Monday, May 24, 2010

Feeling good? Read this; you'll feel better, uh, worse.

Here's a lovely chart from here of peak oil production.  Notice the sharp downward swing.  We're in big trouble-- we are mining an unrenewable resource to live--but that should be obvious to everyone.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Not so great to be a client of Goldman Sachs.

The firm makes money over hand over fist, owns the Obama administration (Summers, Rubin, Bernanke, and Geithner--the entire financial Obama team--are Goldman  alumni.)

Clients of Goldman Sachs don't do so well.  By a long shot, in a rising market.  According to Bloomberg,
Seven of the investment bank’s nine “recommended top trades for 2010” have been money losers for investors who adopted the New York-based firm’s advice, according to data compiled by Bloomberg from a Goldman Sachs research note sent yesterday.
What  else is there to say?  Goldman's only client is Goldman.  Stay away.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

How long will that oil be spilling out of the Gulf?

Maybe for a very long time.

As far as I can tell, most estimates are based on an exponential decline (i.e., it will end relatively quickly), but it more probably looks like a hyperbolic decline--a fat tail long decline.

Read more than you want to know about it here.

Monday, May 17, 2010

I can't get any satisfaction.

I just heard, on NPR, someone loosely referred to as a "music critic" mention that Otis Redding's version of the Rolling Stones' song "Satisfaction was OK", even though he got some of the words wrong.

What is the matter with that man, let alone that station?  Have they actually listened to the song in question?    Did they do any research about the respective versions?  Who cares about the specific words anyway?   Keith has long let it be known that Otis got it  right and that the song was meant to be played with horns (as in Otis Redding's version.)  Rod Wood indicated in 2003 that the Stones are now using an arrangement much closer to Otis Redding's version.  So, Otis got it right.  Really, really right.

Fun fact:
Keith Richards was staying at the Fort Harrison Hotel (known at the time as the Jack Tar Harrison Hotel) when he rolled out of bed with the idea for this. The hotel still exists. In 1975, it was bought by the Church of Scientology and frequently hosts religious retreats. (thanks, Jack Russell - clearwater, FL)  From here.  

The late, great Otis Redding.  I dare you to say anything is wrong with this song.   

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Where did 'Exile on Main Street" come from? Choose me for the answer.

Those bad Stones.  I truly love Exile; Mick, Keith and the rest started as a blues cover band, where they basically covered, almost note for note, blues standards.  Then, they magically transformed; they somehow created their own sound based on the great blues singers, but still their own--much of Exile has a definite Son House vibe.   Listen.  Don't get me wrong, I listen to "Exile" about as much as I listen to Son House.

Warning, flash flash, (bad scary graphics)  don't make the mistake of listening to Keith Urban covering "Tumblin' Dice" on the Jimmy Fallon show.  Unless you want a serious Migraine.  Not good.  Green Day rocked the joint with "Rip this Joint."  Hard.  I especially loved the rewritten (or not quite remembered) lyrics.  (Geebee corrected me on the spelling of that song; thanks, sweetheart; plus how stupid of me; i've only listening to this song since it came out when I was 14.  I blame rock and roll.  Or me.  You choose.)

"I didn't know I loved her, until they let her down."  I can't speak for everyone, though i'd dearly love to imagine I could; but this sounds to me like humanity in 10 words.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Go read a book, it's good for your back.

When I was in law school, I suffered from that exceptionally common ailment, lower back pain.  There was a lovely gym with all sorts of brand new equipment with exciting names waiting for me to try it out, so I systematically gave pretty much every device a shot, from the rowing machines to the ellipical something or others.  Nothing worked.  My back still ached.  And ached.

Finally, one day, I said, "Enough!" and stopped with the exercise at the gym, though I did walk a fair amount, as it was unavoidable.  Bingo!  Back pain gone!

My single sample has now been proven scientifically.  Exercise does not help lower back pain.  Read about it here.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

So how much oil is actually spilling into the Gulf Coast?

Reading the most scientific reports that use the latest satellite data, it appears to be somewhere between 20,000 and 25,000 gal/day. That's a lot. The 5,000 gal/day number being knocked around the media appears to be BP spin--I'm guessing its the first shot across the bow of the American public to make us pay for this total screw-up by a company that should have known so much better.

But the Bush regime thought self-regulation was the way to go. BP self-regulated themselves to 11 people dead and unspeakable environmental damage. Who's going to pay for that damage? You and I, the American public, that's who. Anti-regulation really means privatizing the profits (they go to the company) and socializing the losses (that's us, the American people, who get stuck with the bill of cleaning up this mess.

And this mess could get much worse.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Profiting off tragedy

Considering the upcoming oil shortage, what shall we do?  What is obvious that I can't see?

For a start, what companies will suddenly be much more valuable, and which will be in dire straits, indeed?

Trains on the plus side. Most efficient way of moving stuff.

Oil companies?  They're evil, but as oil gets more expensive, they're the ones that will have it.  Same is true of natural gas producers.

I like the idea of tide electricity generators.  We need more of these.

Must look at historical data.

Peak oil, it's not just a floor wax, a dessert topping, or a scare tactic.

It is the truth.  Our economy is predicated on cheap oil.  Our whole economy. That's why we have this brief time to be fat--a positive word for pretty much the entire history of language .   Fertilizers are petroleum derivatives.   Plowing cheap fertilizer (using cheap gas to run the tractors) into tons of land in the midwest.  Cheap gas moves the food from whence it came to your family grocery store.  Where you get to eat it!

I have a bit of anthropological training.  Looking at skeletons, you can determine the weight of the human. Hint, up until about the late 1930's we spent our lives hungry.  For most of European history, everyone lived through (or  didn't make it) a famine year or two, when there was simply no food to be had.

American production of oil peaked in in the 1970's.  It looks like Saudi oil is peaking earlier than thought.  

We have  more humans on the planet  than can be supported  by significantly lower yields of oil.

Sorry to be, like, a total bummer, but there it is.  Hoping for suggestions for the future