Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future |The National Academies Press

For years I would regularly post this plan on Twitter.

Never got any traction.

Maybe too long a read.

Not a ” 4 min read “.

Spread the word.


Download a PDF of “Rising Above the Gathering Storm” by the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine for free.
— Read on nap.nationalacademies.org/catalog/11463/rising-above-the-gathering-storm-energizing-and-employing-america-for

Is he in cuffs yet?

Kitchen floor demo today. I count 6 layers of linoleum and maybe one layer of something that will require a water spray.

Some do this with their roofs. Just keep putting more layers of shingles on it.

Covering things up.

I wanted to see his perp walk the day Biden was inaugurated. Also wanted to begin a forensic audit of every dime stolen by our fellow citizens during the National Emergency.


I want to catch every one of them.


something afoot

Both of us have history with this body and many of the current councilors. We were there often during our time in Newburyport. We had our turn at many microphones. Felt the heat. Also got the skinny on how things are done. I am holding a bag full of tales from Newburyport.



Oh it’s coming

I had a ” thing” it could have solved for me.

Skiing was fun yesterday.

5 hours up and down.

I did go down 5 times. Two of the tumbles were spectacular.

Hopped in the car at 5 this morning in Great Barrington and surprised Doozie at 830 on the Cape.

On the way out and back in the dark I noticed that our highways have too many reflective signs.

Time to clean that mess up.


sad news


Train wreck Lac Megantic, Quebec 40 people now possibly missing(latest news USA Today)

No mention yet of recent protests staged in Maine to stop this plan to ship crude to the East Coast . The West Coasters  said no way.

UPDATE 7/7/13

I was just stopped on Main at Lincoln Street for a very long freight train. It had 3 locomotives, and the rest were tank cars, if there  were less than 70/ 80 of these bulk carriers I would be lying.These are identical to those that got loose in the Canadian tragedy. I jotted down the placard number affixed to the tankers that identifies cargo.

I just checked the number upon my return.

Crude oil.

So these are empties.


Headed North then West across Maine to the oil fields in Canada?

It would seem  odd to to me that protestors bent on protecting the environment from  spills, and now the very real spectre of worse tragedies in Maine, would have missed another transit point, from the South.

Update 7/8/13

The news outlets, some,  are awakening from their slumber and have quit calculating the costs of reporting and  commenting.

My son Bryce  is taking a finance course this summer at Harvard and had the print version of his class supplied WSJ sent to me.

I have a treasure trove of newspapers on my credenza.

Today the WSJ front page story is about  deep safety concerns  over rail transport of crude oil on the heels of this holocaust in Quebec.

 Update 7/8/13

This terrible tragedy could have  been prevented.


Update 7/9/13

The Bangor Daily News was asking questions on June 10th, 2012.


If you enjoy getting dizzy from time to time just look at the wiki on Pan Am Railways, or the general history of railroads in NE. I have been at it all night.Trying to untangle who owns the tracks, who maintains them, who runs the equipment, who provides security, who leases the tracks, who inspects, who has oversight. My eyes are wide open now about the terrible state of rail transportation,and this desperate grab for oil sand crude( which is a bitch to clean up, as it’s  gritty) to simply stay afloat. These aging tank cars are rolling  right through towns and villages and along sensitive waterways, wait a minute, all waters are sensitive.

All towns are special.

The town of Lac Megantic was destroyed.


Think about that and the still unaccounted victims in Quebec of corporate greed coupled with complete and utter disregard for the environment and the lives of people.

Pan Am Railways has been forced to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines for environmental damages,   spills, track maintenance issues. A fine, the settlement,the environmental insult forgotten.

You should be blowing the whistle, when policies are not being followed, laws broken, or “it’s” just plain wrong, wherever you work, whatever you do.

You should stand up.

If you are unfamiliar with the Canadian Oil Sands here is an excerpt from  an article written in 2009 National Geographic Magazine .

I would bet the numbers are inaccurate now, the size of the mining area, importation figures. The article stated that 19% of our imports are Canadian.

“Nowhere on Earth is more earth being moved these days than in the Athabasca Valley. To extract each barrel of oil from a surface mine, the industry must first cut down the forest, then remove an average of two tons of peat and dirt that lie above the oil sands layer, then two tons of the sand itself. It must heat several barrels of water to strip the bitumen from the sand and upgrade it, and afterward it discharges contaminated water into tailings ponds like the one near Mildred Lake. They now cover around 50 square miles. Last April some 500 migrating ducks mistook one of those ponds, at a newer Syncrude mine north of Fort McKay, for a hospitable stopover, landed on its oily surface, and died. The incident stirred international attention—Greenpeace broke into the Syncrude facility and hoisted a banner of a skull over the pipe discharging tailings, along with a sign that read “World’s Dirtiest Oil: Stop the Tar Sands.”

There are some photos contained in the article ,well of course , it’s National Geographic.


Media Update 7/9/13

The Lawrence Eagle Tribune weighs in with some local information.  Seacoast online still is using wire service articles. The comments to the Eagle article that deride efforts by those concerned about the environment are beyond the pale.

“eco freaks”

“some spotted owl”

Really, why even type the nonsense , just go about your own business as it’s quite obvious from your comment that’s all you care about .

15 years ago Exeter had a train derailment just before Fort Rock Farm outbound to Maine that included hazardous materials, though none leaked. This  Eagle Tribune article also quotes NH officials saying that our RR tracks are well inspected due to  sharing the track with the Downeaster. I am pretty sure that the Amtrak train was authorized for higher speeds but the track owner did not or has not  upgraded the tracks to be able to hit that number.

The transportation of crude oil by these tankers is new, and the rolling stock being used is unsafe, at any speed. The walls of the tanks are easily breached in an accident.

Honestly,  is it at all reasonable to be transporting oil shale crude from the Dakotas to New Brunswick , Canada, then back to us as refined products?

Why is this oil not refined in situ?


UPDATE 7/10/13

The Boston Globe weighs in on Lac Megantic and the transport of crude by rail

So the trains rolling through our Town are filled with crude oil.

You have a password for the Globe, right?


Every town needs a broom factory (bookmark#3)

I was very young upon hearing this adage for the first time spoken by my Father and it resonated with me. It was being used as a recognition of the need for a payroll to keep everything going in a small town.The broom  factory also was a place of employment for those possessing the most basic skill sets.

Our leaders prospective and those in control  will still pose  and posture in front of closed factories. The modern textile mill now has  one employee operating  100 looms from a single control panel.

The book mark today  is a  report written in 2010 that springs from a 2005  study entitled “Rising Above the Gathering Storm”.

A redux , a progress check.

From the report

“Rising Above the Gathering Storm was prepared in response to a request by a bipartisan group of Senators and Members of Congress who asked the National Academies to respond to the following questions:

What are the top 10 actions, in priority order, that federal policymakers could take to enhance the science and technology enterprise so that the United States can successfully compete, prosper, and be secure in the global community of the 21st century? What strategy, with several concrete steps, could be used to implement each of those actions”

“In the five years that have passed since Rising Above the Gathering Storm was issued, much has changed in our nation and world. Despite the many positive responses to the initial report, including congressional hearings and legislative proposals, America’s competitive position in the world now faces even greater challenges, exacerbated by the economic turmoil of the last few years and by the rapid and persistent worldwide advance of education, knowledge, innovation, investment, and industrial infrastructure. Indeed the governments of many other countries in Europe and Asia have themselves acknowledged and aggressively pursued many of the key recommendations of Rising Above the Gathering Storm, often more vigorously than has the U.S. We also sense that in the face of so many other daunting near-term challenges, U.S. government and industry are letting the crucial strategic issues of U.S. competitiveness slip below the surface.”

So, here is some heavy reading  for those of you stalking candidates at  barbecues and coming away with comments for the Press of such ilk as “I dunno, I just like the cut of her jib”

If you simply read the executive summary (20 pages) you will be much better armed at that  barbecue. You might  even  enroll your child in a math & science enrichment program.

The broom factory is closed.

Rising Above the  Gathering Storm, revisited. This is today’s bookmark.


“Gentlemen, we have run out of money. It is time to start thinking.”
Sir Ernest Rutherford, Nobel Laureate (Physics)

“While only four percent of the nation’s work force is composed of scientists and engineers, this group disproportionately creates jobs for the other 96 percent.”

Local note

Vicki Geis a key member of the Exeter Area General Federation of Womens Clubs has  been working tirelessly for years now in concert with all the other EAGFWC members staging “Expanding Your Horizons”  The most  recent event now in it’s 6th year, was held in May at the Middle School and attended by 200 local young women. The size of the conference only  limited by the seating in the cafeteria for lunch. Time for a new venue?

It is the only such conference held in NH.

The core intent,  to expose young women to opportunities  in math & science and present them as both attainable and life enriching, personally and for the greater society.

This estimable goal is   accomplished at the day long event by cycling our future leaders and innovators through a series of  workshops prepared and presented by women  engaged in such pursuits.

Expanding their horizons.



It’s real. The number  of cases and deaths, and far flung appearances make it a real threat. I was in the emergency room this weekend with a family member. I was struck by  the poor communication  between patients  and  staff. I mean to say that that  most people presenting to the ER do a very poor job describing symptoms. “I feel weird” is really not useful information. It is  really difficult to  treat people  that are  not invested in the process. You are the person seeking treatment and should be prepared  to  assist with useful information. The Pandemic has me worried that  people will flock to already stressed ER’s  despite plenty of information on which symptoms are trouble. The Mayor of NYC  is  worried. Classify this as another one of my “on your own”  posts. You would get in and get out of an ER faster if you provided even simple to the point answers. “It  hurts!” “Is it a sharp pain or a deep dull ache” ” I dunno it hurts”. This sort of exchange will  trigger a host of tests which may(often are) unnecessary. It might  amaze you  but we are not all that different. Time of onset,   location and type of discomfort can actually be entered in a computer and generate an accurate diagnosis. I just typed that line then  had to check if it was true! I mean I assume it’s that’s easy, given good information from the  patient. So  I checked  and found this story from 1993.


Since we have a dearth  of Primary Care Physicians to service the onslaught in October. I suggest  you invest in the ER Triage  Kiosk  Company.

No lying about your level of pain  to jump the line!