Rice Cookers: They Do it with a Magnet!

Back in May, 2018, we had a post here about rice cookers.  That was about a very high-end unit, but the bottom of the line products often used a remarkably clever means to cook perfect rice every time, regardless of variables such as the kind of rice, altitude, initial temperature of the water, and the exact quantities of rice and water (within reasonable limits) put into the cooker.  Here is a Technology Connections video about how they did it.

... [Read More]

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Champion Barr

I have great hope for Attorney General William P. Barr. He has staked out a position and seems to be marshaling the needed forces to hold that position. He clearly must be making them sweat, because the Resistance attacks on him are getting longer and more unhinged. The latest example is a very long hit piece that is the main feature in the New Yorker.

This latest hatchet job is by David Rohde. I do not recommend that you read it. I will supply a link in a comment.

Instead, read the take-down by Mollie. She rips it to pieces, not by defending Barr, whose defense she leaves to others. No, Mollie goes to work on turf that she owns. Her counterattack on BarrÔÇÖs behalf is based on journalistic malpractice.

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Swiss Army Knife on wheels!

As some of you know, one of my hobbies is model railroading. In following up on that I belong to a few Facebook groups that are in that vein. One is a group called “Switchers and Critters”. Switchers, (in England and a few other places called shunters), are small engines that are used to sort out the rail cars at a railroad yard, to organize them into trains in the order that they may be dropped off. The other, Critters, are a mixed breed, some are shop built, railroad shop that is, for specific purposes or uses. Some are rare special purpose bought by a railroad. In that group I found this “Critter”. With a tip of the Hat to John, I present a Swiss Army Knife on wheels! Seriously this is a vehicle used for maintenance on the Swiss Federal Railway.

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TOTD 2020-1-7: The Year of the Rat

How is that for advertising! We got a whole year named after us. 2020 is the Year of the Rat. We even got these other years named after us. 

Start date End date Heavenly branch
11 February 1804 30 January 1805 Wood Rat
23 January 1816 16 January 1817 Fire Rat
14 February 1828 3 January 1829 Earth Rat
2 February 1840 22 January 1841 Metal Rat
20 February 1852 3 February 1853 Water Rat
8 February 1864 26 January 1865 Wood Rat
26 January 1876 12 February 1877 Fire Rat
12 February 1888 30 January 1889 Earth Rat
31 January 1900 18 February 1901 Metal Rat
18 February 1912 5 February 1913 Water Rat
5 February 1924 23 January 1925 Wood Rat
24 January 1936 10 February 1937 Fire Rat
10 February 1948 28 January 1949 Earth Rat
28 January 1960 14 February 1961 Metal Rat
15 February 1972 2 February 1973 Water Rat
2 February 1984 19 February 1985 Wood Rat
19 February 1996 6 February 1997 Fire Rat
7 February 2008 25 January 2009 Earth Rat
25 January 2020 11 February 2021 Metal Rat
11 February 2032 30 January 2033 Water Rat
30 January 2044 16 February 2045 Wood Rat
15 February 2056 3 February 2057 Fire Rat
3 February 2068 22 January 2069 Earth Rat
22 January 2080 8 February 2081 Metal Rat
7 February 2092 26 January 2093 Water Rat

This is from the Chinese zodiac. It is a twelve year cycle. The next Rat Year will be 2032. (Of course the world will have ended by then.)... [Read More]

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The casino ruined my troubleshooting…

Long story somewhat shortened…

I “used to be” a darn good “investigative trouble shooter”, I looked at things from nearly every angle. Then I had to take a job at the casino. I had to fix things fast because a guest was waiting. Well It made me jump to conclusions rather than looking at things from every angle.... [Read┬áMore]

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TOTD CMAQ

Traffic signals can operate as a dumb clock. So many seconds of green in this direction, then a yellow clearance interval, then red for that direction while some number of seconds times down for green in the other direction. The engineer sets the times, and then turns it loose.

Old traffic signals in the 1950s operated that way. An electric motor turned a shaft, and on that shaft was a series of cams. Each cam was identified with a signal display. The cam was made with break-off ÔÇťears,ÔÇŁ so that, as the shaft turned, the cam only made contact with the lead for that display for a portion of the rotation of the shaft.... [Read┬áMore]

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Victor Davis Hanson: Why Trump Will Win Again in 2020

For a university professor emeritus, think tank fellow, writer for National Review, who is fluent in Greek and Latin, Victor Davis Hanson gets outside the bubble (What’s your score?┬á Mine is 26.) more than most conservative pundits.┬á In the January 2020 edition of the U.S. edition of The Spectator, he explains ÔÇťWhy Trump will win again in 2020ÔÇŁ.

My reasons for thinking Trump was going to be elected in 2016 were entirely unscientific. One of my Hoover Institution colleagues recently reminded me of my data-free, amateurish and bothersome predictions.... [Read More]

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Idlib

 

Half a million refugees are now fleeing to try to find safety after civilians were targeted by Syrian air strikes in areas held by the Turkish incursion.

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