Archive for Breather

Mar
21

Whatever floats your boat

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At a time when Americans are waiting for (and expecting) fistfights to break out at political rallies, thank God for the Brits. At least they’ve retained their sense of humor.

The UK’s Natural Environment Research Council has a new polar research vessel designed and ready for construction at a shipyard on the River Mersey. The new ship “will deliver world-leading capability for UK research in both Antarctica and the Arctic.”

But it needs a name. Something noble and historic. Perhaps the name of a legendary British explorer like Shackleton or something lofty and poetic like Endeavour?

The NERC announced the online voting contest to name the nearly $300 million boat to be launched in 2019 recently, and the leading vote-getter so far is the simple but silly “Boaty McBoatface.”

It’s never a good thing to take yourself too seriously. Especially on Monday.

(Cross-posted from Hullabaloo.)

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Feb
19

Friday Night Fun

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Dec
25

Who’s That Burning Down the Christmas Tree?

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Categories : Breather, Satire
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Nov
02

Did You Miss It?

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Sep
19

A great disturbance in the Force

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Nordex N117 wind turbine. By Andol (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The glorious and all-powerful, self-correcting MARKET (its Name be praised; genuflect if the Spirit moves) found itself disturbed earlier this week when something that wasn’t supposed to be possible happened. Very early on Sunday morning, the price of electricity went wonky in Texas (where else?). As Daniel Gross tells it:

And then a very strange thing happened: The so-called spot price of electricity in Texas fell toward zero, hit zero, and then went negative for several hours. As the Lone Star State slumbered, power producers were paying the state’s electricity system to take electricity off their hands. At one point, the negative price was $8.52 per megawatt hour.

Impossible, most economists would say. In any market—and especially in a state devoted to the free market, like Texas—makers won’t provide a product or service at a negative cost. Yet this could only have happened in Texas, which (not surprisingly) has carved out its own unique approach to electricity.

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Sep
07

Hey, Everybody! It’s Labor Day!

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Categories : Breather, National
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Jun
11

Careful With That Statistic. You Don’t Know Where It’s Been.

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I work with numbers all day. But it drives me crazy how they get used.

“Eating blah-blah gives you an increased risk of cancer.” Really? Increased how much? “People with red hair have a two times greater risk of whatever.” Two times what? Two times one in a million?

Correlations are particularly misleading. This short video explains why numbers are not all they’re cracked up to be.

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May
03

Just Got Ginsburged

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Notorious RBG is back:

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Apr
22

From The First Earth Day

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Saw this at the very first Earth Day.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtDhbd5i6nQ[/youtube]

Categories : Breather, Environment
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Dec
25

Merry Christmas from the Family

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[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P37xPiRz1sg[/youtube]

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