Friday, January 30, 2015

Relative Safety

Here is an article describing the relative danger of driving certain cars. Specifically the 10 most dangerous in that they have the higest death rate per million. I'm altering this chart a bit to show the death rate per 100,000 for better comparison:
1. Kia Rio four-door, 14.9
2. Nissan Versa, 13.0
3. Hyundai Accent four-door, 12.0
4. Chevrolet Aveo, 9.9
5. Hyundai Accent two-door, 8.6
6. Chevrolet Camaro, 8.0
7. Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew, 7.9
8. Honda Civic two-door, 7.6
9. Nissan Versa hatchback, 7.1
10. Ford Focus, 7.0

O.K. now compare this to your chances (per 100,000) of being murdered while simply living in say
Detroit    58.6
New Orleans   53.0
Newark       34
St Louis 35.5
Baltimore 34.9
Oakland 31.8
Stockton 23.7
Kansas City 22.6
Philly  21.5
Memphis 22.2

More if you want it below in the Whittle video.

New York*  7.5

Denver*      7.5

So drive your Rio secure in the knowledge that you're more likely to get shot by a thug than killed in an accident. In some towns anyway.

*Last I looked. New York's numbers surprised me. Say what you will about the blue meanies in New York, whatever they're doing, it seems to work.

Thursday, January 29, 2015


Sent to me by a friend:
"As democracy is perfected, the office of the President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and complete narcissistic moron."

- H.L. Mencken, the Baltimore Evening Sun, July 26, 1920
And to think it took less than 100 years.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


The civilization-ending blizzard scheduled for New York has been downgraded from 3 feet to 6 inches.

I was so looking forward to reports of stranded New Yorkers reduced to eating their family pets.

Of course a toy poodle in upper Manhattan won't sustain you as long as a Pit Bull over in Brooklyn...

Monday, January 26, 2015

Full Frontal Nerdity

Deflategate is if nothing else, a sent-from-heaven excuse for the MSM to quit reporting actual news. That being the case, who am I to pass up the opportunity.

Detailed and necessary information is in short supply, but never let a lack of facts hold up a good story. Firse I've only heard one second-hand report of what the actual pressure in the balls was at the time of the infraction. That was reported to me as 11.5 psi so we'll go with that. Also the minimum required starting pressure which is 12.5-13.5 psi. We'll assume 12.5 just to make it easy for us.

Let's start with a football at 0 psi. That's 0 psig which means the pressure inside is the same as the pressure outside. The ball looks like a ball, but would be easily squashed nearly flat. The actual inside pressure would be 14.6 psia, same as outside. We also assume that the balls were filled indoors at 72F, then taken out to the field where they were played at 45 deg F.

Two formulas apply here: The ideal gas law, PV = nRT, and Gay-Lussec which states that P1/T1 = P2/T2 and describes the change in pressure due to heating or cooling of a fixed quantity of a gas. Run G-L initially assuming 12.5 psig and 27 deg F temp drop (using psia and degrees Kelvin of course, and you get a final pressure of 11.8 psig.

Gay-Lussec is the wrong formula to be using to start as it does not account for adding extra gas. If PV = nRT, and V and R are constants*, then kP = NT. K=12.39 for an initial shot with V=1liter (why not), T = 72F (295 deg K), and n turns out to be .042 moles initially. Change n to .075 moles and P goes up to 1.8 atm (12.5 psia). Solve for temp and it only goes up about 2 degrees C or 3 deg F.
One could tweak this to add the temp rise into the formula which would result in fewer moles added.

NOW use Guy-Lussec and the temp shift is 30 degrees instead of 27 and the pressure drop is from 12.5 to 11.7 instead of 11.8. Not much difference, but closer to 11.5.  Gage calibration could easily account for the rest. Detailed proof is left as an exercise for the student. I've done enough heavy lifting for one day.

Nerds Rule!

I am reminded of the talk radio station I sometimes listen to on the way to work. Any day now I expect to hear: "Nuclear weapon detonated in Washington, Lower Manhatten in flames. This and more after our in-depth interview with Peyton Manning about the Broncos roster shakeup."

*Yes I know the ball swells a bit when inflated. Measure that yourself. R is a constant.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Transportation - Elio Slips Again

Right up front let me repeat that I'm a big fan of the Elio vehicle having built something similar about 20 years ago. If they were on a dealers lot right now, there would be one in my driveway. That said I'm finding it a bit discouraging to see the scheduled release date keep moving out every 6 months or so.

Now I'll be the first to acknowledge that bringing a brand new production line out is not a small project. I'm not told how the project got to where it is now, but owning a facility big enough to supply the U.S. with say small Hyundai's seems a bit optimistic for an initial start. OTOH they now have nearly 40,000 paid pre-orders in their pockets right now. Sub-assembly lines should be going in right now and who knows, maybe they are. So far though the plant looks like this:
It would give me a warmer fuzzier feeling to see some welding fixtures or other assembly jigs behind the car.

I also signed up for their marketing releases and I get two a week on a regular basis. These are worth reading in detail as they contain such gems as this:
As soon as one of these options comes through, Elio Motors will be able to communicate a more specific date for the vehicle launch, which is targeted for the first half of 2016.
First half of 2016 used to be September of 2015 which gave me hope for driving one to work next winter. At this point the odds of me actually having work next winter look a bit thin so the availability of the vehicle may be pretty problematic anyway. Additionally I'd probably have to wait for the 40K folks in front of me to get theirs anyway.

I may well be stuck with the Pretentious British Car for a while longer.

The Definitive Counter Argument - Pro Gun

Bill Whittle of course, who can flatten anyone with a one-liner or crush an onrushing hoarde with a three-minute oration:

Another aspect of what fun statistics can be. Some of the information seems to have come from Page Nine which in turn seems to have gotten some data from an older source which I seem to have misplaced. I took the older data and compared it to newer stuff and discovered that while gun ownership seems to be going up world wide, national murder rates seem to be creeping downward.

Note the cluster of ownership dots creeping upward and the murder rates creeping leftward. The extreme right dot in both cases is Russia which shows a commendable drop in homicide for a modest increase in ownership rates.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Happy Birthday

Today is my birthday. I'm 39.

It's also Tamara's birthday so happy birthday Tam. I believe she's 29.

Good News If It's True

In the middle east anything can show up in the news and frequently does. There are people over there who could wallpaper their homes with copies of their obituaries. OTOH, sometimes they're true, in which case the top slot at ISIS just opened up and Islamic whackjobs from Africa to Pakistan now have to be prepared to take another oath of undying fealty to whomever replaces Abu Bakr al Baghdad.

High profile jobs like that are not known for longevity even when you aren't being sought by half a dozen different air wings.

A Day At The Range

That was the original plan with adjustments for breakfast with blogger buddies for me and with wifes family for Shooting Buddy followed by meetup at the Mart up north and carpool out.

I got to the Mart first and found traffic backed up for a block in all directions. I was informed that there was a Union convention on and parking which is normally free is now $5. Talked my way past the collector of baksheesh and got in without a ticket on my dash.

Called Shooting buddy and warned him of the delay at the mart. He called back and informed me that he was stuck in the scheduled shutdown of a freeway which he didn't know about so we cancelled the whole thing. Bummer. Maybe next week.

Probably just as well. Without the dash ticket I probably would have returned to find my tires slashed, my doors keyed, and the car towed to a union impound lot. Technically I'm a union member. You can withdraw, but your name never leaves the rolls. I left unimpressed with the setup.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Future of Surveillance

This isn't exactly late-breaking news, but the cops now have a hand-held doppler radar gun that can make out individuals inside a house. If this bothers you, I recommend you get a big piece of cardboard and attach to it the tinfoil cutout image of something the cops might find entertaining. An orgy for example. Cover the other side with something more socially acceptable like flowered upholstery or wallpaper, and place the construction against your street-facing interior wall with the wallpaper on the inside.

Done right, the guffaws of laughter from the outside will give the game away long enough for you to hide in the basement until they leave.

Monday, January 19, 2015


If you are hearing the continuous drumbeat from the press about how the unemployment rate is going down, but you're still having trouble finding a job or seem to know a lot of people who are, check this:
Found here along with the complete story. Notice that the only place where unemployment is dropping due to people finding work is D.C. In the rest of the country it's due to people dropping out of the work force.

If all you people who can't find work or can only find part-time work would just give up and go on the dole, the unemployment rate would drop to zero!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Tech Stuff

Got up this morning to find my old reliable modem had shuffled off the mortal coil. A XyXEL p-600 it had worked reliably since 2006. O.K. things break and wear out.

Trotted out and got a Netgear DM111PSP which cost about 3 times what the old modem did. Followed the easy to follow directions and hooked it up. So now I'm back on line but at about 1/4-1/3 of the speed I used to get. Could be just a slow night, but I'm already suspicious. And not happy.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Gun Law - Colorado

As long as the Dems hold one of the three legislative bodies, and they currently hold two, their attitude is unchanged in that they feel they don't need to listen to Republicans at all. HB15-049 (business use of deadly force), HB15-009 (repeal the magazine ban), HB15-086 (CBI NFA certificate), and HB15-050 (repeal the background check) bills are all in the house kill committee and are not expected to survive so bad gun law holds firm in Colorado.

There is a bill coming up to reform the gerrymandering redistricting process here which actually seems to have some bipartisan support. Cynical me expects the bipartisan part to evaporate as soon as someone points out to the Dem leadership that statistically Colorado is a red state by a modest margin and a fair election would result in a Republican trifecta at the state level.

On a possibly related note, Magpul, who moved part of it's operations out of Colorado after the last batch of gun bills were passed, has announced that it will produce a 60 round magazine for AR-pattern rifles this year in drum format. In a flash, Extreme Gear Labs, located in Colorado Springs, which produces bags and pouches for the tactically inclined, has announced that it will be producing a hook-and-loop pouch to hold two of the D60 magazines to your Bat Belt.

It's called the EGL Hickenloop Pouch named for our spineless governor who signed the bills.

Last Election - Late Breaking

Heard from the county party people that the last election was in fact fairly clean. Except for the part when attempts to access the Secretary of State's website to confirm voter registration resulted in a redirect to a website run by Tom Steyer. This resulted in the State site being taken down briefly and moved to a more secure server.

Didn't take long, but this sort of thing is a federal crime. No word as yet as to who might be behind the action or what might be being done about it. I'm sure Mr. Holder's people are right on it. This reportedly happened in other states notably those with Republican Secretaries of State.

Republicans turned out in greater numbers than Dems, for whatever good it did us, so next time, when it's a presidential election, we need to work harder on the turnout end.

Photo Ticketing - PSA

A bill has been introduced in the Colorado legislature to ban the use of cameras to enhance municipal revenues hand out tickets. Leftie* or rightie, you should support this.

Dear Rep. -----
Please support Rep. Stephen Humphrey with his bill to outlaw photo ticketing in Colorado. 10 other states have already done this and we would be well advised to join them.

Wails of anguish from municipalities that would see the gravy train miss their station can be safely ignored as the total population of Mayors and councilmen in Colorado is less than the grateful population of your own district.

*Unless you're an elected municipal politician of the sort who never saw a constituent problem that couldn't be turned into a revenue source without fixing it. That would be most of them to my observation.