atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#1971: Imagine the government is providing health insurance.

Imagine it's via a "public option" even if there are still other insurers.

If someone in government decides that certain behaviors are costing too much, the government can outlaw them, or impose punitive taxes on foods and activities it deems "unhealthy". All in the name of "deficit reduction" and "controlling costs" and so forth.

If you think ObamaCare isn't a path to total government control of your life, you're a fool.

* * *

Reuters does not even mention U6 in this article about unemployment.

They quote one anus as saying that if the blizzards hadn't happened we would have seen job growth. I don't believe that.

"Nonfarm jobs" fell 36,000. Wall Street expected 50,000 job losses, which is why there was a rebound in the Dow-Jones on Friday: the losses were smaller than they'd expected.

I want to know what U6 is. U3 is 9.7 percent. What's U6? Has U6 increased or decreased?

I have my own theory: if U6 had decreased we'd be hearing about it from the mainstream media. By that standard, I'd wager U6 is higher rather than lower, which would demonstrate that U3 is dropping because people are running out of unemployment benefits. People receiving unemployment is how we track U3; people who are no longer eligible for unemployment disappear from U3. If enough people are unemployed long enough U3 will seem to drop without any real improvement in employment.

Remember: during the Bush Presidency we were told that U6 was a much more accurate gauge of how the economy was doing. We were told this when U3 was at theoretical full employment (around 5%) and U6 was around 10%. Now that a Democrat is in the White House, suddenly U3 is the only measure which matters--and no one is talking about U6 any more, either.

You do the math.

* * *

Northern Germany is the latest victim of runaway man-made global warming. Icebreakers have had to work nonstop to clear harbors of ice after record cold, which happened because human beings emit too much carbon dioxide thus warming the planet.

Of course it makes perfect sense. If you don't understand how global warming makes things colder, it's because you're a stupid climate skeptic who should be burned at the stake. Then your ashes should be interred in jail, forever. Global warming doesn't obey the laws of thermodynamics because it behaves different from the Carnot cycle.

* * *

Yeah, I borrowed a bit from the quote from that idiot at the end of this post to make that snark extra-snarky. Heh.

* * *

Remember that scary near-crash video a couple years ago? An airplane landing in Germany got hit by a gust as it was landing and the airplane was blown off course, and the right wingtip contacted the runway.

It turns out that it's due to envelope protection at its finest.
The cause of the incident was a quirk in the Airbus A320's flight computer. On the first near-landing, it switched to ground mode -- which, among other things, limits the power of the ailerons and restricts the pilots' power to move them. They had to look on powerlessly as the flight computer took control and put the plane at the mercy of the storm.
OH JESUS. (emphasis mine.)

I have to wonder if this is the same type of aircraft which a French pilot ended up flying into trees during a "low and slow" pass at an airshow. That aircraft was a total loss, and the pilot ended up going to jail for "negligence" because some people died. The pilot commanded more throttle, the airplane refused to give it to him, and crunch. "Ground mode"?

Envelope protection is the entire reason I don't want to fly aboard any AirBus aircraft. I don't trust 'em farther than I could comfortably piss a 747.

* * *

If Greg House were a forensic specialist this could have been an episode of that show.

Read the whole thing--I mean damn.

* * *

Friday morning I watched nine episodes of Haruhi, continuing the "Watch it in order and dump season 2 to DVD" project.

I got the first five episodes of the second season on DVD, and got through half of "Endless Eight". Here's what I watched:
7) S1E4 baseball tournament
8) S2E1 tanabata (Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody)
9) S1E7 (cave cricket alternate space) after tanabata
10) S1E6 Mystery 1
11) S1E8 Mystery 2
12) S2E2 Endless eight 1
13) S2E3 Endless eight 2
14) S2E4 Endless eight 3
15) S2E5 Endless eight 4
Both series together come to 28 episodes, of course, and the ordinals reflect that I watched eps 7-15 of the combined series.

"SaEb" refers to Season and Episode. So "S1E4" is the fourth ep of season 1, and "S2E3" is the third ep of season 2. I don't have the actual episode names, hence my half-assed descriptions.

"Endless Eight" is interesting in that the first episode of it (presumably the first iteration as well) contains things the subsequent episodes don't. One difference that comes to mind: in the first ep of EE, Yuki buys the mask and Kyon doesn't offer to pay for it. In all the rest of the episodes, Kyon offers to pay for it and she refuses. There are some others. (Another: Koizumi doesn't ask to look at Haruhi's list of activities in the first ep; he does in later ones.) The plotting of Haruhi is too tight for this to be a continuity error; they meant to do it.

I still love that 594 years pass between eps 2 and 3 of the second series. (Eps 1 and 2 of the EE arc.) That's damn cool. (Of course, ep 1 is three years long....)

* * *

Örmüs hit 36th level Friday morning. It took about 1.6 hours to accomplish thanks to my guildie friend Annarwin, an 80th level priest. She's like frickin' Ifurita--or Gort--and uses the priest spell "Mind Flay" a lot. It's a death ray coming from her forehead and at Örmüs' level it pretty much kills everything it touches instantly.

So I was able to take down some red quests, which awarded about 4k XP each. I think Örmüs could survive Stranglethorn Vale now, so I'll probably head there next.

* * *

We're supposed to have some warm weather this weekend. I'm hoping to try my latest theory out on the old jalopy.

Theory? Vacuum leak. I think I mentioned it some time ago. I'm going to cap all the vacuum lines at the intake manifold and see how the car runs. I really hope that's the problem, because while it'll take some doing to replace the vacuum lines at least it won't involve sacrificing a goat to some unholy old god in order to get the thing running right.

I can't just leave 'em off. The computer will throw codes and the car won't run at its most efficient level.

You know, on MuscleCar the guys went to a junkyard in search of an engine for their latest project. And because it was an old carbed V8, all they needed to do to give it a short test run was to fill the carb's float bowl and supply power to starter and ignition. No worries about the fuel pump pressurizing the fuel rail, no mucking about with computer stuff. The thing started and ran reasonably well for a junkyard motor.

You can't do that with a modern car, of course. Lord, no. You need about 30-40 PSI of fuel pressure at the injectors, you need to run the computer and the injectors as well as the ignition system and the starter, and it's all got to work correctly and be missing nothing for the engine to start and run.

BUT if you want an engine which produces good power without making a lot of pollutants and uses as little fuel as possible, you need the fine control over fuel/air mixture which computer control allows you. Carbs are great for making power and torque, but they tend to be messy and some of them need frequent adjustment to keep the car in tune.

* * *

As I was waking up, I thought about the 1978 Mercury Zephyr my Dad used to have. It had an I6 in it, and it had been a nice-driving car. I liked it. He bought it used from our next-door neighbor, who had kept the thing in tip-top condition; he washed and waxed his cars every other week and they were always garaged. His mechanical maintenance intervals were short, too; it was a good car.

When I was waking up I was wishing we had been able to keep the thing. Dad gave it to my brother-in-law in Louisiana, and he ended up selling it because the gas tank developed rust holes. *sigh*

I was thinking: yank out the I6 and the auto trans. Drop in a 302 and a 5-speed. Yank the rear end, replace it with a Currie 9-inch with posi. Lower it about an inch and beef up the sway bars. Change the wheels and tires to go with a lower-profile sidewall. Nothing ridiculous, but enough to make the car handle a little better.

...damn that car would move. It was already pretty peppy with the 6-cylinder. Imagine it with a decently-configured 302 and 5-on-the-floor? Man.

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