Quick Roundup 425

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy (Life on This) Earth Day!

Well, I won't be firing up the barbecue this time around, but I will be doing my share of exploiting the earth today. I will celebrate by contributing to the atmosphere over 556 pounds of glorious carbon dioxide fuel exhaust -- I converted the figure from kilograms in honor of the British, who started the Industrial Revolution -- by means of a flight to Boston to see my beautiful wife.

The Exploitation Game: A Contest With Two Divisions

How will you celebrate the Industrial Revolution today?

Leave a comment and, if you want a shot at bragging rights, cite the "carbon footprint" of a single, fuel-consuming activity in Imperial units only in the comments below. The largest number wins, but if I get enough responses, I may also award a Most Creative (read: upsetting to socialist Luddites) way of burning carbon-based fuel. For that category, any amount of carbon dioxide added to the air over and above your own respiration will do. I will be sole arbiter, but I will also bar myself from competing in that category.

Remember, man survives by altering the environment to suit his needs. This means that any payment of "offset" indulgences, support for Barack Obama's -- or any other -- "cap-and-trade" fuel rationing scheme, or, worst of all, sign of remorse at doing what you have to do to live as a human being will be considered grounds for disqualification. Also note that for a shot at bragging rights, your comment must be posted by midnight tonight, as determined by the automatically-generated time stamp.

Comments are moderated, so I ask for patience while I do my part (above) to celebrate this day. In the meantime, take solace in the knowledge that the more comments I have to go through upon my return to the Internet, the more carbon dioxide the resulting brain activity will cause me to generate. Bwahahaha!

As of now, the number to beat is 556 pounds. The technique, jet flight, although it is known to bother some socialists, is surely easier to beat, although, per the above rules, it isn't an entry yet. Someone else will have to fly. And enter the contest.

Let the First Annual Exploitation Games begin!

Edison Hour Update

Speaking of events related to man's distinctive means of survival, Stephen Bourque reports that Earth Hour does not go over well in nations where people remember what it's really like not to have copious amounts of power at one's disposal, thanks to electricity:

[W]hile I was in Malaysia, I was astonished to see a similar protest [of Earth Hour to my own] described in the opinion pages of a local newspaper. The title of the piece was "Earth Hour is a total farce," and it was written by a Malaysian native, Mohd Peter Davis[.]
Read the whole thing. It includes quotes from the piece.

Welcome back to the blogosphere, Stephen!

Mmm! Pistachios!

My wife loves 'em, and now she (and you) can find out whether any still sitting around the house after the FDA recall are actually safe to eat.


When I was a kid, my Dad bought me a telescope one Christmas, and I had it outside one night to take a look. My middle brother, who has always had ridiculously good vision, asked me whether you could tell any planets by sight. (I was just going to look at the moon, and had no idea whether any planets were visible then, or where they might be.)

At some point, I mentioned that Saturn is yellow. So he looks around for a couple of minutes and asks me to see whether this speck of light he found I thought might be yellow was Saturn. I felt skeptical, but obliged him anyway. Yes! It was Saturn, rings and all!

But I don't think his vision is this good...

Word of the Day

Ambiguidate. (It sure is nice not to have to figure things like that out any more!)

-- CAV

This post was composed in advance and scheduled for publication at 5:00 A.M. on April 22, 2009.


Kyle Haight said...

Damn, that's right. It's Earth Day. I had actually been thinking of telecommuting today, but now I think I have a moral obligation to drive in to work.

Martin Lindeskog said...

Have a safe flight to Boston! Will you celebrate by drinking a Samuel Adams beer?

Gus Van Horn said...


Glad to help with that!


That or a Harpoon. They've got a nice IPA.


Chuck said...

Those were great pictures of Saturn and its environs. On my way to work this morning, the crescent moon was sporting what looked like a fiery diamond earring. Presumably, it was one of the planets just passing by, and I happened to see it just as it "touched" the rim of the moon. Coolest astronomical event I've ever seen with the naked eye.

Gus Van Horn said...

Glad you enjoyed the photos.

One of my favorite astronomical recollections was the only time -- we went into decommissioning soon after -- I got to serve as Officer of the Deck of a submarine at night, surfaced. With the panoramic view in the middle of the ocean, the lack of srtificial light made the view stunning and, on top of that, seeing meteors was almost unavoidable.

Chuck said...

That reminds me of a similar experience I had in the Army, in basic training. It was in Fort Sill, Oklahoma. We were training out in a desert wilderness area, no city lights anywhere within miles, sitting in our little pup tents. I never saw so many stars in my life, the sky was so full of them. It made me think, so this is what the sky looked like to the Greeks. Must be what it looks like to North Koreans, today.

We may not get that great view in our cities these days, but then we can actually travel out to the stars, and get an even better view!

Gus Van Horn said...

Heh! And I'll take my greatly extended "daylight" over the view just about any time.