|4 weeks until graduation|
2 weeks until end of classes
1 week until final copy of thesis due
I just feel like crap. I just don't want to do any work anymore. I just want to be done with this shit and start a new life.
BTW, I'll be starting a new blog soon. It'll be more professional and intended for a more general audience, not just my friends who read my xanga blog. It'll be at:
|....we'll get a little bit done|
New book on the hard facts about sustainable energy by a Physicist "Sustainable Energy -- Without the Hot Air" *LINK* (You can download the book for free, 10MB PDF)
Coming from a campus where the mantra "Little changes can make a big difference” gets thrown around alot, this is truly a breath of fresh air.
A few weeks ago, there was an international event where people switched off their lights for one hour *LINK*, in order to raise awareness for climate change. It struck me as an extremely idiotic thing to do. Did no one point out that the power plants cannot and should not be shutting down for that one hour and would still be burning all the fossil fuels they would have burnt? This is because shutting down and turning a huge power plant back on in the space of one hour would not in any way be energy efficient. For starters, the large turbines need starter motors to get to a rate of rotation that is fast enough for the steam turbines to kick in and maintain the momentum.
And if you look at the link above to the BBC article, to add salt to the wound, it shows a picture of a bar countertop with a whole string of candles lit in celebration of the hour of darkness. WTF!? So, now, not only are the power stations still burning the coal for that hour, you're wasting additional energy by burning candles? Excuse me, but I think if you consider the amount of greenhouse gases released per unit energy output, the worst coal power plants will be more efficient than friggin candles! And that's not considering all the energy costs of transportation and manufacture of the candles.
So, unless the benefits gained from "raising awareness" vastly outweighs these very real losses in energy efficiency, I think people should really really try to understand basic science before become a climate change awareness advocate.
Quote from the aforementioned awesome book:
"Have no illusions. To achieve our goal of getting off fossil fuels, these
reductions in demand and increases in supply must be big. Don’t be distracted
by the myth that “every little helps.” If everyone does a little, we’ll
achieve only a little. We must do a lot. What’s required are big changes in
demand and in supply.
“But surely, if 60 million people all do a little, it’ll add up to a lot?”
No. This “if-everyone” multiplying machine is just a way of making something
small sound big. The “if-everyone” multiplying machine churns out
inspirational statements of the form “if everyone did X, then it would provide
enough energy/water/gas to do Y,” where Y sounds impressive. Is
it surprising that Y sounds big? Of course not. We got Y by multiplying
X by the number of people involved – 60 million or so! Here’s an example
from the Conservative Party’s otherwise straight-talking Blueprint for a
“The mobile phone charger averages around . . . 1W consumption,
but if every one of the country’s 25 million mobile phones
chargers were left plugged in and switched on they would consume
enough electricity (219GWh) to power 66 000 homes for
66 000? Wow, what a lot of homes! Switch off the chargers! 66 000 sounds a
lot, but the sensible thing to compare it with is the total number of homes
that we’re imagining would participate in this feat of conservation, namely
25 million homes. 66 000 is just one quarter of one percent of 25 million. So
while the statement quoted above is true, I think a calmer way to put it is:
If you leave your mobile phone charger plugged in, it uses one
quarter of one percent of your home’s electricity.
And if everyone does it?
If everyone leaves their mobile phone charger plugged in, those
chargers will use one quarter of one percent of their homes’
The “if-everyone” multiplying machine is a bad thing because it deflects
people’s attention towards 25million minnows instead of 25million sharks.
The mantra “Little changes can make a big difference” is bunkum, when applied
to climate change and power. It may be true that “many people doing
a little adds up to a lot,” if all those “littles” are somehow focused into a
single “lot” – for example, if one million people donate £10 to one accident victim,
then the victim receives £10 million. That’s a lot. But power is a
very different thing. We all use power. So to achieve a “big difference”
in total power consumption, you need almost everyone to make a “big”
difference to their own power consumption."
|"! File ended while scanning use of \@xdblarg."|
What does that mean? It means, somewhere in my 1400 line document, there is a missing right bracket. Yes, needle in a haystack, I believe is the term for this sort of thing.
Words cannot express how fucked I feel.
|Wow, I just found out about *THIS* TV show. It's in its third season already.|