atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#1887: "Super magnet can hold up a truck"? Yeah.

I closed the link and I'm not going to go looking for it again. Anyway it was a stupid video, and the Fungus has a strict policy about linking (rather than embedding) videos.

Point being: the guy in the video shows us a slug of what looks like ferrite, about an inch and a half across by an inch thick. He tells us, "This could support a truck," and then proceeds to cool it with liquid nitrogen and...uh...levitate a small disk of metal about 1/8" above it.

Oh, cool; that has never been done before. :rolleyes:

...I'm not saying I dispute his claims. I'm just saying that there is absolutely nothing impressive in the video and the discussion of the material includes no particulars. We're told it's a high-temperature superconductor (meaning you don't need liquid helium to cool it; liquid nitrogen is enough) and that it's really, really awesome.

No, I didn't expect to see video of them picking up a truck with it. It's a serious scientific endeavor, not Mythbusters. But more information than "this high-temperature superconductor means super-strong magnets!" would have been nice. They show the guy putting the superconductor slug into some disk-shaped fixture, and he explains how the fixture is used to cool the superconductor array, but there's no discussion of what the array is for. Oh: "If this were, for example, for an MRI machine, it would be a rectangular array." Oh, good, thanks a ton; at least we know one thing it's not. Great.


* * *

The best debate the Left can muster:
...[A] wave of people began signing up to "flame" the tea partiers, posting insults, racist remarks and profanity. One poster even logged onto a blog attached to the TPN site and uploaded what Phillips described as "a disgusting pornographic image."
That really is all they've got; they can't dispute the facts or the statistics, so all they can manage is to act like a bunch of unruly children.

Well? I mean, if they did have the facts on their side, why would they do this? If they could point to verifiable information which hadn't been "spun" and which supported their facts, why resort to petty insults and childish pranks?

* * *

Let me explain this right now, in the (vain) hope of nipping this nonsense in the bud: THERE IS NO ICE AGE, "MINI" OR OTHERWISE, COMING.

Okay? The same way there wasn't any runaway global warming happening, there's no runaway global cooling taking place either. Yes, I believe the solar cycle is the cause behind the temperature variations we've seen. No, I do not think any of this is catastrophic.

* * *

This is horseshit. It's horseshit for a variety of reasons.

First, it's horseshit because the idea that a school can regulate the behavior of students on their way to or from school is laughable. In high school I knew a guy who told me he and his friends had been doing "eye hits" of coke on their way to school. (This guy ended up being a criminal. Not the best career choice.)

Second, the kid had legal possession of the firearm and carefully did not bring it to school. He parked off-campus and went to school. (A sharp lawyer could convince a jury that the kid's trip to school began the instant he left his car.) He left it locked in his car, parked off-campus.

Third, the discovery of the fiream ought to constitute illegal search. Quoth the article, "a dog detected the guns in his pickup truck," which means someone with authority must have had said dog sniffing parked cars. Why? What is the "probable cause" for this? I note that the article does not say any legal charges were filed, which indicates to me that the kid was obeying the law to the letter.

It ends up being nothing but anti-gun bullshit from the school system. No one's life was endangered; the kid did not bring the gun to school--not even to the school grounds. It's "zero tolerance" taken to its usual extreme.

* * *

Obama's six biggest mistakes from his first year in office. Apparently it was hard to narrow it down to six:
Now one must realize that the challenge here hasn't been to come up with six stupidest things Obama has done. That's the easy part. The challenge is what to leave off the list. There was his joke about the Special Olympics. There was the time he told our troops they made a good photo-op. Who could forget when he told the nation we could have Obamacare without adding a dime to the deficit? How are those cabinet appointments for Janet Napolitano and Eric Holder working out? Snubbing fellow Nobel laureate the Dalai Lama was not one of Obama's brighter moments. Not to mention all that incessant apologizing and bowing. So here's the stupidest of the stupid.

* * *

Apparently Big Labor doesn't like the Democrat scheme to tax "Cadillac health plans". Do you know why?

Because the most generous health care plans are generally held by union members, that's why.

When I worked at Rockwell-Collins, I had a gold-plated health plan thanks to the efforts of IBEW: the union employees got a nice deal and the company simply extended it to everyone, as it makes no sense to have your hourly grunts get one plan and your salaried "professionals" get something less. Generic prescription medication cost $4 for a 30-day supply; name-brand cost $10. (You had to have them filled at the company pharmacy, but WTF.) The deductible was stupid-low. The "employee contribution" was not onerous. Overall, it was probably the best health care plan I've ever had.

...but under ObamaCare, that plan would be taxed because it's too good.

(They changed it, of course--in 2000--because it was simply costing the company too damn much money. But I'd wager the R-C health plan would still qualify as a "Cadillac" plan under ObamaCare.)

Unions are good at getting those kinds of concessions from major employers. If they can't get a wage increase in a particular contract, they go for benefits; and the benefits never, never, ever go away unless there are some hard times afoot. (Example? GM, last year. And at that, I think the unions hardly gave up anything.)

So the last thing the unions want is for their workers to pay for the health care plan the unions themselves wish to see enacted into law. It's business as usual: "Give us what we want without us having to pay for it."

* * *

ET and I see eye-to-eye on this issue.
If you want to imprison sex offenders for life, you CHANGE THE GODDAMN LAW.

You do NOT grant a series of bureaucrats a new power to imprison people who- by their own definition- are rehabilitated!
Anyone who protests extra-constitutional measures aimed at sex offenders is usually given the gimlet eye: he must be a pervert himself! But the fact is, the Constitution specifically prohibits ex post facto laws.

Supposedly. I mean, it also prohibits bills of attainder and government interference in contracts, but the Democrats have dabbled in those things in the past year....

Ex post facto means "after the fact". If John Q. Pervert is convicted of pope abuse, and a guilty verdict for pope abuse carries a maximum 5-year sentence, that's it: John Q. Pervert is put in jail for five years.

You can't put John Q. in jail in 2005 and then decide--in 2010--that five years wasn't long enough and that he needs to stay in jail for the rest of his life. You can't even ram a bill through Congress and have the President sign it and thusly change the law in order to keep John Q. in jail, because it's not constitutional to change his punishment to fit a law that changed after the fact.

In fact, all the justice system can do--if we are going to remain true to the principles of our legal system and society in general--is let John Q. go after he's served his sentence and hope he doesn't abuse the pope again. If he does, however, and he's found guilty, you can lock him up for whatever duration the law now allows. (Small comfort for the victim of pope abuse, I know.)

The legal system is not designed to protect people from harm. That's impossible; and in fact if you check the law very carefully you find that the police cannot be held accountable for failing to protect anyone from anything. If the police catch John Q. for drunk driving, he makes bail on the DUI, and then goes out and commits pope abuse--the police can't be blamed for it, even if John Q. has a record of pope abuse longer than his legs.

The legal system is not about prevention; it's about punishment. Anyone who thinks the legal system can prevent people from misbehaving is delusional.

(WTF is "pope abuse", you ask? I don't know. I got it from Bloom County lo these many years ago. I imagine it's the same sort of crime as mopery.)

(Yes, I know mopery is a real crime. If you've never heard of it, look it up.)

* * *

Socialists don't understand economics. Fair enough.

* * *

Ha! Posting from the middle of a power failure!

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