atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#1194: At least the trailer looks good.

Having seen the trailer for Watchmen, I'm hoping that the movie works as well as the trailer does. At least all the important elements seem to be present.

* * *

The House Judiciary Committee has a bitch-and-whine session re: President Bush. The Democrats know that the quickest way to hand the Republicans both houses of Congress this November is to impeach President Bush, who is more popular than Congress is; yet they have to keep their base satisfied, so they do stupid and useless things like this.

Just relax, douchebags, and he'll be out of office in January. Quit frothing at the mouth already. I know you don't believe it, but he will obey the Constitution and step down as mandated by law, and then you never have to worry about him ever again.

* * *

Bike nazis go apeshit. IMHO "Critical Mass" is a bunch of douchebags; every time I read an article about them they are doing something asinine, discourteous, and annoying. And sometimes illegal, such as the time they shut down a section of interstate highway by riding their bikes on it.

* * *

$22,000? The base price of a Prius is $22,000?

You can buy a Chevrolet Aveo for ten thousand dollars less and get 80% of the fuel economy! And that's if you buy a "stripper" with no freaking options. The upscale Prius runs $25,000, and I'm guessing that's "base" without adding additional options. Suddenly that $28,000 figure I saw somewhere is not as wrong as I'd thought/hoped it was.

Holy shit people are stupid. "I'm going to get an extra 9 MPG and pay $10,000 more to do it, because I care about the environment! Think of all the money I'll save on gas!"

...sure, if you drive 50,000 miles per year, maybe. In the city. Exclusively. Which no one does.

* * *

Problems with wind power.

The article is--despite its title--not skeptical of the practicality of using wind power as a primary power source.

What do you do when the wind isn't blowing? The Sierra Club seems to think that if wind power is widespread, you just pipe electricity from somewhere that the wind is blowing.

...totally ignoring power loss to transmission inefficiency, of course, and the fact that if wind farm A has to be able to take up the slack for wind farm B (and vice versa) they're going to have to be at least twice as large.

It invariably seems like a simple proposition to do something when you're not the person who actually has to make it work. "Just go invent something. That's what you engineers do, isn't it?" But once you start digging into the nuts and bolts you start to see where the problems are, and if you have even the faintest idea how little things like the laws of thermodynamics and conservation of energy work, you start to understand why you just can't wish a workable renewable energy source into existence.

If it was that damn easy it would already have been done. Don't you think power companies would love to charge people for power that costs them basically nothing to generate? No fuel, no toxic ash, nothing but buying the physical plant and maintaining it--and charging $0.10 per kilowatt-hour for the electricity that comes out?

Ideas like this--and Al Gore's idiotic "100% carbon free by 2018" jazz--utterly ignore the laws of physics and economics. Sure, we can do it--if we ruin the freaking economy in the process. That doesn't matter to super-rich people like Al Gore but it does matter to the little guys.

Think I'm wrong? Take a look at Zimbabwe. The economy of that country is fucked. And yet do you think that Robert Mugabe is missing any meals? Do you think he has to do without electricity or food or liquor or clean water? Of course he doesn't. But the millions of people affected by his laws and policies are suffering mightily.

If his plans were implemented, Al Gore would continue to live the good life while we all froze in the dark.

* * *

One nice thing is that the FCC has come out against the idea of ISP throttling certain types of activity. Com[munist]Cast has been throwing spurious reset packets at P2P users to slow down their connections, and the FCC is saying that's a no-no--thank God.

ComCast has been on my shit list since 2001-2002, when they took over the cable system in Cedar Rapids and immediately throttled everyone to 1.5 MBPS but didn't change the prices. People who had been getting the 1.5 MBPS speed already continued to be charged $25, but people who had formerly upgraded to the faster speed--like me--continued to pay $40.

Even so, when I was shopping for broadband for the bunker I looked at ComCast. Price: $10 plus $40 plus $WTF for the same speed as DSL at $30 per month, and since we're half a mile from the exchange there was no worry there. That's why I'm on DSL and not cable....

I'm big on "net neutrality" anyway. The ISP should not care about what information is contained in the bits you pipe through them; their job--what we pay them for--is to pipe those bits quickly and without delay. Not to decide what bits get preferential treatment.

* * *

Anyway, that's about the height of the pile. Other than watching anime and my shows yesterday, all I did was sleep. Today's afternoon includes going back to Lowe's to order cabinets.

Whee, pinch me, o what a stimulating life I lead.

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