Celling points

An operation called the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation suggests that current government attempts to spur the sales of electric vehicles are doomed to fail:

Past and present development of the electric vehicles (EV) industry has primarily been informed by dueling neoclassical and neo-Keynesian economic doctrines. This has resulted in vehicle subsidies and carbon taxes being the leading EV policies both at home and abroad. Such policies, however, have failed to adequately drive the development of EVs. Ultimately, EVs have serious cost and performance obstacles to overcome before they will be able to compete with conventional gas cars and only battery innovation can accomplish that goal.

In other words, forget bribing the customers, forget agonizing over carbon. You want to sell these things, you need to make them acceptable to Joe and Susan Sixpack, and apparently this is what they want [pdf]:

A 2010-2011 survey conducted by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu that interviewed more than 13,000 people in 17 countries in the Americas, Asia, Australia, and Europe, found a large gap between consumer expectations of electric vehicle capabilities and actual capabilities. In regard to vehicle range, while on average 80 percent of the drivers surveyed drove less than 50 miles on a typical day, more than half the respondents in all 17 countries would not even consider buying an electric vehicle with a per-charge-range of less than 200 miles. In the United States, 56 percent of respondents pegged 300 miles as the minimum range needed for them to consider buying an electric vehicle.

If I ever get back into World Tour mode, I’m going to need a 500-mile range, and there will have to be charging stations at every moderately-priced hotel along the way. I don’t anticipate this ever happening. Hybrids? No problem. But absent an amazing improvement in technology, I’m not even thinking of one of these battery-powered contraptions.

(Via Autoblog Green.)

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Some days life is like this

Mondays, for instance.

all-white jigsaw puzzle

I think I’m buying one of these for Sisyphus.

(Via FAIL Blog’s WIN!)

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Faster than a New York minute

It’s the Five-Second Rule, and apparently it doesn’t mean crap. Or, more precisely, it does:

Germs are speedy little things, says a new study co-funded by Clorox and conducted by researchers at San Diego State University. Scientists there found that germs can attach themselves to edible items within that amount of time, reports the McClatchy-Tribune News Service via KTVQ News.

Using baby carrots as germ bait, researchers dropped the food on things like a countertop, kitchen sink, a table and both carpeted and tiled flooring. They used a clean carrot as a constant, and found that germs stuck onto carrots within five seconds of contact on the different surfaces. Let’s not even get into what they would’ve found on a street corner.

Wonder what would happen if they dropped them onto a plate?

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Strange search-engine queries (351)

Before you ask: this is neither a 351 Cleveland nor a 351 Windsor. It’s simply the 351st installment of this weekly feature wherein we peek into the search logs for the week and hope something’s looking back at us.

beatles fanfiction “a hard day’s night of the living dead”:  Is this the one where they all end up in the Octopus’s Garden?

what should a fiftyish fashionista hipster wear in rome:  Fabric with some heft to it. You never know when one of the resident Casanovas will sidle up for a little pinch.

if you get multiple blood pressure readings averaging 160/98 what does this mean:  It means the first paper cut you get is going to look like an outtake from Carrie.

tammy wynette fell ill on oklahoma turnpike:  Which is not what she meant by “Your Good Girl’s Gonna Go Bad.”

are avon collectible glass cars worth anything?  Probably not, but at least they smell good.

salty iguana weight watchers:  A tarantula is three points, though only two if it’s baked instead of fried.

vicky fairly odd parents impregnation story:  I suspect Jorgen von Strangle.

boys watch slutty petite teen bent perfect ass strips for party:  In their dreams, maybe.

mazda 626 how can i tell if i have a four or five speed auto transmission:  You have a four, no matter what the guy who sold it to you said.

is zooey deschanel teetotal?  I don’t think you can do that and still be considered adorkable.

is OG&E windpower legitimate:  The 600-kW block I buy seems real enough.

difficult spanish in beer commercial:  I don’t often review Spanish word usage; but when I do, it’s in beer commercials.

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Air power

Fifty-four three-point field goals were attempted in this game. Let me repeat that: fifty-four three-point field goals were attempted in this game. That’s a hell of a lot of long balls. And miraculously, nearly half of them went: the Nuggets went 10-22 from beyond the arc — Danilo Galinari was 6-13 all by himself — and the Thunder went 15-32, with Daequan Cook 4-9 from downtown. There were so many treys, in fact, that basically the game was one run after another, OKC dashing out to a 19-point lead in the second quarter, Denver tying after three and grabbing a brief 1-point lead in the fourth, before the Thunder put it away, 108-101, putting both Northwest rivals at 3-2 for the preseason.

Seeing (well, hearing: there was no TV) Andre Igoudala in a Denver uniform is startling, but the Ig fit into George Karl’s rotation nicely, picking up seven points and six assists while retrieving 10 rebounds. The new-look Nuggets had five players in double figures, unsurprisingly led by Galinari’s six treys and 26 points. And speaking of rotation, Karl ran this one as though it were a regular-season game, with the starters playing their usual complement of minutes. Odd for preseason, but then no one would be expecting it, would they?

Eric Maynor drew a DNP-CD tonight so Scott Brooks could get a better look at Reggie Jackson. On the depth chart, Jackson is behind both Maynor and Russell Westbrook; from the looks of things, Jackson is ready to fight for #2 at the one. Three Thundermen came up with 16 points: James Harden, Serge Ibaka (including 2-2 treys), and Kevin Durant, Interestingly, Durant earned a -8 for the night.

Next matchup: Tuesday at Chicago, though the Bulls are Rose-less for the time being. At least this one’s on TV.

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The tape tells the tale

The backup routine at the office is pretty simple: insert tape, invoke command, walk away. Each tape holds 800 GB — 1.6 TB with nominal 2:1 compression — so we’re not worried about running out of space just yet. Then again, I was here when we were lucky to have 100-megabyte tapes. (For my personal use, I had one of those ancient Colorado drives that hooked up to the floppy controller and used QIC-40 tapes.)

And of course, eventually we will run out of space, and we’ll have to look into something bigger:

Researchers at Fuji Film in Japan and IBM in Zurich, Switzerland, have already built prototypes that can store 35 terabytes of data — or about 35 million books’ worth of information — on a cartridge that measures just 10 centimetres by 10 cm by 2 cm. This is achieved using magnetic tape coated in particles of barium ferrite.

This cartridge is almost exactly the same physical size as the ones we’re using; it just happens to hold 40 times as much data.

(Via Fark.)

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John Barleycorn, nicotine, and the temptations of Eve

In memory of B. B. Cunningham Jr., who delivered this epic rap in 1967. According to legend, all the words were swiped from various billboards the Hombres saw from their tour bus deep in the heart of Texas. Cunningham was working as a security guard at a Memphis apartment complex when he was shot to death last weekend.

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This assignment constitutes 60 percent of your Marx

Greg B reports that one of his humanities classes — he declines to say which one, and I don’t blame him — was assigned this bit of Utopian nonsense:

According to a UN report, 1% of all people own 40% of all wealth, while 50% of all people own 1% of all wealth. Unless something dramatic changes, this grotesque disparity will only get worse over time as the elite continue to reap and sow their investments. All problems that are solvable derive from this maldistribution of wealth. It is the ONE problem that fuels all others, and is, therefore, the single most important target for all who crave freedom, justice, peace, and health for all.

To solve the problem of wealth maldistribution, we need to know its cause, and then how to defeat that cause. My theory is that universities are the cause of wealth maldistribution. Universities empower people to become wealthy, and aspiration for wealth is the primary reason people attend universities. Why study? To get the grades to get the degree to get the job to get the money to become happy. That sequence of motives is the cause of all solvable problems. But it’s not a valid sequence. People aren’t happy, and wealth doesn’t make people happy, and being happy isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. We want true love. But it’s not for sale and doesn’t make anyone happy. All love stories are sad because lovers always part, if not by choice, than by death, and the greater the love the greater the sorrow. To love is to suffer. Yet we want to love, and we pity people who run from it as if they were afraid to suffer. By suffering we discover that we are not who we thought we were. But more of that later.

For now, I suggest we WORK to defeat the fraudulent sequence of motives by changing universities. Let’s start with ours. Why study? To find true love by WORKING for freedom, justice, peace, and health for all. How? By critical thinking, communication, collaboration, initiative, and analysis. Let’s us work together.

I suggest we call ourselves the [city my school is in] Holistic Humanitarians, and I suggest we welcome all students, and their parents, and faculty and alumni. Divide into teams, each analyzing one aspect of our University to show how it a) distracts from true love, b) moves money from the many to the few and c) could be changed to foster true love and, as a consequence, redirect money from the few to the many. Each team will submit short, well-written, well-reasoned, hard-hitting reports that all groups will critically evaluate. Accepted final reports will be saved, and their abstracts published in [professor’s website].

Pick your topic and team. Invite your parents and friends to join. Think critically, collaborate, communicate, take initiative, and submit one index card per team per week. And let’s save the world before it’s too late.

A few questions I might want to ask:

  1. How, precisely, does forced redistribution of wealth contribute in any way to “freedom”?
  2. Does Professor X feel any personal guilt by dint of working for such an Evil Institution as a university?
  3. Is Professor X disdainful of romantic love, or happiness generally, because he has never actually experienced it?
  4. If every student submits a plan acceptable to Professor X, it’s hardly critical thinking, is it?

Well enough is never left alone, so there’s a follow-up as well.

(Via this @AdamKissel tweet.)

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Horning in

After 91 years, Horn Seed Company, just west of the Classen Circle, closed its doors: two intensely bad summers and a fire last winter made it pretty much impossible to keep the business going, and the property was put up for sale.

Classen Point proposed logoThe old garden center, of course, will be scraped off the lot by new owners Classen Point LLC, who paid $1,325,000 for the tract. In its place there will be a “shopping center [which] will have classic Mediterranean architecture.” (There was actually a logo design contest; you’re looking at a reduced version of the winner.) This, of course, follows the first rule of retail design: always make sure you build something that looks like something else, preferably something else instantly recognizable.

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She who smiles beautifully

A rather loose translation, that, of the Indian name “Sushmita,” derived from the Sanskrit for “good smile.” As part of my ongoing quest to bring you That Which Is Not Obvious, here’s a picture — from the October ’12 issue of Cosmopolitan’s India edition — of Bollywood actress and 1994 Miss Universe Sushmita Sen, not smiling at all.

Sushmita Sen in Cosmopolitan India October 2012

In other news, Cosmopolitan has an India edition.

Sen, thirty-six and never married, has two adopted children and hears her biological clock ticking. She is slated to play the title role in a biopic about slain Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto, in which she probably won’t smile much either.

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Failure to adapt

Species that exhibit non-optimal behavior, says Mr Darwin, are on the royal road to extinction. Two or three cars from now, you won’t have to deal with some joker like this anymore:

Today I went to verify that I love the 2013 Nissan Rogue which I got to know as a rental on two long business trips. The salesman thought I’d save a lot of money if I bought the 2012 because it [was] essentially unchanged. I told him no, so he went to retrieve the car I asked for so I could try out the equipment I wanted and he brought back a 2012 for me to test drive.

Perhaps this was his way of proving that the ’13 was not so different from the ’12, inasmuch as he couldn’t tell them apart himself.

But no, that’s giving the fellow too much credit:

I didn’t stay to hash it out because I had to leave when he referred to my fatness. (Yes he did.) (The one absolutely unlivable thing about the Rogue is that it has crappy fabric like a reusable grocery bag on the door handles and console cover when I was explaining that my current car has that and it’s a problem with hand prints and wear, he said something like “Larger people like you and me have special problems and we need a lot of room to maneuver around.” Dude, I might be fat but I’m not so fat that I rub the fabric off of car doors.)

Way to go with the synthetic empathy, chump.

How long do we have before dealer-franchise laws are yanked and the whole house of cards comes tumbling down? Ten, fifteen years?

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The new crusty menstruals

This seems entirely too pat to be what it’s represented to be, based as it is on an ancient joke, but it’s too good to pass by.

A chap left this anguished message on the Facebook page of a British brand of “feminine protection” products:

Hi , as a man I must ask why you have lied to us for all these years . As a child I watched your advertisements with interest as to how at this wonderful time of the month that the female gets to enjoy so many things ,I felt a little jealous. I mean bike riding , rollercoasters, dancing, parachuting, why couldn’t I get to enjoy this time of joy and ‘blue water’ and wings !! Dam my penis!! Then I got a girlfriend, was so happy and couldn’t wait for this joyous adventurous time of the month to happen …..you lied !! There was no joy , no extreme sports , no blue water spilling over wings and no rocking soundtrack oh no no no. Instead I had to fight against every male urge I had to resist screaming wooaaahhhhh bodddyyyyyyfooorrrmmm bodyformed for youuuuuuu as my lady changed from the loving, gentle, normal skin coloured lady to the little girl from the exorcist with added venom and extra 360 degree head spin. Thanks for setting me up for a fall bodyform , you crafty bugger

The corporate response was properly contrite:

Even if this was all contrived, it’s viral marketing at its very best.

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Irritated avian detected

The Truth About Cars is discussing “Infiniti’s often discussed premium compact model,” illustrated with this shot of the marque’s Etherea concept.

Infiniti Etherea concept

Is this, or is this not, one of the Angry Birds?

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At the end of the day, it is what it is

Lynn thinks that “people talking in catch-phrases” is yet another sign that the culture is on its way to decadence and eventual desuetude:

We all do it but many people over-do it. Going green, moving forward, at the end of the day, it is what it is (I really, seriously hate that one), think outside the box. We hear them all the time and it’s hard not to repeat them when they seem useful but wouldn’t it be more effective to find our own words?

I understand that not everyone can be a linguist. I understand that there are people who are “language challenged” just as there are people who are “math challenged” (and I admit I’m not as good at it as I wish I could be) but when I hear people on TV, in a position that requires (or should require) a person to be educated and articulate, using the wrong words, or less effective or exact words than they could be using, I can’t help but feel our whole culture is in decline. And what really makes me sad is that most people don’t even see this as a problem.

Television today doesn’t require you to be educated or articulate; it requires only that you keep people from changing the channel.

I’m as guilty as anyone of falling back on shtick — don’t even try to count the appearances of “[name] was not available for comment” here — but I suggest that breaking the rules is a trifle more forgivable if you happen to know which rule you’re breaking. (Your mileage may vary.)

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Light in the distance

I wasn’t sure what to think about this year’s Suns, but it appears, based on the evidence presented at tonight’s exhibition game in Tulsa, that the de-Nashing of the team does not necessarily relegate them to the lottery come next spring. The starters got few minutes — only oft-traveled Michael Beasley got more than twelve — so this was an exercise for the Phoenix bench, and while the Suns came out on the losing end, and Jermaine O’Neal was his usual surly self, it appears that they’re not going to be pushovers.

Still, what you wanted to hear about was how the Thunder dominated all over the place en route to a 107-97 win. Well, they didn’t: they led by a single point at the half. But they did a good job keeping the pressure on the Suns, and there were some surprises along the way, including treys from Serge Ibaka (!) and Nick Collison (!!). And Scott Brooks played only ten men tonight, all getting at least 20 minutes except for Hasheem Thabeet (18, only two fouls and a T). Then there was that brief period with all three point guards on the floor. Stuff like this gets you 26 assists in 48 minutes.

Still, Marcin Gortat remains a threat, shooting 3-3 for 7 points in his twelve-minute stint and reeling in three boards. Flank him with Luis Scola, who always seems to find a way to bedevil the Thunder, and I’m saying I’d have felt better if this spread had been a lot more than ten points.

Which, of course, I can also say with regard to the Nuggets, who come to the Roundish House Sunday.

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Gun duly jumped

Well, this was unexpected: Rebecca Black did a guest-host spot on What’s Trending, and in addition to plugging her Current Cause, she gave us a 45-second preview of that new song “In Your Words.” It’s (almost) nothing like what I expected:

No release date yet. I’m kind of hoping this isn’t the final vocal mix.

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