Thursday, July 24, 2014

Thoughts on Moscow

Here are a few of my thoughts on the whole issue with Eastern Ukraine:

Based upon some rather mundane reports from The Moscow Times, one could conclude that Putin is looking to shore-up his ICBM defenses (because you just KNOW they're the only thing keeping "us" from invdaing, and not because they don't really have anything we want anyway). Or at the very least, to try and find a reason to appropriate (verb) a highly successful, profitable, and strategically important asset.

Keep in mind that the Ukraine gave-away its nuclear arsenal after Russia agreed to not invade, and you have to wonder if the Russians are concerned about the Ukrainians recreating their nuclear deterrent.

"Russia's dependence on Ukrainian defense imports is a by-product of the collapse of the former Soviet Union. When the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic became an independent state in 1991, Kiev found itself in possession of vital Soviet-era defense industry assets such as the Yuzhmash factory in Eastern Ukraine, which produces space rockets, satellites and missiles along with machinery for civilian uses."

""Another off-nominal situation with a space craft is a sign of a systematic crisis in the industry," research chief at the Institute for Space Politics Ivan Moiseyev told Izvestia."

ICBM = Spacecraft with nuclear warhead

The R-36 (Russianла-36) is a family of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and space launch vehicles designed by the Soviet Union during the Cold War. The original R-36 was produced under the Soviet industry designation 8K67 and was given the NATO reporting name SS-9 Scarp. It was able to carry three warheads and was the first Soviet MIRV (multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle) missile.

Production history
ManufacturerYuzhny Machine-Building Plant

The A.M. Makarov Southern Machine-Building Plant, or PA Yuzhmash  is a Ukrainian manufacturer of space rocketsagricultural equipmentbusestrolley busestramswind turbines, and satellites that was inherited from the Soviet Union. It is a large state-owned company located in Dnipropetrovsk.

 In addition to production facilities in Dnipropetrovsk, Pivdenne Production Association includes the Pavlohrad Mechanical Plant, which specialized in producing solid-fuel missiles.

The Dnepr LV is intended for timely high-accurate injection of a single spacecraft (SC) or a group of various SCs with total mass of up to 3.7 t into the near-Earth orbits of 300-900 km altitude and 50.5°, 64.5°, 87.3°and 98° inclination. 

It is created on the basis of the most powerful in the world ICBM RS-20 (SS-18 Satana) having high power capability and reliability confirmed by 160 launches (including 8 launches under the Dnepr program). 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

House M.D.

First, let me state that I love the show, and I love the actors.

Having said that, there are some glaring issues that I want to address.

1. At the beginning of season 4, there is a whole large group of applicants that want to work with House. But Foreman is having trouble getting a job because of his association with House. Therefore, these people must have some sort of issue that keeps them from getting hired elsewhere (like the guy with no actual medical degree). Otherwise, they would not WANT to associate themselves with House, ESPECIALLY after realizing what happened with Foreman. This means that everyone who applied, but didn't end up working with him, is probably flipping burgers somewhere.

2. Using the above argument, Cuddy holds all the cards. She must know it, House must know it. He's unemployable anywhere else, but he walks all over her. Why?

3. How has this guy not been fired or sued into unemployment? I mean really. While on the subject of House.....

Monday, June 16, 2014

June 2014

On a recent trip to Brunswick......

"Moss! You've got to see this! It's Jen's old boyfriend!"
 At Bowdoin College...


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Bottled Water

Just one of the many reasons I can't bring myself to pay for bottled water.

Friday, May 30, 2014


My kryptonite: hot geek girls.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Macroeconomics Simplified: Factory Capacity

Utilizing the previous post:

Let's for a minute say that factory capacity in the example is at 100%. In that case, even if everyone involved wants to spend 'more' money, and increase the GDP by increasing the velocity of money, they would be unable to do so, as there wouldn't be more "stuff" to buy.

Let's say person #2 has a factory running at 100%. Person #1 wants to buy more stuff from him and give him more money, but he can't. The best he can do is pay more for the items he can get (supply and demand). This causes inflation.

Now if person #2 expands his factory, or makes it more efficient, than #1 can buy more stuff, paying #2 more money, who then goes and spends money with #3, etc, increasing the GDP and improving the economy.

If the factory however is only running at 50% and not increasing, then there is something wrong with the process. Is person #3 not spending his funds, slowing the economy? Is person #2 not buying more products, because there are already too many in the system? Over capacity then leads to lower prices and deflation (see Great Depression). The economy spirals downward as #2 buys less from #3, as his prices are forced lower, or he's forced to cut expenditures due to overhead (the costs of running his company).

Ideally, factory capacity then needs to be high enough to provide income and profit for the owner, while being far enough from peak capacity to lead to inflation and/or stagnation of the economy. Parts of macroeconomics deals with just where this ideal point is located.

Laundry in Portland

I'm in the process of finding a laundromat in Portland that I like. I've tried two, I think I may try a third this afternoon, and thought I'd post my ratings:

Garden Island: very late hours, convenient, plenty of space and machines. However, it smelled funny, there didn't appear to be anyone on duty for assistance, and some of the machines didn't work right.

Union Station: clean, convenient to shopping and restaurants so you have something to do when you're waiting for a machine to finish. Had an attendant. However it was very crowded, the room is narrow and often standing-room only, and the locale is frequented by vagrants and homeless (if I had money guys, I wouldn't be using a laundromat, stop asking).

Pratt Abbott: found one! Clean, new machines, good relative prices. Bonus: ever have to do laundry for 20 people? They have a washing machine you can climb into. It's bigger than those dryers every laundromat has. It's insane. Comes with a warning label to make sure no one has climbed-into it before use, because they will die. If I had my cell, I would have taken a picture for you. Alas, the battery is recharging.