Monday, August 31, 2009

behind the green veil

Not doing anything is as green as you can be. The fabulous MPG king, the Toyota Prius Hybrid helps to lessen our dependence on foreign oil, and is the darling of the LOHAS set.

But the increased manufacture of electric and hybrid vehicles requires a ramp up of rare earth mining operations in the west.
"Each electric Prius motor requires 1 kilogram (2.2 lb) of neodymium, and each battery uses 10 to 15 kg (22-33 lb) of lanthanum"
The chinese for many years have cornered the market on Rare Earth Extraction. The recently reopened Mountain Pass Mine in California is setting itself up to challenge China's market share.

Molycorp Minerals owns Mountain Pass Mine, and Chevron owns Molycorp.
"With appropriate federal assistance for research, development and capital costs, Molycorp Minerals is prepared to move forward to reestablish domestic manufacturing capacity on an expedited basis"
Big Oil has grubstaked it's future on what it knows best: Controlling The Feed of critical resources.

and best of all, you get to subsidize it.


Sunday, August 30, 2009

Fun Facts about Bed Stuy

There are thousands of unique and interesting things about the Bedford Stuyvesant area, all of which I'll tell you now...

People enjoy going to Church here. There are many churches on every block. Once there was an eclectic collective of Butchers, Bakers, Candlestick makers, over a half-dozen giant Broadway-sized theaters, motorcycle dealerships, Tailors... you name it. Now many of those same places are churches. Because God is better than the petty trappings of the comfort and convenience that the evil Merchant Class brings.

Garbage cans are unnecessary. You can simply toss your trash on the ground. Someone else will pick it up for you!

Pizza and chicken wings are the most eaten food. Over 90% of the restaurants serve one or both items. In fact, it's quite difficult to find food in Bed Stuy that DOESN'T lead to Type 2 diabetes.

There are only limited varieties of Fromage in stock at the food markets, obscure foreign magazines such as The New Yorker and Time Out New York cannot be bought anywhere, and there are no computer stores at all.

Writing on someone else's wall with Magic Marker or spray paint is a fun and artistic way of interfacing with your community.

Leaving big piles of dog feces on the sidewalk is a popular activity. There seems to be a secret ongoing competition to see who can leave the biggest, squishiest example. Some folks are so proud, they leave it RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE of the sidewalk. And who can blame them? Art like that, you want to let it shine for all to see.

In general, white people tend to avoid the area and rightly so. You see: White people's ancestors OWNED the black people's ancestors, subjugating them through many years of slavery. And some still harbor resentment against the so-called "whitey cracker establishment" for all their past (and some say present) wrongdoings.

Despite the scarcity of white people, one can still find a decent selection of mayonnaise at the markets here.

UPDATE 09/13/09:
Police like to harass young black men for being young and black.
And groups of young black men like to beat non-black guys walking alone.
It's the circle of life, Simba.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

no statistics, no measurable plan...

...just the present phase of the same permanent war
"There are no quick fixes to achieve U.S. national security interests in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The danger of failure is real and the implications are grave."

   - Barack Obama

Thursday, August 27, 2009

garbage in NYC

New York City generates 7 Billion pounds of garbage per year. If the Empire State Building was a garbage can, the city could fill it up with trash EVERY DAY.

Today on 16th Street I passed by a guy who was feverishly pulling books out of a recyclables bag left at the curb for the sanitation truck. He scored big: it looked to be about a hundred books. His "granny cart" was already half full of other treasures.

An hour previous I had carried 10 blocks home, an old Macintosh G4 tower that was left curbside.

A few weeks back, an old record player was on the curb around the corner in front of The Projects.

My girlfriend's wardrobe has at least a dozen perfectly good items that have been liberated from New York's curbside Free sale.

What else in the trash piles is usable? Tons of organic refuse that can be turned into methanol? I'm sure there are plenty of other inefficiencies in the waste stream, and the various re-purposing schemes for them have yet to be imagined.
UPDATE 29-aug-2009 :
got this bitchen check embosser in Midtown, it was perched on top a giant pile of garbage bags at noon.
check embosser

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

tobacco holocaust

From this Reuters article:
"Tobacco use will kill 6 million people next year from cancer, heart disease, emphysema and a range of other ills"
"Tobacco accounts for one out of every 10 deaths worldwide"
Sooooooo... tobacco kills every year about 6 million people (and rising). The Nazis killed about 6 million Jews in the Holocaust.

So tobacco is a perpetual ongoing holocaust. And people pay money to participate as victims.

People publish these kinds of statistics cuz they're jealous of how cool and sophisticated smokers look when they smoke.

random Fun U.S. facts! (for the kids)

In 1860, in southern States, slaves typically numbered about 30% or more of the total population. In South Carolina and Mississippi, slaves OUTNUMBERED non-slaves.

In Kansas there were 107,206 people, 2 of them were slaves. Imagine being those two... like winning the Opposite Lottery.

1 out of every 50 people in the U.S. died in the U.S. Civil War... around 700,000 deaths.

Present day:
1 out of every 100,000   59,000 Americans have died in the current Iraq/Afghanistan wars (as of August 2009).

That is 5,136 people in total. It's no wonder that people are clamoring for an end to the extreme bloodshed. In that same period, about 270,000 Americans died in traffic accidents. Not many Americans are calling for an end to traffic violence or an end to driving in general because that would inconvenience us far too much. How would we drive through the fast food lane and load up on McDeath?

Guns are more dangerous when pointed toward another person.

Killing and/or dominating other people is still a popular sport despite the pain and suffering it brings to all parties involved.

French fries are dangerous when shoved into your face-hole. They are far less dangerous when only rubbed all over your torso while listening to ABBA's Dancing Queen.

Cars are still, by a wide margin, the most dangerous weapon of mass destruction created so far *.

* - unless you count tobacco, refined white sugar, high fructose corn syrup and sharp pointed sticks.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Monsanto = Evil SatanCo ?

Many say "Yes... Super horrible and systematically Evil."

and the U.S. system of "justice" backs them up.

Cynical Assholishness Unlimited. Welcome to "The Land of the Free".

Banks - still sticking it to you

Banks will collect 38.5 BILLION DOLLARS in overdraft fees his year.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

new york city subway capacity

The passenger throughput of the NYC subway system is fairly large: during rush hour, over 1000 people every 6 seconds.

and if there was no subway:
"At best, it would take 167 inbound lanes, or 84 copies of the Queens Midtown Tunnel... At worst, 200 new copies of 5th Avenue. Somewhere in the middle would be 67 West Side Highways or 76 Brooklyn Bridges. And this neglects the Long Island Railroad, Metro North, NJ Transit, and PATH systems entirely."
...except Manhattan would need a parking lot three times the size of Central Park so this is all just for perspective.

So I guess a city is an organism... a living entity that grows into itself.

And Manhattan without trains is unsustainable - all commerce would wither within days if there were no trains.

Frumination /

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

town hall meetings... again with the no statistics

Lack, abundance, empathy, intolerance, fear
Like the residents of a termite mound with a chunk ripped off, we scurry around frightened and confused
listen for the hoof beats of the four horsemen

thoughtful, measured Town Hall meetings:

the Other kind:

Monday, August 10, 2009

no stats. just pictures

this is what a holocaust looks like
photos of Hiroshima

And if you think the images are horrible, they are nothing compared to the insane inhuman musings (i.e. - typical rah rah Amerikkkuh rhetoric) in the comments area.

Next time you feel like saying "we should nuke their ass"... remember these pictures.

About half of total health care spending is wasteful

PriceWaterhouseCoopers reports that of the 2.2 trillion dollars spent in the U.S. each year for health care, up to 1.2 TRILLION is wasteful spending.

Over 200 Billion wasted yearly just on inefficient claims form processes. That is about 690 dollars in paperwork waste for every man, woman and child in the United States. Seeing that not everyone is insured and therefore not paying into the system... the "paperwork waste" factor per insured American is more like 814 dollars per year.

(via CNN Money)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

say goodbye to the cornucopia of cash

And the headline reads:

Half of mortgage borrowers will be 'underwater'
An estimated 25 million borrowers will owe more than their house is worth by 2011

CNN Money article here.

The Deutsche Bank analysts are at it again:
"If our home-price forecast is correct, roughly one in two mortgage borrowers and one in three homeowners will owe more than their home is worth"
That is IF they are right. If finance people have proved one thing in the past few years it is that just about everyone can be simultaneously wrong.

I have a feeling that the actual outcome will be fairly close to their prediction.

Friday, August 7, 2009

happy days are here again

As deep into the trough of this recession/depression as we've ever been. Despite trillions of "stimulus" money spent, little relief for the unemployed.

Here's the headline:

Jobless rate down for first time in a year
The economy shed 247,000 jobs in July, less than expected and lowest total of losses since last August. Unemployment rate inches down to 9.4%.

CNN Money article here

read deeper: Job losses for July: 443,000
The unemployment rate fell even as employers continued to cut jobs because the Labor Department estimated there were 237,000 fewer people it counted as unemployed.
...even though in actual fact: thay ARE NOT working - they just are no longer counted.

Actual job losses 443,000.