W.O.O.D. – 16 November 2018


This is another of the W.O.O.D. series of semi-regular
Weekly Occasional Open Discussions.
(i.e. if I forget and skip one, no big)

Immediate prior one here:
and remains open for threads running there
(at least until the ‘several month’ auto-close of comments on stale threads).

Canonical list of old ones here:

So use “Tips” for “Oooh, look at the interesting ponder thing!”
and “W.O.O.D” for “Did you see what just happened?! What did you think about it?”

What’s Going On?

Florida still can’t count. Sigh. Democrats continue to vote but instead of “early and often” it is now “late and by the crate”.

Republicans were under a consent decree to do nothing and not even speak about it until just a few months ago. After decades of being muzzled, it will take a generation for them to decide they ought to do something about it.

The Invading Mob from Mexico has started arriving. Watch for a load of “Fence Theatre” in what passes as news.

BREXIT has a proposed 500+ page “deal”, and early news has folks saying it is more like staying in but without a vote. IMHO it would be better to just take a Hard Brexit and THEN negotiate. There’s about $50 Billion flows from the UK to the EU, so they have the power in the relationship. The major downside would be fewer imported Mercedes and VWs for a while. Over the next week or two the details will leak out and we’ll see what Theresa thinks is a good deal.

What happens when you have a “Green” State deciding things like how to make electricity and demanding you don’t cut trees or clear brush? Well, you get fires and the power shut off every time the wind blows. Oh, and $Billions of liability, not enough insurance to cover it, no dividend and plunging stock prices.

PG&E Stock 1 year daily 16 November 2018

PG&E Stock 1 year daily 16 November 2018

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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 Global Cooling, W.O.O.D. and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

179 Responses to W.O.O.D. – 16 November 2018

  1. Another Ian says:

    One way to do it

    ” “See ya all.” ”


  2. Larry Ledwick says:

    The Kilogram and electric current (ampere), temperature (kelvin) and amount of substance (mole) have just been standardized on new reference standards which trace back to fundamental constants of nature.


  3. Larry Ledwick says:

    Well no wonder President Trump gets no respect, he does not behave like the President of the EU Jean-Claude Juncker


  4. Larry Ledwick says:

    The rest of the story on the downing of Extortion 17


  5. Steve C says:

    Yes, Brexit is being serially seriously mutilated by the Remainers, exactly as we all said it would be. Really, it is such a simple idea: For every sentence, true before Jun 23, 2016, which says “The EU has (x) influence over UK (some) policy”, substitute “The EU has no influence over any UK policy”.

    The most important area in which this must be applied is law: our common law and the EU’s Napoleonic law are irreconcilable, and the latter has no place in the UK under any circumstances. We can agree a quick & efficient system for dealing with extradition warrants and the like, and that’s it. It would also be a golden opportunity to roll back the infestation of CCTV cameras and related authoritarian snooping. (Porcine aerobatics team ready, sah!)

    We also need – after repealing Theraitor May’s Act locking all EU law into British law – to work back through 45 years of bad legislation and cut out all the “top-down” crap (and other crap, are you listening, Common Purpose?) which has done so much damage. So much to be done, and only a rabble of sullen EU drones to do it …

    Love the Borg!

  6. Simon Derricutt says:

    Steve C – yep, I’ve also been watching the Brexit fiasco from here in France. It was obvious that it wouldn’t actually happen (or at least that the powers ranged against it would be almost-unstoppable). The basic underlying problem is that since N. Ireland wouldn’t settle for less than no border between either them and Eire or between them and the UK, and no-one really wants another dose of the Troubles, there is no way of doing that apart from remaining within the EU Customs Union. In other words, no actual Brexit, no matter how it’s painted. Business has had no clarity on what’s going to happen for years, and so have delayed any investments (and will continue to delay any decisions, since it’s the logical thing to do), so the UK growth has been affected already and will be depressed until they know what’s planned. That decision-point has been kicked down the road again, with no resolution for at least another couple of years, and quite possibly not for a decade (trade deals with the EU take around 7 years to negotiate normally, and it’s in the EU’s interest to make this last even longer).

    As such, the current situation is about as bad as it can get. All the downsides and none of the upsides of the separation. This should have been recognised by the politicians at the start, since it was pretty obvious. The UK could have used WTO rules to their advantage by reducing all tariffs. Hong Kong does remarkably well with no tariffs AFAIK, after all. If people in the UK want to buy Chlorinated chicken from the USA, they would be able to – just make sure that products are marked as to origin and contents and you’re good to go. If people want to buy GM maize, also OK, but they need to know what it is so they can make their own decisions.

    When the UK joined the EU, we forget that the New Zealand butter and other farm products suddenly stopped coming in. Major problem for NZ at the time. They’re doing OK, though. That so-called “cliff edge” shouldn’t be scary – we’ll find new markets for quality stuff if the EU doesn’t take it. May be a year or two of scrabbling for alternative markets and suppliers if the EU tries to make life difficult, of course, but the longer-term prospects look very good.

    Personally, I’d suggest giving Northern Ireland a referendum as to whether they want to join with Eire (since the Leave referendum showed they wanted to stay in the EU anyway). No problems with the border after that. Give the people there the option of having a dual passport and choosing their own future. I think most of them would choose to join Eire, but we don’t know until they’re actually asked. Of course, politicians try to avoid asking people the important questions. They may give the unwanted answer.

  7. E.M.Smith says:

    On North Ireland I’d just treat it like the USA / Canada border was treated for about 150 years…

    We put up a little sign when a significant road went from one country to the other. It stated that this was the border and you were entering another country. In very rural areas, the border was sometimes a farm fence, sometimes essentially invisible. In some other places, there are towns that span the border. Walk on one side of the street, it’s Canada, the other side the USA.

    For a long time it was basically the honor system. In much of the 3000 miles it still is. At the major border crossings, pre 9-11, you would just show your drivers license and answer a question or two (or just be waved though). For example, when going to the Olympics in Canada about 1976 we were asked (by the Canadians) what was our purpose and we answered “going to watch the olympics”… easy as that.

    So on the land border, put up a sign saying “Now leaving the EU” one way and “Now leaving the UK” the other. Since folks need to fly in to the rest of Britain, check ID there at the airports (they do that anyway…). Yes, there will also be boat and ferry traffic. Ignore the little boats and threat the big ferries like airplanes.

    Will there be some minor level of smuggling? Sure. Just like there is at every point where there’s a profit from the difference. The USA southern border is stuffed with border controls, yet still thousands of tons of illegal drugs cross regularly. It’s the pressure for the drugs that matters, not the border checks. Given that North Ireland & Ireland have water isolating them from the everyone else, all the stuff would need to come via visible shipping, and that would be the easy way to police it. Sporadic checks of ships manifests and coast guard inspections. Don’t worry about folks in North Ireland trading English Tea for French Wine with neighbors.

    Basically you only need to have as much border control as you care about. It’s still a border, you just don’t need to treat it like the Berlin Wall…

  8. E.M.Smith says:

    Just did a vanilla Devuan 2.0 64 Bit install onto a R. Pi M3, using the Toshiba TV as monitor. It looks like it has a working Chromium now (though it won’t let me run it – launched from the command line it states I’m root and NOT in a sandbox so won’t let me do it … I’ve not installed my account yet). AND in FireFox, the audio over real HDMI to the TV is working fine!

    At some later point I’ll need to see how much “chops” the Pi has and can it run anything bigger than 420i … it struggled in 720p before, full screen… but maybe they have worked on the video / GPU use… I hope…

    I used my “Build Builder” 64 GB uSD card to do the build, onto another 64 GB uSD card (that had a canonical collection of old Pi M2 OSs I’ll never run again… ) and it worked nicely.

    I do see it playing with various sites for adverts and such (need to point DNS at my internal DNS server ;-0) ssl.gstatic.com is busy “transferring data”… I wonder what it’s about.

    Well, time to press on with setting up the new desktop environment. Yes, every so often I just have a “do over” and let it flush out any “crap” that might have crawled into a system ;-)

  9. E.M.Smith says:

    Looks like 360p “theatre mode” is about all the Pi can handle from YouTube music videos.

    OK, so not going to be my “media box” any time soon and the ChromeBox has a continuing lease on life… But at least now I can watch videos with it with acceptable quality. Certainly enough for information videos talking-head at a podium.

    At 480p it gets jerky and at 720p takes long pauses…

  10. Larry Ledwick says:

    Another European Country withdraws from the migration pact. Now 5 countries have pulled their support for open borders.


  11. Larry Ledwick says:

    One of the most succinct comments on the internet I’ve seen in a while.

    Mr X Cannot be Hindered by Mortal Man
    58 minutes ago

    There is no cloud, there is only “other people’s computers.”

    There is no “internet of things,” there’s just a shitty, unsecured computer with an unsecured internet connection in your refrigerator.

  12. E.M.Smith says:

    @Larry L:

    I’ve sporadically thought it would be fun list all the various things the same technology aspect has been called over the years. As CPU cost / speed changes relative to networking speeds things centralize, then disburse cycling back later.

    Time Sharing, Service Bureau, … now The Cloud. A few dozen other terms too I think…

    Yeah,the cold will just be weather though…

  13. E.M.Smith says:

    The “Yellow Vests” demonstration in France has resulted in a death (and a big mess).

    The protest is against the tax driven price hikes in gasoline / petrol. Macron has said he’s sticking with the price rises “to wean France off petroleum” for Global Warming…

    I wonder how may more will need to die on the Altar Of Global Warming before the Political Class realizes it just is never going to be a popular thing with the people nor a good hill to die on.

  14. H.R. says:

    Ahem… A Modest Proposal

    School taxes should treated like a user fee. You should only be required to pay school taxes if you have a child in public school. It should be a direct tax on the users. No other taxes, such as property , income or sales taxes should be used for public schools.

    If you have a child in a private school, you’re off the hook. If you have no children or grown children out of school, you’re off the hook.

    What about the working poor or the unemployed? A basic education in the 3 R’s is pretty much a necessity. Those people would have to band together and find a no or low cost solution, such as volunteer teachers. I’m sure there are enough altruistic people with time and knowledge that can teach the basics for no salary.

    Same for the middle class and the well off. Pay for as much education for your kids as you want or can afford and as much as you think they will benefit from. (Assumes parental intelligence, involvement, and discernment not always in evidence.)

    “But, but… that’s not fair!

    But, but… taxing me up to the eyeballs to pay to have your kids indoctrinated, not educated, isn’t fair. I believe that is more unfair than having people take parental responsibility for their own children’s education. I’ve never had and never will have a child in the school district I live in. Explain the tax benefits to me when I have no assurances that my money, beyond the 3 R’s, isn’t a total waste on many, if not most of the kids in my district.

    Tax me for roads and bridges. Tax me for police and fire protection. Tax me to get the potholes fixed and the roads plowed. I’m OK with that.

    [H.R. takes a deep breath and then dives back in 😜]

    I believe I was in the 9th or 10th grade when I was telling my father that I wished we lived in the city and not the township we lived in. I believe that I was lamenting that we only had language courses for French and Spanish – I was interested in Latin – while the city schools had courses in French, Spanish, German, Italian, and Latin, and possibly a few other languages. The city at that time had excellent(!) public schools and facilities with many course options not available in our poorer district.

    That city’s schools are now reduced to outrageously costly communist indoctrination and meal kitchens designed solely to maintain a bloated administrative bureaucracy that accidentally turns out the odd student here and there that can read, write, and cipher. Any teacher worth their salt in that system is swimming upstream, against a dam, with no hope of ever making it to the headwaters. There are fewer and fewer of those teachers willing to fight the current nowadays, and that is by design. The universities, unions, and government are all about ensuring that teachers “go with the flow.” Grrrrr…

    [Ooops! H.R. surfaces for another breath 😜]

    Back to my complaining about my school; my father responded with this truism. “Some people can’t learn. Some people won’t or don’t want to learn. Some people love to learn and no matter where they are they will find a way to learn. It’s not the teachers or the facilities or the courses, it’s the student.”

    If I have to, as I’m forced to do now, I’d at least grudgingly pay taxes to make the opportunity to learn Reading, ‘Riting, and ‘Rithmatic available to all. After that, you’re on your own and kindly get your hands off my wallet.
    My CV considering taxes

    Grades 1-12, Township public school. Pretty much all local taxes back then. None of the State or Federal taxes with the strings attached.

    BS Engineering – Paid for completely on my own. One small student loan paid back two years after graduation. The university no doubt received some State and Federal tax money.
    (Wife and I paid for son’s BS degree, too. He, and we, were college-debt free when he graduated.)

    MBA – Company paid through tuition reimbursement. They thought the ROI was worth it.
    You had to make your case for the value to the company or they wouldn’t pay.

  15. Simon Derricutt says:

    H.R. – I respectfully disagree. You don’t really want a load of uneducated people taking care of the world when you can no longer do it yourself. As such, education is something that should be worth paying taxes for – if the young can keep on inventing new stuff and improving processes for manufacturing, then we all get the benefit. If they’re unemployable and finding other less legal ways to make their living, then we all suffer.

    Of course, I’m not disagreeing on the quality of the education they are getting in general. There are way too many limits on the good teachers (and maybe not enough of them left), and there’s probably far too much emphasis placed on learning what is politically correct rather than teaching the kids to question all their knowledge and work things out for themselves. An interesting point is where people say the cream always rises to the top; so do turds….

    Back a century or so, and people did band together to try to get their kids a better education than was otherwise available. That worked, and kids thus educated rose in their society and gave more back. We can see that was a good investment. Public education was a public good.

    Public examinations give people a standard by which to judge – otherwise, any employer would have to have their own tests (and these days quite a few do).

    Though it seems the value we get for the money spent educating isn’t as good as it used to be, your dad’s comments are still true. These days, any student can get a great education on the net, with the only problem being how to prove you have that knowledge. That may have a solution in time. The social side of being in school is important, but kids in Oz in the outback get along fine without that, so home study on the net certainly will give the kids enough knowledge to take this world the next steps.

    I think it was Churchill who said “If you’re not a Liberal when you’re young, you haven’t a heart; if you’re not Conservative when you’re old, you haven’t a head” (or at least what he said meant the same…) and that’s still true, too. We expect the young to try new stuff and new ways, and hope they don’t kill or damage themselves before they grow up. Being worried about what the young are doing is not a recent thing, either. It’s probably been said every year by a new crop of “grown-ups” (or killjoys…). In Hamelin town, there’s a quote from a Roman in about 300AD bemoaning the way the young were and that the world would come to an end.

    As such, we should try to educate everyone and hope that enough learn. I don’t know what’s worse, lots of uneducated or lots of brainwashed kids, but at least history tells us that enough of them will shake off the brainwashing once there’s a SHTF moment. And, of course, the bigger the pool of kids with knowledge, the more chance of getting another Einstein.

  16. Larry Ledwick says:

    Wow talking about computer failures, this accident in F1 sure looks like a stuck throttle situation, really lucky she ran over another car and got lofted up so as not to hit the crash barrier head on.

    German driver Sophia Florsch appears to have entered a turn at full throttle.

  17. H.R. says:

    Simon Derricutt wote: “I respectfully disagree. You don’t really want a load of uneducated people taking care of the world when you can no longer do it yourself.”

    I am well aware of and expect that argument. I agree, we want an educated population. What I argue is that mandated, tax supported education is no gurantee that you will get and educated population. In support of my argument, I suggest you see the current results of mandated taxpayer funded education vs your following observation.

    Simon Derricutt continues: “Back a century or so, and people did band together to try to get their kids a better education than was otherwise available. That worked, and kids thus educated rose in their society and gave more back. We can see that was a good investment. Public education was a public good.”

    That’s no more than what I proposed. Education was funded by smaller groups at the local level and from that, many received the educations upon which our modern society was built. What is critical is that once upon a time, what was considered ‘education’ was the 3Rs because with those fundamentals, you were prepared for the mundane life and for those so inclined, the 3Rs are essential for further intellectual development.

    The error was in thinking that what works on a small scale, where a local community that has banded together to fund education and knew the capabilities and inclinations of the students, can be scaled up to the current system where there are so many people and so many interests involved (some who have no interest and no skin or children in the game) are tasked, against all common sense, with getting equal outcomes form very unequal students and all at dizzying expense.

    Often enough in those small local districts of yore, some of the more well-off would contribute more funds for the teacher, or maybe a library for the town or some other extras, voluntarily giving above what others gave precisely because they saw the value of an educated populace. No doubt that they had a large say in what went on in those local schools, but I can bet that they were concerned with getting value for their money. They weren’t concerned with those who cannot learn.

    What the local community provided was the students who could be taught, if a bit unwillingly, and those that were eager to learn and they knew which were which. That discernment disappears as the education system gets larger and more remotely managed. Past a certain point and you’re wasting money and ceding control to people who may wish to use the system for indoctrination, not education (we are ‘X’ here). It’s hard to do that with the control of education based at the lowest political level.

    What we don’t have now are a lot of jobs for those who can’t be educated or are not interested in an education. Hopefully that will change as the current aim, under the MAGA agenda, is to bring manufacturing back to America. Yes, the modern factory requires a lot more highly trained and educated people, but there are always peripheral tasks that need doing that are labor intensive and not amenable to automation.

    What we do have now is a confusion regarding the difference between an education and going to school. Big Education has sold the public on the absolute necessity of college for everyone because you don’t want to end up like “him” [pointing at truckers, plumbers, carpenters, etc.].

    Big Education has sold the public on the idea that the only jobs that are worth having are those neat, clean, sit-at-a-desk jobs where you get to look at a computer and peck away at a keyboard all day. Scott Adams made a fortune deriding that fantasy.

    The other good thing about control of education at the lowest level is there is someone watch and matching the interests, abilities, and inclinations of the children and then can get them matched up with the education and training they need.

  18. Larry Ledwick says:

    The up coming UN migration agreement may include provisions that effectively eliminate national borders and immigration control – essentially making immigration a universal human right. Namely that people can move to any country of their choosing and signatories are compelled to help them regardless of numbers, skills or other qualifying factors.


  19. Another Ian says:

    “The Case for Sustainable Meat”

    “User Mohib Ebrahim notes that this article is an outstanding and thorough article that soundly and roundly dismantles the standard change-farming-to-save-the-planet alarmism,”

    More at


  20. Simon Derricutt says:

    H.R. – since my gut-level response was to agree with you, I spent a bit of time thinking about it before replying the first time. The problems you’re talking about are not actually about education as such, but about the way it has developed (or not) into a system for political indoctrination. If you haven’t read Pointman’s piece on this at https://thepointman.wordpress.com/2018/08/03/turd-level-educashun/ then you may find it pertinent.

    Back around 20 years ago a friend of mine ran a small engineering business. He occasionally had school-leavers come to work for him (normally it was a one-man-and-a-dog concern), and found that he had to teach them arithmetic. He also found that they couldn’t read a vernier and so bought in some digital calipers to get over that problem. It was pretty obvious then that the kids who passed through his place hadn’t had a sufficient basis in practical stuff. Incidentally, this was in the UK, and I don’t really have a lot of knowledge about the US system.

    G.C. has started quite a few Charter Schools in the US, as I understand it. That seems to be the sort of school you are looking for, and would feel that your tax-money was well-spent.

    On the other hand, I know of a student in the UK who is taking a 3-year university course in “Surf Studies”. I’m not sure what that’s going to qualify him for…. “Do you want fries with that?” sounds like a good description of the job prospects.

    Maybe the big problem is that rallying-call of “no student left behind”, which means that the bright students can’t advance any faster than the slowest, and thus get pissed-off with the boredom and don’t reach their potentials. Having a degree doesn’t mean a lot these days, and even during my lifetime nobody has ever asked to see my bit of paper saying I have one when I’ve gone for a new job. The main question was always “can you do the job?”.

    The teachers I know try hard to make sure that their students learn something useful. The system makes that more difficult than it should be, and the examinations seem to be changing in order to be easier to mark – multiple choices where it can be marked by computer rather than original work assessed by an expert. A friend of my daughter tested such an exam by choosing “B” for every question on the paper, and passed the exam with a medium grade…. There are thus problems in the system as it stands.

    Though I agree that the education system isn’t great, and needs to be improved (maybe largely by going backwards to when it was good enough), I still think that education is a public good and it’s worth paying for. There’s also still some great research coming out of universities in the sciences, even though there’s a greater emphasis on spinning such research into a business tied to the university, and far more secrecy on the details because of that. Still, the main problem with small local schools is that these days there are so many more specialist subjects that the teachers won’t know enough about, so once the kids have learnt the 3 R’s they’ll need to go to a larger school in order that there are enough students in one subject to pay for the teacher, and then specialise further in the right university. The depth of knowledge needed to excel today is far deeper than it used to be when I was a student, since the sum of human knowledge has expanded since then and is still expanding at an exponential rate.

  21. beththeserf says:

    Serf studies! I like that!. )

    They do something similar at Soros’ Central European University. Training,
    or ‘transformational learning’ to create social justice warriors, or as Soros is
    wont to call them, socially ‘encumbered individuals.’ It’s about ‘values’, not
    so much literacy, numeracy and hard science.

  22. H.R. says:

    Simon – In the US, the difference between the late-1800s/early-1900s and now is compulsory education. Early on, education used to be compulsory by the parents if they chose to compel their kids to go to school. Then the State got involved and made it compulsory and the parents had no choice. It wasn’t long before the Powers That Be of the State realized that they could mold society to their ideals. Thomas Dewey and the Socialist march through the institutions were responsible for starting and steering the US down the path to where we find ourselves today.

    (I wish Gail Combs had the time to weigh in on this. She has posted a lot here and elsewhere on the topic of how what we call education has been changed to indoctrination. She has loads of good links and her observations and conclusions are hard to argue against.)

    Today in the US, we are closing in on the culmination of the intentional dumbing down of the populace in order to have a docile, compliant citizenry who are content to be vassals of the State. Compulsory education, controlled by the State, was necessary to get us to this point. We now have graduates of High Schools and College that actually don’t know anything much beyond the social conditioning that they have received.

    You gave some examples of the woeful state of knowledge of graduates of the current educational system in the UK. The factory I just retired from has similar problems finding people with the very basic skills needed. All that’s required is a HS diploma but we found that most of the potential hires cannot read, write, or work with numbers and measures that the average 8th-grade student from the 1960s could have easily done. The current crop of average HS graduates would still be in the 6th grade at 20 years of age if they were held to 1960s standards. But, by golly, they deserve to go to college if they want to, or at least that’s what they’ve been told in school as they are passed up through the levels.

    There is one difference in the UK and US that has some bearing on the topic. My understanding – jump in and tweak or correct me – is that class in the UK played a role in the education you received. If your father was working class, you expected to be working class and got an education necessary to your occupation. Upper class kids got more education at better schools. That’s a broad brush and and obviously leaves out the details and exceptions, but my point is that class had (still has?) a role in UK education.

    The US is (was) a people that were free to ignore class and pursue education according to their desires, means, and ability and lack of means wasn’t necessarily an obstacle. Want an education and poor? Figure out a way to earn the money or get the education on your own. There were no pressures to “know your place.”

    There are smart people in the same proportions among the rich and poor. The difference I see is that in the US, a smart kid could get an education whether you were rich or poor whereas in the UK, a smart kid from the working class might be shut out from a good education. I suppose that’s all changed now.

    Which brings me around to education and the current corruption of the word. In the past, being educated meant you knew things, you had learned a particular body of knowledge. A self-educated, highly knowledgeable person was recognized and respected as being educated. p.g. is a fine example of a highly educated (best sense of the word) person who confesses to having barely made it out of H.S. In a tough spot, I’d take his life-long education in a tight spot over 99.7% of anyone from the current pool of available PhDs.

    Today, not so much. Education is now equated with the highest level the school system has conferred whether or not you actually have the knowledge that used to be associated with that level. And some areas of ‘education’ confer advanced degrees on topics that are not knowledge-based, but built on current opinion or speculation. For example, Dr. Brenda Snipes, who’s at the center of the Broward County FL election fiasco, has a PhD in Educational Leadership. I’d love to see her dissertation (not really).

    Also, the way knowledge is acquired and recognized has changed. For example, boys (not girls, then) used to be taught drafting by the time they completed 8th grade so they could work in the trades. If they went to H.S. they learned a bit more of it plus some of the higher math involved. Some of those went to Ag and Mech colleges and got engineering degrees, but a large body of those HS grads went into industry as draftsmen. After a few years of learning and demonstrating competence, they became Designer-Draftsmen or some other such designation and after several more years of learning, might finally be recognized and titled ‘Engineer.’ So there used to be two ways to become an engineer; college and on-the-job acquisition of the knowledge. That’s how lawyers became lawyers, too. I’m not so familiar with their field, but I know they started by clerking for recognized lawyers and then studied law until they were recognized.

    My first manufacturing job in 1973 was at a company with an Engineering department of about 30 guys. There were only 3 engineers with engineering degrees. The rest were draftsmen in the various stages of becoming an engineer with a couple who were designated engineers. The Chief Engineer for the company didn’t have an Engineering degree! He had come up through the ranks and this was something that he arrived at after (I’m guessing) 40 years of practical experience and learning. I’m pretty sure you saw something similar back in the day.

    But now, companies typically don’t want anyone for a position unless they have a piece of paper that matches the job title, and we are producing people who don’t actually have the knowledge that their pieces of paper purport them to have. *sigh* Perhaps that’s why no-one asked to see your degree and only quizzed you about being able to do the job; cut to the chase, as it were.

    That’s enough rambling from me. The current US education system is a mess (intentionally so, I believe) that I’m not going to straighten ’round in a few comment here. But I’ve at least declared my unwillingness to fund US compulsory public indoctrination in it’s current state and have stated my willingness to help fund a true, basic education as it was funded in earlier times.

    Thanks for the replies, Simon. You do get people thinking.

  23. H.R. says:

    Oh… Simon. You need to distinguish between G.C.s as there is gallopingcamel GC and Gail Combs GC, though she hasn’t posted much her over the last two years.

    Yes, gallopingcamel has mentioned his work and I’ve followed a few links he’s provided (one showing his beaming face!). He’s one of those educators who swim upstream against the current educational system so that people might stand a chance of getting educated; acquiring knowledge.

  24. Power Grab says:

    Speaking of education…I was just perusing an article about how many people (especially young people–the article mentioned 7 million are taking the meds nowadays) are on meds for ADHD, and how much suicide rates have risen since so many people have been put on those meds. Correlation doesn’t imply causation, of course, but…well…there ya go.

    So it made me start thinking about what people on those meds have said about them. IIRC, they say they benefit from them because they (the meds) help them stay focused on their assignments.

    OK. So if it “enhances” your “focus”, does that mean you’re more prone to become fixated on something? You’re unable to “back away” from that thing even if it appears to be making trouble for you?

    The article told a bit of the story of a 9 year old girl who had come home from school, apparently looking forward to going out to eat with her family. When her mother came to her room to get her, she found she had hanged herself in her closet.

    Apparently, sources at the school were able to fill in some details about how she had been subjected to a particularly bad session of bullying that day. Suicide that day was the result.

    The mother believes the ADHD meds (with their listed side effect of “suicidal thoughts”) were instrumental in prompting the girl to take her life.

    I have had trouble understanding how liberals/leftists can so often remain committed to their goofy positions, and so easily become “cannon fodder” for those who want to destroy our culture.

    I have had no experience with psychotropic drugs. I’ve read opinions that they are used so often because it makes a teacher’s job easier. Some people have said that a diagnosis of ADHD is an indication that the child(ren) aren’t being parented correctly. Others insist that they couldn’t function as a productive individual without them. Some of the ones who felt they HAD to have them ended up weaning themselves off them because they could see them causing harm to their personalities and lives.

    So I wanted to throw this subject out to the Village Elders. Has anyone here had experience with those meds, or been close to people who have? What do you think about the role they play in the increased suicide rate? Do you think they are part of what is wrong with our culture, and why people who should be old enough to know better, seem stuck in the playground politics that can see no good in Others, and see no bad in Ours? (know what I mean?)

  25. cdquarles says:

    @ Power Grab,
    Issue number 1 is about the side effect listing. Any sign or symptom that happens while on the medication gets listed. That’s true whether said sign or symptom is the reason for said medication being given to treat it, or *not*. Now think about why people get put on psychotropics and that listing.
    Issue number 2 is that, ‘idiosyncratic’ reactions happen. That is, for a fraction of the people on these, you get the opposite response to what you expect to happen.
    Issue number 3 is that, for depression complicated by psychosis, these medications have a window where close observation is necessary. That’s because the depressed person with psychosis lacks the energy to act on his/her disordered thinking and compulsive behaviors. These medications start reversing the depressed mood sufficiently that the energy returns, while the disordered thinking and behaviors persist. For some, that’s deadly. For most, not necessarily so.
    Now compound that with rules that require using the least restrictive means for dealing with problem behaviors.

  26. cdquarles says:

    That said, I agree that these drugs are *way* over prescribed.

  27. cdquarles says:

    About the suicide rate, well, more people = more suicides. I’d need to find some good age specific studies about that, and those need to try to address what’s called survivor bias, in the field.

  28. Power Grab says:

    @ cdquarles: Thanks for the quick reply. :-)

    Re issue #1: Right. I’ve heard of that.

    Re issue #2: Ok. Not surprised. /eyeroll

    Re issue #3: I forgot to mention that the story said that the 9 year old girl had only recently been put on the meds. So perhaps she was still in that window where she needed closer observation and monitoring?

    Another thing I’ve noticed is that with many different types of meds, the TV commercials list “side effects” that are the same as the symptoms that they are attempting to treat. /eyeroll/

    I’m thinking about the term “disordered thinking”. If the meds are making you fixate on your assignments (supposed to be good if it helps you get your work done?), is that considered disordered? That word “disordered” makes me think first of someone who doesn’t stay on one subject very long (if you’re having a conversation with them). However, a person who is fixated on a subject won’t be changing the subject all the time.

    I’ve read that some diseases are made worse if the patient’s thinking gets “stuck” and they can’t “change the channel” in their mind, as it were.

    It seems that the ADHD meds would make a person more prone to get “stuck” on one channel (say, what that bully did/said to the victim), and to the extent that they would be unable to remember the good things going on their life, thereby making them decide to use a permanent solution to solve a temporary problem.

  29. Larry Ledwick says:

    cdquarles says:
    19 November 2018 at 5:35 pm
    That said, I agree that these drugs are *way* over prescribed.

    Part of this is public education, I have heard several medical people say that folks go to the doctor for a problem and insist on drug xyz or at least some drug or they feel the doctor is blowing them off.

    As a result doctors fulfill that expectation to keep from losing patients (or just to shut up the hypochondriacs so they can see patients with real problems).

    The general public has been so indoctrinated by the pharmaceutical companies that there “must be a pill for that” and they expect, even demand that something get prescribed if they go to the doctor. This lack of patience, poor understanding or risks due to any medication, has basically made it impossible for most doctors to engage in “first do no harm” medical treatment.

  30. Larry Ledwick says:

    Long but interesting article about George Soros – it seems he is a very complicated man.


    It appears to me that he was actually traumatized by both Nazi and Communism governance and projects their evils onto inappropriate targets. It is almost as if he is trying to buy forgiveness for participating in the persecution of the Jews in Germany without acknowledging that that is what is going on.

  31. Larry Ledwick says:

    How Italian Police handle ANTIFA

  32. p.g.sharrow says:

    @Larry Ledwick; interesting read about Soros, Even more interesting the POV of the “Tablet” writer that seemed to so even handed, not something I expected when I began reading the article…pg

  33. Larry Ledwick says:

    Yeah me too! It was actually a bit confusing to see different view points covered in the same article, I had to turn off my BS media filter and actually re-read a few things. I realized that I was unconsciously trying to decide which BS filter to apply to the article, and the author kept breaking my decision.

  34. Larry Ledwick says:

    What the heck to they put in the water at the Federal 9th Circut court?

    U.S. judge temporarily blocks Trump asylum restrictions
    1 MIN READ

    SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – A U.S. judge on Monday temporarily blocked an order by President Donald Trump that barred asylum for immigrants who enter the country illegally from Mexico.

    U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar in San Francisco issued a temporary restraining order against the asylum policy, which was announced on Nov. 9.

  35. Larry Ledwick says:

    The AP goes into a little more detail – this decision was based on a law suit regarding if illegals that crossed between official ports of entry were entitled to asylum.


  36. E.M.Smith says:


    One of the issues is that over time the dose must be raised to stay effective, and then the side effects worsen… It tends to come to a head about High School, and that’s when the going off the rails tends to be worst.

    Most of these are some variation on “speed” – that has a lot of bad side effects especially with prolonged use. Yes, you focus better, but…

    I would only add to CDQuarles points to also remember that drug INTERactions matter and a lot of these kids are on several meds plus often start “self medicating” with street drugs. What happens then is anyone’s guess.

    For SSRI drugs there is a known minority genetic type that goes open loop bat shit crazy after a while (they go into extreme Serotonin Toxicity as they don’t eliminate it well). These are often the folks that “go postal” or commit murders and suicides. It may only be one in 100,000 but when the drugs are being handed out to 10s of millions… Similar issues with the ADHD drugs. There’s lots of stuff about Alderol and related “out there”.

    The Spouse being a special ed teacher often had to decide on the question of recommending a kid be drugged, or not. She says it has often helped students. I have to accept that. She also has horror stories of kids going open loop in SED (Severely Emotionally Disabled) classes. How much the two overlap I can’t say.

    I know one good friend who had ADHD issues and needed drugging (so he literally would stop running into walls) but eventually ditched the drugs due to side effects. Another friend went on “antidepressants” that I think were SSRIs – he’s not been the same since… From my personal observations I’d avoid all psychoactives if at all possible.

    @Larry L:

    Spouse reports frequent occasions of parents coming in to an IEP / evaluation meeting (Individualized Education Plan) and demanding they put the kid on specific drugs… No idea why.

    BTW, the 9th is located in California where there’s quasi-legal Pot Shops ever few blocks. I know of 2 “dispensaries” within 5 miles of my home and I’m not even looking – these are BIG ones with billboards on them. So likely not in the water but in the Judges Chambers Bong…

  37. A C Osborn says:

    Power Grab says: 19 November 2018 at 5:11 pm

    I know someone put on ADHD drug (basically speed) and his appetite died, he became feral, then psychotic and his parents stopped the drug.
    I know some of the ADHD symptoms are due to “bad parenting”, but usually it is because they have no idea how to handle the child’s problem.
    This particular child does not stop moving other than when he sleeps.
    I am convinced he has a very high Testosterone level and that is one of the causes of his behavour.

  38. beththeserf says:

    re George Soros, his manifesto, ‘Open Society Reforming Global Capitalism.’ ( 2000) is a very different view of open society to Karl Popper’s ‘Open Society and It’s Enemies, () The main focus of criticism in Popper’s book is Plato’s blue print for a Utopian Republic which is a collectivist caste system ruled by a priestly ‘philosopher king’ caste.Soros’ manifesto, while invoking ‘democracy’ is not democratic. Soros attacks the nation state, specifically the United States, and wishes to replace it with a globalist , UN/EU type society run (ruled) by a technocrat elite. Chapter 5.

    Soros’ Open Society Foundation funds this globalist program, directly and via other organizations like Rise-Up and Antifa, alias Refuse Fascism that attack free speech and parliamentary democracy. Through OPF and radical left recipients like the Tides Foundation, Alliance for Social Justice, Centre for Community Change, the Brennan Centre, Soros gives large, some 7 figure, donations to undermine western democratic nations’ judicial and electoral systems. The EU University that Soros funds is the centre for the Occupy Movement and committed to training radical social justice warriors. You can reference the links to Soros aims and actions in my 50th edition of Serf Under_ground journal.

    The man Soros chose to run his Open Society Foundation, Aryeh Neier, is a Leninist Marxist and founder in the 1960’s of Students for Democracy, committed to the over-throw of American institutions and remaking them in Marxist mould.

  39. beththeserf says:

    EM, sorry about the line jumping again. My computah has a mind of its own. :(

    [Reply: Just don’t put the line breaks in at the end of a line. Let the comment ‘wrap’ on its own in the comment box. WordPress adds its own idea of where lines ought to wrap, and they “double up” on yours. No worries, though. I fixed it for ya’ ;-) -E.M.Smith]

  40. Simon Derricutt says:

    H.R – though you appreciate the value of education, some other parents obviously don’t. Unless their kids have suffered starvation when young (so the brain doesn’t develop correctly) or some other damage (such as drug-usage), the kids of uneducated parents should have the same range of intelligence as any other group, so just as useful when educated. As such, though maybe 90% of people won’t achieve their potential anyway (I don’t know the true figure, so could be higher or lower), it’s only going to be a few percent of people that make a major difference to the rest of us anyway, so as a society it’s worth the investment in education to get that few percent that make the world run better and advance thinking, technology, and the rest of the things that improve living standards. You can of course regard the money spent on education as mostly wasted, too, since most people won’t need much beyond reading and writing and are often not good at arithmetic. When people get a job, they learn it by doing it, and what they learnt at school about geography, history, or science, etc. is mostly irrelevant.

    If all you wanted was a worker class, then teach people to read and write, and then put them in the jobs where they can learn their task for life…. With such tasks becoming automated, that looks to be a short-term solution unless you also stop development happening. You’ll still get the smarter-than-average bears who learn and innovate despite the system (see the old USSR that didn’t manage to stamp out individualism or innovation, even though they did make life difficult), and the system will break down.

    If you look at the majority, I think you’re going to despair at the failures of the education system, maybe especially in the practical side of making things. There will however still be the same percentage of high-flyers who have absorbed more than they were taught and will thus change things when they get into the workforce, and will do well. There will be some who make their living doing things we didn’t consider to be a job before, such as the video games writers (the son of one of my friends is doing that job now). With all that automation coming in, there will be a lot more “spare time” for the majority to fill, and various entertainments need people to provide them. The percentage of people needed to provide the necessities (food, shelter, energy, etc.) is going to continue to shrink, with the rest of the people providing services of some sort. Maybe also a large percentage of people who do nothing useful at all.

    My prediction, for what it’s worth, is that some very interesting things will probably turn up from the people who are officially “doing nothing useful”, since there’ll still be that percentage of people who want to learn new stuff and think up new ideas, and they will have more time to do it in. Since you’ve retired now, you’ve now entered that group, and you’ll start to wonder how you managed to find the time to do the day job. I entered that group quite a while ago and it looks like being the most productive period of my life so far. I don’t need to worry about keeping a job, since I don’t have one, so I can follow those rabbits down the holes and see what’s there.

    On the UK/USA attitudes to class, it’s far less important in the UK than it looks. AFAIK I was the first in my school to get a place at Oxford, and my dad was on the railways so I was a little worried about the idea of mixing with the upper class I expected to meet there. Turned out around half the students there were working-class, though of course there were the people from Eton, Harrow and other paid-for upper-class schools. I’d probably have learnt more physics at Manchester, but maybe wouldn’t have been exposed to such a range of intellects there. Still, no pressure to “know my place” then or since – I’m effectively classless, though I don’t buff up well and don’t have fashionable clothes (they aren’t protective enough). The only problem I had from education was being refused jobs because I had too many qualifications (also a problem for my ex-mother-in-law in the States who had two Masters degrees as a teacher, so was refused some jobs).

    pg is well-educated because he’s carried on learning, and developed his ideas. More difficult because of the dyslexia (and why is dyslexia so hard to spell?) but like the other dyslexic people I’ve known, that means he uses other parts of his brain and thus sees things other people don’t. Those alternative viewpoints are useful.

    The reason the Human Resources people have been using qualification papers to choose who to employ seems twofold. One reason is a CYA so if the person turns out to be not useful they can point at the bits of papers and say “they should have been able to do the job”. The other is a supply/demand reason, with so many unemployed and looking for a job that it is much quicker to reduce the stack by eliminating those without any paper proof. With higher employment percentages now, that may change, and instead of having too much choice of who to hire the employers will be competing for a small pool. That means they’ll look deeper and interview people they wouldn’t have before, and thus whether you can do the job (or can learn it quickly) gets more important.

    One of the new things I’ve seen recently (sorry, no links) is that some students are also getting annoyed with the value of the education they’re getting. Some have even taken legal proceedings against their university for poor value and not enough tutelage time. That’s a new thing in the UK, and most likely because the student debt is massive – that would have stopped me going to college if I’d faced a debt that size. Recent news of 3 UK universities narrowly missing going bankrupt, too, since students are voting with their feet as to what is poor value. That’s quite a major advantage of making education non-free. If you recall “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” where Pirsig had a while of not grading the students’ assignments, so they had to decide themselves as to how well they were doing, by making the student consider quality rather than just “keeping up” and getting a pass-mark, the students become more critical of bad teaching. As such, a better education results for most, and the ones who can’t take it flunk themselves rather than being ejected. Incidentally, it looks like my daughter has also voted with her feet as regards the university education she was getting, and has decided to finish off at the Open University instead. Better value for money….

    I was referring to Galloping Camel. I’d have referred to Gail as Gail (since there’s only one of her on this blog, and not often enough recently). I think GC’s schools will give their students a far better start than the State-run ones.

    In the same way as the politicians in general seem to be using “1984” as an example to follow rather than as a warning, maybe they are also using the film “Idiocracy” as a prototype. I think however that we’ll find that there will be some more revolting students in future, and that this will force college education to fix the problems. Schools that have a good reputation will survive, and the other will go to the wall. Though that is in some ways a reason for the State not running the schools at all, I think that at least for the primary and secondary schools that’s going to be continuing as a necessary evil, since it’s better than no schooling. At college level there’s going to be a shake-out, since that can and will be supplied by the net (that OU degree is mostly on the net apart from exams, and MIT are now running similar remote courses), and people will want value for money.

    It’s still a piss-off about the indoctrination, though…. On the other hand, it seems Jordan Peterson is getting a lot of attention from students these days, so maybe the indoctrination isn’t working as well as expected.

  41. cdquarles says:

    Quite true about drug-drug interactions, but then, there’s more. There are also interactions with regular foods, for some, too. Consider the known interactions seen when some people on some meds eat grapefruit, to name one.

  42. Simon Derricutt says:

    beththeserf – don’t hit “return” at the end of the visible line but simply keep on typing and rely on the re-formatting on the lines for the new-sized box when it’s finally displayed. Only hit “enter” at the end of a paragraph.

    The variable box-width allows for display on different resolution screens, so adding in more end-of-lines than absolutely needed isn’t optimal.

  43. beththeserf says:

    Thank you, Simon. )

  44. H.R. says:

    @Simon D.: Good points. I see we are agreeing on quite a few items, but the difference is the degree to which we’d support or condemn them.

    I was aware that class is far less important in the UK nowadays. I’m just guessing that it dropped off in importance after WWI and then really dropped off as WWII depleted the needed ‘manpower’ to rebuild after the wars, so class was put aside.

    I’ve also been talking about education from the 1800s until today with out clearly distinguishing the particular period where my comments were aimed. I apologize for the lack of clarity because I think we’d be a little closer in agreement in degree of support or condemnation in a few places if we were discussing the same era. I had a few thoughts of “yah, but…” when reading your replies but then I realized that what you were saying held true for a different era than I was considering.

    All in all, public education in the US is still a mess and I can only push towards backing up until we reach that point where is used to be effective.

    I think it all went to hell when someone got the not-so-bright idea of grading on the curve. 😜

  45. Simon Derricutt says:

    H.R. – yep, we agree on a lot. It may well be worse in the USA than in the UK and France. The difficulty comes when you start to think of how to best replace it, so that the public good of education for all is maintained but without the downside of the often-poor education when it’s top-down driven for political purposes. A school is after all intended to indoctrinate, and how you view that depends on whether you agree with what’s being indoctrinated. Christian principles (whether you’re Christian or not) seem to have led historically to technical advances, so it makes sense to use those as a basis. For a madrassa, where all that is taught is the Koran and nothing else, I’d consider that pretty undesirable for a populace intended for a high-tech civilisation. Maybe OK if you’re living off the land in a village, except that then the person is stuck with manual labour all their life just to be able to eat. Technical advances not possible.

    It sounds to me that GC’s schools are well-supported by the local parents, and it’s desirable to get your kids into them. In the UK, being in the catchment area of a known-good school puts the property prices up. Market forces always act to get rid of the poor performers. I thus think that the efforts of GC and people like him will reverse the trend to mediocrity.

    Still, a lot also depends on the ethics of the parents. I grew up with home-made bookshelves and cupboards, and watching my dad fix the car when required and my mum bake cakes and bread, and thus the attitude that such feats were possible – you didn’t have to buy things you could make. Breaking something meant you either fixed it or did without it – not enough money to replace. These days, it seems most people have problems putting together furniture from Ikea. As such, my daughter leaves a trail of fixed things when she visits friends who don’t have the knack. When she does buy a house, I expect she’ll be able to fix any problems in the structure, too. She knows how to learn.

    The big problem with having a monoculture is that (again historically) they always fail at some point. Having a number of different cultures guards against that – one or two may fail, and the rest carry on. Darwinism in action, if you want to view it that way. On the other hand, humans seem to think they have the One True Answer and want to impose that on everyone else. That simply makes the crash bigger when it inevitably comes. Maybe the USA school system is approaching that point, but there are still enough other options around for the parents that care to get their kids properly educated. If the culture values competent people, they will be produced. That’s maybe the big problem with diluting local cultures with too much immigration – what made that culture prosperous and desirable to move to will be destroyed by that dilution. There’s the story of a travel-writer who published about his favourite location because it was tranquil and little-known… so lots of people visited and they put up big hotels.

    Reminds me of times discussing schoolwork with my stepdaughters…. They often complained “but that’s not the way the teacher explained it!” and went away in a huff. Of course not – obviously they didn’t understand it the way the teacher explained it, and needed a different approach. Since a couple of them now have their own kids, maybe they’ve finally gotten the point. There’s rarely only one way of doing something, or only one explanation.

    I think the education problem will be fixed. It may take a while, and some kids will be disadvantaged by that. Life never has been fair…. Employers will see the problem in the people they employ, since if they don’t see it they go bust. As such, they’ll either have their own schools set up (see what James Dyson is doing for an engineering college, where the apprentices get enough pay to live on and an education from expert engineers as well) or compete for the best people on the open market. Growing your own is a better long-term proposition.

    Lastly, I think that the sheer amount of knowledge available for free on the net is going to change things a lot. Those who want to learn have more opportunity now than they ever have. I don’t think we’re going to run too short of the well-educated people who make the difference. On UK TV there’s “University Challenge” that’s been running as long as I can remember. A university or college sends a team of 4 people who try to answer a very wide range of questions. I can only answer about 1 in 4 of the science questions, or less if they go into biology or medicine. The history questions are generally too detailed for me, and the art questions are mostly “mu!” to me. Yet they mostly get an answer. I’m thus maybe not as despondent about the knowledge-level of today’s university scholars. They are still good, and some still know an amazing amount. More genii would be better, of course, but there are enough. I think there was a similar competition in the USA a while back, and it may still exist. If so, watch it and see if you can answer the questions. That may make you feel a bit more positive about education – or at least I hope it will….

  46. Rhoda Klapp says:

    Just a mention of a plan announced yesterday in the UK to support two-year bachelor’s degrees, same number of weeks as the three-year, higher fees for a shorter period. Seems like a good idea to me. I think four years is not justifiable in most cases, except for the interests of the education establishment.

  47. Larry Ledwick says:

    Looks like the digital currencies are getting a major shake out as we enter the holiday season.
    Bitcoin which peaked in value at $20,018 in December of 2017 is now down in the $4894 range in November 2018, so it has lost about 75% of its peak value in the last year.



  48. Larry Ledwick says:

    New Trump painting is out.

  49. H.R. says:

    Simon Derricutt: “Lastly, I think that the sheer amount of knowledge available for free on the net is going to change things a lot. Those who want to learn have more opportunity now than they ever have.”

    Abso-positively-lutely that has been a big game changer and it does give one hope. What used to be a trek to a library and possibly a long search to get information you wanted is now just a few clicks away. It is amazing.

    Also, I just recalled that how-to videos are readily available to do just about anything. I fixed our freezer a few months ago just by searching on the failure symptoms and then found a video explaining the fix and the necessary part, along with some very useful “watch out for” tips. A quick search online got the part to the house the next day and I was done. Same with our microwave oven and our washing machine.

    What was really neat was just last week, my son called to see if I had a gas torch. Why, yes I do along with just about every other hand tool known to man. I bought a torch head probably 20-25 years ago to add some shutoff valves where they had stupidly been omitted. I’ve also used it the 2-3 times I’ve needed to replace the water heater and a few times to heat and remove seized bolts.

    It seems my son was paying attention because he was replacing a pulley on his garage door and ran up against a seized bolt which no amount of Liquid Wrench® could free up. He did remember that heating the bolt should work and asked me for the torch. Success: bolt removed and pulley replaced. I was pleased and surprised that he remembered because he sure didn’t seem interested when I had various projects or repairs underway.

    (Lesson 2 – mind what you say or do around the kids because they are paying far more attention than you think 😜)

  50. Larry Ledwick says:

    Looks like the election fraud this cycle may actually get some traction.

    Election fraud scheme on L.A.’s skid row got homeless to sign fake names for cigarettes, cash, D.A. says

    Several people are going up on felony election fraud charges.


  51. E.M.Smith says:

    @Simon D:

    The Spouse doesn’t like it when I say the truth, that I’d have learned more if they didn’t lock me up in school most of every day and just let me loose in the library. Most of what I know, I learned there. I was typically way ahead of “grade level” on lots of science and history stuff.

    My Son has from time to time thanked me for making sure he exited University with zero debt. What’s happened is that the Debt Ridden Students are acting as an Example to all the rest… The ones who can buy a few beers vs the one who says they can’t afford it… The Daughter too has no debt for her education and is doing well. But they have a load of friends with poor jobs and huge debt burden… and folks “share” about it.

    Never Forget: Universal Public Education is a plank in the Communist Manifesto.

    It is there for 2 reasons. 1) Raise up the working class. 2) Political indoctrination.

    That #2 is why it is now dominated by Socialists. Until that #2 is quashed, we go down the slope to the shit pond.

    I have great hope that a decent and essentially free education focused on actual skills and understanding can come from Online Education. There’s a decent k-12 school fully accredited and some of the University stuff is good (but to prevent poaching their own income they price it the same and that’s just bogus). Eventually a fairly cheap but very good online degree will come into being. That, IMHO, will be the lever that moves away from the debt mill and quashes the Indoctrination Mill.

    FWIW, many Student Loans include provisions for “debt forgiveness” if you go to work for an NGO. So think those rules / laws are from Conservatives? Or maybe that Soros is assuring he gets willing workers for minimum wage as YOU pick up that debt tab? IMHO, that needs quashing too.


    Is that Bachelors like USA first college degree or like the French High School qualification?


    Yeah, traders dumping their latest bubble…

    Like that painting :-)


    OMG Yes!

    My collection of “how to” books has gathered dust for the last decade or two. Now I “pop a video” and then go do it. Watched a full overhaul of a Subaru engine before deciding to get one. Now I’m ready. (Already did all the brakes and saved a couple of $hundred).

    I now research things in minutes that would have taken months before (our library dies not have a medical research section…)

    It really is a game changer. I think it is likely a life saver for the really bright kids of the world as they can explore interesting stuff without being called names for spending hours in the library…

  52. Larry Ledwick says:

    I find it humorous that the story element in the Matrix movies where the people plugged into the computer to down load skills is really not that far away from what we have with youtube etc. videos.

    Want to be a welder you can watch 100 hours of welding how to videos and except for the physical hand eye coordination acquired from actual performance you will have the knowledge an apprentice welder would take 2 years to learn on the job. (assuming of course you are a visual learner).

    Build a boat or home built airplane, over haul an engine, almost any common task you can think of has been video documented by dozens of people, some exposing little tricks of the trade you would never learn in a printed manual or personal hacks they have come up to short cut some process which really is not all that important.

  53. beththeserf says:

    ‘I heard it on the internet.’ … Yer can learn something everyday. I learn things right here on Wood and Tips and more.

  54. beththeserf says:

    Say, no line jump.

  55. H.R. says:

    @Larry – Ohhhh yeahhhh… those tricks and hacks in the videos are really great. All three of those fixits I mentioned had pitfalls… and the video made sure I didn’t fall into those pits.

    I doubt I’d have been given 100% of the information I needed from a repair manual and definitely not from the “Troubleshooting” section of the owner’s manual.

    “Check that the device is plugged in.”

    Gee, thanks. Now what?

    “Contact the manufacturer for the service center nearest you.”

    NOPE! It’s youtube time!

  56. jim2 says:

    I suppose this could be a hoax, but according the the link, the Proud Boys have been declared a terrorist group by the FBI.

    Why the hell isn’t Antifa declared a terrorist group? They are 10 times worse than the PB.


  57. Larry Ledwick says:

    On the electrical car front BC is going to try and eliminate conventional cars by 2050 (at least as new production)


    That is going to work out well when that 9.0 earthquake and tsunami hits the north west and electrical power goes away for a few weeks.


  58. H.R. says:

    Larry L.: “That is going to work out well when that 9.0 earthquake and tsunami hits the north west and electrical power goes away for a few weeks.”

    Good point and applicable in many other disaster situations. It is devilishly hard to shlep a few kilowatts to where they’re needed vs.schlepping a few gallons of gas. Heck! Best case is you haul a generator AND the gas where electricity is needed, and that’s not always practical or perhaps even possible.

    Those that live by the sword grid, die by the sword grid.” ~ H.R.

  59. Ossqss says:

    I have been seeing this fellow regularly on Fox. He is very poised and quite interesting. It seems he may fill the Charles Krauthammer void, may he RIP.


  60. E.M.Smith says:

    @Larry L:

    Also, it’s a LONG province and most of the folks live in the bottom 100 miles of it. There’s no electric car on the planet that can make the run North and Back. It is rural and with thin infrastructure. Just not going to work.

    Part of it is the AlCan Highway with something like 1000 miles on the particular highway (not all in BC). Just nuts.


    Not only that, but look at how much fuel is stored at just one gas station. We’re talking a tanker truck load. Now that can be dumped into a tank in a few minutes. It takes days to weeks to run it through any portable sized generator (even the trailer sized…). It isn’t just the kW that matter, but the kW-hrs / hour too… Nice sized car / truck is about 20 to 30 kW engine (very small cars about 10 kW maybe). A 400 mile range averaging 50 mph is 8 hours. ( I’ve timed it and even on a good day on mostly freeway it’s hard to maintain a steady 55 to 65 mph AVERAGE including fuel stops and pit stops and food and…) So I can load about 160 kW-hrs of fuel in about a minute. Try that with an eCar. It’s more like 1/10th to 1/20th that fast. At BEST. (Fast charge to partial fill).

    No multiply that problem by a few thousand cars / hour on a freeway… (Hint: 160 MegaWatt hours is a LOT of power to deliver…)

  61. E.M.Smith says:

    I wonder what the “Due Process” is for getting removed from a “Terrorist List”

  62. jim2 says:

    Good point. I wonder what the “Due Process” is for getting put on it in the first place.

  63. Larry Ledwick says:

    On the bit coin collapse – is there a productive alternative use for bit coin mining rigs (like beowolf cluster super computer)


  64. Larry Ledwick says:

    Somebody finally explained “intersectionality” so that I understand it
    (think it is massively stupid but at least I now have clue why it is a “thing”)

    Everytime I have tried to figure out what all the gibbrish means my eyes glazed over and all I heard was Charlie Browns teacher – – – Waaa Wa Waaa Wa Wah

    Prager U video on Intersectionality

    It is a patently insane concept but at least I have a clue on how they got there.

  65. E.M.Smith says:

    I long ago gave up on their idio-babble. Now I only learn one of their peculiar terms when it has stayed around long enough to be very common AND I want to understand where their logic was very broken.

    Maybe you can give us the nickel tour of what “intersectionality” means and how it is broken.

    (My only sense of it so far is it has something to do with category spanning and claiming putting things in logical categories is somehow a bad thing. You know, like “poisonous plants” vs “food plants” leaves out “magic mushrooms”… in a way. Or I might have confused it with some other idio-babble words…)

  66. H.R. says:

    It’s a bit of a digression, but this is a W.O.O.D. so…

    @E.M. who wrote: “A 400 mile range averaging 50 mph is 8 hours. ( I’ve timed it and even on a good day on mostly freeway it’s hard to maintain a steady 55 to 65 mph AVERAGE including fuel stops and pit stops and food and…) “

    Make a note to yourself if you do buy some sort of mobile living quarters, travel, and hills or mountains are involved. I plan our trips with the trailer in 400 +/- legs. The old Ford V-10 gas mileage sucks and saddle tanks weren’t an option. With the trailer and hills and mountains (so far, always mountains), I have an engine sputtering range of 250 miles so I refuel earlier in case the traffic grinds to a halt and we get caught sitting.

    I make usually ack hand-held food and grab-it drinks to go but often the Mrs. insists on a stop for breakfast sammies, coffee, or a (sandwiches in the cooler, mind you) Chic-filet Whumper, or something.

    Add in two dogs that need to stretch, potty, and get a drink of water every couple of hours. (The cat in the trailer just wakes up at our final destination and asks, “Where the heck am I?!? Damn these alien abductions!”)

    Then there is setup and teardown (sewer, electric, leveling, un-hitch and hitch up if applicable) all best done with some daylight left.

    Point being that if you get a 5th-wheel or a motorhome – and you mentioned you have critters – that 400 miles in 8 hours turns out to be a good mileage too shoot for in a day.

    Pro Tip: Get good at planning stops where everyone gets a potty break, you can refuel, and any food needs are taken care of. When you get good at that, your mph average goes up quite a bit as you eliminate those unscheduled “Aw crap! Gotta pull into that rest area” stops where you average 0-mph for 5-10-15 minutes and still need to stop for fuel in another half-hour for another 10 minutes of 0-mph.

    I look for Love’s or Pilot stations on easy on, easy off exits because they have either their own fairly edible food or are partnered with a national fast food chain, have fuel pumps that are centered in areas large enough for trailers, and usually have grassy areas for doggie potty breaks. They also have great coffee bars!

    We have been collecting good places to over-nite and easy all-in-one fuel stops for the Florida snowbird run and the Hilton Head Island Spring and Fall runs (HHI is one day in the SRX, two days with the trailer.)

    We are planning to travel west, as I have a boatload of relatives in Texas and the Mrs. hasn’t seen the Left Coast, where I misspent my early 20s. (Hi, p.g…. Company! We brought dessert!) We also have a hankering to see Mt. Rushmore and the Badlands and some trips to Canada for the fishing. My wife has a good HS friend in Arizona, but they haven’t visited back and forth since the onset of kids for both of them, so we’d like to stop by there.

    Anyhow, logbook or bookmarks or some sort of collection method of waypoints on regularly traveled routes is a good idea and a timesaver. Your 400 miles in 8 hours is a good target for comfortable travel for one day when trailering.

    P.S. I pass a lot of people with travel trailers when we’re on the road. They are often close to maxed out. If need be, I blow by trucks and bunched traffic at 80+mph. The F-250 with the V-10 is rated for 12,500 and I’m only towing about 8,000-8,500 because I don’t want to be in a sticky spot and maxed out on available power. That, and so far all our trips include mountain stretches, so I don’t worry about the engine screaming at 5,500 rpm for 20 minutes on a long uphill stretch.

    Buy as much torque and HP as you can afford and make sure it’s a good bit more than needed for the trailer. I chose my 2005 rig because it’s what I could afford to have sitting for 6-8 months of the year. I do lust in my heart for one of the newer diesel powered trucks, but the price jump from what I have is insane. I can’t afford $30,000-$35,000 just sitting in the driveway. New? Try $60,000, easy.

    I know you’ve already considered much, if not all of this, but this is just a reminder in one place as you shop for… something… and plan trips.

    P.P.S. Leaving for Florida next week to spend three months avoiding the chance of shoveling snow. ossqss and I discussed several months ago using W.O.O.D. to communicate so we could hoist a brew together at the Linger Lodge and you said, “Fine.” I might have to ask if you’d send my e-mail to him behind the scenes so we don’t wind up with TLA spooks or psychos in our little klatch. We’ll see. More next month when I’m down near his zip code and we’ve assessed our combined TLA/psycho paranoia levels. 😜

  67. E.M.Smith says:


    ANY tips on using trailers and RVs appreciated! I’ve driven a 2 ton flatbed with 4 speed and range splitter (and square cut gears in the range splitter!) but that was 40 years ago… I’ve also done a ‘test drive’ around the block in a 40? foot or so Class A (easy…). What I’ve not done is 8 hours on the interstate followed by a 1/2 hour of 2 lane then trying to set up in the pad as the sun sets…

    BTW, PG is at the end of a “long and winding road” some of it gravel with room for maybe 2 Hondas to pass each other if they are at a wide spot… Don’t know that you would want to pull the trailer in… Plus the RV parks will likely be full for the next few months… By spring it ought to be clearing out some… (My guess).

    If you do that, I’d set up at Lake Shasta and then just do a day run in the truck to PGs. Lake Shasta in Summer is glorious some times.

    For West Texas: TAKE WATER. Plan your gas carefully. (At one point it was 247 miles between last gas and Van Horn Texas going eastbound. It has improved a tiny bit…) For Arizona, I think I-40 is prettiest. OTOH, it can be nice to do I-40 in, then downhill to Phoenix to the big hot desert, then I-10 or I-8 into the Urban Jungles of L.A. or San Diego respectively. Or do I-20 from Dallas to I-10 to Phoenix then hill climb up 7000 feet to I-40 and enter California in the Mojave Desert (avoiding L.A.). All depends on if you want to see the L.A. sprawl or not…

    In any case, stop at the California Missions on your way. They are nice to look at and located all along highway 101.

    Mt. Rushmore is several hundred miles away from nowhere… It took WAY longer to get there than I expected, or thought was worth it. Yet seeing it is one of my fondest memories. The scale of it is beyond what I’d thought it would be.

    I’d plan at least one day in the Arizona Desert somewhere. Maybe more ;-)

  68. E.M.Smith says:

    Oh, and at the “get together” in Florida last time, only “regulars” showed up. No TLA folks were interested… So not a lot to worry about, IMHO.

    I’m hoping that with the spouse finally retired, next year I’m off Doggy Doorman Duty and can make a more leisurely trip cross country. Whenever / if-ever that happens, I’ll just be posting “time date place” for expected “meet and greet” time. IF any “agency” wants to show up, fine with me: BUT- they have to buy the pitcher…

  69. Rhoda Klapp says:

    That two-year degree: It’s equivalent to a four-year US degree, well as equivalent as it can be. It has exactly the same content as the standard UK three-year but two years at 45 weeks each instead of three at thirty. It may be offered for any subject and any school so it isn’t (supposed to be) lower quality.

    A friend of mine retired from the Air Force (RAF) and went for a history degree. He got it in the usual three years but complains that the service would have delivered the same content in about six months. I really do not see why any degree, technical, STEM or whatever needs to take four years, but market forces work to maximise the time and cost.

    I don’t have a degree. When I joined IBM they taught me what they needed me to know (370 architecture, assembler language, that sort of thing) in a few weeks. Then learn on the job. It worked out.

    Education really needs to have a revolution.

  70. Simon Derricutt says:

    If you just want the knowledge, then most university degrees could be achieved very much faster. Some disciplines require gaining skills in how to run experiments and learning to use the kit – nuclear physics is one of those and the kit tends to be expensive, so not a lot you can do without being there. Biology can also require specialised resources. Things like history don’t need a lot of equipment – if you’ve got a computer to read the stuff on you’re good to go. The other benefit of universities is that of being in close contact with a higher concentration of bright people than you’re likely to encounter in most other situations, so the discussions tend to be far deeper. That social part can’t really be hurried. For me, a blog like Chiefio’s is really much the same, though – no personal contacts in the same way, but that collection of bright people with interesting viewpoints I can learn from and, unlike university, mostly a lot more experience of life to discuss.

    AFAIK, the school and university term-times were set originally in order that the students would be available for farm-work when needed, so planting and harvest were important and everyone got time off at Christmas. These days, it could easily be all year with a few weeks off, so half the number of years.

    Mostly, though, what universities should bestow is the knowledge of how to research a subject and to learn on your own. I wasn’t taught that, and had to find out for myself. Maybe also that’s what schools should be teaching teenagers. That would be counter to EM’s reason for schools in the Communist Manifesto, though (indoctrination), since students who are able to do effective research will reject indoctrination. Maybe also some courses on logic, to help people find the logical inconsistencies in what they are told and in “common knowledge”.

    A lot of the stuff I learned at school turned out to be useless or wrong. As it happens, some other things I didn’t think I’d ever use (French and German) turned out to be useful in daily life now. In my working life, I didn’t use the stuff I learnt for the degree, but instead learned on the job because there wasn’t a course for that during the time I was at university (programming, systems programming, failure analysis), and it’s only since I was made redundant that I’ve gone back to physics and am busily proving that some fundamental assumptions were wrong. As such, I think we can’t really predict what jobs will be needed when those students emerge with their shiny new degrees, and so help in learning how to learn would be the optimum thing we could do for them. The sum of human knowledge is a click away – go find what’s interesting.

  71. H.R. says:

    @E.M.: I already chatted with p.g. about a visit over on his blog and he said my rig was a no-go. He had warned off someone else with a similar rig a while ago and the fellow chose to try it anyhow. Wound up getting stuck, damaging the truck and the trailer, and paying to get both of them towed back out. So we already figured a visit with p.g. would be a drive up day trip in the truck only.

    Lake Shasta is a great suggestion. I was figuring on staying somewhere in the Chico/Paradise/Magala area, but that was before the fire. It would be best if we stayed the heck out of the way of the rebuilding so we aren’t cluttering the roads that will be needed by the residents and contractors. The Lake Shasta area is some place I never visited when I lived in CA, so that’s where I’ll look for a base camp.

    Anyhow, we probably will not be doing the Left Coast trip until 2020 and that’s when we’ll take the Northern routes over to the coast. SoCal? Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. We’re looking to see Northern CA, Oregon, and Washington.

    Texas plus a quickie to Arizona will be first and is on the schedule for 2019. All the Texas relatives I’d visit are in Waco, Victoria, Port Lavaca, and Houston. I have tons more relatives all over Texas, as one branch of mom’s family settled in Texas in1854. The other branch came from Bohemia in 1904. I’m distantly related to a tiny, but probably measurable percentage of Texans, but only have about 300 ‘close’ relatives that would know or care how the heck we are related.
    If you go with a travel trailer that’s not a 5th wheel, get the best weight distribution, anti-sway hitch available. I did and it makes a big difference. While researching hitches, I found that a lot of people give up on trailering or make minimal use of their trailers because of sway. They were white-knuckling the whole time they were on the road. I paid more bucks for a really good hitch and the heavier truck and have not had any serious sway problems. There will always be some sway when a trailer gets hit by wind/air pressure from the side, but 5th wheel or a good weight distribution, anti-sway hitch minimizes it.

    Oh, worst case was last year coming back from Florida on the Georgia to Tennessee leg of the trip. There were very strong, gusty Spring winds that day. All I did was back off about 5mph from my usual speed and drove with the objective of not getting stuck beside any tractor-trailers. All passing was done way wide left with the left wheels over the left yellow line. I had to ‘drive’ making those constant corrections for gusts, but it was not bad for my rig considering it was a very bad day for most others. I was “very attentive” that day, but not white-knuckling.

  72. Larry Ledwick says:

    Another mention of the faulty math in recent global warming study – includes a clear image that shows the poorly chosen fit that was the basis for the claim.


  73. Larry Ledwick says:

    In the energy sector, nice chart of historical US Oil production.

    Oil pipelines which are about to come into production

    US oil dominance is going to radically change our world in the next decade or two.


  74. H.R. says:

    Hey, y’all. This one of only 3 years I can recall since getting married 42 years ago that I have not had to cook the Thanksgiving feast. Very strange feeling.

    We (8 people) are hitting a Thanksgiving buffet at a very nice restaurant: turkey, ham, prime rib, smoked salmon, and a dozen plus sides with 3-4 dessert choices. Yum!

    This is a Farm-to-Table locally-sourced type restaurant (except salad and other veggies off season) and their regular menu is centered around more traditional dishes rather than cutting edge flavor mashing noveau cuisine. Their kitchen staff is excellent and I’ve never had a clinker side or entree there.

    The whole objective in going out this year was to avoid leftovers since we leave for FL next week. About the only thing I’ve found that I can’t cook is “less,” so it was pretty much a given that there would be wasted leftovers, and eating out avoids that.

    I’ll be cooking anyhow as we have guests for the 4-1/2 days, but the meals have been bought and sized for no leftovers beyond a serving or two.

    What kicked this off was a trip to the store yesterday and today where I just bought a few items and none of them were traditional Thanksgiving foods. Of course the stores are a zoo as people get ready for tomorrow. It was really kind of fun to watch the fury and flurry as I picked up just a few things.

    It is a strange day today for me with no kitchen prep work to do.

  75. Power Grab says:

    @ Simon re: “On UK TV there’s “University Challenge” that’s been running as long as I can remember. A university or college sends a team of 4 people who try to answer a very wide range of questions.”

    When I was growing up, there was a show called “College Bowl” that worked the same way. It was amazing to me how quickly each team was able to answer each question, no matter how obscure it was.

  76. Power Grab says:

    @ Rhoda re: “I really do not see why any degree, technical, STEM or whatever needs to take four years,”

    IMHO, they stretch it out so the little darlings can spend some time maturing in the somewhat-less-than-real-world of university life. Who knows? They might even learn to operate a manual can opener during the interim! ;-)

  77. H.R. says:

    @Power Grab and Rhoda K – Here’s a bit from my experience, but it is ‘back in the day’. I do have an opinion on what the training should take down at the end.

    My University had this quaint notion that their graduates were to have a well-rounded education and whatever your major was, there were requirements to take some classes in other disciplines.

    For this Engineer I needed three classes in the Arts and Humanities so I took a course on Roman Civilization (The Aeneid was one required reading), one Art History class (one of the hardest classes I ever took. Had to remember everything you saw in the class and the text and everything about it. Some people literally wept.), and one Intro Art class where we did acrylic painting, charcoal or pencil drawings, sculpture, mixed media, impressionist watercolor, and something from found objects (fun, educational class, but everybody got a good grade if they just showed good effort.)

    Then I had to take two courses in Accounting, Macro and Micro economics, Psych 101 and two Psych 20X-your pick courses, and English Composition. For Engineers, they also required Engineering Economic Analysis and Technical Writing. It was possible to test out of English Comp, but that was rare; moneymaker, don’t you know.

    You had all that in addition to the Engineering curriculum and they were standard classes for those majors, not special classes for non-majors.

    So…. I graduated as, arguably, an Educated Person, but that was back in the day. What I don’t know is how many universities are doing that nowadays.

    I do know that my school does still require classes out of your major, but now has a series of easier classes for the non-majors. In my last year, they had added a class Engineers called “Football Physics” which was very low level, no math beyond arithmetic, and had group labs where the students all helped the Lab Instructor and got credit just for showing up to the lab. Seriously, if you wanted to meet the stars on the football team, you’d run into them in that class.
    All of my Engineering classes would fit in a two year program, but the student would not be working a part-time job anywhere. The prerequisites in physics, chemistry and math would fit in one more year.

    I don’t see why universities couldn’t offer a 3-year purely technical option and then offer the full Monty 4-year program for those who would like a broader education. What I don’t like is the creation of special easier classes for those taking out-of-major courses. That’s just evidence of schools padding classes for profit. Quit pretending and just go with a 3-year degree.

    Oh, about an Art degree vs STEM. Everybody in the Art program who showed up and turned in their work was passed along and would graduate. Throughout my college days, I’d stop in the Art department to see the student displays. The quality, even the grad students’ work, was all over the place.

    We have a much better private College of Art in town. My wife and I went to a couple of their shows that the graduating seniors are required to put on and a lot of their work was excellent and quite tempting to buy. Nothing in a style that would go with our house the couple of times we went, or we would have made a purchase. (“Wow! Love it!” “Me too! But where would we put it?”)

  78. Power Grab says:

    @ HR: I had the same experience–required to take a wide variety of classes. I think that’s one of the main reasons a young person should attend a a brick-and-mortar college and sample some disciplines they are unfamiliar with. If you don’t know what you don’t know…well how would you ever learn that you don’t know everything? ;-)

    After all, “everyone is ignorant, just on different subjects”! – Will Rogers

    Nowadays, the current level of student debt is really a downer. Even with scholarships and grants and Mom helping by paying several hundreds of dollars every month, my offspring has had to take out student loans every stinkin’ semester. :-(

    I, on the other hand, graduated with no student debt. But that was back in the day. I had a scholarship to a smallish school the first year, but when I transferred to the biggish school (well, mongo school, actually), I also was able to snag a nice part-time job and started paying all my school bills (as well as supporting myself) during my sophomore year. I took my time getting out because I was so thoroughly undeclared, but I have no regrets. Graduating with 2 degrees and with no student debt was pretty sweet!

    I also enjoyed my part-time job. I got a raise and a title change every year. It was pretty fun…until my boss had a midlife crisis and divorced his wife and fired me after about 5 years of service. Oh well.

    Speaking of art majors–my offspring is one of that variety. Before they can graduate, they have to hold a “show”. Before they can hold a show, they have to present a “defense” of their body of work, philosophy, etc. before a faculty panel. Two of those faculty have told me (to my face) that my kid is one of the best they’ve seen here. I don’t know if that’s true or not…but I’m willing to give the benefit of the doubt! :-)

    That “defense” took place last Friday. We are waiting to receive the letter that advises us of their decision.

    One of the ironies of the brick-and-mortar school at which my kid is studying, is that my kid has TONS of years of experience doing art on a computer(!), yet that is not taught at the school. I don’t think they have even seen the work done by my kid over the years.

    I was kidding one day and said to my kid, “They should hire you to teach how to do art on a computer.” My kid giggled and said, “I know, right!”

  79. H.R. says:

    @Power Grab: Glad to hear your daughter has the Art chops. Quite a few do, but I suppose art talent is on a standard distribution. Sounds like she’s way out there to the right towards the 6 sigma mark! Those 4,5, and 6 sigmas are the ones who can make a living at it.

    Back on the dirty #$&!! money-grubbing side, the Art Schools need a lot of students from 3 sigma and as far left on the curve as they can tolerate without graduating students with a Master of Fine Refrigerator Arts. As I mentioned, at my school, the displays were all over in quality from significant stuff to, well… refrigerator quality art. But you can’t go flunking those people out or the whole Art Department will be occupying some corner of an equipment barn out on the Ag campus.

    When you get a chance, ask your daughter if she has seen any of that. She may be the upbeat and encouraging sort and not wish to disparage any classmates, but she must have a great eye or her own work wouldn’t come out so well. She should truly know when someone just doesn’t hit the mark with their work, whether or not she’ll say so.

    Oh, and there are two components to producing good works; a good eye and the skill. Some art students have one or the other of those components, but not both. They dwell on the left side of the curve. Those with a only really good eye can still make a living in the art world buying and selling art.

    Anyhow, I’d be curious to know her opinion of how many art students are in her school just because of the school’s money-grubbing factor. Maybe there are fewer than I think because the school is more selective than I am giving them credit for. Maybe not. I dunno.

  80. Larry Ledwick says:

    In the unexpected technology category thinking out side the box we have an electronic airplane.
    Ion driven air flow has been around quite a while most commonly used for those zero noise fans.


  81. Another Ian says:

    “Federal and provincial/state hi-level bureaucrats should be issued such experimental cars for testing, e.i. acting in the public interest, which is supposed to be their raison d’etre, anyway.”


    More self driving warts showing

  82. jim2 says:

    CJ Roberts rebuked Trump’s characterization of a 9th district judge as an “Obama” judge. Trump responded. And it makes Trump greater even than he was before!

    “Sorry Chief Justice John Roberts, but you do indeed have “Obama judges,” and they have a much different point of view than the people who are charged with the safety of our country. It would be great if the 9th Circuit was indeed an “independent judiciary,” but if it is why are so many opposing view (on Border and Safety) cases filed there, and why are a vast number of those cases overturned. Please study the numbers, they are shocking. We need protection and security – these rulings are making our country unsafe! Very dangerous and unwise!”


  83. E.M.Smith says:


    The process for getting on seems to be that the Left Wing Lawfare group Southern Poverty Law Center calls you names to the Government and they dutifully do as told.

    Yes, IMHO, that needs to stop…

    @Larry L:

    The bitcoin miners come in many kinds. As difficulty of mining has risen over time, the tech has changed. Early (and already out of service) gear was just a regular old scalar computer. Those are easily put to other uses.

    Second gen was arrays of computers (like my Pi Cluster), similarly easily reused.

    Third generation tends to be specialized software on vector units based on Video Cores. For those, you need to write new software that does something interesting, and load it. So each bit of hardware would require that you figure out if MPICH or OpenMP or “whatever” runs on it, the find codes that use those, compile and load.

    Current hardware tends to be all ASICs – Application Specific Integrated Circuits. As noted, these ARE application specific. So not a lot you can do with them if they are fixed gate arrays. IF they are a Field Programable Gate Array then you can reprogram them, so it will depend on the hardware they chose. Lower volume makers will be FPGA and high volume a fixed run ASIC.

    So for many they can be reused, but the labor cost to do it likely exceeds the value of the hardware (unless you have something big to do and can get a lot of the same kit cheap and that hardware will do what you want…). For high volume fixed ASIC based units, it’s a tosser when it is no longer fit for function.

    Per the electrodynamic airplane: When it goes faster than 15 MPH and gets the equivalent of the same MPG as a Piper Cub, let me know…. When it’s the equivalent of a Human Powered Saran Wrap plane doing bicycle speeds and only in still morning air for 4 minutes and no wind, er, “cute” but not buying one…

    @Per Education:

    Most colleges and universities require some “broader education” for the general Bachelors degree. Masters tends to be subject specific. Ph.D. a subset of the subject.

    I had to take “electives” out of my area and enjoyed it a great deal. Art class was rather as descried. Show up and try, got a good grade. (Also realized I had near zero art skill… I can see what’s good, but can’t get much past stick figures and 3rd grade crayola art…). I also realized a fair number of the students in the Arts program were there to pick up a credential and a spouse without actually needing to think much, or well. They could manage to graduate without all the trouble of doing things like addition or writing well… Many of them made junky art. Often with the aid of various drugs… The Dramatic Arts class I took actually was well worth it. Learned things that really helped me in business. Role playing and staying in character. Ballroom Dance was useful after graduation in landing the spouse ;-)

    My Major, Economics, taught me the law of supply and demand. Then that there is a large supply of Economists and almost no demand… So I took a lot of Computer Classes as a kind of minor (thought my school did not offer formal “minors”). I then spent years selling the Econ degree as a kind of sort of Business Like Degree and touting my computer classes… Worked out OK. (There were no computer science majors then – it was a choice of Engineering with all the hardware structural analysis and such, Math with all the extreme math, or Econ ’cause businesses used computers; all with computer classes glued on…)

    FWIW, I’ve done an online school for a Ph.D. Religion. Flaky online place in an odd religious niche. It’s from the “not recognized by anyone” Accreditation category. Just did it for fun and personal interest. (Actually got two: Masters Of Druid and Ph.D. general Christianity). Both involved specific readings, tests, and assigned work. I looked at getting an online MBA, but the costs were prohibitive for me. They were typically the same as attending the same school, so $Thousands / semester. Until that damn gets broken the online won’t win; but as soon as online reflects the actual cost basis, it’s going to change the world. It ought to happen “any day now”…

    I also looked at the online K-12 stuff and this school looked interesting:
    The idea was seeing if the Spouse could work for them while we were “on the road” ;-)

    For homeschoolers, it looked like a decent deal.

    It was about 8 years ago that I last looked at online college degrees. Probably worth an update… IF I could find one that was more like $1000 for the whole program (2 year Masters), I’d likely go for it… I know I could “ace” the Computer Science degree ;-) and it would shut up the folks who complain about an Economist doing computers ;-0

    FWIW, when I got my Bachelors, it was recognized by the staff that they educated you in a specific thing, but their major job was to assure you could continue learning once graduated since “things change” and since what you do for a living often is not what you got for a degree. Now that seems to be fading. Even in computer science, they push for up to date certifications in a specific detail before thinking you can do that detail. I’d have to fork out about $40,000 / year to get and keep certs in all the things I have done and can do… So everyone is being silo-ed into vertical specialties.

    Oh Well… not my problem anymore…

  84. beththeserf says:

    Man behind the curtain, George Soros, funding left wing media Centre for Ameriican Progress, Media Consortium and more.

  85. tom0mason says:

    Soon European readers of your site will not be seeing this site as you post pictures and videos that the EU elites don’t want to be seen. WordPress is against this action — see https://transparency.automattic.com/2018/06/12/were-against-bots-filtering-and-the-eus-new-copyright-directive/
    More information is available at https://www.saveyourinternet.eu/

  86. Larry Ledwick says:

    The silencing continues Conservative free lance journalist Laura Loomer has been suspended from Twitter.


  87. E.M.Smith says:


    I guess a “how to use free USA based VPN” article is needed…

    FWIW, I spent some of today trying to make a free Swiss based VPN go… My “issue” is using a collection of “odd” platforms… My Tablet is too old to support their “App” from the Google Store. My Laptop is a Mac with its own quirks. Rinse and repeat…

    I’ll whack on it more again tomorrow. (This evening I’ve chosen to enter the Scotch Zone ;-)

    FWIW, I did get a ProtonMail account set up. It seems pretty good. Only “gotcha” so far is that the “Free” account does not provide any way to save email to your computer. With a fixed storage limit, eventually you will be forced to either pitch the history or pay up for the IMAP intervace and then your email reader of choice can save to disk… Or you keep an insecure mail account around and forward your (now unencrypted) email to it for downloading… defeating the purpose.

    So a couple of steps forward, and only one back…

  88. philjourdan says:

    The week from hell.

    First, I had a partial nephrectomy, then I come home to a busted (or so we thought) hot water heater, then I had an accident racing home to let the plumber in (after 6 days of no hot water) to install the hot water heater, then I find out the old heater (it was 12 years old) was probably fine, our watch dog gas service had let the tank run dry!!!!!

    I am going to hide.

  89. E.M.Smith says:

    I wonder….

    We’ve got bits and pieces coming up – BitChute for video, Gab for “social media”… What would it take to bring up an integrated “Conservative Land”?

    Just a Giant Middle Finger to the whole games playing by the Nutcase Powermad Left?

    Make a secure and private OS: Mostly done via Linux, just pick the right release and custom package it with desired tools.

    Get a secure and private browser: Several. Even FireFox has one: Klar now installed on my burner phone.

    List of Services needing reliable providers: DNS, Payment Processing, Video, Social Media (micro-blogging), Telephony, Email, ISP, VPN, Blogging, “Cloud” hosting site, what else?

    Looks to me like it would not take that much more.

    Video: BitChute and Real.video already exist.
    Social Media: Gab.ai exists.

    Both need a bit more support structure under them as payment processing and hosting and ISP stuff is under attack. DNS name providers too.

    So a payment processor of reliable character is needed (Gab.ai and / or InfoWars seem to have found someone – for now…).

    Telephony may be a low priority as so far it looks like taking down phone service has been off limits… setting up a SIP server for IP telephony might be needed someday.

    Email is pretty easy to do even as a single person so if none is out there, not hard to do.

    ISP? Is there a reliable ISP in the market or does a new one need creating? This is basically just a Telco somewhere in the world who is not politicized. OR a company who can buy a leased line from a Telco…

    VPN can be set up by anyone with a computer and an ISP. Lots exist so may not be a problem.

    Blogging? This is a web server and editing facilities. Not that hard to create once the platform exists under it. Are blogging platforms censoring?

    Then the two biggies:

    Cloud hosting. Mostly done by a very few very political companies. Amazon, Microsoft… One can make their own cluster of computers if needed and then you just have the ISP to deal with; but most folks seem to like the virtual data center concept. Easy to build a cloud service, just need money and an ISP.

    DNS – in some ways the hardest nut to crack. IF you have folks revoking your electronic identity, that’s pretty much end game. Now ANYONE can set up a DNS server, so you could chose to to that route and bypass “authority”. The end game here is like the .onion domain. Technically it doesn’t exist and is a pirate domain with their own virtual world… At present, I am pretty sure that a reliable DNS provider isn’t an issue, but “someday” it might be needed to do the whole “darkweb” thing and make a .conservative domain as a pirate…

    So what have I missed? Is it needed? Is it possible?

  90. E.M.Smith says:


    Oh My! My condolences!

    Generally my “week from Hell” comes in December and isn’t quite so horrid…

    On the bright side you now have a new reliable water heater 8-} …

  91. philjourdan says:

    Or as someone else told me – neither of us (in the crash) were hurt (it was low speed, but the cars do not look it).

  92. Larry Ledwick says:

    Wouldn’t that cloud flare dns serve the purpose?

  93. Larry Ledwick says:

    Might need someone like cloud flare and Electronic Freedom Foundation like organizations to take care of the cloud storage and that deeper level of infrastructure.

    A confederacy of some such dedicated privacy providers working together might already have the hardware to get it off the ground.

    An encrypted boinc or torrent like distributed system would be the most resilient.

  94. Larry Ledwick says:

    Speaking of a solar grand minima and cold plant losses, I found a high resolution plant hardiness map of the entire country so you can figure out where to move too.

    Here is the low res interactive, go to the map

    Go to map and data down loads to find this map linked below.
    High Resolution PDF plant hardiness map United States

  95. Larry Ledwick says:

    Sorry chief muffed the href link

  96. Another Ian says:

    November 22, 2018 at 12:35 pm · Reply

    One of the best dissections I have ever read of fiat/paper wealth through “growth” and the ensuing economic bubbles

    Three Delusions: Paper Wealth, a Booming Economy, and Bitcoin

    The short summary is that the world is in deep $hit!”


  97. beththeserf says:

    Say, philjourdan, so long as you’re okay.

  98. jim2 says:

    Jeff The Flake is on the view discussing the elevator incident. What a load of crap. He thought the protester was “real” and not paid. He is such an idiot. I’m so happy he’s out of Congress.

  99. E.M.Smith says:


    I have a nice Sunset Gardening book that covers the whole nation with growing regions nicely marked ;-) I’ve consulted it often when wondering what a place is like. (Avoid the 1ns and 2s ;-)

    I don’t know much about the folks behind CloudFlare. The Left has a nasty way of taking over “Foundations” and institutions, so anything that depends on one of them is at risk. (Does anyone really think old man Ford would want the stuff the Ford Foundation is doing to be in his name? And with his money…)

    IMHO,that’s THE big risk in depending on any company or “foundation”. So ideally everything would be in some P2P design / mode. Even DNS can be done that way. It is only by convention that we allow the “root servers” to have root authority – you see the alternative in the Onion domain where they are their own root…

    So while someone like could be the “final root” for lookups of folks outside the .freedom domain, inside it you would want the .freedom root server or multiple roots as the community puts them up, to cover the .freedom services and servers.

    Essentially .onion has already done all of this, but they operate as a Dark Web, where I’m thinking about a publicly visible tamper resistant corner of the internet… Or maybe it would be better to just plunge into a Dark Web right out the gate… Has barriers to entry for folks looking to just discover information, though…


    Perhaps a Dark Web with an open search engine… so you have all your “stuff” in an overlay network while keeping an index of it visible to everyone looking to do “discovery” of information?

    @Another Ian:

    The world has always been in Deep Shit. From the Roman Empire to Arab Moslem Invasions to the Little Ice Age to a few World Wars and the Great Depression and more. Financial Aw Shits are far less problematic than real ones…


    Oddly, in about 3 hours were having a Vegetarian Thanksgiving with that 1/2 of the family ;-)

    (Then we have our own meatified Thanksgiving for dinner ;-) ;-) 8-0 ;-)

  100. Larry Ledwick says:

    Just an observation for today –
    President Kennedy was killed in Dallas 55 years ago on this day November 22, 1963. I was in junior high school at the time and heard the news during lunch break came back to class to find my teacher with tears in her eyes telling us to go home the school day was over.

    Kennedy was also vilified by many in the establishment, rumors of power struggles with the FBI, CIA and organized crime still echo through our history. We will probably never know but like Trump there was a clear derangement syndrome with Kennedy to, people either loved him or hated him.

    I am thankful today we have a President that puts the needs of America first, and hope he fares well over the next few years of his term.

  101. Larry Ledwick says:

    Twitter is busy shutting down conservative voices, they just suspended @_ImperatorRex_ today, and banned Laura Loomer the other day, so they are just laying in wait for someone to make a comment that they can claim is violation of terms of service.

  102. Larry Ledwick says:

  103. Larry Ledwick says:

    This item is straight out of the Soviet Union and political officer era.


  104. Larry Ledwick says:

  105. E.M.Smith says:

    And Twitter’s stock is down from $46 to about $31 … Just sayin’

  106. Larry Ledwick says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to all my internet friends here on the Chief’s fine blog, even those of you who live in other countries which celebrate other variations of the Fall Harvest festival sort.

    I am thankful I have this outlet and lots of folks who stimulate my thinking with their observations and manage to do it in a respectful and diplomatic manner even when we disagree on various topics.

    Since I no longer have close blood family to spend this holiday with, you all serve as a surrogate family in many respects. Thanks to you all and hope your holiday season is the best yet.

  107. Simon Derricutt says:

    Just a little tidbit of information on the BBC weather forecast this evening. It seems that this was the coldest ever recorded Thanksgiving in New York. Funny how that wasn’t headline news, as it would be if it was the warmest ever recorded. Maybe Valentina Zharkova has a point.

    Larry – this is my equivalent of the local pub, with a somewhat higher information content. And of course less booze…. In the past I’ve changed my opinion because of new information here, so I value the observations of people here. Centuries of experience in total. Thanks for adding to mine.

  108. E.M.Smith says:


    Well, we’re done with the Family Dinner and now it’s couch time with dogs in lap.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all… I’ve started on some Irish Coffee ;-)

    Our plan was to do a ThanksGiving lunch with the vegetarian 1/2, then do a small “turkey for two” at home for dinner. Folks talked too long, and “turkey at 8” doesn’t sound that attractive, so our Thanksgiving is going to extend into tomorrow… We’ll be having our “turkey day” extended by one day…

  109. E.M.Smith says:


    “Racism and Mommy Issues”? Really? OMG that’s either slightly insane, or very confused propaganda…

    I’ve never had any “Mommy Issues” even when she was alive. Then WT? does Race have to do with bad science and deception in the Climate Crap?

  110. Larry Ledwick says:

    Not a meme

  111. Power Grab says:

    @ EM re taking computer classes in college: I took my first computer class (FORTRAN) as a sophomore. Loved it! They didn’t have a computer science major at that time(!)

    I heard that whenever employers came looking for computer programmers, they often interviewed music majors!

    I do a lot of musical stuff on the side, but I didn’t want to major in it because I was afraid that if I had to depend on it for a living, it wouldn’t be fun anymore. My sister said the same thing just the other day.

  112. Power Grab says:

    @ HR:

    Thanks! I will pass on your questions on to my kiddo.

    This one isn’t likely to blurt out how bad someone else’s work is; not into trying to make someone else look bad just to look good.

    I hope we get a “go” from the faculty. I would love to see the “show” in one of the venues in town.

    I suspect you’re right about how the less-than-stellar students get passed. IIRC, the department did used to have a rather pitiful-looking quonset hut (or suchlike) where the metalworking classes took place. Their facilities are not pitiful looking anymore, however.

  113. Power Grab says:

    Re “mommy issues”:
    My first thought is that he is projecting, big time!
    IIRC, didn’t The One neglect to return to Mom’s (Grandmom’s) deathbed as the campaign was wrapping up?
    I always thought he missed his calling. Why hasn’t the MSM hired him to be a talking head? As long as he’s reading a teleprompter, he does fine.
    On the other hand, I can hardly bear to listen to him when I try to attend to the content of what he’s saying.

  114. beththeserf says:

    A Happy Thanksgiving to all you fine Americans at E.M.’s blog. bts. )

  115. p.g.sharrow says:

    Soros dumped most of his FaceBook stock early this week or late last week just before the price began it’s plunge. Look for him to continue the bad mouthing of FaceBook while short numbers grow. He will then attempt to scoop up control as the stock price crashes. The Facebook platform was useful to him and his trolls before they got evicted. He will not give up so easily…pg.

  116. p.g.sharrow says:

    I am most grateful for the intelligence gathered and posted here. Thankyou one and all …pg

  117. Another Ian says:

    Modern start/stop systems sliced and diced

    “No one quite says it likes an Australian

    Via SDA comments

  118. A C Osborn says:

    Ian, not just useless, but positively dangerous, my son has a new Vauxhall Zafira with Stop/Start which is automatically on, but at least can be switched off if you remember to do so.
    With it switched on, when slowing for a roundabout you literally take your life into your own hands as it is so sensitive it switches off, you see a gap in the traffic, put your foot down to go and the Engine has to restart.
    I have seen other cars with the same problem and it causes near misses to occur when they shouldn’t , it may even have caused accidents for all I know.
    I would never own a car with it fitted unless it could be switched off, but I would prefer not to have it fitted at all.

  119. H.R. says:

    Well, the “Thanksgiving Eating Out” I wrote about was good, but the vote was unanimous that I do a better job on the bird, stuffing, potatoes, green beans, and sweet potatoes.

    The restaurant got upvotes by all for the prime rib, ham, XL peel-n-eat shrimp, a butternut squash bisque, excellent!! smoked salmon, and cannolis.

    I mentioned upthread it’s a farm-to-table type restaurant and the ham and the pasture-raised grass-fed Black Angus prime rib was some of the best I’ve ever run across.

    So I got the day off, but I don’t think that’s going to happen again if I can help it. I will be happy to resume my normal Thanksgiving cooking duties next year.

    Still, it was a good day out with the family. My wish is that everyone else had a good day, too.

  120. Larry Ledwick says:

    Morning all, I am having a delayed Thanksgiving, (had to work this holiday – in fact waiting for a computer run to finish that started on Wednesday afternoon right now only has 15000+ steps left to run).
    Will do a belated Thanksgiving dinner later today suspect.

    On other topics found a second article on the people that survived the Camp Fire by taking refuge in a garage that at that point was still standing. This gives a bit more background than the previous article, seems one of the reasons they survived is a fire fighter was in the group and had them take protective actions to reduce the fire exposure. If you read a bit between the lines, this reinforces some items I have seen in the past that there are situations where the best move is not to evacuate but shelter in place and take protective actions just prior to fire arrival – then shelter as the fire front moves through and then take follow up actions to stop any fire which started during the fire passage or if the fire is too developed in the structure then move out into already burned safe areas.


    Seems to me – especially in areas which have evacuation choke problems on road ways, with a little preparation like roof sprinkliing setups in place or water fog nozzles at the house eaves you would be safer in the house than on the road doing a mad max run through tunnels of fire.

  121. Larry Ledwick says:

    Meanwhile confirmation of observations we have made here for a few years.


    Solar and Wind power suck

  122. Graeme No.3 says:

    Larry Ledwick:
    If you are in a bush fire (forest fire) prone area then the best survival would be a proper refuge. These were briefly popular after the last disasters in Australia before we became complacent again. The best is a largish room underground away from direct heat with a door to seal in the oxygen. (Not a steel door and frame if exposed to the heat as expansion can ‘seal’ you in for a time).
    Even a concrete walled bathroom with an external shutter to stop flames ‘looking’ for oxygen would be better than being caught on a road blocked by stalled or abandoned vehicles.

  123. p.g.sharrow says:

    Yes, in this case. trying to escape on the one road that everyone is using running downwind with the fire is foolishness. Total lack of planning on the part of the victims doomed them before they even started. City people depend on the government to protect them. Country people depend on their own preparations and their neighbors for their survival. If you are going to live with the threat of wildfire then build and live with that in mind.
    The worst part of this event was the super high fuel content of the area mixed with complacency of the people involved, followed by near perfect fire conditions.
    Murphy’s Law to the Max….pg

  124. Larry Ledwick says:

    Graeme No.3 says:
    23 November 2018 at 4:45 pm
    Larry Ledwick:
    If you are in a bush fire (forest fire) prone area then the best survival would be a proper refuge. These were briefly popular after the last disasters in Australia before we became complacent again.

    Yes I remember hearing about folks that had them sort of like American mid west tornado shelters under ground to ride out the fire front as it passes through then go out after it passes and put out ignitions if you can.

    In a retirement community like that I could see them building fire shelters of reinforced concrete in the neighborhoods in the center of small parks to accomplish that. In America some mobile home parks do that for storm shelters, as the trailers are not survivable.

  125. Larry Ledwick says:

    Interesting observation on twitter:
    (I wonder if the left really understands this, or perhaps they do and they just want to keep poking the dog until it bites)

    RexValachorum’s commie impalement services LLC
    9 hours ago
    Quote of the day – Larry Correia


    Replying to @RexValllachorum
    This statement is absolutely true. And those of us whose families lived thru the 1st US Civil War, we especially know what’s coming

    8:40 AM – 23 Nov 2018

  126. Larry Ledwick says:

    Fun trivia tidbit of the day – appears the Clinton Foundation money machine is broke.

    Follow @thebradfordfile
    This is jaw-dropping. The Clinton Foundation’s 2017 annual report is finally online–WOW. Lots to unpack but digest this nugget:

    2015 Total Contributions: $182.5M
    2016 Total Contributions: $135.4M
    2017 Total Contributions: $22.8M 😭


    9:18 AM – 21 Nov 2018

  127. jim2 says:

    How about some metal stand pipes around your fire shelter, filled with water and capped with a plastic cap, pointing away from the shelter. The fire would boil the water, forcing it out the pipe onto the fire.

  128. jim2 says:

    The stand pipes would be vertical with a bend pointing away from the shelter.

  129. jim2 says:

    They would act in three ways, one to absorb heat, two to carry heat away from the shelter, and three to put water on the fire.

  130. Larry Ledwick says:

    A fine high velocity fog like used by the military on board ship is almost totally opaque to IR and is an excellent shield against radiant heat ignition.

    There are lots of simple methods to drastically reduce fire risk.
    The top of the list is non-flammable roof tiles
    Opaque fire shutters or white fiberglass curtains inside the largest windows to reflect away radiant heat.
    Remove leaves and pine duff near the house and in roof gutters as it forms a tinder bed for any flying embers.

    Do those three things and your house is almost fire proof if the nearest 33 ft of vegetation is either cut back so it cannot support large flames or is wetted down so it does not burn rapidly.

    Active fire control after the primary flame front moves through closes the deal.

    Also park cars on non-combustible surfaces and if you cannot protect them otherwise put those aluminized sun shades inside the windows facing the highest fire potential and paint the tires with something light colored so the tires cannot be ignited by radiant heat from nearby burning shrubbery etc.

    The other option is to set fire to your near in vegetation when it is clear the fire is going to reach your house, so you can burn it out in small enough segments you can protect the house while it burns. Screened openings under the porch etc. so burning embers cannot blow under the house or porch and set fire to the sub floor or backside of wall sheathing.

  131. Another Ian says:


    You might need to do a quantity consideration there

  132. Larry Ledwick says:

    If you have mains water pressure of course steps like setting soaker hoses and sprinklers is a great way to manage fire risk but water pressure can fail at the worst possible time.

    I would rather have an air pressurized accumulator of water connected to those stand pipes and a fusible link to release the valve, as boiling might not be fast acting enough or at the right time (ie might get behind them before they activate.

  133. jim2 says:

    Sorry about the multiple links – sometimes an idea carries me away. If there were a dip tube (or tubes) and air space at the top of the pipe, one might be able to fashion a more narrow stream or streams, powered at first by air expansion. This scheme was first thought of to protect a special fire shelter out-building. Not for an entire house.

  134. jim2 says:

    Sheesh! Another national climate report. More damage $ than ever from climate. Is that number adjusted for inflation, larger population, and more posh building along the coast? Probably not. More rubbish from the rubbish mill.


  135. E.M.Smith says:

    Well, just finished our Carnivores Thanksgiving… 12 lb Turkey For 2, stuffing galore, buttered parsnips, mashed potatoes, lima beans, cranberry sauce, yams, sparking grape juice, etc. etc.

    Now I’m on the couch – “Heavy with dog”… 2 small dogs thinking I laid here just to give them a comfy “lap bed”… so about 24 lbs of 4 legged heaters on top of me…

    IF we try really hard, I think we can finish the turkey in a week… or maybe two.

    Oh, and 2 pies for 2 people. One Razzleberry (Marie Calendar’s mix of blueberry, blackberry…) and one pumpkin cream pie…

    NOW if feels like Real Thanksgiving!

    @Per House Protection:

    There’s a proposal to require fire shelters in any rebuilds… Were I building in the forest, the whole house would be a fire shelter (including the garage). It’s just dumb to build houses out of fire wood in a fire storm location. Or put tar paper and tar shingles on the roof.

    My impression of most of the people “up in the hills” is that they came in 2 kinds: 1) Old hands who knew what was at risk and involved – and took care to make things safe; and 2) The “Oh isn’t it pretty! new arrivals from the city who think it is just like living in the suburbs but with more trees. They typically choose lowest cost while superficially pretty and nearly no other considerations. Unfortunately these days, most of the County and some City planning boards are dominated by the 2nd type and generally make life painful for the #1 type trying to do the right thing (as it is noisy, or smelly, or they don’t like the way it looks, or they have a Political Agenda disjoint form the dictates of reality…)

    For active fire suppression: Big pipes will finally reach the boil when the house is fully engaged and has been heating them for an hour or so… Have a battery bank and pump and have the water actively applied before the fuel ignites – less needed then.

    For a few years I had a sprinkler system on my roof. About $25 of PVC. I’d turn it on on hot summer days to keep the house cool (spouse got headaches from the AC). Lately we’ve not needed it, so it has been decommissioned. IF I lived in that kind of fire prone area: I would have a swimming pool, self powered Diesel pump, backup battery pump and sprinklers on yard and house. At first word of a fire, I’d run them all on city water to wet the whole place down for about 40 feet in all directions. I’d run a burst every so often to keep things damp. When the fire arrived, I’d just turn it on for a while (resorting to pool & pumps if needed) Done right, the whole property ought to be fine. I had misters hung under the eaves too. Very little water needed to make a wall of mist.

    For an all up cost of a few $Hundreds of dollars you house doesn’t need to get very hot. Make it from cinder block / tile roof and even the paint ought to be fine behind the mists.

  136. Another Ian says:

    For post-Thanksgiving thinking

    “A Deep State Motive Behind Conspicuous Releases?…”


  137. philjourdan says:

    Thank you Beth, after a day of Turkey and family, I am ready to face the world again!

    Larry’s comment (Quote of the day actually) made me think of something. Many of us on this list were born in time to hear about the last survivors of the 1st Civil War passing away (from old age). We are the last of the second hand folks to remember that war.

    IN the 150 years since that war, it has been romanticized, and bastardized to both hide what was really happening and to pretend that there was still an “all good” side. The war was about many things. But we are told now (by the snowflakes) it was about only one thing – slavery.

    We are told that Lincoln was a great hero of the war! For Freeing the slaves. But we are not told of how he had to destroy the constitution to do it. It was that destruction of the constitution that is now coming back to foment the ominous prognostications of a second one. But you will not hear that from the ignorant snow flakes.

    Lincoln subverted the rule of law, imprisoned and expelled members of congress who opposed him, and illegally instituted an income tax (50 years before the amendment). And that was just the least of his crimes. While the victors get to write the history books, the true history is not lost, just subverted. And it is what he did, that the democrats have taken to a new level, that is causing the angst we now experience.

    Those who fight the next Civil War will be at least (and probably more) 3rd or 4th hand survivors of the first. I doubt the next one will be so “Civil”. For the nation has forgotten its past.

  138. Larry Ledwick says:

    Interesting item from CTH – maybe we have been looking at things from the wrong side.
    What if I told you that the leaks of documents were warnings and hints to the bad guys so they could protect themselves?


  139. jim2 says:

    The National Climate Report was headlined on CBS Evening News. Pretty alarmist – by the end of century will cost economy 10%. Right.

  140. Ossqss says:

    @EM, please feel free to share my email with HR! I neglected to respond earlier on. ;-)

    @HR, I got the first round at the Lodge covered!

  141. Pouncer says:

    Single Board Computer news:

    About $120 buys a 4.3″ x 4.3″ x 1.7″ board — 10 watt, quad-core Intel Celeron J4105 processor — — SATA ports — DDR4 memory slots — support for PCIe NVMe solid state drives.


  142. Graeme No.3 says:

    If you have guttering then installing GutterGuard (mesh that stops leaves etc. getting into them). Also, if possible, direct your pumped water onto the roof and direct the runoff from the downpipes back into the pool/water tank.

  143. Power Grab says:

    Speaking of ’60s social revolution…

    Recently we have been bringing in candidates to interview for a position relatively high on the food chain. A couple of those candidates are people I have known from their previous work in this area.

    One of them is a few years older than I am. Since I remember watching news about the campus unrest in the ’60s, and I assumed this candidates did as well…and his father was in the thick of that sort of thing back in the ’60s…I asked if he thought that today’s campus unrest was worse, or the ’60s unrest was worse. He immediately said he thought the ’60s unrest was worse. Then he quickly commented that “Today we know what everyone is thinking.”

    Just sayin’…just a little perspective…

  144. Larry Ledwick says:

    Post from President Trump this morning on twitter:

    Donald J. Trump
    ‏Verified account
    Nov 19
    The Fake News is showing old footage of people climbing over our Ocean Area Fence. This is what it really looks like – no climbers anymore under our Administration!

  145. Larry Ledwick says:

    This is a cool idea!

  146. Larry Ledwick says:

    Chief – I was wondering if you might be interested in creating a category for Global Cooling – Eddy Minimum as a handy place to park some references on what a future quiet sun cold outbreak might look like.

    There is a local weather guy I chat with on twitter from time to time and he has a willingness and access to pull up some really interesting historical information. So the other day I asked him if he could find historical weather charts of great blizzards and cold out breaks that might show what a super alberta clipper cold out break might look like during a quiet sun.

    He posted some maps from a historical Thanksgiving storm here in Colorado.

    Matt Makens
    ‏Verified account
    Nov 21
    The most snow on the ground for a Thanksgiving is 14″ from 1979. A storm two days prior is a classic example of a Four Corners Low with lots of upslope for the Front Range. #cowx #denver

    I specifically asked him about the following events.

    Great Die up blizzard January 9, 1887 killed millions of cattle northern plains

    Schoolhouse Blizzard,AKA Schoolchildren’s Blizzard, January 12, 1888 preceded by snowstorm on January 12th and 13th, 1888 followed by brutally cold temperatures from January 7 to 11.

    Towner, Colorado Pleasant hill school bus blizzard March 26, 1931

    He came up with the following historical weather plots for those time periods.

    January 1887 Great Die Up blizzard that killed millions of head of cattle

    January 1888 School house blizzard

    March 11 – March 14, 1888 New York Great Blizzard (from wikki)

    1931 Towner blizzard

    See also Chicago Blizzard of Jan. 26-27, 1967

    Great Blizzard 1978 Ohio Valley

    Chicago blizzard 1979 (January 13–14, 1979)

    [The above two blizzards combined with the energy crunch and economy in the late 1970’s to have a huge impact on the US]

    Colorado metro area Christmas blizzard 1982

    See also Chicago blizzard of Jan. 1-3, 1999

    October 2013 South Dakota Atlas blizzard

    If you go google searches on those names and dates you will find lots of news stories about how terrible those blizzards were.

    I think these are probably good model events for planning purposes regarding what areas would be hit hardest and what sort of extreme weather is already in the modern record books.

  147. Larry Ledwick says:

    EM last post exceeded max links I think.

  148. Another Ian says:

    Start here and follow down

    “Statistical analysis is these days meant for the putting on of lipstick on a pig.”


    I’ve been dying to learn how one gets the pig to hold still for such an indignation.”

    “Easy. The pig has already been cooked. It’s what all climate…cough…gag…hack…scientists do. Otherwise the pig wriggles too much.”

  149. Larry Ledwick says:

    So Jerry Brown is going to hold harmless the utilities companies which started the wild fires.

    Well there’s your problem! No incentive to do the right thing, make the people you burnout pay for their own damage settlements that will work well I am sure.


  150. p.g.sharrow says:

    And now there are armies of schister lawyers offering to Stick-it-to PG&E for our losses from these fires. California has every incentive to protect PG&E stock holders because CalPers, the state retirement fund, is a very large holder of PG&E stock and State would be libel for any reduction in the funds net worth from losses in value or income. PG&E Upper Management will pay themselves massive Christmas Bonuses this year for their management skills. All of those that are the rate payers will get massive rate increases. CalPers will be protected from any losses.
    So far the Bureaucrats are still telling the survivors they can expect MONTHS of being restricted from returning back to their propertys ..pg

  151. E.M.Smith says:

    @Larry L:

    I’ve added the category of Global Cooling and put this posting in it (since your comment if full of such…)

    I’ve got a fair number of old postings about cold times (various famines and fall of empires) so I supposed some day I ought to find them and update their categories too ;-)

  152. E.M.Smith says:


    Pig was in room while Climate Imagineers (aka “scientists”) were toking up… pig shared but can’t hold her own, so nods off… Then lipstick comes out 8-0

  153. E.M.Smith says:


    In the 50’s to 60s IBM did a big study / search for what indicated a good programmer. Was it math skill, or language arts, or science training? What they found was the largest indicator was a “low social need strength”. Folks who were happy working by themselves for hours on end and didn’t need a lot of water cooler chatting time. IIRC there was a secondary lower indication for various symbolic skills – any of math, languages, music. Essentially people who were decent at soaking up new languages and notations and didn’t mind working all day by themselves scribbling on a bit of paper… but it musical scores, math thesis, or some strange language. All a sort of symbolic puzzle solving bucket.

    @Another Ian & Larry L:

    Read that link yesterday and been thinking about it. Could be. A kind of public inoculation of the perpetrators. Especially if you have Mueller & Co. handing out immunity like chocolates… you ask for immunity and then tell them what is already public…


    Sometimes I think I need to learn more about what the Lincoln presidency really did. Most of what I know was from the indoctrination in grammar school…

    It is starting to look like every President does a batch of expedient and not constitutional things and our present form of government is not at all based on the Constitution, but one what has been accepted as a desired lie.

    FWIW, I have a vague and likely faulty memory of the County Fair Parade from my very early childhood. It had batches of soldiers from different eras marching in it. IIRC, one was in a W.W.I uniform. Then a few years later he was gone… The Old Folks would talk about the different wars as groups went by, and some talked of the War Between The States (“there was nothin’ civil about it”) while one friend from the south has called it “The War Of Northern Aggression”, which resulted in a conversation in which I was enlightened to a different POV… that seems to have the facts on its side…


    I’ve seen the same Propaganda on The Usual Suspects. IIRC, it was NBC had Weepy Bill Mckibbin on – end of our life coming soon and it’s just too late to stop Global Warming Catastrophe but we can still reduce it if we suddenly stop burning all fossil fuels in just the next few years. Completely out of touch with the logistical impossibility of doing that. (It would require a 100% replacement of all Air, Rail, Ships, and ground transport along with their power provisioning systems at a rate about 5 to 10 times faster than present manufacturing facilities can build… and much much faster than present eCar factories and battery plants can build.

    I can only figure that: A) It pays well enough folks are willing to lie as long as the checks clear. B) The really don’t have any grasp on reality. C) They are not expecting it to happen but figure they still collect big on the Rent Seeking even if only a 20% effort follows. Or all of the above…

    Per Bluetooth:

    Why I’m not partial to NearField for money transfers or having my Bluetooth turned on all the time or having Smart Phone (I’m OK with bluetooth on my dumb phone where it can’t read the phone book or my tablet where there isn’t one to read – or much of anything else either – and were it really just does sound out the headset link – though I suppose they could connect a keyboard and then type blind…) Partially also why I’m looking at a “roll your own” phone. Precisely because the current smart phones know just way too much about you. I want a partial-lobotomy phone with hard compartmented information and hardware switches on ALL antennae and I/O devices.

    @Ossqss: Sent.

    @Pouncer: It now says it’s $111… so project that rate of price drop and I can afford a new toy in about 8 months ;-)


    The unrest of the ’60s was worse, but the campus today has a much much higher percentage of “buy in” to the Socialist Agenda. In the ’60s it was mostly conservative & non-aligned students trying to get an education and a hard core agit-prop group trying to cause a ruckus by any means (and while it was ‘stylish’ to pretend to be ‘part of the revolution, man’, in reality most folks were looking at how to get a better job.

    Now you have entire campus departments devoted to creating Social Just-asses Warriors and it is the Conservative students who try to keep their heads down and just bag a decent degree & job.


    You nailed it.

    Everything for the well connected Corporations and Government & their hangers on and retirees; nothing for the person who lost it all; paid for from the pockets of the uninvolved.

  154. Larry Ledwick says:

    Thanks on freeing my post from purgatory.
    I tried to count the links but must have miscounted.

    Your discussion of moving to Florida, as the planet cools sort of stimulates the brain to consider options. Not all of us are financially able to make that big of a move. In my case I really am not a fan of tropical climates having grown up here in the high country so even if I could I would probably stay more continental interior – so the other option is to look at possible local impacts and what sort of existing data is available to, in some measure, predict how things would likely change during general cooling.

    Like my post earlier of the high resolution plant hardiness map.
    [ Larry Ledwick says: 22 November 2018 at 6:53 am]

    And the video about the predicted upcoming grand solar minimum cooling starting in 2020
    [ Larry Ledwick says: 22 November 2018 at 5:44 am ]
    video by Valentina Zharkova

    In my case I already live in a warm island of plant hardiness in the Colorado Front range, and know from historical info that even at the height of the ice age, the glaciers did not move out onto the plains here, due most likely to a lack of really deep snows like you find in the great lakes region due to our drier climate.

    That narrows things down to bitterly cold occasionally more like the current century or so of extreme weather events becoming a bit more common. Where I live now, -29 F to -30 F is the reasonably expected cold extreme having occurred once in my life time in January of 1962 and similar in 1963, with a couple near misses in other years like 1973 and 1982.

    So for planning purposes, what would be suitable actions to plan for occasional -35 or -40 weather and a growing season that is maybe a week or two shorter and with a generally more severe winters like the Denver Blizzard of 1914 which dropped about 45 inches of snow in one storm on metro Denver?

    Even with modern snow removal equipment that sort of storm would grind the metro area to a halt for a week or more.

    Clearly both most of the population and much of the infrastructure is not prepared for that sort of cold. Only a few old farts like myself have ever experienced similar weather, the under 55 crowd probably does not even know it is possible.

    Since my Subaru got wrecked a couple weeks ago I am now shopping for a severe weather car again with this new climate and weather profile in mind. The Subarus are great in moderate snow but really deep snow a more serious 4×4 is more appropriate. I might end up with a slightly lifted Jeep or similar capable of handling 10+ inches of snow. I also am looking for a few other features to cater to colder weather out breaks.

  155. p.g.sharrow says:

    We went into FEMA’s temporary facility in Chico to register as being in the Camp Fire effected area. Considering the expected zoo they were well organized, most helpful and fast. They claimed to have processed over 5,000 people in 3 days, I can believe it. It was crowded, They were using a closed Sears super store for a facility and the shopping center parking lot was FULL. The registration was necessary for any long term, to be determined, assistance. They also made immediate funding and assistance available to those in real need. Not much, but still something to those with little more then their hands in their pockets. Many other agencies involved within the same place, for after registration help. All things considered, I would give them all high marks for their attempts to create some order out of the expected chaos. I would guess FEMA has learned a few things about dealing with the aftermath of disasters…pg

  156. E.M.Smith says:


    Nice to hear something good…


    Look at the LIA history and at the impact of The Year Without A Summer.

    What I found in looking at the geologic history was that Texas gets WETTER and Florida gets more “summer like” in the winter (ie warm rains). The reason is that the Gulf Stream slows and the heat backs up in the Gulf of Mexico. So more of it leaves via local rains going inland off the gulf.

    It also looks like the “Loopy Jet Stream” tends to make California more drought prone. (One of my major reasons for relocating other than the stupid government… no water for a couple of years can really ruin your plans…).

    My guess is that where you are located is likely close to the magic balance point were less western rainfall meet greater southern rainfall and things likely will not change much.

    What DID go bad, was all the New England Farmers. They abandoned their farms in places like Vermont and New Hampshire and became the Oklahoma Land Rush. So in general, a move away from the north east and into the mid-west to west…

    FWIW, our 2nd choice is Texas, likely Hill Country, as it is far enough from hurricanes to not have issues and ought to benefit from a bit more rain. Just avoid the bottoms of hills with creek views… West Texas ought to also do well as any added water turns it from near desert into quasi-desirable; but that’s more of a crap shoot.


    So every Heinrich Event shows up as cold in Europe, but wet in Florida (so the pine trees grow and the pine pollen spikes up) as Florida gets wetter and warmer. When it’s warm in Europe, Florida is more cool, so dry, and you get oaks. There’s a lot more in the article. Grasses and some other plants too. GISP Ice cores.



    The Little Ice Age

    Sure, It’s a Little Chilly in Here, but…

    by Jay Sharp
    OK, so it can get pretty nippy in the desert basins of the Southwest in the wintertime. Temperatures fell to nearly 10 to 15 degrees below zero Fahrenheit in western Texas and southern New Mexico – the northern Chihuahua Desert – in 1962. Temperatures dropped to zero in southern Arizona – the northern Sonoran Desert – back in 1913. The thermometer fell into the mid-twenties in the southern tip of California, in the northwestern Sonoran Desert, in 1971 and again in 1990. The temperature even got down to eight degrees at Trona, a community near Death Valley, in the Mohave Desert, in 1990. Occasionally, a foot of snow may fall in some parts of our Southwestern deserts.
    In the Southwest, suggests Steven A. LeBlanc (well-known archaeologist with the Peabody Museum of Archaeology, Harvard University), the Puebloan Indians of the Four Corners region, the northern Chihuahuan Desert and the northern Sonoran Desert had to abandon old homelands and migrate to more favorable locations, such as the better-watered upper Rio Grande drainage basins. In some areas, Pueblos fought each other over control of the substantially reduced arable land, water, game and firewood.
    First-hand Accounts

    From the time the Europeans and their descendants began arriving in the Southwest in the 16th century, they would often speak of the icy winters.
    In December, 1540, Francisco Vásquez de Coronado’s conquistadors had to halt their march to wait out a winter storm near the New Mexico/Arizona border, not far from the Zuni pueblos. “…during the ten days that the army was delayed,” said chronicler Pedro de Castañeda, “it did not fail to snow during the evenings and nearly every night, so that they had to clear away a large amount of snow when they came to where they wanted to make a camp… It was a dry snow, so that although it fell on the baggage and covered it for half a man’s height it did not hurt it. It fell all night long, covering the baggage and the soldiers and their beds, piling up in the air, so that if any one had suddenly come upon the army nothing would have been seen but mountains of snow. The horses stood half buried in it…”

    On December 9, 1775, Lieutenant Colonel Juan Bautista de Anza led a caravan of Spanish colonists across the desert sands of southern California into the teeth of a fierce winter storm. “…the sierras through which we had to travel were more deeply covered with snow than we had ever imagined would be the case,” said Anza in his diary. The weather “had been very hard on our people, especially the women and children… …several persons were frozen, one of them so badly that in order to save his life it was necessary to bundle him up for two hours between four fires,” he said. “…several persons were frozen to the point of being in danger of death.”
    In 1841, two decades after Mexico’s successful revolt against Spain and several years before the war between the United States and Mexico, the Mexicans captured a sick and exhausted Texas expeditionary force in eastern New Mexico and, during the following winter, sent it under guard in a tortuous trip down the famed Chihuahua Trail through southern New Mexico and to imprisonment in Mexico City. At the caravan’s encampment beside the trail where it entered the Chihuahuan Desert, the winds grew “biting and chilly,” according to George W. Kendall in his Narrative of the Texan Santa Fe Expedition, “but at midnight the weather moderated, and then commenced a violent fall of snow…
    “When morning light came I raised my head and surveyed the scene. Far as the eye could reach the face of nature was clothed in white, the snow having fallen to the depth of five or six inches. My companions were lying thick around me, their heads and all concealed, and more resembled logs imbedded in snow than anything else to which I can compare them…”
    In 1858, a San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin Special Correspondent, who rode John Butterfield’s stage from San Francisco to St. Louis in 1858, said that as his coach approached western Texas’ Guadalupe Mountains on a cold November day, “…we were informed by the driver that we were near a lay of sand four miles in length, and that we must walk through if we expected ever to arrive at our next station…the Pinery… Scarcely had we commenced our tramp on foot, before the young moon was veiled in a fleecy mist, which came down upon us poor devils and continued to play away upon our dusty hats and blankets until we had plodded our weary way four miles through the deep and heavy sand…”

    In February of 1862, during the Confederate force’s march northward up the Rio Grande from Fort Thorne, north of Doña Ana, to the Civil War Battle of Valverde, in central New Mexico, Private William Randolph Howell noted in his journal, published by Jerry D. Thompson in Westward the Texans, “Ice floating down river. Water almost too cold to drink.” Rebel trooper Ebenezer Hanna said in his journal that a sleet and snow storm blew “so hard as to almost pelt the skin off our faces,” according to Don E. Alberts in Rebels on the Rio Grande.

    Then from a different POV:

    More Academic Evidence

    So I went looking for less anecdotal and more academic evidence for some connection of water / rain / precipitation levels and the Little Ice Age and / or a 1500 year periodicity.


    7000 Year Climate Record Shows Century-Long Droughts in North America and 1500 Year Solar Cycle

    by Paul on August 20, 2008 in Uncategorized

    A stalagmite in a West Virginia cave has yielded the most detailed geological record to date on climate cycles in eastern North America over the past 7,000 years. The new study confirms that during periods when Earth received less solar radiation, the Atlantic Ocean cooled, icebergs increased and precipitation fell, creating a series of century-long droughts.

    A research team led by Ohio University geologist Gregory Springer examined the trace metal strontium and carbon and oxygen isotopes in the stalagmite, which preserved climate conditions averaged over periods as brief as a few years. The scientists found evidence of at least seven major drought periods during the Holocene era, according to an article published online in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

    “This really nails down the idea of solar influence on continental drought,” said Springer, an assistant professor of geological sciences.

    Geologist Gerald Bond suggested that every 1,500 years, weak solar activity caused by fluctuations in the sun’s magnetic fields cools the North Atlantic Ocean and creates more icebergs and ice rafting, or the movement of sediment to ocean floors. Other scientists have sought more evidence of these so-called “Bond events” and have studied their possible impact on droughts and precipitation. But studies to date have been hampered by incomplete, less detailed records, Springer said.

    The stalagmites from the Buckeye Creek Cave provide an excellent record of climate cycles, he said, because West Virginia is affected by the jet streams and moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean.

    So a 7000 year record ought to cover at least 4 cycles. A few years resolution is darned good. Now it says 7 drought periods, and that’s more like one every 1000 years, so I’m wondering about that 1500 year cycle. Then again, I’ve speculated that there are sub-harmonics of it with 750 or so year periods.

    Strontium occurs naturally in the soil, and rain washes the element through the limestone. During dry periods, it is concentrated in stalagmites, making them good markers of drought, Rowe explained. Carbon isotopes also record drought, Springer added, because drier soils slow biological activity. This causes the soil to “breathe less, changing the mix of light and heavy carbon atoms in it,” he said.

    Gee… C12 / C13 ratios can change even without humans burning oil….

    The data are consistent with the Bond events, which showed the connection between weak solar activity and ice rafting, the researchers said. But the study also confirmed that this climate cycle triggers droughts, including some that were particularly pronounced during the mid-Holocene period, about 6,300 to 4,200 years ago. These droughts lasted for decades or even entire centuries.

    Though modern records show that a cooling North Atlantic Ocean actually increases moisture and precipitation, the historic climate events were different, Springer said. In the past, the tropical regions of the Atlantic Ocean also grew colder, creating a drier climate and prompting the series of droughts, he explained.

    And here we have a bit of a confounder on drought vs hot or cold. “Modern” records have cold / wet, while the paleo record has cold / dry. There is a pattern in the Sahara where during the mid-holocene period it became very wet too. That would be the hot / wet and cooler / dry pattern. So this might just indicate something like a shift of where the rain bands fall, or that there is a larger shift with greater cold. At any rate, it’s a loose end. But this isn’t Texas anyway… which is what I’d started wondering about.

    There’s more in the articles and in the links in the articles.

    My major takeaway from it all was that the water cycle mattered more to me than the particular temperatures; that NOT being where there was NO water mattered, and that Florida fairly reliably had water in all regimes.

    That said, Texas doesn’t do too badly, and the “upper Rio Grande” was a refuge area (so even a bit more north of that ought to be OK too…).

    Per your Subaru: Don’t know if it was a car or a truck-ette; but I’m happy with the Forester. I’ve managed to drive over a curb and not really notice too much ;-) I like the “almost a truck” with car like driving but bigger tires and decent ground clearance (not rocks in the rutted dirt road clearance, but “foot of snow on the interstate” clearance).

    My Son rented a Jeep SUV thing and liked it. He now owns a Hyundai SUV thing (Santa Fe?) and likes it. Just did a Chicago / Idaho and back trip in it… Claims it just doesn’t care about Chicago level of snow. Also, saw a Dodge Durango? (Their boxy SUV thing…) pulling a decent sized camping trailer (about 24 foot?) and it looked Very Competent…

    I suspect the bigger issue will be getting fuel when everything is disrupted and nobody knows how to live in cold and snow anymore (and cities didn’t order salt and railroads sold their snow plow engines and …Global Warming, doncha know…)

    The really good news is that this is a 20 year process, so folks will have a fair amount of time to gradually adjust… I hope…

  157. Graeme No.3 says:

    Reid Bryson had a fair bit to say on climate caused indian movements in the West in Climates of Hunger. Basically they moved south.
    He was an advocate of global cooling caused by aerosol and dust particles in the atmosphere.

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  159. Manzanita says:

    @E.M. – Here’s an email addy that I actually can access.

  160. H.R. says:

    Ah, I suspected that my post under a new name would hit moderation. Would you mind checking the queue?

    Thank you sir!

  161. cdquarles says:

    Our atmosphere is always full of aerosols. That’s what water clouds and dust clouds and biologically mediated soot clouds are, after all. That said, the effects of varying amounts of these will change the effects locally. Here, the coldest weather that I can remember all happened after 1979 (January 1980 got to 0F, March 1992 got to -4F, and the last couple of winters); though winter 1975-6 and 1976-77 were among the coldest of my lifetime.

  162. Larry Ledwick says:

    From your :
    First off, this is A Very Big Deal! It means that as long as we’re warm, we stay warm and relatively stable. Secondly, it says that once we start getting significantly cold, things become more unstable, and we can ‘latch up’ into a very cold configuration of water flow. The article also talks about a mode during transitions from generally warm / cold to the other where things are more prone to twitching back and forth. So, since we’re on the cusp of a new Glacial, in terms of Milankovich cycles and W/m^2 north of 60 degrees… at some point we get just a tiny bit too cold, then when we hit the 1500 year “bump” (whatever it is), we have the oceans switch to a cold phase circulation and Europe goes into the meat locker…. Southern Hemisphere not so much… ( I presume North America / Canada too, as that’s where the glacial ice sheet forms, but that could stand checking.)
    That the Antarctic is presently adding ice and quite cold, while the Arctic has been warming (largely from warm water ingress) does leave me wondering if we’ve just been living through the warm side of a “Bond Cycle”. (The “Bond Cycle” looks to be the entire 1470 year warm-then-cold process, that ends in the cold spike Bond Event.)

    Now flip back to the projection of Valentina Zharkova that we will begin a sharp cooling cycle due to a quiet sun beginning in about 2020 and reaching peak cooling beginning around 2028 – 2032, could if you are correct be the trigger event to flip the bi-stable climate into the full cold cycle. As you noted if the little ice age almost got there we now have an additional 300 odd years of slow drift in the Milankovich cycle so this solar cooling cycle we will be a bit more sensitive to the cold forcing of a quiet sun. Who knows how far we are from the flip point event it might take 2 or 3 more 1500 year cycles or could happen next week. The onset of awful weather in Europe in 1306 was of very sudden onset and marked the beginning of a 400 odd year decline in weather/climate conditions sliding into the little ice age.

    This image is a bit deceiving because they use a compressed time scale going back in time (looks to be logarithmic)

    If you remove that compression we are likely very near the end of this cycle and near the top of a cycle similar to the shorter broader spike at about 200 K BCE
    Here in Colorado paleo-indians were hunting mammoth near Littleton Colorado (south west Denver metro area) just 14-12 k BCE. Similarly the Dent site near Milliken (north east of Denver metro area on the platte river) showed Clovis culture hunters here in the metro area 11 K BCE hunting the mega fauna.

    A large folsom culture site dated from approximately 11 k BCE near modern day Ft Collins shows that this front range corridor was habitable through out the early period of transition from ice age climate into the modern climate optimum period as the glaciers in the mountains receded.

    The transition to the Folsom culture as the ice receded shows that this area dried out as we shifted toward today’s climate shifting to a bison elk and deer centered hunting culture as the mega fauna disappeared, so it is fairly likely that a wetter colder pattern would prevail under a cooling climate as gulf moisture would be pushed to the west toward the Rockies as cold winds off the great lakes region pushed south and strong Alberta clipper cold out breaks caused moisture to be wrung out of the air as it plunged south.

    That leads me to think that with proper adaption it will not be a problem to deal with a cooling shift here, it will in all likelihood simply shift the climate from near desert high plains like the current Denver metro climate, to a climate comparable to northern Wyoming and southern Montana today where winter time temps can plunge into the high -30’s and occasionally into the low -40 deg F temp range.

    Regarding the car selection:
    This subaru that got wrecked a couple weeks ago, was an outback station wagon (a bit more car like than the prior forester). I loved the forester except for one issue in heavy snow. It is a tiny bit too civilized for deep snow, mostly in the nature of the wheel well openings and clearance on aggressive snow tires. It simply does not shed snow build up out of the wheel wells properly for reliable deep snow travel, you have to periodically clear the wheel wells. (I use a 1×2 x24 piece of oak to knock stuff out of the wheel wells)
    The solution I am leaning toward is a Subaru Forester with a slight lift (1.5-2 inchs) or a late model Jeep grand Cherokee with a similar lift. Both would maintain that relatively civilized daily driver for normal weather conditions but be properly suited for deep snow and moderate deep water fording.

    I know from experience that the route I drive to work can occasionally require driving in drifts upto 12-18 inches if the snow plows do not get out soon enough during a strong snow event.

  163. H.R. says:

    @E.M. – Woohoo! I found an oblique way to access my hotmail account! I’m all set to make arrangements with ossqss.

    Well, at least E.M. now has my reliable email account, should the need ever arise to contact me with something better left unposted. Doubt it, but at least it’s possible.

    Thanks, E.M.!

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  165. E.M.Smith says:


    You are most welcome. I’m not going to let the correct email address posting through to public view… No reason to.


    As I doubt I’ll ever be in deep snow, I’m OK with it requiring an occasional “tire knocker”. The Son loved the Jeep thing he drove. I think it was a Grand Cherokee… maybe… Personally I really liked the looks of the Durango – but have no idea of real snow performance nor what things like parts availability will be now that Fiat owns them. Then there’s that whole “what era” thing on parts. Pre-Mercedes, some Mercedes parts, post Mercedes… and future Italian… It would need some investigation. (Applies to both Jeep and Dodge, BTW).

    FWIW, I’d noticed the low wheel well clearance as it meant adding chains for Deep Doo was a bit of an issue. I thought it might be “reasonable” to just get a spare set of wheels with smaller diameter but very aggressive Winter Snow Tires on them. Spedo would be off, and RPMs too high for lots of freeway high speed cruising, but ought to go through anything (modulo being an inch shorter ground clearance for a 2 inch smaller tire diameter… but really, ought not such a light car ride on top of compacted snow? My old VW & Honda both would with just 2 wheel drive…) At any rate, it seemed like a possible quick “expedient solution” if I ever needed it. Order four rims w/tires from TireRack and just bolt them on…

    Wonder how hard it is to put on a lift kit…. Wonder what the ground clearance is?

    I read the 2009/10 Forester X ground clearance is 8.7″ and the XT is 8.9″ (I assume due to exhaust differences). But I see this picture and it doesn’t seem like there is that much below the 2″ or so tall strip below the bumper (I’ve marked with red horizontal lines):
    from my scaling off that particular picture and using the 66.9″ vehicle height value with roof rails, I estimate approximately 9.2″ of ground clearance to the lines you’ve indicated.
    I suspect the differences in height have to do with exhaust routing as well… since the turbos would give more clearance directly behind the engine since the piping is routed up before coming back down while the non-turbo just has exhaust manifolds going directly into the mid-pipe.

    So about 9 inches… I think I could live with 8 or 8.5 inches… Especially if it is hot exhaust being pulled though powder or fluffy snow on a 6 inch compacted base… IF you live down a rutted never ploughed road with 12 inches of re-freeze ice in the middle of the ruts, not so much… But for the “I’m here and shit fell from the sky and I wanna get back to Florida” down mostly freeways, I think it ought to be fine. Frankly, I suspect my present M&S tires will be fine ;-)

  166. H.R. says:

    OK, all. ossqss and I am now set up to grab some gator bites and a brew.

  167. E.M.Smith says:


    Good to know… Just wish I were there. Oh Well… soon enough. Lift one for me!

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