Even though I knew the snow was coming and that it would be cold, I was still surprised by the experience of going to work this morning. My car doors were difficult to open because the wet snow and melted snow froze overnight. Once I sat down in the car I noticed my windows were similarly frozen. The windshield wipers were frozen in place. I couldn’t find my window scraper – it was by the back window. On top of it all, I didn’t have gloves on so my hands got a bit cold while scraping the ice off the car.
Good thing I was leaving home a little ahead of schedule, because the ice/snow on the car slowed me down by a few minutes. I thought to myself that it was a little early to feel cold – to feel as if it was the middle of Winter, and that comes from someone who enjoys Winter for the most part. The one bonus about having abnormally cold weather is that we don’t have to hear the constant drumbeat of AGW disaster in the news. If we were setting new record high temps, “global warming” Armageddon stories would be rather prolific (not that warnings are not useful, just that when it comes to AGW, the news gets hyperbolic and out-of-control at times).
Alternative Energy News:
Some interesting electric vehicle news has arrived recently. Nissan has gotten a large grant to construct chargingstations in 5 different states in the U.S. Their top of the line “level 3″ charger can recharge a standard lithium-ion battery pack in about 20 minutes. The “level” 2 charger takes 8 hours. They are doing many of the installations in Tennessee, where they plan to expand manufacturing capacity in 2010 and 2011. According Nissan, the biggest problem in getting more EVs and charging stations on the road is government red tape. Perhaps the Nissan Land Glider will be one of Nissan’s offerings that will be “flying” down the Tennessee highway in the near future.
Audi is now jumping into the electric car market with the Etron, another sporty high priced EV. Looks nice. Way out of my price range though.
Looking for “green cars” that are already on the road and in showrooms? How about this year’s list of the greenest automobiles.
Finally, one of the last things I would have thought would be used (in part) to power an alternative fuel vehicle – chocolate. Perhaps it works ok, but chocolate is very expensive as compared to gasoline or even ethanol. Not only that, it has proven health benefits when included in the human diet (dark chocolate that is – milk chocolate has too much sugar). I would hate to see the price of dark chocolate rise because it was being burned up in a automobile engines. What a waste. Speaking of waste, a much better candidate for making biofuel would be human sewage. Some companies are turning it into ethanol.
All the alternative fuels and EVs are making some people question whether we should get rid of the “miles per gallon” metric in automobiles.
Here is another article with the latest news and data about the less-than-hoped-for LCROSS lunar impact. The Diviner spacecraft took infrared pictures from its orbital position around the moon. The two impacts show up as little dots of light in the thermal images. There is still no word on how much dust was kicked up by the crash landings or how much water was observed.
On a related note, here is an article about the source of water on the surface of the moon. A couple different spacecraft have recently observed trace amounts of water covering the entire surface of the moon. This has left scientists scrambling for an answer as to how it got there. Alan Crotts thinks that the water is coming out of the interior of the moon, erupting through fissures in the crust – similar to what is happening on Enceladus.
This post was written by jloew on October 13, 2009