November 30, 2007

The Longest Jump

Evel Knievel has died.

Knievel, a barnstorming motorcycle stuntman who gained as much notoriety from his spectacular crashes as his successes, was indeed a loon, but he was a brave and talented loon. He dressed in red white and blue which he wore like a like a superhero, complete with a cape!  Despite his ostentatious outfits, and the hucksterish nature of his profession, he was a rare dash of sincerity and optimism in a revoltingly cynical and despondent time.




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Duhh...Lojik sux

Your IQ Is 125
Your Logical Intelligence is Below Average

Your Verbal Intelligence is Genius

Your Mathematical Intelligence is Genius

Your General Knowledge is Exceptional

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November 27, 2007


I'm insanely busy right now, but there is a very lengthy post on internet piracy going on over at Colleen Doran's blog,  The discussion has reached 85 posts in the comments and is well worth a read.

The post mainly concerns comic piracy but the subject matter is likely of at least academic interest to many anime fans.

Full Disclosure: I've watched fansubs and bought several DVD series because of them. Every few months I go to a bit torrent party to see the first few episodes of what's new in Anime.

The fansubbers, however, don't stop with the first few episodes, nor do they, as Stephen Den Beste suggested, reduce their video quality to you tube levels.

I have little sympathy  for the video companies who saddled us with region coding specifically to screw Japanese consumers and the new "solutions" to the piracy problem that tend towards things like this.

However, the technology has advanced to the point that I fear we're going to see a "tragedy of the commons" in several artistic industries in a few years.

Well, I'm off to work. Be back in a day or two.

Suddenly...related posts...lots of them, some quite....special.
It's like Colleen is the hundredth monkey or something.
Actually this flurry of interest is strictly anime related and seems to stem from this editorial at ANN . (HT: Stephen who has further thoughtful screedage here).
Avatar has industry insider perspective here, and points out the unlikelihood of RIAA style crackdowns on fansubbers here. While some may be very happy to hear this, the jist of his argument is that the Anime companies,  because they don't have the financial resources...these are small operations frequently run by people who were fans of this stuff and they don't have the spare change to deal with the lawsuits.  This is unsurprising, in my experience, particularly on campus recently,  "standing up to the man" generally means taking pot shots at those who can't hit back.

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November 24, 2007

Hydrogen Production Breakthrough

One of the Brickmuppets' crack team of science babes runs the numbers on hydrogen and points us to this recent story about a breakthrough in bacterial hydrogen generation.

The results came as a result of experiments with the sort of microbial fuel cell described here. This design produces electricity in small amounts but its big payoff was in hydrogen, 288 percent the energy in hydrogen that was put in.
This is not quite as impressive as it sounds. For example, if one replaced all the cars with H2 it would require the generation of just over 1/3rd the energy required by all cars to fuel them. However all hydrogen schemes that don't extract the hydrogen from hydrocarbons have high energy costs, if this is scalable it is orders of magnitude more efficient and an energy producer rather than looser. That is big.It is also capable of processing waste and generating its own energy while doing it.

As a waste disposal technique this has real potential to be tremendously helpful (again, if it is scalable).

Hydrogen is unsuited for aircraft or ships but given enough cheap energy a case can be made for H2 fueled fuel cell cars. Their range would suffer,( from what I've read, about 150-200 miles is about the best one could realistically get without turning the fuel tank into a bomb) and that assumes very efficient fuel cells. If there are H2 stations everywhere, this becomes less of a problem.
However, this process, let alone any of the others, would only make sense for hydrogen production for cars if a vast amount of cheap power were available.

So, like a lot of alternate energy proposals, it is pretty much dependent on nuclear power being developed on a very large scale in this country.

Atomic power is  the future.

Science babe is actually Maria from Sakura Wars. (Which I should watch at some point)

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November 23, 2007

Here There Be Cooties

The art and science of writing romance novels....explained.

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