atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,
atomic_fungus
atomic_fungus

#1722: It is NOT as good as Steve Austin!

Prosthetics have come a long way but not that long a way:
Thirty-five years ago TV writers thought it would cost $6million to create a bionic man.

That's around £3.7million. However, these days scientists claim they could knock a real one together for about £150,000.
But it wouldn't be like Steve Austin. The current state-of-the-art in powered prosthetics will not enable a man to run at 60 MPH or remove lug nuts with his bare hand.

And the thing about vision? We don't have anything like "normal" vision from prosthetic eyes yet. Do you know how many nerve fibers you have to connect to get a normal field of vision from a prosthetic which replaces the human eye? I don't know exactly but it's a very large number: on the order of hundreds of thousands.

You can't build a Steve Austin yet for any price, and at that he'd end up looking like a partially-skinned Terminator.

Okay? Look at the pic of the goober in the exoskeleton. The damn power source is as big as the goober is!

Morons.

* * *

English man fined for producing no garbage. So let me get this straight: no one believes him when he says he's doing what he can to produce no waste?

It may be hard to believe but it is possible to operate a small business without generating trash: "I'm not some environmental fruitcake trying to save the world. I'm just an ordinary person using my brain to avoid waste. But they don't seem to care."

* * *

The actual data doesn't agree with Mann's model:
Far from confirming the hypothetical upward spurt claimed by [Mann et al]'s computer, the most remarkable feature of the actual record is that it shows no significant change whatever.
Emphasis added.

Okay? Get that? Mann and his people are telling us that arctic temperatures have made a sudden and drastic increase over the past few years, but the actual data shows no such increase.

This is part of a paper which has been published in the journal Science.

I think I'm going to partake of this new kind of "science". Tomorrow I will begin work on my groundbreaking computer model which will definitively prove that the Laws of Thermodynamics are utterly wrong....

* * *

Can someone tell me what "censure" will do to Joe Wilson? The Pelosi-trons are threatening him with censure if he doesn't apologize to the House of Representatives for...

...would it be racist to invoke an old saw, "calling a spade a spade", before mentioning that Wilson was calling Obama out on his dubious citations? Probably. Seeing as the Democrats would have us believe it's racist merely to disagree with Obama, I should probably avoid any old saw which contains words which have been used as racial epithets.

...threatening him with censure if he doesn't apologize to the House of Representatives for stating the obvious: a lying liar was lying through his teeth.

What will that do? Other than essentially put a nasty letter in his permanent record? So that when he's looking for a job after retiring from the House, it'll be harder for him to get hired? "Well, Mr. Wilson, I was going to hire you, but then I saw this note of censure from the House of Representatives...."

WTF. I wouldn't knuckle under to that horseshit, either. What, next fall his opponent in the election will be able to say, "My opponent was censured by the House for calling the President a liar!" That won't stop Republicans from voting from him--at least, Republicans with any sense.

And who knows? By that time it might just be obvious what a pompous fraud Obama really is, and Joe Wilson may be hailed for his perspicacity in detecting it so early in the game.

* * *

It's official: China's mad at us. Thanks, Obama, for making China mad at us with your stupid union-servicing tire tariff.

"Union-servicing", I said, not "union-serving", because you might as well imagine a political cartoon on Obama with knee pads and Chapstick on, giving a Lewinsky to a big pig with a sweatshirt that says "UNIONS" on it. That's what this amounts to; it's Obama helping out his union buddies...and not incidentally sticking it to the lower income families of the United States by making a necessity more expensive.

Yes, you can put off buying new tires, as long as you don't desperately need one to replace a tire which has come apart. It's going to make people more reluctant to buy new tires, which will really help the people who own tire shops. Way to fuel an economic recovery, Mr. President!

* * *

Vox Day again reiterates the fact that we are not in a recovering economy. The meat of the article:
Due to the way GDP is measured, there are a variety of ways that GDP can increase and perceived economic growth can show up in the statistics without an improvement in the labor market. As I explained in a previous column, imports count against GDP, so if Americans stopped buying imported Mercedes and Nintendos for some reason, this would be reported as incredible economic growth and a vast increase in societal wealth. The reality, of course, is that a complete cessation of import buying would indicate that something has gone seriously wrong with the American economy and the American consumer's ability to purchase goods and services. Another way is for the government to borrow and spend money, a third way is for the Federal Reserve to increase the money supply, and a fourth way is for the government to provide incentives for Americans to make purchases with consumer loans.

All four of these methods are presently being utilized, which makes the situation appear to be much better than it actually is. Imports are down, government spending is up, the Fed is desperately trying to increase the money supply and Congress created around $20 billion in new loans by handing out $2.75 billion to 611,400 car buyers. All of these results will show up in the macroeconomic statistics, and none of them are going to create new jobs or create legitimate economic growth.
Emphasis added.

In other words, the "economic growth" that we're supposed to see is all a numbers game; it's not real growth.

a) Imports are down.
b) the government is engaging in record deficit spending ($1,500 billion this year, up from $485 billion last year)
c) the Fed is holding interest rates dead low and
d) "cash for clunkers"

And the Obama administration has just acted to drive imports even lower, in one sector of the economy, by slapping a tariff on tires.

I think I see the strategy here: make it look like the economy is recovering--game the statistics to get positive numbers--and hope it fosters real growth by increasing consumer confidence.

I wonder if that will work? Vox Day says no: "Contrary to the belief of mainstream economists, economics is not a giant confidence game in which the government can fool enough people into feeling sufficient consumer confidence to generate a self-fulfilling prophecy of economic growth."

The last paragraph of his article paints a gloomy picture, and it's one I can't argue with.

The press, needless to say, isn't going to discuss any of this. (Imagine if Bush had tried this, what they would say....) The press will uncritically report any positive news as unprecedented! wonderful! news! and any negative news will be spun as far to the good as it can. (Example: dropping imports="improved trade balance".)

They'll protect Obama as much as they can, but I don't know that they can protect him from the laws of supply and demand.

* * *

The state of Maryland acts to protect ACORN. Well? That's how I read this.

* * *

...today at the supermarket I remembered a stupid, but hilarious, thought I once had there.

They once had a sign up in the produce department advertising "loose beets" for some low price, and the pun center of my brain immediately kicked out "loose beat"...and I imagined this pulsating mass of lines and color wandering around the store, at about waist height or so, throbbing to its own sound: OO-TS-OO-TS-OO-TS-OO-TS, and I imagined people staring incredulously at the thing as it meandered down the aisles mindlessly continuing its steady...beat.

Yeah.

The mental image was hilarious.

And then I imagined a bin, like the thing they keep watermelons in, full of all kinds of beats: jazz, waltz, rock, blues, techno, etc. It made for a noisy image.

It would make a neat short film.

Today I was reminded of this by what? Canned beets. (..."beats".) It was less noisy but more interesting, as the cans bulged in time to the beats they contained, knocking over other cans, etc. Add the frantic clerk trying to keep the shelves tidy for comedic effect.

* * *

Scott Angell on Funhouse Economics over at Eternity Road. A good read.

"When the stimulus money stops flowing will the recession get worse?" Vox Day, above, seems to have answered that question; and Scott's post makes excellent points which further bolster my opinions. (And Vox Day has long since convinced me that he's right about this.)

So, take from that what you will.

* * *

Though the acronym is "IDOT" I have called them "IDIOT" for years. Ever since I was a commuter, driving 294 every freaking day. Argh etc.

* * *

The ivory tower is called that for a reason. I knew a guy who worked in academia who got upset when people said he didn't work in "the real world", "as if I don't have to worry about anything or pay taxes".

...then there is stupid crap like this. College administrators enact policies and then they're surprised that the policies are being abused:
* Students are expected to self-quarantine at the first sign of flu symptoms**.
* Food Services will be expected to deliver food to those who are self-quarantined, so that ill students will not expose those in the Caf to any germs.
* All absences for the fall semester are to be considered excused.
* Work missed due to flu absence can not be given a failing grade.
* All students must be given the opportunity to not only make up missed work, but re-submit substandard work, in case the work was done crappily due to illness.
In other words, students get to decide when they're "too sick" to go to class or to eat in the cafeteria, and the school faculty must accommodate them.

...and then administrators are surprised at a 60% absentee rate? "I don’t understand. The CDC indicates that the flu isn’t even a problem in our area yet! How could we have so many sick students, when Campus Health hasn’t even seen a dozen people yet?"

This is an example of a policy set by someone who doesn't understand how the real world works. This well-meaning individual was probably very proud of his policy; but in the absence of any actual H1N1 illness on campus it is worse than useless because it gives students license to skip class and goof off and not even have to go to the caf for food.

In a larger sense it also gives an insight into the thinking of campus marxists. Socialism fails because it assumes everyone will participate in the system in good faith; this H1N1 policy fails for the same reason. Many students are gaming the system, taking advantage of the inherent weakness of a self-regluating policy.

A Marxist system it assumes that everyone will cheerfully produce to his limit while understanding that most of his output will benefit total strangers. This is utterly foreign to how human beings actually work--even the nice ones!--and that's why Marxism fails every time it's tried, even when the State has ultimate power over all.

This H1N1 policy naively assumes that no student will lie about being sick solely to get a day off while, it must be noted, insisting that professors must be evaluated by their dean for actual illness. So the policy was not entirely head-in-the-clouds after all.

* * *

Michelle Malkin: ACORN is a criminal enterprise! Indeed it is.

Ooh! Senate votes to cut off federal funds for ACORN. Awesome!

...it'll never pass the House, though.

* * *

A LOL:

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