We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Monday, June 15. 2020
Hello all. Roger de Hauteville here, sitting in for Bird Dog. He's gone for his yearly sojourn to get a flea bath and his nails clipped. If he plays his cards right, maybe he'll even get a belly rub from Mrs. Bird Dog.
While it's true I'm "sitting in," there will be, thankfully, no sit-ins on my watch. I'm Sicilian, remember? Haven't you seen the Godfather movies? We don't do sit ins. We don't riot. We don't hold placards and march in a circle. We say nothing about our affairs to strangers, and precious little about them even to our friends. If any action is required, we visit you in the night, and whisper your transgressions in your ear. These remonstrations beat demonstrations every time. Act accordingly.
Woman in China, 45, made $589,800 by buying insurance on flights she predicted would get delayed
ACH payments cost less. Will online shoppers ever switch?
Zoom Acknowledges It Suspended Activists' Accounts At China's Request
This is the word that exists in all human languages, according to research.
Scientists close in on 12-billion-year-old signal from the end of the universe's 'dark age'
The First Woman PhD in Computer Science Was a Nun
Popular Pirate Sites Slowly ‘Disappear’ From Google’s Top Search Results
Kids these days. You're pirates! Look up the word in the dictionary. Banks don't have drive-up windows reserved for bank robbers. Have a little gumption. It's no fun stealing movies if they make it too easy, anyway.
Archaeology: Thracian pit sanctuary found in Bulgaria’s Bourgas
Astronauts say riding Falcon 9 rocket was “totally different” from the space shuttle
Engineers find neat way to turn waste carbon dioxide into useful material
Have a great Monday, everyone!
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I dunno, Bob. I've always enjoyed Roger pinch hitting for the Bird Dog.
Re: ... Don't break them up because they're monopolies. ...
That's intriguing. They wouldn't be able to hide behind fines that amount to little more than a rounding error in their budgets. It would actually cost them something tangible. I wonder whether the Administration follows this blog.
Simpler than that. Make them decide between curating and fact checking content and their Section 230 immunity.
Re: ACH vs credit cards
That was a pretty interesting article but there was another article it linked to that showed how to make good money by using credit cards (the plural here is the key). I thought it was at least as interesting! https://www.forbes.com/sites/learnvest/2013/07/01/i-fund-everything-in-my-life-with-credit-card-points/#1a10795455f0
A bit of a misleading headline for that article as it leaves out the funds he uses to pay for the purchases on which he earns the points. Even if I got 10% cash back spending my entire yearly income through credit card purchases, it would take several years to fund an 8-day adventure vacation.
Of the two cards I have, the one I use most was chosen specifically for the combination of cash back incentives from 1% to 5% depending on where it's used. I get enough 'free money' to buy my grandchildren very nice Christmas and birthday presents.
The only way I can see using Venmo or Paypal would be to open a bank account specifically for those transactions and that negates most of the convenience of using them.
When my brother built his house, he purchased everything through his credit card. Got enough bonus money for a trip to Alaska.
I use direct (I believe it's ACH or similar) for my mortgage, and direct deposit. For purchase I either use cash (pay and it's done and potentially more private) or credit (not debit) card, paying it in full each month. The worst that could happen is a fraudulent user could rack up a big charge, but can't touch my bank balance.
Re: jailing Google, Zoom, Twitter, etc. execs
Very clever, Roger! I like it!
Syngas used to be known as Town Gas, and was produced by quenching coke fires with water in the absence of oxygen. Any industrial processes that use it as a feedstock likely date to that era.
Incidentally, this is why Natural Gas carries the "natural" appellation, as it did not have to be manufactured. It took over because it was both cheaper and less dangerous than the carbon monoxide containing Town Gas.
The engineer in me still thinks that the amount of energy to create the H2 -CO mixture is going to be more than the energy from the combustion that created it in the first place. Lady entropy is not cheated easily.
The coking process has always fascinated me because of all the by-products that could be made in varying amounts by tweaking the process.
As for the demise of 'city gas', I am given to understand that improvements in compression technology for natural gas made the storage facilities for gas in metropolitan areas obsolete as the consumer could be supplied with cheaper natural gas on demand, but you probably know more about it than I do,
Duh. Third law of thermodynamics. If you reduce a compound to make fuel, it will always—ALWAYS in all caps—require more energy to reduce it than you can gain by oxidizing it again.
Any time you concentrate energy, you lose some. Any time you use energy, you lose some. It’s the law. The third law.
When these jokers say they can turn (fully oxidized) CO2 into fuel, they are not telling you that the fuel will never, (all caps again) NEVER, produce more energy than was required to make it. It’s just impossible. That IS (all caps again) "settled science."
Waste carbon dioxide. Useful material. Farmers scratch their heads and say, "Huh?"
My reaction, also.
Welcome back Roger! Always enjoy your humor and pithy writing.
Re: ACH payments, all the young folks sure use Venmo a lot, at least to pay each other back. Their uses of it will surely go up over time. It’s owned by PayPal. Not aware of who other competitors are, I should learn more about it as it can only grow from here....
They used to teach chemical engineers thermodynamics. I guess not anymore, at least to girls. Maybe the boys get it. Anyway, making syngas from combustion gases will require more energy than the combustion produces. That’s a second law thingy for those old enough to remember.
Those thermodynamics laws sure get in the way of a lot of magic, don't they?
As I said above, Lady Entropy always takes her cut of the pot.
"You can't win, you can't break even, and you can't get out of the game."
If they defund the police do I still have to pay the taxes for the police? It is on my yearly property tax bill for about $800 a year. I could take a trip or buy some stuff with that money. OR is this really a scam and the money will be spent/lost/missing as the politicians divy it up.