Random Thoughts

If you need some science for your Christmas tree, here are a few articles. There are more but how much Christmas science can you read in one day?

The Great Debate: Real vs. Artificial Christmas Trees - a good reason to go organic in your choice of trees.


Bali is a word that in 10-15 years I hope will represent and define the time when humanity made an essential shift in direction.  There are currently some 10,000 people attending the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Bali.  More than 180 countries are represented along with numerous attendees from non-governmental, intergovernmental groups and of course the media.  The general reason for the meeting is to start work on the replacement of the Kyoto accord to address the issue of greenhouse gas emissions which expires in 2012.

The impact that humanity is having on climate change is directly related to the fact that there are so many of us. Add on top of our shear numbers the fact that we treat the planet harshly and it is clear why we are moving toward a global crisis.


There is no question in my mind but that oil will rise to at least $100 a barrel within the next two years. It is easy to see a scenario of $125 a barrel price in the same time frame. The triple digit price of oil will become the norm. Recently it has been trading in the $80-90 range, and as it approached the upper end of that range the media began again covering the story with “sky is falling” concern about what this might mean for the economy. This reminded me of the comment that James Schlesinger, the first U.S.


It was 50 years ago this week that the Russians launched Sputnik, the first man made satellite to orbit the earth. It changed the world.  In fact, there are few, if any events of the last 50 years that had such a global impact on just about every aspect of humanity. 


I have written here several times about the fact that the U.S. crossed a tipping point in 2006 regarding global warming.  It is now a subject that a majority of Americans have awareness of and are concerned about.  As with most large issues that are complex, it often takes time for the citizens to understand and to then take action.  If it can be made personal or emotional the process is accelerated.  Global warming is no different.


In a prior column, I have written about the transformative power of the cell phone.  Currently there are more than 2.1 billion cell phone accounts in the world and more than 220 million in the US.  More people have cell phones than have computers or use the Internet.  Globally, there are some 15 to 20 million news cell phone accounts opened up every month.

Made In China

Made In China

Aug 02 2007 | comment(s)


Fifteen years ago, when Americans went shopping and came across the  phrase “Made in China” it usually was on small, inexpensive trinkets, toys and souvenirs.  Ten years ago we started to see these words on apparel.  Five years ago we started to see these words seemingly everywhere.  During the last five months, if we saw these words it might have meant the death of our pets, food borne illness or perhaps poisoning.


I have always been in the camp of those that think that there is life elsewhere in the universe.  Statistically, the universe is too vast, practically beyond human comprehension, for there not to be some form of life elsewhere.  Those that have argued otherwise always come from the point of view that Earth and its’ biosphere is unique and have a definition of life that is completely Earth centric.


On  Friday, June 15, 2007, a 1957 Plymouth Belvedere was lifted out of its’ underground vault near Tulsa Oklahoma.  It had been buried on June 15, 1957 to both commemorate the 50th anniversary of Oklahoma becoming a state, and to serve as a time capsule for the  100th anniversary in 2007.  This led me to immediately think about what might be put into the ground today that would be unearthed in 2057.