A tiny footnote to the Internet, EV edition

So, in the midst of a long discussion on a particular electric car publicity run, someone posted this:120kW is huge by residential standards but not unusual for industrial/commercial. Your average 50kW radio station would have electric service that big.

Now if you want to replace gas stations with fast charging stations you would have to put 2-12 or so of these 120kW chargers in your facility. Then you have your customers vehicles occupy the premises for 20 minutes each. After this wait they pay you $4 (at 10 cents per kW-hr). Does this sound like a good business to anyone?

The List

You have a List, don't you? Names, incidents, the stuff that you want fixed. The stuff that makes your life worse.

Here's the start of mine:

Office Suite (and nearly every other major spreadsheet and mainstream text editor), for not including the functionality that regex offers, you've made manipulating data worse, not better. I had an actual case, here in October 2010, where the easiest way to de-munge a bad spreadsheet was to export it as a CSV, open it in vi, and run a few googled-up regex substitutions to get all the data into a usable shape. So often, the best data-manipulation tools are still ancient Unix routines.

Youtube Advanced Uploader, you've successfully mis-reinvented FTP, because your sessions can't really be suspended and resumed, so multi-GB uploads, which take hours, tend not to make it. The real question is why you reinvented FTP in the first place? Alternatively, why don't you offer FTP (or SFTP, or FTPS) upload?

World Tuesday Night Cyclocross

World Tuesday Night Cyclocross, since 2010.
Tuesday night at 6:30pm, September-whenever.
Vancouver Public Library, corner of Robson and Homer.

This is an undersupervised, lights-mandatory cyclocross ride (because it gets dark before the ride stops). CX or MTB recommended. If it rains, we will get wet.

General "plan" is to warm up briefly on the road, then ride a local park or trail (Stanley, Pacific Spirit, Vanier, Jericho, etc.) That's it.

Questions? Join the mailing list, or contact the instigator, Ryan Cousineau:

Video Games Playday this weekend

And as long as I'm updating you, here's the rest of the days I've been seriously underpromoting.

The History of Video Games exhibit is on from now until mid-December, showing at the Surrey Museum in Cloverdale (17710-56A Avenue).

Recent quotidian vignettes too long-form for a status update

Today I did something I cheerfully call The Death Ride:

  1. Ride from Port Moody to New Westminster for work
  2. After work, ride from New Westminster to south Richmond
  3. 35-minute bike race
  4. ride back to Port Moody

The name is a misnomer. You only wish you were dead. The morning ride is about 30 minutes, the evening ride is 3-4 hours, depending on how you figure it.

Failure's Virtues

I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. - Thomas Alva Edison.

I have been thinking about the utility of failure, especially its importance to institutional quality.

Axe contest winners!

Yes, at long last I got around to judging these entries. And I picked a winner.

Actually, I picked two. And an honorable mention, who didn't win anything.

HONORABLE MENTION: Bill Asher. He evoked the spirit of "friendly" riding very well and punctuated it with a "Hell yeah! I love riding a damn bike." Very anthemic.

SPECIAL JURY PRIZE: Bob Schwartz. His meditative story of perseverance and effort and simple, agonizing riding with his daughter, was worthy of note. TLO picked it as the winner, and I said it was powerful enough, but not anthemic enough. We're going to award Bob, or maybe his daughter, a nice new cycling toque from my club.


The Worst Journey in the World, The Good Parts Version

At the recommendation of a friend, I read The Worst Journey in the World (Vol. 1 & Vol. 2 available via the Gutenberg Project), an account of Scott's fatal Antarctic expedition. It's an amazing story, told adequately.

There are no spoilers in this review. Or rather, the book assumes from the start that the reader knows how this story turns out: Scott, with four companions (and many more in support teams) makes an attempt to become the first man to reach the South Pole. They make it, but Norwegian explorer Roald Admunsen has beaten them by a mere month, and Scott and his party die on the return trip.

Enormously impressive cave found on nearby island, locals unimpressed

[Yet another reminder: if you post your best "power anthem" (i.e., a sort of personal-best moment) in the comments on my "win a video camera" post, you could win a Flip MinoHD, courtesy AXE, makers of fine tools for manly stink reduction. No need to read the entirety of that page: just post a good story. Contest wraps shortly after June 8, so enter now.]


Why doesn't anyone tell me these things?!

Obscene message in a bottle found on a dirty beach

IMG_0904.JPG I guess we should have expected it, really. On May 15 we hiked to Marmari (Μαρμαρι) Beach, a 2 hour round trip on rough, hilly paths (plus half an hour of swimming and beachcombing).

Our reward was nice swimming and the filthiest beach I have ever seen. I don't directly blame anyone.

It seems that certain beaches are just well-positioned to catch every bit of floatsam around, and this is one of them: the litter on the beach was surely not the result of visitors to the beach, as the character of the debris wasn't right: not enough broken liquor bottles, too much stuff that looked like it washed overboard: milk crates, orphaned sandals, broken up plastic bits of just about anything imaginable, what looked like a marine transponder or radio, and so forth.