Finance – Outside forces undermining the US Dollar

Several external forces are actively trying to undermine the US dollar (USD) as the worldwide trade currency. These efforts are driven by a combination of economic, geopolitical, and strategic motivations.

Motivations Behind Undermining the USD

  • Sanctions and Geopolitical Strategy: Countries facing US sanctions seek to reduce their vulnerability by decreasing their reliance on the USD.
  • Enhancing Global Influence: Promoting alternative currencies can enhance a country’s or region’s influence in the global economic system.
  • Economic Independence: Reducing dependency on the USD allows countries to have greater control over their monetary and fiscal policies.
  • Diversification and Risk Management: Diversifying away from the USD can help mitigate risks associated with fluctuations in the value of the USD and US economic policies.

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Finance – How might the BRICS initiative impact the US Dollar?

The BRICS initiative, especially with its potential expansion and discussions about creating a common currency, could impact the US dollar (USD) in several ways. Here are some possible impacts:

1. Reduced Demand for USD:

  • Trade Settlements: If BRICS countries start using their own currencies or a new BRICS currency for trade among themselves and with other countries, the global demand for the USD for international trade could decrease.
  • Diversification of Reserves: Central banks might diversify their foreign exchange reserves away from the USD in favor of a BRICS currency or other currencies within the bloc.

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Life Hack – Purchasing big-ticket items

Purchasing Big Ticket Items
A Helpful Guide


This guide will give you some helpful steps to successfully purchase big-ticket items, like cars, boats, houses, etc…. With this guide we’re going to give you a structure to follow when making purchases so that you can have a positive experience, get good value for your money, and spend your money wisely. It’s important to remember, you are not going to have a lot of opportunities in life to buy big-ticket items and doing it right ensures that you are using your hard-earned money wisely while doing it wrong has the potential to waste a large amount of money that it took you a long time to earn. This is going to be more of an analytical approach than an emotional approach. Continue reading “Life Hack – Purchasing big-ticket items”

Health Hack – Eating Keto/Low Carb – One Year In

I’ve been living and eating based on Ketogenic principles for about the last year. I started this lifestyle because over the years I’ve heard the Dr say things like “your blood sugar is borderline high”, “your blood sugar is high” , “You are pre-diabetic”. After following the comments to their logical conclusion: High Blood Sugar to Pre-Diabetes to Diabetes, I did some research into what health researchers seem to recommend for people with Diabetes. As you can see from some of the first videos below, the research seems to be very positive for using the Keto diet to correct blood sugar issues with the interesting side effect of weight loss. After doing a lot of watching and reading I decided that Keto was going to be something for me to try to beat diabetes before I actually had it.

So a year ago I started and wanted to share my “Keto Notes” on how I’m living Keto. The results for me have been really good, results I wasn’t able to get using other methods. I went from 217lbs to about 190lbs, which at 6′ with a large frame is a pretty good weight for me. I did it without starving and still being able to enjoy going out, having a beer and eating tasty foods. Going Keto really breaks down to three things. Continue reading “Health Hack – Eating Keto/Low Carb – One Year In”

Reinvention v3

My blog has been dormant for a very long time. After leaving my last role a couple of years ago I decided it was time to take some much needed rest, relaxation and re-invigoration time. As I’m getting to the end of this time off and getting re-focused, it seems like a great time to re-invent my online presence for the 4th time. While I’ve been mildly blogging since 2007, I feel like it’s time to start putting pen to paper across a lot of topics. I’ve been gradually writing longer and more thoughtful content but have quickly come to the conclusion that posting to Social Media like Facebook and Twitter, where there are too many people acting a fool, was not going to be the best option for me. Continue reading “Reinvention v3”

Complete Mt. Sac Fire Sensing Vex Robot Challenge

We spent about 5 days using all of the knowledge that we acquired building our Vex robot to compete in the robot challenge on the last day. We had most of the core code done by Tuesday afternoon and were able to optimize on Wednesday and a little Thursday morning. The robot was very consistent and even with the air conditioner vent messing with the flame most of the time, it was about to find it’s way out of the maze, find the flame, move to it, blow it out and then give control to Norman to go and get the ball.I’m going to leave the code for the very end of this post because it’s pretty long.  Scroll down to the bottom to see the video of the robot going through the contest.

Here is the full front view of our robot.

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Part 14 – Building Sensors for your robot

Part 14 had us building a simple circuit to test for flame/heat/fire using a phototransistor. Before building the final phototransistor I put together a test using the breadboard. In addition to the breadboard test, I built a little IR emitter circuit that I would be able to use to test since I knew I was going to use this with my hack-a-toy. Here is my phototransistor test circuit. As well as the circuit reading working displaying values using the Arduino.

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Part 13 – Distance Sensing with Ultrasonic Sensor and Arduino

Part 13 was a variation of some of the work we had done in some of the previous labs. In this lab we got to use a good bit of pre-formatted code to test the operation of an Ultra Sonic or sound wave based sensor. The lab was just getting the sensor to work with some pre-created code. Here is the code I used to test …

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Part 11 – Using the Serial Port

For me this was the missing piece to the platform, being able to do some kind of real-time debugging of values during execution. The Serial. library that comes with the Arduino allows you to interact with it while it’s running, which is great. Besides some of the Serial.print(ln) functions that I showed in quite a bit of the Lab 10 code, this lab work was really focused on getting input through the Serial interface. The code for this exercise is below…. Continue reading “Part 11 – Using the Serial Port”

Part 7–Introduction to Micro-controllers

Part 7 was our first try at connecting our hardware circuit with the software based Arduino controller. The lab began with a short explanation of the Arduino and then moved right into building the first controller. The lab itself was pretty simple as all we were required to do is wire up an LED to the Arduino. I took it a little further and decided to control a few LED’s.

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Part 4 – Schematics, Ohm’s Law and Potentiometers

Part 4 is where we started to get into more complicated circuits. The first part of the lab laid out some of the notation used to communicate these circuits. First, we tested the circuit we built from part 3 with a different wiring, which didn’t work. Next we moved on to testing LED brightness using different resistors. Which one was brightest, the with the least resistance of course, the 100ohm.


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