Monday, January 07, 2008
This is going to be a l-o-n-g month! A couple of projects are heating up and will eat into blogging time somewhat. On top of that, my wife is traveling quite a bit.
Mrs. Van Horn takes off again today, meaning that her time from the arrival of her last flight to the departure of her next one will have been 24 hours and four minutes.
When she's here, she has lots to do, some of which sucks me in. That happened
today yesterday, but to a far greater extent than I expected or had reason to.
Her in-town time will not necessarily always involve me quite that heavily, but if I miss a day posting without the usual warning here or there, that's most likely why....
"Bush Bulbs" Cause Migraines?
Since our President completely capitulated to the environmentalists, I think we should call the silly light bulbs we will soon be forced to buy instead of incandescents "Bush Bulbs".
This is especially if the hastily-mandated technology turns out to cause health problems! (HT: Michael Gold)
Compact fluorescent bulbs, the twisted looking replacement lights that use as little as one fourth the power of their common incandescent counterparts (and last much longer), are being adopted worldwide in an effort to reduce energy consumption. They are even becoming mandatory in some countries -- a little troubling according to the Daily Mail, which reports that health experts in the U.K. say the green bulbs can cause migraine headaches or other disconcerting symptoms in many people.Notice two things this article (which I think nicely sums up how most people will react to this revelation) brings up.
Such recent health concerns around energy-saving fluorescent bulbs might be another reason to push research into production of LED-based lighting options, which are even more efficient than CFL lighting, and even more durable, with a single bulb potentially never burning out. Such LED-based bulbs are available now, but at per-bulb costs that dwarf those of the relatively expensive CFL bulbs.
First, who has ever heard of the government quickly permitting some new, life-saving technological innovation to hit the market quickly, let alone force people to use it (not that it should force anyone to use anything)? (Can we say, "FDA"?)
Second, notice that this article doesn't question the wisdom of making the bulbs mandatory. When I read the first paragraph, my immediate reaction was, "Oh! I guess they'll just have to ban electrical lighting altogether now!" It turns out that I wasn't so far off the mark. Who "pushes" most scientific research these days? The same gang that has just shown us that they are willing to make us buy something more expensive than necessary for "our own good". That gang, of course, is the government, which ought to be protecting individual rights rather than running roughshod over them while claiming "It's for your own good."
So stand by for CFL bulbs to get banned in another decade or so. If we are still using electricity, that is.
Marriott Looks at the Candidates
Alexander Marriott has some interesting thoughts about some of the current crop of presidential hopefuls, notably Barack Obama:
The talk of the town, the hot shot, the front runner. In a year which seems to guarantee a Democratic victory, being the Democratic front runner would seem to make you in line to be the 44th President of the United States. Honestly, at this point, even though he utters nonsense when he's not uttering ridiculous nothings, he's probably one of the least offensive candidates in a party known for producing offensive (to reason, morality, anything) candidates. Even I think he's a likeable fellow, not that that's a reason to become President, but it's a plus when both of your opponents (Clinton, Edwards) are jerks. Obama is essentially a milquetoast, a fresh slate, a blank. I don't mean to suggest that he's an idiot, but since he rarely says anything that isn't just a cliche or whatever his opponents also say, he's sort of just a nebulous personality that lacks originality. This is not as bad as it sounds. He could turn out to be a decent president assuming he does not surround himself with pacifists and compromisers and does not have congressional acquiescence to do whatever he might suggest domestically. I need to see more of the man to be quite honest, but these are my initial impressions. [bold added]If there is a ray of hope for something less than a disaster (short- or long-term) so far out of this contest, that would be it.
Bob Baker left The Price is Right? I had no idea!