No Acorns Today

I went to collect the mail today and stopped by a local oak that overhangs the road allowance to collect acorns. I found none. I saw none on the trees. I guess the oaks are preparing to smother the ground with acorns next year. I’ll be ready…

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Thanks Wind. Welding Again.

TLW put on a Hell of a party last week. It went pretty well except the wind knocked down one of her new patio-umbrellas. It was bound to happen. She put a few rocks on the base but it wasn’t properly secured. Fortunately, no one was injured and I get to weld up a proper base.

I had a few choices for a base:

  • dig up her patio and put anchors into concrete…,
  • pile up more rocks…,
  • throw the thing away…, or
  • weld up 150 pounds of steel scrap into a nice paperweight and weld the umbrella’s stand on top…

Of course, the latter idea got the go-ahead. TLW just doesn’t like ugliness or doing away with her work…

The bulk of my scrap consists of T-bars 37.5 inches long. By laying 25 down on the top of a welding table and tacking them together, I got a heavy but flexible mat. By laying another 25 down on that with the stems of the “T”s down, I could weld the stems together at the ends and stiffen the mat while doubling the weight. I’m going to use my hoisting frame to lower it down to a cart which I can roll to the place. TLW is even being helpful by declaring that the umbrella will be mounted down on the patio instead of on the deck. That means I don’t have to roll things uphill. Unfortunately, I have to move a properly weighted base of another umbrella up to the deck. That base has two sandbags buckled together. That move will be work. I wonder why TLW bought two different umbrellas, one with a good base and one without… Is it to make work for me???

So, I paint and finish welding the stand to the mat of T-bars tomorrow. It’s all good. I love the smell of welding fumes in the morning.

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Linux Operating Systems Up In India

I know a few things about India but I’ve never lived there:

  • it’s a mix of ancient civilizations,
  • it’s huge,
  • it’s diverse,
  • it’s densely populated in parts, and
  • it’s hot.

Today, I added another item to the list. That Other OS (TOOS) runs only a small fraction of web-browsers in India. 20% is tiny compared to other parts of the world. I guess that’s because small cheap smartphones are what the majority of people can afford. I guess that’s because desktops and notebooks are only for the richest/busiest. Everyone else uses a standard smartphone which tends to be running Android/Linux.

It helps that government policy favours */Linux. It helps that many schools use */Linux. It’s a nearly perfect environment to break a monopoly based on cheating decades ago. It gives India a huge advantage in IT for the future, not being anchored to ancient technology designed to enrich and empower greedy bastards.

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FakePOTUS/TRUMP Circling The Drain

Yesterday was a great day:

  • Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign chairman, convicted of laundering Russian money through Ukraine and Cyprus, and
  • Michael Cohen, Trump’s lawyer, convicted of illegal campaign contributions. Cohen also implicated Trump in the schemes.

So, now there is solid evidence that Trump illegally gained an advantage that may have put him over the top in one of the closest races in history (10 states won by margins less than 10%, 5 won by less than 1.3%, just thousands of votes nationally). Put this on top of Russia placing its thumb on the scales and it’s clear that Trump was not elected by the free will of the people. Now the people are really angry and the 2018 midterms are almost certain to flip the House to the Democrats and the Senate is a possibility. If a few Republicans see the writing on the wall, that may happen too. Watch the polls.

Trump has been proven a liar in court. Trump has been proven a womanizer in court. Trump has been proven an election-cheater in court. Expanding Trump’s base? Not very likely. In fact, some supporters are going to flip or at least not vote in the mid-terms. Trump has no hope in 2020 and there’s a good chance of impeachment in 2018/2019. He may eventually go to jail for some of his crimes. He certainly will if the Mueller probe ripens. The GOP have to unhitch their wagons from Trump or they will go over the cliff as well. I doubt that will happen before the mid-terms but afterwards, watch out!

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Global Cooling Or Bust!

“One cause is a weakening of the temperature gradient between the Arctic and Equator as a result of man-made greenhouse gas emissions. The far north of the Earth is warming two to four times faster than the global average, says the paper, which means there is a declining temperature gap with the central belt of the planet. As this ramp flattens, winds struggle to build up sufficient energy and speed to push around pressure systems in the area between them.
As a result, there is less relief in the form of mild and wet air from the sea when temperatures accumulate on land, and less relief from the land when storms build up in the ocean. Last year, Hurricane Harvey had a devastating impact on Texas because it was parked an unusually long time on the coast, where it kept drawing up moisture from the sea and dumping it in the form of the greatest deluge ever recorded in the US. Scientists had previously noted that hurricanes are slowing and bringing more rain.”
See Summer weather is getting ‘stuck’ due to Arctic warming
See that, climate-deniers? Where I live there have been several prolonged dry spells where normally there would be one or two and we had one long period where the prairies saw record high temperatures. I’m OK as long as my well doesn’t run dry but it makes a hell of a lot of work to keep plants alive on my little property. Life would be so much easier if the Arctic were alive and healthy instead of becoming tropical…

There is a solution, of course. Drop hydrocarbons for fuel except in extreme/rare cases. Drive electrically. Heat with solar or renewable electricity. Don’t add any more CO2 to the atmosphere than the plants can handle and PLANT MORE TREES!!! Also, don’t forget to vote “D” in November to evict Trump and sycophants as soon as possible. The rest of the world is getting the message. USA will remain officially ignorant in denial as long as Trump is in power.

If you’ve been living under a rock and deny climate-change, note that even Trump-voters don’t agree… They didn’t elect a guy who’s helping the planet. What about you?

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“With PC makers like Asus and HP beginning to design laptops and tablets around ARM chips, ARM itself has decided to emerge from the shadows and unroll its roadmap to challenge Intel through at least 2020.
ARM’s now-public roadmap represents its first processors that are designed for the PC space. ARM, taking aim at the dominant player, claims its chips will equal and potentially even surpass Intel’s in single-threaded performance.”
See ARM challenges Intel in PCs with Deimos and Hercules chips
In the competition is good department, ARM has now dropped all pretence to be avoiding the desktop space. I’ve known for a few years that ARMed CPUs could do what I need done in the server space and a few systems using their chips could be useful int desktops but now ARM is explicitly aiming to do that. Key factors will be reduced resolution to 7nm and 5nm and higher clockspeeds. It’s all good.

It will be interesting to see how Intel responds. They are locked into supporting a backwards architecture due to huge investments in software globally. I don’t care about that. I use GNU/Linux and FLOSS exclusively. My software will run natively on optimized hardware designed by ARM and associates. I do care about having real competition in the space.

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Trumpism At The Polls

It’s not hard to notice that Gallup’s latest poll on Trump’s Job Approval is several standard deviations different between Gallup and Rasmussen. Let’s go with Gallup. They know how to take polls scientifically…

Here’s what Gallup says:

OH! MY! Notice the trend. Since Trump started breaking up families at the border, the trend is downwards. The behaviour started in October, 2017 but was at a full public boil in June, 2018. On top of that, Trump went to war with the world with tariffs while playing footsie with tyrants. Folks started to notice businesses being hit by this “tax”. That’s what a tariff is, a tax on people spending their money the way they choose. Folks who loved Trump (shortsightedly ignoring the long term tax burden repaying the increased deficit) for tax-cuts are now seeing the light. Some have even noticed the climate changing under Trump’s feet (hurricanes, fires, droughts, and flooding) as he and his minions gut regulation and fight with states trying to save the planet. Some have noticed lots of his “best people” being charged with serious crimes as the Mueller investigation grinds along.

The mid-term elections looming on the horizon have gotten people’s attention. The only cure for Trumpism is to vote the bastards supporting Trump out of office. That’s going to happen.

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The Plight Of The Butternut

I wouldn’t care much about the butternut. It’s just a tree, but it has a bunch of useful characteristics:

and it’s in danger.

There’s this problem with the butternut. There’s a fungus about that’s lethal to all known butternut trees. The fungus spreads by spores, critters and rainfall. The numbers of mature butternut trees is falling so fast there’s a real danger of extinction, but we can do things to fight that:

  • saving seeds from healthy trees to propagate the species,
  • destroying trees too far gone to reproduce, and
  • planting more trees.

Folks are looking for any butternut with immunity but so far none have been found except a few hybrid species. The old-fashioned butternut seems doomed.

Then, I had an idea. Saving seeds and monitoring the population and planting more trees might slow extinction down but won’t prevent it. My idea has a few prongs:

  • plant trees in Manitoba where there aren’t a lot of butternuts and presumably not a lot of spores of the fungus…,
  • grow trees in a conservatory with sterile environment and filtered air and no unprotected visitors, and
  • plant butternuts in dispersed locations so that the rate of planting exceeds the rate of infections.

Logically, that could work. Some are already implementing some of this scheme. You can buy butternut seedlings if you are a landowner along the Assiniboine River in western Manitoba. If my theory is correct, those butternuts can survive because the fungus can’t get to them except very rarely. There’s a tree on the grounds of the Manitoba Legislature in Winnipeg and another on a residential street. If we plant butternuts every few miles in every direction we would have thousands…

Here are some places one can buy butternut seedlings and nuts:

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Electra Meccanica Heads Into Production

“Electra Meccanica intends to use the net proceeds from this offering for plant and equipment, production molds, sales and marketing and inventory associated with the mass production of its SOLO electric vehicle by Zongshen Industrial Group Co. Ltd., initial deliveries of which are anticipated in the fall of 2018.”
See Electra Meccanica Announces Nasdaq Listing and Pricing of $10 Million Public Offering
It’s been a long time coming but EMV is getting serious about production. They are now listed on NASDAQ and offering shares and warrants to fund start up of production in China. It’s about time…

I’ve been disappointed they could not ramp up production in Canada but their sole production facility in Vancouver is mostly used for prototypes and new designs. It’s all good as long as I get my shiny RED Solo.

UPDATE – Today’s (2018-08-09) EMV Update revealed that containers have already been booked for the first shipments from China and an EMV office in Los Angeles has been set up in an old BMW dealership in Studio City. Demonstrators are already there being registered. Deliveries should start to roll in and out by October. The assembly line in China is almost ready to go.

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Trumpism Found Wanting

“Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted reported that according to unofficial results, Mr. Balderson led Democrat Danny O’Connor by 1,754 votes. Mr. Husted added there are 3,435 outstanding provisional ballots and 5,048 uncounted absentee ballots. State law forbids counting of those ballots until Aug. 18.”
See Widely Watched Ohio House Race Too Close to Call
Trumpism stinks. Seeking to divide rather than unite is a deadly self-limiting behaviour. It will cause the GOP to lose badly in the mid-term elections.

Take, OH – 12 special election, for instance. This has been a solidly GOP seat for decades. Along comes Trump and despite GOP out-spending the Ds nearly 2:1 the race is too close to call. The absentee ballots which tend to the Ds, may actually cause the Ds to win. Insulting opponents and their supporters doesn’t make friends and influence people except to make them fight harder. Do that all the time and you lose.

In Kansas, Trump endorsed a real loser, Kobach, who edged out a legitimate candidate for the GOP (perhaps not… with 88% reporting Kobach is a few votes behind – stay tuned). Kobach is despised in Kansas… Kobach is Trump’s man because he wasted $millions unsuccessfully trying to find millions of invalid voters in the 2016 election. Kansas voters don’t easily succumb to conspiracy theories like that. Trumpism is one huge conspiracy based on conspiracy theories, madness. Trump won Kansas by 21% but Kansas won’t be fooled twice by the same lying bastard. Many who voted for Trump have their regrets.

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Tesla Playing Catch-up With Electra Meccanica

“Imagining what a single-passenger Tesla vehicle might look like, the first thing that comes to mind is low cost. With the Tesla Model 3 expected to be released at a $35,000 price point in coming months and demand far exceeding the capacity to actually produce the thing, it’s mind-numbing to imagine what a single-passenger vehicle could do. Cutting out 75% of the passenger space and 75% of the price could mean yet another Tesla revolution.”
See Tesla Building Mini-Car For Adults
Tesla is thinking about doing what Electra Meccanica has done, bring a single-seater EV to market. The idea is not new but EMV is the first to bring it up to date with modern motors and batteries. EMV’s Solo is a no-frills car but it has what’s important: lowest cost of transportion per kWh for one person, good aerodynamics/appearance, small size, responsive control and great visibility. Solo’s not perfect. It could use cruise-control for those of us who want to drive it on the highway.

What Tesla will do with such a concept is uncertain. They could raise the price, I suppose or add “features” but I doubt they can cut the cost of transportation any more than the made-in-China trike.

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Solo Production

I like numbers. Electra Meccanica has just provided one on FaceBook:

Because Canadian safety certification is not yet complete, I guess this number is units shipped to USA. Pity. Derek lives in Washington state. I’ll have to wait until 2019 to receive my Solo.

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