Changing Human Circumstances (Dave G.)
Some countries nationalised their oil industries, including Russia in 1928, followed by Mexico ten years later. Other political factors also came into play. The so-called First Oil Shock came in 1973 when Saudi Arabia decided to ban exports to the United States and some of its allies in response to their support for the creation of the State of Israel, which led to a price surge from $17 to $54 a barrel. It was followed by the Second Oil Shock in 1979, occasioned by the fall of the Shah of Iran, when prices rose from $50 to $101, both being quoted in terms of 2013 dollars.
Russia and America: Stumbling to War (Dave G.)
Americans would do well to recall the sequence of events that led to Japan’s attack on the United States at Pearl Harbor and America’s entry into the Second World War. In 1941, the United States imposed a near-total embargo on oil shipments to Japan to punish its aggression on the Asian mainland. Unfortunately, Washington drastically underestimated how Japan would respond. As one of the post–World War II “wise men,” Secretary of State Dean Acheson, observed afterward, the American government’s
The Power Of Story (Dave G.)
Imagining herself in the young nurse’s position, Megan could appreciate just how difficult her life-threatening choices must have been. She was so moved by Sendler’s gumption and selflessness that she, Elizabeth, and two other friends wrote a play about Sendler. They called it Life in a Jar and performed it at schools and theatres. As word got out, the students’ quest to share what Sendler had done appeared on CNN, NPR, and the Today Show. The power of Sendler’s story had turned the project into something much bigger than the girls expected.
The engine is controversial because it seems to violate one of the fundamental concepts of physics – the conservation of momentum, which states that for something to be propelled forward, it needs some kind of propellant to be pushed out in the opposite direction. But the EM Drive doesn’t require any propellant in order to create thrust, it simply relies on electromagnetic waves.
Why Can’t America Have Great Trains? (jdargis)
It’s true: Compared with the high-speed trains of Western Europe and East Asia, American passenger rail is notoriously creaky, tardy, and slow. The Acela, currently the only “high-speed” train in America, runs at an average pace of 68 miles per hour between Washington and Boston; a high-speed train from Madrid to Barcelona averages 154 miles per hour. Amtrak’s most punctual trains arrive on schedule 75 percent of the time; judged by Amtrak’s lax standards, Japan’s bullet trains are late basically 0 percent of the time.
The U.S. Production Decline Has Begun (Dave G.)
Much of the new capital from junk bonds and share offerings is being used to pay overhead and interest expense, and to pay down debt to avoid triggering loan covenant thresholds.Hedges help soften the blow of low oil prices for some companies but not enough to carry on business as usual when it comes to well completions.
In contrast, renewables projects are slow to develop, fraught with bureaucratic red-tape, and characterized by low margins. Given the much higher levels of profit in conventional energy, there is a real question as to whether major energy companies will ever be interested in shifting their resources to renewable fuels. Indeed, the irony of the green power revolution is that it has been accompanied by historically high conventional energy prices, which in turn has resulted in even greater interest in conventional energy.
Why diets don’t work: Nobody has willpower (Arthur Robey)
The question that seems to hover over all this diet talk is whether any of the myriad weight loss schemes have worked. If one had, shouldn’t it have survived the test of time? And if we’ve gone this long without a diet that has been shown to work – according to science, not simply the sellers of the fad – will there ever emerge one that actually does?
“We are pushing against the limits of land that can be ploughed and the land available for grazing and there are two areas of the world in which we are in serious trouble now,” Brown said.
The Drought: Which Crops Will Survive (jdargis)
But how much these crops rely on these particular sources of water turns out to be pretty interesting. Almonds, for example, do indeed use a lot of water, but almond farmers knew that all along, and have strategically placed almond orchards near reliable water sources so their crop, which could be hit hard by a drought, can be sure to snag enough water.
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