Monthly Archives: September 2008

bizzarre. fascinating.

seriously, sometimes I marvel at how people stumble onto this blog.  here are actual search terms that people have used and then clicked through to st4rbux…

Search Engine Terms

These are terms people used to find your blog.

Yesterday

Search Views
hockey songs 7 More stats
phelps 12000 calories 2 More stats
clinton’s responsibility in mortgage cri 2 More stats
,stormtroopers 2 More stats
i believe in hockey 1 More stats
stupid people think they are smarter 1 More stats
witty photo album names on facebook 1 More stats
when people think they are smarter than 1 More stats
palinfey 1 More stats
stormtroopers 1 More stats
laws murder 1 More stats
snl palin fey 1 More stats
law against murder 1 More stats
dialing out on cell phone need to dial 1 1 More stats
best old songs of all time 1 More stats
5 best hockey games of all time 1 More stats
earth moon orbit perspective 1 More stats
fireworks hockey 1 More stats
archives cartoon 1 More stats
best theme song music of 2008 1 More stats
what did cavemen fear 1 More stats
is there a federal law against murder? 1 More stats
down shirt breasts 1 More stats
snl-palin stetch 1 More stats
two seat commute cars 1 More stats

“down shirt breasts”?  stormtroopers?  “is there a federal law against murder?” — I mean, some search-bot must be pulling my leg, because that’s almost the exact title of an old post.  “fireworks hockey”?

whatev.  “I believe in hockey“.  amen.

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when anonymous forums go bad…

kind of flattering, kind of scary, I read two responses to me on a [hopefully] anonymous job-related message board today:

[dude…]
Sep 12, 2008 2:29 AM EST

How many years is it that you have been here, hanging on? Same company, same username, same counter arguments?

I really hate to break it to you, but EVERYONE has moved on. So give it to me straight — why haven’t you? What’s going on with you?

I promise I’m not going to rattle back some played out biases about [the firm] – I truly just want to understand what seperates you from everyone else… What keeps you there?

this guy posted a second time to add that he has been reading my posts for over three years now (under various aliases, but apparently identifiable by the “way you write and frame positions” — [damned double-hyphen!] cursed all-lower-case!)…

his question is valid.  the answer of the day today (777 point drop in the Dow, general market uncertainty) doesn’t jive over all the past three years…

“why haven’t you?  what’s going on with you?  what keeps you there?”
— triple-hyphens aren’t going to trick me into revealing all that…

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Kent A. Sepkowitz: no friend of mine

The technology to limit car speed has existed for more than 50 years — it’s called cruise control. In its common application, cruise control maintains a steady speed, but a minor adjustment would assure that vehicles, no matter the horsepower, never go past 75 miles per hour. This safety measure should be required of every new automobile, the same as seat belts, turning signals, brake lights and air bags.

NYT: “No Need For Speed

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Filed under dumbfounded, fear of the day, reasons to homeschool, stupid government

SNL: Palin-Fey, Phelps 12,000 calorie diet

Saturday Night Live this week sounds like a recap of this blog from the past few weeks.

Frightening realization, straight from my mom:  if Micheal Phelps eats that much, just imagine how many times a day he must be go to the bathroom.  Terrifying.

And as for Tina Fey: she nailed Palin — tone, cadence, facial expressions…  I never thought of her as much of an impressionist (not a criticism, I just don’t think she did many segments in that vein) — but she was incredible.  Granted I’m like, 90% in love with her already, but I think this was a great moment.  If they ever have Tina Palin and Sarah Palin come together on a segment, I think my head will explode.

Unfortunately, as they ran the SNL opening credits I also made this prediction:  “That was the peak for the season; it’s all downhill from here.”  And the rest of the show pretty much proved that out (though Weekdend Update was pretty strong).

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Thomas Friedman wants you to pay more for energy

I can’t say it any more clearly than that.  Watching Meet-the-Press, he advocated that government should mandate a certain percentage of electricity be generated from renewable sources.  The only reason that they would need to be mandated is that they are more expensive, which power companies would avoid in order to reduce their costs*.  If renewable sources were more cost-effective, then energy companies would already be using them (or moving to them) to displace dirty-dirty-coal energy.  In fact, this is the case in some areas, namely where hydro-electric power is a big contributor.  Which raises the question — why doesn’t anyone talk about hydro-power anymore?  Now it’s all solar and wind farms… did Hydro cease to be a renewable, clean, technology?  Just curious.

Did anyone tell Friedman, or the rest of the alternative-energy loving population, that we’re in the middle of a financial and economic crisis?  If McCain claims that the economy is ‘fundamentally sound’, they’ll rip into him for being out of touch.  How is this any different?**

Anyhow, as long as mandates are driving adoption, you’re only going to get the minimum amount of ‘alternative’ energy sources to meet the mandate.  Above and beyond that, power companies exist to make a profit, and for the most part consumers are going to choose the least expensive energy option.  (Of course, there are some outliers who will pay more for alternative energy our of some sense of duty, guilt, or piety.)

Friedman’s hope is likely that by forcing enough power to alternative energy sources, there will be some innovation in alternative energy production that will radically change the game.  I’m not sure if there are any examples of this working in the past:  MPG mandates on automobiles have not encouraged innovations that created huge gains — even hybrids are barely enough to keep entire manufacture fleets above their EPA standards.  If federal mandates magically pushed us through these types of barriers, we’d all be driving 100 mpg (likely 100% internal combustion, since hybrid’s are more complicated than they’re worth) cars.  Or electric cars that go farther than 40 miles per charge…  Seriously, how that dinky little Smart car gets less than 100mpg, I’ll never understand.

OK, so MPGs was only one example — if anyone has an example of a federal mandate spontaneously causing leaps in innovation, I’m all ears.  And no, the government never mandated anything related to TCP/IP adoption…

Friedman: “What I say is if climate change is a hoax, it’s the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the United States of America.” (which I thought was a Jesus reference, but now Google seems to be betraying me and not indicating the original source of the phrase; only recent antecendants).  He made this reference as though it was proof that global warming is real (after all, it couldn’t be an elaborate hoax!), completely oblivious to the fact that many reasonable people think otherwise.

“Because everything we would do to get ready for climate change, to build this new green industry, would make us more respected, more entrepreneurial, more competitive, more healthy as a country.”  Respected for falling for an elaborate hoax?  Entrepreneurial for developing solutions to a problem that doesn’t exist — and that in the end nobody is going to want to pay more for?  More competitive by investing more in basic scientific research? — OK, that might actually be valid, but if global warming is a hoax and we fund science aimed at solving global warming problems (ie. a level or two above basic science, like building a better hybrid-engine) then we miss the boat on that.  More respected?  Do you think the truly poor in the world have a huge amount of respect for us, while they starve, knowing that we’re spending discretionary dollars on wind-generated energy instead of dirty coal?  Do you think they’re thinking, “gosh, I’m hungry today, but at least American’s are treating the planet better”?  I’m guessing they’d rather have a full belly.  Better to buy dirty energy, send our savings to Africa, and sustain a young life that might solve some entreprenurial problems closer to his own home; and which might spill over to the rest of the world.

[quotes from Meet the Press transcript]

* let me state this another way:  if alternative energy sources were already more cost-effective, power companies would be turning to them en masse to reduce their energy costs and extract more profits from consumers.  the fact that this is not so is proof that alternative sources cost more (fully-loaded, lifecycle costs; not marginal costs)

** I know, I know; just as they’ll call for alternative energy mandates, and at the same time call for subsidies or exceptions so the poor won’t have to bear the burden.  so the Rich will pay all the alternative-energy excess…  and in their eyes it couldn’t be more fair than that.

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Filed under debunking, dumbfounded, economics, energy policy, global warming, if you aren't outraged you aren't paying attention, pick any two, politics, reasons to homeschool, stupid government, whatnot

did Biden get a botched eye-job?

Seriously, I tried to watch my Tivo’d Meet-The-Press tonight, and I had to turn away from the disfigured face of Joe Biden:

Looking at past pictures of Biden on the web, including MTP appearances, it’s clear that he used to speak with his eyes open.  Now, it’s a squint at best.  And when he looks incredulous, his right eye (left on screen) get completely creepy — see the video at 0:51-0:54.

Or is it just me?

Update:  oh, Biden just wimpered that he has the 49th or 50th highest net worth of Senators, second to last on the list.  oh Joe!, you’re such a common-guy! … nevermind that the 49th highest net worth Senator probably has a net worth higher than 90-95% of all Americans.  insincerity, thy name is Biden.

Update2: but it looks like I agree with Biden on abortion.  wow, who would have thought.  of course, his answer was so winding and convoluted that I may misremember the implications of his description.

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prediction: Tina Fey cameos on SNL

… as Sarah Palin.  you heard it here first.

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Filed under politics, whatnot, women