The Risk of Death by Meteor greater than the Risk of Death by Global Warming

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 2nd, 2014

Week in Review

There is an oft used expression that goes something like this.  In the long run we’ll all be dead.  So the long-term isn’t as important as the short-term.  Politicians live their lives by this.  As they irresponsibly borrow and spend to win votes.  Who don’t worry about the long-term damage they’re doing to the country.  Because in the long run they’ll be dead.  But they don’t have that same sentiment when it comes to global warming.  Where they say we must act now before it’s too late.  And we give our children a future devastated by global warming.  Giving them a future devastated by their reckless and irresponsible financial policies they’re okay with.  But not a future ruined by global warming.  Even though the financial devastation will probably come first.  Or this (see 400-kg meteor hits the moon by QMI Agency posted 2/24/2014 on the Toronto Sun).

On Sept. 11, 2013, a 400-kg rock hurtling through space at 61,000 km/h in the Mare Nubium smashed into the surface of the moon, releasing as much energy as 15 tonnes of TNT.

The meteor was 10 times bigger than the last record-holder, a 40-kg rock NASA observed hitting the moon March 17, 2013.

They say this rock was as big as a small car.  We better hope that nothing bigger than this hits the moon.  For if something does it could break the moon apart.  Disrupting tidal currents on earth.  And sending a chunk of the moon much larger than a small car into Earth.  Doing more damage than we can even imagine.  A real concern.  For a current hypothesis for the formation of the moon is from something as large as Mars smashing into Earth.  So there is a lot of space crap zinging around out there.  And we would probably be better served in trying to think of a way to defend against getting crushed to death by a rock from outer space than worrying about global warming.  For the odds are probably greater for getting hit by a piece of space crap than dying from global warming.

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Tim Gunn is under the Gun for Thinking Models Modeling Women’s Clothing should have Curves

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 2nd, 2014

Week in Review

Tim Gunn of Project Runway fame is under the gun for making some very sensible statements.  Anyone looking at this from the standpoint of business (for fashion is a business to sell clothes) can see no ignorance in what businessman Tim Gunn said (see Tim Gunn says he feels “conflicted” about transgender models by Katie Mcdonough posted 2/24/2014 on Salon).

In an interview with the Huffington Post that ran Monday, “Project Runway” mentor Tim Gunn said he feels “conflicted” about gender nonconforming and transgender models in the industry. Gunn framed his comments as being in support of positive body images and diverse representation in modeling, but he actually just reinforced destructive (and false) body norms and revealed his own ignorance about trans people, both in fashion and outside the industry.

Discussing Andrej Pejic, who self-identifies as gender fluid and prefers to use feminine pronouns, Gunn said, “The fact that fashion designers would put basically adolescent-shaped boys or men in women’s clothes is head-scratching for me because, anatomically, women and men have different shapes. So, to be looking at women’s fashion on a tall, skinny guy with no hips, there’s no way you can project yourself into those clothes…

When asked about his thoughts on out transgender models in the industry, Gunn called it a “dicey issue.”

“On one hand, I don’t want to say that because you were a man and now you’re a woman, you can’t be in a women’s fashion show. But I feel it’s a dicey issue. The fact of the matter is, when you are transgender — if you go, say, male to female — you’re not having your pelvis broken and having it expanded surgically. You still have the anatomical bone structure of a man.”

This is a very important point.  A transgender model who is modeling women’s fashion is not going to have the same curves as the women who may buy these clothes.  Which is not going to help women see what these clothes may look like on them with their more curvy frames.  Or help the clothing line sell their clothes.  What sells fashion is showing curvy women how their glorious curves will be even more glorious in their clothes.  From a business standpoint it makes no sense to use transgender models to model women’s fashions.  For the vast majority of their market has curves (according to a 2011 Williams Institute study only 0.3% of adults identify themselves as transgender).  You can make a political statement by using a transgender model.  But it’s probably not going to help sell your line.  Which is ultimately the business of fashion.

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Keynesian Economists are Narcissists who don’t know the First Thing about Economics

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 2nd, 2014

Week in Review

There was a sketch on the Benny Hill Show that reminds me of Keynesian economists.  Benny was singing a song and they were showing the unrequited love around him.  They showed one woman who loved a man.  But that man loved another woman.  Who loved Benny.  And who did Benny love?  The camera remained on Benny.  Because that’s who he loved.

Keynesian economists are a lot like that.  They like to sound erudite.  They like to write things with impressive economic jargon in it.  The layman can’t understand a thing they say or write.  But that’s okay.  As they are writing to impress their peers.  People who are as narcissistic as they are.  And they tell each other how brilliant they are with all of their demand-side pontificating.  Pinching each other’s cheeks and saying, “Who’s a good economist?  You are.  You’re a good economist.  Yes you are.”  Even though they are always wrong.  Reminding me of another television show.  Hogan’s Heroes.  Where Colonel Hogan and Colonel Klink were disarming a bomb in the compound.  They’re down to two wires.  One disarms the bomb.  The other detonates it.  Colonel Hogan asks Colonel Klink which wire to cut.  He picks one.  And just as he’s about to cut it Colonel Hogan changes his mind and cuts the other wire.  Disarming the bomb.  Colonel Klink asks him if he knew which wire to cut why did he ask him.  And he replied that he wasn’t sure but he knew for sure that Colonel Klink would pick the wrong wire.

This is just like a Keynesian economist.  Ask them what to do to help the economy and you can be sure they’ll pick the wrong thing to do.  Because they love their demand-side economics with all their charts and graphs and equations.  For it feeds into their superiority complex.  As they can baffle people with their bull s***.  Well, the truth is that the economic data doesn’t support demand-side economics.  For all of the stimulus spending Keynesians have encouraged governments to do have never pulled an economy out of a recession.  It has only extended a recession.  And made it more painful.  For if you want to help the economy you have to work on the supply side.  Make it easier for people to be creative and bring things to market.  Things people will buy.  Even if they had no idea that they existed before seeing them in the market (see How Taco Bell’s Lead Innovator Created The Most Successful Menu Item Of All Time by Ashley Lutz posted 2/26/2014 on Business Insider).

The Doritos Locos Taco is one of the most successful fast food innovations of all time.

Taco Bell released the product in 2012 and sold more than a billion units in the first year. The fast food company had to hire an estimated 15,000 workers to keep up with demand…

The team went through more than 40 recipes, and Gomez told Business Insider he sometimes felt like the idea would never come to fruition.

“Execution was so difficult,” he said.

Gomez was eventually able to perfect the shell by using the same corn masa found in Doritos. He also discovered a process that would evenly distribute the seasoning on the shells. And the company found a way to contain the cheese dust in the production process.

Even after Gomez created the ultimate shell, he still had to design production facilities that would make millions of them.

But for Gomez, the years of effort was worth it.

“When we shared the idea with our consumers, they loved it,” Gomez said. “I was blown away with how immediately popular Doritos Locos Tacos became.”

The taco is the most popular menu item in the fast food chain’s 50-year history.

This wasn’t demand-driven.  As Keynesians believe everything is.  Get more money into the hands of consumers and they will demand things.  Thus increasing economic activity.  But not a single consumer was demanding the Doritos Locos Taco.  As there was no such thing to demand.  And giving them more money wasn’t going to bring it to market.  Only creative people with an idea and an indefatigable passion brought this to market.  Spending a lot of years and lots of money to bring to market something people weren’t demanding.  And might not even like.  But they did.  And it was a big success.  This is how you create economic activity.  On the supply side.  Cut tax rates and costly regulations.  Like Obamacare.  So other people are encouraged to be creative and use their indefatigable passion to bring other things to market.  Creating a whole lot more economic activity than just giving people a stimulus check and telling them to go out and create economic activity.  Because once that Keynesian stimulus is spent it cannot create any more economic activity.  Unlike all of the economic activity it takes to sell a billion or more Doritos Locos Tacos a year.

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A Gun-Less Britain makes Women Easy Prey for Domestic Abuse

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 2nd, 2014

Week in Review

Liberal Democrats want to take away our guns.  In fact they’d like to repeal the Second Amendment.  For people having guns in the household leads to gun crime.  They like to point to Tucson, Aurora, Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook.  Crimes they say would not have happened if there were no guns.  Take away the guns and you take away these crimes.  And you make our households safer.  For without guns in the home there is no chance for domestic violence.  There will be no women being shot by angry men.  And no children dying if a parent goes off in a fit of anger and shoots them.  For if there are no guns there can be no violence.  The left believes this.  At least they keep telling us this.

For guns make people kill.  And without guns there will be nothing to make people kill.  Luckily for the British they have no guns in their households.  And live a life of peace and serenity the Americans can only dream about (see Domestic violence puts 10,000 at high risk of death or serious injury by Sandra Laville posted 2/26/2014 on the guardian).

More than 10,000 women and children are at high risk of being murdered or seriously injured by current or former partners, according to police assessments obtained by the Guardian…

But the figures obtained are likely to be an underestimate as domestic violence is heavily under-reported and police forces appear to gather and collate the information in several different ways, despite demands for a national protocol on assessing the risk to victims. The snapshot obtained by the Guardian reveals the acute nature of the threat of domestic violence for thousands of women and children…

Last year a coroner in Derbyshire found that police failures had contributed to the deaths of Rachael Slack and her two-year-old son, who were stabbed to death by her estranged partner. Slack had also been assessed as at high risk of homicide, but officers failed to inform her.

Or maybe not.

The obvious response to stop this domestic violence is to take away knives from British households.  For apparently taking away their guns wasn’t enough.  Then they should probably take away rope from the home.  For they may make someone strangle someone.  Blunt instruments, too.  For they can make people kill, too.  And poisons.  Got to remove them from the home.  Of course a man can beat and choke someone with his bare hands.  So you better get those out of the household, too.

Of course, we have crossed over into the ridiculous.  For it’s not these things that are killing women and children.  It’s the people using them.  And when one is not available they will look for another.  So probably the best way to protect a woman and her children is to give that woman a gun.  For if she has a gun it doesn’t matter how big her attacker is or how big the knife is he is threatening her with.  Because all the strength she needs is that required to pull the trigger.  And the big man with the big knife will fall.  Even if he’s 200 pounds heavier.  And a foot and a half taller.  For there is nothing that empowers a woman more than a gun.

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There will be Carbon Emission whether we Power our Cars from Poo or Gasoline

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 2nd, 2014

Week in Review

Hydrogen is very flammable.  It’s why we use helium in our blimps.  Because using hydrogen is just too dangerous.  As the Hindenburg disaster has shown us.

So hydrogen is a pretty dangerous thing to be messing with.  Unlike gasoline.  Which is pretty safe and stable in the liquid form.  You could even put out a cigarette in a puddle of gasoline.  It’s dangerous doing so.  And you shouldn’t try it.  But the most dangerous thing about gasoline is its vapor.  Ignite that and there will be an explosion.  Which is what happens inside our internal combustion engines.  Where our cars first aerosolizes the gasoline, mixes it with air, compresses it and then ignites it.  Of course that explosion is deep within our engines.  Where it can’t harm us.  Still, it isn’t advised to smoke while refueling.  Because there are gas vapors typically where there is gas.  And you don’t want you car exploding like the Hindenburg.

Fuel cells use hydrogen to make electric power.  All you have to do is stop at your hydrogen fueling station and fill up your hydrogen tanks.  Just don’t smoke while doing this.  Because hydrogen in its natural state is an explosive gas.  This danger aside the hydrogen fuel cell is about to give the all-electric car a run for its money.  And last’s night meal may be providing the hydrogen (see POO-power comes to California: Orange County residents to trial SUVs fuelled by human waste by Mark Prigg posted 2/25/2014 on the Daily Mail).

The fuel-cell powered Tucson can drive for 50 miles per kilogram of hydrogen, and its two tanks hold about 5.64 kilograms (12.4 pounds).

Costs of compressed gas in California range from about $5 to $10 per kilogram, depending on the facility, and it takes around three minutes to fill the tank.

Hyundai says it hopes the technology will become popular – and will take on the electric car as the eco-vehicle of choice.

‘Hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric vehicles represent the next generation of zero-emission vehicle technology, so we’re thrilled to be a leader in offering the mass-produced, federally certified Tucson Fuel Cell to retail customers,’ said John Krafcik of Hyundai Motor America.

‘The superior range and fast-fill refueling speed of our Tucson Fuel Cell vehicle contrast with the lower range and slow-charge characteristics of competing battery electric vehicles.

‘We think fuel cell technology will increase the adoption rate of zero-emission vehicles, and we’ll all share the environmental benefits.’

If you crunch the numbers and compare it to a gasoline-powered Ford Taurus the numbers aren’t so good.  A Ford Taurus gets 29 miles per gallon on the highway.  And has an 18 gallon gas tank.  Which means one tank of gas will take you 522 miles on the highway.  At $3 per gallon for gas that one tank of gas will cost you $54.  By comparison the fuel cell gives you only 282 miles on a full tank.  And costs between $28.20 and $56.40 for a full tank.  Dividing cost per mile that comes to somewhere between $0.10 and $0.20 per mile.  While the gasoline-powered Ford Taurus costs about $0.10 per mile.

So at best the fuel cell will have a fuel cost equal to the gasoline-powered engine.  But it only has about 54% the range on a full tank.  Meaning you’ll have to stop about twice as often to fuel up with the fuel cell.  And good luck not blowing yourself up playing with hydrogen at the fuel pump.  That is if you can even find hydrogen fueling stations along your drive.  The only real good thing you can say about a fuel cell when comparing it to a gasoline-powered car is at least it’s not as bad as an all-electric car.  And those zero-emissions?  Sorry, that’s not exactly true.  The hydrogen may be zero-emissions but making the hydrogen isn’t.

First, sewage is separated into water and biosolids.

The waste water is cleaned, filtered and treated for reuse, while solid waste is piped into airless tanks filled with microbes.

A byproduct of their digestion is a gas that’s 60 percent methane and about 40 percent carbon dioxide, which is burned at the plant for power generation.

However, some is filtered and piped into a unique, stationary ‘tri-generation’ fuel-cell device, designed by the Irvine team, that produces electricity, heat and hydrogen.

The hydrogen gas is then piped several hundred feet to the public pump where fuel-cell autos are refueled daily.

Almost half of the source gas is carbon dioxide.  And carbon dioxide has carbon in it.  This is the same gas they want to shut down coal-fired power plants for producing.  Oh, and methane?  That’s a greenhouse gas.  This is the gas coming out of the butts of cows and pigs that some are saying are warming the planet.  And when you burn methane guess what you get?  Water and carbon dioxide.  More manmade carbon emissions.  That’s a lot of global warming they’re creating in the effort to prevent global warming.

This is one thing fuel cells share with all-electric cars.  They may be emission free.  But the chemistry to make them emission-free isn’t.  We’re still putting carbon into the atmosphere.  We’re just doing it in different places.  And if we are wouldn’t it be cheaper and easier just to keep using gasoline?

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