Friday, July 1, 2022


Suppose you happened across a couple of eco-warriors slashing the tires of vehicles they did not own. Furthermore, suppose you had a couple of tubes of super-glue in your duffle and the muscle to enforce your desires.

What objects or body-parts would you super-glue the miscreants' hands to? Exhaust pipes? Bus bumpers? Ankles? Other eco-warriors?

Curious minds want to know.

Base-rate matters

The rate of maternal mortality of African-Americans is 2.6 times the rate of maternal mortality for Whites*. 3.1/100,000 Black women die every year due to perinatal reasons compared to 1.2/100,000 White women. This is a tragedy. The blame is often laid at the feet of the medical profession. They are labeled "racists" and "tone deaf". Without additional context, this assumption seems perfectly obvious.

Math suggests this is only partially true.

The rate of mortality in African-American women of child-bearing age due to cardio-vascular reasons is 2.4 times the rate of White women (virtually identical to the ratio of maternal mortality).  20.3/100,000 Black women die of cardio-vascular causes every year versus 8.4/100,000 White women. Note that the raw numbers of cardio-vascular deaths is 7 times greater than the number due to those logged as maternal mortality.

Since many proximal causes of maternal mortality look much like cardio-vascular disease (hemorrhaging, strokes, cardiac arrest) it is plausible to speculate that the stress of delivering a baby can uncover an underlying cardio-vascular issue.

Rather than pummel the medical profession for presumed, inherent, institutional racism, perhaps more results would be gained by studying the factors that foster widespread denial about what constitutes a "healthy" woman's body in various demographics. That includes studying why some groups are so adverse to exercise.

If you had to disappear?

Could you do it?

Could you pitch all of your electronic devices (tethers)?

Could you keep your head down and stay off the radar? Could you avoid contacting those family members who would be torn by the anxiety of not knowing what had become of you?

If so, how long could you keep it up?

In theory a fellow could take 25 pounds of rice, 10 pounds of lentils and bacon and camp-out in a hunting stand less than 3 miles from his home and disappear for a month. Throw in some fishing gear, wire for snares and permission to raid gardens in return for pulling weeds and he could really stretch it out.

In practice, most folks go stir-crazy in less than three days and need human interaction.

That suggests that the most successful evasions involve having one trusted person who can supply that human interaction. However, that person must not be in the twenty associates most likely to be watched by the authorities. The trusted person must also be somebody who will not carry their electronic tether when visiting you.

Other options include changing your appearance and "losing" all of your identification and checking into a homeless shelter or canoeing cross-country.

The challenge of "disappearing" is intriguing but I don't think I will explore it. I have too many people in my life who would worry and I will not put them through that.

Power down

One of the comments on the Food Box post mentioned Uninterrupted Power Supplies.

I agree.

I dashed over to and purchased a 700VA UPS. A tiny bit of electricity can go a long, long way toward increasing quality of life.

A tip of the fedora to Jonathan H. and Scrivener for the suggestions.

*CDC data, 2010-2020


  1. I think we "could" do it, many of us, I mean. But would we really want to? I don't think so. We would miss our parents, or children, most of all. The constant dodging of cameras says we cannot use banks, gas stations, drug stores, large intersections, grocery would be a true challenge to stay out of the cameras "eye" and procure needed supplies.

  2. Glue miscreant palms to flat tires.
    "25 pounds of rice, 10 pounds of lentils and bacon " is far too much food for a month.

    1. Maybe just enough food... BOE calcs give me about 41,000 cal for 25 lbs of rice, 16,000 cal for 10 lbs lentils, and maybe 30,000 cal for 10 lbs of bacon. That sums about 3,000 cal per day for 30 days. Personally, I burn slightly more than that on a day of hiking with a 20 lb pack.

    2. "camp-out ... in a hunting stand ... for a month" I kinda figured our hero was staying put maintaining a low profile. Good research on the calories, anon.

    3. Yep, I saw those qualifiers. two points:

      I think most folks don't realize how many calories one needs to just "keep the furnace running". You can do your own research on "Basal Metabolic Rate" but most guys in decent shape require somewhere between 1,300 and 1,700/day. (Age, height, weight, ambient conditions impinge.)

      Also, a sedentary lifestyle in the outback will be short-lived. Muscles need to be kept in tone, food must be cooked, water hauled, campsite kept hidden or kept organized and so on...

      Thanks for the compliment, Robert.

  3. "If you had to disappear?"
    Man, soooooo many open parameters to that one. But yes, I could skedaddle and not look back. (90% there now!!!).
    I play a couple of stupid games on my smart device, otherwise I rarely use it for communication so yeah, I could leave that.

    As far as the difference in maternal mortality by race, lots and lots and lots and lots of factors there other than just RAAAACISM !!!!!. What's the average age for a black mother vs white? Also, what's the percentage of black abortions that would have had a healthy outcome????

    1. Black (or any race) abortions with a healthy outcome? 0% if you're unborn.

  4. There are some of us that do not need human interaction . None . Give me my Rott and Shepherd and I'm good .

  5. The base assumption (across a society dominated by extrovert types) is that we are all extroverts who ‘need’ people.

    As someone who empathised with the (possibly apocryphal) Daniel Boone seeing cabin smoke in the distance story, I ...just don’t get it. I don’t dislike people, I even at times enjoy company, but I’d be (am – living alone with minimal to zero daily/weekly even monthly contact with others) quite happy if no-one else existed (as long as I had my books/music/tools and of course food/water ... Oh OK, and Malamutes).

    I think there are two types of people, and men make up the (overwhelmingly) vast majority of the second type, and there are way more of us than you’d think. We’re not ‘loners’ because we ‘can’t’ find friends/acquaintances, we’re loners because we ‘want’ to be (My idea of a ’perfect’ new years is sitting, alone, on top of a mountain top miles away from everyone, my nightmare is being forced to attend a crowded citified ‘party’).

    To be honest I suspect that it’s an (for sound biological reasons) unusual/rare man who couldn’t cope, whilst it is as rare to find a woman (for those same reasons) who could. (The extrovert type men might prefer otherwise, but there is a major difference between being happy to, and being unable to).

    Even the younger generations. Consider the archetypal young male now, using technology (e.g. gaming) to … distance themselves, become loners in the comfort of their own (moms) home. Girls however tend to use technology to … ‘socialise’.

    It’s almost as if we’re … designed that way.

    As for disappearing? Unless you’re willing to completely drop-out (unless you happen to have a handy tech-savvy forger to construct a new identity, paperwork and a completely flawless associated history) I don’t think it is even possible any more (at least anywhere ‘civilised’).

    1. I used to think that until I moved to TN and worked in the building trades. At least 1/3rd are non-English speaking, no ID, no bank accounts... they all drive cars and live in homes and apartments. No problema! Thats before we talk about the tent encampments in the woods near the vacation cabins.
      If you could slip away with a couple grand in cash, a bag of tools and some skills... it would ease things greatly. Rent a room, barter and trade still exist.

  6. No personal responsibility is not considered to be a 'contributory' factor... sigh

  7. Maternal death rates for blacks is higher for the same reasons that they suffer higher death rates in general. In healthcare the term we use is "Noncompliance". When told to "STOP DOING THAT OR IT WILL KILL YOU" blacks are FAR less likely to follow said directive than whites. It's NOT rockets science.

    1. Average IQ of 85 vs. average IQ of 100 explains most of it, racial differences in physiology probably explain the rest.

  8. I even have one on my super efficient Wynter deep freeze. 1500 va is what I buy from APC. It is important to have a mute button on the warning beeper. Several of those going off at once contributes to an atmosphere of mayhem when you are trying to problem solve. Roger

  9. '' . Haw. No better humor than double-puns.

  10. I could do the alone thing, but would rather have some occasional interaction (week to 10 days maybe).

    I got lucky on the UPS situation. I picked up one of the old 1500 VA units when they replaced the ones for the servers at work. I also was able to get the required four batteries for free to go with it. One of the models of EOT (End Of Train device) that we serviced used the same battery. Someone failed to charge them as required while in shelf storage so they were not acceptable for use and had to be disposed. I intercepted them on their way to the recycle bin and used a charger/conditioner to bring them up to par. Then I wired the battery harness to them. It runs my computer and cordless phone quite well when the power fails.

  11. If you're going to use an APC UPS (ick), then watch this and follow the advice. APC has a bad habit of specifying a charging voltage that is too high.


Readers who are willing to comment make this a better blog. Civil dialog is a valuable thing.