10/01/2023

Thoughts On A Sunday

I have been amazed at how quickly the days are getting shorter even though there’s nothing unusual about it. It has always caught me off guard seeing the sun setting earlier every day. I had hope we wouldn’t need to put our clocks back in November but it seems Congress can’t make up its collective mind. Almost everyone I’ve talked to hates having to change their clocks twice a year. It screws us up for a week or more every time we do.

It is time to start thinking about the coming winter, getting summer stuff stored away and winter stuff pulled out and ready. While winter is still three months away it will be here before we know it.

You know what else will be here before we know it?

Monday.

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During my errands today I notice a lot more color around as more swamp maples are turning as are the white birches – the maples turning red and the birches yellow.

Watching the local TV prognosticators they’re saying we’ll see peak foliage colors towards the second half of October. Some are saying the colors might be muted this year because of the higher than average rainfall. It’s the same when there is below average rainfall. So it’s anyone’s guess how good the colors will be this year.

Personally, I don’t think it will make any difference. It won’t keep the leaf-peepers away.

That’s fine with me.

==+++==


It’s time to start bombing Canada. This is the casus belli.

The last thing we need is a poor clone of the old Soviet Union along our norther border.

==+++==


I know some insurers here in the US have been raising insurance rates on Electric Vehicles because the cost of repairs after an accident is so high as compared to old fashioned internal combustion engine vehicles. The costs are so high in some cases that at least one insurer in the UK has stopped insuring EVs.

John Lewis has stopped offering insurance to electric car drivers amid fears over the cost of repairs.

The department store’s lending business John Lewis Financial Services has put a temporary pause on customers taking out cover or renewing existing policies on battery-power vehicles while its underwriter, Covéa, analyses risks and costs.

Insurers are facing rising costs for vehicle repairs, which are eating into profits. According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), vehicle repair costs rose 33pc over the first quarter of 2023 compared to 2022, helping to push annual premiums to record highs.

Electric cars can be particularly expensive to repair, costing around a quarter more to fix on average, compared to a petrol or diesel vehicle, according to Thatcham Research, the motor industry’s research centre.

Particular worries surround the batteries, which are commonly mounted on the floor of the vehicle. This placement can make it more likely that it will be damaged even in a minor accident such as mounting a kerb.

Can the same thing be all that far behind in the US? Damage to the battery pack on an EV can be a major expense to replace. Battery packs are often part of the structure of an EV and it doesn’t take much for one or more cells in the pack to be damaged, something that can turn the battery pack into a rolling incendiary device. Depending upon the vehicle the cost of a pack can run between $10,000 and $30,000. I can’t see insurers wanting to shell out that kind of money when a pack is ‘tweaked’ by running over a street curb.

==+++==


More and more people have stated they won’t take the next series of Covid vaccinations, particularly in light of mounting data that the experimental vaccines have major negative side effects and are not as efficacious in preventing being infected or reducing the spread. It seems SloJoe is pissed off that people won’t automatically line up to get the latest Covid vaccines.

In a Wednesday speech in San Francisco, President Joe Biden hammered Americans for shying away from taking any more shots for new coronavirus variants and for increasingly turning a deaf ear to discussions about vaccines.

Biden appeared at the Fairmont San Francisco Hotel in San Francisco, California, to deliver a short speech on America’s efforts on artificial intelligence for scientific research and medical applications. But at the outset of his little address, he went off on vaccines.

--snip--

The president then urged everyone to talk more about the need for this investment in research. And that led him to go off on vaccine deniers.

“And one of those areas — you saw what happened with regard to the crisis — health crisis that we had that cost us,” Biden exclaimed. “We lost well over a million people. And as time began to move on, you had more and more voices saying, ‘No, no, no. You don’t need to get that shot. You don’t need to be — get — you don’t need to.’

“And we have a new strain of COVID now, and we have answers for it. But I just would urge those in public life and both political parties or no political party to be cautious about the ac- — the sometimes inflammatory things you say about this, because people’s lives are at stake,” he railed.

When the vaccine may be as much as killer as the illness it is supposed to protect against, why would anyone take the gamble, particularly for a disease that has an overall survival rate of over 99%? How many Covid ‘deaths’ were actually people who died with Covid, but not from Covid?

==+++==


Speaking of Covid, it seems the newest wave of Covid hospitalizations has stalled despite expectations of a continuing increase. Instead the number of Covid hospitalizations has been falling.

In the week ending Sept. 16, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data show hospitalizations are down 4.3 percent. The number had been increasing since July, although the CDC's historical trends shows that hospitalization numbers were relatively low compared with previous increases in the virus—notably compared with a prior "surge" that occurred in the summer of 2022.

Meanwhile, the latest figures show that emergency department visits are down 19.3 percent and test positivity is down 1.6 percent. Deaths are up by about 12.5 percent, the data show, but that figure is also relatively low when compared with previous years.

The EG.5 variant, which has been dubbed Eris, accounts for about 24.5 percent of all cases, according to the CDC's variant tracker. FL.1.5.1, known as Fornax, is estimated to be responsible for about 13.7 percent of COVID-19 infections, the CDC figures show.

About a month ago, amid a steady rise in hospitalizations, some health officials suggested that it doesn't appear to be as bad as before.

While hospitalizations had increased, deaths had not. Whether that is due to the latest variant not being nearly as deadly as previous variants or to more truthful reporting of cause of death isn’t known, at least not by me. Only time will tell.

==+++==


And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where we’re seeing a return to summer weather, the leaves are changing colors, and the number of leaf-peepers is expected to increase over the next few weeks.

9/30/2023

Summer Is Gone And Fall Is Here...Or Is It?

As happens after every summer up here in New Hampshire, traffic has fallen to a fraction of what we saw prior to Labor Day. That is something we generally look forward to as it means we have an easier time getting around. We don’t have to deal with so many distracted drivers – those paying more attention to their phones or in-car entertainment systems than actually driving – that we see all too often with folks from away. Not that there aren’t New Hampshire drivers who drive distracted. I think we’ve all seen more than a few all throughout the year. But the incidents multiply tremendously during summer and most of the miscreants are not from here.

Another upside to the departure of summer traffic is that it is easier to patronize our local restaurants since they aren’t filled with summerfolk. There’s not much of a wait, if any at all, at our favorite eateries. One downside – most of the ice cream stands have closed with only a few still open and those will be closing on Columbus Day weekend. (Yes, we’re weird up here in northern New England because we like ice cream year round. For us it isn’t just a summer treat.)

Most of the boat traffic traffic on the lake is gone. It’s just the locals out there enjoying the good weather (and making up for the poor boating weather June and July). I have been out on the Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout more in the past 4 weeks than I have during May, June, and July combined. I plan to keep up my boating until the end of October, weather allowing. There are more than a few foliage tour trips planned on the lake to get a view of the colors from a vantage point most the leaf-peeping tourists never see. And then the boat will be pulled from the water to be winterized and stored away until next May. For me and the other die-hard boaters here in the Lakes Region summer will finally be over.

It will be relatively quiet here for a couple of months, interrupted only by Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. The folks from away will return for winter activities – skiing, sledding, ice skating, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, pond hockey, and ice fishing. While there won’t be as many folks here as we see in the summer, there will still be quite a few. And with them will be the traffic and the crowded restaurants again. It is expected. After all we are a tourist area.

We’ll deal with the heavy snow, freezing rain, sleet, sub-zero temperatures, with wind chills to match. After all, that’s winter up here in New England. We’re used to it. We revel in it.

Once we get through winter we start preparing for the coming summer.

The cycle starts again...and we love it.

9/24/2023

Thoughts On A Sunday

We’re one full day into Fall and already the temps have turned cooler. We’ve been in the 60’s and and might see the low 70’s later this week.

While running errands yesterday I notice the leaves on some of the swamp maples and birches are already changing color, the maples shifting to red and the birches to yellow. At the moment I am seeing these colors only here and there, but that will change soon enough. I figure it will be another three weeks before we start seeing the rest of the trees start changing.

I have no idea what the colors will be like this fall, particularly since the summer was considerably wetter than normal. If they are halfway normal I expect we’ll see a large number of tourists – so-called “leaf peepers” – visiting to take in the reds, oranges, and yellows that will replace the green. It also means the locals will be using the back roads away from the tourist traffic. The only downside will be the restaurants will be crowded, particularly since most of the summer places closed after Labor Day.

It’s one of the prices we pay for living in a resort/tourist area.

At least we’ll get a break between the end of foliage season and the beginning of ski season.

==+++==


“There can be only one.”

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Talk about irony:

It turns out a Kansas electric vehicle battery plant owned by Panasonic will be powered by a coal-fired power plant.

You couldn’t make this stuff up even if you tried.

A new electric vehicle battery factory in Kansas is demanding so much energy that the state is delaying the retirement of a coal plant to make sure the facility has enough power. https://t.co/gU3LACRuT0

— Cowboy State Daily (@daily_cowboy) September 22, 2023

Panasonic broke ground on the facility last year. The Japanese company was slated to receive $6.8 billion from the Inflation Reduction Act, which has been pouring billions into electric vehicles and battery factories as part of its effort to transition America away from fossil fuels.

The Kansas City Star reports that the factory will require between 200 and 250 megawatts of electricity to operate. That’s roughly the amount of power needed for a small city.

In testimony to the Kansas City Corporation Commission, which is the state’s equivalent of the Wyoming Public Service Commission, a representative of Evergy, the utility serving the factory, said that the 4 million-square-foot Panasonic facility creates “near term challenges from a resource adequacy perspective,” according to the newspaper.

As a result, the utility will continue to burn coal at a power plant near Lawrence, Kansas, and it will delay plants to transition units at the plant to natural gas.

Here, it’s anathema to power ‘green’ industries with coal-fired power plants. In China, almost all green industries are powered by coal-fired power plants. The only difference is that since China is an ocean away and the factories (and power plants) are out of sight and some of the labor in the factories is slave labor, it’s perfectly fine with our domestic Greens and their ‘woke’ brothers and sisters.

But use coal-fired plants here and those same folks talk about murdering the planet.

What a bunch of hypocrites.

==+++==


The war on agriculture continues.

We’ve seen actions taken by the courts in the Netherlands working to destroy farms because the Greens demanded elimination of fertilizer use. No one ever bothered looking into where the food would come from if farms were put out of business/destroyed on the behalf of the lunatics. Farmers rebelled, protesting and starting political action that ended up throwing out members of their respective parliaments who supported such actions.

Now many of those same type of people have decided a war on beef is the only way to save the planet...for their masters.

‘‘For those of you who don’t know my home country, The Netherlands is a tiny country in North-West Europe and when I say tiny, I mean tiny.

For reference, the state of South Dakota alone is 5x the size of my entire country.

We might be small in size, but we’re big at one thing. And that’s farming.

Farming is the backbone, not just of our economy, but of our nation’s history, identity and culture.

The foundations of modern agriculture in the Netherlands were laid in the early 1500 and oftentimes farmers who are alive today come from families whose farming history dates back hundreds of years.

As a result of this, we are now amongst the world’s most lucrative, productive and technologically advanced farmers in the world.

In fact, after you guys here in America, we are the second largest exporter of agricultural products in the entire world and the largest exporter of beef in the European Union.

It’s not an overstatement to say that we together, The United States of America and The Netherlands, feed the world.

For now. Because Unfortunately the most powerful people in the world, want to stop us.

So let me tell you a real life cautionary tale. Let me tell you about what exactly has been going on with the Dutch farmers and what prompted them to go out and protest.

In 2019, a group of environmental activists sued the Dutch government, claiming that Dutch natural reserves were under threat because of a so-called ‘nitrogen crisis’ and that the Dutch government violated Dutch law and European regulations by failing to sufficiently protect nature.

The speaker, Eva Vlaardingerbroek, went into detail about what happened and how the farmers fought back. She also talked about the same thing happening here in the US.

As the saying goes, Read The While Thing. There’s also a YouTube video of Eva addressing the issue. It’s well worth the time.

==+++==


One a few occasions I have mentioned how my town has been handling the explosive growth of Short Term Rentals (STRs), also know as collectively as AirBnBs.

I live in central New Hampshire in an area known as the Lakes Region. It’s a summer resort area that attracts people from all over the Northeast. It turns out AirBnBs have been popular which has led to some issues between the owners/renters, neighboring home owners, and town governments.

Different towns have handled a number of different ways. For instance, my town allows them but regulates them and requires STR owners to apply for permits which include a number of requirements.

One of the problems we were having is that we didn’t always know who owned them or who to contact if there were problems. The regulations included requirements for providing contact information. They also required inspections to insure the properties were safe and to verify information provided in the permit applications.

Some towns imposed draconian regulations that made it difficult to offer STRs. Some tried to ban them outright which led to at least one lawsuit that went all the way to the New Hampshire Supreme Court.

A town adjacent to mine is now working its way through the minefield of regulating Short Term Rentals. Hopefully it will look closely at how other towns are handling them, seeing what works, and more importantly, what doesn’t work.

I wish them luck.

==+++==


And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the weather is more fall-like, a few leaves are starting to turn color, and where thoughts of raking leaves in the future are intruding.

9/23/2023

The Newest Member Of The WP Family

I did make mention in an earlier post that I visited the local Humane Society to find a new companion for the last surviving member of the WP feline contingent, Pip. I didn't post a picture of the newest member, Bailey, because I want to make sure he would be a good fit and would get along with Pip before I did so. That question has been answered as he has made himself at home and gets along with Pip. I know the latter because yesterday the two of them got into a rousing game of "Can't Catch Me!".

So, without further ado, I present the newest member of the Weekend Pundit feline contingent, Bailey:

Friday Funny - All Too True

OK, I screwed up again...but this time I kept thinking that yesterday was Thursday. Imagine my surprise when I logged into work this morning only to see that it was Saturday, not Friday. So, without further ado:

9/17/2023

Thoughts On A Sunday

A tropical storm called Lee paid us a visit yesterday, though here in central New Hampshire we saw gusty winds with a little rain here and there and not much else. That wasn’t the case on the seacoast both here and in Maine which experienced higher winds, rain, and rough seas. I wish I could say there were no injuries or fatalities, but I can’t as winds caused tree limbs to fall, in one case killing a man whose car was crushed. There is a little cleanup to take care of here at The Gulch, mostly leaves and smaller branches to pick up, something that won’t take long at all.

It is still windy here though the skies are clear. I’m hoping to get out onto the lake later today after the winds diminish a bit more.

==+++==


So the whole “misreading a major law of physics” kerfuffle comes down to the use of “unless” rather than “insofar as not” somehow changes Newton’s First Law of Motion is actually “much ado about nothing”.

As one commenter here wrote:

What I gather from reading the comments, Physics is better described by mathematical formula than by words.

Words are imprecise and change over time.

Indeed, particularly when translating from one language – Latin – to another – English – where the vernacular doesn’t always translate well and the meanings change over time.

==+++==


Last week I wrote about how kids in high school aren’t nearly as well educated or prepared for adulthood as I and my contemporaries back in the 60’s and 70’s. It appears I’m not the only one who’s noticed people are stupider than they used to be.

I had a conversation with Irish about this kind of sh*t a short while back and the next day it dawned on me that because I am reasonably intelligent, I automatically expect most people I see are too.

This gets disproven multiple times on a daily basis anymore.

Not only are people unintelligent anymore, they are downright f*cking stupid.

It’s gotten to the point where I am questioning how they even function in society.

Then I realize that society is already completely f*cked up and now I know why.

People are illiterate, ignorant and it is very rapidly approaching the point that there is literally a good chance that civilization will collapse because of it.

They absolutely do not have the most basic knowledge that even children had fifty years ago.

Like where food comes from, how to read, count, or problem solve.

As he also mentions, this is being done on purpose. This observation was followed by this:


It looks like it’s all part of the plan by Progressives to eliminate the middle class and create a new feudal society.

==+++==


The absolute gall of the White House to direct the media to “ramp up scrutiny” of the Biden impeachment inquiry.

So Texas Bush RINOs have failed to impeach AG Ken Paxton, and twice RINOs with communist Democrats failed to convict and impeach Donald Trump when he was president. But [now] that Biden is under scrutiny, it’s suddenly all bad and stuff. Biden is instructing his media lackies (sic) to ramp up scrutiny of the Biden impeachment inquiry.

President Biden’s White House has told America’s news organizations — including CNN, the New York Times and Fox News — to “ramp up their scrutiny” of House Republicans “for opening an impeachment inquiry based on lies.”

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Tuesday ordered an impeachment inquiry into the president’s alleged involvement in his son Hunter Biden’s business deals in countries such as China and Ukraine.

The evidence for the inquiry into Biden’s alleged wrongdoing is far stronger than any evidence brought forth during the two impeachment attempts against Donald Trump. Not surprising considering so much of the evidence in one of the attempts was a fabricated. But now that the tables have turned and it’s the Democrat who is the target it’s a whole different scenario.

Yeah, that’s going to go over well.

==+++==


And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where we escaped the worst of Tropical Storm Lee, cleanup was easy, and where the dreaded “M” day has returned all too soon.

9/16/2023

EVs Aren't All They're Cracked Up To Be

Anyone who’s been reading this blog knows I am not a fan of Electric Vehicles. From both an engineering and environmental viewpoint they don’t make any sense. That goes double once we start looking at them from an energy, safety, and performance viewpoint, too.

The last thing that really makes me dislike EVs even more is that SloJoe and WRBA have made the decision for everyone that we must abandon the internal combustion engine in favor of a technology that isn’t better, is more expensive, doesn’t perform nearly as well, is not good for long distance trips, and is awful for hauling freight (even electric pickup trucks perform abysmally). Then to add insult to injury, the nation’s electric grid won’t be capable of charging all those mandated electric vehicles. (It’s barely capable of meeting present day electrical demand. Adding terawatts of more demand without increasing the generation and transmission capacity is suicidal for our nation’s economy as it will bring the grid to its knees.)

The always elusive “They” are trying to sell EVs on the basis that they’re good for the environment, that they don’t contribute any of that evil CO2 into the atmosphere, and that everything will be sunshine and roses if everyone uses them.

Too bad it’s total B.S.

It’s true EVs don’t emit CO2 directly. Instead, it’s all indirect, between what is generated when the various exotic materials that make up vehicles are collected, processed, and used to manufacture the parts and components that go into building them. There is the CO2 generated by the power plants that make the electricity used to charge them. There’s also the CO2 generated when the the battery packs are manufactured and recycled.

Then there’s the environmental issues starting with the mining and extraction of the minerals used manufacture the lithium-ion batteries and electric motors. Then add in the use of child and slave labor to mine the cobalt needed for the batteries and EVs aren’t looking as good as the proponents keep painting them to be.

There’s also environmental issues when the EV batteries are recycled. While the processes for lithium-ion battery recycling are slowly getting better, they are still nowhere near where they need to be in order to be cost effective and environmentally friendly.

Another issue that should make those considering buying an EV is the cost of repairs, particularly after an accident. Too many are considered a total loss for damage that normally be repaired if the vehicle wasn’t an EV. Many times it is the battery pack that is the reason why the EV is totaled, it being the weak point of most EVs. (It’s also why insurance companies are raising insurance rates for EVs.) All it takes is one damaged cell in the pack to make the pack a possible incendiary bomb. Considering many battery packs are also an integral part of the EV’s structure, and ‘tweaks’ to the pack’s frame due to an accident can damage one or more cells. All it takes is one to go into thermal runaway and the pack will ignite and the EV will burn. (We’ve seen that more than a few times on the news, haven’t we?) We know from such fires that there is no putting them out using the usual firefighting methods. In many cases fire departments will protect surrounding cars and trucks, homes, and vegetation from catching fire and let the EV burn.

I can also get into the problems EVs have with immersion in water, particularly salt water, which causes the packs to short-circuit, something that has happened again and again in areas prone to flooding.

Yet another downside to EVs, again dealing with the battery pack, is their poor performance once the temperatures fall below freezing. Cold temperatures cause the battery packs to ‘lose’ capacity. The chart below shows the loss of battery capacity for a number of EVs at 32ºF as compared to the capacity at 70ºF.

Click on image to embiggen.

However, as one commenter to this post mentioned, “The chart above shows performance at 32ºF, not 52º or 72º colder (-20ºF to -40ºF). Knowing Li-Ion batteries as I do (part of my job), batteries will at best have 1/3rd the capacity at temps that low...if they will operate at all.”

That means in places like here in New Hampshire, or upstate New York, or Minnesota, or Wyoming, or Montana, or Alaska, or in Canada, EVs will be all but useless during winter. That isn’t generally a problem with internal combustion engined vehicles. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to entrust my life to something that won’t work when I need it to.

EVs as they stand now don’t make sense. Hybrids do, but not EVs.

9/11/2023

That Awful Day

The calendar says it was 22 years ago.

The heart says it was yesterday.

9/10/2023

Thoughts On A Sunday

It was a bittersweet day yesterday as I undertook the task of finding a new companion for the last remaining member of the Weekend Pundit feline contingent, Pip. She was left alone with the passing of Cole back in April and Minnie in May. She had never been a ‘solo’ cat, having been brought into the family with her brother Henry, joining the other members of the WP feline contingent. She’d always had other cats with her in both The Manse and here at The Gulch. After Cole and Minnie’s passing she was alone for the first time in her life...and wasn’t dealing with it very well.

She wanders around the house, calling out to her buddies, trying to find them. It happens every day, many times during the day since Minnie and Cole have been gone. It’s been heartrending to listen to.

I knew she needed a new companion, but it took some convincing for the WP Mom to buy in. I also consulted with vet, getting some confirmation about what I should be looking for – a male cat, neutered, at least 5 years of age and good with other cats. Prior to my trip to the Humane Society I did quite a bit of searching online at their website and the websites of other animal shelters, looking at cats waiting for adoption. Fortunately one of them had a number of kitties that matched what I was looking for. So I went to that shelter yesterday, spent a couple of hours with the cats, and found the one I was looking for. An hour after that and I was on my way home with Pip’s new companion, Bailey.

Their first meeting went as expected – Pip came downstairs to see who was meowing away. She saw Bailey and froze. She backed away and went back upstairs. The second meeting went better, with nose-to-nose distance, a few sniffs, and then them going in different directions. The consequent meetings were what I call ‘walk by’ encounters, acknowledgment that Bailey was there, but that’s about it.

I think they’ll work out.

==+++==


My question is whether this was due to incompetence or was it done on purpose? I’m betting on the latter because without it the data wouldn’t support the narrative.

Massive errors in FBI’s Active Shooting Reports from 2014-2022 regarding cases where civilians stop attacks.

The FBI report states that only 4.6% of active shootings were stopped by armed civilians. However, the actual stats say it was closer to 35.7%. That’s one heck of an error. Last year alone it was around 41.3%, and if active shootings in gun-free zones are ignored, it’s closer to 53.5%.

So why the discrepancy?

Evidence compiled by the Crime Prevention Research Center shows that the sources the media relied on undercounted the number of instances in which armed citizens have thwarted such attacks by an order of more than ten, saving untold numbers of lives. Of course, law-abiding citizens stopping these attacks are not rare. What is rare is national news coverage of those incidents. Although those many news stories about the Greenwood shooting also suggested that the defensive use of guns might endanger others, there is no evidence that these acts have harmed innocent victims.

The FBI reports that armed citizens only stopped 14 of the 302 active shooter incidents it identified for the period 2014-2022. The FBI defines active shooter incidents as those in which an individual actively kills or attempts to kill people in a populated, public area. But it does not include those it deems related to other criminal activity, such as a robbery or fighting over drug turf.

An analysis by the CPRC identified a total of 440 active shooter incidents during that period and found that an armed citizen stopped 157. A previous report looked at only instances when armed civilians stopped what likely would have been mass public shootings. There were another 27 cases that we didn’t include where armed civilians stopped armed attacks, but the suspect didn’t fire his gun. Those cases are excluded from our calculations, though it could be argued that a civilian also stopped what likely could have been an active shooting event.

It’s easy to redefine the incidents such that it eliminates most of them. That’s disingenuous. It changes the analysis, minimizes the contribution of armed citizens stopping active shootings. It sounds like this was done as a means of confirming the biases of the gun-grabbers rather than providing actual data.

==+++==


For some time I thought it was just my incipient old fogeyism kicking in as I observed that high school students don’t appear to be as well educated as the ones during my days in high school – the early 1970’s – and are nowhere near as ready to live in the adult world as we were. But it turns out I’m not the only one to have noticed that, so maybe I’m not as much of an old fogey as I thought.

Unlike the past it seems a lot of STEM majors can no longer do calculus. That’s surprising considering “back in my day” I took calculus during my senior year in high school. That was true of a lot of the engineering and physics students when I was in college. This tells me our schools aren’t doing nearly as good a job of educating our kids as they used to. It appears they are too busy indoctrinating our kids or pushing a transgender agenda or increasingly interfering with how parents raise their kids.

Across the country, more students are placing into pre-college math, reports AP’s Collin Binkley. “At many universities, engineering and biology majors are struggling to grasp fractions and exponents.”

“We’re talking about college-level pre-calculus and calculus classes, and students cannot even add one-half and one-third,” said Maria Emelianenko, chair of George Mason’s math department.

Even softball quizzes appropriate for grade school produce appalling results.

--snip--

You can see why grades need to be abolished in both college and K-12.

What do you expect of a society that regards both merit and math as racist?

This is but one reason I worry for our nation’s future.

==+++==


It turns out that wind power isn’t cheap despite claims by the Greens to the contrary.

Who’da thunk it?

==+++==


Are Toronto and San Francisco on parallel paths?

If the latest real estate sales figures are any indicator, they might be.

New data shows that Toronto’s real estate market is being flooded with hundreds of condos. Investors are bailing out, getting out while the getting is good.

It’s a question of which city’s real estate market will collapse first.

==+++==


First, it was Holocaust deniers. Then it was Election deniers. Now, it’s Volcano deniers.

Hunga Tonga exploded deep on the ocean floor in 2022, a once-in-a-lifetime massive geological event that spewed incomprehensible volumes of water high into the Earth’s atmosphere. Never have satellites observed such; never have layers of the atmosphere been studied for chemical and other impacts caused by the volume of atmospheric water and aerosols. Climate scientists warn that this volcano will warm the planet and disrupt rainfall patterns. Amid record temperatures and flooding in 2023, climate politicos howl about human-caused calamity while avoiding the impacts of Hunga Tonga.

This volcano is such an elephant-in-the-climate-change room that NASA seeks to ignore inconvenient truths. Of course, science instructs that volcanic sulfur, water, carbon dioxide, and organic matter can all impact climate dramatically (even unto the extinction of dinosaurs). A political ideology blindly focused on greenhouse gases has no time to set aside dogmatic blinders for critical scientific assessment. That assessment is extremely revealing.

The impacts of HTHH were so substantial that scientists were required to develop a new technique simply to measure its height. It caused “puzzling ripples” through the atmosphere that have never before been observed, “leaving experts stumped,” according to Nature. The volcano’s water plume increased stratospheric water mass by 13% and stratospheric aerosol loads five-fold.

According to Space: “[T]he Hunga Tonga cloud burst not only through the troposphere but also ascended through the entire stratosphere, only plateauing at the altitude of 35 miles (57 km), way into the freezing and dry layer known as the mesosphere. This makes the Hunga Tonga volcanic cloud the highest ever observed.”

--snip--

Scientists who don’t know how much Hunga Tonga has impacted current conditions are trying to learn by observation; most climate alarmists register warming by human hand through their fear prism, and so turn away from this volcano like a (real, not anthropomorphic, gain-of-function) plague. NASA connects current warming to human activity with no scientific links whatsoever. The agency should stick to polluting space recklessly with techno-detritus rather than gaslighting an epic volcano. Hunga Tonga does provide a scientific connection to support a causative explanation for both current warming and flooding trends: extraordinary amounts of water in the atmosphere, like a giant terrarium, together with a five-fold amplification of stratospheric aerosol loads.

That amount of water injected into the atmosphere – the troposphere, stratosphere, and mesosphere – will have little if any major effect, but small increases in a trace gas will have major effects? So say the Climate Change faithful.

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And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the rain has returned, the summerfolk are sparse, and where Monday has returned too early.