Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Aftermath

I'm copying this entire post from Paul over at Wizbang. I hope he understands becau it is an excellent read and everyone needs to heed his message.

A Note to My Fellow Bloggers and the MSM

To: My Fellow Bloggers and most of the MSM

From: Paul at Wizbang on behalf of himself and serving as self-appointed spokesman for Hurricane Katrina victims everywhere.

With all due respect guys and gals... Chill out.

I've never seen one event inspire so many silly posts. Many of you need to put down the mouse and walk away. ;-)

I've seen the same blogger complain both that the coverage of Katrina was "Hurricane Porn" beforehand and in a separate post whine that the media did not do enough to convince people that they should have evacuated.... You can't have it both ways.

I fully understand if bloggers were disallowed from complaining about the media and politicians, that modem and broadband sales would suffer double digit sales slumps.... But take a break.

If you think you are more qualified to run the city then the people running it, then by all means when the next election cycle comes around, come on down and throw your hat in the ring. If you think you could have stopped the hurricane if only everyone had listened to you... well I can't help ya.

There'll be plenty of time to show off your 20/20 hindsight next week. For now, accept this for what it is... a natural disaster of biblical proportions.

If you want to do something, quit yer whining and do what blogs and bloggers do best... Use information to change the world.

99% of us have no idea how our neighborhoods did. Somebody try to find and compile (reliable) damage reports from specific neighborhoods. Sure it takes some local knowledge, but google maps will fill in the blanks. [Update: The levee broke and the whole damn town flooded so I guess we can check this one off the list.]

We don't know how FEMA works. Somebody read the news reports on what FEMA is doing and what it is not... Somebody read their site and distill it for those of us who don't have time for red tape.

Flood insurance? I know the feds handle it. Who do I need to talk to? What do they pay?

Every natural disaster I send the Red Cross my standard $100 donation. I have no idea how to get money from them. It is a grant or a loan?

If I don't actually cancel my phones and my bill is auto-debit do they still bill me?

If I shut off my phone will I lose my number?

Heck- Somebody make an "Evacuee survival guide" with laser precision information on how to get help without clicking 50 links or waiting on hold 2 hours. If you can save 25,000 people 5 hours of looking up the same information, think of the power in that!

Think of the simple things- Thousands of people lost their glasses. Somebody set up a website where they can coordinate donations of (known) prescription glasses from people who no longer need them. Get a freight company to donate the freight. I bet FedEx will give you an account number that will route all the glasses to some agency in New Orleans.

If you do something to help the victims, ping this post... If there is a lot of people helping out, Kevin will set up a post with the links. (I just volunteered him ;)

Think about it for a second from my chair... (I'm not whining but) I'm almost 40 years old.... Here is the sum total of all my worldly possessions: 4 pairs of shorts, 5 shirts, 2 pairs of shoes, 4 pairs of underwear, 1 pair of blue jeans, a box of family pictures, 2 flashlights, a piece of trench art my grandfather brought back from WWI and my father's hammer. (Hey, it means a lot to me!) That's it. Everything else is gone. And BTW, I'm unemployed.

I tell you that not to whine but to let you see the tree thru the forest. Multiply my situation by about a million. Stop and think about that... A million people homeless and unemployed.

If you're a blogger then (by near definition) you're a self proclaimed talented person. Prove it. They'll be plenty of time for punditry and pontification next month... In the mean time there is work to be done. Figure out how to help the victims.

Please (for the sake of all of us who actually understand the situation) please stop whining about the evacuation. It was a stunning success. Please stop saying that the levee at 17th street and Canal St. broke... There's no such place. (and no, FOXNews, even if there was such a place, I assure you, it would be on the south side of the lake and not the north side of the lake where you showed it on your map)

So here it is in a nutshell... Let's get some work done and play Monday morning quarterback sometime in early 2006. There's about million or so of us who would prefer it that way.

Everyone please do what they can and hopefully America can get through this disaster.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Differences between Camps

Another great blogger that has posted a great piece from personal experience about the two camps down in Crawford, Texas is the Texican Tattler. This Post is an excellent discussion about the differences between the two camps. go check it out!

Camp Cindy and Camp Reality

Ever heard of The National Review Online?
Well one of the subsidiary blogs is called "The Buzz". And at The Buzz, there is a daily play by play at the two camps in Crawford, Texas. I love it because it tells the real story instead of just the one-sided view that we see on television. Has anyone else noticed that we only see the one sided view that there is only one camp at all in Crawford, Camp Cindy. However, according to The Buzz:
Despite liberal accusations to the contrary, the number of Americans coming out to support President Bush is growing with each passing day if not hour.
Go check it out, it is updated daily (ever since the guy showed up in Crawford), and the oldest post is at the bottom of the page, newest at the top.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Update on Yahoo

Well Yahoo is a bitch.

so far the issue of my previous yahoo i.d. is unresolved and I cannot get my account back. If anyone out there who knows me and gets some messed up email from my old account (scharf_iv at yahoo dot com), then know IT ISN'T ME.

My email is now hscharf-at-gmail-dot-com, and my new yahoo i.d. for anyone who wants to know is trance_portation.

All this has pissed me off and if anyone is out there who has had similar problems with yahoo:


Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Yahoo Account disabled

For some unexplained reason, my main yahoo! account: scharf_iv had its information changed today. I couldn't login to Yahoo! Messenger or my Yahoo! email. Currently I checked and my user profile and photos page are unedited, so the possibility it was hacked is only slightly remote. There is a strong possibility, though, because I tried by using the "information" I provided when I created the account (birthdate, zip code, and country), and it doesn't like me.

I had plenty of personal emails on that, and someone rampaging around with my messenger name and/or email account could seriously damage my reputation and relationships.

For those unaware, my new email account is hscharf-at- gmail-dot-com

Operation Iraqi Children

Think before Pain

Saw on Google! News:
Report Finds Fetuses Feel Pain Later Than Thought
Why did they do this research do you ask?
Taking on one of the most highly charged questions in the abortion debate, a team of doctors has concluded that fetuses probably cannot feel pain in the first six months of gestation and therefore do not need anesthesia during abortions.
... Are they serious? They cannot have it both ways! Is the fetus a living thing or isn't it? Did life begin at conception? If it did, then abortion is murder. If life began later, then why do we need to give an unliving thing anesthesia?

"Oh lets give the poor thing some pain medication so it doesn't feel itself being killed." Sounds like swabbing an inmate's arm with alcohol before administering a lethal injection.

Sometimes I just don't get it...

Monday, August 22, 2005

Road to Germany 2006

The United States men's national soccer team is currently ranked at an all time high of 6th in the world, and is currently in the third and final round of CONCACAF (The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football). Currently, the US men's national team is 2nd in CONCACAF with 15 to Mexico's 16, with their next match against Mexico on September 3rd in Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, their last match was against Trinidad & Tobago, with a win of 1-0.

If you wish to show your support in the match against Mexico, I'm sure the match was sold out in a matter of minutes, but otherwise, please visit Sam's Army. It was started after the World Cup was hosted here in the states in the 1994 world cup when the founders realized that there was no support or following for our national teams! Now, if you watch the match on television, there will be a sea of sam's army behind one of the goals (that is their chosen spot if I'm not mistaken) all clad in red!


Apparently, I've become the discussion piece over in one of the comment sections in RightWingSparkle's Girls just want to have fun piece. The post originally was about an ultra-uber feminist who made the deciding choice to wait and keep from having rampant sex (something the rest of her uber-feminist sisters seem to abhor...apparently they love being used by males). Well in the comments, I came out with my own positions, then all of a sudden a troll by the handle of blEh comes out with this gem :
PS. Henry, you're probably a closet-homosexual if you really believe that crap!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Greenhouse Gases to Natural Gas

I was reading up about Edison International (an Southern California Edison subsidiary)'s deal with Stirling Engine Systems to produce a 500-850 MW plant in southern California using solar energy completely to power stirling engines (instead of using...say...photovoltaic cells) (hat tip from Paul over at Wizbang!), when I discovered something else over at Pure Energy Systems.

Apparently a company called IAUS ( International Automated Systems), the group that pioneered self-checkout lanes (that we all love so dearly), has come up with a way to produce natural gas from carbon dioxide economically. If you read all the way down past the solar turbines (which sound really neat), you get to this part:
Solar to Methanol -- Natural Gas

Another process that the company is capable of involves a method of producing methanol from carbon dioxide and hydrogen. This technology is already developed and in existence elsewhere, but their apparatus will make it more economical, to the point where methanol could be made available at approximately the same cost as gasoline.

The UV energy from the sun will split CO2 (carbon dioxide) into CO (carbon monoxide) and O2 (oxygen). Then the CO along with hydrogen (H) bubbles through a catalytic unit containing copper and zinc powder suspended in a kind of oil. The CO and H combine into CH2OH (Methanol). The H is released through electrolysis from water.

The catalytic process requires about 600 psi, and 500ºF. The heat from the solar collectors initiates the process, and once it takes off, it generates excess heat, which can then be used to turn the turbine, to create more electricity by which they can run the electrolysis.

The IAUS concept is to produce methanol fuel using carbon dioxide -- a primary greenhouse gas -- from the environment -- at a cost comparable to gasoline. The CO2 could come either from ambient air, or from a smoke stack, to help clean it up the atmosphere.

Being a very small molecule, methanol, or natural gas, burns much more cleanly and efficiently, resulting in less emissions when it is used as a fuel.

This method solves the Hydrogen transport problem as well. The solar panels generate electricity to split off hydrogen from water, and rather than having to then ship the hydrogen, which is problematic, IAUS runs the hydrogen through this process to convert it to methanol, which can easily be contained and shipped.

Now this does sound promising, but I will believe it when I see it (and the levels of carbon dioxide in the air holding steady at least...we don't want the levels to go down, because then what will our plants and trees get to breathe?).

Sunday, August 14, 2005

My apologies

I've been fairly busy the past week or so getting ready for my employment with Military Sealift Command, and my blog has come secondary to this. Thank you for your understanding.

-Henry Scharf

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Gmail invites

I know have 50 Gmail invites, if anyone wishes to have them, just ask and I'll give them to friends!
(On another note, Gmail4troops has plenty of invites and doesn't need anymore soon, but you can always keep checking, and there is also Gmail for the troops )