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07/31/08 - Startup Converts Ford F-150s Into 41 MPG Plug-in Hybrid Electric
KeelyNet The Illinois Institute of Technology’s masters program has spun-off a start-up with big plans for our aging fleet of big trucks. The company, called Hybrid Electric Vehicle Technology (HEVT), has built a bolt-on module that will convert a standard F-150 into a 41 MPG plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). HEVT demo’d their first prototype at the Plug-In 2008 conference in San Jose earlier in the month. The suddenly attractive F-150 PHEV (which is not the 1994 model depicted above) gets 15 miles of emissions-free driving on electricity before it switches over to gas/electric hybrid mode, where it will continue to get an impressive 41 MPG for a typical day’s worth of driving. “HEVT’s solutions apply to not just smaller passenger cars and hybrids, but almost any vehicle including larger gas guzzlers,” said HEVT founder Ali Emadi. “Our laboratory simulations show that the larger the vehicle, the greater the benefits - in gas costs, particulate and greenhouse emissions, and sound pollution. For this reason we are currently focused on PSVs and will later expand to school buses as well as transit buses.” Unfortunately, if you drive more than 30 miles between charges, the straight hybrid mode drops to a paltry 21 MPG. That’s still a 31% fuel efficiency increase over the standard F-150, but HEVT is going to have to bring the price way, way down for this to be an even remote consideration for the vast majority of F-150’s out there. Prototype conversions currently cost $60,000. - Source

07/31/08 - Danish invention makes the window a solar panel
The Danish company Photo Solar will start its production of windows with built-in solar cells in 2010. This will allow to transform thousands of square meters of building surface across the country into power sources, writes Berlingske Tidende. 'The solar cells are laminated into the window. Our windows give a transparency of 50 per cent. In so doing, light will still be coming into the room," says development engineer at Photo Solar Søren Jensen. A single copy of solar cell window can capture around 50 kW-hours of electricity per square meter in a year if it is located on a south faced front, explains Søren Jensen. In comparison, the market’s most common solar cells capture enough sunlight to produce approximately 100 kW-hours of electricity per square meter. The price of Photo Solar’s new window will be about Eur 800 per square meter. The solar cells have an extraction effect of 5 per cent compared with the present best collectors that convert up to 20 per cent of the sunrays into electricity. But on the solar collectors it is not possible to create a transparent surface. - Source

07/31/08 - Warp Drive Engine Would Travel Faster Than Light
KeelyNet The warp engine is based on a design first proposed in1994 by Michael Alcubierre. The Alcubierre drive, as it's known, involves expanding the fabric of space behind a ship into a bubble and shrinking space-time in front of the ship. The ship would rest in between the expanding and shrinking space-time, essentially surfing down the side of the bubble. The tricky part is that the ship wouldn't actually move; space itself would move underneath the stationary spacecraft. A beam of light next to the ship would still zoom away, same as it always does, but a beam of light far from the ship would be left behind. That means that the ship would arrive at its destination faster than a beam of light traveling the same distance, but without violating Einstein's relativity, which says that it would take an infinite amount of energy to accelerate an object with mass to the speed of light, since the ship itself isn't actually moving. - Source

07/31/08 - Solar Breakthrough Offers 25% Reduction in Solar Electricity Costs
After months of intensive research and experimental trials, the Day4 Energy company has developed a design and manufacturing process for its Generation II solar cells with efficiency up to 19 percent on mono-crystalline and 18 percent on multi-crystalline silicon materials. The new design constitutes a significant improvement not only in maximum efficiency but also in low cost manufacturing and lower commercialization risk. "Our first generation 14.7 percent efficiency Day4 MC module, which has been in commercial production since 2006, already places us among the industry's highest performing multi-crystalline products," said Professor Leonid Rubin, chief technology officer of Day4 Energy. "With the second generation of our proprietary solar cell designs we are taking a major step towards making solar energy cost competitive with conventional sources of electrical power generation." - Source

07/31/08 - 'Fuel battery' could take cars beyond petrol
A new approach to storing electrical energy can store more energy than gasoline in the same volume, and could help extend the range of electric vehicles. But some experts say other approaches are more practical. Combining electric power with a combustion engine to make a hybrid electric vehicle sidesteps that problem. But a new take on electrical power storage that is part battery, part chemical fuel cell could ditch gasoline for good. The new design stores energy more densely than petrol, and was conceived by Stuart Licht of the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and colleagues. Batteries produce electricity from a closed chemical system that is eventually exhausted. Fuel cells use a constant supply of fuel, so they are continually topped up. Licht's cell has features of each. Its negative electrode, or anode, is made from vanadium boride, which serves double-duty as a fuel too. But unlike the flowing fuel of a fuel cell, the material is held internally, like the anode material of a battery. The vanadium boride reacts with a constant stream of oxygen, as in a fuel cell, provided by the positive electrode, or cathode. This brings in a supply of air from outside. The cell has a theoretical energy capacity of 27 kilowatt hours per litre, compared to 9.7 kilowatt hours per litre for gasoline. But both approaches are limited by practical factors to smaller figures. Licht says his new system would likely have a practical energy capacity of around 5 kilowatt hours per litre. "But that's two-fold higher than the practical storage capacity of gasoline," he says... (via zpenergy.com) - Source

07/31/08 - Tiny $10 Microscope
KeelyNet A high-resolution, lens-free microscope fits on a dime-size chip. A tiny microscope that employs the same kind of chip used in digital cameras can produce high-resolution images of cells without the expensive, space-hogging lenses that have been part of microscope design for centuries. The Caltech device uses a system of tiny fluid channels called microfluidics to direct cells and even microscopic animals over a light-sensing chip. The chip, an off-the-shelf sensor identical to those found in digital cameras, is covered with a thin layer of metal that blocks out most of the pixels. A few hundred tiny apertures punched in the metal along the fluid channel let light in. As the sample flows through the microscope, each aperture captures an image. One version of the microscope uses gravity to control the flow of the sample across the apertures. Another version, which allows for much better control, uses an electrical potential to drive the flow of cells. The 100 to 200 images are then combined using simple image-processing software. The processing power in a PDA is more than sufficient to perform the calculations, says Caltech engineer Changhuei Yang, who designed the microscope. The microscope must be illuminated from above, but sunlight is sufficient. The resolution of the microscope is similar to that of a conventional light microscope--about one micrometer--and is limited by the size of the apertures. - Source

07/31/08 - Daily pill that halts Alzheimer's
It is said to be more than twice as effective as current treatments. A daily capsule of rember, as the drug is known, stops Alzheimer’s disease progressing by as much as 81 per cent, according to trial results. Patients with the brain disorder had no significant decline in their mental function over a 19-month period. ‘We appear to be bringing the worst affected parts of the brain functionally back to life,’ said Dr Claude Wischik, who led the research. It could be available to patients within four years although, in the wake of the NHS ban on the £2.50-a-day drug Aricept, there are concerns over whether it would be funded on the Health Service. They were divided into four groups, three taking different doses of rember and a fourth group taking a placebo or dummy capsule. After 50 weeks, those with both mild and moderate Alzheimer’s who were taking rember experienced 81 per cent less mental decline compared with those on the placebo. Those taking rember did not experience any significant decline in their mental function over 19 months, while those on the placebo got worse. The results suggest the drug is about two-and-a-half times more effective than existing drugs called cholinesterase inhibitors. - Source

07/31/08 - Video - the Life of Dr. Al Hubbard and his Overunity Circuit
KeelyNet In addition to being a major proponent of LSD, earlier in life, Al Hubbard invented a device, also via divine inspiration at the age of 16, which provided enough "free energy" to power a boat around Portage Bay, on Lake Union, in Seattle, Washington. He demonstrated the device for the Seattle Post Intelligencer and potential investors on July 28, 1920. During the demonstration, the boat was said to travel at about 10 knots (~18km/h), and it was silent aside from the sound of the electric motor, which was linked to the boat's prop via a belt. The boat was said to have never slowed during trip around Lake Union. Hubbard received a patent for his device which he called the "Atmospheric Power Generator," from the United States Patent Office, number 1,723,422. Hubbard, when speaking to the press said the device generated 280A at 125V which is 35kW, or roughly equivalent to about 45HP. While claiming early on that his device drew it's energy from the atmosphere, later, Hubbard recanted, saying the device drew power from radioactive materials, rather from thin air, and that his earlier claims were subterfuge, intended to throw off anyone who might try to usurp his patent rights. If this is the case, Hubbard's device would be the most powerful nuclear battery ever created, and as early as 1919, easily making it the first. He sold 75% of the rights to his device to investors who, according to Hubbard, tried to re-reveal his device using Lester J. Hendershot as their mock inventor. This has never been substantiated. (Thanks to Jim Logue for the headsup. - JWD) / Hubbard's Coil at Rex Research - Source

07/31/08 - Thirty minutes of physical exercises a day not enough to lose weight
A new study by the University of Pittsburgh reveals that people need to exercise a lot more than once recommended. The experiment involved 201 women who either suffered from excessive weight or wished to lose up to ten percent of their weight. Each of the test women participated in the research for two years. All the women in the group were allowed to eat up to 1,500 calories a day. The group was then split into smaller groups which varied according to the amount of calories burned during physical activities every week (1,000 versus 2,000 calories a week) and the intensity of physical exercises. After six months of the experiment, the women in each group lost about eight or ten percent of their weight. Most of the women gained weight again. When the two-year study finished, they had maintained an average weight loss of only five percent of their initial weight. There was no group that could boast of better results. As a rule, specialists recommend to exercise for 30 minutes five days a week, which makes 150 minutes of exercises in one week. When the women participating in the research exercised for 257 minutes, or 55 minutes five days a week, they were able to maintain their average weight loss. With use, muscles consume energy derived from both fat and glycogen. Due to the large size of leg muscles walking, running, and cycling are the most effective means of exercise to reduce body fat. - Source

07/31/08 - Research drives improvements in efficient biofuel processing
"The process could change ethanol production in dry-grind plants so much that energy costs can be reduced by as much as one-third," said Hans van Leeuwen, an Iowa State professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering and the leader of the research project. The Iowa State project is focused on using fungi to clean up and improve the dry-grind ethanol production process. That process grinds corn kernels and adds water and enzymes. The enzymes break the starches into sugars. The sugars are fermented with yeasts to produce ethanol. The fuel is recovered by distillation, but there are about six gallons of leftovers for every gallon of fuel that's produced. Those leftovers, known as stillage, contain solids and other organic material. Most of the solids are removed by centrifugation and dried into distillers dried grains that are sold as livestock feed, primarily for cattle. The remaining liquid, known as thin stillage, still contains some solids, a variety of organic compounds from corn and fermentation as well as enzymes. Because the compounds and solids can interfere with ethanol production, only about 50percent of thin stillage can be recycled back into ethanol production. The rest is evaporated and blended with distillers dried grains to produce distillers dried grains with solubles. The researchers added a fungus, Rhizopus microsporus, to the thin stillage and found it would feed and grow. The fungus removes about 80percent of the organic material and all of the solids in the thin stillage, allowing the water and enzymes in the thin stillage to be recycled back into production. The fungus can also be harvested. It’s a food-grade organism that’s rich in protein, certain essential amino acids and other nutrients. It can be dried and sold as a livestock feed supplement. Or it can be blended with distillers dried grains to boost its value as a livestock feed and make it more suitable for feeding pigs and chickens.- Source

07/31/08 - Green leases for energy-saving buildings attractive to tenants
"GREEN leases" are an Australian invention becoming more and more common in the UK. They encourage landlord and tenant to work together to create environmental policies that increase a building's efficiency by reducing energy consumption, water usage and waste production and through other environmentally focused actions. Meanwhile, European legislation has introduced the energy performance certificate (EPC), which gives information about the estimated energy consumption of a building, as opposed to the machinery and appliances inside. This allows buyers and occupiers to determine a building's green credentials at the time of purchase or lease. Green leases contain extra clauses that are intended to reduce the environmental impact of a building and improve the workplace. These provisions would typically include a restriction against the tenant from carrying out any works or alterations that reduce the environmental performance of the building, or adversely affect the ratings contained in the EPC. The tenant should be required to fit out or alter the property using materials that have been, or can be, recycled if at all practicable. Any work carried out should also be energy neutral or provide energy savings and should not compromise the building's environmental credentials. The tenant should have to give back the premises at the end of the lease with at least the same energy rating as at the beginning of the lease and should not remove any works or alterations that have achieved an energy saving. The landlord should be entitled to carry out repairs and alterations to the property to improve energy efficiency and if these create a cost saving for the tenant, then the landlord should be able to recover the cost of the work. The landlord may want to include assumptions in the rent review clause about the environmental performance of the building, to reflect the positive measures contained in the lease itself. - Source

07/31/08 - Bengay Stops Bug Bites From Itching
As minor inconveniences go, itchy bug bites are the bane of the summer season. The Parent Hacks blog reader Molly offers a tip she learned in the Peace Corps: a dab of the common pain reliever cream Bengay on a bug bite goes a long way towards relieving the itch. - Source

07/31/08 - Homosexuality in Iraq
KeelyNet Many soldiers who have served in the Middle East are familiar with the phrase, "men are for pleasure, women are for babies." Homosexual behaviors and practices seemed to pervade the society despite a strong objection to being labeled as gay. Now, being identified as gay in Iraq will likely cause one to be kidnapped and tortured if not killed outright. Perhaps the peculiar irony to the tale of gay and lesbian torture in Iraq is that the captors seem to choose homosexual sodomy for their victims - yet continue to find themselves pure. - Source

07/31/08 - 100% Recyclable Method to Produce Ultra-strong Magnets
Until now, producing Samarium Cobalt has been a difficult and expensive multi-step process. Northeastern University researchers have broken new ground with an innovative invention of a rapid, high-volume and cost-effective one-step method for producing pure Samarium Cobalt rare earth permanent magnet materials. The direct chemical synthesis process is able to produce Samarium Cobalt rapidly and in large amounts, at a small fraction of the cost of the current industry method. Also, the process is environmentally friendly, with 100% recyclable chemicals, and readily scalable to large volume synthesis to meet the needs for the myriad of advanced permanent magnet applications. Samarium Cobalt magnets are superior to other classes of permanent magnetic materials for advanced high-temperature applications and the Northeastern invention goes beyond the currently known fabrication process of these nanostructured magnets. Unlike the traditional multi-step metallurgical techniques that provide limited control of the size and shape of the final magnetic particles, the Northeastern scientists’ one-step method produces air-stable “nanoblades” (elongated nanoparticles shaped like blades) that allow for a more efficient assembly that may ultimately result in smaller and lighter magnets without sacrificing performance. - Source

07/31/08 - Legislators aim to snuff out penalties for pot use
The U.S. should stop arresting responsible marijuana users, Rep. Barney Frank said Wednesday, announcing a proposal to end federal penalties for Americans carrying fewer than 100 grams, almost a quarter-pound, of the substance. - Source

07/31/08 - The Carbon Curtain
What we really need from the climate modelers is an accurate 50-year projection of global politics. Will people believe the computer's dire prophecy enough to change their lifestyles? A number of influential people in Russia, China, India, Indonesia and Vietnam say the planet is now entering a 30-year cooling period, the second half of a normal cycle driven by cyclical changes in the sun's output and currents in the Pacific Ocean. Their theory leaves true believers in carbon catastrophe livid. So does the climate computer have a real audience, or is it really just another bag lady muttering away to herself in a lonely corner of the intellectual park? - Source

07/31/08 - 50 Ways NASA changed our world
Today, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration marks its first half-century of exploration and discovery. But missions to the Moon and beyond are only part of the story. Without Nasa's scientists, life on Earth would be very different indeed. 1.The hand-held vacuum cleaner 3.Firefighter breathing apparatus 7.Faster racing cars 12.Better sunglasses 18.Freeze-dried meals 29.Artificial limbs 44.Satellite television... - Source

07/31/08 - Gallery: NASA's Most Embarrassing Goofs
From equipment installed backwards to problems with the metric system, NASA's failures can be as fascinating as its successes. Of course, more cynical critics might suggest that NASA's failures overshadow its successes -- but let's see you send a ship to the moon. That aside, NASA's in a difficult position: Charged with meeting America's spacefaring dreams on a shrinking budget, and perpetually judged against the magic of the moon landing, the agency is an easy target. And a few mistakes are inevitable: After all, Murphy's law was coined by an actual rocket scientist. With that in mind, let's take a look at some of NASA's most conspicuous, embarrassing (and non-fatal) gaffes. - Source

07/31/08 - Secret jetpack project blasts into reality w/video
KeelyNet An inventor's dream is taking off - and could be yours for $100,000. Today's unveiling of the Martin Jetpack is one of the marquee events at the Experimental Aircraft Association's AirVenture, a weeklong air show that is drawing hundreds of thousands of people - and about 10,000 airplanes - to Oshkosh, Wis. Whether the Martin Jetpack technically qualifies as a jetpack is debatable. It's not the type of rocket belt that James Bond wore in "Thunderball," and it's not anything like the jet-powered, wearable wing that a Swiss daredevil cranked up to 186 mph in May. As far as the Federal Aviation Administration is concerned, what Martin has is an experimental ultralight airplane, equipped with a gas-powered, V-4 piston engine and two ducted fans that provide the lift. That puts it in a class with several other fan-powered lifters, including Trek Aerospace's Springtail, Urban Aeronautics' X-Hawk and even Moller International's flying-car prototype. But Martin believes his 250-pound ultralight, initially priced at $100,000, stands the best chance of going commercial. He sees it as a recreational sport vehicle that just might be in the right price range for affluent thrill-seekers. Theoretically, the jetpack can fly for 30 minutes and rise to a height of 8,000 feet. But Glenn Martin said the flight envelope will be carefully tested over the coming months. Martin is opening the order book as of today, and said 10 to 20 vehicles could be sold by the time next year's Oshkosh air show rolls around. Jetpack buyers will be required to go through about 15 hours of flight training as well as a safety screening. "If for some reason they're not coordinated enough, we'll send them their money back and give it to the next person in the queue," Martin said. As an added safety measure, each jetpack is equipped with a ballistic parachute. - Source

07/31/08 - Sharks fear Magnets
MAGNETS could be used to fend off shark attacks - after tests showed the giant fish are repelled by them. Boffins found the killers immediately turned and swam away when confronted by the objects. They believe magnets disrupt the sharks’ acute sensing organs, which can detect electromagnetic fields. “They react violently to them, rapidly turning and swinging their bodies away.” At present, the magnets only have a repelling range of about 10 inches. But researchers hope they can be developed so that if worn in a diver’s belt they could prevent attacks. - Source

07/28/08 - Formula for cheaper gas: Baking soda, water, $200
KeelyNet Ray Warren said he installed a hydrogen generation system in his pickup using instructions he purchased off the Internet and that he has doubled his gas mileage from 15 miles per gallon in town to 30 miles per gallon. Warren claims this is no lie and that you can do it too. "If you can read a book, you can do it," he said. / Making Hydrogen with Baking Soda and Water - - Source

07/28/08 - The Hunt to Boost Mileage
Here are three plausible solutions that look beyond gasoline. They center on three gases: hydrogen, nitrogen and methane - in ways you may not expect. Hydrogen - If you can't afford one of the new gas-electric hybrid cars, Bruce White, co-founder of H2 Hydrogen Technologies in East Hartford, says his fledgling company has a product in the pipeline that he claims can increase your car's gas mileage by at least 60 percent... Nitrogen - More than a quarter of the cars on the road have one or more underinflated tires, according to a recent U.S. Department of Transportation report. That's bad. Inadequate tire pressure can reduce fuel economy, cause vehicle handling problems and prematurely age tires. Experts say you should check your tires' air pressure every 30 days. But if you're strapped for time, a better solution, according to some experts, is to inflate your tires with nitrogen, an inert, nonflammable gas that makes up most of our air. For years, race cars, military vehicles and aircraft have used nitrogen to keep tires properly inflated. Unlike whole air, nitrogen is less likely to expand or contract due to temperature changes and thus more apt to maintain proper tire pressure... Methane - Say methane and you probably think of swamp gas. But methane has a much nicer name: natural gas, which is 99 percent methane. You may never be able to fill up your car with methane at the local marsh, but how about driving a car that runs on compressed natural gas? Depending on where you live, you'll pay about $2 to $3 for the natural gas equivalent of a gallon of gasoline. European carmakers have been selling passenger vehicles that run on methane for years. In the U.S., the only natural-gas-powered passenger vehicle that's available to individual consumers is the Honda Civic GX, according to Honda Motor Co. Inc., which began selling the vehicle in 2005. Although the GX has been imported in the U.S. since 1998, it was formerly only available as a fleet vehicle. The Civic GX has a 4-cylinder internal combustion engine that runs on natural gas. Filling up the tank costs $16 to $24, depending on where you live, and has a range of about 200 to 250 miles, said Chris Naughton, a spokesman for Honda Motor Co. Inc. The GX gets the equivalent of about 24 mpg city, 36 mpg highway, Naughton said... The GX costs about $25,000, including handling and destination fees. The good news is that there is a $4,000 federal alternative-fuel vehicle tax credit for the Civic. By comparison, the gas-powered Civic costs about $18,000. Filling up the tank with natural gas can be a problem, though, since there are only 1,500 natural gas filling stations in the country, Naughton said. But there's a solution: For $4,000 you can buy a home refueling appliance from FuelMaker Corp., an Ontario-based company, that can be installed in a garage or driveway and connected to existing natural gas transmission lines. There's also a $1,000 tax credit for the refueling appliance. Just hook up the car overnight, and it's refueled by morning. When the GX is fueled at home, the gallon of gas price equivalent is about $2, Naughton said. - Source

07/28/08 - Self-running BuzzSaw Gravity Wheel
KeelyNet The BuzzSaw "Gravity Wheel" was invented around 1909 and built with heavy duty cast iron. Family members indicate that it ran by itself with overunity and generated free energy that could run a small saw mill. The wheel is referred to as BuzzSaw due to its saw blade like wheel design. The gravity wheel has an inner wheel with 16 notches and an outer wheel with 8 notches for carrying weights. Weights would shift between the inner and outer wheel with a special gear ratio and weight pattern to obtain overunity. Springs and levers were said to have been incorporated that worked with the nubs on the end of the 12 weights. / The BuzzSaw gravity wheel has two wheels supported by an axle. There is an inner wheel and outer wheel, the inner having 16 gullets and the outer having 8. The inner red wheel is attached to and drives the axle. The outer wheel has 4 black spokes on the back and rotates freely on bearings on the axle. When in motion, the weights would freely fall from one wheel to the other. The outer wheel has a cover that can be removed with screws to insert / remove weights. The original wheel had 12 weights but it is uncertain if all were used or not. The original wheel had a custom 42 tooth sprocket attached for a #60 chain. It is uncertain at this time what the gear ratio was between the two wheels and how many weights were used. There could be an odd chain gear ratio between the wheels and an odd pattern of weights could have been used. It is also unknown for certain which of the two wheels was the driver. The wheel was nicknamed "The Heathen" because it was built so heavy duty and difficult to work with when all 12 weights (174 lbs) were loaded. (Thanks to Preston S. for this update. - JWD) - Source

07/28/08 - Garuda - super-efficient car to be unveiled
Students of Mechanical Engg. Department, RV College of Engineering, Bangalore, have designed and built a highly fuel efficient car, which addresses the issues of oil crisis, environmental pollution and need for green technologies. The 'Garuda', the RVCE Supermileage Super Fuel Efficient Car, will be unveiled on August 2 at the RV College of Engineering campus in Bangalore. - Source

07/28/08 - Tata Motors in India Planning Five Electric Models
KeelyNet “These will use lithium ion batteries for high energy and power density,” a source said. It is understood that the electric car, which Tata Motors Chairman Ratan Tata said would be delivered by end of this financial year, would have an approximate range of 200 kilometres. Besides the electric car, the company is also developing an electric version of its mini truck Ace, primarily for exporting to the US and European markets. The sources said the electric vehicle on the Ace platform is in advanced stage of development. Tata electric cars will have a range of approx 130 miles. - Source

07/28/08 - The Abe Lincoln Savings Plan
Three years ago, I made a decision that changed my relationship with money: I stopped spending, and started saving, every five-dollar bill that passed through my hands. Squirreling away each and every $5 received as change from a cash transaction didn't require any complicated savings strategy, but it has paid off, to the tune of $12,000. That's right. In three years, I have socked away $12,000 just by saving fives. - Source

07/28/08 - Xpower Saver claims to save on Electric Costs
KeelyNet The Xpower Saver reduces the amount of power drawn from the utility by storing otherwise lost electricity caused by the inductive motors in your home. Examples of inductive motors are Air Conditioning units, refrigerators, freezers, washers, dryers, dishwashers, pool pumps, vacuum cleaners, furnace blower motors, fans etc… These inductive loads account generally for 70% of an electric bill. The Xpower Saver saves and stores wasted electricity and re-applies it back to your inductive loads, decreasing your demand from the public utility or renewable energy system. You’ve already paid for that electricity, why waste it when you can store it and reuse it again. This is called power factor optimization and in the case of solar energy systems would allow you to buy a smaller system saving thousands of dollars. What is Power Factor? Power factor is the percentage of electricity that’s delivered to your house and used effectively, compared to what is wasted. Most homes in North America today have a .77 power factor or less. This means that 77% of the electricity that is coming through your meter at your home or business is being used effectively, the other 23% is being wasted. Xpower Saver increases that power factor in most cases to .97 or .98, thus increasing the effective use of your electricity and lowering your bill or usage. The XPower Saver comes with a full 1 year limited warranty. If you're not completely satisfied, just send XPower Saver back to us within 6 months for a "no questions asked" money back guarantee (less S&H). Results may vary and are dependent upon environmental conditions. The XPower device is a capacitor which does not materially affect or reduce power usage or the cost of electricity when used. Only $250.00 - (6) Months Satisfaction Guarantee - Over 100 Satisfied Customers / (I received this in an email and thought it sounded interesting. Neither KeelyNet or I have any relationship with this company, just news you might be interested in. - JWD) - Source

07/28/08 - Iraq troop trash fuels innovation
Military scientists at Edgewood Chemical Biological Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground hope so. The machine - its full name is the Tactical Garbage to Energy Refinery - combines a chute, an engine, chemical tanks and other components, giving it the appearance of a lunar rover. It's designed to turn food and waste into fuel. If it works, it could save scores of American and Iraqi lives. Among the biggest threats that soldiers face in the war in Iraq are the roadside bombs that have killed or maimed thousands since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. Because some military bases lack a landfill, transporting garbage to dumps miles away in the desert has become a potentially fatal routine for U.S. troops and military contractors. The Tiger would attempt to solve two problems at once: It would sharply reduce those trash hauls and provide the military with an alternative source of fuel. The Tiger works like this: A shredder rips up waste and soaks it in water. A bioreactor metabolizes the sludge into ethanol. A pelletizer compresses undigested waste into pellets that are fed into a gasification unit, which produces composite gas. The ethanol, composite gas and a 10-percent diesel drip are injected into a diesel generator to produce electricity, according to scientists. It takes about six hours for the Tiger to power up. When it works, the device can power a 60-kilowatt generator. - Source

07/28/08 - Lower fuel use having impact on gas prices
If demand goes down, then prices should go down too, even for a semi-controlled commodity like gasoline. Does the fact that people are using less gas mean people are driving less? Probably. After all, a lot of people on limited incomes simply cannot afford to pay more for gas. They may be limiting their driving to just the essentials, like getting back and forth to work. But I would think there is more at work here. There has been a surge in interest in more fuel-efficient vehicles and more people are buying them. That predictably - remember supply and demand - has resulted in lack of vehicles. We reported the other day that Ford was scouring the world for fuel efficient vehicles. Premium prices are also likely for some high-demand fuel efficient vehicles that are in short supply. Inevitably that switch to different vehicles will have some impact on fuel demand because those vehicles use less gas. One thing I would be curious about is whether something called hypermiling is having any impact. I first heard about this from a co-worker who was experimenting with it and now I am seeing more and more about it. Hypermiling involves using various driving techniques to reduce fuel use. It can be as simple as driving 65 mph instead of 75 mph on the interstate or coasting to a stop instead of braking. There can be significant fuel savings. - Source

07/28/08 - Oracles or snake-oil salesmen?
T. Boone Pickens and Al Gore work separately toward the same goal - energy independence. The U.S. imports 70 percent of its oil today, compared to just 24 percent in 1970. America represents 4 percent of the Earth's population, but consumes 25 percent of the planet's oil. Pickens claims 22 percent of the nation's electricity could be generated by wind power, with the proper investments - Pickens says $1.2 trillion, not pocket change - in windmills and transmission lines. "The United States is the Saudi Arabia of wind power," claims Pickens. The Midwest in particular is the Middle East of tomorrow's energy supply. Gore is no less enthusiastic in his beliefs, though his proclamations come with a greater sense of desperation. He points out the insanity of the present course: "We're borrowing money from China to buy oil from the Persian Gulf to burn ... in ways that destroy the planet. Every bit of that's got to change." The realists among us may say that each man makes a few points, but that the world's economy is built on a foundation of oil, and no transition to an alternative energy source is going to happen any time soon. - Source

07/28/08 - Japanese Clockspring Car Runs 40 miles per Winding (Dec, 1933)
KeelyNet THE Japanese have never gained any notable degree of fame for their mechanical capabilities, but undoubtedly their reputations along this line will get vigorous boost by their invention of an automobile that runs by clockwork. Very little mechanical data is available on the construction of the new car, but it is said to have British car dealers doing business in Japan somewhat worried. This would indicate that the machine is more than just a freak that originated in the mind of a visionary inventor. Reports state that the car will run 40 miles at one winding. Further developments may see the invention of an eight-day machine. A Modern Mechanix and Inventions artist has caricatured the contraption. - Source

07/28/08 - Prof. says granite countertops are radioactive
A physics professor at Rice University is warning of a radioactive threat found in some kitchen countertops. Some granite countertops contain levels of uranium high enough to be dangerous to humans, said Rice professor W.J. Llope. Using a spectrometer, Llope tested 25 varieties of granite bought from Houston-area dealers. In some cases, he said, he found countertops that could expose homeowners to 100 millirems of radiation in just a few months - the annual exposure limit set by the Department of Energy for visitors to nuclear labs. "There should be some oversight in this," Llope said in a story Saturday in the Houston Chronicle. "This isn't something customers should have to do, not something they should have to lay awake worrying themselves to death about." - Source

07/28/08 - How the US Government Was Overthrown In 3 Easy Steps
The most powerful bankers creating a world system of financial control, dominating the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole, with secret meetings. Surely you would think Tocque has fallen under the spell of a wild conspiracy theory. But you can put away the cat in the tinfoil hat. Those are not my words. And it's not a theory. They are the words of one of the greatest, most eminent historians in modern times, the late Carroll Quigley - of Harvard, Princeton and the Georgetown Foreign School. The point is not to assert that there is a secret group who is pulling the strings of the modern world. It is far more complex. It is possible that there still exist the inner circle of "initiates." But I have no evidence for it. In fact, the evidence strongly suggest that after 1910 or so, the whole organization took on a new character. And it certainly got uglier. The point is to draw light on this hidden part of our history and the inner workings of the one percent of one percent. They love the shadows and secrecy. They control the flow of information to a horrifying extent. They have untold influence over our government in ways most people can't imagine. And they have a perilous vision for our world. Who has jurisdiction over a transnational economy. Who can regulate it? What democratic institution can even stand up to it? This is the central downfall of the globalization idea. As David Rothkopf observes in this Newsweek column, having a global economy is great for the pirates, but is devasting for democracy, sovereignty, and justice. To take our country back, we must know who exactly we are taking it back from. "The methods can be summed up under three headings: (a) a triple-front penetration in politics, education, and journalism; (b) the recruitment of men of ability (chiefly from [certain universities) and the linking of these men to the [Group] by matrimonial alliances and by gratitude for titles and positions of power; and (c) the influencing of public policy by placing members of the [Group] in positions of power shielded as much as possible from public attention. (Carroll Quigley - The Anglo American Establishment) - Source

07/28/08 - The power and the glory
The world’s venture capitalists, having fed on the computing boom of the 1980s, the internet boom of the 1990s and the biotech and nanotech boomlets of the early 2000s, are now looking around for the next one. They think they have found it: energy. The idea of growing what you put in the tank of your car, rather than sucking it out of a hole in the ground, no longer looks like economic madness. Nor does the idea of throwing away the tank and plugging your car into an electric socket instead. Much of the world’s oil is in the hands of governments who have little sympathy with the rich West. (Energy is) A prize beyond the dreams of avarice. The market for energy is huge. At present, the world’s population consumes about 15 terawatts of power. (A terawatt is 1,000 gigawatts, and a gigawatt is the capacity of the largest sort of coal-fired power station.) That translates into a business worth $6 trillion a year-about a tenth of the world’s economic output-according to John Doerr, a venture capitalist who is heavily involved in the industry. And by 2050, power consumption is likely to have risen to 30 terawatts. There are lots of terawatts to play for and lots of money to be made. And if the planet happens to be saved on the way, that is all to the good. - Source

07/26/08 - Video - Martin Jetpack at July 29th, Oshkosh Airshow
KeelyNet The world's first practical jetpack makes its debut July 29 at EAA AirVenture! Here's a little more about the Martin Jetpack concept and its development. The Bell Jetpack could only fly for 26 seconds on a full tank. The Martin Jetpack can fly 100 times that, about 43 minutes. - Source

07/26/08 - Behead your Laptop
This is a nice trick for breathing new life into an old laptop. [Sarc] had a tibook with a broken LCD. It was still usable with an external monitor, so he simply removed the broken LCD. The tibook (and MacBook) uses a magnetic sensor to monitor the LCD position. To put the machine in the right mode, he taped a magnet in place to make the machine think that the display was in the closed position. To really clean things up, he mounted all the hardware under the desk and used a wireless keyboard and mouse with the machine. - Source

07/26/08 - Revolutionary Electric Motor Design Cuts Energy Use in Half
KeelyNet Electric motors consume 67 percent of the energy produced in the United States, yet their fundamental technology hasn't changed much in the past 100 years. Thor Power, a resident company in the Ben Franklin Business Incubator, is well on its way to commercializing an entirely new electric motor design that could have a dramatic impact on nearly every sector of society. Thor Power's technology uses rare earth magnets, resulting in a motor that generates twice the power at half the weight and double the efficiency. Eliminating the electromagnets lowers the weight and results in a quieter, more efficient motor -- 87 percent efficient, in fact. Testing has shown that the motor also lasts significantly longer than standard designs. "The typical AC motor has a life span of about 400 hours," says Bonner. "We stopped testing ours when it reached the 2,000-hour mark with no signs of degradation." So what might this mean for consumers? Bonner sums it up succinctly. "Our design generates twice the power at half the weight and double the efficiency of existing electric motors," he says. "This cuts the consumers' operating costs by 50 percent. This is a major technological advance, particularly in the one- to two-kilowatt power range. And it comes at an opportune time, considering this country's current energy and environmental needs." (via zpenergy.com) - Source

07/26/08 - GPS Has Caused 300,000 Car Accidents In UK
A survey by Direct Line insurance conducted on behalf of the Mirror found that some 300,000 accidents in the UK have been caused by RELIANCE ON GPS, 1.5 million have "suddenly veered dangerously or illegally in busy traffic," while slavishly obeying the orders of their GPS devices, and a whopping 5 million have been sent the wrong way down one-way streets. - Source

07/26/08 - DVD Catalyst Rips DVDs to Friendly Formats in One Click
Windows only: Free application DVD Catalyst Free rips videos from DVDs to device-friendly formats for your iPod, iPhone, PSP, PS3, Xbox, smartphone, and more in one simple click. Normally we prefer previously mentioned HandBrake for this job, but DVD Catalyst Free is much friendlier if a quick and simple rip is all you're looking for. Either way, DVD Catalyst Free is worth a download. If it's not quite what you're looking for, check out our five best DVD ripping tools for more great ripping tools. DVD Catalyst Free is freeware, Windows only. A shareware version of DVD Catalyst is available if you need an expanded feature set, but the free version should be plenty for most. - Source

07/26/08 - NASA Unravels Mysteries Of Northern Lights
KeelyNet Researchers have discovered that explosions of magnetic energy a third of the way to the moon power substorms that create the Northern Lights. NASA said this week that researchers believe stressed magnetic field lines suddenly snap to a new shape, like a rubber band that's been stretched too far, during a process called magnetic reconnection. "As they capture and store energy from the solar wind, the Earth's magnetic field lines stretch far out into space," said David Sibeck, Themis project scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. "Magnetic reconnection releases the energy stored within these stretched magnetic field lines, flinging charged particles back toward the Earth's atmosphere. They create halos of shimmering aurora circling the northern and southern poles." The theory is that when a substorm begins, it follows a pattern that includes reconnection, rapid auroral brightening, and rapid expansion toward the Earth's poles. That, in turn, redistributes electrical currents flowing in space and around the Earth. - Source

07/26/08 - A Concrete Fix to Global Warming
A Canadian company says that it has developed a way for makers of precast concrete products to take all the carbon-dioxide emissions from their factories, as well as neighboring industrial facilities, and store them in the products that they produce by exposing those products to carbon-dioxide-rich flue gases during the curing process. Industry experts say that the technology is unproven but holds great potential if it works. Robert Niven, founder of Halifax-based Carbon Sense Solutions, says that his company's process would actually allow precast concrete to store carbon dioxide. The company takes advantage of a natural process; carbon dioxide is already reabsorbed in concrete products over hundreds of years from natural chemical reactions. Freshly mixed concrete is exposed to a stream of carbon-dioxide-rich flue gas, rapidly speeding up the reactions between the gas and the calcium-containing minerals in cement (which represents about 10 to 15 percent of the concrete's volume). The technology also virtually eliminates the need for heat or steam, saving energy and emissions. The curing process can store 60 tons of carbon dioxide inside 1,000 tons of precast concrete products, such as concrete blocks, while saving energy. - Source

07/26/08 - Solar power from Saharan sun could provide Europe's electricity
KeelyNet Dwarfed by any of the north African nations, it represents an area slightly smaller than Wales but scientists claimed yesterday it could one day generate enough solar energy to supply all of Europe with clean electricity. The capture of just 0.3% of the light falling on the Sahara and Middle East deserts would meet all of Europe's energy needs. Scientists are calling for the creation of a series of huge solar farms - producing electricity either through photovoltaic cells, or by concentrating the sun's heat to boil water and drive turbines - as part of a plan to share Europe's renewable energy resources across the continent. A new supergrid, transmitting electricity along high voltage direct current cables would allow countries such as the UK and Denmark ultimately to export wind energy at times of surplus supply, as well as import from other green sources such as geothermal power in Iceland. Energy losses on DC lines are far lower than on the traditional AC ones, which make transmission of energy over long distances uneconomic. - Source

07/26/08 - Magnets Capture Cancer Cells
Magnetic nanoparticles coated with a specialized targeting molecule were able to latch on to cancer cells in mice and drag them out of the body. The particles, which are just 10 nanometers or less in diameter, have cobalt-spiked magnetite at their core. Most of the time they are not magnetic, but when a magnet is present, they become strongly attracted to it. On the surface of the particles is a peptide--a small, proteinlike molecule--designed to attach to a marker that protrudes from most ovarian cancer cells. To test the new technology, the researchers injected first cancer cells and then the magnetic nanoparticles into the abdominal cavities of mice. The cancer cells were tagged with a green fluorescent marker, and the nanoparticles with a red one. When the team brought a magnet near each mouse's belly, a concentrated area of green and red glow appeared just under the skin, indicating that the nanoparticles had latched on to the cancer cells and dragged them toward the magnet. - Source

07/26/08 - More-Efficient Thermoelectrics
KeelyNet By improving the electronic properties of a common thermoelectric material--a type of semiconductor that converts heat into electricity--researchers have doubled its performance, making it more practical for generating electricity from waste heat such as that produced in power plants and car engines. Joseph Heremans, a professor of mechanical engineering and physic at Ohio State University, added trace amounts of thallium to lead telluride, a thermoelectric material that's been generating electricity onboard deep space probes for decades. The added thallium doubled the material's ability to convert heat into electricity by increasing the voltage that it produces. Heremans says that the improved efficiency could translate into a 10 percent increase in the fuel economy of cars if the devices are used to replace alternators in automobiles by generating electricity from the heat in exhaust. One drawback to the new materials is that thallium is extremely toxic, so it would require safeguards during manufacturing and disposal. (During use, the materials are encapsulated and therefore pose less of a danger.) - Source

07/26/08 - Fossil Suggests Antarctica Much Warmer in Past
A college student's new discovery of fossils collected in the East Antarctic suggests that the frozen polar cap was once a much balmier place. The well-preserved fossils of ostracods, a type of small crustaceans, came from the Dry Valleys region of Antarctica's Transantarctic Mountains and date from about 14 million years ago. The fossils were a rare find, showing all of the ostracods' soft anatomy in 3-D. Because ostracods couldn't survive in the current Antarctic climate, their presence suggests that the southern-most continent hasn't always been as frigid as it is today. While geologists theorize that the land that now makes up Antarctica was once a part of other continents closer to the equator-hundreds of millions of years ago-the warmer climate that supported the ostracods would have existed "when Antarctica was pretty much in its current location," said study co-author David Marchant of Boston University. Marchant estimated that the summer temperatures in Antarctica would have been about 30.6 degrees F (17 degrees C) warmer than they are now. - Source

07/26/08 - WaterBOB
The $30 waterBOB™ is a water containment system that holds up to 100 gallons of fresh drinking water in any standard bathtub in the event of an emergency. Constructed of heavy duty food grade plastic, the waterBOB™ keeps water fresh and clean for drinking, cooking, washing and flushing. Water stored in an open bathtub, with dirt, soap film and exposure to debris will spoil and become useless. During a hurricane or tropical storm, water main breaks and storm surges can interrupt or even contaminate your water supply. It is during these conditions the waterBOB™ may be used for temporary water storage. Constructed of heavy duty plastic that is FDA compliant for food storage, the waterBOB™ keeps water fresh and clean for up to 4 weeks. The waterBOB™ is very easy to use. Simply lay the liner in any standard bathtub, attach the fill sock to the faucet and fill the bladder to capacity, which takes approximately 20 minutes. A siphon pump is included to easily dispense the water into jugs or pitchers. Never wait in line again to buy expensive bottled water! Be prepared with the waterBOB™. - Source

07/26/08 - Aging May Be Controlled by Brake and Accelerator Genes
Can we tweak certain genes to stave off the aging process - or, conversely, to speed it up? New research indicates that it may one day be possible. Scientists have discovered genetic switches in roundworms (Caenorhabditis elegans) - whose genetic makeup is remarkably similar to that of humans - that apparently cause the spineless critters to grow old when flicked on but, when off, may extend their lives. - Source

07/26/08 - Compound in human saliva speeds wound healing
KeelyNet "We hope our finding is ultimately beneficial for people who suffer from non-healing wounds, such as foot ulcers and diabetic ulcers, as well as for treatment of trauma-induced wounds like burns," said Menno Oudhoff, first author of the report. Specifically, scientists found that histatin, a small protein in saliva previously only believed to kill bacteria was responsible for the healing. To come to this conclusion, the researchers used epithelial cells that line the inner cheek, and cultured in dishes until the surfaces were completely covered with cells. Then they made an artificial wound in the cell layer in each dish, by scratching a small piece of the cells away. In one dish, cells were bathed in an isotonic fluid without any additions. In the other dish, cells were bathed in human saliva. After 16 hours the scientists noticed that the saliva treated "wound" was almost completely closed. In the dish with the untreated "wound," a substantial part of the "wound" was still open. This proved that human saliva contains a factor which accelerates wound closure of oral cells. Because saliva is a complex liquid with many components, the next step was to identify which component was responsible for wound healing. Using various techniques the researchers split the saliva into its individual components, tested each in their wound model, and finally determined that histatin was responsible. - Source

07/26/08 - Breakthrough in animal spare part transplants for humans
Blood vessels, tendons and bladders from animals are to be used in humans for the first time after a breakthrough in transplant surgery. Scientists have overcome the problem of rejection, which has previously prevented animal tissues from being used in patients. It opens the way for a range of new procedures using animal parts. "We can take a tissue from an animal, remove all the cells that carry the signals that trigger the immune system so just the biological scaffold is left. When this is implanted, the patient's own cells then grow in to replace the original cells we have removed. This has advantages as the transplant can then grow with the patient - something that is very important in younger patients." - Source

07/26/08 - Korea a Step Closer to Ultimate Energy Source
Scientists operating Korea's next-generation nuclear fusion reactor Tuesday reported their first generation of plasma, saying it marked progress in futuristic experiments to create limitless energy for human use. The device, called KSTAR, an abbreviation for Korea Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Reactor, generated plasma inside its inner chamber for the first time on June 13. The reactor is the second of its kind in the world to generate plasma using superconducting material. China was the first with its EAST reactor in 2006, according to Kwon Myeon, a director at the National Fusion Research Institute. In the experiments that continued through June 30, the plasma lasted for 249 milliseconds at above 100 kilo-amperes (KA) current with the maximum current reaching 133 KA, according to officials from the state-run National Fusion Research Institute. Originally, the goal for the KSTAR scientists was to maintain plasma for 100 milliseconds, or 0.1 seconds, above 100 KA. Fusion reactors generate power by the heating of hydrogen plasma, which causes hydrogen isotopes to fuse and release energy. The duration of the plasma is critical for this process and the reactors are designed with powerful magnetic chambers using superconducting magnets to contain the plasma. Nuclear fusion is regarded as one of future energy solutions that are limitless in sourcing, a key alternative to the limited and depleted sources of fossil fuels. The viability of the technology is still debated. - Source

07/23/08 - GasHole film Hints at 100mpg patent from 1946
KeelyNet Actor Scott D. Roberts and his filmmaking partner, Jeremy Wagener are the unlikely men behind the new documentary GasHole. Narrated by The O.C. and American Beauty actor Peter Gallagher, the film chronicles the history of oil prices and alternative fuels. It will screen for one night only at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Village 8 Theater in Louisville. This is its second stop in Louisville; a screening on July 14 sold out. The idea started 21/2 years ago when gas prices were at a then-high of $2.20 and a letter to the editor in The Modesto Bee newspaper sparked Roberts’ interest. The letter writer told of a Buick Roadmaster he saw come to the Crows Landing Naval Airfield in the 1940s that its inventor claimed was water-injected and could get 100 miles per gallon. The inventor said he became a millionaire by selling the patent to Shell Oil Co., but one of the conditions was he could not make any more. “His story was jaw-dropping,” Roberts said. So Roberts called his friend Wagener, an L.A.-based writer-director, and said he might have a great idea for a movie. The two began researching it and tracked down Kunde, who tells his story in the film. From there, the filmmakers went in search of the elusive patent sold to Shell. They found one from 1946 registered to a man who lived 20 miles outside Modesto; they thought it could be the invention in question. They brought the design to an engineer, who agreed that it might be able to improve fuel economy. From there, the documentary took off. Kunde’s story led them to find other documented cases of fuel-saving inventions that never have seen the light of day. They include Texas inventor Tom Ogle’s 100-mpg vapor fuel system and Shell’s own internal 1977 publication “Fuel Economy of the Gasoline Engine,” which shows that Shell engineers were able to achieve 149.95 mpg on a 1947 Studebaker. www.gasholemovie.com / (If anyone can find this patent number, please share it with everyone. Email Me. The US patent website doesn't allow searches without specific numbers before 1972, but I ran some numbers and found this one for January 1st, 1946 - 2,391,988. It's not the patent in question, but it gives a range of numbers to hunt. - JWD) - Source

07/23/08 - GM, Utilities Partner To Advance Plug-In Hybrids
"General Motors is forming a team with utility companies nationwide to create a charging infrastructure for electric cars. Their goal is to improve the design of charging stations - making them weatherproof and child-proof, for example - in locations such as public garages, meters, and parking lots. They're also working on ways to avoid overwhelming the utilities during peak hours. Their goal is to have these improved charging stations implemented by 2010, when the Chevy Volt is introduced. Everyone recognizes however that a national car-charging infrastructure would be far from complete at that time." - Source

07/23/08 - $250 Freescale-Based "Green" "Cloud" Computer
The CherryPal is a tiny desktop computer that its maker says will consume just 2 watts. It uses a Freescale processor that runs Linux and has no moving parts. The CherryPal has integrated software and an embedded Linux (based on Debian) that has been stripped down to support Open Office, Firefox, iTunes, instant messaging, and multimedia access locally. More applications are available in the cloud, and 50 GB of cloud storage is included. It comes without keyboard or mouse but with ports for VGA, USB, Ethernet, and built-in Wi-Fi. It's claimed that the CherryPal will boot up in 20 seconds from 4 GB of flash. They've buried Linux so that the end user doesn't see it; the entire UI is presented through Firefox. The CherryPal site says: "There's no software or upgrades to install, no risk of viruses, and no operating system to deal with and free 24/7 support." - Source

07/23/08 - One Year of Bottles gives flotation and a reason to switch to tap water
KeelyNet Only one of the 50 entries in the KUAC Red Green River Regatta consisted of water bottles sewed into a giant Visqueen bag sealed by duct tape. As the “USS Waste H2O” floated along the Chena from Graehl landing to Pioneer Park, the occupants tried to send a message to anyone who saw them: “Drink tap water instead of buying bottled water.” They held up a sign that said “Recycle where?” on one side and “1 Year + 1 House = 1,300 bottles” on the other. Kiffiny said they began buying bottled water a year ago at the time of the last regatta to acquire the raw materials for a raft and show in the process that bottled water comes with an environmental price. So after having gone through 1,300 bottles, they have sworn off the stuff and are sticking to the tap. Their craft was surprisingly maneuverable, fast and comfortable. It looked as comfortable as a Sealy Posturpedic and had more contours than a USGS map. - Source

07/23/08 - Eco homes: Saving water
Josephine Pickett-Baker lives with her seven-strong household (her parents, husband, baby Anthony, an au pair and a live-in lodger) in a large house in Peckham, south London. The handsome, Victorian villa is grade II-listed but has some distinctly 21st-century adaptations: these include a 3,300 litre rainwater storage tank buried under the driveway, a further three tanks on the roof and a rainwater harvesting system attached to her three sheds in the garden. The household, though large, uses almost no mains water to flush its three loos and even during dry summer periods the garden is watered entirely with stored rainwater. "We started with two 65-litre water butts which collect water from our garden sheds. They filled up after just two nights of rain." The household now saves over 200 litres of water a day. By using rainwater to flush the loos they are saving £365 a year, at 5 pence per flush. Despite the complex piping system that feeds the three cisterns, the house does not look like a Heath Robinson contraption. "It's fairly easy to use, you just need to remember to do little chores like clean the filters on the large tank," says Josephine. "It does require a little more work than just switching on a tap, but it feels good not to be completely reliant on a water company." Rainwater stored above the ground is only suitable for flushing loos and watering the garden; if stored in an underground tank, however, it can also be used to supply dishwashers and washing machines. On average, 150 litres of water are used by every person per day in the home, while research by Waterwise reveals that most people think they use about 50 litres. The Government's target for new homes is less than 80 litres per person per day. - Source

07/23/08 - Invention Scammers Slammed
According to the Federal Trade Commission, the defendants charged up to $12,000 to evaluate and promote consumers’ inventions. They enticed their victims with false claims about product promotion, their track record in turning inventions into profitable products and their relationships with manufacturers. They also deceptively claimed that their income came from sharing royalties with inventors, rather than from the fees consumers paid, the FTC said. The defendants are Davison Design and Development, Inc., formerly known as Davison & Associates, Inc., and its principal, George M. Davison III; Manufacturer’s Support Services, Inc. and its principal, Gordon M. Davison, and his wife, Barbra M. Davison; and relief defendant Barbara L. Davison, who is George M. Davison’s wife. The owners have agreed to return the $10 million in cash and property to its victims. - Source

07/23/08 - Greener TV screens
Building the pixels of flat-panel displays like tiny telescopes could make them much more power efficient, or make screens easier to read in direct sunlight. Today's dominant display technology is the thin, cheap and durable liquid crystal display panel (LCD). But the bulk of the light created by a screen's backlight is wasted, and never reaches the viewer. Each circular pixel has a thin metal mirror 100 microns facing back towards the display's backlight, with a 40 micron hole in the center. A second mirror is positioned below and is slightly larger than the hole. When a telescopic pixel is dark, the main mirror is flat. Both mirrors bounce light back to the backlight, away from the viewer. But when a voltage is applied to the main mirror it bends into a parabolic shape, focusing light onto the second mirror and out through the hole. To the viewer the pixel appears lit up. Telescopic pixels can let 36% of a backlight's output pass, compared to the puny amount allowed past by the crystals of an LCD. - Source

07/23/08 - Skyward oil stokes a coal-fired future
Der Spiegel, the German newsmagazine, explained earlier this month why the Persian Gulf states are switching to coal. “[They] may be sitting atop massive oil reserves,” the magazine said. “But with prices for crude skyrocketing, it makes more sense to sell it than to use it. Instead, the Gulf states are turning to coal for their own energy needs - to the detriment of the climate.” And these states are not alone. “Demand for coal plants,” the magazine says, “is growing rapidly across the globe.” Abu Dhabi (largest of the seven UAE emirates) has announced that it will switch to coal-fired power plants. Dubai (the second largest) is already building four of them - with a combined output of 4,000 megawatts - as a first-phase investment in coal. Apart from the United Arab Emirates, Oman (widely regarded as “the next Dubai”) has signed a contract with South Korea for the construction of several coal-fired plants. Beyond the Gulf, Egypt proposes to build its first coal-fired plant on the shores of the Red Sea. Russia has announced plans to build more than 30 coal-fired plants by 2011. - Source

07/23/08 - New knife with exploding tip that freezes victims' organs w/video
KeelyNet Police in London are on the lookout for £200 frozen-gas knives designed to kill bears and sharks, according to the never-inflammatory Daily Mail. The manufacturer describes [the Wasp Knife] as perfect for downed pilots, soldiers and security guards and boasts that it will "drop many of the world's largest land predators". It can snap-freeze all tissue and organs in the area surrounding the blast. A source close to West Midlands Police said: "The Met is obviously concerned about this and that is why they have circulated the information. "This knife will almost certainly kill and the Met must have intelligence that they are in circulation. "I think it is only a matter of time before one of these is used because the internet makes it much easier to find and buy weapons like this." / As divers, we all know what the effects of compressed gas are underwater. Our training teaches us that our lungs would burst from over-inflation if we held our breath and rose to the surface. This principle is key to the effectiveness of the WASP Injection System. This weapon injects a freezing cold ball of compressed gas, approximately the size of a basketball, at 800psi nearly instantly. The effects of this injection will drop many of the world's largest land predators. The effects of the compressed gas not only cause over-inflation during ascent when used underwater, but also freezes all tissues and organs surrounding the point of injection on land or at sea. When used underwater, the injected gas carries the predator to the surface BEFORE blood is released into the water. Thus giving the diver added protection by diverting other potential predators to the surface. - Source

07/23/08 - Mideast Facing Choice Between Crops and Water
Global food shortages have placed the Middle East and North Africa in a quandary, as they are forced to choose between growing more crops to feed an expanding population or preserving their already scant supply of water. For decades nations in this region have drained aquifers, sucked the salt from seawater and diverted the mighty Nile to make the deserts bloom. But those projects were so costly and used so much water that it remained far more practical to import food than to produce it. Today, some countries import 90 percent or more of their staples. Now, the worldwide food crisis is making many countries in this politically volatile region rethink that math. The population of the region has more than quadrupled since 1950, to 364 million, and is expected to reach nearly 600 million by 2050. By that time, the amount of fresh water available for each person, already scarce, will be cut in half, and declining resources could inflame political tensions further. - Source

07/23/08 - US food groups plan hefty price rises
US food companies are preparing another round of hefty price increases as soaring commodity costs force them to pass on rises to consumers. Sara Lee, maker of meat products such as Jimmy Dean sausages, said costs would compel it to push up prices on meat lines by up to a fifth later this year. “We will be taking price increases on the vast majority of the protein products in this calendar year,” said C.J. Fraleigh, Sara Lee’s chief operating officer for North America, in a recent interview. “Price increases vary a lot by type of products but the increases will be as low as zero and some products we will decrease on and other increases [will be] in excess of 20 per cent.” Kraft Foods, Kellogg’s, ConAgra and Tyson are also pushing through increases, which are expected to contribute to inflationary pressures in the US. - Source

07/23/08 - Video - Cellphone Karma
Cell Phone Karma is real. Kyocera Wireless reminds you to dial responsibly. - Source

07/23/08 - Cops Target Photographers
With camera in hand, Momoko Sudo headed from her Schenley Park home to the Biltmore Hotel gym for her morning workout. It was June 10, and the sun was bursting through the clouds after an early-morning shower. The demure 39-year-old Japanese artist paid particular attention to the raindrops on the leaves. She planned to photograph them. Drawn by the picturesque entry into Coral Gables via Coral Way, she crossed Red Road and strolled along a sidewalk until she spotted a police officer sitting on his motorcycle talking on a cell phone. Thinking it a good image, she snapped a photo and continued walking. "Come here!" Ofcr. Nelson Rodriguez barked. Then he demanded her camera. Soon he deleted more than 150 photos. He ripped out the memory card and slammed it on the sidewalk. "I was very upset," says Sudo, who stands five feet two inches tall and considers herself a passive person. "But I didn't want to say anything because he was very big and angry." The incident is one of at least four that have occurred in Miami-Dade County over the past year in which photographers have ended up arrested, handcuffed, threatened, intimidated, or accused of being a terrorist. - Source

07/23/08 - Scientists solve riddle of toxic algae blooms
By pumping various pollutants into Lake 227, a small pristine lake in the Experimental Lakes region of northern Ontario, they were able to pin down which chemical nutrients were key to triggering the blooms. "Phosphorous really is the key," says Schindler, whose study is highlighted in the U.S.-based Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week. "Here in Alberta, it is especially important because the phosphorous content in the soil is naturally high, so you don't have to add a lot to create a serious problem." Scientist Stephen Carpenter said global expansion of aquatic "dead zones" caused by algae blooms is rising rapidly. There are now 146 coastal regions in the world in which fish and bottom-feeding life forms have been entirely eliminated because of a lack of oxygen. One dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico is about the size of the city of New Jersey and growing. Schindler's latest series of long-term experiments shows that nitrogen removal completely fails to control blue-green algae blooms. He proved this by manipulating nitrogen and phosphorus levels on Lake 227 for 37 years. Nitrogen control, he found, only encouraged algae blooms. - Source

07/23/08 - A dash of lime may cut CO2 levels back to pre-industrial levels
Adding lime to seawater increases alkalinity, boosting seawater's ability to absorb CO2 from air and reducing the tendency to release it back again. However, the idea, which has been bandied about for years, was thought unworkable because of the expense of obtaining lime from limestone and the amount of CO2 released in the process. Tim Kruger, a management consultant at London firm Corven is the brains behind the plan to resurrect the lime process. He argues that it could be made workable by locating it in regions that have a combination of low-cost 'stranded' energy considered too remote to be economically viable to exploit - like flared natural gas or solar energy in deserts - and that are rich in limestone, making it feasible for calcination to take place on site. The process of making lime generates CO2, but adding the lime to seawater absorbs almost twice as much CO2. The overall process is therefore 'carbon negative'. 'This process has the potential to reverse the accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere. It would be possible to reduce CO2 to pre-industrial levels,' Kruger says. - Source

07/23/08 - Victor's Earphone Makes Sound Deeper in Ear
KeelyNet Victor Company of Japan will release the industry's first sound-isolating earphone whose driver unit is located in its sound channel (the part that enters an earhole). The company will release the earphone, "HP-FXC50," in Japan in early August 2008. The driver unit of the HP-FXC50 is longer and thinner (5.8mm in diameter) than the existing model so that it can be installed in the sound channel. Also, the distance between the driver unit and a drum membrane is shorter, reducing both external sound and sound leakage. The frequency range of the HP-FXC50 is from 10 to 24000Hz, its response (output sound pressure level) is 103dB/1mW and its maximum permissible input is 150mW. The earphone does not have a suggested retail price, but the price is expected to be about ¥4,000 (? US$37.6). - Source

07/23/08 - Big Brother tightens his grip on the web
Last week, a New York judge ordered Google to hand over a staggering 12 terabytes of YouTube user data to broadcaster Viacom. Naturally, the American broadcaster, which is losing young television viewers daily, needs all this data to prevent its younger audience from posting clips of its programming on the net's most thriving community where, shock horror, a fan base may form to discuss, discover and share their opinions about Viacom's TV shows, music videos and movie trailers. Yes, this is a case of copyright infringement, but if you're unable to pick out the real crime here you are not alone. On Tuesday, the European Parliament approved sweeping amendments to a package of telecoms laws that could essentially stifle the next Skype or Firefox, and make it simpler for France's three-strikes-and-you're-out file-sharing rules to become the law throughout Europe. Critics such as the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure are calling it "Soviet-style" censorship. As Benjamin Henrion of FFII ominously warns, "Tomorrow, popular software applications like Skype or even Firefox might be declared illegal in Europe if they are not certified by an administrative authority. This is compromising the whole open development of the internet as we know it today. Once the Soviet Union required the registration of all typewriters and printing devices with the authorities." The FFII also fears this legislation, known as the Telecoms Packet, will legalise mass spying on net users across Europe by jittery telcos, copyright hawks and panicky politicians. - Source

07/23/08 - Prostrate Cancer Wonder Pill
KeelyNet Trials of a new pill have shown that it can shrink tumours in up to 80 per cent of cases, and end the need for damaging chemotherapy and radiotherapy. The drug, abiraterone, was discovered by researchers at the Royal Marsden Hospital in South-West London. Their leader, Dr Johann de Bono, said patients there had been able to control the disease with just four pills a day and very few side-effects. Prostate cancer is Britain's most common cancer among men and the second highest killer, after lung cancer. Some 35,000 people a year are diagnosed with it - and 12,000 die. There are two types, aggressive and non-aggressive, which are often called 'tiger' and 'pussycat'. Men with pussycat cancer can often lead a healthy life, but the tiger variety - a third of cases - is usually fatal within 18 months. Prostate cancer is associated with ageing, and over the next 25 years it is estimated there will be a 60 per cent increase in the number of men over 65. This means there will be more cases of the cancer and abiraterone could save many thousands of lives. Its side-effects can include loss of libido, breathlessness, fatigue, fluid retention and weight gain. Some men may be left impotent, but the effects are far less than with chemotherapy and radiotherapy. - Source

07/23/08 - Who owns rain? Does saving rainwater violate state law?
Technically, rain that falls on your roof isn't yours for the taking. It's a resource of the state, which regulates the use of public waters through an allocation process that can take years to navigate. The state has long allowed people to collect a small amount of rain without asking. Although no one wants to police homeowners harvesting a few hundred gallons for a backyard garden, the state hasn't defined where that regulatory threshold lies. Someone collecting rain in larger quantities to irrigate a farm or wash laundry in a new condo building without a state water right could be breaking the rarely enforced law. "We're not going to start issuing permits for a pickle barrel in the backyard. But what if it's four pickle barrels or a system that has 20,000 gallons of storage?" said Brian Walsh, a manager in the Department of Ecology's water resources program. In urban areas, though, some cities and developers promoting green building practices simply ignored the issue. The rainwater collection system used to flush toilets in Seattle City Hall likely violated state law when it was built five years ago. That's why the city of Seattle recently obtained a citywide water-right permit, which makes it legal to collect rain from rooftops in most areas of the city. But there still are a few neighborhoods - including most areas north of 85th Street - that aren't covered. That's because stormwater there drains into creeks and streams and lakes rather than sewer pipes. Builders there would not enjoy the same legal protection. "Most people just blow it off and nobody's going to go after them, at least not yet," said Michael Broili, who designs rainwater-collection systems. "But water is a huge, huge issue that is just below the surface of the radar and in the next ... years, especially if global warming becomes a reality, it's even going to become more of one." - Source

07/21/08 - Tata Motors to introduce Air Car - Is it the next big thing?
KeelyNet India’s largest automaker Tata Motors is set to start producing the world’s first commercial air-powered vehicle. The Air Car, developed by ex-Formula One engineer Guy Nègre for Luxembourg-based MDI, uses compressed air, as opposed to the gas-and-oxygen explosions of internal-combustion models, to push its engine’s pistons. Some 6000 zero-emissions Air Cars are scheduled to hit Indian streets in August of 2008. The Air Car, called the MiniCAT could cost around Rs. 3,50,000 ($ 8177) in India and would have a range of around 300 km between refuels. The cost of a refill would be about Rs. 85 ($ 2). Tata motors also plans to launch the world’s cheapest car, Tata Nano priced famously at One lakh rupees by October. Microcontrollers are used in every device in the car, so one tiny radio transmitter sends instructions to the lights, indicators etc. There are no keys - just an access card which can be read by the car from your pocket. According to the designers, it costs less than 50 rupees per 100Km (about a tenth that of a petrol car). Its mileage is about double that of the most advanced electric car (200 to 300 km or 10 hours of driving), a factor which makes a perfect choice in cities where the 80% of motorists drive at less than 60Km. The car has a top speed of 105 kmph. Refilling the car will, once the market develops, take place at adapted petrol stations to administer compressed air. In two or three minutes, and at a cost of approximately 100 rupees, the car will be ready to go another 200-300 kilometers. As a viable alternative, the car carries a small compressor which can be connected to the mains (220V or 380V) and refill the tank in 3-4 hours. - Source

07/21/08 - Making Strides Toward Low-Cost LED Lighting
"You all know that incandescent bulbs are pretty inefficient, converting only 10% of electricity into light - and 90% into heat. Light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, could soon replace incandescent and compact fluorescent bulbs in our homes. They are more efficient and environmentally friendly. But LED lights are currently too expensive because they are using a sapphire-based technology. Now, Purdue University researchers have found a way to build low-cost and bright LEDs for home lighting. According to the researchers, the LED lights now on the market cost about $100 while LED lights based on their new technology could be commercially available within a couple of years for a cost of about $5. It would also help to cut our electricity bill by about 10%." - Source

07/21/08 - Web-Crawling Program Spots Disease Outbreaks
"There is a story at Discovery Channel's site about a new utility for mapping disease. The premise is to have bots crawl the web looking for stories about disease outbreaks and log them onto a map. '"We were originally thinking about how we could expand disease surveillance and pick up outbreaks earlier than traditional methods," said John Brownstein of Harvard Medical School and Children's Hospital Boston, who created HealthMap in September of 2006 with Clark Friefeld, a software developer at Harvard Medical School.' But then it was noticed by Google.org and has since grown into its own website, HealthMap Global disease alert map, and claims to be able to identify 95% of all disease outbreaks, some of them before WHO or CDC." - Source

07/21/08 - WindWings beat Wind Turbines
KeelyNet The WindWing dispenses with propellers in favor of parallel panels that look like stacked WWI plane wings stuck up on a pole. The panels work similarly by lifting and lowering with the wind. Gene Kelley, Founder and CEO of W2 Energy Development Corp., recently turned his hand to improving the efficiency of turning wind into energy with his WindWings invention. Basically, it is a series of six to twelve horizontal parallel blades that move up and down in the wind. Here is his explanation for how it works: Have you ever stuck your hand out a car window? Then you know how the WindWing works. Your hand tilts up as it is pushed up by the wind and down as the wind pushes it down; all you have to do is direct it. Sensors behind the panels adjust the WindWing according to wind direction and strength. Once the series of panels are adjusted, the wind pushes them up and down collecting the energy through its stem and storing it in a box at the base. That energy can be converted into electricity, compressed air or put through a water pump. Since the WindWing works more efficiently than a traditional wind turbine, it costs one tenth the price. One WindWing can also replace about twelve propeller wind turbines depending on the surface area and needs of the community. - Source

07/21/08 - Energy from Water - Genepax MEA
According to QED, or general quantum mechanics, the uncertainty at micro worlds dominates. If we take water, H2O is an average phenomena, and there is no certain locations or bond angles as to measure. A high voltage can easily "stress" covalent apparent bonding of H2O; thus in theory it is possible to stress the polarized H2O to a level which equalizes the bonding strength with only voltage (no current or amperage). The bond breakage can acutely happen, thus the dielectric characteristic of water (distilled) suddenly diminishes (catastrophic dielectric failure) which is a point where large amount of H2 and O2 exits. This is not exactly Faraday electrolysis and the resultant gas quantities can well exceed 300+ times more than Faraday’s expectations. An exotic observation here is the gas is produced between the two electrodes (commonly stainless steel plates) and not as expected at the electrodes. About the recent water car from Genepax, Japan, we had the exclusive opportunity to do some poking with the invention through our fellow researcher in Tokyo. Their cell is up to the claims, but their demonstration (car running in streets by Reuters) was not so genuine. It was running on the batteries, thus the energy unit was just loaded doing nothing significant. However, the water fuel cell truly produced 300W of power consuming water. They use ruthenium, platinum and some corral sands (probably to make the porosity of the membrane) in Membrane Electrode Assembly (MEA). Researchers are currently studying their two filled patents, which describes the catalytic disassociation of water. - Source

07/21/08 - Texas To Build $4.93B Wind-Power Project
"The lines can handle 18,500 megawatts of power, enough for 3.7 million homes on a hot day when air-conditioners are running. 'The project will ease a bottleneck that has become a major obstacle to development of the wind-rich Texas Panhandle and other areas suitable for wind generation. The lack of transmission has been a fundamental issue in Texas, and it's becoming more and more of an issue elsewhere,' said Vanessa Kellogg, the Southwest regional development director for Horizon Wind Energy, which operates the Lone Star Wind Farm in West Texas and has more wind generation under development. 'This is a great step in the right direction.'" - Source

07/21/08 - Walking Helps Seniors Take Aging in Stride
Study Shows Older Americans Can Increase Physical Function, Reduce Risk of Disability by Walking. A new study by researchers at the University of Georgia shows that older folks who kept up with a walking program for four months had "significant" health improvements over a group that didn't walk. The participants were randomly split into two groups, the walkers and a control group, which attended nutrition education classes. The walkers met three times a week for four months. At first, they walked for 10 minutes straight. It was increased to 40 minutes, with 10 minutes of warm-up and cool-down stretching. Both groups were given a battery of tests to assess aerobic capacity and physical function, which included how well the participants performed simple daily living tasks such as putting on a jacket or carrying a bag of groceries. Both groups had baseline testing at the beginning and end of the study. After just four months, the walking group fared much better in all levels of fitness. Results: * Physical function scores increased by 25% for the walking group, but decreased by 8.3% in the other group. The walking group's disability risk decreased by 41%. * Peak aerobic capacity increased 19% for the walkers. * Peak aerobic capacity declined 9% for the control group. "Aerobic capacity is really the engine that we draw upon for doing the things we want to do, whether it's cleaning up around the house or running a marathon," Cress says. "By increasing their aerobic capacity, the walking group was better able to perform their daily tasks and had more energy left over for recreational activities, like going out dancing." - Source

07/21/08 - Serendipity and the 'Eureka' Moment
We’ve come to realize that inside most people is an entrepreneur - or at least the desire to create or do something that will solve a problem, change the way we live or at least make money. That’s human nature. It’s the old "Why didn’t I think of that?" phenomenon. There are lots of ideas, and, interestingly enough, the people who have them often didn’t start out with that idea in mind. It just happened. That led me to think about some of the most famous innovations that we enjoy today and how they came about almost by accident. Of course, one of the most famous is penicillin, which was the result of a 1928 laboratory experiment mistakenly left out on a table. It grew a fungus that later became the treatment for a wide range of life-threatening infections. It actually took the scientist, Alexander Fleming, many years to convince the medical community of the power of his discovery. It wasn’t until 1945 that it was produced on an industrial scale to be available to large segments of the population. And many more fascinating accidental discoveries at the link... - Source

07/21/08 - AGBM Instant Cooker
This cooker cuts 70% of fuel (like LPG, electricity, coal, wood, etc.), cuts 70% of the cost and cuts 70% off the cooking time. This invention relates to the technique of cooking food, at low cost of fuel consumption. The present device is designed in such a manner that the food particles are cooked from all sides i.e. lower, upper and side including the middle of vessels. The main objective of the present invention is to reduce the consumption of the liquid petroleum gas (LPG). The oven is a double layered container, in which small jets are fitted on regular intervals. A gas pipeline is attached at one end which runs through all the small jets circulating the gas throughout the surface area of the oven. The inner container is detachable and designed to contain food stuffs for cooking. An orifice is made on the outer container which keeps a constant air flow for burning of the gas inside the vessel. Top of the vessel or oven is made up of heavy metal with double layers which is detachable and could be fixed with the help of hinge and lock. The body of the oven is such designed as it serves as an insulator for the inner container. Hence once the burners are switched one for a considerable time the heat is trapped for a long period in the vessel or oven and the food is cooked accordingly. The device such invented can solve many problems relating to gas consumption; it can save the gas by 70-80 % as in comparison to the conventional method of cooking. - Source

07/21/08 - An interview with serial inventor Bob Dean
KeelyNet Q. What are you working on now? A. I’m working on two projects. One is called drop blast bubble implosion fusion (DBBIF), which is, theoretically, a method of creating fusion by harnessing the energy of a liquid bubble as it collapses, thus increasing the pressure (by thousands of atmospheres) at which its temperature reaches extreme values. My other proto-venture relates to process technology for more cost-effective conversion of nonfood biomass to fuel. - Source

07/21/08 - Companies Coming Around To Piracy's Upside?
"The Economist has an article detailing how numerous companies are finding piracy's silver lining: 'Statistics about the traffic on file-sharing networks can be useful. They can reveal, for example, the countries where a new singer is most popular, even before his album has been released there. Having initially been reluctant to be seen exploiting this information, record companies are now making use of it. This month BigChampagne, the main music-data analyser, is extending its monitoring service to pirated video, too.' The kicker is Microsoft's tacit endorsement of Windows piracy in developing markets, namely China. The big man himself, Bill Gates, says it best in an interview with Fortune last year: 'It's easier for our software to compete with Linux when there's piracy than when there's not.'" - Source

07/21/08 - Liquid Metal CPU Heatsink Beats Water Cooling
"Bios Magazine is reporting that the world's first commercially available liquid-metal based CPU cooler is about to ship. Danamics, a Danish company, claims that its LM-10 outperforms standard air-cooled heatsinks and most watercooled systems with a mere 1W power draw. 'The liquid metal is a key component in Danamics cooling systems. Liquid metal has two major advantages when cooling high power density heat sources: Firstly it has superior thermo physical properties that decrease temperature - and temperature non-uniformity - on die and across chips. Secondly, the electrical properties of the liquid metal enables efficient, reliable and ultra compact electromagnetic pumping without the use of moving parts, shafts, seals, etc.'" - Source

07/21/08 - Electricity-starved Iraq turns to the sun to boost security
In a city with constant electricity shortages but no lack of sunshine, the new buzz is solar energy. Teams of engineers have appeared along major Baghdad roadways, bolting panels and bulbs to rows of towering steel poles to make solar-powered streetlights. "We are lighting up the city with solar power," Sajad Hussein declared when queried by curious residents. "People say it is a gift from God." But Iraq's decision to embrace clean energy has little to do with cost cutting or the environment: Iraqi policy makers want to improve security, and the national grid doesn't supply enough electricity to illuminate city streets. For Iraqis, the lack of reliable power has been one of the biggest frustrations of the war. The US government has committed $4.91 billion to repairing the ravaged electricity infrastructure and bringing new generating units online. But most Iraqis can count on just a few hours of power a day. - Source

07/21/08 - A Musical Score for Disease
KeelyNet When set to music, colon cancer sounds kind of eerie. That's the finding of Gil Alterovitz, a research fellow at Harvard Medical School who is developing a computer program that translates protein and gene expression into music. In his acoustic translation, harmony represents good health, and discord indicates disease. The first step in the gene-to-sound conversion was to pare down multiple measurements to a few fundamental signals, each of which could be represented by a different note. Together, the notes would form a harmonic chord in normal, healthy states and become increasingly out of tune as key physiological signs go awry, signaling disease. Alterovitz employed mathematical modeling to determine relationships between physiological signals. Much like the various systems in an automobile, many physiological signs work in synchrony to keep a body healthy. "These signals [are] not isolated parts," says Alterovitz. "Like in a car, one gear is working with other gears to control, for example, power steering. Similarly, there are lots of correlations between physiological variables. If heart rate is higher, other variables will move together in response, and you can simplify that redundancy and information." - Source

07/21/08 - HHS wants to define contraception as abortion
In a spectacular act of complicity with the religious right, the Department of Health and Human Services Monday released a proposal that allows any federal grant recipient to obstruct a woman's access to contraception. In order to do this, the Department is attempting to redefine many forms of contraception, the birth control 40% of Americans use, as abortion. Doing so protects extremists under the Weldon and Church amendments. Those laws prohibit federal grant recipients from requiring employees to help provide or refer for abortion services. Up until now, the federal government followed the definition of pregnancy accepted by the American Medical Association and our nation's pregnancy experts, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which is: pregnancy begins at implantation. With this proposal, however, HHS is dismissing medical experts and opting instead to accept a definition of pregnancy based on polling data. It now claims that pregnancy begins at some biologically unknowable moment (there's no test to determine if a woman's egg has been fertilized). Under these new standards there would be no way for a woman to prove she's not pregnant. Thus, any woman could be denied contraception under HHS' new science. - Source

07/21/08 - Planning smart for your food supply
Why store? The world we live in today is fast moving, ever changing and full of surprises. On top of this, there has never been a time when the average family has had less food in their homes than now. A hundred years ago, people generally didn’t go to the store very often. As a rule, America was much more agrarian than it is today, with people growing the majority of the plants and animals they ate. Today, many of us would be at our rope’s end after just a couple of days of not being able to go to the grocery store. So why not be ready for it? If you were the mayor of a small town during a time of disaster, wouldn’t it be a great relief if 1/2 of the inhabitants of your town had a three day supply of emergency supplies. A month supply? And wouldn’t it be great to know not only you, but all the neighbors on your street had an emergency supply of food and other items? One thing is for sure: When an actual emergency arises, the time of preparation is past. One of the greatest advantages that can come to you from this type of preparation is peace of mind. Whatever you choose to believe, it is a good idea to put something away for ‘that rainy day.’ Basic rules for home storage:... - Source

07/21/08 - Surgeons removing donor kidneys through single bellybutton incision
The first 10 recipients and donors whose transplants used the single-incision navel procedure have done well, according to the researchers. Preliminary data from the first nine donors who had the bellybutton procedure showed they recovered in about just under a month, while donors who underwent the standard laparoscopic procedure with four to six "key hole" incisions took just longer than three months to recover. The clinic says the return to work time for single-point donors is about 17 days, versus 51 for traditional multi-incision laparoscopic procedure. Patients of the new procedure were on pain pills less than four days on average, compared with 26 days for laparoscopic patients. The procedure involves making a three-quarter inch incision in the interior of the bellybutton and inserting a tube-like port with several round entry points for inserting a camera and other tools into the belly. The belly is inflated with carbon dioxide to provide maneuvering room. The kidney is then freed from connecting tissue, wrapped in a plastic bag and removed through the navel when the blood supply is cut, shrinking the organ's fist-like size. The incision is expanded to about 1 1/2 inches to extract the kidney after the port is removed. The procedure would not be appropriate for those who have had multiple major abdominal surgeries or who are obese. Both conditions would limit the ability to look around the abdomen and move about instruments. - Source

07/21/08 - 10 Banks That Could Be Next To Go Under
IndyMac bank going under probably has you wondering, is my bank next? Various analysts are predicting that hundreds of small and regional banks could collapse in the next year. Here's the top 10 list of the nation's most troubled banks... The list is determined by dividing the bank's non-performing loans by the sum of its tangible equity capital and loan loss reserves, what is termed the "Texas-ratio." Any bank with a ratio higher than 100 means they have more bad loans on the books than money to pay for them. The good news is that all the banks are FDIC-insured which means that up to the first $100,000 of your deposits are guaranteed by the federal government. - Source

07/21/08 - Pigeons: The Next Step in Local Eating
KeelyNet When you look at a pigeon, you might see a dirty, rat-like bird that fouls anything it touches with feathers or feces, but I see a waste-scavenging, protein-generating biomachine. Numbering in the hundreds of millions, they could be a new source of guilt-free protein for locavores in urban centers. Instead, we're still trying to kill off our species' former pet birds, which (as any city-dweller can attest) doesn't work. "Killing makes no sense at all," Daniel Haag-Wackernagel, a biologist at the University of Basel, told Der Spiegel. "The birds have an enormous reproduction capacity and they'll just come back. There is a linear relationship between the bird population and the amount of food available." Of course, the obvious objection is that pigeons carry disease, but some evidence suggests that they aren't particularly susceptible to avian flu. As for the meat itself, I called up the FDA's food safety line to ask how pigeon compared, safety-wise, to your average factory-farmed pig or chicken, but after one-and-a-half hours on hold, the office closed down and I gave up. Really, all pigeons need is a re-branding. Just as the spurned Patagonian toothfish became the majestic Chilean sea bass and the silly Chinese gooseberry became the beloved kiwifruit, pigeons can merely reclaim their previous sufficiently arugula-sounding name: squab. The term squab now refers to the meat of the baby pigeon, but it can also mean pigeons in general, so we can simply extend the brand back to its historical proportions. - Source

07/21/08 - StumbleAudio
StumbleAudio is a social music discovery site with a mission is to help you find music by new and exciting artists that you would like, rather than play or sell you the hits by known artists that you are “expected” to love. Our catalog has over 2,000,000 tracks by over 120,000 artists ready to be played in full length, high quality, free of charge. - Source

07/21/08 - Los Angeles is home to new rush of oil drilling
Beverly Hills is one of the most fertile oil fields in Los Angeles, producing nearly a million barrels a year. Many wells are camouflaged or hidden inside buildings. One on the property of Beverly Hills High School is covered in quilt-like floral blankets. Not far from here, in Wilmington, they churn out far more oil - in fact, the Department of Energy calls Wilmington the third largest oil field in the 48 contiguous states. Who knew? With oil prices so high, all over Los Angeles people are digging, or restarting, wells - even ones that only turn out 10 barrels a day. The state turns out 660,000 barrels a day, but that's down nearly half from the peak in 1985. Still, conservative estimates are that California is sitting on three billion barrels of accessible oil. Talk about a gold rush. - Source

07/18/08 - Groundbreaking invention to Power your Car
KeelyNet Thushara, a 25-year-old from Athurugiriya, is the inventor of what could be a ground-breaking technology of powering a car by water, using an extremely low amount of electricity. According to the the young inventor, the generator he has designed is capable of running a motor car for 80 kilometres using only one litre of water, without any danger to life or any impact on the environment. The energy required to power the vehicle is produced by the splitting off of H2O (water) into separate Hydrogen and Oxygen molecules, of which the former is burnt according to a specified ratio to produce the energy needed to power the engine. The specialty of my invention is its ability to produce this energy from water with a minimal electric current of barely 0.5 amperes, which was not possible earlier,” Thushara says. A product of Christ King College, Pannipitiya, Thushara, on his test run of the water-powered car, has travelled all the way to Anuradhapura and back on mere three litres of water, a journey that would have cost several thousand rupees on a petrol or diesel vehicle. ”This generator could be fixed to any petrol or diesel vehicle with suitable adjustments depending on their cylinder capacity. While Hydrogen is 1000 times faster than petrol, the exhausts of water-powered vehicles consisting of water vapour are also entirely eco-friendly. Using water as opposed to oil that react with lubricating oil would also extend the life of the vehicle,” he adds. - Source

07/18/08 - Abandoned Farmlands Are Key To Sustainable Bioenergy
Biofuels can be a sustainable part of the world's energy future, especially if bioenergy agriculture is developed on currently abandoned or degraded agricultural lands, report scientists from the Carnegie Institution and Stanford University. Using these lands for energy crops, instead of converting existing croplands or clearing new land, avoids competition with food production and preserves carbon-storing forests needed to mitigate climate change. Sustainable bioenergy is likely to satisfy no more than 10% of the demand in the energy-intensive economies of North America, Europe, and Asia. But for some developing countries, notably in Sub-Saharan Africa, the potential exists to supply many times their current energy needs without compromising food supply or destroying forests. The researchers estimate that globally up to 4.7 million square kilometers (approximately 1.8 million square miles) of abandoned lands could be available for growing energy crops. Researchers estimate that the worldwide harvestable dry biomass could amount to as much as 2.1 billion tons, with a total energy content of about 41 exajoules. While this is a significant amount of energy (one exajoule is a billion billion joules, equivalent to about 170 million barrels of oil), at best it would satisfy only about 8% of worldwide energy demand. - Source

07/18/08 - “Nanosculpture” for New Types of Heat Pumps and Energy Converters
KeelyNet Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have discovered how to direct the growth of nanorods made up of two single crystals using a biomolecular surfactant. The researchers were also able to create “branched” structures by carefully controlling the temperature, time, and amount of surfactant used during synthesis. “Our work is the first to demonstrate the synthesis of composite nanorods with branching, wherein each nanorod consists of two materials - a single-crystal bismuth telluride nanorod core encased in a hollow cylindrical shell of single-crystal bismuth sulfide,” said G. Ramanath, professor of materials science and engineering at Rensselaer... “Our discovery enables the realization of two very important attributes for heat dissipation and power generation from heat,” Ramanath said. “First, the core-shell junctions in the nanorods are conducive for heat removal upon application of an electrical voltage, or generating electrical power from heat. Second, the branched structures open up the possibility of fabricating miniaturized conduits for heat removal alongside nanowire interconnects in future device architectures.” - Source

07/18/08 - Electricity May Supplant Nets in Taking Fish (Mar, 1931)
KeelyNet Catching fish by shocking them with electricity is an experiment being tried by the Australian State Fishery Station, at Sydney Bay. A fishing boat has been fitted with charged electrical grids or electrodes of copper that are submerged in the water. Powerful electric generators force a current through the water between the electrodes, shocking all near-by fish, which then float to the surface and are picked up alive in large nets. Large-scale application of the method may be possible. Fishing boats might go out singly or in pairs, to fish electrically. Single boats would have electrodes at bow and stern. If two boats operate together, each would use a single electrode and an electric cable would connect them. A Swedish engineer named Moiler devised this electric fishing, after making good hauls with an electrified rowboat. The drawing on this page, based on cabled reports of his system, shows how it might be applied on a large wooden-hulled fishing ship. A metal hull could not be used, as it would short-circuit the current. - Source

07/18/08 - Psychic Nearly Destroys Family
What happens when the psychic lies to the client (or is wrong), telling her information that is not true about something with real-world consequences? On May 30, Colleen Leduc left her daughter Victoria at her elementary school. Leduc was soon called back to the school urgently, and confronted by the principal, Victoria's teacher, and a teacher's aide (educational assistant, or EA). Puzzled and alarmed, Leduc asked what was going on. The group told her that they believed that Victoria was being sexually abused. They had contacted the Children's Aid Society, a case file had been opened, and her daughter might be taken from her "for her own safety." Leduc was shocked by the explanation: "The teacher looked at me and said: 'We have to tell you that Victoria's EA went to see a psychic and the psychic asked her if she works with a little girl with the initial V. When the EA said yes, the psychic said, 'Well, you need to know that this girl is being sexually abused by a man between the ages of 23 and 26.'" The EA reported it to the teacher, who then went to the principal, and so on. Because Victoria is autistic, the child couldn't speak for herself about the alleged abuse. (For more on this, see www.WhatsTheHarm.net, a web site the tracks the damage done by psychics.) - Source

07/18/08 - Nerve Zapper to Reverse Obesity
KeelyNet The device is implanted under the skin in the abdomen and is regulated by patients through a switch. It emits a low-level electrical charge that blocks the vagal nerve, which signals a person when to eat. This blocking causes obese patients to feel full after a normal-sized meal rather than to continue eating. The device is being touted as a less invasive alternative to bariatric surgery, in which the stomach is surgically decreased in size or removed. It is reversible, unlike the surgery, and can be shut off by patients during the night. According to researchers, there is no damage to the vagal nerves or stomach. In the study, 31 obese patients who wore the device over six months in three medical centres lost an average of almost 15 per cent of their weight. The researchers are working on a followup double-blinded study involving 300 patients. - Source

07/18/08 - Bank Error
A few weeks ago I bought a banjo, and the seller requested that I pay via a direct wire transfer. I wasn't able to do it online, so I went to the bank (Chase), and filled out a form and the money was sent. They charged me $25 for the transaction. When I got back from Hawaii, there was a fax waiting for me. Apparently, the woman who did the transaction gave me the signed copy, which she should have kept. I called her. She wanted me to come to the bank and make a trade. Or, she could send her copy to me by mail and I would mail my copy back. I told her that my fee for either one of those services would be $25. She laughed, as if I weren't serious. I eventually hung up on her, after she refused to waive the absurd $25 fee. She kept saying that I would have to talk to her manager. Coincidentally, my fee for that is also $25. Should I charge a fee to correct a bank error? It makes perfect sense to me. - Source

07/18/08 - Farms in the Sky gain New Interest
KeelyNet What if skyscrapers grew off the grid, as verdant, self-sustaining towers where city slickers cultivated their own food? Dr. Dickson Despommier, a professor of public health at Columbia University, hopes to make these zucchini-in-the-sky visions a reality. Despommier's pet project is the "vertical farm," a concept he created in 1999 with graduate students in his class on medical ecology, the study of how the environment and human health interact. Despommier estimates that it would cost $20 million to $30 million to make a prototype of a vertical farm, but hundreds of millions to build one of the 30-story towers that he suggests could feed 50,000 people. He says his ideas are supported by hydroponic vegetable research done by NASA and are made more feasible by the potential to use sun, wind and wastewater as energy sources. "If I were to set myself as a certifier of vertical farms, I would begin with security," he said. "How do you keep insects and bacteria from invading your crops?" He says growing food in climate-controlled skyscrapers would also protect against hail and other weather-related hazards, ensuring a higher quality food supply for a city, without pesticides or chemical fertilizers. Architects' renderings of vertical farms - hybrids of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and Biosphere 2 with SimCity appeal - seem to be stirring interest. - Source

07/18/08 - End Bike theft with 'The Honeybike Project'
Bike thieves suck, so I decided to get even. Why not track and, if you'd like, shock these most egregious of folk? With a $40 pay-as-you-go cell phone, stun gun, and some basic electronic components, you can teach bike thieves a lesson and, hopefully, foster a small social change through individual action:) - Source

07/18/08 - Gas Extracted from Clover by Inexpensive Process
KeelyNet Claimed to be commercially practical, a process for extracting gas from roadside clover has been discovered by two Minnesota chemists. After manufacturing gas in their plant for several months, the chemists announced that 3,000 acres of clover would be sufficient for making a year’s supply of gas for St. Paul’s domestic and industrial users. - Source And this article, Making Gas from Prairie Grasses - "We actually get more energy from an acre of land growing prairie grasses [and] mixtures of prairie grasses and converting them into ethanol or into synthetic gas and diesel than you would by growing corn and soybeans and converting them into ethanol or biodiesel," says David Tilman. Tilman's team grew plots mixing 16 types of prairie grasses, including lupine, turkey foot, blazing star, and prairie clover. The plots with the most varieties produced the most biomass and produced more potential energy than corn and soybeans. And the multigrass plots did something else. Like all plants, grasses capture and use carbon dioxide from the air. When a plant or a plant-fuel is burned, the CO2 goes back into the air. That's not good if you're worried about climate change. But Tilman's prairie grasses bury much of that CO2 in the soil and in their deep, permanent roots. So a good deal of the CO2 stays in the ground after the harvest.

07/18/08 - Bees sent to attack crows
Tokyo conservationists are using honeybees to fend off crows attacking vulnerable seabirds nesting near the international airport. The nonprofit Little Tern Project has installed hives of honeybees on the roof of the watertower where several thousand of the seabirds nest during migration. The bees came from the Ginza Bee Project, another nonprofit that teaches people about agriculture and beekeeping. From National Geographic: "We spoke to an expert and learned that honeybees in the wild have the natural response of attacking a black object that comes near to their hive," (Ginza Bee Project chair Kazuo) Takayasu said. "There have been tests with black and white balloons, and the bees always attack the black balloon." It is believed that the bees' reaction is linked to the color of bears' fur. The insects apparently attack dark-colored creatures to protect their hives from plunder. "We noticed that the bees swarmed around crows that were taking offerings from white plates left on the outdoor altar of a shrine in Ginza," Takayasu added. - Source

07/18/08 - Exerciser Rights Faulty Posture (Sep, 1930)
KeelyNet BUSINESS men and women who by necessity must lead sedentary lives will find the exercising device shown at the left an excellent corrective for the stooping posture developed by such a manner of living. The device can be hung up in a doorway or in the attic for a few minutes exercise each day. Muscles of the shoulders, arms and neck are given a strenuous workout by the pulling movement of the arms and the stretching motion to the neck. (Using of this technique could be very useful for office workers, computer users and others whose work contributes to bad posture. Some company should make and sell these things, though from the picture, it looks like it would be very easy to construct for yourself. - JWD) - Source

07/18/08 - 'Run Your Car On Water' Scheme Could Leave Consumers All Wet
These widely-advertised devices, known variously as a "hydrogen generator" or "hydrogen booster," claim to be able to use electricity from your car battery to split water into its components of oxygen and hydrogen. This supposedly forms what is called "Browns Gas." Perhaps the most notorious Web site promoting the concept is Water4Gas.com. Created by a gentleman who calls himself Ozzie Freedom, the site is a 12,000-word sales pitch for two electronic books advertised at $97.00. Doing a Web search for "water4gas" or "Ozzie Freedom" brings up page after page of search results and advertisements with headlines such as, "Is Water4Gas a Scam?" or "Water4Gas Reviewed," not to mention a wealth of videos that claim to show the device in action. It doesn't take long to realize that the "articles" and "reviews" appear to be sales pitches masquerading as unbiased reviews. Some sites present themselves as mechanics giving free advice to motorists. "All of these device/schemes seem to promote adding hydrogen to improve the combustion process. There is no way it can improve fuel economy by 50%, or even 5%," said Dr. Robert Sawyer, Professor of Energy Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley. When we showed the instructions and claims to Dr. Andrew A. Frank, he had difficulty holding back the laughter. "It shows the desperation people feel!" said Frank, Professor of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering at the University of California, Davis.The Water4Gas site specifically says that you shouldn't listen to "experts." Instead, Mr. Freedom says that you should just order his books. - Source

07/18/08 - China Could Beat US in Moon Race
KeelyNet More bad news for NASA: even their administrator thinks China could beat the US to the Moon. Speaking with the BBC today, Michael Griffin shared his views about the Chinese space aspirations, pointing out that the super-state could, if they wanted to, send a manned mission to the lunar surface within a decade. NASA's return mission to the Moon is planned to launch, at the earliest, in 2020, so this news is bound to knock the wind out of the US space agency's hopes to continue where it left off in 1972… - Source

07/18/08 - Public Photography Equals Perversion
A father of three was photographing his three children enjoying a slide was accused by nearby parents of being a pervert. When one mother in particular began to harass him about not taking pictures of her children, the man was flabbergasted. Even after showing the complaining parents the images on his camera were only of his children, he continued to be harassed. A nearby police officer sided with the father, indicating there was no improper behavior at play. Even if the man had captured other children in the background of his photos, the legal precedent around public areas protects his activities. Has western society gone too far with privacy accusations or do such parents have a legitimate complaint? - Source

07/18/08 - Child locator a hot seller
KeelyNet The device sold out within 48 hours of the ad's first airing on television. There's now a waiting list for the $190 device on the company's Web site tulsaworld.com/brickhouse. The BrickHouse child locator is one in a slew of pocket-size tracking gadgets that are flooding the market, offering peace of mind to worried parents or a way to track down your dog if he keeps getting out. BrickHouse's locator comes with chips, or tags, that can be hidden in a child's shoe or pocket, attached to a dog's collar or hidden in valuables. If something wearing one of the tags goes missing, you can turn on the locator, and it will beep and vibrate as you get closer to the missing tagged child or item. You can also set it up to beep warnings as something wearing one of the tags gets too far away, setting up a safety perimeter of up to 600 feet around your house. - Source

07/18/08 - Recurrent Taps into Hudson Clean Energy Partners
San Francisco-based Recurrent Energy, which leases the rooftops of industrial buildings for its solar arrays, today announced a $75 million financing partnership with Hudson Clean Energy Partners. The partnership is meant to help Recurrent expand its business of providing solar power as a service to commercial and industrial properties, as well as utility and government markets. Recurrent Energy develops, owns, and operates distributed solar power systems, selling clean energy to large-scale energy users at competitive rates via a power purchase agreements. Instead of incurring the upfront cost themselves, the customer or its landlord leases its rooftops to Recurrent, who installs a solar array and leases the generated power to the customer. - Source

07/18/08 - Humans and machines will merge in future
KeelyNet Transhumanists, according to Bostrom, anticipate a coming era where biotechnology, molecular nanotechnologies, artificial intelligence and other new types of cognitive tools will be used to amplify our intellectual capacity, improve our physical capabilities and even enhance our emotional well-being. The end result would be a new form of "posthuman" life with beings that possess qualities and skills so exceedingly advanced they no longer can be classified simply as humans. - Source

07/15/08 - Man claims fuel system gets 463 miles per gallon w/video
John Weston's 1992 Geo Storm doesn't look like much on the outside. But there are some people that say it's what's under a car's hood that matters. "Since I changed the fuel system unit, it's drastically different. I disconnected the fuel line from the injector so no liquid goes to the engine," said Weston. Weston showed NBC2 a version of his air vapor flow system where instead of liquid fuel, only vapors go to the engine. "They used to say, 'Hey I'm running on empty. I'm running on fumes.' Well, this is actually running on fumes," he said. Weston says the system burns cleaner and also made a bold claim about fuel efficiency from a one-time test. "It came up to 463 miles a gallon if we had driven in the same manner - a gallon," said Weston. "I drove from here to Fort Myers, and I'm up there keeping up with traffic running 80 mph." Now, the backyard mechanic is looking for investors so he can eventually take his invention public. In the meantime, he says you might see his car on the highway. - Source

07/15/08 - Tankless task pays off: that's AC, not DC
In Gaza City, where gasoline is the rarest of commodities, Wassim Khazendar, electrical engineer, replaced the petrol engine in his Peugeot 205 four months ago with an electric motor. "I think I am the first person in the world to have been able to convert a car that runs on petrol, to one that runs on electricity," he says. Now it costs him about 50 cents to charge the car's 34 batteries, compared with the $425 he would have to spend to fill the tank with fuel. On full charge the Peugeot can cover about 180 kilometres at a top speed of 105 km/h, more than enough to get around the tiny Palestinian territory several times over. "I have attached the electric motor to the drive shaft, and that drives the car like a petrol engine," he says. "The manual gears work like normal. The only difference is that it costs nothing to get around, and here in Gaza, that means a lot." The secret, Mr Khazendar explains, is that he has found a way to use an alternating current electric motor instead of the heavier, direct current motors used in other electric cars. "For a car designed to run on a petrol engine, a direct current motor was too heavy, so when we tried it, it just didn't work properly." Sounding more like someone who could win a segment on the ABC's New Inventors program, Mr Khazendar says there is a secret box underneath the car that will protect his invention from imitators. In need of a patent attorney to ensure his invention was protected, Mr Khazendar looked up the office of a reputable Tel Aviv firm. "They said yes straight away - a very good Israeli patent attorney," he said. - Source

07/15/08 - 100,000+ Web Proxies to Bypass Internet Censorship in the U.S.
The proxy acts as a buffer allowing the user to gain access to blocked web pages quickly and easily. This method is preferred because it only requires the typing in of a URL into a browser window. Unfortunately, once the proxy is found by the filtering company it will be blocked and no longer allow access by the user. Solution - Google is said to be a hacker's favorite weapon. It is no different in this case. By using Boolean searches you can find TONS of new web-based proxies. Googlebot updates its list daily and it is constantly expanding. Use this search term: +"include form" +"remove scripts" +"accept cookies" +"show images" This search will look for all CgiProxy/PhpProxy web sites that have been set to default or have not been drastically altered. There are thousands of these sites out there on the Internet, and many new ones that come online each day. The filtering companies use search terms like these to find new proxy sites and block them. / By using all of those key words in one long Boolean term, we can eliminate approximately 20,000 web pages from Google's list and get better results. +"Include Form" +"Remove Scripts" +"Accept Cookies" +"Show Images" +"Show Referer" +"Rotate13" +"Base64" +"Strip Meta" +"Strip Title" +"Session Cookies" +"New Window" Click on the link for additional details to filter your hits... - Source

07/15/08 - Wireless Spy Sunglasses
KeelyNet WSC-827 Wireless Spy Camera sunglasses system contains the latest in miniaturized wireless video technology - squeezing double full color video cameras, microphone, power source and a 2.4GHz transmitter inside a pair of smart luxury sunglasses. It hides two wireless mini cameras inside both legs of sunglasses, offering your choice to observe the object both from right and left view; and you no need to stare at the object directly for surveillance, which makes it ultra discreet! Just press the power switch on the right leg of glasses; it begins transmitting high quality color video with sound to the supplied receiver--2.4GHz Wireless MPEG-4 recorder DVR. Press the camera switch button, you can choose right or left camera for surveillance. No need any cable or any other equipment, you can directly view and record exactly what you see and hear in our supplied wireless 2.5' LCD color monitor recorder DVR. The transmitting range is up to 300 feet! System components: 1)2.4GHz Wireless Spy Camera Sunglasses(WS-602) 2)2.4GHz Wireless MPEG-4 Recorder DVR(JS-928) 3)Solar charger System advantages: 1) Wireless transmission makes the DVR receiver can be separately carried;thus not any evidence can be suspected or detected from sunglasses wearer, which assures important safety for spy work. 2) Tiny pinhole camera lens safely hidden inside the cool looking sunglasses(makes it ultra-discreet) 3) Two cameras available for your choice to observe both right and left side view; no need to start at objects directly. 4)4 channels available for choice. 5)Long continuous operating time for camera sunglasses is up to 1 hour. 6)Solar charger guarantees long time power supply for transmitter up to 9 hours. - Source

07/15/08 - Flying fuelled by the sun
Jai Reddy has invented a solar-powered gyrocopter. Reddy, from Plumstead, has lodged international patents for his helicopter's electrical propulsion system. He hopes to have a prototype in the air within eight months. The traditional gyrocopter, which runs on unleaded petrol, has a myriad uses, including tourism, crop spraying, aerial photography, geological surveys, fire control, in the film industry, military, police and emergency services. Reddy's gyrocopter does not contribute to emissions and runs quietly. "The power plant system harnesses renewable energy without creating pollutants," he said. Reddy spent three years and his life savings researching and developing a way to feed his passion for flying and conserve the environment. He has no scientific, avionic or design training but nevertheless built a scale version of the gyrocopter to test the concept. - Source

07/15/08 - Unique water system inspired by hurricanes
KeelyNet Water quality has long been a serious issue and source of frustration for Naples area residents who depend on a well for their domestic water. Problems include hardness, taste and the notorious “rotten egg smell” of sulfur. Steve DelleCave and Frank Scherer have worked for years on water treatment issues. Ozone treatment is at the heart of the purification system, according to Scherer, vice president of engineering for the company. “The process of injecting ozone into the water is the key to the high water quality the system produces. It removes all the sulfur gas -- that rotten egg smell -- iron, and tannins, which are present in most wells in Florida.” As an additional benefit, it also kills bacteria that may be present in the water. Ozone is a naturally occurring form of oxygen, created when lightning strikes, and is responsible for the fresh smell noticeable after a thunderstorm. Very reactive by nature, ozone combines readily with a wide array of contaminants in water, allowing them to be removed, and converts back to pure oxygen, leaving no residue behind. Patents are pending for the new system, called the Water-One. You don’t have to live with smelly water, or the feeling of your skin crawling when you take a shower. Using our system is like bathing in bottled water. Hurricane Water Systems - Phone 417-2688 - Source

07/15/08 - RiverStar $20,000 Underwater Windmill
Presently Bourne is focused on its RiverStar system, in essence an underwater windmill. The rotor hangs from a floating hull secured in place by a cable strung across the river. Each self-contained unit will be easily mass-produced with standard steel-press equipment of the type used to manufacture cars, Catlin says, and installed in whatever quantity necessary for a given application. Each would cost $20,000 and produce enough power for 12 American houses at two to three cents per kilowatt-hour over its lifetime. That beats by a wide margin coal power prices, at upwards of 10 cents per kilowatt-hour, a standard of economic feasibility commonly used by energy investors. The device’s effect on navigation is unclear, though Catlin says it would not interfere with barges. Patents are pending on what Catlin says are Bourne’s revolutionary wave- and tidal-generation devices. TidalStar is conceived as a pair of floating rotors that harness tidal current in both directions. OceanStar, the wave generator, will be a giant, horizontal, fin-like device with turbines along one edge, moored 300 feet underwater. A mile-long section of fin will produce about 1,000 times as much as a RiverStar unit and will appear as little more than a line of whitewater far offshore. - Source

07/15/08 - A few thoughts on oil and gas
The simple truth is that we are dealing with a finite substance which is in great demand and is becoming in greater demand. The two most populist nations on earth, China and India, have rapidly growing middle classes who are no longer content riding in rickshaws or peddling bicycles. They want cars. Cars are what they are going to get, and thus the demand for gasoline is going to skyrocket. We cannot drill ourselves out of this. We cannot turn the desert sands into glass and take Saudi Arabia's oil from them (as one of my right-wing friends thinks we should). We cannot expect a masked scientist wearing a white hat and riding a white stallion to disappear into the evening dusk after having left us his latest invention of an SUV-like vehicle that runs off of a magical mixture of salt water and desire. The only way out is by conserving what we have. The wisest thing I've heard anyone say lately is that the biggest oil reserve this nation owns is sitting in our driveways, inside our automobile's fuel tank. If you don't want to spend $5 a gallon on gasoline, don't drive. The government, instead of continuing to offer huge tax incentives to oil companies, should divert those monies to research and development of alternative energies, especially safe and efficient batteries for electric vehicles. Sell me an electric car that is reliable, safe and affordable, that gets 30 miles to the charge, and I can meet the vast majority of my daily transportation needs. Put a small generator in it, like the Chevy Volt concept, and I can meet all my needs. - Source

07/15/08 - Use shock bracelet or pay $14 billion a year
KeelyNet A man who worked on the invention of a shock bracelet that the U.S. government has considered for using on all airline passengers says to gain a secure air travel experience, it's either his device or a tab of $14 billion a year. In an interview with WND today, Per Hahne, whose device is being marketed now by Lamperd Less Lethal, a weapons corporation located near Toronto, said his product really isn't draconian. With his device, he said, "no one gets wounded or killed accidentally, the flight is saved, you're saved, the air carriers are saved, insurers are saved, all because of a bracelet that can deliver a shock similar to a Taser." WND reported earlier that an official with the Department of Homeland Security had expressed interest in having airline passengers wear the bracelets that could track their movements, hold personal information and be triggered like a Taser to stun them into immobility. The video says passengers could be fitted with "electronic ID bracelets" they would wear until they disembark their flights. The device would replace a ticket, carry passenger information, track passengers through terminals and track carryon luggage. But the key feature is that the bracelets could be discharged, as a gun, and leave the wearer "immobile for several minutes" although without causing "permanent injury." He said the nation's existing air marshal program to provide security on flights cannot compete on two levels - safety [Who wants an marshal to discharge a weapon on board?] as well as expense. He said only about 4 percent of the nation's 30,000 daily flights are covered by air marshals now, and if an agent would be assigned to each flight, "it would take a contingent the size of the U.S. Marine Corps and $14 billion a year." He said approximately $25 of the average ticket already is used for security. Whether his bracelets should be adapted for use in other situations where a single person could cause damage: on trains, in stadium events and like, he said, "That's not a question I can answer. I'm an aviator. I'm only concerned about aviation." - Source

07/15/08 - Can water fuel gas?
"My idea is to give it to the world," said Bob Stockwell of Fort Myers. Stockwell is talking about hydrogen generators. He uses water and electricity to make them inside his garage. He calls the invention: "Jenny," which is short for generator. A half gallon of water will get the hydrogen generator to work. Automobile experts say this type of generator can boost your gas mileage by 60-percent and wash away toxins in your engine. Some experts say it's a cleaner and more efficient way to burn fuel. "Your vehicle only burns about 30-percent to 60 percent of the gasoline that it puts into the motor; hydrogen makes it burn at 100-percent," said Mark McDaniel, manager at Action 4 by 4 in Fort Myers. Stockwell is selling his hand-made hydrogen generator for $335. "Action 4 by 4" can order a hydrogen generator for $1,200. For more information, you can contact Bob Stockwell at (239) 303-2310 or 1-800-516-4109. - Source

07/15/08 - From Fish Farm to Fuel
Neptune Industries, which was founded in 1998, is primarily a technology development company with an emphasis in aquaculture. Neptune started to raise fish in the lakes using traditional aquaculture equipment, cages and net pens. The company also raises its trademark hybrid striped bass in a land-based raceway system. Testing showed that the water quality in the lakes was good. Pilot projects in three lakes, however, turned up several problems with the equipment. They had high levels of predation and fry escaping as turtles and alligators gnawed through the nets. They also saw that all the fish waste and uneaten feed went out into the lake and hurt the water quality. To solve these issues, the company developed the Aquasphere, a solid steel floating cage. The system uses a low-energy, low-head pumping system called an air lift to deliver oxygenated water to the fish and collects waste and uneaten food in a filter system at the bottom. Neptune’s land-based fish farm requires a 200 horsepower pump while the air-lift system uses a 2 horsepower blower. The Aquasphere also has hinge points that allow it to flex with ocean currents and waves. Ten 30-foot diameter Aquaspheres can produce 1 million pounds of fish per year. Combining the Aquasphere with algae production creates a second income stream by producing feedstock for biodiesel. Neptune Industry’s algae system is uncomplicated and takes advantage of the aquasphere’s environment. Long strips of plastic tubing are suspended on a frame of PVC piping and water and the fish waste fertilizer are circulated through the system. The system floats so the algae get all the sunlight it needs. Because the tubes are partially submerged, the system maintains a constant comfortable temperature for the algae. “It is basically a closed system,” Papadoyianis says. “You put the waste, which is the fertilizer, and the algae innoculum in, and it circulates around in a huge manifold. The water traverses literally thousands of feet as it circulates around. It gets the sunlight and keeps cool so you have the best of all possible worlds.” - Source

07/15/08 - Filmmaker hopes 'Gas Hole' inspires
KeelyNet Scott D. Roberts, along with Jeremy Wagener, is a co-director of "Gas Hole." Narrated by Peter Gallagher ("The O.C.," "American Beauty"), "Gas Hole" features interviews with politicians, energy officials, alternative fuel consumers (such as actor Joshua Jackson) and college professors all discussing the same topic: oil. What we found out really, the whole movie's message really is we're dependent on foreign oil but it's not a technological problem - it's a political problem, it's a social problem and it's an economic problem. We have the technology (to fix it). We've had it going back to Rudolf Diesel in (1900) when he invented the diesel engine to run on peanut oil. It wasn't until his mysterious death that they started promoting his engine to run on petroleum. We got better fuel economy in the '30s and '40s and '50s than we're getting in 2008 where a hybrid (Chevrolet) Tahoe getting 22 miles per gallon is the green car of the year. That's a joke. We want them coming away with information and being able to call their politicians and representatives and finding out where they stand on energy policies and know there are some options out there like biodiesel and ethanol, and hydrogen is also quickly moving into the mix - and electric. There's a lot of options out there and they're there today, not five, 10, 15 years from now. - Source

07/15/08 - A do-it-yourself E85 conversion kit
Bart Wells of Hitech Motorsport in Elk River, so far this year has sold 64 of his new devices -- with that many more on order -- that convert regular gasoline-burning cars to flex-fuel vehicles, capable of running on the less-expensive alternative of ethanol. More important though, Wells said, is that his system corrects the drop in fuel mileage that can cancel out the cash savings that lead people to switch to the biofuel found at pumps marked "E85" -- the 85 percent ethanol blend -- at many Minnesota gas stations. Wells calls his patent-pending system "ETOM" -- pronounced "e-Tom," -- for the acronym of the company he formed for its production and sale, Ethanol Technology of Minnesota. It's a do-it-yourself kit that he has priced at $299 to $399, depending on the size of the engine. He swears it's easy to install. This is his description of how it works: Cars use oxygen sensors to feed the right amount of fuel -- not too rich and not too lean -- into the engine to make it run smoothly. But ethanol in gasoline engines confuses those sensors, usually causing them to pour through about 25 percent too much fuel. That's why a tank of ethanol gets consumed faster than a tank of gasoline. His device corrects for that, which raises the ethanol mileage to within 3 to 6 percent of gasoline mileage. ETOM has another feature: If there's no ethanol around, and the tank gets above 50 percent gasoline, you can use a switch that comes with the kit to turn off ETOM. The savings come from the price difference between E85 and regular gasoline, which the industry generally estimates at 40 to 75 cents a gallon. - Source

07/15/08 - US court slaps down pollution law
A US appeals court struck down landmark air-pollution regulations on Friday, shocking both environmental and industry groups with a decision that could severely hamper efforts to curb smog and acid rain. The ruling, which one environmentalist called "the legal equivalent of a dirty bomb," threatened to overshadow a separate decision Friday by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to delay potential regulations for carbon dioxide under the Clean Air Act. The EPA says the regulations would reduce sulphur dioxide emissions by 70% and nitrogen oxide emissions by 60% compared with 2003 levels, delivering an estimated US$85-100 billion in health benefits annually by 2015. EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson said he was “extremely disappointed” and has not yet determined how to proceed. - Source

07/15/08 - Video - Super Rich: The Greed Game
As the credit crunch bites and a global economic crisis threatens, Robert Peston reveals how the super-rich have made their fortunes, and the rest of us are picking up the bill. (58 min. video) - Source

07/15/08 - Sleep loss produces false memories
It's been unclear whether false memories form as we slumber or whether they are only consolidated when we are asked to recall the information the following morning. Diekelmann suggests that it isn’t sleep deprivation itself that causes the formation of false memories, but the act of retrieving them from storage. When the team kept one group of people awake for one night, let them catch up on their sleep the next night, and then tested them, the volunteers recalled the same number of false memories as those who hadn't been sleep-deprived at all. In the past "it has been difficult to separate fatigue effects from consolidation," says Brian McCabe, a memory and learning researcher at the University of Cambridge, UK. But this study seems to confirm that false memories are indeed consolidated at the moment of retrieval. - Source

07/15/08 - NASA engineers work on alternative moon rocket
By day, the engineers work on NASA's new Ares moon rockets. By night, some go undercover to work on a competing design. These dissenting scientists and their backers insist they have created an alternative rocket that would be safer, cheaper and easier to build than the two Ares spacecraft that will replace the space shuttle. They call their project Jupiter, and like Ares, it's a brainchild of workers at the Marshall Space Flight Center and other NASA facilities. The engineers involved are doing the work on their own time and mostly anonymously, with the help of retirees and other space enthusiasts. The Jupiter design would also require two separate launches to get to the moon, but its rockets would both rely on a shuttle external tank at their center. Some of the design concepts go back to proposals floated at Marshall in the early 1980s. Others date to the early '90s, when Marshall worked on a new rocket system that never flew. Besides being a simpler, more powerful system, backers say, the Jupiter rockets would save NASA $19 billion in development costs and another $16 billion in operating costs over two decades. - Source

07/15/08 - Cranky 2nd Man on Moon Blames Movies for Kids' Space Boredom
Buzz Aldrin, the second man to step foot on the Moon, says that "fantastic and unbelievable" science fiction movies and television shows are partly to blame for the boredom young people have with the modern space program. Aldrin doesn't hate all science fiction films and TV shows -- just the ones that deal with "fantasy and ... traveling seven times the speed of light." He spoke favorably about Ron Howard's Apollo 13 and Tom Hanks' From the Earth to the Moon series: "They were fascinating, because it was reality history, and reality fiction can be good if you stick to reality." Got that? While not mentioning Star Trek or Star Wars, I'd guess those were some of the culprits he had in mind. - Source

07/15/08 - How to Save the Airlines (too good not to post)
KeelyNet Dump the male flight attendants. No one wanted them in the first place. Replace all the female flight attendants with good-looking strippers! What the hell -- They don't even serve food anymore, so what's the loss? The strippers would at least triple the alcohol sales and get a 'party atmosphere' going in the cabin. KeelyNet And, of course, every businessman in this country would start flying again, hoping to see naked women. Because of the tips, female flight attendants wouldn't need a salary, thus saving even more money. I suspect tips would be so good that we could charge the women for working the plane and have them kick back 20% of the tips, including lap dances and 'special services.' Muslims would be afraid to get on the planes for fear of seeing naked women. Hijackings would come to a screeching halt, and the airline industry would see record revenues. This is definitely a win-win situation if we handle it right -- a golden opportunity to turn a liability into an asset. Why didn't Bush think of this? Why do I still have to do everything myself? - Sincerely, Bill Clinton - Thanks to Ed Heft

07/15/08 - A better use for the International Space Station
Consider the International Space Station, that marvel of incremental engineering. It has close to 15,000 cubic feet of livable space; 10 modules, or living and working areas; a Canadian robot arm that can repair the station from outside; and the capacity to keep five astronauts (including the occasional wealthy rubbernecking space tourist) in good health for long periods. It has gleaming, underused laboratories; its bathroom is fully repaired; and its exercycle is ready for vigorous mandatory workouts. The only problem with this $156 billion manifestation of human genius -- a project as large as a football field that has been called the single most expensive thing ever built -- is that it's still going nowhere at a very high rate of speed. And as a scientific research platform, it still has virtually no purpose and is accomplishing nothing. The ISS, you see, is already an interplanetary spacecraft -- at least potentially. It's missing a drive system and a steerage module, but those are technicalities. Although it's ungainly in appearance, it's designed to be boosted periodically to a higher altitude by a shuttle, a Russian Soyuz or one of the upcoming new Constellation program Orion spacecraft. It could fairly easily be retrofitted for operations beyond low-Earth orbit. In principle, we could fly it almost anywhere within the inner solar system -- to any place where it could still receive enough solar power to keep all its systems running. - Source

07/12/08 - Businessman could hold Solution to Nation's energy crisis
KeelyNet The "Rivera Method" - takes such agricultural refuse as cracked soy beans, rice and cotton seed hulls, grain sorghum, milo and jatropha and turns them into bio-crude oil. This crude - or Vertroleum, as Rivera calls it - can then be refined further into everything from gasoline to jet fuel and just about every petrochemical in between. What's more, Rivera claims that products made from Vertroleum burn at near 100 percent efficiency, leaving behind neither heat nor pollution as proof of the chemical reactions taking place. To demonstrate, Rivera set fire to two samples of oil. The first sample - a few drops of conventional petroleum - burned briefly before dying out, leaving behind only wisps of black smoke and an unmistakable smell. The second sample - Rivera's Vertroleum - not only produced a taller flame longer but was decidedly absent of both smoke and smell. For further proof, plant workers cranked up both a large industrial engine block and a four-wheeler powered by Vertroleum gasoline to display the fuel's compatibility with today's combustion engines. Even after a few minutes of operation, the engine block was cool to the touch while the four-wheeler's exhaust pipe seemed to emit little more than warm, odorless air. For more information on Vertroleum and Sustainable Power Corp, visit www.sustainablepower.com / "The company Sustainable Power Corp. claims to have created a form of bio-crude oil from agricultural refuse. They use agro-waste from cracked soy beans, rice and cotton seed hulls, grain sorghum, milo, and jatropha and turn it into bio-crude oil. This crude can then be further refined into everything from gasoline to jet fuel and just about every petrochemical in between. The CEO is quoted: 'Our biggest problem is that we are too good to be true. We can literally replace every gallon of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel in the United States using just 12 percent of the waste byproducts in the country.' They also claim that their fuel burns to near 100 percent efficiency." - Source

07/12/08 - Boat, Moved Only by Waves, Sails to a Seafaring First
KeelyNet The Suntory Mermaid II successfully completed late Friday night a 4,350 mile trip from Honolulu, Hawaii, to the Kii Channel off the east coast of Japan, marking the longest known voyage by a wave-powered boat. The bow-mounted mechanism harnesses wave power to provide a dolphinlike tail kick from two independently mounted flippers. The design team originally estimated that the 31-foot-long, three-ton catamaran would average three to four knots and arrive off the east coast of Japan about 60 days after its departure on March 16. But, unusually good weather and calm seas resulted in the boat traveling an average of only 1.5 knots and the Mermaid’s maiden voyage ended up taking 111 days. Nevertheless, Dr. Terao and his team were satisfied with the result. “We were able to prove that our propulsion system delivers a 7,000-kilometer voyage,” Dr. Terao said in an e-mail interview from Japan. “And we can easily improve the speed. In fact, the improvements have already started.” - Source

07/12/08 - 'Scratch' to make net 100 times faster
Scientists have developed what they claim is a small scratch on a piece of glass, which could make the internet nearly 100 times faster and give users unlimited, error-free access anywhere in the world. "This is a critical building block and a fundamental advance on what is already out there. We are talking about networks that are potentially up to 100 times faster without costing the consumer any more. "The scratched glass we have developed is actually a Photonic Integrated Circuit. This circuit uses the 'scratch' as a guide or a switching path for information - kind of like when trains are switched from one track to another - except this switch takes only one picoseconds to change tracks. "This means that in one second the switch is turning on and off about one million times. We are talking about photonic technology that has terabit per second capacity," lead researcher Ben Eggleton at the University of Sydney said. Researchers had reported some time back that the internet could soon be made obsolete by "the grid". The lightning-fast replacement will be capable of downloading entire feature films within seconds. It will have speeds about 10,000 times faster than a typical broadband connection. The latest spin-off from Cern, the particle physics centre that created the web, could also provide the kind of power needed to transmit holographic images; allow instant online gaming with hundreds of thousands of players, and offer high-definition video telephony for the price of a local call. - Source

07/12/08 - Who Will Rule the 21st Century?
Straight-line extrapolation shows that China and India, with their faster growth rates, will eventually catch up to the U.S. in terms of pure economic size. But America has a final competitive advantage: its confluence of bright, hungry entrepreneurs and flush, eager investors; and its stable, highly adaptable system. For China, that would occur as early as 2045; for India, the date would be some 20 years later. Which is why you so often hear experts predicting that, by midcentury, the U.S. will be trailing the two new world superpowers. - Source

07/12/08 - Nanomaterials More Dangerous Than We Think
"A Canadian panel of leading scientists warns that nanomaterials appearing in a rapidly growing number of products might potentially be able to enter cells and interfere with biological processes. According to a story in the Globe and Mail, the Council of Canadian Academies concluded that 'there are inadequate data to inform quantitative risk assessments on current and emerging nanomaterials... Their small size, the report says, may allow them "to usurp traditional biological protective mechanisms" and, as a result, possibly have "enhanced toxicological effects."' The council is an independent academic advisory group funded by the federal government, but operating at arms-length from Ottawa. The 16-member panel that wrote the new report included some of Canada's leading scientists and top international experts on nanomaterials." - Source

07/12/08 - How to Totally Trash an Onboard Vehicle Hydrogen Electrolyzer
Recieved a note from Don Lancaster, our resident skeptic and it is definitely worth posting; "Here, revealed in print for the very first time, are many of the super secret insider techniques to absolutely and totally ruin the performance of an onboard auto or truck hydrogen electrolysis generator. Please note that while any one of these by themselves is clearly a fatal flaw, using them in combination is strongly recommended to be absolutely sure your device ends up utterly and truly worthless… - Source

07/12/08 - US Dominance in Space Slips as Other Nations Step Up Efforts
Space, like Earth below, is globalizing. And as it does, America's long-held superiority in exploring, exploiting and commercializing "the final frontier" is slipping away, many experts believe. Although the United States remains dominant in most space-related fields -- and owns half the military satellites currently orbiting Earth -- experts say the nation's superiority is diminishing, and many other nations are expanding their civilian and commercial space capabilities at a far faster pace. "We spent many tens of billions of dollars during the Apollo era to purchase a commanding lead in space over all nations on Earth," said NASA Administrator Michael D. Griffin, who said his agency's budget is down by 20 percent in inflation-adjusted terms since 1992. "We've been living off the fruit of that purchase for 40 years and have not . . . chosen to invest at a level that would preserve that commanding lead." Six separate nations and the European Space Agency are now capable of sending sophisticated satellites and spacecraft into orbit -- and more are on the way.... - Source

07/12/08 - The Easist PC Backup we Ever Saw! (July 2008, Week 2)
KeelyNet “ClickFree,” a 120-gigabyte pocket-sized hard drive that plugs into any Windows computer and backs up all your files. No, we don’t mean you first load some software and then select what you want to backup, you just plugClickFree the drive into a USB port and boom, off it goes. Now that’s really click-free. You can take the drive around to five Windows PCs, plug it in and it will back them all up. We found it for $105 at Amazon. It doesn’t get any easier than this, except maybe the next backup thingy. The other kind of ClickFree backup comes as a set of three DVDs for $10. There are three kinds of packages: one for office files, one for photos and one for music. Each set is $10. Take out one of the disks - the digital photo backup, for example, and put it in the DVD drive on any Windows computer. A box will come up showing the number of files and how much space they will occupy. You will have the opportunity to select which you want to save or save all. The disk will then collect the photos and store them to that same DVD. The three disks in the $10 package can hold 6,000 photos. The backup handles photos in any of 70 digital formats, including the RAW files used by some professionals. The set of disks for backing up digital music can hold 3,000 songs. The disk is for storage only; it will not play on your stereo. The set for the office can hold 27,000 files. Once again, just put in the disk and it’s all automatic. If three aren’t enough, the company sells packs of ten for $28. Web site: GoClickFree.com. - Source

07/12/08 - The Moon as backup drive for civilization
KeelyNet Imaginative new ideas for using space to protect civilization against existential risks, such as killer asteroids, nuclear war, and global terrorism, are in the works. The public increasingly sees NASA as irrelevant; we need a revitalized new vision of space, says a new breed of space activists. Backing up civilization's collective hard drive-its recorded archive-on the Moon and creating a self-sufficient colony there precisely so it can act as a lifeboat in case a calamity strikes Earth: that's the rationale for a new book from Forge Books, The Survival Imperative: Using Space to Protect Earth, according to author William E. Burrows. "That should be the overarching reason for moving there, not to mine resources or for the sake of a grand adventure. And the move outward must start with the Moon, not Mars. The Moon is three or four days away, not a year, so it makes logistical sense and is cheaper. And if there's an accident on the Moon, help or a safe haven are likewise four days away. Finally, the lunar colony ought to be NASA's overriding (but not only) mission, especially since it walked off a cliff after Apollo. That's what the book is about. It's my gift to the home planet." - Source

07/12/08 - Driving farther on water
KeelyNet The device itself is basic enough. Inside a hard plastic one-quart container filled with distilled water, Schattenkerk inserts two steel electrodes. Wiring connects the electrodes to a ground on the car’s frame and a positive charge within the fuse box, which activates only when the ignition is turned on. The positively charged electrode sends water molecules into a frenzy. The electrolysis separates hydrogen and oxygen from each other in a vacuum and they return to gas, which is then sucked into the fuel mixture via plastic tubing and the engine’s intake manifold. The hydrogen works as a fuel additive, Schattenkerk says. When it is burned both the hydrogen and the oxygen return to water. However, water production is minimal - no more than what the engine may produce on a humid day - and stainless steel valves are not necessary, he added. A pinch of baking soda works as a catalyst for the electrolysis. But too much can blow a fuse. When Schattenkerk first hooked the hydrogen generator to his wife’s 1998 Saturn, the mid-size car improved its mileage from 28 miles per gallon to 35. Schattenkerk also claims that the hydrogen generator uses only a few amps of energy and is no less a drag on the alternator than maybe adding a radio to the car. As for maintenance, he said the device should be checked once about every 1,000 miles and water added as needed. It’s important that it’s distilled water since regular tap water holds minerals and other impurities that can cause corrosion. When the water turns brick red, Schattenkerk says it’s time to rinse out the container and add new water. After five different homemade models, he believes he’s nearly perfected the converter. For $150, including installation, he claims it can improve any car’s gas mileage by 10 percent to as much as 50 percent. Schattenkerk can be reached at (541) 513-0105 or hydrogenhybrids@yahoo.com - Source

07/12/08 - The next great Canadian idea: Peripiteia generator
KeelyNet Thane Heins could be a dreamer, a crackpot, a genius or all three. He wants to stop the war in Iraq and believes that his creation “in the right hands…will save lives.” His creation? A generator that produces energy in an isolated system, something that some say is a perpetual motion machine, although Heins carefully distances himself from such statements. “We can only say what we can show, and we can only claim what we can prove,” says Heins. “And (the generator) violates the law of conservation of energy.” That law states new energy cannot be created in a closed system, and Heins’s claim to have broken it has thrust the 47-year-old from Almonte, Ont., into the spotlight. Heins’s generator, called Perepiteia, is an electromechanical device that uses wire coils and magnets. When the generator is attached to an electric motor, both the Perepiteia generator and the motor simultaneously accelerate. And when a load-say, a light bulb-is attached to the generator, power to all three accelerates. Heins calls the phenomenon “regenerative acceleration,” and its application could be used in an electric car, where the battery would recharge both when applying the brakes and when stepping on the accelerator. - Source

07/12/08 - Portable Applications On A USB Memory Stick
Why would I want an App-Stick? Maybe you have sometimes put your data on a stick. Have you ever tried to use somebody else's computer to work on that data? Chances are, this computer will not act like your own computer - different settings, different software versions, or maybe this computer doesn't even have the application software that you need to access your data. So it's not enough to carry your data around with you. You should also carry around your software applications, the programs that can access that data. This is what portable software offers: Your complete working environment, both data and the applications to work with it. In an effort to "eat our own dogfood", we have developed most of the software for App-Stick from a 2GB stick with portable applications (XAMPP, PSPad, FileZilla, Firefox,...). As a result, we can plug that stick into any of our computers and get to work immediately. We love it! Why are these applications free? Most of these applications have been developed as Open Source Software, free to use and modify under the GNU license. Most of these projects accept donations to help support the efforts of programmers and overhead of developing and hosting them on the internet. - Source

07/12/08 - Self-Driving Electric Car
KeelyNet On Thursday, real-estate investor Jay Andress of Hyde Park and former roller-coaster company executive Andy Webster of Indian Hill were in Hyde Park Square unveiling their electric-concept car, dubbed the monomobile. The car can run 50 miles without a battery recharge. But the beauty of it, says Andress, is that it can recharge through a monorail-type system - with wheels on top, too - that constantly recharges the battery for long-distance drives. The rail, combined with existing navigation system technology, lets the vehicle be self-guided, which Andress has calculated could create an $145 billion economic benefit to the nation by allowing people to work while they commute. That led them to call it the "Liberator Car." Because the car does not use gasoline, the only emissions would come at the point of electric generation, creating a 500 percent increase in energy efficiency, said Andress, who has been working on the one-person concept car for 15 years. - Source

07/12/08 - 5 Famous Sci-Fi Weapons That They're Actually Building
Ever find yourself watching a movie, and at the moment the villain whips out an elaborately sinister doomsday device, you say, "Hey, I wouldn't mind having one of those things!" Well, it turns out defense contractors are thinking the exact same thing. The only difference is they have billions to spend to make it happen. - Source

07/12/08 - A Better Solar Collector
KeelyNet MIT researchers have created sheets of glass coated with advanced organic dyes that more efficiently concentrate sunlight. The researchers, whose results appear in this week's issue of Science, say that the coated glass sheets could eventually make solar power as cheap as electricity from fossil fuels. The dye-coated glass sheets provide a cheap way to use more than one type of solar cell in a single solar module--one solar cell tuned to work with low-energy light, and the other to work with high-energy light. Two glass sheets are stacked. The top one absorbs high-energy light and channels it to a small solar cell matched to that light. The other captures lower-energy photons and channels those to another solar cell. Based on the researchers' initial results, Baldo says, "you can almost double the efficiency of your overall system if you do this." - Source

07/12/08 - USA slowly turns into unemployed nation
The nation lost jobs for a sixth month in a row in June, a storm of pink slips drenching this year's July Fourth holiday for more than 60,000 Americans and leaving thousands more worried about the future. Weighed down by energy prices and the housing crisis, employers laid off workers in stores, factories and forsaken building sites. In June alone, employers got rid of 62,000 jobs, bringing total losses so far this year close to a staggering half-million - 438,000, according to the Labor Department's report released Thursday. The economy needs to generate more than 100,000 new jobs a month for employment to remain stable. - Source

07/10/08 - Video - Self-Running Magnetic Engine from Troy Reed
KeelyNet One report indicates inventor Troy Reed died in 2006, I have been assured he is still quite alive and his videos live on at youtube. This 2007 post shows a greatly improved magnetic motor which seems to show as self-running, though like his original clicker magnetic wheel, it is not self-sustaining and will run down. The video shows it installed in a car and Troy is driving it around as a demo. Imagine, an electric car that recharges itself as it runs...hnmmm...now where have we heard that before? Ah yes, shades of Carl Tilley! My concern is it was posted on November 20, 2007 but I have no idea when it was made. So what is the current status? If you know, drop me a line so I can update this post. / Magnetic Miracle (1994?) - Reed has invented and patented a motor that consumes no fuel and emits no fumes. It is powerful enough to turn a 7,000-watt generator, which is enough electricity to run an average home. Production of the Reed Magnetic Motor for use by the general public may begin by year's end. Reed, 57, has also invented an automobile called "Surge" that employs his new technology. Unlike a battery-powered car, Reed's Surge does not have to be plugged in to be recharged. The car recharges itself as it rolls down the highway at speeds of up to 85 miles an hour. Reed and actor Dennis Weaver, a cousin and inventor in the project, plan to make the first highway test-run of the car this summer. The 1989 prototype uses a horizontal shaft with several magnets on it. Above the shaft are four vertical spring-loaded pistons with a magnet on the end closest to the shaft. Turning the hand crank spins the horizontal shaft and the magnetic spring-loaded pistons move up and down to trigger the motion of the shaft and the magnetic force field. Once the shaft is put into motion, it continues to spin until a brake is applied. Instead of moveable pistons, the latest model of the motor uses and electronic system and stationary magnets to start and control the motion of the shaft. Consequently, the only moving part in the motor is the horizontal shaft. In the current model, the shaft turns in bearings, but Reed said the mass-produced model will not have the bearings. Instead, the shaft will be magnetically suspended inside the motor casing. Suspending the shaft means there will be nothing to wear out, or make noise, Reed said. The federal government is aware of what is going on at Reed Technologies. In fact, Reed said NASA has volunteered to test the motor. Reed estimated it will cost about $3,500 per motor to mass produce his invention. / Surge Technology - A 2008 Video Upload and there is a Peswiki about Troy Reed - In around 1994, Troy Reed claimed to have a fuelless, pollution-free motor with around 7 kilowatts of output, powerful enough to run a house or a car. The technology received a flurry of high-level interest, including major media. Actor and co-inventor, Dennis Weaver organized a cross-country demonstration. The technology was apparently hampered when Troy's wife and VP of the company divorced and moved to Costa Rica. Reed admitted on tape in 1999 that he had not achieved self-sustainability. As of 2006, the son, Mark, is doing other things, but would eventually like to resurrect the "Mach II" version of the magnet motor, for which he has the full blueprints that he drew. - (Thanks to Mike Vanier for this headsup. - JWD) - Source

07/10/08 - Invention Could Save 70% On Heating Bill
Invented by a Cape Cod man, the Acadia is not complicated technology. It's a super-efficient heat pump, powered by electricity, that pumps heat in during winter months, and pumps heat out of homes in the summer. "It's a combined heating and cooling system," Kimball said. "Even down to temperatures as low as -30 degrees, it can extract the heat from outside and put it into your home extremely efficiently." And Parker is optimistic that Acadia will have an equally dramatic effect on his bank account. Last year, Parker spent nearly $1,700 to heat his home. This coming winter, his projected bill is just $900, and that projected figure includes air conditioning during the summer. Acadia is also compatible with wind or solar power. One woman who bought the Acadia supplies the electricity to run it with solar panels on the roof of her New Jersey home. Because her panels supply more energy than she needs, she now gets money back from the power company. "She's received a check every month, but for one month, where she had a $23 bill," said Kimball. Acadia can cost up to $15,000 to install, less if the home already has ducts. - Source

07/10/08 - Sungri Claims 5-7 cents per kWh for CSP Solar Technology
KeelyNet The system is called Xtreme Concentrated Photovoltaics ™ or XCPV™. XCPV efficiently concentrates sunlight so than it is more that 1,600 times brighter than the sun. This concentrated sunlight is focused onto triple-junction solar cells photovoltaic (PV) solar cells that convert more than 37% of the sunlight directly into electricity. "Solar Power at 5 cents per kWh would be a world-changing breakthrough. It would make solar generation of electricity as affordable as generation from coal, natural gas or other non-renewable sources, without requiring a subsidy." - Source

07/10/08 - $10.75 M for Honolulu Seawater Air Conditioning
KeelyNet Conventional air conditioning is a heavy consumer of energy in Honolulu, which relies on imported oil and other fossil fuels for a staggering 90% of its electricity. HSWAC will reduce Hawaii's dependence on imported oil used to generate electricity. It will dramatically reduce operating costs for downtown building owners, with the savings increasing as oil prices climb. Seawater will be drawn from a depth of approximately 1,600 feet at a temperature of about 45 DF. It will be pumped to a cooling station onshore, where heat exchangers enable it to cool fresh water that circulates in a closed loop to customer buildings. After passing through the heat exchangers, the warmed seawater will be returned to the ocean at a shallower depth, using a diffuser that ensures proper mixing and dilution. Deep water cooling is a proven technology in Canada and the U.S. In Ithaca, N.Y., Cornell University uses water from Cayuga Lake to cool its campus. Toronto's system uses deep water from Lake Ontario to cool its downtown buildings. The technology has tremendous potential for other urban areas located adjacent to large bodies of cold water. - Source

07/10/08 - Recycling Dirty Plastic
Mr Howells, from Cycloplas, started working on his idea, which transforms unwashed and unsorted plastic into a range of products, in 1992 when he came up with a concept to produce pipes from waste. Last year his invention earned him an Australian patent, and it has patent applications pending in the US, Japan and 20 European countries. He said that each year Australia produced in the order of 1.69 million tonnes of plastic waste and recycled just 190,000 tonnes. Mike Hely, from Country Energy, said: "Bill's invention is unique in that it transforms previously unusable plastic into a range of viable products. "Other plastic recycling technologies now available require the plastics to be washed and sorted. The new products are also recyclable." - Source

07/10/08 - Construction Begins of the 200 mph, Solar Powered Turtle Airship
KeelyNet Turtle Airships company announces the beginning of construction iof a demonstration model of a new form for lighter-than-air airships. The airships are not blimps. They are solar powered and will reach speeds of 200 mph. We can save over $100 billion each year on fuel costs alone, another several hundred billion dollars in airport construction, and eliminate a major source of carbon emissions. Airships are a trillion dollar industry, still in its' infancy, that will grow for decades. Turtle Airships company will change the world aviation industry with 200 mph solar powered airships. Constructed with rigid shelled hulls of aluminum and carbon fiber, the airships look like giant turtles. These "turtle" airships are not blimps or zeppelins. The airships are being designed in Spain and the U.S. Turtle Airships will make a demonstration around-the-world flight of the new solar powered airship in 2009. The airships' hulls are covered with solar cells which power the airships during daylight hours. For flying at night or cloudy weather, the airships use bio-diesel fueled jet engines as a back-up system. The airships cruise at speeds which are comparable to some airplanes. The airships take off and land straight up and down like a helicopter and are amphibious. They land directly onto the water and take on water ballast for stability like a boat. The airships can land in harbors, rivers, mountain lakes, or the middle of the ocean. The airships will also land on any empty field or at airports, and use built in systems to anchor to the surface without ground crew assistance. Turtle airships do not need huge hangers and can fly in any weather. - Source

07/10/08 - Danish town Samsø is 1st to completely transition to renewal
KeelyNet For the past decade or so, Samsø has been the site of an unlikely social movement. When it began, in the late nineteen-nineties, the island’s forty-three hundred inhabitants had what might be described as a conventional attitude toward energy: as long as it continued to arrive, they weren’t much interested in it. Most Samsingers heated their houses with oil, which was brought in on tankers. They used electricity imported from the mainland via cable, much of which was generated by burning coal. As a result, each Samsinger put into the atmosphere, on average, nearly eleven tons of carbon dioxide annually. Then, quite deliberately, the residents of the island set about changing this. They formed energy cooperatives and organized seminars on wind power. They removed their furnaces and replaced them with heat pumps. By 2001, fossil-fuel use on Samsø had been cut in half. By 2003, instead of importing electricity, the island was exporting it, and by 2005 it was producing from renewable sources more energy than it was using. Since becoming the “renewable energy island,” Samsø has increasingly found itself an object of study. Researchers often travel great distances to get there. - Source

07/10/08 - Hydrogen refuel station unveiled w/video
KeelyNet Users will need a hydrogen-powered car to go with it although the system can also be used for heating and cooking. The hydrogen home refuelling station works via an electrolyser which produces the gas from water and electricity. An internal combustion generator converts the gas back into electricity to provide power for the home. ITM Power has set up a showcase hydrogen home in Sheffield, where the gas is used for heating, cooking and to operate a fridge. In terms of producing hydrogen to power a car, the unit can make enough gas overnight to provide fuel for 25 miles. The hope is eventually to have higher-pressure refuelling units in public places which would be capable of offering enough hydrogen for cars to travel 100 miles. Such units would be more expensive as they would require a hydrogen compressor which costs around £20,000. If they were mass produced they would initially cost around £2000. At the launch of the home refuel station, ITM also showed off a hybrid Ford Focus car converted to run on hydrogen. The car needed three pieces of hardware to make it petrol-free - a hydrogen tank, which cost around £3000, four hydrogen injectors (about £100 each) and a chip to allow the conversion. - Source

07/10/08 - Farming Solar Energy in Space
Last year researchers at the Institute for Laser Technology in Osaka produced up to 180 watts of laser power from sunlight. In February scientists in Hokkaido began ground tests of a power transmission system designed to send energy in microwave form to Earth. The laser and microwave research projects are two halves of a bold plan for a space solar power system (SSPS) under the aegis of Japan’s space agency, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). Specifically, by 2030 the agency aims to put into geostationary orbit a solar-power generator that will transmit one gigawatt of energy to Earth, equivalent to the output of a large nuclear power plant. The energy would be sent to the surface in microwave or laser form, where it would be converted into electricity for commercial power grids or stored in the form of hydrogen. In space, solar irradiance is five to 10 times as strong as on the ground, so generation is more efficient; solar energy could be collected 24 hours a day; and weather would not pose a problem. The system would also be clean, generating no pollution or waste, and safe. The intensity of energy reaching Earth’s surface might be about five kilowatts per square meter-about five times that of the sun at noon on a clear summer day at midlatitudes. Although the scientists say this amount will not harm the human body, the receiving area would nonetheless be cordoned off and situated at sea. At a facility in Miyagi, Suzuki and JAXA researchers are testing an 800-watt optical-fiber laser that fires at a receiving station 500 meters away. A mirror reflecting only 1,064-nanometer-wavelength light directs it into an experimental solar panel. (He chose that frequency of light because it easily cuts through Earth’s atmosphere, losing no more than 10 percent of its pop.) A key task will be finding a material that can convert sunlight into laser light efficiently. A leading candidate is an yttrium-aluminum-garnet ceramic material containing neodymium and chromium. - Source

07/10/08 - Seniors Contracting HIV
Thanks to Viagra and other popular erectile dysfunction drugs, older Inland residents are having more sex than ever before, and more are getting HIV and AIDS, experts say. A recent Riverside County report found that more than 20 percent of the county's new HIV/AIDS cases in the past five years have been in men and women ages 50 and up. Many older people are re-entering the dating scene after decades in committed relationships. For those who came of age before AIDS was a threat, their education about safe sex often lags behind that of their grandchildren, county health officials say. Although most of the newly diagnosed seniors in Riverside County are gay men, more aging heterosexuals -- especially women -- are becoming infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, Mockus said. Gay men and intravenous drug users face a high risk of infection, but the disease is also transmitted through heterosexual sex. Aging women may be especially at risk because of vaginal thinning and dryness, according to the CDC. The virus is more likely to enter the body through tiny cuts or sores. - Source

07/10/08 - 'Blimp on steroids' designed to fly through remote skies
KeelyNet SkyHook International announced Tuesday that it will build the Jess Heavy Lifter (JHL-40) in conjunction with aircraft manufacturer Boeing Co. The JHL-40 takes elements of a blimp and a helicopter to lift up to 40 tonnes in one load and travel up to 320 kilometres without refuelling. It will have a top speed of 70 knots. Company officials said Tuesday the aircraft should help oil and gas companies in particular because they'll be able to use it to transport equipment and materials without having to build roads in remote regions. "It's a blimp on steroids because it's got more than 20,000 horsepower on it and it's a serious working machine." The company said that unlike blimps, the airship is neutrally buoyant. "With the empty weight of the aircraft being supported by the helium-filled envelope, the lift provided by four Boeing Model 234 rotors attached to the airframe can be dedicated solely to lifting the payload," said a fact sheet from the company. - Source

07/10/08 - A New, Faster Way to Heat Water
KeelyNet The bubbles that denote the rapid transformation of water from a liquid to a vapor, otherwise known as steam, actually slow the process. The normal, microscopic imperfections-holes, gaps and voids-on the surfaces of everything from industrial boilers to pots and pans create pockets where air is trapped and liquid water can become steam. But the process in each void ends after a steam bubble develops and travels to the surface, because water subsequently fills the gap where it formed. But researchers report in the engineering journal Small that water in pots coated with tiny copper rods-just 450 nanometers tall and 40 to 50 nanometers around (one nanometer is 40 millionths of an inch)-may speed the process by creating more air pockets and, so, more bubbles. By depositing copper nanorods in the bottom of a copper pot at an oblique angle, the scientists created an uneven film with various gaps in it. These nanoscale imperfections triggered faster-forming, more furious bubbles because they provided more air-trapping pockets where liquid water could be transformed into a gas. "The density of the bubbles you create was 30 times more when we had these rods," Koratkar says. (Translation: the coating produced 30 times more bubbles than an ordinary pot.) The more bubbles, the more efficiently and quickly the water boils. Koratkar says the discovery paves the way for development of pots and pans in which water would heat up in a jiffy. "Depositing the nanorods across a five- by five-inch [12.7- by 12.7-centimeter] vessel is something we can do right now," he says. "If we can provide these features to the base of a vessel that you use at home, then the potential for saving energy is enormous." - Source

07/10/08 - Frugal engine lies idle (Revetec update)
KeelyNet It is a four-cylinder, 2.4 litre engine which has been independently certified as being the world's most efficient petrol engine. In other words, for a given amount of petrol burned this engine will do more work than any other anywhere in the world. During testing, the engine achieved a repeatable Brake Specific Fuel Consumption figure of 212g/kWh or 38.6 per cent efficiency, best figure achieved being 207g/kWh or 39.5 per cent efficiency. This figure is outstanding as the Toyota Prius Hybrid has a BSFC figure of 236g/kWh or 34.7 per cent efficiency. And this is still while the Revetec engine is in a crude state, at a stage of development designer Brad Howell-Smith says is barely off the drawing board. And there is no magic involved. It doesn't run on water or hydrogen or incorporate some hitherto undiscovered metallurgy. There is no sealed black box, which will self-destruct on opening, that performs this feat. Howell-Smith has simply taken the most inefficient part of the usual internal combustion engine found in 99.9 per cent of cars and replaced it with something far more efficient. [snip] Revetec had to match the grant and the $2 million engine is now as developed as Howell-Smith and his machinist Paul Moitzi can make it. "We have the world's most efficient engine and that is with very crude cylinder head technology. We made the cylinder heads from a solid billet of aluminium and there is a huge amount of improvement that can be made with better heads." In essence the crankshaft, the wiggly bit of steel or iron that spins around and around turned over by connecting rods attached to pistons, has been replaced by essentially a three-lobe cam arrangement which incorporates an output shaft to harness the torque and power produced. The Gold Coast engine still has pistons, it still has spark plugs and inlet and exhaust valves and it still runs on petrol. And it not only does all this on a test bed, but in a real life vehicle, a GTM (Global Trike Manufacturers) trike. The pistons run up and down in bores but roller bearings on either side of the piston push on the cams, as the pistons go up and down, forcing the cams to move in a circular motion. (Courtesy of Bill Ward. - JWD) - Source

07/10/08 - Video - Bikini Bandits
Well, it almost worked! (Thanks to Ken for this link. - JWD) - Source

07/10/08 - Rare Microorganism Produces Hydrogen
An ancient organism from the pit of a collapsed volcano may hold the key to tomorrow's hydrogen economy. Scientists from across the world have formed a team to unlock the process refined by a billions-year old archaea. The U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute will expedite the research by sequencing the hydrogen-producing organism for comparative genomics. Russian scientists found Desulfurococcus fermentans in the Uzon Caldera on the Kamchatka Peninsula, an isolated spit of land in eastern Siberia that is full of volcanoes and their remnants. D. fermentans degrades cellulose from the higher plants that fall in the caldera. Meanwhile, this renegade archaeon’s four closest relatives do not degrade cellulose or make hydrogen, Bonch-Osmolovskaya wrote in the February 2005 edition of the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. Like most such organisms, these relatives reduce sulfur to hydrogen sulfide (think rotten eggs). This novel hyperthermophilic archaea grows best at 80 to 82 degrees Celsius (176-180 Farenheit), close to the boiling point of water. “The ability to operate at high temperatures has advantages - it is faster and the hydrogen producing bioreactor will not be contaminated by common microbes,” said Mukhopadhyay. (Thanks to Darren Serhal for this interesting information. - JWD) - Source

07/08/08 - 'Anaconda' 200m rubber snake generator scheme gets funding
KeelyNet The "Anaconda" is intended to harvest power using patented "Bulge" wave technology. A full-size device, according to the designers, could easily be 200m long and of such colossal girth that it would require at least a dozen chorus girls hand in hand to reach around it. According to the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, tough but flexible Anacondas moored off the coast will ride the billowing ocean swells of Mother Gaia to generate an immense, powerful squirt of fluid at one end. The process is described thus: A wave hitting the end squeezes it and causes a bulge... to form... the initial sea wave that caused it runs along the outside of the tube at the same speed, squeezing the tube more and more and causing the bulge... to get bigger and bigger. The mighty spurt produced by the bulging, turgid Anaconda is captured and drained of its energy by a hydropower turbine. It's thought that a full-sized Anaconda might have a peak power rating of a full megawatt. A one-third scale model of the Anaconda could be built next year for sea testing and we could see the first full-size device deployed off the UK coast in around five years' time. - Source

07/08/08 - Scientist Wants to Draw Energy From Tornadoes
A Canadian engineer has a plan to spin up his own twister and extract energy from its tethered tail. It all depends on heating the air near the surface so that it is much warmer than the air above. "You can generate energy whenever you have a temperature gradient," said Louis Michaud. "The source of the energy here is the natural movement of warm and cold air currents." Michaud proposes using a tornado as a kind of drinking straw between the warm ground below and the cold sky above. Wind turbines placed at the bottom could generate electricity from the sucked-up air. The AVE structure is a 200-meter-wide arena with 100-meter-high walls. Warm humid air enters at the sides, directed to flow in a circular fashion. As the air whirls around at speeds up to 200 mph, a vacuum forms in the center, which holds the vortex together as it extends several miles into the sky. The concept is similar to a solar chimney with the swirling walls of the vortex replacing the brick walls of the tower. But the AVE can reach much higher into the sky where the air is colder. With wind turbines at the inlets to the arena, Michaud calculates that as much as 200 megawatts of electricity (enough for a small city) could be extracted without draining the vortex of its power. - Source

07/08/08 - Urge Alcohol Gas for Farm Relief (Dec, 1933)
FOR economic and technical reasons a mixture of alcohol and gasoline for automobile fuel is being recommended by farm relief advocates. Use of the fuel by motorists would consume 680,000,000 bushels of corn a year, greatly reducing the crop surplus, it is said. The gasoline would be diluted with 10 per cent of alcohol. It is claimed the fuel results in greater power at considerably less cost. Midwestern farmers, seeking adoption of the fuel, claim that it has a higher antiknock value, will start the motor more readily, give a faster pickup, form less carbon, will not increase oil dilution, and results in a cooler engine than ordinary gasoline. The fuel, they say, uses a greater volume of air and burns more evenly in the cylinders. - Source

07/08/08 - New Generation Airships To Float You From City To City
KeelyNet Aerospace Adour Technologies, is working with the French post office to study the feasibility of transporting parcels by dirigible. Also in France, Theolia, a company specializing in renewable energy, is financing a dirigible, and plans a test flight across the Atlantic. In Germany, Deutsche Zeppelin-Reederei, the successor to the operator of the Hindenburg, has had success with a new generation of airship it uses to transport sightseers and scientific payloads. The trend is not entirely new. Zeppelin-Reederei carried 12,000 passengers on sightseeing tours over southern Germany last year. Aerophile, a French company that revived tethered balloons, which compete with dirigibles as carriers of passengers, advertising and scientific instruments, was founded by two young French engineers in 1993. The aircraft industry is not exactly bracing for a dogfight. Mr. Massaud says that Emirates and Air France have expressed interest in Manned Cloud. But with top speeds of around 100 miles an hour and a maximum capacity of several dozen passengers, dirigibles are expected by most aviation experts to remain niche vessels for ferrying tourists, advertising and occasional scientific payloads. - Source

07/08/08 - SimplyNoise Generates White Noise in Your Browser
SimplyNoise provides a no-frills interface to configure relaxing white noise right in your browser. Just fire up the web site and adjust the sliding orb to the intensity of white noise that's your sweet spot. As the site points out, white noise can be helpful for everything from aiding sleep to blocking distraction, and SimplyNoise is a no-nonsense application that does just that. If you'd prefer a little more depth and customization from your white noise application, check out previously mentioned desktop apps like the Windows-only ChatterBlocker or the Mac-only Noise. - Source

07/08/08 - Atoms found to interact unexpectedly
KeelyNet Im­ag­ine a sim­ple mol­e­cule con­sist­ing of two at­oms as be­ing like two balls linked by a spring. If an at­om strikes one side of the mol­e­cule, the spring com­presses and you’d ex­pect the mol­e­cule to jump back­wards. How­ev­er, the new re­search sug­gests that sur­pris­ing­ly, in cer­tain con­di­tions the mol­e­cule jumps for­wards, not back­wards. The re­ac­tion amounts to a new form of ener­gy-trans­fer, ac­cord­ing to the in­ves­ti­ga­tors, who re­ported the find­ings in the July 3 is­sue of the re­search jour­nal Na­ture. The find­ings have “changed a very sim­ple idea that we cher­ished”-that to make a mol­e­cule vi­brate strongly, “you bas­ic­ally had to crush it, squeeze it, hit it over the head. Com­press some bond and the mol­e­cule would snap back,” said Rich­ard Zare, a chem­ist at Stan­ford Uni­ver­s­ity in Cal­i­for­nia who led the re­search. “We found quite the op­posite.” The ex­plana­t­ion of the events is that even if the hy­dro­gen at­om flies past the mol­e­cule-which con­sists of two deu­ter­i­um at­oms-in a “graz­ing col­li­sion,” this can tug on the deu­ter­i­um at­om near­est to it, Greaves said. This stretches the bond link­ing the two deu­ter­i­um at­oms, caus­ing the mol­e­cule to move for­wards. The au­thors sug­gest that this “tug-of-war” be­hav­iour may come in­to play when­ev­er a strong at­trac­tion de­vel­ops be­tween the col­lid­ing part­ners, just as Moon’s gravita­t­ion “pulls” at wa­ter on Earth. - Source

07/08/08 - Global Energy Network Depends on a Few Vulnerable Nodes
Four-dollar gasoline has the pushed the price of energy to the top of the American mind. But the price would go a lot higher if someone applied pressure to one of the key chokepoints in the global energy pipeline. The global energy supply chain is incredibly complex, but much of it is channeled through a few key points (see below). Disrupt traffic or processing in those points, and terrorists or other adversaries could cause oil to rise as high as $250 a barrel, up from today's crude record-setting level of $143 a barrel. The New Scientist report is based on scenarios from U.S. national security role-playing games. Those simulations suggest that even the perception of a supply chain disruption could drive a run on oil that would have disastrous consequences. The New Scientist describes a chilling scenario to jam these key points in the global infrastructure. "One scenario being suggested is that hijackers might commandeer a liquid natural gas tanker plying one of the shipping routes, load it with explosives and use it to ram an oil tanker. If this floating bomb produced a burning oil slick, it could render the passage impassable for months, tipping the global economy into crisis as alternative routes would fail to make up the lost supplies." Those are just five spots in the world's energy infrastructure that could be vulnerable to attack or disruption. - Source

07/08/08 - Microwave ray gun controls crowds with noise
A US company claims it is ready to build a microwave ray gun able to beam sounds directly into people's heads. The device - dubbed MEDUSA (Mob Excess Deterrent Using Silent Audio) - exploits the microwave audio effect, in which short microwave pulses rapidly heat tissue, causing a shockwave inside the skull that can be detected by the ears. A series of pulses can be transmitted to produce recognisable sounds. The device is aimed for military or crowd-control applications, but may have other uses. Lev Sadovnik of the Sierra Nevada Corporation in the US is working on the system, having started work on a US navy research contract. The navy's report states that the effect was shown to be effective. - Source

07/08/08 - Starmac - Quadrotor Vehicle
KeelyNet Working with six quadrotor vehicles, STARMAC is all about trying to improve the control thereon and strategies that these vehicles can execute online. The vehicles being used are small, light and low cost, and yes, they look your proverbial cool. These are easy to maintain, are equally adept at flying indoors and outdoors, and have sufficient computing resources for independent operations. STARMAC started out with an off-the-shelf four-rotor helicopter and transformed it into vehicle (STARMAC II) improving up on every minute detail. STARMAC II sees improvements in: Thrust Capabilities, On-board Computation Resources, Communication Reliability and Bandwidth, and Position Measurement Accuracy. STARMAC II platform has been tested successfully and at least five more vehicles are being built to expand the fleet. - Source

07/08/08 - User Charged With Felony For Using Fake Name On MySpace
"The access to MySpace was unauthorized because using a fake name violated the terms of service. The information from a "protected computer" was the profiles of other MySpace users. If this is found to be a valid interpretation of the law, it's really quite frightening. If you violate the Terms of Service of a website, you can be charged with hacking. That's an astounding concept. Does this mean that everyone who uses Bugmenot could be prosecuted? Also, this isn't a minor crime, it's a felony punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment per count. In Drew's case she was charged with three counts for accessing MySpace on three different occasions." - Source

07/08/08 - How solar thermal can replace coal, gas and oil
Now advanced solar thermal electric options are dropping in price and some companies are introducing thermal storage to match power demand. David R. Mills and Robert G. Morgan explain how this technology can deliver very much more. Their modeling shows that solar thermal power could not only replace most fossil-fueled electricity generation in the US, but could replace petroleum-based transportation. They argue it's not only technically, but economically feasible - and not just for the US but for China and India as well. The sun is a much larger practical energy resource than any non-direct solar resource. Consequently, solar electricity is the most likely means to nearly eliminate contributions to global warming from electricity generation by mid-century. Furthermore, with thermal storage much cheaper than electrical, mechanical or hydrogen storage, solar electricity will probably be predominantly in the form of solar thermal electricity (STE) with thermal storage, rather than photovoltaic solar electricity with electrical or mechanical storage. - Source

07/08/08 - DIY $30 Vacuum Jar Sealer
KeelyNet Instead of shelling out more than $100 (plus refill costs) for a retail vacuum sealer, Instructable poster "Eric Forman" decided to piece together his own re-usable sealer using about $30 in materials. With a $20 brake bleeder, a cheap mason jar sealer top and some standard mason jars, he puts a serious seal on anything that can fit in a jar, and doesn't have to pay out for specialty plastic wrap. If you're not likely to be sealing $40 steaks anytime soon, this system might be perfect for camping and traveling, freezing leftover sauce, or any other small job. - Source

07/08/08 - Abandoned Farmlands Are Key to Sustainable Bioenergy
Biofuels can be a sustainable part of the world's energy future, especially if bioenergy agriculture is developed on currently abandoned or degraded agricultural lands, report scientists from the Carnegie Institution and Stanford University. Using these lands for energy crops, instead of converting existing croplands or clearing new land, avoids competition with food production and preserves carbon-storing forests needed to mitigate climate change. Sustainable bioenergy is likely to satisfy no more than 10% of the demand in the energy-intensive economies of North America, Europe and Asia. But for some developing countries, notably in Sub-Saharan Africa, the potential exists to supply many times their current energy needs without compromising food supply or destroying forests. - Source

07/08/08 - Cuba Offers Vaccine Against Lung Cancer
Cuban scientists have recently revealed a lung cancer vaccine which they say is the first in the world of its kind and extends the lives of victims by up to five months or even longer. Research on the vaccine, called Cimavax EGF, began in 1992, with the first clinical tests done in 1995. Cimavas EGF is the first registered vaccine in the world designed to battle lung cancer. Cimavas EGF, based on two proteins, triggers an immune response from the victim's body and has absolutely no side effects, as most anti-cancer therapy does. The vaccine only attacks cancer cells. The vaccine is meant to serve as a compliment to rather than a replacement for conventional methods such as chemotherapy and radiation. The vaccine also improves patients’ breathing and decreases their pain. The vaccine currently is available in Cuba to anyone who needs it, and will be widely commercialized in Latin America after first being introduced in Peru. Advanced tests are currently underway. - Source

07/05/08 - Video - Algae - the Holy Grail of Biofuel - Closed Loop BioReactor
KeelyNet Vertigro Energy is a joint venture between Global Green Solutions and Valcent Products. Vertigro's algae-to-biofuel technology mass produces algae and extracts algae oil. This oil can be refined into a cost-effective, non-polluting diesel biofuel. The algae derived fuel will be an energy efficient replacement for fossil fuels and can be used in any diesel powered vehicle or machinery. In addition, 90% by weight of the algae is captured carbon dioxide, which is "sequestered" by this process, contributing significantly to the reduction of greenhouse gases. "By going vertical we can increase the surface area and the volume of material that gets exposed to sunlight. We have a dynamic closed loop system that continuously recycles algae which is stored in a tank, then pumped up into the vertical reactors where gravity takes control where the algae is exposed to produce oil, then returned to the tank to be again recycled. Algae is the fastest growing plant on the planet and it sequesters the greatest amont of cabon dioxide and at the same time, it produces lipids, basically vegetable oil and a LOT of it. As much as 50% of the body weight of algae is a high grade vegetable oil. So while we are sequestering carbon dioxide we are also producing high grade lipids that can be used for a variety of purposes. An acre of corn will produce about 18 gallons of oil per year. Palm will produce 7-800 gallons per acre per year. Algae can produce up to 20,000 gallons per acre per year and that is in an open pond system, not in our vertical reactor system. If we took 1/10 of the state of New Mexico, converted to vertical reactor algae production, we could meet all the energy demands of the United States. We can tailor the algae carbon strains to produce jet fuel, diesel or whatever you wish, based on the species of algae that we grow." - Source

07/05/08 - Floating cities could one day house climate change refugees...
KeelyNet This computer-generated image shows two floating cities, each with enough room for 50,000 inhabitants. Based on the design of a lilypad, they could be used as a permanent refuge for those whose homes have been covered in water. Major cities including London, New York and Tokyo are seen as being at huge risk from oceans which could rise by as much as 3ft by the end of this century. The 'Lilypad City' would float around the world as an independent and fully self-sustainable home. With a lake at its centre to collect and purify rainwater, it would be accessed by three separate marinas and feature artificial mountains to offer the inhabitants a change of scenery from the seascape. Power for the central accommodation hub is provided through a series of renewable energy sources including solar panels on the mountain sides, wind turbines and a power station to harness the energy of the waves. The lilypad project is actually a long-term solution to the problem of the water rising. The architect, who has yet to estimate a cost for his design, added: 'It's an amphibious city without any roads or any cars. The whole city is covered by plants housed in suspended gardens. Centred around a lake which collects and then purifies rain water, the Lilypad will drift around the world following the ocean currents and streams. It will be accessed by three marinas and will also feature three 'mountains' to offer the inhabitants a change of scenery. Power will be provided through a series of renewable energy sources including solar, thermal, wind energy, hydraulic and a tidal power station. The city will actually produce much more energy than it consumes and be entirely 'zero-emission' as all the carbon-dioxide and the waste will be recycled. Mr Callebaut added: 'It's an amphibious city without any roads or any cars. 'The whole city is covered by plants housed in suspended gardens. The goal is to create a harmonious coexistence of humans and nature. 'I think trying to accomodate the millions of people left homeless by environmental changes will prove to be one of the great challenges of the 21st century.' Neither the cost of building the city or the cost of living there have been revealed. - Source

07/05/08 - GM May Sell 40 mpg Mini-Car...
KeelyNet GM may bring the production version of the Chevrolet Beat to the U.S., people familiar with the plan said. The car, which would normally be reserved for markets such as Asia and Latin America, gets as much as 40 miles a gallon, a fuel efficiency topped in the U.S. only by hybrids. The possible American introduction of the Beat would be one step in a fleet downsizing and shift away from fossil fuel-based vehicles that the people said is already under way at Detroit- based GM. Resigned to $4-a-gallon gasoline and stricter pollution rules, the largest U.S. automaker has recognized that its response must go beyond the mothballing of large truck plants, the people said. Besides the Beat, GM is weighing a list of options for refocusing its auto lineup on fuel efficiency rather than performance. They include the U.S. introduction of a small pickup popular in Latin America and an expansion of the number of versions of the Volt plug-in electric car, the people said. GM is also trying to increase production and speed up availability of the successor to the Chevy Cobalt sedan and develop a fuel-efficient alternative to the Cadillac Escalade sport-utility vehicle, they said. The automaker unveiled the Beat as a prototype at the New York auto show in April 2007, along with two other 40 mpg Chevy small-car concepts. Besides two hybrid models, the only car in the U.S. that comes close to the Beat's projected fuel efficiency is Daimler AG's Smart car, with 36 mpg, according to Yahoo! Autos. At about 138 inches (3505 millimeters) long, the Beat would be among the smallest cars sold in the U.S. Only the 106-inch Smart car is shorter. - Source

07/05/08 - Garbage In, Megawatts Out
KeelyNet This week, city counselors in Ottawa, Ontario, unanimously approved a new waste-to-energy facility that will turn 400 metric tons of garbage per day into 21 megawatts of net electricity--enough to power about 19,000 homes. Rather than burning trash to generate heat, as with an incinerator, the facility proposed by Ottawa-based PlascoEnergy Group employs electric-plasma torches to gasify the municipal waste and enlist the gas to generate electricity. Most gasification plants work by subjecting waste to extreme heat in the absence of oxygen. Under these conditions, the waste breaks down to yield a blend of hydrogen and carbon monoxide called syngas that can be burned in turbines and engines. What has held back the technology in North America is high operating costs. Plasma plants, using powerful electrical currents to produce a superhot plasma that catalyzes waste breakdown, tend to consume most of the energy they generate. As a result, the focus of plasma gasification plants has been to simply destroy hazardous wastes. - Source

07/05/08 - Fresnel-type Reflector for Cheap Lattice Solar Power Concentrator
KeelyNet A subject of the invention is lattice type base for Fresnel reflector, and the said lattice comprises orthogonal crossed metal (e.g. steel) strips, while vertical strips are fixed anyway in the projected position after inserting its spike at its narrow edge into a slot of a spindle of a vertically tracing servomotor of the said SPC, and afterwards all horizontal strips could be fixed by simple inserting slot-into-slot to the said vertical strips. Thin aluminium reflecting mirrors are forming the said Fresnel reflector by simple inserting of the said mirrors into additional slots along the said horizontal strips. Such construction couldn’t be self-disintegrated, because it always looks upward when assembled and looks above horizontal area while operating. Such construction has very few dimension-types & ultra-lightweight details could be produced even if at a primitive small workshop by simple pressing and punching from thin metallic strips of ordinary mass produced materials and could be quick assembled directly at the solar power plant deployment. - Source / More information about the incredible Fresnel reflectors - The very first design in this category came from Volunteers in Technical Assistance (VITA) in 1961 . Three to four rings of masonite (hardboard like material) were cut from a 4’ x 4’ sheet. Aluminized polyester was stuck to this. After which the rings were nailed to specially notched wooden reapers to form a Fresnel concentrator. VITA provided a template of these materials as it was a do-it-yourself project (VITA 1971). The cooking pot was supported on a rod projecting from the center. Adjustments, once in 30 minutes were considered sufficient. Ease of construction and focusing characteristics made this design better than the regular parabolic reflector (VITA 1961). Professor Garg, an Indian designer (Garg et al 1978), suggests further improvements by making the reflector with five to six rings.

07/05/08 - How to save gasoline and work in comfort
Even though the National Infrastructure Ministry's statistics show that Israelis have not begun to drive less, there is no doubt that the cost of gasoline is weighing heavily on the family budget. For this reason, as time goes by, more and more drivers will likely seek cheaper and more environmentally friendly alternatives to their cars. Options to cut back on fuel costs; Carpooling, Bicycle, Segway, Video conferencing and Working from home. - Source

07/05/08 - Retired rancher discovers green technology for fire ant control
KeelyNet What started out as a heat lamp, a waffle iron, a timer, and one retired Texas rancher, has evolved into a non-toxic fire ant control system with two U.S. Patents to its credit. This is a “green”, long-term solution to the fire ant nightmare and it is perfectly named, The AntAgonizer. The AntAgonizer uses small pulses of infrared energy to disrupt and ultimately destroy fire ant colonies. The system controls fire ants without using toxic chemicals that can poison property, contaminate water resources and endanger children, pets, livestock, fish, waterfowl, and beneficial insects. One patent for the Antagonizer is for an innovative timer that controls pulses of infrared energy. The second is for the methodology of the unit, in other words how it kills and controls fire ants. Learn more at: www.antagonizer.com - Source

07/05/08 - Zapping trash with man-made lightning
KeelyNet This new trash technology is based on something as old as the sky, not the thunder, but the lightning that goes with it, and in this case, the lightning is contained inside a reaction chamber and the bolt never ends. This man-made lightning is so hot, most things put inside the chamber completely vaporize in seconds. The technology's called plasma gasification and proponents say it could be the answer to our growing trash problem. Although it uses intense heat, developers insist it's not incineration. The "not-in-my-backyard crowd" has complained for years about emissions from burning trash. Dan Cohn: It's a non-combustion process. The waste is not burned, it's converted. That's Dan Cohn of MIT. He was part of a team that developed a plasma gasification device for a company called Integrated Environmental Technologies. IET says its plasma melter can take a ton of trash down to five cubic feet in less than a minute. The stainless steel chamber where the lightning happens is about five feet long by three-and-a-half-feet wide. That plasma is about the temperature of the sun. Most of the sneaker is vaporized in seconds. The rest comes out looking like a blackish glass bead. IET says beads like this can be used as fill in road construction. Since it was mostly plastic, the sneaker also created about four gallons of a gas that could be used to make alternative fuel. Products that can be recycled into items with second and even third lives. But transforming all consumer goods into products like that is a long way off. In the interim, plasma gasification might be the best way to shrink our growing trash problem with technology as elemental as lightning. - Source

07/05/08 - The upside of $200 oil
Facing the future of $200 barrels of oil, analysts are already using terms like "financial tsunami." They predict that inflation will skyrocket with the price of gas, creating a flashback of mid-70s stagflation. Commuters will become energy refugees, abandoning their homes and their SUV's and invading the cities. In the meantime, production costs will cripple manufacturers, a scenario that would turn Central Canada's factories into a scrap heap of rust. "I can't think of any upside to $200-oil," former EnCana chief executive Gwyn Morgan told the National Post. Yet if history is any example, ingenuity can trump disaster. After all, we live in a market economy that can adjust, innovate, and progress. After Malthus's famous end-of-days scenario, necessity mothered invention: diversified agricultural techniques appeared, legislation led to cheaper food imports and the Industrial Revolution made for greater efficiencies. A commodities boom will strengthen our international stature, bolster the clout of provincial governments, reinvigorate our cities, and reward entrepreneurship. And it could make us a little skinnier, too. - Source

07/05/08 - DIY Electrics
Welcome to the DIY electrical centre. In here you can find all electrical projects and guides, please ensure that you know 100% what you are doing before even considering doing any electrical work yourself and if in doubt consult a qualified electrician. / WELCOME TO THE ULTIMATEHANDYMAN DIY WEBSITE - The Aim of this site is to give free help and advice on all aspects of D.I.Y and home improvement. There are over 1000 pages on this site which covers many DIY tasks, if you cannot find the information that you require please leave a post in the Forum as one of the many Forum members may be able to help. - Source

07/05/08 - Engineer Gets 110 MPG Out Of '87 Mustang
Doug Pelmear said he isn't toying with the engine of 1987 Ford Mustang for the money. The engineer's tinkering, however, could earn him $10 million and save him plenty more in gas money. Pelmear, who lives in Napoleon, Ohio, has tweaked his Mustang to get 110 mpg, making the engine nearly five times as efficient as a traditional gas engine, he told the Toledo Blade newspaper. Traditional gas engines operate at 8 to 10 percent, efficiency, while the engine on the Mustang, he said, is at 38 percent efficiency. He said he could greatly increase even that number if his car used traditional gasoline instead of a mix of gas and 85 percent ethanol. Pelmear entered his car to win the the $10 million Progressive Automotive X Prize: a race to find an affordable, marketable automobile that gets at least 100 miles per gallon. Pelmear said the car has 400 horsepower, goes well over 100 mph and can go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds. - Source

07/05/08 - Watermelon has effect similar to Viagra
Watermelons contain an ingredient called citrulline that can trigger production of a compound that helps relax the body's blood vessels, similar to what happens when a man takes Viagra, said scientists in Texas, one of the United States' top producers of the seedless variety. Found in the flesh and rind of watermelons, citrulline reacts with the body's enzymes when consumed in large quantities and is changed into arginine, an amino acid that benefits the heart and the circulatory and immune systems. "Arginine boosts nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels, the same basic effect that Viagra has, to treat erectile dysfunction and maybe even prevent it," said Bhimu Patil, a researcher and director of Texas A&M's Fruit and Vegetable Improvement Centre. "Watermelon may not be as organ-specific as Viagra, but it's a great way to relax blood vessels without any drug side effects." The nitric oxide can also help with angina, high blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems, according to the study, which was paid for by the US Department of Agriculture. More citrulline - about 60 per cent - is found in watermelon rind than in the flesh, Patil said, but that can vary. But scientists may be able to find ways to boost the concentrations in the flesh, he said. Citrulline is found in all colours of watermelon and is highest in the yellow-fleshed types, said Penelope Perkins-Veazie, a USDA researcher in Lane, Okla. She said Patil's research is valid, but with a caveat: One would need to eat about six cups of watermelon to get enough citrulline to boost the body's arginine level. "The problem you have when you eat a lot of watermelon is you tend to run to the bathroom more," Perkins-Veazie said. Watermelon is a diuretic and was a homeopathic treatment for kidney patients before dialysis became widespread. - Source

07/05/08 - Are Some People Mosquito Magnets?
Each person's individual body chemistry determines how many mosquitoes will come calling. According to Joe Conlon, a medical entomologist who advises the American Mosquito Control Association, the insects can detect their targets from nearly 100 feet away. But what are they seeking? Mostly the scent of carbon dioxide and lactic acid, two compounds that indicate to the hematophagous - or blood-sucking - pests that their next landing pad is nearby. (It's worth noting that when a female mosquito latches on to you, she's not looking for food; instead, she sucks out blood to help fertilize her eggs... that's why males don't "bite"). Carbon dioxide and lactic acid are released whenever we breathe or sweat, but the emission rates vary by person. With more than 300 bodily compounds that influence insect attraction, scientists haven't figured out every body chemistry combination that the bugs like. In the end, you can't change your body chemistry. But you can wear one of four Centers for Disease Control approved repellents. Sprays and lotions including DEET, Picaridin, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus or IR3535 (which has made Avon's Skin-so-Soft lotion a popular choice) have all been deemed effective and safe to keep the bugs at bay. But don't apply them near your eyes, ears, nose and mouth, or you'll have much more than itchy mosquito bites to worry about. - Source

07/05/08 - Watching you watching Youtube (so much for privacy)
KeelyNet Ever check out YouTube? Have a user name and password for it? Then Viacom's going to find out all about what you like to watch. A federal judge ruled Tuesday that the online video-sharing Web site, owned by Google, has to turn over all its user logs to Viacom, the mega-corporation that owns MTV, Paramount Pictures, Comedy Central and VH1, among others. Google must now turn over all its data about YouTube visitors on four 1-terabyte hard drives, a staggering amount of data, as well as copies of all clips it has ever taken down. (One terabyte is 1,000 gigabytes.) The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a San Francisco organization that defends the rights of Internet users, quickly protested the ruling, saying it "threatens to expose deeply private information about what videos are watched by YouTube users." Viacom wants the data to prove that copyrighted "stolen" material is more popular among YouTube visitors than original "user-generated" material. - Source

07/05/08 - A How-To Book for Everything From Water Filters to Fly Traps
A new guide to public health has just been published by the same foundation that 30 years ago issued “Where There Is No Doctor,” a simple but comprehensive how-to medical book endorsed by the World Health Organization and used by hundreds of Peace Corps volunteers. The book, “A Community Guide to Environmental Health,” took eight years and $1.6 million to put together, said Jeff Conant, one of the authors. It is published by the Hesperian Foundation in Berkeley, Calif., and goes on sale Tuesday for $28. The 600-page book is written in simple English and has hundreds of drawings showing, for example, how to disinfect water with boiling, bleach, sunlight or lime juice and how to make filters from sand, clay and charcoal. It has numerous designs for stoves that use less fuel; it has schematic drawings of simple fly and roach traps and bicycle-powered grinders and blenders. It devotes almost 40 pages just to toilets. All the designs were field tested. Each chapter was vetted by outside experts and at least six foreign communities, Mr. Conant said. You can also download it as a PDF ebook. (15mb - 640 pages) - Check out their other online ebooks free to download. - Source

07/03/08 - Tewari: Discovering Universal Reality
KeelyNet What if space was filled with a non-material but very dense fluid and matter was composed of 'holes' in that fluid? Visualize water as the omnipresent medium and tiny bubbles swirling around to eventually give form to everything that can be seen. You'd have an analogy of the way Paramahamsa Tewari, a nuclear engineer with a passion for physics sees the universe. Tewari's Space Vortex Theory (SVT) explains universal reality in a radically different way from that proposed by physicists today. In a new book titled Discovering Universal Reality that is available from his site (PDF download - 1.3MB) Tewari summarizes and explains the principles of SVT in a way that is understandable to everyone. You do not have to follow his equations to get the gist of what is said... Tewari.org - (via Zpenergy.com). / Also see Chris Illert's Matter as Bubbles in the Aether - A piston moving through liquid in a cylinder releasing energy which tore the aether apart into numerous 'subatomic particles' - BUBBLES - which we see as substantial even though they are, in fact, THE ABSENCE OF SUBSTANCE. Thus was matter SUCKED INTO EXISTENCE in the cosmic expansion.. - Source

07/03/08 - The Perpetual Train
A Taiwanese inventor, Peng Yu-lun, has devised a new method of rail transport that could very well increase efficiency and reduce environmental impact. Designed to never stop running - something you would almost imagine to be a vital necessity on a train... His invention, which saw him using toy trains and tracks to come up with his idea, consists of a “train” racing through a station, at its top velocity of 85 kilometers per hour; a speed, mind you, that it rarely averages. That number is much closer to 35 kilometers per hour. But instead of a well timed leap or the use of specially trained train pushers, passengers will only need to enter a “boarding” car, which is put in motion ahead of the train’s arrival. After the rear of the traveling train catches up, the boarding car attaches itself to the rest of the boarding cars. To get off, a passenger need only move to the correct boarding car which is designated to slip off the traveling train to reach their specific destination. Similar to the issues that drivers have with fuel consumption in their cars, continually stopping and starting - especially during peak traffic hours - this will be a huge saving on energy, as well as equipment. - Source

07/03/08 - AirWater Machine Extracts Fresh Water From The Air
KeelyNet It’s not just a few drops here and there, either - this beast can give you an astonishing five gallons of fresh H2O every 24 hours. It cleans the extracted water with an active carbon filter, runs it through an ultraviolet light chamber to kill bacteria, and then serves it up to you hot or chilled. This AirWater machine must use a lot of power, but Klimatec fixed that, too, offering a solar power option so the machine can keep on working even after the apocalypse. You’ll need powerful solar cells, though - it requires 480W to operate. It even goes beyond providing mere water, offering an optional refrigerator to keep food and beers cold. - Source

07/03/08 - The New Coal Car
The technology dates to the 1920s, but today's prices make liquid coal for cars a live option. The result is an investment boom. Powering cars with coal might seem like a recipe for ecological disaster. But if fuel experts are right, a liquefied form of the notoriously dirty mineral will be providing much of the world with its transport fuel within the next two decades. The coal miner's equivalent of turning straw into gold, liquid coal enables cars, trains and even jets designed to burn oil to run on coal instead. And, says its cheering squad, it does so in a way that's green, economical and widely available. Until recently, turning coal to liquid (a method known as CTL) was prohibitively expensive. For two decades, until 2003, oil prices averaged $25 a barrel, making $45-a-barrel liquid coal out of the question economically. But now, with oil prices staying consistently above the $60-a-barrel mark and the environment high on everyone's agenda, liquid coal is rebranding itself as the right choice to ensure national energy security, combat high oil prices and help stop global warming. - Source

07/03/08 - Expect to pay more for power
KeelyNet Bad things come in threes. Already faced with higher food and gas prices, consumers can expect to pay more for power as regional utilities buy expensive wholesale electricity to meet rising customer demand while investing heavily to meet renewable energy mandates. Ratepayer advocates contend the increases could rival those from the 2000-01 energy crisis, when residential rates rose roughly 30 percent and industrial rates increased about 50 percent. Northwest Natural Gas Co. is getting set to reveal its annual rate adjustment, and it doesn't look promising for customers. Natural gas prices are about 70 percent higher than the level used to set rates last year. And so far, the company has locked in only 30 percent of next year's supply. The wind is free, but it costs hundreds of millions to build large wind farms. Moreover, the price is escalating because of the worldwide demand for turbines, a plummeting dollar and rising costs for everything from steel and concrete to transportation. - Source

07/03/08 - Positive Aspects of $4 Gas
# Globalized jobs return home # Sprawl stalls # Four-day workweeks # Less pollution # More frugality # Fewer traffic deaths # Cheaper insurance # Less traffic # More cops on the beat # Less obesity - Source

07/03/08 - Electric Bandages
KeelyNet Silverleaf Medical products has created an electric wound dressing that staves off infection by killing microbes in an open wound and preventing other germs from getting in. They call it the CMB Antimicrobial Wound Dressing, and it is made of polyester fabric woven with a proprietary material called Prosit. When the bandage is moistened, the Prosit generates a low voltage, killing germs in the wound. One of these bandages can be worn for 3 days at a time, and their clinical trials indicate that they are highly effective in treating infected wounds. Take a look at their brochure (PDF file) for some informative and stomach-turning before and after photos. - Source

07/03/08 - OMG Did U C What U R Paying 4 Texting?
"If you thought gas prices were rising too quickly, writes CNET's Marguerite Reardon, check out what's been happening to text messaging. Since 2005, rates to send and receive text messages on all four major carrier networks have doubled from 10 cents to 20 cents per message. If the same pricing was applied on a per-byte basis to a single MP3 song download, it would set you back almost $24,000 according to one estimate. So why are carriers gouging their customers so? Because they can, concludes Reardon." - Source

07/03/08 - DIY Electric Motorcycle from Junked Bike
KeelyNet Ben Nelson didn't even know how to ride a motorcycle when he started on this electric conversion of a 1981 Kawasaki KZ440. The engine wasn't a loss since the bike was nonrunning when he purchased it for $100. The permanent magnet Etek motor was $500 and each of the four yellow top batteries were $160 (only three pictured). He says that the majority of the conversion work only took two weekends. The resulting, still street legal, ride averages 20 miles per charge with a 45mph top speed. (via hackaday.com) - Source

07/03/08 - Americans Not Confident in Congress
Three out of four Americans have no confidence in President Bush, but his approval ratings have been dragging well below 50% for such a long time nobody bats an eye at those figures. A Gallup poll indicates that Americans have finally had it with the houses of congress as well. Amazingly, the President's rating is twice that of Congress, which scores an abysmal 12% confidence rating. Confidence ratings are different from approval ratings (where Congress scores a similarly poor 19%). Likely factors contributing to the low confidence in Congress include the economy, foreign policy and their basic failure to deliver on the platform upon which they were elected - seemingly to curtail the war on terror and to stand up to the President. (via omninerd.com) - Source

07/03/08 - Thermobaric Munition used in Afghanistan
KeelyNet The Hellfire AGM-114N missile is known as a thermobaric munition designed to expel a fine cloud of volatile mixture, in this case fluorinated aluminium powder, that penetrates deep into the structure, whereupon a secondary charge ignites the cloud. The resultant explosion violently burns all of the oxygen out of a localized area (especially in a cave) creating a suction, vacuum effect that can crush the bodies of enemies hiding beyond normal blast range. Thermobaric weapons are not a new technology and have been used in the past by Russians against Chechnya and employed on few occasions by American forces. However, the weapon comes with a negative international stigma that led the British Ministry of Defense to debate for 18 months whether it could be used. The MoD finally authorized thermobarics after re-designating them as more friendly: "We no longer accept the term thermobaric [for the AGM-114N] as there is no internationally agreed definition. We call it an enhanced blast weapon." - Source

07/03/08 - Solar application moratorium called off
The government said Wednesday it is calling off a recently announced moratorium on applications to build solar plants on public lands. The Bureau of Land Management made the announcement after public opposition to its original decision, reached at the end of May. Just this week, while officiating at the opening of a solar manufacturing plant in his home state of Nevada, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had vowed to get BLM to overturn the moratorium. Nevada is more than 85 percent federal land and is a prime destination for solar because of its climate and terrain. “Nevada is the Saudi Arabia of solar energy and is poised to lead a global clean energy revolution, and we need to do all we can to encourage public and private investment in projects to develop this amazing potential,” Reid, a Democrat, said in a statement praising BLM’s decision. The BLM’s environmental review is taking place in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah, the states deemed to contain public lands with solar resources. BLM’s decision to reverse the solar application moratorium comes as the alternative energy industry remains jittery about another issue: a $6 billion package of alternative energy tax credits, including about $1.3 billion for solar, that’s gotten stalled in Congress. Reid wants to get that resolved after lawmakers return from the July 4 holiday. There are currently nine utility-scale solar plants in the U.S. capable of producing a combined 425 megawatts of solar power, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. - Source

07/03/08 - Scum Power
KeelyNet Betting that in a few years algae will be ready for prime time, companies ranging from start-ups like GreenFire Energy of Salt Lake City to energy giants such as Chevron Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell PLC are investing in projects aimed at finding an economical way to turn algae into fuel. According to Royal Dutch Shell, some algae strains can double their weight three or four times a day; other strains can generate 15 times more vegetable oil than other plants used for biofuels, such as palm and rapeseed. Algae can grow in waste water, even sea water, requiring little more than sunlight and carbon dioxide to grow in large volumes. It can take a ton of algae to produce just two barrels of vegetable oil, however, so much of the current research is focused on driving down production costs and boosting productivity by finding strains that reproduce quickly and produce a lot of oil. Currently, there are two main options for growing algae, both of which have drawbacks. It can be grown in large, man-made open ponds, which is attractive because the ponds can be built on land that can't sustain agriculture, avoiding the problem of crop displacement that is plaguing corn-based biofuel. Royal Dutch Shell and Hawaii-based HR BioPetroleum Inc., for instance, announced plans in December to harvest algae from seawater ponds on the west shore of the island of Hawaii. The problem with this method is contamination. A company may start with the perfect algae strain, but contaminants such as bird droppings can result in the pond being overgrown with a strain that doesn't produce much oil. The other option is to grow algae in enclosed plastic tubes -- photobio reactors -- that keep out contaminants. But because of the expense, the price of crude oil would have to rise considerably above $130 a barrel for algae from these closed systems to be competitively priced, industry participants say. Today, the cheapest algae production -- done for the food-supplement industry -- costs $5,000 per ton, says F. Blaine Metting, a researcher at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Algae feeds on carbon dioxide as it multiplies, so it has the potential to help address linked challenges: the need to generate increasing amounts of energy without releasing increased amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. - Source

07/03/08 - Texas PC Repair Now Requires PI License
Thanks to a strange new law, it's a sting that may soon be felt by a number of the state's computer-repair people. A recently passed law requires that Texas computer-repair technicians have a private-investigator license, according to a story posted by a Dallas-Fort Worth CW affiliate. In order to obtain said license, technicians must receive a criminal justice degree or participate in a three-year apprenticeship. Those shops that refuse to participate will be forced to shut down. Violators of the new law can be hit with a $4,000 dollar fine and up to a year in jail, penalties that apply to customers who seek out their services. - Source

07/03/08 - Video - The Most Important Image Ever
KeelyNet In 2003, the Hubble Space Telescope took the image of a millennium, an image that shows our place in the universe. Once you understand what this image represents, you will be forever changed by it. An exercise in thought such as the one presented in this video can really allow folks to SURRENDER so much of their worries and feel secure that, in the big picture, the Divine takes care of it all -- even if gas is over four bucks a gallon! In cosmic terms, Mars is the house next door. All that effort, and thousands of years of human progress, have gotten us only a tiny distance away from home. There is a wide, wide universe left to explore. - Source

07/03/08 - Gravitational Slingshots next thing to a Wormhole for Mars
The first primitive Cycler orbits had been discovered sixteen years earlier, but these curiosities depended upon irregular planetary encounters, and they had round-trips on the order of a decade. In 1985, however, Dr Aldrin reasoned that there must be trajectories which swing by Earth and Mars every twenty-six months or so. This interval corresponds to the Earth-Mars synodic period, the time required for Earth's orbit to overtake Mars around the sun. Guided by Aldrin's advice, physicists sprang into action with renewed vigor and fistfuls of formulas. As predicted, such an orbit was indeed discovered, and it was promptly christened the Aldrin Cycler. The value of a perpetually repeating trajectory was immediately evident to NASA's engineers. Rocket scientists must contend with an immense expense when hefting material into low-Earth orbit- roughly $20 million per metric ton. Even a simple brain surgeon can grasp that a Cycler would allow mission planners to shed much of the rocket's fuel flab. A rocket-powered manned mission to Mars would require 437 metric tons of stuff to be lifted into space. This equates to $8.74 billion to orbit the materials for one round trip to our rusty neighbor. Over half of that weight- 250 tons- is propellant for the Mars transfer. In contrast, a Cycler adheres to a philosophy of practical re-use rather than littering the cosmos with discarded multi-billion-dollar vehicles. Although Dr Aldrin's massive vehicle would need an initial thrust to insert it into the sweet spot, only occasional coaxing would be necessary to maintain the rhythmic encounters. - Source

07/03/08 - Saudi king urges consumers to get used to high oil prices
KeelyNet King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, whose nation is the world's number one oil exporter, called on consumer countries to get used to high prices in comments published on Tuesday. "Consumer countries have to adapt to the prices and the mechanisms of the market," the king said in an interview published by the Kuwaiti daily Al-Siyassah. "We have nothing to do with the current sharp increase in crude prices," he said reiterating the Saudi position that speculation, rising demand and the taxation of oil products in consumer countries were to blame. "These countries must reduce their taxes on fuel.. if they want to contribute to easing the burden on ordinary consumers," he said. - Source

07/03/08 - Laptops lost like hot cakes at US airports
Keep laptops close at airports, because they have a startling tendency to disappear in the blink of an eye, according to a new survey. Some of the largest and medium-sized U.S. airports report close to 637,000 laptops lost each year, according to the Ponemon Institute survey released Monday. Laptops are most commonly lost at security checkpoints, according to the survey. Close to 10,278 laptops are reported lost every week at 36 of the largest U.S. airports, and 65 percent of those laptops are not reclaimed, the survey said. Around 2,000 laptops are recorded lost at the medium-sized airports, and 69 percent are not reclaimed. Travelers seem to lack confidence that they will recover lost laptops. About 77 percent of people surveyed said they had no hope of recovering a lost laptop at the airport, with 16 percent saying they wouldn't do anything if they lost their laptop during business travel. About 53 percent said that laptops contain confidential company information, with 65 percent taking no steps to protect the information. - Source

07/01/08 - LS9 Inc. working on "renewable petroleum"
KeelyNet Genetically altered microscopic bugs that feed on agricultural waste such as woodchips or wheat straw and excrete crude oil. Greg Pal explains the process: "LS9’s bugs are single-cell organisms, each a fraction of a billionth the size of an ant. They start out as industrial yeast or nonpathogenic strains of E. coli, but LS9 modifies them by custom-de-signing their DNA. Five to seven years ago, that process would have taken months and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars,” he says. “Now it can take weeks and cost maybe $20,000.” Because crude oil is only a few molecular stages removed from the fatty acids normally excreted by yeast or E. coli during fermentation, it doesn't take much fiddling to get the desired result.All that's required for fermentation to take place is raw material, or feedstock, as it is known in the bio-fuels industry. Anything will do as long as it can be broken down into sugars, with the byproduct ideally burnt to produce electricity to run the plant. The company will use different types of agricultural waste based upon whatever makes sense for the local climate and economy: wheat straw in California, for example, or wood chips in the South. Using the genetically modified bugs for fermentation is essentially the same as using natural bacteria to produce ethanol, although the energy-intensive final process of distillation is virtually eliminated because the bugs excrete a substance that is almost pump-ready. The problem at this juncture remains as one of volume - thus far LS9 has only produced quantities vie a 1,000-litre fermenting machine, which produces the equivalent of one barrel a week and takes up 40 square feet of floor space.To meet America's weekly oil consumption of 143 million barrels, a facility covering 205 square miles, an area roughly the size of Chicago, would be required. - Source

07/01/08 - Scientists to test if cancer cure can work in humans
The treatment will transfuse specific white blood cells, called granulocytes, into patients with advanced forms of cancer. The granulocytes will come from healthy young people with immune systems that produce cells that have high levels of anti-cancer activity. In the animal studies, white blood cells from cancer-resistant mice cured all lab mice who had malignant tumours. The cells have also been able to kill cervical, prostate and breast cancer tumour cells in Petri dish tests. "All the mice we treated were 100 per cent cured," lead researcher Dr. Zheng Cui told CTV News. "So that was very surprising for us." Granulocytes account for about 60 per cent of all white blood cells in the human body. The scientists already know, via a small study of human volunteers, that granulocytes from people under the age of 50 are most effective at killing cancer cells. The study will begin with 22 cancer patients for whom conventional treatment has been unsuccessful. The researchers say that they will know within three months if the treatment will work in humans. Cancer researchers worldwide will be watching the tests closely. - Source

07/01/08 - Israel backs Palo Alto man's electric car plan
KeelyNet Shai Agassi, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, pledges that he can beat the spiraling cost of gasoline with the world's first mass-produced electric car. Agassi is banking on his electric-powered sedan revolutionizing life on the roads, cleaning up the environment and reducing dependence on oil. The cars are expected to have a range of up to 140 miles per charge and a top speed of 68 mph - the speed limit in Israel. Last month, he invited reporters to test-drive a prototype that looks a lot like the Renault Megane, a four-door sedan. The car is noticeably quiet and has no exhaust pipe, an electric socket in place of a gas cap and a dashboard gauge that measures the charge of the vehicle's 450-pound lithium-ion battery. Agassi said that because most rides are less than 100 miles, drivers can recharge batteries at home, at work or at thousands of charging points throughout Israel. On longer trips, they can exchange batteries in a five-minute operation at about 200 "swap stations." "We have a second battery for every driver in the swap stations. It's waiting for you in case you need it. You don't need to carry it with you in the trunk," Agassi said. Moreover, Nissan's global product planning chief, Tom Lane, has said his firm will soon announce a battery breakthrough, one that could increase driving range to around 200 miles per charge while recharging in as little as 20 minutes. Project Better Place plans to charge $550 a month and provide 18,000 miles a year for the use of the batteries and charging and swap stations. The customer doesn't own the battery - the cars are designed to have easily removable battery packs that can be exchanged. In Israel, the joint-venture Nissan-Renault/Project Better Place electric car is expected to have a range of 140 miles per charge. For longer drives, motorists will be able to replace the battery at about 200 swap stations to be built throughout Israel by 2010. / (Courtesy of Ken H. - JWD) - Source

07/01/08 - Powered by innovation
KeelyNet Six months ago, in the garage of his west Redmond home, Carl Ylvisaker started tinkering with a tire, a trailer hitch, an alternator, car batteries and a power inverter. The prototype TAGER, short for Transportation Assisted Global Energy Reserve, is a single tire, with the ability to swivel 20 degrees in either direction, connected by a metallic arm to a cart attached to the back of Ylvisaker’s red SUV. Two 12-volt car batteries and a power inverter, designed to convert the battery power to the common household current, sit on the cart. The power is created by the spinning wheel, complete with bolts that extend away from the tire and into a pulley attached to a belt that supplies the alternator with energy. The energy is harnessed through two wires feeding into the batteries. With a slight alteration to a home’s electrical service panel, the TAGER could easily generate enough power after a day’s commute to power the house for an entire night, Ylvisaker says. Or enough power to allow the homeowner to avoid paying a monthly power bill altogether, he adds. The TAGER, he believes, could generate tremendous power if it were attached to a long-haul truck, traveling several hundred miles a day, and through the night. The batteries and the inverter could be placed inside the trailer, and multiple TAGER devices could be attached to the outside. The power generated by a truck traveling an average of 55 mph hour would be equivalent to a windmill spinning at similar speeds, he said. Ylvisaker met with attorneys to draw up a patent application. The patent, he says, is pending. - Source

07/01/08 - Free Apartments Tried and Rejected by Slum Dwellers
KeelyNet Under an inventive government program in Mumbai, builders raze entire slum neighborhoods and use part of the land for tenements to house the original residents. The apartments measure 225 square feet, or 21 square meters - the size of a typical shanty. / So what's the problem? - They are ready to leave behind their own toilets and resume lining up to use a shared hole in the ground. They are ready to trade wooden front doors for the rags that hung outside their shanties. They are ready to abandon the "privacy" that builders promised, having found it to be a synonym for loneliness. "It was much better there," said Ram Jatan Pal, a graying man who supports eight people on the few dollars a day he earns as a sidewalk bookseller. "Before, there would always be four guys around your shanty. "We sat, we chatted. Now it's like being caged in a poultry farm." - Source

07/01/08 - Wars have cost $700B since 9/11
A new Congressional Research Service report says the U.S. government has spent about $700 billion on "military operations, base security, reconstruction, foreign aid, embassy costs, and veterans' health care for the three operations initiated since the 9/11 attacks." The report covers the "global war on terrorism," known as GWOT, and the government's pre- and post-invasion operations in Iraq. About 75% of that money has been devoted to the war in Iraq, according to CRS estimates contained a report republished by the Federation of American Scientists. / That works out to about $2,326 for every person in the country. Too bad we can't choose how we'd like our tax dollars to be spent -- or, more accurately, our future tax dollars. - Source

07/01/08 - Patent for Algae Cultivation System
KeelyNet The patent covers the invention of a method to cultivate algae with a high concentration of volume efficiency, without requiring expensive or elaborate artificial lighting systems, and without expensive cast acrylic tubing or delicate polythene bag systems. “Doc” Williamson says, “But here we are, doing nothing but increasing the exposed surface of a regular solid so that light can penetrate a few inches, and it just might change the world.” Nutrients and the carbon dioxide necessary for the phenomenal growth rates of algae (many species can double in weight and volume in less than 24 hours, some as often as 4 times a day under ideal conditions) bubble through the liquid in this apparatus much as air does in a home aquarium. Indeed the device looks quite similar to a giant home aquarium in its basic rectangular form, though the mirrors and baffles and harvesting hoist hint at Dr. Frankenstein’s lab equipment. Each growth tank is entirely separate; isolating each batch from every other batch. There are no circulating elements, and thus the isolation reduces the risk of total colony collapse. The patent application does describe possibly using “concentrating mirrors” to bring sunlight from outside. Transparent tank designs are intended for indoor use, outdoor placements are possible in suitable climates with potentially opaque or translucent side panels. “It seems like a miracle, but it is just a fact. If you have a colony of 100 tons of algae, feed it with plenty of carbon dioxide, literally overnight you can have 200 to 400 tons of algae, meaning you can remove 100 to 300 tons daily from this operation and starting again from the remaining 100 tons the next day the same thing happens,” gushes Stafford “Doc” Williamson with unbridled enthusiasm. - Source

07/01/08 - How Oil, Labor, and Government Mix in Mexico
For better or worse, Mexico is America's third-largest foreign supplier of crude oil, right behind Canada and Saudi Arabia. This cauldron of political instability provides us with around 1.25 million barrels a day, a figure down by around 200,000 from a year ago. Corruption, including from within the union representing most oil workers, has a lot to do with the drop -- and likely future drops. It's been a fact of life for 70 years: Mexico's oil industry is a state-run monopoly. Back in 1938, in a pique of nationalist fervor, their government, led by President Lazaro Cardenas, expropriated (i.e., stole) the assets of American and Anglo-Dutch petroleum companies against whom Mexican workers were striking. The government quickly reorganized this wealth into an entity called Petroleos Mexicanos, or more simply, Pemex. Just to make sure the company wouldn't get any ideas about asserting its independence, the government amended its constitution of 1917, granting to itself complete authority over the processing and distribution of oil and natural gas. As Pemex goes, so goes the Mexican economy. The company generated nearly US$200 billion in revenues in 2006, making it the tenth-largest oil-based enterprise in the world. But there's a downside to this. About 60 percent of those revenues go for paying taxes and royalties to the Mexican government. Indeed, 40 percent of the government's revenues come from Pemex, most significantly a 71.5 percent levy on the value of all oil and natural gas produced. - Source

07/01/08 - Hoarding Nations Drive Food Costs Ever Higher
At least 29 countries have sharply curbed food exports in recent months, to ensure that their own people have enough to eat, at affordable prices. When it comes to rice, India, Vietnam, China and 11 other countries have limited or banned exports. Fifteen countries, including Pakistan and Bolivia, have capped or halted wheat exports. More than a dozen have limited corn exports. Kazakhstan has restricted exports of sunflower seeds. The restrictions are making it harder for impoverished importing countries to afford the food they need. The export limits are forcing some of the most vulnerable people, those who rely on relief agencies, to go hungry. “It's obvious that these export restrictions fuel the fire of price increases,” said Pascal Lamy, the director general of the World Trade Organization. - Source

07/01/08 - Huge ice pack keeps UA cool
KeelyNet It's 9:30 a.m. at the University of Arizona's Central Refrigeration Building on East Helen Street. The day is rapidly warming toward triple digits. Time to melt some ice. Plenty is on hand on this Thursday morning. Overnight, the plant's chillers have been pumping 17-degree antifreeze through 156 storage tanks that now hold 23,000 tons of ice. At another site, at 640 N. Mountain Ave., 49 more tanks boost the ice total to about 30,000 tons. The ice will be melted throughout the day and the chill transferred to 5.2 million gallons of water that circulates through 7 miles of pipes, collecting heat from 140 buildings on the UA campus. Keeping campus cool requires chilling that water, and it makes sense to do that when it's not 110 degrees outside. Of course, nighttime is not when you need cooling, so the UA has begun storing its energy in ice. Thermal-mass storage is not new; in fact, it's one of the oldest forms of heating and cooling. A thick-walled mud adobe home does much the same thing. Freezing water at night and slowly releasing it during the day saves the university about $423,000 a year in energy costs. Ice plants have been used to condition buildings since the early 1900s, Bush said. It's pretty much the same system used to cool some of Tucson's earliest buildings. Open your home to the cooler night air and let your thick adobe walls suck in the cool. Then lock up tight and let the walls keep the interior space cool throughout those summer days. "It's exactly the same principle. You're just chilling mass and holding it," Bush said. - Source

07/01/08 - Buzz Aldrin: Invest in Nasa to beat the Chinese to Mars
Mr Aldrin is critical of Nasa's failure properly to fund commercial ventures for spacecraft which could take astronauts to the space station between 2010 and 2015. He said: "If we really wanted that to happen, we sure should have started putting more money into that programme sooner." Mr Aldrin is also critical of the approach taken by Nasa in commissioning new crew vehicles that will splash down on water, rather than on a runway like the Shuttle. He says that is the best design for a moon vehicle, but will not encourage other ventures into space. In particular, it will not be suitable for short flights into low orbits, of a kind that could be used for space tourism - potentially a valuable new source of revenue for Nasa. "Globalisation means many other countries are asserting themselves and trying to take over leadership. Please don't ask Americans to let others assume the leadership of human exploration. "We can do wonderful science on the Moon, and wonderful commercial things. Then we can pack up and move on to Mars." - Source

07/01/08 - Global Warming Tax means fewer travellers at main Dutch airport
The Netherlands is the only country that levies an environmental tax on flights departing the country -- 11.25 euros per passenger (17.75 dollars) for European destinations and 45 euros for intercontential points. With higher fuel prices pushing up air fares worldwide, travel industry experts say the tax will hurt business at Schiphol and see many Dutch travellers go to nearby German airports instead. - Source

07/01/08 - Biofuels pushing 30 million into poverty
Biofuels are responsible for 30 percent of the increase in global food prices, pushing 30 million people worldwide into poverty, aid agency Oxfam said in a report on Wednesday. The use of biofuels is soaring as developed countries try to reduce their dependence on imported oil and cut emissions of carbon dioxide, but critics say they have led to a shortage of grain, pushing up commodity prices. - Source

07/01/08 - Can Miracle Material Stop Radiation?
Gamma radiation is the most penetrating and energetic form of nuclear radiation. To absorb half the incoming Gamma you need two and a half inches of concrete or almost half an inch of lead. So my eyebrows went up when I saw a press release for an organization called Radiation Shielding Technologies (RST) selling protective clothing with this startling claim: "DemronTM not only protects against particle ionizing/nuclear radiation (such as Beta and Alpha), but does what NO OTHER full body radiation protection can do: shield against X-ray and low-energy Gamma emissions." Check their site and you'll find details of an independent test claiming that their anti-radiation blanket really does stop a significant fraction of gamma (about 28% at a 90 degree angle). What's the secret? Well, the 'blanket' involved is thirty inches by thirty-six and weighs sixty pounds…so it's basically equal to one-seventh of an inch of lead, and it works because it's so dense. But in spite of RST's fulsome press releases (including one which imaginatively likened the product to Iron Man's armor), it's not going to allow you to walk through heavily irradiated areas with impunity. As with many companies in the defense field, their science is fine but their marketing department may be prone to exaggeration. - Source

07/01/08 - American kids, dumber than dirt
KeelyNet Warning: The next generation might just be the biggest pile of idiots in U.S. history. We are now at a point where we are essentially churning out ignorant teens who are becoming ignorant adults and society as a whole will pay dearly, very soon, and if you think the hordes of easily terrified, mindless fundamentalist evangelical Christian lemmings have been bad for the soul of this country, just wait. The dystopian evidence seems overwhelming indeed, to the point where it might be no stretch at all to say the biggest threat facing America is perhaps not global warming, not perpetual warmongering, not garbage food or low-level radiation or way too much Lindsay Lohan, but a populace far too ignorant to know how to properly manage any of it, much less change it all for the better. - Source

07/01/08 - For Energy, numbers say we need Nukes
Professor David J C MacKay of the Cambridge University Department of Physics holds a PhD in computation from Cal Tech and a starred first in Physics, so we can take it that he knows his numbers. MacKay sets out his calculations in a book, Sustainable Energy - Without the hot air. You can download it here (http://www.withouthotair.com/). As he says: The one thing I am sure of is that the answers to our sustainable energy questions will involve numbers; any sane discussion of sustainable energy requires numbers. This book’s got ’em, and it shows how to handle them. In Without the hot air, MacKay examines our total energy usage in the UK, and then tries to provide a similar amount of energy but without using any oil and gas. He’s willing to consider windpower on a thoroughly heroic scale, as it is probably the renewable technology best suited to the UK climate. All in all, according to MacKay, if you like solar it probably makes more sense to put the panels in North Africa and bring the power to the UK over efficient high-voltage DC lines. We must not let ourselves be swept off our feet in horror at the danger of nuclear power. Nuclear power is not infinitely dangerous. It’s just dangerous, much as coal mines, petrol repositories, fossil-fuel burning and wind turbines are dangerous. MacKay concludes that nuclear scales up easily, and does so without dominating the country the way wind, solar, tidal and biomass do. The scale of engineering required, in terms of megatons of steel and concrete or areas of land and sea taken up, is enormously down on that needed by useful amounts of renewables. - Source

07/01/08 - Rings and Gravity Control
KeelyNet True gravity control works both ways, allowing you to not only reduce weight but also to increase weight. In the dream...I had built a belt with a front and a back part so that they sent a field through your body when you wore the belt. The front of the belt had an intensity control knob which controlled the flow of gravity into the body. You could increase or decrease your ‘weight’, even to the point of total cancellation so that you floated like a balloon. As I understood it, the front box resonated with the rear box to change the center of gravity of the body. It was like controlling the opening in an drain, with aether/zpe flowing into that drain with a velocity and thus ‘weight’ proportional to your physical size with regard to the planet. Thus by opening it, you increased weight, by reducing it, you lost weight. The theory of operation of this gravity control belt is reminiscent to an article I did years ago on ‘The Ship of Heaven’ where a ring around a mass can be used to control the gravity influx as shown in many ancient drawings. Winged men, ‘angels’ to the uninformed, as well as this mysterious ring seem to be telling us something if we get past it as mystery. - Source

07/01/08 - Detroit's mood grim as automakers face the brink
GM, once an emblem of U.S. post-war economic might, is being driven to the brink by dwindling sales that are expected to test cash reserves and the nerves of investors in the months ahead. Crosstown rivals Ford Motor Co and privately held Chrysler LLC face similar pressures. As the automakers weigh their options to ride out the industry's most-trying slump in 25 years, thousands of Detroit families are doing the same. For many, the choices line up from bad to worse. GM's sales have dropped 15 percent so far this year, and its share of the U.S. market is down to just 21 percent. When major automakers report sales for June on Tuesday, there is a chance that GM will be overtaken by Toyota Motor Co as the monthly sales leader, a reversal that points to the popularity of small cars like the Yaris and the abandonment of SUVs and trucks like the Yukon and Silverado. GM has responded by slashing costs, cutting truck production and slashing its factory work force to less than half of the 118,000 it employed four years ago. On a combined basis, GM, Ford and Chrysler have cut more than 100,000 factory jobs since sales began to slow in 2006. - Source

$5 Alt Science MP3s to listen while working/driving/jogging
KeelyNetNo time to sit back and watch videos? Here are 15 interesting presentations you can download for just $5 each and listen to while driving, working, jogging, etc. An easy way to learn some fascinating new things that you will find of use. Easy, cheap and simple, better than eBooks or Videos. Roughly 50MB per MP3. - Source

15 New Alternative Science DVDs & 15 MP3s
An assortment of alternative science videos that provide many insights and inside information from various experimenters. Also MP3s extracted from these DVDs that you can listen to while working or driving. Reference links for these lectures and workshops by Bill Beaty of Amateur Science on the Dark Side of Amateur Science, Peter Lindemann on the World of Free Energy, Norman Wootan on the History of the EV Gray motor, Dan Davidson on Shape Power and Gravity Wave Phenomena, Lee Crock on a Method for Stimulating Energy, Doug Konzen on the Konzen Pulse Motor, George Wiseman on the Water Torch and Jerry Decker on Aether, ZPE and Dielectric Nano Arrays. Your purchase of these products helps support KeelyNet, thanks! - Source to Buy

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