Saturday, March 17, 2018

Van T Barfoot RIP

Submitted by my good Vet friend John
Van T -May you rest in PEACE!!!!!!!!!!!!

V an T Barfoot died...


Guy who wouldn't take
The flag pole
on his Virginia
Property a
While back?
You might
Remember the news story several
Months ago
About a crotchety old man in
Virginia who
Defied his local Homeowners
And refused to take down the
Flag pole on
His property along with the large
American flag
He flew on it.
Now we learn
Who that old man was.
On June 15,
1919, Van T. Barfoot was born in
Texas . That probably didn't make
News back


Twenty -five years later, on May 23, 1944,
Carano    ,
Italy ,

That same Van T. Barfoot,
Who had in
1940 enlisted in the U.S. Army, set
Out alone to
Flank German machine gun
From which gunfire was raining
Down on his
Fellow soldiers.
His advance
Took him through a minefield but
Having done
So, he proceeded to single-handedly
Take out
Three enemy machine gun positions,
With 17 prisoners of war.

And if that
Weren't enough for a day's work,           he
Took on and
Destroyed three German tanks
Sent to
Retake the machine gun positions.
That probably
Didn't make much news either,
Given the
Scope of the war, but it did earn
Van T
Barfoot, who retired as a Colonel after
Also serving
In Korea and Vietnam , a well
Medal of Honor.
What did make
News...Was his Neighborhood
Quibble with how the 90-year-old
Veteran chose
To fly the American flag outside
His suburban
Virginia home. Seems the HOA rules
Said it was
OK to fly a flag on a house-mounted
Bracket, but,
For decorum, items such as
Barfoot's      21-foot
Flagpole were "unsuitable".
Van Barfoot
Had been denied a permit for
The pole, but
Erected it anyway and was facing
Court action
Unless he agreed to take it down.
Then the HOA
Story made national TV,
And the
Neighborhood Association rethought
Its position
And agreed to indulge this
Aging hero
Who dwelt among them.

"In the

Time I have left", he said to the
Press, "I plan to continue
To fly the
American flag without interference."

Well he should.

And if any of his neighbors had taken a

Notion to
Contest him
Further, they might have done well to
Read his
Medal of Honor citation first. Seems it
Indicates Mr.
Van   Barfoot    wasn't
Good at
Backing down.


Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Future closer than you think

From my vet friend John.

    1. Auto repair shops go away.  A gasoline engine has 20,000 individual parts.  An electrical engine has 20.  Electric cars are sold with lifetime guarantees and are only repaired by dealers.  It will take only 10 minutes to remove and replace an electric engine.  Faulty electric engines are not repaired in the dealership but are sent to a regional repair shop that repairs them with robots.  Essentially, if your electric "Check Motor" light comes on, you simply drive up to what looks like a car wash.  Your car is towed through while you have a cup of coffee and out comes your car with a new engine.

    2. Gas stations go away.  Parking meters are replaced by meters that dispense electricity.  All companies install electrical recharging stations.

    3. All major auto manufacturers have already designated 5-6 billion dollars each to start building new plants that only build electric cars.

    4. Coal industries,  Oil companies  and Drilling for oil become rare.

    5. Homes will produce and store more electrical energy during the day then they use and will sell it back to the grid.  The grid stores it and dispenses it to industries that are high electricity users.

    A baby born today may see more gas powered cars in museums than on the street.

    Other TRENDS
    1. In 1998, Kodak had 170,000 employees and sold 85% of all photo paper worldwide.  Within just a few years, their business model disappeared and they went bankrupt.

    What happened to Kodak will happen in a lot of industries in the next 5-10 years and, most people won't see it coming.

    Did you think in 1998 that 3 years later you would never take pictures on film again?

    Yet digital cameras were invented in 1975.  The first ones only had 10,000 pixels, but followed Moore's law.  So as with all exponential technologies, it was a disappointment for a time, before it became way superior and became mainstream in only a few short years.  It will now happen again (but much faster) with Artificial Intelligence, health, autonomous and electric cars, education, 3D printing, agriculture and jobs.

    2. Software will disrupt most traditional industries in the next 5-10 years.

    3. Uber is just a software tool, they don't own any cars, yet they are now the biggest taxi company in the world.

    4. Airbnb is now the biggest hotel company in the world, although they don't own any properties.

    5. Artificial Intelligence: Computers become exponentially better in understanding the world.  This year, a computer beat the best Go-player in the world, 10 years earlier than expected.

    6. In the U.S., young lawyers already don't get jobs.  Because of IBM's Watson, you can get legal advice (so far for more or less basic stuff) within seconds, with 90% accuracy compared with 70% accuracy when done by humans.  So, if you study law, stop immediately.  There will be 90% fewer lawyers in the future, only omniscient specialists will remain.
    6A. Watson already helps nurses diagnosing cancer, its 4 times more accurate than human nurses.

    7. Facebook now has a pattern recognition software that can recognize faces better than humans. In 2030, computers will become more intelligent than humans.

    8. Autonomous cars: In 2018 the first self-driving cars will appear for the public.  Around 2020, the complete industry will start to be disrupted.  You don't want to own a car anymore.  You will call a car with your phone, it will show up at your location and drive you to your destination.  You will not need to park it you only pay for the driven distance and can be productive while driving.  The very young children of today will never get a driver's license and will never own a car.

    8A. It will change the cities, because we will need 90-95% fewer cars for that.  We can transform former parking spaces into parks.
    1.2 million people die each year in car accidents worldwide.  We now have one accident every 60,000 mi (100,000 km), with autonomous driving that will drop to 1 accident in 6 million miles (10 million km).  That will save a million lives worldwide each year.

    8B. Most car companies will doubtless become bankrupt.  Traditional car companies try the evolutionary approach and just build a better car, while tech companies (Tesla, Apple, Google) will do the revolutionary approach and build a computer on wheels.

    8C. Many engineers from Volkswagen and Audi are completely terrified of Tesla.

    9 Insurance companies will have massive trouble because, without accidents, the insurance will become 100 x cheaper.  Their car insurance business model will disappear.

    10. Real estate will change.  Because if you can work while you commute, people will move further away to live in a more beautiful neighborhood.

    11. Electric cars will become mainstream about 2020.  Cities will be less noisy because all new cars will run on electricity.

    12. Electricity will become incredibly cheap and clean:  Solar production has been on an exponential curve for 30 years, but you can now see the burgeoning impact.

    13. Last year, more solar energy was installed worldwide than fossil.  Energy companies are desperately trying to limit access to the grid to prevent competition from home solar installations, but that simply cannot continue… technology will take care of that strategy.

    14. With cheap electricity comes cheap and abundant water.  Desalination of salt water now only needs 2 kWh per cubic meter (@ 0.25 cents).  We don't have scarce water in most places, we only have scarce drinking water.  Imagine what will be possible if anyone can have as much clean water as he wants, for nearly no cost.

    15. Health: The Tricorder X price will be announced this year.  There are companies who will build a medical device (called the "Tricorder" from Star Trek) that works with your phone, which takes your retina scan, your blood sample and you breath into it.  It then analyses 54 bio-markers that will identify nearly any disease.  It will be cheap, so in a few years everyone on this planet will have access to world class medical analysis, nearly for free.

    16. 3D printing: The price of the cheapest 3D printer came down from $18,000 to $400 within 10 years.  In the same time, it became 100 times faster.  All major shoe companies have already started 3D printing shoes.

    17. Some spare airplane parts are already 3D printed in remote airports.  The space station now has a printer that eliminates the need for the large amount of spare parts they used to have in the past.

    18. At the end of this year, new smart phones will have 3D scanning possibilities.  You can then 3D scan your feet and print your perfect shoe at home.

    19. In China, they already 3D printed and built a complete 6-story office building.  By 2027, 10% of everything that's being produced will be 3D printed.

    20. Business opportunities: If you think of a niche you want to go in, first ask yourself: "In the future, do I think we will have that?"  And, if the answer is yes, how can you make that happen sooner?

    20A. If it doesn't work with your phone, forget the idea.  Any idea designed for success in the 20th century is doomed to failure in the 21st century.

    20B. Work: 70-80% of jobs will disappear in the next 20 years.  There will be a lot of new jobs, but it is not clear if there will be enough new jobs in such a short time.

    21. Agriculture: There will be a $100 agricultural robot in the future.  Farmers in 3rd world countries can then become managers of their field instead of working all day on their fields.

    22. Aeroponics will need much less water.  The first Petri dish produced veal is now available and will be cheaper than cow produced veal in 2018.  Right now, 30% of all agricultural surfaces are used for cows.  Imagine if we don't need that space anymore.

    23. There are several startups who will bring insect protein to the market shortly.  It contains more protein than meat.  It will be labeled as "alternative protein source".

    Maybe a revisit to your investment portfolio is in order?  How about that luxury car purchase you were considering, what will it be worth after self driving is ubiquitous?  And that collector car, how much will it be worth when most people no longer drive?  May be time to reevaluate.