Oil Springs

Oil Springs

DSCF2867

Oil Springs, Canada, birthplace of the petroleum industry & oil-well engineer John Ira Dupee

Tomorrow, my grandson Conner Richardson graduates from Texas Tech in Lubbock to become my family’s second petroleum engineer.

In lieu of a sappy graduation card (I looked over many), I decided to pull together some photos from the Canadian birthplace of the modern oil industry and of oil-well engineer John Ira Dupee, first in the family to mine the black gold. You can peruse a PDF copy of the result here: Conners congrats

Brilliant minds

Brilliant minds

I am continually amazed at the stuff I come across on the Internet. Recently, a friend turned me on to the work of Ray Kurzweil, a genius and futurist whose book The Singularity Is Near has been made into a movie.

Penrose-tiles3

Kurzweil’s hypotheses about the implications of reaching a “singularity” [a term borrowed from physics] with exponential advances in information technology give hope that the apocalypse just over the horizon may actually be avoidable:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EtataLdqNvw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlRTbl_IB-s

YouTube has a way of clumping information. So, today I watched the presentation of another genius who popped up when Kurzweil’s lecture concluded.

I once thought I was going to be a mathematician, which fantasy vanished as I struggled through second-year calculus, when I could no longer visualize geometrically the algebraic operations of higher-order equations. Instead of giving up on math, I probably should have avoided analytics and headed over to topology. I am still fascinated by mathematical ideas, especially when they have a visual component, which is probably why this presentation by Roger Penrose talking about his tiles caught my attention. In this talk about tiles, Penrose explores mathematical ideas whose roots Pythagoras planted in ancient Greece, ideas explored by Plato, Kepler, Escher, and many others.

Penrose-tiles2

While I cannot fathom much of Sir Roger’s explanation of how he arrives at the intricate tiling arrangements, it is just fascinating to watch the mind of a genius at work on abstract concepts that have a profound bearing on our understanding of the physical structures, energy patterns and information fields that pervade our reality. Interesting, the way the pentagram keeps cropping up, whose mystical associations are ancient; Euclid devoted a healthy chunk of the Elements to construction of this Pythagorean symbol of Health.

Roger Penrose – Forbidden crystal symmetry in mathematics and architecture

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=th3YMEamzmw

NRCS photos

The Natural Resources Conservation Service folks, among other things, maintain and monitor the SNOTEL system that projects moisture received by river drainage (e.g., Boise 59%, Salmon 67%).

They have some remarkable photos:

 
For the latest map of the percentage of average snow-water in NW river drainages: http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/ftpref/data/water/wcs/gis/maps/west_swepctnormal_update.pdf