Saturday, October 23, 2010

Waiting for the Great Pumpkin

Nuclear Power costs for different countries from an IEA and OECD study.  Check out the comments for some interesting info.

Costs for nuclear power generation in USA is substantially higher than in S. Korea and China. This is because of excessive red tape supposedly for reasons of safety.

High tech is supposed to be developed to deal with the so called problem of Climate Change, but technology already exists.  It is called nuclear energy and it has been around for decades.  But it is being blocked because fear has been stirred up so much that it is much more difficult and expensive to use the technology than what it should be.  We are being scammed into waiting for the new technology that will save us.  Kind of like Linus talking Sally into staying all night in the pumpkin patch waiting for the Great Pumpkin to appear.   My point is that the technology may never appear and even if it did, it may get blocked.

More info on The Capacity Factor Blog.  Check out this post too.

The Ergosphere: Why the Integral Fast Reactor had to die

There's no energy shortage. The only shortages are the ones that are contrived.  Learn it.  Love it.  Live it.

I hate Geico commercials

Must be a slow day, eh?  Nothing much to mention except Geico commercials.  Well, I do indeed hate them.  I hate em so much I can't stand to listen to them.  So I turn down the TV whenever they come on.  But I don't even watch much TV anymore.  I just watch football on Sundays.  For some reason, Geico loves to run their ads on the only thing that I like to watch on TV anymore.  They must  be out to get me.

The ad that almost pushes me over the edge is that one with the little pig going wee all the way home.  I wonder what kind of intellect produces stuff like that?  I figure any third rate moron could produce material like that, right?  They pay people to do this?

Then I got to thinking that the stupid schtick is really successful in that it got my attention.  All they want to accomplish with their ads is to get people to remember them.  In my own case, they succeeded even beyond their wildest dreams.  Not only do I remember them, here I am WRITING about them.  If they knew this, they would be ecstatic.  If they drove the whole world insane, they would be delirious.

I can do the moron one better.  If it takes a moron to produce that ad, it takes an even greater moron to write about it.  If being a moron gets you remembered, then go for it I say.  Evidently, it worked for Geico.  Maybe I can make this work for me too.

All in: Rangers finally reach first World Series - MLB - Yahoo! Sports

All in: Rangers finally reach first World Series - MLB - Yahoo! Sports

Thursday, October 21, 2010

On wealth creation and guilt tripping

Via Instapundit, we get the usual talk about wealth creation.  I agree with it, but somehow I think the entire thing is missing the point.  Of course liberals understand wealth creation.  It's almost the same mindset that liberals display towards conservatives.  Its an arrogance phenomenon.  Liberals are smarter than that.  They really don't need this rather obvious piece of common sense.  By constantly pounding on the obvious, I think the point is being lost.

I see liberalism as a type of emotional manipulation.  It is designed to get something out of people that can't be gotten otherwise.  Those who practice it are well versed in how to get stuff out of people.  

Giving lectures on wealth creation doesn't work on these people because they already know all that.  What is needed instead is how to say no to a guilt tripper.

NPR Fires Analyst Juan Williams for Saying Muslims Make Him Nervous

NPR Fires Analyst Juan Williams for Saying Muslims Make Him Nervous

Using nanotechnology to recycle a greenhouse gas for high-energy fuel

At the risk of contradicting myself, I will include a link to an interesting idea that I got from a Google search.  It is over a year old though.  The shelf life of this stuff may be rather short.

This reminded me of a lot of web searching that I did on the topic several years ago.  I scrounged up a few copies of pdf files for ideas that supported fuel cells for automobiles.  The topic interested me because I knew that prices for fuel were going to go up and they sure did.  At 150 bucks a barrel, the price of oil was ruinous.  As far as the environmental part of this is concerned, it doesn't interest me much.  But the economic and national security aspect of this problem certainly does.

Here's what I wrote about it in 2004:

My web searching back in 2004 yielded some ideas that could lead to a fuel delivery system for hydrogen fuel cells.  It would involved recycling carbon dioxide by producing hydrogen from electrolyzing methanol.  This would solve logistical problems with moving and storing hydrogen.  However, it would require advances in fuel cell technology and/or a cheap and plentiful source of rare or expensive catalysts.  Obtaining the expensive catalysts could come from mining asteroids.

A side product of this was a bit of research that I did on Al Gore.  Of course, Al Gore is big time on these issues.  One thing I thought about is why he didn't become president.  No, not because Bush "stole" the election, but what was it about the man that frustrated his ambitions?  I think that my posts on arrogance can explain it as well as anything.  I think you could write a book on the subject.  Really.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Makes me wonder

Organized crime?  You know, once you look at what has happened to this country in the last few years, you have to wonder if something sinister is at work.

Frankly, this is the first I have heard of this.  The article is about 7 months old -a little out of date. Goldman Sachs is in on it, it says.  The SEC is supposedly investigating them.  The final sentence in the article says MFA has taken over our government.  If they are indeed in control of the government, nothing will come of it.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

another example of arrogance

Via Memeorandum and Michelle Malkin, I got a little history lesson:  the significance of 1773.  I didn't know that the Tea Party took place in 1773.  Evidently those who decided to jump on Palin didn't know it either.  There they go again.  More here on the O'Donnell latest flap.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Advanced Propulsion Design for Space Exploration

Here's another one I got via Instapundit and Kurzweil Accelerating Intelligence blogs.  I read the abstract and thought it interesting, so I downloaded the pdf file and spent the last few hours perusing this thing.

Not that I know anything about the subject matter, just as a matter of curiosity.  A few items of interest, to wit:
1) it is not necessarily feasible for putting humans in orbit because of high g forces  2) it may have the potential to transport very large objects into space at low cost per kilogram 3) the technology required is not unreasonably demanding.   Now I am taking the guy (Parkin) at his word that thing will do what he says it can do.  If he is right, then this concept has a chance.

How does it work?  It uses microwave energy to heat hydrogen and uses that as thrust to lift the rocket into space.  For a more detailed explanation, see the abstract and pdf file if you are interested.

Update:  It uses hydrogen as a propellant, but this would seem to be a problem when the hot
hydrogen meets the oxygen in the atmosphere.  Maybe it would go boom instead of going up.
This idea was a doctoral thesis, so I don't how that turned out.

Update 2:  I skimmed over the document again and found no discussion of this hydrogen issue.  Perhaps it isn't an issue and I am mistaken.  Or it could be an oversight by Parkin.  At any rate, I'll still say this looks like an interesting proposition.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Al Fin: Problems With Scientific Research: How Much Of it Is Just Wrong?

Al Fin: Problems With Scientific Research: How Much Of it Is Just Wrong?

Slippery little word called truth

What is truth?  That is a question that Pontius Pilate put forth to Jesus.

This is an ancient question that is not always so easy to answer.  On many occasions,
isn't it true that you see whatever you expect to see?  One's bias misdirects one's
own capacity to perceive what is and what isn't.  In the end, you can say something
like "I know the truth when I see it or hear it."

You can look up truth in the dictionary or the wikipedia.  Maybe that will help.
When you go to jury duty, you are supposed to be listening to sworn testimony that
is supposed to be truthful.  But what you hear may not be true, but even if it isn't,
is it a lie?  When you can't determine it for yourself, you have to rely upon someone
or something that will allow you to sort it all out.  It can be a slippery thing.
Not everyone agrees on what it is even when looking at the same thing.  If you are
called upon to remember an event, your memory could be faulty.  Your eyes can
fool you.  So can your ears.  So can your own mind.

In the end, you probably rely on your own wits.  It's the only kind you have that
you are certain about.  But being fallible, your own wits can fail you sometimes.

Anyway, if you want to understand it according to some philosophical model or
definition, you can start with epistemology.

I didn't read all this myself.  Often a discussion like this tests my patience.

I think that you have to start with honesty before truth can ever mean anything.
By honesty I mean a willingness to admit if you are wrong about something.  It implies
humility and respect.  Humility in acknowledging one's own limitations and failures,
and respect for others.  I think that dishonesty begins when respect ends.  Also,
when humility ends, honesty can't take root.  Arrogance can't admit the truth of

I could be wrong, but I think that honesty is pretty rare thing these days.  A
competitive spirit can bring about the unwillingness to admit mistakes and the
tendency to get a little too sure of oneself.  One thing about me, I want to be
on the side of truth.  If I am wrong, I hope I can be big enough to admit it.  In
everything I do, I look for the truth.  But I can be wrong.  And I have been
wrong, so I am not going to kid myself about it and get arrogant about it.  I can
be as competitive as anyone.  But competition does not equate with finding truth.
It is a lonely walk.  You have to honestly seek it out.  You can't slug it out.

Citigroup earns $2.15B as failed loans decrease - Yahoo! News

Citigroup earns $2.15B as failed loans decrease - Yahoo! News

Barone, he the man

Dems find careers threatened by Obamacare votes.  I put a comment on that story that summarizes my opinion of the workings of our government.  It went like this: "the government invents a problem, suggests solutions that aren't likely to work, and enacts a solution that is least likely to work and costs the most money."  I'll add here that :  That's how we end up with trillion dollar deficits.  That's how Harry Reid gets rich while in office.  That's how a good thing, the American way of life, gets run right straight into the ground.

Hubba, hubba.  Link Via Instapundit.  This too from Glen Reynolds' blog.  This blog wants to be like that one when it grows up.  This too, great stuff.  cool, 4 guys using their iphones as musical instruments

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Not much to choose from

At the risk of belaboring the obvious, I have decided to throw in my own two cents
worth about a much mentioned phenomenon.   Actually two phenomena and to compare
and contrast the two.  And that is this: the GOP is referred to as the "Stupid
Party" and the Democrats are said to be condescending.  Let's just call the Dems
are bit arrogant.  You can say the Democrat party is the Arrogant Party.  So let's
compare and contrast the stupidity and the arrogance of the two major parties.

No better way to do this than to look at some of the most infamous examples of the
two phenomena in action.  Let's start with the Quayle-Bentsen VP debate in 1988.
It was pretty well commonly accepted wisdom that Bentsen "won" that debate.  Yet,
at the time, I recall that Quayle got in his shots.  But what everyone remembers
is the putdown "You are no Jack Kennedy", and Quayle's lame response.  The arrogance
was that Kennedy was so superior and Quayle was so inferior that it was an outrage
for Quayle to make any comparison at all between himself and Kennedy.  But Kennedy
had his faults.  But liberals don't care about his moral failings with women, he
is just so much smarter, and therefore superior.  Yet Kennedy failed in protecting
his own security and that failure put the nation at risk.  His failings mattered
to the future of the country whether the liberals care to admit that or not.
Quayle on the other hand could not parry the thrust.  He could only offer a lame
"that was uncalled for, Senator" which cemented his ineptitude for all time.  It
is perhaps unfair to fault Quayle for being dumbstruck by Bentsen's rudeness, but
he could have been better prepared.

Evidently, the Republicans haven't learned much.  In the most recent election, it
can be observed once again.  People compare Palin with Quayle, and not without
good reason.  Palin floundered badly in her interview with Couric.  Couric's
arrogance was in how condescending she was in how she asked about Palins'
reading habits.  She asked: "But what ones specifically?"... "Can you name any of them?"
The arrogance just reeks off the written page.  She might as well said "Don't
you know how to read, you moron?!"  Don't you backwoods country hicks in Alaska
do any reading at all?!  Palin didn't have much of a response.  Just a lot of
hemming and hawing.  She might have done better and got up and left like Whoopi
Goldberg and Joy Behar did on the View last week.  At least protest the arrogant
tone of the question.  Again, the preparation for a possible "gotcha" type
question was nowhere to be found.

Sometimes the liberals' superiority complex seems a bit pathological.  George
W. Bush was said to be dumb, yet they seem to give him almost diabolical powers.
Bush lied and people died, they said.  Yet, in order to lie, one has to know the
truth, and conciously attempt to deceive someone.  In the matter of WMD in Iraq,
how could anyone, save someone with supernatural powers, ever know for sure about
the WMD issue?  In order to lie, Bush had to know one way or another.  Otherwise,
how could he lie?  The liberals belief in the own moral superority allows them
to believe the improbable and contradictory charge.  If Bush was so dumb, how is
he capable of telling such a monstrous lie?  For Bush's part, why did he put
himself in that position in the first place?  To go into Iraq, at the risk of being
wrong about WMD, exposed him to great political risk.  Yet he trusted the liberals
and it could have cost him personally.  There are those who wanted to criminally
prosecute Bush.  He could have gone to jail or even been executed for that.

Stupidity and arrogance is a dangerous mixture.  There's gotta be a better way.

Merkel says German multi-cultural society 'has failed' - Yahoo! News

Merkel says German multi-cultural society 'has failed' - Yahoo! News