Intel's Ronler Acres Plant

Pergelator

Silicon Forest

Friday, April 29, 2016

Trees

The Amazon basin leads the world in tree density: dark green represents 1 million or more trees per square kilometer. There are fewer trees in the lighter shades of green. The buff color has very few trees, and darkest brown represents areas with no trees. Crowther, et al./Nature
I'm reading Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury out loud while Osmany cooks breakfast.  Tom and Doug are discussing the rites of summer and Tom mentions that there are five billion trees in the world. That sounds a little low to me, after all there are seven billion people in the wold, and they are mostly concentrated in urban areas. Trees cover vast swatches of most of the continents and they are probably as dense on the ground as people are in cities, so the number of trees has got to be much higher, right?

Google turns up a story on NPR that gives some different, larger numbers.
There was one estimate based on satellite images: about 400 billion trees worldwide, or 61 trees for every person.
But there were doubts about that number because another recent estimate, based on ground-truthed measurements, found 390 billion trees in the Amazon basin alone.
Thomas Crowther and crew spent a couple of years digging up information. When they had added it all up it came to around three trillion trees. Okay, that's good. It's good to have trees. But how does this compare with the good old days? No so good:
Crowther says their work suggests that, compared with the days before human civilization, the world has lost roughly half its trees. And the gross number of trees lost each year because of humans is now about 15 billion.
If that 15 billion trees per year was a constant, then it would have taken us 70 years to cut down one trillion trees and a like amount of time to cut down the the remaining trees. It's not a constant of course. People have been cutting down trees every since some dude came up with the stone ax. We've been cutting down more and more trees every year ever since. We might be approaching peak tree cutting time. If we keep it up trees might become kind of scarce, which means it's going to be harder to find enough trees to cut down so we might not be able to fill our god given quota.


Silent Running Trailer

Reminds me of Silent Running, the goofy Science Fiction movie with Bruce Dern as the custodian of the last remaining forest, which is in a spaceship in orbit around earth because there is no room on earth for any trees because of all the people.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Old Timey Motorcycles

Motorcycle hill climbing Bloor Street, Toronto, April 27, 1919
Via Posthip Scott. I have no idea where he comes up with this stuff.

Back to Tulsa, again


Bob Wills - Take me back to Tulsa

This is really I all I know about Tulsa.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Passover


Six13 - Uptown Passover (An "Uptown Funk" for Pesach)

I'm posting this because 1) it's a cute parody, and 2) it's got a little ancient history in it, and ancient history has been on my mind lately.

Drugs

Botanica - A Tucson based Marijuana Dispensary

Marijuana is getting to be more legal. Many companies test their employees for drugs. I'm just waiting for corporate America to fire someone in their cannabis retailing division for failing their drug test.

Back to Tulsa

A comment on a YouTube video got me started.

Downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma. The big building is the BOK Tower, tallest building in 5 states. The Center of the Universe (white label) is on a pedestrian overpass that crosses the the railroad lines going through downtown. You can see two vehicle overpasses crossing the same set of railroad tracks in the foreground. I got this from Google Earth. Hold the control key down and move your mouse and you can look in any direction you choose.

But what's that tower sticking up in the distance?

That, my friends, is CityPlex Towers, formerly known as the City of Faith Medical and Research Center. That is Oral Roberts University in the foreground.
P.S. The lump sticking up just to the right of the BOK in the top picture is Turkey Mountain.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Collapse

Raul Castro, in the presence of Barack Obama, chides a journalist who asks about political prisoners on the island. (EFE)
Raul Castro, in the presence of Barack Obama, chides a journalist who asks about political prisoners on the island. (EFE)
14ymedio, Generation Y, Yoani Sanchez, 26 April 2016 – In films there are final epics. Systems whose final moments pass between the sound of the hammers tearing down a wall and the roar of thousands of people in a plaza. The Castro regime, however, is going through its death throes without glorious images or collective heroics. Its mediocre denouement has become clearer in recent months, in the signs of collapse that can no longer be hidden behind the trappings of the official discourse.
The epilogue of this process, once called Revolution, is strewn with ridiculous and banal events, but they are, indeed, clear symptoms of the end. Like a bad movie with a hurried script and the worst actors, the scenes illustrating the terminal state of this twentieth century fossil seem worthy of a tragicomedy:
  • Raul Castro erupts in fury at a press conference when asked about the existence of political prisoners in Cuba, he gets entangled in his earphones and comes out with some rigmarole a few feet from Barack Obama, who looks like the owner and master of the situation.
  • After the visit of the United States president, the government media releases all their rage at him, while Barack Obama’s speech in the Great Theater of Havana is number one on the list of audiovisual materials most requested in the Weekly Packet.
  • Two Cuban police officers arrive in uniform on the beaches of Florida, after having navigated in a makeshift raft with other illegal migrants who helped them escape from Cuba.
  • A group of Little Pioneers, dressed in their school uniforms and neckerchiefs, contort in sexually explicit movements to the rhythm of reggaeton at an elementary school. They are filmed by an adult and the video is uploaded to the social networks by a proud father who thinks his son is a dance genius.
  • Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez accuses Obama of having perpetrated an attack on “our conception, our history, our culture and our symbols” a few days after receiving him at the airport and without having fearlessly said any of these criticisms to his face.
  • An obscure official at the Cuban embassy in Spain says in a chat with “friends of the Revolution” that this is “the most difficult moment and its history,” and calls the coverage of Obama’s visit in the foreign media as a “display of an unparalleled cultural, psychological and media war.”
  • Raul Castro is unanimously reelected as first secretary of the Communist Party for the next five years and choses stagnation. Thus, he loses the last chance to pass into the history books for a gesture of generosity to the nation, as late as it might be, instead of for his personal egoism.
  • Fidel Castro appears at the Congress’s closing ceremony, sheathed in an Adidas jacket, and insists that “we not continue, as in the times of Adam and Eve, eating forbidden apples.”
  • A few days after the end of the Party Congress, the government announces a laughable reduction in prices to try to raise fallen spirits. Now, an engineer no longer has to work two-and-a-half days to buy one quart of cooking oil, he only has to work two days.
  • Thousands of Cubans throng the border between Panama and Costa Rica trying to continue their journey to the United States, without the government of the island investing a single penny to help them have a roof over their heads, a little food and medical care.
  • An economist who explained to the world the benefits of Raul Castro’s reforms and their progress, is expelled from the University of Havana for maintaining contacts with representatives from the United States and passing on information about the procedures of the academic center.
  • Two young people make love in the middle of the San Rafael Boulevard in plain view of dozens of onlookers who film the scene and shout obscene incitements, but the police never arrive. The basic clay of the Revolution escapes in the individual and collective libido.
The credits start to run and in the room where this lousy film is being shown only a few viewers remain. Some grew tired and left, others slept through the long wait, a few monitor the aisles and demand loud applause from the still occupied seats. An old man is trying to feed a new, interminable, filmstrip through the projector… but there is nothing left. Everything is over. All that’s left is for the words “The End” to appear on the screen.

Stolen entire from Generation Y