Why Not The Sun?

The world is relying heavily on non-renewable, dirty, and poisonous oil, gas, and coal as energy sources. Why not use the giant, glowing ball of energy in the sky instead?

Every day, the Earth is bombarded with the Sun’s powerful rays. Some of the energy is used by plants and trees in photosynthesis, but most of it just heats up the planet. A better use would be to use the energy from the Sun to create electricity. The most common way to do this is by utilizing solar panels. Through the photovoltaic effect, electricity is produced when photons hit the solar panels. The commercially available panels are slowly getting more an more efficient. Currently, the sunlight conversion rate is roughly 21.5%, but this is expected to increase to 40% or even higher in the not-so-distant future.

So why aren’t the world throwing all their research money into solar panel technology? Wouldn’t it be better for everyone if we used a virtually endless, free source of energy instead of having to invest billions to be able to strip-mine non-renewable sources?

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RIP Rocky (1998-2018).

Rocky, the world’s most famous Swedish dog has called it quits.

In the summer of 1998 I finished my year of mandatory military service. The year dressed in green wasn’t something I looked forward to, but in retrospect it’s 12 months that set the course for the rest of my life. I grew a lot mentally, and I met Terje, who convinced me I should attend college in Grimstad. Had I not taken his (brilliant) advice, I’m absolutely certain my life would have been very different today. 1998 was also the year that Martin Kellerman made a decision that would dominate the next 20 years of his life. In 1998 Kellerman got booted from his job as a cartoonist for a porn magazine. On top of that, his girlfriend dumped him, and he found himself living with his brother in the suburbs.

He needed a new job, but with a dozen of life’s curve balls thrown at him, Kellerman didn’t feel like trying to draw something funny. Instead he created a cartoon about himself, and the mess he was in. Getting it all down on paper was “a really nice feeling”. What started as a something Kellerman did while he figured out what to do with his life, soon got picked up by the free Metro newspaper. People started talking about it, and Rocky was born.

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When Will Marcus & Martinus Take Social Responsibility?

Teen idols like the Norwegian pop duo Marcus and Martinus have an unbelievable amount of influence. When will they use it for good?

Our 4-year-old daughter has somehow discovered Marcus & Martinus, a Norwegian pop duo. The two identical twins rose to fame through a national song contest back in 2012, at the age of 10. They charmed everyone, and toured every single mall in the country. In 2015, the brothers released their debut album “Hei” (English: “Hi”). Now the two have reached their sweet 16, and the boys’ management has put their cross-hairs on the world. The song lyrics are in English, and they’re doing songs featuring other international artists.

How our daughter figured out that Marcus & Martinus is a thing, I don’t know. I blame the kindergarten for this. I’m blaming them for everything weird she’s doing, to be honest. And that’s a lot. She’s is particularly hung up in the song “Elektrisk” (English: “Electric”) from their first album. A section of the lyrics, translated to English by yours truly, goes like this:

Ooooo-oo-oo-oo-oooo / Electric / Ooooo-oo-oo-oo-oooo / You are electric

And so begins my argument.

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Did I Get Rich Quick?

The 2018 FIFA World Cup is over, and France took the big-ass trophy home with them. But how did my personal, get-rich-quick scheme turn out?

My month long career as a betting man did not start well. I’d planned to use Betfair as my online bookie. That way, I could take advantage of some of their bonus offers for new players. But I couldn’t for the life of me manage to transfer any money to the service. Every time I tried to make a deposit from Neteller, I got a absolutely worthless error message. “Transaction failed”. But, why, Betfair? Why!? Since I had an account with Unibet that I used during the European championship in 2016, I tried to transfer money from Neteller to Unibet as well. But Unibet gave me a similar meaningless error message.

In the end, it turned out the problem was between the chair and the keyboard. When Betfair and Unibet was asking me for a Neteller authentication code, I entered the code Neteller generated when I registered my account with the site. But that was not the code Betfair and Unibet were looking for. Instead, the correct code was the Neteller two-factor authentication code. Unfortunately, I figured that out when trying to deposit money to Unibet, which meant that my entire betting NOK 1000 fund suddenly found itself on Unibet. Not a complete disaster, but I missed all the Betfair bonus offers.

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Tropico 5.

Read my long overdue Tropico 5 review to find out why the fifth installment in the series doesn’t live up to the expectations.

I hope you don’t mind me continuing to review semi-ancient games. Tropico 5 was released way back in 2014, but for once I didn’t wait until the game and all DLC were on sale to purchase it. Since I really enjoyed Tropico 4 (review here), I bought Tropico 5 in 2015, quite close to the release date by my standards. I even started writing this review in 2015, meaning it’s been in my drafts collection for three years before I now finally managed to get it published. That’s probably not a good sign for the final score.

Many of you are already familiar with the recipe used to cook the Tropico series, but for new readers, here’s a quick summary. Tropico is a series of city builder games where you play as a dictator, El Presidente. The goal is to build and manage a thriving city on an island (or several islands, depending on which game in the series), and to stay in power. If the rebels, or a foreign power, manage to throw you off the island, it’s game over, man!

The games have a great tongue-in-cheek sense of humor, and is pretty laid-back. I’d perhaps go as far as to call both Tropico 3 and 4 borderline casual games. And that was one of the most appealing aspects of both of them. Kick back, relax, and rule your island with an iron fist! Tropico 5, however, makes a few changes to the Tropico formula, changes that make the game a lot more stressful than its predecessors. The experience is even downright annoying at times.

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