sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Monday, August 20, 2018

What About STEVE?

Thin ribbons of purple and white light, called STEVE, but I'm not sure why, that sometimes appear in the night sky were dubbed a new type of aurora when brought to scientists' attention in 2016. But new research suggests these mysterious streams of light are not an aurora at all but an entirely new celestial phenomenon.

The atmospheric phenomenon 'STEVE' appears as a 
purple and green light ribbon in the sky. Credit: © Ryan / Fotolia
Amateur photographers had captured the new phenomenon, called STEVE, on film for decades. But the scientific community only acknowledged STEVE in 2016. When scientists first looked at images.

STEVE, they realized the lights were slightly different than light from typical auroras but were not sure what underlying mechanism was causing them.

In a new study, researchers analyzed a STEVE event in March 2008 to see whether it was produced in a similar manner as the aurora, which happens when showers of charged rain down into Earth's upper atmosphere. The study's results suggest STEVE is produced by a different atmospheric process than the aurora, making it an entirely new type of optical phenomenon.
"Our main conclusion is that STEVE is not an aurora," said Bea Gallardo-Lacourt, a space physicist at the University of Calgary in Canada and lead author of the new study in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union. "So right now, we know very little about it. And that's the cool thing, because this has been known by photographers for decades. But for the scientists, it's completely unknown."
Auroras are produced when electrons and protons from Earth's magnetosphere, the region around Earth dominated by its magnetic field, rain down into the ionosphere, a region of charged particles in the upper atmosphere. When these electrons and protons become excited, they emit light of varying colors, most often green, red and blue.

STEVE is an entirely new phenomenon distinct from typical auroras. The POES-17 satellite detected no charged particles raining down to the ionosphere during the STEVE event, which means it is likely produced by an entirely different mechanism.

The researchers said STEVE is a new kind of optical phenomenon they call "skyglow." Their next step is to see whether the streams of fast ions and hot electrons in the ionosphere are creating STEVE's light, or if the light is produced higher up in the atmosphere.
B. Gallardo-Lacourt, J. Liang, Y. Nishimura and E. Donovan. On the Origin of STEVE: Particle Precipitation or Ionospheric Skyglow? Geophysical Research Letters, 2018 DOI: 10.1029/2018GL078509

The Communist and the Indian

The Democrat line up for 2020 is interesting with a mixed bag of freaks, designed to appeal to any one of a number of social justice warriors. 

The problem that they have is that all of their constituents do not have the same sorts of grievances. Some gender warriors who want to be willing to change the way they identify their kinks at will are uncomfortable with "fungible race". Racial warriors don't like the idea that a white person with ancestry from Iceland can (on a whim) self-identify as a black person from Botswana. 

Herein lies the problem that they are experiencing. 

President Trump's economic policies that focus on the achieved goal of full employment for all crosses those grievance lines. Sure, some people still make more than others, and people like Bernie Sanders would like to fix that in the communist way of making almost everyone except the most elite, poor. They focus on envy. Envy is a winning sin, but full employment and a booming economy throws a lot of water on envy.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

The PC-6/B2-H4 Project

For those of you who asked, the fly-away price of the PC-6/B2-H4 with all of the goodies is $2,043,620.00. Price of extended range fuel tanks is on top of that as are a few little extra luxury goodies. Delivery in the US ads a few dollars to the bottom line. 10% down for delivery in the first quarter of 2020.

The Garmin G950 Glass Cockpit IFR package is included with that amount, and from what I'm told, the weather radar downlink (via Iridium) is the way to go rather than onboard radar. But frankly, I remain unconvinced.

For the helpful souls who e-mailed me with the suggestion that I look hard at the PC-12, is's more than twice as expensive at $5 million. I have no problem with the Pilatus PC-12, but it's out of my price range.

Additional costs would include the construction of a new hanger at the Payson, AZ airport for storage of the Porter. I don't have to do that, but yes, I have to do that. I can land the PC-6 near the White Wolf Mine, but to keep it in perfect shape, and perfectly maintained, it needs a real home.

I have the price locked until August 28. I have not yet ordered the airplane. I'm waiting for money owed to be paid out. I'm too conservative. Go ahead, say it. It's true. I prefer the sure thing. I have deals pending and payments pending. Some are farther out, some are closer to the present. If you were to ask me what I do for a living, I'd have difficulty nailing it down to one particular thing. That's not at all like working for the government and I did that for most of my adult life. Now I know people in a very small world and use those relationships to make money for myself, my pathetic little company and for my friends. However if I have learned one thing, it is that you don't count the money until it's in your account, and overhead and taxes are accounted for fully.

Does that mean I'll get the order down for a PC-6 before they shut down the assembly line? I don't know.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Dispatch from the Salt Mine

It's been a weird day at "the office" with weird telephone calls, weird e-mails, friends in crisis, bullshit that you wonder --- is it real or total bunk? 

It's after 2300 HRS (11PM) 0600 Zulu Time/GMT (tomorrow) and I'm still at it. I think that I sent off my last e-mail of the evening. Or maybe not, because I'm blogging while I wait to see if there's a response.

Getting older (face it, don't fear the reaper) means that I take things with a great degree of skepticism. A friend called first thing this morning, asking me to lend my good name to the board of advisors for a company that he wants to worm his way into. It's one of those companies where all the hopes and dreams of the creators are based on "magic beans" that they traded value for. I told him how to test the truth of the metal for free and explained that he didn't need a lot of money to do it. There is allegedly a patent on the machine that makes magic things happen. I asked the name of the people involved so that I could do a patent search. That caused consternation.  I wish that I had a dollar for each 'friend' who wanted me to help them refine their idea - one day to be worth billions. Yes, I should be on Shark Tank.

Or somebody wants to give me kittens. That happened the other day and I patiently explained that I didn't want an indoor cat and that taking a cat to the White Wolf Mine would be to introduce it into an environment where there are mountain lions and bobcats that are larger, faster, climb better and are higher on the food chain than felis domesticus.  If they want to feed the mountain lions, coyotes and so forth, there are wild areas a lot closer to home than where I'm headed in a month. 
"Ok, LL, I just thought you might like a cat." (indignant) 
"I'll take it under the conditions that I outlined, if it will make you happy." 
Takes the cat and leaves - angry.
Lunch at a brew-pub in San Diego. I order a chicken sandwich and a Sprite. The other two guys, both of whom have worked with me order similar meals, no alcohol. I've trained them well. Aftermath: Did we accomplish anything besides general conversation? I think so. One is headed to Morocco, another to Latin America and I'm staying here, getting ready to move and making some business connections, debating on whether to order an airplane for 2020 delivery (more on that on the blog tomorrow). I have business in Paraguay but I'm handling it on the telephone. I was invited to fly to Zurich for a meeting on Monday but I sense a circle-jerk. My two buddies agree. No flight. Complete waste of time and money. The guy who wanted the meet in Zurich with attorneys wanted me to sign an NDA. I said that it's the opposite - junk on the bunk or they can pound sand. Their options are limited. I'm working with bankers a lot these days and the bankers take my word for things. They want access. (see pound sand - opcit)

John Derva (Valuism), thanks for the hints on the Nepalese guy. Turns out he fronts for the Teochew Chinese in Thailand (the mafia has run the country since 1957).

A suggestion that I hire a secretary - no women. They are extra work, extra expense, and they file lawsuits on their way out the door (see Omarosa). The operation is already racially and geographically integrated. Suggestion tabled indefinitely. Veterans preferred but when even they ask, "What can I do, LL?" I ask, "What can you do?" And why aren't you doing it now? They don't need me to be successful and profit sharing is already diluted enough. Sometimes I'm called an AH. If the shoe fits, I wear it.

A call from a guy who has lost his credibility, asking how he can regain it. I explained that he couldn't. He's still a friend, but there's no business to be done with him. He didn't lie, cheat or steal, but he introduced me to mainland Chinese who turned out to be money launderers and kidnappers, vouching for their integrity. I found out what they were up to and he was defrocked. Sorry/not sorry.

Business calls, a new plan for Africa (which will be discussed in Morocco), and general discussions, that bounced back and forth like ping-pong balls.

The playlist continues in the background as I blog. We're onto The Animals now. Shift to Rolling Stones to Hendrix and I'm done. It's now 11:30 pm and I'm shutting down the shop for the night. Tomorrow, little league games with my family in Huntington Beach. And yes, I'll be on the phone all day. Did I make any money today? There was supposed to be an inbound bank wire that never made it. Maybe next week?

Friday, August 17, 2018

Friday Blog

Staff of Life

Bread wheat is derived from the hybridizations between three distinct species, and I had no idea that its DNA sequence was five times longer than that of a human being. Since it's a crop that provides over 20% of protein and caloric intake of humans, it has strategic value in addition to the obvious food value. 
(WIRED) In a Science report published Thursday, an international team of more than 200 researchers presents the first high-quality, complete sequence of the bread wheat genome. Like a physical map of the monstrous genome—wheat has five times more DNA than you do—the fully annotated sequence provides the location of over 107,000 genes and more than 4 million genetic markers across the plant’s 21 chromosomes. For a staple crop that feeds a third of the world’s population it’s a milestone that may be on par with the day its domestication began 9,000 years ago.
As with most foods these days - 'wheat will kill you'. So will eating a steak. So will adding a lobster tail to your steak dinner to make surf and turf. I think that moderation is important but where wheat is concerned, it's a component part of almost everything that humans consume. So is the unassuming soy bean. 

I'm posting this up because I thought it interesting. There is a lot about the world that we take for granted and the next time you bite into your favorite sandwich, consider that various hybridizations of the wheat that makes up the bread have been going on for 9,000 years to make it what it is today.

North and South (an update)

North Korea and South Korea restored a military communications line on the east coast, according to the South Korean defense ministry. “The communications line can support transportation and communication needed to implement inter-Korean projects related to railway, expressway and forestry," the ministry said in a press release on the 15th.

The restoration of fiber-optic cables will enable exchanges of phone calls and fax paper documents between North Korea and South Korea for future inter-Korean projects.

In North Korea military communications were the only reliable means of long distance communications until cell phones were introduced in recently. Telephones for civilians were restricted to high ranking officials and government offices, collective farms and factories.

The process moves forward - slowly. As it should. North Korea feels that all of Korea should be unified under the genius of Dear Leader, Kim Jong Un. South Korea doesn't want to be a gulag, and they have a different view of things. There is no burning desire on the part of South Koreans to "unify" partly because of the burden of raising the failed communist north to a decent standard of living. Nobody wants a war, but nobody wants peace on Nork terms.

Then there is This

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Random Topics

Oscar Mike Golf - A friend of mine who is not liberal at his core but he has a lot of leftie friends began a rant to me about how the Mojave Desert is hotter than ever before. It kicked off a discussion about man-caused climate change. I pointed out that 10,000 years ago the same spot was under an ice sheet and 20,000 yers ago it was under 500 feet of ocean. If somebody else talks about global warming to me, I'm going to hurl my cookies on their shoes (or Birkenstocks, as the case may be). Al Gore predicted that polar bears would be extinct by 2018 and they're doing fine - and the ice sheet is larger than it was in 2008.

The Door in the Desert

There was a practice by the American Mafia in Las Vegas to eliminate people in a particular way. As far as I know, it's still in use, but I'm not working in that particular world anymore, so I can't say for sure. Dr. Jim quoted the movie Casino, yesterday, "there are a lot of holes in the desert". I wanted to amplify that by telling you how it's actually done.
(1) Kidnap the person to be rubbed out.
(2) Take them to the desert along with a solid core door and some really heavy nails.
(3) Put them on top of the door and hammer the nails through their wrists and feet, bending the tips on the other side so that they won't slip out.
(4) Dig a hole.
(5) Flip the door with the person attached upside down over the hole.
(6) Shovel sand over the door to a depth of three or four feet.
In time the person dies, the door decays and collapses in on the grave. To date, nobody every walked away from the door in the desert. I can assure you that it happened a number of times. People disappear and go into witness protection and are never heard from again. For the most part, that death is reserved for informers.
The same thing can be accomplished by serving people Fredd's Aunt Sally's bouillabaisse. Both are said to be agonizing ways to die. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

What a Country!

You murder your own son who suffers from epilepsy for being 'a demon', and abuse children while you train them to conduct school shootings. You're taken into custody along with co-conspirators and then you're released on a signature bond (no money changed hands) which is essentially an own-recognizance release.

Since when is a murderer and his co-conspirators given an OR release? The judge reasoned that it was because the murderer was a negro and a Muslim (members of an oppressed minority). 

Law enforcement stressed that they were both a danger to the community - having murdered - and a flight risk. The judge, a democrat, rejected that as racist prattle.

Welcome to the progressive movement.