Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Peak Loo-Roll

We've all heard about peak oil and peak coal; now it's peak toilet paper:

The reason? Quite simply, that the disappearance of newsprint and magazines, the replacement of letters by e-mail and other forms of digital comms, the continual shift of records off paper and into databases - all these mean that there is less and less high-quality paper available for recycling every year.

What that means to you personally is a bleak future of scratchy, abrasive, fiercely painful lavatory paper - probably strictly rationed, to boot....

This means that the only hope for the Western lifestyle is increasingly advanced bumwad chemicals technology, enabling paper to be recycled more and more times. But achieving this is by no means certain. It may well be that the Western lavatory paper of today represents a pinnacle of human achievement that will never be seen again: future generations, nether regions rendered tough and horny by brutally coarse hygiene products or implements yet unknown, will look back on the early 21st century as a long-lost golden age of restroom comfort.

You gotta love a place where you can read terms like "bumwad" and "cleftwipe" in the daily paper. May there always be an England. (Prediction: someone will land on this page after Google-ing one of those terms.)

Latest word on my census job is that there is a limited amount of materials ready for us to tackle. I have a meeting at 1pm today to pick up what I need to keep busy for at least a couple days. We've heard through the grape vine that the offices are in chaos due to computer problems. Now the GAO has made it official that the 2010 Census will likely be a fiasco. And contrary to rumors, the enumerators that will be knocking on doors will not have hand-held computers; we will have paper forms and #2 pencils.

When is zero not actually zero? When it's a zero-energy house:

We are not including the use of natural gas or water into our "Zero Energy" calculations.

The "Zero Energy" refers to electrical use only.

So the way to build a zero-energy house is to ignore the energy used for heating, hot water and cooking, which is the vast bulk of a house's energy budget. Got it. I didn't realize that I had a zero-energy car; it uses exactly the same amount of electricity as it generates. I just solved the world's energy problems. Go me.

Speaking of energy, there is a lot of talk about smart meters and smart grids. What most people don't realize is that these not only allow the power company to remotely cut off all power to your house for any reason or no reason at all, but when combined with smart appliances, it will allow the utility to alter thermostat settings and what not if you are determined to be using more than your fair share. Our future's so bright I gotta wear shades....

(I just realized that I've linked to the the UK Register three times today; given the tabloid-ish nature of nearly all UK print media, that's probably not a good habit.)

BP is attempting to stop the gusher blowing oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Lets all cross our fingers and hope this works because if not, the back-up plan will take months while oil continues to pour into the Gulf at 5,000 barrels a day. The finger-pointing and lawsuits are also starting in earnest. Again, if you want to know who's really at fault, go look in a mirror.

Just when you thought it was safe to fly to Europe, our friendly volcano lets out another belch. You may want to consider vacationing within driving distance as this will continue on-and-off for the next year or so.

We need to go for a bike ride and I have to get all the accounting stuff caught up before my 1pm meeting, so time to get off the computer.

No comments: