Sunday, December 2, 2018

Climate Change is Unsolveable by Government

I find it interesting that people focus on the economic costs of climate change discussed in recent reports but consistently ignore the economic costs of proposed solutions. "Science" almost universally identifies that the costs of any successful solution would actual exceed the costs of climate change itself.

This does not mean that we should ignore climate change, since economics is only one of many factors to consider.

I point this out because the climate change argument (particularly at the politician/pundit/powerful level) has turned into another typical blue/red bullshit fest of dishonesty and selective reporting.
Almost nothing you read about climate change now is an accurate reflection of both sides of the issue.

Politicians are using climate change, like every other issue, to polarize their voters, distract people from their corruption, expand the power of government, get re-elected and make themselves and their cronies rich.

At the individual level, I consistently see people call for massive, government led changes to force people to change their behaviors while taking only the smallest, most painless steps in their own lives. I still consider the massive lines of parents dropping their kids at school in their idling cars (or worse, waiting at the bus stop in an idling car so they can drive their kid two blocks from the bus stop to their homes) as the perfect example. I'm sure they all have varying levels of "good" reasons, but if climate change was truly the end of the world as we know it, I'd see a lot more walking happening.

There is no big one-size-fits-all solution to climate change. The solution involves partisans looking at solutions from both sides. Conservatives need to embrace expansion of renewable resources and potentially a market based tax on carbon. Liberals need to get over their fear of nuclear power. Both sides need to hold their politicians accountable for the unholy alliance between corporations and government.  The fucking ethanol lie is the poster child for this. There is nothing positive about ethanol unless you are a corn farmer, politician or corporation. Climate change is not helped by the ethanol lobby.

Climate change is NOT a partisan issue! If you keep listening to CNN, FOX news, The Democrats and the Republicans then we are screwed. The solution to climate change is not going to come from government, unless people stop being sheepish slaves to their parties.

Climate change is possibly the best argument for never voting for a Democrat or a Republican that can ever be made. The planet is literally at stake and people just keep voting for the same charlatans over and over. D's and R's will NEVER fix something that they can use to get votes. NEVER!

Wake up!


Saturday, December 1, 2018

November Charleston Restaurant Visits

Name Loc Rank Beer Sel Rating
Husk DT 5 2
Short Grain Var 5
Sorghum and Salt DT 5 2
Wine and Company DT 5 4
Azul Park 4 2
Chez Nous DT 4 1
Edmund's Oast Brewing  NK 4 3
Famulari's WA 4 3
Gillie's Soul Food WA 4 0
One Broad DT 4 2
Rita's WA 4 2
The Brew Cellar Park 4 4
The Establishment DT 4 2
Tradd's DT 4 2
Benny Palmetto's MP 3 2
Dispensary DT 3 2
Grace and Grit MP 3 2
Grit Counter MP 3 2
Krystyna's Polish Food Var 3 0
Maple St. Biscuit Co. WA 3 0
Two Blokes Brewery MP 3 3
Westbrook Brewing MP 3 2

Here's a link to the Master Restaurant Spreadsheet

Columns are Restaurant, Location, Rating and Beer Selection Rating.

Locations: Park - Park Circle, DT - Downtown, NK - North of 17 Downtown, Var - multiple locations, MP - Mount Pleasant.

Rating - 1 to 5 scale (5 being best (gotta be perfect to get a 5))

Beer rating:
0   No beer or little good beer (or a bad brewery)
1   Below Average (or a mediocre brewery)
2   Some locals and other good brews (or an OK brewery)
3   Excellent (or a good brewery)
4   Best (or a great brewery)

Husk and Husk Bar continue to be outstanding. The food menu at the bar is like the Greatest Hits of Husk, with the burger, the fried chicken and the wings starring.
Short Grain is a popup that can be found most Tuesdays at Edmund's Oast Brewing Company. Not a food truck, they take over the kitchen for some Asian inspired delights.
Sorghum and Salt is a small place between Cannon and Morris that has a great casual feel, super friendly staff and delicious food.
Wine and Company is the best wine bar in Charleston AND has a sneaky good beer selection and awesome charcuterie plates. You can buy bottles (or a dozen bottles) of wine to go with really great advice from the super staff.
Azul is the new Mexican place near Park Circle. Second visit was outstanding. They have a HUGE combo plate (can't remember the name) but it would be perfect for 2 people.
Chez Nous is a cute little French place with just TWO entrees and TWO appetizers on the menu each day - but they are VERY good. I think this would be a great place for a date night.
Edmund's Oast Brewing Company: A great brewery with a good kitchen. Awesome beers on tap and some cans to go.
Famulari's has really good pizza and also brews really good beer. A great craft beer/pizza combo for those West of the Ashley.
Gillie's Soul Food is a very casual southern restaurant with really good food. They were putting a bunch of beer taps in when we went there so the beer future looks good.
One Broad is a cool bar/restaurant in a great location but casual setting. You can watch most of your food being prepared.
Rita's is a casual bar with a good food menu near Folly Beach. The fried shrimp was quite good.
The Brew Cellar is a tiny retail store with almost a dozen taps and a cooler of beer to drink on premises. Very casual place for beer lovers.
Dispensary is basically a college bar with a really good happy hour - almost every local beer on tap or in cans is super cheap then.
The Establishment is a nice and cool looking new seafood restaurant with a large chef's counter.
Tradd's opened up in the old Cypress location and they have a couple really cool bars and a nice dining area.
Benny Palmetto's has HUGE slices of pizza and decent beers in a small space with booths to sit at. They also do takeout.
Grace and Grit and The Grit Counter share a kitchen. Grace and Grit is the sit down and be waited on casual restaurant while The Grit Counter is fast casual. I think I would do the counter over the restauarant.
Krystina's Polish Food is a food truck that can be found around town, at breweries and Container Bar.
Maple Street Biscuit Company is a southern chain with decent breakfast type food.
Two Blokes Brewery is a cool spot to have some really good beer. They often have food trucks.
Westbrook is another brewery that usually has a really big tap list and some cool (though expensive) bottles from past years. No significant food.

You may wonder why nobody got a score below 3. There's an explanation on the spreadsheet. In fact, there's a ton of information on the spreadsheet. But to answer the question, we go places we expect to be great. I'm not here to confirm that a mediocre restaurant is actually mediocre. So 2's will be rare, and 1's will be a catastrophic failure in planning.

CHM 110 Useful Stuff

I'm taking CHM 110 at Trident Technical College, and I'm uploading documents to share with my fellow students and including useful stuff. This is purely for my college class. I'm going to keep bumping it to the top to make it easy to find.

Unit 2 Test Prep:

This is the first run of my test notes. I will update with atomic structure stuff once I figure out how to explain it (after figuring it out myself). You should review the powerpoint linked below under "More Stoichiometry" as well.

The Krazy Kombo Kany Kompany Part I

CHM-110L Lab Report Template

This is a link to my Lab 4 Lab Report. You might find it useful as a template. I do the tables in Excel so it can calculate for me and then cut and paste to the report. I just change the page numbers in the procedure for that section. Remember to only do ONE example calculation of each type in the calculations section. Then I just print out the cover sheet and staple it to the report. I assume everyone is done with their lab report for 4, BUT, if not - this is for use as a TEMPLATE, not to copy for Lab 4!

More Stoichiometry:

I made a 2 page powerpoint with some simplified Molar ratio stuff:


Stoichiometry is made more complicated than it needs to be for three reasons. First, the name. Stoichiometry just SOUNDS complicated. Easy solution, don't worry about what it's called. Second and third are harder and are actually the reason it exists at all. Stoichiometry involves things that are too small to see, and too numerous to count. If we could see and count atoms and molecules, stoichiometry would seem as easy as legos, probably even easier (most times your not trying to build the Millenium Falcon and often your just building with two or three different bricks - not so much in bio-chem - but this is 110!)

If I could grab a Chlorine atom and a Sodium atom and smash them together to make salt. Stoichiometry would seem like child's play. I think the key to UNDERSTANDING stoichiometry is to connect it to something you can see. I'm working on a comprehensive example of that which I will publish later. Right now, I'm just going to lay out some simple points to help you grasp what's going on.

First, the grab an atom of Sodium and grab an atom of Chlorine example, while simplistic, is pretty much how it works. To make salt, you need one Chloride atom and one Sodium atom. Na + Cl = NaCl. To make Barium Fluoride, you need 2 Fluorine atoms for every Barium atom. Ba + 2F = BaF2. It's really that simple, except that we need billions upon billions of atoms to make any appreciable amount of a substance.

So, since we can't see the atoms, scientists had to come up with a way to "count" the atoms. They needed some system that could convert something easy to measure into a number of atoms. They came up with a "mole". You can weigh a pure atomic substance, and based on what it is, know exactly how many atoms are in it (or close enough for chemical work - since atoms are so small and you can't see them - a few stray atoms here and there are usually not a big deal).

Scientists know that (using round numbers) 12 grams of Carbon will contain 6.02 x 10^23 atoms. They know this just as we know that 756 grams of large eggs will be 12 eggs or 156 grams of paperclips will be 144 paper clips (I checked). 12 eggs is a "dozen" eggs and 144 paper clips is a "gross" of paper clips. The "mole" is just a way of referring to a specific quantity of something, like a dozen eggs, or a gross of paper clips and using weight to "count" them. A mole is a term referring to a specific number, just like a dozen and a gross. With a little extra work, we can count things using their weight. It's not really useful for eggs in the kitchen, but if I needed to count 1000 eggs, or 10,000 paper clips, knowing that 144 paper clips weighed 156 grams is hugely important. With atoms, it's impossible to count them, so we have the mole.

We use moles for different substances, so we have different weights that equal a mole of them, just like a gross of different items would weigh a different amount.

One "gross" of paperclips would be 144 paper clips and would weigh 156 grams.
One "gross" of eggs would be 144 eggs and would weigh 9072 grams.
One "mole" of eggs would be 6.02 x 10^23 eggs and would weigh 3.79 x 10^25 grams.

So think of moles as kind of like bags of atoms or molecules. A bag of  Carbon atoms with 6.02 x 10^23 atoms in it weighs 12 grams. EVERY bag of atoms or molecules will ALWAYS have 6.02 x 10^23 of them in it, so all we need to know is how much a bag of all the substances weighs.

It's critical to be able to take an atom or a molecule and figure out its molecular or formula weight. That's simply figuring out how much a "bag" of the atoms weighs (our bag being a mole). For an atom, it's the atomic weight of the atom from the periodic table.

One bag (mole) of Sodium (Na) atoms contains 6.02 x 10^23 atoms (this number never changes - just like a gross of paper clips will always contain 144 paper clips) and weighs 23 grams (just like that gross of paper clips weighs 156 grams). It's a property of the substance and never changes.

One bag (mole) of NaCl molecules, contains 6.02 x 10^23 NaCl molecules and weighs about 58.5 grams (The atomic weight of Na (23) plus the atomic weight of Cl (35.5).)

The Atomic Weight or Formula Weight can be written as a ratio 1 mole Na / 23 grams Na, just like we can write for paper clips, 1 gross paper clips / 156 grams paper clips. These can be written upside down as needed to convert grams to moles or moles to grams, just like if I know how many paperclips I have I can use the ratio to figure out what they weigh, or if I know how much they weigh, I can figure out how many I have.

For formulas, the numbers in front of the molecules tell you how many bags (moles) of each you need for each of the ingredients, and how many bags (moles) of the various products you get.

Ba + 2F = BaF2 tells me that I need 2 bags of F for every bag of Ba and when I smush them together I get a bag of BaF2. Each of those bags has 6.02 x 10^23 atoms or molecules in it, and I can figure out how much each one weighs by figuring out their Formula Weights from the periodic table.

For calculation problems, convert grams or atoms to moles (always go through moles) and ratio them according to the numbers from the equation. Thinking of them as bags will help you remember that the term mole isn't magic, it just makes sure you have 2 atoms of F for every atom of Ba in the above formula. You are just using moles because there are a shit ton of atoms involved. I honestly believe that if we made the term "shit-ton" refer to 6.02 x 10^23 of something, and applied it to Chemistry, that everyone would find this a lot easier.

So this probably didn't teach you HOW to do Stoichiometry, but hopefully, it demystified it a little bit.

Keep checking back for updated information and suggestions.
Also feel free to use the Amazon link (the black and white tax book picture) to buy things from Amazon (from which I get a cut) or to buy my tax books.

Unit 1 Test Prep:

Click here for my Test Prep Notes
Click here for the marked up Periodic Table

Keep checking back for updated information and suggestions.
Also feel free to use the Amazon link (the black and white tax book picture) to buy things from Amazon (from which I get a cut) or to buy my tax books.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

The Stupid Anti Communism/Islam/Socialism Meme

Image may contain: 4 people, text

I've been seeing this one a lot...and I have something to say about it:

It is not Communism, Islam or Socialism that binds these threads together, it is the quest for power and control over more and more people by megalomaniacal dictators. Communism, Socialism and Islam are simply the chosen methods of these particular evil people...Protestantism, Catholicism, Christianity, Democracy, and virtually every other "ism" has been used for the same ends with proportionally similar death tolls.

This is a warning against government power more than a warning against any particular "ism".

The natural progression of government is to take more and more power (always with the best of intentions). Eventually, this power will be abused, and people will be killed to defend that power. Don't think it can't happen in America, and don't think millions of guns are a sure prevention of it - those guns could just as easily be used in support of a revolt that ends up with an even worse dictator in power. Right now they are simply a deterrent against the worst abuses by our current government.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Singapore Trip Lessons

I slapped this together to send to someone I met in a bar who was going to Singapore soon. Not exhaustive, but useful if you need some good places to eat, stay and do fun stuff:

Where to Stay:
            Orchard Road Area, with close walk to either the Orchard or Somerset MRT Station
            We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express Orchard Rd.

Orchard Rd Area:
            TONS of shopping above and below ground.
            EAT:   Ya Kun Kaya Toast is a must do (only eat Kaya Toast from Ya Kun)
                        Food Court in basement of Paragon Building has a good food court with a Ya Kun Kaya Toast, So Pho So Good, a Dutch Baby Place, Din Tai Fung which are all good food choices.
                        JiBiru across the street has a great beer selection and good food.

Must Do:
            River Cruise – Catch at Clarke Quay. There is a Thirsty Beer Shop in the Liang Shopping Center which is just outside of the Clark Quay Shopping Area (Clark Quay has two walkways that cross in the middle. If you take a left in the middle as you walk away from the river it lead to the Liang Shopping Center across a street. Cross the bridge to Boat Quay and walk along the river for some cool food places
URA Center Model
            Chinatown – Might want to set aside at least two days if you are going to be in Singapore for a while. Make sure to see the Buddha Tooth Relic, Heritage Center, Food Street, Maxwell Food Center (best hawker stand), Sri Mirraman Temple, Chinatown Center, URA Center (Singapore City Gallery with huge scale models of the city). Chinatown is the best place to get large volume, really cheap, cool but crappy gifts for people you need to get something for, but don’t want to spend a lot of money on.

            Little India – Quick in and out – try eating at a hole in the wall.
Coud Forest Waterfall
            Cloud Forest – this is actually in a huge area with giant fake trees, air-conditioned rain forests with water falls and other really cool stuff.
            Botanical Gardens – Mainly for the Orchid Gardens
            Night Safari – Book ahead and consider a tour. This is one of the few places you need a taxi or bus to get to. They have a pretty cool buffet dinner there.
            Explore and don’t be afraid to just wander in some random place for food.

Other things:
            Sentosa Island
            River Safari
            Singapore Museum
            Arab Street
            Japanese Gardens
            Chinese Gardens
            Mt. Faber
            Harbour Front
Haw Par Village – almost made this a must do but it’s very weird but huge. It’s basically a crappy statues history of Chinese Myths. The 10 hells exhibit is disturbing and hilarious. It’s very close to an MRT station so you can do it quickly.

Food Names to Look For:
            Seng Fa Bak Kut Teh (Seng Fa is the chain, Bak Kut Teh is the food (pork rib soup))
            Fish and Chips
            Lassa (a drink)
            Nasi Lemak
            Kopi (Malaysian coffee with sweetened condensed milk)
Chicken and Rice
This is where you get Chicken and Rice at the Maxwell Food Center

Kaya Toast (very soft boiled eggs that you mix with soy and pepper and did toast in)
Chili Crab
Consider pre-booking a day trip to Johor Bahru in Malaysia. You will want to book ahead. It’s cool for cheap stuff, batik, weird food and the drive across the causeway.

Thursday, November 8, 2018


I have a lot to say on this subject but haven't organized my thoughts well. I have notes below the *****, but you should ignore those. I'm just going to use this post as a catch-all for gun thoughts.

My current policy beliefs (only minimal justification here - more later):
1. The Federal government's activities on guns should be limited to preventing states from infringing on the Constitutional right to a gun.
2. I believe the Constitutional right to a gun includes the right of any law abiding citizen to own any gun that is available to the police and National Guard of the State they are a resident. I believe this is the principle behind the "well-regulated militia" and enshrines the right of defense against a tyrannical government as well as self-defense. I think this extends to safely carrying your gun from one state to another in which it is legal, across states where it is not with ZERO risk of prosecution (so long as the gun is safely stored and locked and no more than a few days are spent in the state it isn't legal.)
3. Deprivation of this right beyond a few days prior to initial licensing requires due process. You can't take a gun away without the gun owner having a chance to respond before a proper, impartial authority and doing so must only be for the minimum time needed. Some of this would vary from state to state, but the basic due process idea stands across all of them.

The rest of the list would be at a state level - different states can do different things - and these suggestions would be for my state. Federal assistance would be provided when sales cross state lines or with background checks.

3. We need to find a way to allow solid background checks without unduly restricting the ability of one citizen to sell to another.
4. Concealed carry licenses should enshrine a large amount of training, but be available to most people willing to put in the effort.
5. I have thoughts about a "super" concealed carry where someone who is willing to subject themselves to extensive and intrusive background checks and a ton of training would be allowed to carry their weapon into traditionally "gun-free" zones.
6. Licensing fees should be reasonable and accessible to most people. In principle, if a government assists poor people with access to things like food and healthcare, there should be some process to reduce fees for gun access to poor people (this is a little fuzzy because if you're poor, a gun should be low on the list of "necessities" but who am I to judge a person's priorities.)

Everything below this line is just shorthand notes to think more about.

What is Effective Gun Control?

Same guns as cops and NG
Defending against tyranny
Army won't fight us (illegal as well)
States can restrict guns by restricting their police

Enforcing current laws

Keeping guns out of the wrong hands

Preventing mass shootings - what can we do, will it be effective, is it worth the cost.

What would it take to make America a gun-free or low gun society? What would the cost be?

What would it take to eliminate gun violence

Respect for rights

What do we do about idiots with guns (that aren't clinically diagnosable as such)

We glorify violence - even movies and stories with "pacifists" ultimately require them to fight to win out over "evil" or save someone. Peaceful means never work.

Private sales

No fly lists and other protections must have due process

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

October 2018 Charleston Restaurant and Bar Visits

Azul Park 3
Coda del Pesce MP 5 1
Container Bar NK 4 2
Daps NK 4 2
Edmunds Oast NK 5 4
EVO Park 5 3
FIG DT 4 1
Kickin Chicken Var 3 2
Orange Spot Park 4
Papi's Taqueria MP 4 2
Park Café NK 4
Sunflower Café MP 3
The Brew Cellar Park 4 4
The Codfather Park 4 2

Columns are Restaurant, Location, Rating and Beer Selection Rating.

Locations: Park - Park Circle, DT - Downtown, NK - North of 17 Downtown, Var - multiple locations, MP - Mount Pleasant.

Rating - 1 to 5 scale (5 being best (gotta be perfect to get a 5))

Beer rating:
0    No beer or little good beer (or a bad brewery)
1    Below Average (or a mediocre brewery)
2    Some locals and other good brews (or an OK brewery)
3    Excellent (or a good brewery)
4    Best (or a great brewery)

Container Bar is a cool bar that brings in food trucks. All the great things about food trucks with none of the issues with them.
The new Kickin' Chicken on Dorchester is having growing pains, so we gave them a bit of a mulligan.
Daps is great for breakfast type meals and great drinks.
Coda Del Pesce is still the place to go on IOP
Azul has some really good, inspired Mexican
The Brew Cellar is still the place to go for beer variety in Park Circle (sorry Commonhouse)
EVO still the best pizza and beer combination in town (Love Pork Trifecta - take some home and have it for breakfast with a fried egg on it!)
Edmunds Oast might be the best beer+food combo in town, or possibly the best restaurant period (try to sit at the chef's counter).
Orange Spot has a great Thai Tea
FIG was still really good, but the ribeye was just not that great this time, hence a downgrade from 5 to 4.
Papi's is the IOP place to go if you want faster and less expensive, but still great.
Park Cafe has awesome brunches.
Sunflower cafe was good, but not special.

Didn't get everywhere we wanted due to a great visit to Iceland. Might post about those restaurants.