Saturday, October 04, 2014

3982 Bits

Saturday, October 4, 2014

"To be willing to die for an idea is to set a rather high price on conjecture."
 --Anatole France


A travel hint:
Many times I've found that there are plenty of nice inexpensive places for lunch near the hotel, like even a cafe in the hotel, but in the evening, dinner time, they're all closed, and the only places to eat are horribly expensive and seem to expect you to "dress" for dinner.  

I call BS. 

I try to get a refrigerator in my room.  (A microwave is a nice bonus.)  If I have to, I lie and tell the desk I have medications that have to be refrigerated.  A little unmarked travel bottle of water in the fridge will play the part if necessary.  Then I have a nice lunchtime "dinner" at a lunch place, and I doggy bag a dinner from there and eat my nice cheap evening meal in my room or on the balcony.


A question:
If I have a pulley set up to lift some weight, you know, a single pulley on the top and one on the bottom as in #2 below, I can cut the apparent weight in half.  Like if there's 100 lbs, and I pull the rope, it's as if I am lifting only 50 lbs because the rope I'm pulling moves twice as far as the weight.

Here's the question:  I figure the rafter that I have the top pulley attached to has to support 100 lbs, the weight on the end of the pulleys.  A friend says no, the rafter has to support 150 lbs - the weight on the bottom PLUS the 50 lbs of pull I'm putting on the rope.

Anyone know for sure?

The way I figure it, if I am using the pulley as in figure 1, the rafter just has to support 100 lbs, not 200.  But then the next minute I can convince myself the other way.  I don't even know where to look to get the answer.


Newest grammar complaint:
The word for unbroken is "intact", not "in tact".  I'm seeing even pros use "in tact" and it's driving me batty.

Also maddening, the new "go to" word seems to be "massive".  It seems that anything that is larger, longer, or bigger than normal is "massive".

In my opinion, "massive" is used only to refer to great mass.  An Egyptian pyramid is massive.  When we're taking about a "massive heart attack", even then we mean that the attack involved the mass of the heart.  I'll even accept a "massive head cold" (under small protest) because it feels like a rock in your head.  But there's no way I can accept some of the ways I've seen it used lately:
- a massive house cleaning job
- a long flight route, as in "The Airbus A380 super-jumbo will fly six times a week on the massive 13,800 km journey between Sydney, Australia and Dallas / Fort Worth, U.S."
- a massive TED speech 
- his massive snoring kept me awake
- a massive groan from the audience

Grinding my teeth....


I rarely have nightmares.  So rarely I can't remember the last.  The closest thing to a nightmare I can think of usually involves a building with many corridors and many closed doors, and I feel panic because I can't figure out where whatever it is I'm looking for is.  I keep opening doors, but that's not the right room, and there are so many doors and so little time.  (In the special way of dreams, space is distorted.  The doors are right next to each other, cheek by jowl, but when I'd open a door the room was a normal size, and that was frustrating, too.)  These dreams aren't scary, though.  Just frustrating.

Maybe I have scary nightmares, but I don't awaken, so I don't remember them.

When I was in college living in the dorm, I always had my own room, no roommate, because (they say) I screamed words and cried in my sleep all the time, and it disturbed anyone else in the room.  Not just because I was loud, but because my obvious distress worried them.  But I don't remember any nightmares.

Ex#1 did say I sometimes cried or shouted in my sleep.  He'd wake me and it would stop, but again, even after being awakened, I don't remember any dream.

That was a very long time ago, and no one else has complained about it since then, so I don't know. 

I have been dreaming more lately, but the ones I'm working on as I wake in the morning are mostly pleasant,  usually involving some people, mostly older women, who are being hospitable, pleasant, we're working on something together, that kind of thing.   I read as I'm falling asleep at night, fall asleep with my nose in a book, the light is on a timer, and I think what I'd been reading influences my dreams.

3981 Shall we become hermits?

Saturday, October 4, 2014

"The ability we value most is plausible deniability."


Airports are checking passengers for fevers before they can board a flight.   Great.  I guess this can help to assure that no one on the flight is exposed to someone with ebola in the contagious stage.  But it does nothing to prevent someone with ebola in the not-yet contagious stage from traveling anywhere they want.  So it does nothing to stop ebola from spreading around the world.

I don't understand.  It doesn't make any sense.

And then there was the guy who thew up on a plane arriving at Newark from Brussels.  He was taken off the plane by people in full protective gear, the other passengers were held on the plane for a while, and then given handouts of what to do if they start showing ebola symptoms and they were let go, BEFORE the sick guy tested negative for ebola.  [

I don't understand.  It doesn't make any sense.

Some folks are saying that anyone coming from a country with ebola cases should be quarantined for three weeks after arrival somewhere else.  Well, we, the US, have at least one and possibly more ebola cases here.  So should Americans be quarantined for three weeks if they travel?  Should Arizona close their borders to Texans?

This is scary.  There's an attitude like "No big deal.  Even if a few cases show up, we can simply isolate those people and stop it in its tracks."  Duh.  The big problem in west Africa is that people are uneducated, not trusting the government and medical folks, and hiding sick relatives away.

Lack of education, distrust of government, distrust of doctors ("death panels", anyone?), distrust of "the system" --- yeah, sure, we don't have any of that here....


The other thing that bothers me is that in the cases of Americans and other westerners who have been diagnosed, nobody ever talks about HOW they got it.  Ok, the doctors and nurses, I can see that they had a higher chance of exposure, but they know how to protect themselves.  They know what to do and what not to do.  They are completely suited up and have decontamination procedures and know the punishment for screwing up.  So what went wrong?  And the reporters and that cameraman, how?

Why aren't they looking into that?  Maybe it's not as easy to avoid as they want us to believe?