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Other Interesting Things from the Web

July 9, 2013

Here’s what remains of the smaller entries from the old site:

Two Factor Political Theory

Just like in temperament theory, politics has also been given a two factor matrix. In personality, most people know of introversion and extroversion, but people vs. task focus is not as well known. This would be helpful, as that second dimension actually tells us how much the person really accepts others. So likewise, politics is always viewed as left and right. The second factor now, is libertarian vs. authoritarian. This makes sense, because both Hitler and Stalin were very alike in being authoritarian. But one was far Right, and the other far Left. Because of the battle with socialism, we have generally come to associate authoritarianism with the Left only. Hence this maintains the illusion of the one dimension only. So many conservatives will actually try to link Hitler and Naziism with the Left. (Making it more confusing is that “Nazi” stood for “National Socialist“. Still, its agenda was very right wing). Likewise, the libertarians here may sound like conservatives since they likewise argue for less government. So, many people liken the so-called “neo-cons” (who aim to use more govt. as the vehicle of promoting conservative values) as closet leftists, but all they really are is solid rightists who are simply higher up on the “authoritarian” scale”.
These two sites offer a test (much like the personality tests online) to see where you stand, as well as explaining the concept. On Political Compass, I came out left of center, and nearly on the line between libertarian and authoritarian. (slightly on the side of authoritarian. Like personality tests, there were many questions I felt did not have enough choices).

Political Compass

Air Powered Car

While they say they are trying to reduce emissions (and even forcing all the old two-cycle Detroit Diesel engines to be retired), the biggest thing they are pushing is the combustion/electric hybrid, which combines a conventional, but smaller engine with electric propulsion. It’s like they’ve still got to keep that noxious burning fuel in there, as they did not seem to be able to perfect the all-electric drive. That was what I was looking forward to. I’ve seen a an all electric Toyota Rav 4 (NYC Dept. of Enviornmental Protection), and rode on a small all electric downtown shuttle bus (Norfolk Electric Transit, in Virginia) once; but bus and car technnology is going with the hybrid drive. At the time I wrote this, NYC was testing a hybrid bus that uses the combustion less; to charge the battery only, which then is used for the propulsion. [2013, a completely electric test bus is supposedly on order].

Otherwise, Fuel Cells seem like a nice idea as well; water vapor as the exhaust! They don’t seem to talk much about that thing exploding, and if a crash will set it off, like with liquid fuel. The most I read of it is that the explosion is just a “poof”, and that’s it. No fire, because the hydrogen dissipates, unlike burning liquid fuel that spills on the ground burning everything in the area. Still, they don’t say how big this “poof” is, and what it does to us, sitting right over the tank, located under the seats!

Anyway, I found this article on an engine that runs completely off of AIR! Hard to believe that is something that is apparently possible, yet nobody seems to be even thinking of it. Since both electric and air power are something that do not give the power needed yet, why not a compromise, with a hybrid technology between those two: an air assisted electric drive!

HunterDouglas Silhouette hybrid blinds/shade

“Versatile Silhouette® window shadings, with the Signature S-Vane™, suspend fabric vanes between two sheer fabric facings”. It is the coolest window covering I have ever seen. When lowered, it works exactly like a Venetian blind, except the vanes are made of fabric and suspended between two sheer coverings. When you pull the string to close them, the blind is now flat, and get this, as you continue pulling the string, it then rolls up into a headrail like a shade!
I first saw this at the Home Depot that opened up in Manhattan. For a normal sized window, it would be about $400, though, and it has to be custom sized, so it might not be good unless you are staying at a house for a long time. It is however another one of those nice ideas that would be nice to have. Other such nice-ities I see at Home Depot or other places are single drum front-loading combination washer/dryers (Equator, Malber, LG, and a cheaper one from upstart brand Haier that the sales person said takes four hours to dry).

Kick Map:

The map on the right was an excellent subway map design, from KICK Design that we discovered a few years ago. It uses the 1979 colors, but represents each line separately–like the 1967-76 maps did, using the older color scheme. The other major highlight is the use of different colors to highlight different neighborhoods! I and many others loved the idea, and it has been suggested to MTA, but they seem to prefer the current Tauranac designed one.
The use of slightly different shades for each line was an idea I sent in to them. I afterwards revised it so that the line shading would reflect times of operation (lighter shades for part time, etc), but IIRC, this was done right after my initial suggestion.

This map has gained some popularity, becoming a common mobile app.

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