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Sunday, April 27, 2008

oil and food

With the oil prices skyrocketing, the industries that normally use petroleum products are trying to find new ways of producing the same product with out petroleum products which is compounding another problem that already exists. This is the food shortage in some areas of the world which has been growing worse on its own through environmental factors and a growing population requiring larger amounts of food to be grown, with the industries that normally use petroleum products looking for alternatives they have found one alternative but it is causing the food shortage to grow faster than it was before.

No one seems to agree what to do to produce the needed amounts of grain that are needed for the growing world populations or for the new industries vying for those same grains to produce non food products based from the individual components of the grains.

Everyone that has done research seems to agree at least in part that we may end up having to use the deserts of the world for farming sometime in the next few generations but I haven’t heard of anyone taking the time to actually see what can be done now to start farming the deserts in an attempt to deal with both the growing population and the new demands placed on farms to produce crops for non food related products.

I know that it would not be cheap to farm in the deserts due to the fact that the farmers would need really large amounts of water to maintain their crops, which would mean that the water would have to come from desalinating ocean water so drinking water would not be taken away from the world’s population. The desalinization process itself is a costly adventure due to the energy costs that are associated with it at least when it comes to the traditional ways of producing the energy for the desalinization process.

We as the caretakers of the world have advanced far enough with trying to produce energy without the use of fossil fuels and with using renewable and green fuels. We have found that we can use both the sun and the water to create power instead of using fossil fuels but we are somewhat limited in how well we can use them due to our technology. We also tend to limit ourselves in regards to what we think can be done.

We know how to produce siphons, but I have not heard of anyone even attempting to use a siphon as a sustainable power source. What is actually stopping someone from designing a water turbine to be attached to the outtake of a siphon to create power?

Friday, April 18, 2008

Obama and Clinton

When it comes to the Democratic Party and the potential problems foreseen for the general election, it may actually be a good idea that Obama and Clinton pair up for the democratic ticket for the general election. This would be due to the fact that they both have people who would rather vote for a Republican rather than the opposing Democratic candidate along with having similar platforms in terms of the issues.

The only real problem is that both are strong willed people that would rather have things done their way. It is understandable that they would prefer their own ideas on the issues done but it also gets them both into The White House regardless of which one is president. If you actually sit down and think about it, even if Clinton decides to go with being vice president Obama would have a former president available for advice when he feels he needs someone else’s opinion.

By no means am I saying that one would be better at being president than the other, all I will say is that each of them on their own they face discrimination based either on gender or race together they offset the others discrimination which may actually give a combined ticket with both of them on it a real chance of winning against McCain.

If they can get past their own presumptions on what would be the best way to do each and everything I think they can make a great team, especially if they can retool or combine different aspects of what they like about the others plan on each issue.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

my memories of baseball home opener as a kid

Even though it has been more than twenty years since my last opening day at Fenway Park, the memories are still fairly vivid of the day. I was a “paper boy” who sold a local paper as a kid from the age of eleven through the age of thirteen and I had the chance every year that I was a paper boy to sell newspapers in Kenmore Square on opening day.

Even though I wasn’t a big fan of baseball, I actually liked the experience due to the fact I was able to play hooky from school with my parent’s permission and actually got rewarded for it by putting a few dollars in my pocket and getting free tickets along the third baseline each year. It was an energizing experience on multiple reasons.

To begin with it was among the first situations I had to deal with large crowds with out my parents watching over me like hawks, even though my father was actually one of the people in charge of the paper boys which were not all children, as a matter of fact most of them were adults and I was one of the few kids that the paper allowed to be there since my father would be there to keep an eye on me somewhat.

For an eleven year old to have a relative free run of an area that stretched about half a city block working the crowd of baseball fans long before anyone proclaimed the fans “red sox nation” it was mesmerizing yet electric. It was all of the Red Sox fans and their families who were on planned days off or were playing hooky from work and school to show their support for the ultimate underdogs on the home opener.

After a couple hours of selling newspapers amongst a sea of Red Sox Jersey’s and baseball gloves that looked like it was a family heirloom that had been passed down through generations of hard core Red Sox fans, I was able to do what few other eleven year olds have been able to do and that is walk into the game as exhilarated as all of the other people there but not having paid for a ticket and essentially got paid to be there to watch the home team in action.

Everyone who lives in a city with a baseball franchise that has hard core fans on their first outing to their home teams opening day is lost in all of the traditions that the fans have in and around the ballpark. The very first time a fan is there you are indoctrinated into a culture all its own for which you learn to appreciate as you come to understand the team and the teams past. Even that cannot hide what goes on after everyone has found their seats and got situated for the game.

Of all of the traditions that happen on opening day that first timers have the most trouble is the tradition that the fans yell at their favorite players when they fail to get on base or fail to make that catch that looked like it was right to him as if the players could really hear them through a sea of thirty five thousand voices, then on the next at bat acting as if the last at bat was a warm up while spilling his beer all over himself of the person in front of him as he gets up yell, especially since almost everyone around you is doing it.

All of the other traditions are easy to get use to due to the traditions being more like a team event that every fan young and old participates in, this would include the Wave, the fans in the bleachers keeping track of the strikes using the large red letter K’s on the back wall of the bleachers and all of the little things that go on along the dugouts especially the fans trying to hang over the dugout roofs for autographs or to heckle the opposing team.

All in all the indoctrination of a first time home opener coupled with being paid to play hooky to be indoctrinated is truly a memorable experience that few kids get to do no matter which franchise you favor it will be something that someone can tell their kids and their grandkids.

Friday, April 4, 2008

When will people worldwide have enough clean safe water

When will people worldwide have enough clean, safe water to drink? This is a very relevant question especially given the population growth. It is also something that affects not just people but the world as a whole. The one thing that everyone has to realize is that the time frame is based on factors that people have learned to control some of it based on attitudes with given societies and some is based on what we have learned in the way of science and nature.

When it comes to attitudes based in our various societies, there are a plethora of things that have to be dealt with some of which is the mentality of the leaders in a given geographical location in regards to whether or not they think of the environment as a way of helping or hurting the people who live in their countries. Some countries are more open to doing what it takes to help the environment while others use the environment as a way to hurt others.

There are also governments which believe that clean drinkable water isn’t a priority due to other things going on in their country that they would rather focus on.

With regards to science and nature we have progressed far enough to make an honest attempt to reverse the damage we have caused and can cause. The technology that we are capable of engineering doesn’t discern between the variations of clean or dirty, it just treats everything as if it needs to be treated.

Clean drinkable water, every living thing on the planet depends on it to some degree. The only two ways water can be effectively cleaned is to either let the Earth do her jobs in cleaning the water, or to have us take a more proactive approach to actually cleaning the water in ways that doesn’t take one problem and transfer it from one place to another.

One good way of dealing with creating clean water is how we have learned how to deal with our waste water that flows to the water treatment plants in many metropolitan areas. The process usually included the separation of the water itself from the sludge and trash that accompany the incoming water along with treating the water with environmentally friendly cleaners which include things that attack the bacteria and other things that can make plants and animals sick.

After the sludge is removed it is processed in a way that neutralized the bacteria and such that would be detrimental to the land environment while turning it into beneficial fertilizer that can be sold for gardens and for farming. The process itself is in essence just the speeding up of the decay process that nature has and therefore the facility can capture the methane that the process creates, which allows the facility to use the methane as fuel which allows the facility to reduce the amount of energy they need to buy from a power plant therefore reducing the power created by fossil fuels.

Besides cleaning waste water, we are capable of desalinating ocean water to create clean drinkable water which can be used in municipal drinking water and in the irrigation of farmland. The one problem with this that it is expensive along with needing a lot of energy to produce, a good way of offsetting the energy needs of the process would be to place the desalinization plants in areas where we can get the environment to help create the energy.

One good place to build a water desalination plant would be to build them where there the sun is the hottest and that is out the longest. This way you could use the solar energy, and you could possibly convert the heat to energy both to offset the cost associated with the process. Other good ways to offset the energy production needed would be to design the facility to use the water itself to create the energy.

We have to find ways of creating clean drinkable water without creating environmental problems elsewhere in a geographic region or globally.

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