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TFW When You’ve Been Doing it Wrong for 40 Years March 4, 2019

Posted by geoff in News.

These guys just invalidated my entire life strategy (at least since my college days):

You Can’t Make Up for Lost Sleep by Snoozing on the Weekends

A new study suggests that sleeping late on Saturday and Sunday may disrupt metabolic and circadian functions for the chronically sleep deprived

Well crap. I guess I’ll just toddle off, then.

About That Renewable Energy… March 4, 2019

Posted by geoff in News.
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Amidst the discussions over AOC’s silly “Green New Deal,” we have a sensible voice emerging from the crowd: a gentleman who pitched his own, less ambitious, Green New Deal more than 10 years ago:

I thought the solutions were pretty straightforward: solar panels on every roof, electric cars in every driveway, etc. The main obstacles, I believed, were political. And so I helped organize a coalition of America’s largest labor unions and environmental groups. Our proposal was for a $300 billion dollar investment in renewables. We would not only prevent climate change but also create millions of new jobs in a fast-growing high-tech sector.

Our efforts paid off in 2007 when then-presidential candidate Barack Obama embraced our vision. Between 2009–15, the U.S. invested $150 billion dollars in renewables and other forms of clean tech. But right away we ran into trouble.

The “trouble” he mentions falls into 3 categories:

  1. Solar and wind energy require large acreage and have significant environmental impacts. Both are also very site-reliant, especially wind energy.
  2. Solar and wind energy are intermittent, requiring either energy storage or backup energy sources. Both cause their own set of problems.
  3. Building solar panels involves environmentally unsavory materials, so disposal of panels at the end of their (short) lifetime is problematic.

One consequence is that energy savings from renewables haven’t been realized. Take solar panels, for example:

…one-time cost savings from making them in big Chinese factories have been outweighed by the high cost of dealing with their unreliability.

Consider California. Between 2011–17 the cost of solar panels declined about 75 percent, and yet our electricity prices rose five times more than they did in the rest of the U.S.

He then notes that the energy source that is actually the cheapest and cleanest is one that has been with us for 65 years:

*** Nuclear Power ***

In something of a coincidence, I was recently writing a proposal concerning fusion energy, and ran across a paper comparing the ultimate cost of various energy sources, including construction, operation, and environmental costs. Here is their final summary chart:

Yup, the cheapest power source is the one all the way to the left:

Good Old Nuclear Power

This is Why You’re Not Happy February 26, 2019

Posted by Retired Geezer in Ducks.

Pretty good ideas from a close personal friend of Dave in Texas.


Dammit, I Know I Had a Good Victim Spiel Around Here Somewhere! February 23, 2019

Posted by geoff in News.
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So Jussie Smollett, who maligned a lot of good people with his fabricated story of MAGAmaniacs attacking him on a frigid Chicago night, apparently has a Plan B.

Plan A: Become an intersectional victim at the corner of gay & black.

Result: “Curses! I would have gotten away with it if it weren’t for those meddling security cameras!!”

Plan B: Become a helpless victim of substance abuse.

This one I’m willing to believe, though unlike Jussie, I don’t think it qualifies him as a victim.

Now I’m trying to figure out which victim category he’ll go for with Plan C.

Freedom Dies with a Whimper February 20, 2019

Posted by geoff in News.
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Do we really want to live in a world where a retiree can’t express themselves freely in court?

Pensioner kicked out of court for waving his genitals at staff

Or toss a few items about in a playful fashion?

Michael Folan, 67, was faced[sic] magistrates for throwing chairs and tables at cars and passers by outside a Wetherspoon in Huddersfield Town Centre.

He was almost hit by a bus as he dragged metal poles belonging to The Cherry Tree pub into the street to throw them at vehicles.

What a repressive society we’ve become.

Well Looky There… February 18, 2019

Posted by geoff in News.

…looks like all those posts dating back to 2006 were, how you say in your country? Frickin’ prescient?


Manufacturing Jobs Experiencing Bloating February 8, 2019

Posted by geoff in News.

Like the employment numbers described in the preceding post, the Bureau for Labor Statistics made some revisions to their data in this report. This is an annual thing, so no cause for alarm. I’ve updated the data back to 2016.

Caveats in place, let’s take a look at the manufacturing jobs story:


The mind, she is boggled.

You Didn’t Actually Want to Use Your Electric Car in the Winter, Did You? February 8, 2019

Posted by geoff in News.
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Fast on the heels of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s ill-fated “Green New Deal” nonsense, we find that physics once again intrudes on the good intentions of environmentalists:

As freezing temperatures plague much of the country, electric vehicle owners may experience a decrease in driving range, compounded by the use of the vehicle’s interior climate control. New research from AAA reveals that when the mercury dips to 20°F and the HVAC system is used to heat the inside of the vehicle, the average driving range is decreased by 41 percent.

So all those subsidies paid for electric car purchases ended up saddling car owners with a car that really can’t cope with winter. I mean, 20°F ain’t that low, and using your heater when it’s 20°F is not unreasonable.

I don’t have anything against electric cars, except when they are pushed into the market prematurely by government subsidies. Which you and I pay for.

2nd-to-Last Employment Post February 8, 2019

Posted by geoff in News.

Been swamped with work lately, so little time for blogging. Seems like the better the economy is doing, the less time we have to blog, but when it’s hurting, we have plenty of time to whine online.

Anyway, I’m a week late in getting the employment graph out. The data is a little weird this month, because the Bureau for Labor Statistics made some major changes in the population estimates (they disappeared 800K people).


A little downtick, but well above 0.5. Here’s the big picture, going back to 1990:

Gotta warn you guys: I’ve been tracking employment for almost 10 years (started in April ’09 with The Chart), and I think I’m going to put it to bed next month, making it exactly 10.

Try to stifle your sniffles.

Death Can’t Stop Justice February 1, 2019

Posted by geoff in News.

Amid questions concerning whether Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is alive, and certainly hoping that she is (though I wouldn’t mind her retiring, quite honestly), I’m reminded that perhaps it doesn’t really matter. [I have this set to start at 0:55, but it’s worth watching the whole thing.]

Slippery Slope of Taxation January 29, 2019

Posted by geoff in News.
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The problem with government spending is that it almost always increases, eventually exhausting normal revenue sources and credit. Then you have to start looking elsewhere for money

Gov. Ned Lamont wants to end Connecticut’s cycle of budget deficits, deliver property-tax relief and amass a fiscal bulwark against the next recession. But to do it, he may push wary legislators to extend the sales tax for the first time to groceries, medications and other long-exempt items.

As with the income tax, which grew from modest beginnings to today’s behemoth, government will always seek more revenue. Even if they have to sacrifice their facade of distaste for regressive taxes.

And if Elizabeth Warren ever succeeds in taxing the wealth of the top 1%, you can guarantee that in a few decades they’ll be digging into the wealth of the top 10% or top 25%.

A Veteran Laid to Rest January 28, 2019

Posted by daveintexas in Honor, News.

They could not find his family members. So the Central Texas Veteran’s Cemetery asked that members of the community attend his service this morning.


They hoped he would not be buried alone. He wasn’t. Hundreds of people gathered to pay their respects to a man they did not know. Overwhelming support and honor.

Killeen is very much a military town. There are lots of retired veterans here. I expected people would show up this morning. I did not expect the hundreds that I saw. When I crested the hill on 195 this is what I saw. I have no idea how long the line was behind me but I saw something today that was fine and good.