Croton Megalocarpus tree

August 4th, 2012

I came across an interesting source of biofuel.  It is the Croton Megalocarpus tree which is native to Tanzania and other semi-arid African regions.  The interesting thing about this biofuel source is that it has the ability to reverse African desertification and provide a sustainable ‘crop’ for rural communities.  Also provides the possibility of value on the carbon credit market.

http://bamafrica.org/downloads/lukenya.pdf

View Aurora Borealis at Mid-Lats

August 4th, 2012

For those of us who live in the mid-latitudes, we have an opportunity to see Aurora Borealis during the next year due to a peak in the 24 year solar cycle that will peak in early or mid 2013.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_cycle_24

 

There are factors to consider when attempting to view Aurora Borealis our side of near polar regions.

 

More viewing tips:

http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/Aurora/index.html

 

The Spray

July 22nd, 2012

If the Spray discovered no continents on her voyage, it may be that there were no more continents to be discovered; she did not seek new worlds, or sail to powwow about the dangers of the seas. The sea has been much maligned. To find one’s way to lands already discovered is a good thing, and the Spray made the discovery that even the worst sea is not so terrible to a well-appointed ship. No king, no country, no treasury at all, was taxed for the voyage of the Spray, and she accomplished all that she undertook to do.

To succeed, however, in anything at all, one should go understandingly about his work and be prepared for every emergency. I see, as I look back over my own small achievement, a kit of not too elaborate carpenters’ tools, a tin clock, and some carpet-tacks, not a great many, to facilitate the enterprise as already mentioned in the story. But above all to be taken into account were some years of schooling, where I studied with diligence Neptune’s laws, and these laws I tried to obey when I sailed overseas; it was worth the while.

Joshua Slocum

Was/Is Zawahiri Supported by Russia

August 18th, 2011

Twice in 1995 Bulgaria’s counter-intelligence refused to arrest him.

http://www.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne+News/World/Story/A1Story20110512-278538.html

His command center for the Balkans was located in Sofia, Bulgaria, an [ex-]KGB controlled area.

http://www.financialsense.com/node/215

According to FSB spokesman Sergei Ignatchenko, Zawahiri was held in Russia December 1996 to May 1997, Dagestan, Makhachkala

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/article818210.ece

FSB Blowing up Russia, provides proof that Russia was involved in apartment bombing that spawned the second Chechen war.

Google Maps Driving – To Discover Points of Interest

July 3rd, 2011

Last week I picked up a project that I started a while back, the bsaic idea was to use the Google Maps virtual driving images (non-standard feature) to collect information about undocumented/mapped rural road side attractions.

I have the dual image sequences up, but now need to provided the capability for the user to add new features. I don’t have the time to do this now, but it seems like the best bet is Google Fusion Tables.

In the process of researching this I found GeoXML (JavaScript API for parsing GeoData) which could be useful for this and other projects.

Web-Map Busting

May 22nd, 2011

Yahoo Local Maps

Pro:

  • Most up to date imagery (i-cubed 2008)

  • Has Indicators showing gates at forest roads!

  • Shows state lands

Con:

  • No terrain

  • Does not show national forest

Google Maps

Pro:

Con:

  • Has terrain menu pic, but it is not available in this region

  • Shows foot trail as road multiple times

  • Does not delineate between state and federal lands. Boundaries do matter because some state trails don’t allow bikes.

Bing (Had no obvious way to get a link to the map)

Pro:

Con:

  • Does not delineate between state and federal lands. Boundaries do matter because some state trails don’t allow bikes.

  • Was not until zoom level 6 that private golf course and national forest were differentiated by color

Take away:

I’m having trouble picking a winner. Usually I go to Google or Yahoo, the KML community provides useful data. All of the popular webmaps are flashy advertisement tools and lack usable data. I suppose the idea is that the imagery provides all other necessary map data. Not true, especially when it is out of date.

Could not find any forest boundary maps. It appears that counties are the place to go for map data:

http://archie.co.jefferson.co.us/website/panterra/viewer.htm

http://gis.douglas.co.us/wapps/mapit/Default.aspx

Solar TEG Notes

July 12th, 2009

Although I knew that nuclear TEGs were used on Cassini, I did not realize how many other possibilities of TEGs (Peltier modules) exist.  Solar TEGs have caught my attention.  Well designed systems can achive 4-5% efficency. Signifcnly less than PV, but TEG is much simpler, low cost, and low maintancene.  Hybrid and concentrating systems seem to be the most promsing.  I plan to either make my own TEG w/ nichrome and copper wires or by one off eBay for $10.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seebeck_effect#Seebeck_effect

Imanishi and self-organizing networks

July 12th, 2009

 I came across Imanishi’s ideas last year and was fascinated.  I still digesting his material and understanding how it relates to things like self-organizing networks.  Key points are    emergence, transmission and modification of patterns with in a network.

“… Imanishi denies that natural selection is the mechanism promoting
evolution. Instead of viewing evolution from the perspective of individuals or spe-
cies competing with one another for resources, he perceives the process as a series
of adjustments by which the entire system—the world of living things—maintains
its viability. To Imanishi, the evolution of predator-prey relationships occurs in
order to “avoid unnecessary conflict,” and parasitic relationships reflect a finely-
tuned equilibrium. Imanishi describes the character of this larger system as a con-
servative hierarchy. When the “ruling class” reaches its peak of development and
then degrades, as happened to the reptiles in the Mesozoic era, a new group takes
its place—in the case just cited, mammals—but the structure of the hierarchy is
essentially unchanged. The history he discusses is the history of biological classes,
but it could easily be taken as a metaphor for the history of social classes, saturated
as it is in the language of politics and economics.”

Imanishi, Kinji. A Japanese view of nature: The world of living things.

http://www.emory.edu/LIVING_LINKS/pdf_attachments/About_Imanishi2008.pdf

Croton Megalocarpus tree

January 31st, 2009

I came across an interesting source of biofuel.  It is the Croton Megalocarpus tree which is native to Tanzania and other semi-arid African regions.  The interesting thing about this biofuel source is that it has the ability to reverse African desertification and provide a sustainable ‘crop’ for rural communities.  Also provides the possibility of value on the carbon credit market.

http://bamafrica.org/downloads/lukenya.pdf

Container Tracking

December 24th, 2008

Given that shipping containers are being transported on ships, trucks and trains, tracking and monitoring sensors could be power by piezoelectric and RF harvesting power modules.  The ambient RF signal produced by communication could provide a trickle charge source for these sensor.