Practically Speaking

Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.

Who knew? Kevin Costner's super-slurpers to clean up BP spill

Energy, Global Warming/Climate Change, Government / Bureaucracy, Innovation, Interesting idea, President Obama, United States

No reasonable person believes the President is solely responsible for the BP oil explosion. Nor do they think he should don deep-sea gear and go down and cork the hole himself. The well itself is some 12,000 feet under water, with the burst pipe at around 5,000 feet. Obviously, these are not friendly working conditions.

What people do want is their President to act like a leader and make the containment and clean up process as efficient and effective as possible, while BP works on capping the well. Unfortunately, our government, under the President's authority, seemingly has done everything but make the containment/clean up process as easy as possible.

W. Wansley at American Thinker wrote a great piece comparing Katrina and BP, "In the Gulf, a group of people have been trying to get in -- to apply American ingenuity to clean up the oil spill or prevent it from reaching the shore." Unfortunately, they "have been held up -- by government."

We are now hearing more about these rejected possible solutions to bar, contain and clean up the oily water before it reaches the shores. One of the pleas came from Governor Bobby Jindal. "...Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has begged for approval to put up temporary sand bars as a barrier to the oil. The EPA, worse than saying no, delayed and studied and pondered and then said no." Tired of waiting for BP, Jindal gave the order to build them on Monday.

From Am. Thinker: "We have seen countless stories in the news of innovation and ingenuity by Americans attempting to bring proven applications, equipment and tactics to bear on the oil. Each attempt is met with the same federal dithering, inaction and impedance. ... In the Gulf oil spill,...After they show their process to the media, the inevitable question is asked, 'Have you shown this to BP or the EPA?'" They answer, "yes, ...they are considering it" or "they would get back to us".

But at long last, enter actor Kevin Costner. An actor? Yes, but also a partner in Ocean Therapy Solutions, a company that has developed a machine that separates oil from water. Last week he testified at the House Science and Technology Committee meeting.

Even Costner, ever so diplomatically, said, "'We’re coming to this fight very late, I think everybody would recognize that. And so we’re going to do the things that we can do but this company is poised to mobilize in order to step this up and to create an environment where people can go back to work. There is a single moment that exists right at this moment and that is there are people out of work. There’s a moratorium and there’s no way to lift that unless I believe the government feels that people can operate in a safe way. This represents that pivot point.' "

"'If we want to discuss the ‘what ifs’ looking back, I think you could fill in the blanks of understanding if these machines were already deployed, what we would be looking at,' said Costner. 'I could scale this out for you and we would be chasing this oil out at the derrick itself. We couldn’t do anything about the size of the leak but we would be chasing that and we would be keeping that offshore.'"

Well, better late than never. BP recently placed an order for 32 of these clean up machines. With an efficiency rate of 99+%, it should help. Some are not so optimistic.

For everyone's sake, I hope between Costner's centrifuge machines, sand bars, siphon tankers, and other clean up measures, they will help clean up the water and prevent further damage. Time will tell.

Read the complete article: Heritage Foundation: Crisis of Competence

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10 years of sleeping on air

In praise of..., Living well on less $, Innovation

Recently, there have been some local commercials advertising their double sided mattresses over others single sided mattresses. The double you can flip; the single sided manufacturers say you don't need to flip. I didn't even know there were single sided mattresses, but the idea that you don't have to flip them seems far fetched. I have to think not flipping would result in a mattress sagging much faster?

But I have not flipped our mattress since we purchased it in 1999 and it is still as perfect as day one. Why? Because it is an air bed, not an inner spring, and we love it.

Even after 10 years, we often still say, I love this bed, when we crawl in at night. I am glad I don't have to flip it either. I used to single-handedly do battle flipping our former innerspring queen size. It was challenging back then; I can't imagine doing it now that I am 10 years older!

Because we were disappointed in the past by how quickly even a good mattress started to sag, we looked into getting an air bed. We checked out the mall air bed models and decided air was the way to go.

It wasn't until I looked for an under-bed drawer platform to set the air bed onto, that I discovered the Anderson Bed Co. ad in the back of my Martha Stewart magazine. It was there I saw their version of the air bed, the Ultimate Bed. We chose the Ultimate Bed over the Sleep Number bed because the Ultimate had a layer of memory foam on the top and used wool in their mattress pad.

The beauty of an air bed is that there is no sagging. It does lose a little air over time, but you just push the individual inflate controller and it pumps to desired firmness. I also sleep better on air. Because the 2 sides of the bed are separated, I don't notice when husband rolls over. There isn't that ripple effect of movement that used to wake me up.

Sleeping on air is a different experience. You nestle in and tend to stay in one position longer which gives a better night's sleep. That is especially important for light sleepers.

The Ultimate Bed is one of the few examples of new and improved that truly is. I highly recommend it. Check it out for yourself. Granted, the price was higher than a traditional innerspring mattress, but considering it is still as good as day 1 ten years later, we figured it would pay off in the long run.

As for the drawer platform, we got ours at PM Bedroom Gallery on Bluemound Road. It was more standard in height than the one Anderson offered and so our air bed looks just like a regular bed.

So that is my testimonial on sleeping on air, in case you were thinking about a new mattress and wondered what those air beds are like. Other family members have purchased Sleep Number beds and like them too. Either way, air beds arrive in a big carton and require a little set up. It is pretty straight forward. My 10 year old did it for me. If you move, you just disassemble. I do rotate the 3 sections of memory foam from time to time, but these are light weight -- nothing like my fights with the innerspring.

Whichever company you decide on, with air, you'll never flip again!

I am not affiliated at all with the Anderson Manufacturing Company, nor do I receive any compensation for my opinion. This piece was posted purely for information purposes.

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Segway Becomes More Attractive

Energy, Innovation, Just for fun!, THE ECONOMY

Remember the billboards that said IT was coming in 2001? The IT was the Segway, a "two-wheeled self-balancing vehicle that runs on a rechargeable battery." Although Steve Jobs and others "predicted it would change the way people lived," the IT came and at the time, it wowed the public about as much as the Edsel.

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