Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 2/17 - Tepid Economic Growth In Japan, Is Tesla A Tease Or Triumph?

Monday, February 17, 2014, 11:28 AM


A Different Race (Jim R.)

The participants need to be very resilient to run such a long marathon. For the average person to do so the endeavor is Everst-ish. Running in all the different environments will require different skill sets: climbing, swimming, cross-country skiing, sailing and running. Acquiring all these skills in one year is a huge challenge. The participants have no option but to continue their daily lives and train for the coming challenge.

Is Tech Money Good For San Francisco’s Middle Class? An Economist’s Perspective (Michael_Armstrong)

There is a “but” in the economic optimism, and it’s big enough to need two plane seats: skyrocketing rents are pricing many locals out of the city. Some have managed to fasten themselves to rent-controlled properties, but many have been forcibly evicted from their homes. On balance, tech money has built one of the sturdiest economic shelters from the ravages of recession, but those who get hit, well, they get hit hard.

Canada’s last homesteaders: How determined pioneers turn the Yukon’s wild Crown land into successful farms (westcoastjan)

Although the methods have changed — modern settlers are clearing the bush with bulldozers instead of draft horses — there are still parts of Canada where, with only patience, equipment and pioneer-like determination, people can literally carve their livelihood out of the wilderness.

Fossil Fuels: Is Tesla a Tease or a Triumph? (Nate)

In an earlier report, “The Race of Our Lives” I finished on the unusually optimistic point (for me) that a combination of declining fertility and eventual declining population combined with unexpectedly strong progress in renewable energy might just save our modern civilization from a slow and, no doubt, irregular descent into dystopia.

Tepid Economic Growth In Japan (jdargis)

Japanese stocks have recently fallen back somewhat, hurt by concerns about the strength of the global economic recovery. The weaker yen has also driven up Japan’s import costs, contributing to a record trade deficit in 2013. The worsening trade balance was the most significant damper on growth in the fourth quarter, the data showed, illustrating that Mr. Abe’s bid to weaken the yen to increase exports had not yet hit home.

Science Linking Drought to Global Warming Remains Matter of Dispute (jdargis)

California has been warming along with most regions of the United States, and temperatures in recent months have been markedly higher than during the 1976-77 drought. In fact, for some of the state’s most important agricultural regions, summer lasted practically into January, with high temperatures of 10 or 15 degrees above normal on some days.

Wave of Coal Retirements Coming by 2016 (James B.)

There will be many more closures of coal-fired power plants around the country over the next two years than has been announced thus far, according to the Energy Information Administration. As of December 2013, data from power plant companies that reported their plans to the EIA over the next few years suggests that utilities will close 40 gigawatts of coal capacity by 2016. A mix of low electricity demand, low natural gas prices, and environmental regulations are forcing coal plants out of the market.

Deep-sea mining 'must responsibly respect ecosystems' (westcoastjan)

"The deep ocean is a vast repository of resources, and looking over the long term - the next hundreds of years, say - we almost surely are going in there to mine," said Prof Lisa Levin, a biological oceanographer at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, in San Diego, California.

"Even if some deposits are not currently economically viable, they probably will be in 50 years from now.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 2/14/14

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

Article suggestions for the Daily Digest can be sent to [email protected]. All suggestions are filtered by the Daily Digest team and preference is given to those that are in alignment with the message of the Crash Course and the "3 Es."


saxplayer00o1's picture
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sand_puppy's picture
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More Fun with UFOs

For any of the rest of you who enjoy this kind of stuff.


Make popcorn and enjoy.  

Suggestion:  Don't struggle too much with the question of "Is this true?"  Just watch and munch popcorn.

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Arthur Robey
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A little light maths.

If my understanding is correct the speed of light is dependent on µₒ and ξₒ the permittivity and permeability of free space.

These are assumed to be fundamental constants. But are they? People assume all sorts of things.

Here is the equation. Mess with the two suspects and you mess with the speed of light.

C being the speed of light.


You learn all sorts of things at trade school.

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Another view of the Speed of Light.



I'd suggest that the Speed of Light is dependent upon the eye of the beholder, since any observational measurements of the speed of light tend to also affect its "speed", much like using a massive thermometer to check the temperature of a small amount of liquid, it's own mass affects the temperature of the very liquid you are trying to measure!

BTW: One of my students favorite Physics experiments was to calculate the Speed of Light using a really powerful (for its time) one milli-Watt red laser, an optical beam splitter, a rotating slit, a pair of photo detectors, a pair of parallel mirrors placed as far apart as possible and an oscilloscope used to measure the time between the two pulses.

The laser’s light passed through a spinning disc with a slit along its radius creating a high speed on-off pulse.  This pulsing laser light was then directed through an optical beam splitter, which divided it into two separate beams both pulsing at exactly the same time.  One portion of the laser beam was then directed to a photo detector, which created a visual "start" pulse on the oscilloscope’s screen.  The other pulse of the lasers light beam was aimed so as to travel back and forth many times between the two parallel mirrors which were placed quite a distance apart before shining into the other photo detector, which created the second or “end” pulse on the oscilloscope’s screen.

The speed of light was then calculated by the simple equation of Distance equals Rate times Time (D = R x T) where D equals the total distance travelled by the second beam before creating the “end” pulse” and T equals the difference between the start and end pulses as measured on the oscilloscope.  After much effort spend on the getting the two mirrors parallel in order to get the laser beam to bounce back and forth as many times as possible so as to perfectly aligned the faint final bit of laser light with the detector, it was possible to actually “see” a difference between the start and end pulses!  As the one running this experiment, it was always very interesting to watch the entire process and especially the Eureka moment when the students not taking part in the required complicated mirror alignment, actually spent the time to manually crunch the numbers as they had no calculators then, and broke the news to their busy class mates that any distance between the mirrors that they could hope to achieve in the lab or even using the very long hallway out side, would only provide a very, very ballpark result of the actual speed of light…

FYI: This experiment was later done using a much more powerful laser and instead of bouncing the beam between two parallel mirrors on Earth, the beam was directed from the Earth to a three cornered mirror placed on the surface of the moon which then bounced it back to Earth.  Because of the vast distance between the Earth and the Moon, a much closer measurement of the actual Speed of Light was then able to be determined! 

Even today, because of the decimal places, all calculations will always result in just another close estimation of the actual speed of light.




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For Utilities, Tesla Is The Perfect Storm



For the last few generations, Utilities have been ever more pervasive in our lives doing everything they can to increase both their market share and their profits by making us ever more dependent upon them.  Now with low cost Solar (of all flavors) self-generation becoming available to the masses along with the ability to use batteries to store that energy.  Now mankind is on the cusp of transitioning from living as an energy slave completely dependent upon their Utilities to provide all their energy needs to becoming energy independent with no expensive energy bills after their initial payback period! 

Tesla has proven that Renewables and especially Solar (of all flavors) are now so cool that they are becoming much more mainstream, as in, "What took you so long to embrace going Green?"

Thankfully we are no longer seeing the many variations of "weirdo tree hugger" labels being used to describe all those that now are adopting Green technology, something which in the past, has also slowed down the shift in the marketplace from various forms of energy generation that ever more ratepayers now realize are dirty as compared to Clean Green and/or Renewable energy.

A great example from our own past, is how the "Ice Men" that delivered and sold block ice for ice boxes tried to pooh-pooh the refrigerator when it was first introduced; now looking back, we can clearly see that it was all just a ploy to protect their market share, in the face of a fundamental change in the marketplace that made their own industry obsolete.

Big Nuclear is now suffering major market share loses because Fukushima has proven that nuclear can go BAD and when it does for any reason, it can affect a Countries economy, if not the health of the entire Planet.   After Nuclear, both Big Coal and Big Oil are next in line because they too have huge health issues surrounding their usage.  Soon even Big Gas will be faced with the same fate as Big Nuclear, Big Oil, Big Coal and all those Ice Men of Old, because Big Solar is not only here to stay, but is replacing an ever greater amount of what used to be their market share day by day!

This is why we are now seeing so many forward looking US Utilities establishing very long term contracts for solar energy they themselves provide, in the hopes that they can extend their business as far into the future as they can, in order to protect their market share for as long as possible.  This may help the Big Utilities in the short term but as ever more ratepayers add their own solar generating capacity, I foresee these same Utilities beginning to shuttering their own generation assets in the next few decades because their capacity is either no long needed and/or it simply cannot compete against modern clean Solar, whose ever increasing efficiency and decreasing cost make owning it a no brainer.

http://theenergycollective.com/robertwilson190/335806/germany-shows-renewable-energy-has-failed-and-other-strange-ideas - comment-111611


I think the next big thing in marketing Solar will be making the decision to go Solar much simpler by guaranteeing payback of the total install costs over a fixed number of years! This way homeowners (and other large roof owners) could plan on future savings and perhaps even borrow money now, based upon their future returns in order to install Solar ASAP.

Now imagine if Tesla tossed in a new car with each new 30 year Solar installation contract, think what that would do for both Tesla's and their Solar business's bottom line!

A Solar Win-Win for sure.


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