4/22/2018

Thoughts On A Sunday

It appears spring has arrived (at least temporarily as I still don't trust Mother Nature), with temps in the 50's here in central New Hampshire. There is no freezing rain, snow, or sleet in the forecast over the next few days, so it's looking promising. A good portion of the ice covering Lake Winnipesaukee has melted or broken up, though a considerable amount of ice can still be seen along the northern side of the lake.

Who knows, I might still be able to launch The Boat during the first weekend of May after all...but I'm not holding my breath.

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Reading and hearing reports on TV about the continuing demonstrations and walkouts by high school students demanding action in regards to gun violence, I see the focus is still on the wrong aspect of the issue. They are focusing on guns, not violence. The 'new' laws and regulations they propose aren't new at all. They already exist, but are being poorly enforced. A complete ban on guns would be unconstitutional (see Heller vs District of Columbia). Both school and law enforcement officials have ignored warnings about people who everyone knows will at some point go on a rampage, whether they use guns, knives, or explosives.

In all of this, people have been focusing on the instruments of violence, not the violence itself. Until they do, the problem will not be solved. Disarming law abiding citizens because of the actions of an infinitesimal portion of the population won't solve the problem. If anything, it will make it worse because then no one will be able to defend themselves against the criminal or the violent mentally ill who will ignore the law.

Treat the cause, not the symptoms. It's no different than treating any disease (violence is a disease). If you only treat the symptoms, the disease itself will continue to do its damage.

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I have long had a problem with the claim that renewable energy sources can meet all of our electrical needs. First, as an engineer I understand the differences between the performance claims and the actual performance of a system or systems, particularly for something like solar or wind energy. (I deal with electronics, optics, and laser systems on a day to day basis, so I am naturally skeptical when claims about some miraculous new system are announced.)

I think the problem with a vast majority of people who are not in any way involved with the power industry is that they have absolutely no understanding of how our electrical grid and generation systems work, how they are managed, and the delicate balance that must be maintained 24/7/365 in order to keep the system from failing. They also have little appreciation for just how much power it takes to run modern technological civilization, covering everything from the food production systems to telecommunications to air transport systems, and so on.

It is this lack of understanding that those who push the meme that “renewables can meet 100% of our electrical needs” exploit. They push the positives – free energy - while totally ignoring the negatives such as the scope of what would be needed to replace all of our conventional means of generating electricity and the actual costs of doing so. Those types of systems take up incredible amounts of land to even come close to generating the power that a coal, natural gas, or nuclear plant presently generate. What effect will all of those arrays of solar panels and wind turbines have on the local environment? How much wildlife habitat will be destroyed in order to put in acres and acres of solar panels? How much avian wildlife will be killed by wind turbine blades and how much of a negative effect will be created by the known effects of infrasound also generated by wind turbines? It seems no one really wants to discuss the environmental downsides, some of which are well known and well documented.

They also purposely ignore just how difficult it will become to keep the aforementioned 'delicate balance' if we switch to renewables so our electrical grid doesn't crash. The concerns are pushed aside with claims that it's only a problem for the skeptics and that somehow when it comes to actually making the switch that the problems will magically fix themselves or worse, won't ever be a problem. The issue is the stability of those renewable sources which are inherently unstable as well as their lack of what is called dispatchability. (This refers to the ability of a grid operator to 'dispatch' generating capacity as the electrical demand rises and falls. Renewables are not considered dispatchable because they cannot be throttled up and down like natural gas plants, and to a limited extent, coal or nuclear plants. The amount of electricity they generate changes with the weather conditions and from minute to minute. Solar is limited to daylight hours and wind turbines to when the wind is blowing. Of the two, only wind might be able to generate power all through a 24 hour period, and even then only every now and then. Renewables aren't consistent. They aren't stable. They aren't capable of providing the power we need that other power technologies can handle readily.

100 percent renewable energy is a pipe-dream.

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I have to wonder what will happen when Special Counsel Mueller's investigation concludes there was no collusion by the Trump team with Russia? I can think of a couple of different scenarios, neither of which is pretty.

One possible scenarios: After the tearing of hair and rending of clothing by Democrats who were so sure that there would be something that could be used to impeach Trump, there would be calls for a follow on investigation of the Mueller investigation to see if there was collusion with the Russians by Robert Mueller.

Another: Most of the people in the US will see it for what it was – a nothingburger – and will hand the Democrats a sound shellacking in the midterm elections for wasting their time and our tax dollars on what was nothing more than a combination witch hunt/fishing expedition.

One definite scenario: An MSM meltdown and violent Antifa demonstrations that will further damage an already heavily damaged Democrat party.

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I think you will have noticed that I have not included any links in my usual TOAS post today. This was intentional, a throwback to some of my earlier days where I provided my opinions on matters that caught my interest or bothered me in some way. Just linking to others' posts and throwing my 3¢ worth in was a lazy way out. It didn't really take a lot of thought and I realized that I wasn't always expressing my full thoughts on a matter.

Looking at Disqus comments I've made on other blog posts or articles made me realize I was doing a far better job there than here, something that proved to me that I've fallen down on the job. (No. I am not going to reveal my Disqus name. That's for me to know and for you to figure out for yourselves.)

I figured I'd try this little experiment and go back to some of my blogging roots if for no other reason as to shake me loose from this lazy habit I've fallen into.

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And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the ice is finally melting away, the boat will soon be out of storage, and where we're not hearing the furnace running every 5 minutes.

4/15/2018

Thoughts On A Sunday

Winter has returned to New Hampshire with a vengeance. Snow, freezing rain, and sleet descended upon us overnight, with the freezing rain and sleet being the most 'plentiful' precipitation so far. The Weather GuysTM have said that we can expect up to a quarter inch of ice to accumulate between this evening and tomorrow morning. That will be on top of what has already fallen. The temps will be below freezing for the next 24 hours or so, which means they will be between 25°F and 30°F below normal for this time of year.

BeezleBub had to head out to the local hardware store to pick up some ice melt (assuming he could find any, which he did, surprisingly). It's not something we usually have to buy this time of year.

One of the things this return to winter will affect is the date of Ice Out on Lake Winnipesaukee, the date where enough of the ice has melted that will allow the M/S Mount Washington cruise ship to make all 5 ports of call around the lake. This also means that it will delay the date that I will launch the Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout – aka The Boat – because the chances are the water will still be too 'chunky', meaning there will still be ice floating on the lake here and there.

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So, does someone want to tell me about global warming again?

It seems that there are blizzard warnings posted for six states...in mid-April. There are also Winter Storm Warnings in eleven other states.

As you can see from the initial part of my post above, we're seeing the non-effects of global warming here in New Hampshire as well.

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First, it was Bush Derangement Syndrome. Then it was Palin Derangement Syndrome, followed by Trump Derangement Syndrome.

Now, it's Chik-Fil-A Derangement Syndrome, and it's hitting it's hitting New York City hard.

Really? Somehow the appearance of Chik-Fil-A in New York is the sign of the Apocalypse? Boy, the Left's standards as what signals the coming of The End has fallen to a new low.

These folks need to get on meds, seriously. How can so many deranged people be allowed to roam the streets in America?

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I have to agree with Matt Walsh on this in its entirety: If your sex life is none of our business, stop demanding that we celebrate it and fund it.

Many members of the LGBTQetc community have no desire to 'throw' their lifestyles in out faces. Unfortunately just enough of them do, and then they wonder why people are sick and tired of hearing about it. No one seems to go out of their way to throw heterosexual lifestyles in their faces to the level that the LGBTQ extremists do (sometimes to an extreme).

Here's a message to those folks: No one gives a s**t, nor should they.

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CBS reports that voters could decide whether or not to split California into three states.

On the surface it sounds like a good idea. But once you look at the details you realize those three new states would be dominated by the Progressive cities so many on Red California want to get away from; Northern California would be controlled by San Francisco and Silicon Valley, with most of the counties being affected already vehemently against what those areas have already done to them. California would be the coastal area between Monterey and Los Angeles, and the Southern California would be the rest of the counties to the east. The way the new state lines would be drawn will still give Democrats a large majority in each state and would lead to four new Democrat senators. That would leave those who already suffer from the abuses of the Democrat party no relief and leave them no better off than they were before. That isn't a solution, but more of a problem that could lead to bigger problems down the road, like armed resistance by the disenfranchised.

If those line were redrawn to make the coastal areas from San Francisco to LA one state, northern California counties another state, and San Diego and the eastern counties the third state, then there would be something to support. But if the results of the split are what have presently proposed, then all that's being created are three copies of the insanity that already dominates California.

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Well worth the read: What White Privilege lessons did to my high school.

It certainly didn't help things, didn't create cohesiveness amongst the students, and in fact probably made things more divisive for no other reason than to make sure the Left controlled the narrative.

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Is it time to reform the Renewable Fuel Standard? Yes, without a doubt because the RFS as it stands is causing more problems than it's solving.

The RFS was set when demand for gasoline was increasing annually. Today just the opposite is taki9ng place. But the amount of ethanol that must be used according to the mandate is now outstripping the gasoline supply. Some have suggested increasing the blend of ethanol from 10% to 15% would solve the problem, but it creates a worse set of problems in return, specifically voiding of vehicle warranties and requiring retrofitting every single gasoline storage facility and gas station in the nation.

The other issue: ethanol was seen as a why of replacing foreign oil with a renewable source. However the demand for foreign oil can now be met with domestic sources and ethanol has a negative energy return, meaning it can take more energy to produce than it delivers.

That's not how any of that was supposed to work.

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And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where winter refuses to release its grip, ice still covers the lake, and where dreams of boating will have to be put off for a while longer.AC

4/08/2018

Thoughts On A Sunday

At least Sunday started sunny and bright, unlike Saturday which had brought clouds and snow. At least all of the snow had melted by the end of the day.

Work continues on getting The Manse ready to put on the market, with the interior painting expected to be finished by the end of this coming week. We're still shoveling out the basement, though I'd say that 90% of the stuff we needed to get rid of has been separated from the stuff we're keeping. Hopefully we'll be seeing all of the stuff that we need to get rid of taken off to the dump some time over the next two weeks.

It is easy to forget just how daunting it can be to get a home ready for sale.

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It's looking to be a real battle for the upcoming elections in November, with both Congressional districts looking to have close races. So far no one who has announced their candidacy is showing as a favorite, even the lone incumbent in the Second NH Congressional district.

This is going to be a long slog to November.

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Why does the Left get a pass on anti-semitism?

Could it be because the modern Left, going back the the time of Lenin, have always hated the Jews? And since the present day Left has its own propaganda wing, that being a good portion of the MSM, they choose to ignore something that would inflame those of us who are not Leftists?

So, let's refresh our memories, shall we?

The Left is anti-semetic.

The Left is racist because we see how hard they exercise their soft racism of low expectations of minorities and they refuse to see the racism pointed towards whites by other races that “can't possibly be racist”.

The Left is intolerant of anyone who isn't them despite their claims to the contrary.

The Left despises actual diversity because if it really existed it would weaken them.

The Left really likes the idea of totalitarian states (we see how much they praise them on a regular basis) because it means they would be able to run everyone else's lives...even though they can't seem to run their own.

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Stepping back a little bit, Legal Insurrection brings up the coming mid-term elections and wonders whether it will be a Big Blue Wave or a Big Blue Bust.

The Democrats seem to think they have the mid-terms all sowed up. However, we must consider some of the things they have stated that they will do if the take the House and the Senate.

One of the first things: reverse the tax cuts and start stealing more of our money from our wallets.

The next thing: Impeach Trump. (It doesn't matter that they have no grounds for impeachment despite what the MSM has been trying to sell us.) Some of them seem to think that if Trump falls then Hillary will somehow become president. I have two words for them: President Pence.

After that I have no doubt they will do their best to cripple the American economy again, much as they did when they took Congress during Dubya's last two years in office and then made it even worse once their 'Savior' was elected.

One has to wonder if their belief is on founded in fact or whether they're just wishing real hard.

I guess we'll find out in six months.

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As the saying goes, karma is a bitch!

I'm going to guess the guy didn't get the job.

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Steve MacDonald has come up with a great for a new TV reality show, one I can get behind totally. In fact, I'd be willing to kick in some money to help make it happen. Maybe he should start a Kickstartr or GoFundMe page to get the ball rolling.

I bet that if he did, he'd get millions of dollars to help fund it.

If nothing else I would want to watch the faces of the participants when they finally realize that they are living the 'dream' they have clamored for and it turns out their dream is really Hell.

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And for a second dip in the GraniteGrok pond, here's a heartwarming post by Skip that made me smile.

I think I'm going to have to visit Harris County, Georgia and meet the sheriff. He sounds like my kind of guy.

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Do you know what is even more rare than Bigfoot sightings? Give up yet?

Proof that employers are paying women for the same jobs as men.

Too many people take the aggregate pay of men and women and point to it as proof that women are being paid less. It's an old trick and one that does not reflect reality.

One has to look at the pay by the job. There are many jobs that women simply will not or cannot do that men do. Many of those jobs are very dangerous and men get paid a lot of money to do them. Men also tend to work a lot more overtime which skews the wages between men and women.

It's time to put that old canard to rest.

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Reading the news from the UK, it looks like the folks pushing for 'knife control' are using the same old arguments that the gun-grabbers here in the US have been using to take away our guns.

The UK has tight restrictions on gun ownership. Everyone thought that would end the senseless slaughter. It didn't. Now more murders and attacks are being committed with knives. So the answer is to make otherwise law-abiding citizens give up their knives?

Again, these idiots are missing the point. It isn't about gun violence or knife violence. It's about violence., something they aren't addressing. Solve the violence problem and the other problems go away. But instead they are addressing the tools used to commit acts of violence which, in and of themselves, are inanimate objects rather than the miscreants committing those acts of violence.

Is it any wonder that they're failing?

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And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where warm weather might return later in the week, the ice on the lake is getting thinner, and where we've told our local boat shop to get our boat ready for the first week of May.

4/01/2018

Thoughts On A Sunday

It's Easter Sunday, and all is quiet here in central New Hampshire. Family will be gathering early this afternoon to partake in Easter Dinner.

The weather has been cooperative for the most part. While it will be in the lower 50's today, a still breeze will make it feel a bit cooler. At least we didn't have to deal with an Easter snowstorm like so many through parts of the Midwest.

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This will be a somewhat abbreviated TOAS as I will be spending most of the day with other members of the WP clan gathering at the WP Mom's.

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You know the whole “white privilege” meme has come close to reaching maximum stupid when an “outdoor expedition that's part of [a college's] freshman orientation...recently came under fire from one student critic who accused them of perpetuating “white privilege” and “prehistoric policies regarding gender.” ”

The college in question, Bates College in Maine, probably one of the whitest parts of the US, has been been accused by Justin Geddes, an editor at the college newspaper, of perpetuating white privilege as part of its freshman orientation program.

Writing in The Student, Geddes states that he knows many people who have “AESOP horror stories,” though he provides no specific examples. He claims that hiking trips organized by the group are “made entirely of microagressions,” and that he has heard of “queer first-years” who end up “surrounded by straight people making eyes at each other across canoes.”

“It’s easy to feel isolated and lost when you’re surrounded by people with nothing in common with you on a trip that you signed up for because you had to,” Geddes added, writing elsewhere that “to have an identity dissociated from a ‘hip,’ outdoorsy norm rooted in a Northeastern white understanding of self seems almost inconceivable by Bates’ orientation standards.”

Of course Geddes, in typical leftist media fashion, has performed a hit-and-run accusation with absolutely no corroborating evidence or quotes from some of these 'victimized/traumatized' “queer first-years”. Then again, isn't that their modus operandi today? All that's required is an accusation in order to be guilty. No proof or evidence required.

Some folks need to get help. Geddes is one of them.

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I am in total agreement with Gay Patriot on this one – I am so tired of the non-stop whining!

LGGBDTTTIQQAAPP Left activists continue their perpetual tantrum, today’s ‘worst injustice ever suffered by any people in history’ is because the 2020 Census might not include questions about sexual orientation.

FFS, what business is it of the Government’s anyway?

Indeed. The increasing hyperbole only ends up marginalizing any actual grievances they may have, if for no other reason that people will stop paying attention to their braying at all of the “injustices” that are anything but.

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Oh, this will win over voters to the Democrat Party!

It appears that New Mexico's Secretary of State believe voters are “too stupid to fill out ballots.”

I kid you not.

[Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse] Oliver argues picking the candidates voters want is "long and complicated," and therefore they need to be told who to vote for based on party. (emphasis mine)

She said having voters choose every candidate they are voting for is "voter suppression."

"Simply put: the decision to end straight ticket voting in New Mexico was a cynical partisan attempt to make it more difficult for New Mexicans to vote," Oliver said.

Oliver also claims voting is too difficult, unless voters can just check the "Democrat" box.

So what she's saying is that Democrat voters are too stupid to vote? They “need to be told who to vote for”. Does she realize she's implying Republican in New Mexico voters don't need that crutch because they're smarter than the Democrats in New Mexico? Probably not. She probably just wants to make it easier for ineligible voters to elect Democrats, allowing them to make a single check mark, deposit their ballots, and then move on the next polling place to repeat the process. (Yes, I am being sarcastic...maybe. Or not.)

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The claim is made again and again that climate change is humanity's biggest threat. But so far no one, and I mean no one has proven a warmer climate is a problem. We have plenty of proof that a colder climate is a big threat, and it seems the 'warmists' are all for the return of another ice age and are doing everything they can to make sure it happens.

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And that's the abbreviated news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where colder than normal end-of-March/beginning of April temperatures haven't dampened thoughts of the coming boating season, where the snow is rapidly disappearing despite some of the cooler temps, and where we are celebrating His resurrection.

3/25/2018

Thoughts On A Sunday

Even though the calendar says it's spring, the weather gods have been saying otherwise.

We did manage to avoid the last two out of the five Nor'easters that came this way, meaning we had little, if any snow to move. But it has been below normal temperatures, though that's supposed to change late this coming week.

At least the temps haven't kept us from making preparations for downsizing because at the moment The Manse is too big for us, so we're putting it on the market and will buy/build a smaller place, preferable one on a relatively flat piece of land that doesn't have a driveway with a 23% grade.

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It seems some of the kids who protested for more safety at their school are going to get it...good and hard. It's obvious that they didn't think that their platform against mass school shootings, which by the way are not an epidemic, would come back to bite them.

From the very founding of our nation, we learned that order and safety can be just as devastating — if not more so — than chaos. Just as liberty and chaos are closely related, so is tyranny and order. You might live in a more safe world where danger is kept at bay, but there’s a good chance you won’t like how the powers that be go about it.

And the Parkland students just learned that lesson. Needless to say, the freedom they just gave up to get safety isn’t sitting well with them.

According to the Daily Wire, the Superintendent of the Broward County School System issued an order that all students must have their student ID on them at all times. Furthermore, the students may only have clear backpacks, that the school will issue free of cost, that display their contents for everyone to see.

They really didn't like that idea, not realizing that was what they were asking for. If they really wanted to help prevent another occurrence then they should have been demanding that law enforcement and the judicial system do its job. If they had then the murder of 17 people in Broward County, Florida would not have happened. Adding more gun control laws on top of those already in existence but not being adequately enforced won't solve the problem, something the kids do not understand. Then again, the folks that helped them plan these 'spontaneous' walkouts knew this, but it wouldn't push their agenda if they informed the kids.

What I find ironic is the tweet from one student protesting the measures being taken at Parkland inadvertently made the case against tougher gun restrictions when she posted:

“So, we’re giving up all illusions of normalcy. okay. why should 3300 students be penalized for the failure of security to do their job?” asked MSDHS student @Nikta04.

Heh.

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One would think that the Left and their MSM mouthpieces would have learned this lesson by now, that being “Don't trash the folks living in 'flyover' country,” particularly if you don't actually know who those folks are.

Apparently Matthew Dowd didn't get that memo.

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I find it interesting that the Progressive folks who have managed to take one-third of the seats in our little town's Budget Committee now believe that they control the purse strings and will be dictating to the other 8 members how we're all going to be voting to greatly increase spending (and taxes), particularly on the school side of the budget.

I think they're going to find that it isn't that easy and that the voters aren't as stupid as they think they are. If they propose large spending increases I believe they'll find the proposed budgets will be voted down because with few exceptions, no one wants to see their tax bills increase by between 5 and 8 percent. (Mind you, this conclusion about the increased taxes is based upon rumor and innuendo, but I have also heard first hand one new member has stated their intentions to increase spending, specifically school spending even though our student population has shrunk by over 10% to date and continues to do so.)

The budget season this coming fall is going to be 'interesting' to say the least. Here's hoping that reality will reassert itself and these new members will come to realize they aren't going to get what they want...but I ain't holding my breath.

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Here it is, all this time we thought that the Rothchilds controlled the weather, and we now find it's actually Big Chocolate. Who'da thunk it?

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Best sign ever at #MARCHFOR OUR LIVES protests. It puts everything into perspective for those who haven't a clue.

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As a follow up, here are the 10 Dumbest Signs at the #MARCH FOR OUR LIVES protests.

We got to keep a balance here, don'cha see.

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I have to make a note that while we have been preparing The Manse to go on the market, we've been amazed at the amount of dreck and junk we have accumulated in our 13 years residing here. All the stuff we thought was so important to hold onto a few short years ago has us scratching our heads, wondering “Why did we keep that...that...whatever it is?”

It's amazing to see how quickly we accumulate that stuff, how something that we figured we could find a use for 'sometime in the future' became just another item taking up space and gathering dust.

We easily went through about 3/4ths of our basement yesterday and have a very large “take to the dump” pile. We have a much much smaller pile for “goes to Goodwill”. There is still quite a bit of stuff to go through, mostly my electronics/computer/ham radio parts stash, something we will tackle next weekend. I expect that by the time we are done a good 85% of the stuff we have in the basement will be gone. It's just that much less stuff we'll have to pack and move when the time comes.

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I came across this again, something from last August, that has certainly made me think more than once. I have posted about it once before, but it bears repeating.

Are some cultures superior?

Yes, without a doubt. Next question?

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With the attempted hacks of our power systems by Russia (and the successful hacks of Ukraine's power systems), I am glad to see that the power companies and the US government are finally taking notice and trying to do something to prevent future breaches.

Looking at this from an engineer's point of view, I have one very important question ask in regards to the security of our electrical grid: Why the heck are these systems in any way connected to the Internet?

They should be standalone systems that have absolutely no connectivity to the Internet in any way, shape, or form. The utilities own thousands of miles of dark fiber that they lease to customers, much of that fiber run along their existing transmission routes using what is called optical ground wire (OPGW) which is an electrical cable that has optical fiber buried at its core, allowing utilities to provide both electricity and telecommunications using the same cable. So it can't be because the utilities don't have the fiber available, right? So why shouldn't they build their own network that is entirely air-gapped from the Internet? (Such a system wouldn't have any wireless access points connected to it because WAPs can be hacked.) With no connections to the Internet, the utilities command and control networks cannot be hacked from someone's computer in Moscow or Sophia or Beijing. You can't easily hack something that has no external points of entry. (I'm not saying it can't be done, but that usually requires someone to physically break into the network to attach hardware that is connected to the Internet.)

The standalone network should be heavily encrypted to deter would-be crackers from running scripts to break into the system. Make it defense in depth. But for cryin' out loud, disconnect the utilities' networks from the friggin' Internet as step one of making them more secure.

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And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where we're still waiting for spring, spring cleaning (at least indoors) is continuing apace, and where thoughts of the upcoming boating season have started to intrude.

3/18/2018

Thoughts On A Sunday

It seems to me that our winter has become something of a paradox.

We had temps in the 70's in February, but are seeing below zero temps in western and northern New Hampshire this morning. Daytime temps will be more what one would expect for late January/mid February rather than two days before the spring equinox.

We experienced three Nor'easters in 11 days, something we usually see in that same late January/mid February period. It's definitely been a head-scratcher of a winter this year.

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Has the MSM deteriorated so much that it's reached the point where it can no longer be bothered to spend the time check whether an important story is true? When some of the big media outlets reported that Trump had fired McMaster, it probably sounded like a great scoop and they ran with it. The problem?

It wasn't true. McMaster was still on the job.

I don't know why anyone bothers listening to the MSM anymore...unless they do it to confirm their own biases.

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If anyone needs an example of cognitive dissonance, this is it.

There was a murder-attempted suicide at a mall in Thousand Oaks, California. A woman was killed and her murderer attempted suicide. Of course one of the gun grabbers decided she could use that tragedy as a means of 'sticking it to the gun nuts'. However it is quite apparent to anyone paying attention that she didn't think the whole thing through before posting her tweet.

Where were all the “responsible gun owners” who “have their guns for protection” when someone was shot dead in Thousand Oaks hours ago??? If u want the right to own a gun that comes with the responsibility of protecting ppl. Thats what a “well regulated militia” means u gun nuts.

Since almost all gun owners are responsible and law abiding people, there was no way they could have been able to intervene with their own guns to stop this tragedy. Why?

Because the mall where the shooting took place was a “Gun Free Zone”. That means those same law abiding gun owners would not have been armed because, surprise surprise, they followed the law and left their guns elsewhere.

See what I mean by cognitive dissonance? She doesn't like gun owners, then lambastes them for not breaking the law by carrying guns in a gun free zone (a mall) in order to stop a murder. It's a “Damned if you do. Damned if you don't,” scenario. In other words it's a no-win situation for law abiding gun owners.

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You know our society is in trouble when our young college students cannot see that something like human sacrifice is a reprehensible and criminal act. When their response to this is “Who are we to judge?” then you know we are in a lot of trouble.

Basically what they are saying is that there is no right, there is no wrong, and that evil doesn't exist. What that tells us is that they are amoral, incapable of judging anything, and that they should never be allowed anywhere near an office that bestows upon them any power to make decisions for any of us.

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Just when you thought they couldn't get any crazier...

It appears the state of California has decided that it is at war with against a number of red states as proven by Assembly Bill 1887. The bill, which prohibits “state-funded and state-sponsored travel to Alabama and several other red states Thursday due to laws that could discriminate against the LGBTQ community (e.g., prohibiting adoptions).”

Yet again there are unintended consequences to such legislation, one of them being a group of 60 future rocket scientists from Citrus College.

The Citrus College Rocket Owls were one of 60 school teams invited to Huntsville to compete in NASA Student Launch Program in April. Groups from 23 states are competing in the 18th annual event in which teams design, build, test and fly a high-altitude reusable rocket.

Despite their invite, Citrus College, a community college located outside Los Angeles, won’t be attending. Last year, California announced it was banning publicly funded travel to Alabama and seven other states due to laws that could discriminate against the LGBTQ community. In Alabama’s case, it was a law that allows adoption agencies to follow faith-based policies, which includes not placing children with same-sex couples.

Notice that is says could discriminate, not do discriminate. So not one dime will go to get these STEM students to an activity that could boost their careers. But the state has no problem spending $70 billion+ on a high speed train to nowhere than benefits no one.

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And that's the abbreviated news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where winter temps have returned with a vengeance, the snows of the previous two weeks aren't melting, and where the spring equinox is only 2 days away.

3/11/2018

Thoughts On A Sunday

Here it is, the first day of Daylight Saving Time 2018.

While I haven't yet felt the effects of the time shift (I figure that will make itself felt tomorrow morning at 5:30 a.m.) I will say that I do like being on DST and figure we should do away with Standard Time as at this point it is an annoyance. More on that below.

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We have sufficiently recovered from the last Nor'easter we experienced, but it appears we will be seeing another one come Tuesday, with snowfalls in this area forecast (for the moment) to be between 5 and 10 8 and 14 inches.

What else is happening on Tuesday that this new Nor'easter will likely affect?

Town Meeting.

Last year at this time we were also visited by a Nor'easter that severely disrupted Town Meetings/Town Elections across the state. Those who managed to get out to vote early weren't as affected as those who waited until later in the day. Blizzard conditions existed which made traveling dangerous. (I can attest to that because our town experienced a traffic fatality that morning. In fact the WP Mom and I drove past it shortly after it occurred as we were on our way to the polls.)

Here's hoping that this one will not be nearly as disruptive as last year's storm.

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As mentioned above, Daylight Saving Time has returned. The twice yearly time shift has made its presence known again, inconveniencing many people and causing disruptions all across the nation.

Like many, I wonder why we bother any more. Living at the extreme eastern side and northern extremes of the Eastern Time Zone in the US, DST is great while Standard Time is a pain. I am not the only one questioning the utility of the twice annual time change, something that has been taking place on-and-off for 100 years.

It’s absurd – and fitting – that a century later, opponents and supporters of daylight saving are still not sure exactly what it does. Despite its name, daylight saving has never saved anyone anything. But it has proven to be a fantastically effective retail spending plan.

--snip--

Why do we still do it?

Today we know that changing the clocks does influence our behavior. For example, later sunset times have dramatically increased participation in afterschool sports programs and attendance at professional sports events. In 1920, The Washington Post reported that golf ball sales in 1918 – the first year of daylight saving – increased by 20 percent.

While I have no problem with people playing more golf, that isn't why I would support remaining on DST (or a shift to the Atlantic Time Zone, as Florida's, Maine's, and New Hampshire's legislatures have decided would be a good thing to do), eliminating the twice yearly shift. (Maine and New Hampshire won't make the move unless neighboring Massachusetts does likewise.) My reason – I don't like having to drive both to and from work in the dark in December and January. I don't like having to perform outside work in the dark after work (usually removing snow from our driveway). I don't like having to take an after-work walk in the dark. It's dangerous enough without adding that to it.

I could go on and on, but you get the idea. Basically, being at the eastern edge of our time zone and being as far north as we are, Standard Time makes little sense to me.

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Has Hollywood forgotten that their purpose is to entertain? Without a doubt, yes. Now it's all about virtue signaling and preaching to the ignorant deplorables. Too bad the deplorables have been increasingly voting with their wallets, or in this case, keeping their wallets closed seeing that Hollywood has seen its worse box office year in decades. I expect it will only get worse...for them.

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You know the whole social justice engineering scam has gone too far when it raises its ugly head at funeral homes.

Yes, funeral homes

This silly s**t has got to stop.

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Sometimes, things go wrong. At other times, things go really wrong.

Here are five examples of things that went really wrong.

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Oh, I'm sure this will provide incentive for the police department to rush right over when they're being robbed.

It appears that a coffee shop in Oakland, California won't serve coffee to police officers for “the physical and emotional safety of our customers and ourselves.”

Because cops aren't welcome there I have to wonder whether the criminal element in Oakland will now see the shop as easy pickings since they know they don't have to worry about police being anywhere near there? That also begs the question whether the shop - Hasta Muerta Coffee - will file a lawsuit against the PD and city if they are robbed? It being California, I'd have to say is absolutely 'yes'.

California has become an insane asylum run by the inmates.

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I wish I could remember where I read this, but the meme stuck with me.

With third-wave feminists decrying 'toxic masculinity' and promoting single motherhood because men aren't necessary or useful when it comes to raising children, one has to wonder why it is then that boys raised by single mothers tend to have more problems when it comes to things like school, social interactions, criminal behavior, and suicide. Could it be because that 'toxic masculinity' is needed as part of a boy's upbringing in order to help him become a healthy, well adjusted adult?

The response from the feminists?

'Crickets chirping'

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Apparently Hollywood has fallen so far that it no longer has much in the way of tolerance for those who served in the American Armed Forces. After a video clip was shown at the Oscars that depicted a “montage of American war films, a tribute to the real soldiers who have fought and died for our nation.” The applause at the end was...underwhelming.

The audience applauded on cue, but hardly with the kind of enthusiasm some might expect. Cameras panned the crowd, catching director Christopher Nolan, among others, clapping robotically with little to no passion.

But they are more than willing to give enthusiastic applause to someone – Roman Polanski - who drugged and raped a 13-year old girl and then fled the country to avoid prosecution.

And Hollywood wonders why people in the rest of America don't like them very much.

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It's such a bad idea that it keeps popping up at least once every generation.

The idea?

It's time to try Socialism...again.

All one has to do is talk to anyone who's lived under socialism to realize that it is a perpetually bad idea. It doesn't work. It has never worked. Yet the deluded youth who have been spoon-fed the Marxist lie that it is the only answer keep trying to bring it back. (They never really tell us what it is better than. Only that 'capitalism' is bad.)

They have never had to live in a socialist state, never had to deal with a truly intrusive and brutal system that brooks no dissent, kills its own with alacrity, and is a 'boot in the face of humanity, forever'. The have never had to live with privation, not being able to buy what they want when they want it. They have never had to stand in line to buy things like food, shoes, or clothing. They never had to fear the demand for “Papers!” They never had “pretend to work while The State pretends to pay them.” They never had to deal with The State running out of other people's money and watching what had been an economy that had been stumbling along collapse utterly to the point where there was no food, no jobs, and no hope.

They will not “do it better than their predecessors” because, quite frankly, they aren't as smart or as well educated as most of their predecessors. They will fail just like those who have gone before them for one very valid reason – Socialism always ignores human nature, and human nature always wins in the end.

If they need an modern example of the utter failure of socialism all they have to do is visit Venezuela, a once prosperous nation that has descended into Third World hell. Nothing works there any more. The economy is dead. Food is extremely scarce and very expensive even when it is available. There is no medical care. The only rich there are those in power, and they didn't become rich until after they took power.

Is this really what they want for us? Or are they just deluded souls who have imbibed the kool-aid and are now incapable of having any thoughts that haven't been programmed into them?

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And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where we're still adjusting to DST, town meeting day approaches, and where we're readying for yet another Nor'easter.

3/10/2018

Thomas Sowell Has The Right Of It

As Thomas Sowell has stated,

Much of the social history of the Western world, over the past three decades, has been a history of replacing what worked with what sounded good.

Unfortunately for us, that is all too true. Think about it. For those of us who are of an age, we remember when things worked and worked well. And by things I mean things like education, social organizations, local government, and a whole host of other societal components.

We've seen educational fads come and go, each one worse than the last. An example is the bilingual education fad started in California, the reasoning behind it being that children who didn't speak English would be better off being taught in their native language and some English. After two decades it was abandoned once it was proven to be a failure, leaving the kids undereducated and lacking enough skills in English to assist in their assimilation. An entire generation was damaged because the tried and true was shoved aside for something that sounded good but had no scientific basis. (Any linguist could have told them it wouldn't work.)

The last fad was Common Core, something that twisted school curriculum into something unrecognizable and did not teach our kids what they need to know. I expect the next fad will be even worse.

The list of things that were replaced with what sounded good would take up page after page, but I will list just a few of them.

Teaching reading using phonics – replaced with the 'look-say' method. It didn't work.

Public works projects – something that would take only a year or two now takes a decade...before a single spade of earth is turned.

Public works projects – once embraced by the public is now resisted with NIMBY and BANANA (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anyone).

“Hold the door, say please, say thank you. Don't steal, don't cheat, and don't lie.” has been replaced with “Get outta my way!”, “What?”, and “Screw you, buddy! I got mine!”

Hugs and handshakes – replaced with lawsuits, criminal charges, and destroyed reputations.

Dating – replaced with hookups...that can lead to lawsuits, criminal charges, and destroyed reputations.

School discipline, administered by teachers, coaches, and principals - replaced with lawsuits, criminal charges, and destroyed reputations.

“Can do!” - replaced with “You can't do that! You might offend someone who is offended by everything!”

These are things I came up with in just a brief tens seconds of thinking. How many other things can you think of that worked have been replaced with things that sound good, but aren't?

3/04/2018

Thoughts On A Sunday

We didn't get hammered by the Nor'easter like so many others did. We had a little snow, some heavy rain, and some wind, but what we got was a fraction of what the seacoast areas of New Hampshire and Massachusetts received. However it is likely we'll see 'plowable' amounts of snow from another Nor'easter the forecasters are saying will hit this coming Thursday.

We all have to remember that it's still winter.

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If we need another example of George Santayana's aphorism - “Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it” - all we need to do is look at South Africa.

It seems their parliament has decided to make the same mistake Zimbabwe did by confiscating land from white landowners without compensation.

This will lead to bloodshed, just as it did in Zimbabwe, and South Africa's agricultural production will drop off to the point where it can no longer feed itself. Despite its riches in natural resources, it will find itself in the same place as Venezuela – broke and disintegrating. All of those who know how to run the mines, the farms, and vital infrastructure will leave or be driven out.

Of course the whole “We're taking back land stolen from our ancestors” schtick is total BS as the land in what is now South Africa was uninhabited when the Boers settled it 400 years ago. Neither the Zulu or the Xhosa tribes which now inhabit South Africa lived anywhere near there when it was settled. They didn't arrive until almost 150 years after the Dutch arrived.

But they won't let historical fact stand in the way of the narrative.

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And speaking of Venezuela, it has now achieved economic equality. Just about everyone (except the ruling class) are destitute and the money is worth more as toilet paper than it is as currency.

Venezuela is also a good example of what happens when government leaders ignore the lessons of history. They took the richest nation in South America and turned it into an impoverished Third World s**thole.

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Chuck Schumer has unwittingly proven that he's a racist bastard, not much different than his colleagues. At least Chuck has admitted outright that he's a racist. His colleagues prefer to use the “soft racism of low expectations” to hold minorities to a lower standard because they do not believe they are capable of meeting the high expectations we have for everyone else.

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I still prefer the original gender neutral pronoun – it – to the new ones being foisted upon the unwilling populace by an extremely small but vocal minority that seem to think their grievances outweigh all others.

Some people may think I'm being insensitive. I am not. I am being offensive because these crybabies want special accommodation made society for their delusions rather than having them seek psychiatric help for their condition(s). I will not buy into or support their delusions.

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Stuart Schneiderman thinks it's time to take a closer look at Prozac, one of the many SSRI's used to treat depression.

It’s been in use for decades now, but mental health professionals are still debating the value of Prozac and other SSRIs. When the little capsules hit the market, the press was chockablock with stories about the new miracle cure. Patients who had spent years on the couch opining about their childhood traumas suddenly felt better. They felt a lot better. Psychotherapy had made them depressed. Prozac made them happy. Who could argue with that?

--snip--

Prozac has not been in use for a very long time and we do not really know the long term effects. We are now beginning to see that these pills have a downside. And we owe it to psychologist and patient Lauren Slater to have analyzed the problem and shared some of her experience.

--snip--

[I]t is sobering for those who have been prescribing these pills to note that a placebo works equally well in two-thirds of the cases. This still suggests that the medicine helps a third of patients.

At the least, the new studies challenge the media-driven orthodoxy—to the effect that depression is a chemical imbalance. They also tell us that the pills have been marketed to death, overprescribed and overused.

There is certainly enough evidence that these drugs have some negative effects that have mostly been ignored. It wouldn't surprise me to find that for some patients things were made worse by their use. Frankly, these pharmaceuticals need some follow on research>,br>

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Another area where medicine needs to take a closer look at the long term effects of a medication is birth control, specifically The Pill and all of its derivatives like Norplant and some of the hormone laced IUDs. I wish I could remember where I read the following, but it appears there may be a link between use of hormonal birth control and the increases in things like homosexuality, autism, mental deficits, as well as a host of birth defects. This birth control method has been around for 50 years now and one has to wonder if we have been unwittingly affecting the health of the children we eventually have. There's also the matter of some of these hormones making their way into the food chain that may be having an effect on male fertility, seeing as sperm counts in men have fallen by almost 50%.

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Did any of you watch the Oscars?

Me neither.

Between the crappy movies over the past year (there were a few standouts) and the heavy political rhetoric being laid upon viewers, I had no desire to watch. It appears from the TV ratings for previous Oscars that a lot of other people have also been tuning out. After all, who wants to be preached at by a bunch of self-important, intolerant, willfully ignorant people who believe the world revolves around them?

Instead, I watched a rerun of NCIS and Bull.

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Call this a 'must see' video.

Apparently Virginia Delegate Nick Freitas discussed the importance of the Second Amendment, something Democrats in the legislature didn't like. They demanded a recess “so that they could calm down because they were so outraged.”

I guess we know where they stand on the Second Amendment...and it ain't on our side.

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And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where we're heading for yet another Nor'easter, dreams of the upcoming boating season are starting to intrude, and where we won't have to plow snow for at least another four days.

2/26/2018

Thoughts On A Sunday - Monday Edition

It was a busy weekend, hence my delayed Sunday post.

Part of the weekend doings was the snow/sleet/freezing rain that took place on Sunday. Removing the 4-5 inches of heavy snow took quite a bit of time and effort as snowblowers usually have difficulty moving that kind of snow. It didn't help that quite a bit of it along the edges of The Manse's driveway was also waterlogged, making it that much heavier than it already was. It also means the only way to move it is with a shovel.

With the warm temps today almost all of the sleet and ice that was left on the driveway melted away by noon.

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The ongoing debate/argument about Google's intolerance for 'white, heterosexual, conservative males' rages on.

Many see former Google engineer James Damore as a racist and misogynist. Others see him as a symbol of what has gone wrong at Google and other Silicon Valley tech giants. When diversity and tolerance are defined as excluding no one except white, heterosexual, conservative males, and working to extinguish thought that is too diverse, meaning it doesn't follow Progressive guidelines, then a company like Google has indeed abandoned its motto, “Don't Be Evil”, for a new one, that being “F**k Whitey!”.

One of my co-workers, a middling Progressive, seems to think that all of those smart people working at Google are somehow more knowledgeable about life in general than the rest of us. But in my experience, many of those smart folk are indeed much smarter than many of us...in their narrow field, but totally clueless and inexperienced when it comes to the real world and how it works. (To quote one of favorite movie/TV lines, “They couldn't find their asses with both hands.”) They believe they know how the world works, or should work, without understanding that their limited knowledge about society in general means that they are making the very 'problems' they claim they are fixing much worse than they already are.

It seems they believe that “if everyone did things my way, everything would be better.” That's the same reasoning every totalitarian/authoritarian dictatorship has used to make things worse. Why would they think they'll do any better?

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The more we learn about Nature, the more we find out that Nature has beaten us to it in regards to improving on mankind's inventions. A case in point being how the structure of shark skin has been found to reduce aerodynamic drag and increase lift.

"The skin of sharks is covered by thousands and thousands of small scales, or denticles, which vary in shape and size around the body," said George Lauder, the Henry Bryant Bigelow Professor of Ichthyology and Professor of Biology in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, and co-author of the research. "We know a lot about the structure of these denticles -- which are very similar to human teeth -- but the function has been debated."

Most research has focused on the drag-reducing properties of denticles, but Lauder and his team wondered if there was more to the story.

"We asked, 'What if instead of mainly reducing drag, these particular shapes were actually better suited for increasing lift?'" said Mehdi Saadat, a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard and co-first author of the study. Saadat holds a joint appointment in Mechanical Engineering at the University of South Carolina.

"Airfoils are a primary component of all aerial devices," said August Domel, a Ph.D. student at Harvard and co-first author of the paper. "We wanted to test these structures on airfoils as a way of measuring their effect on lift and drag for applications in the design of various aerial devices such as drones, airplanes, and wind turbines."

"These shark-inspired vortex generators achieve lift-to-drag ratio improvements of up to 323 percent compared to an airfoil without vortex generators," said Domel. "With these proof of concept designs, we've demonstrated that these bioinspired vortex generators have the potential to outperform traditional designs."

If shark skin denticles can greatly reduce drag while increasing lift, the efficiency from wind turbines to air travel can be greatly increased at very little cost. With the increase in efficiency the amount of power needed to get an aircraft airborne and to maintain speed is reduced, something that will also save fuel.

Who says Nature doesn't have anything new to teach us?

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While Adam Schiff may have thought his memo would derail the points brought up to counter the GOP memo dealing with the Russia investigation, it may in fact have caused harm to the Democrats' claims.

These guys just keep digging that hole deeper and deeper. You'd think they would have figured out by now that all they're doing is digging their own graves, figuratively speaking.

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Apparently global warming has gotten so bad that Brazil is experiencing “a year without summer.”

Remember, summer begins on December 21 in Brazil and ends on March 20.

This summer has already seen 12 days of frost, while the summer of 2008/2009 saw 13 days. It’s also the seventh frost of 2018, making it the biggest number of frost days for the start of the year in 64 years!

That doesn't bode well for Brazil. I wonder when the glaciers will starting covering Brazil's rain forests?

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So the barking moonbats of climate change have now declared that both hamburgers and milk are leading causes of climate change.

As the good Cap'n Teach reminds us, “Isn’t it interesting that these 1st World Warmists always come up with ways to attempt to deny Other People the same things they themselves had? Will these same Warmists deny their own kids milk?”

Of course they won't because Shut Up!

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And that's the belated news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where temps are headed up again before our next snowstorm later this week, preparations are being made for the upcoming boating season, and where Monday wasn't all that bad this week.