Archive for the ‘People’ Category


In Edward O. Wilson’s new book The Meaning of Human Existence, he asks the following question:

Are human beings intrinsically good but corruptible by the forces of evil, or the reverse, innately sinful yet redeemable by the forces of good? Are we built to pledge our lives to a group, even to the risk of death, or the opposite, built to place ourselves and our families above all else.


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I barely passed chemistry during my undergraduate civil engineering degree.  I enjoyed the geology course, although it took a lot of intellect to learn the difference between sedimentary rock, volcanic rock, and metamorphic rock.  For I grew up in the flat, featureless landscape of the Witwatersrand where very old soils covered all rocks—the first rock I saw was in the geology lab. (more…)

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At this link is a great infographic on The Evolution of The Landman.  The posting is brief on text.  Here is a little of what is written: (more…)

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I have spent the past few weeks in Rota, Spain with my son and family.  The sun shines on the house patio—most times. Athough some days the mist endures all day and it is cold.   Today the sun overcame the mists by about eleven a.m., and it was fun to sit in the sun and read John Grisham’s book The Last Juror.Sometimes I come inside and work on the computer.  I read what is written on Mt Polley and update an EduMine course that I am writing on Risk Assessment, Decision Making, and Management of Mine Geowaste Facilities.  For the failure of Mt Polley tailings facility is the best possible current example of the failure of risk assessment, decision making, and management of geowaste facilities we know of. (more…)

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Today I sat in the sun and finished the 1993 novel by John Le Carre called The Night Manager.  This is the first Le Carre book I have gotten into.  The others that I tried bored me or confused me to the extent that I abandoned them after the first chapter.  But this one gripped me and had me in its thrall all day in the sun.

No possible correlation between the story of British and USA secret intelligence operations and modern-day mining. Or is there?

I leave you to read the book, consider the news, and decide.  Maybe a perfect parable for Mt Polley if we seek  stories of power, corruption, arrogance, incompetence, and plain old human folly.  A good love story too.  It is hard to believe there is a love story buried in Mt Polley.  Although there must be–it will take a good journalist or novel-author to tell the love story that is entwined in the tailings failure.  Maybe when I am eighty I will take a try!



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Paella Rota Cadiz


Yesterday we stopped in at the fish market in Rota and bought a variety of fish.   Then to the local Supermarket to buy Paella rice and sauce.   Tonight, my son cooked a fish Paella with the purchases.  Magnificent.

The rice is cooked slowly in a frying pan with lots of the broth.  Then the fish are added.  With a great bottle of wine, the result is perfection.

The grandkids did not like any of it.   They preferred the bread and soup.  Typical.  I only wonder how many years it will take before they slough off the childish aversion to anything new and different and enjoy the multiple tastes of the many countries in which they have, and will, live.


The sun set over the bay looking to Cadiz.  The sun made a bright arc of gold on the sea.  Where today I went with the grandkids to make castles in the sand, throw the ball for the dog, and collect shells and rocks of diverse shape and color.

This is perfection.  Can it be contained, continued, and made eternal?  No.  But to be enjoyed in its present perfection.


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The site used to be called Companies & Properties.  Now from InfoMine is a vastly updated, expanded, and easier to use replacement called IntelligenceMine.  It is not, but could be called Intelligent Mine,  Mining Intelligence, or How-to-Find-Out-Everything-You-Ever-Wanted-to-Know-about-Mines & Properties.  (more…)

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