Underwater turbines set to generate record power
One Roof at a Time
I'm reading a potent book by Barbara Kingsolver entitled "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle". I have kept a copy of a 1988 Smithsonian magazine containing an article which states that the Genesis story is about the agricultural revolution, the point in history where humans decided to "play God" and grow our own food rather than to seek out what the earth provided for us. Farming enabled us to remain in one place and inspired the concept of "owning" land. It enabled us to overpopulate. Farming has enabled all that we are as a culture. The catch with "playing God" is that the checks and balances are out of kilter. We, humans, had figured out ways of insuring survival which worked out well until the industrial revolution and then the chemical revolution, but now, particularly in the US, we are messing with Mother Nature in ways that are having dire consequences on our health and the health of our environment. Not to mention that much of the produce available in the grocery store is tasteless. Kingsolvers' book is chocked full of ways to have more control over what we eat and how to eat in ways that support a healthy environment. It's also quite educational as to the "who is doing what" to the food we are growing.I've also learned that I can make my own cheese, and why my previous attempts didn't work out (milk shipped over hundreds of miles is ultra-pasturized and won't curdle).While it seems that we have enough on our plates of how to make this world a better place, our food supply is one of the largest culprits of how we are doing it wrong.
I'm not sure I buy the notion that the rise of agriculture, the shift from hunter/gatherer to an agrarian society, has anything to do with "lording" over the creation.Depending on where they lived, the necessarily nomadic tribes that chased animals and wild edibles, lived a tough life. An incredible amount of energy goes into finding food and usually, there is no margin for error. There's little ability to store food for lean times or even for winter. Nutrition is meager and life is very short. Hunting is dangerous.With the rise of agriculture or even animal husbandry, tribes or bands could stay in one spot. They could build shelter adequate to winter over; they could store surplus food; they could cultivate perennial crops - fruits, for example.As humans began to domesticate animals like sheep and goats, not only did nutrition improve, but crafts began to flourish - the kind of craft that produced leather, cloth, and primitive tools associated with their livelihood.Modestly larger groups offered protection too. How soon "ownership" reared its head, I don't know.I just finished Stewart's Merlin trilogy (it's beautifully written and while it's fiction, is based on a prodigious amount of research.) Although places like London are spoken of as cities, they were really small towns filled with farmers who worked the land around fortifications. There were specialists who made tools, built houses, provided arms for the "Kings" whose job it was to protect the farmers. Even these small towns provided the opportunity for artists and thinkers to survive.By force of arms, the kings had a lot of power. But if they didn't protect their subjects, loyalties shifted in a hurry. With luxury afforded the kings came a lot of hurt. Fighting was dangerous and lives were short. Education was in short supply. The lot of women was to bear sons and serve the man. Evidently that was not limited to the upper crust. There were slaves, usually obtained during conquests.It wasn't until the industrial revolution that really large settlements turned into cities. Specialization evolved, transport allowed long distance movement of food and other necessities. Ownership of factories, inventory, and the rest changed as a matter of scale. In rural and agrarian England, mills can be thought of as small factories. Those were owned by the millers. Things just got bigger, and self-employment, while it persisted for a long time and still does, moved to the side to allow employment in larger factories producing goods that a single craftsman could not do alone.I don't think ownership is a bad thing. On the other hand, there is a place for collective ownership.I think we've mis-defined efficiency and generally fail to identify all the costs that are involved.We're overpopulated by a huge margin - a situation that will correct itself one way or another. I agree that we should try to eat locally, but I still want my banana. It's good and good for me even though it has to travel 2500 miles or more to get to my larder.Word for the day: moderation.
Ah, but planting seeds and domesticating animals; thereby gaining some control over life, could be interpreted as the knowledge of God. Original sin could be that humans are going to recreate the earth as they see fit, unlike all of the other animals who just survive as they can on what the earth has provided.And yet, as humans, we are what we are and will continue to build that better mouse-trap. Throughout much of history we couldn't see many of the ramifications of our creativity, but now, with so much knowledge available to any of us who seek it out we do have the ability to see where a path is leading. It all does come back to sustainability. There is really nothing wrong with having a banana and I like them too. The question is "Can we get that banana into our fruit baskets in a sustainable way?" "I think we've mis-defined efficiency and generally fail to identify all the costs that are involved." ...yep Wikipedia has a page on the Neolithic Revolution. Thanks for the tip about the Merlin Trilogy. I would have passed it by thinking it just another King Author story."The lot of women was to bear sons and serve the man." ... it still is on most of this planet. It has just been since the advent of "the pill" that women have options other than childrearing. This phenomenon is also mentioned in Kingsolver's book as being a major contributor to our fast food nation. It is so easy to swing in a drive-through to feed the family at the end of an exhausting day.
Lewis Pugh took a swim at the north pole this summer: Lewis Gordon Pugh first to swim at Geographic North Pole
A bit more on Kingsolver's book:She is a biologist and states grave concerns over gm seeds, the current method of planting whereby the plant will not reproduce itself and planting so much of the same variety especially of corn or soybeans, which puts our food supply at risk if that particular variety is attacked by a disease, parasite, etc..Here is an excerpt of the book:Smashing Pumpkins And a "take action" page: A Chance to Renegotiate U.S. Nutrition PolicyOne of the things that stood out to me in the book is Kingsolver's statement that our childrens' life expectancy is not as long as ours or our parents, because of what they are eating.
I'm a great admirer of BK's. I like her fiction too.I've been arguing against engineered plants for a long time, not so much on the basis of the immediate safety when the fruits are consumed, but rather on what it's doing to further reduce the genetic pool of the plant kingdom, the pool on which continuing evolution, and therefore survival, of edible plants. [A specific example: once upon a time, wheat was grown in the Midwest (Kansas, among others) because there were strains that were naturally drought resistant and could thrive without irrigation. Now, corn predominates and does require copious application of water. The result has been to deplete the Ogalalla aquifer. If prolonged drought becomes a factor as climate change progresses, there is less chance that there will be varieties of wheat or corn to be used in restricted water regions.]On this site we have hashed over the effects on third world farmers who are killing themselves because they can't pay for the seed they need to grow cotton, grains, including rice, that have been patented. Seed saving is fruitless (sorry) when "terminator genes" are used to protect hybridizer's "rights." Further, there are contractual restrictions that are confirmed when the farmer sows his first crop of patented seed, whether he is informed of the contract or not.As for what our kids are eating: that's only part of the story. We've also defunded school PE; it costs money for kids to participate in organized sports; we're selling them couch potato pastimes so that whether or not they're eating balanced and nutritional diets or not, they're not getting the exercise they need.As usual, it's a whole suite of behaviors that adds up to doom.
"As usual, it's a whole suite of behaviors that adds up to doom."And education is the key...which is why I hope that truly free press TV makes it to the ears of the populace. As long as Monsanto, et al, can edit TV news the message contained in your post will not be heard beyond those of us who still read.But, then again, some of those who "know" just absolutely refuse to "see".Arctic Ice the Size of Florida Gone in a WeekExcerpts:"The melting ice continues to open up the fabled Northwest Passage, long-sought by explorers and shipping companies as a short cut between Europe and East Asia. Historically, that debate has been largely theoretical because the passage has been frozen and impassable. But in August, satellite images showed the passage has now become more navigable than ever, fueling a hot debate between the United States and Canada over who should control it.""Canada, the United States and Denmark are also competing for resources as melting Arctic ice reveals potential deposits of oil and gas."
There was a fun little dustup over at the GardenRant today about an article in the New York Magazine about the "Locavore Movement"?, growing and eating food close to where you live. Barbara Kingsolver and her recent book are mentioned as one of the philosopher kings of this movement by the guy who wrote the New York article that is being thoroughly dished.
I think that the title "When A Fool Makes A Garden, It Does Not Follow That Gardening is Foolish" sums up the NY Mag article nicely. For someone who has never grown their own food to decide to instantly grow all of their own food is a bit ridiculous.It makes sense that foods that can only be grown in certain locations be shipped, but our grocery stores are full of produce coming from all around the world that are also being grown next door. I have a nice "locally grown" curb market nearby, but I am also making it a point to buy foods labeled "appalachian grown" from our closest big box grocery. Hopefully, others will do the same and the grocery will increase their amount of local foods.JG, I've noticed that it appears that your area is getting some rain. Perhaps some of the farmers there will be able to get a last crop of hay. Because of the drought, hay that normally sells for $15 a round bale is selling for $100 around here.
Not that this is news, but ...White House Declares Science Priorities for FY 2009Engineering over Environment,Applied over Basic, Corporate over Public http://www.commondreams.org/news2007/0927-02.htm
The EPA seems to be going the way of the FDA, which is to funnel all research funds through the corporations who make the products. Is this the inevitable result of capitalism? Capitalism relies on competition, the cheaters and those with no moral compass will beat out those who have a conscience. The people who started the huge, successful American corporations are no longer at the helm. Many of the original entrepreneurs realized the relationship of products, employees, environment, profits and sustainability; at least to some extent. But, it seems, that, in the second or third generation of the corporations' existance, all factors except "profit" have been taken out of the equation.How to get to the top and stay there in todays environment: Buy up the news media so that information can be filtered to only allow education (or lack there of) that benefits profits. Buy up, and/or manipulate, the law makers via "lobbies" so that laws benefit profits above all else.The worst of humanity has risen to the top.
It just never ends. Thank goodness we have responsible government employees like PEER to warn us.NOAA SHIFTING TO INDUSTRY CONTROL OVER FISHING OBSERVERS — Death Knell for Independent Monitoring of Marine Mammal and Over-Fishing Ruleshttp://www.peer.org/news/news_id.php?row_id=926
One of your live science links led to an interesting article about some substance within the earth that every so often results in the earth actually releasing more oxygen than usual. It binds with hydrogen (I think) and helps fill the oceans as well as leads to more oxygen and water in the atmosphere. Does this have any impact on the earth cycles of heating and cooling over the millennia? It would seem more oxygen would mean less carbon and less carbon would mean more oxygen providing some explanations for the graphs in the film "An inconvenient truth".
If that is a somewhat correct assumption, it could possibly lead to some interesting conclusions into the great flood on Mars. At some time in the past the Martian core would have had its limited supply of this stuff in the right place at the right time. Other events within out solar system and universe could have made conditions favorable for a regional eruption of oxygen resulting in downpours and flooding. That would depend on the levels of hydrogen in the Martian atmosphere at that time. To further theorize, either the stuff is all used up or like earth it repeats itself yet its cycle is much slower in which case it is due sooner today than it was yesterday. Rather than send man to Mars so ambitiously to research its history and that of the flood we would be better served getting many mechanical science assets, both land and space based, in place now and in the immediate future to study the sequence of events and ultimately the results. This will also give time to build up the assets we will need if we ever decide to send man there. Unless of course the stuff has already expired it's life cycle leaving a manned mission questionable anyway.Moral of the story: We want to leave on a manned mission when Mars and Earth are closest together for a shorter trip however that may not be the best time to get there.
It makes me wonder if there is subsurface water on Mars or any planet for that matter. Somewhere, even on the coldest planets, there would have to be a layer that is the right temperature for water to be liquid. FYI:See a Celestial Summit Meeting
Cool Link Deb. Look where it took us. LBT! http://www.space.com/businesstechnology/070919_sps_airforce.htmlNow it is being called a "Tangible Commodity" with the "potential to short circuit the energy wars" it was a Magical mystery tour two years ago...member? spewed your coffee?
Here's the link JG: Space Based Solar Power Fuels Vision of Global Energy SecurityI DO remember waking up one morning, all groggy headed, turning on the pc to read what had been written at SSB and laughing out loud with my first sip of coffee at your post. I don't remember what it was though...had to be a bit more than LBT, huh? ;-)The space solar collectors seem as if they would be extremely expensive...I wonder how much it would cost to cover every roof in the nation (that recieve an adequate amount of sunlight) with solar panels...maybe less than a space station shooting lazers at the earth?There would even be a way for the solar panels to pay for themselves. If the local electric company installed panels on a roof, then they could continue to charge the customer their regular electric bill until the units were paid for. The incentive for the customer would be knowing that in 4 or 5 years their electric bill would be reduced...and knowing that they are assisting in allowing green energy.
yeah, something about Ben franklin leaving us hints on a dollar bill based on the pyramids to research light beams so we could travel the universe at warp 9 and use the same light beams to power the crafts. That Guy from Hawaii slapped me back to reality with that unique humour of his and the smart guy from oregon later backed up his analysis with facts common to any person living in this thing called reality. Luckily you had enough foresight to see a grain of potential and ...What I like about space based solar power is it is not constrained to earthly events and it also provides promise for us to build space craft that do not need to carry energy resources,or the means to extract them from their destinations making them more efficient and able to travel greater distances and at greater speeds leaving more options for us to build crafts with resources that protect it's systems and occupants from gamma rays and the like. Remember the post back then where you made the comment that the SSB contest did not give us any great breakthroughs like riding to work in cars powered by lightbeams? Watch the coffee...thanx again.
John G,Do you read science fiction? Science based fiction writers have explored numerous propulsion ideas. One of the more popular, is the scoop technology. The space craft uses either a physical scoop, or some sort of field to collect space dust as fuel.Many of the stories explore how one technology or another might affect our culture.
Not really. Dial up and time constraints limit choices as to how much one is able to read. Prefer bread crusts planetary society live science geology and history books. Am very intrigued by ancient building techniques & practices and the reasons behind their construction on such a massive scale. Also believe some civilization before us has achieved great technological feats & left clues of their existence everywhere. The right person just has not come along and connected the dots...Some of the greatest thinkers in recorded history displayed a fascination with light properties and it's effects on both natural and manmade events, many necessary for and resulting in the path evolution/creation has taken. These great thinkers were constrained by the state of invention and utility of their time. We are not. There are many novel ideas and research programs for clean renewable energy going around and at the end of the day it will probably take all of them to do the job. We just need to develop the median to channel all the different varieties as efficiently as possible once they are developed, I believe that median will be Light Beams and have believed that since the 5th grade. It is a unique view and leaves one feeling like the AFLAC duck at times but my experience has led me to believe where there is light there is Energy. Sometimes I write my own science fiction, but it helps me learn and sort stuff out which is OK because I only have to be right once and the world changes for the better.Thanx for the input on both threads.
Deb,Question on space based and land based solar power.I support both. What concerns me about solar panels on roofs and I say this as a resident and close neighbor of Atlanta Ga. Several years ago a study was done about construction materials for roofs and pavement in Atlanta and there effects on the weather. It was found that a mixture of a lot of things actually helped to create destructive weather systems around Atlanta most notably the roofing and pavement materials reflecting the heat back into the smog dome that shrouded the city. If we start putting solar panels on top of buildings would this reflect more or less heat than normal materials? Are there solar panels that actually cool themselves while turning solar into power? If not, what would it take to develop some? would that then make them cost prohibitive?
I don't know why so many people are enthusiastic about space based solar systems. Tough to maintain (even on earth, the life cycle of a PV panel is about 25 years); very costly to install; not very efficient due to losses in conversion of power to microwaves, transmission to earth, re-conversion to electricity.Most of the micro-climate effects of large cities has to do with the absorbsion of energy by buldings and streets and the re-radiation of heat. It's true that PV panels are designed to absorb at least part of the energy that falls on them, but they don't represent great heat sinks - there isn't much mass to them. Further, I haven't done the calculations but I suspect that even if every house put up a whole roof full of those panels, the albedo of the city wouldn't change much because you're covering already existing roofs. Besides, the panels tend to shade what's under them. Keeps your house cooler.
Space based solar power collectors don't have to worry about clouds or air filtering out some of the sunlight.Besides, the idea is so cool.Besides, it would make an absolutely cool weapons system. Besides, I've read way too much science fiction.
Two interesting side effects of our change to the environment.Climate change. It's not just getting warmer. It's getting more humid too.Humans have made the skies more moisthttp://www.nature.com/news/2007/071011/full/news.2007.158.htmlMoose are really smart. Moose use roads as a defence against bearshttp://www.nature.com/news/2007/071011/full/news.2007.155.html
Space Based is open for interpretation. Space based solar power would be a great asset for space exploration and research on solar power. Beaming energy through the atmosphere just does not make good sense. Beaming information gathered from space based panels as to the precise properties of light variations at any given time based on many variables, distance and tilt from sun, cloud cover, solar flares, atmospheric conditions, etc. through radio frequencies to land based solar panels to enable them to self adjust and maximize there efficiency does make good sense...to me anyway. Admittedly we have to get enough of them on rooftops before we can even consider increasing there efficiency. I believe both land based and space based systems working in concert will ultimately be necessary if we can expect to make solar power an economical alternative to fossil fuels.
I hear a lot of mixed messages about how long it takes for solar panels to pay for themselves. This ranges from 3 to 12 years. I understand that the electric market fluctuates greatly in regions around the country, but this is still a huge gap.I also hear that there are panels that conform more to the DIY market, i.e., snap together. My brother (nuclear engineer and has some fancy title that means he runs a nuclear power plant) and I had an energy discussion last weekend. So much of the information that is floating out and about is spin. He's under the impression that dems will never allow more nuclear plants and that repubs are never in long enough to put even those that have been built online. It is my opinion that the repubs have pushed through every piece of legislation that they really wanted, so nuclear obviously isn't one of them. The electric companies don't want the solar panels, as it cuts into their profits. The companies keep "scientist" spokespeople on their payroll who's job it is to keep the public pascified that the companies methods are "always" the best/most economical ways to get electricity to the populace.Perhaps the real problem started when the electric companies went "public" in the 80's. By law, electric companies are allowed to make a profit. Before being sold in the stock market, that meant that every employee was allowed to be paid up to "x" amount and that the company could have a cash reserve. Now the stock holders get their share and the CEO's and their staff don't have a "cut off" salary (but employees still do). And, of course, electric companies have a monopoly in their regions so there is no competition for them.Curious: How do y'all feel about nuclear power?
I'm not a supporter. I might be if someone would convince me that we can maintain the plants well enough to ensure they're safe, but our record in maintaining our capital assets isn't very good.Nuclear waste, the high potency stuff, is long term. We don't understand "long term." So if you decommission an old or obsolete plant, there's this sticky problem of what to do with it. It's not like an old coal plant that can be chucked into a furnace and recycled, you have to sequester the radioactive waste and structure.As for the length of time it takes to recover the investment in a solar panel array: the arguments is not balanced. Let me ask you how long it takes to break even on a nuclear plant, or a coal generating plant? Are you factoring into the equation the ancillary costs of future storage of waste materials, cleaning up the pollution caused by the combustion of coal, including the effects on agriculture of acid rain, and are you fairly including the cost of distributing the power you generate to remote users?I'll be very happy if I can pay off my PV system in the time frame you suggest - for anyone already on the grid, 3 years is unlikely and 12 is acceptable. That would represent a return on investment of around 7-8%. And once you pay for it, you'd still have at least 13 years of pure, unadulterated profit.Further, it's likely that the panels, at least some of them, will exceed their design life of 25 years. Since panels can be replaced individually, replacement costs will be spread over, I would expect, a decade or more.The bottom line is: are the assumptions the same for the systems being compared? If they are, solar is a good bet.I just looked up the utility rates for Carson City NV. I plugged the number we expect to harvest off our roof into their rate calculator. Including fees and the distribution charge, our cost to buy the amount of power we expect to produce would exceed $1000/mo. Their typical use cost was $850/mo.I can live with those numbers or even fractions of them.
I'm not very comfortable with nuclear power. If we could calculate the cost of land and materials that can never be used again, it is probably a very expensive form of energy.We have such a great track record on storing hazardous substances safely. Chances are the company will get well-paid to handle it forever, do something good for a couple of years, and then leave the rest of us to take care of any future problems.
My brother (nuclear engineer) and I discuss the topic frequently. He says that the world is going nuclear. China and S. Korea are exploring different ways of disposing of the waste.I'm 100% for solar/wind/alternative, but the problem is that someone wants to sell us our daily fuel. My brother thinks that nuclear beats coal and oil because of the poisons that are continually pumped into our air and water (murcury, lead, arsnic, etal). A piece of uranium the size of the tip of your little finger provides the power of a train load of coal.The rest of the world is burning nuclear fuel until it is virtually used up. They have much less to store than us. Because our plants are owned by private companies, and our gov't won't allow a private company to burn uranium through a weapon's grade stage, then we shut down the process and have much more waste. Anyway, my brother thinks that a small contained pile of nuclear material is a better alternative than a whole dirty planet...just thought I'd share. PS Still not buying a car until I can plug it in...and still intend to have solar panels to fuel it;-)
When you first posted the nuclear question it was easy to wait on Richard to take the lead. He has such a unique educated view on a wide variety of subjects and presented another opportunity to learn from him. It was however interesting to see his analysis was very close to my uneducated first thoughts. When John Q Public ever hears that word "nuclear" We can usually equate it to something bad, dangerous or way over our heads and it is easy to resort to the phrase no news is good news. Some of the secondary thoughts would probably go something like this...Why are nuclear power plants not built underground? Considering the accepted belief in the world today that mankind and civilization is less than 10,000 years old and the waste from nuclear stuff can last 10s of thousand of years "what if" a worse case scenario regulates our species to that of a fossilized record, would the waste from this stuff not doom our planet as non inhabitable for the next/any species? Considering the state of politics and education that presently exist not only in our country but worldwide would our infrastructure and society be able to operate a nuclear program safely? We can put safeguards in place to protect us from a multitude of scenarios but historically we always miss something and again the accepted belief from John Q is it only takes once and anything we have saved or any good that has come from such a program is negated...overnight.
All of Britian's nuclear waste is in a remote area of Scotland on the north coast. The waste is encapsulated multiple times in leaded glass blocks. When the "floor" is full of the blocks a very thick layer of specialized cement is poured over the blocks. It is stored in a bunker the size of a house with a deep basement. The building is geologically positioned in a "sink" so that the theory is that nature will continue to cover up the material. The material could never spontaneously explode.If the material ever did become exposed to the surface then there would be an area of several square miles that would be uninhabitable. It would not poison the world, or even all of Britian, or even the entire county. If there are people in that distant future they should be able to figure out that the stuff is deadly and cover it back up. The deal is that the poison is in one small area as opposed to being in all of our air, water and topsoil. S. Korea and China are looking at ways to dispose of nuclear waste. It actually could be ground up and mixed with soil into a parts per million scenario and put back into the mines that the uranium was extracted from without being more harmful than the original mines. It might be possible to shoot it into the mantle in oceanic trenches that draw surface material into the mantle, where it would melt in with the other lava.I'm really not trying to defend it's use, as I completely believe that we must develop a sustainable way to produce power. But I do know that it is already here and whether or not the US puts any more plants online the rest of the world is going to.
I recently read a report about a plastic graveyard (landfill) somewhere off the coast of Hawaii. Something about the oceanographic conveyor currents conspires to dump this stuff in this region. The plastic does not degrade so it is just there and causing a dead zone by killing off ocean life. Could we not develop a way to clean this mess up? Recycle the plastic? Learn more about the oceans? And possibly history while solving a few mysteries? IE; Amelia, devils triangle etc. It also leaves one to wonder if it may help us find Atlantis if it ever existed. The currents would have changed over the millennia as the continents changed and new islands appeared as others disappeared. Let’s say we start hauling this stuff in and discovering certain parts of the pile and where that trash originated and then we find something left over from a ship wreck in that same time period and point in the pile, would that not help us narrow our search? Atlantis? Amelia? Pyramid construction? Etc. Also if we get to the bottom of the pile and realize it just stops in a certain time period, this could mean that is when currents changed and we can start looking for another pile in another place on the globe based on historical records and events of that time period.
International World History Project"Oh human race, born to fly upward." "Wherefore at but a little wind does thou so easily fall?"Dante
John,I love the term "plastic graveyard". I'll have to start using it.Deb,Thanks for the World History link. Another good source is the Gutenburg Project. They are trying to digitize the world's books, and make them available for free. If you have a few minutes a day, (or week), you can proofread scanned pages at Distributed Proofreaders.http://www.gutenberg.org/catalog/http://www.pgdp.net/c/
Corporate Agribusiness Uses Food Contamination Issue to Muscle-Out Small Family FarmUSDA Considers Uniform Rules for Leafy Greens. “One-Size-Fits-All” Regulations Would Harm Sustainable Farmers/Environmenthttp://www.commondreams.org/news2007/1126-03.htm
Cheryl, I wish I had time to volunteer for the Gutenburg Project...maybe when things slow down a bit. Thanks.Udall (D-CO) and Edwards (D-MD), both currently in Congress are running for the Senate. Both have been endorsed by the League of Conservation Voters. If you are interested in donating your funds will be matched by donating here. If so inclined, you might want to help spread the word around the net. FYI's:There's Oil in That SlimeWind-fuelled 'supergrid' offers clean power to Europe 5,000-mile network could cut entire continent's carbon output by a quarter
Oh, one more link...just had to share:The horse: Is this the secret weapon to beat global warming?
Deb,I enjoyed the horse story. The horse definately has a place in our transportation system. It's the original "smart vehicle". I wonder how many accidents drunken horse riders were involved in.Guttenburg is great fun to poke around in, lots of great books available. I've volunteered maybe three times. Where else can you be helpful in ten minute increments with no set schedule?
Thanks Cheryl, I didn't realize that I could donate 10 min. at a time...I'll check it out.Judy, Richard, Let us know how y'all are:Copters rescue people from roofs as storm pounds NorthwestWatchout Dan, it's headed your way.Wish it would move down here...but without all of the wind.
On the Oregon coast, there were high winds, high seas, and lots of rain. The usual places, those where people continue to build on flood plains, had property damage. Where we are, the winds didn't materialize although we did get over 3" of rain. Lots of mud, but no damage.Washington saw predictable flooding on the Chehalis and the Snohomish and a stretch of I-5 and the main rail link between Portland and Seattle is still under several feet of water. If you take the detour between Seattle and Portland it will cost you a mere 250 miles. Horizon air is doing land office business.Like the lady says, look out Midwest.
:-)Feeling guilty over climate change? Call the solar taxi
More ethanol complications, or, one green movement hurts another.US Corn Boom Threatens Sea Life: Pesticide Runoff Continues To Pollute Gulfhttp://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/12/18/5880/
When we were posting at SSB, I found an article stating that algae contains oil and can be as much as half oil by volume. I have been making it a point since to share that info at the "leave a comment" sections on articles written about the problems of waste water. I'm figuring that authors are going to read the comments written about their articles and hopefully some will realize the potential benefits of harvesting algae and cleaning water at the same time. I am particularly interested in harveting the algea that creates the "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico. Shrimpers and fishermen could scoop up the algae before it dies and creates the oxygen depleated zone. It would take some coordination as a barge would need to be onsite to hold the algae and the fishing boats would have to be in the same area working in unison. Also, boat "A" might have the capacity to collect more algae that boat "b" so the profit might need to be disbursed differently. Farmers could also have algae ponds at the lowest point of their farmland to clean up some of their chemical use before the chemicals reach streams. I wonder how much pesticide is absorbed by algae and what happens to the pesticides when burned? After the oil is squeezed out of the algae the waste might be useful to make paper? If the pesticides were locked into the paper perhaps that paper would be useful for making all of that cardboard that food comes packaged in.So I toss out these ideas in hopes that they are useful to someone who would have the capacity to research them or put them into action.
It's also hurting people who can't find or afford grains that have been abandoned in favor of growing corn for ethanol.Once upon a time in Kansas, they grew wheat because it took little or no irrigation and was pretty well adapted there. Then they started growing corn that required water and a lot more attention.It's been downhill from then.ry
I'm really just getting started, but I've posted the first four images of a pictorial chronology of construction on the Studio. On the same site, when the house is finally started, I'll do the same there.http://ryarnell.wordpress.comI'm at some pains to have in in chronological order from the top, contrary to the blogging convention. Comments will be received graciously. Those on the technical aspect of the "blog" itself should be directed to me, not the blog. Thanks.ry
I love the arches, especially on the front door, Richard...cool studio.I haven't been to the one laptop per child site lately, but have a suggestion: $200 or $400 are out of my budget range for a charitable donation. I will, however, donate a portion of that. Because it is a charitable donation the huge internet companies (Google, Yahoo, etc.) are likely to take up the cause. If they asked for small sums on their front page I believe that people would respond.Another great green achievement:Bringing the sun into homes of poor
Laptop project enlivens Peruvian hamlet
Richard, I found these fan blade shapes while browsing PESwiki and wondered about the fan that your friend patented (since expired):PAX ScientificMy electric car may be getting closer to being built: Nanowire battery lasts 10 times longerOf course, it will depend on whether somebody will see this as a threat to their profits and "buy" up the technology and bury it. BTW, we can help end the "buy and bury" tactic by sharing knowledge about new patented products, if people find out they or the environment are being cheated out of new technology they will demand a correction.
Happy New Year!Most of you are probably already aware of this but considering your construction projects I would like to recommend this cool site. www.freecycle.orgIf not already check it out...
Hadn't heard of "Freecycle" but there are a number of construction recycling outfits in Portland, some are for profit, most aren't.Just in the studio: a terrific sink, the franchise window, most of the "kitchen" cabinets, came from a renovation recycler (non-profit). We used an 8' sliding glass door, most of our kitchen cabinets, a lot of plywood siding (interior), light fixtures, etc. from the house yet to be torn down and barn siding from the roof of the old studio. Total savings: on the order of $10K.For construction materials, consider Habitat for Humanity. They can advise on deconstruction companies (yes, that's what they call it if they don't bulldoze
2 articles about our food:The Poor Get Diabetes; The Rich Get Local and OrganicThis article focuses on sustainability: Our Decrepit Food FactoriesMy car is almost on the assembly line;-) (I really do hope that Honda's are good for 250K miles)Automobile's future is electronic and green: GM chiefFusion getting a boost from China:China contributes 10% cost of ITER project
Fisker Hybrid at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) to be held in Detroit, MI on January 19-27, 2008I looked for links to pics, but the site wouldn't load. This car comes with optional integrated pv solar coating.
Christopher posted some pics of my house over at outsideclyde. Thanks Christopher!
Just where might those pictures be found? A label, an url, or even a description will do.
http://outsideclyde.blogspot.com/At my blog silly. Both yours and Susan's blogs are very nice and informative. Susan really could join right in with the garden bloggers.
Getting to "Outside Clyde" wasn't the problem. It's not clear to me which pictures are of Deb's building.
This post Make An Offer
Oh, sorry for the confusion. Thanks, Christopher for clearing it up.
This is partly economics and partly environmental. As you watch this 20 minute film, reflect on the stimulus package that Congress is about to pass.There's an annotated script on the website that has footnotes to thesources: some of the stats are astounding.Annie Leonard is animated and fun. The topic is alarming.http://www.storyofstuff.com/ ry
Even the most basic and settled basics are capable of being improved.For various reasons, we had to put in a new septic system. The old one (not that old, really - it was installed by the woman we bought from, and like all the stuff she did on the farm, was not to code, done on the sly, too close to the well....) still worked, but it's above the house and I don't want to pump sewage: gravity works just fine.I specified a patented replacement for the usual tile and rock and went further to specify the 24" variety which would have cut the length of the trench in half. Unlike its neighboring counties, Clackamas wouldn't buy the wide tunnel, but did allow use of the 12" kind and 425' of trench for a 1000 gallon tank. (They default to 4 bedrooms even if you present plans for fewer!)Why "Infiltrator" (I'll have photos in due course)? 1) It's made from recycled plastic. That means it's light weight. All 425 feet came in one pickup together with the 6 concrete junctions, the plastic junctions, and most of the connecting plastic line. That's a considerable saving in transport cost, monetary and otherwise. 2) No rock or sand is used. That's another saving in transport costs, quarry damage, and wear and tear on our pasture in the middle of a soggy winter. 3) The trench is flat (within 1" of level) just like the trench for a conventional drain field. That means there's no training to use the system - all instructions are molded into the plastic sections!There are at least two versions of this gadget: make sure to get the one that just snaps together. My project manager had used the older version that had to be bolted together and found it was a pain in the ass (sorry - it seemd appropos). Infiltrator has a different profile on each end (they only go together one way) but they snap together and can turn up to 15 degrees either way. Check it out, and if seems like a good idea to you, try to get your county to approve it.ry
Richard,I loved the Annie Leonard film. It's easy to see why you're a fan of hers. I suspect that if she was aware of how carefully you research and implement all your projects to be earth friendly and practical, that she'd be a fan of yours also.Good luck with your Clackamas County officials. It sounds like they are overly caucious of new products and methods no matter how compelling your arguments.
Buy more stuff. Just the stimulus we need.Thanks for the link, Richard.
I hope they are right JG.Richard, I will work to make sure zoning laws are upheld and work to enact new ones so that the trees aren't all cut down for "the view". This is an awesomely beautiful place. And it has the best year around climate on the eastern side of the country.As far as immigration to the area, Jeff says that no one has a right to bitch but the Indians;-)Even though I was born in and lived my life in AL, my parents, and my Mom's family back to the 1700's were from near here. So maybe that all sounds like sour grapes, but I'm here now and do love it.I'm thinking that the #2 state that people want to retire to is Oregon.
The illustrations are clever, in some cases breathtaking. It's thenumbers that are staggering.http://www.chrisjordan.com/current_set2.php?id=7And then a related follow-up that's nothing but ugly.http://www.mindfully.org/Plastic/Ocean/Pacific-Garbage-Patch27oct02.htmry
The art is a reality check. Did you know that on Air France they serve meals and drinks on dishes and in glasses? Imagine that?I actually own some little bags for my grocery shopping, but more likely than not I have forgotten to put them back in the car. So much to do to straiten this country out (and I include myself), and then what would happen to the economy if we went back to all reusable packaging?On the upside a couple of articles I got from Terra Daily, but I researched and found the originals because Terra/Solar/Energy Daily has seriously annoying pop forward pages:Carbon Neutral Construction, Environmental Sustainability Two Cornerstones of Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs' Proposed Bridge of the Gods Columbia River Resort CasinoWindmill uses wind power for desalination
Interesting observations...CNN can bring you "news" from any corner of the globe/universe with video footage to boot but they did not have one frame of footage of the twister that took their roof in one of the most populated cities on earth. The tornado formed & followed a path rich with human activity and of course the electrical grid complete with MARTA...I have a tree flush with white little flowers blooming in the front yard, my youngest pointed out to me yesterday there were a gazillion butterflies and bees of all shapes sizes and types all over this trees blooms(EXCITING SEEING ALL THOSE BEES). Are there certain trees that can be planted near crops and hives to help research or stop CCD?The earth’s weather patterns behave eerily similar to sunspots and "storms" on gaseous planets. I cannot help but feel as if there is something that happens within the earth that influences the atmosphere above it, it is difficult to believe above and below ground operate independent of one another. We just have not developed the science to observe this dark matter/energy yet. Visualize an old copy machine with the lid partially up and that line of light that moves across the glass as a copy is made... other than normal evolutionary stresses and environmental factors the possibility under this theory could be a factor in explaining the evolutionary variations in species of plants and animals from one continent to the next over time. It could also help narrow the search for other planets that have the "core" behavior necessary for life to take root...Do not know if this was the thread to post this; do not even know if any of it makes sense...felt the need to post nonetheless…
More on bees...(kind of a mission at this point eh?)Standing next to the gazillion bee tree in my front yard I can get no service on a cell phone, walk 300 yards up the road and stand next to the same species tree (beeless) and the cellphone reception is crystal clear. Where are the cell phone/radio towers located where CCD is happening? do sunspots have any impact on towers or just the satellites or do we even know?
http://www.livescience.com//environment/080320-gravity-tornadoes.htmlProgress...Wonder what impact power transmission lines are having on these new found gravity waves? stay tuned...
Public Debt? Do governments make money on their cash reserves deposited in financial institutions? Example: ACME Roadrunner investments pays their employee withholdings or license fees or sales tax revenue to the appropriate govt. entity, the govt. entity puts the money in their account, is interest earned from that revenue until the govt. entity pays it's bills?
In most cases, yes.The feds pay interest, for example, on SS Trust money that's "loaned" to the general fund. However, with them, they print money to cover the interest owed.With state and local governments who use commercial banks to hold their money, you bet that interest is paid. It increases the funds available, just as money you deposit earns interests.In some instances, the state will invest the money in hopefully more remunerative programs. However, they must be very conservative and almost always are working on a short horizon. For example, they will invest tax revenue that comes in all at once in April but must be able to withdraw most of that money during the year to cover expenses.
Why do they have to take the money in all at once? Would it not make more sense and help middle and lower income people to take monthly payments on some property and other local taxes? Also; if I am understanding you correctly the longer these entities can leave their investments in an interest bearing account the better. The money is helping the economy by first being invested into the economy and second by earning interest for the govt. entity which can be used to operate/offset those entities costs associated with services helping keep tax rates to a minimum. I am going somewhere with this I just do not want to sound ignorant when I get there and I honestly do not have a clue as to how the whole tax code and revenue thing works when dealing with govt.…bear with me.
I can think of several reasons that tax revenue is collected "all at once."First though, the Feds, most states, and probably some of the larger cities, collect "estimated tax payments, or withholding throughout the year. This is probably both a protection against defaults by people who fail to save enough to pay their annual tax bills and a way to be sure there's a revenue stream available to offset expenses throughout the year.With respect to "special event" taxes, and property taxes, among others, they're collected in a way that avoids manipulation by some at the expense of others - timing acquisition and sales, for example - that might benefit the wealthy more than others. But when it comes to the accounting for the tax and even the collection of some of them, it makes sense to do it all at once because of the cost savings associated with mass production and "batching."And when it comes to taxes, I'm confident in saying that, across the board, we are not collecting enough tax to pay our expenses, let alone pay for those things that are being postponed at great expense to the future - repair and maintenance of infrastructure, education, R&D, and, it appears, enforcement of laws already on the books, environmental laws in particular.
I think I get the gist of it so here goes. I am going to the next county commissioners meeting (I think there cool to go to and fortunately they are never very full) Here are some concerns/ideas I want to bring to their attention I am concerned they already know and have good reasons for doing it that way so I do not want to waste my time or theirs. The last few times I have paid ad valorem on my pickup or even more recently property taxes/trash pickup I write a check, as do most of my neighbors I have talked to (some pay cash), The checks sometimes take 3 to 4 weeks sometimes longer to clear my account. Merchants I deal with, many small locally owned community businesses generally clear before I get home. Considering the large amounts involved with ad valorem and property taxes it puzzles me as to why tens of thousands of dollars are sitting idle in a file cabinet at the tax office. Does this not cost the county interest revenue? In a sense has this money not been taken out of the economy once I write the check? Most businesses require daily deposits for a number of reasons. Should the same reasons not apply to government revenue takers? Batching? I think I understand that but please elaborate…Every year our county has to borrow money to pay its bills until tax revenue comes in; obviously they have to pay back interest on those funds. Would requiring daily deposits by the tax office drive up their average daily balance and earn more interest? Increase their credit bond ratings? Any other benefits? It does not make good sense to me to borrow money to pay bills while interest earning revenue is sitting in a file cabinet behind you. Several of my neighbors even told of writing checks for property taxes in the last part of November, because the checks did not clear their banks until after January 1 the following year they could not take the deductions on that year’s income tax. My view is everybody loses and at the end of the day if it is going on across the country multiplied; the economy is taking a beating from something as simple as accounting practices. How should I present this to the county commissioners to turn it into a positive?
Of course it won't hurt to encourage them to become more efficient, but the reasons you give may not be compelling. Someone else should check my math.1) Until the check you write is presented to your bank and the funds moved, your account (or your bank) is earning interest. So the money doesn't stop working - the question is who's benefitting.2) If you present a check prior to the end of the year (say on the 28th) you have paid the bill. If the County sits on it until January 10th, that should not affect your deduction. At least that's the case when it comes to market transactions and I can't imagine the logic would differ.3) As I've already pointed out, "batching" transactions is often more efficient that doing a small number at a time. If you pay early, your check very well may be held until they have a sufficient number of them to occupy a clerk for a day. If you've used accounting software you'll know that default values are created by a (in this case) deposit that will persist until changed. So entering a batch of deposits all going to the same account will be much faster than doing them two or three at a time as they come in. By all means, attending such meetings and expressing interest, especially if you're encouraging them to do good work, has a value all its own. ry
1) I understood that part. And your question is my point. I personally am benefitting initially due to it being in my bank as is my bank, at the time. However if it were in the county coffers compounded with everyone else's payments the county would benefit and would be less likely to raise our taxes as the interest they are earning is extra revenue or at the very least raise their bond rating to get a better rate in the event they have to borrow until revenue collections begin. Also, many people do not use banks in rural communities they literally pay in cash.2) That part I am struggling to understand. The IRS generally does not want to see a check; they want to see your bank statement which will not show the transaction until the check clears. If all you have is the processed check, again it will be stamped as payment in a year that can not help you on that return. This is a classic devil in the details scenario.3) I understand that logic as well; however 2 or 3 transactions in this case could be several tens of thousands of dollars. Most businesses use number of transactions as well as total revenue to determine when to close a batch throughout the day. Makes it easier to track & order inventory and increases cash flow. Considering the amounts involved in just one transaction with tax collections, total revenue should be the only consideration when determining when to deposit.Do I understand incorrectly that the county would make more money from interest if its collections were in a bank on the 2nd day of the month as opposed to waiting until the 22nd to batch them out?As always thank you, you are a gentleman & a scholar…
A minor point: if the county processes every payment on the day of receipt, it gets the interest. To the extent that you don't get the interest, I suppose you could say they've increased tax rates.Isn't most interest now calculated on a daily basis? I would guess that the County has a negotiated agreement with its bank so that the details have been worked out with respect to what funds generate interest income.
Good read and even optimistic, despite the title. Suggest your Reps read it.Earth: The Sequal by Fred Krupp and Miriam Horn
The only thing better than pictures is being there. We look forward to your analysis after the show. Buckle up...http://www.13wmaz.com/video/player_news.aspx?aid=51101&storyid=52658
jgAt my end, the URL was truncated and what was displayed produced an "unhandled exception" prompt at or near the "=" sign.Since there's no clue as to the subject of the video...!
http://www.13wmaz.com/video/player_news.aspx?aid=51101&storyid=52658 Mother's day 2008 (may 11) in the early morning hours a series of tornados touched down in central ga again. All of them formed within a passing storm cell and set down after crossing the same or simialr power transmission lines and/or bodies of water as previously. One passed through Bibb County (Macon Ga) and followed a heavily commercial path. Many security cams and traffic cams captured rare & invaluable footage of the approaching and inner eyewall of the storms. It would be 12 days before NOAA, Media and EMA realized what they had...wonder how they finally figured it out...This particular video is an office building security camera. It is 13 minutes long & you may find yourself getting bored but be patient it is well worth the wait. In particular after the wall of wind passes witness the electrical activity between power lines and storm as the wind calms.
I will e Deb and maybe she can post a bluelink for us if this does not work. copy & paste
Display ends at "...=5..." Only you, I think, can see the whole thing.There's an article in the current Scientific American (I think that's where it was!) responding to a question about why so few cities are hit while rural areas take hits all the time.The answer: because cities are relatively small in acreage. If they're in the area where tornadoes form, they get hit as often as they should.As for electrical lines, they're everywhere. It would be rare that a storm wouldn't cross several as it tears along. And of course, where there's habitation, rural or urban, there are concentrations of electrical lines, transformers and other gizmos.As for lightning associated with tornadoes: because of the rapidly moving air, air that's moving in a relatively small area, huge potentials are generated causing rapid fire exchanges of current between the earth and the clouds associate with the storms.ry
Pesticides: Germany Bans Chemicals Linked To Honeybee Devastation
http://www.13wmaz.com/video/player_news.aspx?aid=51101&storyid=52658 http://.13wmaz.com/video/player_news.aspx?aid=51101&storyid=52658I pasted one and typed one, hope this works. It really is awesome footage. Your analysis is spot on and mainstream accepted fact. However local and federal officials have seen things within all this footage that they could not have seen before & the footage promises to create new questions and new understandings of the relation between the grid and weather. shortly after this particular footage was taken the twister passed over a major electrical substation where it paused and did something? what? they do not know yet? you can see some of the glowing in this footage. It then exploded and when it hit the ground again it was at a major intersection with wind speeds of up to 135 mph...It should also be noted,Only one building was left undamaged and standing at this intersection while all other buildings were either heavily damaged or flat, wonder how that happened? These cells are relativly weak when they leave alabama and enter Ga. Again I hope you get the footage and if you do I will type the rest in as they release them. These clips literally put you in the middle of a tornado... Heh Deb, There was an article recently which made a connection between pollution & power lines and CCD I will try to find it and post, I think it was on live science. Not to change the subject but if anyone lives so far out your cell phone will not get reception, try standing next to the microwave or tv, they do not have to be turned on...your reception will be crystal clear.
aid=51101&storyid=52658just in case
That link isn't complete. Give us a hint: source? story?
I find it difficult to believe with the amount of link you can see,you cannot figure that one out...LOL anyway they have taken it off so it's kind of a waste at this point. Congrats on the home, you have been a joy to learn from.
My latest invention for anyone interested...remember back in the day satellite TV required a dish as big as a trampoline? now they are no bigger than a frisbee with 100 times the capability?Well the same concept applies to wind turbines & solar panels...Picture this...we have taken a clothes dryer tub, wrapped it in solar panels, mounted it to a turbine tower and attached much smaller wind turbines to the outside of the tub. As the wind turns the tub the panels have equal access to direct sunlight at all times during the day, both generating an electrical current in the process. Here's the majic, on the inside of the tub we are experimenting with different materials so as the tub spins and heats, the materials generate static electricity (similar to a clothes dryer) which is also fed into the grid, so far we are generating 4 times the wattage...any suggestions?
Post a picture. Using the nacelle and wings of a wind machine as surfaces on which to mount solar cells is a good idea.ry
Well, maybe not the rotors. But the nacelle is a fine place to mount solar cells.ry
What is a nacelle? and why not the rotors? What element will generate the most static electricity which we can use in the tub?
Generally, a nacelle is a streamlined enclosure for something that moves through the air - an aircraft engine. In this case, the turbine is stationary but the enclosure must be streamlined to reduce the effect of the wind on the turbine sitting on top of the tower. In propellers that are capable of adjusting the attack of the airfoils, there are two nacelles - the one that covers the hub of the propeller and the one that covers the engine, or in our case, the generator.The top of the nacelle is always going to be exposed to the sun, although not necessarily at the best angle. The rotor, its wings, will change orientation to the sun since their movement is dictated by the wind. It would be a poor use of expensive hardware. Static electricity isn't caused by heat, at least not directly. In a sense, static charge is the opposite of the condition achieved by an efficient generator. Certain materials readily give up an electron to another material when they rub together or close together. That extra electron stays put until conditions are right for it to travel to another body - you, for example. Moisture inhibits the buildup of a static charge. In the dryer, as moisture is driven off, conditions for accumulating the charge improve and movement of fabrics assist transfer of electrons, much the same way running your _dry_ hand on a cat's fur or combing your dry hair with a plastic come does. While voltages can be high, there is very little power behind those sparks you see when the built up charge is grounded.I still don't have a good picture of the machine you're proposing, but multiple rotors are problematic. You've no doubt noticed that windmills are set with quite a distance between them. The turbulence must be allowed to abate before it interferes with the efficient use of the moving air by the next turbine downwind.ry
Almost a year late, we're finally houseless. Not homeless, but certainly without a house.Two guys, one on a large back hoe and the other on the ground with a claw hammer, took down the roof, attic, most of the top floor and part of the daylight basement. While doing this, they managed to separate the dimensioned lumber we'll either use again or burn to keep warm this winter, all the recyclables (this is a deconstruction project rather than a demolition - approximately 85% of the building will be recycled in some form) and loaded the first truck with nothing but pieces of wood that will be chipped for manufactured wood, paper, or landscaping.Our last project before we take a week off to recover from the hurry up to get everything out of the house! will be to dismantle our small greenhouse and move it to the garden. It can be used for pot storage if nothing else.The contractor says he'll have the place roofed and enclosed by the end of the year: if he doesn't and the solar equipment is not in place on December 31, he gets to pay me the equivalent of the federal subsidies.Susan has a couple of pictures and a description of the process at her blog's current page: http://skepweaver.wordpress.com/
"The turbulence must be allowed to abate before it interferes with the efficient use of the moving air by the next turbine downwind."That is the key...placing the towers in such a way that the wind or turbelence is actually channeled to the next tower increasing it's speed. Indians do/did something like that to bounce sound off trees in the forest to conceal their location... Watched a nat geo program on windmills, know what a Nacet is now...Is heat under solar panels greater or less than the surfaces in direct sunlight?
It depends on the panel. Some of the single crystal materials absorb heat which has to be dissipated so that they remain as efficient as they can be. I know of several systems where the heat is collected in a plenum above the panels and piped either to a heat pump or an air to water heat exchanger. Two benefits from one system.There are other multi-spectral collectors that don't store as much heat because more of the incoming light is converted to electricity. If a pool mat is in use, the temperature under it is cooler than the roof because they are very efficient and the collected heat is carried by the water that circulates through them directly into the pool. The same is true of most DHW collectors: I'm using very efficient evacuated tubes (think of a thermos bottle).I'll take this opportunity to report that the old house is gone, there's an ENORMOUS hole in the ground with a grid of meticulously laid out lines and even the beginnings of some form work.Yesterday, fortunately, Susan and I descended into the hole and buried four skulls of sheep of which we were particularly fond.At my age, I need all the help I can get so our original flock ram is buried where my side of the bed will be in the master bedroom. Two ewes are buried in the greenhouse and another ram in the first guest bedroom - a surprise for our visitors.The bottom of the greenhouse excavation is 18 feet below the grade on the north side and the whole is 5' outside of the footings on each of all four sides. The neighbors are all jealous because the largest rock we found was the size of a basket ball. There were two soccer sized and the rest was homogeneous soil. I'm going to ask for a refund since I know there was an allowance for boulder extraction - every one of our neighbors has a horror story to tell about inconveniently placed rocks and TNT.First concrete is supposed to go in the hole on Wednesday, although at the moment we're getting about and inch an hour of rain. I don't envy the guys that have to work in that pit tomorrow.I suspect it was a typo: it's "nacelle" unless "nacette" is a small one. :)ry
jgI seem to recall you asking about very small scale wind turbines and whether there isn't a use/need for them.Today's NYT has an article that compares the productivity and cost of turbines that range from the very large (3000kw) to the very small (1kw or less). It appears that the economics of the very small ($1.50 per KWH of electricity produced) just don't make sense unless there's no alternative.One thing I've tried to express since my earliest days "consulting" (I actually got paid for doing it even though, to be honest, I had no formal qualifications) has been to make sure folks understood that there are situations where alternative energy solutions aren't appropriate. Those early days included telling the board of a posh NY Co-op that solar wouldn't work on their building because the Empire State Building cast a shadow on their building most of the day. That observation, backed by a crude graph, cost the $300 in 1975, but I can tell you it was the best $300 they ever spent.There are places where, without access to the grid and very small load requirements, that a <1000W wind turbine, mounted at rooftop level, might be the only solution. But for not much more money, adding a mast and raising the height at which it intercepts the wind, probably makes more sense even if it adds 50% to the cost.The economic structure of the industry may change if they can produce these baby windmills in quantity and if they are installed as original equipment. But for my money, solar, in most places, is a superior choice: lower maintenance, easier installation, similar power controls, longer working life, fewer hassles from the neighbors.This URL will lead you to the article (you may have to register (free) at the NYT site)http://tinyurl.com/495k6try
I must admit I have not gone to the site... yet, but if memory serves me correctly my IDEA was a wind tunnel lined with nano turbines placed on panels which lined the tunnel walls that alone would not produce very much kw, yet collectively would produce massive amounts of electricity & if designed correctly could double as filters removing carbon/pollutants from air as it passes through. The tunnels would probably need to be designed tapered so air by simple physics increased in speed as it traveled generating more kW in theory. I will try & give a rough visual. cyclonic Fans would need to be installed to actually start the siphoning effect of air passing through the tunnel, my guess is it would also need heating & cooling rings inside to increase wind speed as well, similar to the basics of a tornado. The fans, heaters & cooling rings would draw initial power from surface born solar panels & at times of limited solar (night) adjust to draw power from itself. I envision we could initially build the tunnels around coal fired power plants so as coal waste emissions are expelled & would normally end up in the atmosphere they would pass through the tunnel first reducing carbon while generating power. As the system is perfected it could be scaled down & used at developments generating a form of localized power while providing localized heating & cooling for neighborhoods...if that makes sense. I recently watched a Nat geo program where it described the weather patterns around Saturn. It described the way some surface rings traveled clockwise around the planet while the rings below and above the clockwise rotation traveled counter clockwise. That is what I witnessed last march as I looked into the center of the wall cloud that passed over my home only it was not consistent & the photos I took did not reflect that. As one ring rotated clockwise at high speeds the 10 to 20 foot rings above or below just seemed to be rolling or boiling in & out of the center ring with no rotation visible. As the clockwise motion slowed & started it's "boiling" the counter clockwise bands would begin their rotation...if that makes sense. There was no lightning visible on the inside of the wall cloud only the outer edges of the "wall cloud".Batteries? Is the corrosion that accumulates on car battery posts also accumulating on the inside of batteries? Is that what makes them go bad & lose power? What is the corrosion from? Thx again…
Just a guess: The metal connections are made of the same stuff, so the corrosion must come from other materials. There's a lot of dirt, vaporized oil, and probably some finally divided metal wafting around under the hood. Also present should be small amounts of acid from the battery or it's components as the battery is alternately charged and discharged.Reactions among those components would gradually build up around that surfaces closest to the source of the corrosive materials.One way to avoid such corrosion is to coat the terminals with Vaseline or some other material that doesn't contain any metal. As it evaporates or is rubbed away, it will need to be renewed.If/when you clean the battery posts and terminals, just use water and a brush. Then rinse it all with some of the distilled water you use to top of the battery cells and wipe the connections dry with a clean towel. Reassemble and then, using a brush, apply a light coating of Vaseline.
The reason I ask: if corrosion builds on the inside panels & that contributes to a dead cell would it not make sense to have a method to clean the corrosion of the inside panels from time to time prolong the life of the battery?
I posted a reply yesterday which seems to have disappeared.Briefly: The trade off would be to have a battery capable of being cleaned (an expensive process) which would mean that the primary reason that corrosion occurs (contamination) would be more likely.Corrosion can be minimized by making sure that nothing but distilled water gets into the battery. At the end of its service life, recycle. The core materials will be salvaged and remanufactured. Simply cleaning would remove some amount of the battery materials that had combined with contaminants to form the slts you see.ry
Question on Mass Extinctions- There are many theories for mass extinctions most notably the one 65 million years ago which ended the reign of the dinosaurs. All speculation generally involves a singular even which sets off a chain reaction resulting in a systematic collapse of our planets eco system. One of the most famous is an asteroid hitting the northernmost part of South America. The most recent being a “hyper cane” triggered by the asteroid The problem(s) being no one has yet to show how any one event was a large enough trigger to set off the chain of events necessary to do the job so completely, (can’t help but think at least one would have crawled out from under a rock somewhere…)There are impact craters on several planets & moons in our solar system which all appear to have occurred at basically the same time in the past. The north & south poles show records of having reversed throughout earth’s history. How big & how close would an asteroid have to be so that if it was to pass “between” (only impact was debris as we passed through the tail) the earth & the moon, it would be capable of doing all of the above?
jg,I regret I don't understand your question. However, you do make some statements that I think are not supported by current research:1) It's pretty hard to say how old the craters on the moon are, or Mercury, or any planet on which weathering agents are absent. On the moon, short of traveling there to collect samples (been there, done that) we might be able to tell which crater was older, there's no assurance we can impute how much older let alone know the age in years. 2) The large animals that were wiped out in the Jurassic period, probably due to the Yucatan impact we can date that fairly reliably and have found debris from that impact all around the globe, were less able to adapt to the rapid climate change brought about by the impact you sight. Not all species were killed off - crocks, some marine species, birds and their ancestors, and small mammals. It was the truly large whose diet and climate needs were more restrictive, that suffered. If the herbivorous prey of the T Rex die off leaving only small mammals, T Rex is going to starve because it can't prey on the itty bitty guys.Could a single impact do the job? Compare it to the effect of a single major eruption, Pinatubo for one, which has been well documented. We're pretty sure how big the Yucatan impact was, how much ejecta made it into the atmosphere, how long it was suspended, how much sunlight was occluded and how much temps would have dropped. As for the questions you pose in your last paragraph, I'm pretty sure I'm lost. For one thing, reversal of our poles happens in the natural course of things. I don't think, though I don't know for sure, there would be any effect except that your compass wouldn't work as expected. The magnetic pole drifts continuously which is the reason you have to know the details in order to convert a mag compass reading to "true" or map directions.It's likely, though not proven that I know of, that the rate of impacts is slowing. This is because each impact clears the area of one more object. If you were to look at our system from a great distance, you'd find that the planets had swept up the "dust" clouds within their sphere of gravitational influence. And they've done a pretty good job. The Oort cloud exists beyond the major planets and the asteroid belt is generally made up of large objects implying that the smaller ones, the ones more susceptible to being coaxed out of orbit, have already been cleaned up.Get the idea we're pretty much the only two hangers on?
Guess it was kind of vague, I am always guilty of that when I know what I am trying to say while overlooking the fact everyone else is clueless as to my thought process...I will try and clarify...over the past few years I have learned a lot of new "stuff" through ya'lls links, Nat Geo, Nova, etc.I am just wondering if a large body passed between the moon & the Earth & the Yucatan impact was just debris? many believe the Yucatan impact could not have caused total extinction all by itself, although your facts on food supply are credible. The reptiles & fish survived because their environment was primarily underwater where effects would have been minimal.A body of some size much larger than the yucatan 'roid passing that close could have disrupted the natural order of things both earthly as well as universal. Could it have ripped away a young & fragile atmosphere, triggered waves of tsunamis due to gravitational pull, earthquakes, vlcanic eruptions, reversed the poles etc.or suppose it passed clean & the earth hit the back side of it as it passed causing the Yucatan crater before the body pulled away?Although we have to agree with the comparisons between then & now as to the cleanliness of the solar system, yet the universe is a dangerous place where nothing sits still...for long. & new surprises are always only a Hubble focus away.& then there are the Mayan's & 2012,we line up with the galactical center?...I will not delve into that speculative world although I believe it deserves more than a passing observation. But what comes to mind is that harsh game they played where a vertical hoop on a wall was used as players tried to throw a ball through the hoop, the winner was sacrificed...can't help but think with the Mayan's belief in the after life if they believed the winner could die & somehow insure that the asteroid passed through the sweet spot or hoop between the Earth & Moon where disruption & chances of impact would be minimal & their society would survive...I know this latest fantasy land or quest for understanding I am on is irrelavant or farfetched at present, absent any direct threats, yet this is the internet & life...never know when our grandkids will have to Google it up, give it a good dusting & we end up saving the world...The way ya'll just saved a country :-)thanx.
P.S. Deb is still here...Instinct tells me the rest drop in from time to time...
Ideablob.comfor anyone interested...
The White House Orgamic Farm Project.Sign the petition at http://www.thewhofarm.org/They also have a really cool double school bus with organic garden to travel the country with."We, the people, respectfully request that an organic farm be planted on the grounds of The White House, at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington, DC.The White House Organic Farm (aka TheWhoFarm) will be a model for healthy, economical and sustainable living everywhere. It will serve as an educational tool and economic aid, and as a means to provide food security in the Nation’s Capitol. It will reconnect the Office of the Presidency to the self-sufficient agricultural roots of America's Founding Fathers."
Regarding Yucatan impact:Whether it was a fragment or the whole object isn't the issue. We was mugged. And the object was fairly large. The worldwide effect has been confirmed by tracing a thin layer of stuff (iridium, I think)at levels that can be dated and which coincide with the extinctions 65 million years ago. Mass extinction and total extinction, I think, have two different meanings. It's easier to get rid of the big animals - the dinosaurs went. Some of the smaller ones survived - those chickens in the coop: descendants. Small mammals survived and with the large dinos out of the way, began to flourish.It's easier to get rid of fish than you might think: they're very sensitive to water chemistry and temperature changes. Don't believe that: try keeping a salt water aquarium. One of the dangerous effects of the climate change cycle we're going through now is a change in ocean pH. Shells don't form, coral laid down over centuries is collapsing.As much as anything, the fact that changes were very sudden played the most havoc. Neither plants nor animals had time to migrate as they would in response to normal climatic fluctuations. Much the same thing is happening now. Less mobile plants and animals, those that exist in finely balanced, extreme conditions, don't have time to migrate to find similar, if not identical conditions in a different place. [One example now is the Pica. It exists in scree above the tree line but below permanent snow cover. Can't go down; not much up to go to.]There's a later, smaller extinction that has yet to have its cause confirmed. They have not found a crater but have found a very thin layer of material that would coincide with the timing and would point to a collision. Stay tuned.ry
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The bread was moldy ...
And from the mold a cure was found.