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Useful Dead Technologies

By mcgrew in Technology
Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 04:59:36 PM EST
Tags: Humour (all tags)
Humour

As time progresses, we expect technology to progress as well. It doesn't always do so.

Whether from corporate greed or corporate stupidity or just plain evil orneryness, some very good technologies have been allowed to die, usually being replaced by something vastly inferior and sometimes not being replaced at all.

Listed here are some technologies that were very useful, but have become not more useful but less; or died off completely. These are good and useful technologies that have been superceded by less useful and usually very annoying technologies.


Steel gears
During the 1950s when I was a young boy, machinery was made of steel. Not just machinery, but almost everything. Even my toys were made of solid steel. I learned at an early age not to drop things on my foot.

All the mechanical parts in your automobile, your washer and dryer, your furnace, etc were made of solid steel. Good strong durable steel. If a gear broke, it usually broke within the machinery's warranty period, as a broken gear meant that its casting or tempering was flawed.

Nylon and other plastics replaced the steel for many gears, including in your washing machine, in your car's now obsolete distributor, and in almost all electric motors.

Now, some time after your warranty expires, your washing machine or dryer or dishwasher or other appliance will fail it. Old appliances' lifespans were in the decades. In the late 1960s when I worked in a drive-in theater, its refrigerator was a model made in the 1920s and still hummed along merrily. For all I know, it's cooling someone's beer today.

Today's appliances will give you a few short years - if you're lucky. Then, one of its cheap plastic parts will break, usually a part that cannot be replaced; a part that was designed to never be able to be replaced or repaired. If you're lucky you'll shell out big bucks to get your cheap appliance repaired. If not, and more and more often these days, it will be unrepairable and you will shell out even bigger bucks to replace it, as your old (but not very old at all) nylon-gear laden piece of junk goes into a landfill.

They don't make 'em like they used to. They used to make 'em solid, to last. Now they're made of materials designed and guaranteed to break. Get out your wallets, suckers!

Properly constructed sandwiches
Legend has it that several hundred years ago, the Earl of Sandwich somewhere in the British Isles liked to play cards, and he liked to eat. His invention was named after him, the "sandwich." It was designed to be eaten without requiring silverware and without getting your hands greasy.

Flash forward a couple hundred years to the 1980s, when the Wendy's Hamburger chain redesigned this useful food technology, having the meat hanging out of the bun and grease and condiments sloppily dripping out. Their hamburger was accompanied by a hilarious commercial, where an old woman in her late 80s or early 90s (she's dead now, Jim) walked up to a giant hamburger bun, maybe ten inches diameter, lifted the top where a piece of meat about the size of a pepperoni slice sat. She grumpily demanded "Where's the beef!?"

Because of this, today you cannot buy a commercial sandwich that you can eat without making a disgusting mess. Often these days if I'm in a sit-down, non-fast food restaurant I'll eat my sandwich with a fork. WTF is the point of a sandwich, anyway?

Flat cotton shoelaces
Shoelaces have been designed for hundreds of years to keep your shoes on your feet. No longer. Today's shoelaces are designed with one purpose in mind - to annoy you.

The nylon gears mentioned above were supposed to be superior to steel because they don't need grease and should theoretically last longer than a greased steel gear. Usually, though, when the grease got old (usually years and years later, much later than a nylon gear will last) the gear would just get noisy. A shot of grease and it was good as new.

So what are they making shoelaces out of now? Nylon! Good old frictionless nylon "because of its strength." One wonders if today's engineers even need a college degree, as it seems that some things, like today's shoelaces, were designed by "special ed" students.

Because now, not only are they made of a friction-free material, they're round rather than flat, further eroding their ability to stay tied.

But all is not lost- today's laces are three or four times as long as yesterday's laces so you can double or triple tie them.

They don't last any longer than the old cotton laces, either. Thank God and Science for Velcro. I gave up on shoelaces a few years ago, and I don't care how gay the kids think strap-on shoes are.

Velcro straps are an almost acceptable workaround to the incredibly stupid, badly designed shoelace technology.

T-shirts that actually fit
Now, I'm not sure about the rest of the world, but here in the good old US of A we used to have textile mills and clothing manufacturers. A t-shirt snugged the back of your neck, and the front of the neck was very loose. It fit.

Then the Chinese started producing all of our clothing, and t-shirts don't fit any more. They always feel like you're wearing them backwards. If you have a large neck, like I do, they're extremely uncomfortable, pulling against your Adam's apple.

I have two theories about this. The first theory is that Chinamen are all pencil necked geeks. This seems to be born out by the fact that Asians in this country usually study computer science.

The other theory is that when they stole the original fabric patterns, they mistakenly got two copies of the back of the pattern and missed the front of the shirt, because today's Chinese t-shirts feel like they're on backwards whether backwards or not.

Sure, they're only five bucks... but I'll give you fifty for one that fits.

Volume control knobs
You're driving down the road and that song comes on. You know the one, it really rocks and you must crank that sucker up.

But there's no crank any more. You have to take your eyes off of the road to find the one button on the fifty buttons to turn the damned thing up or down. Thank God they invented cell phones so you can call an ambulance after you wreck your car trying to turn the volume down to answer your cell phone!

And if you want to adjust the tone, balance, or rear fade, forget it. You're either going to have to stop the car, or get a passenger to do it for you. If, that is, he or she can find the owner's manual to figure out how to.

The old technology used knobs. There was a volume knob on the left, and a tuning knob on the right. Behind the volume knob was a tone control, or two tone controls (treble and bass). The knob on the right changed the stations, and it had a knob or two under it controlling balance and sometimes fade.

Some less stupid car radio manufacturers still use knobs, albeit digital knobs. But even these are less useful.

Old fashioned analog potentiometer knobs not only could be used without taking your eyes off the road, they were far more precise. My car stereo (with its volume buttons you have to look at to adjust) has 25 discrete volume levels. Some stereos have 50.

The old fashioned analog volume controls had an infinite number of levels. They were analog. If you're at the fringe of a reception area and the weather or whatever has caused the signal to drift, you could precisely tune it with your radio's analog variable capacitor. Today if (for example) KSHE 95's 94.7Mhz drifts to 94.8 and you're north of Litchfield (about 50 miles), you're out of luck, as you can tune to 94.7 or 94.9, but not 94.8200032010023445 like you can with an analog tuner.

Cars you can work on without $100,000 worth of tools
Sure, it's nice that a car will last 300,000 miles instead of 50,000 (despite the fact that I got 300,000 out of a 1974 Pontiac); it's nice that you get 30 miles per gallon rather than 18 for a comparable sized vehicle; and it's nice that they don't spew as much filth out of the tailpipe (unless you're driving a Chrysler or Mitsubishi or Kia product with more than 30,000 miles)...

But you can't repair them. Sure, the mechanic at the dealer can, but you can't. Most cars these days you can't even change the oil yourself, much less the spark plugs. And forget about a minor repair like a water pump or an alternator, they're now completely inaccessible.

A tune up? New points, spark plugs, perhaps plug wires, adjust the dwell and timing and you're done. Forty or fifty bucks worth of tools (including the strobe and dwell meter), fifteen or twenty minutes and the job's finished. Now, you're going to be without your car for a day as it sits in the shop. You can't tune it without a very expensive, proprietary computer.

Timing chains
There are no more timing chains. They've been replaced with belts.

For the less technically inclined out there, a timing chain controls a car's valves' motion. I've heard of timing chains breaking, but it was very rare, and I never experienced it myself. Not even in the old Pontiac (which I had to change a clutch once and a water pump once in) with its 300,000 miles.

Now they have timing belts. Changing it is now part of a tuneup, and what's worse, in some models of automobile, if it breaks while the engine is running it will ruin your valves.

"Well," I can hear the amoral bean counters say, "they didn't complain about the nylon gear in the distributor!"

Two handled shower faucets
I cannot for the life of me figure out why these damned stupid one handle spigots ever got popular. They can't possibly be cheaper... can they?

Like the digital volume controls, these are simply unadjustable with any degree of accuracy. Your shower will either scald you or freeze you. You're not going to get it comfortable.

Jesus I miss two handled showers!

Gravity furnaces with power piles
Here in Illinois it gets damned cold. God damned cold. Colder than a witch's tit. Colder than... well, pick your own cliché.

We get ice storms dragging power lines down once in a while, people sliding into utility poles with their cars, squirrels trying to get warm in transformers with the resulting explosion when the squirrel gets to meet its maker. Although the electricity here is very reliable, it does occasionally fail it.

I've never had my natural gas supply fail it, not one time in 50 years.

Er, ok once. But that was my fault; I forgot to pay the bill.

The house I rented on Reservoir Street was built in the late 1920s or early 1930s, and had a coal furnace in the basement. Some time in the 1940s it had been converted to natural gas. It was what they called a "gravity furnace," where gravity would pull the heavier, cold air down the intake into the furnace, while the hot air coming from it was displaced upward into the home.

It stayed a steady, comfortable temperature.

My apartment now is too hot when the blower is on, and too cold when it's not.

The gravity furnace also had what was called a "power pile." You can still get replacement power piles (I had one replaced in that house), but no new furnace has one.

A power pile is a little tube about an inch diameter and maybe an inch and a half long. It looks like a small can capacitor. It sits in the furnace's pilot light and generates electricity for the thermostat from the pilot's heat.

The electricity failed it one cold winter night when we lived there. We were blissfully unaware of the fact, as the furnace did not need the city's electrical supply!

Unfortunately, I didn't have a gas alarm clock and was late to work.

A power pile couldn't work in today's furnaces, as today's furnaces have no pilot lights, instead relying on an electric spark.

The new furnaces are cheaper to run - but if the power goes out, you're going to have to shell out for a motel room.

I wonder...
What useful old technologies there were before my time that have perished? Like the powerless winter night with its gravity fed power pile furnace keeping its owners toasty, or comfortable t-shirts, what other technologies generations before mine not only had, but wondered how they could ever do without?

And what useful old dead technologies didn't I think of? What is your favorite dead technology?

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Poll
Favorite dead technology?
o Steel gears 18%
o Real, functional sandwiches 9%
o Working shoelaces 4%
o Domestic t-shirts 3%
o Knobs 29%
o Repairable cars 13%
o Timing chains 4%
o Sane faucets 9%
o Non-electric gas furnaces 1%
o Other (WIPO) 4%

Votes: 61
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Also by mcgrew


Display: Sort:
Useful Dead Technologies | 491 comments (449 topical, 42 editorial, 0 hidden)
you write pretty well (1.00 / 23) (#4)
by your ex on Sat Jan 29, 2005 at 11:12:55 AM EST

for an alcoholic

Cars you can work on.... feh (2.75 / 4) (#5)
by Morally Inflexible on Sat Jan 29, 2005 at 11:57:04 AM EST

Come now,  there is little that you can not do on a modern car with nothing but a nice set of sockets/wrenches, a multimeter, the service manual, and google.  My bmw has not seen the inside of a real mechanic's shop in  over three years now.   Granted, it's a twelve year old bmw, but still, it's a luxury car with all the electronic dohickies.  

Also, it has a timing chain, not a belt.

I stopped taking the car to a professional when the garage took two days and failed to figure out a problem that I found the solution to in about ten minutes of googling.   Well, that, and they charged me $500 for a brake job.   I'm doing ok, but I don't come close to making that kind of money.  It takes me about two hours to replace the pads and rotors, so I imagine someone who knows what they are doing could do it faster.

Timing belts... (2.50 / 2) (#12)
by gordonjcp on Sat Jan 29, 2005 at 01:10:08 PM EST

... are a piece of piss to do. I have been equally blessed and cursed with a couple of cars which have had rather awkward timing belts - my Citroen GSA, being a flat-four with overhead cams, has two timing belts, one of which is about 5 feet long, my old Citroen CX 25 DTR had a big long timing belt, a little short timing belt, *and* pushrods to contend with - but for the most part they take about half an hour to do, cost a few pounds, and other than that don't give any bother.

I replace them every 30,000 miles, along with all the other (alternator, water pump, hydraulic pump) belts. Don't want to get stuck in the middle of nowhere with no electrics, no cooling, or flat suspension.

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.


[ Parent ]
Actually... (none / 0) (#170)
by packwidth on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 10:15:25 AM EST

The timing belt(s) are what connects the crankshaft to the camshaft and possibly other stuff (oil pump, intermediary/balancing shafts, etc). The timing belt is always underneath a cover and is, almost as a rule, a long job (a few hours, usually). You can see the timing belt cover if you look at the front of the engine (where the accessory belts are) and find a rounded plastic cover. His argument is a bit silly, though, as timing chains were a pain to change, too, and belts have some distinct advantages (other than being cheaper to produce). They are vastly more efficient (~99%), considerably quieter, and don't stretch like chains do. They're also lighter, letting the interfacing parts be of lighter material, like aluminum. Timing chains really weren't any less of a pain than belts.

And of course you can repair anything on a modern car with the same tools as an older car. There is very little that you actually need a scanner or any other proprietary junk for. Oil change is the same, tune up is the same, and if you're getting sold a timing belt replacement with your tune up, you're getting had. Sleazy as that may be, there is no excuse for being ignorant about a machine that you depend on day in and day out. Ditto for computers.

[ Parent ]

You don't need to change chains as often... (none / 0) (#188)
by gordonjcp on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 11:50:08 AM EST

With a few notable exceptions (PRV Douvrin V6 as used in Volvo 260/760, Renault 25, DeLorean etc, and the Maserati V6 used in Citroën SMs which are a whole can of worms in themselves) chains typically last the life of the engine.

As I said, depending on the car I can do *all* the belts, including the timing belt, in about an hour - this assumes an in-line engine with a reasonable amount of room between the front of the block and the radiator. Something like a Volvo 240 or 340, or an old VW Passat or Audi is pretty easy. There's enough room on my Citroën CX 22TRS to get the belt off if you take the front right wheel off and get at the bottom pulley through the wheelarch - took me two hours but there was a lot of fucking about because the adjuster was seized. My XM Turbo is going to be a nightmare, there's no room at all, and a big box section in the way...

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.


[ Parent ]
My favorites? (3.00 / 9) (#6)
by Peahippo on Sat Jan 29, 2005 at 12:02:20 PM EST

The snow shovel. Sure, the snowblower makes the job a lot easier and faster, but it does lead to laziness, repair bills, and a lot of noise. I've never run a snowblower, and I'll probably be throwing shovels-full of snow for the rest of my life until I have heart attack while doing it when I'm 72. shufff HOOF! shufff HOOF! shufff HOOF--AAAARGH!

The analog telephone. Remember when people had to endure the hell and restriction of only talking long distance to other people over a home phone? Now, I hear all the time "my cell phone is NECESSARY", followed by a lot of reasons that make it sound like the pre-cellphone era was a fucking stone age or something.

The rotary push mower. More exercise, no gas, no noise, no smoke, no repair bills (you can fix one yourself), and finally it keeps the wifey wife happy since you're forced to cut the grass more frequently.

Modern conveniences are getting to be too expensive and annoying. Fortunately, the Neo-Liberals and Neo-Conservatives are using globalism to bring back an older American era, in which people will have to revert to old ways of getting things done. Gardens, bicycles, live-in parents, etc. will re-appear. (And guns. Lots of guns.)


The rotary push mower (none / 1) (#30)
by blackpaw on Sat Jan 29, 2005 at 07:07:57 PM EST

Many lawns (like mine) have spiny grass stalks which a push mower can't cut. I'd probably get a goat if our bylaws allowed it.

[ Parent ]
Checksum (none / 0) (#34)
by Peahippo on Sat Jan 29, 2005 at 09:42:19 PM EST

Er, how did these "many lawns" get cut before the advent of the motorized mower?


[ Parent ]
with a sickle? -nt- (none / 0) (#50)
by Suppafly on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 12:53:35 AM EST


---
Playstation Sucks.
[ Parent ]
This means ... (none / 1) (#55)
by Peahippo on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 03:07:03 AM EST

... that I'm a yuppie urbanite with my rotary pushmower. I should devolve to the sickle.

The bad thing about a sickle is that longer grass is required for using it efficiently, unless you keep the fucking thing in a razor-sharp condition. And long grass is the fucking bane of modern urbanites. Heck, let the grass get to 6 inches and the soccer moms will be filing a complaint with the city about your lawn.

Overall, I'm not buying the sickle argument alone. I would buy the argument that grass was let go longer. In past times, "the country" lapped at the towns and cities like a great ocean. But in city areas, something had to cut the grass for the lawns. What was the device used?


[ Parent ]
The joys of long grass (none / 0) (#274)
by thankyougustad on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 07:27:11 PM EST

Why are Americans obsessed with mowing the lawn? I used to rent a small house in an urban area with a small lawn. We let the grass grow all year and then die in the fall. In the spring the yard was full of flowers that gave way to long, lush green grass in the summer and grain in the fall. Beautiful. And we never had to cut it; the only difficulty was people offering to cut it for us when we were sipping whisky on the front porch in the late summer afternoons.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
After being threatened ... (none / 0) (#291)
by Peahippo on Tue Feb 01, 2005 at 01:30:37 AM EST

... with fines and eviction for not mowing the lawn, or not mowing the lawn often enough, you tend to come around to planning to mow.

In rural areas, there is less of a threat. But urban areas are loaded up with these kinds of regulations.


[ Parent ]
The land of the free.. (none / 0) (#310)
by usr on Tue Feb 01, 2005 at 09:45:44 AM EST

..keeps amizing me more and more every day. Good to see that there are people left who still notice that things like this could be different. (of course, every country has little twists like this lawn thing, incomprehensible for outsiders)

[ Parent ]
Reasoning (none / 0) (#478)
by next2gold on Thu Feb 24, 2005 at 02:01:57 AM EST

There usually is a good reason for regulations to mow the lawn. One that comes to mind and makes sense to me at least, is the fact that in the southern parts of the U.S. (and further southwards) it's probably necessary to mow the lawn for the sake of keeping out all manner of penurious insects /or snakes, such as venomous spiders that might hide in the high lawn. Or ticks.

Geographic areas that have colder climates (those that also have proper four seasons) should be less likely to harbour venomous insects in high grass.

[ Parent ]

Re: Reasoning (none / 0) (#494)
by tanner andrews on Fri May 12, 2006 at 06:13:35 PM EST

keeping out all manner of penurious insects

Never saw an insect that was not penurious. Of course I never saw an insect that actually had money to spend, so perhaps the condition is forced upon them.



[ Parent ]
Probably by the aforementioned goats... (none / 0) (#79)
by gr3y on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 02:47:21 PM EST

before local ordinances and zoning laws were changed to ban the animals people rely upon.

K5 has eaten this comment twice. Third time's a charm, hopefully.

I am a disruptive technology.
[ Parent ]

How 'bout chickens? (none / 0) (#330)
by Deagol on Tue Feb 01, 2005 at 09:25:05 PM EST

Google the phrase "chicken tractor".

We own chickens. My wife constructed a little A-frame moble pen for them. It had no bottom, so the hens could eat the grass and bugs. It had a pair of lawnmower wheels on one end, and handles on the other, much like a wheel barrow, so it could be moved once a day.

She also made a rabbit cage made to be traversed across the grass, too.

Between those two animals, we didn't mow our lawn once last season.

Besides... grass-fed eggs, chicken, and rabbit are very healthy. Lots of omega-3 fatty acids.

[ Parent ]

What a great idea. (none / 0) (#333)
by gr3y on Tue Feb 01, 2005 at 10:37:03 PM EST

Unfortunately, I think my city frowns on the keeping of live poultry within the city limits. I'll call tomorrow, but I expect that being with 175 feet of my neighbors will require me to secure their permission, and the first complaint would cause my chickens to be impounded and made into chicken stew:

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to maintain in the city any poultry or animal yard within one hundred seventy-five (175) feet of any buildings used for residential purposes, or within two hundred fifty (250) feet of any church or school building; provided, however, that the person maintaining such a yard may do so within one hundred seventy-five (175) feet of such person's own personal residence, and further provided, that this subsection shall not apply to the keeping of pigeons.

(b) For the purpose of this section, the term "poultry or animal yard" shall include every yard, pasture, enclosure, shed or structure used to house:

(1) Live fowl, including in the term "fowl" chickens, ducks, geese and other poultry...

I am a disruptive technology.
[ Parent ]

City laws are so lame... (none / 0) (#357)
by Deagol on Wed Feb 02, 2005 at 11:44:02 AM EST

While we do live in a rural town that doesn't mind livestock of most sorts, we did raise a few chickens within a stone's throw if the Salt Lake City capital building -- we just didn't run them on the lawn. :)

It's sad, really. You can have many multiple cats and dogs in most areas (which are close to useless, in terms of productivity), but you can't keep a few rabbits or chickens for food purposes. And they don't stink any more than dogs/cats if you keep up with the cleaning (which many don't do with dogs anyways).

Thankfully, a dedicated person can raise rabbit and quail (super efficient in terms of feed to eggs/meat production) indoors without nosey neighbors catching on. ;-)

Someday even gardens will be banned with city limits...

[ Parent ]

Read the second clause of the first paragraph (none / 0) (#453)
by vectro on Thu Feb 10, 2005 at 11:39:51 AM EST

This law says it's OK if you keep your livestock within 175 feet of your own home.

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]
A man- powered push mower (none / 0) (#235)
by mcgrew on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 02:28:00 PM EST

I remember my Grandpa had one. Ten inch wheels, and blades that worked when you pushed it. Pain in the ass. You're not missing anything.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

In Samoa, old ladies with scissors. (none / 0) (#281)
by Russell Dovey on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 10:24:16 PM EST

While driving around Savai'i, the less despoiled island of Samoa, I saw this several times. Old ladies meticulously cutting the grass with either big steel scissors or garden shears. On their knees, for hours, in the heat of the day.

I must admit that the lawns looked very good, but DAMN.

"Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan
[ Parent ]

Amazingly (none / 0) (#141)
by dasunt on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 03:45:12 AM EST

Tools work better when sharp.

Since a gasoline lawn mower has a motor behind it, most people don't notice the dull blade until they try to cut tall grass.

If you keep your grass short and keep the blade sharp, a push mower works great. I've heard its better for the grass, since it cuts cleaner.



[ Parent ]
Muscle car, arm-mounted crossbow sales rise (none / 0) (#78)
by ravuya on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 02:47:01 PM EST

Obviously the only place the neocons and neolibs are taking us is right to the apocalypse. Get your fallout shelters now, beat the rush later!

/// My page (free oss games: macosx, linux, windows)
[ Parent ]
Beat Rush? (none / 1) (#233)
by mcgrew on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 02:25:54 PM EST

Can I watch? Take his oxyconntin away first though.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Congratulations, you are now old enough... (none / 0) (#283)
by Russell Dovey on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 10:28:02 PM EST

...to rediscover that the world is going straight to hell.

I've got news for you, sonny: It's been going straight to hell ever since two molecules met up in a bar somewhere four billion years ago and decided to fuck.

"Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan
[ Parent ]

The push mower (none / 0) (#179)
by Cro Magnon on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 10:49:47 AM EST

sux if you have a large yard. I didn't mind it with a small yard, but one of the places I've lived had a yard that took nearly 2 hours to mow WITH AN ELECTRIC MOWER. There was no way I was mowing that with a push mower.

I agree with you about snow shovels, partly because I'm too cheap to buy a snowblower, and party because I don't want to admit that I'm getting older.
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]

my old push mower (none / 0) (#204)
by mpalczew on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 01:25:57 PM EST

My old push mower did a really good job of pushing the lawn down without cutting it.  Especially if I let it get a little long.  My electric mulching mower works great.  I can let it get long, which is how I like it.  I also don't have to rake.  Pushmowers are still sold these days so it's not a technology that has gone away, just that it sucks for the most part.
-- Death to all Fanatics!
[ Parent ]
How hard is it... (none / 0) (#247)
by ckaminski on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 03:26:36 PM EST

To find a snow shovel that:

A) Isn't completely plastic
B) Doesn't have a handle only an inch thick, so it breaks if you try and shovel more than 5 pounds of snow?

What ever happened to good old steel or aluminium shovels that you could work through a blizzard with?

[ Parent ]

the reel push mower (none / 0) (#273)
by anon 17753 on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 06:53:11 PM EST

You mean a manual push reel mower, where multiple sharp blades are bent inside a horizontal-axis reel, cutting the grass against a stationary cutting bar. There are gas-powered and electric reel mowers (used daily by golf course maintenance crews everywhere) in push, self-propelled, and riding formats as well as additional gang reel mowers that are pulled behind tractors or afore-mentioned riding mowers.

Today's ubiquitous consumer gas-powered mower is a rotary mower - the blade spins on a vertical axis within a tight cylinder. The grass is pulled up by the vacuum effect and is whacked off by the dull blade. This bruises the grass.

Reel mowers can maintain lawns cut to roughly a tenth of an inch tall (my local golf course cuts the greens to the thickness of two dimes). Rotary mowers cannot maintain a lawn cut to less than an inch-and-a-half.

[ Parent ]

I have one of those rotary mowers (none / 0) (#319)
by ethereal on Tue Feb 01, 2005 at 02:32:12 PM EST

The more recent models are a lot different - they're light and stay fairly sharp.  On mine, I can reverse a couple of pawls in the wheels and run it backwards to sharpen it (which I need to do sometime in February or March, I guess).  And no cans of gas and oil to have sitting around in the garage, just a little WD-40 every once in a while to keep the grass from sticking to the blades.

If you stay on top of the grass and don't let it get too long, a rotary mower works great.  It takes me a half hour to mow the grass, and considering the size of the yard it would take that long with a gas-powered mower too.

The downside is that if you let the gas get too long, since the mower has no suction, it will knock the grass down rather than cut it.  So you can't just skip a week of mowing.

It has some problems with crab grass, which mostly seems to grow sideways, but I'm tearing that out and reseeding a section every year, so hopefully that won't be a problem for long :) .

--

Stand up for your right to not believe: Americans United for Separation of Church and State
[ Parent ]

Amen on the blower (none / 0) (#416)
by duffbeer703 on Sat Feb 05, 2005 at 10:00:01 PM EST

I had finished shoveling 20" of snow and had half the driveway salted by the time my neighbor got his $3,000, 15HP snowblower started.

My parents live in the country and have a driveway about 600 yards long. Too short to justify a plowtruck, but too long to get shoveled in a reasonable amount of time. The snowblower is a perfect solution for them.

I live in the burbs with a 100ft driveway. My neighbors with snow blowers are tools.

[ Parent ]

good good (1.25 / 4) (#9)
by mariahkillschickens on Sat Jan 29, 2005 at 12:56:59 PM EST

clean it up when you return and i'll vote it up

"In the end, it's all dirt."
Editorial comment (nt) (none / 1) (#231)
by mcgrew on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 02:21:30 PM EST


"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

digital radio tuners (3.00 / 6) (#10)
by cbraga on Sat Jan 29, 2005 at 12:59:05 PM EST

Actually, digital tuning is one thing that's way better than analog tuning because you need only point it to +/- 1 Mhz of the station's actual frequency and it'll fine-tune faster and better than a human could do.

That, and my BMW has a timing chain.

ESC[78;89;13p ESC[110;121;13p

Not true! (3.00 / 3) (#88)
by APL on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 03:57:43 PM EST

Here where I live we have two radio stations that are WAY too close together. Probably one of them is supposed to be out of range but is transmitting more strongly than it should. Whatever.

If I want to listen to the weaker of the two stations, I can accomplish this with an analog tuner. It's tricky, but I can do it. If I had to guess I'd say they're about half a mhz apart. I'm not sure why. They just are.

However, If I use the digital radio in my car, and try to listen to the NPR station, I can't tune that finely and all I can listen to is the stronger signal: Some horrible pop music aimed at 13 year old girls.

Sure, you could argue that it's not the radio's fault that those two stations overlap so badly, but the fact remains : With an analog radio I can listen to NPR. With a digital radio I can only listen to boy bands.

[ Parent ]
HI. (none / 0) (#125)
by delmoi on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 11:36:15 PM EST

What kind of shitty sterio do you have that can't distinguish 5ths of mhz in FM? Almost every digital tuner I've ever seen will ajust by 0.2mhz.
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
Bah, you're right. (none / 0) (#126)
by APL on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 12:07:49 AM EST

I was thinking of half the increment of the radio which, as you point out, is a tenth of a mhz, not a mhz.

[ Parent ]
Dunno the three letter abbr. (none / 1) (#97)
by schrotie on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 06:59:16 PM EST

Why the hell does anything that has ones or zeros (or god forbid!) both in it have to have some unpronouncable, unmemorizable, unintelligible three letter name like ERK?

Anyway, my car radio has some pretty cool technology with a three letter name that allows it to write the name of the station on the display. That is really extremely helpful. Also I don't "tune" the radio. The radio lists all available stations by name and I pick what I want to hear. Great stuff, hurray to the digital age.

Trouble is, the only music station in my home town that does not play top 40 round the clock is the university station run by students and probably not endowed with the funds required for technology to broadcast such stunning digital goodies. Tough luck.

[ Parent ]

RDS [nt] (none / 0) (#464)
by unknownlamer on Sat Feb 19, 2005 at 02:05:57 PM EST



--
<vladl> I am reading the making of the atomic bong - modern science
[ Parent ]
Sorry. (2.61 / 13) (#14)
by The Jewish Liberal Media Conspiracy on Sat Jan 29, 2005 at 02:06:43 PM EST

That was our fault. (All of it)
This account has been anonymized.
YFI (none / 0) (#227)
by mcgrew on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 02:19:06 PM EST

FP, downvoter. Suck it up!

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

I refuse to FP a leaking vagina. (none / 0) (#243)
by The Jewish Liberal Media Conspiracy on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 02:54:22 PM EST

With one notable exception: ti dave's abortion howto is the only article I've ever voted FP on K5.
This account has been anonymized.
[ Parent ]
My car radio (none / 0) (#19)
by squigly on Sat Jan 29, 2005 at 02:37:01 PM EST

Okay.  I turn it on.  That's the difficult bit since it requires me to take a hand of the wheel and grope in the general direction of the radio.  It's a large button.  I can usually hit it without looking.

Then I can tune it.  How?  I have a stereo control stalk on my steering column.  Pull it once, and it find the next station.  I drive a bit.  I'm closer to another transmitter.  the RDS will automatically retune to that transmitter.  Too quiet?  Up and down controls the volume.  

More realistic scenario... (none / 0) (#242)
by Fred_A on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 02:51:09 PM EST

I drive a bit... The RDS will scan like crazy (therefore loosing the crappy quality but nevertheless interesting thing I was listening to) before giving up because there isn't a better transmitter for another 150km, it then tries to retune to the previous station but can't because the signal is too faint.

I switch to the crappy CD that lives in the tray.

Fred in Paris
[ Parent ]

Never get that. (none / 0) (#270)
by squigly on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 06:27:31 PM EST

Not quite sure how it works, but when I lose the signal, I stay tuned to that frequency unless there's a better transmitter.  Presumably the RDS has a second receiver.

[ Parent ]
RDS AF just needs a signal strength meter (none / 0) (#303)
by simon farnz on Tue Feb 01, 2005 at 06:00:04 AM EST

The second receiver is just an FM signal strength meter; RDS includes a list of frequencies for each station (which the broadcaster has hopefully set to cover just the transmitter and its neighbours). When the signal starts to detoriate, the strength meter is tuned to each of the alternate frequencies in turn; the strongest is then selected.
--
If guns are outlawed, only outlaws have guns
[ Parent ]
It's all style over substance these days (none / 1) (#20)
by ksandstr on Sat Jan 29, 2005 at 02:42:51 PM EST

Take for example the shower faucets. Those just simply work, pushing a quantity of hot water through the spigot with another, separately adjustable quantity of cold water. Water is "switched off" by turning both handles to the closed state. If one or the other breaks (i.e. doesn't close all the way, drips), you'll likely fix it or have it fixed rather soonish.

Then along comes some asshole who for some reason thinks that a two-axis (one for volume, other for temperature) "handle" type faucet assembly somehow looks cooler and suits the "modern age" better. Only the thing is, after a few years these get to a state where the two-axis operation does something apparently nasty to some of the rubbery pieces inside, causing the temperature axis to get tolerance. I doubt there's anyone here who doesn't know what I mean -- if you had previously adjusted the water to come out hotter, you have to turn the handle about ten degrees to the cold side before it actually adjusts anything. Sure, you can close these newer-style faucets with a quick shove of your forearm before moving to dry off your hands, but how much water is that honestly going to save?

On the other hand, I'm kind of glad to recognize that the "use XML especially when there's no need" behaviour isn't a recent development. If it were, we'd truly be in a handbasket en route to hell.


shower faucets (none / 1) (#67)
by Goerzon on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 11:16:40 AM EST

I thought he was talking about the simple pressure balancing valves they have now, not the two-axis ones. I actually like the pressure balancing ones. If someone flushes the toilet, your water pressure goes down, but you don't get scalded.

[ Parent ]
Pressure balancing? (none / 0) (#229)
by mcgrew on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 02:20:15 PM EST

Sounds great, will investigate after I buy a house. For now I'm stuck with the landlord's crap.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

I Respectfully Disagree (3.00 / 5) (#98)
by pediddle on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 07:15:39 PM EST

My grandparents' house has a two-handled shower faucet.  I guess they were before my time.  Personally, I hate using them.

Water too hot?  You can either turn up the cold water, in which case the pressure is now too high, or turn down the hot water, reducing flow to a dribble.  So you have to turn both handles simultaneously, in a careful balancing act.  Then you miscalculate on the cold-water side, leading to disasterous shrinkage!

[ Parent ]

Bow to my superior shower controls (none / 0) (#152)
by curien on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 06:13:27 AM EST

I have two knobs on my shower. One controls the pressure, the other controls the temperature. No crappy mixing of axes, and I get independent manipulation. I even have the degrees marked off on the temp control.

--
This sig is umop apisdn.
[ Parent ]
XML pisses me off (none / 0) (#226)
by mcgrew on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 02:17:44 PM EST

CSS often does as well. Not the XML or the CSS but the fucktards who use it. Don't these morons realize that not all output devices are the same? It pisses me off to be reading along, usually a tech site, when BAM- the text stops, because an illustration is placed right on top of it.

The first rule of design is "form follows function." The second rule of design is "keep it simple, stupid." I wish today's web developers would learn these two simple concepts.

I think it was Jacob Nielson who said "if your web site has won design awards, you're probably losing 30% of your customers."

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Anti-scald valve (none / 0) (#279)
by isdnip on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 09:25:02 PM EST

The modern shower valve, where there's a knob for temperature and maybe one for pressure, is called an anti-scald valve. It's required by most US plumbing codes, and has been for AFAIK at least two decades.  Two-handle faucets are thus not even permitted in new construction.

Anti-scald valves lower the hot water pressure when the incoming code water pressure goes down.  Hence no burning hot water when a toilet flushes.  It's a great invention.

I did once have a place where it was hooked up backwards though.  Dumb plumber.  It was fixed with some cockeyed crossover piping.

[ Parent ]

In my day.. (2.66 / 3) (#22)
by StephenThompson on Sat Jan 29, 2005 at 03:56:54 PM EST

In my day we used a paper addressbook/rolodex, none of these new fangled Personal Data Assistant gadgets. They were cheaper, lighter, no batteries-no data loss, supports hand written input, water resistant, unbreakable, hang-man enabled, with universal xerox data exchange, point and flip searching. Better all around! Next there's slippers to keep your feet warm in the morning. Screw wall-to-wall carpeting. Invented by salesmen so people would have to buy those fangled vacuuming devices. Those darn things mainly just push the dirt deeping in and do nothing for stains, so you have to get the even more fangled professional style shampooer, which still doesnt do a tenth as good a job as pick the throw rug up and actually cleaning it and the floor beneath. A house with wall to wall carpeting is full of particls and will never be clean. A new throw rug for the high traffic area replaces just the rug, wall-to-wall makes you do the whole room over. Dirty and expensive replacement for a couple throw rugs and some slippers.

paper addressbook (none / 0) (#162)
by wiredog on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 08:23:53 AM EST

Some of us still use those.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
Risky... (none / 0) (#240)
by Fred_A on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 02:46:12 PM EST

How do you backup your paper address book ?

I lost my Filofax kind of thingie once (it was returned later, I was lucky there) but I soon switched to a Palm and regularly back it up on my Linux box which in turn is backed up on tapes.

At the time I was working in movies and that thing was my life, all my contacts, my engagements for future booked or potential works, notes for ongoing films. Loosing it meant instant unemployment.

I don't go for the greatest and latest though, my Palm is an elderly model and the rest is either on my laptop or on my workstation (and I don't work in movies anymore so I have way less data to store).

Fred in Paris
[ Parent ]

Xerox [nt] (none / 0) (#465)
by unknownlamer on Sat Feb 19, 2005 at 02:16:59 PM EST



--
<vladl> I am reading the making of the atomic bong - modern science
[ Parent ]
Modern technologies that annoy me: (3.00 / 6) (#23)
by sophacles on Sat Jan 29, 2005 at 04:09:31 PM EST

Anything with a crappy digital interface.  Seriously, who needs a washing machine with 100 different washing modes? Or a dryer with the same for that matter.

The thing that really bugs me is the microwaves that dont let you put in time/power level anymore. They have a panel of buttons that have these programs that almost never heat things right.  The only one that ive found even romotely usefull is the popcorn button. That is nice, it works right, and doesn't burn the popcorn. The rest i can do without.

The same goes for toaster ovens.  They have those same crappy interfaces, but on a toaster oven they make even less sense.

Measured pourers for alchohol bottles.  These things are fucking annoying. When they work right they are nice, and do thier job pretty well.  But as a bartender I can tell you that they really dont work right all that often.  What is wrong with a jigger, or even a freepouring bartender (provided they have a little training on how to consisantly pour the same).  Instead bar owners get caught up in the ads and "reviews" (paid for by the maker) and switch for promises of consistancy.  Those of us in the trenches are stuck dealing with unjamming them and trying to remember that in an bottle that is less than 1/4th full, it actually takes 2 "measured" pours to get the right amount of booze out.  And any thick liqour will stuff the pourer in about 2 hours. And not pour the right amount. (I know a lot of this has to do with rediculous bar regulations and tax laws, but there has to be a better solution.)

Im not a luddite, but complexity for its own sake just pisses me off.


Washers (3.00 / 3) (#63)
by rusty on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 10:56:35 AM EST

What I need is a washing machine and dryer with this interface: A big button marked "ON". The way it would work is, you put your clothes in, close the door, and press "ON", and the machine runs till the regular cycle is complete. I mean, that's how I use both of those appliances anwyay. Why not get rid of all the knobs and crap?

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
If only software developers would learn this. (none / 1) (#142)
by mr strange on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 03:45:16 AM EST

Much the same argument applies to most computer programs & web sites.

intrigued by your idea that fascism is feminine - livus
[ Parent ]
all the knobs (none / 0) (#159)
by wiredog on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 08:16:09 AM EST

I actually use more than one setting on the washer and dryer. Some of my clothes do better if washed in cold water and dried on a setting below 'blowtorch'.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
Presumably: (none / 0) (#252)
by sophacles on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 03:46:50 PM EST

With all those other settings, a simple, easy to find, 'just wash my clothes dammit' button should not be hard to implement on one of these platforms.  I say let the people who want all those other features for the advanced washing crowd have them, but make those folks have to learn how to get to them.

Perhaps we could talk google into designing a washing machine?

[ Parent ]

CLI (none / 0) (#317)
by roiem on Tue Feb 01, 2005 at 01:23:16 PM EST

What I need is a microwave (I outsource my laundry, but I own a microwave) with a CLI. Then I could write a simple shellscript for the general "big button marker ON", and be able to do pretty much anything else I wanted if I was doing something special.

Am I the only person in the world who wants a CLI for his microwave oven?
90% of all projects out there are basically glorified interfaces to relational databases.
[
Parent ]

Jigger? (none / 1) (#183)
by PowerPimp on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 11:18:18 AM EST

That is offensive. I believe the preferred nomenclature is "Jafrican American"


You'd better take care of me God; otherwise, you'll have me on your hands...
[ Parent ]
Jigger (none / 0) (#248)
by sophacles on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 03:38:01 PM EST

A jigger is a tool for measuring a unit of alcohol for pouring.
Of course I(may)HBT too. If so, hats off to you.

[ Parent ]
Awesome story if a bit inaccurate (3.00 / 2) (#25)
by MSBob on Sat Jan 29, 2005 at 04:57:01 PM EST

Timing chain is one of the most useful inventions to come to automobile market. That's why most car manufacturers stopped bothering with them. I said most because you can still get a timing chain with... a Toyota. That's right your plain, bland Toyotas all come with a timing chain. From the lowly Echo to superexpensive Avalon they all have timing chains. One of the many reasons why you might consider a Toyota unless their dadmobil image is too much for you to bear.

Another cool invention of yesteryear was the wraparound windshield. It was a simple functional value-add feature that actually increased road safety. That's probably why they make it no more.

Electronic panels on washers and driers are rididulous. Nobody needs them yet manufacturers insist on putting them everywhere to jack up the price. Real inventive washers never make it to the US/Canadian market.

Ridiculously complicated microwaves. Just give me the time and power setting buttons goddamit! I don't want 150 "friendly modes". They don't work anyway.

Clothes that I manged to not stain 15 years ago are still holding up fine. My skiing fleece from Marks & Spencer (from before they started making everything in China) is almost 20 years old. Bought a similar fleece two years ago and three wash cycles later it serves as a floor wipe. WTF is it about modern clothing that makes it last for oh, maybe two seasons if you're lucky? Do people really replace all of their wardrobe this often? I can understand you might not want to keep your knickers for more than a year or two but hell, if I'm buying a ski fleece that I have on me ten times a year and it costs $200 I want it to last! Even North Face ain't what it used to be, in my opinion.

The most annoying slew of "improvements" have come to the housing industry:

  • Thermal pane windows - Ten times more expensive than good wooden storms with one tenth the thermal property. I have both kinds in my house. The old wooden storms that I restored hold heat much better than the vinyl crap that the previous owner put in.
  • Pergo laminate - On of my coworkers covered his beautiful hardwood with that stuff. In a 80 years old house! I nearly cried when I saw the "upgrade"
  • Non asbestos roof shingles - the 20 year branded shingle that lasts 6 years.

I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.

Microwaves! (2.50 / 2) (#86)
by APL on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 03:43:50 PM EST

I've got a microwave with all analog knobs.

It's ancient and I really wish I could get a new one, but all the microwaves nowadays are agrivating push-button affairs. I don't want to have to key in a time. I can spin a analog dial around to the right point faster than I can key in a number of minutes and a number of seconds. (Or worse, Some of them don't even have keypads! Some of them just have [+15seconds] and [+1minute] buttons!)

[ Parent ]
Samsung (none / 0) (#154)
by jmj on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 06:42:28 AM EST

I don't know if they sell them outside of Europe, but I own a Samsung microwave/hot air/grill oven that has a large analog dial which is used to change numbers. Turning clockwise will change them up, counterclockwise changes them down. The scale of the numbers also changes, e.g. when choosing the time it uses 30 second intervals below 5 minutes, from there on it uses 1 minute intervals.

It's very easy and quick to use (especially for the iPod generation).



[ Parent ]
El-Cheapo Asda Microwave (none / 0) (#234)
by gordonjcp on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 02:27:44 PM EST

Cost me £29.95 from my local Asda, 800W microwave, all analogue. Lovely. Even goes "Ding!" when it's done, not "Beep Beep Beeeeeeep" like the ones in the break room at work, distressingly reminiscent of a heart monitor.

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.


[ Parent ]
Uses of Pergo (none / 1) (#131)
by mjfgates on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 12:37:12 AM EST

Pergo was originally designed for use in dog kennels. The whole "and it makes good indestructible flooring for your house, too!" thing is just a lil' bonus.

[ Parent ]
Re: Uses of Pergo (none / 0) (#134)
by MSBob on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 01:50:18 AM EST

"Pergo was originally designed for use in dog kennels"

I see. That actuall explains quite a bit.

I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.

[ Parent ]
re: Awesome story if a bit inaccurate (none / 0) (#189)
by msmikkol on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 12:01:51 PM EST

That's right your plain, bland Toyotas all come with a timing chain.
I drive a 2001 Toyota Camry that has a timing belt.

--
Existence in progress - do not disturb.


[ Parent ]
perspective. (none / 0) (#201)
by mpalczew on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 01:20:21 PM EST

>Clothes that I manged to not stain 15 years ago are still holding up fine.

After buying a $100 pair of jeans.  I've found out that good clothes are still made, but they cost a small fortune.  I think even though inflation increased the price of everything else, people still expect to pay the same for clothing and just buy the cheap shit from china.  All brands go downhill, as they try to increase market share.  Just a cycle that gets repeated.  Start out as a good expensive brand.  Grow market share. Sell out and get cheap.  Become marginalized and bankrupt.

I also hate my hardwood floor.  I have some in the kitchen and it can't take a spill.  Anytime I have a good spill it shows up in the ceiling downstairs. At least I have those lame ass replaceable office style tyles.
-- Death to all Fanatics!
[ Parent ]

Might be a good time for a resurfacing? (n/T) (none / 0) (#253)
by ckaminski on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 03:49:59 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Cheap goods (none / 1) (#422)
by pyro9 on Sun Feb 06, 2005 at 04:54:43 PM EST

I think there's more to it than that. More and more, the consumer has few ways to determine quality before buying. I've seen quality products at both the high and low end of pricing, often from no-name brands. At the same time, I've seen expensive top brand crap.

So, since there's little way to know short of embarking on a 4 year research project, many people just buy the cheapest thing they can find that has no visible signs of quality problems and then hope for the best. I'd rather have a $20 pair of jeans turn into lint in a couple months than have a $100 pair do the same.

The problem is even worse in consumer electronics where features that cost nothing (literally nothing) to produce are sometimes disabled in lower cost units (such that the low end unit actually costs a few cents MORE to produce) and most brand names are actually the same as the no-name unit, but with a very 'expensive' logo attached. They all look the same until you spread them out on a sheet.


The future isn't what it used to be
[ Parent ]
Jeans (none / 0) (#466)
by unknownlamer on Sat Feb 19, 2005 at 02:29:59 PM EST

I have Levi Jeans that I got four years ago that are still in great condition (I buy really dark blue jeans so the fading isn't too much of an issue). I have a few pair of Levi Jeans that I got maybe a year ago and the belt loops have all broken and the back pockets have huge holes in them.

This happened after I wore them maybe five or six times. I'm hoping it was just a fluke and am going to buy one more pair of them soon and hope for the best...

I also hate this damn prefaded crap. If you want prefaded jeans I'll gladly sell you my five year old pair that has a realistic fade pattern because ... they were faded from real use. Maybe this could work to my advantage after all...but it's hard to tell if a pair of jeans is faded lightly (as some of them seem to be) under fluorescent lighting for me so I accidentaly got a pair of shorts that were prefaded.

The whole branding thing is something that pro-audio has had for ages. Only the salesman will tell you that the low end DBX stuff is actually the same as the DOD stuff and will gladly sell you the DOD unit that costs $50 less but will work as well (note: most DOD stuff is utter shit). This is assuming that you go to a good audio shop and not a mass chain or an evil little store.



--
<vladl> I am reading the making of the atomic bong - modern science
[ Parent ]
Pergo... (none / 0) (#251)
by ckaminski on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 03:46:42 PM EST

I can understand using pergo if you're replacing crappy rugs... but destroying a hardwood floor... Shudder...

I'd have killed him and buried him under an outdoor Pergo patio.


[ Parent ]

Re: Non asbestos roof shingles (none / 0) (#404)
by mettaur on Sat Feb 05, 2005 at 06:02:10 AM EST

It's true that asbestos products outlive their owners, but that isn't a good thing.


--
[Applying business theory to trolling]
[ Parent ]
Friable v. Non Friable (none / 0) (#414)
by duffbeer703 on Sat Feb 05, 2005 at 09:50:37 PM EST

Asbestos fibers embedded in tar aren't going to become airborne and inhaled.

Asbestos-related injuries usually centered around things like brake pads and pipe wrap where wetting/drying and dust production are common.

I live in a house built in 1930 with the original asbestos roof. Not a leak or a problem of any kind. I'm going to have to replace the roof because the aluminum flashing around the chimmney and vents are disintegrating, and you can't walk on asbestos shingles. (They crack)


[ Parent ]

Visit Old Navy someday (none / 0) (#413)
by duffbeer703 on Sat Feb 05, 2005 at 09:47:12 PM EST

Old Navy produces disposable clothing (TM)... I dare you to try washing an Old Navy shirt.

[ Parent ]
GM does, Honda doesn't (none / 0) (#415)
by duffbeer703 on Sat Feb 05, 2005 at 09:54:52 PM EST

Most big GM V6's and V8's have timing chains. No Honda V6's have belts, even though VTEC engines are paperweights after the belt goes.

Its just one of those cost-related things. A Cadillac Northstar V8 won't have any timing related problems, but the water pump, gaskets and transmission fall off at 100,000 miles. (At least up until 2000 or so)

[ Parent ]

The Good Ol' Days Weren't Really That Good (2.72 / 11) (#31)
by thelizman on Sat Jan 29, 2005 at 07:37:06 PM EST

Then, one of its cheap plastic parts will break....nylon-gear laden piece of junk goes into a landfill.
The steel gears you so lament rusted. When improperly engaged (like when you tried to teach your girlfriend how to drive your manual tranny), they grind and leave metal shavings. They are also noisy, and are responsible for the loud whirring componant of your engines noise. Using nylon for non-load bearing parts (like the timing chain assembly between your camshaft an crank) saves weight, eliminates metal shavings and metallic oxides form speeding the breakdown of your engine oil. And I say this because other suspension bushings, where nylong is far superior in both durability and damping, the only place in your drivetrain you'relikely to find nylon that timing chain gear. Maybe you'll find nylon used for the speedometer gearset as well.

T-shirts that actually fit
Lose weight fatass.

Volume control knobs
Now you're on to something here. The annoyance of having to clean the oxidation from an analog knob every year or so is hardly justification for doing away with the absolute near-infinitely precise variability of good old fasioned analog. Now you can only find them on very high end esoterica, and as much as I'd like to pay Nakamichi $5,000 for an analog-knobbed CD player, I'm afraid NC State University has first dibs.

Cars you can work on without $100,000 worth of tools
Uhm, you can do 90% of automotive repair nowadays with $500 worth of tools. A few screwdrivers, metric sockets, some dangley jointed ratchet shafts, a pair of vice grips, a torque wrench, and a $99 OBDII code scanner typically suffices, though I did need to invest in an impact wrench, air compressor, and 34 mm to change my CV shafts, and to get the tranny of my car to replace the clutch In all, it's far better than my 78 Pontiac Grand Prix, which was a hodge podge of metric, standard, torx, hex, and phillips head fasteners. Not to mention the special winky little adjustment tools for properly tuning a late 70's california legal emissions system. Talk about a freakin mess.

Timing belts...if it breaks while the engine is running it will ruin your valves.
Only those valves which were open when the pistons all passed TDC, which is usally at least half. But this problem was also the case in chain driven valvetrains. Moreover, the chain was more likely to fail, or to jump timing, then the belts. The belts also have the advantage of being easier to change. On my Mitsu, I don't even have to take the engine accessories off. I just undo the top cover, mark the camp shaft gears position with chalk or white out, reach down with a prybar on the tensioner, and slip the belt off. Then I thread the new one on. Whole job takes one hour, and 45 minutes of that is standing around with the neighbors drinking beer and pointing at parts of the engine we could..."fix"....with parts from the NOPI catalog. Also, don't forget that some cars now have no belts or chains at all, and instead use electric solenoids so they can adjust valve timing on the fly.

Two handled shower faucets
Can't help you there. I've got this nifty digital wall unit that tells the time, precisely regulates temperature and pressure, and even remembers my settings. The water heater unit is in the wall, too, so I don't have to wait for hot water to make its way through the pipes. $500 at Home Depot, but damn is it ever cool.

What useful old technologies there were before my time that have perished?
The crystal set radio. The only place you see these anymore are in hobby kits like rat shack. These are invaluable learning tools, and kids today are amazed that you can listen to radio - albeit cheezy AM talk stations - without batteries.

The Stanley Electric Car. Car companies are just now reviving this bit of techno hybrid errata, but in the late 1800's Stanley used a compact oil powered steam engine to drive a generator which drove four electric motors at each wheel, and charged a battery. It was amazingly simple, and therefore reliable, capable of an insanely fast 32 mph (at a time when distinguished scientists declared that a human could not survive going faster than 45 mphs), and could run for five miles after the fuel ran out. And it was damn quiet because the steam was recycled in a large condensor tank/radiator at the front of the vehicle. Alas, we would have run out of the whale blubber needed to power them by now.

The rod. Spare it, and spoil the child. When I was young, I lived in terror of my mother whooping my ass if I were caught cussing, made grades lower than a C, or was up past bedtime. Now it's "time out". And we wonder why children are hacking each other up CSI:Miami style.

The bow and arrow. The last time this martial weapon was used by an American Imperialist was in Viet Nam, and there is no record of recording any enemy kills with it. A skilled archer can plant an arrow into a guys head from hundreds of yards, and no report would give away his position. I would have to get within 50 yards myself, but I never claimed to be skilled archer.

DOS. But we have *nix/*BSD.

Real booze. My state says I can only brew 10 gallons of moonshine for personal use, and that's enough, but give up buying anything at the store. The best proof I've gotten here in the bible belt has been 90 proof, or 45% alcohol by volume. I mean, if I can't commit arson, it's not really booze. It's...cooking sherry for christ's sake.

Women without tats and piercings. Call me old fashioned, but the only holes I like on my women are the ones god (or evolution) put there. And tats? Why do I want to date a woman who looks like she may have been an inmate at one point. This doesn't include women with actual body art, mind you, just the nasty tribals, kanji, or celtic runes. \
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
Can you distill past 100 proof? (2.50 / 2) (#32)
by Adam Rightmann on Sat Jan 29, 2005 at 09:19:22 PM EST

I'm not much of a moonshiner (beer is much more kinder to my constitution, so I brew), only tasting it once or twice (and it was foul, tasting like lighter fluid) but is it possible to distill past 100 proof?

Pennsylvania sells grain alcohol, depending on where you are in the Bible Belt it may not be a far ride.

[ Parent ]

Yes. (3.00 / 2) (#33)
by The Jewish Liberal Media Conspiracy on Sat Jan 29, 2005 at 09:40:28 PM EST

The theoretical max percentage by distillation is around 96% alcohol. I know you can buy it up here in Soviet Canuckistan, dunno about the bible belt.
This account has been anonymized.
[ Parent ]
I know you can make nearly 100% (none / 1) (#37)
by Adam Rightmann on Sat Jan 29, 2005 at 10:28:22 PM EST

but I was wondering if that took very special techniques and equipment, perhaps a vacuum over the still and higly accurate and responsive thermometers. I was wondering if Uncle Jesse in the woods could get over 100 proof.

[ Parent ]
Over 100? (none / 1) (#38)
by The Jewish Liberal Media Conspiracy on Sat Jan 29, 2005 at 10:39:56 PM EST

Probably, I've had some pretty unpleasantly strong moonshine. That stuff could have been paint thinner in another life. Hell, it probably could have been paint thinner in this one.
This account has been anonymized.
[ Parent ]
Special Techniques (3.00 / 2) (#60)
by thelizman on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 05:51:05 AM EST

You can't use your standard desktop still, and certainly not the uncontrolled insanity of the back-woods moonshiner still. You need a special setup called a 'fractional distillery'. This allows you to distill less volitile componants out. With some small marbles, wire mesh, and a six foot by six inch pipe, you can easily get to 180 proof, but it seems (as mentioned elsewhere) that you have to do some major tweakage to get anything over 190.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Over 100 is fairly easy (none / 1) (#68)
by pyro9 on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 11:33:08 AM EST

With just a little skill, over 100 proof is easy with a conventional still. You won't get over 190 without introducing toxic drying agents.


The future isn't what it used to be
[ Parent ]
yes, since 100 proof === 50 % alcohol (3.00 / 2) (#40)
by lukme on Sat Jan 29, 2005 at 11:07:25 PM EST

You can, with some difficulty, get 190 proof (95%) from conventional stilling. You could go even higher if you dry it over a bed of something that has a higher affinity for water.




-----------------------------------
It's awfully hard to fly with eagles when you're a turkey.
[ Parent ]
ns (2.75 / 4) (#42)
by mcgrew on Sat Jan 29, 2005 at 11:38:49 PM EST

"The steel gears you so lament rusted"

Yes, sometimes. Seldom when greasy.

"Lose weight fatass."

I'm 160 pounds at 5 foot nine. Two years ago I was a rail-thin 120. The shirts didn't fit then, either.

"I'd like to pay Nakamichi $5,000 for an analog-knobbed CD player..."

Ain't corporations wonderful? A potentiometer costs about fifty cents!

"I've got this nifty digital wall unit..."

I want one!

"The bow and arrow"

Sportsmen still use them. Their silence does seem to offer usefulness to the military, I wonder why they aren't used any more?

"Women without tats and piercings"

Amen, brother

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Bow and Arrow (3.00 / 2) (#71)
by darkonc on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 01:22:01 PM EST

If nobody sees the arrow coming, and the victim spins as (s)he falls, then the bow sniper's in fine shape. If, on the other hand, you manage to miss your target's head, and the arrow embeds itself in the ground, a tree or a wall, the tail is likely to point pretty much straight to you.

Run fast and silent.
Killing a person is hard. Killing a dream is murder. : : : ($3.75 hosting)
[ Parent ]

plus (none / 0) (#90)
by minerboy on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 04:31:57 PM EST

Hitting anything over 50 yds away, with a enough force to do damage, is a damn fine shot, and requires hours, and hours of practice. The early musket was way less accurate, but was much easier to use effectively than a bow and Arrow. Making good arrows used to be difficult, too. A musket ball was much more easily made.



[ Parent ]
pshaw (none / 0) (#145)
by thelizman on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 03:49:00 AM EST

Hitting anything over 50 yds away, with a enough force to do damage, is a damn fine shot, and requires hours, and hours of practice.
Nope. I was shooting at 45 yards and making tight groups on a 25 yard target after a few weeks or archery class. That was with used/abused equipment, less than ideal conditions, and having never picked up a bow in my life. As to the force, one of the biggest problems was getting your propped up target to stay still. With ball tips, the arrows regularly punched through the two inch foam targets, and more than one tree has a permanant aluminum branch beyond the range now.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
depends what you mean by effective (none / 0) (#260)
by minerboy on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 04:45:07 PM EST

Sure you can hit aa target from hundreds of yards, but the rule of thumb for effectively killing a deer is 20-40 yds for all but the best Bow hunters. Arrows are relatively slow, and a live target will move, particularly if you shoot from two far away.



[ Parent ]
Drifting (none / 0) (#268)
by thelizman on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 05:19:13 PM EST

...and your point is, what...
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
You've obviously never used a bow (N/T) (none / 0) (#239)
by Fred_A on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 02:39:04 PM EST


Fred in Paris
[ Parent ]

Force (none / 1) (#93)
by Xptic on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 05:38:46 PM EST

The real beauty of hitting something with an arrow is the force it carries.  People see TV and guys getting thrown through windows by a 9mm round.  When a deer takes a hit, it usually jumps and runs...for a while.  But you hit a deer with an arrow and it *knows* it's been hit.  Nothing like a 1" 'X'-shaped knife punching through flesh cutting everything in its path.

Thoes damn arrow heads do real damage.

Even shooting a target you can tell the difference.  A bullet makes a thump and goes through the target.  An arrow makes a THUD and knocks the target over.

Plus, the unfortunate bastard that gets hit has to pull it out!

That's like getting twice the bang for your buck!  The gift that keeps on fucking.

And don't even get me started on the ER bills.

Still, I dissagree with the grandparent about the range.  Longbow archers could hit targets far away, but they were mostly "fire for effect" tactics.  For every 100 arrows fired on their parabolic path, few failed to find flesh.

Sure, I've heard tales of the English Longbow; archers launching 7 missles skyward before the first hits the ground.  But these people also wrote about the earth being flat.  Take it all with a huge fucking grain of salt.

The way I figure it, about 100 yards is the best anyone could hope for with real accuracy.  Probably less with an unpredictable moving target.  Under the right conditions with proper training and some luck, someone could do trick-shooting at 200 yards.  But, under real-world conditions, a one-off shot at anything over 50 yards would be a miracle.

[ Parent ]

Er, (3.00 / 2) (#139)
by trhurler on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 03:29:36 AM EST

No. There is nobody on this planet who can reliably hit a target less than a cubic foot in size with a bow from hundreds of yards away.

Yes, massed archers from the days of the longbow were effective at those ranges. This was ONLY because they were massed. They didn't aim at individual people. They aimed at a crowd of people. Many of them still missed. But many of them didn't.

In fact, even with a modern compound bow(which certainly is no Luddite wet dream,) you'd have to be a weightlifting champion to handle a pull that would propel an arrow along a predictable PATH at that range. Wind drift will unpredictably carry any arrow fired by a mere mortal at that range. For that matter, at that range wind drift affects BULLETS.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
To Er is Human (none / 0) (#140)
by thelizman on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 03:44:56 AM EST

To say crap like this:
No. There is nobody on this planet who can reliably hit a target less than a cubic foot in size with a bow from hundreds of yards away.
is ignorant. It may be a small fraction of people who practice archery, or the joke of a martial skill we call archery, but it's by no means difficult to nail a melon at such a distance. You forget that once upon a time, before broadcast television and internet pr0n, people spent all day in the practice of archery in Europe. In feudal Japan, Samurai archers shot 36 to 42 inch arrows from hillsides down onto massed formations with pinpoint accuracy. At closer distances, a warrior on horseback could nail your noggin just as easily. And this notion of firing massed arrows...may have been acceptable in Europe where wood was plentiful, but in fedal japan where living trees were sacred, wasting arrows was a vulgar thing to do.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
As usual, you're full of shit (none / 0) (#157)
by CtrlBR on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 07:42:35 AM EST

A bow intrisic precision is in the tens of MOA, the best crossbow can get as low as 10 MOA. (To have a baseline of comparaison, a really shitty assault rifle precison wise like the AK47 is at about 5 MOA, a precison rifle being under 1 MOA with some as good as .25 MOA).

So unless reliably to you means under 5% you pull facts out of your ass as it is your habit.

Look at the groups the best of the best gets at the Olympics games and tell me how it would translate in hitting reliably a target under one foot square at hundreds of yards.

Look it up here. Olympic shooting is done at 70m and the "ten" ring in the target is 6.1cm wide. At hundred yards that would scale to more than 1 foot wide. And guess what, they don't hit the ten reliably and as distance increase wind drift also do so precision decrease...

If no-one thinks you're a freedom fighter than you're probably not a terrorist.
-- Parent ]
Keep to yourself moron (none / 0) (#164)
by thelizman on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 08:46:21 AM EST

The bows and arrows in use at the olympics bear scant resemblence to the implements of war I mentioned. Just like you're droll ravings on here bear scant resemblence of intelligence.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Come up with cite (none / 0) (#199)
by CtrlBR on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 01:16:43 PM EST

Where do you find archery equipment more precise that used in the olympics and what is its precision. Those "implements of war" you speak of were made of wood and forged steel, not materials that are a recipe for reproductibility. And shooting the same projectile all the time is one great part of consistent accuracy...

And where do you find archer better than those making it to the olympics.

I came up with facts, you didn't...

Have you even ever practiced archery?

If no-one thinks you're a freedom fighter than you're probably not a terrorist.
-- Parent ]
Forged arrows? (none / 0) (#267)
by thelizman on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 05:18:19 PM EST

made of wood and forged steel
With that, you've destroyed any semblence of credibility in the area of discussion of archery. Later troll-boy.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Arrow heads were forged yes (none / 0) (#300)
by CtrlBR on Tue Feb 01, 2005 at 05:39:05 AM EST

In medieval Europe at least, dunno for Japan, I think it was too to have any armour piercing capability.

How do you think arrow head were made on those "implements of war"?

Oh, and where's your cite about someone reliably hitting a watermellon size target hundreds of yars away?

If no-one thinks you're a freedom fighter than you're probably not a terrorist.
-- Parent ]
They weren't forged. (none / 0) (#318)
by thelizman on Tue Feb 01, 2005 at 02:08:29 PM EST

To forge something of metal, you take stock metal and press (or hammer) it into its final shape. Medieval arrows were cast by pouring molten metal into molds chiselled out of wooden blocks that had been soaked in water. That's if metal was available or desired. Arrowheads were also made by sharpening the stick with a flint knife and hardening them over fire.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
You're joking right? (none / 0) (#339)
by CtrlBR on Wed Feb 02, 2005 at 04:50:53 AM EST

What's your source again?

Blacksmithing was 90% forging... Way more enery efficient and labor was cheap...

If no-one thinks you're a freedom fighter than you're probably not a terrorist.
-- Parent ]
Learn Something New... (none / 0) (#369)
by thelizman on Wed Feb 02, 2005 at 06:02:02 PM EST

Arrow heads weren't forged. They were cast. How much of a moron can you be?
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Ugh.. (none / 0) (#370)
by thelizman on Wed Feb 02, 2005 at 06:02:38 PM EST

...I'm mudwrestling with the pig again.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Eh? (none / 0) (#474)
by The Voice of Reason on Sun Feb 20, 2005 at 04:22:18 PM EST

You're saying that cast iron from hundreds of years ago is more accurate than today's precision engineering?

[ Parent ]
by no means difficult to nail a melon (none / 0) (#161)
by wiredog on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 08:22:25 AM EST

Which is about a cubic foot in size.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
No, really (none / 1) (#295)
by trhurler on Tue Feb 01, 2005 at 03:56:44 AM EST

You've bought a story on this one. The best bows, best arrows, and most intense training cannot overcome the laws of physics. Any arrow heavy enough to not be carried on the wind at velocities attainable from being fired from a bow will not go hundreds of yards. Any arrow light enough to go that distance(even when aimed at an optimal 45 degrees upward, which pretty much removes any hope of aiming at a small target hundreds of yards away,) will be blown on the wind. And no, you cannot compensate for the wind, because during the flight time of that arrow, the wind will change somewhat most times, and the wind 300 yards away won't be the same as it is where you are anyway.

Furthermore, the best equipment available even a hundred years ago is nowhere near as good as what you can buy for sport hunting purposes at the mall these days.

There are people who claim an old guy named Elmer once fired a .44 magnum several hundred yards and hit a tin can too. Lots of people believe stupid things. Don't feel too bad about it.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Don't take the piss (none / 0) (#473)
by The Voice of Reason on Sun Feb 20, 2005 at 04:17:57 PM EST

In feudal Japan, Samurai archers shot 36 to 42 inch arrows from hillsides down onto massed formations with pinpoint accuracy.

It's not really much of a 'massed' formation if it's the sign of a pinpoint is it? Either they aim at a small target or they aim at a massed formation, which is it? A massed formation is easy to hit, wherever you shoot there's a good chance of hitting someone.

And this notion of firing massed arrows...may have been acceptable in Europe where wood was plentiful, but in fedal japan where living trees were sacred, wasting arrows was a vulgar thing to do.

Trees sacred in a country where everything was made out of wood? I doubt that, and I doubt that ancient Samurais were more accurate than today's archers with modern technology.

[ Parent ]

Corporal punishment (none / 0) (#185)
by freestylefiend on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 11:40:53 AM EST

The rod. Spare it, and spoil the child. When I was young, I lived in terror of my mother whooping my ass if I were caught cussing, made grades lower than a C, or was up past bedtime. Now it's "time out". And we wonder why children are hacking each other up CSI:Miami style.

My parents smacked me once or twice, but only, IMO, when they were at fault, never, as far as I can remember, when I was. My parents were fallible. Smacking children makes them take responsibility for their parents' actions, rather than their own.

OTOH, there are other ways to modify children's behaviour, but the less discipline they are given, surely the more they learn to provide it for themselves. I'm sure there are examples of people, probably including most of my friends, who have turned out OK without ever having been smacked.

Strictly speaking, a was never hit with a rod.

[ Parent ]

Women and Tats (none / 1) (#186)
by Yaroslav The Wise on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 11:41:27 AM EST

I cannot agree more with your statement about women having all sorts of tattooes. I often wonder how they will feel about it when they are 60, fat, and generally flabby. Also, if a woman were set on getting a tattoo, then for the love of humanity, BE ORIGINAL! Every twentysomething girl here in California has the Celtic design or butterfly on the small of her back. They are almost always the same or minor variations on a theme and generally tell me that they are mindless, following the trend and put absolutely no thought into the lifetime attachment of a tat. Sure, you can get it removed but the process is lengthy, painful and leaves a mark. I am not against tats by any means, I just loathe the trendy tats.

[ Parent ]
One of those tatooed girls... (none / 0) (#237)
by Fred_A on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 02:28:52 PM EST

... was the first though.

Now she's kind of lost in the noise but she's there somewhere, look closer !

Fred in Paris
[ Parent ]

Fred, she died in a snuff film in 1998... (3.00 / 2) (#266)
by Yaroslav The Wise on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 05:17:31 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Damn, so much for romance (none / 0) (#306)
by Fred_A on Tue Feb 01, 2005 at 06:32:45 AM EST


Fred in Paris
[ Parent ]

obscure, but whatever -> (3.00 / 2) (#35)
by tetsuwan on Sat Jan 29, 2005 at 10:07:04 PM EST

I miss Eterna, a muesli that tasted great, had the daily dose of the 15 most important vitamins and minerals provided by natural ingredients, and milk curd as an extra protein source. Eterna with yoghurt and a glass of orange juice every morning and you never had to worry about nutrition.

Glass bottle lemonade. If you're running a nonprofit organization that sells lemonade to it's members, glass bottles bought in recyclable crates are superior to any kind of plastic bottle. Unfortunately, less and less kinds of lemonade is offered in glass bottles anymore.

Small frame freezers. My old small frame freezer costs me $15 a month in electricity - I want a new one that fits into my apartment. Unfortunately, all new freezers are large frame variants.

As for heating - only Scandinavians and perhaps Canadians understand house heating: floor, wall, window and roof isolation combined with water or oil radiators.

Njal's Saga: Just like Romeo & Juliet without the romance

Glass bottles (none / 1) (#70)
by gordonjcp on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 01:07:01 PM EST

I buy pint bottles for my homebrew. They are about £5 for a dozen. The crown caps are pennies (seriously, I don't even know how much they cost, about a pound a bag or something) and the tool to crimp them on is about £20.

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.


[ Parent ]
What with the used ones? (none / 0) (#146)
by tetsuwan on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 03:50:12 AM EST

Do you wash them or throw them away? I mean, I can't imagine you'd need more than a hundred if you take care of the bottles.

Njal's Saga: Just like Romeo & Juliet without the romance
[ Parent ]

Re-use them (none / 0) (#187)
by gordonjcp on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 11:44:25 AM EST

They're cheap, but they're not *that* cheap!

As an aside, most "cheap" beers (Stella, Budweiser, etc) use just-about-reusable bottles, and really cheap 250ml bottles, like Bavaria or supermarket own-brand stubbies are incredibly thin glass. That said, I bottled rather over-primed cider in some cheap own-brand pishy lager 250ml bottles and they survived, even though the cider was very gassy. Wouldn't want to take the risk of them turning into unpredictable grenades, though.

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.


[ Parent ]
isolation? (none / 0) (#119)
by CAIMLAS on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 10:08:11 PM EST

What do you mean by roof, floor, and wall "isolation"? Maybe you mean insulation? Or is there a concept here which I'm unfamiliar with, being a slight bit south of Canada?

I will say, however, that radiated heat = t3h 0wnz0rz. I've got a friend in BC, CA who's parents' house is heated by water radiation through the floors - quite an intelligent implimentation of radiated heat, IMO. It's not electric powered, either: they've got a wood shed outside their house which houses the wood stove. The wood stove has a water tank, and a pipe runs under the ground (probably a fair way under-ground) up to the house - and then automatically recycles back to the woodstove once it gets cool again.

When I was a child we had electric water radiators - 3 of them for the house. They had heavy steel pipes and would radiate heat for a good while after they were done being 'heated' by the water. I fondly remember coming in from playing outside when I was about 5, taking off my snow clothes, and sitting on the radiator until everything was really warm. :)

A side benefit of the water radiator was that the water was never cold for showers. :) As someone who likes to wake up to a warm house and take a hot shower to get my cold muscles moving in the morning, and then hop out into a warm bathroom. That's not possible nowadays, with small(er) water heaters, and the damned central air system blows the warm, moist air throughout the house.
--

Socialism and communism better explained by a psychologist than a political theorist.
[ Parent ]

isolation => insulation (none / 1) (#143)
by tetsuwan on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 03:46:44 AM EST

One technology that works really well in some areas is distributed heat. It works like in your wood stove example, except that the heat is generated at a power plant with exhaust gas cleaning and particle filters etc. The heat is distributed in pipes. My parent's house is heated this way, and we have a wood stove to get the living room above 25 C (77 F) for that extra cosiness.

One problem with floor heating is that the floor usually conducts heat quite well and so gives rise to heat losses. But warm floors are nice.

Njal's Saga: Just like Romeo & Juliet without the romance
[ Parent ]

Umm... (none / 0) (#255)
by ckaminski on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 04:04:03 PM EST

But since heat rises, that's a good thing?

Plus, the great tenet of staying warm is met: if your feet and nuts are warm, you are warm...

[ Parent ]

heat conductance (none / 0) (#293)
by tetsuwan on Tue Feb 01, 2005 at 02:50:10 AM EST

to the outside of the house is good, that is.

Njal's Saga: Just like Romeo & Juliet without the romance
[ Parent ]

+1 from me (2.00 / 2) (#36)
by elver on Sat Jan 29, 2005 at 10:11:39 PM EST

Best rant I've read in a long while. Thanks!

Excellent... (2.50 / 2) (#48)
by gr3y on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 12:04:41 AM EST

A rare treat. It does not come across as "whining", and introduces several new technologies to investigate!

I am a disruptive technology.

Amen Brother. (3.00 / 3) (#49)
by bhearsum on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 12:53:22 AM EST

On the volume knobs.

I am so sick of hitting a button 20 fucking times to tune to a different radio station. It's ridiculous. Analog > Digital for anything audio related.

Remote buttons (none / 0) (#54)
by isaac r on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 02:48:39 AM EST

My DVD remote has all basic control buttons in a coloured box, with the commonly accepted symbols, including play, stop, fast forward, fast backward and even slow forward/backward. Except for pause, which is outside the box, with all the other buttons and is written with words instead of the double rectangle symbol. Which makes pausing films in the dark real fun...

I mean how often do you want to watch a film in slow motion? And how often do you want to pause it? What retards designed remotes these days?

THIS ACCOUNT HAS BEEN DISABLED
[ Parent ]

And what about backlight? (none / 1) (#56)
by MSBob on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 03:15:16 AM EST

Recently I bought a high end DVD player (>$300). Everything about it is quite nice except for the remote. I mean, come on, at this price point they could really afford to add a backlit remote control. I only once owned one of them and it's a supernice feature to have in a remote.
I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.

[ Parent ]
Dude. (none / 0) (#61)
by i on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 05:59:26 AM EST

High-end DVD player isn't ">$300". It's ">$3000".

and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

[ Parent ]
no (none / 1) (#77)
by speek on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 02:43:33 PM EST

Thats stupid-end.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Just curious. (none / 0) (#83)
by i on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 03:18:06 PM EST

Have you compared one of those with something else side by side? I did.

and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

[ Parent ]
nope (none / 0) (#91)
by speek on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 05:14:47 PM EST

and I don't pay much attention to the plasma screens as I walk by them either.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Because people who buy them are stupid, right? (none / 0) (#107)
by i on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 08:45:13 PM EST



and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

[ Parent ]
mostly, yes (none / 0) (#110)
by speek on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 09:03:37 PM EST


--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Why they have more money than you, then? (none / 0) (#111)
by i on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 09:05:24 PM EST



and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

[ Parent ]
Because intelligence != money (none / 0) (#115)
by Kwil on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 09:19:59 PM EST

If I put an NT here, it's no longer NT, is it?

That Jesus Christ guy is getting some terrible lag... it took him 3 days to respawn! -NJ CoolBreeze


[ Parent ]
they don't (none / 0) (#198)
by mpalczew on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 01:11:54 PM EST

They don't have more, because they spent it all on the plasma.
-- Death to all Fanatics!
[ Parent ]
Not really. (none / 0) (#250)
by i on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 03:44:32 PM EST

They saved e.g. $3000 for the DVD and $4500 for the power amp and $5000 for the audio processor and $15000 for the set of speakers. Don't even get me started on the room treatment.

But yeah, after that they really come out pennyless and have to make do with cheap $50/ft speaker cables.

and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

[ Parent ]

It's called VISA (NT) (none / 0) (#256)
by ckaminski on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 04:05:44 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Where I come from (none / 1) (#261)
by i on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 04:45:11 PM EST

people don't overspend just because they have a little piece of plastic with a magnetic strip and a hologram!

No wait, they do.

and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

[ Parent ]

Is it like the high end CD players ? (none / 0) (#232)
by Fred_A on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 02:24:05 PM EST

Weren't there some "high end" CD players with air-cushioned CDs and other sillyness that sold for absurd prices as well ?

The most important bit of a DVD plaer is the software. The rest is very cheap, even if you want quality parts.

Fred in Paris
[ Parent ]

In a high-end CD/DVD player (none / 0) (#297)
by i on Tue Feb 01, 2005 at 04:11:40 AM EST

there are two most important and expensive things: the power supply and the clock. These two could easily cost more than an etire low-end AV setup. There are solid engineering reasons for it, and they have nothing to do with audiophile voodoo.

By the way, quality parts are not cheap either.

and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

[ Parent ]

Remote Buttons (none / 1) (#246)
by DrEvil on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 03:13:16 PM EST

Which makes pausing films in the dark real fun...

I think the real question is, why are you looking at the remote? It only takes a couple of minutes to familiarize yourself with a new remote to the point that you never have to look at it again.

Surely you don't look at the keys on your keyboard when you type, so why would you look at the remote when you change the channel?



[ Parent ]
I guess I just don't spend much (none / 0) (#393)
by isaac r on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 05:27:00 AM EST

time watching DVDs. Too busy, I guess.

THIS ACCOUNT HAS BEEN DISABLED
[ Parent ]

you MUST be joking. (none / 0) (#66)
by guyjin on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 11:06:42 AM EST

I hate those cheap-ass little analog tuners - passionately. you can never get the station you want tuned in just right.
-- 散弾銃でおうがいして ください
[ Parent ]
Not all old tech was good. nt (none / 0) (#220)
by mcgrew on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 02:03:59 PM EST


"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

That's because you got the cheap ones... (none / 0) (#230)
by Fred_A on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 02:21:13 PM EST

But if you spent just 100x more than you did on your cheap analog tuner, you got a great analog tuner where you could get any station just right. And it wouldn't drift either.

Of course now, you spent 1000x less and you have to press buttons. pah

Fred in Paris
[ Parent ]

Absolutly! (none / 1) (#84)
by APL on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 03:30:29 PM EST

Analog knobs with pre-programmed 'favorites' buttons is the solution to radio tuning.

I don't think I've seen one on a car radio, but a second knob for 'fine' tuning is a nice touch as well.

[ Parent ]
How on earth... (2.00 / 2) (#53)
by jd on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 02:41:06 AM EST

Can some of the most intelligent commentary on "modernization" (read: making ripping off suckers cheaper) be classed as humor?

Becauase it's not intelligent? n/t (none / 1) (#81)
by DoorFrame on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 03:07:07 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Because... (none / 1) (#218)
by mcgrew on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 02:02:44 PM EST

If I'd sectioned it as "op ed" it would have been voted down.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Showers (3.00 / 2) (#65)
by guyjin on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 11:03:48 AM EST

having to reach across the tub (risking being scalded by hot water) to turn the heat down is one of my big pet peeves.

Also, as a side benefit, a one-handled shower has half the parts that can fail - if either the hot or cold fails on a 2-dial shower, the shower is unusable.
-- 散弾銃でおうがいして ください

+1 FP, Old Man Rant. (2.81 / 11) (#73)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 01:28:57 PM EST

You forgot to mention the superiority of schools back when they were still allowed to beat the children.


Has anybody seen my clue? I know I had one when I came in here...
The paddle! (none / 0) (#217)
by mcgrew on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 02:01:48 PM EST

A great dead technology, thanks!

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Good to be dead? Nope! (none / 0) (#361)
by mmaddox on Wed Feb 02, 2005 at 02:37:10 PM EST

My highschool had corporal punishment, and though I wasn't disciplined frequently (smart kid, too chickenshit to do the really FUN stuff), I took the paddle the two times I was faced with "the choice:" 1) 3 - 5 licks with the paddle (called "getting licks") 2) a week of early detention (at school at 7am for an hour) Take the swat! Over and done in a few seconds, and you're out of there. You know you're not going to be killed with the damn thing, so why spend a week dragging into school at sunrise? Today's kids don't get such an easy-out.

[ Parent ]
The plain old screw (2.85 / 7) (#74)
by godix on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 01:40:23 PM EST

I miss the common screw. It used to be you get a device and it was held by the average screw, either a flathead or if you want to get all fancy and shit then a phillips screw. If you wanted to get inside of the thing to fix it, tweak it, or fuck it up enough you had to go by another one then you could so with nothing more than a single screwdriver and, perhaps, a hammer. These days you need to be able to deal with torq, hex, tri-wing, spanner, and of course all of the above with a little metal post in the center just to drive you batshit. A razor blade is probably going to required as well, not for removing the screw but for removing all the 'Warning! Opening this case or treating this product as if you own it will violate your warrenty, give you cancer, elect Republicans to office, cause the sun to go supernova, and really make us here at company X sad' stickers so you can find the fucking screws to begin with. So you can mourn the lose of fancy shit like timing chains or gravity furnaces, I personally would be happy with the return of the common screw.


- An egotist is someone who thinks they're almost as good as I am.
Plain old screw (none / 1) (#112)
by Wobbly Bob on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 09:15:38 PM EST

It used to be you get a device and it was held by the average screw, either a flathead or if you want to get all fancy and shit then a phillips screw.

P. L. Robertson perfected the screw in 1908. Any other type (except flat) has been a failed attempt at improving it.

[ Parent ]

Well, no (3.00 / 2) (#138)
by trhurler on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 03:27:09 AM EST

Actually, flathead and phillips screws suck ass. Square bits are roughly one hundred billion times better. Torx are a nuisance.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
But you can't open a square bit with a knife! (none / 0) (#287)
by Russell Dovey on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 11:45:17 PM EST

nt.

"Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan
[ Parent ]

Just as well (none / 0) (#294)
by trhurler on Tue Feb 01, 2005 at 03:39:08 AM EST

I own screwdrivers.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Odd screws have good reasons (none / 0) (#289)
by cthulhu512 on Tue Feb 01, 2005 at 01:00:48 AM EST

When you are actually putting things together, screws are one of the worst ways to actually attach things from a design or automation perspective. The odd screw heads tend to work much better for that and thus drive prices down. Come to think of it, a lot of the dead tech complaints are not that the tech is dead, but that the person making the product is a cheap B**&%$#@sterd.

[ Parent ]
old technology vs old politics (3.00 / 7) (#82)
by speek on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 03:10:01 PM EST

I usually find myself missing the way things were socially and politically. Like, when I was a kid, there were no laws about car seats. Or seat belts. No laws about wearing a helmet while riding a bicycle. If I'd had to wear a helmet when I was a kid, I probably would have passed on the whole bike thing.

When my dad was a kid, he had a dog. One day, while the dog was tied up in the yard, some neighbor kid came by got bit. The judge determined the kid encroached on the dog's territory (he was chained up) and that was that. Today, that would've been a dead dog.

As a kid I walked a mile to school - in first grade. Kids from the same neighborhood take the bus these days.

This is not to say everything was grand back then. The PC and civil rights movements have in general improved life greatly for a lot of people. But I think sometimes people have lost focus on what really matters, and the whole idea that the state should override parent is, in my mind, a great wrong.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees

Neutral acceptance of pain and death (3.00 / 8) (#89)
by toulouse on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 04:26:40 PM EST

Bicycle helmets and seatbelts came about because more and more people were getting injured and killed, not because it was considered a bad thing philosophically, but because it was a bad thing economically.

All accidents related to the above are costly insurance claims, lawsuits and criminal prosecutions waiting to happen. Sure, I don't care if you kill yourself because you weren't wearing a seatbelt, but the insurance company, emergency services and mop-up crew do. Many non-helmet-wearing cyclists were killed by drivers in accidents for which the cyclist wasn't to blame: Major legal hassle.

I think your comment touches upon a deeper issue, which is the attempted mental blanking or denial of pain and death as unavoidable aspects of existence. It's a hard argument to make as, obviously, most people want well for others, but there is a quality of life issue at stake. Do we really want to end up in a state of "not really living" just so we can rapidly increase the odds of "not really dying"? Everyone wrapped in cotton wool etc. - prohibited from anything with a certain level of danger. It's a balance issue, and a hard one to strike.

The number of things prohibited has increased, in order to diminish the (legal and financial) responsibility of those involved. Insurance is a pre-requisite for many things these days, as are ridiculous legal disclaimers. As an example of this: Safari parks telling you not to get out of your car in the lion enclosure (no shit ...). Now: getting out of your car in the lion enclosure is clearly one of the most cretinous ideas ever, but idiots have done it, and it only takes a couple of deaths to ban the idea of safari parks permanently.

Like I said, it's a balance issue. We all want to know that our rollercoasters are highly-maintained, regularly inspected and safe, but do we want to ban people from walking on mountains because of their predilection for falling off? These are two straw-mannish extremes, but the middle ground is an important area, I think.


--
'My god...it's full of blogs.' - ktakki
--


[ Parent ]
some things are simple (2.50 / 4) (#92)
by speek on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 05:21:57 PM EST

The judge made a simple judgement - the kid approached a tied up dog: kid's fault. Done.

If someone gets out of the car at the lion enclosure: idiot's fault. Done.

That could be the way of things. It could also be the way of things that people grow up and accept that yes, their money is sometimes going to be spent to deal with other people's accidents. Outlawing stupidity seems hardly necessary, as a very small percentage of people do such stupid things. Major legal hassle is caused by A) people who think they should never pay for other's mistakes, and B) people who think they can make money making other people pay for other's mistakes. I have no tolerance for either.

BTW, I very much enjoyed driving through the Lion Safari in Canada two summers ago. The lion's were only about 5 ft from the car, and I remember how impressively huge their heads were.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Helmets, Seatbelts and stuff (2.66 / 3) (#169)
by mahju on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 10:13:59 AM EST

Reading the above sort of got my my mind ticking about why people choose to, or not to wear helmets and seatbelts. So I decided to ramble and rant about it a little...

Up until 2 years ago I lived in Australia where wearing helmets on bicycles became law in the mid 1980s. It wasn't cool to wear them, but the fine for not wearing one made you do it. Over the past 20 years people have just accepted that its what you do, and most people wear them without considering it.

Here in the UK I'm not sure if its law or not. Probably is, but from the number of people I see around London you can't really tell.

So this got me thinking, why would you wear one? If you are reading this and can ride a bike, I'd bet you've probably fallen off a bike too. In fact more than once.

I've fallen off a lot. I rode mountain bikes on and off road, and have numerous scraps over the years, from small scraps, to doctor visits. This gives me a really good feeling its safe, I know lots of people who ride, but I personally don't know anyone who's dead from it. And a reasonably close study of a helmet after a fall shows new dints and scratches that would have hurt, but not killed me.

But it does happen, and did to Fabio Casartelli in the tour de france when he got a small impact injury to the top of the head when he fell. That's that thing you see, you don't wear a helmet for the fall that happens 99.9% of the time. You wear it for the freak little rock or gutter that will crack your skull and kill you.

I think that banning riding bikes would reduce how much fun I have in life, but enforcing the wearing of helmets is a very good thing, and actually makes it more enjoyable.

You see, I've started after 10 years to wear a helmet now snowbaording, and I'm enjoying it more. Now this was not due to regulations, but personally learned experience. It bloody hurts when you are doing 40MPH and whack your head on a patch of icy snow. I took one of these end of last season, saw stars, bit of blackness, and a whole lot of pain.

Nowadays when I'm boarding off piste I can enjoy the boarding, and not worry about cracking my head open on the rocks hiding under the powder (just worry about the destruction to the board). There still the chance to break your arm or leg if you really want, and they can get repaired, but you don't get too much of chance to repair from a serious head injury.

Took me a decade and a good whack to learn that. I probably would have thought that boarding with a helmet would be less fun, less real, but I'd be wrong. Its a hell of a lot more fun.

Oh and in Australia we were taught the reason for seatbeats via the adventure of katie through the windscreen TV Ads .



[ Parent ]
Riding helmets. (2.00 / 2) (#228)
by gordonjcp on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 02:19:44 PM EST

I don't cycle, because I look stupid in tight lycra. I do occasionally ride horses, though. Now, one of my friends owns (or used to own) a pony-trekking centre up north. One of her customers who was there for a trek one day had an absolutely brand-new riding hat, but wouldn't wear it. Eventually, he was told that unless he wore it, he wasn't getting on a horse - insurance and all that.

Well. Didn't he just manage to find the one rocky bit in 2000-odd acres of nice soft heathery moorland to fall on? Cracked his new lid right across the top. No injuries, but only because his riding hat took all the force.

This is your brain. This is your brain on granite. Any questions?

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.


[ Parent ]
wear a helmet (2.50 / 2) (#259)
by nebben123 on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 04:41:00 PM EST

i dunno, i've flown over my handlebars quite a few times, especially while biking in the woods. last time i did it, i went from about 10mph - 0mph in a second (tire got caught on a root) and landed smack on my head. damn near knocked me out. i was wearing a helmet... and if i didn't, i probably would have cut my head open or worse. not wearing helmets while biking is STUPID. if you buy a good one, it will be light and comfortable so you will hardly notice it. also, what are you going to do if you get hit by a car and it throws you in the air and you land on the pavement? that's gonna hurt your head like hell if you don't have a helmet on.

[ Parent ]
Helmets should not be compulsory (none / 1) (#307)
by werner on Tue Feb 01, 2005 at 06:37:37 AM EST

while riding a bike. It's a matter of personal choice. I will not be happy if the EU introduces these rules saying you must wear a helmet.

Personally, I very rarely ride a bike without my helmet, but I have many friends who do and who have said they will not ride anymore if they have to wear a helmet.

[ Parent ]

I think they should be.... (none / 1) (#341)
by mahju on Wed Feb 02, 2005 at 05:26:30 AM EST

The thought that got me rambling up this thread was why someone would choose not to wear one.

I think there's only really 3 reasons that people wouldn't wear one:
1. They don't think there is any danger.
2. Its not cool to wear a helmet.
3. They don't want to mess-up their hair.

Making it law to wear one means that more people wear one, and so the 2nd reason is greatly reduced.  

My first rant was about the perception of danger and how that can be wrong.

I think that if you challange people on why they might not want to wear one, you get some answer about "the state not being able to control my life and how I live it" - not about their hair getting messed-up.  I think you'll find that the net effect of laws like this is its actually easier for an indivdual to make a choice to wear one, and more kids will wear one, and less will die.  I don't think any of the above 3 arguements counter that.

[ Parent ]

People should be permitted to take risks (none / 1) (#364)
by Polverone on Wed Feb 02, 2005 at 04:41:36 PM EST

Adults don't really need the government to protect them from helmetless bike riding, cigarette consumption, or credit card offers. It's perfectly possible for people to do things despite awareness of the risk. Many smokers freely admit "this'll probably kill me" while puffing away and people still race motorcycles despite the very real risk of serious injury or death. I don't have much of a problem with children being forced to wear helmets since they are by definition not held to adult standards of behavior nor given adult responsibilities.

I find nanny stateism annoying. First, money is taken from individuals via taxation to pay for public services (not too bad). Second, the nanny state justifies its restrictions on individual behavior with needing to milk the individual: "we can't let you take risks because you'll use the tax-supported emergency services or die before you've had a lifetime of productive employment and taxpaying." Do you think suicide should be illegal? If not, why should risky behavior that endangers the individual be illegal?
--
It's not a just, good idea; it's the law.
[ Parent ]

ahhh..... (none / 1) (#394)
by mahju on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 08:14:52 AM EST

I agree that people should be allowed to have fun and take risks, and I mentioned this up the thread here:

"There still the chance to break your arm or leg if you really want, and they can get repaired, but you don't get too much of chance to repair from a serious head injury."

Yes people race motorbikes, but I don't think you'll find too many tracks that will let you race with out a helmet.  I can't recall the last time that an F1 (or indy) driver got out of his car and said "that would have been so much more fun with out a helmet and seatbelt".

The "nanny stateism" that you find annoying is a bit of a wider issue. What you are talking about is the balance between laws that restrict, and the rights that you have.  This is not black and white, and there is a balance which is different for everyone. I really don't see the issue in having to wear a helemt - apart from the damage to your hair - it doesn't reduce the fun of riding a bike at all.  

Not smoking at all would be less fun for those that do it, so I don't think it should be banned -however the "nanny stateism" laws around smoking are aimed at protecting the people passively smoking the fumes of others.

Damm those goverments forcing me to drive sober - soooo annoying to me and my passangers as I can't exercise my right to drive pissed and plough my car into a crowded bus stop. Damm "nanny stateism".

In England suicide was illegal in the past - punishible by death.  This is obviously a rather stupid law, and one that was revoked - oh and one that I don't want bought back, but thanks for asking.

As I said, its a balance.  If you don't like the laws (or lack of them), consider it, speak up and be heard, and change it.  


[ Parent ]

bit of a misunderstanding (none / 0) (#398)
by Polverone on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 06:45:17 PM EST

I don't mind laws against driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs on public roadways. Such behavior obviously endangers passengers and other users of the roads. The same isn't true for helmetless bike riding; only the person making the choice to do without a helmet is at increased risk.

Similarly, even though I'm a nonsmoker I'm irked by blanket prohibitions of smoking in bars and restaurants, as in California and a growing number of other regions.  I don't mind such prohibitions on government property. But if a private business wants to operate so that smokers are welcome and permitted to smoke, let it. There may be some secondhand risk to nonsmokers who visit or work at these establishments, but that's their choice. Educate people so they can make informed choices, but dictate behavior minimally. In my home state, there was a minor budget crisis when cigarette consumption declined, because cigarette taxation provides a fat, reliable revenue stream. How could there be a shortfall? Don't those taxes just pay to help prevent smoking, stop smoking, and cover smoking-related medical costs? No, they get used mostly to pay for whatever needs funding, and this regressive tax is wrapped in the pious rhetoric of protecting people from Big Bad Tobacco (which the state also profits from and relies on -- oops).

Posting on K5 is a small step in the right direction of "speaking up and being heard." Since I wasn't born into wealth or media ownership, it may take a while before I can use CNN and the New York Times to deliver my opinions. I use the internet and personal communications for now. In fact, by posting here I probably reach more people than I could by any other inexpensive means, though the audience is too geographically dispersed to affect policy in any one region.
--
It's not a just, good idea; it's the law.
[ Parent ]

Second hand smoke and employees (none / 1) (#400)
by NoBeardPete on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 10:06:32 PM EST

If the state is of the opinion that second hand smoke constitutes a substantial hazard to service industry employees, then these establishments should be legally required to be smoke free. You suggest that employees could make the choice to work at a smoking establishment anyway, in spite of the risks. This would set a dangerous precedent, and would render OHSA toothless. Should workers at a steel mill be allowed to voluntarily opt out of workplace safety regulations? Construction workers? If workers are allowed to opt out of these regulations, they can become subject to terrible pressure from their bosses. Giving them this ability does not empower them, rather it worsens their situation considerably.

To hold that second hand smoke does pose a substantial hazard to service employees but to allow them to risk it anyway is to set a precendent that endangers millions of employees in much, much worse ways.

Game theory tells us that it's common that giving someone extra options may render them worse off. The government doesn't give you the ability to sell yourself into slavery, for example. Do you think of this as depriving you of the choice to sell yourself into slavery if you so choose, or as protecting you from ever risking being pressured into slavery?


Arrr, it be the infamous pirate, No Beard Pete!
[ Parent ]

it's tricky (none / 1) (#403)
by Polverone on Sat Feb 05, 2005 at 05:55:56 AM EST

I prefer to minimize the coercive power of any person or entity over another. Since government power trumps just about anything, I tend to be especially critical of government power. This doesn't mean that I want coercive government power to disappear and coercive private power to fill the vacuum; I want a minimum of power wielded by people against people all around. The trick is that I only know the desired outcome, not all the steps that lead to that outcome.

Slippery slope arguments can be illuminating, but there's no particular reason to think that OSHA would be rendered toothless by permitting businessplace smoking in spite of the statistical risk. Some occupations are simply riskier than others; OSHA isn't eliminating US meatpacking, despite the avoidable risks. I think it's okay to tolerate some risk, even avoidable risk, if it buys a wider range of desireable options. I take this as axiomatic and won't dwell too long on why.

I remember reading several years back about an employment discrimination lawsuit brought against a company that operated a battery recycling plant. In the plant, lead-acid batteries were shredded and the lead was reclaimed. Employees were exposed to lead levels that were substantially above normal, but below maximum permissible levels for adults. The company thought that this would place fetuses at too much risk, so they would not employ pregnant or fertile women in the plant. Women sued the company. I don't recall the outcome. Neither am I sure what should have been done.

I would prefer a world where people have the option to sell themselves into slavery, but almost nobody exercises that option. I realize that this may be the sociological equivalent of saying "I would prefer a world where the Carnot limit doesn't apply to heat engines" but there you have it. I'd prefer a world where the government doesn't need to coerce employers to treat employees well, because no employer is large enough to exert much coercive power over employees. Unfortunately, the accumulation of wealth and power seem to be almost unstoppable save with the intervention of even more power and wealth. The only way we've found to leash billion-dollar companies is with trillion-dollar government. What a waste.

There's a limit to how much plutonium you can accumulate in one place before it goes critical, melting down or even (if brought together quickly) exploding with extreme force. I wish the same applied to accumulations of power and wealth in human relations. I've thought about this many times, and I have a hard time coming up with anything that would work even in theory. Taxation can control accumulations of private wealth but increases government wealth. That wouldn't be so bad if it just meant that civil servants drove gold-plated Bentleys and ate caviar, but with increased tax revenue comes expansion of the scope and influence of government. Soon no aspect of life remains untouched by its hungry tendrils and you've got a giant, expensive social welfare system (Europe) or a giant, expensive military complex (US) along with many less notable yet still expensive endeavors. There's no "direct wealth redistribution" option, only some choice of government programs.

It's no better in the nations where government employees do simply enrich themselves, since wealthy individuals there are generally free to (ab)use their power at will with little contention from the government. I want frictionless planes, immovable objects, incorruptible officials, and other such useful fictions to make their way into the real world so I can see some progress on this vexing issue.
--
It's not a just, good idea; it's the law.
[ Parent ]

Steel-free foundary? (none / 0) (#420)
by pyro9 on Sun Feb 06, 2005 at 04:24:29 PM EST

Molten steel is hazardous to workers' health. Should foundaries be required to be molten steel free zones?

Naturally not, it would then become an employment free zone. Instead, OSHA (rightly) requires measures to mitigate the danger.

A bar is a place people go to smoke and drink. Shall we require bars to be smoke and/or alcohol free zones? If a bar is NOT a place people expect to smoke in, why were there no smoke free bars until the nanny state got involved?

Perhaps,instead, mitigation is in order, such as appropriate ventilation. Perhaps a bar should preferentially employ smokers?

What about a tobacco shop? Should a tobacco shop be forced to prominantly display a no smoking sign?


The future isn't what it used to be
[ Parent ]
"why were there no smoke free bars..." (none / 0) (#433)
by mahju on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 05:16:41 AM EST

"...until the nanny state got involved?"

Excellent question. Anyone?

My stab at it is a little backward - from outcome to reason.

I live in London and here there are smokey bars, pubs and clubs.  I don't know one that is smoke free here, and I visit many.  The decision to go to a bar isn't ever based on if it is smoke free (I and nearly all of my friends don't smoke), rather its the vibe of the place and what it has on offer.

In Ireland, you can't smoke in Pubs at all.  When I've been there, its never a question of where to go because you can or can't smoke there either - smokers just have to go outside to have a smoke.  But the next day your clothes don't smell, out head is clearer (a little, depending on the Guiness intake), and the barman's lungs will see another day.

If you leave it up to a free market ideal at the moment, a pub that allowed smoking would do more business than one that didn't.  From the London example, its not at the highest point of reason for people's choice in where to go, and with the Ireland example, you'll get all the smokers that don't want to stand in the cold to smoke (most of them one would guess).  So basically it doesn't make sense if your a landlord to ban smoking as you lose business.

I believe that government setting rules of the corporate & capitalist game is probably the best way of putting in safe gaurds like this.  What are the other options?  Wait until barman Joe dies of lung cancer and his family sues, taking down some large corporation, making the risk/loss of having a smoke-filled bar more than the loss of business to a bar that allows smoking.

I think that the assumption in many of the posts here is that the choice to wear a helmet, work in a lead filled factory, or a smoke filled bar are made in isolation.  They are not.  You work for the money that you get, and balance this against the risks posed (you have a price for most things - "100K a year to shovel dirty lead scraps - bargin"),  you go to a cool bar to impress or feel/be cool ("hey guys, I know that its smoked filled, but there's <INSERT COOL DJ or BAND NAME HERE> playing tonight and <INSERT CUTE GIRL'S NAME HERE> will be there", and children *and* adults don't wear hemelts because it not cool to("Yeah man, its soo much more fun and real to ride on the edge of danger, unlike little safety helmet mummy's boy over there").

So IMHO there's more to it than just nannying, you have to look at the macro effect of all the rules and laws, in both an indivdual and social sense.

So there's my rambling stab at it - any thoughts?

[ Parent ]

Thoughts (none / 0) (#435)
by pyro9 on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 12:25:00 PM EST

In employment situations, the state has to get somewhat involved since employment (or lack of employment) is not an option for most people. The pub is purely optional.

It would seem to me that if anyone seriously minded the smoke, there would be a wide open opportunity awaiting a business willing to cater to them by being smoke free.

I have no idea what licensing (if any) is needed in England, but in the U.S., a bar must be licensed to serve alcohol. If the state felt the need to jumpstart smokeless bars, it could reduce the licensing fees for smoke free establishments as a bit of incentive to try that route.

Once jumpstarted, supply and demand would see to it that things were apportioned more or less correctly.

It is worth noting that in areas where the nanny state has kept out of it, a number of bar owners have found that a no smoking section and good ventilation is a popular option.

It is also worth noting that banning smoking in bars is more like banning cycling to prevent head injuries. A natural analog to helmet laws would be ventilation requirements for establishments that permit smoking.


The future isn't what it used to be
[ Parent ]
... Not cool... (none / 0) (#402)
by rottcodd on Sat Feb 05, 2005 at 01:13:47 AM EST

They aren't always cool, in a sense that I think might have been overlooked. The ones I've used have made my head feel hotter. There are (were?) flamefests on rec.bicycles.soc about helmets. I don't have much time for usenet anymore- they may be gone- but I doubt it.

[ Parent ]
Reason 4 (none / 0) (#472)
by The Voice of Reason on Sun Feb 20, 2005 at 04:10:15 PM EST

Or in my case:
4. I've no room at work to put a helmet, so it'd get dirty and/or stolen or lost.

[ Parent ]
I've worn seatbelts... (none / 1) (#211)
by mcgrew on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 01:50:37 PM EST

I've worn seatbelts since long before they were mandatory. I wasn't wearing one and suffered great physical pain.

However much I'm glad there's a seatbelt in my car, I'm opposed to making them mandatory. If you want your head torn off when you get in a wreck, that should be your decision. As long as the US government refuses to offer universal health care like more civilized nations it has no right to demand that you wear a seat belt.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

"Universal Healthcare" (none / 1) (#432)
by Kadin2048 on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 02:57:28 AM EST

Precisely.

Which brings me to exactly why I'm against universal healthcare: when your health is being paid for out of your neighbor's taxes, suddenly how you live your life becomes his--and everyone else's--business. And if they're the ones who will be footing the bill for your stupidity, then they can tell you what you can and can't do.

It's the ugly flipside of accepting responsibility for your own actions: if you fork that responsibility off on others, or onto society at large, then suddenly you've given them carte blanche to tell you how to live your life.

The government has no right to tell you whether to wear a seat belt or a helmet, whether to darken your lungs with cigarettes, how much fast food to eat, or anything else, as long as you're going to be the one footing the bill at the end of the day (or more precisely, your life). Once you enter into the Mephistophelean bargain that is Universal Healthcare, your lose the right to potentially self-destructive behavior, because your lack of foresight is just going to drag everyone down.

Take a closer look at that 'safety net,' and you'll find that it's really just a spider's web.

[ Parent ]

People just can't accept responsibility (3.00 / 4) (#178)
by JahToasted on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 10:48:24 AM EST

Back when my parents were teenager, when someone broke a window, the parents of the kid would pay for a new window and discipline the kid. The legal system never got involved because it wasn't neccessary.

Nowadays, The police would have to arrest the kid, the kid would just laugh it off because he is a minor and at most would have to go to juvey. The parents would be all "woe is me, why are my children acting so bad... must be the vidoe games he's playing" (then buy the kid the newest GTA game the next christmas, totally ignoring the "rated M for dipicting total death and destruction" on the front of the box). The shopkeeper would pay for a new window from insurance, and everyone would sit around bitching about how much insurance is costing these days.

Of course not everything was perfect back in past (the kid that broke the window was porbably beaten by his dad for it). But it is extremely annoying about how no one wants to accept responsibility for anything.
______
"I wanna have my kicks before the whole shithouse goes up in flames" -- Jim Morrison
[ Parent ]

oh noes (none / 0) (#368)
by eudas on Wed Feb 02, 2005 at 05:34:38 PM EST

beaten by his dad, maybe, BUT HE DIDN'T DO IT AGAIN.

heaven forbid parents should raise & discipline their children, instead of just being an open wallet for them.

eudas
"We're placing this wood in your ass for the good of the world" -- mrgoat
[ Parent ]

The cell phone (2.70 / 10) (#94)
by thankyougustad on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 05:42:04 PM EST

I may be the only person in his midtwenties in the first world who hates cell phones. In fact, I consider that they are destroying civilization. When I was a kid, if you weren't at home, you couldn't be reached. People didn't really mind, they were patient. Now, people with cellphones expect you to be reached anywhere, at anytime. If I wanted to be at the beck and call of my telephone I'd stay at home.

I steam in silent indigantion when someone I'm with answers a cell phone. They interrupt conversations to do it. . . what are we supposed to do in the meantime? Twiddle our thumbs like assholes. People answer them at the dinner table, in movie theaters, buses and trains. What then ensues is a one sided, innane coversation that you are more or less obligated to follow.

They're filling up landfills as people renew their models every six months. And what's worse, they are replacing the good old land line. The phrases picking up and hanging up are anarchonistic. Whenever (if ever) service providers get around to providing cheap, universal, and infinite communication, even I may crack and buy one.



No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

no (none / 0) (#101)
by wampswillion on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 07:30:03 PM EST

my daughter is in her early 20's and she will not touch a cell phone to save her life. you are not alone.

[ Parent ]
Is she cute? ;-) NT (none / 0) (#315)
by Morphine007 on Tue Feb 01, 2005 at 12:53:26 PM EST



[ Parent ]
she's drop dead (none / 0) (#426)
by wampswillion on Sun Feb 06, 2005 at 08:43:02 PM EST

gorgeous.

[ Parent ]
lol... (none / 0) (#443)
by Morphine007 on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 11:47:55 AM EST

... got a picture ;-)

[ Parent ]
of course (none / 0) (#444)
by wampswillion on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 12:04:35 PM EST

i've got pictures.  i'm her mother.  what kind of mother would i be without pictures?  however, i'm trying to think what kind of mother would be posting a picture of her daughter to a k5 board.  

[ Parent ]
hmmm.... (none / 0) (#446)
by Morphine007 on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 01:55:43 PM EST

.... an irresponsible one I suppose.... and colour me irresponsible, but I'm curious as to what will happen for posting mine :-)

so here goes :-)

[ Parent ]

My cell phone has a STFU button. (3.00 / 2) (#116)
by Danzig on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 09:24:48 PM EST

So would yours, if you had one. Your problem is not your cell phone, your problem is being unable to say no and/or prioritize.

You are not a fucking Fight Club quotation.
rmg for editor!
If you disagree, moderate, don't post.
Kill whitey.
[ Parent ]
Definitely not alone with this (none / 0) (#120)
by HolyCoitus on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 10:11:01 PM EST

I'm 20 years old and would rather wear a dress than carry a cell phone. Which is to say, I've done both and prefer the latter. I'm to the point where people who have a cell phone ring at my house are going to be getting kicked out unless it is for business.
------
That's Scary.
[ Parent ]
Unless it is for business? (none / 0) (#216)
by mcgrew on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 02:00:57 PM EST

So, you worship the God of Mammon?

No, unless it's a true emergency! Take it if it's your babysitter or your elderly mother. Ignore it if it's your boss unless you're on the clock, in which case why are you at my house and not working?

Business is holy in most of the world these days. God damned shame if you ask me.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Man... (none / 0) (#489)
by HolyCoitus on Sat Jul 02, 2005 at 01:04:13 PM EST

I just went back through my old posts and found this one. I really misused the term business there. It was meant to say "somewhat important" instead of business.

If Jill calls and you want to chat for 3 minutes, I don't care if you go to the other room... I can still hear you. If it's important, that's fine. But if it's just bullshit, go outside. I don't want to hear it.
------
That's Scary.
[ Parent ]
Um... (none / 1) (#137)
by trhurler on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 03:26:30 AM EST

While it is true that people have atrocious manners, this is not the fault of cell phones or any other technology. People have atrocious manners because they learn them from their parents, or because they fail to learn good ones.

As for being reachable, if I don't want to answer my phone, I don't. It is there for me, not you. That most people can't be burdened with that responsibility is their own problem.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Yeah (none / 0) (#197)
by thankyougustad on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 01:09:50 PM EST

No shit, people have no class. The cell phone exacerbates their derth of manners.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
The only trouble is... (none / 0) (#214)
by mcgrew on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 01:55:12 PM EST

Your parents didn't have a cell phone, so couldn't teach you cell phone etiquette. That's why you see a dapper gentleman holding his fork properly answering his cell phone interrupting the conversation.

Previous generations were taught to God Damn it answer that God damned phone!

In the case of cell phones, it's now up to your generation to develop sensible rules of conduct. Like, for instance, when to leave the God Damned phone in your pocket.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Phones don't interrupt conversations, people do (none / 1) (#155)
by gidds on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 07:06:05 AM EST

(Sorry for borrowing such an inflammatory slogan, but I think it makes my point!)

It's perfectly possible to use a mobile phone (cellphone, whatever you call it) considerately. If I'm in company, for example, and my phone rings, I'll usually look to see who's calling, and judge whether to answer or not; often I won't. Rejecting the call diverts to my home phone and its answerphone, so if it was anything important, the caller can leave a message. Alternatively, they can send me a text message, which is much less disruptive to read.

On a similar note (ha!), I use a ring tone that starts almost silently, and gets louder fairly slowly. Combined with the vibrating alert, I've usually removed the phone from my pocket before anyone else was aware it was ringing.

People, you don't HAVE to answer the phone! And if you're calling someone who doesn't answer, don't take it personally!

And as for replacement, I've still got the same Siemens S45 I've had for 3+ years now. It still works fine, does all I want, and isn't cluttered with battery-draining bells and whistles, so I'm sticking with it!

So don't let things like other people's rudeness put you off getting a mobile. It's very handy in some ways; if you learn to use it to your advantage, rather than letting it use you, then you might consider it worthwhile after all.

Andy/
[ Parent ]

My cellphone doesn't control me (none / 0) (#174)
by Cro Magnon on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 10:37:04 AM EST

I control the cellphone. I got it so I could call a tow truck if my car broke down, or tell my GF I'd be late because of that *expletive deleted* traffic jam. But, unless I'm using it, I don't even have it turned on. If someone wants to reach me, they can leave a message on my landline.
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
Do what I do. (none / 0) (#177)
by Mr.Surly on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 10:46:53 AM EST

In a business situation, if I'm talking to someone, and they answer their phone (especially in a meeting), I leave.

I go back to my desk, and ignore the "Wait! I'll just be a minute!" calls directed at my back.

For someone to interrupt what I'm telling them to answer a call is simply fucking rude.  Period.

We don't let people interrupt meetings in person.  Why the fuck can they call and interrupt?

[ Parent ]

I have a love/hate relationship with mobiles (none / 0) (#209)
by mcgrew on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 01:43:34 PM EST

They're damned nice at times, but annoying when they ring at a bad time. I usually just let mine ring. I can call the person back later.

The trouble with cell phones is that people treat them like landline phones. Just let it ring. I often keep mine on vibrate, nobody even knows it's ringing.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

You are not alone. (none / 0) (#392)
by luke727 on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 02:20:31 AM EST

I'm in my early twenties and cell phones nearly drive me insane. I also believe that cell phones will bring about the downfall of western civilization. Some people are well-mannered about using them, but the VAST majority are just oblivious to their surroundings. What really pisses me off more than anything is when cell phones ring in movie theatres and classrooms. What's even worse is when the people let it ring a few times or even answer it. One time there was a student who let his phone ring for 4 or 5 times during a lecture while the professor was speaking before someone sternly asked him to turn it off. Jesus Fucking Christ.

[ Parent ]
Jesus Christ, you're a moron. (2.17 / 17) (#96)
by brettd on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 06:57:47 PM EST

I apologize. I got tired of addressing problems with this article and gave up, so this is very incomplete.

In the late 1960s when I worked in a drive-in theater, its refrigerator was a model made in the 1920s and still hummed along merrily. For all I know, it's cooling someone's beer today.

I serously doubt you had a refridgerator built during the middle of the great depression. People couldn't afford food. They certainly couldn't afford refridgerators. Regardless, ice was more reliable.

Refridgerators are the #1 electrical consumer in most US households save those with electric heat or air conditioning. A fridge made in the last 10 years is so much more efficient than one that's 20 years old, it pays for itself within a year or two in electricity savings. When we replaced our 15 year old fridge with a new one, the electricity bill dropped substantially, not to mention, you couldn't tell whether it was running or not even if you were standing 10 feet away. The old one, you could tell from the second floor. New refridgerators are so efficient and save so much energy, the power company actually paid us $500 to buy one.

Oh, and that vaunted ability for surviving power outages? A current refridgerator will keep food safer with the power out longer than even a 5 year old refridgerator could. A fridge built in the 60's or 70's has such poor insulation, it's not even funny.

But there's no crank any more. You have to take your eyes off of the road to find the one button on the fifty buttons to turn the damned thing up or down.

Maybe in cheap shit Ford/GM vehicles, but most of the car radios I've ever seen to this day, have a volume knob. Also, my radio has an in-dash display so I don't have to look down as far from the road. Some cars even have a HUD(various GM vehicles like the Corvette- which is made of plastic, how shocking for you!) or a display up even higher up on the dash.

They were analog. If you're at the fringe of a reception area and the weather or whatever has caused the signal to drift, you could precisely tune it with your radio's analog variable capacitor. Today if (for example) KSHE 95's 94.7Mhz drifts to 94.8 and you're north of Litchfield (about 50 miles), you're out of luck, as you can tune to 94.7 or 94.9, but not 94.8200032010023445 like you can with an analog tuner.

No, actually, a modern radio is better because it can straighten out multipath(I doubt you know what that means), and yes, is perfectly fucking capable of locking onto a signal that isn't perfectly at 94.8. There are single-chip radios now for the automotive market that can be tweaked about 16 ways from sunday to better receive the FM/AM signal, and all automatically.

Furthermore, most stations use completely digitally controlled broadcast equipment. They don't drift nearly as much as they used to.

A tune up? New points, spark plugs, perhaps plug wires, adjust the dwell and timing and you're done. Forty or fifty bucks worth of tools (including the strobe and dwell meter), fifteen or twenty minutes and the job's finished. Now, you're going to be without your car for a day as it sits in the shop. You can't tune it without a very expensive, proprietary computer.

No. In fact, newer cars need only ODB-II tools, which are about as common as piss these days, in the form of simple hand-held scanners that are cheap...to complete software packages with the necessary hardware adapters. VW/Audi/Skoda/etc products can be completely scanned using any of 2-3 different major packages which all cost under $400.

Would you please list the $100,000 in tools?

Furthermore, the advent of distributorless, coilpack ignition systems means that engine management can do tricks like multispark, in case the first spark doesn't catch. The fanciest units, like those on Saabs, actually measure resistance across the spark plug gap after triggering a spark, to see if combustion was successful. Better ignition systems have also made higher-compression engines more reliable (higher compression engines require more spark energy), and such engines are more efficient and powerful.

There are no more timing chains. They've been replaced with belts.

Bullshit. Audi and a number of other companies have gone BACK to chains. Part of it was to save space- they needed it to fit a V8 into various smaller platform cars and a chain is narrower than a timing belt. They've even eliminated accessory belts, using driveshafts to drive the A/C, alternator, etc. The shafts are designed to break cleanly at a set torque in case the accessory seizes.

Chains were, incidentally, abandonded by many manufacturers because they were...gasp...unreliable. Double-row chains and better materials/tolerances have for the most part fixed that.

Most of the problems with belts were that the stupid goddamn eco-freak shitheads in California passed legislation saying "no major maintenance can be required within the first 100,000 miles". So what did manufacturers with cars that required 90k belt changes do? Reprinted the goddamn owners manuals. That's it.

A power pile couldn't work in today's furnaces, as today's furnaces have no pilot lights, instead relying on an electric spark.

Yes, and yesterday's furnaces also had pilot lights that went out regularly, flooding rooms with propane/LNG, which is heavier than air) or generate carbon monoxide.

Our house has a new natural gas furnace for central air that is so efficient, it draws air from outside for burning, and spits out- AT THE FURNACE- exhaust air through a 2" PVC pipe that is barely lukewarm. It's that efficient at extracting heat from the combustion process. The design also prevents any carbon monoxide from getting into the house since both intake and exhaust for combustion are from outside. It is also about half-way done paying for itself, and it's less than 2 years old.

I've never seen an article written by anyone in such dire need of being beaten with a clue-bat. What are you, some emo kid? "Oh, I get too hot when my furnace turns on, boo hoo, and then I get too cold! I'd better whine about it on Kuro!"

Lighten up on the abuse, it is a humor piece [nt] (none / 1) (#99)
by tilly on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 07:25:49 PM EST



[ Parent ]
He can't (none / 0) (#208)
by mcgrew on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 01:40:17 PM EST

He's a troll. It's required.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

New Refigerators (none / 1) (#109)
by thefirelane on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 08:52:52 PM EST

Refridgerators are the #1 electrical consumer in most US households save those with electric heat or air conditioning. A fridge made in the last 10 years is so much more efficient than one that's 20 years old, it pays for itself within a year or two in electricity savings

I believe that is not entirely true. Really old refrigerators are fairly efficient as well, as it is the de-froster that consumes so much electricity (so I'm told). I could be wrong, but that's what I'm told.

-
Prube.com: Like K5, but with less point.
[ Parent ]
The Great Depression was the 30's, not the 20's (1.50 / 2) (#117)
by aardvarko on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 09:35:11 PM EST

idiot

[ Parent ]
hm (none / 0) (#124)
by EMHMark3 on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 10:57:39 PM EST

The great depression was between 1929 and 1933.. e.g. the 'late 1920s'

T H E   M A C H I N E   S T O P S
[ Parent ]

Black Tuesday. (none / 0) (#194)
by SnowBlind on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 01:02:01 PM EST

Is October 29th. 2 months till the end of the decade. Does'nt bottom out till 1932.
I won't even give you a "techincally right" on that one, as things did not halt overnight, it took more than 2 years to run it's course.

There is but One Kernel, and root is His Prophet.
[ Parent ]
You rode the short bus, right? (none / 0) (#207)
by mcgrew on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 01:39:34 PM EST

How is a depression started in 1929 going to stop production of a fridge in 1925? You need to go back to troll school, son.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Your troll-fu is weak (nt) (1.75 / 4) (#123)
by ubernostrum on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 10:29:58 PM EST




--
You cooin' with my bird?
[ Parent ]
other modern annoyances (3.00 / 7) (#100)
by Polverone on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 07:26:11 PM EST

I hate keyboards that are silent, squishy-keyed, and featherlight. I've hunted down heavy, clickety keyboards with good tactile feedback from thrift stores so I don't have to use abominations on my computers. Are keyboards still made with good key-feel? If so, they're rare.

Ubiquitous childproofing also annoys me. I don't want a safety lighter or safety matches, I want immediate lighter operation and strike-anywhere matches. I don't want safety tops on all drugs, insect poisons, and solvents. There are no children here, thanks. The worst safety tops are the ones with a loose plastic sleeve around a metal cap that needs ferocious squeezing from the sides to get a grip good enough to open the container. Those are also the best in a way since they can be fixed by cutting the sleeve off.

I'm irked by car windows that won't roll all the way down. I understand that this is also a safety feature. Is there maybe a hidden switch to turn this feature off in the event that you aren't transporting stupid children? For that matter, I prefer manually operated windows to power windows simply because it seems no manufacturer can imagine that you'd like to sometimes operate windows without a key in the ignition.

Airbags: another annoyance, mostly because of expense, though oversensitive impact sensors can also lead to expensive, painful hilarity. 9 times out of 10, I carry equipment in the passenger side, not people. Can't I forego the unnecessary expense of an airbag there? The same goes for driver side airbags. I always wear a seatbelt. Is my likelihood of death or serious injury decreased enough to justify the expense of an airbag on top of that? No, not to me. But I have no choice if I don't want to drive a much older car. Thank you, Ralph Nader.

Another: the difficulty/expense of getting a digital camera with interchangeable lenses and good manual controls (instead of a dumbed down point 'n shoot), compared to similar classes of cameras from the predigital era.

I miss cap guns. I think they are still around, but much less common than they used to be. They were dead simple, gave hours of entertainment, and provided sound, light, and scent effects. If the gun became uninteresting, you could make "artillery" effects with a whole roll of caps and a hammer or big rock! Maybe that's part of why they disappeared. I think air-powered BB and pellet guns are also great things for children to have, provided they're taught the difference between these and mere toys.
--
It's not a just, good idea; it's the law.

cap guns, water heat, firecrackers... (none / 1) (#118)
by CAIMLAS on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 09:46:05 PM EST

It's not just cap guns, but also things like fireworks/firecrackers. When my uncles were kids, fireworks were readily available whenever they wanted them. Now, they're only available for a couple weeks prior to the 4th of July, illegal to use throughout the year except for during the 4th, and you can't even find the larger, cooler firecrackers because they're too "dangerous". I think somoene is affraid that they could be used as bombs (because they were probably powerful enough individually to cause quite a lot of damage), but it's nothing that someone couldn't do with a couple dozen "small" firecrackers like M80s, a pocket knife, and a pair of small threaded pipe ends. Personally, I remember cap guns being everywhere as a child. I don't think I've seen a single cap gun in stores for years - let alone one which looks like a real gun in the least bit. The only toy guns I've seen have been sound-making futuristic pieces of flamboiant trash. Another thing that sucks more now: children's toys in general. They're all uncreative pieces of shit, pre-built and uncreative nonsense. They simply don't sell real LEGO blocks anymore, instead opting for follow-the-numbers pre-built models with half a dozen pieces. Things like toy army men are rare (which, in conjunction with the lack of decent firecrackers, deprives many a budding demolitionists hours of fun in the sandbox), and damned near everything requires batteries - while only lasting a couple hours on $5 worth of the things. And finally, the thing that sucks the most now: people. It doesn't matter if you're a college graduate working at a convenience store, a lawyer, a programmer, or whatever - most people suck horribly because they're so goddamn fearful (largely regarding children). Children are not expensive china! Aside from being fairly easily replaced (I jest), they're more flexible, heal more quickly, and are more agile than adults. They're also smarter (unless they watch a lot of TV). In a time when it's rare for someone under 30 to die of a health-related issue, and death is so uncommon that it causes major social upheaval when more than 5 people die at once, we (as a society) have become too fucking fearful of death.
--

Socialism and communism better explained by a psychologist than a political theorist.
[ Parent ]

I wonder why... (none / 1) (#151)
by hummassa on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 06:00:50 AM EST

Maybe it's because some people lost their fingers or worse, but I don't know...

[ Parent ]
oh dear (none / 1) (#165)
by speek on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 08:52:50 AM EST

Lost their fingers, eh? Some people have lost their lives in cars, but we still drive them. Some people kill their livers with alcohol, yet we still drink it. Some people get bitten by dogs, yet we haven't killed them all.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

the War on Fireworks (2.00 / 2) (#258)
by Polverone on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 04:18:26 PM EST

The ever-greater regulation of fireworks dates back to the original Progressive era. Back in the scary old days before WW I, you could buy exploding fireworks bigger than a stick of dynamite. Somewhat smaller noisemakers were ubiquitous and dirt-cheap when it came down to small paper firecrackers. Some people did lose fingers, eyes, or more to some of these beasts. Worse, though, the wounds (small or major) inflicted by explosions on the ground often had dirt sprayed into them by the explosion, which led to tetanus, and Johnny's parents often didn't bother with a doctor (if he had superficial-looking wounds) until it was too late. So the 4th of July led to more fatal tetanus cases than the rest of the year put together.

Progressives (yes, the same people who brought you Prohibition) started a crusade against the 4th of July carnage. They enlisted fire chiefs and businessmen too, highlighting how much property damage was caused by 4th of July fires. By the 1930s, they'd been able to eliminate gigantic exploding fireworks from most states and strictly regulate fireworks sales in many areas. As a replacement, they came up with the idea of regional professional fireworks displays like you can still see today all over the US. Many fireworks manufacturers folded under the new regulations, but those that remained discovered that colorful non-explosive devices like pinwheels and roman candles could actually be sold at better profit margins than the old giant explosives.

To make a long story short, the regional compromises made by states or cities with fireworks vendors were eventually short-circuited by the Federal government and the Consumer Product Safety Comission, which knows better than any group of voters just what a 4th of July celebration should look like and has led to the generally anemic consumer-level fireworks available today. Heaven forbid that Americans should buy pyrotechnics comparable to those found in third world hellholes like Mexico and Belgium.
--
It's not a just, good idea; it's the law.
[ Parent ]

heh (none / 1) (#340)
by binford2k on Wed Feb 02, 2005 at 05:01:31 AM EST

My mother and brother are firefighters. Can you guess the one night of the year that they sleep least?

[ Parent ]
Oops (none / 0) (#389)
by egeland on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 11:43:03 PM EST

I misread that as "Can you guess the one night of the year that they sleep best?"

I had a hard time trying to figure that out, until I read it again, slightly more carefully...

--
Some interesting quotes
[ Parent ]

if theyre in Cali... (none / 0) (#391)
by The Amazing Idiot on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 01:43:43 AM EST

They sure arent sleeping during the dry season there. Everything goes up in flames, and the idiots build houses in there.

They deserve to be toastied for building there..

Though, thank your mom and brother for me. Least there are people willing to do the tough jobs.

[ Parent ]

Caution: not for use by stupid people (none / 0) (#349)
by pyro9 on Wed Feb 02, 2005 at 10:34:08 AM EST

I understand that fireworks are sharply limited to keep people from harming themselves or causing property damage. However, I suspect that the supposed 'solution' is not as effective as is claimed.

Yes, by eliminating fireworks, naturally fireworks related injuries and property damage decline. Great, now they just fire their gun into the air instead! Instead of sitting in the front yard with a 12 pack and a big pile of fireworks, they go to a professional display somewhere, drink their usual 12 pack, then drive home.

A strong Darwin cantidate is unlikely to be deterred by the simple unavailability of big fireworks.


The future isn't what it used to be
[ Parent ]
Cap guns (none / 1) (#130)
by APL on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 12:29:41 AM EST

Perhaps they're outlawed by state laws or something, but here in MA, Cap Guns can be found at the local supermarket. Both the rolls and the much cooler 8-shooter ring type.

They are orange though. I understand that it's an important safety feature that they don't look exactly like real guns, but making them entirly out of orange plastic seems a bit extreme. Doesn't matter though. The noise and smell are the important aspects of a cap gun.

Oddly enough they only occasionaly sell extra ammunition. Maybe I just don't understand the cap gun business, but it seems to me that they should be displaying more ammunition than guns, not vice-versa.

[ Parent ]
Orange guns (none / 0) (#348)
by pyro9 on Wed Feb 02, 2005 at 10:19:06 AM EST

The trend of making cap guns in bright un-gunlike colors is meant to prevent capguns from being mis-identified as real for various reasons. However, I'm just waiting to hear about someone carefully painting a real gun bright orange so they can carry it freely in public (or worse, to cause police to hesitate just long enough to successfully shoot them).


The future isn't what it used to be
[ Parent ]
Re: rear car windows (3.00 / 2) (#176)
by bgarcia on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 10:42:57 AM EST

I'm irked by car windows that won't roll all the way down. I understand that this is also a safety feature.
It's not a safety feature. It's just that there is not enough room within a rear door for the window to go all the way down. The rear wheel well gets in the way. It's worse in some cars than in others.

[ Parent ]
Instant Satisfaction - Just Add Money (none / 1) (#182)
by virg on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 11:18:09 AM EST

> I hate keyboards that are silent, squishy-keyed, and featherlight. I've hunted down heavy, clickety keyboards with good tactile feedback from thrift stores so I don't have to use abominations on my computers. Are keyboards still made with good key-feel? If so, they're rare.

They're not rare, they're costly. Search for keyboards on the 'Net and look at ones that cost US$100.00 or more, and you'll get one that's got great feel.

Ubiquitous childproofing also annoys me. I don't want a safety lighter or safety matches, I want immediate lighter operation and strike-anywhere matches.

Is there a difficulty in buying a Zippo lighter and strike-anywhere matches in your home town? These things already exist, and are sold widely.

> I don't want safety tops on all drugs, insect poisons, and solvents. There are no children here, thanks.

I don't have much difficulty buying stuff like this in non-childproof containers, which is an issue since there are children around me. Lysol cleaner doesn't come in childproof containers, and neither does any Raid insecticide. You can ask your pharmacist to put prescriptions in regular containers, and you can buy over-the-counter stuff in "arthritis-friendly" bottles as well. It sounds like you're just not shopping well here.

> I always wear a seatbelt. Is my likelihood of death or serious injury decreased enough to justify the expense of an airbag on top of that? No, not to me. But I have no choice if I don't want to drive a much older car. Thank you, Ralph Nader.

Sorry, but leaving out a standard safety feature to cut down on expense is what the industry refers to as "dumb". You pay extra for a lot of features that make the car safer. The airbags are one of them.

> Another: the difficulty/expense of getting a digital camera with interchangeable lenses and good manual controls (instead of a dumbed down point 'n shoot), compared to similar classes of cameras from the predigital era.

The bottom end of the pre-digital camera market was cheap, dumbed-down point and shoot 110 cameras. Why should the bottom end of the post-digital market be any different? Then, as now, if you want a decent camera with manual controls and interchangeable lenses, you have to buy something more than the economy model. You can do this in the digital market without buying the top end professional models, just like you could before digital cameras became popular.

> I miss cap guns.

You got me there. I do, too. Injury lawsuits put an end to them, and it's too bad because it was good fun.

> I think air-powered BB and pellet guns are also great things for children to have, provided they're taught the difference between these and mere toys.

This is the reason I don't think children should have them. Frankly, I think that having an air-powered pistol should be the step after taking a child to the shooting range and introducing them to real firearms, because then they never get the feel that it's a toy at all. Done that way, I'd agree with you, but no child's first gun should be something that can be taken outside and fired in the yard, lest they fail to recognize and respect its danger.

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
re: safety matches (none / 1) (#254)
by Polverone on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 03:59:40 PM EST

It's true, I can find strike-anywhere matches. They're just less common here. However, I have an aunt who lives in Maryland who swears that strike-anywhere are impossible to find there. She buys them on the west coast when she comes to visit on holidays. Is this the shadow of things to come?
--
It's not a just, good idea; it's the law.
[ Parent ]
Matches in Maryland (none / 1) (#311)
by virg on Tue Feb 01, 2005 at 09:48:35 AM EST

Well, notwithstanding that I'd just suggest she buy a lighter instead of the matches at all (get a grill lighter for candles or things that a regular lighter would be ill-equipped to handle), one could just buy matches by mail order. Googling for "strike" "anywhere" "matches" gives numerous hits and the price falls at about US$3.00 per 250 count box. These companies will likely ship anywhere, including Maryland, I assume.

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
Amen on the childproofing (2.50 / 2) (#206)
by mcgrew on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 01:33:13 PM EST

My kids are 17 and 19, if they drink dish soap it's Darwin's fault.

I like Bic lighters because you can un-childproof them easily.

The windows are just bad fucking design, both ones that won't go all the way down and won't roll up without a key. I loved the power windows in my old '95, but they must have been designed and never tested. Why in the fuck do the damned things need to be keyed? Next car I get with power windows I'm going to try and modify them.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Windows (3.00 / 3) (#223)
by gordonjcp on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 02:09:08 PM EST

Rear windows often don't go all the way down because the glass would hit the bottom edge of the door where it's cut away for the rear wheelarch.

Some cars have a delay relay in the power feed to the electric windows - the Rover 820/827 springs to mind - that lets you roll the windows up or down for 30 seconds or so after you turn off the key.

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.


[ Parent ]
Various comments (none / 1) (#102)
by dn on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 07:45:34 PM EST

T-shirts: Amen! Mind you, I've lost 70 pounds and they still fit badly. Pants are nearly as bad.

Analog control knobs: They're not really infinitely variable. I have found that even with a fancy ten-turn potentiometer, I could only get about one part per thousand accuracy, and frankly one part in a few hundred would be more than enough. The crappy digital controls are that way because they are crappy, not because they're digital. Several semiconductor companies make 1024-step digital pots.

Untunable cars: BFD. Their automatic control systems either tune it for you, or have a broken part that needs outright replacing. For which you buy a code reader that tells you which part has gone south, or tells you nothing in which case you fix the car's computer.

Power piles: Hot water heaters still use them (well, a one-stage thermocouple anyway) to turn off the gas when the pilot goes out. Conceptually there is nothing to stop you from having one as a backup power supply for a modern furnace. Trouble is, it would cost a little bit more money. People these days search far and wide to find the lowest possible bidder, and so a lot of contractors install amazingly crappy equipment. (See: T-shirts that don't fit.) Funny thing is, the money they save turns out not to be enough, so they go borrow more to afford a colossal TV.

Electric space heaters: I want a thermostat that works! The ones I've tried blow the air from the heater across the thermostat, so it main runs as a timer. (See: Made in China.)

    I ♥
TOXIC
WASTE

Reset button on computers (3.00 / 2) (#104)
by mrorange on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 08:00:45 PM EST

Also, power buttons that just cut off the goddamn power. Clicky keyboards - especially large fullstroke ones. Much better for your hands and I like to have the nice, crisp click. Nowadays Keytronics boards will still give you the ergonomic benefit, but they don't have that sound. (I suppose that's a plus for some people) Acoustic coupler modems. They let you log on from anywhere.

Still around (none / 0) (#203)
by mcgrew on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 01:24:30 PM EST

My PC (a 2003 model) has a reset switch on the front, and TWO power switches. One on the front, the newfangled kind, but it's programmable in th eBIOS to act pretty much how you want it to, plus an SPST switch on the power supply.

I never liked the "clikey" keyboards, they made Evil-X bitch. Well, actually though anything would start her bitching...

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

IBM keyboards (none / 0) (#386)
by anthroporraistes on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 07:44:14 PM EST

were the shit.  I think I still have one of those heavy bastards sitting around.  I tried to break one over my knee once, just to discover that they have a metal plate in the bottom.  Loved it.  When you typed, it sounded like you were typing.  You could spill anything in them, with minimal subsiquent sticking.  

I just bought a new PSU for my box, it doesn't even have an off switch.  The two on the front of the box are both soft off, and soft reset.  I hate having to physically pull the plug when my computer fails.  

---
biology is destiny
[ Parent ]

IBM keyboards (none / 0) (#442)
by BJH on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 01:53:33 AM EST

I still use one of these keyboards - there's a company out there that (until quite recently, anyway) still made them according to the old design. I bought two in case the one I'm using fails, but I don't expect to need it any time soon - in fact, PS/2 will probably be entirely obsolete before I need to use the second one.

And as to how tough they are - my wife poured a glass of water into mine (don't ask), so I stripped it down and dried it for a couple of days, and it's been fine since then. That was three years ago.
--
Roses are red, violets are blue.
I'm schizophrenic, and so am I.
-- Oscar Levant

[ Parent ]

Typewriters (3.00 / 2) (#105)
by tehblister on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 08:15:29 PM EST

I would absolutely KILL for a Non-Electric Manual Typewriter.  But they're not made anymore.  Well, that's not entirely true.  They are made.  The cheapest I found was 150$.  It pisses me off that something as rugged and durable as a manual typewriter should cost the same as A COMPUTER!

I don't want a goddamned computer.  I want a goddamned typewriter that I don't have to plug into the wall.  Oh, sure, I can try to find one from an antique/junk shop, but good luck finding ribbon.

I fail it.  Society fails it.  

If you want to write in this day and age, you have to choose between a 1$ Bic pen or a 200$ computer.  There is no in-between 50$ typewriters anymore.  Jesus, what I wouldn't give for a typewriter.
haxhax

60's Typewriter (none / 0) (#113)
by daren on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 09:19:07 PM EST

I have a nice stylish non-electric typewriter. Unfortunately, the I am making due with ribbon slightly larger than what the type writer accomodates. It works though.

[ Parent ]
eBay is your friend (nt) (none / 0) (#114)
by John Miles on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 09:19:20 PM EST


For so long as men do as they are told, there will be war.
[ Parent ]
And now you know (3.00 / 3) (#122)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 10:22:36 PM EST

why no one makes manual typewriters anymore - because precision machinery is expensive to build.

Moore's law didn't just revolutionize computers - it changed the world by undermining the basic economics of many industries.

Has anybody seen my clue? I know I had one when I came in here...
[ Parent ]

That's Odd... (none / 0) (#175)
by virg on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 10:40:36 AM EST

I always thought that the reason nobody builds mechanical typewriters is that there's no real demand for them any more. Notwithstanding the few people who are griping here, virtually nobody wants to use a mechanical typewriter any more, and building them for the very few who do isn't profitable. Moore's Law has little to do with it; when electric typewriters showed up, almost nobody wanted manual typewriters any more even though the two devices are about the same level of mechanical complexity.

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
Not really. (none / 0) (#190)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 12:31:17 PM EST

First, electrics were much more expensive than manuals because they were harder to make and had more parts. So demand for manuals didn't evaporate with the introduction of electrics.

Second, the market for electrics didn't evaporate until computers became cheaper than electric typewriters. I knew lots of secretaries and such who were still using electrics in the mid 90s because PCs were too expensive to give out to everyone. Plus, typewriter makers kept adding word-processor-ish features to typewriters which helped postpone the transition.

It was only with the advent of dirt-cheap PCs that electrics gave up the ghost and manuals are now pretty much a fetish item for writers who want to feel their words thunking onto a page.

Has anybody seen my clue? I know I had one when I came in here...
[ Parent ]

A lot of secretaries still have typewriters (none / 0) (#304)
by werner on Tue Feb 01, 2005 at 06:11:52 AM EST

for filling out forms and the like. It's a lot easier to fill out a form with a typewriter than with your PC and bubblejet.

[ Parent ]
A lot cheaper, too (none / 0) (#309)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Feb 01, 2005 at 09:30:02 AM EST

on a per-page basis to type stuff up than use an inkjet.

But, you're right, I forgot that. For a long time you could do multi-part forms on impact printers, but you can't do that with an inkjet - so you either have to type them or write them out long hand.

Has anybody seen my clue? I know I had one when I came in here...
[ Parent ]

No problem (none / 0) (#412)
by duffbeer703 on Sat Feb 05, 2005 at 09:39:28 PM EST

Just get a scanner, a programmer and forms software.

That way you can scan forms, your programmer type can make them fillable by computer, and your secretary can fill out the form online!

[ Parent ]

ribbons (none / 0) (#129)
by Norkakn on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 12:20:04 AM EST

I buy ribbons at office max *hugs his Royal*

[ Parent ]
typewriter... heh (none / 0) (#153)
by dimaq on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 06:31:46 AM EST

I must admit there's sertain cool solidity to my mom's ancient German mechanical typewriter...

but did you ever try carrying it anywhere?

the only thing I can compare the weight with are my winter tires! Even my huge crt screen (a thing of the past?) does't appear to weight as much - only 28 kg netto. And that's a bi*** to carry to lan parties!

in short, an electronic device, like an utra-portable laptop, made less ultra by installing an add-on battery, so that it lasts some 10 hours is your way out, believe me!

[ Parent ]

Olivetti Lettra 25 (none / 0) (#222)
by gordonjcp on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 02:05:29 PM EST

Where do you live?

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.


[ Parent ]
Umm (3.00 / 4) (#225)
by wurp on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 02:16:55 PM EST

Jesus, what I wouldn't give for a typewriter.

I know the answer to this... $150.
---
Buy my stuff
[ Parent ]

church (none / 0) (#241)
by Norkakn on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 02:47:05 PM EST

Church rummage sales are great places to find them

[ Parent ]
Note to self: (3.00 / 3) (#244)
by Maurkov on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 02:58:10 PM EST

tehblister will kill for less that $150.

[ Parent ]
just bought two from EBay (none / 0) (#276)
by b1tr0t on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 08:50:33 PM EST

Use google and ebay. All those old mechanical typewriters have survived the years and are popping up cheap online. I just bought two different 1930s manual typewriters for about US$30 each. They are heavy, so expect $15 - $20 for shipping.

[ Parent ]
Fountain pen (none / 0) (#463)
by fraise on Sat Feb 19, 2005 at 10:15:38 AM EST

Get a good-quality one - you don't need to spend more than $20 (at least, not in Europe). I've got a standard Waterman fountain pen that I bought seven years ago and use every day. It still works great - can't change the nib, but then the nib is made of steel and hasn't got any problems. I love it. Ink cartridges are sold at $3 for 40 (yes, forty), and a long cartridge will last nearly as long as a single crappy ball-point pen will.

But like I said, I'm in Europe (France) and these things are sold in every supermarket. Not so sure they would be in the US.

[ Parent ]
I still have some of this stuff (3.00 / 5) (#106)
by Blarney on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 08:28:06 PM EST

I recently bought an '04 Cavalier with, yes, a timing chain. It's the Ecotec 2.2L engine, which GM uses in many vehicles as the default small-engine option. Not to mention heavy, steel pulleys. Your typical generic motor for cheap cars. Wouldn't be surprised if this engine was the top-selling American motor. Some of this old tech is still around, provided that you're buying cheap stuff.

Analog knobs? Not in the car. But I've got a Yamaha RX777 here, a generous gift from a well-heeled friend, with analog controls and even a motor-driven analog pot for the volume. The tuner is digital, though. As far as analog tuners, signals do NOT "drift" as you put it, never ever ever. Not unless you drove really fast, like 200 miles per SECOND fast. Which you won't. What you're really doing when you tweak an analog FM tuner knob to the left or right of the station's true frequency is filtering the radio signal on one side or the other in an effort to minimize interference. A quality digital tuner will do a better job than you could of this. A crummy digital tuner will do a crappy job of filtering out interference. But so will a crap analog tuner, and I've seen some crappy ones. In fact, as recently as 2001 a coworker of mine purchased an analog-tuned boombox with perhaps the shittiest FM radio reception I'd ever seen - thing COULD not be tuned - reception far worse than my 80's General Electric boombox with analog tuner. So I think what's psyching you out here is not that the reception is absolutely worse than an analog tuner would get, but that you cannot tweak a knob and satisfy yourself that the radio has it right and you can't make it any better. I'd suggest just buying a better tuner, and not worrying about whether it is digital or analog.

Come to think about it, I think I've urged you to buy more expensive stereo equipment before.... oh well. It might make you happier about digital tuners and CD players if you had ones that were actually designed to sound good.

Shoelaces? I like neither nylon nor cotton, I prefer leather. Doesn't last worth a crap, but not as slippery as nylon and I think it matches a leather shoe better.



Breakfast. [nt] (2.50 / 6) (#108)
by Lisa Dawn on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 08:50:08 PM EST



Whine whine whine ... (2.60 / 5) (#121)
by koala on Sun Jan 30, 2005 at 10:16:11 PM EST

Yes, I suppose you prefer a 20 pound telephone that dials with a dial instead of push buttons. And a radio full of glass tubes that have to warm up before you can listen, and then the station drifts away whenever you get comfortable in your chair on the other side of the room.

Reliable autos? If you were really here in the 50s, 60s, 70s etc- you would know that cars were vastly more unreliable than the cheapest cars today. Who cares about timing chains if the engine isn't likely to make it 100k miles?

What is it about the past that gets people so confused? The past sucked. Almost nobody lived better then. Sure you can point out some odd circumstances in which something may have seemed better in some romantic light.

If you were there right now, in your idyllic past, to whom would you complain about such things? Where would you find a forum to whine? Perhaps the barbershop or the greasy spoon downtown or the smelly tavern on the corner. There was no internet for common people to spread complaints far and wide, thus reducing the quality of dialog to the level of a barroom gripe session.

Fantasy has a way of corrupting fact, and there is a time and place for fantasy but I think it is not here. Those of us living in the industrialized West would do well to stop complaining about our quality of life and consider what we might do to raise the quality of others' lives on this planet.

Omphaloskepsis Often! .

Troll on, son, I'm a biter (none / 1) (#200)
by mcgrew on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 01:19:23 PM EST

"Yes, I suppose you prefer a 20 pound telephone ...that dials with a dial instead of push buttons."

Only as a weapon. These new cell phones don't hurt at all when you get hit with one.

"And a radio full of glass tubes"

Nope. However, a guitar amplifier with glass tubes, maybe. Ever seen a live band with a microphone in front of an amplifier? That's because tubes distort differently than transistors, and the guitarist is using the old tube amp as a fuzzbox!

"Reliable autos?" I didn't say "reliable." The new cars are far more reliable than the old ones. My point was that there is no excuse for, say, designing a headlight that can't be changed without removing the grill. That's just plain bad design.

You have to admit, 90% of today's cars are butt ugly, as opposed to maybe 10-20% of 20th century cars. Particularly Crystler products.

"The past sucked."

So does the present. It just sucks differently than it used to.

"in your idyllic past"

See above. Just because I miss useful things that are no longer around doesn't mean I want to do without my computer and microwave! Nor do I want to trade Osama Bin Laden for Nikita Kruschev, Bin Laden is a piker compared to the old USSR's rulers.

And if I wasn't bitching on the internet I'd be in a bar somewhere. Actually, that hasn't changed much...

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

The things we still have... (none / 0) (#290)
by aaronholmes on Tue Feb 01, 2005 at 01:24:57 AM EST

Some things are better now, some things were better then.

However, the things that we still have from the forties, or seventies, is the stuff that was built solid, and since all the crap went by the wayside, it seems like all the stuff was solid.

On some level he's right, my parents got a toaster for their wedding 30 years ago that we still use, try and buy a toaster nowadays with that kind of longevity, but you sure couldn't play xbox on it. (Yeah - but people back then went outside.)

[ Parent ]

The past sucked, get over it. (1.12 / 16) (#127)
by delmoi on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 12:12:04 AM EST

Your problem is that your buying cheap shit. Digital tuners suck if they're cheap shit, you can get shoe laces made out of whatever you want if you buy them in the right places. Like ten seconds of fucking googlin' gave me this I mean, did you ever think of typing 'cotton shoe laces' into google, you old tymy cockbite?

Line by line

Properly constructed sandwiches The earl of sandwitch (the one who actualy invented the sandwitch) lived in the 1700's, not 'several' hundred years ago unless 'several' to you means 'three'. And anyway, make the fucking thing yourself you cockbite.

Tshirts There are several companies that make tshirts. try some diffrent brands or something. I've never had that problem. My guess is that your neck got bigger, rather then shirt-holes getting smaller.

Cars You're just a moron who dosn't know how to fix a modern car. OBD-II readers are cheap.

Volume control knobs so buy something with a volume control knob, they still sell that crap, and some are very precise. You just want a volume knob on cheap BS. Don't buy cheap BS if you don't want to have to deal with it.

I hate two handled shower faucets. I've got one, and the fucking hot and cold water pressure are not constant, resulting in a non-constant temprature. A fuck of a lot of good that does me. bleh, you're a moron.

yuppers

Sad poor man and so old too. You must have been pretty dumb to get that old without accumulating enough wealth to buy yourself some nice modern stuff. loser, go awah!
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
hey cockbiter (2.00 / 2) (#166)
by Abominable Abitur on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 08:58:38 AM EST

to the smart people in the world:

couple = 2
several = 3

but to idiots like you it has to be explained.

"Terrorism is only a viable "political activist" method for marginalized nutjobs, bottom line. The backlash that it causes makes it intractable for any reasonable ideology. Which is why you don't generally see wild athiest suicide bombers in america's streets." - lonelyhobo
[ Parent ]

Several = 4+ (2.00 / 4) (#167)
by shambles on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 09:52:27 AM EST

couple = 2
few = 3 or 4
several = 4 to 9

People are more important than Truth - Edgar Malroy
[ Parent ]
Speaking of cockbiting (none / 1) (#298)
by bob6 on Tue Feb 01, 2005 at 04:22:05 AM EST

Do you actually believe nobody ever ate stuff between slices of bread before the Earl of Sandwitch?

Cheers.
[ Parent ]
More older products that worked better. (2.25 / 4) (#128)
by Mister Roboto on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 12:14:15 AM EST

Lightbulbs, the one Thomas Edison invented, or one of them anyway, still burns in a Firehouse. The ones I buy today burn out in three months of normal use.

Macintoshes, I have a Macintosh 512K and Macintosh SE, still running after all these years. My new Mac Mini just shot craps on me and needs replacement, and my G3 iMac stopped working too. Forcing me to use my Dell Desktop with XP Pro to get on the Internet. What happened when Apple actually had a good quality control, and made Macintoshes that lasted forever?

PCs, my old IBM PC/XT and Compaq 386 clones ran very cool, and never had any problems. My Dell sometimes overheats and shuts down the system to avoid damage. Maybe it is because the chips they make now are so poor in quality that they produce heat, hotter than a oven.

Cocoa Cola, anyone remember the old formula, before that "Cocoa Cola Classic" came out? Not the one that used Cocaine, but the one from the 1970's.

Tennis shoes, remember when they used to last forever, made of canvas and rubber? Now they are cheaply made of other materials and wear out really fast. Those $200 Tennis shoes last about as long as those $10 cheapie shoes from Payless.

Men's suits, a lot of the good suit makers are out of business, because the cheaper suit makers started making inferior, but cheaper suits. The custom taylored one I used to have lasted almost forever, the one from Walmart will last about a year or two before it becomes a taylor's nightmare. The business that made the custom talyored suit is no longer in business.

Samurai Swords, once again, not the same quality as a few hundred or thousand years ago. I got a cheap one and the blade flew off the handle. It made the enemy Samurai I faced, laugh himself to death. It was not an honorable battle as I thought it would be.

Guns, they have biometrics on them now, smart guns, with a 10% failure rate. Yeah like I need that 10% failure rate to happen when my house is being broken into by sociopathic criminals, bent on killing me? Click, "Fatal Exception Error 0E, user not recognized", and a criminal with an older gun is able to put several holes into me.

Coca Cola (none / 1) (#132)
by APL on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 12:41:58 AM EST

I'm told that some bottling plants in Canada still use Cane Sugar. Can any Canadians verify this?

[ Parent ]
Carbonated Drinks with Sugar (none / 1) (#148)
by dasunt on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 04:30:55 AM EST

Try an Asian food store or a Mexian food store in the United States.

The cola you can buy there is often made with cane sugar.

Plus, if its an Asian food store, you can find quick ramens for about $.75 that don't suck. And Tom Yam.



[ Parent ]
Um... (none / 1) (#136)
by trhurler on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 03:24:52 AM EST

Without evidence, I simply refuse to believe that a light bulb made over a century ago is still burning. Mainly because all of Edison's bulbs operated on the principle of cannibalizing their filaments, just as do the modern ones, and because he never did have a proper inert gas bulb to reduce oxidation.

That said, most of the stress on lightbulbs that actually causes them to break is heating/cooling cycles. IE, turning them on and off a lot. Cheap ones are especially bad about this.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
It's true (none / 0) (#147)
by Stick on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 04:09:38 AM EST

But it's only dimly lit and always left on.


---
Stick, thine posts bring light to mine eyes, tingles to my loins. Yea, each moment I sit, my monitor before me, waiting, yearning, needing your prose to make the moment complete. - Joh3n
[ Parent ]
Evidence (3.00 / 2) (#149)
by dasunt on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 04:33:42 AM EST

The Livermore Light Bulb is rather famous:

Burning for over 100 years.



[ Parent ]
Who provides power to CA? (none / 0) (#320)
by ethereal on Tue Feb 01, 2005 at 03:17:11 PM EST

ComEd couldn't keep that bulb continuously burning for 3 months, let alone 100 years.  100 year uptime is pretty much unbelievable.

--

Stand up for your right to not believe: Americans United for Separation of Church and State
[ Parent ]

Retorts (2.83 / 6) (#173)
by virg on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 10:32:01 AM EST

> Lightbulbs, the one Thomas Edison invented, or one of them anyway, still burns in a Firehouse. The ones I buy today burn out in three months of normal use.

Most of the original bulbs burned out in a few months, too. The Livermore bulb is an aberration. Still, if you want a bulb that lasts, pay more and get a decent bulb, and you'll see they last quite a while.

> What happened when Apple actually had a good quality control, and made Macintoshes that lasted forever?

I have an old Commodore 64 that still runs like a champ, too. The reason is that it's much, MUCH simpler than today's technology. If you wanted a PC with the horsepower of today's machine, but built to the same level of durability as those old workhorses, you could get it, but it'd be five times the size, eat twenty times the power, put out enough waste heat to keep your house in the wintertime, and cost upwards of US$20,000.00 to buy. The reason Apple (and everyone else) makes less durable machines is because people don't want to pay for the reliability.

> PCs, my old IBM PC/XT and Compaq 386 clones ran very cool, and never had any problems. My Dell sometimes overheats and shuts down the system to avoid damage. Maybe it is because the chips they make now are so poor in quality that they produce heat, hotter than a oven.

See above. You're asking the system to do much more, and the system that's doing it is packed into a much smaller space, so the same heat generation is harder to dissipate. An old VAX system does the same computing as a high end PC can these days, and you needed plumbing to keep it cool.

> Cocoa Cola, anyone remember the old formula, before that "Cocoa Cola Classic" came out? Not the one that used Cocaine, but the one from the 1970's.

No argument here, since liking new or old Coca-Cola is just a matter of opinion.

> Tennis shoes, remember when they used to last forever, made of canvas and rubber? Now they are cheaply made of other materials and wear out really fast. Those $200 Tennis shoes last about as long as those $10 cheapie shoes from Payless.

Selective remembrance, ace. thirty years ago, my shoes used to wear out at the rate of about three pairs a year, much like they do now. Sure, they were canvas and rubber, but they still went flat and developed flappity soles at the same rate as today.

> Men's suits, a lot of the good suit makers are out of business, because the cheaper suit makers started making inferior, but cheaper suits. The custom taylored one I used to have lasted almost forever, the one from Walmart will last about a year or two before it becomes a taylor's nightmare. The business that made the custom talyored suit is no longer in business.

Maybe your problem is that you buy suits at Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart? Egad. Go to a local tailor (and don't say there are none; I've never lived or visited anywhere that I couldn't find stores with tailors just by opening the phone book) and pay a decent price for a suit, and you'll get a suit that fits and wears well. Heck, if you're desperate to find a chain store that can do it, find a Men's Wearhouse or JC Penney and ask if they have a tailor to help you out. Most will have one on staff. Then get a suit worked up, and expect to pay more than US$99.00 and you'll get a decent suit.

> Samurai Swords, once again, not the same quality as a few hundred or thousand years ago. I got a cheap one and the blade flew off the handle. It made the enemy Samurai I faced, laugh himself to death. It was not an honorable battle as I thought it would be.

Speak for yourself, gaijin. First, anyone who calls a katana a "samurai sword" didn't have his opponent laughing because of the blade. Second, get a hand-crafted katana instead of some cheap, store-bought piece of junk and you could cut through a horse with it and not have a problem.

> Guns, they have biometrics on them now, smart guns, with a 10% failure rate. Yeah like I need that 10% failure rate to happen when my house is being broken into by sociopathic criminals, bent on killing me? Click, "Fatal Exception Error 0E, user not recognized", and a criminal with an older gun is able to put several holes into me.

If you buy a decent katana, you won't have to worry about this, but assuming you can't handle the blade, get yourself a gun without biometrics. It's not like it's hard to find a pistol made in the '70s these days. Visit your local range and pick one up used, since they do upgrades and will have a supply of usable castoffs.

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
an old VAX? (none / 0) (#264)
by Polverone on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 04:59:02 PM EST

Do you mean an 11/780? Surely you're kidding. Those were well outclassed by PCs by the 486 era, at least when it comes to speed. I think VMS was a wee bit more reliable than DOS/Windows 3.1 though, and the hardware itself was more reliable too. It was aircooled although the cooling was quite a bit more vigorous than that of any PC.

My Commodore 64 eventually died after a long period of weird errors. If new Apple products are less reliable than the old ones, that's a shame. I used to think of secondhand Macs as being good low-end servers (once the OS was replaced) due to the hardware reliability. I imagine that reliable (at least as reliable as old Macintosh) machines wouldn't be that much more expensive today in mass production, but the market for people willing to spend anything extra on reliability is so small, that fairly-reliable machines carry a large price penalty. My generic built-from-parts PC runs fine 6 years after it was built, but it has gone through 4 (!) video cards in that time, since they keep failing.
--
It's not a just, good idea; it's the law.
[ Parent ]

Apple took a clue from "Bladerunner" (none / 0) (#321)
by Mister Roboto on Tue Feb 01, 2005 at 04:24:50 PM EST

to make Macs that now have an expiration date on them. That way they can sell more Macs, than let Mac Owners hang on to them for life. Usually the poor quality ATI video system is the first thing to go, if not the poor quality hard drive but the drive can easily be replaced. Since Apple integrated everything on one board, when one thing fails, the whole board has to be replaced. Apple also phases out old models and keeps changing the case design, so you cannot put a new Mac motherboard in an older case. Once the Mac shoots craps, you can buy a newer Mac. The Mac Mini is a good deal, but I have had three in a row fail on me, and I keep returning to the Apple store for replacements.

[ Parent ]
i have a light bulb.. (none / 1) (#181)
by Work on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 11:17:08 AM EST

thats worked for oh, 14 or 15 years now I think. Its a 25 watt GE. Lower wattage bulbs will usually last much longer than higher ones. The livermore bulb is only something like 3 watts and is never cycled on and off.

[ Parent ]
Light bulbs are obsolete (none / 0) (#195)
by mcgrew on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 01:03:57 PM EST

The new flourescent "twirly bulbs" last years, and only use 1/3 as much electricity.

Also, you're just buying the wrong brand bulb. GE and Sylvania are the very worst bulbs; generally, the cheaper an incandescent light bulb, the longer it will last.

But people buy GE and its engineered light span because "you get what you pay for." Yeah, keep thinking that, suckers!

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Yah but compact fluorescents (none / 0) (#249)
by rodentboy on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 03:42:01 PM EST

make my skin look green. Tungsten gives a much warmer full spectrum (black body radiation) light.



[ Parent ]
It depends on the phosphors. (none / 0) (#485)
by ambrosen on Sat Mar 19, 2005 at 05:55:24 PM EST

Compact fluorescents are easily tuned, but the better phosphors obviously tend to cost more. It pays to do a bit of research.

--
Procrastination does not make you cool. Being cool makes you procrastinate. DesiredUsername.
[ Parent ]
LEDs... (none / 0) (#331)
by thanos on Tue Feb 01, 2005 at 09:41:14 PM EST

are the wave of the future...


Savinelli testified that Pickard said on two occasions that he had accidentally spilled LSD on himself, dosing himself with the drug. Pickard acted "giddy" and was less focused and organized for about a month after the second dosing.
[ Parent ]

Lightbulbs (none / 0) (#238)
by NoBeardPete on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 02:31:18 PM EST

There's a tradeoff in lightbulbs between efficiency, cost and lifespan. For average home use, people tend to choose efficient cheap bulbs. They burn out fairly frequently, but they don't cost much to run, and even less to replace.

There are other uses where people prefer to make the tradeoff in favor of lifespan. This is typically for uses such that bulb replacement is a big hassle. The lights on, say, a suspension bridge, or a fixture on a 60 foot ceiling are difficult to replace. People generally consider that it's worth it to pay more for a bulb, and to pay more for the electricity, if they don't need to send workers up on ladders of scafolding to replace them more than once in a great while.

You can find long-life bulbs. You'll need to pay more for the bulb, and likely they'll use more electricity, which you'll pay for. If it's just going in the lamp in your hallway, it's probably not really worth the expense to avoid the minor hassle of changing the bulb once in a while.


Arrr, it be the infamous pirate, No Beard Pete!
[ Parent ]

Toasters (none / 0) (#336)
by cgenman on Tue Feb 01, 2005 at 11:58:28 PM EST

Toasters from the 70's lasted for years and years using thick wire for a heating element.  Most are still around.  This design has long since gone, sadly, and now all toasters use thin wire designed to break in 5 years.  Other than that they are the same machines, just fundamentally crippled.
- This Sig is a mnemonic device designed to allow you to recognize this author in the future. This is only a device.
[ Parent ]
Suits (none / 0) (#471)
by The Voice of Reason on Sun Feb 20, 2005 at 03:59:02 PM EST

Why pay a load of money on an expensive suit that will last for a decade when it might not even fit you in a year? With cheaper suits you can continually get new ones that fit you properly.

[ Parent ]
Cardboard boxes with things in them. (2.90 / 10) (#133)
by APL on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 12:54:26 AM EST

It wasn't that long ago that you could go to the store, make a purchase, and then take it home and open it without once having to reach for a knife.

Now things come in plastic bubble packaging that generaly can't be opened. So you reach for a knife and try to cut around the edges, but it's glossy plastic and the knife has trouble getting purchase so it slips right into your other hand.

When you finaly do open the packaging it is destroyed and worthless. If your item is something you use only infrequently you have no handy container to store it in to protect it from dust and scratchs. That packaging is also not usefull for putting on your workbench and storing things like screws or washers. It's not even recyclable.

I don't understand why things aren't allowed to be sold in nice, easy to use, cardboard boxes anymore.

Because of retail theft. n|t (none / 1) (#196)
by Nosf3ratu on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 01:04:19 PM EST




Woo!
[ Parent ]
Tylenol Poisoning Scandal in early 1980s (none / 1) (#224)
by nlscb on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 02:12:54 PM EST

A bunch of Tylenol was poisoned with Cyanide back in the early 80s. To prevent future tampering of conumed products, manufacuters started adding the plastic sealing. Threat of liability has take this to the levels of the ludicrous.

Comment Search has returned - Like a beaten wife, I am pathetically grateful. - mr strange
[ Parent ]

Huh? (none / 0) (#441)
by BJH on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 01:33:06 AM EST

It's not even recyclable.

Er... why not? Where I live, we separate household garbage into plastic, metal, cloth, etc., and the stuff that is recyclable (basically everything except kitchen refuse - food scraps, whatever) gets recycled.

There's a big difference between being unable to recycle and being unwilling to recycle.
--
Roses are red, violets are blue.
I'm schizophrenic, and so am I.
-- Oscar Levant

[ Parent ]

Ok then, (none / 1) (#455)
by APL on Thu Feb 10, 2005 at 05:35:52 PM EST

I've got a couple of examples of that kind of packaging within arm's reach. Neither is even labeled as to which kind of plastic it is.

How am I supposed to sort it? Since some types of plastics are virtually impossible to recycle, it would seem to be irresponsible to mix an unknown plastic into the recycling.

In any case the local community recycling place only takes HDPE(#2) plastics.

An old fashioned cardboard box, on the other hand, would present no such difficulties.

[ Parent ]
A good VCR (none / 0) (#135)
by Psycho Dave on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 03:12:56 AM EST

Remember when there used to be good VCRs on the market? My parents got a Zenith VCR around 1988 and it still works great. I've had two VCRs since then that have broken down and died since then.

On top of the fact that it had an actual tracking knob (auto-track on modern VCRs is a joke) you could change recording speeds, you could even actually program it to record shows, a feature missing from most of the pieces of shit China ships to Wal-Mart.

Of course, in these days of DVD-Rs, the days of the VCR are fast becoming moot. But as a VHS junkie who still has a load of bootleg tapes, I still require a VCR in the house.

Sounds Like a Buyer's Plan (none / 0) (#168)
by virg on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 10:04:21 AM EST

> But as a VHS junkie who still has a load of bootleg tapes, I still require a VCR in the house.

Sounds like someone's next purchase should be a decent-to-high-end video capture card.

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
You can tell good equipment because when dropped.. (none / 1) (#431)
by Kadin2048 on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 02:27:12 AM EST

...it will break your foot, and not the other way around.

I own a Panasonic PV-1231R, manufactured circa 1984, and can easily say it's the best non-professional VCR I've ever used. It's a beast of a machine, mostly steel construction, probably weighs at least 20 pounds. But that thing ran with nothing but very occasional maintenance and the occasional head cleaning cassette for almost 20 years. It also has a pop-up tape carrier instead of a slot-loading one; why these disappeared I'll never know.

Finally it got retired when it started eating tapes and I couldn't find anyone to repair it for me. Or rather, I could find people who do "VCR Repair" (really they do 'VCR Internal Cleaning'), but nobody who could source the part I needed, which was no doubt a $0.15 rubber capstan or something.

But the most depressing part about this whole experience was the looks I got from other people when I asked whether anyone knew of a VCR Repair place. The usual response was "Why do you care? Just go to Wal-Mart...they sell new ones for thirty-five bucks." The first few times I tried to explain how given the same price for repair or replacement, I prefer to repair rather than replace, for any number of reasons (familiarity and trust of the equipment being first in my mind, second an unwillingness to contribute to the waste stream machinery that isn't really 'broken'), but it was like speaking a foreign language. I just got blank stares.

Eventually I searched around and bought a Sony SVO-1420 professional VCR off of a liquidation site for about $10. Although it's orders of magnitude better than the crap they're pushing down at any big-box store, it's still mostly plastic, and who knows how long it'll last. But it was the best I could do within my budget, and hopefully it's service life is long enough that by the time it dies, VHS will be long gone.

And in case anyone was wondering, I still have the old Panasonic. Its electronics are still fine, so I have it serving as an RF modulator so I can connect composite video sources to my RF-in-only television. I figure if the Sony deck breaks before I'm ready to recycle all my VHS cassettes, I'll scour the world to find the last grizzled VCR repairman and see about getting it fixed if it costs me an arm and a leg.

There's a big part of me that feels like we (as a community) are handing over control of our lives to the big media conglomerates with every piece of old, DRM-free analog hardware that we put out on the curb. My Panasonic VCR didn't know what Macrovision was--if you pressed Record, it recorded, end of story. Although I never used it to copy commercial tapes, it never crossed my mind that the machine would ever refuse to do it; imagine my reaction when I found out that was now not only standard, but mandatory?

I think it's important that machines like this stay alive and around, just as a last resort; a final answer to all the scrambling, encryption, and rights 'management' (a Orwellian irony if there ever was one) that will be surely added to digital signals in the future. Unlike a D-VHS or HD-DVD recorder, nobody at the head end is ever going to tell my old Panasonic whether it can or can't record a show. As long as there's a composite output and some sort of analog audio, I can make a recording.

Sometimes I feel like I'm turning into a tech-driven version of the survivalist hiding out in a bunker. Except where he has a rifle and cases of ammunition, I have my aging analog VCRs and cases of Quantegy Broadcast VHS tapes. Except that in the end, all I'm really driven by is a desire not to throw machines out that still (ought to) work, and not to use machines that I can't fully control. I just want them to do their job when I need them to do it, without questioning my motives. It's sad that pretty soon I'm going to have to start looking either in antique stores or "professional" equipment catalogs to find ones that do it.

[ Parent ]

"T-shirts that actually fit" (2.40 / 5) (#144)
by mr strange on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 03:47:00 AM EST

Just lose weight and you'll find that they magically start to fit better.

intrigued by your idea that fascism is feminine - livus
I'm 165 lbs at 5 foot nine (none / 0) (#193)
by mcgrew on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 12:59:33 PM EST

Which isn't overweight. Two years ago I only weighed a rail-thin 125. T-shirts didn't fit then, either.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Quite the opposite (none / 0) (#205)
by xofer d on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 01:31:32 PM EST

As far as I can tell, t-shirts are designed for some hypothetical, tiny person, then scaled up in all dimensions for taller people. This means that a tall person such as myself usually has a choice between a shirt that is far too wide for you, or a shirt that shows your belly button.

Note that I am not rail-thin, but neither do I take up the vast amount of space that is available inside even my too-short t-shirts. I have resorted to not wearing t-shirts in order to have clothes that fit. Calamity!

[ Parent ]

Hardly available (none / 0) (#335)
by cgenman on Tue Feb 01, 2005 at 11:53:54 PM EST

in most places you can't even get t-shirts that aren't huge anymore.  Target carries Medium, Large, Xtra large, XXLarge, and XXXLarge.  What happened to small?  They're now in the Boys section.  Of course, those are too short for someone 6' 150Lbs, but what can you do?

If you get T-shirts in Europe, they will fit.  The US T-shirt makers are just the wrong size fits all.
- This Sig is a mnemonic device designed to allow you to recognize this author in the future. This is only a device.
[ Parent ]

tshirts (none / 0) (#436)
by El Zahir on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 01:44:33 PM EST

My Target used to carry Hanes Tall t-shirts. They were still medium, large, x-large, etc, but they are about 4 inches longer. So they were the correct width without displaying my sightly inflated belly. Now they dont have them anymore.

For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled. - Richard Feynman


[ Parent ]
I like (none / 1) (#150)
by ShiftyStoner on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 05:57:52 AM EST

 this kind of complaining.

 The thing is you don't really have to deal with all the crap you are talking about. You can get cotton shoelaces. I don't have a problem with electric heat, old style. Were it doesn't blow, there are just some big toasters on the wall. I hated gas heat before, because of what you speak of. When it's on, it's to hot. Cold as fuck down stair to hot upstairs. And cold spots, hot spots. The problem was probably poor insulation. At least we don't have to worry about insulation causing cancer now. You can get T shirts that fit, though I don't like them. I go sleevless or long sleave.

You can get a good sandwich, people just tend to prefer something driping in it's own fat. Even in older houses they have the one knob showers. I hate the fucking plastic knobs. They always manage to fucking wear down or break, then you're stuck wreanching on the fuckn knob to get it off. 2 plastic knobs is worse, then you have to decide if you want burned or frozen while your fucking with broken knobs. You can get good metal knobs though, and three of them.

I prefer digital stereo systems. You just have to test it before you buy it. Some pick up all stations crystal clear, crap ones barely pick up anything and there ussualy staticy. I like being able to push buttong to get to the station I want, and have every station come in clear without fucking with a knob. I hate the digital valume knobs, they tend to start having problems, volume goes down instead of up randomly. So, i prefer a buttong there as well. You need a good amp to man.

Anyways, you arn't forced to buy newaged crap. You can buy things made like they used to be. It's just that when moving into a place. Chances are the place has a cheap dumbass owner. YOu have to know what you are looking for.

As for cars though. I would never want to own a car made any later than 1980. A) because you dont have to deal with uncle sam living under your hood. B) they can be repaired C) they are cheaper D) they look and sound cooler E) I can enhance speed/power without putting money into it, and am able to put money into it. F) I like being able to understand something, and have total control over something with that kind of power. I don't like the idea that something I don't even know exists can crap out pulling me into a tree, or can make me excelerate without hitting the gas. Not that that's ever happend to me but...
( @ )'( @ ) The broad masses of a population are more amenable to the appeal of rhetoric than to any other force. - Adolf Hitler

Volume control on laptops (none / 1) (#156)
by ortholattice on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 07:21:15 AM EST

My first laptop with sound was a 1996 Gateway, and it had a volume control wheel on the side. I could instantly turn down the volume on a loud, annoying web site with sound, either completely or to an acceptable level, with a flick of my finger. Adjusting the volume to my pleasure at any time was easy and convenient.

These days it's hard to find a laptop with just a plain volume control knob. Changing the volume, or muting, usually involves an awkward two-handed combination of a function meta key and a volume-control function key that I can never remember without looking at the keyboard, and then only in good lighting since the special function labels are dark blue over black to match the color of the function meta key. More than once I've been embarrassed in the office or even at a meeting when an accidentally selected website or whatever starts blaring. Once I in a panicked attempt to find the Mute function combination I finally just held the power key down for the 5 seconds needed for a hard powerdown.

My current laptop thoughtfully has a Mute button on the side (in addition to the Mute function key combination). But it's in the middle of a row of identical buttons and slightly recessed, and hard to find without looking and fumbling around, almost impossible to locate accurately by feel only. What's worse: this seems to be a software-controlled feature that's buggy; sometimes it gets into a mode where it is ignored completely until I reboot.

(As a little aside, another annoying feature is that the Windows boot-up tune apparently cannot be muted. So everyone around you knows you're doing a reboot.)

What is it with these manufacturers? I mean, the additional cost of a potentiometer (in high quantities) can't be more than 25 cents or so. Honestly, I'm tempted to open up my laptop and hardwire a switch, or even a rheostat, between the motherboard and the speakers and mount it in a convenient place. That'll be my first mod after the warranty expires. Has anyone ever done this?

Solutions (none / 0) (#158)
by ZorbaTHut on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 08:06:08 AM EST

start->settings->control panel->sounds and audio devices->sounds->windows->start windows->dropdown->"(None)".

Alternatively just choose "No Sounds" for the sound scheme. (This is what I do.)

I don't have as good a solution for the sound volume thing, though - I bet you could get a program that would let you assign key combos to volume up/down/mute. Ctrl-Alt-Space would seem like a good mute panic button. Yes, it's still a key combo to remember, but at least it's one you invented.

[ Parent ]

Also these tend to only work in Windows... (none / 0) (#219)
by Cheerio Boy on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 02:03:03 PM EST

These days it's hard to find a laptop with just a plain volume control knob. Changing the volume, or muting, usually involves an awkward two-handed combination of a function meta key and a volume-control function key that I can never remember without looking at the keyboard, and then only in good lighting since the special function labels are dark blue over black to match the color of the function meta key.

I'm currently running a Thikpad i1300 with Debian on it and am experiencing the inability to use the volume buttons at all. The "UP" button turns the volume on full blast while the "Down" button mutes the volume. I have to use a mixer app if I want any control.

I too long for the days of a potentiometer on the side of the laptop...


[ Parent ]
Toshibas have them (none / 0) (#462)
by fraise on Sat Feb 19, 2005 at 10:10:10 AM EST

My (new) Toshiba Satellite has a volume control knob, and I completely agree - it is wonderful. Plus Toshiba makes great laptops (no, I do not work for them - am just in love with mine :) ).

[ Parent ]
Buy an IBM ThinkPad (none / 0) (#477)
by next2gold on Thu Feb 24, 2005 at 12:33:53 AM EST

The ThinkPad is probably the best thing to suggest to you as a laptop machine. I currently have access to an R30, which is about four or so years old, but very sturdy.

First off, it has a white (or xenon-like) LED light at the top center of the display, that you can turn on to illuminate the white keyboard keys on the black when you're in the dark. It doesn't light up the keys like a UV light lights up white shirts in many clubs, but does its job well enough. I am hoping that current ThinkPads have some automatic setting for this /like a light sensor or something.

That particular ThinkPad model also has three conveniently placed separate sound-related buttons: volume down, volume up, mute.

The Windows tune-up sound can be changed to nothing. See any of the previous replies to your post.

So the ThinkPad is one of the most convenient PC laptops that I have ever gotten my hands on.

Although the specific ThinkPad R30 model that I get to use sometimes, has one major deficiency. Namely, when I plug in the headphones to listen to music, hoping not having to annoy anyone else, the onboard speakers still work and make a sound and also play the same thing I want to hear from only the headphones. Since the guarantee time has ended, the fix at an official shop would cost the price of a new motherboard for this machine and one hour's work. When I inquired, the new motherboard would have cost $850 (because the headphones plug is built into the motherboard) and one hour's work to fix that would have cost around $70 in Estonia (both prices without the 18% tax). So that equals the price of a new and decent computer.

Some older Thinkpads may or may not have the above-described features, but I guess either all or most models from R30 onwards, of course, without the headphone-speaker problem, should all have this LED keyboard light feature and the three audio-related buttons.

[ Parent ]

Doing what mcgrew do best. (2.50 / 2) (#160)
by Kasreyn on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 08:20:32 AM EST

Few notes:

Steel started giving way to polymers in cars about the time that some auto design engineer dropped a wrench on his foot and said "hey, you know what? That's pretty heavy!"

Yeah, the disposable culture sucks. Get used to it. It's actually improved the standard of living on a wide scale. Lighter cars are more fuel-efficient and cheaper to build. It just sucks that they can't withstand an impact like cars once did.

Sandwiches: I would agree with you, but whenever I get a sandwich at my parents' house, it's all bun. They get these giant buns and it's like eating a mouthful of nothing but bread. I think there's a happy medium that ought to be reached, rather than the "make sure everything is entirely contained in bread" standard. Besides, if that's what you want, make a rollup or something. Who's forcing you to stick with two hemispheres?

Volume control knobs: Amen, brother. I personally have zero problem adjusting digital controls when driving. My problem with them is twofold: they're less accurate, and their range is usually smaller. As in, nothing can be adjusted as finely under the current setup, and with digital volume buttons, they never go high enough for me. Apparently some engineer gets to decide how loud is safe enough for poor dumb widdle me, notwithstanding the fact that I'm slightly hard of hearing and I have many classical CD's where I can't hear the soft parts on a digitial volume control system turned up to their arbitrary maximum.

Now I suppose if you had multiple buttons like the shift buttons on a keyboard, you could use one pair to signal "increment/decrement" and another set to modify by how much the other buttons would do it. It'd be even finer and more subtle with three buttons or more at once, but who wants to learn all that when a knob works better? Simply put, pushbutton volume and tuner controls are cheaper to make and most numskulls don't see a problem with them. They're taught to believe anything "digital" is automatically better. This despite the fact that "digital" is a word derived from "finger" in one sense, and in the technical sense, derived from whole numbers, neither of which mean anything significant in the discussion of buttons or knobs. So even calling them "digital" is a meaningless term. My guess is that "digital" is simply a marketing term meaning "plusgood".

Speaking of minor repairs: Up until recently, I owned a Ford Festiva. Before you get the torches and rope, I did NOT buy it. I would never buy a Ford. It was a gift, and I was too broke to afford something else. But I digress. I had to change a headlight in the sucker, the right headlight to be precise. As you know, you open the hood, detach the light from the locking ring, unplug it from power, and slide it into the hood compartment then take it out. The problem is, the housing for one of the heavier pieces of machinery in my car's hood space was bolted in such a way that you could not angle the headlight out through the gap. As far as I could tell, you would have to unbolt and remove that bit of machinery from the engine just to change a goddamned headlight. I sold it soon after, still with one good headlight, and I know practically nothing about cars, so feel free to post about what an idiot I am. I still think it's a case of ludicrously bad design.

As for repairability: that's not what worries me. I'm worried about when they get around to installing speed governors in the CPU's of autos.

You didn't mention one that surprised me, as I consider it to be the classic example of sacrificing a good technology for a cheaper but lower quality one: What happened to all the gas ranges? I have lived in a lot of different places, and it was always the older ones that had gas ranges. I've never been in an apartment that had one. These days, I never see a HOUSE with one. I've heard that here in FL, it's no longer even legal to build a new house with one (not sure if this is true).

And the simple fact is, electric ranges suck. They just do. The worst of them are abominations and impossible to cook well on. The best of them are still worse than the bottom half of gas ranges. They're slow to heat up, they're slow to cool down, and they don't heat evenly or give you as much control over where the hot-spot will be. They're also harder to clean IMO and get all crusted up if you let a pot boil over or something. And those models that are built into the rangetop are a burn hazard because it's easy to not notice they're on.

I understand that the trouble with gas ranges is they use, well, gas. But we already have a device for cooking with electricity, it's called a Microwave. If you don't plan on cooking something right, just nuke it and get it over with quick.


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
I have a gas range in my apartment (none / 1) (#192)
by mcgrew on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 12:55:25 PM EST

If you're in Florida, the reason there aren't any gas ranges is ecause the only gas (at least in the early 1980s when I lived there) was propane. Neither of the apartments I lived in there had gas at all. Neither Kissimmee or Orlando had piped in natural gas.

The stores are full of gas stoves here, and there's a fairly new one in my apartment.

That's one reason I moved - I hate electric stoves.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Define 'here'? -nt (none / 0) (#202)
by Kasreyn on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 01:23:57 PM EST

nt
"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
start worrying. (none / 0) (#210)
by mpalczew on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 01:47:58 PM EST

> I'm worried about when they get around to installing speed governors in the CPU's of autos.

My car already has one at about 115mph.  Don't ask how I know.
-- Death to all Fanatics!
[ Parent ]

They don't have those in Europe (none / 0) (#212)
by gordonjcp on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 01:51:19 PM EST

There is a kind of "gentleman's agreement" that road cars should be limited to around 150mph among the motor manufacturers, but of course if you've spent that kind of money you can always pay to get it derestricted.

A car that was limited to 115mph would be a deathtrap in the UK. You'd get rear-ended by a Yugo the first time you took it onto the motorway.

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.


[ Parent ]
umm (none / 0) (#215)
by mpalczew on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 02:00:30 PM EST

Either your miles, or yugos are quite different then they are here.  Perhaps you just confused miles per hour with kilometers per hour.
-- Death to all Fanatics!
[ Parent ]
Well, any random small car (none / 0) (#221)
by gordonjcp on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 02:04:11 PM EST

It's very unusual to find something that is usable as a daily driver in the UK that can't break 100mph.

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.


[ Parent ]
Lemme see... (none / 0) (#245)
by Pholostan on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 03:02:27 PM EST

115 mph is about 185 km/h. My old car can't really make that kind fo speed. The gears run out at about 160 km/h. Now, my car is about 28 years old, soon to be a classic or demolition object ;-)

Maximum speedlimit in Sweden on the big highways is 110 km/h. Not that many roads that it is possible to  go much faster either. Due to traffic, 140-150 km/h is pretty much maximum on the big highways. On ordinary highways the speed limit is 90 km/h. Going twice as fast on any of them isn't really possible exept for short periods of time. If the police gets hold of you in that kind of speeding, it will be a long time before you ever drive again.

Granted, any resonable new car will make ~115 mph. Nor realy feasible to go that fast though.

- And blood tears I cry Endless grief remained inside
[ Parent ]

You've never driven in the UK... (none / 1) (#269)
by gordonjcp on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 05:45:15 PM EST

... have you?

Driving anything on a motorway that is incapable of at least 100mph is basically a good precursor for a suicide.

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.


[ Parent ]
Neither have you, it seems. (none / 1) (#288)
by it certainly is on Tue Feb 01, 2005 at 12:07:27 AM EST

Driving on the M8, at all, or any other major road near Glasgow, is a good precursor for suicide. Driving on the M9, M/A90, A1/A1(M), M1, M6T, etc., gives you no problems at whatever speed you drive. You can sit with the lorries doing 60-70 on the inside lane, or you can get in the bastard lane and do a ton.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

What about the M74? (none / 1) (#299)
by gordonjcp on Tue Feb 01, 2005 at 05:20:56 AM EST

And when was the last time you saw a lorry with a speed limiter that worked?

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.


[ Parent ]
Lorry with working speed limiter (none / 0) (#305)
by simon farnz on Tue Feb 01, 2005 at 06:30:38 AM EST

Last seen on the M27 this morning at 9am. Couldn't break 60 even if he tried. And they're standard fare on the A1/M1/M42/A34/M27/M275 route between Durham and Portsmouth late at night.

FWIW, I've never driven a car on UK motorways that's been able to reach 100; indeed, my current car tops out at around 95ish. I have driven without incident on the M25 between the A3 and the M1, the entire length of the M3, the entire length of the M1, the entire length of the M275 and M27, the M4 (from start in London out to the M5, the M6 and M6 Toll from the M42 to Manchester, and the M5 down into deepest Devon. Just stay left, moving out only when needed to overtake (I generally travel at 70-80mph, and am usually in the leftmost lane, occasionally in the centre, and only in the rightmost when there's two lorries overtaking each other).
--
If guns are outlawed, only outlaws have guns
[ Parent ]

Those limiters cause more bother (none / 1) (#344)
by GenerationY on Wed Feb 02, 2005 at 08:12:18 AM EST

than they are worth. You can't get round some dawdler in the inside lane because his slip-streaming buddy has pulled out and is attempting to overtake. Problem is the middle lane occupier is only capable of going .2 mph faster than the person he is trying to go past. So you are stuck for the next 5 miles whilst he slowly but slowly "overtakes" in the style of an oil tanker and you can't pull into the outside lane because you're doing 60 and they are all tonning it and leaving little or no room. Bah.

[ Parent ]
Oh, you can do it. (none / 0) (#352)
by it certainly is on Wed Feb 02, 2005 at 11:18:46 AM EST

They're all doing 100 but they can't avoid leaving gaps. Indicate, wait for a large enough gap and pull out. They have to slow down.

If the bastard lane is doing 100 and it's also nose-to-tail... well, you have my sympathies.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

M6 during rush hour. Pity me <nt> (none / 0) (#353)
by GenerationY on Wed Feb 02, 2005 at 11:20:10 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Consider yourself pitied. (none / 0) (#355)
by it certainly is on Wed Feb 02, 2005 at 11:41:23 AM EST

Worst road ever. It's chocka even on Sunday morning. Thank goodness for the M6T.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

That's true (none / 0) (#302)
by werner on Tue Feb 01, 2005 at 05:53:10 AM EST

Despite having lived in Germany for years, the land of the speed limit-free Autobahn, the fastest I've ever been driven in a car (don't drive myself) was around the M25. We were doing 125mph and I never noticed a thing because every other bastard was driving that fast, too. Travelling by car into London with commuter traffic can be a scary experience. Every couple of miles, everyone slams on the brakes to get through the speed camera at under 70, then hits the accelerator again.

[ Parent ]
The german and italian gentlemen? (none / 0) (#308)
by datamodel on Tue Feb 01, 2005 at 07:01:00 AM EST

There is a kind of "gentleman's agreement" that road cars should be limited to around 150mph among the motor manufacturers, but of course if you've spent that kind of money you can always pay to get it derestricted. If you spend the money you don't need to - at least Aston Martin and Bentley don't restrict theirs at all. Except on the autos, to save breaking the gearbox... Cheers, M.

[ Parent ]
translation: (none / 0) (#262)
by Harvey Anderson on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 04:47:35 PM EST

"I become less of a dork the faster I go! weeeee!"

[ Parent ]
Gas ranges aren't all that either (none / 0) (#278)
by jongleur on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 09:20:09 PM EST

I had one (Massachusetts) and I did like the instant response, but after a year or so my whole kitchen was coated in a tacky film. So, no thank you, from me.
--
"If you can't imagine a better way let silence bury you" - Midnight Oil
[ Parent ]
Stop eating so much fried food then (none / 0) (#314)
by thankyougustad on Tue Feb 01, 2005 at 11:09:45 AM EST

it's not the gas range that's coating your kitchen, it's grease.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
Mmmmm, I doubt it (none / 0) (#322)
by jongleur on Tue Feb 01, 2005 at 04:31:49 PM EST

I fried hotdogs and whatnot, but no deep-frying or anything certainly. I had the idea it came from the additive that makes the gas smellable; but, I don't remember where I got that idea, it may be junk.
--
"If you can't imagine a better way let silence bury you" - Midnight Oil
[ Parent ]
Well, without saying your wrong (none / 1) (#323)
by thankyougustad on Tue Feb 01, 2005 at 04:38:29 PM EST

I have a gas range and don't have the film. I work in a restaurant and he have the film all over the range and under the hood. . . legend has that it's the grease.

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
I've cleaned such hoods (none / 0) (#329)
by jongleur on Tue Feb 01, 2005 at 08:27:14 PM EST

and it is indeed grease :). I'm not saying I'm right either mind, but this stuff was tacky, not what I associate with grease. And it was on every surface, even on the opposite side of the room, not just near the stove. But anyway.
--
"If you can't imagine a better way let silence bury you" - Midnight Oil
[ Parent ]
the tackiness (none / 0) (#367)
by Polverone on Wed Feb 02, 2005 at 04:49:07 PM EST

When unsaturated fats/oils get exposed to air, they oxidize into substances that resemble half-dried varnish. The process is accelerated by heat and metals (i.e. being used in metallic cookware).
--
It's not a just, good idea; it's the law.
[ Parent ]
gas ranges... (none / 0) (#285)
by ckaminski on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 10:50:20 PM EST

I disagree.  I have an electric range that heats two gallons of water to boiling in 3 minutes, and leaves no open flame to potentially catch things on fire.  It's simpler to clean, and they cook well.  Like all things, you get what you pay for.  I've had a mediocre electric stove, and I've had a top of the line one at my parents that just oozes great cooking.  

To each his own.

[ Parent ]

Thank you Andy Rooney... (2.00 / 2) (#163)
by claes on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 08:28:02 AM EST

"Don't'ya'[1] just hate..."

Anyhow, not a bad list. But in most cases the changes have been made for market-driven reasons. Put in a computerized ignition system and you don't need tune-ups every 3000 miles. Sure, if the thing craps out you're out $500 or more, and it will die eventually, but people don't really plan ahead[2]. Plus there are those pesky air quality standards.

-- claes

[1] How would you write that?

[2] Interesting counter-example to people being risk adverse. I think there's some bimodality in there somewhere.

"Doncha" (nt) (3.00 / 2) (#172)
by Mr.Surly on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 10:22:52 AM EST



[ Parent ]
This was beautiful... (1.50 / 4) (#171)
by rbochan on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 10:17:23 AM EST

...and I hate you for it. <sniff> <sob>
...Rob
The American Dream isn't an SUV and a house in the suburbs; it's Don't Tread On Me.
Knobs on radios (3.00 / 4) (#180)
by bgarcia on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 11:07:18 AM EST

Using buttons in place of knobs has been one of my pet peeves about aftermarket radios. I don't care if it's actually analog or digital - I think the user interface is the most important thing, and a couple knobs are a lot easier to find without taking your eyes off the road.

Most OEM radios in cars still have knobs for at least some of the functionality. But it is very hard to find an aftermarket car stereo with knobs. I know buttons are cheaper to make, and probably less prone to failure, but this is a product where user interface (& safety) should trump those concerns.

And for completeness, I completely disagree about analog tuners. Digital tuning is one of the best things to ever happen to radios. The "drifting of the signal" that you refer to was actually a drifting of your tuner. But I still prefer having a knob to actually change the frequency. If I want to go clear to the other end of the spectrum, I can just turn the knob quickly, instead of pressing a button over and over in rapid succession, or holding down a button & having to stare at the display to decide if it's the right time to let go.

Signals do drift (none / 1) (#191)
by mcgrew on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 12:49:42 PM EST

The atmosphere acts as a lens some times. You won't get the effect unless you're on the fringe.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

But tuners drift more (none / 1) (#312)
by bgarcia on Tue Feb 01, 2005 at 10:07:00 AM EST

It's just much more likely that any percieved drifting is due to the components of the tuner changing their electrical characteristics as they heat up.

[ Parent ]
Try using quality faucets. (3.00 / 5) (#213)
by highfreq on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 01:53:04 PM EST

I have to say that my single handle shower faucet is a big step up from any two handle faucet I've ever used. It is of the flow balancing type. So I can pretty much set it to the same position and get the same temperature shower, morning after morning. Not only that, but it is unaffected by toilet flushes, or other water used. Obviously if you buy a cheap faucet, you get a cheap faucet, no mater how many knobs it has.

Dead On (none / 0) (#408)
by jameth on Sat Feb 05, 2005 at 11:42:44 AM EST

My current apartment has the two-knob setup everywhere, and they are the most useless things ever. They are basically impossible to set how you want and you just have to settle for close enough because they were crap to start with and are old now.

[ Parent ]
watch your racial slurs (2.00 / 6) (#236)
by jaw79 on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 02:28:33 PM EST

while i understand the humorous nature of your rant, may i point out that the term chinaman (or chinamen in this case) is duragatory.

RE: watch your racial slurs (none / 1) (#257)
by banzai256 on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 04:11:17 PM EST

So you're saying that if instead of saying "Chinamen are all pencil necked geeks" he had said "the Chinese are all pencil necked geeks" it would have been less derogatory? ;^)

[ Parent ]
RE: watch your racial slurs (none / 1) (#282)
by jaw79 on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 10:25:16 PM EST

yes. The former is a bigoted statement. The latter is a stereotype.

[ Parent ]
Oh no they aren't[nt] (none / 0) (#301)
by werner on Tue Feb 01, 2005 at 05:44:02 AM EST



[ Parent ]
"Chinese" includes the women too [n/t] (none / 0) (#405)
by mettaur on Sat Feb 05, 2005 at 07:05:21 AM EST


--
[Applying business theory to trolling]
[ Parent ]
Yeah and that anti-witch thing... (none / 1) (#263)
by rdmiller3 on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 04:57:18 PM EST

Get over it.

[ Parent ]
Chinaman (none / 0) (#265)
by cosmo jones on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 04:59:22 PM EST

its also an off spin delivery bowled with a leg spin action by a left handed bowler. Most folk just call it a wrong 'un these days.
cosmo -with my love and what you've got -we could turn the world around - jean wells
[ Parent ]
Asian-American is the prefered nomenclature n/t (none / 0) (#272)
by thankyougustad on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 06:47:25 PM EST



No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

[ Parent ]
Blah blah railroads blah blah peed on my rug -NT (none / 0) (#292)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Tue Feb 01, 2005 at 01:33:17 AM EST



--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
But what if they're not from America? (none / 0) (#343)
by RainyRat on Wed Feb 02, 2005 at 08:03:28 AM EST

Or Asia?

Reminds me of the interview I read about, where Kris Akabusi (a black British athlete) was being interviewed by someone from an American sports network after his relay team won the gold at the 1991 Athletics World Championships:

Interviewer: "So, Kriss, what does this mean to you as an African-American?"

KA: "I'm not American, I'm British"

Interviewer: "Yes, but as a British African-American ..."




Eagles may soar, but rats seldom get sucked into jet engines.
[ Parent ]
Expired patents (2.80 / 5) (#271)
by MichaelCrawford on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 06:40:00 PM EST

I don't know what useful technologies have long since vanished, but I know where you can find them: in the archives of the patent office.

Any patent older than twenty years has expired, so anyone can make and sell the invention that the patent describes. In fact, the whole reason behind patents was to convince inventors to publicly describe their inventions, by giving them a temporary monopoly in return.

For nearly twenty years I've had an idea for a book, but it's not looking like I will ever get around to it, so I now release my idea to the public domain: I'd like to search the patent archives for the expired patents of useful inventions that anyone can make with simple hand tools, and collect all these useful inventions into a book that shows how to make them all.

Such a book would be of inestimable value to people in technologically impoverished areas. I got the idea when I saw a photo of some modern egyptians pumping water with an Archimedes screw, a simple device that can pump water under entirely human power, with only one moving part. They are still in widespread use.

What other useful inventions are there, that are of more modern design, but less well-known?


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


couldn't agree more (3.00 / 4) (#275)
by nomikos on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 08:16:02 PM EST

The way they used to make things definitely beats the current practices.
OTOH, we only see the things that were made 50 years ago working, if they *did* last 50 years; the broken-down ones are out of sight.
But.. they don't make 'm like they used to. And as for the userinterface design like knobs instead of impossible to find without looking buttons and such, right as well. It sucks.

There should be a website for products/brands that are durable, sensible, and /don't/ suck. One thing I'd put on there are the old style MacAlly keyboards. I've literally smashed other brands to pieces with my bare hands when the computer failed to do what I meant (yes, I know, but that's not the point. It was even a mac, not windows. And I was drunk. OK?). MacAlly, never managed to damage beyond work or repair. Only brand I'll buy now.

ps. had to create an account to say THANKS for this article :-)

Uh. (none / 0) (#469)
by Anonymous Hiro on Sun Feb 20, 2005 at 06:47:04 AM EST

But won't you get more satisfaction from smashing the keyboard? Just keep cheap replacements handy. Next time, buy a spare keyboard if you like that type.

What I don't like about PC keyboards is that many combinations of 4 keys can't be detected. But my wants are niche - probably would be too expensive to build keyboards that can detect all keys. I probably wouldn't be able to afford one that can ;).

[ Parent ]

heh now (2.66 / 3) (#277)
by balsamic vinigga on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 09:12:19 PM EST

they market the timing chain like it's something new.  I was checking out a new Acura TL and the sales guy was selling me on the idea of a durable timing chain, heh.

---
Please help fund a Filipino Horror Movie. It's been in limbo since 2007 due to lack of funding. Please donate today!
Consumers tiranys time (none / 0) (#284)
by chanio on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 10:30:48 PM EST

I agreeded when articles (like Edison's Eternal light bulb) where reformed to last less in order not to diminish their production rate and the number of employees envolved in it.

But now, factories don't care any longer about the number of employees, do they?

So, a good habit would be to opose to industrial tirany with consumers tirany of prefering to buy everlasting products instead of 'state of the art' ones.

There should always be one that might have a stronger aspect. Or that is said to last longer.
________________
Farenheit Binman:
This worlds culture is throwing away-burning thousands of useful concepts because they don't fit in their commercial frame.
My chance of becoming intelligent!

but do we have any Grateful Dead Technologies (none / 1) (#286)
by polyglot on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 10:52:25 PM EST

I'm sure grateful for the end of analog tuners. Software radios are *soooo* much better.
--
"There is no God and Dirac is his prophet"
     -- Wolfgang Pauli
‮־
WTF is capitalism good for? (3.00 / 2) (#296)
by urdine on Tue Feb 01, 2005 at 04:07:08 AM EST

Seriously, isn't capitalism supposed to fix this?  In a free market, shouldn't someone jump in to provide these lost products since they can make more money than the competition by providing something people want?  What's holding it back?

Maybe it's just a phase of things.  On the bright side, there seems to be a trend toward consumer good will and quality design over bean counting.  Look at Google, for one.  Hell, even car manufacturers are starting to design interesting and unique cars, after the "bubble butt fleet" of the 90s.

It's pretty obvious people are willing to pay a LOT more for something that works better, from spigots to spatulas.  Somebody is going notice a market and take advantage of it.

For me, I miss old furniture.  "Good furniture" now means a chair that's the size of my bed with arms like some f'ing throne for Shaq.  I'm a tall guy and I don't fit in these chairs at all.  I don't like these "oh you sink into it!" couches.  I want a couch that acts like a damn couch.  Worst of all, the quality blows on these things.  My parents bought two Shaq chairs and they're both broken already after a year or two, and they were expensive as hell.  Underneath, though, it's all particle board and pine.  Old ugly furniture from a yard sale, though, lasts forever.

Incomplete information (3.00 / 2) (#337)
by the womble on Wed Feb 02, 2005 at 02:36:42 AM EST

At least part of the problem is incomplete information. Things like steel gears affect durability, which consumers are not well equiped to ascertain at the time of purchase: how many people would even think of asking whether a machine used steel or plastic gears before buying?

People would probably pay more of more durablem/cheaper to maintain/other long term benefits IF they knew.

[ Parent ]

Why you don't get what you want. (none / 0) (#468)
by Anonymous Hiro on Sun Feb 20, 2005 at 06:41:32 AM EST

Yes buyer ignorance is part of the problem - there's just too much to consider.

I disagree that people would probably pay more. Usually people pay less - because they don't really care - it's not their pet interest. Especially if people don't have that much cash/credit to buy the expensive (but better) stuff, they buy the cheap stuff. Even if in the long term they are better off with the expensive stuff.

Another thing: if some manufacturer stops making your favourite product and shifts to a cheaper and higher margin product it's pretty hard to get your opinion noticed amongst the masses who might not really care.

Sure they may lose profit in the long run, if people shift to another manufacturer who makes something a bit closer to the old product. But the odds are high you may never get your favourite stuff again.

So the incomplete information is also true the other way round - the suppliers don't know exactly what the customers want.

AND even if they did they may not care that much either.

[ Parent ]

you can still get the good stuff (none / 1) (#338)
by emmons on Wed Feb 02, 2005 at 02:46:57 AM EST

You just have to be willing to pay for it. And no, they don't stock it in Wal-Mart. Go to a real store.

---
In the beginning the universe was created. This has made a lot of people angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.
-Douglas Adams

[ Parent ]
Well, that's capitalism's Achilles' heel. (none / 0) (#381)
by jolly st nick on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 09:58:56 AM EST

Capitalism rocks when it focuses on meeting needs.

I work in business. I know very well that the differnce between successful companies and unsuccessful ones is this: successful ones don't just meet a need, they create new needs. This is probably 50% of product positioning, and product positioning is about 90% of success.

. See my example posted elsewhere about teflon pans. The fact is that food sticking to your pan is an ocasisional problem, but actually relatively rare. Escoffier didn't need teflon; neither did your grandmother. Chances are your cooking needs fall somewhere along that continuum and it doesn't include teflon.

The cosmetics industry is almost diabolical in the way it creates need. Taking the principle that what is rare is valuable to its logical conclusion, they sell the unattainable: that which could only be acquired by different genetics and eternal youth.

Indeed, it wouldn't be too much to say that the imperative of need creation and fulfillment has created an entirely new value system, based on the glorification of self-dissatisfaction. True, some dissatisfaction is useful as a motivation to self-improvement, but that's not what it is about. It's about gaining status through acquisition and consumption.

[ Parent ]

Analog tuners ... (none / 0) (#313)
by Mr.Surly on Tue Feb 01, 2005 at 10:45:37 AM EST

... you know, there are (were) analog tuners that would attempt to lock onto a nearby station, even if it did drift in frequency.

you can still get comfortable t-shirts (none / 0) (#316)
by Battle Troll on Tue Feb 01, 2005 at 01:05:31 PM EST

You just have to buy them from Europe. I'm wearing a Boss t-shirt right now, for which I paid CDN$19. It looks slick with my sportcoat.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
Sports coat (none / 1) (#327)
by it certainly is on Tue Feb 01, 2005 at 06:41:57 PM EST

Surely you jest.

I, on the other hand, have a smart double breasted ex-Navy wool coat with brass buttons.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

nice (none / 0) (#347)
by Battle Troll on Wed Feb 02, 2005 at 10:15:15 AM EST

Do you wear it to work?
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
Yes (1.50 / 2) (#351)
by it certainly is on Wed Feb 02, 2005 at 10:50:36 AM EST

and everyone thinks it's grand.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

I would too (none / 0) (#354)
by Battle Troll on Wed Feb 02, 2005 at 11:38:26 AM EST

But yeah, I love my sportcoats. See, over here, you don't have to wear nailhead worsted suits to be taken seriously - hell, you don't even need to wear a tie - so wearing a nice sportcoat makes you look like you're fresh from a small place on Savile Row, relatively speaking.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
Indeed. (none / 0) (#375)
by it certainly is on Wed Feb 02, 2005 at 11:51:25 PM EST

There's one guy in the office who started wearing a sports coat recently. I told him he was looking sharp.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

American Sandwiches (2.83 / 6) (#324)
by coljac on Tue Feb 01, 2005 at 05:30:38 PM EST

I think the sandwich problem is a bit of USA issue. When you order a turkey sandwich in the USA, they give you a huge slathering of mayo and mustard, and literally several inches of meat crammed in with everything else. This follows the USian "more is better" ethos, and is commercially a good move for Subway or Quizno's or whomever. In other countries - the ones not overly infested with aforementioned chains - you can still get a decent, sensible sandwich. Here in Australia you can still get two slices of lightly buttered bread with a couple of centimeters of filling, in sensible proportions.

Mmmm, sandwich.



---
Whether or not life is discovered there I think Jupiter should be declared an enemy planet. - Jack Handey

Sandwiches (none / 0) (#448)
by Sgt York on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 03:56:56 PM EST

You can still get an excellent sandwich in the US, just not at the big chains. Just hit the smaller places. Jack's, near my home, serves the best damn ham & swiss in the world, IMO. They make their own cracked wheat/oat bread and have everything put together just right. The bread just hangs over the meat & cheese & veggies, and seals it all in. I can eat it in my car, and never worry about spillage.

They make a good Reuben, too, but Belmont's in my old hometown is much better.

There is a reason for everything. Sometimes, that reason just sucks.
[ Parent ]

You = tard (2.27 / 11) (#325)
by Trifthen on Tue Feb 01, 2005 at 05:59:56 PM EST

Steel gears

Rust.

Properly constructed sandwiches

Burgers != Sandwiches.

Flat cotton shoelaces

Still manufactured. You can also get damn good laceless shoes from Merrell. Or you can just buy good shoes with a lifetime warranty on all repairs.

T-shirts that actually fit

You get what you pay for. Google for American companies, or get a tailor, you fucking bigot. Everyone in asia are Pencil necked geeks? Jesus Christ.

Volume control knobs

Go to a store that sells stereos, look at the ones that you want, and buy it. If you're not a lazy ass, you can easily buy cd-stereos with analog knobs. And who wants reliable precision with automatic leveling anyway? I'd rather fuck with knobs for 5 mintes every time I change stations.

Cars you can work on without $100,000 worth of tools

I think others have adequately shot this down. Before bitching and moaning about shit, why not do some thorough research for resolutions to what you're whining about? You sure are a a big fucking pussy to cry about pencil-necked geeks.

Timing chains

What, are you going to start complaining about each individual part of cars you don't like? Well, why not groan about the missing smoker windows in new fangled drivin' doohickies? What about that thar poweeer-steerin'? How about radiators you don't have to open and just pour shit into, or periodically refill with water? How about engines that no longer burn oil? Wah, wah, wah.

Two handled shower faucets

Yeah, I have one of these, and I fucking hate it. Oh shit, the cold isn't turn on enough, gotta adjust it. Nope, too much. Shit, the water is slowly changing temperature magically through the shower, adjust again. Never once had this problem with one-knob showers. Move temperature setting, pull to start water. Done. But hey, with the literally hundreds of faucet variants out there, you certainly can't just replace yours with one you like. You repair your own Model-T, right? What's a little carpentry and plumming?

Gravity furnaces with power piles

Ahahahahahahahhaahahah!!!!! Holy fuck. What year do you live in? Gravity furnaces? Yeah, they still make those, it's called a cold-air-return. Power Pile? Bhahaahahah. Oh lord. Yeah, 'cause nothing is better than running a fucking wire through the wall every time you want to move your rheostat. Yeah, new programmable ones use batteries and transmit on/off commands to the furnace. They also save major cash compared to manual control. But hey, you want your power pile. Why not convert your house back to coal heat while you're at it?

I wonder...

... how you're even capable of using a comepewtur. Or hey, why don't you complain that computers are no longer ENIAC-sized, nor require punch-cards? By gum, them were computers that lasted... about a week between replacing vacuum-tubes. And they wernt made by them thar filthy chinks, neither.

God Damn. Sometimes I can't wait until your whiney generation dies off. Here, let me go get a fucking violin, since you seem to need the emotional suppport.



Nice... (1.33 / 3) (#345)
by IAmNos on Wed Feb 02, 2005 at 09:16:53 AM EST

Nice come back, and I agree with most of your points, but I think you missed one with the furnace.  Great, the power goes out, and (assuming you don't have a $15 thermostat with battery backup, or a $30 programmable thermostat) then you still have power.  Well that's great.  Too bad there's no power to run the fan and blow the warm air throughout the house.

Oh, and then there's the sandwiches.  I agree, a sandwich is not a burger.  But I know of about 10 places (within walking distance of work) where I can get a nice sandwich, made the way I want, that isn't greasy or messy.
http://thekerrs.ca
[ Parent ]

Me miss a detail? Unpossible! (none / 0) (#346)
by Trifthen on Wed Feb 02, 2005 at 09:43:48 AM EST

Ah, the blower. Hadn't thought about that... Doh! Then again, I lived in a really old duplex a while ago, where the furnace didn't *have* a blower. It operated entirely by convection based on the cold-air return. Boy was it cold upstairs. ^_^

I also know of at least half a dozen places you can go and get a good sandwich. I also know places where you can get a burger that won't pee on you. I mean, I know McGrew doesn't really understand this, but there are other places to eat than Wendy's.

And yeah, I made my post way more angry than I really was, but I figure if the topic post can troll, so can I. Hehe.



[ Parent ]
Right on (none / 0) (#396)
by RichSPK on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 10:20:48 AM EST

Yup, I agree with the majority of what you wrote. I just want to add a few comments.

Steel Gears:
You can still get steel gears, and if you have a distributor than chances are you can pretty easily replace the gear on it with one of steel or nylon (or a handful of other materials). However, you actually want a somewhat weak gear on the shaft of your distributor because you want that gear to break before the one that drives it does. It's a lot easier to replace the distributor gear than to replace the one that drives it.

Timing Belts:
How hard is it really to change your timing belt every 50,000 miles or so? You need to replace your water pump on a similar schedule, and they're usually right next to each other, so you replace them both at the same time. Belts are quieter than chains, and chains stretch, which may be better than breaking, but it still screws up your valve timing.

Shower Faucets:
I think it's a liability thing. One-handle faucets make it harder to inadvertently turn on only the hot water and thus scald yourself. But two-handle faucets are still widely available, so what are you bitching for?
-- Rich
[ Parent ]
Damn kids (none / 1) (#326)
by almostpunk on Tue Feb 01, 2005 at 06:00:07 PM EST

Get off my lawn!

I use Pine instead of Outlook. /nt (none / 1) (#328)
by skyknight on Tue Feb 01, 2005 at 07:32:49 PM EST



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
Cast Iron and Absorbtion Refrigerators (3.00 / 3) (#332)
by Deagol on Tue Feb 01, 2005 at 10:08:11 PM EST

My wife and I use cast iron pans and a dutch oven for the majority of our cooking, the slack being picked up with heavy-bottomed stainless steel cookware. These paper-thin, Teflon-coated pieces of crap being sold these days are useless.

The problem is that you simply can't find quality cast iron cookware any more. Except for our dutch oven, which was a gift, all of our cast iron pans were found in thrift stores. Modern cast iron cookware doesn't have ground cooking surfaces, a measure US makers took to compete with cheap imports. Thus, you can't get a really smooth cure on new pans.

I picked up a original 50s model Servel propane fridge last summer. No moving parts. It's a heavy beast, but it just works, and I imagine it wil outlive me if I take care of it. Ammonia absorbtion technology is way cool, though I don't have the engineering know-how to know if it's thermally more efficient than compressor-based refigeration (any takers)? For real Old School cooling tech, google "icy ball".

We also hand-wash our laundry, use a hand-wringer, and then hang dry. No repair bills, no power required. :)

Cast iron quality cookware (none / 0) (#342)
by Nomad on Wed Feb 02, 2005 at 06:52:41 AM EST

Look no further than Le Creuset. These are beautiful items which we use all the time. Sure they're pricey, but they're top quality:

www.lecreuset.com

[ Parent ]
Enamel doesn't last (none / 0) (#449)
by jbridges on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 01:26:22 PM EST

Le Creuset is castiron, but enamelled (has a pretty porcelain coating baked on).

The coating doesn't hold it. It discolors, and will scratch over time. You have to baby it, and it does not season like cast iron.

So you get the heat properties of cast iron, but none of the seasoned surface properties, and you have to be careful with the surface (no metal utensils).

If you want real cast iron, look at Lodge, it really is better than the generic stuff I've tried, has more even heating, more even surface.

[ Parent ]

Why is cast iron better? (none / 0) (#350)
by Fon2d2 on Wed Feb 02, 2005 at 10:47:31 AM EST

Why is the cast iron better and what is meant by a ground cooking surface? Why is teflon bad? And what do you mean by a smooth cure?

I've got a set of Wolfgang Puck's cookware and for my purposes I really like it. The pans and skillets are lightweight and really well weight balanced so they're very easy to pick up and move around. The handles are specially constructed to minimize heat conductance and I can tell you it works very well. The bottom of every pot, pan, and skillet is thick and specially constructed to maximize the heat conductance and distribute it evenly. The skillets have a very nice non-stick teflon coating which I can tell you is way nicer than other skillets I've used. And finally it was even designed so that the strainers can be used in different size pots and kettles and not just the ones for which they were originally intended. In summary, I am very satisfied

Contrast this with the dismay I feel when looking upon the typical cast iron skillet. First of all it's heavy and that handle is short so it's going to be very akward to lift up, tip sideways and what not. Second of all, it's all cast iron, so that handle is going to get very hot. Third of all there's no teflon coating so that thing will potentially be a very big pain in the ass to clean, possibly after every use. I do not appreciate skillets that require me to sit there and scrub forever just cause I had some eggs or pancakes. Sometimes you can't even get the marks out completely although that may be some other material I'm thinking of and not cast iron.

My mom showed my an all cast iron wok she recently bought and how she would be unable to use it. The thing was very heavy so it had handles on other side which you had to use to lift it. The problem was, not having a third hand, she could not then scrape out the contents onto a plate. She then demonstrated her old wok, which could quite easily be lifted by one handle and tilted sideways.

[ Parent ]

Well (none / 0) (#356)
by NoBeardPete on Wed Feb 02, 2005 at 11:43:54 AM EST

Cast iron isn't better for everything. But it's pretty damned good for a lot of purposes.

If you're taking care of it properly, it should develop its own no-stick coating. This coating will last pretty much forever. I use a skillet my grandmother bought as a young woman, and the no-stickyness is doing just fine. Good luck finding teflon that'll hold up that long.

The heavyness of cast iron is a good thing for lots of uses. Suppose you are trying to sear a steak. You are going to want to heat up your pan, and then drop the steak in. The steak will only be there for a few moments. There's enough time for the heat trapped in the pan to act on the steak, but not enough time for you to effectively add more heat to the pan and then have that flow into the steak. So you need a big, heavy pan. Plus, a thick slab of iron is a damned good conductor of heat, so it'll do a bang up job of distibuting heat evenly over the bottom of your pan.

Hot handles can be a bit of a problem. If you have an oven mitt, this is generally easy to get around. As far as weight and manipulating the pan, it's not so bad. Maybe I'd feel differently if I was a diminutive grandmother, but I don't have trouble manipulating the pan. Hell, I've sauteed things in my cast iron skillet before. Granted, that left my forearm a bit sore the next day, but it was very doable.

To wrap this up, cast iron is durable. It'll last pretty much forever. You can take it camping, bang it around, whatever, and it'll be fine. It had a lot of mass, which means even heat, and a better ability to sear and the like. If you're taking care of it, it'll have a good no-stick coating.


Arrr, it be the infamous pirate, No Beard Pete!
[ Parent ]

I guess it depends on your dedication (none / 1) (#358)
by Deagol on Wed Feb 02, 2005 at 12:15:24 PM EST

Cast iron is a champ when it comes to storing and evenly distributing heat. Not that this isn't a property of some high-end (i.e., expensive as hell) cookware. It really helps for stir-frying and properly searing meat if you're a mere mortal and aren't blessed with a high-output stove.

Porceline and teflon may address a need, but they have problems.

Teflon, of course, is great for non-stick cooking. However, it doesn't last vey long. Face it -- no matter how expensive your pan is, teflon (which is a plastic) *will* wear off over time. It's also toxic (if it can kill birds in your house, it can't be too healthy for people).

Porceline is great for cooking high-acid foods (spaghetti sauce, anyone?), but it chips with use (and accidental over-heating).

Cast iron is cheap (dirt cheap from thrift stores and yard sales), it lasts forever, and it's coating can be "re-applied" at will by the end user.

Cast iron is cast in sand (or at least it once was) or molds. The surface isn't smooth, but rather rough. In the golden age of cast iron cookware, manufacturers would machine-grind the cooking surface until it was smooth. A well-cured surface of this type will give teflon a run for its money in the non-stick properties (USENET is filled with tales of grandmothers flipping eggs and flapjacks with the ease of modern teflon pans). If you go to Wal Mart or your local snooty kitchen store at the mall and look at the cast iron offerings, all you'll see is rough cooking surfaces, which are piss-poor for a non-stick cure.

The hot handle issue is quite easily solved by using material fit for handling hot pans. :)

Cleaning isn't difficult. Fill the pan with hot (not soapy) water from the tap. Let sit until any stuck on food is softened enough to clean off with a rag or sponge. I'll often take the boiling water from our after-dinner tea and dump it into the pan right on the stove. When I'm done with my tea, it's ready to wipe out and put away.

The weight issue can't be helped. If you don't have the strength to use cast iron (which isn't considerable, unless you use a large piece), then you're out of luck. And you just can't cook high-acid foods in cast iron, or it'll take like rusty nails. :) We use stai There's certainless steel cookware for things like that.

There's certainly a learning curve with cast iron, and it's not for the impatient or hurried. However, after years of using many types of cookware, my wife and I view cast iron as the best option for 95% of ourcooking.

[ Parent ]

Scratched teflon (none / 0) (#359)
by Fon2d2 on Wed Feb 02, 2005 at 02:17:29 PM EST

Unfortunately I've already managed to scratch the finish of my teflon coated skillets. Is this bad? Should I not be cooking in them anymore?

[ Parent ]
cast iron (none / 1) (#365)
by John Thompson on Wed Feb 02, 2005 at 04:42:21 PM EST

Fon2d2 wrote:

Why is the cast iron better?

It never wears out. It will easily last several human lifetimes of use with only routine care.

What is meant by a ground cooking surface?

Sand cast iron has a rough surface. Grinding the cooking surface smooth makes it work better.

Why is teflon bad?

Because it wears out. Some teflon coated cookware lasts better than other, but it all eventually scratches and starts to cause sticking.

And what do you mean by a smooth cure?

"Curing" a cast iron pan involves heating cooking oil on it to form a non-stick surface. When properly done, it is at least as good as teflon, and can be restored at any time with minimal effort.



[ Parent ]
Cast Iron (none / 0) (#429)
by pyro9 on Sun Feb 06, 2005 at 11:37:20 PM EST

As others have said, teflon starts out nice enough, but quickly scratches and wears away.

Once 'seasoned', cast iron is even less sticky than teflon. Seasoning is a process of rubbing the inside with cooking oil, then heating it to the smoking point. (some prefer a little cooler than that). When seasoning, have some sort of metal lid handy just in case, it's easy to go past the flash point, but if you use just enough oil to cover the inside surfaces and keep your face well away, it's not terribly dangerous (a friend of mine swears the best seasoning requires flashing the oil). The combination of carbon particles and chemical changes to the oil will bond a hard slick surface to the iron. As the iron cools, apply another film of oil.

Unlike teflon, you can freely use metal utensils without doing significant damage to the seasoning. Whenever you cook with oil or grease, the seasoning will get even better. In the worst case (heavy scraping), re-seasoning will fix it right up.

In most cases, cast iron can be cleaned by simply wipeing. If that doesn't quite do it, wipe with more cooking oil. I've never actually needed water, much less soap to clean mine.

The handle does get quite hot, but you can get a sleeve made of the same material as an oven mitt that's made to fit the handle. It is heavy, but not so bad.

When we have a power failure, it's nice that the iron skillet can be used on the grill or directly in a camp fire.

As for durability, I am the third generation to own my skillet and it is as good or better than new.

I find it amusing how year after year 'new improved' non-stick surfaces become available and yet the cast iron skillet whose design hasn't changed in a century is still better and often cheaper.


The future isn't what it used to be
[ Parent ]
Pressure cookers (none / 0) (#366)
by John Thompson on Wed Feb 02, 2005 at 04:48:08 PM EST

Deagol wrote:

My wife and I use cast iron pans and a dutch oven for the majority of our cooking, the slack being picked up with heavy-bottomed stainless steel cookware. These paper-thin, Teflon-coated pieces of crap being sold these days are useless.

Don't forget pressure cookers. These have been around for over 200 years and work very well. Don't want to have to soak you dried beans overnight and then cook them for two hours before you can eat them? No problem; 20 minutes in the pressure cooker will do them right. 5 minutes for potatos or squash. 8 minutes for rice. Works like a champ.



[ Parent ]
Right you are! (none / 0) (#374)
by Deagol on Wed Feb 02, 2005 at 10:14:41 PM EST

Ordered a 21-quart "All American" pressure canner/cooker to can up a small bull calf we sent to the slaughter house a week or so ago. Should be here any day. No gasket to worry about -- w00t!

We've been using a cheap-o 4-quart "Mirro" for a few years for speeding up cooking of pinto/kidney beans and artichokes. It'll only do 5 lbs, though. That beast of a new cooker will do 15 -- no cut of meat will be too tough for us now! :)

And don't forget the straight razor as a superior technology uprooted by modern conveniences. I gearing up to order one for myself this week. No more disposables!

[ Parent ]

Cast iron is good. (none / 0) (#379)
by jolly st nick on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 09:37:08 AM EST

You can also get excellent stainless steel pans with massive bases that are just as good at distributing heat as a cast iron pan with a stainless/copper sandwich bottom. For example Farberware makes an excellent 12" saute pan. But nothing beats the old fashioned cast iron pan for its combination of quality and cheapness. True, they are heavy, and they can discolor some food.

In any case, it's too bad that manufacturers have decided that we have a huge problem with food sticking to pans. It's really not a problem at all. Just use a reasonably heavy pan, take your food out when it's cooked, and put the oil in the pan after the pan has reached temperature if you are sauteeing. Instead, they give us teflon coated pans that will create a sticking problem after they've been used a few hundred times. It's a form of planned obsolescence, I guess.

Speaking of heat, the big problem with teflon is that it won't take it. If your food is hot enough, components of it will bond to the surface forming a kind of shellac. The manufacturers tell you to avoid high heat, that it isn't necessary (as if if there is some kind of magic in their pans that substitutes for heat). Well, you can't do some kinds of cooking without high heat. If you've never stir fried at temperature that is just at the smoking point for your peanut oil, you've just been sauteeing.

In the mean time, your food takes longer to cook, so while you don't have to pay as much attention at the critical moment to taking your food out, you do have to watch the clock.

That said, I do like a teflon omelette pan. The secret is to make a French style omelette instead of a folded omelette. It takes a bit more attention, but it's quite fast, and since you aren't scraping up the edges of the omeletted, no utensils touch the surface of the pan so the pan should last for many years. You simply slide the omelette out. Sticking is rare, but if it happens you just pick up the pan by the handle and give the far edge a sharp rap with the heel of your palm and it will break loose.

Aside from that, I have no use for teflon at all.

If you buy heavy, non-coated pans (other than omelette pans), you can have a lifetime of stick free cooking.

[ Parent ]

Why don't you just grind the surface of your pans (none / 0) (#411)
by guidoreichstadter on Sat Feb 05, 2005 at 06:32:17 PM EST

With an angle grinder and abrasive pad?


you are human:
no masters,
no slaves.
[ Parent ]
Try Gastrolux (ceramic Titan) (none / 0) (#461)
by Steeltoe on Thu Feb 17, 2005 at 05:10:05 PM EST

I'm too young for iron, but I absolutely agree about teflon layers and the horrible vulnerability and health risks they possess. Not that I mind that much, but it's FOOD we're talking about here..

My recommendation is expensive, but very durable (20 years guarantee): Gastrolux with ceramic titan.

You may not want to use this for boiling potatoes or anything leaving dirt (ie. lentils and beans), any cheap stainless steel can be used for that. But for steaking and warming up vegetables, it's perfect. It even doesn't require any grease, you can just put everything in. The ceramic titan will make stains come off easily in wash.

The big chefs use this. Arne Brimi is a chef from Norway, having won lots of competitions. Quality like this makes it more fun to cook..


Explore the Art of Living

[ Parent ]
Turntables and LPs (2.50 / 2) (#334)
by Estanislao Martínez on Tue Feb 01, 2005 at 11:52:51 PM EST

It's ironic how this whole "digital" revolution, predicated on delivering recordings that sound better, has resulted in the absolute opposite.  First with CDs, which cut off all sound above 22khz, and in general sound like crap in the treble.  And now, with MP3s, which, since the public now believes they sound as "good" as a CD at 128kbps, have become the popular standard for high fidelity sound.

And of course, this fits into a broader story about how crap solid state audio equipment sounds...  Contemporary hi-fi companies like Bose put out the crappest equipment imaginable.

--em

Recommend bookshelf speakers? (none / 0) (#362)
by MichaelCrawford on Wed Feb 02, 2005 at 03:13:41 PM EST

Hi,

You should like an audiophile. I'd like to buy a pair of compact 8 Ohm speakers. My wife says I should get Bose because they're small and sound good, but my understanding is that Bose isn't really that good. What would you recommend?

Gross National Products of Pasadena, California, founded by Caltech alumnus Bill Gross, used to make a pair of bookshelf speakers that had real walnut wood cabinets and were stuff with leaded glass wool. I wish I'd bought a pair while they were still in business, but they don't seem to be anymore.

Thanks!

Mike


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Good bookshelf size speakers (none / 1) (#376)
by bindlestiff on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 12:45:17 AM EST

I love all my Carvin gear. These monitor speakers aren't going to make anyones super-audiophile list but they are way good enough for me in the home studio and for a live spot monitor. $160 for a pair. I have no idea what high heat in a closed car will do to them but Carvin does say they are fine for outdoor use. Carvin PM5-B monitor speakers http://carvin.com/products/single.php?ItemNumber=PM5-B&CID=CLB-M

[ Parent ]
Those would be good for my keyboard (none / 0) (#383)
by MichaelCrawford on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 04:38:07 PM EST

Hi,

I've been wanting a pair of monitor speakers to use on my keyboard, a Fater Studio 1100 Midi controller. So far I just use an E-Mu Proformance 1+ sound module with various piano and synth samples, but E-Mu also makes a ($$$) sound module that has samples from each of the instruments in a symphony.

However, I could not use them on the stereo in the living room, as domestic tranquility requires that any speakers I purchase look "attractive". They have to go well with living room furniture. I'd rather larger speakers than bookshelf speakers, but large speakers, whatever their appearance, are already out of the question.

Interestingly, Bonita, who is an artist, doesn't give a damn what the speakers sound like, just what they look like. She's completely happy with her $69 boom box, because it is very small.

I finally stood up for myself and said I wanted to set up my stereo, which is a reasonably good quality consumer-grade stereo. But we left the speakers in California when we moved, gave them away. They were huge, and only of modest quality. I said that it was very important to get quality speakers.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Speaker suggestions (none / 0) (#382)
by dcheesi on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 12:25:51 PM EST

I like Paradigm Titans or Atoms. Also see the AVS Forums more more recommendations: AVS Speaker Forum

[ Parent ]
Link, dealer in Halifax (none / 0) (#384)
by MichaelCrawford on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 04:47:02 PM EST

Hi,

Thanks for the recommendation. I thought it would be helpful to follow up with Paradigm's website. I used their dealer locator to find Peak Audio in Halifax, which Bonita and I will be visiting tomorrow. I'll drag her into the store with me to hear what a real stero sounds like.

Whacky Wheatley's right here in Truro is also a Paradigm dealer, and I might have a look there tonight, but they probably don't have much of a selection of nicer equipment, while it looks like Peak Audio likely does.

Paradigm's website has a PDF catalog you can download, and from the look of it, I think either the Atoms or the Titans would suit me just fine. The problem is to convince Bonita that they will look nice in the living room - she hates the appearance of speakers, and has forbid me to buy any that she doesn't think are attractive.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Second the Paradigm recommendation. [n/t] (none / 0) (#390)
by nutate on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 01:03:48 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Had a listen, will get some Paradigm Titans (none / 0) (#409)
by MichaelCrawford on Sat Feb 05, 2005 at 12:58:38 PM EST

I brought my CD of Philip Glass' Powaqqatsi to Peak Audio in Halifax yesterday, and asked to listen to the third track (Anthem Part 1) on a pair of Paradigm Titans.

I must say I was impressed. After looking over Paradigm's PDF catalogs, I had considered also asking to listen to the Paradigm Reference Studio 40s, because they had a separate woofer, where the titans (and studio 20s) had only two speakers, a tweeter and midrange.

But the Titans sounded great to me. I'm sure the Studio 40's would sound even better, but must be very expensive. The Powaqqatsi track had a wide range of frequencies in it so I could check out the full range. The bass sounded fine to me. I think I will be happy with some Titans.

It just goes to show that speakers don't have to be big to sound good. The Titans are only about a foot tall. Bonita was emphatic that she didn't want huge speakers like the pair we left behind in California (and the reason I'm not using my good stereo at all, I haven't replaced them yet). She wanted me to get Bose because they were small, but I knew Bose didn't have a good reputation among audiophiles.

Now I just got to get some work done. If I can finish up my current project in time to get paid this month, then I can afford them. At Peak Audio, they' $289 Canadian, tax included. They might also have them at Whacky Wheatley's here in Truro. I really liked the guy at Peak Audio though, I had expected high-pressure sales tactics, but he was very casual about it. He didn't give me any crap at all.

I'll let Bonita pick out the color of the cases. Peak Audio had a choice of three finishes, all woodgrain veneer in either black, tan, or brown. Bonita has also specified I must use white speaker cables. If I can't find any I'll use lamp cord. She wants the cables stapled down to the baseboard.

Next up: convincing Bonita to let me place the speakers where they would sound the best. I think they should be on either side of the fireplace, but that will require running one of the cables over the mantle, and I know she's not going to like that.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

-1, Phillip Glass (none / 0) (#421)
by Battle Troll on Sun Feb 06, 2005 at 04:54:02 PM EST

Reich > Glass
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
Recommend a particular Reich album? (none / 0) (#427)
by MichaelCrawford on Sun Feb 06, 2005 at 09:42:38 PM EST

I've heard of Reich, but never heard his music. What would you suggest I try first?

He'd have to be pretty damn good to unseat Glass' Solo Piano as my favorite album of my entire life.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

I don't know any albums (none / 0) (#437)
by Battle Troll on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 02:51:59 PM EST

The most 'accessible' Reich piece is probably Music for Eighteen Musicians, but I don't like it all that much myself. My favorites are Come Out (less accessible) and Tehillim (extremely accessible, get the revised version including larger string ensemble.) You could also get stuff with Different Trains, any recording of It's Gonna Rain, or Drumming. You might like New York Counterpoint.

Don't take this personally, because there is no accounting for taste, but I find that people who really like Phillip Glass also tend to be the sorts of people who think The Hours is a great movie and a great book: literate, educated, often quite well-off, but essentially without cultivated tastes or trained artistic sensibilities, seeking comfortable but also flatteringly 'advanced' art to complement their lifestyles. I think that Glass is the Julian Schnabel of music; the California Chardonnay of fine art.

I don't know any professional musicians who really like Glass, even if they acknowledge him to be talented. People who are willing to make enormous personal sacrifices simply to live close to great music don't get on well with his suave, smooth style - to me he comes off as a bit 'soapy,' really - and there's much cooler stuff out there, if you do a bit of digging.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

Trained artistic sensibilities, indeed. (none / 0) (#439)
by MichaelCrawford on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 05:36:26 PM EST

Heh.

You might find it amusing to read about how I learned to play piano.

I taught myself, just by banging on the keys, randomly at first, trying out different combinations until I was able to make something that sounded like music.

But I have great dreams: I've been taking weekly piano lessons for a year now. I'm in the middle of Grade One of the Royal Conservatory of Music piano course. When I reach Grade Nine, and can pass the audition, I plan to apply to study musical composition, most likely at Dalhousie University in Halifax.

I expect I'll apply other places as well, but if I went to Dalhousie, I wouldn't have to move. That's more of a consideration than it was when I was younger, and got a degree in physics. For one thing, I have a lot more stuff: when I left Caltech, all my worldly belongings fit in the bed of a light pickup.

When I left Maine in October of 2003 to come to Canada, most of my stuff was packed in a twenty-six foot diesel u-haul truck, with the rest left in a storage locker, where it still sits until I get my landed immigrant card and can freely cross the border again.

Thanks for the tips. I'll write his pieces down in the little notebook I carry, so I'll have them with me the next time I hit the record stores in downtown halifax.

I'll have more to say in my diary, hopefully later tonight, or maybe tomorrow, depending on when Bonita gets home.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Here's that diary I promised you (none / 0) (#440)
by MichaelCrawford on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 12:43:03 AM EST

I'm off to bed now. Nighty-night!


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

IAWTP (none / 0) (#452)
by GenerationY on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 11:27:07 PM EST

Especially the bit about The Hours (the book, I haven't seen the film).


[ Parent ]
iawtp (none / 0) (#428)
by gzt on Sun Feb 06, 2005 at 11:16:35 PM EST

though i'm surprised at how popular he is. i mean, not that i talk about music with anybody other than my roommates [everybody else in the world has horrible and pedestrian indie wanker taste], but he seems to get a lot of play for a contemporary composer...

[ Parent ]
see response below /nt (none / 0) (#438)
by Battle Troll on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 02:52:33 PM EST


--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
No highs, no lows you know it's gotta be a... (none / 0) (#423)
by tonedevil on Sun Feb 06, 2005 at 05:35:17 PM EST

Bose

[ Parent ]
Knobs (none / 0) (#360)
by alexf2000 on Wed Feb 02, 2005 at 02:19:50 PM EST

My new car's CD still has knobs for volume control.
alexf2000, http://dealsalon.com/super/
Honda (none / 0) (#378)
by jolly st nick on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 09:12:04 AM EST

My Honda Accord has a big knob right in the center that controls volume. In the center of the knob is the on/off button. You can get the knob to control fade or balance by pushing a mode button; in theory this is bad design but in practice it works fine because most of the time you're interested in volume.

One of the nice things about Honda is their attention to designs in the instrument panel.

[ Parent ]

you have no idea... (none / 0) (#399)
by tarpy on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 08:32:48 PM EST

One of the nice things about Honda is their attention to designs in the instrument panel.

My dad works for Honda (at the Marysville Auto Plant) and from what he's told me (he worked on New Model a couple years back) they study this stuff to death.

That big ass knob is one of the things I love best about my Accord, I can drive in traffic, and without taking my eyes of traffic adjust the volume by touch and feel.


Sir, this is old skool. Old skool. I salute you! - Knot In The Face
[ Parent ]
Probably not bad design (none / 0) (#457)
by Xenophon Fenderson, the Carbon(d)ated on Sat Feb 12, 2005 at 08:12:03 AM EST

One of the best design lessons I ever had was "make the common case fast".  Big ass power/volume control knob with mode switches for less frequently used stuff makes sense to me.

--
Rev. Dr. Xenophon Fenderson, the Carbon(d)ated, KSC, mhm21x16, and the Patron Saint of All Things Plastic fnord
I'm proud of my Northern Tibetian heritage!
[ Parent ]
Why don't shower handles have thermostats? (none / 0) (#363)
by MichaelCrawford on Wed Feb 02, 2005 at 03:18:12 PM EST

It seems to me a shower handle should have two knobs and a temperature display. Dial in the pressure and temperature, and enjoy a nice hot, or if you prefer, warm shower.

It is possible to control the temperature of flowing water with great precision, if you're willing to spend the money for the control systems.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


If you were slick it could even be self powered (none / 1) (#387)
by Bwah on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 09:13:30 PM EST

Small turbine in the flow stream or something. The electronics would be cheap. I have a feeling that the valves required would be wicked expensive though ...

--
To redesign an infinite ensemble of universes: what terrible responsibility, what arrogance ... It sounds just like the type of thing your average Homo sap would do for a dare. -- Stephen Baxter
[ Parent ]

I'd buy it. (none / 1) (#407)
by paranoid on Sat Feb 05, 2005 at 08:44:02 AM EST

My first thought that appeared about 200ms after reading your first paragraph was "I'd buy it". This is so obvious I was always surprised why noone offers these.

BTW, the problem can be especially serious in apartment buildings during heavy water use, when the pressure of the hot and cold water would fluctuate slightly and scald you every now and then.

[ Parent ]

I'm oooooold! And I'm not happy! (2.00 / 2) (#373)
by nlscb on Wed Feb 02, 2005 at 09:42:16 PM EST

And I don't like things now compared to the way they used to be. All this progress -- phooey! We didn't have your fancy keyboards, and "mun-EE-tars" and "the EN-TAR-NITS". Flobble-de-flee! We used punch cards until our hands bled from papercuts and used smoke signals to send the data unit our hair singed - And that's the way it was and WE LIKED IT!

Comment Search has returned - Like a beaten wife, I am pathetically grateful. - mr strange

You can keep your darn tootin progress sonny (none / 1) (#377)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 02:53:27 AM EST

I'm old, and I know how good it was! Sucks to be you, huh?

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]
A Few Comments (none / 0) (#380)
by dcheesi on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 09:52:27 AM EST

I actually agree with most of your points (though I have no clue about gears or belts). However, there are a few points I dissagree with:

Shoelaces: As noted elsewhere, you can still buy the old-school shoelaces if you want. In any case, I rarely have a problem with my modern laces. One thing you might want to check is whether your shoelace knot is in the form of a (modified) square-knot or a granny-knot. The two look very similar, but one stays put much better than the other, and I think this applies to the shoelace "bow" variant as well.

Knobs: Analog knobs actually reduce the useful life of a device. Old potentiometers invariably develop problems due to dirty contacts; on Volume knobs this is the "scratching" noise when you change volume, and it can lead to inconsistent volume as well as stereo balance issues. Of course if you know how to take the device apart and clean the pot, then you're okay, but most people will just through the radio away.

Faucets: the main problem with faucets is really the temperature variations due to plumbing issues. Two-handle faucets are no better at dealing with this than the new ones. Overall I find the new ones easier to use (and I've still got old ones).

I'll second this (none / 0) (#410)
by lastobelus on Sat Feb 05, 2005 at 02:34:09 PM EST

I unknowingly tied my shoelaces with granny knots for years (I was never in boyscouts), and had to double tie them and they still came undone. About six months ago I found out, switched to square knots, now I only need to single tie and my shoes never come untied. Also, no more garbage bags refusing to stay tied...

[ Parent ]
Yes, (none / 0) (#484)
by ambrosen on Sat Mar 19, 2005 at 05:35:04 PM EST

it's embarassing when you learn that, isn't it?

--
Procrastination does not make you cool. Being cool makes you procrastinate. DesiredUsername.
[ Parent ]
Some solutions (3.00 / 2) (#385)
by nutate on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 07:29:54 PM EST

I sort of realized I was out of touch with you from the beginning, but clearly you ought to be fine buying products which inflation adjusted cost the same.

For example, t-shirts that fit: American Apparel But honestly underarmor (probably owned by some bigger company), nike, adidas, whoever probably makes shirts that do to. We could save talk of the arcana of the changing clothing tariffs and non ilo sanctioned labor practices for another day.

As far as solutions to the nylon (slippery shoelaces) thing, check out this site (aka first google hit for shoelace knot, and perhaps the most useful on a daily basis couple ideas of the last 5 years): Ian's Shoelace Site specifically check out the Secure knot, although the fast one is cool too. The rest of the site is great for all of your shoelace geeking out needs. As far as velcro goes... well, at least you have the napoleon dynamite hip factor or something.

Metal gears, I don't know much about cars other than I haven't broken mine yet, but this may be the exception to the inflation adjusted dollars rule. I think the best way to go is with the most popular longest lasting vehicles ie ford/toyota. That way you have a chance with junk parts or something. I dunno I drive a 15 year old car (w/ a timing belt which you should replace at regular intervals).

I have come to accept non-analog 'pots' on consumer electronics, just because the old ones (real potentiometers) can get crinkly. Although motor controlled (remote controlled) analog dials are cool.

enough senseless blather, ttfn, rich

Wow (none / 0) (#395)
by jolly st nick on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 09:42:35 AM EST

Google comes through one more time eh?

Sic transit nerida mundi.

[ Parent ]

Heh (none / 0) (#401)
by nutate on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 10:36:22 PM EST

Yeah, it's a veritable world of wonder. But I do stand by both of those links. The AA shirts really do hold up nice, as does the knot.

[ Parent ]
The nylon gears... (none / 0) (#419)
by mcgrew on Sun Feb 06, 2005 at 01:40:40 PM EST

You don't have distributers any more (a GOOD thing imo), which is where the most problematic plastic gears were. I had two distributers go bad, both with nylon gears. Never had a steel one break, although I'm sure it happened to somebody somewhere.

I don't mind the volume buttons so much in the house, but for car radios a volume knob is a safety feature. Which is stupid: Lets see, we installed an expensive air bag to help you survive a wreck, so for the sake of fifty cents we'll nake your chances of using that air bag greater!

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Good Nylon Shoelaces (none / 1) (#388)
by sllort on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 10:25:43 PM EST

Some trail shoes by New Balance have nylon laces which are studded, that is they puff in and out every half an inch. When you tie them in a knot, the studs catch and lock like glue. I have the 1100's, which I use for trail running, and I single-tie them and run over 15 miles of singletrack hell on a pretty regular basis. They never come undone.

pic.

You're right about Chinese made consumer applicance bullshit, though.
--
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.

Tech ain't so simple & Compound Interest (2.00 / 2) (#397)
by redelm on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 06:03:58 PM EST

First, please consider the effect of compound interest on quality vs price decisions. Einstein called it the greatest mathematical discovery of all time. This makes it economic to shorten useful lives. For an extreme example at 20% CC interest, it is better to buy something that needs replacing every 4 years rather than pay double for a quality item that never wears out. If the quality premium is only 50%, the cheap item needs to last 6 years. At minimum 4% (say for houses), the calc gives 18 years to beat double the cost.

Second, technology is much more complex than it may first appear. Cost matters, but there are subtle performance factors:

  • Steel Gears: I can rememeber when Cadillac first _advertised_ Nylon gears for quietness. They were (and often still are) more expensive. Properly designed, they're great.
  • Sandwiches: The restaurant business is high margin, with low cost-of-goods sold. This leads to large portions because they satisfy more customers.
  • Shoelaces: I prefer nylon/synthetic because they can be flame sealed to prevent fraying. Second would be waxed. I don't have any troubles.
  • Tee-shirts -- usually fit me just fine, US, Euro or PRC.
  • Volume knobs. Variable-resistance potentiometers wear out horribly and get noisy. I have a mouse wheel-type on my car.
  • Auto mtce: Go back to carburetors, distributors with points? NEVER! I like my port fuel-injection and coil-on-plug. You can get a $20 tool to dump diagnostic codes. Cheaper than a dwelltach.
  • Timing Chains? Are you knuts? They're noisy, the covers leak oil and very hard/expensive to work into an overhead cam engine. They also stretch worse than nylon.
  • one handle shower faucets. I actually prefer two taps, but the one handled became popular because they were preceived as "luxury", and were less tilework to install. The upside is they now have thermostatic models.
  • Natural convection furnaces. These require larger pipes and radiators (expense & space) and don't produce as even heat a modern forced air (which admittedly do require power). Forced air also makes air conditioning easy.

    The "Good Old Days" really weren't so good, but human memory of pain fades. Fortunately. I remember paying 20x min.wage for terminal time, and 30x min.wage for long-distance phone calls. 3 politically correct TV channels. Everything expensive.



  • Sandwiches (none / 0) (#417)
    by APL on Sat Feb 05, 2005 at 11:33:08 PM EST

    I don't know about the story poster, but I have no problem with big sandwiches, I like big sandwiches.

    My Problem is with fast food places (mostly chain burger joints) that have an incorrect meat:bread ratio. ie: If you increase the diameter of the content, you must also increase the diameter of the roll, otherwise the functionality of the sandwich is diminished.

    Sure, it makes a nice photograph to have the meat and tomatos hanging over the edge of the bun, but it's a pain to actualy eat a sandwich that's constructed like that.

    [ Parent ]
    Ok... (none / 1) (#418)
    by mcgrew on Sun Feb 06, 2005 at 01:35:39 PM EST

    Economics: a reason is not en excuse. "Planned obsolescence" is, imo, the absolutely worst invention that was ever invented. Maybe even worse than H bombs.

    Waxed shoelaces? Seems we used to wax our sled runners for more slip when I was a kid.

    T-shirts: Well, if you're young you have never worn a t-shirt that fits, so you have no frame of reference to discuss the matter. If you find a time machine and go back and get a real t-shirt you will be forever spoiled.

    Digital knobs are fine, even though analog is better. It's buttons I hate. I must point out that the buttons are also mechanical, and fail as rapidly as a potentiometer. Pots seldom wear out, but they (like switches and buttons) get dirty, causing noise. A shot of good switch oil will almost always fix a pot or a switch.

    Cars: no, I like feul injection and electronic ignition. What I hate is having to pull the engine to change the spark plugs, or dismantle the grill to change a headlight.

    Timing chains: LOL what??? What does the cover have to do with what's insuide the cover? A badly designed gasket isn't the chain's fault. And older cars (when new) were no noisier than today's cars. And steel stretching like nylon? Maybe in your alternate universe!

    "...preceived as 'luxury', and were less tilework to install."

    Ah yes, today's "say it enough times and it's true." Badly design a piece cheap of crap, put a high price tag on it and advertise it as "premium" or "luxury" and the people will eventually believe it, despite their own senses telling them otherwise. "I must be stupid to think th eold ones were worrse, everybody else likes the new ones!" And no, we didn't go for WMDs, it was to free the Ieraquis!

    Yes, the old gravity furnaces had larger ducts and vents. But the heat was more rather than less even, and yes, it would make AC more problematic. But you can live without AC. You can't live without heat.

    Most of my older friends have wood stoves. Mike has about fifteen acres, so everybody that knos Mike gets free heating fuel so long as they have a wood stove. Mike's stove hasd a blower and thermostat! It will, however, still work without power, just not as well.

    "The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
    [ Parent ]

    Still more complex (none / 1) (#425)
    by redelm on Sun Feb 06, 2005 at 06:56:34 PM EST

    I'm not talking about planned obsolescence, but justification for lower quality/lifetime. And nukes aren't necessarily a bad invention. So far the record has been extremely good, and although there is a lot of preceived risk, we really won't know for another hundred years or five.

    Waxed shoelaces are normal on quality dress oxfords. And I'm old enough to have worn all sorts of Tee-shirts.

    Pulling engines to change sparkplugs only happens on a few horrible (GM?) designs. Likewise the grill, unless you don't know about the lamp socket in the back! Metal chains stretch by wear at the linkpins. 2% isn't uncommon. I had to replace bike chains every 5kmiles lest they wear the expensive aluminum chainrings.

    Gravity furnaces typically have large floor standing radiators in front of windows. They need to be that large. And in the south, you can do without heat easier than you can without AC.



    [ Parent ]

    The tap (3.00 / 2) (#445)
    by Isenphon on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 01:32:19 PM EST

    Its about orthogonality of control. On an old, dual-knob system you are adjusting the hot and cold water flow - but that's not what you want. What you are trying to control for yourself is the pressure and temperature of the water. When a person is adjusting the hot and cold knobs, they often end up losing their desired pressure while trying to find their desired temperature, and vice versa. By making a control that separates these concepts, it becomes easier to control your water flow. That's the principle, adn its sound. The problem is that making such devices is harder to do well than hot/cold knobs. And given the option of doing something simple solidly or complex crappily, what does Corporate always choose? Right. Crap. A well-made single-piece knob is much better than the dual-knob system, but unfortunately most aren't well-made. Oh, and the real place that needs a volume knob - the fucking computer. I have like 4 different speaker systems plugged into different ports of my computer, so the software volume control is the only place to manipulate them from. Meanwhile, that volume control is an UFIA. It just doesn't open fast enough, isn't customisable enough, and can't be accessed from fullscreen games. Plus, half the time it ends up sitting staying open when I'm done with it.

    [ Parent ]
    Amen, brother! (3.00 / 2) (#406)
    by paranoid on Sat Feb 05, 2005 at 08:33:26 AM EST

    One wonders if today's engineers even need a college degree, as it seems that some things, like today's shoelaces, were designed by "special ed" students.

    I hate that, I hate-hate-hate that, I absolutely abhore bad design. Let me share a few examples of products designed by "special ed" students that I was a proud owner of.

    1. A teapot, where the tea first poured from under the lid and second from the spout.
    2. A darts target, where the outer ring (that was still needed according to the enclosed rules) was made of soild durable hard plastic that the darts bounce off of.
    3. An alarm clock with back-lit display (activated by pressing "snooze"), where an opaque late was fixed behind the clock hands. So by activating the light at night you could easily see the numbers on the clock, but not the hands.
    Too often it seems that the product that you can buy has not undergone any testing at all, because the product obviously fails to perform its basic function in the vast majority of cases.

    RPN calculators (3.00 / 2) (#424)
    by prolixity on Sun Feb 06, 2005 at 06:41:37 PM EST

    Am I among the last RPN geeks?  I can only find one RPN calculator out there, the HP-33S, that is not a graphing calculator.

    There's something about the speed and quickness in an RPN that isn't present in the typical algebraic calculator.
    Bah!

    Ah! (none / 1) (#454)
    by skim123 on Thu Feb 10, 2005 at 04:27:54 PM EST

    Dude, where were you, like, a month ago?

    Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
    PT Barnum


    [ Parent ]
    RPN Graphing is still there (none / 0) (#483)
    by locallunatic on Fri Mar 18, 2005 at 01:28:11 AM EST

    I'm not sure if they are still on the market (got mine, 5? years ago) but the HP 48G is a RPN graphing calculator which I for one love. Just took a look at HP's site and they have both 43Gii and 49G+ graphing calculators.
    --- I'm not stupid OR crazy, I'm stupid AND crazy
    [ Parent ]
    Cars, furnaces & misc (2.00 / 2) (#430)
    by ecloud on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 02:21:04 AM EST

    I agree with you in general that poor quality pisses me off very much.  You are right about the steel gears.  I do not believe in planned obsolescence, finance theory be damned.  The thing is, if you save money by buying something cheaper, you benefit from that only by investing the savings in something that will give you a return.  Most people just buy more stuff, and put more stuff in the landfill, which makes the world a nastier place in several different ways.  Acting like that is selfish and immoral.

    The thing about the "thermal piles" is interesting.  Probably just a thermocouple.  As for pilot lights being inefficient, if you live in a place where you need a lot of heat, who cares - just make sure the heat from the pilot gets mostly into the living space.

    My wife hates forced-air heat (especially since our furnace is in a hallway closet, and when it kicks on in some parts of the house it's kindof like sitting at the back of an airplane) and misses radiators.  They seem like a reasonable idea to me too.  People here complain about them being noisy; but the ones in her country are not.  My theory is the problem with the US ones were that they used steam, whereas they could just use hot water.  But we live in Arizona and don't need so much heat anyway.  

    Once I stayed overnight in London due to a missed flight, and the place that I stayed had a radiator in my room with a mechanical thermostat.  That was a good idea and I wondered why it isn't done more often in places that use radiators.

    About cars, I'm surprised you didn't mention rear-wheel-drive.  I hate CV joints, because the damned rubber boots don't last long enough and are a messy royal pain to replace.  I have a 2001 Mustang, and one of the reasons I bought it is that it has kindof an old-fashioned basic design.  Sure it has fuel injection and an ECU, but it is rear-wheel-drive, and the engine layout looks serviceable, and since it has a V6 in an engine bay that was designed for a V8, there is a lot of space around it too.  It's not old enough that I've had to do any repairs myself though, so we'll see how that goes when the time comes.  I don't enjoy working on cars..but

    I CAN'T STAND IT when manual laborers charge more by the hour than I make!  I'm an engineer.  I make a good living.  But plumbers, electricians, mechanics, cabinet makers, etc.  all charge more by the hour than I make, by a huge margin.  It makes no sense whatsoever.  My wife is always saying I waste too much time doing all these kinds of chores myself.  But their time is worth more than mine, apparently.  So I'm still ahead financially to do it myself; although I am beginning to listen to her just to the extent that I feel bad about spending my time, which is a finite resource, and getting moreso as I get older, doing things that have no long-term profit in them, and no enjoyment either.

    So I could say that I miss affordable servicepeople.  Heck from reading old books you get the idea that middle-class people (if there were such people) could afford maids, butlers,  gardeners, somebody to take care of the horses, etc., full-time even, a century or more ago.  Or maybe those were just the rich people, I'm not sure.

    About analog knobs I don't agree.  I've had a lot of devices with old scratchy pots.  And fully solid-state equipment can still use knobs.  Ideally the kind with optical encoders so that there are no mechanical contacts to wear out.  Nice ham and shortwave gear usually have heavy optical-encoder tuning knobs that you can give a spin and it keeps spinning for a while, like the better analog-tuning stereos used to have.  They are just as much of a joy to use, provide just as flexible tuning, and probably will last longer if no other "planned obsolescence" measures interfere.  My factory car stereo has a volume knob, and it works fine.

    About sandwiches - white bread is bad for you.  Don't eat it.  You'll get diabetes some day.

    Rate charged vs earned (none / 1) (#450)
    by NoBeardPete on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 03:57:16 PM EST

    You're comparing how much you are paid as an engineer to how much you pay to have someone perform some service for you. This is not really a fair comparison.

    I've had a few friends who work for a company that bills clients for their services. Clients were typically billed at least twice as much as my friends made. You may or may not have a job where it makes sense to ask what your company charges for your services, but it's probably at least twice as much as you make. Hell, if you're salaries, they probably spend another 50% of what you make on benefits, so they'd probably be charging three times your salary to clients.

    If you do a fair comparison, I would imagine you make more than the plumber who fixes your pipes.


    Arrr, it be the infamous pirate, No Beard Pete!
    [ Parent ]

    What you want is more money (none / 1) (#451)
    by hvatum on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 08:44:55 PM EST

    His complaints also do not agree with each other. First he complains that the salaries of service people are high and that he should earn more as an engineer. He then complains that goods are too expensive

    Also, if the middle class were able to afford MULTIPLE maids and service people then this would imply a huge underclass - in fact the middle class in that case would actually be the lower end of the upper class. The only reason people were so willing to become maids around the turn of the century was because the other options were so dire. It's a good thing that the wages of service people are climbing. Also, FYI, they don't have a monopoly on the service industry so these are competitive prices.

    All together this means that the overall prosperity of society is rising, which most people would consider a good thing. I think what the original poster wanted was a higher salary... well go work more hours or get another degree then.
    Eggnog is fresh on Christmas day. Eggnog is rotten on Newyears day. Eggnog is rockhard on Easter day.
    [ Parent ]

    old scratchy pots (none / 0) (#458)
    by buckminster on Sun Feb 13, 2005 at 09:40:30 PM EST

    I have an old 1970's era Bose receiver where the volume control knob switches between a number of individual resistors to eliminate the noise that would have been induced by a pot.

    This antique Bose receiver has three wires going to front left and right channel. My Bose 901's speakers also have have three terminals. Anyone like to know what the hell purpose that third wire served?

    [ Parent ]
    Arrogant shit. (none / 0) (#470)
    by The Voice of Reason on Sun Feb 20, 2005 at 03:48:16 PM EST

    You arrogant little shit, why should you get paid more than skilled labourers doing vital service to your house? You'd soon complain if your water supply stopped or your electricity stopped working. I'm sure their work is more important than whatever you 'engineer'.

    Why the hell do you think you deserve to have a legion of full-time maids and cleaners earning a fiftieth of what you earn despite working twice as hard?

    [ Parent ]

    Servicable cars (none / 0) (#491)
    by systemloc on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 03:10:42 PM EST

    I have a 2000 Mustang, which is the same as your '01 for all purposes. I have found it very servicable, and as you mentioned, the V6 in the V8 space allows plenty of room to work. The electronic and emissions systems are still a pain, and usually require a mechanic, though I understand their necessity. I would think anyone inclinded to maintain their own car should take servicability into account when buying! A DIYer would be brain-damaged to buy a compact, front-wheel drive inport! Not all cars are equally hard to maintenance. :)

    [ Parent ]
    It's your own damn fault (1.00 / 2) (#434)
    by JohnnyBolla on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 12:22:35 PM EST

    I'm 33 years old. I make good money in the tech industry, I am single and have piles of disposable income. To date, I have purchased, drum roll please, zero furnaces. If there are no "good" furnaces availible, it's sure as hell not the fault of people my age. It's you old folks that bought this crap over the last 30 years that this garbage is acceptable. Nylon gears? Plastics were actually adopted in power tools right after World War two, because you old guys kept getting electrocuted by improperly grounded drills. Plastic, non-conductive gear elemets were added as an insulation. As for the rest of that stuff, well, I guess us young whippersnappers just don't get it. PS- my shirt fits wonderfully. maybe you are oddly shaped. That happens to some people as they approach their golden years.

    Showers (none / 0) (#447)
    by Sgt York on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 03:38:11 PM EST

    What about DIY?

    My house had a one-handle shower when I bought it. It now has shiny three-handle job (hot, cold, shower/tub) with nice, long handles. They're really not that hard to install, and you can get them at just about any hardware store; I got mine at a Mom & Pop, but I've seen them at Home Depot & Lowe's.

    The difference is in the crosspipe, and many of the handle kits come with the crosspipe included.

    The only annoying thing is the plastic valves. If you buy one of these things, get some brass fittings and pull the plastic peices of crap before you start.

    There is a reason for everything. Sometimes, that reason just sucks.

    gravity furnaces are useful in a blackout (none / 0) (#456)
    by hqm on Thu Feb 10, 2005 at 11:51:00 PM EST

    During the big blizzard of 1978, in Boston, the power was knocked out for several days in the middle of the winter. Our house had a gravity hot water heater, and pilot light, so we could turn on the furnace by manually throwing the solenoid that goes to the thermostat. Some friends and neighbors had to stay at our house because their houses had no heat. The roads were blocked (route 128 was stuffed with abandonded cars under six foot drifts). National Guard helicopters were taking off round the clock from Kenmore square to bring food to stranded suburbanites. That furnace is still running. It is probably sixty or seventy years old. Yes, it probably burns twice as much gas as the new models, but it does not require electricity to heat the house, and thus can keep the family warm in a multi-day blackout in freezing weather. The heavy reliance of our society on systems with single points of failure is a real problem. Our technology is neutral, it is more of a mindset about dealing with the cheap case vs. the extreme failure modes.

    Not all B&W (none / 1) (#459)
    by KiTaSuMbA on Mon Feb 14, 2005 at 09:54:01 AM EST

    You sound like an 80 yrs old that, unable to cop with new technology, blames everything for being inferior to previous solutions. You do have some points but it gets lost in the whole rant.
    So, here are my points, field by field.
    • Steel gears: Although you do have a point in arguing that the massive adoption of plastic gears is due to lower costs, this issue is far more complex. First of all, cheaper doesnot mean worse all around. Some technologies have been widespread exactly due to the cost reduction effect of plastic materials. With the current speed of tech advances,  a 20 yrs old washing machine is better thrown out of the window even if it DOES work: more features, less damage on clothes, FAR less electrical and water consumption. Furthermore, there are many "special" cases that plastic (or aluminum) components are either superior or even obbligatory. In fact, these cases are so many in modern era that they can hardly be called "special". Namely: weight reduction, safety issues, lower noise levels, lower power consumption. However, I will accept your argument on "predictable" machinery failure just out of warranty. This is more related to "quality control" and "acceptable production methods" rather than the TYPE of material used. You will find many expensive machines that use "modern materials" that will almost never break as you will find quite a few "old world" appliances breaking to pieces due to "el cheapo" construction methods.
    • sandwiches: apart from failing to see the relation to "technology" rather than "dietary habits" I can still get "dry" sandwiches where I live. This has a lot more to do with the current consumer focus on quantity rather than quality.
    • shoelaces: nylon shoelaces can be both better AND worse than old-type cotton ones. As long as material properties, they are cheaper, stronger and more elastic but also provide less friction. Therefore, a good nylon shoelace counters the friction issue with proper "interlocking" geometry at a higher cost for the design and the more complicated construction machinery while a bad nylon shoelace takes no care of the problem, leading to annoying self-untieing.
    • T-shirts: I still get wonderfully-fitting t-shirts that cost around 30-50 € depending on manufacturer and design. I also buy t-shirts for 5-10 € for the occasions I KNOW I will just ruin them within a few weeks (like painting the house or working under the car). You only get what you pay for. I have an adidas t-shirt that has lasted for almost a decade now, and I 've ruined numerous t-shirts after only 3 or 4 washes.
    • analog knobs: This comes with 2 different aspects: cost of production and ease of use. Modern electronic appliances provide so much more configurability that a purely analog control panel would require an extreme number of controls and circuit complexity that, unless state-of-the-art was used, will lead to a more fault-prone device and a nightmare to use. Hi-End sound devices do stick to analog controls but also stick to only basic options: no funky colourful equalizer functions, no RDS radio, no programming options - just PLAY, PAUSE, PREVIOUS & NEXT. I admit that when evaluating a stereo appliance I do consider the actual weight in kilos as a good story-teller over the quality of materials used but I never went for the mass hysteria of one-thing-does-all and smaller-is-better in regards to sound technology. Anyway, to counter the increasing complexity of "button-type" controls, many manifacturers turned to digital multi-functional knobs (ie. press the knob to change the function, turn to adjust it) including high quality makers alpine and clarion, or creating remote-control "joystick-type" gadjets that can be placed in easily-accessable points (like on the side of the steering wheel block in the case of car stereos).
    • modern no-DIY cars: modern cars are all about electronic control and computer-assisted precision tuning. This offers much more efficient vehicles across the board (performance, fuel consumption, safety, reliability, maintenance costs) but comes with the side effect of almost prohibiting "ad hoc" work under the hood. Perhaps I can better explain the issue using another technology field: computers. In the old days, you could overclock the CPU by simply changing the quartz crystal on the motherboard, you could fine-tune the performance by disabling or changing manually in the BIOS the IRQs (Interrupt ReQuests) for every ISA slot, you could enable/disable functionality using entire "boards" of jumpers, you did NOT have any fans that might toast the computer if failing. It was one funny playground. But computers of this type were running at 50MHz clocks at most, with the enormous RAM of 8Mb and some HUGE hard disks of half a Gb. With such a computer you can hardly even browse the web in the modern era (and I'm not talking about flash-laiden sites either). I don't see many complaining about the "untouchable" new computers. Why are cars any different? Simply because there has been a much broader tuning and DIY culture around them: hand-tinkerable computers were used almost exclusively by geeks while hand-tinkerable cars were used by the vast majority of adults.
    • shower faucets: you are right. A GOOD single-handle faucet costs more than the double of a simple dual one. The ceramic "mixer" is far more complex than 2 screw-type bronze valves. I tend to like them because they provide a simple "memory" of the mix I prefer to have and getting to that mix has the minimum possible latency: getting rid of the water inside the tubes. As you can imagine, I do not let the hot water run wastefully while I shampoo my hair (being 30cms long that is QUITE some time). The "memory" however can also be acheived by an additional "stop-run" valve after the faucet's outlet, typically just before the shower's handset. Since you seem to like the DIY activities, installing such a thing will take only a couple of minutes. Two-handle faucets are nowhere near "dead". As a matter of fact, both extremes of the market (really-cheap and really-expensive) are almost exclusively occupied by this "original" type.
    • no power-supply furnaces: I believe the issue at hands is far more generic than a furnace. Modern era life is almost completely dependant on electrical power. If you live in an area that electricity fails often, a small diesel generator to provide power for a few emergency services (ie. minimal safety light, heating and even digital phone) can be a lot better solution than an ageing, polluting and probably unsafe furnace.

    There is no Dopaminergic Pepperoni Kabal!
    stop run valve (none / 0) (#467)
    by Anonymous Hiro on Sun Feb 20, 2005 at 06:06:08 AM EST

    Wouldn't you need more valves? Otherwise if the two hot and cold water sources have different pressures, one would flow into the other?

    [ Parent ]
    Untouchable computers (none / 0) (#486)
    by m50d on Tue Mar 22, 2005 at 04:20:54 PM EST

    My computer isn't untouchable. I can overclock it any time I want to. I can rearrange the IRQs. I can even disable the fans if I want to. The only difference is, I have to do it in software through the bios setup screen. If cars could be tuned with a screen they included, I think his complaints would disappear. I would certainly complain enormously if I had to take my cpu into a shop to get it overclocked or otherwise tuned

    [ Parent ]
    This was (none / 0) (#460)
    by statichavoc on Tue Feb 15, 2005 at 11:16:47 PM EST

    quite the hilarious read... nice commentary versus your life experiences and the cheekyness towards mitsubishi and kia hehe... nice job.

    British Showers (none / 0) (#475)
    by libelula on Sun Feb 20, 2005 at 04:57:48 PM EST

    I don't know that I've ever noticed the difference between one shower knob and two knobs (other than aesthetic nostalgia) but since I've been in the UK, showers have been a delightful experience. Many showers consist of a thermostat box with dials for pressure and temperature. It's a perfect solution for apartments as the water is heated through the box somehow (I'm not a plumbing expert by any means) and is independent of any other hot water being used anywhere in the house. I don't know if these are available in the US, but here is a link to a picture and explanation. http://www.plumbworld.co.uk/194-1339

    New Technologies essential for economy (none / 0) (#476)
    by hemantm on Tue Feb 22, 2005 at 03:05:19 AM EST

    If we continue with good old technology, like steel gears in toys, the toys do not break fast, and need not be replaced.  Then how do manufacturers ensure that there is always a huge market for their products.  The product should be such that it does not last long. It should start giving trouble after some time so that consumers pay for the services or replace the product thus supporting the economy.

    A bigot without a spigot! (1.75 / 4) (#479)
    by raaabo on Thu Mar 03, 2005 at 06:30:02 AM EST

    You're funny, but you need to beaten over the head with the sensible stick!

    Firstly, not all “Asians” are “pencil-necked geeks” and “Chinamen”. I'm pencil-necked, I’m a geek, but I’m “Indian”, and there's almost as many of us as there are Chinese!

    I suggest you be a little less of a bigot, especially when on a public forum and when making racist remarks about half the world’s population—even if they stole your job because they were smarter and adapted to these dang new-fangled thingamajigs faster. Those remarks should be reserved for your cold living room, in your house on the cotton plantations, when reminiscing of the times when your daddy, and his shotgun, was feared by the workers with odd skin colours.

    Steel Gears: Expensive, inefficient, and use up resources that are better suited for bridges!

    Sandwiches: Make ‘em yourself. Or is that too much trouble? Nay, perhaps it’s just demeaning work, which is best left to the hired help. “Matilda, git that dark ass into the kitchen and make the missus and me a coupla good old fashioned dry meat sandwiches. And make sure to cut of the sides and feed it to poochie-woochie. Then you can have last weeks bread and some tap water for your supper!”

    Shoelaces: Yes I do miss those laces of yore, handmade by the slaves with cotton picked from your cotton fields… I do admit that I hate the cheaper nylon versions, but I guess you can’t afford them, what with losing your job to “pencil-necked geek Chinamen” and all that…

    T-shirts: You buy mass produced goods and expect customisation? “Damn all these foreigners invading my lands with weird body contours!”

    Volume Control Knobs: I agree that they’re easier to adjust, and would definitely prefer them in my car—if I could afford one that is. I’m just a poor third-world citizen!
    The part I’m unclear about is this frequency shifting business. Since when do broadcast frequencies shift around? I always thought that this was one of the problems with mechanical analogue tuners. They tended to be affected by motion and bumps and change their positions and thus give you the illusion that the frequency changed. Perhaps my logic is flawed here, but I can’t see million-dollar digital broadcasting equipment sending out signals that somewhere on the way decide, hey this 94.8 band sucks, let’s shift to “94.8200032010023445”.
    Frequencies can only be affected by the Doppler effect (so how fast is that Pontiac anyway?) or resonance. In which case digital tuners offer a precise fine tuning capable of tuning to 0.01 Mhz. Of course, accessing this function does require a degree in “Operation of digital thing-a-ma-jigs” (aka reading the user’s manual). You also probably won’t like the fact that the buttons are made for our damn tiny Asian/Third-worlder fingers, and that your huge paws just cannot operate fancy equipment anymore.

    Cars have gone from luxury to necessity. They’re made by robots, and not by humans. If you make it by hand you can repair it by hand. As with everything else you mentioned, it all boils down to sheer laziness! These inventions died because we needed something that would be less of a hassle, either to run or maintain. The cars, the furnaces, the two headed showers, et al., all were destroyed by the necessity for humans to do less, and do it even faster.

    Sure you’d be warmer when there was a power cut, but you’d be going crazy, working overtime to pay the utility bills. And how often do you have power cuts anyway?

    However, at the end of it all, I still enjoyed your article thoroughly—you have a great sense of humour. It was so sad to see the racial slurs; the comedy of it all was drowned out by thoughts of screaming white robed figures, waving torches and setting fire to shanties along the cotton fields.

    Raaabo

    Wow! (none / 0) (#480)
    by mcgrew on Fri Mar 04, 2005 at 06:50:22 AM EST

    Your first post was to my article. I'm honored! Now to your post...

    "not all "Asians" are "pencil-necked geeks" and "Chinamen". "

    I never said they were, now did I?

    "I'm "Indian", and there's almost as many of us as there are Chinese!"

    I never said Indians or Pakistanis couldn't be geeks, either. I mean, if I call the Scots a bunch of cheap bastards, does that offend the Jews?

    "I suggest you be a little less of a bigot"

    Actually, I'm trying hard to beconme as bigoted as I possibly can. Just because it pisses of people who piss me off.

    "even if they stole your job"

    That would be the Mexicans, I believe... damn but they're good at tassling corn.

    "Those remarks should be reserved for your cold living room"

    I'm in my living room! Your point?

    "Steel Gears: Expensive, inefficient, and use up resources that are better suited for bridges!"

    We have too damned many bridges already.

    "Sandwiches: Make `em yourself. Or is that too much trouble?"

    It is when I'm 100 miles from home.

    "I guess you can't afford them, what with losing your job to "pencil-necked geek Chinamen" and all that..."

    I already told you, Chinamen don't do farm work.

    "T-shirts: You buy mass produced goods and expect customisation?"

    No, I expect Chinese mass produced tshirts to fit as well as teh American mass produced tshirts. Now, as to tailored clothing, in 1974 when I was in Asia (stealing their jobs) I had an Indian tailor. Every damned week I had to have him adjust the clothing, because I never satyed the same shape. I absolutely hated those tailored shirts. I enjoyed getting high with the tailor, though.

    "Damn all these foreigners invading my lands with weird body contours!"

    No, it's more like "damned asshats, couldn't they have stolen both sides of the damned pattern? Lazy asshats!

    "I always thought that this was one of the problems with mechanical analogue tuners."

    No, the atmosphere acts like a lens/prism, often "bending" the waves, esp. when you're at the fringe.

    Once in college in Edwardsville, with my kiler Asian stereo I'd bought from the pencil necked geeks in Asia, I was listening to the 10 watt college radio station in Forest Park, and freaked teh DJs (who had been talking about how glad they were that nobody could hear their cursing, being only 10 watts) by calling them and telling them where I was.

    Yes, it was a very good reciever, but had it been a digital reciever (there was no such thing at the time) there is no way I could have picked that station up.

    "Cars have gone from luxury to necessity. They're made by robots."

    True. If they were designed by robots, rather than by idiots, I'd cut them some slack. But I stand by the statement that having to disassemble the entire grille to change a headlight is dumb, dumb, stupid, idiotic, and moronic.

    "...it all boils down to sheer laziness!"

    Maybe... I thought it boiled down to stupidity and evilness.

    "And how often do you have power cuts anyway?"

    Not often, and usually only for a minute. But when I lived in the house with the gravity furnace, we did have an outage in the middle of winter, due to an ice storm, that lasted all night. I was glad for my old gravity furnace!

    "However, at the end of it all, I still enjoyed your article thoroughly--you have a great sense of humour."

    Thank you!

    "It was so sad to see the racial slurs"

    What's sad is that we aren't allowed to joke about other races or cultures without the Political Correctness Police coming in to raise hell. Unless, of course, the other culture is America, and the other race is Caucasion, in which case it's ok to slur as much as you want.

    I dislike political correctness almost as much as I dislike hypocracy. And as to the Asians, I've never met many Asians I didn't like. Wait, I forgot about those rude-assed Japanese asshats, Jesus those people are rude! They make the French look polite by comparison. The Thais, by contrast, are the friendliest people on this planet, bar none. And the second politest, right behind the (moneyed) British.

    "The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
    [ Parent ]

    Even sadder still... (none / 0) (#481)
    by raaabo on Sat Mar 05, 2005 at 03:02:19 AM EST

    "What's sad is that we aren't allowed to joke about other races or cultures without the Political Correctness Police coming in to raise hell. Unless, of course, the other culture is America, and the other race is Caucasion, in which case it's ok to slur as much as you want."

    What's sadder still is that you see them as different races. I thought we were all running the human race!

    I hate the term "Caucasian" as much as, "Black", "African-American", "Paki" or "Asian-American". It would be so much better if we didn't notice skin colours; so much better if everyone was either American, Indian, Chinese, etc.

    I've met some really polite French people, and even politer Japanese citizens. I have also met only one Thai, and he cheated me out of money, and the Britons I know range from genuine polite people to the biggest bastards! But that doesn't give me the right to sort them into neat little piles of good and bad, based solely on my limited personal experiences.

    Raaabo

    [ Parent ]
    Aw, come on (none / 0) (#482)
    by xaccrocheur on Mon Mar 14, 2005 at 09:38:39 PM EST

    Quoting you

    "I've met some really polite French people, and even politer Japanese citizens. I have also met only one Thai, and he cheated me out of money, and the Britons I know range from genuine polite people to the biggest bastards! But that doesn't give me the right to sort them into neat little piles of good and bad, based solely on my limited personal experiences. "

    Yes you CAN, for the sake of HUMOUR.
    For anyone's sake, I'm French, and I'm not polite :) So sort us frenchs away, we might learn something about us, and anyway, it'll be funny (it HAS to, otherwise this is just racist bullshit, and I saw NOTHING even close here in the top-level stories, believe me, you would know, it smells really BAD).
    Humour is quite a good tool for pointing out differences, and as someones said "you can laugh about everything, but not with everybody"
    My interpretation of this quote is that, when you catch yourself being offended by something genuinely funny, you lose, and someone else wins.

    Come on !
    I'm listening to "the hitch-hicking guide to the galaxy" by D. Adams, produced by the BBC, (a company that is both evil-stupid and light-casting intelligent, go figure brits:) right now, and it relies heavily on making fun of other races in the galaxy ! Please, relax.

    pX from Paris (yes, your average le-french bastard, filthy fucker, egotic lazy cheap loud-talker. Hell, that's just the way we are. You too would LOVE it:)

    [ Parent ]

    But.. (none / 0) (#490)
    by abhijitpai on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 03:29:19 AM EST

    The average Frenchman knows English ?

    [ Parent ]
    Read again (none / 0) (#493)
    by xaccrocheur on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 02:58:03 AM EST

    It's not really english :)

    [ Parent ]
    What about TOILETS? (none / 0) (#488)
    by darklurker on Thu May 19, 2005 at 10:21:53 AM EST

    Hey, WHY can't I, a taxpaying American, get a toilet that flushes worth a shit? That's what I miss - toilets that could flush a freaking telephone pole without clogging up like these new pussy-assed eco-friendly toilets. It's not like the extra gallons won't eventually EVAPORATE at the sewage treatment plant and rejoin the water cycle. The flush water doesn't disappear down a black-hole into another universe, it just flows down the pipes to another place on planet Earth.

    Curious (none / 0) (#492)
    by dogeye on Fri Sep 23, 2005 at 02:09:29 AM EST

    There isn't one thing on this list that I miss. Maybe it's because I'm too young to miss them. A 2 handled shower seems less accurate than a 1 handled shower to me. Sounds like you need to embrace technology a little more.

    Useful Dead Technologies | 491 comments (449 topical, 42 editorial, 0 hidden)
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