Friday, September 25, 2015

Up, up, and away!

A company in California produces an amphibious aircraft that people can learn to fly in about 20 hours, it claims.

It looks enticing.

Monday, August 24, 2015

25 Steve Jobs Quotes That Will Help You

25 Steve Jobs Quotes That Will Change the Way You Work—in the Best Way Possible By Kaitlyn Russell

Reposted from The Muse.

Steve Jobs
Fact: Steve Jobs didn’t become successful overnight.
It took years of hard work, determination, and perseverance to build Apple into the company that it is today. When you take a step back from your MacBook (and put down your iPhone), and really think about all that he accomplished, it’s beyond remarkable. He changed the way we live. 
Thanks to his many lectures and speeches, we have a glimpse into his day-to-day work ethic and how he managed to do as much as he did. And, in order to help you reach your career goals, we’ve rounded up 25 of his best quotes. Read them, be inspired by them, and then get out there and make your dreams come true. 
  • My favorite things in life don’t cost any money. It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.
  • I’m as proud of many of the things we haven’t done as the things we have done. Innovation is saying no to a thousand things.
  • Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.
  • Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow know what you truly want to become.
  • I think if you do something and it turns out pretty good, then you should go do something else wonderful, not dwell on it for too long. Just figure out what’s next.
  • Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.
  • When you’re a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you’re not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will see it. You’ll know it’s there, so you’re going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back. For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through.
  • That’s been one of my mantras—focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex; you have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple.
  • Quality is more important than quantity. One home run is much better than two doubles.
  • Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful...that’s what matters to me.
  • The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.
  • Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma—which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.
  • We’re just enthusiastic about what we do.
  • You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something—your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.
  • Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.
  • For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
  • I'm convinced that about half of what separates successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.
  • What is Apple, after all? Apple is about people who think ‘outside the box,’ people who want to use computers to help them change the world, to help them create things that make a difference, and not just to get a job done.
  • Things don’t have to change the world to be important.
  • Technology is nothing. What’s important is that you have a faith in people, that they’re basically good and smart, and if you give them tools, they’ll do wonderful things with them.
  • I’ve always been attracted to the more revolutionary changes. I don’t know why. Because they’re harder. They’re much more stressful emotionally. And you usually go through a period where everybody tells you that you’ve completely failed.
  • Bottom line is, I didn’t return to Apple to make a fortune. I’ve been very lucky in my life and already have one. When I was 25, my net worth was $100 million or so. I decided then that I wasn’t going to let it ruin my life. There’s no way you could ever spend it all, and I don’t view wealth as something that validates my intelligence.
  • My model for business is The Beatles: They were four guys that kept each others’ negative tendencies in check; they balanced each other. And the total was greater than the sum of the parts.
  • Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
  • Getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

Photo of Steve Jobs courtesy of Jaguar PS /

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Drones vs. animals

Some animals consider drones fair game. shows us what can happen.

Monday, May 11, 2015

The Problem in California is a Shortage of Economic Understanding, Not Water

By Walter E. Williams

Californians are experiencing their third year of drought. Headlines read: "Current California Drought Is Driest In State's History; Scientists Fear 'Megadroughts' On Their Way." "Global Warming Upped Heat Driving California's Drought." Then there are scientific claims such as, "There's a rapidly growing body of scientific research finding that California is in the midst of its worst drought in over a millennium (and) global warming has made the drought worse." A Stanford University study said, "Human-caused climate change helped fuel the current California drought." One news outlet summarized the conclusions of a group of environmentalists this way: "California's severe and ongoing drought is just a taste of the dry years to come, thanks to global warming."

Let's examine a few drought facts.

California experienced eight major droughts in the 20th century, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. They ranged from two years to as long as nine years, such as that which occurred from 1928 to 1937. In the previous century, there was the bitter drought of 1862-65, which was a catastrophe for the state of California — made worse by a smallpox epidemic. Scott Stine — professor of geography and environmental studies at California State University, East Bay — said that all of these modern droughts were minor compared with California's ancient droughts of 850 to 1090 and 1140 to 1320. One wonders whether California Gov. Jerry Brown and his cadre of environmental extremists would attribute those ancient droughts to man-made global warming.

A large part of California's water problem has economic roots. Whenever there's a shortage of anything — whether it's water or seats at a baseball stadium — our first suspicion should be that the price is too low. California agriculture consumes about 80 percent of the state's delivered water, and it has been exempted from many of California's new restrictions. On top of that, agricultural water users pay a much lower price than residential users. In other words, California's farmers are being heavily subsidized.

The Imperial Valley, located in the southeastern part of the state, is geologically a desert. Nonetheless, its farmers grow large quantities of potatoes, cauliflower, sweet corn, broccoli and onions. These crops would not be produced without there being subsidized irrigation and other state and federal subsidies. I need someone to show me that there is such a desperate need for somewhere to grow potatoes, corn and other crops that we need to subsidize making a desert bloom.

Western water is mostly controlled by the U.S. Congress and its Bureau of Reclamation. Through lobbying efforts, the Bureau of Reclamation is controlled by growers and other special interests. Water is distributed in California and other Western states not by market prices but by the political process. Agricultural interests have disproportionate political power. That means that agricultural interests receive taxpayer-financed handouts.

California farmers argue that without federal and state government subsidies, crops could not be grown in desert areas. That's a foolish, self-serving argument. If I were an Alaskan wanting to use government subsidies to build hothouses to grow navel oranges, I could use the same argument: Without government subsidies, I couldn't grow navel oranges in Alaska.

Some of California's water conservation regulations are mindless. It is illegal for servers in bars, restaurants and cafeterias to serve water unless customers ask. The amount of water that people drink per day is a trivial part of total water consumption. Estimates vary, but each person consumes 80 to 100 gallons of water per day flushing toilets, bathing and for other residential purposes.

Another California water conservation effort is "drought shaming." That's when vigilantes call water utility hotlines to snitch on their neighbors who are watering lawns, washing cars or filling pools. One wonders whether there might arise an anti-vigilante movement to punish the vigilantes.

The bottom line for solving California's water problem is that there needs to be a move toward a market-oriented method for the distribution of water. Government management has been a failure.

Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University and author of Race & Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination?

Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Power Brothers by Max McNabb

Old man Power didn’t want his sons to be cannon fodder in the First World War. Jeff Power told his boys, John and Tom, not to register for the draft. The rich man’s war had nothing to do with them. In 1918, the Power family, originally from West Texas, had a gold mine to work in Arizona’s Gila Valley.

“They reacted the way Texans would react,” historian Jeff Robenalt says in the documentary Power’s War. “They didn’t cause the war… they didn’t make the draft. Why should they register for it?”

The young brothers planned to remain in the Galiuro Mountains until the war ended, then everything would blow over. But the US government had other plans. On February 9, 1918, Deputy US Marshal Haynes, Sheriff McBride, and Deputy Kempton met with volunteer Deputy Kane Wootan. The lawmen rode up into the mountains to arrest John and Tom Power for failing to register for the selective draft.

All four of the lawmen were members of the Mormon Church. Writer Roderick Roberts notes the Gila Valley was heavily Mormon and the Power family’s status as non-Mormon newcomers caused some of their neighbors to view them with hostility. The Powers claimed the Wootans wanted their gold mine and were willing to use the WWI conscription to take it. Sheriff McBride served as chairman of the county draft board. If John and Tom were drafted, their father couldn’t work the mine alone and would have to sell.

Just before dawn, the sound of startled horses woke Jeff Power in the family cabin. He stepped to the door and opened it. A voice in the darkness shouted, “Throw up your hands!”

Jeff Power raised his hands. Three shots cracked and the old man fell, shot down in his own doorway.

The gunfight that followed was the deadliest in Arizona history. The posse fired into the cabin. John and Tom Power grabbed Winchesters and fought back. The family’s hired hand, an ex-Army scout named Tom Sisson, took cover. When the smoke cleared, Jeff Power and three lawmen were dead, a fourth escaped, and the Power brothers had suffered wounded eyes from flying splinters and glass. The attackers never identified themselves as lawmen. Only after standing over the bodies did the Powers realize the dead men wore badges.

Read the rest at Max McNabb's website.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Water Rationing: The Bureaucrat's Solution

A crisis is a terrible thing to waste if you're a statist.  So, the drought in California presents a great opportunity for more bureaucracy, corruption, and waste.  It also presents an opportunity for the free market pricing system, but that of course is not on the table.

Water Rationing: The Bureaucrat's Solution

Oil Industry Bailout

The government plans to buy oil to drive up its price.  Capitalism serves the consumer.  The consumer is not being served, oil companies are.

Oil Industry Bailout