Friday, May 13, 2011


Let’s start with May 1, which in my very young days (I know we’re reaching way back for this) was an exciting time for us as we made up May baskets, small with flowers or treats that we left on a friends or neighbors doorstep. after ringing the bell, we ran away but if the ringee caught you, they would get a kiss. I don’t think little ones do that anymore, sounds too much like giving someone something when now we must just get stuff.
But somewhere along the way Unions decided it was a good time to make trouble. Of course, management didn’t exactly like the forming of unions in order to sort out their grieviances (The French word for strike is greve, if you travel a lot in in Europe, you’ll experience a lot of that). In Chicago, in 1886, the march resulted in a riot with bombs, anarchists and hangings. But the workers of the world didn’t let that stop them, with the result that in the worker’s paradise, Communist countries, make a really big showing of not just workers, but military arms parades to show they have more missiles than you.
We might as well get into the confusion of CINCO DE MAYO. This is not a holiday in Mexico, only with the 12 million illegal Mexicans in the US. This represents a victory over the French in a siege on Puebla in 1862. Somehow the Mexicans , with a force of 4,000 beat 8,000 French troops. The real Independence day was on Sep. 16, 1810, when they started the rebellion against Spain and didn’t get it until ten years later. Kind of like our hassle with Britain in 1776.
But the best battle of all was when the Mexicans caught a group of 62 French Foreign Legionaires at Cameron in a small inn with a fortified wall. The Mexicans had about 4,000 troop and they kept trying to get the Legionaires to surrender but they wouldn’t do it even though they had no water. Capitan D’anjou was in charge, (he had a wooden hand carved like a glove), but after he and most of the others had been killed, about five men led a bayonet charge after running out of ammunition. Two were finally overwhelmed and subdued. Fortunately, his hand is in the legion Museum in Aubane, France,. (Viva Le Legion Etranger Francaise!!)

This is probably not a good time to comment on nuclear power but let’s not get all excited about a radiation spill. Up to this time, although 35,000 Japanese have been killed by the triple catastrophe, I believe only a few may have died due to the nuclear plant problems. Of course, by the time the whole thing is over, there will certainly be more deaths attributed to the plant. But let’s take a look at the big picture.
1. How do France (80% of nation’s electricity) , Japan (30%) & Germany (20% of electricity, just like US) take care of their waste? Does anyone reprocess it yet? Yes, the French, Japanese, Russians & U.K. do it, everyone but the US. do reprocess the waste which reduces it by about 75%.
2. New designs are looking to use the nuclear waste for fuel in a design called A Fast Reactor. This is not being done in the US.
3. Maybe we should look at the dangers of electric generation in the light of deaths per watt produced. The World Health Organization has put together figures on the human costs of all different methods of electric generation and it has some surprising results. The following figures are world wide numbers in terawatts/hrs, One terawatt=one million watts). But coal kills more people than anyone as these figures include deaths from lung problems, mine disasters, etc..
COAL 454 deaths per terawatt/hrs
OIL/GAS/BIO 64 per TWh
SOLAR .44 per TWh
HYDRO 1.4 per TWh
NUCLEAR .04 per Twh What !? Not possible !

The above figures don’t include deaths from the wars we fight in middle East for oil, nor the 100,000 civilians that die from “collateral damage”. The US alone has about 1,000 deaths a year from installing Solar stuff.
Even Chernoble, 50 deaths were due directly while they figure about 4,000 may die earlier due to the explosion but cause & effect of the disaster are difficult to quantify.
Air pollution in the US may kill 30,000 per year while in China they figure about 500,000 may die early. Well, there are too many of them over there, anyway.
It’s time for us to look at EFW or Energy From Waste. In the US & UK about 80% of our waste still goes to landfills, while we generate electricity with only 7% of our waste. In contrast, Germany only puts 1% in landfills and generates 67% of waste into energy.

The sun does not stand still, it circles the galaxy in 250 million earth years, during which time our galaxy has moved thru space which gives our sun a spiral trail . Since earth and the rest of the solar system (It’s planets) circle the sun, this means the resulting trail thru space are coils resembling the windings of a generator. Where do you think all the energy comes from to run the suns?

My understanding of the Ebola Virus is it originated around 1976 in a huge cave in Africa that was made by elephants tusking around the edges, maybe for salt or something, then the walls kept collapsing where they were undermined. This resulted is a huge vaulted cavern where monkeys somehow got infected with something from the caves. Since Africans and some Asians eat the brains of some monkeys (Better make mine well done, please) it was passed into the human strain. Easily transmitted thru blood, it will devastate the body in a matter of days, during which the body has a melt down with large quantities of infected blood gushing out all over the place. Anyway, the virus was transmitted throughout Africa along the Kinshasha highway, mostly be truckers who frequented the prostitutes along the way. This virus is nasty, killing the infected within 2 to 18 days, with a death of 50% to 90%. This stuff destroys the blood vessel lining resulting in hemorragic fever. Fortunately it acts so quickly that it kills it’s hosts before it can spread all over. There is no known vaccine for it.

Although this is a widespread practice in the US, I still believe it to be an invasion of privacy. For sports, you might as well make it legal as it seems athletes need steroids & blood cleaners to be in top shape. Bicyclists use a type of blood cleaner that Is not talked about much, but seems to be illegal. They take some of your blood, freeze it for several weeks, then put it back in you veins. Is that really doping? Just imagine what they’ll be doing in the future. (Hard to imagine). Or now, they inject a drug, EPO, to do the same but you can discover it by urine tests. They do this with soldiers before going on a mission if you want to have an edge.
Now testing for pot, cocaine, heroin & ecstacy is a little different. It seems to me that it is a result of religious persecution, in other words, why does someone care if I am having a couple of hours of hilarious time? I assume there must be some pretty big lobbyists to keep it illegal, like alcohol and law enforcement who get plenty of loot from the busts. Our drug habit has ruined Mexico, and eroded our freedoms even before the “Patriot Act”. There are always going to be people who will be prone to overuse of drugs, and it probably wouldn’t get much worse even if it was all legalized. If I have a bad cough in Europe, I only have to stop at a pharmcia to get a cough syrup that contains Codeine, no big deal. I don’t understand why we spend billions a year on this when it doesn’t change anything. REMEMBER! DRUG USE IS NOT DRUG ABUSE!
Random urine testing is not allowed in Canada due to their Human Rights Act. (Don’t we have one of those?). No pre-employment screening. Only alcohol testing where safety of employees is involved. Who cares what you do at home ?
To answer the question you’ve all been asking: Poppy seeds really do show positive if you have enough of them. Maybe a hundred or more?

I’ve always been confused by why certain places have huge tides and other nearly none. Ever since I’ve traveled in Brittany and Scotland to see all the boats in a harbor sitting on the ground at each low tide I finally looked it up on Wikipedia. I had assumed that the closer to the poles, the larger the tidal height was, but that is totally wrong. As there is basically no tidal flux at the North pole, yet the Bay of Fundy has a 53 foot tide. How do you tie a boat up on a dock? Yet Some islands in the middle of the pacific have none at all. There are high tides on the West coast of Panama but nearly none on the East coast. It seems to have to do more with the configuration of the land mass or something. And here I always thought the bloody moon was the culprit.
I’ve mentioned the Tidal Generation facility in Brittany before. Installed in 1966, it generates 96 megawatts a day on an average.

One of my Quixotic quests in my life (Design of our money, our flag design) is what in hell happened to the metric system in the US. When in 1586 Flemish mathematician Simon Stevin published a pamphlet of measurement based on the circumference of the earth he declared it so important that universal use of weights, measures & coinage would only be a matter of time. Well, he didn’t know how backward & ignorant us folks in the US were going to be, did he? Just in the last couple of centuries most countries have adopted the metric system except three countries. The United Ignoramis’s of America, Liberia (Africa) and Burma (Myanmar). Why can’t we join the modern world? Are we too arrogant? How do we build automobiles, heavy machinery, aircraft if we are not using metric? Who is it that keeps us from joining the rest of the world except two other really backward countries? Can’t we take baby steps and adopt the 24 hour clock to avoid zillions of hours of confusion? To hell with all you Luddites. You can just keep your fucking inches, cubits, feet, fathoms, rods, cables miles and leagues. A metric pox on you!
Viva le metric !! On the right I have designed a schedule to get your attention.

I thought I’d mention this today and find out where such an idiotic pastime came from. There are several theories. First, the two biblical ones are there were 13 guys at the last supper (So what?), and the crucifixion happened to be connected to 13. Not the last half of cruci-fiction is all fiction.
However, a more recent one happened in the middle ages when The Knights Templar organization became really rich & the French king and the pope got together, arrested all of them throughout Europe, tortured, killed them ,but mostly got all their money and properties.
Yet, there wasn’t much ado about before the 1900's until a novel, Friday the 13th came out, then everyone freaked out and still do. Can you believe that some high rise buildings don’t have a 13th floor, as no one will rent it? Most high rise make that the mechanical floor. This is just plain crazy!