Aug 4, 2012

Freakonomics: What Prostitutes Can Teach About Economics - YouTube

Published on Aug 4, 2012 by ForaTv

Steven Levitt, author of Freakonomics, recounts a story of talking economics and business practice with a prostitute while researching for SuperFreakonomics.

Complete video available for free at

Very informative and entertaining... Steven Levitt full 50+ minute lecture was also very informative... economics from Levitt can be very insightful and interesting... Monte Hines


Uploaded by gaiatechnician on Nov 23, 2006

The pulser pump uses hydropower with no moving parts! 

It is just pipes joined together. People have made pulser pumps and pulser pump models in Europe, Asia, and north America and posted them to youtube. Probably other places too. 

( Please check out and make the pulser pump nano too. The nano began in 2011 as a suggestion from Virlusun on youtube) Nobody has ever made a pulser pump nano.

The one in the videos have worked for over 2 decades.

This idea was probably thought of and used (and lost) before I thought of it.

If you have ever seen a tromp powering an airlift pump to pump water (or reference to it), prior to 1986, please let me know. a entry, and more people will have confidence to use them.

The pulser pump began in 1988. This is a small one in Ireland. Thanks Wikipedia (june 08) for updating the definition for trompe at my request.

Brian - gaiatechnician

Related Link:
Pulser pump - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Aug 3, 2012

National Drought Summary -- July 31, 2012

The Midwest: 
Most of the region registered above-normal temperatures for the period ending Tuesday morning. In fact, preliminary data show that July came in at 5-10 degrees above normal for the month of July. The region continues to be impacted not only by oppressive heat, but also by depleted soil moisture, desiccated pastures and widespread crop damages, livestock culling and elevated fire risk. ...

Larger Image

National Drought Summary -- July 31, 2012

The discussion in the Looking Ahead section is simply a description of what the official national guidance from the National Weather Service (NWS) National Centers for Environmental Prediction is depicting for current areas of dryness and drought. The NWS forecast products utilized include the HPC 5-day QPF and 5-day Mean Temperature progs, the 6-10 Day Outlooks of Temperature and Precipitation Probability, and the 8-14 Day Outlooks of Temperature and Precipitation Probability, valid as of late Wednesday afternoon of the USDM release week. The NWS forecast web page used for this section is:

The Northeast and Mid-Atlantic: Short-term dryness led to an introduction of D0 in eastern and northern Maine. Vermont, New Hampshire and eastern New York also shared in a slight reduction of D0 compared to last week. Moderate rains across a good portion of Pennsylvania led to 1-category improvements and this trend continued down into parts of northwestern Maryland, West Virginia and western Virginia. In the Carolinas, favorable rains improved the D1 along coastal South Carolina and led to a reduction of D0 in eastern North Carolina as well. Low streamflows and ground water levels have led to a slight expansion of D2 in the Delmarva Peninsula.

The Southeast: Good rains (3 to 5 inches) fell across most of Tennessee, and parts of central Alabama also shared in good rains last week, leading to widespread 1-category improvements this week. Alabama continues to be affected by the long-term nature of multi-year D2-D3 entrenched across the eastern half of the state. This pattern continues across the border into Georgia, which has not seen much rainfall of late either, leading to an expansion of D3 and D4 in north-central and northwestern locales.

The Midwest: Most of the region registered above-normal temperatures for the period ending Tuesday morning. In fact, preliminary data show that July came in at 5-10 degrees above normal for the month of July. The region continues to be impacted not only by oppressive heat, but also by depleted soil moisture, desiccated pastures and widespread crop damages, livestock culling and elevated fire risk. Recent concerns have now turned to soybeans and water supply as the drought’s duration persists. Some fared a bit better than others; southern Minnesota and southern and eastern Wisconsin benefitted the most from rains, leading to general 1-category improvements this week. Rains also fell across northern Indiana and southern Michigan, leaving things pretty much unchanged from last week. That said, there is a slight expansion of D3/D4 across western and central Indiana. Much of southern Ohio and eastern Kentucky also saw measurable improvement on the order of 1-category this week, pushing the drought to the west. Longer-term impacts still remain even given the short-term relief, but parts of eastern Kentucky and Ohio are seeing a rebound in streamflows, which is a good sign. In the western half of the region, things continue to worsen across Missouri and Arkansas, with continued deterioration and encroachment of D3 and even D4.

The Great Plains: Expansion is noted across most of the region this week as abnormally hot temperatures (5 to 10 degrees above normal) continue to plague the region, bringing stress to pastures, crops, livestock/wildlife, trees and humans alike. Rainfall during the last week was confined to small patches in the Black Hills and northeastern South Dakota and southeastern North Dakota. Those areas receiving the 2- to 3-inch rains were improved 1-category in the Dakotas. The same can’t be said to the rest of the region as D1-D3 continue to advance across more of eastern Nebraska, southeastern South Dakota, Kansas, Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle. In Kansas and the Panhandles of Oklahoma and Texas, D4 has also expanded, given the intense conditions and extreme impacts being observed. These areas can’t seem to shake off last year’s drought and have now been dragged back into it this year, with the exception being southeastern Texas, which has continued to see a much more favorable wet pattern the past several months.

In addition to the large geographic footprint of this year’s drought, the quick onset and rapid ramping up of intensity, coupled with extreme temperatures and subsequent impacts, has really left an imprint on those affected and has set this drought apart from anything we have seen at this scale over the past several decades.

The West: The West remains relatively quiet in most parts, with the West Coast benefitting from below-normal temperatures last week as well. Warmer temperatures continue to plague the Rockies and Front Range while precipitation was mostly confined to Arizona and Colorado, where monsoon rains continue to bring relief. Changes this week on the map are marked by 1-category improvement (from D3 to D2) in north-central and southwestern Colorado as well as eastern Utah. The same can’t be said for southeastern Colorado, where D3 has now expanded to cover this region as well as northeastern New Mexico, western Kansas and the Oklahoma Panhandle. To the north, Montana has seen recent dryness as well, leading to a slight expansion of D0 across the northern tier counties.

Hawaii, Alaska and Puerto Rico: Most of the islands continue with the status quo this week, but deterioration is noted on both Kauai and Molokai this week, where lowland dryness continues to hinder pasture growth and is hampering livestock operations.

Alaska and Puerto Rico remain unchanged this week.

Looking Ahead: The 5-day forecast (August 1-6) calls for a mixed bag of potential, with the best chances of precipitation being located over western Colorado, the northern and Central Plains (including northwestern Minnesota), parts of the Upper Midwest, the Northeast and the Southeast. Temperatures are expected to be above normal in the Pacific Northwest, Northeast, and Southern Plains while the Northern Plains may come in a bit cooler than normal.

For the period August 7-11, a continuation of the recent pattern is expected to persist with above-normal temperatures dominating most of the country, the areas of exception being the West Coast and Florida. Below-normal precipitation appears likely in the southern and east-central Plains spreading into Missouri and northern Arkansas. Those areas projected to see a greater likelihood of precipitation are the Four Corners, Upper Great Lakes, Gulf Coast, Atlantic Seaboard and the northern tier states in the Northeast from New York to Maine.

Author: Mark Svoboda, National Drought Mitigation Center

Dryness Categories

D0 ... Abnormally Dry ... used for areas showing dryness but not yet in drought, or for areas recovering from drought.

Drought Intensity Categories
D1 ... Moderate Drought
D2 ... Severe Drought
D3 ... Extreme Drought
D4 ... Exceptional Drought

Drought or Dryness Types
S ... Short-Term, typically <6 months (e.g. agricultural, grasslands)
L ... Long-Term, typically >6 months (e.g. hydrology, ecology)

Updated August 1, 2012

Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) Winners - YouTube

Published on Aug 3, 2012 by whitehouse

On July 31st President Obama welcomed 96 winners of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers. Hear, in their own words, what some of them are doing in the wide world of Science. Learn more on the White House website:

Important and inspiring science work being recognized and funded so US can recapture our leadership role in the world of science... Monte & Eileen

“Discoveries in science and technology not only strengthen our economy, they inspire us as a people.” President Obama said. “The impressive accomplishments of today’s awardees so early in their careers promise even greater advances in the years ahead.”

The Presidential early career awards embody the high priority the Obama Administration places on producing outstanding scientists and engineers to advance the Nation’s goals, tackle grand challenges, and contribute to the American economy. The recipients are employed or funded by the following departments and agencies: Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Education, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of the Interior, Department of Veteran Affairs, Environmental Protection Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Science Foundation, which join together annually to nominate the most meritorious scientists and engineers whose early accomplishments show the greatest promise for assuring America’s preeminence in science and engineering and contributing to the awarding agencies' missions.

The awards, established by President Clinton in 1996, are coordinated by the Office of Science and Technology Policy within the Executive Office of the President. Awardees are selected for their pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and their commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education, or community outreach.

This year’s recipients are:

Department of Agriculture
Joseph E. Jakes, U.S. Forest Service
Ian Kaplan, Purdue University
Christina L. Swaggerty, Agricultural Research Service

Department of Commerce
Anthony Arguez, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Ian Coddington, National Institute of Standards and Technology
Frank W. DelRio, National Institute of Standards and Technology
Jayne Billmayer Morrow, National Institute of Standards and Technology
Kyle S. Van Houtan, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Rebecca Washenfelder, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Department of Defense
David M. Blei, Princeton University
Ania Bleszynski Jayich, University of California, Santa Barbara
Alejandro L. Briseno, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Lee R. Cambrea, Naval Air Research Intelligence
Vincent Conitzer, Duke University
Chiara Daraio, California Institute of Technology
Craig J. Fennie, Cornell University
Keith Edward Knipling, Naval Research Laboratory, Department of the Navy
Wen Li, Wayne State University
Timothy K. Lu, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cindy Regal, University of Colorado Boulder
Matthew B. Squires, Air Force Research Laboratory, Department of the Air Force
Joseph E. Subotnik, University of Pennsylvania
Ao Tang, Cornell University
C. Shad Thaxton, Northwestern University
Maria Laina Urso, U.S. Army Research Institute for Environmental Medicine

Department of Education
Li Cai, University of California, Los Angeles

Department of Energy
Stanley Atcitty, Sandia National Laboratories
Jeffrey W. Banks, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Amy J. Clarke, Los Alamos National Laboratory
Derek R. Gaston, Idaho National Laboratory
Christopher Hirata, California Institute of Technology
Heileen Hsu-Kim, Duke University
Thomas Francisco Jaramillo, Stanford University
Pablo Jarillo-Herrero, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
John R. Kitchin, Carnegie Mellon University
Peter Mueller, Argonne National Laboratory
Daniel B. Sinars, Sandia National Laboratories
Jesse Thaler, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Heather Whitley, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Department of Health and Human Services
Erez Lieberman Aiden, Harvard University
Nihal Altan-Bonnet, Rutgers University
Peter D. Crompton, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Margherita R. Fontana, University of Michigan School of Dentistry
Ervin Ray Fox, University of Mississippi Medical Center
Valerie Horsley, Yale University
Steven T. Kosak, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Erica N. Larschan, Brown University
Daniel R. Larson, National Cancer Institute
Krista M. Lisdahl, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
Emanual M. Maverakis, University of California, Davis
Biju Parekkadan, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School
Jay Zachary Parrish, University of Washington
Peter Philip Reese, University of Pennsylvania
Niels Ringstad, Skirball Institute, New York University School of Medicine
Pawan Sinha, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Georgios Skiniotis, University of Michigan
Beth Stevens, F.M. Kirby Neurobiology Center, Boston Children's Hospital
Justin Taraska, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Jennifer Rabke Verani, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases
Brendan M. Walker, Washington State University
Lauren Bailey Zapata, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

Department of the Interior
Joseph P. Colgan, U.S. Geological Survey
Karen R. Felzer, U.S. Geological Survey
Justin J. Hagerty, U.S. Geological Survey

Department of Veterans Affairs
Jeffrey R. Capadona, Louis Stokes Cleveland Veteran Affairs Medical Center
Charlesnika T. Evans, Edward Hines Jr. Veterans Affairs Hospital
Amy M. Kilbourne, Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Healthcare System
Kinh Luan Phan, Jesse Brown Veterans Affairs Medical Center

Environmental Protection Agency
Adam P. Eisele, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Mehdi Saeed Hazari, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Morgan B. Abney, Marshall Space Flight Center
Ian Gauld Clark, Jet Propulsion Laboratory and California Institute of Technology
Temilola Fatoyinbo-Agueh, Goddard Space Flight Center
Jessica E. Koehne, Ames Research Center
Francis M. McCubbin, Institute of Meteoritics, University of New Mexico
Yuri Y. Shprits, University of California, Los Angeles

National Science Foundation
Baratunde Aole Cola, Georgia Institute of Technology
Brady R. Cox, University of Arkansas
Meghan A. Duffy, Georgia Institute of Technology
Joshua S. Figueroa, University of California, San Diego
Michael J. Freedman, Princeton University
Erin Marie Furtak, University of Colorado Boulder
B. Scott Gaudi, The Ohio State University
Curtis Huttenhower, Harvard University
Christopher A. Mattson, Brigham Young University
David C. Noone, University of Colorado Boulder
Parag A. Pathak, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Alice Louise Pawley, Purdue University
Amy Lucía Prieto, Colorado State University
Mayly C. Sanchez, Iowa State University and Argonne National Laboratory
Sridevi Vedula Sarma, Johns Hopkins University
Suzanne M. Shontz, Pennsylvania State University
Mariel Vázquez, San Francisco State University
Luis von Ahn, Carnegie Mellon University
Brent R. Waters, University of Texas, Austin
Jennifer Wortman Vaughan, University of California, Los Angeles

Yes, there is an alternative to capitalism: Mondragon shows the way | Richard Wolff

Why are we told a broken system that creates vast inequality is the only choice? Spain's amazing co-op is living proof otherwise

Dani Martinez, innovation director at Orbea bicycles, part of Mondragon Co-operative Corporation, in Mallabia, 2011. Photograph: Vincent West/Westphoto for the Guardian

There is no alternative ("Tina") to capitalism?

Really? We are to believe, with Margaret Thatcher, that an economic system with endlessly repeated cycles, costly bailouts for financiers and now austerity for most people is the best human beings can do? Capitalism's recurring tendencies toward extreme and deepening inequalities of income, wealth, and political and cultural power require resignation and acceptance – because there is no alternative?

I understand why such a system's leaders would like us to believe in Tina. But why would others?

Of course, alternatives exist; they always do. Every society chooses – consciously or not, democratically or not – among alternative ways to organize the production and distribution of the goods and services that make individual and social life possible.

Modern societies have mostly chosen a capitalist organization of production. In capitalism, private owners establish enterprises and select their directors who decide what, how and where to produce and what to do with the net revenues from selling the output. This small handful of people makes all those economic decisions for the majority of people – who do most of the actual productive work. The majority must accept and live with the results of all the directorial decisions made by the major shareholders and the boards of directors they select. This latter also select their own replacements.

Capitalism thus entails and reproduces a highly undemocratic organization of production inside enterprises. Tina believers insist that no alternatives to such capitalist organizations of production exist or could work nearly so well, in terms of outputs, efficiency, and labor processes. The falsity of that claim is easily shown. Indeed, I was shown it a few weeks ago and would like to sketch it for you here.

In May 2012, I had occasion to visit the city of Arrasate-Mondragon, in the Basque region of Spain. It is the headquarters of the Mondragon Corporation (MC), a stunningly successful alternative to the capitalist organization of production.

MC is composed of many co-operative enterprises grouped into four areas: industry, finance, retail and knowledge. In each enterprise, the co-op members (averaging 80-85% of all workers per enterprise) collectively own and direct the enterprise. Through an annual general assembly the workers choose and employ a managing director and retain the power to make all the basic decisions of the enterprise (what, how and where to produce and what to do with the profits).

As each enterprise is a constituent of the MC as a whole, its members must confer and decide with all other enterprise members what general rules will govern MC and all its constituent enterprises. In short, MC worker-members collectively choose, hire and fire the directors, whereas in capitalist enterprises the reverse occurs. One of the co-operatively and democratically adopted rules governing the MC limits top-paid worker/members to earning 6.5 times the lowest-paid workers. Nothing more dramatically demonstrates the differences distinguishing this from the capitalist alternative organization of enterprises. (In US corporations, CEOs can expect to be paid 400 times an average worker's salary – a rate that has increased 20-fold since 1965.)

Given that MC has 85,000 members (from its 2010 annual report), its pay equity rules can and do contribute to a larger society with far greater income and wealth equality than is typical in societies that have chosen capitalist organizations of enterprises. Over 43% of MC members are women, whose equal powers with male members likewise influence gender relations in society different from capitalist enterprises.

MC displays a commitment to job security I have rarely encountered in capitalist enterprises: it operates across, as well as within, particular cooperative enterprises. MC members created a system to move workers from enterprises needing fewer to those needing more workers – in a remarkably open, transparent, rule-governed way and with associated travel and other subsidies to minimize hardship. This security-focused system has transformed the lives of workers, their families, and communities, also in unique ways.

The MC rule that all enterprises are to source their inputs from the best and least-costly producers – whether or not those are also MC enterprises – has kept MC at the cutting edge of new technologies. Likewise, the decision to use of a portion of each member enterprise's net revenue as a fund for research and development has funded impressive new product development. R&D within MC now employs 800 people with a budget over $75m. In 2010, 21.4% of sales of MC industries were new products and services that did not exist five years earlier. In addition, MC established and has expanded Mondragon University; it enrolled over 3,400 students in its 2009-2010 academic year, and its degree programs conform to the requirements of the European framework of higher education. Total student enrollment in all its educational centers in 2010 was 9,282.

The largest corporation in the Basque region, MC is also one of Spain's top ten biggest corporations (in terms of sales or employment). Far better than merely surviving since its founding in 1956, MC has grown dramatically. Along the way, it added a co-operative bank, Caja Laboral (holding almost $25bn in deposits in 2010). And MC has expanded internationally, now operating over 77 businesses outside Spain. MC has proven itself able to grow and prosper as an alternative to – and competitor of – capitalist organizations of enterprise.

During my visit, in random encounters with workers who answered my questions about their jobs, powers, and benefits as cooperative members, I found a familiarity with and sense of responsibility for the enterprise as a whole that I associate only with top managers and directors in capitalist enterprises. The easy conversation (including disagreement), for instance, between assembly-line workers and top managers inside the Fagor washing-machine factory we inspected was similarly remarkable.

Our MC host on the visit reminded us twice that theirs is a co-operative business with all sorts of problems:

"We are not some paradise, but rather a family of co-operative enterprises struggling to build a different kind of life around a different way of working."

Nonetheless, given the performance of Spanish capitalism these days – 25% unemployment, a broken banking system, and government-imposed austerity (as if there were no alternative to that either) – MC seems a welcome oasis in a capitalist desert.

Aug 2, 2012

White House Honors Jerry Enzler as a Champion of Change - Telling the Big Story of America’s Rivers

Jerry Enzler is being honored as a Champion of Change for his time and effort developing innovative ways to help grow and expand the transportation industry.

Our country was founded by river people, and still today hundreds of thousands of people owe their jobs to river borne commerce. The people who move the nation’s goods on our rivers today are the descendants of the early flat boat shippers, steamboat pilots, engineers, and towboat deckhands. RiverWorks Discovery (RWD), a nationally recognized education outreach program, tells this story to children and their families and shows how those who work the river are also concerned about river culture and conservation.

RWD brings together the for-profit industry, community leaders, museums, nature centers, educators, and the general public in recognition of the role our rivers have played and will continue to play in our nation's future. With 70 co-sponsors and 30 non-profit partners nationwide, RWD provides free educational materials and presentations to the public, reaching over 400,000 children and families through festivals, conferences, seminars, school presentations, and hands-on workshops.

RWD engages the public with the role of rivers in our nation's future and encourages people to develop a personal relationship with their local waterway. It widens community acceptance in support of safe, healthy, multi-use rivers in major metropolitan areas. The Who Works the Rivers career awareness program introduces older students to the opportunities for careers in our maritime river industry. Education about this often unknown or under-appreciated mode of transportation offers a more complete understanding of the history and importance of the inland shipping industry and multi-use waterways.

RWD inspires good environmental stewardship of our nation's waterways and watersheds. Our "Kids for Clean Rivers Pledge" outlines positive action steps for children and their families, and scouts can earn a patch for completing specific activities. RWD Programs correlate to state standards and are multi-disciplinary focusing on math, history, geography, and mapping.

RWD was the vision of, and championed by, Mark Knoy when he was president of AEP River Operations, and outstanding support continues with AEP River Operations president Keith Darling and other industry leaders. Developed by Mark Carr of AEP working with Errin Howard and others, RWD advanced substantially under the leadership of Teri Goodmann at the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium. Ginger Sakas, Errin Howard, Mark Wagner and others at the River Museum now manage the program and its upcoming RWD travelling exhibit. The Museum & Aquarium, a Smithsonian Affiliate, is the largest river museum in the country and is part of a $400 million riverfront development in Dubuque, Iowa. We are excited to continue with so many inspired partners to tell the big story of America’s rivers.

Jerry Enzler is CEO of RiverWorks Discovery

Jul 30, 2012

Outrageous Example Of Corporate Greed From Caterpillar - YouTube

Published on Jul 30, 2012 by TheYoungTurks

"...manufacturing giant Caterpillar was seeking major concessions during contract negotiations with striking workers, even as it was making billions in profits and giving its CEO a 60 percent pay boost. The New York Times' Steven Greenhouse added more details today, noting that the company wants to implement a six-year pay freeze and a pension freeze, at a time when it is making record profits...".* The Young Turks host Cenk Uygur breaks it down on The Young Turks.

*Read more here from Pat Garofalo at ThinkProgress:

Mississippi River Approaching Flat Pool, Andalusia Slough, 4 Miles West of Andalusia, Illinois

Large Image

Mississippi River at Davenport, Iowa
Photo 1 - May 1931

Low water looking northeast from Arsenal Island towards Iowa shoreline. In the early years before navigation improvements, the Mississippi River experienced wide fluctuations of high and low water. Backwater fish and wildlife habitat was limited prior to lock and dam construction and pooling of the River. During many summer seasons, low water completely stopped traffic on the Mississippi. Oftentimes, water levels were low enough to walk across the River from Iowa to Illinois. Here, three residents walk on the floor of the Mississippi.

Glad we have a government operated lock and dam system on the Upper Mississippi River to maintain water levels and provide for fish and wildlife and human resources. As climate change impacts become more apparent, we are fortunate to have this resource in "our backyard"... Monte & Eileen Hines

Related Links:
Mississippi River Daily Stage Forecasts
Mississippi River - Before and After Locks and Dams
Pearl Button History
The Landscape Photography of Henry Bosse
History Of The Rock Island District

The Ruling Elite and the Perversion of Scholarship

(Photo: Football helmet via Shutterstock)

Monday, 30 July 2012 09:21
By Chris Hedges, Truthdig | Op-Ed

Fraternities, sororities and football, along with other outsized athletic programs, have decimated most major American universities. Scholarship, inquiry, self-criticism, moral autonomy and a search for artistic and esoteric forms of expression—in short, the world of ethics, creativity and ideas—are shouted down by the drunken chants of fans in huge stadiums, the pathetic demands of rich alumni for national championships, and the elitism, racism and rigid definition of gender roles of Greek organizations. These hypermasculine systems perpetuate a culture of conformity and intolerance. They have inverted the traditional values of scholarship to turn four years of college into a mindless quest for collective euphoria and athletic dominance. Read more

Great article by Chris Hedges... Monte