Archive for the 'Thirst-day' Category

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Off-Grid Water Purification Breakthrough

Friday, February 12th, 2010

I’ve heard the Lifesaver bottle advertised on The Survival Podcast, but was not excited about it until I saw this TED Talk video from 2009 of Lifesaver’s inventor and CEO Michael Pritchard’s presentation at Oxford, England.
The Lifesaver system filters out contaminants larger than 15 nanometers. It’s 100% effective against the 25 nanometer sized polio virus […]

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 […]

“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 […]

Mcgyan Breakthrough: Biodiesel in 6 Seconds

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

A description of a biodiesel making breakthrough, called the Mcgyan Process, from Minnesota’s Augsburg College and SarTec Corporation found its way into my inbox thanks to a Google Alert.
The name “Mcgyan” comes from the three inventors’ names–McNeff, Gyberg, and Yan.
Another article in WCCO describes the process and benefits in a concise nutshell:
“Taking an idea from […]

Will Brazil Oil Find Disrupt Alt Energy?

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

Brazilian Coast Oil Platform
ConsumerWatchDog published an article by Bradley Brooks from AP titled “Alternative Energy Powerhouse Brazil Finds Big Oil.”
To paraphrase a bit, Brazil currently leads the world in ethanol production and hydroelectric power. But the national company Petrobras, as well as partners such as BP, will develop the recent offshore oil find (deeper than […]

Hemp Biofuel Test Underway in Canada

Thursday, August 27th, 2009
Alan Bock posted an item on Orange County Register’s “Orange Punch” online, “Testing hemp for biofuel,” with a link to the original story in Canada.
Bock wrote, “Think maybe this would be worth trying in California? Even on a pilot basis to see if Jack Herer’s claims about hemp hold water?”
ArsTechnica recently published a general summary […]

Green Cars In The News

Friday, August 7th, 2009

L.A. Times reports Jay Leno’s New Show to Include a Green Car Segment.
“One idea for a recurring comedy bit includes a ‘green-car challenge,’ in which celebrities would race electric or hybrid cars. Tom Cruise has already asked whether he could do some practice runs before competing, Leno said. (The host told him practice runs are […]

Biodiesel & Clothes Wash Near Waterless

Sunday, July 26th, 2009

Xeros at GizMag
Catilin non toxic “T300″ nano catalyst replaces caustic methoxide and all the water washing needed to dilute it.
“Our solid catalyst makes it so much easier,” says Larry Lenhart, Catilin CEO. “It’s safe and nontoxic, and it requires less expense to run. You don’t need to do the mixtures with acids and pH balance, […]

Can We Drink AND Drive?

Friday, July 10th, 2009
According to a Houston Business Journal story, “Rice report weighs biofuels and water resources,” as the title suggests, Rice University released a report, “The Water Footprint of Biofuels: A Drink or Drive Issue?.”
While petroleum and nuclear are shown in the report to use a few hundred liters per defined energy unit, irrigated corn and soybean […]

Seasteaders Seek Accelerated Strategy

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

Credit: Paul Spooner.Who lives in a platform on top of the sea? Maybe you, if the Seasteading Institute has its way.
In an email message to Seastead Institute supporters, Director of Operations James Hogan announced “a forum thread describing many of the options we’re looking at for an accelerated strategy.”
Our current timeline & strategy describe modest […]

Lake Mead Is Half Empty

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

Nothing combines the concepts of water and power like Hoover Dam.
The electricity generating turbines at Hoover (a.k.a. Boulder) Dam spin due to the pressure exerted by the water in man made Lake Mead.
According to Boing Boing’s Mark Frauenfelder, in an article published by GOOD magazine, the water level has fallen 100 feet in Lake Mead […]

Solar Heated Rainwater Demo in RV

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

YouTube video of SolTrekker RV tour in Portland, Oregon on Earth Day, 2009, according to the video description at the creator’s channel.
The green SolTrekker RV uses photovoltaics, contains no PVC, burns biodiesel but no petroleum or propane, and of particular interest on Thirst Day, collects rainwater and has a super insulated solar water heating system.

Pigs In The Pipes Power Pilot Project

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

The Simpsons MovieAbby Cohn at Berkeley Innovations describes a test by the City of San Francisco to convert brown grease, which normally plugs up sewer pipes, into biodiesel in an item titled From Bacon To Biofuel.
Innovations is the website of the UC Berkeley College of Engineering, hence the plugs for its alumni in the article.
” […]

Grease Lightning Delivery Uses Biodiesel

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

The Albany Democrat-Herald in Oregon published a story about Grease Lightning Delivery, a business that uses biodiesel and recycled vegetable oil as fuel.
“John Knox thinks his 1982 Mazda Truck with a modified engine that runs on biofuel can provide businesses with an economical and environmentally sound means of delivery.”
Small scale recycling of waste vegetable oil […]

Bottles, Barrels & Drops in the Ocean

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

BBC News website’s Environment correspondent, Richard Black, reported an example of a bleak world situation, where “For nearly one billion people, clean drinking water is still a mirage,” in an article titled “Where clean water is a pipedream”.
If you want a graphic demonstration of the health impacts of poor drinking water, look no further than […]

MAX MPG Car Escapes From Berkeley

Friday, February 13th, 2009

Mother Earth News reports that a DIY homebrew car, “MAX Wins 800-mile Race, without Gas.”
The challenge was to drive from Berkeley to Las Vegas without using petroleum based fuel, and without buying any fuel directly. This is a step in the MAX team’s attempt to win the $10 million automotive X-Prize for a 100 MPG […]

Freeway BioFuel, Daryl Hannah’s New Car

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

BioPro automation YouTube
From the Freeways To Fuel website, linked from Green Tech Media coverage of the National Biodiesel Conference in San Francisco this month:
. . .we estimate that 10 million acres of non-traditional agronomic lands are available to grow about 1 billion million gallons of biodiesel feedstock on our country’s rights-of-way.
Daryl Hannah made news at […]

Planet is Running Short of Water

Saturday, January 24th, 2009
Times Online UK story, “Ecologists warn the planet is running short of water” references a Pacific Institute press release about their most recent publication, The World’s Water 2008-2009.
The site has plenty of excerpts and data charts to illustrate their “peak water” scenario. The following is from the introduction to The World’s Water 2008-2009:
“In many […]

Thirst-day: Toilet Lid Sink Saves Water

Saturday, January 10th, 2009

This Toilet Lid Sink is a conversation starter. Here’s the product description:
“With each flush of your commode, clean water that would otherwise go straight down the toilet is first routed up through a chrome gooseneck spigot to dispense pure water for hand washing. The Toilet Lid Sink installs easily without tools, is attractive for any […]