sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Monday, September 26, 2016

Harambe Banned

The tragic death of Harambe, the monkey in the Cincinnati Zoo was not mentioned in the first presidential debate between Clinton and Trump, but that doesn't mean that they forgot him. Or does it?

(National Review) Clemson University Bans ‘Any Reference to Harambe’ From Dorm Spaces Because of ‘Rape Culture’ and ‘Racism’
A Clemson University administrator has demanded that any and all references to Harambe be removed from the public spaces in its dormitories because of concerns about “rape culture” and “racism.”  
“Due to an incident that happened earlier this week, we are no longer allowing any reference to Harambe (or any other spelling) to be displayed on doors, halls, billboards, or windows,” an administrator stated in an e-mail to resident assistants, a screenshot of which was leaked to Campus Reform. “Essentially, Harambe should not be displayed in a public place or a place that is viewed by the public.” 
“If residents are asking why they have to take them down you can share that there was a report from an individual about a meme being offensive and bias [sic] in nature and as a result all Harambe references are no longer allowed within our community.”  
In an e-mail responding to a student’s question about the policy that obtained by Campus Reform, Graduate Community Director Brooks Artis explained that “there have been reports that he and the incident surrounding his death have been used to add to the rape culture as well as being a form of racism.” 

I don't know how a reference to a long dead gorilla promotes a rape culture. Maybe the readership could/would be so polite as to enlighten me.

The phrase "Dicks out for Harambe" was one that I was unfamiliar with. I had to look it up on the Urban Dictionary

"The act of pulling your dick out of your pants as a sign of respect for our nigga Harambe

"Show some respect you insensitive fuck; dicks out for Harambe."

So if I get this right, Afro-American males have been pulling their dicks from their trousers as a sign of love for a fallen brother? Somehow that makes perfect sense to me...what's wrong with me?

Pluto's Liquid Ocean

A giant asteroid impact in the dwarf planet's past offers new insights into the possibility of an ocean beneath its surface.

Old NFO and other Sci-Fi writers take note. There is grist for stories set on Pluto as the science fact is disclosed.

Ever since NASA's New Horizons spacecraft flew by Pluto last year, evidence has been mounting that the dwarf planet may have a liquid water ocean beneath its icy shell. Now, by modeling the impact dynamics that created a massive crater on Pluto's surface, a team of researchers has made a new estimate of how thick that liquid layer might be.

The study, led by Brown University geologist Brandon Johnson and published in Geophysical Research Letters, finds a high likelihood that there's more than 100 kilometers of liquid water beneath Pluto's surface. The research also offers a clue about the composition of that ocean, suggesting that it likely has a salt content similar to that of the Dead Sea.

The research focused on Sputnik Planum, a basin 900 kilometers across that makes up the western lobe the famous heart-shaped feature revealed during the New Horizons flyby. The basin appears to have been created by an impact, likely by an object 200 kilometers across or larger.

The story of how the basin relates to Pluto's putative ocean starts with its position on the planet relative to Pluto's largest moon, Charon. Pluto and Charon are tidally locked with each other, meaning they always show each other the same face as they rotate. Sputnik Planum sits directly on the tidal axis linking the two worlds. That position suggests that the basin has what's called a positive mass anomaly -- it has more mass than average for Pluto's icy crust. As Charon's gravity pulls on Pluto, it would pull proportionally more on areas of higher mass, which would tilt the planet until Sputnik Planum became aligned with the tidal axis.
Reference: Brandon C. Johnson, Timothy J. Bowling, Alexander J. Trowbridge, Andrew M. Freed. Formation of the Sputnik Planum basin and the thickness of Pluto's subsurface ocean.. Geophysical Research Letters, 2016; DOI: 10.1002/2016GL070694
A positive mass anomaly would make Sputnik Planum a bit of an odd duck as craters go. "An impact crater is basically a hole in the ground," Johnson said. "You're taking a bunch of material and blasting it out, so you expect it to have negative mass anomaly, but that's not what we see with Sputnik Planum. That got people thinking about how you could get this positive mass anomaly."

Part of the answer is that, after it formed, the basin has been partially filled in by nitrogen ice. That ice layer adds some mass to the basin, but it isn't thick enough on its own to make Sputnik Planum have positive mass, Johnson says.

The rest of that mass may be generated by a liquid lurking beneath the surface.

Relative sizes of Earth, the Moon and Pluto
Like a bowling ball dropped on a trampoline, a large impact creates a dent on a planet's surface, followed by a rebound. That rebound pulls material upward from deep in the planet's interior. If that upwelled material is denser than what was blasted away by the impact, the crater ends up with the same mass as it had before the impact happened. This is a phenomenon geologists refer to as isostatic compensation.

Water is denser than ice. So if there were a layer of liquid water beneath Pluto's ice shell, it may have welled up following the Sputnik Planum impact, evening out the crater's mass. If the basin started out with neutral mass, then the nitrogen layer deposited later would be enough to create a positive mass anomaly.

"This scenario requires a liquid ocean," Johnson said. "We wanted to run computer models of the impact to see if this is something that would actually happen. What we found is that the production of a positive mass anomaly is actually quite sensitive to how thick the ocean layer is. It's also sensitive to how salty the ocean is, because the salt content affects the density of the water."

The models simulated the impact of an object large enough to create a basin of Sputnik Planum's size hitting Pluto at a speed expected for that part in the solar system. The simulation assumed various thicknesses of the water layer beneath the crust, from no water at all to a layer 200 kilometers thick.

The scenario that best reconstructed Sputnik Planum's observed size depth, while also producing a crater with compensated mass, was one in which Pluto has an ocean layer more than 100 kilometers thick, with a salinity of around 30 percent.

"What this tells us is that if Sputnik Planum is indeed a positive mass anomaly -- and it appears as though it is -- this ocean layer of at least 100 kilometers has to be there," Johnson said. "It's pretty amazing to me that you have this body so far out in the solar system that still may have liquid water."

Parable of the Canoe Rack

As the US approaches the heralded, much discussed, and anticipated debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton this evening, other things are going on which are more subtle and at the same time are not so subtle. I'll leave the debate and the countdown to November 8 for another day. With luck, Trump wins and the actors in Hollywood will be good to their word and move to Mexico. They failed to keep their promises when George W. Bush won twice, so my hopes are tempered by the disappointment predicted by historical reality.

On to my polemic discussion. And since it's Sunday night that I write this, it is clearly a sermonette. It may not be as eloquent as one you'd get at LSP's church, but I make do as best I can.

The Pope

There are a number of Catholic bloggers who drift by Virtual Mirage from time to time. I wish no offense to them. 

There have been good popes in the past. John Paul 2 comes to mind. There have also been some bad actors such as the Borgias, who left a stain on history. Pope Francis has been a disappointment at this hour of history when the lamps of the faith are being extinguished one by one. Our nation is diseased with the open corruption of venal secularists and their perversions combining with heretical and apostate Muslims to form a single and insanely violent death cult bent on the destruction of the West. 

Barack engaging in cultural
misappropriation by wearing
a cowboy hat.
Every day there is a news report from a shopping mall shooting or stabbing or a bomb being detonated by one of the Mohammedans. The victims are inevitably unarmed and are going about their business in peace when they are killed. The Pope calls for tolerance. My view is that safety "trumps" tolerance. You may not agree.

When you hear what Pope Francis says about Islam, about the right of a country to have and defend its borders, etc., it sounds like he's reading out of the Obama playbook. Which either means that Barack is a God-inspired national leader or that Pope Francis is a flawed religious leader. I tend to believe the latter. 

Canoe Rack

I realize that the shift in topic from the Pope of Rome's views to that of which canoe rack is better requires some explanation. 

There are literally hundreds of different styles of canoe for sale in America with different construction materials, different paddling philosophies, etc. involved. I have my opinions, and you may or may not have an opinion. 

The first problem for me was deciding how to get my canoe from my suburban home to the (1) Ocean, (2) Rivers and (3) Lakes. I have two vehicles capable of easily transporting the canoe or kayak. Of the two, the Toyota FJ makes more sense because the short wheel base, heavily trail-armored, 4x4 vehicle can go where the Ford Raptor pick-up truck can not. Being able to haul the canoe to remote mountain lakes is critical to the stated mission. 
I put washers above/below the rack when
I'm going to use it - I know that at least one
of you will nit-pick that. Now it's explained.

Having found that every canoe/kayak rack on the market being sold either on-line or at famous sporting goods conglomerates were inadequate to the task, I set about designing my own. I wanted something that I could slip on and pull off the rig within roughly a minute - or less. It had to be incredibly strong and to have the capacity of doubling as a rack for other applications as the occasion arose. 

If you can't buy it, build it.

I decided on 100% steel construction with cast billet aluminum attachments to the roof rack of the FJ. 


(1) 4 X FORTREKS Hi-Lift Jack mounts, repurposed to my need.  (cost: $109 - I already had two in inventory and needed another two, so it's technically an additional $109)

(2) 72" X 1.5" OD x 0.25" Wall, Mild Steel A513 Type 5 DOM (Drawn Over Mandrel Tubing). The tube offers a uniform grain structure that gives it a strong, seamless and consistent structure. DOM tubing offers excellent weldability and workability. (cost: $95.00)

(3) .25" X 1.5" X 24" Steel bar (from garage inventory)

From there it was a simple matter to cut the steel bar into segments and bend them to suit. From there, I cut the DOM into unequal pieces because the rack on the FJ is not uniform in dimension from front to back. Notching the DOM, I put the strapping into place and welded it. Then I took it to a local powder coating company and called in a favor. They charged me $30 for both pieces and I felt that was an adequate deal. So I have a canoe rack for roughly $200 that will carry virtually any size or weight canoe (that would fit on the top of the rig). I have not yet put neoprene onto the racks to cushion the canoe once it's in place. That's coming.

The racks that you can buy at the various outlets are inevitably made in China and are constructed of plastic and pot metal that will bend or break in a strong wind. This one is VERY simple, can be installed and removed from the rig in well under a minute and is simple. Ratchet straps hold the canoe in place once it's loaded on the rig.

Barack would say that I didn't build it, but I did. A stopped clock is correct far more often than Barack or his buddies are.

The Round-About Lesson

We all have to chart our own courses in life. If you want to follow Barack-the-Magic-Socialist, or the Pope, or the shrewish crone, Hillary Clinton, that's up to you. I've never been good at following a well-trod path or swallowing lies. More often than not I end up building it myself to suit or repurposing if it comes to that. I earned the money that bought the components of the roof rack addition. I constructed it by the sweat of my brow, relying on others to help at times with the powder coat, which I paid for or the loan of a welding rig, for which I owe a favor. However, I'm responsible for the contraption's success or failure. It's all on me. I prefer it when things go down that way.

The presidential debates are much the same thing. One person is abundantly happy with the corrupt system which feeds her billions of dollars each year in graft. The other wants to turn the country around and Make America Great Again. But no matter who wins the debate and rules for the next four years, I have a plan to make them less important in my life.

If we as a nation, as a people, each agreed to carry our own water, most of the problems that we have would be solved automatically without some bureaucrat needing to mandate this or that BS. There are TONS of laws on the books. Many of the more valuable laws are not enforced because of executive prerogative and agenda. At the same time Congress passes more and more laws.