Friday, January 24, 2003

Good Mention

Well, DMTC's production of "A Chorus Line" got a good mention by the Davis Enterprise's reviewer, Bev Sykes. Actually things seem to be going well (even though I momentarily forgot my lines as 'Bobby' twice in last Friday's performance, and suffered accordingly). When Woodland Opera House did the show in 1999 (and I was a 'Cut Dancer'), there seemed to be great class distinctions in the cast, probably because the smaller stage size prevented the participation of the Cut Dancers in the final number. This is our final weekend, and it'll be a good one...

Thursday, January 23, 2003

NSR Gotterdamerung

As an air quality modeler, I must admit to being baffled by the long-running controversy regarding the Bush Administration's efforts to reform New Source Review and allow facility upgrades and more-than-routine maintenance to older industrial sites. The enviro crowd is treating this as Gotterdamerung, but I'm thinking it can't be all that bad. Such reform does allow the older industrial sites to renovate, remain economical and extend their lifetimes, but apparently the enviros had it in their mind that:

1.) these facilities would be closed down as a matter of course on our way to a brighter, cleaner, and happier tomorrow; and,
2.) that it was vital that such older facilities would HAVE to shut down, since there really are few options for cleaning up these facilities except by shutting them down.

Well, if the enviros are right, that we really have few tools to work with to clean things up, then we are in more trouble than even they imagine. Then the trouble is lack of tools, not lack of will. Indeed, on the automotive side, the 3-way-catalyst is still the really-big tool of the last forty years. Still, my suspicion is that we do have some tools, we just need to do a better job of implementing them. People hate working on details - people like the big-picture, and posing and preening. But posing never got anyone anywhere (not even fashion models). Industry is loathe to abandon old facilities, where so many dollars have been sunk, and we'll have to accept that reasoning. That means working on the details to keep the facilities clean.

In other air quality modeling news, in an article by Gale Hoffnagle in the A&WMA EM Journal, there is some indication that the AERMOD (PRIME) model (a more advanced model than ISCST) may finally win some kind of official status with EPA, with a reproposal announcement in a month or so, and final promulgation in six months. I remember attending the Jan. 1998 American Meteorological Society convention in Phoenix, where various knowledgeable nabobs assured me that promulgation would occur by October, 1998 at the latest. FIVE FREAKIN' YEARS later, EPA is inching towards its goal. Of course, science moves by leaps and bounds, leaving us sad chumps holding the bag once again with an outmoded model - but hey! at least our algorithms will date from 1992 or so, instead of from 1975!

MTBE In The Ground Water

I submitted this letter to the Sacramento Bee last week, but it hasn't been published yet - nor is it likely to. Nevertheless, I am outraged that this serious man-made public-health menace is still with us:
I was furious when I read Michael Kenny's letter (the Source of MTBE: January 13, 2003) that appeared to defend the role of the California Air Resources Board (ARB) in pushing the water-soluble oxygenate additive MTBE into California's gasoline in the early 90's. Toxic MTBE has since caused nothing but havoc for ground-water supplies across the state. As Kenny points out, the Bee's columnist Dan Walters made a minor error in his January 5th column (West Sac reflects tunnel vision among California public officials) when he asserted that ARB "decreed that refiners should add 'oxygenates' to gasoline to battle smog": that decree, of course, came from US EPA. But ARB did decide that the oxygenate of choice would be MTBE, not ethanol, and ARB had plentiful technical advice, available well in advance, that MTBE's water-solubility would prove a ground water disaster. And the stuff is STILL in the gasoline! The best ARB can plead is gross incompetence. To have Kenny trying to paper over ARB's role in this massive ground-water toxic dumping (something that would have been criminal if it had been done by anyone else), when he is now being appointed to the Sacramento County Superior Court, is ruinous to Sacramento County's reputation.

Just Another Of My Eclectic Interests

Who is Kylie Minogue? Just the MOST beautiful woman in the universe. Most Americans are unfamiliar with her, because her pop music career has been mostly confined to Australia, England, and Europe (although she did have a flash-in-the-pan hit in the USA with a remake of "Locomotion" in 1988), but last year she made some waves when her song "Can't Get You Out of My Head" reached #3 on the pop charts in the USA. So, since I'm a big fan of disco, house, and other pop dance music, and since, despite my interests, I knew nothing about her at all, I got her new CD, then her new DVD, then two more old CDs, then her even newer DVD (released Nov. 11th), and NOW, I'm a confirmed Kylie addict, and I can't imagine anything better than living in HER universe, FOREVER!

Let's see, there are a few Kylie Web Sites out there, including the opening number of her new DVD (I'm not as fond of the opening number as some of the others because it's a bit static, but at least you'll get the idea....)

Here is the opening number to her Manchester, UK concert, May 4, 2002.

Official Fan Web Site

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

George Zoritch Retrospectives

Here are a couple more retrospectives regarding George Zoritch and his work.

George Zoritch Picture

At this link is an interesting picture of my first ballet teacher, George Zoritch, currently retired in Tucson, AZ, in his glory days.