Wednesday, May 20, 2009

American business talk

Maybe it is just engineers, but my average work conversation goes as such:

"business, business, business, business. oh yeah, and how're the kids/hobby/weather?"

Like the personal bit is tacked on at the end almost out of guilt.

I don't really mind, since I generally have little interest in the kids/hobby/weather of the person on the other end.

I'm just saying it is weird, is all.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

National G Study find Americans are least poor

Yep, out of all of the nations surveyed, we buy the most new stuff and use the most energy.

Technically, the focus of their study was to determine how "green" various nations are, but instead, they basically just put together an inverse ranking of GDP per capita.

If you're poor, you repair stuff instead of buying new. You only buy what you need. You buy basic items with as little processing as possible. And you don't use very much fossil energy, because fossil energy is expensive. Some goes for clean water.

I just wish we were all poor enough to make this world a better place.

This is my favorite line:

"Consumers in Brazil, Russia and Mexico increased their Greendex score the most, when compared to last year’s results."

Maybe Nat G failed to notice this, but Brazil, Russia, and Mexico are amongst the countries most strongly impacted by the recent economic mess. Remember the riots in Mexico over grain prices last year? Neither does Nat G. They do strongly approve of the decrease in wanton tortilla consumption, though.

A useful study of relative greenness might consider what efforts are made to reduce the impact of consumption. Such as smokestack scrubbing, water management laws, portions of land that are permanently off limits to use. All things that the US has led the way in developing.

Any study that puts China's "foggy" cities and India's exploding population of grinding poverty on the #1 and #2 pedestals as examples to follow is 100% bad for humanity.

The link.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

the other kind of fusion

Who knew there was another kind?

There's natural fusion, which powers the stars.

Plasma-based fusion, which attempts to replicate natural fusion and is the only approach that has had significant funding for decades.

Cold fusion, which had been taboo for so long that only people on the margins of science studied it, except in France and Japan.

And now I'm hearing about laser-based solid fusion, which works as such: ultra dense hydrogen isotopes + lasers = huge amounts of energy + non-radioactive waste (helium, presumably). Worth the read.

Monday, May 11, 2009

loud bathrooms

I think there should be white noise generators in public bathrooms.

I recently read an article about the new ultra mega jumbo airbus plane and how the flight crews didn't like it because it is quieter than most planes. During long flights the crews take a rest and the white noise from normal planes drowns out passenger noise and provides them privacy enough so that they can sleep.

Privacy in a bathroom is generally a good thing. A cheap way to add privacy to a space is to make it loud. White noise is the least offensive form of loud.

Therefore, adding white noise to public bathrooms is a good idea.