May 28, 2010

The Whole Deep Sea Drilling Dilemma

I've been thinking a lot about this massive "environmental disaster" that BP/Transocean/Halliburton have created (amongst others) and I think the most disturbing issue about the whole mess is that they really don't and didn't have any idea how to fix a problem this deep in the ocean. I mean its sort of like reaching into a hole in the wall 'cause you think there is treasure in there and not worrying about any consequences to your appendage as you are sticking it in the unknown blackness of a hole.  Did they just rationalize the possible problems they might run into and say "well we will cross that bridge if it raises its head"? Now I'm not trying to be an ass but, they keep saying, "well these methods have never been tried at these depths" over and over and I say well maybe you should have experimented a little before shoving your arm into that black hole. I know its expensive, very expensive to do preliminary testing but most other industries do because the worst case scenario is unthinkable and even more expensive than the testing. I think this is just an example of big oil getting lax regulation, as they seem to everywhere, so we can have more oil.  If these government agencies are not going to do their job, then close them down and save our tax money. As it is right now, we pay all these oil regulatory agencies salaries and still get the worst oil spill in history.

The other issue I am furious about is that these dispersants, which are basically oil detergents, are almost as poisonous to the fish and wildlife as the oil. BP refuses to stop using them because it makes the oil sink below the surface and is not as visible to the public. Videos of these giant underwater plumes of oil is just horrific! It is very disturbing to me that they would do these heinous deeds just so the public doesn't see the oil on their beaches and on top of the sea. At least if it is floating on the surface you can see where it is and have a chance to collect it.  And I have to say that BP is probably no worse than any other large oil company. Put on the concerned face for the public but then do ANYTHING to the sea to keep the oil off the beaches and out of sight. Despicable.

A related stories:
Enormous, “Shocking” Oil Plumes Underwater in the Gulf
22-mile oil plume found under Gulf surface

February 28, 2010

Where have all the patriots gone?

Okay... I have to say up front, I have never been a fan of the "universal" health care concept.  I mean, its not that I don't care about people who have no coverage.  It must be horrible to be sick and have to choose whether you eat next week or go to the doctor. To me the issue of who has insurance is not the root of the problem. The root has festered for decades and it has to do with liability and tort laws and too many lawyers wanting to make "quick" money. I mean I have insurance through my employer (and pay through the nose for it) and I even wince at the notion of going to the doctor because it is just SOOOOOO EXPENSIVE!  But those are whole other issues that are not what I wanted to talk about.

Given all those variables I mentioned above, health care in this country is probably the best anywhere and it costs like it.  What bothered me this week is that our Congress is controlled by those who seem determined to pass ANY health care bill  they can no matter what the consequences are.  I mean if these people truly were patriotic and cared deeply about our country then why would they want to put the next 10 generations of U.S. children in debt up to their eyeballs.  I mean the numbers they have been throwing around are almost impossible for anyone to really grasp.  Our national debt right now is somewhere between 11 and 12 TRILLION dollars.  Its hard to even imagine how much money that is let alone the 900 TRILLION dollars that they are estimating a "universal" health care bill will cost the U.S. in just the next TEN years.  That is only 10 years of cost.  I don't know about you but, we cannot afford something like that whether it is a noble and good cause or not.  Where are we going to get that kind of money?!  This type of thinking is completely ludicrous!  The people trying to push this type of legislation through could not be true patriots. No true patriot would bankrupt their own country!!  The only reason someone would want to push something like this through is that they have a private agenda or they just don't care about our future.  We need to elect new leadership and a new Congress that will address the issues and not which party is promoting an issue!  We need people who care about our future and the future of our country not their own selfish wants or personal agendas.

 If you think the debt problem in Greece looks really bad, which has been living on borrowed money for all of their entitlement and subsidized programs for years, then this issue should really scare you. We will make that problem look microscopic.  A debt load of this magnitude for the United States will eventually bankrupt us and pull the rest of the world economies down too...... and they may never recover.

Where have all the patriots gone?

February 09, 2010

When its time to vote, Lets get some new blood in Congress

One day a florist goes to a barber for a haircut. After the cut he asked
About his bill and the barber replies, "I cannot accept money from you.
I'm doing community service this week." The florist was pleased and
Left the shop.

When the barber goes to open his shop the next morning there is a
'thank you' card and a dozen roses waiting for him at his door.

Later, a cop comes in for a haircut, and when he tries to pay his bill, the
Barber again replies, "I cannot accept money from you. I'm doing
Community service this week." The cop is happy and leaves the shop.

The next morning when the barber goes to open up there is a 'thank you' card
And a dozen donuts waiting for him at his door.

Later that day, a college professor comes in for a haircut, and when he tries
To pay his bill, the barber again replies, "I cannot accept money from you.
I'm doing community service this week." The professor is very happy
And leaves the shop.

The next morning when the barber opens his shop, there is a 'thank you'
Card and a dozen different books, such as "How to Improve Your Business"
And "Becoming More Successful."

Then, a Congressman comes in for a haircut, and when he goes to pay his bill
The barber again replies, "I cannot accept money from you. I'm doing
Community service this week." The Congressman is very happy and leaves
The shop.

The next morning when the barber goes to open up, there are a dozen
Congressmen lined up waiting for a free haircut.

And that, my friends, illustrates the fundamental difference between the
Citizens of our country and the members of our Congress.

February 05, 2010

Jonathan Coulton Concert

I went to the Jonathan Coulton Concert last night and had a blast. Paul and Storm opened for him and were a hoot. Jonathan and P&S all seemed to really be having a good time up on stage and were funny while simultaneously demonstrating that they are excellent musicians. Paul and Storm came back out with Jonathan to back him up on several songs and they were great together. They closed the show with a rendition of "Istanbul" by "They Might Be Giants" and it rocked. The location of the concert was the Granada Theater. A marvelously intimate venue that was nostalgic and great acoustically. The Granada is a  small hall like that makes you feel like the acts are almost playing just for you. The crowd was terrific and was made up of many devoted fans that sang a number of the songs with him. If he is coming to town you should consider checking Jonathan out. If you like "They Might Be Giants" or "Barenaked Ladies" then you would love Jonathan and Paul and Storm.

January 26, 2010

Tablet, TABlet, TABLET!!!!

Okay, I know every tech geek and nerd around the world has already blogged and fantasized about the "new creation" about to be unveiled tomorrow but, even though this as many others, has been blown out of proportion, one must do a history check and see that Apple has a knack for producing products that are just plain desirable. This veil of secrecy that Apple/Jobs employs is much like the christmas presents under the tree when you were a kid. You know that some of them are probably what you wanted by their shape, size & weight, but at the end of the day, you just really don't know. Only on Christmas morning will your imagined gifts be confirmed or not. This anticipation is truly an endorphin generator. I can only imagine how many good ideas we have given to Steve Jobs and his Apple team by our speculation before a new product or version of a product emerges.

That said, I still think that even though much of the industry is poised to produce their own version of a tablet device, the Apple design and forethought of what this device can do for you will prevail. Their UI's are second to none. They anticipate what you might want to do with this device and provide for it. Bigger than an iPhone and smaller and more compact than a laptop, I believe it will serve a niche that so far is not fulfilled. How big this niche is is anyones guess but, as with the iPhone, once the device is out in the world, people will use the context of their life to shape what and how the device will work for them. When the iPhone first came out people were saying, "oh it is just another smart phone that is more expensive." It was deemed a hardware snobs phone, not one for the masses.

Well the masses have spoken and last quarter they spoke rather loudly with Apple compiling its best quarter in the history of the company. Even though the new tablet will not be a "computer" it will find this unserviced niche that so far has remained out of reach. Perhaps it is a small niche or perhaps no one has bothered to figure it out. For those heavy computing individuals this hardware will not be for them but for email, internet surfing, media playback and periodical / book reading this is exactly what will give people the ease and mobility for these daily, life contextual tasks. I think that this tablet will find its place in our world and soon people will look at their laptops the same way they looked at their desktops a decade ago.