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Chemists Grow Soil Fungus On Cheerios, Discover New Antifungal Compounds

Gim Tom Healthy Breakfast (77 comments)

No wonder I never seem to have a cold or other infections. I eat them almost every morning.

3 days ago

Liking Analog Meters Doesn't Make You a Luddite (Video)

Gim Tom RF circuit alignment (155 comments)

If you have ever done anything like aligning RF circuits or devices you are often looking for a peak or minimum value as you make an adjustment (or several interacting adjustments). An analog display is about the only thing that really works for this. THIS can be simulated on a digital display IFF it is fast enough to follow the changes AND if the digital circuits are shielded well enough so they are not fried by high RF levels or conversely inject enough RF crap into what you are trying to adjust to make adjustment impossible.

about two weeks ago

Robotic Taster Will Judge 'Real Thai Food'

Gim Tom Re:Maybe Anthony Bourdain (103 comments)

Point Taken, and I do love independent non-chain eateries. Everything has become too generic and "safe" anyway.

Yes, I know that everything has changed in 40+ years. I was there in 1971 and 1972 and it was a different world and a different place then. Also I was aware even then that the foods used and preparation varied widely around the country. Where I was was right on the border with Laos and there was much overlap between the Thai and Laotian foods. Even the ubiquitous Khao Phat fried rice varies widely around the country.

I did eat as much of the local food where I was as my taste buds, and system could handle and only got amoebic dysentery once, and that was from some ice in a drink I think. By the way, eating the local food was one of the LEAST risky things I was involved in while I was there.

about three weeks ago

Robotic Taster Will Judge 'Real Thai Food'

Gim Tom Maybe Anthony Bourdain (103 comments)

I lived in North Eastern Thailand for a year decades ago and had some wonderful food while I was there, but it was almost never EXACTLY what the Thais in the area ate. Most westerners could not, or would not, eat the "REAL" Thai food. It wasn't just the spices, although they were far too hot for most people. The types of food and the way they were stored and prepared was just an entirely different culture and what is and is not food is to some extent determined by culture.

I saw a giant Mekong catfish lay on the side of the road for at least three or four days before it was considered "ripe" enough to use in food. When I was there refrigeration was rare and most food sat out in heat and humidity for extended periods. The climate was even a bit more that I was used to -- and I was born and raised in the deep south before air conditioning was common. The aroma of a Thai open air market is to say the least unique. Thailand is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen, and the people are the friendliest and most open anywhere, but eating "real" Thai food is something I was never able to really appreciate.

There are places I have eaten in the US that have excellent Thai food, but it is not what you find the Thai's eating in Thailand. Maybe Anthony Bourdain can eat real Thai food, but on a recent episode of his show it appeared that even he was having a bit of trouble with some of it.

about three weeks ago

When Everything Works Like Your Cell Phone

Gim Tom Was Ted right? (175 comments)

This sounds like what Ted Kaczynski thought things might come to. I don't agree with his methods, but it looks like some of the things he ranted about might be the way things are going.

about three weeks ago

Utilities Should Worry; Rooftop Solar Could Soon Cut Their Profit

Gim Tom Private Solar becomming illegal (517 comments)

In Georgia both the PSC and the legislature is being lobbied hard to effectively outlaw private solar installations at the same time that the utilities are running a PR Blitz about how much they are working on solar energy. Having the most corrupt governor in the country doesn't help things here either

about three weeks ago

Bioethicist At National Institutes of Health: "Why I Hope To Die At 75"

Gim Tom Jimmy Said it well (478 comments)

I watched both of my parents succumb due to Alzheimer's and if you have seen that disease up close and personal like I have you really don't want to go there. I really didn't expect to live as long as I have. That may be something common among those of us that grew up in the "duck and cover" generation and then took that year in South East Asia back during that unpleasantness. There is a song by Jimmy Buffett that sort of says it all to me -- the title is Pacing The Cage.

about a month ago

Tesla's Next Auto-Dealer Battleground State: Georgia

Gim Tom Re:Small government (157 comments)

Isn't Georgia one of those "small government" red-states? How's that working out?

Oh, yea... And we are also one of the most corrupt states too! The Attorney General was fined this week for withholding evidence in an ethics case that might have implicated the Governor.

about a month and a half ago

My degree of colorblindness:

Gim Tom Re:Surprised me as hell the first time (267 comments)

I have been doing electronics since I was about 10 years old ( I am now 67 ) I don't think my eyes have changed as much as the colors used on some of the imported components. I have some old new stock AB resistors that are just as sharp and clear as to which color is which since the day they were made. For some recent purchases of bulk resistors I have had to use a good lens and a halogen light to even read some of the colors and often would resort to a ohm meter to be sure. Only exception to this was when I was about 15 and read the third band of a two watt composition resistor as brown. Well, it had been a bit toasted and was really violet. The replacement didn't last but a few milliseconds when I applied power.

about 2 months ago

US Army To Transport American Ebola Victim To Atlanta Hospital From Liberia

Gim Tom Re:Ebola Cross with Rabies (409 comments)

Just for fun, the folks at the CDC should combine Ebola with the rabies virus. This zombie apocalypse isn't going to start itself!

That's not the worry. One day someone will cross Kudzu with Poison Ivy and THAT would make a Zombie Apocalypse look like a cake walk.

about 3 months ago

Bad "Buss Duct" Causes Week-long Closure of 5,000 Employee Federal Complex

Gim Tom Computer Room "Ground" was +50 Volts AC (124 comments)

Not too surprising. I worked in a building in Atlanta where the UPS's in the computer room kept tripping for no apparent reason and kept reporting wiring faults. We had half a dozen electrical inspectors and electricians in to try to find out why and none could. I brought in a volt meter from home and checked the outlets. The "ground" from the sub-panel in the room was at +50 volts relative to the return neutral side of the line. The sub-panel had been connected to a transformer in the main electrical room on the floor that was not wired correctly. We had to shut down the computer room for two or three days while they replaced the transformer -- and then they wanted to charge us for it!

about 3 months ago

Study: People Would Rather Be Shocked Than Be Alone With Their Thoughts

Gim Tom Re:Just 15 minutes? (333 comments)

INTJ and 15 minutes of just thinking are no problem. Even less so since I began doing some meditation a bit over a year ago.

about 4 months ago

Cracking Atlanta Subway's Poorly-Encrypted RFID Smart Cards Is a Breeze, Part II

Gim Tom Re:The REAL value of the transit system (170 comments)

But are not roads and highways also subsidized with taxes. In fact there is talk now of increasing the tax on gasoline since it is not enough to keep the highway trust fund solvent. I don't know about current subsidies, but when the first railroads were built they were subsidized with large land grants to the companies building them. The notion that "the market" is always right and should decide whether anything is done and what the price for it should be is only true for those areas in which it is applicable. There are many things that can not support a market, that are still desirable for society as a whole. In order for things like roads and highways to exist there must be some form of subsidies. Whether they are direct or in the form of "membership cooperatives" (e.g. Electric Membership Corporations) they would never exist if left to private enterprise alone.

about 4 months ago

AT&T Charges $750 For One Minute of International Data Roaming

Gim Tom Re:AT&T (321 comments)

Well said and so very true. They even used a version of the "Death Star" as their logo!

about 4 months ago

Physics Students Devise Concept For Star Wars-Style Deflector Shields

Gim Tom Ionisphere F1 and F2 (179 comments)

Ah, yes. The Ionisphere. Been using some of the layers for decades. Also, you might want to check out what Maximum Useable Frequency or MUF means.

about 6 months ago

Comcast Offers To Shed 3.9 Million Subscribers To Ease Cable Deal

Gim Tom Google Fiber or no deal (154 comments)

I would only go for this if they spun me off to Google Fiber. Then I would jump at the chance.

about 6 months ago

Siphons Work Due To Gravity, Not Atmospheric Pressure: Now With Peer Review

Gim Tom Re:Actually it's both. (360 comments)

I actually had a problem like this on a final exam in Fluid Mechanics back in the late 1960's. The required answer was the flow rate through the siphon for which there is an equation that uses parameters such as the pipe diameter and the difference in elevation between the inlet and outlet and some other things. However, the problem was given in such a way that it was not at all obvious that the siphon (which was a water siphon on Earth) at one point exceeded more than 33 feet above the inlet point. If you READ the entire problem carefully and CHECKED for this NECESSARY condition you had the answer (zero flow rate) with NO calculations needed -- a real time saver on the slide rule!

about 6 months ago

Why Speed-Reading Apps Don't Work

Gim Tom It worked for me -- still don't believe it (92 comments)

I was fortunate to be given a speed reading class that took several weeks as a high school graduation present back in the dark ages (1965). I took the course and practiced as I was told, but I never did believe it was doing any good and it was definitely not a fun way to read anything for pleasure. Fast forward to the next year and I am a freshman in engineering, but having to take an "elective" political science course in which I had no interest at all. Since the purpose of the freshman year in engineering is to cull the masses I concentrated on what, to me, were the far more important classes I had. A few days before the final exam I realized that I was not going to pass that polysci class unless I could pull off a near perfect score on the final. The professor was kind enough to confirm my calculations on that point. For two days before the final I read the entire text book through cover to cover TWICE. I scored in the high 90's on the final and passed the course with a C+. When I was taking the exam, I really was just sort of zoned out. Much of the test was essay questions and I would just write whatever came into my head on the subject, not really knowing what I was saying or where it came from.

Now, I would have put this down as a fluke except that I was able to do very similar things for the rest of my career in engineering. Although trained in systems engineering I started out working with computer systems when computers were big iron and I worked on both IBM, Univac, and DEC systems. Then I successfully made the transition to PC's and networks and retired as a Network Engineer and Security Officer. Often I would have to learn enough to get started in a new area about which I knew almost nothing with little time to do so. I would get 5 or 6 books on the subject and absorb them over a weekend and could then get up to speed pretty quickly after that.

I still don't understand how it works, and I am still not sure I really believe it works, but for over 40 years the speed reading class I took in 1965 saved my bacon many times.

about 6 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

Gim Tom REAL Telephones (702 comments)

Genuine old land line telephones built by Western Electric for the Bell System. They built them, they owned them, and they NEVER wanted to have to repair them.

about 6 months ago


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