"Nerd, Geek, or Dork?" Test Result
52 % Nerd, 56% Geek, 52% Dork
Link: The Nerd? Geek? or Dork? Test
blogjack - Life, the universe, and when to hit a soft eighteen.
Bill O'Reilly is getting a lot of well deserved flack for having said this on the air about gas prices and "gouging":
One thing struck me: after all the experts we've talked with, after all the research we've done, we still can't find out who exactly sets the price of a gallon of gasoline. Which human being in America does that?There's a great point-by-point response here:
Every time I ask who sets the price I get "the market", "the Merc", "OPEC", and on and on. Well it's all B.S. Somebody tells your local gas station owner exactly what to charge. Somebody does that.
No, Bill. Nobody does that. Really. The owners of gasoline stations each price their product individually and independently. There is no single person who sets the price of gasoline. There are thousands and thousands of gas station owners who each do the job for their own station.That seems like a great argument, doesn't it? Intuitively, it just makes sense. How could somebody not find it convincing?
Have you noticed that different grocery stores charge different prices for a gallon of milk? Do you think it's more likely that there's a powerful and secretive Milk Pricing Czar telling each individual store what its price should must be, or more likely that the stores are setting their prices on their own?
If you can believe it for milk, isn't it plausible for gasoline?
Let me ask it another way, Bill. Exactly what sort of punishment is meted out to those who defy the Gasoline Pricing Czar? How exactly does the Czar maintain control over all those gas stations?
Seth Roberts is guest-blogging at the Freakonomics blog here. Apparently his list of weight-loss aids now includes - in addition to sugar water - "a few tablespoons of olive oil between meals" and the occasional raw egg. He still claims these are evidence that one can break a pavlovian mental connection between taste and food.
So let's just recap briefly, shall we? We've got a million or so human beings living in a low-lying area created in the first place by government engineers. The local government of New Orleans, apprised of an approaching storm, summarily orders everybody out of the city about 36 hours too late without lifting a finger to provide the means to do so. At the last minute it occurs to somebody to herd those left behind into a large government-built structure, the Superdome; no supplies are on hand for its inhabitants, and the structure itself is rendered--according to the government's assessment--permanently useless. Even though the storm misses the city, government-built levees fail in unforeseen and catastrophic ways. Many of the New Orleans cops opportunistically quit their jobs, many more simply fail to show up for work, others take the lead in looting supplies from storm-stricken neighbourhoods, and just a few have the notable good grace to shoot themselves in the head. The federal government announces that assistance is on its way, sometime; local and state authorities--who have the clear-cut burden of "first response" under federal guidelines nobody seems to have read--beg for the feds to hurry up while (a) engaging in bureaucratic pissing-matches behind the scenes and (b) making life difficult for the private agencies who are beating the feds to the scene. Eventually the federal government shows up with the National Guard, and to the uniform indignation and surprise of those who have been screaming for it, the Guard turns out to have a troubling tendency to point weapons in the general direction of civilians and reporters. I'm not real clear on who starts doing what around mid-week, but the various hydra-heads of government start developing amusing hobbies; confiscating guns from civilians, demanding that photographers stop documenting the aftermath of America's worst natural disaster in a century, enforcing this demand by seizing cameras at gunpoint, shutting down low-power broadcasting stations in shelters, and stealing supplies from relief agencies and private citizens. In the wake of all this, there is probably no single provision of the U.S. Constitution left untrampled, the Posse Comitatus Act appears destined for a necktie party, and the 49% of Americans who have been complaining for five years about George W. Bush being a dictator are now vexed to the point of utter incoherence because for the last fortnight he has failed to do a sufficiently convincing impression of a dictator.
It's been said that Hurricane Katrina has confirmed pretty much everybody in his pre-existing political beliefs. I can't say the record gives me any reason to change mine. But if I can't have a libertarian paradise where state power defers to social power, or use recent events to urge others to the wisdom of such a state of affairs, I'm willing to propose a second-best for America: replace the three branches of republican government with permanent joint rule by Wal-Mart and the Salvation Army. Go on, tell me you could honestly do worse.
– Colby Cosh, on the supposed downfall
of limited government in Katrina’s wake
You can now get a decent workout at home or in the arcade by playing videogames. The intersection of videogames and exercise keeps getting more interesting and there's enough material already that it deserves its own blog. So I started one here:
Since I switched to blogjack.net and republished in Blogger, the main page works but all the specific post pages don't show up properly in Firefox 1.06/Mac OSX. They show up as a bunch of CSS/HTML, not as content.
People often say (as in this Peak Oil article) "we’re not going to run the interstate highway system on electricity alone". Why not? We currently have a gasoline-based infrastructure because it's cheap and convenient, but if it got much more expensive it shouldn't be THAT hard to switch over to an electric infrastructure. To deal with the range and recharge-time issues we just need modular replaceable batteries.
The discharged zinc-air module removed from the vehicle is "refueled" or mechanically recharged by exchanging spent "cassettes" with fresh cassettes. This is accomplished by a refueling machine that returns the zinc-air modules to service.
I lost the blogjack.org domain. Due to poor planning and a cheapskate impossible-to-contact DNS reseller I let it pass the initial expiration date. I could have grabbed it back by paying eNom the $200 ransom fee but figured I'd just wait and buy it up again when it expired. I mean, who else would want it, right? But no...somebody grabbed it before I could. So for the moment we're officially "blogjack.net".