arrowwhiskers: (sleepy)
[personal profile] arrowwhiskers
Every once in awhile when I get bored and listless I watch TEDTalks lectures. I started on Netflix, but then I realized they have them on Youtube as well. They're actually pretty fantastic, most of the time--people have really great ideas and talk about some really interesting things.

I think this is my favorite one that I've watched to date:



It strikes me that sometimes the most obvious ideas are lost in a sea of negativity and black-and-white, dismissive rhetoric: No, we can't POSSIBLY deal with electric cars, the technology isn't there yet. The plug and charge model is the only one possible, and it's not viable, therefore electric cars aren't viable. Electric cars are necessarily more expensive and less convenient and therefore there isn't a market for them. Etc. The step from "okay we don't have the technology to work magic yet" to "what can we do to make this work with the technology we DO HAVE" seems like it should be so obvious, so natural, and yet, it's not, somehow. The naysaying drowns it out. But doesn't his proposal make so much sense, after all? If people could set up an extensive infrastructure for transporting and dispensing gasoline--a volatile, toxic, flammable, liquid substance--could it really be *that much harder* to create the plug-in and switch-in-switch-out battery infrastructure that he describes? Only in the sense of pushing it through politically, I'd imagine. Thank god some governments are less deeply mired in oil interests than ours is...

The only thing that makes me kind of sad is that most of the information I'm finding about him/his project is a few years old. What's up with the progress? I wanna see progress. :0

As for me, I know I haven't updated in awhile, but there's not much to say. I've basically just been chilling, trying not to be a vegetable...swimming no longer seems to be helping with my symptoms, which means I've been a sad and miserable panda most of the time. I've been continuing to swim when I can possibly bear it, though, and I recently made a new record for myself--900 yards (36 laps of the pool) in a go. :) My new goal is 1,000.

For awhile I was trying to record some songs--I have 4 prepared, but my voice just refuses to cooperate. My allergies have shown frustratingly little improvement since I moved the cage out of my room, and I basically have 100% congestion all the time. I am wondering if this will get better when we move, and am tentatively hopeful, but I'm trying not to get my hopes up. ><;

The only other thing I've really been doing is studying German like a fiend--what started as a whim has turned into my primary hobby, for the time being. I'm using an online textbook series and just working through the exercises, and I think the way they unfold is almost ideal to my learning style because I feel like I am just soaking everything up and learning so efficiently and so fast. For comparison, I'd dabbled a little bit in German self-study occasionally over the years, and started doing so again a few months ago--yet with all the times I tried to teach myself a little bit, almost NOTHING would ever stick. But this--it's working this time. It's actually kind of jarring how effective this method has been for me. The textbooks have no audio, and they're limited in the sense that they're just, well, written exercises, so I'm clearly missing some things by studying this way, but I feel like it's giving me a really solid foundation and it's a really good start. I want to just work through without stopping but I've been forcing myself to slow down and pace myself so that I actually remember things and don't overload--the waiting is actually hard! I get to learn about genitives next, but I don't get to do them til tomorrow...haha, it's actually kind of sad. :)

If anyone else is interested in learning German, the books I've been using are available here. Every chapter deals with one or two new grammar concepts, and contains 60-70 practice exercises. The answers are available for each one in an answer key at the bottom of the page. I have also been creating an Anki deck with all the vocabulary from the book as I go, and if anyone is interested in a copy of that I am more than happy to share. :)

So anyway, that's what I've been thinking, and what I'm up to. What do you guys think about this new way of conceiving of electric car infrastructure? And what have you been up to yourselves?
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February 2013

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