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© 2003-04 Charles Mingus III Click Spiral To Go to A Portfolio
© Copyright 2003 by Career Communications Group, Inc.
Subject: Invisible Black Man Date: Fri, 02 Apr 2004 14:31:33 -0500 :
Dr. Mark Dean "America's High Tech "Invisible Man"
High-tech's 'Invisible Man'
Jan 17, 2004, 12:07 By Tyrone D. Taborn
You may not have heard of Dr. Mark Dean. And you aren't alone.
But almost everything in your life has been affected by his work.
See, Dr. Mark Dean is a Ph.D. from Stanford University. He is in
the National Hall of Inventors. He has more than 30 patents pending.
He is a vice president with IBM. Oh, yeah. And he is also the
architect of the modern-day personal computer.
Dr. Dean holds three of the original nine patents on the computer
that all PCs are based upon. And, Dr. Mark Dean is an African
So how is it that we can celebrate the 20th anniversary of the
IBM personal computer without reading or hearing a single word
Given all of the pressure mass media are under about negative
portrayals of African Americans on television and in print, you
would think it would be a slam dunk to highlight someone like
Somehow, though, we have managed to miss the shot. History is
cruel when it comes to telling the stories of African Americans. Dr.
Dean isn't the first Black inventor to be overlooked. Consider John
Stanard, inventor of the refrigerator, George Sampson, creator of
the clothes dryer, Alexander Miles and his elevator, Lewis Latimer
and the electric lamp.
All of these inventors share two things:
One, they changed the landscape of our society; and, two, society
relegated them to the footnotes of history. Hopefully, Dr. Mark
Dean won't go away as quietly as they did. He certainly shouldn't.
Dr. Dean helped start a Digital Revolution that created people
like Microsoft's Bill Gates and Dell Computer's Michael Dell.
Millions of jobs in information technology can be traced back directly
to Dr. Dean.
More important, stories like Dr. Mark Dean's should serve as
inspiration for African-American children. Already victims of
the "Digital Divide" and failing school systems, young, Black kids
might embrace technology with more enthusiasm if they knew
someone like Dr. Dean already was leading the way.
Although technically Dr. Dean can't be credited with creating the
computer -- that is left to Alan Turing, a pioneering 20th-century
English mathematician, widely considered to be the father of
modern computer science -- Dr. Dean rightly deserves to take a
bow for the machine we use today.
The computer really wasn't practical for home or small business
use until he came along, leading a team that developed the interior
architecture (ISA systems bus) that enables multiple devices,
such as modems and printers, to be connected to personal
In other words, because of Dr. Dean, the PC became a part of our
daily lives. For most of us, changing the face of society would have
been enough. But not for Dr. Dean. Still in his early forties, he has a
lot of inventing left in him.
He recently made history again by leading the design team responsible
for creating the first 1-gigahertz processor chip. It's just another huge
step in making computers faster and smaller. As the world congratulates
itself for the new Digital Age brought on by the personal computer, we
need to guarantee that the African-American story is part of the hoopla
surrounding the most stunning technological advance the world has
We cannot afford to let Dr. Mark Dean become a footnote in
He is well worth his own history book.
© Copyright 2003 by Career Communications Group, Inc. Reprinted from November 2001, US Black Engineer & IT magazine
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Every thing & I do mean every thing on this website is under the banner
"They saved Hitler's brain" either becaus it is or coresponds to that concept.
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Orwellianism take your pick. I wouldn't follow a person capable of such blatant fraud, its not the war I feared; Its a stupendously
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The site of the day
This guy is poised to threaten all of the tin pot dictators with reverse terror
now almost any one can afford threaten the "loved ones of the terrorist with vendetta!
Watch him build one for under $5,000 Last Updated: 8 December, 2003
US military personnel who acknowledge that the threat is one they are very much aware of and for which
there is little in the way of an effective defense available.
However, there have also been a number of people who claim I'm overstating the case and
that it's not possible to build a real cruise missile without access to sophisticated gear,
specialist tools and information not readily available outside the military.
So, in order to prove my case, I decided to put my money where my mouth is and build a
cruise missile in my own garage, on a budget of just US$5,000.
I like to think of this project as the military version of "Junkyard Wars".
"It should be noted however, that the DIY Cruise Missile version of this craft documented on
this site will not use an X-Jet engine but instead rely on a traditional pulsejet design for
which there is much design information already in the public domain. "
Obviously the goal of this website is not to provide terrorists or other nefarious types with
the plans for a working cruise missile but to prove the point that nations need to be
prepared for this type of sophisticated attack from within their own borders.
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The Dollar Could be Headed for Hard Times if OPEC Switches to the Euro (March 2001)
And the winner is......
The Capital Group
... Châteauneuf-du-Pape 1990 £ 325.00 Château la Nerthe, Rhône France. ...
La Tâche Grand Cru 1969 £ 3,700.00 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Burgundy France. ...
© 2002 Aaron Brown
Here we are in Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Notice the difference in terrain compared
to Bandol and Provence--we're back to sunny, more arid lands with stony, rocky soil.
Tue Apr 23 2002 03:23:00 PM
Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - View as HTML
... Hartford $1,500 $1,000 1931 1 – 1.5 Liter Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape,
1993 1 ... Rousseau Donated by A Friend of CPBI $900 $575 1969 1 – 750ml ...
Sale Title FINE AND RARE WINES
Location Amsterdam Sale Date Mar 18, 2004
Lot Number 940 Sale Number 2614
Lot Title Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Domaine de Beaucastel--Vintage 1969
Estimate 700 - 900 Euros
Price Realized 977.50 Euros
Special Notice '' + '' (Wine sales only): 19.0% VAT applies to both the hamme
r price and the Buyer's Premium.
The amount payable including VAT is calculated for each lot as 136.850% of the
hammer price up to a value of 110,000 plus 130.9% of any amount in excess of 110,000.
Lot Description RARE BEAUCASTEL
Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Domaine de Beaucastel--Vintage 1969
Rhône. Domaine-bottled: Perrin Excellent appearance. Levels: eight 3 cms
below the corks or better, one 3.5 cms and one 4 cms
10 bottles per lot
THE CAPITAL HOTEL, 22 BASIL STREET, LONDON SW3 1AT
Tel: +44 (0)20 7589 5171 Fax: +44 (0)20 7225 0011
Please ensure you have an up to date list, as occasionally vintages and prices can be subject to change at short notice.
* rare wines are cellared in limited quantities.
Magnums (2 bottles)
Châteauneuf-du-Pape 1995 £ 220.00
Château la Nerthe, Rhône France
Châteauneuf-du-Pape 1990 £ 325.00
Château la Nerthe, Rhône France
Jean-Marie Royer is a young man with a passion for producing the essence of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. His
family has been making wine in Châteauneuf-du-Pape since the late 18th century. Jean-Marie's father died
when he was just 2 years old and the family's land was rented for others to cultivate the vines. In 1985, having finished his viticulture schooling, Jean-Marie was ready to return to the family vineyards to realize his dream.
His wines are examples of extraordinary depth and concentration. In the way of a purist, he doesn't age his
wines in oak.
“This estate was a new discovery on my trip to Châteauneuf-du-Pape. A superb trilogy of traditionally made offerings with considerable power, richness and aging potential has been fashioned by proprietor Jean-Marie Royer. The style is reminiscent of Domaine du Pegau and Henri Bonneau. I was unable to determine if Royer exports his wines to America, but quality importers should be checking out this estate.”
Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Hommage â Mon Père, 2001
Few houses even produce an Hommage â Mon Père, and when they do, it's only in the very best vintages.
In 2001 Jean-Marie joined this special group and released his first bottling of such an impressive cuvee.
This stunning wine is made from only the strictest selection of grapes from his oldest vines which are then
aged in barrel for two years. Here is what Robert Parker said of the wine:
“The 2001 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Hommage â Mon Père comes across like Henri Bonneau's Reserve des Celestins. It possesses an Amarone/late harvest-like character with notes of asphalt, blackberries, super-
ripe cherries, roasted meats and beef blood. This intense, full-bodied, dense, deep ruby/purple-colored 2001 possesses an artisanal style, but is neither rustic nor uncivilized. It is powerful, rich, concentrated, and ...
very serious stuff! This high octane Châteauneuf requires 3-5 years cellaring.”
(91-93) - Robert Parker - The Wine Advocate
$89.95 per bottle 971.46 per case
Temporarily out of stock
Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Cuvée Prestige, 2001
“Revealing less of Châteauneuf du Pape's beef blood/Amarone/animal characteristics, the 2001
Châteauneuf du Pape Cuvee Prestige tastes like pure Grenache. Sweet kirsch liqueur notes intermixed
with raspberries and cherries are offered in a powerful, heady style with high levels of glycerin, an unctuous texture, and a dense, ripe, full-bodied finish that lasts for 50 seconds. My rating may be conservative for this spectacular offering, the wine discovery of the southern Rhône on this trip!”
$45.00 per bottle 486.00 per case PURCHASE
Emeryville, CA 94608
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More About Dr. Mark Dean
DR. MARK DEAN is presently an IBM Fellow & Vice President, Architecture and Design, in the Storage Systems Group. Dr. Dean is responsible for sustaining and enhancing SSG's technologies, methodologies and system functionality to support continued market share growth and customer satisfaction in IBM's storage systems business.
Prior to this Dr. Dean was IBM Fellow and Vice President of Systems in IBM Research. He was responsible for the research and application of systems technologies spanning circuits to operating environments. Key technologies in his research team include cellular systems structures (Blue Gene/L & D), digital visualization, DA tools, Linux optimizations for Pervasive, SMPs & Clusters, Settop Box integration, MXT, S/390 & PowerPC processors, embedded systems research, formal verification methods and high speed low power circuits.
From November 1997 thru January, 1999 Dr. Dean was responsible for the IBM Austin Research Laboratory in Austin, Texas. ARL research activities include high MIPS/milliwatt embedded processors, full system simulation, formal verification, design for manufacturability and system software optimizations. Lab accomplishments included the successful testing of the first 1GHz CMOS microprocessor, design of a high speed DRAM (<5ns latency), ACES EDA tool development, SimOS-PPC, and IBM's first low power embedded processor (EARL).
Throughout his 23 year career with IBM, Mark has held several engineering positions in the area of computer system hardware architecture and design. He has developed all types of computer systems, from embedded systems to supercomputers. He was also chief engineer for the development of the IBM PC/AT, ISA systems bus, PS/2 Model 70 & 80, the Color Graphics Adapter and numerous other subsystems.
Dr. Dean received a BSEE degree from the University of Tennessee in 1979, a MSEE degree from Florida Atlantic University in 1982, and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University in 1992. He has papers published in the IEEE Computer Society Press, MIT Press, and IBM Technical Disclosure Bulletin.
Dr. Dean's most recent awards are: induction as a member of the Natiional Academy of Engineering, IEEE Fellow, the Black Engineer of the Year Award, the NSBE Distinguished Engineer award, induction into the National Inventor's Hall of Fame in Akron, OH and recipient of the Ronald H. Brown American Innovators Award in Washington, DC. Dr. Dean was appointed to IBM Fellow in 1995, IBM's highest technical honor. Only 55 out of 310,000 IBM employees have the level of IBM Fellow. Mark is also a member of the IBM Academy of Technology. Mark has received several academic and IBM awards, including thirteen Invention Achievement Awards and six Corporate Awards. He also has more than 30 patents or patents pending.
... Mark Dean. Vice President and IBM Fellow Systems Research, Dr. Mark Dean is presently an IBM Fellow and Vice President of Systems in IBM Research. ...
... Dr. Mark Dean is an engineer who has played a leading role in the development of the personal computer-which has spearheaded the technological revolution in ...
... Dr. Mark Dean, African American Inventor You may not have heard of Dr. Mark Dean. And you aren't alone. ... See, Dr. Mark Dean is a Ph.D. from Stanford University. ...
... America's Hi-Tech "Invisible Man" By Tyrone D. Taborn. You may not have heard of Dr. Mark Dean. ...
See, Dr. Mark Dean is a Ph.D. from Stanford University. ...
Mine-sniffing rats are the sole focus of Apopo, a Flemish
acronym for "product development geared toward the demining
of antipersonnel mines." The group is the brainchild of Mr.
Weetjens' brother Bart; a college friend, Christophe Cox;
and a University of Antwerp professor, Mic Billet, now Apopo's
The three decided in the late 1990's that so-called biosenso
animals with great noses were the future of land-mine
detection, but that there must be creatures better suited for
the task than dogs.
With a grant from the Belgian government, they began hunting
for an animal with a dog's sense of smell, but none of its
drawbacks. They approached Ron Verhagen, the head of the
university's biology department, for help. "And that," Mr.
Weetjens said, "is where rats came along."
Specifically, along came Cricetomys gambianus, also known
as the Gambian and African giant pouched rat. Up to 30
inches long, it thrives in most of sub-Saharan Africa, lives
up to eight years in captivity and is "savage" in the wild,
Mr. Weetjens says, but so docile when bred that some people
keep them as pets.
Each rat gets to sweep a 10-by-10-meter square of land on
which two defused mines or TNT scents have been hidden.
Finding the mine or scent earns a click and a bite of banana
or peanuts. Failure generally earns a second try. Some rats
try to game the system, scratching the earth randomly in hopes
of getting free treats. But the trainers feed them and sound
a click to signal success only when they scratch the right spots.
Joao Silva for The New York Times
trainer removes a harness
from a Gambian giant pouched
rat after it located a land mine.
Joao Silva for The New York Times
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Japanese businessman builds own machine to make world landmine-free
Sun Mar 28, 9:22 PM ET
MINAMI-ALPS, Japan, (AFP) - When Kiyoshi Amemiya first saw the gruesome effects of
landmines while on a business trip to Cambodia in 1994 he was, like most other visitors
before him, deeply shocked
The successful businessman returned to Japan but the images of mine victims with mutilated limbs were seared indelibly into his brain. So he resolved to do something. Ameniya, now 57, had no experience of weaponry or warfare. All he had were the resources of the company he runs, which distributes construction machinery made by a subsidiary of industrial giant Hitachi in central Japan.
Ten years on, he is the inventor of the country's first anti-personnel landmine disposal machine, and is helping clear the deadly invisible enemy from Afghanistan (news - web sites) to Nicaragua.
"It was just too shocking," he told AFP in an interview at his office, thinking back to his experience in Cambodia, one of the world's most heavily mined countries."I saw women and children with missing arms and legs and many had severe facial burns. Although I knew nothing about landmines then, I was determined to do something about it". In 1995, Amemiya, president of Yamanashi Hitachi Construction Machinery, set up a six-member project team within the company to begin the development of a mine clearing machine. What they came up with was, essentially, a converted mechanical digger. Amemiya said he made the mine clearer by adapting Hitachi Construction's hydraulic excavator, putting a drum bristling with blades in place of the bucket on the hydraulic arm and strengthening the cab against blasts. "The most difficult part was creating steel 'teeth' that could resist the 1,000-degree heat from a mine explosion. It took us four to five years to make the strong cutters," the soft-spoken president said. The team attached 40 such digging blades around a steel drum and fitted it to the hydraulic arm. By lowering the arm to the ground in front of the vehicle rotating the drum, the machine sets off anti-personnel mines and can withstand up to 10,000 explosions. "
It is 100 times faster than removing landmines by hand," he said, adding it cost the company 100 million yen (943,000 US dollars) to develop the machine. Amemiya has donated a total of 36 machines to Afghanistan, Cambodia, Nicaragua, Thailand and Vietnam through the United Nations (news - web sites) and local non-governmental organizations, paid for with profits from the company's commercial operations."In Cambodia and Vietnam, mined areas are often covered in dense trees and bushes, but our blades can cut them before disposing of the landmines," he said. "For Afghanistan, we made the blades strong enough to resist sand and rocks while in Nicaragua we had to adjust the blades so that they could work in mud." The machine has a one-man cab, protected by special tempered glass but it can also be operated by remote control. After the mine explodes, the metal fragments are collected with a magnet and the machine can also plow the ground and even sprinkle fertilizer. The mine clearer's reputation for doing its vital task well eventually reached the Indian Defense Ministry, which asked to buy it, with the US Defense Department also inquiring about it.
But Amemiya rejected both offers. "I have no business with the military," he said. In December
2003, Amemiya developed an upgraded machine capable of clearing anti-tank landmines,
with government help worth 56 million yen for the first time. The new machine, which also
features a mine detector, has a pivot with 42 chains attached. Each chain ends in a two-
kilogram (4.4-pound) steel cube. Once the pivot rolls, the chains and the cubes flail the ground,
blowing up anti-tank mines. The company is to ship the new machine to Afghanistan at the
end of this month and Amemiya is scheduled to visit the country in June to instruct Afghan mine clearers in using it. An estimated five to seven million mines are scattered throughout
Afghanistan, according to the United Nations -- while an estimated 110 million landmines are
strewn in more than 70 countries, killing and maiming 20,000 each year. "The Afghan people
are working very hard. Their enthusiasm keeps me going," Amemiya said, adding his next
goal was to create a machine that clears unexploded ordnance.He said some 10 to 20
percent of bombs dropped are estimated to have failed to explode."Clearing unexploded
ordnance is extremely difficult and dangerous for local mine clearers. But I'm already working
on it and I am tenacious. I will not give up on clearing landmines from the world," Amemiya
Japanese businessman builds own machine to make world landmine-free
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FYI & or And Species (sapiens) Prerogative
Meet the Minimum Needs of "All" One cancels
or does the trick of the other...Ha ha! Hubris...
SouthamptonPress Meet the Minimum Needs of All
By M. Radh Achuthan
We could meet the “Minimum Needs of All’ (MMNA) through restitution
and a “Restorative Justice Compact” between the Rich and the Poor.
The minimum needs are:
— Sufficient drinking water for each per day.
— Nutrition of 2,500 calories per day, per person.
— Localized basic clothing and shelter
— Basic primary health care.
— Substantive primary education of five years duration, in practice.
In our world population of about six billion, 2.9 billion live on less
than $3 or Euros per day, and 1.3 billion within that population live on less
than $1 or 1 Euro per day. The 2.9 billion may be designated as The Poor; they
live mainly in ?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns =
"urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /Africa, Latin America,
South Asia and China. The discussion that follows applies to the
population of 2.9 billion people who live on less than $3 per day as
First, what has been done to remove poverty at these levels in the 21st
century? People have been concerned, and their concern is reflected in
certain developments. During 2002, powerful world institutions such as
United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and the World
Trade Organization arrived at “The Millennium Development Compact”
(MDC), which intends to remove the dire poverty of the 1.3 billion
who live on less than $1 per day by the year 2015. Even if all the
conditions of the MDC were met, it is unlikely that the MDC will unfold
as expected, since only the economic incentive within the politics of time
(enabling the Poor to become consumers makes business sense in the long
run) has been advanced to fuel the MDC.
What is missing but vaguely implied and necessary is an ethical compact between
the groups identified as the Rich and the Poor, to realize restitution and restoration
at these levels of justice, so far unrealized in human society within the politics of
eternity. This ethical component to remove dire poverty, and in addition to meet the
minimum needs of all, has yet to be crafted.
Second, spiritually, human beings have been working toward this end, and in the
21st century, after the lessons of World War I and the Cold War of the 20th century,
we may sense we are almost there. We may wonder whether the groupings Rich and
Poor exist in an organized manner. The Rich are identified and organized; the Poor
are identified but have little representation.
Based on their material resources, both groups are armed, unequally, of
course, and for different reasons. Any form of violence from either side in
the pursuit of social justice is to be abhorred and will not lead to a solution.
The pursuit must be elevated to a higher ethical and a deeper spiritual
But what human resources can we rely on to achieve restitution, and to
elevate the Rich and the Poor to these levels of human potential?
We could easily familiarize ourselves with the facts, contend and agree
upon the truth, and understand and reconcile on the steps that were taken
historically, since we are used to these activities in civil society.
We can then call upon our spirituality ‘to make things right’ through
restitution and restorative justice, the best we can, after nonviolent negotiation.
The outcome will no doubt fall short, as the descendents of those who have
suffered and/or died in this context will readily acknowledge.
Third, though no two situations are alike, historically there is good
evidence that the process can work:
— Konrad Adenauer, chancellor of West Germany, got the
Bundestag to agree to provide restitution to the survivors of
the Holocaust in terms of support for Israel in 1950. He
committed Germans to pay about $1.2 billion to Israel and
the Holocaust survivors, though, without
acknowledging any “responsibility,”
— In 1970, Chancellor Willy Brandt, took the process a step
further, absorbing some “moral responsibility” on the part of the
Third Reich,and Germans in general, for the Holocaust.
— In the 1980s, the U.S. government made provision for restitution for
Japanese American citizens who were interred in camps after Pearl
— In the 1980s, Japan acknowledged some responsibility for the Korean
“Comfort Women” operation during WWII for the benefit of the Japanese
soldiers and offered restitution to survivors.
— Free under Nelson Mandela and Bishop Tutu, in the 1990s, South
Africa formed a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to enable all South
Africans to come to terms with the deeds against “coloreds” by the
departed Apartheid government of South Africa.
— Beyond the civil rights legislation, restitution for American blacks
on the past institution of slavery is under consideration and yet to be agreed
— The North American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, in 1990,
reclassified Indian remains from “specimen” to human,” to enable
restitution of human remains (nearly 600,000) to American Indians,
which is currently underway; much headway has been made with regard to
restitution of sacred objects, and on restitution of land, negotiations
— The original inhabitants of New Zealand, the Maoris, have come to
some satisfactory terms with the British Crown on their claims.
— The Aborigines of Australia continue to press their claims with the
government of Australia.
The above achievements of the spirit represent the recent political
mood on restitution and restorative justice in the world on matters of diverse
origin where the human spirit has found itself culpable.
Fourth, acknowledging the wealth and capabilities of the world in the
21st century, and the ability to disseminate through the media the chilling
disparity in distribution and consumption levels of global produce and
resources among the different global populations, restorative justice
between the Rich of the world and the Poor of the world, in terms of
MMNA, as a form of redress for the past victimization of one part of
the human enterprise by another part of the history of colonialism, can and
must be placed on the spiritual/political agenda for resolution.
The current global opposition and ambivalence to the propriety of
approaches like “Shock and Awe” to impress consciousness and subdue
spirituality provides an opening for the forces of spirituality to
access the table on restitution.
Firth, spiritually, MMNA will be about and around the identity of
economic humanity—the economic human identity of the individual. Who
owns it? Is there a threshold? If so, imposed by whom? Was it a
self-appointment? A group appointment? Where did the sanction for
separation on this identity in secular life among human beings come
Did the human spirit authorize it? Was it of necessity? Was it of
choice? Is it necessary today?
Sixth, there is a need for a strong pan-poverty movement of the Poor
that calls for the transfer of those held Poor into economic humanity. The
Poor are strong in their spiritual human identity and in the process of
realizing MMNA each group will be enhanced somewhat in what it is lacking.
The Restorative Justice Compact would negotiate around economic human
identity to realize these potential enhancements. The Rich will benefit
spiritually, in ceasing to keep People Poor and become more wholesome;
the pan-wealthy who set up and own the system must come to understand
this aspect and commit themselves to the redefinition of economic human
identity to facilitate MMNA. This type of restorative justice is yet to
be negotiated into a compact.
In having inherited or participated in bringing about the current
social condition, there is group social guilt, which is a powerful political
tool in all cultures. About 35,200 human beings die each day of hunger and
malnutrition, and global consciousness (that of the Rich and of the
Poor) may not play hide and seek on the question of responsibility any more.
MDC is a good beginning and it can lead to MMNA. In all this, Charity
is not involved at all. Charity is a great restorative attitude and action
as a problem gets initially identified, but it is not an appropriate response
for one like poverty, which historically is created and maintained through
one’s own complicity in the economic structure, and historically endured by
other human beings different from the self but aiding the self as a part of
one’s own system!
Seventh, when consciousness prevaricates from addressing the economic
human identity of nearly half the global population, elements of the
deprived group, in frustration and ill advisedly, turn to acts of
violence, as in 9/11, expressing their grievances directly to the people of the
First World. We condemn violence and uphold nonviolence as the only
approach for resolution of grievances, and make an urgent call for a
Global Truth and Reconciliation Commission on economic human identity.
Meeting the Minimum Needs of All (MMNA), through restitution, is the
proposed stable solution.
The help facilitate the process of restitution, it is desirable to get
First World children of the pan-wealthy in developed developing countries to
be concerned about and involved with the issue of global poverty. It is
undesirable to get them alienated from their less fortunate pan-poor
brothers and sisters, through demands on their time, energy and
ambition to participate in wasteful consumption. Hence the suggestion of July
28, 2003, to the North American Human Rights Education listserv of 3,000,
to make issues of global poverty a part of public school human rights
Thereafter, let the youngsters choose, even as we do.
Mr. M. Radh Achuthan, a resident of Southampton, is a professor of
physics in the Natural Science Division at Southampton College.
Issue Date: Southampton Press 09/25/03
Copyright 2003 The Southampton Press
Copyright © 2004, Newsday, Inc.
Turning garbage into oil -- and cash
BY DAN FAGIN
Brian Appel will be the first one to tell you that selling chocolate, theater
tickets and perfume was a lot simpler than saving the world by turning turkey
parts into oil.
"When I first explain it to people, they think I'm nuts. I'm telling you, they think
I'm nuts," said the 45-year-old West Hempstead entrepreneur whose latest
venture is a local company that is getting nationwide attention with an
astonishing technology that can transform almost anything -- from tires to
turkeys -- into high-quality petroleum.
Appel and his financial backers have bet more than $66 million that the
modern-day alchemy practiced by Changing World Technologies Inc. will
revolutionize the way the world deals with its waste, reduce dependence on
foreign oil, fight the spread of mad cow disease and even ease global warming.
Not bad for a 25-person company that Appel, who has no scientific training,
runs from the top floor of a Hempstead Avenue china shop owned by his wife, Doreen.
The idea is, instead of having to pay someone to burn, bury or dump household garbage, medical
waste, worn-out computers, animal parts, sewage sludge and all sorts of other carbon-based wastes,
companies can use Changing World's patented process to convert their cast-offs into valuable fuels,
industrial oils and fertilizer.
How? The same way Mother Nature does the job deep inside the Earth: with intense heat and
Speeding up Mother Nature
The difference is that it takes millions of years for the buried remains of plants, dinosaurs and other
organic matter to break down into crude oil and natural gas.
Changing World Technologies gets it done in less than three hours and ends up with purer products.
Now the company's bold claim that it can turn a profit by turning garbage into oil is getting its first
full-scale test in a small town at the edge of the Ozark Mountains.
In the last few weeks, a brand-new $31 million factory in Carthage, Mo., has begun taking in
truckloads of bones, feathers, blood and guts from a nearby Butterball turkey-processing plant. The
unique garbage-to-oil facility is a joint venture between Changing World and Omaha-based ConAgra
foods, which owns Butterball.
At the experimental factory, which can handle up to 250 tons of animal waste per day, the turkey parts
are mixed with leftover restaurant grease and with lots of water. The sticky, smelly mixture then runs a
gauntlet of grinders, boilers, and separation tanks. Along the way, the mixture is heated up twice -- to
about 500 and 1,000 degrees, respectively, and subjected to air pressures 50 times greater than what
we feel on the Earth's surface.
The end results
For every ton of turkey slop that goes in, what comes out at the end are 640 pounds of clean-burning
oils that are sold for use in fuels and manufacturing, 100 pounds of propane, butane and methane gases
that are burned at the factory site to generate the electricity that powers the garbage-to-fuel process,
and 60 pounds of solid minerals that are sold as fertilizer. Because each type of raw material -- tires,
plastics or sewage, for example -- produces different grades and quantities of oil and gas, the company
prefers to limit the process to one kind of garbage at a time.
Incredibly, the only "waste" that's left behind is distilled water. There are no smokestacks bellowing
chemical-laden smoke, and no pipes discharging fetid wastewater. Plus, the plant produces more than
enough fuel gases to power itself without using any additional energy.
"It's way too soon to know how successful they'll be, there's some real excitement out there" about the
company, said Dan Reicher, who was in charge of renewable energy programs at the Department of
Energy during the Clinton administration. He now runs a Massachusetts-based company that develops
clean energy projects.
"This technology," Reicher added, "could be a real game-changer."
Changing World Technologies is just one of hundreds of small, start-up "biomass" companies all over
the world experimenting with high-tech processes to extract energy from plants and animals. People
have been getting energy from biomass ever since the first bonfire, and today biomass provides about 4
percent of the nation's energy, mostly through the burning of wood or garbage.
But many of the recent attempts to ratchet up the use of biomass through better technology haven't
gotten off the drawing board because they're more expensive than conventional oil and gas production,
or because they make fuel products no one wants.
'The next big thing'
Changing World, however, has managed to break out of the pack by building a commercial facility that
is actually making quality fuel that can be sold at a profit, according to Appel.
It all sounds too good to be true. And that's exactly the problem Appel faces in selling the world on his
company's "thermal conversion" technology.
Although Discover, Money and Scientific American magazines have all written wildly enthusiastic
stories about the company recently -- Money called it "The Next Big Thing" -- competitors and
independent researchers point out that Changing World Technologies has released very little
information about the details of its patented process.
"You have to remember that people have been pressure-cooking different types of biomass for a long
time now, and we really haven't seen these kinds of breakthroughs," said Ralph Overend, a leading
authority in the bio-energy field and a research fellow at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in
"People always stay skeptical until they can see the real data," added Overend, editor of the academic
journal Biomass & Bioenergy.
Appel said the company's focus has been on building the Missouri plant, not on publishing scientific
papers that he worries could tip off potential competitors.
Skeptics also wonder about the project's profitability, and whether it can truly compete with traditional
oil drillers and refiners.
Appel acknowledges that producing a barrel of oil through thermal conversion costs about 50 percent
more than doing it by conventional refining. But he said costs are falling as the technology improves and
that the Missouri plant is currently operating at a "small profit" because it's selling the oil and fertilizer it
produces. If the price of oil keeps rising, he said, so will profits. Plus, he said, ConAgra no longer has
to pay anyone to take away its turkey waste, which had been used as an ingredient in animal feed until
the new waste-to-oil plant opened.
Some critics also question the company's assertion that thermal conversion works just as well with
other types of wastes as it does with animal parts that are rich in fat. The company says its small-scale
tests show it works efficiently with almost any carbon-based material, from plastics to hazardous waste,
because they can all be broken down into the same essential components: oils, gases and minerals.
In fact, according to Appel, the Carthage facility is working so well that Changing World is already in
advanced negotiations with food-processing companies to build even larger plants in Colorado,
Alabama, and Parma, Italy, to use slaughterhouse waste from cows, chickens and pigs, respectively, to
Longer-term plans including building a tire-processing facility in North Carolina or Pennsylvania, and
building a factory in Philadelphia to process sewage sludge from humans.
In five years, Appel said, he expects to be operating 10 large plants.
And a decade from now? "There will be thousands."
Son of a handyman
The man behind Changing World Technologies is a gifted salesman who got rich -- he won't say how
rich -- by capitalizing on a series of remarkable opportunities in his life, and who now says his mission is
to "clean up the mess that the world is in ... I call myself God's janitor."
The son of a handyman, Appel lived in Huntington as a young boy. His parents divorced when he was
10 and his mother married a wealthy real-estate investor, moving to a five-acre estate in Old
Brookville. Soon after, his biological father drowned in an accident and Brian Garvey, the spackler's
son, became Brian Appel of the Gold Coast.
Appel never felt comfortable in affluent Old Brookville and he didn't get along with his stepfather. "It
was a respectful relationship, but not close at all," he said. At times, Appel seemed so unhappy that his
basketball coach at North Shore High School, Carm Girolamo, even considered inviting Appel to move
in with Girolamo's family, the now-retired coach recalled.
Appel didn't move out, but spent his teenage years riding his bike to Planting Fields Arboretum to draw
sketches of trees and playing pickup basketball with tougher kids from Glen Cove. A gifted shooter,
the 6-foot-5 Appel averaged 31 points per game his senior year at North Shore -- which he says was
the highest average in the state that year -- and received an athletic scholarship to Hofstra University,
where as a freshman he played on the team that went 23-7 and qualified for the 1977 NCAA
Salesman of the year
Nagging injuries eventually hobbled his basketball career, but he remains a fervent booster, giving
summer jobs to Hofstra players such as Speedy Claxton, who now plays in the NBA.
"He was always a smooth guy, but not a snob at all," said his former coach at Hofstra, Roger Gaeckler,
who now works as an investment adviser and has been watching Appel's company with interest. "He
could wind up being an immensely wealthy man if this works out, but I don't think it will affect him. He's
just a very unique kind of guy."
After graduating with a B average and a liberal arts degree, Appel took a job as a sales representative
for Russell Stover Candies, winning its Salesman of the Year Award in 1981. The following year, on a
snowy night at LaGuardia Airport, Appel offered to drive home an older gentleman he had just met on
The man was show-business entrepreneur Joseph Z. Nederlander, and he was so impressed by the
gesture -- and by Appel -- that Nederlander called him a few months later and offered him a job with a
new Nederlander venture that was experimenting with the then-novel concept of using computers to sell
tickets over the phone.
By the time that very successful company, Ticket World USA, merged with TicketMaster in 1985,
Appel was its executive vice president. He left with a severance package and was on to a new venture
suggested by a new patron: a Revlon Inc. executive who appreciated the theater and sports tickets that
Appel would get for him.
"It's funny what happens when you get powerful people their tickets: They want to help you," Appel
The executive, Napoleon Cerminara, suggested that there was money to be made in buying and selling
perfumes and other duty-free merchandise based on fluctuations in European currencies.
Making a change
"It was perfume arbitrage, and it was a very nice business," Appel said. The trading company he
started, Atlantis International, ended up buying the rights to several lines of luxury perfumes, and Appel
prospered. He still owns the company.
By 1997, Appel was feeling an itch to try something new, "something that would make the world a
better place." That's when a friend-of-a-friend introduced him to a quirky Illinois microbiologist who
held a patent for a process that purported to transform almost anything into oil.
The inventor, Paul Baskis, had struggled for a decade to find someone to finance his idea, and at first
Appel wasn't especially impressed by the small group of investors Baskis had assembled. "I was
intrigued from the start, but I just didn't think they'd be able to pull it off," Appel said.
But after thinking about it some more, Appel decided to invest "a few hundred thousand dollars" in the
fledging company called Changing World Technologies -- enough to make him the largest shareholder.
Soon, however, he was clashing with Baskis over the finances of the tiny company, and they both
describe a nasty falling-out.
A legal settlement eventually awarded Baskis a permanent share of future profits. In return, the
departing inventor agreed not to try to develop a competing technology.
'Back to the drawing board'
For a while, though, there was little reason to think there would ever be any profits to share. Appel said
the first oils produced by small-scale test devices that used Baskis' process were loaded with
impurities, and thus had no value.
"We called them methyl ethyl death -- they were completely worthless," Appel said.
"So we went back to the drawing board and started adding more steps to the process, and we started
to see progress," he said. Appel, the non-scientist, ended up immersing himself in the details of polymer
chemistry; his name is listed first on three pending patents the company filed after Baskis left.
After two years of tinkering, the quality of the oils improved, and by 1999 Appel and his growing
company were building a research-and-development plant at the Philadelphia Navy Yard to see
whether thermal conversion would work on a larger scale.
It did, and in 2000 Changing World Technologies formed a joint venture with ConAgra called
Renewable Environmental Solutions to commercialize the technology in its first targeted industry: animal
waste. Construction of its first project, the Carthage plant, was completed earlier this year.
Baskis, a self-described "curmudgeon," still maintains that the post-1997 changes were minor. "It's my
technology, with some sophisticated separation and distillation equipment added," he said in an
Appel "can be the big man if he wants, I really don't care," Baskis added. "He just better send me a
check every month. That's all I care about it."
Small company, big names
The unlikely nerve center of "The Next Big Thing" is the upper floor of the China Connection figurine
shop on Hempstead Avenue, across the street from the Melendez Beauty Salon and Li's Convenience
The company's engineering team works in a converted barn behind the shop, and Appel's three
school-age children sometimes wander into business meetings -- the family lives a block away.
"I don't care about appearances, I don't have to impress anybody," Appel explained. During a recent
interview, he looked crisp in a cobalt-blue Polo dress shirt -- until he stood up to make a point and one
of his shirt tails was hanging out.
His investors, too, are practically an extended family: Most of them are either business associates from
his previous careers or old friends from Hofstra.
The chairman of the university's chemistry department, Rodney Finzel, is a consultant to the company as
well as an investor. Ira Silver, who lived in the same dormitory as Appel and was later his personal
accountant, has raised $16 million from family and friends. Another longtime friend, David Katz,
convinced his business partners to kick in more than $5 million. Appel won't divulge his own
"considerable investment" in Changing World Technologies.
But if the group is homespun, it's also high-powered. Katz is a partner in Sterling Equities, the
real-estate firm that owns the New York Mets. Silver married into the family that owns Max Finkelstein
Inc., the largest independent wholesaler of Goodyear tires in the nation.
Silver, Katz and other investors say that while they believe the waste-to-oil technology has tremendous
potential, what they are really investing in is Appel. "Brian is charismatic, he's the kind of guy who
people just love," said Silver. "He's been successful with anything he's touched. I call him the human can
opener: If he needs to get to someone, he won't stop until he gets to them."
Appel's combination of charisma and persistence has also attracted big names to his company's staff.
Changing World Technologies' president, Alan Libshutz, is a former top executive at Salomon
Brothers, Merrill Lynch and Bear Stearns. Executive vice president Franklin D. Kramer is a former
assistant secretary of defense. And the biggest name of all, former Central Intelligence Agency Director
R. James Woolsey, is a special adviser to the company as well as an investor.
The association with ConAgra has brought in other powerful friends, including Howard Buffett, a
ConAgra board member and son of the famed billionaire investor Warren Buffett.
Appel's well-connected team has helped him raise more than $36 million from private investors and
$30 million from ConAgra, an agribusiness giant with $14.5 billion in annual sales.
Compared to other startup energy companies, Changing World has also shown a knack for landing
grants from government agencies and industry institutes -- more than $15 million so far. A $3.5 million
grant from the industry-funded Gas Research Institute built the company's research facility in the
Philadelphia Navy Yard, and the federal Environmental Protection Agency kicked in $5 million toward
the cost of the Carthage plant.
Thanks to the efforts of the company's Washington lobbyist, John Stinson, an early draft of the omnibus
energy bill Congress debated last year would have provided a bigger bonanza: a tax credit worth about
$5 million for each Carthage-sized plant the company builds. The final version, which passed the House
of Representatives but narrowly failed in the Senate, included a subsidy of $150,000 per plant.
Appel and his wealthy backers don't apologize for seeking government help, saying they're only trying
to compete fairly with much more heavily subsidized processes, especially ethanol fuels synthesized
"There's no reason why our government shouldn't be funding a technology which is going to help
decrease our dependance on foreign oil," said Silver.
What Appel hasn't done is to issue stock and take the company public. Thanks to media coverage, he
said, Changing World has received more than 25,000 unsolicited e-mails from people who have read
about the technology, many of them seeking to invest. Appel has turned them all down, and says he
plans to keep the company private for at least another two or three years, and perhaps much longer.
But that didn't prevent him from getting a phone call from an investigator at the federal Securities and
Exchange Commission last summer, after the story appeared in Discovery magazine. The SEC, the
investigator said, thought Appel might be exaggerating his company's prospects so he could take
Changing World public and make a killing as its stock price soared.
"They thought we were hyping the market. I didn't even know what that term meant. I had a wonderful
conversation with the investigator and that was the end of it," Appel said.
An SEC spokesman, John Heine, said the agency never discusses its investigative activities.
"People think there has to be a Machiavellian plot twist at the end of this movie that says they're going
public, but we're not even considering it," Appel said. "We have all the money we need to do this the
way it needs to be done. We're going to do this the right way, carefully, because if you build this too
fast, I guarantee it's going to collapse. And we're not going to let that happen because this technology is
To find the research and development offices for Changing World Technologies, you take a rutted road
to a far corner of the old Philadelphia Navy Yard, which was sold by the government in 1995 and is
now a sprawling industrial park of rusting ships and small, bleak factories.
From the outside, the company's metal-sided building blends right into the Rust Belt setting. But inside,
it's a different story.
On a recent winter morning, Appel escorted a group of visitors through the plant, gesturing toward the
huge labyrinth of boilers, pipes and wires that dominates the building. Now that the even larger Missouri
plant is up and running, the company has shut down most of the equipment here, using the building for
small-scale testing of new waste materials and to demonstrate the process to potential business
A mad cow cure?
This day's visitors were long-range planners from the U.S. Navy who are intrigued at the idea of
someday building waste-to-oil plants on naval bases and even on ships.
In another corner of the building, a worker was preparing to cut up a salmon and run the fish bits
through a small apparatus bolted onto a table.
The "bench-top" model simulates the thermal conversion process on a very small scale, and the
company uses it to test what kinds of petroleum various types of garbage will produce. The worker
would later move on to test a ground-up mixture of plastic and glass from scrapped cars -- another
potentially lucrative market for the company.
When the roar of a lawn mower engine caught Appel's attention, he motioned his visitors over to
another part of the building used for demonstrations.
"It's running on turkey oil!" Appel shouted over the noise.
Selling the process to potential partners is easier than it used to be, according to Appel, because of
ConAgra's $30 million investment and the recent media attention.
There's another reason why Appel has been entertaining more visitors at the Philadelphia plant: His
technology, he says, can fight mad cow disease.
Mad cow is the common name for bovine spongiform encephalopathy, a disease that infects the brain
tissue of cows and kills them. While experts are still unsure about the risk to humans, outbreaks in
England, Washington state and elsewhere have shown that it can spread readily from animal to animal.
Exactly how it spreads is still a mystery, but a leading theory involves the same slaughterhouse waste
that Appel's process can turn into oil.
Only about 50 percent of an animal carcass, the meatiest parts, are sold as food for humans. The rest,
traditionally, has either been dumped in landfills or trucked to rendering plants.
There are more than 200 of these rendering plants in the United States, and they boil down billions of
pounds of blood, bones and feathers every year, turning the animal parts into a dried protein-rich
material that's used to make tallow, lard, cosmetics, and lubricants. The material's main use, though, is
also the one most troubling to the spread of mad cow: it's a major ingredient in meat-and-bone meal fed
to livestock and pets.
Concerned that some rendering practices could be spreading the disease to cattle that eat infected feed,
the federal government has been imposing tough new restrictions that are prompting some
meat-packing companies to look for alternative ways to get rid of their waste.
"It's an opportunity because our process completely destroys" the infected proteins that cause mad
cow, Appel said.
Environmentalists, who have long decried pollution from "industrial farming", including slaughterhouses,
are intrigued by Changing World's process but also concerned.
They're excited about the opportunity to control problems ranging from mad cow disease to water
pollution. Yet they point out that to make a profit, companies that use Appel's technology will need
easy access to huge volumes of waste, at centralized locations, because trucking waste for long
distances is too expensive.
That means family farms and small slaughterhouses will be at an even bigger competitive disadvantage
than they are already, because their waste is too widely distributed to be sold profitably, they said.
Environmentalists also aren't sure whether they should be cheering the technology's promise of much
cleaner air, or worrying that it could delay a shift away from an oil-based economy to even cleaner
sources of energy.
If it's made from garbage, petroleum suddenly becomes a "renewable" resource that can be produced
without smokestack emissions that contribute to global warming, a chronic problem for oil refiners. And
because the bio-fuel doesn't contain sulfur, ash or dioxin, it's much cleaner than most conventional fuels
when burned in power plants or in engines.
Yet even though it's cleaner, bio-fuel still generates some pollution when it's burned. That bothers
activists who think the United States should be moving away from the use of any petroleum and instead
should be embracing even cleaner technologies such as wind and solar power.
"It's a complicated mess of interacting issues, and it's hard to draw a clear line through it. But the
bottom line is that these animal waste-to-energy technologies have real promise and they need to be
pursued," said Nathanael Greene, a senior policy analyst at the Natural Resources Defense Council, an
Appel acknowledges that, for now, his process only makes financial sense for very large producers of
waste. He said the next few plants Changing World builds will need to handle much more waste than
the 250 tons per day treated in Missouri, in order to be as competitive as possible with conventional oil
Right now, he said, the Carthage facility produces petroleum at the equivalent price of $15 per barrel --
about $5 more than what it costs a small oil company to find, extract and refine petroleum the
Appel said those costs will go down as the plants get larger and more efficient. He talks of a utopia in
which technical breakthroughs will allow even very small waste-to-oil plants to be profitable, thus
spreading the wealth to family farms.
The secret to the technology, he said, is that it doesn't have to be as cheap as traditional oil refining, it
simply needs to make high-quality products at a reasonably competitive price. The biggest savings will
come, he said, because companies won't have to pay high prices to bury their waste in landfills, burn it
in incinerators, or pay renderers to truck it away.
The entire field of biomass energy research is predicated on the same idea, which is why entrepreneurs
are rushing to find better ways to get energy from sources as diverse as discarded sugar cane stalks and
waste from paper mills.
Horse race develops
Some ideas have already managed to find a niche. For instance, most large landfills now include piping
systems that capture methane gas formed by decomposing garbage and burn it to generate electricity.
Thanks to generous government subsidies, dozens of large factories that ferment corn into ethanol are
springing up across the Midwest and supplying fuel to many parts of the country, including New York.
Most biomass schemes, however, have struggled to demonstrate that they can compete financially with
traditional oil and gas exploration.
But experts say that may be changing, as the price of oil rises, the costs of waste disposal increase, and
as governments begin doing more to subsidize alternative energy due to concerns about global warming.
"There's a real horse race going on with regard to the processing of organic materials into energy, and
Changing World Technologies appears to have a very good horse in the race," said Reicher, the former
Clinton administration official.
Appel and his colleagues fervently hope so.
William Lange, the company's director of engineering, remembers the days when the thermal
conversion process was nothing but an idea in Paul Baskis' head. Initially a consultant to Baskis, Lange
was the first man Appel hired when he took control of the company in 1997, and Appel later
persuaded him to move from Illinois to Philadelphia when the navy yard facility was built in 1999.
"I always believed it would work, even way back in the beginning," said Lange. "I look at everything
with rose-colored glasses, and not with a jaundiced eye. We're all big dreamers. Otherwise, we
wouldn't be here."
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