Fears For Terrs

We begin this morning with a note about the bombing (via drones) of militant installations in Yemen.  This marks part of an aggressive US effort to stamp out what is seen as a threat which has resulted in the extended shutdown of 19-embassies in the Middle East as tensions are running high.  Word is that the terrorism escalation was commenced when a leading terrorist leader sent word to the Yemeni factions that it was time to roll with an attack on America.

We hit first and more is likely to follow..  Since the intercepted telephone call from Ayman al-Zawahiri originated in Pakistan, we will likely see additional drone strikes there, as well.

Yemen is a very dangerous place:  It sports, last time I checked, the highest birth rate in the world and a lot of very poor people who are easily converted to militants by marketers of terrorism which are not in short supply there. 

As a result of today’s drone (or bomb) attacks, the US and British have told citizens to leave.

While you undoubtedly have enough common sense not to visit Yemen without coaching, the
State Department this morning issued this travel warning:

The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the high security threat level in Yemen due to terrorist activities and civil unrest. The Department urges U.S. citizens to defer travel to Yemen and those U.S. citizens currently living in Yemen to depart immediately. 

On August 6, 2013, the Department of State ordered the departure of non-emergency U.S. government personnel from Yemen due to the continued potential for terrorist attacks.  

U.S. citizens currently in Yemen should depart. As staff levels at the Embassy are restricted, our ability to assist U.S. citizens in an emergency and provide routine consular services remains limited and may be further constrained by the fluid security situation.

Read moreFears For Terrs

Coping: My Long Delayed Echo /ET? Experience

Sometime in the past week, or three (time blurs when laboring hours on the new website), I promised to tell you about my personal encounter with an LDE or long delayed echo.  The reason is that this is very special territory for the inquiring minds who want to know and it is very well-established by real science as being a replicable phenomena.

So what, exactly, is a “long delayed echo?”  A clip from Wikipedia in the interest of being concise because I could go on for hours about it:

“Long delayed echoes (LDEs) are radio echoes which return to the sender several seconds after a radio transmission has occurred. Delays of longer than 2.7 seconds are considered LDEs.[1][2] LDEs have a number of proposed scientific origins.

These echoes were first observed in 1927 by civil engineer Jørgen Hals from his home near Oslo, Norway. Hals had repeatedly observed an unexpected second radio echo with a significant time delay after the primary radio echo ended. Unable to account for this strange phenomenon, he wrote a letter to Norwegian physicist Carl Størmer, explaining the event:

At the end of the summer of 1927 I repeatedly heard signals from the Dutch short-wave transmitting station PCJJ at Eindhoven. At the same time as I heard these I also heard echoes. I heard the usual echo which goes round the Earth with an interval of about 1/7 of a second as well as a weaker echo about three seconds after the principal echo had gone. When the principal signal was especially strong, I suppose the amplitude for the last echo three seconds later, lay between 1/10 and 1/20 of the principal signal in strength. From where this echo comes I cannot say for the present, I can only confirm that I really heard it.[3]

Physicist Balthasar van der Pol[4] helped Hals and Stormer investigate the echoes, but due to the sporadic nature of the echo events and variations in time-delay, did not find a suitable explanation.[5]

Long delayed echoes have been heard sporadically from the first observations in 1927 and up to our time.”

My own LDE experience occurred in 1966, or thereabouts.  It was a weekend morning,and I was on the 20-meter band using my old Johnson Pacemaker SSB transmitter at 90-watts and my somewhat improved-upon NC-300 receiver.  I was on upper sideband, I was not running the amplifier, the antenna was multi-band inverted-vee at 40-feet (strung off the top of a piece of 4” irrigation pipe that another ham and I had carried on our shoulders 13-miles to get it to my house).  The season was fall or spring, since the band was just opening up, and it was sunny as I recall since sun was coming into my basement ham shack which would have placed the time about 10:00 to 11:30 AM because that was when the sun came in….our house was on a hill so the basement window only got about 2-hours of sun at best.

I was calling “CQ 20, CQ 20” which is radio-ese for “Looking for someone to talk to…

As I un-keyed the mic to listen for a returning station, you can imagine my shock when I heard….ME!  Except it was me delayed by 3.4 seconds, calculated from saying my then call sign and measuring the portion I’d heard on a digital sound rig much later in life. 

Significantly, the signal was dead-to-nuts on frequency and it was S-9 to 20 dB over S-9 so it was stronger than heck against a very low noise level (S-2 to S-3).

I didn’t learn about LDE’s until after I had aced my First Class Commercial ticket around that time frame, so thinking back on the issue date of that (December ‘66) I reckon this took place in the fall when I was a high school senior and a nerd’s nerd in things electronic. 

For the period right after the event, I was convinced it was someone simply recording my signal and playing it back with a tape recorder.  But when I heard a good chunk of myself asking “…are you playing with me?” come back, I realized that there was almost no chance that someone could record and retransmit my signal that quickly for technical timing reasons that would bore you to tears.

Read moreCoping: My Long Delayed Echo /ET? Experience

Ease of Use Hints and Bandwidth Errors

So far, our changeover to a ‘pure’ WordPress editing backplane is going OK except for two issues. A few readers have expressed a severe dislike of our new layout because there are now two links to click during the day’s reading, instead of one. I apologize. But there are very good reasons why we have gone down this track, not the least of which is that pages will load faster and the new format is praised by mobile device users. While I’ve been getting old, the market has been moving and phone/mobile devices now represent somewhere north of 25% of the market.

Countdown to Terrorism

You can almost feel the tensions mounting as the US has extended its embassy closures due to concerns that an al Qaeda/militant Muslim attack would occur on American interests somewhere following release of recent video on the ‘net.  Worst of all, there’s no clear timing indicated and threats have been followed by action anywhere from a few days to almost a year in the past.  Which brings us to this morning’s developments and a few observations, starting with this report from Bernard Grover in our Jakarta, Indonesia bureau:

“Gizmos & Bombs, Chief!  Timeline:

Saturday night-public water system for west Jakarta crapped out when the pump(s) caught fire. Estimate 7 days to restore. Water trucks to deliver starting tomorrow.

Sunday 7pm-internet crapped out. All 3 systems I use. Just now able to tie my tablet thru my cell phone others still out.

Sunday 9:30p-the Buddhist temple 600 yards away (that I attended just Saturday morning) had a triple bombing. The two later eplosions were timed to hit after first responders arrived. 3 injured. Police anticipated 2nd and 3rd, and waited to enter. Suspicion falls on Myanmar sympathizers, but the jury still out. This morning’s Kompas strangely silent, but TeeVee full of it.

Buddhist temple bomber disrespects sanctity of Ramadhan: Minister.”

The sound was of large fireworks, which are common here at the end of Ramadhan, so no one panicked immediately.

Read moreCountdown to Terrorism

Coping: With Noodle Economics

One of your readers, Ken, has a pretty snazzy way of explaining how something as complicated as economics works:

“The story I used to describe how the economy works to my grandkids is this.. the economy is like a table with a puddle of water on it.. if you place a noodle on it..( money) and buying and selling is equal (the water) then you can push the noodle back and forth..

Now take a wet noodle..( printing more money) and put it on the table.. as long as there is plenty of water for the cooked noodle to float in you can push it back and forth .. a little bunching here and there but it will move.

Now the economy starts to dry up.. ( increase of fuel prices, reduction of home and car sales, loss of durable goods sales, etc.. and people start shifting their money to another avenue like from buying durable goods to buying fuel or food..( double insert here.. decrease the amount of money being allocated for food stamps..

Read moreCoping: With Noodle Economics

About Our Website Changes

A special Sunday note here: What a weekend so far(!) The good news is that I have gotten most of the changes done and if you’ve gotten this far, you’ll be pleased, I hope with the results. I don’t like change, anymore than the next guy. Especially when it involves rolling out of bed at 3AM and working like crazy to make sure things happen in as seamless a way as possible.

Historical Changepoints

Just posted for Peoplenomics.com subscribers: A number of readers have asked me to write about how what’s come to be known as “prepping” helps a family to prepare for an economic depression. You know another one is inevitable, I assume: It’s what happens when the USA is forced to devalue the US Dollar because despite made-up statistical changes to our reported GDP numbers aside, the fact is that we’re quickly approaching the debt saturation point where we won’t be able to even make interest payments – let alone principal payments – to our creditors.

Coping: A Manufactured Ammo Shortage? Ha!

My friend Howard disagrees with my contention that government buying and federal pressure is the reason for the ammo shortages in America.  In fact, he sent me a very long emails about this:


“I’m amazed how frequently you don’t listen to your own core principles. For example, if everything’s a business model, then why can’t you see that who profits is the main way to see who is causing a situation?


Thursday, you repeated the completely spurious conspiracy theory (not once, but twice!) that Obama and the supposedly anti-gun crowd have engineered an ammunition shortage.  Complete bull shit, to put it mildly.


Who profits? If every deranged and even the sane gun nuts are frightened into buying mass quantities of ammunition, the same way they bought guns from a bogus fear of shortages and seizures during the first four years of the ONLY ADMINISTRATION TO EXPAND GUN RIGHTS IN OVER 50 YEARS, then the manufacturers and right wing fund raisers make out like bandits, which they are.


1) Plant fear of what might happen that will create shortages or even outright banning.

2) Schedule a plant shutdown or other temporary supply chain interruption.

3) Release tons of mainstream media press with video shots of empty shelves.

4) Double the price of the product, all the while selling more units.


Rinse and repeat.

Read moreCoping: A Manufactured Ammo Shortage? Ha!