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Archive for May, 2012

Collecting Cretin Cream (AKA bullshit) in the wild is easy.

Put 30pW of electrical energy into an LED and get out 62pW of photons.

Then, sit back and let the comments section fill up with BS, and scrape off the “cream” that floats to the top.

A commenter said:

I understand the power and light levels we are talking about are vanishingly low. Is there a chance that this technology can be scaled up to more useful, everyday levels, like generating the equivalent light of a 60 watt incandescent bulb,say? If it could be scaled up, my first thought was coupling these LED’s with solar cells to generate more electricity to power more of these lights, potentially creating a heat-fed perpetual-motion machine, but I realize that solar cells would never be efficient enough to make that work.

Yeah, actually uttered and put out there on the internet where it will live forever.

That’s exactly what some of my friends were thinking. Say you’ve got a 1 W electricity source (thus a 2.3 W light output). You only actually need a photocell that is 1/2.3 = ~43.5% efficient in order to have perpetual, self-fed light. Any efficiency above that will effectively be an engine that converts heat into electricity.Note the significant difference here between this engine and normal engines. The normal conception of entropy is based on the assumption that you need a heat DIFFERENCE in order to convert head energy to any other form of energy (ie, you need a reason for heat to flow). However, this new engine would actually break that principle, because no matter how cold the LED is, powering it electrically would induce an endothermic process that would absorb what little heat was available and convert it to light. Suffice it to say, though I’m sure I’m missing some subtlety, it seems that this discovery disproves our classical conception of entropy. With enough of these, one could literally prevent the heat death of the universe [emphasis mine – LK]

Wow.  Saving the universe 30pW at a time.  Ingenious.

No, seriously.  The idea that this device violates the first and second laws of thermodynamics has every physics weirdo short-stroking it all over the place but there is no free lunch.  It either works or it doesn’t but don’t for a second run around thinking that thermodynamics is going to get turned on it’s ear.

Go smoke another bowl, dudes, and stay away from science.  Zero-point energy, crystals, and blue babies – that’s where it’s really at.

Our “classical conception” of entropy is safe.

Ok, I’m done now.

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New word definition from Dr. Lemur:

Planic Attack – n. – The frenzied planning/fear response of management when finally recognizing the project-threatening technical issues extensively documented by engineering at all stages of the project.   Usage:  Management finally realized that they were selling the customer on what is essentially a perpetual motion device and had a planic attack and tried to formulate some sort of damage control.

If you can make a neater/tighter definition and example, I’d love to hear it, because mine is clunky.

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I had the most irritating mother-in-law experience on Memorial Day.  For fear of disruption of harmony under our roof I will not relay the exact details other than to say that my parting words on the matter to my MiL were “Apology accepted, I understand your feelings, but in communicating them, your delivery sucked.”

Let’s just say that the situation would have tested anyone’s patience unless they were in a vegetative state or were recently lobotomized with a rusty icepick.

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This is last week’s news but I can’t help fixate on the incongruencies…

On one hand the Kentucky and Arkansas primaries must’ve ended up how they did because of racism.  On the other hand, swing state voters appear to think (correctly) that Joe Biden is a total schmuck.

On the OTHER hand, could it be, just perhaps… put it in the background… could it be that Obama sucks as a president and people have every right to not like him and vote against him without being called racist?

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I may add more to this later…

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Day 5 of Sustained In-Law Loud Yammering (AKA “Operation SILLY”).

Must leave tactical tomahawk where it is…must leave tactical tomahawk where it is… must…

My MiL is a bat-crap crazy Food Nazi (BCCFN).

I had just gotten done with making a german potato salad and since she can’t eat a lot of salt I pointed her to a bowl of it that I made just for her, and mentioned that the only salt in it was the the bacon crumbles. She said “You know, you can get salt-free bacon at Lostco.”

I looked at her blankly and said “Huh.”  Then I went somewhere else.

Now, it’s just this sort of judgmental thing that really steams my clams.  You could poo-poo it away and say it is not a judgment but it totally is.  I notice she hasn’t said a think about the inadequacy of my cast iron skillets, truck tires, choice in shoes, etc.   What she DOES comment on is things that I do that she might not agree with.  I use salt.  I don’t give a rat’s tushy about bacon grease, and dammit, I cook for flavor.  I am not about to go buy 32lbs of salt-free bacon for my MiL.  Sorry.

I do not like my choices put on display or to have to rationalize or defend my choices.  This has created some stress/tension between Cruel Wife and myself because they are her parents.  After a “discussion” we decided that she would try to deflect and I am allowed to say something if it comes up.

Not even five minutes later I’m taking the chicken off the smoker and BCCFN stops and says “You know, I did some looking online and found some bullion that has no salt in it.  I said, “BCCFN, if you find this stuff online and you want some, let me know and I can get it ordered for you with no shipping costs.”

She said, “No, I already have some, I meant for you.”

I turned around slowly, stared at her with my most soul-less smile – the one that doesn’t reach my eyes and makes the cats incontinent – and said in the best imitation of Clint Eastwood scorn that I could dredge up,  “But BCCFN, I don’t have even the slightest interest in low salt foodsNone.”  and then just as slowly, with the smile still in place, I turned back to my chicken extraction.

Shut her right up and she went right into the house w/o another word.

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The In-Law Post

The in-laws are here.  Four days down and three weeks to go.

I could whinge about it or I could just move on and post one of the funniest things I’ve heard today.

You know what part of a baby monkey tastes best?  The tears.  –  Robert Evans, Cracked.com

Yeah, it’s awful.  I’m evil.  Cruel Wife says I’m a sick puppy.

I suck.

That’s all I’ve got to say, because I went to IKEA today and because I’m eating a raw blueberry Pop-Tart™.  But the good news is I got some of those IKEA meatballs.  They were delicious.

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Tip for the day…

Not posting much other than this link.  Working late tonight.

If you have Steam, check out the Universe Sandbox.

Now I know of another fun activity Lemurita and I can do together besides art and tearing things apart.

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Roundup.

I am totally stealing this from Aggie Sith.  She e:mailed me and insisted that I do so.  She can’t stop me.  I’m totally taking it.  I’m a runaway truck.  It’s stolen.  No idea where she nicked it.

Thanks Ag.  It’s beautifully awesometastic.  Black Lab on Amphetamines said to me today that there are lots of Lemur Memes out there but I replied that not one of them are a Matrix Lemur Meme, so this is still totally cool.

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On Saturday we drove to a nearby town to meet up with Spaced Diode – our semi-regular but totally sporadic “Saturday coffee and pastry” kind of affair.

As we drove into town my Super Lemur powers spotted a man walking through the crosswalk.  He was glancing left to right constantly and his left arm was bent, with his forearm stuck out in front of him, a lot like you’d look if you were packing a .45 and fixin’ to ventilate something.  Lemurs just look for this sort of thing as a survival mechanism and it comes built-in to all models as a basic package perk.

I followed the curve of his arm and – sure as God made mammaries and little green apples – he had a gun-like thing in his hand.  It was attached to a reservoir at the bottom and it looked like he was ready to use it.  Stuck to it was the label:  Roundup™.

He walked by us and pointing back up our street I hollered out “Dude!  I just saw two dandelions run that way!”

Flora-hunters are notoriously fixated and he looked bat-crap crazy so I was not surprised when he didn’t even respond.

Note:  Cruel Wife may comment that he didn’t look all that crazy to her but I know… I KNOW… that he was a loon.  I know it.  I know these things.

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I try to teach the kids funny things while on these drives.  Latin.  Space stuff.  Biology.  Whatever random sh*t my brain spits out as it gets that huge rush from my first fevered gulps of Red Bull™.   “Hey, kids!  LOOK!   BOVINES!”  And the kids usually oblige by going “MOOOOOOOO!”

And we traveled through the list of things I knew:  Felines, canines, ursines, equines, murines, etc.

At some point I ran out of “-ines” and mentally went full-on, a hardcore OCD binge, wracking my brain for more.  And one just popped into my head.   Quinines.

I turned to Cruel Wife and said “Can you picture vast herds of Quinines running across the landscape?”

A good G&T was one of our shared favorite drinks, and she said “Yes, grazing on forests of Juniper.”

“And limes,” I added.

With a bit of thought I suggested that perhaps in one of the enormous seven stomachs of the Quinines they fermented the juniper berries.  In some universe God may have tweaked things, or will tweak, or is at this moment tweaking something to allow for something exactly like that or darned similar.  These kinds of thoughts do lull me to sleep in the wee hours of the morning.

All in all it was a strange morning.  And the kids thought we were loons, but mention vast herds of anything and they dig it.  Especially if we’re talking about vast herds of tofudebeests – I like to tell stories about dragging a tofudebeest down with one’s teeth.  The slow ones can’t survive – it’s a law of nature.  Nature sure is a legalistic bitch sometimes.

Visions of gin and tonics continue to dance in my head.

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Good news.  The doc said last Friday that yes, while I still do have pain in my neck even six months later I should continue to be patient.  I asked him how the x-rays looked.  He said “Excellent.  The bones are fusing perfectly.”

His contention was that it probably wouldn’t be for the best for me to start biking again if it meant drop bars, and to instead use a mountain bike style conveyance.  I’m thinking of a recumbent 3-wheeler, honestly.  But those are expensive so it might be a while.

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Circular Narcissism

Update:

Rock paper scissors lizard Spock.  Big Bang Theory, I thank you.  I never would have been geek enough to learn that one.

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Circular narcissism is the phrase for today.

Your government is in love with itself and The State willing, everyone will be following the recommendations of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which funded the Rand Corporation to do an 18 month study on whether your eating establishments meet government guidelines.  It’s a pretty fair bet that the RWJF is left-leaning given how much money they give to NPR.  You don’t donate money to your ideological opposites.  Why can I safely say that the NPR is liberal?  Here’s why.  The circular narcissism will make you upchuck in your shorts.  (many thanks to Halfmanhalfamazing)   Hey, that reminds me – IS there any liberal media bias?

So what happens with stuff like RWJF/Rand publications?  Why, they get used to help guide policy.  That is, they get used to run your life for you.

Conclusions The paper provides a comprehensive view of chain restaurant menu nutrition prior to nationwide labelling laws. It offers baseline data to evaluate how restaurants respond after laws are implemented.

Narcissism.  I still haven’t linked that up circularly yet, have I?

People like Michelle Obama see where people (you the taxpayer) need to be taught the error of their ways.  Funding is given to those groups who share a desire to see their plans implemented.  Those groups do studies showing “proof” that their assertions are indeed correct.  Politicians use that information to further their goals and satisfy their pet agendas.  And it’s just a huge bunch of folks loving themselves for all their philanthropic works of fiction.

So let’s say one of your favorite restaurants doesn’t fit the standard.  What happens then?  Are they punished by the government?  Are they told to degrease and desist?  Are they shut down?  What if I want fatty flavorful food?  Do I get a say in this?  What if I like all the components of my McGangbang™ sandwich just the way they are?

For the sandwich, go here, and scroll down to “The McGangBang” – I show it here for your convenience, but there are many other foods for losers at that link… enjoy.

You take an ordinary McDouble off the dollar menu

 then you take an ordinary McChicken off the dollar menu

and you shove the McChicken inside the McDouble. Right in between the patties, just wedge that McChicken in there, so you have one tall super sandwich for just a few bucks. Get an order of fries because we all die in the end anyway.

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I think one could say that our president loves people loving him.  That’s why this picture, sent to me by The Dude has to be one of the best presidential mockeries I’ve seen this week – it is NSFW, people.  Stroke it gently with the mouse pointer and click and it will get bigger.

It’s no worse than what Time published last week, what with a breastfeeding toddler.

Far better to be tasteful like Nabisco in Korea – thank you Gawker.com for the article.

Nabisco, you ought to just fess up and admit that you thought boobies and cookies sounded great together.

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Ferd Limpy turns 18 at the end of this month. While finishing high school and playing Ultimate Pocket Pool on weekends, he’s also suing the federal government in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.

The Hellhole Palms, California, teen and four other juvenile plaintiffs want government officials to do more to prevent the risks of climate change — the dangerous storms, heat waves, rising sea levels, and food-supply disruptions that scientists warn will threaten their generation absent a major turnabout in global energy policy. Specifically, the students are demanding that the U.S. government start reducing national emissions of carbon dioxide by at least six percent per year beginning in 2013 and provide immunity from potential punishments for “Senior Skip Day” at HP High.

“I think a lot of young people realize that this is an urgent time, and that we’re not going to solve this problem just by riding our bikes more,” Limpy said between deep swallows from his mother’s breast.

Limpy drifted off to sleep in his mother’s lap, punctuating the moment with a loud fart and a deceptively small burp.  For lack of anything relevant to say, Mrs. Limpy stated that he and she needed some more “bonding time” because her baby was so stressed out by his concern over daily temperature swings.

The interview was cut short when Mrs. Limpy was engrossed in changing Ferd’s Depends™, saying “This is SO much harder to do when he’s got wood.”   A follow-up interview was hastily not arranged.

Ok, seriously though… Nearly the same damn thing really did happen.  Only the nursing and diaper changing likely only happens emotionally.   The kid and his little friends really do care about the environment and are totally committed to it, which is kind of sad since they haven’t got enough real-life experience to even feel passionate about anything for real yet.  These kids are going to have an interesting time when they see the schism between college (basically “high school” extended by four more years at a much higher cost) and the real world, which isn’t going to really give a rat’s ass about the self-centered little brat and his frivolous lawsuits.

Apologies if that seemed a lot cynical.  I’m in a mood.

But this is serious stuff, really.

This Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Robert L. Wilkins, an Obama appointee, will hear arguments on the defendants’ motion to dismiss the complaint.

[ The court is the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in case they didn’t see that important enough to mention, which they didn’t.  – LK ]

While skeptics may view the case as little more than a publicity stunt, its implications have been serious enough to attract the time and resources of major industry leaders. Last month, Judge. Wilkins granted a motion to intervene in the case by the National Association of Manufacturers, joined by Delta Construction Company, Dalton Trucking Inc., Southern California Contractors Association, and the California Dump Truck Owners Association.

“At issue is whether a small group of individuals and environmental organizations can dictate through private tort litigation the economic, energy, and environmental policies of the entire nation,” wrote National Association of Manufacturers spokesman Jeff Ostermeyer in an email. Granting the plaintiffs’ demands, he added, “would carry serious and immediate consequences for industrial and economic productivity — increasing manufacturing and transportation costs and decreasing global competitiveness.” The manufacturers’ legal brief says the restrictions being sought “could substantially eliminate the use of conventional energy in this country.” It also argues that the plaintiffs haven’t proved they have a legal right to sue.

Cruel Wife wondered if someone was *gasp* … using… these kids for their agenda.  Well, that just doesn’t seem right.  Let’s see here…  oh.  Oh.  Oh, ok.  Remember how I said the kids don’t really have enough life experience yet?  Well, apparently some see that as great, because it makes for tools that earnestly believe what they are saying, even if it is bullshit, and that really sells well.

While teenagers serve as the public face of the lawsuit, the idea itself came from Julia Olson, an attorney based in Eugene, Oregon. Olson founded an organization called Our Children’s Trust after watching the Al Gore documentary An Inconvenient Truth while she was seven months pregnant.

[snip]

Olson and other supporters of the suit believe that having kids as plaintiffs makes a particularly visceral appeal to adults to take action. Indeed, many of the adults involved said that their own children and grandchildren had inspired them. “Becoming a grandfather motivated me to speak out,” said climate scientist James Hansen, the director of the U.S. NASA Goddard Space Institute and the man who first brought Loorz and Olson together. Hansen, in his free time, is a conscientious objector to U.S. energy policy who has been arrested three times at peaceful protests.

In support of the children’s suit, Hansen has drawn up recommendations as to how the U.S. government can meet the greenhouse-gas reduction goals, through cuts in fossil-fuel-powered electricity and reforestation. “My talents are mainly in the sciences,” he said, “but it just became so clear that no one is doing anything to prevent what is becoming scientifically a very clear picture. I didn’t want my grandchildren to say that “Opa” (Dutch for “grandpa”) knew what was happening but didn’t do anything about it.”

There, SOYLENT GREEN, if you haven’t run with that tidbit (Hansen using kids to do his dirty work), would you, please?

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Being born-again linked to more brain atrophy.

Whoa.  Say that again?

Being born-again linked to more brain atrophy.

According to the study, people who said they were a “born-again” Protestant or Catholic, or conversely, those who had no religious affiliation, had more hippocampal shrinkage (or “atrophy”) compared to people who identified themselves as Protestants, but not born-again.

The study is published online in PLoS ONE.

Oh, well, then.  We all know PLoS ONE is a fine upstanding… newspaper?  Magazine?  Proceeding?  Flyer?  Writing on a bathroom wall?

Well it must be valid research because after all, they published it, right?

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