Sunday, February 13, 2011


Sunset 20110213
End of the second day of thaw: powerful sunset.

I ended up getting cold feet...

Skiing on Third Sister Lake

Even the ~8 inches of snow didn't stop the University of Michigan from holding classes. However, the city of Ann Arbor wasn't so gracious as to remove all the snow in a timely manner. (Hint to students who drive: don't do it after a blizzard, even if the University is holding classes.)

Early morning out front of the North Quad.

An undergraduate class on winter ecology out on Third Sister Lake. (It happened to be REALLY cold and windy that day, but they soldiered through heroically.)

Last day with stitches.

Early winter morning
Night in Saginaw Forest.

Mock-up of the Law School facade.

One of the many snow-brushers used by the University of Michigan to clear snow from walkways.

Yummy, yummy soon to be in my tummy at Frita Batidos.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Other sources of fueling our lives

Here are two additional options for energy sources. After all, why put all your energy eggs in one basket?

Insects as power sources:

Of course, this might be less useful in Michigan winters... If it could somehow store up summertime energy collection for the rest of the year. Now THAT would be an idea!

Left-over beverages as power sources (via Inhabitat):
The $500,000 plan is being spearheaded by New Brunswick Community College’s Bio-energy and Bio-products Applied Research and Technology facility in Grand Falls, New Brunswick, Maine. The research team will use Milco Industries’ waste soda and beer for the trial. Traditionally the unwanted liquid is deposited in landfills, which can cost the company between $100,000 and $200,000 in disposal costs. However, with the plant’s new ethanol system, this beer and soda will be converted into 250,000 to 500,000 gallons of ethanol yearly. If the pilot project is a success, it is believed that Milco Industries will acquire an even larger-scale ethanol plant for their own internal use.

Well, I don't know: I tend to finish my beers and sodas... In a world powered by wasted beer and soda, would this make me a bad person?

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Happy New Year! (of the rabbit)

Happy New Year! It's now the Year of the Rabbit!

From the website of the Chinese Cultural Center of San Francisco:

1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999

People born in the Year of the Rabbit are articulate, talented, and ambitious. They are virtuous, reserved, and have excellent taste. Rabbit people are admired, trusted, and are often financially lucky. They are fond of gossip but are tactful and generally kind. Rabbit people seldom lose their temper. They are clever at business and being conscientious, never back out of a contract. They would make good gamblers for they have the uncanny gift of choosing the right thing. However, they seldom gamble, as they are conservative and wise. They are most compatible with those born in the years of the Sheep, Pig, and Dog.
(Happy Groundhog Day, as well.)

Massive snowstorms ARE predicted by global warming theory

With all the snow storms this winter (I'm in one right now), the question of, "how can global warming be real?" has come up often.

There are many posts that patiently explain the various reasons why more snow doesn't automatically mean no more global warming. A brief summary is found at Inhabitat:
The answer is simple: global warming causes more precipitation, which translates to more snow when temperatures dip below 32 degrees [F].

There is a clear consensus in the science community that climate change will cause more frequent and more intense storms. Storms, of all types, result from energy in the atmosphere — the more heat, the more energy. Considering that 2010 was the hottest year on record, it should be no surprise that we’ve already seen multiple mega-blizzards this season. As Al Gore explained to Bill O’Reilly, “A rise in global temperature can create all sorts of havoc, ranging from hotter dry spells to colder winters, along with increasingly violent storms, flooding, forest fires and loss of endangered species.”

In the southern hemisphere, the increased warming of the oceans during the hottest global year (that 2010 was) has caused massive flooding in Australia and Brazil as well as South Africa, as well as increased the magnitude of the hurricanes "down under". And this is what is happening concurrently with the snow storms in the northern hemisphere.

It is naive to only cast your view to the borders of the United States when trying to think about GLOBAL warming.

I don't understand...

I don't understand why some people find it so difficult to realize that being raised in a gay family is independent from being raised well. Nineteen-year-old Zach Wahls gives a personal statement to his government in Iowa, which just voted to support a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.

Now that's some powerful testimony.

Japanese Dancing Robot