Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Solar Impulse 2 circles the earth

Solar Impulse 2, a solar-powered aircraft landed in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday, completing the first fuel-free flight around the world. It took 16 months due largely to problems along the way. The two pilots, Swiss explorers Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, flew the 500 hours required.

The propeller-driven aircraft’s four engines are powered exclusively by energy collected from more than 17,000 solar cells built the plane’s wings. Excess energy is stored in four batteries during daylight hours to keep the plane flying after dark.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Excerpts from the Panama Papers

The Basics of Islam

Truth or Consequences

People collect anything

Here's a sample of what some English artists collect.

The above is the feces of a skunk. You can see it and nineteen other examples of feces at the National Poo Museum, which opened in March at the Isle of Wight Zoo in Sandown, England. It includes the feces of a pigeon, a meerkat, a lion a cowpat and others. 

If you want to start your own 'museum', here's how. In your walks look for animal feces and take interesting ones home. Then, dry it. Then put clear resin in a container like a fish bowl. You're finished when you put in the feces.

Summary of the Republican convention

Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Smell of the Crowd

Some supporters of Bernie Sanders will not give up. They are presently compiling a storehouse of beans to be used in a beans supper on Thursday night. They are hoping that the results of the meal will generate the “world’s largest fart-in” during Clinton’s acceptance speech at the Democratic national convention. 

Friday, July 22, 2016

The media has to fill space

They've filled a lot of it this year with word of Trump. Some of the coverage has compared him to dictators and other bad people, such as Hugo Chavez, Augusto Pinochet, Kim Jong-Il, Joseph Stalin, Benito Mussolini, Hitler, Putin, and, believe it or not, Osama bin Laden. 

Costs of dying

The Kaiser Family Foundation recently studied "Medicare Spending at the End of Life" for 2014. Here are some of their findings:

  • More than half of Medicare decedents were age 80 or older in 2014.
  • Average total Medicare per capita spending was nearly four times higher for beneficiaries in traditional Medicare who died at some point in 2014 than for those who lived the entire year.
  • Higher Medicare per capita spending among decedents than survivors in traditional Medicare is primarily driven by much higher spending on inpatient hospital services.
  • Medicare per capita spending was higher for decedents under age 65 in 2014 than for those over age 65.
  • Per capita Medicare spending generally declines with age among decedents in traditional Medicare who are over age 65.
  • The decline in Medicare per capita spending by age for decedents over age 65 in 2014 was mainly due to lower inpatient spending.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Just Words?

Sunrise on Oak Bluffs, Martha Vineyard

Thoughts to ponder

Richard Cordray, the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, spoke at the NAACP's convention. Some of his words
 “For white households in America, median income is $60,000; for African-American households, it is $35,000. White households in America have an average net worth of $134,000, but for African-American households, it is $11,000. Home ownership among white consumers is about 71 percent; for African Americans, it is about 42 percent. And the median house owned by a white homeowner is worth over $85,000, compared to $50,000 for African Americans. Small wonder that many feel trapped in a system that seems to barricade every avenue for economic advancement.”

General McChrystal, a human being

And like most human beings he has done some good things and some bad things. It appears that since he has left the Army he has done more good things. Some examples: advocacy of gun control; espousing his belief that "every city and town needs to be at risk" in wartime; questioning our excessive use of private military contractors.

Today in an article entitled ‘You Don’t Have to Wear a Military Uniform to Serve Your Country’, he is pushing the idea that our young people should spend a year "teaching, tutoring, and mentoring disadvantaged students; cleaning neighborhoods in need of renewal; renovating homes in blighted areas; and helping veterans reintegrate into their communities".