Saturday, November 10, 2018

Guns Again

Link

The former US marine Ian Long entered a country and western bar in Thousand Oaks on Wednesday night and killed 12 people, including a sheriff’s deputy. More than two dozen were wounded [..].

Susan Orfanos, whose 27-year-old son, Telemachus Orfanos, a navy veteran, died on Wednesday night  [said] "I want those bastards in Congress … They need to pass gun control so no one else has a child that doesn’t come home,” she said, raising her voice to speak through gritted teeth and tears outside her home in the California suburb 40 miles north-west of Los Angeles.

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Ironically non-presence of stricter gun laws is the fault of the Democrats.

When they chose to change focus from economic issues to soft-social ones, they pushed Republicans to become more radical on issues that previously could be agreed upon. Reagan was pro-gun control.  Nixon founded the EPA. Now both these issues are a no-man's-land for Republicans. Why? Why is sexual, abstinence, and other taboo-ish topics come to forefront in US politics whose political discourse has been exemplary for decades, starting with its founding. The new landscape is one where politicians like Rick "Scrotum" can get up and say "if you allow gay marriage, you're gonna marry your dog one day". There is no shortage of extremism on stupid issues. 100% agreement on primary economic issues.

So before blaming this, that or any other thing, centrist Democrats need to see the blood is on your hands.

MPP Analysis

Link

[T]he blue wave [as meek as it is] is a corporate wave that has swept in the same kind of Democratic politicians that drove working people into Donald Trump’s arms after eight years of Obama. When Democrats busy themselves serving the wealthy again, the result will be an even sharper lurch to the authoritarian right. Progressives cannot do the same thing year after year, charging headlong into the Democratic Party, and expect different results. Breaking the cycle means changing your approach.

With 80 percent of Americans living paycheck to paycheck, health care costs rising, and student debt piling up, Americans live more precarious lives than they have in generations. Confidence in government and institutions is at historic lows.

Working people seek solutions that are proportionate to the size of the problems we face, something that looks and feels new down to our bones. Incrementalism and an attempted rebranding of the Democratic Party are the well-worn paths of the cycle into oligarchy. The Democratic Party is a prison for our movement. It’s a wall that keeps us from connecting with people and inspiring the millions who want authentic, credible change.

We owe it to ourselves, and those we struggle for, to challenge our preconceptions and consider that winning might entail listening to the large majority of Americans who want a major new party. Had we committed ourselves to building it after the 2016 election, we would have either forced the Democratic Party to change in the face of an existential threat, or we would be replacing it and the Republican Party right now. Instead most of us decided to work inside the Democratic Party, so the cycle continues, voraciously consuming our climate, our economy, our society and our lives.

Change happens quickly when conditions reach a certain urgency. Just this year Lopez Obrador’s new progressive party replaced the establishment parties that have ruled Mexico for a century. They did it in only four years, winning the presidency, both houses of the legislature, and most of the mayorships this summer. Their political revolution began by stepping back from the parties they had always known and recognizing that change would take a genuinely-progressive alternative. Mexico is part of a sweeping international trend of new populist parties on the left and the right that are ousting long-entrenched establishment parties in country after country. In our own history, Lincoln’s Republican Party replaced the Whig Party in just four years.

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Tactically speaking at the very least you are looking to shake the environment, like here and here . The good news is these frakkers are all after the same vote, and they will succeed in dividing it perfectly. That gives an advantage to the 3rd party to do some serious damage, and be pandered to, in the future, ideologically, causing a change in the mainstream.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Drinking Water from Air

Link

Imagine you could quench your thirst with water that doesn't originate from a river, spring or lake but comes directly out of the blue sky, from the air that surrounds you. What sounds like a science fiction movie is already a reality, and it is potentially for everyone.

The new technology, developed by Watergen, an Israel-based tech company, is currently being showcased in Vietnam’s capital city Hanoi.

This is how the air-to-water magic happening inside the machine works: The atmospheric water generator takes in ambient air through a filter, and cools at its dew point, extracting water through condensation.

The water is then purified, mineralized, and is ready and safe to drink [..]

A large-scale unit can extract up to 5000 liters per day. It is designed to provide water to approximately 2500 people per day, and it can be installed on a rooftop and connected directly to the building’s water grid. A small generator, GENNY, can provide drinking water for homes and offices, it generates 25 to 30 liters per day. The machines only need electric infrastructure to operate and can be installed anywhere.

Watergen wants to take its technology even further: "Our scientists already developed the technology that implements the Watergen core technology inside cars, buses, trains and all kinds of transportation", Mirilashvili says.

The running vehicle will generate the power for the atmospheric water generator, to provide drinking water on the go anywhere at any time. Mirilashvili also points out that the use of atmospheric water generators could drastically reduce plastic waste.

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EPA was interested in the tech. 

#russia #russia #russia


Thursday, November 8, 2018

The surprising resurgence of hydrogen fuel

Link

Jorgo Chatzimarkakis was refueling his hydrogen fuel-cell car at one of the 50-plus refueling stations scattered around Germany when a Tesla driver, who was recharging his own car, approached.

The man was excited to see a hydrogen-powered car in action, and was brimming with questions. Chatzimarkakis, who is secretary general of Hydrogen Europe, was happy to answer them, and the two talked for several minutes.

But by then, the hydrogen car was fully refueled, while the Tesla driver still faced a long wait while his battery recharged.

“This is reality,” says Chatzimarkakis. “Nowadays the fueling stations are ready, the car is ready, I can plan my trip from Switzerland to Denmark and into Norway without any problems.”[..]

Perhaps, finally, hydrogen’s moment has arrived. [..] Germany has launched the world’s first hydrogen-powered trains to complement a growing number of hydrogen refueling stations across the country. Switzerland is purchasing 1,000 hydrogen-powered trucks, Norway has had hydrogen refueling stations since 2006, and South Korea is investing US$2.33 billion over the next five years to create hydrogen refueling stations, fuel-cell vehicle plants, fuel-cell buses and hydrogen storage systems. And Australia has seen both its national science agency CSIRO and chief scientist Alan Finkel separately report their visions for a hydrogen-powered nation and export industry.[..]

So what has changed to finally bring hydrogen to the forefront of global energy plans? Jenny Hayward, senior research scientist at CSIRO and co-author of its 2018 National Hydrogen Roadmap, says more favorable economics have played a significant part.

“You’ve got production coming down in cost, but also you’ve got utilization coming down in cost,” Hayward says. Not only has the price of electricity from solar photovoltaic and wind dramatically decreased, but electrolyzer technologies have also become much cheaper, larger-scale and more efficient. At the same time, hydrogen fuel cells are also improving both in efficiency and cost, she says.[..]

A key issue in using hydrogen for transportation has been storage. It’s only recently become possible to compress hydrogen into a container small enough and lightweight enough to fit in the back of a passenger vehicle, while still containing enough energy to fuel that car to at least 300 miles.

“It was always thought it would be very difficult to get a hydrogen storage that could beat the U.S. Department of Energy targets for use with hydrogen fuel-cell cars,” Andrews says. Then came the development of a high-pressure hydrogen tank made of advanced composites, which were able to meet and even exceed requirements.[..]

Gas companies are also eyeing hydrogen as a potential alternative to natural gas, which could make use of the existing infrastructure.

Midterm 2018

How does the 2018 midterm result stack up compared to the rest? One idea fo a model could be "House gains for the opposition party depends on the net popularity of the sitting president". Let's check this model with past data,

import pandas as pd, io

csv = """
President,Year,Approve,Disprove,HGain,SGain
Obama,2014,40,54,13,9
Obama,2010,44,48,63,6
W,2006,38,56,31,5
W,2002,66,26,8,0
Clinton,1998,66,30,-4,0
Clinton,1994,46,46,54,9
HW,1990,54,35,7,1
Reagan,1986,64,28,5,8
Reagan,1982,42,47,26,1
"""

df = pd.read_csv(io.StringIO(csv))
df['Net'] = df.Approve-df.Disprove
import statsmodels.formula.api as smf
results = smf.ols('Net ~ HGain', data=df).fit()
print ("r^2", results.rsquared_adj)
djt = 40-55
print ("dem gains pred", results.params.Intercept + results.params.HGain*djt)

r^2 0.3079556950086001
dem gains pred 33.442389832274195

The model explains 30% of the variation, not bad. For DJT popularity 40 approve 55 disprove the prediction for Democrat gains were 33. For 2018, with most of the races called in, we see over 25 gains.

Why is this result so normal? To the extent that a simple, single variable can predict it? Obama had a whopping 63 seat gain on him once, abt the same for Clinton. I believe the problem is Democrats' message is faulty. If people have to choose between right and lukewarm right, that is not a choice. Dems will be left to pick crumbs, as they do now, the usual back-and-forth of the political seasons will bring them some gains, but nothing stellar. They are still playing the Rep game. Absent a crisis a DJT reelection assured it will have been 28 years of Rep executive compared to 16 years for Dems for the past 44 years, 4 ppl vs 2 ppl.

Other interesting 2018 results were in Texas and Florida, for Senate and governorship. The results there were just abysmal. Fucking centrists need to be weeded out much more inside the party. Suave, Holywood candidates don't cut it anymore.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Q&A - 29/10

Question

How does the dynamic of "opressed left leading to far-right" work?

Fucka me, fucka you

Left is there to help, providing social safety net, etc. If they are opressed, as in Brazil (Lula is the most popular politician, if he was not jailed he would won the election, polls confirm this), the public thinks "the guy who would help me is in jail, establishment is trying to hurt me, so I'll elect someone worse to hurt everyone". It's simple, really.

Twitter

Spot the robot dog dancing to UpTown Funk is simultaneously both terrifying and hilarious.

Not scary

.. but cool.

EFF

Stupid patent of the month [on VR]: Does the '599 patent belong to the true inventors of VR? No. The patent itself acknowledges that VR already existed when the application was filed in mid-1999. Rather, it claims minor tweaks to existing VR systems such as having participants see pre-recorded videos.

Ha ha

Comment

Military / Industrial / Media / Financial / Prison complex. This name keeps getting longer. Another one is LBTQA - keeps getting longer. Both are related to corporate Dems somehow. By only focusing on the latter and related issues, they forgot to limit the former.

Yes

Voit

Today’s result pretty much completely rules out generic versions for both the most popular SUSY models [relating to String Theory, and "multiverse"] still standing (Split SUSY), as well as the most popular class of GUTs. This provides another nail in the coffin of the SUSY-GUT paradigm

But but..

I just saw Spock's father in an alternate universe in ST Disco. With a goatee! How can SUSY be wrong?


(I kid you not - TV-movie land is still workin this thing..)

R. Roberts

If you think the economy is a zero-sum game and getting rich makes people poor, you have trouble explaining the last 250 years. That wealth can be created and not just rearranged or come at someone's expense is so basic but may be the single most important insight of economics.

Inequality breeds discontent

The rich need to fix it for their own good.

If QE money printing causes house prices to rise and new home buyers are priced out of the market this is not good. The rich would still afford those homes bcz QE would "raise their boat". This is inequality.

Roberts is probably libertarian and does not like most FED actions, so maybe he'd be against QE himself, but even then, there are many areas the free market does not work, contributing to inequality. Health insurance for example. Or policing, or the fire department. Or education.

The most crucial part of the modern economy is completely outside of the free market forces. Banks create new money while giving credit, since they cannot do this for everyone, they need to select potential winners. Demand outstrips supply for credit, pricing cannot work, so credit is not allocated according to free market rules, it is rationed.

Zizek

How strange today in our society the scope of what is possible and what is impossible is distributed [oddly]. On the one hand media is telling us soon we will be immortals, eternal life, singularity, collective mind, we will travel not only to the Moon but to Mars... Almost everything is possible. But it's not possible to raise taxes for the 1%.

Yes... very strange

Question

I saw a quantum eraser experiment and my mind is, like, so blown.

No need

Explanation

History

Rudolf Diesel, before he made diesel engines, made ammonia engines.

Too bad he stopped

Ammonia might make a comeback though. Ammonia is clean-fuel, either through H2 or on its own, it creates zero emissions.

Twitter

Here's a dystopian vision of the future: A real announcement I recorded on the Beijing-Shanghai bullet train. (I've subtitled it so you can watch in silence.)

Yuck

BTW, Uygurs are being opressed in China, through that system, and more. Here is one dissident.

One report says a million Uygurs are in Chinese concentration camps..

Will NYT make a cover photo of that?

Or do we wait until Trump takes the other side of the issue so they can hit him with it? Like in case of  / bcz of Saudis MSM suddently remembers the war in Yemen?

Guns Again

Link The former US marine Ian Long entered a country and western bar in Thousand Oaks on Wednesday night and killed 12 people, including ...