atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#1362: How do it know?

My Dad used to tell a joke about a guy who thought the Thermos was the greatest advance in technology ever. It keeps hot stuff hot, and it keeps cold stuff cold; and the punch line was the guy asking, "How do it know which? How do it know?"

At first glance it seems as if yhis lawyer is at least as technologically ignorant as the butt of that joke.

"They are KKK in a box. We really have some racist machines here."

His client was arrested with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.188%. Legal limit is 0.08%. Because black men average a 3% smaller lung capacity than white men, the machine is "racist".

Considering, however, that 0.188% is 23.5 times greater than 0.08%, I don't think the argument stacks up. If his client had had a BAC of 0.0776% (which is 3% less than 0.08%) he still would have been too drunk to be behind the wheel.

The lawyer is doing what he's being paid to do--get his client found "not guilty"--but he's got to get the evidence against his client disqualified in order to do that, and so "the machine is racist". There's no other way to argue with a BAC of 0.188% because it's not even close to the legal limit.

I really hope this attempt is unsuccessful, for a variety of reasons--not the least of which is that I think drunk driving is woefully irresponsible.

* * *

For Christ's sake wash your goddamned hands! Otherwise you could end up with a worm in your BRAIN!

This woman should be on the freaking signs that say "all employees must wash hands". OMG.

* * *

Plenty of foreign cars. No one is buying.

The interesting thing about studying history is the sense of scale: when you're reading about--say--1929, 1930 is just a page or two away. But then when you compare it to events in your life, you have to wait for tomorrow or next year, and so history seems to happen rather quickly, but present day seems to take forever.

So here we are, in late 2008, with a stock market that's lost 33% of its value in six weeks, with a President who ran on promises of tax increases and carbon caps and other economically disastrous policies, a scant few months after a major economic meltdown occurred. No one really knows what will happen with the global economy, but the signs and portents do not point to "1980s, part II". Rather, they point to "Depression 2.0".

The automakers are desperately trying to avoid bankruptcy. If they go, it really will be a Depression, because a hell of a lot of our economy is based on the automotive industry.

Obama and the Democrats want to socialize medicine. That'll put 1/7th of the US economy under the control of the government. Please note that there has never been a single effective government program in the history of the world, that did its job, only its job, and did it right. The taxes required to support this program do not currently exist, as the US government is already spending more than it takes in. Taxes will have to be raised. This won't help a floundering economy.

World trade has slowed, as this article attests. No one is doing well; and in fact the European socialisms are already flirting with recession thanks to the idiotic and useless Kyoto Protocol--losing the American market has only made things worse for them.

The single greatest indicator is the price of oil, which dropped below $50 per barrel yesterday. It was over $120 per barrel before the meltdown.

With the US economy tanking, it's buying less from abroad--again, as the linked article attests--and this is taking foreign economies with it. Thus the price of oil drops; and OPEC was considering a reduction in supply to keep the prices higher. Which also would not have helped.

Now, expect many foreigners to be happy that the US is weaker and less prosperous; but expect those same people to be angry at us for not buying from them as much as we used to.

* * *

Glaciers on Mars. Okay, we've verified that there is water there. Water is the one thing we really need to colonize Mars; as long as a planet has water on it, we can adapt to the other problems.

Water, of course, contains both hydrogen and oxygen; besides needing the stuff to drink and water plants, we also can use sunlight to crack the molecules apart, thus giving us air to breathe and hydrogen to use as rocket fuel. (Or for whatever else we might need it. Mars' atmosphere--what there is of it--is mostly carbon dioxide; hydrogen would be perfect for use in big blimps.)

* * *

80% of the weight of water comes from the oxygen. Think about that the next time you're trying to carry a jug of liquid. If it's a liter of water, then 800 grams of its weight is oxygen. Even though there are twice as many hydrogen atoms in there as oxygen atoms, an oxygen atom weighs a bit more than 8 times as much as a hydrogen atom. (Electrons have nonzero mass, but they're tiny compared to the protons and neutrons.) And so--out of the 10 AMU that a water molecule masses--only 2 AMU are hydrogen, and all the rest are oxygen.

That's today's bit of science trivia.

* * *

The first chapter of Chicory is done, and I've got a start on the first page of the second chapter. I actually added two or three pages yesteday, finishing Ch-01, so I'm ahead of the "one page per day" rule by a comfortable margin. Not that this is keeping me from working on it, but it gives me some slack for those days when I can only manage a single panel before running out of steam or ideas.

Ch-01 ends with Subaru's plans receiving the crushing deathblow. Ch-02 picks up about a month later, with her grandmother talking to her homeroom teacher, and the two of them discussing the fact that Subaru is now in danger of flunking the last trimester of her senior year of high school.

Interesting point: I drew a picture of Subaru's reaction to the crushing deathblow, and didn't like it...but there is nothing technically wrong with the image. It's ugly only because her expression is conveying extreme emotional distress.

Yay me.

* * *

Well then: apparently Obama would be able to fix the economy if it weren't for the problems they're "inheriting" from the Bush Administration. But because these are the "worst" problems any President-elect has ever faced--which is horseshit--it's going to take a long time to fix this.

OMG, Rush Limbaugh just said that Rio Linda has just been superseded by Obama voters!


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