Saturday, January 12, 2013

The elephant in the living room in the gun control debate

American Thinker

The "elephant" is mental health.

Next Big Future: Molten Salt Reactors and Sorensen FliBe reactor di...

Next Big Future: Molten Salt Reactors and Sorensen FliBe reactor di...: A number of commercial high-temperature reactors are under development around the world. But this year, a consortium of petrochemical compa...

How he stopped SOPA


Swartz hanged himself. ( But that's not how he did it. ) But before doing so, he stopped a runaway freight train called SOPA.

The entire government is a runaway freight train.  One thing that I would dearly love to stop would be a carbon tax or a carbon trading scheme.  They are completely unnecessary for two basic reasons:
  1. There is no global warming
  2. Even if there is global warming and carbon dioxide is causing it, we have complete power to stop using carbon for energy right now without the need for any tax, nor government action.  If there's anything that I think that I have gone a long way to prove is this point.
It's a crime that this kid was driven to suicide.  But that is the age we live in.




Don Henley - Dirty Laundry (With Lyrics)



Blame it on the amygdala.


Mead: Trillion Dollar Coin DOA

Via Meadia

the trillion dollar coin is dead. As Ezra Klein reports, the Treasury won’t make one and if it did the Fed wouldn’t accept it...money is serious business and playing silly mind games with the public and the markets that undermine faith in the monetary system is a Very Bad Idea.

Comment:

Anybody who says this with a straight face is deluded or is pulling your leg.


SpaceX Crewed Dragon: Pressing home the advantage | NASASpaceFlight.com

SpaceX Crewed Dragon: Pressing home the advantage | NASASpaceFlight.com

ParaPundit: Online Learning Continues Fast Growth

Parker

The online learning site Coursera is taking off.

I followed the link to Coursera and eventually came up with this Ted Talk



Interesting. What kind of course could a 50 something geezer like me take? And for what purpose?  How about you readers out there?  Think you could use this concept?



Caroline Baum: Obama’s phony default drama

New York Post

Excerpts:
  • The United States of America isn’t going to default on its debt
  • Why? Because the income taxes withheld from most of our paychecks each month exceed the interest the Treasury owes on its debt outstanding.
  • If it can’t issue new debt, it can roll over maturing debt.
  • I am not suggesting that a failure to raise the debt ceiling wouldn’t be disruptive...Social Security payments might not get processed. Medicare and Medicaid providers wouldn’t get paid. Neither would those serving in the military.[emphasis added]

Comment:

If you are going to lose anyway, why not accomplish something useful?  Instead of increasing the debt and paying for it by printing money from thin air, use that coin to pay off debts that the government owes itself.  One of these is the Social Security Trust Fund.  Make it a requirement that any coin used for those purposes must go to fund that account.


David Frum: How Hugo Chavez brought Afghanistan to South America

(nationalpost.com)____(Violence rises 6 mths after gun ban)  Note two links each in paren is separate link

national post quote:
One way to understand the homicide rate mentioned in the blog: Venezuela, with fewer people than Canada, suffers more murders than the United States. I visited Venezuela in early 2010. My tour began with a briefing by a security officer at the U.S. embassy. “You’ve been to Afghanistan? Iraq? Well congratulations, this is now the most dangerous place you’ve ever been.”

Free Republic quote:
Keep in mind this violence continues rising SIX MONTHS after private ownership of guns was BANNED in Venezuela:


Under the new law, only the army, police and certain groups like security companies will be able to buy arms from the state-owned weapons manufacturer and importer.

If you want to keep your freedom, don't let em take your guns.  Two guns rights guys on the git fiddle---Ted Nugent and Mark Farner.


Running automobiles on household ammonia

Nobody will believe that you could do this.  Maybe you can't, but wait.  Let's take a look at a few facts and speculations.
  1. Household ammonia is about 10% ammonia by weight.  If you were to use that ratio, it would take a 170 kg tank (  374 lbs ) to get 3 kgs of hydrogen out of it.  In other words, it could fit on a car. Instead of using fuel cells, let's burn it in an internal combustion engine.  The ammonia, that is, not the hydrogen.  I'm guesstimating that this will yield the energy equivalent of 3 gallons of gasoline, but I  may be wrong on that.
  2. With 3 gallons of gas and at 30 miles per gallon, that would yield a range of 90 miles.
  3. With a plug in hybrid with a battery range of 70 miles ( Nissan Leaf ), you could drive on the highway for an hour and a half on the ammonia alone.  Meanwhile, it is recharging the battery.  For a Nissan Leaf to have that range, it must have a battery of about 70/3= about 23 kwh capacity.   Enough to drive an hour at highway speed. 
  4. If you could recharge that battery before the 90 miles is over with the ammonia run internal combustion engine, you could drive another 70 miles.  Total range could be 70+70+90 equals 230 miles.
  5. If the engine was more economical, you could go further.
But how would you use household ammonia in an internal combustion engine?  You would convert it to pure ammonia before it goes into the combustion chamber.  Ammonia will come out of solution if it is heated sufficiently. You would need a heater.  The exhaust manifold on an internal combustion engine gets pretty hot.  Ammonia is a great refrigerant.  You could use that as an air conditioner and to cool the engine too.

In other words, you could make it work, but the car is starting to get complex.  It may violate the KISS principle, but it could work.

But Aronsson's Silver Volt gets much further range on his batteries, plus he has a gasoline engine ( 50 hp ) that will recharge the battery.  Just run his gasoline engine on household ammonia!  It may not be Zero Emissions, but it's getting pretty darned close.


Dead Ends

When you are pressed for time, it is a bit frustrating to spend time on something only to find out that it hasn't given the anticipated results.

For example, I just spent time reading a summary of Diamandis' book about Abundance.  Let's be clear here--- I'm not a critic of Diamandis.  In fact, I'm a fan.  But this book wasn't terribly useful with my time.  Even though it was a summary and not the book itself.  If there was anything I got out of the book, it was something that I read a long time ago about positive thinking.  It's just another way of saying everybody needs to think positive because things are getting better all the time.

I won't write a review of the summary.

Another apparent waste of time was in studying the Aluminum plus Potassium hydroxide method of obtaining in-situ hydrogen for fuel-cell powered vehicles.  To make a long story short, the thing would require a chemical laboratory installed on a vehicle in order to be useful.  Perhaps someday that will be possible, but it seems rather complicated.  I'd rather stick with the KISS principle--- that is, keep it simple, stupid.

The ammonia cracker for the in-situ production of ammonia is a better idea.

Two dead ends this morning.  Let's hope there isn't a third.

Update:

Yep.  A third.  I just spent time on something about there being ammonia on Mars' moon Phobos.  Yeah, it could be used as a propellant.  Phobos is a lot easier to get to from Earth.  The imagination beckons.  But it is a waste of time.

Update:

Might as well mention that I calculated that a maximum mixture of ammonia in water would give you about a 120 lb tank for the storage of 3 kg of ammonia  hydrogen.  Maximum is 30% ammonia solution by weight.  Run the numbers.  Anyway, that would be enough ammonia to take a fuel cell car about 150 to 180 miles.  Add a battery and that would be roughly 200 mile range.

Concerns about toxicity are scare tactics.  There must be some other reason why this is being opposed.


Friday, January 11, 2013

Ted Nugent

Now.



Then. On lead guitar.




You Can't Call a Pretty Girl Pretty; What Kind of Country Are We Becoming?

Free Republic

Some people need to learn to let a compliment be a compliment, and in a sports broadcast booth, if there is no harm done, to let guys be guys.[ emphasis added]

Yeah, that's the problem, in a nutshell.  The male population is being castrated.


Ann Coulter - January 9, 2013 - DOING THE RESEARCH THE NEW YORK TIMES WON'T DO

Ann Coulter - January 9, 2013 - DOING THE RESEARCH THE NEW YORK TIMES WON'T DO

money quote:
New Zealand is strikingly similar to Australia. Both are isolated island nations, demographically and socioeconomically similar. Their mass murder rate before Australia's gun ban was nearly identical: From 1980 to 1996, Australia's mass murder rate was 0.0042 incidents per 100,000 people and New Zealand's was 0.0050 incidents per 100,000 people.

The principal difference is that, post-1997, New Zealand remained armed to the teeth -- including with guns that were suddenly banned in Australia.

While it's true that Australia has had no more mass shootings since its gun ban, neither has New Zealand, despite continuing to be massively armed.

Another one:  ( oh, hell, just read it all!)
Instead, Rosenthal's column proclaimed that armed guards do not reduce crime...Latin American countries ... where guards with guns grace every office lobby, storefront, ATM, restaurant and gas station. It has not made those countries safer or saner."...On Rosenthal's logic, hospitals kill people because more people die in hospitals than outside of them. 
Oh, but Coulter is one of those "icky" conservatives.  That's why the people who need to read it, won't.

Rush: Federal Regulators Admit That Clinton's Mortgage Scam Caused the Economic Crisis

Rush Limbaugh via Free Republic

Rush is right.  Dig this:
So here came the subprime mortgage plan, and it basically was a federal program that ordered banks to lend money to people that had no way of paying it back, lend money to people that didn't have to take a credit test and pass it, lend money to people that everybody knew would never pay it back. By the way, if you're new to the program, I want to explain this again. Because the economic mess that we are in was caused and is the result of, predominantly, this.[ emphasis added]

You know why I know that this is true?  Back in 2007, Chris Laird mentioned on the Kitco website the fact that the commercial lending has frozen up.  This, by the way, was why I subscribed to Laird's newsletter.  I knew at that moment that the recession was on its way, it was just a matter of time.  As I wrote before, I got out of the markets and went short and made a nice profit.

Laird explained all about how the bad loans were sliced and diced up and spread around so that nobody knew who had the bad paper.  That's why the lending froze up and the recession was inevitable.  Nobody knew who to trust.

Besides that, I was watching very carefully because the yield curve had been inverted for a year.  An inverted yield curve is an indicator of tight money and an increased risk of recession.  When the credit markets froze up and the yield curve was inverted, it meant recession.  No way around it.

What Rush is pointing out is an admission by the government that this is indeed why things shook out the way they did.

I could go on, but I suppose this ought to be enough for reasonable people.  But the supply of reasonable people is short, thanks to liberalism.


"Save Texas. It's the last." Words of warning.

Free Repubic

I had noticed from the beginning of our exchange that she had a foreign accent. So before she left I asked her where she was from originally. "I am from Russia, she said. "Save Texas. It's the last."

The last bastion of freedom in the US.  Going blue pretty fast from the invasion from the south and the north.

Piers Morgan: “You come in here, brandish your little book as if I don’t know what’s in there--”

Breibart

“My little book? That’s the Constitution of the United States. It’s our founding document, Piers.” 

Looks like Piers lost the debate again.

Let's pull a quote from the transcript and look at it:
MORGAN: Explain to me this. I can't buy this. This is six packets of Suedafed, there one of the many companies that make this particular ingredient, which you can't buy legally in America. There we are, six packets. That is illegal for me to buy in that quantity in Wal-Mart, say, but I can buy an AR-15 military style assault rifle. I can then, as we saw with Holmes -- the shooter in Aurora -- go and get 6,000 rounds of ammunition from the internet and I can go and blow up a movie theater. Do you think that's right? [emphasis added]

Comment:

The shooter in Aurora got into the theater through the back way.  These were supposed to be exit only, but Holmes blocked it open on his way out and then re-entered.  That shouldn't be possible.  There was a hole in their security and Holmes exploited it.

Now, Morgan is using this argument of his to go after gun rights, but he doesn't even examine what really happened there and why.  Same with Sandy Hook.  Not enough security.

If you are going to have gun-free zones, you should be willing to supply adequate security.  That should be the law.  Adequate security would mean no illegal access through back doors.  It would mean a security check at the door and an armed guard at the entrance.

Every time some mass shooting occurs, the gun-rights people have to defend what our basic rights are according the Constitution of the United States.  This should not be so.  The real question should be asked of those who want to have these gun-free zones as to why they don't have adequate security at their facility.  After all, they are responsible for the safety of the people inside their facility.  If guns were allowed, that responsibility would fall upon the individuals themselves.   Those who impose gun-free zones are taking responsibility for the well-being of the people in their facility with their exclusion of guns, and by doing so, should be required to answer for why they failed in their task of providing adequate security when these violent events occur.


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Hitler vs Vader 2. Epic Rap Battles of History Season 2.

Some of the rap battles aren't so great, but this one is ok.


Bill McKibben: Our protest must shortcircuit the fossil fuel interests blocking Barack Obama

guardian.co.uk  link via Samizdata

Lovely quote upcoming:
Physics doesn't understand that rapid action on climate change threatens the most lucrative business on Earth, the fossil fuel industry.

Comment:

Actually, as Greg Vezina has shown, this is not true.  You can burn ammonia in an internal combustion engine---no carbon and very low emissions.  You can also make ammonia with zero carbon emissions.  So, the fossil fuel industry is not threatened by rapid action on climate change.   It is threatened by those who don't like profitable businesses, like the fossil fuels business.

Question:  Who might these people be?  Hint: Starts with a "C" and ends with a "t".


Remind me: does Piers Morgan’s absolute right to free speech give him the absolute right to disseminate false “facts”?

Protein Wisdom Blog

Quote:
The facts are what they are, and many of us have spent countless words relating them over the years, to no avail. The gun-control lobby knows the facts. They just don’t care. And that’s because gun-control is about control, not guns — just as environmental regulations are about regulatory molestation, not the environment.
It's all about control, not the thing itself.  You could expand that to education too.  Education is about controlling the people, not about educating the people.  Hence, the low quality of education in this country.

By the way, there was another post about Piers Morgan.  Note how respectful he is this time as opposed to the rudeness he displayed with the executive director of Gun Owners of America, Larry Pratt.

George Baker Selection - Little Green Bag (Reservoir Dogs tribute)



Never saw the flick. I wanted to use this song for the longest time, but couldn't find the suitable video. This movie may not be suitable, but I don't have time to watch it.

If you replace the little green bag with little green back, it changes things a bit.   I could see making a video out of this, but would have to come up with my own soundtrack and visuals.  Big challenge--- no time.




Economic Collapse! A Leading Indicator Of Better Times To Come

Darryl R Schoon  via Free Republic

Excerpts:
  • Today in 2013, the focus of the mechanics, i.e. central bankers, is still on the engine which despite trillions of dollars of credit is still in danger of completely seizing-up; and, although the bankers’ solution of even more credit(e.g. QE1, QE2, QE3, etc.) has failed to restore the automobile’s momentum, the failure to do so hasn’t stopped the mechanics’ attempts to add yet more credit to the already flooded engine.
  • The inability to revive the bankers’ credit and debt-based economy is a sign that a paradigm shift is underway.
  • The present financial crisis is caused by a systemic failure of credit and debt-based economies.
  • Professor David Hackett Fisher, author of The Great Wave: Price Revolutions and the Rhythm of History, observed that recurring price-revolutions, i.e. waves of rising prices, appear throughout history resulting in the collapse of existing eras, e.g. the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, etc.[emphasis added]
  • The present wave shares characteristics with all price-revolutions.
  • The banker’s credit and debt-based paradigm is ending and despite what central bankers and governments desperately wish...their economic engine will either seize up or the bankers’ excessive monetary easing will cause one or more of the tires to explode
  • It is not possible to discern a new paradigm before it emerges.
  • Just as the current paradigm cannot solve the current crisis, neither will reflexive ideological responses by the left and right formed by the present paradigm , e.g. state intervention vs the ‘free market’, work either.[ emphasis added]
  • Today, most don’t believe a far better world will emerge out of the coming economic collapse.

    It will. A better world is coming. You can bank on it.
Comment:

A couple passages up there were emphasized--- let's review each.  The price-revolution part assumes that we will have a hyper-inflation.  What if it went the opposite direction?  What if there was a price-revolution in the deflationary direction?  This may be what the central bankers are fighting with all their money printing.

For, if goods were to become super-abundant, as Diamandis and others think, then the prices of goods must fall dramatically.

Now for the second passage that I emphasized--- I did that because I have written over and over again that ideology can make you stupid.  If Schoon is right, this could be another example of it.

Unless you have a crystal ball, you don't what the future will bring.  I think we could go either way.


On the Platinum Coin Trick

Ace of Spades blog

Excerpts:
  • There are actually three questions tied up in the platinum coin trick. Is it constitutional? Is it legal? Is it a good idea? Actually, there's a fourth question, and we'll start there: Is it even necessary?
  • The answer to this fourth question, of course, is "no, it is not necessary, at least, not in the short term."
  • So, is the platinum coin constitutional?...The Supreme Court has upheld broad grants of generalized authority to executive agencies for sixty years now and this is no different.
  • Is the platinum coin legal?...Congress left the value of a bullion platinum coin up to the Secretary.
  • Is the platinum coin a good idea?...In short, the platinum coin trick an unnecessary idea and a bad one, but it is not, as some have argued, unconstitutional or illegal.
I still say that there's no difference between doing this and raising the debt and having the Federal Reserve buy bonds with money out of thin air.

There's one difference--- eventually, they will still run out of borrowing authority.  The platinum coin trick will only kick the can down the road.  It doesn't solve any problems.

As for good or a bad idea, I think it is a good idea to use it to fund the Social Security Account.  This would set it up as independent of the budget battles.  Besides, the money has already been paid in.  That's the only way I would support the idea.

However, I have had an idea of using platinum coins to fund a moon mission for purposes of mining it for platinum.  It wouldn't take a trillion dollar coin to do that.  You could set it up the same way as with other coins and use the mined platinum to strike the coins.  That would mean about a 30 to 50 to 1 value--- in such a case as that, it could be a $80,000 coin assuming 50 to 1 and a market value of $1600.  Such a value on each coin would yield $2,560,000,000 a ton.  Those would be mined on Earth.  The ones from the moon would be worth a lot more.


Call your reps err Wal Mart

SayUncle   via Instapundit

Actually, I buy a lot of stuff from WalMart.  If they disappoint me, I will stop doing business with them.

This blog post isn't the same as calling them, but it is sort of public with hundreds of pageviews every day.  If enough people read this and acted upon it, WalMart may feel some pain.  Then they will know our displeasure.


Barnhardt: Obama ordered death of Ambassador Stevens

Barnhardt.biz

Y'all gonna think that I've flipped my wig cuz this gal has definitely flipped hers.  Just read what she says about this guy.

But, I've always been very suspicious of Obama.  Also, very, very, very suspicious about Benghazi.  So, let me pull out a few things she said on the subject of Benghazi.
  • Hillary began pushing the fake "protests against a video blaspheming the prophet" BEFORE WOODS AND DOHERTY WERE KILLED.
  • Hillary's official statement on Benghazi at 10:58pm Eastern...Doherty and Woods were killed by mortar fire between 11:14 and 11:26 pm EDT.
  • As I wrote back in October, Benghazi was the planned and calculated murder of Chris Stevens by the Obama regime, with Hillary at point because they needed him dead to cover the gunrunning by the Obama regime to the Muslim Brotherhood / al Qaeda.[ emphasis added]
  • One of the SEALs was on the roof of the building painting a target with a laser expecting a drone or a gunship to engage. What the SEAL failed to understand is that the drone he knew was flying above him was in fact the asset of the very people who ordered the strike, and that they were back in Washington watching via that drone-cam, cooly waiting for him, the ambassador and the other assets there present to die.
Now Obama wants to go after guns.  Supposedly, this is reaction to Sandy Hook, but this too, is very suspicious.  That's what the link was about near the beginning of this post.

To tell the truth, I considered buying the type of weapons being considered for banning.  But not yet.

What am I waiting for?  As I always do, I try to be rational.  I hope that we can keep our wits here.  But this may be about to get harder and harder to do.  We are being provoked, I suspect.  Best to keep cool and keep working the system and hope that the system hasn't been so corrupted that it has become useless.

Barnhardt has given up on the system.  I say "not yet".

Even after Romney going bean bag on Obama on the subject of Benghazi?  Yes.  Even after the Republicans caved in on the so called "fiscal cliff"?  Yes.

The litmus test for me is what will their reaction be to the attempt to confiscate our weapons?



Fracking And Higher Education

Instapundit

Excerpts:
  1. North Dakota, unlike almost every other state, is poised to make an unprecedented spending increase in its higher education system.[ emphasis added]
  2. Politicians and education leaders hope an infusion of cash will help transform the system
  3. Republican lawmakers in other states have begun to question the value of state investments in higher education [emphasis added]
  4. Republican lawmakers are eager and excited to invest in higher education.
  5. Higher education leaders and politicians say that while the economic picture is unique to the state, the system would not be seeing an increase in funding had it not been for a concerted effort on the part of the board and system administration to prove that such an investment would be a good move on the part of lawmakers.
Comments:
  1. The pile of money being generated by the oil business is corrupting the state.  They are starting to act like the blue states.
  2. The infusion of cash will corrupt the system.  It will attract leftists to them like flies to shit.
  3. It is correct to question the value of state investments.  That's because the system will be rigged to favor the state and not the people they are supposed to serve.
  4. Note that it isn't a ideological position.  Republicans are calling for more spending.
  5. It is in their interest to expand their power and so this is the way to do it--- more money and more spending equal more power to the state.
That's the downside of prosperity.  It will corrupt the politicians and the politicians in turn will corrupt the people.

What to do?  Don't feed the damned beast.  Don't give them any more money.


Rossi: Domestic E-Cats Still Planned, Certification Problematic

e-catworld

Quote:
...put in a question on the Journal of Nuclear Physics regarding plans for the domestic E-Cat... His Response:...Absolutely yes, provided we resolve the certification and intellectual property issues 
Comment:

A perfect Catch-22 scenario.  I smell a rat, but who is the rat here?  Reminds me of the movie--- The Departed --- the search was on to find the rat.

If I may, the rat here could be what I call The Tiberius Syndrome.  We have a number of inventions that are pending which can be transformative, but for some strange reason, none of them seem to be catching on.  This is probably not a mere coincidence.  There's something here preventing the adoption of new technologies which could make a big difference in the lives of people.  There would be winners and losers, and the losers here would be the fat cats who already have theirs and want to keep it--- hence The Tiberius Syndrome.


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Who invented the internet? ( repost 5/14/12 )

Note:  I'm reposting this as it seemed appropriate considering what I found out about Aronsson  and his fuel cell technology today.  It is the significance of events that can make a difference between being rich or poor.  Read this to see what I mean.

This has become something of a joke on Al Gore.  It is an interesting story though, which I am researching now.

My interest in it relates to how I missed this as it was happening.  I've been interested in computers since 1978, long before the internet became popular.  Many people have become filthy rich from computers, yet here I am, toiling in relative obscurity.  Perhaps the study of the history of the thing could reveal how and why I seemed to have missed the boat.

Why should anyone else be interested in this?  Well, I don't know.  If you're interest includes making a ton of money, perhaps you shouldn't be paying attention to me.  On the other hand, perhaps something could be learned from this- it may be profitable to study it.

My first computing device was called a Video Text, and I purchased it in the spring of 1982.  I'm not totally sure, but the internet may have been functioning by that time.  So, I went to the old trusty Wikipedia to get the history of the internet in order to see the timeline.    Here's a quote from the article:
In 1982, the Internet Protocol Suite (TCP/IP) was standardized and the concept of a world-wide network of fully interconnected TCP/IP networks called the Internet was introduced. Access to the ARPANET was expanded in 1981 when the National Science Foundation (NSF) developed the Computer Science Network (CSNET). In December 1974, RFC 675 – Specification of Internet Transmission Control Program, by Vinton Cerf, Yogen Dalal, and Carl Sunshine, used the term internet, as a shorthand for internetworking; later RFCs repeat this use, so the word started out as an adjective rather than the noun it is today.

By the time I got the videotext computer from Radio Shack, the internet was up and running.  Al Gore had nothing to do with this part of the history of the internet.  That's why the joke is on Al.

By 1982, I had finished up my degree in Computer Science, and set out to find a job.  But the Houston job market was really bad and I had no luck.  The purchase of the computer was a way for me to keep a hand in on the computer field.  Little did I know the significance of what was happening.  Behind the scenes a bit, micro computers were finding their way on the market, and a guy named Bill Gates had written some code for the ROM in the Altair computer.  Actually, Gates was on the scene in the mid seventies, so I was already a bit late.  Actually, by 1982, Gates career was well on the way.  At that time, I did talk to somebody about a job using CP/M, which is a forerunner of MSDOS, which is what made Gates really rich.

Of course, I understood nothing about the significance of CP/M.  If I had, I might have wanted to kill in order to get that job.  The significance of CP/M became clear when IBM introduced its first PC.  That story is a result of an anti trust lawsuit against IBM, in which IBM agreed to develop an open architecture computer, which led in turn to the PC clone business.  A funny thing, it was called the IBM 5150.  I worked on a desktop computer at IBM NASA in 1979, as a kind of workstudy job.  The name of the computer was quite similar to this name, but the computer was a bit different, to say the least.  Its innards were proprietary, the innards of the PC were not, that's why it is called an open architecture.  It could be built with parts "off the shelf".  Only a small part of the machine was proprietary, but that was soon to be overcome, and the IBM clones were born.  You see, CP/M could run on these machines, and IBM selected Gates, who obtained a cloned copy of CP/M, which became known as MSDOS.

The significance there was that IBM couldn't control the PC market.  That was the intent of the anti trust suit.

The result was a boom in the PC clone business and Gates got rich.  Now there was a large market for PC's and a networking architecture in place waiting to be combined at the right time.  But the IBM PC's and their clones were too unsophisticated.  They needed to grow up.

When I got around to buying my first "real" personal computer, it was about 1984.  I considered buying an IBM PC, but the reason I didn't was because the Apple had better graphics.  That was one of the reasons.  The upshot was that I wasted too much time on something that wasn't going to work out.  That particular line of the Apple didn't work out, but the Macintosh did.  The Macintosh had a graphical user interface.  The IBM PC and the Apple had a "command line" interface, which was not exactly user friendly.  I didn't recognize the significance of the graphical user interface.  A pattern begins to emerge.  I failed to recognize the significance of events as they unfolded.

A better decision would have been to buy a Macintosh.  Subsequently, I understood my mistake as not having bought the PC, but the PC wasn't optimal either.  I was getting further and further behind in terms of staying at the leading edge.

But the graphical user interface of the Macintosh didn't win out.  The reason had a lot to do with the cost of the machine, in my opinion.  The PC clones were driving the cost of the machines down, so their popularity had a chance to grow.  In the meantime, the capabilities of the PC were gaining ground on the Macintosh.  But the PC was always a bit behind in elegance.  Jobs got booted from Apple, so that didn't help.  Gates developed Windows, which supplanted the clunky MSDOS.  Personally, I began to favor the clones because of the open architecture.  I avoided Windows because of the bad things I heard about it.

The time now would be around 1990.  At this time, I was using Prodigy.  I had heard of bulletin boards and such, but didn't visit many of those.  But Prodigy had one and I ran into a guy named Taegan Goddard.  He was interested in people's software, so I replied to him about mine.  He suggested that I try to get published with an outfit where he published his stuff.  I got a little familar with his work and I noticed his use of graphical user interface.  The comparison didn't favor me, as mine didn't have one.  That's what led to the rejection of my software- not user friendly enough.

If I had understood the significance of that, it might have helped.  Evidently, I am a bit thick headed, so I didn't.  User friendliness is absolutely essential in the success of software.  So was the case for the first web browsers that were soon to become available.  If only I understood that.

Another thing I was doing was to become interested in the stock market.  In 1987, I almost became a stock broker.  But there was this stock market crash, and I felt fortunate to not have become part of that.

In the late eighties, Microsoft went public.  Imagine buying a hundred shares of Microsoft just after its IPO.

Crash or no crash, that alone could have made someone a millionaire.  But there's still a missing piece to this puzzle.  What was the catalyst that made the World Wide Web so popular?

There had to be a connection between the internet as it had existed at that point, plus the hardware and software that was now available.  I think that connection was made by Tim Berners-Lee.  Just one more thing needed to complete the picture, a web browser.  That's where Marc Andreessen and the Mosaic browser comes in, and the World Wide Web was off to the races.  But why?  The Mosaic browser was not the first.  But it was the first to include graphics and text simultaneously, or in line with the text.  The graphics capability is what made Mosaic popular, in my opinion.

A good sense for what's popular is another ingredient for success.  It goes with recognizing the significance of events.  There are those who recognized this significance and got very rich.  Those who didn't, did not.

Al Gore couldn't take credit for the World Wide Web.  However, his efforts did help along the way.  The credit for the invention of the web go to many authors, not just one.

Politicians shouldn't take too much credit, but often they do.  But it should be kept in mind that strategic expenditures can make a big difference.  For this, Gore should be given some credit at least.

Incidentally, this is another opportunity for me to say that ideology can make you stupid.  If you think that private enterprise will always do the job, you haven't been paying attention.  On the other hand, the government can't do it either.  No, the best thing for the government is to provide the environment which can allow success to blossom.  If on the one hand, you think that government created the internet, you'd be wrong.  On the other hand, if you claim that government had nothing to do with it, you'd also be wrong.

The key is to recognize the significance of events.  Indiscriminate spending on something will not yield results.  Only intelligent efforts can succeed, as opposed to brute force or thoughtless actions.

Cover Of The Rolling Stone-Dr.Hook

Comic relief.



No wonder they appear so stupid

Because that's what they are.  From Ace: "The Unburstable Bubble of Willful Ignorance of the International Self-Purported Elites"

Quote:

After all, it's the natural duty of the simple shopkeeper to know the names of the Great Lords, but it is not the duty of the Great Lords to know the names of the shopkeepers.

But you'd better know who can chop your head off, like what happen in France circa 1789.  That attitude was not always the case in America.  ( I'm thinking of a particular example of a man who knew the names of thousands of people.)



Biden: Obama Considering ‘Executive Order’ to Deal With Guns

Protein Wisdom blog

Biden said that this is a moral issue and that “it’s critically important that we act.”

Blow it out your ear, Joe.  If the left wants gun-free zones, then let them be required to have a secured entrance and metal detectors installed.   Let the House pass such a bill.   Let's see then who is being unreasonable.

Updated interview of Aronsson

Francis Knize  Uploaded on Feb 28, 2012

Knize brings up Obama, but Obama's Energy Secretary Chu isn't friendly to fuel cell technology.  That's the fact, Jack, or shall I say "Francis".

Let's stay away from the partisanship, please.  It doesn't have to be a partisan issue.




Garland E. Harris Interviews Bob Aronsson ( video series )

Holy crap!!!  This guy Aronsson is a freaking genius.  I'm going to post all of the videos of this series.  Unfortunately, the author of the videos, Garland Harris, has his video playlist discombobulated so you can't just sit back and watch them in proper sequence.  Therefore, as a service to you, my readers, I am going to fix that little problem.

Enjoy!!!

In this second video ( the previous post has a link to the playlist that starts with the first video in the series ), Aronsson explains how his batteries are superior to lithion ion batteries.  Longer life, lower price.  Part 2:




 3:  He says his cars have been around for 30 years.  He's been driving it that long and it still drives great.



4:  Look at all those patents on the wall.



5:  Why use a battery with the fuel cell?  It never has to be recharged.



6:  Get a microscopic look at the innards of the lead foam battery.




7: In the next video, he explains how his system works in a residential application. It will crack ammonia into hydrogen, and then the hydrogen fuel combines with atmospheric oxygen in order to make electricity.



8: Next, he shows the battery and the fuel cell as completed products to be sold. He moves on to show how the battery and fuel cell are made.






9:  Next, he explains how ammonia can be produced from hydrocarbons.





10: He talks about water electrolyzers. Hmmm.




11  He takes someone for a ride in his Silver Volt fuel cell powered automobile that he made 30 years ago.




12:   He lifts the hood of the Silver Volt and shows how his was the first plug in electric hybrid!





13 He shows his fleet of Silver Volts. Plans are for plants in other states. I'll have to check and see how that turned out.


14 Now he shows the narrator the more recently manufactured Mars 5 car from China that will be retrofitted and upgraded with his fuel cell/ battery technology.



15: The test drive in the Mars 5 takes place here.



16: Wrap up discussion of electric cars and so forth.  The ultimate solution is what he claims.  






Garland E. Harris Interviews Bob Aronsson at Apollo Energy



This is the power plant that was to be put into the Zap car mentioned in the previous post. I put this video up, which is one of a series of videos with this inventor, because of the astounding part in which he said he reduced the price of the fuel cell from $600k per kilowatt to to $188 per kilowatt. That means his 7 kw fuel cell could sell for less than $1500--- if I am not mistaken.

I am still amazed that this technology is still unknown and hasn't been adopted. Or, perhaps I shouldn't be, which would be sad.




Update:

I listed this on the sidebar as a series.  But it isn't formatted in such a fashion, but there have been a lot of blog posts on here which covers the subject.

In order to get a list of a few of them, paste "aronsson" and/or "apollo" in the search box at the top of the screen.

I think that electric fuel cells combined with his batteries can be built now and they would be affordable.  That in connection with a recent post on 3D printing of a car, which can reduce the weight dramatically, will definitely make this feasible.  It can be done now.  No magic beans, no secret sauce.


ZAP Signs $100 Million Exclusive Agreement for Apollo Fuel Cell Technology

zapworld

Here's the problem:  It is dated in 2004, for heaven's sake.  That means something must have gone wrong.

There's a story here, but what is it?  It is really weird to me that this didn't take off.  The story would be the reason why it didn't.


Green Car Congress: ZAP and Apollo Demo On-Board Ammonia Reformer for Alkaline Fuel Cell Car

Green Car Congress: ZAP and Apollo Demo On-Board Ammonia Reformer for Alkaline Fuel Cell Car

What the hell happened with this?  I'm going to look into this.


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Inquiring minds want to know this

What do you do when the world goes nuts?

That seems to me to be the case right now.

Nuts, I tell you, nuts!

Well, you can do something that gives pleasure.  Craziness can't be too bad if you're having a good time.

Or, you can make money.   Making money doesn't guarantee that you get to keep it, though.  The ability to make money means that at least something is working--- for the moment, that is.  The moment when everything stops working, money won't be any good anymore.

I'm trying to be rational, you see.  But that is not exactly getting me anywhere.  Not in this crazy world.


Asteroid 2012 DA14 to sweep close on February 15, 2013

Earth Sky via Free Republic and BI

Quote:
Asteroid 2012 DA14 is a little guy, compared to some asteroids, although its size has not been pinned down precisely. It is thought to be about 45 meters across (nearly 150 feet across), with an estimated mass of about 130,000 metric tons....If a space object 150 feet wide were to strike our planet, it wouldn’t be Earth-destroying.
Evidently, not much is known about the asteroid.  Would it be worth intercepting and mining it?  At 130,000 tons, it would be a huge haul.  The Apollo command module and lunar module together weighed in was about 100k pounds, or about 50 tons.  So, you can see how much bigger it is than a spacecraft that took the biggest rocket that the USA has ever launched in order to get it into space.  Think of what could be done with all that mass.



The insanity of minting a trillion dollar platinum coin

Rick Moran,  American Thinker

To use that authority to backdoor the 17th and 18th trillion dollars of the national debt would be, according to Castle, "so far-fetched and so black helicopter-ish a type of methodology of trying to resolve something like this that I think the public would totally scoff at it."
Comment:  I repeat, how is this any different from what they are already doing?  If this is crazy, then it all is.

But, I could have told you that already.


Starving the world's poor

to feed green biofuels  link via Instapundit

Quote:
The world needs a smart green movement. Barring that, a green movement that bothered to think through consequences and make a serious cost benefit analysis on its proposals would be an immense improvement over the shambles we have now. [ emphasis added]

Hallelujah to that.  You can produce ammonia using the Kvaerner Process on fossil fuels plus the Haber Process to make ammonia.  You can burn ammonia in internal combustion engines.  No carbon dioxide is produced.  All of this is possible today.  That would be smart.  The current policy is stupid.

To add further, the book I read over the last couple days described how well the Shuttle fuel cells worked.  If you were to ship the ammonia to the point of sale, you could remove the nitrogen from the ammonia, which leaves your hydrogen.  Then cryolyze the hydrogen and run your fuel cell vehicle on it.

The Shuttle's fuel cells do not use expensive platinum.  But it isn't suitable for use as it is.  But you can get around that.  How?  What you could do is to use the cryolyzed hydrogen to fix the oxygen out of the atmosphere and then run pure hydrogen and fixed oxygen through the fuel cell.  The Shuttle fuel cell can't use the atmosphere as is because carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will foul it.  Those adaptions will solve that little problem.

So, with the less expensive fuel cell and system to make zero carbon hydrogen, you could solve the global warming problem and energy problem in one fell swoop.

It's all under their noses and they don't even know it.  Stupid.

Update:

It is also stupid for the government to mandate ethanol in gasoline as it harms the engine.  If ammonia was substituted instead, it would actual enhance performance and longevity of the engine.  The government's idea was to make it more green, but as is seen above, this isn't necessary.  As a matter of fact, it isn't even green and it is costly.


Parker: The Stupidification Of Math Teaching In America

Parapundit

Quote:
This was my initiation into the world of reform math. It is a world where understanding takes precedence over procedure and process trumps content. In this world, memorization is looked down upon as "rote learning" and thus addition and subtraction facts are not drilled in the classroom--it's something for students to learn at home. Inefficient methods for adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing are taught in the belief that such methods expose the conceptual underpinning of what is happening during these operations. The standard (and efficient) methods for these operations are delayed sometimes until 4th and 5th grades, when students are deemed ready to learn procedural fluency.[ emphasis added:  Comment--- I added the emphasis because rote learning was how I learned it and I was fairly good at math.]

Further comment:

I wrote a computer software program that taught basic math skills through repetition, or as it is known, rote learning.  It wasn't successful commercially, but I thought it was a fairly good idea.

This story looks like a case of what Rush Limbaugh calls the feminization of America.  Girls don't like math, boys do better at it.  Ooops!  That's sexist of me.  But why isn't this practice sexist?  Because someone in authority says so.


Fake mission to Mars leaves astronauts spaced out

Ian Sample, science correspondent ,The Guardian, Monday 7 January 2013

Though chosen for the job as the best of the best, the would-be spacefarers spent more and more time under their duvets and sitting around idle as the mission wore on. The crew's activity levels plummeted in the first three months, and continued to fall for the next year...the results point to a need for tests that can spot astronauts who are vulnerable to sleep disorders, Basner said. 
 Comment:

Three years is a very long time to be confined like that.  Before anybody goes to Mars, they should be tested and trained as best as is possible.

Another possibility?  Hibernation--- if that's feasible.  A thought just occurred to me--- what if this excessive sleep is due to a natural tendency towards hibernation?


What the guy who helped write the trillion-dollar platinum coin law told me

it's legal via Ace of Spades.

There's a congressman who wants to ban the practice.   How do you think that will go over in Democrat circles?
U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) today announced plans to introduce a bill to stop a proposal to mint high-value platinum coins to pay the federal government’s bills.

“Some people are in denial about the need to reduce spending and balance the budget. This scheme to mint trillion dollar platinum coins is absurd and dangerous, and would be laughable if the proponents weren’t so serious about it as a solution. I’m introducing a bill to stop it in its tracks,” Rep. Walden said.

Krugman likes it.  Barry will like it too.

PJTV: Afterburner: Rule of Lawlessness



During the Watergate era, it was known as the Rule of Law v. the Rule of Men. The title is okay, but curious as to why he used that term. We are moving toward the Rule of Men which is equivalent to what Whittle says, but the use of Rule of Men may have more impact.



Putting That $1 Trillion Coin to Good Use

Via Meadia

Paul Krugman is the latest economics commentator to endorse the hottest solution going to the debt ceiling standoff: minting a $1 trillion coin.

Comment:

Uh, oh!  If Krugman likes it, it must be bad.  I may have to re-think this idea.

Actually, I'm not serious.  I'd have to read what Krugman has to say before making a judgment.

Update:

I read Krugman's article.  Mary Matalin's observation that Krugman is practicing polemics and not economics, seems apt here:

This still leaves the question of whose face goes on the coin — but that’s easy: John Boehner. Because without him and his colleagues, this wouldn’t be necessary.

Actually, Mead cautioned above against abuse of this loophole in the law.  He said the currency is like Tinkerbell, it can only live if people believe in it.   Well, if truth is going to kill it, then it ought to die.  Krugman and his ilk might be the executioner.  Be careful what you wish for, Paul.


Review: Tomorrow's Energy: Hydrogen, Fuel Cells, and the Prospects for a Cleaner Planet.

Starting off, the book's style is a bit prosaic.  That put me off and I almost put the book down.  However, the book's sheer volume of information kept me interested enough to keep going.  By the end of the book, I was quite impressed with the enormous volume of information provided.

The book is slightly biased, but not too much so.  It is biased towards the left, with a slight emphasis on big government solutions.  This is not to be unexpected, as the impetus for this subject comes largely from the left's preoccupation with climate change.  For me, this is no big deal, as the energy security angle was my major concern.  Politics need not be a problem, as an opportunity exists to bridge the gap between right and left on this issue.

But it remains to be seen if this opportunity can be seized.  The book did not cover the political aspect of the issue very deeply.  When it did, it focused in on bashing two Republican administrations--- Reagan and George W. Bush--- for not doing more.  Indeed, the book was pessimistic in tone towards the adoption of this technology, citing a study that says adoption of new technologies can take a century.

It is also somewhat biased against nuclear energy.  There was no mention at all about the work of Weinberg and his successor, Kirk Sorensen, with respect to the concept of molten salt reactors using the thorium fuel cycle.

There was also no mention at all of Greg Vezina's work on developing ammonia as an easy way to hydrogen, as Vezina puts it.  Ammonia can be burned in an internal combustion engine.  Thus, it could bridge the gap between the incumbent technologies of internal combustion engines powered by fossil fuels versus the new technology of hydrogen fuel cells also powered by fossil fuels and eventually renewables.

So, despite the enormous volume of information, two clearcut pathways toward the goal of a hydrogen future were not adequately covered.  This was a definite weakness in the book.

Yet, I would recommend reading the book.  I found out something that I didn't know much about--- the Bloom box.  It would seem that there would be something for everyone to learn from this book, even those such as myself, since I have studied and written about this issue for years.

Update:

The review has been cross posted at Amazon.  The link can be found on the left sidebar near the bottom of the page.


Monday, January 7, 2013

WaPo: Hagel Nomination Off To Rocky Start

via Instapundit

Quote:
President Obama wants to get credit for bipartisanship, so he picks a Republican defense secretary who will garner few if any Republican votes.
Or is it to pick a fight?   Well, to send in Hagel to pick a fight with Republicans is like sending Pee Wee Herman in to pick a fight with Lady Gaga.


Next Big Future: Thorium reactor projects getting increased funding...

Next Big Future: Thorium reactor projects getting increased funding...: The UK Telegraph has an update on global projects to develop commercial Thorium molten salt reactors. China's project has $350 million in...

Barack Obama: 'We don't have a spending problem'

reason.com via Instapundit

Quote:

Mr. Boehner says that after he recovered from his astonishment—"They blame all of the fiscal woes on our health-care system"—he replied: "Clearly we have a health-care problem, which is about to get worse with ObamaCare. But, Mr. President, we have a very serious spending problem." He repeated this message so often, he says, that toward the end of the negotiations, the president became irritated and said: "I'm getting tired of hearing you say that." [ emphasis added, comment: In other words, Shut up!]
"Whatever you do, don't shut up." --- Andrew Klavan on the Culture.  Don't give them your guns, either.


Bloom boxes



I'm flabbergasted. I've never heard of these things and they were on 60 Minutes. That explains it. I don't watch TV anymore.

Oops.

These things could be a big deal.  The only reason I know about them is from the book I'm reading.  I've stopped reading it so that I could make this post.



Posting will be light again today, 1/7/13

Still reading the book--- Tomorrow's Energy: Hydrogen, Fuel Cells, and the Prospects for a Cleaner Planet.

It is a veritable encyclopedia of information about the new Hydrogen economy.  If you don't believe that this will happen, this book may change your mind.

One thing that I noticed which is quite intriguing:  NASA's fuel cell technology may be better than what is out there in the marketplace.  Yet it isn't being commercialized.  Evidently, they can't get no respect--- a la Rodney Dangerfield.  This technology alone could revolutionize the automotive field.  But why isn't this being exploited?


Sunday, January 6, 2013

When girls were girls and men were men




Oops! Getting TV shows mixed up, but you know what I mean. Or do you?

Glen Reynolds is mad at the greens?

Looks like that on Instapundit

What worries me a little is that the "right" is missing the boat on this issue.


Ammonia reforming

What about an alternative to electrolyzing ammonia?   There was something about ammonia reforming in the book I'm reading today, so I googled it.  There was something about a project to make an onboard ammonia reformer on a fuel cell car.  It's not clear that this vehicle was built.  It looks like a set of plans to build one.  Besides that is this link to a place that sells ammonia reformers.

There's a lot in the book about building the hydrogen fuel delivery infrastructure.  It would seem to be unnecessary if you can put an ammonia fuel reformer / electrolyzer on the vehicle itself.  Then, all you have to do is to deliver the ammonia to the point of sale.  The vehicle does the rest.


A way to make natural gas green enough for the greenies

Kværner-process plus Haber Process  yields ammonia from natural gas with no carbon dioxide produced.  By the way, the   Kværner-process is mentioned in the book I'm reading.  However, the author doesn't give much importance to it.  I think it could be a big deal, but I'll have to write about that later.


Ammonia as rocket fuel

The book is quite long and I've set it down for now to write a little about an idea that came to me just now.

The idea was that you could make ammonia in space with the nitrogen that was captured by a LOXLEO spacecraft.  Since 80% of the atmosphere is nitrogen, it would seem to be a way to go in order to get some use out of it.

After further review of that post, it turns out that my previous idea was probably better.

Never mind!


Posting is light today

Because I am reading Tomorrow's Energy: Hydrogen, Fuel Cells, and the Prospects for a Cleaner Planet.

You can't do two things simultaneously, you know.  It takes time to read through the book.  Until that time, I will be occupied with the book.