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Math even a Journalist should be able to understand by wisconsin_cur on Thu Sep 03, 2009 1:21 am
Through the week I listen to at least 90 minutes of Bloomberg radio every day. I became a regular listener when I noticed that they reported the 7/7 bombings in London 30 - 40 minutes before CNN and other outlets had anything helpful to say. I stay because the morning interview show (Bloomberg Surveillance) is often genuinely helpful and smart, even when I disagree with the guest.

This morning, however, I had blood coming out of my ears. It is not what they were saying as they, like every other news outlet talked of BP's "giant" oil strike in the Gulf of Mexico, it what was being left unsaid.

The story as told in the Financial Times

BP, the UK energy group, has discovered a “giant” oilfield in the Gulf of Mexico that shows a new frontier opening up for US oil production.

The Tiber field, in more than 1,200m of water about 250...

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2 Comments Viewed 57843 times
Taking off the gloves by wisconsin_cur on Tue Jul 13, 2010 12:59 am
If you look at my hands, you can tell that the money I bring home is not earned with my hands. Comapre them to my father's, uncles or grandfathers and there is no doubt who went to college and is privilidged to work in climate controled comfort. Though I keep nearly every spare minute filled with a variety of maintance and expansion projects around the homestead, my hands do not show it; mostly thanks to good gloves.

This weekend I had a lot of work to do and I took off the gloves.

While I love good gloves and will still use them for more dangerous work, I have decided to start building some callouses and scar tissue now. Developing thick skin now reduce by one the number of things that might slow me down when I need to work with these hands in a more consistently rough environment.

4 Comments Viewed 61355 times
From a Hobby to Lifestyle by wisconsin_cur on Tue Jun 16, 2009 5:13 am
I really enjoy the company of beekeepers but they are a curious lot. We form a bond of connection with a collection of insects and it is a relationship that changes us. The initial response to one's first hive is often joy and wonder. Before any of the challenges of the hobby arise, there is the amazing building and foraging of these social insects. We see them fly home with legs covered in packed pollen. We see them on our lawn and in our trees going about their work. It is fascinating and sends many a novice beekeeper, the author included, into daydreams of making a livlihood out of working with the bees. Then the obstacles arrive.

Mites, wax moths, a neighbor's pesticide use, bears, skunks, vandalism, the toll of winter, disappointing yields, the dumping of foreign honey on the American market all these and many others contrive together to break the beekeepers heart and temper the initial optimism. Perhaps the beekeeper gives up the hobby or maybe she resigns herself to be content...

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1 Comment Viewed 49425 times
City hypocrites and their little bylaw kingdoms by strider3700 on Fri Jul 10, 2009 6:32 pm
One of the things I'll have to get used to when I move into town is paying not just for garbage collection but also for water and sewage. At my current home my water comes from a spring which I have a lease on. It's roughly $107 every 3 years. For this price I get 500 gallons/day and need to do whatever I want with the water. In my case that involves maintaining the spring, the 1000' or so of line to the house the filter system and everything else. In town I get a tiered system where the lowest tier is 0-145 gallons/day and the highest is 1097-infinity gallons/day Thankfully there is a huge jump in cost between these two cases and there is 4 steps in between. Still some rough calculations on if I was to get the equivalent amount of water from the city as I'm allowed here would have me paying roughly 30 times as much as I currently do.

It's obvious that I'll need to actually care about my water usage at the new place. My first thought was low flow dual flush toilets and...

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2 Comments Viewed 6709 times
The biggest bubble by wisconsin_cur on Mon Aug 24, 2009 11:59 pm
Globalizations come and go just like other economic bubbles. They just inflate at a much slower rate, often over decades or centuries, so they become an even greater ingrained expectation than other bubbles. The deflation can be as quick as the outbreak of the First World War or as drawn out as the death of the Roman Empire. Like any bubble, however, the way down is as dislocating as the way up is infatuating.

In today's Telegraph Ambrose Evans-Pritchard reports on a story that may well answer the abiding question of when we shall fall from the plateau of our current globalization and begin the roll down the backside into the toilet bowel beyond. China, it seems, is considering the very rationale move of banning the export of many rare earth metals, and restricting the export of still more,...

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