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    Tuesday, September 30, 2008

    Solar Cell Sets Record at 40.8 Percent Efficiency

    This is a really big deal. I remember talking to Collins about this a while back and the big problem with large scale solar power has been the low efficiency vs. the cost. These kind of breakthroughs change the playing field and make it more and more practical.

    Sunday, September 28, 2008

    More notes from the edge

         “Rumors went spreading through the country in whispers of cynical terror–yet people read the newspapers and acted as if they believed what they read, each competing with the others on who would keep most blindly silent, each pretending that he did not know what he knew, each striving to believe that the unnamed was the unreal. 
     - Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)

       "You have heard it said that this is an age of moral crisis. You have said it yourself, half in fear, half in hope that the words had no meaning. You have cried that man's sins are destroying the world and you have cursed human nature for its unwillingness to practice the virtues you demanded. Since virtue, to you, consists of sacrifice, you have demanded more sacrifices at every successive disaster.“
     - Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)

    “This is like Science Fiction. It’s just like ‘Atlas Shrugged’ in reverse, where the right has deregulated us into this mess. And their solution, when this happens, is to turn around and say ‘You needed to deregulate more, you didn’t go far enough.’ – Patrick Flanagan
    Here we are on the edge of the actual precipice, staring into the actual void of financial ruin and collapse. And what do we see? Well, there’s the bail out package, and while that might help, in the short term, after looking into this as deeply as I could, I am convinced that it will only postpone the inevitable. There are lots of articles out there detailing the collapse so I won’t talk about that. Needless to say it’s really, really bad. In response we’re nationalizing loss and privatizing profits. Add to the situation two wars, a few natural disasters and, well, as I say, here we are. We’re not looking at any mere variety of recession; we’re talking about a total global depression. The Great Depression 2, a sequel of sorts, just like the first one sans the whimsy.

    Of course people are in denial about this. No one wants to come out and say what I’ve just said, but that’s the case. The truth is we can’t borrow our way out of this mess. Also it’s not that we need more regulation. The regulations already exist; they were simply not enforced. So the bailout won’t work, more regulations won’t work, what will work?

    Lowering and locking interest rates on all existing loans? Nationalizing the Banks? Seizing the profits and international holdings of certain companies and then nationalizing them? Or how about wiping out all exisitng debt and just starting over?

    I don’t know, but I am buying lots of non-perishable goods
     . . .
    and maybe a gun.

    Saturday, September 27, 2008

    Forwarding a message for Bob Greenberger

    A Boogie Knights Charity Event

    The Boogie Knights, in conjunction with the Musical Artists Theatre, will be giving a rare charity concert, proceeds of which will go, in memory of our squire Robbie Greenberger, to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the Tommy Fund for Childhood Cancer 

    Here are the details:

    WHEN: 8PM Saturday 8 November, 2008

    Riverside Stage - located in the basement of 
    Salem Lutheran Church 
    1530 Battery Avenue
    Baltimore, MD 21230-4615

    ADMISSION: $10

    Where else can you find a full evening of Boogie Knights live performance for less than the cost of a CD --and-- have it benefit charity as well?

    Friday, September 26, 2008

    Blogging the Debate

    This is a joke. 
    McCain seems to be reciting his stump speech in random order.

    Now McCain has hit his stride and is doing pretty well.
    Obama seems to be holding his own but it looks like McCain is driving the conversation.

    Obama is calling him on his many distortions but he's not leading the conversation and he needs to stop saying "Senator McCain is absolutely right" and then telling us why he's wrong.

    "Spain" - Now Obama is turning it up a little bit.

    Well, in the end, it looked pretty close to me. 
    I really wanted Obama to do better than he did but it was more of a draw.

    Thursday, September 25, 2008

    Pirate Weekend in MD in Danger

    Sensors indicate the weather in Crownsville, Md is going from bad to worse for this weekend.
    As you all know, I really look forward to this every year, but I don't know about this.
    We may need to change course to Pa, or call the whole thing off.
    Updates as they happen.
    I just checked and all three locations NY, PA and MD look like a washout for this weekend. 

    I'll keep you posted from here.

    That's it, we're calling it off.
    We're looking into next weekend.

    Tuesday, September 23, 2008

    Frank's excellent Staycation!

    Ha! My spellchecker just threw up.
    I have taken off this week to just work around the house and relax. Of course I'm getting caught up watching the financial meltdown of our society. I feel like a Roman citizen looking out to the hilltops and wondering what all those Visigoths are up to.

    Obama 08 BABY!!!!

    Meanwhile I’m trying to take care of myself. I walked two miles this morning and plan to spend the rest of the day working in the yard. Yesterday I spent caring for the dog. Buster is hanging in there. He had a nice long bath and some serious grooming and later went to the vet.
     Now has some new medicine to make him more comfortable and I’m out a couple of Franklins. Oh well.

    If you’re around, stop by and you can help me close the pool or something.

    Sunday, September 21, 2008

    Thursday, September 18, 2008

    More pictures from our recent trip to Mount Hope

    A little interaction with the locals.

    The Crew.

    The Silk Road Gypsies
    They are great.

    Wednesday, September 17, 2008

    Notes from the edge of the void.

    Is it just me or has the information overload really started in earnest?

    Between Lehman Brothers, AIG, the wars, the elections, terrorist attacks, Ike, Bad Chinese food and so on it just seems to me like the media does not have enough time between ads to even get the headline across.

    Meanwhile some random thoughts:

    If you go to Tibet and look for a hermit just coming out of ten years of isolation and meditation, you might find someone who had less to do with the development of the Blackberry than John McCain! Also, it's not a miracle, I object to that term, it's a technological tool, you knucklehead.

    I am an American worker. I am not a "fundamental" (or even a fundamentalist).
    As out of touch as we thought John McCain was, it's even worse than that.

    A short note to all the undecided voters out there;

    If you are not a die hard Republican, and after really looking at the situation and comparing the candidates, and their vice presidential candidates, you are still on the fence - you are a RACIST numskull!!!!

    As an aside, if you are only voting for Obama because he's black, you are ALSO A RACIST.
    You're just as much of a numskull as the other folks!

    Today was the day people in the media stopped talking about "Recession" and started talking about "Depression".

    Has anyone jumped out of any windows on Wall street yet?

    This race is going to come down to the wire, and I'm not talking about politics here, I'm talking about our survival.

    I wonder when they will announce the suspension of this election?
    I can hear it now "In these uncertain times within our financial markets and in light of the recent natural disasters . . . temporary, indefinite, suspension of the election process until the situation stabilizes."

    Sunday, September 14, 2008

    Shore Leave Away Team

    A picture truly worth a thousand words. 
    This was a great day for me, and for the others as well,
    I believe. 
    We all had some much needed R&R at the Mount Hope, PA Renaissance Fair. 

    Wednesday, September 10, 2008

    Two links on the LHC from Pete

    Cool Pictures:

    And perhaps the most informative site on the web:
    Has the
    LHC destroyed the Earth?

    Looking at them assembling the components and so on, I swear it looks to me like they are building a warp engine. 

    Monday, September 8, 2008

    World to end this week?

    Here is how this works, people are worried that when CERN starts it's new, super sized, super collider later this week it may spawn mini-blackholes or otherwise generate exotic paritcles that lead to the end of life as we know it. Utter hogwash. 

    A much more likely scenario goes like this. 
    Cern starts the new gizmo and after it starts building up to full power over the next several months, it will generate exotic particles that we have never seen before and answer questions about the big bang and the origin of the universe. 

    Of course, if you were an hostile alien civilization elsewhere in the universe (or perhaps in an alternate dimension), and you were looking for advanced civilizations that might pose a threat to you, you might be inclined to scan the known eleven dimensions for such extemly rare exotic particles. 
    You might futhermore be inclined to track them back to their source and deploy your mini kill bots and larger blunt bottomed, structure smashing, transformer like, civilation killer bots to crush anything larger than a two story house.

    I'm just saying is all. 

    Why stop there though, maybe we are on the cusp of extraterrestrial contact with a friendly, post singularity civilzation also on the look out for those self same exotic particles that only a super super collider can produce. 

    Maybe the good friendly aliens and the hostile aliens fight it out in some higher dimension and we get caught in the middle. Or maybe we never even know about this battle between titans. 

    Most probable of all though is that we'll have to keep trudging along at our current pace, just as we have been, for a little while longer at least. 

    Maddow on MSNBC - kicking ass and taking names

    And yet, today McCain is ahead in the polls.

     . . . ?

    Thursday, September 4, 2008

    Weekly quotes

     ". . . and now we go to Luke Russert with his inside report on the rampant nepotism at NBC."
    - Patrick

    "McCain, Palin . . . with Sith, there are always two."
    - Frank

    "'Right Now' Sammy Hagar is calling his lawyer."
    - Patrick on the Republicans using "Right Now" during their convention.
    Actually "Heart" sent them a C&D for using "Baracuda". 

    Patrick: "Why doesn't he just appoint Charlie Daniels as his running mate."
    Collins: "Too Liberal."

    Wednesday, September 3, 2008

    Check out my new store

    You can buy tee shirts that I designed. 
    Check them out.

    I'm going to be adding more as time permits.

    Tuesday, September 2, 2008

    Happy Birthday DAD!

    My father doesn't read this blog, but there it is nonetheless.

    Monday, September 1, 2008

    Happy Birthday Jessica!!!

    First of all, today is Jessica's Birthday and we wish her a great day and many, many more.

    Second, we are back. It was great to see the baby and everyone seems happy and healthy down in NC. We helped out a where we could and Gina spent a lot of time just holding the baby. On the other hand it's good to be home and there is a lot to do before we jump back into the grind tomorrow.

    Thank goodness for the holiday today.