9/11/2014

Barack the Barmy will now teach trolls to dance.

ISIL [sic] is not "Islamic".  No religion condones the killing of innocents…

Transcript of Obama’s speech (10 Sept 2014) on Islamic State strategy in Mideast - Middle East - Stars and Stripes

 "I declared Iraq a success.  This will only take a minute.  I'm going golfing." 

I wonder if there is a Las Vegas betting line on which will come first: Global Conflagration or Civil War?

9/05/2014

Workplace dialogues

CO-WORKER:  (Comes over to borrow my 24 oz. ball pein hammer)

ME: Here you go.

CO-WORKER:  (sings) If I had a haa-merrrr...

ME: You wouldn't have to come over here and raid my toolbox!

CO-WORKER:  No, it was an old folk song.

ME: It's still an old folk's song.  Nowadays only old folks sing it!

CO-WORKER:  !!!

9/04/2014

I'm so old . . .

I'm so old I remember when draft dodger Cassius Clay became Muslim to prove he didn't believe in violence.  Right. 

8/31/2014

Modern Steampunk Chic - Fuel Cells

Google and others buy them by the pallet load.

It's magic, that's what it is . . . I do live in the future, after all . . .

Wikipedia:  fuel cell .
        
Steam methane reforming produces (as far as I can gather) non-"Green" levels of carbon dioxide.  Also it takes energy to make the steam.  The wiki article on Fuel Cells contains this tidbit:  "The Department of Energy Solid State Energy Conversion Alliance found that, as of January 2011, stationary fuel cells generated power at approximately $724 to $775 per kilowatt installed.  In 2011, Bloom Energy, a major fuel cell supplier, said that its fuel cells generated power at 9–11 cents per kilowatt-hour, including the price of fuel, maintenance, and hardware."

I suspect that Bloom Energy is using a catalytic process instead -- either with platinum alone or -- more likely -- in some other (?) soup of (?)  reducible metals (?) (ferric oxide, sulfur dioxide?) -- which would make the process patentable, more economical than pure platinum, and "Greener" to boot.

Time to buy stock in public fuel cell companies?  Or is it a scam?  The Wikipedia article contains this:  "...as of October 2013, no public company in the industry had yet become profitable."  Hmmm.

Stay tuned . . .

8/29/2014

Migraine Aura - Fortification Spectrum

You have to realize that while the visual phenomenon is happening, the colors are moving, blinking, blurring in and out of their vivid primary colors, morphing, changing.  The outlines are changing, from dark to bright gold light.

This is a sketch I made while having right-eye migraine aura today.  It is a form of Scintillating Scotoma -- some good illustrations at the Wikipedia link, by the way -- sometimes called "fortification spectra" or teichopsia, according to this link.  I scanned it and prettied it up some with MS Paint.  Picture this in motion, overlaid on everything else I was trying to look at. 




Probably this was triggered by glare while working the parts counter, looking past the customer to the bright sky outside.  As soon as I could, I took a naproxen sodium tablet, had another swig of coffee (caffeine may trigger migraine in some people, but for me it is the drug of choice), and iced my face.  The phenomenon is really quite beautiful.  Duration of visual disturbance this time was about forty minutes from start as a bright dot in the center of vision to being a dull, ignorable border on the right.  Now, three hours later, I just feel stupider than usual and somewhat out of alignment with my physical self. 

Why does this happen?!  The Mayo Clinic says, "It's believed that the visual aura that may accompany migraine is like an electrical or chemical wave that moves across the part of your brain that processes visual signals (visual cortex). As the wave spreads, it may cause these visual hallucinations."  What that means, I do not know.  

Also:  Why ME?!  Well, first you have to have the right genetic background . . . Thanks, Mom!


8/28/2014

English, The Ensloppening

One more thing to add to your list of linguistic evidence of the decline of civilization:

The word MANUFACTURER seems to be disappearing, especially in the plural. 

"Manufactures of dowel pins sometimes use electroless plating process." 

"Find manufactures of Bosch solenoid valve."

"Our manufactures can ship direct to user."

Is it because of English-as-a-Second-Language?  But they would be corrected if we were unafraid, and the decline would be nipped in the bud.

It's our language, damn it anyway!  We stole it from the Brits, who stole it from all those conquerors!  If we let just anybody who wants our U.S. Dollars treat American English any way their spell check allows -- why, that would be like letting just anybody simply walk across our borders and partake . . .

Oh.  Right. 

8/24/2014

Whole lotta shakin' goin' on!

Morning of 24 August 2014: 






And since denizens of the San Francisco bay area like to describe these earthquake things, I thought it was both a roller and a shaker.

My recollection is it went: 

Pop! Whump-whump-(whump)...BANG!!! GABUMP!GaBump!gabump-bump-bump-wump-wump-wump. [Followed by the stillness of the earth and the continued creaking of the house and ringing of the wind chimes in the doorway of the hall to the laundry room.]