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Tuesday links


  1. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty March 24, 2015 7:17 am

    Mining for gold in sewage? OK, but I suspect that nobody’s going to complain about automation or robots for doing that job. 🙂

  2. Laird
    Laird March 24, 2015 8:14 am

    I can’t get the flame thrower site to open. Too bad; it sounds cool.

  3. Ellendra
    Ellendra March 24, 2015 9:02 am

    There used to be a company that could take any carbon-based material (sewage, turkey feathers, old tires, pretty much anything other than metal, glass, or stone) and turn it into oil, methane, and mineral powder. The mineral powder could then be further mined to seperate out specific minerals.

    The company went bankrupt, but I keep hoping someone will pick up their process. It would make the sewage mining mentioned above much easier.

    (I watched the company for years. The owner/inventor fell into the classic trap of expecting his invention to sell itself. What little marketing he did was focused solely on a tiny, tiny, little corner while ignoring the true potential of what he could have done. When the company went under, the patents were bought by an environmental lobbyist group with a history of sitting on inventions like that. Very sad.)

  4. Paul Bonneau
    Paul Bonneau March 24, 2015 9:33 am

    I joined the Marine Corps in 1968 to help kill Commies in Viet Nam. Strangely I ended up in an MOS that meant I did not end up going there and was stationed in Hawaii instead. It didn’t take too long, talking to Marines who had been there, to understand I had been sold a bill of goods and that the war was evil (stories of throwing VC out of helicopters during interrogations, that sort of thing). I am forever thankful that through sheer dumb luck I did not get sent there to kill men (and women and children!) doing nothing but defending their country against invaders.

    I have nothing but disgust and hatred for the kind of men who start wars, but who never have to suffer any personal ordeals because of their actions. If there is a Hell, I sincerely hope these bastards burn in it.

    As to the Montana public utility, I have a similar story. In (I think) the 1980’s Intel successfully lobbied the Oregon legislature to reduce the property taxes of the largest corporations because of the jobs they supposedly create. In this case Intel was the only corporation large enough to get these tax breaks; their smaller competitors did not qualify, much less did home owners. Yet later, when there was an initiative or referendum (can’t remember which) for a general reduction of property tax rates, Intel submitted an argument in the voter’s pamphlet OPPOSING the reduction. Hypocrisy, anyone? When a corporation gets large enough, the relationship with government becomes incestuous. There’s a lot of money to be made by people in the right places…

  5. Claire
    Claire March 24, 2015 10:42 am

    Ellendra — Fascinating! (And so typical of inventors and that classic trap.) The environmental lobbying group sounds like the SAF of environmentalism.

  6. jed
    jed March 24, 2015 3:44 pm

    I used to hang around with a part-time prospector. I don’t recall the gory details, but I got the impression that a leach process for gold extraction is difficult chemistry. Well, one that isn’t cyanide based, and you could say that isn’t without its difficulties as well. I imagine various entities have been working on that in the intervening years.

    Have to wonder though, about the cost / benefit. Aside from those who regularly swig Goldschlager, is there enough metal value in excrement to justify the expense of extraction? There’s tailing piles all over the place which likely have much higher concentrations. If it’s economically viable, why are those piles still sitting there next to abandoned mining sites?

    Speaking of dogs: Human, I require your assistance ….

  7. LarryA
    LarryA March 24, 2015 11:03 pm

    Well, after all, the government is nothing but the highest corporation.

  8. Shel
    Shel March 25, 2015 5:12 pm

    I happened to have been in the service at the time of the My Lai massacre. I talked to some infantry officers at a later date. The uniform opinion was that Lt. Calley wasn’t very smart, but he would do anything you asked him to do. They also viewed Cpt. Medina, his company commander, as an S.O.B.

    A couple of years later I was riding in a jeep; we came to an intersection that wasn’t far from the massacre. I was offered a chance to go see the place. I declined, as I understandably didn’t have good feelings about it. Now I wonder if I should have gone after all.

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