Thursday, June 19, 2008

Coffee Thief

Half-ton of premium coffee beans stolen in Hawaii - Weird News - Wire -

It's hardly a case of "sticky fingers" when it is a half-ton of anything. If you're going to be a thief, you might as well steal something of measure.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Small Print Revision on AIDS

This story is not exactly making headlines, so I thought it would be worth pointing to the FRC Blog which sheds a little light on some new admissions about the spread of HIV/AIDS:

Heterosexual AIDS Pandemic Won't Happen

I'm not suggesting that AIDS is not a problem that needs great attention. However, the energy and resources devoted to handling AIDS treatment and AIDS research has apparently been blown out of proportion as compared with the need concerning cancer, heart disease, and other leading causes of death.

The release of the World Health Organization statement has scarcely been covered. A Google News search brings up less than 70 news articles around the world. Compare that number to the more than 2,800 articles on the latest news about the Guitmo Prisoners, just for a little perspective.

Monday, June 02, 2008

According to Cornell Scientist David Pimentel, turning corn into fuel is most costly in terms of resources than it is worth. He is quotes in this article as saying "Abusing our precious croplands to grow corn for an energy-inefficient process that yields low-grade automobile fuel amounts to unsustainable, subsidized food burning."

Here are a few of the facts:
  • One acre can produce enough corn to make 328 gallons of ethanol. The gas used to produce this corn before being converted is about 140 gallons. At prices at the time of his analysis, the cost per gallon of ethanol (still in the raw form of corn) would already be $1.05.
  • In processing, 131,000 Btu are needed to produce one gallon of ethanol. The energy value of one gallon of ethonal stands at only 77,000 Btu. Result: negative Btu's.
  • For the average car to travel 10,000 miles in a given year using ethanol, 11 acres of corn must be harvested.
  • For every car in America to use ethanol for a year, 97% of our land must be used to grown corn.

Rolling the Hurricane Dice

In this AP article, we learn the fascinating secrets behind hurrican predictions:

Here's the intro:

Each April, weather wizard William Gray emerges from his burrow deep in the Rocky Mountains to offer his forecast for the six-month hurricane season that starts June 1. And the news media are there, breathlessly awaiting his every word.

It's a lot like Groundhog Day - and the results are worth just about as much.

So, how many hurricanes should we expect in the Atlantic in 2008? Roll your own dice (use 5 for good measure) and you can publish your results.

I came up with 11 named storms.