Monday, 14 July 2014

07:42 - I’m giving up on refillable butane lighters. Pipe smokers are hard on lighters. Years ago, I used special butane pipe lighters. None of those lasted very long, including expensive brands like Dunhill and Kolibri, so I ended up switching to cheap refillable Ronson refillables. Those come in packs of three for about a buck apiece, when you can find them. I’ve been using the Ronson lighters for 10 or 15 years. Years ago, they lasted longer than the new models do. A few would fail in a day or two, but most lasted a couple weeks to a month, and some several months. Recent examples seldom last more than a week and often fail in a day or two.

So yesterday I finally decided just to order a traditional Zippo lighter from Amazon, with spare flints and wicks and a can of lighter fluid. Zippos are famous for their durability and for lighting first time, every time. I’ll see how that goes.

Barbara got a lot done over the weekend. Among other things, she made up 150 bottles each of sodium bicarbonate tablets and magnesium sulfate and 72 bottles of sodium dithionite, all of which we were completely out of. With a few exceptions (which are currently on the to-be-done list), that means we now have bottled chemicals sufficient for 150 more chemistry kits, 60 more biology kits, and 60 more forensics kits. We need to get all of those binned and bagged, and then start on more.


12:52 - Pure FD&C dyes (food coloring dyes) are surprisingly hard to find. Even Fisher Scientific and other specialty chemical vendors don’t carry them. For the AP chemistry kit, I want to include 2.5 mL vials of 0.5% aqueous FD&C Blue #1, Red #40, and Yellow #5 solutions. In other words, I need 5 grams of dye to make 1 liter of solution, which is about 200 kits worth. So I planned to order 25 g or so of each dye. That turns out not to be easy. I just found a source for all three dyes on eBay. That’s unusual in itself. Most of the FD&C stuff on eBay (and elsewhere) is in the form of lakes (precipitated dyes), which do me no good. But I found one eBay source that actually knows the difference between dyes and lakes, and had 5 pounds of FD&C Blue #1 dye for $500. When I checked their web site, I found they also had Red #40 and Yellow #5 dyes, also in 5-pound packages. So I emailed them and asked if they’d sell in 25 g or 50 g quantities. Unfortunately, they won’t, so I’m back to square one.

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62 Responses to Monday, 14 July 2014

  1. MrAtoz says:

    Another you can’t make this up story in the news:

    The U.S. Department of Justice has sent a member of its Community Relations Service team to investigate a Nebraska parade float that criticized President Obama.
    A Fourth of July parade float featured at the annual Independence Day parade in Norfolk sparked criticism when it depicted a zombie-like figure resembling Mr. Obama standing outside an outhouse, which was labeled the “Obama Presidential Library.”

    Everything is racist to Holder and Obummer. Talk about thin skin.

    And traitor Bergdahl may return to active duty today. I hope he is doing nothing more than sharpening the First Sergeant’s pencils. I’d keep a low profile if I was he.

      

  2. Chad says:

    Zippo makes a lighter designed for pipe smokers. IIRC, it’s designed to hold sideways while lighting a pipe (as opposed to the standard Zippo which is optimized for holding upright).

    http://amzn.com/B000VREDTQ

      

  3. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Yeah, I thought about ordering that one but I decided to try a standard one first.

      

  4. OFD says:

    “I’d keep a low profile if I was he.”

    No chit, MrAtoz; sharpen them pencils in a closet somewhere, and if they actually wanna keep him healthy, they’ll station a couple of MP’s in the vicinity.

    Besides that parade float being of crucial national security in that it mocks Dear Leader, we have our upstanding Attorney General staying awake nights worrying about “homegrown” radical militia types, etc. Let’s see now; we had 9/11; who knows how many attempted hadji attacks in CONUS; countless hadji attacks worldwide; and this smug grinning snake is concerned about a few neo-Nazi nutballz running around out in the woods with a few AR’s and not realizing all the real Nazis are dead.

    This is the Left mantra: you can rattle off the lists of hadji attacks and outrages worldwide and here and their standard response is always: “Timothy McVeigh.”

    Mention Randy Weaver or Waco and you get “Timothy McVeigh.”

    And we still don’t really know all the info on the McVeigh caper, of course. He didn’t pull that off all by hisself.

      

  5. Lynn McGuire says:

    Spectacular pictures of the SS Robert E. Lee, lying in the mouth of the Mississippi river after being torpedoed in 1942 by a German uboat:
    http://www.chron.com/news/nation-world/article/Amazing-photos-detail-spectacular-WWII-wreck-in-5616006.php

      

  6. OFD says:

    “”I didn’t know World War II was fought in our backyard,” said Dr. Robert Ballard, who leads the trip. Ballard is among the world’s most accomplished and well known deep-sea explorers, credited with the 1985 discovery of the wreck of RMS Titanic.””

    No excuse for that, Mr. Ballard, Mr. Deep-Sea diver/explorer. Der unterseebooten launched attacks on Cape Cod and New Jersey, too. And they dropped off spies and saboteurs. For all we know there are unexploded shells on Cape Cod still. And the Japs sent balloons over us out in the Pacific Northwest.

      

  7. Chad says:

    RE: FD&C Dyes

    You could put some feelers out there to see if anyone else needs the dyes in small quantities and then do a group buy and pool everyone’s money and then divide it up when you get it.

    You may even consider diversifying your revenue a bit and being a source of small quantities of stuff that are hard to find in small quantities.

      

  8. Lynn McGuire says:

    _Surviving Home_: A Novel (The Survivalist Series) by A. American
    http://www.amazon.com/Surviving-Home-Novel-Survivalist-Series/dp/0142181285/

    Book number two of a four book series. I suspect that there will be more due to the popularity of the first four. All in trade paperback, the way all books should be printed (MMPB is dead to me! Unless I like the book).

    In the first book, somebody EMP’d the USA on a Tuesday and Morgan Carter spent an event filled month walking home from Tallahassee to Orlando. In the second book, Morgan, his family, his friends and his neighbors are trying to survive without an electricity grid, phones, grocery stores and all the other conveniences of modern life. Life is tough but the roving bands of raiders and government DHS officers trying to herd everyone into FEMA camps are making things a whole lot tougher.

    My rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars
    Amazon rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (485 reviews)

      

  9. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    How the hell does someone “EMP the USA”? All of these scenarios are ridiculously overblown anyway.

      

  10. Lynn McGuire says:

    It is beginning to look like the USA government EMP’d the USA in the book series. I have been assuming that one high yield nuclear bomb at 80,000 ft would EMP the entire USA. Does anyone know?

      

  11. Clayton says:

    EMP the US: 50+ MT warhead, 100K feet altitude, over the midwest.

      

  12. OFD says:

    Who else would have that sort of capability now except us? Or our rulers, to be precise.

      

  13. Clayton says:

    US, Russia, France, UK, and maybe China. It is hard to make a bomb that big and get it in an ICBM. Not sure how else you could fly it there. Helium balloon maybe?

      

  14. Lynn McGuire says:

    Who else would have that sort of capability now except us?

    USA, France, Britain, Israel, Russia, North Korea, India, Pakistan and China all have 10 MT capability? I do not know about 50 MT.

    The 100K feet altitude is the tough part. And positioning over the midwest USA.

      

  15. Lynn McGuire says:

    Wow, 27 tons of weight for the 57 MT Tsar Bomba:
    http://gizmodo.com/5977824/the-biggest-bomb-in-the-history-of-the-world

    “Since the project was so rushed, only one such weapon was ever built and even then just barely. At 27 tons, it weighed nearly as much as the Tu-95 that carried it and was so big that crews had to cut off the plane’s bomb-bay doors in order to fit it in. Even so, at 11:32 am on October 30, 1961, the Tsar Bomba exited Andrei Durnovtsev’s plane at a height of 6.5 miles and slowly parachuted towards Mityushikha Bay test range in Novaya Zemlya (giving the drop plane just 188 seconds to escape). At 2.5 miles high, Big Ivan went boom.”

    “The resulting fireball had a radius of nearly 10,000 vertical feet and its 210,000 foot tall mushroom cloud reached into the stratosphere. The light generated by the reaction could be seen from over a 1,000 km and the force of its explosion registered a 5.0 on the Richter scale. The shock wave generated air pressures topping 300 PSI, circled the Earth thrice, and cracked windows 900 km away in Norway and Finland. Buildings in the abandoned town of Severny 55 km away were leveled—all of them—and upon later inspection, ground zero was reportedly the texture of a skating rink.”

      

  16. OFD says:

    “And positioning over the midwest USA.”

    This might be the kicker; assuming some entity could deliver a payload that size to that altitude.

    Wouldn’t it be smarter to generate smaller EMP attacks for selected strategic targets?

      

  17. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    The real issue is that no one knows what would happen. My best guess is that even an extreme EMP event would kill only a small percentage of electronics, including maybe 1% of the vehicles on the roads. The effect on the electrical grid would probably be significant, given those miles-long wires that would cause significant induced currents.

    I don’t think yield is as important as most people seem to.

      

  18. Lynn McGuire says:

    The Space Shuttle had a 25,000 kg (55,000 lb) payload capability to LEO. I do not know if that figure includes the crew.
    http://www.braeunig.us/space/specs/shuttle.htm

    So the space shuttle could launch a Tsar Bomba to LEO. And then use a de-orbit maneuver for delivery. How … special.

    Hmm. I thought LEO was 300 miles, it appears by this website to be 200 km.

    Huh. LEO is 160 km (99 miles). to 2,000 km (1,200 miles)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low_Earth_orbit

      

  19. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Again, widespread EMP damage is something the US *might* be able to accomplish, but I doubt anyone else is capable of doing it. And that includes Russia, most of whose nukes I suspect are so old they’d no longer detonate. Anyone who even tried would find their entire country obliterated. Even Obama couldn’t ignore an attempted nuke first strike. And does anyone seriously believe that the US government, no matter how perverted, would ever attack the US itself with nukes? Come on, guys. Get real.

      

  20. Lynn McGuire says:

    The real issue is that no one knows what would happen. My best guess is that even an extreme EMP event would kill only a small percentage of electronics, including maybe 1% of the vehicles on the roads. The effect on the electrical grid would probably be significant, given those miles-long wires that would cause significant induced currents.

    I don’t think yield is as important as most people seem to.

    Are you referring to the event where the Israeli electronic jammer airplanes manged to crash electrical and cellphone networks in Syria and Lebanon when they were bombing the nuclear reactor in Syria?

    I hope that we never find out how much yield is needed for an EMP event. Looks like we, the USA, have the ability to do an EMP with little effort.

      

  21. OFD says:

    “And does anyone seriously believe that the US government, no matter how perverted, would ever attack the US itself with nukes? Come on, guys. Get real.”

    Ho-ho-ho:

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058083/

      

  22. MrAtoz says:

    I say bring back the neutron bomb and quit screwing around. If you’re going to nuke you own people, do it right. Gotta save Mr. OFD’s house after all the repairs he’s doing. Obummer can use it as a summer cottage. :)

      

  23. pcb_duffer says:

    It’s hard to believe that Dr. Ballard didn’t know there were U-boats in the Gulf & Caribbean. I’ve actually dived on the wreck of the SS Empire Mica, sunk in June 1942 about 90 miles southeast of here. I’m told that the structure is no longer stable, but you can still get close to her.

    And I remember dealing with Blue #1, back when we used it to dye the water hazards in the miniature golf courses we owned here. A little went a *long* way, and you had better be wearing rubber gloves and old clothes when you handled it; it didn’t wash off skin or out of clothes.

      

  24. OFD says:

    Ballard has done famous dives off the Atlantic coast and apparently was unaware of U-boat activity off Cape Cod and New Jersey. Maybe he figures that’s the country’s front yard, I dunno.

    “…Gotta save Mr. OFD’s house after all the repairs he’s doing. Obummer can use it as a summer cottage.”

    If ever it occurs that I believe that will become a possibility, I will lace this building with so many booby traps and detcord….but this little hovel is not for the likes of the KGB station chief here in this country; he and his ilk like to part-ay down on the Vineyard, Oak Bluffs, to be specific. With serial scumbags like Vernon Jordan, Holder, Jackson, et. al. Meanwhile Lurch has his own islands to the west.

      

  25. Lynn McGuire says:

    And does anyone seriously believe that the US government, no matter how perverted, would ever attack the US itself with nukes? Come on, guys. Get real.

    Holder scares the you know what out of me.
    http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/212082-holder-sees-racial-animus-in-opposition

    I don’t know what to think about Obama. Texas is turning into a disaster area with all these people running across the border. I am beginning to think that this was planned. Who knows what is next?

      

  26. Ray Thompson says:

    I am beginning to think that this was planned. Who knows what is next?

    Indeed it was in my opinion. Now the ODummer can get legislation quickly passed to solve the crisis. Another 3,000 page bill that no one has the time to read, provides amnesty to all who have crossed in exchange will have to vote democratic for the next 3 years. If they accept a free house, food, car and spending money they commit to the democratic party for another 5 years.

    After all, congress will have to pass the bill to know what’s in it the bill just the way Pelosis likes it.

      

  27. OFD says:

    “I am beginning to think that this was planned.”

    Of course it was. I’ve been saying so since it started. Plain as the nose on yer face. Any of this kind of stuff is planned, with malice aforethought. You don’t just disavow national sovereignty all of a sudden and open your vast southern border to one and all, and then shower them with attention and bennies, regardless of medical condition or ability to speak the language without some kind of motive. Even the gov down there seems to think there’s an ulterior motive but that’s as far as he dares to go.

    Just keep repeating what the other RINO savior said and everything will be alright…’they do it out of love…they do it out of love…’

    Meanwhile the libertarians are totally on board with this, as are many Christians. They need to get their heads examined.

      

  28. SteveF says:

    Of course the federal attack on Texas was planned. Not only is Texas rip-roaring ahead of the nation economically, Rick Perry has loudly been proclaiming the Texas government’s pro-business policies as the driver of that growth. Those policies are directly opposed to the One True Marxist Path being pushed by Obmao and the useful idiots, and therefore Texas must be destroyed.

      

  29. Lynn McGuire says:

    Just unpacked a new Canon B sized inkjet printer:
    http://www.amazon.com/Canon-PRO-100-Professional-Inkjet-Printer/dp/B0095F5BCS/

    The cyan cartridge committed suicide in my hands when I was inserting it. I’ve got deep blue ink all over the hands. And carpet. Five hand washings and it has yet to fade from my skin.

    And I am torqued. I cannot connect to it over the network, I must connect it to a USB port. Sigh.

      

  30. SteveF says:

    Lynn, if you were holding the cartridge over your lap when it exploded, you could truthfully tell your wife you’ve got blue balls.

      

  31. OFD says:

    ” Rick Perry has loudly been proclaiming…”

    I’ll start to have some more respect for the gov when he grows a pair and sends the Texas Rangers and TNG troops to secure the state’s border and shoves the not only worthless, but aiding and abetting Fed clowns outta the way.

      

  32. Jim B says:

    I’ll see your Rick Perry and raise you a Joe Arpaio and a Paul Barbeu ;-)

      

  33. OFD says:

    Okey-dokey, but are those two guys doing anything about their Arizona border? It looks as though Arizona is also targeted for destruction. Anything going on with New Mexico’s border control? Or is it all just a very long-term joke down there? With this latest invasion just the de facto swarm that was in store all along?

      

  34. Chuck W says:

    Of course it was planned. These are simpletons in Washington, and when the missile slides off course, they have no alternative plans but to stand back and watch things blow up.

    Perry should have sent his own National Guard to that border years ago. He has both the people and resources to take care of Texas. May be too late now, though.

      

  35. Lynn McGuire says:

    Perry should have sent his own National Guard to that border years ago. He has both the people and resources to take care of Texas. May be too late now, though.

    He did. Obama sent them to Afghanistan. Plus, those people have lives also and cannot be deployed continuously.

      

  36. brad says:

    “Sees racial animus in opposition”

    Pull the race card, again and again and again: if you disagree with us, you must be racist. Eventually, it won’t work anymore.

    The mass immigration is undoubtedly planned, but I don’t think it’s nefarious, just naive. The Progressives just don’t understand why anyone could object. I mean, they have plenty of cake on their plates. Why don’t y’all want to share with the less fortunate?

    There is every justification for individual States to enforce their borders. Dare the federal government to do anything about it, call Mordor’s bluff. There’s already lots of water under the bridge, but late would still be better than never.

    You don’t hear a lot about the New Mexico border, but I can’t really explain why. Texas goes a long ways farther south – makes for a shorter route to get across the border, by several hundred miles. Maybe it’s simply that – pure practicality.

      

  37. OFD says:

    “He did. Obama sent them to Afghanistan.”

    Another indication of “planning” and ulterior motives.

      

  38. OFD says:

    We’ve had CitiBank and others hounding us recently for late payments, all of them under $25 and late by a few days, phones ringing off the hook all day, both landline and cell, plus emails. We’ve paid those bills in full and early for at least three years now but that is of no account, get it, no account? Haha, I kill me sometimes….

    Anyway, for ironic jollies:

    Today’s WSJ nooz squirts:

    CitiBank cut a deal with DOJ to the tune of $7-billion, and its price per share was up to $1.24, which is more than the analysts predicted at $1.05.

    Goldman-Sachs reports profit of $4.10 per share, compared with analyst expectations of $3.05 per share.

    Reynolds-American agreed to acquire Lorillard in a cash-and-stock deal worth about $25-billion.

    J.P. Morgan posts quarterly profit of $1.46 per share and $24.45-billion in revenue.

    Ol’ OFD screwed up big-time back when; screw military service, cop jobs, and English literature; I shoulda hunkered down with the math books, gone to a good college for a combined bachelor’s and MBA in finance and gone to work on Wall Street. I probably woulda retired twenty years ago, during the big software bubble. But my investments woulda continued and I hope I woulda been sharp enough to pull them out prior to 2008.

    Ironically I’d started to major in business at the now-gone Boston State College when I got outta the service but couldn’t keep it up on the lack of G.I. Bill payments for the first semester and a part-time job only. Had to go to work full-time in a factory as a wave-solder machine operator and material handler on the night shift with twenty-five women. Did that for a year and then off to the cop jobs.

    Pahtly sunny here today so fah; junk guys are gonna be late, natch, but I can get some stuff done in the meantime.

      

  39. OFD says:

    And from somebody (Neal W. McCabe) who still thinks elections mean diddly here, but who gets the main facts right:

    “Once the ballots for the midterms were set, it quickly became clear that with Democrats defending 21 of the 36 Senate seats up for grab it was going to be a tough year for President Barack Obama and his party.The way is works is that established incumbents raise more money than they need, and then they distribute their surplus to other candidates. The problem for Democrats is that too many of their established incumbents are in tough races—thus, unable to raise for themselves, let alone help others.
    Of the 15 Senate seats held by the GOP none are in trouble, which means all 15 Republican candidates could potentially raise money they do not need. If the GOP picks up six seats, it takes over the upper chamber.

    This dynamic has been in set in place for months, which presented Obama with a choice. Either he moved to the center and tried to shore up what he could save or he could go “smash and grab.”

    It should be pretty clear by now that we have entered the smash and grab phase of the Obama administration. Look at Operation Choke Point, the surge of aliens across our southern border, new EPA regulations and the countless machinations and schemes that we have yet to learn about—all designed lock in the liberal agenda before this administration has to accept the verdict from the voters.

    There is no reason the Republican leadership, even with control of the Senate, will do anything to undo what Obama has done, and that includes what he does to further restrict gun rights.

    Part of that is because in the main, GOP leaders are comfortable with the big government they campaign against when they venture back home. The other part of the problem is that Republican leaders loath engage liberals in a battle of ideas. The phrase they use is: “Let’s take this issue off the table.”

      

  40. Miles_Teg says:

    I’ll bet Lady Macbeth will get in because the people who say they hate the Democrats will stay at home.

      

  41. OFD says:

    She won’t get in; she’s got medical issues beaucoups, falling down, fainting, high BP, other stuff, some of which are indications she may have had, or be in danger of, a stroke. And her baggage from the Little Rock years and Benghazi is pretty heavy.

    I still tend to think that Barry will find a ‘national security’ disaster, catastrophe, whatever, to justify another ‘emergency’ term like Pharaoh Roosevelt II. Then they’ll be positioning the Mooch to succeed him. HILLARY! is done. Needless to say, the Repub Half of the War Party doesn’t have anyone, first of all, and even if they did, the demographics, which they brought on themselves, make them toast also.

    McCabe can talk about seats in Congress and Congressional races around the country until the cows come home, but it’s just more smoke and mirrors for the befuddled, apathetic masses, most of whom, will in fact stay home.

    The corporate fascist oligarchy and the national security state have been consolidating their gains and are just as happy to have a Bolshevik caretaker running the show otherwise, who will implement their operations; there are occasional bitter struggles between the two groups as they jockey for more power and wealth and run scared of the masses eventually erupting.

    We live in really interesting times.

      

  42. Chad says:

    Perry should have sent his own National Guard to that border years ago. He has both the people and resources to take care of Texas. May be too late now, though.

    POTUS could just order them right back home again. The John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007 makes it so the governor of the state is no longer the sole C-in-C of the National Guard within that state and doesn’t need to consent for POTUS to take control of the Guard.

    More craziness in the constantly expanding scope of Presidential power.

      

  43. brad says:

    @OFD: Sometimes one mourns the days of local businesses and local banks. It’s now all run centrally, and nobody knows who you are. You’re just an account number with an outstanding balance.

    When we bought our current building (combined business/home), the big banks wouldn’t even talk to us – our plans were just too unusual. It happened that the local bank was still managed by an old-time banker. We convinced him personally, and he made everything work. Sadly, he retired just a year or two later, and died almost immediately afterwards. The young guy now in charge is a fine enough guy, but old guy was just a different breed from a different age…

      

  44. ech says:

    The Space Shuttle had a 25,000 kg (55,000 lb) payload capability to LEO.

    That’s what can fit in the payload bay with a few crew on board. They only got to 42,000 lbs (STS-117) as a payload. If you had to abort with that heavy of a payload, there was a possibility of landing damage, since the landing payload was less than the launch capacity to orbit. Also, most LEO payloads “bulked out”, filling the payload bay, before they “massed out”.

    Missions to ISS had lower payload capacity because of the orbital inclination for the the ISS – if you go to an inclination higher than your launch latitude, it takes more energy to get there, so you lose payload mass. Capacity to the Hubble orbit was lower, because it was in a higher orbit than LEO. There were also Center of Gravity limits on the STS, since it has to glide to a landing, so mass distribution of payloads was important.

    As for big nukes and EMP, we and the other nuclear powers don’t have them any more. All our missiles have 200-400 kt warheads and our biggest warhead appears to be a gravity bomb of 1.2 mt yield. The Russians had some 20mt warheads, but they have been withdrawn from service.

    There have been rumors of some EMP-optimized nukes being developed, but testing would be problematic…..

      

  45. OFD says:

    “There have been rumors of some EMP-optimized nukes being developed, but testing would be problematic…..”

    Not so. Testing could be done quite easily in the Washington, D.C. area for starters. Then Hollyweird. After that, maybe Mecca, Medina, etc.

      

  46. Lynn McGuire says:

    There have been significant EMP tests done with very depressing results:
    http://www.empcommission.org/

    I read a few of their conclusions. Basically, about half of the population will die in the first year due to lack of food, drugs, etc. The other half may wish they had died.

    Some of the electrical grid problems we knew about back in the 1980s when I worked for TXU. The entire state of Texas has not gone dark since the 1950s and we were working up a restart and reconnection plan when I left in 1989. Fuel was critical and the Texas PUC halved our onsite diesel fuel just after I left.

      

  47. Miles_Teg says:

    OFD wrote:

    “Not so. Testing could be done quite easily in the Washington, D.C. area for starters. Then Hollyweird. After that, maybe Mecca, Medina, etc.”

    You’ve got the wrong order man…

    1. Mecca, 2. Medina, 3. Buffalo, 4. Akron, 5. Detroit, 6. Babylon on the Tiber.

      

  48. OFD says:

    You’d keep Mordor and Hollyweird in preference to Buffalo and Akron? Detroit is gone anyway.

      

  49. ech says:

    There have been significant EMP tests done with very depressing results

    Sure, any nuclear explosion will produce EMP. What I was referring to were weapons designed to enhance EMP, or even small device with local effects. As far as I can tell, nobody has them yet.

      

  50. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Keep in mind that we’re all surrounded by devices that produce EMP. Right now, my dishwasher is running, and the motor produces EMP. A while ago, my doorbell rang, and that produced EMP. And I just turned on a light, which produced EMP.

    The likelihood of widespread damage from an EMP attack is so vanishingly small that it’s reasonable to treat it as zero. The only entity capable of launching a widespread EMP attack on the US is the US itself, if even the US could accomplish it. And to what purpose? Cui bono? No one. It would hurt everyone, most especially the people who are the only ones capable of launching it. Talk about shooting oneself in the foot.

      

  51. Chad says:

    It would probably be more practical to just take down the power grid. High explosive at a couple dozen key areas to create a cascading failure. Remember that blackout from 2003? Imagine that nationwide but caused by physical damage instead of a software glitch. The entire nation in blackout for days or weeks while repairs are made? I’d give it 72 hours before there was rioting and a week before full blown anarchy sets in (especially in dense urban areas).

      

  52. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    The entire nation in blackout for days or weeks while repairs are made? I’d give it 72 hours before there was rioting and a week before full blown anarchy sets in (especially in dense urban areas).

    That’s certainly more likely, but still extremely unlikely. Who’s going to do it? The islamics? I doubt it. For islam, 9/11 was the equivalent of Operation Overlord. They were barely able to coordinate hijacking a few airliners. Coordinating an attack on the US electrical grid is far beyond their meager abilities. They have a hard enough time trying to find suicide bombers for their Middle East targets, where they can encourage the moron right up to the last minute before he detonates himself. To get one of the to function over here is non-trivial, let alone getting a whole bunch of them to work in coordination. They send over a would-be bomber. He sees what the West is really like–booze, porn, consumer goods, GIRLS–and suddenly blowing himself up doesn’t seem like such a good idea. There’s a reason why islamic outrages are so rare here, and DHS has absolutely nothing to do with it.

    Incidentally, I think you meant “chaos” rather than “anarchy”. Anarchy is a Good Thing.

      

  53. JLP says:

    A little bit of dye goes a long way in liquids. When in a solid matrix (food stuffs) a lot is needed. I came across the same problem you are in many years ago. I only needed a few miligrams of dye for a batch of liquid reagents a few times a month but the only package size was 5lbs and up. So I called up the distributor and asked for an “evaluation sample” which was 25grams of each dye I was interested in. It was free. I did have to put put up with the local sales rep calling every so often to ask how the evaluation went and was I ready to by a drum full yet. I was working for an international biotech company at the time. Might not work for a small business like yours.

      

  54. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Actually, I can get along just fine without them. What I wanted them for was a chromatography lab that the official documents specify as using FD&C blue #1, red #40, and yellow #5. But the actual dyes don’t matter, and as Mary Chervenak said the other day, felt-tip pens work fine for the purpose. Maybe even better than the discrete dyes. After all, the felt-tips are their own spotters. So I’ll probably include a purple Sharpie in the kit and suggest that people use their own selection of colored felt-tips as well.

      

  55. OFD says:

    “Coordinating an attack on the US electrical grid is far beyond their meager abilities.”

    Agreed, to a point. It wouldn’t take rocket science for a few small teams of literate hadjis to hit selected Grid targets around the country; but if I were running their international terror capers against the Great Satan I’d simply outsource that talent; pay really good teams from other places to do the job. Sources could well include out-of-work Spetznatz operators, Nork saboteurs, and I wouldn’t be surprised to find I could suborn, for the right money, Murkan and Brit mercs.

    Point taken, though, on why we probably haven’t had a slew of suicide bombers hitting our shopping malls and sports stadiums; once they’ve had even a little taste of the decadent Western high life, they don’t wanna off themselves; to wit, Exhibit A, the Boston Marathon shit-heads. Drop the ordnance and scurry away to hit again some other day. Meanwhile surf the net, drink, dope it up, and screw dopey Murkan dollymops and tramps.

      

  56. Chad says:

    I’m surprised someone has not tried to sink a cruise ship. Seems like a lot of bang for the buck for terrorists. Load a speed boat (or a couple of speedboats) with explosives and ram the boat (sort of like the USS Cole). If they coordinated 2 or 3 speed boats it would sink rapidly. They could do it late at night when the speed boats are harder to spot (there’s always radar I suppose) and when most passengers are asleep and thus slower to evacuate. Some of these jumbo cruise ships carry over 5,000 passengers. It’s a tragedy waiting to happen.

      

  57. OFD says:

    Like that one, and mine, I can think of a dozen easy targets off the top of my head without breaking a sweat; why they haven’t been done is a mystery, unless they can’t out-source stuff or their guys they get for it are here 24 hours and utterly corrupted immediately.

      

  58. brad says:

    At a guess, there are actually very few sincere Jihadis, and those few are needed to keep the rest together and pointed in the same direction in their ground fights. Actually sending someone alone on a longer trip from which they will not return? Someone intelligent enough to pull off the attack? I don’t think they have very many people like that available.

      

  59. eristicist says:

    How are you meant to light a pipe using a regular lighter? A friend recently got me some pipe tobacco as a birthday present, and I thought I’d smoke it in the old pipe I inherited from my grandfather. Only when I tried to light it did I realise I had no idea of how to light a pipe.

      

  60. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Fill the pipe with loose tobacco and tamp it down gently. Repeat two or three times until you have the bowl filled to near the top. You should be able to draw air pretty easily through the tamped tobacco. While drawing air through the pipe, apply the lighter flame evenly over the surface of the tobacco. Re-tamp gently to flatten the charred tobacco and re-light.

      

  61. Ray Thompson says:

    Or do like my grandfather did. Hold the match so the flame curls around your finger thereby spreading the flame evenly over the tobacco. When the tobacco slowly burns down use your finger again to tamp down the still burning tobacco. And be sure and use those matches you can strike anywhere so you can strike the match with your fingernail.

    He had tough skin from working on road machinery all his life. He could not feel 110v household current through his hands even if the wires were 1/4 inch apart. To get any sensation he had to wet his fingers.

      

  62. eristicist says:

    Thanks for the advice, RBT. I wasn’t charring it evenly or re-tamping. Hopefully this’ll work a lot better.

    Ray: hah, no way am I trying that. My fingers hurt from lighting a lighter, let alone touching the flame. I envy people with big, tough hands, but I’ll be damned if I’m going through the pain to get them myself.

      

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