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.

Archive for the category “Change around us”

Didn’t ever expect I’d personally experience Soviet Union and Venezuelan style grocery stores.

Chaika 3 (on redscale film) – Queue by Jaroslav A. Polak is in the public domain (CC0 1.0). Lines like this outside a grocery store were normative in the Soviet Union (except for the cell phone, obviously).

In the Soviet Union and Venezuela, grocery shopping involved/involves listening for rumors of which store got a shipment overnight, standing in line for hours, looking at lots of empty shelves, and going to the store daily to see if what you need might actually be on the shelf today.

If you have been awake the last seven days, you know that is what grocery shopping looks like in the U.S. today.

The difference between the Evil Empire and the worker’s paradise of Venezuela on one hand and the United States on the other hand is that the supply chain in the U.S. is still stocking the shelves and in a week or two or three will have them filled up.

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Oil production in North Dakota shows usual drop in January 2020. Price takes a nose dive.

Workover rig in place. Flaring of gas visible. Lots and lots of room for more wells. Photo by James Ulvog.

Uh oh.

Production in North Dakota dropped in January, which is typical. Look at the production chart and you can pick out each of the winters because production usually falls off.

However, the price has fallen through the floor, courtesy of Saudi Arabia and Russia kicking off a price war and declaring they will flood the market with increased production.

Crude oil prices dropped in February and have continued in free fall during March. Prices on 3/17/20 per the Director’s Cut report are all the way down to $18.50 for North Dakota light sweet and $23.60 for the North Dakota market estimate.

Production in January 2020 dropped to 1,429,515 bopd (preliminary), off 47,262 bopd from January (revised) and down 89,515 bopd from December’s record high.

Price data:

 

Production data since 2008:  Read more…

Another oil-price war kicks off.

Drilling rig in North Dakota, between WIllison and Crosby. Photo by James Ulvog.

Saudi Arabia and Russia had a falling-out over the weekend about controlling production levels and prices. As a result Saudi Arabia is going to cut prices and increase production.

They have announced they will cut prices by somewhere between $6 and $8 a barrel in April, depending on destination.

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50th successful recovery of a SpaceX Falcon 9 booster

Starlink Mission on 1/6/20 by Official SpaceX Photos is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0  – A carefully observation will show the payload fairing reveals this not a Dragon capsule, but the photo provides a superb nighttime view.

Overnight SpaceX successfully launched a Falcon 9 booster with fully loaded Dragon capsule on a Commercial Resupply Service mission (CRS-20), lifting supplies to the International Space Station.

This specific capsule already has been to ISS twice. This will make its third trip up and third recovery.

Successful recovery of this specific Falcon 9 booster back at Cape Canaveral marked the 50th time that SpaceX has recovered a booster. Astounding.

This launch was at 10 minutes before midnight, resulting in quite different visuals than a daytime launch. You can watch the launch, recovery of the booster, deployment of the capsule, and deployment of the solar panels here:

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North Dakota oil production in December 2019 is fourth highest level on record, after setting new production level in 5 of last 6 months.

Workover rig working on well in North Dakota. Photo by James Ulvog.

North Dakota oil production in December 2019 is fourth highest level on record, after setting new production level in 5 of last 6 months.

Average daily production in the state was 1,475,685 barrels of oil per day (bopd) (preliminary) after hitting the highest level ever of 1,519,037 bopd (revised) in November. The November production broke the state’s record for the fifth time in six months, and the twelfth time in the last twenty months.

The routine record-level production is being achieved with stable and low level of drilling rigs and without the wild-west craziness in the local economy that existed before 2014.

Graph of the average daily production in the state and in the Bakken pool:

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Two successful space launches in three days by SpaceX and Northrup Grumman

Starlink Mission on 1/29/20) by Official SpaceX Photos is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0  – 2

Two launches in three days. Behind the Black provides a tally that year-to-date launches are 6 for US companies, 3 for China, and 1 each for Arianespace, Russia, and Japan.

SpaceX launch of Dragon lifting 60 communication satellites

Watched the recorded video of SpaceX’s launch of 60 more Starlink satellites from this morning. This is the fifth launch in the Starlink mission. After the fourth launch there were 182 sat, with 2 on first launch and 60 on each followup launch. Sixty  more on this launch brings the total in orbit to 242 by my count. Eventually the Starlink constellation will have 1,584 sats at a 341 mile altitude.

Video of the launch:

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SpaceX launches another 60 Starlink satellites.

SpaceX boosted another 60 satellites into orbit this morning. These will be part of its Starlink system providing high speed internet access to any point on the planet.

Video link to replay of launch is at end of this post.

This is the fourth launch for the Starlink project and increases the sat count to 182. The first launch was a test with only 2 satellites. The other three launches, including the one today, each carried 60.

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SpaceX launches 60 more satellites for their Starlink system

Starlink Mission on 11/11/19 by Official SpaceX Photos is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

SpaceX is one of the companies working to get a constellation of sattelites in low-earth orbit which can provide high speed internet access across the planet. Tonight they launched 60 more sats into orbit, bringing their total to about 180.

The video on the launch was incredible. Amazing view from the ground, all the way to main engine cutoff at 50 kilometers altitude.

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The 2010’s: best decade in history.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Matt Ridley explains the best improvement in living standards for us humans over a single decade is the decade that ends today, 12/31/19.

(Cross-post from my other blog, Freedom is Moral.)

He explained his point from multiple directions on 12/21/19 in Spectator: We’ve just had the best decade in human history. Seriously.

A few of his points that caught my interest:

The rate of extreme poverty in the world has dropped from 60% when he was born to under 10% in this decade. If you ache to seek less people in dirt eating poverty that is a wonderful thing.

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Congress establishes the United States Space Force, newest branch of U.S. military.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Congress has approved and the president has signed legislation to create the United States Space Force.

This sixth branch will start out as a department of the U.S. Air Force in the way that the U.S. Marine Corps is a department of the U.S. Navy.

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In October 2019 North Dakota continues record setting level of oil production after one month break

Oil pad with four wells; one with pumpjack and three without. Looks like there is room for another six or more wells eventually. Photo by James Ulvog.

Crude oil production hit yet another record level in October at 1,517,796 barrels of oil per day (BOPD) (preliminary). September was not a record at 1,443,980 BOPD (revised). September was only the third highest production.

During 2019, record level of production was hit in October, August, July, June, and January. Record was broken in 2018 during December, October, September, August, July, and May.

Huge amount of room on that site for additional wells. Already have two rows of wells. Photo by James Ulvog.

What does the average daily production trend look like? Check it out:

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In July 2019, North Dakota oil production breaks record for second month in a row.

Four of the reasons oil prices are *not* completely crazy after the attack on Saudi Arabia’s processing facilities this past weekend. Photo by James Ulvog.

The Million Dollar Way blog points out With The July, 2019, Data, North Dakota Set Four New All-Time Records.

In July, the state energy wizards set four record levels of production:

  • Crude oil
  • Gas
  • Barrels of oil equivalent (converting gas into equivalent amount of oil and combining with crude production)
  • Number of producing wells

Breaking production records in North Dakota, New Mexico, and Texas is something to celebrate if you like being able to get gasoline for your car whenever you feel like doing so, or if you like having gas available at reasonable prices in spite of when, oh, say, someone drops a bunch of bombs on Saudi production facilities.

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Cost of Los Angeles and Las Vegas football stadiums

3d rendering of an outlined stadium. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

It is fascinating to see the cost of large projects. Check out the price tag for new football stadiums in Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

Los Angeles

The new stadium under construction in Los Angeles which, will be the home of the Rams and Chargers, will run a cool $5 billion.

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Deepfake – manipulating video to create a fabricated story.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

How’s this sound for another down side of technology?

Applying cutting edge technology to a video, changing the words said, altering the mouth movement to conform to the fabricated words, changing facial expressions, and thus fabricating a new video telling a story that doesn’t exist.

That is called deepfake.

Currently, the technology is at a level where a human watching a deepfake can tell it is fake. Inconsistencies in facial movement or lighting or pixelation will give away the fabrication. Several articles say the technology is advancing so fast that soon humans will not be able to detect a fake just by watching.

Special computer programs can detect the alterations.

A few articles for more background:

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Just another routine space launch and recovery of the booster. What a delight to ponder recollections of the Apollo 11 mission along with another SpaceX mission.

Falcon 9 and Dragon capsule lift off on CRS-18 mission. Credit Flickr. Courtesy of SpaceX who has placed their photos in the public domain.

Just a few days ago we celebrated the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 landing on the moon. What an astounding accomplishment and what a joy to remember. Take a look at the grainy views of the launch and walk on the moon mentioned in immediately previous post.

Check out the SpaceX Commercial Resupply Mission yesterday, 7/25/19. CRS-18 carried about 5,000 pounds of supplies and experiments to the International Space Station. In four weeks about 3,300 pounds of cargo will be returned to earth.

The mission press release says this is the third time this Dragon capsule has flown, which is a new record for reuse.  This is the second time this particular Falcon 9 booster has flown. The booster was successfully recovered.

The announcer on the broadcast said this is the 44th successfully recovery of a booster.

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