atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,
atomic_fungus
atomic_fungus

#3633: I feel better.

Last night I cooked up a batch of chicken stuff, and while I was preparing it I started feeling better. The depression lifted; and then I sat down to watch some anime with a lighter heart.

Today I feel better than yesterday; and yesterday I felt a damned sight better than I did on Wednesday. I have residual body aches, but nothing too serious.

As it stands right now I've got a list of six places I intend to look into, in search of a job. That's in addition to the app I tossed at CompUSA the other day. So perhaps I can find something relatively soon that'll keep the lights and Internet on in the bunker, and won't make me so tired that I drive through someone's living room, or want to shoot myself.

...and just now, sitting here, I was filled with a quiet joy which can only have come from one source. Praise be to God.

* * *

The Boy Scouts of America wanted to keep gays from being scoutmasters because they were concerned about child sexual abuse. So much for that argument.

You can't stand up and say, "We don't want to allow openly gay men to be scoutmasters because we're concerned about the higher rate of pedophilia among homosexuals," and then conspire to conceal sexual abuse of minors within your ranks. You just can't.

I still support the BSA's right to freedom of association, but this is just bad. This is equally as bad as the whole Penn State/Sandusky thing, and for the same reasons.

* * *

Here we are: a tax on bullets. A box of 550 rounds of .22LR will cost $18 plus $27.50 in tax.

...unless my math is screwed up. I calculated it three times: 550 rounds times $0.05 per round is $27.50 per box in taxes alone.

So that's how it is, I guess. If I ever get my FOID card back I'm going to have to start buying my ammunition in Kankakee, because every place I can think of around here that has ammo is in Cook County.

Oh, wait--I can always go to Indiana, I suppose.

* * *

"All that's missing is the swastika."

Isn't it lovely? At least the EU is correctly identifying communism/marxism/socialism as a religion ("Brother, that's anything but an economic system!"). I'm still wondering what religion the trident symbol is related to.

...oh, I guess it's the Trident of Shiva.

It's noted in the comments that the Jain Hand symbol, when complete, includes a swastika.

* * *

Incidentally, that papyrus which was supposed to be a fragment of a lost gospel proving Jesus was married has a typo in it. How do you get a typo in a hand-written document?
...[A] forger may have copied the typo not from a printed text, but from a Coptic-English translation of the Gospel of Thomas that was on the Web — and which accidentally left off the Coptic letter “M.”
Oops.

* * *

3.4% of American adults are LGBT. The poll does not say what percentage of Americans are OMGBBQBLTWTF.

* * *

...sorry, I can't help poking fun at the acronym. (Maybe if I tried....)

* * *

So let's have a gander at green technology, shall we?

$151 million worth of stimulus money down the shithole, and the place never shipped so much as one battery.

One of the biggest problems with top-down command economies comes from the inability of politicians to understand how products are developed, marketed, and sold.

The first thing you always do when developing a product for production is to determine how many units you are likely to sell, and how much profit you can reasonably expect to make.

The reason there are so few electric cars available comes from the hard equations of economic necessity: no one wants an electric car, at least statistically speaking. It's impossible to market an electric car that will make a profit for the company building it. In certain exceptional cases you can manage it (Tesla, for example) but in general the average person simply cannot get by with a pure electric vehicle, and when you start building hybrids the cost of the cars goes up asymptotically.

Hence the Chevy Volt--an econobox costing $42,000. (But, hey! After your government rebate check comes through, it's only $35,000! What's not to like?)

GM had originally planned to build 60,000 Volts for the 2012 model year. If GM had actually been able to sell that many, perhaps this battery plant would have been necessary; but the fact is, the US economy (especially right now!) doesn't need 60,000 Chevy Volts per year plus whatever hybrid/electric vehicles are being made by other automakers. The total annual market for pure electric vehicles in the US doesn't total 60,000 units.

But the Chevy Volt wasn't produced because GM saw an unfilled niche in the automobile market. The Volt was produced because Washington, D.C. told GM to do it.

And so what happened? Hundreds of millions of dollars have been wasted on an economically unnecessary boondoggle.

Related: JayG on more "green" nonsense.
One of the underlying reasons cited for the collapse, though, was "oversupply" - you know, much like the Chevy Volt. No one wants this stuff, especially not at $$$$ per kilowatt hour.
Government wants to force people to use diffuse and inefficient power sources for stupid, nebulous reasons that have nothing to do with "energy independence". The result is always the same.

I'll say it again: if your goal is to get people to drive electric cars, the first step on that road is making electricity too cheap to meter...and that means switching to nuclear power in a big way.

* * *

Karl Denninger no longer makes very specific predictions on when the markets will collapse. But now, he notes, conditions are very much the same as they were in 1987, the so-called "Black Monday" event where the markets dropped precipitously. Emphasis removed:
Earnings folks.

Earnings.

They don't "respond" to cheap money. They do respond, for a while, to squeezes on companies, in that firms lay off people and "whip" their remaining employees. After all, seeing the 10 people who worked next to you all get pink slips has a pretty-serious motivating effect.

For a while.

But eventually you squeeze people as far as you can. The waste is gone, the fat trimmed, and all that's left is the actual productive workforce. Those who were weaker and laid off now boomerang back in the form of taxes and deficit spending as you were previously getting some value from their efforts -- now you just have them on the dole. This load is diffuse but present and it remains. You can't hire them back as the margin isn't there to do it and competitive pressures close the gap you previously had, as everyone else in the market cut their fat at the same time.

Now the entirely-predictable squeeze comes -- the second-order one, where there is no fat. There is no excess capability to absorb it. And there is no government tax surplus to pay with.

Where is the trip-line that sets off the big one?

I don't know.

But I know it's out there.
One of the problems with "trimming the fat" comes from lost productivity. You need to cut five people and you do it, and do your damnedest to get the remaining workers to pick up the slack...but even if they work at their hardest it's probable that they still can't accomplish all the available work.

Poor managers end up in the cliche: "The beatings will continue until morale improves." How can there be good morale when five people have been cut and the remainder are expected to take on their work and continue to turn in their own? When there already aren't enough hours in the day for them to do their own work?

Denninger finishes with,
I don't think this is the day before Black Monday.

But I think it very well might be somewhere between August and early October in 1987.
He could be right.

I'm going to be a little more bold in my prediction; if there's a market crash this year it won't happen before the election. The guys on Wall Street are going to do their damnedest to hold it off until afterwards. Both of the major candidates are their buddies, one way or another, and it helps neither one if the market goes to shit before the elections happen.

Long-term, it helps the Democrats if Romney wins and the market crashes. The converse is not true, that it helps the GOP long-term if Obama wins and the crash comes, because of how the media will spin the crash. At best the latter case gives the GOP a major bounce in the midterm elections of 2014; but as we've seen, two years is a long time in politics. Compare the Clinton win in 1992 with how the midterm elections went in 1994.

But I do know that a market crash before the first week of November would result in a Romney landslide...and that just might mean an end to the extremely loose regulatory environment the guys on Wall Street have enjoyed since 2009.

* * *

I'm just cynical enough to agree with JayG when he says, "His girlfriend dumped him a couple weeks back. How much do you want to bet there's an attempt at reconciliation?"

Heinlein said it best: "Money is the ultimate aphrodesiac." Would that it were not so.

* * *

Sure, give that 18-year-old the keys to your Ferrari. What could possibly happen?

"They found a red Ferrari that was on fire...." Do Ferraris come in any other color?

As Borepatch notes, his Jeep (and mine, too) are designed to get 60 yards into the woods--they come that way from the factory. A Ferrari, not so much.

From the article Borepatch links:
The Ferrari was a model F430, which was manufactured from 2004 to 2009. It had a base price of $171,000 and an estimated top speed near 200 mph, according to Road & Track magazine.
They use the past tense advisedly, as the car went up in flames and is basically unrecognizable as a car. The front bumper fascia and wheels are located approximately correctly relative to each other; the rest of the thing is utterly destroyed.

Headline: "Crashed Ferrari was gift from driver’s dad".

Yeah.

It reminds me of this story and this follow-up that I did lo these many years ago.

From the first post:
According to my calculations, they hit the tree going about 70 MPH. The runway is 85 feet above ground, they struck the tree 15 feet up, and they traveled 200 feet before striking the tree--all of this is enough information for me to conclude that they fell 70 feet from the moment they left the runway until they struck the tree. It takes slightly more than two seconds for any object to fall 70 feet in Earth gravity, so it took them about that time to traverse the 200 feet between the end of the runway and the tree. Ergo, a speed of about 100 feet per second, or a bit less than 70 MPH.

At 100 MPH they would have fallen only 29 feet before striking the tree 56 feet above ground.

...not that it matters. Dead is dead, and being dead of stupidity still gets you nominated for a Darwin Award.
An anonymous commentor said,
I think your speed calculations are grossly underestimated. I was in a vehicle that hit a tree at 70 miles an hour. The damage was nowhere as bad as what I've seen in the photos. I bet we will learn from skid mark analysis and police examination that this vehicle was traveling over 120pm when it hit the brakes, and was 100+ when it left the embankment.
And my answer? Atomic Fungus #859: It's not an estimate. Physics is my friend.

And that post finishes, "In the end, regardless of the particulars, an age-old equation has again been satisfied: youth plus stupidity plus speed equals dead bodies."

And this deal with the Ferrari is just another example. It's just too bad that there are parents out there who can't look at the statistics and say, "No, you're not getting a car like that, because I'd like you to live long enough to graduate from college."

* * *

Example: my brother hasn't taught his kids (who are of driving age) how to drive a manual transmission. His Corvette has a manual transmission. You do the math.

* * *

But let's not concentrate on such misery. It's time for another home-brewed Garfield Without Garfield--or it would be, if PhotoBucket wasn't giving me "503 Service Unavailable" errors. I'll have to try posting it later. Right now I'm going to think about what to make for dinner. Right now I'm leaning towards "hamburgers" because that way I don't have to go anywhere....

Edit: Here it is!

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