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Messages - Jeff_Berryman

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There are alternatives coming down the pike.  A canadian outfit is using recombinant-DNA derived enzymes to breakdown cellulose into sugars for fermentation.  That way, you're using the entire corn plan rather than just the grain.  (And that way you can use the grain for food and the rest of the plant for fuel.)

They're also talking about using perennials such as switchgrass or elephant grass instead of corn, because they require little cultivation.

An outfit called Changing World Technologies has a process that theoretically can make synthetic oil out of almost anything organic.  They have a pilot plant in Missouri making oil out of turkey offal from a Conagra turkey processing plant.  It's an expensive and energy-intensive process that has not gotten competitive with natural crude oil yet, but they're working on it.

Several other organics-to-oil technologies are being researched, but technical details are sketchy.  

Texas A&M university is working on a process where organic matter is broken down by bacteria and the resulting runoff synthesized into alcohols of various kinds - not just ethanol.  They are also working on a revolutionary new engine technology called Star Rotor that should triple the fuel efficiency of existing engines.  

As long as the price of crude remains high everyone and his brother will be working on alternatives.  What worries me most is that the race may be won by people trying to make tar sands or shale oil economic.  Then we're still adding "New" carbon to the biosphere instead of reusing existing carbon, and global warming will continue.

The Troubled Teen Industry / WWASP Camps Documentary Online
« on: March 25, 2006, 08:06:00 AM »
I'm having no luck downloading this video.  Has anyone succeeded?

Tacitus' Realm / Patroleum Substitues and Kerry
« on: March 19, 2006, 11:29:00 AM »
Here are links to some of the more plausible alternate energy concepts that I follow.  There are a couple of synthetic fuel technologies, a guy who wants to extract oil from algae, and a guy who wants to use recombinant DNA technology to create energy-producing microbes.  There's also an outfit that has a design for a more efficient and practical wind-power technology.  

About bio-fuels, two comments: A Canadian outfit has an enzyme that can break down cellulose into sugar for fermentation into alcohol.  This changes the equation concerning energy in vs energy out.  Now biofuel can be made from crop wastes instead of corn.  And a plant called switchgrass may become the ideal feedstock for biofuel production, since it grows in wretched soil with little or no cultivation.  

I also once talked to a guy who claimed he could build a 200 mile horizontal pipe that tapered, and which would extract energy from differences in barometric pressure.  Supposedly the air would come out of the exhaust end at supersonic speeds.  He would never identify the scientists who he claimed had verified his concept, and his successors in interest have also declined to do so.  I've pretty well lost faith on that one.

The Cold fusionists are still trying.  An outfit called Black Light claims to be near to marketing a device.  Their theory is one that came out of Cold Fusion research, but the mainstream physicists insist that it's bogus.  

My own theory is that the "Cold Fusion" phenomenon actually taps energy from neutrinos.  I published a couple of articles about it, and I have a very encouraging letter from Arthur C. Clarke framed on the wall in front of me. ... 9bce92c890

Open Free for All / Not everyone hates Mormons....
« on: February 24, 2006, 11:12:00 AM »
"When was the last time the Mormons attacked anyone or anything?"

Well, after moving to Utah they used to rain wagon trains disguised as indians.

Every religion goes through a whacko phase in its early days where they burn heretics had have schisms and so on.  Mormonism was no exception.  Utah was a very nasty dictatorship for a time.  I wouldn't classify it as a cult, because it's too well established for that.  (Time and number is the ONLY difference between a religion and a cult.)

My department chairman at FSU was a Mormon Bishop and Stake President, and he was one of the finest human beings I ever knew.  Then again, I sat through many hours of depositions with WWASP's owner, its CEO, and its lawyers, so I've seen the other side of the coin.  I suspect they're much nicer people in places where they are a minority.

In the final analysis, all religion consists of three things:  Santa Clause, the Boogey Man, and The Emperor's New Clothes (Google the story if you don't know it.  It would take too long to explain)

In order to gain power and control, they promise great rewards (If you're not good Santa Clause won't bring you anything for Christmas.)  They threaten dire consequences (If you don't go to sleep the Boogey Man is going to come and get you,)  And in time, peer pressure from those around you causes you to conform to the party line whether you believe it or not.  (Only one little boy had the nerve to say "The Emperor is naked!")  

Well, everyone outgrows Santa Clause and the Boogey Man sooner or later, and I think the human race will outgrow religion as we know it before much more time passes.  Good riddance.

Open Free for All / PBS: Guns, Germs and Steel
« on: February 23, 2006, 06:21:00 AM »
Diamond's book "Collapse" is also worthy of attention.  And "1491" by Charles C. Mann is a fascinating read that covers the impact of European-introduced diseases on the new world.  I personally suspect that introduced diseases had a lot to do with the demise of the Neanderthals, but that's just my own theory.

The Troubled Teen Industry / The Simpsons
« on: January 30, 2006, 10:00:00 PM »
I saw the Simpsons episode, and about two weeks ago I saw an episode of Ghost Whisperer which also portrayed BM programs in a very negative light.  Whoever wrote the script knew about escort services, late night abductions, and a lot of other stuff.  I suspect that Hollywood is getting more and more aware of our issues.  

This may be due to feedback from program alumni over Brat Camp, or people in Hollywood researching BM programs with an eye toward copycatting Brat Camp.  

It may be due to some Hollywood insider - perhaps a program alumnus - personally contacting lots and lots of people.  In any event, I have high hopes for the future.

In the 1970s a movie called Born Innocent with Linda Blair delivered a searing indictment of the public sector juvenile system.  

I strongly suspect that movies or documentaries are brewing now that will do the same to the private sector.  Once public awareness gets raised to a certain point, things will snowball.  Let's hope the day is not far off.

Straight, Inc. and Derivatives / dirty joke thread
« on: January 06, 2006, 05:59:00 PM »
A French Foreign Legion unit in Africa gets a new commanding office, a young Captain just out of the Academy with no field experience.  The Sergeant is an old veteran of forty years in the Legion.  The first thing the young firebrand does is announce that the unit is too soft, and that they are going on six weeks of maneuvers in the desert.

?We will do this under wartime conditions,? he tells the Sergeant.  ?We will take nothing with us that we can not carry on our backs.?

?Well sir,? The Sergeant says, ?In my experience it?s always best to take at least one camel.?  

?A camel?  Absolutely not!  No unnecessary baggage!? The Captain raps.

The Sergeant replies, ?Ah, sir, it?s not for baggage.  It?s for morale purposes.  It?s - ah - so the men can get some sex.?

?WHAT?  That?s the most disgusting thing I?ve ever heard in my life!  How dare you make such a suggestion!  GET OUT OF MY TENT THIS INSTANT!?  

So the unit goes on maneuvers and camps in the desert for about a month.  Then the Captain calls the Sergeant to his tent.  ?I?ve noticed something,? he says.   ?The men aren?t fighting.  Morale is good. At the academy they told me the men would be at each other?s throats by now, and we?d have to add saltpeter t their food to prevent mutiny.   Admit it Sergeant, you brought a camel, didn?t you??

The Sergeant sighed.  ?Sir, I?ve been in the legion for forty years, and I?ve learned that there are some things that they just don?t teach in classrooms.  It was for the good of the outfit.  

The Captain says, ?Well, I?m beginning to understand what you mean.  It?s been a long time for me too.  Where is this camel??

?The oasis about a quarter of a mile down the road, sir.?

So they walk down to a little copse of palm trees with a water hole and enough grass to keep a camel alive.  The camel is there, staked out on a long rope so that it can graze.  

?It has been a long time,? the Captain says.  ?Turn your back, Sergeant.?  And he proceeds to have carnal knowledge of the camel.  When he gets finished, the Sergeant is staring at him bug-eyed.  ?YOU PEEKED!?  The Captain cries.

The Sergeant says,  ?Sir, in forty years of service from Indochina to Algeria, I have NEVER seen anything like that.?

?What, didn?t I do it like the other men??

?I really couldn?t say sir.  All the other men rode it into town.?

Straight, Inc. and Derivatives / dirty joke thread
« on: January 06, 2006, 05:45:00 PM »
A New York City Bartender develops an allergy to city smog and his doctor tells him to move west for his health.  He gets on a train and rides west until he runs out of money and gets out in a sleepy little town in New Mexico.  He walks into the saloon and gets hired on the spot.  

Then about ten minutes later a guy comes riding into town as hard as he can ride, almost killing his horse right out from under him.  He stands up in his stirrups and yells ?BIG JOE?S COMIN?!?  All up and down the street people start screaming ?BIG JOE?S COMIN?!?   The owner of the saloon yells ?BIG JOE?S COMIN?!? and the place is empty in a heartbeat.  The entire population of the town jump into their cars, jump on their horses, and ride and drive for dear life.

The owner turns to the newly arrived bartender and says ?I gotta get out of here, but you, DON?T LEAVE THE BAR!?  And he jumps into his pickup and heads out, leaving the bartender alone in an abandoned town.

A few minutes the bartender hears STOMP! STOMP! STOMP! Coming closer and closer.   The ground shakes, the building shakes, and someone kicks the saloon door to splinters and walks in.  He?s nine feet tall and five feet wide and he weighs at least three thousand pounds.  He walks up to the bar and smashes it with a fist the size of a keg.


The bartender puts the jug on the wreckage of the bar and the giant upends it.  He gulps down a gallon of 200 proof in one go, then crushes the jug, tosses the glass in his mouth, chews it up and swallows it.

?HOW MUCH?? he inquires.

?Oh, it?s on the house,? the bartender assures him.  Want another one??


The Troubled Teen Industry / Stanford University Prison Study
« on: January 02, 2006, 11:04:00 AM »

This psychological study is some fascinating reading.  It should also sound very familiar to a lot of you.

Open Free for All / If It Happened In Our Day And Age
« on: December 15, 2005, 01:38:00 PM »
Nazareth Carpenter Being Held On Charges Involving Underage Mother

Bethlehem, Judea - Authorities were today alerted by a concerned citizen who noticed a family living in a barn. Upon arrival, Family Protective Service personnel, accompanied by police, took into protective care an infant child named Jesus, who had been wrapped in strips of cloth and placed in a feeding trough by his 14-year old mother, Mary of Nazareth.

During the confrontation, a man identified as Joseph, also of Nazareth, attempted to stop the social workers. Joseph, aided by several local shepherds and some unidentified foreigners, tried to forestall efforts to take the child, but were restrained by the police.

Also being held for questioning are three foreigners who allege to be wise men from an eastern country. The INS and Homeland Security officials are seeking information about these who may be in the country illegally. A source with the INS states that they had no passports, but were in possession of gold and other possibly illegal substances. They resisted arrest saying that they had been warned by God to avoid officials in Jerusalem and to return quickly to their own country. The chemical substances in their possession will be tested.

The owner of the barn is also being held for questioning. The manager Bethlehem Inn faces possible revocation of his license for violating health and safety regulations by allowing people to stay in the stable. Civil authorities are also investigating the zoning violations involved in maintaining livestock in a commercially-zoned district.

The location of the minor child will not be released, and the prospect for a quick resolution to this case is doubtful. Asked about when Jesus would be returned to his mother, a Child Protective Service spokesperson said, "The father is middle-aged and the mother definitely underage. We are checking with officials in Nazareth to determine what their legal relationship is.

Joseph has admitted taking Mary from her home in Nazareth because of a census requirement. However, because she was obviously pregnant when they left, investigators are looking into other reasons for their departure. Joseph is being held without bond on charges of molestation, kidnapping, child endangerment, and statutory rape.

Mary was taken to the Bethlehem General Hospital where she is being examined by doctors. Charges may also be filed against her for endangerment. She will also undergo psychiatric evaluation because of her claim that she is a virgin and that the child is from God.

The director of the psychiatric wing said, "I don't profess to have the right to tell people what to believe, but when their beliefs adversely affect the safety and well-being of others - in this case her child - we must consider her a danger to others. The unidentified drugs at the scene didn't help her case, but I'm confidant that with the proper therapy regiment we can get her back on her feet."

A spokesperson for the governor's office said, "Who knows what was going through their heads? But regardless, their treatment of the child was inexcusable, and the involvement of these others frightening. There is much we don't know about this case, but for the sake of the child and the public, you can be assured that we will pursue this matter to the end."

Open Free for All / sleep apnea
« on: November 16, 2005, 11:50:00 AM »
I've had sleep apnea for over ten years, and been on Bi-Pap for nine.  It saved my life.  I tried the surgery, and for me, it did not work.  (I'm not saying it does not work for anyone, I just wasn't a very good candidate to start with.)  Lack of sleep messes up every system of your body.  When I started Bi-Pap, I had been diabetic for some time, though not yet insulin dependant.  My blood sugars improved so much that my doctor reduced the dosages on one of my blood sugar medications.  

Anyone who has chronic trouble getting a decent night's sleep should definitely get tested for apnea.

The Troubled Teen Industry / What happened to Bob Lichfield?
« on: October 16, 2005, 10:13:00 AM »
On 2005-10-14 12:28:00, Anonymous wrote:

"Let's not ever do to our children, what was done to us. OTherwise WWASP will be around forever! Keep smiling everyone, and I'll see you around here again!



I know quite a few people who would be interested in your experiences.  Please E-mail me privately at [email protected] and I'll send you some links.

Tacitus' Realm / Patroleum Substitues and Kerry
« on: October 14, 2005, 08:50:00 PM »
The two most promising stopgaps just now are Canadian tar sands and American Oil Shale.  Both have huge amounts of hydrocarbon, IF it can be recovered economically.  Canada is doing that now that the price of oil has made it worthwhile.  Some new technology being developed may make shale oil feasible within twenty years.  

There is also a huge quantity of methane trapped in "Clathrates"  crystals of methanized ice, in the ocean floor.   How to recover it is still being debated.

Here in PA, they're building a synthetic oil plant to make diesel fuel out of the millions of tons of waste coal lying around.  It was originally envisioned as a way to help pay for cleaning up the mess, but now it's looking economic in and of itself.  The technology is licensed from South Africa, and they've been using it there for years.  The Nazis also produced a lot of synthetic oil from "brown coal."

However, none of these solutions address the issue of global warming.  There is some reason to believe that the great Permian extinction of 250 Million years ago was caused partly by global warming, some of it cause by release of methane from clathrates.  

The technology I'm looking at hopefully is a synthetic oil process developed by Changing World Technology. Instead of using coal, it uses any carbon-containing compounds.  At the moment their pilot plant is processing oil from turkey guts out at a Con Agra turkey processing plant in Missouri.  The advantage is that this does not add new carbon to the enviroment, it uses carbon that is already in circulation.  Much better frmo a global warming perspective.  Google "Changing World Technologies."  And you'll find out all about it.

Open Free for All / UNBELIEVABLE!
« on: October 04, 2005, 11:00:00 PM »
Hey, if someone can get away with this crap for 18 years, is it any wonder the "Specialty School" industry is so hard to rein in? ... AS-DC.html

Kansas couple on trial for enslaving mentally ill

Oct 4, 10:53 AM (ET)

By Carey Gillam

KANSAS CITY, Kansas (Reuters) - A Kansas husband and wife who ran a psychotherapy practice went on trial on Tuesday on charges that they kept mentally ill people as slaves, forced them to perform sex acts on videotape and then billed Medicare nearly $1 million for the "therapy."

Prosecutors charged that Arlan Kaufman, 68, and his wife Linda Kaufman, 62, spent 18 years taking advantage of patients entrusted to their care. The couple ran a residential care facility in Newton, Kansas, where they worked with at least 20 mentally ill individuals from 1980 until 2004.

Jury selection began Tuesday for an expected five-week trial in U.S. District Court in Wichita.

Authorities are seeking to prove that while the couple was billing relatives and insurers for therapy, rent, utilities and food, they were forcing the residents to engage in hard manual labor in the nude on a farm the couple owned outside of town.

Prosecutors charged the residents were also forced to engage in a variety of sexually explicit acts, including masturbating, fondling each other and shaving each other's genitals, much of which was videotaped.

Patients were physically injured or restrained if they resisted, authorities charged.

Prosecutors have filed 33 criminal counts against the Kaufmans including charges of forced labor, involuntary servitude, health care fraud, mail fraud and obstruction of a federal audit.

The Kaufmans submitted just under $1 million in claims to Medicare from 1991 through 2000 and were paid $216,906, authorities said.

Defense attorneys for the Kaufmans declined to comment. The couple faces more than 200 years in prison if convicted of all the charges.

Open Free for All / The squalid truth behind the legacy of Mother Teresa
« on: August 18, 2005, 12:41:00 PM »
Hardly surprising in a place like India.  It does go a long way to explain why BM programs in the third world invariably seem to suck, even by BM program standards.

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