An informal group blog featuring posts on a wide variety of subjects by a crew of authors in several different countries. Just sit back, have some fun, and maybe learn something.
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Consider this an #EarthHour #HourOfPower #HumanAchievementHour open thread. Feel free to add any links, pics or videos in comments, and other Tizona peeps with editing privileges should fee free to add them to this post. Let’s recognise and celebrate the incredible accomplishments of the human race, and offer our cheers to those who keep the lights on and produce the energy that makes human achievement possible!
UPDATE 1: Earth Hour enthusiast Ben Cubby asks: Where will you be when lights go out? Your answers go here.
UPDATE 2: West Australian folk-rock group The Waifs – Lighthouse
It all began when a TSA employee used himself for a demo full body scan using those new airport full body scanners. His co-workers then relentlessly mocked him for a year for being under endowed before he lost it, and beat the crap out of one. Details.
Of course, we wouldn’t need full body scanners if…
And not just for that reason, either. The government website states that it will be a 100 Mbps network. Well, sorry folks, but those kinds of speeds are already way obsolete… let alone what they’ll be when I’m retired.
The Korea Communications Commission is working on plans that will boost broadband speeds in that country tenfold by the end of 2012. That means Koreans will access 1 Gbps service by 2012. That’s 200 times as fast as your typical 5 Mbps DSL connection sold in the U.S. At present, Koreans can get speeds of up to 100 Mbps [and that was in 2009 – bing] from their broadband providers. Availability of such high-speed connections has allowed Korea to emerge as a leader in the MMO and online gaming industries. Even higher broadband speeds are going to unveil many new usage scenarios, which can lead to new company creation.
That’s right. One gigabit per second is already here.
Kev’s broadband plan is a joke.
Let’s see, we have the $3.9 billion Pink Batts fiasco which burned many a home and even, sadly, took some lives. Then we have the (so far) $16.2 billion (revised up from $14.7 billion already) Building the Education Revolution farce, and now even that is dwawfed by Rudd’s wasting of $43 billion taxpayer dollars on technology that, even before it’s rolled out – which will take around a decade – is already obsolete by a factor of ten to one.
OK, this isn’t exactly breaking news, but last night on Discovery HD World, after the main show, there was a little 10 minute clip on a mini program called e-nnovations (*groan*), or, apparently, Discovery Tech over in the US.
Anyway, the segment was about a new type of electric car that uses Vehicle-to-Grid or V2G technology. At first, perhaps, this sounds like a pretty neat concept. Charge your car off the grid in off-peak times then sell the electricity back to the grid during peak times.
But check out the nitty gritty, and it’s not such a sweet deal. And odd, too, that in 10 web pages I looked up (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10), all of them espouse the wonderful benefits, but none of them mentioned the cost.
Only the video did.
For starters, these V2G units cost about $70,000. So effectively, you will be paying four times more for your average car. Dr Willet Kempton, at the University of Delaware, who’s the bloke plugging this type of car, also acknowledges that if most of your electricity comes from coal (which it does), then the CO2 emissions end up being about the same as a regular car.
So far, we’re at four times the cost for pretty much no benefit.
“Porsche lifted the sheet on the 918 Spyder on the eve of the Geneva Motor Show and made some huge claims. A few things got our attention right off the bat — 500 horsepower, mid-engine V-8 and two electric motors. Oh … and 78.4 mpg.
Lots more pretty pictures at the source.
I’ll continue to be scarce until sometime in April. Weird stuff; some good, some not.
“Larry Ellison’s boat USA won a convincing victory on Friday over Ernesto Bertarelli’s Alinghi in the first race of the 2010 America’s Cup off Valencia, Spain.
One more win in the best-of-three series would allow Mr Ellison’s BMW Oracle team to secure the cup from Alinghi, the defender, at the end of a bitter, three-year legal battle that has pitted the two billionaires against each other and excluded teams from other countries such as the UK, China and New Zealand.
The USA trimaran – a lightweight, three-hulled boat – boasted a revolutionary wing larger than the wing of an Airbus A380 superjumbo jet, instead of a conventional sail.
As expected, the wing drove the trimaran fast and close to the wind in the initial upwind leg of 20 nautical miles after an awkward start that left Alinghi with a penalty and USA stalled on the start line.
To the surprise of many sailing experts, however, the BMW Oracle boat also performed better than the two-hulled Alinghi catamaran in the downwind leg to the finish, although the lightness of the wind was expected to favour Alinghi, which is believed to weigh less.”
These aren’t the boats I remember from earlier years, but I still love this race series.
This is a test tracking, yesterday the real deal shot down an actual ballistic missile in the boost phase. I’m guessing it looked similar to the above test, but with a big explosion at the end. Can’t wait to see that one.
“Futuristic airborne energy weapons have officially arrived, so mark your calendars. The U.S. Missile Defense Agency said that its airborne laser weapon successfully shot down a ballistic missile during a test late last night, according to Reuters.
The lethal intercept followed up on a demo last August that showed how the airborne laser could paint a target missile in-flight. We showcased the video of the earlier test that showed the laser from the modified 747 jumbo jet tracking the dummy rocket, which took place near San Nicolas Island off the California coast. Yesterday’s shoot-down occurred at Point Mugu’s Naval Air Warfare Center-Weapons Division Sea Range off Ventura in central California.”
“Don’t let the cuddly name fool you; as far as specs are concerned the Puffin is no slouch. Its 12-feet height and 13.5-feet wingspan mean it’s big, but of manageable stature. In theory it can cruise at 150 miles per hour and sprint at more like 300 miles per hour. Since the craft is electrically propelled it doesn’t need air intake, so thinning air is not a limitation, meaning it can reach — again, in theory — 30,000 feet before limitations on battery power force it to descend (clearly the pilot would need a pressurized cabin or oxygen tanks at that altitude, but we’re just talking raw physical capability here).
The Puffin’s range would be the most limiting characteristic, at just 50 miles, but that’s simply a matter of battery density. Batteries are growing more dense by the day, so in coming years that range could be drastically improved.”
Now, the Apple event is scheduled for 10AM California time, which is 1PM Washington D.C. time, while Obama’s SotU speech will be at 9PM Washington time – eight hours after the Apple event begins.
Now, I had to ask myself, “Self, why would Obama announce, on the same day Apple announced, an event eight hours later, on the same date, January 27th?” Could he and his handlers be so stupid as to not know that the intertubes will be cooking with Apple Tablet talk when Obama and his Teleprompter take the stage?
mmmmmmmmNo. Probably not.
Then I had to ask myself, “Self, why does Obama want his SotU speech to be buried beneath an avalanche of Apple buzz?”
“Human geneticists have reached a private crisis of conscience, and it will become public knowledge in 2010. The crisis has depressing health implications and alarming political ones. In a nutshell: the new genetics will reveal much less than hoped about how to cure disease, and much more than feared about human evolution and inequality, including genetic differences between classes, ethnicities and races.”
Just a guess, but I don’t think these scientists would be squirming if, say, there was proof that the Jews weren’t the Chosen People descended from Abraham. Like I say, just a guess.
“When sequencing costs drop within a few years below $1,000 per genome, researchers in Europe, China and India will start huge projects with vast sample sizes, sophisticated bioinformatics, diverse trait measures and detailed family structures. (American bioscience will prove too politically squeamish to fund such studies.)”
Gee, I wonder why the leftist-dominated scientific and political community in the US would be too, “squeamish” to fund such objective and purely scientific research?
“The trouble is, the resequencing data will reveal much more about human evolutionary history and ethnic differences than they will about disease genes. Once enough DNA is analysed around the world, science will have a panoramic view of human genetic variation across races, ethnicities and regions. We will start reconstructing a detailed family tree that links all living humans, discovering many surprises about mis-attributed paternity and covert mating between classes, castes, regions and ethnicities.”
Ah, that sheds a tad of light on the “issues” involved. There is a danger of slaying sacred cows.
“If the shift from GWAS to sequencing studies finds evidence of such politically awkward and morally perplexing facts, we can expect the usual range of ideological reactions, including nationalistic retro-racism from conservatives and outraged denial from blank-slate liberals. The few who really understand the genetics will gain a more enlightened, live-and-let-live recognition of the biodiversity within our extraordinary species—including a clearer view of likely comparative advantages between the world’s different economies.”
Yes, the inherent racism of conservatives – barely covered by a thin veneer of feigned civility *cough*bullshit*cough* – will be unleashed by scientific facts, and the poor leftards will again deny that their worldview has been shattered.
Only one of those two things are true.
Only superstitious idiots fear knowledge and understanding, wherever they come down on the political spectrum.
“In a new two-minute trailer of 2012, directed by Roland Emmerich – the man behind Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow, mankind is seen to fight for survival after a prophecy about about an apocalypse.
But as with all apocalyptic movies, there are a lucky few who survive the terror… after Americans appear to be save the day (yet again) [Fuck Yeah! – Beef].
It looks, however, as if the CGI experts have been given a completely free hand designing this apocalypse – with the net result that the trailer borders on laughable.
Critics in the U.S. are already beginning to describe the movie as a disaster in itself.”
Well, judge for yourself.
As for me, I only know one thing: I can’t fucking wait to see it.
I don’t usually get excited about concept cars – I’m really more of a motorcycle guy and I drive a pickup truck – but this BMW is pretty freaking cool.
“BMW’s Vision EfficientDynamics concept has been the subject of rumor and innuendo for weeks, but now the German car company is setting the stage for its 2009 Frankfurt Auto Show display with new details of its concept…
As the name implies, this concept car grafts fashionable green technology on the body of a 2+2 sports car. The promise: BMW M-car performance from a vehicle with a three-cylinder diesel plug-in hybrid powertrain…
Performance is geared to please the toughest Bimmerphile. BMW claims a 155-mph top speed and a 0-60 mph time of less than 4.8 seconds, while providing fuel economy of almost 63 mpg, and for European enthusiasts, CO2 emissions of 99 grams per kilometer…
Driving range could pass 400 miles with fuel or 31 miles on electricity alone, BMW also adds…
The racing-inspired details continue with well-managed airflow–so tightly tuned, the EfficientDynamics concept generates a coefficient of drag of 0.22, while today’s best production cars sit at 0.24 (the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe).”
Of course, nothing this radical or beautiful – in the mind of this particular beholder, I’ll admit – is practical for production, but the technical details, many of which I didn’t excerpt, are truly marvelous.
If only BMW made 4×4 pickup trucks, then my truck would match my motorcycle. LOL!
“Aliens downed Tunguska meteorite to protect our planet from devastation, stated Russian scientist Yuriy Lavbin about the 100 year old mystery surrounding the massive Siberian explosion. He showed 10 quartz crystals that he found at the place of the meteorite’s crash. Several of the crystals have holes in between, so they can be united in a chain.
– What could this chain serve for? Besides, some crystals have strange drawings on them. We don’t have any technologies that can print such kind of drawings on crystals. We also found ferrum silicate that can not be produced anywhere, except in space”, – the scientist stated.”
OoooooooooooKay. I’m sure aliens with technology so superior to ours that it’s indistinguishable from magic to us… wouldn’t have any higher tech material than quartz to make a control panel from.
Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson drives the new Honda Insight.
“Much has been written about the Insight, Honda’s new low-priced hybrid. We’ve been told how much carbon dioxide it produces, how its dashboard encourages frugal driving by glowing green when you’re easy on the throttle and how it is the dawn of all things. The beginning of days.
So far, though, you have not been told what it’s like as a car; as a tool for moving you, your friends and your things from place to place.
So here goes. It’s terrible. Biblically terrible. Possibly the worst new car money can buy. It’s the first car I’ve ever considered crashing into a tree, on purpose, so I didn’t have to drive it any more.”
Oh, Jeremy’s just warming up.
“The Honda’s petrol engine is a much-shaved, built-for-economy, low-friction 1.3 that, at full chat, makes a noise worse than someone else’s crying baby on an airliner. It’s worse than the sound of your parachute failing to open. Really, to get an idea of how awful it is, you’d have to sit a dog on a ham slicer.”
Now he’s in full song.
“Because the Honda has two motors, one that runs on petrol and one that runs on batteries, it is more expensive to make than a car that has one. But since the whole point of this car is that it could be sold for less than Toyota’s Smugmobile, the engineers have plainly peeled the suspension components to the bone. The result is a ride that beggars belief.
There’s more. Normally, Hondas feel as though they have been screwed together by eye surgeons. This one, however, feels as if it’s been made from steel so thin, you could read through it. And the seats, finished in pleblon, are designed specifically, it seems, to ruin your skeleton. This is hairy-shirted eco-ism at its very worst.”
“The strangest monument in America looms over a barren knoll in northeastern Georgia. Five massive slabs of polished granite rise out of the earth in a star pattern. The rocks are each 16 feet tall, with four of them weighing more than 20 tons apiece. Together they support a 25,000-pound capstone. Approaching the edifice, it’s hard not to think immediately of England’s Stonehenge or possibly the ominous monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Built in 1980, these pale gray rocks are quietly awaiting the end of the world as we know it.
Called the Georgia Guidestones, the monument is a mystery—nobody knows exactly who commissioned it or why.”
The article is four of the most fascinating pages I have ever read on WIRED. Warning: If you start reading this article, you won’t be able to stop.
To correspond with, “Earth Hour” The Competitive Enterprise Institute has organized Human Achievement Hour. So, when the leftards are turning off all their lights – an hour from now – I’m going to boot up all four computers in the house, connect them all to my AirPort Extreme Base Station, have one monitoring my eMail, one downloading pr0n, one streaming audio, and I’ll surf on the remaining one (The PowerMac G5 2.3 GHz Dual Core/23″ Cinema HD Display model that draws about 250-300 watts of electricity), while watching TV in a window to the right.
Simultaneously, I’m going to turn on every light in the house, turn the thermostat up to 78 degrees, and open every door to the outside so I’m heating the entire neighborhood. Then, I’ll fire up the gas grill in the back yard and grill a couple of steaks.
I HOPE I’m setting a good example for CHANGE.
UPDATE: Evidentally, Al Gore, that champion of Teh Earth, followed my lead and left his tree-illuminating flood lights on during Teh Earth Hour.
“The kicker, though, were the dozen or so floodlights grandly highlighting several trees and illuminating the driveway entrance of Gore’s mansion.
I [kid] [shit – Beef] you not, my friends, the savior of the environment couldn’t be bothered to turn off the gaudy lights that show off his goofy trees.”
I’m only shamed by the fact that Al used more electricity and emitted more carbon than I did during Teh Earth Hour.
Gaia wipes away her tears! Rudd can finally implement his CPRS caper. The ultimate liberation of our tax dollars, taxing the air we breathe, once just a mere pipe dream, is finally only a hop, skip, and a jump away. Thank you, Al Gore. Thank you, Great LeaderKevin Rudd.
Tizona’s weblog has a leaked document of just what this carbonering capturing techamalogical technology will look like once Rudd implements it (after he’s finished selling us out to China).