Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Talky-talk college courses

"Women in Popular Culture", "Introduction to Comparative Ethnic Studies", "Introduction to Multicultural Literature" a bunch of worthwhile? useful? college courses.  They sure aren't STEM courses, and they aren't Liberal Arts courses, and I wouldn't even call them social science courses.  They surely won't help a graduate find a job. 
   But according to Instapundit, the professors teaching these courses have truly amazing policies regarding student language.  Prof  Selenas Lester Brekiss has banned the use of the words "male" and "female".  Professor Rebacca Fowler bans the phrase "illegal alien".  Professor John Streamas called a student "White shitbag" 
   Intelligent students should avoid these kinds of talky-talk courses, they have nothing to teach, they merely provide a platform for the professor to rant from.   They may be fun to attend to participate in class discussions, but you can have as much fun participating in dorm bull sessions.  You only get to take 32 courses in a four year two semester college.  Students are graduating owning $30,000, or about $1000 a course.  Don't blow $1000 on a talky-talk course. 

Monday, August 31, 2015

Fantasy Naval War

This article makes-a-case/discusses  bringing back the battleship.  It's a fun idea, battleships were cool, cooler than aircraft carriers, so cool that the US Navy was still operating WWII Iowa class battleships as late as the 1980's.  The writer stresses the ruggedness, due to foot thick armor plate, of the battleship which would allow it to survive hits that sink aircraft carriers and modern surface combatants. 
   All that is cool, but the writer apparently does not understand why battleships existed and why they were so big.  The purpose of a battle ship was to bring the biggest possible guns into action.  The big guns were heavy and needed a big ship simply to float them.  The huge caliber guns were extremely lethal, a single hit would sink just about anything.  And they had range.  By WWII, the battleship guns could reach out 20 miles, and the mechanical analog fire control computers of the 1940's could even get hits at that range.
   But, a carrier's aircraft can reach out 200 miles or more, and even in the 1920's  biplane bombers could carry bombs heavy enough to penetrate decks and sink battle ships.  Ostfresland, Bismark, Prince of Wales, Repulse, Yamato, the US fleet at Pearl Harbor, the Italian fleet at Taranto , all demonstrated the power of carrier aircraft and the vulnerability of battleships. 
   Since carrier aircraft outclass the heavy gun, if I am going to spend the money for a big warship, I'm going to equip it with aircraft rather than big guns.   Plus, I can put missiles on much smaller vessels that have plenty of punch, maybe not as much as 16 inch guns, but enough punch to deal with anything afloat today.  
   All things being equal, I'd druther have a fleet of smaller cheaper vessels than one big expensive vessel.  With a fleet, I'm likely to have some combat power left after taking battle damage.  With one big ship, if the enemy gets lucky, I loose the war. 
   So, I am not ready to build 21st century battleships, even if the idea is cool. 

Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Donald is fun to watch on TV

I enjoy watching him put on a show.  He's a good showman, he has an audience, and he is going to town.  He is way ahead in the polls.  Even if he fails to get the nomination, he will still be the best known billionaire in the entire world. 
   The Donald is coming out of the business community, in fact, out of the in-your-face New York City business community.  In business the saying is "The customer is always right."  Doesn't matter that the customer offends you personally, has bad breath, bad manners, and holds with the wrong ideas.  You will take his money anyhow.   Somehow I don't think this works in politics like it does in business.  If the voters dislike you, they won't vote for you no matter what you promise to do for them. 
   As president, The Donald would go exactly no where.  He shoots off his mouth too much.  He is a bull in a china shop.  It would only take him two days to anger everyone in the country, and another two days to anger everyone over seas.  And you cannot get much done if everyone dislikes you and wants to get even with you. 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Nut Case Control Part II

This week's tragic shooting in West Virginia, on live TV, has brought the gun controllers out again in full cry.  It ain't the guns that need control, it's the nutcases.  This shooter was a homicidal maniac.  What should have happened, probably years ago, is someone, friend, family, physician, teacher, co-worker, clergyman, someone, should have noticed the shooter was acting crazy or saying crazy things.  He should have been examined by psychiatrists, who should have identified the shooter as a dangerous nutcase, and popped him into a mental hospital.
   Obviously that didn't happen.   And the gun controllers keep yacking about guns.  It isn't guns, it's loose nut cases. 

Un selling automobiles

Been out shopping for a car.  One thing I noticed, walking thru the dealer's lots.  The model name of the car is left off the front, only appears, very small, on the trunk lid in back.  Which makes it hard to figure out what you are looking at, since the last stylist died 20 years ago and the cars all look alike.  For that matter, they leave off the maker's name too.  You gotta know the icons, the Chevy bowtie, the Honda H the Ford blue oval, the Subaru constellation and so on.   I wonder how many car buyers know them all.  I have been a car buff since childhood, and I don't know them all.  
   Compare this with the power tool business.  I'm reading about routers, and the article has a picture of a router.  The maker's name (Porter Cable) is plastered all over the tool, once on the motor, once on the base casting, and once on the baseplate.  All three names show in the photograph. 
    Teaching customers the name of your product is half the battle in marketing.  Labeling your product is a good first step. 

Friday, August 28, 2015

Graphic Novels as College Reading??

A story made it onto NPR and the blogosphere about Duke University students unhappy with the contents of a reading assignment.  They were objecting to the gay marriage portrayed in the novel.  The work was described as a "graphic novel".  Which is same-same as comic book.  Since when were comic books assigned college reading assignments?  Or is it just Duke? 
   Or is it all over?  Certainly the reading assigned to my children in middle and high school varied between bad and worse.  Perhaps college is jumping on the terrible reading list bandwagon?  Certainly those decrying the decline of the liberal arts ought to look at the literature selected for college study.  Could it be that the selected literature is so bad as to drive students away? 

You can never have too many clamps

This is a small glue up.  Biggest ones need more clamps.