I'd always assumed that these types of steel were made from wrought iron by repeatedly heating in a "rich" fire (one with more carbon than oxygen) then folding and hot-hammering thin.

But AFAIK real wrought iron could not have contained impurities of vanadium or chromium because those metals would have been removed by substitution by iron oxides in the flux/slag.

I wonder if perhaps they hot-hammered together layers of wrought iron with crucible steel from eastern sources, which contained the impurities, with enough foldings to reduce the original layer thickness to atomic scales (30-40 folds?).


Artist’s conception of a Space Solar Power plant. From Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Solar_power_satellite_sandwich_or_abascus_concept.jpg)

Human problems have been perceived, historically, in a series of expanding perspectives, from local/individual, through local or larger polities, to a more modern “global” scale now widely advocated.

Technology has contributed to solving those problems. Although often accused of creating newer larger-scale problems, it has usually solved the targeted problems on the scale(s) currently perceived.

To solve “global” problems with technology, the first step is to identify them in global terms.

A “local” problem, for instance the accumulation of horse droppings (and corpses) in an urban environment, could be solved by introducing internal combustion engines to replace horses for traction.


tl;dr: A method to get fully reliable testing for large numbers of people while reducing the number of tests: combine PCR with pooling and antigen testing.

I’ve just read an article in Scientific American (also an article in the Atlantic) about the issues involved in testing for the Covid-19 virus. While the idea of “testing at home/office” with an “instant coffee” test should probably be addressed separately, the very cheap, easy antigen test could be part of a combined testing regimen that could save substantially on the number of more expensive PCR tests needed to be run.

I’ve undertaken to…


tl;dr: The President’s “phony source” really was a phony source.

So today in my Google “News Feed” (Fig. 1) I find many references to the President’s tweet (Fig. 2) regarding the phony “source” for a lie in the New York Times:

Fig. 1: From my Google “News Feed”


According to Sputnik International (H/T Partisangirl):

According to Viktor Murakhovsky, member of the advisory council of the Russian Military-Industrial Commission, two cruise missiles that had failed to detonate during the US-led strike on Syria and were reportedly handed over to Russia by the Syrian military may come in handy for Russian specialists.

This has not been reported in Mainstream Western Media as of this writing, perhaps they’re trying to get their story straight.

There was mention of the “JASSM-ER — that the US used in the battlefield for the first time” in another quote, however no actual statement that the…


A story last month in the Atlantic, Democrats Are Shockingly Unprepared to Fight Climate Change, reminded me that nobody is actually pushing a realistic plan to deal with all the fossil carbon our civilization is digging up, burning, and dumping into the atmosphere.

The Democrats, as I said in my tweet responding to the one from Maddie Stone that brought the article to my attention, see “ ‘global warming’/‘climate change’ [as] just a stalking horse for their globalist/socialist/bureaucratic agenda.” Paris was a fraud, as even James Hansen agrees.

Of course, James Hansen has been decried as a “denier” for supporting…


tl;dr: TransCanada’s decision to sell solar assets to buy pipelines may well be the right one, perhaps even brilliant.

So in an analysis today, Mitchell Beer says “TransCanada may be listening to bad advice” by selling off76 megawatts of solar capacity and invest[ing] the proceeds in new natural gas capital projects.” Specifically pipelines, although it’s my guess that they’ll be investing in flex-fuel (gas/oil) combined cycle gas generation (CCGT) as well.

“It looks like TransCanada has given up on even pretending to take climate change seriously,” said Greenpeace Canada Senior Energy Strategist Keith Stewart.

“The company is doubling down…


tl;dr: Even the most optimistic predictions of eTruck penetration are far too pessimistic.

An article from McKinsey&Company,What’s sparking electric-vehicle adoption in the truck industry?” stimulated this piece. (H/T @AukeHoekstra)

Reading the article, I found it extremely pessimistic. Or perhaps “optimistic” given the general tenor of their business. Here’s “Exhibit 1” from their analysis:


According to Cuba:

The alleged “sonic attacks” are coming from cicadas and crickets.

This referring to the supposed “sonic attacks” the US embassy has complained of. Of course, this makes for great humor: Cuba bugged the US Embassy!

But it does make sense. Cicadas (we can forget crickets, I think) are small to medium sized bugs (hemiptera), totally different from beetles, although adults look similar. Unlike beetles, however, bugs do not have a larval stage. Instead, like grasshoppers and crickets, they grow by a series of instars called nymphs, which look like small wingless adults.

Transformation of the periodical cicada from the mature nymph to the adult. Wikimedia Commons

Cicadas live underground from birth…


tl;dr: When a Major Disaster happens to a company, a CEO who hasn’t taken every reasonable precaution should be liable for fraud.

From It’s Time for a Data Breach Warning Label

The recent breach at Equifax is instructive. This company, and others also in the same business, maintain databases of information on just about every person (in the US at least) who has applied for credit recently (within the last 7 years at least, AFAIK).

Based on the reporting, it appears that the company has been woefully negligent in protecting that information, probably for many years. By failing to follow best practices in protecting the consumers’ data, not just…

Art Kilner

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