Saturday, September 27, 2014

Canned Heat and the Flute Mystery

Here's Canned Heat playing their song "Going up the Country" at Woodstock:

Here they are playing the song in the official "Woodstock"  movie, the version you all saw:

Notice anything different?  Answer: the first one has no flute.

See anything odd about this one?:

Answer: the guy "playing" the flute starts out blowing through the wrong end of the flute, but the notes seem to be coming out anyway. How the heck can that happen?  Lip-syncing, I guess.

Canned Heat rewrote the lyrics of a 1920's song "Bull Doze Blues", renamed it, and  used studio musician Jim Horn to play the flute part.  The song went to #11 on the Billboard Charts and #1 in 25 countries, but they only had a flute player as a band member between 2000-2005 according to Wikipedia.  The "Woodstock" movie used the studio recording, not the recording played at Woodstock.

There is at least one Youtube version with Canned Heat and a flute player from 2014:

In 1928, Henry Thomas played "Bull Doze Blues" solo with a guitar and a quills (a kind if pan flute) in a neck holder.  Here's the original:

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Reinforcing Power of Adult Attention for Children

The power of adult attention has been extensively studied since 1960 and this research has resulted in child care methods that you would do well to learn to use.  Montrose Wolf discovered the reinforcing power of adult attention and showed how the parent or caregiver can use it to solve problems.  Here’s a tribute to Wolf summarizing his career. Here's an  interview with Wolf. His most well-known invention (with Arthur Staats) is time-out, but his most important discovery was that the redeployment of care-giver attention causes a 40-fold reduction in many common unwanted behaviors within 2 weeks.

The basic technique is to give attention to the behaviors you want and withdraw attention from the behaviors you don’t want.   This puts things under your control, you need to learn how to direct your attention to solve behavior problems and avoid inadvertently creating behavior problems.  If you want to become skilled at this, here are some resources for learning the ropes:

Friday, December 16, 2011

Controlling Tantrums 101

Perhaps parents can learn the principles of tantrum control by watching a few youtube tantrum videos.

Many tantrums are the results of misdirected parental attention, as illustrated by this youtube video:

But many parents can't seem to figure this out. At 1:15 in this next tantrum video, the parent hits upon the right strategy, but does not know how to follow through. Notice that the second he directs his attention from his tantruming daughter and redirects it to praising a well behaved kid, his daughter's tantrum starts to abate and she starts cooperating. He should have continued to praise the other kid and should have praised his daughter for putting on her shoes. But instead, he reverts to his usual pattern and the tantrum revs up again:

Most parenting books are not based on evidence from research on how to control unwanted behavior, so they give poor guidance and even advocate methods that are known to increase unwanted behavior. One good evidenced-based parenting book is the Kazdin Method by Alan Kazdin, head of the Yale Parenting Center and former head of the APA:

Most unwanted behavior can be addressed by ignoring it and praising the opposite. Give your kids lots of praise and facetime when they are exhibiting good behavior and moving toward self-control. It OK and good to give a kid having a first tantrum a bit of empathy, but you need to move to ignoring pretty quickly to avoid reinforcing unwanted behavior and thereby getting more of the behavior that you don't want.

Not all tantrums are attention-driven. Tantrums have other causes and it's good to try to ferret out the cause. Certainly a kid's early tantrums are initialy driven by frustration. It's only later that a kid learns that he can control his parents via tantrums, if the parents fall into the wrong response pattern.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

How to Find a Used Car with ESC

Electronic stability control (ESC) it the most important non-retrofittable safety feature in the history of the automobile. It prevents about 1/3 of fatalities. It's standard on all vehicles under 10,000 pounds starting with the 2012 model year. But finding it on an used car can be a challenge, particulary if you are looking for an older car or an economy car.

Web sites that can help you find the models that have ESC are:

It is optional on some models, so you have to bore down to the trims to see which trims have it as standard. I have not found a good tabulation page for trims, but Edmunds has information on the trims in its feature lists and reviews:
Edmunds uses the term "stability control" for ESC.
If it's optional on a trim then that typically means its could have been purchased as a standalone option, but few buyers did that so its probably going to be like looking for a needle in a haystack. (But VWs might be an exception to this rule - at least it seems to me to be easier to find a used VW with ESC as a standalone feature.)

Finally, you need to be aware that all these web sites, and other information sources, have errors. IIHS and Safecar conflict on the 2008 Malibu Hybrid. IIHS and Safecar both ignore the conversion van aftermarket where cargo van versions of certain passeger van models have been converted to passenger vans that don't have ESC. Edmunds lists the 2008 Malibu LS as having ESC, but it's not available on that trim. You need to confirm that the vehicle you buy has ESC. Used car ads, salespeople, and even window stickers are not reliable. Consulting the owner's manual will help. There is typically an off button for ESC or an icon that lights up during the icon check. (The icon check happens when you turn the key at or before starting the car.) It's not easy because almost every car maker has it's own product name for ESC:
(BTW, You will probably never need to use the ESC off button, check the owner's manual for when that is warranted.)

The search function at allows additional keywords to be specified to modify a used car search.  Adding "stability control" as a keyword with the "Exact Search" option is a useful screen for vehicles with ESC, but I don't think its perfect.

Some of my favorite used cars with ESC:
The 2008 Chevy Malibu New Model (not Classic) LT or LTZ. Car of the Year in 2008.
Toyota 4Runners for the 2001 model year and later models. One of the earliest non-luxury models with ESC.
Might be possible to find a 2000 or later Toyota Avalon with ESC and side air bags for around $5000, but ESC was optional in the early years so it might take some digging to find one.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Lack of ESC Awareness Kills People

Before last September I had never heard of Electronic Stability Control (ESC), but a few months later I found myself blowing the whistle on the fact that the transit van I drive was not equipped with it:

ESC is a safety feature like no other. It’s second only to seat belts in preventing fatalities and (unlike seat belts) it cannot be retrofitted by practical means. So, once you buy a vehicle, you are stuck with what you have.

It turns out that there have always been problematic trade-offs in fleet buying practices relative to cost versus safety. This combined with the current availability of this unusually important safety option is leading to a rash of bad decision making.

ESC will be mandated by the NHTSA in late 2011 for all 2012 motor vehicles under 10,000 pounds. (I think that conversion vans may have another year to comply, I am not sure about this.)

The NHTSA web site and the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) web sites both say that ESC has been standard on all Ford and GM passenger vans since 2006, but this is not true. Both Ford and GM sell cargo vans without ESC to van conversion companies that covert them into 15-passenger vans. That’s how I ended up with a 2009 Ford E350 passsenger van without ESC. (The van I drive has has 13 seats, by the way)

There is an ESC awareness program in Europe:

but there is nothing comparable in the USA. There are campaigns in Europe to try to get fleet buyers to equip vehicles with ESC, but no such effort in the USA:­cars/32609/

I have made estimate that equipping 1700 vehicles with ESC on average saves one fatality over the life of the vehicles. So its realistic to think that an awareness program to get people to choose it prior to the mandate could save lives:

1.53 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveld (vmt)
128,000 vmt per vehicles lifetime
1.9584 deaths per 1000 cars
0.3 = ESC fatality reduction (based on field data)
0.58752 lives saved per 1000 cars equiped with ESC
equipping 1702 vehicles save one life

Tuesday, January 30, 2007 Search Censorship

Tony Snow used the term "global warming" in his January 18, 2007 press briefing. But this reference is not found if you use the search function (you have to put the term in quotes). The search box is in the upper right corner of the main page. Part of the briefing is indexed, since the search turns up "addiction to oil" in the same sentence as "global warming". But it does not find "greenhouse" or "climate change" in that same sentence. However, "climate change" is indexed in many other cases. It is as if someone took "electronic white-out" and made part of a sentence disappear from the search indexing process.

"Global warming" is indexed by the search function in one case, a memo that tries to cast doubt on human caused global warming. But, if you compare searches with advanced google searches limited to the domain, then you can find more examples of these curious omissions of "global warming" from the search function.

The phrase "globe is warming" which was used by the President in one briefing is also not indexed by the search function.

The word "plame"and "joe wilson" seems to be uncensored. I guess "global warming" is more sensitive to the White House?