Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Bloomberg Cocktail

For the last hundred years, or so, there has been available a tasty cocktail that consists of 2 to 3 shots of either bourbon or Canadian whisky and one shot of sweet vermouth.   This has long been known as a Manhattan.  It can either be served straight-up or on-the-rocks.  An associate of mine who went to school with John Lindsey of mayor of New York fame, explained that many people referred to the version with ice as the Lindsey cocktail, or Manhattan-on-the -rocks, referring to the financial condition of the city under John Lindsey.

Taking a look at the current crazy that is mayor of our largest and most esteemed city, I think we should forgive John Lindsey for his past flubs, and to christen Bloomberg as its namesake.  Henceforth, this elixir of the Gods should be referred to the Bloomberg cocktail (Manhattan-on-the-rocks) (with ice).

Any of you seven readers that peruse this blog, pass the word.

On Parallel Universes

The great physicists and philosophers of our times have speculated on the existence of parallel universes.  They have spent uncounted amounts of time and money studying this possibility.  That is all unnecessary.

Dogs have long known about parallel universes.  They just know.   If you have more than one dog and a house with more than one door going to each available yard, your dog will demonstrate to you which universe is what.    For demonstration purposes, let us say you have two doors to your front yard.  Your dog will use whichever door goes to the universe he wishes to visit.  The same with doors to the back yard.  I have four pointers and often doggysit weimaraners and bassets.  They all run to the doors when it is time to go outside.  However, depending on the time of day and what they want to do out there, they will go to different doors.  Note, all the doors lead to the same universe that I expect to be there, but they go to different universes that the dogs expect to be there.  They never get lost, though, because the always come in the right door to get back to this universe.

I fully expect that these dogs are so ethical that they would never defecate into the wrong universe.  I also see notices of lost dogs on the local power poles.  I suspect that these dogs never got back to the right universe.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Introduction to a Metrology Course for an African Air Force Ally

  The following is an introduction to a Metrology / Calibration (PMEL) course I developed for an American ally in Africa.   These military officers had spent their lives believing that Western Nations have the only technically competent societies capable of precision and accuracy.  This introduction was to reacquaint them with the idea that their ancestors were doing precision work and had precision standards when the western nations were painting themselves blue and running naked into battle.   This course was presented by my female offspring, which was an extreme cultural experience for these officers, but at least with this introduction, all the inferiority complexes went out the window. 

The outline of chapter 1:

1.                  Introduction

1.1              History of Measurement and Calibration

The history of measurement begins with the discrimination of the ages of Egyptian weights and capacity measures.  Increased knowledge of prehistoric weights and measures supercedes most of the fragmented and vague statements of ancient authors.

Lineal measures:  The earliest known is the standard cubit used in Egypt from the time of the predynastic royal toumbs onwards.  The first accurate example is in the size of the pyramid of Snefru (3rd dynasty) at 20.62 modern inches.  The cubit was defined more exactly in the pyramid of Khufu.  The pure system was:

                        Meh       = 0.206 inche
                        100 meh = 1 cubit = 20.62 inches
                        100 cubits = 1 khet = 2062

The cubit was mixed with other systems:

                        Zebo  (digit)  =0.737 inches
                        4 zeb0 = shep = 2.974 inches
                        7 shep = cubit = 20.62 inches
                        100 cubuts = khet = reel = 2062 inches
                        120 reels = 1 ater or skhoinos

Capacity measures:  The approximate values of Egyptian capacities are anciently stated by the odd quantities that certain vases held.  The first measure was the Egyptian hen which was about 29.1 cubic inches.  The values of these old capacity measures are:

                        Ro = 3.64 cu in
                        8 ri = hen = 29.1 cu in
                        4 hen = hennu = 116.4 cu in
                        10 hennu = apt = 116.4 cu in
                        4 apt = tama = 4656 cu in
                        25 tama = sa = 116.400 cu in

The precision of the capacity measure has been measured by comparing  five regular unmarked  measures of metal and stone is 29.2 +/- 5 cu in, ten bronze vessels  is 29.0 +/- 0.3 cu in, and 8 marked vases is 29.2 +/- 0.6 cu in

Weight Measurements:  The Egyptian weights are by far the best known and most published.    Each people or tribe tended to have had a separate weight standard and these were brought to different countries by invasion or trade.  Those standards which were most alike gradually approximated by errors of copying, and lost their individuality.  Seventeen standards in Egypt, which had originally come from foreign sources became simplified into 8..  The Peyem standard is marked on three weights of 116, 121, and 124 grains.

                        n = 30 grains
                        4n = payem = about 120 grains
                        10 payem = noshem = 1200 grains
                        10 noshem = r = 12000 grain           
                        4 noshem = s = 48,000 grains

            a grain is about  0.0648 grams

Measurements throughout the world range:

Anoman         -           Ceylon
Berri               -           Turkey
Capicha                      Iran
Duin                -           Netherland
Elle                  -           Latvia
Fanega            -           Argentina
Gallon             -           US / UK
Hiyaka-me      -           Japan
Immi               -           Switzerland
Joch                _          Austria
Keddah          -            Egypt
Li                    -           China
Mahud                        Arabia
Nia                  -           Thiland
Oke                 -           Cyprus / Egypt / Turkey / Greece
Parsec             -           Astronomy
Quart              -           US
Ri                    -           Japan
Ser                  -           India
Toise               -           France
Vara               -           Portugal
Wigtje -                      Netherlands
Yard               -           US / Mexico
Zolotnik          -           Russia

There are over 700 modern local major units of measure today.  These do not include subunits or unit multiples such as micrograms or kilometers. 

The Metric System:

 Fractions and multiples of this system, based on 10.  The weights and capacities would derive from these measurements.  This was the first metric system.  The French, after their revolution, wished also to change the old order.  Dr. Franklin’s system, became the basis of of their new system.  The length of the meter was later established as the length of a metal bar c 1875) , and still later (1927)  1,553,164.13 wavelengths of the red light emitted by a cadmium vapor lamp excited under specified conditions.  The United states adopted the metric system by treaty signatory and act of congress.  However, Wilber and Orville Wright built bicycles in inches and later airplanes in inches.  The Great airplane companies followed suit, and aircraft were built in inches.  Millions of tools were made in inches, special tools for airplanes.  The old systems are so tenacious, that In spite of the US Congress passing metric System laws in recent years, mother still cooks using cups, table spoons, tea spoons, dashes, pints, and quarts.

The expense of re-tooling mechanics and assembly lines for metric production and maintenance has resulted in a general lingering of the English system.  In recent years, the US automotive industry, because of competition form metric countries, has proceeded from inches to soft metric to hard metric.  Soft metric is using metric sized that can be handled by English tools, eg.  ½ inch wrenches can turn 11 mm nuts.  Some aircraft systems are just now becoming all metric.  Yet, even now, spacecraft have been lost because engineers did not appreciate the differences between English and metric measurements.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Blogger sucks

My apologies to those who came to this site for the good pictures and nice format.  One day last week, all my pictures disappeared.  I followed the blogger trouble shooting instructions and then my format disappeared also.  Blogger publishes no contact number on their site. I can't even call Chandra in India.  Although I was pushing programming cables in 1960, I never learned coding per se.   When Bloggers instructions entail going into the code and finding errors, forget it.  Of course, Blogger IS free, but I wouldn't recommend their customer service.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Nanny State Gas Can Reprise

On August 31,  2011, I wrote about the idiocy of the nanny state and their gas can regulations.  Well, I can safely say that things haven't improved, but have gotten worse, very unsafe, more expensive, and environmentally bad.

To start out, I needed an additional one-gallon saw gas dispenser because I kept running out when working the saws and lawn equipment.  Anybody who used 2- and 4- stroke powered equipment knows that gasoline containers larger than one gallon are unwieldly and dangerous.  So with great hope in my heart that the government morons and crony capitalists haven't degraded the product I needed, I went to Atwoods to buy another container.

Much to my unsurprise, the only containers they had were now $14 as opposed to the $5 containers I bought a few years ago.  I thought I was getting the same container, because the spout was inverted into the container where I couldn't see it.  It is intuitively obvious that the proper spout needs to be flexible to fit into the small gas tank opening to  the rear of the support handle.  It needs to be flexible because a straight, stiff handle is useless when starting and stopping the gasoline flow.   Again, much to my unsurprise, the inverted spout stood straight up like stiff erection when properly mounted.  It was not even angled in the middle to provide a safe dispensing into any gasoline tank, let alone, the configuration on a chainsaw.

Of course, this spout had all the mandatory stupid safety features, like a stud that you push against the side of the gas feed hole, concurrently with an arthritic squeeze on the black saw-toothed safety lever , to start the gas flowing.  Unfortunately, this arrangement causes the gasoline to shoot across the hole into the environment.  It is even worse, when the tank is filled, the gasoline cannot be shut off with the black saw-toothed safety lever until the tip of the spout is removed from the lip of the gasoline filler hole, ensuring not only additional gasoline is spilled, but that all the remaining gasoline in the spout shoots out into the environment.

Anybody that reads this blog,  all seven of you, know that I am an engineer, and I think a good one at that.  I think that the engineer that (notice, I didn't say who) designed this and the federal bureaucrat that forced the engineer to design this abortion, should be disbarred, defrocked, castrated, and hung from the nearest lamp post.   Of course the ignorant bitch that has just taken over the EPA doesn't want any climate change deniers in her department, so she is probably too stupid to correct this situation.

To make an environmentally safe gas can, we are dumping at least 100 times more gasoline into the environment than we would using the old fashioned flexible spout can.