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July 27, 2006

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74 degrees right now. But then, I live downwind of a lake.

I'll be in a position to buy a house in California about two years. One cheer for housing prices not going up in that time!

Yeah, I can't even get too excited. :)

are compact fluorescent bulbs going to make my skin look less green than regular fluorescents?

Come to think of it, you should probably turn off desktop computers too. That's 300w or so of heat you avoid.

are compact fluorescent bulbs going to make my skin look less green than regular fluorescents?

Natural color

Come to think of it, you should probably turn off desktop computers too.

I'm in Canada, and the heat actually killed my desktop left running at night. Toasted power supply, I think.

So: how hot is it where you are?

In Vancouver, currently only 23, but it was up at 33 last week.

And no, I'm not going to convert to furlongs or leagues or whatever the hell you people use. By the way, when are you people going to switch to a rationale system? You're like the last country in the world to be fiddling with pounds, ounces, getting ten furlongs to the hogshead, mutter, grumble...

I wish I could have windows open, but alas, my downstairs neighbors are repellent chain-smokers who stand on their balcony all the time. Since I don't want my apartment smelling like smoke, we are, as Chaucer might say, phuqued. Still, we've made a concerted effort to avoid using the A/C; we bought two oscillating tower fans at Target, and keep one in the bedroom and one in the living room. We keep as few lights on as possible; sadly, though, many of our fixtures have covers that will only allow for incandescent bulbs.

I don't think I will ever be able to afford a home in the DC Metro area; costs simply outpaced our salaries, and even in a soft market, prices aren't going to drop enough to matter for us. Unless we want to live in freakin' Winchester or farther, and commute 2+ hours each way to work -- and, trust me, we don't -- we'll be renters as long as we live here.

By the way, when are you people going to switch to a rationale system?

Could have sworn that's what we already have.

The Independent:

the US will sell India nuclear fuel and technology for civilian purposes, in exchange for India putting most of its reactors under international safeguards. But a former head of Indian intelligence has said publicly the deal will allow India to produce 50 more nuclear warheads a year than it can now, by freeing up existing uranium reserves for military use.

The vote in Washington comes days after satellite photographs revealed Pakistan is building what analysts believe is a large reactor capable of producing enough plutonium for 50 warheads a year, a discovery which has led to fears of an intensified nuclear arms race between India and Pakistan.

It's 81 putrescent degrees here. Today was one of those days where the whole outside seems to stink--although I suspect it was merely a series of unlucky eructations from the sidewalk vents. Mid-90s the next several days . . . .

dpu, a thousand cubits of curses upon your measurement snobbery.

Congratulations on closing, hilzoy. It must be a relief.

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It has been ghastly here in the Seattle area--by which I define mid to high 80's, consistently, for weeks. This kind of weather can go back to California where they actually enjoy it when it's above the mid-70's.

On the plus side, I finally was able to get prescription sunglasses again, so my photosensitive eyes are no longer completely blinded when stepping outside. And as an added bonus, for the first time in my life: contacts. Extreme weirdness.

Our heat coping techniques: be naked. Take lukewarm showers and get our hair wet; tie it tightly so that it stays wet longer and helps shed heat. Put bottled water in the freezer (NOT filled all the way) overnight, take it out in the morning--ice-cold water all day. Utter imprecations at the burning orb of death in the sky and pray for the rain to come back and stay.

It's been 37 here, which is 98, but I think Japanese measure temperature in a different standard location, cause it feels hotter than 98.

I've taken to getting one of those soft icepacks and putting it behind my head under a towel, which makes all the difference in the world.

it was 95 with very high humidity here in Raleigh, at lunch. then a big TStorm came through and cooled it off to a nice 75.

last wednesday night, the office where i work was broken into. the guy stole a bunch of small electronics (cell phones, palms, etc). he even took my precious iPod. today, they caught him, and we all cot our stuff back. ha ha, thief.

Lightning just to the west of me; we should have a T-storm in only a few minutes.

effing hot in southern California.

I love those old measures, and would hate to lose them for mere efficiency. That said, I'm not sure how people can survive without this http://www.sizes.com/units/barrel_wine.htm>chart. This http://www.unc.edu/~rowlett/units/custom.html>one I include for you metric folks.

I used to have memorized quick conversions from cubic feet per second to acre-feet per day, but now I'd have to do it the long way.

Congratulations on the sale! I'm trying to sell a house too. It ain't easy these days. I figure that, since we're trying to both sell and buy, we'll come out OK in the end; but the soft market slows the whole process down.

Compact fluorescents are pretty good these days. They're nothing like the nasty greenish circular tubes that GE was selling 20 years ago. I bought a whole mess of 'em a few months ago, and because I'm lazy, I've been replacing incandescent bulbs only as they burn out; but now that I think about it, maybe that's false economy at best.

It's finally cooled off in Seattle - well, down to the mere high 70s-low 80s from the 90s where it had been since last Friday. I cursed myself for not getting a swamp cooler last fall, though I could probably rig something similar. (I did use the "go to bed wet" technique, and it worked wonderfully well... until the heat dried me off.)

I'm going away on vacation soon, and I'm worried about my kitties if another heat wave hits. I'll drag all the fans downstairs, like I did this week, but I won't be around to open all the patio doors. Even if I do rig up stacks of blue ice for the fans to blow through, someone's gonna have to pop the ice back in the freezer every night and take it out again every morning. My neighbor will take care of the cats, but I'm not sure she's up for the Dance of the Blue Ice. Does anyone know of any brands of blue ice that stays cold for days and days?

Congrats on losing 1 home.

Philly hasn't been too bad this week -- high 80's/low 90's for highs, around 70 at night.

On the other hand, the wife has insisted on something I have been unable to convince her makes zero sense -- we must sleep with the ceiling fan on, but she still has the heavy bed spread on top of her, as if it were mid-winter. I have tried to point out that if she takes the top cover off, she will be cooler, even without the ceiling fan, but she refuses to listen.

I think the high was about 90 here in Cambridge today, though the Big Dig mess has many people much hotter.

As for measurement units, I have one utterly irrational reason for liking the metric system. It makes places seem closer. If you are driving somewhere and see a sign that says you have 60 to go, that's much better under the metric system than the English.

No. It makes no sense.

Compact flourescents. This is a tough one for me, because, while we are really committed to the idea of saving energy, the wife and I are both very particular about lighting, and the idea of having our home lit like a 7/11 in the evenings is pretty unappealing. I've tried CF bulbs several times in the past, and ended up switching back to incandescents and halogens each time because the CF bulbs just haven't compared.

I am giving the the full-spectrum CF bulbs a try. The verdict's still not completely in, though my wife is actually leaning more toward regular pinkish CF bulbs, if that's the only other choice. I think the white full-spectrum light is jarring, perhaps because we have evolved to expect sunlight during the day and firelight at night. Incandescents more or less approximate the latter, I think. Turning on the full-specturm CF bulb is a bit like walking out of a dark movie theater in mid-afternoon. It just doesn't sit right with some part of my brain.

Also, CF bulbs that advertise themselves as "instant-on"? Filthy lies.

If anyone has any advice for overcoming these problems, please let me know.

Bravo, hilzoy, for selling house #1. Must be a huge relief. Here in S. AZ it was a brisk 147,216 degrees (in the shade). Brrrrr...

(xanax hangs self... an anuual summer ritual).

Bernard--
your notion reminds me of an Australian I once met in Athens. He was delighted at the fact that he was getting something like 100 drachmas for each of his dollars. He said he felt rich. I told him that I had just been in Yugoslavia, and the exchange rate there was 1200 dinars to the dollar. He immediately determined to travel there next. (This conversation occurred in the lobby of a hotel in which we were staying. Its nightly rate was 400 drachmas, so I suppose we were both rich there.)

(Mortgage 1, mortgage 2, bridge financing.)

Ummm...someone sold you a bridge?

The fan trick doesn't work so well here in the semitropics, but I used it all the time in Indiana.

JakeB,

The first time I went to Italy, pre-euro, I was disappointed to learn that Italians often dropped the thousands when discussing prices in lira. Flinging around thousands with abandon was a great thing.

I dimly recall that there was some research on this. Back in the days of pinball machines (you remember - flippers and replays and whatnot) someone set up two machines side by side that were identical in all respects, except that the scores on one were 1000 times the scores on the other. The nominally higher-scoring machine got about three times the play of the other.

It was "only" 88F in the Big Apple today, so I suppose it could be worse: but the high humidity makes even the 80s a drag to have to go around in (like everything else in NYC!) - but how does a fan system help with the humidity? Even if one can drag in and circulate (relatively) cooler air with a fan, without the dehumidifying effect of a/c how does it really help? Unless, of course, one can sleeps easier in mere "damp" as opposed to the urban summer norm of "oppressive steambath-like discomfort round-the-clock".

Closing on the first house (actually, selling it) is a bigger relief than you know. I liked it fine, but it was one of those houses that I knew might not have broader appeal. One (real)* bathroom, and even that small and without a bath, two bedrooms (one small), no obvious way to expand that wouldn't run into tons of money, since the well was on one side and the property line pretty close to the other, and the previous owners had extended the kitchen towards the back in a way that made further expansion very difficult; the attic would have been a lot more promising had the ceiling been higher. So: who would buy it? Not someone who had or planned to have kids. Sort of a niche market house.

Now I don't have to worry about selling it, thank God. And I even got a decent, though not great, price for it.

It's 86 here, at 11pm, and unbelievably humid. Lots of thunder; no rain. Ugh.

You can drive faster with the metric system too--100 is routine in Canada. (joking)

I'm the third Seattle area person on this thread but here's my report: it was over ninety for three days in a row on our island and I took to sleeping on the deck. During the day we did nothing, we were as lazy as lizards on rocks.

Now it is a lovely 70 and life has resumed once again.

11:17 PM CST

86 degrees;90 heat index;humidity 57;dew pt 69!! About 77 inside the house; need something to check the humidity...much drier. We keep everything black and closed all the time in summer. Need to clean out the roof vents and patch the ducts.

Took the dogs walking this morning at 6:30 AM. Was roughly 80/80 for three miles. Finished about 9:00. The sun was scarey. Maxed out today HI 104. Typical Dallas summer.

Umpetty years ago, I lived with my first Posslq in an apartment in north Seattle. It was summer, hot, and we dragged the mattress off the bed and out onto the lanai.

Next morning, I woke up, yawned, and my mouth felt - odd. I touched my upper lip: it felt half-novacained, all buzzy and thick. Except, it really was thick: three times the size it should be, and with none of the normal creases. I looked like a platypus.

Something, probably a mosquito, had bitten me - right on the lip.

Alan (after he was able to stop laughing, the bastard) reassured me the swelling would go down.

On topic three, Roubini has been predicting a hard landing for years. Volcker predicted a currency meltdown for 2006, I think. Who knows, that is why we have a market. Bernanke is playing games with inflation and trying to avoid another increase this year, though really too late for the election.

My guess is big Dem gains in Congress, then early in 2007 war with Iran which will bury a lot of fiscal sins and monetary shenanigans in general economic collapse. The usual suspects will profit, the usual victims will suffer and starve. "Starve-the-beast" will continue slouching towards Bethelehem.

I've always had pretty good luck with CF lights, although I'm not a "light purist". One thing you might try on any light fixtures which have more than one socket is to replace -one- of them with a CF. Cuts down on energy use and heat generated, but still gives you the "good" light from the old bulb.

And they are making smaller and smaller CF bulbs; they can fit into pretty tight spaces.

"(Mortgage 1, mortgage 2, bridge financing.)"

I'd never heard of the latter term before, but I suppose it doesn't mean somebody sold you a bridge?

Here in Vienna (The real one in Austria not the fake one in Virginia), we are supposed to hit the peak of the current heat-wave today. Predicted are 36°C.

I vacationed in Scotland the last two weeks. They claimed to experience a bout of hot weather, too. The 28°C they reached didn't exactly impress us.

To follow up on Otmar's "heat is relative" theme, here in Norway it has also been hot...for us anyway. Upper 20's and topping 30 several days, with nights in the mid-twenties as well (convert your own temps, english system heathens!). The only problem up here when it gets relatively warm is that nowhere is there air conditioning, not even in the hospital where I work, and the heat on the top floors is stifling. So I spend all day sweating and then come home to my non-air-conditioned home that gets terrible ventilation and sun that pounds on one side of the house until 11 at night and I sweat here as well.

We're hoping for some rain, which is an odd situation for us since we get far, far more rain per year than even Seattle does.

Bernard, I know exactly what you mean about the km v. mi thing. Case in point: My band played in Toronto back in May. Driving up there from DC, the trip to the border crossing at Buffalo seemed so long whenever I saw a sign announcing the distance, but once we crossed over and saw the signs in km, it was like, "Woohoo! Practically there!"

@Harald:
Bridge financing
covers the time period financially when you buy your new home without having sold your old home. An average household will not have enough savings to cover this gap; hence the need for a "bridge" over the cash abyss.

Your average credit card transaction could also be labelled a bridge finance transaction as you buy something which you only pay 30 days later. If you always pay off your monthly balance (which everyone should), you get a no-interest rate short term loan by your credit card company.

We do use CFs quite a bit, but probably not nearly enough. For instance, we have many lights-in-a-can (otherwise known as recessed lighting) that we have replaced with CFs. They work really well in the shower, where you're not so concerned about color. Or, more accurately, I'm not so concerned about color. Their major drawback is that it takes them a while to come up to full brightness. I've also used CF in external floodlighting; same problem, but we put up with it.

For those of us (which is possibly not very many) who aren't familiar with the incandescent-lighting problem: incandescents put out roughly 5% of their power consumption as visible light; the rest is heat. So they're 5% efficient; CFs are ~20% (IIRC) efficient. Put your hand on a CF and it's warm but not uncomfortably hot. If we can get a multicolor LED lamp that puts out a decent amount of light, we might be able to get the best of both worlds: good color mix in the light source and better efficiency than CFs. Still, LEDs, as far as I know, are still less than 50% efficient.

An automobile, for comparison, is (for unmodified, four-stroked gasoline engines) more like 20%, give or take. So, we're driving cars that are roughly four times as efficient as our light bulbs. Of course, for all kinds of vehicles it's best to consider efficiency in terms of how much of the original power source gets converted to propulsion. Fossil fuels are found energy, so for the most part the solar and geological energy expended to make them is neglected. Other technologies such as hydrogen fuel cells need to consider the net inefficiency in the process, including transmission loss, power-generation loss and cell inefficiency. There's a link to Engineer-Poet up there on the upper left that has discussion of a lot of this stuff.

Those who are wondering how many ___ it takes to screw in a light bulb are best directed here.

Don't try this at home.

Don't try not closing the tag at home, either.

"Don't try not closing the tag at home, either."

Only at work, then, Slarti?

Work is fine. Home, though: strictly off limits.

I just received an email from a friend in Prince George, B.C., informing me that it was 48 degrees there. While it's 85, 75% humidity here.

The bastard.

Isn't the key to the color problem with fluorescents the "color temperature?"

I seem to recall seeing a fairly wide range of choices, though I'm not sure if 2800 - the value for incandescents - is available. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable - Slarti? - can cast some light here, so to speak.

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Yeah, that's about right, Bernard.

More important than the color temperature is the distribution. Google on "color rendering".

To get a light bulb to put out truly sunlike light, you'd have to crank the heat way up, and normal incandescents don't like that. There are special studio lights that get closer, but I don't think there's a 5500K light source out there that's cheap. Fluorescents you can buy with a higher color rendering index (CRI) than what you get at Costco in quantity, but they're a lot more expensive, because they use multiple coatings.

I'm not really The Man With The Lightbulb Head, but I do have some incidental awareness of how it all (blackbody, greybody, etc radiation) works.

It has been downright cool (high teens max) and wet here in the southern Yukon. Send some (but only some) of that heat our way would you?

Oddly enough, when Environment Canada did their big picture 3 month prediction for the summer, only the Yukon and northern BC were being called to be much cooler and wetter than normal. All the rest of Canada was supposed to be hotter and drier. So far that has been damm accurate.

Thanks, Jesica.

I'm looking at a couple of really hot biotech stocks right now - these babies are going places - and need some cash to jump on board. If you'll take the shares as collateral - non-recourse naturally, but don't worry, they're really sure things - maybe we can do business.

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