January 29th, 2009

angry sky

Whine whine whine

I'd managed to not leave the house since Monday. Wow, that's a lot of snow out there, relatively speaking. A proper Chicago winter... I so don't miss it. Nostalgia? That's exactly what I'm not feeling right now. Urban homeostasis, now, that sounds nice.

Though it's more expensive than I thought.
1e6 m2 * 10 cm snow * 1/10 water/snow * 1000 kg/m3 * 3e5 J melt/kg = 3e12 J per square kilometer to melt 10 cm of snow with, say, electrical heating elements everywhere.
Sane population density is 1000-10,000 people; Americans draw 1000 J/s, so we've got available 1-10 megawatts, taking 3e5-3e6 seconds, or 4-40 days. Doh! And that's only 10cm, and assuming it's right below the melting temperature.
Now, maybe we can apply more energy, or use something gas powered (cheaper, and we use 10x as much energy that way), but it's not as trivial as I'd felt. We just really need to clear the roads and sidewalks, so that saves something, but I'm not sure how much -- no more than a factor of 10, and possibly just a factor of 2. Of course. .4 days would be pretty good.

An urban roof, with solar thermal 'power' via albedo management and heat trapping, still seems attractive. As it is, we might clear some of this dreck Sunday in a brief warm (43 F) spell. I know, many places have it much worse. But then there's Hawaii-girl. *shakes fist*

* McConnell (Senate minority leader) calls on GOP to re-express core values (link is actually to a funny dissection.) Whatever those core values actually are. A new GOP rep from Utah also calls for sticking to principle.
* Obama's new casual style in the White House, contrasting with Bush's anality.

* Ayn Rand had problems with evolution.
* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luck_egalitarianism
* The sin of Sodom wasn't sodomy, but lack of hospitality. "What's mine is mine and what's yours is yours" apparently attracts God's wrath.

* California politics: suit to increase the tiny legislature, idea of "pass a budget or lose your jobs"; GOP proposes a hard budget cap, because yet another restriction is just what the state needs.

* Order of the Stick alignments, funny/game style.