Mathematical Diversions: Producing Helium from Hydrogen
Sep 20, 2013

In response to this story about a possible impending Helium shortage, someone suggested on Hacker News that perhaps someday we can use nuclear fusion to produce helium.

As it happens I'd idly chatted with my wife about that a few weeks ago, but that wasn't enough motivation to run the numbers. This was. Could we produce enough helium to satisfy our commercial production of it through fusion, if we just assume we have fusion?

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Sep 10, 2013

I had a dream this morning that my workplace had so suddenly shut down that there was nothing in the office when I got there, except a sign telling us that due to financial shenanigans the entire office had to be immediately liquidated, and a whole bunch of my coworkers milling around being angry about it.

Since I work for a tech company, this is quite silly. The assets of a tech company aren't anything interesting at all compared to the people, and an emergency fire sale would hardly recover anything of value.

Fortunately, I don't live in that universe and my job was still there this morning. Phew!

After that part of the dream, I encountered Captain Malcolm Reynolds sitting down for a man-to-man talk with his six-year-old son. I saw Kaylee there too, and asked her what season this was. "Eight or nine, I think" she replied.

Nooooo... come back, dreamuniverse! I can get a new job more easily than I can get new Firefly! noooooooooooo....

Sep 06, 2013
It is important to use a cartridge of the appropriate size for your target. Shooting a [UAV] drone with .22 rimfire for instance would be cruel. You need something that will kill the drone, not make it suffer. - jlgreco on HN

Sep 06, 2013

Browsing through some old entries, I see in late 2007 I predicted:

One of the milestones I've been watching for is the first entirely DVD-based TV-style series. It's going to happen sooner or later, and will mark a major shift in how TV is produced, once it becomes possible to make it without advertising or subsidy, the only two models that currently work.

I'm going to give myself only half-a-point. True television-style "seasons" of shows have indeed now been produced without ever being "aired", but they didn't go straight-to-DVD. They went straight-to-streaming. I believe it was either Lilyhammer or House of Cards, depending on how picky you're being about not showing up on TV at all before being available via streaming. (Lilyhammer's first episode premiered on a Norwegian television channel, though this was clearly a publicity stunt rather than an attempt to "air on TV".)

An Open Letter To Meijer
Aug 22, 2013
Bloviation, Reviews

Dear Meijer Corporation:

I love you guys. You guys are great. I know it's tradition for Internet "open letters" to be extended complaints, but nah, you're great.

But you know, I do want to air just one tiny grievance. 'Cause this is the Internet and all, and that's what we do here. But rest assured, it's just a tiny little thing. Hardly worthy of note. But I thought I should point it out anyhow.

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