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Wombats were my favorite animals when I went to a zoo in Australia. I brought back a little toy wombat that sits on my desk. I like it. This video is cute.
2018 is particularly worrisome as of the 33 senators up for reelection, 23 are Democrats. We have to win 70% of the senate races just to stay where we are today. (Note: I'm basing this off the 2012 results and am not sure if anything has changed since then. Also note this is largely a result of the Republicans getting a shellacking in 2006.)
I'd like to put in a plug for pushing oneself to the point of fear, and one doesn't need to run seven marathons in seven days on seven continents to do it. It's been good for me to push my bounds, and I'd encourage others to do so (safely).
I idly browsed at houses online today. rd95, are you still looking? I'm not in any rush; I currently own my condo and am semi-content with it. But I feel like it's time to look for a house. There's a really small one for sale (less than 900 square feet) a block off the lake for a fair price.
The more notable thing is I feel less like leaving town and leaving my company than I have in the past. A few years ago I'd have rejected house shopping because staying here seemed no more likely than moving. Lately I feel more satisfied with where I am.
I'm currently reading a book called "At The Mercy of the Mountains" about misadventure in Adirondack Park. It's morbid reading about people dying on trails I've hiked (or worse, plan to hike), but I think it can be good to learn from the mistakes of others as I plan to not die (ever, if possible).
Each chapter starts with a quote relevant to the story. One I like was:
- Nature is so pitiless, so unresponsive, to a person in trouble! I had read of the soothing companionship of the forest, the pleasure of the pathless woods. But I thought, as I stumbled along in the dismal actuality that, if I ever got out of it, I would write a letter to the newspapers exposing the whole thing. There is an impassive, stolid brutality about the woods that has never been enough insisted on. I tried to keep my mind fixed upon the fact of man's superiority to nature; his ability to dominate and outwit her. My situation was an amusing satire on this theory.
-Charles Dudley Warner, "Lost in the Woods"
The part about automation is interesting to me. One of my long standing goals at work is to script some of the work we do. My group has six people in it. I think I could reduce that to five within ten years (or do more work with the same six).
And this is just with an engineer cobbling together some halfway decent python code. Was that Japanese insurance company artificial intelligence article on Hubski? I suspect the work I do is too specialized to economically automate with artificial intelligence today. But the next generation will have to compete with cheaper and more powerful software. Will the next generation face decimation of cubical farms the way my generation faced the decimation of factory jobs?
The shortest answer I can give is: I'm thankful for being able to do things I want to do.
While I can't do everything, I can do many things much of the time. This is mostly related to a stable, safe society (clean water, consistent access to food and energy), secure finances (stable income and savings) and health. None of this is guaranteed, and I'm grateful for having these things.
I also really like my cats. I heard one of them get up early this morning, but by the time my alarm went off she was back laying next to me.
China recently split their AC system, with only DC ties connecting Yunnan province to the rest of the China grid. Those DC ties are huge, and before the split a DC trip could have overloaded the AC lines. It's a bold move, and it seems to make sense. I haven't seen any followups that the system isn't working.
Here's my theory: China is trying to position itself to be a global leader in energy. There was an article recently that China is building a large power line in Pakistan, and a little Googling turns up another between Kenya and Tanzania.
China has been building power lines like crazy, and they have some of the largest in the world. Those large lines were designed by foreign companies like ABB and Siemens, but China gets all the design stuff from those projects. They're building the expertise in Chinese industries.
So I think these projects are the same idea. Build your own projects to work out the bugs, then build them in other countries either for profit or for access to resources. They need the energy, anyway, and this helps them cut down on domestic pollution, too.
If I make it sound like a conspiracy, I don't mean to. It's just good business.
I'm sure I've calculated tuition costs before, possibly on hubski. I believe I paid $1850 my first semester, fall 1999. Current tuition for spring 2017 is $5244.24. That works out to a 6% annual increase. That's crazy. I don't know how people keep up with it.