Race Cars

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.
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In ancient Roman times, prisoners were given the task of salt mining. One suspects 2000 years ago, prisoners working in salt mines did not enjoy a lengthy lifespan. More recently, the Russian authorities sent prisoners, political and otherwise, to work in the salt mines in Siberia as punishment.

When I was a kid years ago, I remember my Dad chasing us all to bed Sunday nights because “tomorrow morning its back to the salt mines for us all”. He worked in Detroit but I knew he didn’t work in a salt mine. And while I didn’t love many aspects of school and at times it seemed as a gulag, it was not Siberia

Detroit, however, has a salt mine. In fact, we have a salt city 1,200 feet below the streets of the Motor City. It is huge with over 100 miles of roads.

So how did all this salt get down there? Continue reading


Global Warming versus Climate Change

“The Earth’s main energy source is the sun. The sun causes convection within the atmosphere, which in turn affects weather and climate.” – NOAA

According to Space, (www.space.com), when sunlight hits the moon’s surface, the temperature can reach 253 degrees F (123 C). The “dark side of the moon” can have temperatures dipping to minus 243 F (minus 153 C).”

Live Science (www.livescience.com) advises us that “…the cosmic background temperature is minus 455 degrees Fahrenheit.”

The original proclamations of “Global Warming” were correct. Global warming, or the lack thereof, is the primary cause climate change. Continue reading


A Cool Desert Trip

Journey Beyond Travel is one of Morocco’s premier tour operators. One of the things that makes this area of N. Africa compelling, per JBT, is the relatively common availability of excellent quality fossils. Morocco sits on the western edge of the world’s largest hot desert, the Sahara. Look at a map of northern Africa and most of what you see is the Sahara Desert. It covers 3,269 million square miles (9,400, square kilometers) and stretches from the Mediterranean in the north, to the Red Sea on the east, and the Atlantic Ocean on the west

The most recent fossil find in the Sahara by paleontologists is a form of pterodactyl named Phoenix pterosaur with a 20-foot wingspan, a Moroccan resident 90 million years ago. At that time, what is now a hot dry desert, was a lush green tropical forest. 100 million years before that, a large portion of the area was submerged under a salt water ocean. Continue reading