Polymath A (mostly) technical weblog for Archivale.com

May 20, 2010

Errata for Grammar in Focus 3

Filed under: Uncategorized — piolenc @ 5:45 pm

Exercise 6, page 23 et seq., states that English has four genders. The “extra” gender, in addition to masculine, feminine and neuter, is the designation of common nouns, which “refer to either male or female.” This is bound to cause confusion, as a completely different meaning for the term common noun is given in Exercise 2, where it is used to distinguish them from proper nouns. I recommend that parents explain to their children that the meaning of “common noun” in Exercise 6 is completely different from its meaning in Exercise 2. This internal contradiction in grammatical terminology is unfortunately enshrined in English grammar texts dating back at least to the turn of the 20th century (see e.g. Kimball: English Grammar, c. 1912), so it will probably never be resolved.

Exercise 10, page 39 et seq. Like the corresponding portion of last year’s text, this exercise incorrectly identifies possessive articles (my, your, his…) as possessive pronouns. This is in conflict with the fundamental definition of the parts of speech—a pronoun replaces a noun, while an article tags a noun with certain attributes.

San Miguel is his favorite team (his: possessive article)
That pen is mine (mine: possessive pronoun replacing the noun phrase my pen)

A simple test is that if the alleged pronoun can be replaced by another pronoun or a noun phrase, and still yield a grammatical sentence, then it is in fact a pronoun. In the example above, you could write “That pen is my pen, ” and the sentence would be grammatically correct. If the word in question can be replaced by an article and still give a grammatically correct result, then it is an article, e.g. “San Miguel is the favorite team.”

April 22, 2010

Why I Don’t Worry About Net Neutrality

Filed under: Uncategorized — piolenc @ 6:30 am

…unless the FCC gets put in charge of it.

For those who’ve been living in a Faraday cage at the bottom of a salt mine for the last couple of years, Net Neutrality is the doctrine that demands that Internet traffic carriers give equal treatment to every packet that passes through their hands. The fear is that, if this doctrine is not enforced, carriers will discriminate against traffic that they consider low priority, such as filesharing or games. Or against Mom & Pop Web shops and in favor of eBay and Amazon. Or…<insert your greatest fear here>.

This controversy has been simmering for a while, but it has become the Alarme du Jour since Comcast won in court against the FCC’s attempt to force Comcast to stop discriminating against BitTorrent traffic. Comcast argued, rightly, that the FCC had no authority to give such an order, and now various Net pundits are urging a coercive solution—either giving the FCC the authority to decide how bandwidth is allocated, or directly legislating Net neutrality, or reclassifiying broadband Internet service as “common carrier” service, and thus subjecting it to FCC micromanagement. The prevailing opinion among the said pundits seems to be that Something Must Be Done quickly to ensure an “open Internet.”

But wouldn’t it be more sensible to watch what the market does about preferential bandwidth allocation? Assuming that Comcast resumes putting the brakes on Bittorrent traffic, the possible results are:

—enough Bittorrent users will become annoyed enough to use another carrier, or to insist that their ISP use one that does not discriminate against filesharers, or to downgrade to a cheaper category of service because they are not getting fair value from their high-bandwidth subscription. ComCast loses, not just the Bittorrent traffic of the departing users, but their favored traffic as well.

—Bittorrent users turn out to be such a small minority of Net users that nobody much cares what they like. Unfortunately for the discriminating carriers, this also means that they don’t recover much bandwidth, which means that they’re creating resentment among a small, but net-savvy and vocal, minority without getting any benefit in return.

—Bittorrent users begin to turn to services that camouflage their filesharing activities so that the carriers can’t detect—and therefore can’t inhibit or block—their Bittorrent traffic.

The Internet, like every other commercial service, is driven by money. The money comes essentially from two categories of sources: Internet users and Web site owners. The users are paying for access to one another (email) and to the Web sites and Net-based services that they like. The Web site owners are paying to be accessible to users. As long as both get what they want, the money continues to roll in. Start monkeying with access and bandwidth at either end, and that can change. ISPs and Web hosts, who are directly in contact with Net services consumers, have already felt the heat when they tried to discriminate against certain categories of use(1). The carriers are one echelon removed from the ISPs and Web hosts, who are essentially their retailers, but if enough retail customers get annoyed the wholesalers start to feel the heat.

Now suppose that a different fear comes true, and the big carriers start to favor high-traffic users, like Amazon and eBay, over the little Web folk. Obviously, if the interference becomes noticeable, the Web site owners are going to consider whether they are still getting fair value from the hosting fees that they pay, and their customers are going to wonder whether their subscription fees are being well spent. While it is certainly nice to have big vendor sites on the Web, I for one would consider the Web to be of little value if it contained ONLY eBay and Amazon, or if only those two were easily reachable. And if enough prospective customers drop out, that will begin to matter to the biggies as well. But long before the big Web site operators felt the pinch, the legions of nickel and dime disconnect, downgrade and switch decisions on the part of subscribers would have an effect. After all, the little folk may be small individually when compared with the likes of Amazon, but there are a lot more of them, and without their participation the Net will become much smaller…and much less profitable.

All in all, market forces would seem to favor an open Net, or at least one in which deviations from openness are small and generally tolerable.

But surely, having the government direct and enforce Net neutrality would clinch it, ensuring that each of us would continue to enjoy his favorite Net-based service, whatever it might be? If, like many of us, you see government as an essentially benign force, this may seem quite reasonable. But let’s consider specific scenarios to see why this might not be so.

– Worst case, the “nuclear option:” Congress decrees that broadband Internet service must be regulated as common carrier service. This essentially gives the FCC total power over broadband. “Hurray!” say the Net Neutrality advocates, “now they have to let our traffic through.” Well yes, they will have to, until the FCC becomes preoccupied with a different issue – SPAM, for instance – and decides to mandate discriminatory bandwidth allocation. Why not? Moving to cut bandwidth for “known SPAM sources” would look pretty good until it was implemented, and thousands of legitimate users were caught in the net. Remember when ISPs started implementing spam filters? Now multiply that by millions and imagine there is no escape and no appeal.

– Best case: Congress mandates Net neutrality without giving the FCC any discretion in definition or enforcement (assuming that is possible). Now every packet is the equal of every other packet, and all must be forwarded on a first come, first serve basis. Perfect, right? Unless of course something comes up which would make it very desirable to discriminate by source or type of traffic. Are you sure that kind of situation could never come up? I’m not.

All things considered, I think we should be far more frightened by the prospect of government management of bandwidth than by discriminatory decisions by individual players.


(1) The best that some have been able to manage—especially here in the Third World—is to inhibit the use of direct filesharing services like Rapidshare. They do this indirectly, by giving subscribers access through DHCP, which allocates the subscriber a dynamic, purely local IP address. The filesharing service sees only one IP address for all the ISP’s users, and as it won’t allow more than one free download at a time from a given IP address, this has the effect of enforcing limits on direct downloads, as only one of the ISP’s subscribers can be using a given filesharing service at any given time. Even here, though, file sharers are getting around restrictions by posting the same file to several services, so that if one service is “busy” the subscriber can download from another. None of this applies to Bittorrent or peer-to-peer traffic, which is diffuse and indirect.

February 26, 2010

Recapture Rotary’s Spirit and Strength

Filed under: Uncategorized — piolenc @ 7:45 am

I wrote this six years ago. I am happy to say that some things have improved, at least as far as our tiny club is concerned, but there is much left to accomplish before Rotary is Rotary again.

Glenn E.Estess, Sr.
Rotary International President, R.Y. 2004-2005
c/o Rotary International
Evanston, Illinois, USA

Thursday, May 13, 2004
Iligan City, Philippines

Dear RI incoming President Estess,

Although I doubt that this letter will ever reach your desk, I am addressing it to you because you will soon have executive responsibility for the actions of Rotary International, and therefore will be responsible for recognizing and correcting its failings.

Today I received an urgent email message from the incumbent President of my Club, forwarding something called the 2004-2005 Club Goal Report Form. I opened the file eagerly, expecting to find guidance in formulating and implementing my Club’s service goals for the period of my upcoming presidency. Instead I found yet another demand for money. This was the RI equivalent of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service’s form 1040-EZ, inviting me to multiply the number of members in my Club by 100 dollars per member and to commit my fellow members to cough up the result, which the form arrogantly terms a “minimum goal.” This, in a country where a skilled worker makes $3 per day and a qualified medical doctor gets $2 per consultation. Our members’ generosity in past and current Rotary Years is not even mentioned; instead, Rotary International demands more of us, as if by right.

I hope you will forgive me for stating what should be obvious, but this is not what Rotary is about. Rotary consists of individual Rotarians, who are members of their respective Rotary Clubs. Rotary International was created by the Rotary Clubs to serve them and their members, and I am quite certain that our founder would be very disappointed by the current state of that relationship. The servant, it appears, considers itself the master. Not a very good one, alas.

The administrative services which are RI’s primary job seem to have been downgraded to the status of an afterthought. In the short time that I have been a Rotarian, my Club has been terminated three times for alleged non-payment of dues and suspended once for alleged failure to pay subscription fees for a local Rotary publication. In all but one case of termination for nonpayment of dues, the cause was Rotary International’s inability, or more accurately unwillingness, to correct errors in its own records; this was also an aggravating factor in the one instance in which my Club actually owed money. The burden of correcting those records was placed on us, yet our documentation was, as often as not, simply ignored. When a correction was finally made, the respite was brief, as new errors would be introduced the following semester. If the cost of long distance telephone calls, faxes and photocopies were added to our tally of contributions, I assure you that the per capita figure would be quite impressive! Yet we never have anything to show for it but more grief and neglect.

I have only been a Rotarian for four years, yet in that time the deterioration in RI’s service and its degeneration into a money mill have been marked. As a new Rotarian, I have attended as many Rotary functions as I could, and I can not help noticing that each new DISTASS and DISCON has given less emphasis to the delivery of services to our respective communities, and more exhortations to feed the beast in Evanston. Rotary Clubs are now rarely praised for their effective projects; only their capacity to elicit donations to the Rotary Foundation count. They are recognized, if at all, only for the number of dollars that they send far away from the scenes of their good works.

At first, I checked my growing irritation by reminding myself that the money comes back in the form of grants, and that my Club, or rather the communities that it serves, had been a major beneficiary of the Rotary Foundation in the past. But as the demands for remittance have increased in frequency and intensity, it has also become harder and harder to get  anything back. The final insult was delivered at the recent DISCON, which was almost entirely given over to fundraising for the Rotary Foundation. When the time finally came to report on the Rotary Foundation’s generosity toward us, we were reminded that 3H grants had been suspended indefinitely, and baldly informed that delivery of the Matching Grants in which we reposed special hope was also suspended. It seems that a Rotary District in Pakistan had failed to submit a required report in a timely fashion. Rotary International, we learned, is now practicing collective punishment—penalizing Rotarians by denying funding to their approved projects over delinquencies occurring thousands of miles away and beyond their control.

I am a very angry Rotarian, Mr. President, and I strongly suspect that others share my anger. My fellow Rotarians and I joined Rotary so that we could participate in good works that were beyond our individual means to implement, and in some cases beyond our individual capacities even to conceive. We are proud of having played our small part in eradicating polio, happy to use scarce vacation time to squirt Vitamin A into the mouths of schoolchildren, thus protecting them from precocious blindness. Every time we climb Mount Agad-Agad, we see growing evidence of the success of our reforestation project there. Our own projects—that is, those carried out with local resources only—include adopting two local public schools and providing books and equipment needed to set up a vocational training program.

We did not imagine that Paul Harris’ vision would be usurped by an incompetent, gluttonous bureaucracy, and not all of us are prepared to accept it.

Here, then, are MY goals for the coming Rotary Year:

I intend to complete my Paul Harris Fellow status by donating $400 to the Rotary Foundation. That is my personal goal—a matter of personal pride in finishing what I have started. I cannot in good conscience, however, exhort my fellow Rotarians to do likewise, or to contribute any amount to an  organization that has manifestly forgotten its responsibility to us. If they choose to contribute, well and good, but I will not lend my name to the process, because I no longer believe in its legitimacy or its compatibility with the Rotary ethic. Accordingly, I have entered zeros in the 2004-2005 Club Goal Report Form, forwarded herewith. This is intended to make the point that it is not Rotary International’s prerogative to set goals for the Rotary Clubs that it was created to serve; rather, the reverse is true.

As President, I will encourage our Board and our members, in everything that they contemplate, to seek out and meet local needs, relying for that purpose primarily on local resources. While I will not actively discourage applications for Matching Grants for our various purposes, I will not rely on Rotary International for help. As the proverb says, “He who expects little is rarely disappointed.” We will of course continue to lend our efforts to the worldwide, funded programs of Rotary International (e.g. Polio Plus) insofar as they are compatible with local needs.

Having refused to set arbitrary goals for financial contributions, I will also refrain from participating in the membership numbers game. The reason is simple: Rotarians recruited for the sake of boosting membership numbers rarely stay the course. The only reliable means of attracting serious members is the Club’s service activities—it is our reforestation project on the summit of Mount Agad-Agad, for instance, that initially attracted me. More services delivered means more solid members in the medium term, so here again my emphasis will be on creative solutions to local problems, implemented with local resources. Build a better project (and more of them) and they will come. I will also push hard for the establishment of at least one Rotaract club, to serve as a training ground for future Rotarians.While I prepare for a year of furthering the goals of Rotary despite Rotary International, I hope that you will prepare to dedicate your RI Presidency to restoring the service ethic to Rotary International, thus making it once again worthy of our contributions.

Very sincerely,

F. Marc de Piolenc
President (2004-2005)
Rotary Club of Metro Iligan
R.I. District 3870
Iligan City, Philippines

January 15, 2010

Research Resources: Lighter Than (LTA) Air Flight

Return to ABAC Page

LTA Research Resources

compiled by F. Marc de Piolenc

To suggest resources not listed here, or to correct errors, please leave a comment below.

Libraries & Special Collections
Name/Collection Address/Telephone Description
Embry-Riddle University Library Daytona Beach, FL 32014
(904) 239-6931
Northrop University Library—
Pacific Aeronautical Collection
5800 W. Arbor Vitae St.
Los Angeles, CA 90045
(213) 641-3470
Documentation on West Coast aeronautical activity, including LTA. Photographs.
National Air and Space Museum Library Smithsonian Institution-A157203
Washington, DC 20560
In addition to its collection of books and documents, NASM also has an extensive graphic archive, much of it digitized.
University of Akron
Arnstein Collection
The University of Akron
University Libraries
Polsky Building
225 South Main Street, Room LL10
Akron, OH 44325-1702
Tel: (330) 972-7670
Fax: (330) 972-6170
email: jvmiller@uakron.edu
Papers of the late Dr. Karl Arnstein of Goodyear-Zeppelin Corp. Papers have been listed; the lists and some photographs are available on the University’s Web site. See Internet Resources for on-line access and use information.
University of Texas

Charles E. Rosendahl Collection

Douglas H. Robinson Collection

The University of Texas at Dallas
Special Collections Department
P.O. Box 830643
Richardson, Texas 75083-0643
Phone: 972-883-2570
Dr. Erik D. Carlson, Department Head for Special Collections (carlson@utdallas.edu)
Papers of the late VAdm Charles Rosendahl and the late author Douglas M. Robinson were donated to UT.
Zeppelin Archive

(Luftschiffbau Zeppelin GmbH)

c/o Zeppelin Museum
Seestraße 22
D-88045 Friedrichsafen
Contact: Barbara Weibel (waibel@zeppelin-museum.de)
Phone: 0049 7541 3801 70
Fax: 0049 7541 3786 249
Housed in the same building as the Zeppelin museum, this is a Zeppelin/LTA archive with about 500 linear meters of papers, 7,000 plan sheets and about 17,000 photographs. Another large collection, of books, is housed with the Zeppelin Company archives. Hours are Tuesday to Thursday 9-12 am and 1-5 pm, but an appointment is required.

Name Address Description
Zeppelin Museum Friedrichshafen Seestraße 2288045 Friedrichshafen


Tel: +49 / 7541 / 3801-0

Fax: +49 / 7541 / 3801-81


The Zeppelin museum. Open May-October Tuesday-Sunday, 10 am
to 6 pm; November-April Tuesday-Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm
Aeronauticum, Nordholz

Deutsches Luftschiff- und Marinefliegermuseum

Peter-Strasser-Platz 3, 27637 Nordholz

Postfach 68, 27633 Nordholz

Telephone: 04741-941074

Telefax 04741-941090

Email: info@aeronauticum.de,


Located at the site of a former military airship base; collaborator
of the Heinz Urban museum at Meersburg mentioned elsewhere in these pages.
Has custody of the archives of the now-defunct Marine Luftschiffer Kameradschaft.

1 March-30 June and 1 Sept-31 October: M-Sat: 1300-1700

Sun and holidays: 1000-1800

1 July-31 Aug: daily 1000-1800

26 Dec-10 Jan: daily 1100-1700

Other times: open for groups by appointment

New England Air Museum Bradley International Airport

Hartford, Connecticut


…a true gem and a little treasure of LTA stuff. They have displays
and materials on the Hindenburg, various balloons, a CM-5 engine
nacelle (French WWI airship used by US), a large model of the R-100, a
Packard engine designed for the Shenandoah, and the K-28 control car undergoing
restoration. [Airship-List]
Point Sur Lighthouse Big Sur, California


Lighthouse has a nice display of Macon material, model, diagrams
of where it lies, a short video and overall is worth the trip.
Maritime Museum of Monterey
Stanton Center
Monterey, California


..has a good little area on the Macon, including some recovered
artifacts, models, and multiple videos which include interviews with Gordon
Wiley, son of CDR Wiley. Well worth a visit if you are in the area. [Airship-List]
Moffett Field Moffett Field

(near Sunnyvale, California)


The hangar looks great. You can sometimes gain entrance through the
small museum. This museum is a real treasure. Carol Henderson and her docents
have assembled the most impressive museum I have ever seen. It truly rivals
any professionally run museum such as Smithsonian ones. [Airship-List]
Deutsches Museum Museuminsel 1

D-80538 München

Tel: (089) 2 17 91
Fax: (089) 2 17 93 24

Answering machine: (089) 2 17 94 33

Covers all fields of technology, but reported by Siegfried Geist to
have “a worthwhile section devoted to LTA.” Open daily (except holidays)
from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Stadt Gersthofen Ballonmuseum Bahnhofstraße 10

86368 Gersthofen

Tel: (0821)2491 135 or 101

Five floors of ballooning history, technology and artifacts. Videos
of current aerostatics activity, and a special exhibit on balloons as a
decorative theme. Open Weds 2-6 pm; San, Sun and holidays 10 am to 6 pm.

Meersburg am Bodensee

Schloßplatz 8

D-88709 Meersburg am Bodensee


Tel: 07532 7909

After hours: 07532 41042

Small private museum run by Heinz Urban, specializing in technical
Zeppelin artifacts. Collection includes a spark transmitter from a naval
Zeppelin, the complete bomb-release panel of LZ6 and many other technical
items. Open March through mid-November daily, 10 am to 6 pm. Guided tours
by appointment.
Albert-Sammt-Zeppelin-Museum Hauptstraße

D-97996 Niederstetten


Small museum honoring a commercial Zeppelin officer of local birth
who rose from helmsman in 1924 to command of LZ130. Multimedia presentation
on Zeps.

Zeppelinheim (near Frankfurt/Main)

Zeppelin-Museum Zeppelinheim
Kapitän-Lehmann-Straße 2

63263 Zeppelinheim


A small Zeppelin museum housed in a municipal building in a Frankfurt
suburb, near the airport. When I was there in ’80, the Curator was an old
Zeppelin-Reederei Maschinist.
Zeppelin Museum
Manfred Petersen

Museerne iTønder

Kongevej 55,

DK-6270 Tønder

Tel:. (0045) 74 72 26 57 * (0045) 40 59 62 41

This is the old “Tondern” Zeppelin base.
Central Museum of Aviation & Cosmonautics Krasnoarmeyskaya 14



NAS Richmond Museum

c/o Ford U. Ross

11020 SW 15th Manor

Davie, FL 33324


Display commemorating Navy blimp ASW activity in World War II
Soukup &
Thomas Balloon Museum
700 N. Main St.

Mitchell, SD 57301

Tel: (605) 996-2311

Fax: (605) 996-2218

Museum Director, Becky Pope : beckyp@btigate.com

Museum of Flight East Fortune Airfield

North Berwick

East Lothian. EH39 5LF


Tel: 062 088308 or

0131 225 7534

Models of the R100 and R34, plus the Lion Rampant Standard which adorned
the front of the R34.  There is also a plaque commemorating R34’s
[transatlantic] flight  to be seen [East Lothian was the point of
departure]. Several other LTA items are featured, including film excerpts,
handouts and bits of Zeppelin frame. [Ian Paterson]

Name Address Description
of Balloon & Airship Constructors
P.O. Box 3841

City of Industry, California 91744

email: abac@archivale.com

Publishes quarterly Aerostation (now part of LTAI’s Airshipworld


Airship Heritage Trust c/o Shuttleworth College

Old Warden Park

Biggleswade, Bedfordshire SG 18 9EA


Tel: +44 (0)1767 627195

Charitable organisation with a large collection of airship artefacts
and photographs relating to the

British Airship Programme from its early days at
the turn of the century to the Skyships of the


The Airship Association
The SecretaryThe Airship Association

6 Kings Road,

Cheriton Folkestone, Kent CT20 3LG England.

Email: info@airship-association.org

Premier UK-based LTA association. Publishes the quarterly magazine
Balloon Federation of America Box 400

Indianola, IA 50125

Tel: (515) 961-8809

Fax: (515) 961-3537

Publishes bimonthly Balloon Life
The Bombard Society 6727 Currant Street

McLean, VA 22101

Association of upmarket hot-air ballon operators.
Experimental Balloon
and Airship Association
Brian Boland

PO Box 51

Post Mills Airport

Post Mills, VT 05058

Free membership for anyone interested in experimental balloons or airships
Fédération Française de l’Aérostation 3 bis, square Antoine Arnauld
75016 Paris


LTA Society Box 6191


2000 Republic of South Africa

Japan Bouyant Flight Association

Kyoritsu Kenkyru

402 Hitotsumatsu Bldg 1

2-3-14 Shiba Daimon, Minato-ku




The Lighter Than Air Society 1436 Triplett Blvd

Akron, OH 44306

Tel: (847) 384-0215 (Robert Hunter)

fax: (330) 668-1105 (Attn: E. Brothers)

Publishes Buoyant Flight
National Balloon Racing Association Rt 11, Box 97

Statesville, NC 28677

(740) 876-1237

Naval Airship Association 901 Pillow Drive
Virginia Beach, VA 23454

(757) 481-1563

Publishes newsletter The Noon Balloon
Scandinavian LTA Society Drevkarlsstigen 2-4


S-191 53 Sweden

Zeppelin Kameradschaft Kapitän-Lehmann Str. 2

Zeppelinheim 6078


Internet Resources
World Wide Web (WWW) Sites
Name Description
of Balloon and Airship Constructors
Direct access to the 1600+ item Library List of LTA technical documents
available as reprints. LL can also be downloaded in ASCII or PDF format.
Links to other LTA organizations.
Home Page for Lighter-Than-Air Craft
Hosted at the University of Colorado’s Web server by John Dziadecki,
this is truly the central reference for LTA on the Web.
The Airship Association
Announces AA meetings and other LTA activities, esp. in Britain, plus
membership and subscription information. It has many links to other LTA
Airship & Blimp
Maintained by a young Swiss studying in the USA, it has many links
to other LTA resources, including photo archives.
Balloon Technology Database NASA-funded database of balloon technology, with 2300 documents indexed
as of 1997. Check the “Balloon Technology” box before beginning your search.
Promotions Dirigeables Web site of Paris-based LTA organization. Pages are bilingual (English/French).
Technical Committee

American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

Announces LTA TC activities. Note that permission may be required for
attendance by other than TC members; email first.
Society [USA]
LTA organization with a primary emphasis on LTA history. Web page has
membership information, announcements and an email link.
Naval Airship Association Organization of former US Navy airshipmen dedicated to preserving the
memory of USN airship anti-submarine activity in WW II. Helps maintain
the LTA exhibits at the Naval Aviation Museum, Pensacola, Florida. Page
has announcements and membership information.
University of Akron
Archival Services
Information on how to use the University’s archival services. U. of
Akron is the custodian of the Karl Arnstein Papers.
Alan Gross (Airship Al) Independent consultant and lighter-than-air archivist.
Email Lists


World-wide discussion group about airships sponsored by the [UK] Airship
Association. To subscribe, send email to the address at left with the words
in the message body.


The emphasis in this list is on airships. To subscribe, send an email
message with the word


in the subject line

Balloon Mailing List


Hosts discussion of balloons, both gas and hot-air. To subscribe, send
a message to the address at left with

subscribe balloon [your email address]

in the body of the message.

AirshipList To subscribe, send a blank message to AirshipList-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Indexes and Bibliographies
Source/Order Number Title & Description
Kent O’Grady

36 Martinglen Way NE

Calgary, Alberta T3J 3H9


email: kogrady@cadvision.com

Index of Buoyant Flight Bulletin – Lighter Than Air Society
260 pp. Cost:

$23.00 US for orders from the USA

$28.00 CDN for orders within Canada

$30.00 CDN for orders from any other country-surface

$45.00 CDN for orders from any other country-airmail

Index of Dirigible – Airship Heritage Trust

23 pp. Cost:

$4.50 US for orders from the USA
$6.00 CDN for orders within Canada

$8.00 CDN for orders from any other country-surface

$14.00 CDN for orders from any other country-airmail

ABAC – Acq. #126 Index of Daniel Guggenheim Airship Institute Report file. This is a different body of work from the papers that appeared in the DGAI’s three Publications. Now if we only knew where to get our hands on the reports themselves…
ABAC – Acq. #301 LTA Society Preliminary Inventory [this is a list of what LTAS donated to the University of Akron, which appears to have retained the Arnstein papers and donated the books to a county library]
ABAC – Acq. #439 Index of LTA Articles in Military Review
ABAC—Acq. #1427 Bibliography of LTA Articles in the US Naval Institute Proceedings 1912-60
ABAC – Acq. #463 David Taylor Model Basin tests of airship models
ABAC – Acq. #713 BuAer Technical Notes, 1916-1924. Another obscure report series.
ABAC – Acq. #802 Index of Aerostation through Volume 7 Number 3 [current volume is 22]. Kent O’Grady (see above) is preparing an up-to-date index.
ABAC – Acq. #946 Index of Airship #s 51-65 (Mar 81-Sep 84)
ABAC – Acq. #1409 Index of US Army Air Corps LTA Information Circulars

Return to ABAC Page

January 6, 2010

How to Use the Archivale.com Catalog

Filed under: Uncategorized — piolenc @ 10:17 am

How to Use Archivale.com’s Web Site

1. Finding What You Want

As with many other on-line sales sites, there are two ways to find things in Archivale’s catalog – Browse and Search:

a. SEARCH. If you are looking for a specific item, searching is the quickest and most reliable way to find it. Select “Advanced Search” in the search box in the upper left corner of the catalog page, then enter your search criteria in the top box of the search page. If you also want to search inside the Description field, check that box just below the search criteria window. Note that the “Quick Find” box only searches the visible (displayed) portion of the document title. IMPORTANT NOTE: Use only “key” words; do not enter connectors (articles, conjunctions, prepositions) like “of,” “a,” “the,” “and,” etc. For example, if you were searching for the book Chemistry and Technology of Explosives, you would enter Chemistry Technology Explosives in the search box.

b. BROWSE. If you are interested in a certain kind of information but don’t have a particular item in mind, then the list of categories in the right column is your starting point. Choose the top-level category that is closest or most relevant to your field of interest. If there are subcategories under that one, select the most relevant one and browse the resulting listings. Continue until you find what you want or exhaust that category.

Browsing categories requires persistence, because the organization of categories and subcategories, and the assignment of items to those categories, though it appears logical to us, may not agree with the way you organize your own files. Feel free to contact us by email for guidance if things continue not to make sense.

To learn more about what you have found: Whether you are searching or browsing, the result will be a list of items found, each entry a single line containing a fragment of the title, the price and a “Buy Now!” button. To learn more about an item, click on its title; this will open a window with a detailed description. From that window, you can either add the item to your shopping cart or press “Continue” to return to where you were before.

2. Loading your Shopping Cart

Once you have found an item that you want to order, click the “Buy Now” button in the far right column of the item listing. In most cases, this will open a box with a detailed description of the item and various buttons below. Press “Add to Cart” to put the item in your shopping cart. Then press “Continue” to find more items or “Check Out” to complete your order.

3. Establishing an Account

At this point, if you haven’t bought from us before and haven’t yet created a customer account, you will need to do so. Just fill out the necessary fields, taking special care with your email address, which we need to keep you informed of the status of your order, and the various postal address fields so we can ship your order to you.

4. Checkout

The checkout steps are fairly straightforward. At present only one shipping method is available on-line (Air Mail/Air Parcel, registered), so if you need special shipping arrangements, email us. Choose your payment method, enter the required information, and voilà!

5. What if it is Not in the Catalog?

Email us! We have much material not yet entered in the catalog, and know where to find more. Your inquiry will tell us to put a higher priority on the subjects that you are interested in.
6. You have something that you think we might want…

Email us! We trade two-for-one – two photocopy sheets from our catalog for one that you contribute. Don’t just send us things, though; check first to make sure that we need them.

What about Copyright?

Filed under: Uncategorized — piolenc @ 9:22 am

What about Copyright?

“Your catalog [http://www.archivale.com] includes copyrighted works – isn’t that illegal?” This question comes up often, and needs to be addressed for our customers’ (and our own) peace of mind.

The first and most important point to be made about copyright, and intellectual property “rights” in general, is that they are not rights. They are privileges granted by government for a specified length of time (typically, the life of the creator plus a certain number of years) to ensure that creators will benefit from the propagation of their works. Rights are eternal, inherent and universal; privileges expire, are granted by an outside authority and apply only within that authority’s jurisdiction.

The second, and almost equally important, point is that the purpose of copyright law, clearly stated in the US Constitution,  is to make works available, not to sequester them. Any interpretation of copyright law that tends to make works inaccessible is therefore contrary to the clearly stated purpose of the law.

Fair Use

To ensure availability, there is what is called a “Fair Use” doctrine, that spells out the circumstances under which a copyrighted work may be used without compensating the copyright holder and without securing permission; in US copyright law, this doctrine appears in Section 107 of the US copyright statutes.

Favored uses under Fair Use are research, education and scholarship.

In settling whether a contested use constitutes Fair Use, the courts use a kind of “four-way test.” They consider:

  1. the purpose of the use, including whether the use is primarily for commercial or noncommercial purposes;
  2. the nature of the work;
  3. the amount and importance of the portions used in relation to the whole of the original work; and
  4. the effect of the use on the potential market, or value of the original.

As we understand it here at Archivale, “use” means ultimate use, in other words the use to which the copyrighted material is put by the end user—our client (or if our client is a dealer, the customer to whom he sells the material that we furnish). It is the end-user’s responsibility to ensure that he complies with the law that applies where he lives and/or works, and in the event of a dispute the question of Fair Use has to be settled between the client and the competent local authorities.

Library Exemptions

The US copyright statutes also contain a broad set of exemptions to allow libraries to do their work of propagating knowledge at minimal cost to those seeking it. These exemptions are contained in Section 108 of the US law, and we believe that other countries have similar—though not necessarily identical—provisions.

  • Section 108(b) allows copying of unpublished works for preservation or security or for deposit at another library. Although our primary purpose in copying materials is not preservation, the effect in many cases is to propagate rare (and sometimes unique) works, in effect preserving them. That this actually occurs is proven by the fact that Archivale’s predecessors have sold copies of US Government documents to the US Government, because those documents could no longer be found in the Government’s own archives.
  • Section 108(c): allows copying of published works for replacing a damaged, deteriorated, lost, or stolen copy, but only if “an unused replacement cannot be obtained at a fair price.” The statute contains no definition of a “fair price.” Our opinion is that the prices charged for most academic books, technical journals and technical reports are not fair with respect to the purpose of copyright law because they do not favor the propagation of the works; instead, they are so high that only well-endowed libraries and research institutions can afford them. Researchers who do not have access to such institutions, and lack sufficient disposable income to purchase the needed works themselves, are excluded.
  • Section 108(d): allows copying of articles, or contributions to collections, or small parts of larger works, for a patron’s private study, scholarship, or research.
  • Section 108(e): allows copying of entire works for a patron’s private study, scholarship, or research, if “a copy . . . cannot be obtained at a fair price.” See our comment on Section 108(c).

These provisions matter to us because we believe that our modus operandi matches that of a library better than any other entity considered by the law.

  • Admittedly, we do not allow our materials to circulate – we don’t lend them – but that is true of many other libraries as well, and nearly every recognized library has within it “special collections” that do not circulate, even if the general collection does.
  • Our pricing is based on the cost of reproduction and distribution – a fixed amount per photocopy sheet or scanner frame – not on the “market” value of the material.
  • We do sometimes sell original, printed copies of books and reports that are surplus to our needs, but this too is done routinely by “real” brick-and-mortar libraries, and our surplus offerings are priced to move – that is, the primary object is to make room in our shelves and file drawers, not to earn the maximum that “the traffic will bear.”

The fundamental points above need to be kept firmly in mind, especially now that the US Congress seems determined to extend copyright “protection” indefinitely and to impose it even on works whose creators never asked for it. US legislators, fortunately, haven’t repealed Fair Use or the library exemptions, and they haven’t been able to change the clearly stated intent of the framers of the Constitution. Knowledge still has a chance to be free.

December 27, 2009

Government for Kids—author unknown

Filed under: Personal,Uncategorized — piolenc @ 1:24 pm

The article that follows is not my work. I wish that I could claim it, because it is the most succinct and powerful exposition of the essential evil of modern government that I have ever encountered, which is why I have included it in my ‘blog, even though my normal practice is to publish only my own work. Unfortunately, I do not know the name of the true author—this reached me through the Internet Samizdat network, and the ultimate source was either lost in the multiple forwarding, or never stated. If you know who wrote it, please leave a comment with the author’s name so that I can give proper credit.

I probably don’t need to say this, but I will anyway: I do not advocate actually practicing this teaching method on your children; the world at large is alienating enough, and they will need the most loving and rational home life possible to compensate for it.

The True Nature of Government

I think it is very important that we teach our children about the true nature of government. Now, at last, there is a way to give your children a basic civics course right in your own home! In my own experience as a father, I have discovered several simple devices that can illustrate to a child’s mind the principles on which the modern state deals with its citizens. You may find them helpful too.

For example, I used to play the simple card game WAR with my son. After a while, when he thoroughly understood that the higher ranking cards beat the lower ranking ones, I created a new game I called GOVERNMENT. In this game, I was Government, and I won every trick, regardless of who had the better card. My boy soon lost interest in my new game, but I like to think it taught him a valuable lesson for later in life.

When your child is a little older, you can teach him about our tax system in a way that is easy to grasp and will allow him to understand the benefits. Offer him, say, $10 to mow the lawn. When he has mowed it and asks to be paid, withhold $5 and explain that this is income tax. Give $1 of this to his younger brother, who has done nothing to deserve it, and tell him that this is “fair” because the younger brother ‘needs money too’. Also, explain that you need the other $4 yourself to cover the administrative costs of dividing the money and for various other things you need. Make him place his $5 in a savings account over which you have authority. Explain that if he is ever naughty, you will remove the money from the account without asking him. Also explain how you will be taking most of the interest he earns on that money, without his permission. Mention that if he tries to hide the money, this, in itself, will be evidence of wrongdoing and will result in you automatically taking the money from him.

Conduct random searches of his room in the small hours of the morning. Burst in unannounced. Go through all of his drawers and pockets. If he questions this, tell him you are acting on a tip-off from a mate of his who casually mentioned that you had both earned a bit of spare cash last week. If you find it, confiscate all of that money and also take his stereo and television. Tell him you are selling these and keeping the money to compensate you for having to make the raid. Also lock him in his room for a month as further punishment. When he cries at the injustice of this, tell him he is being “selfish” and “greedy” and only interested in looking after his own happiness. Explain that he should learn to sacrifice his own happiness for other people and that since he cannot be relied upon or trusted to do this voluntarily, you will use force to ensure he complies. Later in life he will thank you.

Make as many rules as possible. Leave the reasons for them obscure. Enforce them arbitrarily. Accuse your child of breaking rules you have never told him about and carefully explain that ignorance of your rules is not an excuse for breaking them. Keep him anxious that he may be violating commands you haven’t yet issued. Instill in him the feeling that rules are utterly irrational. This will prepare him for living under a democratic government. He is too young to understand the benefits of democracy, so explain this wonderful system as follows:

You, your wife and his brother get together and vote that your son should have all privileges removed, be caned, and confined to his room for a week. If he protests that you are violating his rights, patiently explain his error and tell him that the majority have voted for this punishment and nothing matters except the will of the majority. When your child has matured sufficiently to understand how the judicial system works, set a bedtime for him of, say, 10 p.m. and then send him to bed at 9 p.m. When he tearfully accuses you of breaking the rules, explain that you made the rules and you can interpret them in any way that seems appropriate to you, according to changing conditions.

Promise often to take him to the movies or the zoo, and then, at the appointed hour, recline in an easy chair with a newspaper and tell him you have changed your plans. When he screams, “but you promised!”, explain to him that it was a campaign promise and hence meaningless. Every now and then, without warning, slap your child. Then explain that this is self-defence. Tell him that you must be vigilant at all times to stop any potential enemy before he gets big enough to hurt you. This, too, your child will appreciate, not right at that moment, maybe, but later in life. If he finds this hard to accept, you can further illustrate the point as follows. Take him on a trip across town with you, to a strange neighbourhood. Walk into any random house you choose and start sorting out their domestic problems, using violence if that is what is required. Make sure you use overwhelming force to crush the family into submission—this avoids a protracted visit and becoming involved for long periods of time. Explain to your son that only a coward stands idly by whilst injustice is happening across town. Tell him we are all brothers and problems left to fester will eventually spill over into your neighbourhood. Use some of the $5 you took from your son as bus fare and to purchase a baseball bat.

Drink a bottle of whisky and then lecture him on the evils of smoking dope. If he points out your hypocrisy remind him that the majority of people drink and that, as already explained, the needs of the majority are the only moral standard.

Break up any meeting between him and more than three of his mates as being an ‘unlawful gathering’. If he strokes the cat without the cat giving its express permission, slap him hard for feline harassment.

Mark one designated spot in the yard where he can leave his bike. If he leaves it anywhere else, padlock it and demand $50 to release it. If he offends more than three times, confiscate the bike, sell it, and keep the money.

Install a CCTV system in your son’s bedroom and also record all his telephone conversations. If he protests, accuse him of having something to hide. Explain that only criminals seek privacy and that good, dutiful children relinquish their privacy in exchange for the advantages which protective parenthood offers. Remind him of the boy across town who was caught smoking dope in his bedroom by just such a CCTV system, and explain that this case justifies installing CCTV in all teenagers’ bedrooms.

Lie to your child constantly. Teach him that words mean nothing – or rather that the meanings of words are continually “evolving”, and may be tomorrow the opposite of what they are today.

Have a word with his teachers at school and ask them to share any merit marks your son achieves, with any ethnic minority students who did not get any merit marks. If he questions this policy, explain that long ago we abused the ancestors of these people, and so it is only fair that he shares the merits around to compensate their descendants. This is also probably a good time to tell him that his energy, talent and enthusiasm will not secure him a job if the quota of such ‘abused’ people has not yet been filled. Tell him talent stands for nothing – it is fairness and sharing which are important. Remind him that his primary duty is the happiness and welfare of people he does not know, and will never meet.

Ban cutlery from your home and make your son eat with his fingers. If he asks why, remind him of the youth who stabbed a cat to death last week with a fork. Explain that if just one cat is saved by the banning of cutlery, then this prohibition will be worthwhile. If he protests, question him closely about why he is intending to kill innocent cats, or accuse him of being a cat hater.

Issue him with a pass card which he must show before he can enter the house. Stand guard at the front door. When he comes home, politely but firmly take him into the spare room and question him about his movements. Ask him how much cash he has on his person. If in excess of $50, confiscate the lot as it exceeds the house rule for maximum cash allowed. Then search his rucksack and pockets. To keep him guessing, do the occasional strip search. If he protests, detain him for longer and make the search more thorough. If he gets really angry at this, hold him in a locked room until he misses his next outing or party.

If these methods sound harsh, I am only being cruel to be kind. I think it is important for children to understand the nature of the society in which we live.

I hope you found that amusing. I did when I wrote it, but on second reading, I feel a bit sick. It makes the point too plainly to avoid.


December 4, 2009

High-Value Products from Coconuts

Filed under: Uncategorized — piolenc @ 7:47 am


by F. Marc de Piolenc, Consultant (piolenc@archivale.com )

It is not without valid reason that the coconut is called the Tree of Life. In nearly every one of the many countries where it is grown, it is both a subsistence crop and a cash crop. In years when the price of copra or fresh nuts is good, it brings in money. In years when the market is bad, it feeds the grower’s family. Regardless of market conditions, it provides him charcoal and timber. With the resources of a small holding, toddy (tuba), arrack and coco vinegar can also be made. It is this versatility that ensures that the coconut will never be displaced by other crops—at least not in the Philippines. It is the ideal crop for the tropical Third World, in that it both caters to the basic bodily needs of the small-holder who cultivates it and gives him an entry into the agricultural and industrial marketplace.

Traditionally, coconuts as a cash crop have been processed for their oil. Coconut oil is a very versatile substance whose principal uses are cooking and soap manufacture, but it can also be used to make candles, detergents, lubricants and many other useful products.

Recently, however, the market for coconut oil has become depressed. The price of oil in quantity in the USA—where huge frying plants are steady customers—has dropped to about P20/kilogram, and farmers in the Philippines are being offered P1/kg (dehusked) for fresh mature nuts and P5/kilo for copra. At these prices, it is often not worth making copra or transporting the nuts, and many small farmers’ “leg up” into the cash economy is effectively amputated. What is more, it is not reasonable to expect any significant recovery in the market for refined coconut oil.

The causes of the weak coconut oil market are several, but the principal one is competition from palm oil and palm kernel oil grown elsewhere in this region. Unlike coconuts, which in the Philippines are typically grown on small holdings of one-half hectare to four hectares, and processed in local mills with capacities of less than 10,000 nuts per day (or copra equivalent), the fruit of the oil palm is grown on huge agro-industrial holdings and processed in on-site plants benefiting from the economies of scale that are possible with this kind of arboriculture. The efficiency of palm oil production is currently so high that foreign palm oil is selling on the Philippine market at prices significantly lower than those charged for domestic edible oil from coconuts. Overseas, consumption of palm oil and palm kernel oil continues to increase, while coconut oil consumption remains more or less fixed. Palm oils are gaining an ever-growing market share, not just because of low price, but because they can be substituted for coconut oil with no trouble, and in some ways are more desirable than coconut oil. For instance, palm kernel oil contains a significant quantity of unsaturated fat, while coconut oil is entirely made of up of saturated fats. Health-conscious consumers are beginning to put pressure even on large-scale traditional markets like fast-food processors to switch to less cholesterol-promoting lipids; in the next few years even the big frying plants in America may begin to switch.

But even without that happening, the traditional coconut industry in the Philippines—taking in copra and producing edible oil—has already started to die. One by one, throughout the countryside, coco mills are closing. The decline is masked by the fact that new plants are still opening, but this is the result of Government policy which continues to encourage the expansion of the traditional coconut oil industry irrespective of the decline in market price. By switching to fresh nuts as feedstock, improving process efficiency, exploiting bye-products and other measures, the coconut oil industry may be briefly rejuvenated, but the handwriting is on the wall: the traditional coconut oil refining business is doomed, and coco farmers are in danger of losing what little market they still have and returning to pure subsistence agriculture.

The only way to ensure that the small farmer gets a decent price for his produce is to give the coco industry a wider profit margin. To achieve this requires a major change in the orientation of the coconut-based industry—from oil production to products of greater market value. So the question arises: what can be made from coconuts, other than edible oil, and what is it worth? An equally important question is: how can this be achieved at the small scale imposed by fragmented land tenure and poor transport infrastructure?


The most logical place to begin looking for high-value products is among the foods and food ingredients which can be produced from the versatile fruit. Sadly, these are often wasted—discarded or destroyed—when the nut is processed industrially for oil in the usual fashion.

Food products requiring minimal processing are whole fresh nuts, coconut water, coconut milk, grated coconut meat, and toddy or tuba (and its alcoholic fermentation product, arrack). The latter is often disregarded because it is not made from the coconut fruit, but from the fruiting stem or spadyx from which the coconuts grow. Its extraction in the traditional manner prevents the tapped spadyx from bearing fruit and reduces the coconut crop, and since its own market value is low and its market purely local it is considered a subsistence product rather than a cash crop. It is included here because, recently, the Philippine Coconut Authority has found a way to get toddy and still allow the fruiting stem or spadix to bear its full crop of nuts. And if toddy were to gain a wider market than the producer and his neighbors, it would not be the first time that a humble country beverage did that. Grappa (the distilled lees from wine fermentation) is a case in point; once considered crude rotgut and only sold locally, it is now an export item in Italy.

As noted by the Bureau of Tropical Crops, an international body that monitors tropical agriculture, the rapidly-urbanizing population of the tropical world has created a huge potential market for the products that recent migrants to the city are accustomed to eating, but which they can no longer get cheaply at local markets or from their own trees. This market is largely neglected, being currently served only by vendors from the immediate suburbs, who are therefore able to charge very high prices for their produce. While commerce in fresh whole nuts poses a transport problem, simple food processing techniques can produce food products that embody the qualities desired by buyers in a form that is easily kept fresh and is cheaper to ship than whole nuts. This opens the lucrative market of Metro Manila to vendors from Mindanao and the Visayas both by reducing their shipping costs and by making delays at dockside tolerable. For example:

  1. coconut water can be concentrated to reduce its bulk; it can then be sold in concentrated form or re-diluted to its original strength near the point of sale
  2. coconut milk (expressed from fresh coconut meat) can also be concentrated
  3. grated dried coconut meat is used in confectionery; as a powder, it has further uses

Macapuno, formerly an exotic product, may soon be considered a mainstream food offering, thanks to embryo culture techniques pioneered at UP Los Baños which even now are producing trees with a high yield of the desirable (and formerly rare) macapuno nuts.

A high-fiber confection, nata de coco, resulting from acetic fermentation of coco water by a special strain of acetobacter, recently enjoyed a brief but intense vogue in Japan. Sensible promotion should ensure it a steady market. It has the objective merits of low caloric content and of containing a large proportion of soluble fiber.

Even plants that are wedded to refined-oil processing can improve profits by using some of their refined oil output to make food products, such as banana chips, that require large quantities of oil and have a much higher market value than the oil they consume.

non-food products from coconuts


In an industrial process—saponification—that has been practiced for centuries, the glycerol component of the triglycerides (glycerol plus fatty acids) that make up coconut oil can be replaced with a mineral alkali such as sodium (by treatment with soda lye) or potassium (by treatment with caustic potash). Other soaps, such as ammonium and lithium soaps, have industrial uses including the manufacture of greases. Saponification by the usual method leaves free glycerol as a bye-product. Glycerol is the feedstock of many industrial processes, as discussed further below.


It has long been known that diesel engines can be run on a variety of vegetable oils, provided that the engine is started with diesel fuel, and is again fed diesel fuel before shutdown to ensure that no vegetable oil remains in the injection system after shutdown. Recently, however, a fuel called biodiesel has been developed that is derived from vegetable oils, but can be directly substituted for diesel fuel even though it is chemically very different from petroleum-derived fuels. Biodiesel is a product of transesterification, that is the conversion of the triglycerides in the oil into methyl esters by treatment with methanol. Coconut oil plants can easily be converted to biodiesel production, as all the process steps up through deacidification are common to both processes. At present, the economics of biodiesel production are marginal when new oil is used, and the infrastructure for gathering waste oil economically doesn’t exist outside of a few large cities, but as petroleum prices rise and coconut oil prices continue to slump biodiesel may yet serve as a useful economic buffer for the traditional oil plants.


Detergents are sometimes called “invert soaps” because, instead of consisting of a fatty acid bound to a mineral alkali, they consist of fatty alcohols bound to a mineral acid. Fatty alcohols can be readily derived from the corresponding fatty acids in coconut oil, and these can be used to make a wide range of detergents, some of which have the desirable property of being biodegradable. The oldest known invert soap “Turkey red oil” is a sulphate of oleic acid.


Free fatty acids can be derived from coconut oil, either directly or after saponification. The FFA can be sold in crude form or purified and separated. Another method of obtaining fatty acids that is not yet used industrially merits consideration, namely the use of enzymes as catalysts for hydrolysis of lipids at room temperature. One such enzyme is papain, derived from the papaya tree.


Tocopherols are present in small quantity in coconut oil, but have a high market value due to their biological properties. Some members of this chemical family are recognized as vitamins.


Fatty alcohols can be derived from the corresponding fatty acids in coconut oil. They have many uses and are the basis for the synthesis of many other organic compounds. The Guerbet alcohols, for example, are used as ultra-low-temperature lubricants for cryogenic machinery.


Polymer resins are derivable from coconuts along several pathways. One starts with the glycerol that is a bye-product of soap manufacture and free fatty acid extraction. Glycerol can be used to make acrolein, an evil-smelling organic molecule that is the basis for the acrylic plastics. The process of turning glycerol into acrolein is a bacterial fermentation. Another pathway to high quality thermosetting plastics is a series of condensation resins obtained from a prolonged reaction between glycerol and various fatty acids in the presence of castor oil (a product that can be easily grown and processed in the Philippines). This process was being developed in the 20’s as a substitute for the Bakelite plastics (glycerol + pthalic anhydride), just as petroleum feedstocks began displacing others from plastics production. The allyl resins are derived from glycerol, plus formic acid, plus another organic acid (usually maleic). These include resins with excellent optical properties used for making low-cost lenses and prisms.


The above list does not begin to exhaust the possibilities of the versatile coconut; further research and experimentation are likely to produce a list as long as that of the uses found for peanuts by George Washington Carver. The best that can be claimed for this document is that it may serve as a springboard for further inquiry.

The form that inquiry should take is threefold:

  1. Further documentary research to determine what products can be made from coconut, their current market value and the likely effect on market value of additional supplies.
  2. Experiments with selected products to determine manufacturing methods and costs. The experiments required will likely be numerous and time consuming. Rapid progress might well be achieved by issuing challenges to industrial and chemical engineers throughout the Philippines to devise and implement efficient small-scale production lines, a difficult task but one which will bring rich rewards when accomplished. Successful engineers should be rewarded and their efforts recognized and honored.
  3. Consultation with existing coconut-based enterprises and coconut growers to ensure that both technology and market-savvy are efficiently transferred to the industry. The latter is particularly important, as the effect on market prices if all producers switch to the same product could be disastrous.

Book Review: Are You Liable?

Filed under: Uncategorized — piolenc @ 7:20 am


by Kurt Alex Gross

Reviewed by F. Marc de Piolenc

Order from: Kurt Alex Gross, P.0. Box 16898, San Diego, California, 92176, USA. Price (book+diskette): $34.99 + $4.00 shipping and handling (check, money order or cash); also include a 10 x 13 inch self-addressed envelope with your order. 200 pp, soft cover, spiral bound.

More than one American Citizen has asked himself how the income tax provisions of Title 26, United States Code, could be reconciled with Constitutional protection against unreasonable searches and seizures, self-incrimination and so forth. How did he, a Sovereign Citizen of a nation founded on the principle that Government is subordinate to the People, become a slave to a system that not only takes his money, but his dignity and privacy as well?

The answer is surprising: the law is Constitutional as written, but not as practiced by the Internal Revenue Service, and many who now think they are required to file and pay may be able to arrange their affairs so that they are not liable. This discovery by many lay researchers driven by the IRS’ criminal misconduct to research their legal status has generated a flood of books, seminars and other publications and services. This reviewer’s decision to endorse this book and its author is based on the book’s most prominent characteristic: it allows the Law, as embodied in precedent-setting legal decisions, to tell its own story.

As the reader proceeds through the text, he will learn exactly what type of tax was authorized by the 16th Amendment, whether indeed a special and new type of tax was created, and to whom that tax was intended to apply. The reader will learn what weight previous case decision by the Supreme Court carries, and how said case decision may serve as a battering ram to crumble the walls of confusion and obfuscation erected by both the executive power of government and the courts.

Furthermore, the reader will learn for himself what actions he may take, based upon the realization of his position under the Law, in order to protect and ensconce himself within an impenetrable legal foundation. This is in addition to tactically specific defenses discussed and demonstrated, in the event the government takes exception to the Citizen’s understanding of the truth as is defined within the Law, and decides to proceed with the so-called “Alice in Wonderland” indictment.

The “N.T. Handbook” utilizes this lawful doctrine of stare decisis to underpin and reinforce every claim of the author’s position on the various legal questions. Reference to, or citations from, more than 400 previously decided cases are included. Included also is a special index section with the 400 case cites listed under 28 subject headings, as well as a 29-page “Statement of Legal Position” letter plus a 12-page Affidavit of Sovereignty. In addition, the N.T. Handbook includes a 3.5″ floppy disk (IBM DSHD) with not only the above-referenced “Statement of Legal Position” letter and affidavit (in ASCII format), but also five FOIA/Privacy Act request letters requesting such information as the Individual Master File (IMF), Summary Assessment Certificates, Audit Information Management System (AIMS) files, and other important items. All the reader need do is fill in the blanks in order to utilize these forms. Also included on this disk is a listing of the relevant text of over 300 previously decided cases (over 85 pages), with all relevant points “Shepardized.” This text may be used as is within briefs, pleadings, complaints and other legal documents.

DISCLAIMER: The information in the book and in the above review is not legal advice. Such advice must emanate from a legal professional conversant with the client’s particular situation. The author is a lay researcher offering the fruits of his research to aid readers, with perhaps the assistance of counsel, in determining their own legal status and courses of action. Nothing in the book or the review should be construed to advocate or abet tax evasion, which is failure to pay taxes for which one is legally liable.

Questions? Email the author

December 2, 2009

The Case for Ducted Wind Turbines

Filed under: Uncategorized — piolenc @ 7:24 pm

Background on ducted wind turbines:

When a turbine is enclosed in a suitably-shaped shroud, the shroud, by forcing the flow around and behind it to expand, creates a low-pressure region in its throat which induces flow into it. A turbine situated inside the throat will experience mass flow that is greater than it would have felt in the open, so the output per unit of turbine area is greater, thus appearing to violate the Betz limit.

As the power withdrawn from the flow by the turbine creates a pressure drop across the turbine disc, the depression downstream of the turbine created by the after part of the shroud must be very low. This in turn means that the diffuser experiences a positive streamwise pressure gradient, as the pressure must again rise to match atmospheric pressure at the exit. Unfortunately, this positive pressure gradient makes it difficult for the diffuser flow to remain attached. In conventional diffuser design, this is catered for by making the diffuser very long, with a very small apex angle, so that pressure recovery is gradual, but this is not practical in a wind-power machine. Some way must be found to achieve the same degree of pressure recovery in a much shorter shroud. The solution adopted successfully by Grumman is to add a slot to the shroud just behind the turbine, in effect splitting the shroud into two segments which I call shroud (the front portion surrounding the turbine) and diffuser (the rest). This slot allows a small quantity of high-energy ambient air to be induced into the diffuser, replacing its weak boundary layer with fresh, energetic air that is less vulnerable to separation. Naturally, a shear layer is created where the fast, fresh boundary layer borders the weaker air downstream of the turbine, so mixing eventually takes place that weakens the boundary layer. The more air is allowed to come in the slot, the less the risk of separation, but that safety comes at a price, as the mass flow coming through the slot bypasses the turbine and produces no useful power. Some versions of this concept have two or more slots.

The shroud obviously imposes a structural and an economic penalty; it is heavier than the turbine alone, so the structure supporting it must also be heavier. In addition to compressive loading, the support structure must also withstand high bending moments due to pressure forces on the shroud. This penalty is aggravated when storm conditions have to be taken into account: an open turbine
can be feathered, and will then ride out the storm, turning slowly without exerting much force on its pylon. There is no practical way to reef the shroud, and while adjustable prerotator vanes could be used to block internal flow and stall the shroud, base drag alone plus possible vortex shedding would still require beefy supports. This must be traded off against a smaller, faster-turning turbine and possibly the elimination of gearing. So far, the anticipated net cost seems to have favored the conventional, open turbine despite its obvious problems. One reason is that, while the shrouded turbine itself can be smaller for a given mass flow, the overall diameter of the unit is larger than that of the turbine. The Grumman study assumed an augmentation ratio of 5.5 in their economic study, but their actual wind tunnel results were in the neighborhood of 4. Based on the 5.5 figure, Grumman concluded that DAWTs would be competitive in a size range from 5 to 200 kilowatts. This counts as “small” in the wind energy business, and as the emphasis is on large units to minimize costs per unit of capacity, this alone could explain the lack of follow-up development. So far, I haven’t found evidence of any full-scale tests. Apparently, nobody thought to use a water channel to perform subscale testing at full-scale Reynolds numbers.


Ducted Wind Turbines:
Why and How?

A Qualitative Rationale

Starting Point: The Open Wind Turbine



Step One: Build a Shroud Enclosing the Captured Stream Tube, and Move the Turbine Upstream



Step Two: Make the Shroud Smaller

Step Three: Get a Little More Flow



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