Category: Science

Watch Out For Crap Like This.

Watch Out For Crap Like This.

From the early 70’s I was tinkering with electronics.  While my peers were playing ball or getting their hearts broken, I was getting shocked and talking to people all over the world.

Peering through the back of a radio or perhaps the TV, one would see all these glowing amber lights.  Soon after my fascination with the front of the radiant dial on the old floor model radio piqued, I wanted to know how it worked.

Garage sales and discarded appliances became a source of amusement for me.  Boxes of small parts from different devices soon lived in the closet, under my bed, and soon I had to pare down the collection.  A borrowed receiver, some junk box parts, and a crystal as were the rules back then, I was on the air as a newly minted Novice Amateur Radio Operator.  The glowing 6AQ5 tube was the final for a whopping 7 watts unmodulated Carrier wave controlled by the steady fist of what they used to call ‘brass pounders.’

Today, 47 years after the date, I still remember Morse code, but I must confess I have not pounded a key in eons.

Tubes gave way to transistors, which soon turned into integrated circuits. Now we have software-defined radio that minimalizes the power usage and, of course, exaggerates the complications if you need to troubleshoot it.

Time marches on. 

A man once stipulated that we stand on the shoulders of giants, and the same is true of the law of accelerated return of advancement regarding technology.

Most teenagers today have more technology in their back pocket or on their wrist than we used to send a man to the moon.  What they do with it remains to be seen but, the possibility of great things is within their grasp.

Licensing for the Amateur Radio Service is nothing like it was.  One could argue that nobody builds anything anymore, so it does not need to be as difficult as it was back in 1973.

I still tinker, albeit minimally and mostly with antenna design and theory.  All that said to get to the point of this blog.

When I purchased this switch box online, I knew what to expect.  Never in a million years would I push any wattage through this thing.

When I wiggled the wires a number of them came lose of their own accord, cold solder joints.
Here is the inside of the box. Wow.

In my office resides a desk, with several different apparatuses on it.  From state of the art to antique, I still listen to and ‘mess’ with them on occasion.  You see I always appreciate the glow from the dial light of old shortwave radios.  I wanted a way to control the RF from my antenna to the different devices without messing with cables.

The name of this device is miss-leading, and I am confident if put to the test, they would call it a ‘name’ and say they never meant it to handle 1000 watts. With the wording CB in the advertisement, they could argue the illegality of using more than 12 watts PEP ergo ‘what were you doing with this thing?’

A smart person could take them to task, in that this thing would perform miserably at 27mhz.

Whoever designed it had a handle on DC but not AC.  The integrity of the 50 ohms impedance is violated, making this a horrible device even for switching between receivers.  Again I knew what to expect when I spent the $20.  Why then did I buy it?

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Real coaxial switches have the same essential components, they are just well thought out.   If you look at the contact on the switch, you can tell that any kind of wattage would burn the connections and or arc over to the next.  In its original construction, I would not even use it for low wattage use.

Below you can see how I modified it with coax and common grounds.  One last modification is to add a ground lug to it, so I can ground the box to earth ground.

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Enjoy your hobbies, and be very wary of crap from the Far East.  While it is all made there, ‘for the most part,’ some companies have a reputation at stake, while some just want to sell cheap junk.

In its original form, it was just that, junk.

-Best

Scott

 

Are we cooking ourselves? Here is some food for thought.

Are we cooking ourselves? Here is some food for thought.

 

As a technology minded person, I often wondered about those who design cordless devices.  In particular, I am addressing phones.  I assume some government agency somewhere spent millions of your tax dollars to come up with what someone thinks are safe levels of radiation.

Maybe these people know more than the rest of us, or maybe they don’t.

Case in point.

The standard cordless phone in 2017 most probably transmits to the base either at 900 MHz or 2.4 GHz.  While your phone may advertise the higher frequency of 5.4 GHz that is most probably from the base to the phone.

Split frequency designs like this are prudent as it takes more power to transmit higher frequencies.

Now, these cell phones that we all carry around transmit either in the 850 MHz range or 1.8 ~1.9 GHz range.

MHz (Mega Hertz) stands for millions of cycles per second,  GHz is (Giga Hertz) or billions of cycles per second.  So every second depending upon the frequency, the RF (radio frequency) cycles millions or billions of time.  IE 2.4 GHz is 2 billion, four hundred million, cycles per second.

Frequency should not be confused or conflated with power.

Power for our conversation today is watts.  How much power or how many watts of RF (radio frequency) are we talking about?

Cell phones transmit up to 1.7 watts of power.

Cordless phones transmit as much and possibly more than a cell phone.  The interesting aspect of this is there is this DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications) technology that has been around for a little while now.  They sell it as a plus but European studies have shown this might be more hazardous to your health than its predecessor.

The base of this technology is transmitting full power all the time whether your phone is in use or not. If the base is next to your bed or on your desk you are constantly bombarded with 5.4 GHz or at the least 2.4 GHz of radiated power in the form of RF.

Move it away from your body.

Why am I writing about this?

Ever since the first cell phones came out I wondered what they were doing and why.  These phones are always talking to the cell towers announcing their availability and telling them where they are while checking in.  The phone was and is smart enough to adjust its power level depending upon what is needed to communicate with the tower effectively.  The reasons are many but the main idea is to “talk” with one cell tower at a time.

My phone, even today will often time be warm in my pocket, or just sitting on the desk.

While we really have no idea what a smartphone is doing all the time, you can bet if it is warm, it is transmitting something.

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I built this little device with a few diodes.  I will not belabor the technical aspects of this device other than to say it does not have any batteries.  These devices are passive in that the only way that they are energized would be by outside energy fields or EM (electromagnetic) forces.

I got the idea from the crystal radio of my youth.  Yes, I built one and housed it inside a pen casing.  With a single diode and a coil and very little know how I had a radio that would pick up local radio stations and never needed a battery.

Since my original device that I designed and built years ago, I found this version on the internet for a few dollars.

Setting this thing on top of my phone it soon became obvious that the cell phone is transmitting constantly.

  • Is it looking for data?
  • Is the phone talking to the tower?
  • Is the phone talking to my Wi-Fi network?

The answer is yes.  We really have no idea if the phone is doing anything else in the (tin foil hat category).

Now with 1.7 watts of RF at 2GHz, give or take, right next to your ear hole, one has to wonder if that is healthy.

Out of curiosity, I moved my device around the phone to discover that the most of the radiation or highest amounts come out of the phone right by the earpiece.  Why?

Knowing RF and the possible link to brain tumors, lymphoma and other nasty things why would the engineers put the transmitting antenna where it would be closest to your head?

This is the iPhone 6S.

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My curiosity got the best of me so I checked my cordless phones.

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The light powered strictly by RF from the phone is very bright, right on the ear hole and down by the mouthpiece, the light, or power output is nonexistent.

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Imagine that your phone has enough RF power to illuminate an LED to full intensity and that energy is being pumped into your head right through your ear hole and of course next to your skull.

Tell me; why in the hell would you not put the antenna at the base of the phone where it would be furthest away from the body/brain?  The energy required to light the led dissipates with distance.  Logic would dictate that the less energy radiated close to your brain would be a good thing.

The pictures speak for themselves but now you know what you are looking at.

What can we do?

First off, we should ask the government for our money back that they paid for these studies.  One would think that if they can come up with SAR (specific absorption rate) and what is safe that just maybe they might have said, “you know, you phone makers should place the transmitter/antenna away from their brains.”

It is kind of like that commercial where the bank is being robbed and the guard says, “Oh I am not a guard, just a monitor… you are being robbed.”  What good is the FCC if they cannot think outside the box? The government, which they are part of, is to protect its citizens from faulty designs, much like the Corvair of the 60’s.  Where is Ralph Nader these days?

It is amazing to me that they did scientific studies to figure out how much tissue would cook or be damaged by rf.  Then they came up with the acronym SAR and finally did nothing more about it.  “Look for a phone with a low SAR rating.”  Are there labels, using this phone can cause brain cancer?”

What is so germane about 2.4 GHz and why am I sounding a little stressed about this?

That box in your kitchen that burns popcorn so nicely happens to work in that same frequency range.

Since there are millions of microwave ovens out there the FCC put broadband Wi-Fi, cordless phones, and many other unlicensed transmitters that the public uses in that same frequency range as the microwave oven.   Part of your license on each piece of equipment reads something to the effect that this device must accept and deal with  RFI or radiofrequency interference.

How does the microwave oven work and what does that have to do with my phone?

Microwave energy excites the molecules in stuff causing them to move faster.  Much like rubbing your hands together you get friction which causes heat.  That is how a microwave heats your lean cuisine dinner or left-overs from Sunday Brunch.  Yes it uses more power but I ask you, would you stick your head in your microwave to see how long it takes to fry your brains?  Consider the cell phone or cordless phone like a microwave crock pot, it might take longer but eventually, something is bound to be heated up.

Just for you people who think that I am a tin foil hat kind of person think of this one. 

How many of our urchins you call grade schoolers now have the very latest iPhone sticking out of the back pocket.  A trip to any mall will answer this question.  Even if it is a hand me down generation 5, it puts out all sorts of power right next to that thinner more malleable skull and younger more tender, still forming brain tissue.

Then there is this whole blood brain barrier thing that doctors talk about.  Does it really seem like a wise idea to put that kind of power that close to those newly formed brain cells?  They are future tax payers you know. Wink wink…

Possibly one of them will say, “someone should really put the transmitter in the base of this thing away from my brain.” Will it take a child to figure this out?  Maybe a riot on the Berkly campus to get the attention of corporate america who might tend to overlook such things.

I know, I am gettin my tin foil out… 

With telecommunications being a multi-trillion dollar industry it is no wonder that this is overlooked.  Much like the back scatter x-ray porn scanners at the airport which virtually strip search you, there is a greater good.  Bombarding our bodies with ionizing radiation is not harmful as long as the government says that it is ok. (sarcasm)

Calling attention to it might cost Nokia or Apple or Panasonic a few dollars.  What is the big deal about a few brain tumors, “can you hear me now?”

Since industry will probably not respond, how can you protect yourself?

Blue Tooth technology also uses RF in the same 2.4 GHz range but the power is very low.  A class one transmitter uses about 1mw or Millie Watt.  There is a newer headset that wraps around your neck with the earpiece extending from them.  That would put the blue tooth transceiver around your neck away from your brain.

Try to always use a headset or speakerphone, and if they still have them, a corded phone.

Use e-mail or text and by all means try talking to people face to face.  I know that is a radical concept but, I don’t think you are in danger of getting exposed to radiation that way.

About the device…

While the original crystal radio of my day used a 1N34 germanium diode this device uses nine 1SS86 diodes one tied to the other with an LED as one of the diodes.  The legs are purposefully left long like that as they act as the antenna to capture any energy that might be present.

If you are creative you could make it look like a bug with a tail and a head that glowed.  Just a thought.

I am not claiming to be an expert on any of this.  Just a person who thinks common sense is in limited supply.  These days we too readily accept that which is, without asking why.  Ask Why!

Cheers!

Scott

 

Pioneer deceleration problem, My take. #space #time

Pioneer deceleration problem, My take. #space #time

 

In 1992, we launched Pioneer 10, which is leaving the solar system.  As it reaches further away from the sun, it has begun to decelerate.

Scientists believe to have discovered the solution.  They are proposing that particles leaving the spacecraft as heat are pushing against the forward momentum of the craft slowing it.

“I beg to differ.”

Using the good old formula F=MA, that simply does not seem to add up.

I read about this anomaly years ago and have noodled the issue for, well years.

 

Time is not a constant.

We here on earth think of time as purely a linear progression that we measure with clocks, watches, and calendars.

For years we have all seen the model of the solar system on a green grid with the sun, planets and other bodies all warping the fabric of space as they “fall” in their respective orbits.

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Picture the solar system not on a horizontal plane but inside a bubble.  Maybe it is an oblong bubble and not a perfect sphere but a bubble never the less.

Now picture the other things inside that solar system in their respective bubbles, each creating a bubble that is respective of its mass.

That bubble is warped space.  Its intensity of warpage is directly proportional to the amount of gravity.

When we see these huge storms on the sun that go on for days, or the Magellanic Clouds that seem to be frozen in time, this is our first clue that time is not a constant.

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If we could build a craft that could tolerate the heat of the sun and orbit it much closer to the sun, I also suspect that the storms on the sun would happen at an accelerated rate.  That craft would be in a different “local time.”

 

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Pick this handy little gadget up at Think Geek!

 

 

 

Much like traveling through the country we pass time zones and date zones.  If you hopped in your faster than lightspeed spaceship with your version of the flux capacitor and left to see the Horsehead Nebula, when you got there, it would not be there.

Leaving your “local time” heading outside of the solar system would put you into another time zone.  Instead of being based on some ancient 60 seconds to the minute, the next “bubble might be 75 seconds to the minute.”

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Traveling between the Bubbles in that area of empty space, where gravity does not play a role might very well find you traversing the distance in “no time,” as there is nothing there to create the bubble!

Pioneer 10 and 11 are slowing because they are reaching the end of this bubble and entering into another local time.  Once outside the bubble of the Milky Way, I suspect it will speed up significantly.

Where the demarcation point of that bubble is, is truly a mystery.

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This postulation can be proved or disproved with a simple test.

As the spacecraft get further away, does the bit rate of the telemetry change at all, even in the slightest?

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The bit rate should not change with distance, only time!

I am a science fiction writer.  I don’t pretend to understand the books of math that these scientists do.  Because I don’t constrain my thought process to what I can find a formula for, I can think outside the box.

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The postulations no matter how preposterous they may seem to the scientific community, I claim them as mine and hold that copyright.

They may very well find themselves in one of my next novels which is possibly the only place that they belong.

-Best

© All Rights Reserved 2016

 

Am Radio kit from China

Am Radio kit from China

Cheap Chinese Radio Kit

As a radio enthusiast from way, back I thought that it might be fun to build a radio from a kit.

A quick search of eBay turned up a simple six transistor kit for less than $10.

I was interested in a kit that was as close to the radio’s we had in the 1960’s which would leave out anything with integrated circuits.

Ordering the kit it was about 3 weeks  before it arrived and another 2 months before I opened it.

 

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Radio kit from China
Not wild about the color of the case nor the front plate, but this is a kit, not a work of art; right?

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notice the 2 transistor places marked v4

The board looks pretty straight forward.

Problem 1… the instruction are all in Mandarin.

T2, T3 and T4 Are not interchangeable.

 

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Parts list for AM Radio
Those character by the purple blotch are the designations of which are which.

On another part of the document is a chart for the resisitor color code.  Since I know what it is I can work it backwards and figure out what the colors should be.

 

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There you go…the primer as it were. BBROYGBVGW 
Now working this backward…The IF cans were identified.

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T5 is the audio output transformer and it too has a key.  Notice the white dot on the board and the slightly raised up bump on the housing of the transformer.

The rest of this was simply to populate the board correctly and see if you guessed right.

 

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board before final parts installation.
I noticed on the circuit board that there were traces that were not completed for some reason.  If I could read Mandarin I am guessing that possibly those are stages at which you could do tests before completing the entire circuit.

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Notice the C and the D… There is also an A and a B which are not completed either.

 

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Over to the left of the board you can see two of the incomplete circuit paths.

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This is why the kit is so inexpensive.
If you look carefully at the parts layout you will notice that V4 and V5 should really be V5 and V 6 as there are two V4’s wich in our nomenclature would be Q4,5 and 6.

So not only are the instructions worthless to those who cannot interpret Mandarine the printing is flawed.

 

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Schematic showing amplifier. 
My review and guess of this “kit” is that someone bought a bunch of them because they were dirt cheap as the printing was flawed.

The kit does not use a detector diode which causes it to lack sensitivity.  My guess is that they are using the driver Transistor as part of the detector as well.

Since these are silicon transistors and not germanium that too hinders the performance as a detector.

Once built you must insert a 455Khz signal with the variable capacitor open and tune the black If can for maximum sound output.

Using a non-metallic tuning tool you can then tune for your radio stations.  The two adjustments on the back of the variable cap work in conjunction with the oscillator and the last IF can to set the stations on the dial accordingly.

Even though this kit was cheap, unless you have some pretty good radio savvy, I would take a pass.

As an FYI the speaker is very tinny sounding.

I took a short video of it working but, the video type is not compliant with WordPress.  Sorry about that.

-Best

(c) All rights Reserved 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gesundheit

Gesundheit

Gesundheit

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Yep, that tree is sending out its pollen…

This time of year, watering eyes, plugged up noses can be the start of something much worse if not taken care of properly.

Checking your pollen counts for your area when this happens is critical to know what it is that is effecting you.

 

“Why?” You Asked.

Avoidance things that you are allergic to, is your first line of defense from becoming ill.

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Is it any wonder why this thing bothers your sinuses? 

Juniper is one of the triggers that affect many.  The pollen from this plant causes the sinuses to become inflamed or agitated which in turn causes them to react, in this case, create mucus in order to wash away the offending irritant.

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The sinus tissues becomes inflamed and swells, thus trapping that mucus allowing bacteria to find a nice moist place to grow and thrive.  Once of course you have bacteria take hold, you now have a sinus infection.

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The more disconcerting problem with this is; “why the hell do people plant this plant?” Yes, the plant has a pleasant appearance and stays green all year round.

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Oh, look how pretty….NOT!

From late September to April this thing sends pollen out onto the winds which affect many.

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Older folks or people who already have respiratory concerns can become ill with these triggers which could actually lead to pneumonia and death.

“You can’t fix stupidity.”

Juniper plants grow all over the US so avoiding them may be a tough call.  There are parts of the country with higher levels of pollen than others however.  Living near the ocean where onshore breezes from the salt air is probably why so many live so long in Florida.  Respiratory illness is one of the leading causes of death.Juniperus

 

If you have ever looked up at the moon and seen this…that is pollen causing it and you can bet it is Juniper…

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Pollen halo

 

Manage the symptoms.

Talk with your Pulmonologist about your condition.

If you have not already done so, speak with an allergist and see if you are a candidate for immunotherapy.

When you start to sneeze, that is the time to get serious about your regimen to stay healthy.

Prophylactically attack the problem head on with everything in your arsenal from Nasal irrigation to anti histamines.     Nose sprays with steroids in them are also a good idea.  Keeping the swelling of the sinus tissues at bay will allow the mucus to actually wash the surface of the tissue and be expelled as they was designed to do.

While Allegra and Benadryl are over the counter, these too should be part of your arsenal if your doctor agrees with this.

What you take must be ok with your doctor, as your other meds may interact with it; or your particular health may not afford you the luxury of taking things such as this.

The idea is to avoid that which triggers your allergies.

Manage the symptoms

Go see your doctor before it gets too bad.  Once it turns into an infection, a course of anti-biotics may be needed which we use way too liberally in this country.  Bacteria will become resistant to them and then stronger and stronger antibiotics will be needed.  These not only kill the offending bacteria but, the good bacteria that lives in us all.

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Once these take hold…you may need the big guns to get rid of them.

Like brushing your teeth is a daily regime; I would take your sinus health just as seriously.  If you decide to do some landscaping around your house, I would not plant cedar juniper plants just because these things are vile when it comes to health.

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Find something else….

-Best

Trust and Lies

Trust and Lies

Trust and Lies

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History is replete with people who prevaricate to the masses.  The masses are complicit as they are either too lazy to read history or fail to remember history, or cannot or don’t want to accept the truth.  The allure of a lie is better than the cold hard ugly facts otherwise known as truth.

Today the French President was hailed for using a small hammer to symbolize an agreement to a new treaty with 200 nations that would supposedly bring global warming down two (2) degrees Celsius or 3.6F.

I am not going to debate the Al Gore trumped up money making schemes of “global warming” but, I am certain that today he is celebrating as his campaign contributions are now going to pay off in the form of Carbon Credits.

Lies of the 70’s

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I remember long extended lines to buy gas as there was this shortage.  We are running out of Fossil fuel and there was a shortage of gas. Prices climbed from .50 cents to about a dollar to $1.32.  As soon as the prices made it to the level that OPEC and other oil producing countries agreed upon, oil started to flow once again.  During this time of turmoil, tankers ran aground spilling their precious cargo.  Several tankers who had successfully navigated the pond for years were suddenly running aground.  Why?

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The oil shortage was a lie…   I suspect that tankers were parked off shore holding their cargo to create the shortage.  They parked in areas that they did not normally traverse thus hitting things under the water as storms pushed them one way or another…

The ozone layer going away was the next in a series of lies to make more money.

The common most abundant sources of Freon were suddenly a hazard to the ozone layer.  $1.25 would get you a small can of Freon that you yourself could put into your car to juice up the air-conditioner.  Most manufacturers put a site glass on top of the dryer (part of the AC Unit under the hood) that you could visually see if you needed Freon.  If there were air bubbles in it, with it working, you simply hooked a can up to low pressure side and allowed the gas to go from the can to the AC unit.

Today we have gasses that have replaced them which are not as efficient, work at much higher pressures and … the compressors and coils don’t hold up as well, the failure rate is higher.

DuPont and others, now sell these precious gasses at much higher cost.  The coils and compressor manufactures make much more money as they sell you replacement components, and new systems at a much more frequent rate, as the higher pressures cause failures at a higher rate.

So, you say that there is a hole over the north and South Pole where ozone is thinner…Thus all of the CFC’s  that come from refrigerants and aerosol cans are to blame…

Let me make this short and sweet for you…

Ozone or O3 is created by some form of energy causing an extra molecule to stick to O2..Oxygen.  When this happens we have O3…ozone.  The air o2 rushing up towards the sun uses infrared light…from the sun to cause molecules to bond, O3. Lightening and other electrical discharges also create O3.

Why the ozone holes in the layer over the poles… Lack of strong UV energy over the poles as the earth is tilted… That is why it is cold at the poles…

We breathe in O2 and change it to carbon dioxide Co2 which the plants use to create O2.

Well what about these CFS that are destroying the Ozone…

CFC’s are about 5 times heavier than O3 and O2… lead does not float.  CFC’s have never been found that high as they don’t float.  We were lied to for pecuniary interests…another government bought and paid for by special interests.

The Washington Cartel was bought and paid for once again.

Other products were affected as well as prices went from a dollar $1 a can, to $15 a can for such things a solvents used in production.

Let there be light

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Under Bush, we decide to do away with the incandescent light bulb, as they are simply too costly to run.  4 for a $1 bulbs but no…must make more money…

There is actually precedence for finding less expensive sources of light but…CFL bulbs are not the answer.

CFL bulbs contain mercury which is a toxic heavy metal.  If you break one of these bulbs there is this whole elaborate cleanup procedure. If you throw the dead ones in the trash you are putting mercury into the landfills which was tied to another lie regarding, doing away with mercury batteries.

These bulbs cannot go into applications with dimmers until they redesign the circuit to work with them.

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They are a fire hazard and they don’t last as advertised.  They should not be used in any application where once turned on, that they are turned off within 15 minutes or less, as that will shorten their life.

“That leaves out closets and bathrooms or any other type of task light.”

LED Bulbs are making inroads but these are still way too expensive and if you try and do the cost justification, it does not exists unless you are a store operator or some sort of shop that uses lights for hours at a time.

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The shrinking ice packs are in fact growing.  The earth goes through cycles of warmth and cold and I suspect follows the eleven (11) year cycle of the sun which is now in an active state.

The global warming nuts cannot explain the increase in ice so they are still looking for the gloom and doom.

We have much more pressing issues in this world other than global warming.  The earth has come back from the brink of extinction many times over and I suspect like fleas on the back of a dog…we too will one day either do ourselves in with our hubris or stupidity and the earth will shake off the dead bodies and something new will appear or evolve out of our leavings.

If I were the president, I would be more concerned about alleviating the pressure from underneath Yellowstone’s volcano, which will affect all life on the planet when it goes off.  Notice that I did not say if…it will go off, and then all of these global warming kooks will scratch their head, or ass; which is probably interchangeable as the earth enters into an ice age.  Whoever does not die as a direct result of the explosion will either perish at the hands of their neighbors, or starve to death.  Some will survive but the world will be a different place for years to come.   

As the jet stream carries the ash around the globe depending upon the amount released from this “super volcano” The earth may not be suitable for growing food for decades.

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I would invest resources in searching for life ending events in space as well as ways to change their trajectories and, I would of course provide for the common defense of this country which they seem to be ignoring as work place violence or too many guns! 

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Unless you can get all of the countries/governments on board with this climate and deforestation thing, (the two go hand in hand)  you are changing the global landscape of economics by pressuring companies to take their businesses where taxes and global warming nuts are simply not paid attention to.

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Enter a caption

Their air pollution is believed to kill 350K to 500K people per year.

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(FILES) This picture taken 18 July 2006 shows cyclists passing through thick pollution from a factory in Yutian, 100km east of Beijing in China’s northwest Hebei province. China has no plans to radically change its reliance on coal and other dirty fuels despite already feeling the impacts of global warming, a leading Chinese meteorologist said 06 February 2007. In the first official Chinese response to a stark UN report issued last week on climate change, Qin Dahe said China lacked the technology and financial resources for a wholesale conversion to cleaner energy sources. AFP PHOTO/Peter PARKS/FILES (Photo credit should read PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images)
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Your smart phone comes from here…

This administration seems more interested in paying back those that put forth campaign funding, securing future funding for more politicians and the liberal socialistic agenda.

We dissolved any hope of the Keystone pipeline while a train that has a huge carbon footprint carries the oil from Canada to the Gulf… The train of course, is owned indirectly by one of the democrat’s largest funders or donators.

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This July 8, 2013 file photo provided by Surete du Quebec via the Canadian Press, shows wrecked oil tankers and debris from a runaway train in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, Canada. U.S. transportation officials say the oil industry is not giving up needed information needed to gauge the danger of moving crude by rail. Several oil train accidents, including one in Quebec, have highlighted the explosive properties of crude coming from booming oil shale fields on the Northern Plains. (AP Photo/Surete du Quebec, via The Canadian Press, file) ORG XMIT: LA102

 

Our president is just fine with this as we don’t need to do things safely and more efficiently….

Washington elites need to go away…all of them… We need serious people, that love the country and you and I, who are looking out for “us the people….”  Not their legacy or their benefactors…

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The announcement at the global warming conference I am certain is a farce, and will be spun politically to make republicans look bad, and most assuredly will cost the citizens as they will have to pay for all of the upgrades and lack of fossil fuels.  They will be the ones to watch factories moved over to countries that take no part in such folly, as this will further restrict and make more costly business ventures in this country.  This will adversely affect our economy, even more greatly than the health care law which saw the demise of the American dream. More and more companies are working many part-time employees with few or no benefits and crappy salaries to avoid Obamacare.  The employee than is forced into two part time jobs to make ends meet and oh yes, purchase their own health care or be fined.

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An activist hold a poster during a demonstration near the Eiffel Tower, in Paris, Saturday, Dec.12, 2015 during the COP21, the United Nations Climate Change Conference. As organizers of the Paris climate talks presented what they hope is a final draft of the accord, protesters from environmental and human rights groups gather to call attention to populations threatened by rising seas and increasing droughts and floods. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

So we can all get together and sing Kumbia and ignore the JV team…

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Once we fix global warming and find jobs for these folks they will know the love and all will be just fine…

We are being sent into battle with no weapons, our hands tied behind our backs and blindfolded by an administration that is either delusional, stupid … or bought and paid for by special interests.  I would surmise that it is a combination of the three.

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There is a pattern, a history of lies and I have pointed out a very few…. Watch something besides “Two Broke Girls or Modern Family…and you might accidentally learn something.

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-Best

© Timedok 2015

 

Vintage Radio’s

Vintage Radio’s

  • How about a post that has nothing political in it?
  • How about a post that is instructional and interesting?
  • Think I can do it?

Me personally, sometimes I feel like someone is going to have to develop a twelve step program to break the addiction of collecting and repairing these things.  Truth be known some of these are highly collectable and some are well, just not.

I am guessing that if one saves them long enough the radios that are not collectable today will be at some point in the future.

To that end, I collect those that are “collectible” today as well as radio’s that are unique or sought after for some reason ie the Owl Radio from Clash of the Titans.

Owl Radio from the 60's

More often than not I will purchase a collection of radio’s from different sources.  I might purchase the entire collection because one of the radio’s in that collection is collectable or I might get them because I need parts that I know they will render.

Radio from lot

The bottom line is the case must be intact.  It must look good with no cracks etc.  If it is busted all to hell it turns into a parts piece and devalued substantially.

Today I worked on a radio that was marketed to the US although it is typically marketed to the Russians.

Spica
Repaired, aligned and cleaned up….

Someone had worked on it sometime in the past as the slugs were all out of place.  I guess it is terribly irresistible to resist  putting a screwdriver in the transformers and trimmer caps, as I get more radio’s that have been tweaked, by someone with a screwdriver, instead of the proper alignment tool.

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Having said that this radio defies common logic, in that the wire colors that we come to expect over here in the states is backwards.  Red which normally denotes positive, was the negative lead and of course that made the black wire positive.

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When I first apply power to one of these radios I do so with a variable supply.  Turning the radio on first, then slowly increasing the voltage from 0 to whatever the voltage should be whether it be 3,6 or 9 volts or somewhere in between.  The trick is to have a power supply with an amp meter.

Most transistor radios draw very little current.  If you start to raise the voltage and the current starts to jump and maybe hold at 10 milliamps or so, check your polarity.

Bottom line is that after I figured out that the power leads are opposite of what one might expect the next thing needed was an alignment.

In most radio’s like this you start with injecting a signal at 455khz.  After tuning the proper transformer and trimmer cap for this, than I move on to tweaking the rest of them for maximum sensitivity at 1600, 55 and finally around 800khz.

The process takes less than a five minutes and when finished the radio is as good as new.

Most of these vintage electronics need new caps “electrolytic capacitors.”  Caps made in the day were expensive so the manufacturers used the minimums that they could get by with.   Tracing and/or injecting a signal one can usually tell which if any caps are bad, and within moments, have the audio back to where it should be.

Radio needing new caps.
Radio needing new caps.

Some of the newer capacitors on the market are NP or non-polarized!  Too often I pull out and old cap to find I did not remember which direction to install the new one as I need to keep the negative and positive leg in the correct holes.  With NP caps simply install them and move on.

I suggest that you take pictures before taking too much apart as without a print if a wire pops off, you can have a devil of a time figuring out where it went.

Six transistor radio’s are the most common and really all you need to pull in strong station and actually differentiate between the different stations without too much overlap.

Eight Transistor Radios have much better sensitivity and are able to differentiate strong stations from weak ones thus, you can have much better selectivity.  My favorite radio to actually keep batteries in are the 8 transistor variety.

Some manufacturer’s in the day found that they could use the PN junction as a diode but yet claim that they had 10, 12 or even 16 transistors!  The unknowing public equated that to the “jewels in a watch.”  The more the better and so they had a gimmick until some government agency clamped down on them.  If the transistor is being used as a diode it cannot be counted as a transistor.

Ross to name just one of the brands was one of the manufacturers that became famous for this tactic.

Shortly after Bell labs came out with the transistor Raytheon and a company named Idea came out with the first transistor radio.  It was know as the Regency TR-1.

regencyTR-1

regency_mod_TR1_schematic

These are highly collectible even today.  Around $100 might get you one that the case is basically in tact.

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This is a nice looking example of the TR-1

Before this portable radio’s were tube based and used two different batteries to play them.  One of the I believe was a high voltage battery known as the “B” battery, and one drove the filaments and I think it was 1.5 volts.

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I have a few of these but, with no availability of the B battery, I think that other than something to sit on a shelf; it is a waste of time and energy to collect.  Your mileage may vary…

If I get enough interest I might post more radio stuff in the future as I work on many of these and it is a hobby.

See, no political rhetoric on this post, I can do it!  🙂

-Best and 73

© All Rights Reserved

Repairable light bulbs?

Repairable light bulbs?

LED Bulb
Premature failed LED bulb
As an electronics guy, when something fails I like to figure out what failed and then why.

When lights fail, well they just fail!

Not so much with the CFL or LED variety.

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LED bulb with clear dome etched by some sort of out gassing from something.
Today I want to examine this bulb, an LED bulb that did not last the advertised amount of time by any stretch of the imagination.

The first thing to notice that there was some sort of out-gassing during its use which adhered to the inside of the plastic dome and actually etched the plastic in such a way that it is no longer translucent but rather opaque even after I cleaned it with 409.

The reason I pulled it apart is that it became dim.

Failed LED
Here you can see the electronics of the LED bulb and possibly you can see the loose leg of the electrolytic capacitor.
After disassembling it, I found that the electrolytic capacitor had become un-soldered on one of its legs.

Re-soldering it and re-assembling it, the bulb became bright again for about a minute until it flickered and quit.

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Bulb working after repair

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Same bulb flickering before second failure
Removing and testing the capacitors they were both in tolerance and I suspect OK.

LED Bulb
Testing electrolytic cap,
Checking the LED’s one by one, I found one that was dead.  As I tested each with a DVM the good LEDS would slightly illuminate.  98% of these when biased correctly would illuminate properly.  One of them was much dimmer than the rest, and one of them would not light at all.

Failed LED bulb
Dead LED at the end of my thumb
If I were of the mind to, I could replace the dead LED and the dim LED and I would guess I would obtain more hours of life out of the collective bunch of LED’s

LED lights being in series to me says that when one fails, the light is dead and trashed.  Much like that lousy string of Christmas lights that are a real bugger to keep going.

Dead LED
Dead bulb from another angle

Failed LED
IF you look carefully you can see some brown substance near the end of the last LED, I think that is the chemical that is responsible for the out-gassing and subsequent pitting of the plastic dome.

  • Does it make financial sense to “repair” light bulbs?
  • Will dead LED bulbs fill the garbage dumps with the same frequency of regular light bulbs or CFL bulbs?
  • The good news about LED bulbs is that there is no lead in the solder as it is Tin.

I would be interested in knowing what actually out-gassed from the light during its use?

What actually pitted or etched the plastic?

Looking closely you will see what looks like flux, that suggest that there is heat generated with use.

Failed LED
Here is a closer look at the dead LED and the brown substance.
I am thinking about holding on to this bulb and when another like it fails, making one out of two, just because.  Is my time worth more than this, of course it is!  Does this interest me enough to prove a point? Yes.  

While LED bulbs will save you cost in operation, will that cost be offset by the cost and reliability of the bulb?  Even though there is a warranty on these bulbs as well as CFL bulbs, do you know anyone that puts a date on them when installed and then keeps up with the sales slip in case they don’t last the warranty?
I don’t think that you can prove much, and it would really be up to the benevolence of the store where you purchased them from to replace your product..

-Best

(c) All rights Reserved 2015

RATS and Right to Privacy

RATS and Right to Privacy

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While some may find them cute and cuddly, and some, absolutely disgusting; this rat that I am speaking of is neither.

The rat that I want to educate about is really an acronym for Remote Access Trojan.

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Just about everything electronic today has a built in camera.  Not to mention a microphone.

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Some smart TV’s actually have them built in to allow you to voice command the TV.

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Your car may very well have something like this built in.

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I have long held that our government could if they wanted, under some obscure interpretation of the Patriot Act, access your camera and or microphone to peek into your home.  I have also thought that this could be done with the microphone and camera on most laptops and of course desktops that have them.

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Not only is there news of the Feds hacking your cell phones and either listening in or downloading your contact list and other information through something called String Ray but there are theories that your local police may be doing this as well without a warrant!  (1)

sting ray

It is not enough that we may have our government spying on us without warrant but, we have Trojans that copy your keystrokes and send them to some server in Russia, or some other obscure third world country looking for passwords and banking information now we have RATS.

Today we know that perverted individuals out there have in fact used the cameras in laptops handed out by the school to indeed spy on kids in their bedrooms.  While this made the news, little attention was really paid to this, as conspiracy nuts are everywhere.

SCHOOL-SPYING

(2) The Case in question

We now know that the Chinese among others have created Trojans that allow them remote access to your camera and or microphone in your laptop!  Simply click on the wrong thing and the writer of the software has access to your machine.

One couple received a picture of themselves lying in bed watching a movie on Netflix.  This came to them from someone using a made up name, via their Facebook page.

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(3) Naked Security Story

You really have to be smart when you are cruising the internet and checking e-mail as the crooks and other creeps are smarter.  I have often said that these folks are probably kids sitting around in their mother’s basement in their underwear, writing Trojans, seeing who can outdo the other via groups like Anonymous.

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I would like to see devices like phones have an actual on off switch or removable customer replaceable battery.  If you want to make certain that the thing is off, remove the power.  Apple has made this task about impossible for the everyday user and that is problematic.  Placing the device in airplane mode might be your closest bet to protecting your privacy but I would bet that there is a work around for that.

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I would also like to see on off switches on cameras and microphones that absolutely can be switched off until required.

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The simple truth is we have no idea what these phones are doing in the background and with viruses and Trojans, we have no idea when some remote access Trojan will activate or be activated by some creep in some basement somewhere.

Someone write an app that tells you what the phone is dong or has done.  

When you sit back and think that I am a crazy conspiracy nut, I would remind you of the porn scanners that are still in use at some airports today. 

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Yes, if you invert the negative with any cheap software you get a positive…

Who in their right mind would think that it is ok to use ionizing radiation to undress the public by the tens of thousands for the purpose of what, looking for weapons?  We are so politically correct that we can’t profile but we can strip search the public, grope grandma and feel up children!  Political Correctness is a way to control the masses and not something that we should be doing as a people.  We have free speech, and other than yelling fire in a theater or threatening to kill someone, I would not surrender the first amendment for anything!

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Did you read about the whistle blower who worked for the TSA and admitted that it was a big joke to watch people stripped of their clothing and then make remarks and jokes about what they saw? (4) (5)

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If I could have any job in the world, currently it would be to be in some position of authority at the TSA! I would love to clean that bunch of people up and while I am at it, assist them with security as currently they are loath to do much right, of course it is the government so …. What do you expect?!  They need folks who think outside the box and currently they have a bunch of automatons.

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The news media commonly carried stories about the TSA scanner as equivalent to being at altitude for a couple of hours.  The lying bastards however did not tell the truth.  While pilots do suffer more cases of skin cancers than non-pilots as cosmic radiation is more intense at altitude, it is not the same as ionizing radiation.  

To further exacerbate the privacy issue you are undoubtedly aware that cameras are everywhere.  You must assume that wherever you are, or whatever you are doing, there may be a camera watching you. Every red light contains cameras that I maintain can and do look at people in cars collecting bio metric data, looking for who is doing what when.  These are not the low end cameras that you can buy on-line, these are high end cameras that have good quality optics.

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How about some of these cameras:

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There is a wifi enabled camera in there. Have you seen these in your hotel room perhaps?

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These are just a scant few.  These things are tiny and easily concealed. Assume that you have no privacy.  If you scratch it in public, chances are someone saw you.

DAKS - IDIS DirectIP surveillance images

Orwell was ahead of his time, and you my friends need to be aware of this, and act accordingly.

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(1) http://thehackernews.com/2015/04/police-spying-cell-phones.html

(2) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robbins_v._Lower_Merion_School_District

(3) https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2015/08/14/webcam-spy-sends-couple-photos-of-previous-nights-netflix-snuggle-session/

(4) http://mountainrepublic.net/2012/12/24/ex-tsa-screener-officers-laughing-at-your-naked-image/

(5) https://takingsenseaway.wordpress.com/2012/12/19/letter-from-a-passenger-what-really-happens-in-the-tsa-private-room/

-Best

© All Rights Reserved 2015

Cancer, the final frontier…

Cancer, the final frontier…

Cancer, the final frontier…

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As a young person I was fascinated by the movie Fantastic Voyage which was released in 1966 as a medical Sci-Fi.  The people of the day had some great imaginations.

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As I age, I know too many people with cancer of some sort.

Working in Houston Texas for some time, I spent 15 years in the Texas Medical Center working with all sorts of Doctors and other health care professionals, from many different specialties.

The Texas Medical Center photographed on Thursday, May 23, 2013, in Houston. Texas Children's Hospital is in the foreground.  ( Smiley N. Pool / Houston Chronicle )
The Texas Medical Center photographed on Thursday, May 23, 2013, in Houston. Texas Children’s Hospital is in the foreground. ( Smiley N. Pool / Houston Chronicle )
Some things I witnessed, still haunt me in my dreams; and that was some time ago.   Occasionally something will stir a vison or a memory from some rogue smell which, will catapult me back to those days of working in the bowels of the medical center, and different hospitals.

Still yet, some things which are puzzling; stay just below the surface of my conscious while I am supposedly there at dinner with friends or watching something on TV or even reading a book, or writing this  as I am now, some puzzles are “back ground tasking.”

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This morning I was reading about a friend of mine going through cancer treatment when it hit me, most likely we all have cancer cells running around our body.

Cancer cells and “oncologist correct me if I am mistaken” are nothing more than cells that have mutated via an error in the genetic instructions either given to it or, it mis-understood them and erroneously created a cell that is flawed in some way.

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When we hear of a cancer we hear of it like “they had cancer of the X.”  Fill in the blanks with whatever was effected by the cancer whether it be the breast or prostate or brain or what have you.

The problem with cancer is that we don’t detect it until it has made millions of cells that are duplicates of screwed up cells.  The millions of cells turn in to what we know as tumors which are really nothing more than globs of screwed up cells that don’t know how to assimilate into the body so they form a tumor.

Stages_of_CRCancer_small

What causes this mis-communication between cells can be blamed on many things from smoking to cosmic radiation.

Cancer needs to be addressed at the genetic level and for that we must necessarily understand the genome in its entirety. Once we understand what each little bit of the genome does we can look for errant cells and target them with something like a virus, yes a manmade virus that looks for specific types of cells and kills them.

genome_iStock

That technology is in our future but I believe that is where we need to go to stop cancer and other diseases like aids and even the common cold.

My issue with this frankly is our technology always seems to outpace our humanity.

by Snoron.com
by Snoron.com
While some doctors in some lab are thinking that they are saving the world, some military minded megalomaniac wants to know how it can be used as a weapon.

This ought to make the generals feel happy...
This ought to make the generals feel happy…
Can we make a virus that only effects the blood type of a certain people or animal or pick your target.

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Maybe you want to create a herbicide that only kills a certain plant so you modify this virus to attack the cells or genetics of that particular plant.

The problem is of course that these things mutate and thus are unstable, and thus on the loose can wreak havoc much like the plague or other flu related pandemics of our history.  Ebola is one such virus that needs no introduction. Any virus created must contain an expiration date.  It must die on its own accord and must be stable.

The cure for cancer and other such diseases I firmly believe will be created in a lab by someone who thinks outside the box.

Most probable this cure will take lives before it cures them, much like radiation took so many lives before it played a part in curing them.

curie

Understanding the genome will open the doors for many opportunities.  Stop the aging process and allow people to live really long times.  Is that a good thing?  I am not certain.

Arrest diseases which currently ravage our humanity in ways that we live with currently but; in decades to come some historian will write: can you believe that people died of things like the flue?  How backward!

Friends, some of us are indeed backwards.  Those that would seek to weaponized things like the “genome” are backwards.

Those that think that they are somehow special and better than others to the degree of wishing others harm, are backwards.

Great care needs to be applied when exploring the virus that will end up being a cure for such things as all living things on this planet share parts of the genome.

When we understand it, we will see that parts of the human genome contain things that are found in other animals and even the plants.

You can use this argument for evolution or God and creation.  I could argue it either way.  I tend to believe that there is intelligence in the design of everything that we see so, the scientist in me believes that there is a creator of all things; and we simply don’t understand or comprehend why….

“Cancer the final frontier” is really a misnomer but, it is the beginning of, and the driving force for what will end up either being the salvation of man on this planet, or its demise.

-Best

© All Rights Reserved 2015

http://www.guard-protect.com