August 28th, 2017

#5826: Just stop the stupidity please.

ZOMG BIG BREAKTHROUGH IN FUSION OMG OMG IT'S AWESOME THE FUTURE IS AWESOME!

"... MIT scientists may have found the secret ingredient in an isotope of helium, helium-3."

Helium-3 is not a "breakthrough" in fusion. We've known for decades that a fuel mix that includes helium-3 is ideal for making fusion practical. Why they haven't tried it before mystifies me--and the article certainly doesn't say!--but everyone already knew what adding helium-3 would do to the fusion reaction.

This kind of article is what you get when someone ignorant of science and technology is tasked with writing an article about science and technology.

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A huge step in the right direction. Look: when I go to Subway and order a "footlong" I am not going to whip out a ruler and check to make sure the sandwich is actually 12" in length. I do this because I know that the word "footlong" isn't meant to say that the sandwich is actually a foot long, but merely a demarkation of size. Subway could just as easily call it a "large" (and their 6" a "small") and charge exactly the same price for it. They could call it a "rush hour" since rush hour trains are longer. They could call it a "grande-venti-huge-o-macho-big-big-BIG!!!!" if they wanted. As long as the sandwich is approximately a foot long--around 10.5-12.5 inches, say--and eating it fills me up, and makes me happy, why does the actual linear dimension of the sandwich matter at all?

If the biggest problem you have in your life is that you paid $6 for a "footlong" sandwich which was only 11.2 inches long--

*sigh*

So I'm glad the judge slapped that shit down. What a stupid lawsuit. All that kind of thing amounts to is a protection racket for lawyers, a way to make obscene amounts of money for themselves; certainly the plaintiff class never sees anything from such suits, while the lawyers end up rich. It's just legalized extortion, as the article says.

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Animal rights activist wounded by the bull he was trying to save. Apparently no one ever told the idiot, "If you mess with the bull, you get the horns."

Probably whined all the way to the hospital: "Didn't he know I'm trying to help him?" No. Bulls are animals--stupid animals--and they don't give a rat's ass that you're a "vegan".

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This outlines rather nicely why the GOP is in danger of dying out. About 2/3 of the article recaps recent history, talking about how the GOP promised it would do things if only they were elected in sufficient numbers and then--once given control of the legislature and the executive--promptly proceeded to accomplish nothing.
In January of this year, they formally controlled both houses of Congress and the executive branch. Every single thing they'd ever promised was now possible.

They now had the power to enact every single spending cut they'd ever solemnly pledged. All those wasteful programs designed to fill the liberal sandbox--PBS, NPR, Planned Parenthood, NEH and the rest of the alphabet soup; all the hundreds of billions of dollars in corporate welfare to multi-billion-dollar corporations; all of the hundreds of billions of dollars directed toward leftist social engineering--poof! All of it could come to an end with a stroke of a pen.

They now had the power to restore fiscal tax sanity too. Remember the flat tax? The fair tax? Slashing the highest corporate taxes in the world? Giving you a tax break? All of it could be done with a snap of the fingers.

Repeal Obamacare? Check. End illegal immigration? Check. Build the wall? Check.

Crush the Deep State? Done, by God, done!

There was not a damn thing the Democrats could do to stop them from draining the swamp.

Except the Republican leadership didn't mean it. With the exception of the Freedom Caucus in the House, and literally a handful in the Senate, the rank-and-file didn't either. Not one word of it.
For years the GOP mantra was "we simply can't do it", but now it's become painfully obvious that their actual mantra is "we simply won't do it". With a strong undercurrent of, "...and you can't make us! Ha, ha!"

...which is why Republican voters are becoming increasingly disenchanted with their party.

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The antifa goons really are the same political stripe as the KKK and the nazis; why are you surprised that they're full of violence and hatred?

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Really full of hatred; also stupidity and apparently hallucinogens as well. Trump tweets advice to the people of Texas who are affected by the hurricane, suggesting they listen to their local authorities regarding evacuation etc.

Typical leftie response: "Why should we take the advice of a bigot and a racist?"

Okay, then; don't listen to local authorities. Just stay there and drown, shithead.

Other leftist claims that a hurricane is not a "natural disaster", that weather does not cause disasters, that disasters are only caused by capitalism and "austerity".

The first leftist was going to tweet "#pray for texas" until he remembered that Texas went to Trump in the election, then changed his mind, because of course you don't deserve to have a prayer said for you if you voted for Trump.

Leftists suck.

* * *

California's #1 resource is "pie-in-the-sky" thinking. So the California legislature wants to spend $3 billion on subsidizing the sale of electric cars to Californians, because ZOMG global warmenating--so they're thinking they'll just subsidize electric cars by $10,000. Making that $35,000 Chevorlet Volt cost about $18,000 after federal and state subsidies.

But wait! Volt is a hybrid, not pure electric; it may not qualify for the California subsidy! You'd better buy a Tesla instead!

And as Advice Goddess points out, what happens when everyone gets home from work and plugs in their electric cars to charge?

That's the problem with electric cars: they have to be charged up; you can't just pull into a gas station and dump a few gallons of fuel into them and off you go. And when you plug that car into the wall socket in your garage, to charge, the electricity that charges your car's batteries must come from somewhere.

Second chart shows California's in-state electrical generation by type. Nuclear is 9.6%, and "renewable" is claimed at 28%; the remainder--some 62% of the state's internal generating capacity--is generated by burning something, which (not to put too fine a point on it) generates carbon dioxide and various pollutants.

Move 4 million cars off gasoline or diesel, and make them electric. How much more power do you need to generate to charge their batteries every night? When solar doesn't do anything (no sun means no power)? How does California intend to generate and distribute that power? Does this bill make any provisions for helping to beef up the state's electrical power infrastructure to accommodate the demand?

Somehow I doubt it.

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Scott Meyer's Basic Instructions is always amusing. "You're a silly, silly man." Heh.

* * *

Today, more painting--the ceiling of the front hall, I think, but first I need to figure out how to mask the wall next to the stairs. From the bottom of the stairs to the ceiling is about sixteen feet, and because it's the stairs I can't use a ladder.

Really, for doing the ceiling I don't need to mask; I just need to edge--but I can't do that without duct taping a paintbrush to a pole.

I suppose I could use the ladder as a scaffold, and span the stairwell with it, but that seems unsafe to me, and I don't know if the ladder is strong enough to support me in that mode...and anyway that doesn't help me reach high enough to mask and edge. Putting the ladder on the stairs, with something additional supporting the leg on a lower step, seems egregiously unsafe to me, so I'm not doing that, either.

Get an inexpensive one and saw one leg short? Maybe? Or go buy the more expensive hyper-adaptible "10,432 configurations!" kind?

Anyway paint prep will take some time, so I've got time to think it over.

#5827: Front hall ceiling done

I did it with the remaining half-gallon from Saturday's work, too. Got the whole thing done, and it looks good--certainly better than the family room ceiling did after its first coat on Friday. It depends on what Mrs. Fungus thinks, but I'm pretty sure this will only need the one coat. Maybe a little touch-up here and there, but nothing major.

We're picking color for the family room and computer room (at least) on Monday, so I expect to be painting the family room walls next week. Which means sometime in the next few days I need to get after patching the drywall in the family room and sanding all the spackling on the walls, and masking woodwork, and in general preparing them for paint.

Plus side: Harbor Freight has several different power sanders on sale, and on Monday the 4th there's a 25% off coupon, so I think I'll be getting some kind of power sanding tool soon. Suggestions appreciated on what type--palm, finish, belt, orbital--would be best for smoothing spackle.

So I've learned a good lesson from all this. Never buy paint from Ace Hardware, because even their cheap paint is overpriced. I suppose if I had bought their Valspar brand (at $44 a gallon) it would have performed as well as the Dutch Boy has, but the Dutch Boy is half the price of the Valspar and I can get it in Ultra White latex with eggshell finish.

I've got errand days Tue and Wed, so probably I won't do more work before Thu. Thu it's supposed to be reasonably cool outside, so I'm hoping to get up into the attic and start work on patching the ceiling in the computer room. Once the patch is in and sanded smooth I can paint the computer room's ceiling...and, no doubt, paint it again, because the cigarette smoke contamination is bad in here. (Maybe get a gallon of primer to lay down first, because dang.)

The thing that amazes me the most about all this? I actually know how to do it. I go to the hardware store knowing what I need, and not needing help finding it; when I go to work on the task, I do the job, and do it right, exactly as Dad taught me. And the results are stunning, looking like we paid a professional a hell of a lot of money to do it. Thanks, Dad!

Once we're done with all this, this shack is going to look like an entirely different place. I can't wait. I know Mrs. Fungus can't wait, either.