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Comment Re:Again, PR failure but engineering success (Score 1) 66

The whole reason for a lander was to drill, capture, bake, and sample the surface. How do I know? I'm working on a nearly identical mission for NASA that will go to permanently shadowed craters on the poles. Because it's a cheaper mission the success criteria is very limited. We must land and take data. But the whole reason we are going is to drill, capture, bake, and sample. That is the only way to really know what is there. If we fail that everyone on the mission will feel we failed. But as long as we land and get some data from the instruments the PR will be spun that we succeeded.

Comment Re:Cheaper and Faster???? (Score 1) 70

I've made smaller molds (several feet) using both techniques. For this application milling the molds from a high density foam will be much cheaper. The 3D printing is just a gimmick. I've made molds using 3D printing ABS and one of the nice features is the epoxy resin doesn't stick well to the ABS. So you can just use Acetone to seal the printed surface and use it at a mold with very little prep.

Comment Re:Math is a Chore (Score 1) 218

Depends on the textbook. We decided to start homeschooling and I'm using a Saxton Algebra Book. I love it. Each chapter increments what was done previously and there are some examples worked out followed by a handful of problems on that material. Then the problem set is 30 questions that can go back to the beginning of the book. Each question has the reference chapter in parenthesis in case the child needs to review it. That way you are always checking retention.

After an initial rough period transitioning from the Common Core approved Hardcourt book he is doing wonderfully. Takes him about an hour each night to do math. We test once a week on Friday and it covered material that was introduced 2 weeks ago so there is plenty of time to practice and master it.

So much better than the cram for 1 week, test and repeat.

Comment Re:More interesting is Age Adjusted Funds (Score 1) 71

I've been using the same strategy for 20 years now based off Harry Browne's Failsafe Investing. 25% each in S&P 500, Cash (FDIC Money Market), 25-30 year Treasury Bonds, Gold Bullion Coin (Eagles). Every year rebalance if any one goes +/- 10%. New additions go to cash.

That's it. Very simple, good long term returns 10% and low volatility. Even 2008 was a small gain.

Comment Re:Hardly a new concept (Score 1) 270

A strong currency is always in a nations good if you the define the nation as all of the people. It is not good for people that want to steal wealth from the populace for themselves. To weaken the currency new currency needs to be created. This new money cannot be distributed in any fair way. So what happens it is given to those in power to help maintain their power.

A nation with a strong currency will reward savers. You won't have to work as much. A weakening currency will continuously steal wealth from you requiring you to spend it or lose it. It will also force you to keep working as you cannot maintain your standard of living without it.

Comment Central Banks Responsible for this (Score 5, Insightful) 133

I worked in automation equipment for many years. Companies would typically come to use when they needed to expand capacity. When we would work up a quote we would look at their current process and come up with several options from very simple conveying system with manual tool stations for the operators to fully automated systems. Obviously there was a huge capital cost difference between these options. Two big factors that went into the recommendation were the labor rates and interest rates. The companies were looking for a specific return on investment. In a free market when interest rates are low and labor rates are high due to low unemployment and lots of savings it is better to automate as the interest on capital costs are low. When the interest rates are high and labor rates are low due to high unemployment and low savings it is much better to hire people and go with manual stations. This is as it should be and would lead to sustained growth.

But when the Central Banks lower interest rates way below the market rates it makes automation cheap no matter what is going on in the economy. This is the situation we are in. It is cheaper to automate even though labor rates are low and there is low workplace participation. Allow rates to return to their market levels and this will change and we can go back to sustainable growth. Of course we won't do this because it would hurt the Wall St. Banks and politicians pocketbooks.

Comment Re:Sold my Nest (Score 1) 432

Ad an experiment I thought it would be interesting to run the low speed fan and compressor 24/7 during the summer and chart the temp and humidity and see what the bills are. The temp would go down at night but probably not too low to be uncomfortable and when it heats up during the day at least it would be dry.

Comment Sold my Nest (Score 5, Interesting) 432

I live in Florida with a high efficiency A/C (19 Seer) and I noticed very little savings $10/mo at the expense of major fluctuations in temperature and coming home to a hot humid house. The upstairs and downstairs would have strange set points that made one unit run all the time (at full power).

I sold them online and have cheap thermostat with 4 set points during the day. The units run nearly all of the time in the summer but on the low power, high efficiency setting. The house is much more pleasant at very little extra cost.

Comment Re:Real Meaning of Second Amendment (Score 1) 702

You don't fight wars with the militia. It is the force you conscript to create your Army when you have a war. The US Army was tiny prior to WWII. The men of the time (especially those in rural areas) were very well trained. When war was declared the professional officers of the Army were combined with the conscripts from the militia. After WWII most to the conscripts returned to civilian life. The same for WWI.

Comment Real Meaning of Second Amendment (Score 2) 702

"A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

What people on both sides don't understand is the first part. What this means is that INSTEAD of having a standing Army which the colonists lived in fear of and was required to enforce tyranny, it was necessary to have a well regulated (armed and trained) militia. If you want to be free and secure this is the only option. If you have a standing Army you will be secure but not free. If the the citizens well armed and trained you won't have security.

The best example is the modern world is Switzerland. Everyone is well trained and armed. But the professional full timers in the army are only about 5% while the rest are the militia.

This view is backed up by the Powers of Congress which make a difference between the Navy (which was intended to be permanent) and the Army (which was only funded for 2 years at a time and only called up from the militia when needed).

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