China had to dismantle their hodge-podge of lead acid battery makers amd
form them into an organized consortium because lead poisoning had gotten
completely out of control in several districts. Looks like China's not
quite got the hang of environmental protection.
Japan has a pretty unique history of ignoring the obvious (like they had
already lost the war in mid 1945). Especially if "saving face" is involved.
(They're still pissing off China re: WWII issues.)
They know that Tokyo Bay is ringed with chemical factories and huge storage
tanks that will likely rupture in a big enough quake. They also know when
those ruptured tanks spill into the Bay, it's going to create a toxic stew
as great as any the world has ever seen since primordial earth. They even
have a name for all those tanks ringing the bay ("The Poison Necklace").
I believe they're still arguing about who's going to pay to quake proof some
of the nastiest chemical vessels (if that's even possible). Ironically,
they're turning their nukes back on. What's one little accident, anyway?
There's hope. They learned not to mix melamine with the dog food and
kill Fifi. The difference is in China when they figure out who had the
bright idea they shoot him. In the US the company is fined 5% of one
day's profits and the beat goes on.
Well, they've learned more about how to cheat and not get caught. (-:
Remember the recent laminated wood/formaldehyde incident? They offered two
qualities of flooring. One that could never pass the test and one that
could and for the right number of reminbi's they'd somehow manage to mark
the failing flooring as A-OK. But they wanted to make sure they had
Odd that the socialist Chinese understand the concept of personal
responsibility better than we do. Our entire economy crashed and very few
people were held responsible. One idiot who led the pack of SOBs that
brought on the Crash of 2008 even had the chutzpah to try suing the US for
bailing out AIG.
I am pretty sure he would have gotten a bullet in the head had he tried that
stunt in China. Then I suspect his family would be summarily stripped of
all their wealth, whether or not it came from criminal acts. I don't think
the Chinese are as mindful of bills of attainder as were our founding
Punishing a bad guy's family is very profitable, as the English Tudor kings
discovered. Yesterday it was Castle Bowman, today it's castle Green.
Tomorrow it's whomever didn't piss the king off's castle. A very powerful
motive for not effing with the King. Was it "History of the World" where he
says: "Aahhh! It's good to be the king."
Reforming the religion is also good. Thomas Cromwell and his cronies
made a bundle out of the confiscated Church property and Henry got a new
punch. It didn't turn out too well for Tommy. Too bad they didn't round
up all the Cromwells and execute them, saving the world from Oliver.
A lot of the King's ministers, his wifes, his mistresses and their friends
and relatives all misplaced their heads involuntarily. IIRC, a few even got
drawn and quartered although I think even the king could not visit that
punishment on the nobility - only commoners. I do believe on rare occasions
he did "denobilize" someone to visit some horrible punishment on them. A
few even got hanged in chains and were then left to rot in place. That's
got to smell something awful. Just like radios have magic smoke in them,
humans have magic stink that escapes when they day (and for days afterward).
Do you think anyone named Cromwell has been elected to British office since
then? I would imagine it would be like Atlanta where very few Shermans are
to be found in the phonebook (or were, when I last looked 40 years ago).
Olly is one of my all time favorites. You really have to piss people off
to have them dig you up, give you a posthumous execution, and put your
head on a pike.
Churchill wanted to name a battleship HMS Oliver Cromwell but the king
wasn't enthusiastic. The Irish were testy enough without another
appearance of Cromwell. He still makes the lists of popular historical
Here is the one that's the most famous
because its composition is very much like Michaelangelo's "Pieta" (the
cruxified Jesus held in the arms of his mother Mary).
Photographer Eugene Smith was beaten and partially blinded by company goons
for taking the photos that finally exposed the Chisso Company's pollution.
When Smith died the copyright of this very famous photo passed to his wife
who returned the rights to the family according to their wishes. They
wanted no further publication of the photo of their daughter, who died at
age 21. The small copies that still exist (nothing ever vanishes from the
Internet!) really don't capture the impact of Tomoko's blind eyes staring
I've wondered about those twisty spirals. The company also produced the
helical flashtubes for strobe like the animation towards the bottom of
They were all hand blown. Glass blowing was considered one of the plum
jobs and most of the girls, er, women, wanted to try out for it. Some
got it, most didn't. It was one of those things where you just had to
know when the glass was ready to bend and how much pressure to keep on
the tube so it wouldn't collapse.
Knowing that, I can envisions factories packed with young Chinese women
sitting in front of burners twisting spirals and the odd glass swan when
the boss isn't looking.
True, it was bending unless they screwed up and blew too hard. 'Glass
blower' was just a sexier job description than 'glass bender'. I liked
the one where you heat the middle and pull the tube apart to make pipettes.
The fun part was when we got into quartz glass. Soda-lime glass can be
worked with an oxyacetylene flame but quartz needs hydrogen. For
industrial use the supplier just drops a tube trailer:
You pay demurrage on the trailer and when it's close to empty they just
swap another one out. But you need a permit to have the trailer on the
premises. For some reason when you go to a local government office and
say 'hydrogen' they finish the sentence with 'bomb'. They should have
been more worried about the liquid oxygen tanks but that's government
I'll bet the have healthy lungs from blowing all day. Glass, that is.
(-: Those twisty spirals are what will kill CFLs. When both bulbs hit
commodity pricing (and they're close) it will still take more effort to
build a CFL so they'll be just slightly more expensive. Besides, the design
is poor in that screwing them in puts in inordinate amount of stress on the
two places where the tube enters the electronics pods. And then there's the
ever-lengthening time it takes for the older ones to come up to full
The irony is that after having paid $10 or more per CFL in the beginning, I
am now reluctant to stock up on $2 LED bulbs because I think they'll go much
lower. Under a buck in just a year or two.
Ah, the deflationary spiral :) I'll defer my purchase because the item
will be cheaper next Tuesday.
I'll have to admit I've been impressed by the advances in LED
technology. I have an old Black Diamond headlamp with two LEDs that put
out enough light to navigate a well maintained trail. Next to it is the
$20 Duracell 1000 CP flashlight that lets me see what that deer 100
yards away is up to.
What I'm waiting for is the LED driving light kits for bikes to come
down a little more. When you live with the aforementioned Bambis
wandering around at night the more light the better on a bike.
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