Friday, May 26, 2017

How Big a Murder Problem Does the U.S. Have?

Dr. Lott has a spectacular article showing that most of America does not have a murder problem.
The vast majority of murders in the United States occur in just a tiny percentage of counties. In fact, the country can be divided up into three types of places: those where there are no murders; those where there are a few murders; and those where murders are very common.

In 2014, the most recent year that a county level breakdown is available, 54 percent of counties (with 11 percent of the population) had no murders. 69 percent of counties had no more than one murder, and about 20 percent of the population and only 4 percent of all murders in the country.

The worst 1 percent of counties have 19 percent of the population and 37 percent of the murders in 2014. The worst 2 percent of counties contain 47 percent of the population and accounted for 51 percent of the murders. 68 percent of the murders occurred in only 5 percent of counties.
Hat tip to Shall Not Be Questioned.


A leading young Democrat and de Blasio administration employee was busted on charges of possessing a huge stash of kiddie porn, law-enforcement sources told The Post on Friday.
Jacob Schwartz, 29, allegedly had several thousand computer images and videos showing children as young as 6-months-old, sources said.
He surrendered to NYPD computer-crimes investigators in Manhattan’s 13th Precinct on Thursday morning, sources said.
Schwartz is the president of the Manhattan Young Democrats and the downstate region vice president of the New York State Young Democrats.
Hint, Mr. Schwartz: Young Democrats means of legal age.  You would have thought Carlos Danger would have taught him a lesson.

If Muslims Had Been the Targets in the U.S....

CAIRO — Militants in military-style uniforms opened fire on a bus carrying Coptic Christians in central Egypt on Friday, killing at least 28 people in the latest bloodshed targeting the country’s Christian minority, officials said.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility. But the Islamic State has claimed links to previous attacks against Egypt’s Christians, who make up about 10 percent of the population.
The attack also took place on the eve of Islam’s holy month of Ramadan, a time when some militant factions have stepped up attacks in the past.
It would be a sign of the hatred that Trump has unleashed.

How to Recognize Performance Art

As a queer artist I seek to create a temporal historical rupture,” says Texas-based performance artist Sarah Hill, while describing her - sorry, their - 2014 opus They Wonder. “During the performance,” we’re told, “I repeatedly spin around and around in circles.” The reason being that, as an artist and worker of profundity, Ms Hill is “interested in the continuous action of spinning and getting no-where, falling down and getting back up.”
Inevitably, Ms Hill tells us that she – sorry, they - disdains “the pressures of commodification,” and rejects “the populist template of art as a form of leisure or entertainment.” Yes, I know, a fearless and terribly radical decision, the effects of which may become apparent in the following video, recorded at the Waterloo Centre for the Arts, Iowa.
There is a video of its' performance art that makes as much sense as that drivel quoted above.    And neither "leisure or entertainment" is a result of watching it.  It is work safe, although Wonder Woman will be upset.

You First

5/25/17 CNBC:
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg called on the need to consider universal basic income for Americans during his Harvard Commencement Speech.
Zuckerberg's comments reflect those of other Silicon Valley bigwigs, including Sam Altman, the president of venture capital firm Y Combinator.
"Every generation expands its definition of equality. Now it's time for our generation to define a new social contract," Zuckerberg said during his speech. "We should have a society that measures progress not by economic metrics like GDP but by how many of us have a role we find meaningful. We should explore ideas like universal basic income to make sure everyone has a cushion to try new ideas."
Zuckerberg, Altman, and fellow billionaire socialists can show us how to do it.  I am sure they can put together $100 billion easily enough, which should generate $10 billion a year in income.  That  should be enough to take care of California.

When billionaires talk in these terms, they really mean to tax those trying to become rich.  Somehow, that money mostly ends up in the pockets of the rich.  And where are all the great ideas, books, etc. that should have come out of the people who were the beneficiaries of the trillions spent on the Great Society?

Albania First?

Aboy 1:30 into this video, Rep. Nany Pelosi (D-Babylon) complains that President Trump went to Saudi Arabia on his first visit, not even in alphabetical order.

I love how Trump Derangement Syndrome drives these people mad.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

If You Regularly Tap Stuff, You Need a Tapmatic

I have been using a Tapmatic for tapping aluminum, steel, and acetal in my drill press for some months.  It is the second most expensive tool that I have ever bought, and worth every penny.

What is Tapping?

If you are not familiar with a tap or tapping, let me give some explanation: a tap is a tool for cutting threads into a hard material, usually metal.

Hand tapping involves putting the tap into a tap wrench:
You drill a hole just slightly smaller than the threaded hole's smallest diameter (from inside thread to its opposite), put the tap into the hole, and slowly turn it clockwise (unless you are making a left hand threaded hole with a lefthanded tap).  You turn it slowly, with some tapping oil, because taps are very brittle.  This is because to make steel very hard, and thus appropriate for cutting holes, you treat it so it becomes both hard and brittle.  (This is a crystal structure issue that I don't want to try and explain.)

Hand tapping is slow and anyone who has done it for long has broken a few taps.  Removing the part of the broken tap still in the workpiece is often too hard to justify the effort, unless it is a Porsche engine block.  Another problem with hand tapping is that it is very hard to get a threaded hole exactly perpendicular to the surface.  (Make it a round surface as I have done in the past, and it seems impossible.)

A way to solve the perpendicular problem is put the tap in the chuck of a drill press, lower the handle, and turn the chuck by hand.  This gives nice perpendicular holes and usually does not break taps.  Why not just turn on the drill press?  Drill presses turn one direction; going down at a low speed will tap threads.  When you release the handle it comes back and either removes the threads, and/or breaks the tap.  There are tapping drill presses with a reverse switch but these are expensive.  

If you need to tap holes in a production setting, hand tapping, even in a drill press, makes no sense.

Tapmatic's Solution

Tapmatic is an Idaho company that invented a gadget that goes into the chuck of your drill.  You set the drill press speed so low that you will wonder why 200 rpm exists.  It is for turning enormous drills, like a 1 3/4" diameter monster that I used to use as the first step before boring a hole to an exact size in acetal on the lathe.  Thre, you want torque not speed.  

The tap goes into the bottom of the Tapmatic.  

Turn on the drill press, and down you go.  Once the threads on the tap start cutting into the material, it starts to turn itself down.  When you are as deep as you want, you release the handle.  When the Tapmatic figures out you want to go up, it reverses direction of the tap and backs it out of the now threaded hole.  (Full screen the video.)

It may not be real obvious in this video what is happening, but the tap is threading the hole going down, eventually pulling the Tapmatic down with it as the threads on the tap engage the threads in the hole.  Then when I release the handle, it reverses direction.  I am making two passes here because it seems to give superior fit to the bolt when I insert it later.  That may be the result of the tap I am using; there are standards for how close a fit a tap will produce. (I may need a different closeness standard.)

Like all labor-saving devices, do not expect to open the box and be mass producing threaded holes in the first five minutes.  I struggled at first to get that long extension arm in place.  This arm has to run into a stop, a piece of metal that needs to attach to the drill press, either on the drill press vise, the table, or the frame of the press.  In my case, I drilled a couple holes in the cast iron drill press vise.  Note, 1/4" aluminum will get bent pretty quickly under impact.  (That's why hand or arm is not going to substitute for the stop.)  I am currently using a 1/2" thick piece of steel rod for my stop.  Think carefully how you are going to attach this before you get started.

There is a torque adjustment that is specific to tap size, material type, and drill press speed.  There is no magic formula for this.  You learn by trying.  The Rx50 comes with a 1/2" straight arbor that fits in my 5/8" drill press chuck.  The shank is a Morse taper where it goes into the head, allowing you to fit it to many different devices.

I have discovered that acetal, in spite of being much softer than aluminum, is hard to tap because it produces big gummy strings.  My fix was to go up one drill size from what the tap chart suggests for tapping plastic.  Now the Tapmatic works quickly and easily for tapping 1/2"-13 holes in acetal.

1/4"-20 in aluminum is a breeze.  To my surprise, 1/4"-20 in cold rolled steel was only a little harder.  You are supposed to chamfer the hole before tapping; this makes it easier for the tap to find its way to the center.  (The tap is in a rubber collet that tolerates a small amount of error.)  My experience so far is that if the tap has a sharp end (unlike a bottoming tap, which has a flat bottom) and you are pretty well located in the hole, the chamfer is not really required.  (That is what happened in the video above.)    If you are not perfectly centered, the first few turns of the tap will create a lazy man's chamfer, release the handle and try again.  By the third try. everything will tap just fine.  (Someone at Tapmatic is probably crying as they read this.)

I am using spiral flute taps so far and they do a wonderful job of evacuating material from the hole as they go down.  The straight flute taps you will find in your DIY store's basic tap kit really don't work so well.  I have really enjoyed using drill-and-tap combos that have the right diameter drill at the front, then the tap afterwards.  Unfortunately, they seem to break a bit too easily and they aren't long enough for me to drill and tap both sides of these aluminum sleeves at the same time.  But the Tapmatic makes the extra time spent tapping not so bad.

To buy a Tapmatic.  Depending on the size of taps you will use, you need to buy a collet to fit it.
Pre- and post-sales support has been wonderful.