– ”I must have more power!” – I was looking at Facebook and noticed an ad for a “Zero point” magnetic power generator that claimed to allow you to disconnect your home from the power grid by generating electricity through pure magnetic principles, not using water or air or any other sort of external force.
This is complete hokum, of course.
A perpetual motion machines– a device that moves forever without external force applied – is impossible except in a completely friction-free environment (example: Earth rotating around the sun, although tidal friction and tectonic forces are slowing it down as well, so maybe not), and a device that generates more power than it uses is even more impossible.
Anyway, while noodling around looking up stuff on this bogus electrical generator, I found a lovely web site for The Museum of Unworkable Devices (click here!) which is great fun and very educational. It helps if you’ve studied a little physics at some point in your life, but the pictures and explanations are clear enough so you can puzzle things out with very little trouble.
– I’ve had lots of feedback on Sunday’s column about my recent colonoscopy. I was at a party Saturday night where a friend asked me what my column was about the next day, I told him, and he said he was looking forward to reading my “columnoscopy” and I slapped myself for not thinking of that.
– Tomorrow’s column is about the financial aspects of all this. A lot of people are screaming “socialism” about the plans to reform health care funding in this country, but I think those people need to remember that we have already socialized the problem, if you define “socialism” as “passing the costs on to society as a whole.”
That is precisely what insurance does. The difference between that and a government plan is that private insurance companies take 15 to 20 percent off the top and, motivated by profits and greed, do their darndest to avoid paying our medical bills. Why the American people tolerate this cruel, inefficient system whose only goal is to enrich insurance companies is beyond me.
Anyway, that’s Tuesday. I’m sure it will draw flack.
– Sunday’s column also brought several comments from readers who have had cancer discovered by colonoscopies, and one guy who said it also turned up prostate cancer that had not been found by the usual methods.
Another fellow said that, after his colon cancer was surgically treated, he was missing so much of his sigmoid colon that he had nearly continual diahrea until he discovered a drug called Lomotil, which gave him his life back. It sounds like a prescription-strength version of Imodium. I’m missing my signoid as well (diverticulitis four years ago) and have some similar issues, but nothing imodium at times can’t handle.
Isn’t this just like a columnist, always writing about ….. This reminds me of a joke about President Harry Truman where he was talking to some people one day and used the word “manure.” Someone asked his wife if she couldn’t get him to quit using language like that and she said, “Be thankful, dear. You don’t know how long it took us to get him to say ‘manure’ instead!”