Monday, July 30, 2007

Big Jump is Solar Cell Efficiency

A team at the University Of Delaware has set a new record for solar cell efficiency.
That number is a significant advance from the current record of 40.7 percent announced in December and demonstrates an important milestone on the path to the 50 percent efficiency goal set by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). In November 2005, the UD-led consortium received approximately $13 million in funding for the initial phases of the DARPA Very High Efficiency Solar Cell (VHESC) program to develop affordable portable solar cell battery chargers.

Combined with the demonstrated efficiency performance of the very high efficiency solar cells' spectral splitting optics, which is more than 93 percent, these recent results put the pieces in place for a solar cell module with a net efficiency 30 percent greater than any previous module efficiency and twice the efficiency of state-of-the-art silicon solar cell modules.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Don't Blame the Sun

The sun isn't to blame for global warming.
Direct satellite measurements of solar activity show it has been declining since the mid-1980s and cannot account for recent rises in global temperatures, according to new research.

The findings debunk an explanation for climate change that is often cited by people who are not convinced that greenhouse gas emissions from human activities are causing the Earth's climate to warm.

Thursday, July 05, 2007


In history Keith Olbermann will be noted as the Edward R. Morrow of our day.

Libby's GOOJFC

An astute legal friend of mine pointed out that there is a simple practical reason for the get-out-of-jail-free-card. Since Libby has been convicted, the prosecutors can no longer compel him to testify by granting immunity. Libby will never talk and there's no way to make him talk.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Scooter's Unfortunate Twin

The main difference between Scooter Libby and Victor Rita is that one lied to protect Dick Cheney and the other just lied.

There's justice for you. I think the name of Scooter Libbey should forever be associated with his unfortunate twin Victor Rita.

Spotlight on Fusion Voting

Here's an interesting idea. It's called fusion voting. It involves having a candidate endorsed by more than one party. The name appears multiple times on the ballot for each party that endorses it. The voter votes for the candidate at the ballot position of the party for which they feel the most affinity. The votes are tabulated by party then by candidate. When the candidate wins he or she has a concrete indication of which party's values played an important role in that win. It moves the influence on the candidates out of the back room and onto the ballot.

Before Time

It wasn't a big bang. It was a Big Bounce.

Monday, July 02, 2007


Yeah, he's a putz, alright
One thing it says is that Mr. Bush and his partner in crime, Dick Cheney, believe they are above the law. The commutation of Libby confirms the belief that Mr. Libby lied to the FBI, perjured himself to the grand jury, and obstructed a federal criminal investigation in order to cover up the role Bush and Cheney played in smearing Joe Wilson and ruining the career of his CIA operative wife.

The arrogance of the act is astounding. In commuting Libby's sentence, Mr. Bush did not follow his own Justice Department's guidelines, which do not recommend commutations unless the convict has begun serving his or her sentence, and has dropped or exhausted all appeals. Of course, Mr. Bush is free to disregard those guidelines, as President Clinton did when he pardoned Marc Rich. The Rich pardon was wrong, in my opinion. But Marc Rich was a fugitive financier; Clinton did not benefit at all from Rich's crimes. Scooter Libby is a Bush-Cheney operative who may well have been doing Bush and Cheney's bidding when he obstructed the investigation into how and Valerie and Joe Wilson were smeared. (By the way, like many Democrats I spoke out publicly against the Rich pardon -- which Scooter Libby helped to arrange. Let's see how many Republicans have the character to speak out against this injustice.)

It's interesting that we still have the capacity to be shocked by the extra-legal acts of this crowd. They came to power by stealing an election, by staging a near-riot to stop the counting of ballots in Miami, and by virtue of a Supreme Court edict that has joined Dred Scott in the judicial hall of shame. From that day to this Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney have held the rule of law in contempt.

And we still have 567 days to go.