Friday, April 28, 2006

Oil! We don't need no stinking oil!!

I LOVE the idea of alternative energy sources, but after reading this article you have to wonder about the effectiveness of ethanol as an alternative fuel. Does Germany have the right idea?

Jumping into the energy debate is always a tedious enterprise because the volume of information is enormous and truthfully there is no easy solution. A lot of the choices have serious downsides, but if we don't make a national and global commitment to one of them then we will never inspire the discoveries we need to make in those areas. JFK walks into a room in 1962 and says, "I want to see a man on the moon in the next ten years!" 1969, it happened. Thought leadership driving an important national initiative to fruition. We needed it then. We need it now.

Solar power is interesting, but bad because photovoltaics are inefficient. Wind power is interesting, but wind farms actually change the weather over time wherever they are. Ethanol is ineffective for reason described in the link above.

I have seen a system that allows cars to run on water, but fresh water. I can't think of a more colossal waste of creativity. Fresh water? You think the oil crisis is bad. You have not seen anything until the impending fresh water crisis on this planet comes to the forefront of everyone's mind. Fresh water supply is finite and the world's population is increasing, you do the math. Desalinization is an answer, but desalinization technology is currently very inefficient and it take a lot of energy to desalinize water. This leads us back to an energy crisis.

Harnessing the ocean's force is fascinating and I have begun designing a power generation grid that would be anchored to the ocean floor and something that could have significant possibilities harnessing the power of undersea rivers. However there are serious and significant ecological concerns. How will the grid interact with wildlife? To get enough energy to make it really effective would we actually be killing the ocean? What are the generation capabilities of ocean based turbines and would the fail rate or material used actually make it cost prohibitive? All things are to be determined. It is good to have a team of engineers working for you. They can answer questions like that.

If you are interested in renewable or alternative energy here is a link to the National Renewable Energy Lab.


Onward to less important things:

Check out this site building a community of car owners. Have a bad lease, or a car you don't really like, post it on Swap A Lease and find someone to take it off your hands. Pretty cool.

Two very cool new atmospheric research satellites were launched into space early this morning.

Building a skyscraper? What should you put on the roof? Tar, nah, how about trying a garden?

Want to build a billion dollar business? Here are 7 ways how.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Blue Angels, over my shoulder, draining my productivity

It is the end of the month. Like most companies, my company puts the pedal to the metal come the last week of the calendar. Sales and deliverables both spike off the charts and there is an excited buzz in the air. As a senior member of the staff I have an office, with windows, just a stone's throw from Dobbins AFB in Marietta, GA. This weekend at the Atlana Naval Air Station the Blue Angels will be headlining an airshow. As I speak they are practicing out my damn window. Loops, precision flying, criss crossing formations... just about anything you can think of that appeals to the 7 year old boy in me. I can't keep my damn eyes on my computer because every time I hear the engines roar outside I want to roll my chair over and see what these incredibly talented folks are up to.

It has been kind of a fun exciting day. The first one I have had at the office for awhile. Between the office buzz and the Blue Angels outside the window it has made the day incredibly pleasant.

I thought it was 2006 and not 1956. I don't care if you are black and dating a white girl. I don't care if Latinos and Asians mix. I don't care. You know why I don't care? It is none of my damn business who goes to bed with who and what race they are. These two wannabe skin heads in Texas beat a poor Latino boy essentially to death (he hasn't passed yet, but he probably will) because the Latino tried to kiss a white girl. I hope their time in prison is well spent as the bitch to some Latin gang members. Perhaps that will teach them to keep their sniveling bigoted hands to themselves.

Record profits for Exxon. Record profits for Conoco Phillips. Qatar saying, "if you shut up, the price will go down." Isn't the world oil market grand. 3 bucks a gallon. There's innovation. I propose we pass legislation that ceases all oil imports within 5 years and see what kind of invention that necessity mothers.

And with the 4th pick, the New York Jets select...this guy. You know they are going to blow this pick. You just know it. Or, they will somehow manage to get Reggie Bush and he will suffer some sort of catastrophic injury and never live up to his promise. Just like the Jets.

No 1 of Consequence

Friday, April 21, 2006

Now that's a sick Beluga!

This is a picture of Gaspar, one of the Beluga whales at the new Georgia Aquarium. I just read this article about him and was saddened to hear he had taken ill. He is one of the great exhibits and stories of the aquarium after being rescued from an amusement park in Mexico where he was not able to receive top flight medical care. I am a devotee and season pass holder of the aquarium and believe it is one of the most spectacular attractions of my adopted home town.

Read my review of the aquarium.

See my pictures from the aquarium.

Get well soon little buddy!

No 1 of Consequence

Rounders, Poker and the Sports Guy

I am a poker fan. I am a decent player, but I don't play enough to be really good. I have a good understanding of other people so when sitting around the table I feel like I have an advantage. To be honest though I only play for stakes that don't mean anything to me. If I was ever playing for real money I would probably be in way over my head.

I am also a Bill Simmons fan. He is a very good writer and despite being a Boston fan is pretty insightful. He is also one of the last remaining Caucasian NBA fans on planet Earth. I read every column he writes and I enjoy 90% of them. The last couple of days he did a public e-mail exchange with the guys who wrote Rounders, a movie that was ahead of its time, but is an all time great film in terms of rewatchability and quote-ability. Who can sit down at a poker table these days without hearing the immortal words, "Jacks, does he look like a man that can be beaten by jacks?" I think not. Anyway, I enjoyed the articles so much I wanted to post links to them here. Enjoy. Here is Part 1 and here is Part 2.

No 1 of Consequence

Public Service Announcement

I have a beef, a complaint, a full out whine. The internet is mature at this point. It is constantly changing and reinventing itself, but as a medium I think we can all agree that it's no longer NEW. E-mail has been around just as long, if not longer. Can we all agree at this point to stop forwarding stupid stuff around to each other. I mean, if you are a friend of mine and you want to send me pictures of your kids, I am more than happy to see them. However if you send me something about Microsoft tracking my e-mail and sending me a check it is going to piss me off and make me think you are stupid. You find a news story that you think I will relate to? Send it over, I love to read interesting stuff, but if you send me something about a cancer kid trying to raise money by circling an e-mail around the globe I am going to get annoyed. It is the difference between personal contact and wasting my time. I have a friend who edits a newspaper, so when I see stuff that relates to his general geography I shoot it over to him. For one reason, to let him know I am thinking about him and give a crap about what's going on in his life. Secondly, because I know he will usually have some juicy tid bit that didn't make the paper. My brother and I are Jets fans. When we see something that we are excited about (rare) or something that makes our stomachs turn (often) we tell each other about it, because that has personal value. A silly forward about a missing girl that isn't really missing is just disrespectful of everyone's time.

I know this has been written about before, but I just find spam irritating and spam from my friends is even more irritating. Do me a favor, before you forward something, unless it is going to have real personal value to that person, check it out on snopes. They are really good at keeping track of internet garbage and helping you screen it out of your life and the lives of the people you care about.

No 1 of Consequence

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Return from a break

OK, I am back. March's month end was incredibly fantastic and insane. At the same time I was saddled with writing performance reviews and job descriptions for my staff. Neither are fun and unfortunately for me, neither are complete. My job continues to be a challenge and exciting but as my company grows more of the mundane management details show their ugly heads and I am forced to deal with them. I know, boo hoo for me.

During my brief respite from blogging we had a number of visitors to Casa De No 1. Both No Mother of Consequence and No Mother in Law of Consequence and No Brother and No Sister in Law of Consequence graced us with visits which was absolutely great. It is always nice to see family, especially since it can be kind of lonely down here in GA. However, we had continuous visitors for almost two straight weeks and I don't care who you are, that can be draining.

Immigration has soared to the forefront of the news in my absence. It is serious and contentious and I don't have the energy to deal with it today. Also, I am not sure how coherent my position on it is. So, I will reserve judgement until I have time to do some research.

Now the fun begins. You know you have been talking on the phone a lot when you get a phone bill for $218 trillion dollars. I mean, even at $1000 a minute you would have to talk for 218 billion minutes. At 525,600 minutes in a year you would have to stay on the phone for 414,000+ consecutive years to rack up a bill like that. Now No Mother of Consequence likes to prattle, but even she isn't shooting her mouth off for millennia at a time. I know it is obviously a silly mistake or fraud but figuring out the math was a nice break from working.

On a much less fun note, a newspaper in the UK is reporting the Bush administration is planning nuclear strikes on Iranian nuclear targets. Is it only me, or is it becoming more and more likely that President Bush is trying to end the world since he can't be elected again. Come on, can't they rig the election for Jeb or something to keep the monarchy going.

I don't think encouraging students to take a position and make their voices heard in this country is a bad thing. A school is taking heat for offering community service credit to students who attend an immigration rally. This is not something I believe they should be taking heat for. Decisions in this country are made by those who show up. They are made by those who get involved and they are made by those who take risks. Encouraging students to take a stand, take a side and make a choice is a valuable lesson for them to learn and something that should be applauded, not criticized.

No 1 of Consequence