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Engineering Materials

Update on 100-Percent Non-Food Jet Biofuel

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NiteOwl_OvO
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Re: Semi-Arid Land
NiteOwl_OvO   2/26/2013 1:33:01 PM
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Interesting. If there was a significant improvement in fuel economy, it might be worth the cost, but emissions might be a problem. My aunt accidentally topped off her Datsun 280Z with diesel. It didn't like it.

(OvO)

William K.
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Platinum
Re: Semi-Arid Land
William K.   2/26/2013 9:10:04 PM
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Yes, our experiments were quite informal. As for other alternatives, way back when, in a publication called "Mother Earth News", there was a construction article about how to power a pickup truck using a coal burning gas generator system. It was big and ugly but quite well thought out, and it could be put thgether by anyone with some mechanical talent and a lot of determination. I have no idea as to if it is possible to find that article again.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Semi-Arid Land
Ann R. Thryft   2/27/2013 2:41:51 PM
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William, I remember Mother Earth News very well. It's still around and now online. Sounds like we are of an age, and of a similar era. I did not actually live out on the land off the grid full time, but had several friends who did and I hung with them often. Re the info, I'd bet it's still available in a different form online. There's a growing interest in several related technologies centering on what's now called permaculture, although those folks would not likely be interested in burning coal.

William K.
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Re: Semi-Arid Land
William K.   2/27/2013 10:43:27 PM
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I am not interested in burning coal as a vehicle fuel either, Ann, but id does show that reforming coal into a usable engine fuel can be done fairly simply. Of course one can produce gasoline from coal as well, but it takes lots of energy. This proves that just because we can do something does not make it a good idea. Not my statement, I heard it from somebody else, but it bears repeating, I think.

If your picture is current, I am a bit older than you by a few years, Ann. And if you were Alice Ann Armstrong then we do need to talk.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Semi-Arid Land
Ann R. Thryft   2/28/2013 12:46:07 PM
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Thanks, I often say that myself in a different form: Just because we can do something doesn't mean we should. Nope, I'm not that Ann. And I'm a bit older than I look in that picture.

William K.
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Platinum
Re: Semi-Arid Land
William K.   3/1/2013 5:04:47 PM
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Ann, thanks for recalling that expresssion, "just because I can does not mean that I should." It is certainly very applicable to a whole lot of things done tody, and a whole lot of product features that nobody except the marketing weasels want a product to have. 

That would be a great topic for a discussion, "products and features that are really dumb and useless". And thanks for the clarification about somebody whom I knew from 1965.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Semi-Arid Land
Ann R. Thryft   3/4/2013 1:00:51 PM
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William, I seem to remember running across that expression in the early 70s, perhaps in connection with the small is beautiful/appropriate technology movement of the time. To me, it's often meant something at a more global level than specific product features: more like, why redesign something if it doesn't need it, or why turn a perfectly good mechanical system that was easy to fix into an electronic one that isn't (cars anyone?). In other words, if it ain't broke don't fix it.
And you're welcome for the clarification.



William K.
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Platinum
Re: Semi-Arid Land
William K.   3/5/2013 9:37:41 PM
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Ann, that question, "just because I can do it, should I?" also relates to that terrible disease of "feature creep", wherein features keep adding to a product or package in a manner similar to an agressive cancer, and just about as healthy for the product. For excellent examples of that, just look at the last few OS releases from the industrie's giant. Not naming names, but it should be obvious who I mean.

Ann R. Thryft
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Blogger
Re: Semi-Arid Land
Ann R. Thryft   3/7/2013 2:02:06 PM
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I agree, that's a good use of the saying, although applying it to system design was a later application of it. Why not name names? MS has been well-known for bloat for at least 20 years. Or did you mean another company?



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