Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Blacks Boycott LLBEAN

This vid is a frickn' riot. I think its funnier if you are from Maine and have been to L.L. Bean. After thinking about it actually, I cannot recall ever seeing a black person there.

For this and other vids, visit the onion

Peak Oil

Seems like I haven't done a geology related post in a while and recently I came across an excellent and well written piece on peak oil by Eric Cheney and Marianne Hawkes in the June 2007 edition of GSA Today.

The full article in pdf format is HERE. It is only two pages and definitely worth the read.

The crux of the Peak Oil argument is based on Hubbert's 1956 prediction that annual oil production in the US (lower 48 states) would peak in 1970 and decline (read decline as: use oil) steadily and fast from then forward.

"...that production will fall as sharply in the twenty first century as it rose in the twentieth." (state Cheney and Hawkes (C&H) via Urstadt, 2006).

What I found most interesting in reading the article is that C&H point out the differences in assumptions between predicting peak oil in 1956 to the 2007 knowledge base. Which are:
  1. Plate Tectonics (1970's) re-defined rationale for deep-water drilling;
  2. Knowledge of petroliferous rocks and stratigraphy;
  3. Advancement of geochemistry;
  4. Advancement of Technology
    • geophysical surveys
    • deep and deeper water drilling abilities
    • horizontal drilling
  5. Substitution of other sources
    • coal (it is possible to get oil from coal)
    • nukes
    • oil sands
    • oil shales
    • methane ice
Now keep in mind that a few of those, like oil sands, only become economically viable as the prices of raw crude oil increase. It is unlikely that oil shales will ever be worth the energy input to derive oil. More likely is that some smart monkey scientist will figure out a better way to get your 4,000-pound SUV moving down the road. As a side note: ethanol is not the answer.

The article concludes with a point that 2004 oil production is twice what Hubbert projected. Well that is good news, kind of. But the real take away, and one that seems to be logical and non-alarmist in the presentation is that while gasoline will not run out soon it will be come more and more expensive. The every day person will see is gas increase per gallon from 4$ gas, 6$ gas, 20$, 100$ per gallon.

The question I have is; At what price will there be enough outcry and demand for vehicles that are powered by fuel not derived from hydrocarbons?

So, don't freak out. The sky is not falling. Just don't expect gasoline tp be below 2$ per gallon in the U.S. ever again. And have faith in man and science that we will invent a new and better way.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Mars Geology

I stumbled upon the European Space Agency (ESA) site and found cool pictures of the surface of Mars. The image at this link was one I spent a little time looking over.

'It is of the Deuteronilus Mensae region... The area is located on the northern edge of Arabia Terra and borders the southern high- and northern lowlands, at approximately 39° North and 23° East.'

At the very bottom, off center to the right I found an interesting feature, FOLDING.

In the center of the 'round' feature appears a fold string (shortening direction) trending northwest, south east. While this doesn't seem too exciting, it does add evidence of plastic deformation has/does occur(ed) on the planet. It also suggests: active tectonics; temperatures high enough to soften the rock; high pressures and also liquids. Liquids because adding liquid reduces the temperatures and pressures needed to soften rocks and is frequently present here on Earth.

*Of course it may not be a fold at all and I am just spewing prophecies of ignorance. Which is fun just the same.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Fall Vacation

In the Fall, particularly in September and October I like to use up my last vacation days. I enjoy these months because it gives me a week off during or after my birthday and also gives me plenty of time to make the winter preparations. Typically, preparing firewood and outdoor cleanup tasks.

Last night (Friday) to kick off my vacation I went on a bike ride after dark. I live in a rural part of Maine and the roads are totally dark. Street lights are usually only at intersections or tricky stretches. It makes the route seem completely different than during the day time in these ways:
(*)The pace feels faster, although I can't see my real-time speed (too dark) and my average is usually a bit lower;
(*)You can get a tunnel feel from the bike light;
(*)A short trip feels longer.

Last night my stats were: Average Speed 16.1 mph, Max Speed 35.5, 10.39 Miles, in 38 minutes and 27 seconds.
I really like riding at night. Done right, its totally safe.
If a post reader needs advice about road riding at night, just ask, I have suggestions.

Monday, September 10, 2007

St. Lucian Kids

I was looking though my vacation photos and found this great one I took at the airport during our departure of some local children. They were at the airport on a field trip. It wasn't until I got home and looked at the pic before I realized how good it came out. It helped they the kids were animated and quite frankly beautiful children.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Naked-ish Grandmother

Ill probably get a lot of pervy porn hits with that title, but hey, whatever brings in the readers.

On Sunday I went to dad's to have lobsters. Yeah, again. lobsters, lobsters lobsters...I'd say Im getting sick of eating so many but shit, I aint crazy. Anyway, as is her tradition my grandmother always ALWAYS wears a apron. So my dad pulls out this one I got for him a couple of years ago in Italy. She wore it all night. She don't give a shit. She's 86, wishes she was 36 and has an awesome sense of humor. So I bring you...