Skip to main content

T Boone Pickens gets wise to Wind...

A colleague recently sent me the link to T. Boone Pickens plan to get the US off of its dependence of imported fossil fuels. I'd been seeing the commercials on tv but didn't go to the site until after receiving the link.

I love the wind plan, that is part of exactly what we need but the fact remains, though we would definitely benefit from a "manhattan wind project" as proposed, would the oil companies unfetter Washington to allow the actions that will be necessary in their industry to facilitate such a huge initiative? After all, though a great deal of the oil money is going outside the country a lot of it is fattening the US oil companies. I am glad that as a giant in the oil industry Pickens is making a stand on the importance of a shift but will all those other guys (particularly the foreign importers with big money lobbies in Washington) tow his line? A good analogy that we've seen played out in the last 10 years is how the music industry reacted to p2p sofware eroding the CD business. They resisted embracing the technology to make the best of it (ala licensing deals with sites such as Itunes, Rhapsody) to the very end, to this day still trying to defend an indefensible and obsolete business model. We can no doubt expect the oil companies (to be fair it will be done for fear of investor wrath) to drag their feet when faced with the prospect of a clean and infinitely renewable source of energy enacted on such a large scale that directly competes with their very profitable business.

I'd like to read more about how Pickens plans to spur action among his industry colleagues to take action to promote something that will certainly reduce profits over at least an extended short term of 5 - 10 years. Are their investors willing to eat that penalty and facilitate the change? It won't be easy.

A bit about the technology, in this post I mentioned the importance of funding further research in the area of electrical storage, I mentioned the need for a real current battery using superconductivity. Imagine the position our country would be in if after implementing a wind plan on the scale indicated in Pickens Plan we are able to fund more research (with the money we are saving instead of exporting to foreign countries) and actually are able to create efficient superconductors for such batteries. We would then be able to store nearly unlimited amounts of generated current and can use that in a non real time fashion domestically and for export. We would be instantly in a position to be the "Saudi Arabia" of wind in the exact same sense they are of oil...having both a production and export capability. As it stands generated electric power must be created and used in real time, it can't be stored on a massive offline scale and delivery requires an established infrastructure, SC current batteries could be shipped like refrigerators loaded with "juice". Given the advances (ceramic , high temperature SC) that have been made on the paltry funding of such research thus far, we could be in a position to deliver a one two punch to world wide energy needs by targeting just this area.

Something to think about.


Popular posts from this blog

Highly targeted Cpg vaccine immunotherapy for a range of cancer


This will surely go down as a seminal advance in cancer therapy. It reads like magic:

So this new approach looks for the specific proteins that are associated with a given tumors resistance to attack by the body's T cells, it then adjusts those T cells to be hyper sensitive to the specific oncogenic proteins targeted. These cells become essentially The Terminator​ T cells in the specific tumor AND have the multiplied effect of traveling along the immune pathway of spreading that the cancer many have metastasized. This is huge squared because it means you can essentially use targeting one tumor to identify and eliminate distal tumors that you many not even realize exist.

This allows the therapy for treating cancer to, for the first time; end the "wack a mole" problem that has frustrated traditional shot gun methods of treatment involving radiation and chemotherapy ...which by their nature unfortunately damage parts of the body that are not cancer laden but …

Engineers versus Programmers

I have found as more non formally trained people enter the coding space, the quality of code that results varies in an interesting way.

The formalities of learning to code in a structured course at University involve often strong focus on "correctness" and efficiency in the form of big O representations for the algorithms created.

Much less focus tends to be placed on what I'll call practical programming, which is the type of code that engineers (note I didn't use "programmers" on purpose) must learn to write.

Programmers are what Universities create, students that can take a defined development environment and within in write an algorithm for computing some sequence or traversing a tree or encoding and decoding a string. Efficiency and invariant rules are guiding development missions. Execution time for creating the solution is often a week or more depending on the professor and their style of teaching code and giving out problems. This type of coding is devo…

First *extra Galactic* planetary scale bodies observed

This headline

So every so often I see a story that has me sitting at the keyboard for a few seconds...actually trying to make sure the story is not some kind of satire site because the headline reads immediately a nonsense.
This headline did just that.
So I proceeded to frantically click through and it appears it was a valid news item from a valid news source and my jaw hit the floor.
Many of you know that we've been finding new planets outside of our solar system for about 25 years now.
In fact the Kepler satellite and other ground observatories have been accelerating their rate of extra-solar planet discoveries in the last few years but those planets are all within our galaxy the Milky Way.
The three major methods used to detect the bulk of planets thus far are wobble detection, radial transit and this method micro lensing which relies on a gravitational effect that was predicted by Einstein in his general theory of relativity exactly 103 years ago.