Quotulatiousness

November 18, 2017

Legalize Medically-Assisted Sex: Keep Government Out of Bedrooms and Wheelchairs

Filed under: Health, Law, Liberty, USA — Tags: — Nicholas @ 04:00

ReasonTV
Published on 17 Nov 2017

We should all be adults about sex and not deprive the disabled of services from which they’d benefit.

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Nine out of 10 doctors agree sex is good for you, or at least better for you than smoking. But what happens if you have a disability that makes it difficult to engage in sex, or find a sexual partner in the first place? Enter sex surrogates, professionals who help the disabled work through their sexual problems (in large part by having sex with them). Although there’s a case to be made for the medical, if not psychological, benefits sex surrogates provide, they’re operating in a legal gray area.

In the latest Mostly Weekly, host Andrew Heaton makes the case that we should all be adults about sex and not deprive the disabled of services from which they’d benefit.

“Mostly Weekly” is hosted by Andrew Heaton with headwriter Sarah Rose Siskind.
Script by Sarah Rose Siskind with writing assistance from Andrew Heaton and Brian Sack.
Edited by Austin Bragg and Siskind.
Produced by Meredith and Austin Bragg.
Theme Song: Frozen by Surfer Blood.

The two biggest problems holding back widespread adoption of electric cars

Filed under: Economics, Technology — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 03:00

Warren Meyer explains why the current crop of electric vehicles are still only niche players, despite lots of overblown media hype and over-generous government subsidies:

There are two problems with electric vehicles. Neither are unsolvable in the long-term, but neither are probably going to get solved in the next 5 years.

  1. Energy Density. 15 gallons of gasoline weighs 90 pounds and takes up 2 cubic feet. This will carry a 40 mpg car 600 miles. The Tesla Model S 85kwh battery pack weighs 1200 pounds and will carry the car 265 miles (from this article the cells themselves occupy about 4 cubic feet if packed perfectly but in this video the whole pack looks much larger). We can see that even with what Musk claims is twice the energy density of other batteries, the Tesla gets 0.22 miles per pound of fuel/battery while the regular car can get 6.7. That is a difference in energy density of 30x. Some of this is compensated for by heavy and bulky things the electric car does not need (e.g. coolant system) but it is still a major problem in car design.
  2. Charge Time. In my mind this is perhaps the single barrier that could, if solved, make electric cars ubiquitous. people complain about electric car range, but really EV range is not that much shorter than the range of traditional cars on a tank of gas. The problem is that it is MUCH faster to refill a tank of gas than it is to refill a battery with a full charge. Traditionally it takes all night to charge an electric car, but 2 minutes at the pump to “charge” a gasoline engine. The fastest current charging claim is Tesla’s, which claims that the supercharger sites they have built on many US interstate routes sites will charge 170 miles of range in 30 minutes, or 5.7 miles per minute. A traditional car (the same one used in point 1) can add 600 miles of range in 2 minutes, or 300 miles per minute, or 52 times faster than the electric car. This is the real reason EV range is an issue for folks.

The Best Way to Set Up a Bandsaw!

Filed under: Technology, Woodworking — Tags: — Nicholas @ 02:00

The Wood Whisperer
Published on 6 Jul 2017

Back in 2007, I posted a video on Bandsaw Setup. The method I demonstrated was one I learned from other woodworkers as well as numerous books and manuals. While the method works perfectly, it overcomplicates things and employs a couple of unnecessary steps, namely achieving coplanarity of the wheels and eliminating drift. Four years later, I became aware of a video from The Woodworking Shows featuring Alex Snodgrass and his simpler (and nearly foolproof) method for bandsaw tuneup. I have since become friendly with Alex and asked him if he’d be willing to come out to my shop to film his setup method. He agreed and here we are! I can say without a doubt that this is the BEST way to set up a bandsaw.

Align the Blade

Install the blade and apply just enough tension to keep the blade securely on the wheels. Use the tracking adjustment while turning the wheel by hand to line up the deepest part of the gullet with the center of the top wheel.

Tension the Blade

You can usually ignore the tenon meter on most bandsaws as they are notoriously inaccurate. Instead, tension the blade until your finger is only able to deflect the blade by about 1/4″. This test should be done at the back of the saw where nothing can get in the way of the blade. The amount of pressure you apply to the blade shouldn’t result in turning your finger white. If that happens, you’re pushing too hard. After the tension is set, make sure the blade is still tracking properly with the gullet in the center of the top wheel.

Side Guides (Front to Back)

The front of the side guides should be located about 1/16″ back from the deepest part of the blade gullets. You don’t want the side guides to contact the cutting teeth of the blade since the teeth flare out at a slight angle. This adjustment is made to both the top and bottom guides.

Thrust Bearings

Adjust the thrust bearings carefully so that they do NOT rotate while the blade moves, but they DO begin to rotate as soon as light pressure is applied to the blade. Spend the necessary time to get this adjustment just right. Of course, you’ll do this adjustment to both the top and bottom guides.

Side Guides (Side to Side)

Just like the thrust bearing adjustment, the side guides should be as close to the blade as possible without actually touching. So when the blade moves the bearings should be stationary. When a slight amount of pressure is applied to the blade as its moving, the bearings should spin.

Square the Table

Using a 2×4 or 2×6, make a partial cut into the face of the board. Turn the saw off, flip the board around and try to get the blade to slide into the cut slot. If it slides in easily and without resistance, we know the table is 90 degrees to the blade. If it doesn’t slide in, make adjustments to the table and cut/test again. The wider the board is, the more accurate this test will be.

Align the Fence

The fence can be aligned parallel with the body of the blade using nothing more than a ruler. Be sure the ruler is resting on the body of the blade between the teeth. With a long enough ruler you can easily align the fence by eye. Alex shows us the F.A.S.T system which is a simple and convenient way to do this same task.

Test Cut

Since the overall goal of this setup process is to prepare for resawing, a good test is to slice off a thin veneer from a jointed and planed board. In our first test cut we were able to slice off a piece that was .016″ or just over 1/64″. This is way thinner than anything I’d ever need but it’s pretty cool to see that the saw is capable of making such a delicate cut.

Special thanks to Alex Snodgrass and Carter Products for helping make this video possible. Happy bandsawing!

QotD: A key drawback of a cashless society

Filed under: Economics, Government, Liberty, Quotations — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 01:00

When I was just starting out as a journalist, the State of New York swooped down and seized all the money out of one of my bank accounts. It turned out — much later, after a series of telephone calls — that they had lost my tax return for the year that I had resided in both Illinois and New York, discovered income on my federal tax return that had not appeared on my New York State tax return, sent some letters to that effect to an old address I hadn’t lived at for some time, and neatly lifted all the money out of my bank. It took months to get it back.

I didn’t starve, merely fretted. In our world of cash, friends and family can help out someone in a situation like that. In a cashless society, the government might intercept any transaction in which someone tried to lend money to the accused.

Unmonitored resources like cash create opportunities for criminals. But they also create a sort of cushion between ordinary people and a government with extraordinary powers. Removing that cushion leaves people who aren’t criminals vulnerable to intrusion into every remote corner of their lives.

We probably won’t notice how much this power grows every time we swipe a card instead of paying cash. The danger is that by the time we do notice, it will be too late. If we want to move toward a cashless society — and apparently we do — then we also need to think seriously about limiting the ability of the government to use the payments system as an instrument to control the behavior of its citizens.

Megan McArdle, “After Cash: All Fun and Games Until Somebody Loses a Bank Account”, Bloomberg View, 2016-03-15.

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