Tag: 2018 November Group Writing

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When I hear the word elimination, I think of Russians. One Russian in particular Alexander Mikhaylovich Zaitsev, aka Saytseff. I also think of substitution, addition, elimination, nucleophiles, bases, and leaving groups. Before I was a safety professional, I truly loved Organic Chemistry. (Trigger Warning for former pre-meds) Preview Open

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Who Eliminated Mr. Whipple?

 

Advertising for products dealing with our bodily functions predates radio and television, as Kellogg’s built an eventual corporate empire on “healthy” food centered on bowel regularity. Indeed, Kellogg’s followed the success of Cascaret’s sweet-flavored lozenge, advertised as a palatable alternative to castor oil.

But around 1900, Americans didn’t just associate constipation with abdominal discomfort or gas or indigestion. Constipation for our great-grandparents was the root evil of just about every ailment and malaise you could think of. And for whatever was wrong with you, a laxative (or purgative or cathartic–the terms were used pretty interchangeably) would do the trick.

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We have several open days left this month. You need only spin off the word “elimination.” Shall I roll out some boring political bit about eliminating electoral fraud, or eliminating rude reporters, or would someone else like to opine on some eclectic, earthy, or essential form of elimination? Hey, it is that time of year […]

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Noise Elimination

 

Noise is always around us. We need sounds to warn us of danger, so plugging our ears with uncomfortable earplugs is not always practical. Traditional passive techniques for noise control include isolation, such as done in recording studios, and shields around noise sources. Industrial equipment is a prime source of unwanted noise, and new designs can reduce fan noise without heavy shielding. We are always looking at ways to reduce noise, such as with jet aircraft designs and barrier walls for road noise. As discussed later, noise reduction techniques even increase auto fuel economy!

Many times unwanted sounds are generated inside machinery such as a heating system. Using trial-and-error techniques to isolate the sound source can take months to find. A new method, called a Sound Camera, analyses all sounds emanating from the device. The original method used one microphone as a fixed reference, while another microphone scanned the object using a robotic system, but the scan time was too long. Adding more microphones reduced the scan time, but a full system of microphones would cost well over one million dollars! By using an array of 1,024 low cost hearing aid microphones, the Sound Camera quickly finds noise sources when tested in an anechoic chamber.

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A few weeks back, I threatened promised to tell you the one about the BDAN baño. Due to a clerical error, I find myself needing able to roll out this tale, for your enlightenment this fine fall weekend. It is a tale of three governments, earnest bureaucrats, a rich U.S. NGO, an innovative Arizona policy center, and outside […]

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Group Writing – Eliminate the Negative (Of Your State)

 

The reminder for this post came from this comment, although the idea’s been an idle dream for at least a couple years now, and with the election, now seems an appropriate time to bring it up. For those who don’t want to click the link, the plan is that given the power to redraw state borders, Chicago, Madison, and Milwaukee and the surrounding area would become a state, and Wisconsin would take the Upper Peninsula from Michigan.* There are a couple variants on that plan, but that’s the basic idea. As far as names go, I’m thinking that the new state would be known as Superior, or that it would stay Wisconsin and that the C-M-M combination would come to be known as Megacity One.

That got me thinking: I know about the movement to break up California into several states, in some cases with the addition of land from Oregon, but I’m sure that there must be other proposals that I haven’t heard about, or that people in different areas might have thoughts on how they would like to get rid of annoying parts of their state.

Eliminating War?

 

Today is the 100th anniversary of the armistice, ending fighting in the Great War. It is the concluding centennial observance of a war that started in 1914, with the United States of American entering the war in 1917. Entering the war, there was talk of ending the threat of German militarism, ascendent since the Franco-Prussian War. In the face of the industrialized slaughter, the horror of the trenches, and with faith in man’s ability to mold more perfect institutions not yet confronted with the far larger horrors to come, people dreamed of a lasting peace. The phrase capturing these aspirations was “the war to end all wars.”

We see now, as the people, who first heard those words, knew by the 1930s, that the phase is as mockingly empty as the ancient cry, recorded in Genesis 11:4

“Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.” (NIV)

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Friday, funday? Shall I roll out some boring political bit about eliminating electoral fraud, or eliminating rude reporters, or would someone else like to opine on some eclectic, earthy, or essential form of elimination? Do drop by, and post a link to your witticism, wile, or wisdom. Hey, @rightangles, that looks like a lady has a GIF […]

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Elimination: Crossing the Threshold

 

Thinking about my essay for today, I looked up the etymology of the word “eliminate.” It comes from the Latin for going out from the threshold, exiting the limits. An antonym for the word is “include,” which comes from the Latin for closing in. These things made me think about my kitchen and pantry, where I spend so much of my time, and how I include or eliminate items.

When I work in my kitchen, I want to be able to move quickly. I love to cook, and I have a large family so I cook a lot, and I want to know exactly where everything is. Nothing is more annoying to me when I am cooking than not being able to put out my hand and locate the tool or ingredient I need.

An Elimination Thought Experiment, Courtesy of Guy Fawkes

 

Welcome to that most British of holidays–Bonfire Night–Guy Fawkes Night–the Fifth of November. The holiday that, when I was a kid, was exponentially bigger than Halloween, as for a few days before, children would push around a wheelbarrow laden with a straw-stuffed effigy of Guido Fawkes, usually dressed in their father’s cast-offs or scrapings from the bottom of the charity clothes-barrel, shouting “penny for the guy!” collecting their small change, buying a few fireworks with it, and then, dizzy with excitement, setting a bonfire ablaze, throwing the “traitor” onto it and watching him crackle and dance, before setting off their Roman candles, Catherine wheels, and sparklers in a gluttony and excess of high spirits.

Why do I call it the most British of holidays? Because, in the best tradition of my countrymen and our spirit of inestimably fair play, it celebrates the underdog. The failure. The one who couldn’t. The one who didn’t. The one who wasn’t even really the leader of the plot, just an also-ran who got caught in the crossfire. We’re really serious about that sort of thing. As with so many failures, human and otherwise, we embrace Guy Fawkes and clutch him to our bosoms, refusing to let go. We write books about him.  We make television programs about him. We love him. (Stay tuned. Wouldn’t surprise me if, in another 413 years, the UK will be celebrating “Brexit Night” every June 23, carting around dummies dressed like Theresa May (kitten heels and all), and setting fire to them with the most ecologically-sound fossil-fuel alternatives they can find, to celebrate the day that Britain voted to leave the EU, and then, you know, didn’t.)

I Almost Eliminated a Man Last Night

 

Safety Tips - Parking and Transportation Services | CSUFI almost killed a man Saturday evening. I did not mean to, and he wasn’t looking for it. Our paths diverged just in time, for if we had met, he would be dead or maimed, and my life would be altered, marred, forever.

I was on my way to a friend’s house for the evening. Driving east, I made a decision to turn left, north, at an intersection, taking my preferred route. It was dark out, but the intersection was decently lit. As I approached, the turn lane signal changed from green arrow to blank, signaling I could make a left turn, if I cleared oncoming (westbound) traffic.

So, I eased into the intersection with my turn signal on and watched for a longer break in oncoming headlights. Sure enough, the light traffic provided a safe turning opportunity. Mindful of the chance that oncoming cars might accelerate, I was careful to turn into the correct, inside lane. That saved a man’s life, and saved me from a life of bad consequences.

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When I realized it was my turn for the November Group Writing Series and the theme was elimination, I started to fret a little. Elimination is a challenging word, turning it over and over in my mind. It became complicated – talk about the all consuming Mid-terms? The Caravan? Did the Founders stress out this […]

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Social media is not an unalloyed good. Even marvelous social media sites such as Ricochet have their drawbacks. (@judgemental and @garymcvey, for instance. Those guys, I tell you…) Sometimes we just need to take a break from it all. Traditionally, I have taken my break from Ricochet at Lent every year. This last year, having […]

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Back in the day, teens would roam neighborhoods with toilet paper rolls, tossing them up into trees. Which brings to mind both the clean-up and the material: both good writing material for our November Group Writing theme: Elimination. • Can someone explain the Charmin bears? Really?  • What about children’s books on the subject? Preview […]

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Heard the one about the BDAN baño? I might be writing it to cover an open day in November’s Group Writing Theme schedule. To see why, drop by, peruse the topic, and please sign up. The story is real, only the names have been changed to avoid legal action. Preview Open

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Greetings, Ricochet Cats, I’m your new Keeper of the Group Writing Monthly Themes, not to be confused with the Quote of the Day Keeper (@vectorman). @arahant, I relieve you, sir. In Group Writing, Ricochet members claim one day of the coming month to write on a proposed theme. This is an easy way to expose […]

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