Michael Cain

Michael Cain

  • Commented on What happens now?
    FWIW, the term for the head of a board that I've heard in common use is "the chair", which sort of solves the problem. When I was on the staff for the budget committee of my state's legislature, we had...
  • Commented on What happens now?
    AIUI, it's "moscow Mitch" being an arsehole again - he could recall the senate, but if he leaves it until 21/1/2121, then it fucks over the first weeks of Biden's presidency. One of the Democratic leaders in the House has...
  • Commented on What happens now?
    Or possibly a better example, look at the British House of Commons: Much of the official process in Congress assumes that Representatives and Senators do not have office space other than their space in the chamber. Paper copies of tons...
  • Commented on What happens now?
    If we can get Sen Joe Mancin (democrat from deep red West Virginia) to go along, we can eliminate the filibuster. Joe Manchin is the darling of the East Coast media for "the Democrat we have to get." Over the...
  • Commented on Submarine coming through!
    Untested and speculative technologies are always superior to real ones because nobody has to actually make them work. You get to talk about all of the theoretical advantages without any of the messy real world issues intruding.... Thorium reactors are...
  • Commented on So you say you want a revolution
    Of course what really established Amazon in the early years was their ability to avoid having to collect State taxes, which gave them an unfair advantage over traditional retailers... I started buying technical books from Amazon in the very early...
  • Commented on So you say you want a revolution
    I have enjoyed the diversion into threads. I first discovered just how many details there were as an aside while I was researching how engineers got from hand-cut wooden screws to Ramsden's 125 threads-per-inch screws for scientific and surveying instruments...
  • Commented on So you say you want a revolution
    Pipe threads being the worst. We recently bought a new place (population has gone up 50% in 20 years, the old places are full). PEX and PVC, lots of glue....
  • Commented on So you say you want a revolution
    The second is what I grew up with. Dad set type as a part-time job while he was in college. And the dad next door when I was a little older ran a Linotype for the local weekly newspaper. At...
  • Commented on So you say you want a revolution
    The governor of Arizona (a true R through and through) was part of a signing of the declaration of the vote results on a live stream when his phone rang with the ring tone he had bragged about a month...
  • Commented on So you say you want a revolution
    We've had working tokamaks since the late 1950s. What we don't have, including this Chinese one, is a tokamak that has reached breakeven (fusion power out equals electrical power in) let alone the 25:1 or more gain needed to make...
  • Commented on So you say you want a revolution
    When it's not cavalry (reconnaissance/screening against reconnaissance), air is artillery. (Sometimes counter-battery artillery.) Air does not like to acknowledge this. Neither does artillery. Against an opponent without air defense capability, a B-52 staying on station for hours and occasionally kicking...
  • Commented on So you say you want a revolution
    I notice that the UK exchanges multihectomegawatts of electrical power with France, Belgium, Ireland, Holland. Is Brexit likely to complicate such arrangements? I have read, but will certainly defer to people with more expertise, that much of the big trading...
  • Commented on So you say you want a revolution
    Wasn't it Napoleon who said that God generally fights on the side of the heavier artillery? In response to an immediately-dismissed general who said that it didn't matter that he couldn't have the artillery in place in time, God was...
  • Commented on So you say you want a revolution
    So don't get cancer in 2021, okay? Or presumably a bunch of other things that use radioactive materials for imaging. When my blood pressure got erratic enough the medical people wanted to look at a number of possibilities, the noninvasive...
  • Commented on Countdown to Crazy
    What's really needed is a transmission line backbone to interconnect the provinces. As I recall, Canada has three largely independent geographically separated synchronized AC grids. Two of them are tied to much larger US grids. So looking at a relatively...
  • Commented on Countdown to Crazy
    Also, can someone explain why the poor sunless western states doomed to wither under the overcast Siberian sky can't just build more fission reactors? Cooling water. Consider... The hardest part of building the last new thermal power plant in my...
  • Commented on Countdown to Crazy
    ...the states that deliberately deferred counting until on/after election day caused a lot of stress... These are basically states where the legislature has no interest in conducting elections by mail. During the next legislative season, they are as likely to...
  • Commented on Countdown to Crazy
    ...something like 20% of the population have 55-60 of the votes in the Senate, yes? Rounding somewhat and using July, 2020 population estimates, the 20 smallest states (40 Senators) have 10% of the total population. The 30 smallest states (60...
  • Commented on Countdown to Crazy
    Right now the Democrats best hope for the Senate is that whatever happened Moscow Mitch's hand last week will prove to be not only fatal, but contagious & he won't die before passing it on to a substantial number of...
  • Commented on Countdown to Crazy
    In 2024, the swing goes the other way - 21 Democrats, 2 independents who caucus with the Dems, and 10 Republicans. The problem with just looking at the superficial numbers -- that is, how many seats must be defended --...
  • Commented on Countdown to Crazy
    Just as a tangent, the official language of the Commonwealth government in Puerto Rico is Spanish. The exception is the federal district court there, where all filings and proceedings must be done in English. Only a small fraction of the...
  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    To me, the most interesting aspect of the cannonball run endurance road race is the electric option. Yes. But since I live in a place that has winter, I want to see them run it in January rather than July....
  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    BLM as in Bureau of Land Management... I spent some years on the permanent staff for a western state legislature. BLM will always be Bureau of Land Management in my head, mostly used in a derogatory fashion. I was told...
  • Commented on Dead plots
    I wonder if there's any technology for my hearing problems. My new aids are somewhere between the simplest and the really sophisticated in terms of price. They have an astounding -- to me, a digital audio and video compression guy...
  • Commented on Dead plots
    I'm curious, as an outsider, why did the EU feel it was necessary to have an exit clause? What convinced the parties like France and Germany to approve it?...
  • Commented on Dead plots
    Re many of the comments about rural internet service in the United States: 1) The REA's charter was expanded and it is now the Rural Utilities Service (RUS). The current charter includes telecommunications services (as well as electricity and things...
  • Commented on Dead plots
    The "official hearing aids" run $3k-$6k in the US... I haven't tried them, but Costco's house brand -- built by one of the major brands, using the same DSP/Bluetooth chip, with the software somewhat stripped down, no rechargeable battery, and...
  • Commented on Dead plots
    There's kind of a fine line between conspiracy theories and some sorts of political action. Is the SNP a conspiracy? Is my 30-year plot to separate the American West from the rest of the country a conspiracy? Well, no to...
  • Commented on Dead plots
    A few weeks ago I was traveling along I-80, the most heavily used east-west freight road across the US Great Plains (the big trucks are, for practical purposes, a badly-organized rail service). I get my cell service from T-Mobile, now...
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