MARSHALL FIELDS – Counterpoint
Chris Hanacek: ‘About two years ago, when I still lived in Chicago, I tried to return a baby gift that my daughter had received. It was the wrong size. I had a gift receipt, but they changed their policy to only accept returns within 90 days of purchase and wouldn’t give me a thing. No money, no credit, no exchange. The supervisor and manager provided no better solution. I asked for a scissor and cut up my Fields charge in front of them. True story.’
Stuart: ‘Your discussion of Borealis today set off warning bells. I am a physicist with a lot of experience developing bleeding-edge technology (not electric motors though). There is one classic sign of a bogus technology. It is that the technology is not only revolutionary, but none of the standard tests confirm it. Think Cold Fusion. An example in my own field is room temperature superconductivity. There are standard tests to determine if a material is superconducting. Yet mysteriously none of the discovered ‘room temperature superconductors’ can ever be tested the standard way.
‘Testing the torque and efficiency of a motor is not rocket science. Besides, if the company doesn’t have $100,000 in funds to prove its technology, then how could it ever develop a product? It does take around 25 years for a new technology to develop into products (even something as simple as vulcanized rubber). If the company showed tests that were only marginally better than what currently exists, saying they have to develop the technology more to achieve their expected performance, then I would be more willing to believe them.’
Scott Nicol: ‘The whole part about not spending $100k to run a real test just about says it all. An individual could pull off $100k by maxing out a few credit cards (not the greatest method, but it’ll work), remortgage the house, hit up relatives, etc. Or cut a deal with the university that does the testing. Any way you slice it, $100k is easy. I’m 100% convinced it is a scam. Either out-and-out, or the principals are simply deluding themselves.’
Jonathan Hochman: ‘We need to have much more patience. Do you know when the first patent was issued for the barcode scanner? 1952. How long it took to commercialize the technology? On June 26, 1974, all the tests were done, all the proposals were complete, all the standards were set, and at a Marsh supermarket in Troy, Ohio, a single pack of chewing gum became the first retail product sold with the help of a scanner.
‘As for not paying $100,000 to test the motor, I imagine that there is no point in spending that money, because Borealis is going to work with manufacturing partners, such as Boeing, who will test the motors for free; and even if the motor works well, the more important question is whether it can be manufactured at a reasonable cost. In my view, red flags would go up if Borealis ordered a study and took the results public. The public isn’t their market. If the technology has promise, they will cut development deals with large industrial conglomerates who can provide funding. We need to watch the progress of those deals.’
Derek Rose: ‘I have been a fan of Borealis for several years now. I own a few shares in the Chorus Motors subsidiary, as I reckon it will be the first to do bankable deals. I sometimes have a drink with a friend who works occasionally for Borealis. He is a quantum physicist who helps out with their mathematical modeling for Power/Cool Chips and has done so for several years now. I was skeptical, but I am becoming more convinced with time that what they have is real. As a qualified mining engineer I can see the potential of their Roche Bay project especially allied to their revolutionary green steel manufacturing process although I have little knowledge of the process. But it is Power and Cool Chips that really excite me. The incredible efficiency of these chips . . . for example, the idea that a Cool Chip half the size of small envelope could potentially replace all the tubes, compressor, and liquids in your fridge, freezer, air conditioning, computer cooling and run at a fraction of the cost is mind boggling in its implications. And the Power Chips as a source of cheap, reliable and non-polluting electricity is awesome. It can be used to increase the efficiencies of existing technology but more importantly, if successfully scaled up, will require a whole new paradigm in engineering thinking allowing previously impossible things to be done.
‘I understand that already Boeing and Rolls Royce have been playing with Power Chips by surrounding the exhaust of engines to generate efficient electricity and the American military is testing Power Chips as a remote power source for communication devices. How true/advanced these tests are I do I not know as it is hearsay at present. Borealis runs as an Internet company with scientists and engineers employed as needed in various countries, Russia and my own country, the UK. Most employees as I understand are paid in shares which firstly makes the overheads very low and as scientists must realize the value of their work or they wouldn’t accept this form of payment. My own friend is one of these and is a believer in their technology. We have speculated over a drink on the implications. We have laughed over an electric car powered by a block of ice and wondered about linked carpets of power chips on the tops of mountains to use the temperature differential between snow underneath and sunlight on top to produce cheap electricity in developed and undeveloped countries. I notice now that they have a patent on an electric car. Perhaps our fantasies were not so far off the mark. Whether it will all ends in tears I do not know but as a person who despairs over the future of our planet, Borealis does at least offer some hope of correcting some of the environmental abuse we have subjected her to.
‘Please keep writing about them. I value your independent and cynical judgment, as it is easy to be carried away by what is after all very experimental technology. Do you know of any public Internet bulletin boards where Borealis or its subsidiaries are discussed? I have searched on the net with no success.’
☞ ‘Cynical?’ Me?? Never, sir! Skeptical, yes. Wry. Sarcastic when I can’t help myself. But not cynical. (Just so you know, right now I am being jaunty.) But actually, of course, I appreciate your comments, which at the very least fuel my own wishful thinking.
The only message board I know of that discusses Borealis is over at Raging Bull. And, like many stock-market message boards, the level of discourse is . . . well, not always inspired.
I would add two things:
- As always, it’s important to stress that no one should gamble even a dime on this that he or she cannot truly afford to lose.
- If Chorus Motors does prove real, your stock will soar. But stock in the parent company would likely do better. (Not that you’d be complaining.) Each Borealis share represents ownership of – very approximately – one share in each of the subsidiaries. So why pay $11 for a share of CHOMF when you can buy a share in BOREF for $8.50 and get the equivalent of a share of CHOMF – plus a share each in COLCF, PWCHF, and RCHBF tossed in “for free?” As well as a stake in all their other incubating technologies, whatever those may turn out to be. (As hinted yesterday, I am hoping they will come out with an aerosol spray I can use to render myself invisible.)
PAT’S A ——!
Sue Hoell: “As you probably actually know, Pat was played by a female, Julia Sweeney. You may not know that Julia has recently become very active in the Freedom From Religion Movement, ffrf.org, a shining light in a world subject to so much religious oppression.”
Emily Rizzo: “When I was phoning for Kerry in our rural, heavily conservative area, one gentleman, a registered Democrat, explained that he was voting for Bush because he was hastening the Rapture by waging the war in Iraq. All I could do was remind him to vote on Wednesday.”
Quote of the Day
Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.~A winning entry in the Washington Post Style Section Invitational
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