Who Killed the Electric Car?

Got into yet another discussion about alternative energy the other day, specifically concerning the movie Who Killed the Electric Car? (which I haven’t seen, but wouldn’t avoid seeing if I had the chance)

It wandered off that subject and onto the subject of Stan Meyer and water power.

The discussion jogged some of the old gray matter and I remembered a video I was sent a few months back demonstrating this guys technology http://hytechapps.com/aquygen/hhos so I decided to dig and see if they were the same person. They aren’t, but the tech seems similar.

I don’t know how real any of this is, but there is some good reading (for those who are interested) here: http://waterpoweredcar.com/stanmeyer.html and here: http://www.waterfuelcell.org/

For those interested in getting down to the brass tacks of the subject, go here: http://www.waterfuelcell.org/moreinfo.html

The video that was linked concerning Stan Meyer’s invention is more than 10 years old; which begs the question why we haven’t seen any further developments in the technology, if it is for real.

I’ll leave it to the conspiracy theorists to come up with the answers to that one.

Husband and Father

Two more words that, when I looked, didn’t have definitions that came close to describing the meaning of the word.

My dissatisfaction probably stems from the need to have the emotional weight (sometimes referred to as gravitas) of the name be communicated in the meaning.

A husband is more than just the male half of a marriage. A father is more than a sperm doner, less than god himself.

This rant is not finished. There will be more.

Free Night of Theater – It Runs in the Family

I’m putting in a plug for this site http://www.freenightoftheater.net and this specific performance; It Runs in the Family as presented by the Oracle Theatre Company at Dougherty Arts Center.

I was quite impressed with both the performance, and the fact that I was able to get tickets to the event simply by reserving them online, for free. If your city is one of the lucky few listed, you too might be able to experience some culture without a major investment of capitol.

The play It Runs in the Family was quite funny, and the cast was excellent. I laughed my way through most of it. Catch it if you get a chance.

What’s wrong with this picture?

This story has been making the rounds lately.

Austin ISD wants to fire an Austin High School teacher over nude photos posted on the Internet. 

The AISD school board Monday unanimously decided to begin the termination process for Tamara Hoover, who teaches art. The board said Hoover violated the terms of her employment contract. 

Hoover has been on paid administrative leave since May 19 after school officials found out about the images. 

She defended her actions in a blog by saying that the pictures are not pornography but “artistic photography.” 

According Hoover’s attorney, she never told students about the photographs, nor are they on her own Web site. The district learned about these pictures through another teacher. 

“The teacher who was there said, ‘Whoops, something’s happened here that shouldn’t.’ She shut down the computer and went and told the principal about it,” said Jay Brim, attorney. “What she (Hoover) did is leave herself vulnerable to this kind of problem. She did not do anything that I believe was violative of any of the districts standards or rules.”

The process to fire Hoover will take months, but her attorney thinks they have a good case and her photographer says this is about art.

“The definition of pornography is material with no artistic or aesthetic value — created for the sole purpose of stimulating sexual arousal. That’s not my intent at all,” said Celesta Danger, photographer.

I was talking to “the daughter” about it earlier (she’s an aspiring artist herself) She couldn’t figure out what the fuss was all about. Personally, I don’ know either. If you check out the photos here you may be just as mystified.

Flickr is a photo sharing site. The woman who posts the photos isn’t the teacher, she’s the teacher’s lover. Try browsing the photos; I did. I can’t find one objectionable photo in the group, unless you find lesbianism objectionable.

So what this is about isn’t the photos per se, it’s the fact that there is a gay teacher teaching art at Austin High School.

Aside from which, this isn’t a question for the school board; or rather, it shouldn’t be. It should be a question for the parents whose children attend this teacher’s classes. Do you or don’t you want her to teach? In any other city in Texas the answer would probably be ‘NO’. Until today I would have sworn that Austin was different.


She was eventually convinced to resign. While the photos were racey, I really don’t think they rated firing over. Didn’t rate firing over in the light of the behavior we now condone from congressmen and presidents alike. A local austin newspaper did an interview with the photographer which is archived here

Scale Model Muscle Cars

Happy as I am to see the Camero back in production, I have to admit that I have a hard time taking these new ‘muscle’ cars seriously. Every time I encounter the ‘new’ Mustang in it’s many variants, I inevitably think “ah, a Mach II 2/3 scale model” or “there’s a 67 fastback 2/3 replica”. The Camero is just the latest in the miniature muscle car craze. The PT Cruiser really started the ball rolling, being a scaled down tribute to the ‘chopped coupe‘ that Hollywood has made famous in various period films over the years.

Nostalgia for the bygone years is great (…a gleaming Red Barchetta from a better, vanished time…) but how about we get away from re-living the past and actually see something new on the market; like a fully electric car that actually goes the distance, or some other alternative fuel vehicle that can really be relied upon, rather than another trip down memory lane that simply keeps us all stuck relying upon ‘fossil fuels‘ that get more expensive with each passing year?

Or maybe I’m the one who’s dreaming…

Image viewing and editing

One of the tech sites I frequent was asking “what editing software do you use?” I don’t have a video editor that I like (I’ve just gotten into fabricating my own PVR and I haven’t settled on an operating system yet, much less a video editor I like) but I definitely have an opinion on image viewing and editing…

Image Viewing: IRFanView

I hated this program when I first started using it. The sys-admin at one of my previous employers had loaded it as the default image viewer, and I could not understand why. After several years of fiddling with other programs, I can now tell you why.

Quick loading, and I mean FAST. Photoshop, JASC, etc, all take 10 minutes to load (or it feels like it) with IRfanview you double click and your image is right there.

Editing tools are very basic (which is why I hated the program initially) but they are more than sufficient to handle the average users requirements. Image scaling, lightening and darkening of the image, etc. If you want to major editing, get program made for editing. If you want to view images and do basic manipulation, IRfanview is the program for you.

Image editing: Gimp it

When I need to manipulate files, I pull out ‘The Gimp‘.

Why would you pay for Photoshop when this program does everything Photoshop does, and does it for less? Someone else posted this on the same thread, which sums it up for me:

I think that when you struggle for software in a particular area you should always start with free unless you are compelled. That way you can learn the technologies. the techniques, the strengths and the weaknesses. If the free software does what you need, then great! If it doesn’t, you’ll be able to look at the commercial offerings with specific questions and specific needs. This improves your chances of finding what you need on the first try without buying a lot of unnecessary software.

When I finally start taking the PVR seriously I might have a video editor to recommend. And I’ll be doing that right after I finish remodeling the house.

Recommending Firefox

I knew I was recommending it for a reason.

It’s just nice to have it backed up with statistics. Here’s a quote:

“Internet Explorer users are 21 times as likely to pick up spyware than Firefox users

I’ve been using Firefox for several years now, and installing it on systems that my boss (yeah, you, sweetheart) assigns me to fix, as well as recommending it to anyone who asks. All based on my own impression of it’s security, and nothing else.

…Until now.