Outrun Change

We need to learn quickly to keep up with the massive change around us so we don't get run over. We need to outrun change.

More good stuff on the open technology frontiers – 4-24-14

Have lots of articles on the open frontiers to comment on. Will break into several posts. Today, the amazing wide open frontier of publishing:


3/25 – Amazon - Reaching for His Dream. At 40. – Mr. Barry Davis had a book in him but devoted himself to getting educated, working as an engineer and raising his children. At 40 he wrote his first book. Nobody in the industry would touch the book.

Why? No audience. Nobody will buy it.


Read more…

More good stuff on the Bakken – dumping, new rules for filter socks – 4-24-14

Here’s a few quick notes on interesting news that I won’t cover in a separate post: trucker caught dumping saltwater, new regs for filter socks.

4/9 – Million Dollar Way – The North American Shale Revolution is “For Real”; Won’t Easily Be Duplicated ElsewhereRead more…

Bird tally at Ivanpah in March ‘13

ReWire discusses the March 2013 compliance report from Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System: Bird Deaths Continue at Ivanpah Solar.

Mr. Clarke summarizes the report by explaining that in March, 22 of 55 dead or injured birds were clearly injured by the solar flux. Most of the rest were sufficiently decomposed that the cause of death couldn’t be determined.

Mr. Clarke is concerned the heat may be so high that there isn’t enough left of smaller birds to identify them at all. Any such birds in that category wouldn’t be included in the official count.

The March casualties took place while the facility was operating at 55% of capacity, according to Mr. Clarke’s research. The mortality will likely be higher when the plant sustains maximum output.

The compliance report for March can be found here. I browsed through it, although at 967 pages, there is a bit too much for me to absorb. A lot of it is way over my head.

I looked at table 9 of exhibit 9 on page 890. That lists the avian mortality and injury for March. I noticed a few things of interest to me.

Read more…

Question: What are “streamers” at a wing-toasting solar facility? (solar #18)


(photo by James Ulvog)

Answer: Birds that fly into the solar flux at the top of the solar collector and ignite, producing a trail of smoke as they fall to the ground. Thus, a streamer.

That is the word used by the people who work at the Ivanpah solar facility, according to an article at ReWire by Chris Clarke: Federal Lab Offers Grim Look at Solar Harm to Wildlife. The article summarizes a few pieces of information from a report from a lab of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. You can read the report for yourself here.

Do you suppose it is a bad sign that people working at a solar farm have a special word to casually describe birds that fall out of the sky after being toasted?

I picture movies about World War II in the air over Europe.  Remember those views of an armada of bombers?  One of the lumbering B-17s takes a flak burst, starts streaming smoke from an engine on fire, and slowly spirals into the ground. A streamer.

While staff from the FWS Office of Law Enforcement department were on site they saw a “streamer event” every 2 minutes. That could be dust particles or it could be a cloud of insects, as claimed by the staff who work at the facility. OLE did observe birds (plural) fly into the solar flux and incinerate.

Perhaps the California regulators ought to know how many of those thirty incidents per hour are birds and how many are humongous clouds of concentrated dust drifting hundreds of feet in the air before they issue any more wing-toaster permits.

Undercounts of birds and no counts of butterflies

Read more…

North Dakota regulators looking at how to make sure someone is around to pay for taking down wind turbines

In the first article I’ve seen on the issue, North Dakota regulators are looking at the decommissioning plans for the aging slice-and-dicers in the state. They are considering a requirement to provide some sort of financial assurance that there will be money available to pay for disassembling the towers.

The estimated costs for decommissioning from three different operators for their specific slicers are $68,700, $82,567, and $75,720. The average of those three point estimates is $75,662. Let’s call that $75K each. That is the cost per turbine.

Read more…

When creativity isn’t needed

Seth Godin suggests we place boundaries on our creativity: Steal, don’t invent.

We don’t need to develop a new, innovative, out of the box email system.

Or payroll processing.

Or web design.

Read more…

“29 Ways to Stay Creative” plus a few bonus ideas

Check out this video on how to stay creative:



A few more ideas:

30 – Read political, economic, and social opinions from people with a different worldview – Twitter is a superb for this.

31 – Read a book by an author you haven’t looked at before. I just did this and got an amazingly depressing view of post-reconstruction America while finding I enjoy someone whose work I’ve not read before.

32 – Write a blog. You will be amazed how much it stretches you.

Next post: there are times when we shouldn’t be creative.

Oil production in North Dakota starts to recover from winter slump – 951,350 bopd average in February ‘14

Here is an updated graph of monthly production in the state, for the Bakken fields and whole state.

2-14 bakken and statewide

Can you pick out the winter months just by looking at the graph?

There were 18 days in February with temps 5 degrees lower than the usual frigid, 4 days with high wind that stopped completions, and production stopped on over a hundred wells because a gas processing plant was off-line for upgrades. With all that, production grew 16,224 bopd to 951,350 bopd.

That is off the high of 973,280 in November.

For more info, check out Amy Dalrymple’s report: Helms says curtailing oil production necessary to reduce flaring. Additional news there is planned rules for the state will place a limit on flaring, which will slightly hold back production.


Dates this week read same backwards – 4/13/14

Hey, I’m an accountant. Numbers fascinate.

Check out this tweet.

days this week same backwards


Cool, huh?

You’re welcome.

Revolution in higher ed is slow to arrive; still desperately needed

The Economist has a suggestion on how to reverse the current situation where some college degrees aren’t worth the time and effort: Making college cost less.

A few points from the lead article:

Thirty years ago there one college bureaucrat for two academic staff. Now the ratio is one support staff to one academic.

The tech revolution is working its way into academia, but the progress is very slow.

Read more…

Forecast for Bakken production in 2014 and 2020

Forecast from Wood Mackenzie, as announced in Oil & Gas Financial Journal: Bakken Drilling and Completion Capex to Top $15B in 2014.

Their predictions:

  • 1.1 million BOPD average for 2014
  • 1.7M BOPD average for 2020

Highest 30 day Initial Production rates are above 1,000 bopd in the Nesson Anticline.

EURs are highest in the Fort Berthold subplay at 700,000 barrels.

Peak what?

About 40% of American households don’t have a landline

Cool graph in the Wall Street Journal article Consumers Weigh in on AT&T’s Move to Cut Landlines shows the steadily increasing number of households that have dropped a landline and only use cell phones.

My estimates from reading the graph show this portion of US households don’t use a landline:

  • ’05 – just under 10%, I estimate 8%
  • ’07 – over 10%, estimated 14%
  • ’09 – just over 20%, estimated 22%
  • ’11 – just over 30%, estimated 31%
  • ’13 – 39.5%

Last September, I mentioned About one-fourth of households rely on cellphones instead of landlines. So, 28% last fall, 39% now.

Article describes a town in Alabama where AT&T wants to drop landline service completely.

Excerpt from The Boom, new book on fracking

Russell Gold, a reporter with the Wall Street Journal has a new book out, The Boom, which discusses the amazing changes in the energy world due to hydraulic fracturing.

The WSJ has a great excerpt from his book in the 4/8 paper edition. You can find the online edition at A Look Inside America’s Fracking Boom.

You can find the book at Amazon here.

The excerpt is superb, by the way.

Book was released today. I already have my copy on my e-reader. Also have a lot of other books on my to-read list, so may be a while before I have any comment on it.

More good stuff on the Bakken – decline rate and sustained drilling – 4-8-14

A few years ago, I would have had a 500 word post on each of the following articles from Million Dollar Way. Now I’m to the point where I get the knowledge quicker and only want to summarize in a few sentences. The news in these two posts is huge: First, the horrid Bakken decline rate might not be as big a deal as previously thought. Second, the drilling rate of 2,500 new wells a year is probably sustainable.


The declining relevance of the decline rate

3/31 – Million Dollar Way – Decline Rate And The BakkenRead more…

Cost of building various types of electricity sources

Here are a few data points on the cost of building various kinds of facilities to generate power. Accumulated for future reference.

3/27 – Bismarck Tribune – North Dakota regulators approve peaking station turbinesRead more…

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