Saturday, December 29, 2012

Cab Thoughts 12/29/12

Every debt is ultimately paid, if not by the debtor, then eventually by the creditor.
~Jim Grant

Alan Lankford of the University of Alabama analyzed data from a recent New York Police Department study of “active shooters”—criminals who attempted to murder people in a confined area, where there are lots of people, and who chose at least some victims randomly. Counting only the incidents with at least two casualties, there were 179 such crimes between 1966 and 2010. In the 1980s, there were 18. In the 1990s, there were 54. In the 2000s, there were 87.

McElroy is out for the next Jet game. He has been suffering concussion-like symptoms after being sacked 11 times in the Jets' 27-17 loss to San Diego last Sunday. 11!

The wind industry will install about 12,000 megawatts of new capacity in 2012 that will produce an amount of electricity in the course of a full year equal to about 6 nuclear plants the size of the Three Mile Island nuclear unit that continues to operate. In 2013 wind wind will provide 5% of the nation's electricity. But it is expensive. (see below.)

What is Executive Order 6102?

This from a discussion on SeekingAlpha on companies trying to damage competitors they could not defeat: "Some execs from a top 20 automotive component company (They acquired an entity I worked for.) discussed in a meeting how they would damage components from other competing suppliers on their vehicles and take them back to the dealer to effect the warranty data. Since the components we are talking about had very low ppm numbers over the warranty time frame a few added returns would make a significant difference if it was done over a short period. "

40% of the voters in the last election were unmarried.

The etymology of "the whole nine yards:" Two 1912 articles in The Mount Vernon Signal in Kentucky promised to “give” or “tell” the “whole six yards” of a story. There was another instance from 1916, in the same paper. The dating clearly refutes the popular ammunition-belt theory from the Second World War and the more modern concrete-mixer theory while the Kentucky focus suggests a probable “backwoods provenance.” As for the meaning of the phrase the slippage from six yards to nine — part of the same “numerical phrase inflation,” that turned “Cloud 7” to “Cloud 9” — suggests it doesn’t refer to anything in particular any more than, say, “the whole shebang” does. So intense interest and research reveals, as an answer, nothing much, in both meanings of the phrase.

During peak hours, the 3,200 megawatts of solar capacity built will provide the equivalent of 2 nuclear plants.

Some of the materials in lithium-ion batteries come from conflict regions like the Democratic Republic of Congo, and even non-conflict mining of materials is often done in appalling conditions. "Blood energy" anyone?

Dominion is closing their nuclear plant in Wisconsin. Why? The nuclear plant is losing money, despite operating well. Its operating costs of 5 cents per kilowatt-hour make it uneconomic in today's low-priced competitive wholesale electricity markets. This does not bode well for nuclear power. It is being phased out because it is too expensive, not too dangerous.

The three largest mental health hospitals in the U.S. are the psychiatric wings at Riker's Island in New York, Cook County Jail in Chicago and Los Angeles County Jail. Ex Post Facto management.

DARPA has remarkable programs, some whimsical and some quite impressive. One of the latter is the LS3, the Legged Squad Support System.

Developers want the system to be able to carry 400 pounds of gear up to 24 miles in varied terrain, and must also “follow the leader either in an exact path or its own chosen path that is best for itself. The interaction needs to be intuitive.” In short, “it needs to act like a trained animal.”
Fox News host Bill O’Reilly has the top two best selling books on the NYT best selling book list.

Wind subsidies cost $52.48 per one million watt hours generated, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. By contrast, the subsidies for generating the same amount of electricity from nuclear power are $3.10, from hydropower 84 cents, from coal 64 cents, and from natural gas 63 cents. See "Dominion" above.

Business idea of the week:
Under the Affordable Care Act, employers with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees more must offer a health plan that covers at least 60% of the of the actuarial value of the cost of the benefits. One of the solutions is to divide the business in half to halve the number of employees for each entity. But for that to be legitimate, the control of one of the entities must be surrendered. Someone could start a business of "second halves," created in a way where the impact of dividing the company could be lessened and more palatable to the original owner.

Condom dispensers will be placed in the 22 Philadelphia high schools whose students had the highest rates of sexually transmitted diseases, and condoms will be available free to any student.

On July 25, 1764, four Lenape Indians walked into a one-room schoolhouse in colonial Pennsylvania and killed Enoch Brown and 10 of his pupils. One child survived, scalped. He lived demented to the end of his days.

California’s Monterey Shale stretches 200 miles south from San Francisco. The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates the shale formation could hold 15.4 billion barrels of oil, which would be double the combined reserves of the Bakken formation in North Dakota and the Eagle Ford shale of South Texas. That is huge. Wouldn't it be funny if the environmentally correct California became the new Texas in drilling.

An AP poll finds that one-third of the population has little or no belief in science. Among the science doubting group, acceptance that climate change is real jumped from 47% in 2009 to 61% today.

In October, armed attackers, presumed to be members of Boko Haram, an Islamist terrorist group with links to al Qaeda, invaded the Tudun Wada Wuro Patuje area in Nigeria, and entered the off-campus housing of the Federal Polytechnic State University. The attackers called students out of their rooms and asked for their names. Those with Christian names were shot dead or killed with knives. Students with traditionally Muslim names were told to quote Islamic scripture.

Just one in three Mexicans graduates from high school, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Of Mexico's 99,400 primary schools, just 4,750 offer a full day of classes, with the rest offering students just four hours apiece, according to government statistics. Teaching positions are lifetime and can be willed or sold at the teacher's retirement or death.

The only democracy Egypt has known in 5,000 years of recorded history lasted six years — from 1946, when the World War II British protectorate came to an end, until 1952, when Col. Gamal Abdel Nasser and his Free Officers movement dethroned and exiled King Farouk.
Nasser‘s coup was inspired by Egypt‘s defeat in the first Arab-Israeli war of 1948.

2% of crimes in Mexico are solved.

Who is Jacintha Saldanha?

AAAAANNNNNDDDddd.......... a graph:
Chart of the Day

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