Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Do You Want to Make a Fortune in Renewable Energy?

Below is a comment from a DealBook post which we initially skipped because we had posted the Dow Jones story it linked to, prior to it showing up at DealBook (diagram that sentence!*).
We are fans of scouring patent portfolios (I know, gotta get a life).
This gentleman has some insight:

In a long and varied life I was for one period a Programme Manager with the small team that created and managed Canada’s [now defunct, killed by a short-sighted Conservative government] “Energy Conservation & Renewable Energy Programme.” The IEA said we were the best in the world, and experts came from all over the world including the US and Japan and Sweden —- to see what we were doing and how we did it. Our folks went to the White House several times to advise Jimmy Carter’s people. I say this so yu’all know I know what I’ talikig about.

I urge these bankers to hire some savvy technical researchers to search through archives to find and review the very very many renewable energy research and development projects that the Carter Administration funded and supported. Most of them were based at universities, some at US government research facilities, and even in the DOD. Many valuable things were discovered, invented, built in prototype, etc. True American Get-Up-and-Go inventiveness. Then it all came to a crashing halt when Mr. Reagan became president. Truly valuable valuable valuable work was discarded. Practical stuff. Not Blue-Sky pie in the sky impracticalities. There are treasures out there waiting to be retrieved. This will require serious digging, because this was just before the Internet age, and the Reagan Administration made no provisions for preserving this valuable scientific/technological work.

— Posted by C. Alexander Brown, Rockcliffe Park, Canada.

*The Longest Sentence in Literature

Many people attribute the longest sentence in literature to Victor Hugo. The claim is that a sentence in Les Miserables, 823 words long, earns that title.

The source most often given for this, if a source is given, is Timothy Fullerton's Triviata: A Compendium of Useless Information, published in 1975.

Unfortunately, Fullerton was in error. At best, it is the longest sentence in French literature, though I can't confirm that.* Traditionally, the longest sentence in English Literature has been said to be a sentence in Ullyses by James Joyce, which clocks in at 4,391 words. Past editions of The Guinness Book of World Records have listed this record.

However, Joyce's record has recently been surpassed. Jonathan Coe's The Rotters Club, published in 2001, contains a sentence with 13,955 words. I believe he currently holds the record in "English Literature."

However hold on to your seats...

There is also, apparently, a Polish novel, Gates of Paradise, with a 40,000 word sentence....MORE