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Back Again
The Hong Kong crisis has illuminated a problem with US corporations. They were OK with doing business with Nazi Germany; the Jews were counted using custom built IBM machines. Now that Communist China is acting up, corporations are lining up to throw American values away and bow to the Chinese regime. When the troubles come home, know who greased the way in their mindless pursuit of profit.Back Again



This sure looks like a fun plane to fly. I'm jealous. I love super responsive planes with high roll-rate and lots of rudder authority. That engine sounds like a drag racing engine with a high-lift cam. Hah.

Want to see and hear a Bf-109 (Me-109 set up as a fighter/bomber)?



The latest Big Boy video.

Tagging @Karl Auerbach

Ah Barstow - As they say, Bakersfield is like seeing Barstow, twice.

On the other hand, Barstow does have a totally cool train station. I wonder if they ran the Big Boy to Needles or Las Vegas. It would have been nice to see it go through Kelso and climb the grade over towards Las Vegas.

By-the-way, people should not be allowed to make videos of big moving things with their mobile phones. (As I write, knowing that I'm always forgetting to drag my Panasonic GH4/5s with long, stabilized lenses, and tripod and monopod with me.)

They ran it to Vegas. There's a follow up video of the same run in Vegas.

I puzzled over one thing. I understand including a diesel loco in the train for the early tests. They said it was there to operate the air brakes as well. But steam locos actuated air brakes for 100 years. I admit that I don't know how it was done, but I know it was done. Westinghouse invented them around 1850, I think. So why the diesel loco in the train? It's not needed and it irritates me every time I see it now.

@Phil Landmeier (ᚠ) - The diesel is there for safety. And yes, brakes. Nobody, especially UP management, really trusts those old steam locomotives not to break down and block the mainline tracks. So the diesel is there to make sure that there is power to move a dead train off to a siding. (I also suspect that there may be some safety signalling gear on the modern diesel that's not on the steam locomotive.)

UP has lots of other requirements, such as roller bearings on the locomotive. Those are relatively modern - our 1923 locomotive has brass and babbit metal bearings, so UP won't let it run on their tracks. (Fortunately the locomotive is technically owned by Santa Clara County which, in turn, is part of the Caltrain system, which I believe owns the tracks from San Jose to San Francisco and merely leases usage rights to UP for the night time freights that bother Palo Alto.)

I think the convention is to have a star painted on the axle ends on the dri... show more

Hmm. Interesting and irritating. (Can you see me scowling at the screen?) Lol.



Now I'm getting ads for Active Shooter Training on various web sites. I guess that's a thing for all citizens of the USA to know now.

My question is whether the training is from the standpoint of the shooter or the shootee?

Can you remotely imagine how bizarre this sounds to European ears?

Not really - mass shootings may not be as frequent or with high death tolls but in those countries that are much smaller and more concentrated than the US, when they do have shootings the impact is closer to home. Much of Germany is in shock because of the recent shooting in Halle.

also because... it's fucking Nazis.



Of course they did.

The FBI routinely misused a database, gathered by the NSA with the specific purpose of searching for foreign intelligence threats, by searching it for everything from vetting to spying on relatives.

In doing so, it not only violated the law and the US constitution but knowingly lied to the faces of congressmen who were asking the intelligence services about this exact issue at government hearings, hearings that were intended to find if there needed to be additional safeguards added to the program.



Here's a link to an app on the Google Play Store that I find useful and interesting. I'm sure it's available for the iPhone too.

So, I scanned a beer I was going to buy and instantly learned that the company that owns the beer company won't confirm that the cocoa it uses isn't slave-produced cocoa. Very interesting. (I've flagged slave-produced products as something I care about. You can choose what matters to you.) ... show more

However, the 'oh, shit' moments aren't really much different from paying attention to sodium, sugar, or cholesterol values in your food. You have to make some changes (which is the point of the app).

I guess my main complaint about the app is that more than half the products I scan are not in their database yet, which shocks me given how many people use it.



Liberated from a private post. I thought this too good not to share:

Trump: Elizabeth Warren has too many giraffes.

Press: Sir, Elizabeth Warren doesn't have any giraffes.

Trump: I'm just saying there's a giraffe problem. There is a big giraffe problem. [cough]Elizabeth Warren.

Press: It seems like you're trying to tarnish a political opponent with a made-up problem.

Trump: No, I am against people having too many giraffes. It's all about giraffes, and this is widespread. There are so many examples of this. You don't think people should have a bunch of giraffes in their house, do you? What kind of person thinks that is ok?

Press: That's not happening.

Trump: So many examples. Why, here's an example, one of so many, but just off the top of my head -- look at Elizabeth Warren, who has too many giraffes.

Press: Sir, Elizabeth Warren has no giraffes.

Trump: She stole them from the zoo, you know.

Press: Sir, she doesn't have any giraffes. The zookeeper says there are no giraffes missing.

Trump: That zookeeper is c... show more



Today in Science and Engineering. The invention of fizzy water (carbonation), the first modern radio design is patented, one of the scarier things in biology: prions, the first radio broadcast, a mysterious disease in the 15th Century, the first artificial splitting of atoms, the TB skin test, air-brakes, and Cream of Wheat.




On this day: the first mechanical refrigeration device, the first video tape recording, the first motorized vacuum cleaner, the first telephone FAX, the first aerosol can, and the X-15 set the still-standing level flight speed record for a manned aircraft at Mach 6.7, 4,520 mph, more than a mile per second.




ProtonMail Version 4.0 is the launchpad for ProtonCalendar, ProtonDrive, and even more privacy tools. Watch this video to meet the team who's building it. (Open beta coming soon!) https://youtu.be/MI7hi2nVsQE



In the mood for some *really* badass blues? Well, here you go. Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker, and Gary Moore. Yeah, baby.





A new blog for my science and engineering posts is born.



Watta beast. I love it! 4-8-8-4 Big Boy still doing trial runs and exhibitions, but apparently running great.

That's the one that was at the LA fairgrounds all of those years?

I thought it was supposed to make a run out this way, but I either missed it or it hasn't happened (yet.)

UP is not particularly fond of our locomotive (the 2479) because UP doesn't like locomotives with non-roller bearings because of various risks. (Having a locomotive stuck on a main line would not do wonders for their actual business of hauling freight.)

I like how these runs often have a diesel support locomotive attached to provide help for the air braking and just-in-case power should the steam locomotive break down.

A couple of decades ago the 4449 (that's the Daylight locomotive) was in this area and it did a double header with the 2472 (a early 1920's SP Pacific). In Watsonville (near Santa Cruz) they watered the locomotives and did other stuff. I remember being very surprised how klanking the rod bearings were on the 4449 as we walked that big locomotive around the wye (we had to watch to make sure that it didn't derail or spread the rails.) Anyway, the other locomotive (the 2572)... show more

Yes, 4014 is the one. There were only a handful of them, specially designed monsters for hauling over the Rockies. Biggest locos ever made, I believe. Then, a few years ago UP decided to purchase 4014 back from "museum service" and get it back into full operation. It came out of the shop this year and started making runs.

The loco weighs 550,000 lbs. With the tender, 1.2 million pounds. Static pulling force is 136,000 lbs. Modern diesel electric locos like the 4400 can equal that.

Our loco is smaller - 300,000lbs, 43,660 lbs tractive force. The 2479 was made in 1923, a few years before the advent of the "Superpower" designs such as in the 4449. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superpower_steam

It is amazing what electric motors can produce - a diesel electric locomotive being essentially an electrical generating plant mounted on top of a bunch of axle electric motors. It is no wonder that railroads abandoned steam in favor of diesel-electrics after WW-II. It is a shame that they destroyed many of the steam locomotives in an attempt to look "modern". The NYC was particularly fast about destroying its Hudson locomotives. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_Central_Hudson

There's a really nice book/drawings about the making of the first superpower - http://www.weitzmanbooks.com/superpower.html

Yeah, it is amazing. I would very much like to visit a railroad's "truck shop" and get a guided tour of a truck assembly from someone who really knows his stuff, including the details of the electric motor design.

Those diesel electrics are darned efficient, too. Start the engine, drive away.






Day One of Seven: This is a continuing challenge to post the covers of seven books I love (1 book per day for 7 days) - no explanations, no reviews, just the covers plus asking a friend to join in the challenge. I will add you to the tags if you comment on this post. (I'll do my best to keep up with this, but things tend to get crazy busy Thu, Fri, and Sat around here.)

#7DayBookCoverChallenge #justhavefun #galeano
This entry was edited (3 weeks ago)

I'm very confident in recommending this book to all of you that I associate with on social media. You won't be sorry. You may be shocked, appalled, ashamed, and infuriated, but not sorry. ;-)

..I'll now admit I put it on my ebook wishlist...which Grimm keeps an eye on as ideas for gifts...(which is far better than getting things like car seat covers, or suchlike..)