Daily archives: April 22, 2005

London Green Lifestyle Show

Scheduled for World Environment Day on June 5th, there is to be a big Green living show in Greenwich. It’s a bit far for me to travel, I should check out what similar events MAnchester council has planned.

Londoners will be able to pick up tips on how to make changes at home, work or in their leisure time to help improve their own standard of living and protect and enjoy the environment.

The event is part of Mr Livingstone’s aim of making London a sustainable city powered using renewable energy sources, where waste will be minimised and recycled, food waste will be composted and noise and air pollution will be reduced.

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Hydrogen Village

One of the major complaints about wind power is that it isn’t an “on demand” power source, you get electricity when the wind speed is within a certain range, which isn’t always the time when the power is needed. A pilot scheme on Canada’s Prince Edward Island may have the answer. It uses power from windmills to convert water to hydrogen, which can be stored and used as combustible fuel or in fuel cells. Though there are questions about the efficiency of conversion it does offer one possible solution. Possibly future wind farms could incorporate a small hydrogen power plant. When output is greater than demand hydrogen can be produced that would run the plant when output from the windmills dropped below a certain level.

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Dry Ton

Biomass could provide up to one third of the US’ fuel requirements, without requiring major changes in production methods, a scientific report has concluded.

Looking at just forestland and agricultural land, the two largest potential biomass sources, the study found potential exceeding 1.3 billion dry tons per year. That amount is enough to produce biofuels to meet more than one-third of the current demand for transportation fuels, according to the report.

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Burt Rutan sees franchises as the future of commercial spaceflight.

Rutan declined to give detailed information about his future business plans before the US House Committee on Science�s Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics on Wednesday. But he did say he sees it running like a Wendy�s fast-food franchise, with his company implementing strict rules for tour operators about safety and operations. �We won�t sell spaceships to space lines that aren�t safe to fly,� he says

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It's only the future, no need to worry the voters with it

Greenpeace has attacked the three main parties for leaving the environment out of their election campaigns. I heard a bit about this on Today this morning and they kept coming back to the meme that the “average voter” didn’t want to hear about having to reduce their living standards in order to tackle environmental problems.

There’s a simple answer to that. Don’t tell them they’ll have to reduce their living standards. Because they won’t have to, if the issue is tackled properly. Of course, when 50% of people think that saving energy is going to cost them money- because they have a stupidly short sighted outlook and can’t calculate long term savings against upfront cost, it’s going to be a hard sell. But that’s one of the things I set up this blog for.

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Not just for winter any more

Scientists believe thay have found a way to induce hibernation in mammals. Slowing the metabolism and the body’s reliance on oxygen could help save accident victims, make complicated operations safer and reduce the risk of chemo- or radio-therapy.

And, of course, it ushers in that great sci-fi staple of deepsleep for stellar exploration.

Hydrogen sulphide is a type of chemical known as an oxygen mimetic. These compounds are similar to oxygen at the molecular level and so bind to many of the same receptors. As a result, they compete for and interfere with the body’s ability to use oxygen for energy production. Prof Roth believes that this interference with normal bodily functions is what caused the mice to hibernate.

“The cool thing about this gas we’re using, hydrogen sulphide, is that it isn’t something manufactured that we’re taking down from a shelf,” said Prof Roth. “It’s simply an agent that all of us make in our bodies all the time to buffer our metabolic flexibility. It’s what allows our core temperature to stay at 37C, regardless of whether we’re in Alaska or Tahiti.”

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A comprehensive study of the Antarctic Peninsula, using aerial photographs dating back to the 1940s and more recent satellite images, shows that most of the area’s glaciers have been steadily retreating for the last 50 years. The rate of retreat has increased since the millennium. It can’t all be explained by global warming, and some glaciers have grown (32, compared to the 212 that have shrunk), but man made effects have exacerbated natural climate variations.

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Ducks and swans

One of the joys of car modelling is coming up with vehicles that are rare or non-existent in the real world. But sometimes the real world produces oddities that look like they came from someone’s parts box after a little too long breathing glue fumes. Inspiration for your next project-

101 things to do with a 2CV.

Big block Chevy powered Ferrari.

True beauty- a hot rod inspired by board track racing.

All via Jalopnik

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