I can think of an English word with eight consonants and only one vowel. Can you? (Oddball questions like this are one of my strengths.) Can you think of one with nine? I can’t.

Caption of an Alex Gregory New Yorker cartoon (one young woman at dinner with another): ‘I started my vegetarianism for health reasons, then it became a moral choice, and now it’s just to annoy people.’

I see that Borealis closed at $6.50 yesterday, and Cool Chips at $15.50. So Borealis, which owns 65% of Cool Chips, is valued at $32.5 million (5 million shares outstanding times $6.50 each) and Cool Chips is valued at $124 million (about 8 million shares outstanding at $15.50 each). Both stocks may well be worth zero (everyone’s the same height lying down). But it doesn’t make sense for 65% of Cool Chips to be worth $32.5 million when 100% of it is worth $124 million.

Tim Carrigan: ‘I’m not a big Rush Limbaugh fan myself, but I was kind of offended when I read your comment that ‘ditto heads who are brave enough to think for themselves’ would read Franken’s book. If I don’t care to read it, does that mean you consider me a coward who can’t think for myself?’

☞ Not a bit. But if you were a self-proclaimed ditto head (as so many Limbaugh listeners are), and you did read Al’s book, I would consider you brave.

Matt Boothe: ‘After reading Kevin Crawford’s concerns about Borealis, I asked my father to take a look at some of the information on its Chorus Motors subsidiary. My father is the president of Embedded Power Control, Inc. a tiny consulting firm specializing in power electronics and motor drives. Before striking out on his own, he worked for twenty-something years at GE designing AC and DC motor drives. In short, he doesn’t think the idea is revolutionary. Here’s how he put it:

This is mostly a scam. It is well known that changing the winding configurations dynamically can sometimes be beneficial. I was looking at a University of Wisconsin paper relating to that (for EVs) not long ago. This company doesn’t mention how the configuration changes are done, but to do what they say would require a very complex inverter.

‘Allow me to translate. The inverter is the controller – the box of electronics that makes the motor turn at the correct speed or produce the correct torque. A complex inverter is an expensive inverter. An expensive inverter is going to be a tough sell in the marketplace. I didn’t ask him about Borealis’s two other revolutionary technologies, Cool Chips and Power Chips, because he has no special expertise in that area.’

☞ I have expertise in none of these areas. But is it conceivable that in huge quantity, inverters could be cheap? Or that they have thought of this problem and found a way around it? As always, I would never bet money on this extreme speculation you cannot painlessly afford to lose.

Anton Konikoff:A neat Google trick: If you use a tilde (~) before a search term, you can find search results that are RELATED to the query as opposed to exact matches. For example, if you are looking for a place to eat in Wichita, you can type in wichita ~food. Google will show restaurants and other places to eat in the area, even if their websites do not contain the term ‘food.’ And here’s another tip: With Google Directory, you can drill down to a specific category via a directory tree-style structure. Google makes it easy to find GOOD QUALITY sites – they are arranged in the order of PageRank (Google’s measure of website importance) as opposed to alphabetically.’

 

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