Category Archives: Truth and Trivia

A Star

If you are tired of mealy-mouthed, politically correct politicians, you need to listen to Italy’s new prime minister, Giorgia Meloni.She speaks with passion and conviction, and so clearly that with only a little Italian you don’t need the subtitles. This is a leader. Remember that there are only two capitals in Europe that have ruled the world. Rome is one.

NFT Madness

monkey jpegs

Flippy

Shortage of labor + higher wages and benefits = Flippy 2 

Miso-Robotics-Flippy-2

PASADENA, Calif., Oct 4 (Reuters) – Fast-food French fries and onion rings are going high-tech, thanks to a company in Southern California. Miso Robotics Inc in Pasadena has started rolling out its Flippy 2 robot, which automates the process of deep frying potatoes, onions and other foods. A big robotic arm like those in auto plants – directed by cameras and artificial intelligence – takes frozen French fries and other foods out of a freezer, dips them into hot oil, then deposits the ready-to-serve product into a tray. Flippy 2 can cook several meals with different recipes simultaneously, reducing the need for catering staff and, says Miso, speed up order delivery at drive-through windows. “When an order comes in through the restaurant system, it automatically spits out the instructions to Flippy,” Miso Chief Executive Mike Bell said in an interview.” … It does it faster or more accurately, more reliably and happier than most humans do it,” Bell added.

Of course this is in addition to the original Flippy, which does burgers, etc.

Can the fully automated fast-food restaurant be far off? Ordering is handled by kiosks, cooking by Flippy. What’s next?

Success In Corporate America

I’ve always believed that there are three keys to success in corporate America – being in order first lucky, second tall, and smart a distant third.

Here is confirmation that #2 is correct.

A Las Vegas surgeon reports tech workers are paying $70,000 to $150,000 to get surgery to increase their height by 3-inches

…. According to a 2009 study of Australian men, short guys make less money than their taller peers (about $500 a year per inch); are less likely to climb the corporate ladder (according to one survey, the average height of a male Fortune 500 CEO is six feet)

Yet Another “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up”

Promptly after California issued its electric car mandate, the grid operator is asking people to avoid charging electric vehicles over the coming Labor Day Weekend, in order to avoid blackouts.

“The power grid operator expects to call on Californians for voluntary energy conservation via Flex alerts over the long weekend.

During a Flex Alert, consumers are urged to reduce energy use from 4-9 p.m. when the system is most stressed because demand for electricity remains high and there is less solar energy available. The top three conservation actions are to set thermostats to 78 degrees or higher, avoid using large appliances and charging electric vehicles, and turn off unnecessary lights. Lowering electricity use during that time will ease strain on the system, and prevent more drastic measures, including rotating power outages.”

My Volt gets most of its charging at night, when it is not in use. The electricity to charge electric cars has to come from somewhere. Looking at the weight of these vehicles, my guess is that the total energy consumption of these vehicles is higher than the IC vehicles.

If we want to get off fossil fuels, it is necessary to replace them as the base load source. And that means nuclear.

Artemis Scrubs Again

This morning’s planned launch of NASA’s ludicrously expensive SLS rocket was scrubbed – again – due to a fuel leak. It is way past time to call a halt to this boondoggle. I quote from the report from NASA’s Office of Inspector General released in November 2021:

“In addition, NASA lacks a comprehensive and accurate cost estimate that accounts for all Artemis program costs. For FYs 2021 through 2025, the Agency uses a rough estimate for the first three missions that excludes $25 billion for key activities related to planned missions beyond Artemis III. When aggregating all relevant costs across mission directorates, NASA is projected to spend $93 billion on the Artemis effort up to FY 2025. We also project the current production and operations cost of a single SLS/Orion system at $4.1 billion per launch for Artemis I through IV, although the Agency’s ongoing initiatives aimed at increasing affordability seek to reduce that cost. Multiple factors contribute to the high cost of ESD programs, including the use of sole-source, cost-plus contracts; the inability to definitize key contract terms in a timely manner; and the fact that except for the Orion capsule, its subsystems, and the supporting launch facilities, all components are expendable and “single use” unlike emerging commercial space flight systems. Without capturing, accurately reporting, and reducing the cost of future SLS/Orion missions, the Agency will face significant challenges to sustaining its Artemis program in its current configuration.”

As soon as SpaceX’s Starship is ready, SLS is obsolete. And SpaceX’s first test vehicle is on its pad, doubtless as a metaphorical finger to the government efforts. SLS is based on obsolete Space Shuttle technology, using leftover engines and the familiar orange tank. There was a time when NASA’s space program was inspirational. Now Congressional corruption has sunk it to a way to funnel money to the contractors. It is an embarrassment.

Edit: Turns out the scrub was due to an engine problem, the fuel leak had been resolved.

Germany

The situation in Germany just went to Defcon 2. Toilet paper manufacturers warned of a coming shortage. History says this is the one thing that triggers revolution and regime change. People will put up with many hardships, but lack of TP is unacceptable. Heads must roll. The Soviet Union’s fall was triggered by this, to say nothing of Venezuela.

Finance Moves South

Another announcement today as Blackrock follows hard on the heels of Citadel in bailing out of crime-ridden Democratic-run cities and landing in South Florida. Will the last ones out of New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles please turn off the lights.

Desperation

Nancy Pelosi is to visit Taiwan tomorrow (although it is 11:45pm in Taiwan so will be today very shortly). Wag The Dog in progress.

Just giving Xi an opportunity to create a distraction from his own domestic problems.

Fun With Crypto

It seems obvious that cryptocurrency bears a strong resemblance to a Ponzi scheme. The defining characteristic of a Ponzi scheme is the requirement for new money to fund withdrawals, and of course all crypto that is not backed by cash – some of the “stablecoins” are – meets this criterion. The big difference is that this is no secret, unlike a true Ponzi scheme there is no fraud, no Bernie, at least in the underlying concept, which is fully disclosed.

There is, however, massive fraud by people taking advantage of the largely unregulated nature of crypto.