There has been significant debate over the idea that Iran may get the technology to build a bomb and what we may or may not do to prevent that eventuality. There are some, many even, that feel such technology in the hands of Iran will result in the destruction of Israel. Others feel that at the very least it will disrupt the region in the middle east and risk increased hostilities. Even others feel that the mere possibility of the creation of such weapons will result in the Israelis attacking Iran.

I’m not in a position to really comment on statecraft. I happen to think that much of such diplomacy and communication is, by definition, based on illusion, deception and subtle impressions of intention. As such, we really have little idea as to the true intentions of people and states. However, I AM wiling to acknowledge that a weapon in the hands of Iran will be disruptive.

But should it? Do we, or any other nation, have the right to deny another nation the technology required to build these nightmares? And if weDO have that right, do THEY in turn have similar claims on our owning such technologies?

I think that any nation has the sovereign right to advance their knowledge in science. That if they desire to learn such technologies, they Ought to be able. Perhaps they desire clean energy? Maybe some other benign use. But to deny that nation access to a technology simply because we fear what they might use it for is not consistent with our concept of liberty.

Can we limit the use of that technology? Certainly. As a collection of nations we have entered into agreement on all kinds of things; prisoners, weapons, war techniques and targets. We have in place laws and rules of use that govern nuclear weapons. I think it foolish and dangerous to attempt to deny anyone the possession of those weapons via coercive force.

Much has been said during the last few years about income disparity.  And not just the disparity, but the mobility of people from one income group to another.

I’ve done some reading last night and this morning a thought struck me:

GINI measures the disparity in household income.  Consider Dick and Jane and their neighbors John and Mary.

Dick works in retail and is making $28,000 a year.  Jane works in service and makes $32,000 a year.

John works as a manager in a factory making $70,000.  Mary stays home and cares for their family.

The disparity between Dick and Jane vs. John and Mary is low.  Dick and Jane earn $60,000 a year while John and Mary earn $70,000.

Now, consider Dick and Jane get divorced.

The disparity between two households earning $28k and $32k compared to the one earning $70k is much higher, and the GINI goes up.  But nothing changed as far as economic earnings are concerned.  In fact, if you take this one step further, consider John and Mary also suffer divorce.  Now the incomes for FOUR households is:

  • $0
  • $28,000
  • $32,000
  • $70,000

A very disparate view when compared to the initial comparison of $60,000 and $70,000.

In the same way that the demographics of America impact life expectancy statistics [Japanese Americans live as long as native Japanese] I suspect that demographics impact the GINI.  I also suspect that this isn’t calculated into the analysis when people discuss the GINI.

The hurricane season is near over.  Once Irene hit, I was kinda focused on the damage it did to North Carolina and then I, well, I kinda forgot about the season.  Didn’t seem to be any more storms.  Then I saw that Mexico is going to be hit and I remembered I haven’t posted an update for quite some time.

So, where were we?

The predictions for 2011 are:

  • Tropical Storms: 18
  • Hurricanes: 6-10
  • Major Storms: 3-6

Though August and September we are at:

  • Tropical Storms – 12
  • Hurricanes – 4
  • Major Hurricanes – 2

With November right around the corner, it’s looking like we’re gonna hit the lower end of the predictions this year.  Further, the National Hurricane Center is reporting that the accumulated cyclone activity. ACE, is right on track.

Another good year for the guessers.



There are few technologies that are resisted, yet when tried, turn out to be required.  DVR is one of them.

However, I am finding that what DVR did was set off an “arms race”.  It is no longer enough that I be able to pause TV to grab a beer or put the kids back to bed.  No.  It has now become too inconvenient to even fast-forward through the commercials only to not go fast enough and then hit play juuust too late.  So you have to hit rewind a couple of times.

No.  That won’t do.

Now I have to buy re-run TV on DVD.

But I can’t tell you the hit of joy I get when the show fades to black signifying a commercial and I can just sit back and watch.  God how I love Boston Legal.

Life is good!

This represents the final of the series in my light bulb experiment.

I have finished test driving three types of bulb technology, incandescent, CFL and LED.  The results are below and to be honest, I shocked.  To the point I may have to run it again.

Bulb Cost per Bulb Cost per KWH Cost per hour Lifespan 50,000 Hour Cost
Incandescent $1.00 $0.1701 $0.0070 2,000 $375.00
CFL $1.00 $0.1701 $0.0017 10,000 $88.00
LED $18.00 $0.1701 $0.0017 50,000 $103.00

The efficiency of the LED is not better, literally, then that of the CFL.  Further, the COST of the LED is through the roof.  Finally, the light given off by the LED is horrible; more akin to a institutional ward than a reading source or office light.

The hands down winner is the CFL with the incandescent coming in last.


Now, for the dilemma.  Would we have seen the advent of the CFL without government intervention in the light bulb market?

Awhile ago I mentioned that I was starting an experiment on different types of light bulbs.  I think that there are three commercially available bulbs on the market.

  1. Incandescent
  2. CFL
  3. LED

I have purchased a bulb of each kind and am conducting an experiment with each of the three.  As part of the experiment, I need to account for:

  1. Quality of light
  2. Cost of bulb
  3. Heat of bulb
  4. Cost of electricity
  5. Cost of replacement

I just finished my evaluation of the CFL and I must admit, it stands the test of the test.

I find the light to be nearly equal to the light given off by the incandescent.  Which to me, in certain conditions, is a deal breaker.  Further, the heat given off by the CFL is manageable.  While I am unable to unscrew a traditional light bulb while burning, I was able to unscrew a CFL while burning.

So, the financials:

Bulb Cost per Bulb Cost per KWH Cost per hour Lifespan 50,000 Hour Cost
Incandescent $1.00 $0.1701 $0.0070 2,000 $375.00
CFL $1.00 $0.1701 $0.0017 10,000 $88.00

Not even close.  Over the course of 50,000 hours the savings is about 400% over the incandescent bulb.,  And if you demonstrate the savings in terms of 10,000 hours:

Bulb Cost per Bulb Cost per KWH Cost per hour Lifespan 50,000 Hour Cost 10,000 Hour Cost
Incandescent $1.00 $0.1701 $0.0070 2,000 $375.00 $75.00
CFL $1.00 $0.1701 $0.0017 10,000 $88.00 $17.60

Again, not even close.  However, the difference in 10,000 hours vs, 50,000 hours is that 10,000 hours is very close to a year.  Just be switching to a CFL bulb you can save about 60 bucks a year.

Per lamp.


The light is a little bit more raw, but, if you are like me, you will have a shade over the bulb.  And that shade blunts the glare of the CFL to the point that you can’t tell.

At this point, the CFL wins hands down!

Earlier this week I mentioned that I had come across the three types of light bulbs at Home Depot.  I bought one of each:

  • 40 Watt incandescent
  • 40 Watt CFL
  • 40 Watt LED

I’m gonna try and see how big the difference is between the three and how long the payback period is for switching.

I started with the incandescent bulb and let it burn for 72 hours.  When I turned off the lamp at that time, the bulb had consumed 2.93 KWH.  At 17.01 cents per KWH, that bulb cost me $0.498 to run for those three days.  Or .7 cents per  hour.  The bulb itself cost me $1.00.  Further, the life of the bulb is listed as 2,000 hours.

Here’s what it looks like:

Bulb Cost per Bulb Cost per KWH Cost per hour Lifespan 50,000 Hour Cost
Incandescent $1.00 $0.1701 $0.0070 2000 $375.00

I’m using a 50,000 hour cost because the LED bulbs are rated for 25,000 hours. Imagine, 25,000 hours. THAT is a long time.

So, last week I was in Home Depot looking for some stuff.  And while shopping for stuff, I thought of some other stuff I wanted to buy.  Light bulbs.  See, I like my light bulbs and the light they give off.  Further, I discriminate in my light bulbs based on several factors:

  1. Quality of light
  2. Cost of bulb
  3. Heat of bulb
  4. Cost of electricity
  5. Cost of replacement

The single most important aspect to me is the quality of the light.  I hate Hate HATE working in too dim light, reading by too bright a light and sweating too near a hot light.  Hate it all.  So, it matters.

Read More

I have acquired a new iPhone.  Perhaps I should have waited for the V, I just couldn’t stand the shattered screen and crummy call quality any longer.

So I have the IV.

I have discovered something that I think is a critical intersection.

  1. It’s a feature that is MASSIVELY useful and powerful.
  2. Not everyone knows about it.

Read More