Sunday, December 23, 2007

Of Blood And Vexx

So I've been visiting the catheter lab of a certain local hospital.

No... I'm fine.

I've been shooting arterial stent insertion in the effort to produce a teaching video on the subject. So while you, dear readers, have languished in a Vexxarr-shaped vacuum, I have been dodging arterial blood spurts (yes, really) and trying to guess which of four fluoroscopes to feature in any given shot.

It is exhilarating torture, I assure you.

While watching a hair-thin probe slither the four feet from a patient's groin to the base of the neck it occurs to me... This person has been essentially boarded and had robots storm through their circulatory system while ramming through blockages on the way to deploying an alien device. Isn't this the literal antonym of non-invasive?

Conventional surgery by comparison is actually more of a breach. This is just like watching Darth Vader scour the Tantive IV for the Death Star plans...only with fewer actual droids.

At least so far.

Friday, December 14, 2007

I Hate It When I'm Right

I go round and round with people about electric cars. I tell them that they will arrive in the marketplace this decade. I am scoffed at. I tell the that there is strong consumer demand. I am met with denial. I point out that electric cars are faster, torquier and more efficient than internal combustion engines. I get excuses, hyperbole and outright lies. The last arguments against the electric car were 1) Range has been insufficient to be practical and 2) charge times are too long. Since the Tesla, the average range of an electric vehicle is about 120 miles to the charge (the Tesla gets nearly 300) and charge times to 80% capacity (roughly 100 miles) were at or below fifteen minutes.

Then came Toshiba.

On the 13th of this month, Toshiba announced the virtual birth of the age of electric vehicles. They will begin manufacture immediately of a Lithium battery which charges to 90% capacity in five minutes and has a tested lifespan of ten years. Originally shipping to commercial interests in 2008, the consumer market will likely follow at an accelerated pace. Toshiba for it's part has already announced that high performance variations of this new battery are being developed for the automotive industry.

In the US, even at the fastest pump, it takes ten minutes to fill up a compact car (doubt me? check your watch next time you fill up). Virtually every automobile in the US is designed with a 300 mile range (mileage to tank capacity ratio). Given that the worst electric vehicle will have at least a 100 mile range, topping off your charge in five to fifteen minutes every 100 miles is no hardship. I have to pee virtually every 60 miles so the 100 mile issue isn't much of a stretch. Add to this the fact that electric cars out accelerate, out perform and will outlast internal combustion equivalents and the new Toshiba battery makes this a no-brainer.

Maintenance-free electric drive is almost like car porn to me.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


It appears that Terry Pratchett has a rare form of early onset Alzheimer's. While insisting that he is not - as of yet - dead, I still find reason to experience a little disappointment and some sensible degree of sadness over this news. Pratchett for his part requests that offers of help be limited to those in the field of advanced neurology and emerging developments in brain chemistry. This of course is an exclusive club, membership to which eludes me at the moment.

But what about you? Any takers? You're a smart lot. Surely someone reading this can restore his cognitive fatty tissue on a quantum level. What else are you doing in 2008?

So now you have homework.

Details available on Paul Kidby's website.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

T-Shirts... Let's DO This

OK, I want you to be patient and understanding.

I have PUT UP THE NEW STORE (humble though it may be) and it includes the option to pay for and posses your very own Vexxarr Tee. I want you to feel free to send me money for this privilege. I only ask, apart from sending me your money, that you allow for some bumps in the process.

While I trust and rely upon PayPal, after I receive an order confirmation, I currently must hand ship the shirt from me to you. I sincerely doubt that I will be able to get you guys shirts by Christmas (or Hanukkah or Robomadan or The Rising of Dark Cthulhu) but I will do my level best.

While I have other T Shirt ideas in mind, I want to see how well these do before I trouble my kind and generous vendor further.

Oh, and buy my shirts.