Moo Pig Wisdom is a brilliant combination of Antiquity and Prequel Modern Flea Market. We respectfully ask you to mind your children while here.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Quiero Taco Bell!

Fry, Stuff, Fold...Eat....Repeat

Whiskey & Gunpowder by Jeffrey TuckerDecember 27, 2011 (Originally published November 24, 2011)Auburn, Alabama, U.S.A.
How We Adore Taco Bell
We've all visited Taco Bell a thousand times - 2 billion of us at least once every year - but now I've taken the time to examine why it is we love this place so much. Let's just start with the obvious thing: the food. It is, of course, wonderful and full of varied textures: crunchy shells, robust meat, cold and fresh lettuce, stringy cheese, and all the fatty stuff that we love because it both satisfies and gives us energy. It arrives quickly, and its ready to eat, mostly with your hands, which is really how we all want to eat.
The menu itself is an absolute blast. Should we get a dozen tacos, mix in a few steak burritos, throw in an enchirito or two, or just fill up on nachos? And what's the deal with these prices? For $2 I can get just about any standard menu item. For $10 I can walk away with a case full for great stuff to share, or, better yet, munch on from breakfast through to the midnight snack.
But there's more going on than just fun food. The company obviously puts a great deal of thought into the ethos of the restaurants themselves. The decor gives us things to look at that we don't see anywhere else. The colors are all those we associate with the Southwest, but not in a conventional way. The shapes are geometric and modern, with a daring flare that delights the eye and fires up the imagination.
The details around the place add to the sense of adventure, but you don't take note of them individually unless you are looking closely. The backs of the chairs all have a bell shape cut out in the steel. The lighting is not mainly in the ceiling but rather comes from orange hanging glass lamps in the shape of cones, and I was trying to think where I had seen this before. Is it like the knave of a chapel in a monastery in a Spanish mission territory? Maybe that's it. I'm unsure but it conjures up something different.
Hold on here. Perhaps you have already realized this and I'm slow on the take, but the whole Taco Bell experience is suggestive of that Spanish mission sensibility. That's why the buildings are shaped the way they are. And, obviously, that's the whole meaning behind the bell, and why it adorns the front entrance of the place. It's a church bell! It taps into something deep and lasting in our cultural sensibilities, something that shaped our ancestors and their communities, and presents it all anew in our times.
Have you seen the paintings on the wall? They are very peculiar and aggressive in their use of color and shape, kind of like the iconography of Latin America. Most seem to have some walking man or robot, abstractly designed but with sharp edges, and the words "Taco" and "Bell" appear somewhere on them. They are unframed, such as you might see in a gallery. I want to meet the person who put these together. He or she has talent, for sure, and I want to congratulate this person for using that talent in the service of the public good.
Next time you are there, take a close look at the gorgeous photography of the dishes themselves. There's never been a prettier taco, never been a burrito that looks more exciting, much less a plate of nachos that seems as if every chip is practically dancing with joy at the prospect of being eaten.
Each image features a splashy use of color, depth, and action. How do you make food look this way? It's must be a rare skill. I could take pictures of tacos with my iPhone all day and never get one to look presentable by comparison.
Now, the usual response is to point out that the food doesn't actually look this way once it arrives on your plate. No kidding! But does anyone really care? Not really. The point of the images is to get you in the mood to eat the thing, rev you up into the spirit of the moment, create that deep sense of longing for the real deal.
You don't feel a bit of disappointment when the food doesn't look like the picture, and why? Because you can't eat a picture. And the food is right there in front of you ready to be eaten. Part of Taco Bell's secret must be that it makes its images so ridiculously unrealistic that you sound like an idiot to point it out.
This restaurant came into existence in 1946 and really caught its stride in the 1990s. It's another reason we are all fortunate to live in our times, right now.
Go ahead and dismiss that statement as hyperbole if you want to. But I seriously submit to you if you had dropped this restaurant on any spot on the planet before about 1940, to say nothing of 1200 or 1000BC, all the people would have been in profound awe and regarded it as a sector of heaven that had somehow dropped from the sky. There weren't enough travelers and traders alive to make it possible much less affordable.
This is the free market at work. It has gathered corn, flour, beans, tomatoes, meat, and fresh lettuce from all the ends of the earth, combined it with advanced kitchen technology, added experienced management, brilliant entrepreneurship, and a service ethic to give us something more wonderful than that the teller of tales of yesteryear could have ever dreamed up in his wildest imaginings.
It's inconceivable to me that a small group of parasitic activists could have targeted this place for destruction. But that's what they did a few year's ago with the lawsuit against Taco Bell. They claimed that Taco Bell was not serving 100% beef in its tacos. Of course the organized left rallied around this lawsuit, a fact which confuses me because you would think that they would be glad that the company doesn't serve 100% beef. They hate the cow for its demand for vast pasture land on which to graze and even its biological functioning which alleges adds to the "problem" of climate change.
The whole hysteria was like a joke. Of course Taco Bell adds stuff to its beef to make the final product. So do you when you make tacos at home. At least I hope so. You drain the fat and add spices and flour and other things to turn it into the right texture for eating. I don't see the big deal. But the activists were so desperate to destroy this place that they acted like this company, which is all about service, was somehow guilty of mass fraud.
The news media jumped on the campaign in hopes of giving Taco Bell a bad name. The response by the company was brilliant. It added a whole new series of menu items not based on hamburger but on sliced up steak. These are the most expensive items on the menu. So now you go in with the intention of spending $3 and instead spend $7 or more! Good for Taco Bell.
Even better, after the dopes withdrew their silly lawsuit, Taco Bell launched a nationwide advertising campaign with the slogan: "Would it kill you to say you're sorry?"
The genius of capitalism is that it always ends up outwitting its opponents, whether they are central planners and regulators or crazed activists armed with lawsuits. But capitalism is not just an anonymous, nameless, faceless force operating in the universe. It is flesh, blood, and brains dedicated to serving humanity at a profit and always through voluntary means. The owners and workers at every one of its 5,800 restaurants deserve our admiration and thanks.
Jeffrey TuckerExecutive publisher, Laissez Faire Books

Friday, December 23, 2011

MooPig's "Who Would Win in a Bar Fight #6"

Judith O'Dea

-- OR --

Callista Gingrich

"Who Would Win in a Bar Fight" is a Invention

Deconstructing 'The AIG Bailout Scandal ...'

[Picture LINK]

"2011: The year we ran out of money ... (MAD Magazine, Dec 2011) ... "
Retrieved by Pat Darnell  |  Dec 23, 2011  | Bryan TX

Stupefying. If you personally are on the brink of financial collapse, the AIG bailout will not be your model for recovery. The big mystery is that there is no mystery at all. Greedy people made up imaginary numbers and wagered our money on those numbers.

It was a mad gorging feast by a bunch of fecund sharks in our sea of National securities. They almost didn't pay the military last year!  For the love of God, all His patron Saints, Mother Mary, step-dad Joseph and Jesus Himself ... did no one see it coming? I know I didn't. Is it really all that complicated?

I look at financial groups organized as stove pipes. You start at the bottom and work your way upward to the cloistered chariman, or actuary, or dego-in-charge. (pribek) ...  At the top is the magical corporation papers that "spreads out" all the risk, and claims the "chairman" has nothing to do with it. In other words at the top of the stove-pipe is a system of smoke ... smoke and mirrors.

Just take two minutes and study Ben Bernanke ... is this guy anything more than a putz in facial hair? I suppose he has the floor when he regurgitates and spews financial jargon; otherwise he is a puppet.

March 16, 2011 the COP, Congressional Oversight Panel released its final report on TARP, the Troubled Asset Relief Plan.  EXCERPT:
" ... WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Congressional Oversight Panel, which was established by Congress in late 2008 to oversee the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), today released its 30th and final oversight report. The report describes the financial crisis, summarizes and updates the Panel's prior oversight reports, and evaluates federal financial stabilization initiatives. (March 16, 2011. COP. read some of it: HERE)
" ... The Congressional Oversight Panel was created to oversee the expenditure of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds authorized by Congress in the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. The Panel members are former Senator Ted Kaufman; J. Mark McWatters; Richard H. Neiman, Superintendent of Banks for the State of New York; Damon Silvers, Policy Director and Special Counsel for the AFL-CIO; and Kenneth Troske, William B. Sturgill Professor of Economics at the University of Kentucky. (ibid) ... "

The AIG Bailout Scandal | The Nation:
EXCERPT   |  " ... These financial dealings are monstrously complicated, but this account focuses on something mere mortals can understand—moral confusion in high places, and the failure of governing institutions to fulfill their obligations to the public.
'via Blog this'
" ... The report concludes that the Federal Reserve Board’s intimate relations with the leading powers of Wall Street—the same banks that benefited most from the government’s massive bailout—influenced its strategic decisions on AIG. The panel accuses the Fed and the Treasury Department of brushing aside alternative approaches that would have saved tens of billions in public funds by making these same banks “share the pain.”
" ... Bailing out AIG effectively meant rescuing Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America and Merrill Lynch (as well as a dozens of European banks) from huge losses. Those financial institutions played the derivatives game with AIG, the esoteric practice of placing financial bets on future events.

[ ... ]   That was $700 b-b-b-b-b- billion... folks!

" ... By protecting very large banks from insolvency and collapse, the TARP also created moral hazard: Very large financial institutions may decide to take inflated risks because they expect that, if their gamble fails, taxpayers will bear the loss. (ibid.) ... "

[ ... ]
More on this later after MooPig has had a chance to read thoroughly it's master's articles on "The 20 Dumbest People Events and Things 2011, The year we ran out of money ..." MAD's latest issue. (MooPig. Dec 21, 2011. HERE)


[Diagram LINK]

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

MooPig Presents "MAD's People Events and Things"

MAD Mag is MooPig Model
Retrieved by Pat Darnell | Dec 21, 2011 | Bryan TX

Written and illustrated by THE USUAL GANG OF IDIOTS

As 2011 comes to an end, we dive right into the deep end with the MAD 20 – our annual wrap-up of the dumbest people, events and things of the year! From Kim Kardashian to Penn State! Charlie Sheen to Casey Anthony! Herman Cain to Netflix! Tiger Moms to the Spider-Man Musical! It's all there – plus a ton of stupidity in between! And as if that weren't already more than you could handle, there's also The MAD Strip Club, Planet Tad, Sergio Aragones' MAD Look at Protests, The Fold-In and even more! So end the year on a truly dumb note – buy an issue!
MAD 56pg. Color $5.99 US (LINK)

Whoa: Mad Magazine’s Latest Cover - Big Journalism:

'via Blog this'


MooPig's Oil Disaster Watch :: "Russian oil rig sinks"

[Painting by Pat Darnell]
Russian oil rig sinks, leaving many missing -
"The investigation is looking into safety regulation violations during the towing of the platform and a disregard of poor weather conditions as the main reasons for the incident, as there was a strong storm in the area," the Investigative Committee said.

Officials said the Kolskaya had experienced technical problems even before the accident, and had been forced to pump water out of one of its air tanks due to a leak.
'via Blog this'

Emergency authorities have refused to presume the missing dead and stubbornly clung to hopes that more crew members could be found alive even after spending hours in the frigid waters of the Okhotsk Sea.

There was no immediate reaction from Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who plans to reclaim his old Kremlin job in a March presidential poll. (AFP. Dec 19, 2011. HERE)


Monday, December 19, 2011

MooPig's "Who Would Win in a Bar Fight? #6"

John Wayne Gacy



Gerald Arthur "Jerry" Sandusky


by Pat Darnell  |  Dec 19, 2011  |  Bryan TX


MooPig's 2011 Drying Up Credit Department :: "Saab files for bankruptcy in Sweden"

Retrieved by Pat Darnell | 19 Dec 2011 | Bryan TX
[Picture LINK]
BBC News - Saab files for bankruptcy in Sweden:
"General Motors (GM), which owns part of Saab, did not want Chinese carmakers accessing technology licences."
Earlier this month, a Swedish court told Saab's owners to come up with a credible rescue plan or else enter bankruptcy.
General Motors sold Saab in 2010 to Dutch luxury carmaker Spyker - now renamed Swedish Automobile - but the US automotive giant remains a stakeholder and a supplier. (BBC. 19 Dec 2011. HERE)
Some of the world's biggest car makers are warning EU leaders about how damaging a prolonged debt crisis could be to their industry. (Padmore, Russell. BBC. 2 Dec 2011. HERE)

On Thursday Fiat's boss warned his firm may pull out of Italy completely unless the situation improves.

'via Blog this'


Sunday, December 18, 2011

MooPIg's Worth One More Look :: "Casually Pepper Spray Everything Cop"

Art History Nano-Second
Retrieved by Pat Darnell | Dec 18, 2011 | Bryan TX
[Picture LINK]

Casually Pepper Spray Everything Cop in Great Art | Geekosystem: "Lt. John Pike may have just earned himself a place in Internet history, all thanks to his questionable tactic of walking nonchalantly past a group of peaceful Occupy protestors at the University of California Davis while liberally dispensing pepper spray."

'via Blog this'

Click the LINK to View 

MooPig Site Review :: "The Original Gangsta Name Generator ..."

The Original Gangsta Name Generator |
Retrieved by Pat Darnell  |  Dec 18, 2011  |  Bryan TX

"So you want a gangsta name, huh, sucka? Time to trade in that boring-ass name for something harder."
[Picture LINK]
'via Blog this'  

  • Your old, busted name was Marco Puntiss. We now dub yo ass: King Buddha Balls ... "Don't bother callin your girlfriend to find out where she was last nite ... she hasn't left my house yet."

  • Your old, busted name was Devlin Forester. We now dub yo ass: Swingin Pimp ...  "When you call me a bitch i just smile - giggle and walk away cuz i knew that long before you told me."

  • Your old, busted name was Jaupeen Dooley. We now dub yo ass: Supa Chinaman ... "I was born a sweet lil baby but them starving streets raised me up crazy."

  • Your old, busted name was Moo Pig. We now dub yo ass: No-pants Crack Robba ... "I don't worry 'bout what other people think bout me, cause it can't be half as bad as what i think of them." 

  • Your old, busted name was Aaron Rodgers. We now dub yo ass: Gun Doggy Crack Smoka
[ ... ]

MooPig's Big Surprise Department :: "Gold price forecast to drop"

Retrieved by Pat Darnell | Dec 18, 2011 | Bryan TX
[Picture LINK]

Gold price forecast to drop - Commodities | IOL Business |  ... "The precious metal is now heading for its first quarterly loss for the fourth quarter after its second-worst rout since September 2008 when the global credit crunch was at its height." ...

'via Blog this'


MooPig's New Word Department "Shebeen"

Man killed in shebeen fight - Eastern Cape | IOL News |
Retrieved by Pat Darnell  |  Dec 18, 2011  |  Bryan TX

"shebeen " :: An unlicensed drinking establishment, especially in Ireland, Scotland, and South Africa.
shebeen, shebean [ʃɪˈbiːn]
1. Irish Scot South African a place where alcoholic drink is sold illegally
2. (Miscellaneous Technologies / Brewing) (in Ireland) alcohol, esp home-distilled whiskey, sold without a licence
3. (in South Africa) a place where Black African men engage in social drinking
4. (Miscellaneous Technologies / Brewing) (in the US and Ireland) weak beer [from Irish Gaelic síbín beer of poor quality]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 200 (the free dictionary. 2003.)

'via Blog this'


MooPig's "Just In Case You Were Interested" Department

Do You Have Your Tickets Yet?
Retrieved by Pat Darnell | Dec 18, 2011 | Bryan TX

LSU versus Alabama


2012 BCS National Championship Game Tickets
Mon 01/09/2012 7:30 PM CST
Mercedes Benz Superdome
New Orleans, LA Sell
Priced from: $1,269.00 USD
2,472 tickets left

[PHoto LINK]

MooPig's Lists Department :: "30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself"

30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself:
Retrieved by Pat Darnell  |  Dec 17, 2011  |  Bryan TX
  1. Stop spending time with the wrong people.
  2. Stop running from your problems.
  3. Stop lying to yourself.
  4. Stop putting your own needs on the back burner.
  5. Stop trying to be someone you’re not.
  6. Stop trying to hold onto the past.
  7. Stop being scared to make a mistake.
  8. Stop berating yourself for old mistakes.
  9. Stop trying to buy happiness.
  10. Stop exclusively looking to others for happiness.
[ ... and so on ... ]
 ... 30. Stop being ungrateful. (marc. Dec 11, 2011. Read Entire Article HERE)

'via Blog this'
MooPig's 12 Things to STOP doing to Yourself  ::
  1. Stop shitting in the Corral
  2. Stop shoving stuff into your mouth
  3. Stop blowing stuff out of your mouth
  4. Stop and give up the things that weigh you down
  5. Stop doing nothing, getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive
  6. Stop sleeping on a hard floor
  7. Stop yearning for validation, love, happiness, fulfillment and hopes for a better future.
  8. Stop your bitching
  9. Stop collecting "Things"
  10. Stop badgering and taunting your herd
  11. Stop grazing with bad cows: It’s better to be alone than to be in bad company.
  12. Stop blaspheming the world...



Saturday, December 17, 2011

MooPig's Latin Dialogue :: "Cuban Offshore Drilling"

Article Review
Retrieved by Pat Darnell | Dec 15, 2011 | Bryan TX

[Picture LINK]

The Gulf of Mexico Deep Horizon drilling disaster by BP, British Petroleum, last year brings home the dirty laundry to the Gulf Coast. It isn't only one isolated incidence, but it has caused a great deal of loss. Some sabre rattling from the POTUS, Pres of the United States, put future deep wells in jeopardy by banning offshore drilling, and thereby jobs too are lost.

I think many speculate whether the US can get back on top as number one producer of oil or not. It seems to be the competitive spirit talking when one reads about the various oil exploits today, following the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill, burning drill rig, disaster.

This article from September 2011 tells of exploration beginning this month around Cuba for deep well drilling sites.
" ... The [China built] rig will not be operated by Cuba, but by foreign partners, led by the Spanish energy company Repsol. Geologists have estimated there may be 5 billion to 20 billion barrels of undersea oil off the island's northwest coast, enough to make Cuba a significant producer. (Miroff, Nick. Sep 12, 2011. HERE )... "
Offshore oil drilling is banned on Florida's coast today, but this Cuban rig will be only 60 miles away from Florida. Any oil spill would imapact Florida's coast and the Atlantic states'.
" ... [ former EPA Administrator William Reilly ] "They know they've never regulated oil and gas in the offshore environment before. They know it's an order of magnitude more sophisticated and more risky. They're going to go very deep. All of those are going to require training, expertise and a culture they've not had. They've got a lot to do."
The point is that jobs have gone away in the shadow of the BP Gulf of Mexico disaster. With offshore drilling banned in parts of the Gulf Coast, " ... Hunt said thousands of jobs could be created if American drilling equipment suppliers and cleanup contractors along the Gulf Coast were licensed to do business with Cuba. If not, he said, cleanup supplies might have to come from as far away as England or Brazil. ... "

Read entire Article here: Cuban Offshore Drilling Plans Raise U.S. Concerns : NPR:

'via Blog this'
Also SEE: " ... But others ... warned that spilled oil knows no political boundaries — or embargoes. And while Congress is most curious about Cuba because of the limited information available about the country's plans, other Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico neighbors also are exploring for oil near U.S. waters. They include Jamaica, the Bahamas and ongoing operations in Mexico. (Bolstad, Erika. Oct 18, 2011. McClatchy Newspapers. HERE)... "


MooPig's Heirloom Department :: "Real CUTE ... "

Company Makes Custom Stuffed Toys Out of Children's Drawings | Geekosystem:
Child’s Own Studio does something pretty neat: If you supply the studio with a drawing a child made, the studio will produce a stuffed toy using the child’s drawing as the blueprint. Are you an overprotective parent who will stop at nothing to make sure your child is both safe from possibly iffy design choices, but also one who makes sure their child gets exactly what they want at all times always? Child’s Own Studio actually prefers you, stating that the more directions provided, the better.
Create A Keepsake Toy.   Send in your child's drawing - one that they drew and coloured and Child's Own Studio will handcraft a unique stuffed toy, to be cherished for a lifetime.

*** With great regret, Child's Own Studio is not accepting any more orders this year.
Please contact us in January 2012***

On the site’s official FAQ, it is noted that there isn’t a set price, and the studio will provide a quote once the child’s drawing is received, though standard U.S. and Canadian shipping will cost $15. The toy ends up being around 12 to 14 inches long on average, and the toy takes about 2 to 4 weeks to make once the payment is received, though rush orders are possible, there will be an extra fee for that.

The studio is willing to use material in the toy that has been provided for them so long as it is possible, such as a sentimental blankey, and to prevent any kind of dissatisfaction, the studio will show you pictures of the finished product before they ship it, so they can work out any kinks you may find. They do say they prefer children’s drawings, but they aren’t opposed to special requests from adults. Read on below to check out some of the other completed projects, including an aloof blue cat, a fire-breathing dragon, and a stick figure with a proportionally humongous head.
'via Blog this'


MooPig Re-Run :: "Perfect Christmas Gift"

MooPig Wisdom: The Perfect Christmas Gift: Order Now! No ...
Mar 17, 2009
[Original POST HERE]

PHOTO's: Go ahead see if you can pick out the real ones from the fakes...
If the unclothed body of Robots offends you -- Please stop Reading Here...

Posted on Mon, Mar. 16, 2009 09:11 AM

Tomorrow's Buggy Whip Today, Get Yours before it is Obsolete...
Retrieved by Pat Darnell and the Herd

For only Japan Yen 20 million, buy your perfect gift for Uncle Herbert, or Grandpa, or Grandma too...

That's correct: Quit your horsing around: Harness the Pinnacle of Japan Ingenue... whip into shape your very own nubile, or barracuda or Nefertiti, or even your very own Hillary...

Walking, talking female robot to hit Japan catwalk
AP Business Writer
"The robotic framework for the HRP-4C, without the face and other coverings, will go on sale for about 20 million yen ($200,000) each, and its programming technology will be made public so other people can come up with fun moves for the robot, the scientists said."

For now, the 158 centimeter (62.2 inch) tall black-haired robot code-named HRP-4C - whose predecessor had weighed 58 kilograms (128 pounds) - will mainly serve to draw and entertain crowds.

HRP-4C was designed to look like an average Japanese woman, although its silver-and-black body recalls a space suit. It will appear in a Tokyo fashion show - without any clothes - in a special section just for the robot next week.

Other robots, like the ones from Hiroshi Kobayashi at the Tokyo University of Science and Hiroshi Ishiguro at Osaka University, have more human-like faces and have been tested as receptionists.

But demands are growing for socially useful robots, such as ones that can care for the elderly and sick, said Yoshihiro Kaga, a government official in the trade and industry ministry.

Its walk was also not quite ready for the Paris Collection, partly because its knees are permanently bent. It has sensors in its feet but lacks the sensitive balance of a real human.

The big challenge in creating HRP-4C was making the parts small enough so it looks female, especially its thinner legs, said Shuuji Kajita, who leads the institute's humanoid research group.

"But this is just the first step," he said.

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Who Stole Christmas this Year?

"[They stole] Mickey Mouse on a horse, some hugging penguins, Snoopy on a dog house, and Santa on a sled."
Retrieved by Pat Darnell | Dec 11, 2011 | Bryan TX
WSVN-TV - 2 arrested in Christmas ornament thefts:
'via Blog this'


Friday, December 16, 2011

Physicists Anxiously Await News of the ‘God Particle’ -

[Picture LINK]

" ... [E]xperimentalists say that a year from now they should have enough data to rule out the existence of the most popular version of the Higgs boson, sending theorists back to their blackboards in search of another explanation of why particles have mass. (Overbie, Dennis, Dec 11, 2011. LINK ) ... "
Physicists Anxiously Await News of the ‘God Particle’ -

'via Blog this'


Sunday, December 11, 2011

MooPig's History Minute :: Article from 08 \ 21 \ 2007 "Isn't this transcendent?"

Retrieved by Pat Darnell | Dec 11, 2011 | Bryan TX
[Picture LINK]
The Gulf of Mexico doesn't come with a Lifetime Guarantee, it doesn't have an EPA Rating, and you can't get one at SEARS stores ... that said, I have sentiments about the Gulf of Mexico. My misspent youth is remembered in units of when I was misbehaving somewhere on the beaches of the Gulf.

Corpus Christi, Galveston, Bolivar, Kemah, Stewart's, el Jardin at the Bay, Seabrook, Pirates' Beach... you name it I have stomped there. I'm not alone. There are plenty of people out there who have been in the canals and warm waters of  USA's third coast. Besides human interactions, it has served as brooding grounds for hundred millions migrating animals, birds and sea creatures.

At some point even a sophomoric moron latches onto the concept that the earth is one of a kind. The closest thing to it is at least 5000 light years away... eh? That makes the Gulf of Mexico with its multiple layers of bounty all the more UNIQUE.

It's a big body of brine water, so I think it can push back as humanity invades it. I have seen it go from seriously polluted in the 1970's, to a cleaner place of the 1990's... but that was after a conscious effort by residents and governments against contumacious usurpers of nature.

Most lately the Gulf of Mexico BP Oil Spill Disaster has us all on edge. I cannot get past it myself. What a calamity to have to live with, knowing the Gulf as I do. Maybe a little history of drilling can help me out. Here goes, an article from 2007 -- before the BP disaster:

Five Miles Deep: Pumping Oil from the Bottom of the Gulf:
EXCERPT | " ... He works for Chevron, and his team is sitting on several new record-breaking discoveries in the Gulf, a region that many geologists believe may have more untapped oil reserves than any other part of the world. On this trip, the 48-year-old vice president for deepwater exploration has come to a rig called the Cajun Express to oversee final preparations before drilling begins on the company's 30-square-mile Tahiti field. (Little, Amanda Griscom. 8.21.2007. HERE) ...

... That 5-mile shaft will soon give Chevron the deepest active offshore well in the Gulf. Some land drills have gone deeper, but extracting oil from below miles of freezing salt water and unyielding sediment creates a set of technical problems that far exceed those faced on terra firma. ...

... Today, deep-sea rigs are capable of reaching down 40,000 feet, twice as deep as a decade ago: plunging their drills through 10,000 feet of water and then 30,000 more feet of seabed. One platform sits atop each so-called field, thrusting its tentacles into multiple wells dug into ancient sediment, slurping out oil, and then pumping it back to onshore refineries through underwater pipelines. ...

... It's a business where huge sums are lost (two years ago, BP suffered a $250 million blow when a hurricane took out one of its platforms) but even more can be made. The mother lode of oil in the deepwater Gulf is so significant that Tahiti and other successful fields in this region are expected to soon produce enough crude to reverse the long-standing decline in US oil production of about 10 percent per year. ...

... Today, many of the world's largest fields — from Ghawar in Saudi Arabia to Prudhoe Bay in Alaska — are facing retirement, and the ultradeep frontier holds the industry's best hope for big new discoveries. But there are still big questions to be answered before Jack starts filling gas tanks: How well will oil flow from these prehistoric rocks? Can Chevron's equipment handle the increased temperatures and pressures at these depths? Can engineers successfully pump the oil back to shore? ...

... One of Chevron's top geologists, a Jerry Garcia look-alike named Barney Issen, pulls an image of the Jack field up onto the monitors. "To you, this may looks like a dog's breakfast," he says, pointing to a multi colored morass. But the data is actually a finely detailed 3-D map of the ocean, seafloor, and sediment below. It will allow Chevron to locate promising spots to drill and then provide a guide for the engineers who operate the production process remotely. ...

... Chevron needed to use masses of microphones to compensate for the distortions caused by a layer of salt as jagged as the Swiss Alps beneath the seafloor in the ultradeep regions of the Gulf. That mineral, unfortunately for the geologists in Houston, acts like a fun-house mirror for seismic sound waves. Issen compares sorting through the data to "peering through a thick wall of mottled glass and trying to count the freckles of someone on the other side." ...

... The Cajun is equipped with other perks: an Internet café, a gym, and a movie theater — but these luxuries are hardly used. Few of the men have the energy for entertainment or exercise after working a 12-hour shift on the drilling floor — hauling great vats of mud used for drill lubricant, welding broken iron casings, or repairing robotic submarines that fix problems with seafloor equipment. The living quarters, which house up to 150 workers, are the size of walk-in closets, filled with cot-sized bunk beds that fold out of the walls. ...

Conclusion: ... "When you're here, you're pretty much working or sleeping," says Siegele. Stout salaries make up for the extreme conditions: Entry-level tool pushers make about $60,000, and high-level geologists and engineers can earn in the mid six figures. Added bonus: a massive testosterone rush. "This is the best big-boy toy you'll ever find," says Chevron spokesperson Mickey Driver. ...

As consensus grows that the world needs to shift away from fossil fuels, extracting oil from the most extreme and costly locations can seem foolishly myopic. If Chevron is going to throw billions of dollars into something untested and possibly doomed to failure, wouldn't it make more sense to invest in an inexhaustible, greener technology that's going to have political support a decade from now?
Siegele doesn't think so. He does know that geological limitations will prevent him from drilling much deeper: It's a pretty safe bet that below 40,000 feet, the extreme heat has baked off much of the deep-sea troves of crude. ... "

" ... For example, when a tool got stuck down the hole during one well test, someone suggested just banging a giant hammer against the casing, sending vibrations down that jarred the tool loose. ...
"Then, out in the distance, I spot fleets of trawlers the size of thumbnails setting off seismic guns in search of the next big deep-sea prospect. (Little, Amanda Griscom. 8.21.2007. HERE)"

The Gulf of Mexico is teeming with life, and activity, and should be given a little slack, because I know it can bounce back in short order from most all intrusions.

MooPig Re-Run :: from 02 \ 03 \ 2009

Truthiness: Who is the Real Winners in 2008-9 Democrat coup' of Washington, DC Executive, Senate, and House?

Another MooPig Exclusive: "Vacationing Like the Kennedy's," study in Fun Optimization -- or, what happens when we mix technical stuff with political meandering...

And... Natural Gas
The importance of renewable energy as a viable solution to our country's future energy needs is paramount, Hydrogen is merely a way of carrying energy. It is important that we keep our priorities straight.

Pelosi, Steele, Palin and Hil'ry... and a few others... are the winners in this new Age of Vacationing like the Kennedy's
Noticed by Pat Darnell

“I believe in natural gas as a clean, cheap alternative to fossil fuels,” she said at one point. Natural gas “is cheap, abundant and clean compared to fossil fuels,” she said at another.
Rep. Pelosi’s spokesman later said the speaker knows natural gas is a fossil fuel, but likes it because it burns more cleanly than coal and oil. [Dvorak Uncensored; Retrieval Source]

The lie of the "Hydrogen Economy"

Recent news articles and press release may lead one to believe that problems of our countries future energy needs may be solved with the advent of a "Hydrogen economy," and that through the proper utilization of Hydrogen America will somehow no longer be dependent on foreign oil. This is not true, the use of Hydrogen will not change our dependence on foreign oil in any way. These false notions that are being spread about Hydrogen actually takes the focus away from the real issue of renewable energy.

Hydrogen is not a fuel source. Hydrogen is at best an inefficient battery. In no way, shape or form will a crash program in the study of how to contain, ship and utilize Hydrogen as a carrier of energy make our need for energy in the future dissipate.

Hydrogen must be produced from an existing media such as water. Hydrogen is a highly reactive element, and cannot be found in its pure form anywhere on the planet. Hydrogen must be extracted, usually from water, with the use of energy. (Water is actually an ash that is produced when Hydrogen is burned in the presence of oxygen.) The amount of energy used to create Hydrogen in a usable form is always greater than the amount of energy that can be utilized from the Hydrogen produced. This is a basic principal of thermodynamics. To make a dollars worth of Hydrogen it is going to cost something like a dollar and a quarter. Because of this, Hydrogen is actually what is called an "energy sink."

Here is an example of what I mean - to use coal to produce Hydrogen to run cars, the energy source (coal) has to be converted into electricity, then into Hydrogen, and then back into electricity in the car. There will be a loss of energy at every step of the process. It is simple physics. Hydrogen has many uses, and may actually proven to be a good carrier for energy produced, but that will only be possible if a cheap alternative form of energy can be found.

Often Hydrogen produced by nuclear energy is mentioned as an alternative. Nuclear energy is indeed a form of renewable energy, but has been proven to have many drawbacks, and it usage at this juncture should be considered very carefully before we commit heavily into using nuclear energy as a fuel source. I find it disingenuous to advertise the use of "clean Hydrogen" if the power source used to create that Hydrogen is nuclear power. This scenario may clean up the air, but the proposed nuclear power plants will leave behind dangerous nuclear waste. No viable solution to the toxic waste produced by nuclear energy has ever been proposed. Nuclear energy is also dangerous in terms of national security and terrorism. Spent fuel rods are a perfect choice for a terrorist that is trying to build a nuclear "dirty" bomb. Nuclear energy is also very expensive. It could never have survived until the present date without huge government subsidies. For now, this is not a workable solution to our problems.

Any question into the area of future energy sources must be examined with two things in mind, existing energy resources, and present research into renewable energy. Existing non-renewable energy resources pretty much fall into three categories, petroleum, natural gas and coal. We probably have enough petroleum and natural gas to last another hundred years or so, and existing coal reserves should last three times as long as that. There are other considerations though, for example it has long been argued that it is not healthy for America to be dependant on foreign oil, so supply is not the only consideration.

Renewable energy breaks down into other categories, such as solar, wind power, geothermal, tidal energy and nuclear power. All of these have advantages and disadvantages, and require further research. But the promise of renewable energy from all of these sources should really be the focus of any research budget, not Hydrogen. It would seem premature to run headlong into the use of Hydrogen when we have not even decided how the Hydrogen will be produced, because Hydrogen is not a fuel source.

Bio fuels are already being produced that are competitively priced with petroleum. It is often overlooked that a car that runs on petroleum or ethanol runs on Hydrogen as well. As a matter of fact, one of the technologies produced by Hydrogen research is the Hydrogen fuel cell, which can actually be run on petroleum or ethanol or other bio-fuels. Running the countries automobiles on pure Hydrogen may very well prove to be excessively costly when compared to the cost of running a Hydrogen fuel cell on ethanol or other bio-fuels. Fuel cells will even run on gasoline.

Fuel cells are far more efficient than the combustion engine, and have no moving parts. Much of the pollution created by combustion engines would be eliminated simply by using a Hydrogen fuel cell, and with far greater gas mileage. Fuel cells are not a new technology, they were actually developed by NASA during the early space programs. This is a technology that already exists, and could be put to use immediately.

A very good alternative to nuclear energy to create pure Hydrogen would be wind power. Wind power is already produced cheaper than nuclear power. One of the drawbacks of wind power is that wind is variable, and thus sometimes there is not enough wind and sometimes there is too much wind for use by a utility to create commercial power for a community. To be used efficiently it must be stored in some way, and Hydrogen may very well prove to be an effective battery. Despite the drawbacks of wind power, the fact that it has already been proven to be cheaper than nuclear should clearly indicate that it is a better solution than nuclear power.

The importance of renewable energy as a viable solution to our country's future energy needs is paramount, Hydrogen is merely a way of carrying energy. It is important that we keep our priorities straight.

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