Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for October 15th, 2007

Dibetes is more complex than was thought

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From the NY Times:

 An explosion of new research is vastly changing scientists’ understanding of diabetes and giving new clues about how to attack it.

The fifth leading killer of Americans, with 73,000 deaths a year, diabetes is a disease in which the body’s failure to regulate glucose, or blood sugar, can lead to serious and even fatal complications. Until very recently, the regulation of glucose — how much sugar is present in a person’s blood, how much is taken up by cells for fuel, and how much is released from energy stores — was regarded as a conversation between a few key players: the pancreas, the liver, muscle and fat.

Now, however, the party is proving to be much louder and more complex than anyone had shown before.

New research suggests that a hormone from the skeleton, of all places, may influence how the body handles sugar. Mounting evidence also demonstrates that signals from the immune system, the brain and the gut play critical roles in controlling glucose and lipid metabolism. (The findings are mainly relevant to Type 2 diabetes, the more common kind, which comes on in adulthood.)

Focusing on the cross-talk between more different organs, cells and molecules represents a “very important change in our paradigm” for understanding how the body handles glucose, said Dr. C. Ronald Kahn, a diabetes researcher and professor at Harvard Medical School.

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Written by Leisureguy

15 October 2007 at 7:22 pm

Posted in Health, Medical, Science

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The next smear job for the Right

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Another SCHIP ad, probably another Right-wing smear attack:

ThinkProgress notes that the parents this time are ready for the amazingly mean-spirited mob mentality of the Right:

The last SCHIP family to go public about the value of the health insurance program — the Frosts — was smeared by the right wing. The Wilkersons said today they aren’t scared of the attacks that may come against them:

The Wilkersons said they are fully aware of the possibility that their finances and personal lives may be investigated by opponents of the SCHIP bill.

“We rent a house, we have one car that is a junker. Let them dig away,” Bo Wilkerson said. “I have $67 in my checking account. Does that answer your question?”

Written by Leisureguy

15 October 2007 at 6:42 pm

Posted in Daily life, GOP, Government, Medical

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Cognitive dissonance in action

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Very good post:

A classic 1959 social psychology experiment demonstrates how and why we lie to ourselves. Understanding this experiment sheds a brilliant light on the dark world of our inner motivations.

The ground-breaking social psychological experiment of Festinger and Carlsmith (1959) provides a central insight into the stories we tell ourselves about why we think and behave the way we do. The experiment is filled with ingenious deception so the best way to understand it is to imagine you are taking part. So sit back, relax and travel back. The time is 1959 and you are an undergraduate student at Stanford University…

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Written by Leisureguy

15 October 2007 at 6:34 pm

Posted in Science

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LEDs for municipal lighting

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This is an interesting post, and the Raleigh NC link shows that replacing the current lights in just one level of a parking garage there with LED lights is saving over $6,000 per year in lower energy and maintenance costs.

Duke Energy Corp. and Cree Inc. have launched a project to evaluate the use of light-emitting diodes in widespread commercial purposes. Cree has installed 19 outdoor LED lights at the company’s Durham headquarters, replacing standard high-pressure sodium light fixtures.

Cree, based in Durham, N.C., makes semiconductors designed to enhance the value of LED solid-state lighting, power and communications products by significantly increasing their energy performance.

“We believe LED technology holds tremendous potential for reducing both energy consumption and equipment maintenance without compromising safety,” says Ted Schultz, Duke’s vice president of energy efficiency. “We believe this collaboration with Cree will further demonstrate LEDs as a viable alternative to existing commercial lighting technology.” Advanced Energy, a Raleigh-based energy nonprofit, and the Electric Power Research Institute will assist with the project. They will collect data, assure research protocols are observed and report results.

Cree also operates the LEDCity.org website, described as “an expanding community of government and industry parties working to promote and deploy LED lighting technology across the full range of municipal infrastructure” in order to save energy, protect the environment, reduce maintenance costs, improve light quality for improved visibility and safety, and save tax dollars.

The LEDCity.org website claims 22 percent of electricity in the U.S. is used for lighting, and 90 percent of the power used for a light bulb produces heat rather than light – but LEDs are over four times more efficient than traditional incandescent light bulbs.

They also last a lot longer and, unlike compact fluorescent bulbs, they don’t contain mercury and are considered environmentally clean.

The City of Raleigh is seeing projected savings in energy and replacement costs from its test of LED lighting in one level of a city parking garage.

If your city government isn’t looking at switching to LEDs, ask them why not.

Written by Leisureguy

15 October 2007 at 5:52 pm

Aftershaves

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Appleton Barber Supply is in the business of (guess!) supplying barbers. As a result, most of their product offerings are rather specialized for the home consumer—except their splendid collection of aftershaves. Take a look. Even here, though, there’s some question in my mind whether a home consumer will want any of the one-gallon containers of aftershave…

Written by Leisureguy

15 October 2007 at 5:03 pm

OMG: I’ve got to make this!

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Lovely to look at, delightful to taste

Click that photo and tell me you could resist. Here’s the recipe, and here’s your shopping list:

Chicken and Orzo with Lemon and Olives
Serves 4

8 chicken drumsticks (I used four whole chicken legs)
Salt, pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups orzo
3 cups chicken broth
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 small lemon, cut into 8 wedges
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives
1 large bay leaf
3 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano, divided (I used 1 tablespoon of dried oregano)

Written by Leisureguy

15 October 2007 at 4:53 pm

Posted in Food, Recipes & Cooking

“If you could teach the world just one thing…”

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It’s always interesting to ask a scientist what fact, if they could convey only one, they would teach the world. Richard Feynman famously said:

If, in some cataclysm, all scientific knowledge were to be destroyed, and only one sentence passed on to the next generation of creatures, what statement would contain the most information in the fewest words? I believe it is the atomic hypothesis (or atomic fact, or whatever you wish to call it) that all things are made of atoms — little particles that move around in perpetual motion, attracting each other when they are a little distance apart, but repelling upon being squeezed into one another. In that one sentence you will see an enormous amount of information about the world, if just a little imagination and thinking are applied.

Here are short videos of four different scientists explaining the one thing each would teach the world—in this case, you.

Written by Leisureguy

15 October 2007 at 4:27 pm

Posted in Science, Video

From gestures to words to language

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Mind Hacks:

Science News reviews two books that propose a thought-provoking hypothesis about the evolution of language: that our ability to communicate verbally evolved from hand gestures.

The first book, Talking Hands is a study on a sign language developed by a Bedouin community only a short time ago that is used widely by both deaf and hearing members of the community.

As a relatively new phenomenon, it has allowed researchers to study a spontaneously created language as it develops.

The book also touches on the evolution of language and notes that while primates typically have poor control over their vocal chords, they have a precise control over their hands allowing huge scope for symbolic representation.

The second book, The Gestural Origin of Language directly addresses the issue and argues that sign, not spoken languages, are the original mode of human communication.

Armstrong and Wilcox, building on their earlier work with Stokoe, get around this problem by redefining language itself. In their hands, as it were, language is considered an embodied system whereby bodily gestures become ritualized and conventionalized into an accepted communication system. Given that our ancestors were tree-dwelling primates, our hands are well adapted to create four-dimensional space-time representations of the four-dimensional world. This ability was especially amenable to exploitation once our hominin forebears became bipedal and gained additional freedom of hand movement. With conventionalization, gestures become simplified and may lose their iconic aspect, but they are readily maintained through cultural transmission.

In this view, speech itself is a gestural system, composed of movements of the lips, velum and larynx, and the blade, body and root of the tongue. This is consistent with the so-called “motor theory of speech perception” developed at the Haskins Laboratories (a private research institute in New Haven, Connecticut) during the 1960s, which holds that the perception of speech is not so much an acoustic phenomenon as the recovery, through sound, of speech gestures. The arbitrary nature of speech sounds is not a fundamental property of language but is rather the consequence of the medium through which the gestures are expressed. The authors aptly quote the linguist Charles Hockett: “When a representation of some four-dimensional hunk of life has to be compressed into the single dimension of speech, most iconicity is necessarily squeezed out.” The concentration on speech may have created a myopic view of what language is really all about.

It’s a challenging hypothesis that asks us to reconsider that spoken language, often quoted as the defining feature of humanity, may be a relatively recent form of communication.

On a purely aesthetic level, I find sign language beautiful and utterly mesmerising and after a quick search on YouTube it seems there is a healthy online signing community.

One of my favourites is a video of someone signing Dusty Springfield’s Son of a Preacherman.

Written by Leisureguy

15 October 2007 at 4:19 pm

Posted in Daily life, Science

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The opening was a great success

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Ethan explains

I mentioned that The Son’s and Aaron Kreiswirth’s art show at the PS 122 Gallery in East Village NYC opened last Friday. The show (as noted at the link) will run through November 4th. Here are photos taken on the opening: click the box with the little green arrow toward the upper left to view it as a slide show, or simply click the first photo and then navigate through the photos at your own speed by clicking the arrows.

Written by Leisureguy

15 October 2007 at 4:14 pm

Posted in Art

Muddy thinking by a climate skeptic

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ThinkProgress has a note on climate skeptic Dr. William Gray of Colorado State University. He is, naturally enough, disgusted with Al Gore’s winning the Nobel Peace Prize, and he expresses his disgust with various ad hominem attacks. But Dr. Gray also makes scientific arguments, flawed though they are. Read a rebuttal of his recent efforts. It begins:

Anybody who has followed press reporting on global warming, and particularly on its effects on hurricanes, has surely encountered various contrarian pronouncements by William Gray, of Colorado State University. A meeting paper that Gray provided in advance of the 2006 27th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology (taking place this week in Monterey California, and covered here by CNN), provides an illuminating window into Gray’s thinking on the subject. Our discussion is not a point-by-point rebuttal of Gray’s claims; there is far more wrong with the paper than we have the patience to detail. Gray will have plenty of opportunities to hear more about the work’s shortcomings if it is ever subjected to the rigors of peer review. Here we will only highlight a few key points which illustrate the fundamental misconceptions on the physics of climate that underlie most of Gray’s pronouncements on climate change and its causes.

Gray’s paper begins with a quote from Senator Inhofe calling global warming a hoax perpetrated on the American people, and ends with a quote by a representive of the Society of Petroleum Geologists stating that Crichton’s State of Fear has “the absolute ring of truth.” It is the gaping flaws in the scientific argument sandwiched between these two statements that are our major concern.

The post then goes on to analyze various of Gray’s claims.

Written by Leisureguy

15 October 2007 at 1:59 pm

Walking

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Today, doorstep back to doorstep: 45 minutes 36 seconds. I’ve stopped counting blocks, just looking at time.

Written by Leisureguy

15 October 2007 at 1:38 pm

Posted in Daily life, Health

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Barclay Crocker

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Continuing the series on shaving vendors, let’s take a look at Barclay Crocker. This vendor offers a full range of toiletries beyond the shaving stuff—colognes, bath soaps, skincare, and the like—but I’ll focus mainly on the shaving products.

They sell the full Merkur line of safety razors for double-edged blades, as well as razors for {shudder} multiblade cartridges. They have a special category of unscented shaving products for those who don’t care for fragrances, although I note it currently also includes an almond Caswell-Massey shaving cream. (BTW, in my own experience I have found that Caswell-Massey shaving soaps and creams do not work very well for me. YMMV) It’s in this category that you’ll find the alum block, for example, along with some of Barclay Crocker’s own aftershave balms.

You’ll find a good selection of shaving soaps and creams: Geo. F. Trumper, Musgo Real, Omega, Proraso, Taylor of Old Bond Street, and Truefitt & Hill. One nice touch: they sell very attractive little plastic tubs with screw-on lids which hold one tube’s worth of shaving cream and are nicer to use.

In the pre-shave line, you will be pleased to find MR GLO: Musgo Real Glyce Lime Oil soap, my favorite for the pre-shave washing of the beard. They also have a number of pre-shave oils along with the Proraso pre- and post-shave cream.

You’ll find a fairly wide selection of brushes, including one very attractive Super Badger ‘Edwardian’ Horn Shaving Brush by Truefitt & Hill.

Finally, there’s an excellent and varied selection of aftershave treatments: balms, splashes, skin foods, moisturizers, and what-have you.

It’s a site worth exploring. I’ve purchased from them; their service is good and shipment prompt.

Written by Leisureguy

15 October 2007 at 12:42 pm

Posted in Shaving

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Torture does not get good information

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Tom Ricks of the Washington Post has some comments from the military:

Does torture work? The Bush administration has argued that, at a minimum, tough interrogation tactics do. But in the e-mail discussion below, four U.S. military experts with very different life experiences explain why they concluded that torture doesn’t work. The exchange is excerpted with their permission.

First is Army Capt. Kyle Teamey, a current military intelligence officer:

Subject: INTERROGATION TECHNIQUES

When I was in the officer’s basic course, one of the instructors, only half-jokingly, proclaimed, “Beatings and drugs are for fun, not for information.” His point was you can get anyone to say anything you want through torture. Good information came from psychology, interpersonal skills, and long hours with your prisoner. The best interrogators I’ve worked with tended to be very good at reading people and very good at using their understanding of the person and their culture to get them to talk — no waterboarding required. . . .

We should be developing an ideological alternative (or alternatives) to jihad and are instead alienating our allies, enraging the populations from which the terrorists arise, and most importantly, alienating our COG [center of gravity] in the form of the U.S. electorate. A liberal democracy, such as the US, operating in an environment with pervasive media cannot afford to dally in tactics that may provide some short term gains at the expense of long term success.

It is not just the US that has made this error in judgment. The Brits and French did the same in their COIN [counterinsurgency] campaigns in 20th century and suffered for it. We should learn from their mistakes — and ours.

That provoked this comment from retired Air Force Col. Robert Certain, who was held as a prisoner of war after being shot down over North Vietnam:

We ex-POWs don’t look kindly on sadistic behavior, especially when it degenerates into torture. Kyle is right, it doesn’t do much to get useful info, it only gives the sadist some thrills.

Retired Army Lt. Col. Terry Daly, a veteran of military intelligence operations in the Vietnam War, then added:

I have yet to speak with an experienced, successful interrogator who advocates mistreating their subjects. As personally satisfying as it may seem to beat the hell out of detainees, it doesn’t usually get you what you want — accurate, reliable information that you can trust and upon which you can act.

In Vietnam the Provincial Interrogation Centers routinely used skilled Vietnamese interrogators to obtain accurate, detailed information on the organization, personnel and structure of the Vietnamese Communist Infrastructure — exactly the type of information Guantanamo should be producing by the pound on radical Islamic terrorism.

I think we make a major strategic error when we support such would-be macho men as we see in this administration showing their supposed toughness by advocating torture, when we know it doesn’t work.

Finally, Air Force Col. William Andrews, who was a POW during the 1991 Persian Gulf War, added:

. . . when I was shot down over Iraq in 1991, I expected to be tortured . . . because I was in the hands of the bad guys. As I was beaten, I had a sense of moral superiority over brutal men who had a monopoly on physical power in the interrogation room. This moral superiority came from the knowledge that we were the good guys and we didn’t treat our prisoners that way. We were better than they were. I believe we cannot ever afford to give that up.

Written by Leisureguy

15 October 2007 at 12:04 pm

Chilling parallels: lessons from history

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An interview with Naomi Wolf:

Naomi Wolf, a former Rhodes scholar who graduated from Yale, has taken on the diet and cosmetics industry (The Beauty Myth) and the travails of motherhood (Misconceptions) in her career as a writer. In her latest book, The End of America: A Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot, she examines the current U.S. government, comparing it to tyrannical governments of the past. In an interview at The American Prospect office in Washington, Wolf talked about Nazi Germany, the Internet, and a new organization she has co-founded with Moveon.org’s Wes Boyd, the scientist-entrepreneur Dr. William Haseltine and communications guru David Fenton.

How did you get your idea for the book?

I started to have this disquieting sense of echoes — images, moments — and it was a little startling. For instance, people were burning CDs. I’m Jewish and that has some historical resonance for me. There were people unloading coffins at night [of soldiers slain the Iraq war]. Journalists were embedded with the army.

That’s an echo, and it’s not an American echo. I would talk about events with my friend — she is a Holocaust survivor — and she would say, “They did this in Germany.” It’s a pretty strong statement.

At first, I thought it was crazy. It seemed like one of those marginal Internet things — to say that these things that are happening now are from Nazi Germany. I just thought she couldn’t be right.

Then [my friend] insisted I read histories of the early years, 1930 to 1933, and I saw how many echoes and repeating tactics there are. There is a social taboo that says you’re not supposed to compare anything to Nazi Germany. You’re not allowed. But the National Socialists came to power with a series of tactics. And tyrants learn from each other. Hitler studied Stalin. Despots really do the same ten things if they are interested in closing down a society.

So I continued to read history. I read about the moments when a leader wanted to close down an open society — and then did so.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Leisureguy

15 October 2007 at 11:49 am

Wasting your (taxpayer) money

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From The American Prospect, by Robert Reich:

I’ve got a way to reduce global poverty, decrease the number of workers crossing our borders illegally, save American taxpayers money, and cut your supermarket bills all in one swoop.

How? Get rid of U.S. farm subsidies and tariffs.

They were supposed to be a temporary remedy for small farmers during the Depression. But renewed every five years regardless of which party controls Congress, farm subsidies keep going and going. The latest version is now before the Senate. If enacted and signed into law, these farm subsidies will cost American taxpayers some $11 billion a year over the next five years.

I can see why the nation might want insure small, family farmers against risk. But these subsidies go mostly to big agribusinesses that hardly need them.

Fewer than 2 percent of Americans even work on a farm. Yet about half the population of the developing world depends on farming for their livelihoods. But they can’t earn what the global market would otherwise pay them, because America’s subsidized farm exports keep prices artificially low.

American cotton growers, for example, export cotton for just over half what it costs them to produce it. Which means more than 10 million African cotton farmers are stymied.

If we stopped subsidizing our cotton businesses, world cotton prices would rise, increasing the incomes of African cotton farmers by some $300 million a year.

Meanwhile, the average American tariff on agricultural imports is 18 percent — much higher than the 5 percent average tariff on other imports. So not only do the world’s poor suffer, but Americans get hit with a double-whammy. We’re subsidizing U.S. agribusinesses with our tax dollars, while paying much more for our food than we’d pay if we didn’t also protect agribusinesses.

And, not surprisingly, many of the world’s poor who can’t earn enough by farming are desperate to immigrate — legally or illegally — to richer countries like America.

Message to the U.S. Senate, now considering the latest farm bill: You want to fight global poverty, illegal immigration, and budget deficits, while giving American consumers a lift? Well, there isn’t a simpler first step than to end farm subsidies and tariffs.

Written by Leisureguy

15 October 2007 at 11:45 am

Posted in Business, Congress, Government

Tagged with

The blogosphere analyzed

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From cul de sac, via a letter from my Columbia correspondent:

The blogosphere

Written by Leisureguy

15 October 2007 at 11:21 am

Posted in Cats

Tagged with

The Beauty Industry

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Via the blog Channel 8000:

Written by Leisureguy

15 October 2007 at 11:08 am

Posted in Business, Daily life, Health, Mental Health

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Monterey County Free Library

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I’ve been noticing that Monterey County Free Library is listed in Book Burro, and often the book in which I’m interested is found there. I’m so used to using the Monterey Public Library and the Pacific Grove Public Library that I only just now realized I should check out the MCFL, located in Seaside. Duh. So that’s now on my agenda: get a library card, look at the collection, and see what I can find.

In the meantime, I used the Library Lookup bookmarklet to discover that the book I wanted to read (available from Abebooks at $12.66) is available at MPL, so I put a hold on it.

Written by Leisureguy

15 October 2007 at 10:39 am

Posted in Books, Daily life, Software

Tagged with

Very good blog-action day post at Zen Habits

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Take a look. It begins:

When I sat down to write my Blog Action Day post, I tried to figure out what the “environment” has to do with some of the main themes of Zen Habits: simplicity, frugality, health and fitness, happiness. In what way are these ideas related to the environment?

And then I realized: in every way.

When I tried to come up with some of the best ways that people could help the environment, I started to realize that every single one of these things will not only help the environment, but help our lives in so many other ways.

Helping the environment not only saves the planet, but makes us more frugal … makes our lives simpler … helps us get fitter … and helps us to be happier.

Let’s take a look at how. Here are some of my favorite ways to help the environment, and how it relates to the main topics of Zen Habits.

1. Get outdoors more. Go outside, take a walk through nature, hike through a forest or park or up a mountain, take a swim in a lake or river or ocean, explore, observe wildlife.

  • How this helps the environment: The first step in doing something about the environment is getting to know it better. Awareness is crucial — without knowing what we’re saving, we won’t care much about it. And these days, many of us are so isolated from the outside world that when we hear about the destruction of our environment, it’s an abstract concept. Make nature important to you, and you’ll do something about it.
  • How this saves money: Going outside costs very little. It certainly costs less than spending your time at a mall, or a restaurant, or at the movies, or an amusement park.
  • How this gets you fitter: Well, this one’s a little obvious, but I’ll say it anyway … getting outside and walking around is infinitely better for your health than sitting at home watching TV, surfing the Internet, riding in a car, eating at a restaurant. Swimming? Hiking up a mountain? Taking a walk through a park? Doing some yardwork? All great exercise. Do this for a year, and you’ll be fitter than ever.
  • How this simplifies your life: Getting outside and communing with nature is much less stressful than the hustle and bustle of traffic, cities, work places. Finding time to get outside will take you away from stress, and allow you time to think. It will make your life saner, simpler, less complex.
  • How this makes you happier: Well, this isn’t a guarantee, but I’ve always found myself happier when I get outside. Watch a sunset with loved ones, have a picnic, go for a hike with your family … this is just so much better for you, mentally and otherwise, than modern life, that it would be hard not to be happier after getting outdoors.

More at the link.

Written by Leisureguy

15 October 2007 at 10:21 am

Posted in Daily life, Environment

The environment & electrical power

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This post is my little contribution to Blog Action Day.

Oil is by and large used for transportation and, in the US and Canada, with coal used to generate electrical power. Some power is generated by nuclear, natural gas, hydro, oil, wind, solar, geothermal, and hydro, but half of the total is through burning coal. In 2005, in terms percentages of the total, and showing the number of thousands of megawatt-hours:

50% 2,013,179 Coal
19% 781,986 Nuclear
19% 757,974 Natural Gas
7% 269,587 Hydroelectric Conventional
3% 122,522 Petroleum
2% 94,932 Other Renewables
0% 16,317 Other Gases
0% 4,749 Other
0% -6,558 Hydroelectric Pumped Storage

You can see a fuller explanation of the figures and sources at the link. In contrast, BTW, New Zealand currently gets 70% of its electrical power from wind, hydro, and geothermal and by 2025 plans to get 90% from those sources.

Given the heavy reliance on coal, everything we can do to reduce our consumption of electrical power is to the good. For example, compact fluorescent lightbulbs are nowadays much better than previously: they are brighter, they have essentially the same spectrum as sunlight, and they use MUCH less electricity.

Some have expressed concern that compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) contain mercury. In fact, there’s an urban legend that plays on this fear. But not only do CFLs contain minimal amounts of mercury, the total mercury released to the environment over a five-year period is less for CFLs than for incandescent lights: the incandescent lights contain no mercury, but because they use much more power, the amount of mercury released by burning the coal to power them (in comparison to the CFLs) is greater. From Wikipedia:

CFLs, like all fluorescent lamps (e.g., long tubular lamps common in offices and kitchens), contain small amounts of mercury[32][33] and it is a concern for landfills and waste incinerators where the mercury from lamps may be released and contribute to air and water pollution. In the USA, lighting manufacturer members of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) have made a voluntary commitment to cap the amount of mercury used in CFLs:

Under the voluntary commitment, effective April 15, 2007, NEMA members will cap the total mercury content in CFLs of less than 25 watts at 5 milligrams (mg) per unit. The total mercury content of CFLs that use 25 to 40 watts of electricity will be capped at 6 mg per unit.[34]

Coal power plants are “the largest uncontrolled industrial source of mercury emissions in Canada”.[35] According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), (when coal power is used) the mercury released from powering an incandescent lamp for five years exceeds the total of (a) the mercury released by powering a comparably luminous CFL for the same period and (b) the mercury contained in the lamp.[36] It should be noted, however that the “EPA is implementing policies to reduce airborne mercury emissions. Under regulations issued in 2005, coal-fired power plants will need to reduce their emissions by 70 percent by 2018.”[37].

Some manufacturers such as Philips and GE make very low-mercury content CFLs.[38] In 2007, Philips claimed its Master TL-D Alto range to have the lowest mercury content of any CFL on the market, at 2mg.[39]

See the article at the Wikipedia link for more information. Obviously, it’s desirable to take CFLs to a recycling facility—and even more desirable to take long-tube fluorescents to a recycler.

I have found that FullSpectrumSolutions.com offers excellent lighting fixtures and bulbs. I replaced the 300-watt halogen torchiere in my study with a 70-watt Full Spectrum Solutions torchiere and saw my power bill drop $11 per month. (I’m in the study a lot.) And I love their 70-watt reading lamp, which throws out 4,300 lumens.

It’s worth noting that CFLs will not work as replacement bulbs in incandescent lighting fixtures that have dimmers or are intended for 2-way bulbs. OTOH, Full Spectrum Solutions offers torchieres, reading lamps, etc., that do include a dimmer switch that works fine with their CFLs.

So take the first step to saving energy and start replacing incandescent bulbs with CFLs. In April Popular Mechanics ran a test of CFLs, and you can download the results as a PDF. That should help with your selection.

Go now. Save money and the environment.

Written by Leisureguy

15 October 2007 at 9:48 am

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