Words of Advice:

"Never Feel Sorry For Anyone Who Owns an Airplane."-- Tina Marie

"
If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"
Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It.
" -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Sunday, April 19, 2015

"Green Thing" Addendum & More

Addendum to "The Green Thing" post: Counterbalancing that is the fact that, other than in some city centers, most buildings before the Second World War were heated with coal-fired furnaces. That was labor-intensive, the ashes had to be disposed of and with hundreds of thousands of coal furnaces, stoves and fireplaces in cities of any size, air quality during the winter was often likely worse than modern-day Beijing. Because the pollution was so bad, businessmen would take a spare shirt into work so they could change into a clean shirt at lunchtime.

Even in cities and towns that supplied gas for heating and cooking, that gas was most often a product of coal gasification plants. Coal gas, often called "town gas" (nowadays, "synthetic natural gas") was toxic; sticking one's head in an unlit oven was a popular method of suicide.

There were still horse-drawn carts, which meant that the streets were littered with horseshit and washed with horse pee.

In some cities, such as New York, steam for heating systems was supplied by a central steam-generating plant. The steam was piped underground to the buildings that used it. Con Ed still runs such a system. Those systems were coal-fired, which essentially centralized the pollution (and was probably more efficient).

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I've begun going offline in the evening, around 7PM. I do use my computer for writing, but I shut off the network. The cellphone goes off, too. I read, maybe write, or watch some TV. But nothing that needs this massive time-sucking contraption known as the Internet.

2 comments:

mikey said...

I always find it interesting how various people I respect are coming to integrate the internet into their lives. We've certainly reached the point where it's just ubiquitous, like telephones in 60s or television in the 70s.

But for me, the thing I love most about the internet (other than, perhaps, being able to learn about anything instantly) is its function as a comms platform. In the last ten or twelve years I have made friends all over the globe - I never made a lot of friends in the real world - and being able to have these casual conversations that just go on forever is nothing short of amazing.

So while I understand your impulse, I never disconnect. If I'm not in front of the computer, I have my tablet. On the other side of that screen are my peeps...

Deadstick said...

There were still horse-drawn carts, which meant that the streets were littered with horseshit and washed with horse pee.
That is, in fact, the reason why San Francisco has cable cars. By the 1870's its population had reached the point that horses were shitting some 50,000 pounds per day and pissing in proportion; their hooves mixed the result into a slimy slush that lubricated the cobblestones, and horses regularly fell and broke legs trying to get up them. When they found they were shooting about one horse per day, they gave up and built the cable system; they knew electric cars were only a decade away, but they couldn't wait.