Congrats (and thanks for the bread)

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader has been frustrated for the past few days. You see, he’s been trying to leave a congratulatory comment over at The Ministry of Minor Perfidy for new papa, Johno. (Awww… See the cute baby and proud father here.) Your Maximum Leader’s frustrations stem from the fact that when he tries to leave a comment, the little graphic “phrase” that you have to enter to prove you are a person and not some nasty spamming computer doesn’t load. So his comment doesn’t get published.

Of course, the flip side of the trouble commenting is that your Maximum Leader must make his congratulatory comments here. Johno, Mrs Johno, many congratulations. Your Maximum Leader doffs his bejeweled floppy cap to you both. (But mostly to Mrs Johno — who we all know did the hard stuff.) And to the Wee Johno… Your Maximum Leader wishes you the best. You’ve got two great parents who will steer you right.

Also on the Ministry’s web page…

Anadama bread. Which your Maximum Leader has never had before, but it reads very well and makes him salivate…

Carry on.

High Holy Days

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader looks out the Villainschloss window and sees the sun is setting. That means that the Jewish High Holy Days (or Days of Awe) are about to begin.

Your Maximum Leader is not Jewish, but he will stop to think about his actions (or inactions) over the past year and ennumerate those things for which he ought to seek atonement.

He listened yesterday to an NPR program (Speaking of Faith - a program to which he is a regular listener in fact) about the Jewish High Holy Days. It was very educational. Here is the link if you would like to listen yourself.

Your Maximum Leader wishes his Jewish readers the best during this most sacred time of the calendar.

Carry on.

Nerd Test

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader saw this over on Elisson’s blog


NerdTests.com says I'm a Cool Nerd God.  What are you?  Click here!

Humm… Your Maximum Leader is a Cool Nerd God. Elisson is a Uber Cool Nerd King. What exactly is the nerdly order or presidence here? Does Elisson’s “uber” and “king” status supercede your Maximum Leader’s singular “god” status?

Like Chester Nimitz pondering Bull Halsey, the world wonders.

Carry on.

Remembering the dead

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader, like many others, remembers what this day was like six years ago. It was a bright and clear day. Your Maximum Leader wished he was playing hooky in fact. He remembers the sun reflected in the rippling waters of the Lynnhaven River. He remembers the President of his company calling and asking if yours truly had the training room TV, a plane had just hit the World Trade Center and he wanted to see what was happening. Then he remembers a co-worker coming in to his office and saying another plane had hit the other World Trade Center tower. A few minutes later the phone calls started. Husbands were calling wives. Navy husbands were calling their wives. The conversations all were about the same. “You’ve got to come home and watch the kids. My ship is leaving Norfolk now. No, not later, RIGHT NOW.” Your Maximum Leader was on his cell phone talking to the Air Marshal (who was in Crystal City - near the Pentagon). Our conversation ended abruptly when the Air Marshal announced that there was an explosion at the Pentagon and he had to go. Your Maximum Leader remembers 100 people standing in a room with space enough for 30 watching a small color tv as the Towers fell. He remembers Peter Jennings reporting that Palistinians were dancing in the streets of Gaza. (He also remembers Peter Fucking Jennings making some glib comment about how he could understand why the Palistinians were happy. That was the last time your Maximum Leader ever watched that man.) He remembers wondering what the count of the dead would be. 10,000? 15,000? He remembers seeing images of the fleet leaving Hampton Roads for the open sea. He also remembers wanting revenge.

Your Maximum Leader’s anger has subsided somewhat but there is still passion there. What happened before can happen again. We must be vigilant. We must be strong. We must remember.

Carry on.

Blockage

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader has the writers block. Apparently a rather bad case of it in fact. He thought he’d be able to crank out some good stuff when he had some free time over the past few days. Alas, his little brain isn’t working the way he’d hoped.

Last Friday night your Maximum Leader slept. Then on Saturday he spend the day with Mrs Villain going to Farmvegas, VA for the dual purpose of buying a new living room sofa and chairs and meeting at his Alma Mater (your Maximum Leader volunteered to serve on the class reunion committee). Then Sunday was spent watching football. Yesterday was Villainette #1’s birthday. And your Maximum Leader apparently has nothing to say about anything.

Hey how about that Fred Thompson you might ask? “Eh?” would be your Maximum Leader’s reply.

What does my Maximum Leader think about the Petraeus testimony before Congress you might inquire? “Eh.” would be your Maximum Leader’s reply.

Your Maximum Leader apparently has caught a bad case of bleh. Perhaps this posting will act as something of a mental exorcism. Perhaps declaring that you have nothing about which you can write will somehow magically liberate your mind and fingers and open the creative floodgates. Then again… Perhaps not.

Your Maximum Leader sent Smallholder some new login information so that he could post something. But he is busy with the beginning of school and farm stuff…

Perhaps it is the furniture shopping that did it? Perhaps it is the NFL that has sapped his creative energies? If your Maximum Leader could somehow show that he lost his ability to blog after watching the NFL kickoff on Thursday could he sue the league for damages? (Even better, could you sue for damages because you aren’t getting blog content from your Maximum Leader?) The NFL would likely settle the case for a few grand at least. Your Maximum Leader could then use the money on some over-indulgent sinfest that would likely be the genesis of a post or two… Perhaps that is the strategery your Maximum Leader should employ… Sue the NFL and try to get a settlement… (Of course, blogging about your plan is a sure-fire way to ruin the plan…)

Anyhow… When your Maximum Leader has something to blog about… He will…

Until then…

Carry on.

Happy Day Villainette #1

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader rarely blogs about his family, in a direct sort of way at least. But today, his lovely eldest daughter is 10 years old today. He knows she will not see this, but he wishes her a happy birthday. He’ll be grilling steaks for her tonight, at her request.

Carry on.

Blinding you with science.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader will point out two articles that he will broadly categorize as being from the world of science. (cue Thomas Dolby…)

The first article is about superbatteries. Apparently a Texas-based start-up has patented an ultracapacitor battery. If the claims of the patent application are borne out in testing and fact, then this could revolutionize just about everything using stored power. Frankly, it could revolutionize items that generate their own power (like cars) and turn them into items that run on stored power.

Some highlights:

An Austin-based startup called EEStor promised “technologies for replacement of electrochemical batteries,” meaning a motorist could plug in a car for five minutes and drive 500 miles roundtrip between Dallas and Houston without gasoline.

By contrast, some plug-in hybrids on the horizon would require motorists to charge their cars in a wall outlet overnight and promise only 50 miles of gasoline-free commute. And the popular hybrids on the road today still depend heavily on fossil fuels.

[…]

Skeptics, though, fear the claims stretch the bounds of existing technology to the point of alchemy.

“We’ve been trying to make this type of thing for 20 years and no one has been able to do it,” said Robert Hebner, director of the University of Texas Center for Electromechanics. “Depending on who you believe, they’re at or beyond the limit of what is possible.”

EEStor’s secret ingredient is a material sandwiched between thousands of wafer-thin metal sheets, like a series of foil-and-paper gum wrappers stacked on top of each other. Charged particles stick to the metal sheets and move quickly across EEStor’s proprietary material.

The result is an ultracapacitor, a battery-like device that stores and releases energy quickly.

Batteries rely on chemical reactions to store energy but can take hours to charge and release energy. The simplest capacitors found in computers and radios hold less energy but can charge or discharge instantly. Ultracapacitors take the best of both, stacking capacitors to increase capacity while maintaining the speed of simple capacitors.

[…]

Previous attempts to improve ultracapacitors have focused on improving the metal sheets by increasing the surface area where charges can attach.

EEStor is instead creating better nonconductive material for use between the metal sheets, using a chemical compound called barium titanate. The question is whether the company can mass-produce it.

ZENN Motor [a financial backer of EEStor] pays EEStor for passing milestones in the production process, and chemical researchers say the strength and functionality of this material is the only thing standing between EEStor and the holy grail of energy-storage technology.

Joseph Perry and the other researchers he oversees at Georgia Tech have used the same material to double the amount of energy a capacitor can hold. Perry says EEstor seems to be claiming an improvement of more than 400-fold, yet increasing a capacitor’s retention ability often results in decreased strength of the materials.

“They’re not saying a lot about how they’re making these things,” Perry said. “With these materials (described in the patent), that is a challenging process to carry out in a defect-free fashion.”

Perry is not alone in his doubts. An ultracapacitor industry leader, Maxwell Technologies Inc., has kept a wary eye on EEStor’s claims and offers a laundry list of things that could go wrong.

Among other things, the ultracapacitors described in EEStor’s patent operate at extremely high voltage, 10 times greater than those Maxwell manufactures, and won’t work with regular wall outlets, said Maxwell spokesman Mike Sund. He said capacitors could crack while bouncing down the road, or slowly discharge after a dayslong stint in the airport parking lot, leaving the driver stranded.

Until EEStor produces a final product, Perry said he joins energy professionals and enthusiasts alike in waiting to see if the company can own up to its six-word promise and banish the battery to recycling bins around the world.

These are the types of stories that fill your Maximum Leader with awe at the power of science. He hopes, nay expects, to see real improvement in these technologies in his lifetime. One hopes that the many companies working on ultracapacitors will have a major breakthrough with commerical applications very quickly.

And another item from the realm of “science” is this piece from Nepal. The Nepalese national airline is using unconventional means to “repair” the electrical systems on their Boeing jets.

Officials at Nepal’s state-run airline have sacrificed two goats to appease Akash Bhairab, the Hindu sky god, following technical problems with one of its Boeing 757 aircraft, the carrier said Tuesday.

Nepal Airlines, which has two Boeing aircraft, has had to suspend some services in recent weeks due the problem.

The goats were sacrificed in front of the troublesome aircraft Sunday at Nepal’s only international airport in Kathmandu in accordance with Hindu traditions, an official said.

“The snag in the plane has now been fixed and the aircraft has resumed its flights,” said Raju K.C., a senior airline official, without explaining what the problem had been.

Local media last week blamed the company’s woes on an electrical fault. The carrier runs international flights to five cities in Asia.

It is common in Nepal to sacrifice animals like goats and buffaloes to appease different Hindu deities.

For some odd reason your Maximum Leader doesn’t believe that the people at Boeing put this type of fix in the technical manual for the 757. He is interested to see if the efficacy of this approach can be supported by some sort of testing. If so, one would imagine that other airlines would look into animal sacrifice to keep their airline fleets running.

Carry on.

Cosmic injustice

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader will point out to you a few items he has mentally filed under the heading “cosmic injustice.”

Sir Paul McCartney… Ringo Starr.

Sir Mick Jagger… Keith Richards.

And he is not Sir David Bowie…

Carry on.

    About Naked Villainy

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