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Monday, January 3, 2011


On this first workday of the year, for most people, I thought I would overview some of life mysteries, with an intent to focus on them over the next few months.  The subjects tend to be from my three books:

A.  SIMPLE SOLUTIONS for Planet Earth

There is also an electronic version of Book C.

So here are some of our universe's grand mysteries, in a world according to Pat.  Certainly, I will delve into, too, Planet Earth and Humanity, with a focus on Hawaii:

1.  How vast is the Universe?

     a.  How many stars are out there?  Just last month astrophysicists determined that there are, really, three times more stars than we originally thought.  So, how many is that now?  You need to return to this blog someday to find out.  When?  Sometime soon.

     b.  Has anyone confirmed a BLACK HOLE?  Yes, one was sort of found in the middle of our Milky Way, and is four million times bigger than our Sun.  The photo immediately above is not our galaxy because it was taken by the Hubble Telescope, as was the one on top. Speculation has it that most galaxies surround their own black hole.  So what is the mystery?  Well, for one there is not only one, but perhaps thousands lurking in our very own galaxy.  Maybe a source of sustainable energy someday?  Second, that Large Hadron Collider near Geneva (Switzerland) could well create a black hole, but all indications are that this one won't swallow Planet Earth.  It will be microscopic in size, whatever that means.  However, this did not prevent Walter Wagner from the Big Island to file a lawsuit against the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN, which operates the facility).  His lawsuit was dismissed in August of this year.  Wagner in 1999 sued the Brookhaven National Laboratory, fearing that their collider would create a black hole.  Maybe this is all you need to know about this subject.

     c.  Are there unidentified flying objects (UFOs)?  Of course, but only because not everything can necessarily be confirmed.  Are there UFO flying saucers, the kind you see in movies? Almost surely no, except it is conceivably possible that a few might have visited us over the past several billion years, and, perhaps planted life.  But the distances (remember, it takes 100,000 years for light just to travel from one end of our Milky Way Galaxy to the other), energy requirements (Black Hole energy stations?) and on and on.  This was Chapter 4 from SIMPLE SOLUTIONS for Humanity, and a click on my blog of 15December2009 provides a slice of the subject.  But what might we expect of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence?

2.  If the period from 2000-2009 was the warmest decade ever, and 2010 was the hottest year on record, why are most Republicans and Democrats from fossil fuel states not only reluctant to take progressive steps to prevent global warming, but more so, giddily planning to squash the Environmental Protection Agency and are continuing to make fun of those United Nations gatherings in Copenhagen and Cancun?  (Above and below from  Let me repeat the temperature part:
Note that the slopes of more recent periods are getting steeper.

3.  Why don't we better utilize the ocean?  Even in Hawaii, very little effort is made towards the ocean as an economic diversification option.  Well, Blue Revolution Hawaii was launched last month to educate the public about this best hope for our economic future.  With Lockheed Martin designing a 5 MW ocean thermal energy conversion system for the Navy, the timing is ideal for Hawaii to develop the riches of the seas in harmony with the natural marine environment.

4.  If wind energy is the most supported and commercially attractive renewable energy electricity source (with hydroelectric power and geothermal), why did new construction of this option globally drop in 2010?  That 7MW+ wind turbine is located in Emden, Germany, and is currently the largest in the world.  A diameter of 413 feet.

5.  What is Hawaii's biggest long term economic problem?  There is an answer:  maintain tourism, for we have nothing else going for us.  As such, then, every effort should be made to insure that visitors can fly to Hawaii as easily and cheaply as possible.  Unfortunately, when Peak Oil strikes, the price of oil will jump to $150/barrel and higher, jet fuel will skyrocket, people will stop coming, and we will enter a prolonged and deep depression.  Starting a few decades ago, which we failed to do, and, therefore, now, we must either find a substitute to jet fuel or a next generation aircraft run on, say, hydrogen. Maybe the answer might be the Hawaii Hydrogen Clipper.

6.  What are rare earths and why is China, again, the villain?  Can deep sea mining (the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute was once the Department of Interior's prime technology center for this concept) finally be justified?  There are 17 rare earths, elements of mostly the  lanthanide series.  The heavier ones are desired, for they are essential for items like batteries, television sets, and a whole host of electronic products.  If you bought Molycorp your portfolio probably looks good.  Which companies are promising for seabed mining?  Stay tuned.

7.  What is the truth about Facebook?  While a "worth" of $50 billion (no IPO yet) is peanuts compared to Apple at $330 billion today, and not even close to oil companies (Exxon Mobil at $400 billion, where Petrochina was once worth more than $700 billion in 2007 and Saudi Aramco almost $800 billion in 2006), there is, indeed, something about 600 million members. ten times more than Costco or Sam's Club.  There is a mystic now about Social Network and Time Man of the Year Mark Zuckerberg.  I think I have a Facebook account, but I don't understand this phenomenon.  I'll look into it.

8.  Why do we spend so much money on war when we have no real enemy?  Our Navy plans to build three next generation aircraft carriers (the first to be named the Gerald R. Ford) at a cost of $25 billion.  It is generally accepted that the full cost (operation, maintenance, etc.) has a multiplier factor of five, meaning that we will spend $125 billion for these needless and obsolete charades when we already have eleven carrier task forces and no enemy?   While my HuffPo of August 2008 touched on this subject, the solution to this mystery, also known as the Military-Industrial Complex, will go a long way into fixing our broken government.

9.  What is the solution to religion?

10.  No that diagram was not the solution for religion, I'm changing the subject to look at the other end of the size spectrum, and ask, is an electron an elementary particle?  How many elementary particles are there?  That above is something from Victor Stenger of the University of Hawaii Physics Department. Well, let's see now, there are bosons and fermions, and they spin in different ways. Then there is anti-matter.  What is Dark Energy and Dark Matter?  Who really cares?

11.  What is (are??) killing those birds and fish in Arkansas, specifically, 5000 red-winged black birds and 100,000 drum fish?  We've previously had bird kills:  flu, lightening, hail, name it...but as of this moment, I don't know what happened in Arkansas.  That was interesting enough, but at virtually the same time, just close by, one specific aquatic species dies.  Fish kills happen all the time.  Usually it is pollution of some sorts, but this couldn't have been a mere coincidence.

12.  I end with two almost absurd mysteries:

     a.  Is it possible that a razor can last forever?  Click on my 26May2010 blog and appreciate that I have only used three blades since 2008.  Alas, I yesterday dropped my Schick Quattro, and the head broke off.  The razor was still working well.  I have on my shopping list a new one, for I still have all those blades I have not used yet, even though I might never need to.  I wonder if they still sell them?  That's an Infinity Razor to the left.  The reviews are terrible.  Maybe they should get a Schick.

     b.    The most perplexing, because it is so idiotic and stupid, is, does a bar of soap placed at the foot of your bed prevent leg cramps?  It works for me and I'm currently stumped.  Even looked into it, and they capitulated.  But I'll get to the bottom of this yet, maybe even in 2011.

The Dow Jones Industrials started the year roaring, up 93 to 11,670, with world markets almost all also increasing.  Gold dropped $5/toz to $1415 and NYMEX petroleum is at $92/barrel (London DBS at $95).


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