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Hydrogen != Fuel [Jun. 18th, 2008|11:35 pm]
[Current Mood |irritatedirritated]

Haven't posted in quite a while, but here's a rant.

Hydrogen is not a fuel! Hydrogen is an energy storage medium! It may or may not be "green", it may or may not be expensive, and it may or may not be practical. In any case, the only long-term solution for producing hydrogen is solar power, and if you're producing electricity from photovoltaics, you might as well just use a battery. It's cheaper than a fuel cell, and the distribution system is already in place.

And another thing - why the confusion over energy sources? There's only 3. There have only ever been 3 (I'm ignoring tides and fusion).

Solar - also wind and anything biomass related include fossil fuels
Nuclear - fission, at the moment, or in a few spacecraft, radiothermal
Geothermal - works great in Iceland

That's it. Fossil fuels are banked solar. Nuclear comes in and out of fashion and in any case can't scale rapidly enough to meet global demands. Geothermal is probably most practical in much of the world if utilized as part of a ground loop heat pump.

Folks - solar's it. That's all there is. The only long term energy solution is solar. Massive solar. If we don't spend like it's the Apollo program all over again to build a solar array in the desert southwest and a DC transmission backbone, we're screwed.

Or not, if we don't mind runaway global warming - there's quite a bit of coal still around.
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Online magic [Jan. 15th, 2008|10:31 pm]
[Current Mood |impressedimpressed]

Yes, this trick has roots back to the dawn of math, but this version is particularly well done. You'll probably get it eventually, but it had me amazed for a good five minutes. Amazement in exchange for a mouse click.... worth the click.


And of course, the always entertaining 20Q:

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Fanboy [Jan. 4th, 2008|12:21 am]
[Current Mood |tiredtired]

The Prius is a curious car. Not so much as a car, necessarily, but as a focal point for discussion and an ever growing OCD. "How's the Prius doing?" I'm asked at least twice a day, and of course I've been thinking about it, so I have a longer-than-one-sentence reply. It's a gadget, no doubt, but Toyota has sold too many of them for it to really be a novelty anymore. I suppose "new to me" is still a valid reason for distraction.

In any case, I really like it. It might be simpler to say what I don't like, which includes:

a) A few squeaks and rattles in very cold weather.
b) The auto dimming rearview mirror doesn't sense headlights particularly well.
c) Gumball spare tire, despite having adequate space for a full-size spare.
d) Whip rather than in-window stereo antenna.

I also don't know that my current level of obsession is particularly healthy, and the Prius community online certainly does nothing to discourage fanatical analysis of every bump, squeak, minor quibble, and so forth. This is completely unlike my ownership experience with my Subaru, where the car and I had a tacit understanding that I would beat the living hell out of it, and that was that. Load the car with 500 lbs. of bagged manure? Don't mind if I do!

I've never actually owned a new car before, and Necia says that my current... behavior... will mellow somewhat over time. But, there's a distinct possibility that I'm just a Prius fanboy, smug emissions and all.
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Mulled wine [Nov. 9th, 2007|11:09 pm]
[Current Mood |thoughtfulthoughtful]

6 cups red wine (preferably box wine, you are mulling it after all)
2 cups cranberry juice or apple cider
2/3 cup triple sec
1 1/2 tablespoons mulling spices (cloves, orange peel, cinnamon)

Heat to a low simmer, but not boiling, for 1 hour. Serves 8.
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"pistol shoot and dinner" [Sep. 13th, 2007|02:41 pm]
[Current Mood |thoughtfulthoughtful]

Mounted on a Hummer, you say?
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A revelation at breakfast [Jul. 25th, 2007|09:53 am]
[Current Mood |nervousnervous]

"I was killing in my sleep again."
"With an axe this time."
"It was a stranger."
"The details are a little fuzzy now."
"Was it a stranger?"
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Medical History [Jul. 18th, 2007|03:09 pm]
[Current Mood |amusedamused]

My left ear has been plugged up for the past two weeks, from allergies, as it turns out. I went to the doctor yesterday to get it looked at, and since I haven't gone anywhere except the health center for the past 6 years, they wanted to do a complete medical history.

Doctor: Smoke?
Me: No.
Doctor: Do you use marijuana or cocaine?
Me: No.
Doctor: Are you sure?
Me. Yes.
Doctor: You know, you can tell me.
What I should have said: Geeeezz, I dunno. Last night I was so baked, I really don't remember.
What I actually said: I'm sure. I do drink a lot of coffee.

N says I fit the demographic. I thought it was a little odd. I've never pictured myself as fitting into the cokehead crowd.

Patient presents with allergic rhinitis and serous otis media. Suspect: too much blow.
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Cars [Jun. 29th, 2007|10:00 am]
[Current Mood |thoughtfulthoughtful]

The Forester isn't totaled; the repair estimate came in at $3800, but the blue book value on it is still up around $6500. Now I get to decide whether to try selling it after it's fixed, or simply run it into the ground...
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Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. [Jun. 26th, 2007|01:25 pm]
[Current Mood |thoughtfulthoughtful]

Best article on food, foodways, the government, and the media E-V-E-R.

"I would submit that the ideology of nutritionism deserves as much of the blame as the carbohydrates themselves do — that and human nature. By framing dietary advice in terms of good and bad nutrients, and by burying the recommendation that we should eat less of any particular food, it was easy for the take-home message of the 1977 and 1982 dietary guidelines to be simplified as follows: Eat more low-fat foods. And that is what we did. We’re always happy to receive a dispensation to eat more of something (with the possible exception of oat bran), and one of the things nutritionism reliably gives us is some such dispensation: low-fat cookies then, low-carb beer now. It’s hard to imagine the low-fat craze taking off as it did if McGovern’s original food-based recommendations had stood: eat fewer meat and dairy products. For how do you get from that stark counsel to the idea that another case of Snackwell’s is just what the doctor ordered?"
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The Subaru is dead, long live the Subaru [Jun. 25th, 2007|05:44 pm]
[Current Mood |tiredtired]

A woman fell asleep while driving on my street this morning and took out 4 cars, including mine. Waiting to see what the damage estimate comes back as; it looks like the floor of the trunk is buckled across the midline of the car, so I suspect it's totaled.
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