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Comment: Re:Behind the curve (Score 1) 1040

by Brickwall (#47159617) Attached to: Seattle Approves $15 Per Hour Minimum Wage
Absolutely agree! WalMart's biggest advantages are tremendous internal logistics and huge buying power (forces suppliers to cut costs and prices if they want to do business with the WalMartians). But they fall down on service and quality - I bought some pedestrian things there, like underwear and socks, and their George brand doesn't fit me at all. I don't hate Walmart like some seem to; there are some things it sells that are a good product at a good price. I don't make it a habit of shopping there, though.

Comment: Re:Nice idea but... (Score 1) 368

by Brickwall (#45888603) Attached to: Australian Team Working On Engines Without Piston Rings
It's in the same general range as all primarily petroleum based fuels which are liquid at room temperature and atmospheric pressure

Er, wasn't that the OP's point? No current battery, flywheel, natural gas, etc. provides the energy density of liquid petroleum, regardless of the refinery technique. People use oil for transportation because it's easy to transport and handle (compared to, say, LOX), and the fuel weight to payload ratio is very small. We're not stupid, as they said in Trainspotting...

Comment: Re:Or... (Score -1) 341

by Brickwall (#44719397) Attached to: The Golden Gate Barrage: New Ideas To Counter Sea Level Rise
Or maybe put the brainpower into exposing the global warming farce. So far.. ZERO of their predictions have come true, they have been found guilty of egregious perversions of the scientific method (cherry picking data, transforming data to fit their models, etc.), perversion of the peer review process, and of course, just making stuff up (Himilayan glaciers, anyone?). Remember the melting Arctic sea ice and all the poor drowning polar bears? This year, a whole bunch of boats that thought they were going to cruise through open sea are now caught in the ice in AUGUST. Arctic ice block Whenever I see the line "3,000 scientists agree with the IPCC report", I start ROFL. More than half of them have no training in metereology - they were anthropologists, sociologists, etc., who haven't done arithmetic, let alone math, since grade 10. David Suzuki, who is making millions of dollars a year from this nonsense, made his bones studying the mating habits of FRUITFLIES. Clearly, that makes him an expert on climate. (I note that the hypocrite has 3 homes, and insists on limousines for his paid appearances, which he naturally jets to.) Global warming folk can get back to me once they have a model whose predictions for the future, as opposed to the past, come close to matching what is measured.

Comment: Re:Um... (Score 3, Informative) 612

by Brickwall (#43237939) Attached to: Wrong Fuel Chokes Presidential Limo
As any Canadian knows, you can get most cars out of the snow if they have a manual tranny. Automatics just spin the wheels. But the real reason automatics became popular was commuting. Standards are fine for driving in the country or on the highway - on a twisty, hilly road, the standard can actually be more fun. But sitting in traffic jams, constantly playing with the clutch vs. just easing your foot off the brake becomes wearing when you have to do it for an hour or so.

Comment: Re:Why does 3d printing matter (Score 1) 404

by Brickwall (#43237753) Attached to: Digging Into the Legal Status of 3-D Printed Guns
You should also realize that the right's gun fetish clouds their judgement at the expense of common-sense gun regulations

Oh, balderdash. I'm 56, never owned a gun, and haven't held one since I was 16 (target shooting with a .22). But when I see/hear/read about DHS/ATF/IRS buying billions of rounds of hollow-point ammo, guns, Kevlar suits, explosion resistant vehicles, etc., when I read about the increased use of drones for surveillance AND the floating of the idea of armed drones, I begin to wonder if the government is more concerned with the perpetuation of the government than it is the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness of the citizens who nominally control it. Since the feds have pretty much thrown away the constitution in recent years (Bush/Obama both - I'm not on either one's side), and have harassed the public with salt/soda/fat bans (either real or proposed), etc., the list of grievances for the average private sector American is getting about as long as the list in the original Declaration of Independence.

You can call them any derogatory term you like, but I think people who are stockpiling guns and ammo privately are just trying to protect themselves against an on-rushing police state. And the amorphous left wants to disarm them because those busybodies realize that their dream of controlling every aspect of our lives, from the food we eat, the soda we drink, the lessons we learn, the jobs we hold, to how much of our own money and property we're allowed to keep is made much tougher by having an armed populace.

Comment: Lisa (Score 1) 171

by Brickwall (#42626839) Attached to: 30 Years of the Apple Lisa and the Apple IIe
I worked on an Apple Lisa in Ottawa just after it was introduced. Like a lot of Jobs' ideas, it was a good concept that needed better, faster CPU's and denser, cheaper RAM. Think of the Newton - what is the iPhone but the Newton repackaged into a smaller form factor with superior hardware and telecoms added? I still think, if it hadn't been for Jobs and the whole Lisa/Mac lineage, I'd still be staring at c:>

Comment: Re:Going to get modded down as sexist for this, bu (Score 4, Interesting) 690

by Brickwall (#42480487) Attached to: Why Girls Do Better At School
I had the good fortune to go to a mixed jr. high, and then an all-boys high school. The difference between the two, as far as being male is concerned, was staggering. The slightest cutting up, disruption, etc. at the jr. high was followed by a trip to the principal's office, a path I trod many a time. Naturally brilliant, I was bored to tears most of the time because of the dullness of my fellow students, and my outbursts were a way of keeping my sanity. While I got excellent marks, I was still branded a troublemaker.

In my last year of jr. high, my father challenged me to write the scholarship exams to a prestigious boys' school. I won one. And so I left a co-ed school for a male one. The atmosphere was completely different; moments of rowdiness would be tolerated by the master (there were no female teachers), but he would then instruct us to settle down, and the class would continue. Unlike the 45 minute periods at jr. high, our periods were only 35 minutes. The school realized that teenage boys have to get up and move frequently, which is why we still had recess each morning - unheard of at the public high schools. We also had an hour for lunch, giving us time to play ball hockey or basketball or touch football, and burn off some energy so that we could sit through the afternoon.

Wolfing down your lunch in ten minutes, playing 50 minutes of basketball with all the intensity teenage boys can muster, and then racing to class, tieing your tie with one hand whilst carrying your books in the other - it was thrilling. We would, literally, stampede through the halls in a way that wouldn't have been tolerated at public school. We were FREE to be BOYS, and I would not give up the memory of those days for anything.

With no girls to show off for, we competed at everything - academics, sports, arts, clubs - without fear of being labelled, for example, a 'browner' or a 'jock'. Many of us were a bit of both. The school encouraged you to be an "all-rounder", and while classes ended at 3:15, you were expected to participate in some extra-curricular activity until 4:30 or so. My friends at public high school envied that; most of their teachers were out the parking lot 10 minutes after the last bell.

Teenage boys, adjusting to the suddenly changed levels of testerone in their bodies, don't fit well into the female-dominated "sit still and be quiet" mode prevalent in the co-ed school. They need space and more importantly, time to move and burn off some of that raging energy. Women don't understand that at all, which is why so many bright young boys are being mis-diagnosed with ADHD/ADD/whatever, and being put on drugs because they don't fit into women's world view.

I had two beautiful and bright daughters, who chose public school. Had I had a son, though, I would have pushed him for all I was worth to go the school. I know he would have been treated like a young man there, with the understanding of a young man's particular needs, and not have been pushed into a feminist/schoolmarm charicature of what a boy should be.

Comment: Re:Rent seeking (Score 2) 98

by Brickwall (#42435213) Attached to: US Firms Race Fiscal Cliff To Install Wind Turbines
Your figures are close, but according to Ontario's ISEO, lowest hourly demand was just over 11MWh in November. Since our hydro capacity is about 1/3 of our nukes, that gives us about 15 MW of capacity before we get into fossils vs renewables.. You're right about coal - it's down to about 2%. But natural gas is cheap; its price right now is about 10% of what it was in 2007. It burns cleaner than coal or oil, and we have oceans of it in Western Canada. So of course the Liberals cancelled two gas plants just before the election to save their sorry hides. That's what I can't stand about McGuinty; he makes grandstanding gestures that will cost all Ontarians billions. He has run our debt up to about $240 billion; California, with three times as many people, has a debt of $620 billion, and many people think it's a basket case. We're proportionately worse off, and we're going to pay for it with higher taxes and poorer services over the two decades. Wasting billions on this foolish renewable scheme was just irresponsible.

Comment: Re:Rent seeking (Score 3, Interesting) 98

by Brickwall (#42433275) Attached to: US Firms Race Fiscal Cliff To Install Wind Turbines
Absolutely! Here in Ontario, our moronic provincial gov't guaranteed 20 year contracts to the wind and solar companies at $0.80/kWh. Meanwhile, our nuclear reactors are generating power at $.03/kWh. And because they guaranteed to buy all the wind power that's produced, they end up having to sell it at a big loss. Brilliant! What's worse is the wind turbines, perhaps because Ontario is in the centre of the continent, generate most of their power during the shoulder periods of power demand. At least solar has the benefit of producing the most power on hot sunny days, when air conditioning demand is high. What's the old saying? "First, God created idiots. That was for practice. Then he created politicians."

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