Saturday, June 24, 2017

What Type of Fastener?

My very nice leather office chair has a failed hydraulic cylinder so it won't stay up.  Theoretically, you can replace the hydraulic cylinder.  I bought one and discovered that my chair was enough different that I could not use it.  The other approach is to put a tube around the column of the chair that prevents it from dropping: a 4" ID by 12" long by 1/4" wall tube should do it.  It has to go on from the sides, so slice it into two half cylinders.  But what fastener to hold the two half cylinders together?  Airplane clamps have to go on over the top, I believe.  Any other ideas?  Maybe a C clamp with round jaws?

Split ring clamp is the magic word.

Fascinating Article About Inbreeding Among Arabs

In Reproductive Health Journal:
Consanguineous marriages have been practiced since the early existence of modern humans. Until now consanguinity is widely practiced in several global communities with variable rates depending on religion, culture, and geography. Arab populations have a long tradition of consanguinity due to socio-cultural factors. Many Arab countries display some of the highest rates of consanguineous marriages in the world, and specifically first cousin marriages which may reach 25-30% of all marriages. In some countries like Qatar, Yemen, and UAE, consanguinity rates are increasing in the current generation. Research among Arabs and worldwide has indicated that consanguinity could have an effect on some reproductive health parameters such as postnatal mortality and rates of congenital malformations. The association of consanguinity with other reproductive health parameters, such as fertility and fetal wastage, is controversial. The main impact of consanguinity, however, is an increase in the rate of homozygotes for autosomal recessive genetic disorders. Worldwide, known dominant disorders are more numerous than known recessive disorders. However, data on genetic disorders in Arab populations as extracted from the Catalogue of Transmission Genetics in Arabs (CTGA) database indicate a relative abundance of recessive disorders in the region that is clearly associated with the practice of consanguinity....
Another study shows that the risk of having an IQ lower than 70 goes up 400 percent from 1.2 percent in children from normal parents to 6.2 percent in inbred children: "The data indicate that the risk for mental retardation in matings of normal parents increases from 0.012 with random matings to 0.062 for first-cousin parentage." (Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 1978 Effect of inbreeding on IQ and mental retardation"). The study A study of possible deleterious effects of consanguinity concludes, that "The occurrence of malignancies, congenital abnormalities, mental retardation and physical handicap was significantly higher in offspring of consanguineous than non-consanguineous marriages." 
I am sure that this has nothing to do with the culture of that part of the world.


The Twilight Zone

Everytime I sit down and bingewatch Rod Serling's masterpiece series, I catch new and interesting aspects. both in individual episodes and across the entire series.  The first theme that I never noticed before, is how the threat of nuclear war hangs over so many episodes: the one with the bookworm (Burgess Meredith) surviving a complete destruction of civilization in the bank's underground vault and several other episodes.  Were I to teach second semester U.S. history, I would probably show that episode to show how the 1950-1970 period was dominated by this fear.

The Holocaust and totalitarianism is also a dominant theme, both directly (the camp commandant who returns to the scene of his crimes) and indirectly ("The Obsolete Man") and probably the most disturbing ("It's A Good Life").  Sometimes totalitarianism and nuclear war ("Third from the Sun").

I just finished watching "Monsters Are Due on Maple Street") which is most obviously about McCarthyism, but more generally about mob mentality and paranoia.  The aliens at the end might as well have been speaking with Russian accents.  (For a little paranoia recursion:  Was Sen. McCarthy a Soviet agent trying to discredit concern about Communist influence, and provoking irrational fear?)

While many of themes and even plot lines reappear (the World War II lieutenant who can see which of his soldiers will die the next day, and later in the series, he is a Civil War soldier with the same skill); there are some themes that show Serling's concerns were not just 1950s liberalism but also gambling addiction ("The Fever").  How sad he never tackled smoking; he might have lived many more years.

It is also fun to watch for actors (often so bit that you have to look to see them) who later went on to larger careers: William Shatner ("Nightmare at 20,000 Feet", "Nick of Time"); Leonard Nimoy ("A Quality of Mercy"); Robert Redford ("Nothing in the Dark"); Inger Stevens ("The Hitch-Hiker"); George Takei ("The Encounter")>

Special effects are dreadful but the series was about ideas and drama (although sometimes comic)  If you are too young to have grown up with this brilliant piece of Golden Age TV, do so..

Democrats Are Going to Regret the Whole Russia Collusion Fiction

6/23/17 USA Today:
WASHINGTON — Senate Judiciary Committee leaders said Friday they are seeking information about former attorney general Loretta Lynch's alleged efforts to stifle the FBI's investigation of Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while Clinton was secretary of State....
The committee, in a statement released Friday by Grassley and Graham, cited an April story by The New York Times reporting that the FBI came into possession of a batch of hacked documents, including one authored by a "Democratic operative who expressed confidence that Ms. Lynch would keep the Clinton investigation from going too far." After reading that story, Grassley requested a copy of the document from the Justice Department, which he said never responded.
A month later, The Washington Post reported that the email had been sent by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., in her former role as the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, to Leonard Benardo of the Open Society Foundation, an international grantmaking network founded by Democratic mega-donor and businessman George Soros. That email, according to the Post, indicated that Lynch had privately assured Clinton campaign staffer Amanda Renteria that the FBI's investigation wouldn't "go too far."

Friday, June 23, 2017

Remember: Muslim No-Go Zones in France Do Not Exist

Nebraska Democratic Party Official Glad Rep. Scalise Shot

6/22/17 Fox channel 42 reports on the audio and firing.

Experiments With Latex-ite

I applied I hope the last coat today, filling in a couple of depressions and squaring up the area resurfaced as best I could.  As I finished the bucket, a solution an annoying problem occurred to me.

Latex-ite is mostly asphalt cement so it is viscous enough that it does not spread out under gravity much at all. Raking it with the intended tool is only somewhat effective at making a flat even surface.  The bottom of the bucket never completely empties, even upside down for many minutes.  To get that last bit of brownie mix out, and get a surface that flattens out under gravity, I threw some water in, mixed, and poured it as a last layer.  So far, it looks better than the raked surface.