Monday, March 30, 2009

Infinia on the national stage

CNN has a nice article about our local solar generating company. Infinia's first major client was the army since their generator was easy to move around and didn't give off detectable heat unlike a diesel generator. Now they have plans to mass-produce these little babies and sell them at $10K a pop. They hope to have 100,000 on the grid by 2010. To do this they need some big time suppliers. There just happens to be a few auto-industry suppliers out there looking for new work. It may be a marriage made in recession.

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Winnable Afghan War

David Brooks thinks we can actually win in Afghanistan. I hope he is right. Not only for our sakes but for the people of Afghanistan.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Demise of God's Time

In the shadow of the recent time shifts we should note that it was the railroads that killed "God's time". Until people could move fast enough across the country that the difference between local noon and noon on a portable timepiece was noticeable only mariners appreciated how the zenith varied with longitude. It was tho railroads that established formal time zones so that clocks were uniform across a range of longitudes. In doing so genuine local time disappeared.

Cold Fusion?

Some new credible evidence of the existence of cold fusion has come around. This is verrry interesting.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Last Will Be First

Edison lost out to Westinghouse in the AC/DC wars. Now it looks like DC may be coming back. HVDC is more efficient over long distances. In Edison's time there weren't transformer that could bring the high DC voltages down to what would be acceptable for home use. But HVDC is a perfect way to spread power over long distances. Just what you need for a constant supply of solar or wind-generated power.

Interesting New Capacitor

An advanced semiconductor construction technique opens the door to better capacitors. Good enough to serve as quick charging batteries.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Nuclear Obsolesence?

If Traveling-Wave Reactors can really be built before the Gen 3 reactors just going into construction, they could be the last light water reactors ever built. There are thorium designs similar to this that could be built as the depleted uranium stockpile are consumed. Who knows, maybe electricity will become to cheap to meter after all.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Evolution of the Wing

Another ID argument bites the dust. What could be the use of half a wing? It turns out early birds used their primitive wings to help them run up inclines and vertical surfaces by creating more traction. They used them as spoilers to produce downward force for their feet. If they were at speed the force of the air across their wings would enable them to run up vertical surfaces where their predators could not follow.