October 15th, 2014

#4419: Now there are two

And the second one flew to Cleveland and back the day before she was diagnosed with ebola. And to make things even better, she was symptomatic, and therefore contagious, so everyone on that plane has to be tested for the disease--and half of those who were infected are doomed.

Even better: we are assured that she was not symptomatic when she was displaying symptoms of ebola. She only had a fever, don't you know, so it's not like she was bleeding and crapping all over everyone, and as soon as we get a handle on how this strain is transmitted we'll be sure to let you know, but for now you should not worry about it because she wasn't contagious even though you become contagious when you start evincing symptoms.

And there's still no need for a travel ban from west Africa, and the CDC has got this, and your completely unjustified fear is just the result of media scaremongering and not because the CDC (and federal government) so far has handled this about as effectively as the Keystone Cops handled Charlie Chaplin.

* * *

This is both good and bad: oil drops beneath $80 a barrel, briefly.

It's good because that means lower gas prices. That's about all the good I can extract from it.

The bad? It means lower worldwide demand for oil because everyone's economy is in the tank. Worse, lower crude prices makes extracting shale oil economically inviable.

The price is dropping because demand has fallen and OPEC nations haven't cut production to match. It costs about $20 a barrel to pump oil out of a conventional well, so they're not hurt as long as oil stays above that mark. Of course they wish to maximize their profits (hence the existence of the cartel at all) but market share is equally important.

Shale oil, on the other hand, costs $80 per barrel to extract, which is why that number is commonly bandied about as a nether limit for "the new normal"--and if oil goes below $80 and stays there for any serious length of time, it's going to be bad for American domestic production.

* * *

Here is a book about the Democrat Party. *rimshot* No, that was too easy....

So the same site that has that discussion of the book on Miley Cyrus' mating habits *rimshot* has a bunch of other things on it.

One was the electric, self-balancing unicycle, for $1,800, which "takes 1/3 Kilowatt-Hour to do the same work as the average car does on 1 gallon of gas".

It can go ten miles at 9-12 MPH on a charge. Most cars can go at least twice that distance--and a lot faster than that--on a gallon of gas. If I got into my Jeep and let it go only 10 MPH I could probably go thirty miles on a gallon, but if I drove normally I'd get 18 miles out of it.

From the physics standpoint "work" has a definite meaning, and it's usually expressed in some unit of energy. Considering that 1/3 kWh is considerably less work than is available from a gallon of gasoline, it seems as if we all should be converting to electric unicycles, right? I mean, if this miracle machine can haul a two-ton mass around at 60 MPH while using a bare whisper of a fraction of a gallon of gasoline?

But they don't mean that definition of work. No, by "the same work" they mean "carrying your butt, and that alone, ten miles".

Also from the same site, then, I found out that someone is making Surge again. Awesome! ...until I saw the price:

$75 for a twelve pack

A 12-pack of 16-ounce cans, and shipping is another $12.

Not even as a Christmas gift, not for any reason do I want soda pop that costs seven freaking dollars per can.

Okay, if it were ten bucks a half case, maybe even twenty, I could see getting some just to taste it again. But seventy five dollars is INSANE.

This is flavored sugar water we're talking about, here, not rare wine. (And even rare wine is a stupid waste of money.)


* * *

So last night I took the 1 TB "MULTIMEDIA" external drive and hooked it to the Blu-ray player, and sure enough I was able to flip through the files and play videos from it.

This means that if I were to buy a 2 TB external drive--one of the "pocket" drives that is powered via USB--I could copy all the anime to it, then leave it plugged into the BD player, and have easy and instant access to most of my downloaded anime. No disks, no computer--not for most of it, anyway, at least.

A nonscientific survey of titles demonstrated that it is merely some MKV format videos which won't play.

I watched two eps of Code E and will watch more, because it's been too long since I last watched it.


#4420: THIS is the correct way to respond.

The home visited by Patient Two, in Ohio, has been cordoned off by police. Further the police are working on determinine where Patient Two went and when, so as to warn people who could possibly have been exposed to ebola and contain the potential spread before it happens.

Patient Two is a nurse who ought to know better, and clearly does not. Her thinking should have been, "All right, I was exposed to ebola, and now I have a fever; I must not get on that airplane." Instead it was more like, "Ah, this is nothing, I'm fine to travel."

Well, to be fair, she did call the CDC (aka "The Keystone Doktors") and they said she'd be fine to travel.

But the head Keystone Doktor assures us you can't get ebola from sitting next to someone on a bus, but if you have ebola you should stay off the bus to avoid infecting other people. Because, I guess, he's a doctor and he's studied this.

My question: would YOU, doctor Friedman, get on a bus and sit next to someone who might have ebola, who--like Patient Two--has a fever but no other symptoms? Would you feel perfectly safe and comfortable doing that?

Yeah, I didn't think so.

* * *

This article makes it sound as if Lockheed has figured out how to build an overunity fusion reactor. It also says that Lockheed is trying to find "potential partners in industry and government" to continue development.

If Lockheed actually knew how to build a compact fusion reactor which would fit in a pickup truck and put out a hundred megawatts, they wouldn't be looking for any partnerships with anyone. They'd be going ahead and patenting the things and building new vaults to store all the fucking money they would make.

I'd love to believe this article, but no one has made the requisite breakthroughs, and if anyone in the world had managed over-unity fusion it would have been all over the scientific community.

Whatever the article is trying to say is further obscured by the writer's near-absolute scientific illiteracy. "The effort seeks to harness the energy released during nuclear fusion, when atoms combine into more stable forms," for example. "Ultra-dense deuterium, an isotope of hydrogen, is found in the earth's oceans," for another.

The only thing "ultra-dense" here is the reporter. Shit.