Good Morning Campers
Lots and lots of stuff in today’s issue. Stuff to make you laugh, stuff to make you say hmm, stuff to amaze and entertain you.
I’m working very LONG shifts this weekend, so I don’t have a lot of time to stay here in the campground and talk. I’ll let you guys get right to it!
Now, before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s tune in to where we left off with our winged hero. As you may recall, he was just notified of something untoward happening back at headquarters.
Later in the issue, we will have some “cartoons” that demonstrate and poke fun at our current administrations ability to govern properly. But, before we get to that, I have to share this article with you that Jean sent into us.
7 Mind-blowing technologies the US government has made illegal
As a much more cynical teenager, I decided that it would be impossible in a free society for companies, no matter how large, to suppress powerful technology – especially when you have many companies in the same field dealing with the same technology. Heck, millions of dollars were spent by companies to keep pizzas hot while they delivered them to you.
Then, as an adult, I discovered the real truth – there are plenty of amazing things that are out there that can’t be brought to the market due to simple government over-regulation. Just like MTV killed rock ‘n roll, federal regulations are doing a good job of killing ingenuity.
Give up, just quit, because in this life, you can’t win. Yeah, you can try, but in the end you’re just gonna lose, big time, because the world is run by the Man. The Man, oh, you don’t know the Man. He’s everywhere. In the White House… down the hall… Ms. Mullins, she’s the Man. And the Man ruined the ozone, he’s burning down the Amazon, and he kidnapped Shamu and put her in a chlorine tank! And there used to be a way to stick it to the Man. It was called rock ‘n roll, but guess what, oh no, the Man ruined that, too, with a little thing called MTV! So don’t waste your time trying to make anything cool or pure or awesome ’cause the Man is just gonna call you a fat washed up loser and crush your soul.
Jack Black – School of Rock
So, here is our list of 7amazing technologies that are illegal right here in the U.S.
#7 – Fuel-Efficient Cars
“Oh, come on now, we have fuel efficient cars! My Focus gets 38 miles per gallon!”
That will be the first angry email or comment I get from this entire article. I’ve been told this line by many people about their Focus, Prius or Insight.
Yet somehow, for the most part the United States has seemingly gone backwards in terms of fuel economy for vehicles. Back in the 80s and early 90s, it was possible to find a vehicle that would produce nearly 50mpg in real-world performance. Vehicles like the Metro, Sprinter and CRX. Up until recently, VW still put out a few vehicles that would get over 50mpg, but since the EPA has changed laws against diesel, VW no longer has much interest in producing fuel-efficient diesels here in the US.
The proof of fuel efficient cars built in other countries isn’t too hard to find. VW Makes the Passat 1.6 TDI which blows any US made car out of the water with an average of 76 miles per gallon utilizing the UK’s version of fuel efficiency testing. If this vehicle would be brought to the US and driven, MPG ratings would likely be much higher. The method used in England uses primarily urban driving without any miles given to long distance highways, the kind that 60% of Americans utilize every day. Using some simple fuel saving methods and longer roadway usage, the TDI could get up to 80 or even 90 miles per imperial gallon when in use on this side of the pond.
It isn’t just European automakers. America’s own Ford produces the ECOnetic,which is a variation of the Fiesta for the European market. It boasts a combined MPG rating of 74 to 76 miles per gallon. It, however can not be produced – or even imported to the United States due to strict “environmental laws” (For some reason, using one petroleum distillate like diesel is barbaric, while gasoline somehow is much better).
So, as it stands now, we’re stuck with underwhelming performers like the Prius and other hybrid abominations until someone does something to overturn EPA rules on diesel, or NHTSA rules regarding smaller, light weight cars. Maybe while we’re at it, we could finally let companies use advanced composites to build cars and replace mandated steel.
#6 – Outer Space
We LOVE space (hence the website name). However, as it stands right now, there are absolutely monumental restrictions for private individuals as well as companies to go to space.
Recently, many videos have been appearing on Youtube where people send different things “To Space” by way of hydrogen balloon lifting a cooler. Some examples are here, here and here. They are great examples of the ingenuity of Americans who want to send things to the upper atmosphere and claim some fame.
The sad thing is…Every one of these cases that we can find is illegal. In order to send a cooler to space, you need clearance from the FAA to go above a certain altitude. There are also MANY restrictions on things such as radio wave emission, altitude and many other things. In reality, the vast majority of these civilian balloon ‘space shots’ are illegal. Thankfully the FAA hasn’t fined anyone…Yet, but eventually it will happen, ending everyone’s fun. One great example of someone getting fined by the FAA for this very thing was the man who attached balloons to a chair and flew up to 15,000 feet – Larry Walters. Poor Larry was fined $4,000 for not having the proper permits. Far more than his 15 minutes of fame gained him.
It gets worse though. Not only are civilians not allowed to send things like an Iphone or beer to space, but private space companies are becoming the target of overwhelmingly tough legislation.
The worst example is SpaceX. The company that is in the forefront of commercial space development is coming under more scrutiny by the US government. In the forefront is the odd requirements to “Human Rate” equipment. Based on some recent statements by NASA, they want SpaceX capsules (like the Dragon) to be 100 to 200 times more reliable than the absolute best space vehicles that NASA can produce. This is quite absurd, and if things don’t change will make it much harder for space to be commercialized. Can you imagine the federal government mandating that all new cars be 100 times safer? It’s practically impossible, and therefore essentially makes such a thing illegal.
#5 – Cheap, Reliable Meltdown Proof Nuclear Reactors
Imagine that some day, the world no longer has a need for additional electricity generation. No more brownouts or blackouts, electricity has become immensely cheap to produce. This energy is produced by something extremely clean and abundant, in fact the United States has the capacity to power the world for the next thousand years.
Now , imagine that this technology was almost perfected in the late 1960s and 1970s but put on the shelf due to government regulations.
Unlike a typical nuclear power plant that Utilizes enriched Uranium as its primary fuel source. LFTRs produce almost no hazardous waste and are meltdown proof. Not only do they not produce significant amounts of radioactive waste, they can actually burn the waste generated from current nuclear power plants as the source. The little amount of waste that is produced has a phenomenally short half life – 30.7 years. This compared to the half life of U-238 which is 24,000 years is an amazing thing. As an added bonus, there is some economic value to the byproducts of LFTRs (Cesium 137 and Strontium 90) that virtually no waste would need to be buried or otherwise disposed of, it could be used for beneficial purposes.
Finally, the most important thing is that thorium is cheap and readily available in the United States. In fact, we’ve got enough to power the world for a very long time. Thorium is so cheap that you can find it at your local WalMart or Harbor Freight. They currently use it as wicking for camp stoves and for welding. The alpha particles it emits are almost harmless (That is unless you readily eat the stuff) so you don’t have to worry about some sort of cancer from exposure.
While LFTRs aren’t completely illegal to build (yet) the government has made them for all purposes impossible to build. Right now, anyone wanting to develop one is likely to spend $10 billion dollars in planning, permits and pre-construction costs before even being approved by the government. Let’s be serious, who would spend that kind of money for a ‘Maybe’ from the federal government?
One article reader provided some great thoughts on the PRISM reactor which is a bit different than the LFTR. Instead of being a thorium-based reactor, it is something called a Integral Fast Reactor. The Clinton administration canceled the IFR project that was underway and left it for “Private companies to accomplish”. Sadly, even though Hitachi has developed a IFR for use in the United States. The NRC is overly dragging their feat on it. Requiring massive, and almost unattainable expenses to build it.
It seems the UK will be deploying one in the near future, but there is no plan to deploy one at any time in the future. From current estimates, the UK reactor will be able to provide 600mw of continual output for OVER 500 years. Running on nothing but nuclear waste.
#4 – Long Range WiFi
Ever get tired of dropped wifi coverage? How about the fact that your wifi router can barely make it through a few walls before the signal is almost useless.
Interestingly enough, with a quick firmware upgrade of most wireless routers, this can be fixed. By increasing power by a reasonable amount, you can get quite a bit more range from your personal wifi router.
Unfortunately, this is quite illegal.
Sadly, WiFi routers in the USA are limited to a total of 1 watt of effective radiated power (ERP).
Sure, it’s important to be safe with microwave energy (which is what all wifi routers emit) however 1 watt ERP is almost nothing. With a $25 amateur radio license, magically the government seems to think that a person is capable of handling 200 times this output.
In some cases, off the shelf, highly effective antennas make a run of the mill router highly illegal. I don’t know about you, but I figure it would be nice if it was legal to have a router that could make it through two or three walls before becoming completely impotent.
#3 – Cheap Drugs That Don’t Kill People
We really don’t want to put on a hemp sweater, wear patchouli cologne or live on a organic farm, but let’s be serious for a minute about drugs in the US.
There are MANY types of medicinal herbs that are illegal in the US that have amazingly great uses that they shouldn’t be ignored. However the government has decided to make as many as illegal as possible.
The number one of course is marijuana.
Naturally occurring, extraordinarily easy to grow marijuana can replace over 150 various prescription drugs.
We could post the whole list here, but the two BIGGEST things ailments that this weed can treat are : Autism and Migraines
Yes, autism can be treated with good ‘ol pot. Maybe Cheech and Chong were on to something, but more and more reports are coming in about the amazing effects of treating severe autism cases with this naturally occurring weed. Take for instance one a well known autism advocate, Mieko Hester-Perez. Her child was near death from severe autism. At age 10, her son was down to a mere 46 pounds. She had tried every single prescription drug that was available, at a extreme financial cost. Then she tried something radical – marijuana.
She started to feed her child small doses of marijuana in things like cookies and brownies. Suddenly her severely autistic child started to act normal. Something that no drug on the market (or in trial for that matter) could do. He started to gain weight and started to show amazing intellect. Free of tics and other things that would normally scar a child afflicted with autism. After a while, her ‘dealer’ was arrested, and her supply of pot dried up. The child quickly went back to severe ticks, becoming completely uncontrollable. The severe proof was there – A few milligrams of pot every 2 to 3 days did more than a bouquet of drugs multiple times per day.
In addition to marijuana, there are several other naturally organic plants that have medicinal value, that are also highly illegal. Some Psychedelic mushrooms can treat OCD and Cluster headaches. Coca extract is a extremely effective Topical Anesthetic as well as a laxative and also treats motion sickness.
To further prove a point about the absurdity of regulations against plants. Another case and point would be the FDA’s attempt to regulate walnuts.
Yes, that’s right, walnuts.
A company called Diamond recently ran a advertising campaign on the health benefits of walnuts. The FDA wasn’t too happy about this and decided that it wanted to regulate walnuts as a drug. If they would have went through with the plan, walnuts would have been highly regulated, requiring permits to sell and made it difficult to buy.
In the end, through massive public outrage, the FDA settled and did not regulate walnuts, instead settling for a massive lawsuit against Diamond which resulted in them being unable to say that “Walnuts are healthy”.
So, why are naturally occurring weeds that could improve life for many people at phenomenally cheap prices illegal? We don’t know, but they are.
#2 – Converting nuclear waste to energy
One of the most regular arguments I see by individuals who hate nuclear energy is “What do we do with the waste!” Common knowledge seems to dictate that all nuclear reactors generate mountains of highly radioactive waste each year, all of which is impossible to deal with and will be toxic for tens of thousands of years.
The thing about this statement is if you truly think about the problem, you’d likely come to a different conclusion than the standard ‘common knowledge’ about nuclear power. If nuclear power plants use enriched, highly radioactive nuclear fuel to make energy, then why is the nuclear waste which is still radioactive not used?
Well, the answer is pretty simple – In the US it’s actually illegal to do anything with nuclear waste other than to bury it. (Thanks Jimmy Carter).
Outside of the US, it isn’t true. France has repeatedly asked for the US to sell them our nuclear fuel. Yes, that’s right, the fuel we’re literally spending billions of dollars on to bury in the ground could be sold to another country. France has much nicer, newer reactors as compared to what the US has, and many of their reactors can use lower quality fuel (The stuff our reactors put out as waste). This results in extraordinarily minimal waste in the nuclear process.
To take it a step further, a company in the US called TerraPower is building something called a traveling-wave reactor. This kind of reactor not only would burn virtually all radioactive waste and convert it to electricity, but it also can take completely un-enriched uranium and plutonium and convert it to power. A truly mindblowing technology when they complete their project. As a side note, Bill Gates is one of their biggest investors as he feels it could supply poor countries with extraordinarily cheap, clean electricity.
There’s just one problem with the wave reactor too. It’s illegal in the US because it could burn the waste too!
#1 – Carbon Nanotubes
Out of all these technologies listed, none would impact every single human being. Not everyone drives a car, not everyone uses wifi and not every person needs access to pot.
CNTs , or Carbon Nano Tubes would radically alter the life of every human being on earth.
What are carbon nano-tubes? They are exactly what the name suggests – Small tubes made of carbon. These little things have a amazingly long laundry list of feats. They can produce batteries that almost never run out, body armor that would never break, real life powered armor (like the kind Ripley used in Aliens) and ships that could never sink. Car bodies that can not be damaged from wrecks, clothes that never wear out and buildings that can be built to any height.
In the forefront of the uses though is the immense ability of CNTs to be utilized to produce batteries. In some early testing, batteries produced by CNTs are so energy dense, that a small 1 cubic foot block battery would store enough energy for a car to drive over TWO THOUSAND MILES on a single charge (Source #1, Source #2,Source #3). On top of that, the batteries can be charged near instantly, taking as much power as can be provided to the batteries.
CNTs would make any renewable technology like wind or solar instantly viable as energy storage is one of the largest hurdles with such technologies.
Sadly, the viability window for CNTs is already 10 to 20 years away. They can be produced, but are immensely expensive (About 20 million dollars for a vehicle battery). However costs every few years decrease by half. In the early 90s, such a battery would have cost nearly 1 billion dollars.
Now, with carbon nano tubes on the horizon, our own EPA is worried that there’s a chance that they could cause cancer (Source #2).
So, before anyone has heard of this world-altering technology, the government is already researching ways that they could make it illegal. Some government bureaucrats want to put it in the same risk category as PCBs and asbestos!
In the end, we’re not against all governmental regulation. We do however feel that the limitations are becoming increasingly absurd and is stifling human growth. To add to this, the United States isn’t the only country who is actively regulating ground breaking technologies or making obscure laws. Recently the EU stated that it is illegal to claim that water can cure dehydration. They have also effectively outlawed incandescent lighting, and the facebook “Like” button.
Okay, I know for a FACT, that our Baileigh knows each and every one of these:
Mind Games for Dogs…
1. After your humans give you a bath, DON’T LET THEM TOWEL DRY YOU!
Instead, run to their bed, jump up and dry yourself off on the sheets. This is especially good if it’s right before your human’s bedtime.
2. Act like a convicted criminal. When the humans come home, put your ears back, tail between your legs, chin down and act as if you have done something really bad. Then, watch as the humans frantically search the house for the damage they think you have caused. (Note: This only works when you have done absolutely nothing wrong.)
3. Let the humans teach you a brand new trick. Learn it perfectly. Then the humans try to demonstrate it to someone else, stare blankly back at the humans. Pretend you have no idea what they’re talking about.
4. Draw attention to the human. When out for a walk always pick the busiest, most visible spot to go ‘poo’. Take your time and make sure everyone watches. This works particularly well if your humans have forgotten to bring a plastic bag.
5. When out for a walk, alternate between choking and coughing every time a strange human walks by.
6. Make your own rules. Don’t always bring back the stick when playing fetch with the humans. Make them go and chase it once in a while.
7. Hide from your humans. When your humans come home, don’t greet them at the door. Instead, hide from them, and make them think something terrible has happened to you. (Don’t reappear until one of your humans is panic-stricken and close to tears).
8. When your human calls you to come back in, always take your time. Walk as slowly as possible back to the door.
This is a multi-benefit exercise program. Our security personnel, obviously, get really good exercise by not allowing themselves to be eaten, while the dragon learns patience and to pace himself. We really don’t want the dragons to eat our security people, but the security people don’t need to know that.
Ted is sounding more and more presidential every time I hear or read about him.
There I was sitting at the bar staring at my drink when a large, trouble-making biker steps up next to me, grabs my drink and gulps it down in one swig.
“Well, what are you gonna do about it?” he says,menacingly, as I burst into tears.
“Come on, man,” the biker says, “I didn’t think you’d CRY. I can’t stand to see a man crying.”
“This is the worst day of my life,” I say. “I’m a complete failure. I was late to a meeting and my boss fired me.
When I went to the parking lot, I found my car had been stolen and I don’t have any insurance. I left my wallet in the cab I took home. I found my wife with another man… and then my dog bit me.
“So I came to this bar to work up the courage to put an end to it all. I buy a drink, I drop a capsule in and sit here watching the poison dissolve; and then you show up and drink the whole damn thing!”
But, hell, enough about me.
How are you doing?”
I couldn’t help but overhear two guys in their mid-twenties while sitting at the bar last night.
One of the guys says to his buddy: “Man you look tired.”
His buddy says , “Man I’m exhausted. My girlfriend and I have sex all the time. She’s after me 3 and 4 times a day,I just don’t know what to do.”
A fellow about my age (70+), sitting a couple of stools down, also overheard the conversation. He looked over at the two young men and with the wisdom of years says:
“Marry her. That’ll put a stop to that shit.”
Firemen and police from all over joined in a “team effort” to rescue a young girl stuck in a steel fence.
Ginny has blessed us with a great list of things that men are like. Now, some of these I agree wholeheartedly with, and some of the others….well….not so much. But, I leave it up to you to figure out which are which. So, here we go…
Men Are Like…
Men are like…Bike helmets. Handy in an emergency, but otherwise they just
Men are like…Blenders. You need one, but you’re not quite sure why.
Men are like…Commercials. You can’t believe a word they say.
Men are like…Computers. Hard to figure out and never have enough memory.
Men are like…Coolers. Load them with beer and you can take them anywhere.
Men are like…Government bonds. They take so long to mature.
Men are like…High heels. They’re easy to walk on once you get the hang of it.
Men are like…Horoscopes. They always tell you what to do and are usually
Men are like…Lava lamps. Fun to look at, but not all that bright.
Men are like…Mascara. They usually run at the first sign of emotion.
Men are like…Plungers. They spend most of their lives in a hardware store
or the bathroom.
Men are like…Used Cars. Both are easy-to-get, cheap, and unreliable.
Men are like…Weather. Nothing can be done to change either one of them
And that, sadly, is the absolute truth!
RULES OF BEDROOM GOLF
1. Each player shall furnish his own equipment for play.
2. Play must be permitted by the owner of the hole.
3. Unlike outdoor golf, the object is to get the club in the hole and keep the balls out.
4. For most effective play, the club should have a firm shaft. Course owners are permitted to check shaft stiffness before play begins.
5. Course owners reserve the right to restrict club length to avoid damage to the hole.
6. The object of the game is to take as many strokes as necessary until the course owner is satisfied that play is completed. Failure to do so may result in being denied permission to play the course again.
7. It is considered bad form to begin playing the hole immediately upon arrival at the course. The experienced player will normally take time to admire the entire course with special attention to well-formed bunkers.
8. Players are cautioned not to mention other courses they have played, or are currently playing, to the owner of the course being played. Angry course owners have been known to damage players’ equipment for this reason.
9. Players are encouraged to bring proper rain gear for their own protection.
10. Players should ensure that the match has been properly scheduled, particularly when a new course is being played for the first time. Previous players have been known to become irate if they discover someone else playing on what they considered to be a private course.
11. Players should not assume a course is in shape for play at all times. Some players may be embarrassed if they find the course to be temporarily under repair. Players are advised to be extremely tactful in this situation. More advanced players will find alternative means of play when this is the case.
12. The course owner is responsible for manicuring and pruning any bush around the hole to allow for improved viewing of alignment with, and approach to the hole.
13. Players are advised to obtain the course owner’s permission before attempting to play the back nine.
14. Slow play is encouraged. However, players should be prepared to proceed at a quicker pace, at least temporarily, at the course owner’s request.
15. It is considered outstanding performance, time permitting, to play the same hole several times in one match.
Lethal nods. “Yup. We got attacked with Flying Flaming Monkey Feces on Devil’s Night. You do sort of have to give her begrudging props for going with a reinvented form of a classic prank”
And that’s where we’ll leave off for today.
Wednesday is Veteran’s Day, so do not expect a continuation of our story line until next Saturday. And until then, be well, be happy and be safe.
You weren’t kidding about all the good “STUFF” in this issue. Sorry to hear you are working all weekend…but you gave us plenty to laff about all weekend.
Thanks Ginny. I’m glad you enjoyed it.
Expect great things out of Lethal Leprechaun for his Veteran’s Day issue! It’s always one of my favorites.
I know how much Veterans Day means to him…and look forward to the issue.