Sunday Rant – 0524

PN:

Joe’s Comment – This might be the first year in decades where my personal “cabin fever” and “winter madness” pales in comparison to that of The World®.
The situation in Texas is approaching an impasse.  I am in favor of Governor Greg Abbott and the people of Texas.  The US federal government is out of its mind.
The Canadian economy continues to spiral downward.  One of the most gifted nations in the world, with unparalleled natural resources, natural beauty, and a relatively small population, is fiscally choking.  This is the precipitation of bent and twisted politics, of uncontrolled abuse of position and power.
The mess in the Middle East continues.
The mess in the Ukraine is stalemated.
Ground Hog Day came and went.
Here in Vernon we didn’t see the damn sun at all!
Without meaning to pun, that’s a ray of sunshine – 2024 will have an early Spring.
The local Wholesale Club (a subsidiary of Loblaws / Superstore) has empty shelves, especially in the meat department.
My diet, “carnivore”, is one of high fat, protein, and little / no carbohydrates.
The strip loins and rib eyes that I buy there have increased in cost mercilessly – a AAA graded whole rib eye is easily over $200.00 CAD (about 10 – 12 pounds).
Today’s shopping trip was mostly vegetable and fruit with hamburger and sausage – just under $200.00 CAD.
The Feds seem intent on doubling the cost of food in the name of “saving the planet”, or “climate”, or just destroying family farming.
I filled the car at the pump today – the price was down from last month and I felt elated to save a few pennies on the liter.  Then I remembered the price only a year ago – it was about sixty cents cheaper then!
Old guys on a fixed income without lifetime savings to insulate self from fiscal tragedy are feeling the pinch.
Meanwhile, there is no white hat good guy on the horizon.
All the dependable and solid institutions of my youth that seemed trustworthy are long gone.
Every man for himself, I reckon.
Memories come hard and stark in the grey of Winter.
A song from Tom Russell, appropriate and timely:

And I fly away,
beyond these walls,
up above the clouds where the rain don’t fall,
on a poor man’s dream.”

 

Economics

Adam Smith
The “father of economics” laid the groundwork in the 18th century for generations of sharp pencil wheeler dealers and entrepreneurial adventurers .
His opus, titled “The Wealth of Nations”, is comprised of parts I, II, III, IV, and V.
Joe and I have a copy somewhere.
Unfortunately for me and Joe, it is written in the English language of the day.  That is, odd and strange spelling, cumbersome phrasing, and unfamiliar structure.  Our grasp of English is OK but not spectacular.  When reading this older script, Joe is flummoxed, and I stumble.  Often, a quick re-read is necessary to garner an elusive meaning.
All that aside, Mr. Mark Skousen does a good job of distilling the essence into a few key phrases, all the while giving a history of Mr. Smith.
Nicely done!:

 

Argentina
The new President of Argentina, Javier Milei, has begun transforming his country by bringing a capitalist agenda as THE agenda.  He has been widely supported by “We The People” of Argentina.
How successful will he be in rescuing what remains of the Argentine economy from the jaws of socialism (or worse – the Chinese Communist Party)?
The following video features a happy John Stossel, a died-in-the-wool Libertarian, celebrating President Milei.  Like Mr. Stossel, Joe and I also wish the new president success.  Perhaps an Argentinian turn-around will inspire the citizens of Canada to pay attention:

 

Humor

 

Health

A Story
This young man, “Kent Carnivore“, has created two short “documentary” stories telling the story of mankind’s trek from tree dwelling primates to today’s magnificent specimen.  Joe and I enjoyed both of them for their brevity and high-level broad-brushing of the subject.  That is to say, they are not exhaustive detailed histories of the evolution of Man.  More of an imaginative overview:

And the second episode continues the theme.  Joe and I ARE carnivores….:

 

Joe’s Garage

International IDI
In 1983, Ford F250 and F350 pick-ups could be ordered with a diesel engine.
It was not an industry first (GM in 1978) but it was an industry changer.
The engine was an International 6.9L IDI (Indirect Injection) that, by 1986, produced 170 horse power and 315 foot-pounds torque without a turbo charger.  For its time it was respectable performance.  The consensus today is the 6.9L and it’s bigger brother the 7.3L IDI were reliable and gave good fuel economy.
No one claims high power as an attribute.
Enter Hypermax.
The following video is the result of much research by “Higho Stable Garage”.
It features a 6.9L IDI, heavily modified by Hypermax, a diesel tuning specialist business.  The legend is that the output was in the 1200 hp range with 1800 ft.lb. torque.  It was outlawed in local truck pulling circles.  The owner drag raced the truck under the name “DaDiesel”.  Low and sub 10 second runs were reported:

Heave Ho!
The biggest, heaviest, longest, est-est ship ever conceived and built is the subject of the following video by Historsea.  The ship’s last name was Knock Nevis.
It was dismantled for scrap after an approximate 30 year existence.
Joe and I are ambivalent about shipping via sea.  What knocked our socks off (metaphorically) was the sheer immensity of the project.
Displacing 650,000+ tons is one big fat lady!  Joe is flabbergasted by the logistics and engineering involved:

Space X – 2024
The launch and return of a Falcon first stage in the video below is the 10th mission Space X has completed this year.
Joe and I are old enough to remember space launches were few and far between, extremely expensive, and a spectacular display of man’s ingenuity in action.
Elon Musk has made it almost humdrum.
If our math is accurate, there has been a launch approx. every 3 days in January.
No longer are they few, they are an order of magnitude less expensive (still too rich for our bank account).  The one constant is every single launch is – still spectacular!
This video tracks the first stage from ignition to separation to dry land touchdown.  Joe and I get teary eyed.  “Tom Corbet, Space Cadet” memories are flooding our mind.  Them was the days, boys!:

Fibonacci Sequence Turbines
The “Golden Ratio” (1.618..) is an observable phenomenon of the world around us, of Nature©.
The Fibonacci sequence is created by adding two numbers in a sequence to produce the next number: i.e., 0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34,55…..etc. Or mathematically: Fn = Fn-1 + Fn-2.
So far, so good.  When you draw a Fibonacci tile pattern, the squares have a side length equal to the associated Fibonacci number, like this –
Starting at the “0” point, and sketching a curve through the diametric corners of the tile squares, you create the Fibonacci spiral –
What is the point?
The Fibonacci series approximates the Golden Ratio, and the Fibonacci spiral approximates the Golden Spiral.
The following video (although author Ziroth seems to have misspelled Fibonacci) is an investigation into the development of turbines which have blades described by the Fibonacci sequence.  Joe and I like this stuff a lot.  Each medium (air, water, electromagnetic fields) has an optimal “harmony”, where efficiencies are maximized.  There is much more to be discovered about the world around us:

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