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January 9th, 2008 - Adventures in Engineering — LiveJournal
The wanderings of a modern ronin.

Ben Cantrick
  Date: 2008-01-09 11:22
  Subject:   The 5 Current Genetic Experiments Most Likely to Destroy Humanity
Public
  Tags:  digg, humor

#5 - Super-Speed Mice

Biologists at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland have taken ordinary field mice and, rather than bopping them over the head, opted to genetically modify them by limiting the biochemical process which allows for explosive bursts of energy. The end result of this limitation is that endurance energy becomes massively increased, thus enabling them to "run up to four miles at a speed of 20 meters a minute for five hours or more without stopping."

The mice also live longer, eat more, mate more often (and for three times as long), and when provoked, inform you in thick Russian accents that they "must break you."


http://www.cracked.com/article_15801_5-current-genetic-experiments-most-likely-destroy-humanity.html

Let's see... more vigorous, more aggressive, crazy copulators... THEY'VE INVENTED KLINGON MICE!!!!
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Ben Cantrick
  Date: 2008-01-09 11:54
  Subject:   The NH primaries sucked for liberals.
Public
  Mood:people make me pro-nuclear
  Music:KMFDM - Moron (from WWIII)
  Tags:  politics, reddit, usa not worth saving

The news from the "Live Free or Die" state was bad. It was bad for peace and the anti-war movement (such as it is), and it was bad for progressives and progressive issues in general.

The two candidates who won, John McCain on the Republican side, and Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side, are both fervent supporters of the Iraq War and of American militarism. Clinton talks of permanent US bases in Iraq. McCain says the US will be in Iraq for a century. What could the voters in New Hampshire be thinking?


http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/?q=node/29950

Possibly the same thing all those moronic fuckheads in Connecticut were thinking when they re-elected Leiberman - which is to say, they weren't thinking at all.

Looking at the last two presidential elections as evidence, you can generally tell what's going to happen by considering what the stupidest possible thing to do would be, and then bet that people will do that. Iowa was somewhat an exception to this rule with the Obama victory, but remember that Ron Paul also got slaughtered there. NH continues the well-established tradition of "let's do the stupidest thing possible."

I said before that I consider Hillary vs. Giuliani to be a worst-case scenario for America, and that was exactly why I expected it to happen. Now the ever-fickle political winds have shifted to a Hillary vs. McCain race, which to me looks just as bad.
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Ben Cantrick
  Date: 2008-01-09 19:08
  Subject:   Switchgrass ethanol is the new corn ethanol.
Public
  Tags:  reddit

Farmers in Nebraska and the Dakotas brought the U.S. closer to becoming a biofuel economy, planting huge tracts of land for the first time with switchgrass—a native North American perennial grass (Panicum virgatum) that often grows on the borders of cropland naturally—and proving that it can deliver more than five times more energy than it takes to grow it.

Yields from a grass that only needs to be planted once would deliver an average of 13.1 megajoules of energy as ethanol for every megajoule of petroleum consumed (in the form of nitrogen fertilizers or diesel for tractors) growing them. "It's a prediction because right now there are no biorefineries built that handle cellulosic material" like that which switchgrass provides, Vogel notes. "We're pretty confident the ethanol yield is pretty close." This means that switchgrass ethanol delivers 540 percent of the energy used to produce it, compared with just roughly 25 percent more energy returned by corn-based ethanol according to the most optimistic studies.

"Cost competitive, energy responsible cellulosic ethanol made from switchgrass or from forestry waste like sawdust and wood chips requires a more complex refining process but it's worth the investment," Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said at the Range Fuels facility groundbreaking in November. "Cellulosic ethanol contains more net energy and emits significantly fewer greenhouse gases than ethanol made from corn."


http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=grass-makes-better-ethanol-than-corn

If we're gonna do ethanol, the right way is cellulosic ethanol. And switchgrass looks like the right way to do it.
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