2020-10-24 Aligning AM Radios

Joe Leonard
I’m not a pro at aligning radios and there are different techniques that a manufacturer may recommend. Some radios have alignment instructions with the schematic and parts list. With that in mind, I’ll say..

The IF cans with the screwdriver slots on their tops are aligned at the factory and usually locked with wax or paint. The screwdriver slot is in a ferrite (glass) cup or rod that is very easily broken with a metal screwdriver, it should be adjusted only with a plastic alignment tool. I would recommend you do not adjust any of the IFs until you can do it to a radio you can afford to trash.

There are adjustments called trimmers on both of the sections of the tuning capacitor. The plastic “polyvaricon” has the two screw slots on it marked A and O on the plastic. The A is antenna, O the local oscillator. Sometimes the heavy ferrite bar antenna gets jostled or the coils move. It’s best to correct any changes to the ferrite bar antenna before adjusting the A screw. If you adjust A wrong, the stations may come in strong on one part of the band and weak or not at all on another part of the band. The correct adjustment is good on all parts of the band.


2020-10-22 All Talk And No Action

During this evening’s debate, Trump said, three times “You’re all talk and no action (with these politicians).”

Trump has no room to talk. He has done very poorly on all the talk — promises — he hasn’t fulfilled. Trump also used the term ‘these politicians’. He is forgetting that when he was elected, he became a politician himself — politician in chief, I would surmise.


2020-10-22 Much More Than ‘Just’ Climate Change – “A Life On Our Planet” Part 2

Sir David Attenborough’s book has much more that must be done than just climate change. I start by quoting a few paragraphs about eating alternatives to meat. No one is asking anyone to give up eating meat. But with a population of over 7.5 billion people, the amount of land taken up for raising livestock and the food needed is exceeding the capacity of the land available, and forests are being cut down to grow more livestock and food for livestock. This is doing the exact opposite of what we need to do, we need to reforest the land.

If you think that you will never give up eating meat, then you are part of the problem. Mother Nature doesn’t care what you think, and will make you into fertilizer just like everyone else. Humans are the only animal on earth that have managed to step outside of living within the limits of Mother Nature. Other animals are forced to live within those limits. But humans cannot do this forever. We have reached another limit: we have forced the climate out of balance with our use of fossil fuels.

p.171 >> The largest fast food chains and supermarkets are all now experimenting with alt-proteins, foods that look, feel and taste like meat or dairy products, but that do not have the animal welfare issues or environmental packs of livestock farming. Plant-based alternatives to milk, cream, chicken and burgers are now very easy to find, and some of them are remarkable approximations of the original and can offer all the nutrients we need. While soy is a common ingredient in these products, in choosing to eat them ourselves, we are taking the position of herbivore rather than carnivore and so it is far less damaging to the environment than eating animals fed on soy.

At some point, clean meats will be arriving on the shelves. These products are grown from genuine animal tissue as independent cell cultures. Since clean meat production does not involve raising livestock, it is very efficient. The cultures are fed on a refined growth medium made from essential nutrients. They don’t require much water, energy or space to make, and there are far fewer animal welfare issues.

Further ahead still, there is a possibility of advances in biotechnology that will enable us to use micro-organisms to produce almost any protein or complex organic food to order. Some of these may be produced by adding little more than air and water, and be powered by renewable energy.

At present the cost of producing most of these alt-proteins is still very high since the technology is yet to be refined, and not all are yet proven to be fit for human consumption. Others have been criticized for being overly processed. But some suggest that as soon as they become as cheap to produce as beef, chicken, pork, dairy and, indeed, fish, there will be a revolution in our food supply chains. The bulk of easily substituted foods such as ground beef, sausage meat, chicken breast and milk products may switch to all protein production within decades. Even if more specialist items such as prime steaks, fine cheeses and cure delicacies remain produced by traditional methods, the human population would be able to feed itself on far less food, while using far less energy and water, and admitting far fewer greenhouse gases. The alt-protein revolution could prove to be a significant boost to our efforts to become sustainable on Earth. <<

p.173 >> The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that, with current rate of improvements in farming efficiency alone, we will reach peak farm by about 2040. At that point, for the first time since we invented farming, 10,000 years ago, we may stop taking up more space on Earth. But by radically increasing yields in sustainable ways, regenerating degraded land, farming in new spaces, reducing the meat in our diet, and benefiting from the efficiencies of alt-proteins, we may be able to go much further and start to reverse the land grab. Estimates suggest it could be possible for humankind to feed itself on just half of the land that we currently farm – an area the size of North America. And that would be very valuable, because we have an urgent need for all that freed land. It is the setting for our greatest efforts to increase biodiversity and capture carbon. And the farmers who will have been most affected by the clean, Green revolution happening around them, have a pivotal role to play. <<


Wolves in Yellowstone

p.187 >> When working on a large scale, the opportunity arises for the most spectacular and controversial of rewilding ambitions — the reintroduction of large predators. In a world in which biodiversity gain and carbon capture are rewarded, it may make sense to do this, given enough space, due to the benefits of something called the trophic cascade. The most famous example was recorded in Yellowstone National Park upon the reintroduction of wolves in 1995. Until the wolves came back, the large deer herds spent long hours browsing the shrubs and saplings that were growing in river valleys and gorges. When the wolves arrived, that stopped, not because the wolves ate lots of deer, but because they scared all the deer. The routine of the deer herds changed. Now they moved frequently and did not remain in the open for long. Within six years, the trees grew back, shading the water, allowing fish to gather out of sight. Aspen, willow and cottonwood thickets sprouted on the floors and sides of the open valleys. The numbers of woodland birds, beaver and bison increased. The wolves hunted coyote too, so populations of rabbits and mice did better and so fox, weasel and hawk numbers increased. Finally, even the bears grew in number, as they benefitted from scavenging the carcasses of wolf kills. In the autumn, they feasted on the berries of trees and shrubs that would otherwise never have come into fruit.

The conclusion is clear: to gain biodiversity and capture carbon in a landscape such as Yellowstone, just add wolves. This thinking is active in the minds of Europeans now planning to deal with the 20-30 million hectares of abandoned farmland expected to be created by the continent’s continuing forest transition by 2030. This is an area the size of Italy. If forests are about to return to the farms by natural regrowth, it would be better for them to be as biodiverse and carbon efficient as possible. The return of the wild is becoming a practical policy option for governments which understand the true value of nature and of its contribution to stability and well-being. <<

p.190 >> In the wild, animal and plant populations in any one habitat remain roughly stable in size over time, in balance with the rest of the community. If too many are alive at once, each individual will find it harder to get what it needs from the habitat, and a few will die or leave the habitat entirely. If too few are born, there will be more than enough to go around. So they will breed well and the species will reach its full potential once more. Increasing slightly, decreasing slightly, the population of each species oscillates about a number that the habitat can sustain indefinitely. This number — the carrying capacity of an environment for a particular species — represents the very essence of balance in nature.

What is the human carrying capacity of the earth? Despite reasoned proposals and fearful warnings from great thinkers throughout history, we have never yet met our natural ceiling. We always seem to invent or discover new ways of using the environment to provide more of the essentials — food, shelter, water — for ever more people. Indeed, it is more impressive than that. We effortlessly support far more than the essentials — schools, shops, entertainment, public institutions — even as we increase our population at an extraordinary speed. Is there nothing to stop us?

The catastrophe unfolding around us surely suggests that there is. The loss of biodiversity, the changing climate, the pressure on the planetary boundaries, everything points to the conclusion that we are finally fast approaching the Earth’s carrying capacity for humanity.


2020-10-21 The Journey Of A Rock

FB group Orange Talk

I was walking along the creek trail near Grijalva Pk and I picked up one of the rounded stones. The thought occurred to me that that piece of rock started out as a jagged rock with sharp edges. But over time it was rubbed against other stones by water and little by little the sharp edges got ground away by water until it was smoothed down to round and egg shaped. The pieces turned into pebbles, gravel, sand and silt.

I wondered how many hundreds, thousands or millions of years it took to wear that stone down. Did it end up in the bed of the creek and get held in place by the roots of some tree for hundreds of years until a huge 500 year flood washed the tree away and freed the stone?

Where did it start its journey? Hundreds of miles away? What cataclysmic forces of nature did it take to break it free from the Earth and start it on its journey? If it could talk, I bet it could tell some very interesting stories.

In the far future, will some stranger pick up a stone and ask the same questions? Would that stone have a story to tell about being picked out of the creek bed long ago, and along with many other stones and cement, being made into a fence for many decades? Then an earthquake broke down the fence and later another huge flood freed up the stones in the fence, to polish away the cement until it was a smooth stone again. What a strange, strange trip it had been!


2020-10-21 AP: Most Protesters Are Not Leftist Radicals

AP finds that most arrssted in protests are not leftist radicals.


2020-10-21 Wiring Harnesses And Automation

I worked at a company that built automated test equipment for assembling cables and wiring harnesses. During the year I was there they sent reps to Detroit to help GM build wiring harnesses for Buicks. This was in 1980 and GM was using relays to implement the logic system to assure that the wiring harness was assembled correctly. This was when most wiring harnesses were assembled manually on a sheet of plywood with nails driven into it. So changing to our automated harness testers was a big step up from the old way. The whole reason for using our automated harness testers was to speed up assembly.

So I was watching Now You Know which has a lot of information about Tesla and I was kind of surprised when I read this. I would’ve thought that in 40 years the manufacture of wiring harnesses would have become highly automated. But I guess not.


2020-10-20 BLM: McRaven Not Voting For Trump!

When I first read the headlines I thought that it was just another article that made much about nothing. But after reading it I had tears in my eyes. It made me ask many questions in my mind.

There is the parable about the wisdom of King Solomon. A woman who lost her child kidnapped a child from its mother. The mother pleaded with King Solomon to have her baby back. The kidnapper selfishly claimed that the mother was trying to steal her child. King Solomon didn’t know who to believe, and made a decision. He told the two women he would cut the child in half and give each woman half.

The kidnapper felt no remorse and said nothing, but the real mother pleaded with the king not to harm the child but give the child to the kidnapper — she couldn’t bear to see her child die. Solomon then knew who the real mother was.

To me, Trump is like the kidnapper. When he tries to steal the truth, the country’s newsmedia puts him on trial. He has no remorse about lying — he just continues to lie. Worse yet, he declares the newsmedia as ‘fake news’ and declares the newsmedia as ‘the enemy of the people’ because they won’t let him continue to tell the lies. The rest of the people who believe his lies, try to defend him. Trump has even declared he could kill someone and people let him get away with it. Why have those people been deceived and can’t see that Trump is misleading them?

He declares “Four more years” and that he must “drain the swamp” when he has done more to fill the swamp by appointing campaign donors and industry lobbyists to positions within the government. He has appointed to Secretary of Education a woman who is hostile to public education.

He has made so many bad decisions that he has been taken to court many times and the courts have decided that he has stepped out of line and tried to do damage, and the courts have stopped him.

Many of the people around him have been convicted of crimes and gone to jail. The latest one arrested is Steve Bannon, his campaign strategist. I suspect that there are many more who have gotten away with criminal acts. The swamp that he claims to be draining is in reality being filled with slime and filth.


2020-10-19 Only Class War Can Stop Climate Change

The world’s top 1 percent is responsible for generating twice as much as the bottom half.


2020-10-19 Trump Accused Of Sex With 13 y/o: Court Records

This article shows the names of 18 women he has ‘been with’. The links to the court records accusing him of sex with a 13 year old are in the story.

A quote from the story:

>> It stopped being a political choice a while ago. This is now a moral choice. It has to be because Trump has no political beliefs. Not one considered, passionately-held, factually backed-up, political belief. He believes in nothing, save his own enrichment and survival. If you haven’t figured this out yet then you haven’t been paying attention. Or rather, you have been paying attention to what he says and not what he does. <<

Quote with links:

>> Before his election to the presidency Donald Trump was accused of raping a 13-year-old girl with his friend, Jeffrey Epstein (court documents can be seen here and here. The plaintiff also claimed that she was threatened with physical harm if she did not keep the assault quiet. <<



2020-10-19 What’s Causing Climate Change In 10 Charts

Quote from end of Vox article

>> In the end, the conversation about responsibility leads where all climate conversations lead: The only hope of avoiding catastrophic damage is most every country decarbonizing as rapidly as they are capable, regardless of their histories and rivalries.

Electricity must be rapidly decarbonized to get rid of coal; heating and transportation must be rapidly electrified to get rid of oil and natural gas. Wealthy countries should mobilize to drive down the costs of clean-energy technologies through research and large-scale deployment; developing nations should work as hard as possible to substitute clean technologies when long-term industrial policy and infrastructure decisions are being made. And those with resources should help those with fewer prepare for the turbulent century to come.

Whoever’s fault it is, we either all chip in to solve it or we all suffer. <<

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