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Thursday, August 29, 2019

Confusing Math

     Part of the answer as to why many people believe such stupid and unfounded things they see on social media lies in the way they think about things...are they an intuitive or a reflective thinker?​ 
     An intuitive thinker tends to rely on instinctive or gut feelings when making a decision. They understand reality in the moment, without logic or analysis.
     Reflective thinkers will think about the matter more analytically. 
     There is a little test to see if you are an instinctive or a reflective thinker that uses the cost of a bat and ball.  I've changed it slightly to keep it in whole numbers. 

A bat and ball cost $110. If the bat costs $100 more than the ball, how much does the ball cost? 

The instinctive answer is $10, but that's wrong. If the ball costs $10 then a hundred dollars more would be $110 for the bat, so the total cost would be $120. 

The correct answer is the ball costs $5. A hundred dollars more would be $105. Therefore, the ball costs $5 and the bat $105. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Congressman Wins Reelection While In Prison

Ecclesiastes 1:9 says “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” 

     In the margins a book titled Condorcet’s Treatise Outlines of an Historical View of the Progress of the Human Mind, President John Adams wrote a note where the author, a French philosopher, predicted that a free press would advance knowledge and create a more informed public. 
     Adams took umbrage with that opinion. His scribbled note read, “There has been more new error propagated by the press in the last ten years than in an hundred years before 1798.” 
     The 1795 book believed that a press free from censorship would result in an open debate of ideas, with rationality and truth winning out. Adams’ belief was that when the truth is up for debate, the press, which he thought was partisan, would take the opportunity to spread falsehoods...you know, like lies and fake news that we see all over the place today. 
     If you go back to the 1640s and read the newspapers and pamphlets published in both England and the colonial U.S. America they were way ahead of their time with misleading stories. 
     Exactly what is fake news anyway? In a 2017 paper published in the journal Digital Journalism, researchers at Singapore's Nanyang Technological University came up with six definitions. How many have you seen on social media? 

1) News satire, which use humor to contextualize and mock real-world events.
2) News parody which differs from satire in that platforms create made-up stories for comedic purposes. 
3) Propaganda created by the government to influence public perception. 
4) Manipulations of real photos or videos to create a false impression. 
5) Material produced by advertising or public relations teams that appear as though it has been generated by reliable news outlets. 
6) News fabrication which is material with no factual basis that attempts to pass as legitimate news. 

     Sometimes it can be very, very difficult to tell when you’re reading fake news, especially when stories are published by a a site run by a political party.  These days we also see a lot of politicians dismiss genuine reporting that they disagree with by claiming the real news story is fake news and it is false and misleading. 
     Thomas Hutchinson was a businessman, historian, and a prominent Loyalist politician of the Province of Massachusetts Bay in the years before the American Revolution. He cried that freedom of the press had been interpreted as the freedom to “print every Thing that is Libelous and Slanderous.” 
     In 1765, arsonists burned Hutchinson’s house to the ground over the Stamp Act, an act of the British Parliament in 1765 that exacted revenue from the American colonies by imposing a stamp duty on newspapers and legal and commercial documents. The problem was, Hutchinson was not even in favor of the Stamp Act! He was a victim of fake reporting by Samuel Adams, a statesman, political philosopher, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States with little regard for facts. 
     An example of partisan reporting was the National Gazette established in 1791 by Philip Freneau, a friend of James Madison and Thomas Jefferson.  Its purpose was to give the new Democratic-Republican party an alternative platform to the Federalist newspaper of record, the Gazette of the United-States. 
     As president, John Adams suffered vicious and personal attacks. The Philadelphia Aurora called the him old, querulous, bald, blind, crippled and toothless.
     The influential Federalist newspaper, the Porcupine's Gazette, actually urged the government to regulate the press. "Unless opposition newspapers were dealt with immediately a set of villainous Republican editors, most unquestionably in the pay of France, would continue to distribute their corroding poison throughout the Union."
     The Federalists wanted to prevent attacks they believed were dangerous to the stability of the new United States and at the same time protect the First Amendment right to a free press. That’s why it was left up to the courts and juries to decide whether printed material was truthful or inflammatory and seditious in the Sedition Act of 1798. 
      In one of the first tests of freedom of speech, the House passed the Sedition Act, permitting the deportation, fine, or imprisonment of anyone deemed a threat or publishing “false, scandalous, or malicious writing” against the government of the United States. 

    Vermont Congressman Matthew Lyon was the first to be charged under the Sedition Act. During his trial he argued that the Sedition Act was unconstitutional. He further argued that the allegedly seditious letter he wrote against John Adams was written before the act was passed. He also pointed out that he had no malicious intent and that the content was truthful. The jury found Lyon guilty and he was sentenced to four months in jail and a fine.
     Behind bars, he remained vocal about the injustices of the Sedition Act and became the first congressman to run and win reelection in prison.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Red Light Runners

     On Aug. 5, 1914, a four-way traffic signal was installed in Cleveland, Ohio at the intersection of Euclid Avenue and East 105th Street. It wasn't automatic; it was operated by a police officer in a booth. And there were only red and green lights. 
     Other attempts had been made to control traffic via light signals, but they were miserable failures: a gas-powered traffic signal installed in London in the 1860s exploded, and a device created by Lester Wire in Salt Lake City in 1912 was considered temporary. The one installed in Cleveland two years later was the first one that was a permanent fixture from a patented design. 
     With only a red and green signal, drivers didn't have an interval to slow down, so an early attempt to solve the problem was with a warning whistle or buzzer. It didn’t work and at noisy intersections they caused accidents. In 1920, a Detroit police officer named William Potts added the yellow signal to warn drivers. The yellow signal was patented in 1923 by Garrett Morgan who sold the patent to General Electric. 

     In Ohio, a solid yellow light is just a warning that the light is about to turn red. In other words, you can enter an intersection while the light is still yellow, but not after it has turned red. 

Yellow lights in Washington and Oregon.  
How long are yellow lights? 
More on Yellow Lights.

    The traffic light was modeled after the signals used by the railroad. There's little evidence as to why the colors red and green were chosen, but science has proven the decision to be correct because red light has a longer wavelength than green and it can be seen from farther away. The sooner you see the light, the sooner you hit the brakes. 
     Go 100 feet down the street from out house, make a right turn and drive two miles and you will come to the end of Clinton Avenue. There’s a traffic light there and if you have to wait on a red light, when it turns green you had better make sure that the traffic on North Ridge Road has come to a stop before turning on to it! Why? Because people run the red light on a regular basis. Why? Who knows, but they do. 

     The intersection is actually in a small village that has no police department; the Sheriff’s Department is responsible for the area and you never see them because there’s almost never any crime in the village. But, they could make a fortune catching red light runners. 
     Get caught and it’ll cost you. Stop sign and red light violations are misdemeanors in Ohio. The exact classification and possible penalties depend on how many prior convictions the motorist has had within the past year: 
* First offense. Minor misdemeanor, which carries up to $150 in fines. 
* Second offense. Fourth-degree misdemeanor, which carries up to $250 in fines and/or a maximum 30 days in jail. 
* Third or subsequent offense. Third-degree misdemeanor, which carries up to $500 in fines and/or a maximum 60 days in jail. 
     A stop sign or red light conviction will add two demerit points to a motorist’s driving record. A driver who accumulates 12 or more points within a two-year period faces license suspension. However, eligible drivers can get a two-point reduction by completing a remedial driving instruction course. 

According to the Rowlett (Texas) Police Department: 
# You are more likely to be injured due to a red-light running related crash than any other type of crash. 
# Running red lights or other traffic controls is the most common cause of all urban crashes. 
# Someone runs a red light an average of every 20 minutes at urban intersections. 
# In the last decade, red-light running crashes killed nearly 9,000 people. 
# An estimated 165,000 motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians are injured annually by red-light runners. 
# Half of the people killed by red-light runners are not the signal violators, they are passengers, other motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists. 
# There are an average of 7 fatal crashes and over 1,000 injury crashes EVERY DAY at signalized intersections across the United States.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Dr. Robert Payne

     His real name is Durwood Fincher, an entertainer, linguist and comedian, whose specialty is corporate communications. 
     As Dr. Robert Payne, he portrays the bad example, the worst-case scenario of contemporary business-speak, using language to mislead. As a bumbling, bureaucratic stereotype he uses mind-numbing language designed to distort reality, make bad seem good and the intolerable seem tolerable. 
     Introduced as Dr. Payne, head of a government agency which is pertinent to whatever business at which he is speaking, his presentation is salted with buzzwords, jargon and other references that result in his listeners total confusion. Eventually the audience catches on. He has been seen on numerous television shows. He’s always good for a laugh.


Saturday, August 24, 2019

How Fast Can A Fly Fly?

     First, before revealing the answer, let’s consider size relative to speed. If you are six feet tall, 10 miles an hour doesn’t seem very fast, but if you were six inches tall it would seen a lot faster. A dragonfly’s top speed is 18 miles per hour and if it were the size of a human that 18 mph would feel like 324 mph. A mosquito’s top speed of 1.2 mph would feel like 40 mph. More on this later.
     Considerable research has been on on insect speeds. In 1991 two scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, used a pressure-sensitive plate and high-speed cameras to track eight American cockroaches. They can fly but rarely do and are the fastest when they run on their two hind legs. They hit speed of 3.4 mph. 
     In 1996 scientists in the Netherlands tested two species of Australian tiger beetles which cannot fly. They are the fastest running insect and they hit speeds between 4.2 and 5.6 mph. That’s 8 feet per second and at that speed its visual system can’t keep up, so it has to slow down to see anything. 
    The reason they go blind at such high speeds is because they don't gather enough photons (illumination into their eyes) to form an image of their prey. That’s why they have to stop, look around and take off running again. In the middle of a hot pursuit they have to stop three or four times to reorient themselves relative to their prey. The stops don’t hurt it though because it’s so fast that even with them it can can out run whatever it’s chasing. 
     Measuring body lengths per second is another way of measuring speed. In a contest of speed relative to size, the fastest known species of tiger beetle, Cicindela hudsoni, can run at a speed of 5.6 mph, or about 125 body lengths per second. Usain Bolt, the 100 meter world record holder, runs at 27.3 mph, but 6 feet 5 inches tall that only translates to 6 body lengths per second which is pretty slow compared to a cheetah’s 16 body lengths per second. 

     A mite found in southern California, known as the Paratarsotomus macropalpis, was recorded at 0.5 mph. With a body length of a little over one quarter of an inch, it equates to 322 body lengths per second. 
     Throwing out the idea of considering relative speeds though on the logic that size is not normally considered in other speed contests such as fastest land vehicle, according to the Smithsonian, the title of fastest flying insect belongs to the dragonfly, which hits speeds of 35 miles per hour. The fastest butterfly is the West Indian butterfly which can hit speeds of 29.8 mph. Don’t tell Usain Bolt he can’t out run a butterfly. 

     What about flies? A ale horsefly (Hybomitra hinei) can hit 90.5 mph. Remember the relative speed discussed earlier? That equates to a whopping feels like speed of 4054.4 mph.
     A common house fly may travel as far as thirteen miles from its birthplace. It’s wings beat 20,000 times a minute and it zips along at 4.5 mph with a feels like speed of 810.9 mph.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Educate Yourself

     That’s what I wanted to tell the person who posted a meme on Facebook from a website run by a certain political group. 
     It said that once Trump is impeached we MUST reverse all Trump legislation, executive orders and appointments so we can return to a pre-Trump state and that we “must erase this traitor from out past.” 
     Only a person totally ignorant of the U.S. Constitution and the way the government works would believe such twaddle. I would ask, “What Trump legislation?” and “What Trump appointments?” Has this person ever read the Constitution? Has anybody who believes this fiddle-faddle ever read the Constitution? Do the people who make up this stuff up think we are stupid? Obviously they do because so many people swallow it without question   The President has only limited powers under the Constitution. 

1) President Trump only SIGNED legislation that CONGRESS PASSED. 
2) Executive orders require no approval from Congress. They are directives from the President that have much of the same power as a federal law, but they can be blocked by Congress or declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. You can view President Trump’s Executive Orders in the Federal Register and decide for yourself which ones, if any, ought to be reversed. 2018 2019 

     During his first year in office President Trump signed 117 bills into law. The following is a just small fragment of those bills that the meme says need to be repealed. THESE LAWS WERE PASSED BY A DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS. They were NOT mandated by President Trump...he has no authority to do that. 

* Elder Abuse Prevention and Prosecution Act-establishes requirements for the Department of Justice with respect to investigating and prosecuting elder abuse crimes and enforcing elder abuse laws. 
* Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act-levies new sanctions against Russia and restricts Trump's ability to ease sanctions in place against Moscow. He was opposed to it, but signed it anyway. 
* Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017- gives the agency's leaders the ability to fire inept employees and protect those who uncover and report wrongdoing at the VA 
* Western Oregon Tribal Fairness Act- requires that 17,519 acres of land be held in trust for, and be part of the reservation of, the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians 
* SAFER Act of 2017-This law aims to continues to reduce the rape kit backlog and makes technical changes to the DNA Sexual Assault Justice Act of 2004. 
* Jobs for Our Heroes Act-makes it easier for veterans to apply for commercial drivers licenses. 
* United States Fire Administration, AFG, and SAFER Program Reauthorization Act of 2017-reauthorizes and expands certain grant programs for firefighters. 
* Combating Human Trafficking in Commercial Vehicles Act-designates a "human trafficking prevention coordinator" and include human trafficking prevention activities. 
* Indian Employment, Training and Related Services Consolidation Act of 2017-provides for the integration of employment, training, and related services programs for Indian tribes 
* VALOR Act-expands access to apprenticeship programs for veterans. 
* Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2017-increases veterans' wartime disability compensation, additional compensation for dependents, the clothing allowance for certain disabled veterans, and dependency and indemnity compensation for surviving spouses and children. 
* PROTECT Our Children Act of 2017-reauthorizes the National Internet Crimes Against Children Data System and the National Strategy for Child Exploitation Prevention and Interdiction through year 2022. 
* Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Act of 2017-amends the Public Health Service Act to revise programs for deaf and hard-of-hearing newborns and infants, including to expand the programs to include young children. 
* Follow the Rules Act-protects federal employees from retaliation for refusing to violate a federal rule or regulation. It expands upon the protections of the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1987, which shields employees from backlash for refusing an order to violate federal law. 
* Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Commission Act-creates the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Commission to plan, develop, and carry out programs and activities to honor Frederick Douglass for the bicentennial anniversary of his birth. 

    I could go on and on, but I am tired of typing. President Trump's personality grates on a lot of people, but the point is if he signed it into law or made the appointment, Congress approved it.  As for those Executive Orders, Congress can, if they wanted to, get around them by simply passing a law and then overriding the President's veto, or simply refusing to provide the funds to carry out the Order.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Valerie Andre

     A list of the 50 most popular women on the web per Google search results includes Lady Gaga, Kesha, Madonna, Beyonce, Rihanna and Britney Spears. Frivolous and featherbrained come to mind. They can’t compare to Valerie Andre. 
     Valerie Andre (born April 21, 1922 in Strasbourg) is a veteran of the French resistance, a neurosurgeon, an aviator and the first female member of the military to achieve the rank of General Officer, in 1976, as Physician General. In 1981, she was promoted to Inspector General of Medicine. A helicopter pilot, she is the first woman to have piloted a helicopter in a combat zone. She is also a founding member of the Académie de l'air et de l'espace. Read the story of this amazing lady in Vertical magazine.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

What’s Living On You?

    Your face is literally crawling with microscopic bugs, especially around the follicles of your eyelashes and nose hair. Normally, they don't cause problems, but in rare cases they can cause eye infections. 
     Face mites have been known since the early 1840s, thanks to their near-simultaneous discovery by two German scientists. In 1841, Frederick Henle found tiny parasites living in earwax but he wasn’t sure how to classify them. German physician Gustav Simon discovered the same parasites year later while studying facial pimples. 
     In 1963, a Russian scientist named Akbulatova noticed that face mites weren’t all the same size and subsequent study determined that the mites were actually different species. Of the more than 60 species of parasitic mites, only two (Demodex folliculorum and Demodex brevis) like to live on humans. 
     Both can be found on the face, as well as the chest, back, groin, and buttocks. The face mite (Demodex brevis) prefers to live near sebaceous glands, which produce oil the keep the skin and hair moist. These glands also cause pimples and acne when they become clogged or infected. The eyelash mite (Demodex folliculorum) prefers living on the hair follicle itself. 
     The older you are, the more face mites are packed into your facial follicles. Newborn babies are mite-free, but by age 60, you are infested with face mites. Face mites are believed to spread from person to person via close contact and a healthy human adult is colonized by 1,000 to 2,000 follicle mites at any given time. 
     The mites on your face have eight stubby legs and long, thin heads and bodies that allow them to easily slip between hair follicles. They spend their lives head-down in the follicle, gripping onto the hair or lash tightly with their feet. 
     Follicle mites live in groups, with a few mites sharing a follicle. The smaller face mites are loners and generally there is only one per follicle. Both species feed on the secretions of oil glands and eyelash mite is thought to feed on dead skin cells as well. 
     Face mites are a bit like werewolves in that they don’t like light. After the sun goes down and the lights go off they begin backing out of their follicle and, moving at a rate of about one centimeter per hour, mosey over to a new follicle.
     Scientists believe that facial mites only lay one egg at a time because each egg can be up to half the size of its parent. The female deposits her eggs inside the hair follicle and they hatch in about three days and takes a week to reach adulthood. They only live about two weeks. 

     While mites don’t normally cause a problem an overabundance of mites on the skin and hair follicles cause demodicosis. Symptoms include itchy, red, or burning eyes; inflammation around the eyelid; and crusty discharge around the eye. 
     People suffering from rosacea and dermatitis tend to have a much higher number of face mites than persons with clear skin, but exactly why is unknown. The mites may cause the skin to break out, or the infection may attract abnormally large mite populations. Large face mite populations have also been found on people suffering from hair loss, loss of eyebrows and infections of hair and oil glands on the head and face. 

Meet the mite, the tiny bugs in your mattress, your tea and on your face

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Enjoy the Yo Man

     The world’s most famous yo-yos are probably those made by Duncan Toys located in Middlefield, Ohio, a small village (population about 2,700) 45 miles east of Cleveland that is known for being the center of the world's fourth largest Amish settlement. 
     Duncan has been making yo-yos for decades and they have kept up with the times by producing hi-tech yo-yos. They offer beginner, intermediate, advanced and expert yo-yos with the Rolls Royce of yo-yos being their HaymakerX that cost $120.00. 
     Yo-yos have been around forever...a Greek vase painting from 440 BC shows a boy playing with a yo-yo. In 1928, Pedro Flores, a Filipino immigrant to the United States, opened the Yo-yo Manufacturing Company in Santa Barbara, California and by November 1929, Flores was operating two additional factories in Los Angeles and Hollywood, which altogether employed 600 workers and produced 300,000 units a day! 
     The principal distinction between the Filipino design popularized by Flores and more primitive yo-yos was in the way the yo-yo is strung was wrapped around the axle. His minor modification allowed for a far greater variety and sophistication of motion, thanks to increased stability and suspension of movement during free spin. 
     In 1929, Donald F. Duncan recognized the potential of this new fad and purchased the Flores yo-yo Corporation and all its assets, including the Flores name, which was transferred to the new company in 1932. 
     The name "Yo-yo" was registered in 1932 as a trademark by Sam Dubiner in Vancouver, Canada, and Harvey Lowe won the first World Yo-Yo Contest in London, England. In 1933 yo-yos were banned in Syria, because many locals superstitiously blamed the use of them for a severe drought. 
     I never cared much for the Smothers Brothers who were a hit on television in the late 1960s, but Tommy Smothers was pretty good at yo-yoing... 

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Cats and Cucumbers

     A cat's natural reaction is to be wary of the unknown or anything that sneaks up on them without making any noise because it could be a predator. 
     Youtube is full of videos of people who shouldn't own pets showing their cat's extreme reaction to cucumbers. Placing a cucumber behind a cat when it's eating and then waiting until the cat, whose head has been down in its food bowl, notices it and leaps into the air in fright may seem funny, but it’s not. 
     There is something about cucumbers which cats find absolutely terrifying. Jill Goldman, a certified animal behaviorist, says that it's possible that the cat's first instinct is to assume that the cucumber is a snake, which can be a deadly predator. 
     Scaring your pets isn’t very funny and it is potentially very harmful to them. It can result in injury and possibly have have long-term effects on their mental health. Stress leads to unwanted behaviors. What's more, the cat can also associate the scary prank with its owner which means it could become fearful of its owner.
     When cats are living in the wild, stress occurs mainly when they are exposed to a predator or other life-threatening situations. Like us, their adrenal glands respond to the threat resulting in an increase in the heart rate, blood pressure and blood sugar. These responses are designed to prepare the animal to fight or flee the dangerous situation. Also like in humans, long-term stress is detrimental. 
     Cats don't worry about bills and such, but they get stressed out by things like boredom, territory anxiety, conflicts with other animals in the home, loud noises (thunderstorms, fireworks, music), loss or addition of a human or animal in the family, changes in routine or schedule, moving or traveling, visits to the vet, being left home alone, remodeling or furniture being rearranged, not enough food, water and clean litter, getting declawed, medical and nutritional problems and fleas just to name a few.  They can also be stressed over concerns unique to the particular animal. 
     When suffering from stress, cats may also exhibit a variety of behavioral changes that could include becoming restless, meowing, shivering or hissing. Some may cower in a corner or closet or hide behind furniture. 
     Other stress-related behaviors are destructive in nature. These include excessive grooming that may result in missing patches of fur and skin infections. Chewing on or scratching furniture or other items, inappropriate urination, defecation or marking behavior outside of the litter box. 
     Some cats may require anti-anxiety medication to decrease stress levels. Commercial products that release pheromones, signal-carrying hormones, can be sprayed or diffused in the home to promote feelings of calmness in the cat. The best stress reducer is interaction with the cat by petting it in a quiet room or putting aside play time.  Both often works wonders in relieving stress for both the cat and the owner.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Creepy Joe

     Joe Biden served as Vice President of the United States under Barack Obama from 2009 to 2017 and is a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate. 
     I saw him at a political rally one time and my observation of the man: he was wearing a very nice suit. 
     Also known as Creepy Joe, he has a long-simmering controversy over the propriety of his interactions with women and the way he touches and feels them. 

     Creepy Joe has railed against President Trump accusing him of racism and white supremacy. 
     Biden is a typical politician, he lies, but he is a transparent liar. 
     On Thursday August 8th while speaking at a meeting at the Asian and Latino Coalition in Des Moines, Iowa told them, “Poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids.” Realizing what he said, he immediately tried to fix it, but it was too late. It would be funny if it wasn’t so disgusting. 
     Creepy Joe has dubbed himself a “gaffe machine” for his well-documented history with verbal blunders and embarrassing slip-ups, or more accurately, those moments when the real Joe Biden speaks. 
     Advice from Maya Angelou: When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time!

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Climate Change

     I saw a post on Red Ferret dated July 29 by a lady claiming climate change will soon make parts of the planet uninhabitable because it will be too hot to sweat. 
     In the article she explains that when humidity reaches a certain level, your sweat doesn’t evaporate. It doesn’t matter how much you drink because your body is heating up internally and you will only last a few hours. See THIS article.
     She warns that this issue is already starting to affect parts of the world and is a perfect example of why we need to start taking climate change seriously. 
     The author of the post did not cite any sources which got me curious...where is this information coming from? Not the medical part about sweating because that's true, but the part about parts of the planet becoming uninhabitable because of the heat.
     According to an October 27, 2012 article in the British online newspaper The Independent...hold on! How reliable is The Independent? According to Site Media Bias Fact Check, The Independent has a slight to moderate liberal bias. They often publish factual information that utilizes loaded words (wording that attempts to influence readers by using appeal to emotion or stereotypes) to favor liberal causes. Stories are generally trustworthy for information, but may require further investigation. Overall they rate The Independent left-center biased due to story selection that moderately favors the left and high for factual reporting based on proper sourcing of information and a clean fact check record. 
     OK, we will assume the story stating that some countries will be so hot by 2100 that humans won’t be able to go outside has some basis and is not just hype or scare tactics.
     According to the article, scientists are warning that by the end of the century heatwaves in some hotter climates could reach "feels like" temperatures of up to 170 degrees F. (77C). Note that's "feels like."
     The “feels like” temperature relies on environmental data including the ambient air temperature, relative humidity and wind speed to determine how weather conditions feel to bare skin. If you want to mess around with temperature and humidity to see what the feels like temperature is, the National Weather Service has a nifty calculator HERE. For example, a 110 degree F temperature at 60 percent humidity feels like 171 degrees.  
     Scientists have estimated that by the end of the century some parts of the Persian Gulf will suffer heatwaves that are too hot for humans to survive. By 2100, parts of Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and others will experience deadly combinations of temperature and humidity. 
     In July of 2016, unusually high temperatures were reached in Mitrabah, Kuwait (129.2 degrees F.) and the city of Basra in Iraq (128 degrees F.). Southern Morocco also saw temperatures of between 109 and 116 degrees.  During this time temperatures exceeded the seasonal averages by a large margin over a sustained period. The refugee population in the Middle East was hit very hard by the high temperatures.
     During the same time the central and eastern United States was affected by a widespread heatwave with temperatures in the range of 95-100 degrees with the feels like temperature reaching 110 to 115 degrees. 
     During that period record warmth was widespread across Alaska, western Canada, southern Mexico, northern South America, central Africa, Indonesia, northern and eastern Australia, North Indian Ocean, and across parts of north-central Russia, western Asia, central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, the southwestern Pacific Ocean, and the north-western Atlantic Ocean.  And a number of countries saw new temperature records: for instance, India saw a new national temperature record of 123.8 degrees in its state of Rajasthan.
     The World Meteorological Organization stated that the length, frequency and intensity of heatwaves would likely increase further during this century.
     A study in the Nature Climate Change Journal presented computer simulations of what will happen to global temperatures if carbon dioxide emissions continue at their current pace. It predicts a new breed of super-heatwaves affecting the Persian Gulf, the likes of which have not been seen on Earth while humans have been around. 
     According to the study, Persian Gulf countries could hit heat indexes between 165 and 170 degrees F. for at least six hours during the middle of the day. That’s so hot that the human body is incapable of producing sweat to get rid of heat, making it dangerous even for even healthy, fit people to stay outside for any length of time. 
     Those temperatures wouldn’t be expected every day, but they would bring mass fatalities. Also, those temperatures would not be everywhere in the Gulf region. Developed cities like Abu Dhabi and Dubai could still function thanks to widespread air conditioning. 
     Experts say the implications of this study are frightening because people will die. They add that such heat levels can be avoided...but only if the world limits future emissions. 
     At least those are the predictions. I remember back in the 1920s a scientist at a major US university wrote that space travel was impossible. Actually, I don't remember it, but I remember reading it in an old Popular Science magazine of the period. 

18 spectacularly wrong predictions made around the time of first Earth Day in 1970 

Misleading evidence that fooled scientists for decades 

     There are more, but you get the idea. Even so, one is reminded of the following prophecy in the Bible: Next, the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and it was given power to scorch the people with fire. And the people were scorched by intense heat, and they cursed the name of God, who had authority over these plagues; yet they did not repent and give Him glory...Revelation 16:8-9  It would seem that scientists are only predicting what has already been prophesied in the Bible!

Monday, August 5, 2019

It Is NOT The President's Fault

     What is not his fault? Nothing. Why do we even have a president? And how do presidents get things done? 
     The men who framed the Constitution wanted to ensure that the executive branch was powerful enough to act and so in Article II they established certain powers for the president. These are known as formal powers.
     Over the years presidents have claimed other powers, known as informal powers. Formal powers are...and notice how many require Senate approval: 

* Nominate certain government officials (with Senate confirmation
* Request written opinions from administrative officials 
* Fill administrative vacancies during congressional recesses 
* Act as Commander in Chief of the armed forces 
* Make treaties (with Senate ratification
* Nominate ambassadors (with Senate confirmation
* Receive ambassadors 
* Confer diplomatic recognition on other governments 
* Grant reprieves and pardons for federal offenses 
* Nominate federal judges (with Senate confirmation
* Recommend legislation to Congress 
* Present information on the State of the Union to Congress 
* Convene Congress on extraordinary occasions 
* Adjourn Congress if House and Senate cannot agree 
* Veto legislation (Congress may overrule a veto

Informal powers: 

* Set priorities for Congress and attempt to get majorities to put through the president’s legislative agenda 
* Issue executive orders - regulations to run the government and direct the bureaucracy in cases where the laws passed by congress allow it or do not specify how the law is to be carried out. 
* Negotiating executive agreements with heads of foreign governments that are not ratified by the Senate 

     The simple fact is that the delegates to the Constitutional Convention of 1787 gave little attention to the executive branch of government. In contrast to the protracted debates over the powers of Congress, the powers of the president were defined fairly quickly and without much discussion. The framers obviously assumed that the legislative branch would be much more powerful.
     Over the country's history the Executive Branch has usurped more and more power thanks to some presidents who have been strong leaders with forceful personalities and the realization that Congress is ill-suited to make timely responses to national security threats. Only the Congress can declare war, but the president is Commander-in-Chief so in practice it’s tricky. But even then, Congress could cut all funding to the military. 
     One thing is certain, the founders intended Congress to have more powers than the president and the Supreme Court and the whole system is loaded with checks and balances. 
     The simple fact is, Congress is more powerful than the president, or should be. And, if they are not, it is the fault of Congress itself. As can be seen from the list of a president's powers, if the Congress were unified and voted together, they can pass any law they please. That's something the president cannot do because he can’t pass any laws himself and couldn’t stop a law Congress was determined to pass. 
     Just about every everything in government exists because Congress said so. Forget the Supreme Court...Congress could make the Supreme Court three justices, or thirty if they wanted to. They could get rid of the FBI, NSA, and CIA, or double their size. The president can't do any of that, nor would he be able to stop Congress. 
     Congress can even remove the president from office, but not the other way around. The president can't kick people out of Congress. 
     The problem with Congress is that they are rarely unified because they are divided along party lines and have little concern about what's best for the country as a whole. This is, of course, oversimplified but the overriding truth is Congress is much more powerful than any president whose power is limited by the Constitution. 
     If Congress ever got their act together, whatever the president did or did not do wouldn't amount to two dead flies. At most any president is in office for eight years while many have been in Congress for decades. If our representatives whine about this or that being in such a mess, they are the fools, flunkies and lickspittles responsible because they establish the laws and agencies that run the country, not the president, whomever that might be.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Musical Saws

Read all about musical saws HERE. You can buy a musical saw HERE and they say you’ll spend less than an hour a day practicing and in under a week you’ll be playing just about any song your audience calls out!

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Operation Steel Pike

     I came across the below video on Operation Steel Pike which was the largest peacetime amphibious landing exercise in history, conducted by the United States Navy and Marine Corps and taking place on the coast of Spain in October to November 1964. It brought back some memories because I was on it. 
     The operation involved 84 naval ships and 28,000 Marines of the 2nd Marine Division, and was commanded by Vice Admiral John S. McCain, Jr. and Lieutenant general James P. Berkeley. Note that Admiral McCain was the father of John S. McCain III (August 29, 1936 – August 25, 2018), an American politician and military officer who served as a United States senator from Arizona from January 1987 until his death. 
     In the opening hour of the landing, two helicopters collided in mid-air, resulting in the deaths of nine Marines and causing injuries to 13 others. I well remember this...while I did not see the crash, from our location the smoke from the crash was visible. Also, a Navy Corpsman friend received the Navy and Marine Corps Medal that is awarded to those who, while serving in any capacity with the Navy or Marine Corps, distinguish themselves by heroism not involving actual conflict with an enemy. For acts of lifesaving, or attempted lifesaving, it is required that the action be performed at the risk of one's own life. He pulled several Marines from the burning helicopters. Another Marine was crushed to death by a tank while asleep in his sleeping bag. 
     During the trip over the ships were divided into three convoys sailing under war time conditions with ASW escorts. There were many civilian ships contracted to the Navy to transport military personnel and cargo to the landing area. Once the ships were anchored in place the landings began. There were two or three days of landing men and equipment ashore, then one day of rest for the landing craft. After that, the task force started back loading men and equipment back aboard the ships.  It was then off to different liberty ports.  As I remember the best liberty port was Porto, Portugal.