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Noise Elimination

 

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

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

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Jonestown Mass Suicide: Blame California Democrats

 

A provocative headline, but true. Thanks to another Ricochet member for commemorating a day that should live in infamy, 18 November 1978, Jonestown 40 years ago yesterday. Secular-supremacists, from the first news of the mass suicide, with the horrific photographs published in major news magazines, sought to smear devout religious faith. The narrative was all about blind following of a cult leader. Yet, the true story of Jim Jones’s rise to power, and eventual movement of his devoted followers out of the United States, is inextricably tied to the modern California Democrat party.

Lest you discount this claim as a right-wing, conservative, Republican outrage, exploiting deaths of over 900 men, women, and children, here is what the San Francisco Chronicle has to say:

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Jim Acosted

 

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The Dangerous Beliefs of Non-Believers

 

One of progressivism’s many problems is that it doesn’t work. But I think a more serious problem is its tendency to dissociate its followers from reality. The abandonment of rational thought and deductive reasoning would appear to be a requirement for admission into the progressive club. Those untethered from rational thought tend to be guided largely by their emotions, and thus become more passionate about their beliefs, even if they don’t make a great deal of sense. Congressperson Ocasio-Cortez was asked recently how America could pay for “Medicare for All” (which somehow sounds less scary than “Socialized Medicine”). She answered incredulously, “We’d just pay for it.” She couldn’t believe someone could ask such a stupid question. Soon thereafter, she told an interviewer that she couldn’t afford an apartment in D.C. until she started getting her paychecks as a Congressperson. Some might find that odd:

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40 Years Ago Today

 

File:TuckermanRavine.MtWashington.NH.jpgI was sitting in the little snack bar in the base station of New Hampshire’s Mount Washington (a short mountain, comparatively speaking, but one which has its own set of challenges for climbers), prior to setting out on an expedition with Mr. She, “when our love was young,” as the saying goes, when a shocking newsflash came over the radio: Hundreds of people had died in an impossibly massive murder-suicide event in Jonestown, Guyana. It was one of those “Where were you when…?” moments. That’s where I was.

People were flabbergasted. Most of us had no idea what any of it was about. And as the bizarre and gory details came out over the next several days, the story just got stranger and sadder. By the time all the facts were known, over 900 people were dead, a US Congressman had been assassinated, and an ominous, and often flippant new phrase, “he drank the Kool-Aid,” had entered the English Language.

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How to Mess Up Your Child

 

Just tell them that they are not enough for you. Better yet: put it in their name, so they can never forget just how inadequate they really are. After all, if you are not good enough for your mother, then how can you be good enough for anyone else?

And she [Rachel] called his name Joseph, saying: ‘May the LORD add to me another son.’ (Gen. 30:24)

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The Myth of Bitcoin Disintermediation

 

I’m going to explain why the hype about both Bitcoin and blockchain is overblown, and then, at no extra charge, tell you what the real Next Big Thing is going to be in the world of computing.

But let me start with an admission against interest: I have a spotty track record as a prognosticator. I played with the internet before it was born, when it was something called NSFnet, and didn’t think it was going to be a big deal. I scoffed at the introduction of color displays on early personal computers, and thought moving video on a PC was pointless. (Certainly, I never intended to have use for such frills.)

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Male PE Teacher Ordered to Watch Girl Undress in Locker Room

 

You’re not having a nightmare. You’re living in a nightmare. Reality has been replaced with a dark, surreal, obscene, and in some cases demonic dream from which you can’t shake yourself awake. If you were skeptical that the warnings about decades-long post-modernist ideology should be taken seriously and just something that an overexcited psychology professor from Canada is getting too worked up about, then consider this sick story out of Florida:

Most parents would assume that refusing to look at a naked child of the opposite sex goes without saying for any teacher, but a school district in Florida has opted to punish a male physical education teacher for attempting to avoid that situation.…

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New Democratic Map

 

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Jack Goldsmith: Cybersecurity, Cyberwarfare, and the Threats We Face

 


Jack Goldsmith is a professor of law at Harvard University and served as Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel (2003-2004). In this Conversation, Goldsmith shares his perspective on America’s vulnerabilities to cyber attack—the complex and systemic threats to our digital and physical infrastructures, as well as to our politics via hacking and digital espionage. As Goldsmith explains, we have not done nearly enough to counter cyber threats through better defense or employment of countermeasures against adversaries. Finally, Kristol and Goldsmith consider what the government and private sector can do to improve our cybersecurity.

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Multiple Face Palms Required

 

…of course, it could be worse:

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The Siege of Fort Loudoun, 1765

 

Friday marked the 253rd Anniversary of the Siege of Fort Loudoun, November 16–18, 1765.

This happened at Fort Loudoun, Pennsylvania. A company of frontier militia, known locally as “The Black Boys” for the distinctive way they blackened their faces with soot and grease, laid siege to the local fort, then manned by a detachment of British regulars. These troops, experienced soldiers of the 42nd Royal Scots Regiment of Foot, also known as “the Black Watch,” were pinned down for two full days by the continuous harassment and interdiction fire from the militiamen’s rifles. Despite holding what ought to have been a superior position given the prevailing infantry tactics of the time, the British commander surrendered the fort and retreated back to Fort Pitt. There were no deaths, but neither were the British ever able to employ maneuver to bring their smoothbore muskets or bayonets against the militia.

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“I Cry Over Tootsie Rolls”

 

One of my church sisters shared this story today. It’s well past Veterans’ Day now, but poignant story all the same. The Korean War is called “The Forgotten War,” and it’s easy to forget just how vital it was. Here’s a part of her mother’s story.

 I cry over tootsie rolls…

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Thursday’s Snow Crippled NYC and NJ

 

We had six inches of snow Thursday. That was the official total in Central Park. Six inches. But it was enough to bring chaos to NYC and NJ. Thankfully, I was working from home but some of my colleagues who left Brooklyn at about 3 PM didn’t get home to NJ until after 11. Major roads, bridges, and transit hubs were just plain closed for hours. That includes the George Washington Bridge and the Port Authority bus terminal.

My neighbor’s usual 11-minute drive home took two hours. Apparently the brain trust of Andrew Cuomo, Bill DiBlasio, and NJ’s newly elected Governor, Dropkick Murphy, couldn’t get the roads cleared or the trains and buses running.

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ACF Critic Series #10: Double Indemnity

 

Terry Teachout and I have worked our way to the pluperfect noir, Double Indemnity, written and directed by the great immigrant observer of America Billy Wilder, with the help of the most famous writer of crime fiction–Raymond Chandler! Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck, Hollywood stars, play great roles as fallen lovers and Ed G. Robinson, usually a gangster, plays as well against type, as a hard-nosed, but also honorable insurance investigator. This is one of the great stories about the temptations of America–quick success and insurance! You will see tragedy in everyday life here: Love vs. law, friendship vs. eros, and happiness vs. justice!

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Don’t Like the Left’s ‘Jobs Guarantee’ Idea? Well, the Right Is Cooking Up One of Its Own

 

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, researcher Max Gulker offers a harsh critique of a “federal jobs guarantee.” Example: “Temporarily unemployed workers, along with millions of low-paid workers, would be diverted into a complex bureaucracy with no mechanism or incentive to put the workers’ skills and time to their best use.”

Oh, the idea has problems, such as the possibility of these permanent government gigs possibly crowding out existing jobs. (That and many other problematic issues are discussed in an excellent blog post by economist Timothy Taylor.) Still, some folks on the right are cooking up their own idea of a jobs guarantee. In the new book “The Once and Future Worker: A Vision for the Renewal of Work in America,” former Mitt Romney policy adviser Oren Cass argues for what he calls the “worker hypothesis.” This is the idea, Cass writes, that an American labor market “in which workers can support strong families and communities is the central determinant of long-term prosperity and should be the central focus of public policy.”

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Thank You for William Goldman

 

My senior year in high school, I took College English with Father Dibble. He only taught four days a week, and on the fifth day we had a study hall. One day I decided to bring in a book for pleasure, The Princess Bride by William Goldman. The movie is funny, but the book is even funnier. I sat there reading, trying to stifle my giggles. My guffaws. My out-loud laughter.

Each time I burst out, I looked up and caught the eye of Fr. Dibble staring at me. I muttered apologies and slid down in my desk to keep reading. Finally I let out a loud shout of laughter, and Fr. Dibble walked over to me with a stern look on his face and a pad of paper and pen in hand. Leaning over, in a whisper he asked me, “What are you reading? If it is only one-half as funny as you think it is, I want to read it too.”

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TV History Thursday Night, Part 4: You’re (Not) Watching PBS

 

That’s an article from 13 years ago, at a critical moment in the history of broadcasting. Yes, the American Cinema Foundation was hosting a big Hollywood event, a national online conversation about the future of PBS, sponsored by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Yes, the American Cinema Foundation was well known as a group of Hollywood conservatives. The irony of that title is that what keynote speaker Rob Long demanded wasn’t a seat at the PBS table at all. He wanted it ended, but in the nicest, wittiest, most reasonable way. For weeks, the “blob” of employees and administrators of PBS stations sputtered in rage. But what they didn’t do—the only thing that might have saved most of their jobs over the following decade—was to listen to us. We were polite. We were entirely polite. We said, “You’re doomed”.

Public broadcasting wasn’t always a political issue. Well, it was once only a mildly political issue. When the first college instructional stations signed on in the mid-Fifties, there was still widespread, bipartisan belief that TV could bring the very best teachers into every classroom within reach of an antenna. The US armed forces, faced with the Cold War job of instructing hundreds of thousands of recruits about the new mysteries of electronics and atomic energy, worked hand in hand with universities and the corporate world to explore the possibilities of mass teaching through television. This was true on the other side of the Iron Curtain as well.

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French Nationalism

 

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