URLs du Jour


  • James Taylor (II) James Taylor turns 64 today, and we're all grateful (and somewhat surprised) about that. At Power Line, Scott Johnson (like me) has grown up with Mr. Taylor, and shares his memories. Worth reading.

    If you get a chance to see Mr. Taylor in concert, take it. I've been to a couple, and he puts on a great show.

    In celebration, I cued up some JT on the iPod on the ride home tonight. I needed to lower my blood pressure…

  • … thanks to this story from Katherine Mangu-Ward in Reason. Quick summary: the Feds recently awarded a $10 million prize for "cheap, green, domestic light bulb". Non-incandescent, of course.

    Who won the $10,000,000.00? Dutch electronics company Philips, the only participant.

    How much does their "cheap" lightbulb cost? My friend, it costs fifty smackaroos.

    According to this chart, your Average American Family pays about $264 for lighting energy per year. Buying six of these bulbs would be more than that.

    Ouch! But at least it will pay for itself, right? Well, maybe, eventually. I calculate a break-even point somewhere north of 6500 hours between a $1 60-watt incandescent and a $50 10-watt LED bulb, assuming an electric rate of $0.15 per KwH. How long that really takes depends on how long you leave your lights on. And the LEDs are supposed to last a lot longer than incandescents. If they don't break at some point before their "projected lifetime".

    Or you could wait until the price comes down and the quality improves, as it almost certainly will. That might be a better bet.

    Or—here's an idea—if a company came up with a lighting solution that made obvious economic sense, they wouldn't need government prizes: they would, almost immediately, start raking in money from actual consumers. Who would be buying something they want, rather than something the government has decided they should buy.

  • Also at Reason, the DJ Kennedy has a funny and insightful article putting forth the proposition that "Atheism is a religion". She dared put forth this opinion on Bill Maher's TV show; she was unprepared for the "biblical floodgate of ridicule, name-calling, and abuse" that followed.
    My Twitter feed and Facebook page became engorged with angry responses. "Your adherence into adulthood to what is usually an adolescent phase (Libertarianism), speaks volumes about your confirmation bias levels," wrote Kernan. Touchstone Supertramp added; "Damn girl you got a big forehead." A guy named Kevin and about 70 other people shared this bumper-sticker nugget: "?If atheism is a religion, then off is a TV channel." Liz wrote, "Kennedy, is that if atheism constitutes a religious belief than anorexia is whenever you don't eat." Michael wrote: "re·li·gion /ri'lijən/ Noun: 1. Whatever Kennedy says it is." That was awesome. Beth called me a minor celebrity and a major troll--and it was also awesome to have somebody think I'm a celebrity.
    Why it was almost as if… she was some kind of heretic.

Last Modified 2012-03-28 3:36 PM EDT