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Messages - AGelbert

Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 ... 446

I've got one for you. Let me lay a little groundwork first.

I first went sailing with some friends when I was in college. I grew up around ski boats and fishing boats, the kind working class  people used to be able to afford when I was young , but coming from rural East Texas, I was not exposed to sailing at all as a kid. That was something rich people did. I never even thought much about it. But once I tried it, I was hooked for life. However, for four long years of dental school, I was nose to the grindstone. I didn't even have the time to read a book for pleasure. Dental school is roughly equivalent to carrying about a 25 hour load as an undergrad. I was at school every weekday from 7:30 am until midnight most nights, when they made us leave and go home whether we wanted to or not. Four years, with a month off for summers. I worked as a research assistant during the summer breaks. I needed the money.

When I got out of school in San Antonio and moved to Houston to start my residency in pediatrics, I scrimped together enough money to spend maybe a thousand bucks on a very neglected but very worthy old Flying Scot, a 20 ft daysailor with a big swing keel with a windlass. I didn't even know where to go to put it in the water. I asked someone, and they said people sailed on Offut's Bayou in Galveston. I proceeded to hook up the trailer to my 1976 Toyota Corolla Wagon (1600cc's, 5 speed manual transmission, roughly half the size of the boat) and headed down there to check it out.

Fortunately, the freeway on to Galveston Island crosses Offut's Bayou, so I found it without much trouble. I backed down the public ramp and launched my vessel. I was pretty busy between the hospital and two part-time side jobs, but I found time a couple of times a month to drive down there and begin to figure out how to sail a boat. By the time I was out, two years later, I at least knew a tack from a jibe, and enough not to get blown on to a lee shore. There was a lot more about sailing I didn't know, far more than I did know. But when we moved to Austin i pulled the Scot down (now behind my new Ford Bronco II, the worst car I ever owned...but that's another story).

When we had moved to Houston, my two oldest girls were ages 2 1/2 and 6 months. Near the Med Center there was a fairly famous infant swimming school, the Phil Hansell Academy. Remember that article from Life Magazine in the 1960's that documented how children younger than a year could be taught to float and even swim? Phil Hansell (one time swim coach for University of Houston) got in on that early wave, and started such a training center. By the time we came to town, it had been in business over 20 years, and it's still there now. The teachers there have taught thousands of babies how to float on their backs fully clothed, with a soaked diaper. The kids don't graduate until they can do that.

A Typical Infant Swimmer (after 3-6 months of training)

On the wall at Phil Hansell are displayed many letters, photos,  and anecdotes from parents whose children's lives were subsequently saved in various water accidents as a result of their training, even one involving a toddler who fell through an open manhole and floated far below street level in a storm sewer for half an hour until the fire department could get a man down. Expecting a corpse, they were surprised to find a floating kid who wasn't even that upset.

My wife wanted to put our girls in swimming lessons, and so we did. We lived in some student apartments owned by the University of Texas, which had an Olympic pool. Very soon my kids were known around the complex as swimming prodigies, and the late Dr. Red Duke (trauma surgeon turned TV personality) who had a regular spot on the nightly evening news, even sent out a camera crew to video my kids, and they were on TV one night, for maybe 30 seconds. LOL. Frequently, people who didn't know they were completely water safe, would jump into the pool and try to rescue them, or just walk up and give us a ration of **** about not watching our kids around the pool. It was a great joke for me and my wife.

Fast forward to the summer of '87. We moved to Austin, and I started asking again about where to put in a sailboat on Lake Travis. My wife's brother allowed as he had seen people sailing at a place called Windy Point, so once again, I hitched up the trailer and went to check it out.

There are no coincidences.

Now, today, Windy Point would be the last place I'd go to launch a sailboat on Lake Travis. Very shallow water, no boat ramp. I had to back way out into the water in my car to try to launch, and it still wasn't easy. A guy about ten years older than us offered to help us launch. He'd been sailing a borrowed Sunfish, but had just broken his rudder. He helped me launch the Scot, and bummed a ride. Turned out he was a single Dad who lived right in our neighborhood and had a son right between my kids in age. We would go on to become best friends and sailing buddies (on a long string of boats) for decades. He was already an experienced sailor, but not on small boats.

We spent the whole summer sailing our asses off, kids along, often all three kids and me, my wife and our new friend Terry.

A Flying Scot Under Full Sail

In Texas it isn't always obvious when summer ends. We went out one fine Sunday, the first weekend in November, 1987. The weather was glorious, the water still fairly tolerable for swimming, and the wind was blowing a steady 10-15 knots. By this time we were feeling pretty good about our expertise, and we "put the rail in the water" as they say, and spent a great afternoon sailing across the main basin in Lake Travis. Now, one thing you should know, is that lake sailing can be tricky. Unlike the bay, the wind is constantly changing direction and speed, and promontories of land can put you out of the wind completely. Eventually, Terry and I would know that lake like the back of our hands, but we were still newbies then.

We had already named the main basin "The Vortex" because of the weird wind effects there. One side of the lake is lined with high cliffs. At the top is a huge destination restaurant and bar called The Oasis, which bills itself as "The Sunset Capital of Texas". The wind along the cliffs creates whirls and eddies and you can never tell exactly what you might get hit with next.

We stayed out until very few other boats were still on the lake. The wind started to rise a bit, but we didn't pay that much attention. We had put away a few beers, and we were having fun. Terry was at the helm...if you can call lying on your back with one hand on the rudder and the other holding the mainsheet "at the helm".

Then, suddenly, it all went very wrong. A big gust, and we heeled way over. Terry let go the main and I let go the jib. but the mainsheet (the line that lets the mainsail release, thereby de-powering the sail and preventing a capsize), got caught under someone's foot. In one long second, we got knocked down. We were in the drink. Me, Terry, my wife, and my two girls. His kid was not there. Mom's weekend.

The Scot has a somewhat unique rig. The main halyard (the line that raises and drops the main sail) is not a rope. It's a cable, and it works by turning a tiny little ratcheting winch in a box affixed to the mast. To drop the main, you need the winch handle. The winch handle was gone. As we went over, my oldest girl grabbed the boom, and I had to pry her strong little hands off of it to keep her from being dragged under as the boat proceeded to turtle,

The kids had on life jackets. The rest of us grabbed one and put it on. Nobody was hurt. Everyone was fine.

Except...the sun was going down and the water was getting colder. There wasn't a single boat in sight. Terry and I finally stood on the centerboard together and stood the boat back up. But it was too full of water to bail, and the wet main, still up, was making the boat unstable. It could turtle again anytime. We were already getting exhausted. 

A Swamped Scot

Within a few minutes, I knew we were in real trouble. I was cold, but the kids were really cold, teeth chattering cold. Blue skin cold. They wouldn't last an hour. No way. The sun set and we were way too far from shore to swim in. It started to get dark.

Just about the time I was coming to the realization that my kids were in danger of dying of exposure, a small cabin sailboat, sails furled, motored up under the power of a tiny outboard. They took my wife and kids onboard and dried them off. We didn't want to abandon our boat. It was too unstable to tow, though. So....Terry and I stayed onboard and sat on opposite sides on the gunwales and kept the wobbling boat upright, while they towed us to shore, which took about an hour. Their tiny motor strained just to pull the Scot with its cockpit full of water and its flapping main sail.

It was nearly 10pm before we were able to secure our boat to some rocks near the put-in, where we left it for the night, still full of water. We would return the next day to bail it and put in back on the trailer.

The actual site of our accident. The shore is not nearly as close at it looks.

I was colder than I ever remember being. Our rescuers gave me some dry sweats and towels, and I stripped off my wet t-shirt and shorts and put them on, but my teeth kept chattering for a half hour and I didn't get warm for hours. Not until I was home in bed. We quickly thanked our rescuers and they motored off. My wife drove us home, because neither Terry nor I was was able to drive.

About ten years later, my wife was attending an adult bible class here at Riverbend Church one Sunday. The teacher asked everyone in the class to recount some experience they'd had that had made a real impact on them. The people in the class took turns telling about things that had happened to them.

One woman started to tell a story about a day when her family had been at the lake, motoring in at dusk, when they came upon a derelict sailboat and some people with little kids stranded in the middle of the lake....and how they pulled them out of the water and saved their lives. As the story progressed, my wife suddenly realized she was talking about rescuing us!  So she finally had the chance to thank them properly.

I'm sure they'll never forget what they did for us. Neither will I. What would have happened if they hadn't stopped to help us? I'm not sure. But the outcome might have been very tragic. I learned a lesson that day about sailing. A hard lesson I'll never forget.

EXCELLENT! Thank you, Eddie! 

Renewables / Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« on: April 28, 2017, 02:21:05 pm »

Notes from the Solar Underground:  ;) US Solar’s Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act
April 28, 2017

By Paula Mints  Founder/Chief Market Research Analyst
There is nothing new about protectionism just as there is nothing new about aggressive pricing for market share, dumping of overproduction at low prices and the cascade of unintended consequences of government intervention on markets.

A free market is precisely what the word free implies that is, market prices and the choice of goods are set by the interactions of market participants. Under this definition, there are few, if any, free markets in the world.

Governments intervene to subsidize or incentivize production of goods and the acquisition of goods. In the U.S., farmers sometimes received subsidies not to produce under the assumption that over production would lead to a price collapse. Electricity rates in U.S. states must be approved by state PUCs. Subsidies provide affordable housing for poorer populations. Pick a market and you can find a government incentive, subsidy or a control of some sort.

So, seriously, there are few, if any, free markets .

The global solar industry relies on mandates, subsidies and incentives for its demand. Though it has enjoyed extraordinarily strong growth overtime this growth has come about because of, again, subsidies. Current low prices for PV modules are possible because of China’s support for its PV manufacturers. 

The 2012 U.S. tariff ruling on imports of cells and modules from China resulted in higher prices for small buyers   and, frankly, no price change for larger buyers  .  In sum, for larger buyers the sellers absorbed the tariff. The primary goal of sellers was sales, margin was secondary. Higher margins were gained from smaller sellers who also absorbed the tariff. Exporters were then not truly punished because the goals of the exporter (seller) were not properly understood.
The lesson is that market regulations, incentives, subsidies, mandates and tariffs come with unintended consequences. When tariffs are enacted the primary entity punished via higher prices is the buyer. The price pain felt by buyers is almost always the unintended consequence of the imposition of tariffs.

Just as markets are not entirely free, markets are also not entirely rational or controllable. Tastes change. Competing products rise. Drought and heavy rains affect agriculture. People go on strike. Recessions affect buying ability. Finally, sometimes people make irrational buying choices. Consider the cell phone which went from the size of a person’s arm to the size of a watch face to practically the size of a laptop computer screen and is now migrating back to not just watch face size, but to being an actual watch.

The point is that controlling buying patterns is close to impossible and punishing sellers for low prices typically punishes the buyers and worse … almost never brings back manufacturing jobs.

A good example of the unintended consequence of government intervention is the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930. In the 1920s an excess of agricultural production in Europe led to low price imports of produce into the U.S. Farmers suffered and Herbert Hoover promised that if he were elected president he would help U.S. farmers. (As an aside … if this seems familiar it should.     )

Enter Willis Hawley, Congressman, Oregon, and Reed Smoot, Senator, Utah. Smoot-Hawley began as a protection for farmers but after much debate fed by many special interests it was eventually attached to a wide variety of imports (~900). Other countries retaliated with their own tariffs. The U.S. trade deficit ballooned. Smoot-Hawley did not push the world into the Great Depression but it certainly was a card in the Depression playing deck.

In 1934, as part of the New Deal, President Franklin Roosevelt pushed the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act through and the short reign of protectionism in the U.S. ended … just in time for the beginning of World War II in 1939.

The Solar Point

Immediately following Suniva’s bankruptcy on April 17, rumors of a new trade dispute began and late in April Suniva, a U.S.-based monocrystalline manufacturer over 60 percent owned by a Chinese company, filed its trade dispute asking for a 40-cent/Wp tariff on all solar cells made outside the U.S. From Suniva’s point of view, the request makes sense as it is one of two crystalline solar cell manufacturers in the U.S. — the other being SolarWorld.

Proponents say that it would protect U.S. solar manufacturing but as there is very little U.S. manufacturing and the reasons for its demise are complex, there is little to protect.

Tariff opponents argue that cheaper prices for cells would help module assemblers and cheaper prices for modules would increase solar deployment.

The fact is that larger entities continued to enjoy low prices and will always enjoy lower prices than smaller demand side participants.

The fact is that bringing back U.S. solar manufacturing is close to impossible at this juncture using tariffs. It would require a lot of time (a lot of time), favorable taxes for producers as well as other manufacturing subsidies and most importantly, a healthy incentive for buyers to purchase modules made in America with crystalline and thin film cells made in America and … even then … the aluminum, the glass, the backsheet — something in the module will come from some other country.

The fact is that the products bought in the U.S., including the foods we eat, are often produced using components from other countries.

Finally … well-meaning or crowd-pleasing government intervention in the not-so-free-not-so-rational-extremely-complex global market always brings a host of complications with it and always brings a host of unintended consequences. Just ask Mr. Smoot and Mr. Hawley.  ;D

Don't miss Paula Mints' latest report, available at a discounted price through Renewable Energy World: Photovoltaic Manufacturer Capacity, Shipments, Price & Revenues 2016/2017


Agelbert NOTE: The biggest, and totally unjustified subsidy that we need to GET RID OF to level the energy market playing field is the oil and gas subsidy THEFT:



Who CAN you trust? / Re: Corruption in Government
« on: April 27, 2017, 10:19:31 pm »
Guess Who Trump's Tax Plan Benefits The Most...

100 Days Into the "For-Profit Presidency"   

Published on Apr 27, 2017

On tonight’s Big Picture, Thom discusses Trump’s first 100 days in office and whether he’s turned government into a business with Susan Harley of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch. Then, Thom talks to Rob Mariani of the Daily Caller and Vien Truong of Green for All about Trump’s plan to renegotiate NAFTA and California lawmakers moving forward with a single-payer health plan.

Renewables / Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« on: April 27, 2017, 08:10:28 pm »
‘Look, Ma, No Fuel!’ … Fire-free Cooking with Solar  

April 27, 2017

By Mahesh Bhave 
Founder, CEO

Mahesh P. Bhave, visiting professor, strategy, IIM Kozhikode, India, is an engineer from IIT Delhi with a Ph.D. from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School. He may be reached at mahesh@iimk.ac.in.

… And no smoke, and no pollution either; no match boxes, no fire-wood collecting, no charcoal burning, and no ash. No waiting for the deliveryman to take away the old LPG cylinder and bring in the new. A cooking revolution looms.

The cooking supply chain is being disrupted. Bounty from the sky, delivered free to the roof, drives the new cooking economy, and not the laboriously drilled, mined, transported, stored, and distributed fuel from the ground, say, kerosene or natural gas, let alone charcoal, firewood or biomass of any kind.

This is a reason to celebrate — for it creates choices for homemakers, frees up women’s time to undertake creative and productive work, and reduces health problems that today affect women and children disproportionately when they cook with smoky systems at home.

Precursors to the impending cooking revolution have been with us for a while — microwave ovens, induction cookers, resistive hotplates, electric water kettles. But they are not strictly fire-free, fuel free, or emissions free in that behind the elegant and useful appliances, in the hinterlands far from cities they are based on electricity produced from burning coal, overwhelmingly, and natural gas lately in the US. Hydro-power or nuclear plants contribute a small portion of today’s electricity, and not without hazards and environmentally high costs.

The revolution I am talking about is local electricity — rooftop solar based, complemented by batteries and related electronics — fed into the house;
no electricity grid with giant generation plants and massive transmission and distribution networks necessary.

Wireless “LPG” or “Pipeless” Natural Gas or “Cylinder free Gas”    

When I was a student, I remember how on wintry mornings in New Delhi, just outside the campus gate of our engineering institute, sitting in a huddle around a fire, we ordered and sipped tea straight off the boiling pan, holding a small glass with two fingers in a pincer grip. Accompanying the chatter of those around us was the background noise of a hissing kerosene stove. That sound was integral to the scene. Water was always boiling over the flame, tea made in batches, filtered through a cloth sieve, and poured into the glasses, nominally rinsed, I now shudder to think. I am sure paper cups now replace the glasses.

Walking along the streets of Pune, on certain corners one sees vendors of dosas, often outside the gates of colleges. Half the joy is in watching the master street chef prepare them in front of your eyes. Here too, alongside the bustle of the street, and the circle of observers waiting their turn with the food, is the hissing stove under the large flat iron pan, always kerosene-fired. The sound of the stove is again a part of the overall experience.

Consider backyard cooking in U.S. homes. The setup is elaborate, with coal or propane fires and grilles. The ritual of assembling the food to be grilled, and the lighting of the cooking range builds a festive, holiday atmosphere. ::) But can it be simpler, without loss of atmosphere, with solar panels and batteries? I think so. 

Indeed, on March 29, in Solana Beach, Calif., Dr. Barry Butler, Cindy Davenport, Roger Davenport, and I cooked toor lentils and stir-fried green and red peppers, onions, ginger and spices on a hotplate fired by solar panels, and ate it over rice in Dr. Butler's backyard.

Cooking Without Burn-ers

Fast-forward a year or two out, and the tea and the dosas will be the same, but cooked without fire, without kerosene, without the hissing noise. How? Solar-powered, battery enabled, over resistive hotplate or induction cookers. A portable solar canopy, a large umbrella over the fire-less stove collecting solar radiation and feeding it to the cookstove, mediated by a Li-ion battery. Personal, portable, ad hoc cooking in the open for the common man — no “burn”er necessary.

In the U.S., Sears, Home Depot, IKEA, Target, Walmart, and perhaps Best Buy, may include solar cooking systems in their stores and catalogs.

Solar Systems Design with Cooking at the Center

Solar Home Systems (SHS) have historically focused on lighting, phone charging, sometimes fans and TVs. And the focus on lighting for un-electrified villages in Africa, India, Bangladesh, Haiti, and elsewhere is as it should be — light after sundown must be among the most critical uses of electricity.

To me, lighting is now a done deal, a solved problem. With solar panels and batteries plus extraordinarily efficient LED bulbs, light is, if I may so describe it, easy. Solar systems may now be designed for the most energy intensive, yet critical, application for a home — cooking. If we do so, applications like lighting and charging for phones, laptops, TVs and home electronics will come with cooking at incremental cost, as a byproduct.

At What Cost? ???

The prices of this next generation cooking system will represent amortized capital costs, and not the costs for fuel and the logistics infrastructure as today. The capital first costs are high for rural villagers in emerging economies, but if those costs are translated into monthly payments, paid using phones, as the villagers do today, they are reasonable and affordable, and over time cheaper than for LPG.

For instance, the monthly costs of a solar cooking solution costing, say, $1,200, with an up to 20-year life for solar panels, less for batteries, and with ~ 9 percent cost of money, would be close to Rs. 740/month, the same as that for a LPG cylinder without subsidy in India. This is about $11/month, or $0.37/day, or Rs. 25/day for a family of four. The poorest rural households worldwide pay more than this for kerosene burning today. The only “solution” cheaper would be the “free” cooking by collecting firewood and burning it in a cookstove, however crude or well-designed.

This solar-based cooking solution is not merely for rural households without electricity, or street vendors, or backyard cooking in the U.S. Even in apartment homes in urban areas, the solution can be deployed to deliver an even lower cost solution with suitable optimization.

A broader question arises: What is the hub of a microgrid design of the future? Substation? Supermarket? Municipality? Neighborhood? Home Owners Association? At least one hub might be a solution with cooking as the core application in a cluster of apartment buildings.

Images courtesy of Mahesh Bhave (at article link).


Renewables / Re: Photvoltaics (PV)
« on: April 27, 2017, 07:35:41 pm »
Researchers Outline Pathway to 10 Terawatts of Solar PV  :o  ;D by 2030
April 27, 2017

By Renewable Energy World Editors 

Current projections for solar PV deployment in the coming years have significantly underestimated the solar market’s potential, researchers say.

In a new Science paper, the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), along with their counterparts from similar institutes in Japan and Germany, and researchers at universities and industry, discuss a realistic trajectory to install 5-10 terawatts of PV capacity by 2030.

The International Solar Alliance has set a target of having at least 3 terawatts of additional solar power capacity by 2030, up from the current installed capacity of 71 GW.

Reaching 5-10 terawatts should be achievable through continued technology improvements and cost decreases, as well as the continuation of incentive programs to defray upfront costs of PV systems, according to the paper, which was co-authored by Nancy Haegel, director of NREL's Materials Science Center, and David Feldman, Robert Margolis, William Tumas, Gregory Wilson, Michael Woodhouse, and Sarah Kurtz of NREL.

The researchers predicted that 5-10 terawatts of PV capacity could be in place by 2030 if these challenges can be overcome:

•A continued reduction in the cost of PV while also improving the performance of solar modules

•A drop in the cost of and time required to expand manufacturing and installation capacity

•A move to more flexible grids that can handle high levels of PV through increased load shifting, energy storage, or transmission

•An increase in demand for electricity by using more for transportation and heating or cooling

•Continued progress in storage for energy generated by solar power.


Agelbert NOTE: Overcoming THIS challenge would boost our path to 10 Terawatts and beyond BEFORE 2030 (see below):

Renewables / Re: Electric Vehicles
« on: April 27, 2017, 07:17:14 pm »
Renault ZOE

Another Milestone For Renault: 100,000th Leased Electric Vehicle Battery 

March 28th, 2017 by Cynthia Shahan


I've been thinking about what story to tell here.  I've told a lot of stories on the Diner over the years, and I don't want to repeat one I've told before.  I've probably told most of the best ones.  I don't think I've ever told the story of the pollywog/shellback nonsense from the Navy days.  Basically when you cross the equator on a Navy ship you have to be initiated into the kingdom of Neptune  :dontknow:  It's pretty old tradition and here's the wiki link on this fiasco:


In the 19th century and earlier, the line-crossing ceremony was quite a brutal event, often involving beating pollywogs with boards and wet ropes and sometimes throwing the victims over the side of the ship, dragging the pollywog in the surf from the stern. In more than one instance, sailors were reported to have been killed while participating in a line-crossing ceremony.

As late as World War II, the line-crossing ceremony was still rather rough and involved activities such as the "Devil's Tongue", which was an electrified piece of metal poked into the sides of those deemed pollywogs. Beatings were often still common, usually with wet firehoses, and several World War II Navy deck logs speak of sailors visiting sick bay after crossing the line.

Efforts to curtail the line-crossing ceremony did not begin until the 1980s, when several reports of blatant hazing began to circulate regarding the line-crossing ceremony, and at least one death was attributed to abuse while crossing the line.

Now, y'all know how I felt about the Navy while I was in.  Our crossing of the equator was happening as we were sailing back to the states after dropping 3 million pounds of ordinance on Afghanistan days after 9/11.  We had just had liberty in Singapore for a few days (which was the first port since the bombing campaign started...we were at sea for 115 consecutive days).  While I was in Singapore I almost went UA (unauthorized absence).  I had went into an internet cafe and researched on how to change my identity.  I had paid for some pamphlet with detailed instructions on how to do it.  Minutes before it was time to get back on the shuttle that would take me back to the ship I was still contemplating whether to go UA or not.  Ultimately, because I was in a foreign country, and at the behest of my only friend on the ship, I decided to get on the damn shuttle and take my sorry ass back to that sorry ass ship. 

A couple of days later and we are going out of our way to cross the equator so that we can be initiated as Shellbacks.  From Singapore to Hawaii you don't cross the equator, but we were crossing it, going out of our way to do so.  This was 2001, and by then the Navy was allowing sailors to opt out of the proceedings. 

It was highly recommended by the chain of command that all sailors participate.  In fact you were mostly coerced into it even if you didn't want to, and by the chain of command.  Never mind all of the peer pressuring.  Nobody wanted to do the horrible things that were done to you during this ridiculous excuse to **** with your inferiors, and in some cases superiors.  It was a way to get a lot of rage out on your fellow shipmates.  I was bound and determined that I would have nothing to do with this barbaric display of suppressed anger.  I made sure to sign my waiver and opted out.  In my division I think there was only one other individual that opted out.  So, day of the crossing, and I'm blissfully in my rack, listening to music, enjoying my time off (that was a rarity). 

Disgusting and putrid things were done to you during this hazing process.  Eating jelly out of the fat chiefs belly button, crawling around on the smoke deck with a leash and collar on, and all manner of disgusting concoctions were made for the occasion.  Think mayo mixed with syrup and ketchup and pickles and anything else that was in the galley that could be added to make the most horrid experience possible for the pollywogs to endure.  Not me, **** you, I was in my rack enjoying my time off while all of the idiots participated in the ridiculousness.  Safe and sound, until I wasn't any longer. 

You see, in the lounge of my berthing all of the idiots had assembled and created a mass of crawling worms with their almost naked bodies.  They had all striped down to their skives, my entire division, and had created a 40 person dog pile of disgusting sailor bodies mixed with the fore mentioned galley concoction.  I was pulled out of my rack by several mouth breathers and thrown into this noxious pile of retards.  I was the only one clothed due to my forced participation.  I ended up on the bottom of this pile of odious bodies.  Attempting to claw my way out and some fat ass decided to belly flop onto me from a couch.  He landed and nearly broke my arm.  I clawed my way out of this pile of fat and goo and retreated to my rack.  I suppose the group think was satisfied since I was now covered in goo and boat funk.  I went straight to my rack, grabbed my shower bag, and headed off to the head to get clean. 

On my way up the ladder, just to the top, and that's when the ship listed 12 degrees to the port side.  At 15 degrees the tower on a carrier is designed to snap off of the ship and into Davy Jones' locker to keep the ship upright.  I had a firm grip on the ladder when it happened.  I watched as the slippery bodies tossed and turned over one another.  A few people went cruising down the p-ways being unable to pull off enough traction to stay upright.  It seems that we were headed straight into a tropical storm and it was sufficiently bad enough to where we had to change course.  In perfect navy style we never crossed the equator  :laugh:  Also in perfect Navy style they still allowed all of the pollywogs to become shellbacks even though it's about crossing the equator and we never did cross it. 

As soon as the p-way was back to an even keel I got my ass to the head and showered.  In the five minutes it took me to shower the p-ways had turned into a line of sailors all waiting for the head so they to could shower.  Of course they were all covered from head to toe in pollywog grease and looked exceptionally miserable.  The Captain had informed us all on the 1mc that we were not going to cross the equator due to the storm, so all of these idiots were in the state they were in and still gonna be pollywogs  :laughing6:  I felt exceptionally justified as I walked back to my rack past all of these disgusting idiots.  I had just gotten ahead of this line.  Every head on the ship had a line of sailors stretching further than one could see.  Basically the entire ship was trying to catch a shower at the same time.  I had just finished my shower.   I felt like I was the only one that had become a Shellback in that moment.
Great story.

LD, that was a rather timely tropical storm. I know you aren't into that sort of belief system, but I think God has a great sense of humor.   

I got my share and then some of hazing back at West Point. It was so bad in the summer of 1964 that a cadet was paralized. It was inadvertent. They has him doing the roach. That's where you lay on your back with a rifle at port arms and move your legs double time. The kid made some kind of move with his neck and, though he did not break his neck, somehow lost nerve sensation below the neck.  :emthdown:
That slowed the hazing down for a while. One of those fun things they would make us do is sweat through our bath robes (shower formation ) while bracing and reciting at the top of our lung capacity (if we didn't yell it out, the upperclassmen would say, "POP OFF!") all kinds of memory crap from our bugle notes plebe 'bible' (army poems, proverbs, snippets of speeches from generals, songs, rank insignias for all services from the lowest to the commander in chief, etc.).

I actually thought some of that idiocy was funny at the time. But hey, I was 17 and thoroughly brainwashed to worship all things military.   

They know how to turn people into mindless killing robots in the military. 

Renewables / Re: Wind Power
« on: April 27, 2017, 06:32:10 pm »
Denmark to End All Renewable Energy Subsidies  

April 27, 2017

By Peter Levring, Bloomberg    renewable energy

After more than four decades of relying on subsidies, Denmark’s renewable energy industry is ready to survive on its own much sooner than anyone expected.

The Danish energy minister, Lars Christian Lilleholt, says that “in just a few years,” renewable energy providers won’t need state support anymore. He says it’s a development he couldn’t have imagined as recently as last year.

“We’re now very close to arriving,” he said in an interview in Copenhagen on Monday, after receiving a set of recommendations from a government-appointed panel on Denmark’s energy future.

The development marks a milestone. But it also comes at a time when the direction of global energy policies is in doubt, with U.S. President Donald Trump questioning the science behind global warming. He’s promised to revive America’s coal industry, and made clear he’s an enemy of wind power.

Lilleholt says the experience in Denmark — home to Vestas Wind Systems A/S (the world’s biggest wind-turbine maker) and Dong Energy A/S (the world’s biggest offshore wind park operator) — demonstrates that coal is no longer cheaper to produce than renewable energy.

What’s more, the development is set to become more pronounced, Lilleholt says. “Everything suggests that technology will help make renewable energy more and more competitive,” he said. And as green energy becomes more efficient, the minister warns that “already today, it’s impossible to build a new coal power plant without support.”
Denmark is on target to have all its energy needs covered by renewables by 2050, with half that goal set to be achieved in 2030, the panel said. Much of the new capacity will be built without subsidies, according to the panel. It recommended all energy consumption, including heating and transportation, be shifted to electricity generated by renewable energy.

Industry members are also surprised at the pace of the shift. Niels B. Christiansen, the outgoing chief executive officer of Danfoss A/S (an engineering firm that provides heaters and coolers) says he expects the cost of producing renewable energy to drop below market electricity prices at some point between 2020 and 2030.

“A year ago, it was debatable whether renewable energy costs could drop so low,” he said in an interview. “But everyone’s now thinking that it will probably happen sooner.”

©2017 Bloomberg News


Agelbert NOTE: The Renewable Energy Tiger is UNSTOPPABLE!  

Who CAN you trust? / Re: Corruption in Government
« on: April 27, 2017, 03:28:29 pm »
For Immediate Release, April 21, 2017

Contact: Brett Hartl, (202) 817-8121, bhartl@biologicaldiversity.org

Public Records Sought on Dow’s Efforts to Pressure Trump Administration Over Pesticides, Endangered Species

WASHINGTON— The Center for Biological Diversity submitted Freedom of Information Act requests this week seeking public records from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Commerce to illuminate reports about how Dow Chemical is pressuring the Trump administration to abandon efforts to protect endangered species from pesticides. 

Last week Dow asked the Trump administration to scrap a nearly completed four-year effort to protect endangered species from Dow’s insecticide chlorpyrifos. In January the EPA announced that its scientists had determined the highly toxic pesticide is likely to harm 97 percent of the approximately 1,800 listed threatened and endangered animals and plants found in the United States.

“American taxpayers have a right to know exactly how Dow Chemical is profiting from the ever-deepening corporate swamp in our nation’s capital,” said Brett Hartl, government affairs director at the Center. “It’s detestable that Dow and the Trump administration have so little respect for the health of our children and environment.”

Over the past six years, Dow has donated $11 million to congressional campaigns and political action committees, and has spent an additional $75 million lobbying Congress. In January 2017 Dow was one of three companies that donated $1 million to the Trump inauguration. President Trump named Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris as the head of the American Manufacturing Council in his administration. Liveris praised Trump by stating that Trump is making the United States “not a red-tape country, but a red-carpet country for America’s businesses.”

Trump  , who referred to Liveris as “my friend Andrew,” gave Liveris his pen after signing the executive order mandating that agencies create so-called “regulatory reform task forces.” Several weeks ago, the EPA shocked public health advocates by abruptly scrapping a proposed ban on chlorpyrifos, which is known to cause brain damage in children.   

“Dow spent millions on congressional campaigns, the president’s coronation and lobbying Congress and now it’s looking for its payback,” said Hartl. “The disgusting backroom efforts to sidestep the Endangered Species Act are the latest proof of just how hostile Trump’s closest industry buddies are toward common-sense protections for our environment.”

In December 2016 Liveris criticized the EPA’s ground-level ozone pollution and renewable standards for utilities, while agreeing with a climate-change-denier that carbon dioxide is “an inert compound” and should not be regulated by the EPA.

During his tenure as the CEO of Dow, his company was assessed $6.5 million in fines by the EPA since 2010, including serious violations of the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

Over the same time period, Dow AgroSciences — the division that manufactures pesticides — has been assessed four separate penalties for violating the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act.     
The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.2 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

Who CAN you trust? / Re: Corruption in Government
« on: April 26, 2017, 09:59:53 pm »

Voodoo Economics Are Back - Bigly

Climate Change / Re: Global Warming is WITH US
« on: April 26, 2017, 08:30:25 pm »
Save this. The Pruitt Pro-Polluter EPA will try to make it disappear.  >:(


And file this away for future reference too.



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