In the spring of 2004, my business partner of 20 + years Mike Pocobello and I attended the Grand Opening of the Chaparral Museum. It is housed at the Petroleum Museum in Midland, Texas. Mike had been the chief engineer for Jim Hall and Chaparral Cars during part of its legendary and revolutionary race cars of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s Chaparral race cars were built and developed nearby at the equally famous “Rattlesnake Racetrack”.
Why the Petroleum Museum? Midland has several claims to fame one of them being the home of our legendary colleague Jim Hall. Another claim is that Midland sits atop the Permian Basin, the largest petroleum province of North America and the source of much of the Texas oil wealth. The Permian is a geologic period from approximately 300 to 250 million years ago.
A number of years ago, one of the major auto companies experienced a large scale problem with steering column shake in vehicles with a new 4-cylinder engine. It turned out that at idle; a stop light for example, the engine’s natural frequency was the same as the steering column assembly. The steering wheel would begin sympathetic oscillation and the driver would suffer with wheel shake.
The most common image of this resonance is the tuning fork. Bang one tuning fork and put it near another tuning fork of the same frequency and it will begin to vibrate too.
This is the same phenomenon that allows a powerful singing voice to break a delicate wine glass by producing sound waves at the natural, or resonant, frequency of the glass. Continue reading
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the “Ebola outbreak of 2014 was a global wake-up call regarding the ongoing threat of emerging infectious diseases. After a slow initial response by the global community, including the U.S. government, the U.S. mounted what has become the largest effort by a single donor government to respond to Ebola. This includes an emergency appropriation of $5.4 billion by Congress as part of its final FY 2015 spending package, a funding amount significantly larger than previous emergency response efforts to address emerging infectious disease outbreaks such as SARS and avian influenza. Since this funding was designated by Congress as an emergency funding measure, it did not count toward existing budget caps on discretionary spending”.
Examination of reports by the CDC and various information outlets indicate only two people during the crisis contracted Ebola in the United States. Both were nurses and both recovered.
Another nine people contracted the disease outside the US and traveled into the country; only two did not recover.
So we spent ~ $ 500,000,000 per US case. Continue reading