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« Ruminations – 16feb12 | Main | Secular humanists need religion too, but … »

17 February 2012


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George Rebane

Russ Steele (NC2012 on right) sent me an email that indicated there continues some longstanding and self-inflicted ignorance about TechTest. Purportedly on FUE's blog a fellow leftwinger complains that the test's questions and answers should be made public. As noted on these pages, all TTs have been available from the beginning on the SESF website. And for all those years the links to both SESF and the TT pages have been prominently included in the 'Our Links' column on the right.

Robert White

Yes, Yes, but what other alternative uniformed, unreasoned, attention grabbing, self aggrandizing, pompous, optional remark could he have used?

George Rebane

Let us just be grateful that they have deigned to take notice of our meager efforts which are barely discernible from such lofty heights.

Robert White

Point well taken! I always find myself surprised when discovering they have noticed something existing beyond their true dimensional limits.

Douglas Keachie

I await with baited breath the correctiio of the link to the right, so that it leads to something other than:


I assume that q and a will be found, as well as the number of points per question?

Todd Juvinall

Link works for me. Baited or bated?

Douglas Keachie

Tech Test Link still is not working, and still yields above image.

I suspect that and questions and answers concerning solar power and economic feasibility may have to be rewritten, as the panels are indeed, drumroll please, getting cheaper.

From Reuters:

But those cheaper panels meant lower costs for the installers who buy them, such as SolarCity, the market leader in residential and commercial installations, which is expected to seek an initial public offering this year that could value the company at about $1.5 billion.

An IPO would make SolarCity and Real Goods Solar Inc the only two publicly traded companies solely focused on that market. Their success, and that of privately held rivals such as SunRun and Sungevity, could lead to "exponential growth" of the market, according to Neil Auerbach, founder of private equity firm Hudson Clean Energy.

"SolarCity is not going to be the only company to enjoy the benefit of that," he said. "We definitely believe that this is an attractive area. We have been looking at it. We haven't found the right horse."

Total solar installations in the United States are believed to have nearly doubled in 2011 from the previous year to between 1,500 and 2,000 megawatts of capacity. About 16 percent of that went to residential rooftops and 40 percent for installations at commercial sites, according GTM Research.

Much of solar's recent growth has been from large-scale power plant projects designed to feed the wholesale electricity market in California. But with the state's demand for large projects likely full through at least the middle of the decade, investors are looking at the spread of smaller installations, which may offer better returns.

Douglas Keachie

Baited or bated? Baited, I took the bait but wound up high and dry, as there's no water there.

Todd Juvinall

George, I was emailed a link to the FUE's critical post where he calls you and Russ and Barry hypocrites for the Tech Test. It appears to me the FUE doesn't know the difference between science and and leftwing propaganda. That is not surprising since his education was apparently according to Gregory, Rhetoric. A test in science not tainted by ideology that you are doing is quite different than a "oceans expert" claiming the oceans are rising up from AGW where there is no proof for either. So, not to worry, you are on the right track, the FUE is irrelevant as usual.

Douglas Keachie

As long as the test stays away from Global Climate Change, I suspect it's a good thing. Stick with known math chemistry and physics.

George Rebane

Apologies for the TechTest link not being complete, the fault is mine. We are in the process of redoing the SESF website, and the URL for TechTest changed, which I failed to update in 'Our Links". It is now corrected. However, the SESF link has always worked and allows the more experienced visitor to use the top tabs to go to the TechTest page. Thereon one will find the pdfs for past tests and solutions. I hope this clears things up.

(DougK, many thanks for pointing out the the error.)

George Rebane

ToddJ 242pm - After several emails and such comments as yours, I went to FUE's blog to see what all the fuss was about. Wow! I guess no good deed will still go unpunished. I was a bit entertained by FUE's lament that TechForum has Nevada County as a sponsor (buying two tables no less). He seems to be telling his readers that SESF somehow bamboozled the county in this matter, instead of being recognized for giving Nevada County's high school seniors over $65K worth of merit scholarships. Is that good journalism?

Brad Croul

The graph in the original post is likely a reflection of the Great Tech Bubble Bust of 1999.
The NASDAQ also peaked during that same time period.

George Rebane

BradC 507pm - Agreed. Nevertheless, it is the ground truth of our workforce's technology sector.

Scott Obermuller

The "feasibility" of solar is unknown since it is propped up on corporate welfare. That would be the 99% sending money to the 1% to make sure the 1% have a smaller power bill. Another deeply held tenet of the left. The cost of solar panels themselves has long been recognized as not being the major part of the total package cost. I've been watching solar since the 70's and if I believed all the breathless hype and talk of lower cost panels since then, I'd have a 60KW installation at my house for about 10 bucks. The best thing for some one who claims they like solar energy to do would be to tell the govt and the utilities to stop "helping". Then solar would grow. Ask the Spaniards or the Germans. It does work, but at a far higher cost. You have to install the solar and then you have to build an equivalent conventional power plant to back up the solar. Nuke is far better for a mass distribution system. Or coal - that's the way the Chinese are going. Lots and lots of coal.

George Rebane

Germany, arguably the world's leader in rushing into photovoltaic solar energy, is pulling the plug on solar subsidies; it can no longer afford to fuel the foolishness.

Meanwhile, the idiots on these shores ...

billy T

Following this thread, I personally do not give a hoot what the fat piece of human debris has to say about anything on his blog, heehee. What a loser and a sore loser at that. Glad Russ picked the short straw and was delegated to read his twisted sista ramblings.. Better Russ than me! Concerning solar and renewable energy, I don't think any one is against going green. What I am opposed to is the cost, the cost benefit, the point of diminishing demands. It would be cheaper to pay people 50k/year just to sit home and read the fat boy's rag than to spend millions upon millions training 26 people on how to caulk windows and fasten a panel. The whole thing of greasing (non-grease of course)...of greasing the green upturned palms is sickening. Uncle Obama reached into the Treasury and gave Prologis millions in green loans with green dollars to buy Solyndra panels shortly before Solyndra went belly up and took tons of glass to the dump rather than find a salvage buyer or recycle. Why did Prologis get the loan? They are on the stock exchange, and manage 600 million feet of industrial property across the globe. Their balance sheet is strong, yet they got money to buy Solyndra overpriced panels and keep Obama's shining example of Solyndra green jobs, American style, afloat. Oh, the greatest plans of mice and men... Here is the money we loaned money to, the largest manager of industrial distribution facilities on the planet.

John Galt

Just why exactly does the Pelline family have ANY role in promoting tourism in our county?

Pelline's petty and infantile diatribe could be ignored, except that the County is considering allotting all the tourism funds to one organization (instead of allocating among the chambers, etc.)

The Pelline organization is specifically named as one of the contenders to receive these funds.

Pelline's baseless attacks against the SESF and TechForum demonstrate why the Pelline "organization" is unworthy of any role in promoting Nevada County's tourism.

Let your Supervisor know.

Tourism is an important part of our economy. Only responsible adults should have a role in developing it; by definition, that exclude Jeff Pelline.

--John Galt

George Rebane

BradC 1005am - good piece. Also heard a piece on NPR this morning on a maker outfit that got highlighted on TED. This is a good initiative as long as the government keeps its nose out of it and doesn't get in the way. However, I won't hold my breath.

Russell Steele

For those intereted, I highly recommend Make Magazine. I have made some the projects in the magazine and have submitted at least one article that was not published. Another author beat me to the publishers desk. I build a traveling WiFi hotspot into my GMC truck several years ago. I have been following the smart meter hacks in the magazine and plan to build a monitoring systems based on plans in Make Magazine.

I bought this book last year before my smart meter was installed.

Building Wireless Sensor Networks: with ZigBee, XBee, Arduino, and Processing

I need to find some time to experiment, now that the smart meter has been installed. However, the first project will be to get my electronic workbench in my barn completed and functioning. It is half in the garage and half in the barn. Not enough stuff at either place to be productive.

Russell Steele

Billy T, Here is what happened to one drone flying over private property:

A remote-controlled aircraft owned by an animal rights group was reportedly shot down near Broxton Bridge Plantation Sunday near Ehrhardt, S.C.

Steve Hindi, president of SHARK (SHowing Animals Respect and Kindness), said his group was preparing to launch its Mikrokopter drone to video what he called a live pigeon shoot on Sunday when law enforcement officers and an attorney claiming to represent the privately-owned plantation near Ehrhardt tried to stop the aircraft from flying.

"It didn't work; what SHARK was doing was perfectly legal," Hindi said in a news release. "Once they knew nothing was going to stop us, the shooting stopped and the cars lined up to leave."

He said the animal rights group decided to send the drone up anyway.

"Seconds after it hit the air, numerous shots rang out," Hindi said in the release. "As an act of revenge for us shutting down the pigeon slaughter, they had shot down our copter."

He claimed the shooters were "in tree cover" and "fled the scene on small motorized vehicles.

One staring in my bedroom window will get the same treatment.

George Rebane

It is always remarkable and amusing how the know-nothing animal rights cum anti-hunting crowd makes the trade-off between an animal being shot, and its dying a natural death that is normative for its species. I would venture that if the animals had the ability to choose between a disease-crippled, old-age decrepit, and/or terror-filled natural end that is the norm for them, compared to a surprise bullet, they would always choose the latter. There is nothing cruel to the animal in being hunted by a human with a modern weapon.

Scott Obermuller

Big thumbs up to Make Magazine and Arduino. I'll have to check out the others. There are all sorts of interesting experiments and projects on YouTube as well. I would tell any young person these days to try to learn as much as you can about electrical theory and get some hands-on project time with basic circuitry and even ripping into discarded electrical gadgets and appliances. Just make darn sure some one can be there to help keep you safe if there is house current or something with high voltage. (old micro wave oven, TVs etc). I still remember the first time I decided to make a "real powerful" electromagnet. No wimpy battery operated deal - no sir! I blew the breaker and nearly set fire to the rug, but I did learn something!
As to the problems with aerial surveillance, the most common problem I can see is the fact that you can get the R/C controlled copters for very little these days and they are getting cheaper and more powerful. Combined with small cheap video cameras, and the designs of 15 year old boys wanting to take a peek at what goes on in the rooms of certain young ladies that live down the street - well, there's bound to be mischief.

Douglas Keachie

So, which one of the "responsible adults" has a bio and a magazine to compete with Jeff's in the servicing of the rain making aspects of tourism in Nevada County? Or are you all just children throwing sand at the much better castle he's built?

"Editorial content is overseen by Jeff Pelline, whose award winning 30-year journalism career includes editing and management positions at the San Francisco Chronicle, CNET (since sold to CBS for $2 billion) and The Union in Grass Valley. Jeff’s work has also been published in the New York Times, Time magazine and the Chicago Tribune. CNET won a prestigious National Magazine Award when Jeff was Editor, among the first for an online publication.

We publish and distribute 15,000 copies to more than 300 locations each quarter, including Auburn, Nevada City, Grass Valley, Rocklin and Roseville, Folsom, Lincoln, the greater Sacramento area, Placerville, Marysville, Yuba City, Chico, Paradise, Colfax, Truckee, Tahoe City, South Lake Tahoe and Reno. We also distribute our magazine at California Welcome Centers in Northern California.

We seek high-demographic readers and provide restocking over the course of the three-month run of each issue. We also can customize distribution to fit advertiser’s specific needs, including the Bay Area markets."

billy T

Goods job gentlemen in being part of SESF. October Skies made me cry. Probably not news to you but today's news included a study that showed the biggest decline in students graduating with math/engineering degrees since 1950 and 70% of our current grads are foreign born and most take their US degrees back to their homelands to seek fame and fortune and discovery. The sky is the limit for those with both feet on the solidly on the ground while their head is thinking outside the box. Again, good job gentlemen. Slightly off topic, the idea of electric cars is not a bad one. Gotta wait for the price to drop dramatically and the bugs to be worked out to be palatable for main stream America. I remember the Christmas of 1979 when an acquaintance directed his aide to go out and purchase 9 VCRs for his friends. The aide came back with the VCRs, happy that she found them at a store that sold them for a $200 discount. She only paid $900 each. Seems outrageous now, but that was the price when the hit the market. Same for flat sceen tvs, computers, and hopefully electric cars. Electric cars now are being sold to the truly excited ones that welcome electric cars with enthusiasm. Mostly on the left coast, places like LA, San Diego, Portland, Seattle and other urban centers with mild climates. But, I need to ask just one question. If a love one was stranded on a cold snowy night just 15 miles up the hill, would you go out to rescue your loved one in an all electric car with the heater on and guarantee you both would make it back home without running out of juice? We need more science and engineering majors.


Pelline is a mean-spirited partisan hack who is given to lying about people he doesn't like in order to "win" arguments. His FoodWineArt magazine is a glossy advertiser held together with a minimum of content.

He also is given to lying about himself; absolutely no one believes he's a "moderate", and the political spectrum according to Jeff seems to be "moderate" on one side and "hard right wing" on the other. His opposition to TechTest, besides Republicans being on the board of SESF, seems to be that the kids might hear a critique of the IPCC. And they probably should, they've been lied to enough by the scientists Pelline thinks should be the only ones heard from.

The following WSJ op-ed, well worth reading, was signed by 16 scientific and engineering luminaries, including Dr. Nir Shaviv, the Israeli physicist whose 2003 paper (with geochemist Jan Veizer) "Celestial driver of Phanerozoic climate?" was key in my conversion from lukewarmer to skeptic to scoffer when I started reading the journals myself five years ago:

"No Need to Panic About Global Warming: There's no compelling scientific argument for drastic action to 'decarbonize' the world's economy"

This is a fine summary of the state of climate science and what we should do about it. Kids shouldn't have to go to Princeton or MIT to hear there really are well supported alternative climate views, and even at UC Berkeley, a chemistry professor recently told his class of chemistry majors that "30 years ago they were trying to convince me the world was cooling".

Scott Obermuller

Wow - we need to bow before J Peline because he made a lot of money and won some awards. Doug - would you care to re-think that nonsense? Let's all think of folks that made a bunch of money and won awards. That would make them, what? How about an examination of what they espouse? NYT and Time mag? Are you kidding? There isn't enough intellectual gravitas in those husks of what they once were to throw across the room. I've read a bit of Peline lately and it's just sad. He has set a premise that he is MOR and if you're not, you're bad. That way, he just waves away those he disagrees with as "not MOR". No sense in wasting time with facts, principles and discussion. He does well for himself and that will be his final reward, I'm afraid.

Todd Juvinall

I did not think Keachie was a brown nose but he has now shown us he is.

Douglas Keachie

The behavior and thought patterns of those who think in terms of "not MOR" or "not Tea Party" or "TOO Mormon," are all about the same. Not much past their sophomore years at Sierra College. I'm not sure your characterization of Jeff as a "not MOR" bigot is entirely correct. I do know this, Neil Cavuto tips the scales about the same as Jeff P., and I have the photos to prove it, as well as some members of the local red shirt party apparatchik, major and minor, Logue, and his "never take a dime in government money" farming legislator friend, to mention just a couple. Would you like I should create a special gallery for you? Ah, but that would be stooping to your level. I'll let our resident (currently on vacation?) cartoonist save it for the local Red Shirt, Union labelled, newspaper.

Limbaugh is skinny, Trump is skinny, and then the skinniest of all just voted against gay marriage, Christie of NJ,

Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey Super Sunday Fund-Raising Event Attracts NJ Governor Christie

Douglas Keachie

I'm not sure why it put in two of them, but you do have to scroll right to appreciate his full majesty.

Douglas Keachie

Part of the problem is that the Internet has initiated new meanings for "<" and ">" . On the internet, those symbols often are used when brackets or parens would be more appropriate. The end result is the poor kid below reads the math test as it was not intended to be read.



Can someone divine how the last few posts relate to this thread?

Todd, Keachie has been a Pelline lickspittle for quite some time. It might be the similarity of Cal degrees in Rhetoric and Anthropology that draws them to the same conclusions regarding math and science, of which they both have little knowledge or apparent aptitude.

billy T

Dougie, a dummy like me can't figure out your scroll to the right. I don't wish ill for the fat sailor, not in the least. I just don't read his blog, never again. His comments on other people's blogs reveal a bitter spiteful man who has no tolerance for dissenting views or a free flowing exchange of ideas. Reminds me of the bully who runs crying home to Mommie when somebody finally punches back. Sad and pathetic. I had enough when the fat boy whined and cried that someone mentioned a private school his child may or may not attended while praising public schools. Geez, you would have thought they mentioned fat boy's social security number and bank account passwords. The sky is falling and now they were worried about school security and perhaps body guards. Funny, I never complained when he, as editor, published the deans list of my kids in The Union in grade and middle schools without my permission. Any ill willed person could have figured out that the kids would be attending those schools the following year as they were not graduates yet. Its this sense of self importance that turned me off. Also, people that have written nice well thought out comments on his bloggie voicing a different opinion find it darn near impossible to have those toned down opinions posted, unlike here. Heck, it George played by the fat boy's rules, neither you or I would be allowed here. BTY, The Union had a small piece the other day that Mr. Crabb is starting his own blog on local issues and I certainly wish him well in his latest foray into a new endeavor. Yasser Arafat got himself one of those important pieces of paper you hang on the wall. Think is was called the Nobel Peace Prize. He must have been real smart to get himself such an important certificate. 25 years ago I took down all the framed pieces of paper on my wall and tossed them in the wastebasket. Basket was too small so I had to get a bigger trash bag. Wish I still had that tee shirt a friend gave me with his point coming across loud and clear. The shirt simply said "I USED TO..." Guess it is better to be a has been than a never was.

John Galt

Mr. Keachie 0517pm -- I believe it has been fully revealed that "Sierra Food Wine and Art magazine" is a collection of advertisements interspersed with still other advertisements disguised as reviews.

Somehow it escaped me that you were part of "the enterprise".

...not that it would affect your objectivity in your remarks on these blogs.

--John Galt

Douglas Keachie

Little aptitude in Math, or science, as measured by what? SAT's ? Or by the judgments and pronouncements of the genuine mathematical wizard of the County, the ALL SEEING, ALL KNOWING, CONDESCENDING MATHOCOLOGIST who's so easy to find, because he keeps on laying big ones wherever he goes. And, who has no known sense of humor, unlike Todd Juvinal who paved the way for the last phrase.

The math image post plainly relates to the problem in this country were having with teaching.

The fat related aspect of this thread was started by Bill Tozer and various other folk chime in with other deliberate derisions of his character, via what I would take to be jealous comments about his magazine. Of course Jeff id the only one who knows whether it is successful or not, finacially, but according to Gregory, the ALL MIGHTY BRAIN of the universe, if the magazine is merely as Greg describes it in disparaging terms, "His FoodWineArt magazine is a glossy advertiser held together with a minimum of content." then all the folks advertising therein must know next to nothing about "doin' bidness." Greg of course does know that area so well, which is why he lives so close to the airport.

Sometimes he reminds me of L Ron Hubbard:

""The sudden and abrupt deletion of all individuals occupying the lower bands of the tone scale from the social order would result in an almost instant rise in the cultural tone and would interrupt the dwindling spiral into which any society may have entered. It is not necessary to produce a world of clears in order to have a reasonable and worthwhile social order; it is only necessary to delete those individuals who range from 2.0 down, either by processing them enough to get their tone level above the 2.0 line - a task which, indeed, is not very great, since the amount of processing in many cases might be under fifty hours, although it might also in others be in excess of two hundred - or simply quarantining them from the society."

Douglas Keachie

Scroll to right worked fine in preview of comment, does not work in Firefox under Win7 either. Don't wish to try George's patience by posting a more proper sized image. My own stuff is always scaled just about right. I forgot to check when posting this. If you look up Christie NJ on Flickr, you can find the original. I think most Rebame readers can make substantial criticisms without resorting to body style insults. A fair amount of apparent "fat" in some people is simply genetic, and very, very, hard to change. Besides, look at the business he's in, and consider the amount of great food and wine he is exposed to. I'd be at 350 in no time!

Douglas Keachie

I am not part of the Pelline enterprise. I usually have a photo or two published in Sierra Gold Magazine. My most recent publication in print is in the Merry Widow Gazette, about page 5, of their race cart entry. My stuff has been published in print all around the globe, and my online stuff still is. I am not particuarly actively selling these days, as I enjoy putzing about the ranch, and playing with the dogs, and meandering through the Internmet. I stopped supplying quality images to The Union, when it became clear that my stopping, shooting a wreck, or other event of interest, editing the images, sending them up online, or via email to the editor, and having them publish the images, was not even worth a free subscription to me, let alone payment.

Douglas Keachie

BTW, is not The Union, likewise largely a string of news stories about local entrepeneurs, surrounded by a police blotter, some sports, a bit of news, and tons of advertising? Is that a bad thing? seems to me the two Jeff's have something in common. The only no advertising newsources are Yubanet and Yubanet. KVMR does for the lefty businesses what The Union does for righty businesses.

billy T

Doug, think I am the only one on this thread to mention the word fat, fat boy, or fat sailor. The other posters have too much class and discipline to utter just base descriptions. After reading a few of the fat boy's comments on the old Union threads and other places, I notice a common theme emerging that I shan't forget. The theme was eloquently worded threats of having his lawyer sue this one or that one for defaming his esteemed character. Sure, they may have been idle threats to discourage anyone from dissing the sacred fat cow and it was effective in shutting down conservations on subjects fat boy was not particularly fond of the direction they were taking. So, I use the endearing terms fat, fat boy, and fat sailor and no other phrase. I look at it this way. The fat boy can haul me into court for slander or dissing him. My lawyer would turn it all around and make the plaintiff prove he/she is not fat or a fat boy.

George Rebane

Gentlemen - that Jeff Pelline and his following have disparaged TechTest and TechForum is a matter of record. Along with all of ours, Jeff Pelline's character has been revealed for years in the comment streams of RR and other blogs. Let's cut this thread now, GregG (1051pm) is right.

BTW, DougK, your new found talent for posting graphics on RR needs refinement. Please reduce the size of the graphics to comfortably fit into standard window sizes so that the pages load fast.

Douglas Keachie

George, I already noted the error and the cause, and will try to keep things to less than a quarter the screen real estate or smaller.

"eloquently worded threats of having his lawyer sue this one or that one for defaming his esteemed character. "

ertainly there's nobody here who has made such veiled threats under similar circumstances, now is there?

Let's not knock the sailors, for I am one, and now's the time for a perfect seqway over to the other more recent topic:

And Jesus was a sailor
When he walked upon the water
And he spent a long time watching
From his lonely wooden tower
And when he knew for certain
Only drowning men could see him
He said "All men shall be sailors then
Until the sea shall free them"
But he himself was broken
Long before the sky would open
Forsaken, almost human
He sank beneath your wisdom like a stone
And you want to travel with him
And you want to travel blind
And you think you'll maybe trust him
For he's touched your perfect body with his mind.

John Galt

George 0755: Okay, for now. But I hope this is revisited when the BOS consider increasing the Pelline Enterprise role (and budget) in promoting tourism. JP's disparaging comments for TechForum suggest to me that he is not impartial enough to have a significant role in promoting the County's tourism effort.

--John Galt


"JP's disparaging comments for TechForum suggest to me that he is not impartial enough to have a significant role in promoting the County's tourism effort."

There is not an impartial bone in Pelline's corpulent body; math and science in Pelline's world at the moment is a placeholder for advocacy of CO2 alarmism. Pelline and friends were attacking TechTest for what they assumed it would be, which is bigotry, pure and simple.

Good news, checking the FUE's blog, they're continuing to remark on TechTest and the upcoming event. Frisch is apparently reading RR and reporting back to them about what they should think.

Frisch, unlike me at Pelline's, you're free to leave a thought at RR but I suppose if you can't take the heat you really should stay out of the kitchen.

Michael Anderson

Mr. "Galt," I fail to see a connection between the ability to promote tourism and having a negative opinion of SESF. They have nothing to do with each other.


MA, it's the bigotry Pelline shows to folks who don't share Pelline's views that is the problem. Pelline is a self promoter who would very likely not be even handed about what businesses and events would be featured.

For example, this upcoming SESF event. Do you really think Pelline would lift a finger to help had he control of County funds intended to promote such things? He is a divisive partisan hack with a mean streak as wide as his butt.


"Little aptitude in Math, or science, as measured by what?"

Words, deeds, and choices of what you spent your time on when you went to college. Hint, anthropology and rhetoric are on the bottom of the list for math and science content.

We Can Work Together

"Pelline is a self promoter who would very likely not be even handed about what businesses and events would be featured."

My understanding of the gig is that it's about maintaining the site, while the content comes from the various chambers. I took a quick peek at gonevadacounty-dot-com and that's sure what it looks like.

I defer to Ted Owens on this:

Michael Anderson

Silly Typepad won't shake a previous browser login.

I meant for my comment to post under this account.

"Pelline is a self promoter who would very likely not be even handed about what businesses and events would be featured."

My understanding of the gig is that it's about maintaining the site, while the content comes from the various chambers. I took a quick peek at gonevadacounty-dot-com and that's sure what it looks like.

I defer to Ted Owens on this:


I took a quick peek at gonevadacounty, and whoever wrote the 'how to get here' section should have just written "If you aren't driving here, we don't have a clue how to help".

They were oblivious to the Auburn Amtrak station, connecting bus service to Grass Valley and the local bus line, have two different and incorrect names for the one airport that serves Grass Valley and Nevada City, and lack any links for anyone who might be interested in the Grass Valley Airport (aka Nevada County Air Park) or Truckee-Tahoe Airport.

Michael Anderson

Yeah, that's pretty lame. I just checked the Nevada County/Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce website and they have almost the same incorrect information:

Russell Steele

The tourism site does not even have any directions on how to get here at all. I guess they assume that everyone know were Grass Valley is.


"My understanding of the gig is that it's about maintaining the site, while the content comes from the various chambers."

Yes, edits must be made. Events get added and dropped. Dead links need to be fixed. Do you really think the Pelline's can and will be even handed with such things?

Just checking, it's obvious the Pellines know about the SESF fundraiser, but it isn't listed in the events calendar. Did no one try to enter it, or did the Pelline's block it? Seeing it wasn't listed, did either Pelline think to add it in? If they didn't add it in, do they make sure their own pet events get entered while letting the ones they would rather fail just not get the same help?

Then there's another possibility for conflict... do FoodWineArt customers get preferential treatment?

billy T

Ok, back to original thread. My apologies dear posters for showing my darker side and going off track. Since this article was published the lad has indeed gone back to the drawing board and improved his design. Drivng the pros crazy, lol


Now, back to Pelline's view of fairness, and think that because the usual suspects didn't salute when Dr. Judith Kildow (who arranged the CARB chief Mary Nichols' local one sided bluster) ran her proposal up the county flagpole, the county shouldn't sponsor the SESF.

Let's look again at a Pelline science reference... From Dr. Kildow's CV:
Grinnell College, AB, major, Political Science, 1964
The Fletcher School, Tufts University, M.A.1965; M.A. Law and Diplomacy, 1966;
Ph.D. International Relations and Science Policy, 1972

No science there to be seen. At all.

And according to the NY Times, Mary Nichol's degrees are a BA in Russian Lit from Cornell and a JD from Yale Law. No science there, either.

As usual, Pelline gets his science from politically correct sources that have no clue themselves.

Michael Anderson

Russ or George should add the TechForum event here--

Russell Steele

I have been tracking the progress of the Nevada County and Grass Valley Tourism sites HERE. The stats are due for a monthly updated around the 26th of Feb. So far both sites have been falling in the ranking with 1.0 being the best and 1.0 trillion being the worst. The number of links to the sites is growing, but traffic is miserable. The latest site analytics for gonevadacounty show 474 visitors in December, which is the last month the data is available. That is down 478 visitors from November . Grass Valley does not even have enough visitors to trip the counter. This is the message I get for gograssvalley. The site may have little traffic or we may not have a statistically relevant sample to project the traffic with.

Grass Valley and Nevada County have spend over $200,000 on web sites to attract tourist and now one is coming to the web sites. Why? Some one should be asking?

Russell Steele


I will give it a try, next time, but I think we are now sold out. May one of two seats left.

Barry Pruett

Gregory: You have made the most astute observation yet posted here. Judith Kildow speaking on AGW with absolutely no formal science education?! As far as Mary Nichols goes, I fail to see the obvious connection among Pushkin, Lomonosov, and AGW...I am missing something? Unbelieveable.

Leads me to believe that the AGW speeches will be about politics and not science.

George Rebane

MichaelA 517pm - My misunderstanding is that the prime taxpayer funded role of 'gonevadacounty' is to discover and post significant Nevada County events of interest that might engender interest in and possibly draw travel to our county. Apparently the website's grand poo-bah has made no such connection, or feels that giving TechForum publicity would be inimical to other more important agendas now in play.

But as RussS (521pm) states, "Why? Someone should be asking." And since no one has, we can only conclude that, to those who allocate public funds, 'gonevadacounty' is in the hands of a trusted fire-and-forget government contractor needing no further supervision or monitoring. Russ has more to say about this on NC2012.


Barry, I had dug out Kildow's CV and posted on her science background back when Pelline & Friends were pushing her proposed lecture series. It's nothing new. Pelline seems to agree with Ms. Haynes when it comes to Climate authority... a deep understanding of the science isn't as important as coming to the same conclusion of the experts you want to believe in the first place. A Ph.D. in science policy built upon a foundation of no science training at all is not a recipe for understanding.

Nothing succeeds like success. SESF hosting a great talk is a great start both for the scholarships and for SESF's credibility in attracting good speakers in the future.

John Galt

Gregory 0942: So true. Hosting speakers like Cisco's VP for Innovation (Mr. Hutley) promises to be the start of many benefits for our County--and its youth.

It's a remarkable feat to bring him to this County. I'm sure there's a great story behind it.

--Johh Galt.

Douglas Keachie

BTW, I checked an understand that the event is not sold out at 85, but close to sold out at 153, and that it is up to the meeting planner to have press or no press, and that can go up over and beyond the 160 limit for the room in the seating arrangment plan you have selected.


Thanks, George.

George Rebane

DougK - I have offered no one a free lunch, and have no understanding of the logic by which you unite your photo with Pelline.

Douglas Keachie

George Foster offered Pelline said lunch, Pelline turned it down due to a prior engagement, I offered to cover the event, George said "no," pay the $25." I assume you and he work for the same SES Foundation. The whole conversation is on Pelline's blog, as if you weren't aware.

George Rebane

DougK 648pm - I hope that you're sitting down, because it will shock the hell out of you to know that I fastidiously don't read Pelline's blog. However, to reinforce and confirm the wisdom of this policy, from time to time some correspondent sends me material from his site when they think it would be of interest or just to pique me. Nevertheless, it seems that I am fortunate to count Pelline as one of RR's regular readers. From the material he gathers from here, I am happy to contribute to his readership.

Re TechForum - I am not on the operations committee for that gathering, and monitor its progress only as a director of the foundation. However, I am very involved with our merit scholarship programs like TechTest.

Douglas Keachie

George, you've made your position clear, by what you deleted, and what you've not deleted.

Please keep in mind that technology was conceived of to benefit people, not to give those with technical backgrounds dominion over the rest of the population, by virtue of their supposedly "superior" knowledge. It seems to me that this attitude of mine is not shared by you and your friends here. In fact it almost seems to me as if you look forwards to your dingularity, and bowing down to you new electro/biological masters, in some strange perverse way.

For a group that wants publicity for their cause, I'll be very curious to see just how well you do, at this and future events. There could be a lot more at your site, in terms of exposing kids to the opportunities that are out there, but you plainly do not want any contributions from me, so you'll just have to figure it out on your own.

Good luck and Sayonara!

Douglas Keachie

BTW, when and where will this important talk that we should all hear be posted as an MP#, or setup as an online streaming video? Or is that too far into the future for you to handle?

Russ Steele


You will have to contact NCTV to find out when the event will be broadcast. It will not be streamed.

Douglas Keachie

Why would it not be streamed?

Douglas Keachie

Or more accurately, archived in the "Video on Demand" section? Cable does not reach much of the county.


"Please keep in mind that technology was conceived of to benefit people, not to give those with technical backgrounds dominion over the rest of the population, by virtue of their supposedly "superior" knowledge."

The knowledge it takes to create technologies is there for almost anyone to acquire but it is neither instantaneous or easy. The TechTest is a good attempt at challenging some of the local kids who have been diligently gaining the intellectual capital that can lead to success in serious study of a math-based discipline.

Currently, to get to a university on track, a kid should have a solid knowledge of elementary math, including competence with fractions and long division, by their middle school years. Algebra competence in the 8th grade, 9th at the latest. Geometry, Algebra II, Trig. Calculus if there's time. Not to mention biology, chemistry and physics.

Euclid told King Ptolemy there was no Royal Road to Geometry. Similarly, Charles Sanders Pierce wrote in the late 19th century that "There is no royal road to logic, and really valuable ideas can only be had at the price of close attention."

There's no royal road to technological competence.

Douglas Keachie

And being technologically competent does not make you royalty.

George Rebane

But being technologically competent does expand considerably your spectrum of life's choices. Some ideologies consider this unfair and seek to impose external means to equalize matters.

Douglas Keachie

Being technologically competent is a far broader term than being mathematically competent, which is basically 95% of what the Tech Test tests.

Technology encompasses much more than just being a slide rule/spreadsheet/calculator wiz who can do calculus and trig.

I would bet that most systems administrators seldom need to do more than communicate with upper and lower echelons, read specs, watch traffic, and stay current on the latest attacks. Would you call them technologically incompetent?

Inventors get patents all the time without higher math. I note in passing that one of your frequent commenters has ZERO (0) nada patents to his name, despite all the math he knows.

Would Dirtmover be "technically incompetent?" Hell I could probably get more done in 1/2 hour with a backhoe than you and said non inventing mathematically wiz kid can. Yup, there is technical competence, and there is mathematical competence, and while their is overlap, your focus with the "Tech" Test seems rather limited, to the view screen of a calculator.

How fast can you get a good, clear screenshot of a small portion of your cell phone up to tech support? Can you do it in under 3 minutes? I can. I guess I must be more technically competent than you, lordy, lordy... and no math involved, just very high technical competence in photography.



Being technologically competent means what it says. If you lack it, you're incompetent in that sphere, and there is no substitute for the effort needed to learn the stuff.

Let's consider an old technology at three different levels:
1) Designing the Bus
2) Making the Bus
3) Driving the Bus

Becoming expert at driving the bus is a whole lot easier than learning how to make the bus, and while just about anyone who can design the bus can become expert at driving one, just about no one off the street would ever figure out how to design one.

Congratulations, Doug. You're an expert technology driver, and can paste JPEGs with the best of them. Are you familiar with the discrete cosign transform they are based on, or the reason DCT are used rather than the Fourier or Fast Fourier Transforms the DCT is based upon? Do you have a clue as to how the compressions are actually performed after the DCT is made?

Keach, there is an important patent with my name on it as an inventor, and there's another basic digital video patent that should have my name on it but shenanigans at a French company screwed me out of that one. I also got a nice $5K bonus from Cisco when my idea for Packet Relay across Telco Networks (a VoIP gateway discovery scheme) was put into the company patent queue, but I left to be a full time dad a year after my wife died of cancer and without me there, the submission stalled. Would have been nice to have that one, mostly for the honor; a nice extra chunk of cash, small was compared to salary and options. Tiny compared to the cost of 18 months of cancer treatments.

Did higher math figure into the above patents? Yes, in all of them, either directly or indirectly. TechTest is intellectually valid for those high school students who are considering a course of study that requires a high level of math and physical science competence.


That's cosine, thanks for not noticing.

George Rebane

DougK 1120am - don't really know what that little defensive diatribe was all about. Mathematics is the common language of all modern technology and today has dominated formerly mathematics-light fields like biology and anthropology. Mathematics (and its sisters of logic, algorithmics, programming, data handling, ...) is also the most important and common tool in the toolset for critical thinking, which for expanding the frontiers of knowledge is a necessity. 95% of all my education has turned out to be applied mathematics; without it I could practice no single part of the system sciences. Exceptions to mathematical proficiency for achievement in all fields of science and engineering are anecdotal.


"But being technologically competent does expand considerably your spectrum of life's choices. Some ideologies consider this unfair and seek to impose external means to equalize matters."

George, it goes deeper than that; they think all are equal. Among K-12 teachers and administrators there is a profound misunderstanding as to the nature of the intellectual capital that is needed to be competent in the sphere of math, science and engineering. Any student reasonably competent in Algebra and language can go to college and succeed in most every course of study. However, math, physics, chemistry, engineering are not among them. Neither are the fine arts and music, which all also require a high level of ability and acquired skill from years of individual study and commitment. If you aren't really ready for a rigorous treatment of the calculus of one variable, or reasonably competent at playing some instrument or making sketches, there are majors you won't be declaring unless Mom and Dad can write checks for a few more years than they hoped and can trust you'll catch up to your peers who were more focused in K-12.

Ask Molecular and Cellular Biology majors, the usual pre-Med choice, what chemistry they took... the hard core chem that chem, physics and engineering majors took, or the easy one that is for biology majors who really don't need to know as much? Did they take the general Physics class, or the Physics for scientists that chem, physics and engineering majors take?

The teachers and admin at the GVSD especially were of like minds that the smart kids will succeed no matter what. They'll pass their 8th grade algebra test that is pretty much required before you graduate from high school, and they'll be able to enroll in a community college. SUCCESS! But at a possibly a great loss to themselves and humanity as they will never have the choices they could have had with a more competent K-12 system that was there for them as much as it was for the kid who barely graduated.

Douglas Keachie

Only too well aware of all the different algorithms used by the zillion video codecs, including the non standard ones used by my highly acclaimed but non standard Panasonic HD video camera. May not be able to do the the math, but very well aware of the hassles, like when Compuserve limited GIF's and so many versions of TIFF's and jpegs showed up that nothing worked right.

As for mere operators, love to see the first designer or builder who had never been in a cockpit before get an F-16 off the ground and live to tell the tale.

George, you totally miss the fact that a great many people are considered technically competent by the average Joe, and they are considered "technically competent," without knowing anything of higher math. The systems administrator, which is, as you know full well, is a totally different beastie than a systems analyst, is generally considered to be "technically competent." There are many other examples. If you wish to claim special competence for math brilliant technically competent, great, but don't feel you have the right to hijack the term out of the common parlance and proclaim it all your very own.

For example, in the following manual for lifting, many, other than trained engineers, including riggers and divers, can make a lift plan, but most likely not high risk ones:

Life experience counts, and are not always covered by pieces of paper from institutions.

Douglas Keachie

Congrats to you Greg, on your patents. Use search terms Gregory Goodknight US patent and got Boy Scout Troop information. This is the first I've known of your actual subset of engineering, which is a many splendored thing.

Douglas Keachie

The Tech Test is perfectly valid as a predictor of success, but if the goal is to produce afr more Johnnys who can pass it, you need to stat much younger. See here for a more detailed look at the topic:

Douglas Keachie

I'm beginning to wonder about this particular keyboard. In any event, if you want to have separate smaller classes for math intensive students, you will need to fund such classrooms. Otherwise you can send your kids to private schools, or move to an area where you know the publics are top notch. It was no accident where we moved when we moved into San Francisco proper. The Alamo to Presidio to Lowell route was as plain as the nose on your face, if you bothered to look.

"If you only pay for and use inferior materials, you get inferior demons."

~ Eric Frank Russell ~ (approximately)


Keachie, you're still here? Thanks for mentioning those search terms, I just found out my Cisco patent submission made in 2001 resulted in a patent being issued in 2010.

Got to add that to my resume.


"May not be able to do the the math, but very well aware of the hassles, like when Compuserve limited GIF's and so many versions of TIFF's and jpegs showed up that nothing worked right."

Yes, that's a lot like the problems bus drivers shifting different trannies.

The math *is* the technology.

George Rebane

Gregory 246pm - "The math *is* the technology." That is spot on, but almost impossible to communicate to a math-free mind.

Douglas Keachie

You need to qualify "math free mind." Otherwise you'd be up for libel, if you are applying that broad term to me, as it might just seem to the average outsider to this forum. "Calculus not attempted" would be accurate, "Calculus incapable" would not.

Math is not the "ONLY" technology capable of solving problems. despite some very expensive software developed to solve just this sort of problem below, look where the answer came from:

For example:

"Gamers have assisted scientists in solving a molecular puzzle related to a protein-cutting enzyme found in an AIDS-like virus found in rhesus monkeys. FoldIt is a collaborative online game established in 2008 with over 260,000 registered users. “The game is designed so that players can manipulate virtual molecular structures that look like multicolored, curled-up Tinkertoy sets. The virtual molecules follow the same chemical rules that are obeyed by real molecules. When someone playing the game comes up with a more elegant structure that reflects a lower energy state for the molecule, his or her score goes up. If the structure requires more energy to maintain, or if it doesn’t reflect real-life chemistry, then the score is lower.”

The monkey-virus enzyme was uploaded to FoldIt in the hope that gamers would be able to assist scientists. It was solved within ten days.

This kind of game demonstrates the potential of crowd sourcing solutions through the gaming community. Although it may have been some serious puzzle fans who solved this molecular puzzle its possible that casual gamers can also contribute. The challenge is for designers and programmers to develop games that (either explicitly or implicitly) solve real world problems by tapping into the vast and growing resource of casual gamers."

Douglas Keachie

Glad to be of help, Greg 2:22 ;)

George Rebane

DougK 313pm - You make the point that Greg and I are trying to communicate here. It is the math-savvy game designers understanding the stochastics of crowd-sourced cognitive processes who can design such 'games' that solve protein folding/cutting problems without the individuals playing the game having any capabilities whatsoever in technology (math specifically) the way it is most broadly understood. For a deeper insight into what I'm referring, an entertaining and enlightening tutorial would be familiarization with the Anthill in Hofstadter's 'Godel, Escher, Bach'.

Please explain your reference to my being "up for libel"; I hope it's not as threatening as it sounds.

Douglas Keachie

Having attended virtually every week long Game Developers Conference since 1993, I am more than just slightly aware of the mathematical underpinning of most video games. As a Conference Associate, I have been assigned to monitor and thus have sat in on many. many, roundtables in which the math you speak of was more than evident. You still need the thousands of individuals for this work. The non calculus and higher math trained folks still have a reason to live.

What's more, having a great idea, and getting it published, is not the whole story. You need money, and thank God for EcoWhacko Kevin Costner, who probably knows no more math than I do.

The water-cleaning centrifuges sold by movie star Kevin Costner to BP for oil spill clean-up testing have received a thumbs-up from at least one scientist -- its inventor.

"A fleet of these could make a significant impact," says Dave Meikrantz of the Energy Department's Idaho National Laboratory, who patented the devices with INL in 1990, and later sold the rights to Costner's company in 1993. "It is most gratifying to make a technical contribution during the past decades that can assist today in a major environmental incident in the Gulf of Mexico."

Life is funny at times, try this slice:

"Spending his teenage years in various parts of California as his father's career progressed,[3] Costner has described this as a period when he "lost a lot of confidence", having to make new friends often.[3] Costner lived in Orange County, then in Visalia (Tulare County), attending Mt. Whitney High School, and then back to Ventura, graduating from Buena High School in 1973. He went on to earn a B.A. in marketing and finance from California State University, Fullerton, in 1978.[3]
[edit] Post-graduation

Costner became interested in acting while in his last year of college,[3] and on graduation married Cindy Silva. The couple honeymooned in Puerto Vallarta and on the return plane journey had a chance encounter with actor and fellow passenger Richard Burton, who had purchased all the seats around him for solitude. Burton agreed to speak to Costner after he finished his book. Costner, who had been taking acting classes, but had not told his wife about his desire to be an actor, watched Burton closely and approached when Burton gestured. Costner told Burton that he would prefer that his life was not filled with the type of drama that had followed Burton and asked if he would have to tolerate that if he became an actor. Burton replied, "You have green eyes. I have green eyes. I think you'll be fine." After landing, Burton's limousine pulled up to the curb where Costner and Cindy were waiting for a taxi, where Burton wished Costner luck. Costner would never see Burton again, but credits Burton with partially contributing to his career.[1][9]"


Keach, remind me, what was your answer to the question, "what is 1 3/4 divided by 1/2"? Calculus isn't the end, it's just the beginning. First semester of your Freshman year.

"Math is not the "ONLY" technology capable of solving problems."
No one here has ever claimed that. However, it is the glue that holds all of science and engineering together, and the TechTest is a fine way to challenge local students who don't get enough challenges or recognition while they're here.

BTW, special programs are not needed to get kids to that level. Just competent elementary math teachers who are truly facile with algebra (sadly, most are not) and expect their kids to master things like all the usual manipulations of fractions and things like long division, and teachers of algebra and beyond who have at least the equivalent of a real minor in Math.

Even at my crappy east of LA high school, every year more students went to schools like CalTech, MIT, Stanford and the UC's than NU and BR high schools manage together.

Bennett-Kew, a LAUSD school in Inglewood (aka IngleWatts in crude circles), mostly Latino (many English Language learners) and the balance Black, virtually all on free lunches and on the same budget of all of the LAUSD, outperforms the Grass Valley schools with an API of something like 822. It just takes a principal that expects results and a teacher corps that likes it that way. Of course, B-K is a 10th decile school, and the main GVSD schools are down in the lowest two deciles. Some brown children get great starts, some white kids get shafted.


"The systems administrator, which is, as you know full well, is a totally different beastie than a systems analyst, is generally considered to be "technically competent."

Not in the sense we mean.

In tech, a sysadmin is a technician. They look for things. Things they need. Things to make them go. In effect, one step above the bus driver. They can fix the thing, they can get it back on the road. Find the right bolts to fasten it all together. A facet of the manufacturing role. Good ones can even fill some engineering slots, but not many.

Oh, and a college friend of mine has a love letter Kevin Costner wrote her in junior high, while living somewhere around Ventura. She won't show it to anyone but does like having it ;) She majored in math at Mudd, and quite capable of the sort of work Costner bought with his acting pay. Now, note, I didn't have to paste anything in from Wikipedia for that. Why not stop padding your posts with paragraph after paragraph you didn't and couldn't write yourself, or better yet, go back to Jeff's like you recently promised?

Douglas Keachie

By any chance did your crappy east of la school include students from the families of the students and faculties of the Claremont Colleges and Cal Tech, which are in the same general vicinity? How is it that no home schoolers or private school grads are showing up as winners in the Tech Tests? Parents couldn't handle the last mile?

Would being in charge of a Novell 3.11 system for over 110 computers qualify one as a sysadmin, especially when you had to do a fair amount of plenum installation by yourself after hours, and wander the school fixing downed computers (they all had easily accessible floppy drives, in fact that's what they were booting from) and in your unpaid for, beyond teaching a full load day? See, no need here for Wiki, that's right out of my own back pages. About 6 hours of help initially from a Pac Bell tech, and then nothing from nobody, school would not even pay for support from Novell via phone line or online, or even any manuals. I found out later that downtown IT had grabbed those as the materials made their way to Lowell. Had to do it, if I wanted my own lab up, and went through two major equipment upgrades, which I designed and Zvonko Fazarinc, of H/p, signed off on. Damn, without even the starter calculus, Keachie just might be a techie.

Douglas Keachie

"Not in the sense we mean."

You do not get to re-define the English language. As I pointed out once already here, common usage determines the term's meaning. Claiming you cannot be a "techie" without completing a "rigorous" college engineering or physics or math major is plain nonsense. Being "technically competent" is very possible without the higher math. Being higher mathematically competent gets its own special label, usually accompanied by a college degree and a license. I have never made a claim to have either, in an engineering field. Use your English as you do your numbers. Precisely. And don't claim turf you don't own, even if those working there have jobs that would not exist without someone somewhere having done the math. Do you do all your own books, does the SESFoundation? Or do they turn the job over to financially mathematically talented person called an accountant, to make sure they are done right? Most H&R Block assistants have no clue, they just plug in the numbers, but their skill lies in drawing the correct set of numbers from their clients. They are "technically competent," by most peoples' standards.


Nope, Keach, Montebello was not a collegiate bedroom community. Low riders on Whittier Blvd. The rich kid in my class was rolling in a dump truck fortune, an Armenian-American hegemony. It's the same high school that was an internet sensation a few years ago when a mob came on campus on Cinco de Mayo, took over and raised the Mexican flag.

No, your computer operations experience means little technological competence to a competent engineer or scientist. Useful office help.


"You do not get to re-define the English language. As I pointed out once already here, common usage determines the term's meaning."

The common usage of "musically talented" is different for a church choir than it is for the New York Phil or any other professional symphony. That's just the way it is.

You don't have a clue, Keach, and I never said a college education was a required. It isn't you lack of any formal schooling that's the problem, it's what you don't know and can't imagine.


"Please explain your reference to my being "up for libel"; I hope it's not as threatening as it sounds."

George, it was meant to be threatening, but there's no bite behind the bark.

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