Saturday, 21 September 2013

By on September 21st, 2013 in Barbara, science kits

07:16 – Barbara gets back today. Colin will be delighted when she walks in the door. So will I.

11:50 – Ruh-roh. It looks like I’ve come to the feds’ attention.

I got a forensic kit order this morning. When I ship kits, I send email that provides supplemental information and asks purchasers where they heard about the kits. So, here’s the response I just got…

[…] I actually ordered the kits for my senior level high school forensic science class. I attended a forensic conference in California where an ATF agent did a power point presentation on drug analysis. He used one of the drug labs in your book to analyze over-the-counter drugs. I already purchased your book last year. There are a lot of great labs in the book that can be done in the classroom. I teach biology also and will be ordering the biology book at the end of this year.[…]

15 Comments and discussion on "Saturday, 21 September 2013"

  1. Lynn McGuire says:

    Looks like the feddies will be placing an order for 50,000 kits soon…

  2. Dave B. says:

    Oh, no! The government is doing marketing for Bob! At least we now know why the Forensic Kit is the slow seller!

  3. Lynn McGuire says:

    Wow, the number of people on disability is rising quickly:

    “The fast expansion of disability here is part of a national trend that has seen the number of former workers receiving benefits soar from just over 5 million to 8.8 million between 2000 and 2012. An additional 2.1 million dependent children and spouses also receive benefits. ”

    “The crush of new recipients is putting unsustainable financial pressure on the program. Federal officials project that the program will exhaust its trust fund by 2016 — 20 years before the trust fund that supports Social Security’s old-age benefits is projected to run dry.”

    “Benefits are hardly generous. They average $1,130 a month, and recipients are eligible for Medicare after two years. But with workers without a high school diploma earning a median wage of $471 per week, disability benefits are increasingly attractive for the large share of American workers who have seen both their pay and job options constricted.”

  4. Lynn McGuire says:

    I see that your home scientist books are on Amazon:

    Have you thought about marketing your kits there also?

  5. SteveF says:

    Colin will be delighted when she walks in the door. So will I.

    Just make sure that the excitement does not cause any accidents in the front hall. I’ll leave it open just who is the most likely offender.

  6. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Have you thought about marketing your kits there also?

    I’m not interesting in selling via Amazon for the same reason I’m not interesting in selling via other retailers. We price the kits for direct sales. There’s no margin for a retailer.

    A typical retailer wants 40% gross margin. For example on a kit that’s retail priced at $250, they’d pay us only $150. I’d rather price the kits more affordably and sell only direct than pay retailers to sell them for us.

  7. Chuck W says:

    Wow, the number of people on disability is rising quickly:

    Like trusting The Guardian for reliable information about the Euroland economy, the Post seldom gets much right about economic affairs. Dean Baker notes today that the rise is not surprising, because the disability benefit is still available at 65, which is now a year before ordinary Social Security benefits are obtainable at 66 to current baby boomers. In other words, the increase is largely due to the fact that people can collect disability during the year they are waiting for full retirement benefits. Little wonder that more people want to take advantage of that than in the past. The incentives have changed, and so have the numbers of those motivated to apply.

    …20 years before the trust fund that supports Social Security’s old-age benefits is projected to run dry.

    Huh? The Post has never gotten that right. As Baker repeatedly points out, and Congressional testimony from both the CBO and the SSA—both non-partisan organizations,—confirms: Social Security has its own independent revenue stream and possesses massive amounts of US government bonds—the same thing little Susan got from her grandpa the day she was born—which will allow it to pay full benefits into the 2030’s—when almost all baby boomers will have passed from the scene and no longer be a demand on the system, AND THEN it can continue to pay over 75% of benefits after that IF NO CHANGES AT ALL are made to the program. It is really tiresome to keep hearing that Social Security is going to go bust and run out of money before my generation is gone, when that is simply not the fact. The charge that reckless Republicans falsely make, that bonds are nothing more than IOU’s and not real value or wealth, ought to come as a surprise to any bond-holder. I expect the US Treasury bonds I hold to be paid when they are cashed in, else I would not hold them. If those Republicans truly believe US bonds are worthless IOU’s, then they ought to be fixing that, instead of trying to dismantle Social Security. But they are a lying bunch of hypocritical bastards without even the fortitude to stand up to Nobama. And to think I used to be one of them and actually campaign for them. I was young and impressionable then.

  8. Lynn McGuire says:

    I think that social security and social security disability are funded from two different funds. The social security fund is just fine. So is Medicare.

    The social security disability fund is dropping quick and has less than year’s distribution in it:

    Wow, the total benefits of all the funds, included Medicare, is $1.34T in 2012. Wow!

    And Obamacare will dwarf this when 80% of the USA gets their heath insurance through it in five years or less.

  9. Chuck W says:

    My son tells me this old article from 1983 is making the rounds (I wouldn’t know as I’m not a Twitter or Tumblr follower):

    The article is from a 1983 NYTimes magazine and predicts way back then that the NSA will do anything by hook or crook to monitor US citizens. The Twitter post he sent me, calls attention to the last paragraph of the article.

    Good to know people my kids age are at least aware of the mess we are in, even if they aren’t out demonstrating like my generation was.

  10. Miles_Teg says:

    North Carolina nearly got nuked in the early Sixties and no one here has mentioned it:

  11. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Probably because it was the MSM trying to make something out of nothing. The device was inert. It’s kind of like saying that the pistol would have fired when the trigger was pulled if the safety hadn’t been on. That was the purpose of that “low-voltage” switch. It was a safety.

  12. Paul says:

    Or because most of us would nuke Goldsboro if we could.

  13. Miles_Teg says:

    The article didn’t give much information about the switch, I didn’t know if it was luck or design that stopped it from going off, but the parachute deployed on only one of the bombs, and several safety switches seem not to have worked.

    I was irritated that the article called it an atomic bomb rather than the hydrogen bomb it was. Any journalist should know the difference.

  14. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Well, again, an arming (safety) switch is designed to prevent the device from detonating, so wouldn’t you have to agree that it failed to detonate by design rather than by luck?

  15. Miles_Teg says:

    I’m not clear on the purposes of the *other* switches. Under what circumstances were they supposed to fire? Under what circumstances was the retardant parachute meant to deploy?

    Parachutes are often deployed so that a nuke can be used in laydown mode: it slows the descent of the bomb enough so that it will survive impact with the ground, so that (1) more blast energy can be transmitted in to the ground (perhaps to attack a hardened target like a silo or command bunker) and (2) the bomber, if it’s flying at low altitude to avoid detection or anti aircraft missiles, has enough time to escape.

    From what I’ve been reading the parachute was not meant to deploy unless the bomb was being used operationally. The parachute of the bomb that was never recovered apparently didn’t deploy and the bomb hit the ground so hard and fast it ended up 10m or more underground, where it was never recovered.

    If you want to protect something within a nest of rooms, each with a secure lock on the door, and intruders can get past two of the doors but are frustrated by the third, then it is arguable that the security system has failed to some extent.

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