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Thu Apr 02, 2015 at 11:38 PM PDT

Rescued After 66 Days at Sea!

by Delta Overdue

This story is all over the news, but I have not seen it here.  37 year-old Louis Jordan sailed from his Intercoastal Waterway home in Conway, South Carolina January 23, and was reported missing January 29th.  He was rescued today by a German cargo ship 200 miles from Cape Hatteras, North Carolina on top of his capsized vessel, a Pearson 35.  The Coast Guard picked him up in a helicopter and flew him to Norfolk, Virginia.  There, he walked(!) into the hospital for treatment for a shoulder injury requiring immediate attention and dehydration.  Obviously, there's a lot more to this story, and I can't wait to hear about it.  The photos I see do not appear to be a man who was lost at sea for two months.

The US Coast Guard reported Jordan survived 63 days by eating raw fish and drinking rain water.

This site has the most complete coverage I've seen so far.  The boat was named Angel, and his father is obviously deeply religious.  Divine intervention isn't my thing, but I sure love a story with a happy ending!  

According to the news stories, Mr. Jordan was not a very experienced sailor.  Whatever the case may be, to survive lost at sea for so long (in the winter, no less) is an amazing feat.  If his boat capsized 63 days ago, he must have retrieved some essential items to keep himself alive, let alone able to walk.  Photos show him carrying a small backpack, so he had some personal items after the capsize.  I wonder if he made swims into the overturned boat to get things.  The hull of a Pearson 35 is pretty round.  Not much flat surface, and it would have a older style full-length keel instead of fin keel.  It would be very hard to stay on any dry surface.  I imagine a drifting hulk with mast and rigging below the surface would attract sea life, and he was able to catch it somehow.  I wonder, did he retrieve a fishing pole from his capsized vessel?  He obviously had plenty of time on his hands, and the will to survive would definitely motivate.

Whatever he did to stay alive, hooray for Louis Jordan bringing some thrilling good news to his family and friends!

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Normally, when I open my electric bill I don't pay much attention to the newsletter that's included every month.  Today was different, I saw the words “Community Solar is Coming”.  Well, words like this catch my attention, and demand further investigation.  Here are the details:

Clark Public Utilities provides electricity in Clark County Washington, which is just across the Columbia River from the Portland, Oregon area in the southwest corner of the state.  They launched a project where customers can buy shares in a large solar panel array.  While certainly not a new concept, this is a first for this area.  Phase One is an approximately 75 kilowatt system, with 272 ground mounted panels.  A single share is 1/12th of a panel, with a limit of 100 shares.  Each share sells for $100, and there are flexible payment options.   Pay-off is estimated at four years, with a system life of 20 years.  A little quick math (75kw divided by 272 panels divided by 12 shares/panel) indicated output of about 23 watts per share, putting the cost at $4.35/watt.  This is a little high, but considering the ease of buy-in, well worth my investment.  

Installed prices continued their precipitous decline in 2013, falling year-over-year by $0.7/W, or 12-15% depending on system size range. Among projects installed in 2013, median installed prices were $4.7/W for systems ≤10 kW, $4.3/W for systems 10-100 kW, and $3.9/W for systems >100 kW.
(from a report on costs of solar in the USA from a Lawerece Berkeley Lab Report dated September 2014 Caution-PDF)

I responded to this opportunity immediately, with a small buy-in of three shares.  Unfortunately, the shares for this had already sold out.  However, due to the obvious demand the Utility had decided to move ahead immediately with Phase Two, and shares for that were available.

While my solar footprint is initially very small (only 69 watts), my electric consumption is also pretty minimal.   I’m installing led replacements for the fluorescent fixtures in my shop (I work out of my home), which will make a sizeable dent in my daily consumption.  My goal is to install a 2kw photo-voltaic system on my roof, but I can’t afford it right now.  At least this gets me in the game, and I’m thankful to have a public utility provider who shares some of my philosophies.

If projects like this can be successful in "cloudy, rainy" western Washington State, they can succeed anywhere there is the will.

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Ever since I heard they might be made, I knew I had to have one somehow if they ever became a reality.  When I saw others had been able to acquire one, my spirits soared because I knew my chance to get one improved drastically.  Then, my opportunity to become one of the "haves" materialized.  I leapt at the chance, making my purchase happily, and then all I had to do was wait.  It's a long ways from east to west, so I knew I had to be patient.  I went to the post office today as usual (no home mail delivery in my town so I go most days), not expecting anything but the usual bills and offers "I can't refuse".  Low and behold, a key for a parcel locker fell to the floor and my excitement rose.  I wasn't expecting anything else, so could it be my prize?  I opened the locker, and the return address told me my wait was over.  Follow me over the fold to see my new prized possession.

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Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 03:48 PM PDT

Another Nugent Cancellation!

by Delta Overdue

Apparently some momentum is building in the effort to cancel the concerts of racist homophobe, Ted Nugent.

From Northwest Cable News

Emerald Queen Casino will cancel two Ted Nugent concerts that were scheduled August 2 and 3 over allegations of racist remarks by the singer.
"The first amendment gives people the right free speech, but I think racism is intolerable and not acceptable here," said Puyallup Tribal Council Vice President Lawrence W. LaPointe. "We’ve been getting lots of complaints from the community and other organizations."
Kudos to The Puyallup Tribe for doing what is right.  In light of the fact "Terd" was booked for two nights, this is significant.  

There are other shows that might still get the cold shoulder.  Ninalyn wrote an excellent diary the other day that may have had a bearing on this cancellation.  That diary is full of links to other shows, so if you have some time, let's keep this rolling!

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Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 09:26 AM PST

Watch out for your "Pyrex"!

by Delta Overdue

Have you ever heard of Pyrex baking dishes breaking for no apparent reason?  My son had one "spontaneously" explode earlier this year, and I have wondered about it ever since.  Well, this morning while cruising the news sites I ran across this article and found my likely answer:

Kitchen calamity: Reports of shattering cookware on the rise

In an apparent cost cutting measure World Kitchens, the current owner of the Pyrex brand changed the composition of the glass in their products.  They are no longer using Borosilicate Glass in their bakeware, now it's a Soda-Lime-Silicate composition.  They also are not alone in making this move.  Anchor Hocking has also made this switch, and even has a page on their site explaining the difference with some cautions.

I'm no glass expert, but I do know that most all glass labware is still made from Borosilicate glass.  If the Soda-Lime-Silicate product was "just as good" why wouldn't it go straight from kitchen to lab products?  We all know the answer, because it is inferior.  Here's a page on glass types from Rutgers University, Topics in Materials Science.  The takeaway is these statements:

...addition of borates allows one to use less alkali (such as soda and potash) in the glass which is often desirable, as alkali fluxes significantly decrease mechanical strength...
Emphasis by the diarist, and
The addition of borates also contributes significantly to the chemical durability (as in the case of sodium vapor lamp encasements) and reduced thermal expansion (in the case of Pyrex glassware).
Emphasis again by the diarist

So, if you are cooking with Pyrex or Anchor Hocking glassware, be aware that it isn't your Grandma's Pyrex, and you better be careful!

Action:  At the World Kitchens site above there is a contact link.  I sent them a message indicating I will never buy a Pyrex product again.  Going the way of the cheap is not a good business move, and if enough people express their displeasure, maybe we can make them change.

Discuss

I suited up, and did some trolling over at redstate, where Erick had a post about:

A Severe Conservative Speaks at CPAC
Even the conservatives have Rmoney's ad-libs figured out.  He singled out the sentence:
“I fought against long odds in a deep blue state, but I was a severely conservative Republican governor.”
and proceeded to shred how shallow this is, and that is sounds more like a critique of conservatism than an endorsement.  I have to admit, I was pretty much in agreement with him at this point.  What amazed me, and prompted this diary is that I clicked through to a link at The New Republic (I know, I know;  I'm headed to the shower right away) where Chris Orr summed Rmoney up February 7, 2008.  The Quentin Taratino aspect is what got me to the link, I'll admit.  In Kill Bill 2, David Carradine's character explains:
That Superman is unique in the comic-book universe: Whereas most superheroes' secret identities (Bruce Wayne, Peter Parker) are their true identities--the people they were before their parents were murdered or they were bitten by radioactive spiders or exposed to gamma rays or what have you--Superman was born Superman. It's Clark Kent that is the invented alias, the pose, the "costume." And in the way Superman plays Kent--weak, self-doubting, cowardly--we see his critique of the human race.
Orr went on to say (and this comparison seems pretty apt):
It occurred to me that the same is true of Romney’s desperate, if never terribly persuasive, impersonation of a conservative Republican. That persona–angry, simple-minded, xenophobic, jingoistic–is exactly what Romney (who is himself cultured, content, and cosmopolitan) imagines the average GOP voter to be.
Emphasis added.

If this was the view held by conservatives in 2008, it is certainly no wonder Mittens is having so much trouble closing the deal in 2012.  The republican crazy train is now so far to the right, it's way off the tracks.  

With any luck, this lack of enthusiasm will translate into reduced turnout come November (assuming Rmoney still gets the nomination).  Combine that with lots of hard work on our side, and maybe we have a chance to get the House back, as well as keep our majority in the Senate.

Discuss

Yesterday I was hanging out here reveling in the misery that is Mitt Romney’s campaign.  I especially enjoyed seeing Bill Maher’s segments since I don't have cable any more.  His comparing the crassness of Romney to Rappers and the piece in New Rules calling him “The False Profit” and naming what Bain does “Feral Capitalism” are priceless.  In the comments, I ran across a Freudian misspelling of Romney in the comments as Rmoney.  It fits so well, it’s like it was meant to be.  I did a little searching later on, and must give credit to this diary for originally coining the moniker.  Since it was pouring rain outside, I justified spending some time playing around with Mittens’ logo.  Follow me over the jump for the result.

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Ron Howard has created a new video where he revisits past characters and talks about Barak Obama.  Take a look After the Jump.

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Freshperson Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) is up for reelection. She won her seat by a measley 2224 votes in 2000. She seems to be a Democrat in the "Joe Lieberman" mold (or at least tends that way), is vulnerable, and the rethugs know it.  Mark Wilson has entered the race to challenge Cantwell in the primary, which isn't until September.  Wilson has run for Senate in Washington previously as a Green.  
We know the rethugs will pour money into their challenger's campaign, as this seat is seen as vulnerable. Does it make sense to support her challenger (seen as a long-shot) in the primary, forcing her to spend resources? Or, do we give Cantwell a free ride to November?
Poll

Shake Up Maria and Support Mark Wilson?

38%26 votes
61%42 votes

| 68 votes | Vote | Results

Discuss
American Smelting and Refining Company (Asarco) has operated numerous mines smelters, and related operations in the US for over 100 years.  Asarco has at least $500 million in outstanding environmental liabilities. A Chapter 11 Bankruptcy filing has apparently absolved this Corporation from it's responsibilities in meeting these liabilities.  Well, that means you and I get to pay for what they should be.   There are numerous people around the country who have been adversely affected by the spewing of arsenic, lead, and many other toxic agents this company has been belching for over a century, and now refuses to clean up.

Asarco has operated in this country for over a 100 years, and has been avoiding paying the costs associated with cleaning up their messes for nearly as long.  They have 19 sites on the Superfund list, and federal money to fund that project is running out.  Sites not on the Superfund list are the responsibility of individual states to clean up. Either way, Corporations walk away virtually free, and we're left "holding the bag".
more below the fold

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