Monthly Archives: May 2011

Renewable(?) Energy

The following is a post taken entirely from one done by Matt Ridley. Ridley was educated at Eton College and then completed a BA and a PhD at Oxford in zoology. He is author of a number of successful books on science. (will1be)

What does the word “renewable” mean?

Last week the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a thousand-page report on the future of renewable energy, which it defined as solar, hydro, wind, tidal, wave, geothermal and biomass. These energy sources, said the IPCC, generate about 13.8% of our energy and, if encouraged to grow, could eventually displace most fossil fuel use.

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Jacaranda Time in San Diego

May is, indeed, Jacaranda time in San Diego. The beautiful blooms of the Jacaranda tree begin to show in early May and the full explosion of blue/purple/violet color continues throughout the month, after which the green growth takes over from the fallen blossoms that make a temporary carpet under the tree. The tree’s “leaves” are reminiscent of the mimosa which has a similar shade of green and shape.

The picture above is very much like the tree in the small park near our home and where dog-walkers, including me and my dog Genji, gather during the late afternoon walks. Continue reading

Memories No. 5: I Joined the Vermont Militia

In the spring of 1950 I was looking for a teaching job in electrical engineering while I completed my MSEE thesis for scheduled UK graduation in summer 1951. One day a professor in the EE Department gave me an ad for an assistant professorship at Norwich University starting in September. I went to the library and read what I could find about Norwich. It is a military school in Vermont, near the capitol, Montpelier, and was founded in 1819. It’s enrollment averaged around 2000. There were only two colleges: Collegeof Arts and Sciences and the Engineering College which had: Electrical, Civil and Mechanical Engineering Departments. Only West Point is an older military school. Continue reading

Random Memories No. 4: “Shot Heard ‘Round the World”

It was a clear, cool, sunny Wednesday that October 3, 1951 as I walked along Livingston Street in downtown Brooklyn on my way back to the YMCA on Hanover Place. I had reserved a room there as a convenient place to stay until I found an apartment. I had been given a “classy room” with a single bed, wooden desk, straight back wooden chair, no phone, and shared showers and toilets at the end of the hall. But the price was right. 

Both pedestrian and vehicle traffic along Livingston Street were at low ebb as I walked along since rush hour had not started. 

About half way along my six block walk I saw a group of people standing around a news stand up ahead in the middle of the block, and as I got closer I realized that they were listening to the New York Giants – Brooklyn Dodgers baseball game, the deciding game of a three game playoff to see who would be in the World Series against the Yankees who had already clinched the American League top spot. The much-loved Red Barber, the “voice of the Dodgers” was calling the game. Most of the passing pedestrians would stop, at least for awhile before moving on, and many stayed, causing the crowd to grow.                        Continue reading