Archive for July, 2012

Energy Intelligence

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

On a recent visit to Singapore I met David Pike, who is the editor of a new publication from Energy Intelligence, the well-known energy publishers who put out Oil Daily, Petroleum Intelligence Weekly, etc. David described New Energy, a publication which focuses on renewables, energy efficiency, carbon and transport innovation, and he invited me to write a brief Perspective piece about the topic I was discussing in Singapore – carbon taxes vs. emissions trading in China. That article was published in the June 14th issue. (Note: Reproduced from New Energy with permission from the publisher, Energy Intelligence.) David did a really great editing job, & I certainly wish him the very best of luck with his new venture!

Paris

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

This year’s visit to IFPEN was a busy one, with sessions for the international Petroleum Economics & Management (PEM) and French-oriented Energie et Marches (ENM) programs; the joint BI-Oslo Executive Master’s program; and the Mini-MBA for Executives in Energy Management course. Since I was in Paris a bit earlier than usual this year, we had a full contingent of ENM students – the combined PEM & ENM groups totaled nearly 60 students.

My reading on this trip was a book I normally would have bought right away when it first came out – but this time I resisted that urge, & saved it (with obvious anticipation!) for this Parisian visit. I’ve enjoyed many of David McCullough’s previous works– especially his biographies of Truman and John Adams (both of which won Pulitzers), and the ‘big project’ books about the Panama Canal and the Brooklyn Bridge (the former winning a National Book Award). His latest work, The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris, goes back into the 1800s and follows the lives of numerous writers, artists, physicians, politicians, and others who headed to the city long before Hemingway & Fitzgerald made it fashionable to do so. I was not the only one reading the book – other passengers at the airport were similarly engrossed, and one elderly American couple who saw me reading it launched into a full-scale discussion. It didn’t disappoint – and McCullough is truly a national treasure!


Mont St. Michel

I also took some time between lectures & headed up to visit Mont St. Michel, the tidal island/religious abbey located off the northwestern coast between Brittany and Normandy. Its thirteen-hundred year history is rather complicated, but it was nonetheless interesting to hear the French version of the Hundred Year’s War (1337-1453), which was significantly different than the one I had learned as an English schoolboy. (Then again, my English schoolboy lessons about the American Revolution were even more radically different!) The English were never able to capture the Mont during that war, despite repeated attempts. The setting is really quite spectacular – with lots & lots of climbing on this visit too (just as in Florence)!

The Music Box

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

One of the great advantages of my non-traditional career path is that I get to meet some really bright people doing some very interesting things. One of those people is M. Nyssim Lefford, a Berklee College musician & recording engineer who got her Ph.D. at MIT’s Media Lab. When she’s not lecturing at Georgia Tech or at another technical university somewhere up near the Arctic Circle in Sweden, or doing music & recording sessions, she’s writing experimental fiction – and even more amazing is that she’s sent much of this work to me over recent years to get (literary?) feedback. I warned her early on that my linear, structured view of fiction (i.e., expecting to see the traditional exposition/rising action/climax/denouement scheme that everyone learned in high school) might not be particularly well-suited to her non-linear short stories and plays. But she nonetheless continued to entrust me with her efforts, and a few years ago, on a trip to Abu Dhabi, I was reading an early draft of her first novel – a book called The Music Box.

I’m happy to tell you that The Music Box is now available through amazon.com – although, given its structure, you’re going to have to read it on an e-reader like Kindle (yes, I’m sure I mentioned that her fiction is experimental!). So definitely check it out! I think you’re really going to enjoy it, just like I did (in both early & final versions!).