Business trip to san fran


End of China’s Demographic Advantage

In 1965, about 80% of China’s population would be considered dependent.  The vast majority of this is children.  China introduces the one child policy that reduces the number of children over the next few decades.  This frees up more people to work, frees up more resources, and allows for China to compete with the rest of the world on low labor costs.  In 2010, the decreasing “dependent” population changed direction.  That was the lowest year of the dependent population, and from here out China will see an increasing dependent population.


However, the growth in this group comes from “elders”.  People who are retired.  People who no longer and will be unlikely to participate in the labor force again.  Here is the projection from WikiStrat.


The “elder” population will slow China’s growth.  They will consume more resources than the previous dependents population that was made of children.  And unlike children which could be expected to start contributing to the labor pool as early as 10 years old.  The elder population are not expected to enter this pool.

The elder population while not likely to contribute to the labor pool, their experience and knowledge could drive the transition from a labor based economy to a wisdom based economy.

Cypress Coffee Club – stories from the trenchies

Each Tuesday morning a few of us in the Home Happiness Industry get together to swap stories, share ideas, and figure out how to help people have a happy home experience.

But sometimes the stories of home unhappiness are more interesting to share.  Blake the inspector talked about issues he has had with his home builder.  He also talked about home inspections in unsafe neighborhoods where agents suggested his CHL would come in useful.

This lead into a discussion about visiting vacant homes only to find squatters in them.  And even one story of a home under construction where a dead body was found.  A murder on a property is something that has to be disclosed (if known).  And it can negatively affect home value.  Not so many people are OK with the thought of a death taking place where they live.  The house in question was in the framing stage.  The builder figuring they would loose more by finishing construction and having to report the murder, decided it was better to tear down the house and start over.

This lead to another discussion about a foundation being backwards and it was discovered in the framing stage.  builder got a crane, picked up the framed house, moved it to an adjacent lot.  Re-poured the foundation. and then put the framing back on it.

Jim also bought an interesting relationship tidbit.  Apparently in relationships where chores are split 50/50, there is a higher divorce rate.  This lead into all sorts of discussions about why that might be, and a discussion on how the method of doing chores varied between each of us and our spouse.

We had a really good time, and it was worth while!

Catalogue of Life

Found a website that lets you drill down from Kingdom all the way to species called the Catalogue Of Life:



King Phillip Cried Out For Good Soup

At least that is memory aide that I learned in high school to remember the different layers of biological taxonomy.


Each species is grouped into genus by a common traits.  The genus are group into family.  Family into Order.  Order into Class.  Class into Phylum.  And finally Phylum into Kingdom.  There are different number of kingdoms depending on who you talk to, how they define life, and when they learned taxonomy.  Let’s look at six of them.

Archaebacteria, Eubacteria, Protista, Fungi, Plantae, Animalia

We humans are under the Animalia Kingdom.  Here is how it maps out for us:

Domain Eukarya

  • Kingdom Animalia
  • Phylum Chordata
  • Subphylum Vertebrata
  • Class Mammalia
  • Order Primates
  • Family Hominidae
  • Genus Homo
  • Species sapiens

What I am looking for is a website that will let me click on Animalia, and see the different Phylums.

I found a highly scientific tool at the NCBI called Taxonomy Browser.   But it only includes single celled lifeforms.  And it is targeted at the specialist.

Any ideas?



Mars One – More Reality TV and Less Real

Have you heard about Mars One?  Here is what they say they are:

Mars One is a private, apolitical organization whose intent is to establish a colony on Mars through the integration of existing, readily available technologies from industry leaders world-wide. Unique in its approach, Mars One intends to fund this decade-long endeavor through an interactive, reality TV style broadcast from astronaut selection to robotic construction of the outpost; from the seven month flight through the first years on Mars.

Now, I love the idea of going to Mars.  I am OK even with having one way trips to do so.  (Got to die somewhere, right?)  I really love the video they put together:

And I would love to believe that they would be able to pull it off.  But they do not have the funds or the staff to pull it off.  They do not have the billions that would be required or the expertise.

Here is the timeline that they currently plan:


This will be the year in which our astronaut selection begins! Who will be the first four humans on Mars and who are to follow every two years after? Anyone who meets the criteria and feels they are up to the challenge can apply. Mars One will maintain 40 trained astronauts during the full duration of its missions.

By the close of 2013, Mars One will build a replica of the Mars settlement on Earth, likely in a cold, desolate environment, to help the astronauts prepare and train and for a realistic environment in which to test the equipment. The astronaut selection and the preparations in the simulated Mars base will be broadcast world-wide for the public to view.


The supply mission will be launched for Mars in January 2016. It will land on the Red Planet in October 2016 with its cargo of 2500 kilograms of spare parts, solar photovoltaic panels, and general supplies. It will land close to where the outpost is expected to be.


What will most definitely happen is that in 2013 a call will be put out for volunteers wanting to go to Mars.  There really will be training and a mock up built here on earth.  It really will be a media spectacle.  There will be sponsors for the show.  And it will make considerable amount of money.  Probably in the $100 of millions.

What will not happen is actually sending anything into space.  The entire event will be done here on the grown, with no hope of anything be launched into orbit.  There will especially not be anything or anyone going to Mars because of this.

Why?  Well you see, the ground stuff is safe and cheap.  It also makes for better TV.  But anything that is actually sending things to space is costly, risky, and does not make for good TV.  It won’t happen being funded this way, with this group of people.

I wish it were otherwise.  And I hope I am wrong.  But I do not see how I could be…

You made that happen

Just got an email that had this quote:

President Obama recently said, "If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen."

And that looks to be very straight forward.  If you have a business, somebody else made it happen.  It seems to undervalue the role of the business person.  And how could a presidential candidate say such a thing in a country like America.

Yesterday I was watching Fox news and saw several commentators make similar comments. 

I was so shocked that I just had to see the video clip of him saying it.  A look at YouTube brought it up:

Here is the full quote of what he said in the video:

If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help.  There was a great teacher somewhere in your life.  Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive.  Somebody invested in roads and bridges.  If you’ve got a business. you didn’t build that.  Somebody else made that happen.

He is referring not to businesses but to the infrastructure that business use and depend on, the roads and bridges, the unbelievable American system.

Anyway, I stumbled on a more in depth analysis:


A friend sent me the following photos.  It shows some real creativity.  The idea of drawing faces on eggs is not knew, but it is cool to see it developed to this extent.  Challenge for today:  Find something like eggs, but different and do something similar.  Send me some picture if you do this:   (Some ideas that come to mind are faces on pencils; wrapped candies; tires; kids toys…  )