars:

Nightmare Alley Cast

Some notes about the characters:

Saturday, February 26, 2022

Lotus & Yamaha

The Lotus Elise is unlike any other car ever made | Revelations with Jason Cammisa | Ep. 21

The Lotus Elise was introduced in 1996 and they finally quit making it last year. That means they were building this car for 25 years, which is just astounding. The thing weighs less than one ton, and that's with all the Federal safety and emissions equipment, which is also astounding.

This car lists for over $200K, but a quick search turned up several used ones for less than $50K.

At the 12:15 mark he starts talking about the Toyota engine, an engine made by Yamaha, which is kind of weird because (1) I didn't know Yamaha made engines for cars, and (2) this is like the third video I have seen today about cars with Yamaha engines. The others were the Ford Taurus SHO and a Volvo. Wikipedia has a brief summary.



I'm cruising through Feedly and a post from RT (formerly Russia Today, undoubtedly Putin's mouthpiece) about the World Economic Forum appears. Sometimes the whole post doesn't show up on Feedly, so I follow a link to the RT website, something I have done zillions of times in the past, but this time I get a DDoS-GUARD page (above image). It says it has 'registered suspicious traffic coming from your network.' Suspicious traffic from my network? Right, it's suspicious because I tried to access RT. I dutifully click the 'I am human' checkbox, but all that happens is I get a pulsing beige dot.

Is RT trying to protect themselves from a DDoS attack? A distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack is a malicious attempt to disrupt the normal traffic of a targeted server, service or network by overwhelming the target or its surrounding infrastructure with a flood of Internet traffic. Is there such an attack going on right now? Or is someone throwing up roadblocks and using this warning page to disguise their action?

Natural Gas, Russian Propaganda & The Environmental Movement

2019 photo of natural gas drill rig in Lancashire - Cuadrilla/PA

Some people are painting Russia as a big bad villain for invading Ukraine. I think the invasion was an entirely predictable response to our pushing to add Ukraine to NATO. Anyway, Putin has done it and now people are crying for sanctions, like not buying any more natural gas from Russia. In the middle of winter, when Russia supplies something like 30% of Europe's supply. 

Now, how is it that Russia got to be such a big supplier of natural gas to Russia? Could it be that they funded environmental groups to protest against anything that would make Europe energy independent? Does that sound like one of those crazy theories about Russia meddling in Western affairs that some people have been pushing? 

Michael Shellenberger (Twitterand Matt Ridley (The Critic) seem to think it's real:

The Russians also lobbied behind the scenes against shale gas, worried about losing their grip on the world’s gas supplies. Unlike most conspiracy theories about Russian meddling in Western politics, this one is out there in plain sight. The head of Nato, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, said the Russians, as part of a sophisticated disinformation operation, “engaged actively with so-called non-governmental organisations — environmental organisations working against shale gas — to maintain Europe’s dependence on imported Russian gas”.

The Centre for European Studies found that the Russian government has invested $95 million in NGOs campaigning against shale gas. Russia Today television ran endless anti-fracking stories, including one that “frackers are the moral equivalent of paedophiles”. The US Director of National Intelligence stated that “RT runs anti-fracking programming … reflective of the Russian Government’s concern about the impact of fracking and US natural gas production on the global energy market and the potential challenges to Gazprom’s profitability.” Pro-Russian politicians such as Lord Truscott (married to a Russian army colonel’s daughter) made speeches in parliament against fracking.

Makes me wonder if this whole Ukraine debacle was engineered to maximize Russia's profits from natural gas because some guys in the international billionaires club have a big stake in Gazprom*, the Russian natural gas company.

* Gazprom has their own web page, but for some reason it's not loading right now. You don't suppose somebody cut the wire, do you?

Via ZeroHedge

Blackhawk Helicopter Crash

Two Black Hawk helicopters from the Utah Army National Guard crashed at Snowbird’s Mineral Basin. No serious injuries were reported.

One of the crashed helicopters

Video via FlightAware and Unofficial Networks

A380 Eunice Heathrow

A hovering giant, is this Plane really doing that? A380 storm Eunice London Heathrow

An Airbus A380 fights 65 MPH crosswinds while attempting to land during the storm that recently battered the UK.

Via FlightAware


Kamov Ka-32A11BC C-N 9712

This might have been taken in 2019 on the Canary Islands when they had some severe wildfires. You can see cables hanging from an attachment point underneath the fuselage, for carrying water bags.

Friday, February 25, 2022

Private Plane

BOEING 767-300 (P4-MES)

Roman Abramovitch's private B767 (bandit) landing at TNCM (Princess Juliana Airport Saint Maarten).
So who's this guy Roman? Google knows:
Roman Arkadyevich Abramovich is a Russian oligarch, billionaire, businessman, and politician. Abramovich enriched himself in the years following the collapse of the Soviet Union, obtaining Russian state-owned assets at prices far below market value in Russia's controversial loans-for-shares privatization program. Wikipedia

Somehow seems appropriate since Russia's been in the news lately.

I Fight Evil

I Fight Evil Forces - Francis Alexander

Hertz, the car rental company has a couple of problems. First problem: "The company filed for bankruptcy on May 22, 2020, citing a sharp decline in revenue and future bookings caused by the COVID-19 pandemic." - Wikipedia. They seem to be getting along okay now.

The other problem is a couple hundred customers are suing them for false arrest, saying that Hertz claimed they had stolen their rental car when they had in fact paid for it.

I went looking for information about this lawsuit but I didn't find much except the name of the lawyer who is handling the case - Francis Alexander, which is where I got the cool image at the top.

This wouldn't have bothered me much, I mean no more than any other story of people getting screwed by giant, incompetent organizations, except I was just talking to IAman the other day about car rental companies and how I had tried all the others, found them to be garbage and finally settled on Hertz because the business of renting a car from them was so smooth. The last time I tried to save a couple of bucks on a rental car the counter man made me listen to a 15 minute spiel about all kinds of bullshit I wasn't interested in before he would finally give me the keys and let me go.

These days I only rent a car when mine is laid up in the shop for a few days, and then I rent from Enterprise because they have lots of little local offices.

Via Knuckledraggin My Life Away

Why This is the World's Pirate Capital

I didn't watch this video. I listened to it while playing mindless games. He's talking about piracy, mostly around Africa. The curious thing is I didn't get much out of it, something about the economics of piracy and markets and (maybe) how this one 'attack' was actually a scam. But I was lulled by his droning voice, almost like listening to music. I can do the same thing with videos from Watch Wes Work and I remember some dude reporting that he enjoyed listening to Rush Limbaugh even though he disagreed with everything he said.

Thursday, February 24, 2022


Quordle Solution

Wordle is a new word puzzle that has been sweeping the internet. It's great, most everyone in my family plays it every day. It's just the right amount of difficult, but the best part is that there is only one puzzle each day, so you can't spend all day playing one puzzle after another.

Now we've got Quordle, a knock off of Wordle that gives you four words to decipher. At first glance it might look more difficult, but if you just work on one word at a time, by the time you have solved that one you have several clues to help you with the second one, and so on.

Hulett Unloaders

Cleveland's Forgotten Hulett Unloaders
Railroad Street

These machines look like something out of science fiction story, but they were real and existed all around the Great Lakes for the entire 20th Century. Prime examples of Victorian Engineering. Hard to believe it took them 100 years to start using conveyor belts. I suppose once you've invested a zillion dollars in building these monsters you are going to get your money's worth out of them.

Never thought about it before, but the shipping season only lasts nine months because the Great Lakes freeze over. If you are running a steel mill you probably don't want to shut down for three months every year, which means you need to stockpile a couple of million tons of ore to get you through the winter. You'd need acres of space to store it.

And now that I'm thinking about it, Pittsburgh was another big steel town. What do you need to make steel? Coal and iron ore, so you could use a train to haul iron ore from Cleveland to Pittsburgh and then use the same train to haul coal back from Pittsburgh to Cleveland. Paying freight both ways, a railroad man's dream.

I took the dates (there are a bunch of them) and put them in a spreadsheet:

IFX - Interfax

I'm looking at a report from my stock broker about Russia's invasion of Ukraine. I'm reading along and it mentions a report from IFX. IFX? Never heard of them. Turns out it is a subscription news service. Dial up their webpage and they have this announcement:

Interfax Announcement

As you might expect, they have a very different slant on the news than what you get from your popular news outlets.

What a Scam

Madbird Bogus Advertising Agency

It happened in London and it looks a whole lot like Inventing Anna. A guy creates a digital advertising business and hires a bunch of graphics designers to work on a commission basis, but none of the supposed deals he is working on ever come through. Nobody suspects a thing until one person starts nosing around, looking for the office where they are going to be working when the pandemic is over and finds . . . nothing. In a matter of minutes the whole house of cards collapses. Just like Anna he might have been 'this close' to succeeding if any of those advertising deals he was supposedly pursuing ever came through. On the other hand, he might have just been another Chase scamming his way through life with a completely fake company. The only problem is that it seems that there was no money coming in, none at all. Very weird.

BBC has the story. Via Schneier On Security.


Map of Russian Invasion of Ukraine

Looks like all the warnings about Russia invading Ukraine have come true. We kept poking the bear and now the bear has come out swinging. I'm not surprised. I've given up on Western media, you have to suffer through too many advertisements, human interest stories and sensationalism before you get any real information, if there even is any. So I went looking for what Russia had to say about it and I found some excerpts from Putin's statement on Aljazeera

I especially liked this bit:

“Then came the turn of Iraq, Libya, Syria. The illegitimate use of military force against Libya, the twisting of all decisions taken by the UN Security Council on the Libyan issue led to the complete destruction of the state, to the emergence of a major hotbed of international terrorism, to a humanitarian catastrophe and a civil war that has not ended to this day. The tragedy, to which they doomed hundreds of thousands, millions of people not only in Libya, but throughout this region, gave rise to a massive migration wave from North Africa and the Middle East to Europe.

The revolutions of the Arab Spring were supposed to bring freedom and joy to all those people but mostly they brought death and destruction.

There was also this bit, that I find hard to disagree with:

“By the way, American politicians, political scientists and journalists themselves write and say that in recent years, an actual “empire of lies” has been created inside the United States. It’s hard to disagree with that, as it’s true. But let us not understate: the United States is a great country, a system-forming power. All her satellites not only dutifully agree, sing along to its music, but also copy its behaviour, and enthusiastically accept the rules they are offered. Therefore, with good reason, we can confidently say that the entire so-called Western bloc, formed by the United States in its own image and likeness, all of it is an ’empire of lies.'”

That's pretty bad. Telling the truth is the foundation of any friendship. Anywhere but in politics, liars get kicked to the curb in short order.

The Golden Hawk (1952)

The Golden Hawk (1952)

Riders of Skaith has the best review of a movie I've seen in a long time:

Movie ReReview: The Golden Hawk

I looked for a clearer version of the poster that Riders posted. I didn't find one, but I did find this:

1957 Studebaker Golden Hawk

You don't suppose the movie had anything to do with the name of this car, do you?

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Quote of the Day

Customs and outward forms signal that one’s duty is greater than one’s self, and neglect of them is an exercise in egotism. - George Rutler

Where is the Ambassador Bridge?

Ambassador Bridge

Apparently Google doesn't know either, witness the big red question mark plopped right on top of it.  Actually, I think red question mark just means Google doesn't know whether the bridge is open and the big pink circle indicates the area where traffic is impacted. The Detroit News reports that the bridge reopened over a week ago. In case you missed it, the bridge was blocked by the Canadian truckers protesting that idiot Trudeau's draconian rules.

Ambassador Bridge

Got started on this by a link on FlightAware to a story about how air freighters are picking up the slack by delivering auto parts to automobile manufacturers. Well, that's kind of expected. Once a giant factory gets geared up for production they aren't going to want to stop because they run out of widgets.

Renault TREZOR

Renault TREZOR

The Renault TREZOR is an electric concept car. Unlike most concept cars, this one actually operates and drives. SupercarBlondie has a video about it. The hexagon tile hood scoop is very cool. Very pretty, but I think I'll stick with my truck.

Via Dark Roasted Blend

TMAP - The Media Accountability Project

The Media Accountability Project Trailer from The Media Accountability Project on Vimeo.

Looks like we might have an outfit that could step into the shoes that the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) abandoned I don't know how many years ago. Or maybe the ACLU just has their hands full and can't handle the landslide of crap coming down the hill.

Via The Feral Irishman

Inventing Anna

Inventing Anna | Official Trailer | Netflix

We wanted to watch this when we heard that Julia Garner, who played Ruth on Ozark, was in it. Ruth is like a female Samuel L. Jackson, she is the smart, foul mouthed, white trash girl who becomes Marty Byrd's second in command, running the whole show while Marty is occupied with the high-level crazy shit, which is almost all the time. 

Her character here is not nearly so compelling. Anna Chlumsky as the journalist Vivian Kent is the focus here and she is keeping us engaged. The story is about how Anna Delvey conned a bunch of rich folks into financing her scheme to build a private club and so make her the fortune she pretended to have all along. The part that is compelling is how several women were conned into believing that she was their friend and how far down the rathole they were willing to be dragged before they finally realized that the whole thing was a scam and they had gotten sucked in. Some bailed out sooner, some later. The question now is (only one episode left), will Neff (the black concierge from a high end hotel) hang on till the bitter end?

P.S. The show paints a picture of a scam artist, but the story is about the reporter trying to figure out what happened. She has a ton of data from social media, but it is almost entirely worthless. Most of the pictures she found where Anna is posed next to some celebrity / socialite are just people she met in passing. Most of them have no idea who she is, and the few who did know her don't want to talk because they got scammed and that could be embarrassing or even damaging to their business.

Anna was obsessed with clothes, and most of the people she glommed onto wore fancy clothes, but I think that was because they were rich, and when you are rich, that's what you do. If you've got ten million in the bank spending then 50 grand on your wardrobe is like buying a candy bar for a working man, nothing to fret over. There is another character in the story, Van, who works in the fancy clothes business. He is also obsessed with clothes, but that's how he makes his living, and he works at it. A telling line is when he finds out that Anna has been arrested, his only question is what color are the clothes the jail issued to her.

All of which goes to show that all this social media noise is entirely superficial.  Some people have built successful careers on this noise, but those people are in a precarious position. If the winds change you could find yourself in a world of hurt. If you are going to build your castle on a foundation of sand, don't be surprised if it suddenly collapses.

Monday, February 21, 2022


Signal Trailer
iflix Malaysia

Korean cop show about a cold case squad. Two coppers start communicating over walkie talkies, except the are operating at two different points in time, 25 years apart. Totally unbelievable, but it makes for a good story. 

Kim Hye-su

It got a little slow and soap-opera-y at times, but the very attractive Kim Hye-su made up for it. It's kind of ridiculous how much I enjoyed watching her.

The above trailer has subtitles, but it's very short, so here's a longer one. No subtitles, but it gives a better idea of the flavor of the show.

[#시그널] 6분 하이라이트!
tvN drama

Jack tells me that a few years ago there was a discussion in ham radio circles about some kind of delayed radio transmissions. A little Googling turned up this story on VICE:

Radio Ghosts Have Haunted the Airwaves for Nearly a Century

These ghost signals are only few seconds old, not fifteen years. On the other hand, no one has figured out just what is causing them. And delays can only account for receiving messages from out of the past, we still have no method of sending messages back in time.

All of which sounds a whole lot like another movie I saw many moons ago:

Frequency - Original Theatrical Trailer

Frequency came out in 2000 and was something of a hit. Wikipedia has the story.

On Netflix, from 2016, 16 episodes.

NASA's Laser Communication Relay Demonstration Satellite

Why NASA Needs Laser Communication

Tight beam communications is coming! It's been a staple of science fiction space war stories. If you are using a laser to communicate with other ships in your squadron, the enemy can't listen in on your conversations. Compared to radio, data rates are higher and energy requirements are lower since you focusing all your energy in one beam, and not broadcasting it to every bug-eyed monster in the neighborhood. Of course, you must be able to point your laser accurately. 
The Webb Space Telescope has a similar problem with aligning its mirrors, but they seem to have figured that out. Then there is the problem of the beam spreading. The beam of a laser beam sent from the Earth might be a quarter mile wide by the time it reaches the moon.  Now imagine how wide that beam would be by the time it got to Pluto. There are some lasers that have tighter beams that would not spread as much.

This is not the first laser communication system in space. There have several others, some still in use. I imagine what makes this one different is in the details.

North American Aviation XB-70 Valkyrie

North American Aviation XB-70A-1-NA Valkyrie 62-0001 Prototype just before landing at Runway 4 Right, Edwards Air Force Base, ending of its first flight, 21 September 1964.

Detroit Steve and I spent some years on farms in Ohio when we were in high school. His dad (Bill) and my dad (Roman) both worked for North American Aviation, but something prompted them both to buy farms, so off to the farm we went.

In 1966 one of the two prototype XB-70s collided with a chase plane and crashed in the California desert. (Wikipedia) The copilot of the XB-70, Carl Cross, was killed in the crash. He was a friend of Bill's and Steve may have even met him.

Major Carl Cross


The New Yorker

I used to read The New Yorker. I don't know why I quit. Probably because a new issue would show up every week and I never got around to reading them and then I ended up with a giant stack of like-new magazines that I had to consign to the dustbin in order to maintain my sanity. They publish some good stuff. They also publish a lot of nonsense, but that's just the way the media runs these days. Anyway, I got a promotional email this morning. I was going to delete it, but then I wondered if there might be an email address buried in there, so I looked, and lo and behold, there was. So I wrote them this little message:

I am not going to subscribe to The New Yorker or The Washington Post or The New York Times. I don't want to be locked into one news feed and I don't want to be paying subscription fees to half a dozen different outfits. That shit can add up to real money.

What I want is a subscription service that lets me read from any number of sites. To make things fair, that service would keep track of what stories each subscriber accessed, how long they spent reading it (and if they actually read it, but that might be tricky) and then divy up the fees amongst all the news providers on a proportional basis.

I don't understand why someone hasn't done this, other than the old paper empires are still locked in old ways of thinking.

If I keep promoting this idea maybe someone will latch onto it and run with it.



Once every couple of months or so I get a spam comment on one of my old posts. Yesterday I got a comment from a pest control company in Hyderabad India on a post I put up back in 2014. I do not understand this. If it was a recent post, or the comments appeared regularly, I could understand it. But why on just one ancient post? Most of these type of comments come from India and Pakistan. Are my posts being circulated on some south Asian forum? It's just weird, man.

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Marconi Wireless Telegraph

British Post Office engineers inspect Marconi's radio equipment during a demonstration on Flat Holm Island, 13 May 1897. The transmitter is at centre, the coherer receiver below it, and the pole supporting the wire antenna is visible at top.

Just because.

Flat Holm Island Aerial View

Flat Holm island is just south of Cardiff, Wales, about 3 miles offshore in the Bristol Channel. "A sanatorium for cholera patients was built in 1896 as the isolation hospital for the port of Cardiff."  (Wikipedia) Note that was just a year before the photo at top.

Flat Holm Island


2024 Forecast Coal Production

Some people make a lot of noise about much CO2 you get from burning coal. Some parts of the world, like India and China, could benefit from just cleaning up the smoke.

Sample Layout of Emissions Controls at a Coal Power Plant

Yes, pollution controls are expensive, but they seem to work. No, they doesn't have any impact on CO2 but since we are likely to become radioactive dust at any moment, I wouldn't worry about it.

Some People

Russian President Vladimir Putin meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Moscow. (Alexei Druzhinin / AP Photo)

Some people are so invested in their own beliefs that nothing can dissuade them from their idiocy. Andrew J. Bacevich's article on The Nation has the best explanation for why the White House is beating the war drum these days. I don't agree with everything in that article, but this bit is pretty good.

But let me suggest that our present-day antipathy toward Russia derives from something deeper than an unwillingness to let go of old grudges. The real issue has less to do with them than with us. More specifically, it centers on a desperate need to refurbish the concept of American exceptionalism. Nowhere is that need felt more powerfully than among members of the foreign policy establishment.

American exceptionalism is the conviction that in some mystical way God or Providence or History has charged America with the task of guiding humankind to its intended destiny. Embedded in the phrase is the essence of our collective identity.

We Americans—not the Russians and certainly not the Chinese—are the Chosen People. We—and only we—are called upon to bring about the triumph of liberty, democracy, and humane values (as we define them), while not so incidentally laying claim to more than our fair share of earthly privileges and prerogatives.

American exceptionalism assumes a Manichean world in which good is pitted against evil, with our side assumed to embody good. Packaged with highfalutin sentiments of the sort to which recent US presidents (except one) routinely—and perhaps even sincerely—pay tribute, American exceptionalism justifies American global primacy.

New word for the day: Manichaean, pertains to Manichaeism, an old religion that taught an elaborate dualistic cosmology describing the struggle between a good, spiritual world of light, and an evil, material world of darkness. Actually, I've run across it before, and looked it up before, but so far it hasn't stuck. That's the problem with smart people. They find new words and then they inflict them on the proles. Annoying is what it is.

Note about the photo. John Kerry was Secretary of State under Obama. Oldest version of this photo I found is from 2016. Who knows why The Nation decided to use it. ZeroHedge used a photo Biden. I like Putin better than Biden, probably because all my information comes from the fringes and not from the center.

Via ZeroHedge

Dubai Museum of the Future

Dubai Museum of the Future
289 piece jigsaw puzzle

Dubai is just nuts. You have to give these guys credit for not falling down the Jihad rathole, but then they are probably working hand in glove with the CIA. As long as they keep their slave population under control, they'll probably be just fine.

Dubai Museum of the Future

P.S. Stu asked what the writing says. After a little digging I found this on WHAT'S ON:

The Arabic calligraphy consists of three quotes (in English followed by Google's Translation):
‘We may not live for hundreds of years, but the products of our creativity can leave a legacy long after we are gone.’

 قد لا نعيش لمئات السنين ، لكن منتجات إبداعنا يمكن أن تترك إرثًا طويلاً بعد

‘The future belongs to those who can imagine it, design it, and execute it’ and

 المستقبل ملك لمن يستطيع تخيله وتصميمه وتنفيذه

‘The future does not wait. The future can be designed and built today.’
المستقبل لا ينتظر. يمكن تصميم وبناء المستقبل اليوم.

 Good luck verifying whether that is what is actually written on the building.

Friday, February 18, 2022

The Artemis Program

The Artemis Program

Finally some straight talk without a lot of fluff. He covers the main issues involved with getting to the moon, but promises more in a follow up video. It's been four weeks, Simon, where is it?

Not one word about how grossly expensive the SLS (Space Launch System) has proven to be, but that should be expected since it was designed and built by government employees and government defense contractors. In NASA's defense, they are working out there on the bleeding edge, trying things no one has done before and documenting them so that other people can make use of that information. As for Boeing (the prime SLS contractor), they're big and fat and happily ensconced in the government pack. I doubt they could move nimbly if their life depending on it. You get in with the pack and nothing is more important than keeping your fellow pack members happy. Sure, you show up for work and you do things, but coffee, donuts and chitchat are just as important, aren't they?

The bit about the construction of the Orion module was interesting. An aluminum-lithium alloy, stronger than titanium? I wonder if anyone else is using it for anything. Hit me Google.

The primary use for Aluminum-Lithium alloys is in aerospace, i.e. making parts for airplanes. It has been around since the 1920s although it didn't start being used in aircraft till the 1950s.

Getting to the moon is one thing. Getting down to the surface is another, especially with all the gear you are going to need to establish some kind of permanent base. SpaceX's Starship could very well get us there, but the Starship is 160 odd feet tall and the bottom 100 feet are all fuel tanks. When it lands, you've got to descend 100 feet to get to the surface. You could use a winch to move between the ship and ground. A high speed electric winch would make it quick, but it would still be a nuisance. What happens when you want to move something like a bulldozer, or a nuclear reactor? The Starship is a chunk, maybe a 100 tons sitting on the moon. You want to shove a ten ton reactor 20 feet out the door and lower it to the ground? You ever see those videos of giant cranes falling over when they try to pick up something too heavy? So we might need something like this:

Dynetic's HLS (Human Landing System) Concept

Moving 1000s of Factoies

Dominated by heavy industry, Hebei province surrounds Beijing and has been blamed for the serious smog problems in the capital. Photo: Simon Song

There's two ways you can move 1000s of factories. You can do it like Stalin did in WW2 and just pick them up bodily, load them on trains and haul them half way across the country. Or you do like the US did and just change the rules and the factories will pack up and move of their own volition.

Yesterday's video was all about when the Nazis attacked in WW2, the Soviet Union moved a boatload of factories east. The number of factories mentioned was 1,500, which prompted anonymous to comment:

1500 so how many went from U.S.A to china

Well, how many was it Google? I had to scroll down (one whole screen's worth) past all the recent new reports of US companies leaving China but eventually we got to some relevant stuff. The first one was from Politifact, I don't know how good they are, but they agreed with Donald Trump, something I would never expect from them.

Donald Trump stated on March 20, 2017 in remarks at a Kentucky rally:

"Since China joined — that’s another beauty — the WTO in 2001, the U.S. has lost many more than 60,000 factories."

60,000 factories gone to China means, what? 6 million people out of work? No wonder Trump got elected. People talk about the deep state, which sounds kind of ominous, but I think what we have at work is a pack mentality. People connected with the government are enjoying the benefits of that cooperation, they are part of the pack. Everybody else, people not connected with the government except through taxes and voting are not part of the pack. For those in the government camp, all those who are not in their pack don't count. If they get screwed over, it doesn't matter, if they lose their job, their home or even their life, it doesn't matter, they are not part of the government pack. From the viewpoint of the government pack insiders, they don't matter because they are not "one of us".