Back home again - finished

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Got the clearcoat on the coffee service cabinet. Looks pretty good if I say so myself :)

Working on some stuff around the home. Trash pickup tomorrow. Raining cats and dogs with high winds forecast - Lopez Island is recording winds in the 50MPH range.

At work at the store

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Putting the final finish on the new coffee service and will be mounting the railings for the shopping cart nest later this afternoon. Pics will follow...

Sloth - day two

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Really sleeping a lot for some reason. Second day of 10+ hours of sleep. Feel fine, just not waking up at my usual time.

Raining heavily - a bit over 0.5 inches in the last 12 hours.

A shift in Hollywood

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A very good observation of the whole Harvey Weinstein kerfuffle from The Z man

Shot:

End of the Gatekeepers
The manufactured outrage over Harvey Weinstein has been entertaining, mostly because a lot of gaseous Hollywood blowhards have taken it in the shorts over it. Watching guys like Ben Affleck and Jimmy Kimmel suffer is enjoyable because they are horrible people fond of self-righteously lecturing the rest of us. The schadenfreude is all good fun, but it misses a bigger story. The reason Hollywood is imploding in scandals, over what has been the norm for generations, is that the smart money has left the business.

As Steve Sailer noted, degenerates like Harvey Weinstein have always been a fixture in the movie business. Smart Jewish men were drawn to the business, because success meant they got to be gatekeepers in a high demand business. That meant they could charge very large tolls for the right to pass through the gates. Anyone who wanted to be in movies had to make it in Hollywood. Actresses and actors that wanted to be stars had to do what was required to make it past the gatekeeper. Everyone paid the toll.

Chaser:

An axiom of modern, life is that the arrival of social justice warriors is a sign that a business or industry has entered a death spiral. It may not be dead, but its days of making big money have come to a close. The smart-money men, interested only in making money, have left the scene, leaving the people with other agendas to take over and impose those agendas. That’s when the gals start running off the guys for being male and cook up schemes to help under-represented minorities realize their potential.

That’s what is happening with Hollywood. The girls are taking over, which means they will be producing content that no one watches, as they burn through the assets of the movies business infrastructure. Soon, the oppressed people of color will be accusing the remaining studio men of being insufficiently remorseful about their ancestors owning slaves. Unlike colleges and corporations that go through this, the film business has an ample supply of degenerates like Harvey Weinstein. This is just getting started.

A lot more at the site - good writing!
A good definition of the term of art: Social Justice Warriors

A change of wording

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A very large change in meaning - from Dr. Susan Berry writing at Breitbart:

Trump Administration Defines Life ‘Beginning at Conception’
The Trump administration has released a strategic plan for the years 2018-2022 that asserts clearly at several points that life begins at conception.

The document is located on the website of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

“HHS accomplishes its mission through programs and initiatives that cover a wide spectrum of activities, serving and protecting Americans at every stage of life, beginning at conception,” the document states initially.

In contrast, the Obama administration’s document read, “HHS accomplishes its mission through programs and initiatives that cover a wide spectrum of activities, serving Americans at every stage of life.”

In explaining its “Strategic Goal 1: Reform, Strengthen, and Modernize the Nation’s Health Care,” the Trump administration document continues, “While we may refer to the people we serve as beneficiaries, enrollees, patients, or consumers, our ultimate goal is to improve healthcare outcomes for all people, including the unborn, across healthcare settings.”

That is going to get a lot of Planned Parenthood supports in a twist. Those people need to read their history a bit more - the founder was a real piece of work. Read the previous link if you do not know - you can also Google. These stories are told by so many different sources that it is the unvarnished truth, not some conspiracy to tarnish her work. There is even audio and video of her talking about this.

Or considering it was under Obama's watch, maybe not. From The Hill:

FBI uncovered Russian bribery plot before Obama administration approved controversial nuclear deal with Moscow
Before the Obama administration approved a controversial deal in 2010 giving Moscow control of a large swath of American uranium, the FBI had gathered substantial evidence that Russian nuclear industry officials were engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering designed to grow Vladimir Putin’s atomic energy business inside the United States, according to government documents and interviews.

Federal agents used a confidential U.S. witness working inside the Russian nuclear industry to gather extensive financial records, make secret recordings and intercept emails as early as 2009 that showed Moscow had compromised an American uranium trucking firm with bribes and kickbacks in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, FBI and court documents show.

They also obtained an eyewitness account — backed by documents — indicating Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit former President Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation during the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton served on a government body that provided a favorable decision to Moscow, sources told The Hill.

There is a lot more at the site and President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are right there in the thick of it. President Trump did a good job with firing Comey - now he nees to put Eric Holder, Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama in jail for about 30 years each.

Back home again

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Decided to bag tonight's meeting - working on stuff here.

More in an hour or two - want to do some things outside while there is still daylight.

Sloth

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Slept in again this morning.  Heavy rainfall on a tin roof is very conducive to such activities - wake up, roll over and go back to sleep for another hour. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Heading out for coffee and in to Bellingham for some banking, store stuff, shopping.

Posting in a couple of hours.

And that is it for the night

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Working on organizing the music room tonight. Did a bit more sorting in the garage this afternoon. Finished with a nice dinner and time to start work on labeling and gathering stuff into bins. Already looking a lot better and it will be fun to actually be able to find stuff when I am done.

Having the repositionable adhesive on the labels is really nice - a couple times I have looked at a label, said "Naaaa", peeled it off and printed another one. Good to not have all sorts of adhesive residue on the plastic. Looks like crap.

Probably watch a little YouTube somewhere in there too...

The link between childhood vaccinations and autism is simply not there. It first reared its pointy little head in a 1998 paper in the British journal Lancet based on research by Dr. Andrew Wakefield. Slight problem - Wakefield's research was funded by an insurance company which hoped to profit off future lawsuits against vaccine makers. The paper was retracted and Dr. Wakefield now goes by Andy - his license to practice medicine was stripped from him.

Still, like a chicken, the head was chopped off but the body still twitches. From Canada's CBC News:

UBC researchers pull paper linking vaccine component to autism after data alleged to be manipulated
Researchers from the University of British Columbia are retracting their scientific paper linking aluminum in vaccines to autism in mice, because one of the co-authors claims figures published in the study were deliberately altered before publication — an issue he says he realized after allegations of data manipulation surfaced online.

The professor also told CBC News there's no way to know "why" or "how" the figures were allegedly contorted, as he claims original data cited in the study is inaccessible, which would be a contravention of the university's policy around scientific research.

The paper looked at the effects of aluminum components in vaccines on immune response in a mouse's brain. It was published in the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry on Sept. 5.

Talk about a two-fer - not only the vaccine/autism fraud but they were looking at aluminum which has been featured highly in the do not use aluminum cookware as it can give you Alzheimers bullshit. A bit more:

However, subsequent scrutiny has raised questions about the validity of the data, with one doctor calling the paper "anti-vaccine pseudoscience."

The allegations were published last week on Retraction Watch, a site that reports on withdrawn papers as "a window into the scientific process."

By the middle of September, commenters on PubPeer — a database where users can examine and comment on published scientific papers — pointed out that figures in the study appeared to have been altered, and in one case lifted directly from a 2014 study also authored by Shaw and Tomljenovic.

Soo busted. A lot more at the site. One of the researchers had a previous paper retracted for dodgy data in 2016. Who is funding these idiots and why do they still have tenure at UBC?

Now this looks like fun

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For someone else but still - the development of drones brought out some new technologies and they are being scaled up to bigger machines:

Having those propellers right at kneecap level would give me a case of the willies. Gust of wind? The inertial moment on those propellers has got to be large so it will take time to respond to a perturbation. What happens if it starts to tip over?

SQL Ledger

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I have been using GnuCash for a while and really like it. True double-entry bookeeping and none of the bloat the QuickBooks has. Getting checks to print correctly was a byzantine few days but this is something you only need to do once so hey...

On an email list, there was mention of SQL Ledger as being more of a large ERP application. Looks interesting - been in development for more than ten years and it's last release was in April of 2017 so it is under active development. It is written entirely in PERL and runs using a SQL Server as its backend. No mention of speed (running an interpreted language) but still, the feature list is quite comprehensive. Here is the feature list from their website

Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, Vouchers, General Ledger, Inventory Control, Billing / Invoicing, Payroll, Time Cards, Recurring Invoices, POS, Check Printing, Purchase / Sales Orders, Customizable Taxes, Multi-user, Multi-company, CMS, Audit Control, Foreign Currency, Internationalization, Access Control, SQL server backend, Customizable Templates, Customers, Vendors, Assemblies (BOM, kits), Chart of Accounts, Customizable Reports, Memorize Report Layout, Financial Statements, Export Payments File, Administration Module, Application Interface, Backup to file/email, Import transactions, Use on Handheld, Document Control

Have to download it and give it a try when I have nothing else to do and feel like dinking around with a new application.

A lot of times, the EPA did not have any legal ground for pushing their policies but they had a lot of lawyers at their beck and call so they engaged in a practice known as Sue and Settle. They would overwhelm some poor farmer or land developer with a huge lawsuit and then proceed to settle out of court for a smaller sum of money - still huge but a lot smaller than their original lawsuit. The settlement was enough to cripple any development plans. Again, the EPA had no legal backing to dictate the terms of the development so they utalized this back-door to do it. This practice is evil and it has been stopped. From The Washington Times:

EPA to end Obama-era ‘sue and settle’ practice
The Trump administration on Monday took steps to end the highly controversial “sue and settle” practice that led directly to a host of environmental regulations throughout former President Obama’s tenure.

In an agency-wide directive, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt said the process has “harmed the American public” and kept citizens in the dark about exactly how rules and regulations are made.

The days of regulation through litigation are over,” Mr. Pruitt said in a statement. “We will no longer go behind closed doors and use consent decrees and settlement agreements to resolve lawsuits filed against the agency by special interest groups where doing so would circumvent the regulatory process set forth by Congress. Additionally, gone are the days of routinely paying tens of thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees to these groups with which we swiftly settle.”

Sue and settle, which became commonplace during Mr. Obama’s tenure as his EPA developed tight-knit relationships with top environmental groups, essentially is a way to circumvent the formal rulemaking procedures. Under the practice, sometimes called “friendly lawsuits,” an outside group would sue a department or agency — in this case, the EPA — and ask that certain regulatory steps be taken, or that entirely new regulations be put in place.

Emphases mine. Step by step, President Trump is undoing President Obama's "legacy"

Good - the sooner those harms are removed from our nation the better.

A curious case of Arkancide

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Not related to the Clintons but definitley connected to big money. From the UK Daily Mirror:

Car bomb kills journalist behind Panama Papers offshore tax evasion investigation 'days after she received threats to her safety'
A journalist who led the Panama Papers offshore tax evasion expose was killed today when a bomb blew up her car.

Investigative reporter Daphne Caruana Galizia - dubbed a "one-woman WikiLeaks" - was killed as she was driving near the village of Bidnija in northern Malta.

She had filed a complaint to police a fortnight ago after receiving personal threats to her safety, local media said.

Caruana Galizia ran a hugely popular blog relentlessly highlighting cases of alleged corruption, often involving politicians from the Mediterranean island nation.

In Malta, she had led the coverage of the Panama Papers, a leak of millions of legal documents last year detailing financial details of offshore entities used by the rich and powerful to avoid tax.

She blogged in English here: Running Commentary - Daphne Caruana Galizia' Notebook

Arkancide? From this website:

Arkancide is the unfortunate habit of potential witnesses to the Clintons' dirty dealings in Arkansas suddenly deciding to shoot themselves twice in the back of the head. Police and Coroners in Arkansas, notably Fahmy Malak who answered to Governor Bill Clinton, automatically described these shootings as "suicides."

After Bill Clinton became President the phenomenon spilled over to Washington D.C. when Hillary Clinton's ex-lover Vincent Foster was "Arkancided."

And these mokes will never ever be brought to justice.

Plan B

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Was planning to work at home today but was out of storage boxes so ran into Costco and picked up a bunch. The cashier asked what I was doing. Also did a Plan B on a project at the store.

Still heading into town tomorrow afternoon - meeting in the evening Mt. Baker Amaeur Radio Club - Digital Group

Left over spaghetti for dinner tonight - this time with the low-carb noodles and a big salad.

Got some serious rainfall - almost one inch in 24 hours with much more on the way.

Public WiFi - be careful for now

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Someone just broke the encryption used in public WiFi - from ZDNet:

WPA2 security flaw puts almost every Wi-Fi device at risk of hijack, eavesdropping
A security protocol at the heart of most modern Wi-Fi devices, including computers, phones, and routers, has been broken, putting almost every wireless-enabled device at risk of attack.

The bug, known as "KRACK" for Key Reinstallation Attack, exposes a fundamental flaw in WPA2, a common protocol used in securing most modern wireless networks. Mathy Vanhoef, a computer security academic, who found the flaw, said the weakness lies in the protocol's four-way handshake, which securely allows new devices with a pre-shared password to join the network.

That weakness can, at its worst, allow an attacker to decrypt network traffic from a WPA2-enabled device, hijack connections, and inject content into the traffic stream.

In other words: this flaw, if exploited, gives an attacker a skeleton key to access any WPA2 network without a password. Once they're in, they can eavesdrop on your network traffic.

The bug represents a complete breakdown of the WPA2 protocol, for both personal and enterprise devices -- putting every supported device at risk.

What to do? Use basic comon sense. Do not do any online shopping or send crucial data over a public network. That simple. This has already been patched for Windows 10 and iOS - Android is still vulnerable but they are working on it.

Very cool announcement - science

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We were told that a major announcement was coming today and they did not dissapoint - from National Geographic:

In a First, Gravitational Waves Linked to Neutron Star Crash
Around 130 million years ago, two dead stars violently collided and set off a sequence of events that, over the last two months, have whipped astronomers on Earth into an absolute frenzy.

At press conferences held across continents, scientists today announced the first detection of gravitational waves created by two neutron stars smashing into each other.

First theorized by Albert Einstein in 1916, gravitational waves are kinks or distortions in the fabric of spacetime caused by extremely violent cosmic events. Until now, all confirmed detections involved a deadly dance between two black holes, which leave no visible signature on the sky.

But with this latest event, teams using about a hundred instruments at roughly 70 observatories were able to track down and watch the cataclysm in multiple wavelengths of light, allowing astronomers to scrutinize the source of these cosmic ripples for the first time.

“We saw a totally new phenomenon that has never before been seen by humans,” says Andy Howell of the University of California, Santa Barbara. “It’s an amazing thing that may not be duplicated in our lifetimes.”

Incredibly cool - they were able to see the source of the waves in physical light. So 299,792,458 meters per second is not just a good idea, it's the law! No wonder that three of the primary researchers got the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics for their work.

Lethargy is a good thing - right?

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Was up way past my bedtime so slept in - woke up at a bit before 10:00AM - delicious! Working on organizing the music room, the garage and building the computer for a friend. Fun and productive stuff so just kept working. Heading out for coffee, the store and back home to do it all again!

A busy bee tonight

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Gathering parts to build a computer for a friend and also moved from clearing out the garage to clearing out the music room. Bought some plastic bins for storage and have some nice adhesive labels in my laser printer so every time I get 10 categories of bins, I print off a sheet. The adhesive is reusable so if my needs change, I can peel off the old label with no residue.

Took an off day from my low-carb diet and made a big pot of spaghetti sauce. Was all set to be virtuous and use the low-carb noodles but at the last moment, I said screw this and boiled up some thin spaghetti. The low-carb noodles are OK but there is a different mouth-feel and for some reason today, I craved some carbs. I can be virtuous tomorrow...

Back to work so probably no more posting tonight - when I am done with this project, I'll be watching YouTube. Nothing caught my eye on the internet anyway.

Great news from the Philippines

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From ABC News/Associated Press:

Philippines: Last leaders of IS-tied siege killed in Marawi
The two final surviving leaders of a deadly siege in the southern Philippines, including a top Asian terror suspect, were killed Monday in one of the final battles by thousands of troops to retake the last area in Marawi city held by pro-Islamic State group militants, security officials said.

Four military and police officials told The Associated Press that Isnilon Hapilon, who is listed among the FBI's most-wanted terror suspects, and Omarkhayam Maute were killed in a gunbattle and their bodies were found Monday in Marawi.

The Philippines have had a long-standing problem with millitant islamists - they call themselves Moro - dating back to General John Joseph "Black Jack" Pershing in 1899. In overall percentages, the islamists represent about 11% of the total population and yet they feel they have the right to 'rebel' against the Roman Catholic majority (82%) and murder them. Not very smart - nothing like living in a culture that chooses to remain in the 9th century.

Making a very good example of what happens when they murder someone is an excellent way to go about it. Live in peace? Fine. Try to overthrow our government and murder non-islamic citizens? You will be killed. End of problem.

Taking a break

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Such a gorgeous day today - been cleaning out the garage. A lot of crap that needs to be put on Craigslist or just plain gotten rid of. Starting to make visible headway. Spending this evening working on projects inside the house - building a computer for a friend and organizing a bit.

T's dog is spending a few days here getting more acquainted with my critters. She has some boundary issues but we are getting those resolved very nicely and she is now becoming the best of friends with my younger dog Bear.

Done here - heading home

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Heading back home to work on some stuff there. Gorgeous day but rain is forecast for Monday so want to get a couple things done outside.

The usual

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Woke up about an hour ago - took care of the critters and now heading out for coffee and working at the store for a few hours.

A freak of nature

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I can not imagine anyone who loves horses breeding for this trait on purpose:

20171014-grotesque.jpg

There is a video on the breeders website showing this poor foal prancing around - its nostrils are fully dilated while doing very minimal exertion. The sinuses are so restricted that the poor guy is starving for air - panting for his life. The position of the ears and the wrinkled upper eyebrow indicates fear or panic. Horses cannot breathe through their mouth (PDF) so it is important that their head be properly formed for good respiration. Lower jaw looks thin and underdeveloped too.

The breeder's website seems to be very proud of this poor creature. They should be ashamed to say that they caused (and are promoting) this deformity.

How fast they fall - Harvey Weinstein

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From the Los Angeles Times:

Harvey Weinstein expelled from motion picture academy
Embattled film mogul Harvey Weinstein — a once-dominant force in the Academy Awards who rewrote the rules of Oscar campaigning — has been expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in response to mounting allegations of sexual harassment and assault against him.

The film academy’s 54-member board of governors, which includes such industry luminaries as Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, Kathleen Kennedy and Whoopi Goldberg, voted in an emergency meeting on Saturday morning to remove Weinstein from the organization’s ranks in an unprecedented public rebuke of a prominent industry figure. The move marked the latest blow in Weinstein’s stunning downfall and, in symbolic terms, amounts to a virtual expulsion from Hollywood itself.

The guy made great movies - pity about all the other stuff. This brings to mind two other pieces

First - from Laurie Stark on Twitter:

Remember: The Weinstein Company didn't fire Harvey because they found out he was a sexual predator. They fired him because WE found out.

Second - this wonderful rant:

Dear Hollywood celebrities: It’s time to wake up now. Get this! The only reason you exist is for my entertainment. Some of you are beautiful. Some of you can deliver a line with such conviction that you bring tears to my eyes. Some of you are so convincing that you scare the stuffing out of me. And others are so funny you can make me laugh uncontrollably. But you all have one thing in common. You only exist and have a place in my world to entertain me. That’s it. Nothing else!

You make your living pretending to be someone else. You play dress-up like a 5-year-old. Your world is a make-believe world—it is not real; it doesn't exist. You live for the camera while the rest of us live in the real world. Your entire existence depends on my patronage. I crank the organ grinder, and you dance.

Therefore, I don't care where you stand on issues. Honestly, your opinion means nothing to me. Just because you had a lead role in a movie about prostitution doesn't mean you know what it’s like to be a prostitute. Your view matters far less to me than that of a someone living in Timbuktu. Believe me or not, the hard truth is that you aren't real. I turn off my TV or shut down my computer, and you cease to exist. Once I am done with you, I go back to the real world until I want you to entertain me again.

I don't care that you think BP executives deserve the death penalty. I don't care what you think about the environment. I don't care if you believe fracking is bad. I don't care if you call for more gun control. I don't care if you believe in catastrophic, human-induced global warming. And I couldn't care less that you supported Hillary for President. By the way, she lost!!

Get back into your bubble. I'll let you know when I'm in the mood for something pretty or scary or funny. And one other thing. What was all that “I'll leave the country if Donald Trump wins”? Don't you know how stupid that made you sound? What did you think my reaction was going to be? Oooh! I better not vote for Trump or we'll lose Whoopi Goldberg? Al Sharpton? Amy Schemer? Rosie O’Donnell? Leave. Good riddance. I don't care! And don't let the door hit you in the keister on your way out. Make me laugh. Make me cry. Even scare me. But realize this: the only words of yours that matter are scripted — just like your pathetic, little lives. I may agree with some of you from time to time, but in the final analysis, it doesn't matter. In my world, you exist solely for my entertainment.

So, shut your mouth and dance, monkey, DANCE!

Speaking truth to power monkeys. If President Trump is setting out to drain the swamp, remember that its tributaries and rivers are fed by the constant drip drip drip of the media. Without their collusion, the swamp will dry up and blow away under the hard light of day.

Back home again - a fun day!

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Had a wonderful day with T and her daughter and friend (the two of them have been playmates since childhood).
We went out for coffee and then visited at the store for about two hours. One of my managers had not met T before (yes, she really does exist - Dave has not gone around the bend... yet...) so we had a wonderful time talking about all sorts of things.

We then drove in to Bellingham and rendezvoused with her daughter and friend. Went out for a light lunch and daughter took this photo of us - a cute couple:

20171014-us.jpg

T has to work Monday and went home today so she can have Sunday to correct some papers (she teaches) - heading down there in a few days for a visit.

Out for coffee and Bellingham

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We are getting some coffee, stopping in at the store and then meeting up with T's Daughter and her friend in Bellingham. They will all be heading down today - just a short visit this time.

More posting later tonight. Had some snowfall down to about 4,000 feet last night.

Back much later - no posting today.

Happy Birthday - the Atomic Second

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From IDW / Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt:

The "atomic second" turns 50
The "atomic second" was the beginning of a revolutionary era: it was born as early as 1955, when the first cesium atomic clock was put into operation. In the fall of 1967, it was included in the International System of Units. This was the beginning of a development which will, in all likelihood, come to an end in the fall of 2018 when the 26th General Conference on Weights and Measures (CGPM) decides that the entire International System of Units (SI) is to be based on invariable properties of nature – on fundamental constants. In this development the second came next to the meter, but in the race for accuracy it has an outstanding role: no other unit can be realized with such accuracy. Today's cesium atomic clocks – such as the four primary clocks of the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), which are responsible for realizing and disseminating legal time in Germany –provide the time unit with the unimaginable accuracy up to 16 decimal places!

"You are giving us a beautiful topic to meditate about: measuring the trajectory of the stars in the infinite depth of space based on the oscillation of an infinitesimally small atom." This is how poetically the then French foreign minister, Couve de Murville, expressed what was about to happen in Paris. In 1967, the scientists and politicians gathered in Paris for the 13th General Conference on Weights and Measures (CGPM) decided to re-define the second. The decision fell on 13 October 1967: "The second is the duration of 9,192,631,770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the cesium ¹³³ atom."

Now, you can purchase used Cesium clocks on eBay for a few hundred bucks.

Nothing much this morning

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Slept in a bit - feeling a lot better.

Working around the house today and then T and Daughter and Heir are coming up for a visit.

Minimal posting today...

The Wine Country wildfires

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An interesting look at governement inaction - from San Jose's The Mercury News:

Wine Country fires: Gov. Brown vetoed 2016 bill aimed at power line, wildfire safety
A year ago, a bipartisan bill aimed at reducing the risk of wildfires from overhead electrical lines went to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk.

It was vetoed.

The author of the measure — passed unanimously by both houses of the Legislature — now says the governor missed out on a chance to tackle one of his state’s longstanding vulnerabilities: massive wildfires endangering residential communities. 

And this is a story why? From The Mercury News (different article):

PG&E power lines linked to Wine Country fires
As the first reports came in Sunday night of numerous fires that would grow into one of the most destructive wildfire disasters in California history, emergency dispatchers in Sonoma County received multiple calls of power lines falling down and electrical transformers exploding.

And of course, the chance for high wind had been forecast well in advance - from Cliff Mass:

The Northern California Fires: Driven by the Diablo Winds That Were Predicted Days Before
A large area north of San Francisco was devastated Sunday night/Monday morning by explosive wildfires that have killed at least 13 individuals, destroyed over 1500 structures, and burned over a hundred thousand acres. Over one-hundred people are missing.

Sad news indeed. I have driven through the USA on occasion and have come across areas that had been burned. I find it amazing that only now is our understanding of forest fire management getting to the point where it mimics nature.

Nature tends towards lots of small fires that keep the undergrowth clear from the mature trees but never get big enough to challenge the trees themselves. Our "management" has been to eliminate fires at all costs - the undergrowth accumulates as this huge fire-load and when it does reach the tipping point, everything is burnt. The forest burns and we are left with a meadow that takes 100's of years to return to mature forest.

Justin Delay from reverb.com: The Synth Sounds of Blade Runner (1982)

Great news - USA leaves UNESCO

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About time - this organization is a haven for tyrants and sociopaths. One of the United Nations organizations that does no good work. From Yahoo/Associated press:

US, Israel to exit UNESCO over its alleged anti-Israel bias
The United States announced Thursday it is pulling out of the U.N.'s educational, scientific and cultural agency because of what Washington sees as its anti-Israel bias and a need for "fundamental reform" in the agency. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel plans to follow suit.

While the Trump administration had been preparing for a likely withdrawal from UNESCO for months, the timing of the State Department's statement was unexpected. The Paris-based agency's executive board is in the midst of choosing a new chief — with Qatar's Hamad bin Abdulaziz al-Kawari leading the heated election heading into Friday's final vote.

Outgoing Director-General Irina Bokova expressed "profound regret" at the U.S. decision and tried to defend UNESCO's reputation. The organization is best known for its World Heritage program to protect cultural sites and traditions, but also works to improve education for girls, promote understanding of the Holocaust's horrors, and to defend media freedom.

And a bit more:

The U.S. stopped funding UNESCO after it voted to include Palestine as a member state in 2011, but the State Department has maintained a UNESCO office and sought to weigh in on policy behind the scenes. The U.S. now owes about $550 million in back payments.

In a statement, the State Department said the decision will take effect Dec. 31, 2018, and that the U.S. will seek a "permanent observer" status instead. It cited U.S. belief in "the need for fundamental reform in the organization."

We cut their funding for six years and that still was not enough to get them to reform. We are now giving them a nice long lead time (14 months) to come into compliance so they could turn this around if they were motivated enough. UNESCO was the organization that gave away the Temple Mount to the Hashamite Jordanians palestinians. The organization is profoundly corrupt. As for protecting cultural sites - do they mean like this or this or this. Shit like this happens, what does UNESCO do? Mutter a Tut Tut and draft a strong memmorandum of condemnation.

A cold breath of air

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Not here but a bit South of Seattle / Tacoma. From National Weather Service:

Urgent - winter weather message
National weather service seattle wa
244 pm pdt thu oct 12 2017

Cascades of pierce and lewis counties-
244 pm pdt thu oct 12 2017

...Winter weather advisory remains in effect until 5 am pdt Friday...

* What...Snow occurring. Plan on slippery road conditions. Additional snow accumulations of 2 to 6 inches, with total snow from this weather system through thursday night of up to a foot at the higher elevations.

* Where...Cascades of pierce and lewis counties.

* When...Until 5 am friday.

* Additional details...be prepared for reduced visibilities at times and snow on the high passes.

Precautionary/preparedness actions...

A winter weather advisory for snow means periods of snow will cause primarily travel difficulties. Be prepared for snow covered roads and limited visibilities, and use caution while driving. The latest road conditions for the state you are calling from can be obtained by calling 5 1 1.

Winter's first blast - supposed to be  a cold and wet one this year; just like last year.

Taco Wednesday Thursday

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Back home now - unpacking truck and getting ready to fix some dinner. Got lots of left over taco fixings so what the hell.

More posting in a bit.

Working at the store

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Ran the errands in town, back to the store and finishing off the coffee service. Looks really good if I say so myself...

Tacos for dinner tonight - more posting later tonight.

Feeling much better

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Had a good sleep and woke up feeling much more human. Still taking the cold meds this morning - got a long day ahead with coffee, post office, store and then in to town to pick up the ski pass for our winner. Each year, anyone who spends more than $25 at the store fills out an entry and when the ski season closes for the winter, we draw the winning ticket.

Have a radio meeting tonight but thinking of bailing - still feeling a bit too rough around the edges and the meeting runs until 9:00PM.

T and daughter are coming up tomorrow for a few days and then we are all heading down to Seattle.

Taco Wednesday

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Didn't feel like having beef barley soup for a third night so thawed out some chicken breasts and making some taco meat in the pressure cooker. 20 minutes for chicken breasts and they are fork tender.

Got onions chopped up, guacamole thawed out and refired beans ready to nuke. Simple, cheap and tasty.

Still feeling cruddy - the meds are a great relief but they exact their own price in terms of spaciness and inability to think/type/spell.

Trash pickup tomorrow morning so need to get the can rolled out to the curb.

UPDATE: Just what the doctor ordered - having one more, got the trash to the curb and then cleaning up and having the rest of last nights bottle of wine. Starting to feel tired without the evening cold meds so early bedtime. Heading in to town tomorrow to pick up some things, check on something else and a meeting.

Talk about an earth shattering Kaboom!

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From Washington State University:

Gases from ancient Inland Northwest volcanic eruptions blocked out sun, cooling planet
The Pacific Northwest was home to one of the Earth’s largest known volcanic eruptions, a millennia-long spewing of sulfuric gas that blocked out the sun and cooled the planet, Washington State University researchers have determined.

Only two other eruptions — the basalt floods of the Siberian Traps and the Deccan Traps — were larger, and they led to two of the Earth’s great extinctions.

“This would have been devastating regionally because of the acid-rain effect from the eruptions,” said John Wolff, a professor in the WSU School of the Environment. “It did have a global effect on temperatures, but not drastic enough to start killing things, or it did not kill enough of them to affect the fossil record.”

The research, which was funded by the National Science Foundation, appears in Geology, the top journal in the field. Starting 16.5 million years ago, they say, vents in southeast Washington and northeast Oregon put out a series of flows that reached nearly to Canada and all the way to the Pacific Ocean. The flows created the Wapshilla Ridge Member of the Grande Ronde Basalt, a kilometer-thick block familiar to travelers in the Columbia Gorge and most of Eastern Washington. The researchers say it is “the largest mapped flood basalt unit on Earth.”

Quite the Kaboom - origin of the reference here and here

Healthcare in Canada

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In the USA, our health-care system is a muddled mess. It started off fine but grew larger and larger as more and more activists lobbied for their niche causes. Add congressional lobbying by pharmaceutical companies and you have a big steaming expensive mess. As we look for alternatives, Canada keeps coming to mind. Turns out the numbers simply do not add up. From Canada's Financial Post:

Why Canada’s ‘best’ health-care system just got ranked last — again
Because liberal Americans see us, in this age of Trump, as an oasis of sanity in a worldwide desert of populism, The New York Times is doing more reporting on Canada, presumably so its U.S. readers don’t lose all hope that saner choices could be available in an alternative world.

It also offers a weekly “Canada letter” on worthwhile and actually sometimes interesting Canadian initiatives. Recently the letter reported on a health-care tournament the Times organized in which five experts decided which of eight rich countries had the best health-care system.

We didn’t win. In fact, we went out in the first round, losing to Britain, which then lost to Switzerland, which ultimately beat France, though only by three votes to two in the final. Other first-round losers were Singapore, Australia and Germany. The U.S. made it to the semis where it was beaten by France, three votes to two.

Wait times were the big issue. This is a perfect example of rationing which is what Obamacare and Single Payer will be implementing. "Free" medical is only good if you can get it in a timely manner.

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