Happy Chanukah 2013 / 5774


For the Yiddish speakers – A fraylichen Chanukah and Hebrew is Chanukah Sameach or חנוכה שמח

From Chabad.org :

Chanukah — the eight-day festival of light that begins on the eve of the 25th of the Jewish month of Kislev — celebrates the triumph of light over darkness, of purity over adulteration, of spirituality over materiality.

More than twenty-one centuries ago, the Holy Land was ruled by the Seleucids (Syrian-Greeks), who sought to forcefully Hellenize the people of Israel. Against all odds, a small band of faithful Jews defeated one of the mightiest armies on earth, drove the Greeks from the land, reclaimed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and rededicated it to the service of G-d.

When they sought to light the Temple’s menorah (the seven branched candelabrum), they found only a single cruse of olive oil that had escaped contamination by the Greeks; miraculously, the one-day supply burned for eight days, until new oil could be prepared under conditions of ritual purity.

To commemorate and publicize these miracles, the sages instituted the festival of Chanukah. At the heart of the festival is the nightly menorah (candelabrum) lighting: a single flame on the first night, two on the second evening, and so on till the eighth night of Chanukah, when all eight lights are kindled.

On Chanukah we also add the Hallel and Al HaNissim in our daily prayers to offer praise and thanksgiving to G-d for “delivering the strong into the hands of the weak, the many into the hands of the few… the wicked into the hands of the righteous.”

Chanukah customs include eating foods fried in oil — latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiot (doughnuts); playing with the dreidel (a spinning top on which are inscribed the Hebrew letters nun, gimmel, hei and shin, an acronym for Nes Gadol Hayah Sham, “a great miracle happened there”); and the giving of Chanukah gelt, gifts of money, to children.

Nearly All Plastics Leach Estrogenic Chemicals Poisoning Us All


While you have spent your time fretting over anthropogenic global warming and the Fukushima disaster across the Pacific Ocean, a much more pernicious poison has been infiltrating your body, leached chemicals from plastics.

Wait! Didn’t our politicians save us from plastics by banning plastic bags and eliminating bisphenol A (BPA)? Those two actions did occur, but they haven’t even made a dent in the problem of estrogenic agents being release from plastic into us.

Researchers at the University of Texas, funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health, performed a highly detailed set of experiments on a range of plastics showing nearly all are leaching these potentially dangerous chemicals into us. The paper, “Most Plastic Products Release Estrogenic Chemicals: A Potential Health Problem That Can Be Solved” explains that potentially dangerous chemicals are released from even the “safe” plastics when environmental stressors like UV rays, heat from a dishwasher, or a microwave oven are applied.

From the paper:

Results: Almost all commercially available plastic products we sampled—independent of the type of resin, product, or retail source—leached chemicals having reliably detectable EA, including those advertised as BPA free. In some cases, BPA-free products released chemicals having more EA than did BPA-containing products.

Conclusions: Many plastic products are mischaracterized as being EA free if extracted with only one solvent and not exposed to common-use stresses.

What is so disturbing is, “chemicals that mimic or antagonize the actions of naturally occurring estrogens are defined as having estrogenic activity (EA), which is the most common form of endocrine disruptor activity.”

And why care? Because, “In mammals, chemicals having EA can produce many health-related problems, such as early puberty in females, reduced sperm counts, altered functions of reproductive organs, obesity, altered sex- specific behaviors, and increased rates of some breast, ovarian, testicular, and prostate cancers.”

As I have railed before, while we are distracted by the scare of the day in the news, unregulated or inadequately tested chemicals, like plastics, are slowly killing many of us. Take your eye off the potential future outcome of carbon dioxide for a moment and fix it on the chemical pollution killing our children and environment today.

Kind Of An Agreement

The Ethan Bearman Show

– Iran out-negotiates six world powers

– Wall Street and rental housing CDOs, the next crisis?

– Rivers release way more CO2 than thought

– Are illegal immigrants interested in citizenship?

– Interview with Imam Sayid Hassan Al-Qazwini leader of the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn, Michigan, largest mosque in North America

Tune in to The Ethan Bearman Show, Sundays 7-9 pm Eastern, 6-8 pm Central, 5-7 pm Mountain, 4-6 pm Pacific on your favorite talk radio station or online

The studio number to call-in during the show is 1-800-259-5791 or email me radio@ethanbearman.com

If your local station doesn’t carry the show yet, please be sure to call and ask for them to broadcast The Ethan Bearman Show on Sunday evenings!

Click HERE for a complete listing of affiliates and ways to listen to the shows

Geothermal Power: Clean, Renewable, Baseload Energy

Geothermal Power
The Leathers geothermal power plant in Calipatria, CA. Courtesy U.S.D.O.E.

Why shouldn’t we have clean, renewable, base load power from a domestic source? It isn’t solar (made in China and doesn’t work when the sun isn’t shining) or wind (kills golden eagles and doesn’t work when the wind isn’t blowing hard enough), it is geothermal!

From the United States Department of Energy:

What are the benefits of using geothermal energy?

Answer: Several attributes make it a good source of energy.

  • First, it’s clean. Energy can be extracted without burning a fossil fuel such as coal, gas, or oil. Geothermal fields produce only about one-sixth of the carbon dioxide that a relatively clean natural-gas-fueled power plant produces, and very little if any, of the nitrous oxide or sulfur-bearing gases. Binary plants, which are closed cycle operations, release essentially no emissions.
  • Geothermal energy is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Geothermal power plants have average availabilities of 90% or higher, compared to about 75% for coal plants.
  • Geothermal power is homegrown, reducing our dependence on foreign oil.

Why is geothermal energy a renewable resource?

Answer: Because its source is the almost unlimited amount of heat generated by the Earth’s core. Even in geothermal areas dependent on a reservoir of hot water, the volume taken out can be reinjected, making it a sustainable energy source.

What are the environmental impacts of using geothermal energy?

Answer: Geothermal technologies offer many environmental advantages over conventional power generation:

  • Emissions are low. Only excess steam is emitted by geothermal flash plants. No air emissions or liquids are discharged by binary geothermal plants, which are projected to become the dominant technology in the near future.
  • Salts and dissolved minerals contained in geothermal fluids are usually reinjected with excess water back into the reservoir at a depth well below groundwater aquifers. This recycles the geothermal water and replenishes the reservoir. The City of Santa Rosa, California, pipes the city’s treated wastewater up to The Geysers power plants to be used for reinjection fluid. This system will prolong the life of the reservoir as it recycles the treated wastewater.
  • Some geothermal plants do produce some solid materials, or sludges, that require disposal in approved sites. Some of these solids are now being extracted for sale (zinc, silica, and sulfur, for example), making the resource even more valuable and environmentally friendly.

What is the visual impact of geothermal technologies?

Answer: District heating systems and geothermal heat pumps are easily integrated into communities with almost no visual impact. Geothermal power plants use relatively small acreages, and don’t require storage, transportation, or combustion of fuels. Either no emissions or just steam are visible. These qualities reduce the overall visual impact of power plants in scenic regions.

Is it possible to deplete geothermal reservoirs?

Answer: The long-term sustainability of geothermal energy production has been demonstrated at the Lardarello field in Italy since 1913, at the Wairakei field in New Zealand since 1958, and at The Geysers field in California since 1960. Pressure and production declines have been experienced at some plants, and operators have begun reinjecting water to maintain reservoir pressure. The City of Santa Rosa, California, pipes its treated wastewater up to The Geysers to be used as reinjection fluid, thereby prolonging the life of the reservoir while recycling the treated wastewater.

How much does geothermal energy cost per kilowatt-hour (kWh)?

Answer: At The Geysers, power is sold at $0.03 to $0.035 per kWh. A power plant built today would probably require about $0.05 per kWh. Some plants can charge more during peak demand periods.

What does it cost to develop a geothermal power plant?

Answer: Costs of a geothermal plant are heavily weighted toward early expenses, rather than fuel to keep them running. Well drilling and pipeline construction occur first, followed by resource analysis of the drilling information. Next is design of the actual plant. Power plant construction is usually completed concurrent with final field development. The initial cost for the field and power plant is around $2500 per installed kW in the U.S., probably $3000 to $5000/kWe for a small (<1Mwe) power plant. Operating and maintenance costs range from $0.01 to $0.03 per kWh. Most geothermal power plants can run at greater than 90% availability (i.e., producing more than 90% of the time), but running at 97% or 98% can increase maintenance costs. Higher-priced electricity justifies running the plant 98% of the time because the resulting higher maintenance costs are recovered.

Wait, It Is Women Not Men Causing The Problem

Cat fight

Cat fight

More women in fields of science have great benefits for all of humanity. I have always appreciated a female perspective and found the shortage of females in math and science to be problematic.

One of the benefits of women in science is the objective study of women by women. The New York Times has an enlightening article, “A Cold War Fought by Women.” Of particular interest is the study of female aggressiveness.

There is a popular myth, of which I was a subscriber, that media advertising and men are to blame for women’s self-image and competitiveness with each other. These studies led by Dr. Susan B. Hrdy scientifically analyze the issue and determine a different outcome than we think.

The conclusion: “The research also shows that suppression of female sexuality is by women, not necessarily by men.

More from the article: “Now that researchers have been looking more closely, they say that this “intrasexual competition” is the most important factor explaining the pressures that young women feel to meet standards of sexual conduct and physical appearance.

To see how female students react to a rival, researchers brought pairs of them into a laboratory at McMaster University for what was ostensibly a discussion about female friendships. But the real experiment began when another young woman entered the room asking where to find one of the researchers.

This woman had been chosen by the researchers, Tracy Vaillancourt and Aanchal Sharma, because she “embodied qualities considered attractive from an evolutionary perspective,” meaning a “low waist-to-hip ratio, clear skin, large breasts.” Sometimes, she wore a T-shirt and jeans, other times a tightfitting, low-cut blouse and short skirt.

In jeans, she attracted little notice and no negative comments from the students, whose reactions were being secretly recorded during the encounter and after the woman left the room. But when she wore the other outfit, virtually all the students reacted with hostility.

They stared at her, looked her up and down, rolled their eyes and sometimes showed outright anger. One asked her in disgust, “What the [expletive] is that?”

Most of the aggression, though, happened after she left the room. Then the students laughed about her and impugned her motives. One student suggested that she dressed that way in order to have sex with a professor. Another said that her breasts “were about to pop out.”

I love science for proving and disproving what we think we know. Which is why I encourage all young people to embrace science classes as a great path for their future and for humanity!

Big Bang

Harvard Professor James Robinson


The Ethan Bearman Show

– Boeing’s Big Bang with the 777X

– Congress demonstrates how they are in the pocket of Wall St.

– Cold War spying continues

– Beware endocrine disrupters

– Interview with Harvard Professor and author James Robinson regarding his #1 bestselling book  Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty

Tune in to The Ethan Bearman Show, Sundays 7-9 pm Eastern, 6-8 pm Central, 5-7 pm Mountain, 4-6 pm Pacific on your favorite talk radio station or online

The studio number to call-in during the show is 1-800-259-5791 or email me radio@ethanbearman.com

If your local station doesn’t carry the show yet, please be sure to call and ask for them to broadcast The Ethan Bearman Show on Sunday evenings!

Click HERE for a complete listing of affiliates and ways to listen to the shows

Harvard Professor James Robinson
Harvard Professor James Robinson

Ingenuity Could Revolutionize Urban Transportation Via Bicycles

Remember the unreal hype a few years back about the Segway, codenamed Ginger, and how it was going to change the way we travel? Well it didn’t but this clever new invention could incrementally and positively change urban travel.

Made in Brooklyn, New York, the FlyKly Smart Wheel is a simple replacement for the rear wheel of your already-owned bicycle. Keep the bike you love!

This wheel replacement is an electronic motor with battery and controller mounted in a wheel. The 250 watt motor doesn’t completely replace the rider from pedaling but is an assist so there is never a need to pedal hard.

Cleverly, the device is controlled with a smart phone app that also can disable and track the wheel should it be stolen. Very smart for areas that have high bike theft rates and criminal rings chopping them.

Another feature intelligently brought over from the hybrid automobile world is the regenerative charging of the battery while going downhill. That’s right, just like your hybrid Lexus when you hit the brakes, this wheel charges when you stop pedaling and are traveling downhill.

My two key concerns when looking at the FlyKly Smart Wheel are:

  1. Where are the components manufactured? This matters as Chinese made batteries are notably environmentally unfriendly.
  2. You still have to ride a bicycle! Do people in Minneapolis, Chicago, or New York really want to ride a bike in the winter?

I see interesting possibilities in cities where bicycles are already popular and could expand on the population using bicycles for transportation. At $590, however, this is a first world solution that faces a price barrier in poorer countries that might need the transportation help and potential reduction in air pollution.

If you are interested in getting on the bandwagon early and being near the front of the line for ordering one, head on over to the FlyKly Kickstarter campaign.


How Geothermal Energy Works

You’ve heard Ethan many times speak and write of geothermal energy as the only clean, renewable, baseload power source. This is an excellent video demonstrating the concepts.

Transcript of the video:

Geothermal energy gives us a steady supply of electrical power, with minimal environmental impact!

Here is the basic process.

Water, in underground reservoirs, is heated to high temperatures by magma.

Production wells, drilled up to 10,000 feet below the earth’s surface, tap into this hot fluid.

Under its own pressure, the fluid flows through these wells toward the surface.

As it travels, the pressure lessens, causing a small amount to become steam.

Together, the hot fluid and steam move through a surface pipeline to a wellhead separator where the pressure is reduced.

Here, most of the fluid vaporizes and “flashes” into high-pressure steam.

Any fluid not flashed into steam moves to a standard-pressure crystallizer – to produce standard-pressure steam.

Remaining fluid is then flashed at a lower pressure to create low-pressure steam.

All steam created in the plant is sent to a turbine on site.

The force of the steam spins the turbine’s blades – which turns a shaft connected to an electrical generator.

An electrical charge is created, and directed to a transformer where the voltage is increased and sent down power lines.

Any fluids not flashed into steam return to the underground reservoir where, in time, they will be reheated and re-used.

Geothermal energy. A simple, clean and renewable energy source!


Happy Veterans Day 2013!


Veterans Day: A celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day, “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…”

And President Eisenhower updated the holiday on October 8, 1954, “In order to insure proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all veterans, all veterans’ organizations, and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in the common purpose. Toward this end, I am designating the Administrator of Veterans’ Affairs as Chairman of a Veterans Day National Committee, which shall include such other persons as the Chairman may select, and which will coordinate at the national level necessary planning for the observance.”

Thank each and every veteran today, for we are a free country due to their sacrifice.


And let’s keep the pressure on the politicians to make sure to take care of our country’s promise to each and every veteran for taking care of them in return for their service, since the politicians seem to dislike veterans once their purpose is served.

And lastly, all veterans can benefit from a few freebies today. Note: Most freebies are available on Monday, November 11. Be prepared to show military ID in order to cash in these Veterans Day freebies. Source: Parade

  1. Applebee’s: Free meal from the Thank You Meal Menu.
  2. Bar Louie: Get a free meal worth up to $12 November 10-11.
  3. Better Way to Stay: This organization of bed and breakfast inns can help you find a free stay November 10-11.
  4. California Pizza Kitchen: Free pizza; dine-in only.
  5. Carrabba’s: Free appetizer when you visit November 9-11.
  6. Champps Americana: Free burger and waffle fries.
  7. Cheeseburger in Paradise: Purchase a beverage for $1.99, and get a free burger and fries.
  8. Chili’s: Free entree from a special menu.
  9. Denny’s: Enjoy all the pancakes you want, on the house, from 6 a.m. until 2 p.m.
  10. Einstein Bros. Bagels/Noah’s New York Bagels: Free bagel and a schmear of cream cheese (or another topping) from 5:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
  11. Friendly’s: Free breakfast and coffee, in East Coast restaurant locations only.
  12. Golden Corral: Free dinner from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m.
  13. Grace for Vets: Use this site to find a free car wash.
  14. Great Clips: Free haircut.
  15. Hooter’s: Get a free meal, worth up to $10.99, with any drink purchase.
  16. Krispy Kreme: Free doughnut and small coffee at participating locations.
  17. Little Caesar’s: Free crazy bread.
  18. Longhorn Steakhouse: Free Texas “Tonion” appetizer and beverage (non-alcoholic only) November 11-14.
  19. Max & Erma’s: Free cheeseburger combo meal.
  20. McCormick and Schmick’s: Reserve your free dinneravailable on Sunday, November 10 only.
  21. National Parks Service: Free admission to all National Parks for everyone, November 9-11, in honor of Veterans Day.
  22. O’Charley’s: Free meal from the $9.99er menu.
  23. Olive Garden: Free meal from the Veterans Day menu. Any family members dining with you get 10 percent off their bill as part of Military Family Appreciation Month.
  24. On the Border: Free “Make Your Own Combo Meal” dinner item.
  25. Outback Steakhouse: Free bloomin’ onion and beverage.
  26. Red Robin: Free burger and fries.
  27. Red Lobster: Free appetizer November 11-14.
  28. Shoney’s: Free burger.
  29. Sizzler: Free lunch.
  30. Texas Roadhouse: Free lunch.
  31. TGIFridays: Free lunch from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.
  32. Tim Horton’s: Free doughnut.