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.

Congressional Medal of Honor approved and soon to be awarded for three amazing heroes

Congress has waived the time limit to award the Medal of Honor for another three heroes. The President will soon issue the Medals, each for amazing and tremendous service far above and way beyond the call of duty.

Here is my feeble tribute to these incredible men.

1st Lt. Alonzo H. Cushing

Lt Cushing, West Point class of 1961 (oops) 1861, stood his ground at the battle of Gettysburg. Read more…

More good stuff on the open frontiers – 8/26

Just like the wild west in the late 1800s, the frontiers of private space exploration, energy and technology are wide open. Here are a few of the articles that stretched my understanding of this amazing world we live in. A brief comment on each.


8/21 – Wall Street Journal – Mining Asteroids and Exploiting the New Space Economy – Dr. K. Dean Larson – Asteroids contain water, titanium, iron, platinum, and lots of other resources needed to build things and sustain life in space. What’s the big deal?

Read more…

Does the Ivanpah solar facility toast 642 or 28,000 birds a year? Solar #24



(Photo by James Ulvog)

Officials from Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System report there were 321 dead birds found on the site in the first six months of operation. Annualizing that would imply 642 birds will die each year at the facility shown above.

Is that the total of birds killed at the site? Let me ask you a few questions.

  • Is the total number of drunk drivers on the road determined by looking at the official FBI statistics on DUI arrests?
  • Is the extent of insider trading equal to the number of SEC enforcement actions filed?
  • Is the total amount of criminal behavior leading up to the 2008 great recession equal to the number of criminal indictments issued by the Justice Department (which is zero if you didn’t know)?

If you answered yes to all of those three questions then you will certainly agree that the grand total of birds killed at Ivanpah is limited to the reported amount of 321 in six months, or around 600 a year.

On the other hand, if you think the number of drunk drivers is greater than the number arrested or if you believe there is actually more insider trading going on than the SEC prosecutes, then the question is to what extent are the toasted wings undercounted at Ivanpah.

Causes of undercount

Read more…

And now, live from Williston…

Bruce Oksol arrived in Williston today. He is the author of Million Dollar Way blog. He will be in town 7 or 10 days and (hopefully) will be posting a lot of articles while he is there.

First report, Arrived Safely in Williston, ND, The Heart of the Bakken describes the visible growth.

By the way, his blog has been one of the major sources of education for me since I started paying attention to the energy revolution. If you’ve been reading my blog for the energy news, you really ought to check out his blog regularly. Maybe even set it up on an RSS feed so you automatically get all his posts.

Illustration of creative destruction: lots of Fortune 500 companies disappeared over the last 60 years

What sets apart each of these groups of companies?

Group A: American Motors, Brown Shoe, Studebaker, Collins Radio, Detroit Steel, Zenith Electronics, and National Sugar Refining.

Group B: Boeing, Campbell Soup, General Motors, Kellogg, Proctor and Gamble, Deere, IBM and Whirlpool.

Group C: Facebook, eBay, Home Depot, Microsoft, Office Depot and Target.

Mark Perry, writing at Carpe Diem, explains: Fortune 500 firms in 1955 vs. 2014; 89% are gone, and we’re all better off because of that dynamic ‘creative destruction’.

Read more…

Update on green energy – 8/20

Just a few articles on green energy that caught my eye.

8/7 -WSJ – Wind Power Hopes for Sea Change – Lots of delays and cost overruns building the large off-shore wind farms in Europe. The Meerwind facility had 80 turbines located 50 miles offshore. Getting the electricity to shore takes converters that cost a billion Euros each. Article doesn’t say how many are needed for 80 turbines.

Economics are a bit of a problem. From the article:

Read more…

Astounding progress everywhere in everything over last 50 years – No better time to be alive than today.

As a break from the dreary news headlines, consider the progress made over the last 50 years in a variety of areas.

Matt Ridley offers a lot of Reasons to be cheerful.

Here is an overview:

Compared with any time in the past half century, the world as a whole is today wealthier, healthier, happier, cleverer, cleaner, kinder, freer, safer, more peaceful and more equal.

Read more…

Production in 3 biggest US oil fields – Aug. ’14


(Photo by James Ulvog. Four wells on a pad was big news only a short while ago. Now 4 is a small site.)

Only 10 oil fields have surpassed a production level of one million barrels a day. Currently three of them are running in the U.S.:  Bakken, Eagle Ford, and Permian.

I’ve been wanting to find a source for Eagle Ford production. After reading a Carpe Diem post (which I can’t find again), I found a great source: the Energy Information Administration’s Drilling Productivity Report. Check out the second tab, Production by region, and the report data on the right side of the page.

Here is the production for the three top regions, in average daily production for each month from January 2007 through September 2014. Data for the last three months is estimated.

3 field production 8-14

Two notes on the data.

Read more…

North Dakota oil production up 5% in June 2014

Bakken IMG_0652 8-15

(Photo by James Ulvog)

Production in the state hit an average of 1,092,617 barrels per day (bopd) in June 2014, up from a revised 1,040,469 in May. That’s an increase of 5.01%. Since December, that would be an 18.7% increase. Not bad for six months.

Even better, Bakken-only production passed the one million point – 1,028,352 bopd.

Here are two graphs showing the production trend.

Production by month since 2008, showing total for the state and Bakken-only:

ND production june 14

Total production by month since 1990:

Read more…

More good stuff on the open frontiers – 8/15

Just like the wild west in the late 1800s, the frontiers of publishing, technology, and energy are wide open. Here’s a few of the articles that stretched my understanding of this amazing world we live in. Just a brief comment on each.

Downside of technology

Yes, there is a downside.

7/30 – Yahoo – Drone Carrying contraband crashes at SC prison – Drone carrying cell phones, marijuana, synthetic marijuana (huh? what is that?), and tobacco crashed outside the fence of a prison. Article mentions a successful effort to get contraband inside a Georgia prison last year.

Read more…

More good stuff on the Bakken – 8/11

Here’s a few quick notes on interesting news that I won’t cover in a separate post:

7/25 – PR Newswire – More than 30% Growth in Shale Oil Output in Bakken, Eagle Ford: Platts’ Bentek Energy – In June ’14, increase of prior year June production was 28.9% in Bakken and 37.6% in Eagle Ford. Compared to where I was four years ago, if I saw that report fresh today, I would write a full length post on that one article. Today, that is old news for me.

Internal rate of return is above 50% in Bakken and 65% in Eagle Ford. The article explains what that means: Read more…

Washington state regulation of pot sales – edibles rules, taxes on taxes, and how do you deliver product?

I am watching the legalized markets for marijuana in the states of Washington and Colorado. I think this is a natural experiment in regulation. How well does a new industry develop when it is under heavy regulation?

Some additional info:

7/21 – KCET – The New Frontier of Marijuana Edibles Regulation – The author seems to know his way around a California-based medical marijuana dispensary, noting they are looking more like a corner grocery store these days, what with all the edible products on the shelf.

He describes some of the edibles issues in Colorado and Washington.

Read more…

More research please. Faster too. – solar #23

I see a major downside to the current approach to renewable energy.

Our society is pouring huge amounts of money into projects using current technology. These are inefficient, damaging to the environment in so many dimensions, are viable only because government agencies demand utilities buy their output, and produce very expensive electricity even after massive subsidies. Worse yet, these are locking today’s technology in to many multi-billion dollar megaprojects.

Here is a hint, just a hint, of what could happen if we were to put those billions into research.

8/2 – The Economist – Picking up steam – carbon-based material gives solar steam-power a boost.

Read more…

More good stuff on the open frontiers – 8/4

Here’s a few of the articles that stretched my understanding of this amazing world we live in. The open frontiers of space and technology. Just brief comments from me.


7/14 – Daily Bulletin – SpaceX makes another successful launch, putting 6 communication satellites into space.

Read more…

Arriving soon at an e-retailer near you: Tragedy of Fraud, Insider Trading Edition – The fall from Big 4 audit partner to prison inmate.

Debut appearance of the cover, hot off the digital press:




My newest book is in the last stages of editing. Hope to move into conversion to e-book format soon. Will be released in the next couple of weeks.

As you may know if you browse my other blogs, I’ve been following the story of Scott London closely on Attestation Update. Mr. London was the partner at international accounting firm KPMG in charge of the audit practice for the southwest region of the U.S.

He was caught passing inside information to his golf buddy. When confronted, he quickly confessed and plead guilty. He received a fourteen month jail sentence and is now a prison inmate at the Taft Correctional Institution.

You can now read of his journey from the lofty world of senior leadership to prison inmate in this book. The dozens of blog posts covering the story have been combined in chronological order instead of being spread all over the blog in reverse chronology. The posts have been edited slightly and the sequence changed a bit.

Available soon

The story of Mr. London’s fall will soon be available on your phone, e-reader, tablet, or other reading platform of choice. Will be available at the Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes stores.

Print copy will be available at Amazon soon after the electronic version is published.

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