Open Talk Tuesday

Just an open discussion page. I’m thinking I’ll put one of these up each Tuesday, more or less, depending on how things go.

Just to start it off:

Scarlet Pumpernickel, how about putting your ‘daily news’ links here and letting the ‘tips’ pages have a bit longer life?


This is likely a ‘last call’ for anyone in the Florida area who want’s to do a ‘meet and greet’ with me. My contract here has ended, so sometime in the next couple of days (unless a new one pops!) I’ll likely head for home.

With that, enjoy your “Talk Tuesday”!

About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
This entry was posted in Human Interest. Bookmark the permalink.

145 Responses to Open Talk Tuesday

  1. PhilJourdan says:

    The latest insanity, brought about by OWS, is the “forgiveness” of college student loans. I heard one person say “they go to college to get out of work, and then go to congress to get out of paying for their play”. Sounds about right.

  2. E.M.Smith says:

    GallopingCamel recommended a Brew Pub near Melbourne in another page.

    Well, long story short, that’s where I am right now.

    At present I’m having the “Gale Force Lager”. It’s a darker malty-er lager than most. Easy to swallow. Nice flavor. Rich in the mouth, but with a bit more CO2 than most, so it starts with just a touch of tongue tingle and hint of ‘bite’, then tails off to a more mellow finish. Just loverly… but I think I can’t have too many of them as it seems a touch on the stronger side ;-)

    Next up, I’m either going for the India Pale Ale (which also can be strong) which I think they call “Indian River Red”, or maybe I’ll try the “Harbor City GOLD” that is reputed to be a more American style. We’ll see… They also have an “Anniversary Ale” that looks interesting. Don’t think I’m ambitious enough for the Barracuda Brown just yet ;-)

    At any rate, I’ll likely be here the next few hours.


    PS, the waiter tells me “Happy Hour” is from opening until 7 pm, not just starting at 4 pm… SO I can only conclude that 4 pm is when GallopingCamel wakes up ;-)

  3. E.M.Smith says:

    OK, the “Anniversary Ale” has a load of hops in it.

    It starts with a ‘fruity flash’ from the aromatics, then has a piny middle, and finishes with a bit of bitters in the aftertaste. Nice. LOADS of hops. Light amber color. Not too much mouth feel, but just enough to be interesting. Again with a bit more CO2 so that ‘touch of bite’ that leaves rapidly.

    I like it. But it’s not for folks who are feint of heart or don’t like hops flavors!

    (I got a sampler of it with my order of the Oktoberfest… that’s next up…)

    The Oktoberfest reminds me a bit of a Pilsner, but, truth be told, my tongue is still a bit “overwhelmed” from the hops in the Anniversary. Still, it’s a nice drinkable beer. Darker than most Pilsners or Lagers. Almost like an English beer, but served too cold. Maybe I’ll need to let it warm up a bit and get a glass of water to wash my tongue and let it recover some sensitivity ;-)

    I’ll add more to this comment in just a bit.

  4. George says:

    Real Oktoberfest beer is generally a lighter beer than sold across the bar in most German establishments (when you ask for “beer” you generally get the house brand “export” style beer). Oktoberfest beer is generally lighter than an “export” with less alcohol so you can drink a few liters of it in an evening. Sort of, as you say, like a Pils but Americans seem to think anything with a nod to Germany must be darker, oktoberfest beer is quite light, or it was the years I attended (though fashions change over time).

  5. George says:

    Well, I guess I am incorrect according to this article:

    It claims that the Oktoberfest beer is aged longer than the other beers and darker. Could have fooled me, but then again, I drank “export” beer most of the time and the Oktoberfest beer SEEMED lighter to me. Maybe that is why. Export has a higher alcohol content.

  6. George says:

    My favorite German beer style is Maibock or Helles Bock. It is a light bock beer that I was quite fond of and was served at Maifest (or May Fest) which is is celebration in the spring common in many German towns, unlike Oktoberfest, it isn’t related to any specific city.

  7. H.R. says:

    I heard today that the OWS group has been getting a lot of stuff stolen; ipads, iphones, iMAC, $2,500 in food money. Where are all these poor jobless folks getting all this stuff? (Oh the irony!)

    Things are not as they seem.

    After the 3rd or 4th botttle of the good stuff, either clear your pallate with a pickle or switch to any decent but cheap local stuff, yes?

    Oh… you mentioned that you were on contract but I was under the impression that it was a longer contract since you brought up the topic of real estate and house hunting. Guess not, but that explains why you were pretty sure you’d have more time to post.

    Maibock… yes!!!! Only have had it the few times I’ve run across it here in the states, but it’s high on my list of what I’d pick if I had to stick to one beer for the rest of my life.

  8. Matthew W says:

    Here it is
    cheap pizza ” night.
    $5.00 pizza and wings.
    Come home and have the better part of an Australian Shiraz “Banrock”. Just $3.99 at my local Jewel-Osco

    Oh crap, work day tomorrow !!!

  9. boballab says:

    I got a few things:

    1. I have been playing around with the HULU website recently (a site I had never visited before) and am really starting to like it. They have a wide collection of different genres that are free to view. For someone like me that has had an interest in Japanese Anime since the 80’s when I was stationed over their they have some nice series available. Some are in Dubbed format, some in sub title format and some are available in both. Another part that some might be interested in is that you can view the newest episodes of some of the most popular shows on TV for free a few days after they broadcast. That is a nice aspect in that you don’t have to record the things yourself and it is even possible for some to do away with cable/satellite TV altogether.

    2. This month I got selected for jury duty and was even on a jury for one of biggest wastes of taxpayers money that you can imagine. I wrote the whole sad episode out here:

    3. EM in the past has stated he is envious of the greenhouse I bought this past spring. Well it’s time to give the results of some of the produce from it:

    I am still getting enough Green Beans for fresh picked eating from the seeds I planted in some planter boxes back in April. It was suppose to take roughly 22 days for the radishes to ripen but during the summer I was getting them to grow and ripen in 12 in the greenhouse. Now in October it is about 17 days. The Tomato plants I planted in pots are still producing and I got about 2 weeks to go on another 5 planter boxes of carrots.

  10. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    Earth was almost destroyed in 1883, but the media wasn’t onto that one. Precautionary principle, we spend practically nothing on NEO

  11. PhilJourdan says:

    @George – Yes. Oktober is when the brewers would clean their vats. So they would empty them and come out with the Bock beers – these are almost a cordial as they are very heavy and dark (and usually much more bitter). I found that bock beer is an acquired taste. But once you get the hang of it, a quick way to a buzz! of course they have the normal beers, but that was when the Germans came out with the Bocks – fall.

  12. adolfogiurfa says:

    @Phlijourdan: Please translate that Acronym for me, as a stranger I just can decipher this one: Which one is it?:
    Operational Weather Squadron
    Ocean Weather Station
    Operator Work Station
    Ocean Weather Ship
    Optical Witness Sample
    Overhead Weapon Station
    Optical Wavelength Switch
    Objective Wing Structure
    Ocean Wave Spectrometer
    Offensive Win Shares
    Office of Workforce Security
    Office Web Server
    OGC Web Services
    Oil Water Separator
    Oil-Water Separator
    Oily Waste System
    Open Wound Surgery
    OpenGIS Web Service
    Operating Work Stations
    Operational Weather Support
    Opiate Withdrawal Scale
    Outgoing Wavefront Sensor
    Outgoing Window Size
    Overload Warning System

  13. boballab says:


    OWS = Occupy Wall Street.

    The abbreviation OWS came about from Twitter where you only have 140 characters to try to make a point. Also it now one of twitters “hashtags”.

  14. PhilJourdan says:

    @adolfogiurfa – boballab is correct. I apologize. We sometimes get caught up in our own slang we forget the board has people who only speak (and read) English. ;)

  15. E.M.Smith says:

    Well, it’s “just a bit” later… and then some.

    GallopingCamel showed up and, well, “Beer Happens”.

    The Oktoberfest never did become ‘outstanding’, but it did become something like a Sam Adams Ale as the palate adjusted. The Harbor City Gold was a very drinkable beer. Sort of an amber lager.

    After that, we retired to the Camel’s Barn and explored some nice malt…

    So, today I’ve started a road trip. Waking up this morning in GallopingCamels guest room in Melbourne, I’m presently at a Starbucks in Jupiter. In just a couple of hours I’ll be passing through Hollywood. Whoever named the cities in Florida either had a great sense of humor or not enough creativity… hard to tell which.

    At any rate, I’m making a run to the Keys to see what they are like, so depending on the frequency of Starbucks out there, postings may become sporadic for “a while”.


  16. E.M.Smith says:

    @H.R.: They are getting it ‘from daddy’ ;-)

    Per contract length: Sometimes they run long, sometimes short. Often you are told “this could run to a year” as the IRS definition of employee starts to bite between 1 year and 18 months (the ‘almost always hard deadline’… unless it is a ‘project hire’). Most of the time that’s true, sometimes it’s just a way to get you to sign on as a 1 month contract is not as attractive.

    This one ended sooner than expected in large part due to the manager not liking me. IMHO, he was from the Potemkin Village school and I am from the “Transparency” school.

    The official reason for ending the contract early was that my email was not “crisp” enough. As they were all less than one page (about 1 or 2 paragraphs at most, and often one sentence); I suspect the reality was more that folks would ask the status of their project, and I’d tell them honestly when it was likely to complete and what were any issues being encountered.

    A conflict of “image over substance” desired by the boss and “substance over image” being delivered. A person who lives to find root causes and actually fix them reporting to someone who didn’t want things fixed, just wanted them to look good and don’t let anyone know what was causing the failures. So if I knew that a hardware allocation request was going to run 2 months (due to financial approval lag) to actually say so was ‘not crisp’. After all, that might embarrass the folks doing the financial approving… The “crisp” answer is “Your request is in process with a deliver requested date of 3 weeks”. Repeated every 2 weeks for 2 months. (Yes, I’ve got ‘existence proofs’ of that…)

    So, of course, the solution for such folks is “attack the messenger”. Fine with me. I’ve got some coin in the bank and a chance to do something I’ve often pondered. Drive down to the Keys and take a look-see. ;-) I’d basically decided I was only going to ‘stick it out’ to the end of October anyway, then look for something else, so his timer ran out 2 weeks before mine. Well, I already knew I was more patient than him.


    I gotta get me a greenhouse… I’m turning green with envy ;-)


    I find the Urban Dictionary is sometimes useful for decoding all the various TLAs you run into ;-)

    (TLA is a Three Letter Acronym for Three Letter Acronym ;-)

    In this case OWS is #4 on the list.

  17. PhilJourdan says:

    @EM – Re: The IRS and the contract rule – yea, it is known as the Microsoft rule. They were notorious for keeping contractors on for years!

  18. R. de Haan says:

    E.M Smith,

    Your story about your terminated contract reminds me of IBM having two buildings.

    One filled with the people who made the money and the other with the people who frustrated the organization.

    It’s clear to me the management is driving the company down the drain.

    I wish you all the best acquiring another contract and hopefully you end up with the good guys who think straight and act in the interest of the company and it’s shareholders.

    And hopefully we can fend off the next coup planned by the Federal government.

    Harry Reed has said that public sector jobs must take priority over private sector jobs, see:

    it is becoming evident that the US, just like Europe, is heading to become the
    former DDR where people were state property and the free market non existing.

  19. adolfogiurfa says:

    @R. de Haan: Fortunately innovation and ingenuity are not to be found in buildings but on the streets :-)

  20. adolfogiurfa says: Haan: Otherwise dinosaurs would have survived, and they didn´t… :-)

  21. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    Super eruption approaching. Interesting they say they only have 20 yrs of satellite data so can’t come to conclusions ;)

  22. Chiefio had a bit of a head start on me and he was drinking from a 25 ounce mug vs. my 16 ounce. He held up really well but now I understand why he took more bathroom trips than I did. The Anniversary Ale is terrific.

    Later we tried some 12 year old Glenfiddich; it was only after he had left that I noticed a bottle of an even more appropriate beverage:
    Single malt , 12 year old whisky by GEORGE & J.G. SMITH (aka “The Glenlivet”).

    Chiefio posed a Hamlet type question:
    “To write, or not to write, that is the question:
    Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
    The slings and arrows of outrageous warmists,
    Or to take arms against a sea of half truths,
    And by opposing end them?”

    Writing a book is a great deal of work but probably easier for the Chiefio than for most mortals. These days, one needs to be your own publisher. For example the last book I bought was this one:

    I chipped in the $5 for the book as a way to thank Donna for what she does. However the book turned out to be worth many times the price. Like Chiefio, Donna Laframboise has created a wonderful blog and now she has found a way to get some financial reward.

    My penultimate book purchase was Herman Cain’s “This Is Herman Cain!: My Journey to the White House”. I chose to buy it from:

    This cost me $25, exactly $10 more than it would have cost from Amazon. It was my way of thanking Herman Cain for saying what we fiscal conservatives are thinking. Then I realized that it was not enough. The last presidential campaign I sent money to was Ronald Reagan’s but here I was sending Herman Cain $100. I would like to have sent more but us camels have some traits in common with church mice.

    If Chiefio writes a book I will buy it if only to thank him for what he does. I suspect that there are thousands who will do likewise.

  23. George says:

    In reading a random story on the Internet today I learned that there are currently estimated to be over 22,000 humpback whales in the North Pacific. This is up from an estimated 1.400 at the end of commercial whaling.

    The average life expectancy of a humpback is estimated to be about 50 years. This means that over the next 50 years we should find about 22,000 dead humpback whales. The numbers of dead whales will increase from about 30 a year now to about 20 times that in about 50 years time.

    I am going to be interested to see what kind of “hype” gets generated over the coming years as the number of dead whales increases and how someone will try to leverage it as a way to get even more regulations passed by somehow trying to blame us for these deaths.

    Finding dead whales and floating masses of whale blubber on beaches will become more common. I am sure someone will attempt to blame something we are doing for causing an increasing number of whale carcasses.

    It would be quite ironic if someone actually stepped in and noted the real cause and suggested we cull the herds of the oldest specimens as a way to keep the beaches clear of smelly masses of rotting whale.

  24. pyromancer76 says:

    Have a good trip. You deserve a contract with a company that deserves you. Meanwhile, keep your book idea developing. Cheers.

  25. George says:

    Something I just realized. For what was sunk into Solyndra, every single man, woman, and child in the state of California could have been given a check for $20 million dollars and still had money left over.

    Think what a boost THAT would have been to the economy.

  26. George says:

    Sometimes beer and math don’t mix

  27. H.R. says:

    @E.M. & Phil re contractors
    By chance, I’ve never been in companies that used contract workers and I’ve never worked on contract. Thanks for the look a wide, wild, wacky, wonderful world of contracting.

    @George re whales
    When the whale carcasses start piling up on the beaches, the hardcore greenies should recycle all the extra blubber into lamp oil, except that they’ll be stopped by the whale-huggers that will insist the whales get a decent burial.

  28. PhilJourdan says:

    @H.R. – Re: Whale Burial – well, if they want to bury them, they better bring a lot of shovels! (no mechanical equipment allowed).

  29. adolfogiurfa says:

    @gallopingcamel. If Chiefio writes a book I will buy it…..
    It would be a whole library!

  30. adolfogiurfa says:

    @George: The composition of sea water is very similar to blood…..following this similarity whales would be like leukocytes and so earth will be suffering a hyperleukocytosis :-)

  31. P.G. Sharrow says:

    I think that if the Chiefio writes a book it would be an Encyclopedia. 8-) pg

  32. Jason Calley says:

    @ Phil Jordan Re: Whale Burial – well, if they want to bury them, they better bring a lot of shovels! (no mechanical equipment allowed).

    You may have seen this video from some decades past.

  33. H.R. says:

    @Adolfo re acronyms

    Nice list :o)

    I would have guessed “Old Wet Socks” if I hadn’t already known the answer ;o)

    (I see boballab got you the right answer.)

  34. PhilJourdan says:

    @Jason – no, I had not seen that one! I did see the one from Japan. But it was not nearly as funny! Thanks!

  35. George says:

    Considering that over the previous 50 years there have been something less than 1400 whale deaths (because that’s all the whales there were) and that over the next 50 years there will be something close to 22,000 whale deaths (because that’s how many there are now), I am willing to bet some scientist attempts to raise the alarm about the greatly increasing numbers of whale deaths in order to “study” it for the rest of his life. At the same time, a politician will attempt to be seen “doing something” about it and attempt to regulate or ban something that is speculated to be a cause of it.

    I doubt they will allow a return of limited whaling to cull the herd of the oldest specimens and prevent boom/bust population cycles.

  36. E.M.Smith says:

    Well, perhaps all the extra whales won’t wash up on shore but can feed all the bottom dwelling species that depend on them falling to the deep. Watch for studies showing a great increase in such scavengers indicating a ‘dying of the oceans’ ;-)

    Per a book: I doubt if I could get more than one a year or one every three years…. done. It’s a whole lot more work than just putting up the ‘ideas of the day’. Given a life expectancy remaining between 10 and 20 years, average 15, I make that at most about 7 total. Given that I’m unlikely to be able to do that pace full tilt over all remaining lifetime, it’s more likely 3 maximum ‘work product’. Of that number, some might not be successfully published … so don’t expect any library or encyclopedia any time soon. Aint math a bitch?

    BTW, “demographics” is part of The Dismal Science…

    Found The Keys very interesting. I’d love to spend a year or two just studying the place. From the economics of a 122 mile long strip mall with one way in and the same way out, to the way on ‘key’ will be ‘trailer trash’ RV parks, the next a high end resort area, and the third have a heavy trucking industrial site… to the way potential impact on life on the islands from having them all linked by road … to the beauty of the beaches on SOME of the keys … to the fact that Key West has two zones, the old town that’s interesting an “An extraordinary fascination with franchises” at the entry where you would swear you were in Anywhere USA… Really, if you look around and see: Home Depot, Burger King, Taco Bell, Publix grocery store, Benni Hanna, Super 8 motel, etc. Is it REALLY in any way different from Orlando, or Tampa, or Georgia, or…

    Was fascinated too by the Key Deer wildlife protection area. Have to look up the deer. IMHO likely a result of some poor critter washed out to sea in a storm… and landing on a key. Then there was stopping on one key in the dead of night and seeing a dead black ocean / sky in front of me. After the cloud cleared, the stars were wonderful….

    Oh, and I’ve got to dig into the “Fossil Reef”. There was a roadside sign calling it out. If there is a Fossil Reef above water line, that’s just more evidence of prior warm times that did not have a ‘tipping point’… but I need to look into the details. 12,000 years ago being a quite different story from 120,000 ….

    Oh for a VW MicroBus with camper built in and a year to wander back and forth from end to end…

    I did get my obligatory face wash / sip of the sea… and today some acne spots are going away… Is it from stress reduction, or from bacteriophages? Who knows… (Yes, I still get acne. Not much, but sometimes I get a spot or three. Longest adolescence ever, I surmise. I think it is from excess neoteny genes…) But I now have to ‘head home’.

  37. adolfogiurfa says:

    One more question on whales: When they die they supposedly go to the bottom of the sea, there all that organic material will be subjected to a peculiar decomposition under thousands of pounds per square inch of pressure, what is then the end product, hydrocarbons?

  38. Hello Mr Smith.

    An avid follower of your posts for a while now. As a “momo” guy I’m sure you’re interested in the biggest story of our current times — the unwinding of the great post-deregulation accumulation of fictitious “value” in paper instruments generated by our venerable banking and otherwise financial institutions.

    Do you have a view as to the likely future of the current play in Europe and the USA? The UK and, currently, Australia are frittering away wealth on Eco-inspired nonsense while the financial system burns. My personal feeling is that the 1930’s has nothing on the kind of crisis that we’re about to experience.

    I know that chez Chiefio depends at least partly on successful investment in the market, so I’m very interested in your take in our currently dangerous world.

    Very Best

  39. George says:

    Whales have a lot of blubber and will often float for awhile. Often the blubber separates from the rest of the carcass and forms a sort of gelatinous blob that just drifts at sea.

    We should start finding more “mysterious blobs” of partially decomposed whale blubber floating ashore over the coming years.

    The St. Augustine Monster, the Chilean Blob, the Tasmanian Blobster, The Bermuda Blob, etc. All hunks of washed up whale blubber. Pretty soon we will be seeing more per year than we saw over the entire last 50 years.

    Just waiting to see someone blame it on “global warming”.

  40. Pascvaks says:

    German Beer, Ocktoberfest, Munich, Fog, Rain, Snow, and Ice,
    Key West, The Glades, Tampa, Turquoise Water, and Gleaming White Sand Beaches…
    Bells! Books! And Candles!
    Fading Memories all.

    “A time to be reaping, a time to be sowing
    The green leaves of summer are calling me home
    It was good to be young then in the season of plenty
    When the catfish were jumping as high as the sky.”

    “A time just for planting, and a time just for plowing
    A time to be courtin’, a girl of your own
    T’was so good to be young then, to be close to the earth
    And to stand by your wife, at the moment of birth.”

    “T’was so good to be young then, to be close to the earth
    Now the green leaves of summer are calling me home.”

    We forget so much. But it is all still there. Only needs a little reminder;-)

  41. P.G. Sharrow says:

    @ E.M. Smith says; “I’d have no problem with Teva, FWIW. The Israel government and population moral ethics are are pretty good.”

    This concept of a populations general moral ethics is of great interest to me. As ethics is not likely to be genetic why or how do some populations aquire the tendency to treat others in an ethical manner? pg

  42. H.R. says:

    George sez:
    “Whales have a lot of blubber and will often float for awhile. Often the blubber separates from the rest of the carcass and forms a sort of gelatinous blob that just drifts at sea. […]”

    I wonder if you could get those blobs to catch fire and have the whale-sized equivalent of tea candles floating on the water?

  43. Richard Ilfeld says:

    Cheap efficient greenhouse for cold climates:
    Plastic Pipe.
    Repurposed electronics vent fans (4″ muffin fans)
    Double layer the plastic and use the muffin fan to pressurize.
    Structure plus insulation. Cheap 4 mil poly for one season.
    6 mil vinyl for several years can take down and put up as needed
    Aluminum duct repair tape holds better than fabric type

    Wife does this for commercial attraction — net cost over several years far less than a formal greenhouse. Maybe not for suberbia cause it looks a little funky..

  44. Richard Ilfeld says:

    re: previous conversation about “earth boxes”. Eventually worked out a design using a couple of discarded five gallon paint buckets per “box”. At zero acquisition cost (well a few cents to cruise dumpsters) they prove to be quite practical. The peppers and tomatoes are very happy.

  45. Pascvaks says:

    Ref – P.G. Sharrow
    “As ethics is not likely to be genetic why or how do some populations aquire the tendency to treat others in an ethical manner?”

    Generally, it’s acquired, over countless years, from the surviving groups whose “chiefs” or Alfa Males were successful in dealing with other groups. The cantankerous, mean, moody, pigheaded, and weak, silly, shy, joker, boneheads didn’t seem to bring their groups through the obsticle course of life too well. The wise, cautous, civil, smart ones seem to have a common tendency to treat others in an ethical manner?

  46. TIM CLARK says:

    Looks like the S & P made a little breakout today. I went in a bit with sso. Low volume though. Hard to be a bull with the Euro problem.

  47. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

  48. P.G. Sharrow says:

    @Pascvaks, Ethics: Nice simple explaination. pg

  49. Matthew W says:


    George sez:
    “Whales have a lot of blubber and will often float for awhile. Often the blubber separates from the rest of the carcass and forms a sort of gelatinous blob that just drifts at sea. […]“

    I wonder if you could get those blobs to catch fire and have the whale-sized equivalent of tea candles floating on the water?
    If that happens, be sure to get a lot of pictures !!
    That would look cool !!

  50. Mike says:

    @ Robin 10/20/2011 at 2244

    “. . . in our currently dangerous world.”

    It would seem that you are under the misconception that the world (the financial world, in this case) is sometimes safe.

    It may be sometimes safer, in some respect, but this world is never safe. There are always people after your wealth or your freedom. There are always germs after your health. And Satan is always after your soul. You ignore these facts at your own peril.

    Semper Paratus


  51. Richard Ilfeld says:

    @EM – my contract manager is 1600 miles away and can only communicate electronically. I recommend this. The idiocy looses some of its sharp edge when it requires some effort to invoke and is not delivered in person. My manager does not read this blog, of course.

  52. adolfogiurfa says:

    @E.M.Smith: We would welcome a post from you about this:
    November 1

    November 1 is the Celtic feast of Samhain. Samhain, Gaelic for “summer’s end,” was the most important of the ancient Celtic feasts….

  53. George says:

    This is something that I might have mentioned before, I don’t know, it has been on my mind for a very long time. I think I have discovered an interesting niche application for the folks who install alternative energy systems in homes without actually installing any solar panels or wind turbines but at the same time opening up a home to such sales later. Let me explain:

    In California, our electric company is installing “smart meters”. These units are capable of charging different rates for different times of day or under different conditions. For example, our utility might decide to charge higher rates for electricity during the middle of a hot summer day in order to encourage people (and enterprises) to conserve. This opens an interesting possibility.

    What if I had in my garage what amounts to an “off grid” system of batteries, sine wave inverter system, and a charge controller? What I could do now is charge my system at night when power is cheap and draw little/none during the day when power is expensive. Basically I could “load shift” my home from daytime to night, or I could have it set so my draw from the mains was more or less constant at all hours. If thousands of homes and businesses did this, it would make life easier for the power utility as it would smooth the load and reduce peaks in demand during the day. And once I have such a system in place, adding a few solar panels or a wind turbine to the charging side of the operation becomes a relative snap because all of the infrastructure is already in place to support it. I would also add a smallish natural gas generator to keep the system charged when mains power might not be available.

    What becomes even more interesting is if the current cost of my power is available by hitting some address on the Internet. I could configure my system to manage my electric bill and reduce draw from the mains when the price goes up and increase draw when the price goes down.

    What is most interesting about the immediately preceding concept is that it then opens up a more efficient use of grid wind power. Imagine millions of homes had such a system. Now imagine the wind starts to blow and the utility has surplus power. They could reduce the cost of the power, post the current price at that network location, home systems would notice the change and increase their draw to charge their batteries faster and that power then gets used. So basically you end up with a system where demand follows supply. By the same token, when the wind suddenly stops, the power available for the local grid operator drops, the price is immediately increased, and the systems back off their draw from the mains, again modulating demand to better meet the available supply of power. If the price gets too high, I might cut my draw completely or possibly at some point it is cheaper for my smart controller to fire up the gas generator.

    So basically it boils down to installing off-grid alternative energy systems into homes that don’t have any “alternative” energy production but using it to manage draw on the grid when power is cheap and draw from the battery when power is expensive and at the same time allowing the grid operations to immediately modulate load to reflect the available supply of power which means less power wasted when a fickle source such as wind or solar whipsaws power available to the grid. Should be actually quite simple to set up.

  54. George says:

    Oh, and the information concerning the current price of power doesn’t need to go over the conventional “internet”, it can be transmitted down the same wire the power is flowing through. A signal over the power distribution system could inform “smart” management systems of the current cost of power without any “internet” access at all.

  55. George says:

    H.R. Your whale blubber tea light idea has some merit. It would make an interesting art project. I think someone in Japan would be most likely to take up something along that line.

  56. George says:

    Oh, and if you would be worried about batteries in your garage, the answer is AGM batteries. They aren’t even considered HAZMAT to ship. You can bust one open with a hammer, shoot them with bullets, dead short the terminals, overcharge them, and they remain safe. They were originally designed for use in aircraft.

  57. Jason Calley says:

    @ George

    I think you have a great idea IFF the cost is right. For instance, the process of turning AC into DC, charging a battery, sitting in storage, reconverting DC back into AC — every step involves some loss. Is the price difference of electricity (between high cost time and low cost time) enough to justify not only the electrical conversion losses, but also the cost of having capital tied up in the equipment?

    Don’t get me wrong, I am not just looking for holes to pick at. I would encourage you to do the math with real numbers and see where the truth lies. Your decentralized storage and load leveling system would do a LOT of good if the dollars and cents work out. Heck, if the numbers look good it would be a brilliant way to nudge people toward home generated power.

    Lots of good points — IF the numbers work!

  58. George says:

    The numbers probably didn’t work before the introduction of “smart” meters where billing could be changed minute by minute. These meters allows the electric utility to see how much electricity you have used at very fine resolution intervals by querying them over the network (they have IPv6 addresses, by the way). So once people get a load of how much that air conditioner is costing them during a summer day (it might well double or triple), the might be more interested in buying the power for it at night when the rates are lower and storing it locally until daytime.

    It is the “smart meter” that made such a system feasible and it actually might play into the utility operator’s advantage. If they have a way to actually use a burst of wind power that suddenly appears on the grid by reducing the price and have home (and industrial) systems ramp up their charge rate in response, then it is a win for everyone.

    It basically uses good old fashioned free market capitalism to work to everyone’s advantage.

  59. Pascvaks says:

    “It basically uses good old fashioned free market capitalism to work to everyone’s advantage.”

    I knew there was a chatch! There it is! George, where have you been for the last couple of decades, this is the USSA, not the USA. I just knew this was going to happen. I wonder how many more never got the word? Hummmmm…. I’ll let the Party bosses in Follywood know they need to re-release the announcement they ran in 1984.

    PS: I also doubt that the Power Companies and TVA will stand for anything so harmfull to the environment, they’ve probably already monitored every word you’ve typed and will have the EPA and Homeland Security knocking on your door any minute. Good-bye George! Write when you can!


  60. P.G. Sharrow says:

    Pascvaks & George; Re power management system.

    I expect to start such a system this winter. I need to provide emergency demand electricity up to 5hp (5KW) to start and run deep well 2hp pump and some domestic use on our farm that is on the end of several miles of power lines in the woods,as well as “may be rolling black out area” of Public Graft & Extorsion co. Addition of solar or other generation will allow reduction of demand on grid. I am not sure that a “smart meter” can be run backwards as the old ones could be. pg

  61. H.R. says:

    @George & Mathew

    When I was thinking “whale blubber tea candles,” I was visualizing something like a dozen or so burning blobs floating around Coos Bay, or some place like that, late one a summer’s evening.

    I’d pay to see something like that.

  62. Jason Calley says:

    @ P.G. Sharrow “I expect to start such a system this winter. I need to provide emergency demand electricity up to 5hp (5KW) to start and run deep well 2hp pump and some domestic use on our farm ”

    Nice project! I have two quick pieces of information; you may already know these. First, if you want some large scale in-place storage of electricity, check around for used electric fork lift batteries. Massive storage, you can rewire cells in the battery for whatever voltage works best, very heavy plates built for long life and deep discharge — you get the idea. Second, you might want to look at a different pump, one that is more suitable for solar panel or low power start up. These folks are good:

  63. H.R. says:

    It being an open thread, I thought I’d take a little time out and explain my posting handle, H.R.

    It stands for Highly Recruited, which I used for years while posting on the topic of multi-level marketing. That is an emotion-laden topic where the true believers are roughly in the same mode as CAGW acolytes (not the “high priests,” such as Gore,

    Multi-level marketing, Amway being the prime example, allows participants to recruit as many people as they can, and each of those recruits are allowed to recruit as many as they can, and their recruits can recruit as many people as they can, and so on ’til absurdity.

    I was bewteen jobs, posted my resume on Monster, and within three weeks had 14 calls about this “amazing management opportunity” with “unlimited income potential” in an insurance-based MLM. Thus I was, “Highly Recruited.”

    Anyhow, I’ve learned over the years that there are stone lunatics in that particular organizations and stone lunatics pn the web who have nothing to do with any particular ideology – they’re just crazy and potentially dangerous – such that I find it not unwise and not unreasonable to not post under my name.

    I always give a valid e-mail address when I post at a site in case the site operator has questions, but I’ve made up my mind that I shall remain known (I always post as H.R.) but unknown.

    Anyhow, the dynamics and economics of MLM systems are an interesting topic and some day we might want to kick that topic around here on E.M.s blog, if he finds the topic interesting.

  64. P.G. Sharrow says:

    @Jason; a large battery bank is the first need. I had a 1200w UPS on a 12 battery 36v series/parallel setup for cabin lights and electronics. Very nice during bad weather and protects electronics from voltage surges. But the bank died of old age this spring and needs replacement now.

    The well pump is 2hp 240vac on 300ft of steel pipe, Not something I want to mess with if I can avoid it as it will take a large rig to pull. And we really need all the water it produces in the summer. Not a DC/solar application. For emergency power I need to replace the prime mover engine on a heavy 5kw generator I have. 120/240 vac 1-3ph.

    For an old machanic/electrican this should be a fun winter project. pg

  65. adolfogiurfa says:

    @George: Big Brother at the mains!. Anyway, We do not hide anything, They have all to hide… and both will freeze during the next Maunder Minimum :-)
    As the chinese proverb says: “Wait at your front door and you´ll see the corpse of your enemy passing by…” (Confucius)

  66. dearieme says:

    ” Gaelic for “summer’s end” “: I very much doubt it. November the 1st is a bit late for that. When I was small I was told that the Gaelic for August meant literally “the end of summer”, which seems more plausible.

  67. George says:


    I don’t see it as “big brother”. I see it as sensible economics. When electricity is abundant, it *should* be cheap. When electricity is scarce, it *should* be expensive. People should be able to purchase power when it is cheap and abundant, save it, and use it when it is scarce and expensive. It is plain market economics and it allows utilities to more accurately price their commodity. What if the price of corn was based on its average availability over the course of a year and not the current availability on that day? You might find you have shortages of supply when it is scarce because the current price does not equal the real market situation. That would be equal to a “rolling blackout” in electric power. If the utility were able to jack up the price when demand was high, it acts to voluntarily curb that demand.

    When you combine the ability to manage price according to supply and demand and combine that with the ability for the consumer to buy when it is cheap and save it for use when it is expensive, everyone wins. You also find more power from cleaner sources being used because clean nuclear and hydro generation at night can be used for power during the day so fewer “peaker” plants would need to be brought into operation. It moves more consumption from peak load to base load.

  68. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    Anyone miss Doggerland???? The soothsayers told them they needed to pax tax and they didn’t. Was not long ago, we should learn

    Click to access Global_Warming_Gaffney.pdf

    When global warming began to melt the ice, sea level rose. As sea level
    rose, the Black Sea lake level fell due to decreased runoff and increased
    evaporation. As sea level rose above the base of the channel, the plug of silt
    held firm. It held as a giant wall of marine water built up on its western face.
    Then it began to seep and finally burst one day about 6,400BC, a cascade of
    salty water crashed with the force of 200 Niagara Falls into the lake and
    continued for many months. The roar would have been heard 100km away
    as 50 cubic kilometers of water filled the lake each day. Within a matter of
    months, 100,000sq km of lakeside woodland, marshland, and arable fields
    were submerged—an area the size of Austria.

  69. George says:

    We have an area sort of like Doggerland right here in North America. The area we call the Newfoundland Banks would have been dry land during the last glacial. We also had several very large inland lakes burst their containment (lakes much bigger than Lake Bonneville) as the ice melt and water levels in these lakes rose. Most of Utah and Nevada were under water at one point.

  70. George says:

    There were probably major settlements on the US east coast that are currently under the ocean. Most of them were probably washed away by storm and surf as the ocean rose. The East coast went all the way out to the continental shelf. Probably had some nice cliffs there, too.

  71. George says:

    To show you more how this land would have appeared off the coast of Newfoundland, here is the comparison.

    First how things look today:

    And how it looked when the sea level was 120 meters lower than today:

    The “new” land would have been larger than Newfoundland is today.

  72. Pascvaks says:

    I guess it’s me, my old brouser, can’t see a thing at either tinypic link. But I know what you’re saying.

  73. George says:

    Well, try this link:

    And this one:

    And see if those work.

  74. George says:

    Or I wonder if this will work:

  75. E.M.Smith says:

    Just a brief update note:

    I got a hustle going and drove back to California. Yeah, from coast to coast in a few days… but that’s why I wasn’t posting, I was just “on the road and not stopping”… Headed out from the Keys, via Orlando, where I loaded up my stuff, then hit Texas in one long go (about 18 hours straight), spent a day eating and sleeping with family, then hit the road again at about 10 pm Saturday I think it was… Watched sunrise Sunday and today Monday from the car in motion. Got a couple of short naps in the car, but not much more than an hour or two each. Call it about 7 am I arrived here, so I make that 24 + 2 for time zones, plus 9 for a total of 35 hours from Dallas to San Jose.

    Needless to say, I’m a bit ‘fried’ and will be ‘in recovery’ the next day or two.

    I have a lot of posting ideas, but they are for after some sleep time ;-)

    It’s nice to be home….

  76. PhilJourdan says:

    @E.M. – My parents tried that back in 68 (took a bit longer because the Interstates were not as complete). We did it in about 40 hours. But once is enough! Congrats to your stamina!!!!

  77. H.R. says:

    24 October 2011 at 10:20 am

    Must be your browser. I saw both images on my gerbil-powered netbook.

    I thought it interesting that the land exposed during a glaciation went pretty much to the conental shelves.

    I wonder if there is some limiting factor that only empties the oceans to the “deep water” line and then there’s no more water to build glaciers. I don’t think the oceans were emptied the few times we’ve had a snowball earth, but I could be wrong about that.

  78. H.R. says:

    Not the “conen the barbarian” shelves but the continental shelves.

    The browser on this allegedly “good” computer ghosts the Guest and Login buttons at the bottom of the comment box over the text after I enter 5-6 lines. Can’t see what I’m writing. Anybody else run into that?

  79. H.R. says:

    @E.M. Your body won’t stop vibrating from the wheel/road buzz for another two days. No hurry. Take it easy.

  80. adolfogiurfa says:

    @H.R. :-) Those are secondary octaves of vibration…

  81. Pascvaks says:

    I can see! Thanks for taking the time to come up with these latest pic.(the original links opened with everything except the pic, on each page, that you were referring to. Guess I’ll have to upgrade, after the Depression;-)

  82. George says:


    I wonder if there is some limiting factor that only empties the oceans to the “deep water” line and then there’s no more water to build glaciers

    Well, the thing is that once you get to the continental shelf, if you lose another 100 meters of ocean, the shoreline still doesn’t move much because the shelf is basically like a 3000 foot cliff. A lot of shoreline is exposed in the first 100 meters or so of sea level drop but once you hit the shelves, you can go down another 3000 feet of ocean and only move the shorelines out a few miles.

    Tell you what, though, I will bet that land would have been pretty productive. After the first couple of thousand years of rain washing the salt out of the soil, I will bet it was an amazingly lush area. Nice and flat, probably marshy. It was probably just an amazing place for clovis era humans.

    But one thing bugs me about the whole pre-clovis thing. Fenske, Mud Lake, Schaefer and Hebior in Wisconsin have been identified as pre-clovis woolly mammoth butchering sites. But those places should have been under 5000 feet of ice. So something has to be wrong here. Any mammoth butchering site on land should have been scraped clean by glaciers so it had to have happened after the glaciers had retreated North of Wisconsin. 2 and 2 isn’t making 4 here.

  83. H.R. says:

    @ George

    I understand and thought about those cliffs, but I was thinking that the surface area of the oceans would be reduced to a near constant and that smaller area would not evaporate as much water as easily as from the (relatively) shallow pans of the contental shelves… or something like that. Think waterfilled deep quarry vs. farm pond. That’s why I was just throwing it out there, but you are probably right. The geologists are just going to have to wait for the next glaciation to find the old sea level lines.

    Good observation about the Clovis butchering sites. Perhaps wooly mammoths were wandering around much later than thought and perhaps some Clovis tech was still being used later than was thought. That would equal 4, but it’s not in line with current thinking.

  84. George says:


    Think is that clovis technology starts around 15Kya. Pre-clovis would be even older than that. Wisconsin should be under 5,000 feet of ice at that point and even if there had been a brief pullback of the glaciers, the site would have been scraped clean by the final and deepest advance of the glaciers just before the end of the glaciation.

    Doesn’t make sense to me.

    I mean, we KNOW the glaciers advanced far to the South of Wisconsin because their terminal moraines are still there. I think what we might have wrong is the timing.

  85. Greg says:

    Pre Clovis, there is archeological evidence in Mexico which is 50,000 years old, but because it doesn’t conform it is being ignored…

  86. Greg says: this is from the book about the 50,000 year old stuff in Mexico. Yeah most of the people would have lived on the coast, now all underwater. You can see all these areas when you fly into Miami for eg, shallow sea areas…

  87. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    No animal can survive the 0.000000000000000001C degree changes today. Even after surviving 10 degree changes over and over and over and over

  88. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    Re the Clovis people. There is evidence in Mexico of people there 50,000 years ago, but it’s been put away as “incorrect”. The comments about the sea shelves are interesting, as you are right, people would live near the ocean, and all these areas are flooded, see the chart above…

  89. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:
  90. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    hmmmmmmmm The Medievial period the climate was EXACTLY THE SAME LOLOLOLOLOLOL Yeah right .

  91. adolfogiurfa says:

    @Scarlet Pumpernickel ….Cherry picking and conspiracy at its highest! , but why?. perhaps because of “Catathymia” “Catathymia” was first used by a German psychologist in 1912 in the context of paranoia. The term is derived from the Greek kata and thymos, which refers to emotions. Accordingly, an emotionally charged idea temporarily overwhelms a person and pushes him or her off balance, so, perhaps, we have chosen not to remember…

  92. Scarlet Pumpernickel says: Unscientific America says Global Warming Computer Models are right, but others are wrong.

  93. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    This is Climate change!! The Bølling-Allerød interstadial was a warm and moist interstadial period that occurred during the final stages of the last glacial period. This warm period ran from c. 14,700 to 12,700 years before the present. It began with the end of the cold period known as the Oldest Dryas, and ended abruptly with the onset of the Younger Dryas, a cold period that reduced temperatures back to near-glacial levels within a decade.

    In some regions, a cold period known as the Older Dryas can be detected in the middle of the Bølling-Allerød interstadial. In these regions the period is divided into the Bølling oscillation, which peaked around 14,500 BCE, and the Allerød oscillation, which peaked closer to 13,000 BCE.

    The Allerød period was a warm and moist global interstadial that occurred at the end of the last glacial period. The Allerød oscillation raised temperatures (in the northern Atlantic region to almost present-day levels), before they declined again in the succeeding Younger Dryas period, which was followed by the present interglacial period.

    In some regions, especially in northern Eurasia, there is evidence for a cold period known as the Older Dryas interrupting the interstadial. In such regions the shorter oscillation ending with the Older Dryas is known as the Bølling oscillation, and the Allerød period is the interstadial following the Older Dryas. Check out the swings on the chart!!!

  94. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    Oh no, plants went through 15 degree changes very very fast just 14,000 years ago or so, but they can’t survive 1 degree change today

  95. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    The Sea used to move 1m per year, now we are having panic attacks about 2mm The scientific majority still hold that the 120 meter sea-level rise in the last 10,000 years of post-glacial flooding represents a non-cataclysmic rising process of about one meter per year..

  96. Scarlet Pumpernickel says: Very important video…

  97. George says:

    S.P., sea level rise has practically stopped since 2006.

    Same with ocean heat content:

    It’s going flat.

  98. George says:

    Apparently the 1% got hammered after 2007:

    New data from the University of Chicago’s Steven Kaplan shows that, despite government bailouts, in 2008 and 2009 the adjusted gross income of the top 1 percent — a disproportionate number of whom work in the financial industry — fell to 1997 levels. All in all, the fat cats took a 20 percent income hit, compared with the 7 percent lower earners suffered in the aggregate. Few economists believe that the super-rich will ever reclaim all their pre-bubble earnings.

  99. George says:

    S.P. A 1 degree warming will not amount to a pinch of owl scat. But a 1 degree of cooling would be a major catastrophe in some places. It could mean the difference between a crop surviving long enough to produce a harvest before being killed by frost. A global 1 degree cool down would greatly diminish farmland in Canada and Russia and push the tundra line South. A 2 degree drop would likely cause hardship in the Northern plains of the US. A 2 degree rise in temperatures would likely go unnoticed except for an increase in production in Northernmost latitudes.

  100. Hi EM,
    Hope you had a rewarding contract period and it was all worthwhile.

    Still enjoy your blog but have been busy with family developments and other blogging, dampening inspiration to comment.

    I see you have a watch on my blog. I would be honoured to receive some comment from you, not necessarily on topic but just a general reaction. Even a criticism from you would be of value.

    There is a great deal of debate in the cyber world about “global warming” and a still a great deal of subservience from countries being pushed around by the AGW system drivers. Unfortunately Australia is one who has fallen into the trap
    and introducing a carbon tax.

    It seems that you haven’t posted recently in support of us “deniers”, but there is much from other blogs about cloud effects and cosmic rays, also questioning the actual GT trend in the last decade.

    Your insight, knowledge and publishing in this area is missed.

    Ken McMurtrie

  101. Scarlet Pumpernickel says: some good eg of real climate change just recently

  102. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    What about the 17,000 year old structure in Peru, which has metal alloy holding stones together lol?

  103. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    shhhhhhhh Antarctica was almost ICE FREE in areas 4000BC but its warmer today and everything will go extinct. The Piri Reis map shows the western coast of Africa, the eastern coast of South America, and the northern coast of Antarctica. The northern coastline of Antarctica is perfectly detailed. The most puzzling however is not so much how Piri Reis managed to draw such an accurate map of the Antarctic region 300 years before it was discovered, but that the map shows the coastline under the ice. Geological evidence confirms that the latest date Queen Maud Land could have been charted in an ice-free state is 4000 BC.

  104. Well done!, S.P.
    There is much to be learnt and your contributions are appreciated.
    We should never rest on our laurels on the basis that we know a great deal.
    It is better to assume that what we don’t know is almost infinite in comparison.
    Even though we live and breathe, have brains and think, and spirits, we are relatively grains of sand within the universe.

  105. Scarlet Pumpernickel says: From about 5:00. A few people crossed from Africa to Saudi Arabia long ago (one tribe maybe?). Then about 8:00 check how many hand tools there are 70,000-12,000 years ago. So many tools, there must have been more to this. Climate would have been different, but there must have a been a huge civilization here.

  106. E.M.Smith says:

    @Ken McMurtrie:

    It’s not that I’ve stopped commenting on Global Warming bogosity, it’s just that I’ve said rather a lot and that means it takes longer to think up something new ;-)

    For example, we’ve already got Snow in Texas and soon to be all the way to the East Coast. In October. Well, a load of early snow is NOT “global warming”… so I was thinking of doing an article on it… but really, wont there be 1000 such articles Real Soon Now?

    Where is my ‘value add’ in that? In joining the ‘me too’ chorus?

    So more interesting to me is that I think I’ve figured out why California is on a 6 months wet, 6 months dry cycle;( and it implies no warming either.) But it all needs more think time before it’s fit to post….

    At any rate, I’m mostly just pondering “what next?”

  107. Scarlet Pumpernickel says: France to make triple profit :

    1/ Selling weapons to both sides stir up trouble pitting 2 sides against each other. Fund some local group.
    2/ Use French Tax payer to use own forces which in turn gives more money to private weapon companies
    3/ Take the oil which is 10 times the price it should be

    –> Best form of business using the Tax payer all the way

  108. Scarlet Pumpernickel says: OMG Peak OIL it’s running out!

  109. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:! Oh no a spray can destroyed the ozone layer LOL

  110. Scarlet Pumpernickel says: Oh I’m having a guess why France suddenly starts bombing Somalia LOLOLOL

  111. Scarlet Pumpernickel says: Hey you know when we were young, and they crapped on about this Nuclear Winter dooms day stuff if too many nuclear weapons happened. How come 2053 nuclear weapons have been denoted and we are still here?

  112. E.M.Smith says:


    Fun map to watch animate. I’d often wondered just where / when various countries had done nuclear tests. Didn’t realize just how many there had been, though. Or that the USA had set some off near South Africa.

  113. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:
  114. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    @Smith. Some might have been underground? Though a lot were above ground, for eg the ones in Australia are above ground. What I find strange is that after such a blast the area is sort of ok soon after. It seems that a melt down of a reactor is worse then a nuclear attack. Is this because the nuclear weapon is mostly reacted? But many blasts and no nuclear winter. I mean that’s what they scared us with when we were younger.

  115. adolfogiurfa says:

    @Scarlet Pumpernicke BTW of the bioclock: Does somebody know why the heart is inclined to one side?

  116. Jason Calley says:

    @ E.M. “Or that the USA had set some off near South Africa.”

    Those were a surprise to me too. On the other hand, I remember an incident of suspected nuclear blast in the ocean to the south of South Africa during the late 1970s. There was quite a bit of speculation that the blast was either Israeli, South African, or more likely, a collaboration between the two nations.

  117. E.M.Smith says:


    I was in a study of the biological clock. These folks have an interesting set up, but I think they have missed a very important point (one that was clear in our study). There is no one biological clock.

    So to say it is more accurately measured now at 24 hr 11 min just says that they have indulged in the pointless averaging of divergent things yet again…

    In my group we had one guy running 23 hours / day while I was running 25.5 / day. Same environmentals. Basically, you can get an ever more precise average of your sample, but that fails to enlighten as to truth. (Folks often seem to make that mistake of ‘over averaging’…)

    As to the particular set up of a 28 hour day. Frankly, I’d function in that rather well. Left on my own, I’ll drift to a 25 to 26 hour day (despite day / night cycles). Tacking on a couple of hours is something I often do if needed for a bit more productivity. So mostly they have shown that their sample did not include many folks like me and did include a lot of folks like the OTHERS in my test group (who were either near 24 hours, or that one guy near 23).

    Per lighting, they have a point. The “free run” clock rate is interesting, but can be easily reset via lighting. (That’s the way nature keeps us in sync with things – the bluish end of the spectrum in particular. Want to avoid jet lag? Stay up and have blue light / colors visible until the sun goes down wherever you are, then shut the lights off and go to bed. Repeat until in sync with local time. Most folks can drift an hour or 2 per day, so a 6 hour gap can be bridged in 3 days. If 2 of those are the day before and day of travel, you can be ‘in sync’ the day after you arrive, more or less… Oh, and it’s hard to sleep on demand, but you can force yourself to stay awake, so if you will arrive on a ‘just woke up now go to sleep’ node, just stay up until the next local sleep time.)

    In our study, we did “free run” for 3 weeks, then “cycled light” for 3 weeks. The impact of lighting was very clear. ( I would still tend to be awake an hour after lights out, but didn’t keep drifting later; under “free run” I’d drift later each day.)

    So, in summary: Anyone who says they are measuring THE biological clock period already has a broken experiment. There are 7 Billion biological clocks, all slightly unique. They ought to be measuring the mean AND deviation (standard deviation, nodal points, dispersion shape, etc.) along with what stimuli modulate the clock rate (lights, social interactions, foods, food timing, temperature cycles, physical activity, external magnetic fields, cosmic ray flux, etc. etc. etc. We could be tied to most any external cues.) They have already made a broken assumption instead of just “characterizing the system” first then hearing what it has to say…

    Oh, side bar: I once heard of a study where they took some tidal critters and put them in an underground tank / lab in the mountains somewhere (Colorado?) and they STILL moved in sync with the tides. Moving into and out of the water, no change of lighting or ocean queues to be found. What was the signal? They didn’t know… So do we have a gravity sensor? A cosmic ray sensor? Lunar magnetic sensor? All I can say with certainty is that I tend to be wide awake some nights, and it’s almost always a full moon… the exceptions being the occasional new moon. My “day” is tied to the moon and tides. How? No clue. However, as a descendent of sailors (Mom’s dad, granddad, and greatgranddad and… ) on back to a set of Vikings who landed in England who knows how long ago, I can see the advantage of being awake in sync with the tides on which you sail (or go digging for clams ;-) So that’s why I’m a bit more broad in my assertions about what they need to ‘shield’ to find the actual ‘free run’ cycle time of various folks clocks. There is more here than just pretty lights… or one clock.

  118. E.M.Smith says:


    Why is the heart tilted? “Why, don’t ask why. Down that path lies insanity and ruin. -E.M.Smith”.

    So, exploring why:

    Why is the liver on one side? Why does one lung have 2 lobes, the other 3? Why is one side of the brain logical linear, the other wholistic / integrative?

    We are, despite external looks, asymmetrical beings.

    So our major blood plumbing has to go to lungs and liver. Liver is on one side, lungs are asymmetric. I’d guess it was due to there being a bit more need for added plumbing on the right side, that displaces the non-plumbed side away toward the left.

    Oh, just for fun, look up the layout of the lymphatic system. The whole body is on ONE major set of plumbing… EXCEPT the upper right quadrant. It’s on it’s own system. Yup. The right half of your head, and right arm / shoulder, are on their own little set of pipes. Everything else shares (though the left arm / head is almost isolated). Why? Don’t ask… but I’d just note that the spleen is asymmetrically located on the left side… That, BTW, is why some folks only get one ‘mump’ instead of a set of mumps. ( I was one of those… only on the left side IIRC) The infection never got to the other part of the system.

    I guess the short form is just this: You are expecting symmetry from a very asymmetrical system. Don’t be fooled by the outside symmetry, we are in fact very asymmetrical beasts. The more interesting question is why are we symmetrical on the outside? That’s the odd case…

  119. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    Better not let the Oil price drop, there will be no social programs for the
    people of Saudi LOLOLOL

  120. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    @Smith re day length

    Add four minutes to synchronise the biorythm with the daily sidereal position of the Sun. This determines that the sidereal day must have been 24h15m.

    Making the year exactly 364 of these bio-rythm days. 364 = 4*7*13, e.g. exactly thirteen moons and 52 weeks in a year.

    Maybe those Mayans using 13 in their calendars were not so ‘primitive’ after all?

    Also, back in history, people used thirteen zodiac signs.

    One interesting possible link with EU, apart from the cultural history aspect which I outlined above, is the ‘Earth as homopolar motor’ idea, whereby increased current could well account for this speed up.

    A temporary increase, such as may occur when the Solar system passes through a (diffuse) galactic current could well provide the required boost.

  121. P.G. Sharrow says:

    E.M. Smith says on WUWT;

    “So yes, I’ll take my Schadenfreude served cold. Very cold. On ice even. “On the rocks”, neither stirred, nor shaken. Just “as it is”… Sipped neatly by the fire of truth…”

    Very nice turn of phrase. 8-) pg

  122. E.M.Smith says:

    Thanks. Glad you liked it… Wonder if there’s a market for a nice smokey Isley Malt named “Schadenfreude” ;-) To be sipped by the fire of truth…

    If anyone has connections with a bottler, I’d be willing to buy a sample run of private label bottles. Worst that could happen is I’d have to drink the inventory ;-)

    Original comment here:

  123. P.G. Sharrow says:

    I do have a 12 year old 80proof brandy made over manzanita charcoal, Is that close enough ;-) pg

  124. George says:

    I think it’s time for a meet and greet on the bay area. How about the Steelhead Brewing Company in Burlingame?

  125. E.M.Smith says:


    I’m up for it… Got a time in mind?

  126. George says:

    Well, Friday won’t work for me as I have some work to do after hours. Wednesday or Thursday would work any time, say 4pm or after. Or Sunday would work, too. Saturdays I spend with my kids, or try to unless work intervenes. But that’s just my schedule, it would depend on what others could do. Next week is currently wide open for me, provided the network doesn’t blow up from the work I have to do Friday night.

  127. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    The most spectacular aspect of the YD is that it ended extremely abruptly (around 11,600 years ago), and although the date cannot be known exactly, it is estimated from the annually-banded Greenland ice-core that the annual-mean temperature increased by as much as 10°C in 10 years. .

    USA Medieval Droughts

  128. P.G. Sharrow says:

    The problem with reading icecores is they only tell you about conditions in that spot. and can not describe world or even hemisphere wide conditions. pg

  129. Verity Jones says:

    More on Neanderthal genetics and hybridisation in our ancestry.

    Siberians share DNA with extinct human species – Man’s ancestors mated with Neanderthals and other related hominids during human evolution, according to a new study.

  130. E.M.Smith says:

    @Verity Jones:

    Nice… very nice… But, I have to ask: If we hybridized with them, then they are to some extent still ‘us’, so how can they be called ‘extinct’? ;-)

    (I know, i know…. cross a Labrador with a Poodle and the Labrador is extinct while the Labradoodle lives on… )

    At any rate, I think the evidence is stacking up pretty clearly that the Neanders and now even the Denisovans did not get killed off in some grand war of the species, but rather just got ‘diluted’ out of the record via mixing in. Rather like all minority population eventually. Redheads are a shrinking percentage for similar reasons. The genes live on, but the ‘type’ gets diffused.

    Well, at least it’s nice to know that my Neanderthal component is not the most archaic in “modern man” and that some folks have a Denisovan ancestor or two in the closet ;-) So, does that make me a “more modern” variation? ;-0

    Now if we can just find a few Homo-chimpanzius in the bush… we can push back our family even further! (While tongue in cheek, the genetic difference between chimps and us is less than that between many other hybrids that have been made. It would be a very hard cross to make due to the chromosome mismatch, but not impossible.)

    And some folks still like to believe in the ‘species barrier’… It’s more like a ‘species strong suggestion’ than anything else. Clearly some of our ancestors didn’t take suggestions very well ;-)

  131. George says:


    Based on videos I have seen coming from some certain Southwest Asian locations, species is no barrier at all.

    “Afghan kid with goat” on YouTube is a fine example.

  132. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    Wow but the 911 hijackers were all from Saudi, but we attacked Afganistan and Saudis are the best friend of Israel for sure but Iran is very dangerous LOL

Comments are closed.