Friday, March 14, 2014


Inukjuak is a small isolated town on the Hudson Bay in northern Quebec.  The town has a population of 1600 people, and has a small all-year airport, hotel and stores. They have to be very self contained.

Their claim to fame is they may have the oldest known rocks on the planet.  The Earth is 4.54 Ga old, and these rocks may be 4.3-4.4 Ga.  The first 500 million years of the Earth were violent, a time of impacts, including the one that created the moon around 4.4 Ga.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Jeanne D'Arc

Place des Pyramides, Paris
by Emmanuel Fremiet
The story of Joan of Arc is famous, globally known, and steeped in adulation.

Born 1412 in Rouen, at that time under English rule. It was the period when England controlled large areas of France; the period of the Hundred Years War. A brutal time.

There is considerable volume of documents from this period, especially from her trial.

In her early teens she heard voices and had visions, probably caused by a brain condition, caused perhaps by natural drugs or being bipolar.  She was a disturbed, but a very capable and active teenager.

She traveled with the troops and maybe co-led troops in support of the French uncrowned king Charles 7th against the English.

She was captured and sold to the English in 1430 and executed by burning at the tender age of 19, the following year.

Monday, March 10, 2014

The Crossroads Tavern

The Crossroads Tavern is in Cat Springs, Texas, miles from anywhere. On Friday night the place is busy, the dirt lot is filled with pickup trucks, and the bar it packed. They serve all you can eat fish, fries, hush puppies, white bread and relish, for $10.

You can eat outside, or inside sharing long tables with everyone else. A good place to spot locals in cowboy hats. Part of its charm is its lack of pretentiousness.  An ex-gas station with the fake "Cat Springs Country Club" over the door.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Drill Baby Drill

Global trade is good, but not with your enemies. We know who they are. We cannot do much about Putin in the short term, but in the medium term we can.

The US needs to increase its export of natural gas and oil.  It will improve the US economy, create jobs, allow us to say goodbye to our Middle East "friends," and help our European friends detach themselves from Russia.

American private enterprise is shackled by politics and bad laws. We can become a benign petrostate:

(1) Allow much more fracking on federal land
(2) Allow extraction from all coastal areas, not just three States
(3) Allow the export of oil, right now it is illegal
(4) Lift the bureaucracy on exporting natural gas
(5) Complete the Keystone pipeline