atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#1936: That was scary!

I got to ep 11 of To Aru Kagaku no Railgun and dang did it end on a scary note. I was actually gaping in astonishment at the screen.

Despite what Harumi Kiyama is trying to do, I still like her. And what we learn in ep 11 shows us that her motivations are not, after all, evil. I can't say anything else without massive spoilers. Suffice it to say I find her a sympathetic character. I'm probably not supposed to, but I do.

I got to the end of Haruhi and I liked how it went. Good stuff. I'm going to watch the whole thing over again.

* * *

The Corolla, now?

...the car has electro-hydraulic power steering, and apparently sometimes when the car is traveling over 40 MPH the steering goes nuts and the car suddenly veers to the left or right, requiring a large steering input from the driver to correct for it.

WTF, Toyota? This is starting to look like the first Patlabor movie.

* * *

Newsweek exhorts businesses to stop laying people off.

While I do agree with the theme of the article--"If people are your most important assets, why would you get rid of them?"--I also understand that labor is the largest cost faced by any business. Labor is expensive; you must learn to balance your need for hands and brains against what it costs to get those hands and brains. It's not just the salaries; it's all the taxes and benefits and paperwork and miscellany. A person who earns about $40,000 costs his employer some $100,000 to employ. No exaggeration.

Cutting employees should be the last resort, for a variety of reasons. Still, economics is a harsh master.

* * *

The sun is still in a minimum. Right now there are three nice sunspot groups on the sun's face. We haven't seen this level of activity on the sun for nearly two years--but the sun's magnetic field is the weakest we've ever seen it.

The solar geomagnetic index averaged somewhere around 15 until about 2004, when it abruptly dropped about seven units, and has been slowly declining since.

In December of 2009, it hit 1. One. Which is the lowest it has been since we first began tracking it.

The data goes back to about 1845, and the lowest it went in that time was to around 4 or 5, in 1880 and 1900.

Further on in the article is another graph, this one showing the magnetic field strength of sunspots--and it's been declining since at least 1992, from 3,000 gauss to about 2,100 gauss.

We don't know what the hell is going on with the sun. We don't know what it means for the climate of Earth, either.

* * *

WoW is down. Apparently Blizzard's having the devil's own time getting the servers back up after their weekly maintenance. I guess it's another Tuesday where I do anything other than WoW until later in the evening....

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