The Stock Market Is Stupid and Irrational

ethanol 1aadkgg

  The stock market is just a reflection of people.  And since people have a seemingly infinite capacity to be stupid and irrational, there you go. Cellulosic ethanol is a case in point. As helpfully defined by Wikipedia, cellulosic ethanol is similar to regular ethanol, only not as profitable.  Take it away, wiki-baby: Cellulosic ethanol is a biofuel produced from wood, grasses, or the inedible parts of plants. It is a type of biofuel produced from lignocellulose, a structural material that comprises much of the mass of plants. Lignocellulose is composed mainly of cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin. Corn stover, Panicum virgatum (switchgrass), Miscanthus grass species, wood chips and the byproducts of lawn and tree … [Read more...]

Monday Morning Fish Wrap: The Mafia’s Got Wind In Its Pants (pocket)

This is not Sicily

The Fish Wrap: an occasional grouping of interesting links, mostly centered around finance topics, largely from personal finance blogs. A carnival of sorts, arranged in no consistent fashion, and governed by lazy editorial standards. Years ago, Mafia references used to bug me to no end. On learning of my Italian ethnicity, the inevitable quip about criminal parentage would come out. But it helps to turn a perceived weakness into a strength. I learned long ago to reply with with a wink and a nod, and sometimes even a mock affected NY accent "That's right. I know people who know people."* Smiles or laughter or follow-up jokes all around (or even a semi-startled double take), and we get on with business. It's even become a jokey byline … [Read more...]

How to Profit From Pond Scum… Or Not

Chlorella regularis, not be confused with Chlorella Vulgaris, the ruder, ill-mannered cousin of Regularis

  Green crude sure sounds sexy enough, in a renewable energy kind of way. What's not to love about it?  Grow a bunch of algae from sunlight and CO2, harvest it, and presto-change-O, you've got "green" bio-diesel. Enough to get save-the-planet folks and environment reporters all hot in the pants. The best laid plans of blog topics sometimes take a backseat to chasing down rabbit holes.  The plan was to write a post on auto insurance today, but in the course of looking up a web reference, came across instead this story from MIT's Technology Review: In Race to Algae Fuel, Sapphire Scores Point for Open Ponds Sapphire Energy starts farming algae at New Mexico demo plant using an open pond design, which it says is the only … [Read more...]

Thinking of Speculating in CORN? Think again…


Sure is hot this summer. Temps have ranged from 110 t 117 in Tulsa this past week, depending on thermometer thermometer you trust. The drought is hitting its stride in its second year. Farm ponds are drying or have dried up completely, hay pastures are crisping up to a nice golden brown, and beef is selling for as little as two bucks a pound hanging weight, as ranchers are giving up on feeding expensive hay to their cattle.   Or expensive corn, for that matter. Corn prices, on the other hand, are spiking fast enough to give Chicago pit traders nosebleeds -- or woodies, depending if they're on the long side of the trade. The brutal heat and lack of rain are have a terrific impact on corn yields all across the fruited plains.  … [Read more...]

Investing in Uranium

Uranium seems to be going nuts, but I'm not complaining.  I have been holding a few uranium mining stocks, and lately they've  gone vertical. Strathmore Minerals, purchased for $0.71, now at $1.32 Denison Mines Corp, in at $1.18, now at $3.38 Mesa Uranium, purchased at $0.13, now $0.67 Mesa Uranium in particular induces a serious case of hindsight-isis. I had bought 4,000 shares, and sold off 3,000  when the stock doubled at $0.26 (woo-hoo!).    The shares then slept for a while, which was fine, I had realized profits, until recently when it went radioactive. Slight pause while I kick myself (**!!) for getting greedy and selling more than half.  Bah! Denison and Strathmore started taking off in August/September.   … [Read more...]

More Biogas

Along the same lines as dog-poop into methane posted earlier, here's a story from Popular Mechanics about turning cow manure and food waste into biogas through an anaerobic digester process. COWS TO KILOWATTS: U.S. Farms Save Big Turning Manure to Energy. For famers already operating on slim margins, the trick to staying afloat could be right under their feet.  PM visits one Pennsylvania dairy farm that's already saving $60,000 a year by turning cow manure into energy using an anaerobic biodigester. After reading this article, and considering all the troubles that Oklahoma and Arkansas have had with poulty industry  manure  that end up in  watersheds, an obviously practical solution would be anaerobic digesters and biogas production.  … [Read more...]

Dog Poop, Methane and Alternative Energy

Here’s something you don’t hear about every day:  alternate, somwhat green small-scale energy from from dog poop.  Funnycool in a slightly disgusting way. Dogs are great–until their poop gets all over your new shoes. Even when dog owners responsibly dispose of dog waste, the excrement continues to generate methane, a potent greenhouse gas. That’s where the Park Spark project, billed as the first public methane digestor for dogs, comes in.  (Continue Reading..)   … [Read more...]