Posts by Bill Walker


log in
1) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Transportation Safety 3 (Message 1798482)
Posted 2 hours ago by Profile Bill Walker

Regarding turning the wheels to the curb, do cars that have automatic parallel parking do that when they finish?


They would need to know if they were facing uphill or downhill, don't think current cars have a sensor for that.
2) Message boards : Cafe SETI : The Train Thread 2 (Message 1798416)
Posted 8 hours ago by Profile Bill Walker
I think you are right David, the one in the middle is a slug, not a calf.
3) Message boards : Cafe SETI : The Train Thread 2 (Message 1798282)
Posted 20 hours ago by Profile Bill Walker
An interesting yard shifter consist from Thunder Bay, two cows and one calf. And another reminder that not all North American trains are grey.

4) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Don't know where it should go? Stick it here! Part III (Message 1797121)
Posted 6 days ago by Profile Bill Walker
When will people learn NOT to open "phishy" emails????
Companies paid more than $3.1B to fake-CEO email scams

Email scammers, often pretending to be CEOs, have duped businesses into giving away at least $3.1 billion, according to new data from the FBI.



I spent several years supporting the legal department of a major multi-national, and I was amazed at how many times employees fell for mail and e-mail scams. Their job was to process invoices as fast as possible, so if they received something that remotely resembled an invoice they would cut a cheque. No time, and no motivation, to think about it. I put together a half day training course for these people, that we figure saved $10,000 plus in the first year. Most of the scams were a few hundred bucks or less, but they came in daily.
5) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Raccoon Update XXIII - All Are Welcome In The Critter Cafe (Message 1797119)
Posted 6 days ago by Profile Bill Walker
LSM and I saw a pelican over the river when we were coming back from
Edmonton the other day. There are a lot more hunting birds around this
year. I saw a cardinal a couple of years back, and I was hoping it was
warm enough this year for a repeat showing. It is even better than that,
the cycle won't be complete for another two years so there is lots better
to come in animal numbers alone.



We have had steadily increasing numbers of cardinals in the yard over the last few years. There are at least two nesting pairs this year, and their offspring are starting to show up at the feeders. I read somewhere that the average cardinal never travels more than a few kilometres from where it was born, so it make take some time for them to penetrate into central Alberta.
6) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Transportation Safety 3 (Message 1796749)
Posted 7 days ago by Profile Bill Walker
From the photo, the incident should have been survivable to any passengers. Train is upright, coach volumes intact, no objects penetrating occupied areas. The alternative might have been to allow the train to drive on into annother occupied train, or an occupied platform, or into structure that would penetrate the coaches. De-railing is probably the lesser of many evils.

The REAL way to prevent this accident is to not drive through red lights.
7) Message boards : Cafe SETI : What are you listening to? (Message 1793563)
Posted 19 days ago by Profile Bill Walker
Chet Baker, Live at the Keystone Corner.
8) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Mysterious Miscellaneous Tool Time V8 (Message 1793017)
Posted 21 days ago by Profile Bill Walker
Grant wins. Over to you. It is for fletching, or placing the feathers on the back end of the shaft. Or as some engineers would call it, the anti-pointy end.
9) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Mysterious Miscellaneous Tool Time V8 (Message 1792549)
Posted 23 days ago by Profile Bill Walker
Thanks for the win. We had a similar one awhile back, here is a modern one. Slightly photoshopped to remove obvious clues.

10) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Mysterious Miscellaneous Tool Time V8 (Message 1792092)
Posted 25 days ago by Profile Bill Walker
I forget the name, but don't they use big discs like this when tuning drums?
11) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Mysterious Miscellaneous Tool Time V8 (Message 1791738)
Posted 26 days ago by Profile Bill Walker
Some sort of parting saw?
12) Message boards : Cafe SETI : The Train Thread 2 (Message 1791539)
Posted 26 days ago by Profile Bill Walker
Don't let the fore ground fool you, the photo was taken on the Pacific coast in 1986, on a man made point leading out to a massive coal sea port facility.
When I was flying around that area regularly in the late 1970s it was a treat to watch these unit trains. They would unload, and switch engines, without stopping. They then ran back to the coal mines up in the mountains. The coal would move on to Japan, China or South Korea. Canada smokes up the world. These are SD40s, all looking somewhat shiny and new.

13) Message boards : Cafe SETI : The Train Thread 2 (Message 1790548)
Posted 29 days ago by Profile Bill Walker
I have noticed over the last few years that both CN and CP are taking better care of their older equipment. You see old equipment like this, but you don't see old rusty, dirty equipment with the paint flaking off very much any more.

The smaller Canadian lines are another matter, however. This is Ontario Northland from last fall, at Thunder Bay.
14) Message boards : Cafe SETI : The Train Thread 2 (Message 1790538)
Posted 29 days ago by Profile Bill Walker
For all you Californians who wonder where your margarine comes from. A train load of canola seed out of Saskatchewan, bound for the BNSF at Vancouver and then on to California. Canada feeds the world.

15) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Happy Birthday to Angela! (Message 1790430)
Posted 29 days ago by Profile Bill Walker
Happy day after your birthday Ms. Korpela.
16) Message boards : Cafe SETI : 78's (Message 1786878)
Posted 12 May 2016 by Profile Bill Walker
Just junked about 20 or so of my parents 78s, with some sadness. They had a much larger collection, but several moves wore it down. I looked into selling them, but there are very few collectable 78s these days, and my parents tastes didn't measure up. The few American pop recordings they had (like a teenage Doris Day) have so flooded the market that several web sites that buy and sell 78s have them on their list of "don't bother" artists.

My father had a lot of bag pipe music, and a few, from one particular label, were slightly collectable. If I paid $4 each to ship them to the UK, a dealer there would pay me $3 for each of them.

I looked into adding a 78 player to the sound system, but we are trying to downsize now (empty nesters) and I just couldn't justify the money or the space to play 20 albums. And I collect enough junk already, didn't want to start buying more 78s. I had trimmed my LP collection down to about 400, and then discovered some local places that sell old jazz LPs, and that number is creeping up.;)
17) Message boards : Cafe SETI : The Train Thread 2 (Message 1786818)
Posted 11 May 2016 by Profile Bill Walker
Thanks for that Bernie.
18) Message boards : Cafe SETI : What If... (Message 1786817)
Posted 11 May 2016 by Profile Bill Walker
James, I was about to tell Sarge sorry, I don't remember, so thanks from both of us.

Crunchy, my theory is that eventually, the universe will stop expanding and start shrinking again, which will finally result in all the matter slamming back together into one microscopic dot again, the force of which action will cause it to explode out all over again in another Big Bang. It then follows that there is no reason to assume that we are currently in the first iteration of this phenomenon.

Or as Douglas Adams put it, there is a theory that if anyone ever finds out what the universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced with something even more bizarrely inexplicable. There is another theory that this has already happened.


That was the belief a few years ago, but according to people who know much more about these things than I do it appears that dark matter and dark energy have screwed up that calculation, and the rate of expansion may actually be increasing. That means we end with a cold dark whimper, not another bang.

Relying on these same bright people, the current thinking is that the big bang could have happened from nothing, based on current interpretations of quantum theory. It also follows that big bangs can be occurring over and over, in other dimensions. So, we are probably not the first or the last, but are not part of any continuing cycle.
19) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Canada Fire (Message 1786772)
Posted 11 May 2016 by Profile Bill Walker
I have a Calgary friend who has told me some politics are involved and I can't quote him here because it would be moderated. Seriously.

No doubt, it gots to be politics.
From 1971 till 2015, 44 years, the Progressive Conservative Party ruled in Alberta, till the NDP (Canadian socialists) won to form a majority government.
There will be no end to the political machinations, and grumbling, for years to come.
For a lot of people Whining is their default setting.
Maybe your friend shouldn't listen to them?


Do people really believe the trees and bushes paid attention to who was in power? Until somebody shows me an untouched photo of an elected Member of Parliament lighting the fire, these articles are unworthy of discussion.

BTW, some of these articles are from the same blogs and e-magazines that blame the current Alberta government for causing the world collapse of oil prices that occurred several months before the party was elected. Logic and serious thinking is clearly lacking.

If you want to find a human link, blame global climate change. Rising temperatures and changing moisture patterns are changing how the fire behave, but the fires have been there since the end of the last ice age, maybe even earlier. Another human change is the spread of cities and towns into what used to wilderness. There have been fires this large in northern Alberta in the past, they just never ran into significant human presence before they burned themselves out.

BTW, if we blame climate change and the spread of urbanization, who carries the most blame: the current party (in for 9 months) or the previous party (in for 41 years before that)?
20) Message boards : Cafe SETI : The Train Thread 2 (Message 1786769)
Posted 11 May 2016 by Profile Bill Walker
Another of those long North American trains. This was a scheduled run in rural BC in 2014, not sure if the service still operates.



Next 20

Copyright © 2016 University of California