ChuckS's recent activity

  1. Comment on Copenhagen left looking sheepish after feta cheese judgment – Denmark loses Greek cheese fight at top EU court in ~food

    ChuckS
    Link Parent
    You can buy it, under a different name. Champagne vs sparkling wine. It's akin to a patent - that region created the thing, they spent time building a reputation, marketing, etc. It's not fair to...

    You can buy it, under a different name. Champagne vs sparkling wine.

    It's akin to a patent - that region created the thing, they spent time building a reputation, marketing, etc. It's not fair to those people that invested all that effort for Nestlé to open a factory to mass produce some knockoff that capitalizes on the name. It dilutes the "brand" the region established and there's no accountability.

    If Nestlé wants to call it, say, Parmesan cheese, then they're allowed to do it if they open the factory in Parma, but then they're subject to the laws in the locality and that locality can then enforce whatever food purity laws or whatever else they want.

    Go look at Greek yogurt for example. It's supposed to be yogurt that strains out the whey/liquid. It's thick because it's concentrated. Or, it's supposed to be. Fage, Oikos, etc. are made with milk and yogurt cultures. They get it thick by traditional processing.

    Yoplait Greek yogurt is using gelatin to artificially thicken the yogurt, Greek Gods is using pectin, Zoi is using maltodextrin, etc.

    If there were protections here then you could buy "Greek yogurt" that's manufactured how you expect when you hear the name, or "Greek-style yogurt" for those that aren't.

    6 votes
  2. Comment on California’s solar market is now a battery market in ~enviro

    ChuckS
    Link Parent
    Yeah correct. The horizontal distance in the stairs analogy is the time taken for the transient in the solar field. The too-steep stairs are the unmodified solar output, and the second set of...

    Yeah correct. The horizontal distance in the stairs analogy is the time taken for the transient in the solar field.

    The too-steep stairs are the unmodified solar output, and the second set of bolt-on stairs that pads the stair tread to a safe length is the surge generation capacity (battery).

    If it's a line, y=mx + b, the battery supplements the slope to make it less steep. I'd like to put y=(m+battery)x + b, where the slope m is negative because power is falling and battery is positive. And again, the point isn't to get the combined slope to zero (steady power), it's to get the combined slope to an acceptable negative slope, where the magnitude is within some regulatory threshold.

    Another example might be airbags. The point of the airbag isn't to prevent you from stopping, but instead to extend the time you have to slow down such that your body receives some acceptable (non-fatal) deceleration.

    The battery slows the rate of power decline, because the solar field and the conventional utility are electrically coupled, and that electrical coupling becomes a mechanical coupling in the conventional generator. It takes time for the steam governor to open and admit more inlet power to the generator, and the solar field power drop is felt at the conventional utility as a sudden increase in demand. The sudden transient could stress the mechanical equipment, but also if the increase in demand outstrips the ability of the inlet governor to adjust then the mechanical power simply doesn't exist and the generated power fails to meet demand, resulting in a brownout.

    2 votes
  3. Comment on California’s solar market is now a battery market in ~enviro

    ChuckS
    Link Parent
    You're basically "unit laundering" from power being a derivative (energy per time) to power being the base term and energy being the integral (accumulated power). I tend to think in Watt-hours for...

    You're basically "unit laundering" from power being a derivative (energy per time) to power being the base term and energy being the integral (accumulated power).

    I tend to think in Watt-hours for energy because I do like the "accumulated power" concept, but that also might be the fact that the pervasiveness of Watts as a unit leads me to think more in terms of power.

    1 kilowatt hour could be 1 Watt for 1000 hours or 1 kilowatt for 1 hour, or 10 kW for (0.1 hr =) 6 minutes. And I understand that mathematically it converts okay to Joules, but again I think of spent energy as "how long have I been generating X power," or battery capacity as "how long could this provide X power?"

    4 votes
  4. Comment on California’s solar market is now a battery market in ~enviro

    ChuckS
    Link Parent
    You're considering if they followed the allowable ramp rate for the same duration. In the example, for whatever reason (rain, solar eclipse, etc.) the solar field will only generate 30 MW. The...

    You're considering if they followed the allowable ramp rate for the same duration. In the example, for whatever reason (rain, solar eclipse, etc.) the solar field will only generate 30 MW.

    The solar field is allowed to output whatever it wants, down to zero. See also: night. It's not a matter of what the ultimate output power is, but how quickly you get to that output power, to give other utilities an opportunity to safely ramp up their production to make up for your deficit.

    So if the solar field IS going from 300 to 30 MW in 20 seconds, on a hypothetical perfectly linear transition, then it's going to drop power at a rate of 270/20 = 27/2 = 13.5 MW per second.

    The solar field, not wanting to get fined for exceeding the (hypothetical) 10 MW/s allowable ramp rate, needs to make up the difference there somehow. It could be batteries, it could be standby diesel generators, etc.

    They don't need to maintain any particular ultimate output, they just need to get to whatever it is slowly, so as long as they're capable of SLOWING the rate of decline, they don't get fined.

    So again, if they're allowed to drop at 10 MW/s, and they are dropping, without supplementation, at a rate of 13.5 MW/s, then they need to supplement that excess 3.5 MW, and they need to be able to sustain that supplement for however long the transient occurs.

    Maybe think of it like stairs. If they're too steep, they could pose a trip/fall hazard, so the regulation is on stair pitch. As long as you have the appropriate steepness, you're allowed to build any number of steps. The step steepness regulation doesn't care or have anything to do with the elevation (power) difference between the two end points.

    2 votes
  5. Comment on California’s solar market is now a battery market in ~enviro

    ChuckS
    Link Parent
    I was tangentially involved in engineering for batteries on grid scale solar projects. The use of batteries isn't for something like "saving" sunlight to distribute at night, but for the more...

    I was tangentially involved in engineering for batteries on grid scale solar projects.

    The use of batteries isn't for something like "saving" sunlight to distribute at night, but for the more mundane task of controlling output power fluctuation. If you had a storm roll in quickly, the power production might drop very quickly.

    The load on the grid doesn't drop quickly, though, which means the non-solar power facilities need to pick up that load in a hurry, and it's not easy to (near-) instantaneously add 200+ MW of power.

    It puts a tremendous stress on conventional plants, to the point that those power utilities or regulatory agencies will FINE your solar site for failing to comply with established power ramp rates. The faster your power changes - in either direction! - the steeper the fine.

    If your power production goes from, say, 300 MW to 30 MW in 20 seconds, then you're dropping at a rate of about 13.5 MW per second. If the regulatory agency says you're only allowed to change 10 MW per second, then you're in violation and will be fined.

    So the battery capacity isn't about long-term storage, to time shift solar to night production, but instead to pad out that power fluctuation so you're not in violation. In the example I made up, you'd need a battery system that can output 3.5 MW for 20 seconds to keep your company from getting fined.

    14 votes
  6. Comment on Norwegians head to the polls on Sept. 13 in a parliamentary election that has centered on the issue of whether saving the planet is worth stopping the fossil fuel gravy train in ~enviro

    ChuckS
    Link Parent
    Why are renewables so unpopular?

    What's the "new oil" going to be when renewables are so unpopular

    Why are renewables so unpopular?

    5 votes
  7. Comment on Rick and Morty - Season 5 discussion in ~tv

    ChuckS
    Link Parent
    Really? The most disappointing streaming service? You've got access to all of the HBO content!

    Really? The most disappointing streaming service? You've got access to all of the HBO content!

    2 votes
  8. Comment on What's a hidden health issue you live with? in ~health

    ChuckS
    Link Parent
    I'm writing this as I'm doing my cooldown walk back to my house. Give exercise a shot. I always thought I would hate running, but part of me always wanted to give it a shot. After I watched this...

    I'm writing this as I'm doing my cooldown walk back to my house. Give exercise a shot. I always thought I would hate running, but part of me always wanted to give it a shot. After I watched this video on running form I decided to give the couch to 5k program a shot. I've been running for six years now. I was 31 and 255 pounds when I started.

    All that is to say that if I can do it I think anyone can. If it's not fun then you're going too fast - running doesn't mean speed, it's the form.

    What I've found, being also ADHD, is that running gives me some quiet time, gives my body an outlet for me anxious energy, and I think the endorphine kick helps my brain to focus. The two best places for thinking for me are on runs and in the shower.

    I'd highly recommend the paid couch to 5k app. It's three dollars. Get any pair of running shoes, some shorts and a t-shirt, and go start the couch to 5k program. Go get that runner's high.

    2 votes
  9. Comment on What's a hidden health issue you live with? in ~health

    ChuckS
    Link Parent
    I don't know if you've considered psilocybin (magic mushrooms) but I read for years about studies using it to treat depression and PTSD and, importantly to me, existential dread for end-stage...

    I don't know if you've considered psilocybin (magic mushrooms) but I read for years about studies using it to treat depression and PTSD and, importantly to me, existential dread for end-stage cancer patients.

    I watched my grandfather die in a hospital. I was 29, he was the most meaningful person in my life, he was the first immediate family member of mine to die, and it was the first person I had ever watched die.

    I suffered from PTSD for years after and suffered quite a lot of existential dread. I know how quickly time feels like it's passing and I could very clearly empathize with him and realized one day, if I'm lucky, I'll be dying in a hospital bed with my family while my grandson watches me die. It's only a matter of time, and time seems to be speeding up as I get older. I'm almost 38 now.

    Sometimes I'll lay in bed at night and these intrusive thoughts will come to me where I try to imagine what death would be like, to know that I will simply cease to exist and my blood runs cold.

    It got bad enough for me that I stopped sleeping well, and I thought that if psilocybin could help people cope that are actually facing death then maybe it could help me. I've tried several times now and, while the flashbacks to his death still happen occasionally, they don't carry the same emotional impact. I've thought about death since, but not with the same adrenaline/fear response. Sometimes I notice the knot in my stomach is gone.

    I got started with a microscopy kit from /r/SporeTraders and some reading on /r/UncleBens. The process of getting to mushrooms took quite a long time, and the restorative qualities didn't happen for me on the first trip, but I also haven't taken a huge dose, just 4-5 moderate ones.

    5 votes
  10. Comment on What's a hidden health issue you live with? in ~health

    ChuckS
    Link Parent
    I used to get terrible headaches several times a week. Turns out I just needed glasses. My vision wasn't awful, 20/30 in one eye and 20/40 in the other, but it was just enough that a full day of...

    I used to get terrible headaches several times a week. Turns out I just needed glasses. My vision wasn't awful, 20/30 in one eye and 20/40 in the other, but it was just enough that a full day of existing would basically have a 50/50 shot at a migraine. Headaches are now really uncommon for me.

    2 votes
  11. Comment on President Biden's COVID-19 plan - Includes a requirement for all employers with 100+ employees to ensure their workers are vaccinated or tested weekly in ~health.coronavirus

    ChuckS
    Link Parent
    It's happening through OSHA. It's a workplace safety mechanism that's already in place. I don't see how it's dubious at all.

    a general mandate (at the state or federal level) is a bit more dubious IMO.

    It's happening through OSHA. It's a workplace safety mechanism that's already in place. I don't see how it's dubious at all.

    4 votes
  12. Comment on The end of ownership: How big companies are trying to turn everyone into renters in ~finance

    ChuckS
    Link Parent
    How can you argue for electronic ownership and elimination of DRM at the same time? Electronic ownership without DRM just means you can make as many copies as you want and give them away to as...

    How can you argue for electronic ownership and elimination of DRM at the same time? Electronic ownership without DRM just means you can make as many copies as you want and give them away to as many people as you want.

    What you want is transferable electronic ownership. Honestly though you could probably just do that by making a unique email address for each game you own. When you're done playing the game, sell the email address.

    1 vote
  13. Comment on Buying a house relatively soon, lay your advice on me! in ~life

    ChuckS
    Link Parent
    In the US, the version of this advice would be to buy the title insurance. Your bank will require title insurance for them, but that does not cover YOU. Yes there is supposed to be someone doing a...

    In the US, the version of this advice would be to buy the title insurance. Your bank will require title insurance for them, but that does not cover YOU.

    Yes there is supposed to be someone doing a check on the legal history of the building, making sure there are no liens against the property or anything. Title insurance will pay if they made a mistake and you, for example, don't actually own the house (because there's a valid prior deed that wasn't actually signed over) or you don't own the parcel you thought you owned, or there's a mechanic lien on the property, etc.

    Title insurance will also pay for your legal defense if no mistakes were made but someone tries to claim you don't actually own the property (Seller's heirs, etc.).

  14. Comment on Buying a house relatively soon, lay your advice on me! in ~life

    ChuckS
    Link
    Don't wait for things to get to the point of hiring a home inspector to take a hard look at things. If there are pull-down stairs to get into the attic, then pull them down and go into the attic....

    Don't wait for things to get to the point of hiring a home inspector to take a hard look at things. If there are pull-down stairs to get into the attic, then pull them down and go into the attic. Look at the underside of the roof for water damage. Turn a pencil around and push the eraser end hard at the base of the door jamb for exterior doors, especially sliding or French doors. If there's a crawl space, you don't need to go army crawling around everywhere, but use a high-power flashlight and just look from the entrance at the foundation walls and rim joists - they should all be bone dry, with no water staining.

    Google termite tunnels and learn what they look like. The bottom course of vinyl siding should (1) be WELL above the ground, (2) should NOT have J-channel on the bottom, and (3) should NOT pull away from the house easily. Go around the house and give a few sharp tugs to the bottom edge of the bottom course of siding. If there is a deck, look at the beams that support the deck. Do they sit on concrete or are they in the dirt? If they're in the dirt, pull the grass away and actually look at the post size at dirt level and compare it to the post about a foot above the dirt. Is it intact? Halfway gone? Less?

    You see a house online, great. You see how many rooms it's got, whatever, doesn't really matter. When you go in person, don't go to look at stuff like, "oh the bedrooms all have closets," or, "Wow the kitchen is a little small." You should have a feel for all that stuff from the pictures. Go to the house to look for stuff they wouldn't show in the pictures.

    Water damage is the number one thing that has screwed me, and it happens over and over again. Bottoms of windows and doors, bottom course of siding, rim joists and foundation walls in general but especially wherever the ground is sloping TOWARD the house.

    Also, last thing - if there's a below-grade basement and the basement looks new, take a couple face plates off of outlets and look at the wires screwed into the outlets. They should be copper-colored or brown. If they're green then that outlet was under water at some point.

    6 votes
  15. Comment on What’s a mistake many people do not know they are making? in ~talk

  16. Comment on What’s a mistake many people do not know they are making? in ~talk

    ChuckS
    Link Parent
    I saw someone comment that tobacco taxes have gone up and that people are just substituting a food addiction for a nicotine addiction.

    I saw someone comment that tobacco taxes have gone up and that people are just substituting a food addiction for a nicotine addiction.

    2 votes
  17. Comment on The end is near: COVID is becoming endemic in ~health.coronavirus

    ChuckS
    Link Parent
    I'm not in the medical field so there's the disclaimer that I have no idea what I'm talking about. My sister is a social worker and has frequent interactions with medical staff and this topic is...

    I'm not in the medical field so there's the disclaimer that I have no idea what I'm talking about. My sister is a social worker and has frequent interactions with medical staff and this topic is one of those water cooler discussions she had with one of them as I understand it. Here's a journal article if you're interested in reading more (I'm an engineer, so I DO understand journal articles haha)

    https://journals.asm.org/doi/10.1128/mBio.03447-20

    1 vote
  18. Comment on The Amazon that customers don’t see in ~life

  19. Comment on Can you tell the difference between a one million dollar cello and a $5,000 cello? in ~music

    ChuckS
    Link Parent
    I think Sebastian Madgwick, creator of the Madgwick IMU filter, makes custom gesture-control gloves. I've listened to her while working with his algorithm before I found out they worked together haha

    I think Sebastian Madgwick, creator of the Madgwick IMU filter, makes custom gesture-control gloves. I've listened to her while working with his algorithm before I found out they worked together haha

    2 votes
  20. Comment on The end is near: COVID is becoming endemic in ~health.coronavirus

    ChuckS
    Link Parent
    You say this, but my son and daughter both have been in school, in-person, five days a week, for the entire 20-21 school year. We never received notice of any possibility of in-school...

    Until the < 12 gets vaccinated, daycares and schools will be breeding grounds for varients, even in the slow season.

    You say this, but my son and daughter both have been in school, in-person, five days a week, for the entire 20-21 school year. We never received notice of any possibility of in-school transmission. I don't think schools are the community-spreader locations everyone feared they would be at the start of this.

    My sister is in healthcare and she told me there's a theory that the MMR vaccine is giving children an immunity boost and is the reason why children don't seem to be as likely to become symptomatic or experience serious complications as adults.

    Otherwise I'm fully on board with everything you're saying. My kids are young, 6 and 4, and my wife and I are going to continue masking everywhere until they are able to get vaccinated.

    4 votes