Saturday, February 23, 2013

British engineer plans Niagara Falls plunge to test ‘Tsunami Survival’ capsule

My pod: Julian Sharpe

 Good Day World!

 Feel lucky? Today’s topic is about belief and luck.

I want to share a story about one chap, Julian Sharp (that’s him on the left), whose betting his life that his invention can take a person over Niagara Falls safely.

Would you put your life on the line to prove a product you made was safe? For me, it would depend on how badly I needed the money.

 A British inventor has made a “tsunami survival” capsule — and plans to test it by hurtling over Niagara Falls in it. Aerospace engineer Julian Sharpe, 50, believes his lifesaving pod will protect people from tidal waves, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, superstorms and many other natural disasters.

He says he has no qualms about riding the aluminum ball over the world-famous 167 ft. falls. The impact will be like being rear-ended by a car at around 20 mph, he claims.

He said: “We can tell people how strong it is but until we have proved that it has saved a life they might not believe what we say.” Julian, born in Carmarthern, south west Wales, now lives in Seattle. He hopes the capsules, holding up to six people, will sell for between £650 and £3,250. A prototype shown at the Yokohama Expo is to go into production soon. Source

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Friday, February 22, 2013

Let’s listen to the ‘Rest of the Story’ with classic Paul Harvey Broadcasts

            Good Day World!
 Today’s topic is Paul Harvey. I use to love listening to his broadcasts and thought it would be fun to share them with you.
Let’s turn the clock back for a moment and read about The Rest of the Story (TROTS) a staple of Paul Harvey from the time it was introduced in May 1976 though Paul Harvey's death in February 2009.
It usually aired Monday through Friday of each week in the early to late afternoon, and sometimes was repeated in the early evening. Each broadcast started with "You know what the news is, in a minute you're going to hear the REST of the STORY". This was followed by a 30 second commercial and then the story itself. Without the intro and commercial. they are approximately 3 minutes and 45 seconds long.
These were normally pre-recorded well in advance, while the daily morning and noon news was recorded earlier in the day (with the exception of the Saturday news which was recorded the day before). TROTS stories were written by Paul Harvey Jr. and were hosted by either Paul, or in later years by Paul Jr. as a substitute host. Following Paul's death, Doug Limerick was chosen to be the show's new host, but it was cancelled three weeks after Paul's death.
The reason why TROTS was unique was the fact that each story had a unique twist, and was "verified" to be true (though some question the validity of that statement). In any case, they were entertaining.
Classics Downloads Stories beginning with "A" 
Abbott and Costello
Abner Doubleday
A-Bomb Musician
Aborted Abortion
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln 2 *
Abraham Lincoln 3
Abraham Lincoln *
Acid Lake *
Actor On Death Row
Actor Speech Impediment
Actor Willie *
Actress Biographer
Admiral Lord Nelson
Adolph Hitler 2
Adolph Hitler *
Agatha Christie
Agnostic Inventor *
Albert Einstein,

More information
Time for me to walk on down the road…

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Dreaming of solar powered cars or how someone converted a 100-year old electric car to solar

Good Day World!

The topic is there’s nothing new under the sun – or in today’s example – a 100-year old electric car that was converted to run on solar power.

 Imagine that? A 1912 Baker Electric car was retrofitted with a solar panel by Charles Escoffery for the International Rectifier Corp. back in 1960.

The panel cost $20,000. With the panel, the Baker could run at 20 mph for three hours. International Rectifier hoped to soon be churning out "noiseless, smogless" solar cars for $5000 each. It's 53 years later now, and still no sign of these classics on the road. Source:Newsweek (Mar 7, 1960) & M3GA.

Of the alternative fuel concepts, the oldest concept has been that of using solar power to drive our cars. The whole concept of solar cars was started in the early 1990’s when emission laws were being enforced all around the United States. Many colleges and universities started looking at the possibility of solar powered cars. But it was soon found out that for cars to run, the solar collectors needed were very large.

Solar powered cars run on electric power and this electric power comes from the solar collectors. Hundreds of photovoltaic cells are placed in the car and these cells can convert sunlight into electricity. This energy is then stored in solar collectors which in turn feeds the electric motor to run the car. Each photovoltaic cell produces about one-half volt of electricity and hence the need for hundreds of such cells.

The downside is that solar cars would not work properly on cloudy days as they do not get enough sunlight to produce the electricity. Also running solar powered cars during nights is limited and can run until the electricity stored in the battery is exhausted. Having larger batteries to store electric power is possible, but it would mean that there is no place for people to travel in the car.

I’m sure that one day the technology will be feasible, but until it is I’m sticking with Hybrids that use batteries and fuel.

Related articles: 

Which is More Efficient, Solar Powered EV or a Biofuel Powered Car?

SSUET’s students produce solar-powered car

Time for me to walk on down the road…


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

New Blog Series: ‘Why Politicians Are So Damn Funny!’

Head’s up readers!

As It Stands – this Blog – is proud to premier a new series called: “Why Politicians Are So Damn Funny!” today…

This series is exclusive to this blog and won’t be found anywhere else – unless other blogs, etc. pick it up and re-publish it, which is okay.

To jump-start the series I’m introducing Newt Gingrich’s latest lunacy where he clashed with Neocon Karl Rove (aka Darth Vader) over billionaires selecting Republican candidates. This is rich (pun intended):

We’re talking about the same Newt Gingrich, who failed at his attempt to become our next president - and who was bankrolled by Sheldon Adelson, the Vegas-based casino magnate, and his wife, Miriam, who donated a total of $20 million to the pro-Newt super PAC Winning Our Future last year. In a classic case of flip-flopping (Mitt Romney was probably proud of him) Newt revealed his latest tactic – don’t let rich guys buy nominations unless they’re the RIGHT rich guys of course.

Gingrich recently wrote this in the conservative publication Human Events:

I am unalterably opposed to a bunch of billionaires financing a boss to pick candidates in 50 states. This is the opposite of the Republican tradition of freedom and grassroots small town conservatism.

No one person is smart enough nor do they have the moral right to buy nominations across the country.

That is the system of Tammany Hall and the Chicago machine. It should be repugnant to every conservative and every Republican.

How can anyone take Newt seriously? Apparently a group of other maverick conservatives have joined up with him to attack Darth Rove’s Conservative Victory Project, a new initiative associated with the super PAC American Crossroads to ensure more electable congressional candidates.

In other words, Rove and other members of the Evil Empire are trying to clean up the current list of conservative Republican candidates who don’t drink the same Kool Aid as them. Extremists replacing extremists. Even worse than the blind leading the blind.

The laugher here is that neither side of this conservative schism is in touch with voter reality. No matter who they come up with, the candidate isn’t going to get enough angry white men votes to get into office. But what the heck? They do provide a few good laughs as they fumble around the political landscape and pollute it with their twisted dreams.

As It Stands, all of these ideological idiots have lots of money and time to imagine a world were no one challenges their wealth or political aspirations. 

Good Question: What are the police doing on my Facebook page?

Good Day World!

The Topic today is spies on Facebook.

Law enforcement authorities spying on activists' Facebook pages is a disturbing sign which evinces an urgent need for legislation drawing clearer lines around what is and what isn't acceptable.

The social justice protest of summer 2011 was a seminal event in Israeli history. What started with a small group of people pitching tents on Rothschild Boulevard and reached a peak with half a million people out in the streets had an indisputable effect on public discourse here. The evidence of that is the major role that social and economic issues played in the recent election campaign. But even as that change took place, another, less talked-about one happened as well: The leaders of the protest were marked by the Israel Police, which put their Facebook pages under surveillance and submitted them as evidence to the court (Haaretz, February 10, 2013).

The Israel Police is not alone in these actions. In December 2012, The New York Times reported that according to FBI documents, FBI agents had been watching the members of the Occupy Wall Street movement since September 2011, exchanging information with employers, universities and police officials. The FBI regarded spying on the activists as part of the war on terror.

A report released by Gartner Research predicts that by 2015, 60 percent of organizations will have formal programs to snoop on social-networking sites to keep information secure and prevent electronic break-ins. Today, less than 10 percent of companies keep track of their employees’ social-networking profiles. In March of last year, Facebook announced that it was considering taking employers who had asked for the names and passwords of job candidates to court. (Read the whole article here)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Consumers held hostage at the pumps again! Prices are skyrocketing!

              Good Day World!

The topic for today is gas prices and how – as usual – we the consumers are being legally raped by the oil corporations and speculators. It hurts. It’s wrong. But it continues to happen and we can’t seem to to a damn thing about it!

It’s that time of year again, when for no real good reasons we get held up at the pumps by the criminals who control transportation costs in this country. It’s like a pre-spring screwing which sets us up for a summer of climbing gas prices.

U.S. gas prices have hit a four-month high with 32 straight days of increases at the pump bringing misery to spring breakers and job hunters.The Automobile Association of America said Monday that the national average for a gallon of regular is $3.73 -- 43 cents more than a month ago -- with prices topping $4 in California and Hawaii.

And if you live in Humboldt County like I do – it’s $4.27 a gallon! As usual we lead the nation…and that goes for Hawaii, but it’s like we’re in some Bermuda Triangle and no one can ever explain why we pay more than anyone else most of the time.

I’ve yet to see the mainstream national press examine this little oddity we live with up here. We may be behind the proverbial “Redwood Curtain,” but there’s a lot more inaccessible places in America to deliver gas to. So why are we putting up with it? Locals suspect a lot of things but no investigative reporter has ever tried to get to the bottom of this hard fact.

There’s been some fluff prices done about our high gas prices over the years by various local media outlets, but NO ONE has ever come up with a complete explanation. There’s something rotten all right…and it’s not in Denmark!

Meanwhile the national media experts blamed a series of the usual bullshit factors for the increase that started in mid-January: (Nod if any of this sounds familiar)

- Some refineries are switching over from winter to summer fuel, which is more expensive to produce.

- A Hess refinery in New Jersey that supplies 7.5 percent of the Northeast's gas is closing.

- Midwinter maintenance has led some refineries to go offline temporarily.

- Demand for gas is up, fueled in part by the return of more people to working.

The price hikes come at a bad time, however, for Americans who are still out of work or facing smaller paychecks because of higher payroll taxes.

The bad news: according to the AAA prices will likely continue to rise into the warmer months and driving season, but not at the same pace they did in 2011 and 2012. Talk about a Catch 22 – those Americans that have found jobs are paying the price at the pump – and those without are taking a hit they can ill afford.

The sooner we get away from fossil fuels, the better for the average consumer!

Time for me to walk on down the road…


Monday, February 18, 2013

AS IT STANDS: Lack of respect for one another equals fear and violence

By Dave Stancliff/for the Times- Standard 

 First Posted:   02/17/2013 02:34:42 AM PST

 Updated: 02/18/2013 02:34:42 AM PST

At the risk of sounding like an old curmudgeon I have to say I don't care much for this new century. The hasn't turned out at all like I imagined back when I was a kid in the 20th Century.

My utopian forecast wasn't even close. Everyone doesn't have a flying car, although I heard some guy has invented one and intends to start production next year. People aren't all wearing space suits like in the popular “Jetsons” cartoons.

We're more apt to see baggy pants exposing underwear on young men, and young women wearing lingerie tops like blouses during the day than space suits. I like that there's no dress code, but have to admit some people look spacey with multi-colored mohawks and rings protruding from noses like metal boogers.

It really makes me sad to see our schools forced to take actions to prevent lunatics from murdering our students. Such a thing was unthinkable back in the 1950s and '60s when I was a child. None of us had to fear someone would walk into our school and shoot us indiscriminately.

Students may have gotten mad at teachers and peers, but they never returned to school with weapons, bent on bloody revenge. That kind of stuff didn't even happen in the movies.

I'm not sure why. People had guns back then. Plenty of them. I often wonder if people had more respect for weapons then, and also had certain values that no longer exist today. Like respect for authority.

The whole situation about guarding schools continues to get weirder all the time. The most recent surreal news involves Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the self-proclaimed “America's Toughest Sheriff.” He's putting Arizona on the map again by joining forces with movie stars to train armed posse members to patrol schools. Kids will get to see action star Steven Seagal when he trains the posse. No, really.

Arpaio has gathered more than 3,000 volunteers for his armed posse. You'll never guess what other action stars will tromp around these schools in an effort to keep the bad guys out.

The Incredible Hulk” star Lou Ferrigno and actor Peter Lupus of TV's “Mission: Impossible,” will be on hand to inspire and sign autographs. Sound surreal enough for you? I can tell you we never came close to this kind of madness back in my day.

I know we have a more violent society now. I suppose you can blame that on numerous factors, but I see the main reason as the breakdown of respect for one another. Instead of becoming more tolerant and evolving into a more peaceful nation, we have become a country of targets for mass murderers and disgruntled students who know no boundaries.

That's because there are no boundaries nowadays. No respect for teachers, professors, judges, police, or anyone in authority. Here's just one recent example:

An 18-year old girl in Miami, Florida flipped a circuit court judge the “bird” on her way out of court and used an obscenity when commenting on his decision. The judge called her back into the court and gave her a 30-day jail sentence for contempt.

However, the next day, after a plea from her , the judge suspended the sentence and sent her on her way free as a bird. What do you think that young lady learned from the experience?

An older person commenting on the next generation's lack of merits is nothing new. Aristotle bitterly complained about the youth of his day being disrespectful, lazy, and without morals or values.

Of course he didn't have to worry about assault rifles slaughtering students in schools. He may have lived in a violent age, but it didn't hold a candle to the 21st Century!

Advanced technologies have not brought us peace. Instead we are turning on ourselves with weapons of mass destruction. For every positive step we've made in medicine we've taken a negative one with increased violence in the workplace and the world around us.

We are regressing as a society, instead of progressing. The result is we're now fighting a holding action against the inevitable collapse of this country from within. Can we turn things around?

As It Stands, perhaps there's hope, but when I see schools patrolled by citizen posses led by aging action movie stars, I have to wonder.

Blog Break Until Presidential Election is Over

I finally hit the wall today. I can't think of what to say about all of the madness going on in this country right now. I'm a writer...