Thursday, March 22, 2007

22 - Answers

Q: Bill Jeffers - Why are Pittsford residents such whiney pussies? I wrote a letter to the editor to try to straighten them out, but I don't think it will work. (Backstory: Nazareth wants to expand and the neighborhood thinks the world is ending).
A: I'll admit that I'm totally unfamiliar with this story, and can thus only answer it based on the letter that Bill submitted to the Democrat and Chronicle. It sounds to me like Nazareth College wants to expand, and the natives are restless, as it were. I'm not sure whether the land that is in question is publicly owned or privately owned. If it's public land, or land that the college will be rightfully purchasing, then I would think that the college has every right to do what they want with the land. If people are being forced out of their homes, then that's another story. I'm pretty sure that it's the former, though.

Again, I'm pleading total ignorance on this, and thus don't feel right rendering judgment on the residents of the town of Pittsford. Personally, I tend to think that the following rule applies: your freedom to swing your arm ends at my nose. In this case, it means that the college should be allowed to expand, but only if the impact to their neighbors is "minimal". What's minimal? That's a good question. I certainly wouldn't want a parking lot to suddenly spring up in my backyard. Should the residents of Pittsford complain? It's their right to complain, and to vote on these things. I tend to think that allowing the college to expand would be a good thing, but ultimately it's not my decision. I'm not a taxpayer in the town of Pittsford.

Q: Karyn Graves - Can you buy an attachment for an ATV or riding lawn mower so that you could use it like a zamboni on a backyard pond?
A: As a matter of fact, you can! And directly from the Zamboni website too. It's called the Zamboni Model 100, and it looks to be something that you mount to the back of a normal lawn tractor. Very cool! To be honest, I was quite surprised to learn this, and once again reminds me of why I started this project in the first place. Thanks, Karyn!

Thursday, March 1, 2007

21 - Answers

Q: Bill Jeffers - Where can I get a cheap bubble hockey table?
A: There are many locations on the internets that offer bubble hockey tables. Your definition of the word "cheap" dictates which of them to choose. Below is a quick and dirty list:

In addition, I'd suggest looking at places like and ebay.

Q: Karyn Graves - Does the technology exist for the production of vehicles (that can hold more than 1 person) and can get at least 70mpg (electric/diesel/whatever)? How long will it be before they are mass produced and people actually buy them?
A: Let me be the first to say that I am by no means qualified to answer this question. Actually, I'm not really qualified to answer most of the questions I get, but I'll give this one some thought.

I suspect that the answer to your first question is yes. Automotive companies put millions of dollars into research every year. I expect that there are some fancy engines under development that can push fuel economies to new and uncharted heights. But if that's the case, then why haven't these technologies made their way onto our driveways? I suspect that the answer is that the cost of these technologies outweighs the benefits. Sure, you can have a car that gets 100mpg, but if it costs $200,000, who wants it?

As to the question of when these technologies (assuming they exist) will become available, I think the answer is "as soon as they're ready". I'm not someone who thinks that there is some grand conspiracy between oil companies and car manufacturers. It just doesn't make sense to me. If a car company had the technology to make a car that could get 100mpg and cost roughly the same as an existing car, they would release it, and it would sell like hotcakes.

Sorry this answer is fairly incomplete. I'll give it some more thought, and if I come up with anything else I'll post an addendum.