I’ve always suspected that turning off lights and unplugging cell phone chargers was just a case of the “warm fuzzies” (things that make you feel good but don’t really make a huge impact).
The gap between curtailing inefficient appliances and using efficient ones can be large, so it shocked the researchers how many people underestimated it. An example: a 100-watt bulb that is on for six hours uses 600 watt-hours. By leaving it on for one hour less, you save 100 watt-hours. On the other hand, a 15-watt fluorescent bulb could be left on for all six hours and only use 90 watt-hours, saving 510 watt-hours over the incandescent bulb.
The really good news here is this proves that the key to conserving energy doesn’t lie in cutting conveniences out of your everyday life; it’s just a matter of upgrading your house to more efficient appliances. On a side note CFLs take a few seconds to come to full brightness, pay the extra bucks for the “instant on” CFLs, it’s well worth it.
Still if you don’t have the money to upgrade all our household appliances now it’s still a good idea to cut back on waste.
-Closing the blinds on a window because it’s too bright then turning on the light in a room doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
-If you can remember to make all your trips around town in one big loop rather than 5 individual trips out and back saves a lot of gas (and time in my experience).
-If you have to wrap in a blanket in the summer because the AC is too cold, maybe dial forward the thermostat a few degrees.
-Conversely if you’re in a t-shirt and shorts in winter and complaining of the cold, maybe try putting on pants and a sweatshirt before cranking the heat to 78 degrees.
First the major common ones that everybody should know:
-Start slow. Work your way up to difficult hikes.
-Let the slowest person in the party set the pace.
-Hike in a group or if you can’t let people know where you’re going and when you’ll be back.
-Plan ahead. Plan for any eventuality.
-Stay on trails. Only bushwhack where it’s allowed and if you’re a good navigator (without resorting to using GPS)
-Drink lots of water.
Here are a few other things to keep in mind that may not be commonly known:
-In addition to drinking lots of water keep in mind that water only helps you if it’s IN you. If you “save” it in your canteen it’s doing no good. Try to keep sipping a small amount of water at regular intervals so you don’t get too much and have to pee it out, but you don’t have too little and start suffering from it.
-Drink a lot of water to pre-hydrate before you hike. Better to have to pee when you get to the trailhead than to drain your canteen in the first 100 yards because you were dehydrated before you started.
-When hiking a strenuous trail try to keep your heart rate at a steady rate as if you were jogging. When it’s flat walk fast, when it’s steep or rocky slow your pace.
-Step over logs and rocks rather then up them and back down. There is no use lifting your body mass up 2 feet only to drop down one stride later. Hiking is all about using your energy in the most efficient way, usually slow and steadily.
-Stop in the shade if you can. Pretty obvious but you’ll cool down much better if you hike just a little further and rest where it will do some good.
-KEEP YOUR FEET DRY! Moisture invites friction, friction causes blisters. I put a ton of baby powder on my feet before a hike, the talcum soaks up sweat and keeps your feet dry and blister free. Keep a pair of clean dry socks and a small bottle of baby powder in your pack incase you step in a puddle or ford a stream.
-Hiking poles help more than you think. A lot of muscles are used just to keep balance, poles allow them to relax a bit and save some energy for the hike. And going downhill with poles is a dream that your knees and shins will thank you for.
-Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. Better to be ready for anything and have nothing happen than to not be ready and have everything happen.
In regards to the last one I’m a bit of a fanatic to when it comes to being prepared, for me half the fun of hiking and camping is preparing your gear and knowing that you’re prepared for any eventuality. In fact even though I always hope for a safe enjoyable trip a part of me is hoping that the weather will turn to a torrential downpour, or I’ll be stranded and have to live 3 days in the mountains till rescuers can get to me. I have the gear to make it, but I’ve never had to test how well prepared I am.
Maybe one of these days I’ll purposefully spend a couple nights in the mountains living off my daypack contents, just to see if I can.
Here’s my pack. I got it for free for test driving a Nissan Xterra back in 2000. I already knew I wanted to buy one, but some friends on an internet message board pointed me to a deal where you print out a flyer, test drive the Xterra, then get your choice between the day pack or a pair of FRS radios.
To this day it’s still the best daypack I’ve ever seen. Although I had to add the Velcro loop to keep the hiking poles strapped in.
It even has this cool rain proof cover that zips up into the bottom of the pack. It keeps the shoulder straps free when it’s on so Cover+Ponco = dry hiker and gear.
Here’s all the gear I carry. In reality all you need to survive is shelter and water (you can go 3 weeks without food*), the rest of the gear is really just enough to keep you comfortable and make the hike pleasant. Obviously the more you carry the more weight you have on your shoulders, all this is 15 pounds; but I carry it on every hiking trip so my body is conditioned to feel that this is a normal amount.
-Spare Pair of dry socks
-Solid Fuel Stove
-Space Blanket (Mylar blanket)
-MRE, one of the best additions I’ve made. Nothing is better than getting a warm meal at the end of your hike. It’s also very good to keep your strength up, see below.
-First-Aid Kit (with extra moleskin)
-Commercial survival kit
-20ft of parachute cord.
-Map and compass
-Aerial Flares (got them at a boat store)
-Flower ID book (My parents know them from memory, I want to learn too)
-headlamp style flashlight
-antihistamine (I get bad allergies)
-Candy for snacking along the way.
The solid fuel stove I got is pretty cool, it all folds up to the size of a deck of cards but I can’t remember where I got it; all the printing on it is in German. The survival kit is the metal tin for boiling or cooking water, remember that you can’t use a stove without a water holding metal cooking container. Canteen cups from the Army/Navy Surplus store would also work well.
The survival kit is pretty cool too, but again I can’t remember where I got it. But I do remember making my own in a wilderness survival class I took in High School.
One very important thing I’m currently missing is iodine tablets to purify water. I usually fill the 1 liter CamelBak up and carry an extra 1 liter bottle for backup. But if you’re isolated from civilization for more than a day you’ll likely use that amount up and will need to purify water from a stream.
More pics here: Flickr Hiking Set.
I want to say a word about MREs. When I was in the Army I lived off them for about 3 months, it wasn’t the best of meals but it was still better than some shitty food I’ve had in the US too.
Real military MRE’s are balanced in their nutrition content. They’re designed so that one MRE a day can keep a man alive indefinitely, and 2-3 a day will provide enough energy for an active soldier that is expected to hike 10+ miles a day. I’m proof that you can live off 2 a day for months, and we had problems where we were actually gaining weight eating more than 2 a day.
The reason why is because the food in the MRE is fortified with vitamins and nutrients. Ironically the main meal isn’t much more than filler carbs for energy, the crackers and peanut butter are like a vitamin pill, the beverage powder has electrolytes like Gatorade. With the Military MREs they recommend that if you can’t eat a full meal that you eat a little bit of everything to get all the vitamins that different parts of the meal are fortified with.
And in the last decade the military has done a good job of making them palatable now; they’re not just emergency rations, they’re shelf stable meals that are actually more balanced an healthy than your standard fast-food fare. Plus the fact that they’re designed to energize highly active soldiers makes them ideal for hiking and camping (the Army word for it is “Force-Multiplier”).
I definitely recommend having one in your pack for when you reach the end of your hike or when you get up to the peak and are taking a break before heading down. You’ll find you recover a lot better when you’re properly nourished throughout your trip. The trick is finding them, the government doesn’t allow sale of them since 1997, the survival stores have civilian versions that are put together using the same components. Luckily they’re common on Ebay if you want the real thing. If not just get the civilian kind, they’re basically the same and for one meal it won’t matter if it’s not as well balanced as the menus for the real ones.
You can find more info here:
And BTW. Yes the “chicklet gum” is a laxative. And yes you should chew and swallow it.
With the way an MRE diet will back you up you need mild laxatives just to return to normal. Being backed up for a week then finally dropping an MRE brick is one of the most unpleasant experiences you’ll have.
*The rule of threes for survival:
-You can go 3 minutes without air.
-You can go 3 hours without shelter (in extreme conditions).
-You can go 3 days without water.
-You can go 3 weeks without food.
This can help you get your priorities straight.
This old ad I saw from Wired Reread reminded me of a recent discovery I made.
I found out that the really nice Technology Park I work at used to be WordPerfect Headquarters.
Old timers know the significance but new computer users may not. WordPerfect was the killer app to have on an IBM PC computer back in the 80’s and 90’s. Along with Quattro Pro they made up the dominant office applications that made a PC worth owning (besides SkiFree).
However the 800lb gorilla, Microsoft, bundled a group of office programs in a suite that had limited interoperability between them. While initially an inferior product the simple interaction between word docs and spreadsheets was too powerful of a feature and WordPerfect and Quattro Pro fell before the Microsoft Juggernaut.
Today the owners of WP spend their immense wealth on a giant arboretum/garden/golf course at the north end of Utah Valley. The office park was sold and now the building are leased out to other tech companies. AT&T where I’m soon to be unemployed, Omniture which was recently acquired by Adobe, Bungee Labs, Intuit, Open Solutions, Orange Soda, and some other startups.
From a tech history perspective it’s kind of amazing being among the “ruins” of a company that ran a virtual monopoly on the tech landscape in the heyday of the PC.
Imagine working at 1 Infinite Loop Cupertino 20 years in the future at the GoogleSkynet building, data-mining personal information to fuel the US-China Ad War, and spending your lunch break reminiscing about when people here were so worked up over a phone that could surf the internet.
In today’s high-paced tech world nobody can remember back 3 years let alone 20-30 years. But it’s good to remind yourself from time to time that the latest tablet craze, or Google’s latest move into *blank* technology is just a passing moment that will be forgotten in less than half a generation. And in the future people will look back amused at us just like we do when we think back to a day when a simple word-processing application would be the main reason people got desktop computers.
I just wanted to repost this from Get Rich Slowly since this happens to me EVERY NIGHT!
I realized it was a problem when I was driving to work today and remembered I was going check the oil levels and air pressure in my car. It’s about a 10-15 minute job I’ve been intending to do for the last 2 weeks.
But every night I get home from work, collapse into a chair and relax for 30-45 minutes, but time I realize it’s getting late I quickly fry up some dinner and watch a program while I eat. Then I get caught up in the show and watch 3-4 episodes before realizing I need to go to bed. 3 hours down the tubes.
However I have to admit Noel Fielding’s animated stories on the Boosh are surreal and insanely hilarious.
There is a great article by John Mueller over at “Foreign Policy” debunking 7 major myths regarding nuclear weapons. Definitely worth the read.
Most people I know of are the “watched too much 24″ group and fear that Iran will sell nuke to a terrorist who will hide it in their shoe and will use to blow up the Sam’s Club where they shop. So to protect ourselves from this threat we should all carry firearms. Which is funny, their criminal deterrent using the THREAT of civilians having a concealed weapon is the exact same idea that makes the possibility of a country using a nuke in anger almost an impossibility.
Moreover, Iran will most likely “use” any nuclear capability in the same way all other nuclear states have: for prestige (or ego-stoking) and deterrence. Indeed, as strategist and Nobel laureate Thomas Schelling suggests, deterrence is about the only value the weapons might have for Iran. Such devices, he points out, “should be too precious to give away or to sell” and “too precious to ‘waste’ killing people” when they could make other countries “hesitant to consider military action.”
I’ve got kind of an obsession in Nuclear weapons and cold war policies and technologies. And the more you know about nukes and global politics the more you realize that their power is stronger when they’re not used. The controlling factor in our globalized world is interaction with foreign economies; by using a nuke against another country you’d simultaneously bring down the wrath and sanctions of every other country on the planet. Using a nuke against others is suicide for garnering the power anybody developing nukes wants.
The only people that may use them are people with nothing else to lose, like terrorists. Luckily you can’t just buy a nuke in a public square, stick it on a bottle-rocket at the mouth of your afghan cave, and launch it at a target.
The basic idea of how a nuclear weapon works is pretty simple in theory, but nearly impossible to easily create in reality; the Manhattan Project didn’t cost billions of dollars for no reason. North Korea has the third largest military budget in the world and in decades or development they still can’t pull of a working nuke or way to deliver it with any accuracy.
The world would be better without nukes but the reality is they will never go away. Luckily for all the worry they cause, nuclear weapons will never be the biggest threat to your life. Much like terrorism there are millions of of other things that are millions of times more likely to be what gets you in the end. And unlike nuclear weapons most of those things more likely to kill you are things you actually have control of and can avoid.
Maybe instead of worrying about the bomb you should worry about your health and diet, wash you hands before you eat, try not to spew quite as many toxins into the air you breath, and make nice with your neighbors so they don’t feel the need to drop a bomb on you in the first place.
I’m a treehugger. I love going out into the wilderness and getting away from all forms of human development from time to time. However I’m also a realist, I know that as much as I’d like to freeze unneeded human expansion and preserver every acre of the little remaining undeveloped land we have, that will never happen.
Next best thing is that if an area is gong to be developed that we do it in a way that has as little environmental impact possible. In fact I see that as the new great development challenge for humanity. We’ve proven that we can forcibly carve out our comfort zone by making Nature bow to our demands. Now we need to find a way to create the same comfort zone we currently have in the developed world but do it in a way that has virtually no impact on nature.
Now a lot of people say that no impact means that we should all live in huts made out mud, clay, and cow pies. That we should only eat food grown, cultivated, and picked by hand. And that anything that uses any carbon or energy be eliminated. Ok, maybe that’s the extreme “straw-man” viewpoint but a lot of people lean that way in their arguments, and they piss me off because their unrealistic goals and self righteous attitudes create a backlash where people go out of their way to waste resources more. Seriously, I met a guy who doesn’t just want to leave an environmental imprint and carbon footprint, he wants to leave a “Carbon Crater, just to piss [environmentalists] off” as he puts it. This is the group of people who put “People Eating Tasty Animals” stickers on their bumpers and get outraged when the hear that some person doesn’t believe in eating meat.
So let’s be realistic, the world will never give up all the progress made in the last 2000 years and go back to living off berries in lean-tos in the forest. That’s why I’m always excited to see projects like this one by resort architects ReardonSmith, that creates a 200 room hotel under a golf club in Surrey UK.
I’ve always liked the architecture of building underground. There are a lot of benefits to ecology and efficiency in building underground. The ground is warmer than air in winter and colder than air in summer, not to mention an amazing insulator to ambient heat and sound, It’s like having a house that is in constant 48 degree weather, just add a little heat as necessary. The obvious glaring issue is getting natural light in but that is usually solved by building the structure in a circle around a well that lets light in (think Luke Skywalker’s home in Star Wars). There are all kinds of cool articles about this stuff online, including a soldier in Afghanistan inspired to come home and build a green house with reinforced HESCO earthen barriers surrounding the structure to reduce the stress of dirt leaning against the walls.
But I’m getting off topic. As cool as it seems to finally see people designing our living environment to better sync with nature rather than fight it this new resort is catching flak from some of the least likely sources. You’d think treehuggers and eco friendly people would be onboard, but the problem is that the resort will be in a London’s “Green Belt” an area around the city zoned to keep urban sprawl contained and to provide a green buffer to help keep the environment air clear and fresh for the nearby city.
This brings us back to the issue I began with. Some people can get a little extreme in their environmentalism. If this was a golf resort going into a protected Wilderness area I’d understand but this is the area surrounding the densest urban area in the UK. I hate to be the realist but that land is going to be touched by the hand of man eventually; if only every city were to build their sprawl in such an eco friendly way we’d be a lot better off by now.
I think this is a situation where people should meet half way. I bet a lot of people in the “Carbon Crater” camp would be quite impressed to see how nice it is when development works with the environment instead of against it, enough that we might bring more of them over to our cause. And certainly more than if we just tell them “No! The line in the sand has been drawn and progress and development stops here!”
Maybe in the future we can all live in some prettier, eco friendly cities. We may never be able to erase our impact to the point where our homes are indistinguishable from the wilderness but we have the technology now to at least work with the environment from hear on out.
I agree, everybody who uses a computer claims to be a Geek now which is a bit tiresome since most are just morons trying to not to be morons (but hey at least they’re trying). So here’s the definition I’ve been going by for the last few years on what is a geek and what is a nerd.
Nerd = Somebody who goes to Star Trek conventions in full Klingon regalia and/or Spock Ears. May also be a WoW addict or other shut-in. Japanophile versions refer to themselves as “Otaku” thinking it’s a compliment or Japanese for “Geek” (see below).
Geek = Somebody who goes to E3 and tech conventions. Builds computers for nerds and morons. May also program their own apps and software. Usually pompous and feign exasperation when asked to help fix computers although it’s what they live for.
Moron = Person who thinks the internet was invented sometime around 2000 by Google. Refers to a computer tower as the “Hard Drive”. May be a Facebook or twitter addict but simple html is a foreign concept. May own an iPhone or other smartphone but only because it’s trendy, they need a geek to help them get it working.
Kat’s post was inspired by a story that David Anderegg a professor at Bennington College says that the words Nerd and Geek should be avoided saying that they’re akin to racial epithets.
I couldn’t disagree with him more, for one thing it’s not that big of a deal, I mean saying that nerd is on par with the n-bomb?! Even in the 80’s when being a nerd guaranteed an atomic wedgie or a beating by jocks it wasn’t as bad as spewing racial hatred.
I’d equally consider myself Nerd, Geek, and Moron depending on the situation and circumstance (although I aim for Geek). I don’t think that the problem is in calling a person a nerd, I think the problem is in thinking that that person is ONLY a nerd.
Maybe if we took the time to get to know them a bit more we’d see that’s just one facet of who they are, and maybe even learn why being a nerd, dressing up and going to a sci-fi conventions isn’t always a bad thing.
I’ve always had an interest in advertising, to me its just a commercial form of propaganda which I find fascinating. How simple imagery and words can influence people so much.
Abercrombie and Fitch ads always bothered me. It’s not just the fact that all the guys are half naked, it just seems ironic using unclothed people to sell clothes.
If you’re out and about shopping on the last Saturday before Christmas and happen pass an A&F store, look at the pictures in the windows and notice that the guys never wear the clothes. In some cases it’s actually hard to find where the clothes being advertised are at. Sometimes draped over a shoulder, other times out of focus in the background.
A few years ago there was a Frontline episode about advertising to the modern generation. It mentioned that direct advertising no longer works in America, if you tell people to “Buy Mountain Dew! It’s great!” people will be more likely to avoid it. Instead to advertise now you do it subconsciously. Show four extreme snowboarders doing all the wild tricks in stunts that you wish you could do. And hey! They’re drinking Mtn.Dew, maybe if you drink it you’ll be more like them.
It seems silly but it works even when you know about it and try to avoid it. About the same time Mtn.Dew started their new “Do the DEW!” advertising I started drinking it more. I don’t know why and to this day I can’t be 100% sure if it was just that I liked it more, or I was brainwashed to like it more. If you drink Mtn.Dew think back to when you started drinking it a lot, was it round about the late 90’s 1997-2000? Maybe they got you too.
Anyway it’s obvious that A&F’s message is: buy our shirts, throw them on a chair in the background, you’ll get a ripped 6-pack, and hot girls in t-shirts and bikini bottoms will glance over your shoulder running their hands over your chest while you stare off into the distance in that “Confused Jock” sort of way. It’s either that or they have found a way to ship free soft core porn to girls through the mail and call it a “catalog”.
All of this is interesting to me because A&F just opened their first Japan store and it’s not doing so well. Apparently half naked guys without shirts isn’t the best way to sell overpriced shirts there. It’s interesting that the now annoying sales technique used buy brands such as A&F and Hollister aren’t as successful over there.
I think A&F just needs to find a way to bend this into some kind of fetish café for females. You know that’d make money there.
Update: Danny Choo went there and posted about it too. I think it’s funny that he’s confused as to why the guys are naked. He even mentioned mentioned getting gassed from too much perfume, just like Maddox’s post about Hollister. Yes Danny, all “trendy” US clothes shops suck that bad.
Also he mentions and even has some pics of the outside of the store where the windows are boarded up so you can’t see the clothes for sale without going in. It goes along with what I was saying, what’s the point of advertising if you hide your clothes from sight?
Personally if the business isn’t going to take the effort to advertise their product I’m not going to go out of my way to check them out.
I like my women mysterious, but not my retailers.
The Art of Manliness had a good post of 11 things to do to get into the Christmas Spirit. One of the suggestions is to read a good Christmas book, that reminded me of one of my favorite
Christmas books The Father Christmas Letters
The Father Christmas Letters is a compilation of letters that JRR Tolkien of “Lord of the Rings” fame wrote to his kids. They’re from the perspective of Father Christmas at the north pole and his adventures in getting prepared for Christmas. This being Tolkien this isn’t your usual tired story about snowmen and dentist; usually the North Pole bear was causing mischief, setting off fireworks or accidentally soaking all the toys by flooding the house while in the bath. Father Christmas also discovers mysterious writings in nearby caves that happen to come from underground goblins.
The letters are illustrated by Tolkien himself with the flair of his other writings, providing translations of the different languages for creatures of the north pole, writing which is wavy because of the written in the cold (shivering), and for how simple they are they convey the cold desolate beauty of being of a frozen winter wonderland.
No matter what age you are it’s definitely worth checking out a copy of the book.
Treehugger.com is badmouthing this video but I love these things. I must have been the last generation where they whipped out the reel to reel in elementary school and played these kind of movies while the teachers had a smoke break. In fact, I’m pretty sure I saw this very movie.
It’s funny how people thought the world would look in the future. I love the constant references to “The Power of the Atom!” in the 50’s.
What’s cool is watching to see how many prediction actually came true:
Colored lanes didn’t happen but but simple signs telling you which lane to take are commonplace.
Google Maps tells me when traffic is bad ahead.
My GPS shows me exactly where I am and routes me to my destination and finds detours when traffic is bad.
Prefab bridges can be moved into place overnight, cutting down on road work delays.
Suburban growth was massive in the 60’s and 70’s. Cities grew out, not up.
America IS crisscrossed by high-speed interstate roads .
Electric cars are “refueled” overnight in the garage.
I saw Cisco Telepresence, but its not in the car yet. (skype via laptop or smartphone is).
Car elevators in buildings.
Rotating car parks are surprisingly common in Japan.
Mobile homes for traveling vacations.
Cargo containers going straight from truck, to boat and back are common now.
Crazy predictions that will never happen:
Roads that light up at night.
Radiant heat to warm the roads in winter.
Radar windshields in fog.
Atom Powered Tunnel melter.
Cars split up to take each person to their destination.
Cargo rockets for when your cargo needs the 10 minute travel time only an ICBM can provide.
Miles of tubular, air-conditioned and heated highways?
Again I say, why did we give up on striving to build a futuristic techno world and settle on a life of sitting in a dull gray cubicles, rotting out brains infront of cathode ray tubes, or in bumper to bumper pollution clogged roads?
BTW: I love the integrated “teletype panel” in the car, or the punch card entry for setting directions!
I’ve been reading "Dogs and Demons" a book which points out some of the cracks in Japan’s seemingly perfect image. In the process of modernizing since World War II Japan has forsaken much of its historic beauty and style for the sake of being what they now define as modern.
I was noticing that this restaurant looks much more "Japanese" than alot of the places I ate in Japan. At least as far as Japan’s traditional Edo style is concerned. Even from the outside it looks more Japanese than concrete and steel rectangles that define modern Japanese architecture.
It doesn’t show in this pictures but the front is even planted with Japanese maple, now a brilliant red.
Its quite a statement when a Japanese restaurant in the US has a garden not seen outside of a Temple in Tokyo.
This article is so great that I can’t possibly think of anything to add, just read it. I admit that in a small way I kind of already new everything it mentions, but like looking at the picture of the “Ultra Deep Field” you don’t really appreciate it until its laid out in front of you.
If you don’t believe in evolution it raises some good points you may be overlooking, but it’s a great article because even for most of us that do believe it really opens your eyes to just how vast and amazing the process is. I’m sure you already know about evolution, but you may not really appreciate evolution.
British Petroleum made a new oil discovery while breaking the world record for deepest well. New technology has allowed currently unreachable parts of the ocean depths to be tapped.
Already a lot of my conservative friends are pointing out that this proves “New Oil” will always be available and thus the world will never run out (we’ve had this argument before). So here’s some basics I picked up in college geology to put oil in perspective and hopefully open a few eyes.
The problem is that it takes very specific circumstances for oil to be created and trapped where it can wait to be discovered by us.
Issue 1 – Time
It takes time to create oil; coal, it’s called a “Fossil Fuel” for a reason. Oil is basically prehistoric algae, trapped under sediments, and heated to become oil or natural gas (plant and animal material generally turns to coal). Most oil is generally understood to have been algae that was buried between 200 and 400 million years ago. The problem is 2/3 the earth’s surface is 300 million years old or younger, most is less than 100 million years old.
The ocean floor is a constantly shifting mass of dense rock that comes up in the ocean rifts, and spreads across the ocean before plunging back under the continents. Average time spent crossing is about 150 million years. So even if algae is quickly deposited in the center of the ocean, buried under sediment (see next problem), and heated at the right temperature, it’s barely becoming oil when it’s plunged back under the continental shelves.
So oil will only exist in places where geology is relatively slow and the rocks are old; like on continents, continental shelves, or pockets of the ocean that aren’t actively being sucked under the continents (like the gulf of Mexico). Most of the ocean floor doesn’t have a possibility of oil even if we could reach it.
The algae needs to be trapped in an anaerobic environment so that decomposition won’t occur; then buried under sediment until the pressure and heat can convert it to oil. This doesn’t always happen; in fact if our current natural world is any guide, it’s kind of rare. Not to mention that when it does happen it still takes time for enough sediment to pile on top till the algae is deep enough the pressure and heat can convert it. So again, even though it takes about 10 million years to naturally convert, the time to be buried, heated, and converted takes 200-400 million years.
Issue 2 – Escaping the ground on it’s own.
Once the algae becomes oil it has another problem, if the rock above is porous the oil will seep up to the surface. Remember oil is lighter than water and rock, as water seeps down cracks in the ground it displaces oil and forces it to the surface. Once up it is broken down in a natural reaction by heat and organisms at the surface.
In southern Utah as a kid I remember coming across crack in the rock that had tar squeezing out from in between. This is deep in nationally protected areas, miles away from any roads. At first I wondered why people sealed a crack in the desert with tar, then I realized it must be natural tar, now I know it’s natural petroleum products seeping to the surface and breaking down in the heat.
So for oil to survive it needs to be trapped into a reservoir capped with non-porous rock until somebody drills through the rock and it can squirt up the well.
Issue 3- Oil quality
Sounds funny but not all petroleum is created equal. Saudi Crude Oil is of such a high quality it’s almost already refined and ready for use. Other forms of petroleum can be so poor that at room temperature it solidifies to a waxy texture or in a state that additional energy needs to be added to extract it from the Kerogen and get a small amount of crude oil with a large amount of waste product. And all oil may be mixed with a contaminant like sand they need to be separated from before refinement. So even if you find a deposit of oil shale or oil sands that have oil in them, the cost of extraction is often prohibitively expensive. Back in the 1980 oil companies actually abandoned oil production through oil shale because it wasn’t economically feasible. The fact they’re returning to the oil shale now gives an idea how desperate they are for new oil sources.
This is all very relevant because the energy cost to create 1 Killowatt hour of electricity through renewable methods like solar energy is eight times that of producing the same amount with oil. Currently most people consider that to be excessively high but oil extraction from oil shale or oil sands can be 10-30 times more expensive than regular oil extraction from wells. So when compared to oil from oil shale, The total price per kilowatt including manufacturing and production, solar power production will actually become the economical alternative.
And all of this of course also ignores the ecological factors that the machinery excavating oil shale burns about the same amount diesel that they get from oil they extract, a 3 to 1 ratio of water and additional chemicals to oil is needed for each barrel of crude produced, and a lot of chemical waste is produced during extraction.
Issue 4 – Finding places that haven’t already been found
Knowing what we know above you can predict where oil will be; certain conditions can be met so by looking at the geology of an area you can tell if it’s old enough to have oil, if it’s been heated enough to convert fossils to oil, and if the rock is too porous to keep the oil from escaping.
Seems easy enough but you have to remember that you’re competing with the world’s massive oil companies and their billions upon billions of dollars in resources who have spent the last 100 years scouring the earth to find potential oil reserves. The report that oil is at peak production now and will begin to run out around 2070 has been verified by Chevron, Exxon and other oil companies themselves. They’re not just guessing or making estimates, they know because they’ve been mapping and test drilling every continent on Earth for the next big find and they know that they’re running out of places to look. BP didn’t spend millions to drill a well in the Gulf of Mexico because they wanted a challenge; they did it because it’s one of the few untapped places left that has a possibility for finding oil.
Oil really is in decline. When the worlds oil conglomerates start freaking out that we’re running out of oil you know there is trouble. When you see oil companies like BP and Exxon begin diverting massive amounts of their revenue to renewable forms of energy production don’t fool yourself that they’re doing it to make everybody feel warm and fuzzy about saving the earth. They’re doing it to save themselves. It’s their job to know where oil is and if they can see it’s running out the only smart thing to do is to diversify into what energy production methods they think will take its place.
And even though the earth will always have a pocket of oil here or a reserve of waxy bitumen petroleum there, if it’s not economically feasible to extract and convert it it might as well be useless sludge. As demand rises, and resources fall the crossing point where oil is a feasible source of energy will be passed and all the currently “expensive” forms of renewable energy production will become the “cheap” forms of energy production.
The writing is on the wall and the people who will be best prepared for the changeover will be those who get in on the ground floor now.
I want to build my own home just so I can sneak a secret room or secret passageway into it.
When I was researching the Hydroponic system a lot of the advice invariably came from people with hidden illegal setups. I’m not going to judge what people want to grow and these guys really did have the most experience with hydroponics. The one thing that I was always jealous of was how amazing some of their hidden farms were.
I’m not talking simply growing some weed in a closet; these guys were building false walls in basement dens, separating a 3×20ft, high density, growing room complete with automated moving track lighting, and overpressure sewage vent exhaust. The only giveaway was a laundry vent on the wrong side of the house that sucked rather than blew, and the den was an easily overlooked 3.25ft narrower than it should be. But without any windows or reference points you can’t tell that without actually measuring the room and comparing to the rest of the house. The door was hidden behind a sliding bookcase that glided on carefully balanced roller bearings above and below, and could be moved aside with a single finger when the hidden latch was undone.
It was a work of art and every man’s dream; maybe not the illegal substance part, but the hidden room for sure. I was daydreaming how I’d build my own hidden rooms in my own house. But not being into marijuana I couldn’t see going through all that trouble to grow tomatoes indoors.
Still I’m sure most men could think of a million uses of a hidden room in the house, even if it’s just the fact of being able to say you have a hidden room in your house.
Luckily these is a site dedicated specifically to hiding a portion of your domicile with a high quality, professional hidden door.