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Wanna Burn Shale for the Winter?

Randy Udall at The Oil Drum puts shale “oil”  in clear perspective: Let’s try a redneck experiment. Winter’s coming, and I’m willing to pay $1,000 to the first Coloradan who decides to heat their house with oil shale. I’ll deliver it in October, free of charge. Such an experiment would teach you a lot. First,…

From Agrilife, apparently we’re going to spend 3 million bucks to confirm the obvious – if you only breed for one thing, maximum milk production, you will be casting a lot of other critical traits to the winds: “Fertility is a critical component of efficient dairy production,” Pinedo said. “Failure to attain and maintain a…

End Daylight Savings Time?

Former Scienceblogger Boris Zivkovic, now at Scientific American, has an excellent post arguing that we should eliminate daylight savings time.  Given that DST was invented to save energy, it may seem strange that I agree with him, but I do – mostly because there’s no evidence that it does, and the physiological effects don’t merit…

About five years ago a colleague of mine, Dale Allen Pfeiffer wrote an essay I can no longer locate.  At the time, Colony Collapse Disorder was just being diagnosed in bees, and one of the discussed potential causes of the problem was cell phones and cell phone towers.  Pfeiffer didn’t, as I remember, take a…

It is pretty simple – if oil resources are finite, how do you gauge the value of different oil uses?  Ultimately, a use of oil should meet one of two simple criteria: 1. Does it reduce long term oil usage, as required by the reality of finite-ness? 2. Does it do something that nothing but…

The Talk

No, not about sex, we’ve been having variations on that one for years.  But Eli will be 13 in a couple of weeks, Simon is 11 1/2, Isaiah is 9 and Asher is 7.  Meanwhile most of my recent placements have been school-aged kids, several on the cusp of (or over it) puberty and adolescence.…

Taking on the Prison Problem

I get invited to speak to a lot of US Transition groups, and often I go.  Often the leaders are blog readers, sometimes people I know through the internet, often future-friends.  While every talk is different, they have some real similarities.  Whether speaking in a suburb of Maryland, a large city in Ohio or to…

Back…

It has been a long couple of weeks.  It took a full week for the stomach virus to drag through the entire household two weeks ago…when I thought we were done, well…not.  Last Friday we were finally clear, and able to leave the house again…just as Eli began his week long school break (Eli, who…

Real Love

I don’t think Eric and my eyes have ever met in one of those soppy, romantic looks couples give each other over a puddle of vomit before.  Yesterday, however, they did. We’ve been battling a nasty, slow moving stomach virus at our house (four down, four still to go ;-P), and one of the children…

WIC, Formula and Nursing

I opened my talk at the Community Action Partnership annual conference this year with the observation that like that weird looking guy from the old “Hair Club for Men” commercials, I’m not just a spokesperson, I’m also a client.  All foster children under 5 years receive WIC, the US program that provides SUPPLEMENTAL (this word…