On The Greater Burgan Oil Field

burgan fields

Those of us who were alive to witness the first Gulf War remember the Burgan Oil Field of Kuwait – it’s the one Saddam Hussein’s forces put the torch to when they beat a retreat back to Iraq and the prevailing theory at that time was something akin to “if we can’t have it, neither can you.”

The Burgan Oil Field, discovered in 1938, is the world’s largest sandstone oil field that was pressed into production by the US-UK joint venture Kuwait Oil Company in 1946. Burgan’s total potential production of recoverable oil has been estimated as between 66 and 75 billion barrels, plus perhaps 70 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

The words “potential” and “perhaps” bother me. 

In Rasoul Sorkhabi’s article “The Great Burgan Field, Kuwait”, Dr. Sorkhabi goes on record to say “Like any other Middle Eastern oil field, the reserves and production data for Burgan are shrouded in a cloud of secrecy, uncertainty, and controversy.”

And not without good reason – the kingdoms that rule the Middle East aren’t exactly universally loved by their subjects. In fact, it’s fair to say that the range of emotions of the commons runs from, at best, ambivalent to, at worst, overwhelmingly hostile. That these kingdoms being identified as the most repressive in all regards concerning human rights and basic civil liberties makes anyone wonder why the people of these nations simply don’t rise up and revolt.

The answer lies in my father’s version of The Golden Rule which states, “He who has the gold makes the rules”. These kingdoms use the wealth that their oil generates to buy the loyalties of certain security directors and military leaders to make sure the populace is kept down nice and suppressed. As long as the security apparatus of the state is well paid and happy, life goes on for the royals.

Lest I outright call them liars, I would venture to say that, on the whole, there really isn’t any percentage in it for these monarchs to be completely honest about how much (or little) oil they have left in the ground.

After all, when your very existence – indeed your very survival – depends on a steady revenue of petrodollars you don’t rock the boat and any mention that your oil production levels are falling (or indeed about to fall) is generally bad for business – that is, if your business is to keep yourself in a lifestyle to which you have grown accustomed and the rest of your country can  go pound sand.

So today I put on my prognosticator hat once again to determine just how much time is left on Burgan.

Burgan has been producing since 1946 – which is 67 years as of this year. Surmising there is nothing special about my observation of this field I predict  that Burgan is somewhere between 22 and 25 years away from being played out with my best guess that the field peaked around 8-10 (upwards to 13 1/2) years ago.

Having said this, I predict that Burgan will be abandoned at least by 2035 and at most 2038.

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In Which I Make A Few More Predictions (TV Edition)

criswell

I thought I’d turn my powers of prognostication today to my top ten picks of television shows now on the air and predict when they’ll be gone.

So here we go…

1. Dancing With The Stars

dancing-with-the-stars

Having been on the air since 2005, I predict this show will be on for at least 2 2/3 more years and at most 24.

2. NCIS

NCIS

On the air since 2003 this show’s got some longevity however, my prediction indicates that the show will run for at least 3 1/3 years and at most 7.5 years.

3. The Walking Dead

the walking dead

I know I’m gonna catch all kinds of hell for this prediction as there are legions of Walking Dead fans out there but I predict a run of at least 1 more year and at most 9 years.

4. American Idol

AMERICAN IDOL: Logo 2009. CR: FOX

Now in it’s 11th year, AI will run for at least 3 2/3  and at most 33 years.

5. America’s Got Talent

america got talent

Another show with longevity like it’s counterpart American Idol, AGT will be on the air for at least 2 1/3 years and at most 21.

6. The Big Bang Theory

big bang theory

A comedy about science geeks. Who knew it would go six years? I predict this bang will whimper out in at least 3 and at most 5 years from now.

7. Real Time With Bill Maher

real-time-with-bill-maher

Just to show you that I’m not doing these predictions out of spite, here I present my favorite show (and host) of all time and offering them up on my chopping block – at least 1 1/3 years and at most 12.

8. The Mentalist

the mentalist

I’ve only seen a few episodes but from what few episodes I have seen the show is, by and large, very good.  I give this at least 1 2/3 years to at most 7.5 years.

9. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (or CSI: Las Vegas)

csi vegas

As a fan of this show since it first aired in 2000 and haven’t missed an episode, I give this at least 4 1/3 and at most 9 3/4 years.

10. The Simpsons.

the simpsons

Ohhhh boy! What can you say about a TV show that’s been on the air for nearly 25 years? How about “when’s it gonna end”? So, with that in mind I give The Simpsons at least 8 1/3 years and at most 18.

 Now that I’m on the record, time will only tell.

In Which I Make A Few Predictions

criswell

Nope, I’m not psychic nor do I pretend to be. As a skeptic, I see no evidence that psychic abilities are real. In fact, I would go as far to say that psychic predictions are indeed real – real crap, that is.

So not being a psychic, I do however possess an ability that allows me to make some pretty accurate predictions. No, I can’t narrow these predictions down to the day (though I’m working on it) but I can predict (within a range) things like how long you can reasonably expect to live, how long a corporation or country will continue to exist and how long a world leader in any given nation is expected to rule.

It’s called The Copernicus Method which was patterned after the Copernican Principle by astrophysicist professor John Richard Gott who, in 1969 during a visit to the Berlin Wall, was asked how long he thought the Wall would be standing.

A little background on The Copernican Principle.

The Copernican Principle was in use sometime as far back as the 16-17th century that basically said that the Earth’s place in the Universe isn’t special, that the Universe is pretty much the same from end to end and that there’s nothing really special about it.

Applying this, Professor Gott reasoned that his visit to the Berlin Wall in 1969 was of no special significance and applying the Copernican Principle to the question of how long the Berlin Wall would be standing he concluded (with a 75% confidence threshold) that given the age of the Wall (which was, at the time, 8 years) it would stand for at least 2.66 years and at most 24.

The Berlin Wall came down in 1989, 20 years later and within the upper limit prediction of 24 years.

The Copernican Method states that there’s a 50% chance you (or something) currently occupy the middle of two quarters of a timeline and that there’s a 50/50 chance you (or something) are either 1/4 from the beginning and 3/4 to the end of the timeline or you (or something) are 3/4 from the beginning and 1/4 to the end of the timeline.

Or, as my good friend William Roberts put it, it’s either the end of the beginning or the beginning of the end.

Now, if I apply this to myself I first work out what my age is (44 years) I come to a prediction which states that I will be around for at least 11 and at most 66 years which means I’m looking at a life expectancy of (at most) 110 years.

I don’t honestly believe I’m going to make it to 110 and if I do I have to ask myself what my quality of life is going to be at 110 and if it’s not anywhere near my comfort zone I may make “other” arrangements.

Paging Dr. Kervorkian…

Just how solid is Professor Gott’s Copernican Principle? Well, to emphasize and defend it he went on to give The New Yorker magazine a confidence threshold of 95% for the closing times of 44 Broadway and Off Broadway productions based only on their opening dates.

He was 95% correct – which is a much better track record than Sylvia Browne or any “psychic” ever had.

So I’m gonna go ahead and run with this and make a few predictions of my own.

IBM will be around at least for the next 25.5 and at most for the next 306 years. Apple, on the other hand, will be around at least for the next 9.25 and at most for the next 111 years.

North Korea will be around for at least for the next 16.25 and at most 71 years.

Robert Mugabe’s rule of ZImbabwe will end (with his death) at least within the next 6  and at most the next 15 years.

The reunification of Ireland and Northern Ireland will occur at least within the next 5.6 and at most 23 years.

Queen Elizabeth II will reign for at most the next 15.25 years. When Prince Charles becomes King, he will be 80 years old and will reign at least 5 and at most 20 years, unless he decides he doesn’t fancy being an 80 year old King – then it falls to his 46 year old son William.

Facebook will be around for at least 2 and at most 21 years, as will Twitter.

Microsoft will be around for at least 9.5 and at most 114 years.

WordPress will exist for at least 2 and at most 30 years.

The United States of America will exist in its current form for at least 57.2 and at most 700 years.

The UNIX operating system will be around for at least the next 11 and at most 132 years.

The sun will become hostile to all life on planet Earth in at least 500 million to at most 1.125 billion years. 

Confirmation of intelligent life in the universe will be discovered in at least 10 and at most 150 years from now.

Sustainable fusion power reactors will be developed and in use in at least 10 and at most 120 years.

On Those Who Would Trash The Memory Of Nelson Mandela

Mandela

I saw this today on Facebook from a gentleman named Michael Fiore on Ted Cruz’s Facebook page responding to those folks who were actively engaging in trashing the memory of Nelson Mandela and it was so good I had to share it.

If the current US administration took away the right of all whites to bear arms, you would revolt, right? It would probably be violent, no?

If the current US administration took away the right of all whites to freely assemble, would you revolt then? 

If the current US administration told all whites that they could live only in Arizona and New Mexico, you would be okay with that?

If the current US administration prevented all whites from working in most industries, that would be just peachy?

If the current US administration took away the right of whites to vote, who needs to vote anyway, correct?

If whites were only permitted limited, if any, medical care, that would be cool too?

If blacks in the US controlled 90% of the wealth, would you just sit back and count your pennies?

If a black man could freely abuse you, a white person, without any legal repercussions, would you just turn the other cheek?

You all need to get some perspective on Mandela, apartheid and what the real loss of liberty and freedom looks like.

One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter and Nelson Mandela was fighting an evil oppressor who would deny him freedom and liberty simply on the basis of the color of his skin.

On Being Labeled “Classic Rock”

the first ones_COVER

There are just some things that make your whole week – and this is one of them.

Nearly three weeks into the release of my debut album “The First Ones” I decided it was high time to get out there on The Googles and see what if any activity the album was generating.

Well, I see it’s out on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, 7Digital and a previously unknown online seller called Tradebit.

I’ve heard of Tradebit before – they’ve sold a previous single of another project I was involved in last March but I don’t really know much about them except they’re in Germany and the Founder/CEO is a guy by the name of Ralf Schwoebel.

And he and his company just made my whole week.

What’d he and his company do? Oh…they just classified my album as Classic Rock.

Seriously, I’m over here laughing my ass off over this and not to make fun of Ralf and Tradebit. No, not at all. What I find hilarious about this is that when I made this album I was going for the old-school classic electronic rock sound and it seems that it was convincing enough that Tradebit actually filed it as such.

I couldn’t buy this kind of press, folks. And I couldn’t be happier.

So, thank you Ralf Schwoebel and thank you Tradebit.

Now if I can just parley this into more sales…

On The High Cost Of Low Prices Redux

walmart

Once again, Walmart is back in the news having done something completely outrageous – so outrageous, in fact, that it strains credulity.

But this is Walmart we’re talking about.

In my last blog on this subject I pointed out that Walmart’s refusal to pay their employees a living wage forces them to seek out public assistance which, in turn, costs us the taxpayers but yet we shop at Walmart for their “low prices – everyday” ignorant of this fact.

Walmart is unique among businesses as it forces their employees to go on welfare. As in my last blog, I state the obvious once again: I thought having a job meant you didn’t need public assistance. Isn’t “working for a living” meaning that you have a job and are able to live on your own without the need of government support?

The whole thing is ridiculous that a multi-billion dollar company would instead opt to force its employees to go on welfare rather than pay them a wage they could live on without being a drain on the taxpayers of this country.

It also has gotten even more ridiculous with this company.

About two days ago a Walmart in Canton, Ohio decided to have a Thanksgiving food drive, with a catch – Walmart is asking its employees to donate food to other Walmart employees.

Yes, you read that correctly – Walmart isn’t asking their associates to donate food to the poor in the community. They’ve decided that charity begins at home so they’re asking their associates (who make next to nothing and are forced to go on public assistance to compensate) to donate food to their fellow associates (who make next to nothing and are forced to go on public assistance to compensate).

It almost reads like an article from The Onion – except it’s not.