Monday, June 26, 2006


Some problems with the Olduvai Post Industrial Theory

In reading some interesting stuff while browsing the web, I came upon a site with the Olduvai Theory of a Post Industrial Stone Age. Yes, I do believe there will be some economic and socio-political consequences of Peak Oil, but that everyone will go back to living in stone age conditions is a bit exaggerated. There are two major problems to the Olduvai Post Industrial Theory as it neglects to account for technical improvements in energy efficiency and sustainable energy (wind, solar) and resources (materials recycling). Yeah, a guy in 1970 might use more energy than a guy in 2000 per capita. But if the guy in 1970 is using 100w incandescent lightbulbs and the guy in 2000 is using 13w compact flourescents, the guy in 2000 is making more effective use of his per capita energy consumption. If technology trends continue, the guy in 2015 will be lighting his house with 4w LED based lighting, and still managing to get by at the same comfort level on even less energy. Likewise the other problem with the Olduvai Post Industrial Theory is about raw materials. Recycling from pre-processed materials usually takes less energy than from raw materials, and can be sustainable. The real problem isn't with overall sustainability of resources, but with stupidity involved in unsustainable and uncontrolled population growth. (Thus less per-capita available resources.)

Yes, there will be areas of the world that do return to a more primitive state (most likely those that have most recently left it.) Yes, there will be difficulty in sustaining population growth as petrol based agriculture and trade will have to make extreme changes. But there will still be pockets of fairly well industrialized areas which will make use of non-fossil resources and recycling. Trade can adapt by making use of electric power for freight rail, wind for ocean shipping (like the old days of sail, but think of huge kevlar kites doing the pulling.) Air travel will seriously cut back, but existing propulsion technology should be easily convertable to bio-fuels. Veggie oil will probably replace JP-whatever, as well as diesel. However other transportation based infrastructure will have to change, as distance commuting for the individual will no longer be economical. Likewise the current global productivity model of economics will fail, as it becomes cheaper to produce goods on-site, as shipping them will eat up any cost benefits of manufacture in a cheaper labor market. Mass transit will make a comeback, and if the electric car doesn't make a big jump - the bicycle will again be the personal vehicle of choice.

Humanity won't go back to the stone age, it will maintain a civilized technical infrastructure of more limited means. (Unless there's an unforseen energy breakthrough.)

Sunday, June 25, 2006



I'm just feeling crappy today. Not sure why. Perhaps the 30mi bicycle ride to Kenosha yesterday had something to do with it. What's funny is that I don't have much in the way of muscle soreness, but my elbows, knuckles, and shoulders ache. Arthritis? Ech!

Other than feeling crappy physically, I'm sorta blah creative wise. If I were sleepy enough, I would go back to bed.

Yey, another posting one of the world's least read blogs.

Friday, June 23, 2006


Possible causes of morgellons?

Aspergillus... Nasty infectious fungus, related to bread yeast. Can be found in soil, and also has a role in some cases of sick building syndrome. Usually not common in infecting the skin, but more likely a problem relating to chronic sinusitus (probable cause of nasty "hockers") and other respiratory illness.

Dinoflagellates. Pfisteria is one which is particularly nasty. But it's known to undergo metamorphosis into different distinct forms. A yet unidentified dinoflagellate might be the one. The itchyness of morgellas could be caused by a neurotoxin produced by such an organism.

Then there's an interesting candidate I found with further research online. Thraustochytrids.
As posted on :
Thraustochytrids are marine fungoid protists classified in the class Labyrinthulea in the kingdom Chromista (8, 9). They are comprised of six genera (33, 47), Althornia (26), Aplanochytrium (2), Japonochytrium (32), Schizochytrium (18), Thraustochytrium (59), and Ulkenia (13). However, it has been shown that the current classification of these genera based on morphology does not agree with the molecular phylogenetic relationships based on the 18S rRNA gene sequences (21). Currently, in order to resolve the confusion regarding the classification and nomenclature of the thraustochytrids, further comparative studies based on morphology, molecular phylogeny, and chemotaxonomy are under way (R. Yokoyama, personal communication). Hence, some of the thraustochytrid strains tested in the present study have not been fully identified yet (Table 1).

It seems thraustochytrids consist of a microbial cell structure with branching filaments, and strongly flouresce under certain conditions. Suspiciously like the "fuzzballs" found in definitive cases of Morgellas. Usually pathogenic/parasitic forms of thraustochytrids infect shellfish and mollusks, but there is always the possibility of an opportunistic species to find new hosts if introduced to them.

I'm not too sure when the recent morgellons outbreaks date to, but wouldn't it be ironic if live cultures of the culprit organism were introduced to people as part of a dietary suplement for dha? (Or perhaps a nearly identical, but harmful organism infiltrated the batch?) Not that I can claim or prove such, but sometimes people rush to profit before fully studying a relatively "new" nutrient source. This might explain why there are geographic locations in California that have higher concentrations of morgellas, since the supplement market is bigger there. Of course I'm just speculating.

Anyhow, I'll leave my guesses to the experts.

Edit... May as well add labyrinthulids to the list of likely suspects...

Monday, June 19, 2006


LED Throwies... Nifty!

Looking around on the net, I stumbled upon the phenomenon of LED throwies, which is pretty cool. Basically it's a simple device made of a LED, tape, and a small battery (something like a CR2032).

Then some other genius has added some chip to make 'em blink stored morse code. I'm sure you're thinking what's the point? Screw that! Who knows morse code these days anyways...

I half agree with you, but I see a way to take it to the next level. Yes, screw the morse code as only a few diehard geeks really know it. But that programmable blinking message part is still very cool. Now you're wondering why? Not like there's much else in blinking codes, is there?

Now take a look at a single bulb in a scrolling marquee type sign. On its own it looks pretty random and morse-codish too, doesn't it... Do you get where I'm going? If someone could make a big enough grid with properly placed and programmed "talking throwies", they can put up an animated marquee billboard.

Yeah it'd take a bit of time to figure out, but I can see this being done eventually. Afterall it's merely an extension of readily available media and technology.

Hmmm... Me and these stupid things I find.

Saturday, June 03, 2006


BAS Graphic Arts - Woot!

Graduated today with a bacchelor's degree in applied science for graphic arts. Woot!
Anyhow, the trick now is to find a business that'll give me a chance to build up some experience in the field. (Not many seem interested in folks with less than three years of experience.)

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