June 4th, 2009

#1582: Gas is expensive again.

It's creeping up towards $3 per gallon here, again. What happened to "falling demand"?

Well, the dollar is weakening and China's economy is expanding. Mostly it seems to be due to the former: there is going to be inflation and there's not a damn thing anyone can do about that now.

As for me, I've taken the Escort out of mothballs and have started using it as much as possible.

* * *

Speaking of improving efficiency, is there anything lasers can't do? Zap a conventional incandescent light bulb filament with a high-powered laser for just a tiny slice of time, and the resulting changes to the filament's molecular structure makes it shine brighter.

It apparently can make an incandescent bulb about 1.4% efficient, as opposed to the 1% efficiency attained by untreated bulbs. (For comparison, flourescent bulbs are about 4% efficient.)

* * *

Bad news for Obama. The predictions are pretty dire, and I don't see how they can fail to come to pass.
The difficulty for Mr. Obama will be when the public sees where his decisions lead -- higher inflation, higher interest rates, higher taxes, sluggish growth, and a jobless recovery.
This is Karl Rove talking; he knows what he's about. Still, when he says "jobless recovery" I wonder how much of a recovery we can expect, and when. From here, to me, it looks like the Carter "malaise" years all over again.

That's not surprising, though, since this administration looked like "Carter 2.0" before Obama even won the election.

* * *

So with the new video card, WoW looks absolutely gorgeous, to the point that I am seeing detail I never saw before. Everything is perfectly sharp now that I can run the game in my monitor's native resolution. So I see things I didn't see before, tiny details: the fringe on my character's cloak, the pattern on a monster's shield, angular patterns in tufts of grass. The shadows look great. The colors are more brilliant and clearer.

...some of it must be subjective; I have to wonder how much. I don't know. What I do know is that I'm glad I upgraded the video card.