Monday, July 17, 2006

AP Global Warming: Dog Bites Man

Americans try to cope with oppressive heat
Tony Godel, working on a remodeling project at a hotel in downtown Cleveland, was already sweating through his brown Corona Extra T-shirt by 10 a.m. He planned to drink a lot of water to cope.

"You get used to it after a while," Godel said. "You know what you're getting into. You're paid to deal with it."


"It's not bad in the shade," said construction worker Alan Reynolds. "We got our briefing in the morning to take more breaks and drink more liquids. You just have to pace yourself."


Temperature-wise, New York City's record for the day was set in 1953, when Central Park recorded 100 degrees, said John Cristantello, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. On Monday, the mercury reached 90 before noon.
Shaffer, who studies how corporations deal with environmental issues, decided to buy her lunch at a fast-food restaurant before heading into work so she didn't have to come back outside.

"I think that it's a precursor of what we could be experiencing on a daily basis if we don't do something about global warming," she said near Pennsylvania Station.

Talk about the ultimate non-news, news story. Unless the story is that construction workers aren't whiners, but environmentalists are.

Also, note to our global warming believing friends: Seasons are governed by the tilt of the Earth on its axis. Unless carbon emissions are going to cause the Earth to shift upright on her axis, it will not be hot on a daily basis on the island of Manhattan. Rio will be colder, however.

Ubiquitous Surveillance Draws Nigh

Perhaps I've been reading too much sci-fi lately, but HP's new Memory Spot technology seems awfully close to the localizers in Vernor Vinge's A Deepness in the Sky. [I originally mis-cited this as A Fire Upon the Deep.-BL]
Note that these chips can:
1) Be charged by a distributed field
2) Read and write information

With little modification, then such chips could also:
1) Execute stored instructions (run a program)
2) Record sensor information (they are powered after all)

All those second two require is a different chip. Just how small can you make a GPS chip? Actually, if these were transmitting wirelessly to even a pair of devices (although 3+ would be preferrable) you would be able to "localize" or identify where each one was. Even if the signals were being relayed by other Memory Spots. Triangulation of tagged electromagnetic signals is the basis of radar.

Now, if each of these tagged signals was transmitting information (temperature, pressure, chemical makeup of current environment) you would have smart dust.

If anyone needs me, I'll be working on my Faraday cage.

Friday, July 07, 2006

In Rememberance of London on 7/7... A Visual Moment of Silence


Happy Fiesta de Sanfermin

For those of you who don't know: The feast of San Fermin is the excuse that the Pamplonans use to run down tourists with fighting bulls. After taking all of their money.

Wiki on The Running of the Bulls.

I've been there, done that, and got the faja to prove it. Okay, I was 15 at the time and was disallowed from running by my parents. But I did watch 'em run from the corner of the Playa de Hemingway on the Plaza de Toros. Even met an older gentleman who claimed to have met Papa Hemingway at the same place about 50 years before. This was 1994. Could be, but I've never tried to hard to verify. It's better as a yarn.

Safe running.

"A San Fermín pedimos, por ser nuestro patrón, nos guíe en el encierro dándonos su bendición."

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

"[A]lternative energy for people who never had to take a physics class."

Will Collier at VodkaPundit has the perfect description of Solar Energy. If you're a constant reader (which you're not), you'll see that I have been critical of these "miracle cures" previously.

There is no cheap substitute for billions of years of solar, geothermal, and gravitational energy distilled into an easily transportable, fairly stable storage medium (these would be the evil oil, coal, & LNG). Sorry.