“Many people want the Government to protect the consumer. A much more urgent problem is to protect the consumer from the Government” – the late, great American economist and statistician Milton Friedman (1912-2006)
What is less well known is that Friedman was a Jewish battler from humble immigrant roots and he once commented: “The family income was small and highly uncertain, and financial crisis was a constant companion. Yet there was always enough to eat and the family atmosphere was warm and supportive”.
Are we on the cusp of a new oil price supercycle? Boston Consulting Group think so: “As the world emerges from the COVID-19 crisis, an oil price boom is looking increasingly likely. The market conditions that create the boom will also compress its path – with surging demand coinciding with a shortage of supply – and the price expansion will not last long”
“Quality management is an absolutely essential part of all engineering activities”
This truism is well illustrated in the following non-technical 12 minute Youtube video showing how a propagating crack was missed on the still-closed I-40 bridge at Memphis Tennessee. Despite use of smart technology (drone inspection) two years ago, HUMANS failed to spot the obvious crack in a steel tension member and the SYSTEM failed. It is probably due to conservative design and some luck, that the 6 lane bridge carrying 50,000 vehicles per day over the Mississippi River did not fail catastrophically.
“Neutron stars merging with black holes are amongst the most extreme phenomena in the universe”
– Dr Rory Smith of Monash University Melbourne, who co-led the international team of scientists in the recent discovery of an event that took place one billion years ago, causing gravitational waves which while travelling at light speed, have only just reached Earthly detection.
Interestingly, other scientists recently discovered that the gigantic collision of two neutron stars likely birthed heavy metals such as gold and uranium.
Happy New Year! Great to be back into it. “We should not look back unless it is to derive useful lessons from the past errors, and for the purpose of profiting by dearly bought experience” – George Washington (1732-1799) American Founding Father and first president, for 10 years from 1789. Son of land developers, he was a surveyor by trade, before starting a military career with the Virginia Regiment.