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The Lounge I have seen the future, and it is terrifying! Nov 21 2014
17:22 (UTC)
1

t'would be nice, but the technology takes CH4 (methane) and H2O (water) and makes H2 and CO2 (carbon dioxide and Hydrogen gas). CH4 + 2 H2O + heat --> CO2 + 4H2.

So the carbon dioxide is still produced and needs to be sequestered.  Of course sequestering is expensive and difficult and dumping into the atmosphere is free, so ....

The Lounge I have seen the future, and it is terrifying! Nov 20 2014
17:01 (UTC)
3

And you say EATR is old news?  I've been following Hydrogen fuel cells since 1992, and eve then they weren't new.

Bad news, Hydrogen can be made by splitting water, but it much easier and cost effective to get it from cracking natural gas.  As a matter of fact, that's where the vast majority of usable Hydrogen comes from.  So it does nothing for global warming.  It just converts fossil fuels to Hydrogen, but doesn't stop or even slow down the use of fossil fuels at all.

 

The Lounge Hot spots Nov 20 2014
13:06 (UTC)
5
Original Post by catwalker:

Original Post by nomoreexcuses:

Why can't they dig a trench or something to guide the lava away from people and man-made structures? I mean - it moves really slow. It seems like there is time to be pro-active about it.

Way too expensive to dig through hardened volcanic rock to save a few homes.

Also, wouldn't the lava harden and fill in the trench?  You can't call it a trench when it's filled with solid rock.

The Lounge I have seen the future, and it is terrifying! Nov 20 2014
12:27 (UTC)
7

Well, at least they chose the right place to test it, right Kathy?

Plus, if it runs amok, all we have to do is keep it contained in Florida.  In a hundred years global warming will take care of the rest.

The Lounge I am now certified as not a meth addict Nov 20 2014
12:21 (UTC)
10

I never touch the stuff.  The best decongestant in the world is hot sauce.  Gets your nose running and your eyes watering.

 

The Lounge I have seen the future, and it is terrifying! Nov 19 2014
14:41 (UTC)
12

Wait, wait.  I was so focused on the chainsaw wielding gripper claws that I didn't notice the "ramp for packbots" on the other end.  Which means that this machine eats organic material and poops out other robots.

Surely we're doomed.

The Lounge Cheap Chocolate Candy = YUCK YUCK YUCK Nov 12 2014
15:19 (UTC)
3

Chocolate has 3 main ingredients, cocoa, sugar and fat/oil (and possibly powdered milk if it is milk chocolate).

All chocolate has cocoa, but the type of fat that they use can vary.  Good chocolate uses cocoa butter and nothing else.  Many chocolate uses palm oil/vegetable oil as a cheaper substitute for cocoa butter.  Some use paraffin wax, which is indigestible and unflavored but doesn't actually poison you when you eat it.

Many countries (including the USA, but especially including Belgium) have passed laws saying what can and cannot legally be called chocolate, and it almost always comes down the the amount of cocoa butter that is used.  That's why those chocolate coins are probably labeled as "chocolate candy" or "chocolate flavored".

The Lounge American perceptions very different from a Canadian's Nov 12 2014
14:57 (UTC)
91

Here in Canada we look at Obama and say "he's actually pretty good.  Too bad he's hampered by a senate that is so hidebound and moribund that it would prefer to kick every American in the balls before agreeing with a Democratic president on anything."

And the Canadian senate is widely looked on as political patronage/retirement.  Theoretically they can veto any bill.  I don't think that they can propose a bill, but they can propose changes to an existing bill before passing it, which they very often do.

They can veto a bill.  They last time they did was 1939.  They last time they tried was 1990, when the senate tried to veto the GST tax.  The Prime Minister at the time (Brian Mulroney) simply made 8 more senators, selecting them from his party, to ensure that he had the majority of the senate and the bill passed. 

The members are appointed by the sitting Prime Minister (technically recommended by the Prime Minister and appointed by the Governor General, but the Governor General is just a rubber stamp position).  Since it's a guaranteed paycheque for life, with very little actual work (seriously, you don't even need to show up to work), it's widely looked on as a reward.

And that's why it will never change.  Every now and then the idea pops up that the senate needs to be reformed, but as soon as they're elected MPs realize that they're eligible for it and the PM realizes that he can bribe/reward people by appointing them, and the reform idea falls to the wayside.

The Lounge Hi, I'm a girl Nov 07 2014
14:11 (UTC)
44
Original Post by theviewfromhere:

Original Post by runesplendor:

I'm not disputing the rear camera or anything like that, or collision prevention.  Computers don't have the subjective reasoning ability to equal an attentive driver.

But I handled claims for 7 years.

Do not have the hubris to think your driving skills are superior just because you've been lucky enough to avoid a horrible tragedy or even just an inconvenient episode.

The average 2 year old's head is PRECISELY bumper height.  The fact that none of us (that I'm aware) has ever hit one is LUCK, not skill.  Anyone who believes otherwise is an arrogant ass, because I've handled too many child collisions to say otherwise.  And if that makes me a ****, I'm comfortable with that.

Unless you can find me a prescient superhero, No person on this planet has a level of skill that isn't improved by some form of blind spot sensor.

i don't have to be prescient to look around before i get in the car. i don't think i'm a super hero just because i pay attention. and believe me, nothing will heighten your senses on the road like riding a motorcycle for a decade or so. 

my driving skills are superior to most. that's a fact. that doesn't mean i think i'm above having an accident. not at all. but gadgets will not make me any better.

and the fact that you've handled claims simply means that you've handled claims. that's a pre-screened sample. take a bunch of people who have accidents, you know that they have had accidents; you do not know if a back-up camera or some other feature that saved them the trouble of turning their head and paying attention would have prevented that accident, because the people who prevented accidents--by whatever means--don't make claims.

I don't understand.  Would you remove your rearview mirror and your side mirrors?  They're obviously just tools that are unnecessary due to your advanced skills of "looking", and do not assist you in the "looking" whatsoever.

I don't understand how a tool that increases visibility can be a bad thing.

It's bloody obvious that you don't have kids.  Anyone who has small children will swear by a backup sensor/camera.

And anyone who insists that their driving skills are superior is someone who will soon get in trouble.  I've met too many 20 year olds who insist that their "superior" driving skills allow them to drive above the speed limit, take fast corners, etc because they're better at driving than most.  I call these people accidents waiting to happen.  Your skills aren't superior to anyone else's.  They are merely adequate.  When you start believing that you're superior to everyone else is when you start taking more stupid risks. 

Come to think of it, those 20 year olds all insist that a manual stick shift is better than an automatic.  So I guess you're just a 20 year old driver with an extra 20 years of driving experience.

The Lounge Meanwhile in the state of Florida Nov 07 2014
13:24 (UTC)
2

At first I though "what a dumb thing for this guy to do".

Then I thought "what an even dumber thing for his customers to do".

It's one thing to put your life on the line by swimming with wild alligators.  It's another to actually PAY someone for the privilege.

the gator whisperer.  

The Lounge I really miss my hour of daylight in the evening Nov 07 2014
13:08 (UTC)
9

I'm the opposite.  I have trouble getting up in the mornings if it's not light outside.  I welcomed daylight savings this November.

Plus I'd rather have the kids walking to school in the light than in darkness.  No matter what they finish school during daylight, but without daylight savings they would be walking to school before sunup.

The Lounge I need to justify why I need my husband to help me get kids to school Nov 07 2014
13:01 (UTC)
44

I have to say, a lot of these responses are very confrontational.  "If you have to ask why you need to help get your kids ready in the morning then you need your head examined".

I'd take a different tact.  Something like "the kids are so much better behaved when we are both helping them get ready.  There's 2 kids and there's two of us."  

Try not to use the word "you" at all, use the word "we" and "us" instead.  Make it sound like you're a team together.

Which sounds better: "you need to help because you have responsibilities" or "we need to work together to raise these kids responsibly".

And I second getting up 15 min earlier.  We did it and it made all the world of difference.  It's the difference between rushing them out the door or strolling out the door.  The difference between the search for the one errant sock causing a ripple effect and making everyone late to actually having time to load the dishwasher before leaving, or making a "fancy" breakfast.

And if the kids are still whiny and difficult to get up in the morning, then warn them that due to excessive crankiness you'll be putting them to bed 15 minutes earlier.  If they're still difficult then do it.  Repeat until either they're not cranky anymore or they're going to bed right after school.  Then as their behavior improves they can earn back time (if you want to do that).  Eventually you'll find the perfect balance.

The Lounge Hi, I'm a girl Nov 04 2014
18:30 (UTC)
194

My first car was a (used) 1995 Toyota Tercel.  It served me faithfully until it started leaking oil.  Then I traded it in.  I found out later that the only thing it needed to fix the oil leak was a $35 gasket.

The car after that was a brand spankin new Cavalier.   It was junk.  The gas tank leaked, the driver's seat collapsed, the shock mounts repeatedly gave out, the speakers died, she rusted out everywhere.  It's nickname was "the big blue dent" because it seemed like every time I parked it someone couldn't resist hitting it.  When it finally got rear-ended I was happy.  I mourned the loss of $30 worth of gas that was in her more than I mourned the loss of the car.  

The Lounge Meanwhile in the state of Florida Oct 28 2014
17:37 (UTC)
6

I believe I posted before about how the Senator, the oldest tree in Florida and one of the oldest in the world, was burnt down by a meth addict.

Well, good news.  They cloned the tree, and it's back, risen from the ashes with a new name:  The Pheonix

Of special note, the Orlando area meth addict who burnt down the Senator was named Sarah Barnes.  My cousin's name is Sarah Barnes, and she was visiting Orlando at the same time in 2012.  Coincidence?  We'll never know until I get her police report.

The Lounge Who's Fat and Who's "All That" Oct 28 2014
17:08 (UTC)
2

My local diet would be crap.  Potato, turnip, cabbage, fish, fish and fish.  Maybe an occasional moose or caribou.  Notably lacking would be any kind of fruit or grain.

I live on an island with poor soil and a short, cold growing season.  We're one of the few places on earth where health actually increased with the advent of modern shipping and the American diet.  Life expectancy went way up, heart disease and birth defects went way down.

I don't want to go back, thank you very much.  Heck, the lack of vitamin C and any grains for brewing lead us to invent something horrible called Spruce Beer.

The Lounge Don't plant Lemon Balm anywhere, EVER! Oct 28 2014
16:54 (UTC)
18

Take a cheap plastic flowerpot, knock the bottom off it, plant it in the ground with the mint in the pot.  Voila, mint doesn't spread, and it grows up enough to cover up the raised edge of the flower pot.

It works with most perennials that spread via roots.

The Lounge Grocery shopping at Walmart vs. your local grocery store? Oct 23 2014
12:30 (UTC)
2

Not a problem here, since the local Walmarts only carry dry goods, no meats or produce.  Can't go grocery shopping there.

I used to avoid Walmart, but they managed to put everyone else out of business (except the grocery stores), so now there's no choice but to go there.

There's still one Sears left, but they're going downhill fast.  There's a Staples as well that seems to be just barely hanging in there.  There's still a few clothing stores at the mall that I'll go to because they have better quality than Walmart.

I found one sweet furniture store that has quality goods all handmade in India and other Asian countries.  Their wood is either farmed or reclaimed, the workers are not children and are paid a decent wage.  And the furniture very high quality.  Unlike the Walmart aspenite and pressboard construction, their hardwood furniture last.  I'm going to have to will it to my grandchildren.

The Lounge winter wear in cities Oct 20 2014
17:57 (UTC)
5

I haven't lived in Toronto, but I have lived in a nearby city in Ontario.  And as a Canadian who is used to Canadian winters, let me tell you that -30 Celsius is cold.

I also used public transportation, and waiting for the bus on the coldest of winter days meant lots of clothing.  Don't forget that thanks to being further north you'll get fewer hours of daylight, so you'll often be waiting for the bus before the sun has come up and warmed things up above the "daily minimum" temperature.

You'll want thick gloves (or better yet, 2 pairs, one pair of thinner gloves and one pair of thick mittens over them).   Mittens are warmer than gloves, but gloves are sexier, and easier to use cellphones with.  Wearing both lets you stuff the mittens in your jackets pocket when you, for instance, want to use your cellphone on the bus.

Being from a warmer climate you'll also likely want a scarf, and I mean a wool one, not a silk one.

Dressing in layers is a must.  Because once you arrive at the office it's going to be warm.  I always wore a short sleeve shirt covered by a sweater covered by a warm winters jacket.  The central heating in our building was a bit iffy, and I could never tell if the office would be super heated (short sleeves) or Siberia (sweater) so I always wore both.

Keeping yourself warm is a must, but even more important is keeping yourself dry. Your jacket should be waterproof (or at the very minimum, water resistant) and needs to have a hood.  Also longer jackets, like parkas and the one that was linked here earlier, are better than shorter ones.

You'll need winter boots that are both warm and waterproof.  Because as TheView said, snow melts to slush, and standing in slushy snow waiting for a bus is not fun if your boots leak.  Sorrels will do the trick, but they're damnably ugly.  I always wore lined hiking boots and thick socks.  You'll want the boots to come up above the ankle, snow gets deep.  Also the thick socks means that you may have to buy a half-size larger that you are used to.

There's silicone waterproofing spray that you can use on your boots.  But it never works for long.  Much better for leather is something like mink oil.  It will darken the color of most boots, and won't work well on suede, but you'll only have to apply it once or twice a winter as opposed to weekly like you would with silicone spray.  I've found there's nothing better for protecting your leather boots from salt.  Yes, that stuff is made from actual minks (the animal).  If that bothers you then you probably shouldn't be wearing leather boots in the first place.

Oh yeah, the salt is worse for your footwear than the water.  Salt simply destroys most footwear.  Sorrels and any other rubber-based footwear are immune.  Salt is spread all winter long, and through most of the spring as well.

You may or may not want to invest in snowpants.  They'll definitely do the job and keep you warm and dry, but they're damn ugly, and difficult to remove with any sense of grace once you get to the office.  Thermals and jeans may just do the job, if you don't mind getting chilled.

If you're arriving in Canada in the early fall then you're better off shopping for a jacket while you're there.  The stores will all carry stuff appropriate to Toronto's climate.  On the other hand, by December the winter jackets are mostly sold out and they start breaking out the spring stuff.

The Lounge Ghosts and aliens and Sasquatch...oh my! Oct 15 2014
11:59 (UTC)
16

I started out believing in just about everything, from UFOs to Sasquatch to ESP to Nessie.  Then I grew up.  

Now I believe in nothing.  Oh I believe that there's probably alien life out there somewhere in the universe, but I'm not so sure that there's intelligent alien life.  Something like bacteria, plants, maybe even animals I can see, but spaceships that can visit Earth I find doubtful. 

I've met too many psychics to believe in them anymore.  If there's one real one out there in the world then s/he is buried under a mountain of fakers, and so far as I can tell there's nothing but the mountain.

I believe in the power of the mind over the body.  The placebo effect and therapy (talking about your problems) are able to affect real mental as well as physical changes in your own body.  I do not believe that you can project this force outside of your own body (faith healing), except insofar that caring for someone, listening to them, and letting them know that they are important to you can help them to heal themselves.  But you yourself don't give them this power, you just allow them to find it within themselves.

I don't believe in heaven or hell or ghosts or spirits or any kind of afterlife.  God is about as real as the Easter Bunny.

If you believe in miracles, then you also have to believe that they're evil.  For every miraculous recovery from cancer there's about a thousand car accidents, stillbirths, and "acts of God" that I would rather do without.  If miracles really do happen and come from heaven, then God has a very sick sense of humor.

Angels: if you read the bible, you'll see that angels are very different from how we imagine them.  They are more like a race of warrior-slaves that God created.  They guard (Eden), they destroy (Sodom and Gomorrah), and they announce (Gabriel), but they aren't nice, and people don't become angels.  They're a separate race from humans (although they can interbreed with humans.  Yes that happens in the bible.).

The Lounge winter activities?! Sep 25 2014
11:46 (UTC)
1

I find the fall is the best time of the year for hiking.  So long as it's not raining, the wind isn't piercing, and there's no ice on the ground, hiking is always an option.  

Where I am, actual winter means actual snow.  The kind of stuff you have to shovel, and that piles up and sticks around for months.  That means snowball fights, snowmen, snow forts (okay, maybe I'm just a kid at heart), sledding, cross country skiing (it's not very expensive to get into), skating (at the rink or at the pond), I happen to like ice fishing (but I'm the only one, so that happens rarely).  You can also strap on the snowshoes and go for a hike.  Do a weekend ski trip.  Plus right around December there's hunting .... for a Christmas tree.

The beach is surprisingly beautiful in winter, all covered in ice.  Your local parks are still open and probably have some kind of winter festival.  Our park has a duck pond and some of the ducks overwinter instead of flying south, so there's always feeding the ducks.

As for indoor stuff, there's the bowling ally, the pool hall, book clubs, LAN parties (we've grown addicted to a racing game called Split Second), museums, the movies (although the movies are way expensive), cook a foreign meal night, wine tastings, there's an indoor rock wall near where I live, taking the nephews out to McDonald's playland, take a pottery class, all kinds of stuff.

For the last 3 years we've been sponsoring a foreign student, who comes to live with us for the school year.  For the last 2 years it was students from Mexico, this year he's from Brasil.  It's always way fun to watch them see snow for the first time, to take them sledding for the first time, to teach them how to make a snowball, then act surprised when they throw it at you.  Watching people experience their first winter is very eye-opening.

 

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