September 3, 2011 archive

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On This Day In History September 3

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

On this day in 1783, the Treaty of Paris is signed ending the American Revolution

The treaty document was signed at the Hotel d’York – which is now 56 Rue Jacob – by John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and John Jay (representing the United States) and David Hartley (a member of the British Parliament representing the British Monarch, King George III). Hartley was lodging at the hotel, which was therefore chosen in preference to the nearby British Embassy – 44 Rue Jacob – as “neutral” ground for the signing.

On September 3, Britain also signed separate agreements with France and Spain, and (provisionally) with the Netherlands. In the treaty with Spain, the colonies of East and West Florida were ceded to Spain (without any clearly defined northern boundary, resulting in disputed territory resolved with the Treaty of Madrid), as was the island of Minorca, while the Bahama Islands, Grenada and Montserrat, captured by the French and Spanish, were returned to Britain. The treaty with France was mostly about exchanges of captured territory (France’s only net gains were the island of Tobago, and Senegal in Africa), but also reinforced earlier treaties, guaranteeing fishing rights off Newfoundland. Dutch possessions in the East Indies, captured in 1781, were returned by Britain to the Netherlands in exchange for trading privileges in the Dutch East Indies.

The American Congress of the Confederation, which met temporarily in Annapolis, Maryland, ratified the treaty of Paris on January 14, 1784 (Ratification Day).[1] Copies were sent back to Europe for ratification by the other parties involved, the first reaching France in March. British ratification occurred on April 9, 1784, and the ratified versions were exchanged in Paris on May 12, 1784. It was not for some time, though, that the Americans in the countryside received the news due to the lack of communication.


This week’s episodes originally aired September 20, 2003.

I’m Gonna Get You, Fat Sucka Episode 9 Season 1

The ISS is screwed.

So I’m almost done with my ringleader gig at TDS/TCR.  I like those diaries (call me old school) because they are fast paced and interactive which is something I’ve never been able to duplicate in this platform, partly because I have so much work creating content and scheduling that I’m not often able to stick around.

In any event, Kyle the Mainer was unaware of the plight of the International Space Station and since the repeat Thursday included Stephen’s interview with the crew of STS-135 I made that the focus.

The plan was that going forward there would be a semi-permanent crew of 6 at the International Space Station supported by regular visits of Russian Progress unmanned supply capsules and the crew rotated 3 at a time by manned Soyuz capsules with 2 extra attached to the Station as ‘life boats’.

On August 24th, about 6 days after this interview was taped, a Russian Soyuz launch vehicle (as opposed to capsule) with a Progress supply payload crashed shortly after launch.

No big dead said people at the time, we’ll just stretch out supplies and launch another one soon.  They even made jokes about one of the Russians having to borrow flight suits from an American.

It turns out that it was much more serious.  You see, it was the second such failure in a row and the Soyuz launch program was suspended indefinitely a day later.

Not only that, the delay of the planned September crew rotation mission is a real problem which, as reported Monday the 29th could result in the complete evacuation of the ISS by November.

The problem you see is that the Hydrogen Peroxide component of the maneuevering thruster fuel on a Soyuz capsule degrades over time.  Quite quickly in fact, it only has a safe life of 210 days.  Both the ‘life boat’ re-entry vehicles are near their limit and must be replaced by units traveling with crew replacements.

So there is talk of evacuation and leaving the Station unmanned for the first time in over 10 years.  There are 2 problems with this- The first is component failure.  While the Station can be controlled from the ground, if there is a problem requiring maintenance the chances of having the entire platform de-orbit and burn up in the atmosphere start at 10% in the first 6 months and rise to 50% after a year.

The second problem is that there are already people questioning the utility of the ISS and the need for a crew at all.

So this is why the Space Station is screwed.


I may be unduly pessimistic, it’s entirely possible that the launch failures are due to procedural errors as the Russians insist and that they will be corrected in time for the next scheduled launch in late September.  On the other hand it’s not at all encouraging that one of the most prominent voices in favor of shutting down the ISS is the Director of the entire Russian program.

Late Night Karaoke

Random Japan



An investigation was launched after it came to light that a man who claimed to be a doctor from a Canadian hospital treated some 250 people in quake-ravaged Miyagi Prefecture without a proper license.

A drug used to treat blood clots killed five people in Japan after causing some nasty side-effects in over 80 patients since March, the Health Ministry said.

Ryohei Yamanaka, 23, a flyhalf for Japan’s national rugby team, accepted a two-year doping ban from the sport’s governing body while continuing to claim his positive test was a result of a cream he used to try to grow a mustache. Yeah right, likely story …

It took 21 reprints, but a million copies were finally printed of an inspirational book by Japan soccer captain Makoto Hasebe called Kokoro o Totonoeru (Maintaining Peace of Mind).

Now this really is amazing. A transparent maze has been set up by Yoko Ono at Yokohama Triennale 2011, an international exhibition of modern art. At the center of the maze is a telephone, which sometimes rings. Lucky visitors who pick up the phone get to hear the voice of Yoko Ono. Hmmm … would that be considered reward or punishment?

A two-year-old boy escaped with a few minor scrapes after falling between a train platform and a stopped Nozomi bullet train onto the tracks at Nagoya Station. A quick-thinker hit the emergency switch and cut power before the train could leave.

Visually impaired people in Japan are apparently “suffering damage to their white canes … due to collisions with cyclists.”

Popular Culture (Music) 20110902: The Who. Quadrophenia Part I

I apologize for posting late tonight, but a very rare event happened.  The International Space Station made a transit directly overhead at posting time, and I did not want to miss it.  Besides, my lovely friend wanted to watch it with me.  It was a spectacular sight, and the ISS was not bad, either, LOL!

Second, I was going to add a new crosspost site that is run by our friend ninkasi23, but never figured out how to make it so.  I trust that she will email or call me to help me over my stupidity.

I was going to write about the compilation album, Meaty, Beaty, Big, and Bouncy this time but we have already discussed every song on that record.  However, I will make a comment about the title.

Most people think that the title was just sort of a dirty joke, but it actually was a description of the band members.  I think that Lambert came up with it, but I am not really sure.  Here is the meaning:

At the time, and still, Daltrey was pretty fit, so he was Meaty, meaning all muscle and no fat.  Moon, of course, kept the beat, so he was Beaty.  Entwistle, aka The Ox, was a really big guy, and of course Townshend was always leaping about the stage, so he was Bouncy.  Now you know, as Paul Harvey used to say, the rest of the story.

Pizza Boy

Pizza Boy started with me one year ago at what I now call the dream death factory, that place I formerly blogged about here as the paint drying factory.

It is a story about the military industrial complex, the minions of Satan in the business world and the falsehoods of the political world regarding the manufactured concept of the diverse workplace.

Pizza Boy is a nice enough kid.  He and I crossed paths last October when we started working at one of THE former Premier top defense contracting firms just north of Boston Mass.  I landed there after 20 years of directly related experience mostly because unemployment was running out after a forced early retirement.  The problem with John (Pizza Boy).  Well, I think his generation, the current twenty somethings may have been subjected to one to many immunizations at one time,an educational system gone bad, too much TV and or exposure to way too many chemical substances added to the MSDS list since the 1950s.  John can not in bizspeak “multi-task” but John came from and was hired under a temp agency at a lower hourly rate than I was.  It was one of the former supervisor’s mistakes.

Now this Premier defense company has according to my current knowledge at least three temp agencies on speed dial.  Hiring temps saves on the cost of benefits don’t you know.  Ok, so when I learned the John made the grade to permanent full time employee over me I ceased covering his ass using my extensive skill set accumulated of the span to twenty years in diverse high tech manufacturing.  So to cover his lower hourly rate Barbara works overtime to make up for parts shortages because the accountant assholes failed to pay the vendor for required parts.  Yeah, I had to go out, meditate three weeks ago at a required corporate ethics meeting.

So no corporate Assholian America does not want older people like me.  They do not want experience, knowledge, egalitarian excellence and especially that lifetime acquired set of values which is now trashed.  I have personally witnessed management escorting an 80 year old out the door only to later hire three people to take her place.

I feel sorry for my co-workers who when this company does export their jobs to the far east will be left with nothing as most are twenty year veterans with skills set equivalent to building old fashioned glass radio tubes.  Yes, the technology of this premier defense contractor is that old, 1950, well perhaps some of it has been updated to the 1970s.

Twice now in the very same month parts did not show up because they did not pay the vendor and management runs around in meetings discussing the meaningless prospects of statistical spreadsheets based upon 20 lots samples generated by multi-thousand dollar software programs.  It is literally beyond the insane asylum when the pride and joy of ISO 9000 certification needs to assemble the parts with the jigs upside down because the parts are just enough out of spec to not work like they are supposed to.  What, invert the jig instead of ordering new in spec parts, time is money you know.

Oh, and who by the way who knew enough to hit the safety switch preventing your half million dollar machine from becoming a 27 foot cannon.  Something the site supervisor thanked me for yet now sought fit to reward incompetence with full time benefits.

During the past year I have generated ideas about increased productivity, product improvements.  I have NOT communicated these things toward management.  Do I want to support a system based upon evil things? Would they reinvest in the business?  No, they can just barely keep toilet paper in the restrooms.

Company ethics?  Some time ago UBS published it’s now infamous “dress code”.  It was a manifesto preaching “corporate excellence” or rather corporate fascism.   That balance of yes, sure “we” are such a benevolent ethical company with full benefits but you have multiple temp companies on speed dial.  Places who can only recruit the down and destitute who will accept lower wages.

In short I went from making things at 5000 per hour down to lots of 50 a week.  I have 20 years of diverse experience yet corporate has seen fit to make permanent Pizza Boy over me.   Hmmm, did they Google my name and see my signature on the A&E for 911 truth page.

Gotta go feed the horses.

Countdown with Keith Olbermann: Worst Persons 9.1.2011

Find out why actor Steven Seagal and Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona are WORSE; Michele Bachmann is WORSER; and Mike Shaw, the acting chairman of the Republican Committee of Pima County, Arizona is the WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD for September 1, 2011.

Quote-unquote hate crime? WTF?

So this 21-year-old transwoman with a learning disability was walking down the street in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle on August 16.  A woman with a baseball bat and a man started following her.

The woman with the bat accosted the soon-to-be victim and said, according to the police report, “I don’t want to see you around the skate bowl anymore.”  The skate bowl referred to is at the Ballard Commons Park.

Then the woman bashed the transwoman on the side of her head with the bat.