Wednesday Highlights

Good morning. I hope the storm has passed without inserting too much trouble in the lives of our Northern East Coast readers. For those wish to help those who have been troubled.

  1. Meta-links from the Eastern Pacific.
  2. Genetically engineering concrete … coming to a road near you?
  3. Mixing horse (radish) with booze (rice).
  4. Climate change nuts fail to distinguish between storm surge and rising sea levels. What next?
  5. Homo Velocipede.
  6. Back in the real world, for Christians hating remains wrong.
  7. Come on, lucky 13!
  8. The Benghazi non-surprise.
  9. Separate but equal.
  10. Of time, space, and the photo.
  11. Photo essay.

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  1. Mixing horse (radish) with booze (rice).

    Intriguing. Say, what kind of conversation do you think we would have if we met up in person and partook in said drink?

  2. Mark says:

    You live in the NJ/NY area right? My parents live in NJ just southwest of/near Princeton. I got together with Boonton for a few drinks and chatted with him for a few hours one year when I was working the Central Jersey. We had a good time. If you and I got together we’d probably have a good time shooting the breeze.

    The point being … this question does not need to stay hypothetical. I’m taking the train leaving on Dec 25 and leaving on the 4th. Are you around in that swatch?

  3. Mark says:

    As for topic, who knows. When B and I got together our talk went all over the map.

  4. Boonton says:

    It was indeed a good talk, speaking dynamics are very different from writing dynamics. The former tends towards reconciliation and agreement while the latter tends towards argument and disagreement. I think the cause is evolutionary. We evolved language in order to get along so speaking tends to work better at that. Writing diverts that evolutionary imperative IMO because it combines with another trait we evolved, the ‘imaginary people’ that exist inside our head. When we write, we imagine we will be judged by eager readers who will hang on our every word, hence we are writing for those people more than we are writing for the actual people who may be reading our stuff.

    Anyway don’t expect a lot from me for the next few days. Morris county NJ is a diaster zone with no power anywhere except a few lucky places and the gas crunch is totally unexpected. Last Oct. we had no power for about a week due to a freak snow storm but this fuel problem didn’t happen then! This means I have to be careful about wasting time even going to places with power and wi-fi, like the library….

    In my absense, I appoint JA to be my apologist.

  5. Mark says:

    My parents in Pennington are without power still. They were told 7 more days before it comes back. Otherwise they’re camping, helping others as much as possible, and generally doing OK.

  6. Boonton says:

    Last few days have been interesting….but I’d rather have had some electrons flowing instead! I have a sneaky feeling we weren’t told the full story about the gas…the original stories were that the shortgages would stop around now as pipelines and fueling stations powered up fully. Instead we have rationing on odd-even days. Some areas seem back to normal. For example the local Panera isn’t packed with power refuges. But it’s rough without power still…maybe tonite…. one thought that occurs to me is that we are still way over dep. on gas. I would consider redoing cash for clunkers or hyping the mpg standards again. Needless to say my friends who have spent time in Europe are amazed more of our powerlines are not buried.

  7. Mark says:

    My parents got power Friday night.

    Needless to say my friends who have spent time in Europe are amazed more of our powerlines are not buried.

    That’s far more expensive … and Europe’s small size and far higher population density makes that worthwhile. Those of us from the North are amazed that in Georgia and Texas (and southern states) water lines are 6 inches under the ground, not many feet … and result in pipes bursting every 10 years when there is a long freeze. Yet economically the cheaper access to pipes pays off, for them. You might point out the larger size of the country and its far smaller population density and the economic trade-offs make buried power not make sense here.

  8. Boonton says:

    NYC and NJ have pretty high population densities. It seemed like burying power lines would make sense. It doesn’t have to be an all or nothing affair. Simply burying *some* of the power lines would mean fewer breaks for repair crews to worry about. I’m hoping to have power today but an unlucky few will be going another 7 days after Wednesday with temps touching freezing.

  9. Mark says:

    And there are tooling costs to doing things different methods in different areas. Parisippany may have high densities but South Jersey and even Princeton and the vicinity where my folks live does not.

    Yes. And in Texas they could bury some of the pipes deeper. But they don’t. Costs and benefits.

  10. Boonton says:

    The costs are mounting with thousands of homes without heat as temps start now dropping below freezing. What’s striking here is that this has now happened two years in a row at almost exactly the same time.

  11. Mark says:

    What happened two years in a row?

  12. Boonton says:

    Last year at this time we had a freak snow storm snapping branches all over leaving many people without power for a week or so.

  13. Thanks for the good writeup. It in fact used to be a amusement account it. Look complicated to more added agreeable from you! By the way, how could we keep in touch?