Episode-1927- Listener Feedback for 1-9-17 — 11 Comments

  1. Automation has already changed the face of the electrical generation and distribution sector. I have worked in different power plants for the last 15 years and have watched it completely take over. The plant I currently work in has both a gas turbine and a steam turbine. 10 years ago, at a plant this size, the shift would have consisted of a shift supervisor, 2 or 3 operators, 2 mechanics, and 2 electricians. At a minimum there would be 7 people on each shift over 4 shifts making 28 people just to turn the plant on. Add to this an electrical engineer a mechanical engineer, a performance engineer etc, etc. Now thanks to automation our plant operates with one supervisor and two operator/mechanics/electricians. 3 people over 4 shifts for a total of 12 people. Automation has taken the place of 16 skilled laborers. The only reason that it hasn’t taken more at this particular plant is because the technology does not yet exist to fully automate a steam process. All of our remote sites are either straight natural gas or hydro and are all operated from the main plant. Most of the jobs at the remote sites have been eliminated save for a few who make daily rounds at multiple sites just to make sure everything is ok. It won’t be long before a camera on a mobile robot will take that job. It is very simple to automate a natural gas, hydro, or solar plant because they are either on or off. Computers already take care of how much each generator is producing so for the most part, one person sitting at a computer can see more power is needed, give the command to bring more generation online, and then turn it over to the computers to keep the load balanced. All this is to say, your right, automation will kill lots of jobs. I started my career as a turbine mechanic and am now back in school to become an automation technician.

    Phil from Alaska

  2. I was really hoping Jack was going to talk more about the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge. I’ve been thinking about getting a Ruger American Predator in 6.5 Creedmoor primary for hunting hunting white-tailed deer, but am torn between that or the more common .308.

    • It is equal to the 6.5 Swedish which has killed more Moose than any other round on the planet. It is true that they are Scandinavian Moose and smaller than what we have in Alaska but we are still talking animals that range from 700-1800 pounds.

      To get the most out of this cartridge load it to about 2600 fps with 140 grain bullets of heavy construction.

      The Creedmore by duplicating the Swedish Mauser has fallen into what I call the magic ballistics formula. More info on that here,

  3. The solar panels were used, thus likely not full strength and a shorter lifespan. The only way he found to ship them himself from California to Texas was FedEx because of size. He figured the time to set them up, and whatever things we’d need to connect them with, then advised me to go with new ones especially since I have other projects ahead of adding solar and he can get me a discount.

    His company closed their US plant this past year, plants only in China and Mexico now. I thought he’d have to find another job as he didn’t want to relocate to either country, but they are keeping a California office.
    What slows down the automation is cost of building new equipment, and installing into the plants. Initial upfront capital.

    Now his brother who lives near me has several smaller solar panels from Amazon. Using battery backup, solar powers his well house. (He was tired of well being down during storms, generator less expensive option but he wanted to try solar and it is so much quieter). His home office is powered by solar, computer, internet, lights in office, and charges all his battery powered tools such as drills, lawn mower, chain saw etc. Biggest expenses were his batteries, converter, etc.

    Christmas is crazy with all my kids and grand kids here. They were all public schooled but our home was filled with self-directed learning (didn’t know the term at the time, just what we did). And I did pay attention to what was being taught and they learned in grade school that the teacher isn’t always right. I didn’t realize at that time how choices I made influenced my kids. I still think much of it is them and not getting in their way of learning.

    All my grand kids are home schooled at this time. 4 out of 6 grand kids were home births. One son got some cool programmable Christmas lights and was writing a new computer language to program the lights his way. Daughter-in-law butchered and cooked her own chickens while her husband tried a couple of his rabbits. Their brother brought in a taste of mesquite honey from his 1st year hives.

    My solar engineer son dissembled his brother’s favorite toy robot and discussed how to make larger ones which could run on grass, they were even looking up sources for parts and realized they didn’t have enough time to put it together over Christmas.

    One daughter taught her niece/nephew/siblings how to paint animals on Christmas ornaments. Meanwhile several talked about various ideas for their own businesses when they weren’t playing games or making something. One son always sneaks silver dimes into stockings, and several of the older ones did things to help their siblings who were struggling with something or another.

    Met another son’s fiancee who stayed for a week, so she has a good idea the craziness she is getting into.

    Love my kids, no way I can keep up with it all. Not something you can plan nor orchestrate. Simply encourage them to do stuff, do stuff yourself and it seems to erases walls and barriers.

  4. When it comes to salt on the roads. Here for example in NE Indiana. They might slat the roads while plowing and I would assume that the salt would become so diluted from the snow melt that it would negligible. It would also depend on how much snow you normally get in your area. If 2 inches is enough snow to shut down your city or town because your area is not used to any snow. I could see the salt being more concentrated in the snow melt. I might be completely wrong but it seems logical to me.

  5. the Crimean Referendum was done under the barrel of a gun … Putin later lied that they were there then admitted it all in several interviews and gave awards dated prior to the invasion. While Tatars and Ukrainian’s are being tortured and imprisoned for simply being themselves. It’s been well documented. So no idea what you are talking about.

    nice little infographic between the Scottish and Crimean referendum. –

    Then there’s Putin’s invasion of the Donbass where more than 10K have died and 1.5 million people are internally displaced within Ukraine.. not even in Europe. While Syrian refugees are flooding Europe with Putins help in Syria.

    Also Crimea was given to Ukraine because of water and other resources that Soviet Russia couldn’t be responsible for and Russian’s were butthurt ever since, “KrymNash bullshit” The Russian’s cant even build a proper land bridge over the Kerch Strait .. The Russians were also afraid of losing the BSF that Yanukovych traitorously extended till 2047 without any proper financial compensation while Russia used gas to blackmail Ukraine with.

    • I am pro truth, all governments are oppressive. However almost everything we are told about Russia specifically the Crimea is a lie.

  6. Regarding the history segment, I contended that scientists must be incredibly certain of what they are doing, and I urged the listeners not to judge them too harshly for this. Jack disagreed with me and I liked very much what he had to say in response, but then he pointed out a very good reason why scientists must be so certain… because it is so difficult to overcome the momentum of decades of learning it wrong:

    “We have always done it this way” or “The consensus says” or “You’d better watch out or your funding is going bye-bye.”

    I have seen scientists who have been dead certain they were right, yet had the integrity to say they were wrong… but they were not happy about it, and are still not happy about it…. all these years later. Such people are rare, but in the field of astronomy and astrophysics you will find a lot more of them because they seem to get embarrassed every few years. They have built up a tolerance to being wrong and are not so surprised when it happens. However, that does not translate into it being easy to swallow… just easier… a little.

    Alex Shrugged