Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Concept II

[This post was originally entered on July 31, 2015 when the ergometer arrived. I will revise it along the way to record progress toward the million meters. I'll change the "post date" occasionally.]

This Model D arrived today (7/31/15) - the goal is 1,000,000 meters before August 1, 2016.
(As of 9/30/15 the 300-day year rate so far is 2,029,900.)

Results in 2015-2016:
August: 250,156 meters, 1,246 minutes. Ave. Meters/Min. 205.1; Cum. 250,156 meters.
September: 162,590 meters, 769 minutes. Ave. Meters/Min. 211.6; Cum 412,746 meters.
1-5 October: 48,160 meters, 227.1 minutes. Ave. Meters/Min. 212.1; Cum 460,906 meters.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Abilene Paradox

On a hot afternoon visiting in Coleman, Texas, the family is comfortably playing dominoes on a porch, until the father-in-law suggests that they take a trip to Abilene [53 miles north] for dinner. The wife says, "Sounds like a great idea." The husband, despite having reservations because the drive is long and hot, thinks that his preferences must be out-of-step with the group and says, "Sounds good to me. I just hope your mother wants to go." The mother-in-law then says, "Of course I want to go. I haven't been to Abilene in a long time."
The drive is hot, dusty, and long. When they arrive at the cafeteria, the food is as bad as the drive. They arrive back home four hours later, exhausted.
One of them dishonestly says, "It was a great trip, wasn't it?" The mother-in-law says that, actually, she would rather have stayed home, but went along since the other three were so enthusiastic. The husband says, "I wasn't delighted to be doing what we were doing. I only went to satisfy the rest of you." The wife says, "I just went along to keep you happy. I would have had to be crazy to want to go out in the heat like that." The father-in-law then says that he only suggested it because he thought the others might be bored.

The group sits back, perplexed that they together decided to take a trip which none of them wanted. They each would have preferred to sit comfortably, but did not admit to it when they still had time to enjoy the afternoon.
The term 'Abilene paradox' was introduced by Jerry B. Harvey in a 1974 article: The Abilene Paradox: The Management of Agreement. The name of the phenomenon comes from the above anecdote in the article which Harvey uses to describe the paradox.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Heart Grows Smarter

A study of how and why some men are happy found, in part, that they believed certain things that distinguished them from the others:

"What goes right is more important than what goes wrong. The magic formula is capacity for intimacy combined with persistence, discipline, order, and dependability. The men who could be affectionate about people and organized about things had very enjoyable lives. The big finding is that you can teach an old dog new tricks."

'The Heart Grows Smarter," by  David Brooks, in the NYT 11/06/2012

kleptoparasitic hawks

"…But instead of killing the tropic birds, the hawks had what scientists call a kleptoparasitic relationship with them, pecking their backs and beating them with their wings until the tropic birds disgorged the fish that they had been intending for their young."
"In The Heart of the Sea" p. 143

According to Ishmael & Father Mapple

"Father Mapple was in the hardy winter of a healthy old age; that sort of old age which seems merging into a second flowering youth, for among all the fissures of his wrinkles, there shown certain mild gleams of a newly developing bloom - the spring verdure peeping forth even beneath February's snow."

(Ishmael, sitting in church, describing Father Mapple as he is about to start his sermon; 
"Moby Dick," Chapter 8: The Pulpit, p. 38)

Toward the end of Father Mapple's sermon that day, as recalled by Ishmael: "…Now Jonah's captain, shipmates, was one whose discernment detects crime in any, but whose cupidity exposes it only in the penniless. In this world, shipmates, sin that pays its way can travel freely, and without a passport; whereas virtue, if a pauper, is stopped at all frontiers."

"Moby Dick," p. 44

Monday, August 17, 2015

Peter Schramm's muddy boots

I met Peter Schramm at a political conference in Washington, D.C. in the late 1990s. He gave a lecture then on the down-to-earth nature of many of the great Americans of history, particularly Sam Grant, who is said was a leader who liked to have “mud on his boots.” I saw the following post on Powerline Blog today, and thought of him that day praising muddy boots.  -jb


PETER W. SCHRAMM, 1946-2015, RIP

Our great friend and teacher Peter Schramm passed away yesterday after a long struggle with cancer. We took note of Peter’s battle last month, and have featured our exclusive conversations with him here on Power Line before.
Tributes are pouring in from everywhere today, from former students and colleagues and friends. As everyone who knew Peter will recall, this Hungarian-born American citizen fancied himself something of a cowboy, but that is not as unlikely as it may seem, as his daughter Bekky explained today in a voice that unmistakably reflects her father’s teaching and ongoing presence:

That my dad fancied himself a cowboy should not come as a surprise to anyone who has ever known him, let alone anyone who has had a conversation with him for 5 minutes. You see, cowboys love this country. They love the way the land sculpts itself into a complicated but perfect blend of mountains and rivers and fields of waving grass. They love watching the skies light up at night with a million twinkling little stars. They love talking to Americans, and learning from them, and just being with them. There is an easiness with cowboys that can’t be found in other mortals. They are comfortable in their own skin, in their boots, and in their purpose. They talk slowly and emphatically, offering deep wisdom to anyone who is even the slightest bit interested. They find an immense amount of pleasure in working hard all day for their beloved country, and then coming home, slumping into an old leather chair, and taking their boots off. That feeling is so delicious that few things compare to it.
My dad the cowboy has taken his boots off for the last time.

Thursday, August 13, 2015


"historicity" (according to Limbaugh)
" word: Your history or story, your "historicity." You don't want that undermined...I mean, Obama thinks all these things he's done are once in a generation or multiple generations, and nobody ever got health care 'til he did it. He doesn't want to put any of this at risk, particularly when you talk about the Clintons, which... The Obamas and the Clintons, I don't care what you say, there's a lot of friction there.  You're gonna want your record for the purpose of your historicity to stand for a while, and that's why I really think that there's a good possibility Biden's gonna get into the race. It's made to order on so many levels.  It may not happen, but I'm just telling you I won't be surprised if it does…"   

But Wikipedia says: 
"Historicity is the historical actuality of persons and events, meaning the quality of being part of history as opposed to being a historical mythlegend, or fiction. Historicity focuses on the truth value of knowledge claims about the past (denoting historical actuality, authenticity, and factuality). The historicity of a claim about the past is its factual status.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Wooden Box

This is a wood box.

It is about 4 feet long and about 2 feet wide and about 18 inches deep, made of pine. It has rope carrying handles on each end to help artillery crews lift the box when it contains 2 rounds of artillery ammunition.

When loaded with ammunition the box weighs about 100 pounds. But storing and transporting artillery ammunition is only the official purpose of the ammo box. The real purpose is so provide wood to Marines for them to use in making neat furniture for their living quarters. 

Here is an example of elegant Marine furniture made from an ammo box - the end case of the bunk on the left of this photo of a "hooch" like mine on Hill 55. The green towel is hanging on the tree limb in front of the place so that the rain will wash it. This was a medium-lavish accommodation at the time. 

Friday, August 07, 2015

From the Far Left

'Obamacare enrollees highly dissatisfied with health coverage'
By Kate Randall 
7 August 2015

“In his weekly radio address on Saturday, President Obama praised the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as finishing the job begun by Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid in expanding health coverage and raising the living standards of workers and retirees. The White House estimates that 11.7 million people are currently enrolled for coverage through the marketplaces set up under what is popularly known as Obamacare.
“A new study, however, shows that those enrolled through Obamacare are more dissatisfied with their coverage than any other group of insured Americans. The poll from the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, research arm of the consulting firm, finds that only 30 percent of people with insurance through the ACA exchanges are satisfied with their plans, mainly due to cost.
“By contrast, 58 percent of Medicare enrollees are satisfied, while 42 percent of those with insurance through their employer are satisfied…
“…The Deloitte poll is further confirmation that the Affordable Care Act has nothing in common with the pledge by Obama more than five years ago that his signature legislation was a historic step toward providing near-universal, quality health care. Rather it is aimed at cutting costs for the government and health care industry while rationing medical services for ordinary Americans.”

World Socialist Web Site, published by the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI)

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Re-inventing the wheel with Silly Putty

54, 75?, 127, 166

I just noticed that as of today, August 6, so far I lived about 30% longer than my father. He was born October 21, 1904 and died December 20, 1958 – 54 years, 20 days roughly. Excel says that’s 19,783 days. As of today my Excel-measured days total 25,786, or about 30% longer.

We live in better times. In my dad’s lifetime the person who did not smoke, exercised regularly, watched his weight, ate with health in mind, etc., etc. was a social freak. I have a photograph of my mother and father sitting at a table of 10 in a large banquet room at the Kansas City Club sometime in the 1940s, I think, and everyone at their table, and everyone else in the huge room, it seemed, was smoking. The air in the room looked like the air over a steel mill town. Being overweight – being “a man with a belly” – was the norm.

In the 1940s and 50s there was no discussion of cholesterol-reducing drugs, stent operations, etc., because medical science had not come that far. A Google search today told me that the first heart bypass operation was done in 1967. The first heart stent installation surgery was in 1986. The first “successful” human heart transplant surgery was in 1967. Lipitor, the big breakthrough statin, went on sale in 1997.

If I live to be, say, 75, then to keep the longevity ball rolling Rich, Pat, and Mike will have to live to be about 98 years old, and their kids to continue the progress would have to live to be about 127, and their kids to about 166. Good luck!