Sunday, August 28, 2005

A More Refined Fear
Hurricane Katrina

The potential devastation promised by the ensuing 175 mph winds and surging seas of the category 5 hurricane, Katrina, portend a catastrophic event for the coastal city of New Orleans. The city lies in a depression some 6 to 12 feet below sea level, flanked by levees safeguarding it from turgid Lake Pontchartrain to the east and the swelling Mighty Mississippi River to the west. Should the hurricane maintain it's current course, and force, the city stands to experience complete immersion.

But if a local cataclysm is difficult for one to empathize with there is a more insidious concern for the nation at large.


As much as 22% of the United State's oil reserves reside in the New Orleans and nearby Bayou Choctaw areas see EIA statistics (Energy Information Administration). It is estimated that nearly 17% of all oil flowing into the United States economy is introduced through the many refineries and ports of that region.

Failing levees, crippled ports, decimated refineries and the certain destruction of thousands of unsecured, ill-prepared off shore oil rigs may vitiate any hope the nation may hold for stabilizing the adverse economic effects of rising fuel costs.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Biogas: Hastening Waste

Anaerobic Digestion—Biogas Plant Applications

By Illig (E. Thomas)
Amidst concerns as interrelated, albeit disparate, as rising coastal temperatures and fossil fuel consumption—and their collective impact on the price of a pound of sockeye salmon—an environmentally progressive energy source is making haste of common waste.

Enter biogas, the bacterial degradation or anaerobic digestion (AD) of biological material in the absence of oxygen (see Biogas). Methane and carbon dioxide combined to produce a renewable fuel source from waste treatment. Biogas now propels Swedish railways and buses, provides smoke and ash-free cooking and lighting for over 2 million Indian kitchens and boosts industrial plant efficiencies in Switzerland. Even an overcrowded Rwandan prison is now powered by biogas reconstituted from inmate fecal matter (see Cyrus Farivar's recent article on, effectively reducing fuel costs by some 65% while simultaneously mitigating the pollution of nearby water supplies.

An emergent energy source generated from human or animal waste, boasting lower carbon dioxide emissions than traditional fossil fuels, reduced capital expenditures, no foul odor and the genuine creation of something useful from something inherently useless? In today's maelstrom of decomposing debates over what to do about the economics of environmental housekeeping, AD may indeed provide refreshing alternatives.

Other Rwandan prison biogas links
• Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) Rwandan prison biogas project 2005 Ashden Award finalist
• 30 June 2005 BBC article Rwanda award for 'sewage' cooking
• A word from Emeka Okafor of the Timbuktu Chronicles

Monday, July 18, 2005

On a bias

I am not biased to the cut of a given shirt. I'll scope nape without prejudice. I am not proud.

A Life's Cadence

Chilled beats of capering relevance drone without end where rushing currents once boiled.

Friday, June 24, 2005

About E. Thomas

As a child, E. Thomas was raised splitting his time between life on the island Nevis (West Indies) and a peninsula on the Great Lakes.



Sunday, June 05, 2005

BTC pipeline: An opening?

The United State's alignment with politically tumultuous Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey in the tapping of the 1100-mile BTC pipeline: Unholy alliance or strategic significance?
See Guardian Unlimited's: Pipeline opens new oil route to west
Slate's: What Georgia Taught Us
The Young Turks viewpoint: The pipeline that will change the world
And the ABC News take: First Pipeline From Caspian Sea Opened

Friday, May 13, 2005


Loggin's Lentil Loaves™ leave loved ones laughing and laden.
- Loggin's Lentil Loaves™

Acme Axiomatics

Income is paramount, yet expense is tantamount.
-Illig (E. Thomas)


a cryptic microbe
renders sensient thought bottled
turgid head my bane

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Sated, not Slaked

In verdant seas of husky maize, the kernel's tasseled armor sways.
-E. T. Illig

Stalk of Sibilance

In a stand of trees did Sybil stray ~ with crimson lips the Wolf did play.
-E. Thomas

A Pending Append

Was it 94% or 95% billing efficiency? I'd need my spreadsheet at hand to say definitively but the actual percentage is irrelevont. Suffice to say, last week, May 1-May 8 belonged to our man Hiroki or "Heroki" as some have dubbed him. Because last week Hiroki "out billed" all comers company-wide.

Hiroki, our resident man of logic and sequential reasoning, defender of rationale and rational analysis. Hiroki, our objective, object-oriented, open-source programmer. Hiroki, our intermittent profit center and roving IT designee. Hiroki and his left-biased brain, a counterweight to a firm comprised almost entirely of decidedly right-oriented brains.

A Digression

Now regarding Hiroki's objectivity. While objectivity serves Hiroki well in his passion for generating "impeccable code" (as he once soberly described his own work), his objective approach is often found lacking when applied to social coding.

For example, one day last week, in an ostensibly sincere effort to convey a compliment, Hiroki selected a single word to express his impression of his supervisor's business suit. His chosen word:


On an another occasion that same supervisor received an "Amish" classification regarding her floral patterned Summer dress.

Whereas such words uttered by anyone else might provoke a sharp retort, she has learned to accept these remarks as supreme compliments from young Hiroki.

Hiroki has perused this Earth for somewhere around 23 to 27 years.

I am 45.

Hiroki is young.

End digression

Relevont Appending

Append? Yes, append. You see, my standard billing efficiency report reflects my own penchant for a good objective number devoid of any inherent meaning beyond it's own face value. So my recognizing Hiroki's accomplishment is at worst unique and at best, significant in that Hiroki's out-billing every other profit center company-wide is tantamount to Spud Webb jamming over Shaq. It's just not probable.

We are a strategic branding firm. Our profit center folks (potentially billable associates) are charged with keeping as billable as possible as often as possible. It's a matter of functional necessity.

Hiroki on the other hand applies his many talents to activities such as keeping our servers running, interfacing with outside IT vendors, re-coding the next generation release of our intranet, troubleshooting issues of technology at large--both in and out of his sphere of knowledge.

Oh, and yes when a creative or a customer or an interactive designer, etc. is in need of deep scripted code or "impeccably" structured websites know, technically billable stuff, Hiroki is the man. He is at once quasi-administrative and pseudo-billable.

Out billing the billers--that's notable. And so, I'm appending an otherwise dry report with a juicy anecdote, at least in our little economic microcosm. It's even funny--and neat--and relevont and profitable. Like an unexpected windfall, worthy of reflection and always welcome.