Random Thoughts


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 | 0 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.


This column begins a new feature for this blog.  Every week or two, for the near future, I plan to have an interview with a well respected scientist or thinker on the subject of energy.  Regular readers of this blog know that I believe that facing and solving the multiple issues concerning energy is the single most pressing problem that we face as a species.  There is a lot of media coverage about energy, alternative energy and global warming, but what has been missing is the knowledge and point of view of scientists, at least in the main stream media.  What do the best and b

Last week it was reported that the ratings board of the motion picture industry is now going to factor in cigarette smoking as part of the overall rating of a film.Films with excessive smoking will now certainly get a PG-13, if not an R rating.The goal is to cut down on the influence on teen smoking behavior.There is clear correlation between the glamorization of cigarette smoking on screen and people smoking.

A newspapers function is to report the news.  It is also to sell newspapers.  As a result we the readers usually are subjected to endless articles about national and local politics, the disaster in Iraq, the latest news of the celebrity or celebrity couple of the moment, and most recently all aspects of the global warming issue.  At least the last topic is getting attention, as the survival of our species could be in the balance. 


The news out of Detroit last week was that GM had given up the title of the world’s number one auto company to Toyota.  This was a development that had been expected, but when both companies reported first quarter sales last week, the numbers made it official.  Toyota sold 2.35 million cars and trucks, about 100,000 more than GM. These numbers were expected, as GM had made a decision last year to cut back on bulk sales to rental companies which have historically been included in the total sales numbers.