Saturday, January 26, 2019

January 26, 2019, T+26, Part 4, Day 1 Of Negotiations

Germany utility costs set new all-time record for inefficiencies due to wind. Data point at this link:
  • costs to stabilize the German grid
    • 2017: 1.4 billion Euros; an all-time high
    • 2016: 880 million Euros
    • 2015: 1.1 billion Euros; a previous high
  • about 10,200GWh was curtailed and approximately 10,238GWh of reserve power was ordered to stabilise the grid 
  • re-dispatch costs increased in 2017 as Europe experienced a continent-wide cold spell in the first quarter of the year placing a strain on the German grid
  • preliminary data suggested wind power supplied more power to the grid than it had in previous years
  • wind generated 100TWh in Germany in 2017, up from 76TWh the previous year
So, as wind-generated electricity goes up, so do costs. Color me shocked! Shocked!

US wind: the fad has peaked. Off-shore the fishermen don't like it (Cape Cod); on-shore, homeowners don't like it (Falmouth, MA). EIA projection suggests it will be solar growth, not wind growth in the out-years; most of that solar growth will be niche growth and roof solar panels; much will be due to regulations (California requires new homes to be built with solar panels).

Tesla: I forgot to plug in my Tesla overnight, and now I have to wait 45 minutes for a quick charge before driving to Starbucks. Shucks. Not true. I don't own a Tesla but if I did I probably could have written that as an unfortunate event.

Music: Frank Sinatra in Starbucks -- time to listen to Norah Jones on iPhone/Alexa music. Seriously. Amazing. And my seriously old iPhone SE still has the old "phone jack," the RJ-11. LOL. My wife has the AirPods. Maybe it's time for me to go that route. I'll get a chance to see how much energy the iPhone uses -- we're at 75% right now, 8:23 a.m. [Later: uses almost no electricity: at 9:12 a.m. down to 74% while music was playing all that time.]

Reading: off the net for awhile. Reading Arrian's Alexander Campaigns. 

The Book Page

The Campaigns of Alexander: The Landmark Arrian, edited by James Romm, c. 2010

From the book:
The Cretans were among the few Europeans who trained their youths extensively in archery. Bowmen recruited from Crete formed an important auxiliary force in Alexander's army. He added to the numbers of this force as his campaign progressed, after seeing its utility in countering Asian missile-firing troops.
Alexander became king at age 20. He died at 33. Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Alexander was his eye for innovation. The above note regarding archery is but one example. Other examples:
  • Indian elephants (it turns out that elephants panic horses)
  • naval power (growing up in land-locked Macedon, Alexander was initially intimidated by the sea; then he saw that naval power would be needed to consolidate his global conquests)
  • the importance of mobility by the king in battle (the Persian kings remained static)
  • the importance of training so that unit commanders could make decisions without their king's input
  • logistics: except for one case, his long supply line never came up short; his troops did not live off the land
  • tactical surprise
  • tactical retreat to re-organize, re-attack
Upon arrival at Troy, now a dusty, tourist town, in the spring of 334 BC:
Alexander is said to  have sacrificed to Priam at the altar of Zeus of the Courtyard, hoping to appease Priam's wrath against the family of Neoptolemos, to which he himself belonged. According to Greek mythic beliefs, Priam, aged king of Troy, was ruthlessly executed by Neoptolemos, Achilles' son.
Isn't that interesting? Wow, perhaps we've found the etymology of the Ptolemaic kingdom. Ptolemy, one of Alexander's favorite generals eventually took Egypt.

We keep coming back to the Macedon - Greek story. It is very, very clear that Macedon was it's "own people." Macedon was not Greek. Macedon was not a Greek tribe. Alexander, as a transition figure blurred the Macedon-Hellenic line. Scholars continue to debate this and I'm sure my world view is way wrong, I feel very comfortable now that I understand Alexander and the Macedon - Greek division/line/controversy. It is most likely the common religion of Macedon/Greece that "confuses" the issue. But just as the common religion of France/Italy is Roman Catholicism, no one would confuse a Frank with an Italian.

So, the big picture:
  • Alexander, b. 356
  • throne, at age 20, 336
  • protects his flank, to the north, Danube, spring of 335
  • south to Thebes, summer of 335
  • Troy, spring of 334
  • look how far he moved, how fast  he moved between 336 and 334
It is said Alexander had a Odysseus-like / godlike longing to explore; always wanted to see what was next; had no time for advisors who told him to slow down.

He was much more ruthless than modern school children are led to believe. For whatever reason (and I can think of many) he was "cut a lot of slack." But at the end of the day, he was ruthless.

An aside, since the name keeps popping up, from wiki:
Heracles, a demigod, glory/pride of Hera, born Alcaeus was a divine hero in Greek mythology, the son of Zeus and Alcmene, foster son of Amphitryon. 
He was a great-grandson and half-brother (as they are both sired by the god Zeus) of Perseus.
He was the greatest of the Greek heroes, a paragon of masculinity, the ancestor of royal clans who claimed to be Heracleidae, and a champion of the Olympian order against chthonic monsters.
In Rome and the modern West, he is known as Hercules, with whom the later Roman emperors, in particular Commodus and Maximian, often identified themselves.
The Romans adopted the Greek version of his life and works essentially unchanged, but added anecdotal detail of their own, some of it linking the hero with the geography of the Central Mediterranean. Details of his cult were adapted to Rome as well.
Also from wiki:
Heracles of Macedon (c. 327 – 309 BC) was a reputed illegitimate son of Alexander the Great of Macedon by Barsine, daughter of Satrap Artabazus of Phrygia. Heracles was named after the Greek mythological hero of the same name, from whom the Argeads claimed descent.
In 327, Alexander was 29 years old, and had only four more years to live.

It appears the "Heracles, son of Alexander" is a made-up story/myth. His early years were a mystery; he shows up about age 17; remains in obscurity; ultimately murdered through royal intrigue.

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