Monday, November 09, 2009

Other Bits and Pieces - November 9, 2009

Voters like what government does and the taxes to support it.

Ernie Kovacs takes on the birthers. Ernie is now widely forgotten, but he and his bizarre humor were a big part of my education. And of much television humor and advertising visuals today.

Here's Elizabeth Kolbert's take on Superfreakonomics. What the Superfreaks and their critics are both missing is the sheer scale of climate engineering. Most of the criticisms are correct, but the easiest way to refute the Superfreaks' ridiculous claims is to calculate the amounts of stuff needed. Some years back, when I was working on lasers, one of our genius managers had the idea to put lasers on smokestacks to remove sulfur dioxide and other pollutants. Calculating one smokestack gave numbers that knocked the laser one-molecule-at-a-time methods clear out of the running. So it will be with the amounts of sulfur dioxide needed to shade the earth in the Superfreaks' "easy" scenario. Much easier to replace lightbulbs, reengineer cars, paint roofs white, and all those other things we know how to do now.

Iran ups the ante.
Or is this a statement that the nuclear talks are ended?

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