Archive for the ‘Random’ Category
What? The big gas strike yesterday didn’t bring the oil companies to their knees?
Murdoc is shocked. It’s always worked so well the past forty-seven times it’s been tried. And it makes perfect economic sense. No reason to think that the next time won’t be a total success.
Anyway, here’s a gas prices temperature map from GasBuddy.com:
I don’t think I’ve posted one since January of 2010, but Murdoc is shocked again by the fact that most of the high-price states today were the high-price states a year ago. Though he’s pleased that Michigan is not bright red like it was in May 2009.
A new critique, published as a chapter in the new textbook “Calendars and Years II: Astronomy and Time in the Ancient and Medieval World” (Oxbow Books, 2010), argues that the accepted conversions of dates from Mayan to the modern calendar may be off by as much as 50 or 100 years.
I thought the science on this was settled.
Glenn Reynolds points out this Popular Mechanics story: Will LED Light Bulbs Best Your CFLs and Incandescents?
I’ve been waiting for LEDs as home bulb options for years. And one is finally here. At $30.
That’s not an option. I guess we’ll have to wait some more.
While waiting, we’ve used a large number of CFLs, most of them installed in the summer of 2007. According to onebillionbulbs.com, we’ve saved $527 and prevented 7,415 pounds of CO2 from being produced. Now, those numbers are A) dependent upon the usage info I entered (though I did try to be conservative) and B) probably complete crap. But we’ve had pretty good success.
We’ve used a total of 30 CFLs since 2007, and 27 of them are still in use. (One was DOA, one went out after a few months in a fixture that had a history of blowing bulbs every few days, and one was a three-way CFL bulb that went out after about a year of heavy use.) Though the color of the light varies on the different brands of bulbs, we’ve swapped them around in a few cases where we wanted a different look in a particular area; we’ve never had any real issue with the color being a problem of any kind.
We also use one bulb outside on our porch. Though normal CFLs are not recommended for use outdoors, I wanted to try one to see how it perfromed, which is why I had also gone right ahead and put one into the incandescent-eating machine earlier. Though the porch light takes a minute or two to warm up in the winter, the bulb has worked just fine for a couple of years now. This is great, because that light often gets left on accidentally for extended periods and the CFL is 13 watts vs. 60 for the previous incandescent.
So, overall, our CFL experience has been a very positive one. But I still want LEDs.
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates July 28 shared his personal experiences and passion for Boy Scouting with tens of thousands of Scouts and their families gathered for the 100th anniversary celebration of the Boy Scouts of America.
“Scouting has been a big part of my life and my family’s life,” Gates told an estimated crowd of 45,000 gathered on 12,000 acres on Fort A.P. Hill, Va., as part of the annual National Scout Jamboree.
Gates, an Eagle Scout who has served on the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts and is past president of the National Eagle Scout Association, shared his experiences growing up as a Boy Scout, earning scouting’s top rank 52 years ago, and being involved in his son’s Boy Scout troop. Even after serving eight presidents and years of working with world leaders, the secretary said, his memories of his Scout leaders are just as memorable.
I’ve written before that Murdoc’s son is a Boy Scout and that I am a huge supporter of of the BSA. Last night we went to a local cinema to watch the 100th birthday celebration live on the big screen, and though I was not a big fan of some of the selections for entertainment, it was fun to share in the excitement a little bit.
Scouting has been a big part of my son’s life and I credit a lot of what makes me so proud of him to Boy Scouts. He’s recently been elected Senior Patrol Leader of his troop, was chosen for the Order of the Arrow, and is also closing in on his Eagle rank. And I think that even boys who don’t aspire to such things benefit greatly by unplugging from the grid once in a while and getting out in the woods and learning some skills. There’s plenty of time to watch TV or play video games.
Readers may be interested in the book On My Honor: Why the American Values of the Boy Scouts Are Worth Fighting For by Texas Governor Rick Perry.
I also posted on the exact 100th birthday date in February and the comments section had some good discussion.
Note: Over the years, a number of readers have contacted Murdoc to criticize the Boy Scouts of America or to try to enlighten me about all the bad things the organization stands for, so I’ll be clear right now and spell it out: Though no organization is 100% perfect and no organization is made up only of perfect individuals, the things the BSA stands for ARE THE REASON I support them so strongly. So while you are still free to tell me all about how the BSA is discriminatory or too religious or how you like organization X because they aren’t so hateful or how the Order of the Arrow is really an Indian/Masonic/Satanic/Whatever secret society, I will kindly invite you to go pound sand and like it.
Almost forgot to mention this: Boy Scouts Celebrate 100 Years of Camping, Service
Like Jim Kirk, Murdoc was never a Boy Scout. But my son is in Scouts and it is a great program.
Happy Birthday, Boy Scouts.
A lot of people say no. Probably not coincidentally, most of the people I know who say that are the people I know who I disagree with the most strongly on political and societal issues.
I believe that a number of items in the “The Case Against Scouting” section of the linked article are misstated or just plain wrong. I also find it interesting that the case “For” gets half the first page while the case “Against” gets all of pages two and three. I’ll just chalk this up to the idea that the arguments in favor of Scouting are simple, straightforward, and readily apparent to nearly everyone, while the cases against it require a lot of in-depth explanation of nuances and secret Mormon conspiracies.