Posts by Bill Walker


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21) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Mysterious Miscellaneous Tool Time V5 (Message 1606916)
Posted 22 days ago by Profile Bill Walker
Used to clean flesh off animal hides?
22) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Raccoon Update XX - All are welcome in the Critter Cafe (Message 1606591)
Posted 23 days ago by Profile Bill Walker
I need a vaporizer ray.
23) Message boards : Cafe SETI : British vs. French system (Message 1606570)
Posted 23 days ago by Profile Bill Walker
Celsius and Kelvin use the same unit, but are very different measurement scales, generally used for very different purposes.

And Chris, water freezes at 0C and boils at 100C at one very specific pressure, in one very specific atmosphere. And it has to be very pure water. All these measurement systems and units are arbitrary. As I said before, it just depends which one you get used to.

This sums it up nicely.
24) Message boards : Cafe SETI : British vs. French system (Message 1605049)
Posted 27 days ago by Profile Bill Walker
This of course brings to mind the Mars Climate Orbiter incident in 1999: "The 'root cause' of the loss of the spacecraft was the failed translation of English units into metric units in a segment of ground-based, navigation-related mission software - -"



This to me is still not a root cause, it is just a symptom. You don't correct problems by telling people "don't do that again". Humans don't work that way. You might be able to correct the problem if you know WHY the human made the mistake, and then fixed that. Better expressed root causes might be "a lack of fluency in multiple unit systems" and/or "a lack of understanding of the presented data because of a lack of fluency in different unit systems", and/or "a lack of understanding of the presented data because of a lack of understanding of the task described by the presented data".

Just saying you shouldn't be too quick to blame the metric system.
25) Message boards : Cafe SETI : British vs. French system (Message 1605030)
Posted 27 days ago by Profile Bill Walker
I can't get too excited about the whole Imperial versus Metric thing. After 40 years of working around the globe in engineering, I realize there is metric, and then there is metric. Ask industries in 5 different metric countries what the standard units are for pressure, and you will get at least 6 different answers.

It all boils down to local preferences, and if you want to work in a region you need to learn to communicate with those people. Base ten makes some thing easier, but you can learn almost anything if you have to. I can still recite the decimal equivalent, and the millimetre equivalent, of most 32nd and 64th fractions of an inch. That's after two years of working in a drawing office that used inch fractions on the drawings, but bought material in inch decimals and metric.
26) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Beet's Give Us a Caption #58 (Message 1604699)
Posted 28 days ago by Profile Bill Walker
Alright, judging time. Several good ones, but nobody used my first idea "how much further to Florida?"

Third place to Celttooth "we fought the British for this place?" I think that every time I visit Buffalo.

Second to Admiral Gloval (Where's that darn newspaper?) and Wiggo (I hope that I have mail when I get to that letterbox) for very similar thoughts.

But first has to got to David, if only because that very thing has happened to me several times: "Why didn't I put gas in the snow blower last week?"

PM on its way.
27) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Beet's Give Us a Caption #58 (Message 1604080)
Posted 29 days ago by Profile Bill Walker
Thanks Celttooth. Here is one for my soul mates stuck in the snow in Buffalo.

28) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Dead phone (Message 1603826)
Posted 22 Nov 2014 by Profile Bill Walker
Eric worked on a satellite once that got rained on. Somebody forgot to close a dome door. Anyway, it turns out electronics can be "washed". Just don't turn them on until they are dry. The satellite worked fine once it was completely dried.

Absolutely nothing wrong with water and electronics, the water just has to be pure distilled or de-ionized, with no contaminates.
I used to work on 20 kW water cooled amplifiers. The supply voltage was ~35 kV.

It's the conducting contaminating dirt that does the damage.


Or other additives in the water. A few years back I rented about $100K worth of high speed camera and associated electronics, and had just opened the shipping crate when some genius cut the wrong wire while working on the building electrical system and set off the foam sprinkler right above the open crate. The guys we rented it from were very understanding - I would have been looking for somebody to shoot. They came out, carefully dried it all, then declared it all ruined, and shipped us another set the next day. They did ask us, very politely, to be careful with the second set.
29) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Beet's Give Us a Caption #58 (Message 1603339)
Posted 21 Nov 2014 by Profile Bill Walker
Make love, not war.
30) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Talk about your profile pic (Message 1602319)
Posted 19 Nov 2014 by Profile Bill Walker
A photo of my dad at work, about 1959.
31) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Transportation safety 2 (Message 1601487)
Posted 15 Nov 2014 by Profile Bill Walker
Gary has the symptom, but the cause remains the pursuit of money, regardless of other results. It is easy to count money, and therefore easy to compare your financial results and efforts to others, so too many people focus on those numbers only. History will tell if we missed some other important results along the way.
32) Message boards : Politics : on the political correctness of political correctness (Message 1601481)
Posted 15 Nov 2014 by Profile Bill Walker
our use of the words "dark skinned" could be perceived as a form of oppression. You appear to be automatically connecting "Dark skinned" and "beggar". Couldn't you have made your point by saying "...approached by a beggar"?

My point is that there is lots of oppression to go around. Nobody seems to have an exclusive claim on it anymore.

OMG. This is exactly what I'm talking about when I say how meanings have been stretched. There is no way I was inferring that "all beggars are dark skinned" or that "all dark skinned people are beggars" and if you think either of those terms was what I meant you really need to detune your sensitivity. That is exactly the sort of PC BS this thread is about.


Or maybe you need to retune your sensitivity. Go ask a black person what they make of your statement. I bet their take is different from yours. I'm not being PC here, I'm just trying to help us middle aged white guys not look so bad in the eyes of others.

It was an accurate description of the beggar in question and no, I couldn't have made the point without giving a description of said beggar


But you have clouded the discussion with colour terms, and hidden what (IMO) is the real issue. This happens to me too here in Canada, with beggars of all colours. The real issue is how should we deal with economic differences. When a white guy starts talking colour, a lot of people tune out from what could be a meaningful discussion. I'm not being PC here either. I'm striving for truth and accuracy, and trying to have a discussion with people who are different from me in a lot of ways.

The reason I used the term "dark skinned" was to demonstrate why the beggar used the term "White c***"". If the beggar had been white, he would have just called me the name without the adjective.

T.A.


See? You could have made the point without mentioning skin colour. That again is not being PC. It is striving to start and maintain an important discussion.
33) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Christmas Wish List (Message 1601284)
Posted 15 Nov 2014 by Profile Bill Walker
World peace, and a really good cigar.
34) Message boards : Politics : on the political correctness of political correctness (Message 1601283)
Posted 15 Nov 2014 by Profile Bill Walker
I'm walking through the shopping centre and get approached by a dark skinned beggar, who hits me up for money and cigarettes. When I politely refuse to give him anything, he calls me a "White "C" word" and takes a step towards me.

Who has the most right to feel "oppressed" and "offended" in this situation, the beggar or me ?

T.A.


Your use of the words "dark skinned" could be perceived as a form of oppression. You appear to be automatically connecting "Dark skinned" and "beggar". Couldn't you have made your point by saying "...approached by a beggar"?

My point is that there is lots of oppression to go around. Nobody seems to have an exclusive claim on it anymore.
35) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Transportation safety 2 (Message 1600899)
Posted 14 Nov 2014 by Profile Bill Walker

I did forget that the bean counters prefer profits over safety:(


History may well record that our current civilization was destroyed by accountants focusing on the next quarterly statement.
36) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Mysterious Miscellaneous Tool Time V5 (Message 1600898)
Posted 14 Nov 2014 by Profile Bill Walker
Another very specific wood plane of some sort. For cutting some particular shape.
37) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Raccoon Update XX - All are welcome in the Critter Cafe (Message 1600479)
Posted 13 Nov 2014 by Profile Bill Walker
Years ago, Volunteer Park in Seattle had similar squirrels. They would be at (or on) your feet, for a few minutes. If you didn't feed them right away they moved on to the next human.

PS: People Who Know This Stuff tell me that squirrels don't hibernate here in Canada, at least not in the same way bears do. They may snooze for a day or three in really cold weather, but eventually they get up and look for food.
38) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Mysterious Miscellaneous Tool Time V5 (Message 1600478)
Posted 13 Nov 2014 by Profile Bill Walker
Mitre saw guide?
39) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Mysterious Miscellaneous Tool Time V5 (Message 1600221)
Posted 12 Nov 2014 by Profile Bill Walker
Used in weaving?
40) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Transportation safety 2 (Message 1600220)
Posted 12 Nov 2014 by Profile Bill Walker
There is a requirement for fuselage reinforcement in the plane of the prop blade, but that is aimed at ice chunks being flung off. The path taken by anything coming off the prop (like a chunk of blade) is fairly complicated, and depends on the power being produced at the time the chunk comes off. A blade under power comes off moving out and forward, a blade at lower speed and flat pitch could come off going out and rearwards.

If you want to cover all the possibilities you end up with a big stretch of fuselage off limits. Not likely to happen in today's economics. Remember, this is the industry that is proposing to get rid of seats completely, to jam more cattle, er, passengers in.



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