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Wednesday, November 29, 2017


Life in the USA is a soap opera with occasional massacres.  Recent mass shootings killed more than 80 people in Las Vegas and Texas.  So what does Congress do?  House Republicans advanced legislation to EXPAND gun owners' rights.  The House Judiciary Committee will vote today on a National Rifle Association-supported bill that will ALLOW A GUN OWNER WITH A STATE-ISSUED CONCEALED CARRY PERMIT TO CARRY A HANDGUN IN ANY STATE THAT ALLOWS THIS.  But this is the United States of America, and there are too many still living in those days a quarter millennium ago when there was no police force, the British were still around and Indians were then on the warpath.

There was an attempt to ban the "bump stock" device, but that fizzled.  House Speaker  Paul Ryan said the Texas shooting showed the need to enforce current gun laws.  Huh?

Some interesting statistics about weapons of destruction:
  • Almost 120,000 Americans are annually shot, and more than 30,000 die.  Traffic?  In 2016 37,461 suffered motor vehicle deaths.  But it was 54,589 in 1972.  Does anyone call for the end of cars?  I'm being sarcastic.
  • The Washington Post estimates that the number of firearms nationwide at 357 million.  Our population is 323 million.
  • One of the grotesque reactions to mass shootings is that the price of gun company stocks go up.  Why?  Gunowners become concerned that government will soon pass laws to terminate gun sales.
  • There is about one firearm/person in the U.S.  
    • #2 is Serbia with 0.58, 
    • the World averages 0.1, 
    • #78 is Iran at 0.07, 
    • #99 is China at 0.05 and 
    • #162 is Japan at 0.006.
  • The World murder rate/100,000 of 5 is about the same as the U.S.  The European Union is only 1.  El Salvador is the highest with 109, and rates in Central America, especially, and South America, are high.
  • While those statistics immediately above are not particularly alarming, Americans are 10 times more likely to be killed by guns than 22 other highly developed nations.
Finally, Federal law does not restrict the open carrying of firearms in public, although:

Three states (California, Florida, and Illinois) and the District of Columbia generally prohibit people from openly carrying firearms in public. Two states (New York and South Carolina) prohibit openly carrying handguns, but not long guns, and another three states (Massachusetts, Minnesota, and New Jersey) prohibit openly carrying long guns, but not handguns. In the remaining states, people are generally allowed to openly carry firearms, although some states require a permit or license to do so.

Changing subjects to a real soap opera and the British Royalty, Prince Harry is now engaged to American actress Meghan Markle.  She is:
  • 36, three years older than Harry
  • divorced
  • a Catholic
  • like Barack Obama, gray--mother is a Black yoga instructor and dad White cinematographer
No soap, but a lot of turning, I've long been intrigued that a one-bladed wind turbine was the most efficient.  However, you need a balance on the other end, and the device is inherently unstable.  

It is said that, while a two-bladed wind machine is more efficient than a three-blader, 90% of wind turbines today have three because they operate better (this is a complicated analysis involving chatter, wobble, wind speed change, etc.)  

Those old rural farm windmills with ten and more blades are very inefficient.  However, the latest development from China, reported on at the end, seems to go back to a lot of blades.  

So you say, if a one-blade turbine is the most efficient, what about a bladeless wind device?  Glad you asked, for Saphon Energy, a Tunisian company, is attempting to market their zero blade technology.  It is said there is no noise.  Windmills can at most capture 59.3% of the kinetic energy, with the average in the 30% to 40% range.  This revolutionary development is somewhat like the spinnaker of a yacht and is more efficient than conventional wind energy conversion devices, as touted.  Good luck.

That's not all, Vortex Bladeless from Spain uses vorticity.  There are no gears or bearings, and the cost to generate electricity is projected to be 40 % lower than conventional wind systems, they hope.

Which brings us back to vertical axis turbines and real blades.  I've always thought this form made the most sense for maintenance reasons, and there are usually two blades.

And, finally, what about The Super Turbine?

We're back to a lot blades, but Super Turbine Inc of China has big dreams.

THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIALS JUMPED 104 TO 23,940, again breaking its all-time record.

In the Indian Ocean is Tropical Cyclone Three, soon to to attain Category 2 strength and, maybe, circle back towards Mumbai:


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