Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Devil's Poison: How Fluoride Is Killing You - A Book Review

Fluoride is not a vitamin, and not a mineral necessary for human health. It is a caustic, highly oxidative and reactive poison that has no business being anywhere near our water supplies, foods, or in our toothpastes. Fluoride kills and inhibits all forms of life and fluorine is the most reactive element on the planet.

The book The Devil's Poison lays out the facts concerning this much misused element with facts supported by scientific study after scientific study. If you just consider the simple facts that after eating grass high in fluoride, cows are not able to control their muscles to the point of not being able to stand or the fact that "sodium fluoride is used in military grade nerve gasses like Sarin (the same sodium fluoride you brush your teeth with)" and is used in rat poison, cockroach poison and as wood preservative, then you might pause before feeding you or your children fluoride. 

The Devil's Poison illustrates that the effects on the human body at low but daily doses are the probable cause of many human disorders and diseases, just as if we ingested arsenic, cyanide or DDT at daily levels that didn't kill us would likely have long-term chronic and deletorious effects on our health. The author even goes so far as to say in the Introduction that "exposure to fluorine and fluoride compounds has caused more disease and deaths than any other substance known to mankind." He then goes on in the following pages of the book to support that statement.

Read this book and other books and then consider drinking water without fluoride in it and brushing your teeth with toothpaste without fluoride. Just these simple steps alone may go a long way to mediating a number of health problems, most of which are explained in this well-researched book. Thanks to the author, Dr. Dean Murphy, DDS for digging into fluoride's sordid past and shining a light on something in our diets that should not be in our diets. And don't worry about your teeth, the author of the book, a dentist, and numerous studies cited suggest that fluoride is not beneficial for teeth at all and in fact harms the dental substrate, weakening teeth.

The book is available in ebook and print formats from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Another good source of information on fluoride's risks to health is the Fluoride Action Network.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Leave the Oil in the Ground?

It is the dream of many liberals, and environmental activists, including President Obama, to leave petroleum in the ground. It is a pipe dream, however, and any effort to implement such an agenda before we are ready with other comparable energy sources will choke the United States' economy and standard of living and that of the rest of the world. Solar and wind energy do not have the advantages that oil has such as portability and energy density and may never be the equal of oil in that regard. Fusion energy seems to always be out of reach, but if that source of clean energy ever became viable it would go a long way towards keeping some oil in the ground.

Oil is not used just for burning in our automobiles, trucks, ships, trains, planes, homes and businesses. It is also used in various types of plastics which are in almost every product we use (computers, water bottles, smart phones, toothbrushes, refrigerators, cars, hospital beds, airplanes, toys, shoes and millions more products). Oil is also used in constructing pharmaceutical drugs which save lives and relieve suffering. It is also used in asphalt for roads.

We couldn't leave the oil in the ground at this point in civilization's development unless we wanted to give back 200 years of civilizational development. We will always have some need for petroleum, at least until we can create the molecules we want directly from atoms.

Why is there oil in the ground?

Oil has got to be the most unexpected and greatest treasure to civilization that has ever been found in the ground on planet Earth. Humans had got along without oil for most of their history but it has been the fuel of industry and progress for the last 150 years. Without petroleum we'd still be using horses to get around, firewood or coal for heat and candles for light. It is unexpected because when you look at a planet you don't imagine that there could be oceans worth of fuel buried beneath its surface and over the millennia that we have lived on this Earth no scientists imagined such a thing. Oil has been known of in small quantities and by few people over thousands of years but its potential for use and the extent of its existence was unguessed at. And oil is the greatest treasure because of its unexpected extent, its truly mindboggling quantity (perhaps 50 trillion gallons used so far). The very fact that billions of people for the last 150 years have used oil directly or indirectly and it has not run out, in fact may not even be halfway gone, is a miracle or a coincidence of magnificent proportions. The fact that a burgeoning civilization found a plentiful fuel source just when it needed it (when the internal combustion engine was invented) and that it would last as long as it has is indeed a miracle.

Why is there oil in the ground and why is there so much of it there? 

Oil is produced deep underground where extreme pressure on dead carboniferous microbiological life forms results in a sludge which happens to be flammable. There is a smaller school of thought which says that petroleum is produced by purely geologic and chemical actions without biologic input (abiogenic petroleum origin theory). Whichever method produces the oil, clearly there is a great source of material. The production of oil continues as we use it because those same sources for the creation of oil whether biologic or not still exist in large amounts. Unfortunately (or fortunately) the pace of production is probably much slower than the usage of it, so at some point we may run out. If you subscribe to the mainstream theory that petroleum is derived from biological sources then clearly there is a lot of source material for making oil. Bacteria is supposed by scientists to make up most of the life on Earth by weight by far. Add to this zooplankton, plankton, algae and other life from the sea and you have a huge possible source of carbon for petroleum production. Over time this and other dead carbon-based life forms migrate down through the soil and become compressed under evermore pressure and heat in sedimentary rock. Molecular changes occur. That's the theory.

So we are left with the fact that we have oil under our feet - a lot of it. Do we use it or do we not? I look at it this way. Nature produces apples to be eaten so we and many other animals eat them. You could say that they are a gift of God or the bounty of Mother Nature. The same can be said of oil. Nature creates oil to be used or God creates oil as a gift to meet our energy needs. Everything has a purpose, an apple is a sweet and healthy food as well as a method of transporting seeds away from an apple tree. On our Earth, water's purpose is to support life. Oil's purpose is not to hide in caves 1000 feet below the surface but to bubble up to the surface and be used as the gift that it is for energy production and manufacturing of certain products. 

Yes, burning oil produces pollution and carbon dioxide, but cars, trucks and planes are using it more efficiently than ever, and the exhausts from newer vehicles are much cleaner now than they have ever been. Carbon infusion into the atmosphere is down over the last few years. This gives us more time to find fuels or energy sources like fusion and improved batteries that can replace the dirtier fossil fuels. We'll get there. Let's be patient and wait for the scientists and engineers to do their thing before we throw away a potent source of energy that was clearly placed inside the Earth by Mother Nature (or as I believe, God) for us to use in our progression as a civilization. If we don't wait, if we truncate our reliance on  petroleum without something of equal potency to replace it we will sabotage our economies, progress and increase human suffering.

Technology is advancing in spectacular ways in the first 15 years of the new millennium. If we're patient and persistent in our technological progress, I am certain that the energy developments that we need to replace fossil fuels will come. But throwing away a resource before it is actually obsoleted is like flattening your tire on the last pit stop of the race and expecting to win.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Global Warming

Photo Caption:

The Earth next to the Sun in a comparison of sizes to scale. If there is global warming, I doubt that the Sun would have anything to do with it since the mighty Earth could shrug off any energy fluctuations from the puny Sun.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Good-bye Windows 8

Look at that Start button on the left compared to the new Windows 8.1 Start button. Beautiful versus flat and uninspired. The Windows Start button signifies and encapsulates the tale of two operating systems from one company. One great and one not so great.

In that vein, I am happy to announce that I made the decision to dump the carnival version of Windows, Windows 8, and go back to Windows 7 on my personal home computer. I love it. It's like coming back from Bizarro World to reality. The main impetus for me making the trip back in time to a more lovely and functional operating system was the disappearing scroll bar. If'n you don't know what I am talking about, it is the fact that the scroll bar disappears after three seconds of inactivity in many windows and programs within Windows 8 and 8.1. It may be a bugaboo or a mental problem but I really am aggravated by the disappearing scroll bar, especially in Windows mail (where it causes you to open emails you would not have opened because you click on an email expecting there to be a scroll bar where your mouse cursor is. Uggg!) and also occurs in Microsoft Office products like Word. I use Microsoft Word all the time and I want a scroll bar that doesn't disappear after three seconds. I tried finding ways to keep the scroll bar from disappearing in the settings of Windows 8 and Word and found nothing. I Googled the issue and found there is no way to resolve it. And the scroll bar that is foisted on the user in Windows 8, Word 2013 and all the current Web browsers is a flat, 2D, crappy looking scroll bar that looks better gone frankly, except for the fact that I want and need to see a scroll bar. Well, enough of that issue. You get the idea. It was enough to get me to say good-bye to Windows 8 and 8.1. Windows 10 looks like it is not going to take care of that issue either. So sayonara hachi.

Other reasons I don't like Windows 8: 
  • It is all 2D, whereas Windows 7 Aero has 3D buttons and scroll bars and see thru frames. It is functional and lovely. Many portions of Windows 8 actually look the same as DOS program screens (i.e., from the 80s). In many ways it is multiple steps backwards in presentation of the user interface.
  • The bothersome charm bar that appears when you don't want it to and doesn't come when you call it is unawesome to say the least.
  • The new Windows Start button in Windows 8.1 is also unawesome leading you only to the Windows 8.1 "start screen" which should actually be called the Apps screen. Finding an app (or software program) usually takes much longer than when looking for a program in the program menu of the Windows 7 start menu unless it is one of the apps on the first page of the App screen.

Speaking of browsers, the user interfaces of internet browsers have mirrored the look and functionality of Windows 8 lately and since they all have flat, 2D scroll bars now I have gone back to an earlier version of Firefox. (Even Google's logo is 2D now where it used to be 3D. What's up with that?) As far as browser security is concerned, I am not worried because I have an antivirus suite that I pay good money for. You can find previous versions of various kinds of software at You can't go back too far though with any software, especially browsers, or you lose too much functionality with today's websites. I tried using the last versions of Netscape, but it is basically useless on the internet now. Firefox 9 though is working out okay so far and still has the regular 3D, nondisappearing scroll bars.

Sure, I know that you can start your computer from the Desktop and work many of your tasks from there but Windows 8.1 is always lurking, waiting to spring up in all its colorful ugliness and make you interact with it. If you want to read a piece of literature you don't want to have a comic book pop up in front of you while you're reading. But that's what Windows 8 is like. Windows 8 was not designed for computer users, it was designed for people who have surface knowledge of computers. Not everyone wants to have in-depth knowledge of computers or needs to. Maybe this operating system is good for them, maybe not. It's actually more like an iPad interface than an operating system.

What Microsoft should have done if they wanted to have this Disneyfied operating system is also come out with a separate standard professional version for computer users and businesses (like when they had Windows 98 and Windows NT/2000 sold at the same time, or XP and XP Professional). 

To go back to Windows 7 on my Windows 8 HP laptop was turning into a huge hassle and headache. They really don't want you going back, and make it quite difficult to do so, so I bought a new laptop with Windows 7 already on it and sold my Windows 8 laptop. Headache avoided.

Maybe there is some critical mass number that can be reached whereby if enough users do the same thing Microsoft will get the hint and get rid of the Metro interface idea altogether and not just make some halfway fixes for Windows 10 as they are doing now. If not I am going to be happily using Windows 7 well beyond the date when it is no longer supported.

Now if I could just get my employer to get my work computer back to Windows 7.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Is using blinds and shades to keep the heat of the sun outside your home effective or a myth?

window blinds
Window blinds
I have been a consistent adjuster of blinds, curtains and shades in my homes for many years. I let in the sun's heat in the winter and in the summer I close the blinds in an effort to keep the heat out. Who doesn't want to save energy if energy equals money?

Adjusting the blinds is a constant admonition from energy companies, blinds manufacturers, air conditioner manufacturers, bloggers, news outlets, and parents.

The following is something we can agree on right off the bat. It is indisputable that if you leave the blinds open in the winter time, the sunlight can come in and will warm up the house. Not every wavelength of sunlight that comes into the house has the effect of warming it up though. It is the light at the red end of the light spectrum that warms us and our homes, specifically the infrared (beyond red) light waves. This basically leads to a greenhouse effect in your home where infrared light gets into your house becomes convective heat and that heat stays inside the house (greenhouse) because the glass, walls and ceiling keep it there. This is a great thing on a cold winter day.

electromagnetic spectrum chart
Electromagnetic Spectrum -

In the summer the same sunlight enters your house for many more (potential) hours per day through your windows and will warm up the house using that same greenhouse effect. Since we know that our house becomes warmer in the winter because we let the sunlight in, it makes a certain amount of sense to suggest that if we close the blinds we will keep the sunlight-generated heat out of the house in the summer. Right?

But if we think about it a little we'll discover that it isn't true.

Experience tells me that no matter what I do with the blinds, my home becomes hot in the afternoon. Why?

Let's start with a pretty solid fact. If the blinds were outside your windows (like shutters on houses used to be) and were reflective, they would keep most of the heat from the sun's light from entering your home. Some heat is always going to be transferred from the outside walls from the sun to the interior of your home depending on the materials the wall is made of and the amount (if any) of insulation in the walls.

If instead of "outdoor blinds" or shutters you used aluminum foil on the glass as a way to intercept sunlight's heat you would be pretty successful at keeping the heat from the sun's light out of your home but that would be a visual hazard and an annoyance to your neighbors. A reflective film placed on the glass should be good enough and there are companies that sell that product for windows. Think the window darkening that's used on your car's windows.

Stopping the sun outside your home keeps the heat from the sun's light outside your home. This is a fairly safe statement, generally.

Unfortunately, the situation that most of us are stuck with is using blinds that are hung inside our home 0.5 to 4 inches away from the glass. The problem is that once the sunlight goes through the glass, the wavelengths that cause heat in your house cannot easily get back out. Visible light is reflected back out, so your white blinds may do a fine job of reflecting light back outside, but it is not the right kind of light. As shown in the graphic below the short-wavelength infrared light stays in your house and becomes convective heat between your blinds and the window. The blinds are warmed up and radiate the heat in all directions.

greenhouse effect graphic from
Greenhouse effect -

Remember also that glass is an insulator and if it is double-paned or triple-paned glass it is an even better insulator than a greenhouse! Heat has a difficult time getting through it. Once the infrared light strikes a surface in the home (ie., the blinds) it becomes convective heat. That heat will rise behind the blinds to the ceiling and circulate with the air in the room. Very little of the heat that enters through the window can escape back through the window and since it is probably hotter outside (which is why you are worried about keeping the heat out) heat is not likely to travel that direction anyway, even if it could get through the double-paned window. Heat travels to cool areas not to hot areas so it is not natural to make the assumption (which we do) that the heat will be reflected back outside to a hotter environment when thermal entropy suggests that heat always seeks cooler areas. The conductive heat from outside near your window is heating up your window because it is seeking a cooler place (ie., your air conditioned or cooler home). Heat is already fighting to get in your house, how likely is it to get out?

So as we can see, there are a number of things which argue against closing blinds to keep the heat from the sun's light out of our homes.

  • Infrared energy will not easily go back out the way it came in
  • Visible light is reflected back out but that kind of light does not heat up the house anyway
  • Glass windows do a very good job at insulating
  • A dark house is a gloomy house

Yes the sun is making your home warmer in the winter and in the summer but there is nothing you can do short of stopping the sun's light outside your windows.

So don't live in a dark cave for nothing, let the sun shine.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Solar sheathing for power transmission and cable / telephone lines

I am not an engineer or an electrician, but I have been thinking lately and have come up with an idea that I would like to put out there for consideration, and if it might be workable, someone in the solar industry, or power utilities industry, or in government may proceed to do something with it.

There are between 150,000 and 200,000 miles of power transmission lines which distribute electricity in the United States. There are as many or more miles of television cable wires distributing cable TV signals in the U.S. For the wires that are strung between towers and poles, sunlight or daylight strikes most every inch of these lines for an average of 12 hours every day. If these lines were sheathed in rollable (flexible) solar panels the U.S. would suddenly have a huge source of clean electricity on already existing space that would be basically invisible -- unlike the clumsy eyesores shown below which are currently being installed all over New Jersey.

Telephone pole solar power panel
If an output of 1 watt per foot of solar panel on the wires is estimated, which is a conservative estimate, this is roughly 1,056,000,000 watts of new electricity production (1.05 Gigawatts) or about the energy produced by one nuclear power plant or large coal-fired power plant. This number could be doubled if both the high-voltage transmission wires and cable television wires could be used.

I am not sure how a solar panel would react on a high-voltage transmission line, and if the solar panel wouldn't work on a high-voltage wire due to the leak of voltage out of the wire and into the panel, then the cable television cables would do well enough at providing the power. But power companies could also consider insulating the transmission wires to prevent the voltage leakage and thereby allow the solar panels to function. Or, perhaps the rollable solar panels can be made with the insulator already on it so that it could function in the high-voltage environment.

Benefits of the plan:
  • Invisible
  • Extensive
  • Clean, no pollution
  • Distributed
  • Create jobs
  • More electricity
  • Doesn't take more land space out of use as for solar panel farms

In a world where we are always looking for new ways to generate cheaper, cleaner, more abundant energy, I think this is one way that we can do so.

PowerFilm Rollable Solar Panel

Friday, January 16, 2015

Gas Cheap Now, But Not for Long

Filling up at the pump is less painful than in the recent past.
I saw gasoline for $1.69 per gallon for Regular (cash) yesterday on Route 1 in New Jersey. It has been a long time since we have seen gasoline that low and the relief to the consumer's wallet is a welcome one indeed. It is tantamount to a tax cut on the citizens or even a pay raise. The bottom line is that it gives people more money to spend on other important things and can even increase household savings rates and encourage on-the-road travel vacationing. The low price of oil and the resultant low price on gasoline and diesel fuel are boons to the economy in many ways.

So why are prices as low as they are? It's because of the extra oil on the market from U.S. oil production which has seen a boom in recent years, due in part to hydraulic fracturing and increased oil drilling on private lands.

But my point with this post is not to talk about why there is so much oil, or the benefits of fracking. There are many articles and blog posts addressing these issues. The point of this particular post is to throw a wet blanket on this low-price enthusiasm.

The price won't be low for long. And the past would be the indicator of future performance.

In 2009, the price of gasoline dropped below $2.00 a gallon for a brief time and then continuously rose back up to $3.50 to $4.00 a gallon for Regular in New Jersey. The chart below shows the price per barrel which the price per gallon of gasoline follows in its movements.


The message? Get it while it's hot, because very soon it's going to shoot back up to $3.50 per gallon and probably higher.

What are the causes of oil price movement? Supply, demand, political unrest and government regulation. Right now supply is greater than demand, so the price is lower. But there are so many political hotspots in the world today that any one of these tipping points that tips could cause oil futures to shoot back up to $120 per barrel.

As examples, Russia's designs on Ukraine and its trouble-making around the world have the potential for causing oil prices to rise, and this is a country that wants oil prices to rise back up because so much of their economy and budgetary income is based on the sale of oil and natural gas. So for Russia, instability on the world stage which causes higher fuel prices is exactly what they want and need.

Daesh or ISIS, is militant Islam rampaging through the Middle East and threatening terror everywhere else. They are currently in control of half of Syria and much of Iraq. It won't take much for that particular march of evil to cause an oil price spike. If they were to succeed in taking over Syria or Iraq, or cause mayhem in Saudi Arabia, Jordan or Israel, these are just some scenarios that would be catalysts for crisis leading to an oil price rise.

Al Qaeda, the original Islamic terrorist group is still a very real threat and actively trying to bring terror killings to the next horrific level. There is no restraint as to the kind of murder and destruction that they would like to perform and if they had a weapon of mass destruction they would have no hesitation in using it, as we have seen on 9/11 and in other events. Hamas and Hezbollah are the more localized but just as dangerous militant Islamists of the Middle East. Any of these groups could and would bring economic chaos that could result in sky-high oil prices.

Iran is a country that wants to see Israel and America (the great Satan) destroyed. It is progressing in its efforts to become a nuclear power with Russia's and North Korea's help. It could very soon succeed in its efforts to make a nuclear weapon. If that happens Israel may bomb Iran's nuclear facilities causing a regional war. This would spike oil prices.

The Taliban is still killing people in Afghanistan and Pakistan and seems intent on continuing to cause death and destabilization, also through the spread of terror.

The Communist-led, police-state of China always takes the side of the bad actors on the world stage as shown by its support of Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea, and Russia. And it is intent on destabilizing Taiwan, threatening the U.S. and Japan, and throwing its weight around the region and the world. And China never seems to lend its growing military might to world security threats that other civilized countries fight against. Their belligerent actions could be the cause of any number of scenarios that could cause an oil price spike.

Even if it isn't a national political action that causes the problem, it could be a crucial break in the supply chain, perhaps a few oil refineries going down, a natural disaster or a massive oil spill like the one in the Gulf of Mexico a few years ago. The anti-hydraulic fracturing movement could also put a political chokehold on oil derived from this process especially if countries regulate against the process as many individual states in the U.S. have done.

So, sorry to be a stick-in-the-mud, but enjoy the lower cost of gas for your car and fill up your fuel oil tank now because inevitably the low price we see now will soon disappear to be replaced again by the signs we are so used to.