Saturday salmagundi

• Scot McKnight gets a look at Norm Jeune’s Theologian Trading Cards and find them to be just as cool as they sound. (For his — and my — admittedly odd value for “cool.”)

• Sarah Laskow of Grist commends scrapple as a food sustainability advocates should embrace. She quotes one Pennsylvania chef comparing scrapple to polenta. (What’s the difference between scrapple and polenta? About $7 a serving on most menus.)

• Here’s a cool invention: a generator that converts urine into hydrogen to produce electricity. Who invented this? NASA? CERN? Bell Labs? Nah. It was four teen-age girls in Nigeria.

“It is most, most well-deserved,” Phil Niekro said in a statement. “And I’m super proud of him.”

• Michelle Dean’s “A Lament for Witches” had me lamenting her neglect of Ms. Rosenberg.

• Clowns vs. White Supremacists, Round 2. Clowns remain undefeated.

• Caleb Wilde shares the “Top 20 Pop Songs Requested at Funerals in 2012.” I might request that first one — but only the Sid Vicious version, not the Sinatra one.

• Susie Madrak has a terrific round-up of links and phone numbers for anyone looking to help the recovery in New York, New Jersey and other places affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Phyllis and Del, a love story.

• Dan Savage says that The Liar Tony Perkins is, you know, a liar.

Robert Murray is an awful human being.

• Here’s yet another blogger who volunteered this election season in Pennsylvania’s 6th District: Carol Kuniholm of Words Half Heard.

• They were created by man. They rebelled. They evolved. Some are programmed to think they are human. There are many copies. And they have a plan.

• Georgia’s Republican state senators prepare to fight against Nicolae Carpathia and his nefarious one-world government:

President Obama is using a Cold War-era mind-control technique known as “Delphi” to coerce Americans into accepting his plan for a United Nations-run communist dictatorship in which suburbanites will be forcibly relocated to cities. That’s according to a four-hour briefing delivered to Republican state senators at the Georgia state Capitol last month.

• Baptist pastor Robert Jeffress says that the Georgia lawmakers’ claims that Obama has mind-controlling Antichrist powers is just silly. “President Obama is not the Antichrist,” Jeffress said. “But what I am saying is this: the course he is choosing to lead our nation is paving the way for the future reign of the Antichrist.”

(Thanks for the tip, Tony. And yes, I’ll take that bait.)

• The “vote fraud” myth was intended as a fig leaf for voter suppression — actual in-person voter fraud doesn’t really exist. But after the Fox News and talk-radio machine spent months beating the drum about this menace, some of their followers came to believe it — with disastrous results.

• On the positive side,  Haskell County, Oklahoma, managed to spell “Sabbath” correctly on their Ten Commandments monument. On the negative side, Haskell County apparently doesn’t like Lutherans or Catholics — choosing a sectarian monument that numbers the commandments in a way that excludes those Christians.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jrandyowens Randy Owens

    Not at all useless necessarily, unless you put more restrictions on what you mean.  After all, a system that uses solar energy as its initial input, and gets less energy out than the initial insolation, is quite useful.

  • Tricksterson

    yes, tha line struc kme as odd too.  Why the idea tthat forcing people into the cities is part of some siister agenda?  Especially if he’s comparing Obama to Mao.  mao and Pol Pot) forced people <i?out of the cities

  • http://www.facebook.com/jrandyowens Randy Owens

    Yes, that line struck me as odd too.  Why the idea that forcing people into the cities is part of some sinister agenda?  Especially if he’s comparing Obama to Mao.  Mao (and Pol Pot) forced people out of the cities.

    Hopefully saving some fellow readers from working that all out, especially the Disqus-mangled HTML.  Yes, I’m a little bit compulsive.  (And no, I don’t consider this any reflection on you, @099fb591b48898d10a3e8609d81df286:disqus, though I am a little curious how it happened.)

    ETA: Just because I’m a little compulsive, don’t y’all go expecting me to do the same for Victor!

  • http://twitter.com/shutsumon Becka Sutton

    We’re talking about the initial anthropogenic energy input not the efficiency of the actual energy producing process. Fossil fuels are such incredible fuels and even knowing what we know we find it hard to let go of them because their positive energy balance is so amazing. I think for coal it’s something like for every kwh spent digging and shipping coal you get 50kwh return and once you get to oil it just starts getting into silly numbers.

    So for a solar panel to have a negative energy balance it would need to be the case that the amount of energy used in producing and shipping the raw materials, producing the panel, shipping and installing was more than the energy the panel would produce in its lifetime. The fact it isn’t 100% efficient isn’t really a factor.

    Think of energy as having economics – you want to be making a profit on the transaction. If you were an alchemist who could turn lead into gold but for every kilo of gold you made you needed reagents that cost the monetary equivalent of two kilos of gold you wouldn’t really have a useful process (except that you maybe could make a fortune showing it off which might make it economically viable but you can’t make extra energy that way if it requires more energy to make the fuel than the fuel will produce).

    (Note: yes I know the alchemy thing couldn’t happen – it’s an analogy ;-P)

  • Tricksterson

    Some of it at least was Discus, some of it my tendency to hit post without checking my spelling, some of it my keyboard.

  • Tricksterson

    Oh, and thank you!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jrandyowens Randy Owens

    Really??  I thought it might be that you were on a phone or something, because normally, yours are among the clearest, least error-prone, I thought.  So, I’ve certainly never noticed that tendency before now.

    P.S.  Next time, blame it on the cat; that always works. ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/cphlewis Chloe P. H. Lewis

     We’ve known that urine could be converted to energy for years now

    1. Physics tells us it’s possible, materials science does it, engineering makes it cheap and reliable and safe. Long chain of people working who often don’t know each other. One of the things making this possible was the invention/discovery of a relatively *cheap* material to make the process energy-efficient.

    2. If gas is cheap, why bother? 

    Other nice thing: this should leave all the phosphorus in the remainder, with much less stink, as they’re getting energy from ammonia conversions.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cphlewis Chloe P. H. Lewis

    Adding on to Invisible Neutrino –

     There’s *lots* of hydrogen — in water, for instance. But the energy it takes to crack it out of the water is slightly larger than the energy we get back when it recombines with oxygen to turn back into water (the ‘slightly’ margin is the nothing’s-quite-perfect nature of the material world). 

    Hydrogen energy is `just a battery’, just something we use energy to make because it’s easier to carry around than whatever our source is. But even fossil fuels are just batteries — they’re storing up the sunlight of millions of years ago.

    A whole lot of eco-fuel research is trying to find the best possible battery to connect renewable power sources to  consumer and industrial use. (And we’re still going to have to live on, as it were, our current solar income.)

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    You know, one of the reasons why I enjoyed the Deus Ex franchise is because it is kind of a conspiracy kitchen-sink, with all these various OWG type conspiracies bouncing off one another.  Makes for a hell of an intriguing tale.  

    But at least the developers of Deus Ex know that the conspiracies they are putting in the game are just fiction.  In the words of writer Warren Specter, “I wanted to make the kind of world conspiracy theorists think we live in.”

  • Consumer Unit 5012

    If you like that, you might like the new MMO, “The Secret World”.  Weird History, Conspiracy Theories, and a Zombie Apolcalypse!


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