2020-07-12 The Safire Project

I happened to find this website for a nuclear fusion research project that makes claims about getting more energy output than it puts in. They talk about an artificial sun on earth. I have read about some amateur experimenters making a cold fusion system on a small laboratory scale, and this Safire Project seems to be a larger version of that cold fusion. They talked about 110 degrees C, which is much lower than what a plasma generator can make. There are a lot of somewhat technical words used in the video. They said it was patented, so it might have some value at a later time. Right now I would categorize this as another fusion experiment that is a very long way from succeeding in making clean energy. But if you have some money to invest with no expectations of getting it back, you could go to for more info or watch this video.


2020-07-11 DIY Off Grid Solar System

This is a YouTube video. This guy did a very good job of building an off-grid solar system. It’s transportable, uses four 100 watt panels, two 12V AGM batteries in parallel, can supply 120VAC pure sine wave at 2000 watts and costs under $1,900.

This is an excellent video with plenty of details. He calls it a generator but it’s not a gasoline generator, it’s a 12VDC to 120VAC inverter. He talks about how much better this system is than a gas powered generator, and it’s cheaper in the long run.

Other videos:

Will Prowse recommends the Giandel 4000 watt pure sine wave inverters. He said that some others have failed (let the smoke out) for no reason at all. He links to Amazon but I found them for cheaper on eBay.


2020-07-11 Lawn Sprinkler System Losing Pressure?

I’ve been seeing the sprinklers reaching a smaller radius after several years, and brown spots between. I was thinking that it was caused by a clogged pipe. I also had some constantly leaky sprinklers that were causing the grass to become soggy and mushrooms were growing. Then I noticed my water bill was several tens of dollars higher. Something was wrong.

So I replaced the solenoid valve that was feeding the wet spot. That took care of the leaky valve. But the sprinklers were still not spraying out like they used to. The water pressure in this neighborhood is high, 80 to 85 PSI, where normally it’s 45 to 55 PSI. I wondered if a pipe had become plugged. While I was working on a worn sprinkler, I noticed the problem (see photo). I think the gardeners hit it with the mower or weed whacker. The sprinklers are doing better after it was replaced, but I might have some other leaks that need to be fixed.

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2020-07-10 Bird Chirp Circuit Additions, Thoughts…

See my previous blog.

The circuit runs off a photovoltaic cell that puts out approximately 3.85 volts during a sunny day. The chirps put a small load during the noises and the voltage changes very little, maybe .03 volt. I think the photovoltaic cell could drive a few LEDs without any problem.

I thought it might look nice if the circuit blinked some LEDs. The blinking would not necessarily have to blink in unison with the chirps.

The circuit works only during bright sunlight. I think it would be a good idea to connect a pair of supercapacitors in series to the photovoltaic cell and charge them in the daytime so it will annoy everyone with the chirps for hours after the sun sets. :-O

I think I could use a few milliamps from the PV cell to power a 1 transistor FM transmitter. This would send the chirps a few tens of feet to any FM radio. The frequency would be on the low end of the band from 88 to 92 MHz.


2020-07-09 Chirping Bird Circuit

I found this circuit at 5 or 6 different websites, all identical except some were in color, others not. The schematic and part values were all the same. I didn’t have a 1k CT to 8 ohm transformer (Radio Shack 273-1380) so instead I used a transformer with four 600 ohm windings and I tied two of the 600 ohm windings together to make the primary. I tied the remaining two windings together in parallel to drive a small magnetic beeper. The beeper wasn’t a proper load like a speaker so I put a 1k resistor in parallel with the beeper. I used a PN2222A in place of the BC109. I put two 22k resistors in series for the 47k.The schematic calls for a 9V battery but I used a 4V solar cell, which is not as loud but it’s okay. The sound depends on the transformer, the speaker, the power supply voltage and of course on the values of the capacitors and resistors. You will have to choose values to suit your situation. The chirp sounds like a crying squirrel — see video below.A 3 second video with sound.

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2020-07-08 SCOTUS: Employers Health Plans No Longer Have To Pay For Contraceptives

The Supreme Court decided against the Obamacare law requiring employers’ health plans to pay for birth control. The employer must have religious or moral objections to birth control. This is not a major victory for Trumpism because the employee can find a job somewhere that doesn’t have an objection.

There is the “externalities” or unintended consequences. By giving exemptions, the organizations that take the exemption make them less competitive when it comes to attracting new employees. The exemption also gives a further reason to implement Medicare For All and give healthcare and birth control to all legal US residents.

An interesting statistic from this article:

<< Over 61.4 million women in the US have birth control coverage with zero out-of-pocket costs, according the National Women’s Law Center. >>


2020-07-07 PG&E “Stranded Assets” Baloney

At the very end of this article

<< Meanwhile, California utility Pacific Gas & Electric has declared support for a potential statewide ban on natural gas in new buildings to “avoid investments in new gas assets” that might be left stranded by the state’s push for a zero-carbon economy by 2045. >>

I think this “stranded assets” is nonsense. The natural gas infrastructure can be used for transporting hydrogen and that should replace natural gas in the future.

I think that PG&E is trying to lock consumers into heating using electricity, which is more expensive than natural gas. The future electric rates should be decreased, not increased because renewables (solar and especially wind) are coming down in cost per kWh, but I’ve never heard of an investor owned utility applying for a rate decrease. Have you? Hah-hah-hah! No way! So by banning new natural gas infrastructure, they are locking consumers into a non-competitive, single source monopoly. That’s not what consumers need.

Beware of Corporate Lethargy and Greed

There seems to be a range of plans for the future to steer the U.S. away from a fossil fuel economy. In my opinion the major corporations such as investor owned utilities are trying to steer the governments (such as public utilities commissions) away from the most effective way towards a fossil fuel-free economy and to the least burdensome way for the corporations. This path has to be prevented if the world is to be saved from the brink of climate change disaster.

I read the wiki about Regulatory Capture. I suspect this is especially troubling with the regulated utilities. They have much to gain from manipulating government.

Right now the consensus is that we have waited too long to make the changes away from fossil fuels and that it will be necessary to implement carbon removal infrastructure to prevent the global warming disaster. We need to do this immediately by capturing CO2 and storing it away from the atmosphere. Time is short!


2020-07-06 Adam Kucharsky Explains How CoVID19 Spreads

Kucharsky is an epidemiologist. This is a great 13.7 minute talk similar to Ted where he explains the four “D. O. T. S,” determine the R (reproduction) value. Start at the 4:10 point.


2020-07-05 Livestock Causing Shrinking Colorado River Water Supplies

2020-07-08 This article tells how growing feed crops for livestock is using up 23% of the water. The large part of this water is used to grow the feed for the cattle. The northern part of Texas and Oklahoma are running dry because the underground aquifer is being depleted.


2020-07-04 4th Of July – Voter Fraud And Racism Of The Most Pernicious Kind

Lots of fireworks going off after 9 PM. The City of Orange prohibits sales and use of any fireworks. The fireworks shows have all been cancelled due to the Coronavirus. But right now it doesn’t seem like any of that is true, fireworks are going off all over the town. Big fireworks! Boom! Boom! Pop, pop! Boom! For hours.


This Yahoo article digs deeper into this subject.

Here are quotes from the beginning:

<< For two decades, Americans have argued about voter fraud — often in simplified terms. Republican lawmakers tend to argue that voter fraud is a major problem that undermines democracy. Democrats, meanwhile, counter that real instances of voter fraud are vanishingly rare, and that Republican remedies such as voter ID laws are just thinly veiled attempts at discouraging turnout, particularly among minorities. >>

<< Rep. John Lewis, the civil rights pioneer who was beaten nearly to death by Alabama state police in 1965, once described voter ID laws as “a cure where there is no sickness.”>>

My thoughts are very similar. But I began to associate the term Institutionalized Racism with another pernicious problem.

In the 1960s there was widespread bipartisan support in Congress for the VRA, the Voter Rights Act. This support was reaffirmed at various times since then by Congress. Some states had laws requiring voter ID, and they were found to be in violation of the VRA and they had to be monitored by federal authorities to prevent these violations. A link to a source is:

Another quote from this Yahoo article

<< Most experts say that voter ID requirements have likely done more to prevent Americans from voting than they have to stop fraud. Poor Americans are most likely to lack a driver’s license or other forms of valid ID, and often do not have access to documents needed to obtain valid ID, such as a birth certificate. In some states as well, DMVs have strictly limited the times when they are open or register voters. >>

Then the VRA world was turned upside down when the SCOTUS handed down the Citizens United Decision, among others. More history later.

The BLM Black Lives Matter movement has been in the news because of the many protests that have taken place after the death of George Floyd in the hands of four Minneapolis policemen. In these protests in the news I have seen signs that say “Silence = (something)” the (something) could be consent, racism, death, or other terms.

The Republicans see minority voters as the biggest threat to their maintaining a majority in Congress because the Right knows that there are more Democrats than Republicans in the minority voters. It is in the Republicans’ best interests to reduce the minority voters’ participation in voting. Since there is no incentive to cast their vote, and there is no penalty for not casting their vote, these minor issues like preventing voters from voting by mail are effective at reducing the number of votes cast, mostly by minorities.

Then the districts have been gerrymandered to make the minority votes as least effective as possible. How, you say? Say you have a five areas, each with its share of minorities, and these areas have to be apportioned into five districts. The politicians make one district ‘gerrymander’ through all five areas, concentrating all the minorities into this district, which is going to have a representative elected by the minorities. But the other four districts have no minority areas and they have four representatives who are not elected by those minorities. And these four representatives give no representation at all to minorities. That’s institutionalized racism.

Back to voter turnout. The Republicans are saying that voting by mail-in ballot is allowing voter fraud and they are doing everything in their power to stop states from sending out mail-in ballots. The mail-in ballots allow those poor, disabled and minority people who are usually unable to go to the polls to cast their ballots easily by mail. The Republicans believe this gives an advantage to the democrats because more poor, disabled and minority people are Democrats. So by suppressing voting by mail-in ballots they are gaining an advantage over democrats. In doing this, they are practicing institutionalized racism, especially in the inner cities.

There have been all these BLM Black Lives Matter protests. The complaints are against institutionalized racism within the police departments in cities. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are ten times as much institutionalized racism within the federal government due to the voter suppression I have explained above. Those protesters should not be tearing down statues of Civil War generals. They should be tearing down the institutionalized racism that is preventing them from voting and getting their fair share of representatives in *all* levels of state and federal governments. Until this institutionalized racism is remedied there will always be unfairness for the poor and minorities.

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