Mayor Street Shows there really are two Americas

Philly’s Mayor Street camps out in line to buy iPhone

Mayor John F. Street was among a handful of people sitting in lawn chairs and shielding themselves from the rain as they waited for the Apple iPhone to go on sale at an AT&T store today.

In this America, even Mayors of large cities have to wait in line like the rest of us.

In the other America, John Edwards’ America, presidential candidates have aides try to get them PlayStations.

Giant microwave turns plastic back to oil

Giant microwave turns plastic back to oil – earth – 26 June 2007 – New Scientist Environment

A US company is taking plastics recycling to another level – turning them back into the oil they were made from, and gas.

All that is needed, claims Global Resource Corporation (GRC), is a finely tuned microwave and – hey presto! – a mix of materials that were made from oil can be reduced back to oil and combustible gas (and a few leftovers).

Key to GRC’s process is a machine that uses 1200 different frequencies within the microwave range, which act on specific hydrocarbon materials. As the material is zapped at the appropriate wavelength, part of the hydrocarbons that make up the plastic and rubber in the material are broken down into diesel oil and combustible gas.

Gershow Recycling, a scrap metal company based in New York, US, has just said it will be the first to buy a Hawk-10. Gershow collects metal products, shreds them and turns them into usable pure metals. Most of its scrap comes from old cars, but for every ton of steel that the company recovers, between 226 kg and 318 kg of “autofluff” is produced.

Autofluff is the stuff that is left over after a car has been shredded and the steel extracted. It contains plastics, rubber, wood, paper, fabrics, glass, sand, dirt, and various bits of metal. GRC says its Hawk-10 can extract enough oil and gas from the left-over fluff to run the Hawk-10 itself and a number of other machines used by Gershow.

Because it makes extracting reusable metal more efficient and evaporates water from autofluff, the Hawk-10 should also reduce the amount of end material that needs to be deposited in landfill sites.

Sounds excellent if it proves successful. It should reduce our waste and our demand for oil. Win-win-win.

Hat Tip: The Corner

Is everybody else having as good a day as I am?

We got a three-fer today

1. The Pope will liberalize use of the Tridentine Mass (Hat Tip: American Papist)
2. The immigration bill went down hard
3. The Supreme Court has rules “race cannot be used to decide where students go to school“. In the decision, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote: “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.” Makes sense to me. (Hat Tip: The Corner)
4. Plus, since I’m staying in Dover this evening for a meeting of the George Washington Society, I came into work late and had a nice relaxing morning.

I’m worried something bad will happen this afternoon, since things are going so well now.

It’s official!


A meeting took place yesterday afternoon at the Vatican, presided by the Cardinal Secretary of State, in which the content and the spirit of the expected “Motu proprio” of the Holy Father on the use of the Missal promulgated by John XXIII in 1962 were explained to the representatives of several episcopal conferences. The Holy Father came to greet those who were present and maintained a profound discussion with them for about one hour. The publication of the document – which will be accompanied by a thorough personal letter of the Holy Father to the singular Bishops – is predicted for within a few days, when the document itself will be sent to all Bishops with the indication of its successive coming into effect.

To translate the bureaucratese: Wide Permission for use of the Tridentine Mass is about to be granted.

As intriguing as this may be, it’s full effect won’t be known for a while. Many parishes simply aren’t set up for this mass any more. St Ann’s in Wilmington (where I attend) doesn’t have room on the other side of the altar for the priest to stand. Some sort of stand would have to be constructed for the priest to be ad orientem. (He’s not facing away from the people, as such; he’s joining the people in facing and praying to God.) Many parishes aren’t set up for this, parishes that are may have pastors who have little interest in performing this liturgy, and many priests, unfortunately, don’t know the Latin well enough to say it effectively anyway.

I’m not sure that I would attend a Tridentine Mass regularly anyway. I like the Mass in English. I like knowing what’s going on. (I have been to a Tridentine Mass twice and was completely lost both times.) Hopefully, there will be catechetical efforts so that those us post-Vatican II Catholics can learn about the Tridentine Mass and how to appreciate it.

(Idle thought: would this make the Tridentine the “new” Mass?)

Hat Tip: Lair of the Catholic Cavemen