Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Basics of Acupuncture

As you might expect the Chinese are responsible for first developing acupuncture as a method for treating pain or sickness in humans.  This type of treatment originated in the cold north-west parts of China where herbs and other medical remedies would not grow due to the colder climate. Acupuncture ultimately spread from there to many other parts of the world by way of travelling physicians, scholars and other such pilgrims.

As Chinese legend has it, thousands of years ago (we’re talking BC here) a Chinese soldier developed an inflexible and painful shoulder, what we might now call a stiff shoulder. He allegedly went to his doctor who despite his best efforts was unable help him. So the soldier slowly but surely accepted the idea of having to live with the pain. Then one fine day, during a battle no less, an exceptional event occurred. Almost immediately following a  wound he received from an enemy arrow in he leg, his shoulder which he had been unable to effectively move without considerable painful for many years, suddenly could be moved freely again and without pain.  His doctor later duplicated the event (the arrow in the leg) upon other patients with the same shoulder problem, and was very pleased, indeed, by the successful results.

As years passed other “tools” were found to stimulate acupuncture points, such as needles instead of arrows. This initial accident was refined into the art of what is now known as acupuncture. Today “laser puncture” can painlessly achieves the same effect as the arrow originally achieved.

It is generally believed that one of the first Western countries to develop an interest in acupuncture was France. Acupuncture has been practiced sporadically in France in fact over the last 200 years and is currently a well established method for medical treatment.

Although it was practiced, this medical procedure did not become fashionable in the West until the second half of the 2Oth century. Acupuncture received a lot of attention after President Nixon went to China in 1971.  The journalists who accompanied him were impressed with the process; as a result they publicized the practice and effectiveness of acupuncture in various American magazines.

In case you’re curious about what U S medical doctors think about the process, at least in regard to pain relief, you may be interested in poll results  of American doctors in 2005; it showed that 59% of those surveyed believed that acupuncture is at least somewhat effective for the treatment of pain.   In 1996, the United States Food and Drug Administration took a major leap regarding acupuncture (at least in there view), they changed the status of needles that are used from Class III to Class II medical devices, which means that the needles that’s used are regarded as safe and effective when used properly by a licensed practitioner.

People who have had acupuncture performed generally describe it as practically painless or as some have said, less painful than plucking out a hair.  The feelings that follow the procedure have been described as ranging from: nothing at all, mild tingling, slight numbness, to electrical pulsations in areas distant from the site of insertion of the acupuncture device. Such sensations typically subside after the needles are removed. The needles used for acupuncture are much smaller that the standard hypodermic needle we’ve all seen when receiving a shot, they do not draw blood and are solid, instead of hollow like the hypodermic needle.  

Have you considered making a career of acupuncture treatment? There are at least 42 accredited schools in the United States, including schools in Arizona, Kentucky, and Maine; so a three or four year stay in China for such training is no longer necessary.  The cost of becoming an acupuncturist varies depending on the program you choose.  It may range from as little as $6,000 per year to as much as $50,000 or more for a full 3 or 4 year program.  You should be aware that at least a Bachelors Degree from an accredited college is required prior to being accepted.

Acupuncture is currently gaining popularity and is being practiced all over the world.  The introduction of modern scientific instruments such as lasers has led to the adaptation of modem technologies with ancient Chinese methods of healing and has given us a medical science that is quite effective and up to date.

Sources …                                                                                                                                                     

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Mayans

Archeological records indicate that the first people to live on the Yucatan peninsula of Central America were hunter and gatherer type nomads who lived in small family units. These first inhabitants appeared around 9,000 BC.   The Maya arrived in the Yucatan area a lot later, most think sometime around the year 2,600 BC.

The ancient Mayan culture expanded quickly, they designed many new tools and developed new scientific methods; this perhaps “uncommon” fast pace of new developments / knowledge has caused some archeologists to believe or suspect that “other worldly beings” were of some assistance in fact. City-states with populations ranging between 5,000 and 50,000 people were quite common; large pyramid style temples were built within these cities to honor the gods. The summit of the Mayan civilization peaked around 250 AD.

For some unknown reason, their civilization went into decline around 900 AD. The Maya in the Southern part of their lands departed from the majority of their cities around that time. The Northern Mayan peoples became a part of the Toltec society by about 1200 AD.  A few Mayan cities survived until the Spanish arrived several hundred years later, but following the decline of the great cities, the Maya people returned to a simpler way of life. The great cities and temples were quickly overgrown by jungle vegetation.  As for today, there are about 7 million people who call themselves Mayan or would say they have Mayan ancestors.  The majority of these people reside in Mexico.

The Mayan culture was one of the most complex societies anywhere in the world of the day. The Mayans were accomplished architects, painters, potters, and weavers. Their various palaces, pyramids, and temples, were beautifully decorated and have survived the passage of hundreds of years.

There expertise in the sciences, particularly in astronomy, mathematics, and medicine show evidence of the most advanced society anywhere in the world. For instance, they developed the concept of the number zero and various other mathematical theories.

The Mayan language itself is a highly developed form of hieroglyphics, and is still spoken today, though only on a limited basis, as Spanish is now the dominant language in the countries where descendents of the Maya reside.  
The Mayan world consisted of numerous city-states that shared customs, language, and religion. All in all, in spite of ritualistic human sacrifices, their culture had the appearance at least, of a less violent and more artistic society when compared to other large civilizations of the period.

The Mayan priests were in control of education as well as the rituals (including human sacrifices). Since these priests could marry, it was not uncommon for their sons to succeed them in the “family trade”. These same priests were responsible for bloodletting / human sacrifice. You see, bloodletting was a big part of the many rituals. It was generally believed that when blood was offered to the gods it would not only please them it would also nourish them. Although human sacrifice was quite common, as a rule, only prisoners, slaves and children were killed to please the gods; with regard to the children that were offered up, orphans and illegitimate children were especially useful.

I’ve referenced a few of the enlightened aspects of the Mayan culture, such as astronomy and mathematics, but what about the ones that we in today’s society can only wonder about?  Well, there were plenty: For example the every day run of the mill Mayan believed that when you died you entered the “underworld” through a cave.  Kings, on the other hand, were thought to be reborn as gods and lived in the sky. As a rule the ordinary people who died were buried under the floors of their houses, their mouths were filled with food so they wouldn’t get hungry during the long voyage to the underworld cave.

In addition most Mayans believed that the earth was flat (like most other civilizations at that time) and that it had four corners. Some Maya even believed that the earth was literally the back of a mammoth crocodile, resting in a pool of water lilies.

It’s been argued by some that since the Egyptians built pyramids and the Mayans built, have been described as pyramids; there must be some sort of connection, right?   That’s probably wrong, if you compare Egyptian and Mayan pyramid styles and purposes. Unfortunately, we really know little about the Maya pyramid, when  compared to what we know about the Egyptian version; the sort of specifics we do have about how certain pyramids were built in Egypt simply do not exist for such Mayan structures. We do however, know a few things.  For example, we know that Mayans did not really build “true” pyramids. All of their structures were of the step variety, and were used as temples for the living, instead of tombs for the dead.

The terms, "Temples for the Living" may be a bit inappropriate, as rituals of these temples often included rather gruesome sacrifices of humans to satisfy the gods. Mayan temples are thought to have started out as simple low raised platforms, becoming more elevated over time, with varying slopes and bases as well as heights; in fact, there seems to be no set "pattern" for Mayan pyramids, the only similarity being that they all had flat tops where the temples were located, and they all had stairs.

Another similarity between the two cultures is often said to be the chosen form of writing.  The best-known hieroglyphs outside of Egypt that have retained their pictorial elements are none other than those belonging to the Mayans.  It is believed by most scholars that Mayan writing forms are totally unrelated to Egyptian hieroglyphs however. 

While Maya and Egyptian hieroglyphs bare certain similarities, such as the use of a combination of sound and object glyphs; one characteristic that distinguishes Maya glyphs is their compact, block like form. Egyptian hieroglyphs were written in long, unpunctuated lines of individual glyphs without spaces or punctuation, while Maya ones always appear in blocks or rectangles. We know about this block style only because Mayan hieroglyphs that have survived are carvings displayed upon stone structures such as ancient temples.

So, while there may be similarities between the Mayan and Egyptian cultures, the only parallels between Egyptian and Mayan pyramids are that they start out wide and end narrow and were built by people. There purposes suggest no link between the two. In addition the primary differences between the chosen writing methods do not seem to possess similarities which link the two writing forms. Of course, if there's some linking evidence which has been (or yet to be discovered) that I haven't been made aware of, then by all means, I will be happy to examine it and acknowledge error.

Sources …

Friday, July 29, 2011

Electronic Cigarettes

Not so long ago I was an enthusiastic smoker of tobacco based cigarette products.  Marlboro Lights were my preferred brand and you can rest assured that I though having to pay about $2.00 (that same pack is now over 5 bucks) a pack was a huge injustice placed upon the average smoker; after all, most of the price was and I’m sure still is nothing more than taxes, Right?

OK, so it turns out that is NOT right. You see, taxes on a pack of 20 cigarettes are typically collected and charged by all of the state governments (excise taxes) on the one hand and the federal government on the other.  The state tax rate varies considerably from state to state; that’s why, in most cases, you pay more for the same product in some states and less in others.  There are a very few places (such as New York City) in which the local metropolis actually charges an additional tax as well.

The current excise tax rate in Kentucky is $0.60 per pack; in Alaska, Arizona, Maryland, and Maine the tax equals $2.00; New York State is the highest at $4.35 a pack and Virginia is lowest with only a $0.30 excise tax charged.    I guess that means the “Marlboro Man”  must live in Virginia.

Beginning on February 4, 2009, the Childrens Health Insurance Program Re-authorization Act of 2009 was made the law of the land, which raised the federal tax rate for cigarettes from $0.39 to $1.01 per pack.   Even though this bill taxed smokers in order to fund a children’s health program, President Obama received both criticism and support for signing this act into law.

So, in Kentucky at least, the total tax is a Buck Sixty-one.  So who do you suppose is making all the money?

Proof showing that the tax has been paid is provided through the purchase of stamps from the Department of Revenue.  You may have noticed these little stamps affixed to each cigarette package which is evidence that the tax was paid.

A lot of us believe that such taxes constitute an unfair percentage of the sales price for cigarettes; however, existing data proves that although prices have continuously increased since 1965; the percentage of that price going towards taxes is now half of what it was in’65.

You probably already know that the major U S manufactures of tobacco based cigarettes include: Philip Morris who markets brands such as Marlboro, Virginia Slims, and Basic; Reynolds America’s best sellers include Camel, Pall Mall, Winston, Salem and Kool and the number 3 producer Lorillard enters the marker place with such brands as New Port, Kent, and Maverick.

In the event that you require occasional “nicotine fixes on a regular basis, now is your chance to try the latest delivery system that’s available.  This alternative is the electronic cigarette or the “e-cig”; however there is no tobacco consumed. E-cigarette products are powered by a small battery device that ultimately delivers nicotine by way of a vaporized solution; and guess what?  To date there are no taxes (state or federal) to inflate the price and neither of the “big 3” tobacco companies are players either.  In short, they’re cheaper.

The e-cigarette was not invented by one of the big American tobacco companies as you might expect but by a Chinese pharmacist who worked for a tobacco company there called “Golden Dragon Holdings”.  They began exporting the product some time between 2005 and 2006 and obtained a patent  in 2007.

According to most studies, it appears that nicotine is really no more harmful to your body than caffeine. In fact, its all the other stuff in cigarettes that causes cancer; nicotine is pretty much all youre getting with electronic cigarettes / e devices because they vaporize liquid nicotine to satisfy your craving or habit . This gives rise to a harmless water vapor which generally smells amazing; it also comes in about any flavor you may think of.  Its kind of like the complete opposite of a tobacco based cigarette.  The e-cigarette not only tastes great, it may even make you smell better.

A survey taken as recently as 2000, determined that smoking was practiced by about 1.22 billion (not million) people; this popular activity has been around (by most accounts) since sometime between 5000 and 3000 BC.  That no doubt includes a bunch of folks who slowly killed themselves one puff at a time.

You might say the alternative to traditional smoking and slow death is the e-cigarette, because it has all of the benefits of tobacco smoking, such as increasing the heart rate, improving your memory, alertness, and reaction time; with a primary purpose of delivering nicotine to satisfy your cravings, it shouldnt take a rocket scientist to see the advantage of  an e device.   

The leading stated use of the electronic cigarette is or has been said to be a smoking cessation device (a quit smoking tool), since it delivers the experience of smoking without the adverse health effects that are usually associated with tobacco smoke, perhaps the Nicotine delivery e-devices (E Cigarettes, E Cigars, Electronic Pipes) should be described as a sensible alternative to all tobacco products.

The possible benefits and or adverse effects of the electronic cigarettes use constitute a topic of disagreement among the various health organizations and investigators. Studies in regard to electronic cigarettes are ongoing but few and far between. This is the case because they have only recently been invented but the consequential rapid growth of there popularity is stimulating further research.

Sources …                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Navajo Code Talkers

Toh-ta bih-di-hol-nehi know that besh-lo and da-he-tih-hi will arrive in be-neen-ta-tso.”    So what’s your best guess as to what this might mean?  OK, it’s Navajo (a native American Indian tribe) for “British executive officers know that German submarines and fighter planes will arrive in August.” If you didn’t guess right, it probably means that you can’t read the language of the Navajo people. Don’t beat-up your self a whole lot; the entire Japanese war effort tried and failed during the heat of WW II.  This secret Code was used by the Americans and is considered to be the most successful “code” used by either side!

Navajo terms … (literal meaning)  or (War Effort Meaning)
          bih-di-hol-nehi … (those in charge)    or   (Executive Officer)
          toh-ta …                (between waters)  or             (Britain)
          besh-be-cha-he …        (iron hat)       or            (Germany)
          da-he-tih-hi …         (humming bird)  or        (Fighter Plane)
          besh-lo …                      (iron fish)    or           (Submarine)
          be-neen-ta-tso …         (big harvest)  or              (August)
    Borrowed from Schott’s Original Miscellany, by Ben Schott …

They were known as Navajo Code Talkers. Young Navajo men who transmitted secret communications on the battlefields of WWII at a time when America's best cryptographers / secret code writers were not getting the job done, these humble sheepherders and farmers were successful in fashioning the most ingenious and successful code in military history. Serving with honor / excellence in every major engagement of the Pacific theater from 1942-1945, this unbreakable code played a most important part in saving innumerable lives as well as speeding up the war's end.

Prior to World War II, every code that the United States had developed for warfare had been broken.  Known as experts at code breaking, the Japanese were never able to make sense of the secret Navajo code.

The success of the code was primarily due, in a large part at least, to the complexity of the Navajo language.  It didn’t hurt either that at the outbreak of World War II, there were only around thirty people who were not Navajos who actually could speak the language, and not all of them could speak it fluently.

Originally, there were only twenty-nine Navajo men selected and sent to boot camp at Fort Elliot in California where they became the 382nd Platoon, USMC.  Each recruit was required to speak both English and Navajo.  When they reached Fort Elliot, they had to learn how to survive the harsh environment they would encounter in the Pacific.  Due to their ancestral background and way of life, the Navajos proved to have outstanding physical endurance and qualities that were suitable for the job at hand. Before the wars end there were 540 Navajo Marines and about 420 of these were trained as Code Talkers. 

It is most certainly believed that America would not have been able to win the war as effectively without the Navajo Code Talkers, and it is difficult to deduce the number of American lives that were saved with its use.  Most military historians believe this code is the only unbreakable code in the history of all warfare. 

In 2002 there was even a major motion picture produced about the now famous Navajo Code Talkers.  Dubbed as one of WW II's best kept secrets the film reveals how the U.S. Government trusted Navajo Indians to carry out top-secret missions by using their unbreakable code.

Sources …                                                                                                                                    Schott’s Original Miscellany, by Ben Schott                     

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

R C Racing = Man Toy

Radio-controlled (or R-C) cars are self-powered model cars or trucks that can be controlled from a distance by using a specialized transmitter. "R/C" is often used to mean both "remote controlled" and "radio controlled".  "Remote controlled", also include vehicles that are connected to their transmitter by a wire, therefore the common use of "R/C" at present usually refers to vehicles controlled by a radio-frequency connection.

R C Racing has become in recent years one of the most popular “man Toys” available in today’s market place; these products are exhilarating if you’re eight or eighty. 

You should be aware that there are two primary grades of this type vehicle: “Toy Grade” and “Hobby Grade”.  The term "toy" or "toy-grade" with regard to radio control cars is used to describe vehicles that are pre-assembled and are generally found in discount stores and consumer electronics stores such as Radio Shack. Some toy-grade R/C models may also be found in hobby shops in their attempt to gain more market share. Cost of course is one of the main advantages of toy-grade R/C vehicles. Toy class vehicles are usually modeled after real cars, and often feature details that hobby class vehicles lack, like working lights, sounds, windows (not windows that really work); they may also be equipped with opening doors and hoods.  

Toy-grade R/C cars are characteristically manufactured with an expressed focus on design and the reduction of production costs.    Such vehicles are generally made with a non-standard motor, non-replaceable chassis parts and a single electronic circuit board which is integrated into the design of the vehicle.   This makes them difficult, if not impossible to repair.   Additional disadvantages include (but are not limited to) the steering which is typically not proportional … usually such vehicles have three positions: straight, full left, and full right; there is no proportional "throttle" either, with stopped and full power frequently being the only options.

The more expensive hobby-grade "ready-to-run" (or "RTR") models have become available from almost every major manufacturer of radio-controlled cars, which is attracting many hobbyists today.    This type vehicle needs little or no final assembly and in most cases, the bodies are shipped already painted and trimmed, thus requiring little or no work from the owner before they can be used except for purchasing and installing the required type of batteries.   Fortunately for us, a large number of cars and trucks of this type are available.

In a broad sense, the Hobby-grade / RTR vehicle is just better over all.    One should consider that they can be repaired if broken (electric motors are standardized for example); steering is more realistic; if necessary, chasses can be replaced; and speed can be regulated or controlled.

Electrically powered vehicles of the RTR or hobby-grade utilize mechanical or electronic speed control units to adjust the amount of power delivered to the electric motor. The power delivered is proportional to the amount of throttle called for by the transmitter; in other words, the further you pull the trigger backwards, the faster it goes; when you release the trigger a smooth stop results by way of a “magnetic brake” deriving from the electric motor.  Perhaps a good analogy may be the “Jake Brake” that is pretty much standard equipment on over the road trucks these days but the magnetic brake is better.

RTR Electric cars have come a long way in terms of power as well.    Radio Controlled Electric cars have gone from non-rebuildable brushed motors and NiCad batteries (which is a nickel cadmium based rechargeable) to brushless motors (more powerful than brushed motors) and LiPo or lithium polymer rechargeable batteries.     Most hobbyists’ consider both these factors to be  improvements overall, but some believe that the NiCad rechargeable battery, although a bit heavier, is more than capable to serve your RC needs just as well as the LiPo rechargeable; and as a rule they are not as expensive.

Keep in mind that RC Racing (RTR Racing) most definitely falls into the “Man Toy” category and all of your man toy needs can readily be filled at almost any hobby store.

Sources …

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Homemade Laundry Detergent …The Benefits

This is a follow up post regarding the many advantages associated with Homemade Laundry Detergent.  This broader review is provided for your benefit.

I recently spent several hours, literally, limping (sometimes I forget that I’m handicapped) around Lexington, Kentucky in search of the best available price listings for laundry detergents in the market place …Here, I have listed a few:

At Wal-Mart:

136 ounces of Gain is advertised to wash 120 loads and costs about $15.87 with a 6% sales tax included.     Cost per load … 15.87/120 = 13 Cents if use 1.333 ounces per load … (136 oz. / 120 loads = 1.333).

160 ounces of Surf is advertised to wash 120 loads and costs about $11.63 with a 6% sales tax included.      Cost per load … 11.63/120 = 10 Cents per load if you use 1.333 ounces per load … (160 oz. / 120 loads = 1.333)
At Dollar General:
91 ounces of ‘Gain’ is advertised to wash 80 loads and costs about $12.62 including a 6% sales tax.          Cost per load … 12.62/80 = 16 Cents if you use 1.137 ounces per load … (91 oz. / 80 loads = 1.137)

77 ounces of ‘Tide’ is advertised to wash 55 loads and costs about $12.62 including a 6% sales tax.    Cost per load … 12.62/55 = 23 Cents if you use 1.4000 ounces per load (77 oz. / 55 loads = 1.4000 oz.)

137 ounces of ‘Era’ is advertised to wash 120 loads and costs with the 6%  tax, $11.66.          Cost per load … 120/11.66 = 10 Cents if you use 1.141 ounces per load (137 oz. / 120 loads = 1.141 oz.)

As I’ve shown above, all of the laundry detergent makers advertise that you can wash X number of loads if you use their product which is a great selling concept … for example the 77 ounce box of Tide at The Dollar Store looks like a decent deal but in order to wash the 55 loads they advertise, you must not use more than 1.4 ounces of detergent per load! All of the others require you to use even less detergent to reach the number of advertised loads.

Here’s the rub …If they are so sure that this small amount of detergent is all that you need to clean your clothes … why do you suppose each of them places a 4 to 8 ounce scoop or shovel inside the box (obviously placed there as a convenient method for dipping huge amounts of detergent from the box). The scoop is clearly intended to give the person using the product the perception that the suggested 1.4 ounces, etc. is not even close to enough to get your clothes clean; most folks don’t ever think about it.  But that same 77 ounce box of Tide is suddenly reduced to cleaning less than 20 loads when the 4 ounce shovel is utilized.  Keep in mind, the total cost, with the 6% tax included,  equals $12.62 … Divide that by the number of loads you actually get when using the “free” shovel (19.25); and the cost per load jumps to more than 60 Cents per load. Now, consider that many people will put two shovels or scoops full in dirtier  laundry loads thus hiking the price per load up to a hefty $1.20 per load. At first glance, it may not seem like a lot but once you start paying attention to how much detergent you are actually using, you soon realize you are spending much more than you thought.  

So why use Homemade “low / No Suds” Laundry Detergent?

1.     It’s a lot cheaper… (From 50% to as much as 600%)
2.     It’s environmentally friendly… (Septic systems; leach beds, etc.)
3.     It’s non allergenic (A lot of people are allergic to the chemicals used in commercial laundry detergents… (Has a fresh washed shirt ever caused you to itch?)
4.     A natural water softener is a major part of the ingredients…(just in case you have hard water)
5.     A natural brightener is also a component part of the detergent… (no dingy whites with this stuff)
6.     You should also know that even though this product is highly concentrated, most of the suds have been removed because they are useless in the cleaning process in the first place…Commercial laundry detergents add chemical agents to the mix   which may be harmful to your health.
    The fact that homemade detergents do not suds  is good news for the HE (High Efficiency) washing machine uses out there because they recommend / require low suds to clean properly.

If you can find the time to have a look see at my previous blog post, Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipe, there you will see a typical recipe for Homemade Laundry Detergent.  As you can probably guess, this topic / product is kind of an “issue” with me; I think because I firmly believe the marketing program for all of the available products, ranging from Era to Gain, is so very deceptive. I strongly suspect this is being done by “locking on to” or ‘playing upon” out normal perceptions.  In other words, it's very clear that such marketers think a lot of us (including me) are simply stupid.

Well, in this particular instance at least (such occasions are few and far between) each of us are certainly capable of doing something about it!  I have concocted my very own recipe and I’m happy to say the results have been very good indeed.

I may even offer my very own product to the market place if I can figure a way to keep shipping costs at a minimum.

Sources …
Lexington, Ky. Dollar General Store
Lexington, Ky. Wal-mart Supper Store


OPEC or the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is an intergovernmental organization that is made up of twelve countries which currently include: Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela.

From September 10th through the 14th of 1960, government officials from Venezuelan and Saudi Arabian sponsored a meeting in Baghdad, Iraq. This meeting included officials from Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela and was held to discuss ways to increase the price of crude oil that was being produced and sold into the world market place within each country.  The ultimate purpose of the meeting was more or less an attempt to get most of the oil exporting countries to agree upon a set price per barrel as well as placing a limit on the number of barrels of oil that each country could offer to the market place. This meeting led to the formation of OPEC and can perhaps be best described as the most successful monopoly known today.

Collectively, the combined membership of the OPEC countries are believed to hold about 75% of the global oil reserves and they produce about 40% of the world’s oil.

As of February, 2011 according to a report in the Huffington Post Russia is now the top oil producer in the world ; with a daily production of 9.5 million barrels, 5.4 million of which is sold into the world market.  Saudi Arabia is now #2 at 8.5 million barrels per day.  Although the United States comes in as the 3rd largest producer at 5.4 million barrels daily, Americans  consistently use 18.8 million barrels per day; that’s 22% of the worlds supply.  Iran produces 4 million barrels a day and is ranked as the 4th largest producer; China is # 5 (3.8 million barrels a day); Mexico exports ½ of its 2.6 million barrels produced each day and is the 6th largest world producer; Canada comes in at # 7 by producing almost the an equal amount to Mexico; War torn Iraq is # 9 and our often “trouble making” South American neighbor Venezuela (# 11) produces 2.3 million barrels daily and exports 1.3 million barrels of that production every day.

When anyone (American or otherwise) looks at the amount of oil consumed in within the United States on a daily basis the prevailing line of thought has to be shock if not outright loathing.   Is it any wonder that America is not only the most coveted nation on earth but the most hated as well?

With current fuel prices higher than they have ever been in the history of the United States; what have we as Americans done to make things better? We’ve increased our annual consumption of petroleum products by a whopping 2%; that’s 376,000 more barrels a day not gallons a day.

Think about this little fact: The United States uses 18.8 million barrels of oil every day; or should I say, sucks down, more oil each day than China (consumes 8.3 million barrels a day), Japan (4.4 million), India (3.1 million), and Russia (2.7 million) combined; and to add insult to injury, they are the next 4 biggest consumers of oil on the planet. Hot damn! We’re # 1!

This is a fact: there is a fixed number of barrels of oil that can be retrieved or pumped out of the earth and then there is quite simply no more; not even in our great-great grand children’s time!

Have you ever heard the terms “peak oil supply”? Well that simply means all of the available oil has reached the highest possible supply point because there really is just so much … when that point is reached, the available oil supply will swiftly decline …some geologists / experts in regard to oil reserve studies believe we are already there.  

Having considered this, I would expect you may want to have another look at bio diesel fuel production which I discussed in an earlier post.  Combine that with may-be a required 30 miles + per gallon for all autos manufactured / sold in the U S; say by 2015, if we do that, and implement a few other energy conserving actions, we might survive the 21st century as a civilized nation.

Sources …