I get email – lots of it (several hundred per day) and although I try to read it all, that does take time off tasks at hand. Yesterday, as I was wrapping up a busy, busy day (long Peoplenomics article this weekend) I decided to count how many words I’d written. Sitting down? 11,755.
So this morning, thought we could run through the email together…
One email simply said:
“Thorium – what do you think?”
Damned if I could figure out the question, so off to the search engines and sure enough NPR had a piece on using thorium in reactors…so I’m guessing this is what gave rise to the question.
Here’s the answer in a nutshell: We – us’uns – the humble masses yearning to be free (yada, yada) – have to be very precise in our thinking in this period of increasing velocity of change not to fall victim to “Silver bullet thinking.”
Similar to (fill in the blank technology, political system, or latest claimed tech breakthrough) is our savior thinking (global warming came close to fitting) the fact is 7-billion humans, all getting up in the morning and at least of third of them working at cross-purposes to one another are inevitably going to make one hell of a mess. Ergo, see this morning’s news.
Like the Disney movie, everyone inexperienced with the joys of beholding complexity runs to the broom closet and is then shocked when the brooms take over. That’s what seemed to have happened in terrorism – the silver bullet/savior idea results in a runaway – verging on or moving into – police state and the disappearance of hallowed freedoms. People seemed surprised but come on!
I’m glad to field the question about thorium. Though, I’m writing back “Yukon golds – what do you think?
“May I ask a question about the spacecraft missing the station? Just curious if your snippet about how the delivery craft for the station “missed” is a joke or are you trying to say the craft actually missed?
simple question eh?
Thanks for your time, I know its valuable.”
Oh…you mean about the pizza delivery guy missing us out here in the boonies and drawing the analogy to the SpaceX run? Well, sometimes when I see a news story, I revert to my odd sense of humor…we won’t know if the SpaceX docking is a success for a couple of hours. My odd sense of humor…pizza guy usually calls in and the pizza makes it on the second pass (though usually stone cold by this time). Don’t have any insights into whether SpaceX is carrying pizza, or not, but thanks for asking.
Say…all this talk about pizza had decided what’s for breakfast today…Thanks!
Inquiring Minds II
Since I’ve got my “Answer Man” hat on this morning, let’s keep at this:
“Hey George, I used to be able to generate the cents symbol with Ctrl, Alt, back slash, ‘c’ (I think). How do you do it? Have I got the keystrokes confused or are you cutting and pasting it like I sometimes do?”
In many Microsquish products, there’s a menu item called “Insert” and under that is “Symbol” and by clicking there you can come up with all kinds of different currency symbols like ? ? ? ? ? ? €. Sometimes, though, if I have time, I’ll go to Google and simply look up a symbol, copy it using the Paste>normal command.
The reason that I have a hard time getting work done is that I’m easily distracted (d’oh) and while looking up the symbol for the Swedish Kroner (Krona), I noted that the Danish Krone was also listed, as was Norwegian Krone. The next half hour was figuring out how them chilluns of Odin could be so divided and conquered as to be (partly anyway) incomprehensible to one another, completely incomprehensible to ‘Mericans, plus not agree on something so basic as the spelling MONEY.
I hope that makes ¢.
So another reader asks:
George, So how do you explain the market moving up 50 Dow points [in minutes] a half hour before the close….?
That’s a toughie since there are plenty of theories: (With an MBA or PhD something said about economics is a theory. Working people would simply call it bullshit and waste no more time on the matter. WTF is “intellectual work product” anyway?) Back to point:
Even a suggestion that Europe will not collapse over the weekend might do that little last-hour goosing…
Specialists back in the day would drive down prices then buy, then drive up prices and unload at the higher level to make HBM (Hampton’s Booze Money.)
Stuff just happens.
Someone undisclosed borrows a buncha money from the Fed and intervenes as their agency.
Same as above buy via offshore proxies which are untraceable.
Same as above but via levered instruments to arb the market up.
Yada, yada yada….
I used to worry a lot about what drives markets, but for the last 10-years, or so, I’ve put it in the same category as understanding women. Female investors can put it in the same pile as understanding men, just to remain egalitarian about this: You know what I’m talking about: Football, basketball, NASCAR, and what’s the point of catch & release fishing, again?
Speaking of… My bro-in-law, Panama, the retired SF fellow, who has been catching and releasing the same 6-pound bass the past year or two at a small lake behind the armory in town, just bought a one-man blow up boat, electric motor, and fish finder to improve his catching and releasing.
Though he’s claiming he’s recently converted to a “fish for fooder” I’m still eyeing pizzas.
I used to understand “catch & release” back in my single days when I fancied myself a fair-to-middling two-legged dear hunting (catch & release after a weekend…) but here the last 12 years happily married and all, if it doesn’t have a payout (fish & chips, for example) I lose interest quickly.
Some call it “sport” I call it a time-sink. (Just don’t call me late for dinner…rimshot)
See Spot Run Dept.
A reader who’s followed our ongoing discussion about sunspots and earthquake (courtesy of Patrick Geryl’s site and notes here) observes this:
You have to love the drama! Following up on my email a few days ago – we have entered the Patrick Geryl time window (May 22 thru 27) for solar disturbances from a planetary alignment of May 24-25. The Sun was very quiet the last few days. And now listed on Space Weather today (May 25) is this, “A new and possibly significant sunspot is emerging at the circled location. “
Yep – and you saw that 6.2 with after-shakes up in the Norwegian Sea per the USGS site?
My current plans for the weekend are open, so if we get an X-Class flare I plan to run outside with a bar of cocoa butter and work on my tan. Turn after 35 minutes per side, drain fat, and serve at once.
Next up was a note from a mechanic dude in Tennessee who offered some good insight into our gasoline preservation discussions:
“Hey George, I normally read you on my lunch break at my shop where I’m an ASE Master Tech earning a paycheck by making the check engine lights go out and the cars run smoother. I’m also one to store a bit of gasoline over near my single silver dollar and solitary box of shotgun shells. Check out the BG fuel additive “Supercharge II” part number 202. It is a fuel stabilizer that I use for all my fuels that go into chainsaws, mowers, motorcycles and such when I feel like I might be into the final tank of the year. Their other product is CF5 for regular use and negation of the ill effects of water/ethanol. We tested them at the shop by adding water to fuel in test tubes followed by various brands of fuel dry and stabilizer; results were overwhelming and we no longer keep other brands on the shelf.
You can’t buy it in stores, you’ll need to find a shop and get them to sell it to you for around $10 a bottle. Do not get any of this stuff on paint and wear safety glasses when you pour it in.
Also free of charge is a link to my fathers info on vortex generators. He’s been designing and building his own ultralights since before I could walk and retired from the FAA as an ATC.
This is aircraft for vortex generators.
And look here: That’s for his current project with other links to his various mods.
Thanks for all you do,
The slow flight handling comments mirror my own experience with VG’s on our mighty Mouse and most of the people who claim they hurt ultimate top speed are blowing smoke and are opining based on thoughts versus experience. Measure then speak, please.
I’m still after the folks at MicroAero to tell me how to put ‘em on the fuselage of the Mouse since word is that might gain 5-6 MPH (somewhere aft of the windshield, about over the pilot’s head is the rumor). Keeps the boundary layer thin along the top of the plane and thus less drag, though I admit it’s a counter-intuitive thing to install bumps.
And speaking of airplanes and such…
Back to the Biplane
There’s something special about flying in a biplane, though I haven’t done too much of it…maybe an hour or two (rear seat) of an old N3n Torpedo Bomber. Nevertheless, they are amazing machines not only because of their massive wing area (resulting in great – but lower speed handling).
Now a couple of readers have asked me to comment on the new Synergy Aircraft reported over on Gizmag here.
You can find out more from the company website… I’ve always liked pusher prop designs, too, since in those, the engine pushes the airplane rather than dragging the plane after in via the motor mounts. On the other hand, short fuselage airplanes seem to have less nose up/nose down stability (short Mooney drivers know this, compared to the longer Mooneys) but sure…if I could afford one I’d get in line. No claims about speed (guessing 200 MPH plus, 25,000 ft. service ceiling and maybe 6 GPH in cruise…yep, be way cool fun. Could be up in the Burt Rutan kind of fuel economy (25-35 MPG).
Thanks to the guys at Boeing who pointed out the story, too, BTW.
Customer Service Report
Well, ain’t this interesting – especially to those who thing automatic “blogging software is ‘the bee’s knees.” In our survey (“Should the RSS feed for UrbanSurvival point at the HMTL version of the site or the Blog (WordPress, current version) only 11.8 percent wanted to land on the blog-style page.
A number of possible reasons come to mind – maybe HTML has more “personality” since it’s easier to change this, or that, since there’s no particular theme across many pages here in HTML land.
Still, I have put on my agenda for this weekend converting my writing over to Expression Web 4 which I’ve been tinkering with.
Well, longish Peoplenomics report tomorrow (front part of it will be on Strategic Living Sunday, both halves for Peoplenomics readers tomorrow morning)…but now I hear that pizza calling.
Breakfast of champions, you know…and an Ideal start to a three day weekend of….work!
Write when you break even: email@example.com
Of Interest to Readers:
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A Long-Term Look at Asset Classes
Perhaps because so many people were beggared by the (first) Great Depression, my parents always ground into my head that “buying land” – especially unimproved, non-revenue generating land, was a bad idea. But was that correct ? And, more importantly, since we’re all trying to make good financial decisions, what’s is the history of land prices and how does it compare with gold, silver, stocks, and other such ways to sock money/purchasing power, away for future use? A fine question and one that matters to the whole family, which we’ll get to after the headlines this morning and we’ll sniff test to see if the word “bank runs” is showing up…and ask the big questions of the day: What does Putin know? And the biggest of all: Is Global Collapse Underway now?
Be Sure to Visit: The UrbanSurvival Amazon store. Books, computers, software, and outdoor gear. You’re going to buy things on Amazon, so use this handy portal…
Safer Computing: Swearing Off Cookies
It has been a while since I roared the praises of the Maxa Cookie Manager which you can download and install for a free test drive by clicking here.
To upgrade from the demo to full working is still less than $30 (During their Spring Sale) and one heck of a bargain at that, if I do say so.
I am a high-reliability computing kind of guy – and near as I have it figured, the road to a hassle-free computing experience is (like flying an airplane) a matter of going through a proper checklist before popping onto the web:
You need an active cookie manager – because sites you visit can put small bits of code on your computer and some of these are designed for Flash, have no expiration, and can really bugger-up the computing experience. This part gets handled by Maxa Labs’ product which on my system says 184,380 cookies have been removed, 73,881 “web bugs” which can track movement from site to site and such, and I have only 10-active cookies.
Second thing you need is a good antivirus program – and I happen to really like Avira’s Antivir pro.
Then you need to deal with Malware so for this Malware bytes is updated and run daily.
And last, though certainly not least is the firewall and the one in Win 7 works fine.
Like anything in computers, updates are critical so before work every morning, the computer does its update ritual – Check of Maxa (5.3.02 is current) Avira, and Malware bytes.
Toss in a good bit of common sense (example: Don’t open email purporting to be from UPS, IRS, the US Post Office, or anything else that even has a hint of fishy odor to it) and first thing you know, the internet’s actually a useful tool.
“Live on $10,000″ A Year
Having a hard time making ends meet? (Like who isn’t, right?) A good starting point to better match up income with outgo is our $10 e-book “How to Live on $10,000 a Year…or less!”
It’s an automatic download. It’s written in an information dense style: The whole thing runs about 65 pages, but it gives you a vision of how to not only live on the cheap, but also how to migrate up the economic foodchain if you have a little hustle left. A bonus section called “How to Build Anything” should instill confidence if you’ve never taken on a home improvement/home creation project before, too….. Click here for the index and details.
Please pass along word of this site to your friends by simply clicking here to send ‘em a short email. – Thanks!