Underappreciated things that are changing the world, part 53 – Cheap Shipping

Assuming that there were roads the entire way, my van could move a ton of anything from Beijing to Here using about one thousand litres of fuel.

Instead, this is the Emma Maersk:

Its a quarter of a mile long and can move a ton of anything from There to Here with fifteen litres of fuel. Fifteen! That wouldn’t even get the van past Wanganui.

Shipping is really efficient, and efficient means cheap. Now, you wanted to do something Here, rather than have it done There? What on earth for?

(Well, there’s lots of reasons, but you might want to think long and hard about them before doing anything here.)


Pirates sucks donkey’s cock. It sucks it long and hard. If you had a donkey who’s cock needed sucking, this would make it good value for money.

Erf… chainsawing then gym class. And hockey tomorrow morn. Might not make it to aerials training tomorrow eve. Might fall over and die instead.


Okay, Pirates, Embassy, 8.30 pm saturday, me, , , , . I will get tickets this arvo, so tell us if there’s a change of plan.

I get all the laedieezzz.

Meet Deluxe, 8 pm. And I will have been chainsawing all day, followed by gymnastics, so if I nod off in the movie, just remember wake me at the end.

Surprising statements

Tequila is a bad thing.

Well, we all know that, but its a surprising thing for me to say on a Wednesday.

Anyway, I quite agree with the sentiment expressed in this video:


MC Hawking – What We Need More Of Is Science


Right then, Embassy, this weekend, times are:
Friday, 5.30 pm or 8.50
Saturday, 8.30
Sunday, I can’t wait till sunday

Who’s keen, and when?

Monday readings

“We can’t have stronger environmental laws, it hurts business too much and they will just flee overseas, therefore we can’t have stronger environmental lows.” We’ve all heard this arguement, so is it true?

No, its not, says some economists. The article is fairly hardcore economics, so I’ll just quote the last page:

“Conclusion – Pro-environmental nations experience better economic outcomes on several measures, controlling for other factors, than nations with lax environmental policies. These findings run counter to a theme articulated by many scholars of globalization: that nations must cater to the demands of industry and global capital regarding environmental and social policy or be punished by the flight of capital and production. Most countries are augmenting their environmental protection laws, and doing so does not appear to prompt the flight of capital or other adverse economic effects.”

If I was to elope with any periodical, it’d be the London Review of Books. Here’s an X000 word esay on climate change, yeah, yeah, you’ve read enough on that this year to last a tedious lifetime… but this has not a word wasted, it’s a precise and clear summary of the science, the uncertainty, the politics and why not much is being done. Dr Jez recommends you read it. After all, its Monday, and you don’t actually want to do any work, do you?

And as for what to do about it, Dr Jez recommends:

  • eat less meat
  • drive less
  • fly less
  • get your electricity from Meridian
  • and with all the money you’ve saved from not doing things, buy a sunny, insulated, warm house

Instead, you probably want to stick captions on cats. Why? Coz aliens asked us to:

Oooh, me!

Page A18, Dom Post, spotted by .

Although, being one of NZ’s rocket science experts is rather like being one of NZ’s experts in Norwegian railway station rubbish disposal practises – there’s sadly not much competition.

Not Falwell

Instead, our own Gordon Copeland spits the dummy. This is a shame, he was UF’s energy spokeperson and had some interesting and informed ideas there. After all, he was one of the bosses of BP in NZ for 14 years so he knew a lot about energy policy. Although, obviously, its not much of a shame, he’s quiting because he wants to keep his right to beat his children.

As long-term, sustainable politically positions go, defending the right to beat kids is about as wacko as it gets. The best thing we can say about the new party and its “Hitting Future New Zealand” policies is that it’ll be easy work for satirists the nation over. Still, its good to see that someone’s going to be splitting the Destiny Church vote into further irrelevance.

(Also, its budget day today, so if you want me, you can’t have me. But you knew that already.)

Thoughts from today’s shower

“If I do it like *this*, then I can do m levels of brightness across n emitters with only m x n bits of memory. Rocking!”

Now, whether the hardware can do that fast enough is another matter, but I think I can strip the logic down to the bare essentials.

And thanks, Youtube, for taking 11 hours to post a video to my blog, resulting in it arriving three times, causing irreparable minor irritation to my friends’ friends pages. But this does have everything – pretty Japanese boys, bullet hail, hordes of minions, everything:



First light on the Mitochondria.*

Think I’ve found all the bits for OSTOF Mk2a at Shiny.

I am ignoring everything, coz I have damn fine headphones and tunes to match.

So have this:
[EDIT – curse you, Youtube. Mad Capsule Markets – “Pulse”, for all you Nihophiles]

* Don’t get too excited, this is the Mark 1. Given that this is complicated, there may be a Mark 8 before I’m done.


I just wandered through the Parliamentary grounds on the way back from town. The large rally there had a most passionate speaker, ranting about the government, “good christian values” and how “what happens in the home, happens in the nation”. There was much cheering. After walking the length of the rally, I still hadn’t heard any words that could let me work out if this rally was pro- or anti-smacking.

I did think about going back there with a poster that said “Old Testament FTW!”, but I really have better things to do.

Making and Fettling

Am deep in Mad Scientist mode. The Mitochrondia is done, and by that, I mean the software does what I want the mark 1 to do, in simulation at least. So by “done” I mean not done at all. And we all know its going to have to get to at least mark 3 before its any use.

Anyway, today’s comedy old technology – television on vinyl. Yup, 7 minutes per record.

How to build a Traditional Polynesian Kite-Powered Ice Canoe. The videos make me want to live in the coldest parts of Hawaii. Bonus points for the William Orbit soundtrack.