© Brooke Clarke 2000 - 2011

My Grandmother's sayings
Sleep Apnea 
Long Term Disability & ERISA
Very Important Information for people who are Managers or work for a Manager
Parkinson's Law
A Pattern Language - Feng Shei
Buddhist Philosophy & Religion
Allergies -> Antibiotics -> Lactose Intolerance -> Hemorrhoids -> All is well
Seath Speaks or "Be Careful What You Want ......... You May Get It"
If you have Kaiser Medical Insurance - Read This
Geodesic Domes
PatentsMy Pat Pages - Bad URLs-
Handy External Links:
USPTO Quick , Pat #, List of Top Class #s, Index to Class #s, Top Level Class # (left) Application Serch - Assignment Search
Google Advanced Pat Search - Google Plain Pat Search 
Brain Function: Myers-Briggs, Multiple (seven) Intelligence Theory, Left-Right Brain, IQ
Scrambled Words - can be sight read, amazing
Reasoning - or What's True & What's Not
Scientific Method
Tiny Art
Problems with the Legal System
Toilet Seat
Shoestrings, Tying
Linda's Parisian Burgers 
Earthlings 101

My Grandmother's sayings

When a boy it was my task to climb in a tree with pruning shears or a pruning saw, and under the direction of my grandmother, cut off the limb at the place she would point out.  Later when I had my own house that came with some fruit trees I asked her when was it the best time to prune the trees (meaning season of the year).  Her response was "When the shears are sharp".  I've found many places to apply this saying that have nothing to do with pruning or shears.  i.e. the best time to do something is when you can do it.

When having a hard time finding something, I would say "I can't find it" and her response would be "If it was a snake it would bite you".

When someone makes a comment that's not too bright "you sure are a Fart Smeller",  . . . . . oh . . .  Smart Feller.

Sleep Apnea

This is a sleep disorder where breathing stops (apnea = without breath) for a short time.  There are two types, Central and ObstructiveRapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep was discovered by Kleitman and Aserinsky around 1953 and since there's been a lot of research related to sleep.  But there are now more questions than answers.  During REM sleep you dream and to keep from acting out the dream your body shuts down the motor neurons and so you don't try to run when you dream about running, but the brain is very active in REM sleep and it's not active in the other stages of sleep.  There's a lot of speculation on why REM sleep, but there's no answer so far. 

Maslow's hierarchy of needs (A Theory of Human Motivation 1943) has as it's foundation: Breathing, Food, Water, Sex, Sleep, Homeostasis, Excretion.  So even before the work of  Kleitman and Aserinsky the importance of sleep was recognized.  If you are deprived of sleep it has all kinds of negative consequences.  In sleep apnea you wake from REM sleep and go into a lighter sleep so loose the benefits of REM sleep.  I'd say that you don't dream much if you have severe sleep apnea.

The literature suggests that 80% of the people who have sleep apnea have not been diagnosed.  Also men are diagnosed 4 times as often as women.  One paper suggests that the same percentage of women have sleep apnea as men but that they are embarrassed to say that they are heavy snore's or there's some other gender bias at work.  Loud snoring is a symptom of sleep apnea.  Sleep apnea correlates with neck size.

The most common remedy is to wear a nose mask during sleep that supplies slightly pressurized air.  This blows up your airway like a balloon so it will not stop your breathing.  This was invented by Colin Sullivan and is now available in a number of machines (C-PAP, Bi-PAP, etc.).

Sleep disorders Health Article -

Long Term Disability & ERISA

Even though I have a bad back (two major surgeries and still have back pain.) and the Social Security Administration has ruled that I'm totally disabled (I now have a medicare card and get what amounts to early retirement payments) the long term disability insurance company (VPA Inc) will not give me LTD benefits. 

When congress drafted the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) they were concerned with private businesses taking the money that belonged to the people that the plan was designed for (retires or disabled).  So although ERISA contains a lot of language relating to the fiduciary responsibility of the plan administrators it contains NO language about protecting the people the plan is supposed to protect.

Since federal law preempts state laws ERISA allows the insurance companies to operate free of prosecution for fraud.  Just like in the movie Bullworth, the insurance companies have control of the government.  The Functional Capability Assessment report by Healthsouth of Santa Rosa was very unfair, has gross omissions and misleading information, but according to the lawyers they are immune from prosecution because of the ERISA laws.

So if you are starting to get involved with LTD issues my advice would to to hire a lawyer specializing in ERISA as soon as possible to protect you benefits.
U.S. Dept. of Labor - ERISA - Not much practical information
United States Code, Title 29 - Labor, Chapter 18, Employee Retirement Income Security Program -

Health Administration Responsibility Project - ERISA Outline - a web page with some legal details about ERISA.

Contacting your Federal Representatives:
Congressmen -
Senators -

Very Important Information for people who are Managers or work for a Manager

Management Implications of Statistical Process Control

Parkinson's Law

A neighbor who was the founder of a well known Silicon Valley company loaned me this book and said that most if not all of it was true although it is written in a humorous way.  After reading it I think he was correct.

Pattern Language

Pattern 238 "Filtered Light"
A Pattern Language # 238 "Filtered Light" CLICK
In the process of doing some landscape planning I looked into a book called A Pattern Language Towns Buildings Construction by Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa, Murray Silverstein with Max Jacobson, Ingrid Fiksdahl,-King and Shlomo Angel, Oxford University Press, 1977, Library of Congress Cat. Card # 74-22874  ISBN: 0195019199.  This book presents a number of "patterns" that the authors have discovered and each is rated on how true they feel it is.  Some like #105 "South Facing Outdoors" (People use open space if it is sunny, and do not use it if it isn't, in all but desert climates.) is ranked as very true.  This concept spans the whole world i.e. it is culture independent.  The concepts in this book can be used for space planning at all scales from a one room dwelling to Large cities.  There is another book with more information: The Timeless Way of Building by Christopher Alexander, Oxford University Press, 1979 ISBN 0-19-502402-8.  Doing a web search will turn up many references to this idea.

For me all the "patterns" with high ratings feel correct.  If you pay attention to the concepts in the book it can help you have a better life by making your surroundings much more pleasant and relaxing..

After a few years of cautious cutting of what is forest land that has been here forever, I have found a "pattern".  The original forest was so overgrown that all you could see was vegetation.  When the small (<4" dia.) shrubs are cut out so that you can walk the ground the feeling changes radically.  Now the land is very much like a park.

The "patterns" are universal the world over, not tied to any one culture.  Music also seems to be for the most part cross cultural.

An application of this book to web pages -
the book at amazon.com - plus other books in the series
Some Notes On Christopher Alexander. - a summary of Christopher Alexander's wide-ranging contributions - The Nature of Order - New book due mid/late 1999 and a course = Architecture ( ARCH ) 160 The Nature of Order   (3 units)
Architecture Dept. at U.C. Berkeley - where Christopher Alexander works

Feng Shei

This is an ancient Chinese idea of how to do space planning so that you will have a good result.  For example if you are going to build a farm house where to locate it on the land, which direction should it face, how should the rooms be laid out, etc.  Much of the original version, that made use of a special magnetic compass, was based on practical observation.  For example it is better to locate the farm house part way up a hill rather then beside a river that may change it's course and destroy the house.  It is better to orient the house so that those rooms used during the day will face the Sun.  This older school is based on a magnetic compass or Lo-Pan.
American Feng Shei Institute -
Web Links - Grouped by the old and new schools

The newer school of Feng Shei uses the direction of the main entrance and the relation of the lesser elements to it rather than the compass.  For me this does not seem as good as the compass based version.

Both schools of Feng Shei have a strong relation with the pattern language mentioned above.  Feng Shei is promoted as having the ability of improving your life but not as having the capability of turning around your life.  There is no question that making changes based on Feng Shei or pattern language can have a profound effect on the feeling a space imparts to it's occupants.  In the case of a business this may mean the difference between staying solvent and going broke.

Feng Shui - A Layman's Guide to Chinese Geomancy, Evelun Lip, Heian International, Inc. 1987, ISBN 0-89346-286-1
Interior Design with Feng Shui, Sara Rossbach, E.P. Dutton, 1987, ISBN 0-525-48299-7
Yun Lin Temple - Professor Thomas Lin Yun practices the modern school of Feng Shei
Feng Shui Society - in the United Kingdom with many web links
The Feng Shui Web Index -
Skeptical Inquirer - They debunk many claims that have no basis.  Some of the Feng Shei web sites are also into paranormal ideas that I don't believe in.

Buddhist Philosophy & Religion

If religion is related to the time before you were born and after you die
philosophy is related to the time you are alive
I feel that Buddhist philosophy is a good way to live.
Brooke J. Clarke
My thought is that thousands of years ago great people spent a lot of time observing the human condition and trying to improve man's life.  They saw that if people had certain ways of thinking about what was happening to them those people suffered and if other people looked at the same things with a different attitude they did not suffer.  This may have been in a practical way such as observing that if people ate the meat of pigs many of those people got sick and died.  Today we know about trichinoses and the need for refrigeration and through cooking, but thousands of years ago they didn't.  In order to get people to not eat pork the great people came up with a religious reason.  I think this was required because most people would not change their habits based on practical observations.  I can remember that when reports started becoming available that smoking caused medical problems, a great many people did not believe that was the case.  Even today, almost 50 years later, there are still people who think that smoking will not hurt them.  By having a religious reason to do or not do something, peoples behavior can be changed in a way that benefits them.

Different religions have different philosophies on how you should live based on their religious beliefs.

A Modest Proposal about Life

Today (1998) there is a large effort to understand the DNA molecule.  This is what determines your genetic make up.  We all know that physical traits are passed from the parents to the children.  A common example of a dominant physical trait is red hair.  If either parent has red hair then all their children will have red hair.  Other physical traits only get passed on depending on other conditions.  There has been research that says that if either or both of the parents have great knowledge in some subject that does not mean that their children will inherit the knowledge. 

What has not yet been addressed, as far as I know, is a more subtle trait.  For example a study, of identical twins that were separated shortly after birth and had not been in contact, showed that they had an amazing amount of commonality in their preferences and behavior.  This was in the area of what jobs they liked, the type of people they choose for their spouse, the way they dressed etc.  I think that your "pre-disposition" in a certain area is genetically based.  It is interesting that the Blues musicians B.B. King and Albert King are brothers.  Another case is that of the Fenwick brothers, both made great contributions to the art of radio. In the case of the Kennedy's (some would argue about their quality) but they both were important in Politics.  I think that many more cases can be found.  This is very similar to the Buddhist idea of Karma.  Some things are going to happen to you because of something that happened in the past.

My wife (and her son) have many behavioral characteristics that are clearly a family trait.  This is very clearly genetically controlled behavior.  Fighting it just causes suffering, better to work with it.

In the Sci-Fi movie  Gattaca only physical traits are discussed, but the behavior traits will also be on the table in the not too distant future.

As a clarification, based on an input from Vikki, I don't think that heredity determines who you are, it is just one of the factors.  As far as I know it is not now considered in a light similar to the concept of karma but I feel it has that effect.  Your environment and free will can make a big difference.

Scientific Method

Some people have argued that science is flawed because "facts" get changed.  For example Newton's Laws were repealed by Einstein.  This is not the case.  When Einstein developed the Special and General Theories of Relativity, he did not in any way refute or discount Newton's Principia. On the contrary, if the astronomically large, the vanishingly small, and the extremely fast are reduced out from Einstein's theories — all phenomena that Newton could not have observed — Newton's equations remain. Einstein's theories are expansions and refinements of Newton's theories, and observations that increase our confidence in them also increase our confidence in Newton's approximations to them.  That's why Netwon's laws are still taught in schools and used in everyday applications.

In the Movie "Men in Black" Tommy Lee Jones has the lines:
"Fifteen hundred years ago, everybody knew...  the Earth was the center of the universe.  Five hundred years ago, everybody knew the Earth was flat."  The first statment predates the scientific method which was first used around the year 1000 (Wiki Scientific Method).  The second was not a scientific method type of fact.

Human Gnome Project -

"Begun in 1990, the U.S. Human Genome Project is a 15 year effort coordinated by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Institutes of Health to Identify all the estimated 80,000 genes in human DNA, Determine the sequences of the 3 billion chemical bases that make up human DNA, store this information in databases, and develop tools for data analysis.  To help achieve these goals, researchers also are studying the genetic makeup of several non human organisms. These include the common human gut bacterium Escherichia coli, the fruit fly, and the laboratory mouse.  A unique aspect of the U.S. Human Genome Project is that it is the first large scientific undertaking to address the ethical, legal, and social issues (ELSI) that may arise from the project."

Booke's Note:  this project is just to identify the sequences, I don't think they are looking at what the sequences actually do.

Gene Expression -


The way this is taught in schools can be a very boring .  But when revolutionary concepts in economics are understood they can have a profound impact on your life.  This is the case for me with both the "Two Factor Theory of Economics" and "New Economics".

Two Factor Theory of Economics

Many people in the U.S. have been taught the Puritan Ethic or more properly said - cursed with the Puritan Ethic.  It says that if you work hard you will be rewarded.  This idea is what is called a single or one factor of economics viewpoint and is not correct.  In the U.S. and most other countries there are two ways of making money, they are:
(1) Labor - Labor is clear, you work for someone and get paid in proportion to your value to them.
(2) Capital - If you invest capital (money) somewhere then you can get a return on your capital.

This idea was published by Louis O. Kelso (Wiki) in a book Two-Factor Theory: The Economics of Reality/How to Turn 80 Million Workers into Capitalists...Louis O. Kelso and Patricia Hatter. 1967 Published by __________ Lib of Congress #___________ Pub date _________, Link---- (I think I have a copy, but it is hiding amongst many other books)  He also wrote The Capitalist Manifesto and other books on economic topics.  Many companies have an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) which came directly from his efforts. Democracy and Economic Power : Extending the Esop Revolution Through Binary Economics is another of his books.

The classic example is the case where we set up two moving companies each with one employee, one with a modern 18 wheel tractor trailer rig and the other with a horse and buggy.  After one year we come back and ask: Which company made the most money and Which person worked the hardest?   It is clear that the modern truck allowed it's operator to make more money than the horse and buggy moving company and at the same time the operator worked less and in the comfort of an air conditioned cab.  The reason is the capital invested in the truck.

So the idea is rather than working hard, just work smart and invest you disposable income and spend your extra time managing your investments rather than trying to get a promotion.  There is no limit on your investment income but there are very real limits on your income if it is from working for someone else.

New Economics

Oct. 2002 - in retrospect the stock market was at it's peak when the New Economics information was written.  I still think it is an important factor but would not account for overpriced stocks.
Starting in the late 1990's the P/E ratios of some stocks seemed to be extremely high.  The classical stock valuation methods like "value line" would say that a P/E of 14 was reasonable but many stocks had/have P/E ratios into 3 digits!

I discovered this "New Economics" concept while web surfing at "The Motley Fool" web page: "Can't You See The Assets?". - "Accounting is broken, Lev says. The 500-year-old system developed by Pacioli Luca misses some of the most valuable and compelling aspects of a business today. ....Accounting, in other words, no longer delivers accountability."  This led to . .

Fast Company site "New Math for a New Economy". - "Look at the Standard & Poor's 500 -- 500 of the largest companies in the United States, many of which are not in high-tech industries. The market-to-book ratio of these companies -- that is, the ratio between the market value of these companies and the net-asset value of the company (the number that appears on the balance sheet ) -- is now greater than six. What this means is that the balance-sheet number -- which is what traditional accounting measures -- represents only 10% to 15% of the value of these companies."
Intangible Assets Plus Hard Numbers Equals Soft Finance - a similar article, but they are beating around the bush.
Financial accounting Standards Board - Edmund Jenkins is COB and did study for American Institute of CPAs titled:
"Improving Business Reporting—A Customer Focus (a.k.a. The Jenkins Report)"  is on line under the sidebar "pubs". For me this report also is beating around the bush, it does not get to the heart of the matter as Lev does.

Baruch Lev - Professor of Accounting and Finance at New York University has done a lot of research in this area and the two articles above are from his work.  His web site is a gold mine of information!
10/20/2000 Brookings report on Intangibles.doc  -

The current GAAP practice of expensing R&D is quite wrong.  There are many other intangibles that should be accounted for so that investors and even more importantly managers will have the information they need to make go/no-go decisions.

Elizabeth A. Demers - was a co author on some of these New Economics papers.

Free to Choose : A Personal Statement

This book by Milton & Rose Friedman is very good at explaining who spends for whom: The efficiency of the result in the above cases is very different.  When you spend your own money for yourself the efficiency is high because you have to live with the result.  In the case of government spending someone else's money on others the efficiency is very poor because what difference does it make to them.

Eat the Rich

This book by P. J. O'Rourke looks at the economics of some Cities and comments on what is right and wrong with them.  He misses two factor theory but clearly sees capitalism.

Freedom of Choice (Title?)

An interesting concept about the relation between economics and politics is that a politician's first priority is to get re-elected so he tends to vote for bills that move money into his district rather than what is good for the country.  Another is that voters are very good at voting on any measure that effects their own personal economic situation but very poor on voting for all other things (like who will be president).

Allergies -> Antibiotics -> Lactose Intolerance -> Hemorrhoids -> All is well

When I was young our house was on a 1/4 acre parcel and our block of houses was surrounded by apricot, prune and strawberry fields.  I now know that I had allergies, but at the time all I know was that I got a lot of sore throats and then a lot of antibiotics.  Later as an adult I had a very bad case of pneumonia and got a whopping dose of antibiotics.  I had the runs more than others, like after eating at a nice restaurant, but the others did not have any "food poisoning".  I developed hemorrhoids and the doctor that removed them said that one of the causes of hemorrhoids was a lot of the runs and that could be caused by Lactose intolerance.  I did a test and ate a few grilled cheese sandwiches, which I had stopped eating because they upset my stomach and .... sure enough a couple of hours later .... you guessed it. (See the movie "French Kiss and listen to Meg Ryan's line on this topic.)

I was also seeing a doctor for my allergies to get shots and prescriptions for Seldane.  I asked him what could be done for Lactose intolerance and found out that it is caused by the lack of helpful bacteria in your body.  These bacteria can be killed by antibiotics.  The solution is to go to your pharmacy and ask for "Lactobacillus Tablets".  They do not require a prescription, but you will never find them by looking around because they need to be kept in the refrigerator.  Another source for restarting the helpful bacteria is a health food store.  Tell them you are taking antibiotics and they will recommend a product like "BioFlora" that is kept in the refrigerator.  It contains: Bifidobacterium Longum, Bifidobacterium Bifidum, Lactobacillus Acidophilus, FOS (fructooligosacchrides) and Champigon Mushroom.  The directions are on the bottle.  Note that this is a real cure not just a treatment of symptoms.

To get rid of the allergies I used a Chinese herbal "green pill" (Pe Min Kan Wan) and took them four times a day for a month.   The plastic bottle that holds the pills comes in a box that is about 2 1/2" high and just over 1 1/2" square.  The label is green with white Chinese characters.  There are two small characters on the top and four larger ones on the bottom.  I will try to get a translation of the label. I used a dozen bottles (they also come packaged that way). Ingredients:
Cang er zi:  Cocklebur
huo xiang : Agastache
Xin Yi hua: Magnolia
ju hua:  Chrysanthemum
jin yin hua Honeysuckle
bai zhi:  Angelica (root)
I tried other Chinese herbal allergy remedies and this one worked.  You may need to try the others if this one doesn't work for you.

Another product that offers a cure is "beano" to build up the bacteria that help digest beans.  This helps prevent things like the camp fire scene in the movie Blazing Saddles.  Note that AkPharma Inc. that makes beano also makes Lactaid which is an enzyme that helps digest lactose but is only works when it is taken.  That is to say it is treating symptoms and is not a cure.

Seath Speaks or "Be Careful What You Want ......... You May Get It"

For about a year I went to meetings where the Seath Speaks idea was discussed by a very perceptive Chinese man.  By paying attention to where people sat, their posture, clothes, etc. he could tell a lot about a person, not by magic, just perception.  He had translated the book "Seth Speaks" by Jane Roberts, Bantam Books, 1972, ISBN 0-553-25592-4 into Chinese.  Almost all of the participants were Chinese but often they would speak English so that I could follow.  The idea was that your mind was very powerful and you could accomplish anything if you had a strong enough desire for it.  Also in many cases if you know the essence of what you want you may already have it!

Another aspect of this class that amazed many of the participants, including myself, was that I understood a lot about what people were talking about and yet I did not understand a word of what they were saying.  On a number of occasions someone new would come to the group who did not speak English or wanted to speak Mandarin because they were much more comfortable with it.  They would tell the host a story which where I could not understand any words.  Later they would ask me what was going on, and I was able to tell them based on non verbal communication.  You may have heard that only 20% of communication is in the language, well I think this is really the case.

In one of my photography classes, taught by a photographer (Wickers?) that had worked for Hiller Helicopters, I learned not only photography but philosophy.  I liked this very much but some of the other students did not appreciate the philosophy.  He taught us "Be careful what you want ... you may get it."  I found this to be true in my life.  If I really wanted anything I would end up with it.

If you have Kaiser Medical Insurance Read This

When I had Kaiser Medical Insurance I heard that it was their policy to set up an annual budget to be used for diagnosing what was wrong with patients.  At the end of the year any money left over was distributed to the doctors as a bonus.  In my opinion this is a conflict of interest. Now for some facts:

I Survived Terminal Lung Cancer

I was feeling very weak and sick and went toKaiser in Santa Clara.  They ran a number of tests including a chest X-ray.  I was so weak that I was using a wheel chair.  When the doctor was going to tell me what he found I asked him to tell my wife because I could not remember all the details of what pill to take when and how many times and how many pills....
After I went home my wife treated my very well and gave me the pills and any food that I wanted.  After a week or so she told me what the Kaiser Doctor had told her...I had terminal lung cancer and there was nothing that Kaiser could do for me, so I should go home to die.   As you know I am not dead.  The doctor did not properly diagnose that I had a bad case of pneumonia.

My father in law passed a Kaiser medical examination and in two days had a massive heart failure

We received a call from my in-laws saying that my father in law was having very bad chest pains.  We knew at this time that Kaiser was on the flaky side and since they had Kaiser medical insurance we told them to have an ambulance deliver him to El Camino hospital in Mountain View at our expense.  They found his heart to need a pacemaker and installed it.  The doctor at El Camino said that anyone who listened to his heart two days ago could not help but to hear the problem.

Butcher Bob gets a job at Kaiser

A good friend of mine worked at a large company that had a company doctor.  It turns out that this particular doctor was called Butcher Bob (I have changed the name).  While my friend worked there, every now and then, there would be a Butcher Bob story.  One day while I was at Kaiser in Santa Clara I discovered that Butcher Bob now worked there.

San Jose Mercury Runs a Week long feature on Kaiser

The San Jose Mercury ran a series of articles describing all kinds of malpractice problems at Kaiser.  I still remember the one about the women that went to have her baby.  Kaiser strapped her to a table, gave her some drugs and then the doctors and nurses left her.  Her baby came out and onto the floor.  Kaiser is self insured for malpractice and when you join them you must agree to binding arbitration.  You can not sue Kaiser for malpractice.

Sister in Law sent to Stanford for Surgery

My sister in-law was with Kaiser and had a major medical problem and Kaiser sent her to Stanford for surgery.  It was an easy diagnoses.


If you are with Kaiser and have a problem, go to a private doctor for diagnoses.  Get a written statement form the doctor and take it to Kaiser.

If Kaiser (or any doctor) gives you a diagnoses that is negative, GET A SECOND OPINION.

Merck Manuals

One of the books my mother had (for some time she worked as a nurse) was the Merck Manual.  In it all kinds of problems are described with symptoms and treatments.  The tricky part is you seem to have whatever problem you are reading about, but you can figure out a lot.

Geodesic Domes

These were invented by Buckminster Fuller.  There are a number of books on this subject, but the key to understanding his domes is the original patent.  The idea is to have the joints be on (or near) the surface of a sphere.
Geodesic Domes "Structures and Homes" -
Patents -
DOME magazine -
Buckminster Fuller Institute - Patents -


Patents tend to have information that you will not find in books, I currently don't know why this is, but so far I find it to be true.  There may be a reluctance on the part of authors to write about patented ideas or maybe they just don't know about them.  Most patented ideas are not discussed outside of the patent so remain hidden from most people.

The free U.S. Government Patent Office has the older patents on line ( Expired Patents  means within the active time, but not renewed by owner, not the same as old patent) on their Search page.  There are a lot of important ideas in these that should be accessible like Fuller's original dome patent.  Derwent also has patent searching.


This is how I find patents.
Update Nov 2007 -  There are now two approaches that can be used by going back and forth adding a tremendous amount of search power.


If you're trying to find the first patent for something, for example Flashlight, and you search on that word you will not find it.  That's because before it was invented there probably was no word for it.  For maybe the first 100 years the patent titles were very unimaginative and typically the vast majority of patents in a sub class or group of subclasses all had the same title.

Old Method = USPTO Only

Note the older patents are on line only in image form.  You need to have a TIFF viewer (there is a web page explaining how to get a free viewer) to see them.  The older patents can only be accessed by either their patent number or by the primary class/sub class number.  NOT by date, title, inventor etc.

Some of the image only patents have references to other patent numbers.  These typically appear on the first page of specifications, the last page, or occasionally in the description of prior art.

New Method = Google Patents

Google has in beta form a patent search based on the same Optical Character Recognition (OCR) that they are using to scan books where the copyright has expired.  The very good news is that you can search on every character in the patent, i.e. it includes names, dates, everything.  The bad news is that it's got bugs.  The common problems are the classical grabling of letters when the source document is of poor quality and a format problem.  For example if the inventor's name is at the top of the page above the real title the name and title get partially merged so neither is correct.  This means the advanced search often fails because the OCR is not good at knowing who the inventor, or asignee really is.  Current class numbers is another area where Google is very weak.  Also poor on date range searching.  All these are related to the quality of the OCR and not being smart about patent layout formats.  BUT being able to search the complete document is very powerful like in the plain Google Patent search.

The method is to use the plain Google patent search for some key words (which can be in any order) and then use the link to sort the result in date order.  This can give you a toe hold in the form of a class number which can then be used at USPTO where it can be combined with a date or date range.  You can also use Google Advanced Patent Search where the most powerful searches are at the top in the blue filed:
with all of the words
All the words in any order is good for a list of unconnected words.
with the exact phrase
Here the order of the words is important so is good for dates and names
with at least one of the words
This is good when you don't know the word that may be used, for example it might be Flashlight, Flash Light, Lamp, Lantern, Candle, illumination
without the words
This is good to get rid of a similar series of patents that have some common key word that can get them out of the search results
The search boxes in the white area are of the "contains" type.  So if you enter just one word if that word appears in that catagory you get a hit, but if the OCR messes up on the catagory you will not get a hit.  Worth a try, just keep in mind it may be missing things.

My Patent Pages

In the past I have used commas in the patent numbers on my web pages, but find that search engines think all commas are item separators and don't find the patent numbers. As of Feb 2006 all commas have been removed from patent numbers so hopefully search engines will work and the links have been updated to the stable format.  If  you cut and paste a URL to any USPTO patent that link will become bad in the future becuase it's based on a list points to a search result.

Not all patentable ideas are actually patented.  For example TRW made any inventions into "trade secrets".  Anyone working at TRW signed an agreement not to disclose their "trade secrets".  This was good for TRW in that they were not publishing their capabilities.  The formula for Coca Cola is handled as a trade secret rather than a patent.  The problem comes after these companies go out of business and the information is lost.  If someone else "invents" what has already been made a "trade secret" then the person with the trade secret has no liability to the patent holder since then can show dates when their idea came about.  But the "trade secret" holder can not go after the patent holder unless they can show that one of their employees gave away the secret.

Also it's my understanding that the U.S. government can use any patented technology if they are the end user.  For example if a company is bidding on a contract where the end user (probably not the buyer) is the U.S. government they can use their competitors patented technology for that contract.  So a defense contractor, like TRW, has a big advantage in keeping trade secrets rather than getting patents.

I agree with the case that Don Lancaster has made against getting a patent.  I have heard that the U.S. is divided up into patent districts and the district for the central U.S. has NEVER found for the patent holder in any disputed case.  Only recently has the Eastern court found for Polaroid over Kodak for making instant cameras.  In the case of the individual that patented the windshield wiper delay idea that the cost of bringing the lawsuits used up all the money won.

US Patent No./Date Reference Table - this is a great help when looking for pre 1976 patents.
Table of Issue Years and Patent Numbers, for Selected Document Types Issued Since 1836 
Fringe Patents -
National Inventors Hall of Fame -
UK Patent Office -
Japanese Patent Office - Other Patent Offices are listed, but this is a frames page so no links here
Trilateral Database  - search EPO, JPO or USPTO databases from a common starting point
European Patent Office - Patent information on the Internet - another URL - Countries & years for images -
MicroPatent USA - searching for a fee
Patent Fetcher high speed site - Free Public Site - they generate a pdf version which you then download limited use
FreePatentsOnline - may have better search for older patents, have not yet tested
Fresh Patents - service to track patent applications
Patent Storm - on line search service
freePat™ for Windows - Windows program downloads patent as a pdf file
Patent to pdf - Commercial site   Free site - download a USPTO patent in pdf format unlimited use
DEPATISnet - German Search engine - has English interface and patents are in their native language
Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) -
The Delphion IP Network (formerly IBM Patent server) has current patents with a lot of on line info.  This was originally the IBM patent data base and has now been commercialized.  No longer user friendly and now charges a fee.

My Patent Pages

[date links changed to stable format & commas removed)
Automatic Astro Compass [17 July 2006] top of page pat dwg
Battpat Battery Patents
Cryptographic [ 10 Nov 2005]
Disiplined Oscillators and Time & Frequency related [21 Dec 2005]
Crystal Temperature Compensation [21 Dec 2005]
Faradic and other quack devices like Violet Ray
FCP Frequency Counter Patents
Fluxgate (& other) Magnetic Sensors [ 14 Feb 2005]
Flashlights - created 2007 with photos of may patented flashlights
GPS [8 Sep 2005]
IntrusionAlarmPatent - Intrusion Alarm Patents
Leclanché Battery [9 Feb 2005]
Leroy Lettering [12 Aug 2006]
Loran Navigation [30 Dec 2006]
Microwave Test Equipment - [21 Dec 2005]
RF & Microwave Power Sensor Patents [27 July 2006]
Music [19 Dec 2005]- synthesizers
Pendulums Pendulum Patents
PSPatent RF & Microwave Power Sensor Patents
Sensors [ 28 May 2005]- has some patents on the page
Stellar Timekeeping (satellite navigation) [17 July 2006]
StkTckPat Stock Ticker Patents
Sundials [19 Dec 2005 & added dozens more]
Surveying [21 Dec 2005]
Telephone [ 10 Feb 2005]
ttw_pat Tilting Three Wheeler Patents
Vibrators - massage type
VoiceX Voice Scrambling US Patents
Xtc Crystal Temperature compensation Patents

Formerly Secret Patents - These are patents that were held for many years instead of being granted in the normal manner.  Typically because of government military security.

Wiki List of Patents -


8 Sep 2004 - After doing a search when you click on a link to a patent the URL is NOT for the patent, but rather is pointing to one of the patents in the list of results.  If this URL is saved and later clicked, then a new search is run and whatever patent is in the same list position will be displayed, so if the list changes most linkey a different patent will be displayed.  Because of this most of the links to patents on my web pages were broken but have been repaired as of Feb 2006. 
Operational Notices and Status - This web page explains about the unstable URLs you get at USPTO.  Apparently they have multiple servers and so can not simply provide a stable URL when you are viewing a patent.  You need to manually force the URL to look like:
http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?patentnumber=5123456  where the patent number is at the end.

Brain Function: Myers-Briggs, Multiple (seven) Intelligence Theory, Left-Right Brain

All of these have to do with how the brain is perceived to operate.
UNO - Learning Theories -
Augustana College (Sioux Falls, SD) - Theories On Brain-Based Learning -
Jung Typology Test - based on the Jung - Myers-Briggs typological approach to personality


This seems to indicate that for marriage people should have similar personality types.  A common goal is also very desirable so that the both people are heading in the same direction.
Gifts Differing : Understanding Personality Type by Isabel Briggs Myers -
Please Understand Me II: Temperament, Character, Intelligence by David W. Keirsey,
A Summary of Personality Typing (FAQ)-
Keirsey Temperament and Character Web Site - many sub pages & test
Keirsey Temperament Sorter - on the tests web page
What is your Myers-Briggs Personality Type? - on line simple test with links for the different 4 letter groups

Multiple (seven) Intelligence Theory (MI)

I did some teaching and could see many of these in action.  This required some unconventional teaching methods that in my opinion worked very well for those students that were not intelligent in the classical reading and hearing modes.
Multiple Intelligence's : The Theory in Practice by Howard E. Gardner - Wiki -
HOWARD GARDNER  Multiple Intelligence Theory Proponent - a basic intro to the idea
Developing Higher Order Thinking Skills and Multiple Intelligence's -
UNO - Multiple Intelligence's -Comparative Links -
Odyssey of the Mind - a great program for school children to learn many things in a project environment
Rube Goldberg - another program for school children, a web search on his name will turn up over 1,000 web hits

Left-Right Brain

I took a test at work and found it very difficult to choose the answers to the questions.  I didn't know what was being tested and complained that the test was not very good.  Others that took the test had no problem choosing their answers because they were either left or right brained.  People with balance tend to see both sides of a question and have a harder time making decisions but make good decisions.
Left Brain, Right Brain : Perspective from Cognitive Neuroscience by Sally P. Springer -
UNO- Right Brain/Left Brain Thinking -
Left and Right Sides of the Brain - one page with a number of different takes on this
Neuroscience for Kids - 1--One Brain...or Two?--2 - excellent site for ALL ages -
Pandora - Left Brain/Right Brain Ask yourself: - Pandora also has a bunch of pseudo science stuff  

Intelligence Quotient (IQ)

Your IQ is your mental age divided by your physical age expressed as a percent.  If they are both the same (which is the usual case) then your IQ would be 100.  If your mental age was twice your physical age then your IQ would be 200.  If a 20 year old man has an IQ of 150 then his mental age is 30.  Another man 40 years old (with an IQ of 100), will know more than the first man.  In many cultures there is a tradition of respecting the elders.  As people get older, if they keep learning, they will know way more than the younger kids.

But . . .  (see MI above) . .  intelligence may be related to the subject area.  Classical education is based on the learning through reading or lecture and if your IQ in this area is high you do well in shcool, but if it's high in another area you will not do that well.  It's not uncommon to hear of high school drop outs doing very well in business, the arts, entertainment, music, etc.

a bunch of online IQ tests -
TEST YOUR IQ!  - Mensa related - they are a group that only accepts high IQ people
Traditional IQ tests - Personality tests on the Web -
Traditional IQ Tests on the WWW -
www.brain.com - free tests to support their products (books, vitamins, etc.)


Amazon.com Search: - Left-Right Brain - Multiple Intelligence's - Myers-Briggs -IQ - this web site has reviews of the books and music CD-ROMS that can give you a pretty good feel what they are about.

Scrambled Words

Mind Bender   Try to read this. I'm sure you can....very interesting.

fi yuo cna raed tihs, yuo hvae a sgtrane mnid too Cna yuo raed tihs? Olny 55 plepoe can.

i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! if you can raed tihs forwrad it.

Reasoning - or What's True & What's Not

An interesting thing is that IQ (see above) is related to how much knowledge you have acquired and is really independent of reasoning.  Reasoning has to do with the truth of relationships .  People with high IQ can come to conclusions that are far from logical.

Some Books:
The Demon Haunted World by Sagan - Maybe a couple of times a year a couple of people show up on my doorstep and want me to read their religous publication.  I have offered a trade where they promise to read The Demon Haunted World in exchange, but they seem to have closed minds and will not accept.
Why People Believe Weird Things by Shermer
How we Know What isn't So by Gilovich - the graphs in the early part of the book all seem to be wrong in that they proport to show rapid unending growth, but in fact all of them have an upper limit or cap that will change the slope from steep to flat.
Dumbth by Allen
911 Myths - I found this site by pruning the URL for the paper http://www.911myths.com/WTCREPORT.pdf that has an analysis based on common physics that supports the many of the observed facts surrounding the colapse of the twin towers.  Assumptions are made then tested.
Carl Sagan's Baloney Detection Kit - Based on the book "The Demon Haunted WorldCarl Sagan Productions, Inc. -
Critical Thinking Community - Resources - Library - History of C.T. - Socrates - Readings -
Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP) -  encourages the critical investigation of paranormal and fringe-science claims from a responsible, scientific point of view and disseminates factual information about the results of such inquiries to the scientific community and the public. Publishes the Skeptical Inquirer that has on line articles.  There's a Skeptical References section with an alphabetical list of topics.
Australian Skeptics - Links -
Quackwatch - Your Guide to Health Fraud, Quackery, and Intelligent Decisions
Journal of Irreproducible Results - Some articles - more articles - Scholarly articles written by famous scientists, but with wrong & humorous ideas. Subscribe
Annals of Improbable Research - Ig Nobel Prizes -
See my Roswell UFO comments for similar stuff
Darwin Awards - are given, usually posthumously, to the individual(s) who remove themselves from the gene pool in the most spectacular fashion
Virtual Kick in the Pants (VKP) -
James Randi Educational Foundation - If you are or one of your friends is psychic -> apply and collect $1,000,000. Pigasus Awards -
Massimo Polidoro - Ranidi's apprentice
News Group: sci.skeptic -
Skepdic.com - Skeptic's Dictionary
The Seven Warning Signs of Bogus Science -
Robert L. Park - The Seven Warning Sings of Voodoo Science

Tiny Art

Silicon Zoo - Graphics images hidden in Silicon chips
Silicon Art -

Problems with the Legal System

When you go to court, for whatever purpose, pay attention to what's going on.

Toilet Seat

The L3-L4-L5 disks in my back fused solid it is impossible to properly clean my bottom.  The solution was to install a Magic Clean SB-620 toilet seat.  This required both a plumbing and electrical connection.  Highly recommended for much better cleanliness than can be achieved with toilet paper.

Installation Tip

My house is only a few years old and so had both a GFI outlet in the bathroom and copper plumbing.  The existing shut off valve feeding the toilet had the connecting tube made as part of the valve.  This is an indication that the valve uses a compression connection to a copper pipe that is sticking out from the wall.  In order to remove the compression ring from the pipe coming from the wall to allow installing the new valve with a new compressioon ring requires a trick.

By using a Dremel tool and the narrow cutting wheel (or a hack saw would be much more work) a slot is cut into the ring but not all the way to the copper pipe.  Then a flat blade screwdriver is used to "pop" the ring off of the pipe.  This worked great for my installation and saved the need to buy a special puller that could have also removed the old ring. 


Some info related to the Yamaha DX-7 Synthesizer, mostly music synth patents.


Our local health food store carries WigWam socks.  These are by far the best socks you can buy.  Both very comfortable and long lasting.
Good both summer and winter.

Shoestrings, Tying

When a bad (stiff) back (L3-L4-L5 fusion) it's difficult to bend over to tie shoe strings.  I came up with this lacing method so when sitting in a chair you put one foot on the opposite leg and both shoe strings are on the top side.

It's probably easier for most people this way.

PS Mephisto shoes are very comfortable and extremely long lasting.  They are waterproof.  But not cheap.  Wig Wam socks, see above.
Shoestrings on side of shoe for
                easier tying

Linda's Parisian Burgers

Linda/s Parisian
            Burger & Tater Tots
It was named for Linda Riggs, the daughter of the founders.
Linda's was a one of a kind 1950s style hamburger stand located at the intersection of El Camino and Escuela in Mountain View, CA.  It was one of the hangouts for those who attended Mtn. View High. They served crisp Tater Tots instead of ordinary frys. 
They also had the:
 Parisian Burger
"Two fresh ground beef patties
our own special sauce & cheese
served on a Fisherman's wharf
style sourdough bun."
Painted on front window shown in the 1985 photo.

It was made from two ordinary patties grill fried (not Bar-B-Qued which changes the flavor) with a slice of cheese added and melted.  The key was the sauce.  It contained ketchup and dehydrated onions, and two more ingredients.  I think the sauce was cooked and served heated.   I have found the recipe, but on the condition that I don't publish it or use it commercially.

The steak sandwich was thin steak on a French roll.  I think it too used their special sauce.

Around 1999 there was a Galvin's Bar & Grill a few miles from Linda's location.  It was next to the rail road tracks about a mile from Castro St. and they were serving "Linda's Parisian burgers" and also Tater Tots.  The flavor was the same as the original.  I heard Sam Galvin died and now there are offices in that location. 

2009 - The Armadillo Willy's locations close to Linda's old location have been offering the Parisian Burger maybe as a trial.

I'm sure that when I got one at Galvin's he had the sauce simmering on the stove, and I'm reasonably sure that at Linda's the sauce was on the hot plate (off in a corner that was not that hot), the idea being to serve the sauce hot.

Spivie's Drive in and the Standard Station at Grant and El Camino were related local landmarks.
A Mountain View Century -
A Guide to Mountain View - Downtown Mountan View -

By Kim Boatman  for the Mercury News Article Launched: 01/02/2008 01:51:04 AM PST Home Plates: Secret to Linda's Parisian burger eludes devotees - Linda's-style Parisian burgers Receipe not quite the same as mine, but close
Johnny Mac's Drive-In, Mountain View - What a difference a Half Century Makes, Mountain View Voice
Brooke's Recipes web page.


When a high volume product is in the design phase it's cost of manufacture can be optimized by making the life span of all the parts about the same.  For example if a car were to last 7 years and it had a part that typically would last 20 years then that part could be made less expensive by redesigning it to last 7 years.

When color television sets came out one of the major manufacturers designed the picture tube to last just over 1 year since that was the warranty on the tube.  That way they could sell you a new picture tube.

Back in 1960 the military came out with Handbook 217 that described how to calculate the Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF) for whatever you were making.  Many military products have specified MTBF numbers so that the system they are in will operate at least as long as a mission time.  Although not all system met that goal.

In satellites reliability is the key parameter, to the point that new technology is avoided because it has not been characterized for MTBF.  When Aertech was selling tunnel diode amplifiers to TRW we had a locked office cabinet with a number of amplifiers running 24/7 and every now and then would need to replace the test equipment that failed, but those amps kept on ticking.

There is the concept of a "single point failure".  It means that if one part fails what happens.  For example if a truck has it's load held on by a single rope and if that rope fails the load is lost.  But if two ropes are used and one fails then the load may not be lost.  In a satellite you go to great lengths so that when one thing fails the satellite keeps on working.


For example my name Brooke Clarke might be Cerebral Kook.
See: FutureBoyAnagram Generator


Eva Vertes looks to the future of medicine - 2005 - Cancer, anti-angiogenic & Alzheimer's, cancer seems to be a direct result of injury, as if cancer is a repair response
William Li: Can we eat to starve cancer? - 2010 - anti-angiogenic

Earthlings 101 by Zogg

Extremely well thought and accurate depiction of Earthlings.

Earthlings 101 Channel Trailer
Mankind: An introduction for aliens (Earthlings 101, Episode 1)
Origins: A brief history of life on earth (Earthlings 101, Episode 2)
Sex: Game changer of evolution (Earthlings 101, Episode 3)
Ethics: What is good and evil? (Earthlings 101, Episode 4)
Imagination: Games, dreams and stories (Earthlings 101, Episode 5)
Aesthetics: What is beauty? (Earthlings 101, Episode 6)
Social Mechanics: Bonding, Gratitude and Karma (Earthlings 101, Episode 7)
Humour: Funny things, laughing, and jokes (Earthlings 101, Episode 8)
Food: Eating, drinking, and cooking (Earthlings 101, Episode 9)
Language: A reef of dead metaphores (Earthlings 101, Episode 10)
Rituals: The gears of society (Earthlings 101, Episode 11)
Vision: How the world gets into the brain (Earthlings 101, Episode 12)

-----These are not Earthlings 101 lessons ------

Basic Saucer Physics (a video response)
    Spinning Disk Trick    
    Spinning Disk Trick Solution
No Edge: The Shape of the Universe. (Part 1: Flat Models)
No Edge 2: The Curvature of the Universe.


Walter Lewin MIT
8.01 Classical Mechanics - YouTube - Academic Earth
8.03 Electricity & Magnetism - YouTube - Academic Earth
8.03 Vibrations & Waves - YouTube  - Academic Earth
Richard Muller UC

Products made by Brooke, Home Page

Page crested 29 Jan. 2000.