Friday, October 28, 2011

Walbro Carburetor Fix For Miller Big 40 Welder

About three years ago, I had a carburetor problem with a Miller Big 40 welder. The engine is a Continental 4 cylinder flat head.

The float swelled up and wouldn't turn the fuel flow off. I checked all over the civilized world for a replacement float, but couldn't find one anywhere. The problem with finding a float was that the engine used a Walbro carburetor and it was long discontinued The float is a brown phenolic or micarta-like substance, not a brass float. I assume the new fuel (10% ethanol) was the fly in the ointment.

With nothing to lose by trying to remedy the problem in an unorthodox manner, I decided to sand the float down until it would move freely in the bowl. I compared notes with James Reeve, a friend who has been fooling around with engines forever and he said that he used to modify the float configuration on his race cars and then seal the float with epoxy.

I did this and it worked for a few months, but again swelled up. I again disassembled the carb and sanded the float as I had done previously. There was a tiny hole in the epoxy when I took the carb apart that had allowed gas to permeate the float again.

The second time I let the float "air dry" a day or two before applying the epoxy and it's still working fine. I think the problem was caused by the float out-gassing when I originally coated it with epoxy, causing it to have the tiny hole  in the epoxy and allowing it to swell again.

Keep in mind that when you sand the float it needs to have enough clearance to still work when the epoxy is added.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Those Ignorant Churchmen

Hardly a week goes by that you can't find an article somewhere on the web, the gist of which is how fortunate moderns are to be free of the superstition and ignorance of religion, especially Christian religion and Catholicism in particular. The only thing worse than Bible-thumping Fundamentalists is the Catholic Church.

Anyone reading the comments following an article on the teaching of evolution or almost any other topic centering or bordering on science will notice lots of idiotic comments about how science has disproved religion or how religion persecuted scientists, with the obligatory comment(s) about Galileo by someone who knows nothing about the actual Galileo case. Many times there are comments by people who think the "Big Bang" theory disproves religion.

I read an interview a year or so ago with a scientist who thought that Galileo was arguing that the earth is round and the churchmen were arguing that it is flat. There is an interview of David Koch here, in which he tells Suzan Mazur that "Galileo was imprisoned for years for saying the world was round. " He would be hard pressed to find any pronouncements by the church or anybody else that the earth is flat. This is a myth that was concocted by Washington Irving for his biography of Christopher Columbus.

Prior to Galileo, the German Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa had a heliocentric theory as did - as everybody knows - Copernicus, who was a cleric and a canon lawyer, which most people don't know.

If the Church is as hostile to science as it is believed to be, one would expect to find no serious scientists anywhere near it, but is that the case? If you know who Georges Lemaitre is and what he is known for raise your hand. Don't know? Monsignor Lemaitre is the Belgian priest who formulated the theory that came to be   called - pejoratively - The Big Bang. His own term for the theory was "Primeval Atom" or Day without a yesterday.

Msgr. Georges Lemaitre
Gregor Mendel, another ignoramus who was an Augustinian friar founded the science of genetics, and the Austrian Meteorological Society; the laws of Mendelian inheritance get their name from him.

The Society of Jesus (Jesuits) has long been involved in seismology and astronomy, so much so that seismology is called "The Jesuit Science."

Giovanni Battista Riccioli S.J. was the first person to accurately measure the rate of acceleration of a free falling body. He also developed extremely accurate pendulums with which to time his experiments. His mammoth book, the Almagestum Novum took up 1500 folio pages and was still being cited over 100 years after publication. In it, he discusses among other things, 126 arguments concerning the motion - or lack thereof - of the earth; 49 for motion, 77 against. A few hundred years before him, the Franciscan Roger Bacon was fooling around with philosophy, optics, gunpowder, and criticizing the Julian calendar.

If you drive a car or ride the bus, you might be indebted to Fr. Eugenio Barsanti, the probable inventor of the internal combustion engine. If you use a refrigerator, you can thank G.E. and Abbe Marcel Audiffren, a French Cistercian monk from whom G.E. bought the license to manufacture the first home refrigerator in either 1905 or 1911; that date is disputed.

In their book Hurricane Watch: Forecasting the Deadliest Storms on Earth, Bob Sheets and Jack Williams tell of Fr. Benito Viñes, S.J. and his development of hurricane forecasting.

"The [Jesuit] order's long tradition of scientific education and research had made seismology something of a specialty, but Cuba's problem was hurricanes, not earthquakes. It and all the other islands of the Caribbean and the eastern Atlantic Ocean had been periodically, tragically devastated by the great storms arriving almost unannounced on their shorelines. Within just a few years, Viñes more or less singlehandedly evened the playing field, and by the end of the [19th] century he and his fellow Jesuit Fr. Fedorico Faura, who was based in Manila, the Philippines, were the most proficient and best-known cyclone forecasters in the world."

Considering that they did this by observation, without radio reports from ships at sea, airplanes or satellites their accomplishments are astounding.

It is not just the physical sciences that the churchmen have shown an interest in. Raymond de Roover, Joseph Schumpeter, Murray Rothbard, Tom Woods, et al. have written about the school of Salamanca and the Late Scholastics, who were way ahead of Adam Smith in their economic ideas. Many of these men were moral or dogmatic theologians who had an interest in economic questions.

Luis de Molina, 1535 - 1600, One of the Late Scholastics
It was the school of Salamanca that Samuel Johnson said:

“I love the University of Salamanca, for when the Spaniards were in doubt as to the lawfulness of their conquering America, the University of Salamanca gave it as their opinion that it was not lawful.”

One of the reasons that people believe such nonsense about a supposed conflict between science and religion is because of the government school system. If you attended the government schools like I mostly did, the rest of your life is spent in an effort to overcome the induced blindness that is brought about - purposely, I think - by a constant exposure to error. The private schools are subject to the same danger through their use of the same textbooks.

In the United States we supposedly have a separation of church and state, but actually the state is the church.
Private religion is fine as long as its doctrines are not put before those of the state; the state will have no strange gods before it, hence it is necessary to denigrate those who believe in an eternal God who is greater than the state - the true Law Giver instead of a legislator.

There are plenty of Protestants who were religious men and scientists such as Sir Isaac Newton who wrote more on religion than on science, and Wernher von Braun who saw no conflict between science and religion, but Protestantism doesn't attract as great enmity as Catholicism. Protestantism also does not provide its detractors with a large single target of great antiquity, but thousands of different groups which are not hurt collectively through the injury of one or a few.  For a fairly long list of scientists who were Christian, go here, here and  here

Monday, October 10, 2011

We The People

One of the greatest myths -  if not the greatest - that Americans are taught is that the government expresses the will of the people. Is this really the case or is it a mechanism of psychological control?

I think it is obvious to anyone who drives a car that the vast majority of people think speed limits are too low, particularly on limited access highways. It appears that at least 90% of the people are speeding - at least in Georgia - but the speed limits remain artificially low. A couple of years ago some college students drove around  I-285 all abreast at the speed limit (55 MPH) causing a huge traffic jam and nearly causing multiple wrecks. Instead of raising the speed limit in response to speeding by virtually everybody, the state recently passed a "Super Speeder" law that tacks on something like 200 extra dollars to the fine for anybody exceeding 74 MPH on two lanes or 84 MPH anywhere. If the government reflected the people's will, the speed limits would all be raised.

Drugs are another example of the government thwarting the will of a large proportion of the population. Ron Paul has been criticized for wanting to "legalize" drugs when actually all he has advocated is obeying the constitution and abolishing federal laws against drug prohibition in various forms. States can make any laws they please, but the federal government has no enumerated power to make such laws. Obviously there is a huge demand for recreational drugs, but in this instance the will of the people doesn't matter.

What about low-flow shower heads and toilets? Was there a popular clamor to outlaw the old (better) higher flow varieties? I never heard a single person say, "Gee, I sure wish they would reduce the flow of these shower heads." Once again the will of the controllers is imposed on "The People."

The same thing applies to light bulbs. If the people preferred fluorescent bulbs to incandescent they would buy them and there would be no need to force them on the people.

Was there a groundswell of opposition anywhere to unpasteurized milk? Your omniscient Uncle Sam in DC thinks it's naughty for his subjects to have it and will send out hordes of armed stooges to prevent you from getting it and hurting yourself.

Everywhere there are those in government who think they know best. There are movements in various places to outlaw too much salt, fat or sugar in foods regardless of what the citizens want. Many places outlaw smoking in restaurants whether the proprietor thinks it desirable or not.

There was overwhelming opposition to Bush's Billionaire Bailout, but the will of the pols trumped the will of the people. The same was true - and still is - about Obamacare, but the obedient servants of Mammon imposed it against the people's will.

Was there any popular movement to outlaw gold ownership in 1933?  Was there popular support for Mr. Lincoln's draft? The New York Times of August 25, 1864 had this to say about the draft:

"To the alarmist[sic] who are concerned lest the draft cannot be enforced without resistance and insurrection, his reply is that, if it has come to this, the quicker the Government proves its power to maintain its laws, the better....It is not a question whether the draft is an evil. No sane man denies it. The only question is, whether it is or is not a less evil than national ruin, which can be prevented by it alone."

It appears from this editorial that the draft might not have been pushed through by the people.

Most states - maybe all - have laws requiring the wearing of seat belts even though there was no demand for such laws. They've even come up with really clever slogans such as "Click It Or Ticket" to remind you to fasten your seat belt.

The nature of the law makes no difference. Regardless of how stupid, evil, onerous or intrusive the edict, a sufficient number of people can be found to enforce it. If it were decreed that no one shall breathe through his left nostril and a visible plug shall be worn in it, there would be no trouble finding police to enforce the new "law."

Many people like to prattle on about how "we" are the government, but relish turning in their neighbor for building a deck - or any imaginary crime - without a permit. It isn't the deck that they object to, it's that the neighbor had the audacity to proceed without government approval.

Convincing the populace that they are the government is somewhat analogous to a voluntary fast vis a vis an imposed fast or any voluntary mortification. If you decide to fast for health or spiritual or any other reason it is much different from being told by someone else that you may not eat, talk, read or watch TV. Anything done voluntarily is more bearable than having it imposed. This is the genius of convincing people that "we did it to ourselves."