Thursday, February 26, 2015

Errata et Cetera

Errata et Cetera


I once knew a Texas oilman named Jimbo Collins who told me, and I quote, "The only mistake I ever made was one time when I thought I was wrong and it turned out I was right." Now that's confidence. Or arrogance. Or something along those lines.

Brianna Bleachteeth (not her real name), my waitress at the Dang Cafe in Morro Bay, probably isn't the best resource to consult regarding nuclear power plants. I should have fact checked her story on the Wigglypedia or somewhere. Cuz those twin smoke stacks I saw from the Dang Patio were not remnants of a decommissioned nuclear facility like BB claimed. The nuclear plant is still in operation just a mile or two from there. Those smoke stacks are actually leftover from an old gas power plant, if my Wiggly experts are correct.

The nuke facility (not exactly precisely prezactly built on a fault, but just a Colin Kapernick heave or two away) was recently upgraded to withstand a 7.65 magnitude earthquake, heh-heh. That's good. Now if we can just persuade the 7.64 magnitude EQ-induced tsunami to spare Morro Bay, we're all set.

Like most people, I am totally confused about nuclear power. The experts are not afraid of it and they really do know more than the rest of us. But can we trust the process? Human error tends to creep into the execution of even the best, smartest plans. A little error in this case can last centuries.

To be sure, we're screwed if we keep burning coal and gasoline. And we cannot power all our toys and conveniences with solar and/or wind. We would basically have to pave over a few states with panels and turbines and even then, we're not in great shape on cloudy, still days. Carbon sequestration? Probably worth a try, but the same old human error problems would threaten to poison our drinking water. The law of unintended consequences hangs over all these decisions.

I wonder what Jimbo Collins would say, if he is even still around to say anything. My guess is that he would be in favor of keeping all the wells going in which he has negotiated some kind of override and try whatever else we wanted to try as long as he could get a piece of the pie. He's funny like that.

Speaking of pie, on Saturday, March 14, 2015, I and a small group of ex-science teachers are holding the First and Probably Only Pizza Pie Pi Festival here in San Juan Bautista. For those of you who were not snoozing away in your puberty years, and/or have not subsequently transformed your brain cells into pudding with alcohol and television, you probably remember how to find the area of a circle. For that you need the contant "pi" which most of us abbreviated as 3.14 but can be extended to 3.1415 or even further to 3.1415926 et cetera et cetera.

Maybe you are starting to get the picture. March 14, 2015. 3-14-15. Yeah. See this month's AARP Magazine for more fascinating details. Anyway, we're getting together at the Pizza Factory at noon. The 9:26 p.m. time is too late for retired folks and 9:26 a.m. is way too early to have a slice of pizza pie. Hence the noon hour. An appropriate prize will be awarded for the nerdiest t-shirt.

You are welcome to stop by and festiviate. Fair warning: you may be asked to find the area of the surface of your pie pan. Calculators and Smartyphones are not allowed.

Peace. Love, and Radii,

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