The Theoretical Water Vapor Footprint

Hydrogen fuel cells are a cool idea if we can use seawater and electricity to make the hydrogen.

Anyway, what I’m thinking is this: when we burn hydrogen fuel, water vapor is one of the by-products. If we used seawater, you’d have mineral powder gathered by electrolysis when you make a hydrogen cell, and when you use the energy in the hydrogen cell, you’d have desalinized water.

So get THIS: Isn’t this the same as changing saltwater to freshwater? Either you have a condenser at the end of the exhaust that turns it into nice, pure distilled water, or you just let it release into the atmosphere. Bingo bango–rain. Freshwater.

So let’s say we’ve got 1 billion cars out there spewing water vapor instead of CO and CO2…would that mean more rain? Could we use that to our advantage in dry climates?

Are these stupid questions? I’m just thinking it would stand to reason that if the human CO2 footprint is changing the weather, a “water-vapor” footprint would change the weather too. At least I’d think it would, but I have no idea. I’d love to ask a meteorologist.

You’re basically adding moisture to the air. Like I said, with the traffic we run, multiply that by 1 billion cars. Hmm…maybe it wouldn’t make much of a difference. Let’s make it easy for ourselves and say each car makes 1 gallon of actual water a day just to make it simple. How much rain, in volume, does an inch of rainfall from a storm the size of Ohio drop? Let’s try an educated estimate..

Area = Length x Width
Volume = Area x Depth

1 inch = 2.6 cm
2.6 cm = .026 m
1 cubic meter = 264.2 gallons

Area of Ohio = ~116096 km^2.

Ok. So Ohio is 116096 square kilometers.
That’s the area of a perfect square with a 340.5 km (212 mi) side. I’ll buy that.

So we’re saying that an inch (or 2.6 cm) of rain has fallen on an area of 116096 square kilometers. There are 10,000 square meters in 1 square kilometer, so we’ll multiply 119096 x 10000 to get our area in square meters instead, and we have 1,190,960,000 square meters.

So we had .026 m of rainfall over 1,190,960,000 square meters. That means 30,965,960 cubic meters of rain fell in total. Multiply that by 264.2 (the number of gallons in 1 cubic m), and we get 8,180,942,432–or just over 8 billion gallons.

Wow. Kinda huge. Let’s revisit. 1 inch of rain falling over an area the size of Ohio produces 8 BILLION gallons of water. That’s a lot of water.

Now let’s go back to our hydrogen vehicle which we assumed to produce about 1 gallon of water a day on average (keep in mind this is now our WEAK estimate, the one on which we have little to no base data.) We know the amount of water that falls in a one-inch rainstorm the area of ohio, but we still don’t know how much water a hydrogen car produces on average per day. We’ll stick with 1 gallon.

If we assumed that 1 billion hydrogen cars (a high estimate, 1 hyrogen car for every six people) produced 1 gallon of water (probably another high estimate because the amount of water VAPOR to produce one gallon of WATER would be significantly higher than a 1:1 volume ratio) then we arrive at this conclusion:

It would take an entire world full of drivers at least eight days to produce the amount of water in a one-inch rainstorm the size of Ohio. That means it would take an entire world full of drivers at least a year to produce 7.5 inches of rain in nor-easter 6 times the area of Ohio.

That’s just one moderately-sized storm per year. Not much of a footprint, huh?

DREAM: Reading in a Dreamscape?

Another dream last night. This one seemes to be more about home structures than about travelling, as my last dream was chock full of. Also, it’s nonsense what they say about reading in your dreams. I actually had to shut down my computer in this last one, and I read a few items on the screen quite clearly. I’m not going to exaggerate and say I read a paragraph or anything, but I certainly had strings of recognizable latin characters hit the lens in my dream eye. I READ in my dream, so we can scratch the whole “this hemisphere is for reading, this hemisphere is for dreaming and THE TWO NEVER INTERACT” theory. I was shown the contents of my hard-disk on my computer in my dream. (Pretty sweet, no?)

SLEEPOVER

I couldn’t put my finger on the structure of this place. Looked like I was in a small urban setting. I had my old futon bunk-bed from ten years ago. I had the bad carpeting in my room from 10 years ago. Only thing…was my room outside? Like I said, I couldn’t wrap my brain around the architecture here. it almost looked like I had a fully-furnished “room” at street level. There was a loft ladder leading up to a 2nd level, which was also partially outside. Didn’t go in, only climbed the ladder once to get a better view of the street.

Now when I say street level, I mean out in the open in like an L-shaped alley. The alley was really clean and I wasn’t at all uncomfortable by the setting. It felt really warm. I was at home. The openness didn’t bother me. People my age, most of whom I couldn’t recognize, were either lounging around or playing video games or screwing with a computer, etc. I saw a figure approaching from one end, and for some reason I took it upon myself to see who it was before they entered.

It was an old friend from my class, another I haven’t talked to since graduation. I welcomed him to my place and led him in. When I returned to my “bedroom”, however, there were more people. I had been sitting on the lower futon part of my bunk bed, but when I came back there was a girl (a modern day version of a girl I knew 10 years ago) relaxing on it. She had also converted the futon into its bed form.

I thought about taking the top bunk, but there were other people looking for a place to sleep, so I grabbed a blanket and tried to lay it out on the floor. Every time I tried to lay it out it would wrinkle up on me. I spread it out by hand, and someone on the floor accidentally kicked it up. I spread it out again, and the blanket seemed to get smaller every time I did so. Now I was working with this strip of blanket fabric two feet wide by 5 feet long. I looked back to the upper bunk, and sure enough, another girl had taken it. I didn’t care. I laid down and I was content laying on the little strip of cloth.

LABYRINTH HOUSE

No smooth transition to this step. I remember climbing a set of outside stairs into the 2nd floor of a building that had the same kind of construction as The Muir House, the restaurant I rented a room above when I lived in Milford.

The first time I entered, I found a room that I identified as “my room,” even though it looked nothing like my old room in real life. I just knew it was mine. The outer walls were ceiling to waist-level glass, almost like this had been a porch that was built into a three-seasons room. All of my stuff was there, albeit in boxes or crates. The only things set up were my two computers, which I didn’t find odd since the first thing to go up and the last thing to come down in any place I live in is the computer.

I went to investigate other parts of the house. There were two or three older women I didn’t recognize, but I knew they were my landlords/hostesses/whatever. I didn’t really understand what my situation was or how long I was staying, but one of them asked me if I wanted breakfast. I said “no, I’d rather look around if you don’t mind,” and she told me to explore all I wanted.

Room after room after room. I got to the back half of the house and found a lot of it open-air structure, like an house in Southern Italy. There was a kind of garden in one part, and a maze of little passageways and paths that were seperated by fence or wire. When I say passageways, don’t think dark and damp, think more open like the netting separating the chambers in those old discovery zone mazes. Crazy stuff. I saw an old man sitting in the sun at the back of the house, kind of reminding me of my great-grandfather. I kept going in circles trying to find my way back to my room, exiting the rear of the house, going up the first outside staircase I found (but not the original stair leading to my room), going back through the garden and doing the whole thing over again. The old man warned me to watch that I don’t step on the bulbs in the garden, telling me that he had spent a lot of time on them to get them just right. I promised him I’d be careful and continued looking for the way to my room. Eventually I figured out that the staircase I was taking led to the third floor when I wanted to go to the second. I found my room again when I made this realization and picked the correct staircase–the one I went up when I first arrived at the house.

BEING COOL WITH NAKEDNESS

Now a couple people were in my room that were at the other place: I think the girl that was on my futon and an unrecognizable guy. I wanted to change into shorts, so I started doing so. I was asked a question about the house right in the middle of changing, but I didn’t care. I dropped my clothes and wandered halfway down a hall to answer the question, and oops, I was naked.

I’ve only ever experienced two kinds of naked in my dreams: the naked where I’m embarrassed to be naked, and the naked where everyone else is embarrassed. I’m happy to say that in the last three years or so, it’s always been the latter. Same with this time. After the reactions of my two guests, I half-laughed, apologized, and put on shorts and a t-shirt before I explained the rest of the answer I was giving about the house.

The girl asked me if I had seen the barn out back, and I told her I hadn’t. We walked to the back of the house, and I could see a little hill and just the very top of a barn in the distance. I started climbing the hill when both the girl and guy said, “no, go this way,”
pointing under the hill to a passage beneath.

PASSAGE UNDER THE HILL

I’m an explorer, so I was happy to do it. Beneath the hill was a man-made cavernous space about 30 feet wide and the height of a normal floor in a building, maybe 10 or 12 feet. As we walked back and back and back, it still seemed like there was dimmed sunlight pouring in from above us, something I didn’t understand as I knew we were now beneath the hill leading to the barn. I could see little gaps in the floorboards beneath me, showing that there was another level to the connection between the house and barn–another passageway on the floor beneath us. When I asked about it, the guy told me to wait and see–we were going to go down there next.

We got to the barn and didn’t spend a lot of time there. I climbed a stair into the main part of the barn, which looked like a huge hayloft with a couple stables on the side, much like a barn I knew from my youth. I didn’t care. I wanted to see the next level down in the passage under the hill.

We went down another floor which, again, didn’t seem to make it any darker. (Maybe a sign that I was totally comfortable with all this?) Now when we crossed the long passage back toward the house, the floorboards were bigger and more poorly linked together, leaving big gaps that you could accidentally step into if you weren’t careful. I ran ahead of the others, ignoring the fact that I didn’t know the place and that I could step into one of these gaps and fall even farther down into this subterranean passage. I got to a point where I had to stop dead–there was a part of the floor that had collapsed, and I could actually see the bottom of the passage, another two stories down with kind of a chalk-grey color. (still plenty of light to see something like that despite the fact that I was two stories down AS WELL AS beneath a mound of earth. I turned back to the two and laughed, telling them I almost made a flying leap into the hole (and I did, too. I was really moving across those planks.) I took the rest of the way back a little more slowly until I got back into the house.

YOU WANT HOW MUCH MONEY?

Now back in the house, I found my girlfriend Katherine packing some of my stuff into boxes. I followed along and started bringing stuff down to my car, no doubt an emulation of my real life move from two weeks ago. When I came back up the stairs, I was stopped by one of my hostesses, asking if I was going to take care of the bill or if she should send it to my father.

I asked her how much. She responded, “340, 350, 370 maybe?”  I complained that I had only stayed one day (truth was, I didn’t know what the situation was or how long I had been there) and told her that if I gave her that, I would be left with about negative 190 dollars. I shook my head and walked away in disbelief. She didn’t stop me.

COOL WITH NAKEDNESS II

When I got back to my room, Katherine was still packing things up. At some point she decided that she was going to go to the house kitchen, only naked. I warned her not to, but she ignored me and wandered out into the common area where she was scolded by one of the hostesses for not having any clothes on. She walked back into my room with a smug look on her face, and I told her–“See, told you. They’re not down with the naked thing.” Her reply was probably the best moment of this entire dream when she explained: “Not many people are, but it’s always worth seeing their reaction when they have to deal with it.” I laughed as she put some clothes on and wandered out of the room.

STRUCTURAL STABILITY

I took one more trip around the house, navigating the little wire maze in the garden area just to see if I had missed anything. Once again I got to the rear of the house, walked around to the front, climbed the correct set of stairs and was back in my room.

(It’s worth mentioning that when I woke up, I was astonished by how concrete the structure of this place seemed to be. Usually when you have a static structure in your dreams, it’s a pre-existing structure [school, old house, etc] that you know inside and out from real life. More often the structure is a dynamic dream construct, either part-artificial [with elements of real places you know] or completely artificial [you’ve never been there before]. With places like that, when you try to walk over the same ground twice, you find that it’s changed. This place was unique in my dream settings–it was made up by my mind, but my mind locked it in–once I knew it I could actually find my way around…once I knew it, it maintained its structure. I would imagine that’s rare for a place this big.)

DREAM-STATE LITERACY

Strangest part of the whole thing. When I returned to my room, the computer was all that was left. I looked at the screen, saw the start menu, saw the word “start”, and grabbed it. The menu wasn’t EXACTLY the same as the real life one, but it had words in it that I could read…My Network Places, Settings, My Documents, etc. I actually got to the “shut down” menu and clicked the shut down button. The computer didn’t do it, so I tried it again. Nada. I eventually just hit the switch and took the monitor, carrying it down to my car.

So despite the fact that the computer didn’t shut down like I asked it to, the real point of this last segment was that I READ the characters and navigated menus with small writing. It’s only happened once before in my dreams, and it was a sheet of paper with a couple words on it. The computer screen thing is a first.

ANOTHER detailed dream that I remembered! I’m on a roll!

DREAM: Strange One on Christmas Morning

I had a really strange dream last night. I tend to remember my dreams under times of durrest, high-stress, big ups or big downs. Don’t know why it works that way.

SINKING SHIP

Anyway, the first thing I remember is being on a massive ocean liner slowly sinking deck-by-deck into the sea. No clue who was there with me or why I was out there. There was a transition point, and the next thing I knew, I was on a rescuing ocean liner, slightly smaller than the one still sinking into the sea..

I remember looking back at the doomed liner and seeing the last 2 or 3 decks vanishing into the water. I was under the impression that the water would kill me, probably because of it’s temperature. I remember asking a question about how warm the ocean water is in South Carolina in the winter, so for whatever reason (probably my current position on the map in real life,) I figured I was on that latitude.

For the next step of the journey, I was on a tiny little vessel that might as well have been a big crate. I didn’t have oars or any method to propel myself, so when a slightly bigger boat (like a little powerboat or something) came near, I grabbed onto the back of its hull and let it pull my little crate toward shore. No waves now, and I think when I noticed this, I looked at the shore and realized that I was back on Canandaigua Lake.

LAKE HOUSE

I was in front of my Great-grandparents house and the neighboring property. Once I saw this I tried to slingshot my “crate” over to the dock of the house next door. (It’s worth adding here that I had a dream over 20 years ago about floating up to this same shore in a crate-acting-as-boat. I had to have been old enough to remember the dream, but younger than 5 years old for certain.) Once I set foot on the shore, I started playing frisbee with a girl who couldn’t throw a frisbee very well. We started tossing it in the frontyard, then I suggested we move to the backyard, then we were playing on the road–the low-traffic private drive that leads to my great-grandparents lake house. No smooth transition to the next step.

MULTI-PLEX THEATER

I’m in a bi-level movie theater next. The theater seems to contain about half of the members of my class from CA. I see some faces I haven’t seen since graduation seven years ago, but I don’t talk to anyone. I sit in a row alone and wait for the movie to start. I “fall asleep” before it does, and when I wake up, I’m actually laying down in a seat somehow. I remember being really comfortable and wondering how it was that I was laying down in a theater chair in the first place, but I didn’t investigate because when I looked at the screen, the windows XP logo was bouncing about (yes, just like the screensaver.) The movie audio was there, but people were just sitting and watching this black screen with the Windows XP logo. I kind of remember laughing. When I look back at the screen again, people are starting to shuffle into the aisles. Apparently they were FINALLY noticing that they were watching a screensaver. As they start to leave, the real movie comes back and everyone sits down. When they all sit down, I leave.

I wander through the cinema hall and into a much smaller theater, one of those little 90-seaters with no 2nd level. Almost looks like a screening room because the screen itself is no taller than I am. There’s no separation from the projector room and I can see the guy working the reels. He looks like some kind of kindly clichéd professor archetype wearing a white coat. I think he said something to me, but I can’t remember what it was. I just remember him looking like a good-natured dude. I sit in a seat and wait for the movie to
start.

OFF ROAD

I’m watching the screen, and it’s a first person POV on the windshield of an off-road vehicle, some kind of big nasty jeep or old range rover. Awesome and ultra-rare dream transition here: when I turn to my left, I’m no longer in the theater–instead, I’m now living what I was just watching, and I actually see the driver of the jeep. It’s Dylan Walsh, the actor that plays Sean McNamara on Nip/Tuck. (really stupid, I know. Nip/Tuck is probably the only primetime show that I’ve gotten into in the last decade, the best explanation I can offer here is that I identify most closely with his character for reasons I’m not going to explain here. Something about him being the nice guy and usually getting kicked around as a result–which is a little bit pitiful because that only means that I share the same victim mentality issue that his character has on the show.)

Anyway, “Sean” and I are now riding in this jeep up and down really treacherous slopes. A couple times I can feel the Jeep nearly tip over as I warn him to slow down. He laughs and does the opposite, speeding up around corners and really testing the limits of the vehicle. Something in me tells me that I’ve got nothing to worry about, so I let it go and enjoy the ride.

Eventually, a little fissure opens up on the ground we’re driving on, and he says “it’s coming apart–it’s coming apart” and the fissure just happens to be right between the axles of the jeep. He slows down, makes a jumping turn over a ridge and stops the jeep. We both get out, and I look over a green rolling hill landscape that’s so absolutely beautiful that I turn to him and say “Man, you know it’s all CG these days.” (Makes me laugh right now to think about that line.) Again, no smooth transition to the next step.

AIRPORT

In an airport now. Actually, I’m on a landed plane, emptied of its passengers and crew. I walk up to the cockpit and no one’s there, but we’re certainly on the ground. I take it upon myself to raid the flight attendant’s cart, which seems to have nothing inside it. When I reach for the fridge door, I’m thinking “there’s gotta be a Ginger Ale in here, no one drinks that shit but me.”

I love dreams. There is ONE can in that damned fridge, and it’s a fucking Schweppes. Lucky me. As is the way of airline sodas, I actually take a plastic cup and a napkin and pour half my can into it and drink deeply. Good ginger ale. (This may actually be the first time I’ve ever had a drink of ANYTHING in my dreams, by the way.)

I walk back out of the plane and into the terminal. Lots of people. Too many people. I’m overhearing the conversations of a family that seems really perfect, but there’s an underlying sinister vibe about the father. Dunno. I keep walking until I get to something like a food court. Don’t remember ordering anything, but the next thing I know I’m carrying a tray and looking for a table to sit at. I want to be alone, but this family keeps turning up wherever I try to sit. When I make it a point to go to the other end of the area with tables, one of their brats yell “look, there’s no one over here,” and they move over to the table I was aiming for. I toss my tray into the trash and give up. As I’m walking away, I hear the father say something about how it would be nice if the government would just force everyone to be religious, and I walk away, super-disgusted. I’m feeling so indignant now that I yell at the top of my lungs as I’m walking away: “Yeah, it sure would be nice if everyone thought exactly the same as you, prick! Homogeny is what makes this country great!”

I was kind of pissed, I guess. It’s funny–since I’m a loudmouth smart-ass, that’s the kind of shit I THINK in real life when I overhear a conversation like that. It just so happens that we’re bolder in our dreams.

The only detail I left out (because I don’t remember where it fits in the plot-line) was looking at my old Pulsar Spoon watch on my wrist. I tried to hit the button to see what time it was, but all I saw was the low-battery indictator. Damn. I sure do miss that watch. I don’t remember what happened to it, but it was the coolest watch I owned.

Anyway, that’s it. I’m sure the reason I’m remembering all this is that I woke up at 4AM and wrote it all down. Merry Christmas to me, I got a strange but well-detailed dream that I actually remembered.

Driver’s Licenses for Illegal Immigrants…

Hmm…I don’t have a solution to the problem, and I’m kind of lost among the send them home/grant them citizenship/make them pay back taxes in exchange for citizenship camps.

This is one issue I really don’t have an easy answer to, and as a result, I usually keep my mouth shut about it.

But come on…think about the legal precedent you set when you issue an OFFICIALLY SANCTIONED DOCUMENT to someone who DOESN’T OFFICIALLY EXIST in this country…

Do we give concealed carry permits to felons?
Do we give passports to citizens of Burkina Faso?
Do we offer social security cards to tourists?

Sounds ridiculous, right?

“So are you calling illegal immigrants felons?”

Uh…yeah. They’re disobeying federal law, so yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying. I’m not saying illegal immigrants are BAD or EVIL, I’m not saying that they come over “to steal” our jobs. Those kinds of attacks are ridiculous. The few illegal immigrants I’ve had the pleasure of meeting have all had a working knowledge of English, a kind heart, and a pleasant demeanor. This isn’t about calling them “the other”. This isn’t about xenophobia.

I understand that they’re coming over here for opportunity and for a better life, but if they’re disobeying federal law and obtaining employment and residency illegitimately, felons is what they are. It’s kind of simple.

Giving OFFICIAL credentials to UNOFFICIAL residents sets the bar at a wicked cockeyed angle, especially for those overseas who LEGALLY apply for citizenship. For citizens of Eastern Europe, South Asia and West Africa, It’s not as easy as walking across the desert or swimming across the Rio Grande.

“So you want to seal the borders?”

Waste of time and money. Like I said, I don’t have an easy fix for this one. The only thing I can suggest is incredibly harsh penalties for employers who use illegals. Also, if they’re found paying illegals LESS than minimum wage, those penalties should be even worse, because they’re cheating all of us AND exploiting their employees.

This issue isn’t about “getting the foriegners out.” That’s an ignorant bigoted viewpoint. I’m not a colonial. Most of my European ancestry came here no earlier than 1850. I’m proud to be a euro-mutt. I’m proud to have the opportunities I had growing up poor in a country of immigrant descendants.

The issue, rather, is about making illegal immigrants and the employers who use them pay their fair share of the infrastructure and government service costs. The immigrants are looking for a better life, but damn it, the employers KNOW BETTER.

When the penalties upon the employers are so high that their businesses are under threat of government seizure, maybe they’ll think twice before accepting a worker without proper identification.

“Government seizure? That’s kind of hypocritical coming from a libertarian.”

That would be true if we actually LIVED in a libertarian society, but we don’t. All things being equal, it would be great if we could simply trust the market values–we wouldn’t have to worry about working papers, illegals, OR minimum wages–but for right now, we do. As long as I have to hack off a chunk of MY paycheck and toss it to Uncle Sam’s pigs, so should everyone else.

So I say go lightly on the illegal immigrants, and go harsh on their employers. Like I said the EMPLOYERS are the ones cheating BOTH the American public AND the immigrants they hire.