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Showing posts from May, 2007

Google Me This. Google Me That.

Today one of the headlines from MSNBC puts this little startup named "23andme.com" into the public eye. The news pundits claim that this little company is actually a "biotech," but I disagree. The apparent business plan for this company is to provide novel and helpful technologies for you, their customer, to understand your personal genome. That's fun, just like in the blockbuster movie "Gattaca," you can share your genomic inequities with your future girlfriend or boyfriend. Although, once they find out that you have a genetic marker for a debilitating disease, they will likely not choose you as a mate. Thus begins the Age of Eugenics.

This company, 23andme, caught my attention because it received $4,000,000 (million) US dollars from our most favorite public company, Google. Apparently this $4M is just pocket change for Google, otherwise why would it fritter it away on such a bad business plan?

What you may not know is that the co-founder of "23an…

Fresh Water Crisis

In 2007, there are about 6.5 billion humans on the planet. Each of those humans needs about 48 oz of water each day to survive. That's about 6 cups of water for 6.5 billion humans. That comes out to about 2,437,500,000 gallons of fresh water each and every day consumed by humans.

Next we have toilets and waste water treatment. In the USA and other toileted countries, we use fresh water as our "pot" water. Each flush is about 1 gallon of water. In the USA, every citizen flushes the toilet about once per day, so that's about 300,000,000 gallons of waste water used each day. Add in Europe at 350,000,000 gallons, and we're up to over 3 billion gallons of water used every day. I don't know what the usage would be for the other areas of the planet, so I will estimate that it will increase the usage to 4 billion gallons.

There are a few trillion gallons of water in the Antarctic ice cap. One trillion gallons of fresh water would give the entire world about 250 days of…

Inconvenient Confusion

You probably know that Al Gore won an oscar for his documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth." I didn't understand why it would have won given that there were so many other far better documentaries in 2006. As fortune would have it, the documentary was running on a premium channel recently, so me and the family watched it.

I have a mix of emotions about this documentary. First, as a critic of film entertainment, I did not like its production. The central theme of the documentary is Al Gore giving a talk about global warming. There is footage of him actually giving this legendary talk, much like you would see in a recorded distance learning lecture. Only, this lecture was not educational, it was political. Second, the claims are confusingly misinformed and motivated politically.

You've likely read my position on global warming as a man-made doomsday scenario. Al Gore apparently believes that global warming is much akin to the ozone hole of the 80's. He even goes as far…