How old are U.S. power plants?

We have an aging fleet of power plants:
  • 51% of all generating capacity is 30+ years old.
  • 73% of all coal plants are 30+ years old
  • 24 out of 25 oldest plants (60+ years) are hydropower
  • Nearly all nuclear plants are 20+ years old

Here is a graphic from EIA with more detail. The pie chart shows how much generating capacity comes from each fuel type. The graph shows capacity by year the plant was built.

Notice that hydropower was the first energy source built, the creation of coal plants dominated from 1950 to the mid-80s, and it’s been all natural gas since then.

 

 

But, age may not matter when it comes to operating power plants, from Wiki Answers:
In a nutshell, it is not correct to assign human attributes (e.g., lifetimes) to inanimate objects. Consequently, the operating span of a coal fired power plant can be unlimited since any degraded or failed component can be replaced with a new one. The decision on whether to make a refurbishment, or to build a new plant, is merely a question of relative economics and investment risk. For example, the cost of a single replacement part is almost always less than the cost of replacing the plant. However, in an old plant, there is a risk that many additionally worn parts also will need replacement soon. Plant owners evaluate these tradeoffs each time a major component fails and make the decision whether or not to retire the plant.

Newsmastering – or why it’s an incredible time to be a news geek

European news editor Robin Good used to write all the time about a concept he called Newsmastering.

Newsmastering is the ability to identify, select, aggregate, filter and distribute/publish news and informatiom streams on very tight, specific themes/topics.

Newsmastering is a new emerging and much needed network function allowing the huge news flow to be categorized, filtered, de-spammed and re-routed and contextualized in one thousand and more ways.

The output generated by a skilled and qualified newsmaster enables a great number of individual to avoid needing to subscribe to tens of RSS feeds or to having to visit multiple sites daily to keep themselves on top of the latest relevant news to their specific field of interest. The newsmaster aggregates and compiles very high-quality news feeds which completely replace the need to visit or subscribe to large number of RSS feeds, suddenly providing those same individuals with much greater time available to them and much higher quality up-to-date news available to them at all times.

It’s an incredible time to be a news geek. Who can be fastest, smartest, best, add the most value, exercise the most compelling editorial judgement, capture social experiences and build a loyal audience?

The game is on!

 

Source: Marshall Kirkpatrick – We’re entering a golden age of news geekery

 

 

Continue reading Newsmastering – or why it’s an incredible time to be a news geek

A lesson on patience

A NYC Taxi driver wrote:

I arrived at the address and honked the horn. After waiting a few minutes I honked again. Since this was going to be my last ride of my shift I thought about just driving away, but instead I put the car in park and walked up to the door and knocked.. ‘Just a minute’, answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor.

After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 90’s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940’s movie.

By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets.

There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard
box filled with photos and glassware.

‘Would you carry my bag out to the car?’ she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman.

She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb.

She kept thanking me for my kindness. ‘It’s nothing’, I told her.. ‘I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother to be treated.’

‘Oh, you’re such a good boy, she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address and then asked, ‘Could you drive
through downtown?’

‘It’s not the shortest way,’ I answered quickly…

‘Oh, I don’t mind,’ she said. ‘I’m in no hurry. I’m on my way to a hospice.

I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening. ‘I don’t have any family left,’ she continued in a soft voice..’The doctor says I don’t have very long.’ I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.

‘What route would you like me to take?’ I asked.

For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator.

We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.

Sometimes she’d ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, ‘I’m tired.Let’s go now’.

We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico.

Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move.
They must have been expecting her.

I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.

‘How much do I owe you?’ She asked, reaching into her purse.

‘Nothing,’ I said

‘You have to make a living,’ she answered.

‘There are other passengers,’ I responded.

Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly.

‘You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,’ she said. ‘Thank you.’

I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light.. Behind me, a door shut.It was the sound of the closing of a life..

I didn’t pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day,I could hardly talk.What if that woman had gotten an angry driver,or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?

On a quick review, I don’t think that I have done anything more important in my life.

We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments.

But great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

 

// Thx – Kristoffer Sorensen

Psychology’s five aspects of wisdom

A recent article in the Economist used a complex, but somewhat small in scope, survey to study wisdom. They found that Americans definitely get smarter with age. They scored 45 points at age 25, and 55 by age 75.

In comparison, the Japanese learn wisdom much quicker, scoring 51 in both age groups.

This led to the byline – Americans get wiser with age. Japanese are wise from the start.

Very interesting and thoughtful, but I found it more inspiring to look at how they judged wisdom.

The assessors scored participants’ responses on a scale of one to three. This attempted to capture the degree to which they discussed what psychologists consider five crucial aspects of wise reasoning:

  • Willingness to seek opportunities to resolve conflict;
  • Willingness to search for compromise;
  • Recognition of the limits of personal knowledge;
  • Awareness that more than one perspective on a problem can exist;
  • Appreciation of the fact that things may get worse before they get better.

 

Basically, how good of a – diplomat/negotiator/self-aware/empathetic/realist – are you?

 

// Thx to Kirby Plessas

In 2012, broadband will be in 678 million homes

We are truly in the age of the internet, or rather the Dawn of the Internet Age, as the number of internet connected homes approaches a billion.

The stats on broadband and wi-fi in homes:

According to a new report from Strategy Analytics, 25 percent of all “households” worldwide now have Wi-Fi networks set up. In terms of adoption, South Korea tops the list of the 17 countries the firm researched, at 80.3 percent — followed by the UK, Germany, France, and Japan. The US comes in at 61 percent, while India is at the bottom with only 2.5 percent.

The firm predicts that by 2016 worldwide household adoption of Wi-Fi will reach 42 percent.

More from the report:

By the end of 2012, 678 million households worldwide will be connected to the internet via broadband — a 8.5% increase from 2011. Of these 678 million broadband households, 492 million households (73% of broadband households) will use a wireless router to create to WLAN, or Wi-Fi home network. Asia Pacific will have the highest number of Wi-Fi households in 2012, representing nearly 38% of global Wi-Fi households.

via The Verge

How many hours of TV, internet video, TiVo, and mobile video do Americans watch?

  • Average entertainment consumption on TV – 32 hours, 47 minutes
  • ” on the internet – 4 hours
  • ” on TiVo – 2 hours, 21 minutes
  • Average video consumption on internet – 27 minutes
  • Average video consumption on a mobile device – 7 minutes

 

What age range are you in?

 

Did you notice that kids watch more TV than teenagers and young adults…

 

 

// Nielsen data unique based on the Total Population in the U.S. – all 297 million Americans over age 2 – whether or not they have the technology (Q2 2011)

The oldest age people can reach is 114…so far

A puzzling part to the equation has emerged. While humans are in fact living longer lives on average, the oldest age that the oldest people reach seems to be stubbornly and oddly precisely cemented right at 114.

A person born in the US at the turn of the 20th century could expect to live 49.2 years. Their ancestor born in 2003 could reasonably expect to see their 77th birthday. But while average lifespans continue to lengthen, the oldest of the old appear to be encountering a rather powerful limiting factor.

In 1990 there were 3,000 people 100 or older, the oldest of them being 114. Twenty years later the number of people aged 100 and over had grown to around 44,000, but the oldest was still 114.

Longevity researcher Aubrey de Grey, author of “Ending Aging,” was asked about this:

“Time and time again over the decades past demographers have been brutally misled by short-term phenomena, by statistics gathered only over a few years. Blips happen for all manner of impenetrable reasons. In this case we’re talking about people born in a small segment of time, around 1900, and most of them born in particular countries and going through certain types of life they might not have gone through had they been born 20 years previously or 20 years later.”

via Don Burke / Singularity Hub

Labor Stats on Labor Day

In honor of Labor Day I visited a favorite government website, the Occupational Outlook Handbook.

The handbook covers every career in America and discusses interesting things, like day-in-the-life, growth potential, education needed, salary ranges. 

For a young whippersnapper it was perfect. I would browse everything from doctor to trash man to college professor.

Today, I found several images that reflect interesting labor trends in America. Here they are, enjoy, and Happy Labor Day!
 

Ethnicity

 

80%+ of the work force is White, while persons of Hispanic origin are projected to increase, by 2018, their share of the labor force from 14.3 percent to 17.6 percent.

 

 

 Age

 

Largest group of the workforce, 23.3%, are those age 45-54, followed closely by those aged 35-44, 22.7%.

 

 

 New Jobs

 

Most new jobs in America are projected to come from healthcare and scientific/technical professions.

 

 

Fastest Growing Jobs


 

Largest Group of New Jobs

 

Clearly, thousands of jobs, nearly all the jobs, will be healthcare.

 

 

Fastest Decline

 

Bye, bye manufacturing….

 

 

Education

 

Get an associate’s after high school, or a master’s after undergrad and you will be much better off.

 

 

Good Producing Jobs

 

We don’t produce goods anymore, just houses.

 

 

Change in Employment

 

We are definitely becoming more of a service society…not sure that is a good thing.

 

Age in Relationships

I’m dating a woman a few years older than me. She is beautiful and perfect but in the world of male machismo this is a problem. I’m supposed to be older and wiser, instead I’m the puny non-breadwinner.

To fully understand this dilemma we have to explore sexism, in all it’s glory. Traditional relationships involve a male who is a few years older than the female. This leaves the lady to enjoy the benefits of a higher income and a mature man. The dude gets the younger lady and the ego boost of being wiser.

This totally leaves out gay couples, couples of the same age, and most likely a majority of the country. Which is kind of sad because this is our culture. So instead of gaining all this wisdom and help, it only serves to hamper and confuse us. Simply put, the U.S. culture is not made for me and I think we should amp it up and modernize it.

Particularly because I’m in the relationship of my life and I have no idea what to do. The lady has a few years on me and is at a different stage physically. For kids, her biology says it’s now or never, while I’ve got a few years to dilly-dally. Should I make her wait or pony-up early?

What about money, the ultimate relationship killer. I’m just coming out of my debt years thanks to college, a car, and haphazardly getting a mortgage. I’m doing fine now with all that paid off or turned into equity builders, but it still puts a strain on the relationship.

Studies say that even having debt in a relationship is a big deal. It creates an imbalance that hurts future money decisions.

Top it all off, I’m a few years behind in my career. I have less experience, less income earning years, and less opportunity. Not because of ineptitude but simply less time on target.

So there it is the crux of age in relationships: kids, debt, and income. I could also say maturity but often couples in relationships love each other for their personalities. It’s these other factors – life factors – that get in the way.  Add in a dose of ineffectual culture and nascent sexism and you have a confusing mixture that definitely puts a strain on the ego.