Saturday, November 29, 2014

Weddings And Pictures

For 11 seasons, from 1988 until 1998, I owned and operated a wedding photography business in Winnipeg, my home town. It started as a part time business during university, and then continued after that.


It was a great grounding in business! There is lots of customer facing, and people interaction when you are a wedding photographer.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Simple Method to Bleed Methane from Fracked Water


Some time ago, I saw something on TV about how fracking was contaminating the local ground water with methane. As a result, when a nearby resident put a match to their kitchen faucet, the water would actually light on fire! 

The residents and farmers could not drink the water from their own taps. Nor shower with the water. Showering affected the skin in a horrible way. They did not dare drink the water, as it would do the same thing to the inside of the body, with no way to relieve it! All their water needed to be trucked in, at significant expense.


Due to methane contamination from fracking, Jessica Ernst can set her tap water on fire.



HyCap Energy in Wyoming has come up with an expensive ($55K) device to clean the water of methane. It extracts methane from the water, allowing it to be used as energy. Apparently, if there is enough methane, they will install the equipment at their own expense, and share in the revenues.

But recently, I thought of a simpler way to clean the water of methane.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Themes In The Fabulous Japanese TV Series, Ryomaden


A few years ago I started watching the NHK Japanese series, Ryomaden. It is based on the true story of the historical Japanese figure, Ryoma Sakamoto (or, in Japanese convention: Sakamoto Ryoma).





If you are not familiar with Sakamoto, first read this fabulous essay that already explains his life, times, and biography really well.

Sakamoto Ryoma: The Indispensable “Nobody”, By Romulus Hillsborough

Ryomaden is an epic TV series. It ran for 48 episodes over four seasons! I don't know any TV story in the US or Canada that ran that many episodes! It goes to show, is how important Ryoma Sakamoto was to the history of Japan and to the Japanese. 


Part of the Ryomaden soundtrack is the incredible choral singing by the jazz vocalist, Yucca!

The story is told through the eyes of Iwasaki Yataro, who, in real life, rises from abject poverty, to help found Mitsubishi Corporation and become its president. Interestingly, these two very famous and influential historical figures, grew up in the same village, and knew each other. They took very different roads, but crossed paths many times. 


Fabulous Acting and Direction:

Friday, May 31, 2013

Blue Flowers!


I like to grow flowers from seed. And I like the color blue. 

It's easy to find flowers that are white, yellow, orange, red, purple/violet. But it's rare to find a blue flower.

The flowers for the crop, flax, are blue. Bellflowers (Campanula Persicifolia) are sometimes blue. As are Astors and Balloon flowers.

When I see a packet of seeds with a blue flower on the cover, I buy it. You can see some of the seed packets I've bought here. 

 

Monday, September 3, 2012

World CO2 Production


After my other posts on CO2 production over the life of a car, I began to think about the total macro impact of oil consumption on the whole world.



CO2 Produced Per Barrel Of Gasoline Burned:

19 pounds of CO2 are created by burning a gallon of gasoline. 

= 42 gallons per barrel * 19 pounds of CO2 
= 798 pounds of C02 produced per barrel
= 362.7 kilograms of C02 produced per barrel of oil. 


World Oil Consumption:

Yearly, how much CO2 is created in the atmosphere by burning oil? First, what are the numbers for oil consumption? From The Economist, and using the numbers from: 
http://www.eia.gov/emeu/ipsr/t17.xls

Over 80 million barrels of oil is now consumed in the world each day. 



World Daily Oil Consumption:

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

At Constant Consumption - Not


There are a lot of reports coming out lately that say we have 100 or 500 year supply of resource x, y, z, and especially oil "at current consumption". Which really means, at the current rate of consumption. Say, n units per year. It also assumes that the n units of consumption per year will remain constant, and never change. Which of course is not realistic at all, as the world population grows and demand for oil and everything else increases.

As Dr. Albert A. Bartlett notes in "The Most Important Video You Will Ever See", this totally ignores the fact that consumption rates are going up exponentially.


In finance, there is the "Rule of 72". It's a simple finance rule to determine how quickly money will double at a given compound interest rate.

72/interest rate = years required for the money to double

We can use the Rule of 72, for some quick calculations. If you have a population growth rate of 7%, in ten years, the population has doubled. And in 20 years, the population has quadrupled! If your city's sewer system in inadequate now, think how bad it will be in 20 years!



I was thinking about this, and decided to model it in Excel. Just how much remains, and how quickly does it run out? It's amazing how fast things do run out.

Even if there is only a 1% increase in consumption, the "500 year supply" will only last 181 years!  Less than half the time of the original 500 year prediction.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Book Review: Financial Times Briefings - Sustainable Business

A few months ago, I read at the book:  Financial Times Briefings - Sustainable Business, By Brian Clegg.



It is a book aimed at executives on incorporating sustainability into their corporations. Not unlike a financial analyst's primer on certain new technologies for investors.


Friday, June 29, 2012

Hummer Versus Prius




There was a rumor that was circulating a few years ago. I recall it being on the internet, but not in the mainstream media.

It went, that because a Toyota Prius used lithium batteries, and that mining lithium caused so much environmental damage, the Hummer was actually better for the environment over the long term. Really?

A number of writers have since clearly disproved this. See their valid analysis here:


http://www.pacinst.org/topics/integrity_of_science/case_studies/hummer_versus_prius.html

http://www.pacinst.org/topics/integrity_of_science/case_studies/hummer_vs_prius.pdf


However, I did my own simple analysis. It was not difficult at all. The hardest part is finding the correct numbers.

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Prius - Weight Of The Battery:


How Much Gas Do ICE Vehicles Burn Up Just Idling At Red Lights?


Further to my previous post on CO2 in Evs and ICE vehicles, how much gas is burned over a car's lifetime idling away at red lights and stop signs? And then accelerating up to speed again?


A Honda Accord gets approximately 25 MPG in city driving, and 31 MPG on the Highway

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Assume 25 MPG for a Honda Accord in city driving.

200K miles / 25 MPG
= 8000 gallons of gas in the car's lifetime

8000 Gallons * $4.00 per gallon:
= $32,000 for gas in the car's lifetime

$32,000 / 200,000 Miles
= 16 cents per mile, just for the gasoline

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Assume 31 MPG for a Honda Accord for highway driving.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Electric Vehicles Vs Internal Combusion Engine: Total Cost Of CO2

Further to the Total Cost of Energy for a vehicle, how much CO2 do Internal Combustion Engine (ICE)  vehicles make, versus Electric Vehicles (EV)?


The total weight of C02 that an ICE vehicle emits into the atmosphere over 200K miles is at least 50 times the car's weight! Wow!

On CO2 emissions, electric vehicles easily beat internal combustion engines, usually by orders of magnitude.


How MUCH Carbon Dioxide Does Your Car Produce?

So, how much CO2 do ICE vehicles produce over their lifetime? First, consider how much CO2 is produced by burning a gallon of gasoline.

According to, http://www.carboncompany.com/statistics.htm, the average fuel economy for cars sold in 2005 is about 25.2 MPG (Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration).

"How much CO2 is produced from 1 Gallon of Gas? 1 GALLON OF GAS = 19 LBS. OF CO2. If a gallon of gasoline weighs about 6 pounds, how can it produce three times that much greenhouse gas? The carbon from the gasoline mixes with oxygen from the air. … The eight molecules of CO2 weigh about three times more than the one molecule of octane you started with. That doesn't mean you've violated the law of conservation of mass; instead, you've added the weight of the oxygen from the air to the weight of the carbon from the gasoline."

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Burning a Single Tank Of Gas Will Create More Carbon Dioxide Than Most People Weigh!