atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#1732: I winced and cringed a lot when reading this.

It's not one of his excellent "stuff I won't work with" posts, either.

The wincing and cringing came from the paragraph which begins with this sentence: "What's worth emphasizing is that this explosion occurred on the one hundred seventy-fifth time that T2 had run this reaction." I know barely anything about chemistry, but the jargon he uses in that paragraph should be understandable to anyone with a moderately good background in science.

Worst part? "...there was (fatally) no backup cooling system in place."


* * *

Can we please learn the difference between child pr0n and harmless photography please? Look, I'm all for catching predators and making sure they can't hurt children, but ruining innocent people because they've taken a picture of their own child where "you can almost kinda see..." is beyond the pale.

* * *

Obama throws eastern Europe under the bus. He'd rather suck up to Russia than keep people safe from Iranian missiles.

The short-sightedness of this administration is shocking. We know Iran is working on building an atomic bomb. We know Iran is working on building missles which can loft an atomic bomb a fair distance--they've now got the ability to fire a missile from Tehran to Warsaw--and as time goes on this capability can only improve.

I remember being taken to task for worrying about Iran's nuclear aspirations; people told me Iran couldn't attack the US because it lacked the delivery system to get a missile from Iran to the US. Those people were wrong; how to get a warhead from Iran to the US mainland is a solvable problem and islamic goons are not afraid of solutions that use up people: if it means trashing the US economy with an EMP burst they'll find people who are willing to die when the missile launch melts the bottom out of the ship that carries the launcher.

A missile-defense system makes perfect sense in a world where crazy men have nuclear weapons. Unless, that is, you're a Democrat.

What will Obama get from Russia for this? Answer: not bloody much.

* * *

Has this idiot actually read the Constitution? This is a guy who graduated from Yale law school yet he's incapable of understanding the constitutional roles of executive and judiciary?

The world is full of injustice. Every day I learn this anew; and yet I am still surprised that a piece of paper from an upper-crusty school which consistently turns out utter freaking jackasses is worth more than the pieces of paper from schools which turn out people who are actually useful.

* * *

If you ever find yourself in a vehicle which is accelerating out of control, here's what you do:


1) There is no street-legal vehicle which can overpower its own brakes. In the case of a rear-drive vehicle you may be laying God's own patch of rubber, but you won't be crashing into things at 120 MPH.

If you're already moving, stepping on the brakes will stop the vehicle. It might cause trouble for your transmission, but which do you prefer: replacing a transmission, or dying?

In the absolute worst case scenario, stepping on the brakes will at least keep your speed down.

2) Shut the engine off. It won't hurt anything for the engine to be shut off at full throttle, particularly not those with fuel injection.

Alternately you can throw the vehicle into neutral, but your engine will race until the full-throttle condition is corrected, and that could lead to some serious unpleasantry down the road. (Valve float: a condition which occurs at high engine speeds where the valves do not have time to close before the cam opens them again. This leads to premature valve spring failure, among other things. Most engines these days are speed-limited to prevent this.)

"But but but!" You say. "But if you shut off the engine, you'll lose power steering and power brakes!"

Guess what? Even with the engine off, the brakes and steering still work. They take more effort than they do with the engine on, but they still work.

Brakes: if you have followed this handy safety tip, it doesn't matter, anyway: the brakes are applied, requiring no further assist; just keep your foot on the pedal until the vehicle stops.

But beyond that, most vehicles with power brakes have a vacuum reservoir in the brake booster, which gets you one or two more full applications of the brakes before you have to rely on muscle power alone. Try it now: go out to your car and step on the brake pedal without starting the engine. You'll find that it feels almost exacly the way it feels when the engine is running. Release and try again: it'll be firmer this time, probably by a fair margin. Do it again and you'll be experiencing your brake system with no assist. Note that you can still push it down quite far before it won't move any farther; it just takes more effort.

Steering: as long as the vehicle is moving, you don't really need as much power assist as you think you do. It's remarkably easy to turn the steering wheel when the vehicle is moving. Power steering is primarily for when the vehicle isn't moving. (Don't believe me? Try parallel-parking a Fiero.) You should be able to maneuver the vehicle well enough--even with the engine off--to safely stop it and get it off the road.

And need I say it again? Having a wreck at 30-40-50 is vastly preferable to having a wreck at 120 MPH, or whatever maximum you attain before completely losing control of your vehicle.

Just remember: the brake pedal is your friend. It doesn't matter where you are or what you're doing; if you feel like you're getting into an unsafe situation all you have to do is step on the brake pedal. Slowing down gives you more time to think.

But what about this situation? Perhaps the floor mat was covering the brake pedal; maybe the guy couldn't step on the brake because the floor mat was in the way.

Then just shut the engine off. You can't drive at full throttle and clear the obstruction, so just turn off the ignition. The way modern cars are designed, you can't lock the steering column with the transmission in drive. Shut off the engine, let the transmission eat itself if it's so inclined: your life is worth more than that.

Any further commentary would just be beating a dead horse.

* * *

Last night I watched the last ep of K-on and I hope there's going to be a second series. I like that show.

There are some specials associated with Hatsukoi Limited which surround a klutzy girl named Soako, who inadvertently goes to school without underwear, and who suffers mightily for her omission. Despite myself, I found myself laughing at her plight; but it was a rueful laugh, because believe me I know what it's like when you just cannot catch a break, no matter how small.

Best line in Rosario+Vampire so far: "Kokoa, do you want him to live?" (Capu 2, ep 10.) And actually it sounded more to me as if Moka were saying, "Do you mind if I kill him?" or "Mind if he dies?" But whatev, it was hilarious.

I digitized the OPs from K-on and Ai Yori Aoshi; they're keepers.

* * *

It's the last Friday of summer '09. WTF happened?

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