Friday, May 31, 2013

Limbo: A Movie Review

I rented a DVD from Netflix called "Limbo".

I don't usually review movies because everyone and their kid brother reviews movies and travel and blah, blah, blah, but, I write what I want to write so shoot me.  Just do it from a distance because up close I will take the gun and shoot back :-)

If you plan on watching the movie don't read this review because it will screw the movie for you.  If you want a reasonable review read Roger Ebert's, although we have totally different opinions.  We both agree that the acting was great.  He thinks the director was great, I think the director was a putz.

This movie sucked.  The movie drags like a turtle pulling a trailer.  Give it 2 out of 5 stars.

The acting was great.  The visuals were great.  The plot was ridiculous.  The back story leading up to the plot was okay and in some cases very good.

The movie starts out at a wedding where the leading lady is singing the worst possible wedding song.  This first scene sets the tone of the movie, totally unbelievable.  The brides father would have come over, or sent someone over, and told the band to play something else.  If it had been my daughters wedding I would have been kicking the band off the stage, physically, literally, kicking.  If you watch the movie you'll understand.  That said, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio has a good voice.

The leading man is David Strathairn and he was really believable in this movie.  Let me tell you how good he is.  Kris Kristofferson plays a bush pilot involved in the drug business.  David Strathairn is trapped on an island with a woman and a sick girl. Kristofferson lands.  Strathairn has a talk with Kris and finds out bad guys sent Kris to find Strathairn and the woman and girl so they can kill them.  David Strathairn makes letting Kris, the drug dealing bush pilot, fly off to go get the bad guys seem almost reasonable.

Not quite, but almost.

Any reasonable person trapped in that situation would have fought with Kristofferson to keep the plane there.  The radio might work, there might be things they can use.  So what if they can't take off the plane makes a crappy boat all by itself.  Think about it for a couple seconds and any reasonable person would have done anything they could to stop that plane from leaving them.  David Strathairn's acting is so good it makes letting Kristofferson leave seem almost reasonable.

The movie ends "cut to black".  I thought to myself, the director either couldn't figure out how to end the movie or they ran out of money.  I am leaning toward the director couldn't figure out how to end the story.

By the end of the movie the plot was so ridiculous the only possible ending that could have made sense would have been that Kristofferson was busted almost as soon as he landed and flipped on the bad guys, telling the cops where the people were trapped on the island to cut a deal.  That was the only reasonable ending I could come up with.

If it had been me, I would have ended the movie with watching the plane land, a boot very much like the killers stepping out of the plane, pan up to a very native looking cop-pilot.  The last scene would have been the plane flying away from camera while Vanessa Martinez (Mastrantonio's daughter) narrates about Kristofferson flipping and ends the story with something uplifting about how she wrote the story.

I have to say that Vanessa Martinez was very good in this movie.  I never noticed her before and watching her in this I will be keeping an eye out for her.  Anyone who can act as well as she can will accomplish something in Hollywood.

Overall the movie was a waste, but,  if you enjoy good acting and you can imagine a decent ending (or just imagine mine) the movie might be worth watching.

But, I wouldn't recommend it.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Proving Rick Unger is a moron and his followers are ignorant robots

Let us look at government spending in a context that makes some sense. The Obama admin likes to play music chairs with their data so don't be surprised if these links quit working. The Obama admin is not as transparent as they pretend to be.

Lets open up a document that gives us the GDP:

Save that document on your drive and save it as gdplev-JDAYER_is_FRICKING_AWESOM.xls or you can make up your own name. I actually used gdplev-a. (I think spelling awesome wrong plays well into the morons who think I am masturbating mentally to prove my own self worth, it would never occur to those idiots that I just want to share something that should be obvious).

Delete everything but column A and column B.

Now you have a list of the GDP for years 1929 to 2012.

Open up:

Save this on your hard drive and then save a copy we can mess with.

Delete everything but columns A, B and C in the copy.

Delete row 83.

Copy cell B35 to C118

Paste the data into the gdplev sheet we copied, select cell D9 (or whatever) and then paste. You should have GDP data (in billions) aligned with Tax Receipts and Outlays (spending) (in millions) from 1929 to 2012.

There are several formulas we can use to derive the percentage of tax receipts and percentage of spending based on GDP.

My favorite equation, =((D9*100000)/((B9*100000000)/100))
Another slightly weird equation, but, usable, =(D9/B9)/10 (millions are 1,000th so if I divide by an extra 10 it gives me hundredths)
Another equation, ==(D9*1000000)/(B9*1000000000)

We have to remember that the GDP numbers are in billions and the tax receipt and outlays are in millions so we have to convert. You are welcome to use your own equation as long it represents an accurate ratio that we can compare to other years.

Put the equation in cell F9 and then double click on the lower right corner of cell F9 to auto fill. This gives us tax receipts as a percentage of GDP. Is the taxation ratio lower or higher than other years?

In cell G9 we need a similar equation, =((E9*100000)/((B9*100000000)/100)) where we use the outlays so we can compare the percentage of GDP spent by the government.

Lets look at Obama's spending.

Obama is collecting a lower percentage of GDP in taxes and is spending more of GDP. Obama is actually collecting a higher percentage of taxes from the middle class and has lowered the effective tax rate of those making in excess of $1,000,000.00 I'm not going to describe how to check that data here, but, I'll give you a clue how to do it. Download the data from the IRS website.

This is not rocket science people. It is really easy to figure out for yourselves. Quit being robots that believe what you want to.

Rick Unger, the perfect example of ignorance

There was this photo people were sharing on Facebook about an opinion Rick Unger wrote in Forbes about how Obama is the president who has increased government spending the least since Eisenhower.  Total Bull Shit and millions of ignorant morons all over the nation, if not the world, believe this tripe.

Education is always the key.  If someone gives you a fact, check it yourself, otherwise you are an ignorant robot.

This article is really stupid since we need to compare Budget Spending to the Gross Domestic Product and the Tax Receipts Collected to be incontext, but, for this blog we will just address the ignorance of the writer, Rick Unger and his ignorant followers.

This article is a pretty good trick since there isn't any real solid budget data on anything after 2011.  Everything after 2011 is estimated.  Lets look at 2009, 2010 and 2011.  The only real data that exists.  And lets look at Obama's ability to predict spending.  We will use two documents;

Why are we using 2009?

Because during Fiscal 2009 the Obama administration passed some really huge, off budget spending bills.

These are documents that give us the most basic budget information.

First, lets look at the 2013 budget with hard data from 2009, 2010 and 2011.

(I have now checked the 2014 budget which includes hard data from 2012, the spending prediction increase was off, 2009 prediction for 2012 was 1.6% over 2011, 2011 prediction for 2012 was -2.06 and the 2013 prediction for 2012 spending was 5.34%, how are those for a range of predictions.  Actual was -1.75%.  Unger's reliance on Obama admin prediction accuracy is ridiculous)

In cell K8 write a formula that calculates the increase in spending over the previous year.  Make up your own formula it really doesn't matter what formula you use.

I use a little bit different of a formula, K8=((C8/(C7/100))-100).  I use C7 as my base, divide by 100 to give me a "per century) or "per 100" and then divide the cell I want to see the increase in by that number.  Then I subtract 100 to give me the percentage of increase only.

If you want to use a different formula be my guest, since we are doing a comparison between years it really doesn't matter what formula you use.  I will the results of my formula to discuss the results.

A more common formula would be ((Current Year-Previous Year)/Previous Year)*100 (or set cell format to percentage. The number is the same so whatever. If you don't come up with the same numbers I do, I don't care as long as your numbers represent and accurate ratio of spending increases that we can use for comparison. If you don't know what I mean, use one of the formulas above.

Obama takes over in 2009 and government spending rose 17.942% over 2008 in 2009.

Okay, so did anyone since Eisenhower increase spending more than Obama did?  Sure, Nixon did in 1975.

Now what kind of an increase in spending did Obama predict for 2009, lets look at the 2009 budget document.  Do the same percentage calculations on this sheet. Put a formula in cell K8 and then double click on the lower right corner to fill down.

Obama predicted a 6% increase in spending and spent 18% more. Good prediction there!

How about 2010? In 2009 Obama predicted a 0.5% drop in spending (-0.5% increase) and what do you know, spending went.....Negative (so Obama got the direction right) -1.75%. Again, Obama's prediction was way fricking off, although, in this case spending went down more than predicted. Good job.  Not really since we are making an assessment of the Obama administrations ability to accurate project spending, which is what Unger based his article on.  This prediction pretty much sucks.

How about 2011? In 2009 the spending prediction for 2011 was up 2.6% and spending went up 4.25% in the 2013 budget document.

So what have we learned? That Obama's predictions about the budget pretty much suck. Not even within 50% margin of error and 2 of the three predictions we can test are off 300% or more.

If we open the 2011 budget from GPO (just change the year if you have not figured that out) and we look at the predictions and actual spendings in the 2013 the numbers are a little closer. In 2011 the percentage increase in 2011 is predicted to be 3%.  A little better, still wrong though.

Okay, so we know the Obama admin budget predictions suck for the most part.

Rick Unger actually mentions in the article that he uses the spending predictions made by the Obama administration to arrive at his conclusions. So the guy used really sucky predictions to assess future spending.

How did Bush 2 do between 2001 and 2008. Obama took over in 2009 and we have real data for 3 years. Bush 2 increased spending an average of 6.6% over 8 years. The total increase in spending, percentage, from 2001 to 2008 is 60%. From 2009 to 2011 Obama increased spending an average of 6.8% and in three years has increased spending 2.4% from 2009 to 2011. In 2003 Bush 2 had increased spending 15%, of course Bush 2 was dealing with government spending after 9-11 also, but, that isn't relative since we are not looking at what the government did, just how much they increased spending.

Those numbers sound kind of weird for a writer to write about so Unger wrote an article about predictions, not reality

It wouldn't do to say “Obama increases spending more per year on average than Bush 2 did, but, has increased spending less in total” Telling the truth confuses people because so often reality is not the nice neat package we want it to be.

In reality these numbers don't mean a lot because we didn't look them in context, In relation to how much we actually made. The spending has to be looked at in the context of Gross Domestic product and Tax Receipts.

Unger's article is Bull Shit.  Reality is messier than the crap Unger wrote and we shall really see how poorly Obama has done around 2018-2019.  Claiming Obama is increasing government spending at the lowest rate since Eisenhower based on predictions as accurate as these are is total B.S. that only someone as ignorant as Unger could believe.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Obama, Alinsky, Conflict Politics and ignorant authors

I'm reading a book about popular psychology and while there is some good stuff in the book this author is oblivious.

The author is enchanted by the propaganda around Brarrak Obama. So far Obama has done nothing but refuse responsibility, spend money and engage in conflict politics.

I know some people, like the author of this book I am reading, think Obama is a “community organizer”, someone who brings people together for social justice. A “community organizer” is nothing of the sort.

The guy who started the concept of community organization is a guy named Saul Alinsky and he wrote a bunch of rules for community organization and called them....wait for this...Rule for Radicals.

Sounds a little strange, it isn't like bringing people together is a radical idea. Lets look at a couple of Alinsky's “rules” .

3) “Wherever possible, go outside the experience of the enemy.”
4) “Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules.”
5) “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.”

Now maybe I am a little weird, but, those don't sound like rules designed for bringing people with different ideas together, those sound like rules of engagement for conflict.

Conflict, not bringing people together but how to engage in conflict. Community Organizers are people who fight with others on behalf of some group with a purpose. Think “Lobbyist”.

So...look at the stuff Obama did during his first term, created conflict making the other side look “wrong”. Think about the current IRS scandal. People Obama managed committed illegal acts targeting opposing political groups. Conflict Politics. Obama denies responsibility, the way Alinsky tells people to.

The job of the organizer is to maneuver and bait the establishment so that it will publicly attack him as the “dangerous enemy.” The word “enemy” is sufficient to put the organizer on the side of the people . . .”

Here, in one of Alisky's most famous directives for community “organization” we discover that the job of a community organizer is to engage in conflict with an enemy. A community organizer has no other purpose except to engage the enemy.

There has to be an enemy to engage one.

Barrack Obama specializes in conflict politics and the actions of his administration, such as the current IRS scandal, are the result of Barrack Obama's focus on conflict politics. It doesn't matter if Obama knew about everything the soldiers he placed in the field did since they followed his leadership style, a leadership style whose foundation is in conflict politics.

This idiot writing this book “throughly” studied Barrack Obama and didn't realize the guy focuses on conflict politics.

The IRS scandal, or at least one like it is predictable. The IRS scandal is the result of conflict politics. The idiot who wrote this book will never admit that any more than Obama will stand up and say “As a community organizer I engaged in conflict politics to further the ideology of the communities I represented. I brought those politics to Washington and while I had no personal part in the actions of those I managed, my leadership and focus on conflict politics undoubtedly influenced their actions.”

Instead both the author and Obama will go to their grave defending their assessments and behaviors.

Psychology is a subjective science. While statistics can give us information on behaviors it is the subjective application of that data which makes or breaks the psychologist. In addition it is the subjective assessment of peers which drive the evaluation of psychological assessments. That kind of subjective assessment driving subjective assessments leads to the kind of group psychosis which resulted in the Salem Witch Hunts and a presidental administration specializing in conflict politics.

As long as psychology is practiced as a subjective science it will continue to be mis-used. The guy who wrote this book I'm reading made an irrational assessment of an individual based on his own prejudices.

No rational person can look at the conflicts which have pervaded the Obama Administration and claim this President has brought people together. Reagan, whom I thought of as a pussy, was an expert at bringing people together and engaging in cooperative, bi-partisan legislation. Bush 2 really tried, Clinton did better than either Bush 1 or Obama. Out of the last 5 presidents, Reagan has been the president who brought people together and Obama has been the president pushing them apart.

Its sad.

I have seen changes in the way Obama behaves. I think he has realized that conflict politics are detrimental and he is now working hard to bring people together. I think it is too late though. The legacy of his first four years will define him, scandals of opposition, conflict politics, will define the Obama Presidency.

I'll pray for him though. I think the guy bit off way more than he could chew and the job has chewed him up. I feel bad for him, but, not to bad since being Pres and being an ex-Pres has a lot of perks.

When Obama first took office I knew he would fail miserably because of his focus on conflict politics. I wish he had turned it down, but, I have come to understand that few men could turn down this kind of opportunity to try and create change. He failed to change anything for the better, the conflict politics have made many things worse and will continue to make things worse until around 2020. I just hope that people don't blame the failure on Obama's skin color.

I'm sure some people will. We should be able to tell by the number of blacks in office. About 1 out of 10 should be black. If there are fewer than 10 black senators or fewer than about 50 black congress people then racism is still a huge factor in politics. 12% of the population of the United States is black so about 12% of politicians should be black.

Eventually this will just happen because people won't see skin color. How do we know when it has happened? Skin color won't be an issue AND there will be a common distribution of people in politics.

In the meantime I'll read crap like this book and learn something since I can learn from anyone, and I will continue to be amazed at the ignorance some people flaunt as if it is intelligence.

Manufacturing today

I wrote this for an assignment in a class and I liked it so I am posting it here.

I chose manufacturing because it is an industry that I was, and still am in a very peripheral basis, involved in.

Manufacturing is an industry based on consistency.  Consistency is a synonym for stagnation.  When something stays the same too long, it stagnates and becomes rotten.  The most useful skill in manufacturing is knowing when to change and adopt new technology.

The last question, "which businesses did you focus on in your industry choice that have used the collection of information in a strategic manner--how did it contribute to their success?" is a little more complicated and requires an understanding of the path the development and implementation of manufacturing technology typically takes.

In the 1950s the Air Force funded the development of a new technology called Numerical Control that they used to create consistent profiles for the wing struts of super-sonic aircraft.  This technology advanced into what is now called Computer Numerical Control.  The mainstream manufacturing industry was slow to adopt CNC machines.  When I started in manufacturing in the mid 1970s we used what was called "Hard Tooling", giant machines that were specially built to manufacture a particular type of component or perform a specific operation.

In the mid 1980s, between 25 and 30 years after NC technology was developed, the expense of the machines, the expansion of their capabilities and the ease of changing machine set-ups and programming made it possible for main stream manufacturers to invest in CNC technology and remain profitable.

While the adoption of new technology will reduce operational costs the expense of purchasing the technology and the expense of implementing the technology must be less than the reduction of costs.  Typically the reduction in costs must pay for the implementation within a maximum of 5 years and preferably sooner.

Recently, as a favor, I worked out a very conservative, one page, return on investment for the implementation of an EOS direct manufacturing system to be used in the manufacturing of firearms components.  I was able to prove that IF the company was willing to produce titanium components for popular firearms and they maintained labor and infrastructure costs within a specific, typical range for the region they were in, that they could return their investment within 2 years and probably less.

I also suggested that they indemnify themselves using typical industry methods since direct manufacturing of firearms components for the retail market would probably be subject to liability challenges, some real and more that were politically based frivolous lawsuits.
Profitability is very important since the firearms industry is a highly profitable section of the manufacturing industry and the more profitable a business is the more easily it can absorb the hidden costs of the implementation of new technologies.

However, since the firearms industry is also very political the implementation of new technology can be retarded based on potential political liabilities.  In other words, because some people hate guns they will grab at any straw to destroy the industry.

This is extremely dangerous to manufacturing in general and the United States in specific.  Weapons have driven development of manufacturing technology for centuries.  Usually high end retail consumers or special government orders pay for the implementation of new technology in very limited lots.  CNC technology and super-sonic aircraft or corporate and private jets for example.  Once these high end retail and special purpose government contracts have established the viability of the technology, the technology is implemented on a trend which usually follows the industry profitability and ROI.  Business which can expect the lowest return on investment, usually the least profitable, being the last to implement new technology.

The added expense of politically based liability reduces the ROI of the implementation of new manufacturing technologies in weapons production, limiting that technology to major weapons manufacturers like Raytheon or General Electric and slowing the implementation of new technologies in mainstream applications.

Fused Deposition Modeling, FDM, was developed in the 1990s, and now, 20 years later politicians in the United States are trying to legislate the implementation of the technology, especially as it pertains to weapons manufacturing.

This creates the potential for other nations which are not concerned with the issues surrounding political liabilities, and so do not require capital investment to deal with political liabilities, advancing into new manufacturing technologies faster than the United States and other industrialized nations.

Fortunately, India and China, the two nations poised to take advantage of this weakness, do not have high end retail consumers in weapons that can drive investment in the development of these technologies.  It remains to be seen if these nations will take advantage of the political issues to develop government investment in direct manufacturing technologies that would replace the high end consumer market.

Prior to reductions in funding by the Obama administration, DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, developed plans to stimulate investment in direct manufacturing technology.  My understanding is that this directive is under funded and with the current political climate concerning direct manufacturing of weapons it is probably unlikely to be funded.  DARPA, the organization that developed CNC technology and the Internet, is politically out of favor.

The next ten years will be interesting years in manufacturing.  There is some hope that the medical industry will take the place of the weapons industry in driving investment in manufacturing technology.  Currently military spending runs around 5% of GDP, consumer firearms manufacturing runs about 1% of the GDP, about 25% or 1.5% total (estimated) of that being devoted to manufacturing.  Health Care spending runs around 16% total, with a relatively small percentage (maybe 2-5% or about half of weapons) of that devoted to manufacturing.

In all the collection of historical information on the Internet related to the implementation of manufacturing technologies has made understanding the implementation of new manufacturing technologies and the typical historical path this implementation takes much easier than at any other time in the history of the world.  Yet, people ignore or inhibit this path.  Very interesting.

In my opinion the current controversy over the implementation of new weapons manufacturing technology specifically, and new manufacturing technology in general, proves two very old axioms, that "History repeats" and "People are their own worst enemies" are both true and are probably not going to change soon.

Dreams and reality

My wife died a little over a year ago and the other night I had a dream about her.  Having a dream about my wife isn't unusual, but, what she told me was.

My late wife was explaining that spirits of people who had passed can visit people in their dreams.  Can, not must.  She also inferred that when we were dreaming we could visit each other in our dreams.  Visiting in a dream world seemingly without boundaries.

For me, that is mostly okay, but, I would bet everyone has had that occasionally freaky dream about sex with someone that they would not normally have sex with, a friends wife or daughter for example, or some violent nightmare or some other really weird thing that we wake up from, disturbed and wondering where the hell that came from.

About 99% of the time my dreams are dreams I enjoy remembering.  The other 1% are the weird things I don't really like.  For a long time, back in my twenties, it wasn't like that.  Most of my dreams were nightmares of gun fights, motorcycle accidents, violence and some really crazy stuff I can't even describe.  I think those dreams are one of the reasons I ended up focusing on ZEN and meditation.

ZEN eventually led me to Christ, but, that is another story.

There are groups of "Holy persons" who claim they can control their dreams.  I started thinking about what my wife had told me in this dream.

A Brain Computer Interface is an array of super conductors placed on someones head which pick up brain waves and use the brain waves to control a computer.  Usually the cursor.

About 30 years ago I was hanging with some college friends and we began "brain storming".  An idea we came up with that we could not disprove was that brain waves exist outside of the body.  It is then possible that we could each be receivers for these brain waves making telepathy possible, but, that it would be very difficult to distinguish one "voice" from the cacophony unless someone was "screaming" or had a particularly strong, emotional, thought occasionally.  Essentially receiving everyone we couldn't "read" anyone.  We also postulated that some people with very good "hearing" might, occasionally, be able to separate out a few "words" from a particular person in the din.

I actually believe this theory is approximately correct, but, that it really doesn't matter since we can't accurately and consistently separate out individuals from the noise.

Then my dream comes up with this dream world interaction thing.

So here I am, wondering, since our thoughts exist outside of our bodies as electromagnetic energy do we have some kind of subconscious control which allows us to interact with each other while in a dream state.

Lots of movies about this, there was this one with Dennis Quaid I like where he saves the President from a dream assassin.

The thing is, I have died many times in dreams and killed thousands of people and I have never died.

Dreams are not real.

I do now wonder, could dreams be shared fantasies?  I doubt if two people, sharing a fantasy of some kind, would experience the same thing since we are all different.  Do we occasionally share a similar fantasy?  Do we sometimes project strong fantasies into each other?

Can the spirits of the departed, if they wanted to hang around in a "dream world", interact with our dreams?

I don't know.  The facts are; there is more about our minds that we don't know then we do know, our thoughts exist outside of our bodies, our bodies act as antennas absorbing electro magnetic energy.

Does this mean we can share dreams? With dead people?

Too far out for me to be anything but a remote possibility.  Still, it is interesting. 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Metabolism and ditching the average

People who read my blog regularly know that I study a lot about metabolism and stuff like that because my system is pretty well messed up.

I thought I would talk about understanding individual metabolism today.

Metabolism is measured in milliliters of oxygen absorbed per kilogram.  The average is 3.5ml/kg.  I am beginning to think that number is something someone pulled out of the air, but, it is an accepted constant.

Here is a power point explaining METS and O2 and whatever.

I'll explain how I ditched the 3.5 constant and how I figured out my basic metabolic rate to use in calorie burning equations.

First, I kept an activity log.  I used a small notebook that fit in my pocket.

I recorded activity and food/calories and daily morning and evening weight.  I used my scale to measure foods because I wanted to make sure my calories were very close.  I did this for about a month.

Every day I used a set of tables at to estimate the average MET value.  Metabolic Equivalence Tables give us basic numbers that we can translate into how many calories we burn during an activity.

I added everything up and created an average MET for the day, including sleeping.

Once we have about a months worth of daily calories, weights and MET averages as long as our weight has been stable, plus or minus 1%, we can calculate an average metabolism.

Lets say my daily MET, including sleep, averages 1.1 (sedentary) An MET of 1.2 for 16 hours and an MET of 0.9 for 8 hours.

My typical weight over the month is 260lbs.

My daily caloric intake averaged 2400 calories (this is actually my target and it makes a nice round number for our calculations, real was a little less).

 The calculation is MET*3.5*(weight in kg)/(200/minutes) OR (in my case, calories per hour) MET*3.5*118/3.33333

3.5 is the average ml of Oxygen or O2 per kilogram.
3.33333 is 200/60

So we have an average MET of 1.1 (Mine was actually 1.36 but I am using 1.1 as an example) 1.1*3.5*118/3.33333 or 136 calories per hour or 3,271 calories per day.

"But, dude, you only ate 2400 calories and you didn't lose weight.  What is up?  Your math sucks"

Yeah, so obviously my metabolism isn't average and the 3.5 constant is wrong, for me.

Using some math magic called ALGEBRA we reverse the equation, 1.1*X*118/3.33333=100

The 100 comes from 2400/24 hours.

Using this calculation we end up with an average daily metabolic rate of 2.56.

But wait, my real MET average is 1.36 so the equation is really
or 2.07 milliliters of Oxygen per kilogram.

There is a gadget coming on the market called the Breezing at which will actually measure the amount of O2 and if I am able to afford it when it comes out I will check my calculations against actual readings.  Until then I just have to use my food intake, weight and activity to estimate my average metabolism.

Now I know my typical metabolic rate, not specific to any activity and for all I know those numbers do not apply to me either.  

Saturday, May 11, 2013

People who hate democracy

In 1992 when Bill Clinton won the Presidential Election by the fewest votes possible I was re-loading quite a lot.  I received a catalog from a company called Dillion Precision and after the election the man who owns Dillion Precision blamed those of us who voted for Ross Perot.  It pissed me off.  At the time I was saving to buy a special reloading press that Dillon made and I decided not to buy it.  Mistake?  maybe, they still make one of the best reloading presses in the world.

What I realized then, and I had reaffirmed in 2000 when Ralph Nader stole a few votes from Al Gore, allowing George W. Bush to win the election, was that some people hate Democracy.

These people hate the idea of other voting for the candidate that seems best to them, voting for anyone but their candidate is evil because they hate the democratic process.

So what if people voted for a candidate from a political party other than the two primary political parties.  That is Democracy in action.

I'm reading this ridiculous book called "Making Sense of People" and the author gets off on doing psychological analysis of public figures like politicians.  Moron.  Public figures wear masks and we never see them the way they really are.  We can analyze their mask, maybe get a couple of peeks behind the mask, but, without personally knowing someone, without being with them in situations where they drop their mask we don't ever know them.

Everyone has two images, a mask they show everyone and an internal image they typically keep to themselves.  Like a book with a cover and pages.  We all know this.  To a large extent figuring out what someone will do based on their external mask works, but, not always.

People whose internal mask and external behavior are most closely aligned are supposedly called "self actuated".  Yeah, I've read a bunch of psych books, both popular and text books over the years.

So what does this have to do with Democracy?

In a Democracy we choose people based on the mask they show us and then we hope that their actions will be congruent with our beliefs.  That's why we vote for them.  We have no fricking idea if they are going to follow through on their promises or be the people we think they are when we vote for them.

Yet, these people believe their subjective assessments of a mask are so much better than the subjective assessments of others that they blame others when their desires falter.

Some morons, like the guy writing this book, want people like Ralph Nader and Ross Perot to take responsibility for the loss of the candidate they prefer.  In other words, take responsibility for participating in the Democratic process.  I would say "Yes, thank you" and the moron would probably be mystified.

The reality is that all presidents, all democratically elected leaders, fall short of their promises and their potential.  Get over it.

There are some decisions that make no credible sense, and people get mad at me for pointing out something based in facts.

One night a friend asked me to come with him and check out a truck.  I'm, or was, a pretty fair mechanic.  I went and I heard a ticking (sounded like a valve lifter issue) and I asked the seller about the ticking.  The seller got mad and shut down.  Really, all I did was ask, "what is that ticking noise?"

My buddy was angry with me for pointing out the ticking sound.  Truthfully the truck was really nice looking, but, a valve ticking usually means the oil wasn't changed regularly so the engine is screwed.  I figure it was pretty lame of him to be upset with me, but, this happens all the time.

People become focused on some idea, buying a clean looking truck or electing a candidate, and then when someone points out something wrong with the idea they become angry and blame the messenger.  I point out that Obama has no experience and idiots say something like "You don't need experience to run the largest, most powerful, most complex country in the world."

President Bush 1 wimped out on taxes and kicking Sadam's ass.  After watching Reagan pussy around for years, especially about Iran, I wasn't voting for someone who pussyed out on Iraq.  People disagree with me, and that's fine.  The world becomes better with open dialogue.

Not everyone wants open dialogue or a democracy though.  Some people hate the idea that others have different ideas or want different things, and that idea, the belief that people have different ideas and want different things is the basis of democracy.

People who get angry when others vote for a different candidate, people who censor others, people who refuse to accept that others have different beliefs and ideas hate the foundational principles of Democracy and Democracy itself.

People have different ideas, get over it.  Accept it.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Obama Administration: Guilty until proved innocent!

The BBC published this article:

Reporting that a member of the Obama Administration has converted "innocent until proved guilty" into "guilty until proved innocent":

"The Office of Defense Trade Controls Compliance wrote to Defense Distributed founder Cody Wilson demanding the designs be "removed from public access" until he could prove he had not broken laws governing shipping weapons overseas by putting the files online and letting people outside the US download them."

For those of you who are not aware the office of the president is the chief law enforcement agency in the three arms of the United States government and as a result has authority over the enforcement and prosecution of federal law such as "The Office of Defense Trade Controls Compliance".

Republished under the "Fair Use" law.  Mostly I have noticed that under the Obama Admin stuff vanishes from the web so I am posting a screen grab of the data I am blogging about before the Obama Admin forces the BBC to censor it.  Please notice this is not a news story in the United States because the Obama Admin owns the U.S. media.

The Obama administration has declared war on two of the most important aspects of freedom in the United States:  The freedom of the press and Innocent until proved guilty.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

FDA Nutrition Labeling

On a mid-term recently I was asked if nutrition labeling was required by law and I answered No.  This is because I have been reading labels since my mother taught me to back in the 1970s.  It became a law in 1990.  Who knew?

Okay, so I read in the text book that the FDA required labeling.  Since I knew from research in the 80s that labeling was voluntary I just figured my text book was wrong.  Should have checked my facts.  Once again, amazed by ignorance.

So now that I know there is a law I decide, "hey, lets go check it out at".  I'm publishing some screen grabs from based on the fair use copyright law.  Get over it.

Interesting experience.  Being a manufacturing engineer I crunch numbers using basic statistics all day long, or I used to.  I can look at a range of numbers and tell you if it makes sense, or, if there is a problem.

So I checked out:
and reviewed how they calculate the info on labels.  There was a line on this page that made no sense to me:

The line reads, "The upper limits of the cv have been calculated to show that, if the sample cv is smaller than the upper limit: 1) the predicted value for class II nutrients always exceeds the corresponding sample mean, and 2) the predicted value for the third group of nutrients is always less than the corresponding sample mean."

So here I am, thinking, "well, if it is the minimum value or the maximum value how can it also be the mean?"  A mean, or average, (by definition) is always going to be greater than the minimum and less than the maximum. So I scratched me head.  "The mean is the maximum or the minimum, depending".  I must have missed that day in grade school.

The "cv" or "coefficient of variation" is just a percentage based on the standard deviation used when negative numbers make no sense.  No problem there, how they use it though....

Being me, I checked their math and all the math on the page between the sample values and the ridiculous "mean is the minimum some cases and maximum in other cases" statement is correct.  But, my experience is not in math and compared to a lot of people I know my math sucks.  My expertise is recognizing problems and developing solutions.

Lets take a look at the values in their 12 item sample:
So the values are: "mean = (2.8 + 2.5 + 2.9 + 3.5 + 3.1 + 4.1 + 3.3 + 3.1 + 3.3 + 2.8 + 3.1 + 2.8) / 12 = 3.1083" 

Looks good?  No, looks very bad! (so I have been studying Spanish lately, sue me)

Why?  This is not a normal distribution so typical rules don't apply.  This is a skewed distribution which means I need a larger sample size.  All distributions are normal distributions IF the sample size is large enough.  When I have a skewed distribution it tells me there is something influencing the sample distribution (like a manufacturing process issue) OR the sample size is too small.  A skewed distribution means the sample IS NOT representative.  Maybe the protein level is higher because some of the sample units was pissed on and there was a lot of protein in the piss OR maybe the sample size isn't big enough.  I don't know.  In any case, this sample is fucked.

I charted the information because I am lame and I have no fricking life OR maybe just because I don't like stuff that does not add up and I like to check it out.

So what does this confusing bunch of numbers mean?  I used Libre Office which has no analysis pak or histogram chart creating procedure.

Look at the numbers on the left.  Those are the values from the FDA web page I gave the URL to at the beginning of this blog.  I included a screen grab and you can check me if you want.

Underneath that set of numbers is a bunch of pretty self explanatory numbers.  Average is =average(A2:A13).  STDEV is =stdev(A2:A13). Max is =max(A2:A13). Min is =Min(A2:A13).  Range is =(max-min).  the number without a title, 3.3 is the minimum plus half of the range.  =A16+(A18/2).  This gives us a Median or middle.  The mean does not equal the median so the distribution is skewed.

The last two numbers, calculated max and calculated min, are based on a normal distribution.  I take the mean and add three standard deviations and subtract three standard deviations.  =(A14+(3*A15)) and =A14-(3*A15).

With a normal or Gaussian distribution (Bell Curve) 997 out of 1000 samples will fit within plus or minus 3 standard deviations or a range of 6 sigma.  Huh?  If this distribution was normal, about 66% of sample items would fit within plus or minus One standard deviation of the mean, about 92% of items would fit within plus or minus Two standard deviations and 99.7% of samples items would fit within plus or minus Three standard deviations.

Let's look at my homemade histogram chart.  A histogram is just figuring out how many times a particular value occurs.  If we look at the chart the value 2.8 occurs 3 times and the value 3.1 occurs 3 times.  4.1 occurs 1 time and that value skews the chart.  I figure that 4.1 is the sample some meat eating rodent pissed on.  The Modality, or most  items, in this chart is about 2.95.  So my mean is 3.1, my median is 3.3 and my modality is 2.95.  This analysis is a FAIL.

If this were a normal distribution we could fit a bell shaped curve over those columns.  It isn't normal so either my sample is fucked or it isn't big enough.  I need to sample more items in this case.  I should probably clean everything up and re-do the experiment and then compare the results. 

Sampling is expensive so typically a manager will just say "pitch the out-liar(sic)" since it makes more "bean-counter" sense to throw data away than spend money increasing the sample size.  Also, sometimes samples are contaminated in the lab so the 4.1 out-liar might be contaminated.  I don't know so my best option is to spend money like it is going out of style and sample a few hundred items.  I just need to get my boss to approve increasing my budget ten fold so I can test the protein level in broccoli.  Heck, we are in a deficit and spending money like crazy anyway.....

I'm leaning toward the "some rodent came and pissed on the broccoli and contaminated my sample" theory.  I could be wrong though so I should wash the next sample, which won't help because the piss soaked in.  Never thought of that?  Too bad, now that image is in your head and now every time you eat organic foods you know that the shit they spread to fertilize the crop got onto and into the crop.  So sorry.  Get over it.

Enough frivolity (got to love Uncharted).

Lets look at the minimum and maximum for a moment.  If the FDA was really interested in publishing either the minimum or the maximum they would publish a number based on TWO or THREE standard deviations from the Mean of a NORMAL distribution.  In this case the minimum amount of protein should be 1.86 grams.

In other words they would be publishing the "calc min" or the "calc max"  and not some "mean is actually the minimum or maximum depending on how you look at it" kind of number.

But wait, is publishing the minimum number a good idea?  Norflok and Wayman!  Some people, like those who have had a kidney transplant, are protein intolerant and should know the Maximum protein that they could be eating.  IMO, the calc max and calc min should be published on the label, after sampling enough to develop a normal curve.  Sample size is important in developing accurate statistical predictions. 

None of this is happening so I figure labeling is screwed.  Better than nothing I guess.  Oh well, I figured that labeling was screwed anyway so no news here, just proving my theory that labeling is screwed and the FDA has some interesting ways of justifying their methods like calling the "mean" the minimum or the maximum, depending.

Monday, May 06, 2013

e-Readers and Open Source

I've been reading e-books for over 15 years now.  After over 2 years I still use my Kindle more than anything else.  Before that my favorite reader was my Palm Tungsten W, although a Chinese Android tablet was really great even though battery life was short and after 2 months it died.  I've used different computers including a OLPC XO as readers.  The XO is a little big, but, worked well and I was able to manage my library on it.  I use Calibre to manage my e-book library.

I'm considering picking up a Kindle Fire HD and seeing how that works since I enjoy my Kindle. Now that the Nook is including Google Play so a proper Adobe reader could be installed I may take another look at that.  I hear the iPad works really well also.  It looks like the e-Reader "wars" are winding down so that everyone has around the same functionality and quality.

Personally, now that the Nook can install apps that read text files and native PDF files I don't think a Nook is any worse a choice than the Kindle and it might even be better now that it is becoming an Android tablet.  The Nook used to be a "retarded Android" tablet with too much of the good stuff disabled unless a user hacked it. Why buy a Nook and hack it when someone can buy an Android tablet for the same or cheaper?

Reading PDF files is still the biggest problem on e-readers.  Just about everyone who writes a thesis uses PDF and pretty much every thesis or paper I have ever received has been published using PDF.  Anyone working in cutting edge, or developing the cutting edge, needs to be able to read PDF files.  There are so many PDF publishers that reading them can be difficult, especially when it comes to the way images are handled.  How a reader handles the images in a PDF file is a big deal.

The iPad's popularity is partially because it is a great PDF reader and iReader works really well.  iPad wins as far as I am concerned in every area except price and open source and that is a big deal. Since Open Source is huge to me Android is my choice regardless of other features.  

Looking around and thinking about upgrading I like android tablets.  Finding a quality 10" or so Android tablet seems to be a little on the difficult side.  The Nexus 10 32GB is $500 bucks.  Is it really worth the extra $300 over the Chinese 10" tablets?  I'd need to invest in both of them to find out and I don't think I am going to do that.

These days I don't need to keep up with research and ongoing cutting edge development so my dependence on PDF files has been reduced.  I think I am going to stick with the Kindle and cheap Android tablets for now.

By the time I am in a position to work on cutting edge development in Anthropology, if ever, the tablet and eReader wars should be completely over.  The basic technology will be settled and pretty much everything will be the same except for a few features that appeal subjectively to different users.

Open Source is a huge deal.  Back at the founding of the United States intellectual property laws were a big deal because we were entering the industrial age.  Patent protection laws were restricted to 20 years to help encourage development.  These days no one cares about encouraging development, everyone is just trying to make a buck so most intellectual property is protected by Copyright, not patents, because code is written like a book.

Copyright protects intellectual development for the life of the author plus 75 years.  These kind of oppressive intellectual property laws suppress technological development.

Why is copyright so different than patent?  Lawyers don't invent stuff, they write stuff and they don't give a rats ass about inventors or the common good.  The blood sucking lawyers just want to make money.   Copyright laws are literally retarding technological development.

Open Source is trying to change that, and it is working.  All code should be open source.  People whine about making money with Open Source, but, look at Google.  Google developed Android and they are making money hand over fist.  Google is also driving technological development.

In my opinion, as we enter the time of the end of the e-Reader wars, e-Readers need to be Open Source and they need to be able to handle the multiplicity of PDF files published by Masters and Doctoral candidates and Researchers.

If you are looking for an e-Reader Open Source development should be a primary concern in the selection of an e-Reader.  Screen clarity is the second most important concern.  After that, the ability to read PDF files and TXT files is important.   Finally battery life is my final consideration.  After that everything is gravy.