Monday, September 22, 2014
Why am I having the greatest of difficulty believing these young and horny and desperate spotlight-seekers are really clueless about possible uses of their nude or topless photos? Have they all got I.Q.s on a par with a bag of unwashed turnips, or do they think we have? I can spell 'Photoshop', Honey, and I've seen
images on line with the ever-radiant Jeri Ryan's head and neck on a luscious porn star's nude body. There are in fact whole sites devoted to that kind of fakery, so don't try to bullshit an old bullshitter, OK?
If you don't want the publicity, which again I have the greatest difficulty believing, then keep your clothes on, or keep your nude selfies out of the email.
Surely you're aware Google crawls through all your Gmail looking for clues to use in their ad revenue business, and privacy these days is only a word in the dictionary between pin-up and prostitute. Get the picture?
I'm pointing to this above website, because it's coming around to that time of the year again when most of us in the northern hemisphere will be spending more time indoors, and if your home is underneath or near one of our high voltage power lines, you may be interested in some of the information provided by the nation's original experts on radiation.
Periodically, some self-styled 'expert' (being defined as 'anyone more than ten miles from home') shows up, trying to convince us that our cell phones are killing our brain cells with their radiation, or that our kids are in danger of being cancer victims because their school playground is partly beneath the electric company's high voltage power lines.
So before some huckster induces panic in your already stressful life, may I please suggest that you bookmark the above website for HPS.org?
Briefly, or as briefly as I can manage, here's the poop: Cancer-producing radiation has to be radiation of a certain range of high frequencies, such as those found in microwave ovens, radar equipment, and similar high frequency or ultra high frequency devices, also including natural radiation from sources like our sun with its various thermonuclear radiation types.
You can't get cancer from exposure to radiation from that nearby power line.
Why not? Because: the frequency of it is only 60 cycles per second, which is rated as 'ultra-low frequency' on the internationally accepted rating scale.
Also, air being a very good insulator, and those lines being many feet above anyone's head, and that frequency being ultra-low, and the voltage, even at let's say 500 Kv, or 500,000 volts, being insufficient to produce a significant radiation field beyond the limits of safe approach, which, in this case is listed as being 7 meters, or 22.98 feet. So, for example, if that 500 Kv line is mounted on 90-foot towers, there's still 67 feet between you on the ground and the nearest limit of safe approach to that 'hot' or 'live' conductor, and you have
absolutely nothing to fear from its radiation.
"But", you say, "I've seen little blue lightning-like emissions and heard hissing noises with those, around the hardware of those high voltage conductors, so what about that?" That is called 'corona' and is caused by the high voltage of the conductor's electrical field around the cable stressing the surrounding air's
insulating value, and overcoming that insulating value of the air for a few inches next to the conductor at points on the hardware where those voltage stresses are greatest, such as at sharp corners of the hardware, or on fasteners like bolts that may not have been adequately designed with rounded surfaces to distribute those voltage stresses more evenly. So if you see 'corona' after dark at certain places along a high voltage line, you know the hardware wasn't made to reduce or eliminate that effect. And that 'corona' effect is part of normal line losses during transmission of the energy, and it can amount to as much as ten percent of the total output of the system. So it's not an insignificant consideration in the design of a system. Modern systems have specially designed hardware with smoothly rounded surfaces to more evenly stress the surrounding insulating air, to reduce this 'corona' effect, but there will be some, especially at switching points. But you can't get cancer from that either.
"How do you know?" you ask. I know because from the 23rd of August, 1950 until the 31st of March, 1988, I worked closely with an electric company's power distribution and production systems, with equipment up to and including 500,000 volts, and sometimes, that included being inside the safe limits of approach as outlined in the rule books, and I didn't get cancer from it. So if I didn't get cancer while working on the equipment, you aren't likely to, just living nearby. And I hope this clears that up for you. But do read what they say on HPS.org for more details. And leave me a comment with any questions, please.
Sunday, September 21, 2014
It's hard to tell from this distance, but the lettering on the tail of this plane says "Whistler Air" and it's returning some Big Spenders back to civilization, from where some of us never left. The first time I skied Whistler, a daily lift ticket cost $8.00 and breakfast at Peter's Cafeteria near the base of the original Gondola cost $2.95 for all you could eat, and that consisted of bacon, eggs, hash browns, toast, and coffee. And guess what? That mountain hasn't grown one inch since then, but the prices now are astronomical because the "In Crowd" have discovered it. Isn't progress wonderful?
The picture of Rhett and Scarlett I included as a reminder of my erudite and academic Atlanta cousins who are probably wondering what they did to deserve being related to an ignoramus like me. To which, I would facetiously reply: "Just lucky, I guess." They are retired from distinguished careers in universities, and their hobby is ancestry - I very nearly slipped mental gears there and said 'incestry' but caught it in time - although, upon reflection.... (Don't go there, Ray!). Sir Thomas Overbury said: "The man who has nothing to boast of but his ancestry is like a potato. The only good belonging to him is underground." And while having illustrious forebears may be wonderful, what about those you might prefer to shoot between the eyes just to be rid of the aggravation? Obviously, it's a mixed blessing; a constant strain on one's tenuous magnanimity.
And this morning's photo out the window? Just because - because there's a long dismal rainy season coming in a couple of months, during which a sunny scene will improve my disposition immeasurably.
Saturday, September 20, 2014
Pull an old pair of socks over a suitably-sized bottle, cut the legs on an old stool
to the right height to rest your lower legs on it while on your back on the floor, place the padded bottle under the back of your neck, close your eyes, and have a nice nap. It's good for your neck, it's good for your back, and it's good for your circulation if you happen to have pitting edema of the feet and lower legs.
And before someone says, "That pitting edema in the feet and lower legs may indicate a right-side heart problem, and/or heart failure..." may I say "Thanks, but I have the Merck Manual, and I'm aware of all that." Like the guy said after falling off the Empire State Building, and passing the third floor going down, "So far, so good!" And we won't get into my ECGs, and the periodic skipped beats, and the Atrial Fibrillation, and the Xarelto (Rivaroxaban) 15 mg. to thin the blood to reduce the likelihood of clotting due to that fibrillation, nor what it sounds like if you listen to it with a stethoscope (like sloshing in a bucket) - so instead of all that, I'm just going to say it doesn't affect me-affect me-affect me hardly at all. And now, let's change the subject, may we?
And yes, it really is possible to have a relaxing nap in this position. One note of caution, however: I don't recommend that you use the bottle/headrest as you would an ordinary pillow for sleeping on your side. Because? Because it isn't designed to have the same weight distribution characteristics as pillows, and if
you are lying on your side, there's a danger of putting too much pressure on a
carotid artery, possibly restricting blood flow to the brain. ( see illustration )
So this is why the ancient Egyptians, using headrests, or me and my bottle-in-a-sock substitute, use those while on our backs, not on our sides. If you must sleep on your side, get a nice big pillow so the weight of your head will be spread over a larger area, without danger of creating pressure points. I think what I'm trying to say here is that these things aren't toys, and must be used with care.
This may not be earth-shaking news, but you can read all about it right here.
I dumped Internet Explorer from Windows 8 Pro a while ago, because I won't settle for a 'number five', when I can have a 'number one'. Would you?
Today's 'Question Everything' is: "Why hasn't Microsoft made a better browser?"
Your Internet experience is only as good as your browser, so that needs to be the very best available, and Microsoft's Internet Explorer just isn't even close!
If I were them, I'd get serious and do something about that.