Tuesday, January 30, 2018

SOTU .. it's about time!

Finally!  A State of the Union address that didn't outrage, annoy, or otherwise irritate me.  Better yet, it was, in fact, good.  I liked the celebration of tax cuts and the no-more-appeasement message concerning North Korea and Iran, and the no mercy for Daesh.  I don't agree on the "first pillar" of immigration reform (the 12 year path to citizenship for 1.8 million) but Trump's point that no one will get all they want and that he's laid out a reasonable compromise made sense.  Expect Democrats to be outraged.  And I hope it galled Barack Obama  to hear Trump celebrate repeal of the Obamacare mandate and that he's keeping Guantanamo Prison open for enemy combatants.

But what I really liked is that Trump did not hector his opposition; he didn't scold the Supreme Court or any faction of Congress, he didn't lecture any group of American citizens (say, gun owners and the NRA) on how they must change.  He celebrated America and freedom, and opened by saying he wants to make America great for all Americans.

Just words, of course... but words matter.  It's hard to imagine President H.R. Clinton saying such things, mostly because she's never said them in the past.

President Trump spoke to everyone.  I think we are very lucky he's president.

Memo to Paul Ryan & co.

As the staff of Unforeseen Contingencies awaits the State of the Union address, "we" note there's a dispute concerning "guests" at the SOTU.  Some of the Democrats are bringing illegal aliens as "guests," and Rep Paul Gosar (R, AZ) is asking that the police arrest them as they go through security and their illegal status becomes evident.  This makes obvious sense; Congress should not tolerate wanton, flagrant flouting of the law.  Of course, some who don't care about the law, Paul Ryan and Jeff Flake, for example, disagree.

Question for those two gentlemen: when is it appropriate to permit criminal violations?  Is it just when your political opponents are trying to mock and humiliate the President of the United States, or do you have additional situations in mind where your personal fiat should trump the law.

"We" at Unforeseen Contingencies do disagree in one small detail with Rep. Gosar; "we" think the Capitol Police should also arrest Congressmen, Congresswomen, and Congressthings who facilitate this law-breaking.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

The Blessings of Multiculturalism in Sweden

John Pepple suggests we put multiculturalism to the test in Sweden.  He suggests Sweden be used as the example to show what happens with massive muslim immigration into a Western country, using Sweden as a sacrificial lamb.  In fact, this appears to be happening.  Here's a report from U.K.'s Daily Mail detailing the growth of immigrant gangs armed with military weapons, increasing crime, no-go zones, and the usual denial from the "progressive" elite.  Read it, it's chilling.  But things have reached the point that Prime Minister Löfven is now contemplating use of the Swedish army as a last resort for imposing law and order.  (Note that this Reuters report carefully avoids mentioning who comprise the gangs.) 

Here are a few excerpts.  From Katie Hopkins' Daily Mail piece:

I asked Mattias Karlsson, leader of the Swedish Democrats - currently leading in the polls - why other politicians refuse to acknowledge the problems right in front of their eyes.

He explained that to accept there is a problem would mean accepting nearly 80 years of liberal thinking was wrong. That multiculturalism doesn't work, that mass immigration does not lead to integration, that Sweden has made a big mistake.

And from the Reuter's piece:

“People are shot to death in pizza restaurants, people are killed by hand grenades they find on the street,” Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Akesson said in parliament on Wednesday.

“This is the new Sweden; the new, exciting dynamic, multicultural paradise that so many here in this assembly ... have fought to create for so many years,” he said sarcastically.

I can't imagine anything will actually be done.  Don't expect the army.  Current European governments are tied to (or by) political correctness and the dogma of multiculturalism.  It would take entirely different governments to make any serious change in policy. 

Pepple's lamb continues its march to slaughter.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Musical Interlude

Because you just can't get enough of North Korean girl rock groups doing instrumentals celebrating a nuclear attack on the United States, with snowmen on the stage, one in a Santa hat, for an audience of what appears to be middle-aged Party functionaries and some girls in traditional Korean dress.

Morabong Band performing Without a Break:

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The War on Windchill

Unforeseen Contingencies makes a foray into applied science! I don’t know about other countries, but in the United States and Canada, weather reporting in winter includes “windchill,” always discussed in dramatic and dire terms, and usually explained with “feels like.” It’s become so prevalent and so out of hand that frequently people tell me the temperature, but in fact are reporting windchill, which is not the temperature at all. And asked what “windchill” means, they mumble some vague nonsense about the wind making it colder. This is a sad state of affairs, and “we” at Unforeseen Contingencies will do our part to correct it.

What is windchill?
When I was a child, growing up in Great Falls, Montana, windchill was never mentioned in weather reports, even though Great Falls is notoriously windy.  (On those rare moments when the wind stops, people look startled and say "what's that?!")  When windchill first started being included occasionally, probably around the time I entered college, reports were careful to explain what it really meant. If an unheated object is warmer than its surrounding environment, it loses heat, by convection, until its temperature equals that of the environment. Because the object is transferring heat to the air around it, it’s surrounded by a layer of slightly warmer air, which slows the continued convection. If there’s wind, this layer of air is thinner, that is, it’s blown away, and the object loses heat faster. Windchill is meant to be a measure and predictor of how windspeed accelerates the heat loss.

Windchill was initially developed by scientists, prior to World War II, for military reasons, I think, and was calculated by examining how long it took a bulb of water starting at some temperature to freeze, given various air temperatures and windspeeds. Note that this has everything to do with physical rate of heat loss for an inanimate object. It has nothing to do with perception, “feels like,” or “wind making things colder.” Perhaps it’s useful information for someone planning on spending extended time out of doors, but it gives no important knowledge one wouldn’t have with just temperature and a wind reading.

Why reporting of windchill is bunk.
Windchill is reported as “feels like,” “perceived,” “makes it colder,” and similar nonsense. Windchill is a measure rate of heat loss, for an exposed, motionless, bulb of water, in the original calculations. Don a windproof garment – on yourself, or on the bulb of water, and the windchill changes. Walk against the wind, it changes again. Start running, and it changes again. Turn around, and run with the wind, and it changes yet again; if you time your running speed correctly, there’ll be no windchill at all. Run along on an exposed ridgeline and you’ll get the full force of the wind, and the windchill will depend on whether it’s a headwind, crosswind, or tailwind. But stay behind rows of trees or buildings, or in a protected draw, and you’ll be out of the wind, and the windchill – except for the accelerated heat loss you create by not staying in one place. I have a great difficulty accepting a measure of weather that changes depending on what clothes I wear, what direction I go, how fast, and in what terrain. It’s not a measure of weather at all.

But even stupider is “feels like,” etc. Let’s say, for example, the temperature is 30F with a 50mph. The National Weather Service (U.S.) online calculator rates this a windchill of 18F. I guarantee that (30F, 50mph) feels nothing like (18F, 0mph); I’ve experienced both on more than one occasion. They are very different, they don’t feel even vaguely similar, and I would not dress the same for them. Even goofier is the idea that “the wind makes it colder.” At (40F, 50mph), the windchill equivalent is (25F, 0mph). (Yes, I’ve experienced both.) You can wait all day for your water bottle to freeze in the former, but it will never go below 40. This seems so obvious would I feel silly pointing it out – except that I hear people make this error on occasion. Would these people think, were it sufficiently windy, they could store their ice cream outside? (“Of course not, that would be impractical. Sufficiently strong winds would blow it away.”)

What’s the alternative?
A windchill calculation does not give us information that we don’t have from temperature and windspeed. In fact, it loses information. If one only knows the windchill is 18F, does that call for light insulation and a heavy windproof garment, or fairly good insulation and no windproof? For running, skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, and other outdoor activities, these are entirely different propositions, and a big deal. It’s much more useful to simply know the actual temperature and whether it’s windy or not. Since windchill will vary with your own direction and velocity, and wind typically blows in gusts and shifts direction, any number is hokum anyway.

And so…
“We” at Unforeseen Contingencies advise that anyone venturing into windy winter weather (i) carry effective windproof outer layer, to be donned as needed, (ii) wear appropriate insulating layer(s), (iii) adjust direction of travel as needed, and especially (iv) stop citing those ridiculous windchill numbers. Join us in our War on Windchill!

Photo: Chief blogger Charles N. Steele cross country skiing at minus 17F (minus 27C) near Great Falls, MT.  Frozen Missouri River in background.

Friday, January 05, 2018

З Різдвом Христовим!

Merry Orthodox Christmas!  (Ukrainian version above.)

For those who, for church purposes, remain on the Julian calendar, January 7 (Gregorian) is Christmas Day.  "We" at Unforeseen Contingencies celebrate both Gregorian and Julian Christmas.  It's a holiday commemorating rescue and redemption, a very hopeful day.  Whether one is a believer or not, it's a good time to remember what a beautiful world we have, to be grateful for our time in it, and to dedicate ourselves to making the most of it.

The Unforeseen Contingencies racing crew is currently in Bozeman, Montana, preparing for tomorrow's FatAss 50K.  Whether any of us will actually cover 50 kilometers is questionable (it's a 5K trail out-and-back, one can run anywhere from one to ten of them and be a finisher) but it is certain we'll have an enjoyable time.

More blogging soon!

Photo: moon setting over Castle Reef, Rocky Mountain Front west of Great Falls.

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