Archive for May, 2013

Steel Bound Keys: Replacement Risk

May 11, 2013

I’ve been out of a car since someone rammed mine about a month ago. On two occasions thus far, I have rented a car from a local Enterprise office so that I could get a few things done, like buy a lot of groceries or obtain a copy of the police report about the collision. The people at the Enterprise office/location have been great, and seem to handle the stress of being very busy quite well. I’m surprised just how busy it is since the place isn’t located next to an airport.
Steel bound keys

The second rental I got was a Toyota Corolla. All the keys were bound together with a steel cable along with a tag showing the replacement cost. I can understand the rental company wanting to impress upon its customers that losing keys is a bad thing, but the steel cable isn’t helping. With all the keys bound together, that means if one key is lost, all the keys are lost. This will make life more difficult for a customer who loses the keys, and will increase the replacement cost. Further, it makes giving more than one driver access to the car less convenient since two people can’t each have a key simultaneously.

Most ridiculously and silly, though, is the inclusion of the valet key next to the regular full-function keys.

This bit of absurdity really has nothing to do with the local rental office. I’m sure it’s just company policy.

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What to do on the Enterprise-D

May 1, 2013

I found myself recently contemplating what I would do if I found myself on the Enterprise-D from Star Trek.

First, I would find the holodeck and destroy it before it could destroy me. That thing is way too dangerous. Where was the months long, if not years long, investigation into what went wrong the first time someone was hurt in there? After it managed to take control of the ship, why weren’t these things removed immediately from the entire fleet? I’m not going to take any chances; I won’t even step inside that room. I can use one of those phaser thingys to scar the walls while standing outside after I wreck the power supply and control system.

Second, I would install fuses and circuit breakers. It seems like every time something slams into the Enterprise, nasty dangerous sparks fly out of exposed cabling. The crew members doing damage control have enough to worry about without sparks igniting something. It shows up on lots of fiction shows set in space in the future. I guess we’re supposed to think that people will forget how to make fuses or how to useĀ circuit breakers because sparks get safer, but hat doesn’t make any sense.

For that matter, why are there so many wires that can fall down from the ceiling of the bridge? Didn’t they network together everything? They ought to be able to send plenty of data on a single cable, and I bet some things don’t even need much bandwidth. That leaves power. How much power do they need in the ceiling? Do they have 50kW stage lighting?

Oh, that’s right. It is stage lighting because it’s a stage. That makes the Enterprise-D much less exciting, but still not bad. In that case, I’d bring my camera.


False Steps

The Space Race as it might have been

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High Frontier

the space colony simulation game

Simple Climate

Straightforwardly explaining climate change, so you can read, react and then get on with your life.