Friday, April 26, 2019

Here comes my ex......

Small things 26 Apr

  • Did humans learn about eating bananas from apes or the other way around? Also, why is it humans don't know (unlike apes) that the banana opens easier from the non-stem end?
  • The Easter Bunny is just a church sanctioned furry.
  • Yogurt is like crack. Don't believe me? Watch how many times someone scrapes the bottom with their spoon. 
  • We are the only living beings (that we know of) on this planet that not only can modulate the sounds of their farts, but can also mimic the sound of their farts with other body parts.
  • It occurs to me that people from Boston wouldn't make good pirates. They'd just walk around all day going "Ahhhhhhhhh!"
  • Did you know you can't breathe in while you smile? Just kidding, I just wanted to make you smile.
  • How many "chuggas" are you supposed to say before "choo choo"?

What makes a home efficient?

If you've read any of my articles on the greening of our economy, you've probably heard me go on and on about more efficient homes as a must-do. Maybe you have no idea what that looks like. I sure didn't 10 years ago. So let me bring you up to speed.

There are many elements of a house's design that make it net zero, or at least qualify it as a 'passiv haus'. What people need to realize is that a house built to code is the absolutely worst house you are allowed to build by law. Over the course of its life, a house built to code will be the most expensive to operate and maintain.


The typical ceiling rating is R-38. In an efficient home, the value rises to R-80 or more. This is accomplished by using more insulation in the attic space or ceiling joists and roof itself and by making sure that any venting does not allow the insulation to cool off, just the roof itself.

Then there's the slope and face. If you're going to mount solar panels on the roof, it should face the south, or at least south-east (statistically less cloud in the morning). Any roof that doesn't have panels on it should not be sloped toward the sun. This results in interesting shapes.


The typical thickness of walls in a standard house are only thick enough to fill with a limited amount of insulation. Most exterior walls are built with 2 x 4 studs which only allows for enough insulation to achieve an 'R' value of R-12.

In an efficient home, the external walls are up to 12 inches thick, allowing for enough layers of insulation to achieve an R-40 rating. There are a lot of competing wall designs out there, but the common denominator is extra thickness. You want more insulation and you can only achieve that with a much thicker wall than normal. In many cases this involves multiple wall layers sandwiched together, each layer serving a specific set of roles, from water barrier, to vapour barrier, to breaking up the thermal bridge from inside to outside. The passiv haus design is much more stringent though. It calls for a 2 x 10 exterior insulated wall with an OSB barrier leading to an interior 2 x 4 service wall for utility (wiring and pipes). This not only makes for a thicker wall, but also prevents the vapour barrier from being punctured whenever you need to add more stuff in the service wall.

Inside the home, any interior wall that will be exposed to sunlight in winter could be made of thermal mass, such as concrete or stone. I'll explain why in the next section on floors.

Moisture and air leakage are issues too. An efficient home must have air tight walls (and windows, when closed). It also must have a layer underneath the exterior cladding to allow for any water to get completely down and out of the wall.


Concrete acts as a heat sink. It absorbs heat slowly and releases it just as slowly as the air cools. A well designed house will situate its windows to allow sunlight to come through and shine and heat the concrete floor in winter most of the day, which lessens the load on other heat sources. Then at night, the heat is slowly released back into the air to lessen the load on other heat sources. Ordinarily, this heat sink wouldn't be enough to heat the house much, but because an efficient home has much better insulation, it makes a huge difference. Also, the overhangs only let this thermal warming of the floor happen when the sun is low in the sky, as in winter.

Incidentally, this only works to maximum advantage if the home is oriented east-west with the south exposure having a good deal of windows.

Radiant heat. Since the most efficient house has concrete floors, your floors are already a great heat sink. If that concrete is embedded with tubing, you can maintain a level of warmth beyond what the winter sun can provide by pumping warm water through the floor for radiant heat. Radiant heating is so much more efficient than forced air heating, because the warmth rises out of the floor, walking on a warm floor gives the illusion of warmth even when the surrounding air is a bit cooler. It also sucks less humidity out of the air than would a forced air furnace or radiator system.


You wouldn't think that much heat is lost in the basement through the foundation, but when your furnace starts operating less often in the spring, you notice your basement starts getting significantly cooler. That's because the heat stored in the concrete walls and floor release the heat into the air, both inside and outside. In order to build a more energy efficient home, you need to insulate the concrete foundation inside and out. The designs I saw had slabs of foam insulation under the concrete basement floor and on both sides of the foundation walls. This improves the slab's insulation rating from near zero to R-16, and the basement walls from R-8 to R-36.


An east-west orientation ensures that the low morning and evening sun doesn't get much of an opportunity to enter the home through the windows, creating too much solar heating. The high midday sun shouldn't enter the south facing windows, especially if awnings, etc. are used as discussed in the next section. But the windows should allow the low midday winter sum to enter through as much window as possible to maximize solar heating of the thermal mass inside, typically concrete floor and possibly walls.

The north, west and east walls can have windows, but they should be as small as possible and higher up on the wall to minimize solar heating. Get the kind that open if possible to allow for cross ventilation in the warmer months.

The windows themselves should be ultra-efficient, 3 pane design with argon between the panes and low-e coating so that the heat that does enter doesn't leak back out.

Awnings and overhangs

In the high sun angle of summer, awnings or overhangs are needed over south facing windows to prevent direct sunlight from shining in the windows. You want to minimize solar heating. Some folks try to prevent the solar heating by using blinds instead, but the heat is still getting through the window itself. You could pick windows that have the blinds built in. That can help. But shading the window is the best. The awnings should not prevent the sun from coming in once summer is over, as this is going to help heat the thermal mass inside.


The newest ultra high efficiency air-to-air heat exchangers can draw heat out of the outside air right down to -25C and work as air conditioning in summer. When you've got the insulation of a passiv haus, this is pretty much all you need for heating and cooling. Most high efficiency homes even forego the furnace entirely. But some homes install an electric furnace as a backup.

Air exchange

Because a passiv haus is air tight, it doesn't get any fresh air. These homes need a heat recovery ventilation system. This device brings fresh air from outside and using a very efficient heat transfer device, pre-heats the fresh air using heat from the air that will be exhausted. It usually works out to be 75% efficient. It makes for a healthy home with lots of air circulation and filtered air too, if that's necessary. The best systems get rid of excess moisture, VOCs, carbon dioxide and other toxins. They also make it unnecessary to exhaust bathroom air directly outside.

Your dryer needs to be considered here as well, because a normal dryer exhausts air outside. There are now condensing dryers that don't need to exhaust anything outside, but remove the water and dump it down the drain.

Hot water

You can use a few of the kind of solar panels that heat water to provide pre-heated or hot water, but these systems are too expensive now compared to the newest alternatives. Modern heat pump water heaters extract heat from the ambient air of your house to heat the water in the tank, and if that's not enough, then electric heating elements kick in. Some of these units can even exhaust cool air into the rest of the house in summer. Think about it, a hot water heater that also acts as an air conditioner. Smart.

Solar panels

The finishing touch of a passiv haus is generating your own electricity. This part of the project requires a lot of planning and consultation with the utility company. This is because some utilities will only allow you to generate a certain amount of power, so that you don't become a regular producer all year long. They want you to produce just enough power to provide for your home. Surpluses are fine, as long as they're not constant. The way around this is to also have battery storage for the excess. That way anything you collect in excess can be stored for later, when it's night or the sun isn't as strong.

One of the smartest things I saw was a house design where the panels were mounted on the overhangs shading the south facing windows. This prevented the entire roof from having to be covered in panels.

By the way, solar panels have really dropped in price these days, which is why they're becoming more viable even in less expensive, non net zero designs.

Riddle me this....

Things I learned lately 26 Apr

  • KitKat chcolate bars are made of KitKats. Every rejected KitKat is mashed and made into the insides of new KitKats. Since every imperfect KitKat was already filled with other imperfect KitKats, and some of the KitKats they'll fill will also be rejected, every time you eat a KitKat, you're basically eating layers of KitKats within KitKats within KitKats.
  • Tesla vehicles will be ineligible for the Canadian government's new $5,000 electric vehicle tax credit when it takes effect on May 1. Base-model vehicles must have sticker price below $45,000 CAD. Tesla's cheapest car, the Model 3, starts at $53,700 in Canada, according to the company's website. The Model S and X start at $114,000 CAD and $117,000 CAD, respectively.
  • Dogs can be trained to smell an oncoming epileptic seizure up to 45 minutes before they happen.
  • Apple now has a few robots designed to disassemble old discarded products and recycle their parts / material.
  • The Method brand soap factory in Chicago (pictured) has a 75,000 square foot greenhouse on its roof that produces 1 million pounds of food every year.
  • There is an annual Sasquatch calling competition in Whitehall, NY. Who knows which call is accurate? No bigfoot have ever responded to any of the calls.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Thinking of growing a beard?

Guys, have you thought about growing a beard? Let me share my experiences with you.

I decided to grow my beard in October 2018, after having previously tried various growth attempts in the past. After it got to a certain length, I realized that it was quite wiry and did some research on oils and balms. I settled on an unscented balm from Rocky Mountain Barber Company, a Canadian product. One very nice and totally unexpected by-product of using the balm, is that I wipe the excess off my hands onto my elbows, and it really helps protect them from drying out like they normally do. Old man problems.

So, what's it like with a beard? Well, it brings a whole new dimension to eating. They don't call it a 'flavour saver' for nothing. When food gets on my beard, I often don't feel like wiping it gets it all, so I tend to wash it at the sink a lot after a messy meal.

I notice that I quickly formed a habit of chewing my moustache, which I used to do when I had just a moustache in my late 20s. I don't know if there's anything I can do to stop that, but I'm just dealing with it for now.

I bought myself a cheap, narrow trimmer to get hair off my upper lip and other minor adjustments. Once the beard got pretty long, Darlene said I was starting to look like a homeless person. So I went to the barber for a trim. My first and second barber visits (2 different barbers) did not produce the result I was looking for. In particular, they did a very crooked job of the trim line on my neck. It's unlikely most people would notice, but I did and that's all that matters. If you think it's hard to find a person that cuts your hair properly, I think it might be even harder to find someone who cuts your beard to your satisfaction. My 3rd visit to a barber in the Bridgeland neighbourhood (Cannibale) finally gave me a straight trim line.

I haven't quite made up my mind one way or the other as to whether the beard is permanent, but I haven't had any urges yet to get rid of it. It's been a bit entertaining to watch peoples' faces who haven't seen me since before October 2018 as they try to figure out if they recognize me or not. Most people say they like the change, but would anyone be honest enough to say otherwise? I don't know.

[Update 11 Jun 2019] The beard is gone. 8 months. That's the longest I've ever had full facial hair. Why did I shave it? A few reasons. My spouse never really warmed up to it. It made eating a bit of a mess (especially the way I eat). It made me look older than I am (as said by others). It was difficult to shape the way I wanted it. On the bright side, it made getting ready in the morning faster!

True shower stories

Small things 18 Apr

  • Why do I always feel the need to pull up beside the vehicle to see what the bad driver looks like?
  • Millennials. Always walking around like they rent the place......
  • Should you really wish your diabetic child 'sweet dreams'?
  • Extremely cruel and inappropriate way to break a pet's death to a child: "What has four legs but isn't alive?"
  • Parental control software - no replacement for real parenting.
  • I don't miss homework.
  • Value Village: When you don't feel like dressing up to go to Walmart.
  • It is conceivable that a young person might not realize that if their fob battery dies, they could use their key to unlock the car door.
  • Cat's favourite day: boxing day.

Pointless sign

It's a pointless sign, because Abby is nowhere near this DQ to read it.

That is how the bolus spider do

"If you want to catch a chicken, smell like a horny chicken. If you want to catch me, smell like Doritos and a nap."

Ze Frank continues to crack me up.

P.S.: This was possibly the least gross screen grab from the video.

Just sayin'......

Things I learned lately 18 Apr

  • In the latest version of Tesla's autopilot, the car seeks to overtake (pass) slow moving cars; can change lanes on its on without driver intervention (such as when it's time to get to the right to be ready for an exit from a highway; and can navigate highway to highway interchanges on its own. The next feature currently being tested is traffic light recognition.
  • The most common prescription bottle colours are orange and light brown; the colours are just the right hue to prevent ultraviolet light from damaging photosensitive medication, while allowing enough visible light into the container to illuminate the contents.
  • Tomatoes were a product of the New World and only appeared in Italy after importation. As a result, the first recorded instance of a tomato-based sauce in Italian cuisine wasn’t until the 1790s. 
  • Half of the world’s geysers are located in Yellowstone National Park.
  • Betteridge’s Law of Headlines states that "Any headline that ends with a question mark can be answered with the word no."
  • The symbol for the band Queen, a large crest-like logo, was designed by Queen front man Freddie Mercury and includes references to the zodiac symbols of all four members: the two lions (Leo) on the sides for John Deacon and Roger Taylor, the two fairies (Virgo) for Freddie Mercury, and a crab (Cancer) for Brian May.
  • One Times Square, once home to the New York Times and now the focal point for the Times Square New Year’s Eve ball drop, is almost entirely empty with few tenants; the majority of the revenue the building’s owners take in is from the many large billboards on the exterior of the building.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Sniff his butt

Small things 12 Apr

  • Tradition is just peer pressure from dead people.
  • The 'trickle-down' theory: The principle that the poor, who must subsist on table scraps dropped by the rich, can best be served by giving the rich bigger meals. ~William Blum
  • Dragons are sad because they can't blow out their birthday candles.
  • Croutons are a great comeback story if you think about it. Bread nobody ate yesterday becomes the best part of the salad today.
  • Children words of widom: "Never trust a dog to watch your food."
  • Children words of widom: "Don't pull dad's finger when he tells you to."
  • Children words of widom: "When your mom is mad at your dad, don't let her brush your hair."
  • Children words of widom: "You can't hide broccoli in a glass of milk."
  • Children words of widom: "If you want a kitten, start out by asking for a pony."
  • Children words of widom: "Never try to baptize a cat."
  • Children words of widom: "Felt markers are not good to use as lipstick."

Get it?

Songs that are 40 years old this year (2019)

AC/DC - Highway to hell
Gary Numan - Cars
Marianne Faithful - Broken English / The ballad of Lucy Jordan
Michael Jackson - Don't stop 'til you get enough / Rock with you
Pink Floyd - Another brick in the wall / Comfortably numb
Talking Heads - Life during wartime
B-52s - Rock lobster / Planet claire
The Police - Message in a bottle / Walking on the moon
April Wine - Roller
M - Pop muzik
Patrick Hernandez - Born to be alive
Gloria Gaynor - I will survive
Doobie Brothers - What a fool believes
Donna Summer - Bad girls
Chic - Good times / Le freak
The Knack - My sharona
Rupert Holmes - Escape (the pina colada song)
Boom town Rats - I don't like Mondays
The Buggles - Video killed the radio star
Earth Wind and Fire - After the love has gone / Boogie wonderland
Robert Palmer - Bad case of loving you
Bauhaus - Bela Lugosi's Dead
Supertramp - Breakfast in America / Goodbye stranger / The logical song
Nick Lowe - Cruel to be kind
Roxy Music - Dance away
Tom Petty - Don't do me like that / Refugee
Sniff n the Tears - Driver's seat
OMD - Electricity
Pointer Sisters - Fire
The Cars - Good times roll
Kiss - I was made for lovin' you
Joe Jackson - Is she really going out with him?
Little River Band - Lady
The Clash - London calling
XTC - Making plans for Nigel
Blondie - One way or another
The Sugarhill Gang - Rapper's delight
Suzi Quatro - Stumblin' in
Ramones - I wanna be sedated

Nobody cares which team you play for

Things I learned lately 12 Apr

  • At least five different published studies have found British Columbia's carbon tax, introduced in 2008, has cut overall emissions, reduced per capita gasoline use by 7%, improved average vehicle efficiency by 4%, cut residential natural gas use by 7% and diesel use by more than 3%. Meanwhile, BC enjoyed about 3% annual economic growth between 2012 and 2017. Other jurisdictions that have successfully used carbon taxes to reduce emissions include Sweden, Finland, Denmark, the Netherlands, several U.S. states, the U.K. and the European Union.
  • Every time a Tesla owner intervenes and re-takes control of a Tesla after it's been in autopilot mode, it anonymously sends that data to Tesla so that they can study the situation and determine if there is a way to make the car smarter to avoid those types of interventions in the future.
  • The rise in cryptocurrency mining has created a shortage of high end graphic cards for computers between December 2017 and February 2018. Most stores were sold out.
  • The cereal character Cap'n Crunch is the product of Rocky and Bullwinkle creator Jay Ward.

Saturday, April 06, 2019

Unsecured child

Small things 6 Apr

  • If I identify as a carry-on bag, can I fly anywhere for $30?
  • Equal rights for others doesn't mean less rights for you. It's not pie.......
  • Disney named the movie 'Frozen' so that when people Google 'disney frozen' they get princesses and catchy songs instead of articles alleging that Walt Disney had himself cryogenically frozen.
  • They only needed 2 days to read the Mueller report to clear Trump of obstruction. But they need 3 weeks to clear it for sharing with Congress.

Person A: What's your opinion on brisket?
Person B: I don't really know much about UK politics.

Interviewer: Do you have a police record?
Me: Not anymore. I used to have a few of their albums on vinyl, but now my collection is all CDs.

"Daddy, what are clouds made of?"
"Linux servers mostly."

You might be a hoarder if...

How life would change after autonomous electric cars become ubiquitous

Let’s fast forward 20 years from now. Who knows, maybe we won’t even need to wait that long. Electric, self-driving cars are now the norm. How would our lives and culture have changed? I think it will have changed more than we can imagine, but let’s play a game of ‘what if?’.

I guess we should start with what I believe is an obvious question. If pretty much every car can drive itself, will we finally get over the need to ‘own’ our own car? The way I imagine it, once more than a few Joneses are riding autonomous vehicles to school, work, or shopping, those same Joneses are going to start wondering if they even need to keep a car parked in their driveway or garage, especially if a car-for-hire is an app tap away. According to Tesla, that was one of the original goals for their cars anyway. Elon Musk envisioned a day when Tesla owners would free their cars up for hiring by other people when their owners didn’t need them for a while. So imagine you’ve been driven to your work and now your car would just sit in the parking lot for the next 8 hours. Wouldn’t you consider earning extra money by letting your car get others around while you work? Or sleep?

So I think what we would start to see, is people owning these cars and letting them be hired by others when the owner doesn’t need them. This would, along with any other companies that offer fleets of autonomous cars for hire, satisfy the needs of a lot of people to get around. It would require a bit of a culture shift though, because right now, we don’t even think about whether our car is ready to go, it’s just sitting there waiting for us. If we choose to let our cars shuttle other people around, that makes it a bit harder to just go somewhere on the spur of the moment. You might have to wait a couple of moments. It will make a lot more sense to just give up the idea of ownership period and hire as needed.

Not owning a car, but having access to one whenever we need it changes a lot of things too. No need for a garage or driveway. Imagine what neighbourhoods could look like once parking spots for cars are no longer required. You’d only need a spot for a car to temporarily wait for you curbside. No more worries about insurance, maintenance, gas, or even charging. The fleet will in all likelihood be managed by someone else. Just like Car2Go or Uber, except that there won’t even be any human drivers.

If you really sit back and think about it, if cars are available to hire any time, anywhere, what is the point of a taxi? None. OK then, what is the point of a bus? Same answer. The only thing I could see the bus offering as an advantage is price point. But most people would probably opt to get driven straight from where they are to their destination quickly and directly, even if it costs more, rather than take a bus with a longer trip and a meandering route. That's assuming they only needed one bus and nothing else. So it is possible that bus networks would eventually falter and disappear. Trains on the other hand, might have the advantage of speed, especially between towns and cities.

But with all of these autonomous vehicles, we may have created a new problem. If more people start hiring cars to take them places and stop using the much more efficient bus, this could put more vehicles on the road. Rush hour could become a bigger nightmare. We might need to enforce some level of efficiency by equipping autonomous vehicles with AI and make them perform multiple rides for multiple customers at the same time that are going in the same general direction. I think people might be willing to wait an extra few minutes for a vehicle that already has a couple more rides established and share the ride. This would essentially become the hybrid of the personal car and the bus. Private rides could be offered to those willing to pay extra for it. Although there would be more vehicles on the road under this new paradigm, it might help that autonomous cars could reduce the space between them due to their intelligent and quick reacting nature. Smart routing could also send vehicles down lesser used streets to ease congestion.

Congestion could also be managed somewhat by making subtle changes to work schedules. The worst case scenario would be when everyone starts work at 8:00 am. Flex hours could spread the rush over several hours. If workers were encouraged to be at work during core hours for collaboration, workers arriving and leaving for home across a windows of several hours would make roads much more bearable. Heck, why wait? This is a change that can be implemented now.

Once there is a tipping point of people no longer keeping a car at their home, there will probably be an avalanche of others willing to do the same. You know how it goes, people tend to follow what the majority are doing. Imagine the freedom of not having to take your kids to hockey practise. Let the car do it. You wouldn’t have to worry about drinking and driving anymore. Just try not to get sick in the car on the way home from some merriment, especially if the car is not yours.

The next question I have, is what will all those cars be doing when they’re not driving people around? During rush hour they should be busy enough, but what happens after most people are home and not likely to go out for the rest of the day? These cars have to go somewhere. Vehicles will also need somewhere to go to get recharged. We’ll either have parking lots or multi-level parkades (parking garages for Americans) or both re-purposed to handle this. We probably have enough space already, as there are a lot of empty lots and parkades overnight. Autonomous vehicles would know when it’s time to get a recharge and cars that don’t have a new trip waiting for them would find somewhere to get it. If we reduced the number of on-street curbside parking spots, this could make it possible for much wider sidewalks and even more and safer bike lanes. As an added bonus, I guarantee an autonomous car won’t complain about bike lanes.

What would the experience of being driven be like? For one thing, there would be no more road rage, because these cars will be driven in the most efficient and safest way possible by leading edge, linked intelligence. You would be able to sit back, relax and do whatever you would like to be doing while waiting to arrive at your destination. Watch the world go by, or watch TV or browse the internet. Listen to the radio or a podcast or stream some music. I wonder if you could you ask the car to go via the scenic route? If you’re just sitting back, maybe the scenic route would be enjoyable. I know that one thing I would be looking forward to, at least once, is letting a car drive me all the way to San Diego, while I get to finally sit back and fully enjoy the scenery for a change. The car would be able to drive all the way without stopping, except for meals, bathroom breaks and recharges. It’s currently only a 24 hour total drive. I like that option. Leave at 8 in the morning one day and be there at 11 the next morning, totally refreshed (allowing time for recharges and stops for meals). That’s assuming we’d still need to follow the speed limit. More on that later.

On the drive to work, would I still want to stop somewhere on the way to grab a coffee? Imagine thousands of autonomous cars queuing in coffee drive-thrus? Remember the old drive-ins of the 1950s and 1960s? They sprung up to deal with the explosion of the North American car culture. You drove up, parked, a server came to the car to take your order and brought it to your car once it was ready, on a tray that clipped right onto your window. I foresee roving coffee vehicles taking your order via your phone, then driving up beside you to hand it over on the freeway. With AI doing the driving, why not? After thinking about this some more, I realized that if coffee retailers were smart, they would sponsor cars for hire and equip them with coffee for their riders. And why stop there really? For my Canadian friends, imagine a Tim Hortons minivan for hire to take you to work, along with a few other people going the same way. In the minivan are dispensers of coffee, tea, donuts, etc. I would seriously take that to work some days. They’d just have to bump up the cost per minute a few cents and boom. Coffee and breakfast paid for.

Let’s take this into overdrive. There are a lot of other vehicles on the road delivering stuff to our houses, especially if we’re buying stuff online. Plus we’re always stopping off at the store to pick up a few things on the way home. I see no reason why the following scenario couldn’t happen. I ordered a couple things on Amazon this morning and it says I can either get them delivered to my house, or I could choose to let an Amazon car for hire take me home from work and I’ll get a discount on my order (for saving them the cost of delivering the goods. When the car arrives, my Amazon order is waiting for me in the car. If they partner with any grocery stores, those few things that I would have stopped to get could also be waiting in the car. Maybe a future perk for being a Amazon Prime member is that every time you order something from Amazon, your package will await you in the car and you also get the ride home for free.

With the proliferation of autonomous vehicles, would it be possible to eventually do away with speed limits as we know them today? I mean, let’s face it, speed limits only exist because most humans don’t know or pay heed to their limits. Nor are we generally great drivers. In Germany, where the autobahns have no speed limit, this is only possible because most cars are in good repair, their drivers are more courteous (and I suggest - better trained), and they know to stay to the right unless they’re passing. Incidentally, speed limits come back even on the autobahn when road conditions deteriorate. Autonomous cars should know when it would be alright to go faster and when not to. They would also drive according to the traffic. But a bunch of cars that could potentially talk to each other about what they’re doing should even make it possible to go faster when roads are congested, like a really fast car train. This new reality might even make it possible for traffic lights and other signs to disappear, since cars will know when it’s safe to proceed based on not just what’s going on around them but in conversation with other cars on the road. They would even know when congestion is occurring and route around it if practical. Could I get that drive to San Diego in 20 hours? That would be sweet.

It’s fun to imagine what the ride of the future will be like. I for one, am looking forward to it.

Make it so....

Things I learned lately 6 Apr

  • There's a lot of great new technology arriving to be used in passiv haus or net zero homes. For example, there's such a thing as a heat pump water heater. It extracts heat out of your home in summer (or all year long if you live in a hot climate) and puts the heat in the water, then pushes out cool dehumidified air into the house.
  • Back when vinyl was the usual medium to get music, recording engineers tried to put the quietest songs on the innermost tracks due to inner groove distortion.
  • There are two industries that kill more people than they employ. Coal and tobacco.
  • If you need to calculate 4% of 75, you could just swap the numbers for the same result. In other words, 75% of 4 is the same thing, which is 3.
  • The current Tesla model lineup spells S3XY.