“Clean Coal” Refinery – Hah!

This is depressing.  I that thought that “clean coal”  was commercially non-viable because of the costs to scrub the noxious gases and particulates from the combustion product.  Here’s a new perspective.  “Clean coal” in this instance means removing impurities from waste coal before it is burned.  The combustion products from the coal itself are presumably unaffected.   Cleaning the coal before combustion enables the mines to use waste coal that would have been uneconomic in current plants.  “It just makes sense to further remove the impurities from coal before burning it,” OMNIS Chairman Simon Hodson said in a statement. “This is truly clean coal production in our view.” And they get a $50 million grant from a new program announced last month by the US Dept. of Energy.


CNX Coal Resources LP and OMNIS Bailey this week announced they will partner to develop “a first-of-a-kind solid energy refinery” that will process waste coal at CONSOL’s Bailey Mine Complex.

The Pennsylvania refinery will ultimately turn waste coal into a clean carbon fuel.

CNX said the project, which began as a pilot earlier this year, aims to generate a clean fuel that can be used to enhance the energy content and performance characteristics of its coal product.

The quest for “clean coal” continues, now by utilizing a process to remove impurities from waste coal that would have been discarded.


Cry me a river: Louisiana residents without flood insurance face uncertainty

Those residents without flood insurance are eligible for up to $33,000 in FEMA individual disaster assistance funds, although most will likely receive less than that, based on payments following other major disasters.

It’s not clear to me why the government should subsidize home owners who choose not to get flood insurance.  They’re home owners.  What about tax payers who don’t own homes? Why should they subsidize home owners?

I think Jesus said it best.

For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. But the one who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.”  Matthew 25:29

Source: Louisiana residents without flood insurance face uncertainty

Lincoln, The Movie

I borrowed Lincoln from the library. It was a disappointment.

The price was right, is about all I can say for it.   I was expecting more of a biography instead of a political thriller.  (The political intrigue was interesting – akin to House of Cards, I imagine.)

I’m conflicted over Daniel Day Lewis’s characterization.  He looked like my version of Lincoln but he didn’t talk like my version of Lincoln.  Great acting, I thought.

Sally Field was terrible – shallow acting, bad lines.

Tommy Lee Jones – make the best of a bad script.

Lincoln 2012 – IMDb.

Nuissance Squirrels

The squirrels are taking over the garage and shed in my back yard.  I’m afraid to go in there because they jump around overhead in the rafters and hiss at me. They chew up everything made of paper and they’ve tried to get into my seasonal storage duffel bags.  Enough is enough.
I found this stuff  Critter Ridder  It’s a spray-on liquid composed of three different kinds of hot peppers. Unlike bear spray, you don’t have to hit the animal with the spray; you’re suppose to spray it where they hang around.  But it lasts only 30 days before you have to reapply it.

If it doesn’t work, I think I’ll get a pet wolverine and keep him in the shed.  Wolverines like small mammals; goodness knows I’ve got enough of those.
If I have any left-over Critter Ridder I might use it as a spritzer on chicken wings or a nice taco salad.  Wish me luck.

Canada’s oil sands: The steam from below | The Economist

Please, in the Science and Technology section of The Economist, better science and less use of industry press releases.
The most glaring examples of poor journalism in the puff peace, to my mind:
Bad science:
“Germany’s Siemens is developing a system that floods a thick copper cable with an electrical current to create an alternating magnetic field to melt bitumen.”
Industry press releases:
The electricity required to run such a process might come from small nuclear reactors, says Jerry Hopwood of Candu Energy, a nuclear-technology company.

Canada’s oil sands: The steam from below | The Economist.


The May/June 2014″Intelligent Life” insert to the Economist featured an article on Seven Deadly Sins with seven different worldly people lobbying for one of the Sins.  They’re all interesting reads.

I particularly liked the article by Aminatta Forna (professor of creative writing at Bath Spa University and author of “The Hired Man”) and the following two paragraphs in particular.

I spend some of my time in west Africa where choices are fewer. In our family village most people are subsistence farmers and meals are shared and eaten from the same dish. Yet even there a visitor has asked for the “vegetarian option”. Off the coast nearby, Japanese factory trawlers heave tonnes of fish from the ocean, leaving little for local fishermen.

In west Africa, when a spendthrift loses his fortune, we say: “He ate it.” Future generations will look back at us, across the empty seas and the rainforests razed to make way for yet more cattle, ask what happened to the earth and say: “They ate it.”

via GLUTTONY IS THE DEADLIEST SIN | More Intelligent Life.