Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Zero-Sum appears to be the equation of Energy vs. Water as depicted by an excellent article in Scientific American.

Water and energy are the two most fundamental ingredients of modern civilization. Without water, people die. Without energy, we cannot grow food, run computers, or power homes, schools or offices. As the world’s population grows in number and affluence, the demands for both resources are increasing faster than ever.

Woefully underappreciated, however, is the reality that each of these precious commodities might soon cripple our use of the other. We consume massive quantities of water to generate energy, and we consume massive quantities of energy to deliver clean water. Many people are concerned about the perils of peak oil—running out of cheap oil. A few are voicing concerns about peak water. But almost no one is addressing the tension between the two: water restrictions are hampering solutions for generating more energy, and energy problems, particularly rising prices, are curtailing efforts to supply more clean water.

To compound the felony is the fact water will become another driving engine of conflict as seen by Water Wars, a devastating account of what happens when privatization, pollution and profit impact the availability of this most precious resource.

Shiva believes strongly in the sacred nature of water. She argues that while some may call for the commodification of water, the Oxford English Dictionary defines value as “that amount of some commodity, medium of exchange etc, which is considered to be an equivalent for something else; a fair or adequate equivalent or return” (Shiva 2002). There is no equivalent for water; there is no substitute. All life on this planet is dependant upon water.

It's time for man to get his act together before it's too late because the question to ask ourselves now is, What is the survivability rate or our civilization? A more than viable place to look is the New Civilization Game, an astute analysis by Bill Robinson on what it will take for man to succeed as we move further into the 21st century.

Friday, October 24, 2008


I can't help it. The slow motion economic death of America pulls me in as I try to see just how bad it's going to get but then again, a guy like James Kunstler might have this bad boy covered and then some...

"To switch metaphors, let's say that we are witnessing the two stages of a tsunami. The current disappearance of wealth in the form of debts repudiated, bets welshed on, contracts canceled, and Lehman Brothers-style sob stories played out is like the withdrawal of the sea. The poor curious little monkey-humans stand on the beach transfixed by the strangeness of the event as the water recedes and the sea floor is exposed and all kinds of exotic creatures are seen thrashing in the mud, while the skeletons of historic wrecks are exposed to view, and a great stench of organic decay wafts toward the strand. Then comes the second stage, the tidal wave itself -- which in this case will be horrific monetary inflation -- roaring back over the mud flats toward the land mass, crashing over the beach, and ripping apart all the hotels and houses and infrastructure there while it drowns the poor curious monkey-humans who were too enthralled by the weird spectacle to make for higher ground. The killer tidal wave washes away all the things they have labored to build for decades, all their poignant little effects and chattels, and the survivors are left keening amidst the wreckage as the sea once again returns to normal in its eternal cradle."

No doubt we are like Ulysses trying to stay clear of the two horrors of Scylla & Charybdis as we move into uncharted waters as mysterious and foreboding as the impenetrable jungle in Heart of Darkness. The only difference is we know how Conrad's masterpiece ends but with us, the journey is just beginning.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Road Noise

Question: Why didn't the grizzly bear cross the road?
Answer: Interstate 90. To arrive from the north, a bear would have to climb over a nearly three-foot high concrete Jersey barrier, cross two lanes of road, braving 75- to 80-mile-an hour traffic, climb a higher Jersey barrier, cross two more lanes of traffic and climb yet another barrier.

Some experts believe that habitat fragmentation, the slicing and dicing of large landscapes into small pieces with roads, homes and other development, is the biggest of all environmental problems.

Hidden in plain sight, 20% of the US lies under asphalt.
Click here to see another take on the impact of roads on wildlife.

To roll your own impact of roads on society, Sim City is the way to go, especially with the upcoming edition allowing for curved roads.

Too bad Robert Moses didn't have this app when doing the work for New York City.

Perhaps his perception of roads and the impact they would have on neighborhoods would have changed his design set for the better but no one knows, do one?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Dollars & (Non)sense

Let me get this straight...The current share price for AIG is $2.33 (10/11/08). The number of AIG shares outstanding, as per the same 10/11 date, totals 2.69 billion.

Doing the math, the approximate worth of AIG comes to $6.2 billion as of 10/11/08 ($2.33 X 2.69 billion shares = $6.2 billion)

Question: Why is the Fed/government giving the company another $37.7 billion on top of the original $85 billion when the company can be bought outright for less than $7 billion?

Answer: To help pay for their $440,000 party.

Oct. 9--Here's the tab: $139,375.30 for rooms. $147, 301.71 for "banquets." $1,488 for the Vogue Salon, which features manicures, pedicures and hairstyling. $6,939.09 on golf. $2,949 for tips. $5,016.32 at the Stonehill Tavern. $3,064.71 for in-room dining and the lobby lounge. That's part of the $440,000 bill from a recent weekend bash that an American International Group Inc. subsidiary threw for its top performers at the posh St. Regis resort, on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Sounds like they had fun.

Their timing was exquisite. The AIG folks and their guests hit the spa just days after the insurance behemoth grabbed an $85 billion bailout package from U.S. taxpayers. They needed it because AIG piled up net losses of $18.5 billion in the past three quarters on write-downs tied to the collapse of the U.S. subprime mortgage market.

"Carl Fox: I came into Egypt a Pharoah who did not know.
Gordon Gekko: I beg your pardon, is that a proverb?
Carl Fox: No, a prophecy. The rich been doing it to the poor since the beginning of time. The only difference between the Pyramids and the Empire State Building is the Egyptians didn't allow unions."

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Crowd Control

If you see one of these, step away or experience a sonic barrage that blows away anything Megadeth can deliver even on a "good" night.

In military parlance (Language purposely designed to remove any sense of what weapons of any persuasion actually do when used against anyone unlucky enough to be in their path.)...

"The system focuses a beam of millimeter waves occurring at this 94 GHz frequency. The effect is a rapid heating of the human target's (adversary's) skin that is extremely uncomfortable and ultimately prompts the individual to flee the beam. "

To see what this puppy can do, click here. (Clip 18 in Future Weapons, Season 2)

The real fun is seeing the guys who develop this stuff.
Dr. Strangelove

Monday, October 06, 2008


Do not see this movie if 1. You believe in god, whatever he, she, it or they may be or 2. You have a lousy sense of humor because if you don't, this flick will make you laugh and cry at the same time.

"Maher, reacting to a smooth-talking black preacher's boast that he got a great deal on his $2,000 suits, drolly observes, "I find it interesting that you're a
Christian, you used to be a Muslim but you buy all your clothes like a Jew."

On why George Carlin was right about politics.

On his encounter with Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor, who tells Maher he believes the biblical account that Earth was created 5,200 years ago: "He's not going to be happy with this movie. I suspect he's going to say that the editing is not favorable to him [laughs]. And he's not completely wrong about that. But we didn't make anything up. When I told him I was worried about people [with such literal interpretations of the Bible] running the country, he's the one who says, 'Well, you don't have to pass an IQ test to be in the Senate.' "

Another gem from Religulous was the fact the Egyptian deity Horus (2000BC+) shared many similarities with Christ including the following:

virgin birth,
son of god
Foster father
Foster father of royal decent
Born in a cave or stable
Annunciation from an angel etc., etc. etc.

Additionally, this info was very popular

"Stories from the life of Horus had been circulating for centuries before Jesus birth (circa 4 - 7 BCE). If any copying occurred by the writers of the Egyptian or Christian religions, it was the followers of Jesus who incorporated into his biography the myths and legends of Horus, not vie-versa."

Question: In the Nicene Creed, did Constantine use the Horus myth to deify Christ to encourage Romans to buy into the fact Christianity was just as valid as the Roman Gods in order to get much needed money for the cash strapped Roman Empire?

Question: Why do believers get so upset about questions about their faith? If they truly believe, then why the violence?

50 people died when (relatively innocent) cartoons depicting Muhammad were printed in Danish newspapers.

If nothing else, people are now starting to question faith because after all, 16% of all Americans either are Atheists or Agnostic, not bad for a minority that's finally coming out of the closet.