Monday, August 04, 2008

Busted!? 3M Polyurethane Protective Tape 8674 used for Zagg invisibleSHIELD, BodyGuardz, Best Skins Ever...

After a bit of internet searching, 3M's Polyurethane Protective Tape 8674 looks like the "military" material behind the products being sold as Zagg's invisibleSHIELD, BodyGuardz and Best Skins Ever. 3M's wet installation instructions match those vendors' installation instructions and the 3M instructions also include a drawing that looks very much like the vendors' marketing photographs. For the cost of one shield from these companies, you can buy an entire roll of the tape and then cut shields for your whole tribe. That's the downside - you'll have to cut your own shapes. Fortunately, posted a pdf template for an iPhone skin. Several other shapes are shown on the vendors' sites, however, those might be copyrighted images.

Good luck with your skins and shields.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

California: Batteries Included?!

I was recently asked "Suppose that California does build a whole bunch of clean solar electrical generating capacity; even then, we still need a solution for nighttime electrical usage. How big would a ``battery'' need to be to keep the power on overnight?". The spreadsheet below has details on various options. With existing technology, molten salt is clearly the leading battery! You can also view this in a web page by itself or as an xls file.

Update: Presidio, TX will have a sodium sulfur battery (named BOB) to store power for their town.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Free! Upgrade to a Toyota Prius

Get the environmental benefit of a Prius for free, save money on groceries and improve your health! Too good to be true? Not this time - reducing beef consumption by 20% will reduce CO2 emissions the same amount as having everyone switch to driving a Prius (chicken, a non-ruminant, has a far lower CO2e per pound).

The N.Y. Times article "The World : Rethinking the Meat-Guzzler" explains:

"To put the energy-using demand of meat production into easy-to-understand terms, Gidon Eshel, a geophysicist at the Bard Center, and Pamela A. Martin, an assistant professor of geophysics at the University of Chicago, calculated that if Americans were to reduce meat consumption by just 20 percent it would be as if we all switched from a standard sedan — a Camry, say — to the ultra-efficient Prius."

Reducing beef consumption also reduces methane emissions a lot! Methane is twenty times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas and represented 28% of US methane emissisions. Methane production occurs in the rumen as bacteria break down roughage. This methane is then eructated by belching.

Now I just need to make this into a clever bumper sticker!