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”

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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North Dakota oil production expected to accelerate this year. Also two more new huge oil finds where oil wasn’t expected.

Photo by James Ulvog.

Latest guess, from someone who has a clue about such issues, on where production is going in North Dakota is somewhere around 1.5M or 1.6M barrels a day late this year or early next year.

Huge finds off coast of Guyana and in New Mexico/Texas.

Question needs to be asked again:  What Peak Oil?

 

The Million Dollar Way – 7/7/19 – ND Oil Production to Surge – Lynn Helms. Citing another source, the article says Lynn Helms, director of DMR, thinks production in North Dakota will surge later this year after gas infrastructure construction is done.

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First sentencing in college admissions scandal

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

A sentence has been handed down in the first of the college admission scandal cases to reach a judge. The former sailing coach at Stanford received:

  • $10,000 fine
  • 1 day in jail, already served
  • 6 months house detention
  • 2 years supervised release, i.e. probation

(Cross-posted to my other blog, Nonprofit Update.)

Prosecutors recommended 13 months in prison.

Several articles pointed out this person is the lease culpable of those lined up for sentencing. He did not receive any money directly.

If I read the articles correctly, the only student admitted as part of this scheme was not actually an athlete and has since been expelled.  No other students were admitted.

One key point of detention is an assessment of what type of crime is present.

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What is the total federal and state tax on gasoline in California?

Ever wondered what you are paying in direct taxes for that gas? Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

State tax on gasoline in California went up again on July 1. Have you been wondering what is the federal & state tax load on a gallon of gas in the state? I was. So I calculated it.

The total excise and sales tax load levied the federal and state level is 72.5 cents a gallon, which is 23.9% on top of the cost of gas.

On July 1, CNBC reported After tax hike, gas in California is now a dollar higher than the national average.

State excise tax went up 5.6 cents for each gallon bringing total state haul to 47.3 cents.

Oh, the 2017 bill that imposed the tax hike also contained an inflation adjustment.

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Intro and update to college admissions scandal

Lots of things going on behind closed doors that have drawn the focused attention of the U.S. Attorney in Boston. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

The pretend-to-be-an-athlete-in-a-sport-you-have-never-even-played scandal in higher education is one of many issues I have not focused on over the last year or more.

Family issues have pulled me away from blogging. Hope to start getting caught up on the massive changes taking place around us. I’ll begin with the college admissions disaster.

(Article cross-posted from my other blog, Nonprofit Update.

Brief background:

A large number of parents were paying Mr. William “Rick” Singer to help their children get into colleges where their kids wouldn’t otherwise gain admission.

More background:

The schemes, according to a long string of articles covered in most newspapers which I won’t link, included techniques such as:

  • Creating fake profile of the student being a competitive athlete when the student had not even played the sport.
  • Paying to have another person take your SAT or ACT tests.
  • Hiring a proctor to oversee extra-testing time and then correcting answers.

Flow of cash was complicated, as expected. Most of the dollars went to a non-profit foundation set up by Mr. Singer. He then distributed portions of the money to college sports coaches, proctors, and other participants. Some of the payments went directly from the parents to the colleges.

Oh, by making those payments to a charity, the payments became tax deductible. So there is also a tax fraud angle for all the involved parents to ponder. You can easily guess someone from IRS Criminal Investigations is involved in each of the cases.

Current status:

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US hits all time record high for oil production, is now net oil exporter, and is set to surpass Saudi Arabia in export of crude & oil products.

16 reasons US has been moving towards a net exporter of energy and finally hit that point. Well visible right of center with Missouri river in background. Williston, North Dakota. Photo by James Ulvog.

The changes in energy production over recent years is astounding.

My blogging has dropped off a lot over the last year or so due to distractions. Have a huge backlog of things to discuss, such as:

  • The US is a net oil exporter
  • Oil production in US is at all time record high
  • Sometime later this year the US will be exporting more oil product than Saudia Arabia

MSN – 12/7/18 – US ends its reliance on foreign oil for the first time in 75 years – In the last week of November 2018, the US exported more oil than we imported. The US is now a net exporter. Ponder that.

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