Friday, December 31, 2010

The earth is nothing more then a giant magnet as attested by its magnetic poles that attract a magnetic needle to magnetic North and South. The same phenomenon of magnetic attraction can be used to detect magnetic minerals even as small as what are termed micro-mounts, or for that matter large masses of magnetic minerals like magnetite below the surface of the earth. Although gold itself is not magnetic it often occurs in the company of different minerals that are; one example is granular magnetite.

Magnetic Vectors affecting a simple magnetometer.

This deceptively simple magnetometer can be used both at home or in the field. Its materials are also simple consisting of a very few parts that are obtainable anywhere. The core of this magnetometer is nothing more complicated than an ordinary soda straw with a small magnet glued on one end. There is a needle shoved through the straw at approximately its balance point with the magnet attached. The needle rests on two parallel sides are far enough apart to allow the straw to present up and down.

The best kind of magnet that you can use as a so-called rare earth magnet that is far more powerful than an ordinary magnet. Small maintenance of this type can be found in auto parts stores, sources say are part of an automobile alternator they can also be found in your local junkyard. The best kind of soda straw to use is one that has a flexible joint near its upper end, so you can bend the straw to get it perfectly balanced.

At home your magnetometer is used to detect magnetic minerals that is accomplished by passing the near the magnetic tip to see if the magnet is attracted. If it is you know immediately whether or not the mineral is magnetic, conversely if the magnet is not attracted to the specimen then it is not magnetic. This is important because many minerals look alike and the magnetometer test is one step in identifying the mineral.

In the field; all you have to do is walk a straight line while watching the straw, if the magnet is attracted to a magnetic mass in the ground the straw will move up or down. This is also important because many different mineral deposits are magnetic and have other minerals that are associated with them including gold. A quadrant can be added next to the straw so you can measure its angle. Changes in the straw's angle indicated underground masses of magnetic material.

Sorry, no pictures are available so please follow this URL: 

Morenci Copper Mine, Arizona, Map and News

Morenci is one of North America's largest producer of copper and one of the largest open-pit mines in the world.
Click the figure below to see the interactive satellite map and news.

Morenci Copper Mine, Arizona, Map and NewsZoom.

The Friday OT: Red Hot Chili Peppers; Dani California

Ten bands in one!

The Chilis do (in order) Elvis, Beatles, Hendrix, Funkadelic, Bowie, Pistols, Misfits, Motley, Nirvana and themselves....and then at 3:49 you get one of the best guitar solos of the decade. I can think of no finer way of rounding off IKN2010 then letting John F's guitar sizzle your eardrums, so enjoy the show and then turn that volume to 11 for the last blast. 

See you next year.

Bolivia is the subject of IKN's first prediction for 2011

Your humble scribe stares deeply into his crystal ball, goes all misty eyed, proffers up an offering or two to the Gods and says:
"You won't be hearing much about Bolivia's fuel hikes and protests one week from now. It's already blowing over, the "massive calls for Evo's resignation" as seen on CNN, Fox and other dumbass sources of information on all things LatAm amounted to about 20,000 people (and 20,000 does not a resignation make), the transport strike has already been called off, there are no runs on banks as the rabid right tried to suggest, Evo will take a temporary hit in the polls but will get through this just fine. So sorry Stratfor, sorry blood on the streets this time."

You get what you pay for in Colombia (and vice versa)

Today's LatAm weirdnews translation, from this report:

Condemned For Not Paying For Sex With Employee
In the city of Pereira, a man was condemned to pay his domestic employee for sexual services she had given him that had not been remunerated.
Judge Eisenhower Zapata, speaking on Caracol Radio, explained that the patron paid his employee her salary for housework and had also agreed a payment of 20,000 pesos (U$10) for each sexual favour.

The domestic employee "made note in a notebook how many times she had slept with him for four years until the relationship soured and she demanded the payments be liquidated."

The judge added that the domestic employee "had proven that she had slept all those times with the gentleman and that he didn't want to pay her."

The man was ordered to pay on consideration that "prostitution is age-old and is as respectable a profession as any other."

Chart of the day is....

...copper, monthlies.

Nuff said.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Chilean salmon: What could possibly go wrong?

Yes, of course you can pump farmed fish full of chemicals, ignore how nature works and expand your industry to cater for 50% of The USA's salmon consumption. It's progress, it's the 21st century and the way to measure success is growth and profit, not old fashioned concepts like health and sustainability.

Esp for setty

So what's your favourite part of the latest Mercer Gold (MRGP.ob) quarterly report, Otto?

Ooooh, probably this bit, all things considered:

Based on our current plan of operations as set forth above, we estimate that we will require approximately $1,000,000 to pursue our plan of operations over the next twelve months if we complete Phase I only, but approximately $2,000,000 over the next twelve months if we also proceed to Phase II during that time frame. As at November 30, 2010, we had cash and cash equivalents of $87,597 and a working capital deficiency of $186,987. However, we may require additional financing to pursue our plan of operations over the next twelve months. There can be no assurance that we will obtain any additional financing in the amounts required or on terms favorable to us. If we are unable to obtain additional financing, we may have to re-evaluate or abandon our business activities and revise our plan of operations.
We anticipate that additional funding will be in the form of equity financing from the sale of our common stock. However, we cannot provide investors with any assurance that we will be able to raise sufficient funding from the sale of our common stock to fund our plan of operations going forward. In the absence of such financing, our business plan will fail. Even if we are successful in obtaining equity financing, there is no assurance that we will obtain the funding necessary to pursue our business plan. If we do not continue to obtain additional financing going forward, we will be forced to re-evaluate or abandon our plan of operations.

Y'see, you guys out there can read all the soft soap bullshit on junior miners you want, cos there's plenty of that about thanks to the paid pump scene, idiotic bullboard posts and über-massaged corporate presentations. Personally, I like regulatory filings as my DD reading matter. And while we're at it, let's see how this scam fronted for stock fraudster Brent Pierce is doing in the markets, shall we?

Hmmm, all that and dilution to come, too. Just not happening, is it Rahim? Our  mucker Jivraj is doing his reputation wonders for the future. Lie with dogs get fleas, my man....

A Flash update...

...was sent out to subscribers a few minutes ago (before 11am EST). We have made over 100% in a position in less than three months and we're taking profits on it.

And a very prosperous new year to you, too.
According to the experts a mining engineer follows a discipline involving several different facets all of which involve one facet or another of the mining industry.  Some of these many facets include discovering mineral resources that might be mined.  It also includes evaluating a known mineral showing to determine if it will produce a viable mine.  At other times he might be involved in the physical extraction and processing of minerals from a natural environment in such a way as to increase their value.  In many cases he is also responsible for protecting the environment from excessive damage from any mining operations.  Finally it is the mining engineer upon which the responsibility of closing a mine.

Headframes in Butte Montana that were designed by a mining engineer

Although decried by many our standard of living is based on mineral extraction even though any mining activity will cause great disturbance to the environment in the vicinity of any mining operation.  The mining engineer must also be concerned with the environmental damage produced from any mining activities that involve the mine where he works.  Beyond the production and processing of any minerals produced from the mine he must also be familiar with the methods of mitigating any damage to the environment resulting from mining operations.

A bucket wheel excavator gives some idea of how large mining equipment is used in mining.

Mining goes back to the beginning of civilization with people having used the products of the earth to build the civilization we know today.  It doesn’t make any difference if it is stone for making tools and weapons or for colorful minerals that were used to decorate their bodies.  The oldest known mine in the world is the “Lion Cave” in Swaziland, Africa where using the radiocarbon dating process proves mankind was in the mining business around 43,000 years ago.  The product they mined was hematite an iron ore, but they used it to produce the red pigment iron ochre to paint their bodies.

Other mine shafts dating back to the earliest time have been found in both England and France where the early miners dug into the chalk deposits for flint used in the production of tools and weapons.  Other early mining activities were for clay used to produce brick and ceramic vessels.  From this you can see that the mining engineers job is not only important, but is one of the oldest professions in the world.

Problem 561: Triangle, Cevian, Incenter, Perpendicular, 90 Degrees

Geometry Problem
Click the figure below to see the complete problem 561.

 Problem 561: Triangle, Cevian, Incenter, Perpendicular, 90 Degrees.
Level: High School, SAT Prep, College geometry

Coro Mining ( and Owly

First, Coro Mining's ( news release:
Press Release Source: Coro Mining Corp. On Thursday December 30, 2010, 9:10 am
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Dec. 30, 2010) - Coro Mining Corp. ("Coro" or the "Company") (TSX:COP - News) is pleased to announce that the Interdisciplinary Commission for the Environmental Evaluation of Mining Projects ("CEIAM" in Spanish) of the Province of Mendoza has completed its compilation, collation and evaluation of the previously completed sectoral reviews; the outcome of the public hearing and public consultation process; and the results of additional hydrological studies completed earlier this year, and has recommended that the EIS be approved by the provincial government. The CEIAM is comprised of the various entities which completed individual sectoral reviews of the project in 2009 and 2010, together with representatives of the pertinent Provincial Government ministries.
The recommendation of approval is conditional upon the Company's Argentinean subsidiary, Minera San Jorge ("MSJ"), complying with the highest standards of environmental protection, control and monitoring prior to, and during the construction and operation of the project, including the requirement for the paste tailings deposit to be made impermeable with a liner. The CEIAM's report will now be submitted to continues here
Now, our friend the owl gives us worthy analysis on the situation:

The funny thing about this whacky world of markets is that you don't have to be right about everything all the time; all you need to do is be right about the battles in which you choose to participate. DYODD, dudette. DYODD dude.

What Evo Said

Here's last night's EvoSpeech to the Nation on the fuel price rise, what it means, the spoonfulls of sugar that he announced and all things in between.

It was a pretty good speech all told, explaining the situation in terms and providing the love via 20% salary rises for police, teachers and healthcare workers (eg doctors and nurses). However the main use of the money is a positive-looking grain purchase plan that will buy produce from farmers at 10% above the market rate....that one gets the large rural population onside quickly.

So the transport workers will strike today and try to make their 100% price increases stick, while the government insists they only have the right to hike prices by 30%. The jury is still out, but the timing of the fuel subsidy cut and the populist moves in Evo's speech last night are scoring good points for the government side right now...chances are that Evo will get his way once the militant mood dies down.

Chart of the day is....

...road traffic deaths in Latin America.

We know the region is batshit crazy when it comes to the way it drives, but here we get an idea about which places are the batshittiest craziest of them all. Leading the field are Venezuela, Peru and Mexico, all showing more that 20 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants per year. The next batch see Guyana, Paraguay and Brazil all pretty batshit, then things start to trail off. Unbatshit crazy drivers in the region are Ecuador and Colombia, with a death-per-100000 rate lower than that of The USA.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

William Baziotes: Cyclops, 1947 and Golden Rectangles

Profoundly affected by his encounters with Surrealists who were living in New York City in the 1940s, William Baziotes explored his imagination and incorporated automatic drawing and biomorphic imagery into his art practice. Shown at Chicago Art Institute.
Click the figure below to see the interactive illustration.

William Baziotes: Cyclops, 1947 and Golden RectanglesZoom.

Problem 560: Triangle, Cevian, Incenter, Incircle, Perpendicular, Tangent

Geometry Problem
Click the figure below to see the complete problem 560.

 Problem 560: Triangle, Cevian, Incenter, Incircle, Perpendicular, Tangent.
Level: High School, SAT Prep, College geometry

Problem 559: Triangle, Cevian, Incenters, Angle, 90 Degrees

Geometry Problem
Click the figure below to see the complete problem 559.

 Problem 559: Triangle, Cevian, Incenters, Angle, 90 Degrees.
Level: High School, SAT Prep, College geometry

Peru's luck-based economic growth, part 562

Here are the monthly production numbers for gold in Peru, 2009 to date (November's numbers out today):

Here's that gold in dollar value per month (using the average London Fix for each month, data from kitco).

So, Peru produces less and less gold but thanks to world market prices gets more and more money per month. And be clear how important gold production is to Peru, as it currently makes up 22% of all the country exports by value. The story in copper (Peru's number one export) is very similar, with stagnated production figures made to look far more impressive by the world price hike. My word, all this sounds like a recipe for a successful long-term economic plan*.

*yes, that's irony

OT: Lost (and found) in translation

IKN NerveCentre™ has kind of a busy day in store and posting is likely to be light after this one, but before we get on with life here's a fun post. Reader HA send in this photo, found at this post.

The post is good reading, as it explains where the "rice-flour noodle" translation derives from (go see for yourself) and ended with a line that rang very true for your humble scribe.
My friend in China theorizes: "I guess all the public sign translations in this country are done by lazy bureaucrats, with the help of Google Translate." It will be sad when these finally go away.

Indeed. The quality of Spanish/English public translation has improved these last few years and your author's encounters with funny Spanglish aren't so common these days, but even though less common they do still happen and every one is cherished. The best always have to have a pretzeled logic between what the person wanted to say and what they actually said (so the park sign once spotted that asked me not to wank on the grass was funny, but not an A1 example). The one I wish I'd taken a photo of at the time was in a restaurant menu in a small town in Peru which offered "Familiar Chicken", still my all-time favourite (knowledge of how Spanish works is key). So three cheers and a hearty Viva! for Spanglish and a thought set aside for what happened to the population of Babel all those years ago.

China's Rare Earth Quotas:

I'm not aware of too many things
I know what I know if you know what I mean
'What I know', Edie Brickell & the New Bohemians, 1988

I know nothing about Rare Earths, something made plain in the past on these pages and also in the subscription weekly. However, I do know when I'm being fed uninformed bullshit by a whole bunch of people that pretend they're now suddenly experts on REE and this week your humble scribe's NumericalBullshitGeigerCounter™ has been going haywire thanks to the announcement out of China for REE export quotas for the first half of 2011.

Typical BS is on this link from the WSJ, who start with "China Cuts Export Quota on Rare-Earth Metals" and then feed the fear with quotes from those who really, really want you to get worried about supplies and how that superduper US defense system or that superduper Japanese flatscreen is under threat. You can tell just by looking at the phonies The WSJ is getting for quotes that neither interviewee nor interviewer has the first clue about what's really going on. So let's go to the numbers and see a bit about what's been happening with China REE export quotas, starting with this chart.

This shows the six-monthly quotas for REEs since 2009, including the latest one for the first half of 2011. Put simply, they had a lot to ship out in 2009, cut that drastically in 2010 and have pitched for a similar sort of level (slightly lower) this year, but also a level that's much bigger than the second half of 2010 (the bit we're still in). However, dig a little deeper into the figures and you see that the dreaded and fearmongered supply crunch....well, that just isn't gonna happen, folks. Here's the 2009 quota total stacked with the actual amount of REE exported by China in 2009:

2009 quota limit 50,145mt
2009 quota used 26,770mt
2009 excess 23,375mt

Yup, there was a quota limit, but in the end the amount exported by China to feed that overwhelming world demand didn't even get close. So since then the Chinese have been working the demand to their favour without choking off supply to those who need these REEs (and before we continue, let's note that 45% of all REE exports out of China are of one REE, Lanthanum (La) a fact that skews any fearmonger's supply/demand idiocy even further out of shape) by keeping quota limits to where world demand is pitching itself...after all, if you own 97% of all the REE out there you're not going to let anyone else start hoarding it, are you?

In essence, what China is doing is sticking to its own policy of keeping REEs inside China and promoting the construction of Rare Metals applications factories inside the country. It's using its near-monopoly on REEs to promote its own economy, but what it isn't doing is choking off world supply and harming other country economy; it's letting out enough REE for the rest of the world, but no more than that. when the 2h11 quota comes around, we'll see China adjusting its export quota, up or down, as a function of the actual exports and demand (and prices) seen in 1h11. So apologies to those who like to drum up hype and/or blame China for their own shortcomings, but you're talking out your butts....again.

Chart of the day is....

....the gold/oil ratio.

The tinfoilhatter goldbugs amongst this audience might not like the idea, but the development of this ratio in 2009 and 2010 really does say "no inflation out there".

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Good news: The horse is feeling fine

This evening Ex-President of Colombia Alvaro Uribe fell off a horse, got kicked by the animal in the knee and was immediately taken to hospital for surgery on said joint. 

Here's the flash out of Colombia's RCN which shows Uribe showing off by riding and holding a cup of coffee. The clip was taken just before the unscheduled dismount and leg-crappery, so no moneyshot. Unconfirmed reports of the horse's stable being wiretapped by the DAS were immediately denied by government security forces. We'd also like to make clear that any relation between this accident and the traditional mafia culture punishment of kneecapping is purely coincidental.

UK local time, 00:55am Wednesday December 29th 2010

For those that understand.

A pump is a mechanical device used for transferring fluid from one point to another. There are several different varieties of pumps that are found in the marketplace, but the most common in use are the centrifugal pump and the piston pump. The most common pump in use now is the centrifugal pump although in the past the more common variety of pump was operated with Pistons. The primary use for pumps in the mining industry is for the removal of groundwater that seeps into the mine from the surrounding strata.

This is a Cornish piston pump used in the 19th century to pump water from a mine.

In some mines the order is reduced to a powder that is mixed with a fluid allowing it to be pumped as a slurry. Other pumps are used to supply power too hydraulic units that are attached to various types of mining equipment.

No matter what its use; pumps require an external power supply that used to be supplied by steam, but is now replaced by diesel. In many cases the motive power for operating a pump is supplied by electricity this is especially true of the smaller pumps that have electric motor attached correctly to the shaft of the pump.

A cutaway view of a centrifugal pump.

Pumps are also used in various hydrometallurgical processes used to separate ore from gangue. This is illustrated by their use in flotation cells for separating sulfide minerals from the surrounding rock. In other cases pumps are used in the heap leach method of recovering gold with a solution of cyanide. In this case the pumps pressurize a cyanide solution forcing it out through nozzles where is allowed to seep down through the heap of crushed ore where it is collected in a sump at the bottom of the heap to be recirculated through the heap several times until the solution becomes pregnant with gold.

The pregnant solution is then drawn off, and the gold or other metal values are removed by reacting to solution with a powdered metal such as zinc to precipitate the gold that is then taken to a refinery for further processing.

In alluvial or placer mining centrifugal pumps are also used in several places notably in supplying water to sluice boxes or hide bankers. They are also used in the operation of a suction dredge for the removal of mineral laden sand and gravel from the bed of the stream. In larger gold dredges they are actually used to process the gold bearing sand and gravel.

A gold dredge in operation in Nome, Alaska.

 As you can see there are many uses for pumps in the mining industry, and because man is an ingenious creature he keeps developing more!


With Buenos Aires, Argentina, currently sweltering through a humidity worsened heatwave that has the temperature sensation hitting 40º and the electricity system overload from all the aircon units causing regular blackouts in the city, IKN sends out a message to friends stuck in the horridness.

Go Palito!

Goldfails, 2010

In a year like 2010, when gold bullion hit new highs and the world finally began to wake up, smell the coffee and look at gold as a decent safehaven alternative, anyone who aimed some cash at the junior gold producers should have been on a good winner, right?

Well maybe yes but maybe not, because amongst the leveraged wins there's a group of gold producers with more than one thing in common:
1) They're small gold producers working in Latin America
2) They have a dubious track record of promising more than they can deliver
3)  Their share prices have all performed much worse this year then their main product, gold.
4) They all quote on the US exchanges
5) They've all, in their time, been pumped to death by brokerages and analysts who care more about the commissions and cheap shares thrown their company's ways than decent, unbiased analysis

So a warmly sarcastic round of applause as we ask these three 2010 goldfails to step forward: Give it up for Minefinders (MFN), Gammon Gold (GRS) and Jaguar Mining (JAG):

The chart shows the 2010 year-to-date performance of MFN, GRS and JAG compared to GLD, the gold ETf that serves as an accurate proxy to the metal. So Minefinders has managed to scrape out an "unchanged on the year" performance due to a late year rally, but it's still some 20% under an investment in gold, certainly not the type of performance that wins friends an influences people in junior mining. As for JAG and GRS, it just goes to show (once again) that you gringos will buy anything, especially if it's available on the NYSE and has the word "gold" in its corporate title.

Wikileaks Panama: Superb coverage from Bananama Republic on the Martinelli leaks

The reaction from the recent Wikileaks revelations in Panama may mark the first case when the leaked cables have significantly weakened a current government administration and a country President. Okke over at Banamana Republic has done a great job of stringing together the scandals so far and the three posts over at his site are today's required reading.

The first post is on how the country's Veep called the the current Panama Canal expansion "a disaster", which is interestng enough but nothing destabilizing. However it was a mere hors d'oeuvre for what followed in....

...the second Banamana Republic Wikileaks post, an absolute gem. Here we get a great rundown an analysis of the big scandal currently hurting President Martinelli and his government, how he tried to strongarm the US into giving him illegal phonetaps on his political enemies, plenty more rogue behaviour detailed and a character assessment of the Prez dude from the US ambassador that will remain for the ages; "His penchant for bullying and blackmail may have led him to supermarket stardom but is hardly statesmanlike. He risks losing the good will of his backers in the Panamanian elite and business communities. Martinelli is not a member of Panama’s traditional elite, and he could be on thin ice if his “anti-corruption” measures end up being seen primarily as shake-downs for fast cash."

Then yesterday we had the third installment of Bananama Republic's Wiki-coverage, with the fallout from the wiretap revelations and more on the DEA in Panama.

Go read them all now, especially that second one. Top stuff and we very heart Bananama Republic.

Chart of the day is...., daily candles.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Problem 558: Quadrilateral, Trisection, Sides, Wittenbauer Parallelogram, Area

Geometry Problem
Click the figure below to see the complete problem 558.

 Problem 558: Quadrilateral, Trisection, Sides, Wittenbauer Parallelogram, Area.
Level: High School, SAT Prep, College geometry

Problem 557: Quadrilateral, Midpoints, Sides, Varignon Parallelogram, Area

Geometry Problem
Click the figure below to see the complete problem 557.

 Geometry Problem 557: Quadrilateral, Midpoints, Sides, Varignon Parallelogram, Area.
Level: High School, SAT Prep, College geometry

What is a mining engineer?

Sent in by reader 'J', somebody who knows what he's talking about on this subject:

click to enlarge.

UPDATE: George leaves this in the comments section, also very likeable:
I like this quote from the Chairman of Scottish Branch of the Institution of Structural Engineers (1946) “Engineering is the art of modelling materials we do not wholly understand, into shapes we cannot precisely analyze, so as to withstand forces we cannot properly assess, in such a way that the public at large has no reason to suspect the extent of our ignorance.”

Dead journalists in Latin America, 2010

The Press Emblem Campaign is out with its totals for world journalist deaths in 2010 and of the 105 reporters murdered this year, 36 are from Latin America (making it the most dangerous place there is for the job) but to comment on the story like a good gringo, please follow the instructions below very carefully:

1) Wring your hands over Mexico's failed State.
2) Ignore Honduras
3) Ignore Colombia
4) Ignore Brazil
5) Make a big song and dance about the two deaths in Venezuela, even though both murders were non-work related and happened when both were victims of car robberies.

Bolivia raises fuel prices and there's trouble in store

Pretty big economic news out of Bolivia over the Christmas weekend, as the government of Evo Morales (with Veep Garcia Linera in charge while Evo visits Venezuelan flood victims) has bitten the bullet and slashed the government subsidies on vehicle fuel prices. Here's how Reuters covers the story:

LA PAZ, Bolivia, Dec 26 (Reuters) - Bolivia's leftist government raised fuel prices on Sunday by as much as 83 percent to foster oil production and cut state subsidies, in a politically tricky move that set off a transportation strike.
To offset the measure's impact, the government also froze public utility rates and said it will promote wage increases that top the 6 percent inflation estimated for this year.
In 2006 Bolivia's socialist leader Evo Morales nationalized the energy industry, which is centered on natural gas exports.
"We are bringing fuels up to international price levels ... State subsidies cost $380 million a year. We don't want this to continue. We buy expensive diesel fuel and sell it cheap," said Vice President Alvaro Garcia, who is standing in for Morales during the president's visit to Venezuela.
"We had to raise prices so energy producers feel the need and incentive to produce (oil), so there will be more diesel and gasoline and we will import less ... in one, two or three years, we won't have to import any gasoline or diesel at all," Garcia said.
Diesel prices will rise CONTINUES HERE
As for prices, these charts show you the before and after of the subsidy cut and in three different dosages (for ease of comprehension). First in litres... in standard gallons (4.546l)

...and here in US Gallons (3.785l)

Be clear, this is a big move by the Morales government and the strike they knew they'd generate as a result isn't one that will roll over and die in a couple of days. This government isn't one that just makes a big decision like this one on the spur of the moment, either, so there's clearly strategic thought gone into the timing of this move (one thing that springs to mind is that tourist and citizen transport is greater than business/economic freighting and shipping over the Christmas/New Year period).

Economically speaking, it does make sense on a few levels. Firstly, Bolivia is a net exporter of natgas but produces little liquid hydrocarbons itself and is a net importer of diesel, gasolines etc. The subsidy that was being paid by the government was a clear net loser for the treasury. Also, the country runs on public transport (private car ownership is low), a medium that can absorb a huge percentage increase more easily. Thirdly, this subsidy cut, somewhat strangely, does appeal to the Socialist leanings of the Morales administration because a fuel subsidy is in effect a subsidy for those who can afford a car etc (the same 'tax break for the rich' argument is often used as a critique of Venezuela's heavily discounted fuel).

So this is a story that's worth watching in the next few days, a real test of the authoritive power of the Morales admin and one that will bring out transportists on a strike that may get ugly. Maybe a negotiation and semi-rollback of the subsidy is the eventual outcome? I don't know, but watch this space. 

UPDATE: An example of US analytical mediocrity: Of all the quotes on this issue that "academic" Greg Weeks could have chosen, he goes for the one that makes himself look like a total dumbass. A better example of total non-comprehension of South America would be difficult to come by.

Chart of the day is....

...the 2010 performances of silver (using SLV, the silver bullion ETF, as proxy) and gold (using GLD, the gold bullion ETF, as proxy).

Or in other words, if your gold miner didn't move up by more than 20% or if your silver play didn't beat 63% this year, you shouldn't have bothered. Yes Wistar, that includes your dumbass silver play.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The IKN Weekly, out now

 a year to remember

IKN86 has just been sent to subscribers. Guaranteed turkey-free.

Problem 556 Quadrilateral, Diagonal, Angles, Auxiliary Lines.

Geometry Problem
Click the figure below to see the complete problem 556.

 Problem 556. Quadrilateral, Diagonal, Angles, Auxiliary Lines.
Level: High School, SAT Prep, College geometry

Jane Frank: "Crags and Crevices" (1961) and Golden Rectangles

"Crags and Crevices" was the largest and most striking canvas in Jane Frank's 1962 solo exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery.
Click the figure below to see the interactive illustration.

Jane Frank: Zoom.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Hans Hofmann - Index

Hofmann (1880 - 1966) was renowned not only as an artist but as a teacher of art.
Click the figure below to see the index.

Hans Hofmann - Index,Zoom.

Hans Hofmann: The Gate, 1959-60 and Golden Rectangles

Hofmann (1880 - 1966) was renowned not only as an artist but as a teacher of art.
Click the figure below to see the interactive illustration.

Hans Hofmann: The Gate, 1959-60 and Golden RectanglesZoom.

Kaleidoscope based on: The Gate, 1959-60 by Hans Hofmann

Hofmann (1880 - 1966) was renowned not only as an artist but as a teacher of art.
Click the figure below to see the interactive illustration.

Kaleidoscope based on: The Gate, 1959-60 by Hans HofmannZoom.

"Hans Hofmann, Circa 1950" at the Rose Art Museum, Video

Hofmann (1880 - 1966) was renowned not only as an artist but as a teacher of art.
Past Exhibition: 15 January through 5 April, 2009. An extraordinary body of work created by Hans Hofmann for the architect Josep Sert’s 1950 city plan called the Chimbote Project was the genesis for this exhibition.
Click the figure below to see the video.


Hans Hofmann: Chimbote Mural Fragment, 1950 and Golden Rectangles

Hofmann (1880 - 1966) was renowned not only as an artist but as a teacher of art.
Click the figure below to see the interactive illustration.

Hans Hofmann: Chimbote Mural Fragment, 1950 and Golden RectanglesZoom.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Richard Anuszkiewicz: Temple of the Radiant Yellow and Golden Rectangles

Richard Anuszkiewicz (born May 23, 1930, Erie, Pennsylvania) is an American artist. He is considered a major force in the Op Art movement.
Click the figure below to see the interactive illustration.

Richard Anuszkiewicz: Temple of the Radiant Yellow and Golden RectanglesZoom.

Kaleidoscope based on: Temple of the Radiant Yellow by Richard Anuszkiewicz

Richard Anuszkiewicz (born May 23, 1930, Erie, Pennsylvania) is an American artist. He is considered a major force in the Op Art movement.
Click the figure below to see the interactive illustration.

Kaleidoscope based on: Temple of the Radiant Yellow by Richard AnuszkiewiczZoom.

Richard Anuszkiewicz (1930) Index

Richard Anuszkiewicz (born May 23, 1930, Erie, Pennsylvania) is an American artist. He is considered a major force in the Op Art movement.
Click the figure below to see the Index.

Richard Anuszkiewicz (1930)Zoom.

A conversation with Richard Anuszkiewicz at SAMA, Video

The San Antonio Museum of Art presents "Artist Conversations" between David S. Rubin, The Brown Foundation Curator of Contemporary Art, and Richard Anuszkiewicz.
Click the figure below to see the video.

A conversation with Richard Anuszkiewicz at SAMA, VideoZoom at: A conversation with Richard Anuszkiewicz at SAMA, Video.

Wikileaks quote fun quiz thingy

Which South American President yesterday said the following about the quality of information relayed to the USA by its ambassadors abroad and revealed by Wikileaks? 

"The poor ambassadors they send here have a very limited capacity and this is why afterwards they end up bombing a country (and) looking for weapons of mass destruction that don't exist."
"They told me there was an atomic bomb in Iraq, (but) it was all rumours. This has cost Mr Tony Blair, who believed the rumours, very dearly."
 Was it:

a) Hugo Chávez
b) Alan García
c) Rafael Correa
d) Lula da Silva
e) Evo Morales
f) Cristina Fernandez
The answer is here, so guess first and click second.

The Friday OT: Robert Earl Keene; Merry Christmas from the Family

The best Christmas song ever.

Kyle over at the now defunct Trend&Value introduced me to this tune and now there can be no other. If you know the song, kick back and enjoy it again (because you know you will). If this is your first time, prepare for a wonderslice of real life Christmas.
Carve the turkey, turn the ball game on.

A media agenda for Venezuela? Surely Not!

Part of the daily routine at IKN Nerve Centre™ is to check on news stories doing the rounds in the region and to help that along, your humble scribe has a Google News widget that separates news stories by country. It's always Spanish language reports, but for some unknown reason this morning the whole Google feature had lapsed into English language (I have no idea why...first time ever).

Anyway, one shrugs one's shoulders and gets on with it. As usual I skimmed across the various country buttons such as Brazil...
Bogota – Brazil and the International Committee of the Red Cross agreed to provide logistical support for the planned release of five Colombian public ...
Fox News View related stories »
...which had the usual mix of bizstuff, a bit of Lula-talk, political bits and bobs etc. And so it continued with Peru....
BY KIMBER SOLANA • • December 24, 2010 About a dozen Salinas High School students will welcome the New Year in Peru by working ...
The Salinas Californian
...and its general, newsworthy infromative mix, then to Colombia....
Bogota – Brazil and the International Committee of the Red Cross agreed to provide logistical support for the planned release of five Colombian public ...
Fox News View related stories »

...and the same kind of thing, even Paraguay...

By PEDRO SERVIN AP ASUNCION, Paraguay -- The Paraguayan government worked closely with the DEA earlier this year to expand its capacity to spy on cell phone ...
Washington Post

...and Bolivia got the same type of journalistic, no-nonsense information-first headlines that keep you up to date with things happening in the country.
(RTTNews) - Latest in a trend of growing Latin American political support for the Palestinian people, Bolivia recognized Palestine as a "free and ...
RTT News View related stories »

But then I clicked on the Venezuela button:
by Anna Mahjar-Barducci Due to the Venezuelan flood emergency that resulted in more than 130000 homeless nationwide, the Parliament gave President Hugo ...
Hudson New York View related stories »

Notice anything different about the coverage, folks? This was all a bit of an eye-opener to me, because I usually get the Google news service piping me Spanish language reports and features which never hold this amount of obvious media bias. For sure they'll cover the polemic issues out of Venezuela, but there's no obsession on Chávez, pseudo-human rights issues and general vitriol towards the country, because Venezuela has all its own business, political and social affairs worthy of report and comment. In Spanish language reports, headlines will tell you what to expect in the report, they don't immediately try to enforce an image that's been built up around a country. 

No wonder you guys get South American affairs so wrong.

A chart of the GDP of Latin American countries

Here, with data from the CIA factbook, are the GDPs of all mainland states of Latin America as measured in 2009 and in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms in US Dollars.

This is to remind certain bloggers with more strength in academia than economics that countries such as Uruguay and Costa Rica count their GDPs in the billions, not millions. Let's just hope a Texan doesn't take offence at being labelled an academic ;-)

Chart of the day is....

..crude oil, monthlies.
Because today I read that crude hit a 27 month high. You'll note it'll have to jump $10 or so and get over $100/bbl in order to make that a 28 month high. By the way, I watched Wall Street Money Never Sleeps (aka WallSt2) last night. Apart from a decent acting display by Douglas, not much to recommend. Certainly not a patch on the original.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Problem 555: Parallel lines, Angles, Sum

Geometry Problem
Click the figure below to see the complete problem 555.

 Problem 555: Parallel lines, Angles, Sum.
Level: High School, SAT Prep, College geometry

Problem 554: Concave Quadrilateral, Angles, Sum

Geometry Problem
Click the figure below to see the complete problem 554.

 Problem 554: Quadrilateral, Angles, Sum.
Level: High School, SAT Prep, College geometry

Problem 553: Quadrilateral, Angles, Sum

Geometry Problem
Click the figure below to see the complete problem 553.

 Problem 553: Quadrilateral, Angles, Sum.
Level: High School, SAT Prep, College geometry