The Crazy Years


$65 for one chip?

Brilliant marketing.

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Paqui, makers of the One Chip Challenge, are now withdrawing the product worldwide.


Fortunately, this remains available (click image to buy at Amazon).


Pure Cap is my go-to source for heat. It is a pure capsaicin extract in oil and has no taste of its own other than stimulating the heat response. It is rated at 500,000 Scoville heat units (SHU), compared to Tabasco sauce (see the post here on 2022-03-22, “Making Tabasco Sauce”) at 2,500 to 5,000 SHU, varying from batch to batch—thus 100 to 200 times hotter. Having no taste of its own, Pure Cap allows you to adjust the heat of whatever you’re preparing without altering its taste in any way. I use six to eight drops for 2.5 litres of spaghetti sauce made from 1 kg of ground beef. One bottle will last most people a lifetime.

You can always put Pure Cap directly on a tortilla chip if you mourn the loss of the Paqui product at the hands of Safetyland drippynoses.


Virgin Galactic’s recent (2023-09-08) Galactic 03 tourist flight was…odd.

Unlike previous flights, there was no live stream, and the identities of the passengers were not disclosed prior to the flight. Only after the flight were they named: three passengers and Virgin Galactic Chief Instructor Beth Moses making her fifth flight. After the flight, the following recap video was posted on YouTube.

This included, at the 1:13 mark, one of the asterisknauts* (Tim Nash, I believe) waving the pedo pride flag after landing.

After the flight, National Geographic reported:

In tribute to humanity’s longstanding thirst for exploration, fossilized bones from two ancient species, Australopithecus sediba and Homo naledi, hurtled into suborbit on Virgin Galactic’s spacecraft, V.S.S. Unity. They journeyed alongside three private astronauts, along with two pilots and one astronaut instructor, who were pushed to the edge of space with a rocket that briefly thrust them into microgravity and to an apogee of about 300,000 feet above Earth’s surface before returning to the launch site in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.

It was the first time the fossil of a human ancestor has been to space. But why send fossils into space at all? Entrepreneur and philanthropist Timothy Nash, who carried the fossils in his pocket during the flight, tells National Geographic it offers a change to reflect on the enterprising spirit of our earliest ancestors.

For Nash, the thought of viewing both Earth and the blackness of space has prompted reflections on how far humanity has come. “I think it’s going to be the experience of a lifetime,” he told National Geographic before the journey. As for the danger of taking one-of-a-kind fossils to suborbit with commercial spaceflight still in its infancy, he says it’s worth the risk. “These are only a very small part of the fossil record, and they have been very well studied. Exploring involves risks. Human advancement requires risks.”

Still, just to be safe, he planned to transport the fossils in a carbon fiber tube that Berger would watch over until a ceremony shortly after takeoff.

“They are two of the best studied, best replicated things in our collections,” says [paleoanthropologist and National Geographic Explorer in Residence Lee] Berger, who cites the abundant documentation of the fossils as one reason they were selected for the spaceflight.

  • asterisknaut: person who has flown in the upper atmosphere higher than the 50 miles (80 km) which the U.S. (and only the U.S.) define as the edge of space, as opposed to the rest of the world which considers the Kármán line at 100 km as the threshold of space. Theodore von Kármán chose that altitude as where the atmosphere was so thin an airplane would have to travel at orbital velocity to generate enough aerodynamic lift to support itself. Virgin Galactic flies its passengers to altitudes below the Kármán line and relies upon the U.S. definition to call them “astronauts”. Blue Origin’s New Shepard, by contrast, flies to altitudes above 100 km, except when it doesn’t. I have noticed journalists, at least in more technically-oriented venues (as opposed to National Geographic), increasingly call Virgin Galactic flights to the “edge of space” and those on board “passengers” instead of “astronauts”.


Switzerland is an odd choice for people looking to flee wealth tax, as it is one of the only five countries in the OECD which has a wealth tax, the others being Colombia, France, Norway, and Spain. The wealth tax is imposed by the cantons (there is no federal wealth tax) and the rate varies from canton to canton, but all cantons are within the range of 0.3 to 0.5%. That’s a lot better than Norway’s 1.1%, but a heck of a lot worse than zero, which is the case everywhere else. Further, most cantons have a substantial estate tax, while Norway has none, so older people will want to consider this.

In some of the small mountain cantons wealthy people can negotiate tax deals which dramatically reduce the tax on income earned outside the country. I suspect this is a major motivation for Norwegians moving to Switzerland, with wealth tax a secondary consideration, although it may have been what pushed them over the edge.


Canada. Apparently a third 4-reactor plant at the same site:


Very cool, good to see they’re still using a CANDU design. Doesn’t really belong here in “The Crazy Years” thread, this is a positive sign. Which surprises the heck out of me to say that about something happening in Canada in current year.



(Click image to view in 𝕏, then click image to enlarge and see fine print. Note that the 1937 cost of building the Golden Gate Bridge has been adjusted for inflation. The cost in 1937 gold dollars was US$ 35 million.)


It is a testament to the irrationality (insanity) of our betters that the populations of developed countries will likely have to undergo several generations of unnecessary power shortages because of the “global warming” grift. The refusal to build sufficient new nuclear power generation plants will go down in history (if, indeed, there is history) as one of the most arrogant and downright stupid decisions of all time. Surely, sufficient experience, engineering expertise and narrow AI presently exists to make such plants operate extremely safely. Are there not even designs which greatly limit radioactive waste?


Indeed, the design and operating procedures of existing plants are such that the death toll from light water and heavy water moderated nuclear power reactors from 1957 (the first in the U.S.) to the present has been precisely zero. (Cheronbyl was a graphite moderated reactor intended for dual-use production of electricity and plutonium breeding and had no containment building.)

Coal-burning power stations currently in operation release an estimated 30,000 tonnes per year of radioactive radon, uranium, and thorium in flue gases from contaminants in the coal. Natural gas also contains radon from decay of uranium in the rocks surrounding the underground source. A one gigawatt electric natural gas plant releases around 8 Curies of radon into the atmosphere per month. This is approximately equal to the total radiation released by the Three Mile Island nuclear meltdown in 1979.

(Source: Robert Zubrin, The Case for Nukes, 2023)

As discussed by my “Nuclear Fission Fuel is Inexhaustible” post on 2022-04-25, a breeder reactor fuel cycle drastically reduces the amount of nuclear waste because it burns up many of the actinide elements which are the most difficult to manage components of spent fuel from water-moderated reactors. Actually, most of the “waste” from the moronic “once-through” fuel cycle used in the U.S. (but not in Europe or other saner regions of the world) is not waste at all but rather unreacted uranium-238, which a breeder reactor calls “fuel”. By eschewing fuel reprocessing, the U.S. even throws away the plutonium-239 and -240 bred in the spent fuel, which can be extracted and used as reactor fuel.


I will not find global warming credible (destructive aspect) unless or until a major effort is made to build out nuclear.

Recently there was/is a kerfuffle about a CO2 pipeline passing through South Dakota so I did a cursory investigation. The CO2 coming from several ethanol plants, piped to North Dakota and captured into the depths.

By the way, one of the reasons ethanol is considered by some as “cleaner” than gasoline is that the emissions from burning ethanol is in balance with growing corn that uses the CO2. There must be patent by Monsanto for corn that selects for CO2 from burning ethanol and excludes CO2 from burning gasoline.

Carbon capture on ethanol plants made me wonder why traditional power plants were not using similar technology. It turns out that this is in process. The Milton R Young coal fired power plant with 705 Megawat capacity located in North Dakota has a project to capture the 4 million metric tons of CO2 emitted to produce that power.

This particular company owns the coal used by the plant and has several hundred years of coal available. It also owns or has rights to land to store the captured carbon. Several oil corporations also have carbon capture projects ongoing to capture the CO2. For years oil drillers have used CO2 (they drill for it) for enhanced oil recovery. The CO2 used for well pressurization is captured in the reservoir. These corporations pay for carbon credits as well as the cost to drill for it. With 45Q tax credits these power companies will receive an 85 per ton of CO2 credit and oil drillers will receive 60 for carbon capture from Uncle Sam’s infinite well of currency units.

It probably is part of the massive grift, but it interests me as another data point to follow regarding the Malthusians.

Already the language has shifted from CO2 emissions to burning fossil fuels is bad. The following is from and article on [Doomberg’s substack].(Cop-Out - Doomberg) which operates with a paid subscription. Doomberg does an excellent job of covering the energy debate. In this particular article he discusses the efforts to exclude people from the hydrocarbon industry at COP28. COP28 is the largest government milking operation known to man, but only some milkers need to be identified.

Although environmentalists were unsuccessful in ejecting Al Jaber, they did recently score a petty administrative victory that lays bare the totalitarian instincts of many involved. In their eyes, anybody associated with the fossil fuels industry is evil—short of eradicating these scoundrels from society, at COP28 they will be forced to identify as an inferior class:

Fossil fuel lobbyists will have to identify themselves as such in registering for the UN Cop28 climate summit , making polluting and carbon-intensive industries more accountable at the annual talks.

The move by the UN to require anyone registering for the summit to declare their affiliation was heralded as a victory for transparency by campaigners who have been increasingly concerned at the growing presence of oil and gas lobbyists at climate talks…

Many campaigners said the change to make potential conflicts of interest more apparent should be only a first step towards excluding fossil fuel companies from the talks, or from key parts of them.

Earlier this month, Reuters reported on a heated debate unfolding within the European Union as the bloc prepares its official policy position ahead of COP28. See if you can spot the absurdity:

Here is the kicker with regards to shifting from CO2 emissions to burning fossil fuels as the problem.

European Union countries are preparing to push for a global deal on phasing out fossil fuels at the United Nations COP28 climate summit which begins in November, a draft of the EU’s negotiating position showed…

‘The shift towards a climate neutral economy will require the global phase-out of [unabated] fossil fuels and a peak in their consumption already in the near term,’ a draft of the EU’s negotiating stance, seen by Reuters, said…

‘Unabated’ refers to fossil fuels burned without using technologies to capture the resulting CO2 emissions. The word was in brackets in the draft EU text, indicating that countries have not yet agreed on whether to include it.

In an earlier article he does a rough calculation on direct carbon capture. He points out that the technology may not work, but assuming it does:

Enabling the capture 100% of US carbon emission would require approximately 100 purpose-built nuclear power plants, or 250 GW of capacity.

Geo-engineering driven by Malthusians and directed by the likes of our decrepit government, corrupt corporations, banksters and politicized science community is not a good idea. However, developing technology that exposes the Malthusians is worth my tax dollar.