March 16th, 2011

#2603: Okay, now THERE is cause for concern.

When they pull people out of the plant, that's when you start to worry.

The article is, as usual, woefully short on facts and figures. What can you do? That's what passes for journalism these days.

Like this. You've got to love the headline; it's a work of art. They managed to imply emphasis on the last two words without actually doing anything.

I expect this is what they wanted to do, but were prevented by The Chicago Manual of Style:

Japanese plant poses little threat to US — FOR NOW!!!

Space considerations probably prevented the following:

Japanese plant poses little threat to US — FOR NOW!!! BUT WE'RE ALL SCREWED ANYWAY BECAUSE NUCLEAR POWER IS HORRIBLE AND EVIL AND DANGEROUS!!!!

*sigh*

Anyway, Ace reports there's some confusion about whether or not the plant has actually been abandoned. There are at least two translations taking place--from Japanese to English, and then from English to "liberal journalist"-speak--so translation errors are to be expected.

Doesn't help when the journalists in question know nothing about the subject they're covering, except perhaps "when I was in college I protested against Yucca Mountain!"

I'm not kidding, these guys need remedial English: "Units 4, 5 and 6 were shut at the time of the quake, but even offline reactors have nuclear fuel — either inside the reactors or in storage ponds — that need to be kept cool."

Yes, that's a basic subject-predicate disagreement: "offline reactors have nuclear fuel" and "that need to be kept cool." Should be "needs". Sure, offline reactors need to be kept cool; but offline reactors have nuclear fuel that needs to be kept cool. "Nuclear fuel" is singular.

...a professional journalist, with an editor and everything, should not be making a mistake like that. But, WTF, things like grammar and facts are patriarchal and sexist and probably homophobic, so colleges no longer focus on those kinds of things.

* * *

Also from Ace, there's gonna be a bloodbath in Libya as the socialist dictator there slaughters everyone who even thought about revolting against his regime.

Obama's just voting "present", as usual.

This article on Obama's non-performance in office is pretty damning, particularly because it compares Nixon favorably to Obama. Now, when someone can legitimately say, "Good God, I wish Nixon was back in office right now!" you know you've got a moron for President. Forget Watergate; Nixon's the guy who saddled us with EPA and OSHA and cut the Apollo program.

On the plus side, his policies led to South Vietnam being able to hold its own, until the communist-loving Democrat congress cut military aid to that country so that North Vietnam could crush them.

Obama's not even doing that much. Those rebels in Libya might as well just bend over and kiss their asses goodbye. If they were the communists (instead of ol' Moammar) he'd be all about helping them overthrow the government--witness his administration's efforts with Honduras--but since they're trying to overthrow the socialist, well...holy shit, will you look at that? It's almost my tee time! Where's my golf clubs? Somebody grab my spikes and get them to me on Marine One before we take off!

What a mess. We tried to warn you, you know.

* * *

Awesome video: bully gets his. I mean, the bully's victim picks his scrawny ass up and slams him into the concrete. The bully can barely walk after that.

And here's the sad, sad tale:
Apparently, Casey got suspended from school for his actions and could face further discipline, while the kid picking on him allegedly received no punishment.
Emphasis mine.

Typical. Even with video evidence of the bully throwing the first punch, acting like a shithead and provoking the poor kid--even with that!--the victim is still the one punished, probably because "his reaction was inappropriate". "Just ignore it!" "You don't have to respond!" "Just walk away!"

Like you can just walk away from that kind of shit. The bully's got legs, too, you know.

The fucking twat can't walk afterwards; when he gets body-slammed--I couldn't help watching it a couple of times--his ankle is right on the landscape timber bordering the walkway. You can hear the bone hit the wood; at best, that kid's got a nasty bruise on his lower shin. But to be honest I hope the little shit's got a broken leg, because then he'll spend the next six weeks in a cast and the other students will think--every time they see him--Casey broke his leg! Holy shit!

Maybe that'll teach the asshat not to pick on people. Probably not. Especially not if he doesn't get the same administrative punishment as his victim.

* * *

Spring anime preview.

Moshidora is the first one on the list that grabs my attention.

Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai might be good.

Hanasaku Iroha I'll watch because it's about cute girls working at an onsen.

...I don't know. A lot of the stuff in this season's preview just leaves me cold. Fortunately there's only one shounen ai title this time, though, which is a huge plus.

Hoshizora e Kakaru Hashi is a possibility, as is 30-sai no Hoken Taiiku. A couple of titles are ecchi but I'm staying away from the eroge adaptation (Ore-tachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai) because Yosuga no Sora left such a bad taste in my mouth.

* * *

This is nice, but not $98 nice:



Pic stolen from Steven, who links to Robert's Anime Corner Store in that post, so I won't add the link here, 'cause I'm lazy.

Nothing against RACS, either, because they're in business to make money. It's just that anime figs are spendy. I have a pretty hard rule about not spending assloads of money on figs, even when I'm employed and even when they're made of awesome. Hell, in 1998 I could have afforded to buy a bust of Belldandy that cost $300; it was beautiful, and it was an amazing figure, but damn--$300.

(Actually, it might have been $400. Even so.)

None of my figs cost more than $30, and at that I think the upper cost included shipping. It means I don't have a very enviable collection, but at least that way I don't have to take out an insurance policy on it.

* * *

Speaking of which--

When I get a house, I want it to have three bedrooms, like the current bunker. The third bedroom need not be huge, but it'll become the studio; and that's where I'll put my art table and all my anime merchandise, on display. Computer and art stuff, all in one place, like I had in Cedar Rapids before about this time 2002.

The spare bedroom in my 2-bedroom apartment was a mess, but at least I had room for my art table and computer desk and everything. All told the place was perhaps 600 square feet.

Having been advised to look at property values in Rantoul, I see that they're about at Cedar Rapids levels; a 700 square foot, 2-bedroom apartment runs around $450-$500 per month and houses range from $40,000 on up. It's "cheap" compared to the Chicago area, but it's not really cheap.

When I worked at R-C, making what I made there, I could pay my bills and buy anime and manga--said purchases amounting to perhaps $80 per month, and comprising the entirety of my entertainment budget for the month--but saving was not easily accomplished. To be fair, I was trying to pay down all my revolving debt at the time, run up during my foolish college years, and succeeding--all my spare cash was going into paying down debt. I lost my job at R-C before I could quite finish that, though I'd trimmed everything down far enough that I could justify buying a new $1,100 computer. (And lost my job a scant 5 months after buying the computer, so I started my unemployment with $800 on my credit card. *sigh* At least that computer served me well until 2007.)

So if I get that job at #2 and have to live down there, I don't know how I'll do if they pay me what R-C was paying me. Still, WTF, it's a job, and it's an entry into a real career in robotics, and parsimonious living never hurt anyone too seriously. I did it before; I could do it again--and in the absolute worst case it won't matter anyway, because Earth will be a slightly radioactive dust cloud circling the sun and we'll all be wisps of vapor, so fuck it.

* * *



I guess me and Dilbert are in the same boat.

#2604: No reason to worry after all.

So the workers went back to the stricken plant. But we're still not getting any actual numbers on how much radiation there is. Just "XX times normal!"

This is the closest they come to giving us any dose information: "It would take three years of constant exposure to these higher levels to raise a person's risk of cancer," and that's buried way down in the dregs of the article.

Like me, Rod Adams isn't worried, either.

If you're worried about the troubled nuclear plants in Japan, read this. It explains in pretty simple terms how safe nuclear power is, even against people who'd deliberately try to cause a radiological release.

Way down in this article we get a quote from the US State department (Hillary's domain) advising US citizens not to travel to "that part of" Japan, for fear of radiation poisoning.

Jesus Christ.

People are panicking over this when they really don't need to. WTF: this unreasoned fear just erased a trillion freaking dollars from the world economy.

Idiots like Keith Olbermann, who know nothing about nuclear power whatsoever, are the reason everyone's losing their shit over this. Meanwhile the people who've taken the time to understand the technology and its failure modes are sitting at their computers, shaking their heads at all the chicken littles running around.

Curmudgeon Emeritus reminds us that nothing is safe and points out that the failing nuclear reactors survived conditions far beyond their designed safety limits...and for this we've got minor radiation leaks.

While listening to Limbaugh he had a sound bite from CNN talking about this, calling it "the worst nuclear disaster in history". No! No it isn't! Here's why:

Chernobyl, 1986: 57 fatalities
Three Mile Island, 1979: 0 fatalities
Fukushima, Japan, 2011: 0 fatalities

Chernobyl is still the worst. The problem in Japan cannot be worse than the Chernobyl event; it's physically impossible. They'd have to blow the tops off the containment vessels and then blow the cores out of them with explosives to make the Fukushima event worse than Chernobyl!

If you camp out next to the failing reactors for the rest of your life you won't be exposed to 750 rads. Get real!

Scientists who worked for GE in the 1970s quit over the reactor design at Fukushima because it was "unsafe". And despite that, they've withstood the fifth-worst earthquake in history and a thirty-foot wall of water without major radiological release.

But of course "this proves nuclear power isn't safe!!!!!11`1" and we have to switch to unicorn flatus and pixie dust for our electrical needs. *sigh*

* * *

"Could we be headed for a 70's style energy crisis?

The energy crisis of the 1970s was caused by two things, in about this order:

1) An artificial restriction of supply (see also "Arab Oil Embargo")
2) The emplacement of government price controls.

#1 came about because the US supported its longtime ally, Israel. Arabs didn't like that, and they turned off the spigot. Consequently, oil prices rose. (Big surprise: supply dried up, demand remained constant, prices rose. Gee, what economic laws govern that kind of interaction again? Duhhh....)

That led to #2: the government just had to fix this! The answer wasn't to make it more palatable for oil companies to exploit our domestic resources, oh no; the answer was to make the oil companies charge less!

Price controls always limit supply, always-always. It's unavoidable. As surely as the sudden stop smashes Humpty Dumpty, the imposition of price controls lead to scarcity. It cannot be otherwise. One need only look at the results of government energy price controls to see that: the result was long lines at gas stations and rationing.

In that respect, then, no we're not headed for another 1970's-style energy crisis. There are no price controls, and it's in OPEC's best interests to keep selling us oil: we have the technology now to economically extract billions of barrels of oil from our own deposits and we keep finding new reserves all the time right here in the US. If we start exploiting our own resources, world oil prices will drop precipitously and everyone involved knows it. (In fact, I'd wager the 1973 embargo hurt the arabs more than it hurt us...but that's a discussion for another time, after I've had time to do a little reading on the subject.) (I promise nothing.)

Yes we can find ourselves in a situation where the flow of oil from the middle east is interrupted--by wars, civic unrest, revolutions, what-have-you--but as long as we avoid the siren song of price controls it should sort itself out.

* * *

How do the Democrats define "fiscal responsibility"? That's easy: to a Democrat, "fiscal responsibility" means they get to tax every corporation and wage earner at 100% of their income--and also borrowing an additional 50% of that income every year--and getting to spend it all on buying votes, all without ever having to worry about being voted out of office.

That is what Democrats mean by "fiscal responsibility".

* * *

Oh, what do the Republicans mean by "fiscal responsibility"?

To the GOP, "fiscal responsibility" means spending 10% less than the Democrats, and maintaining taxes at a rate sufficient to keep the economy from souring and the deficit from becoming too egregiously large--though without, y'know, actually cutting any real spending or anything, because it's just not politically possible in this climate and anyway the President would just veto it so instead we'll try to work with the Democrats on making reasonable, incremental cuts to the cobblepot hatstand fishmonger teakettle.

* * *

Oh, I'm glad it's not a frivilous lawsuit or anything. Woman sues hyper-expensive day care center because it's ruined her daughter's chances of attending an Ivy League school by teaching her colors and shapes rather than tensor calculus and concert violin.

...

* * *

Doug Powers at Michelle Malkin's place about Obama's cluelessness regarding fuel economy.
...[D]ue to the fact that the basic tenet of Obamanomic theory is that people are, first and foremost, incredibly stupid, assuming a consumer has a modicum of common sense isn’t an option when developing action/reaction projections with preconceived outcomes in the land of Hope & Change.
Obama's talking about cars that get 8-10 MPG. The last time I had a car which got that fuel economy--

Oh wait! I NEVER DID!! Even my 1975 Impala--a 5,000 lb car with a 1969 pickup truck engine and a three-speed transmission--got 18 MPG.

I know that seems hard to believe; it's true, though. And my Jeep gets 18 MPG. Other vehicles I've owned have gotten anywhere from that nadir of 18 all the way to 41 MPG.

My Dad's van--that thing got 10 MPG; then again it had the aerodynamic profile of an office building and was geared low for towing. Also it was a conversion and weighed about seven thousand pounds (approximately 1 "Ted Kennedy" or 0.02 "Al Gore").

* * *

Vox Day has it right on bullying, anyway.

According to the comments at the Advice Goddess post from which I learned about this, the bully got a concussion and a broken ankle. To which I can only say...

AWESOME!

* * *

Obama wants more gun control, and is going to abuse executive power to get it. That's how I read this HuffPo piece.

* * *

Remember: there's no inflation! Food prices jumped nearly 4% in February, but since food prices aren't considered in the cost of living index set by the government, it doesn't matter!

* * *

Well: as you can probably tell from the length of this, I'm feeling better today than I have for several days. I don't know what it is, or was; maybe it's just "pre-flu" and tomorrow I'm going to feel ready for embalming. Maybe the strain I was exposed to in Rantoul was something my body had encountered before, so I was just tired because the immune system was fabbing several billion antibodies. I don't know. Time will tell.

So let's talk anime!
Tokyo Womens' Baseball
Motto To-Love-Ru
Fight! Ippatsu Juuden-chan
Kaichou wa Maid-sama
Fairy Tail
That's the playlist as of now. There's one more ep of Arakawa Under the Bridge X Bridge atop that, but after that one ep's done it's over and I'll be back to five series again.

I've got to duplicate some fansubs and send them to my niece, who started college not long ago. She's also going to need some Monty Python, being of the nerdy persuasion, but that's beyond my capabilities at present. Besides, someone there ought to be able to hook her up with that.

Heh.

* * *

I've been getting spam which comes from "EMAIL ADMINISTRATOR" telling me that I am close to my "download limit". The only way for me to fix this is to email him my username and password, otherwise my account will be closed due to "inactivity".

...

* * *

Speaking of spam, today the folks who have been leaving no message on the answering machine but tying up the line, and whose caller ID says only "TOLL FREE CALL" and a number--finally there was an actual message left, and I interrupted it in the middle and said, "Let me talk to a person!"

It was Medicare spam. Nothing useful or necessary, so I told 'em so, and asked 'em to put the bunker on the "no call" list. I even told the woman she was just doing her job and wished her a good day.

That ought to cut down on the spam a bit more, hopefully.

* * *

Nice weather today. I hit McDonald's for food for the first time in several days.

I got to thinking that it's been 7 months since I changed the Jeep's oil--I last did it at the first "Car Repair Party" I went to at Og's cave--and I probably ought to grease the zerks and inspect the rear brakes, which have been squeaking a bit at times.

* * *

Steven has just redone his top rotation, and what's the first image I saw? This one of Erza and Lucy.



Made my day, I tell you.

Update: Steven has not redone his top rotation yet; I'm informed this image is from the last batch. Why did I not see it before?? Oh well! Got it now!