Makes the most sense to me - Russia

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About that storm - Ride the Ducks

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Looks like someone was not paying attention - from MSN/The Washington Post:

The violent storm behind the duck boat tragedy was well-predicted, not ‘out of nowhere’
Seventeen people are dead after a severe thunderstorm capsized a duck boat in Branson, Mo., Thursday night.

In the wake of the tragedy, Jim Pattison Jr. president of the parent company for Ride the Ducks Branson, said the storm “came out of nowhere.” This is simply not true. Meteorologists had been tracking the storm for hours, and their forecasts offered considerable lead time for the hazardous weather.

“[T]his indirect blaming of meteorologists was old a decade ago and is completely inappropriate in this particular situation,” wrote Mike Smith, a retired meteorologist and former executive at AccuWeather in a blog post.

The National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm watch, signaling conditions were favorable for dangerous storms in the region, at 11:20 a.m. Central time, nearly eight hours before the storm struck. The watch cautioned “widespread damaging winds likely with isolated significant gusts to 75 mph possible.”

As the storms drew close, the Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm warning at 6:32 p.m. Central, indicating a violent storm was imminent, about 30 minutes before the boat capsized.

The Ducks have had a very bad safety record - time to get them out of service although the incident in Branson was just sheer negligence and that particular company needs to be sued into bankruptcy.

Great opening set - Kraftwerk

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Guten Abend Kraftwerk, guten Abend Stuttgart!
On 20 July 2018 around 21:50 local time, ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst welcomed the legendary electronic band Kraftwerk and 7500 visitors to the Jazz Open Festival on Stuttgart's Schlossplatz – live from the International Space Station, where he will live and work until mid-December 2018. During the call with space, Kraftwerk founding member Ralf Hütter and Alexander played a special duet version of the track Spacelab, for which Alexander had a tablet computer configured with virtual synthesizers on board. With thanks to Kraftwerk for sharing this video footage.

Great interview with our President

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Fifteen minutes of great questions and answers with CNBC anchor Joe Kernen.

Dinner was good

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Marinated chicken breast with potato salad. Took a nice long walk along the beach but the tide is coming in so didn't want to get stranded with the dogs.

Eye is better but still pretty uncomfortable - feels like I have a grain of sand in there. Doing the eye drops religiously.

Back - surf for a bit and then to bed. Heading up to the farm tomorrow. Lots of stuff to do.

Happy 49th birthday

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My Mom and Dad were vacationing in Massachusetts when the Apollo moon landing took place. I was working a summer job (with a pipe organ builder) and drove to their place to watch it together.

Such a pinnacle of our civilization. We did this in less than ten years from commitment to footsteps. Always loved this photo:


Nothing much today

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At the island for one more night - back to the farm tomorrow. Got a chicken breast marinating and will fire up the grill in a few minutes.

Nothing much caught my eye on the internet and there is plenty to keep me occupied otherwise.

Always classy - Ms. Goldberg

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From the New York Post:

Whoopi Goldberg and Jeanine Pirro get into explosive argument backstage at ‘The View’
Whoopi Goldberg and Jeanine Pirro got into an explosive argument backstage at “The View” on Thursday — after an intense on-the-air exchange got even more heated behind-the-scenes, sources exclusively tell Page Six.

The confrontation ended with liberal Goldberg allegedly shouting, “F–k you, get the f–k out!” at President Trump supporter and Fox News host Pirro.

During the screaming match, Pirro told Goldberg, “I’ve done more for abused women than you will ever do,” we hear.

The trouble, sources told us, started before Pirro even went on-air to promote her new book, “Liars, Leakers, and Liberals: The Case Against the Anti-Trump Conspiracy” — when Pirro arrived at “The View” to learn that anti-Trump CNN contributor Ana Navarro was filling in for Joy Behar.

Goldberg apologised to the audience but not to Judge Pirro. I liked her as Guinan but nothing else has caught my eye. I thought that the left was all about tolerance. Guess not.

News you can use - Epoxy

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Great to know - big fan of JB Weld:

From Sioux Falls station KDLT:

Authorities: Bombs, Guns Found While Serving Search Warrant for Burglaries
Authorities have arrested a 43-year-old man after they located explosive devices and firearms at his residence while serving a search warrant in connection with multiple area burglaries.

Authorities say they connected 43-year-old Mark Einerwold to three separate burglaries throughout June and July in Tea and Dell Rapids.

Authorities served a search warrant at Einerwold’s residence in the 1100 block of South Blaine Avenue in Sioux Falls at around 4:45 p.m. on Tuesday.

While serving the search warrant, detectives found what they say were bomb making materials and chemicals. The Sioux Falls Police bomb squad were called to the residence and authorities evacuated the surrounding area.

Authorities say they found multiple explosive devices as well as ammonium nitrate and aluminum powder, which authorities say have no use other than for an explosive device.

Authorities also seized multiple firearms and a homemade firearm silencer from the residence.

And a little bit further down the page:

Authorities say they found multiple items related to Antifa, an anti-fascist militant group, as well as other items indicating an extreme hatred for law enforcement and government.

Antifa - the millitant arm of the progressive Democrat party. They claim to be anti-fascism but they support centralised government and totalitarian ideas and policies. Their choice of name is a perfect example of the Big Lie - worked well in 1925 and still working today. Promoted by the same people too - the National Socialists.

The joys of home ownership

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Had a leak out by the water meter. Got a plumber in and they will be fixing it. Nothing serious but there will be some excavation.

From Politico:

Why filing taxes isn’t easy
The Trump administration unveiled a “postcard-sized” tax form late last month that will supposedly make it easier for Americans to do their own taxes. The move was nothing more than a publicity stunt as a number . of . commentators noted, the administration achieved its postcard-sized ambitions only by requiring millions of Americans to submit supplementary worksheets that actually complicate the task of tax preparation.

The real action on tax filing right now is happening on the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, where Congress is working hard to ensure that doing your taxes remains a time-consuming and expensive endeavor. The House of Representatives has passed two bills in recent weeks that seek to stop the IRS from simplifying the tax-filing process. One is pending in the Senate Finance Committee. The other cleared the Senate Appropriations Committee in late June, with a floor vote likely this summer.

At issue are two innovations that, if adopted by the IRS, would radically reduce the time and expense incurred in filing federal income tax returns. The first is free online tax preparation paired with electronic filing: The IRS could offer an easy-to-use product that assists you in completing your tax return, then allows you to submit your return online—all at a price of $0. A second and even more pioneering possibility is “pre-population”: the IRS could allow you to begin the filing process with an already filled-out return rather than making you enter each item of information from scratch.

And why this is happening:

Why would lawmakers want to stop the IRS from simplifying tax filing? Here’s a clue: H&R Block has spent $3.4 million lobbying the current Congress, and Intuit—the maker of TurboTax—has pitched in an additional $3.1 million. They and their employees also have contributed more than $500,000 this cycle to congressional candidates, political action committees, and parties.

And tax politics make strange bedfellows. Fighting alongside H&R Block and Intuit are anti-tax activist groups like Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform. H&R Block and Intuit love taxes—that’s how they make their money. Grover Norquist wants to cut taxes wherever possible. But on this issue, their interests are aligned. H&R Block and Intuit want to make it difficult for you to file on your own. The anti-tax activists think that if taxpaying is too easy, voters will be less likely to resist the federal government’s growth. Both want to make it as painful as possible for you to do your taxes yourself.

A pox on these people - acting in their own interest instead of We The People. What never fails to amaze me is just how cheap our congress people are - they are being bought for a pittance.

Don't mess with Texas - oil

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From CNN:

Texas to pass Iraq and Iran as world's No. 3 oil powerhouse
The shale oil boom has brought a gold rush mentality to the Lone Star State, which is home to not one but two massive oilfields.

Plunging drilling costs have sparked an explosion of production out of the Permian Basin of West Texas. In fact, Texas is pumping so much oil that it will surpass OPEC members Iran and Iraq next year, HSBC predicted in a recent report.

If it were a country, Texas would be the world's No. 3 oil producer, behind only Russia and Saudi Arabia, the investment bank said.

"It's remarkable. The Permian is nothing less than a blessing for the global economy," said Bob McNally, president of Rapidan Energy Group, a consulting firm.

Great news - the idea that we have reached "peak oil" is not based on the numbers. There are a lot of untapped reserves and the technology is always advancing.

And it's pink-eye

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Had been diagnosed with Conjunctivitis yesterday after three days of a low-grade irritation in my left eye.

Woke up this morning with that eye completely crusted shut. Looks like something out of a Halloween getup. It does not hurt so the meds are doing their work - see how it is later this afternoon. Meeting with a plumber at 1:00PM - water leak at the island.

An interesting poll

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From Gallup:

What do you think is the most important problem facing the country today?

They divided the poll into two catagories; Economic and Non Economic. In Economic, Economy in General was the major concern with only 4% of people expressing concern. Economics in total was only 15%

Non Economic had 
Dissatisfaction with government/Poor leadership coming in at 19%
Immigration/Illegal aliens coming in at 14%
Race relations/Racism coming in at 7%
Healthcare coming in at 4% and so on.

Missing from either list (and the numbers were tallied down to 0.5% and lower) was one topic that is occupying a lot of the news these days. Russia. Was not there. People are not concerned with it.

Minimal posting tonight

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My left eye had been irritated for the last couple of days. Thought it might be a particle of something but went to the Eye Doc today and I have Conjunctivitis. Yaaaay Me!

She wrote a scrip for some Tobramycin which is a topical steroid and broad-spectrum antibiotic so should be feeling better soon.Looks like it was the allergic version as there is no discharge, just irritation and a lot of tearing.

Going to watch some TV tonight instead of looking at the little screen close up. Easier on the eye...

And that is it for the evening...

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Working at home tomorrow and Thursday - want to get an early start. Lots of stuff to do here.

Our quiet sun

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Three weeks without sunspots. The story at Spaceweather:

As July 17th comes to a close, the sun has been blank for 21 straight days--a remarkable 3 weeks without sunspots. To find an equal stretch of spotless suns in the historical record, you have to go back to July-August 2009 when the sun was emerging from a century-class solar minimum. We are now entering a new solar minimum, possibly as deep as the last one.

Solar minimum is a normal part of the solar cycle. Every 11 years or so, sunspot production sputters. Dark cores that produce solar flares and CMEs vanish from the solar disk, leaving the sun blank for long stretches of time. These quiet spells have been coming with regularity since the sunspot cycle was discovered in 1859.

However, not all solar minima are alike. The last one in 2008-2009 surprised observers with its depth and side-effects. Sunspot counts dropped to a 100-year low; the sun dimmed by 0.1%; Earth's upper atmosphere collapsed, allowing space junk to accumulate; and the pressure of the solar wind flagged while cosmic rays (normally repelled by solar wind) surged to Space Age highs. These events upended the orthodox picture of solar minimum as "uneventful."

Our sun's activity has a direct bearing on our climate - should make for some interesting times ahead...

Long day today

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Spent the morning packing up kitchen stuff and then ran into the condo later this afternoon. There was a meeting of our Ham Radio Digital Group tonight so planned to attend that and very glad I did.

There was a presentation on HamWAN

A modern, multi-megabit, IP-based, digital network for amateur radio use!
HamWAN is a non-profit organization (501c3) developing best practices for high speed amateur radio data networks. HamWAN also runs the Puget Sound Data Ring, which is a real-world network implementation of the proposed designs.

So far, HamWAN networks have been used for things like low-latency repeater linking, real-time video feeds from distant locations, serving APRS I-gates, providing redundant internet access to emergency operations centers, and more. Any licensed radio amateur in the service area can connect their shack directly to the network with just a small investment in equipment and no recurring cost. Since many traditional uses for Internet at home are not compatible with Part 97 rules, this won't replace your home Internet connection. However, it works and acts just like one.

This service is available throughout most of Puget Sound and they are rapidly expanding. Like the blurb says, it will not replace a home internet connection but the equipment is hardened and in the event of an earthquake or sustained power outage it will provide decent connectivity. The antenna and modem are about $200 - cheap. Unfortunately, no service yet where I live but it is a fun technology to see develop.

I have been assembling parts for a go-box - a carrying case with a portable radio, digital modem, computer, battery and antenna that can be deployed in a moments notice. Someone brought theirs in tonight for show and tell and I got some great ideas.

From gCaptain:

Twelve People Injured by Flying Lava Aboard Kilauea Volcano Tour Boat
A dozen people were injured on Monday when the tour boat they were on was struck by flying lava from the Kilauea volcano on Big Island of Hawaii.

The U.S. Coast Guard said it received a report of 12 people injured aboard a lava tour boat off Kapoho Bay, HI, where lava from the erupting Kilauea Volcano has been entering the ocean in recent months.

The Coast Guard reported that at approximately 6 a.m., its Sector Honolulu watchstanders received an initial report from 911 of three crewmembers and three sightseers injured aboard the tour boat Hot Shot near a lava flow in Kapoho Bay.

Hawaii County Fire Department reported initially that a lava bomb had injured 23 aboard the boat. The lava punctured the boat’s roof and it returned to Wailoa Harbor in Hilo, the fire department said.

Upon arrival in Hilo, the number of injured was revised to 12 total injured, three seriously and nine minor, the Coast Guard said. The injuries reportedly ranged in severity with the worst being a broken leg.

That could have been so much worse - glad the people are OK.

One can dream can't they?

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Would have loved to have been a fly on the wall at that meeting:


A new study shows - update

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Yesterday, I posted a link to an article that lists some of the current propaganda buzzwords used in today's media. For fun I did a Google search and one source seems to have studies on the brain.

Check out these headlines from Mother Jones:

I could go on but you catch my drift...

Some interesting news out of Russia

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This is my surprised face. From Zero Hedge:

Putin Claims U.S. Intelligence Agents Funneled $400 Million To Clinton Campaign
Vladimir Putin made a bombshell claim during Monday's joint press conference with President Trump in Helsinki, Finland, when the Russian President said some $400 million in illegally earned profits was funneled to the Clinton campaign by associates of American-born British financier Bill Browder - at one time the largest foreign portfolio investors in Russia. The scheme involved members of the U.S. intelligence community, said Putin, who he said "accompanied and guided these transactions."

Browder made billions in Russia during the 90's. In December, a Moscow court sentenced Browder in absentia to nine years in prison for tax fraud, while he was also found guilty of tax evasion in a separate 2013 case. Putin accused Browder's associates of illegally earning over than $1.5 billion without paying Russian taxes, before sending $400 million to Clinton.

President Trump may be a bombast but he is doing great work for the United States and for the world. I am so glad that Hillary never got to the White House.

Looks like a case of dumb criminal stealing the wrong thing - wonder if they are still alive. From the Idaho Statesman:

INL specialists left plutonium in their car. In the morning, it was gone
Two security experts from the Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory drove to San Antonio, Texas, in March 2017 with a sensitive mission: to retrieve dangerous nuclear materials from a nonprofit research lab there.

Their task was to ensure that the radioactive materials did not fall into the wrong hands on the way back to Idaho, where the government maintains a stockpile of nuclear explosive materials for the military and others.

To ensure they got the right items, the specialists from Idaho brought radiation detectors and small samples of dangerous materials to calibrate them: specifically, a plastic-covered disk of plutonium, a material that can be used to fuel nuclear weapons, and another of cesium, a highly radioactive isotope that could potentially be used in a so-called “dirty” radioactive bomb.

But when they stopped at a Marriott hotel just off Highway 410, in a high-crime neighborhood filled with temp agencies and ranch homes, they left those sensors on the back seat of their rented Ford Expedition. When they awoke the next morning, the window had been smashed and the special valises holding these sensors and nuclear materials had vanished.

No word in the article as to the number of Curies that were stolen. The Plutonium is not that bad. The metal is poisonous but it is only an Alpha emitter so its radioactivity can be stopped by a sheet of paper or a half-inch of air. Bad news if it is ingested but pretty harmless on the shelf. Fun because the internal decay makes it noticeably warm to the touch. About twice as dense as lead too unexpectedly heavy. Cesium is another story entirely - it (depending on the isotope) emits Gamma and Beta particles and is highly flammable. It will spontaneously catch fire in air.

A useful toolkit

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Excellent post from American Partisan:

One of the most critical parts of controlling a populace is controlling their information; ensuring that you control everything they see, hear and read. I’m sure you can think of several countries’ governments doing this, through blocking large portions of the internet or even criminalizing thoughts and writings that go outside of the allowed regime-speak.

If you can’t control what information the people have access to completely or nearly so, the next best thing is to ensure that you control the narrative, while minimizing any other influences as much as possible and still maintain a facade of free speech and liberty. This is done by engaging in massive info/disinfo operations using sock puppets, media, entertainment, education, and even product advertising. Meanwhile, you must also discredit or even simply delete information that threatens the narrative. It’s not criminal to disagree in this scenario–yet–but it’s getting there. One example is the recent brouhaha over Laura Ingalls Wilder’s work. Her Ma and Pa hated Indians, you see, and suddenly regardless of historical context, greater use, or anything else, her work must be demonized. It’s happening with more and more frequency. No matter what you may think about freedom of speech in the United States, book banning is hardly a new idea. It’s been going on for many years. Interestingly enough, books that were once banned for explicit sexual content, such as Moll Flanders or Tropic of Cancer are no longer banned; the Little House on the Prairie series, however, seems well on its way to being removed from libraries and schools.

Ol’ Remus over at The Woodpile Report has an interesting list of words and phrases in his sidebar, titled “Regime-Speak.” If you haven’t made his reports a part of your reading routine, you need to–but when you go over there, take a look at the list. They’re words and phrases that are often used as part of the above mentioned efforts to control narrative and information flow.

As Remus says, if you see these terms, you’re about to be lied to (or steered/manipulated, etc.) — and these are just a few off the list.

a new study shows — How many times have you heard this phrase? It’s often used to introduce the new planned direction for the populace in some area. “A new study shows that _______ can lead to _________.” The media trumpets the ‘new study,’ and while most Americans don’t go read the study–and wouldn’t know how to prove it wrong if they did–they do go out and purchase/do/get rid of whatever they’ve just been told is bad/good. Certain companies benefit, certain industries see a drop, and the puppetmasters continue doing their thing.

Many more at the link - a good thing to keep in mind over the next 10-15 years as the worst of the deep state gets cleaned out.

Astroturfing - SCOTUS pick

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The London Daily Mail noticed something screwy about some letters to the editor:

Mystery as IDENTICAL letters appear in 21 newspapers across 12 states slamming Trump's Supreme Court pick – and they're all signed by different people
Judge Brett Kavanaugh is going into the Supreme Court confirmation process with a hail of rhetorical arrows zinging by him, including a phony letter-writing campaign aimed at unsuspecting American newspaper editors

At least 21 papers were duped last week, including big-market brands like the Dallas Morning News and The Washington Times. They ran identical letters over a four-day period, each signed by a different person.

The effort is an example of public-relations 'astroturfing,' a technique meant to simulate genuine grassroots support for an idea or cause.

It is not a social movement, it is some loser in his Mom's basement with a computer. The article has screen caps of the letters in question and they are identical.

Did not realize that this would affect shipping so much. From Bloomberg:

Tariffs Make Life Even Tougher for World’s Biggest Shipping Company
A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S may struggle to make a profit this year after the U.S. and China descended into a trade war that promises to hurt the world’s biggest shipping company.

Maersk, which is based in Copenhagen, has already lost almost a third of its market value this year as investors gird for more bad news. Trade protectionism means less demand, and history suggests the shipping industry will struggle to make the necessary supply cuts. What’s more, Maersk is now more exposed to shipping as the former conglomerate divests its energy business.

Per Hansen, an investment economist at Nordnet in Copenhagen, says Maersk is currently “in the eye of the hurricane” when it comes to the damage that will be inflicted by a trade war. He estimates the company’s shares could drop at least 10 percent.

Sheesh - has not seemed to affect the Baltic Dry Index though. Back in February of 2016, it cratered to below 300 - today it is over 1,600. Overall shipping seems to be up too as the Port of Long Beach California just had their busiest month ever.

From Judicial Watch:

Judicial Watch Obtains IRS Documents Revealing McCain’s Subcommittee Staff Director Urged IRS to Engage in “Financially Ruinous” Targeting
Judicial Watch today released newly obtained internal IRS documents, including material revealing that Sen. John McCain’s former staff director and chief counsel on the Senate Homeland Security Permanent Subcommittee, Henry Kerner, urged top IRS officials, including then-director of exempt organizations Lois Lerner, to “audit so many that it becomes financially ruinous.”  Kerner was appointed by President Trump as Special Counsel for the United States Office of Special Counsel.

The explosive exchange was contained in notes taken by IRS employees at an April 30, 2013, meeting between Kerner, Lerner, and other high-ranking IRS officials. Just ten days following the meeting, former IRS director of exempt organizations Lois Lerner admitted that the IRS had a policy of improperly and deliberately delaying applications for tax-exempt status from conservative non-profit groups.

Lerner and other IRS officials met with select top staffers from the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee in a “marathon” meeting to discuss concerns raised by both Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) that the IRS was not reining in political advocacy groups in response to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.  Senator McCain had been the chief sponsor of the McCain-Feingold Act and called the Citizens United decision, which overturned portions of the Act, one of the “worst decisions I have ever seen.”

In the full notes of an April 30 meeting, McCain’s high-ranking staffer Kerner recommends harassing non-profit groups until they are unable to continue operating. Kerner tells Lerner, Steve Miller, then chief of staff to IRS commissioner, Nikole Flax, and other IRS officials, “Maybe the solution is to audit so many that it is financially ruinous.” In response, Lerner responded that “it is her job to oversee it all:”

Rot at the top. All of them. This upcoming mid-term election will be very important.

Dinner al fresco

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Had dinner outside - marinated chicken breast with some deli-made red potato salad. Been trying to keep my carbohydrate consumption under control but have been reading about resistant starches. (here and here) Very interesting...

Gorgeous evening - full moon so the tide is very high.

Nothing today

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Dealing with the water leak and a couple other items down here. Back to the farm in a few days - meeting with two people Sunday and possibly Monday.

Grilling some chicken for dinner tonight - gorgeous clear skies and warm.

And that is it for the night

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Busy day today so catching an hour of YouTube and then to bed.

Quantum spookiness

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From Oak Ridge National Laboratory:

New insights bolster Einstein’s idea about how heat moves through solids
A discovery by scientists at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory supports a century-old theory by Albert Einstein that explains how heat moves through everything from travel mugs to engine parts.

The transfer of heat is fundamental to all materials. This new research, published in the journal Science, explored thermal insulators, which are materials that block transmission of heat.

“We saw evidence for what Einstein first proposed in 1911—that heat energy hops randomly from atom to atom in thermal insulators,” said Lucas Lindsay, materials theorist at ORNL. “The hopping is in addition to the normal heat flow through the collective vibration of atoms.”

The random energy hopping is not noticeable in materials that conduct heat well, like copper on the bottom of saucepans during cooking, but may be detectable in solids that are less able to transmit heat.

This observation advances understanding of heat conduction in thermal insulators and will aid the discovery of novel materials for applications from thermoelectrics that recover waste heat to barrier coatings that prevent transmission of heat.

More at the site - very interesting. The more we think we know, the more we find out that we don't know anything.

Water woes

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Last week, I was looking at the water meter on the island and saw that the concrete vault was flooded. Tried bailing it out with a Red Solo Cup© but couldn't get ahead of the flow. I had a small pump at the farm so brought that down today and got it empty. Shut the water off to the house and the vault started filling back up. YES!!! That repair is the responsibility of our local water district and not mine. My responsibility begins at the shutoff valve to the meter.

Fun at the Ice Cube Lab

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Quite the bit of science going on - from Nature:

Single subatomic particle illuminates mysterious origins of cosmic rays
A single subatomic particle detected at the South Pole last September is helping to solve a major cosmic mystery: what creates electrically charged cosmic rays, the most energetic particles in nature.

Follow-up studies by more than a dozen observatories suggest that researchers have, for the first time, identified a distant galaxy as a source of high-energy neutrinos

This discovery could, in turn, help scientists pin down the still mysterious source of protons and atomic nuclei that arrive to Earth from outer space, collectively called cosmic rays. The same mechanisms that produce cosmic rays should also make high-energy neutrinos.

The Ice Cube observatory detected a muon which was the result of a Nutrino decay. They were able to secure data from other observatories to look for other subatomic particles from the same source and they found it. Some great science and detective work.

There is a fascinating book about the origins and the building of the Ice Cube Lab - read it about a year ago and really enjoyed it: The Telescope in the Ice: Inventing a New Astronomy at the South Pole

Sorting books

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Working at the condo today - I never realised just how many books my Dad and I collected. They sneak in just like coathangers.

Loving the local library - if I see a book I am interested, I fire up a cell phone app and reserve it.

A big disappointment - Fascism

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Got Madeleine Albright's latest book: Fascism. Given that she was born in Czechoslovakia in 1937 - two years before Hitler invaded and that her family returned after WWII only to have Czechoslovakia fall to Communism in 1948, I was hoping that she would have a more nuanced view as to what constitutes Fascism. Instead, it is a Never Trump screed. I gave up after page 53. She does give a good history lesson of what happened in Europe but her foaming at the mouth regarding Trump renders her book unreadable.

She did have one wonderful turn of phrase that I enjoyed:

To the political class of Washington D.C. - Republican, Democrat and independent alike - the election of Trump as so startling it would have caused an old-time silent film comedian to clench his hat with both hands, yank it over his ears, leap in the air, and land flat on his back.

Cute - I can see this in my mind. Sad that the book is so unreadable - I'll be returning it to the library. Glad I didn't spend my money on it.

Business trumps Politics - taxation

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Heh - economist Arthur Laffer came up with the Laffer Curve which shows that there are optimum rates for taxation. Tax at 0% and you get zero returns (DOH!) - same for 100% because people will figure out all kinds of dodges. There is an optimal level and it took President Trump to implement this.

From Investor's Business Daily:

Income Tax Revenues Are Up 9% This Year — Is Trump Tax Cut Paying For Itself?
Supply-Side Economics: Democrats scoffed at Republicans who said the Trump tax cuts would at least partially pay for themselves through higher economic growth. But it looks like the GOP had it right all along, as revenues climb.

The latest monthly budget report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office finds that revenues from federal income taxes were $76 billion higher in the first half of this year, compared with the first half of 2017. That's a 9% jump, even though the lower income tax withholding schedules went into effect in February.

And of course, we will always have the "special" people to listen to:

But wait a minute. According to Democrats, the Trump tax cuts were supposed to blow a massive hole in the deficit.

Last November, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi promised that "this thing will explode the deficit."

She also said that "after the Republicans' tax plan blows a multi-trillion-dollar hole in the deficit, they will sharpen their knives for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and vital job-creating investments for middle class families."

Even now, Pelosi is sticking to her guns. In June, she called it "the deficit-exploding GOP tax scam for the rich."

A perfect example of someone who is clueless and out of touch. She is not a leader. All she cares about is power and getting re-elected. Her 15 minutes were over a long long time ago - part of the problem.

And that is it for the night

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A bit of YouTube and then to bed. Feeling downright sleepy.

A big fizzle in Brussels

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Pure Schadenfreude - from NTK Network complete with video goodness:

Anti-Trump Protest at NATO Draws Only a Couple Dozen
“Make Peace Great Again” organizers were expecting few thousand protesters to gather outside the NATO summit in Brussels on Wednesday evening to protest President Trump’s attendance, but only a couple dozen demonstrators showed up.

Euro News’ Damon Embling reported that organizers were expecting a few thousand people to attend the protest, but just a few dozen turned out.

The protesters were rallying around the slogan “Make Peace Great Again,” a play on Trump’s 2016 campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”

Almost feel sorry for the loonies.... Almost

Heh - shaking things up

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Even the Democrats are becoming disgusted with what their party has become - from USA Today:

Top Democrat Linda Sanchez says it's time for 'generational change' in dig at Nancy Pelosi
A top House Democrat said Wednesday it was time for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and her two long-time deputies to step aside and make way for a younger generation of leaders.

Rep. Linda Sanchez, the highest-ranking Latina in the House, first called for “generational change” last fall, but her fresh comments on Wednesday come at a time when Democrats are increasingly dissatisfied with Pelosi and uncertain about who could emerge as a possible successor.

Sanchez — currently the vice chair of the Democratic conference, the No. 5 leadership slot — also said she wants to be part of any “transition” to a new lineup.

“I think it’s time for that generational change,” Sanchez told reporters Wednesday. “I want to be part of that transition, because I don’t intend to stay in Congress until I’m in my 70s.”

I have said before and will say again, if John F. Kennedy were running today, I would vote for him in a heartbeat. The Dems have moved too far to the left for 90% of We The People's liking. They have no platform except to tax and to grow big government. Certainly not Constitutional.

July 2018

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