Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The X-Factor In Musk's Human Transport Concept Gets A Boost

Hyperloop capsules being loaded with human and luggage cargo for a very quick and insulated trip that will be amongst the fastest type of public/commercial transportation devised by man. Image Credit: Daily Mail via Space X (2014)

The X-Factor In Musk's Human Transport Concept Gets A Boost

While standing in a long line at a Costco Wholesale during the Christmas season holiday, one may notice how communication from the checkout cashpoint to the central management office is accomplished.

The "Checker" at the cashpoint, with the all of the scanners, credit card terminals, and printers, also is equipped with a tube system that allows one to take checks, money, and other paper-based monied communications, place them in a cylinder, which is then placed in the tube and sucked through vacuum pressure where at the other end of the tube, the information is delivered almost instantly. 

Marshall Fields central communications (1947) - Before the invention of phones and fax machines, people in cities sent messages through a huge system of underground tubes filled with compressed air. Image Credit: chuckmanchicagonostalgia.wordpress-dot-com

Management is assured that these communications that result in good profits never become breached from point-to-point due the closed nature of this pneumatic tube system.

A typical Costco Wholesale cashpoint section where the pneumatic tubes of the money transfer system can be seen routed along the ceiling of the store. Image Credit: Flickr

This is the precise idea behind PayPal, Tesla Motors, and Space X founder and CEO Elon Musk. He believes that the findings of a recent 76-page report may go a long way in proving his pneumatic tube proposal/argument that a human transport system such as this vacuum "hyperloop" that is in use at all Costco stores is the future of human mass transportation from point-to-point.

Infographic of the proposed Hyperloop human transport system (video presentation link). Image Credit: via Space X (2014)

This edited and excerpted from USAToday -

Report: Elon Musk's 'hyperloop' idea could work
By Chris Woodyard - 12-22-2014 - USAToday

Enthusiasts behind Elon Musk's "hyperloop" proposal -- an intercity tube that speeds passengers riding in capsules at 600 miles per hour -- have taken the next step, producing a report outlining some of the big issues around the project.

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies' 76-page report focuses issues surrounding a system that could connect San Francisco with Los Angeles. The report says, however, that there are many city pairs round the world that would be candidates for a hyperloop.

The 400-plus-mile trip would take less than an hour, compared to more than six hours of driving. The goal is to keep the ticket price in the $20 to $30 range, although the report points out that at total cost estimates of $16 billion, they could go higher. Still, it says, hyperloop would be a bargain compared to alternatives. "If this same overall price point were preserved for other city pairings, it could dramatically change the way people live and work in cities," the report says.
"The Hyperloop design uses a combination of low air pressure and magnetic acceleration to get people from LA to SF in just about 30 minutes," the report says. It would produce its own electricity from solar power.
Passengers would travel in aerodynamic pods the size of vans inside the tube. HTT envisions developing three designs -- one each for luxury passengers, economy economy passengers and freight.
HTT estimates that the cost of the system would be $20 million to $45 million a mile, as contrast from what it says are costs of up to $200 million a mile for conventional mass transportation system.
[Reference Here]

The report does point out one of the many problems of a self-contained closed loop pneumatic tube system ... how would passengers deal with an uncontrollable "Nature Calls" or a "Mile High Club"-like situation?

Good question.

... notes from The EDJE

<a href="http://www.sodahead.com/united-states/would-you-travel-from-la-to-sf-in-a-tube-video/question-4639050/" title="Would you travel from LA to SF in a tube (video)?">Would you travel from LA to SF in a tube (video)?</a>

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The 2014 LA Auto Show - Seven Points Of Diverse Interest To See And Take In

LA Auto Show's new logo bathed in green light. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

The 2014 LA Auto Show - Seven Points Of Diverse Interest To See And Take In

The LA Auto Show will always be a jumble of artfully engineered transportation solutions and vision displayed in a visual fashion that would rival an architectural design paradise. The Auto industry puts its best foot forward because this show is the first major North American auto show of the season each year - #LAAutoShow.

Over the Thanksgiving holiday (here's a suggestion on how to blow-off Black Friday and walk off Thanksgiving), the LA Auto Show, which has taken over the Los Angeles Convention Center, will be open at 9:00am through Sunday November 30th. The show features 34 global debut showings and around 60 overall reveals.

Here are seven visits on the LA Auto Show trade show floor to consider - presented to enhance the flow of one's tour around the show.

LA Convention Center LA Auto Show lay out of exhibits Begin your tour from Left to Right given the graphic. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

Enter and begin your trade show tour from the South Hall (left side upper middle of graphic). Go directly to the back of the hall and visit the Chevrolet stand and visit a display that is not of an actual car, but a model based on a character in a video game - Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Turismo.

Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Turismo passing one of Jim Hall's original #66 Chaparral's in a video presentation. The Chevy Logo'd booth screen ran a video loop showing the creative process of the Chaparral 2X as well as some of the action contained in the Vision Gran Turismo game. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

First unveiled at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show Press Days, the Chevrolet Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Turismo concept is a futuristic racer with technology that Chaparral creator Jim Hall couldn't even imagine - laser propulsion, for example.

Really, lasers. Chevy says the mid-mounted propulsion system emits light pulses that are focused in a shroud, creating shock waves that generate thrust to move the car. If this existed in real-life, do not try to race nose to tail IndyCar style though ... no 'mushroom busting' areo here.

This unprecedented drive unit is also closely associated with the unique driver position in the car. The driver almost lays completely flat towards the front (head first), with all four of his appendages spread out towards the wheels when driving. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

The virtual system consists of a 671-kilowatt laser, lithium-ion battery pack, and an air-powered generator, and produces the equivalent of 900 horsepower. Chevy says that will warp the Chaparral 2X from 0-60 mph in just 1.5 seconds, and on to a top speed of 240 mph.

This model of an imagined Chaparral was sculpted and brought to life at the secret North Hollywood GM facility that gave us most of the innovative body styles found in today's Cadillac concept and retail cars.
[ht: Motor Authority]

After facing the back of the Chaparral/Chevrolet exhibit, one needs to turn left toward the GMC display and head on over to the Japanese luxury car manufacturer, Infiniti.

A 20 coat pale blue/silver "Liquid Sky" colored piece of transportation sculpture will most certainly grab the attention of any passer by. The Q80 Inspiration almost demands a 15 minute visit just to soak in all of the subtle design notes displayed in such a sophisticated manner.

Infiniti Q80 Inspiration concept tasteful front grille. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

Sketching for the car started some 15 months ago, the ultimate goal to combine fresh and highly sculpted styling with an advanced carbon-fiber-and-aluminum monocoque to redefine what a flagship can be inside and out.

Did we mention that it comes with a silver-plated beverage flask mounted to the seatback and that said flask is listed in the specifications sheet as a “design flourish”?

Infiniti Q80 Inspiration concept exterior. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

Every detail of this car was treated like a work of art. From it's long and low with a sleek, swept-back roof, precisely sculpted side panels, to its tightly horizontally vane-ed grill. The cabin is made more inviting by the rear-hinged "suicide doors" that open it up completely.

Infiniti Q80 Inspiration concept interior. Black interior materials in front, white interior materials in back. Notice the 'floating' center console in back. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

The grille is described as “organic and three dimensional, like the pulsing gills of a cruising whale” - never mind that whales have lungs and blowholes, not gills - and has active shutters that open at low speeds for cooling and close at higher velocities to mitigate aero drag. Slender hood vents forward of the A-pillars pull double duty as heat extractors and stylistic embellishments.

Infiniti Q80 Inspiration concept rear view with tapered back window. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

This Infiniti Q80 Inspiration concept is a hybrid, with the batteries getting a boost from a 3-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 engine.

Next, continue on deeper to the left (near bottom of show floor graphic) to the Lexus stand where one is greeted by a 'can't miss' electric candy apple-ed yellow colored convertible with a white interior.
[ht: USA TODAY's Chris Woodyard & Car and Driver's Andrew Wendler]

Say hello to the Lexus LF-C2 concept.

The Lexus LF-C2 Concept is nothing if not interesting. Its bold lines and drop top design wowed the crowd at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show. With its angular front headlights and villainous front grille, the LF-C2 will be one of the most eye-catching show cars at the LA Convention center.

Lexus LF-C2 concept from front view. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

However, the LF-C2 edgy looks could not save it from the anger of Lexus' dealers, who would have preferred the company spend its time and efforts on a crossover SUV with three rows of seats, reported Motor Trend.

According to the automotive magazine, Lexus' dealers launched a full-on revolt after the convertible 's reveal at the L.A. Auto Show — leading the automaker to kill off the drop-top that had been in the works for years.

Lexus LF-C2 concept from rear view. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

The Lexus dealer's preference for another crossover is reasonable. Crossover SUV's are cash cows for luxury automakers. Their high volume and high profit margins form the perfect combination for companies like Lexus — and in this case their dealers.

A high-priced luxury convertible, on the other hand, could sell with a decent profit margin, but it would never be more than a niche product.
[ht: Business Insider's Benjamin Zhang]

Walking back in the opposite direction, one may miss a gem of a car and a stand. The Alfa Romeo display area which features the new Alfa Romeo 4C in tucked in behind Maserati which in on a main aisle and the Hyundai/Bentley booth's back wall ... it is located in a bit of an alley way.

2015 Alfa Romeo 4C. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

After decades of waiting, the Alfa Romeo 4C brings the famous Italian auto company back to North America. While this mid-engine sports car carries a price to compete against the Chevrolet Corvette, Porsche Boxster, and Jaguar F-Types; in reality, this wildly curvaceous Alfa is rawer and more outrageous than exotic cars costing twice the price.

Alfa Romeo 4C at speed during a recent Motor Press Guild Track Days event held at Willow Springs International Raceway 'Streets' track. Image Credit: Myles Regan (2014)

The snarling little turbocharged and direct-injected 1.7-liter 4-cylinder engine, nestled behind the passenger cabin, packs a great sound and plenty of power, with 237-horsepower available at 6,600 rpm and a stout 258 lb.-ft. of torque holding steady from 2,200-4,250 rpm.

Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

There is a full-bore punch of turbo lag, however. Once you get the engine revving to 3,000 rpm, the 4C kicks you in the backside and launches itself down the road. It's actually a whole lot of fun, since the turbo is predictable and the car doesn't start sliding or tug the steering wheel out of your hands. So many turbocharged cars and trucks have absolutely smothered lag to the point of non-existence, it's refreshing to really feel that on/off nature of an old-school turbo at work.
[ht: NEW YORK DAILY NEWS' Nick Kurczewski]

Just inside the door as one enters the South Hall, and on your way out to the Concourse Hall, Toyota Motor Company has a few great concepts and conceptual reality on display.

The absolute best of these concepts is wrapped up in a hydrogen fuel cell package called Mirai.

The 2016 Toyota Mirai (which is the word for future in Japanese) is the first-ever hydrogen fuel-cell car to be offered for sale by a major automaker. It goes on sale in Japan next month, and will arrive in North America in the second half of next year in a limited, grid supported area.

Toyota firmly believes in hydrogen as the right solution for zero-emission vehicles. Toyota and Honda are both loaning money to third-party fuel providers to establish the first of what's projected to be a network of 100 stations in California. That's enough to support more than 10,000 hydrogen vehicles--but it points to the slow pace of growth for this latest clean vehicle technology. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

The four-seat mid-size sedan is effectively an electric car, with a 153-horsepower motor powering its front wheels.

But instead of storing electricity in a large battery pack, the owner refills the car's reinforced high-pressure storage tanks with hydrogen gas, which the car then converts into electricity in a fuel cell.

Toyota Mirai. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

The big advantage of fuel-cell cars is their ability to refuel in 5 minutes or less and gain about 300 miles of range - something electric cars can't currently do, even with the highest-power DC fast charging variants.
[ht: Green Car Reports' John Voelcker]

You remember, Fisker, right? Great designer, penned some knockouts like the Aston Martin DB9 and BMW Z8, then thought he’d start his own automaker. That didn’t go well at all, even if the plug-in hybrid Fisker Karma was a stunner. We haven’t heard much from the man (aside from that motorcycle he designed) since he left his self-named automaker in early 2013. 

But there he was on Thursday at the LA Auto Show Press Days with that guy from Glapin Auto Sports - Beau Boeckmann, President and COO of the greater Galpin Motors Inc., pulling the sheet off the ROCKET, a custom-bodied Mustang with 725 horsepower, bold lines and several square yards of carbon fiber.
[ht: WIRED's Alex Davies]

Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

“I’ve always wanted to design a Mustang,” Fisker told us. “I just never really had the opportunity in my career because the timing was never right.”

The interior of the ROCKET has been left mostly Mustang beyond some eye-grabbing red leather and carbon-fiber trim. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

When checking out the ROCKET from the rear, it's easy to spot the wider fenders that are beautifully blended into the integrated spoiler. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

Henrik Fisker showed Beau Boeckmann early sketches at this year's Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, and the two parties went from there. "When Henrik showed me his ideas, I got chills - it's literally the most beautiful Mustang I have ever seen," says Boeckmann in the company's release.

After visiting the Concourse Hall, it is on to the West Hall (featuring Ford's re-freshened GT350 Cobra - a not miss) and Petree Hall.

The only automobile company to occupy their own hall is Porsche ... and what an environment to behold. The star at Porsche is the 918 Hybred supercar.

This excerpted and edited from Porsche website - 

It took Porsche years to develop a worthy successor to the vaunted Carrera GT supercar, but at last, the 918 is here - and it’s a plug-in hybrid!

The Porsche 918 Spyder represents an entirely new look at the supercar. It heralds the future of the sports car and you can be there at the start.Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

With a combined 887 hp and 944 lb-ft of torque from its mid-mounted V-8 and electric motors - one at each axle - the 918 delivers Bugatti-like acceleration, tenacious handling, and a 211-mph top end.

Pure. Energy. The world's first plug-in hybred supercar! Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2014)

And of course, it’s every bit as exotic-looking as any near-million-dollar supercar should be, with a low-slung, targa body, and ultra-futuristic cabin.
[Reference Here]

Again, the possible best way to blow-off the Black Friday shopping rush or walk off Thanksgiving Turkey and/or Ham with all the fixin's would be to take in a day, or two, between now and weekend's end and visit the LA Auto Show running now starting each day at 9am at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Besides, one may just come away with a couple (7) of really cool last minute Christmas gift ideas!

... notes from The EDJE

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Clarity Digital Group (Examiner/NowPublic) And It’s Uncivil Corporate Culture

As part of homework creating an advert for TV, Cinema, Radio or in poster format, one of my students produced this! I think this is fantastic and is especially useful for countries in Asia where this sort of artwork is popular! Image Credit: edu4drr.org
As part of homework creating an advert for TV, Cinema, Radio or in poster format, one of my students produced this! I think this is fantastic and is especially useful for countries in Asia where this sort of artwork is popular! Image Credit: edu4drr.org

Clarity Digital Group (Examiner/NowPublic) And It’s Uncivil Corporate Culture

Embedded in this posting is an article that notes an earthquake of a different nature (On March 17th, LA was hit with a 4.4 earthquake which jolted this author out of bed) and it exposes the corporate culture of a journalistic enterprise run by J-School graduates over the closure of a New Media hallmark after its purchase and mismanagement through to its process of “Going Dark”.

The issue centers on the process of how Clarity Digital Group (Examiner) out of Denver, CO decided to cease the operations of NowPublic – Crowd-Powered News at the end of 2013 and the defense of the process they employed.

This excerpted and edited from Politisite -

NowPublic – Were Intellectual Property Rights ignored?
Karl Gotthardt - March 17, 2014

NowPublic was a crowd-sourced citizen journalism site based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, founded by Michael Tippett, Leonard Brody and Michael E. Meyers in 2005.

In addition to its contributors, NowPublic also had a content-sharing agreement with the Associated Press. The crowd-sourced site was so successful that Time Magazine called NowPublic one of the 50 Best Websites of 2007.

NowPublic was a successful crowd sourced media site. NowPublic was a successful crowd sourced media site.

Mainstream media types may gripe about the absence of safeguards ensuring the validity of news reported by the blogosphere, but nowhere are the merits of citizen journalism more apparent than at NowPublic. At this "participatory news network," a.k.a. bastion of "crowd-powered media," anyone can write a story, or upload images, audio or video.

Whatever gets the most votes from the reading masses—the site gets about 1 million unique visitors per month—ends up as the lead story. (NowPublic has "guest editors," "wranglers" and an "actual news guy" who keep an eye on things, giving advice to contributing reporters and shepherding the best, most timely stuff through, but nobody on staff makes actual editing changes to the content.)

NowPublic now counts nearly 97,000 contributing reporters in more than 140 countries around the world. During Hurricane Katrina, NowPublic was there; eight contributors filed on-the-scene reports from London's Heathrow Airport during the August 2006 terrorism lockdown—while the regular press was forced to wait outside. On June 6 NowPublic's coverage of a storm in Oman made it to the top of the AOL and Yahoo news sites.
In September 2009 NowPublic was acquired by Clarity Digital Group. Clarity is solely owned by the Anschutz company, an investment company located in Denver, Colorado. According to reports, Leonard Brody assumed the position of President of the Clarity Digital Group and Michael Tippet became the CEO of NowPublic after the sale.

In December 2013 Clarity closed the NowPublic site and redirected it to www.examiner.com.

On 27 December 2013, Clarity Digital Group took NowPublic, a successful crowd-sourced citizen journalism site, off the web and failed to give notice to contributors to permit them to recover their intellectual property. While Clarity is within their right to remove any of its sites off the web, NowPublic contributors maintain that they should have received notice in order to recover their intellectual property.

NowPublic's Terms of Service stated in part:
"Unless otherwise stated for specific Services, You will retain ownership and all related rights in any original information or other content that you publish on the Site or through the Services. In the event of any inconsistency between the provisions of these Terms of Service and the applicable license terms, these Terms of Service shall prevail to the extent of such inconsistency and such license terms shall be deemed to have been modified, in writing, by NowPublic and You."
However, unlike other crowd-sourced sites, Clarity claims that it has no obligation to permit access to the NowPublic content.

In a reply to Rhonda Mangus, a former NowPublic Advisory Council Member/Producer, Clarity Digital Group stated through its attorney, Deborah Shinbein:
Although we understand that the shut-down of NowPublic.com may have come as a surprise to you, we are baffled by your assertion that NowPublic or its parent company may owe you (or any other contributor to the site) any sort of reports, opportunity to access content, or anything else with regard to the site.

You have not been under a contract through which you were eligible to receive payments for your contributions since 2010, and any reporting obligations NowPublic previously had with regard to your contributions (if any) would have ended at the time your status as a paid contributor to NowPublic.com was terminated. We did provide notice to the individuals who were current (or recent) paid contributors to NowPublic.com, however you were clearly not among that group of individuals.
Attorney Shinbein's response speaks for itself and, among other matters, clearly raises the question as to why intellectual property rights were ignored by Clarity Digital Group. Additionally, none of the major NowPublic contributors we contacted were notified of NowPublic's intention to go off-line.

According to the Canadian Intellectual Property Office, intellectual property is defined as follows:
Intellectual property (IP) refers to the creations of the mind, such as inventions, literary and artistic works, as well as symbols, names, pictures, designs and models used in business. Patents, trade-marks, copyright, industrial designs, integrated circuit topographies and plant breeders' rights are referred to as "IP rights." Just as rights are acquired when a building or land is purchased, IP rights are "property" in the sense that they are based on the legal right to exclude others from using the property. Ownership of the rights can also be transferred.

Source: Intellectual Property Office
It should not come as a surprise to Clarity Digital Group that those who contributed to NowPublic would want to recover the content they contributed.

Current Industry Practice

It has been common industry practice for crowd-sourced sites to give notification to contributors and archive contributed material. As an example one can highlight Vizify's notification to its contributors which, unlike NowPublic, warned its contributors of its purchase by Yahoo and its impending closure.

While Vizify gave its contributors an opportunity to recover their material, no such notification was given to NowPublic contributors, nor was a sunset period granted to retrieve their intellectual property as was highlighted in the NowPublic Terms of Service.

As a consequence, references are gone, bios disappeared and personal footage and videos are unavailable and the tens-of-thousands of back-links to NowPublic content placed on sites over the World Wide Web.


Maireid Sullivan, a former NowPublic economics guest editor, noted that the Vizify notification to its supporters and contributors should be held up as an example of how to do business in the digital age.

To that, Edmund Jenks former NowPublic feature manager related:
When I first woke up and read the attached notice I thought to myself "Who the heck is Vizify?" than I realized that it was forwarded as a minimum example on how to close down an ongoing News Media web and portal.

Yes! This should be held up as an appropriate and civil way on a way a company treats those they provided a service for and had a relationship with.
NowPublic did not provide this opportunity to its contributors, nor was there ever any appreciation for the contributed material and its contribution to the success of the company. Those contributors, who have moved on to other sites, can no longer use the links to their articles, nor do they have the ability to republish them elsewhere. Nowpublic's blog syndication caused thousands of 'dead links' as Nowpublic linked each key word and a link to the story back to their personal sites. This action was beneficial as long as the links were live. Now that those links are 'dead', Google ranks such stories lower in search engines.

Aside from any legal considerations, Clarity Digital Group should do the right thing and make the material available to its former contributors.

Says Mangus:

"It's unfortunate that Clarity Digital Group has taken such a position. It should serve as a warning to present writers for Examiner that they could find themselves in the same situation if the Examiner decides to 'go dark' in the future."
[Reference Here]

To be direct, the corporate culture at Examiner is at the very least uncivil … and at worst vindictive. It is as if Examiner was being dragged into New Media against the wishes of the J-School trained management that conceptually implements and runs the joint.

If one were able to compare the internet savvy tools offered between the two sites – NowPublic versus Examiner – even though Examiner has improved over the years since 2009 through the purchase of NowPublic … the publishing portal and contributing community the site was constructed to serve at NowPublic would still outshine anything offered up by Examiner, Clarity Digital Group, LLC.

Of Note: Edmund Jenks (The EDJE) served as a Feature Page Manager and Editor/Contributor to NowPublic through to the time the site was shut down at the end of 2013. He was continually in the top 20 (most often in the top 10 before appointment to Feature Page Manager – Motorsports) of a cast tens of thousands of contributors and his work was seen by about 1.75 Million viewers. He currently has been a multiple title Examiner in good standing since November, 2009 and has 27 Trophies in his Clarity Digital Group participation case located on his Dashboard.

(I should have noted my viewers as 17.5 million ’cause who would know after how the site was shut down and re-directed … okay, 175 million … and so on, and so on, and so on …)

… notes from The EDJE

Monday, February 24, 2014

Political Drought Plus Jet Stream Drought Has California Dreamin'

Sacramento Delta waterways. Image Credit: California WaterBlog

Political Drought Plus Jet Stream Drought Has California Dreamin'

Simply stated, people who wish to show their power under the name of "making a difference" through progressive political policies have over-stepped their bounds.

Political Progressives are always looking for ways to exert their influence throughout every aspect of human life and there are no limits to where they will go in order to show that they matter.

A case in point that received national attention when the President of the United States traveled and made speeches in California, was the confluence of a natural drought brought about through this winter's direction of the jet stream that has major water and snow bearing storm systems bypass California, and a political drought put forward through federal and state legislation to protect a fish that move beyond their normal habitat to get chewed up by pumps.

Moyle et al. 1992, Moyle 2002, Figure 1

This excerpted and edited from a John Muir Institute of the Environment and Bodega Marine Laboratory University of California, Davis PDF report -

Delta Smelt Life History Model
A Contribution for the CALFED Ecosystem Restoration Program
Bill Bennett - 01/31/05

Delta smelt (Hypomesus transpacificus) are endemic to the northeastern San Francisco Estuary and Delta (Moyle et al. 1992, Moyle 2002, Figure 1 - ABOVE). Formerly abundant they are now listed as threatened under the Federal and State Endangered Species Acts (ESA) and thus labeled a “Big R” (at risk) species for priority restoration by the CALFED Bay-Delta Authority. Much of the concern with delta smelt is over ESA restrictions on the numbers of these fish that are lost to freshwater export operations located in the south Delta (Figure 1). These restrictions are highly controversial because they can curtail export pumping and thus have a major influence on how freshwater is allocated to California’s agriculture and growing human population.

Delta smelt are one of six species currently recognized in the genus Hypomesus that occurs across the Pacific Rim (Saruwatari et al. 1997, Bennett 2005). Delta smelt are small (typically < 80mm total length, TL) translucent fish with a steel-blue lateral stripe and a pleasant cucumber-like aroma (Moyle 2002, Bennett 2005). They most likely evolved from a population of surf smelt (Hypomesus pretiosus) isolated from the coastal marine environment as the estuary formed about 8,000 years ago. Although some aspects of their ecology are similar to other smelts and salmonids, delta smelt are not readily classified with other fishes using typical life history characteristics. They are primarily an annual species with rapid growth and high annual mortality during recruitment to the adult stage, but relative to other such species have low fecundity and spawn only once or twice within a protracted spawning period. Moreover, delta smelt hatch as free-swimming larvae and do not have the degree of parental investment provided by the majority of salmonids. Thus under the classification scheme provided by Rose and Winemiller (1992) and McCann and Shuter (1997) they fit somewhere in between an “opportunistic” or “equilibrium” life history strategist.
[Reference Here]

These definitions are the hinge-points that progressive political power operate from. The beginning of this report outline findings that were the result of grant monies put forward to liberal education institutions by both the state and federal government in order to establish political beach heads of power (read global warming agenda, social justice agenda, control of human activity agenda).

In this case, the monies invested gave the impression that the world would end for a species of opportunistic fish (and the emotional health for some human beings) that threaten their own lives by swimming farther up the Sacramento Delta from San Francisco Bay that the species would normally be found because they are attracted by the noise of pumps. These pumps, as mechanical devises commonly do, chew up and make fertilizer out of the smelt as the fresh water is moved from the Delta to fields that grow food for human consumption.

Armed with this information based upon presumptions outlined in the UC Davis paper, Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. introduced the National Oceans Protection Act (NOPA) of 2005. Some of the provisions of this act are: strengthen ocean governance; protect and restore marine wildlife and habitats; address ocean pollution; improve fisheries management. The bill also addresses needs regarding marine science, research and technology, marine mammals, coastal development, and invasive species.

The value of the Delta smelt? Besides serving as bait for attracting larger fish, the Delta smelt is not edible, does not eliminate pests or have any meaningful commercial value. Essentially nothing. Sometimes, despite environmentalist’s protestations to the contrary, certain species reach a natural evolutionary dead end.

Funny thing about the myopic vision of human activity governance. No matter how well intended the action, it can not stop the will to be “opportunistic” or “equilibrium” life history strategist by a species of smelt.

Peter Moyle, UC Davis professor of fish biology, said he was stunned to find a delta smelt he could hold in both hands. Image Credit: Jacob Katz-Ragatz

This excerpted and edited from California WaterBlog -

Large delta smelt population found south of Delta
by UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences - Posted on April, 2013

UC Davis scientists have found large populations of the federally protected delta smelt growing extraordinarily large in three Southern California reservoirs, hundreds of miles from its native waters. The smelt presumably colonized the lakes after being pumped from the Delta though the California Aqueduct.

The find, reported today in the journal Pelagic Papers, prompted immediate calls from San Joaquin farmers to remove the fish from state and federal lists of species threatened with extinction. Wildlife officials, however, feared the newfound populations in Pyramid, Castaic and Silverwood lakes would be swiftly poached to low levels because they are extraordinarily large, tasty and easily caught on dry flies.

Normally no bigger than a finger, the delta smelt caught by researchers were an arm’s length and as much as nine pounds, the pier-reviewed study said. Photos of the super-sized smelt went viral on social media within minutes of their online publication this morning. By noon, the fishing blog Fish Ogler reported runs on smelt flies at sports stores near all three lakes.
Moyle and his colleagues at the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences explored several explanations for the extraordinary size of the smelt found in the Southern California lakes, but reached no definitive conclusion.
A spokesman for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which owns the drinking-water reservoirs, said its executives were aware of the study but unavailable for comment.
“We never looked for the delta smelt down south,” O’Rear said. “I could never get my boss to approve travel expenses for any trip farther than Suisun Marsh.”
Despite the unnaturally large size of the south state smelt, Moyle said he could immediately confirm its identity.

“It has a curious cucumber odor,” he said.
[Reference Here]

Okay, so the California WaterBlog posted this on April 1st of last year ... as humor.

The fact remains that protection of the Delta Smelt, a tiny, slender fish that resides exclusively in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, a fertile area that serves as a transition for water originating in Northern California, and ends in water delivery West of the Delta for agriculture and South of the Delta for citizens of Southern California ... results in the diversion of tens of billions of gallons of fresh water away from vital agriculture and population needs and directly into the Pacific Ocean. A precious resource essentially wasted.

As usual, devastation to jobs and economic ruin mean nothing to Political Progressives who are always looking for ways to exert their influence throughout every aspect of human life. To them, the Delta smelt’s survival has a higher priority than the human condition.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Obama's Income/Spending Inequality Through A Reality Lens

Image Credit: Ed Driscoll.com via PJMedia

Obama's Income/Spending Inequality Through A Reality Lens

The White House starts State of the Union Address day with executive action: an announcement that will raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 for new federal contract workers. That tees up a 9 p.m. State of the Union Address speech that is expected to have a heavy emphasis on executive actions to strengthen the economy and help the middle class.

Expect President Obama spotlight ways to create opportunity by laying out proposals for an increase in jobs, manufacturing, retirement security, energy, skills development, and education - with a nod to promising to try to work with Congress to do more.

But the reality key to all of this 44th President's actions is to expand his inequality agenda by spending, and digitally printing even more money ($75 Billion per month in "quantitative easing") to perpetuate the real inequality of government power over the productive power of individual lives.

Less Democrat | Less Republican | More Constitution. Image Credit: tenthamendmentcenter.com

This excerpted and edited from PJ Media - 

The Economic State of the Union Is Weak
by Tom Blumer - PJ Media

When President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union speech on Tuesday, he will surely contend — as he did in 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2010 — that “our union” is “stronger,” “getting stronger,” or at least “strong.”

It is no such thing.
The five highest annual deficits the nation has ever incurred have been on Obama’s watch. ----
The national debt, at $17.27 trillion as of January 22, has increased by a jaw-dropping $6.6 trillion since he was first inaugurated. That this year’s deficit will be less than half of the official $1.4 trillion recorded in fiscal 2009 means, in his mind, that we can ramp up spending again. Outlays for the federal government’s operations plus interest are on track to remain above $3.5 trillion this year. That’s a ridiculous 30 percent above fiscal 2007, and virtually unchanged from fiscal 2009, when the so-called stimulus package was sold as a largely temporary spending ramp-up.

In his 2012 speech, Obama admitted that “the recovery is still fragile.” Two years later, in most of the U.S., it still hasn’t happened.
In its recently released 2013 County Tracker based on late 2013 data, the National Association of Counties (NACo) echoed Obama’s early 2012 statement. Noting that the “recovery is still fragile in some parts of the country,”the NACo report described a still dismal situation:

About half of U.S. county economies had no recession or recovered their economic output (GDP) lost during the recession by 2013, most of them in the South. About 800 county economies, mostly in the South and Midwest, had no drops in employment over the last decade or were above their pre-recession levels in 2013.
Given that the U.S. has 3,069 counties (Connecticut and Rhode Island, which are two of the country’s worst economic basket cases, don’t have county governments), that paragraph’s second statement is much more troubling. Only about 26 percent of them (800 divided by 3,069) have returned to or exceeded their previous employment levels. In other words, almost three-fourths haven’t.


The above National Association of Counties map shows us that 15 states have seen fewer than 20 percent of their counties achieve employment recovery, and that four of those have failed to get to even 10 percent.
So what will Obama suggest to get the country back on track? Nothing which has a realistic chance of accomplishing anything.

More spending and stimulus, which might as well be the only page in the left’s and the Fed’s (but I’m probably repeating myself) macroeconomic play books, haven’t been the answers for the past five years. Why does any sane person believe they will somehow get us over the hump now?

An Obama-supported raise in the minimum wage to $10.10 will only throw more people, perhaps as many as 1 million, into unemployment lines while preventing new entries into the workforce – all at a time when labor force participation is at a 35-year low.
No one has to recite any of the statistics noted above to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its friends in Washington. They know, and they obviously don’t care. If they did, they wouldn’t be pushing mightily to make 2014 their make-or-break year to pass economically ruinous illegal-immigrant amnesty. But to their eternal shame, they are.

Throw the ongoing and deepening confusion and chaos of Obamacare and the administration’s apparent nonchalant attitude as it crumbles into the mix, and the one thing you don’t have is a recipe for the economy to have anything resembling a strong year.

It’s impossible to know, but it may be that the stock market has finally caught on to what should have been obvious all along, as it shed about 3 percent of its value in last week’s final two days. One thing we do know is what CNBC’s Rick Santelli stated Friday afternoon: government and central bank strategies based on endless stimulus and artificial money creation “can’t go on forever.”

[Reference Here]

The main purpose of what was written in the founding documents of the United States was to protect the interests of both the smallest and the largest special interest groups that live here in this country - the individual. The United States Constitution, the Bill-Of-Rights, and the Rule-Of-Law combined with a power structure that broke down power in three separate and distinct branches so as to insure that the strongest level of power could be retained by the individual.

Unchecked and assumed powers to spend the monies collected from individuals, manufacture additional monies without a value basis, and expand the scope and power of government through regulations created by bureaucracies backed through the powers granted to the Internal Revenue Service (taxes) have tipped the balance of power in favor of the government.

Raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 (a 28.2% increase in an anemic 2% growth economy) for new federal contract workers does very little except have this government spend even more money without the proper authority from the body that is Constitutionally responsible for spending, the House of Representatives.

Only 62% of able-bodied individuals are participating in the labor force (over 13% real unemployment when the available labor force is considered) due to the lack of jobs being created through the inequality of government growth over individual freedom to create and produce goods and services.

The issue around the inequality of income is the ability to retain what little income that is earned when we are governed by an entity that has run up nearly $7 Trillion of additional United States debt (Total debt = $17 Trillion - an overall 40% increase) in just five short years of this country's 237 years of operation.

The middle class in the United States remains under assault with the push by both political parties for "comprehensive immigration reform" which has its political strength from large businesses (who give big political donations) for even cheaper labor and an increase in the voter base through amnesty paths to citizenship.

This political activity, executive power minimum wage increases and the push for increased immigration, does not make sense in the face of the lowest labor participation rate since the late 1970's combined with the largest unemployment rate in a half a century.

Post State of the Union address UPDATE:

Utah Senator Mike Lee's Best Point In His Response To President Obama's SOTU Address:

Senator Lee offered a populist Republican explanation of economic inequality ...

“This inequality crisis presents itself in three principal forms: immobility among the poor, who are being trapped in poverty by big-government programs; insecurity in the middle class, where families are struggling just to get by and can’t seem to get ahead; and cronyist privilege at the top, where political and economic insiders twist the immense power of the federal government to profit at the expense of everyone else.

… [Inequality is - through example] guaranteeing insurance companies taxpayer bailouts if Obamacare cuts into their profits.

Inequality is blocking thousands of middle-class jobs in the energy industry as a favor to partisan donors and radical environmental activists.

… But where does this new inequality come from? From GOVERNMENT — every time it takes rights and opportunities away from the American people and gives them instead to politicians, bureaucrats and special interests.”
[Reference Here]

... notes from The EDJE

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

What Happens When Pack-Like American Media Is Not Unbiased Or Free?

NBC Nightly News host Brian Williams immediately spun the story as a political pitfall for the possible presidential contender: "In a jam. A big problem for a man with big ambitions. Tonight, how a traffic nightmare on the world's busiest bridge has spilled into a full blown scandal with the power to damage Chris Christie's political future." Image Credit: MRCTV

What Happens When Pack-Like American Media Is Not Unbiased Or Free?

Information released last week about a possible scandal in the timing and reality of a traffic study leading to the entrance of a main transportation bridge spanning from Ft. Lee, New Jersey to Manhattan, New York had the American media complex working overtime.

The issue raised additional attention because the traffic study/lane closure actions involved New Jersey Republican Governor, Chris Christie, thought of by the media elite as a front-runner for the Republican political party nominee for President of the United States in 2016 against the assumed Democrat political party, former First Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.

Emails were discovered that placed the lane closures in Ft. Lee, New Jersey as a trumped-up action for payback to the Democrat Mayor of Ft. Lee for not endorsing Chris Cristie's second term run for Governor.

As a result, EMT response to a missing child and a heart attack victim were delayed.  Even after being informed of the EMT problems his traffic study/lane closure actions were causing, it was asserted that an angry Governor Christie refused to lift his vindictive blockade.

In a series of emails, Christie’s deputy chief of staff Bridge Anne Kelly discussed the closures weeks before they occurred, and appears to suggest that the closures were politically motivated.

“Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee,” Kelly wrote to David Wildstein, a Christie’s appointee to the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. ”Got it,” Wildstein replied.

How Democrats React graphic. Image Credit: The Patriot Post

This excerpted and edited from NewsBusters -

There's Already 17 Times More Coverage on Christie Scandal Than in Last Six Months of IRS

By Scott Whitlock

In less than 24 hours [after these assertions came to light, and after Gov. Christie held a 2 hour news conference],the big three networks devoted 17 times more coverage to a traffic scandal involving Chris Christie than they've allowed in the last six months to Barack Obama's Internal Revenue Service controversy. Since the story broke on Wednesday that aides to the New Jersey governor punished a local mayor's lack of endorsement with a massive traffic jam, ABC, CBS and NBC have responded with 34 minutes and 28 seconds of coverage. Since July 1, these same networks managed a scant two minutes and eight seconds for the IRS targeting of Tea Party groups.

In contrast, journalists such as Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos pounced on the developing Christie story. The GMA host opened the program on Thursday by announcing, "Chris Christie in crisis. Calls at this hour for the feds to step in, investigate the explosive e-mails."

Stephanopoulos later wondered, "One of the big questions right now, how much has it hampered his White House prospects?" Guest Matt Dowd insisted that, on a scale from one to ten, the controversy was already at a "four or five."

On the CBS Evening News, anchor Scott Pelley sounded a similar alarm: "Tonight, a potential presidential candidate caught up in scandal. E-mails show massive New Jersey traffic jams were engineered by aides to Governor Chris Christie as political payback."

Since Wednesday night, NBC included six reports over 14 minutes and 14 seconds. CBS devoted five reports over 12 minutes and 27 seconds. ABC managed 4 stories over seven minutes and 47 seconds.

As a comparison over the last six months, NBC featured a scant five seconds on updating the IRS story. CBS responded with a minute and 41 seconds. ABC produced a meager 22 seconds.

Although the media downplayed the IRS controversy from July through December (it first broke in May), it's not as though there wasn't much happening. As the Media Research Center documented, many potential story leads developed.

In December, House investigator Darrell Issa announced that the FBI and IRS chief counsel is stonewalling the investigation. In October, newly obtained e-mails showed that the scandal-plagued Lois Lerner, the woman at the center of the controversy, illegally gave Tea Party tax info to the FEC. That same month, it came out that an IRS official may have given confidential information to the White House.

These stories were buried by ABC, CBS and NBC, the same networks that have immediately deluged Republican Chris Christie, a 2016 contender, with coverage for his scandal.
[Reference Here]

The American media complex is neither Free or Unbiased.

Most people who listen to, or read information dispatches from AP, Reuters, NBC, CBS, ABC, The New York Times, BBC, and etc. do not know that they are getting their information from employees that all work from offices that can only be understood as a complex. The media complex, centered in the middle of the island of Manhattan, New York, is a four square block area above and below ground level around Rockefeller Center. The people who work for any of these organizations work just around the corner from each other, usually go to lunch and dinner with each other, foster professional relationships for future job opportunities, and to a high 80 to 90 percentile, vote for much the same large central government policies and politicians as America's Democrat Political Party embraces.

It is this herd-mentality and herd-proximity that has diluted the hallmark values of a free and open press. The Gov. Christie flap is just puts a magnifying glass on the level of bias and lack of freedom upon which an organization has to investigate, produce information, and broadcast it in a sufficient volume so that all citizens become informed.

This excerpted and edited from PJ Media -

No, Those de Blasio-as-Bane Parodies Make No Sense Whatsoever

Ed Driscoll - PJ Media - January 13th, 2014 - 1:25 pm

Plus #Bridgegate, Gotham City-style, when “De Blasio’s handpicked City Council speaker blocked the Brooklyn Bridge with Occupy Wall Street,” the Daily Caller reports today:

Democratic New York City mayor Bill de Blasio’s handpicked City Council speaker was arrested for blocking traffic on the Brooklyn Bridge while participating in a union-organized Occupy Wall Street protest.

The incident occurred a little more than two years before de Blasio railed against the “immoral” and “not mature” actions of New Jersey governor Chris Christie’s aides in conducting a disruptive “traffic study” on the George Washington Bridge for apparently political reasons.

Melissa Mark-Viverito, who became Council speaker last week after de Blasio and his aides lobbied Council members on her behalf, was arrested on November 17, 2011 while sitting with a group on the approach to the Brooklyn Bridge chanting “We are the 99 percent” and “All day! All week! Occupy Wall Street!”

Mark-Viverito, an eighth-district City councilwoman, and her group only remained in their position for a “few minutes” before they were arrested, but Mark-Viverito noted that “we probably would have been there you know 16, 17 hours.” SEIU 1199 president George Gresham was also part of the group.
Meanwhile, back in New Jersey, Ed Morrissey notes that the Feds may be probing Chris Christie over the use of Hurricane Sandy relief funds:

Christie burned a lot of bridges in that debate, and in his embrace (literally) of Obama in those final days of the 2012 election.  Ironically, it’s the Obama administration that is widening its probe into the use of those funds now. Don’t expect too many Republicans to rush to Christie’s side in this fight, except to point out that the $2.2 million difference between the two advertising campaign proposals amounts to 0.041% of the porkfest Barack Obama and Chris Christie demanded from Congress for Sandy relief.  There may be a lot of reasons why victims haven’t seen their Sandy aid yet, but this ad campaign isn’t one of them.

George H.W. Bush tried to make nice with Democrats in 1990 by giving in to a tax increase, only to have Bill Clinton(!) call him a liar and use Bush’s rhetoric successfully against him during the 1992 campaign:

John McCain spent virtually his entire career in politics playing the role of iconoclastic “Maverick,” which meant frequently siding with Democrats and pulling the rug out from Republicans, only to discover in 2008 that at election time, the media wing of the Democrat party plays hardball, for keeps, and in the midst of fullblown hopenchange fever cheerfully devoured his presidential campaign in 2008 without batting an eye. Similarly, Chris Christie has all too often as governor of New Jersey embraced Obama and offered very few coattails to his fellow Republicans, particularly when it mattered in the fall of 2012 during the Romney campaign. He too is in the process of having his presidential hopes devoured by the media left.

Charlie Brown never learned that Lucy will always pull the football away; why don’t Republicans ever learn that however much they cozy up to the left, they will eventually be fatally stung. It is the nature of the scorpion.
[Reference Here]

Perspective is everything. One has to stick one's head out from under the Media Complex rock that it is 'imposed' under via the traditional methods and look around in order to begin to find something that is more in-depth than the herd-media-news we get so easily.

... notes from The EDJE

Monday, January 06, 2014

An American Open Wheel Ladder Series 2013 Season Yearbook

Book Cover Design - The Ladder 2013 Yearbook: Lights - Pro Mazda - USF2000. Image Credit: Ron Bijlsma and Tony DiZinno (2013)

An American Open Wheel Ladder Series 2013 Season Yearbook

What happens when one takes two very intense and busy motorsports Documentarians, put them out to engage and relate to all of the effort that goes into the three open wheel racing series that hold their seasons in North America, have them take all of their digital assets and arrange them into one reference resource?

What's created is a colorful, page turning book that goes by the title "The Ladder 2013 Yearbook: Lights - Pro Mazda - USF2000" with the tagline, Capturing the next generation of American open wheel talent, produced by Ron Bijlsma and Tony DiZinno.

In this recap, Ron and Tony look at the Firestone Indy Lights Series, Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and the USF2000 National Championship Presented by Cooper Tires/Powered by Mazda seasons. The three divisions are all part of the Mazda Road to Indy ladder, where graduates from all three series have eventually gone on to race in the IndyCar Series, the top level of open wheel racing series in North America, or continue driving in other top level motorsports series.

In 300-plus pages, through Ron Bijlsma’s captivating photography and through Tony DiZinno's captivating words, the Ladder 2013 Yearbook attempts to tell the stories of each race weekend, the people who made their name and impact on the field, and produced starring roles.

Page Design - Teams & Drivers - 1. Image Credit: Ron Bijlsma and Tony DiZinno (2013)

In 2008, a similar effort was undertaken as a documentary by the title of "Driven To Race" by Cargo Productions (2010). Jeff Krueger and Brian Spillane of Cargo Productions were able to edit down 150 hours of footage shot across the United States and Canada and produce a still available feature-length documentary that followed only eight ambitious, young male and female drivers from around the world as they competed for the one thing that will move them up the ladder to a career in professional racing. The film focused, however, on only one of the established ladder series that was known then as Star Mazda Series ... the modern day Pro Mazda Series.

The Ladder 2013 Yearbook: Lights - Pro Mazda - USF2000, however, is much more expansive. As a book, one can refer to it on a whim, at random times, and can serve as an invaluable resource that provides unmatched, comprehensive coverage on the entire 2013 season of three open wheel racing series.

Page Design - Series Round Text & Results - 2. Image Credit: Ron Bijlsma and Tony DiZinno (2013)

Between March and October 2013, Ron and Tony traveled around the U.S. and Canada to a wide variety of circuits. Ovals such as the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Milwaukee Mile were joined by classic road courses such as Sebring International Raceway and the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, the brand, spanking new Circuit of the Americas in Austin and diverse street circuits in St. Petersburg, Long Beach, Toronto, Baltimore and more.

Through this backdrop and through the three ladder series, Ron Bijlsma and Tony DiZinno were able to capture a season’s memorable moments, and have this effort serve as a keepsake for all participants - drivers, teams, media, sponsors and fans alike - by providing a detailed look at the young talent racing in the American open wheel ladder system with The Ladder 2013 Yearbook.

To reserve your made to order copy, your order has to be made no later than January 20th 2013 or this project becomes stalled and unable to be available for your reference. In this New Media age one learns early on that not only does one become self-taught about modern internet communications, but one has to become self-published. Ron Bijlsma and Tony DiZinno have their digital assets edited down into 320 pages of a book that is ready to go to print but need the orders (or support pledges) in-house before the minimum production run can happen.

Please Order Or Pledge Support Now - "The Ladder 2013 Yearbook: Lights - Pro Mazda - USF2000" - and aid in the expansion of information on Ladder concept supported racing.

Page Design - Series Round Introduction - 1. Image Credit: Ron Bijlsma and Tony DiZinno (2013)

The biggest challenge in producing a yearbook like this is actually already behind Ron Bijlsma and Tony DiZinno; the commitment of covering all 42 races and all the challenges that come with it are now met. This Kickstarter approach is literally set up to get to the final challenge of getting the book from their minds and laptops onto paper.

Ron Bijlsma and Tony DiZinno are proud that it will be a self-published project which will allow for independence and total creative control over the book.

The biggest risk with this book project, of course, is that if the minimum threshold is not met, the book will not be printed.

AGAIN - Please Order Or Pledge Support Now - "The Ladder 2013 Yearbook: Lights - Pro Mazda - USF2000" - and help produce a memorable slice of motor culture history.

... notes from The EDJE