Longtime readers will know this blog was originally started as a bike safety news amalgamation site, but I had to stop because of all the blood and gore and stupidity. Well, I manage to avoid most of the blood and gore these days, but the stupid, teh stoopid it burns us.
Seriously, the people in charge of keeping cyclists from getting hit on a national scale have proposed a national helmet law. But the other national body charged with safe streets says they’re full of donkey dust not in those specific words, but politely.
And as I have pointed out in this blog in the distant past (4 or 5 years ago?) even if bike helmets were made that prevented 100% of head injury in wrecks with motor vehicles, most cyclists would still die anyway from massive blunt force trauma to the torso or legs. In my wreck if I wasn’t dead for 2-4 minutes and my heart was still pumping I would have bled out from the massive holes in my legs, because as soon as they revived me I started gushing blood from my leg. And as I have discovered I’m basically a superhero without a supervillain to face, so my experience is way off the end of the bell curve on both the severity of that wreck, and on surviving it. Seriously how many times can you count on the cyclist getting hit having such resistance to blunt force trauma. “Nah, it’ll be OK, he’s basically Superman.” Seriously THAT DOESN’T HAPPEN IN REAL LIFE.
So fight helmet laws in your city and state, and most definitely fight a national helmet law.
We now return you to the usual nonsense this blog posts these days.
And this petition recently came out Badger cull petition that shows that despite protests and a flashy video (above) that even included guitar riffs officially from Queen guitarist Brian May there has been no evidence that even suggests the culls have been effective at their stated objective of stopping Bovine TB, with areas getting culls having no lower level of TB infections than areas without culls.
Now, I’m not a tree-hugger, and I know that unless I want to be ripped to shreds I should avoid hugging badgers, but still killing thousands of animals to no more effect than providing a momentary kill thrill to the hunters hired to shoot them is a total waste of money. And wasting money hurts my Scots/Jewish soul, from both sides. So sign the petition, and maybe this time something will come from it, because the one attached to the video in 2013 sure didn’t do Jacques Schitt about it the next year.
Well as they say that’s my two pence on the subject.
If that last doc was a test to see if I would quit, I failed it. It was worse than trying to figure out a “Wheel of Fortune” puzzle with most of the letters missing from one word, because it was all of the letters missing from most of the words. And the most annoying part is the unknown words were in a different language so I couldn’t even try substituting words with the correct number of letters.
I did tell the client that the reason I didn’t finish the job was what they gave me was basically impossible to complete. I sent the doc back with all the blank Unicode boxes replaced with / or – and told them that this was what they sent to me when I got it, long strings of unreadable characters with a few words of English, and said I was cleanup, not a translator. I never learned whatever language they wrote the document in, and their translation program was terrible for what they were trying to do. I suggested either expanding the dictionary in the translation program, or just using a translation program that knew more words and idioms. If they take my advice I might still get some money from the gig when they get a better translation program, because I really don’t want to lose this gig. I might even make enough money to pay taxes next year if the gig works out.
Also I really hate not being up to a challenge, I hate to lose at something like this.
but changed my mind. After yesterday’s almost stream of consciousness post of almost 1K words about the Sprint-T I was considering a mock diatribe against bicycles, but considering the almost 8 year history of bicycle advocacy in this blog that would be about as believable as a Presidential Promise.
Basically there was nothing I could post that would work as an April Fools post, because to be effective a good AF joke has to be believable, as in “Is this a joke, or actual (news, sports, whatever, content)”. And because this blog has wandered in so many directions since departing from bicycle wrecks and advocacy it would be very hard to put something up I hadn’t already treated seriously. About the only thing I haven’t mentioned at length is my love of anime and manga. That’s just an offshoot of webcomics, which I have a plethora of links for in the sidebar.
So there’s no joke here, just me. Enjoy the day and be careful, because the difference between a good April Fools joke and disinformation is practically nil.
For some reason I can’t get to any pages on my laptop, but using the same access with the phone works perfectly. That means I’m back to hunting and pecking on a screen instead of touch typing on a keyboard. It’s an odd thing, running connection diagnostics doesn’t always get the same error, but it’s consistently either the DNS or Google Services. I know the DNS is Frontier, but who’s responsible for Google Services? If you ask me it’s a dirty trick to force me to buy another computer.
So is there a full size keyboard that plugs into an Android phone?
I was musing about jobs not likely to be replaced by robots while waiting for the brain to shut down and let me sleep.
First off, robots can theoretically do almost any job as good as or better than humans. But I believe that some jobs will still continue to be done by humans because the people paying will want the job done by humans, not because humans will do the job any better physically but because there is an emotional response to the job that many people will seek out. One job that will quickly go by the wayside is boardroom executives, the only people who want humans to do that job are the ones getting paid to do it. Shareholders will want the robots to do it for essentially free. Basically this is a job that doesn’t need to exist that will go away in an AI-enabled society.
It is my hypothesis that eventually the only jobs that will still exist will be ones that require physical touch on another human being. Doctors will get replaced but I’m betting therapists will continue to exist. There was much ado about sex workers being replaced by robots, which will happen to some extent, but I see that job continuing as a human job because for a lot of people that is where they get actual human interaction with another person. I can totally see some people doing the job because they want to be with other people. The fact that sex bots will be a thing takes a lot of the danger out of the job. Another job that will continue will be massage techs. Robots might be able to do a better technical massage, but there will always be the people who are there because there is another person in the room interacting with them. In fact I foresee jobs for people to just sit and talk to people one-on-one, as a remedy to our impersonal “connected” society.
So, with the only jobs being some kind of companionship for short periods of time, where will the money come from to pay them, and to buy all the robot-made merch? If robots are doing all the work, who will have the money to buy things? One suggestion has been Universal Basic Income, based on a tax of roboticized industries so that people can buy the stuff the industries make. Because otherwise when everybody goes AI the economy goes straight in the toilet. And I have no idea what to do about that without UBI, but even the 1% will go broke when everything goes AI.
And Martin Truex Jr. just won the first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup. Good for you Martin.
Yeah, Ha Ha, I have been thinking again, about stuff. Lots of stuff, but mostly about camber control and lots of wheel travel on the TGS2, or rather the TGS2.1. The TGS2 has a straight tube front suspension with too much brake for the tire, The TGS2.1 has IFS with VW uprights and disc brakes and suspension geometry inspired by Trophy Trucks.
Starting from the beginning I went back to first principles and my weight and balance for the car and divided up the car into two halves. Then I figured out what tire to use on a car that weighed twice as much as either half. The back half was easy, I was looking at a car that was slightly under a ton with 240 HP, similar to a modified early Miata. The current hot tire for the Miata is the 245/40-15 size from a number of different manufacturers. It fits a 15 X 8″ wheel that is very easy to track down. The front is another kettle of fish completely as there are not many hot street cars weighing in around a thousand pounds or a little less running a 15″ diameter rim. There were two divergent characteristics of the cars I found that fit the model for the front half of the TGS2.1. Either they were very stiffly sprung with basically no suspension travel and wide tires, or they were very softly sprung with several inches of travel and skinny tires. Ideally I would run something as sticky as the 245/40 but 122 mm wide, but that is a non-existent tire size. Also ideally I would run something very close to the 22.7″ diameter of the 245/40, so looking for 22.5 to 23″ finds me the 195/50-15 at exactly 22.7″ diameter and available in compounds running from 100 UTQG wear to 540. The 245/40 are available in UTQG wear ratings of 100-300, so a compatible grip level is attainable.
The design inspiration I mentioned, Trophy Trucks, are off-road racing vehicles with more than 20″ of travel at the front end. As part of the design the front suspension has both pivots on a single lower frame rail for both sides of the car. There is a single frame rail in the center of the car with the lower A-arm inner pivots on either side, and a triangular bulkhead running up from that, that carries the upper A-arm inner pivots. The purpose of such long suspension arms is camber control over the long travel of the front suspension. Well camber control is really good for short suspension travel as well, but lightweight cars with limited suspension travel need more camber change than 2½ ton trucks trying to maintain a straight line through the desert at over 100 MPH. So while the suspension arms on a Trophy Truck are nearly the same length to minimize camber change over 20+” of travel, the TGS2.1 will have a large difference between the upper and lower suspension arms to get more camber change with body roll and limited suspension travel of a road car. I’ll have to run it on my suspension spreadsheet to find the actual length of the upper arms and the location of the inner pivot vertically.
As I was finishing up this post I started getting Twitter notifications about something that had gone down in Las Vegas other than Saturday night’s truck race. Some idjit decided to shoot up a country music concert from a sniper’s nest in another hotel a quarter of a mile away, and brought a freaking arsenal of 10 full and semi auto weapons, dozens of magazines, and thousands of bullets. In the process of spraying the audience at the concert with bullets he hit about 600 people and killed 58 or basically proving the “9% fatal” statistic for small arms fire. I’m assuming because of the lack of cover and no return fire the number of hits far exceeded the 20% of shots fired that is normal for a firefight, but I haven’t seen a report on the number of spent brass found yet. And yet this mass shooting has fewer fatalities than the Nice truck attack, again proving that motor vehicles are the perfect murder weapon.
I’m posting this in response to something on Twitter yesterday that I read after posting yesterday’s post. The post was to the effect that because cyclists choose to ride in the roads we are responsible for what happens to us.
First is the false “choice” of riding in the street. If you want to get someplace you have no bicycle infrastructure for 99+% of all trips so it’s not a “choice” to ride in the street. It is a necessity.
Second we are not the ones using WMD as transportation that kills ~40K people/annum directly by impact and another million or so by pollution, and that’s just in the US. So it’s drivers killing cyclists, not cyclists forcing drivers to kill us. Drivers are not paying proper attention to traffic (and bicycles are traffic) and cyclists are suffering for their inattention. Or for their choice to drive on short trips. And for their demands for free storage for their property when not in use has literally destroyed city centers.
And for you not reading my recent posts I have a soft spot in my heart for cars, when used in an appropriate manner like motorsports in a controlled environment, or making long trips between places not served by any form of public transit like rural areas. Cars are a good fit for rural areas, but then we try to force them into urban areas where they are a crappy fit or worse. Unfortunately I’m not smart enough to figure out how to bridge between areas where cars are a good fit and cars are bad-to-deadly-on-a-daily-basis fit. I mean I’m no dummy, people in rural areas need cars and light to heavy trucks for their daily lives or they will be forced into poverty. On the other side of the coin those same cars and trucks are killing people in cities. And they are not so good for rural people either.
The real problem is we have baked automobilism into our economies so much that trying to prevent the harm it causes will cause as much harm as the harm we prevent, just of a different kind. To put this in a different perspective it’s like you have a cancer that will kill you painfully in a few weeks, and the operation to cure the cancer will kill you in a year, but it won’t hurt much. Either way you still die ahead of schedule. And there are times when it would be so much easier to be an absolutist instead of looking on both sides of the argument.
Well I have been looking for some kind of statement of belief from the original worshippers of my patron deity and I have come up dry. So it looks like I have to make one for today’s followers, based on my biases. That’s part of the problem when the original religion was a secret society that passed knowledge as an oral tradition.
First is the only thing required to follow Hephaestus is the desire to make things. All the things from all the materials are sanctified provided they are made with the proper attitude. Even making meals is sanctified if for no other reason than continuing your existence.
Second there are no races/ethnicities better than any other races/ethnicities. If you make things you can follow Hephaestus. All are brothers and sisters at the forge.
Third you must strive to make things that improve the human condition, at least part of the time. Weapons are allowed for defensive purposes and as an art form. Weapons training resembles dance in many ways. Making weapons one must be sure to make them only as deadly as required for the purpose, followers should never make WMD.
Fourth if you have a choice between making something and making something beautiful that serves the same purpose, make it beautiful, but if your choices are ugly but serviceable or nothing at all make something serviceable. Work on your skills until you can make the thing beautiful the next time you need to make it.
Fifth Hephaestus did not require sexual fidelity from his wife, so we should not bind our partners to us so that we deny them the company of others. Love is not a chain to bind us but a thread to guide us back together when we are ready. Love grows best when it doesn’t bind. Also celebrate your partner’s(s’) accomplishments, recognize what they do even when it’s not about you. They are separate individuals with separate needs and desires. Celebrate when you can be together but do not mourn if you are apart.
Sixth plagiarizes another religious statement, Love your brothers and sisters as you would yourself, everything else is just commentary.
Go in peace, and make something wonderful.
I have seen the video and I’m in shock. Something fell from between the weapon vehicle and the one it crashed into, something that looked like cloth over flesh but I couldn’t get a good look at it to make sure. I’m getting most of my coverage from Twitter as I missed the TV news shows. I’m going to have to quit now because typing is causing my back to spasm like I’m dying. I’m going to publish this and lie down