Friday, May 31, 2013

Hemlocks' tin can defense

       Now best case I could use magnesium trip flares (like the military does), but that is against the law these days for people like me. And second basic case, I could choose to use chem light trip flares, but have chosen not to do that mostly because of expense, and also having to maintain all this stuff. After all, the wild critters are around, too. And they trip lines, too.

            So I have chosen to use the WWII solution I saw in movies. Basically it is to use tin cans with pebbles in them (of which the Hemlocks has many), and strung on a nylon line that will alert anyone who hears the effect. My thinking right now is to save the existing metal line for snaring critters like rabbits. And I expect nylon lines will sag over time, so I have some maintenance to do, too.

            Now the intent is two-fold.  One is to let the bad people know that I know they are about, or at least they might think so. And the second intent is just to really use it for my own defense.

            Last, there is a proposed tank ditch, too. Basically one just digs a big ass ditch across the ingress road to the place to stop any invader vehicles that they might bring.  ATV's only work so far, before they even get bogged down and stuck. So goes for bigger vehicles, too.

Methyl salicylate


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Methyl salicylate (oil of wintergreen or wintergreen oil) is an organic ester that is naturally produced by many species of plants. Some of the plants which produce it are called wintergreens, hence the common name. This compound is used as a fragrance. It is also found in liniments (rubbing ointments).

Natural occurrence

Numerous plants produce methyl salicylate in very small amounts. Some plants, such as the following, produce more:

This compound is produced most likely as an anti-herbivore defense. If the plant is infected with herbivorous insects, the release of methyl salicylate may function as an aid in the recruitment of beneficial insects to kill the herbivorous insects.[1] Aside from its toxicity, methyl salicylate may also be used by plants as a pheromone to warn other plants of pathogens such as tobacco mosaic virus.[2]

Commercial production

Methyl salicylate can be produced by esterifying salicylic acid with methanol. Commercial methyl salicylate is now synthesized, but in the past, it was commonly distilled from the twigs of Betula lenta (sweet birch) and Gaultheria procumbens (eastern teaberry or wintergreen).


  • in high concentrations as a rubefacient in deep heating liniments (such as Bengay) to treat joint and muscular pain. Randomised double blind trial reviews report evidence of its effectiveness that is weak, but stronger for acute pain than chronic pain, and that effectiveness may be due entirely to counter-irritation. However, in the body it metabolizes into salicylates, including salicylic acid, a known NSAID.[3][4][5]
  • in low concentrations as a flavoring agent, The highest amount of methyl salicylate typically used in candy flavoring is 0.04%.[6]
  • providing fragrance to various products and as an odor-masking agent for some organophosphate pesticides.[citation needed] If used excessively, it can cause stomach and kidney problems.[7]
  • attracting male orchid bees, who apparently gather the chemical to synthesize pheromones; it is commonly used as bait to attract and collect these bees for study.[8]
  • clear plant or animal tissue samples of color, and as such is useful for microscopy and immunohistochemistry when excess pigments obscure structures or block light in the tissue being examined. This clearing generally only takes a few minutes, but the tissue must first be dehydrated in alcohol.[9]
  • a mint flavoring in some kinds of chewing gum and candy, as an alternative to the more common peppermint and spearmint oils. It can also be found as a flavoring of root beer. It is also a potentially entertaining source of triboluminescence; when mixed with sugar and dried, it gains the tendency to build up electrical charge when crushed or rubbed. This effect can be observed by crushing wintergreen Life Savers candy in a dark room.[10][11]
  • as a transfer agent, to produce a manual copy of an image on a surface.[12]
  • in small amounts, to lower the freezing point of glacial acetic acid for transport.
  • a simulant or surrogate for the research of chemical warfare agent sulfur mustard, due to its similar chemical and physical properties.[13]
  • an antiseptic in Listerine mouthwash produced by the Johnson & Johnson company.
  • restoring (at least temporarily) the elastomeric properties of old rubber rollers, especially in printers.

Safety and toxicity

In pure form, methyl salicylate is toxic, especially when taken internally. A single teaspoon (5ml) of methyl salicylate contains 7g of salicylate,[14] which is equivalent to more than twenty-three 300 mg aspirin tablets. The lowest published lethal dose is 101 mg/kg body weight in adult humans,[15] (or 7.07 grams for a 70-kg adult). It has proven fatal to small children in doses as small as 4 ml.[6] A seventeen-year-old cross-country runner at Notre Dame Academy on Staten Island, died in April 2007, after her body absorbed methyl salicylate through excessive use of topical muscle-pain relief products.[16]

Most instances of human toxicity due to methyl salicylate are a result of over-application of topical analgesics, especially involving children. Some people have intentionally ingested large amounts of oil of wintergreen. Salicylate, the major metabolite of methyl salicylate, may be quantitated in blood, plasma or serum to confirm a diagnosis of poisoning in hospitalized patients or to assist in an autopsy.[17]

The entire wiki article can be found at:

Power outage


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A power outage (also power cut, blackout, brownout, or power failure) is a short- or long-term loss of the electric power to an area.

There are many causes of power failures in an electricity network. Examples of these causes include faults at power stations, damage to electric transmission lines, substations or other parts of the distribution system, a short circuit, or the overloading of electricity mains.

Power failures are particularly critical at sites where the environment and public safety are at risk. Institutions such as hospitals, sewage treatment plants, mines, and the like will usually have backup power sources such as standby generators, which will automatically start up when electrical power is lost. Other critical systems, such as telecommunications, are also required to have emergency power. Telephone exchange rooms usually have arrays of lead-acid batteries for backup and also a socket for connecting a generator during extended periods of outage.

Types of power outage

Power outages are categorized into three different phenomena, relating to the duration and effect of the outage:

  • A transient fault is a momentary (a few seconds) loss of power typically caused by a temporary fault on a power line. Power is automatically restored once the fault is cleared.
  • A brownout or sag is a drop in voltage in an electrical power supply. The term brownout comes from the dimming experienced by lighting when the voltage sags. Brownouts can cause poor performance of equipment or even incorrect operation.
  • A blackout refers to the total loss of power to an area and is the most severe form of power outage that can occur. Blackouts which result from or result in power stations tripping are particularly difficult to recover from quickly. Outages may last from a few minutes to a few weeks depending on the nature of the blackout and the configuration of the electrical network.

Protecting the power system from outages

In power supply networks, the power generation and the electrical load (demand) must be very close to equal every second to avoid overloading of network components, which can severely damage them. Protective relays and fuses are used to automatically detect overloads and to disconnect circuits at risk of damage.

Under certain conditions, a network component shutting down can cause current fluctuations in neighboring segments of the network leading to a cascading failure of a larger section of the network. This may range from a building, to a block, to an entire city, to an entire electrical grid.

Modern power systems are designed to be resistant to this sort of cascading failure, but it may be unavoidable (see below). Moreover, since there is no short-term economic benefit to preventing rare large-scale failures, some observers[who?] have expressed concern that there is a tendency to erode the resilience of the network over time, which is only corrected after a major failure occurs. It has been claimed[who?] that reducing the likelihood of small outages only increases the likelihood of larger ones. In that case, the short-term economic benefit of keeping the individual customer happy increases the likelihood of large-scale blackouts.

Protecting computer systems from power outages

Computer systems and other electronic devices containing logic circuitry are susceptible to data loss or hardware damage that can be caused by the sudden loss of power. These can include data networking equipment, video projectors, alarm systems as well as computers. To protect against this, the use of an uninterruptible power supply or UPS can provide a constant flow of electricity in the event that a primary power supply becomes unavailable for a short period of time. To protect against surges (events where voltages increase for a few seconds), which can damage hardware when power is restored, a special device called a surge protector that absorbs the excess voltage can be used.

Restoring power after a wide-area outage

Restoring power after a wide-area outage can be difficult, as power stations need to be brought back on-line. Normally, this is done with the help of power from the rest of the grid. In the total absence of grid power, a so-called black start needs to be performed to bootstrap the power grid into operation. The means of doing so will depend greatly on local circumstances and operational policies, but typically transmission utilities will establish localized 'power islands' which are then progressively coupled together. To maintain supply frequencies within tolerable limits during this process, demand must be reconnected at the same pace that generation is restored, requiring close coordination between power stations, transmission and distribution organizations.

Blackout inevitability and electric sustainability

Self-organized criticality

It has been argued on the basis of historical data[1] and computer modeling[2] that power grids are self-organized critical systems. These systems exhibit unavoidable[3] disturbances of all sizes, up to the size of the entire system. This phenomenon has been attributed to steadily increasing demand/load, the economics of running a power company, and the limits of modern engineering.[4] While blackout frequency has been shown to be reduced by operating it further from its critical point, it generally isn’t economically feasible, causing providers to increase the average load over time or upgrade less often resulting in the grid moving itself closer to its critical point. Conversely, a system past the critical point will experience too many blackouts leading to system-wide upgrades moving it back below the critical point. The term critical point of the system is used here in the sense of statistical physics and nonlinear dynamics, representing the point where a system undergoes a phase transition; in this case the transition from a steady reliable grid with few cascading failures to a very sporadic unreliable grid with common cascading failures. Near the critical point the relationship between blackout frequency and size follows a power law distribution.[4] Other leaders are dismissive of system theories that conclude that blackouts are inevitable, but do agree that the basic operation of the grid must be changed. The Electric Power Research Institute champions the use of smart grid features such as power control devices employing advanced sensors to coordinate the grid. Others advocate greater use of electronically controlled High-voltage direct current (HVDC) firebreaks to prevent disturbances from cascading across AC lines in a wide area grid.[5]

Cascading failure becomes much more common close to this critical point. The power law relationship is seen in both historical data and model systems.[4] The practice of operating these systems much closer to their maximum capacity leads to magnified effects of random, unavoidable disturbances due to aging, weather, human interaction etc. While near the critical point, these failures have a greater effect on the surrounding components due to individual components carrying a larger load. This results in the larger load from the failing component having to be redistributed in larger quantities across the system, making it more likely for additional components not directly affected by the disturbance to fail, igniting costly and dangerous cascading failures.[4] These initial disturbances causing blackouts are all the more unexpected and unavoidable due to actions of the power suppliers to prevent obvious disturbances (cutting back trees, separating lines in windy areas, replacing aging components etc.). The complexity of most power grids often makes the initial cause of a blackout extremely hard to identify.

Mitigation of power outage frequency

The effects of trying to mitigate cascading failures near the critical point in an economically feasible fashion are often shown to not be beneficial and often even detrimental. Four mitigation methods have been tested using the OPA blackout model:[6]

  • Increase critical number of failures causing cascading blackouts - Shown to decrease the frequency of smaller blackouts but increase that of larger blackouts.
  • Increase individual power line max load – Shown to increase the frequency of smaller blackouts and decrease that of larger blackouts.
  • Combination of increasing critical number and max load of lines – Shown to have no significant effect on either size of blackout. The resulting minor reduction in the frequency of blackouts is projected to not be worth the cost of the implementation.
  • Increase the excess power available to the grid – Shown to decrease the frequency of smaller blackouts but increase that of larger blackouts.

In addition to the finding of each mitigation strategy having a cost-benefit relationship with regards to frequency of small and large blackouts, the total number of blackout events was not significantly reduced by any of the above mentioned mitigation measures.[6]

A complex network-based model to control large cascading failures (blackouts) using local information only was proposed by A. E. Motter.[7]

The entire wiki link on the subject can be found at:


       A long wiki link on the subject can be found at:


       I long wiki link on this subject can be found at:

Epiphany (feeling)


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

An epiphany (from the ancient Greek ἐπιφάνεια, epiphaneia, "manifestation, striking appearance") is an experience of sudden and striking realization. Generally the term is used to describe scientific breakthrough, religious or philosophical discoveries, but it can apply in any situation in which an enlightening realization allows a problem or situation to be understood from a new and deeper perspective. Epiphanies are studied by psychologists[1][2] and other scholars, particularly those attempting to study the process of innovation.[3][4][5]

Epiphanies are relatively rare occurrences and generally following a process of significant thought about a problem. Often they are triggered by a new and key piece of information, but importantly, a depth of prior knowledge is required to allow the leap of understanding.[3][4][6][7] Famous epiphanies include Archimedes's discovery of a method to determine the density of an object and Isaac Newton's realization that a falling apple and the orbiting moon are both pulled by the same force.[8][6][7]


The word epiphany originally referred to insight through the divine.[9] Today, this concept is used much more often and without such connotations, but a popular implication remains that the epiphany is supernatural, as the discovery seems to come suddenly from the outside.[9]

The word's secular usage may owe some of its popularity to James Joyce, who expounded on its meaning in the fragment Stephen Hero and the novel A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Referring to those times in his life when something became manifest, a deep realization, he would then attempt to write this epiphanic realization in a fragment. Joyce also used epiphany as a literary device within each short story of his collection Dubliners as his protagonists came to sudden recognitions that changed their view of themselves or their social condition and often sparking a reversal or change of heart. For the philosopher Emmanuel Lévinas, epiphany or a manifestation of the divine is seen in another's face (see face-to-face).

In traditional and pre-modern cultures, initiation rites and mystery religions have served as vehicles of epiphany, as well as the arts. The Greek dramatists and poets would, in the ideal, induct the audience into states of catharsis or kenosis, respectively. In modern times an epiphany lies behind the title of William Burroughs' Naked Lunch, a drug-influenced state, as Burroughs explained, "a frozen moment when everyone sees what is at the end of the fork." Both the Dadaist Marcel Duchamp and the Pop Artist Andy Warhol would invert expectations by presenting commonplace objects or graphics as works of fine art (for example a urinal as a fountain), simply by presenting them in a way no one had thought to do before; the result was intended to induce an epiphany of "what art is" or is not.


Despite its popular image, epiphany is the result of significant work on the part of the discoverer, and is only the satisfying result of a long process.[10] The surprising and fulfilling feeling of epiphany is so surprising because one cannot predict when one's labor will bear fruit, and our subconscious can play a significant part in delivering the solution; and is fulfilling because it is a reward for a long period of effort.[4][10]


A common myth predicts that most if not all innovation occur through epiphanies.[6] Not all innovations occur through epiphanies; Scott Berkun notes that "the most useful way to think of an epiphany is as an occasional bonus of working on tough problems".[7] Most innovations occur without epiphany, and epiphanies often contribute little towards finding the next one.[7] Crucially, epiphany cannot be predicted, or controlled.[7]

Although epiphanies are only a rare occurrence, crowning a process of significant labor, there is a common myth that epiphanies of sudden comprehension are commonly responsible for leaps in technology and the sciences.[6][7] Famous epiphanies include Archimedes' realization of how to estimate the volume of a given mass, which inspired him to shout "Eureka!" ("I have found it!").[3] The biographies of many mathematicians and scientists include an epiphanic episode early in the career, the ramifications of which were worked out in detail over the following years. For example, allegedly Albert Einstein was struck as a young child by being given a compass, and realizing that some unseen force in space was making it move. A similar flash of holistic understanding in a prepared mind was said to give Charles Darwin his "hunch" (about natural selection) during The Voyage of the Beagle. Another famous epiphany myth is associated with Isaac Newton's apple story.[4] Though such epiphanies might have occurred, they were almost certainly the result of long and intensive periods of study those individuals have undertaken, not a sudden, out-of-the-blue, flash of inspiration on an issue they have not thought about previously.[6][7]

Epiphanies can be distinguished by a (usually spiritual) vision, as epiphanies are often triggered by irrelevant incidents or objects.[8][11]

In religion

In Christianity, the Epiphany refers to a realization that Christ is the son of God. Western churches generally celebrate the Visit of the Magi as the revelation of the Incarnation of the infant Christ, and commemorate the Feast of the Epiphany on January 6. Traditionally, Eastern churches celebrated Epiphany (or Theophany) in conjunction with Christ's baptism by John the Baptist and celebrated it on January 19; however, many have begun to adopt the Western custom of celebrating it on January 6, the twelfth day of Christmas.[12] Protestant churches often celebrate Epiphany as a season, extending from the last day of Christmas until Ash Wednesday.

In more general terms, the phrase "religious epiphany" is used when a person realizes his faith, or when he is convinced that an event or happening was really caused by a deity or being of his faith. In Hinduism, for example, epiphany might refer to Arjuna's realization that Krishna (incarnation of God serving as his charioteer in the "Bhagavad Gita") is indeed representing the Universe. The Hindu term for epiphany would be bodhodaya, from Sanskrit bodha 'wisdom' and udaya 'rising'. Or in Buddhism, the term might refer to the Buddha finally realizing the nature of the universe, and thus attaining Nirvana. The Zen term kensho also describes this moment, referring to the feeling attendant on realizing the answer to a koan.

The entire wiki link can be found at: