Saturday, January 30, 2016

Primitive Technology

May be better than no technology at all.  Man makes tools with tools.  Very clever.

h/t Instapundit

The casualty in war is the truth

I'm beginning to suspect that the lies are starting to get thick in the GOP race.  It may be time to treat everything you hear with a grain of salt.

Rubio won the debate?  That may be the Establishment speaking.
Also, Cruz is fading?  Again, who benefits from that?   More than that, you've got talk of Bush doing well.

This could all be meant to persuade the less committed ones to change their votes at the last minute.  Lots of dirty tricks get played in politics.

As for Trump, he's probably reached the high point, so now he closes off debate.  He has little to gain to continue debate, so he closes it off.  That's how I see it.

The best candidate may not be the one that wins.  The one that wins may not be the one that makes everybody happy, but quite the opposite.

You are hearing things about Trump too.  Don't know if they are true, as the Establishment probably wants to undercut him too.

Cruz needs to win Iowa.  If he doesn't, he may be in trouble.  He won't win in New Hampshire.  Then there's South Carolina.  If Trump has two solid victories under his belt by then, he could be unstoppable.  Right now, what may be happening is a movement to slow down Trump and/or Cruz.  If Cruz win Iowa, that opens up South Carolina.  Trump need to close out Cruz in Iowa, but can he do it?  The Establishment needs Cruz to win in Iowa, but to lose elsewhere.  They could probably survive a close win for Cruz in Iowa.  What Cruz and the Establishment can't have is a big Trump victory in Iowa.  Then it might be over before it even begins.

A lot of the lying may be undercutting the others, but will it make the difference?  Only if you are undecided.  What decides somebody?  If you don't do your homework, you are likely to be fooled.


The title should read "The First casualty in war is the truth."   Sorry about that.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Let me throw a question out there

and maybe somebody can answer it.

Did Elvis Presley ever do a version of the song by Roy Orbison called "Pretty Woman".

Man, I heard something that sounded a lot like Elvis, but somebody in the comments section claimed that it was tampered version of Orbison's tune.

That surprised me that I could be fooled like that, if I was.  The song was mangled up a little, that was obvious, but the voice sounded an awful lot like Elvis.  It was the best imposter job out there.  Yes, there are several videos that claim to be Elvis, but they were Orbison doing the singing.  Those weren't Elvis.

So, I'll leave it up to anybody out there to show how Elvis really did do a version of this, and point me to it.  I'd really like to see if it exists.  Or did I really get fooled?


Yep, I was fooled.  A closer listen of that song convinces me that it was a fake.  Somebody recorded over it in the background, which alters the sound of the recording.  It may have been done just enough to fool somebody like me who didn't listen really close to it.  You have to listen closely to pick up the second voice recorded over the top of it.

As for whether or not Elvis did his own recording of it, I didn't find any videos that were convincing.  Others were less well done than this forgery.  I'm going to think that he didn't, or otherwise they'd be easy to find.

LPP Fusion News

LPP Fusion Newsletter

I thought you'd be interested in this:

Brief summary:

A progress report from Focus Fusion. The beryllium has arrived, and will be machined into new electrodes for experiments later this year. Meanwhile, tests continue on the tungsten electrodes.

Did you find the link interesting?

You can forward it on to your friends, too:

You can subscribe for more emails at:

* Note: if any of the URLs above are not clickable, you can copy/paste them into your web browser.

Shale oil to become low cost producer?

When I read this, I was astonished.  The impression I had gotten was shale oil was expensive to produce, but this article says otherwise.

However, the recent fall in oil prices have put a lot of people out of work in the oil patch.

Money quote:

The author makes the claim "Shale 2.0 promises to ultimately yield break-even costs of $5-$20 per barrel-in the same range as Saudi Arabia's vaunted low-cost fields."

Break even on $5 per barrel oil for shale oil would be miraculous, to say the least.

Maybe he's been smoking some of that whacky tobacky.


The significance of this development cannot be overstated.  With Saudi pricing power undercut, their influence in world affairs will diminish.  If another source of energy is found that can replace oil completely, their influence would diminish to nothing.  No matter how one looks at it, their position in the world today looks untenable.

Cheap oil from fracking is but one of the means by which this can occur.  That's the point.  One way or another, this trouble with the Middle East will come to an end.

The strong horse is in the West, not in the Middle East.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

What to make of Trump?

This business of boycotting a debate, that is.  What's his point?  If he got Megyn Kelly removed, would he show up then?

If Kelly was really biased against him in that prior debate, it didn't really seem to hurt him.  I don't get his objections from that standpoint.

Secondly, if you recall from history, Ronald Reagan paid for his own debate.  If Reagan can pay for a debate, the much richer Trump can.  If Trump wants to debate on his own terms with his own moderators, then why not do what Reagan did?

Then Trump isn't doing this because of Kelly.  He can go around Kelly easily enough.  There must be something else going on, but whatever it is, it looks silly.  No need to avoid the public like this.

Rubio is an asshole

According to some people, he would be the most formidable candidate.  Yep, it doesn't surprise me given the fare we get dumped on our plates.

Why is Rubio an asshole?  He was criticizing Cruz for not attacking Trump earlier.  Now that Cruz is attacking Trump, Rubio calls it a sideshow.  This is asshole quality stuff in my book.

Not to mention that Rubio ran anti-immigration in order to win his Senate seat.  Then he joins the Gang of Eight on the amnesty deal.  Once that goes sour, this asshole downplays that, and then accuses Cruz of being pro-immigration.

Rubio is an asshole.

Email Scandal has turned more serious

FBI investigation has morphed into an espionage case.

Hillary could be part of a vast espionage ring inside the US Government.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Star Spangled Banner As You've Never Heard It

The history of the National Anthem.

Never heard this story before.  What that says I leave up to you.

Obligatory, 1.27.16; Up in the air

This morning's posting idea started with politics, but it now may go into a few other topics as well.

The GOP nomination is starting to worry me a bit.  Trump is looking a bit weird to me now.  I was thinking I'd vote for him in the Texas primary, but now I don't know.  This bit about boycotting the debate looks like kid's stuff.  In addition to that, he's going a bit far in his criticisms of Cruz.  Not that I like Cruz all that much, but calling him a jerk is a bit over the top.  This is the time he should look more presidential, not like a frat boy.  Besides that, there's this claim where he says he can do anything without losing support.  This is indicative of a possible deeper problem.  Do we give such awesome power to someone who seems a bit off the rails?

The weirdness was a bit more easy to take when he was just a candidate.  But as a nominee for president, he needs to act the part.  He needs to grow up as a candidate.  Quick.

Now for the other topic.

I was thinking a bit about an experiment that would test the potential for heating a closed system.  Assume that the Earth is a closed system.  It isn't, but let's assume that it is.  By closed, I mean that nothing gets out.  Nothing gets in or out, except energy.  Therefore, the question should be this:  what would it take for that closed system to retain enough heat to last until the next day?  If it cannot hold sufficient heat at least half of the time it takes to rotate once, global warming theory is just so much nonsense.   After all, that is what the claim is.  To wit: the addition of carbon dioxide will make the Earth hold more heat than it otherwise would.  Not only more heat, but for a longer time.

The closed system would be a globe that was transparent and therefore would allow the sun's light in.  However, it would not allow all of it to come back out.  You would try to gauge it according to what already occurs in the environment.

Once you've done that, then change things gradually until you notice any changes in temperature at the end of a 24 hour period.

For complete control, the system may have to be indoors away, from the elements.  Artificial sunlight may be used instead.

The experiment may not be as easy as it is to think it up.

That's for another time, though.  As for me, I have other fish to fry.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Charting The Crash - How Far Will The Bounce Get?...

Charting The Crash - How Far Will The Bounce Get?...: Kitco News' contributed commentary features articles and opinions from some of the top experts in the gold industry.


Or it can be called the market limbo- how low can it go?  All the way to Dow 5500, he says.

I could make a modest amount of money if this thing were to pan out.  Of course, the system could welsh out and not pay me, too.

The Dow must fall, just the economy must fall.  This economic scheme cannot endure.  It is all smoke and mirrors.

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell Car

Once upon a time on this blog, I was all gung-ho about fuel cell cars.  They still can be a good deal, but let me tell you what soured me on them.  It is the realization that the only way to get hydrogen to them is to use chemical means, which means it won't be cheap.

Fossil fuel's energy comes from burning carbon as well as the hydrogen within.  The "hydrocarbons" can have the carbon removed, but it comes at a price of a reduction in energy value of the fuel.  That means hydrogen cannot be cheap.  If half of the energy value cannot be used, the fuel prices will have to double in order to make a profit.  Not an economical proposition.

Unless it is produced with nuclear energy.  If you were to make "nuclear ammonia" with a molten-salt reactor, then the cost of the fuel should be low enough to make it cost competitive.

Now, this article discusses how "expensive" fuel cell vehicles are.  They don't have to be.  They are expensive because there is no refueling stations.  There are no refueling stations because there are no fuel cell powered cars.  Chicken and egg type problem.

If you build the cars, the stations will come, but to make it all work, the prices have to be more competitive.

 Fuel cells can be manufactured at reasonable prices from what I researched.  These vehicles have no inherent necessity for being expensive.

If you can create a market, the costs will come down.  The question is:  Do we want to be energy independent or not?  We can do this.  The molten-salt reactor was proven in the seventies.

I still don't believe in wind nor solar.  Nuclear energy is the ticket to energy independence.  Fuel cell cars can play a role in that.

Dometic 970 Series Portable Toilet for Camping

Prev  Next

This post will be in the general subseries of the main series of off-the-grid type posts.

This may be a better solution than the one I used on my last trip out west.  It does use more water, however, as I'd like to use as little water as possible.  It is a lower cost option than a composting toilet.

What got my attention is to this video came indirectly on the term "dry camping".  In some circles, it is called "boondocking".  In the following video, the people tell about their favorite device, which is the composting toilet.

You may notice that they "boondock" in a motor home.  Those aren't cheap.  At least, they aren't cheap by my standards.

Getting late

That is, the lease expires on March 31st.  If I give a 30 day notice, that means I need to decide upon going or staying by March the first.  This is just a little over a month away now.

With all these health issues, I've spent a lot of time on the off-the-grid project.

It seems like there's a way to get that generator I wanted.  I can put a wheelchair carrier in back, and put in on that.  This would give me the capability of keeping it in sight, or the option of locking it up with the van in a storage place in town while I work.

With the generator, I can do a number of things, but now that I can do them, they don't seem as important.  Go figure.  What I mean is, I can put in a small a/c unit and run the a/c off the generator.  The a/c can collect the water during the summer months, if that is what I wish to do.  The generator can easily run the space heater I've got.  With this much power, the only question is how much to use it.  Overuse will result in high costs for that energy.

Good climate control is needed for the ergonomics factor.  It will be cramped, as it is.  If it is uncomfortable in terms of temperature, the arrangement might break down.

The capability of standing up in the van was decided to be too expensive to implement.  It will have to be borne as a hardship of sorts.

All those considerations are for an early exit.

What if I stay?

The Uber thing isn't enough money for this town and with the current arrangements.   I need to work in the van in order to keep things the way they are.  That delays any conversion.  It may also wear out the van and then I will need another one.

Is this a situation that can be called being between a rock and a hard place?

I'm not going to want to be forced into a decision, but circumstances may require it, and soon.

This post will go into the general subseries of the off-the-grid main series of posts.

Prev   Next

Monday, January 25, 2016

Boondock Until You Stink II

How long can you camp off-the-grid with the fresh water, battery, and food storage capacity your truck camper offers?  How long can you go without a real shower?


"we can boondock about seven to ten days, no problem.  That means no shore power, no dump stations, and no grocery store runs".

That's about what I've been coming up with in my simulations.  Looks like a week is possible.

The question is not whether you can do something, but should you do that something

There was this scene in the movie Jurassic Park, in which the mathematician asks that very question.  Even if you had the ability to make prehistoric creatures come back to life, should you do it?

There are some folks who don't think there should be limits.  That's the conflict in that story, but it is not just a story.  It is a question that needs to be asked for now on as humankind advances its technology.

I got that sense of conflict in reading this discussion about artificial intelligence.  The writer seems to be in the no limits crowd, and is critical of those who would question the continued development of artificial intelligence.  Amongst those who do question it are a couple of quite famous people- Elon Musk and Steven Hawking.

Someone may have noticed my own enthusiasm for technologies that are feared.  I favor nuclear energy and space colonization.  Not to mention my opposition to the Limits to Growth notion.  But there are those who fear material progress and are holding these technologies back.  I suspect the reasons for holding back are not good enough.

These should not be held back if there are good reasons for their advancement.  I think there are good reasons for molten-salt reactors and space colonization.  But AI is something that we don't know enough about.  If the genie gets out of that bottle, who or what puts it back in?  There's been a sufficient interlude with nuclear energy and space.  There has not been with AI ( Artificial Intelligence).

On the subject of AI, I'm with Musk and Hawking.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

RIO BRAVO My Rifle, My Pony, and Me/Cindy - Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson and Walter Brennan (legendado)

Found this while not actually looking for it.  Quite a find, I'd say.  Imagine, Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson,
Walter Brennan in a John Wayne movie.  At the time, this would have been called star studded.  But in these days, a lot of people may not know who these people are.

Regrets for the lite posting

Just not very productive right now.  Came down with some type of bug.  Seem tired a lot.  Low energy.

I did go to the new doc, and well, nothing much came from my mentioning of this.  Suggested flu shot, but that may be a bit late.

Whatever this is, I need to get over it.  Quick.  I've missed a lot of time.

While I'm sitting around on my keester, I've been fooling around with some things.  Like watching videos, that I mentioned.  But also, I plotted out my trail from my gps device while on property.  It will give me something to build upon.  Thing is out there, that there just aren't enough landmarks.  It's gets monotonous, and hard to translate to a map.  Somehow, turn right at the yucca doesn't work well with a map.

Besides playing with maps, I did a few more measurements of the van for that project.  I think I've got it figured out, but I hesitate to start cutting up more furniture.  It's a long time to the "cheese" still.  One thing is that Uber isn't that good.  The delivery job paid better.

Besides all that, I've been thinking about what I let myself in for.  It won't be easy living out of a van.  Yeah, well, I've been warned.   You have to balance off the minuses with the pluses.  The pluses are that I can do the kinds of things that I can only dream of while in the city.  As for being cramped, it is only while I am "indoors".

If I was out there, I might have watched the test launch of Blue Origin's New Shepard spacecraft.  I'm guessing I could see it from there.  Maybe twenty or thirty miles over the mountains.

The appropriate reaction to gun violence

The left wants to use the recent gun violence to be an excuse for more gun control.  However, as some have noted, seemingly all of these attacks have occurred in gun-free zones.  If it is truly a gun-free zone, the author of that rule is taking responsibility for the well-being and safety of those who happen to be in the gun -free zone at the time of an incident of gun violence.  The author is guaranteeing that there will be no guns in that zone.  If such a guarantee is said to have been offered, then a breach of same is a cause for legal action.

Such may be the case in the near future.

Good move.