How big is big?

April 30, 2009


This latest global warming story about the breakup of some ice shelf in the Antarctic caught my eye: Huge ice chunks break away from Antarctic shelf (all bolding mine):

Massive ice chunks are crumbling away from a shelf in the western Antarctic Peninsula, researchers said Wednesday, warning that 1,300 square miles of ice — an area larger than Rhode Island — was in danger of breaking off in coming weeks.

“There is little doubt that these changes are the result of atmospheric warming,” said David Vaughan of the British Antarctic Survey.

It goes on to say:

The Wilkins shelf, which is the size of Jamaica, lost 14 percent of its mass last year, according to scientists who are looking at whether global warming is the cause of its breakup.

Over the next several weeks, scientists estimate the Wilkins shelf will lose some 1,300 square miles (3,370 square kilometers) — a piece larger than the state of Rhode Island, or two-thirds the size of Luxembourg.

The Independent (in the UK) ramps it up a notch: New York-sized ice shelf collapses off Antarctica . Wow! New York sized? Time to panic. Oh wait, they meant New York City. But still:

about 700 sq km of ice [is] bigger than Singapore or Bahrain and almost the size of New York [City]

This game is fun. What you don’t hear about often in the news is that the current Antarctic ice extent is about 1,000,000 sq km (yeah, that’s one million sq kms) over average, the size of Egypt!


Loving my current painting job. It’s across the street. Asshole neighbor guy finally sold his house and moved out. I know (and like) the people that are moving in. They hired me to paint the interior and give advice on color selection (for the record, both gay and straight people have bad taste; don’t assume because I’m gay that I know what I’m talking about).

Anyway, I was getting a closet ready to paint. As I was taking down the top shelf, a wooden box slid down, hit me and broke up on the floor. Tubes and rods and what I thought looked like plumbing O rings spilled out. I’m thinking “why is there a plumbing supply kit stuck up here in a bedroom closet”. After further inspection and a quick look at the instruction manual, I understood the label on the box…Maxwilly and had an EEWWWWWWWW moment. I had found the former owner’s penis enlargement kit (It must have worked. He was a big dick).

Go-withs are a category of salt and pepper shakers. I bet you didn’t know that. By definition, go-withs are two shakers that don’t match but “go with” each other. The cowboy and horse from the earlier post is a good example. Although not usually valuable, they are still fun.




This is also considered a hanger; where one shaker hangs off the other.


A nice example of the subgenre of minis (very small shakers)

Here’s a newer set. A PBS offering I think. Mona Lisa/Frame:

Mona is the salt and the frame is the pepper. This type is also known as a nester; where one shaker rests on the other (or a base).

It looked nice setting next to my paint-by-numbers Mona Lisa.


Even if you think global warming/climate change is a problem, this should scare you. You tell me if you think “cap and trade” will work as promised. Here’s a sample of the horse trading going on:

In exchange for votes to pass a controversial global warming package, Democratic leaders are offering some lawmakers generous emission “allowances” to protect their districts from the economic pain of pollution restrictions.

Rep. Gene Green, D-Texas, represents a district with several oil refineries, a huge source of greenhouse gas emissions. He also serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which must approve the global warming plan backed by President Barack Obama.

Green says Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., who heads the panel, is trying to entice him into voting for the bill by giving some refineries favorable treatment in the administration’s “cap and trade” system, which is expected to generate hundreds of billions of dollars over the coming years. Under the plan, companies would pay for the right to emit carbon dioxide, but Green and other lawmakers are angling to get a free pass for refineries in their districts.

“We’ve been talking,” Green said, referring to a meeting he had with Waxman on Tuesday night. “To put together a bill that passes, they have to get our votes, and I’m not going to vote for a bill without refinery allowances.”

Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, the top Republican on the energy panel, said Waxman and others are also dangling allowances for steel and coal-fired power plants to give political cover to Democrats whose districts rely on these companies.

Even environmentalists think this is total bullshit.

Henry Waxman, the guy who cosponsored the bill, put in his two cents about climate change:

We’re seeing the reality of a lot of the North Pole starting to evaporate, and we could get to a tipping point. Because if it evaporates to a certain point – they have lanes now where ships can go that couldn’t ever sail through before. And if it gets to a point where it evaporates too much, there’s a lot of tundra that’s being held down by that ice cap.

The North Pole is “evaporating”?

Which is scarier? Global warming or the politicians fighting it?

Are unusual religious sects just natural to this area or does this happen everywhere…

This is as the car drives (according to Google Maps), not as the crow flies.

The Amish:
Kalona, Iowa: 89.2 miles; 1 hour, 35 minutes.

The Mormons:
Nauvoo, Illinois: 99.5 miles; 2 hours, 8 minutes.

The Pietists:
Bishop Hill, Illinois: 47.5 miles; 1 hour, 8 minutes.

Transcendental Meditation(alists?)>
Fairfield, Iowa (which gets you to Maharishi Vedic City, Iowa): 109 miles; 2 hours, 17 minutes.

Or maybe Iowa/Illinois is just a great place to be different (if you are not a Mormon).

Drudgery (is fun!)

April 23, 2009

I swear this is the last post on my former obsession. Topic this time: household appliances.




Washers (and dryers):


I know I could blame fat people for a lot of things. Fat people are easy targets. But I didn’t expect this:

Fatties cause global warming:

Scientists warned that the increase in big-eaters means more food production — a major cause of CO2 gas emissions warming the planet.

Overweight people are also more likely to drive, adding to environmental damage.

Dr Phil Edwards, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said: “Moving about in a heavy body is like driving in a gas guzzler.”

Each fat person is said to be responsible for emitting a tonne more of climate-warming carbon dioxide per year than a thin one.

It means an extra BILLION TONNES of CO2 a year is created, according to World Health Organisation estimates of overweight people.

Hey fat people, buy some carbon offsets from me. I’m beginning to like this (political) change (in climate).