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Goose Down, Humane?
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George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: "Goose Down, Humane?" on 01/30/2010 20:40:08 MST Print View

Value of down vs oil

I saw where someone calculated oil vs gold

I added both vs water

Let's get down to it...

The dimensions of a standard 55 gallon drum are 33.5 inches high and 22.5 inches in diameter.

3.14 * 11.25^2 * 33.5. = 13,313 cubic inches / 1,728 = 7.7 cubic feet.

The Specific Gravity of Gold is 19.3. So 19.3 grams occupy 1 cubic centimeter.

1 Troy ounce is 31.1 grams. To get the volume of 1 Troy oz., 31.1 / 19.3 = 1.61 cubic centimeters.

1 cubic foot = 28,316 cubic centimeters

The drum or 7.7 cubic feet = 218,039.7 cubic centimeters

218,039.7 / 1.61 = 135,428.39 troy ounces x $1,100.00 = $148,971,229

Price of barrel of oil approximately $75

$148,971,229 / $75 = 1,986,283 barrels of oil.

IMO, seems like gold is really high compared to what you could do with the energy of almost 2 million barrels of oil.


My local water cost is $1.24 per 100 cubic feet
or .0124 per cubic foot

7.7 x .0124 = .09548 (about 10 cents per barrel of water) Good deal!

A barrel of gold for water = how many barrels?

$ value of barrel of gold / .09548 = 1,560,235,566 barrels of water

What's wrong with this picture?

Gold is only very valuable because we perceive it to be so.
A barrel of gold can get you about 2 million barrels of oil.
A barrel of gold can get you about 1 1/2 billion barrels of water.

Interesting how life depends on water, but the other two.

Now someone else can figure out how many barrels of DOWN we can get for a barrel of gold. Thanks in advance.

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: "Goose Down, Humane?" on 01/30/2010 20:41:27 MST Print View


Good poem.

John Whynot

Locale: Southeast Texas
Re: Re: "Goose Down, Humane?" on 01/30/2010 20:53:10 MST Print View


A barrel of oil is 42 US gallons...

Joseph Morrison
(sjdm4211) - F

Locale: Smokies
"Goose Down, Humane?" on 01/30/2010 20:54:29 MST Print View

Yes it is. My favorite actually.

Tom Caldwell
(Coldspring) - F

Locale: Ozarks
Petroleum Goose on 01/30/2010 21:11:27 MST Print View

Not only is a barrel of crude 42 gallons but Brent Crude was named after a variety of GOOSE.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: "Goose Down, Humane?" on 01/31/2010 12:49:01 MST Print View

Geesh, I go away for a weekend and look what happens! We've covered religion, carbon flames, population explosion, euthanasia, guns. We've disagreed over what is "alive" and what can be "killed", factory farming, and just about everything else that is controversial except sex...

Some people have commented that, by definition, life means killing. Just this weekend I was contemplating the amazing growth of our little Oyster mushroom farm, and was amazed that such exponential growth was possible just using dead wood, cardboard, straw, autumn leaves killing involved. Then I was reminded of a question I asked a Hari Krishna devotee many moons ago as to whether eating fungus and yeast was considered killing in their religion. They didn't think so (but weren't 100% sure) to this day I figure it must be OK to eat those tasty little morsels. Now I'm not so sure.

I also note most plants manage to live and grow without killing anything. So I basically disagree that to live is to kill.

As others have said, morality and ethics is about drawing a line. Vegetarians draw the line differently to non-vegos, and vegans draw a different line again, fruitatarians draw and even stricter line more in agreement with Miguel's arguments. It does no good to pick a fight with a vegetarian just because they have drawn their line as they see fit, any more than it is to pick a fight with someone who wants ethically harvested down. Personally, I suspect there isn't such a thing as truly ethically harvested down. Live plucking is no doubt uncomfortable and frightening for the bird. The vast majority of birds grown for food are not ethically treated at most stages of their lives, and that leaves eider down harvest as the only other possible source of down, and there's no way this will ever be able to supply the down desires of a bulging planet.

I am also interested to see that the places where Buddhism was born and thrived as a vegan culture just happen to be warm climates. As soon as Buddhism tried to migrate to colder climates, it had to be adapted to allow access to realsitic food supplies and warm bedding and clothing. If the greatest religions in the world can't come up with a single ethical answer, I don't like the chances of this forum solving the issues. However, I DO hope that in future more down suppliers will allow us the information to make our choices based on our own internal moral compass.

Edited by retropump on 01/31/2010 14:58:33 MST.

Jim Sweeney
(swimjay) - MLife

Locale: Northern California
The virtues of discussion on 01/31/2010 14:46:50 MST Print View

We'll all have wildly divergent opinions/life views about the large issues, and honest comparison can give us the opportunity to look at each others' opinions in a non-suppressive way (which amazingly has almost entirely been the case in this thread), but if ever it seems anyone is a bit too rigid, it's good to recall a great quote from Christopher Hitchens, "What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof."

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: "Goose Down, Humane?" on 01/31/2010 16:05:53 MST Print View

"The difference between animals and humans living in squalor is humans have the ability to think "maybe I should not bring another mouth to feed into this world when I and even my community cannot afford to.""

+1, perhaps more...

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: "Goose Down, Humane?" on 01/31/2010 16:09:55 MST Print View

"The difference between animals and humans living in squalor is humans have the ability to think "maybe I should not bring another mouth to feed into this world when I and even my community cannot afford to."

Sadly this is not often the case, otherwise the greatest increases in population would be occurring in developed countries instead of the poorest countries. People living in abject poverty do not have access to the birth control or education needed to make this kind of "informed" decision.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Re: "Goose Down, Humane?" on 01/31/2010 16:16:30 MST Print View

"Sadly this is not often the case, otherwise the greatest increases in population would be occurring in developed countries instead of the poorest countries. People living in abject poverty do not have access to the birth control or education needed to make this kind of "informed" decision."

Well, you are, of course, right. I have to agree with this. Still frustrates me though. And I'm talking the world over, not just in impoverished countries.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: "Goose Down, Humane?" on 01/31/2010 16:17:44 MST Print View

" also note most plants manage to live and grow without killing anything. So I basically disagree that to live is to kill."

Unfortunately not the case. They kill each other all the time by out-competing the less vigorous of their own kind or less vigorous species for sunlight, water, and nutrients, and also by emitting toxins that do other species in. Luck of the draw as to which seed gets deposited where, or first, etc. :(

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: Re: "Goose Down, Humane?" on 01/31/2010 16:22:24 MST Print View

"Still frustrates me though. And I'm talking the world over, not just in impoverished countries."


And Tom, you can be very depressing sometimes.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Re Re Goose Down Humane on 01/31/2010 16:23:00 MST Print View

Thats true Lynn (poor countries having a higher birth rate because of poverty). Another factor is social values that encourage it. Also traditionally your kids have provided for you when you get older. Actually I like the system of families looking out for their own more than letting the government or some corperation do it.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: "Goose Down, Humane?" on 01/31/2010 16:54:50 MST Print View

"And Tom, you can be very depressing sometimes."

Guilty as charged, Lynn. I even depress myself sometimes. I tell myself that it is because I see the world as it is, rather than as I want it to be, but I'm not so sure about that a lot of the time either. We all live in a world best described by Socrate's Allegory of the Cave, methinks.

But then, I go out for a good hike, or a long backpacking trip and none of that matters. There is only the moment, and that is as it should be. Or as I want it to be??

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "Goose Down, Humane?" on 01/31/2010 19:02:50 MST Print View

"But then, I go out for a good hike, or a long backpacking trip and none of that matters. There is only the moment, "

I wonder if geese and mushrooms can go to this special place in their heads. If so, then maybe they don't really mind being in-prisoned in battery conditions, or live plucked-they merely meditate away the days in pure bliss, living only in the moment. That's a very soothing thought. I notice my hens seem to go into a meditative trance when they are laying eggs...but they also sometimes live in the future. For instance, every time you walk out towards their area they make the "oh look, maybe she'll give us something yummy" noise that all chickens make.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: On the pure joy of being on 01/31/2010 20:18:22 MST Print View

"I wonder if geese and mushrooms can go to this special place in their heads."

I think they were born there and never leave unless we place them in the kind of inhumane, perhaps better described as eminently "humane", conditions discussed in this thread. Then they are doomed to exist in the moment, a totally different proposition. Or perhaps in their final moments in the clutches of a predator. They were born to do what they do so well and, if one observes them closely, obviously derive great joy from living to their fullest in their natural state. It's in their body language, their calls, their interactions with their own kind. That applies to every animal I have ever observed in the wild, and to a lot of domestic ones as well, if given half a chance, i.e. treated with compassion, a word I much prefer to "humane". As for living in the future, most animals are keenly aware of changing conditions and what they bring if there is a pattern established. Whether or not that translates to living in the future, I just don't know. This I am sure of, however; There's a whole lot more going on in non-primate animals' brains than we think, as some of us are just beginning to realize. Hopefully this will give you a little better idea of where I am coming from and leave you a little less depressed to boot. In closing, and in support of my point, may I recommend to you the movie "Winged Migration". It is a moving testament to the sheer joy of living the life an animal was born to.

Dondo .

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "Goose Down, Humane?" on 01/31/2010 20:30:33 MST Print View

I wonder if geese and mushrooms can go to this special place in their heads. If so, then maybe they don't really mind being in-prisoned in battery conditions, or live plucked-they merely meditate away the days in pure bliss, living only in the moment.

That is a soothing thought, Lynn, but maybe not too realistic. Those geese in the video I posted on page three of this thread don't seem to have found their happy place. If it looks, walks, and honks like a goose in distress, it probably is.

Anyway, I came across this column by Nick Kristof and thought that you might be able to relate to some of his experiences. Hope you like it.

Edited by Dondo on 01/31/2010 20:33:34 MST.

Jim Sweeney
(swimjay) - MLife

Locale: Northern California
Great column on 01/31/2010 22:08:19 MST Print View

Thanks, Dondo, for the Kristof column. The image of the goose pleading for its mate's life is very powerful. Others have observed that among the arcs one can trace in human history is the increasing displacement of humans from the center of the universe (by now it's thought that we're not even made up of universe's dominant form of matter), and the ever wider definition of what it means to be human, and to be entitled to human rights. Without being too precise about what it means, I definitely feel that animals are people too.

cary bertoncini
(cbert) - F

Locale: N. California
Kiki's story on 01/31/2010 23:22:34 MST Print View

I think this may be a good time to share Kiki's story. Kiki is the kitty pictured in my avatar.

We found Kiki hiding under a feeding station at a feral cat colony. We were leaving and just did notice something there. Something turned out to be a tiny kitten, emaciated and dehydrated, eyes and nose sealed with discharge, covered with ants. I scooped her up and we took her straight to our vet. I did not expect a good prognosis.

She responded to treatment, though, and proved to have a special vibrance: her core was glowing pure with a lust for life. So we kept her in a cage and had to bottle feed her at first. Since she was feral, as soon as her belly was full, she'd panic and attempt to get away and hide. She had eyes like a frightened, wild animal. Gradually this changed, and she became increasingly social and trusting. She began to look back, deeply into our eyes. She learned to trust, against her instincts, and learned about love.

Kiki quickly developed into the most adventureous Kitty I've ever known. She would leap into investigate anything with uncommon enthusiasm. When she was about a year and half old, she got inside a Chevy Suburban just before its owner got in to drive away. She was trapped in the fanbelt. He called animal control and the fire department. For an hour they attempted to dislodge her as she hung by one leg (we were at work). He finally decided to turn the engine over, forcing her out but also crushing the leg, nearly severing it. She ran off, dragging her leg. Another neighbor was waiting for me to come home and told me of this, and I began searching. Searched until midnight on a cold February night that was around freezing. Resumed at dawn, finding her just before noon. Long story short: she was below 88 degrees and nearly gone, saving the leg was impossible, and the two-week recovery was complicated by the fact that her marrow had shut down from the prolonged shock: her red cell count plummeted and she wasn't eating.

We took her home. She was in obvious pain, and weak, hiding in the corner of a box, not wanting to be touched. I got on my belly on the floor so I could see her eye to eye from about two feet away and just spoke to her softly, telling her how much we loved her, thanking her for fighting so hard. As I was doing this and she was looking back into my eyes, she just started purring. In that moment, her amazing will to live at once combined in my realization with her even more amazing ability to recognize love, to trust this larger predator when she was in such a vulnerable state. I gave up eating mammals and birds on that day in realization and humility: I did not want to contribute to the pain, suffering and erasure of other souls potentially like Kiki's.

She hated to wear the plastic e-collar, so I took it off and explained to her that it had to go back on if she licked or chewed at her sutres. Once or twice in grooming herself, she began to groom that area, and I quickly told her "ah-ah-ah." She immediately moved on to another area, and after those two instances, avoided the sutres: she never had to wear the e-collar again.

In the process of nursing her back to health (she had her own room and my wife and I took turns sleeping with her in a sleeping bag there, helping her to potty until she figured out her new balance, coaxing her to eat until she got her full appetite back, and just keeping her company, we bonded in a way I've never experienced before. Her level of trust and understanding of love grew even stronger. She became my little orange shadow, following me everywhere.

And she quickly redeveloped her amzazing sense of adventure, a wonderment for life that is inspiring. On three legs, she ran everywhere, all the time. She opened drawers and cupboards to investigate their contents. She climbed - anything, and higher and faster than any of our four legged cats.

Now six and half years old and in her prime, I consider her a soul mate. For most of the last several years, she slept every night next to me with her head on my arm or shoulder.

Which is why the last few weeks have been devastating beyond belief.

The same week we had to let our oldest cat, Peko, go due to kidney failure (he got almost two years of pretty good living after the initial diagnosis and three days of IV flush - we gave him sub-q fluids and special diet for that whole time, he ate only sashimi in his final week), that same week, Kiki got sick. And the diagnosis is Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP). Let's just say that we were hoping the diagnosis might even be cancer instead of that.

Two weeks ago she was a rocket of orange enthusiasm propelling through the house with wanton joy. Today she is resting but lethargic: I feed and medicate her through a tube in her neck. Yesterday I took her to the vet to have 400cc drained from her abdomen, allowing her to breathe more comfortably. I managed to get her some experimental drugs that just hit clinical trials this month, but her form of FIP (there is a dry form and a wet form) is not the right kind for the study, since they've had much less success treating it in their initial tests. But I talked with the researcher for about an hour and after several emails with the director of the study, they agreed to allow her the trial treatment as a non-participant in the study. A slim chance vs. no chance.

As much discomfort as she has been in at times, she still allows me to treat her: I speak softly, looking into her eyes and explain to her what I am doing and why, and she lets me. I know she doesn't undertand the words, but I also know she is understanding something, so I say the words to ensure that I am communicating as completely, honestly and authentically as I can. It seems to work: my soulmate gets some qualitative part of the message. In her eyes, I can tell she still loves me and still wants to live.

I'm not one for miracles, but I would really, really like to see one here.

cary bertoncini
(cbert) - F

Locale: N. California
A short story about a cat... on 01/31/2010 23:24:38 MST Print View

It’s just a cat. That’s what I kept telling myself, but even the first time I saw him, ghostly white along the side of the highway, a creeping chill seized my spine, panic seized my suddenly taught muscles, and fear seized my imagination. It was a particularly dark night and overcast, after a nearly windless and solemn rain had been falling steadily over the valley for several hours. I was nearly home and feeling sleepy when the sudden sight of a large white cat sitting like some kind of sentinel of doom on the side of the road, almost glowing supernaturally, was inexplicably there. I gasped and then laughed nervously, shaking my head, saying, “it’s just a cat.” A rather large, all white cat with a strange aura and presence about him. I drove home with a lingering sense of panic and fear. I had a dream disturbed night of sleep, dreams of frightening large cat’s eyes staring with uncanny penetration, as if right into my soul.

The next morning driving by the same spot, I couldn’t help but look to where I’d seen the ghost cat the night before. My heart seemed to skip a beat, and I drew a sudden breath: there was a cat’s body on the side of the highway, crumpled and broken. But it was not a white cat, and it was not a particularly large cat. She was a smallish tabby, and my fear flowed into sadness, my eyes tearing up for this unknown kitty. But soon I could only think about that other cat, the ghost cat haunting my mind.

I don’t know why I didn’t tell anyone about the ghost cat at that time. Gradually, the fear and the memory subsided, blurred. I imagined more and more that it was just my imagination, that there had not really been any white cat. It was so fast, almost out of the corner of my eye. It could easily have just been my eye and my mind playing tricks on me. I could have been, but it wasn’t.

A couple months later I woke up in the middle of the night, uncomfortable for some reason that I couldn’t figure out. I walked to the kitchen but I wasn’t hungry. As I turned to head back to bead, a frozen hand seized my heart, chilled my lungs. Out the window, jus beyond the patio, was that horrible white cat, staring directly at me, green eyes blazing and piercing deep, as if to my soul. I couldn’t move. I don’t think I took a breath for over a minute; I was just frozen in place by fear. I turned to look down the hall, and when I turned back, the cat was gone. My shoulders dropped and I just stood, bracing my arm against the wall, gasping for air.

Then I noticed that our little cat, Felicia, a beautiful, sleek black queen with a diamond of white on her chest and a constantly happy mood, with little chirps of joy at petting, playing with string, getting her snacks, was curled up in the corner by the couch, her breathing labored. On my knees by her side, I looked into her eyes that were clouded over with pain. I did not know what could be wrong with her, but I knew it was serious, very serious. I looked up to think and almost pressed against the glass right in front of me saw the glaring green eyes and monstrous head of the ghost cat. I screamed. I did not shout or gasp, but screamed like a little girl. This of course woke my wife, who came out sleepily but alarmed, and within minutes we were on our way to the emergency vet. Dear Felicia died on the way. She had a heart defect and her lungs had filled with fluid. As her heart failed, she got less and less air with each breath from the increasing fluid in her lungs, an ever tightening circle of symptoms that each made the other progress increasingly rapidly, until she just expired, unable to circulate enough oxygen any longer. That was the vet’s conclusion.

But I knew something else had killed little sweet Felicia. In my mind, the terror of the ghost cat was growing into something demonic, something more terrible and evil than the dark hound of the Baskervilles. I knew now that I had seen him that night after the rain, and he had taken that poor little tabby, and now he had taken our Felicia from us, too. Dark hatred mixed with fear cast a gloomy shadow over my days. I began to talk about the ghost cat, the demon cat to some people, who all concluded that I was grieving Felicia, that it would pass, that I was always a bit over sensitive.

Although I did not see the ghost cat again for a couple of years, my life and my perception had changed. I was watching for the cat. I don’t know what I thought I could do. It was a supernatural fiend; I was sure of that. What power could I have over it? Then, one night as I was scanning the yard before bed, as had become my custom, I thought I saw a white shadow, a large white cat. But it was gone. Again that night like many others, I had dreams of white demons with dark hearts and penetrating green eyes.

The next morning, I noticed that our dearest cat, Kikichan, was not feeling well. She didn’t eat her breakfast, was not responding much to anything. She was just curled up in her little kitty bed by the fireplace, looking miserable. When she still hadn’t eaten a day later, we took her to the vet for an examination. After a series of tests and much anxiety, we learned that she had Feline Infectious Peritonitis, FIP, essentially a death sentence. My wife through tears listened to the vet’s analysis and answers to her questions, “it is a mutation of a common virus… we don’t know why but it sometimes mutates… there have been some anecdotal accounts of cats surviving but there is no known cure….,” but I knew why Kikichan was so sick. It was not the virus that was the cause: it was that damned ghostly demon cat.

I was determined to fight this monster. I saw him increasingly over the next two weeks, as Kikichan continued to get weaker and weaker. I cursed the demon cat, screamed at him, threw rocks, but he nonchalantly ignored my curses, dodged my projectiles. He just kept staring. And getting closer. At first on the periphery of the yard, each night I’d see him closer, his ghastly face larger, those terrible green eyes burning into my brain.

It was just not fair; Kikichan was such a special being. We loved all the cats in our lives, saw them as our friends, not pets. The love they can comprehend and respond with is humbling and inspiring. Kikichan took that as a starting point and perfected it; she knew us inside and out. I would sooner die than see her die, and upon first thinking that, I began to say it, too. I demanded that the demon cat leave Kikichan alone. “Take me!” I shouted at the cat. His ear twitched. I shouted it again, and he shifted his gaze from the window just beyond where Kikichan was curled up weakly in her kitty bed, to my face. Those eyes bore into my soul once more. I stared back in angry defiance, but I was also afraid. The ghost cat walked off.

The next day, I was telling this story to a man in the park. He just happened to sit on the same bench where I sat. I had suddenly felt my legs weaken while walking in the park, worrying about Kikichan and trying to figure out how I could save her from a supernatural beast. The man, unlike most people I would tell about the ghost cat, seemed to accept my story without judgment, without eyes rolling just a bit or starting to look at me like I’m some kind of a crazy person. He just listened. When I said I wanted to trade my life to save Kikichan, he merely replied, “you did,” almost a statement, a simple acknowledgement rather than a surprised questioning, and this put me at great ease. For the first time in quiet a long time, I felt myself relax just a bit.

Then he told me that there are amazing things in life that are not always what they seem. That there are “helpers,” who exist to ease the transition from one plane of existence to the next. He told me that this white cat, rather than the horrific demon that I was imagining, was rather a benevolent soul who was there to help make the transition for other cats less frightening, to walk with them across the bridge so that they are not alone, to serve as a guide and a friend. The more he talked, the more relaxed and calm I felt. I didn’t yet believe him, but I was impressed at how compassionate and kind it was for him to say these things to me. We talked for quite some time.

But then I began thinking about Kikichan and was suddenly anxious to get back to her, to spend some time with her. That’s when my new friend in the park surprised me by saying, “you don’t have to worry about Kikichan any more.”

I looked at him, a double take of surprise, “but, the white cat--even if as you say, he’s a helper….”

He cut me off with a gentle wave of his hand, adding, “The white cat will not come back for Kikichan any time soon. She is going to live a long and happy life.”

I didn’t understand. “But I still should be going….”

He smiled and stood up with me, putting a hand on my shoulder. “And I will be going with you. You will not have to walk the bridge alone.”

I felt a sudden panic, then said, “I traded my life for Kikichan….”
And he smiled gently and answered, “You did.” Then he told me, “You felt tired and took a rest here on this bench. You had a mild stroke, fell asleep, and while asleep had a massive stroke. It was very fast and there was no pain. I sat here and waited for you to wake up from your body.”

“You are a helper?”

“I am. I am your helper.”

“And Kikichan is okay?”

“Kikichan has had a miraculous recovery, thanks to you. And, I should tell you this: she knows it. The white cat told her.”

“Can I… see her?”

“All the time. And since she is a cat, she will know when you are watching over her. She will purr spontaneously each time. Cats can see better than humans. I don’t know why exactly, but they can see helpers and some of what is across the bridge, especially people and cats they knew as friends.”

“She can see me?”


I looked down on little Kikichan, and she lifted her head a little, a sleepy, half lidded look in my direction accompanied by a little birdlike chirp of happy recognition. And then she started purring. She put her head back down and just kept purring.

As I followed my friend from the park bench towards a shining bridge, I could still hear her purring.