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.

North Dakota oil production passes 1,039,000 BOPD in 5/14

Check out this pump working away to bring oil to the surface so you can drive your car. Shaky photography courtesy of James Ulvog.


Preliminary production data for the state is 1,039,635 barrels per day average in May 2014. That will be revised up a smidgen over the next two months.

At the average price for the month provided in the Director’ Cut report of $88.31 for 32.2M barrels, that is an economic output of $2.84 billion for the month. Very cool.

Here’s a few graphs:

Monthly production since 2008:

ND production 5-14

Two more  -

Monthly production since 1990:

Read more…

Regulation of marijuana sales in Washington State – 1

I’ve been following the state-legal, federal-illegal sales of marijuana in Washington and Colorado. I’m looking at legalization in those two states as a natural experiment in the heavy hand of regulation.

So you know my perspective and can filter my comments accordingly, my hypothesis is the heavy regulation imposed in each state will severely restrain, if not cripple, the new industry of legally selling banned pot. The legal infrastructure for sales is developing as regulators outline what is required.

Update:  Full disclosure is a good thing. That should even apply to the opinions of journalists writing articles. That is the reason I just described my perspective. You know where I’m coming from so you can filter my comments and coverage accordingly. I sincerely recommend you do the same thing with every news article and opinion piece you ever read.

You can see my posts in the regulation experiment tag. My very first post on Washington was here.

I’ll look at three articles in this series.  The first, from The Seattle Times on 7/5/14: State’s retail pot gets rolling Tuesday, provides a summary of regulation in Washington State and some indicators of prices.

A few tidbits on regulation:

Read more…

“If tragedy strikes, don’t lose hope. Transform it into an opportunity to make things better.”

The quote is attributed to Dalai Lama in an article at Philosiblog.

If you have not been hit by a horrible tragedy in your life, you are a rare person and I am happy for you.

In the Bible, Jesus says “in this world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

We will leave for another time the long discussion of how Jesus overcame the world. Today, look at the first part of the sentence – if you are alive you will have trouble and problems and tribulation in life. It is inevitable.

What is not inevitable is how we respond. The quote from Dalai Lama and discussion by Philosiblog reminds us we have a choice to make after we finish grieving the tragedy.

Read more…

Harm to wildlife from plastic bags is a fraction of what we have been told

Bans on plastic bags at the grocery store and tremendous hoopla advocating reusable bags is all because the massively huge amount of plastic in the oceans kills massively huge numbers of birds and marine mammals.


Maybe there isn’t even a fraction of the harm to wildlife we’ve been told about.

Article at SFGate explains Garbage-patch tale as flimsy as a single-use plastic bag.

Read more…

More good stuff on the open frontiers – 7/7

A few articles on the open frontiers of space and technology that are worth a read and a brief comment.


6/14/12 – Popular Mechanics – Tapping the Riches of SpaceRead more…

Pondering the 4th of July makes me wish everyone on the planet enjoyed economic, religious, and political freedom

Been pondering today how thrilled I am to have:

  • the political freedom to write five blogs,
  • the economic freedom to run my own company the way I wish and see as much success as my effort, skills, & drive can create independent of the income level of my father when I was born or where his parents came from, and
  • the religious freedom to worship as I see the bible suggests worship should be conducted, in a church where the preacher preaches the word as we in my fellowship believe it ought to be preached, and I can teach the bible as we believe it is meant to be taught.

That freedom is a rarity on the earth today and unheard of for all of history until around, oh, say 300 years ago.

Oh how I wish that everyone on the planet could be blessed with that economic, political, and religious freedom.

Read more…

We lost another hero today – Louie Zamperini

Louis Zamperini passed away today at age 97.

He survived 47 days in the water after getting shot down only to survive years of torture in a Japanese prison camp. He rebuilt his life on a foundation of faith in Jesus Christ. His story is such an encouragement to me.

I had the privilege to meet him about 15 years ago. Only visited for a moment, but do recall he was such a vibrant man, filled with life.

Read more…

A way forward for a better energy future without slice-and-dicers or wing-toasters

If you have read more than, oh, say 5 consecutive posts on this blog, you know that technology in place today for solar and wind power ranks poorly on any scale of value I can think of. Whether I look at the cost of energy, level of environmental damage, devastation to wildlife in general, loss of protected species in particular, general disruption, exorbitant costs, visual pollution, noise pollution, corruption caused by crony capitalism, or damage to cultural artifacts, it is obvious to me that slice-and-dicers and wing-toasters are lousy sources of energy.

What is a better way forward? For the near term, abundant oil and natural gas.

Longer term? I don’t know.

Nobody knows.

And that is the point.

Read more…

Update on solar and wind power – 7/2 – solar #21

Here are a few articles on the environmental damage from solar and wind energy.

Oh. And I expect to never hear another word about the horrid amount of water used to drill an unconventional oil well. The Eagle Mountain Pumped Storage Project in Riverside County will initially use as much water as it takes to drill 1,369 fracked wells and in addition for each year for 50 years will draw water sufficient to drill 130 wells.

Wing-toasters, or unknown numbers of streamers

6/17 – ReWire – Bird Deaths Continue Through May at Ivanpah Solar – Number of dead birds at the Ivanpah toasting facility dropped slightly in May to 80 birds and 2 bats.  Scorching, singeing or melting feathers was visible on 44 of the birds. Several had burns on their bodies. Severe impact of not covering the whole facility when looking for birds is described in the article as follows:

As only about 20 percent of the facility is covered by the carcass surveys, it’s reasonable to assume the actual month’s death toll is upward of 300 or so.

Read more…

Drone pilots and more background on drones

Article in the Economist discusses the pressures on drone pilots – Drone pilots:  Dilbert at war. Article in WSJ gives more background on the range of drones in operation today. First up, the Economist article.

There are serious pressures from being in a war zone for an 8 or 10 hour shift then going home to have dinner with your family in your own home/apartment. You can’t get a brew at the on-base club and decompress with the other crews who also have nothing else to do except hang out with you. Classification levels and operational security requirements mean you can’t discuss anything outside a secure area.

Read more…

A few records set by North Dakota and the Bakken field

North Dakota has set several records in oil production.

In her article, Amy Dalrymple, N.D. oil production hits 1 million barrels per day reminds us of a few records that I’ve read elsewhere: Read more…

More good stuff on surveillance – 6/28

Here is my thirteenth list of good stuff on our surveillance society that I’d like talk about but only have time to recommend with a paragraph.

6/6 – Wired – Some Governments Have Backdoor Access to Listen in on Calls, Vodafone says- Read more…

“Hockey Stick of Human Prosperity”

Take any one of a variety of economic indicators. Per capita income. Life expectancy. Stuff people own. Average height. Child mortality. Number of pants and underwear owned.

Graph it over the last 2,000 years.

You will see a hockey stick. Flat with no growth for century after century. Brutal, hungry, and disease-ridden short lives were the norm 3000 years ago.

And 1000 years ago.

And 500 years ago.

So far, any graph you draw of any of those indicators is a flatline.

Then, about 200 years ago, every one of the graphs took off like a Shuttle launch. Something happened.

For the first in a series of videos, Professor Don Boudreaux explains what this hockey stick looks like.

And what made things get so mind-bogglingly better.



Another idea for a hockey stick graph: number of natural teeth in your mouth at age 50.

Oh, wait. People usually didn’t live that long until a few hundred years ago.

link is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9FSnvtcEbg&feature=player_embedded

Accident rates for military drones

The Washington Post has started a major investigative series on drones. First article describes losses in the military. Check out When Drones Fall From the Sky published June 20.

Looks to me like the implied conclusion the authors want you to reach is that drones are insufficiently reliable and unsafe for operation in U.S. airspace.

Several reasons for high loss rate come to mind. Institutional learning curve for brand new technology. Intentionally nonredundancy for an unmanned weapon system moved into use during combat. Not as much safety margins are designed in for unmanned systems in combat zone. Tradeoff of redundancy for reduced cost, increased range, and higher weapon payload.

Some great research from the article:

Read more…

More good stuff on the open frontiers – 6/25

I read the news and see wide open frontiers in the worlds of publishing, technology, space, and energy. In terms of opportunities and growth, this reminds me of the wild west and homesteading days in the late 1800s.

Here’s a few of the articles that stretched my understanding of this amazing world we live in.

Perpetual Malthusian foolishness

4/25 – Wall Street Journal – The World’s Resources Aren’t Running Out – Ecologists worry that the world’s resources come in fixed amounts that will run out, but we have broken through such limits again and again – There are constant shouts of fright that we will run out of some resource in a decade or two. Maybe the day after tomorrow. Such predictions are as foolish as they are wrong. Matt Ridley points out that innovation, human creativity in other words, blasts through those limits over and over and over again.

Here is part of the blindness: Read more…

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