Gnosis

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Archive for January 2011

Day 1 – Reproduction Roman oil lamp and Tree background

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DSC03765

Written by Josecito

January 31, 2011 at 11:46 am

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Sweet Friday!

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Ok so once again I will be posting something short because it is the weekend, I am tired and since everything is snow covered all I can talk about is what is going on in my life or the news. I am guessing that all of you watch the news and thus, I would be repeating and rehashing the same old crud (which I don’t want), or I could tell you about my life (which I don’t have as I can’t go out!!!) of sitting at home and doing nothing but watching the snow melt.

As I sit here and type on my keyboard I realize that I have been lazy and allowed myself to not reinstall my PC from scratch in quiet some time.  For those of you who do not know or understand. I run a windows based computer and since windows is piss poor from constantly needing service packs and upgrades and software installs/uninstalls, and viruses and spyware..etc etc. I make it a policy to reinstall my system every six months so that it runs smoothly and more or less flawlessly. I am now in month 9 and totally forgot about it! So today I ran a virus check, a spyware check and lo and behold… crap! I have about 40 bots on my system (I am looking at you Facebook ) and one virus. So I took the time to clean them out and reboot. The system is running nicely now but there is always that feeling in the back of my mind that I missed something or that it could run better and more efficiently.

So chances are good that I will not be online this weekend if I decide to do a reinstall. Chances are good that I will do it and then run a double backup. Basically I will do a clean install, get the updates and keep a list of the software that I get online for installing separately (since I might have changed what I used).

Written by Josecito

January 28, 2011 at 6:10 pm

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Um what just happened?

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phillysnow-730180 Ok so I haven’t really been up to date on current global events mainly due to the large amount of snowfall and the necessity of clearing a nice path to walk around my house, and then digging out the cars. Since I managed to complete those tasks and then rest again from being slightly ill for the last week (I probably had some type of stomach virus), I chose to take a break (since I really couldn’t think of anything else to do) and watch some news on CNN. What the heck happened in the last few days is really crazy.

tunisia First the President of Tunisia and his government of 23 years was overthrown in what can be best described as a massive disorganized revolution brought about by millions of people using internet based services like Twitter, to flash mob the government and destroy the apparatus of oppression. Their reason: the push for basic human rights (which I will assume are going to be morphed into a demand for services beyond their ability to provide – socialist leanings). Essentially a bunch of young people who lived most of their life under the rule of one regime were entering the national colleges and like all students with limited knowledge (sophomoric) complained about crap they didn’t understand using 21st century technology that was available. Rioting happened, civil disorder began, and the nation temporarily fell into anarchy until new leadership arose to address the issues of the old order and attempt to rectify the alleged grievances. An interesting side note to consider is that Tunisia was fast becoming a modern nation and was about to become a member of the nuclear energy club, and have solar power stations. Sadly my guess is that their protest will be used to curtail their own use of their oil reserves and earmark it for export. Sure they only produce about 100,000 barrels of oil a day, but I am sure that someone in Europe would want it and are willing to topple their government to get it!

map_egypt Suez Canal Second is that within days of the revolution in Tunisia, the people of Egypt made a very similar overthrow of their government for almost the same reasons. They have a President who has been in power for over 30 years ( Hosni Mubarak ) and once again the students and people who realized the potential for technology to aid them in civil unrest started the fight for anarchism. Egypt, having learned of the mistakes made by the people (and government) of Tunisia, has resisted the coup attempt by its population and for the past few days has been fighting back the protestors. They have also taken the main tool of the revolutionaries out of the equation: they shut off the internet and cell phones. Yes you read that correctly. In order to eliminate the main methods of mounting a resistance and of spreading information that would be helpful to the cause of the freedom fighters, Egypt (being smart) gave the order to the telecom companies to turn off their communications infrastructures. One by one the companies agreed and turned off cell phones, house phones, internet access and the only method of distributing knowledge and information around the nation was via short wave radio (if you had one), government approved phone systems and networks, and possibly sat phones (eg. other international means). The goal was to cut off the method of fighting back and of resisting. Fighting continues but my money is on the Egyptian government to win this battle. Without the means to communicate, no spontaneous mobs can appear for more then a few moments without being ambushed. The military occupies the higher ground via technology and is using this to spread information via TV and RADIO to its citizens to go back into their homes and stop fighting or risk death.

2806f_PeakOilChevron What does this entail for the United States? Well if the fighting continues and the protestors win, or if the fighting continues and the protestors hold out long enough, we could see a complete stoppage of the oil supplies from the Gulf of Persia because the Suez Canal is IN EGYPT! Yep, imagine if the protestors figure a way to destroy the protection of the canal and start blowing things up around it, causing the canal to collapse and shut down. My best guess would be an oil tanker blown up right inside the canal! What does that cause? Oil shortages for any nation who buys Arabian crude oil from that part of the globe and will cause a massive spike and shortage of supplies to our nation. Just keep that in mind and keep your gas tank topped off for safety. Better yet, go out and get a gas can and fill it up. You never know when that extra $50 in gas will turn into a $1000 investment as the tanks around the city dry up. Worst case scenario you might see another joint venture from the USA into the canal as a means of peacekeeping (under the guise of the UN) to protect the canal during this crisis. They will make the argument (correctly) that the canal is a critical GLOBAL necessity and should not be placed under risk. I can assure you that not one nation will protest (not even the Militant Arabs who sell oil).

Things are falling apart faster then one could ever imagine. Kiss your globalization goodbye as the oil disappears.

Written by Josecito

January 27, 2011 at 5:53 pm

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On this cold wintery Nor’Eastery night…

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So while I wait for the snow to calm down (I imagine around 1AM) in order to shovel I am left pondering my previous blog ( Read it here ) about over complexity and recurring failures in our infrastructure. Right now the Philadelphia area is slated to get about 9 or 10 inches of snow. Not just the light snow that I was shoveling during the last storm, but hard and dense moist snow. This is the kind of stuff that freezes wires and pipes in their place and causes power outages, water/sewer main bursts, and worst of all: critical shortages of needed items (think of the milk runs and gas runs). This article is going to be pretty short as I don’t want to alarm you into a Chicken Little scenario. I’d rather you see what is happening to your cities and towns and make preparations in accordance to the threat level you perceive from the product of failing to reinvest in infrastructure.

All I can tell you is that this snow storm will probably include more gas, water, sewer, and power failures from the failure to plan accordingly. I can not find via the internet the statistics relating to the number of failures per year on the utilities, but I do see a LOT of articles about individual failings, floods, damages and deaths within the city concerning these failings. It is a telling reminder of just how far our city and its public utilities will go through, to keep the public uninformed.

Written by Josecito

January 26, 2011 at 11:36 pm

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A really easy jobs bill to enact

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Ok I have just finished watching the State of the Union debacle of our President Obama and once again I am disappointed in him. I did not know that he could manage to disappoint me even more but he did it. The speech was nothing more then another over abundant waste of time in lip service to ideas and leadership without actually having any good ideas or good leadership. There are only so many ways that he can boast about the United States needing to be the leaders of the 21st century before people begin to ask why the leader of the US of A isn’t actually leading them to that leadership role of the future!

So I will paraphrase his speech last night for those of you who missed it:

Fellow citizens, we suck when we compare ourselves to our competitors around the globe. We have many things wrong here that need to be fixed but I won’t actually tell you nor put my foot forward and actually lead you because my reelection is coming up and I might actually distance potential voters. The things that I wanted to do for the nation were obviously not wanted by the nation because everything over the last two years that I did do, was undone and with a passion by the people you voted into office. I will not propose the ideas that I had while I was running for office, even though I know that those ideas (like getting out of Iraq and Afghanistan and closing Guantanamo ) are extremely popular and would actually benefit the national reputation and esteem. I have a bunch of other ideas that you will not like and I will not tell you about them because obviously you will hate yourselves even more for voting me into office. I am a paid shill of Corporate America, but not in a good way that could actually fix things here. Please do not look at my appointments to key Oval office positions because you will see the name brands of the companies that paid for my election and are now getting the spoils of the victory. Suffice it to say, that anything I actually say or do from here until at least my next election will be about maintaining my popularity in the voting booth and not about actually getting anything done that would have meaningful impact for the electorate. So I will say a few more badly acted ‘heartfelt words’ look like I am stoned, and get on with the business of ripping you, the public, off.

 

That was it. That was what I got from the speech. I saw nothing moving nor plans that would work, nor plans that if enacted, would do any real good for our nation.

So here, as a citizen, I offer you a proposal. A huge tax cut to businesses, if and only if, they hire US citizens in the USA at normal job salaries. This would get our people off of unemployment, it would give the tax cut to businesses and it would keep money circulating in the economy.

So here it is:

For every job that is given to a US citizen in the United States, the company that hires them will get a tax deduction equal to the amount (or double if in economically depressed areas) if that employees salary, if and only if, the salary is above the median salary of the job.

 

So let us get down to brass tacks. There are over 23 million people in the United States that need jobs and are not being hired. Corporations want a tax break and we need work or the economy will collapse. Let us assume that the average job created by this tax break is $30,000 (regardless of what they do). This tax break would be worth $690,000,000,000! Basically it would be the amount that we gave away to Companies for the TARP program without solving our unemployment problem. So we would get full employment and the voters could actually save money and fix their debts, companies would get a nice tax break that would last for years if they keep us hired. This would give a huge incentive for other companies to relocate here and hire more people.

 

How about it? Lets get some jobs back in the US of A!

Written by Josecito

January 25, 2011 at 12:55 am

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The next generation Solar Cell

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chlorophyll solar_panel_and_solar_cell With all the hype that is building up on renewable energy, I’d like to take a moment and discuss my theory of what the next generation of solar cell design will be and why I think it will be widely used. I am referring to the concept of the regenerative solar cell. This type of solar cell would be built using low tech equipment, be repairable and have a standard yearly maintenance cycle like most things that go on the rooftop or a porch.

Basically a renewable solar cell would be a flat paneled device that uses chlorophyll to absorb electrons and then pass them to a conductive substrate such as aluminum or copper, where those electrons can move around and do useful work. Naturally the chlorophyll, being organic, will tend to degrade over a few months/year and is soluble in water. Thus any solar cell made in this form would more then likely be destroyed if rain were to enter the system. To solve this problem, my solar cell would be a very flat rectangular aquarium shape, sealed except for an intake and outlet regulator valve, and made from glass or organic non reactive plastics (ie. something that will not degrade in sunlight).

biodiesel_algae So essentially there will be either a green gel, or more likely, a green painted paste on the conductive surface of the cell, all located inside a sealed panel. After a year or so, the organic paste starts to lose its ability to charge via sunlight and must be replaced. By using the internal and external valves, one can run water through the cell and wash the green paste away and into the streets because it is biodegradable and can be reused by the grass and plants below. Once the cell is clean internally, the owner simply mixes a new batch of green gel and pumps it or paints it back onto the conductive surface thus restoring the cell to perfect working order. Another approach would be to have the cell enclosed in a glass sealed box and when it fails, to lift up the box (like a glass version of a Gift Box for clothes at the store) and wash off the cells, then paint them and reseal the unit.

Organic Solar Cell Think about it: cheap chlorophyll can be obtained via growing algae in artificial ponds and boiling them using solar concentrating parabolas. This would leech out the needed chemicals, and the waste could be dried for use as fish feed or recycled into the pond. For a few dollars a year, you could buy a jar of dried chlorophyll and ready mix it into your collectors with a paint brush and wash the remainder down the sink without fear of polluting the environment.

All that is needed is a few chemists or enterprising people who want to run a few tests a small amount of cash to start. The technology is open, it is widely available and if dire emergencies arose, local production of the critical substance could be made by people in even the poorest of nations (basically boil your green veggies, collect the water, and concentrate that into green goo)!

 

Interestingly I found this small article (where I took that last picture!)

http://www.newandrenewableenergy.com/2009/04/promise-of-organic-solar-cells.html

Written by Josecito

January 24, 2011 at 11:41 pm

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Follow-up Question

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This blog post refers to a previous post I wrote about a week ago regarding the Chevy Volt and the inefficiency of driving around with an electric battery and a gasoline engine. If you would like to you can read that post here:

Chevy Volt: An exercise in the obliviousness of the American Public

After writing that blog entry I made a phone call to a Podcast Financial Show called Financial Sense Online. I am a regular listener to the program and felt that they may be interested in voicing their opinion on this particular hybrid. You can listen to the question below, regrettably I have not moved my blog to my tripod location and thus, can not offer you a built in podcast plugin as of yet. Just right click the link below and save it to your desktop to listen to it.

http://cid-ff7d36fe623e53d5.office.live.com/embedicon.aspx/.Public/Q%20Call%20FSN.mp3

 

The file is about 5 minutes in length, the first minute is the standard liability clause, the next minute is my question and the final three minutes are their answer to what I asked. Sadly I don’t think they understood what I was trying to get across (all the more reason why I hold firm in my belief of the American Public being oblivious to the reality they occupy.

If you want to listen to their Broadcasts (I recommend them) you can view their site here:

Financial Sense Newshour

tesla_roadster1_440 Some things they did mention which struck me as odd: First they state that the added weight, besides being batteries is probably an increase in safety features. This is understandable except that the batteries weigh 800 pounds (out of the 1200 pounds of total extra weight), the electric motor weighs an additional 100 pounds or more. This leaves about 300 pounds of excess which could be attributed to things like airbags. One problem that I see is that airbags do not weigh 300 pounds, and the newer cars are made of lighter weight alloys which in total weigh much less then the steel made for my vehicle. So somewhere that added weight just isn’t adding up.

54139 They mention their belief that the electric car is the only future we could have as the US is entering a liquid fuels crisis period. I agree with this statement but still this does not explain why a more fuel efficient and lighter car wouldn’t be the ideal auto for GM to market if they expect that people will want a cheaper car to drive. They mention the Tesla electric car, which is all well and a great thing to promote and drive, EXCEPT that the machine itself costs over $100,000. This price is 10x what the American Public could afford or want to afford. The average income earned by a US citizen is about $40,000. So what they want you to believe is that someone with a large amount of college debt, house debt, and credit card debt would be willing to shell out another $40-100k for a car that will need it’s’ batteries replaced within 5 years! I am sorry but that doesn’t make any sense to me, especially in a world where people are losing their jobs and earning less money as the economy contracts.

coal_fired_power_plant images Finally, they mention the ability of the electric grid to have the capacity to charge these cars up on an overnight basis, pending we increase the amount of power plants generating electricity. I am saddened by this idea as most people come Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights will not be spending time at home with their cars in the garage. They will want to go out, have fun and drive around. A car that doesn’t have the range to drive around from 7am Friday until 3am Saturday morning and be full charged by 6am will not be the electric car of the future! The reason is simple: the mornings are when electricity demand will naturally increase as people wake up. Add in the extra demand from everyone drunk driving the night before, or more likely, forgetting to charge their cars the next day (around noon) and you have a recipe for disaster (as in brown outs and black outs). Finally, imagine what would happen if our already strained electric grid that is failing to make enough power for our Air Conditioners (that many people have on at night all night), will have also charge an electric car!

I am disappointed to say that they don’t quite understand the cost/benefits of this method of thinking. Especially if one considers that we could cut our gasoline use in half by upping the MPG standards of our autos (regular cars, not hybrids) to 50-75MPG! Think about that: no needed electrical plants, no charging stations, no added car weight, no pollution to make batteries and recycle them, and no change in human behavior needed!

Once again, the American Public just does not understand the realities of their situation.

Written by Josecito

January 21, 2011 at 8:29 pm

Posted in Uncategorized