Book of the Month

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Boys and Girls Together

In high school swimming at a boy's school, I only remember one girl on an opponent's team—probably Sidwell Friends. She swam one race, then got out of the pool and ran to the locker room with her hand over her mouth. In college, men and women swam separate events, except for diving. In masters, men and women swim in the same heats all the time, and meet managers publish the results in separate lists by gender and age category. I've finished behind enough tiny but fast women that I don't even think about it anymore. [Read more]

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Occupy the Highway Reaches Baltimore

My wife is staying with her mother, and I had thought about visiting Occupy DC this weekend, but I decided to work instead. On weekends the office is quiet enough that I can fully concentrate on my cad draughting chores. A fellow called Weasel used to deejay for WHFS, 102.3 FM in Bethesda, when it was a progressive rock station in the 1970s and 80s, and is now doing a Saturday show for WTMD, a public alt rock station broadcast from Towson University. So I grooved and got quite a bit done. 

Over lunch I checked out Occupy Baltimore's website. They were planning to support a SleepOut in front of City Hall, and planned a solidarity march to welcome fifty Occupy the Highway (OtH) marchers, shown in the video above, who had been interviewed en route by WBAL, as shown in this video [Read more]

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Natural Gas Looks Green

The greenest car in America still runs on fossil fuel: Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).
Honda Civic Natural Gas Named 2012 Green Car of the Year [Read more]

The all-new 2012 Honda Civic Natural Gas – the only factory-built, CNG-powered car produced in America – was named 2012 Green Car of the Year® at the Los Angeles Auto Show today. The award was presented to Honda by the editors of Green Car Journal representing a diverse panel of environmental experts and automotive enthusiasts who annually select a single vehicle for its outstanding environmental performance.
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Tennis: The Low Gluten Finals

In two days the top eight male tennis professionals will play in the Barclay's ATP World Tour Finals in London. The tournament is organized much like the WTA Championship in Istanbul. There are two groups of four players, who play each other. Whoever has the best record and second best record in each group are seeded into the single-elimination semifinals. Number and percentages of matches, sets and games won all count towards breaking ties - which is supposed to discourage less than stellar efforts by making no match entirely meaningless. [Read more]

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Green Stuff

I found a blog called Triple Pundit - People, Planet, Profit - which purports to discuss sustainable business practices. As a reflection of the difficulty of practicing both sustainability and profitability, some articles impress me and some depress me.
After attending a presentation by BMW’s Manuel Sattig at Opportunity Green 2011, a guest author rethinks some reservations TriplePundit has expressed about other EVs in The BMW i3: Advancing Automotive Sustainability [Read more]

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Fuel me twice

In 2007, Time Magazine dubbed the Prius design team, Heroes of the Environment. By contrast, I recently posted a Mother Jones news item about the dirty secret that making hybrids, EVs and a lot of other gizmos requires rare earths that are about as nasty to refine as tar sands. 
Over at TTAC, Bertel Schmitt first interviewed the leader of that team, Toyota Chief Engineer Ogiso Satoshi (in the center, above) about the effort that led to the Prius: 
“Look, when we started the Prius project in 1993, we did not even think of a hybrid system for the Prius. We did not set out to build a hybrid. We studied what was needed for the 21st century, and two things were certain: The need to protect the environment, and the need to bring consumption down. That’s all we knew, and you did not need to be a clairvoyant to know it.”
 [Read more]
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In Loco Parentis

When it rains, it pours. I attended and graduated from GP in the 1970s:

Former priest put on probation for fondling two Georgetown Prep students [Read more]

A former priest was sentenced to five years of supervised probation Thursday for fondling two students at Georgetown Preparatory School, where he taught from 1989 to 2003, as prosecutors compared the school’s initial response in the case to the scandal unfolding at Penn State University.
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OWS Anoints "Spokes" Persons

After one month or so of existence, Occupy Wall Street has finally added a layer of management.

Occupy Wall Street Debuts the New Spokes Council [Read more]

Occupy Wall Street premiered their new governing apparatus last night in a sweaty high school cafeteria in Lower Manhattan. The Spokes Council, which passed with a large majority at a General Assembly in late October, met for the first time last night with the purpose of setting up what the SC will look like in future and who will be a part of it.

In contrast with the General Assembly, the Spokes Council uses actual microphones, meets indoors and operates on a "spokes" system: working groups that take part sit together and groups are arranged in a circle, like spokes on a wheel. Each working group is represented by an individual, or "spoke," who rotates every meeting.
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Peak Fuhgeddaboutit

The Post Carbon Institute's Energy Bulletin has reposted an Oil Drum wrapup of ASPO Day One, my ASPO article and a reassuring article from PRNewsWire:

Ricardo Study Suggests Global Oil Demand May Peak Before 2020

Ricardo today announced the results of a landmark multi-client research study conducted by Ricardo Strategic Consulting in association with Kevin J. Lindemer LLC, and involved participation of some of the world's leading energy and technology companies and organizations. The research challenged the concept that "Peak Oil" will be a supply side phenomenon and predicts that the demand for oil may well peak before 2020 and then fall back to levels significantly below 2010 demand by 2035.

IOW, we needn't worry about fuel prices because we're going to need and want less and less of the nasty stuff anyway. If why that will be true isn't obvious to you, read on. [Read more]

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ASPO Conference: Adapting to future scenarios

I just attended the Saturday session of the 2011 ASPO USA conference. I had been hoping to take a few personal days and attend Thursday and Friday as well, but it is hard to predict the future. I had to get some drawings out on Thursday, and had to do a code study for a Monday meeting. At least commuting was easy on Saturday. I took Metro to Union Station, walked out past Bike Station and about three blocks to the Hyatt Regency.
  [Read more]

There were four morning sessions listed: Investor's Roundtable featured Robert Rapier, whose R-Squared blog I read a bit, Community Adaptation and the Post-Peak Economy with ArchDruid John Michael Greer and Kollapsnik Dmitry Orlov, each of whom I follow a lot, Bringing Peak Oil into the National Policy Debate, and Innovative Communications, Writing a New American Story with Farmer/Author Sharon Astyk, who I also follow a lot. I chose Community Adaptation and sat in the front row. A woman sat next to me and we started chatting about the horrid traffic in DC. They had driven in from Ohio. Her husband brought the latest NY Times and Wall Street Journal. Then a familiar-looking young woman stopped in and gave her a hug. "Was that Megan Quinn Bachman?" I asked. Bachman was moderating the panel, and I had seen her picture on The Oil Drum many years ago when she had co-produced The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil.
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America in Primetime

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America in Primetime is structured around the most compelling shows on television today, unfolding over four hours and weaving between past and present. Each episode focuses on one character archetype that has remained a staple of primetime through the generations – the Independent Woman, the Man of the House, the Misfit, and the Crusader – capturing both the continuity of the character, and the evolution. The finest television today has as its foundation the best television of yesterday.
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Kvitova Is WTA Champ

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Over the years, the season ending WTA championship event has moved from New York to Munich to Los Angeles to Madrid to Doha and this year to Istanbul (not Constantinople) — and is scheduled to be held there until at least 2013. In accommodating such an event, the ancient city wants to prove itself fit to host the 2020 Olympics. By this time of the year, a lot of the top players are tired and banged up, but up to 1500 ranking points were available and prize money ranged from $110,000 for just playing to $1,750,000 for winning the title (if undefeated in the round robin).
[Update: The WTA and BNP Paribas, the title sponsor, announced Saturday a joint donation of $250,000 to the Turkish Red Crescent to assist victims of the earthquake in eastern Turkey that killed at least 580 people on Oct. 23.]
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Style Police

Some of you smart people still mangle the apostrophe S business:

It's vs Its

Only use it's if you can also substitute it is in the same place:

It's Howdy Doody Time! = It is Howdy Doody Time!

I think it's clear that the economy stinks. = I think it is clear that the economy stinks.

The party is its own worst enemy. ≠ The party is it is worst enemy.

The kitteh purred whilst licking its fur. ≠ The kitteh purred whilst licking it is fur.

's is not a plural
 [Read more]

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Will Harrisburg Incinerate Itself Financially?

In, Harrisburg, Pa: a city at war with itself, Reuters offers the latest on the PA capital's money woes: [Read more]

For three days last summer, Mayor Linda Thompson joined religious leaders to pray for a "cooperative spirit" among city leaders, the business community and residents here in Pennsylvania's state capital.

The prayers have gone unanswered.
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Occupy Baltimore: Disperse Ye Rebels!?

Occupy Baltimore Livestream picked up by 1100 Global Revolution viewers as OB general assembly discusses the group's responses to Parks and Recreation's deferment of issuing a permit. A banner on GR claims that Baltimore po-lice "promise to remove OB at midnight," but a Baltimore Sun editorial claims that it is all an over-reaction by OB. [Read more]

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Pushback Against Occupy Sites

The Portland Press Herald reports on the bombing of Occupy Maine: [Read more]

"We are more motivated to keep doing what we're doing," said Stephanie Wilburn, of Portland, who was sitting near where the chemical mixture in a Gatorade bottle was tossed at 4 a.m. Sunday. "They have heard us and we're making a difference."
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Bank Transfer Month

I do plan on moving my account, but instead of all standing in line, why don't we just make November: Bank Transfer Month?

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Occupy Baltimore Day 18

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Friday night I went to Occupy Baltimore (OB). OB's website had a Gender and Race Equality Rally scheduled for 6:30 PM and the usual General Assembly at 8:00 PM. I hadn't been there in the evening before, and thought it was about time to actually see a General Assembly.
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Buying a Paper

I went home with sniffles Wednesday afternoon. On the way home, I picked up Sesame Chicken and a NY Times. Why buy a paper? Partly because I'm already past their twenty article online limit, but also because, when I have the time, I do like reading the paper front to back and having the chance to glance at every article before deciding whether or not to read it. I suspect that a lot of articles that interest me would never make it to the most read or most emailed lists online. That seemed to be true yesterday.
 [Read more]

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Breitbart Smears Occupy Baltimore

A lot of strangers are thrust together at the Occupy camps, and I had read that a woman complained about being hit on by three different men on her first visit to the Occupy Baltimore (OB) site. So it isn't a surprise that OB would take steps to deal with the problem of sexual harassment. But yesterday's Baltimore Sun carries this article, 'Occupy' memo could discourage victims from reporting assaults: [Read more]

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