The GX60

Posted by By at 26 April, at 10 : 37 AM Print

Last week, I outlined the failure and folly of the North Korean rocket launch.

Failure was launching a 100 kilo payload with a 50 kilo rocket at latitude  39.4 ° N where there is little linear velocity, at an angle that failed to take advantage of what little linear velocity they had, from a rocket facility built on the wrong coast.

Folly was knowing there was a 100%, guarens-ball-barens sure-fire certainty that the rocket launch would fail. Every North Korean rocket scientist possessing a pencil and a pocket protector knew the launch was going to fail, yet they said nothing. The reason is simple – whenever ideology trumps rational thought, everybody has to pretend.

It is easy to see the failure at latitude 39.4 ° N. What is not easy is to witness the same at latitude 40°16′11″N.  It is easy to see North Korean folly. What is not easy is to witness ideology trumping rational thought as it does in the capital of our Commonwealth.

The failure and folly that is Harrisburg? Ha, pick one!

–  Pennsylvania leads the nation in the number of structurally deficient bridges, with an average age of Commonwealth bridge being half a century old. Governor Corbett won’t even address the problem in this year’s budget. Neither will the Republican legislature.

Unaccounted for frack water.

–  A 98 mile stretch of the Susquehanna River known as one of the nation’s best places for bass fishing with more and more smallmouth bass with black spots, blotches, open sores, and lesions on their scales. Male fish are growing eggs and female fish showing high levels of testosterone. Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Director and biologist John Arway asked DEP Secretary Michael Krancer to declare the Susquehanna an impaired river under the Clean Water Act. Krancer said, “Nah.”

– According to the Sunlight Foundation’s Transparency Date project, past and present board members of children’s Second Mile Foundation gave $641,481.21 to Gov. Corbett’s campaign while he investigated Second Mile Founder Jerry Sandusky for child abuse.

– Gov. Corbett allowed the release of $3,000,000 in tax money to the Second Mile Foundation while then AG Corbett was investigating Jerry Sandusky with a total of one person on the case, then defended the practice because he did not want to compromise the grant jury probe by talking about it with his staff or advocates in the Legislature.

– A state legislative redistricting scheme so partisan it was declared illegal by the courts.

– A Congressional redistricting scheme with long, narrow hard-to-represent districts designed solely to favor Republican incumbents. The district in which I reside runs to the New Jersey border.

– No tax on natural gas well heads that could pay for roads and schools. Meanwhile, out-of-state corporations donate obscene amounts of cash to the Gov. Corbett’s campaign.

– A voter ID law from the Jim Crow era.

– Suing the federal government to overturn the Federal Affordable Health Care Act while cutting the state health care program for the poor, while for-profit health insurers reap record profits,  while proposing a 20% cut in mental health funding, while keeping a Cadillac health care plan for the governor and legislature.

– Enshrining into law, medically unnecessary ultrasounds including a trans-vaginal probe for women considering termination of pregnancy.

– An Attorney General who missed the brazen corruption by State Senator Jane and her sister Janine, the corruption by State Senator Vincent Fumo, and the crimes of President Luzerne County Judges Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. and Michael T. Conahan who took more than $2,600,000 in kickbacks from two privately run for-profit juvenile jails as payment for sentencing juveniles to the for-profit jails.

– An Attorney General who carefully timed the prosecution of  Democratic legislators such as Veon and DeWeese for using public money for political purposes, while waiting  to prosecute potential Republican gubernatorial rival Perzel in order to gain leverage for his nomination as governor in the Republican Party.

– And education. Sadly, sadly, our Commonwealth’s biggest folly and failure has been to adequately fund public education. Last year $550,000,000 was cut from basic education with more cuts to come in this year’s budget. What we need is just the opposite – a highly educated work force. The present stupidity will harm, haunt, and weaken our Commonwealth for generations to come.

Think you are going to land that dream job as a ditch digger at a frack site? Well, before you pack your bags for Towanda, say hello to the GX60, satellite-guided excavation equipment at . The GX60 is not the future of ditch digging, but the present.

“Grade control devices utilizing GPS technology have been available for dozers and motor graders for more than a decade. Yet, they have only recently become available for hydraulic excavators … Several manufacturers now offer GPS-based systems that have converted excavators into fine-grading tools. According to Leica Geosystems, the technology has developed to a level where excavators can supply grading accuracies down to 0.10 of a foot (1.1/4 inches).”

The web page shows a picture of the Topcon GX60 control box with touch-screen display running 3D-MC software. The GX60 starts at $15,000, doesn’t take coffee breaks or need health insurance. It runs pretty much 24/7. For a few bucks more, you get the Trimble GCS900  upgrade that runs both standard and tilt bucket machines and doesn’t take vacations.

Turns out, the GPS technology that allows us to whack an Al Qaeda bad guy in Afghanistan with a Predator Drone while sitting in a computer cubicle in Langley, Virginia; also allows a frack site, housing development, new mall and a highway system to be graded to tolerance of 1 ¼ inches by a nerdy ninth grader using an industrial strength iPhone between rounds of Angry Birds.

Ah, but aren’t those North Koreans stupid?

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- who has written 29 posts for Rock The Capital
The Rev. Timothy Dewald was Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Lebanon Valley College joining the faculty in 1989. He retired in May 2010. In 1993 he won the College's Evelyn J. Knisley award for Inspirational Teaching. In addition to teaching mathematics, Rev. Dewald served the College in 1992 as acting chaplain, taught courses in East Asian religions, a First-Year Seminar on Darwin and evolution, Einstein’s general relativity, and the New Testament, as well as a mathematics and statistics courses. He also served as a parish minister for 23 years. Rev. Dewald graduated from Dickinson College with a degree in political science and religion. He earned a master of divinity degree from Andover Newton Theological School in Boston, Massachusetts. In 1987, he received certification in mathematics from the Pennsylvania State University. - Email Timothy Dewald

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