Friday, 24 October 2008

Strange days...farts, blogs, stickytape and sats fiasco,

Randomness in searching on the internet can often lead down strange paths, so far today I have learnt that:
...the smelly bit in farts might lower blood pressure,
...there are people getting bonuses this year for the sats fiasco,
...amateur blogging is being taken over by professional blogging,
...that sticky tape, when pulled off the reel fast enough can produce enough x-rays to x-ray a human digit... it's called triboluminescence.
(Word game - new word in play: triboluminescent)

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Earthships and solar ponds...

Was watching a documentary all about earthship houses while ironing, haven't finished it yet (ran out of t-shirts) but was beguiled by their gorgeously uplifting optimistic guilt-free greeness, quirky build and beautiful bottleglass walls. Was looking up something else and came upon the concept of solar ponds where water saturated with salt absorbs and retains heat for longer and now my mind is thinking of those walls full of empty glasss bottles and wondering if there isn't a way to fill them with a saturated salt solution to increase solar absorption... perhaps it only works on a large scale. There is an Earthship up in Scotland, you can find out about it here.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Yards of tittle-tattle in the papers heralds the return of pointless spin...

It's a shame to see the papers so full of yards of rubbish about who met who on what yacht to discuss this, that and the other while most of us in this country are concerned about rising fuel/living costs, the onset of recession, the lost millions of (council tax payers) council money and the effect that will have on services like education, police etc over the coming years.
Not to mention those now facing repossession and homelssness while the bankers still get fat-cat payouts and the fact that the country is borrowing huge sums of money to bail out the very system that put us in this mess in the first place....
Who said what to whom and sat next to who at whatever boat party is of no relevance to the current economic climate - and just goes to show how out of touch with the country, political spin now is. I am sure there are regulatory controls etc for party funding and any irregularities should be thoroughly scrutinised and investigated.
Let's hope PMQ's is not dominated by this load of silliness when so many people are facing such serious consequences in their lives.

Monday, 20 October 2008

credit crunch and the climate.... no time to stick our heads in the sand.

Thought that this was an interesting article about how the credit crunch could be disastrous for climate control measures...
I've long been a sceptic of all the carbon-trading schemes that governments around the world try and fool themselves into thinking they are being ecologically responsible with (if you want to produce less greenhouse gases use less carbon and less greenhouse gases!).

I keep hearing about ridiculous plans to build new airports, relocate new airports, allow more flights from airports... and even more silly, remove aviation emissions from targets! This might well become a moot point though as a global economic downturn will limit air travel anyway.

I do like the idea that councils are beginning to think of turning off street lights that aren't necessary, I'm sure there is all kinds of smart lighting technology that could be employed in some areas, street lighting that is activated by sensor when needed rather than lighting a whole arcade/street/underpass for hours for the two passerbys that might be using it. I saw an interesting article about how solar power technology is getting to the point that it can be wrapped around objects like buildings (and lamposts?) which would be great for city lighting.

Rather than carbon-trading we should be make commitments to fund innovative design and scientific progress into those old favourites...reduce, recycle, reuse. Not to mention championing green technologies. The difficulty will be, as the price tags for various green initiatives shows on this article, that individual homeowners will struggle during the credit crunch to find the kind of spare cash needed to implement these measures without subsidies and grants.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

3BT, three beautiful things in autumn

The sound of the wind in the trees while pulling out flints from the ground.

The colour of the leaves in the low autumn light.

The solid promise of the bulbs planted now for next Spring.