Nanotechnology to print super thin solar panels
Need assistance with recycling your electronics?
And, for a bit of fun, instructions on how to give life to those paperweights, I mean, CD’s by creating a rockin Disco ball.
Obviously Mike and I have been neglecting our blog for a little while, but, we’ve been too busy to roll out all of the changes with the site that we’ve been meaning to.
Something that’s quick and easy for us to do is to micro-blog using Twitter.
You can find loads of bite-sized updates for us at the following url’s:
I will also be tweeting a bit about my CAD/CAFM/BIM blog at:
With the Digital TV transition breathing down our necks, we can expect millions of Americans to decide to just junk their current sets in favor of a new HD and Digital capable LCD or Plasma rather than buying a box for signal conversion.
BUT! there are components in television sets that, if thrown in a landfill, can cause some serious pollution concerns (like mercury, ew).
BUT! there are other options for recycling your electronics. We recently found an electronics recycling place to take our old computer components through Earth911 (we also found a center nearby to recycle all of our household rubbish, which I’ll post about some other time more in depth).
Also check out MyGreenElectronics for an easy way to search for certain types of recycling by zip (postal) code.
I don’t think GreenDisk handles tv’s, but, if you’re looking for ways to get rid of computers, components and peripherals, check them out.
So, please, talk to your less mobile (or less environmentally enthusiastic) friends, family and neighbors and offer to take their old televisions to a proper resting ground when they’re ready to get rid of it.
This morning, I was woken by some pretty good shaking. Turns out that it was a 5.2 magnitude earthquake. My husband and son weren’t brought all the way out of sleep, but, this ex-Californian knew what was going on, and listened to hear if there was anything breaking in the house.
This was about twenty minutes to 5:00am. There were some low-level aftershocks all morning that you couldn’t feel (under 3.0), but, around 10:15 am there was a vigorous 4.5 shaking going on. I felt the first one for a good thirty (30) seconds, and the bigger aftershock for almost twenty (20) seconds.
It’s an odd feeling, having the building moving back and forth laterally. Really odd. My boss was in the elevator at the time and didn’t really even notice it (of course, he also reported sleeping right through this morning’s activities.
I posted on my CAD/CAFM blog earlier today, mostly recounting some childhood experiences with earthquakes in Illinois and California (we weren’t in San Fransisco itself, but, were nearby).
I believe that the Kingshighway Blvd overpass that was shut between Shaw and Southwest is entirely reopened by the point and the Department of Transportation has enacted their emergency earthquake plan and completed the inspections of all of their nearby bridges (some of the older ones will be examined again later just to ensure their safety).
Well, the Perry family is in for some happy changes.
You can see that Mini-Mike (aka, Baby Alpha) is very excited about the impending arrival of Baby Beta (appropriate nickname to be assigned later). After our first successful checkup, we took him out to Fuddrucker’s for dinner and gave him a new shirt.
Of course we, as nerds, can’t do anything the easy way, and we made him read the whole thing himself instead of just telling him what it said. But, Mini-Mike, at four years old, can figure out most words after a little try, and he got it! (The first part was obviously very easy, but, ‘brother’ gave him a slight pause.) Once he figured it out, he was tickled.
After we got home and I laid down on the couch, he brought me a blanket and offered to rub my legs (one of the many reasons I adoringly call him Mini-Mike, I am one well looked-after lady in my house).
I like reading the quick summaries of Baby Beta’s development over here on Baby Gaga. They’ve got a week by week rundown, complete with size and developmental milestones and amusing comics about the trials of pregnancy. They also do those little timelines that you can add to your forum signatures or website.
We’re obviously going to be very busy getting things ready for our new arrival. Mike will be painting the nursery soon (it’s currently a hideous orange color with a red stripe all around). My big Sister says that she’ll come help by painting the images on the walls that I’d intended to do (but, no paint fumes for Baby Beta!). Mini-Mike has a fish mural in his bedroom, so we’d like to do some sort of dry land animals for this room so that it won’t be boring in comparison. Of course, you can’t forget all of the baby supplies. We’ll be digging out all of Baby Alpha’s old things and seeing what we still need or what we would like to replace.
We won’t be forgetting about technology anytime soon, but, we will keep you up to date with Alpha and Beta, who are obviously the centers of our universe.
Check out this GREAT post by Jimmy Atkinson. He lists ‘The Top 50 Proprietary Programs That Drive You Crazy - And Their Open Source Alternatives’.
He’s given the names of the programs and listed some alternatives with a brief discussion of each.
There were some (like GIMP, FireFox and OpenOffice) that I’ve been using faithfully for awhile, but, there were also quite a few that I’d never heard of.
I really love this video. It’s an entertaining and cleverly made approach to describing the web and explaining the concept of Web2.0 (web two-oh). It was made by Michael Wesch, a Professor of Cultural Anthropology (I wonder if he’s got one of these on 8-tracks and bell-bottoms).
I’ll go ahead and include this other video, so I don’t sound repetitive by posting it separately. It was also done by the same professor who created the above video, but, deals with “changes in the way we find, store, create, critique, and share information”.
So, there ya go. Ten minutes of images summing up the flow of information dissemination in today’s world.
I don’t know about you, but, I’m impressed.
This is one of them.
I recently saw a discussion started on the LinkedIn forums by a journalist and I occasionally return to the subject in my mind, attempting to contemplate all of the ramifications of such a societal shift of concentrating a population in one massive building, rather than having the urban core/suburban setup we do now.
You can read an article on this subject (I was quoted for the piece, making use of my Facility Management perspective) , which appears to be the first in a series. That was my knee-jerk first reaction, but, I find my thoughts branching out much more now. I liked what some of the non-engineering responders had to say.
The thought of hyperstructures don’t exactly mesh with my view of the future (see my recent speculative article “Will Urban Planning Change Drastically in the Future?“, which was sparked by environmental concerns and the LinkedIn discussion. Also, these articles on a planned community that Jimmy Bergmark mentioned, Dongtan, from Wired and Arup. It is an ‘eco-city’ being built in China.). But, I still find it fun to speculate.
Now, I can’t find an actual dictionary which defines ‘hyperstructure’ in the intended context. Historically, it’s been a mathematical term.
So, I’ll use the definition of the word Mega-Structure instead, which is used in a follow-up article by TechNewsWorld by one of their quoted experts (Erin Jeffries of the Arcosanti Project).
Megastructure: “In science fiction and speculative (or exploratory) engineering, a megastructure is an enormous self-supporting artificial construct.” Wiki/Megastructure
‘Cities of the Future 2: If we Build them, Will we Stay?‘ gives some great examples of proposed ‘vertical cities’ around the world.
I plan two future posts on this topic. One, on my ideas of the possible socio-economic effects. The other, on environmental health & safety and building.
For now, take a look at some additional resources:
National Geographic Series on MegaStructures (this looks awesome)
Megastructures by Paul Lucas (Strange Horizons - science fiction)
Megastructure’s relevancy to current urban design (blog review)
No offense at all intended to the sandwich king, he treats me very well with what he does prepare… but, scrambled eggs were about the extent of his culinary explorations.
He actually prepared a lovely Indian-style dinner. You might not know that the most popular dish in the UK is no longer fish and chips, it’s actually a curry dish, Chicken Tikka Masala.
I never had Indian food until he took me to a curry house near his old home in the UK. I fell in love with the dishes. So, he prepared this favorite as our main course, with a great variety of vegetables.
The chicken plays second-fiddle to all of the veggies, really. Which is fine by us, we love the peppers, potatoes, peas, onions and probably more that I’ve forgotten. As for the chicken itself, I’ll admit that I do not like the feel of raw chicken, so I usually buy the pre-roasted and skinned varieties.
We picked up the sauce, naan bread, basmati rice and samosas at our favorite import grocer, Global Foods Market. We were originally there just to pick up Mike some HP sauce, so his tremors would subside, and while we were there, I decided we could stock up on some Indian ingredients as well. We picked up another type of sauce I hadn’t had before, and we’ll make that soon.
Don’t worry if you want to try this dish, but, haven’t got an import market near you, you can get similar sauce from Target’s grocery department under their Archer Farms brand. It is really darned good.
Now, he must realize that since he’s managed to impress me so much, I can’t just go back to sandwiches…