Parowan UT Half Marathon

01 August 2015

It’s 7 AM in Utah and the Parowan Half Marathon just started. This will be my fourth time running it. Don’t be fooled by the sylvan scene in the photo with the level road. The course starts at 8,200 feet elevation and goes down a steep canyon road for 13.1 miles ending in Parowan at […]

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Killer robot

Robotics and AI are taking over, not necessarily a good thing

30 July 2015

Robots do many useful things. However, they are replacing jobs once held by carbon-based lifeforms. This may be one reason the employment rate isn’t recovering. The standard argument here is those displaced people will find new jobs created by new technology. However, jobs making robots just aren’t going to be that plentiful. This trend emerged […]

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Grexit

Grexit requires immense software changes. It took EU 11 years

29 July 2015

Grexit, with a return to drachma, cannot be done overnight or even within months, especially not for a financially devastated country like Greece that has no extra money. A primary reason is ancient software needs to be studied line-by-line to look for references to euros and then to make sure the code will reflect the […]

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Solar farm

Utility-scale solar is considerably cheaper than rooftop

28 July 2015

Rooftop solar, especially when leased, is much more expensive than grid-scale solar, plus carbon savings are less. Economies of scale for big solar produce electricity cheaper and with less carbon. And unless a rooftop solar system has battery storage, it won’t help in a power outage. The savings from utility-scale solar are considerable. “Most of […]

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Posted in Energy0 Comments

March of tyranny

Potemkin Party. Republocrats squabble about sex, ignore economy, war

27 July 2015

Lifelong Democrat James Kunstler has a fine rant about the uselessness of the Democratic Party and its lack of discernible leadership. No one, except Sanders, has new ideas. Apparatchiks within the party will almost certainly try to destroy his candidacy. No mainstream candidate in either party is talking seriously about the economy, endless war, and […]

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1185d094e4fde4ce_640_crater

Puerto Rico bonds implode, collateral value set to zero

26 July 2015

$72 billion in now-toxic Puerto Rico bonds are stashed away in supposedly conservative bond funds and retirement accounts. Moody’s says the probability of default is now 100%. Some of the bonds have no legal protection and their recovery rate might be 33 cents on a dollar. Bonds with better protection will still get clobbered. Recovery […]

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"Godzilla" is out of control. A Warner Bros. film

‘Godzilla El Niño’ coming to California

24 July 2015

We lived in southern California during the last two big El Niños and they are indeed doozies. Torrential storms slam into the state one after another. Roads flood. Houses slide down hills. And reservoirs fill up. The crucial question is, will the storms hit far enough north to replenish parched lakes and reservoirs? The answer […]

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Posted in Water0 Comments

No more free rides

We all need to financially support websites we like

23 July 2015

Ad revenue that used to support websites is plummeting. Vastly increased competition, sharply lower advertising rates, and ad blockers are the primary reasons. We all need to financially support content creators we like, especially smaller ones. If we don’t, many of them will simply vanish. The dream that the web can always be free, supported […]

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Jail door open

Maybe El Chapo was released to restore order to drug cartels

22 July 2015

A cartel operative, Mexican intelligence agent, and U.S. narcotics agent – seasoned veterans all – opine that cartel violence, especially against the government in Mexico, has gotten so out of control that El Chapo was allowed to walk out of prison so he could knock off a few cartels and restore relative order. Too much […]

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subsidence-diagram

California Sacramento Delta islands are sinking

21 July 2015

As if California didn’t already have enough water worries. Water flows down from the Sierras to the Sacramento Delta, and then much of it goes to southern California. The delta is the most crucial water supply in California. Delta islands and surrounding areas contain immensely fertile farmland as well as cities. The problem is, they […]

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