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Comment Re:diluting the market (Score 1) 249 249

I've a '97 Chevy 3/4 ton that has been rock solid. It's needed two fuel pumps, a water pump, a clutch, axle seals and the blower motor switch over a life (so far) of 240,000 miles. It needs a little work right now, but not more than about $400 in parts. I *want* to replace it with something newer, but I just can't bring myself to replace something that's been so reliable. Also: only light surface rust on the frame with none on the body.

Comment Re:Russia's longer hours... (Score 2) 381 381

Child labor laws were not brought about singularly by unions:

Child labor began to decline as the labor and reform movements grew and labor standards in general began improving, increasing the political power of working people and other social reformers to demand legislation regulating child labor. Union organizing and child labor reform were often intertwined. . .

. . .and that's a generous assessment of union involvement with child labor laws in the US. Child labor had been on the decline, but the National Consumer League had been lobbying the US congress for some time, and finally made progress when sentiment changed largely due to the scarcity of jobs.

This success arose not only from popular hostility to child labor, generated in no small measure by the long-term work of the child labor committees and the climate of reform in the New Deal period, but also from the desire of Americans in a period of high unemployment to open jobs held by children to adults.

This is not to say that unions weren't important, but they were as much a part of a larger social movement as they were a cause.

Submission + - Sourceforge staff takes over a user's account and wraps their software installer-> 11 11

An anonymous reader writes: Sourceforge staff took over the account of the GIMP-for-Windows maintainer claiming it was abandoned and used this opportunity to wrap the installer in crapware. Quoting Ars:

SourceForge, the code repository site owned by Slashdot Media, has apparently seized control of the account hosting GIMP for Windows on the service, according to e-mails and discussions amongst members of the GIMP community—locking out GIMP's lead Windows developer. And now anyone downloading the Windows version of the open source image editing tool from SourceForge gets the software wrapped in an installer replete with advertisements.

Link to Original Source

Comment Re:What about a bus? (Score 1) 280 280

The paper I linked to is from 2002. The Washington Post article cited by the original submission reports that this newer research concludes that on average air travel uses 2,033 BTU/(passenger-mile), considerably better than the 1998 data in the TRB paper. (The WP article also reports average energy use of 4,211 BTU/(passenger-mile) average for travel in personal vehicles.)

Comment Re:What about a bus? (Score 3, Informative) 280 280

Fair enough. I was working from memory, couldn't remember where intercity busses fit in the mix and was too lazy to try to find it. I stand corrected. The TRBs TCRP 79 reports the average energy consumption for intercity buses as 713 BTU/(passenger mile). As such, the revised hierarchy ought to be:

  1. 1. Bicycles,
  2. 2. Walking,
  3. 3. Intercity passenger busses,
  4. 4. Planes,
  5. 5. Long-haul passenger trains,
  6. 6. et c.

Comment Re:What about a bus? (Score 1) 280 280

Your assumption is true for a loaded bus, but municipal busses, in all but a few cities, spend much more time travelling nearly empty than they do full. In an overall average, bicycles are the most efficient, while trains are a distant second. If I recall correctly, planes follow up trains, then cars, then busses with taxis being an absolute shit way to travel. (The class was some years ago, so forgive me if my memory has failed.) Interesting aside: The article presents this as new and surprising, but air travel was more efficient than travel by passenger cars when I took an "Energy in Transportation" class almost two decades ago.

Comment Re:Not *battery* storage (Score 1) 334 334

In the end, I don't know if your Peltier aircon would be more efficient or not, compared to a mechanical one

Not. The main advantage of a peltier cooler is its size. You can force quite a lot of heat transfer in a small space without the compressor, fans and radiators necessary for a heat pump.

Comment Re:We have already figured most of this out. (Score 3, Interesting) 365 365

Probably not*. The "old asphalt roads" are 90-96% aggregate (rocks). The asphalt is really just a flexible binder for the harder stuff. Also, the lighter volatiles have long since evaporated from the asphalt cement, so it won't readily light. Come to think about it, the asphalt cement is, cut with water, emulsifiers and other additives to improve application and durability.

*I did some calculation to determine the heat content of asphalt concrete roads as compared to wood, and I've decided that both may be useful, depending on context:

  1. 1. Decent hardwood (think birch, not hickory) has a comparable Btu content as asphalt concrete:
    1. --Seasoned Birch: 6.95 kBtu/lb, 162.5 kBtu/ft^3 (these are based on cord density, not wood density);
    2. --Old Asphalt Road: 8.82 kBtu/lb, 64.9 kBtu/ft^3 (based on in-place density, 5% cement content & 30% additive content).
  2. 2. I will guess that wood will release the heat more quickly, while the aggregate in asphalt concrete will store heat and release it slowly over time.
  3. 3. Wood and "old roads" will require approximately the same handling. The wood needs to be cut, split and stored while the asphalt needs to be broken up, then the (potentially useful) aggregate will need to be (re)moved.
  4. 4. The asphalt cement will need an existing hot fire to start. The ignition temperature of asphalt is ~900F, so the entire mass including the aggregate will will absorb a great deal of heat before it starts contributing anything.
  5. 5. profit?

I set out to demonstrate that your comment wasn't very useful, but it looks like old asphalt roads may, in fact, be useful for keeping warm, with the caveat that some other material will be needed to start (and maintain) an asphalt concrete fire.

Comment Re:Real porpose of the road (Score 1) 226 226

Nobody drives between Los Angeles and Anchorage, except as a road trip just to say they did it.

I've driven between Los Angeles and Fairbanks three times, plus three other trips including one from Austin, TX to Anchorage, AK. Not a single one of the trips was a tourist jaunt. There's also freight that comes up the Alaska Highway.

Comment Re:moonquakes (Score 1) 124 124

I didnt see ay mention of moonquakes.

Did you read the paper? They didn't model any seismic activity, nor did they model any confining stresses. As such, their:

failure values are slightly conservative (i.e. low in magnitude) in order to compensate for [their] not modeling other stress sources such as seismic shaking from meteorite bombardment.

The point of the exercise was to theoretically confirm that large lava tubes can exist because:

Recent in-depth analysis of lunar gravity data from the Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) spacecraft has suggested the possibility of lava tubes on the Moon with diameters in excess of 1 km.

Comment Re:My LED bulb didn't last! (Score 1) 328 328

I've been using CFLs and flourescents for 20 years, but continued to use incandescents in a few places because my Mrs. didn't approve. I've managed to win her over with LEDs, though. For the last few days, I've been contemplating whether to replace the vanity light with bulbs similar to those mentioned in the article, or to purchase an LED fixture.

Comment Re:Becasue... the children! (Score 1) 190 190

Alaska has local option for alcohol imports*. Many of the villages ban it, but many still see a steady flow of booze. It would be impossible to control alcohol movement into villages if it could be smuggled in small sachets.

I'm not trying to run down that Alaska is dangerous, as I've certainly known people maimed or killed by cold or bears.

*For many of the villages, anything they don't make or harvest locally is brought in by barge, plane or barter with other villages 10s of miles away by trails. Much of Alaska has no connection to the road network.

Syntactic sugar causes cancer of the semicolon. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982