November 20th, 2018

#6423: Prediction is impossible.

Today I left home seven minutes earlier than I did yesterday, and I arrived at work fifty-six minutes earlier.

The traffic is a chaotic system and I cannot predict it. This means getting up stupid early every day. *sigh*

* * *

I do not often laugh out loud at comedians. Generally they are not funny. But this got me:
I'm a Ravenclaw!
No, you're an adult!

* * *

What kind of FOOL is unable to drive through six inches of snow?

In 2000, when we had one of the worst blizzards in recent history, I was at friend's house and had to drive home on unplowed roads in a Ford Escort, and I made it home handily, with only a little trouble. That was after a foot of snow had fallen, twice as much as fell on NYC.

The residents of NYC evidently have no fucking clue how to handle it when it snows. Crimony.

* * *

So let's talk about our little sun problem.

If I understand this, four cycles are troughing at the same time. We know the sun has several cycles--11-year, 40-year, and so on--and it's looking like four of them are hitting lows at the same time.

The Maunder Minimum, two hit a trough.

As I said yesterday, we live on a ice world which has simply been in an interglacial period, which allowed us breathing room to develop intelligence and tools and civilization and culture and science. Which now tells us that we're at the tail end of an interglacial period and we're due for another ice age.

And almost as if on cue, the sun is itself turning down the thermostat.

Warmistas have been insisting that no one ever said there would be another ice age.
The failure of the long-predicted global warming to show up now has the AGW/CC scammers scrambling to claim that there never was an expectation of global cooling in the 1970s.
Back in the 1970s, global cooling due to human pollution was the big eco-bugaboo. A lot of folks don't remember that, but I sure do, and I'm not alone.

The scientific support for a solar-caused cooling event is a hell of a lot stronger than any assertion ever made by a warmista. This isn't based on models, but observed data that hasn't been fudged to yield the right answer, and it matches the historical record quite nicely.

And, by the way, the people who insist that the sun's variability is insufficient to account for it can go eat a bucket of dicks.

* * *

Do you want to know a very sad fact? Here it is:

On the other hand, it was either Clarke or Asimov who said, "For most of human history, the word 'ship' will mean 'space ship'." (I'm also mangling the quote.)

* * *

Still want to jimmy up a power supply for my MP3 player so I can have one in the truck and not have to carry AAA batteries with me. It has a USB port on it, but if you plug it in, it goes into "FLASH drive" mode even if it's a power-only connection, and it won't play any music.

So I need something that will take the 5v output of a typical car USB charger and knock it down to the 1.5v at some small amperage the player can use.

First thought: SM317; with the right resistors it should work. "Should", that is, with the understanding that the MP3 player is a low-draw device and the LM317 expects/needs a certain current draw in order to get a good, stable regulated voltage.

I was worried enough about the issue that I started trying to find ways to increase the current draw; and while thinking about that, on my way home this evening, I had another thought.

Why can't I use a pair of diodes?

The voltage drop across a 1N4004 is 0.7v. Two of them in series, 1.4v, about. So you put a resistor in series with the pair of diodes; as long as the cathode of the second diode is connected to ground, then at the anode of the first diode you've got 1.4v with respect to ground--it absolutely cannot be otherwise--and the resistor keeps the current low enough that you don't fry the diodes or the player. Furthermore, the current is so low that you're really not dissipating much heat. Unlike the LM317, which needs a heat sink.

This MP3 player will run for hours on a single AAA battery. An AAA battery is good for maybe a thousand milliamp-hours; depending on use the MP3 player will go for at least five hours on a battery. That's about 10mA.

I want to check this before I make a decision--check the current draw with a battery, with the volume all the way up into a dummy load. That should let me decide which way to go.

If it's two diodes and a resistor, that'll be extra-simple. I've got 'em. But I have the LM317 if I decide to go that way, too.

"You said the USB port won't do it," you object. Of course. I'm going to take a piece of dowel of the right length and diameter, affix electrodes to the end, and solder wires to them. It'll be a dummy battery of sorts, and it'll do the job.

* * *

Well, there's another evening gone. Time to go to bed, already.