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Open thread 4/17/24

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  • Joe Krill April 17, 2024, 8:17 AM

    This fellow says what is on the minds of a lot of people

  • Joe Krill April 17, 2024, 8:30 AM

    Some interesting history.

    There is an old Hotel/Pub in Marble Arch, London, which used to have a gallows adjacent to it

    Prisoners were taken to the gallows (after a fair trial of course!) to be hanged.

    The horse-drawn dray, carting the prisoner, was accompanied by an armed guard, who would stop the dray outside the pub and ask the prisoner if he would like ”ONE LAST DRINK”.

    If he said YES, it was referred to as ONE FOR THE ROAD.

    If he declined, that Prisoner was ON THE WAGON.

    So there you go …

    They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot and then once a day it was taken and sold to the tannery.

    If you had to do this to survive you were “piss poor”.

    But worse than that were the really poor folk, who couldn’t even afford to buy a pot; they “Didn’t have a pot to piss in” and were the lowest of the low.


    The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn’t just how you like it, think about how things used to be….

    Here are some facts about England in the 1500s:

    Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May and they still smelled pretty good by June!! However, since they were starting to smell, brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor.

    Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.


    Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies.

    By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it.!

    Hence the saying, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water!”


    Houses had thatched roofs, thick straw piled high, with no wood underneath.

    It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof.

    When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof.

    Hence the saying “It’s raining cats and dogs.”


    There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house.

    This posed a real problem in the bedroom,

    where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed.

    Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection.

    That’s how canopy beds came into existence


    The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt.

    Hence the saying, “dirt poor.”

    The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside.

    A piece of wood was placed in the entrance.

    Hence: a thresh hold. (Getting quite an education, aren’t you?)


    Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special.

    When visitors came over they would hang up their bacon, to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, “Bring home the bacon.”

    They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around talking and ”chew the fat”.


    Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food causing lead poisoning and death.

    This happened most often with tomatoes.

    So for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.


    Bread was divided according to status.

    Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf,

    The family got the middle, and guests got the top, or ”The Upper Crust”.


    Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky.

    The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up.

    Hence the custom of ”Holding a Wake”.


    England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people, so they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house and reuse the grave!

    When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, thread it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell.

    Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift) to listen for the bell; thus someone could be, ”Saved by the Bell” or was considered a ”Dead Ringer.”

    • Snakepit Kansas April 17, 2024, 4:05 PM

      Then where did “Jap Slap” come from?

  • jd April 17, 2024, 9:14 AM

    Thank you, Joe Krill. Very interesting.

    • Anonymous April 17, 2024, 2:42 PM

      Have used these most of my life without ever knowing where they came from or what they actually meant. Thanks.

  • ghostsniper April 17, 2024, 1:47 PM

    It Adds Up
    I know you’ve heard of this before but I did the maff so you could see a graphical representation of how it works.

    You’re given the choice to either work for the next 30 days in a row for a cool million bux, or, work the next 30 days for 1 cent a day and it doubles everyday.

    At the end of day one you will have earned 1 cent for that day, and at the end of day 2 you will have earned 2 cents for that day but….

    01 .01
    02 .02
    03 .04
    04 .08
    05 .16
    06 .32
    07 .64
    08 1.28
    09 2.56
    10 5.12
    11 10.24
    12 20.48
    13 40.96
    14 81.92
    15 163.84
    16 327.68
    17 655.36
    18 1,310.72
    19 2,621.44
    20 5,242.88
    21 10,485.76
    22 20,971.52
    23 41,943.04
    24 83,886.08
    25 167,772.16
    26 335,544.32
    27 671,088.64
    28 1,342,177.28
    29 2,684,354.56
    30 5,368,709.12

    …on the 30th day you will have earned $5,368,709.12 for that day.

    But wait, there’s more!

    Because you are earning the above monies on each and every day the total is an astounding $10,737,418.23

    As my ol’ gray haired Granny used to say, “Sonny, if you count your pennies the dollars will take care of theirself.”

    PS: When adding up them daily totals on the calculator to get the grand total I noticed a unique thing happening with each days total. Try it yourself to see what I mean.

    • azlibertarian April 18, 2024, 8:39 AM

      My beloved freshman physics professor, Albert Alan Bartlett (who was referred to by we physics majors as “A²”. We were very clever like that.), gave a similar presentation every year. His lecture was titled: The Greatest Shortcoming of the Human Race is our Inability to Understand the Exponential Function.

      Of course my college years pre-date YouTube and the internet, but someone has saved Bartlett’s lecture and put it on YouTube. I’ve cued up this video to begin at a similar, and to me, memorable example. If you want to geek out on all the math, the whole video has some value, but fair warning: It is over an hour long.

      I liked A². He specialized in teaching Physics 101 and 102….the two courses that many majors would take before splitting off to their various engineering or other technical fields. He was very good at putting the basics of physics into a good many heads.

      But A² was also a Malthusian, with which I disagree. He believed that the math guaranteed that we’d be running out of food and/or energy at some point, and we’d be left in the dark and starving. People in dark or starving cirumstances get desparate, and they’ll begin to war with each other. The Malthusian will eventually believe that we’re breeding too many people for our existing resources. The question then becomes: Who gets to live, and continue their bloodlines, and who doesn’t? And to me, that is a question that morally collapses the entire argument.

      Anyway, A² was also part of the Manhattan Project. And here is a 48 minute interview that he gave on his early career in physics that I found fascinating. I have a connection to A², so you might not, but this interview gives a glimpse into life in the mid-40’s as a World War was waging.

  • Snakepit Kansas April 17, 2024, 6:54 PM

    Ghost, that same principle works similarly in electronic analog to digital conversions. If you have a single digital bit it can be a 1 or a 0. Two combinations. If your reference voltage is 5VDC then a digital 1 = 5VDC and a digital 0 = 0VDC. If you move to two bits you have four combinations, 00, 01, 10 and 11. If your reference voltage is still 5VDC then 00 = 0V, 11= 5V or full scale. 10 = 1.67V or quarter scale and 01=3.33V or 3/4 scale. When you weigh your jalapenos at The WalMartz on a digital scale, it has to convert that analog weight to a digital word to convert to a dollar amount to charge the client. The more bits the more resolution and on a 10 bit scale you have 512 combinations and your least significant bit weight becomes approximately 5VDC/512 bits = .00977V per bit. The more bits, the more resolution. Every time an additional single bit is added the resolution doubles.

    • ghostsniper April 17, 2024, 7:20 PM

      You lost me pretty quick on that one. Anything electrical is way beyond my grasp. Electrical stuff and air conditioning stuff are 2 things I wish I had learned early in life. So I’ll just hafta take your word for it. lol

  • Snakepit Kansas April 18, 2024, 4:55 AM

    I am a dood of very average intelligence but score high in abstract reasoning. Some semi-complex things make complete sense to me which makes my descriptions of such to others, sometimes weak.

    Everybody gets everything they want, and I wanted a mission. For my sins they gave me one. Brought it up to me like room service. – Capt. Willard

  • Snakepit Kansas April 18, 2024, 6:02 AM

    A scale has a variable resistor with a voltage across it. A bag of jalapenos has a weight, of course. When put on a scale the heavier the weight the more the movement on the variable resistor which will create a larger voltage measurement across the variable resistor. That measured voltage needs to be converted into a digital word. 3.275V across that variable resistor might convert to a digital word of 1001110111 on a 10 bit analog to digital converter. The computer takes that digital word and multiplies it by the cost/pound of the jalapenos and that gets added to your bill.

    • ghostsniper April 18, 2024, 6:29 AM

      Lemme tell you sumfink. I’m a hoon that has to know WHY.
      Just the way I am I guess.
      I have to know everything about anything I am interested in.
      Learning the “why’s” is not always possible from written words.

      Today I am drawing a section through a 14′ tall wall for a commercial building and the wall make-up is not like any I have ever done before. An engineer in Florida sent me via email a pdf free hand sketch of said wall but his sketching abilities leaves much to be desired. So, at 9:25 am I have already exchanged 3 emails with him this morning seeking clarity in his sketch, and still I don’t have a complete idea on how it works.

      Back to your comment.
      You sed: “A scale has a variable resistor with a voltage across it.”

      Speaking rhetorically, I would ask, “What does that mean, “…voltage across it.””
      You could explain it, as others have to me in the past, and I still wouldn’t get it.
      But, if you and I were eyeball to eyeball, our conversation would be more complete, more concise, and a meeting of the minds could occur.

      I’ve often thought about paying to take an electrical course at a vo-tech but never seem to have the time.

      • DT April 18, 2024, 4:48 PM

        Electricity: Think of water in a hose. The amount of water flowing is equivalent to current. The water pressure is equivalent to voltage. The diameter of the hose is equivalent to resistance. Too much water or pressure will burst a small hose but not a larger one. Don’t carry the analogy too far though.

    • azlibertarian April 18, 2024, 9:01 AM

      Does the scale measure the jalapenos in pounds or kilo’s?

      I ask cuz this is an important question. ‘Merica.

      • Snakepit Kansas April 18, 2024, 11:10 AM

        JAJAAJAAA!!! Neither the scale or chilis are self aware, therefore the computer taking the digital word will rely on the electronic program to turn the weight of a chili causing a mechanical movement into a voltage drop across a variable resistor into a digital word that can be manipulated into a price. Probably with the flip of a switch, the weight can be converted from lbs to grams.

        I think you are jerking my chain!!!

        • ghostsniper April 18, 2024, 2:01 PM

          Snake sed: “…causing a mechanical movement into a voltage drop…”

          Now you’re venturing into a territory I’m a little bit familiar with.
          Microphones and Speakers, they work under that same dynamic.
          Though I don’t know HOW a mechanical movement is converted into electrical.

          In a microphone, the air pressure from the input sound (voice or instrument) causes a metal filament (wire or film) to move or vibrate. An electrical coil, and it’s inherent magnetic field, is altered by said movement or vibration, and that alteration is (some how) transferred electrically.

          Basically, a microphone and a speaker are the same thing, the difference being one accepts sound and the other produces sound. The telephone! Those motherfuckers were GIANTS that figured that shit out weren’t they?

          (when I was a young lad I was into everything and curiosity almost killed me hundreds of times but I was too naive to know better. I cut the plug off a cheap microphone, stripped the wires, and connected it to the speaker terminals on a radio. The microphone became a speaker but a very low volume one. I increased the volume and suddenly the speaker was no more. Guess I put more juice into that filament than it could bear. Hundreds of failures would follow….and still…

          • DT April 18, 2024, 4:54 PM

            In certain situations – electricity flowing through a coil of wire perhaps – will create a magnetic field. The strength of that magnetic field is proportional to the amount of electricity flowing in the wire. It works the other way as well. A moving magnetic field will generate electricity in a coil of wire.

            If you speak into a microphone, it vibrates a magnetic diaphragm which generates electricity which is fed to an amplifier. In a speaker, electricity from the amplifier generates a magnetic field which moves a diaphragm (the speaker cone).

            • Snakepit Kansas April 19, 2024, 5:25 AM

              Proven once again, there a bunch of people here much smarter than me! Probably only because of my inexperience due to extreme youth (59). I have the day off from werk so I will only go in for two or three hours, then a mechanical project that Ghost might appreciate!

              I have cedar trim on the back side of the house that has peeling paint. No way to fix that other than pull that old wood off and replace it with new. About 17′ from the ground to the soffit. I have an aluminum extension ladder that will get most of the way up there, but that gets hairy. Ever tell you about falling off a ladder and getting impaled on sheet metal? I looked at buying metal scaffolding. Expensive. Looked at renting scaffolding. Expensive because I want to replace all this trim on the back of my house, at my leisure. A good friend advised that I could build my own scaffolding for about a Ben Franklin. Busted out the mechanical drawing paper and drew me up a 10′ scaffold. Counted boards and filled that count at Menards for $100. Putting that together today.

              • ghostsniper April 19, 2024, 6:43 AM

                I did the corner boards on a friends pole barn because he didn’t own an extension ladder. I have a 24 footer. The boards were 18′ long. As you know an extension ladder gets pretty wobbly when all the weight is on the top end.

                With scrap 2×4’s I built a bracket for the bottom of the ladder.
                One 2×4 6′ long went across the bottom effectively making the ladder now 6′ wide. I also put (2) 4′ long 2×4’s on the outside of each leg. All boards were through bolted to the aluminum ladder. Last, I drilled a 3/4″ hole a foot from each end of the 6′ horizontal 2×4 and pounded 4′ long #5 rebars into the ground, through those holes, to prevent the ladder from sliding in either direction. It was still scary being way up there like that. I used my Paslode cordless angle finish nailer which has a belt hook. I was glad when I was done with all 4 corners and probably won’t do that again.

                Be careful with that scaffold.

    • Pebo April 18, 2024, 5:07 PM

      That resistor can be a thermistor, changing resistance with temperature thus your programmable electronic thermostat which comes with a Florida Building Mechanical Code client educational requirement that lasts every bit of 5 minutes after you’ve done all the splanin and left. Expect a return call and ask to speak to the 7 year old.

  • Joe Krill April 18, 2024, 3:22 PM

    Definition of a ????????????????

    “Those who stand for nothing, fall for anything.” — Alexander Hamilton

    • Snakepit Kansas April 19, 2024, 5:37 AM

      “Don’t worry about a cat pissing on the carpet when the house is on fire.” – Ted Bartlett

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