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14 May 2012 @ 02:26 pm
cake story: success :)  

I dropped by the butchers today to ask if they’d liked the cake. They had; yer man who’d asked for it said it had been devoured and they’d all but eaten the tin. Fighting each other off, they were, he said, and he said to the fellow who was getting me my order, “This is the lady who brought the cake!” And the fellow’s eyes got wide and he said, “It was gorgeous!” So that was great fun. And I said I had another throw-away tin so perhaps I’d have to make them another cake, and yer man, the first fellow, said, “If you must…” So I’ll probably do that in a few weeks here. *laughs* :)

Speaking of baking, how about some Brown butter double fudge chocolate chip cookies? I’m going to have to try making those one of these days. Except I’ve no chocolate chips left so it won’t be soon. Although then I will ALSO have to try that kind of cookie with the Chocolate Migraine Cookie recipe, because that’s the only chocolate cookie recipe I’ve ever had that I thought was worth bothering with.

And to make this a Some Things Make A Post post…

Elephants travel for days to mourn a human friend. Warning: may make your screen blurry.

Changing water to fuel–if this is a repeatable experiment, it has great potential. Of course, all things with great potential will be snatched up by the oil companies and crushed into oblivion. Seriously, the best thing about that Val Kilmer “The Saint” movie? Releasing the inexhaustible fuel supply code onto the internet. I would like all genuinely useful discoveries to do that.

(Also I want the polyurethane-eating bacteria discovered in the Amazon to be released into landfills worldwide. Yes, yes, of course things could go horribly wrong, but I’ve really begun to embrace the “fuck it, it’s already gone horribly wrong and we know what the results of this horrible wrongness are, let’s see what the results of that horrible wrongness are!”)

George Lucas, exasperated with wealthy neighbors refusing to let him build a movie studio on land he owns in their posh neighborhood, thoughtfully backs down and comes up with an excellent use for the land instead.

Oh! And! I’m teaching a Fantasy Fiction writing course at the Irish Writers’ Centre this weekend! Worldbuilding, magic development & more! It should be fun, so come along if you’re in the neighborhood! :)

(x-posted from the essential kit)

 
 
 
The Renaissance Manunixronin on May 14th, 2012 03:28 pm (UTC)
Sad to say ...
...The problem with water as an "inexhaustible source of energy/fuel" is that it simply isn't one. Even if every step of the process, end-to-end, is 100% efficient (which it cannot be; that would violate the laws of thermodynamics), using perfectly good electricity to split water into oxygen and hydrogen and then recombining the oxygen and hydrogen in a fuel cell to get electricity back (the most efficient way we know of to use it), you will AT BEST get back exactly the same energy that you originally put in. In practice, using non-magical real-world technology, a more realistic estimate of the overall full-process efficiency is maybe 50%. Put two watts in, get one watt out. That doesn't even make it an efficient storage medium. A lead-acid or lithium-ion battery does better.

They can't even make the argument that the hydrogen is a good portable fuel for "transporting" stored energy, because it isn't. Hydrogen has very low density, the only way to usefully store or transport it in large quantities is cryogenically as liquid hydrogen, and making, storing and transporting liquid hydrogen is expensive, difficult, and dangerous. This is why virtually all current fuel-cell research is on cells fueled by butane or propane — because they're much safer and easier to store and transport, as they can be liquified at room temperature under pocket-safe pressure. About twenty years of research has gone into trying to develop ways to store hydrogen in useful quantities without dangerous pressures, using things like exotic metal-hydride adsorbers, but so far none of them have been viable outside of the laboratory.

So, I don't wish to denigrate the research; I'm sure it will be useful in applications where electrolysis of water is actually a useful technique, and the knowledge may eventually lead to better fuel cells. But as a "fuel from water", it's a complete non-starter and always will be, right up until the day we learn how to repeal the laws of thermodynamics ... at which point we won't need it anyway.
kitmizkit on May 14th, 2012 03:53 pm (UTC)
Re: Sad to say ...
See, I knew it was too good to be true in that regard!
irishkate: writingirishkate on May 19th, 2012 12:01 am (UTC)
A little more warning on the course and you'da had at least one southern representative!