Monday, July 17, 2006

strapping on my thong-tha-thong-thong-thong

It's Link Whore time!

Link 1:

Curtis S., in response to the previous post on energy efficiency, sends a link to a video of what appears to be a massive project involving solar energy, mirrors, and a tower that will dwarf the world's tallest building. On my poor Mac, I'm unable to watch the video to its conclusion, but I do have some questions:

1. The mirrors appear to be flat on the ground, with no surrounding protection. What will keep them from being covered in dust? Dust will cut down on their reflective efficiency.

2. What's the purpose of allowing a small group of tourists(?) on the top of the tower? Is tourism supposed to provide continual funding for this thing? If more of these are built, such that they become commonplace, just how much tourism can one expect?

3. Since I wasn't able to see the video to the end, I still have no idea what the tower actually does. It seems to be using the mirrors and the tower's huge interior to create temperature differentials that in turn create a sort of wind energy. There's got to be more going on than this, right? Or are the towers supposed to be, at bottom, sources of constant wind? If that's the case, they can save themselves a few billion dollars by hiring my (or GMJ's) ass.

Fascinating. I'll have to watch this vid from my office and see how it ends. Perhaps all questions will be answered then.

Ah, wait-- info is here. The Solar Tower is a German design, and part of Australia's green energy campaign.

Curtis S. wryly notes, in his email to me, the literal truth that this tower can't be stuck "where the sun don't shine."

Link 2:

The Nomad sends me a link to another catblogging site. This one is devoted to the kills made by a cat named Jeff (damn... another Jeffblog).

Go visit What Jeff Killed.

Links 3 and 4:

Two mostly right-leaning Canadians* with highly contrasting views of the current Middle Eastern war provide excellent and insightful commentary. Check out the Koreablogosphere's Nathan here; go visit the inimitable Skippy here.

*A comment from Nathan moves me to clarify that Nathan is, overall, a centrist in his political outlook. Sorry if I misrepresented you, Nathan.



Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link, Kevin! I guess my support of homosexual marriage and abortion rights hasn't been enough to push me into the center, but oh well! Cheers.

Kevin Kim said...

I should have been clearer, I guess. I think-- and of course I could be very, very wrong-- your leanings are pretty clearly rightward when it comes to international affairs, and that's the tendency relevant to the discussion of the current war. I base this at least in part on comments you've made when I've taken a centrist foreign policy stance here at the Hairy Chasms.

Overall, yes, I think you're a centrist, and you and I aren't really that far apart in our leanings.

One essential area of difference-- and here I probably side more with Skippy-- is that I'm not particularly hopeful about our democratizing project in the Middle East. Long-range considerations and a general (if not exactly educated) appreciation of the problem of pulling that region out of its spiral of hatred and violence were what set me against the war in the first place. I'm no pacifist (in the absolutistic, yes/no sense of the term), but I do think our energies need to be expended intelligently. I can't see that this is what we are doing in the Middle East.


Kevin Kim said...

I should also note that I differ from Skippy in that, although he and I are pessimistic about a democratizing project's worth, Skippy remains pro-war, as he noted in the above-linked post.


Anonymous said...

Hi Kevin!

Yes, you are--of course--completely correct that I am on the "right" side in terms of international politics.

Interesting comments by Skippy.
I disagree with him that democratization was the cause of Lebanon's present woes, as with his comment that Syria kept Hezbollah in check. That has never been the case. I guess I disagree with a few other things, but I agree with one of his overall points: that democratization in the Middle East isn't necessarily America or Israel-friendly. I guess I'm more optimistic on some things than he is, while on others (Iraq), I haven't made up my mind, yet. I'm beginning to think that the best thing for Iraq would be for everyone to separate, and for the country to be split into three parts.

Anonymous said...

I just saw your footnote--no worries! It was kind of you to provide the link, and you are entirely right about my take on foreign policy matters, which is what you were commenting on.