atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,
atomic_fungus
atomic_fungus

#2059: Counterintuitive.

Everything I did with the jalopy yesterday was related to the ignition system, yet it fixed a problem which had all the symptoms of something with the emissions system. The car worked fine when the engine was cold; but when the engine warmed up, it misfired. That says the computer is getting something wrong, doesn't it? It doesn't make sense that ignition work would fix a computer problem.

Well: when the engine is cold, the computer commands a richer mix of fuel and air. It does this by opening the fuel injectors for a slightly longer period than when the engine is warm. This has the same effect as the choke on a carbeurated engine.

There's an interesting thing about the electrical characteristics of the environment inside the cylinder: during the compression stroke, when the air and fuel mix is compressed at the top of the cylinder, there is actually less resistance across the air gap of the spark plug. The compressed air-fuel mix provides better conductivity than plain air at standard pressure. The dielectric constant is lower; and when there is more fuel in the air, that constant is lower still.

When the engine warms up, the ECM automatically reduces the fuel-air ratio. (As if the carb's choke is opening.) Lower fuel ratio means higher dielectric constant. And that's where the trouble comes in.

The primary winding of the coil completes a circuit with the ignition control module, mounted to the car's frame. There are both positive and negative connections made between coil and module. But the secondary wiring is a different story: its positive terminal goes to the spark plug via the spark plug wire; its negative terminal is the cylinder head itself.

So what happens if the coil has a bad connection on its negative terminal? Well, it limits the amount of energy available for firing the spark plug. The bad connection acts like a resistor, dropping the voltage available for generating a spark. And so, if the dielectric constant of the cylinder environment is too high, no spark occurs and the cylinder doesn't fire.

* * *

Somewhere, several days ago, I saw an opinion piece which claimed that Illinois Republicans were opposing a school voucher plan. I couldn't see the whole article because it had been posted by morons, so I don't know WTF the guy's point was. The lede insisted, however, that the Democrats and the teachers' unions wanted vouchers, and those mean nasty bigoted homophobe sexist racist Republicans were opposing it.

Democrats are usually the ones who oppose school voucher plans. They don't like them, the same way they don't like anything that gives the average citizen the power to choose not to rely on government.

And here we are: Democrats and teachers' unions have once again managed to defeat the one thing which could insure that the children actually get good educations in this country.

Just remember: the only entitiy in the United States which is allowed to have a monopoly is the government.

* * *

The stereotypical car dealer exists, and not just in Canada.

Damn it, if I were the authorities in that town I'd revoke that craphole's license. $63,000 for a stinking Mazda? And you can't even blame the exchange rate, because the Canuck dollar is currently worth more than the US dollar is!

And it's not just a couple of salesmen, either; the business manager of the dealership said, "We made a little bit of money on the deal. I guess she was not happy with it." "A little bit of money"? $25,000 is "a little bit of money"?

This kind of thing makes me sick.

* * *

So all the news media are telling us the new higher unemployment rate of 9.9% IS GREAT NEWS! Obama got up in front of the TV cameras and crowed about how great it was that the unemployment rate went up.

o_O

...unemployment...rising...is...good...news??

>_O

MY BRAIN HURTS

They're saying it's good news because it means more people are looking for work! Never mind that that figure is U3, and that U6 is also higher, and that a greater than ever percentage of unemployed have been unemployed for more than six months.

The media are uncritically parroting this nonsense. If a republican had said it...

I don't need to finish that thought.

* * *

ObamaWeek is for sale. Such a deal.

* * *

I hate this shit. The idea that an imaginary image of a person is equivalent to an actual real person is ludicrous.

Because the definition of "pornography" is highly subjective, what is to stop them from outlawing anime no reasonable person would call "porn"? Like Ranma 1/2 or Wedding Peach, both of which depict brief nonsexual nudity of teenagers? How about the bath scene in My Neighbor Totoro? Does that constitute "child pornography"? Some would say so.

What about prose? Does a description of a fictional child equate with a real child?

The law is an ass, but this goes beyond that. The idea that the product of someone's imagination, a drawing which has no connection to objective reality, somehow has "rights" and needs "protection" from sexual predators--it's ludicrous. If "drawing" and/or "depiction" equals "person", where does that stop?

* * *

I wonder when my Battle.Net authenticator will get here.
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