Thursday, June 30, 2011

I, row-boat. Doctorow story.
Currently reading I. Asimov by Alex Haley.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

word for the day: yar.
Definition of YARE
archaic : set for action : ready
or yar a : characterized by speed and agility : nimble, lively b : handy 1c, maneuverable.
this came up in I Asimov (the book) as an example of a rare word from shakespeare.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

one of my favorite peter o'toole movies.

Monday, June 20, 2011

word for the day: lemniscate. aka the infinity symbol. ∞

Friday, June 17, 2011

ned ryerson gets his own movie.
podcast by ned about groundhog day. better link
i've been listening to these podcasts for the past three days now.
in episode 44, he tells david byrne a story that becomes the talking heads song radiohead, that the band is named after.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

ebert reviews the art of getting by, which stars freddy highmore, michael agnorano, and julia roberts' niece emma roberts. i confuse her with emma watson.

jacob levy was one of the first interesting online libertarian thinkers i ran into, back around 1992. he later taught at chicago, where he was a big influence on will baude, formerly of crescat sentencia, then law clerk to chief justice roberts, now doing biglaw in DC at a firm that does a lot of supreme court and antitrust work.

no idea what levy looks like. i could google, but sometimes it's better not to know.
levy is linked at balkinization, one of those blogs i never read. i think their blog roll, like mine, dates from 2005. google suggests he's one of these three.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

This week Google inc threw another two hundred and eighty million dollars into its plans to make solar and wind cheaper than coal.
more coverage
Previously, Google has invested over 100 million in the world's largest wind farm, in Oregon, a project using a new technology involving permanent magnets.
Google is building a (5 billion?) transmission line off the east coast, so that offshore wind farms have a place to plug in.
It has contracts to buy 100 million in power generated by a wind farm in Iowa.
It has investments in a German photovoltaic farm, and I've heard something about a geothermal project.
In Southern California its partners are building the world's largest solar thermal tower. Overall, not counting the transmission line, Google had investments of about half a billion before the latest announcement. Last year Google made 7 billion on revenues of over 20 billion. The tax bill on income of 7 billion is nontrivial, so tax credits, along with a 'don't be evil' green strategy, are driving these investments.

In the latest venture, Google will provide financing for rooftop solar for thousands of homes in partnership with Solar City. Mostly these will be in Southern California. Siting is based on several factors coming together - lots of sun, high local energy costs,and state tax credits. Southern California has all these, but 8 other states may see some involvement. The homeowner gets power at a slightly reduced price,and locks in the price so they are safe from future increases. The company building these systems gets capital to put them up. Google gets tax credits and depreciation now,and the expectation of solid returns on its investments over time.
Google also should see positive public relations value to this investment. Thousands of homeowners will be happy to brag about their solar roofs. Google so far is being low key about this,and not going the "chew mail pouch tobacco" route of having the solar panels spell out Google. Actually that's not a bad idea; signage made of solar panels, provided free to homeowners and people with barns. I should write up a business plan.

Another Google energy initiative is some free software it has written so that people with smart-meters can monitor their electricity use in realtime. When and if appliance makers make their devices compatible with the software, significant conservation can be achieved. [citation needed.]

At some point, someone's going to get killed falling off a roof while putting these up,and someone somewhere will be unhappy and experience buyer's remorse. Already there's been a shareholder action to try to get more disclosure of alleged conflicts of interest with one of Google's board members, who is pushing this strategy and may already have a stake in some of the companies Google is partnering with. But overall,
this is a solid move by Google for tax reasons, a worthwhile diversification into bricks and mortar, a public relations coup, and a step towards a possible major Google role as a player in a large-scale profit-making transition to alternative energy.
Sometimes a company starts up in one area and then moves into another. Volvo used to make ball bearings. Ashton Kutcher was a sitcom actor, then the boytoy of a high-income actress, now he's a savvy player in a dozen internet start-ups, after selling his share of Skype to Microsoft for three times what he paid 2 years ago.
Google's strength is in using math to solve real world problems. Having the best search engine was only the beginning.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

jeremy wheaton blogs about his chickens.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1hETuP33r8&feature=youtu.be watchponies
california ponies via boingboing.

Saturday, June 11, 2011


Monday, June 06, 2011

Girl with a stop watch shows 25% of parking meters were cheating.
That would be worth repeating in my town, and yours.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

this video got a canadian student suspended and threatened with arrest.
watch at own risk.
this is his response to the board.
don't watch if prone to epilepsy.

"the best part of my day" - Full Film from Benjamin Dewhurst on Vimeo.

the guy who is organizing the local boingboing meetup, that i won't go to if i go to the couchsurfing.org ethiopian dinner, which seems tasty but further away, has made a movie.
i could only watch 3 minutes of it before it was too sad, but it might have a happy ending.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

arbor day giraffe

a neighborhood where i used to live has its annual yard sale today. i picked up two volumes of cerebus the aardvark.

Friday, June 03, 2011

i read xkcd fairly obsessively, but every now and then i run into some of randall's drawings elsewhere.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

markets in milk, at wired.

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