Thanks everyone for your kind words and understanding of the light posting this week. I am scheduled to see the doctor again today and possibly have all my stitches removed. While I was sitting on the couch this week, here are some stories that caught my eye:
MIT researchers say they have discovered a way to use solar energy cheaply even after the sun goes down, which could make it a mainstream source of power within the next decade. Solar energy has been expensive and inefficient to use after dark, said Daniel Nocera, 51, the Henry Dreyfus professor of energy and professor of chemistry at MIT. But in an article published in the July 31 issue of the journal Science, Nocera and other Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers say they have found a simple, inexpensive process for storing solar energy.
But the flying, nibbling critters — the mosquitoes, the gnats, and the flies — come in swarms. How to keep them at bay? Unfortunately, many of the insect repellents on the shelves today contain the chemical DEET. Developed by the U.S. Army for use in jungle warfare during World War II, DEET is considered a moderate chemical pesticide and a few studies have shown it to be toxic to some fish species. DEET also works as a solvent, dissolving some plastics, synthetic fabrics, leather, and painted or varnished surfaces. But potentially toxic chemicals aren’t the only way to protect yourself from becoming a tasty buffet for the next mosquito swarm that comes along.
Looking like a cross between the FCX Clarity fuel cell car and the Toyota Prius, Honda’s upcoming dedicated hybrid model should come in at a cost a bit lower than current hybrid models. Apparently, Honda’s engineers have managed to simplify the IMA’s complicated mechanicals, making it smaller and easier to package in the process. All of these detail changes add up to a new hybrid contender with an expected base price of just $18,580. (Somehow, I knew Honda would be the one to get a hybrid sub-$20K)
If we were to recover 75 percent of the aluminum cans we throw away, recycling them instead, we would save 11.8 million metric tons of carbon generated to produce new cans.
…for those ancient towels that have seen a few too many days at the beach or have been a part of your post-shower routine since college, charitable donation may not be an option. Instead, you can give those old towels a second life by turning them into a supersoft, oh-so-cozy bath rug. Your handmade bath rug will also serve as a lovely reminder of all those summer days spent lounging by the water”¦or maybe just how happy you are that you don’t have to shower with flip-flops anymore.
Over the past seven years, the Environmental Protection Agency has redefined its mission from fighting pollution to serving as a guardian angel for big business, energy companies and land developers. On every front, from undercutting state efforts to ignoring greenhouse gas emissions to opening public lands for exploitation, the agency charged with protecting the environment has sided against environmental protection. Not surprisingly, the agency’s political appointees would like to keep the many dedicated civil service employees from sharing that bad news with the press, Congress and the agency’s internal investigators. An e-mail sent to managers of the EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance by division chief of staff Robbi Farrell admonishes them to forward all inquiries from the EPA inspector general, the congressional Government Accountability Office or journalists to a designated senior staffer. According to the e-mail, “Please do not respond to questions or make any statements.”
Bicycles are perhaps the greenest mode of mechanical transportation , and a good one needn’t cost a fortune. Here’s how to identify a great used bike.
That’s all folks, have a nice weekend.