gtkeep2013 has written 77 posts for The Missing Octave Insights

Financial Tips for Entrepreneurs

I won’t waste time on the clichés like “don’t quit your day job”, or “expect the unexpected”, or the long hours you might have to work if things don’t go as planned, or that things never go as planned.  Instead, I want to write about the financial issues that may not have occurred to you, … Continue reading

Now seeking investors

Now seeking investors in a Green Technology Development company.  After a long R&D period, Missing Octave Insights, Inc. is ready to advance our business plans.  Short term focus is rolling out green cleaning supplies, floor finishes, and renewable paper products to replace harsh chemicals used in the Tri-Cities TN area.  We are also refurbishing used … Continue reading

Veggie, Vegan, or Green?

This blog is inspired by an article in the May 2014 National Geographic titled “The New Food Revolution”.  It’s about how we might hope to feed the 2 billion additional souls we expect the planet to support by 2050.  I’ll give you the raw scores first, then the commentary. In the USA we eat about 18% … Continue reading

An Ogre’s Guide to Quality Systems

Found this old gem in my archives: MISSING  OCTAVE  INSIGHTS,  INC. Newsletter 1/24/07 © 2007, All Rights Reserved http://www.MissingOctave.com An Ogre’s Guide to Quality Systems To misquote a famous green ogre, Quality Systems “are like onions.  They have layers.” We’ve all seen management try to force-fit a one-size-fits-all quality system on a business or product, … Continue reading

Mutilate the Corpses – An Organic Gardening Strategy

Despite the sound of this, it is not out of that farcical fantasy game Munchkins(™).  It is a genuine way to control pests.  It sounds like putting the remains of executed criminals on display as a warning for others, but the way it works runs much, much deeper than that. I first heard of this … Continue reading

Socially Responsible Supply

Here is the latest vision of what we are doing with MOI Labs, a spin-off of Missing Octave Insights.  A worm’s eye view is that we are going to sell janitorial cleaning supplies and floor finishes, but the vision is so much more of that. We are going to be the science nerds who evaluate … Continue reading

How many motors?

My first visits to historic Williamsburg’s exhibits had me comparing today’s upper-middle class existence to the upper class of the 1700’s.  Life might not have been that different in quality.  Your circle of friends was closer.  Entertainment was live.  They had books, music, booze, parties, sex, and drugs.  Medicine was more primitive but it wasn’t … Continue reading

Where is this COLD coming from?

Not a few bloody noses have apparently resulted for snide comments made about Global Warming in the presence of normally peace-loving environmentalists with cabin fever from the cold.  Everybody is too cold to think all this through – let me give you my two cents. I’ve said elsewhere that I think the phrase “Global Warming” … Continue reading

Craft Shop

We have space, materials, and tools here at our MOI Labs site.  There are a lot of things we could do to make crafty items on a small-scale (hundred-lot) basis.  We could then market them on the internet.  This is similar to the idea of collecting craft items from the community and selling them, and … Continue reading

Sole Proprietor Exemption

Here is a (half-baked) idea to stimulate the economy and help people move from lower class poverty to middle class.  It addresses the barriers of intimidating red tape & authority, and the dis-incentive of letting go of disability, unemployment, and other forms of marginal income that people cling to. As things stand now, being a … Continue reading

New Media – The Computerized Novel

The birth and development of the “computer game” has of course taken a completely different direction from the paper-based novel.  “Readers” have such latitude – (burn the village or trade with the natives?) – that the author has very limited control over the course of events, and has to resort to heavy-handed deus-ex-machina to steer … Continue reading

New Media – The Paperback Version

Dr. Egon Spengler (Ghostbusters) says that print is dead.  I would say that there is so much more that we can do than just a linear story line 100% controlled by the author, in the (non-participatory) story-telling tradition. As I kid, I was intrigued by the choose-your-path mystery books.  At every critical junction, you had … Continue reading

The MOI Labs (Jansan) Brochure

This little brochure (in draft) about our Janitorial Services and Supply business should give you an idea what we’ve decided to throw our muscle behind as a first project.  The plan is to get started with a few contracts, since this is a business Terry knows.  Expand our formulation and mixing capabilities, come up with … Continue reading

Are toxic brominated flame retardants present in European food contact materials?

This is the title of an article on SpecialChem’s website.  The answer is — sometimes. The scientist in me wants to point out that many brominated flame retardants are NOT toxic, and nobody should be using the ones that are (mainly “decabrome”), any more. What is happening is that old electronics parts are getting into … Continue reading

Patenting Medications

In the bad old days, inventions sometimes died with their inventors, since innovation was a closely guarded secret.  The US government recognized that to grow stronger industry, this loss had to be stopped.  They hit on the idea of a quid-pro-quo — inventors who disclosed and taught their inventions to the world would get a … Continue reading

Game Rules – The Green Biz

Here are the rules I spit out when Terry challenged me to write an educational game related to green technology entrepreneurship.  In a nutshell, you try to build an industrial complex with Murphy’s Law knocking you in the shins all the way. This would need to be published as a card game, so it needs … Continue reading

Arts and Crafts Marketing

The creative impulse to make things is very different from the hard-nosed mindset you need to sell them after they are done.  A lot of artistic and crafty people end up selling their products the quickest way possible and for less than they are worth.  The selling process itself is inefficient, one person sitting in … Continue reading

General Services

With the graying of the baby boomers, there are going to be a lot of people needing more help than they used to need.  It is also hard to find reliable people to help you these days. I’m proposing a General Services business, where, whatever the need, from grocery shopping to finding a plumber, from … Continue reading

Analytical Laboratory

Our MOI Labs facility was set up to service W2Fuel, nominally a biodiesel company.  We spent 2 years developing expertise, procedures, and getting ready for certification.  With their abrupt cessation of support, due to their inability to make any money off biodiesel (long story), they are taking back custody of the capital investment (i.e., the … Continue reading

Purchasing Co-ops

Why don’t we do this more? Anything that is cheaper in bulk, be it Mason Jars, Rice & Dried Beans, Cloth, Fertilizer, garden seeds, anything. Is the problem lack of starting capital?  Lack of distribution point?  Lack of trust? A lot of that can be gotten around by using the resources we have here at … Continue reading

Recycling Asphalt Roofing Shingles

Right now most old roofing shingles go to the landfill (people sometimes even pay a dumping fees).  Then, more foreign oil is consumed making new asphalt shingles to replace them.  What I’m thinking about is turning shingles into road paving materials — a way to use another “free” resource to reduce our foreign oil dependence. There … Continue reading

One of my Heros

I must recommend to you the person whose own blogging activity inspired me to take up this thread.  Over the course of 2 years she has written countless articles about the simplicity movement, local food sourcing, environmentalism, gardening, and a host of practical advise.  She is a truly inspiring leader and has been involved with … Continue reading

Game Rules – Enchanted Empires

I crank out new ideas for games the way some people play tennis – to deal with stress and frustration.  Here is one that I put together not long ago, that would form the kernel of a web-based game.  The tracking of populations and resources and such are way to complicated to do without a … Continue reading

The Algae Story

During my work on oil sources for biodiesel production, and later attending the 2013 Algae Biomass Summit in Florida, I have learned a lot about Algae.  I will repost some general information from my Facebook stream at the bottom of this note for those interested. There is a lot done with algae, but current limitations … Continue reading

The Lignin Story

Okay, today our Kickstarter effort expires, so at a minimum I owe our supporters there a full-context overview of our Lignin status. Lignin is the cell walls of the wood that is left over after they extract the cellulose fibers for paper making.  350 billion pounds a year are produced, and it’s burned up into … Continue reading

Do what when I grow up?

It’s only half a joke – all of us seem to be searching for what we “want to do when we grow up”.  I think I just joined the ranks of the blessed ones who have found their muse, and their focus.  First, some background info so I can explain. Robert Kiyosaki (Rich Dad, Poor … Continue reading


For an established business, the patronage of its customers is everything. For a startup or an R&D firm, patronage is much more difficult. My first corporate experience spoiled me.  I found myself in a skunkworks – a isolated bit of a company, sheltered from the tyranny of the rest of the corporation, free to pursue … Continue reading

Coral and Greenhouse Gases

One alarm being sounded is that as carbon dioxide in the atmosphere grows, it dissolves at higher concentrations in the oceans, dropping pH, and dissolving coral reefs, which are mostly calcium carbonate. Increasing the dissolved CO2 generates acid, yes, but it generates carbonate (and bicarbonate) ions in exactly the same proportion.  Dissolving coral or seashells … Continue reading

Blog and Writing History

I was 8 years old when I told my Dad I wanted to be a writer, and he told me I had to do some living before I’d have anything to write about.  My next writing project to see the light of day was my PhD Thesis (Physical Chemistry), and the papers that spun off … Continue reading

Mutagenic Chemicals: The Ames Test

Dr. Ames invented a test to determine how mutagenic any given chemical was.  He introduced it to a bacteria culture and looked for upsets.  This is almost the same as looking for carcinogens, except that our metabolism changes one chemical into one or more others, and the bacteria don’t mimic this.  But it is a … Continue reading

About Business and Community

I consider Business and Community be totally linked.  I’ll talk about money, and how the system has been perverted to the point it is no longer a good way to keep score of the value of our activities.  There was once a time (or at least a fairytale) that went something like this: your work … Continue reading

About Weird Physics

Why am I setting up this category?  This is the pigeon hole for stuff I find to be cool, but have no idea how it can ever make a positive difference in anybody’s life.  Maybe you can find a way…. But I’ve had a bee in my bonnet about certain stuff I learned and/or figured … Continue reading

The Same but Better

        We are often asked to make something “just like that, but better” in some regards.  In formulating, there is no free lunch, so you must always trade off one property against another, and such requests drive us crazy. In analytical work, the paradox is that improving a method does not always … Continue reading

Impure Solvent Media

Sometimes you find yourself stymied because the thing you are looking for in an analytical test is already present in the solvent you would use to prepare a series of standards.  An example might be calcium background in your tap water supply, or a trace of organic A in your organic B solvent. The way … Continue reading

Internal vs. External Standards

         In most situations, we use “external standards” whereby the unknown is in one bottle, the standard is in another bottle, we run both through a test, and compare them. Internal standards are used when you’re not sure that the AMOUNT of sample and standard solutions can be controlled precisely enough. For … Continue reading

Choosing Dilution Factor

         Always you are faced with whether to run an unknown sample at full strength, or whether to dilute it before analyzing it.  You might do that because too strong a response/signal could either put your readings off-scale, or make a test run an inordinatly long amount of time.  You might also … Continue reading

Detection Limits

         Whenever you get an analytical result, it should be accompanied by a qualification of how precise the result is.  This is usually implied by how many significant digits you report.  Ideally you should run a standard sample enough times to get good statistical measures of both the average value, and the … Continue reading