CHEMISTS DEBATE VALUE OF ALCOHOL BLEND FOR CAR FUEL
The long-impending battle over the use of alcohol as a blending agent for gasoline in motor fuel reached a climax at the meeting of the American Chemical Society, in Kansas City, Mo.
Through a maze of technical phraseology, chemical symbols, and graphs, five speakers spoke more than 20,000 words—not counting discussion—concerning how and by whom the motor fuel of America's trucks and automobiles shall be supplied.
Three camps were distinctly apparent in the conflict. On one side was the powerful petroleum industry. At the opposite extreme were those led by the Chemical Foundation, working to demonstrate that a blend of alcohol and gasoline is a perfectly good and practical fuel for motor cars.
Midway between these groups were those men who are concerned with the scientific sides of the problem only and not the vast economic aspects that constantly hovered in the background.
The petroleum industry sees, in the rise of alcohol blends of gasoline, a potential competitor that will cut gasoline consumption. The millions upon millions of dollars invested in oil fields, wells, refining plants, and enormous distributing systems are at stake.
Advocates of alcohol-fuel blends see the problem intimately linked with the agricultural salvation of the nation, for behind the drive for alcohol-gasoline blends as fuel is the hope that this alcohol will be made from farm crops. And that the American farmer will thereby have another outlet for his crops over and above the use for foodstuffs.
Some years ago a colleague had one of the first lugable PC - the original Compaq Portable. People were jealous - he could actually take a PC home with him (not that you would could do that much back then, but being able to do something is a big thing).
Since then laptops have become very important. I use my little 12" iBook more than my much more powerful desktop with its beautiful screen. There is something to being able to get net and just use it in most places. I still want/need the more powerful machine though.
Today I had an email from a friend who current has a two year old Powerbook and a Dell desktop of similar vintage. Over time he has been doing most of his work on the laptop, but has always wanted the larger machine in reserve.
It turns out the new 17" MacBook Pro pushed him over. He is getting rid of the PowerBook and the desktop to replace both with the large laptop. He doesn't really want the type of portability I want (I want to use it on a desk, the floor, the bed, the balcony, bread shops, parks, airplanes, etc) - for him computers have places ... the desk at home and the desk at work - possible a hotel room desk, but rarely. The idea of lugging something between fixed locations is attractive to him.
I suspect there are many people in his camp.
A great benefit for laptop users is they are much more energy efficient than most desktops, so you can feel properly green.
I was thinking about the war and saw "with god on our side" mentioned in an email from Roger.
I had forgotten about the Dylan song.
I remember the Dylan and Joan Baez versions well (there are several of each to choose from - studio and in concert). There was also a duet with Dylan and Baez at the Newport Festival. I checked iTMS and sampled a few other versions. Judy Collins has a lovely version that has the flavor of an Irish folk song.
- the words are at least as relevant now as they were then
I had assumed the Vice President Cheney was much more unpopular than President Bush .. a new Quinnipiac poll shows Cheney is outpollilng Bush in New Jersey ... Cheney gets 27% and Bush gets 26% (ok - statistically too close, but still impressive with Bush well under 30%).
It is quite a distance to the November elections, but the journey may be interested.