|Comments for Sunday, August 23,
2020, thru Monday, Aug. 31, 2020:
August 31, 2020 - Yesterday afternoon, I finished reading another library book on my Kindle. It was "The Art of Her Deal: The Untold Story of Melania Trump" by Mary Jordan.
It's an okay book, providing a lot of detail about Melania Knauss's background and how she became Mrs. Donald Trump and America's First Lady. I found it interesting that the code names the Secret Service use for them is "Muse" and "Mogul," with Melania being the "Muse," of course, probably because she's always thinking about the best way to do things while "Mogul" doesn't seem to think at all. Here's the first passage I highlighted in the book:
To a remarkable degree for a couple, Melania and Donald Trump have always lived quite separately; they are often in the same building but rarely in the same room. That, however, is part of their deal, and it suits both of them.Some people have called Melania a "gold digger," but she comes across as a better "deal maker" than her husband. It often seems their relationship is some kind of "deal." Here's another quote from the book:
Asked years ago if she would be with her husband if he were not rich, she shot back, “If I weren’t beautiful, do you think he’d be with me?”She was a fashion model before meeting Trump, doing well, but she never really hit the "big time," even though she got a lot of fame when she appeared on a 9-story high billboard for Camel cigarettes on New York's 42nd Street.
The impression you get from reading the book is that she's primarily interested in making sure her son Barron gets his fair share, just like Trump's other kids from previous wives. Plus she tries to keep Barron from being tainted and corrupted by his surroundings. Barron is now 14 years old, and appears to be the tallest member of the family. Melania comes across as intelligent (she originally planned to be an architect and took architecture in college), and it's clear she doesn't agree with her husband about many things. From time to time, she's even caused him to change his mind. While I totally detest her husband, I think Melania keeps him from being even worse than he is. That puts her on the correct side, as far as I'm concerned.
August 30, 2020 - I've been doing a LOT of research into the history of radar guns, particularly into the history of Kustom Electronics of Chanute, Kansas, the company which claims to have invented the first radar gun that can be used while moving.
It seems the company has many names: Kustom Electronics, Kustom Signals, Kustom Amplification, Kustom R&D, and Kustona Signal, Inc. It evidently began as Kustom Electronics in 1964, when it was founded by a musician who taught himself how to make better music amplifiers than anyone else made. His name was Charles "Bud" Ross. The company he founded made electric guitars, electric basses, amplifiers and other musical equipments. Evidently, Bud Ross was assisted by electronics consultant, Fred Berry, who had previously assisted in the development of the now obsolete Dominator radar gun for another company. The Dominator had a display that looked like this:
The gun itself looked like a spotlight attached to the roof or side of a police car.
Fred M. Berry appears to have just one radar gun patent. It's for a "Method and Apparatus for Digitally Determining the speed of a moving object." It was filed on April 24, 1970 and the original assignee was "Kustona Signal, Inc." of Chanute, Kansas. The patent was granted on September 5, 1972, and appears to be for using a crystal clock which can digitize a reading by a radar gun, enabling the gun to be far more precise than just viewing an analog wiggling arrow on a meter like the one shown above for the Dominator. I don't see much else of interest in the patent.
What I was looking for was a patent that shows how
Kustom developed a plastic radome that fit over the end of the horn to purposely reflect a small amount of RF power back into port 2 and create an LO reference signal at the required mixing level.The quote above is from page 766 of the 2014 book "Principles of Modern Radar, Volume 3: Radar Applications" edited by William L. Melvin and James A. Scheer. It allows a radar gun to measure its own speed.
The problem is that I can find no patent that even mentions the radome. The key Kustoms Electronics patent, #3,936,824, is titled "Method and Apparatus for Digitally Measuring Speed." It's dated February 3, 1976. It just says that the gun being patented is somehow able to measure the "closing speed" of a target. "Closing speed" is what mathematicians believe radar guns measure. It's a single number representing the speed of the gun plus the speed of the target. Example: 110 mph.
The patent says,
The incoming Doppler signal, which in the moving mode, represents both speed of the radar platform and speed of an approaching target vehicle, is separated into two signal components by selective filtering. One component represents the sum of the ground speeds for the radar platform and approaching vehicles.That is already nonsense. If pulling the trigger on your radar gun gives you the combined speed of the gun and the target, there is no way to automatically separate one number into two numbers by "selective filtering." You have to know some other way what at least one two of the numbers actually is.
Later in the patent description it attempts to explain how the "selective filtering" works:
The radar signal component representing the ground speed sum for the radar platform and the approaching target vehicle, and the component representing radar platform speed are combined. The radar platform speed is subtracted from the combined component, resulting in a digital count representing approaching target vehicle speed. In the stationary mode, there is no radar platform doppler pulses in the radar return and consequently, the returning pulses may be processed directly and no subtracting function is performed.The part I highlighted in red is just double-talk which can be summarized this way:
A total of the radar gun's speed and the target speed is further combined with the radar gun's speed. The radar gun's speed is then subtracted from the combined number to produce the speed of the target.That, of course, makes no sense. It just results in getting a combined speed once again. Plus, they do not say how they got the "radar platform speed." It seems clear that they get it by bouncing photons off of the radome, but they do not want to mention that. Is it because mathematicians (and possibly the patent clerk) will think that is totally impossible and therefore unpatentable? Everything would be explained if they just stated how they get the "radar platform speed." Instead, they seem to be saying that they get a combined speed of 110 mph from the gun, and then through "selective filtering" they magically subtract 50 mph from that to get the target speed of 60 mph.
The part I highlighted in red can almost certainly be stated correctly this way:
The radar gun's speed is combined with the target speed, and then the radar gun's speed is subtracted from that combined speed to get the target speed.That way you get a correct answer while demonstrating that you have at least one of the numbers before you begin the mathematics. You have the radar gun's speed because you got it by bouncing photons off of the radome. It is determined first because the radome is the nearest target, and the return signal is always the same strength, so there is no question as to what is being measured.
Maybe there's something I'm missing, but it's like they've forgotten how they got the patrol speed (i.e., the "radar platform speed") by bouncing photons off of the radome. Or they do not want to admit or tell anyone how they got it. They hide things with the term "selective filtering" which explains nothing.
I think I need to find another way to research this.
August 28, 2020 - Hmm. When I went for a walk to get some exercise on Wednesday evening, I walked mostly through the nearly empty parking lots of a couple strip malls. It was after normal business hours and the stores were mostly closed. When I passed the Dick's Sporting Goods store, I was puzzled to see that they were boarding up the windows. I wondered if they were going out of business. But why would they board up their windows if they were going out of business? Besides, the place looked fully stocked. It was a puzzle. But, I didn't think much more about it.
Then, this afternoon, I had to go to Piggly Wiggly to buy some groceries. It's in a different strip mall about 2 miles north of the Dick's. As I walked toward the Piggly Wiggly from my car, I saw that there were three stores next to the Piggy Wiggly that were also boarded up, but with front doors that seemed to be open for business. I walked to the nearest one to see if there was some sign that might explain things. The only signs on the door were to give the hours, to say the store was open, to say that only five customers were allowed in the store at one time, and to say that masks were required. As I was reading the signs, someone who looked like she worked in the store came up from behind me. I asked why the stores were all boarded up. She replied that it was because of the rioting and looting and the burning of a lot of stores in Kenosha over the past week.
Of course. I should have guessed that. But there had been no rioting in Racine, as far as I was aware of, and I was at least 12 miles from the part of Kenosha where the riots happened. Plus, all the stores that were burned and looted in Kenosha were in business districts where there was only a sidewalk between the street and the store windows. I don't recall ever seeing a crowd or an individual walk through a large parking lot to get to a store window he planned to break. Evidently, however, the mall store owners felt it was better to be safe than sorry. I don't know how much it costs to board up store windows, but it is almost certainly cheaper that rebuilding the entire store after it has been burned down. But, if there were going to be riots in Racine, why would they take place in that part of Racine? There's a business district about a mile to the east of the strip malls and a bigger one a mile beyond that. Yet, for all I know, the business district places more likely to have riots are already boarded up.
As I was writing this comment, I checked the news and found a story titled "Rumors Of Jacob Blake Protests In Racine Are 'False': Cops." The article is dated today and begins with this:
Racine police say they've been inundated with rumors about Jacob Blake-related protests happening in Racine, but they've been "all false."And here's the picture they used:
Hmm. Kohl's and Festival Foods are in the strip mall that is kitty-corner from the one I visited. So, the boarding up is mostly "better safe than sorry" but maybe with a dash of panic added in for flavor.
August 27, 2020 - I spent most of yesterday studying and researching the patents behind radar guns that can be used while moving. There seem to be basically six of them. Most of my time was spent creating versions of the abstracts that I could highlight and easily read. Then I began studying the first one, which is patent #3,118,139 by Gerald Durstewitz of Pompton Lakes, NJ. The patent was issued January 14, 1964, and it is for a "Speed Measuring Apparatus" which definitely cannot be called a "radar gun." The transmitter is a big box that sits atop the police car's roof, and there are two large receivers fixed to the car's front bumper, one to measure the return signals from the target and the other to measure return signals from the ground. This is the first paragraph of the patent description:
This invention relates to apparatus for measuring the speed of a body relative to a surface over which it is moving, and more particularly, to such apparatus which is mounted on a second body adapted to move over the surface and operates on the Doppler principle to measure the speed of the first body with respect to the surface while the second body is moving.I found it because it is referenced in a Kustom Signals patent issued in 1976. While studying it, I noticed that it mentions a "discovery" that is very interesting and is the basis for the patent. However, the patent description also includes what I think is a false assumption that is based upon that discovery. The assumption conflicts with Einstein's Second Postulate. Now I have to figure out if that false assumption is repeated and utilized in later patents. It's tedious work, and I assume that everything I find will be disputed by mathematicians. But it's like a clue that I need to follow to see where it leads.
Meanwhile yesterday afternoon, when I checked the status of my "hold list" and my "wish list" at my library, I found that a book on my "wish list" was available to borrow. So I borrowed it. (Books on my "hold list" are automatically borrowed when they become available, but you can only have 10 books on that list. You can have 5,000 books on your "wish list." I currently have less than 10.)
The book I borrowed was an audio book, "Journeys in English" by Bill Bryson.
When I downloaded it, I was surprised to see that it was just 2 hours and 45 minutes long. So I listened to the entire "book" yesterday evening. It appears to be a series of BBC radio 4 broadcasts, so there is no print version. It's a discussion of English with lots of interviews with people who are experts on the history of the English language. While English is spoken in more countries than any other language, and it's the primary language of the Internet and aviation, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese are the primary languages of more people. English is a second language for most people. Most interesting to me, however, is the fact that English is constantly expanding and growing, adding new words every year. When other languages add new words for the same things, they typically just use the English word. There is no reason to have a hundred different words that mean "I-Pad" or "Internet."
It was 2 hours and 45 minutes well spent.
August 25, 2020 - After writing my Sunday comment on Sunday morning, I tried to work on organizing all the patents and information I have regarding radar guns, but it isn't something I could write a comment about -- not yet. First I'd have to work on a paper about it. I needed to get my thoughts in order.
But, then I just couldn't get started on a science paper. So, instead, I started listening to an audio book I'd obtained from the library some time ago. The book was "One Summer: America, 1927" by Bill Bryson.
Bryson is one of my favorite authors, but this book wasn't on my priority list. I think I started listening to it because it was a history book, and listening to "The Dollop" podcasts had gotten me into the mood for listening to history stories. "One Summer" grabbed me right away, and last night I finished listening to the 17-hour, 3 minute audio book. That means I listened for over 8 hours per day.
As the title indicates, the book is about the summer of 1927 and all the things that were taking place at that time, particularly in America. The centerpiece is Lindbergh's flight from New York to Paris which began at 7:22 a.m. on May 20, 1927. That summer, a lot of other pilots died trying to do what Lindbergh did with such apparent ease. Today it is difficult to understand how wildly popular and famous Lindbergh became. He didn't even expect to have anyone waiting for him in Paris. But there were hundreds of thousands waiting. Lindbergh was in parades almost every day after he returned to the USA. Streets, parks and buildings were named after him. But 1927 was also a time of deep racial hatred, antisemitism and growing Nazism. Lindbergh was pro-Nazi and, in time, all those streets, parks and buildings had their names changed back.
1927 was also the time when baseball players Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig were breaking records of all kinds. So were fighters Jack Dempsey and Gene Tunney. TV made its first appearance that summer, with a screen the size of a Post-it note. The first sound movie, The Jazz Singer, was released. Radio was the big new invention that everyone listened to. New York City had twelve daily papers, and almost all other cities worthy of the name had at least two or three. Al Capone was at his peak in Chicago because Prohibition was at its peak. Work on Mount Rushmore was beginning. The musical Show Boat premiered in New York. Writers F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, T. S. Eliot, Gertrude Stein, Dorothy Parker and Ezra Pound were at their peak. Anarchists were setting off bombs all over the country. Sacco and Vanzetti were executed for a crime they probably didn't commit. "A madman in Michigan blew up a school and killed forty-four people in the worst slaughter of children in American history. Henry Ford stopped making the Model T, and promised to stop insulting Jews." And on and on and on.
It's the details that really make the book interesting. Al Capone was at his peak, but he was only 28 years old. He died in Florida at age 48, not in Alcatraz, where stories about him end. There were 1,100 different railroad companies in the U.S. in 1920. Hollywood was producing some 800 feature films a year, 80 per cent of the world’s total output, plus some 20,000 short features. Movies were America’s fourth largest industry, employing more people than Ford and General Motors put together, and generating over $750 million for the economy – four times more than was earned by all sports and live entertainments combined. Twenty thousand cinemas sold 100 million tickets a week. On any given day, one sixth of all Americans were at the pictures.
Here are some details about Henry Ford:
FOR A MAN who changed the world, Henry Ford travelled in very small circles. He resided his whole life within a dozen miles of his birthplace, a farm at Dearborn, just outside Detroit. He saw little of the wider world and cared even less for it.And on and on. Interesting stuff if you enjoy history, and I do.
August 23, 2020 - Hmm. I exchanged emails with my sister last week, and in one email she mentioned that people with Type-O blood are less likely to get Covid-19. I hadn't heard or read that before, so I researched it. I found many articles from April which stated that people with Type-O blood are less likely to get Covid-19 and are less likely to get a severe case of Covid-19. This morning, when I did the search again so I could write this Sunday comment, I couldn't find those April articles, but I did find an article from June which says,
Now a team of European researchers have found that people with blood type A had a 45% higher risk of catching coronavirus and developing "COVID-19 with respiratory failure," compared to people with other blood types. On the other hand, people with type O blood had a 35% lower risk for this more serious form of COVID-19.A Harvard Medical School article from July, however, says:
Blood type is not associated with a severe worsening of symptoms in people who have tested positive for COVID-19, report Harvard Medical School researchers based at Massachusetts General Hospital.and
The study did find, however, that symptomatic individuals with blood types B and AB who were Rh positive were more likely to test positive for COVID-19, while those with blood type O were less likely to test positive.Hmm. So, people with Type-O blood are still less likely to get Covid-19. My dogtags say I have O-Positive blood. My sister also has Type-O. It's good to know that we're less likely to get Covid-19, but, of course, that is still no reason to take chances.
Meanwhile, in last Friday's comment, I mentioned that an audio book I'd just finished listening to while driving was written by two comedians, Dave Anthony and Gareth Reynolds, who also have a podcast. Their Podcast is called "The Dollop" and, although I'd never heard of it, it appears to be very popular (a "cult hit" according to an Australian source). Anthony and Reynolds have been doing the podcast since April 2014, and, as of this moment there are 443 episodes on-line. Feeling I needed to learn more, I searched around, found a web site which lists what that site considers to be the best episodes, and I downloaded 31 of them into my laptop. I then transferred 7 to my MP3 player. On Friday evening I listened to 3 of them: #60 "The Comet Panic", #401 "The Bridges of Milwaukee"and #271 "Uber," which the web site lists as the #1 best episode.
I had no idea what to expect, and it took awhile to figure things out. On Saturday I found that they also put their more recent podcasts on YouTube, which helped explain things further. The show consists of Dave Anthony reading notes from his I-Pad, as shown in the screen-shot below:
That explains the strange pauses in the show. Evidently they occur when Dave Anthony (on the left in the image above) is thumbing through his notes looking for the next thing to read. When he finishes reading some short passage, he and Reynolds (on the right) then discuss it. The notes are evidently from what Anthony has previously read and researched about the topic of the day. And it is all totally new to Reynolds, who knows nothing about the topic of the day until he hears what Anthony reads to the audience.
"The Comet Panic" was about the appearance of Haley's Comet in May 1910 and the total panic it caused. Anthony and Reynolds then discussed and joked about how totally clueless people where in those days. Millions were told (and fully believed) that the comet's tail contained cyanide and would poison everyone as the Earth passed through the tail. One scientist predicted that the comet would become so bright it would blind everyone on earth.
Unexpectedly, the 51-minute podcast was very interesting and very enjoyable.
The next episode I listened to was "The Bridges of Milwaukee." It was 1 hour and 29 minutes long, and it was also very interesting and very enjoyable. It was about a weird feud that took place in 1845 between different settlements on two sides of what is now the Milwaukee River. Wikipedia even has a page about it, and they call it The Milwaukee Bridge War. The podcast was evidently done in front of a live audience at Turner Hall in Milwaukee. I recall hearing about the Milwaukee Bridge War before, but never in such graphic detail.
The episode about the ride-share service Uber was not only very interesting, it was absolutely mind-boggling. It's 1 hour and 39 minutes long. It's about how Uber operates. In the podcast it's described as a legal "scam." Riders aren't scammed, but the drivers are and the stockholders may be. The drivers aren't employees, so they get no company benefits. It's the world's least profitable company, yet it is worth $70 billion. Saudi Arabia is a huge investor. The whole thing seems to be a sinister plot to run regular taxi companies out of business so that the Uber company can take over as a monopoly and jack up their prices. It's like the ultimate evil corporation.
Listening to podcasts (and audio books, and reading from my Kindle) takes my mind off of the problem I now have in finding a new way to show how radar guns work. Whatever I find, it almost certainly won't be as dramatic as showing how a radar gun can measure the speed of a box truck from inside the truck.
I'm once again studying patent #3936824 to see if Kustom Electronics (or is it Kustom Signals?) provides any quotable information about how they created radar guns that can be used while moving. The patent is for "digitally measuring speed." I've got a copy that I've highlighted, but is it also the patent for moving radar? It has a lot of stuff in it I can use in arguments, but it also has stuff in it that others can use for counter arguments. Maybe some idea will occur to me as I continue the research. There has to be some easy way - besides using an actual radar gun - to convincingly explain how radar guns measure the speed of the gun in addition to measuring the speed of a target.
|Comments for Sunday, August 16,
2020, thru Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020:
August 21, 2020 - Yesterday afternoon, as I was driving home after doing some grocery shopping, I finished listening to CD #3 in the 3-CD, 2-hour 49-minute audio book version of "The United States of Absurdity: Untold Stories from American History."
It was an interesting book, but it would probably be best to get paper version (or maybe the Kindle version) since those versions have all the illustrations. In the audio version they even make fun of you for not getting a print version. Plus, there was no way for me to make notes while driving, so I have no quotes from the book. And I even forgot that the authors mention early in the book that they have a podcast that might be worth checking out.
It was an interesting book, filled with odd true stories from American history, beginning with a story from the Prohibition Era when a group of speakeasy patrons conspired to have a friend named Michael Malloy drink himself to death so they could collect insurance money. Somehow, each one of those "friends" was able to take out an insurance policy on Malloy. They tried every kind of booze they could find, including wood alcohol, but Malloy just drank and drank. The "friends" then tried running Malloy over with a car, but he survived that, too. Then they gassed him. That worked. But it was declared to be murder, and all the "friends" were tried, found guilty and put to death in the electric chair.
It's supposed to be a "funny" book, but a lot of stories are like that one. George Washington evidently died from having a "doctor" try to cure him of some problem by using "blood-letting," and draining him of over 40% of his blood. Elvis Presley was given a Federal Investigator's badge because he asked President Nixon if he could have one.
The book also includes the doctor who drove around the country giving hundreds of people lobotomies with an ice pick. And on and on.
Maybe the next edition will include the time when the American People elected a sleazy talk show host Trump as President. Heh heh. Unbelievable but true.
August 20, 2020 - Yesterday afternoon, I updated my paper on "Radar Guns and Einstein's Theories" on my Vixra.org web page to include the results of Tuesday's experiment which showed that the Stalker II SDR is not a "basic" or "Type-1" radar gun as I had been told by the manufacturer. It is a "complex" or "Type-2" radar gun. Whenever you pull the trigger, just like most (or all?) other radar guns, the Stalker II SDR performs two measurements . It measures the speed of the target and the speed of the gun. And now I do not know of any radar gun that just does one measurement, i.e., measuring only the speed of the target.
While revising that Radar Guns paper, however, I noticed that near the bottom of page 8 it begins describing how the "patrol speed" is measured by some (possibly all) radar guns. Kustom Signals invented the technique. Here's what that section of the paper says (with my highlighting in red):
Reference  is as follows:Kustom [Signals, Inc.] developed a plastic radome that fit over the end of the horn to purposely reflect a small amount of RF power back into port 2 and create an LO reference signal at the required mixing level.What this does is allow the “complex” radar gun to determine its own speed. That means the gun doesn’t necessarily have to be stationary when it is measuring speeds.
William L. Melvin, James A. Scheer (editors), Principles of Modern Radar - Vol. 3 - Radar Applications, SciTech Publishing (2014), Page 766What that says is that the gun does NOT measure any "patrol speed" by bouncing photons off of the highway ahead, it measures its own speed by bouncing photons off of some material embedded in the radome for that purpose. So, it does two measurements as shown below.
When I read that, I examined my TS-3 radar gun and found that it has something embedded in the radome. It looks like a long, fish-shaped piece of circuit board. See the image below.
It could be something that has absolutely nothing to do with measuring the gun's speed, but I'm curious if there is something similar in other radar gun radomes.
Either way, my attention is now shifting to how I can prove by experiment that a radar gun measures its own speed, not the speed of the road ahead. (Or how I can prove that is not true.) If a radar gun can measure its own speed by bouncing photons off of its radome, then it is definitely possible to build a "basic" or "Type-1" radar gun that will measure its own speed when it is inside a box truck.
Kustom Signals evidently invented the moving radar gun. When I asked them if they had any "Type-1" radar guns that I could use in scientific experiments, their response was that they sell guns only to police and law enforcement agencies, they do not sell to scientists. So, they would answer no questions.
Looking at the radar gun specifications web page, it seems Kustom Signals makes a number of "stationary only" hand-held radar guns, such as the Road Runner, the Falcon, the HR-4, the HR-8 and the the TR-6. I did a Google search for "Road Runner radar guns" and found that an administrator called "Administrator" on the RDForum had one for sale back in 2014 for $99.99.
It makes me wonder if anyone else on the RDForum has a Roadrunner or any of the other "stationary only" Kustom Signals radar guns. But I need to do a lot more research before I'd get back on that forum to ask questions.
August 19, 2020 - For over a year I've been trying to verify what an executive at a radar gun manufacturing company told me about one of his radar guns. The Stalker II SDR radar gun costs $1,700 when purchased new, but I was able to find a guy who would sell me one for $500. However, I needed to confirm what the executive told me before I would spend that kind of money on a radar gun. There was always a chance the the executive was wrong and that the Stalker II SDR would work the same way as the TS-3 radar gun that I already own.
On the RDForum, one of their administrators, PY004, obtained a Stalker II SDR radar gun somewhere and performed a test. In yesterday's comment I reported on that test. It didn't confirm anything. For some reason, PY004 kept the gun pointed at an "electric parking strip" that was attached to his windshield, instead of pointing the gun out at traffic. If the gun was reading reflected signals from the strip it would be the kind of gun I was looking for. I asked for a better test.
Yesterday, PY004 did such a test and the test verified that I was right in not spending any money to buy a Stalker II SDR. It works the same way as my TS-3. Here is the video that PY004 produced yesterday:
At about the :30 second mark, the gun is pointed at the empty road ahead and the display shows 45 mph, as does the car's speedometer. (You can right-click on the screen capture image below to see a larger version. I also put a contrast enhanced, black and white copy of the display screen at the top of the image. ) That is the "patrol speed," or the speed at which the gun is traveling. If it was the gun I wanted, it would have shown no speed.
At about the 1:12 mark, the gun is pointed at an oncoming car and shows a speed of 86 mph while the speedometer in the radar gun car shows 43 mph. That means the gun is adding together the "patrol speed" and the speed of the oncoming car (the "target speed"). Below is a screen capture of that part of the video, along with an enhanced black and white view of the radar gun's display.
Needless to say, it was a very disappointing experiment. But, this experiment clearly showed that what the radar gun manufacturing company executive told me was untrue. The Stalker II SDR does NOT show "no speed" when pointed at the empty road ahead, and it does NOT show the speed of a moving target when the gun is moving and is pointed at a moving target.
I thanked PY004 for helping me resolve this question. He seemed to want to start an argument over exactly what a radar gun measures, but then he changed his mind. As expected, everyone else on the forum either started hurling insults or they cheered that the argument had ended. It seems to be a topic that 90% of the members do not want to discuss because it's too technical. They wanted me to simply accept what PY004 and others were telling me.
The person who offered to sell me a Stalker II SDR for $500 but refused to first do the test for me wrote this complaint to PY004:
You’ll are ruining my chances of selling my SDR at scientific prices.So, he evidently knew the gun didn't work the way I needed but wanted me to buy it anyway.
Another member of the forum, "thefrog1394" posted this:
So is your theory that the radar gun manufacturers are all in on this conspiracy? If they have some knowledge of physics beyond what is understood by physicists and mathematicians why exactly would they be wasting their time hiding it so they can make a few bucks selling police speed radar guns?That's basically the question PY004 asked, but he changed his mind about pursuing it. He claims that radar guns measure "relative speeds." The manuals all say that the guns measure "target speed" and "patrol speed" and compute a "relative speed" (or "closing speed").
Interestingly, the second to last post in the discussion is from "sdrawkcaB" who is identified as being in "security." He wrote:
I cringe when I read the name calling, finger pointing, and see emoji posted to mock one another, especially by our veteran membership.So, the forum has "standards," even if no one follows those standards.
I'd have liked to discuss how "patrol speed" is measured, but the thread is now basically dead. I won't add any more comments or questions to it. It was the most productive discussion I've had in years, far more productive than any of the more than 90 arguments I had on the sci.physics.relativity UseNet forum.
If you want to learn, do not talk with people who agree with you, talk with people who disagree with you. No minds were changed in the RDForum discussion, but, after more than a year of inquiries, I finally learned how the Stalker II SDR really works.
August 18, 2020 - Hmm. On the RDForum this morning, PY004 produced a video, but as expected, it is murky and doesn't resolve any arguments about how the Stalker II SDR radar gun works. Here's the video:
And here's a screenshot I took to show some details:
You can't see anything the gun is displaying in this screenshot, but generally you can see that it is showing a "Target Speed." The primary problem with the video is that for the entire length of the video PY004 pointed the gun steadily at an "electric parking strip" that is affixed to his windshield. I though it was a windshield wiper, but PY004 says it it an "electric parking strip" which, along with other strips he says he has all over his windshield, make his car like a Faraday Cage in that no electric signals from inside can get out, and nothing from outside can get in. That is very interesting to me, because it is the same as getting a speed reading of a box truck from inside the truck.
So, now we're trying to settle on what experiments he should do and what a video should show if it is going to resolve our arguments.
August 17, 2020 - Hmm. I actually expected that PY004 would have put a video of road tests of the Stalker II SDR radar gun on YouTube this morning. But there is no mention of it on the RDForum. Instead, PY004 posted a long personal attack on me yesterday afternoon, and at 11:27 p.m. last night he posted this in a response to a post by someone else:
I just gave up and said I will provide the video, he can interpret it however wrongly he wants to and we all move on.So, it appears he's setting up his arguments. It seems the video will support what I've been saying, and he will just argue that I am misinterpreting the video. Which means the video may be deliberately unclear about the key points. But even that may be hard to do.
Yesterday, I made a copy of page 5 of the 37-page operator's manual for the Stalker II MDR radar gun. Here are some key paragraphs:
Opposite Lane Moving Mode - In opposite-lane moving mode, two (2) signals must be processed to determine target speed. The first signal, patrol speed, results from the radar signal reflecting from the roadway ahead of the radar. Since the Doppler shift is proportional to the relative velocity between the radar and the roadway, the Doppler shift of this signal will be proportional to the speed of the patrol vehicle. The second signal, closing speed, results from the radar signal reflecting from an approaching or retreating opposite-lane moving target back to the patrol vehicle. The Doppler shift of this signal will be proportional to the sum of the patrol speed and target speed, or closing speed. To determine the target speed, STALKERII subtracts the patrol speed from the closing speed.Note that it repeatedly says that it processes TWO signals. And "to determine the target speed, StalkerII subtracts the patrol speed from the "closing" speed. The "closing" speed is the speed of the approaching or receding target.
The 23-page operator's manual for the Stalker II SDR merely says,
In stationary mode, the transmitted signal strikes a moving target and is reflected back to the antenna. The traffic radar then measures the frequency shift to obtain the target speed.Since it is a "stationary only" radar gun, it says nothing about what would happen if the gun was moving. This is another indication that the Stalker II SDR does only one measurement.
And that explains why I am still waiting for the video that PY004 repeatedly said he would produce and make available this morning. I've asked about it, but I get no response. Hmm. I wonder why.
August 16, 2020 - I'm still exchanging posts with people on the RDForum web site. It's like a private club or a cult that I accidentally walked into and unwittingly became a member. It's a club for people who own radar detectors. They call themselves "radar detector enthusiasts." I've never owned a radar detector and have absolutely no interest in owning one. I just entered because someone inside advertised a Stalker II SDR radar gun for sale. It turned out the gun had been sold months ago, and now I'm discussing radar guns with the members. It's been very informative, but it's like we're discussing things they never discussed before. It seems like, until now, they've mainly just been listening to their leaders talk about radar detectors.
Yesterday morning, I posted this in response to something or other:
As far as I know, the Stalker II SDR is the only modern radar gun that does not measure "patrol speed."And the member who appropriately calls himself "InsipidMonkey" responded:
Still wrong. "Stationary only" radar guns will return the Doppler shift of the fastest (or strongest) return. If shot from a moving vehicle at the stationary surroundings, this will be the patrol speed.To which I responded:
Actually, it's done in a $98 Bushnell Speedster. EVERY radar gun can do that. You do not ADD something to build a "Type-1" radar gun. You remove its ability to measure the patrol speed. Then you have a "Type-1" radar gun.So, now the arguments have turned to be about "patrol speed" and what it means and how it's measured. It's a key topic that I want to discuss, but I was trying not to, since what I say will again conflict with their beliefs. But, maybe something good will come from it.
Meanwhile, yesterday, the forum administrator known as "PY004" provided this information about the video he says he is creating to show how the Stalker II SDR "stationary only" radar gun works when the gun is moving:
my focus has shifted to just furnishing whatever data you seek and let you do the interpretations no matter how flawed I think they are. So I will just make the video.So, hopefully the video will be available for viewing tomorrow. I'm anxiously looking forward to it, even though I fear there will be something about it that will make it worthless and unusable.
I awoke yesterday with a couple realizations. The first was that the Stalker II SDR is one of just a few "stationary only" radar guns that has a display which shows both the target speed and the "patrol speed," even though there should never be any "patrol speed" if the gun is always used while stationary.
So, the question is: What does the "stationary only" Stalker II SDR show when it is moving at 60 mph and is pointed at the empty road ahead? According to the executive I talked with at the company that makes the Stalker II SDR, it won't show any speed. And for over a year I've been trying to verify that without first spending a lot of money to buy one.
My August 12 (B) comment was about different gun that also shows both the target speed and the patrol speed, the "stationary only" Falcon HR. You couldn't see that in the video, however. Here's a screenshot of what the gun displayed when it was moving at 36 mph and was pointed at the empty road ahead.
Note that it shows "36" on the top line of the display. The image below shows how the display information is supposed to be organized.
So, the gun in my black and white screen capture is showing the patrol speed of "36" in the space where it should be showing the TARGET speed. And where it is supposed to show the PATROL speed it is showing the word "ALL." The direction indicator shows the "target" is coming toward the gun. I have a copy of the Falcon manual, but it provides very few examples of what the gun displays.
When PY004 saw how the Falcon HR worked, he claimed the Stalker II SDR also shows the patrol speed in the space where the target speed is supposed to be. I'll have to wait until he provides the video. As stated before, if the gun does show the "patrol speed," all it will prove is that the executive at the company that makes the Stalker II SDR didn't know what he was talking about when we discussed how the gun works. (I have a copy of the Stalker II SDR operators' manual, but it shows nothing about what happens when you use it while moving.)
I don't know if anyone who reads this web site cares about any of this, but it is absolutely fascinating to me. And as soon as I finish this comment, I'm going to jump into an argument over how "patrol speed" is defined. At 2:19 a.m. this morning, someone called "jon5" posted this:
Patrol speed is both a concept and a measurement. The fact that the radar gun shows a the same speed your vehicle is going is not patrol speed. The numbers are the same, but the meanings are different. Patrol speed is a baseline for which you compare a target differential speed, to compute the target speed relative to earth - since both speeds are relative to earth.I just call the speed the "patrol speed" because that is where it normally appears on the display, plus it is supposed to be the speed of the vehicle carrying the gun. As I understand things, however, it isn't. It is the speed of the gun itself. And it has nothing to do with any external measurement involving the ground. See my PDF file about "Radar Guns & the Doppler Effect."
|Comments for Sunday, August 9,
2020, thru Saturday, Aug. 15, 2020:
August 14, 2020 - This morning, as I was looking through my web site logs, I saw a real upward spike in the number of visitors. Without a doubt, it is entirely the result of the discussions I've been having on the RDForum. And when I checked that forum later this morning, I found that several people had comments about the discussions I've been involved with. "Doubledge" posted this:
Wow. This thread is really something.And InDecay wrote:
I'd love to hear @Rob at Radenso weigh inRob at Radenso then responded:
Hard pass.I assume that means he doesn't want to get involved. Then Wayne77 wrote:
We are all radar detector enthusiasts here. We come here to discuss those and learn as well. The people here are more than willing to help someone out and teach when they can. Surely you agree that it's admirable that Py has gone out of his way to try and explain numerous times or for Vortex to go on a drive and get you video footage that may help. It appears this is getting nowhere, I guess is what I'm getting at. Maybe this isn't the right place for you to get your answers.To which I replied:
On the contrary, this is an amazing place to get answers. I wanted to know if the Falcon HR works the same way as my TS-3, and Vortex produced a video showing that it does. Where else could that have happened?Then I had more arguments with PY004 which made no sense whatsoever. In addition to hurling insults, he's still arguing that I should buy a Faraday Cage and put a radar gun inside to to see how it works. Why on earth would I want to do that?? I've done many experiments with my TS-3 radar gun, demonstrating that it can do speed readings through all kinds of wire screens. But PY004 rants that those are not valid experiments. According to him, only an experiment with a Faraday Cage would be valid. And he stated:
By not constructing a proper faraday cage, all you have managed to do is cause the metal screen to re-radiate the photons.Wha? That's crazy! If all the metal screen does is re-radiate the photons, how come I get accurate readings when I measure traffic speeds or the speed of rotating fan blades through metal screens?
I told PY004 that I wasn't going to respond to any more of his posts, unless he posted something "meaningful." His next post said this:
I'll just record a video of the SDR on Sunday for you and we'll call it an end.Wow!! If he does what he says he'll do, that would be terrific. I responded:
That would be meaningful. But if you are right, all it really means is that an executive at Applied Concepts lied to me about how the Stalker II SDR works. It changes nothing else.And that was the end of the discussion. I'm anxious to see what happens next. I fear all it will be is some murky "demonstration" where nothing can be seen clearly, but it will be angrily claimed (with insults) that I have been proved wrong.
August 12, 2020 (B) - This morning someone new joined the discussion I was having on the RDForum. That person was "Vortex," who was the person who created the YouTube video I mentioned in yesterday's comment. In that video, Vortex demonstrated the Falcon HR radar gun, and in my comment I wondered if it worked the same way as the Stalker II SDR has been said to work when moving.
Vortex found the question to be interesting, and he evidently immediately went out and created a YouTube video showing how his Falcon HR works while moving. It works the same way that my TS-3 works. Here's the video:
Unfortunately, it's fairly difficult to see what the display reading is on the back of the gun, but I took screenshots, converted them to black and white, and then adjusted the contrast to make things clearer.
Here's what the gun shows when it is moving and pointed at the empty road ahead.
Note that the car's speedometer in the bottom left corner shows 37 mph and the gun shows 36 mph, which is close enough to state that the gun is showing the "patrol speed" or the speed that the gun is traveling.
Here's what the gun shows when it is moving and is pointed at an oncoming truck.
Note that the speedometer shows 34 mph and the radar gun shows 75 mph, which means that the oncoming truck at which the gun is pointed is traveling at 41 mph. The gun adds together the target speed and the "patrol speed," just as my TS-3 does.
While the video is disappointing in that it doesn't show what I hoped it would show, the discussion about it will hopefully encourage someone with a Stalker II SDR to do the same experiment. With or without a video, I really really want to know what happens.
August 12, 2020 (A) - Last night, at about 10:20 p.m., I finished listening to the 10 hour, 20 minute unabridged audio book version of "Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries" by Safi Bahcall.
It was an extremely interesting book, but I sometimes wished I was reading it on my Kindle instead of listening to the audio book. Unfortunately, my library only had the audio book version. So, I had hunt around on-line to find sections of the text that I could use in notes and for quotes in this comment. Here's the definition of "loonshot" from an unnumbered page at the beginning of the book:
Loonshot: A neglected project, widely dismissed, its champion written off as unhinged.Hmm. That could include someone trying to resolve the 115 year old conflict between Quantum Mechanics mathematicians and Relativists.
Here's another quote from page 2:
I’ve always appreciated authors who explain their points simply, right up front. So here’s the argument in brief:
The book is about how good ideas are ignored in companies and organizations where politics is the road to success. But if you have an environment where good ideas are welcomed and promoted, then the sky's the limit. That shouldn't be anything new to anyone, but the book describes example after example, from medicines to movies, from air travel to selling furniture. Some of the details were absolutely fascinating to me. Example: in September 1922, two Navy engineers playing around with radios discovered radar.
The two engineers repeated the experiment successfully several more times, and a few days later, on September 27, they sent a letter to their superiors describing a new way to detect enemy ships. A line of US ships carrying receivers and transmitters could immediately detect “the passage of an enemy vessel … irrespective of fog, darkness or smoke screen.”It took about 15 years for the idea to get accepted. Military men just do not like anything that looks new and requires changing long-established procedures. Radar was still in an experimental phase when WWII broke out. But Britain's crude radar system enabled them to stop Germany from taking over England. If you do not know where the enemy is coming from, you have to spread your forces and be on the alert everywhere. If you know where the enemy is coming from, you can focus your forces on where they are needed.
Another quote from the book:
[Vannevar] Bush’s new organization, eventually called the Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD), would create the opportunity Bush sought for scientists, engineers, and inventors at universities and private labs to explore the bizarre. It would be a national department of loonshots, seeding and sheltering promising but fragile ideas across the country. The group would develop the unproven technologies the military was unwilling to fund. It would be led by a damn professor.I could go on and on, but it's been an extremely busy morning and I need to gather my thoughts for a (B) comment about what's been happening. So, I'll just conclude by saying I highly recommend "Loonshots."
August 11, 2020 - When I looked at the latest posts to the RDForum this morning, I saw that PY004 had written a long and convoluted response to my last post. And he was just asking the same questions and making the same claims as if I hadn't tried to explain things to him over and over a dozen times. However, this morning he asked one question that I hadn't fully addressed before. So, I ignored all the other gibberish in his post and simply responded to that one question. His question was long and convoluted, but it boiled down to this:
What is "dogma" when I say "light sometimes acts like a wave and sometimes acts like a particle"?My response was also very long, but I think it might be worth repeating on this web site. Here it is in its entirety:
I've tried to explain, but you just ask the same question again and again. So, I'll try again. Here is the dogma:I think that's probably the clearest explanation of "dogma" that I've ever come up with. It's also another example of what I wrote yesterday about not knowing what I think until I write it down. I clearly think that reciting dogma is a way of answering questions without understanding anything. And mathematicians do it all the time. They don't care how light works. They only understand the math. When the situation calls for using particle equations, then that is what they do. When the situation calls for using wave equations, that is what they do. And anyone who finds that inadequate for understanding how light actually works just needs to go back to school and learn more mathematics. When you know the mathematics, you know all there is worth knowing. And anyone who disagrees is just plain stupid. Period.
August 10, 2020 - Last week I saw writer/comedian Colin Jost on TV talking about his new memoir "A Very Punchable Face." When I researched the book, I found it was already a New York Times best seller. So, since I think Jost is hilarious on Saturday Night Live, I went to my library's web site and reserved both the Kindle version and the audio book version. I'll take whichever becomes available first and cancel the other. But neither will be available any time soon. There's a six month wait for both editions.
The reason I mention it is because I listened to the 5-minute "sample" the library provides, and that sample included this quote which heads the Introduction:
That is one reason I love writing. It helps me clarify my thoughts. I can wonder about things that might be wrong, but when I write them down I see they are wrong - they are illogical or make no sense. And I can then often write out how they would make sense if invalid parts are eliminated.
The first paragraph in the Introduction to Jost's memoir is:
I’ve wanted to write a book my entire life. Partially because (as you will soon learn) I have difficulty taking what’s inside my head and saying it out loud. For someone whose job is essentially speaking, this creates a deep anxiety and sometimes a paralysis that keeps me from expressing what I’m really thinking. Whereas the act of writing allows my brain to function in a different way. I can write and not be afraid of what I’m going to say.That also hits home. The idea of talking in front of an audience terrifies me, unless it's a situation where I have to explain something. And I can probably count on my fingers all the instances where I've done that.
I started writing about science because I needed to analyze things that I was reading and hearing that made absolutely no sense. I've been a science buff all my life, but the Internet showed me that there is a hundred-year-old conflict between what mathematicians believe and what scientists know to be true from experiments and observations. I write to clarify things for myself, not to change what others are thinking. If a person doesn't have fixed beliefs about a subject, I hope my explanations will help him understand. If a person has fixed beliefs, I've found that, with rare exceptions, you cannot change their beliefs. The only way to change a person's beliefs is to convert him to a new belief, and I'm not out to convert anyone. I'm just trying to figure things out so that I understand them myself.
The argument on the SDForum started up again this morning. Last night, PY004 wrote a long and convoluted response to my request that he explain how waves from a radar gun get through a window screen. PY004's response explains nothing. Instead he starts or restarts a half dozen other arguments. I wrote a response, but it is clear that I'm not going to change PY004's mind about anything, and since he has no facts, only memorized dogma, he's not going to change my mind about anything. I'd just walk away, but explaining things is something I like doing, and that is what I did. I explained why PY004's answers and explanations make no sense.
Ideally, what would happen next is that we'd go through each disagreement point by point to find exactly where we disagree and why. If we could do that, there's a strong possibility that the facts and evidence would show who is wrong. Dogma won't do it, but facts and evidence can. But, we'll never discuss things point by point. That would require understanding a subject, and if all you have is memorized dogma all you can do is recite dogma and hurl insults at anyone who does not accept that dogma.
August 9, 2020 - The discussions on the Radar Detector Forum (RDForum.org) seem to have come to an end - as far as I am concerned. There has been no further discussion of the Stalker II SDR radar gun or science in a couple days. Of course, the forum has 22,094 members and there are 87,716 discussion threads, but when I looked over the active threads, the only one that briefly caught my interest was a thread about a German driver being fined 1,500 Euros for giving the finger to a traffic camera.
1,500 Euros is $1,768.33 in U.S. Currency. The normal fine in Germany for speeding 7 miles over the 44 mph limit is 20 Euros ($23.58). The extra amount was for being rude to authorities. Hmm. I think what I found most interesting about that article was that it was being discussed on a forum where breaking speed laws and getting away with it is everyone's goal.
Meanwhile, as I was looking around for some web site that might have information about the Stalker II SDR, I came across a YouTube video where the narrator tests 5 different radar guns. The narrator is in a car that has two radar detectors fixed to points just at the top of the windshield. He has a V1 (Valentine One) in the upper left corner and a RedLine in the upper right corner. The YouTube video:
It's now easier to understand why people always assume I'm trying to beat a speeding ticket when I ask them about the Stalker II SDR. Beating and avoiding speeding tickets appears to be a national pastime. The guy in the video has about $700 worth of radar detectors in his car, and over two thousand dollars worth of radar guns. Moreover, a little research shows that the video was created by "Vortex Radar," which appears to be a company that reviews, evaluates and sells radar detectors.
In a way, I can now also understand why these people do not want to test a "stationary only" radar gun while moving. They see it as "wrong." It's against their rules for breaking rules. Some may even fear that it will harm the gun in some way.
The video includes a demonstration of the Stalker II MDR, but since the gun is used while stationary in the video, it doesn't provide much new information. The most interesting demonstration may be when he shows how the Falcon HR radar gun works. The Falcon HR is made by Kustom Electronics, and it's another "stationary only" gun. And, just like the Stalker II MDR and SDR, it provides direction of movement for targets. At the 3:15 minute mark the narrator says it can be upgraded to "moving mode." So, it could be another gun that would demonstrate what I need to demonstrate. When I did my survey of radar gun manufacturers, Kustom Electronics told me that they just sell to police and other law enforcement agencies, they do not sell to scientists or private citizens, so they wouldn't answer my survey questions. It appears I can get a "private session" to ask the guy in the video if he has ever tried using the Falcon HR while moving, but private sessions cost $90. I'd pay 2 cents, but not $90.
The illustration above shows how the MDR displays the direction of travel. The arrows next to the Target speed show that the target is approaching. If the target was moving away, the arrow would point upward. There are many examples of shifting arrows in the video.
According to a radar gun web site HERE, radar guns that provide the direction of travel of the target or targets are fairly rare. And such guns that are hand held are even more rare. They pose an interesting question: If the radar gun is moving, how does it know the difference between a parked car and an approaching car? I know how because Einstein's Second Postulate explains how, but how would people who believe radar guns emit waves explain it?
There's a guy I've been talking with who has a Stalker II SDR for sale. The price is reasonable, and I'd really like to buy it, but first I need to be absolutely certain how it works while moving. I'm hoping the seller will try it while moving and answer my questions, but he might also be waiting for a fee of some kind for doing that. He says he just doesn't have the time right now.
So, I think I can shake up most of the scientific community and do things they consider to be "totally impossible, but first I need to spend some money that I do not want to spend. This is just a hobby for me. I'm merely curious. I'm ready to buy a Stalker II SDR, but I need to confirm that, when moving, it will work different from the TS-3 that I already have. There could be some simple way to find out without spending a lot of money, but, if so, I don't know what it is.
|Comments for Saturday, August 1,
2020, thru Saturday, Aug. 8, 2020:
August 5, 2020 - There's still no further word from member "PY004" on the RDForum web site. On Sunday, August 2, I showed PY004 five different drawings of waves from a radar gun hitting a target. One such picture is below:
I asked PY004 (who is some kind of "administrator" on the forum) how such waves would get through a window screen or a wire mesh, since it can be demonstrated that radar guns can measure the speeds of targets through window screens, and I've measured the speeds of fan blades many times through the wire mesh that covers the blades. I know how such measurements are done with photons, but how could a gun that emits waves do it?
You're imagining the wrong type of waves.So, I asked,
If I'm "imagining the wrong type of waves," would you please tell me what kind of waves you believe radar guns emit?Then, about 3 hours later, PY004 responded:
Sorry I don't mean to ignore you. There's an emergency in the upper echelons of this forum and I'm completely spent dealing with it.And I've been waiting since Sunday afternoon. I don't really expect an answer to my question. What other kind of wave could there be? And if it's a wave unlike what is shown in radar gun manuals, how would PY004 justify disagreeing with those manuals? When the mathematicians on the sci.physics.relativity UseNet forum are confronted with a question or problem that challenges their beliefs, they usually start hurling insults, but sometimes they will spout memorized dogma that explains nothing, or they just vanish. PY004 might simply vanish.
The RDForum isn't a science forum. Its members are evidently people who own radar detectors and lidar jammers, and it appears their primary interest is in how to break speed laws and get away with it. They call it "countermeasures." I browsed through their discussion thread topics, and they have 4,300 separate discussion threads under the heading "General Radar Detector Discussion," with 76,900 individual messages within those threads. The only topic that seemed of interest to me was "Off Topic - Members Only." That is because the most recent new thread is titled "SpaceTime Explained . . . . Interesting Video For Science Junkies." I'm tempted to post a comment there, but I don't know where it would lead. I'm supposed to be working on my papers, not joining discussions or starting arguments on new forums.
The problem is: When you work on a science paper that requires a lot of explaining, you have to figure out where to start the explanations. What do you explain first? When you pick a subject and start writing, you soon realize there is something you need to explain before you get to that topic. So you start over with topic #2, and before long you realize there is something you need to explain before you get into topic #2. So, you start over again. And while this is going on, you cannot help but be distracted by new things that are totally off topic, but which will get you out of the drudgery of writing a scientific paper.
Maybe I should read a book, or listen to something on my MP3 player, .... or go for a walk.
August 4, 2020 - Once again I didn't feel like working on any of my papers, so yesterday afternoon I sat down on my couch and finished listening to an audio book. I finished it at about 9:30 p.m. It was the 13 hour 46 minute unabridged version of the novel "Phoenix Rising" by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris.
It's the first in a series of 6 books about the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences, a fictitious ultra-secret British government investigative agency in the 1880s. I think I decided to borrow it from my library because it was described as being something like the 1960s TV series "The Avengers" which featured beautiful Emma Peel and English gentleman John Steed. The central characters in this book are Chief Archivist Wellington Thornhill Books, Esquire, and secret agent Eliza D. Braun, both employees of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences.
The story begins with Braun rescuing Books from a dungeon where he was being held prisoner while chained to a wall:
A lady emerged from the smoke and debris—though her improper fashions indicated she was unworthy of the title. She was wearing pinstripe breeches tucked neatly into boots that stopped just above the knee. More disturbing than the fact this “lady” was wearing trousers were the sticks of dynamite strapped around her thighs. The boots also had several sheaths for throwing knives. The bodice she was wearing was a black leather device, which not only served to lift the petite woman’s bosom up but also provided a secure surface for the baldric she wore across it. All this was accented with an impressive, fur coat that flowed around her like a cape.From there the story gets into who captured Books and why. It was a sinister secret organization of dastardly villains called "The Phoenix Society." Books and Braun have to get to know each other first, and a lot of the book is about them arguing over what to do next. As Chief Archivist, Books was mainly a "librarian" at The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences. But the library also contains evidence from countless cases, so its more like a warehouse. And the cases involve all sorts of secret weapons and tools, so there's a science fiction element to the story.
Books and Braun infiltrate The Phoenix Society and discover it is an organization where the British gentlemen in the organization are considered to be superior beings with the absolute right to rule the world and decide who lives and who dies. And Books and Braun have to show them the error of their ways.
I enjoyed the book, and I already have the next book in the series in my MP3 player, but I'm not sure if it's at the top of my priority list. Since I've quenched most of my curiosity about The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences, I may just quench my curiosity about some other book I have in my MP3 player instead of immediately getting into the next Books and Braun story. Time will tell.
August 3, 2020 - Yesterday afternoon, I didn't feel like working on any of my papers, so I sat down on my couch and finished reading a book on my Kindle that I'd borrowed from my local library. The book was "The Interstellar Age: The Story of the NASA Men and Women Who Flew the Forty-Year Voyager Mission"
by Jim Bell:
It's kind of an odd book because Jim Bell joined the JPL group tracking the Voyager missions years after the two space probes were launched. So, it begins with a lot of history, which is fairly interesting. Then Bell joins the group and the book becomes a personal story. Then, the book turns to what is happening right now and what could happen in the future, which I found to be really interesting.
Here's the first passage I highlighted:
It’s easy to think of spacecraft like the Voyagers as being alive, imparting to them feelings and other human attributes. They are so far away, and it is so cold and dark. They must be lonely. Some of them, like the Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity, are so cute with their long necks and bulging eyes! They must be plucky, intrepid, courageous, and a dozen other grand adjectives of exploration, in order to survive and thrive for so long. They are out there, working tirelessly, making discoveries and braving dangerous environments with no rest, no vacation, and no pay. We’ve got robots exploring the solar system for us!Another:
“Don’t anthropomorphize the spacecraft,” Voyager imaging team member Torrence Johnson recalls Project Manager John Casani saying. “They don’t like it.”The two Voyager spacecraft, Voyager-1 and Voyager-2, were launched in September 1977. They used the latest technology at that time, which means they store information on tape recorders. And they are both still working today. They did fly-bys of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, plus many of the moons of those planets, sending back pictures that amazed the world.
Now they send messages from far beyond the solar system, providing information about radiation in interstellar space. It takes about 20 hours for a message to get to Earth from Voyager-2, and Voyager-1 is about twice as far away. Voyager-2 is heading upward, and Voyager-1 is heading outward.
The book ends with some speculation about how we will someday probably have a space ship capture the Voyager spacecraft and put them in a museum, because we are far more likely to have the technology to do that before the Voyagers ever get near any star that is likely to have an inhabited planet around it.
It was a very interesting and thought-provoking book.
August 2, 2020 - It appears that my discussions on the Radar Detector & Countermeasure Forum ("RDForum)" have come to an end. Generally speaking, it was a relatively friendly discussion compared to most of the discussions I had on the sci.physics.relativity UseNet forum. RDForum isn't a UseNet forum. It's a web site forum that someone evidently set up to discuss radar detectors. It has a general discussion section, and in another section you can also have private one-on-one discussions with other members.
The RDForum seems to have been created for people who either want to beat speeding tickets they've gotten, or they want to know how to avoid getting caught speeding. Mostly they talk about radar detectors, not radar guns. It seems the only reason they might own radar guns is to test detectors they also own.
I found the RDForum when I was searching the Internet for used radar guns and came across an ad for a Stalker II SDR radar gun with an asking price of $650. The least expensive gun I saw on EBay has a price of $750. The ad led me to the RDForum site where the radar gun was supposedly for sale. I had to join the forum in order to ask questions about it. So, I did. It turned out that the gun in the ad had been sold months ago, but no one bothered to mention it on the forum. However, a lot of people wanted to welcome me to the forum and wanted to know why I joined. When I told them that I was looking for a Stalker II SDR for a science experiment, most people were just curious, but one guy with a screen name of "odiddy" wrote:
I have an mdr (the moving version). Pretty much the same. What question you got ?And I responded:
It's my understanding that the MDR is totally different for my purposes. The SDR is "stationary only." It supposedly "doesn't work" when moving. I need to know what readings it gives when it IS moving. If the gun is in a car traveling at 30 mph and is pointed at an oncoming car traveling at 50 mph, what does the gun show? If the gun is then pointed at a highway sign, what does the gun show?To which "odiddy" responded (with my highlighting):
No. The MDR II has modes. Moving and stationary. It can be toggled via a button or the OBD cable does it automatically. When in stationary mode, I’m pretty sure it acts as if it is an SDR.I again explained how I had been told that the SDR worked, and that I wanted one to experiment with. That generated this response (with my highlighting):
Just curious, Are you a lawyer fighting a ticket for someone?I then posted a long explanation of who I was, even providing a link to all my science papers. That prompted "InsipidMonkey" to join the discussion. "InsipidMonkey" started telling me how radar guns work. An example:
Radar guns operate on the principle of Doppler shift, in which the frequency of the reflected signal changes in proportion to relative velocity between the source and target(s). Radar guns that support moving mode have additional processing to look for returns from the ground (stationary) in addition to moving targets, and are able to calculate the difference in Doppler shift from multiple returned signals to obtain the target speed. Some also use phase to provide directional information (i.e. target approaching or receding).I'd already explained to others that I owned a TS-3 radar gun, and that I'd done a survey of gun manufacturers, and the only gun I knew of that might meet my needs was the Stalker II SDR. That's when the discussion began to turn hostile, evidently because I was challenging what "InsipidMonkey" believed to be absolute fact. And I started talking about how radar guns emit photons, not waves. In response,"PY004," who seems to be an "administrator" on the forum, joined in and asked,
Do you even know what photons are?And things went downhill from there. "PY004" stated he had just visited my web site and saw the comment I wrote on July 28. He quoted from it and stated,
That right there is enough to show a severely flawed understanding of the most basic fundamentals of radar guns....And the downhill trajectory continued. "PY004" kept suggesting things I should try, and I would respond with pictures and facts showing him I had already done such things. His basic belief was that radar guns emit waves. The facts say that radar guns emit photons. I explained that I could measure the speed of objects through a screen, and I asked him how waves get through a screen. The response from "PY004" was a bunch of personal attacks:
You don't accept claims and opinions and results from experiments if they don't conform to what you want.And then he bizarrely began to argue that a radar gun would not be able to emit photons if it was inside a Faraday Cage! He suggested I make or buy enough screen to totally enclose the gun and they try it to see if it works.
That's the same kind of crap I got when I was arguing with a scientist who didn't believe the results of experiments he'd performed. He claimed that the gun wouldn't work if it was fired through a screen made from copper. But he refused to explain why it wouldn't work or what would happen. Now it's a Faraday Cage?! A Faraday Cage is a protection against static electricity. What does that have to do with photons from a radar gun!? If photons can't get through a Faraday Cage, that would mean the gun would disappear if you put it in such a cage. You couldn't see it (or anything else inside the cage) because no photons can get out of the cage to allow you to see it.
I could go on and on, but I'll just jump to the final confrontation. I showed them a drawing of a radar gun emitting waves and asked him how such waves can get through a screen. Here's the drawing I used:
His response was:
You're imagining the wrong type of waves.So, I dug through the Internet and found four other pictures of radar guns emitting "waves." They were all pretty much the same as the image above, just with less writing. I showed them to him and wrote,
If I'm "imagining the wrong type of waves," would you please tell me what kind of waves you believe radar guns emit?
I am simply interested in how those waves (or your kind of waves) get through a window screen. Could you explain it?And that was the last message in the thread. I posted it shortly before noon yesterday. No response from anyone after that.
While I was composing that message, I did a Google search for "radar gun waves" to find the images I showed him. There were many more images, and I used only the best of what I could find. What surprised me, however, was when I did another search for "radar gun 'photons'" and the top links were to NASA's site and to my papers. It seems only NASA and I have ever addressed how radar guns work with photons. The others postings I found with the search were just about subjects related to radar guns and photons in some other way.
The FDForum discussion was very interesting. Some suggestions were made for where I might be able to buy a Stalker II SDR. Two suggestions were for guns for sale on EBay, ads I hadn't seen before, but both were for guns that were "broken" because their batteries didn't work. I didn't bother to check out how the gun might work without batteries. (My TS-3 uses a power cord.) There was another suggestion that looked more promising. But it will take a week or two to check out. There's no rush. The wave theory of light versus photons is an argument that has been going on for over a hundred years. Another week or two won't change much.
August 1, 2020 - Groan! On top of all the problems going on in the world today, I'm still being pestered by robots calling me and sending me emails.
Back on October 29, 2018, I wrote a comment about being pestered by a robot that wanted to order a copy of my 2005 book "Analyzing the Anthrax Attacks." Here's what I wrote back then:
The email required that I go through some steps to verify that I am who they believe I am. The fact that I received their email wasn't enough. Nor was the fact that they had my home phone number. They wanted me to go through an elaborate verification procedure they had concocted. But I couldn't follow the steps in their procedure because the steps required that I give them two phone numbers. I only have one phone number that I use, and that is my home phone number. My cell phone is just something I carry for emergencies. I think it is what is known as a "disposable phone" or a "burner phone," even though I've had mine for many years.That robot is still sending me messages almost two years later. It goes through steps where it issues a purchase order via an email, then it asks why I haven't filled the order, then it says it will cancel the order if I do not respond in seven days, and then it notifies me that it has cancelled the order, and then a few months later it sends me a new order to start the whole process over again.
The only way I can them to stop it is by becoming a "preferred" member of their organization and paying about a $100 a year. In exchange, they will let me ship them a book to fill their purchase order. If they sell the book, I'll get maybe $5 as my part of the sale.
There is no phone number I could use to call them. I suspect that they do not use phones, because if they provided a phone number, they would have to hire an additional ten thousand employees to answer the phones. One robot is all they need if they do things the way they're currently doing them.
Of course, I'm also being pestered by robots calling me. I assume everyone is getting such calls. Yesterday I received a call informing me that the Social Security Administration has issued an arrest warrant for me. I didn't answer the phone, I just recorded the message. I have received the same message several times in the past few years. Who on earth would believe a robot who tells them that an arrest warrant has been issued for you, and the robot doesn't even mention your name!?
One of these days I'm going to figure out a good way to put that message and a dozen similar scam messages onto MP3 file, so that others can listen to them. I've got at least a dozen of them on my answering machine. There is one such message at the link HERE, but it's not the one I've been getting.