It’s All a Matter of Perspective

There are many who say they have never won anything in their life.  Even more than that they claim they never came in first place.

Well I beg to differ.

Fair Winds and Following Seas Mr. Armstrong

So as many of you probably know Neil Armstrong passed away recently.  While it certainly is a blow, it is by no means unexpected:

I am by no means old enough to remember Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin’s historic walk.  I was however lucky enough to grow up being the son of an engineer.  One of my father’s good friends worked on the Apollo program.  I will say I’m not a big fan of NASA, but I will not allow my dislike of them to taint or color the value and accomplishment of the Apollo program.

Growing up I looked at Apollo and it meant one thing to me, if I can dream it, I can build it.*  Hence my becoming an engineer.

I want to see us return in my life time.  But everyone in that program can take solace in the fact they helped inspire a bunch of people to become engineers.  No just at that time, but continuing forward even today.

So pardon me while I go give a wink at the moon.

Good bye Neil and God Speed.


*It is worth noting what sealed my decision to be an engineer was seeing the development of the Physio Control Life Pack as well as the Automatic External Defibrillator.  The fact I saw something my dad and his friends built from the ground up that at the time only had the potential to save lives and revolutionize everything.  Yup, it did exactly that.  The Apollo program’s impact though was no slouch either.

A Picture is Worth 1000 Words


Oleg has such a wonderful way of doing that.

SSCC #399–Isleton

A former local police officer, first accused of having sex in his squad car, is now accused of selling guns.

This is California mind you, and this isn’t the first time we’ve found an incident of officers selling guns.  But remember “Gun Control” magically works.

State Sponsored Criminal #399: Scott Kunz

Because the taxpayers are paying for you to cheat on your wife and then when you get bored with that, sell public property and pocket the money.

Electricity is Dangerous….

Weer’d had an incident recently in his “Gun Death?” files that centered around a downed power line.

There, she saw a white SUV on the grass of a house. Water spewed from the broken hydrant – about 2,000 gallons per minute – and downed power lines carrying a charge of 4,800 volts lay along the ground, charging the water around the exposed wires.

Most people understand that electricity is dangerous but often they don’t understand how dangerous.  I started the power series and I keep meaning to go back and continue it, and one of these days I will.  For now though I’m going to try and explain just the specifics to try and help people understand what is going on.

To start off with, if you are in a vehicle and it strikes a power pole or a power distribution box.  Stay In Your Vehicle!  Your vehicle will actually help protect you from the voltages.  If you can, back away from the downed conductors and then call 911. In the incident of hitting a power distribution box, odds are the line will fault and a breaker will open.  However, be advised that doesn’t mean your safe.  The majority of faults in the distribution system are momentary.  Because of this fact there is an auto reclosing circuit which will reclose the line and energize it.  The fault will remain and the circuit will open again.  Usually after the 3rd shot failed they will lock out the re-closer.  Still, stay in your vehicle, don’t risk it unless there is a more pressing danger to your life such as a vehicle fire.  If you do need to leave your vehicle, use my notes at the bottom.

Now, if you see someone get in an accident with a power pole or distribution box, keep your distance!  If you see the line arching or sparking, keep your distance as much as possible.  Immediately call the utility and they can de-energize the lines.  While the power company wishes to clear faults when they occur on the power system there is a particular kind of fault that is very hard to detect.  Not only is it hard to detect, but it becomes exceedingly difficult when you’re in the distribution system.

Detecting this fault is difficult because there is not a lot of current involved which is one of the big items that is watched for protection.  The reason there is less fault current, especially at the distribution level is the distance from generation and the fact it is in parallel with numerous other loads.  Especially the further you get down a distribution line.

What is confusing in this case is the combination with water with the fault.  Normally high impedance faults are found on things like asphalt or in the desert on dry sand.  Where the ground itself isn’t a good conductor.  In this case water is an excellent conductor, however I suspect that the water was mainly on asphalt which was acting as an insulator and this fault was way down the distribution line.

So here’s basically what I figure happened.  When the line went into the water, all the water was basically at a potential of 4800 volts.  The water would have a low impedance so there wouldn’t be much of a voltage drop across it.  However, there is a massive drop between the water and the actual earth ground.  As someone stepped into the water they bridged a circuit with their body, especially if they stepped off of grass over a curb into the water.

Your body and electricity don’t really mix.  It takes only a mere 11mA to stop your heart, it isn’t voltage that kills you, it’s the current.  Your bodies natural resistance tops out at around 100 kilo ohms at the skin, if it’s dry and you’re not sweating.  Internally it’s only about 300-1000 ohms.  If you get your skin wet the resistance drops.

With dry skin if you were to grab on to a 4800V line you would get 48mA through your body approximately, that would be more than enough to kill you, though that would depend on the exact path taken through the body.  Wet, the current will be easily measured in Amps.  If some how it doesn’t stop your heart, odds are you will be lit on fire as your body will be dissipating approximately 27 kW of energy.

So everyone please listen to me, stay away from downed conductors.  Yes people may be injured, people may need help, but it will do no good for them for you to injure yourself in the process.  In fact it will divert resources from helping them to helping you.

Now if some how you find yourself near a downed conductor, do not walk towards it or away from it!  Do the following:

  • Keep both feet as close together as possible.  This will keep your feet at approximately the same electrical potential and will limit current flow.
  • Hop both with both feet away from the downed conductor.  Again, do not walk.  At most shuffle.  See there’s a reason they made you learn the bunny hop in PE in school!
  • If you need to exit a car.  Jump clear of the vehicle without touching the vehicle and the ground at the same time.
  • Keep your arms held tightly to your sides.

The explanation of this is think of the ground as a high impedance resistor.  Over a resistor is a voltage drop.  The further the distance on the ground from one point to another the bigger the voltage drop.  Your body has a much lower resistance than the ground, and if you step, that difference in potential will form a circuit through your body.  If you are not comfortable hopping, then shuffle away.

SSCC #398–Rockwood

"It is alleged that Zieminski engaged in inappropriate sexual contact using force or coercion with a female prisoner who was in his custody at the time," Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office spokeswoman Maria Miller said in a release issued Tuesday.

Couldn’t get any worse than that right?

This is the second time that sexual improprieties while employed as a police officer have led to Zieminski’s firing.

(Emphasis mine.)  Yeah, I think the state is culpable for round two.  It is worth noting the following as well about the prior incident.

Zieminski was fired by the Rockwood Police Department on July 6, though Rockwood Police Chief Stephen Rowe declined to state the reason, according to the News-Herald, and once before in 2006 when he was 28 and worked in Brownstown Township as a police liaison at Woodhaven High School, during which time a 17-year-old female student reported having inappropriate contact with Ziemenski.

Are we surprised a sexual predator would want to be in law enforcement where his position would give him “unquestioned authority”.

State Sponsored Criminal #398: Christian Zieminski

Because evidently the city of Rockwood feels that it is a smart idea to place a sexual predator around people while giving him a badge and a gun to coerce his victims.

Quote of the Day–Robb Allen (08/30/2012)

One place I refuse to debate anti-gun people in is Twitter. The problem is that it’s a terrible format for discussion enough as it is, but watching the anti’s try to argue in < 140 characters means their stupidity is condensed. Trust me folks, you don’t want to get that shit on you, it stains.

Robb AllenWeapons grade stupid

August 30, 2012

[I have been getting into it with the fools on twitter a lot more recently, mainly because the stupidity is just unbelievable.  Today’s shining example from the short bus:


This is well after I tweeted this at him:


He then sent this a short bit later which appears to have gone down the memory hole as a deleted tweet.  But here’s a related tweet that will show you what he was basically saying.


That’s right folks, he played the victim card.  Not only did he play it, but he claimed the status so fervently that we were automatically unable to comprehend what he was talking about.  Not only were we unable to comprehend, but we were informed that any one who could actually claim victim status would agree with his point of view.  That deleted tweet was him claiming that there were no victims of gun violence that were against gun control.  I really wish I had saved it because Linoge and I both called him on it and it appears it promptly went down the memory hole.

This whole conversation is a bit broken up within twitter, but another entertaining bit was the following:


Overall it degraded from there and it became quite obvious that his understanding and mastery of the English language was non-existent.  In case you don’t know, here is the definitions of fetishism:

A fetish (derived from the French fétiche; which comes from the Portuguese feitiço; and this in turn from Latin facticius, "artificial" and facere, "to make") is an object believed to have supernatural powers, or in particular, a man-made object that has power over others. Essentially, fetishism is the emic attribution of inherent value or powers to an object.

This is a glimpse inside the head of those who want disarm the law abiding so that predators may roam free and unhindered.  As Robb said, it’s concentrated and stains.  Be careful while handling it, but by all means show everyone what these people really are.* –B

*And most certainly stop if you feel your IQ beginning to drop.  It is suspected you can do permanent damage.]

Random Thought of the Day (08/30/2012)

You know you’ve made a fantastic choice of friends when you get an email about taking delivery of 1.5 tons of Ammonium Nitrate…

It makes you realize you’ve made some very smart choices in your.  Sure, you’re stuck lugging around 50 pound bags, but I’d rather do that than burn fuel, lug someone’s couch into my truck, and move it while everyone else eats the pizza so there’s no left by the time you get there.*

Yeah, I prefer dealing with the Ammonium Nitrate, the effort is quite worth it.

*After that my standing rule is “if you want to use me and my truck in your move, it will arrive with a full tank and it will be full again once we’re done.”