Fracking, Tar Sands, & OPEC Meet Decades of Mismanagement
OPEC member Venezuela has one of the largest oil and natural gas proven reserves in the world. It’s the 12th largest producer in the world. It’s still one of the top suppliers of crude oil to the US. Oil produces 95% of Venezuela’s export earnings. Oil and gas account for 25% of GDP. Oil is Venezuela’s single most important product. Oil is its critical source of foreign currency with which to pay for all manner of imported consumer and industrial products. But the price of oil has plunged 35% since June.
Venezuela was already in trouble before the price of oil plunged. The fracking boom in the US and the tar-sands boom in Canada have been replacing Venezuelan imports of crude to the US for years. The Keystone pipeline, if Congress approves it, will replace costly oil trains to move Canadian tar-sands crude to US refineries, making it even more competitive with Venezuelan crude. Shipments of crude from Venezuela to the US will continue to dwindle.
Venezuela’s budget deficit is 16% of GDP, the worst in the world. Inflation is running at a white-hot 63%, also the worst in the world. The economy is heavily subsidized, but now the money for the subsidies is running out.
Minority report was released in 2002, but it's striking ad scene is coming to fruition today. Only, instead of scanning eyes to mark individuals and serve content accordingly, we willingly carry what silently identifies us to anyone sniffing for a packet.
Today's equivalent to the above scene in Minority Report would be beacon tech and the big data opportunities that go along with it. Beacons already come from a variety of vendors and are sprouting at retail locations, integrated into digital signage and are present at events.
The Bank of Canada says it's weighing the possible benefits of issuing electronic money.
Senior deputy governor Carolyn Wilkins says the central bank is evaluating the merits of digital currencies like Bitcoin -- even as it monitors e-money's potential pitfalls. In prepared remarks for her speech Thursday in Waterloo, Ont., Wilkins says people who use e-money need to be aware of the risks of putting their trust in a lightly regulated currency with limited or no user protection.
How do you start a cold conversation with a gatekeeper? This is a challenge that haunts salespeople the world over. If you struggle with cold calling, you might find this technique helpful and one to build upon over time.
This is not a stand-alone opening line. It's not to be rattled off by a mediocre sales rep intending to waltz by the gatekeeper on the way to the executive lounge. Nope, this one requires homework. When done properly, it can and will make a significant improvement in your cold calling efforts.
Here are the steps to prepare you for using the opening line:
Step 1: Leverage your verticals
In order for the opening line to work, divide up your customers into verticals (industries, subsets, groupings, and so). In other words, group them by kind, however you may define it--demographic, size of company, industry, location, etc. The more connections these groups have, the better. They will serve two primary purposes: building vertical call lists and creating customer one-sheets.
The number of Russian military planes flying through European airspace has reached an “unusual” amount this week, according to NATO.
On Wednesday, eight Russian aircraft were detected over the North Sea. Those included four bombers and four tanker aircraft flying in formation, according to a NATO statement. Fighter jets from Norway, the United Kingdom, and Portugal were scrambled in response and tracked the planes.
“The bomber and tanker aircraft from Russia did not file flight plans or maintain radio contact with civilian air traffic,” the statement says. “This poses a potential risk to civil aviation as civilian air traffic cannot detect these aircraft or ensure there is no interference with civilian air traffic.”
Several other Russian planes were intercepted over the Black Sea and Baltic Sea over the past two days.
Every startup founder, eventually, wants to go head to head with the big dogs in his or her industry--and win. But in the beginning, it's crucial not to compare yourself to the biggest competitors in your field, says best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell. Instead, think of yourself as a big fish in a small pond.
"Our sense of our own self-worth and our own self-confidence is derived from judgments about our peer group," says Gladwell, whose most recent book, "David and Goliath," tackles the subject of why some underdogs succeed and some don't. "So if you put someone in a very highly competitive pond, they are going to reach very different conclusions about who they are and what they’re capable of than if you put them in a less selective, smaller pond."
His public persona shattered, Jian Ghomeshi’s overweening narcissism has become the subject of public scorn. His reported violence against women, whether inside or outside sexual interplay, has been rightly denounced. Yet making this scandal all about Ghomeshi, we risk ignoring the broader sources of male narcissistic rage towards females. We are dealing here with far more than the pathological quirks of an apparently disturbed and charismatic individual.
We live in a society steeped in male narcissism, one in which aggression towards women is deeply entrenched in the collective male psyche. Nor is male sexual predation confined to a few “sick” individuals: that we see it portrayed, relentlessly and voyeuristically, in movies, TV shows, and advertising is beyond obvious, except for those mired in denial.
Acknowledging such realities is not “a tremendous slur against men,” as one denial-mired national columnist suggested recently; it is not to label men as “pigs.” It is simply to recognize that Ghomeshi’s reported behaviours arise from a misogynistic culture that degrades and confuses people of all genders. Few men enact extreme hostility, but few are those who do not harbour anti-feminine aggression somewhere in their psyche.
A new paradigm is organically evolving: new economic systems, sustainable communities, solar energy, organic farming, liquid democracy, worker co-ops and new media. For all the problems we are confronted by, there are existing viable solutions. There is much to feel positive about. A decentralized global uprising is undermining systems of centralized and consolidated power. A new world is being born.
However, as exciting as the evolution presently occurring is, after extensive research I am forced to confront the fact that I do not see how emerging solutions will reach a critical mass and create the needed change before the effects of inequality, poverty and the overall deterioration of society will lead to widespread chaos and violence. As much as I wish this wasn’t the case, as much as I want to just disengage from the status quo and focus on the implementation of local solutions, we cannot ignore the urgent need for significant systemic change on a mass scale now.
In a previous article, I wrote, I provided several reasons why I believed something fishy was going on about this whole Ebola thing. First hand testimony coming from someone I have been in contact with living in Ghana confirms that the US government has ulterior motives in mind here. Profit, depopulation, oil military establishment, the flow of diamonds out of countries on strike, etc. They apparently have also been spreading this virus via Ebola testing and experimental vaccines, and a plant pathologist from Liberia claims that this virus was manufactured in a hospital in Sierra Leone and was spread by the workers there. I got challenged by some people that the evidence in the article wasn’t good enough to prove that Ebola was a conspiracy. So I dug a little bit deeper, and found some pretty disturbing things:
Not many people realize that the US actually has a bioweapons research facility in the Kenema Government Hospital in Sierra Leone (one of the main centers of the Ebola outbreak). Researchers from Tulane University in the US work within this hospital which has been running since the 1970s, and biomedical research involving hemorrhagic fevers testing (such as Ebola) has been going on for literally decades. In 2007, the National Institute of Health gave Tulane University a $3.8 million dollar grant to develop Ebola detection kits, and in 2009 they received another $7 million dollars and began to develop a new emergency ward at the Kenema Government Hospital. Quite the coincidence that a major outbreak occurred right after over $10 million dollars in tax payers money was pumped into Ebola research in a matter of just 2 years.
Ebola biomedical research has been funded by the US government for the purpose of creating “detection kits”, and testing has been done with live strains since at least 2007. Now do we actually think this is because the US government cares about the health of sub-Saharan West African people? Is it possible they were developing it there as a bioweapon? Even the president of Corgenix says at the end of the first grant that the purpose of the grant is to prepare against bioweapons attacks by deadly viruses like Ebola. Hardly anybody talks about the fact that this kind of bioterrorism research has been funded by the US government in Sierra Leone. This brings us to the next point.
Creaky footsteps around a dark corridor, disembodied knocking on cold concrete walls and iron bars worn smooth from the hands of tortured prisoners – these are just some of the experiences guests might expect when checking in for a night at an infamously haunted hostel in Ottawa.
Weary travellers looking for undisturbed sleep may be best to skip the Ottawa Jail Hostel, which sits at No. 9 on travel website Lonely Planet's list of the world's spookiest buildings. It's ranked just behind Ukraine's Chernobyl Reactor No. 4 and ahead of White Alice, Alaska.
In other countries, media analysis is the norm; in Canada, for some reason, it’s not. Jesse Brown—a veteran journalist who has reported for Maclean’s, the CBC and Toronto Life—tried to fill this gap the old-fashioned way, pitching media criticism to various news organizations. When that didn’t work, he started doing it himself. Last year, he launched Canadaland, a podcast and blog, and began uncovering troubling stories from within Canada’s news organizations. He has called out Peter Mansbridge for taking money from an oil sands lobby group, and he probed the Globe and Mail’s questionable endorsement of Tim Hudak. On Sunday, a story he had been working on for months made headlines worldwide when the Toronto Star, in collaboration with Brown, published part of what he says is an ongoing investigation into Jian Ghomeshi’s alleged history of sexual violence. On Wednesday, a second article related stories from eight different women who all claim to have had violent encounters with the radio host. Shortly after the first Star story was published, we met up with Brown to talk about the tricky process of reporting on the CBC’s golden boy, the timidity of the Canadian press and what it’s like being a crowdfunded journalist.
You won’t find the 300 MPG Volkswagen XL1 in an American showroom, in fact it has even been denied a tour of America because it is too efficient for the American public to be made widely aware of, and oil profits are too high in America with the status quo in place. No tour has been allowed for this car because the myth that 50 mpg is virtually impossible to obtain from even a stripped down econobox is too profitable to let go of, and when it comes to corporate oil profits, ignorance is bliss.
Years ago I had calculated that it should be possible to get a small car to exceed 100 mpg by putting parallel direct to cylinder water injectors side by side with the fuel injectors, and using the exhaust manifold to preheat the water so it would enter the cylinders as dry steam, thus providing added expansion (which drives the engine) while allowing the combustion process to proceed without reducing it’s efficiency. But I was obviously wrong with my calculations, because they were in fact over 2x conservative.
The 100 mpg carburetor was indeed a reality, and the Volkswagen XL1 proves it with only straightforward nothing special technology we have had since the 1970?s.Though the XL1 can be plugged in to deliver a 40 mile all electric drive, it does not need to be plugged in EVER to achieve 300 mpg. And it does not cheat in any way to achieve the rating, it weighs over 1,700 pounds, has normal tires, and delivers a very good driving experience with a governed top speed of 99 mph. The XL1 could reach a top speed in excess of 110 mph absent governor and turns in a 0-60 time of 11.5 seconds which is by no means leisurely for a car designed for efficiency. The XL1 in no way cheats on performance to hit it’s rating. It is simply the car we should have always had, and have had taken from us in the name of oil profits.
Though the XL1 can hit 300 mpg under ideal driving conditions, it’s combined mileage is usually a little over 200 mpg, and if you do city driving only that will drop to a minimum of 180 mpg under the worst driving conditions. But I’d be happy with that no doubt.