Archive for July, 2014

Abilene, Texas

Abilene is a small city in central West Texas that started out around 1880 as not much more than a cattle stock shipping point on the Texas and Pacific Railway. The railroad still divides the city down the center with the historic downtown area on the north side. These days, Abilene is a vibrant community of higher learning, colorful local culture and old-time Christian spirituality. It’s also won fame in music and movies. There was a pop and country hit song in 1963 by George Hamilton IV called “ Abilene ,” and the city was featured in the movies “Holes” and “Southland Tales.”

Abilene can boast an impressive number of celebrities from the worlds of sports and entertainment who were born or lived there. Randall “Tex” Cobb, an actor and prize fighter, Olympic pole vaulter Billy Olson, Washington Redskins Terry Orr, Olympic gold medal winner Bobby Morrow, singer-actress Jessica Simpson, actress Ann Wedgeworth, country musicians Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers, country musician Lee Roy Parnell, actors Ty O’Neal and Fess Parker are all part of the fabric of Abilene’s rich history.

Recently the Abilene Arts Alliance took steps to connect its city’s original cattlemen’s pioneer spirit with today’s new life frontiers. Promoting Abilene ’s new nickname “Frontiering,” the Alliance is striving to show that Abilene is stepping up to the plate to meet the ever-changing challenges of technology, energy, education and especially the arts. Traditional events, such as the West Texas Fair and Rodeo held every year in mid-September, delight visitors with authentic exhibits and amusements from the days of Abilene ’s founding fathers. The Western Heritage Classic in early May has many more eclectic activities such as sheepdog trials, campfire cook-offs, Cowboy Poets Society and a Western art show.

Newer events abound. The Erinshire Folk Festival began in 2003 to spotlight the musicians and original music of the Abilene area. Abilene hosts the Abilene Gem and Mineral Show, the Abilene Gun and Knife Show, the West Texas Book and Music Festival, as well as September’s annual “Cruise Night,” a parade of classic and modern sports cars. Year round, Abilene is home to The Grace Museum, the Abilene Philharmonic, and the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature, the restored Paramount Theatre and Center for Contemporary Arts, and the Abilene Zoo. Abilene even has the “Jammin’ Jumpers,” one of the only competing and performing jump rope teams in the area. The 13-acre Abilene Zoo is a popular attraction in Abilene , boasting several hundred animals of hundreds of species.

Abilene is also home to three church-related institutions of higher learning which US News and World Report has recognized all three as top private liberal arts colleges: Abilene Christian University ( Church of Christ ); Hardin-Simmons University (Baptist) and McMurry University (Methodist). In 2006 Abilene was also ranked as the 17th city in the nation for their public education system and the highest ranked city in Texas .

For more information on Abilene, Texas, visit http://www.abilenemicroblog.com and http://www.abileneblog.net.

John Parks
http://www.articlesbase.com/culture-articles/abilene-texas-688386.html

2 comments - What do you think?
Posted by mark - July 31, 2014 at 3:16 pm

Categories: Founding Fathers   Tags:

Will 2006 Be a Turning Point in American Politics?

The 2006 Congressional mid-term elections are just around the corner. In many ways this election is a pivotal point for both the Democrat and Republican parties. For over a decade the Republican party has maintained control of both the Senate and House of Representatives. Though due to many issues that now face the country that may very well change.

Whether Democrat or Republican, conservative or liberal, most americans agree the problems this nation and the world face are serious and need to be addressed. Unfortunately it appears that within the United States partisan politics and an unwillingness to compromise has prevented any real progress.

In the House of Representatives the Democrats need to gain 15 seats to achieve a majority vote. Many political pundents from both parties believe this will be the case and some say the net gain will be much higher, though most qualify their opinion with a healthy “anything can happen”.

The Senate race is much tighter with the Dem’s needing 6 seats to gain a majority position. The outcomes of the various Senate races seem to be much harder to predict. Opinion polls (something all politicians and news agencies rely on) vary from day to day though most show that at least two of the Senate races are impossible to predict.

If the Democrats take control of congress what will change? It is a good question but difficult to answer. The executive branch will still be Republican and a “divided government” as it is sometimes called has proven problematic in the past.

The American style of democracy relies on a system of checks and balances with a congress providing the role of oversight as one of its functions. Most if not all political analysts agree that Congress has been rather lax recently in exercising that particular responsibility.

The war in Iraq, terrorism, immigration, social security and health care reform seem to be the issues most Americans are concerned with. Whether or not any one or all of these issues are addressed and resolved after the mid-terms remains an open question.

Recently Republicans have had a difficult time responding to the various problems and scandals that have plagued them, with the Rep. Tom Foley / page situation only adding to the list. The base, or core of the Republican party which includes conservative evangelicals have voiced serious concern over the direction of the party and the apparent drifting from core Republican values.

Fiscal responsibility, smaller government and personal freedoms have historically been major parts of the GOP platform. Federal spending, the deficit and the federal government are at this point larger than ever before and growing, and many would argue that personal freedoms are being threatened in the war on terror.

The Democrats do not have it any easier. Unable to communicate a clear message and an inability to provide a new direction for the country, most Americans find themselves forced to choose between two apparently dysfunctional political parties.

The possibility exists that after this election cycle both parties will try to set aside their differences and tackle the major issues. If the Dem’s do gain a clear majority in both houses, then both parties will be forced to at least try to work together if they are to get anything done.

The President will have two years left in his second term and with the situation in Iraq no where near resolved and a majority of Americans feeling the war was a mistake, it is likely both parties will work towards a quick if imperfect solution.

A “divided government” situation, where one branch (for example: the Executive) is controlled by one party and another branch of government (Legislature) is controlled by the political opposite can have both positive and negative aspects.

Proper Congressional oversight has a better chance of being exercised and maintained and a larger proportion of the population will generally have their concerns heard and addressed. Two political parties with an equal share of power will leave a smaller unrepresented minority (in theory).

The down-side is the very real possibility that nothing gets done. Both sides so entrenched and unwilling to move on an issue that if the Executive branch is presented with a bill to sign it is vetoed and any proposals made to Congress are rejected out of hand.

An honest willingness from both parties to work on the demanding issues of the day will not only serve their own individual interests but serve the country as a whole, which is why they were elected in the first place.

The 2006 Congressional mid-term elections may provide a new dynamic to Washington and a real opportunity to address some of the problems that face this nation. With the middle-east more volatile now rather than less, North Korea and Iran working towards nuclear weapons, America’s damaged reputation in the eyes of the world and the serious reality of America’s domestic problems, both Democrats, Republicans and the Nation would be best served by setting aside partisan politics and setting to work on the difficult issues we now face.

Bill Watson
http://www.articlesbase.com/politics-articles/will-2006-be-a-turning-point-in-american-politics-67435.html

30 comments - What do you think?
Posted by mark - July 30, 2014 at 2:59 pm

Categories: Conservative Party   Tags:

Model-based Tuning Methods for Pid Controllers

The manner in which a measured process variable responds over time to changes in the controller output signal is fundamental to the design and tuning of a PID controller. The best way to learn about the dynamic behavior of a process is to perform experiments, commonly referred to as “bump tests.” Critical to success is that the process data generated by the bump test be descriptive of actual process behavior. Discussed are the qualities required for “good” dynamic data and methods for modeling the dynamic data for controller design. Parameters from the dynamic model are not only used in correlations to compute tuning values, but also provide insight into controller design parameters such as loop sample time and whether dead time presents a performance challenge. It is becoming increasingly common for dynamic studies to be performed with the controller in automatic (closed loop). For closed loop studies, the dynamic data is generated by bumping the set point. The method for using closed loop data is illustrated. Concepts in this work are illustrated using a level control simulation.

FORM OF THE CONTROLLER

The methods discussed here apply to the complete family of PID algorithms. Examples presented will explore the most popular controller of the PID family, the Proportional-Integral (PI) controller:

In this controller, u(t) is the controller output and is the controller bias. The tuning parameters are controller gain, , and reset time, . Because is in the denominator, smaller values of reset time provide a larger weight to (increase the influence of) the integral term.

CONTROLLER DESIGN PROCEDURE

Designing any controller from the family of PID algorithms entails the following steps:

specifying the design level of operation,

collecting dynamic process data as near as practical to this design level,

fitting a first order plus dead time (FOPDT) model to the process data, and

using the resulting model parameters in a correlation to obtain initial controller tuning values.

The form of the FOPDT dynamic model is:

[2]

where y(t) is the measured process variable and u(t) is the controller output signal. When Eq. 2 is fit to the test data, the all-important parameters that describe the dynamic behavior of the process result:

Steady State Process Gain,

Overall Process Time Constant,

Apparent Dead Time,

These three model parameters are important because they are used in correlations to compute initial tuning values for a variety of controllers [1]. The model parameters are also important because:

the sign of indicates the sense of the controller (+ reverse acting; – direct acting)

the size of indicates the maximum desirable loop sample time (be sure sample time )

the ratio indicates whether a Smith predictor would show benefit (useful if )

the dynamic model itself can be employed within the architecture of feed forward, Smith predictor, decoupling and other model-based controller strategies.

DEFINING GOOD PROCESS TEST DATA

As discussed above, the collection and analysis of dynamic process data are critical steps in controller design and tuning. A “good” set of data contains controller output to measured process variable data that is descriptive of the dynamic character of the process. To obtain such a data set, the answer to all of these questions about your data should be “yes” [1]. Ultimately, it is your responsibility to consider these steps to ensure success.

Was the process at steady state before data collection started?

Suppose a controller output change forces a dynamic response in a process, but the data file only shows the tail end of the response without showing the actual controller output change that caused the dynamics in the first place. Popular modeling tools will indeed fit a model to this data, but it will skew the fit in an attempt to account for an unseen “invisible force.” This model will not be descriptive of your actual process and hence of little value for control. To avoid this problem, it is important that data collection begin only after the process has settled out. The modeling tool can then properly account for all process variations when fitting the model.

Did the test dynamics clearly dominate the process noise?

When generating dynamic process data, it is important that the change in controller output cause a

response in the process that clearly dominates the measurement noise. A rule of thumb is to define a

noise band of ±3 standard deviations of the random error around the process variable during steady

operation. Then, when during data collection, the change in controller output should force the process variable to move at least ten times this noise band (the signal to noise ratio should be greater than ten). If you meet or exceed this requirement, the resulting process data set will be rich in the dynamic information needed for controller design.

Were the disturbances quiet during the dynamic test?

It is essential that the test data contain process variable dynamics that have been clearly (and in the ideal world exclusively) forced by changes in the controller output as discussed in step 2. Dynamics caused by unmeasured disturbances can seriously degrade the accuracy of an analysis because the modeling tool will model those behaviors as if they were the result of changes in the controller output signal. In fact, a model fit can look perfect, yet a disturbance that occurred during data collection can cause the model fit to be nonsense. If you suspect that a disturbance event has corrupted test data, it is conservative to rerun the test.

Did the model fit appear to visually approximate the data plot?

It is important that the modeling tool display a plot that shows the model fit on top of the data. If the two lines don’t look similar, then the model fit is suspect. Of course, as discussed in step 3, if the data has been corrupted by unmeasured disturbances, the model fit can look great yet the usefulness of the analysis can be compromised.

NOISE BAND AND SIGNAL TO NOISE RATIO

When generating dynamic process data, it is important that the change in the controller output signal causes a response in the measured process variable that clearly dominates the measurement noise. One way to quantify the amount of noise in the measured process variable is with a noise band. As illustrated in Fig. 1, a noise band is based on the standard deviation of the random error in the measurement signal when the controller output is constant and the process is at steady state. Here the noise band is defined as ±3 standard deviations of the measurement noise around the steady state of the measured process variable (99.7% of the signal trace is contained within the noise band). While other definitions of the noise band have been proposed, this definition is conservative when used for controller design.

When generating dynamic process data, the change in controller output should cause the measured process variable to move at least ten times the size of the noise band. Expressed concisely, the signal to noise ratio should be greater than ten. In Fig. 1, the noise band is 0.25°C. Hence, the controller output should be moved far and fast enough during a test to cause the measured exit temperature to move at least 2.5°C. This is a minimum specification. In practice it is conservative to exceed this value.

Figure 1 – Noise Band Encompasses ± 3 Standard Deviations Of The Measurement Noise

CONTROLLER TUNING FROM CORRELATIONS

The recommended tuning correlations for controllers from the PID family are the Internal Model Control (IMC) relations [1]. These are an extension of the popular lambda tuning correlations and include the added sophistication of directly accounting for dead time in the tuning computations.

The first step in using the IMC (lambda) tuning correlations is to compute, , the closed loop time constant. All time constants describe the speed or quickness of a response. The closed loop time constant describes the desired speed or quickness of a controller in responding to a set point change. Hence, a small (a short response time) implies an aggressive or quickly responding controller. The closed loop time constants are computed as:

Aggressive Tuning: (See online version for picture of formula)

Moderate Tuning: (“”)

Conservative Tuning: (“”)

Final tuning is verified on-line and may require tweaking. If the process is responding sluggishly to disturbances and changes in the set point, the controller gain is too small and/or the reset time is too large. Conversely, if the process is responding quickly and is oscillating to a degree that makes you uncomfortable, the controller gain is too large and/or the reset time is too small.

EXAMPLEs: In online copy

PI Controller Tuning Map

Figure 6 – How PI controller tuning parameters impact set point tracking performance

CONCLUSIONS

Understanding the dynamic behavior of a process is essential to the proper design and tuning of a PID controller. The recommended design and tuning methodology is to: step, pulse or otherwise perturb the controller output near the design level of operation, record the controller output and measured process variable data as the process responds, and fit a first order plus dead time (FOPDT) dynamic model to this process data, use the dynamic model parameters in a correlation to compute P-Only, PI, PID and PID with Filter test your controller to ensure satisfactory performance.

LITERATURE CITED

1. Cooper, Douglas, “Practical Process Control Using Control Station,” Published by Control Station,

Inc, Storrs, CT (2004).

For more information about model-based tuning techniques and technologies, please see our other resources below:

PID Control – Practical Process Control Training (2 Day Workshop)

http://www.bin95.com/process_control_atlanta_training.htm

Complete list of authors:

Jeffrey Arbogast – Department of Chemical Engineering

Douglas J. Cooper, PhD – Control Station, Inc.

Robert C. Rice, PhD – Control Station, Inc.

To see the full online version with pictures, please visit http://www.bin95.com/PID_Controller_Design.htm

BIN
http://www.articlesbase.com/science-articles/modelbased-tuning-methods-for-pid-controllers-53061.html

13 comments - What do you think?
Posted by mark - July 29, 2014 at 2:27 pm

Categories: Conservative Studies   Tags:

Why should a Christian gay parent vote Republican?

I believe in the basic tenets of the Republican ideal:
strong military, lower taxes, limited Federal gov’t, and individual freedom. However, the current Republican platform is hostile towards me and my family

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25 comments - What do you think?
Posted by mark - July 28, 2014 at 1:48 pm

Categories: Conservative Ideals   Tags: , , ,

Churchill, His Conservatism and Freedom

Winston Churchill is a hero of the conservative movement. This article looks at the man named Winston Churchill.

 

Conservative Academy Winston Churchill

Conservative Academy Winston Churchill

Churchill was the 20th century’s most influential person, because he personified, defended, and extended the franchise of the orthodox Anglo-Saxon inspired [big L] Liberal-Parliamentary order. Yet his lessons, attitudes and beliefs are already forgotten. In this sense he was indeed the last of the ‘Conservatives’.

The Liberal-Parliamentary order is not the ‘end of history’ but merely the most successful method of organising society yet developed. But we need to clarify some terms. First big L ‘Liberal’ in my usage does not mean the sick modern small l liberalism of left wing Marxists and chattering media elites with their empty headed politically correct rhetoric and matchless support of corrupt political friends. ‘Liberal’ in my vocabulary references the orthodox Enlightenment based Liberalism of the 18th and 19th centuries – small government, low taxation, a strong military, a society keen on progress, innovation and self-reliance. In essence these ideals are branded in today’s parlance by the term ‘Conservative’ used as a pejorative by the weak-minded and power hungry. I in no way support the modern welfare or mommy-state as espoused by small l liberalism or the legal-gay-feminist axis that runs roughshod in today’s politics. Neither would or did Churchill.

Second I use ‘parliamentary order’ on purpose. I am not a big fan of ‘mass democracy’ which in my view leads to mob rule, socialist pandering to buy votes and widespread ignorance. Representative parliamentary and republican processes and institutions are necessary for society to develop. ‘Parliamentary order’ references legal, political, and systemic processes that allow a society to progress morally, spiritually, legally, economically and militarily. When politicians blather about mass democracy I have the suspicion that few know what they are talking about and that even fewer understand that it is systemic processes [as opposed to an all knowing liberal elite, educated at Ivy League schools reshaping society in their vanity], and institutions which are far surer guides to progress, then vacant rhetoric about mass democratic mob rule. In any event mass democracy has led not only to the emasculation of systemic processes and virtues but also to the establishment of a massive system of welfare and vote-buying which breaks society apart into little groups that must be catered to and bought. Mass democracy leads in short to corruption and the curtailment of freedom.

In contradistinction to what we have today, orthodox Liberals or Conservatives in the common parlance believe that systemic processes, virtues and respect for individual rights and private property ownership trump socialist vote buying and pandering to ‘rights’ groups. Churchill was one of the great defenders of systemic Conservative human progress based on orthodox Liberal ideas. This creed is premised on millennia of experiences, millions of social, economic and moral transactions and the affirmation that collective results premised on freedom of information and the accumulation of literally billions of decisions, coupled with parliamentary institutions, are far better guides to enlightenment and progress than following the utopian dreams and dictums of a self-appointed and self-absorbed corrupted elite who desire to create the mommy-state to accrete power and control.

In the age of fascist Islam, moral equivalency, United Nations corruption and support of illiberal forces, and the sad moral relativity embedded in socialist governance, there is no guarantee that freedom will survive. Churchill embodied the best spirit and hopes of mankind precisely because he defended the Conservative order and view of the world. He expressed clearly and consistently over a 60 year career in politics the belief that systemic and parliamentary forces are the only methods to move society forward in the right direction. Such forces are of course the most reliable means of increasing wealth, justice and morality for all. Though an aristocrat Churchill understood that the Conservative vision – which is so at odds with the modern welfare liberalism and mommy-state creations we have today in the West – was the only path to ensure societal dynamism and freedom for the mass. He also understood that international institutions are limited and that fascism is not reduced by endless jawing and discussions, but only through war.

Many however disagree. Hollywood airheads, pop singers, social-reductionists, leftist’s, Marxists, academics, and defender’s of the Third World’s self induced malaise, these critics and more descry Conservatism, Western history and Enlightenment ideals as being little more than white racist tripe. Such groups hate a man like Churchill who was full of pomp, addicted to empire and war, too manly, and incomprehensibly ignorant in dealing with modern socio-political issues – or so such groups claim. These criticisms take aim at Churchill’s policies; the fact that he was a white Anglo; his aristocratic lineage; his fondness for military affairs to defend empire and civilisation; his penchant for self promotion; his [admittedly] indefensible objection to India’s self-rule; and the politician’s flair for changing goals and objectives in order to succour election. Most of these critics contend that history is shaped by dialectical forces that overwhelm weak human leadership and initiative and in that regard Churchill was not brilliant but only lucky. They maintain that Churchill only rode the ‘tide’ of events and that any thinking politician did or would have done the same. One can analyse these criticisms and perhaps give them fair play but in general they are pathetic, insipid and largely worthless.

Freedom and liberty is a difficult concept to fully comprehend and defend – but they are not premised on ‘dialectical theories’ or luck. In the West it is simply taken for granted that freedom will flourish. There should be a debate however on how free people really are in the mommy-state creations of the 21rst century where tax, spend and programs of all sizes erupt yearly from self aggrandizing bureaucrats and officials. The more government power that we have, the less likely it is that prosperity will march on in a linear progression. The more mommy-state programs that are implemented the less reliable past systemic virtues, institutions and processes become. In the mommy-welfare state Conservative and systemic institutional ideals fade into irrelevance as history is rewritten and codes of conduct reshaped.

Though many people still live in poverty, filth, corrupt kleptocracies and desperation, to quote Churchill, ‘their liberation is sure.’ However, it will only be ‘sure’ if the current system of nation state and international governance does not mutate into anti-Western, anti-republican, or anti-parliamentary socialism and we defeat militant fascist pagan Islam in the Middle East and anywhere else it presents itself. These twin threats are very real. Many Western nations in the world that profess a faith in ‘orthodox liberalism’ are in reality top-down socialist constructs. Unsurprisingly most of these nations are also lax or non-participants in the war on terror against the fascistic elements of Islam preferring to free-ride off the Anglo-Saxon military. There is no evidence in history that socialism is a moral or successful construct yet it has sadly become the de-facto standard of political organisation.

In many countries socialist dogma has little in common with freedom, or what allowed the West to flourish and control history. For instance national defence, projectionable military force and pride in our collective Western greatness and historical dynamism have been jettisoned to establish immoral international or ‘post-modern’ groups, replete with unaccountable and expensive Orwellian programs and double-talk. We have replaced the philosophies of Churchill with the smirking incoherence of ‘mommy figures’ and immoral liars and centralists like Kofi Annan, Clinton and Chirac. The threat to Western freedom lies not only in fascist Islam, but in the oppressive socialism marked by post-modern welfare states, ‘managed’ trade, overbearing government, corrupt politicians and the imposition of the mommy-nanny state to turn individuals into narcissistic automatons and men into half female creatures unable to think and act like their forbears.

The values that Churchill stood for and defended, and in some sense allowed to survive and flourish, are under attack. Freedom is ephemeral and in mankind’s long journey only the late modern era has unshackled the average person’s life from tyranny. Socialism, government control, state managed trade, tariffs, regulations and unaccountable world bodies are as much of a threat to our prosperity – economic, moral, environmental and spiritual – as is pagan fascist Islamic fundamentalism. I hope we can all learn a lesson from one of mankind’s more interesting personalities and not take for granted what we have today and roll back the corrosive tides of socialist and fascistic tyranny. If we fail we deserve our fate. If we don’t understand history and realise that the fascist and illiberal ideas of the 1930s have indeed resurfaced in Islam and in small l liberalism than we truly are, as Churchill said about the human race, ‘un-teachable from infancy to the tomb.’ Unfortunately it may come to pass that Churchill was indeed the last of the Conservatives as the world falls prey to eco-fascist cults; post modern socialist silliness; and the onward march of militant pagan Islam.

C. Read
http://www.articlesbase.com/news-and-society-articles/churchill-his-conservatism-and-freedom-699606.html

 

Resources:

 

Wikipedia: Winston Churchill

WinstonChurchill.org

 

19 comments - What do you think?
Posted by mark - July 27, 2014 at 1:18 pm

Categories: Conservative Ideals   Tags: , , , ,

What are the six types of critical thinking?

My professor told me to write a critique essay that includes the six types of critical thinking…. I have no idea what they are. Does any1 know?

Well, there are two sets of the old-fashioned "Six Types" questions, one is the philosophical Socrates style which follows this sort layout:

Questions regarding clarification
Questions that investigate assumptions
Questions that investigate reason and evidence
Questions about Viewpoints and Perspectives
Questions that probe implications and consequences
Questions about the question

You can find more about these at:
http://www.engin.umich.edu/~problemsolving/strategy/cthinking.htm

The other set is Introductory Psychology, which poses the following six types of critical thinking:

Pattern Recognition
Practical Problem Solving
Creative Problem Solving
Scientific Critical Thinking
Psychological Reasoning
Perspective Taking.

Unfortunately, I do not have any web indexed suggestions for these. I haven’t been in Psychology class in six years.

19 comments - What do you think?
Posted by mark - July 26, 2014 at 12:29 pm

Categories: Critical Thinking   Tags:

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