Random Thoughts

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.


A recent column discussed the historical context for the emergence of intellectual property as the new and most important valuation of a company.  While this point of view is becoming more main stream every day the current problem is that there is no liquid market that can help determine actual valuations.

Last week I wrote about an incredible energy conference hosted by the Foundation for the Future.  As one of a select few invited to observe and participate in the conference, I had the incredible experience to listen to and meet with 15 of the top thinkers and scientists in the world today on the subject of the future of energy.  The brilliance of both the participants and the level of discussion were so great that I decided that it must be shared with the readership of this blog.  A number of the participants agreed to share their views and research with me.  This then is the first of several columns that will give you insight into our


Last week I had the great good fortune to attend a three day energy conference attended by some of the world’s greatest energy experts.  Thanks to the good graces of the Foundation for the Future I was invited to attend the conference as an observer.  The Foundation invited 15 of the foremost physicists and energy experts in the world to come together for three days of presentations and discussions on the future of energy.  An additional 15 or so people were invited to attend as observers. 


In the prior post I gave a general definition and overview of peak oil for those that have yet to track this development.  Until recently, the brightest minds unencumbered by vested oil interests have strongly suggested, and with good documentation, that the world could well run out of extractable petroleum sometime around the mid twenty-first century.


One of the very first posts I made on a  blog over a year ago was “Praise the Lord, not Petroleum”.  It discussed the very public and high profile actions a significant number of Evangelical Christian organizations were taking to fight global warming.  Their underlying argument is simple: if the Earth, and all living things are god’s creation, we should not destroy it and them with global warming.



Mar 07 2007 | comment(s)


A few years ago I started the process of buying a second home in a warm part of the United States.  Living in Chicago, I wanted to find a place that, through the years would be where I would spend an increasing amount of time during the winter months.  The first step in this process was looking at the various real estate web sites that displayed listings in the Southwest and in Florida, where the weather usually stays above freezing.

What is the ultimate fate of the universe? The big crunch and the big freeze aside, what is the fate of intelligent beings in the universe? It is reasonable to assume that even if it is the case that humanity and its spawn become destroyed, then other intelligent species across the universe will nonetheless go on existing. If not all intelligent life is destroyed by the time the big freeze would render the cosmos uninhabitable, or the big crunch would obliviate all life as we know it in the universe, then hopefully at least one species in the cosmos would advance to a high enough profile of intellgience to make these occurrences avoidable.