One blogger's take on movies, television shows, books, and music -- the good, the bad, and the bottom line

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Memjet: The Future of Printing? Check this out:

What Memjet does is hard to believe: It prints letter-size output at 60 ppm—that's one page per second—with a 1,600- by 1,600-dot-per-inch (dpi) printer that Silverbrook says will be available in 2008 for maybe $200 to $300. Not only that, but the projected cost per page is less than 2 cents for a monochrome page and less than 6 cents for a color page.

Supposedly, this miracle will be available next year. If it's true, sign me up for one!

A comment on the comments to my last post aboutgas prices: wow.

I'm trying not to take the various negative comments too seriously, even the ones that used variations on "you're an idiot." I still think [very unscientifically] that gas prices now hurt a lot more than they have in the past. Also, it just seems, uh, unusual, for prices to shoot up by such relatively large increments. For example, between last week and this, gas prices here in Knoxville jumped 8 to 10 cents. I stand by my statement that I have never seen such sudden -- and consistent -- price bumping.

On a (hopefully) less controversial front, I'm starting to think about adding some sort of audio system to my HD TV. I'm interested in anyone's opinions. At first, I thought of just hooking up an old stero receiver and a couple of speakers. Then, trying to avoid working, I saw this Sony HT-DDW700 Complete 5.1-Channel DVD Home Theater System. I don't really need DVD capacity [I've got one already, of course], and my price range is below $250. Any comments or suggested alternatives?

Friday, May 18, 2007

OK, I'm one of those Democrats "seething" at the injustice of high gas prices. Geroge Will, who I bet hasn't had to worry about what it costs to fill up a tank with gas in a lot of years, pooh-poohs the ridiculously high gas prices: "In real (inflation-adjusted) rather than nominal dollars, $3.07 is less than gasoline cost in 1981."

Here's the BIIIG problem with that. Average salaries/pay rates haven't kept up with the rising cost of goods and services -- especially gasoline. I'd be interested in what the "real (inflation adjusted)" salary/pay rates are, as well. I mean, you can't draw an informed conclusion without that datum.

Oh, and why has gas consumption gone up a little over 2% in the past year? Could it be that fewer people are flying because flying is so damn expensive? And why is flying so damn expensive? Hmmmm.

Also, when have we EVER seen gas prices increase so radically so fast? Prior to Katrina, I can't ever remember a time when we would see a pump price increase by 10 cents per gallon within a week's space of time. Now it's routine. The reason for these unconscionable price hikes is that the oil companies, when they saw we would pay anything for the gas, simply decided to kick up the price. It didn't matter how much or how quickly, they knew we would pay, because we HAVE to pay. What real choice do we have? Of course we're being gouged, and the oil industry is laughing all the way to the bank with their record profits.

I saw a program on TV recently about alternative fuel sources, including hybrid, biodiesel, hydrogen and compressed air. What most of these developers have done on literally a shoestring suggests to me that with a concerted government effort, we could be in business with, say hydrogen, almost right away. Here's one outfit, in Norway, that's, uh, paving the way. for a comprehensive look at U.S. government info on this topic check out the 2007 Cyber Guide to Hydrogen Energy, Fuel Cell Cars and Vehicles, Federal Government Research (Three CD-ROM Set).

In the realm of oil/politics fiction (maybe), check out The Formula,featuring George C. Scott and Marlon Brando, and directed by Rocky and The Karate Kid's director, John Avildsen.

UPDATE: Thanks to an anonymous commenter, it appears that, comparing 1981 to 2004, average weekly wages between the two are essentially identical. So, while wages have remained the same, look at where gas prices have gone. It IS more for schlubs like us, because our wages haven't kept up with gas prices.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Instapundit has an interesting post on the Japanese criminal justice system. Well, it was interesting to me, because I just happened to finish reading James Clavell's Gai-Jin, an incredibly dense and vivd historical novel of the early years of western involvement in Japan (1862, specifically). While a novel, the book highlights the extraordinary cultural and moral differences between westerners (British, French, American, etc.) and the native Japanese. The Japanese justice system, which I bet was grafted onto the country following WWII, is consistent with those differences, and demonstrates the extent to which asians generally, and Japanese particularly, simply think differently than we do. As Gai-Jin illustrates, that's neither good nor bad; it simply is.

By the way, Gai-Jin is a helluva book, but at 1,035 pages, you have to wade through it a bit. Nevertheless, I give it four flicks, and recommend the rest of the Clavell Asia novels.

Monday, May 14, 2007

"My Favorite Use of Post-It Notes"

This should be my worst problem....