Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Greem Tax Credits In New Stimulus Bill

How You Can Green Your Home and Cash in on Stimulus Money | Environment | AlterNet
Hampton Falls, N.H. -- Energy-saving systems for the attic, basement, and in between have effectively gone on sale, courtesy of the United States Congress.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Mothership Media Center

This is the media center in the Mothership, my Iphone in Ipod mode with a Belkin FM transmitter that sends the music to the FM radio. This puts our huge library of music into a very small package with a great graphical search interface. This makes owning the Iphone worthwhile if none of the other amazing functions and applications were available. The music quality is better than the speakers we have in the Mothership. We can listen to hours and hours of our favorite music this way. A real plus is that the power consumption is extremely low.

Google Maps or Mapquest? Vote here.

Reader Poll: Google Maps or MapQuest?
Here at Lifehacker, most of us made the switch to Google Maps in its early days—back before MapQuest had added any of the AJAX map scrolling and zooming that made Google Maps stand out. Still, when it comes to getting directions, I'm always surprised when I hear people use MapQuest as a verb the same way they use Google (i.e., "I'll just MapQuest it."). So we're curious to hear which you're using for your mapping and directions needs:

LED, CFL or Incandescent? Ask Pablo

LED lights | Salon Life
A 10W CFL, available online for $6.90, has an expected median lifetime of 10,000 hours. While this is about 10 times longer than the life expectancy of an incandescent bulb, it is only one-fifth the expected life of the LED. So LEDs have the potential of cutting down on ladder time by a factor of 50 over incandescent bulbs! At about 25 cents apiece, the incandescent has by far the lowest upfront cost, which is why many people still use them. If we normalize the cost of all the bulbs over a 50,000-hour period, the incandescent bulbs cost $12.50, while CFL bulbs cost $34.50, and the LED bulb costs $59.95. But, as you may already know, the upfront cost of a bulb is by far the cheapest part. It's the electricity required to operate the bulb that adds up.

Over a period of 50,000 hours, a 40W incandescent bulb will use 2,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh). At 15 cents per kWh, this will put $300 in the pocket of your local utility, bringing the total cost of the incandescent bulb, over 50,000 hours, up to $312.50. The CFL bulb only uses 500kWh over the same time period, or $75, totaling $109.50. Finally, the LED bulb will use 350kWh for $52.50, with a total cost of $112.45. So, in this example, the LED light does cost a few dollars more but the difference is negligible. Think of the time you will save by not running to the store to buy bulbs and climbing the ladder to change them.

Buy a Prius or a used car?

Prius Envy | Mother Jones
So how are we nonengineers supposed to know when to junk our old car without guilt? By Päster's numbers, building an average midsize car in 2007 emitted 18,000 pounds of CO2—about the same as burning 900 gallons of gas. He won't commit to exact numbers, but he does have a rule of thumb: If your jalopy is moderately efficient (i.e., gets better than 25 mpg) and you don't drive it much, keeping it is better than buying a new car. "But if you have an old car with pretty lousy fuel economy," he says, "then you're better off getting a new car because the emissions from making a new car are really not that big compared to the emissions from using the car."

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Place Names

Tranquility Cove and Tranquility Cove (in Clarendon County, SC)

Found these references to Tranquility Cove on the Internet. Interesting that the name is referenced in many places that are part of the internet. It would have been impossible for my grandfather to have imagined this when he stood here before the lake was flooded and named it. The name "Tranquility Cove" appears in many places now including all of the US Geological Survey maps. Every place name has a history. The one that I remember most vividly is "Cape Canaveral." When I was stationed there in the Navy back in the 1960's, Congress tried to change the name of the town as well as the base to "Cape Kennedy." A great furor erupted in the town and the protest resulted in the name remaining the original "Cape Canaveral." How many fascinating place names based on a real story have been wiped clean by some well meaning city council, state government, or congress to honor some contemporary person or event. This is shameful in my opinion because original place names should be protected along with their history and meaning.