Saturday, December 22, 2012

Wake up, people!

Just because there wasn't a cataclysm yesterday doesn't mean this isn't TEOTWAWKI.  The thing about "the end of the world as we know it" is that sometimes the changes accumulate slowly enough that we don't realize it.  Try to think back how your life was 13 years ago.  Imagine you had climbed into a bunker on December 31, 1999 and came out today.  Would this be a world you recognize at all?

If you don't see the apocalypse, maybe that's because you're one of the zombies....

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

How Obamacare Can Reduce Unemployment

Okay, follow closely.  Let's say you have some work that needs done that requires 120 person-hours a week.  Originally you might have hired 2 people to work 60 hours a week.  Then after overtime became an issue, you hired another person and cut everyone back to 40 hours a week.  Then came benefits for full time employees, so you went to 4 people working 30 hours a week.  Now with Obamacare, you would have to provide health insurance for people working 30 hours a week, so you go to 6 people working 20 hours a week.

Of course, this only works in jobs where there is a ready supply of new employees.  Those industries that can't hire readily just have to adjust to what they can afford, and those are the ones that publicly announce layoffs.  The hiring from Obamacare is more in low-skill service work, which goes relatively unnoticed.  Of course, there is no more money being paid to employees, so it's not really helping the economy, but it makes Obama look good.

So, the trend I expect to be reported over the coming months is a mild drop in the unemployment rate with a sharp increase in the underemployment rate, i.e., people who want to work full time but only have part time jobs.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Biofuel for $1.50 a gallon

This is what I'm talking about!

Cool Planet Energy Systems First Company to Develop Carbon Negative Fuel at Projected Cost of Less Than $1.50 Per Gallon

It is produced from woody plant materials, so it doesn't compete with food.  Biochar is a byproduct of the process, which can be used as a soil amendment.  That's what makes it carbon negative.

It has been tested on an unmodified car with a blend of 5% of the new fuel and 95% regular gasoline with no measurable differences.

And, by the way, no government subsidies are needed....

Monday, December 10, 2012

A Treasure Trove of Survival Information

Okay, I know the whole theory is kind of hokey, and if it's not, it's a bit late now, but with over 14 GB of PDF files, this looks like a bountiful source of information:

Pole Shift Survival Information

I haven't had a chance to really go through it, I suspect there is a major overlap with some other source(s).  Glancing over the directory structure there seems to be a good variety of information, and looking at a couple of the PDFs they look detailed enough to be useful.

The Importance of Scenarios

"Scott G" wrote an excellent guest post on on "Mental Preparedness".  I highly recommend that everyone read it.

I would like to quote one paragraph from the article on the importance of scenarios, as I have had a commentater on this blog who seemed to think one scenario was sufficient:
"In the police academy, I was taught to prepare myself ahead of time by playing the “What If” game. Any good cop plays this game every chance he gets. He thinks up a possible scenario that could go wrong then comes up with some specific solutions. He comes up with as many scenarios as he can imagine along with the proper reaction, then goes over them time and time and time again."
This is why I will highlight as many different possible future scenarios as I can think of.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

A New Threat: Ransomware

The New York Times posted an article by Nicole Perlroth recently entitled,  "For PC Virus Victims, Pay or Else". This new threat locks up your computer, frequently masquerading as a law-efforcement agency, and demands you pay a fine.  The preferred method is a prepaid debit card, so it is untraceable and irrevocable.

Tips for Chicken Eggs at Home

Colorado State University has a useful page on "Home-Produced Chicken Eggs," written by M. Bunning and J. Avens.  It covers the basics without going into too much detail.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Captain Dave's Survival Guide

I recently came across a very interesting e-book entitled "Captain Dave's Survival Guide".  What amazes me is that he has the whole thing for available for free on his website.  I have only read a few pages so far, but it easily looks as good as the ones I see advertised everywhere for $20-$40.  Of course, he apparently doesn't spend the money advertising, so I wanted to let people know.

Why Shale Oil Works in the Short Run

Matt Badiali wrote a useful article, "Don't Believe This Shale Oil Argument... It'll Cost You", on The Growth Stock Wire.  Much of it is hyper-optimistic about the prospects of shale oil, but towards the middle there is a very useful analysis:
The Eagle Ford is one of the largest shale oil fields in the country. According to one company operating there, it costs $5.5 million to drill an oil well in the Eagle Ford.  
The wells have an estimated ultimate recovery of about 438,000 barrels of oil. Let's assume the company will get $85 per barrel (slightly below today's price) and that it costs $15 per barrel to move it. That means the company earns $70 per barrel in profit.
In short, the well pays for itself after 78,571 barrels... in about six months of production. After that, it becomes like an annuity. It's a risk-free profit. At $85 per barrel, it works out to a return of 4.6-to-1 on the money.
 Now, the numbers he doesn't crunch is that 78,000 is 18% of 438,000, so if production is linear the well would run dry in 33 months.  So yeah, shale oil is quite profitable, for now, but that doesn't say a lot for it's long term prospects.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Coming Soon: Gun Insurance

Eric Peters wrote a very interesting article on how they will incrementally make guns impossible to own for all but the richest among us: "Here's How It Will Be Done" (on his website).

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Ascent Of Humanity

I'm so glad to see I'm not alone...

The Ascent Of Humanity by Charles Eisenstein (this is essentially the full text online).

I just discovered this book, due to the fact that he is the keynote speaker at the 2013 PASA Conference. After I finish reading it, I will be posting a review on the Long Ascent.