Sunday, May 10, 2015

Update On New "Mascot" For UND -- May 10, 2015

This may have to be my last post tonight, but it's worth it -- again, from a reader -- a big "thank you."

I was searching just the other day for some update on the new mascot for UND, to replace the "Fighting Sioux." I was unable to find anything.

Now, from Palm Beach (yes, that one, Florida).

There are 121 pages of suggested names that made the cut (the list includes the reasons for the suggested names).

In addition, 321 pages of rejected names. My favorite paragraph in the story:

Saudi Arabia's King Snubs POTUS; Not Seen As Sign Of Any "Substantial Disagreement" -- White House - May 10, 2015


May 16, 2015: NYT's chimes in on Saudi Arabia snubbing President Obama
The most overt evidence of the unsettled ties between the United States and its longstanding Arab allies was a decision by King Salman of Saudi Arabia to stay home, after the White House announced he would be at the meeting. Bahrain’s king, Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa, also a no-show, chose to attend a horse show in Britain. A more ominous sign of tension was the threat by Saudi Arabia — and to a lesser extent, other Arab states — to match whatever nuclear enrichment capability Iran is allowed to keep under the agreement. “Whatever the Iranians have, we will have, too,” Prince Turki al-Faisal, the former Saudi intelligence chief, said recently in Seoul, South Korea.
It is hard to see how threatening and snubbing a president who is offering crucial assistance to the Saudi-led war in Yemen and who still has two years left in office advances Arab interests. Even so, Mr. Obama could have done a better job of calming Arab insecurities long before he invited the gulf leaders to Camp David.
The Sunni Arabs have two main worries. One is that the nuclear agreement with Iran would leave Iran with a limited capability to produce nuclear fuel for energy and medical purposes, instead of ending it outright. They also worry that Iran’s re-entry into the international community after decades of isolation would mean that Washington’s loyalties would henceforth be divided and that America could no longer be counted on to defend them.
Mr. Obama tried to address that in the joint statement, which declared, “The United States policy to use all elements of power to secure our core interests in the Gulf region, and to deter and confront external aggression against our allies and partners, as we did in the Gulf War, is unequivocal.” But he stopped short, and wisely so, of offering a formal pact similar to the NATO treaty that some Arab leaders had wanted but that could drag the United States into Middle East conflicts.
May 11, 2015: the King of Bahrain will not attend either Two of the staunchest, more reliable, more important allies the US has in the Muslim Mideast are Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. But President Obama has pretty much undone all of that.
Original Post
Fox News is reporting:
Saudi Arabia's King Salman will not attend a Camp David summit of U.S. and allied Arab leaders, his foreign minister, Adel al-Jubeir, said Sunday.
In a statement, al-Jubeir said the summit Thursday coincides with a humanitarian cease-fire in the conflict in Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is fighting Shiite rebels known as Houthis. He said Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, who is also interior minister, would lead the Saudi delegation and the king's son, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is defense minister, will also attend.
President Obama had planned to meet Salman one-on-one a day before the gathering of leaders at the presidential retreat but the White House did not take his decision to skip the summit as a sign of any substantial disagreement with the U.S.
Pretty weak excuse for not attending. But it does free up the president's schedule for a quick round of 9 holes of golf. 

A reader noted that President Obama reneged on an agreement between the US and Saudi Arabia "established" by FDR, putting the interests of a US-Iranian deal ahead of US-Saudi relations.
On 16 February 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared that "the defense of Saudi Arabia is vital to the defense of the United States", thereby making possible the extension of the Lend-Lease program to the kingdom.
Roosevelt continued to court the government, however—on 14 February 1945, he met with King Ibn Saud aboard the USS Quincy, discussing topics such as the countries' security relationship and the creation of a Jewish country in the Mandate of Palestine. -- Wiki
I don't think it's a stretch to say that President Obama's allegiances lie with Iran based on events over the past few years. Regular readers know the connecting dot(s).

Update On Drones Over Dakota -- May 10, 2015


Drones and North Dakota: here


March 2, 2017: West Fargo

January 44, 2017: job opportunities

August 29, 2016: tomorrow, August 30, 2016 -- first day legal for commercial drones; posted everywhere -- expect 600,000 commercial drones in a decade.

August 26, 2016: Israeli's Hermes 450 at Hillsboro, ND

July 11, 2016: Grand Forks AFB home to three unmanned a/c models, including the RQ-4 Global Hawk.

June 2, 2016: Walmart to use drones to inventory massive distribution centers.

May 31, 2016: DHS and UND partner on drone security.

May 23, 2016: Israelis testing drones in North Dakota; record set

March 9, 2016: front-page story in The Boston Globe. Massachusetts technology moving to North Dakota

December 25, 2015: The New York Times brings us up to date, on drones in North Dakota.

August 26, 2015: North Dakota allows drones to shoot from the air

August 23, 2015: North Dakota approved for night-flight testing of drones; first site/only site in US to gain such approval. 

June 8, 2015: first drone manufactured in North Dakota is rolled out, Wahpeton, ND 

Original Post

A huge "thanks" to a reader.

This may be the coolest story all month. We've talked about unmanned aerial systems before.

Background posts:
PRNewswire is reporting
This week, nearly two-dozen North Dakota aerospace and aviation leaders are in Atlanta for the AUVSI Unmanned Systems North America 2015 conference to showcase the state's dominance in America's hottest new industry.
As one of the largest blocks of airspace available in the country for flying unmanned aerial systems (UAS) with the goal of integrating UAS into the national airspace, the delegation will be at the show to discuss how the nation's first operational UAS test site is advancing research and has become increasingly open for businesses in this high profile industry.
In 2014, North Dakota became the first mission-ready test site chosen by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to assist in research integrating unmanned aircraft with manned aircraft into the national airspace.
North Dakota alone has invested $22.5 million into the test site to advance research and development for the commercialization of UAS, and will be investing an additional $10 million further between now and 2017. In addition, the state's 'Research ND' program will offers $5 million biannually in grants for research and development to organizations and companies involved in UAS research through cooperation with the University of North Dakota (UND) and North Dakota State University (NDSU).
"North Dakota is attracting innovative thinkers in UAS technology, creating jobs and expanding this important industry," said Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley, who also serves as chairman of the Northern Plains Unmanned Systems Authority. "The momentum our state has gained in the past year alone, in cooperation with the FAA, shows again that we are the premier location for the advancement of UAS."
In February, the Grand Forks Air Force Base officially signed an Extended Use Lease Agreement that will allow for the development of the nation's very first UAS business park, Grand Sky. Governor Jack Dalrymple has already appropriated $2.5 million in state funds to further develop the 1.2 million square-foot UAS aerospace and technology park, with plans ahead for further annual investment. Grand Sky is estimated to eventually house 3,000 collaborating innovators for the advancement of UAS technology, including anchor tenant Northrop Grumman - who just signed a formal lease agreement and will break ground on its new facility at Grand Sky in September.
From an earlier post: previous stories on North Dakota drones:
The last link provides additional links taking the story back to the beginning. California was specifically denied an early opportunity by the Federal government to compete in drone development (story at one of the links above). The Los Angeles Times was stupefied, unable to understand why.

NC -- May 10, 2015

NC: drilled to depth, but not completed.

The AP is reporting:
Oklahoma energy companies are still drilling in spite of low oil prices, but they are putting off costly practices such as hydraulic fracturing until prices recover. Drilled uncompleted wells are a new trend in the oil patch, led both by lower oil prices and the drastic technological and procedural changes the industry has experienced over the past decade.
Continental Resources Inc. CEO Harold Hamm has said completion processes typically represent about 60 percent of the cost of a modern shale well.
It's difficult to track how many wells have been drilled and left uncompleted, in part because states have different reporting requirements. Wood Mackenzie Ltd. and RBC Capital Markets LLC in March estimated that more than 3,000 wells nationwide have been drilled but not completed.
Two interesting data points.

Other sources suggest as many as 4,000 wells waiting to be fracked. 

When I first started blogging, the drilling costs - fracking costs were said to be 50 - 50. Here, Harold Hamm says completion costs may be as much as 60%. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that fracking/completion costs are coming in close to 65 - 70%.


At least he did not deny his client did not have the footballs deflated; nor did he mention that his client refused to assist in the investigation.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the best the agent for the New England Patriots' quarterback could do was attack the lead investigator by saying the latter had "limited understanding" of football. It sounds like he meant "NFL football" and it sounds like he meant that "everybody knows that deflated footballs are more helpful during inclement weather." People with "limited understanding" of football would not know that.

Interestingly enough, the agent called the whole thing a "sting." Rush Limbaugh was calling it a sting earlier this week. Say what you want about Rush, he often gets things very, very right.

The Patriots won "deflategate" in a lopsided 45 - 7 rout. The deflated footballs were "discovered" during halftime, and although the Patriots scored more points in the second half than the first half (after the deflated balls were discovered), the fact remains the game was over by the end of the first quarter, during which deflated balls were used.

Note To The Granddaughters

A series of photographs taken by our old granddaughter. I was invited to set up a new Weber grill for Mother's Day at the older daughter / son-in-law's new home.

 The Weber grill and parts are behind me, on the lawn.

Very simple, straightforward. I was under time pressure to get this done. Briquets were lit in the chimney. I was unable to figure out the fancy ash collector; I will do that tomorrow, but perfect for grilling today.

Hamburgers, steaks, assortment of hot dogs; ears of corn for the photo only; the ears were not grilled; much faster and more controlled in the microwave or in boiling water on the stove.

The packing material was used as a makeshift table. Note the Weber ash collector; I have it figured out; will "fix" it tomorrow.

Youngest granddaughter's first Weber grill. Seventy-five years of Weber grilling ahead of her. One can already see the smoke coming from the grill. Start to finish, less than 30 minutes.

Some Nice Wells Coming Off Confidential List Over The Weekend, Monday -- May 10, 2015; Wolf Bay Oil Field

Monday, May 11, 2015
  • 28513, 725, Triangle, Britt 151-102-9-4H, Elk, t11/14; cum 54K 3/15;
  • 29029, 2,263, MRO, Angela Ward USA 24-7H, Wolf Bay, t1/15; cum 57K 3/15; for more on Wolf Bay, see below;
  • 29252, drl, Zavanna, Sigurd 32-29 4TFH, Stockyard Creek, no production data,
  • 29564, drl Statoil, Skarston 1-12 XE 1H, Banks, no production data,
  • 29816, drl, Hess, SC-Norma-154-98-0706H-7, Truax, no production data,
Sunday, May 10, 2015
  • 23161, SI/NC, Triangle, State 154-102-25036-10TFH, Rosebud, no production data,
  • 27662, drl, XTO, Star Federal 21X-14E2R, Grinnell, no production data,
  • 28164, 108, OXY USA, Federal Bud 4-29-32H-143-96, Fayette, t11/14; cum 37K 3/15;
  • 28842, A, Fidelity, Danae TTT 27-22-21XH, Sanish, 4 sections, no test date, probably 1/15; cum 49K 3/15;
  • 29312, 511, Hunt, Horst 154-90-24H-3, Parshall, t2/15; cum 27K 3/15;
  • 29565, drl, CLR, Haavelmo 1-9H1, Bluffton, no production data,
Saturday, May 9, 2015
  • 28271, drl, MRO, Elwood 41-25TFH, Reunion Bay, no production data,
  • 28630, 543, EOG, Parshall 81-27H, Parshall, one section, not sure why it was taken off-line for a month or so; no fracking nearby at that time, t11/14; cum 34K 3/15;
  • 29089, SI/NC, EOG, Van Hook 135-1319H, Parshall, no production data,
  • 29253, drl, Zavanna, Sigurd 32-29 4TFH, Stockyard Creek, no production data,
  • 29303, A/SI, CLR, Frisco 2-31H1, Glass Bluff, no test date; cum --
  • 29817, drl, Hess, SC-Norma-154-98-0706H-8, Truax, no production data,

28513, see below, Triangle, Britt 151-102-9-4H, Elk:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold


29029, see above, MRO, Angela Ward USA 24-7H, Wolf Bay:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

29029 is on a three-well pad; all three horizontals run north. The other two wells:
  • 29030, 1,437, MRO, Dellan Ward USA 14-7H, Wolf Bay, 32 stages, 3.1 million lbs, t1/15; cum 58K 3/15;
  • 25094, 1,504, MRO, Ward USA 24-7TFH, Wolf Bay, 34 stages, 3.2 million lbs, t1/15; cum 7K 3/15;
28164, see above, OXY USA, Federal Bud 4-29-32H-143-96, Fayette:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

28842, see above, Fidelity, Danae TTT 27-22-21XH, Sanish:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

 29312, see above, Hunt, Horst 154-90-24H-3, Parshall:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

28630, see above, EOG, Parshall 81-27H, Parshall, one section:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

Wolf Bay Oil Field

Wolf Bay is composed of 30 sections in the southwest corner of the reservation. To date it has been relatively inactive. 

Note to the Granddaughters

A short video of soccer game yesterday, May 8, 2015. Olivia is #8:

Update On Pricing For The Jerry Brown Bullet Train -- May 10, 2015

For the archives when our granddaughter are taking the Bullet Train from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 2030. 

The top story in today's Los Angeles Time: the price of ticket on the "bullet train" from Los Angeles to San Francisco:
  • seven years ago, riders were promised a $50 ticket-price
  • today, 2015, the tickets are projected to be priced at $86
  • at $86, about 20 cents/mile for the JBBT
  • best rate world-wide: about 20 cents/mile 
  • Beijing - Shanghai, 800 miles, 22 cents/mile, heavily subsidized
  • Milan - Salaerno, 400 miles, 25 cents/mile
  • Hannover (sic) - Wurzburg: 46 cents/mile 
  • Paris - Lyon: 52 cents/mile
  • Amtrak's Acela system, Washington, DC - Boston, 450 miles: 50 cents/mile
  • at 50 cents/mile, the Acela would be $225 one way
  • at Travelocity, Jet Blue, DC to Boston: $300 for purchasing ticket 24 hours in advance
  • at Travelocity, Jet Blue, DC to Boston: $68 for purchasing same ticket 2 weeks in advance
  • at Travelocity, United, LA to San Francisco: $198 for purchasing ticket 24 hours in advance
  • at Travelocity, Jet Blue, LA to San Francisco: $78 for purchasing ticket 2 weeks in advance
From the linked article:
The current $86 fare is calculated in 2013 dollars based on a formula that prices tickets at 83% of average airline fares to help attract riders. The rail fare is an average that includes economy and premium seats, nonstop and multi-stop trains, as well as last-minute and advance purchase tickets. A premium, same-day nonstop bullet train trip would cost more than $86. 
Nothing in the article suggests the bullet train will succeed and this is the top story in the most liberal newspaper in the US. Another example from the article, again, at the very end of the story:
"With a family, it's four train fares versus one car, and taking the train may require a car rental at the other end," said Genevieve Giuliano, director of USC's Metrans transportation program. "I don't see high-speed rail as competitive in the family market."
Note: I often make errors on posts like these. If you are planning a trip by rail or by air in 2030, either on the west coast or the east coast, do not make any travel plans based on what you read here. Go to the source. Prices are likely to be different in 2030 than currently "advertised."

Deep in the article this interesting tidbit;
Shortly after the ridership figures were updated last year, a problem was found with the complex mathematical model used by Massachusetts-based Cambridge Systematics, a state consultant. It predicted more short trips than seemed logical, according to Cambridge. One example: The model suggested travelers would drive from Sacramento to downtown San Francisco and board a bullet train for the airport. Koppelman's panel agreed to an adjustment and urged Cambridge to develop a new version of the model.
Okay, read that again. The consultants assumed (and placed in their computer model), folks who live in Sacramento would drive all the way to San Francisco, to board the bullet train there, simply to take the bullet train to San Francisco airport. Hello! Folks who drive from Sacramento to San Francisco to catch an flight out of SFO would would drive directly to the airport rather than the extra hassle involved in making the change at the train station.

Those shorter bullet train trips were put into the model to a) increase ridership; and, b) increase revenue to help finance the bullet train.

It's interesting: it seems strange the state did not contract with the Stanford Graduate School of Business for the study. Stanford's MBA program was ranked 1st in the United States by U.S. News & World Report in its 2015 rankings.

The California Drought

Again, for the archives.

First, a Tim Rutten commentary from the Pasadena Star News.
As the historian William Karl has pointed out, “The history of California in the 20th century is the history of a state inventing itself with water.” In fact, the invention that makes possible the world’s seventh largest economy with its annual GDP of $2.2 trillion is the largest, most complex and productive system for moving and distributing water in the history of mankind. Each year, California’s water system moves enough water to maintain 30 million people and to irrigate 29 million acres of incredibly productive cropland.
Many scientists, however, now strongly suspect that this sustaining system was put together during an unusually wet period in the region’s natural history. The roughly 20-year period when California’s population doubled — from about 1970 to the late 1990s — was one of the wettest on record. Paleoclimatologists have come to realize that, for most of discernible history, California and the Southwest were usually much drier than they’ve been for the past 150 years and — more sobering — were subject to centuries-long mega droughts. The two most recent of these occurred in the 13th and 9th centuries and lasted 150 and 200 years, respectively.
Whether the prolonged dry spell now withering so much of the Southwest signals another of these epic events is unknown. In any event, the scientists who believe that we’re in a period of accelerated climate change induced by human activity — and they’re a cross-disciplinary majority — predict that global warming will make for a slightly wetter Northern California in the years ahead, while the state’s central and southern regions, along with most of the American Southwest, will become markedly drier.
His conclusions (recommendations) are spot on, but I wish he had steered clear of invoking climate change (though in his defense he seemed fair and balanced on the subject).

Second, to be filed under "no good deed goes unpunished," a long article on the situation in San Diego as reported by KCRA. San Diego started preparing for this drought back in 1991 and its residents have paid much upfront to conserve huge amounts of water, but this is what Sacramento thinks about San Diego:
San Diego's march to independence earned little sympathy from the State Water Resources Control Board, which approved the cuts to achieve Gov. Jerry Brown's target of reducing urban water use 25 percent. Board officials say those who prepared for drought will be better off in the long run.
"This is not about being fair, giving kudos for past performance," said board Chairwoman Felicia Marcus. "This is about dealing with what is an emergency out in front of us that may not be right here, but we can see coming at us."
Texas Drought

Nine days out of current 10-day run we will be having rain in DFW area. This is perhaps the biggest day for rain. Several hours, now, of non-stop rain coming down in torrents.