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Mindconnection eNL, 2015-02-01

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In this issue:
Good News | Product Highlight | Brainpower | Finances | Security | Health/Fitness | Factoid | Thought 4 the Day

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1. Good News

Item 1

He's becoming increasingly unwelcome. Like many disgusted Americans, I didn't waste my time watching our emperor's State of the Union address that he recently inflicted upon the nation. His reality distortion field has been on its maximum setting for a long time now, and this delusional dictator spews increasingly brazen lies. Perhaps next he'll insist the earth is flat and expect us to believe that, too.

The good news about this latest SOTU took multiple forms. For one thing, most of us tuned him out. Few of us care to listen to more of his con man nonsense. We've seen the devastating results of his misconduct. For another, even the Zombie Class (which, apparently, had hoped for change they could finally believe in and thus wasted their time watching the SOTU) reacted negatively to the debacle. By and large, Americans are just waiting for this clown to leave office. And that is very good news.

Item 2

The IEEE Energywise eNewsletter reported last month that graphene could make super high conversion-efficiency photovoltaics. The efficiency may nearly double, going from 32% to 60%. The "secret" is it makes multiple electrons rather than just one per pop.

Item 3

Direct-replacement LED lamps (a "lamp" is what the lighting industry calls a "bulb") are getting better all the time. They now make economic sense in many applications. Think of applications where the light will be on for a while. For example, a plant light. Office space is also a prime candidate, especially if you have a home office with traditional recessed lamps or other incandescent fixtures. But even short-term (a few minutes or less) applications probably produce a net energy savings.

There are also LED night lights with photosensors). If you have a cat box in a room with a window, you can give your furry friend a little help at night and it will cost you next to nothing.

Item 4

New nukes. Molten salt reactors could make nuclear power cheaper and safer. Read the story here:

http://www.technologyreview.com/news/534366/resurrecting-a-meltdown-proof-reactor-design

2. Product Highlight

We have a deal on these cameras, just for subscribers of this eNL.

The Pentax K-S1 is a stylish midrange DSLR that features futuristic LED lights on its grip and a backlit mode dial on its rear.

We have a limited quantity on sale for a limited time. Click link or image for more info.

  • Attractive LED Indicator lamps in grip and lighted camera controls.
  • 5.4 frames per second continuous shooting.
  • Full 1080p h.264 HD video recording.
  • ISO Speeds up to 51200.
  • In-body shake reduction.
  • In-body RAW development & HDR shooting.
  • Works with all K mount lenses.
  • AA Filter Simulator (SR unit).
  • Eye-Fi and FLU Card Compatibility. 
     
 

 

3. Brainpower tip

Since its inception, the Department of Diseducation has done a marvelous job of inculcating a culture of stupidity and a dislike of learning in the nation's children. While many kids emerged unscathed (due to unquenchable intellectual curiosity or due to parents who responded competently to this problem), most did not.

This is why, in the aggregate, Americans are behind all other industrialized nations in literacy, numeracy, and reasoning ability. We have become a nation of idiots. This has caused huge problems for employers. For example, I was the plant engineer at a large factory that had difficulty finding operators who could read a ruler. We bussed people in from over 100 miles away. This is a third grade skill, or it was before the DoD was instituted.

Our emperor's "solution" in his idiotic SOTU was to make all taxpayers pay for tuition at community colleges. In his alternate universe, this was "free" as if the teachers would just volunteer and there aren't any actual costs to cover.

These colleges already have problems dealing with unprepared students. There's such a need for remedial work, there's not much room for actual college coursework.

We have "free" public "education" for K-12, and look how that's turned out. In an interview with a teacher as background for this newsletter, I learned that she and her coworkers hate their jobs. They find the work humiliating and exhausting. She says it's all about preparing for the test plus meeting a laundry list of useless requirements, and there's no time for teaching. She puts in 12 to 14 hours every day. And her kids don't learn much at all. And any innate desire they had for learning gets vanquished after the mind-numbing school experience and lack of intellectual stimulation.

So the Obama plan is to have these illiterate, innumerate, inattentive kids waste taxpayer money for another two years while simultaneously paralyzing our community colleges.

Community college is not expensive. Those who have enough passion for getting an associate's degree can find a way to pay for it. Those without that much passion should not be going.

But with the Obama plan, we'd just flood these colleges with students who should not be there. This will ruin it for those who work their butts off to pay their way because they really want to learn. It will convert an adult education environment into the same "poor outcome" lunacy that now dominates K-12.

A better approach would be to establish merit-based scholarships, if you are going to do anything. Just making it free is not a solution in any way.

The best approach is to stop attacking the economy with brain-dead schemes like this one, so businesses can put people back to work. Finding yet another way to increase unemployment might be amusing to Obama and his ilk, but it seems to me that they should be satisfied that they have driven it to 51% already.

So I've covered a timely issue but have not yet brought it around to what it means to your own brainpower. Here's the tip. Education is an ongoing experience. You need to look for ways to keep learning new things. Associate with people who have informed, intelligent conversations. If you don't know any such people, look for them and start a group. Your local public library is a great place to start.

The federal "government" is not going to offer a solution to the stupidity epidemic. They are actually the main cause of it. You can lobby to eliminate the Department of Diseducation, but since members of CONgress are apathetic about America that is not likely to lead anywhere. You can express to your misrepresentatives your opposition to new ways to engender stupidity while bleeding us financially, as this latest lunacy from our emperor would do.

And you can be part of a grass roots movement to make America smarter, one brain at a time. I would say to start with your own, but you're reading this newsletter and so are already doing that. Take it to the next level, if you have not already, and multiply  your efforts through others. You, and they, will be smarter for it.


4. Finance tip

The Obamaconomy continues its plunge into the toilet. That should not be surprising, since Obama is still attacking the economy with massive deficit "spending" (stealing).

This graph shows the positive feedback loop for businesses; that is, the demise of the economy is causing more businesses to fail than to emerge and this in turn causes more economic damage: http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=264840.msg1498514#msg1498514

Unless Obama's IQ is in the single digit range, he must know the consequences of his economic "policies" and how ruinous they are. He probably has an IQ of around 80, rather than a single digit one (this will get me flamed by those who evaluate him as barely making it to the moron level, but that's my best guess). At any rate, he can't possibly be stupid enough to believe his policies would produce a good outcome for the nation. Thus, what he is doing is deliberate. That makes him not just a criminal, but a criminal with willful intent.

We still have another two years of his depravity, plus the possibility he'll stay illegally in office for a third term. Not the cheeriest of news, but it's what we're dealing with.

While we know most members of CONgress don't care about the USA, they do care about protecting their own corrupt careers. We can use that fact to help defend the country against the relentless series of assaults that have driven it to its knees. Write to your mispresentative and demand that Obama not be impeached, but arrested.

Ask that he be arraigned on a few dozen counts of felony fraud. Then ask that, based on what he's done to the economy he be arraigned on multiple counts of treason as well. Of course, they aren't going to have him arraigned for any of his criminal activity. But the fact that people are asking for this will motivate them to oppose him, rather than join him, in these horrifically damaging crimes. And that's really all we need.
 


5. Security tip

Gas company and electric company scams have been around for a long time. In the 1960s, scamsters would dress like utility employees and visit the victim's home during the day. Back then, our taxes were far lower and the wife typically stayed home because the government wasn't bleeding everyone to death financially and this could be done on one average husband's income.

So the perp would say he was there to disconnect the service due to lack of payment. The wife, looking at the uniform, tool pouch, and fake ID, would offer to pay on the spot. The perp would say they couldn't take a check, but he could accept a $10 cash deposit and leave her a receipt. Back then, $10 was actually something. So hitting 10 houses this way netted a nice profit.

Today, this method isn't feasible. Nor does it scale very well. So what the scamsters do today is use their phone to reach out and touch somebody. They'll call up and do something like threaten to disconnect if payment isn't made within 30 minutes or an hour, and yes, they'll accept a credit card for your convenience.

But the payment doesn't go to the utility. It goes through a payment processor to the scammer's account, which will be closed by the time you review your credit card statement and wonder who A&G Enterprises is (it might even be the name of a real and honest company, being hijacked for this scamster).

Your first clue is the deadline. Most public utilities assume you intended to pay and either forgot or cannot pay. When your payment is late, a case worker will contact you and ask why you missed the payment. If you're having a hardship, they'll work with you to resolve the issue. For example, if you lost your job but got a whopper of a heating bill for last month, they'll talk about a payment plan. It may be as easy on you as $5 a month.

Another scamster trick is they'll offer you a discount if you buy a prepaid debit card, scratch off the covering, and read the number. How anyone can fall for this one, I don't know. But plenty of people do. If you have elderly neighbors, parents, etc., discuss this scam with them. The elderly are often very vulnerable due to reasons that have to do with loss of cognitive ability (something you can prevent in yourself by following this newsletter's health tips).

The door to door approach still gets used. For example, a scamster posing as a utility worker may seek to enter your home to case it. They'll pretend they are giving you an energy audit or conducting an inspection or providing some other free service. Or they have things to sell you, such as a "watt saver" that is really just a useless dummy device they paid $5 for but will try to sell to you for $50.

They may even stop by in some sort of utility truck stating then need to collect payment for tree-trimming or line clearing. And those payment scams mentioned earlier rear their ugly heads here.

Another tack is to collect personal information as if the utility needs to visit its customers and gather this; they are phishing for identity theft information. This phishing is done on the phone also, but people are more trusting when it's done in person.

Counter tactics for home visits

  • Do not let them into your house. A big clue they are dangerous is they didn't present ID. If they did present ID, don't react to any red flags.
  • Ask them to wait outside, then close and bolt the door.
  • Don't trust, but do verify. Call the utility and explain what's going on.
  • If the utility says you're being scammed, give them your address and ask them to call the police. Then grab your firearm, make sure it's loaded and the safety is on, and then call the police yourself.
  • Don't go back to the door.

Counter tactics for phone phishing.

  • Don't give out any personal or financial information.
  • Do not give out your account number. The utility already has it; if you're asked for it, simply hang up.
  • If the caller uses any of the scams mentioned previously, simply hang up.
  • If the caller seems legit, tell the caller you will contact the utility and ask for their extension. If the caller is a scamster, s/he will either hang up or balk at this. If the caller balks at this, you hang up.


If you do get scammed

  • You could report it to your local police, which is what "experts" recommend. This is typically a blind hole exercise, and there's usually nothing the police can do. However, having a police report on file may help protect you from liabilities.
  • Give a full report to the utility.
  • Give a full report to a few neighbors you trust, and alert them to watch your home.
  • If you somehow gave out credit card information, contact the credit card company's fraud department immediately.
  • If you somehow gave out banking information, close that account. Open a new one under a different account number.

Please note that it's not just utility workers who get impersonated. Scamsters sometimes dress in dark suits and claim to be from the IRS; same shtick with minor variations. In some cases, actual IRS employees with real IRS credentials engage in similar scams. Reporting them to the IRS does not good, as the IRS does not do anything about crimes conducted by its own employees. They have "carte blanche" to abuse whomever they wish, however they wish.

To protect yourselves against these folks, speak to them only through an attorney. This costs money, but a few hundred dollars in legal fees upfront can spare you tens of thousands of dollars of losses over the next 25 years.
 

6. Health tip/Fitness tips

In the photo at right, you can see serious musculature in my back, but at 6 ft tall I weigh only 150 to 155 lbs. One reason for this is my bones aren't very thick. My wrists, for example, are tiny for my size; I can wrap my right hand around my left wrist and touch my thumb on my middle finger past that first joint. That's not a very thick bone.

One consequence of this small bone structure is my arms don't look big unless I flex them. And when I do flex them I have a biceps peak that really stands out. And I can curl far more weight than anyone would guess just by looking at me. Try naming people you know who can curl over half their body weight with one hand. I might be the only person on your list. For now. You can join that list.

The biceps are far more complicated than they look. Just to get an idea, ask a chiropractor or other doctor to show you all of your biceps insertion points (where connective tissue attaches muscle to bone).

There is a reason for all of these attachment points. They allow the arm to move in many ways. Now, if you observe what goes on in a gym you'll see that nearly everyone trains biceps with a simple up and down motion. Usually palms facing them.

Lose weight, be strong, burn fat, gain muscle
 

And you may also notice they work only the middle range of motion. There is an exercise for the peak and there is another for strengthening those elbow insertion points. Let's address those first, and then look at some variations of the curl.

To protect your elbows from tendonitis and a host of other ills, do decline curls to strengthen muscle and connective tissue at the short range end of the biceps' range of motion. Lie back on a bench declined 30 degrees and drop your arms so they are extended and slightly behind the shoulder line. Now curl up, until you reach the position at which the "normal curls" start. Keep the muscle under tension through each rep.

To work that peak, stand up and cross an arm in front of you. Let's say it's your right arm. Place your elbow near your side, and put your right hand at about right pec nipple level. Now, squeeze the weight up toward your left chin.

So far so good. But seven time Mr. Olympia Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was famous for his amazing biceps peaks, used another trick. He added a twisting motion to his curls. Why would this matter?

The biceps not only brings the hand toward the face (lifting motion), it rotates the arm (twisting motion). If all you ever work is the lifting motion, you don't recruit all of the fibers. Twist your arm back and forth with your hand over your biceps, and you'll feel that peak moving. This is why the twist added to the lift produces a greater adaptive response.

You can't do this with a standard biceps curling bar. That's why I use dumbbells (so did Arnold). It is also possible to do with kettelbells and with a special barbell that allows you to twist while raising and lowering the weight.

If you use dumbbells, you can work one arm at a time and really focus on feeling that muscle contract. Do this, and you will get an enormous pump. Measure your arms before and after; you will be amazed at the difference.

Be careful the first few times you do the twisting curls. You need to get the motion down, and you need to take care you aren't putting too much stress on your tendons and ligaments. Try it with half the weight you normally use, and do only 1 or 2 sets to supplement your normal curls. Later, you can increase the volume.

Arnold had some other techniques for biceps-building. His favorite exercise for mass was the cheating curl. This is really just a way of using your back to help push the weight up (because it's too heavy for you to simply curl), and then use strict form to lower the weight. This accentuates the negative portion of the exercise, which means maximum response for growth. Arnold, in fact, said there was no better exercise for biceps growth than the cheating curl.

 

 

At www.supplecity.com, you'll find plenty of informative, authoritative articles on maintaining a lean, strong physique. It has nothing to do with long workouts or impossible to maintain diets. In fact:
  • The best workouts are short and intense.
  • A good diet contains far more flavors and satisfaction than the typical American diet.

7. Factoid

A comet's tail always points away from the sun. Congressional spending decisions are pointed at your tail.

8. Thought for the Day

Why does it take so little time for a child who is afraid of the dark to become a teenager who wants to stay out all night?

 

Please forward this eNL to others.

Authorship

The views expressed in this e-newsletter are generally not shared by criminals, zombies, or brainwashed individuals.

Except where noted, this e-newsletter is entirely the work of Mark Lamendola. Anything presented as fact can be independently verified. Often, sources are given; but where not given, they are readily available to anyone who makes the effort.

Mark provides information from either research or his own areas of established expertise. Sometimes, what appears to be a personal opinion is the only possibility when applying sound logic--reason it out before judging! (That said, some personal opinions do appear on occasion).

The purpose of this publication is to inform and empower its readers (and save you money!).

Personal note from Mark: I value each and every one of you, and I hope that shows in the diligent effort I put into writing this e-newsletter. Thank you for being a faithful reader. Please pass this newsletter along to others.


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