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January 27, 2007


On This Day

January 27, 1998

First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, appearing on NBC's "Today" show, charged the allegations against her husband were the work of a "vast right-wing conspiracy."

Coining the name of a movement that many of us are proud, card carrying members of is Hillary's greatest political acheivement.
Approximately one Chronon later I became a member.


- Joatmoaf -

January 27, 2007 at 07:44 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 25, 2007

A Musical Parody

This is from the Xena Netforum of about 10 years ago. It's an excellent example of what can be done with a popular TV program and some very clever contributors.
I bring you...


[We join our operetta already in progress. The infamous Pirates of Pergamum have just seized a bevy of beautiful Mytilenean maidens, and are attempting to carry them off for matrimonial purposes. Gabrielle intervenes, with a recitative (well, it's better than a pan flute solo):]

[Gabrielle] Hold, scoundrels! Ere ye practice acts of villainy
Upon the peaceful and agrarian,

Just bear in mind, these maidens of My-TIL-ene
Are guarded by a buff barbarian!

[Pirates] We'd better all rethink our cunning plan;
They're guarded by a buff barbarian.

[Maidens] Yes, yes, she is a buff barbarian.

[Xena leaps in from the wings, with a tremendous war cry, does a mid-air somersault, and lands on her feet on the Pirate King's chest.] [Xena] Yes, yes, I am a buff barbarian! [The orchestra starts up.]
I am the very model of a heroine barbarian;
Through Herculean efforts, I've become humanitarian.
I ride throughout the hinterland -- at least that's what they call it in

Those sissy towns like Athens (I, myself, am Amphipolitan).
I travel with a poet who is perky and parthenian
And scribbles her hexameters in Linear Mycenian
(And many have attempted, by a host of methods mystical,
To tell if our relationship's sororal or sapphistical).

[Chorus] To tell if their relationship's sororal or sapphistical!
To tell if their relationship's sororal or sapphistical!
To tell if their relationship's sororal or sapphisti-phistical!

[Xena] My armory is brazen, but my weapons are ironical;
My sword is rather phallic, but my chakram's rather yonical

(To find out what that means, you'll have to study Indo-Aryan).
I am the very model of a heroine barbarian!

[Chorus] To find out what that means, we'll have to study Indo-Aryan --
She is the very model of a heroine barbarian!

[Xena] I wake up every morning, ere the dawn is rhododactylous

(Who needs to wait for daylight? I just work by sensus tactilis.)
And ride into the sunrise to protect some local villagers
From mythologic monsters or from all-too-human pillagers.
I hurtle towards each villain with a recklessness ebullient
And cow him with my swordwork and my alalaes ululient;
He's frightened for his head, because he knows I'm gonna whack it -- he's
Aware that his opponent is the Basileia Makhetes!

[The music crashes to a halt, as the Chorus stares at Xena in utter confusion. She sighs.] It's Greek. It means "Warrior Princess"! [Light dawns on the Chorus, and the music resumes.] Sheesh . . .

[Chorus] He knows that his opponent is the Basileia Makhetes!
He knows that his opponent is the Basileia Makhetes!

He knows that his opponent is the Basileia Makhe-makhetes,

[Xena] Because I've got my armor, which is really rather silly, on
(It's cut so low I feel like I'm the topless tow'rs of Ilion,
And isn't any use against attackers sagittarian).
I am the very model of a heroine barbarian!

[Chorus] It isn't any use against attackers sagittarian --
She is the very model of a heroine barbarian!

[Xena] In short, when I can tell you how I break the laws of gravity,
And why my togs expose my intermammary concavity,
And why my comrade changed her dress from one that fit more comfily

To one that shows her omphalos (as cute as that of Omphale),
And why the tale of Spartacus appears in Homer's versicon,

[She holds up a tomato:]
And where we found examples of the genus _Lycopersicon_,
And why this Grecian scenery looks more like the Antipodes,
You'll say I'm twice the heroine of any in Euripides!

[Chorus] We'll say she's twice the heroine of any in Euripides!
We'll say she's twice the heroine of any in Euripides!
We'll say she's twice the heroine of any in Euripi-ripides!

[Xena] But though the kinked chronology, confusing and chimerical
(It's often unhistorical, but rarely unhysterical),

Would give a massive heart attack to any antiquarian,
I am the very model of a heroine barbarian!

[Chorus] 'Twould give a massive heart attack to any antiquarian --
She is the very model of a heroine barbarian!

[As the orchestra plays the final chords, a wild Xenaesque melee ensues, and the curtain has to be brought down.]

- Joatmoaf -

January 25, 2007 at 10:03 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 24, 2007

Acceleration Vs Speed


Many people think that speed and acceleration are the same thing, but that's only true in the sense that I and a newborn child are the same.

While I have reached a measure of stability in life, the newborn is just starting on its journey.
Speed is the goal. Acceleration is the journey.

I like speed. Fast music, fast cars. Things like that I like fast but the thing about cars I like the most is acceleration.
When I put my foot about 1/4 inch down on the gas pedal my mighty Mopar answers by pushing me gently back into the leather seat. When I push my foot down about half way I feel like I don't really need seatbelts due to the force gripping me to the seat.

I bring this up because of Top Fuel Dragsters. I absolutely love 'em. I get almost orgasmic just watching a race.

I'm not talking about some namby/pamby Daytona or Indy racer, no. I'm talking about some serious horsepower.

To give you an idea of what I mean:

Under full throttle, a Top Fuel dragster engine consumes 11.2 gallons of nitro methane per second; a fully loaded 747 consumes jet fuel at the same rate with 25% less energy being produced.

A stock Dodge 426 Hemi V8 engine cannot produce enough power to drive the dragster's supercharger.

With 3000 CFM of air being rammed in by the supercharger on overdrive, the fuel mixture is compressed into a near-solid form before ignition. Cylinders run on the verge of hydraulic lock at full throttle.
At the stoichiometric 1.7:1 air/fuel mixture for nitro methane the flame front temperature measures 7050 degrees F ( 3900 degrees C ).

Nitromethane burns yellow. The spectacular white flame seen above the stacks at night is raw burning hydrogen, dissociated from atmospheric water vapour by the searing exhaust gases.

Dual magnetos supply 44 amps to each spark plug. This is the output of an arc welder in each cylinder.
Spark plug electrodes are totally consumed during a pass. After 1/2 way, the engine is dieseling from compression plus the glow of exhaust valves at 1400 degrees F. The engine can only be shut down by cutting the fuel flow.

If spark momentarily fails early in the run, unburned nitro builds up in the affected cylinders and then explodes with sufficient force to blow cylinder heads off the block in pieces or split the block in half.

In order to exceed 300 mph in 4.5 seconds dragsters must accelerate at an average of over 4G's. In order to reach 200 mph well before half-track, the launch acceleration approaches 8G's.

Dragsters reach over 300 miles per hour before you have completed reading this sentence.

Top Fuel Engines turn approximately 540 RPM's from light to light! but stop & ponder the fact that the engine is only used for apx 4 to 5 seconds.

Including the burnout the engine must only survive 900 revolutions under load.

The red-line is actually quite high at 9500 rpm.

The Bottom Line; Assuming all the equipment is paid off, the crew worked for free, and for once NOTHING BLOWS UP, each run costs an estimated $1,000.00 per second. The current Top Fuel dragster elapsed time record is 4.441 seconds for the quarter mile 10/05/03, (Tony Shumacher). The top speed record is 333.00 mph (533 km/h) as measured over the last 66' of the run (09/28/03 Doug Kalitta).
Putting all of this into perspective: You are riding the average $25,000 Honda MotoGP bike. Over a mile up the road, a Top Fuel dragster is staged and ready to launch down a quarter mile strip as you pass. You have the advantage of a flying start. You run the RC211V hard up through the gears and blast across the starting line and past the dragster at an honest 200 mph (293 ft/sec). The tree' goes green for both of you at that moment. The dragster launches and starts after you. You keep your wrist cranked hard, but you hear an incredibly brutal whine that sears your eardrums and within 3 seconds the dragster catches and passes you. He beats you to the finish line, a quarter mile away from where you just passed him. Think about it, from a standing start, the dragster had spotted you 200 mph and not only caught, but nearly blasted you off the road when he passed you within a mere 1320 foot long race course.

Melanie Troxel (right, with engine on fire) beat Bob Vandergriff in the first round of the 2006 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

All that from a car that must weigh at least 2150 lbs. and have an engine no larger than 500 cubic inches.
One Top Fuel Dragster 500 c.i. engine makes more horsepower than the first four rows at the Daytona 500.
I'll take acceleration over speed any day. Speed is the destination but acceleration is the journey!

- Joatmoaf -

January 24, 2007 at 07:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack