Sunday, November 29, 2009

Shut Up Stupid Sunday: Hate, Prejudice, and Bigotry

First a note on irony: After writing this post on Swine Flu take a guess why I wasn’t able to post for the last week.

While laid up last week I had a chance to watch some of my old favorite shows, like the original Twilight Zone episodes. One that reminded me of the current of political discussion in the US right now was Season 4, Episode 3 “He’s Alive”. (Major Spoilers ahead.)

The episode starts with Rod Serling’s introduction:

“Portrait of a bush-league fuehrer named Peter Vollmer, a sparse little man who feeds off his self-delusions and finds himself perpetually hungry for want of greatness in his diet. And like some goose-stepping predecessors he searches for something to explain his hunger, and to rationalize why a world passes him by without saluting. That something he looks for and finds is in a sewer. In his own twisted and distorted lexicon he calls it faith, strength, truth. But in just a moment Peter Vollmer will ply his trade on another kind of corner, a strange intersection in a shadowland called the Twilight Zone.”

In the episode Vollmer receives advice from a mysterious stranger who teaches him to unleash his bigotry and call it faith, project his fears and weaknesses on to those who are weaker than him and call it Strength, call his lies and distortions Truth.

He becomes the leader of a Neo-Nazi movement, bringing others in with his message of hate.

He finally meets the mysterious stranger and finds himself face to face with Adolf Hitler.

The episode ends with Serling’s conclusion:

“Where will he go next, this phantom from another time, this resurrected ghost of a previous nightmare - Chicago; Los Angeles; Miami, Florida; Vincennes, Indiana; Syracuse, New York? Anyplace, everyplace, where there's hate, where there's prejudice, where there's bigotry. He's alive. He's alive so long as these evils exist. Remember that when he comes to your town. Remember it when you hear his voice speaking out through others. Remember it when you hear a name called, a minority attacked, any blind, unreasoning assault on a people or any human being. He's alive because through these things we keep him alive.”

It’s easy to hear this voice from beyond the grave these days. Fox news seeks out these little men who can project their hate filled self-delusions and call them commentators. They rant about baby killers, then take no responsibility when one of their listeners goes on a shooting spree in front of a church.

They talk about how liberal churches that perform Same-Sex Marriage are the ultimate evil then look the other way as one of their followers takes a shotgun into a Unitarian Church and kills people.

You can hear this phantom from another time at rallies across the country spreading their message of hate against gays, the poor, Hispanics, and those they deem to be Anti-Christian.

You hear this echo of a previous nightmare when politicians scream that we can’t afford to help the suffering masses in our own country because we need that money to bring death and destruction to foreign lands.

You can hear this age old message of the weak and pathetic souls who lack the imagination to put their efforts towards bringing people together to build a better society that acknowledges the worth and dignity of the human soul, and instead shout out hate filled venom that divides people so that they can destroy anything of greatness or beauty and then blame that loss on the people that aren’t like them fueling the cycle of hate.

So to all those people who try to gain fame by channeling the hate filled messages of a nightmare past that should have been put to rest 65 years ago; To all those who think they boost their own worth by destroying the worth and dignity of others, instead of trying to accomplish something worthwhile on their own; To all those who think the power to destroy is a greater show of strength than the power to build; To them I say Shut-up Stupid.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Evil Minions The Next Generation

Monday, November 23, 2009

Evil Minion Monday: Knock Knock


Who’s There?

Evil Minion

Evil Minion who?


Who’s There?

Evil Minion

Evil Minion who?


Who’s There?


Orange Who?

Orange you glad I didn’t say Evil Minion?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Shut up Stupid Sunday: The responce

In my Temper Tantrum Tuesday post, “A letter to my Congressman” I posted a letter I sent to my congressman Ben Chandler and asked him to respond. In the letter I did mention that I would place his response here and I am keeping my word.
I did find a few errors in his form letter, which I have commented on in italics:

Thank you for contacting me about healthcare reform. As Central Kentucky's advocate in Washington, D.C., your views are important to me, and I appreciate the time you took to share them. After hearing from many constituents on both sides, holding meetings throughout the district, and reading a 2,000-page bill which has changed dramatically in the past week, I voted against the bill because I do not believe it is the best course of action for the people of Central Kentucky, specifically our working families, small businesses, and seniors.

You did not hold meetings throughout your district. I know because in August when I heard how the teabaggers were going around disrupting the Town Hall Meetings I prepared signs saying, “I’m with Stupid” to point at them.

In particular, the cost of this bill for the taxpayer is too high. We already spend more on healthcare than any other country on earth, and now we are being asked to spend a trillion dollars more. The Congressional Budget Office states that the bill does not bring down the growing cost of healthcare and perpetuates a system that is fiscally unsustainable. I have serious concerns about forcing people to purchase health insurance they cannot afford, especially if we are not bringing down the costs.

The CBO says the exact opposite, that it will bring down the cost of healthcare and it will cut the Deficit, and lead to a savings of about $800 billion over the next 20 years.

I am also concerned the reform bill would not adequately protect our rural hospitals and our small businesses?" (Thank You for taking the time to proof read the form letter that you cut and pasted from the healthcare lobby) the engines of job creation. I have had these same concerns throughout this difficult debate, and in the end, do not believe this bill is the best for the Sixth Congressional District.

Small Businesses major problem right now is the high cost of healthcare, this bill specifically addresses that.
The rural hospitals problem is a serious flaw in the bill; however, they are being crushed under the current system. With or without this bill the problem needs will need to be addressed.

I appreciate the efforts of President Obama and the Democrats to put together a bill which incorporates a number of reforms that are long overdue, including greater regulation of insurance companies, the elimination of lifetime caps on coverage, and prohibiting denial of coverage due to pre-existing conditions.

Over 50 years overdue, I totally agree with you on this sentence.

There is no doubt that our healthcare system is broken, but I am not convinced that this bill today would lower costs, improve coverage, and maintain quality care in the long term.

In the long term we will all be dead. In the short and medium term this bill slow the rapidly increasing costs, expand coverage instead of shrinking it as our current situation is doing, and (mostly) treats medicine like a science, as opposed to the for profit model that will use any BS they can find regardless if it has any scientific proof to deny payouts.

Again, I value your input on healthcare reform. I hope you will stay in touch, and please feel free to visit and sign up for my e-newsletter keeping you up to date on issues affecting Central Kentucky in the 111th Congress.


Ben Chandler
Member of Congress

Since 4 out of the first 5 paragraphs contained major distortions or outright lies I’m thinking that your last paragraph where you say you value my input is false as well.

I realize that I asked for your response on my website, but if you are going only reply with falsehoods I must respectfully ask that you “Shut-Up Stupid”.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Terrific Tuesday

I can’t do a Temper Tantrum Tuesday Today as too many good things are happening.

I’m working on the back cover of my novel “Invasive Thoughts”. It’s tough to describe a 140,000-word book in 150 words (that’s almost a 1,000 to 1 ratio) but I think I sum it up fairly well with this description:

Being unique can be a curse when dealing with a rigid Bureaucracy, but it is a blessing when dealing with an alien virus sent to wipe out individuality on Earth.

All his life Simon Yar has been ashamed of his extreme Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and has gone to extreme measures to hide it from everyone, including losing the only woman he had ever loved rather than reveal his secret.

When he discovers that an extra-terrestrial virus has infected his city and is turning the residents into slaves, he must come to terms with his inner demons that have hunted him all his life or lose everyone he has ever loved to the slave-maker virus.

The author bio is even tougher. But I got this helpful hint:

Things to consider including are previous publishing credits, author influences, how you came to write the book, etc.

So all I need to do condense my life, everything I’ve had published, the influences on my life and why I wrote this book in to 50 words or less.

What do they think I am a writer or something, (oh yeah they do, I’ll get right on that.)

Seriously, it’s tough being that concise.

I’m also in the final few chapters of my third novel, “The Setting Earth” and it’s going great. The characters are talking for themselves, I don’t have to ask myself, “How would ‘whoever’ state this?” They are totally developed so the dialog flows naturally. All my plot treads are weaving together nicely so I won’t have to spend much time on the rewrite.

It’s turning into a book that I can be really proud of the first draft and not spend more time rewriting than writing. With my second novel, “Project Spare-Rib” I spent 6 weeks writing it and almost 3 months on the rewrite.

I also caught an evil minion in my Cat Trap. She sleeps their almost every afternoon when it’s sunny. She doesn’t even know she is trapped, I rub her ears daily so she doesn’t suspect a thing. (insert evil laugh)

Anyway, I don’t have anything to throw a temper tantrum about today. Maybe next week.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Shut-up Stupid Sunday: Desperate, horny, old men

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, a sound investment in today’s economy, You’ve probably heard that the new Conservative darling, Carrie Prejean got flustered by Larry King being to hard (without even using Viagra) on her during an interview about her Solo Sex tape performance.

This post is not about Larry King, I’ve seen his show when he has someone I like on and his style is unique, he asks softball questions but insists on follow up. He allows his interviewee to redirect but makes them elaborate on their answers. In other words he let’s the person show their best light, but makes them be somewhat truthful.

I don’t really like his show as honest guests can easily avoid controversy by sticking to something that they are honestly proud of.

So why did Prejean go on the show when she has no accomplishments she can be proud of? Because the Conservative Movement that has transformed into the tea-baggers has a large number Desperate, Horny, Old Men that will defend any brain-dead bimbo with a pair of boobs that can repeat their talking points.

I remember the last conservative controversy these horny old men got worked up over. When Sarah Palin was Governor of Alaska and sent a letter to Shannyn Moore threatening to sue her, Shannyn held a press conference daring Palin to find anything in her blog that was untrue and that if she wanted a court battle to “Bring it on.”

Sarah Palin’s response was to immediately pee on the carpet and run off with her tail between her legs saying, “Yipe, Yipe, Yipe” (citation needed)

A legion of horny old men immediately claimed how this was a huge victory for Palin, and that by running off scared of a small blogger while she had the power of the Governor’s office behind her showed she had true leadership abilities.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t blame the stupid brain-dead bimbos like Carrie Prejean, Sarah Palin, Ann Coulter, Michelle Milkin and the like for spouting out insane, offensive gibberish. They make a boatload of money spouting out stupid things and having the horny, old, men brigade defend them. A pretty sweet racket actually.

It’s the desperate, horny, old men that defend them who are the real idiots here. Carrie Prejean went into the interview expecting Larry King to be like the other old men who stare at her boobs while acting like everything she says is genius, only to find King is rich and changes trophy wives like some girls change their panties. So he wasn’t desperate to stare at her boobs.

While few of the horny old men brigade can afford as many wives as Larry King, can’t they at least go to a halfway descent strip club and get a $45 naked lap dance ($25 if they are cheapskates.)

Why can’t this legion of desperate, horny, old men type just type in the word “Boobs” in google and stop giving these brain-dead bimbos a chance to spout their stupidity?

These desperate, horny, old men enable these bimbos to make being stupid a virtue, and to them I say, “Shut-up Stupid.”

Friday, November 13, 2009

Fantastic Future Friday: Space Based Solar Power II

In last weeks post Space Based Solar Power I left out some of the details in order to make it concise. Eventually I will merge all my posts on this topic into one long article but here is the next phase of Space Based Solar Power.

With more research and interest in Solar Cells they will become both more efficient and weigh less. It is a reasonable expectation that within 15 years solar cells will go from 14% efficient to at least 40% efficient (the range that the newest generation of solar cells are achieving), and that they will become lighter, hopefully half the weight of current ones.

With Solar Cells being in that range they will not only be useful for Space Based electricity but of course down here on Earth, as they become the roofing standard for south facing roofs.

Solar Cells on Earth have one big problem, night. Although battery efficiency will get better storing all the power you need to get through the night adds tremendously to the cost of Solar Power.

They also run into the problem that it is more efficient for heavy industries to gather together, so recycled steel can go straight to the steel pressing plant that sends their product straight to the assembly line, ect. It also allows industries to have a pool of semi-skilled workers available.

Without radically altering the lifestyle humans have been enjoying since the invention of fire we would still need a large power plant to handle these problems, that’s where the Space Based Solar Power Plants come in.

The best location for a Space Based Solar Power Plant to be built would be in a Geo-synchronous Orbit (GEO), high enough that it’s orbit around the Earth is exactly 24 hours, so it appears to be over the same spot at all times.

However it takes a lot more fuel to achieve GEO than LEO (Low Earth Orbit) so the first launch would need to include a upper, upper stage that was basically a ion propulsion Tug.

Ion propulsion uses electricity to speed up ions to extremely high speeds, making them very efficient but they have low acceleration. They also need a source of electricity.

As the space based solar power plant is built, it will use a super heavy lift rocket (like the Ares V) to lift small solar power plants that can generate power in the megawatt scale. As it's being built the power generated can be used to power the ion propulsion Tug, slowly lifting the parts from LEO to GEO.

The first few sections would be lifted months apart. Not only to give the tug time to lift the parts but for testing and problem solving phases. As more parts are lifted into GEO they can supply more energy to build the plant speeding up the process.

After the first power plant is built the amount of energy that Earth needs from it will be uneven with homes and businesses using Earth based Solar during the day and Space Based Solar at night, so the Space Solar Power Plant could be used to power the ion propulsion tug during the day lifting the parts and equipment needed to place a permanent base on the Moon.

One of the things that could be sent would be equipment to mine for Xenon and Argon to use as a propellant for the Ion Propulsion Tug. With power and fuel not having to be lifted from Earths surface the cost of moving material beyond LEO would become negligible.

Once robotic space exploration is freed from having to rely on fuel from Earth the Space Based Solar Power Plant could be used on something that would give mankind its greatest benefit. That power could be used to capture a Near Earth Asteroid.

Sending a probe to land on a small one and a half mile diameter Metallic Near Earth Asteroid it could unfurl a solar sail made of reflective Mylar, the power from the Solar Power Plants could be used to power lasers to steer it into Earth orbit.

Once it is within Earth’s orbit it could be mined for it’s metals, an Asteroid that size would have over $50 Trillion worth of Iron and precious metals such as gold and platinum, or roughly the World’s Gross Domestic Product for 2007.

With minor advancements in robotic manufacturing and unlimited energy from Space Based Solar Power Plants the whole system of scarcity based Economics will be a thing of the past as anything you can dream up, you can just draw into a diagram and robots will have all the necessary materials to make it for you within days.

Imagination and Creativity will become the new currency, not gold and gems. The human mind will be the most valuable commodity as simple stuff like iron, gold, gems become as cheap as air.

This will bring a whole new dawn for civilization and a fantastic future.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Catspiracy Purrsday: Fox news shows me my estimate of Minions was way off.

Ever since Tigger sent her evil minions to watch my house I’ve kept a close eye on them.

a mob of dozens of cats (Fox News Estimates)
I used what I thought was good a method of finding out how many of them there are. I counted them. By that method I estimated that there were 10 evil minions who watch me from my backyard.

100's of Cat Spies outside my window
But when I saw Fox’s handling of the recent Tea Party in Washington I found out this is not how to get a number for crowds.

Minion as far as the eye can see
Using a counting method similar to what I used DC Police said that roughly 4,000 people showed up.

Thousands of Minions
Fox reported that as 20,000 and showed footage of a rally that happened two months ago to back that up. Michelle Bachman (R-Crazytown) told them it was more like 40,000 and they began using that number.

So If I use this method of estimating the evil minions I have roughly 200 evil minions watching my house. (Number at the moment plus the Number two months ago X 10).

Nearly 200 Minions on my porch (M. Bachman estimate)
How will I survive with a crowd of 200 Evil Minions in my backyard?

Just a personal note: My first book “Invasive Thoughts” has been accepted so I will need to be spending some time with the copy editor and doing final revisions, at the same time my third book “The Setting Earth” is at the 49,000 word mark so I’m spending more time writing the final act, while I’m doing that I’ve got a bunch of ideas for my next book “The Pizza Diaries” that I’m talking to a director about. So I will probably not be blogging as much.
I’ll still do Shut-up Sunday since that is my most viewed, and Fantastic Future Friday as most of that research goes into my fiction, and of course I’ll keep everyone up to date on the Catspiracy, just maybe not 3 times a week.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What We Know Wednesday: Abiotic Oil, Myths and Facts.

After my post Peak Oil a friend of mine Grant Lawrence asked me to comment on Abiotic Oil, or Oil from non-organic origins.

In every field there are certain terms that raise Red Flags among people experienced in the field. In the oil industry the term “Abiotic Oil” is the biggest one. Whenever I would hear an Investor say they were planning on investing in Abiotic Oil Exploration I knew that someone was trying to rip them off and they would never see their money again.

However just because scam artists are drawn to a concept doesn’t mean it is necessarily wrong, in fact for a good scam to work there has to be a kernel of truth in it.

The idea for Abiotic Oil came from Russia in the 19th century when little was known about how oil was formed, and research was hampered by the fact that 600ft was about the maximum depth that could be drilled.

Since then it has been elaborated on to take in new findings, but here is the basic argument.

When the Earth first formed it had a Abiotic Methane atmosphere, as the crust cooled some of this methane worked its way in to the porous rocks, later these porous rocks were pushed down to the top of the mantle where they were trapped at a layer between the mantle and the crust (technically in the Lithosphere), where the temperature and pressure is just below the point where methane will break into Hydrogen and Carbon.

This part is semi-verifiable through a number of processes, although they can all be picked apart individually, so I’m going to go out on a limb and say Abiotic Natural Gas or Methane is real and present in the Lithosphere.

The next part is where it gets tricky. This Methane in the Lithosphere is just below the temperature where it breaks down into Hydrogen and Carbon, if the parts of the Lithosphere folds down the heat and pressure become to much and the Carbon turns to Diamonds, if it folds up the Methane is exposed to the bottom of the crust which is moving over it at a rate of 6 inches a year.

This allows the natural gas to bond with elements in the Earths crust forming more complex hydrocarbons. The rocks containing these more complex hydrocarbons either move up or down. If they move up the cooler temperatures make these hydrocarbons stable, if they move down they break down and the cycle starts all over again.

Once the hydrocarbons are in a stable area the pressure below them pushes them higher, as they get higher, the rocks get cooler allow even more complex hydrocarbons to form until they get within a mile of the surface where they can turn into oil.

The hypothesis is much more detailed but that is the general argument for Abiotic Oil.

Unfortunately, it is impossible to tell Abiotic Oil from biotic oil so without actually drilling down to the bottom of the crust it is still just a hypothesis (it’s not a Theory until we are able to drill that deep to test it.)

When I was in the oil business I had read a few articles that claimed to have found natural Abiotic Oil in trace amounts, looking back now I can’t seem to find those. However, I do remember that they said it was only trace amounts.

Even if Abiotic Oil is real the question remains does the Earth produce enough of it to be meaningful?

The two examples of large Abiotic Oil fields that I have reviewed from investors prospectuses were both run by the Soviet Union’s KGB. That is a good reason to be suspicious.

The first (and I don’t have those prospectuses on hand so this is from memory) was a test well that the Soviet Union claimed to drill 10 miles down and recover trace amounts of Abiotic Oil before the well collapsed in on itself.

Since in the 20 years since the Soviet Union collapsed the deepest well drilled is roughly 7 miles deep and the KGB destroyed the site and the records I tend to discount this evidence.

The second example I came across that was being pitched to investors was Vietnam’s White Tiger Field. During the mid 70s there was a boycott on Soviet Oil, but not on Vietnam’s oil. The KGB ran a test program to recover Abiotic Oil in the White Tiger Field. The oil was processed by the KGB and Vietnam sold it. (After oil is processed it is impossible to determine the source.)

After the fall of the Soviet Union the KGB destroyed their oil wells in the field and their processing equipment. The White Tiger Field continues to produce oil but it has been shown to be formed from biotic processes.

The timing of the Soviet Experiments and lack of repeatability makes me doubt that they really discovered abiotic oil.

As far as Abiotic Oil being the savior of the Peak Oil Crisis, my experience makes me really doubt it. The evidence is just not there that there are meaningful reserves of Abiotic Oil.

But there is a scientific phrase: Absence of Evidence is not Evidence of Absence. It could be there are large quantities of hydrocarbons between the 7-mile deep mark and the bottom of the crust (not crude oil the temperatures are too high) that could be used to fuel our economy.

If there is it will take tremendous resources to get them and those resources can be better spent on renewable energy resources that do less harm to the planet.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Temper Tantrum Tuesday: A Letter to my Congressman

Dear (Insert Name From Below)

I am writing you to express my apologies, it is with sincere regrets that I must apologize for thinking you were a halfway decent human being. That was my fault and I apologize.

When I voted for you I had no illusions that you were a great reformer or that you were above making deals with the devil to get legislation passed. But I didn’t think you would condemn 44,000 people to death every year because they don’t have health insurance, so that you could take hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes, I mean campaign contributions from the Insurance Companies.

That was my mistake for thinking you might actually think several thousand peoples lives might be more valuable than a campaign contribution and I apologize for thinking that.

When I placed your campaign sticker on my car I didn’t think that you had all the answers to solve the worlds complex problems. But I thought you might give some consideration to the people of your district that are facing a 10% increase in their health insurance bills pushing them up to be the largest monthly expense that they face.

Again, my mistake for thinking you might be concerned about the problems facing your constituents and I apologize for that.

When I talked to my friends about voting for you I didn’t exaggerate what I thought you could do, but I did tell them that I thought you were a halfway decent human being. After your voting to let the insurance companies drive 1.5 million people a year out of their homes so that you can continue to receive their support I see I was wrong.

I would like to apologize for spreading the rumor that you were a halfway decent human being.

When I walked into the voting booth I didn’t think that you were above taking bribes (I mean campaign contributions from large donors) or playing politics as usual, but I did think you might have some sympathy for the hundreds of small business owners in your district that are being crushed by the ever increasing cost of healthcare for their employees. These small businesses that you are forcing to close are the backbone of the local economy and by crushing them you are insuring that your district will become poorer pushing people from your district out of the bribing business.

I feel I need to apologize for thinking you would put the campaign contributions from your own district above those of the large out of state corporations.

Finally I would like to apologize for looking at your website and seeing the American Flag behind your picture and thinking you might care about this country. Providing Health Insurance to State and Federal Employees is becoming the biggest cost that the government faces it squeezes out the monies that could go to other projects that could strengthen our nation. The healthcare bill that you voted against would reduce the federal deficit by $129 billion and ease the pressure on the State Government’s budgets. This is money that we cannot afford to waste. Without the relief to the Government’s budgets that this bill provides, we simply will not be able to fix our neglected infrastructure, send our children to college and the million other things Government does to strengthen our nation.

So I apologize for thinking you might care about our nation.

There is more that I would like to apologize for but I have to go take your bumper sticker off my car.

This is a letter I wrote to my Congressman who voted against the healthcare reform bill. If your congressman is on the list below you might consider sending the same letter to them. Cut and Paste it I don’t care.

John Adler (Insurance Industry shill-NJ)
Jason Altmire (Blue Dog-PA)
Brian Baird (WA)
John Barrow (Blue Dog-GA)
John Boccieri (OH)
Dan Boren (Blue Dog-OK)
Allen Boyd (Blue Dog-FL)
Bobby Bright (Blue Dog-AL)
Ben Chandler (Blue Dog-KY)
Travis Childers (Blue Dog-MS)
Artur Davis (AL)
Lincoln Davis (Blue Dog-TN)
Chet Edwards (TX)
Bart Gordon (Blue Dog-TN)
Parker Griffith (Blue Dog-AL)
Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (Blue Dog-SD)
Tim Holden (Blue Dog-PA)
Larry Kissell (NC)
Suzanne Kosmas (Insurance Industry shill-FL)
Frank Kratovil (Blue Dog-MD)
Dennis Kucinich (D-OH)
Betsy Markey (CO)
Jim Marshall (Blue Dog-GA)
Eric Massa (D-NY)
Jim Matheson (Blue Dog-UT)
Mike McIntyre (Blue Dog-NC)
Mike McMahon (NY)
Charlie Melancon (Blue Dog-LA)
Walt Minnick (Blue Dog-ID)
Scott Murphy (Insurance Industry shill-NY)
Glenn Nye (Blue Dog-VA)
Collin Peterson (Blue Dog-MN)
Mike Ross (Blue Dog-AR)
Heath Shuler (Blue Dog-NC)
Ike Skelton (MO)
John Tanner (Blue Dog-TN)
Gene Taylor (Blue Dog-MS)
Harry Teague (NM)

In the unlikely event that I get a response I will post it on this site.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Shut up Stupid Sunday: Teabagging Guy Fawkers

I grew up in NY-23 so I got to both laugh and cry at the news coverage of that race.

Here’s a little secret about New York’s North Country, it’s cold. For my graduation some brilliant person thought an outdoor ceremony would be good in May, it snowed.

Not from the North Country

Growing up there you get used to the cold and learn to put a tarp down on the snow under your comforter when you go sunbathing. (That’s not a joke)

In the fall you can always spot the outsiders, they wear coats when it’s a sunny 30 degrees. The natives still consider that jeans and t-shirt weather.

So the idea of a bunch of teabaggers (or Guy Fawkers as they want to be referred to now to get away from the sexual connotation teabagging has. What is next? Will they be inspired by the lyrics of Manfred Mann and the policies of the Earl of Sandwich, and want to be referred to as Man-Sandwiches?) invading the region and screaming at the polls was down right hysterical. They couldn’t blend in if they tried.

What was even funnier was the national reporters coming up to interview people. They couldn’t stand the cold either so they bundled up in public places to keep warm, and interviewed the people there. Those people, of course, were the teabagging, Guy Fawkers who were fleeing the cold as well. So they froze their asses off to talk to people from out of town.

What was sad about the race was listening to the national media call a friend from college’s mom all sorts of names.

I had met the Republican Candidate DeDe Scozzafava when she was visiting her son in college. Our conversation was about what you would expect from a two minute meeting with a friend’s mom, not a lot of depth but she seemed nice. So it was shocking to see such hate hurled on the airwaves at someone I know.

I also know her indirectly as my in-laws are friends with her family (this isn’t a power thing in the North Country everyone knows everyone.)

Now nobody can be liked by everyone; but everyone I know up there, considers her family to be hard working, decent and wanting to improve the lives of the people of the North Country.

So when the teabagging, Guy Fawkers were slamming her, I was disgusted. Luckily I had faith in the people that used to be my neighbors that enough people knew her and knew the out of town, teabagging, Guy Fawkers had no idea what they were talking about, and I was right.

People of the North Country rejected the hate spewing outsiders and voted in a Democrat for the first time since the Civil War.

So to all the teabagging, Guy Fawkers who think you can use your message of hate and fear to destroy friendships and local bonds I say “Shut up Stupid”.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Catspiracy Caturday: Building a Purrfect Winter Cat Trap

“If you know your enemy, and you know yourself victory is yours everytime.” General Zsu The art of War.

After studying the Evil Cat Minions for years, I have devised the purrfect trap.

In my observations I’ve noticed one thing that Cats find irresistible are window seats.

This minion couldn’t resist.

They also can’t resist the sun.

Minions repowering

Or my Back Porch.

Minions on Porch

So I have come up with a trap so evil that they won’t be able to resist.

An outdoor window seat in the sun next to my porch.

Cat trap

This trap should keep them mostly out of the wind and in the sun. This winter when it gets cold (here that means single digits) it should easily be 20 degrees warmer inside on sunny days. I’m sure they’d like more but the 20-degree difference will be enough to lure them in. Of course, if several cats fall into the trap it will be even warmer.

The most devious part about this trap is the cats can come and go and the most effective prison doesn’t have bars, it is formed in the prisoners mind.

The evil minions won’t even know that they are in my trap.

Update: I found a small problem with this minion trap and have made a second version that will work during snowstorms. Version 2

Friday, November 6, 2009

Fantastic Future Friday: Space Based Solar Power

In my earlier posts on Alternative Energy Sources I concentrated on small-scale power sources for the end user. I did that because coming from the energy field I know that the US needs to work on either saving energy or finding new energy sources that add up to 1.5% of our current energy usage every year in order to maintain our lifestyle. This has to be done now and the working at the end user level is the quickest way to do it in the short term. However, It does quickly reach the point where you just can’t conserve any more so we need a large-scale solution.

Space Based Solar Power:

The concept is simple, in space the energy from the sun is 144% greater than here on Earth, under the thick atmosphere. There is also no weather to cause problems or oxygen to corrode the solar panels. So a large Solar Array would generate much more power than one here on Earth.

Every day enough energy falls on Earth in the form of Solar Energy to power civilizations current needs for a year, so solar power could supply all our needs for centuries.

As solar power releases no carbon dioxide, the only harm to the Earth will be the actual heat formed by using it. At today’s levels of energy use that heat is too small to be measured against the sun’s heat on the Earth. It will take several centuries of increasing power usage for solar from space to have a noticeable effect.

Experiments have shown it is possible to beam that energy down to Earth in the form of microwaves at roughly 80% efficiency.

So all we have to now, do is get them up there.

Right now that is to only weak spot in Space Based Solar Power for use here on Earth.

In order to be useful, a space based solar power array would need to be kilometers wide, vastly larger than anything we have ever tried to build in space before. So building it would involve launching more weight into space then we have ever tried.

In order to lift the current generation of solar panels in a large enough volume to build a 3 gigawatt power station, it would require lifting 80,000 tons into low Earth orbit, or roughly 3,000 Space Shuttle launches. (If my math is wrong Stephanie B will correct it in the notes.) This means it is probably impractical at this time, but there are a few emerging technologies that can overcome this limitation in the next decade.

Current solar panels are 14% efficient, but the newest generation panels are 40% efficient reducing the size (and weight) needed by two thirds. With more people installing small-scale solar systems in their homes the demand for efficiency will increase and over the next decade their weight/power will reduce, so less weight will be needed to be sent into low Earth orbit.

The Ares V is classified as a Super Heavy Lift Launch System as opposed to the Shuttle which is “merely” a Heavy Lift Launch System. It will be able to lift 188 Tons as opposed to the Shuttle’s 25 Tons.

If the Ares V is successful in 2018 and solar panel efficiencies continue to increase over the next decade. Within 15 to 20 years it will be practical to build a solar power array in space freeing us from the need for fossil fuels, and that will lead to a fantastic future.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Catspiracy Purrsday: World Series Edition

Last night the Yankees won the World Series. I know from my investigations of the Catspiracy that cats have the world of Baseball in their little paws.

This horrifying picture shows evidence of who they supported:

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Temper Tantrum Tuesday: Windows

I stepped away from my computer today and it refused to wake back up.

I was afraid this would leave me at the mercy of the evil minions, but when I went out to my back yard they were all gone. They must be playing somewhere.

This might leave me in the situation where I will have to do desperate things like go outside or talk to my family.

I’ll work on it tomorrow and hopefully have it up and running for What We Know Wednesday.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Evil Minion Monday: Post Halloween

The evil minions have all returned safe and sound from Halloween.

I was worried because I know cats get very nervous with all the kids running around, although our neighborhood had fewer kids on Halloween than on a normal school night.

I heard somewhere, possibly from the evil minions, that if an evil minion is hurt on Halloween their souls will haunt anyone who hasn't given them enough earrubs.

I don't want that happening to me.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Shut-up Stupid Sunday: Following The Herd

When I was five years old, I went with a group of kids, aged 5 to 10, to someplace with a huge raft. Naturally we all got on it. It held steady until someone spotted something on one side and everyone ran over to look.

With all the weight shifted to one side of the raft, that side started to dip into the water.

The other kids saw the water coming up over the edge and ran away from it, to gather at the other side of the raft.

I remember thinking how they were causing the raft’s center of gravity to shift from one side to the other, (Yes, I was a geek even at five) and the best solution would be to move into the center of the raft, and wait for the rocking motion to settle down and then move outward.

So as everyone else ran to the other side of the raft, making that side violently dip into the water, I calmly walked to the center of the raft secure in my knowledge that it was both the most stable place on the raft and by being in the center I was helping to stabilize the raft for everyone else.

When the raft dipped into the water on the side that the other kids ran to they all panicked and ran back to the side that had first dipped underwater.

I stood my ground and a 10-year old slammed into me sending me over the edge of the raft.

So I got soaked and everyone else only got their feet wet.

I got thinking about this event as I was wandering around a retail store trying to find a clerk to check me out.

For the last two years retail stores have seen their sales volumes dip and to keep their profit margins (or any profit at all) they have laid off workers. This has resulted in less money be circulated in the economy so fewer people have money to shop in their stores and with fewer employees those customers that do have money to spend aren’t being serviced as well so they spend less.

This means lower profit margins, leading to more lay offs, leading to lower profit margins, leading to more lay offs.

This situation is the same as the kids who were on the raft with me panicking and running from one side of the raft to the other. Those business owners who aren’t in a total panic are afraid of something that my 5-year-old mind didn’t think of being run down by the herd.

Its been awhile since the financial panic started but there are still people giving out financial advice saying either follow the herd or at least move out of their way.

That time has past, it is time for people to stand up and face down the panicked crowd.

It’s riskier standing up for what you know is right than just following the herd, but history has shown that when the time is right one person standing up for what they believe in can change the world.

So I say to everyone who thinks now is still the time to follow the herd in their mindless panic “Shut-up Stupid”.