Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Coal Power Plant Retrofit With Solar

August 21, 2008

Coal Power Plant Retrofit With Solar

Now this is what I’m talking about.  A real solution to helping reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.  By adding the solar concentrating mirrors to boil the water in the pipes the sunlight is concentrated on instead of coal you have a coal power plant that makes the same amount of electricity but uses almost half as much coal.  Also, this new type of concentrating mirror trough system only needs 2-2.5 acres to generate one megawatt of power instead 5-7 acres so you get more for your money and a quicker return on investment.  My favorite part about solar power plants is that once they are paid off from selling the power it makes over time the fuel is free so the return on investment is not only quicker but the profit margin is greatest since the cost to operate is so incredibly low.  Solar just makes sense.  On a side note, here is a neighborhood of about 100 homes that have commited to all put solar photovoltaic (sunlight directly into electricity) panels on every one of their roofs.  This made it possible for the company doing the installing to get the panels for HALF OFF THE COST so the return on investment would be around two years and the neighborhood would have next to free energy (depending on how much energy they actually use) after that.  If I didn’t live in the woods with a small opening for sunlight I would do this too!  I may end up using Southern Solar Systems to install a solar hot water heater for me though since you only need a little bit of sun to do it.

ExxonMobil Posts Record Profits AGAIN

July 31, 2008
Big Oil

Big Oil

Money Beat

It’s not that I don’t like companies that actually make money for their shareholders, but I think the line has been crossed in this case.  People are having to drive less and pay more for everything like food and basic necessities.  There has to be some sort of middle ground between the oil companies making record profits and the average American being able to have extra income to spend on things other than the basics.

I think I say it best in my comment on the linked ABC blog above:
The problem has always been the lack of consumer choice. When we buy a car or truck we have only once choice of fuel type: gasoline created from oil. We are just now in 2008 starting to see Flex Fuel (TM) vehicles that can use domestic ethanol E85 fuel. There needs to be more than two choices. There should be electric cars that I can charge with solar panels on the roof of my house. After 5-10 years the fuel would essentially be free after saving the money I would be spending on gasoline and power from the grid. I say let the oil companies do whatever they want to do to help their shareholders, but they need to let go of their semi-monopoly on our transportation. There wouldn’t be so many grassroots electric vehicle conversions going on if automakers in the US like General Motors would just have kept their EV1 going instead of recalling and shredding them to pieces. Anyone who reads this needs to watch the documentary “Who Killed the Electric Car?” just to have the information out there. If GM would have kept the EV1 going, and put more out there on the road then the invisible hand would have put incentive out there for the battery companies to make better batteries, etc. Since the EV1 came out in the 90’s then by now we would have the EV2 or EV3 with better range and a lower price just from economies of scale.

Impact of GM Destroying the EV1

July 30, 2008

Impact of GM Destroying the EV1 – Seeking Alpha

I don’t think I could have made a better comment than this person’s:
“…for all the money the US has wasted in Iraq, it could have instead bought 100,000,000 hybrid
vehicles to replace US citizens’ gas-guzzling SUVs. Obviously this
would have not only been a much wiser use of US taxpayer money, but
would have cut foreign oil dependency, helped to clean up the
Earth’s atmosphere, saved many lives, and perhaps have rescued the
faltering US economy and currency from its current oil-dependent
death spiral.”
Just imagine if GM had NOT killed the EV1?  My wife and I both would be driving one.  By now the battery technology would be at least double if not triple the capacity since so many would be on the streets it would behoove battery companies to be the supplier.  General Motors would instead be the greatest American hero (not the TV show) instead of the faltering, bankrupt, money and job loser it is.

Now it seems that it’s up to Tesla Motors to do what GM could have already been doing for the past 15 years.  They are going to be an all electric car company that sells only 100% electric cars.  Right now they only have the one sportscar model to choose from.  But, the customers that buy these models are helping to pay for the techonolgy and tooling required to drive down costs of the next models (see paragraph five and six) through economies of scale.  I can’t afford the Tesla Roadster but I do want to help them get their next model out as soon as possible.  So I bought this T-Shirt.  You can help them out too by visiting their store and buying something as well.  Come on Tesla Motors, hurry up the cakes!  There’s no reason why we shouldn’t all be driving electric cars fueled solely on FREE energy from solar panels on our rooftops.  No reason.

Saharan sun could power European supergrid

July 23, 2008

Saharan sun could power European supergrid | Environment | guardian.co.uk

If Europe can do it so could the USA.  We have more than enough sun all over the southwest to give us clean power when we need it most (during the day).  We could use the molten salt idea to generate several hours worth (if not all night’s worth) of power at night.  If the molten salt didn’t last all night we could use our wind, hydro, and ocean tidal power plants for the few hours of the night that we needed.  Even if we just used the power during the day from the sun and used our current grid (50% coal) for the few hours at night would that not be a HUGE reduction in greenhouse gas and toxic gas production?  I think it would be a great investment for the American people and our government leaders should push for this as soon as possible.  Do you agree?

I Joined the Church of Reality

June 12, 2008

Church of Reality

If it’s real, we believe in it.  My favorite part about this religion is that it’s not based on ancient fiction and dogma but actual reality and the here-and-now.  Since the core beliefs aren’t based on fiction with no evidence requiring faith with no proof, they are free to change like an open source religion.  I think it is very important that all of humanity work together as a whole to better the future for generations to come.  As of now, we seem to be spiteful, judgmental, greedy, hateful, bigoted, divisive, food-holes that are only here on earth temporarily until they can go to heaven to spend the rest of eternity not having to worry about much.  The Tree of Knowledge idea is a great one that needs to be pushed in schools and universities.  It is what really separates humans from the rest of the animal kingdom.  I, for one, welcome this new religion with open arms – and an open mind!  From now on when people ask what religion I belong to I will answer with, “I am a realist.”

Click to Give @ The Hunger Site

June 11, 2008

Click to Give @ The Hunger Site

You can give a cup of food to starving people every single day just by clicking the big “Click here to give” button on this page.  They give all their advertising revenues to charity and they show exactly how much you helped when you click.  Today I gave 1.1 cups of food with a single click!  Also, don’t forget to bookmark this site and click it every day!  There are other, similar charities linked at the top with tabs like literacy, child health, breast cancer, rainforest, and animal rescue.  They also have online stores where a portion of the purchase price goes to charity.  I’m making a purchase right now!

Max and his dad are in USA Today

March 31, 2008

WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 29: Max Mathis, 6, ri … – Cruise Log – USATODAY.com

Here is a picture of Max and his dad on their weekend trip to Washington D.C.

He’s famous now. Next he’ll be signing autographs…

Egypt is fighting over bread. Are we next?

March 25, 2008

Egypt is already fighting over bread.  Are we next?  I’ve already noticed the price of, well, everything going up.  When Monica said something about the price of food going up I said that it may be because the shortage of water is making that more expensive to make things like soda, etc. and the rising cost of gas/diesel is trickling down to the consumer.  I predict we will see some sort of major crisis in my generation’s lifetime relating to oil and fossil fuels.  I hope it doesn’t get to the point where the local grocery store is rushed by a mob and people start shooting each other over food and water.  We are already headed in that direction with Alabama, Georgia, and Florida fighting politically over tap water.  If the current trend keeps up the local governments will have to pass water use laws and give people tickets for wasting water on their lawns or in swimming pools very soon.  I can even imagine it getting so bad the water company will have to physically turn off the water to everyone’s homes during certain times of the day because people will undoubtedly be greedy and want to take all the water for themselves and waste it on a long hot shower and hot tub while everyone else is clamoring just for water to drink.  I may need to go ahead and set up a large rain collection system we can use for flushing toilets and sinks, etc.  If it gets too bad we should go ahead and get some solar panels or solar water heating system in place in case the power grid goes down and the workers can’t afford gasoline for the trucks to fix them.  Let’s all hope I’m wrong.

Diebold voting machine key copied from pic on Diebold site – Boing Boing

February 6, 2008

Diebold voting machine key copied from pic on Diebold site – Boing Boing

Wow.  The key to every Diebod e-voting machine.  Really?  Right on the front page of your site.  Really?  That’s something special right there.  I hope the people counting my old-fashioned paper vote don’t figure out how to hack that.  What a horrible punch to the solar plexis of our democracy (I’m taking karate – trust me it hurts)!  I can’t wait to see – no matter who the next president turns out to be – what is going to be done about education, health care, the environment, renewable energy, American Idol and Lost, oh yeah and the thousands of people who are still dying for nothing in Iraq.   People are dumb.  Especially us Americans.  I’m ashamed really.

I bought myself a teapot for work

January 15, 2008

Mug Not IncludedThinkGeek :: IngenuiTEA 16oz Teapot

I purchaced the IngenuiTEA (pronounced ingenuity) from Thinkgeek.com and now I can enjoy the awesomeness of loose tea. I work with a few people from China so they let me sample some of the better teas that we can’t get here in America. One of my Chinese coworkers just gave me a small, vacuum sealed package of tea to try (Chinese Tea Pack). He said that a box of these tea packs is around $100 US. That’s got to be some good tea. I’ll give it a try later today. I’ll update this post with my review and the actual name of the tea. I’m trying to drink more tea and less Mountain Dew. I’m up to my second cup of tea today and zero Mountain Dews.