The billionaires are angry

These are staggering, obscene levels of accumulated wealth. My biggest problem with this isn’t some vague notion of “inequality”. The real problem is the concentration of (political) power. This is making our democracy all but obsolete. Robert Reich notes that the average American would have to work 800,000 years to earn as much as Elon Musk made in one day this year, all of it untaxable. How are we any different from post-Soviet Russia and their “oligarchs”? Is this really where we want to be as a country? BTW, my solution isn’t to target “the billionaires”, but to fix the tax system that allowed this to happen. If you want to claw back gains made during the previous era, that is a totally different problem.

The billionaires are angry

The Transition to Renewable Energy

I have always suspected that the transition away from fossil fuels to renewables like wind and solar could happen very quickly, once a critical price juncture is passed. Solar and wind are currently cheaper than oil and gas and the recent price spikes in oil and gas make an even better case for renewables. Nobody ever buys the more expensive option. I’ve never heard a legitimate argument for a slow transition away from oil and gas. I wonder how gradual the transition was from whale oil to petroleum for lamps in the 1800s? We are really fortunate that cheap alternates to fossil fuels have come along just as climate change is becoming a serious problem. If only we could get our tax dollars to stop subsidizing this dying industry.

Is there an “energy crisis”? Not really — fossil fuels are collapsing, and it’s high time

Chinese EV

Last week I saw my first Fiat 500e, charging in a parking garage. We had a Fiat 500 for years (which my sister still drives) and liked it. Thought we might get a 500e to replace it, but they were only available in California and were a bit pricey. Was wondering about other EVs around the world and ran across the Wuling Hongguang Mini EV. A very small car with about 100 miles or range that sells for about $5k. Seems almost a half a million have sold in China, mostly to younger buyers. Its ugly, but I think I want one!

The Nasal Cycle

Every now and then I hear about something that truly astounds me. Today I read that most people only breathe out of a single nostril at a time, and that nostrils take turns being the dominant, breathing nostrils, switching every 90 minutes to four hours. At first I thought this sounded like nonsense, another bit of internet misinformation. But I checked and, sure enough, I was only using one nostril. I googled and it seems to be a medical fact.

Do Most Humans Really Breathe out of Only One Nostril at a Time? Here’s the Skinny

More Internet of Things

We are in Phoenix, AZ today. This morning my pad starts playing little songs in the other room. Apps have a bad habit of turning notifications back on even after I turn them off. It kept up, so I went and had a look. The refrigerator door, back in Austin, was open. We called my daughter back at home and sure enough, it wasn’t closed all the way. I also need to replace the water filter.

Goodbye, Pucci

This week we lost Pucci. He was with us for almost 17 years and a part of the family. It is difficult to find the words to describe him. He was as clever as any animal I have ever seen. He had a big heart and a big personality and seemed to make an impression on everyone. We will miss him.