Monday, April 24, 2017
People that accept science are aware that Einstein’s theory on the curvature of space time has allowed us to program GPS to accuracy within a few feet, and program space probes to explore other planet and universes.
Quantum mechanics have led the way to micro-miniature circuitry that allows us to have computers and cell phones.
DNA research is curing age old illnesses and opening up new fields in research and development that will benefit the human race, and medical research has led to new treatments for cancer, AIDS, and other devastating diseases.
Fields in biology are helping us to understand life on this planet, and chemist are developing new products that make our everyday life better.
While people that deem their knowledge from a two-thousand-year-old book, written in the desert at a time when the wheel borrow was cutting edge technology, believe that people can return from the dead; walk on water; part an ocean with a stick; put two of every animal on earth in a wooden ship and sail around for forty days; produce wine, bread and fish with magic… and pray away all of their problems because some magical god in the sky that looks exactly like them, loves them – because their book tells them so.
The world has been through five major extinctions: Ordovician, Devonian, Permian, Triassic/Jurassic, and the Cretaceous. I won’t go into the evolutionary progression at the end of each period; but each extinction has been the results of climate changes, volcanic eruptions or asteroid/meteor impacts.
These extinction periods happened gradually due to circumstances that kicked off changes, that became self-sustaining and progressed over a time line of from twenty-five to two hundred million years - resulting in a drastic restructuring of life on this planet.
The sixth extinction is not going to be caused by a natural phenomenon, but as the result of a destructive life form with the ability to bring about rapid atmospheric, oceanic and climate change.
Animal, bird and insect species are going extinct at an alarming rate due to the destruction of rain forest.
Most African large animals are endangered due to poaching and decrease of natural habitat.
There is over fishing in the oceans and whale populations are barely surviving.
Carbon dioxide emissions from cars, power plants and animal populations are increasing the surface temperatures resulting in glacial melt, which results in exposing long frozen tundra which releases methane and carbon dioxide – that self-perpetuating system that could eventually sustain its own change.
The human population is increasing at an almost exponential rate resulting in more consumption, more waste products and more habitat expansion; with famine and water shortages predicted in the foreseeable future.
Chemical pollutants are in every phase of our water and food supply: the breast milk of Greenland Inuit women, that depend on whale and seal fat in their diet, is so polluted that it would be classified hazardous by the EPA.
Now on top of that, mankind has the ability of mass destruction with nuclear weapons.
We are not a dependable creature to have such power. Up until now, men with some degree of restrain have has control of these weapons; but it only takes one fanatical religious group or one or two unstable individuals with launch codes to bring about almost immediate world destruction – Kim Jong-um… Donald Trump?
We are in the process of the sixth extinction – and it will not take millions of years.
What can we do about this?
Judging by the history of mankind I would say enjoy yourself while you can, because eventually mankind will have to bend over and kiss its own ass good-by.
Have a good day
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
I love the winter. Winter is my favorite time of year. I am always excited when the first snow fall cleanses the earth and the weather is cold enough to put on long johns.
In April the temperatures rise, the snow turns dirty, the roads began to mud up and all the summer chores loom just beyond the present - this is a time of unrest and transition and I am ready to move on.
Sunday, April 9, 2017
Yesterday I posted a blog about the inadequate computer systems throughout our government. I mentioned that the Air Force Squadron tasked with launching nuclear weapons still uses floppy disk to enter launch codes.
I have to admit, this is where I got my information from.
Even as scary and insane as this seemed at the time, we now have to add another layer of insanity: that Donald Trump may wake up during the night and instead of tweeting, push the nuclear button because Sweden or some other country dissed him!
Saturday, April 8, 2017
A blog by blogfodder started me thinking about the real problem with Russia being able to hack our latest Presidential election.
We spend more on our military than the next half-dozen most powerful militaries combined, and now Trump wants to increase military spending dramatically.
It is not a matter of how much we spend, but how we spend our defense money that should be of concern. Congressional and Senate persons finance their reelections by whoring for companies wishing to sell big money items to the government. Thus we often spend way too much money on military products that are obsolete before they are even delivered, or products that have massive cost overruns and don’t work as advertised.
The new F-35 fighter jet, at a billion dollars per aircraft, is an example of an imperfect money hole.
How does this tie in with election hacking?
Our computer infrastructure throughout the government is sorely inadequate. The computer industry doesn’t have the same lobbying clout as Lockheed Aircraft Company – so we will dump an easy trillion into Lockheed while leaving ourselves with third world computer technology throughout the government.
Our general government and military computer systems are out of date, and the computer systems of the VA are embarrassingly antiquated. The military and the VA systems cannot even transfer and share data, which is one of the major causes of the VA’s inability to promptly service new veterans. Even more concerning is our nuclear delivery systems with computer technology so old that launch codes have to be entered with floppy disk.
The Obamacare roll-out is a prime example. We have some of the most advanced computer hardware and software manufacturers in the world located in the United States, and yet we bumble along and get along with outdated and outmoded technology running our government.
The only thing that saved us from Russia being able to totally manipulate or even crash our election last year is that our election computers – where they exist – are not standardized; they are out of date and not mutually connected to a secure internet system.
Much of the next war will be fought by crashing critical vulnerable computer systems. Our computers are hackable, our cars are hackable, the F-35 is hackable, our power grid is hackable… But we continue to contract for billion-dollar aircraft while ignoring our real vulnerability.
We have for too long been focused on our ability to attack and respond, and not on our vulnerabilities; and we have for too long allowed congressional pork to dictate our military spending.
There is only one fix for this misappropriation of government money, and government priorities that are for sale. It is called TERM LIMITS.
Thursday, April 6, 2017
My wife and I have been making our own bread since 1985 when we taught in an Athabaskan Indian village in remote Alaska. There was no store in the village so commercial bread was not readily available. My wife was teaching kindergarten, first and second grades, and I had the easier job of third, fourth, fifth and six. All of our time was spent either teaching or planning lessons so there was no time to become bread bakers.
That year we bought our first bread maker that looked similar to the R2D2 robot on Star Wars and produced a cylindrical loaf.
Since that time, we have always made our bread with bread machines.
This is my favorite bread recipe:
1 cup of milk
3 tablespoons of water
1 ½ cups of white all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups of whole wheat stone ground flour
4 teaspoons of sugar
¾ teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of butter
1 teaspoon of yeast
If you measure carefully the bread comes out perfect almost every time. Just before the last rising we remove the dough, remove the paddle, lightly kneed and shape into a ball and return the dough to the bread machine for the final rise and bake. We find the 1 ½ pound recipes give a better consistency bread than the 2 pound recipes.
We have had numerous bread machines. The worst one was a terribly expensive, two paddle machine made in Sweden – the bread came out lousy. The one we like the best is the Bread Machine Ultra that cost about $90 on line.
We have made breads, cakes, pizza dough and rolls with our machine – the machine does most of the work.
My favorite bread machine recipe book is: Bread Machines and Beyond by Jenny Shapter, my next favorite is Better Homes and Gardens Bread Machine Cook Book. I like the first one best because it has pictures – I like pictures
Enjoy some fresh bread
Saturday, April 1, 2017
THE OL'BUZZARD'S LIFE SURVIVAL KIT FOR SONS AND GRANDSONS
If I had a young son or grandson coming of age I would give him the gift of an Ol’Buzzard’s Life Survival Kit consisting of a Leatherman and a roll of Duct Tape; and I would tell him that if he is man enough and will stand on his own two-feet, the Kit will take care of 98% of his problems – the other 2% being women that he will never be able to comprehend.
I had Direct TV installed about a year ago and I told the installer that I wanted the antenna to be convenient enough that I could clear it of the wet sticky snows we sometimes get at the beginning and at the end of the winter season. He told me to spray the antenna with WD-40 and the antenna would stay clear. It worked.
Today we had about five inches of that wet sticky snow with temperatures above freezing. With this kind of snow my snow blower usually clogs up in the chute and I end up shoveling my driveway; but for some reason I thought of the advice of the Direct TV installer. I went out and sprayed the snow blower chute liberally with WD-40 and blew the snow away with no problem – the chute never clogged.
I think I would add WD-40 to the Ol’Buzzard’s Life Survival Kit.