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|Saturday, September 8th, 2012|
|Friday, February 24th, 2012|
|Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's.
The old testament (Talmud, Pentateuch, etc.) is clearly written of the Jews, by the Jews and for the Jews. It outlines the Jewish tradition and how a Jewish person should relate to other Jews and to god. It is not particularly evangelical in its marketing.
While the New testament is clearly evangelical, at no point
does it say that all humanity should act as Christians without being Christian. Like the Jews, Christians are held to Christian rules, and saved by them. They congregate with each other to get their church on.
But you don't become a Christian by living in a nation that outlaws contraception or makes it a luxury good, by living in a country that outlaws medically necessary procedures like pregnancy control or Blood Transfusions (What, Christian Scientists and Seventh Day Adventists aren't Christian?), by living in country where sexual acts between consenting adults are illegal, liquor sales on your sabbath are illegal or slavery is illegal (yes, the same immoral religion was used to justify that 200 years ago).
I am absolutely fine with Christians living in America and practicing their faith, including evangelizing and sharing the good news to bring more into the fold of Christ's Love. What I am not fine with is immoral Christians thinking that if we make America into a regualtory cartoon of Christianity than all Americans become Christians. It doesn't work that way. And immoral "Christians" are going against God's word for thinking it does.
Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's: equal protection under the law. The constitution is short and to the point because it doesn't spend any
time squaring itself with bible verses. I say we take the hint. I'm a strict constructionist like that.
|Wednesday, January 25th, 2012|
Facebook is down! Everybody clear your cookies, its a party!
|Sunday, October 23rd, 2011|
Since libraries are now throwing print books away regardless of age or value, I propose a solution. Change the indexing system to allow remote location indexing and donate the books to the care of any and all patrons who will promise to provide shelf space for whatever editions the library was going to destroy. The patrons volumes would be indexed, and integrated into the inter-library loan system, but would no longer be housed at the finite library building.
|Saturday, October 8th, 2011|
|Who the Cap Fit
I was on top of the bike shed tarring the roof paper when this hit me. Anybody running for office as a member of one of the uncreative parties should be required to live on the other side for a month before they are eligible to run.
Democraps have to run a company department as an executive. Rethugnicans have to live on welfare.
Should give them some perspective.
|Thursday, August 11th, 2011|
|Summary of modes
So what does all that mean? To compare these modes side by side, consider what it would take to move America’s 140 million person workforce the average trip distance for each mode. 10 miles in traffic, 5 miles for transit, 1.3 miles walking and 3 miles biking. The cost to build those routes anew to carry all those people that short distance would be $875 billion for traffic, $350 billion (40% of traffic) for transit, less than 1% for walkways, and under 2% for bikeways.40%. Of course, we already have all the roads we need built, so how doe the cost of maintenance and operations of vehicles compare? Transit ids the only mode where an agency has to operate the vehicles. For the other three modes, the purchase, operation and steering of vehicles is our own responsibility. The cost of maintenance by the government or agency plus the cost of operation of vehicles on the roads by either the agency or the public is for the workforce to make same short trips is $258 billion a year for traffic, 56% of that for transit, less than 1% of that for walking, and 9% of that for biking. The cost to build enough route ways to carry all those people those short distances would be $875 billion for traffic, 40% of that for transit, less than 1% for walking and under 2% for biking.
The energy consumed in that workforce average trip is 4.7 trillion BTU for traffic, 24% of that for transit, and 2% of that for walking or biking.
The amount of real estate needed for the workforce to move and park their vehicles (if any would be 8,788 square miles for traffic (an area the size of New Jersey), 9% (803) of that for transit, 1% (Washington, DC) of that for walking and 10% (854) of that for biking.
Safety is the only field where traffic surpasses biking and walking. The chances of being killed in traffic are 0.8 fatalities per 100 million miles, 38% of that for transit, but 19 times that for walking and 13 times that for biking. Per hour, your chance of dying in traffic is 2.7 deaths per billion hours, 12% of that in transit, 160% of that on foot and 400% of that on bike. Of course, safety for pedestrians and cyclists would be much better if fewer cars, trucks and SUVs there to crush them.
|Tuesday, August 9th, 2011|
When biking, you are really thinking about death and your body. Everything is dependent on how in shape you are. How in shape you are is probably dependent on how much biking you do. Strength is made of a lot of humiliating weakness. Many bikers use the store of energy from childhood. If you stop for a decade, you will have to build yourself back up with regular applications of pain and miles. Biking burns 270 calories per hour, with an average speed of 11 miles per hour, or 3.5 miles in 20 minutes. 25% percent of bike trips are work related, 15% are for errands, and 45% are for recreation and fitness.
Your chances of being killed in traffic while biking are less than for walking, but over ten times that for traffic and , 10 per 100 million miles, on an estimated 7 billion miles traveled per year. At the average speed of 11 MPH, the chance of dying is 110 per 100 million hours.
The width a bike lane is 4 feet, to allow the same comfort of steering for 2.5 foot wide bikes as for cars in their lanes. The space taken up by a biker in a lane is 6x2 ft, and the distance needed for stopping for the average biker is 33 feet, meaning that each bike consumes 156 SF of lane space. The storage space for a bike is also 12 feet, so the total space requirements of a bike is 170 SF, or 0.4% of an acre, 8 percent of the space requirements of a car.
The capacity of a bike lane is 2,300 pph. As with pedestrians, the energy consumed is personal, 185 BTU/mile.
The cost of building a separate 8-foot bike lane is 175,000/mile. As these bike paths are at least 2 lanes wide, making the cost of a lane $83,000 per mile. The cost of maintenance for these paths is $7,000 per mile per year. Bike paths, like sidewalks, are built as part of road projects, and are financed 30% by the gas tax-funded highway trust fund.
|Monday, August 8th, 2011|
The quality of a walk is dependent on what you are walking through. A mile walk in the countryside, suburbs and city feels much different and goes by faster with the amount of interest and options offered you while walking. Walking for an hour burns 170 calories. Walking is essentially free, but we could accept an extra $200 for shoes every year. The average speed of a pedestrian is 3 mph, or 1 mile in 20 minutes. The average distance of a walk trip is 1.3 miles among surveyed respondents who identified themselves as walkers. Only 5% of walk trips are commuting to work, with 40% for errands and the rest for recreation]
In and around traffic, your chance of dying as a pedestrian is higher than for biking or driving: 15 per 100 million miles walked, based on an rough estimate of 32 billion miles walked, or 44 per hundred million hours.
The minimum width of a sidewalk is 4 feet, to accommodate wheelchairs. The minimum width of a walking lane on a crowded sidewalk is 2 feet, and the space taken up by a pedestrian on a sidewalk is 12 SF, or 1% of the space needed by a car.
The capacity of a 2 foot walking lane on a sidewalk is 11,000 pph. The energy consumption of pedestrianism is directly related to the calories burned: 500/BTU/mile.
The cost of building a mile of 5-foot wide sidewalk (2 pedestrian lanes) is 120,000 $/mile, or $60,000 per mile of lane. The cost of maintenance for this sidewalk is $6,000/mile/year. Public sidewalks are commonly paid for as part of highway projects, and therefore 30% percent paid for by the highway trust fund. The share of funds that goes to pedestrian projects is tiny compared to traffic-ways, usually around 1% of road project funding.
|Sunday, August 7th, 2011|
The quality of a transit ride is dependent on how long you have to wait under what conditions, and how crowded your vehicle is. The best transit rides have short waits, no transfers and a seat. The best thing about transit rides, above all other modes, is that you don’t have to worry about piloting. The worst thing about transit rides, occasionally, can be other passengers or the car itself. There are few things less pleasant than a crowded car with a piss-stained bum somewhere on the car. You burn as many calories sitting on a train as you do sitting in a car, 60 per hour. Standing waiting or in the aisles burns more like 80 calories per hour.
The cost of transit is purely the cost of fares: The average cost of a transit trip is just over a dollar. The average cost of a transit trip is 29 cents per passenger mile, 18 percent less than a car trip. The average transit trip is 5.3 miles (LOOK THAT UP) miles Transit, dominated by buses, travels an average speed of 14 mph along routes, but rail modes travel 15 to 30 mph along their rights with dedicated rights of way and longer distance between stops. but transit only travels an average of 13 mph. Some modes, like commuter rail travel at 30 mph, but buses travel much slower. 60% of transit trips are commuting to work, 15% are for social or recreational trips, and 5% are just for the sake of riding transit.
The chances of being killed on transit are 0.3 per hundred million passenger miles, about one sixth the probability of dying in traffic. If we divide this by the average speed of transit, 12.2 mph, the chance of dying transit are actually higher than traffic: 3.3 per 100 million hours, almost ten times safer than traffic. For rail transit only, the risk of dying is similar to transit over all: 0.3 per hundred million miles. Dividing by the average rail transit speed of 21 mph, the risk of dying on rail transit is 5.9 per 100 million hours, about a fourth of the risk of traffic. While a transit bus is wide (8’, as opposed to 6’ for cars and SUVs) for traffic lanes at 8 feet, an eight or ten foot wide rail transit vehicle requires only a foot of clearance on either side. Because they are on rails, streetcars, light rails and subways need no space in their lane to account for steering errors. Using the two-second distance again for transit, the stopping distance is 38 feet for buses, 45 feet for light rail, 60 feet for heavy rail and 92 feet for commuter rail. Assuming a typical vehicle size in a 10 foot wide rail lane or 12 foot wide traffic lane, for each of these modes, the space needed for each is 1,000 SF for bus, 3,000 SF for light rail, 4,000 SF for heavy rail and 5,000 SF for Commuter Rail. Per person, the space required for rail or bus transit ranges narrowly between 0.3% to 0.4% of an acre. That is under a tenth the space requirements of a car user.
Buses make up the majority of transit fleets, bringing the overall capacity down from the hundreds carried on commuter rail or heavy rail trains. The average occupancy of transit vehicles is 16 ppv, while the capacity of rail transit is 30 ppv. The capacity of bus transit is 7,500 pph, and the capacity of rail transit is 7,500 to 48,000 pph. To move these people, the energy consumption is 1,600 BTU/p/m, half of the energy consumption for traffic. Note that both energy consumption per passenger and capacity increase with each new transit passenger, whereas traffic deceases both efficiency and capacity with increasing vehicles.
The cost of building new transit to facilities varies between 3 million $/mile per lane mile for new buses lanes and routes, to 50 million $/mile for heavy or commuter rail. The cost of operating and maintaining a rail transit corridor is $1.1 million per mile per year. Transit is the most subsidized of all the modes, with fare revenue covering 35 % of the operating cost overall. High quality transit, unlike traffic has to be built station to station. There is not point ins developing a mile of track without developing a return mile, and a station to serve at the end of that mile.
|Saturday, August 6th, 2011|
Using a car is like sitting in a chair, worrying. You are worrying about hitting other cars, and rarely pedestrians or cyclists. You are worried about death and lawsuits. The sound is great, but you have to sit on that chair until your journey is done. The quality of a drive is dependent on the traffic around you and your company. Sitting in traffic, with absolutely no recourse but the hundred other cars in front of you, can be excruciating. There is no escape. All the alternate routes are just as crowded, with signals.
Piloting a car takes 70 calories per hour, 10 calories more than being a passenger. It costs $8,500 to own and operate a car for a year, or 35 cents a passenger mile. The average speed of a car trip is 33 mph. In the average commute time of 20 minutes, you can cover 11 miles in a car. Only 20% of car miles traveled are for work, another 20% is for recreation and musing, and the rest is for other errands.
Your chances of dying in traffic are 0.8 per 100 million miles traveled, based on 42 thousand fatalities in 5 trillion passenger miles. At the average speed of 33 mph, your chances of dying in traffic are 27 in 100 million hours.
A standard traffic lane is 12 feet wide, though a car is only 6 feet wide and a truck or bus is 8 feet wide. The extra space is to allow for comfort of steering. As vehicles need 2 seconds of clear space between them, a car at 33 MPH needs 100 feet between vehicles. So the average car needs 3% of an acre of road for itself, lane comfort, and stopping distance. The most important part of any journey in traffic is parking in a 9’ x 18’ paved space at either end. After all, you cannot enjoy a place unless you can get out of your car, and you can’t just leave it sitting in the way of other cars. Each car needs at least 1% of an acre for parking, bringing its total space needs to 4%. Overall, an area about the size of West Virginia is paved for roads and parking to accommodate traffic, an average of 6.5% of an acre for each of 240 million cars, trucks and SUVs. Per car occupant, this works out to =6.5/1.6
The nationwide average occupancy of a vehicle in traffic is 1.6 people per car. The maximum capacity of a lane of traffic is 2,000 vph, or 3,200 pph. As traffic approaches this capacity, the quality and safety of the route declines dramatically, causing drivers to slow down and reduce the capacity of the route. The design capacity of most lanes is closer to 500 vph as a result. The energy consumption by cars is 3,360 BTU per passenger mile, based on 3 trillion VMT.
The cost of building roads is between 500k and 6 million per lane mile, depending on the function and setting of the roadway. Roadways can be built piecemeal, paving an intersection or block at a time as traffic demands. This is how we’ve built 8.5 million lane miles in the last century. The public cost of maintenance for roads is $9,000 per lane mile for government agencies, but $230,000 per lane mile for drivers on the roads, for a maintenance bill of 76 billion dollars in 2002, and an operations bill of 1.9 trillion dollars, paid by all of us. 1.9 trillion is about 13% of our GDP, by the way. Federal subsidies are mostly in the form of a trust fund, fed by the gas tax. This user fee collects the most from those that use the roads most: long distance drivers in heavy vehicles. Gas Tax revenues to the highway trust fund only covers about 30% of the 112 billion we spend on road construction and maintenance every year.
|Friday, June 3rd, 2011|
Drilling holes in clay pots is rilly easy. I see an opportunity for savings there.
|Sunday, April 17th, 2011|
|Wednesday, April 6th, 2011|
The sleight of hand that environmentalists need to work out is: how do we get the same number of utils to each consumer without consuming as much stuff?
The evolution of music over the last century may be instructive. I am currently listening to “Belfast” by 808 State on Pandora. I do own a physical copy this song on both tape and record, but I am listening to it through headphones without the aid of either of these.
A hundred years ago, if you wanted to listen to music, you went to a concert, an exhilarating event of organized noise. If you had some skill and money, you bought a manufactured instrument like a piano, trumpet or flute. If you had no money, but liked to make music, you might buy a cheap guitar or even bang on a bucket or log. All these personal ways of getting music into the house required that you learn to play the stuff on physical objects manufactured or found for the purpose. Every household that wanted music needed to get these instruments.
With the advent of the record player, it became possible for one set of instruments, skillfully played, to entertain an indefinite number of music aficionados. All they needed to do was buy a collection of vinyl records and a record player. Over most of the 20th century, the music industry worked to increase the fidelity of recorded sound to the original performance.
This is about when I started paying attention personally. My dad had about three feet of records, a nice record player and huge speakers in the living room. The act of putting the needle on the record was precious and precise. Doing this sloppily could injure the $10 record or the $100 needle. It demanded care. His tastes ran towards Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky, so there weren't a lot of tracks per side. Just put the needle on the outside edge, and he was good for twenty or more minutes..
When I began to amass my own record collection, my interests were more pop oriented. As a result, I had to get good at getting that needle in the blank space between tracks. A very tactile act.
The trivial but noticeable trouble of moving between albums was such that LPs. Albums and music were all oriented towards the album, or single experience, because the pain of switching albums was too great.
The tape made the act of listening to music a pushbutton act, but you lost the ability to skip to the tracks you wanted. Just as automatic track detection became perfect, the CD became affordable, and millions of fans methodically refactored their music collections to the new format. For the first time, music was being delivered as digital files, not analog transcriptions. They were huge files, but the CD was engineered to fit the same amount of music as the longest LPs, without having to flip the record halfway through!
It still all required that you had a stereo, a player, speakers and a collection of the music you liked. If you didn’t have the album, you were at the mercy of the radio or your friends to hear the song.
All that changed in the 1990s when computer scientists figured that you compress sound the same way you compress images. The MP3, and its dozens of esoteric cousins, meant that your entire music collection could be stored on a single hard drive. Before, you knew how much music somebody had on hand by how many feet of shelf space were devoted to records, tapes or CDs. Now, a tiny collection of music takes up exactly as much space and wattage as a huge one.
And it keeps getting more abstract. With Pandora, Spotify et al., I can imperfectly access all the music in the world. If I don’t like a track, I can switch to any genre by typing a desired typical track. I am confident that this will get more convenient in the coming months, as I could be assured of listening to the song that I typed-in instead of some algorithmic cousin of the desired song. Current Mood: hopeful
|Saturday, March 19th, 2011|
|I'm the heir of nothing in particular
Revising about abstraction today. My approach to this has been an iterative process of distillation that requires early fire and later chores.
In related news, buying cotton goods ASAP.
|Thursday, March 17th, 2011|
70% of America's health care bill is for chronic care. I think a hole in the shambling mess that is the current legistaltion is the call for the DOT and DOA to start encouraging healthy living. Not healthy as in "meat and potatoes after a long day in the Durango", but healthy as in actually moving to go somewhere, and eating food that isn't pesticided and fertilized within an inch of its life. Another post on what a employment opportunity getting brains back on the land would be.
I want to build a bike garage for two in our humble (and impervious (another post)) backyard. For me, the greatest hindrance to putting some fun between my legs (ah that 80's slogan) has been a bike that is not on the ground. Right now, our bikes are upside down in the basement, as they have languished since last May. I need those bikes at ground level to avoid scratching paint every time I haul them up.
Does anyone have any experience with building such a thing? I'm basing my design loosely on this
, but modifying it for two bikes.
How can you resist this illustration?
|Wednesday, March 16th, 2011|
|Corollary to Warhol
In the present, everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes, to fifteen people.
|Monday, October 18th, 2010|
|What if the anti-choice argument had no grounding?
There is no biblical reason to oppose 1st or second trimester abortion. Here's several biblical passages fed to me as "proof" that God thinks life begins at conception, and my responses:
Jeremiah 1:5 : Are you what is formed in the womb, what is known by god, or is that just the vessel for your soul. Y'all are far more monist than Buddhists here. If the afterlife is eternal, then so too must be the beforelife.
Job 10:9 :... "Remember, I beg you, that you have fashioned me as clay. Will you bring me into dust again?", Here again, I ask, when does the soul inhabit the body? Read the sequence in Genesis 2:7 again. Is all you care about the body? It would appear so. I am surprised to learn this.
Exodus 20:13 : I've already handled this. Does murder mean to kill a human being with a soul? OK. Does a zygote, or a fish, or a blastocyst have a soul? Only an eccentric reading of the bible would say so. 40% of American pregnancies terminate in the first month anyway due to genetic or implantation problems. This is waay more than the numbers taken by medical procedures. I'd wonder if God was considering these clumps of cells to be human before killing so many of them in the womb. No soul = not murder
I also refer you to Exodus 21:22, which takes a monetary view towards accidental abortion.
Luke 1:41 : Now this is the best case you could make from the entire bible, but let me ask you this: Are we all immaculately conceived; the son of God as brought to the womb of woman by the Archangel Gabriel? No? Then hie thee back to Genesis 2:7.
Biologically speaking, several days after conception (through her ear by many mideval accounts), an ordinary fetus would not have even implanted. No possibility of leaping under those conditions. Jesus's first miracle was not committing suicide by leaping in her womb at the 16-64 cell stage, severing the nascent umbilical connection.
Psalm 139:13 : Sure, no different than God did in Genesis 2:7. If this refers to the body, it is but flesh without a soul. Speaking in the past tense, sure God put things together. Kinda like the way ford makes the car before you put the beaded mat on the seat and scented pine tree on the mirror.
|Sunday, August 22nd, 2010|
|I would be tired of the Cordoba issue if it wasn't so dangerous
In Response to this articlehttp://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/20/AR2010082002124.html
There have been many times in Human history when the right thing to do was not the polite thing to do.
Most famously, Rosa Parks really should’ve moved to the back of the bus. It would have caused much less tension and healed the hurt feelings of the whites who were alarmed by her behavior.
Many blacks during the civil rights era counseled against a policy of civil disobedience and desegregation, as the in-your-face tactics of the activists were increasing the stigma against all blacks, not just the activists. A lot of whites thought every black was a thief or a rapist, so the onus was on every good black to be exceedingly polite in all situations. The activists, by denying this deference, were only going to get all the blacks lynched. Were they crazy?
In the pursuit of any civil, property, or contract rights, surely Fox news and Karen Hughes would counsel a polite way to healing relations. Wait your turn.
|Saturday, August 14th, 2010|
|Notice of termination
"I suck" is not a blog I am interested in reading anymore. I know all its ends and outs, and it hs become tiresome. I will be checking it less and less.
|Friday, July 23rd, 2010|
|The fact is:
No one knows how to do Oysters with proper horseradish around here. And its July. We might want to plan a trip to New Orleans to go help with the beaches and have a Muffeletta, among other things.