Category Archives: Science

posts about science

Silicon Valley Goes Green

green keyboardSilicon Valley is moving towards a green future. While many other companies are reluctant to even mention global warming, many tech companies are embracing a path towards a green future.

From here

In Silicon Valley, though, climate change is pretty much taken as a given. It’s part of the tech industry’s shift in recent years toward the green end of the spectrum. This year, Silicon Valley delegates — in a combination of good will and self-interest — will be fanning out across the country to preach on the issue to the unconverted.

Just last week, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, a regional business booster association founded in 1977 by David Packard, of H-P fame, announced a 12-point campaign called Clean and Green that takes traditional regional planning issues, such as ride-sharing and mass transit, and frames them in the context of global warming. The same group made headlines earlier last year by breaking with other California business groups to endorse the legislation being pushed by nouveau-environmentalist Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to limit greenhouse gases, among other steps.

Carl Guardino, the tech group’s CEO, says the position on global warming has the support of all 210 member companies, which includes virtually all of the area’s major technology players. Mr. Guardino says his group will be spending this year challenging business groups around the U.S. to follow the example set by his association, such as to greatly increase car pooling at local companies.

“These are engineers and they are really good at looking at science,” says Mr. Guardino. “And the science with climate change is undeniable.”

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Nanobots Here We Come

nano device universal joint Name: Universal Joint
Designer: Mark Sims, based on a 1992 design by
K. Eric Drexler and Ralph Merkle
Date: May 25, 2006
Number of components: 4 (which form a single covalent structure)
Number of atoms: 3,846
Width: 3.8 nm
Height: 3.8 nm
Length: 6.4 nm (not including shafts)

Click the picture to watch it animate!

I stumbled upon this rather interesting bit of software, Nanorex allows you to design nano scale machinery and run simulations of how the stuff would work. Nano-scale machines may one day allow us to do all sorts of interesting and fun things. The best possible option is that one day we all have night vision and can jump over buildings in a single bound…or perhaps we could use them to cure illness if you are into that sort of thing.

Renewable Energy Roundup

wind turbine in the oceanMy second attempt at this new renewable energy roundup goodness.

This week we talk about Cape Wind and the its politics, China’s use of renewable energy to help reduce poverty, and using natural prairie grasses as a source of biofuel. All of this and pictures await you after the more. If you have some renewable energy news you think I should know about please don’t be afraid to contact us and let us know.

Lets get started!

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Human Electric Hybrid

the TWIKE an electric human hybrid vehicleI love to ride my bike. There is nothing better than going out for a nice long ride. The wind in your hair, the pedals moving under your own power. The bicycle is one of the most elegant and useful inventions humans have ever come up with. Think about all the wonderful things about a bike. They keep you healthy, they don’t pollute, they let you enjoy nature, they look cool, they are made of metal and brawn.

Now lets say someone invented a bicycle that had a trunk, could seat two, and could go 55 mph, got the equivalent of 300-600 mpg (without burning any gas) and all the same benefits of a normal bike. Enter the TWIKE! This bad boy is amazing. Its a human electric hybrid vehicle.

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Free Will?

question mark with bandage on its head and a bottle of beerMany a time I have found myself stuck with the simple question of “do we have free will?” If you ponder it hard enough (and know enough chemistry/physics/biology/philosophy) it can be a rather hard, even impossible question to answer. For many years I was in the category of “yes we have free will” and as the years have gone by this wall of free will seems to have been slowly eroded. I am not really sure anymore just how “free” our free will is.

The basic argument comes down to the brain. Is the brain simply a machine like any other, reacting blinding (although in a fascinatingly complex manner) to stimuli. Have we been put together by millions of years of natural selection and really only suffer under the illusion of free will. I choose X and not Y because my brain is set up in such a way that I was always going to choose X. Or are we able to truly take in all stimulus from our environment and then make a choice? I choose X and not Y because I want to. Is there any difference?

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