Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Irony Associated With Global Warming Never Ceases To Amaze Me -- Juy 22, 2015

I can't recall whether I posted a note some time ago saying that I was going to post fewer links to articles on global warming. I think it's pretty obvious what the issue of global warming is all about. But every time I try to quit writing about AGW something comes along that I can't resist passing along.

No matter what side of the iceberg you sit on with regard to AGW, you have to admit there's a lot of irony in this story. It is being reported that an Arctic global warming research expedition was put on hold because ... drum roll .. there was too much ice.
A carefully planned, 115-day scientific expedition on the Canadian icebreaker CCGS Amundsen has been put on hold as the vessel was called to help resupply ships navigate heavy ice on the eastern side of Hudson Bay.
“Obviously it has a large impact on us,” says Martin Fortier, executive director of ArcticNet, which coordinates research on the vessel. “It’s a frustrating situation.”
During the summer, ArcticNet utilizes the Amundsen as a floating research center, running experiments 24 hours a day.
Johnny Leclair, assistant commissioner for the Coast Guard, said Tuesday conditions in the area are the worst he’s seen in 20 years. [Well, duh, there's been no global warming trend for the past 17 years, but the subject is closed.]
With only two icebreakers available in the Arctic — the CCGS Pierre Radisson has been escorting resupply ships through ice-choked Frobisher Bay — he said the only option was to re-deploy the Amundsen.
Ice-choked Frobisher Bay? This is July. Worse conditions in 20 years. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015 -- Evening Links, Stories

Apple Watch: Apple Watch Captured Estimated 75% Smartwatch Market Share in Launch Quarter.
The latest data from research firm Strategy Analytics estimates that the Apple Watch captured 75.5% global smartwatch market share during its launch quarter, trailed by Samsung's estimated 7.5% market share.

Strategy Analytics estimates that Apple sold 4 million Apple Watches in the second quarter of 2015, while runner-up Samsung sold an estimated 400,000 smartwatches during the three-month period ending June 30.  
Samsung held a commanding 73.6% global market share in the smartwatch market in the year-ago quarter, but the South Korean electronics maker now trails the Apple Watch by a significant margin. Apple Watch is currently available in the United States and eighteen other countries, and the wrist-worn device is set to launch in New Zealand, Russia and Turkey on July 31.

Apple and Samsung together accounted for 8 in 10 smartwatches sold, similar to the two-horse race between the rival tech companies in the smartphone market. Strategy Analytics estimates that other manufacturers shipped a combined 900,000 smartwatches during the second quarter of 2015 for 17% market share, down from 26.4% market share in the year-ago quarter despite selling 600,000 more smartwatches.
By the way, of every $100 in profits across the entire smart phone universe, Apple took 92 of those 100 dollars --
Apple is dominating the smartphone market. Canaccord Genuity estimated Apple's iPhone took 92% of all profits in the smartphone business on just 20% of sales, in the first quarter.  
Qualcomm Quts

Qualcomm will cut 15% of workforce, considers split.  The cuts include paring 15% of its full-time employees and “significantly” cutting its temporary staff. Qualcomm last year employed about 31,300 full-time and temporary employees, indicating that more than 4,500 workers could be affected.

America: The Country Of The Disabled And The Sick

Gonna run out of money. The AP is reporting:
The government says people who receive Social Security disability face steep benefit cuts next year unless Congress acts.
In a report Wednesday, the trustees that oversee Social Security said the disability trust fund will run out of money in 2016, right in the middle of a presidential campaign.
That would trigger an automatic 19 percent cut in benefits.
Like that's really gonna happen in a presidential election year. There's already a fix:
Congress could shift tax revenue from Social Security's much larger retirement fund.  
The much larger retirement fund is in even better shape than last year:
The trustees said the retirement fund has enough money to pay full benefits until 2035, a year later than last year's reports.
Medicare's giant hospital trust fund is projected to be exhausted in 2030.
I would say there are a lot of places to rob Peter to pay Paula.  The Greeks are muddling through and they have no shale oil.

Happy Days Are Here Again

The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday that sales of existing homes climbed 3.2 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.49 million, the highest rate since February 2007. Sales have jumped 9.6 percent over the past 12 months, while the number of listings has risen just 0.4 percent.
The median home price has climbed 6.5 percent over the past 12 months to $236,400, the highest level - unadjusted for inflation - reported by the Realtors.
Home-buying has recently surged as more buyers have flooded into the real estate market. Robust hiring over the past 21 months and an economic recovery now in its sixth year have enabled more Americans to set aside money for a down payment. But the rising demand has failed to draw more sellers into the market, limiting the availability of homes and sparking higher prices that could cap sales growth in the coming months.

One Day Record For The Bakken: 28 Producing Wells Completed -- July 22, 2015


July 24, 2015: I may have been wrong. Another writer suggests that the reason for this 28-well completion was because the NDIC has only one employee who can enter the data and he/she was on vacation, and when he/she returned, all the data was input. From the reader who caught this, something I missed:
Did you happen to see the "explanation" of why there weren't any completions for awhile and then 28 all on one day's report?
Apparently NDIC has only one employee who can enter the data?? And he was on vacation??? Really??!!
I liked the comment at the end (f the commentator's source is as reliable as posted):
"From a direct energy insider source, a major Bakken player is actually adding rigs within the next few months. Fracking is going to begin picking up using a new method which cuts the frack cost in half. He thinks we will have another 6 months of status quo, and things will take off again.
"Not quite ever the break neck pace of two years ago, but back to comfortable levels. Boom is far from over."

Original Post 

Hastily posted; factual and typographical errors are likely; if this information is important to you, go to the source.

Wells coming off the confidential list Thursday:
  • 26773, drl, Zavanna, Double Down 24-13 3TFH, East Fork, no production data,
  • 27672, 1,176, Hess, EN-Leo E-154-94-2423H-6, Alkali Creek, t6/15; cum --
  • 28495, 3,606, Whiting, Tarpon Federal 24-20-2RH, Sand Creek, 90 stages, 3.5 million lbs, t1/15; cum 70K 5/15; choked back;
  • 28496, 2,959, Whiting, Tarpon Federal 24-20-3RTF, Sand Creek, 62 stages, 2.5 million lbs, t1/15; cum 55K 5/15; choked back;
  • 30454, SI/NC, Statoil, Panzer 22-23 6H, Alger, no production data,
Four (4) new permits --
  • Operators: EOG (3), Crescent Point Energy
  • Fields: Parshall (Mountrail), Ellisville, Williams
  • Comments:
Twenty-eight (28) producing wells completed:
  • 25123, 283, Thunderbird, Ranch Creek, Watson B N34-11-1H, s4/14; t6/15; 6K 5/15; 15 days; frack data not available
  • 25292, 2,079, Whiting, Charging Eagle 10-14-11-2H, Twin Buttes, s9/14; t6/15; cum -- ;
  • 25293, 1,909, Whiting, Charging Eagle 10-14-11-2H3, Twin Buttes, s9/14; t6/15; cum --
  • 25735, 1,773, Enerplus, Rain 149-93-07A-12H TF, Mandaree, s9/14; t6/15; cum --
  • 25736, 2,347, Enerplus, Snow 149-93-07A-12H, Mandaree, s9/14; t6/15; cum --
  • 26222, 1,964, BR, Harley 31-2TFH, Blue Buttes, ICO, s9/14; t6/15; cum --
  • 26453, 989, CLR, Jamestown Federal 5-17H, Banks, s12/14; t7/15; cum --
  • 26620, 780, Petro-Hunt, Glovatsky 145-98-24D-13-2H, Little Knife, s10/14; t6/15; cum --
  • 28425, 753, Oasis, Wade Federal 5300 41-30 6B, Baker, s8/14; t6/15; cum --
  • 28544, 1,159, XTO, Schettler 14X-9A, Cedar Coulee, one section, s8/14; t6/15; cum --
  • 28545, 2,654, XTO, Schettler 14X-9E, Cedar Coulee, one section, s8/14; t6/15; cum --
  • 28546, 2,318, XTO, Schettler 14X-9B, Cedar Coulee, one section, s8/14; t6/15; cum --
  • 28993, 577, Hess, GO-Perdue-157-97-0112H-3, Ray, s9/14; t6/15; cum --
  • 29051, 2,064, BR, Deking 1-8-34MBH-ULW, 4 sections, Camel Butte, s12/14, t6/15; cum --
  • 29109, 364, Hess, En-Uran A-154-93-2215H-6, Robinson Lake, s10/14; t7/15; cum --
  • 29118, 670, XTO, Eide 31S-29D, McGregor, s9/14; t6/15; cum --
  • 29119, 541, XTO, Eide 31X-29G, McGregor, s9/14; t6/15; cum --
  • 29120, 628, XTO, Eide 31S-29C, McGregor s9/14; t4/15; cum 2K 5/15; (8 days)
  • 29409, 1,434, Hess, HA-Thompson-152-95-1720H-11, Hawkeye, s12/14; t7/15; cum --
  • 29672, 1,095, XTO, Werre Trsut 44X-34C, Bear Creek, s1/15; t6/15; cum --
  • 29918, 1,373, Emerald, Greg Marmalard Federal 3-2-33H, Mondak, s3/15; t6/15; cum --
  • 30129, 740, EOG, Fertile 61-0410H, Parshall, ICO, s12/14 t7/15; cum --
  • 30130, 888, EOG, Fertile 62-0410H, Parshall, ICO,  s12/14; t7/15; cum --
  • 30142, 3,249, Statoil, East Fork 32=29 XE 1H, East Fork, 4 sections, s1/15; t6/15; cum --
  • 30143, 3,202, Statoil, Folvag 5-8 XE 1H, Stony Creek, 4 sections, s1/15; t6/15; cum --
  • 30205, 1,542, CLR, Boulder 2-4H. Banks, s1/15; t6/15; cum --
  • 30206, 765, CLR, Boulder 3-4H1, Banks, s1/15; t6/15; cum --
  • 30447, 865, Whiting, Roggenbuck 34-24-2H, Sanish, s3/15; t6/15; cum -- 

How Are Independent Oil Companies Doing? July 22, 2015

From the EIA today:
The second quarter of 2015 exhibited the largest amount of oil companies' merger and acquisition (M&A) activity by value since fourth-quarter 2012.
The announced merger between Royal Dutch Shell and BG Group in early April accounted for $84 billion of the $115 billion quarterly total.
Without the Shell-BG merger, however, the value of deals in the second quarter of 2015 would have totaled $31 billion, $18 billion higher than first-quarter 2015, which was the lowest since at least 2008.
The 137 deals announced in the second quarter was the lowest number of deals since fourth-quarter 2008 and 42% below the 235 median quarterly number of deals over the previous two years, indicating less breadth of activity. --- EIA
That was my perception; nice to see it confirmed.

Flashback On California Refinery Fire And Impact On Price Of Gasoline In California -- July 22, 2015

Remember this post on the refinery issue in Torrance, California, and the high prices Californians are paying for gasoline? It was posted yesterday, July 21, 2015. This is one of the reasons:
In large part because an Exxon Mobil Corp. refinery in Torrance has been out of commission since an explosion there in February, and the state’s environmental regulations are hampering the company’s efforts to quickly get it back to full production.
The refinery is now operating at under 20 percent of its potential, mostly because the explosion damaged its two pollution control units, according to Mohsen Nazemi, the deputy executive officer for engineering and compliance of California’s Sourth Coast Air Quality Management District.
Back on August 11, 2012, almost three years ago, I wrote:
That explains why loss of Libya's oil had no appreciable effect on world markets, and current Iranian embargo: effects? Nada. Zip. Zilch. A Richmond, California, refinery fire that was put out in minutes will have a greater effect on price of gasoline in California than geopolitical events to date in the Mideast. 
Exactly right.

And, of course, there are the really uninformed. Something called ""  reports that some folks in California appear not to understand the relationship between refineries, how gasoline is "made," and how prices are determined (Economics101, supply and demand):
California oil refineries use 94 million gallons of water a day and nobody is stopping them.
I don't know about that. The state refused to allow XOM to bring its Torrance refinery back up to full capacity while repairing two pollution units; the refinery is operating at 20% capacity. Certainly sounds like someone is trying to stop refinery operations in California.

The part of the Coachella Valley often referred to as the Palm Springs area, east of Los Angeles, is carpeted in green, 124 irrigated golf courses, many with lakes, in an otherwise parched landscape.
It is said to be the greatest concentration of golf courses in the world, situated in a desert, in a state besieged by what the National Weather Service describes as an exceptional drought, now in its third year.
Based on the average amount of water used to irrigate golf courses, this works out to 40 million gallons of water to irrigate just the 124 wells around Palm Springs, CA. 

Re-Worked Or Re-Fracked? OXY USA Raphael Stroh Well -- July 22, 2015


October 8, 2016, production profile updated:

Monthly Production Data

PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

July 23, 2015: see first comment; the answer may be -- fracking in neighboring well(s); halo effect. The original post was fairly short; I have added a lot to it at the bottom. It remains a mystery but we know part of the answer. 

Original Post

I don't know; maybe a reader does, but probably not re-fracked:
  • 21333, 108, Lime Rock Resources/OXY USA, Raphael Stroh 2-13-24H-143-97, Fayette oil field, 20 stages; 2 million lbs, 12K in April; down to 2K in June;  t2/12; back up to 5K in May,2015; cum 229K 8/16; only 16 days in 8/16;
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

A couple notes:
  • for whatever reason OXY USA took this well off-line, they did so during the slump in oil prices, doing something to increase production
  • I don't think it was a re-frack but the amount of water coming back up in April, 2015, suggests it might have been re-fracked 
  • the fact that there was some new flaring suggests it might have been re-fracked
The most recent sundry form was dated December, 2014, well before whatever occurred at the end of November, 2014.

Update: after receiving the first update, I went back and checked some neighboring wells. On the same pad, but running in the opposite direction, this well has a similar production profile (but not an increase in monthly production as noted in the Raphael Stroh well:

21334, 755, OXY USA, Kenneth Stroh 2-12-1H-143-97, Cabernet, t5/12; cum 197K 5/15:

PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

The third well on this pad is currently SI/NC:
  • 29600, SI/NC, OXY USA, Kenneth Stroh 3-12-1H-143-97, Cabernet, Three Forks, 1280-acre; it looks like the horizontal will be a bit shorter than a typical "long lateral";
This well will be interesting to follow up on when it is completed.

My hunch: putting everything together: this well, #29600, was recently stimulated and it affected the neighboring Raphael Stroh well, but did not affect the other well on the pad which ran the opposite direction.

Now to look at the next well over, to the east:
  • 28757, 633, OXY USA, Kenneth Stroh 4-12-1H-143-97, Cabernet, 40 stages, 3.5 million lbs; stimulated 12/19/2014;  t2/15; cum 43K 5/15;
The production profile:
PoolDateDaysBBLS OilRunsBBLS WaterMCF ProdMCF SoldVent/Flare

This is very interesting. This well was stimulated the very same month (December 19, 2015) that the Raphael Stroh and the Kenneth Stroh #2 were take off-line. It's hard to believe that a well this far away from the Raphael Stroh would have any effect, but if the  Kenneth Stroh #3 (#29600) was not stimulated at this time, then .... We will have to wait to see when Kenneth Stroh #3 was stimulated.

Note: this note was done quickly; it was not proofread. I may have misread something; thre ma be factual and typographical errors. This post is still in progress. If this information is imporant to you go to the source.

Where we stand now: it appears production jumped a bit on the Raphael Stroh due to some neighoring fracking but we don't know which well. We might (should?) have the answer when the frack data/stimulation date of #29600, Kenneth Stroh #3 becomes available. 

Cushing Crude Oil Stocks Rise 2.3 Million Bbls -- July 22, 2015

Active rigs:

Active Rigs68196207182138

RBN Energy: crude by barge traffic along the Gulf coast.

Unexpected Rise In Crude Oil Stocks At Cushing

Reuters is reporting that there was an unexpected rise in crude oil stocks, most recent weekly report:
Industry data released on Tuesday by the American Petroleum Institute (API) showed crude inventories at the Cushing, Oklahoma, hub rose 2.3 million barrels last week, compared with analyst expectations for a decrease of the same volume.  
I assume most oil from Texas goes directly to storage facilities and refineries along the Gulf Coast, although I could be wrong, and that the Cushing is predominantly Bakken and Oklahoma oil. I could be very, very wrong ... just thinking out loud. But if even somewhat accurate, it is absolutely amazing that with how much operators are cutting back in the Bakken the stocks keep building in places like Cushing.

How much does 2 million bbls represent at Cushing? Cushing stores about 150 million bbls.

This Is Not An Investment Site

Boeing surges; great earnings report.

Qualcomm and Xilinx both report after market closes.

I don't invest in two of the three mentioned; never have, never will. They just interest me for various reasons.

Huge Story? Huge Disconnect? Huge question mark?

Something is going on. There's a disconnect. "Everyone" tells me the financial world is coming to an end. Greece is bankrupt. Really bankrupt. Interest rates remain as low as ever. "Everyone" says the economy is headed for a huge fall. China is next. China is hoarding gold.

So what is gold doing?

Gold sinks in longest rout since 1996 (twenty years ago).

I'm a buyer at $800.

ConocoPhillips Says "No"

From SeekingAlpha:
  • ConocoPhillips says it has ended talks with PetroChina on a shale gas development in the country after a two-year study.
  • COP signed an agreement with the Chinese company to evaluate shale potential in the Neijiang-Dazu field in the Sichuan basin in early 2013.
  • "Given the complicated shale formations in China, only the state-owned Chinese energy firms are more likely to pursue their investment in the sector" in the current low oil price environment, says a strategy director at ICIS China.
"...complicated shale formations." Hmmm.

Analyst Says "Yes"

From SeekingAlpha:
  • More on Goldman Sachs' addition of Exxon Mobil to its Conviction Buy list: Analyst Neil Mehta thinks the company is positioned to outperform the sector and calls the company a "rare dividend/FCF growth story among big oils."
  • Metha highlights four key positives: improving free cash flow, driving premium dividend growth; an inflection in production growth; strong refining earnings improvement driven by higher global crack spreads; and investor positioning, with many large cap portfolio managers still meaningfully underweight the stock.
  • The analyst expects free cash flow will ramp from $9B at $57/bbl Brent in 2015 to $19B in 2017 at $65/bbl Brent, as capex decreases and volumes improve, and believes XOM can raise its dividend, on average, by 6% through 2017 vs. zero improvement for ConocoPhillips and just 1% for Chevron.
It's Not The Headline That's Surprising

There are three story lines with this story. The headline: Hillary losing ground in battleground states. That headline is interesting but not as surprising as "the rest of the story." This is what is surprising:
  • look at the spread head-to-head
  • this is not against a generic "Republican" but against specific names (each with a lot of baggage)
But most surprising:
  • it's being reported on ... CNN.

This is Jeb Bush's race to lose, and he will lose if Trump goes the Perot route.

Police Support

I like to think my support for the local police is about as deep and strong as it can possibly be, but I have to admit, I'm starting to lose my patience (or understanding or sympathy or empathy) with/for the cops.

The Sandra Bland video tells me just how badly police harassment can be (and I'm beginning to wonder if this is the norm for situations involving minorities). The altercation as shown in the video is not taken out of context; the entire 50-minute video from start to finish is shown. By the way, the video was also "doctored." And the "doctoring" was incredibly amateurish. [Authorities call it a technical glitch. Maybe.]

The woman-driving-while black was otherwise driving following all the rules. She says she saw the police cruiser come up behind her -- this was a long, straight, four-lane divided highway -- and she moved over to the right to let the cruiser pass.

The policeman pulled her over because she did not signal a lane change. Give me a break.

The policeman later says that he was only going to give her a warning -- in fact he has the paperwork to prove it; unfortunately, he strung the situation out, not once mentioning it was only going to be a warning -- clearly seeing how far he could push it. He's very, very clever: the paperwork shows a "warning" but he was itching for more. [He was clearly very, very passive-aggressive with this motorist.]

There is one thing that no one has commented on yet. It appears that the police officer "cut" this driver out of the herd, or profiled her. He was driving in the opposite direction, and made a U-turn to drive in the same direction as Sandra Bland. Her car was the only one in front of him when he started following her. Perhaps it was simply happenstance; perhaps he had a reason to make that U-turn and return to where he had been coming from. Who knows? But on this long, straight, wide boulevard with two wide lanes going the same direction, he drives fast enough to catch up with her and then comes up on her tail. I would have pulled to the right in the same situation, and most likely would have signaled, but not necessarily.

Lucy, you got some 'splainin' to do!

What I really have trouble with is this trivial traffic enforcement by local police. With all the real crime going on we don't need cops pulling over folks for failing to signal a lane change. If that's important, then local police departments need to establish a separate "traffic enforcement detail" that use clearly marked vehicles and authority to issue only warning tickets. The TED's only purpose would be traffic safety. If they see something that might be more than a simple traffic stop, they need to call the dispatcher for "back-up." For example, running a red light or excessive speeding, would require the "regular" police to get involved. The TED stop would be a quick 30-second stop; no names taken; no document check, simply a nice, "Thank you, ma'am, sorry to stop you, but in the future, remember to use your signals when changing lanes. Have a great day."

Why JiffyLube Is So "Jiffy"

I now know why they can do some routine maintenance in a "jiffy."

I love Firestone and I take my cars into Firestone for "everything" other than an occasional oil change. I switched from car dealer maintenance shops to Firestone about ten years ago when our Chrysler dealer in San Antonio closed or moved to a new location much farther way. Right across the street was a Firestone and ever since, I am sold on Firestone. It's interesting how much Firestone offers their customers through "loyalty" programs.

Yesterday, having just returned from that cross-country trip in the Chrysler minivan, I stopped by the local JiffyLube to get an oil change. I thought I really should go to Firestone, a bit farther away, but what the heck, just an oil change. They always treat me very, very well, and I have nothing but respect for them.

The car is very well maintained, and nothing else really needed to be done, but they reminded me that the manufacturer recommends tire rotation every 6,000 miles; it had been 7,000 miles. So, against my better judgement, why not? What could possibly go wrong?

In passing, they also mentioned the 60,000-mile manufacturer's recommendation for a new serpentine belt. Replacing serpentine belts have become so much easier since the 1970s when I first heard about serpentine belts; and the cost was nominal (in the big scheme of things). The shop was not a bit busy; and, I thought, again, against my better judgement, why not. I was there; it was a quiet day; I had plenty of time; it would take only 20 minutes. What could possibly go wrong?

I got the oil change and the tire rotation done. I paid. Then thought about the serpentine belt. Oh, what the heck; they're not doing anything else; it's quiet.

So, I went back in and told them to replace the serpentine belt.

On the way home, I thought I heard a noise coming from outside the passenger compartment, but couldn't tell if it was coming from the engine or the chassis or if I was simply imagining it. The car drove completely normal: no vibrations, no other noise. But it seemed to get worse.

I took it out later for another test drive to see if I was imagining things. Nope, the sound was still there and it seemed to be getting louder. Something was definitely wrong.

It was now after normal business hours so I would have to wait until the morning.

This morning I drove the frontage roads (not the freeway) to the Firestone dealer where I normally go (except for aforementioned oil changes). I told Jamy my tale of woe, asking forgiveness for going to one of his competitors and not to him in the first place.

He understood.

It turns out that the JiffyLube folks tightened the lug nuts on three of the four wheels. The fourth wheel had all lug nuts inside the hubcap but not tightened. They had been started by hand, but not tightened with a wrench. They were almost ready to come completely off. The wheel was literally ready to fall off the axle. Jamy was surprised I got as far as I did.

I told Jamy to charge me whatever he wanted. I needed to atone for my sins (for not visiting him first). No charge. He couldn't even make up something. Finally he said I could tip the guys that tightened the lug nuts (and checked the rest of the car). I gave him a generous tip that he could give to the employees. (I always give the tips to a manager in these situations for very good reasons.)

I will be bringing a dozen or so doughnuts to Firestone once a week for the next several weeks.

Tire rotations, by the way, are free at Firestone. And for very little extra at the first alignment, one can get "alignment for life." Wheel alignment, not spinal alignment.

But at least I know why this particular JiffyLube is so "jiffy." They save 25% time by tightening lug nuts on only three of the four wheels when doing a tire rotation.

[By the way, Jamy told me this happens periodically, so he never speaks badly of his competitors. He said it could happen in his garage -- although I doubt it. But if this happens "periodically," .... one wonders what else happens "periodically"?]

So, Incredibly Cool

I continue to piece together the dinosaur story and the evolution-of-life-on-earth story. I continue to read very slowly Dawkins' The Ancestor's Tale. While reading about mammal-like reptiles and monotremes (platypus and echidnas) I came across this very, very obscure but interesting bit of trivia: 
Monotremes (not therian-mammals): retain other reptilian features including the interclavicle bone near the shoulder, which reptiles, but no therian mammals, possess.
So, googling "interclavicle bone near the shoulder" took me to Bob Bakker's blog, something I do not recall having seen before.

The entire note on the "interclavicle bone" at the linked site is very, very good but the best part is the reference to Tarantino's Pulp Fiction, a movie that I have been watching and re-watching over the past few weeks. Bob writes:
To understand the architectural implications of the interclavicle, we must decide on our favorite role played by Uma Thurman. (We just love her — we even have a bone bed named “Uma”). We are impressed with Uma as “Ulla”, the Swedish femme fatale/housekeeper/tidying-upper in The Producers, but our choice would be Mia, the gangster girlfriend in Pulp Fiction.
Mia explains the interclavicle in the famous scene where she is stabbed in the heart with a huge syringe wielded by John Travoltaʼs character, who is trying to resuscitate her after an unfortunate mix-up in recreational prescriptions.
Travolta illustrates an emergency procedure: the needle must be thrust hard through the human breast-bone and into the cardiac cavity to jump-start the heart.
(Note: Do not try this at home. Ever. Not even with the pet gerbil.)
Mia does regain consciousness, with the syringe still sticking out of her breast-bone. (The technical name for her breast-bone is sternum.)
But let’s get to the osteological point. The breast-bone, aka sternum, is NOT the same as the breast-plate, aka interclavicle.
Our human breast bone is part of our rib-cage. Itʼs in the middle of our chest and ties the right and left side of our ribs together. Itʼs made from rather soft bone material (so you can, in fact, get a needle through).
The turkey breast-bone is the same unit, a sternum, but is much bigger and harder.
Next Thanksgiving, poke around with your fork to see how the birdʼs ribs attach to the sternum.