Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Free Science Fair Experiment, 9/11 Themed

Douglas Keachie TWENTY STORIES OF BuILDING ABOVE THE IMPACT ZONE, 208 feet by 208 feet. Even the slightest depression gets the inertia train rolling, and down she comes. Simple physics, a body in motion, and so on.

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 Yeah. No.

Douglas Keachie
Douglas Keachie And your grade in physics was?

Didn't take physics. Took choir, and was editor of the school paper for 4 years. Didn't go to college either.
Douglas Keachie
Douglas Keachie So here is an experiment for you. Get eggs, remove contents, and fill 20 of them about 1/3 up with BB's. Now make a toothpick tower, that can contain all 101 egg shells, the empties on the bottom. Carefully stack them, the first 82 all empty should be easy. #82 gets a pull string attachment, that allows you to yank it out of the stack in a flash. The next 20 I suggest you handle very carefully. Once the whole assembly is set up, snatch out the 82nd egg. 20 1/3 filled eggs start downwards. The equivalent of six eggs, full of BBs, approximately. Do you think floor 81 will survive the inertia of the eggs above coming down, 6 full eggs equivalent falling one egg diameter downwards? I don't think so. You can do this experiment in your head, to save time.


Yeah. Interesting. But, no. No time for experiments to prove or disprove something I've already spend at least 100 hours listening and reading information on, the proof or disproof of which would not make a significant positive impact in my life. I appreciate your commitment to your world view, though. :-)

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

May the President Die from Something That He just Blocked The Funding 4 the Cure

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2017/05/22/trump-budget-seeks-huge-cuts-to-disease-prevention-and-medical-research-departments/?utm_term=.de5bea9f707f

Friday, June 02, 2017

Drumpsticky Misleads with Science Neither He Nor Followers Use.

The critical thing here is that Trump was trying to downplay the effects of halting global warming by claiming the tinier number, that the Celsius scale gave. Doubt he or most of his voters were aware of this, but the speech writer plainly was.  Celsius ranges from 0 at Freezing to 100 at Boiling, and thus each degree represents much more energy than a degree of Fahrenheit does.  So, .36 Fahrenheit, doesn't sound like much either, but the Earth is a damn site bigger than a poached egg.

 "Even if the Paris Agreement were implemented in full, with total compliance from all nations, it is estimated it would only produce a two-tenths of one degree -- think of that; this much -- Celsius reduction in global temperature by the year 2100. Tiny, tiny amount. In fact, 14 days of carbon emissions from China alone would wipe out the gains from America -- and this is an incredible statistic -- would totally wipe out the gains from America's expected reductions in the year 2030, after we have had to spend billions and billions of dollars, lost jobs, closed factories, and suffered much higher energy costs for our businesses and for our homes."

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Unfunded Pensions, My Sweet Bippy!

Hey homeowner you have an unfunded liability of 200k, you had best amass 200k in capital to offset that immediately (oh wait, your house is the capital in the same way that your business's value is the capital for the USPS and future taxes are the capital for state pension funds)

The nationwide attacks on public pension plans are happening because Wall Street banks and brokerages want to convert the $3 trillion nationwide in public pension plan assets into 401(k) accounts from which banks and other investment firms could earn billions of easy dollars in various “management fees” on the accounts.

The tactic Wall Street is using to get its hands on pension plan money is something called an “unfunded liability.” Only actuarial accountants really know what an “unfunded liability” is, but the clear impression that Wall Street and its media minions give to taxpayers is that it’s a huge amount of current debt that taxpayers owe to the pension plans. But it isn’t.

Take California, for example, the state with the largest public pension plans, the California Public Employee Retirement System (CalPERS) and the California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS). Wall Street’s media minions are trying to scare California taxpayers by claiming that the state is currently in debt some $270 billion in “unfunded liability” to its public employee pension plans...but what is an “unfunded liability” anyway? One thing it is NOT is that it’s not a current debt.

To find out what a so-called “unfunded liability” actually is, we begin by looking at California’s current state budget: The 2016-2017 state spending budget is $171 billion. Of that, $4.8 billion, which is only 3% of the state’s $171 billion budget, goes to meet the “unfunded liability” difference between what CalPERS gets from active employee payroll deductions and interest on investments to pay out to retirees; the state contribution to meet the CalSTRS “unfunded liability” is $2.5 billion, which is only 1.5% of the budget. So, altogether the retirement plans’ cost is only 4.5% of the state budget. That less than 5 cents of the budget dollar, and that’s right in line with the non-political Boston College Center for Retirement Research report that the national average state annual contribution to public employee pension plans is only about 5% of the typical state budget.

Five cents on the dollar each year is not going to bankrupt California...or any state.

So, just how is an “unfunded liability” calculated? Well, in simple terms that a non-accountant can understand, you take your state’s current year contribution to the pension plan, then increase it for inflation and other factors each year for the next 30 years, then add up the sum of all those 30 years of 5-cents-on-the-dollar contributions, and the resulting sum is the “unfunded liability.” The sum of those 30 years is a large amount, which is great for scaring taxpayers who are led to think it’s a huge amount of debt they’re in right now instead of being merely the sum of 30 years of small future payments. It’s not a current huge debt.

Moreover, if you apply the same actuarial projection to your state’s budget for the next 30 years, you find that each year’s budget increases in line with the annual pension plan contribution increase, so that the annual cost remains right around 5 cents of the budget dollar for each of those coming 30 years.

And there’s something else you should know: Most of the “unfunded liability” amounts in these made-for-the-media scary headlines can be reduced by as much as 75% simply by changing the accounting method used to calculate the “unfunded liability.” Wall Street uses a method known as the “Historical Return” method for marketing stocks to investors, and that’s also the standard method that should be used for assessing pension fund stock assets --- but the scary “unfunded liability” figures that show up in headlines are typically created using an accounting method known as the “Riskless Rate” method. You can slash those scary headline “unfunded liability” figures by 75% just by using the standard Historical Return accounting method. Poof! Three-fourths of the “unfunded liability” gone, just as it was created by the magic of a non-standard accounting method for the purpose of scaring voters.

Moreover, the “Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB --- pronounced “Gasbee”) that oversees which methods are used to calculate an unfunded liability sounds like some federal government agency. But it isn’t: GASB a private organization operated by state and local governments --- governments which these days want to get rid of public pensions, so GASB is biased against public pensions.

Now, that you know what an “unfunded liability” is, let your lawmakers know that you know what an “unfunded liability” is and that they should keep your fixed-benefit retirement plans and not switch to Wall-Street-friendly and retiree-unfriendly 401(k) plans whose benefits aren’t fixed and reliable because they go up and down with the stock market.

Something else you should know and let lawmakers know that you know: Those small annual state contributions to our public employee pension plans are actually the best investment that your state makes: In our example state of California, even the anti-public pension Los Angeles Times reported that the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) brought $12 billion into the California economy and generated a collateral $26 billion in economic activity while supporting over 93,000 jobs.

CalSTRS makes a similar large positive contribution to California’s economy and is estimated to generate about $10 billion in economic activity and support more than 60,000 jobs with state and local governments reaping over $600,000,000 in annual revenues from the economic activity generated by consumers spending their CalSTRS benefit income.

That’s a combined economic contribution to the state of $36 billion. Not bad for the state’s investment of $7.5 billion in the pension plans; in fact, that’s a return of about 500%.

The dirty little secret that taxpayers aren’t told is that if the states cut public pensions, tens of thousands of private sector jobs will be lost and taxpayers will see their taxes raised to make up for the $36 billion in lost economic activity. Former Rockefeller Foundation head Peter Goldmark has warned that cutting off public employee pension plans is for states “the economic equivalent of having a stroke.”

Monday, May 15, 2017

Drumpski and a Pre-Emptive Nuke Strike. How It Gets Done

So the President can hire and fire whoever he wants, according to Nicki Haley. That does not bother me too much. BUT

Can the President launch a pre-emptive nuke strike without consulting anyone, "because then it would not be a secret?"

This worries me a lot. I think Congress needs to pass a law that says doing so would be an automatic impeachment and removal from office, just to give him a heads up.
Otherwise the S.O.B. may do just that. Because nobody on June 21, 1788, wrote it in that he couldn't.
if the other half of the nuke codes are in the hands of the Secretary of Defense, then I would not put it past Trump to appoint a "Yes" man to that post.

The Cabinet of the United States is an executive organ of the U.S. Government that normally acts as an advisory body to the President of the United States. It is composed of the most senior appointed officers of the executive branch of the U.S. Government serving under the President. Among those are the Vice President and the heads of the federal executive departments, all of whom are by federal law (3 U.S.C. § 19) in the line of succession to the President and have duties under the 25th Amendment to the Constitution. Members of the Cabinet (except for the Vice President) serve at the pleasure of the President, who can dismiss them at will for no cause.

July 29th through Sept 2, Senate not in session. President can fill vacancies at will.

He(the President) shall have the Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two-thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session."

Sunday, May 14, 2017

How to Avoid Gerrymandering the Congressional Districts.

With every census should also come computer programs from all 50 states. Made by computer science students at the universities and entered into a contest in each state, and the top 20 are then voted on by the people. Top vote getter, wins, even in cases of a near tie. Each program would use algorithms designed to make districts that would be somewhat geographically compact and simultaneously socio-economicaly and ethnically diverse.

The governors of all 50 states then meet and each one draws a program out of a fishbowl, and the program cannot come from his state.

This will result in much greater opportunity to kick the rascals out, and avoid the evils of gerrymandering.

It would also prevent politicians from saying, I've got 51% rednecks so I will vote 100% their programs, because in the next census shakeup, their nominal district might only be 45% rednecks.
In short a moderating influence on the actions of politicians.

It might even work out that some precincts might be added from one district to another contiguous district instead, to get a good spread of the state's population for each representative in Congress.  In California for example, some of Hillsborough might be added to Hunters Point, and some of Atherton to East Palo Alto,
 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Blood Alley Solution



Blood Alley Solution
Summary.
This solution consists of: Plate detection and speed calculations, and alerts going out to cell phones in given stretches of roadway, of high speed traffic coming from the rear.
 Information available to citizens (no plate info for citizens, just warning of incoming high speed or safety vehicle) and CHP, on a real time basis.  Again. this information could be coupled with alerts to pull over for emergency vehicles., Can you imagine how many lives and homes might be saved, if everybody pulled over to the side en masse?

All of the technologies currently exist. Only the computer program linking them and the hardware installations would have to be done.  Ideally the hardware would be movable to different highways, to spread the costs for maximum benefits to many.

Plate reading cameras installed at key intersections.  In the case of highway 49, just after each of the major stop lights, both north and south bound.  Northbound first, if it has the higher number of crashes from speeders and erratic drivers.  Example, all cars going up the hill at Combie are plate read as they go up the hill.  The starting point would be back at the last traffic light in Auburn.  All cars going over the rise and down the hill would be read there.

The two readings are compared and alerts are sent out if necessary.  All non speeding info is disposed of within one hour, unless there is a crash and witnesses are needed. (You’d be surprised how many folks don’t want to be bothered testifying)

Obviously the CHP can’t catch them all. However, whoever has the fastest time for each of the midway points, and the grand prize winner for the fastest time to the McKnight Way exit, for each day, is now eligible for double fine and double points for any traffic infraction anywhere in California, for up to one year from winning the award.  And their insurance companies will be notified.  Only plates going 10 mph or faster over the posted limits, with all lights assumed to be green, would be included.  Oh for the day when nobody is eligible!

This issue has bothered me all my life, 40,000 dead every year, and we are supposed to be the greatest country ever, and yet we accept this? SMH!  That’s one Twin Towers every month and then some, ridiculous!

To read about this technology, and the many social implications, please read up on any of the article found with this search on Google. https://www.google.com/search?as_q=%3Bicense+plate+%28scanner+OR+reading%29+technology&as_epq=li&as_oq=&as_eq=&as_nlo=&as_nhi=&lr=&cr=&as_qdr=all&as_sitesearch=&as_occt=any&safe=images&as_filetype=&as_rights=
 

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Fake Charter Schools

Charter schools with good numbers do so by discretely eliminating the lower end of the spectrum from even enrolling. The only real way to improve grad rates and test scores is to improve the quality of the home life of all the kids. Make sure all parents have the bucks and time to provide a quality upbringing. Kids who arrive at school from dysfunctional underfinanced households, where there is not internet, mom and dad may both be absent, etc., just are not going to learn no matter how good the presentation of the racial background or age of the teacher. I speak from personal experience at Gloria R. Davis Middle School in the Hunters Point District of San Francisco.

Friday, March 03, 2017

Healthcare in a Nutshell, AKA The Old Shell Game

Healthcare is really very simple. It's really very simple. If you play poker at a casino, instead of just among friends, you and your friends will wind up with less. To make matters worse, if the house/casino can play pattie-cake with the pharmaceutical companies, you and your friends will see even more of the pot disappearing before your very eyes.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

On Religion and Today's World, a Few Thoughts......

In a recent Facebook conversation, I was accused of being a Jesus Freak, for calling out against a person, who had declared, "what's to pray for, he's dead." He was referencing the dead toddler in the sand by the seashore, this generation's napalmed naked running Vietnamese girl image. Just a photograph, my sweet bippy!


I am Not a Jesus Freak. I am a Hopeful Agnostic. The actually conditions after body decomposition are unknowable. BUT, there can be 3 possible ways to describe it. Same, Better, or Worse. (two out of three odds ain't bad, besides, wha'cha gonna do about it?) Obviously the non existence provision would fall under the category of worse, but again, you have no way of knowing (and if that turns out to be the case, you won't be there to regret it).

Here's a hypothetical. An alien super culture looks for folks who would be a good fit for them. They possess the technology to make a scan of the brains of folks who they think fit their needs. They are capable of reproducing that brain exactly, but in a much more durable form, and they do so, but not for callous folks.

Now do you get it? You cannot prove that this does not happen, and the very existence of this universe and your existence within it is totally improbable. See Douglas Addams for a refresher course on the Improbability Factor.

I hope this helps you. I have baffled many so called Jesus Freaks and evangelicals of other religions with these concepts. I have also gotten wry smiles out of hardened atheists.

Net Neutrality Soon Under Attack Again???

I notice that net neutrality may well be in the news again, as, let's face it, without the net, attacking the TrumpMonster would be a lot harder. I also notice that Zazzle and Cafe Press, two big sources for bumper stickers, have very few of them on the topic. To make matters worse, some of them are by whacked out libertarians who oppose net neutrality on the grounds that needs would be better served if only market forces were at work. 

 

The prices for one off stickers are around 4 to 6 dollars, and shipping. Go to a better quality custom printer, and good quality ones are still in the 1 to 2 dollar range at quantity 200. I thought of designing and ordering a batch of 200 or more, but it would cost me a ton of time, and in the end, lose money.

 

I do think it will be fun to design one, and send it in to Zazzle and Cafe Press, if for no other reason than to drown out the Libertarian bullshit. If enough people do it, it would send yet another statement to TrumpMonster. Plus if you order one of your creations, you can set them up in your rear window when driving. I do not recommend placing such on your car permanently, due to possible vandalism.

 

Mine will probably say: Net Neutrality vs (and on the second line, images of) TrumpMonster, Godzilla, NAZI Swastika, and something else similar, suggestions welcome. monopo0ly Money Man maybe.


In the event that Trump does do Net Censorship, will Spiral Net or some other organization locally be able to provide server services and host a vBulletin like apps which may slide under the radar, if Facebook becomes unusable?

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Guess T-Rumps Weight and Join the Sweat Off.

It's time for a contest, two of them.
Guess T-rumps weight. I say 250 lbs.
(that would be the whole thing, not just the rump.)
2nd. Who can lose more weight than Trump? Someone should set up a website. Needs to have a cute and catchy name, where folks can post their starting weight, and their progress. MakeAmericaSkinnyAgain.com
Some say he has 8 years in the Presidency. How soon will Vegas be taking odds on him kicking the bucket sooner? I do not see an
active lifestyle, except for the mouth.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

TrumpExit Countdown Clock is Ticking Wildly.

Mr. Trapezoid will be history, and soon. Health, and as soon as he makes a ton of sweeping changes that the Power Elite of the right-most branches of the RNC Puppetmasters (the true funders, not even necessarily in the RNC hierarchy in any official capacity) want, they will dispose of him one way or the other. He may even quit on his own, once he realizes he''s been had, as a useful tool by them. I think he already suspects this, he is not that stupid.  It would explain the angry behavior walking to the White House, leaving his wife behind, after being driven past all those empty bleachers.

Once he's gone, probably after at least one more Supreme Court replacement ( the replacements will not be chosen for anti-abortion, but rather for pro business (anti labor, environment, and regulations) they will then claim "we didn't do it and it is difficult to undo what Trump did. It's all his fault that the economy and the environment are all f'd up." 

Keep in mind that the uncertainty also causes wild fluctuations in the money markets, great opportunities for Wall Street to make cash on the swings.

Of course it all plays to the Grand Drama & Illusion which leaves the 99% still thinking they still are the prime movers. That illusion must stay in place, or there would be one hellova revolt, general strikes,, etc. Thanks for watching, now go make more popcorn like good little serfs.

Oh, and poor Barron Trump? Should it turn out he does have a "pre-existing condition," then folks would have the perfect illustration of the care being ultra rich can get, and the care being denied to the hoi polloi.

END Morning Rant (these views may or may not have any connection to reality)