Come on, warmth! Faster!

Looks like the week-long cold spell is about to end. Weather maps show warmer air approaching from the south, but not here yet.

I’ve missed my daily walks. To alleviate boredom I continued the electrotherapy graphics with this belt vibrator. It’s not exactly electrotherapy, but it was described in the same books and used in the same clinics. The belt and the hot box were always seen together in cartoons about reducing salons.

So Polistra is getting some virtual exercise, and Happystar is getting some virtual heat, while I wait eagerly for the real thing….

Later around noon, warmer air is finally arriving. 22 now, should reach 35 tomorrow. Back to normal winter. Thanks, weather gods.

Illuminating phrase

An article about China’s recent expansionist tendencies described modern China as a LAND MAFIA.

This fits the category of condensed complete explanations, which I like to call Self-Explanatory Sentences.

It also fits one of the recent tendencies in USA. Zillow and other NYC hedge funds have been buying up massive numbers of houses, and renting only some of them. The main purpose is pure mafia. When one gang owns ALL the property, it can impose ALL the restrictions. It can charge whatever rent it wants, and it can exclude renters for any reason. “Laws” do not exist. The gang can and will use extortion to sell the privilege of living.

China reached this same condition through a much longer process.

Mao, following the lethal Enlightenment lie that Nature is exponential, forced parents to have only one child. As a Lockean Enlightenment thinker, Mao couldn’t possibly comprehend the natural motives of real people.

Real Chinese people want a male heir. Urban people were partly trained by the Enlightenment, but rural people retained their solid culture. When forced to have only one child, they simply aborted and killed many of the female children.

None of this was necessary. Life is negative feedback. Life is tanh, not exp. When supply and demand are allowed to adjust naturally, population adjusts naturally. In urban areas where kids are useless, reproduction slows down naturally. In farm areas where kids are useful, reproduction remains steady.

Two generations later, the oversupply of undemanded males again collided with natural culture. Nature says that a young man is more matable when he has useful talents and potential income. In Chinese tradition, owning a house marks potential income. So the demand for OWNED houses became the universally desired and demanded marker of matability. Result: Millions of OWNED but not OCCUPIED houses.

Both countries have converged on a peculiar situation from different starting points. Land mafia, weaponized property.

A 2022 prediction.

Here’s a prediction. As more info about the massive crimes of the last few decades gradually filters out, we will see that the Bush family is the source and heart of the demonic evil.

Other monsters like Soros and Bezos and Gates and Clinton and Trump are major subdemons, but the Bushes give the commands and set the tone.

When did this reign of terror start? 1981 when the Bush family assassinated Reagan. As with the earlier Deepstate assassination of FDR, the plan failed, but the failures went in different directions.

FDR was untouched because a brave civilian and an ordinary cop knocked down the gunman. FDR gained even more GUTS from the attempt, and successfully suppressed Deepstate for 12 years.

The bullet hit Reagan and would have killed him, except that he happened to be very close to a DC hospital that was accustomed to treating gunshots. He was weakened, and Bush Senior basically assumed the presidency at that point.

What’s the tone of this world-ending reign of terror? Eternal unceasing exponentially increasing war and torture against all normal life. Eternal exponentially increasing wealth and power for the demons.

Raking record

This really belongs in my private daily log, but for some reason I started recording it here, so will continue the tradition.

This picture is old; two years ago I finally figured out that raking is easier and safer WITHOUT the ladder. I don’t know why it took so long to try it both ways!
= = = = =

12/31/21: First roof raking of this season. Later than usual. About four inches.

Unexpected sight today: Birds. We’ve been supercold for a week, the first serious cold spell in 10 years. I haven’t seen or heard any birds in a month. Today they’re gathering and flapping around in 13 degrees. What do they have in mind?

= = = = =

1/6/22: Second raking. About five inches.

Kirn on the collapse

This new interview is worth watching but could have been condensed some. Walter Kirn and Liel Leibovitz are discussing the total collapse of all institutions.

Kirn was a familiar establishment writer in the ’70s. He departed from the establishment and is now writing ‘newsletters’, though not very actively. Leibovitz is unfamiliar to me and seems a bit scattered. The moderator gets impatient with his wandering.

Kirn, with the training of an old newspaperman, knows how to get down to the fucking point.

The discussion gets down to the fucking point around :38, speaking directly to younger establishment types who are just now seeing that the whole system is fucked, just now seeing that the “paranoids” and “tinfoilers” were extremely inadequate.

What do the discussers suggest? Listen to the people you’ve been disdaining and mocking. They are right and you are wrong. Start from scratch. Find your specific purpose and plateau and try to do it, ON A SMALL SCALE. Don’t aim for the top, don’t aim for acceptance, don’t aim for prestige. Just do what you’re meant to do.

Magnificent advice!

The importance of plateaus

Assisted by the Kirn discussion, I connected two longtime themes.

1. Exponential vs tanh. Life doesn’t go exponential. Every individual, or company, or community, rises to a ceiling or plateau and stays there. Individuals die, but companies and organizations don’t necessarily die. Many have lasted for hundreds or thousands or years, by steady satisfaction with a steady source of profit.

If you know where your particular ceiling or plateau is, you can be satisfied after you get onto the plateau.

2. Meritocracy tells us that we don’t have a plateau, and ESPECIALLY tells us that we don’t have our OWN plateaus. Everyone is required to strive for an EXP growth to the same INFINITE and thus IMPOSSIBLE goal.

Everyone can be Bezos if we work hard enough. THIS IS A CRUEL VICIOUS SADISTIC PRANK, DESIGNED TO RUIN AND KILL PEOPLE.

The plateau links meritocracy and EXP. Fake economies and fake life trajectories require the same lie about endless universal growth without plateaus.

The fake economy in most countries couldn’t exist if we were thinking in plateau form. We would understand that perpetual accelerating growth is DEADLY, not HEALTHY. We wouldn’t be suckered by abstract exponential growth, whether in the old-fashioned stock market or the new bitcoin market.

Sharia economics understands plateaus. A company or laborer adds a finite amount of value by working. Every person and every company has a distinct role, based on abilities and opportunities. Our task is to reach our distinct plateau and maintain it, creating enough excess value to overcome friction and ideally store some value and energy against future bad times.

The worst part of fake growth is that it consumes all the energy and money and work that SHOULD be devoted to real steady maintenance. We’ve lost our factories and farms and stores, and above all we’ve DEVALUED AND TRASHED the people who worked in those factories and farms and stores.

All individual talents are totally wasted as everyone rushes to grab the next meaningless number. Every rush enriches Bezos and kills ordinary people.

Another name for plateaus is purposes.

Reprinting from last year:

= = = = = START REPRINT:

France learned a major lesson from the 1789 revolution. After the EXTREME dose of Innovative Disruption in every aspect of life, the French became the world’s best PRESERVERS. They tried to maintain everyday objects and skills instead of discarding them. The tendency was still strong in the 1970s; I don’t know if it’s still strong now. Unions are certainly strong.

Wars and revolutions and depressions often induce this healthy immune response. America was in skill-preservation mode after the 1930s depression, thanks to FDR’s emphasis on work and training and unions. We remained in skill-estate mode until the ’70s when Nixon, then Reagan, then Clinton, cumulatively removed ALL the supporting framework and shipped ALL skills overseas.

There’s already some indication that the current holocaust is inducing a healthy PRESERVATION impulse for money. Wolfstreet noted a decrease in credit card usage and increase in savings. Bloomberg sees “a new austerity, expressed through pantry stockpiling and delayed big-ticket purchases.”

We also need to follow the French model of frugality in skills and knowledge. The long-term goal of globalism is to eliminate all skills and knowledge, and the current holocaust is an EXTREME FINAL step in this process. Jobs requiring skill are “non-essential”, and all knowledge of science and logic and truth has been precisely and diametrically inverted and garbled and deleted.

We’ve got a partial start through Emerson justice. Public schools and major colleges have voluntarily committed suicide “because virus”, thus eliminating the main purveyors of ANTI-SKILL education. The field is open for smart operators like DeVry. Will they step up and take advantage?

Probably not. We don’t have FDR or Harding at the top to break the litigation and regulation obstacles. Instead we have Trump, Deepstate’s most loyal and perfect servant. FDR locked down the banks to enrich the real economy. Trump locked down the real economy to enrich the banks.

The overriding perpetual purpose of the ‘enlightenment’, from 1776 to 1793 to now, is to obliterate PURPOSE from life. The focus on “rights” instead of duties started the breakdown. The focus on finance and abstraction instead of industry finished it.

Natural Law in its varied forms, whether the Sharia rules or the Soviet Constitution or FDR’s four freedoms, always starts with PURPOSE AND WORK. Every aspect of the economy and culture is shaped to preserve PURPOSE for ordinary people. The ‘enlightenment’ starts with “rights” and “freedom”, which means that psychopaths are free to dominate culture and economy, free to eliminate all PURPOSE from ordinary workers and families. The sole PURPOSE of a psychopath is to obliterate PURPOSE.

LIFE IS PURPOSE.

= = = = = END REPRINT.

Wonderful article on Africa

This is an EXCELLENT article on a subject I’ve discussed often.

Africa is the moral salvation of the world.

The article is mainly about Africa’s Catholics, who are REAL Catholics. I love good graphs, and the article is packed with meaningful and clear graphs, including some animations showing how Africa is turning more Christian while the rest of the world is losing faith.

The author is justifiably complaining that while Africa has 20% of all the Romans, and Africa is the only living and growing part of the Roman world, Bergoglio is intentionally removing African cardinals from the Vatican. No surprise there.

Great writing

Cops have to handle the SECOND-WORST part of humanity, while obeying insane rules and regulations imposed by the WORST part of humanity. They have to keep their sense of humor if they want to survive long enough to get the pension…..

From a press release:


On 12-27-21 around 2PM, SPD responded to a collision near 14th and S Ray. Callers indicated there was a two vehicle collision, one vehicle was on its side, and one driver fled. Further, it was reported a male was trapped in the tipped over work van.

SPD and SFD arrived on scene and the male was extracted from the victim vehicle; the driver was relatively uninjured.
The subsequent investigation indicated 27-year-old Naheelah Hubbard was driving a stolen vehicle when she abruptly entered traffic on Ray St, causing the collision with the work van. Hubbard then fled on foot to a nearby residence.

Witnesses directed officers to the house Hubbard was seen entering. The location is known to law enforcement. Officers knocked on the door repeatedly and announced their presence. After a few moments, the door opened. The occupants, apparently unenthused by the increasing law enforcement presence Hubbard had brought to the house, expelled Hubbard before quickly shutting the door behind her.

Hubbard was arrested for possession of a stolen vehicle, hit and run, and an unrelated felony warrant for burglary. She was booked into Spokane County Jail.

“Apparently unenthused” is GREAT writing, true deadpan humor.

Schwellenbach and Hoover on neutrality

Continuing thoughts on neutrality from last week.

Many years ago I cited and transcribed a speech by Senator Schwellenbach from Spokane.

Part of the transcription:

= = = = =

Hitler’s seizure of Austria demonstrates 3 things:

1. The futility of contracts with dictators.

2. Treaties signed at the point of a sword are useless. This invasion climaxes a series of violations of Versailles by Hitler. The other signatories never made meaningful response.

3. Demonstrates the futility of war as instrument for settling controversy. Twenty years ago we gave our blood, our treasure, to spread democracy across the world. Twenty years later we see the torch of world leadership being seized by Hitler. We cannot deny that Hitler is the leader of Europe. We tremble at what he will do next. We know what will become of religious liberty, both for the Jews and for the Catholics. It just will not exist.

What does this mean for the average American? Certainly it leads to disillusionment with the instrument of war. We tried to preserve democracy in Europe once by going to war; we now know that war does not work.

(Quoting Emerson) Things refuse to be mismanaged long. Though no checks to a new evil appear, the checks exist and will appear. Nothing arbitrary, nothing artificial, can endure. (end Emerson)

Of all forms of government yet conceived, democracy furnishes the most useful agencies for fighting arbitary mismanagement. What we must do is preserve democratic methods in America. No doubt we will be importuned again to spend our resources in a futile effort to correct the failings of Europe. The inevitable law of which Emerson speaks will take care of Europe. What we must do is care for our own. Futility has ever been the nemesis of democracies. Never in the world’s history has it been more necessary for democracy to work than here and now.

The last paragraph is powerful and hugely relevant RIGHT FUCKING NOW.

= = = = =

I just ran into a similar pro-neutrality commentary from Herbert Hoover on 7/6/39. This one doesn’t seem to be in the Archive.org collection, or at least can’t be found through Archive’s crude searches. I got it from otrcat.com a long time ago, and happened to see it in some old ZIPs while looking for something else. It appears to be a radio commentary extracted from a longer news broadcast.

Transcribing Hoover:

= = = = =

The dangers of our being pulled into war come from two directions.

First, foreign propaganda to inflame our emotions and mold our minds into war.

Second, the preachments of our own mistaken officials which in effect support these propagandists.

Third, steps taken by our government, which while denying that they are taking us into war, entangle us with these controversies which lead to war.

Here we can examine one of the methods of power politics, which is propaganda.

During the (1st) war propaganda was developed into an actual weapon no less potent than the killing of men. The Great War was the first time in history when all the powerful agencies of publicity and the manipulation of news were organized without restraint under the genius of skilled men. They built up skills and techniques before which every citizen was helpless to know the truth. And since that time the radio has become an additional weapon.

We ourselves, when we entered the war, imitated the others. We created great propaganda agencies, and no man dared to question our answers under that fierce organized condemnation.

From the beginning of the war I saw the propaganda directed at us from both sides. I was so impressed that I collected this material for years. The War Library at Stanford holds stack after stack of this emanation from every government at war.

And in the light of what we now know really happened, it comprises the greatest collection of part-lies on the face of the earth. It needs to be studied.

There are certain types of propaganda today which fertilize the soil for our entry into the war.

We are told that we must join in the war or democracy will disappear from the earth. That is propaganda of the preparatory type. Given the alliance of the democracies with several totalitarian states, that ideological issue seems a little confused.

Now my sympathies are with the democracies of Western Europe, but those democracies have resources to defend themselves. They comprise great empires with hundreds of millions of people, with resources needed to secure their defense. Whether they preserve their democracy is a question of THEIR OWN WILL.

We’re told that if they fall, we will be the next victim. I do not agree that they will fall; but if they do fall, the exhaustion of the dictators will be such that they will leave us alone for a quarter century at least.

= = = = =

What we now know really happened? Tantalizing. What does he mean?

The last paragraph is most interesting and closest to Schwellenbach. Britain and France were huge empires with huge resources in India and Africa. They had massive industries, and their empires gave them access to oil and iron and rubber. If they couldn’t stand fast against resource-poor Germany, it was their own lack of will. And if Germany tried to continue ruling those huge empires, it wouldn’t last long.

Nice comparison

On one side:

Saagar and Krystal are making fun of Hillary’s tearful self-pity. Hillary CHARGES to watch her reading and weeping about the horrible country that failed to crown her as Emperor. This bizarre exhibition is called a ‘masterclass’.

On the other side:

A service dog training house had one of the regular trainers reading ‘Night Before Christmas’ to the students. I’m sure the dogs don’t know what the poem is about, but they understand what the reader wants. This is a real masterclass, and they’re not being charged for the reading.

Well, that’s interesting.

I just got a bitcoin ransom threat via email. Immediately reported it to IC3 and FTC. Obviously didn’t reply or pay.

Apparently this type of threat is familiar and known to be false. Several commenters on the FTC blog pasted the text of the threat, which was exactly the same as the one I received except for the amount.

The hacker showed off the password I use for WordPress. Yesterday I noticed a “viewer” in India, and the ransom email is written in India syntax. Might be correlated, might not. Immediately changed the password, though WP might not be the source.

I know the threat is fake because the hacker claims to have a video that couldn’t exist. I haven’t visited any porn sites, and I don’t have a webcam or any other camera connected to my computer. (Many of the FTC commenters said the same thing.)

The hacker also claims to have a keylogger, which is possible but unlikely. AVG has been stopping such things for many years, and a scan just now finds nothing.

So he might be able to send something to “all my contacts”, but the something couldn’t be the video he claims to have.

Thanks to FTC for writing a clear and non-bureaucratic article. None of the usual automatic lawyerly alarm. (Every threat is equally urgent and serious!!!!!) Instead, FTC says that this particular threat is strictly empty, and you CAN and SHOULD ignore it. For ten years I’ve been bitching that we no longer instruct people about scams. FTC’s blog is doing an outstanding job, even if the media aren’t doing their part.

= = = = =

Three days later: Nothing has happened.  No outraged feedback from my “contacts”.  As FTC said, the threat is a complete fake.

Conditions for an experiment

I’ll call this my year-end shit for 2021, since I can’t think of anything remotely positive to say about this year. Even my own production of graphics and writing was low this year. I’m weary and tired.

Let’s return to the oldest constant theme of this blog: Social Economics.

SocEcon companies treat workers like valuable property, not like valueless meat objects. Maintain them, train them, don’t overstrain them.

Obviously we need to bring it back. We need a new Henry Ford.

Henry was actually a latecomer to Social Economics. Many companies making delicate or complex devices had figured it out in 1890. NCR laid out the idea. Weston Instruments, Elgin watches, Jones and Lamson lathes, and dozens of others were practicing the principle before Henry picked it up. I’m using Henry as the icon because he made SocEcon famous and influential.

Henry was not a nice guy. He had some OCD/psychopath tendencies, but didn’t seem to have a burning need to destroy and kill the world. He certainly didn’t care deeply about the souls of his workers. Nevertheless, he tried running his factory both ways, and LISTENED TO THE RESULT OF THE EXPERIMENT. His profit was greater when he treated workers like valuable property. When his workers were maintained, trained, and unstrained, they provided better quality and stayed on the job longer.

The best SocEcon companies (like Conoco) maintained the entire city, not just their workers. They created a beautiful and pleasant place to LIVE when the workers weren’t on the job.

Unions provided a counterbalance that helped to spread SocEcon. Companies that treated their workers as valuable capital found that the workers were not attracted to unions.

This year’s informal mass strike creates the conditions for a new experiment. We no longer have unions, but WFH (or the Chinese version, ‘Lying Flat’) is the counterforce now.

A manager who wants to keep workers in the office should turn the office into a SANCTUARY from all insane mandates. No muzzles, no needles, no lucite, no distancing, no diversity, no sensitivity. Just get the fucking job done with maximum quality.

Will anyone try it?

Electrotherapy again, review (part 1/3)

I decided to revisit electrotherapy. We’ll start with a condensed reprint of several posts, mainly from 2012 and 2013.

Shepardson in 1901 described how plants can be nourished by electrostatic fields. Charge was used as a replacement for light, both in nature and by human experimenters.

In my reading of 1901-era technology, I’d noticed considerable action in the area of ‘electrotherapy’, using small currents to help or cure various medical and mental conditions. Wasn’t paying much attention to this; had always heard that it was quackery.

A recent bit of science news described a similar use of small currents across the head (now called TCDS), with seeming benefit in mood and memory performance.

Decided to look closely, and found that electrotherapy was emphatically NOT quackery, though some practitioners overstated its benefits. Early big-name neurologists like Erb and Duchenne were experimenting with electricity, and they had a precise understanding of how it worked. They knew which locations, which polarities, which current strengths to use for various conditions, how to stir up an inhibitory or excitatory response, how to dilate or constrict blood vessels.

They were able to document positive results in many areas, including improved mood, sleep, and memory; helping broken bones mend; and clearing cataracts.

Most impressively, they had a solid understanding of emotional conditions, and a properly humble view of their ability to fix or repair them. When electricity helped, they used it. When it didn’t, they abandoned it.

All of this was firmly established several decades before Freud came along.

Well, what did Freud do? He replaced their direct and careful experimental results with a pile of non-observable and wildly complicated fantasies and epicycles. He replaced the long-standing (and probably innate) ‘healer’ model with a sequence of non-observable interactions THAT NEVER WORKED. Freud’s system failed from the start. It’s been exposed as a failure over and over, from within the psychiatric profession. But the Freudians are in charge, so any attempt to reassert facts is ruthlessly smashed.

Modernists always commit the same crime when they infest any field of human endeavor. They toss out centuries of facts and experiments and functional theories; replace the facts with instantly disprovable theories, lies, abstractions and epicycles THAT DON’T WORK; then ferociously obliterate anyone who tries to restore the facts. You can see it in climate “science” with Michael Mann, John Holdren, Lord Stern; in politics with Marx, Betty Fried[m]an, Irving Kristol; in economics with Marx, Milton Friedman, and Paul Krugman; in jurisprudence with Louis Brandeis and Stephen Reinhardt; in physics with Einstein.

2021 addendum: Now you can see it in the field formerly known as “medicine”, which has been satanically transformed into HOLOCAUST AND TORTURE.

= = = = =

Polistra and Happystar will demonstrate one particular use of electrotherapy, described in this book on p.38. Caught my attention because it’s a wonderful gadget with a wonderful name, because it supposedly cured tinnitus, and because it sort of resembles a modern impedance audiometer.

The inventor, Dr Henry Houghton, was attempting to provide simultaneous physical and electrical manipulation to the auditory system. He added electrodes to a stethoscope, pushing electrons into the ears in pulses. The circuit is closed by an anode on the back of the head. Simultaneously, pulses of air are pumped into the stethoscope itself.

= = = = =

Well, let’s try it. Happystar is feeling low, oppressed by tinnitus and anxiety.

Polistra decides to try Houghton’s Phono-Faradic** device. At lower left is the air diaphragm; in the middle is a magnetically-pulled pendulum or metronome that turns the current and the diaphragm solenoid on and off.

Here goes:

= = = = =

**Footnote: Phono refers to sound, of course. The electrotherapists used faradic for treatments where a pulsed current flow was the important variable, and galvanic for treatments where a steady voltage gradient was the important variable.

= = = = =

Along with Faradic therapy (point-to-point current) the electrotherapists also used Galvanic or Franklinic methods, with high-voltage electrostatic fields.

Polistra is suffering from vapors and miasmas, and she happens to find an Electrotherapy clinic…….

Mr Star describes the difference between the Faradic and Franklinic machines.

He recommends the Franklinic, and Polistra gets hooked up. The high-voltage field is applied without direct contact, between the ‘crown’ headpiece and the ground platform:

= = = = =

Artistic note for Poser types: I’ve released these machines on ShareCG.

Electrotherapy again, soothing (part 2/3)

Life is rough.

Life is full of sudden bumps and shocks and nasty surprises and abrasions, even when psychopathic Nazi demon torturers aren’t in charge of the entire fucking world.

For thousands of years healers have used ointments, balms, and syrups for their soothing properties. These compounds often remained in religious ceremonies after religion and medicine were separated.

When I was young soothing syrups were still around, and still helped to heal. I don’t know what was in them, but I know that I felt better and smoother after a spoonful.

What happened to soothing? Long before the total holocaust of 2020, healers stopped healing, both physically and emotionally. Long before MDs became Mengele Doctors solely devoted to sadistic torture, they were gruff and officious anti-healers.

The trend seems to have started in 1872 with a famous case involving Dr Winslow’s Soothing Syrup, which was mainly morphine. Many babies became opium addicts and died. In 1910 the Pure Food and Drug act looked hard at every medication claiming to soothe or smooth.

= = = = =

Before 1910, electrotherapy was also seen as a soother, and its circuits and mechanisms worked best when they were smooth and gradual, avoiding sudden changes and surges.

There’s a specific neurological reason.

Here’s a nice visual example. Recently I replaced some older LED bulbs with newer and cheaper bulbs. The older LEDs, like incandescents, gave steady light regardless of clicks and surges elsewhere in the system. The new bulbs respond with positive feedback to every surge from the stove or heater. Here’s the kitchen when I’m heating water for coffee:

What’s the difference? Incandescent bulbs are logarithmic, which means they’re smoothers. When cold, they allow current to flow in fast, but after they heat up they maintain the same flow across a range of input voltages. Diodes are the opposite. Their response curve is exponential, with a sharp increase in current for every small increase in voltage. The better LED bulbs include a voltage regulator to compensate for the natural exponential tendency of diodes.

Neurons respond sharply to every surge and delta. Like the LED, our system emphasizes change and ignores steady conditions. Each sudden surge requires emotional and physical energy to readjust.

Real healers have always recognized this loss of energy, and have tried to restore smoothness and steadiness, both physical and emotional. Healing techniques are meant to glide across the surges and gaps of life.

Demons also understand this fact. Psychopaths are driven by a burning need to maximize sudden change and chaos, forbidding all steadiness and smoothness.

= = = = =

We’ll start with a smoothly moving Faradic machine, similar to the Wimshurst machine in the previous item. The more familiar Wimshurst accumulated a charge by spinning one glass disk next to another, and picking off the excess electrons.

The Bonetti changed from glass disks to hard rubber (ebonite) cylinders, with the same general idea.

The practitioners found a ‘charge shower’ to be a calming and cheering influence and often used it on anxious or depressed patients. It’s not clear how ionized air improves mood; perhaps it saturates the surface neurons, lowering the intensity of their deltas. Or perhaps, like plants, we are actually nourished by ions.

= = = = =

Electrotherapy devices achieved smoothness in several ways, mostly obsolete.

The Vreeland oscillator was a wet switch.

The Vreeland could be called a lightning pendulum. A lightning stroke forms a complicated and wildly indirect path, then repeats the path several times. The path is indirect because it jumps from one air molecule to another, finding the nearest available molecule at each jump. The nearest is rarely on a direct line to the ground. After ionizing those sections of air, the discharge is able to take the same path repeatedly until wind moves the air around. Like clearing a curvy road to avoid hills and property lines, then reusing the road.

By contrast, a discharge in a vacuum will always take the shortest path from negative to positive. Each electron is pulled in the same direction, and has no reason to detour into more favorable zones. There are no hills or property lines in a vacuum, and no road to reuse. Paths start instantly and end instantly.

Vreeland created a cohering path in mercury vapor, forming a pendulum with escapement.

A clock pendulum uses the resonance of a heavy weight, swinging in a restricted range, to maintain frequency. At each endpoint of the range, the escapement skips to the next tooth on the drive gear, giving a small burst of energy to the pendulum. The drive gear is pulled by a steady weight or spring.

Vreeland uses the smooth shifting of the mercury-vapor lightning between anodes as the pendulum, and the time constant of a capacitor through a resistance as the weight. A capacitor never sends steady DC; it allows a single push or pull then stops.

The arc shifts back and forth between the anodes, pulled by the sandwich coils. Each change of conduction then triggers the sandwich coils to reverse their magnetic field, and gives a brief burst of electrons into the resonating parts. Result: oscillation.

The output was taken from the separate secondary coil, which could slide forward and backward to change amplitude, and turn to change phase. (I’m animating the motions here, but in reality they would be set once and left alone.) Thus the output audio was completely AC and completely isolated from the high-current arc.

Polistra is using the Vreeland as the source of AC for a conductivity test, identical to the first Leeds and Northrup setup except for the oscillator. Vreelands were used extensively for this type of work, and also for medical electrotherapy because of the clean waves and total isolation.

= = = = = continued in next item = = = = =

Electrotherapy again, soothing (part 3/3)

The Vreeland was a smooth oscillator, but it also had a digital rheostat or current control on the left side. This was not active during therapy; it was set once and left alone.

Here’s a clearer picture of the same digital rheostat in use with a forge:

= = = = =

Jerky current control was just as bad as jerky oscillation, when the current controller had to be moved during therapy.

Water rheostats became popular in the 1800s for two important reasons. First, water can’t be burned. It can boil off, but steam tech had mastered the materials and techniques of keeping water refilled. Second, water is perfectly smooth and analog. Most heavy current controllers, then AND now, are digital, with a switch selecting big resistors of different sizes, or switching in more windings on a motor.

Water rheostats were often used in situations where smooth control of HEAVY current was needed. Here Happystar is regulating the current to a Cottrell dust collector as Polistra watches for just the right level of performance.

Pure water has a high resistance, and changing the amount of water between the two conductors changes the total resistance smoothly.

Water resistors were popular in electrotherapy devices. This is the Lockey coil, just a buzzer and induction coil to provide a high-voltage charge, plus a manually variable water rheostat to control the output.

The Lockey was then extended to the ultimate use of a water rheostat. The Enallax-Ohm was a programmable and smooth variable current source. The water rheostat was driven gradually up and down by a clockwork mechanism that could be set for various speeds and deltas.

Here Polistra is getting some slow and smooth muscle exercise, to strengthen a muscle after long disuse.

= = = = =

Another source of soothing and smoothing is warmth. I’m highly aware of this modality after shoveling and deicing the sidewalk. The sun finally popped out of the clouds just now, and I let it bathe and saturate my tense neck.

The Oudin was an induction machine designed to generate higher frequencies. Those higher frequencies turned out to be the most useful and universal form of electrotherapy.

The Oudin’s high frequency output led to a discovery. Higher freqs can penetrate tissue, making it possible to heat up a tense muscle, or create a localized internal fever to burn up microbes.

The simplest way to get controlled heat is with steam radiators or simple resistance heaters inside a box. This device is familiar from old cartoons of weight-reducing salons. (Was it really used that way? I doubt it.)

High frequency sources based on the Oudin self-induction coil became hugely popular for many decades. This diathermy machine is working on a stiff knee joint:

In the 1920s diathermy machines, for medical and industrial heating, outnumbered radio stations. A history of the first station in Oregon tells us: Diathermy machines were another constant irritation, and owners of these were ever in conflict with radio listeners.

Better tuning and frequency allocation solved the interference problem. Later diathermy moved up into the microwave range, and now nearly every house has a diathermy machine, used primarily to heat food.