Archive for the 'Energy' Category

“Bike Luminance” Bicycle Helmet Signals

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

The Bike Luminance Kickstarter project expires September 16.
Resistance to bicycling as an alternative to driving doesn’t come only from being lazy and out of shape–there’s also a safety factor. Cars are big, dangerous things with drivers who are trying to avoid hitting the other big, dangerous vehicles on the road and not always noticing the […]

Electricity Off-Grid From Cooking Heat

Friday, April 27th, 2012

The Power Pot Kickstarter project expires May 4.
After that, visit their website directly at
“The PowerPot is a cooking pot that doubles as a portable electric generator. It can be used indoors or outside and works with any fuel source.”
“Unlike solar power, The PowerPot works day or night, rain or shine to bring you the […]

28 Generations of a Vietnam Food Forest

Friday, February 10th, 2012

Geoff Lawton describes centuries of gardening experimentation in a tropical food forest in this video from Vietnam.
This family owned garden casually yields productivity without loss of the topsoil, killing the life in it with tilling, spraying pesticides and herbicides, and without the use of petrochemical based fertilizers.
Glad we’re not dumping Napalm and Agent Orange […]

Mon., Aug. 29: “Kill Switch” @ O.C. KHCTF

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Karl Hess Community
Technology Forum
On a Fifth Monday in a Month
August 29, 2011
Pre-meeting: 6:00 p.m.
Dinner 7:00 p.m.
Announcements: 7:45 p.m. Howard Hinman, Master of Ceremonies
Presentation: 8:00 p.m. J. Kent Hastings:
“Surviving the Phone and Internet Kill Switch”
Questions: 8:45 p.m. Q&A via written cards for at least the first round of questions.
Close by 9:30 p.m.
Location: Asian […]

It’s Time For War With China

Saturday, August 20th, 2011

Let’s stop pussyfooting in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and even the Iran invasion to come. These “nations” are quickly smashed and their occupation is hardly worth the trouble.
Egypt might take a month or so to crack if we decided to take them on for the militant Islamic extremism that hasn’t quite been revealed–yet.
But why waste time […]

Increase Your Home’s Albedo

Monday, July 18th, 2011

Wikipedia Roofs
In a new Slashdot politics post, “Bill Clinton Says “Paint Your Roofs White”,” the former U.S. President describes the benefits to job seekers, paid for by energy savings, of painting every rooftop white.
Slashdot links to a Newsweek article, “It’s Still The Economy, Stupid,” with the white roof idea as one of the Clinton’s 14 […]

Monday, June 6 KHCTF Meeting

Monday, June 6th, 2011

Karl Hess
Community Technology Forum
A Very Rare Sixth Monday in a Month
(So rare in fact, that it’s actually the First Monday of the next month)
June 6, 2011
Pre-meeting: 6:00 p.m.
Dinner 7:00 p.m.
Announcements: 7:45 p.m. Howard Hinman, Master of Ceremonies
Presentation: 8:00 p.m. Jenny Cohen:
“Gardening and Entrepreneurship”
Questions: 8:45 p.m. Q&A via written cards for at least […]

Sungevity Solar Challenges Grid Necessity

Thursday, May 26th, 2011
I finally caught up with the May 2, 2011 episode of An Organic Conversation, “The Ecology of Energy,” which featured Sungevity founder Danny Kennedy as a guest.
Kennedy discussed Sungevity and solar lease economics and described a foreign solar panel installation in the Maldives, working next to President Nasheed on the Mulee Aage palace roof.
A PRNewswire […]

Boing Boing on Bike Repair Videos

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Bicycle Tutor site featured in Boing Boing post, “Learn the basics of bike repair at home.”
Just in time for “Ciclodia” season. What Peruvians are calling their Ciclovia, according to SF Streets Blog, “Peru’s Traffic Menagerie.”
Los Angeles is having another CicLAvia April 10, according to the Huffington Post, “CicLAvia Returns.”
The most moving account of a Ciclovia […]

Growbot or Not?

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

Some hardcore wilderness experts and other traditionalists scoff at depending upon battery powered mobile devices in the bush (”Calling Technology’s Bluff“), despite things like backpack solar cells for recharging them in the field.
Others embrace the new capabilities, many of which will work just fine even without online access.
For example, here are some iPhone apps for […]

Survivalism for Musicians

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

At Boing Boing, Cory Doctorow posted “Indie Band Survival Guide: soup-to-nuts, no-BS manual for 21st century artistic life.” The post clearly explains how the success of the authors with their band (named there) makes them “in the scene” and qualified to write on the topic. (Nobody can say I hijacked this “hot news,” even though […]

Ben & Jerry’s “Sounds Cool” Freezer

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

Penn State research
During the recent heat wave in L.A., in which the local radio stations neglected to report 11,000 homes in various cities were without power for hours, I decided to look into alternative cooling technologies online.
The goal was to find examples that use solar heat directly or consume much less power instead of overburdening […]

“None Simpler” Etched Spirals Replace Coils

Friday, September 17th, 2010

  NS-40 Board
After being thrilled connecting up a Pixie 2 based QRP Miniwat ham radio transceiver circuit board purchased on eBay to random switches and plugs I had around my room (see the Resilient Freedom post about my “Bumble Bee transceiver“), I’ve been rereading some classic QRP books (low power designs–great for backpacking and […]

Cri-Cri Electric Plane: Green Air Travel?

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

Aviation Business reports “Cri-Cri: The All Electric Aircraft Gets Airborne.”
The news of the Paris flight was also published in the L.A. Times Environment “Greenspace” blog on Sep. 3, with the headline, “Up in the air…in an all-electric plane.” The story says the plane was made by Airbus parent corporation EADS. The pilot for the all […]

Arguments for Biofuel v. Petroleum Continue

Sunday, July 4th, 2010

The comments at EcoGeek to their report, “Sweden Now Using More Biofuel Than Oil,” mostly deny any environmental benefits of biomass for fuel, especially wood.
I recently saw Fuel, the film by Josh Tickell, and wrote about it at, “Fuel Film Shows Oil Alternatives.”
The film shows Tickell’s successful quest to popularize biodiesel from waste vegetable […]

Field Day For The Hams

Saturday, June 26th, 2010

Although I didn’t participate in any Field Day events this year, I did assemble with the saints (ham radio operators) this morning at the TRW Swap Meet.
I picked up three rechargeable fluorescent portable lanterns cheap for blackout bags and a bunch of free RF connectors and rubber duck antennas that the fellow didn’t want to […]

Might As Well Be On The Moon

Friday, June 4th, 2010

Shimizu Corporation “Luna Ring” Concept

The U.S.A. seems intent on outsourcing its green jobs, “Wind and Solar Deported to Mexico?”
Some projects that were funded at taxpayer funded universities in the U.S. have their patented designs “in development,” but given this tough economy, I’m afraid that many of the most useful won’t emerge into commercial […]

Power and Water

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

According to the White Fence Index, the national average cost for electricity is $80.96 per month. Your mileage may vary, of course.
It’s a close race between the inept small town electric utility in Pahrump, Nevada and the corrupt Los Angeles, California DWP as to who has the most outages. (I’m Mr. Negativity today). A small […]

Bill Gates Nukes the Environment

Friday, February 26th, 2010

Bill Gates was in the news a few weeks back taking climate change deniers to task.
I must admit I lean to the skeptical side myself. I’m for off-grid power for reasons such as the probable coming oil famine and hyperinflation. But I don’t have the expertise and inclination to go on a crusade on either […]

Nightmare on Fern Street

Friday, February 5th, 2010

Very Interesting. . .
Brad Linaweaver says he’s getting tired of the “Wall Street vs. Main Street” rhetoric, which he believes ignores the Empire as the dominant agency for the immiseration of the proletariat, comrade. (He wouldn’t put it like that.)
Brad suggested finding out if the Pentagon was located on a Street that could find its […]

Will a Frozen Europe Raise Earth’s Albedo?

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

Digg front page item shows a very cool (sorry) NASA photo of Great Britain covered with ice from orbit.
Global warming promoters have long said that the gulf stream is at risk. For example, this 2002 Science Daily story, “A Current Controversy: Is Europe About To Freeze?,” excerpt:
“One of the odd possibilities that could emerge from […]

Plug-Ins Panned, But Supercaps Coming

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

ARS Technica describes a recent National Academies of Science report in an article, “New report offers grim assessment of plug-in hybrids.” Several commenters to the article naturally rejected the report’s fuel price assumptions as oil company fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD).
Which reminded me about the promising EEstor breakthrough that’s supposed to be demonstrated this year, […]

Food Plant Reforestation Is Cool

Saturday, December 12th, 2009

An item at The Permaculture Research Institute of Australia titled “How to Repair Our World” embeds a slick YouTube video about WeForest.
The video’s producer persuaded Stephen Fry to volunteer his time for narration during a chance meeting in Copenhagen (hence the “Fry-day” category and also because it’s still Friday in my local time zone).
WeForest encourages […]

What Freedom?

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

Coca Cola was one of the companies listed on an often played TV ad in the U.S. that shows the word “Copenhagen” morphing into “Hopenhagen.”
Maybe Coke’s marketing department was thinking of their polar bear mascots.
The solution to stopping global warming proposed by scientist Saul Griffith, in his SALT talk in January of this year, […]

Kite Based Wind Power Generation

Saturday, December 5th, 2009

Harvard Gazette photo
If you’re confused why something tagged “Winds-day” is being posted on a day other than Wednesday, let me remind you that the universe isn’t tied to your homeworld’s orbital position. Not by a strong force anyway. Moving on. . .
Although the great Saul Griffith talks about global warming a lot, his Instructables site, […]

Power from Water Makes a Splash

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

The BBC online story “Hydro-electricity in Wales: Turning streams into cash” describes micro-hydro turbines gaining popularity among farmers. The small systems are generating the amount of power used in surrounding communities.
For those who have streams, but without a steep waterfall drop that makes existing turbines worthwhile, Boing Boing’s Mark Frauenfelder reports something new, “Technology to […]

Objection to My Climategate White Feather

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

Here’s an excerpt from email I got from J. Neil Schulman:
“Frankly — as a subscriber to Permakent who has it as the only external blog on my blog roll at J. Neil Schulman @ Rational Review — I’d been waiting for you to make a statement on this for several days. Just as I was […]

$1/Watt, 10% Efficiency Thin-Film Solar

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

This Kurzweil AI item has a link to the Technology Review story, “Thin-Film Solar with High Efficiency.”
The article describes the San Jose based company, Solexant, in some detail including, “The company expects to sell modules for $1 per watt, with efficiencies above 10 percent.”
Nanotech leader Paul Alivisatos, of UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley Lab, sits […]

Farms on Land, Sea, or Skyscrapers?

Sunday, November 15th, 2009

A recent WorldChanging article, which came to my attention in this TreeHugger article, complains about the alleged “Dark Side of Transition Thinking,” and thus bashes a growing movement active throughout the world.
The author, Alex Steffen, wrote in “Transition Towns or Bright Green Cities?” that “All over the world, groups of people with graduate degrees, affluence, […]

“WhiteFi” To Cut Farm Water Use in Half?

Friday, September 25th, 2009

ArsTechnica reported a perfect Thirst-Day item about a proposed wireless internet standard that uses the white space frequencies between broadcast channels for the interactive data.
The article, titled “WhiteFi” could be worth $15bn a year—and fix climate change, describes its market potential due to bringing about easier rural datafication and the energy savings implied by its […]