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SUN ☼ / Re: Total Eclipse of the SUN☼: SUN☼/Diner Convocation 2017
« Last post by RE on Today at 07:26:49 PM »
I just got a motorcycle and will attempt to come out there weather providing. What kind of mountains am I looking at though? What are the odds they're passable?

Not much mountains in this neighborhood of Idaho.  It's where they grow the Potatoes.

Energy / Peak Shale
« Last post by Palloy2 on Today at 07:05:14 PM »
With WTI stuck below $50 for 3 months ...
Peak Shale: Anadarko Just Became The First US Oil Producer To Slash CapEx
Tyler Durden
Jul 24, 2017

It appears that Horseman Global's Russell Clark may have been spot on with his bearish take on the US shale sector.

As a reminder, in his latest letter to investors, Clark said that "the rising decline rates of major US shale basins, and the increasing incidents of frac hits (also a cause of rising decline rates) have convinced me that US shale producers are not only losing competitiveness against other oil drillers, but they will find it hard to make money.... at some point debt investors start to worry that they will not get their capital back and cut lending to the industry. Even a small reduction in capital, would likely lead to a steep fall in US oil production. If new drilling stopped today, daily US oil production would fall by 350 thousand barrels a day over the next month."

    What I also find extraordinary, is that it seems to me shale drilling is a very unprofitable industry, and becoming more so. And yet, many businesses in the US have expended large amounts of capital on the basis that US oil will always be cheap and plentiful. I am thinking of pipelines, refineries, LNG exporters, chemical plants to name the most obvious. Even more amazing is that other oil sources have become more cost competitive but have been starved of resources. If US oil production declines, the rest of the world will struggle to increase output. An oil squeeze looks more likely to me.

While the bearish thesis has yet to play out, moments ago Anadarko poured cold water on US energy investors after it missed earnings badly, reporting a Q2 EPS loss of 77c, more than double the 33 cent loss expected. However, what was far more concerning to shale bulls (and perhaps oil bears), is that the company admitted that it can no longer support its capital spending budget, and it would cut its 2017 capital budget by $300 million, becoming the first major U.S. oil producer to do so, as a result of depressed oil prices. In March, Anadarko had forecast total 2017 capex of $4.5 billion to $4.7 billion, a continuation of the recent CapEx rebound which troughed in Q3 2016.

Ahead of the Tuesday earnings call, APC CEO Al Walker confirmed Wall Street's growing fears that oil prices are simply too low to sustain ongoing exploration when he said that "the current market conditions require lower capital intensity given the volatility of margins realized in this operating environment. As such, we are reducing our level of investments by $300 million for the full year."

Ironically it was Walker himself who issued a clear warning to Wall Street in June, when he bought up something we first covered in April of 2015 in "When QE Leads To Deflation: A Look At The "Confounding" Global Supply Glut", when he said that it was the relentless supply of cheap capital that was masking the underlying lack of profitability and allowing shale companies to pump beyond the point of negative returns: “The biggest problem our industry faces today is you guys,” Al Walker, chief executive of Anadarko Petroleum Corp. told investors at a conference last month, quoted by the WSJ.

    Companies have more capital to keep drilling thanks to $57 billion Wall Street has injected into the sector over the last 18 months. Money has come from investors in new stock sales and high-yield debt, as well as from private equity funds, which have helped provide lifelines to stronger operators. Flush with cash, virtually all of them launched campaigns to boost drilling at the start of 2017 in the hope that oil prices would rebound.


    The new wave of crude has again glutted the market. The shale companies are edged even further from profitability, and a few voices have begun to question the wisdom of Wall Street financing the industry’s addiction to growth.


    Wall Street has become an enabler that pushes companies to grow production at any cost, while punishing those that try to live within their means, Mr. Walker said, adding: “It’s kind of like going to AA. You know, we need a partner. We really need the investment community to show discipline.”

Ultimately, it was up to Walker to demonstrate that discipline when he voluntarily reduced the amount of capital he would reinvest in his business. And since oil exploration is by far the most capital intensive industry, the hit to revenue will be quick and painful, much to the delight of OPEC which may finally be seeing light at the end of a long, dark tunnel. To that point, Anadarko also said it was trimming its 2017 production forecast to 644,000 bpd, a 2% cut.

Incidentally, Horseman is not the first to turn bearish on shale. As Bloomberg reported earlier, Goldman Sachs Asset Management has been shedding oil and gas-related company bonds in the past few months and shorting oil in some portfolios, according to Mike Swell, the firm's co-head of global fixed-income portfolio management. The investment manager has moved from an overweight position in energy-related corporate bonds a few months ago to neutral today and toward an underweight stance, he said in an interview on Friday.

    Some investors seem to agree with Goldman's asset-management arm, at least enough to have a touch of skepticism about the prospect of these oil and gas explorers. Since the end of January, credit traders have demanded slightly more yield to own junk-rated bonds of oil and gas companies than other high-yield debt.

In an amusing twist, we reported last week that the very same Goldman reported last Friday that energy junk bonds are finally starting to notice the decline in oil prices:

Once the APC news reverberates across the industry, this may just be the straw that breaks the energy junk bond market's back, as a scramble out of the sector ensues, resulting in the double whammy of also yanking much needed capital from shale companies.  Such an exodus could not come at a worse possible time: as Bloomberg calculated if oil prices were to stay below $47 a barrel, "investors will demand a bigger cushion of extra yield to own junk-rated energy debt. Part of the reasoning is that these firms still require an excessive amount of leverage (and investor faith) to keep operating as junk-rated oil and natural gas producers have more than $25 billion of credit-line commitments expiring in 2019. If oil prices don't rebound, banks have good reason to reduce those lines substantially, siphoning off a crucial funding source."

Think a rerun of the late 2015/early 2016 period all over again.

However, while the Anadarko news is clearly negative for its shale peers, most of whom are set to announce similar capex declines, it will likely end up being positive for oil prices as much of the "swing" crude production courtesy of the US shale basin is about to be reduced substantially, in a clear victory for OPEC which has been waiting long for just this day.

Anadarko's CapEx cut also comes in the same month as the EIA announced that US shale production just hit a new all time high of 5.472mmb/d.

To the disappointment of many energy bulls (and oil bears as a reduction in production means that the shale supply glut is about to get far smaller), it may be all downhill from here.
Doomsteading / Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
« Last post by RE on Today at 07:00:43 PM »
Water is great thermal mass, but it has real problems inside a van in an Alaska Winter.  It gives off water vapor, which is great for your nostrils and lungs, but horrible for the windows of the van.  You get a nice thick layer of frost on all the windows including the windshields it you use water for thermal mass.

You also can also only heat up water to 212F/100C before it starts boiling on you.  Rocks, you can heat to 500F and more if you want to, but you would be a Darwin Award winner if you did that.  Then even with properly done and insulated containers for them you would risk combustion.  In my videos I show how to make a proper container box for your HOT ROCKS.  I NEVER would heat my rocks up past 400F, it's nuts you would never need so much heat.  350F is a good temp to stop at.  I measure the heat of the rocks with either a Meat or Candy thermometer.  Meat thermometers go to the 200F Range, Candy thermometers to the 500F range.  But I don't really need them, I can tell the temp just by waving my hand over the rocks.  If it feels burning hot when my hand is about a foot above the rocks, this is fucking hot enough!

I'll be doing measurements of heat loss in SaVANnah over the winter utilizing the system, and hopefully in this case we will get some really super cold Alaska nights in the -30F Below range.  I personally will not be IN SaVANnah on those nights of course. lol.  I'll do it in the parking lot in front of my digs.  I'm betting one box of HOT ROCKS will keep SaVANnah toasty warm all night.  I'll periodically go out and record both the internal and external temperatures.

New research offers a reminder that dietary supplements don't come without risks — and the problems they can cause appear to be on the rise.

A study published in the Journal of Medical Toxicology finds that U.S. Poison Control Centers receive a call every 24 minutes, on average, regarding exposures to dietary supplements.

The rate of calls increased by almost 50 percent from 2005 to 2012, the researchers found. A total of 274,998 cases were reported from 2000 through 2012.

Seventy percent of the calls involved children younger than 6 years old. The majority of exposures were unintentional, occurring when children swallowed supplements they found at home.

About 4.5 percent of the time — more than 12,300 cases — serious medical complications occurred.

"Many consumers believe dietary supplements are held to the same safety and efficacy standards as over-the-counter medications," Dr. Gary Smith, senior author of the study and director of the Center of Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's, said in a statement. "However, dietary supplements are not considered drugs, thus they are not required to undergo clinical trials or obtain approval from the FDA prior to sale, unless the product is labeled as intended for therapeutic use."

In almost half of the cases, miscellaneous substances found in commonly used dietary supplements accounted for the calls.

Botanical ingredients were to blame in nearly a third of cases, and hormonal products accounted for about 15 percent of the reported problems.

Serious medical complications occurred most frequently with botanicals, energy products, and what the researchers referred to as "cultural medicines."

Within the botanical category, yohimbe, which is derived from the bark of a West African evergreen tree, accounted for the majority of medical complications. The botanical, which is often used as an aphrodisiac, can cause heart beat rhythm changes, kidney failure, seizures, heart attack, and death.

Nearly 30 percent of yohimbe exposures resulted in moderate or major side effects.

Many of the exposures of energy products, including energy drinks, occurred in young children and led to heart and breathing problems, seizures, and other clinical problems.

For the study, the researchers analyzed detailed data from telephone calls about substance exposures received by regional poison control centers across the U.S.

The researchers said the study underscores the need for improved regulation, child-proof packaging, and parental education.

"Lack of federal oversight has led to inconsistencies in the quality of dietary supplements, product mislabeling and contamination with other substances," said Henry Spiller, a co-author of the study and director of the Central Ohio Poison Center at Nationwide Children's. "Although the majority of these exposure calls did not result in serious medical outcomes, exposures to yohimbe and energy products can be dangerous, suggesting the need for child-resistant packaging, caregiver education and FDA regulation of these substances."
The “internal control processes for this program were really broken,” GAO says.

If you're not a US military or police buff, you probably have never heard of the 1033 Program. It essentially provides a bureaucratic means to transfer excess military grade weapons to local law enforcement agencies. Sure, you may not like local police departments having all types of military gear, such as grenade launchers, helicopters, boats, M14s, M16s, and so on.

And you probably won't like how the agency seemingly doles out the weapons to anybody. All you have to do is apply, create a fake website, and the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) will oblige. Law enforcement experience is not required. There doesn't seem to be a requirement that the requesting agency actually be real, either.

That's according to a new Government Accountability Office report. The government auditing agency created a fake website of a fake police department and applied for the surplus goods. The fake agency was handed $1.2 million in weapons, including night-vision goggles, simulated rifles, and simulated pipe bombs. The simulated rifles and pipe bombs could have been turned into "potentially lethal items if modified with commercially available items," according to the report. Simulated weapons are used for training purposes.

The GAO even used a fake physical address—a dirt lot—for the fake law enforcement agency. According to Zina Merritt, a GAO director who coordinated the investigation, this sting operation of sorts found that the DLA did little to verify who was requesting the military leftovers and who was actually picking up the gear.

    The biggest problem is that DLA's internal control processes for this program were really broken. We found, for example, that when we applied for the program as a fake organization, no one ever even called us to verify information. They didn't attempt to come out to the location to visit us. Secondly, when the investigators went to the location, they were actually able to get the items without presenting the proper identification. Third, they were able to get a quantity of items that wasn't consistent with what we bid for; actually, we got more items. And fourth, we found that [the DLA] just [doesn't] have a framework in order to do fraud mitigation at all stages of the program. Essentially, that puts any organization at risk of this happening again.

The DOD said in the report that it was taking "actions to address identified weaknesses in its excess controlled property program."

The program has given upwards of $6 billion dollars' worth of weapons to more than 8,600 law enforcement agencies since it started in 1991.

Some public attention on the 1033 program followed in the wake of the Ferguson, Missouri, riots over the killing of Michael Brown. In 2015, then-President Barack Obama ordered the blocking of "battlefield" military equipment from being doled out. Obama also demanded more oversight of the program.
Petition calls for Confederate statue to be replaced with statue of Snooty the manatee

SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) – Hours after the death of Snooty, the world’s oldest known manatee, someone began circulating a petition calling for a Confederate memorial statue to be replaced with a statue of the beloved manatee.

“Snooty the Manatee has been a symbol of Bradenton, FL for almost 70 years. He suddenly passed away on July 23rd 2017 and was the oldest living Manatee on record in the world. Subsequently, there is a Confederate memorial statue that stands directly in front of the old courthouse just blocks away from the aquarium where Snooty resided. To honor Snooty’s legacy as a positive icon in Bradenton, I propose that the negative symbol of racism and oppression that is the Confederate monument be relocated and replaced with a statue of Snooty the Manatee,” said the petition’s author Anthony Pusateri.

Thus far, the petition has 84 supporters, more than 100 signatures short of its goal. Pusateri says it will be sent to the mayor and other city officials.

Pusateri suggests the statue be “moved to a museum (or other more appropriate location) out of the everyday public eye and a more positive symbol then take its place.”

News of Snooty’s death rocked the Tampa Bay area Sunday. The South Florida Museum, where he lived for many years, called it “simply a heartbreaking accident.” The world-famous manatee drowned one day after celebrating his 69th birthday after being trapped by a hatch door, museum officials said in a press conference Sunday.

Snooty is listed as the World’s Oldest Manatee in Captivity in the Guinness World Records 2017 Edition. He was believed to be the oldest living manatee in the world.

Gallery of pictures of Snooty through the years
Agelbert Newz / The wildfire-climate change feedback loop
« Last post by agelbert on Today at 06:37:22 PM »
MPR News Weather and its underlying science

Climate Cast™

The wildfire-climate change feedback loop


Wildfires have always been a part of the American landscape. But recent data shows some worrying links between even small climate changes and dramatic increases in wildfire activity. Just a few degrees rise in temperatures in the western U.S has exponential impacts on wildfire activity.

The data is as alarming as it is clear.

Climate Central analyzed 45 years of U.S. Forest Service records from the western U.S.. They found large fires on Forest Service land are increasing dramatically. The average number of fires over 1,000 acres each year has more than tripled since the 1970s.

This week on MPR News Climate Cast, I asked wildfire and climate expert Dr. Michael Flannigan from the University of Alberta in Canada about those trends.

Full article with audio

Wildfires Are About to Go From Bad to Worse in California

Deluges of rain are helpful, but they can be deadly too.

DOUGLAS MAIN JUL. 24, 2017 6:00 AM


It’s the dry season for Cali, he notes, with significant rainfall not expected until the winter. The only hope for significant rains would be if some tropical storm systems from the eastern Pacific made their way north, which is possible but isn’t in the cards in the near future.

“There have been a number of systems, but they’re far south,” Weber says. “Other than that, there’s not much hope for California to get much rain, and…probably we’ll continue to see wildfires get worse.”

He adds, “We had a persistent ridge of high pressure,” which some have called a “ridge of death,” that “persisted for an unusually long time over the Southwest.” It parked itself there for most of the month and “really dried things out,” making conditions ripe for fires. It has since moved eastward over Texas and Kansas, which are now expecting record highs over the next five days or so, he added.

For what it’s worth, such persistent heat ridges are expected to be more common in a “climate change scenario,"” although one can’t point to a single weather event and say it’s due to global warming, Weber says.

Full article:
Doomsteading / Re: RE Gets a Stealth Van!
« Last post by Palloy2 on Today at 06:22:18 PM »
Yes, agreed, I suppose the ideal is to have the hot rocks give out their heat throughout a night time, which can last 24 hours in AK in winter. (What a place to sleep out in a van.)  This is going to take some smart experimenting, involving thermometer measurements throughout the night.  Fortunately there are USB thermometers which RE can plug into his PC and leave it to record while he sleeps.  Some even have hygrometers to measure the moisture - I remember sleeping in a van and waking up to find the naked metal dripping with water, condensed from my breath.
I just got a motorcycle and will attempt to come out there weather providing. What kind of mountains am I looking at though? What are the odds they're passable?
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