It is raining now. The snow is melting. I’m so happy and the birds are happy too. The birds around here really seem to like my yard and there were about 1000 birds in my yard this morning. Ok maybe 24 or 32, but I didn’t count. I can’t wait for spring to arrive.
I tried to have a little get together with some friends to play xbox last night, but things didn’t work out too well. Geoff Vaz and Devin Wallace were the only ones to make it over here. I suppose I should explain that it was last minute, however Geoff Vaz is usually able to convince many people to come even with no notice. So we had a good time anyway just the three of us playing Halo.
Dad bought me an extra medium pizza to take home after eating out yesterday, after all Pizza Hut has the “regular price five bucks five bucks five bucks deal”. Being that this post is written under the “Roommate Update” heading, I think some of the astute readers may see where this is going.
I went upstairs to grab a slice of pizza and discovered that all but two of the slices of pizza were gone! I could hardly believe my eyes. Nobody was here and it’s a good thing too because my sister-inlaw’s swearing fit to the magazine subscription people would have paled in comparison to the obscenities that I was spewing. Oh I was so mad, and hungry! I don’t really have any other food to eat right now. I am still in shock that he could be so rude.
Zone finals for the Southern Alberta 4A high school basketball teams are on now and Dad is visiting from Medicine Hat to watch the games. George Hamilton called him up and invited him to come. Dad isn’t the biggest fan of watching basketball1 so he skipped out of watching a couple of games to eat supper with Anna-Maria and I. We had some really good pizza (pi) from Pizza Hut, and had a good time listening to Dad’s war stories2.
Another of Dad’s stories was that as a University Student he performed in a play that his roommate was directing. This was something that I had never known about him3. Apparently his roommate had to beg him to be in the play and reluctantly he agreed. Well what he didn’t know was that he had to practice the play everyday for four weeks! He wasn’t too happy about all the rehearsing every day. But when the night of their single performance arrived approximately 800 people showed up to watch. Dad said that with all the rehearsing they actually did a really good job and that now looking back on the event it gives him a great feeling of accomplishment. He even sang in this play and in those days that was quite out of the ordinary for Dad4.
1. Dad was a very good basketball player in high school and university.
2. It is a running joke with him that he fought in the Vietnam War.
3. The last time we were at Pizza Hut I also learned something about Dad that I didn’t know before but will refrain from sharing at this time.
4. Dad has become quite the musician these days playing many instruments and not feeling too shy about adding vocals to his music.
Today’s date is: 03/14 which just happens to be Pi day. The celebration started at 1:59, Why? The first six digits in pi of course! (3.14159) I think Anna and I should celebrate by having a contest of who can recite the most approximate value of pi. The winner gets what else, but a pie! What will you do for Pi Day?
It would have been more cool if Einstein’s birthday was on the 12th, like mine. You’re probably wondering just how smart was he?
Cameroon bans urine ‘health drink’. Now they tell us.
We had a really good time eating out last night. Anna-Maria took me and her roommate out to The Keg. It was really good. We were at the restaurant for over 2 hours! I didn’t even realize how fast time was flying, and as a consequence of our late evening was forced to do my homework deep into the night. The assignment consisted of scanning some images out of National Geographic and then manipulating them so that there would be no copyright issues with the final project. I finally got to bed at 2:30 and even then I still had homework that I finished up this morning before class.
I’ve been doing really well on my assignments lately. That “shrinking” video that I posted here the other day got 10 out of 10. I’m starting to feel a little stressed about the final assignment though, I haven’t really even started it yet. Well that’s it for my break.
I found this link to Wired Magazine about the pros and cons of moving to a hydrogen energy based society. I’ll summarize for those not wanting to read the article. The author believes that in order for hydrogen to be a viable solution the government has five major obstacles to deal with simultaneously:
- Solve the hydrogen fuel-tank problem.
- Encourage mass production of fuel cell vehicles.
- Convert the nation’s fuelling infrastructure to hydrogen.
- Ramp up hydrogen production.
- Mount a public campaign to sell the hydrogen economy.
Hydrogen Engines have been around for a while. Their biggest problem is carrying enough hydrogen for 400 miles of driving — the range consumers generally expect. What is the answer to problem number one? $15 Billion in government investing. (I’m not sure how he comes up with this figure).
Mass production of fuel-celled vehicles is the next problem. Again money is the solution. The author feels that the Bush administration should allocate $10 billion in incentive to automakers. Why $10 billion? Well it is a nice round number.
Converting the nation’s fueling infrastructure to hydrogen is another big problem with the same “easy” answer. Throw more money at it. The White House should ask for $5 billion to help gas stations convert to hydrogen stations, and the administration should also set aside $10 billion for interest free loans to oil companies in order to help them make the transition to producing mass amounts of hydrogen.
The next step is to ramp up the hydrogen production by looking at new sources of the element. Nuclear power has made huge leaps in efficiency and environmental friendliness. Using this as a source of electricity and then using the process of hydrolysis to convert water into hydrogen and oxygen.
The last obstacle that needs to be addressed is just a simple matter of advertising their objective to the nation. If the people support it right away, then it will make the transition faster and actually save money in the long run. $25 billion in tax rebates for those using the new technology, and another $1 billion for advertisements. As the author notes, $1 billion is what Nike spends on advertising in a year.
Ok, now for my personal take on the story. The author feels that with massive amounts of spending that a fuel-celled economy is possible within ten years. I think that would be great, if that were actually the case, but it seems to me that it most likely will not happen. I guess a good analogy is the US switching to the metric system. If they had done it when they had the chance, they might have pulled it off, but now they’ve waited too long and every day it just gets harder and harder to switch. A country like China that has an enormous population but not a lot of gasoline based infrastructure (relative to its population) is in a much better position to implement the new technology. If the US doesn’t act, they may end up behind in technology to China — so maybe if they felt the pressure of losing the “hydrogen race” ten years would be possible.
My birthday is going great, Anna-Maria and her roommate Zee are taking me out for dinner. We are all dressed up and should be leaving any minute now.