From XKCD.com “Understocked” 5 out of 5 Stars! Definitely.
Month: July 2009
In Florence Things go BOOM!
Residents in Florence, Kentucky had one of those moments where life was continuing as normal then a random event happens. An event so unusual that it causes time to pause and consider what just occurred.
“All of sudden out of nowhere, we just had this big boom and explosion and I saw it across the street the house and it looked like just like an explosion right in the middle of the bottom of the house and it just blew out the whole entire bottom half of the house,” said Michael Toner.
In another story, a young boy gives his description of what happened.
“It kind of looked fake. It was better than a movie — our car went off the ground and it was pretty sweet, but crazy at the same time,” said witness Gage Schultz.
The first story from WHAS-TV mentioned that the explosion was caught on video by a security camera across the street. I found the video posted on AOL.
Soapbox Derby Akron Champs
Kelsey Moores finished 8th in the Stock division at Akron, Ohio.
1. Sarah Whitaker, Norton, Ohio
2. Mallory Robb, Anderson, Ind.
3. Laura Geer, North Summit, Ohio
4. Bryce Taylor, LaMesa, Calif.
5. Melody Castner, Youngstown, Ohio
6. Christian Fortner, Kansas City, Mo.
7. Katy Williams, Marietta, Ga.
8. Kelsey Moores, Hopkinsville, Ky.
9. Lauren Schteiber, Conneaut, Ohio
The Kiwanis website has the trophy photo and some background info.
A great day to be outside. The farmer’s market at Bradford Square Mall was lined with vendors. Humidity has come down dramatically since I complained about it on June 28. The low tonight and tomorrow is forecast to be in the 50’s.
There’s some people in Minnesota already talking about Global Cooling.
Today, walking down the street in downtown Minneapolis at 5:30, en route from my office to my parking ramp, I saw something I’ve never seen before: a man wearing a winter coat in July. Well, maybe not quite a winter coat, but definitely a fall/winter semi-parka with an unzipped, faux-fur lined hood. He was carrying a briefcase and looked like a businessman who was tired of being cold every time he went outdoors. In the summer.
Don’t let Al Gore hear you say that. He’ll kick your butt!
Tip for Energynet Customers
Last week, my Internet service was switched from New Wave Communications to HES Energynet. Even though New Wave promised 1.5 megabits for our tier of service it only rarely met that level. Many times downloads would stall for no apparent reason. It is possible that some fault lies with my wireless router. Like I will explain later, using wireless means the user is subject to every form interference possible. However, I keep a close watch on the strength of my wireless signal and my connection was steady each time a download stalled while using New Wave. I do believe New Wave is making a sincere effort to improve their service. Larry Hoyle is the local manager for Hopkinsville and he appears regularly in commercials begging for customer feedback.
However, the power of Mr. Hoyle’s persuasion wasn’t enough to keep us from switching. Energynet promises 3 Megabits for their service which was enough to convince us to try it. Some basics to understand about the Energynet service is that it uses standard 802.11G technology. Any home router at OfficeMax, etc will support the G standard. Retail routers however have to be plugged into the wireless bridge provided by HES. The encryption used by Energynet prevents casual unauthorized access but it will not prevent knowledgable individuals from capturing private data. As wireless home routers become more common interference from your neighbor will become more difficult to avoid.
The Wifi standard allows a total of 14 channels but only 11 of these are legal to use in the United States (Ch. 1-11). When setting up a new router it is helpful to change the channel to something other than the default. It is especially important to set the channel different from what Energynet uses or else both routers will step on each other during high traffic periods.
Picking a clear channel is made easier if your able to use software like Kismet that will show all the active wireless networks in the area, ncluding ones that are hidden from normal view.
In these early days of my experience with Energynet, so far I am very satisfied with the speed I get. However, Energynet will suffer from the same faults of a crowded 2.4 Ghz band that includes routers, wireless phone handsets, and microwave ovens.
At the risk of providing these people with more business. I want to talk about these brainless commercials advertising gold coins. Last week, I watched a show on the history channel about Fort Knox, KY and all the Capital ‘G’old that’s held there. Of course, while the tv show speaks about Gold that means something and has value it seems totally logical to advertise ‘g’old products. The difference between ‘G’old and ‘g’old is that Gold requires a manly grip with both hands if you wish to keep all of your toes. On the other hand, the gold in those advertised coins might get you something off the dollar menu… maybe.
“lavishly clad in 51 milligrams of pure 24 karat gold”
51 milligrams?? Pffft! 51 milligrams of PURE 24 KARAT GOLD!! Ahhh! Well, that makes all the difference. Thinking about what this deal means. I wondered if I paid $20 for 51 milligrams of gold how much is that per ounce?
1 ounce = ~28,350 milligrams
28.350/51 = 556
556 is a multiplier we can use now to find some interesting facts.
$20 * 556 = $11,120
Gold currently costs $912 per ounce, doesn’t seem like such a great deal does it.
$912/556 = $1.64
So for my twenty dollars I only get enough gold to pay for one item on the dollar menu. Selling these gilded coins for twenty dollars is not a scam. The scam is drawing a comparison between the original coins and the copies these guys are printing. As if the copies have value like the original does.
Recently the Hopkinsville Police Department started publishing crime data for the city through CrimeReports.com. Among the positives for this service is the data itself which seems to be posted on a timely basis. CrimeReports.com provides two different views of the data; one is google map-based, the other uses a bar chart, pie chart, and line graph. I’d like to thank the HPD for publishing this information. If there was anything worthy of spending taxpayer dollars it would be this. I think the data is displayed in multiple formats allowing some very interesting analysis.
If this website is so wonderful is there anything wrong with it? Well, I think it falls down in two areas that could be easily fixed. The first and most annoying mistake is that the programmers have written a pop-up to appear the first time the user attempts to drag the map around. Pop-ups of any kind are flat out stupid. There is a reason why pop-up killer functionality is built-in to both Internet Explorer and Firefox. Any programmer that implements such a thing should be sent to a desolate SovietRussian prison in Siberia.
The second defect is with the crime alerts that the website wishes for everyone to sign-up for. I registered with the website soon after seeing it in the Kentucky New Era. Then a couple of days later a crime did occur within the area I specified but I received no email about it. Last night I created another crime alert in the center of the city then I did get email from both locations.
I think CrimeReports.com is an excellent service to have for the city of Hopkinsville. The police Department seems to post new crime reliably and the website provides a variety of ways to view that data. The usefulness of the website is harmed greatly though by that blasted pop-up. I’d also wonder why the email alerts don’t work reliably but that is only a mild problem. 3 of 5 stars
Free Healthcare is not Free
“The United States is the only civilized country that does not have ‘free’ healthcare!” –Jane Doe
This statement was spoken today by a woman dealing with some potentially serious medical problems. She was concerned about the high cost of medical testing. Not to mention the medical bills to come later if she actually undergoes treatment. I feel for her situation, unfortunately, Jane Doe’s statement above shows a devastating lack of knowledge. I am not aware of any country in the world that provides “free” medical care. Jane might be referring to Canada and Euroland countries that provide a government run medical system. She’s not referring to those countries because they all send their patients to the US when their system fails to meet demand.
Because Canada does not have the capacity to deal with the demand for neo-natal intensive care for premature births, the single-payer system sent the critically ill child to the United States for treatment.Â […]
But why wasnâ€™t there a NICU bed for the child in the entire nation of Canada?Â The government of Canada wonâ€™t pay for more.Â They donâ€™t exist to expand supply to meet demand; their single-payer system exists to ration care as a cost-saving mechanism.Â In a free-market system, supply expands to meet demand, which is why Canada could subcontract out to a US hospital for capacity.Â Michael writes that paragraph as if it was mere luck that an NICU bed happened to be open in the US, but thatâ€™s a function of the system, and not luck.
If there was any country in the world that could provide actual gratis medical care surely they would not soil themselves to receive our capitalist medicine.
Another explanation for Jane’s misunderstanding is that she fails to consider the extreme level of payroll deductions that every employee pays with no thought whatsoever. The story would be different if every employee were allowed to keep all of their money and had to pay it quarterly like a business. It seems though that Jane won’t see the true cost of “free” healthcare because her money will be stolen from her before she ever sees it.
Finally, Jane Doe’s last complaint about American healthcare was the two week waiting period before she could have her testing done. Click to see embedded video…