Yes, MeatLoaf Is Good For Diabetes

OK, I’m diabetic. I have to watch what I eat and eat frequent light meals. That’s hard for a guy who used to run 10-12 miles daily and eat thousands of calories a day…

One of the most important meals of my day is a bedtime snack to keep the liver fooled about the need to pump me full of blood-sugar all night. When I test in the morning, it sure helps to eat something low in carbs then. Last night was an example. I made a meatloaf of venison. It was delicious and nutritious.

I recently received the donation of a small hand-powered meat-grinder and I pushed a pound of venison through it, a poor roast between brisket and ribs… I first sectioned the meat trying to remove all fat and sinew. Then I cubed it and pushed it down into the grinder. Presto! Ground meat. To push the last bit through, I diced an onion and pushed that through. I then disassembled the grinder and put the remaining onion in the bowl and added powdered garlic, black pepper, oatmeal and a pinch of cure. I stirred well and put the mix into a glass baking dish in the microwave oven. A few minutes of “sensor cook” and a few minutes more of heat at a low level and it was done. I cheated and had two servings with a bit of pasta sauce on top scattered with parmesan cheese…

Anyway, the blood-sugar was at the top end of a normal range this morning. It’s all good.

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DPRK’s Nukes

“He (Kim Jong-un) watched an H-bomb to be loaded into a new ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile).”
The report carried pictures of the leader inspecting the device. It described the weapon as “a multi-functional thermonuclear nuke with great destructive power which can be detonated even at high altitudes”.”
North Korea ‘has missile-ready nuclear weapon’
My studies of nuclear physics and a bit of history support the idea that North Korea could have an H-bomb. Obviously, they have fission bombs. That’s just the kindling for an H-bomb. Put enough hydrogen isotopes in close proximity and you get a bigger, more scalable big bang.

The reason fusion bombs/H-bombs were developed is because they scale better. Try harming the enemy with a single match and you won’t go far without a lot of fuel. Hydrogen isotopes are cheap and plentiful nuclear fuel. Fusion reactors produce plenty. The ocean contains plenty. It’s just a matter of geometry. The reason H-bombs scale and fusion bombs don’t is that fusion bombs require a chain-reaction with one fission releasing neutrons which may or may not trigger further reactions. It’s very inefficient and a lot of the nuclear fuel just gets scattered by the explosion instead of detonating. With an H-bomb, the trigger is just temperature and pressure. Even a small fission bomb can do that with a bit of containment and get nearly total fusion of the hydrogen fuel.

So, NK’s pitifully small nukes which may or may not reenter and work when riding an ICBM, are now a lot more dangerous because it’s easy to add a huge load of hydrogen along for the ride. The bigger bang is dangerous even from very high altitude. EMP and all that. Then there’s the little fact that it’s possible to reach 50-100 MT of TNT equivalent. Anything within 50-100 miles is toast around the blast. NK doesn’t even have to get close to a target.

I’d say we are another mile closer to pushing the panic-button of preemptive war. It’s one thing to humour a madman. It’s quite another to humour a madman who can kill millions at a stroke. Do you feel lucky that Kim won’t choose your city as a target? Do you feel lucky that if he launches a swarm of ICBMs to hide the lethal one that anti-missile defences will work? Do you feel lucky? At some point the risk/reward calculation will decide that the cost of not striking first is greater than the risk of striking first. NK’s aresenal is too small to wipe out every opponent so “Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD)” does not apply. “The best defence is a good offence.” does apply.

Oh, if you are one of those “white nationalists/supremacists” we’ve been reading about consider that USA and others developed fission bombs in two years back in the 1940s using vacuum tubes in computers, chalk boards, pencils and slide-rules. The H-bomb took a while longer. How long do you think it would take intelligent people today using any old personal computer capable of millions of times faster number-crunching? The guy has lots of scientists, engineers, computers, fission reactors, fission bombs, and hydrogen isotopes… Don’t hold your breath hoping that NK is not up to it. They are. It’s just a matter of time. I think the time is up.

So, we live in interesting times and it’s more interesting that both NK and the White House house psychopaths bent on holding onto power. It’s not a “Mexican standoff” if everyone is ready, willing and able to go to war. It’s war, short and brutal in the nuclear age. Even more interesting is that if nukes aren’t used millions will die almost certainly on the Korean peninsula. There are too many bombs and shells per square mile not to kill hundreds of thousands per day. With nukes, the result will just be a lot quicker and probably more localized. Like a fission bomb waiting for a triggering neutron, Korea is ready to blow. USA and others will be compelled to use nukes if NK does. Based on threats and capability, why wait? Certain death awaits. The only question is whether the renewed warfare will be limited to Korea. What will China, Russian, Syria and Iran do? They may all have nukes thanks to NK. “Use them or lose them” applies.

Good night. Hope for a normal sunrise.

UPDATE – Apparently, DPRK has successfully tested an H-bomb: “This appears to be the biggest and most successful nuclear test by North Korea to date. Initial estimates by the USGS that it reached magnitude 6.3, which would make it an order of magnitude greater than we have ever seen before.
It is probably no coincidence that on the same day KCNA released photographs of Kim Jong-un inspecting a so-called H-bomb, or a thermonuclear warhead, just hours before.”

See Kim inspects ‘nuclear warhead’: A picture decoded, and weep. Now, the world has another madman with H-bomb capability. One is too many. Don’t worry about whether or not he can deliver it on an ICBM. He can also deliver such a small thing in person, by boat, by plane, by submarine, by whatever … and he’s really short of cash. Know anyone nasty with $billions who would like to have one?

UPDATEUSGS reports the H-bomb or whatever it was as magnitude 6.3, much larger in yield than US WWII bombs, but physically smaller according to the pictures. I’ve seen the casings at Los Alamos… They were so large and heavy only a big bomber could carry one. NK’s shiny new gadget could be carried by a small plane, fishing boat, pickup truck,… let alone an ICBM from a mobile launcher. NK is now in the megaton range of TNT. $#!!!%%$#!

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Maybe, Just Maybe, There’s Another Clue To The Whereabouts of MH-370

Two weeks after the disappearance of MH-370, a French satellite collected images from the Indian Ocean. Years later, a selection of images that showed some floating objects were turned over to Australia. Thorough analysis strongly suggests several large man-made objects were floating north of the zone that had been thoroughly searched.

Is this sufficient to restart the search? Possibly, but the Aussies should probably get other images of scenes nearby from that satellite to further refine the analysis.

This is a case that screams out for better technology for searching oceans. How about a nuclear-powered autonomous robot that can do the job 24X7 for as long as it takes instead of constantly having to resupply vessels loaded with humans? How about using submarines that can work in all kinds of weather? How about armies of these things so that parallel processing can get the job done in a decent period of time?

Posted in technology, weather | Tagged , , | 14 Comments

Summer’s Over. Deal With It.

This has been a pretty good summer, compared to a winter with very little snowcover, rabbits eating my orchard and high winds killing my tomatoes in the spring. Much of it has been spent preparing my yard for grass, again, from seed… My first crop three years ago was winter-killed. I’ve chose a more hardy variety this year, based on Kentucky Blue Grass.

We’ve had only one thunder storm that I can recall and very gentle rains otherwise. July actually had a decent amount of rain. August, OTOH, had very little rain and hot dry winds. I’ve had to have sprinklers running almost every day to keep the seed from staying dormant. It’s almost as if our summer has had an extra month of wind added to the spring and July was pushed back to August. Surely the good times will roll now. Surely I will get some gentle rains to coax my seed into life.

The patch I’ve been watering is now full of juvenile grasses some with two leaves, and a mess of weeds I will have to mow soon or they will take over.

Anyway, between attention to watering and some modest harvest of lettuce, radish, potato, pepper and tomato, I’ve watched quite a bit on Netflix. My favourite has been The Martian, a rather silly sci-fi thing about an astronaut abandoned on Mars growing potatoes to stay alive… Yes, it is that silly, and it’s ripe with technical errors like insanely heavy/large equipment to transport that far, huge errors in the atmospheric pressure, zero gravity in a capsule with rocket engines running, failure to conserve angular momentum…. You get it. It’s Hollywood. What I like about it is the story, which is almost plausible, the kinds of things that can go wrong in travelling in space, why we send robots… The music’s not bad either. There’s some disco, ABBA, and Gloria Gaynor’s “I will survive”. Anyway, Netflix is pulling The Martian and replacing it with this schlock.

Right. Nothing of interest here. Move along. Fortunately, there’s fall coming with hunting. Thanks to global warming, it should be long and comfortable, or not…

Posted in astronomy, food, horticulture, hunting, technology, weather | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

Yet Another Defeat Of The Inhumane Trumpists

The state of Texas tried to enforce Trumpist treatment of citizens and others by cities refusing to enforce federal rules about immigration. The cities rebelled at a proposed new law and sued. They won an injunction preventing enforcement tomorrow.

The legal arguments were diverse from punishment for free speech to division of powers. The court agreed with many arguments of the plaintiffs.

“Plaintiffs assert, inter alia, that SB 4, on its face and as applied, is preempted by federal law and violates the Supremacy Clause, the First Amendment, the Fourteenth Amendment, the Fourth Amendment, the Ninth Amendment, and the Tenth Amendment. They also assert that SB 4 violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act and the Texas Constitution’s separation of powers, due course of law, freedom of speech, and home rule provisions. Because SB 4 does not take effect until September 1, 2017, the Court has limited its analysis to those claims that may be construed as facial challenges. There are numerous claims that the Court does not address, either because it is unnecessary to reach them or because they are “as applied” challenges. The Court’s findings herein are preliminary, based on the “likelihood of success” standard, and may be revised at the merits stage of the litigation.

Thus, the Court finds merit in Plaintiffs’ argument that States should not be able to exempt themselves from the exacting requirements of 8 U.S.C. § 1357(g) by creating State regulation that circumvents such requirements. The Court further finds, after examining the federal statute as a whole and identifying its purpose and intended effects, that Plaintiffs have shown a likelihood that the federal interest in the field of immigration enforcement is so dominant that it may preclude enforcement of state laws on this subject and Tex. Gov’t Code § 752.053(b)(3) is likely to be field preempted.

The best interests of the public will be served by preserving the status quo and enjoining, prior to September 1, the implementation and enforcement of those portions of SB 4 that, on their face, are preempted by federal law and violate the United States Constitution.
On February 2, 2017, when SB 4 was being considered in the Senate, eight witnesses showed up to support SB 4 and over 1,600 witnesses showed up to oppose it. Docket no. 77, exhibit 1 -D. The named plaintiffs in this lawsuit include five of the six largest cities in the State of Texas Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin, and El Paso and their cumulative population exceeds six million people. This is representative of the public opposition to SB 4 and the overwhelming public concern about its detrimental effect. The public interest in protecting constitutional rights, maintaining trust in local law enforcement, and avoiding the heavy burdens that SB 4 imposes on local entities will be served by enjoining those portions of SB 4 that the Court has preliminarily determined are preempted or are constitutionally invalid on their face.”

See CITY OF EL CENIZO, et. al. v State of Texas decision

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Counterattack Of The Chile Pepper

Last week, I made a big pot of Chile and it was quite successful except for being a bit too hot… Last night I developed a craving for more and made a single-meal-sized bowl of Chile. What could go wrong? I carefully used just half a pod, judging the heat about right. The meal was wonderful with a side dish of fresh tomatoes from the garden.

Well, an hour or so later, I was watching the soon-to-be-ended The Martian on Netflix, when my nose itched and I scratched it with my hand. To my surprise, my nose caught fire, no doubt infected by a residue of Chile. I carefully washed my hands and face again with soap and water. Done, for sure I thought… Nope. A while later, the same thing happened with an eyelid. This time I used sodium bicarbonate for washing. Again, the measure was temporary… Then it dawned on me. I must have contaminated my eye-glasses. Yep. Washing them carefully all over ended the emergency.

Yes, this was just another newbie mistake with the garden’s most potent product. I must have touched my glasses without thinking during the process of mincing that pod. I’ve not had much relevant experience except personal hygiene and dealing with radioactive chemicals in a lab back in the day. This is a reminder that one is never too old to learn new tricks or to make newbie mistakes. It’s all good that ends well, just like The Martian.

BTW, Gloria Gaynor updated her song, “I Will Survive” that was featured in The Martian to “Texas Will Survive”. I heard it on CNN this morning. Not bad. She’s a bit older than I. We oldies can still get the job done.

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Putting German Politicians On The Record

“CDU/CSU (conservatives) and FDP (liberals) marked their position as “neutral” and answered in a very similar fashion. Unfortunately, these parties avoid making a clear stance and ultimately confirm the status quo. On one hand, they do consider the use of Free Software, on the other hand, so they say, there are multiple other aspects to consider weigh in. However, they list functionality and usability for example, even though they have no relation to the licence in use. When asked about the migration of existing IT systems, CDU/CSU prefer decision making on a case-by-case basis, while FDP dodged our question.
Although the SPD (labour) also marked their answer as “neutral”, they support the deployment and development of Free Software in public administrations and educational institutions, “to foster the creation of innovative businesses in the local market”. Die Linke (lefts) and Bündnis 90/Die Grünen (greens) position themselves as supporters of deployment and public funding of Free Software. The greens consider Free Software to be a “cornerstone for secure and future-proof IT systems”, and the lefts also fully support it, as long as there are no concerns regarding security or operation.”
See Digital-O-Mat: Compare your views on Internet policies with the parties for the German federal election 2017
It’s always good to keep pushing politicians about doing IT the right way. That effort is the most fun at election-time. Then politicians want your vote and they might listen to voters’ ideas about whether computers should work for citizens or against them.

In Canada, there seems to be only one party on the record as favouring FLOSS (Free/Libre Open Source Software), but the other parties don’t even have a position… Too bad. Now that I’m determined to use renewable energy and drive an electric car, I may be in the mood to change my vote next election over one last issue.

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Trump Trumped

“Trump’s business was actively pursuing significant commercial interests in Russia at the same time he was campaigning to be president — and in a position to determine U.S.-Russia relations. The new details from the emails, which are scheduled to be turned over to congressional investigators soon, also point to the likelihood of additional contacts between Russia-connected individuals and Trump associates during his presidential bid.”
See Trump’s business sought deal on a Trump Tower in Moscow while he ran for president
Ever wonder why Trump’s campaign and people were so often connected to Russians if there was nothing there? Wonder no longer. It has been discovered that Trump was trying to make a deal in Moscow to build a “Trump Tower” in the midst of the election campaign. Yes. It all makes sense now. The secret meetings no one could remember. The inner circle meeting with Russians. Trump’s effusive praise of Putin. Yes there is a pattern. Trump is using the presidency as leverage for his business. I guess it pays to advertise, bully and promise the world for little cost.

In the grand scheme, this doesn’t amount to much to irk citizens who love Trump, but, for the rest of us, this is a nice wrapping and a big fluffy bow to finish off the case against Trump. Now that all the smoke and fire comes together sensibly, there’s no reason not to impeach Trump and even lock him up.

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Fear, Uncertainty And Doubt

“CNN meteorologists on Friday forecast more than 20 inches of rain, and the National Weather Service first put Houston under a Flash Flood Watch — meaning flooding was a possibility and residents should be prepared — on Thursday afternoon at 4:38 p.m.But instead of issuing widespread evacuation orders, local officials asked people to stay put.”
See Why didn’t Houston evacuate?
You and the mayor of Houston may believe evacuation would have been a bigger danger than a category 4 hurricane forecast to stall over low land around Houston but you are not counting the risk of drowning thousands in their frame homes tonight. There are millions of residents and first-responders and volunteers can only rescue thousands before the flooding rivers and bursting dams inundate more of the city night and day for the coming week.

Further, why doesn’t a city like Houston, prone to such events, have a solid plan for evacuation? In 1996, USA knew whoppers were expected every century or so. Six of the top ten 18-month rainfall totals for Houston have occurred in the last five years. Only one occurred in the previous century. See a pattern?

Is Houston’s reluctance to evacuate because they can’t or because they don’t believe the oceans are warming, and rising while Trump fires scientists who understand what’s happening? Oh, yes, Trump has been bellowing that CNN and others are enemies of USA and not to be trusted. Think the Bible forecasts weather better than meteorologists and supercomputers? Bet your life on it? Use your common sense, ditch Trump and move to higher ground.

Posted in politics, technology, weather | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Range Anxiety? No Longer!

In my previous explorations of the web to find charging stations for my new Solo EV, there were a few hops on the highway that exceeded the nominal 160km range. One of these was from Peavey Mart at Regina, SK to the public library at Whitewood, SK on the TransCanada Highway. That was 170km. I made plans to zig up to Yorkton, SK, to cut that gap into shorter pieces. That no longer is necessary as a dealership in Indian Head, SK now has an EV charging station. It’s all good news. Still, I can visit Yorkton, just because I can and it’s a good place to visit, beautiful, calm and surrounded by same.

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Trump’s Drive-Thru Kleptocracy

Yesterday’s pardon of a serial/mass denier of human rights in USA signals the beginning of a new era in USAian history, kleptocracy. Trump promised to create jobs, millions of them but he never mentioned that Nazis, Jew-haters, white supremacists, bad cops, and serial violators of the USAian constitution should queue up at the White House to receive their pardons for past, present and future crimes against humanity, foreign and domestic, great and small… This could be a growth industry. There could be money and power in it “like we’ve never seen before”, believe me. It could fuel evil 24×7 for decades to come. It could fuel criminal gangs and their descendants in perpetuity. Trump is not limited by the imaginations of ordinary mortals. His arrogance knows no bounds. This is what you get when you anoint people with no morals/conscience to high positions.

Is that Pence I see in the trainees’ induction?

You may have noticed that Trump did some good things like fire nut-case Gorka and proclaim Women’s Equality Day but he did not state why Gorka was fired nor that Women’s Equality only applies to white women. Clearly, Trump had no problem with Arpaio hassling non-whites. Arpaio locked up thousands on the mere suspicion they were not legal residents just by skin-colour.


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The meal, not the country, is good food. I made some today for the first time in a long time. The difference today (I don’t like to do anything the same way too often…) was using onions and peppers from my garden. TLW had asked me to grow peppers of a particular shape but she didn’t specify how hot they should be… I chose an item from a seed-catalog that did not even mention heat but they were so cute, like tiny bananas.

Anyway, the seedlings mostly survived the windy spring and kept their leaves. They grew slowly but when the heat of summer happened they did pretty well. They were small plants with small peppers and when the first fruits were changing colour I brought the pots up onto the deck to be close to the kitchen. That was a mistake because someone soon harvested the immature peppers… Anyway, I selected three and minced them finely with a chef’s knife on the cutting board. TLW sampled one tiny piece and declared them too hot to use. I tasted a bit and it was the hottest pepper I had ever tasted. The fire built for several minutes and lasted five minutes longer. I figured that “flavour” would be diluted in the sauce, so I carried on…

I pressure-cooked beans for ~30m and had them hot about another 30m heating up and cooling down. They were tender. I placed a pound of ground meat in a large frying pan and added the drained beans, chopped onions, garlic, catsup, and the minced peppers. I stirred it up and added some of the water from the beans and stirred to make the right consistency. I simmered the pan over moderate heat for 15 minutes to make sure the meat was cooked and to give that heat time to redistribute…

All’s well that ends well. My mouth was warm but did not catch fire eating the stuff. Apparently 3-4 pods is about the right amount to use…

Posted in family, food, horticulture | Tagged , | 6 Comments