Saturday, July 31, 2010

Did GM get the Volt Right?

This week GM announced the price on the 2011 Chevy Volt. Just north of $41,000 with cloth seats and few options and about $45,000 for the car fully loaded. GM has priced the car according to their cost. Unlike Tesla who priced their roadster at one third of their costs and who will likely price their sedan at one quarter of their cost. How can the Volt be priced “right” when Tesla has priced their cars clearly wrong. That is because the Volt has a smaller battery for a limited range and then relies on a gasoline engine to go the rest of the way. The Volt has 16 kilowatt hours of battery storage and the Tesla roadster has 54 kilowatt hours of battery storage. Each kilowatt hour of battery storage costs the battery manufacturer such as A One over a thousand dollars to produce. A one should be announcing their quarterly results in a week or two and I will check what their unit costs are this quarter. Last quarter old A One burned at the stake sauce had unit costs north of $1,200 a kilowatt hour. I doubt their costs this quarter will be much less but let’s see if the Green Machine is correct.

Therefore at $1,000 per kilowatt hour of battery storage GM has a cost of $16,000 per Volt for batteries. The $25,000 remaining per vehicle is plausible as this is a Chevy and GM can possibly make a small profit on each Volt at the stated price of $41,000. GM will subsidize folks who lease the vehicle though. They have stated their monthly lease charge will be $329 plus sales taxes. What they have not revealed is the upfront payment to enter the lease. Given the maximum eight year life of the battery pack and a ten year life for the rest of the vehicle the up front payment to enter the lease should be $10,000 in order for GM not to loose a bunch on the car.

There is a car called the Leaf that Renault / Nissan will begin to market that has a range of 100 miles on electric power and has no gasoline engine. Nissan has priced this car at about $32,000 and by my estimate the batteries in the car cost Nissan almost as much as their full selling price. Renault’s cost accountants must have attended the same business school as Tesla’s cost accountants who in turn attended the same business school as Bernie Made Off with the money. Ajay a close friend a super avid reader of the Green Machine asked me to rename the Volt, the Leaf and the Tesla. For now I will let the Volt keep its name as it is tending to be priced at what it costs. I will not judge if it is priced for what it is worth as there is no economic justification for anyone to buy this car. The Leaf on the other hand will have an advertisement that will be “how do you spell re-leaf?” The answer is of course spelled “Failure”. As for Tesla I got to say that Elon Musk has Big Teslacles to provide pure fiction to investors, and government to fund his tail pipe dream. Those who buy the Tesla must have had the benefit of a large Testacy. Lexus has the IS, GS and LS, the Teslacle just has the BS.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Tata Toxic Tony

As the Brits say Ta Ta for goodbye we can say Ta Ta to Toxic Tony. My bet is old Tony Wayward will be out of Benghazi Petroleum Monday or Tuesday. Why do I call the old Anglo Persian Oil Company Benghazi Petroleum? That is because old Toxic Terroristic Tony put pressure on the British Government to speed up the release of Libyan "prisoners" so that Bayou Polluter could gain access to Libyan oilfields that the nice Colonel was opening for bids. One of the "prisoners" that gained release was the low life king pin al Megrahi convicted of the bombing of the Pan Am flight 103 that exploded in the air over Lockerbie Scotland. Toxic Tony I have no words to describe my disdain for you. I do hope you simply disappear.

The Irish Times reports the following: "In a letter to the Senate foreign relations committee, British foreign secretary William Hague acknowledged BP had lobbied the Labour government on five occasions to have al-Megrahi included under the terms of a subsequently-agreed prisoner transfer agreement, but the Scottish government refused to allow him to be included. It released him later on compassionate grounds because he was diagnosed with cancer."

Well old al Megrahi did not have the terminal cancer that was going to kill him in three months and will now live for years to come. I think a fitting ending will be for Toxic Tony to move to Benghazi and move in with al Megrahi and the two of them can chat each afternoon about how America has done them bad. I will let my readers decide who is worse Toxic Tony or the Murderous Megrahi?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Gravity Debunked By Thermodynamics

Ed a good friend and an avid reader of the Green Machine sent me this article that appeared this week in the New York Times. The NYT is a lefty news paper and the right side of my brain tells me there is no truth to any of their articles but this article is brilliant and worth reading. It is a bit long but bear with it and you will find how a new theory of gravity is emerging that relates to Entropy and Thermodynamics. Of course Alaric The Second will say he invented the theory when it becomes more widely accepted. The NYT will cover Alaric The Second receiving his second Nobel Prize this time in Physics.

Graham another avid reader pointed out that Websters does not have algetic as a word yet I did find the word referenced here A synonym for algetic is algesic and to get over a dose of old Alaric The Second one would have to take an anal gesic, note the pun on analgesic

Here is the NYT article

Published: July 12, 2010

It’s hard to imagine a more fundamental and ubiquitous aspect of life on the Earth than gravity, from the moment you first took a step and fell on your diapered bottom to the slow terminal sagging of flesh and dreams.
But what if it’s all an illusion, a sort of cosmic frill, or a side effect of something else going on at deeper levels of reality?
So says Erik Verlinde, 48, a respected string theorist and professor of physics at the University of Amsterdam, whose contention that gravity is indeed an illusion has caused a continuing ruckus among physicists, or at least among those who profess to understand it. Reversing the logic of 300 years of science, he argued in a recent paper, titled “On the Origin of Gravity and the Laws of Newton,” that gravity is a consequence of the venerable laws of thermodynamics, which describe the behavior of heat and gases.
“For me gravity doesn’t exist,” said Dr. Verlinde, who was recently in the United States to explain himself. Not that he can’t fall down, but Dr. Verlinde is among a number of physicists who say that science has been looking at gravity the wrong way and that there is something more basic, from which gravity “emerges,” the way stock markets emerge from the collective behavior of individual investors or that elasticity emerges from the mechanics of atoms.
Looking at gravity from this angle, they say, could shed light on some of the vexing cosmic issues of the day, like the dark energy, a kind of anti-gravity that seems to be speeding up the expansion of the universe, or the dark matter that is supposedly needed to hold galaxies together.
Dr. Verlinde’s argument turns on something you could call the “bad hair day” theory of gravity.
It goes something like this: your hair frizzles in the heat and humidity, because there are more ways for your hair to be curled than to be straight, and nature likes options. So it takes a force to pull hair straight and eliminate nature’s options. Forget curved space or the spooky attraction at a distance described by Isaac Newton’s equations well enough to let us navigate the rings of Saturn, the force we call gravity is simply a byproduct of nature’s propensity to maximize disorder.
Some of the best physicists in the world say they don’t understand Dr. Verlinde’s paper, and many are outright skeptical. But some of those very same physicists say he has provided a fresh perspective on some of the deepest questions in science, namely why space, time and gravity exist at all — even if he has not yet answered them.
“Some people have said it can’t be right, others that it’s right and we already knew it — that it’s right and profound, right and trivial,” Andrew Strominger, a string theorist atHarvard said.
“What you have to say,” he went on, “is that it has inspired a lot of interesting discussions. It’s just a very interesting collection of ideas that touch on things we most profoundly do not understand about our universe. That’s why I liked it.”
Dr. Verlinde is not an obvious candidate to go off the deep end. He and his brother Herman, a Princeton professor, are celebrated twins known more for their mastery of the mathematics of hard-core string theory than for philosophic flights.
Born in Woudenberg, in the Netherlands, in 1962, the brothers got early inspiration from a pair of 1970s television shows about particle physics and black holes. “I was completely captured,” Dr. Verlinde recalled. He and his brother obtained Ph.D’s from the University of Utrecht together in 1988 and then went to Princeton, Erik to the Institute for Advanced Study and Herman to the university. After bouncing back and forth across the ocean, they got tenure at Princeton. And, they married and divorced sisters. Erik left Princeton for Amsterdam to be near his children.
He made his first big splash as a graduate student when he invented Verlinde Algebra and the Verlinde formula, which are important in string theory, the so-called theory of everything, which posits that the world is made of tiny wriggling strings.
You might wonder why a string theorist is interested in Newton’s equations. After all Newton was overturned a century ago by Einstein, who explained gravity as warps in the geometry of space-time, and who some theorists think could be overturned in turn by string theorists.
Over the last 30 years gravity has been “undressed,” in Dr. Verlinde’s words, as a fundamental force.
This disrobing began in the 1970s with the discovery by Jacob Bekenstein of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Stephen Hawking of Cambridge University, among others, of a mysterious connection between black holes and thermodynamics, culminating in Dr. Hawking’s discovery in 1974 that when quantum effects are taken into account black holes would glow and eventually explode.
In a provocative calculation in 1995, Ted Jacobson, a theorist from the University of Maryland, showed that given a few of these holographic ideas, Einstein’s equations of general relativity are just a another way of stating the laws of thermodynamics.
Those exploding black holes (at least in theory — none has ever been observed) lit up a new strangeness of nature. Black holes, in effect, are holograms — like the 3-D images you see on bank cards. All the information about what has been lost inside them is encoded on their surfaces. Physicists have been wondering ever since how this “holographic principle” — that we are all maybe just shadows on a distant wall — applies to the universe and where it came from.

In one striking example of a holographic universe, Juan Maldacena of the Institute for Advanced Study constructed a mathematical model of a “soup can” universe, where what happened inside the can, including gravity, is encoded in the label on the outside of the can, where there was no gravity, as well as one less spatial dimension. If dimensions don’t matter and gravity doesn’t matter, how real can they be?
Lee Smolin, a quantum gravity theorist at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, called Dr. Jacobson’s paper “one of the most important papers of the last 20 years.”
But it received little attention at first, said Thanu Padmanabhan of the Inter-University Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics in Pune, India, who has taken up the subject of “emergent gravity” in several papers over the last few years. Dr. Padmanabhan said that the connection to thermodynamics went deeper that just Einstein’s equations to other theories of gravity. “Gravity,” he said recently in a talk at the Perimeter Institute, “is the thermodynamic limit of the statistical mechanics of “atoms of space-time.”
Dr. Verlinde said he had read Dr. Jacobson’s paper many times over the years but that nobody seemed to have gotten the message. People were still talking about gravity as a fundamental force. “Clearly we have to take these analogies seriously, but somehow no one does,” he complained.
His paper, posted to the physics archive in January, resembles Dr. Jacobson’s in many ways, but Dr. Verlinde bristles when people say he has added nothing new to Dr. Jacobson’s analysis. What is new, he said, is the idea that differences in entropy can be the driving mechanism behind gravity, that gravity is, as he puts it an “entropic force.”
That inspiration came to him courtesy of a thief.
As he was about to go home from a vacation in the south of France last summer, a thief broke into his room and stole his laptop, his keys, his passport, everything. “I had to stay a week longer,” he said, “I got this idea.”
Up the beach, his brother got a series of e-mail messages first saying that he had to stay longer, then that he had a new idea and finally, on the third day, that he knew how to derive Newton’s laws from first principles, at which point Herman recalled thinking, “What’s going on here? What has he been drinking?”
When they talked the next day it all made more sense, at least to Herman. “It’s interesting,” Herman said, “how having to change plans can lead to different thoughts.”
Think of the universe as a box of scrabble letters. There is only one way to have the letters arranged to spell out the Gettysburg Address, but an astronomical number of ways to have them spell nonsense. Shake the box and it will tend toward nonsense, disorder will increase and information will be lost as the letters shuffle toward their most probable configurations. Could this be gravity?
As a metaphor for how this would work, Dr. Verlinde used the example of a polymer — a strand of DNA, say, a noodle or a hair — curling up.
“It took me two months to understand polymers,” he said.
The resulting paper, as Dr. Verlinde himself admits, is a little vague.
“This is not the basis of a theory,” Dr. Verlinde explained. “I don’t pretend this to be a theory. People should read the words I am saying opposed to the details of equations.”
Dr. Padmanabhan said that he could see little difference between Dr. Verlinde’s and Dr. Jacobson’s papers and that the new element of an entropic force lacked mathematical rigor. “I doubt whether these ideas will stand the test of time,” he wrote in an e-mail message from India. Dr. Jacobson said he couldn’t make sense of it.
John Schwarz of the California Institute of Technology, one of the fathers of string theory, said the paper was “very provocative.” Dr. Smolin called it, “very interesting and also very incomplete.”
At a workshop in Texas in the spring, Raphael Bousso of the University of California, Berkeley, was asked to lead a discussion on the paper.
“The end result was that everyone else didn’t understand it either, including people who initially thought that did make some sense to them,” he said in an e-mail message.
“In any case, Erik’s paper has drawn attention to what is genuinely a deep and important question, and that’s a good thing,” Dr. Bousso went on, “I just don’t think we know any better how this actually works after Erik’s paper. There are a lot of follow-up papers, but unlike Erik, they don’t even understand the problem.”
The Verlinde brothers are now trying to recast these ideas in more technical terms of string theory, and Erik has been on the road a bit, traveling in May to the Perimeter Institute and Stony Brook University on Long Island, stumping for the end of gravity. Michael Douglas, a professor at Stony Brook, described Dr. Verlinde’s work as “a set of ideas that resonates with the community, adding, “everyone is waiting to see if this can be made more precise.”
Until then the jury of Dr. Verlinde’s peers will still be out.
Over lunch in New York, Dr. Verlinde ruminated over his experiences of the last six months. He said he had simply surrendered to his intuition. “When this idea came to me, I was really excited and euphoric even,” Dr. Verlinde said. “It’s not often you get a chance to say something new about Newton’s laws. I don’t see immediately that I am wrong. That’s enough to go ahead.”
He said friends had encouraged him to stick his neck out and that he had no regrets. “If I am proven wrong, something has been learned anyway. Ignoring it would have been the worst thing.”
The next day Dr. Verlinde gave a more technical talk to a bunch of physicists in the city. He recalled that someone had told him the other day that the unfolding story of gravity was like the emperor’s new clothes.
“We’ve known for a long time gravity doesn’t exist,” Dr. Verlinde said, “It’s time to yell it.”

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Algific, Algetic, or Algoric?

This blog is a test of your English vocab. Do you know that algific means to make cold? All this talk about global warming certainly makes the need for all of us to become algific more imperative. Do you know that algetic means to cause pain? Of course we know that listening to Alfalfa is certainly highly algetic. So what does algoric mean? I will have to make this up as the dictionary does not have this word. It could mean to make money out of nonsense. That certainly applies to old Alfalfa. It could mean to speak from two sides of the mouth. Alfalfa certainly does that. Algoric may not be an English word but allochroic certainly is an accepted word. It means to be changeable in color. Alfalfa is certainly allochroic, he went from green to gangrene in no time at all. Also allogeneic is a real word that means to be of the same species but to be genetically dissimilar. No doubt the Green Machine is allogeneic when compared to Alfalfa. This is the shortest blog I have written in months but perhaps it is the most allobaric. This word means that the atmospheric pressure is changing. No doubt a storm is going to come from my liberal friends who believe in old Alfie. Lastly I have renamed Alfalfa as Alaric The Second. Alaric was the king of the Visigoths who destroyed Rome in 410 AD. Alaric The Second is the king of the Visigores, a new tribe of barbarians who are now sacking Washington DC and looting the city some 1600 years later.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Gates is Greener Than Buffett

I am on Bill gates' side on this one. This news was on Yahoo today

Gates Bets Against Buffett's EV Prophecy

With all the electric vehicle talk these days, it's almost surprising to hear there are still start-ups banking on the future of the combustion engine. However, one such firm got a high-profile vote of confidence from Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT - News) founder Bill Gates, who, according to The Wall Street Journal, contributed to a $23.5 million round of funding. EcoMotors is a Troy, Michigan-based low-emissions engine firm whose motors are designed to run on ethanol, diesel, and good old-fashioned gasoline. According to its website, the company aims to make possible the first five-passenger car capable of 100 mpg highway fuel economy.

Investors pay close attention to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's top disclosed equity holdings partly due to the foundation's multi-billion dollar scale, and also because of Gates' proximity to investment legend Warren Buffett. Lately though, Gates' personal venture investments have grabbed the most headlines.

Back in 2008, Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-A - News, BRK-B - News) bought a 10%, Hong Kong-listed stake in Chinese electric car and battery firm BYD Co (Pink Sheets: BYDDF - News). BYD is hardly the typical "Buffett stock," as indicated by Berkshire's latest disclosed U.S.-listed equity portfolio, which is chock full of blue-chips like Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG - News), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ - News), and Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO - News). But the Oracle of Omaha sees electric vehicles proliferating in the not too distant future, noting to a group of university students in 2009 that every car on the road will be electric in 20 years. Various components of the Energy Storage and Battery Technology Stocks Index are undoubtedly hoping that's the case.

Come mid-August investors will be privy to any notable Pro holdings in plug-in sports car firm Tesla Motors, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA - News), which debuted on the Nasdaq to much fanfare at the end of June. It didn't take long for the stock to forfeit its massive post-IPO spike, but investors will still be paying close attention to the firm's value, as it is the first domestic pure-play on electric vehicle production. Elsewhere in the automotive segment, Toyota Motor (NYSE: TM - News), Honda Motor (NYSE: HMC - News), Ford Motor (NYSE: F - News), and other major automakers have made significant investments in the development of electric or hybrid technology. It's interesting to see Gates bet against his billionaire buddy's prophecy, especially considering the likeness between their respective foundation's and firm's U.S.-listed holdings. However, with traders clamoring over plug-in investments, but relatively few hybrids, and even less full electric vehicles on the road, an efficiency play utilizing existing infrastructure doesn't sound like a bad idea. It will be interesting to see whether EcoMotors can prove worthy of the press it's received from the Gates investment.

Investors can view U.S.-listed firms the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has invested in and a chart of their combined performance at

Monday, July 5, 2010

A tale of Two Cs

I know China consumes more gasoline than California. This happened in 2008. Old Dickens would rewrite his tale of two cities comparing California to China. For California it is the worst of times; for China it is the best of times when the analysis is performed on the basis of economic growth. For me the Chinese economic growth is actually also in the negative column as the world does not have all the resources needed for all to "enjoy" the Brady Bunch Lifestyle. Here is an interesting article I found today from the New York Times

China Fears Climate Effects as Consumer Class Rises

Published: Monday, 5 Jul 2010 | 2:30 AM ET Text Size
By: Keith Bradsher

Premier Wen Jiabao has promised to use an “iron hand” this summer to make his nation more energy efficient. The central government has ordered cities to close inefficient factories by September, like the vast Guangzhou Steel mill here, where most of the 6,000 workers will be laid off or pushed into early retirement.

Already, in the last three years, China has shut down more than a thousand older coal-fired power plants that used technology of the sort still common in the United States. China has also surpassed the rest of the world as the biggest investor in wind turbines and other clean energy technology. And it has dictated tough new energy standards for lighting and gas mileage for cars.

But even as Beijing imposes the world’s most rigorous national energy campaign, the effort is being overwhelmed by the billionfold demands of Chinese consumers.

Chinese and Western energy experts worry that China’s energy challenge could become the world’s problem — possibly dooming any international efforts to place meaningful limits on global warming.

If China cannot meet its own energy-efficiency targets, the chances of avoiding widespread environmental damage from rising temperatures “are very close to zero,” said Fatih Birol, the chief economist of the International Energy Agency in Paris.

Aspiring to a more Western standard of living, in many cases with the government’s encouragement, China’s population, 1.3 billion strong, is clamoring for more and bigger cars, for electricity-dependent home appliances and for more creature comforts like air-conditioned shopping malls.

As a result, China is actually becoming even less energy efficient. And because most of its energy is still produced by burning fossil fuels, China’s emission of carbon dioxide — a so-called greenhouse gas — is growing worse. This past winter and spring showed the largest six-month increase in tonnage ever by a single country.

Until recently, projections by both the International Energy Agency and the Energy Information Administration in Washington had assumed that, even without an international energy agreement to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, China would achieve rapid improvements in energy efficiency through 2020.

But now China is struggling to limit emissions even to the “business as usual” levels that climate models assume if the world does little to address global warming.

“We really have an arduous task” even to reach China’s existing energy-efficiency goals, said Gao Shixian, an energy official at the National Development and Reform Commission, in a speech at the Clean Energy Expo China in late June in Beijing.

China’s goal has been to reduce energy consumption per unit of economic output by 20 percent this year compared with 2005, and to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases per unit of economic output by 40 to 45 percent in 2020 compared with 2005.

But even if China can make the promised improvements, the International Energy Agency now projects that China’s emissions of energy-related greenhouse gases will grow more than the rest of the world’s combined increase by 2020. China, with one-fifth of the world’s population, is now on track to represent more than a quarter of humanity’s energy-related greenhouse-gas emissions.

Industry by industry, energy demand in China is increasing so fast that the broader efficiency targets are becoming harder to hit.

Although China has passed the United States in the average efficiency of its coal-fired power plants, demand for electricity is so voracious that China last year built new coal-fired plants with a total capacity greater than all existing power plants in New York State.

While China has imposed lighting efficiency standards on new buildings and is drafting similar standards for household appliances, construction of apartment and office buildings proceeds at a frenzied pace. And rural sales of refrigerators, washing machines and other large household appliances more than doubled in the past year in response to government subsidies aimed at helping 700 million peasants afford modern amenities.

As the economy becomes more reliant on domestic demand instead of exports, growth is shifting toward energy-hungry steel and cement production and away from light industries like toys and apparel.

Chinese cars get 40 percent better gas mileage on average than American cars because they tend to be much smaller and have weaker engines. And China is drafting regulations that would require cars within each size category to improve their mileage by 18 percent over the next five years. But China’s auto market soared 48 percent in 2009, surpassing the American market for the first time, and car sales are rising almost as rapidly again this year.

One of the newest factors in China’s energy use has emerged beyond the planning purview of policy makers in Beijing, in the form of labor unrest at factories across the country.

An older generation of low-wage migrant workers accepted hot dormitories and factories with barely a fan to keep them cool, one of many reasons Chinese emissions per person are still a third of American emissions per person. Besides higher pay, young Chinese are now demanding their own 100-square-foot studio apartments, with air-conditioning at home and in factories. Indeed, one of the demands by workers who went on strike in May at a Honda transmission factory in Foshan was that the air-conditioning thermostats be set lower.

Chinese regulations still mandate that the air-conditioning in most places be set no cooler than 79 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer. But upscale shopping malls have long been exempt from the thermostat controls and have maintained much cooler temperatures through the summers. Now, as the consumer economy takes root, those malls are proliferating in cities across China.

Premier Wen acknowledged in a statement after a cabinet meeting in May that the efficiency gains had started to reverse and actually deteriorated by 3.2 percent in the first quarter of this year. He cited a lack of controls on energy-intensive industries, although the economic rebound from the global financial crisis may have also played a role.

Global climate discussions, in pinning hopes on China’s ability to vastly improve its efficient use of energy, have tended to cite International Energy Agency data showing that China uses twice as much energy per dollar of output as the United States and three times as much as the European Union. The implicit assumption is that China can greatly improve efficiency because it must still be relying mainly on wasteful, aging boilers and outmoded power plants.

But David Fridley, a longtime specialist in China’s energy at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, said that the comparison to the United States and the European Union was misleading.

Manufacturing makes up three times as much of the Chinese economy as it does the American economy, and it is energy-intensive. If the United States had much more manufacturing, Mr. Fridley said, it would also use considerably more energy per dollar of output.

“China has been trying to grab the low-lying fruit — to find those opportunities where increased efficiency can save money and reduce carbon-dioxide emissions,” said Ken Caldeira, a climate change specialist at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Stanford, Calif. “It is starting to look like it might not be that easy to find and grab this fruit.”

This story originally appeared in the The New York Times

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Pele and Puskas The Greatest

Another week and another EV of oil has leaked into the Gulf Of Mexico. Remember an EV is an Exxon Valdez and equals 11 million gallons of oil. Just saw news on CNN that over 200 Congolese perished while trying to collect oil that had spilled from a road tanker that had overturned. One of the people skimming the oil was smoking a cigarette. Guess this brand of cigs in the Congo will be called Unlucky Strike. Perhaps the US government should let thousands of Congolese who clamor for spilled oil into the country to help with the cleanup as nothing else seems to be doing the job. The world is crazy and oil fuels the craziness.

Tesla Motors had their IPO on the US NASDAQ this week. Thermodynamically challenged imbeciles managed to bid the stock up to $30 a share after the stock listed at about $17 a share. It ended the week near $20 a share and my prediction is that it will never see $30 again and will soon be a single digit stock. Had readers of the green machine shorted Raser and A One when I told you all these stocks were hyped you could have retired. Raser was a wealth eraser, A One was a burned at the stake sauce and Tesla is a direct currency short circuit. I hope the greedy folks who are hyping this Betamax stock also get burned so to speak. Readers please note I am not a stock analyst I am just weighing in from a Thermodynamic point of view so if you pull the plug on Tesla you are doing it on your own risk and under your own advice.

Obama is still trying to give money away to solar companies who will employ folks so we can all get back to work. I have a suggestion for the Pres and the Congress why don’t all of you join a solar company and do an honest day’s work. Better still NASA still has a few Shuttles left so why not all go on a flight to the nearest star other than our sun. That star is Proxima Centauri and it is 4.2 light years away from our sun. If one performed the tedious arithmetic to convert this distance to miles it is about 5.879 trillion miles. We Yanks travel about 3 trillion miles a year in our cars and trucks so we could easily not drive for a couple of years and send the political leadership far away. Actually we vote every two years and can do the same with much less thermodynamic effort.

Proxima Centauri is a Red Dwarf Star that was discovered in 1915 at the Union Observatory in South Africa by a Robert Innes. I lived near this observatory when I was a kid in Johannesburg and it was located on Innes Street and only today in researching this for my blog did I put two and two together to realize that the street was named after a famous astronomer. Talking about Red Dwarfs and failed political systems we could also name the former Soviet Union as a Red Dwarf. It is a pity that the Bolsheviks in 1917 did not realize that old Innes had discovered a Red Dwarf that had burned out two years earlier. We Joburgers driving our vehicles in Johannesburg in the 1960s with leaded gasoline from BP polluted our skies so badly that the world famous Observatory was shut in 1971 and it became a fallen star.

The World Cup has once again put South Africa on the map and the games have been fantastic. I love soccer and I love the World Cup. I want the Netherlands to win as I remember as a kid many folks from the low lands rode bicycles while my Mom carted us to school in Johannesburg in a 1952 Buick Special that got 8 miles to the Imperial Gallon. Not much has changed from then to now here in Tiburon California where soccer moms drive behemoth SUVs to cart their kids around. Maybe the kids should just ride their bikes to the soccer game. When I grew up kids arranged their own soccer games and no parents were present as we all ran around an uneven field chasing a worn leather ball. Our joy was in playing the game, we did not need coaches or adults to tell us how to play. We just played and pretended we were Pele or Puskas. I bet you not many know who Ferenc Puskas was? He was great and played for Hungary. He played for Real Madrid and was the top scorer of goals in the 20th century. His country had to endure the domination of the Soviets but he managed to become a superstar instead of a Red Dwarf. Puskas died four years ago at age 79 but in my mind he is still a Super Giant Star. A super giant star is ten or more times more massive than our sun and it only lasts for a few million years as it devours its hydrogen at a pace only old Arnie’s Hydrogen Hummer can match. Now that Arne has bankrupted our state he announced today that California government workers will be paid the minimum wage. Arne like Toxic Tony should just sail a boat into the Bermuda Triangle.