Thursday, April 30, 2015

Trench pics

Pictures from news.. Global post shows no shoring after failure before fire dept arrived or did much. No shoring, no ladder, no shoring plan likely.

The failure is semi circular in plan view. Big blocks of soil. No back fill. all the dirt in the trench caved in, no backfill. So this is a trench toe failure with toppling, not a slope failure. These happen fast. Dead Fred had no chance. It was criminal negligence causing death by the hoe guy, and/or excavation company.


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Unshored Trench Stability

The picture has been cut from global news without permission.

The man was playing unshored trench roulette. He lost. Note that the banks are still calving on the left. There is a block on the dropped in shoring at the tip of the hoe boom.

Note that much, if not all of the shoring carries the fire department yellow.

He or his bosses gambled on a win of time against death. No job is worth taking a risk like this for; especially for wages. He may be in a "do it or we will find someone who will" situation. Until Alberta puts a whistle blower protection in place, or "no fire" over refusal to do unsafe work policy, with investigation, and teeth, the problem will continue. Firing someone or even asking anyone to do unsafe work should carry a major fine, and be religiously prosecuted on the governments dime, to have any effect with shoe string contracting companies. 

OH&S regulations state no entry into a straight cut trench deeper than 1.5 meters, or 45 degree back slope with 1.5 meter bottom straight cut in undisturbed native clays.

The spill pile is too close, 1.2 meters required, by OH&S.

It is fill, not clay. We can see the garbage and bricks in the spill in the new report video. OH&S therefore does not apply. The strength of fill is unreliable, therefore expect failures.  

This is not quite straight cut, but it is steeper that a ladder likes, about 70 degrees so I will estimate 80 degrees. It does not matter, it grossly exceeds OH&S.

It is my opinion that OH&S rules are not rigid enough as it stands. But if they were followed, we would have far fewer injuries and deaths. In all my years in geotechnical, I have only seen a few cases where failures occurred within OH&S rules, and these were blocky and/or slickensided soils, large or deep excavations, or long term conditions.

It is my opinion that everyone involved should be charged with manslaughter, general contractor, trench contractor, and hoe operator. There should be a mandatory course required for anyone entering a trench, or pushing a trench job. Major fine for doing the work without the card.

Monday, April 20, 2015


There is nothing wrong with the people, it is their belief systems that is just nuts. ISIL, ISIS, Jews, Israelis, Philistines, Christians, Hindu, Sikhs, etc, all religions are just nuts. Irrational beliefs, death denying, creation of an after life as an ultimate goal of life, forced marriage, mutilations of female, foot bindings, even circumcision, face covering, religious irrational obedience, extended prayer, long mediation, even development of control freakes, even the desire to control others, etc.  There are no better words than nuts; it is the historical belief systems that are less than ideal.

Many people of antiquity realized that they would not likely be around to coach the next generation to adulthood, and also recognized that much of what they learned was a big improvement over what they had growing up, so they wrote it down for the next generation. Some collected up this data, and in the old days, that meant collecting up old manuscripts and recopying them, learning along the way. Stobacus also added his comments as he transcribed. Some of his comments are infused into the modern translations, like the reference to the Amazon in Epictetus. Oh well, shit happens.  

We stand on the shoulders of those who went before, but we also must accept that we are able to develop better than our ancestors, because we are starting on their shoulders, on what they figured out in their lives. Some of the things they tried to teach us are just wrong, or old thoughts, in the modern world with transportation and communications technology being what they are, and yet many of the underlying concepts are still right, and valuable, and should be adhered to. Yet the elders dictate poor behavior, poor logic, poor reasoning, poor judgement, poor decision making. Which is it easier to change, beliefs or behaviors? Behaviors follow our beliefs.

When we start from reason as the highest human characteristic, and the ultimate purpose of life as to flourish, to aid in flourishing, we humans have done well, well we are batting 0.350 or better. But what will the earth stand of continued survival of the species long term? Less people than we have today. Prepare for large scale die off or control the population. China's one child policy is about right.

It is the needless killing that must end so that we can live in peace, but that will require giving up of the historical religions and migration to reality, logic, reason based life. Yet everywhere we see those who do not seen capable of reason, compassion, justice. I am glad that I will be done, returned, or expired before the end of civilization. I have exceeded my "best by date" and am in the decline now, so I can talk, and will never be called upon to deliver. It is not just the Flynn effect. We are better educated when we take the tests, yes. It is all about deciding at an early age to live ethically, and what those ethics really are, yes, we can also improve with age as well.

The stoics at least laid out the logic, the reasons for ethics and virtue as the basis of building a life, and allow the individual the freedom to choose. It is based on logic and understanding, priorities, and picking the better plan, and being aware of the plans drawbacks. When we are aware of the drawbacks, we can see them and make exceptions. Bullshit is still bullshit, even when it come from a prize bull.

Enough. and a picture just because

Friday, April 10, 2015

Lyme Disease Sexual Transmitted

I encountered a fellow who has Lyme disease, and he stated several troubling "facts."

Lyme disease is likely sexually transmitted after it enters we humans. There is a lot of antidote evidence, one of a couple gets it, the other later comes down with it, without ever recalling of noticing a tick.

Serious Lyme disease may be man made variant.,

It seems there are two strains, one mildish, one often severe. The severe variant seems have first been found adjacent to Plum Island biological warfare that worked on Lyme Disease as a biological weapon but the USA. Did it escape? After the lab was closed?

Thursday, April 9, 2015

USA White on Black Problem

Another white cop shot fleeing black. It started as a traffic stop, two cops, at least two in the car. The driver takes off, followed by a cop, and a teaser is deployed, a scuffle, and the black runs again. This time the cop shoots and kills.

What options did the cop have to detain/ apprehend the black? Or should he have let the black run off? Once that running starts, it will become the method of escape for the fast on foot. There is no other choice for the cops but to keep in reasonable shape, but foot chases are not the answer. It is the blacks that must learn to respect the society and the laws or be shot.

Until that happens, the police will lose, and society will go down hill fast. The white cop took the only action he could to bring the black runner to justice. What should he have done, let the black run?

A picture just because;

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

CCC extended

Dale Carnege, in his famous book, says "do not criticize, condemn, or complain."  I think that could be extended to include: do not compare, compete, control, challenge. Probably a few more as well.

Some people need challenge, some do not. If it is too challenging, failure will be the result. That is not good for our wins over losses ration (Losada Ratio).  A steady diet of failures is not good for most people.

Some people need competition, and some have too many failures which lower down the Losada ratio too low, create frustration, and removes the pleasure of an activity. This is why youth should not compete in some sports where the mean win to loss ratio is to poor. When we have a group of 30 and only one winner, Losada is 1/29 while two people competing we have 1/2, and any ratio less than 3/1 is depressing.

Comparing is the worst possibility. No one ever compares ourselves with someone who is worse, always better. We always loss. It is worse if it is a parent doing it verbally to a child.   Losada goes to zero divided by infinity. The stoics say to never compare or compete unless we are sure we can win. Wish for what happens, no expectations. Do not care if the red or blues win, just the skill and effort.

With comparing there is a second issue here as well; "is the characteristic being compare a valid one?" This is the frequent problem of teen girls body image issues, thinness is not mental wellness. Thin is not even natural, human nature is to carry a bit of food reserve; it is society, culture that says it is wrong. Too much is not good either, but we live in a time of excess food. Those who are thin really work at being thin, by not eating. Some do not feel the urge to eat, some ignore it. The tendency to overeat is a human characteristic, a species issue. We now have the ideal storm situation. What can we do? 

Controlling people is even more of a potential conflict. If you have not brought a child will inline with reality, in line with leading a good life by the time they are teens, they stand a big chance of wasting their life or part of it. If you force them to do something against there will, you get resentment. Same with companies the cajole employees to do things against there will for money, even if it is against their ethics, or leave them little choice with expectations greater than the capacity of the equipment in it's current state of repair, or by comparison cajoling to fudged outputs.  Oh well, shit happens.

Just because picture:

Friday, April 3, 2015

Stoic thinking models

Lupins bloom mid June through July
Stoic thinking models are a free floating concept that I needed to rap my mind around, and when I did, I discovered that many of them are superior to what we have today. These are thinking models of the world, a system of tests of our concepts that bend the world back to straight. The stoics considered reason and logic to be the divine pursuit, and with nothing else we can defeat any enemy of taking anything of stoic good, of highest value from us. They may take our lives, but we never claimed to be immortal. Virtue is the highest good after logic, and with these two, we are assured of a flourishing life. Virtue provided meaning and engagement, and if fate permits, achievement, satisfaction, and stoic joy, oh joys. This is essentially what positive psychology has now demonstrated.

The first notable thinking model described by the stoics is "some things are up to us and some are not." This sounds simple, and it is and it is not at the same time. As the logic develops, we see a field open up behind that simple gateway that relieves passions (anger, lust, resentments), and emotions, or feelings. It is just amazing.

 What is up to us? Well we can pass a judgement on a proposition, we can assent, withhold judgement, or reject it. We need to express each idea as a proposition and evaluate it. We do this automatically now,  for many things. So frequently, we set down rules. This process lets us examine our own rules, and do mental cleanup. Next is our desires and aversions. At some time we have made a decision on these, and we can reexamine them. Next, we have control over our impulses toward and away from actions. Combined with apathy which lye between impulse toward and away, we are in control of much thinking, impulses, desires and the like. Our expectations and delusions of how life should be are within our control, and as such are open for examination. Passions are frustrated expectations, and when we see the expectation for what it is, the passion is reduced or just goes away.

We see that something we do not value is just stuff, and we are not bothered when it is taken away from us, given away, or returned to where it came from, us willing or not. All that happens is natures will.

Now the stuff not up to us, we can do nothing about that, we can accept what happens much easier, and after accepting, work on improving the salutation. There is so much more and so little space in the attention span. Piecemeal is the only possible order.