Critical Section

Wednesday,  03/31/04  09:22 PM

Following up on my comments yesterday regarding Bush's decision to have Condi Rice testify before the 9/11 commission, Andrew Duthie pointed out this analysis from Michael Novak.  I don't know if it was as premeditated as Michael implies, but I do believe Rice's testimony will put a clean end to the issue.  Especially now that polls are showing Bush gained on Kerry last week, while the Clarke battle raged in the media.

Well, I guess I called this one: OPEC endorses cutting output.  Don't think gas prices are going down, at least not until after the election.  Next prediction: when the Kerry camp sees the polls for this week, they'll make sure this issue stays on the front burner.

Air America Radio launched today, "the liberal talk radio network."  For some reason most talk radio is quite conservative, and this has been designed as an antidote, with Al Franken headlining.  Somehow I don't think this is going to work out; they'll be too partisan, and it will turn into an echo chamber.

world's biggest dieselDavid Glauser send me this link, to "the most powerful Diesel engine in the world".  108,000hp at 102rpm.  wow, that is torque.  And it consumes 1,660 gallons of fuel per hour.  The pictures are amazing!

"In case you're interested, according to this article typical nuclear submarine power plant produces over 20000 HP.  Jane's is quoted as stating that a Mike class Soviet sub produced about 60K shaft horsepower.  And according to this article the Trident (a very large submarine) produces 90K horsepower.  An interesting paper discusses the real problem with oil-burning ships - the space needed for the fuel." - David Glauser

Congratulations to Dave Winer for seven years of Scripting News.  Quite possibly the oldest living blog, and certainly - on an ongoing basis - one of the most interesting.

carrier pigeonsSo here we have some guys who decided to measure the bandwidth of PEI (Pigeon Enabled Internet).  Three homing pigeons carried 1.3GB memory chips 100km in about four hours, for an effective data rate of 2.27Mbps.  They note the technology suffers from a few disadvantages: "pigeons are susceptible to hacking, and also subject to interference from cellular towers."  I love it.

Who knows if this is an April Fool's joke?  Google has announced Gmail, a free email service which comes with 1GB of data storage.  According to ZNet, "Google plans to make money from the service by inserting advertisements into messages based in part on their content, effectively extending its AdWords program for presenting contextual ads in Web pages to e-mail."  Not compelling.

Yippee - the baseball season has started.  I don't normally get excited about baseball until after the basketball playoffs are over (and I don't get excited about pro basketball until after the final four).  The Dodgers get going next Monday against San Diego.  As usual, we're counting on pitching and defense.

Liron Shapira emailed to correct a crucial engineering conversion.  Originally we'd said:

  • 1 kilogram of falling figs: 1 Fig Newton

However, as Liron pointed out "the acceleration of gravity near the surface of the earth is 9.8 meters per second per second.  Since F=ma, the force due to a kilogram of falling figs is given by F = 1 * 9.8, so it should be 9.8 Fig Newtons."  Or put another way:

  • 102 grams of falling figs: 1 Fig Newton

I'm so glad you guys are on top of this stuff :)

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