torsdag 29. september 2016

Silver Shines Nano-Bright

-     The Prepper Diaries 
In the Field with Warblogger Wood

Is it safe to park here?, asks Tomboy. She stares worriedly down on the red car. It is blocking only 90 % of the trash-y bikeway outside the sushi bar, Kyoto Delights.
-There are more traffic wardens in this area than cars, I answer laconically and continue with tales of badly tattooed wardens prowling the streets, hunting for unwary prey. The silversmith smiles wryly and disappears faster than the Silver Surfer. She comes just as fast back after having moved the old Ford to a nearby parking lot.

The Silversmith
Kyoto Delights has, like many other sushi bars in Oslo, reproductions of Hokusai’s thirty-six views of Mount Fuji, plastic chop-sticks Made in Hong-Kong, fake wasabi and a not so genuine Japanese sushi master behind the counter. You can’t help thinking you are stuck in an alternative universe.
- If I had known what I now know and had the right equipment in my youth, I would have specialized on 3D printing and silver design. Then I would now have been in the forefront with silver sintering, or low temperature joining technique as it is also called, says Tomboy as she thoughtfully contemplates the landscape repro on the wall.
- But as a student I could not afford a very expensive 3D printer, and instead I figured I could specialize on analog drawing and painting. Drawing- and painting materials are so cheap that you can explore the media without ending up living with your parents. Basic knowledge of colors and illustrating are honest knowledge, and you need only a piece of paper and a pencil to draw anywhere, anytime.
   The silversmith picks a silver dollar seemingly out of thin air and flips it back and forth between her fingers.  - I hoped I would get famous enough to be independent of grants and greedy art dealers. However, it has not happened… yet.
   One of Norway’s most innovative silversmiths is busy reflecting upon the metal she tries to bring to a futuristic level.

Who wants gold? 
- Gold might be mightier than the sword, but silver is better to work with when it comes to experimental production and silver designs, Tomboy continues.  - You know that silver is an industrial metal, but the price of this precious metal is artificially linked to the price of gold. It’s just a matter of time before silver will break free of gold. For the time being the price is artificially low by speculative buying and selling. Silver is dead cheap compared to gold. But what is gold good for? The question is rhetoric, but since I have a Canadian Leaf gold coin in my pocket, I feel obliged to point out that a silversmith can buy quite a lot of tax-free silver with an ounce of gold.
   Tomboy wrinkles her nose and mumbles something about price manipulations of the metals.  Yes, shop-silver design is expensive… but quality has always been expensive. However, metal-prices were her main reason for specializing in silver. She knew, as a young student, that she never could try out her original ideas having to pay 1300 dollars for an ounce of gold versus paying 20 dollars for an ounce of silver.

Stimulus and response
- I got a small breakthrough when I designed children silver spoons with a heat-sensitive receptor, Tomboy continues. - The receptor activates two tiny lights in the handle, which blinks when the spoon is in the child’s mouth. Most children find the blinking lights funny and want another spoonful of food to activate the blinking lights time and time again.  On the other hand, parents love the spoon because it makes it so much easier to feed the child. A classic example of stimulus and response, Tomboy says a little guilty.
   With a death wish and tears in the eyes we devoured a rather strong sea-urchin dish. The only thing missing was a yellow comic-book burst of flame from our mouths. Greedy gulps of Perrier quenched the fire, but not the lingering heat in the deep throat area. I blink away the tears and look wondering at the fierce dish. Not Japanese at all. This is what you get when the sushi cook is Cantonese.
   I look at Tomboy, who is still shell-shocked by the spice, and shoot a direct question. – How many silver coins have you been prepping so far?
- So far, I have two Monster boxes. That means 1000 coins. I also own a couple of one kilo coins for future production. Don’t forget that also kilo-coins are sold without value added tax. The coins are cheaper than 1-kilo bars which are sold with sales tax. Don’t ask me why, because silver is silver. When I melt down the coins, nobody will know that I have used tax-free silver in my designer jewelry.
- And you prepp silver because you believe that the price of the metal will skyrocket?
- Yes! It just is a matter of time. The solar panel producers are buying up silver, silver EFT are investing their dollars in the metal, and maybe most important of all:  China is buying tons.

Tales from the Crypt
At this point of the interview the enthusiastic silversmith places different types of small silver items in front of me, and I get an excellent lecture on the history of silver and its many uses. How the metal historically has been refined, coined, hammered and defined as something valuable. And even more important I get to hear about her maybe not so crazy new ideas.
 - I needed help from specialists from different fields to develop a new kind of personal jewelry. I am dating a young graduate from the Department of material Science and Engineering at the University in Oslo. He is working on a master’s degree on energy transfer between different types of materials. In short… if the energy of my heartbeats can be used as a nano-source of energy to charge a tiny battery hidden in, let’s say, the ring on my finger.  Hopefully, the battery will have enough power to light up a micro-led hidden behind a zirkon embedded in the ring. The idea is that more aroused the ring-wearer gets, the led will glow brighter and brighter. The perfect acid test for couples of all ages. The love-ring will show if your partner turns you on.
- Isn’t it risky to be in the forefront of innovation in an old-fashioned and conservative trade as silversmithing, I hesitatingly ask.
- Well, I work with other things than nanotechnology in silver objects, answers Tomboy and tries to bite over the leatherish squid which should have been the tenth dish.
Tomboy pushes a man-sized polished silver-ring across the table. - Try it on! Think about something that makes your heart beat harder. I am convinced that you, as a writer, have fantasy enough to make it shine. The young woman smiles bashfully and picks up a piece of glossy red sushi, dips it in soy sauce showing a green neon glow of too much wasabi.

The Future is Bright
The silversmith has a special affinity to rings, especially combination rings with patterns. - My boyfriend and I are working on attuning the rings to different types of heartbeats. You wouldn’t want the ring to light up during a business meeting if you need to hold your cards close to your chest. In short… take the ring off your finger if you don’t want anybody to… see the light?
- So, the future is full of opportunities?, I ask.
- Definitely! I will continue to experiment with silver and new technologies as I acquire more knowledge about silver sintering. Markets for innovative silver products are ready to explode and it’s just a matter of time before silver gets really expensive. And when that happens, I will have a nice collection of silver coins hidden safely away, the skilled and future sighted young woman adds optimistic: - Anyway, there are always opportunities for people with knowhow and the will to do something new and exiting!
Hard facts – Best and Worst
Pseudonym: Tomboy
Profession: Silversmith with an Analog Twist
Age: 26 years
Education: Two years at specialist school and two years as trainee.
Favorite prepper scenario
A market-driven price-level on silver
Favorite prepper tool
The 3D-printer
Worst prepper trap
Getting too negative about a mad reality
The worst being a prepper
Combining work, a relationship and prepping
Would really have liked to have
A rich patron of silver art
Favorite prepper item
Tax-free 999.9 one oz. silver coins

onsdag 28. september 2016

Sultne Tigre – Sultne Banker

av Robert Wood - Sosiolog
Problemet med å ha penger i banker er at de, med lynraske tigerøyne, vil stirre på deg. Et øyeblikk senere er det som var ditt, deres.

- Har du penger i banken? 
- Et tåpelig spørsmål, svarer du og vifter med plastkortet mot betalingsterminalen. 
- Du har kanskje store penger på en bankkonto i en bank som bare har noen tall på en server? 
- Jeg derimot, har en seddel i hånden og styre kontoen min mot kontanter når noen overfører penger.  
- Du er gammeldags, svarer du. - Vet du ikke at vi går mot det pengeløse samfunnet? Seddelen din vil snart være like utdødde som dinosaurer. 
- In your dreams, svarer jeg lakonisk og skyver femtilappen mot barista'n i bytte mot en trippel latte.

Sultne Tigre
Problemet med å ha penger i banken er at den, som en lynrask tiger, vil stirre på deg. Et øyeblikk senere er det som var ditt, blitt dens. Det som var din svette, ditt slit og som du stykkevis og delt har solgt til en arbeidsgiver, er borte for alltid.
   Inflasjon, hyperinflasjon og Zimbabwe-dollar gnager på hjernebarken som smådjevler fra et middelalderhelvete. Tenk bare på tiden du har brukt på å tjene lønninger som banken har klørne sine i. Dessuten kan en bank kan eie deg som gjeldsslave. Dette er problemet med en grådig bank og sulten tiger. Så fort du plasserer pengene dine i munnen dens, har både banken og tigeren tennene rundt hånden din. En hånd eller hele kroppen? Hvilken rolle spiller det? Du er fanget som et hjelpeløst byttedyr.

Hvem kan du stole på?
Hvis du ikke kan stole på banken din, hva kan du da stole på? En enkel dørlås, madrassen eller et pengeskap? Eller skal du kanskje investere litt av inntekten din i edle metaller som sølv, gull eller platina? Inspirert av utdrag fra Paolo Bacigalupis -The Windup Girl

onsdag 21. september 2016

Norsk gründer satser på naturødeleggelser

Uten tanke for klodens framtid, global oppvarming, familie og etterkommere kaster styrtrike, norske investorer seg ut i miljø-ødeleggende prosjekter. Millioner er allerede investert i et gruveprosjekt i lutfattige Etiopia. Det skal graves etter metallet på gammeldags vis. Gammeldags gullgraving i utviklingsland betyr grovt underbetalte arbeidere og barn-arbeide, bruk av helseskadelig kvikksølv til separering av gullet fra urenheter. Hegnars veldresserte skribenter får ikke komme med kommentarer og motforestillinger så lenge det dreier seg om kapital. På kan du blant annet lese under følgene tittel: Oljegründer satser på gull hvor det burde ha stått Oljegründer satser på global oppvarming.

Totalt er det investert rundt 25 millioner kroner i Abyssinia, og DN estimerer at Haugane har stått for om lag én million av disse kronene. Nevnte Torsen står for mer enn fem millioner kroner, mens rederfamilien Kleppsvik fra Austevoll, har investert i Abyssinia gjennom flere forskjellige holdingselskaper.

Hva betyr vel miljø hvis man kan grafse til seg noen flere millioner man ikke trenger? Kan man investere 25 millioner kroner i risikoprosjekt som gullgraving har man en tilsvarende IQ. Ingen av de tre ovennevnte investorene kan ha hørt om Warren Buffets utsagn om gull:

Gold gets dug out of the ground in Africa, or someplace. Then we melt it down, dig another hole, bury it again and pay people to stand around guarding it. It has no utility. Anyone watching from Mars would be scratching their head.

Uansett, for den som skulle gidde å lese mer om hva gammeldags gullgraving i Etiopia innebærer så kan denne ni-siders case study rapporten i: Journal of Earth Sciences and Geotechnical Engineering, vol. 6, no.1-Participation on Traditional Gold Mining and Its Impact on Natural Resources, være av interesse.

Hvor kommer gamle sølvmynter fra?

Man skulle tro at man ikke kan vite hvor gamle sølvmynter opprinnelig kommer fra. Not so! Sølvgruver har ulike kjemiske fingeravtrykk. De kjemiske egenskapene til sølv, kobber og bly viser hvilket område innholdet i myntene kommer fra. Metallene har en isotopsignatur, dvs. ulikt antall nøytroner i atomkjernen. Les hele artikkelen til journalist Asle Rønning.

mandag 19. september 2016

The DNA of Gold

High-tech is slowly advancing into the World of precious metals. Have a look at the latest advances in anti-counterfeiting technology from The Canadian Mint. The DNA of gold

mandag 12. september 2016

Divine Gold – Divine Love

If you happen to visit a Catholic church, you will see that Gold is closely associated with the Divine. Saints, prophets, angles and cherubs and all covered in shining gold. Many of the statues are looking longingly towards heaven. It is difficult, if not possible for someone not versed in biblical lore to understand the symbolism presented in the many statues. Anyhow, if you browse the Internet you will find many contra dictionary answers to the excessive use of gold, but one interpretation might be: Gold represents God’s love, because His love is more valuable than all the gold in the world. Love is God’s gold!

mandag 5. september 2016

Twin metals and Twin Fortunes

Two important metals have followed humankind from the dawn of time. Books have been written about the historic importance of silver and gold. Religious icons of silver have adorned churches and temples. Statues of gold have frowned down upon worshipping dancing crowds. Gold rules and silver is the Devil’s metal.

An old proverb says; - No country will survive long without gold in its coffers, vaults or central bank strongholds. Most modern countries realize this and hoard the metals for leaner times. Times when paper money is not worth the ink it is printed on.

The European Central Bank knows this is going to happen and forces membership countries to hang on to their gold. Even heavily indebted Greece is not allowed to sell its 112,5 tons of precious metal to ease the burdens of its people.

You can get hold of quite a few books on how to invest in gold and silver. You will get quite a few practical pointers and recommendations, but the basic message is; Gold will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no gold. But gold is expensive so you better check out the daily spot price at Kitco: or World Gold Council Try to find a gold seller and buyer who does not charge a premium out of this world.

Silver is a good investment alternative if you do not have enough money to buy gold. This beautiful metal can be bought as bars and coins. The everyday investor prefers the one troy ounce (31,103gram) American Eagle silver dollar or Canadian Maple Leaf 999.9 silver investment coin. However, the Australian Kangaroo and the Chinese Panda are good alternatives. You probably end up buying all four.