30 July 2013

Solar Mathletics

A 1.5kW solar photovoltaic system in Melbourne is supposed to generate an average of 5.4kWh/day. Does it?

My 1.5kW solar PV system has, as of today, generated 4079kWh of electricity during the 9039 hours it’s been in operation. That’s 4MWh!

I’m a little stupid, so I used this table to figure out that the average day length in Melbourne is 12.10785 hours. Then I realised the average day length anywhere on the planet will be the same over a whole year – that is, 12 hours. That either means the table, Melbourne, or celestial mechanics are wrong. Possibly all three.

So, the 9039 hours my PV system has been operating is equivalent to 753.25 days.

If an average 1.5kW PV system is supposed to generate 5.4kWh/day then mine should have generated 4067.55kWh.

Only 11.45kWh off. That’s probably due to the strange error in the solar system, and/or Melbourne’s place in it, identified earlier.

7 July 2013

Miru Miru Mega Yokunaru Magic Eye

Remember Magic Eye ™? Does it even need a ™? It certainly makes the question mark look awkward. Anyway, back when grunge and Hypercolor™ were cutting edge Magic Eye books spent a total of more than a year and a half on the New York Times Bestseller List. It was a simpler time, where staring at a nonsensical pattern for minutes at a time in order to perceive a poor quality 3D image was seen as a bit of a laugh. Now that we have computers you can build them yourself (or at least get a website to build one for you), so I thought I’d update them for the Age of Terror:

6 July 2013

How Long Till I Get Some Fucking Marmite?

Just in case you’ve been living under a rock I’ll summarise the situation:
February 22, 2011: the Christchurch Earthquake kills 185 people and destroys large areas of the city – the damage compounded by aftershocks in the coming months.
November 2011: Sanitarium shuts down production of Marmite at its Christchurch factory… the only source of Marmite in the entire world.
March 16, 2012: I buy one of the last remaining jars of Marmite from New Zealand eBay before Marmageddon.
February 18, 2013: I run out of Marmite
March 20, 2013 – Marmite production starts up again

Today, 3 and a half months later, there’s still no Marmite on supermarket shelves. Sanitarium have indicated they wish to stock the product in New Zealand before beginning export. Horrifyingly, I watched this video where, behind the cheesy comedy, you can see the new plant in action. It seems to produce a 250g jar of Marmite every 2 seconds, or 30 per hour. From this we can start to see the true scale of the problem:

Population of New Zealand: 4,468,200
Weeks that plant has been in operation: call it 16
Worst case scenario - plant operates an hour a day on weekdays: 1 jar of Marmite for every 31 New Zealanders.
Best case scenario – plant operates 24 hours a day, 7 days week: at least 1 jar for every New Zealander
Probable scenario – plant operates for 8 hours per day on weekdays: another 46 weeks until every New Zealander has a jar and they can start exporting some to Australia.

Forty-six weeks! And this assumes that the filthy Kiwis are spreading the stuff abstemiously! What if they’re eating it by the spoonful? Slathering it all over their obnoxious, sweaty selves and then licking it off one another with craven delight? If this is the case there might never be enough to satiate their greed.

The solution? I propose we send the Australian Navy to annex Christchurch and divert all the Marmite that is being produced to Australia. Plausibly we could also send raiding parties into the surrounding countryside to secure even more of the delicious spread. If nothing else, now that Afghanistan is a peaceful democracy, it will give our armed forces something to do (other than demeaning homosexuals in between bouts of sodomy/hazing-the-new-guy).

I believe we have no other option.