I received a strange, to me, but marvelous compliment today. Apparently in a conversation I was not a party to, I was referred to as a "real Renaissance man". The definition which comes the closest to Renaissance man is Polymath.
"The terms Arab Scholar, Renaissance man and, less commonly, homo universalis (Latin for "universal man" or "man of the world") are related and used to describe a person who is well educated or who excels in a wide variety of subjects or fields. Renaissance ideal differed slightly from the "Polymath" in that it involved more than just intellectual advancement. Historically (roughly 1450–1600) it represented a person who endeavored to "develop his capacities as fully as possible"
Although a wonderful compliment, my proof of justifiable denial is that although, among other things, I can juggle, have written two books, put out two music cd's and can curse in 5 languages--I cannot sing from memory the Bruce's Philosphers song which is a well known requirement for all true Renaissance Men.
Let us speak of oil...in a pure number format...based on available figures-----
The United States produces + or - 5 millions barrels of oil a day domestically. The United States consumes +or - 20 million barrels a day. It is estimated by citizen groups that our strategic oil reserve in storage is approximately 700 million barrels of oil. This could be higher or lower
since obviously information is tough to come by. The Strategic reserve is designated for the military use only-- we have tapped it a few times, by Presidential decree, to instantly lower gasoline prices at the pump--- otherwise Bubba would have voted whoever was in office out of office immediately.
This is the best guess strategic reserve stockpile number that concerned civilians bandy about.
If our external flow of oil was cut off (for any reason)---based on our reserves and domestic production level we would have 58 days of oil at current consumption levels.
There is no factoring in of conservation--we as a society are incapable of conserving now---there are no alternative conservation methods for the majority of Americans. We have painted our society into a corner that we cannot lie our way out of.
What about DRILL BABY DRILL?----
The USGS (the United States Geological Survey--the group the character Harry Block claimed to be with in the movie Evolution, very, very funny by the way)
guesstimates that there is possibly--possibly mind you, 23 billion barrels of oil somewhere under US terrority. This includes what we know of for sure and what we think-hope-bullshit ourselves might be there in the areas where the Republicans are willing to drill through an Eskimo's head while he's sleeping to get at...
If these estimates prove true--if we can produce this oil from
the ground and if we had it the moment the imported supply of oil from overseas was cut off, and if we combine this drill baby drill oil with everything else we have producing and in stock, and if we could refine it fast enough, we could then hold out on our own for: 3 years at the current consumption rates then all we have is gone.
Kinda demonstrates the STUPIDITY of the drill baby drill argument.
Buy Hybrid cars and solar panels.
New York Times posted a striking photo essay online titled the "New American Ghost Town". The failed developer's subdivision.
Uninhabitable rotting reminders, these bankrupted McMansion housing scams litter the nation. Every day brings additional abandonment, sentencing those who live within or nearby to 125% mortgages, isolation and destitution.
The photography is stunning and disturbing, accurately displaying the stupidity of our society, the overwhelming failure of Republican economics and in many ways what our future may look like. Consider that we have only been struck so far by economic depression--peak oil is coming.
Until you have seen these photographs---
The end of suburbia is merely a thought concept, another thing you do not wish to deal with. This photography brings the issue into overwhelming perspective. Own a small house, live within your means, grow a big garden, make your own power, invest social capital in your community. That is what this photo essay should tell you.
this article is also available through the site Mental Floss:
For an excellent essay on social capital and the future go here:
Random items that caught my attention and made my brain work this week were centered on California.
California------should become an even more interesting rat maze, test box for overall society as it struggles to find it's path through current problems and tries to face the future. The issues that California is dealing with NOW is what all states will have to deal with sooner or later. California is the mine shaft, canary in the cage so to speak for our American society as a whole...
Internally many Californians continue to push for statewide legalization of marijuana...there actually does appear to be a well organized, strong ongoing public element who supports with funding the state wide, all citizen, legalization of Marijuana. (hit link to go to an article on ads running in the state.)
Being a strong proponent of marijuana legalization I personally follow what's going on in California closely since it is the breakthrough state on this issue.
The state powerful enough, and with the largest segment of the population apparently willing to break the stupidity stranglehold of Federal Enforcement and Sarah Palin followers. My belief has always been that as California goes on the legalization of marijuana issue---so goes the nation--it may take awhile but all states would follow the path blazed by Californians. There was a time, in the not so distant past, when none believed that gambling of any form, would ever be legalized in the US.
Aha--I predicted this---Having harassed smokers to the point that it is no fun any longer---attention has turned to the FAT. I always knew fat people were next, on the holier than tho's, harassment program. The same stupidity behind shunning smokers is appearing in published articles against the FAT, in California. These types of articles are the offical signal to the wolves that it is acceptable to begin the hunt....California budget problems are caused by the FAT according to this article.........
Call in sick to work and spend the day writing.... what you listen to and what you watch really IS YOU....In your brain forgive someone in your past every chance you get.