Thought for the day

Being honest when disseminating research results is not a great idea.

I should know this.


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Filed under C'est la vie, Research

What is CCS?

The McKinsey Quaterly presents a quick introduction to Carbon Capture and Storage via an interative feature. If you have no clue as to what CCS  is, this is a  good place to start.


Filed under CCS, Global Warming

Best job? have put up, what they call, a comprehensive ranking of 2oo jobs (Hat tip: Cosmic Variance). As per the rankings, a mathematician has the best job in America, followed by an actuary, statistician, biologist, software engineer etc . Twelfth on the list is a philosopher. Yes, a PHILOSOPHER. If P.G. Wodehouse were alive today and involved in the rankings, philosophers would have made it to the top of the rankings. This is what he wrote of philosophy and  pilosophers:

There are situations in life which are beyond one.  The sensible man realises this, and slides out of such situations, admitting himself beaten.  Others try to grapple with them, but it never does any good.  When affairs get into a real tangle, it is best to sit still and let them straighten themselves out.  Or, if one does not do that, simply to think no more about them.  This is Philosophy.  The true philosopher is the man who says “All right,” and goes to sleep in his arm-chair.

from MIKE, A Public School Story by P.G. Wodehouse

Philosophers would have also beaten clergy to the top of the most satisfying job in Plum’s opinion.

For the sake of completeness I must mention that lumberjacks come at the bottom of the list, making it to the top of the 10 worst jobs in America.

Let me leave you with the question – Is there a “best job”?


Filed under General

Happy New Year

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To Listen

To listen is to collect information except for people from authoritarian societies where to listen is to follow orders.

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Shell, CCS and Clean Coal

Shell are advertising their version of the energy future prominently in the NY Times as sponsors of NY Times Extra. Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) figures prominently and have a nice write-up on it. CCS needs to be better understood by the public and all efforts are appreciated. Nevertheless, they haven’t got the artwork right on many levels….least of which is trying to catch a gaseous CO2 with a net.

Shell CCS Ad

Another thing which gets to me is using the term clean coal to indicate coal gasification with CO2 capture. Clean coal is a misnomer – coal can never be CLEAN. I work with coal gasification myself and believe that this a critical area in the near future – but selling it as clean is doing a disservice. It gives skeptics cheap shots at the technology, as can be seen at sites such as This is Reality and Coal is Dirty.

I do not agree with the main theme of either of these sites. Like it or not, coal will be the predominant fuel for the next 30-50 years and CCS is a viable technology for mitigation of greenhouse gases (mainly CO2) . More on CCS and coal gasification in later posts.


Filed under CCS, Coal

The White Tiger

Earlier this week I read Aravind Adiga’s The White Tiger – winner of the Man Booker prize for 2008. While a lot of reviewers have high praise for the novel, particularly the “new voice” it brings, I found the book to be quite ordinary. Though a fun read it is certainly not worthy of the Booker prize  in my opinion.

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