- Of the new Omni-bust budget deal Jim Bovard sez: “Republican congressional leaders are like a football coach who believes the secret to winning is to punt early and often.”
- Rand Paul sez stop the bill — and he has some fairly decent ideas for alternatives.
- OTOH, Marijuana.com sez there are a couple of decent provisions in the 2,000 page monster sellout.
- On the other other hand, the USPS announces a completely unsurprising but curiously retro policy on carrying publications that contain — gasp! — ads for the dreaded Demon Weed. One wonders why they couldn’t have just kept their mouths shut and carried the mail, given that the times are changing.
- FIJA-philes win another “jury tampering” case. (H/T jed)
- This book sounds intriguing. Possibly futile, but maybe a good picker-upper for the freedomista remnant. And who knows? Millennials are showing a heartening interest in liberty; it might inform and encourage them, too. It’s Robert Curry’s Common Sense Nation: Unlocking the power of the American idea. Review by John Tamny. And of course … Amazon link.
- Ya really gotta wonder how people discover such stuff. Apparently you can break into Linux systems (with Grub2 bootloaders) by pressing the backspace key 28 times. A fix is already in the works. (H/T MJR)
- Cabin Porn! (via Kyle MacL in comments). Not yuppie tiny-house pretensions, but the real deal.
Archive for the ‘Off-Grid’ Category
- The barebones truth about life in the trackless woods. (H/T MJR)
- Well, that’s one reason to join ISIS.
- Larry Pratt: time to make it clear that we will not comply.
- Crybullies, crymobs, and the left’s whiny war on free speech. That last paragraph is a doozy. (Tip o’ hat to D.B.)
- Court rules for husband (and contract) in frozen embryos case. (Having a baby — or not having one — is a lot more complicated than it used to be.)
- The Che Cafe is in the red and fans want California taxpapers and university students to go on subsidizing it.
- Upon request, the FBI has released its files on two of my publishers. :-) (H/T A.G. in comments)
- The released FBI docs give the impression that they really weren’t much interested in Loompanics or Paladin. But as I wrote in this 1998 Wolfe’s Lodge “Sound Off,” I have a bit of evidence to the contrary. (Once again a big thank you to Bill St. Clair for keeping that ancient site alive in his archives. Thanks also to the anonymous designer; I was struck again by what a beautiful site it was for its era (and still). Even now it’s a wonderful place for a rainy-day visit.)
- The latest specials from Backwoods Home: give up to 10 gift subscriptions at half price; buy a copy of Backwoods Home Cooking and get Ask Jackie Homestead Cooking free. NFI on my part. These offers are good through Sunday midnight.
- Even a gun controller calls Obama’s response to the UCC campus killings a tantrum and correctly states that nothing Our Glorious Leader wants will end violence.
- Here’s a pretty good fisk of Hillary Clinton’s latest opportunistic anti-gun knee-jerking, too. Again, it’s by somebody who’s hardly a pro-gun purist. Here’s another good one.
- I’d expect this sort of thing in over-regulated, over-zoned cities, but when rural Colorado tries to keep people from living off-grid on their own land, we’re truly in a pickle. (Via jed in comments)
- Have you ever complained about how some arbitrary credit score governs too much of your life (from the ability to rent an apartment to whether or not you can get a job)? Well, if this article is accurate, you should be glad you don’t live in China. Where your political opinions and those of your friends might soon be scored. (I must stress, though, that I don’t yet know how correct this info is. A writer on the ACLU site confirms the original piece, but more solid info is needed.)
- TPP negotiations are finished and the Electronic Frontier Foundation calls the (still largely secret) pact a betrayal.
- The old-fashioned way to say this is, “The Bill of Rights isn’t a Chinese menu.” Pretty good thinking for a New York lawyer. ;-) (H/T S)
- Sorry for the Schadenfreude, but I’m still laughing at “Zuckerberg’s $100 Million Lesson”.
A reader of this blog is right now doing the dangerous, punishing, vital work of fighting wildfires in one of the many blazing western states. Hats off to him, big time.
He sent me this:
It’s an oregano farm, so he swears. :-) And far from the only one they’ve come across. In fact, these grows turn out to be a mainstay of this particular area’s economy. And not with government approval.
Curious, I asked whether fire crews were being ordered to destroy the illegal “oregano,” report it, or let it be. He responded:
I knew I wasn’t going to monkey with anyone’s private property, and would have dodged the mission if that had been written in as part of it. We are here to protect it, otherwise nature would be allowed to run her course. She will eventually anyways, just not this season.
This whole region is a tinderbox waiting to erupt, and the drought has made things considerably worse. To my uneducated eyes things look the same as always in the timberline, but at their core and roots, the trees are suffering mightily. Or so I’ve been told by those in the know.
Once boots were on the ground and the nature of the local economy became apparent, I too was curious about how things would be handled, so I asked our handler/trainer/liaison (who is a REAL wilderness firefighter with 20 years of experience). His response was along the lines of, “If we were [in an area whose economy wasn’t so dependent on the crop], yeah, I’d probably report them. Or if it was a meth lab or something. But this? Here? Nah.”
The backwoods property owners have mixed emotions about our presence and are shadowing our movements (sometimes openly armed). The “townspeople” (all four hundred of them) are happy. That said, there are at least three fed LEO agencies here with us, but none of them are in enough force to logistically do anything. I suspect they were sent by their higher ups primarily to be seen by each other. Organizational phallic displays and measuring.
Despite the feds and their wars on everything, a ray of goodness penetrates this dark, smoky, perilous summer.
- Deez Nuts is polling quite well against other presidential candidates.
- And if this poll means anything, there’s more sanity in the country and more hope for harmony between the races than sometimes seems.
- I forgot until Jim Bovard reminded me: Yesterday was the 23rd anniversary of the feds beginning their killings at Ruby Ridge. Yesterday, Sammy. Today Vicki. There’s no statute of limitations on murder …
- For those who catch killer cops on camera: the personal aftermath.
- The Dow (and darned near everything else) goes dowwwwwwwwwwwwn in a way last seen in infamous 2008. And this time, what tricks do global governments have left to pull out of their hats?
- Starting one year as a nomad. While this is hardly the spontaneous adventure it seems (how many other nomads have multiple sponsors?), it’s still interesting. (Brought to you by BioLite, the folks who make the ingenious camp stoves and related off-grid goodies.)
- What we do for love. And desperation. Your awwwww story for the day — if awwwww can include alligators.
- OTOH, maybe you prefer your awwww with bears. (Here’s the video.)
One man’s floating life on the waterways of England.
- Oh yeah, let’s “fix” I-594 by making exceptions for only ones. ‘Cause you know, only us peasants (e.g. we who don’t work for the state or its cronies) ever commit crimes.
- The day long feared has arrived. Samsung warns customers to be careful what they say in the vicinity of their “smart” TVs. And we’re just supposed to lie back and enjoy it now that the loss of privacy is “inevitable.”
- “Impaired Self Defense.” Good observations by MamaLiberty.
- The SunSaluter. Interestingly simple concept from one of Peter Thiel’s young Fellows. A solar tracker/water filter. Looks like it would be most effective only in the tropics where the sun always arcs high in the sky. Any comment from you physics guys?
- Speaking of physics guys … you may recall my impressively failed experiments with flower pot candle heaters. Engineers predicted the failures ’cause (to put it in kindergarden terms) you can’t get more energy out of a candle than is in the candle in the first place. What you can get out of it, though, is a bunch of money. Provided you give your version of it an “eco” name. (Via S., who notes, “Unless paraffin tea candles have energy density approaching that of highly enriched uranium, it is flat-out impossible to do any meaningful heating with an ounce or three of wax.”)
- I suspect that the first thing that’ll happen when you register with NoFlyZone.org to declare your home a no-go for drones … is that various governments will wonder what you have to hide and will target you for drone flights bearing various cams and eventually weapons.
- Love it! Trekkies (and fed-up fliers) tell the TSA who’s boss. (H/T S.)
- For this couple, energy-efficiency has jumped the shark. At least they now understand and are willing to say what a pair of idiots they were to build such a house.
- Wow. That was some impressive pistol shot!
- Lyrics NSFW and hip-hop might not be to everybody’s taste. But Freedom Feen Neema Vedadi (with Mason Moore) has a way of putting freedom right in the face of a new generation: “See My Chains.” (Tip o’ hat to MD)
- If you’ve never been to the Buffalo Bill Firearms Museum in Cody, Wyoming, you might want to make a detour next time you visit Yellowstone. Unless you’re Ian McCollum, it’ll show you more than you ever wanted to know about guns and their history. I’m noting this here because the firearms museum now has its first female curator — and from her qualifications it’s clear she’s no affirmative action hire.
- Distracted and diverted from the police state. This one’s a couple of months old, but quite apropos.
- And this one’s right up to date: Christmas. Is it the most menacing time of years? Troy Senik says it is if you really listen to those song lyrics! ;-)
Tiny, portable box adds TOR to every Ethernet connection. And everything you do online.
Claim: cold fusion may have been verified by third-party researchers. I’ll believe it when I see it. Just posting as an item of interest for now. But oh my, if this ever turns out to be for real, it changes everything — and not just in tech or power generation.
(H/Ts: MJR and MtK)
ADDED: Sigh. It’s possible both of these might turn out to be scams. Per Sam in Oregon, here’s the latest on the Anonabox.
Already got a reality check on the cold-fusion device below.
ADDED: A comment by a friend who works in the power-generation field:
I downloaded and read the paper on the cold fusion device, called E-Cat.
Disclosure: I would like for this to be true. It would improve the health and wellbeing of mankind at least as much as the mastery of fire.
Rossi has been making these claims for years. One of the common elements in all of his experiments is that he uses complex means to measure the energy.
This paper is no different. They have to estimate the energy losses for no fewer than 3 different physical effects. One of those, radiation, accounts for more than 100% of the observed “excess” heat.
That’s a red flag right there. A competent analysis would have predicted how the heat would manifest itself: so much to radiation, so much to convection, so much to conduction. Then they could have checked their results against this prediction.
But they didn’t do that. They didn’t even test their “control” at the same power and temperature levels. Another red flag.
Radiation is a very difficult way to measure energy production. The power goes as the temperature to the 4th power, so a 5% error in temperature gives a 22% error in power. Then the alumina they used has a big change in emissivity as a function of temperature, and the temperature of the tube is far from uniform.
Bottom line; the most likely explanation for the “excess heat” is a sum of small errors in the measurements.
There are also claims of isotopic shifts, but those are tough to measure with the equipment they used. The absence of any radiation means we would have to throw out most of what we know about nuclear physics.
I’m not at all against throwing out theories that don’t work. The problem is that nuclear physics works pretty darned well. Nuclear reactors, nuclear weapons, nuclear medicine, solar physics, cosmography, all of these things require detailed calculations of nuclear reactions and rates, and all of them get answers that are pretty much exactly right. There are always questions at the edges, such as solar neutrinos, but there isn’t any suggestion that the physics is wrong.
The process of throwing out older theories for better ones always follows the same path. The old theories work well enough for a while. Eventually we push the edges enough that the calculations start producing answers that don’t match what we see. A fair amount of data is collected showing that we have a problem. Then some smart person proposes a new theory that explains all of the old stuff AND all of the new stuff.
That isn’t happening here. There isn’t a collection of hints that we have a problem in nuclear physics. Quite the opposite. The further we push, the more confirmations we get.
So I don’t buy the claims of isotopic shifts.
Then there is the question of the complex experimental setup.
The excess power they claim is equivalent to nearly 2,000 watts of excess heat being produced. That’s a lot. If there really was that much heat, it would be easy to measure directly, without the trouble and errors of trying to calculate power from radiation.
Just one idea, to show how straightforward this could be.
Immerse the thing in wax, or lead, or salt. Make the container big enough that it is clearly impossible to melt the contents from the electrical input power alone. Then run it until the container is full of melted whatever. That’s proof. No fancy measurements required. A bit of engineering math in advance, build 2 or 3 to run controls before and after, and you have a bullet-proof demo.
This isn’t a bullet-proof demo. It’s not even a demo. I don’t know if Rossi is running an elaborate con game or if he believes this stuff. It doesn’t matter; I’m pretty sure there is nothing here. I’d be more than happy to be proved wrong.
I’ve linked recently to Ryochiji’s posts about his Serenity Valley cabin’s very, very — VERY — close call with a wildfire.
Lots of other worthwhile stuff at his site, Laptop and a Rifle. Back in the winter of 2011, when his property was less developed than it is now, he vowed to spend 31 days there under a strict set of rules. He called his experiment Project 31 & despite the rigor of his terms, it was a success. Here are all his posts about it
Very Joel-ish. Without the curmudgeonliness.
- What? Eric Holder a hypocrite? Nooooo.
- Why, that would be as unthinkable as saying cops are lying thugs or that they get away with things that would send the rest of us to prison.
- Why, that would even be like saying that feds and local cops are conspiring to keep information out of the hands of judges. Couldn’t happen. This is Murrica!
- Isn’t that cute? The NSA has its own search engine just for sharing information about us.
- Sigh. Another hopeful libertarian project collapses into a rubble heap of fraud and scandal.
- Oh well. Here’s something useful (and maybe even fun) to do while waiting for Truth, Justice, and the Murrican Way to triumph: make your own knife without power tools. (link fixed!)
- ADDED: Per jed in comments on today’s other post: pit bull saves kid from swarm of bees. (Needed a little more good news here.)
- The more powerful people are, the more time they perceive they have. Interesting. And an insight into why some of us always feel as if we’re scrambling just to keep up!
- And here’s the schedule those successful people follow.
- This came up at Joel’s place the other day. I think it was MJR who linked it. In any case, it’s cool in more ways than one — poor man’s air conditioning.
- Hm. Jeffrey Snider also goes on (as I recently did) about how seventeenth century England made such a difference to Americans. Then he goes on. And on. About modern-day political thievery. Long but interesting.*
- Jury frees man who shot at cops who were too stupid and lazy to bother checking an address.
- And things continue to look up! Woman wins big settlement after cop steals her money and arrests her on false charges. (H/T Say Uncle)
- Everybody knows about Sherman committing war crimes as he pillaged and burned his way to the sea. But I never knew Sheridan did the same thing farther north — on orders from Grant and with the blessing and thanks of Lincoln.
* He screws up saying that Locke fled England under James I. It was James II. But that’s just being technical. Locke was a pretty amazing person and one to whom we also owe much.