Tuesday, December 08, 2009

A Post that Defies Titling

Buckle in kiddies; it's gonna be another one of those posts.

Last night, we tried out a "floating" Italian restaurant [Debbie informed me that it wasn't an Italian restaurant even though I had pasta]. It was floating in the sense that you had to walk a gangplank over water to get to it and its general shape hinted that the structure was free-floating at some stage in its life. But it didn't move as it was firmly anchored on pilings running down to the bottom of the harbor. The food was good and we ate way too much, of course. The best part was that our server's name was Luigi. Yep. Perfect. We spent the rest of the evening laying in front of the TV in our room suffering the sweet agony of over-full bellies and fell asleep around 9pm. Life is so hard....

Couple more follow-up's on the whole climate thing. First an article that touches on something I mentioned in my climate rant from a few days ago. I said in reference to the state of the raw data that science isn't an exact science. This article does a great job of showing just what someone is up against when dealing with weather data from a surface station. He also shows how that difficulty has been used as a smoke screen to lie about the climate record. It's long, and gets technical in parts, but worth the trouble if you care.

And a bit of humor:

No comment. None. Nada. Moving right along....

Branson and Rutan are making news again with a commercial space liner. It's "only" $200K per seat, but don't break your arm reaching for that wallet just yet. It only carries six passengers and there are already something like 300 tickets bought and paid for. This vehicle won't dock with the space station or go to the moon, but it's another step towards commercial access to space. NASA seems to be waking up to the fact, if a bit late, that after next year, American cannot send humans into space for the first time since the Mercury missions, and are actually getting their fat ass out of the way.

Something that will come as a surprise to no one:
The Obama Administration is touting that their stimulus program has saved or created 640,329 jobs since it was enacted back in February through the end of October. This number is updated and posted on the Administration’s recovery.gov web site. That amounts to $246,436 per job based on the $157.8bn that has been awarded so far! Total compensation earned by the average payroll employee during October, on an annualized basis, was $59,867. If the government had simply used the funds awarded so far to pay for a year’s worth of labor, that would have paid for 2.6mn jobs!

And if the government just mailed out $50K checks to every household in America, it would cost about 10% what we currently spend at the local, state and federal levels on various welfare scams. (shrug) Business as usual in Foggy Bottom. Moving right along.

Anywhere outside of North America, diesel engines rule. The reason is simple. For any size of engine from lawn mowers to trains, a diesel will only use 60% of the fuel that a comparable gasoline engine will use. If anyone really cared about how much gasoline we use (as opposed to just whining endlessly while continuing to do the same thing) nearly everything would have a diesel engine in it. VW to its credit, keeps pushing diesel solutions. The latest gets 70mpg. In a real car that real-sized people can get into that has real cargo space and can be manufactured and sold and driven today. Hello, US car companies? Where are you?

I'm not going to get in-depth on this story if for no other reason that it would likely cost me my last two readers. But maybe someone can explain to me how suing everyone in sight is supposed to make you feel better about your parenting fail that lead to your 18-year-old killing herself? Moving on.

Batteries printed on copy paper. Sweet. Batteries are the weak spot in so many applications. We really need a huge leap forward in this area. A technology that uses a light-weight material like paper would be huge.

And I'm off to scare up some food for myself and get out of housekeeping's way while they clean our room.

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