Friday, November 03, 2006

Friday Hope Blogging


It's Friday already? Sheesh. Well, I'll be hopeful, I suppose...but I won't enjoy it.

A solar vaccine refrigerator keeps vaccines viable even in regions without electricity. You can watch a video here.

WorldChanging discusses some of the things that have been accomplished in poor communities thanks to complementary currencies.

Over the past 10 years, more than 5,300 Chicago school children from impoverished neighborhoods have tutored their peers and earned free computers for their homes. Five parks in Calgary, Canada, have become pesticide free, and a formerly homeless 70-year-old woman in Madison, Wisconsin, received free crochet lessons in exchange for cooking and cleaning for neighbors. All three of these community success stories can be attributed to a single trend: “complementary currency” programs.
WC also has a fine article on biomimetic wave power. One turbine design is based on kelp fronds, while the other mimics shark tails.
Both designs are meant to oscillate back and forth in ocean currents rather than rotating like a turbine, and they use a proprietary drivetrain to convert that low-speed high-torque oscillation into high-speed low-torque rotation of a permanent magnet motor.


A company in Coventry claims to have built a battery-powered van that can travel 100 miles on a single charge, at speeeds of up to 50mph. We shall see. Possibly.

Illinois has mandated e-waste recycling for all state government offices. There's hope that this will fit into a regional policy framework that'll make manufacturers responsible for e-waste collection and processing.

It looks as though people aren't listening to the Denial Industry, whether the issue is the reality of climate, or the economics of fighting climate chage:
According to a recent MIT survey, Americans now rank climate change as the country's most pressing environmental problem--a dramatic shift from three years ago, when they ranked climate change sixth out of 10 environmental concerns.

Almost three-quarters of the respondents felt the government should do more to deal with global warming, and individuals were willing to spend their own money to help.
Meanwhile, the Arizona Corporation Commission has voted to "expand the state's renewable energy standard to 15% by 2025, with 30% of that to come from distributed generation technologies."

Via Inhabitat, a new power cord teaches consumers about energy use:
While most powercords are utilitarian (and in general, rather ugly), Static!’s aesthetic solution brings the issue of energy consumption literally, to light, urging users to be aware of and reflect upon the energy efficiency of electrical devices in their home. Just how does it work? Electroluminescent wires embedded in the cord produce varying patterns of glowing and pulsating colors to indicate the level of energy being used at a given time.


The photo at the top comes from a short but lovely Flickr set by Standers. And Esprit de Sel has a great set entitled Tourisme Souterrain, which goes nicely with these bat detector recordings. Or this one.

Also, check out these astonishing examples of long exposure photography from Aumbody Images and Mystery Me.


Last (via Coudal), Blossfeldt Fractals, which I hereby dedicate to an exceedingly sweet young woman in London.

7 comments:

charley said...

you rarely disappoint. Blossfeldt is one of my favorite photographers.

Phila said...

Blossfeldt is one of my favorite photographers.

Ditto.

Nanette said...

I love the complementary currencies story... so many interesting things going on there, including stuff brought out by people in the comments.

Americans now rank climate change as the country's most pressing environmental problem--a dramatic shift from three years ago, when they ranked climate change sixth out of 10 environmental concerns.

This seems odd to me. Not that it's not believable and a cause for some optimism, but it just seems very unlike Americans. I wonder what tipped the scale? Probably a combination of things, but still...

I want one of those power cords. Bet cats love them too.

Phila said...

This seems odd to me. Not that it's not believable and a cause for some optimism, but it just seems very unlike Americans. I wonder what tipped the scale? Probably a combination of things, but still...

Well, I think part of it is that whether it's caused by climate change or not, people can see that the weather has been kind of strange. The Right wants to argue that this is part of a natural cycle, but people - and Americans, especially - don't like to think in terms of impersonal forces. They want something or someone to blame, and they want to feel like there's a solution. Which is why the current denialist line is such a flop, IMO.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the lovely photographs, his photos are some of my favourites too. 'Fotografia Publica' is an excellent book I can recommend, if you don't have it already! xx

Nanette said...

They want something or someone to blame, and they want to feel like there's a solution.

No doubt... I get like that myself about various things. Seems there should be a way to just fix things and, luckily, with global warming, climate change and so on, there really are concrete steps one can take. Hopefully.

Also, any number of people probably remember that combating pollution actually worked, in many ways (when things were done properly), and so are somewhat predisposed to believing that there is also a solution for this.

Phila said...

At 3:41 PM, Anonymous said...
xx


I'll see those, and raise you an x and an o.