space shuttle


This is not CES’ stuff. Sure, I am sure the building is energy efficient and well thought out but, I include this post because I saw the movie. I was so impressed. NASA put her in a building with no “Blacks Only” bathroom. So every day she would have to spend a half hour or more getting to the bathroom and back. Yet she got our white male astronauts to and from the moon with no complaints. WOW is all I can say. Please read the book and see the movie.

NASA Dedicates Building to Hidden Figures Heroine Katherine Johnson

When NASA’s Langley Research Center built its newest, state-of-the-art research facility in Hampton, Va., it was only right that they named it after Katherine Johnson, the NASA engineer and subject of the book and Oscar-nominated film Hidden Figures.

“You want my honest answer? I think they’re crazy,” the 99-year-old math genius said when she heard about the naming of the Katherine G. Johnson Computational Research Facility. The building was dedicated on Sept. 22 in a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and students from Black Girls Code and the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program.

The $23 million, 37,000-square-foot data center is named after Johnson, who broke the glass ceiling for black women in the space program. In 2015 Johnson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her work as a trailblazer in the space program.

 

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Go there and read. More next week.

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When I posted on the transit of Venus, I said that environmentalists are concerned about the environment and that does not end at the Earth’s atmosphere or the heliosphere of even our galaxy. Human’s track record ain’t great so far. We tend to just throw stuff out there because we can. We have fired rockets willy nilly at planets some of which landed successfully but will be on those planets forever. The ones that didn’t go so well are smashed all over the place. We trashed the moon and anyone flying by the Earth would just go EWWWWWW. Look at that mess. So now what is proposed – Mining and Manufacturing. Environmentally things we do just the bestest. This is not good. Double billing here. This guy:

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2012/06/14/will-we-ever-live-on-the-moon/

wrote the op/ed piece here:

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20120613-will-we-ever-live-on-the-moon

This is not an attack on the writer by the way.

Will we ever… live on the Moon?

14 June 2012

by PHIL PLAIT

Will mankind once again walk on the lunar surface? I wouldn’t even hesitate to say “yes”, because the future is long, and who in the early 1950s would have dared to predict that we would even land a craft on the Moon within 20 years? But in this case, the answer probably isn’t as interesting as the question itself – more specifically, when, and why, and how will we do it?

I can think of many possible scenarios that could lead to us colonising the Moon: an extended economic boom that allows us to fund ambitious space exploration; a breakthrough in launch costs which makes them drastically cheaper; or the discovery of some vital natural resource on the Moon. But I don’t like betting on breakthroughs.

A better question is then: “What is a likely way we’ll end up with a human presence on the Moon?” Given what we know today and extrapolating from there, I have a thought on how this could happen.

Looking into the abyss

Before we talk about settling down on our rocky neighbour, we have to ask why we should head there in the first place.

Looking back on nearly 60 years of space exploration, the answer is obvious. Satellite communication. Weather prediction. Understanding of climate change. Instantaneous broadcasting of radio and television. Global positioning technology. Detailed mapping of the Earth. Environmental monitoring. Government intelligence gathering (which has prevented far more conflict than people credit it for). Disaster warning.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Yes it is true. I am promoting a book I have never read. But you know what? I should have.

http://business-network-land.blogspot.com/2012/05/robert-danziger-funny-thing-happened-on.html

Robert Danziger: A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Energy Independence – Author Interview

Humorist and alternative energy pioneer Robert Danziger was kind enough to take the time to answer a few questions about his hilarious memoir about his life in the world of alternative energy, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Energy Independence.

The author finds the humor in such widely diverse places as Cal-Tech, the Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL), and of course in his own business ventures in the alternative energy field. A true renaissance man, the author has enjoyed more careers, and indulged in more laughter, than many people would experience in two lifetimes.

Thanks to Robert Danziger for his comprehensive and informative answers.

What was the background to writing this book A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Energy Independence?

Robert Danziger: At the gym a couple of years ago a young mother was supervising her two kids, five and eight years old. We struck up a conversation and she told me that she doesn’t let her kids watch the news anymore because the energy and environmental stories had given them repeated nightmares. Partisanship and the escalation of catastrophic rhetoric threatened the sense of security and safety she wants for her children.

My career has been inventing and developing solutions. I am fundamentally optimistic about new technology and our ability to respond to crisis. Scaring people doesn’t work and breeds resentment. I don’t want to be part of scaring kids to accomplish something.

The conversation with that young mother convinced me to take a year or so to listen to people from a broad range of ages, politics, and beliefs to try to find out what people agreed on, if anything. I found three things all of them, at least in these groups, agreed on without exception: people like to laugh; like music; and want energy independence and a clean environment when they are coupled with prosperity.

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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So this is happening as we speak, they are repositioning the solar panels for docking in 16 minutes. So they are a kiss away from either clicking or blowing up . Which ever is going to happen.

http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html

They look like they are about 10 feet apart. That is amazing.

http://www.ajc.com/news/nation-world/dragon-capsule-on-course-1446050.html

Dragon capsule on course for space station arrival

By MARCIA DUNN

The Associated Press

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The privately bankrolled Dragon capsule approached the International Space Station for a historic docking Friday after sailing through a practice rendezvous the day before.

The unmanned SpaceX Dragon was on track most of the morning to deliver a half-ton of supplies and become the first commercial vessel to visit the space station. But as the capsule drew within 100 feet, flight controllers commanded it to retreat.

The capsule backed off to 230 feet as the SpaceX company worked to resolve a problem with the on-board tracking sensors. Stray reflections from the Japanese part of the space station were interfering with the Dragon’s laser-based sensors, officials said. SpaceX mission controllers quickly fixed the trouble and resumed the docking operation.

On Thursday, the capsule came within 1½ miles of the space station in a practice fly-by. It returned to the neighborhood early Friday so Kuipers and U.S. astronaut Donald Pettit could capture it with a robot arm. First, the capsule went through a series of stop-and-go demonstrations to prove it was under good operating control.

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Go there and look or read. More tomorrow.

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While this post is all about cars and utility storage systems, the title for this blog is a lift from a question the author asks halfway through the article.

http://www.intelligentutility.com/article/11/06/power-storage-advances-unexpected-sources-renewable-energy-storage-kicked-high-gear

Power Storage Advances from Unexpected Sources: Renewable Energy Storage Kicked Into High Gear

James Cahalin | Jun 02, 2011

What do you think has a greater impact on society, a Bugatti Veyron Super Sport or a Tesla Roadster? Both have spectacular performance reviews, with the Super Sport setting top speed records. Both will turn heads driving down any road or even through any parking lot in the world. Both are truly engineering marvels.

However, the engineering accomplishments behind both vehicles will be dwarfed by the advances Tesla has made with its power storage devices. Let’s take a look at a few numbers for both vehicles (see table).

These numbers are astonishing. As a “car guy,” the opportunity to drive either of these vehicles would be amazing. However, as an energy professional, these numbers are even more astonishing.

Amazing Head Output

The Bugatti Veyron Super Sport was designed and built for one purpose — to set a new speed record. It is also what I like to refer to as a “straight-line car.” What I mean by that is simple: Even with that much horsepower and amazing technological advances, there are cars (and some cost under $100,000) that can beat the Super Sport around a race track.

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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Please play this song in the background.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqJDuZIcQ34

It is kind of a return to our old Jam Band Friday format.

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Anyway crossing the boundaries between green transportation, energy policy and crowd control, the Germans announced they had come to an agreement to sell Saudia Arabia 200 of their Leopard 2A1 battle main tanks. As Der Speigel quickly pointed out such a sale sends both a crazy signal to Germany’s large peace community but a defeatist one to those countries involved in the Arab Spring (read: food riots). But when it comes to crushing resistance any battle main usually weighs over 50 ton, so that works out pretty well. Do not be fooled either by the nameless chinese man’s dance with the Chinese battle main because that was a once in a century event. The Arab drivers prefer to get them  babies up to their top speeds of 45 miles per hour and roll. At those speeds they get a whopping 1.3333 miles per gallon. But at more cautious battle speeds they get something more like 4 – 5 miles per gallon. Kinda like a 1963 red corvette. Or maybe a Hummer. But when you compare it to its actual soul mates like the Caterpillar 797 which gets a heart pumping 3 miles per gallon at the same speeds the Leopard is a true jungle cat. OK well I have had enough fun for today.

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2081566,00.html?

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Should Germany Sell Tanks to Saudi Arabia?

By William Boston / Berlin Thursday, July 07, 2011
Click here to find out more!

Troops of the 37th Armored Infantry Brigade (37. Panzergrenadierbrigade) prepare to board their Marder light tanks.

It’s never easy to balance idealism with political realities, but as Germany grapples with the challenges posed by the Arab Spring it is sometimes hard to tell which side
Berlin is on.

The capital’s latest foreign-policy faux pas is an alleged behind-closed-doors deal to sell state-of-the-art tanks to Saudi Arabia. The deal — so secret the government won’t even acknowledge it was ever discussed — has kicked up a firestorm of protest, uniting an unlikely coalition of leftist politicians, human-rights groups, church leaders and senior members of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s own Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party. (See “Angela Merkel: German Rules.”)

News of the deal broke on Sunday, when the newsweekly Der Spiegel reported that Germany’s ultra-secretive Federal Security Council, whose members include Merkel, Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, and Defense Minister Thomas De Maiziere, approved the sale of 200 Leopard 2 tanks, Germany’s most modern battlefield tank, to Saudi Arabia. During a meeting of the CDU parliamentary group on Monday, Norbert Lammert, the president of the Bundestag — the German parliament — and Ruprecht Polenz, head of parliament’s influential foreign affairs committee, argued forcefully that Germany could not sell such heavy arms to a country known for routine violations of the most basic human rights. “Such decisions cannot be taken at a time when people are fighting for democracy in the Arab world,” said Juergen Trittin, a Green Party leader, on German television on Tuesday.

Protests have also been raining in from church leaders and human-rights activists, who argue that Saudi Arabia is on the wrong side of history in the tide of rebellion sweeping through the Arab world. As the momentum of protests in Tunisia and Egypt carried the Arab Spring into the tiny nation of Bahrain last March, some 2,000 troops from Arab nations close to the ruling monarchy, including heavily armed Saudis, quashed the rebellion. Meanwhile, the German government still faces criticism for abstaining from the U.N. Security Council vote authorizing air strikes in support of Libyan rebels, and still refuses to offer direct military aid, even after softening its position (it does provide about $5.3 million in financial assistance for NATO’s Libya mission.) Against that backdrop, even Merkel’s closest party allies are at a loss to justify the sale of weapons to a nation with a history of oppression.

(See where Angela Merkel falls on the most powerful women list.)

The deal, were it to take place, is stunning not only because of the political signal it sends to pro-democracy activists in the Middle East and North Africa. A weapons sale of that order would mark a significant change in German arms-export policies. For the past 20 years, Germany has refused to sell such heavy artillery to the Saudis, citing concerns over human-rights abuses. German law also forbids weapons exports to countries engaged in a direct conflict — though the definition of conflict is open to interpretation.

dot dot dot (as they say) 

The Leopard 2 tank is manufactured in Germany but is also produced under license in Spain. And the Saudis are believed to have also negotiated with the Spanish, putting Madrid and Berlin in competition for defense jobs. Germany has a small army and with the end of the Cold War there is little requirement for tanks like the Leopard 2 on potential European battlefields. NATO is scaling back its traditional European land defenses in favor of lighter, rapid deployment forces to support campaigns out of the European theater, such as Afghanistan. The shrinking demand at home leaves defense companies looking abroad for contracts.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leopard_2E

Leopard 2E

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Leopardo 2E. zaragoza 1.jpg
Spanish Leopard 2E in Madrid, October 2006
Type Main battle tank

The Leopard 2E (E stands for España, Spanish for Spain) is a variant of the German Leopard 2 main battle tank, tailored to the requirements of the Spanish Army, which acquired it as part of an armament modernization program named Programa Coraza, or Program Armor. The acquisition program for the Leopard 2E began in 1994, five years after the cancellation of the Lince tank program that culminated in an agreement to transfer 108 Leopard 2A4s to the Spanish Army in 1998 and started the local production of the Leopard 2E in December 2003. Despite postponement of production due to the 2003 merger between Santa Bárbara Sistemas and General Dynamics and continued fabrication issues between 2006 and 2007, 219 Leopard 2Es have been delivered to the Spanish Army.

The Leopard 2E is a major improvement over the M60 Patton tank, which it replaced in Spain’s mechanized and armored units. Its development represented a total of 2.6 million hours worth of work, 9,600 of them in Germany, at a total cost of 1.9 billion euros. This makes it one of the most expensive Leopard 2s built. Indigenous production amounted to 60% and the vehicles were assembled locally at Sevilla by Santa Bárbara Sistemas. It has thicker armor on the turret and glacis plate than the German Leopard 2A6, and uses a Spanish-designed tank command and control system, similar to the one fitted in German Leopard 2s. The Leopard 2E is expected to remain in service until 2025.

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Gets better mileage then the Space Shuttle, which “leapt from the ground like a scared cat” today for the last time. God speed. More next week.

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I will try to post more green wash meditations but let us consider how bad things can get here at times. This is an event I was actually unaware of and it’s coolness is pretty high.

Authors: Trudy E. Bell & Dr. Tony Phillips | Editor: Dr. Tony Phillips | Credit: Science@NASA

http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2008/06may_carringtonflare/

A Super Solar Flare

May 6, 2008: At 11:18 AM on the cloudless morning of Thursday, September 1, 1859, 33-year-old Richard Carrington—widely acknowledged to be one of England’s foremost solar astronomers—was in his well-appointed private observatory. Just as usual on every sunny day, his telescope was projecting an 11-inch-wide image of the sun on a screen, and Carrington skillfully drew the sunspots he saw.

Right: Sunspots sketched by Richard Carrington on Sept. 1, 1859. Copyright: Royal Astronomical Society: more.

On that morning, he was capturing the likeness of an enormous group of sunspots. Suddenly, before his eyes, two brilliant beads of blinding white light appeared over the sunspots, intensified rapidly, and became kidney-shaped. Realizing that he was witnessing something unprecedented and “being somewhat flurried by the surprise,” Carrington later wrote, “I hastily ran to call someone to witness the exhibition with me. On returning within 60 seconds, I was mortified to find that it was already much changed and enfeebled.” He and his witness watched the white spots contract to mere pinpoints and disappear.

It was 11:23 AM. Only five minutes had passed.

Just before dawn the next day, skies all over planet Earth erupted in red, green, and purple auroras so brilliant that newspapers could be read as easily as in daylight. Indeed, stunning auroras pulsated even at near tropical latitudes over Cuba, the Bahamas, Jamaica, El Salvador, and Hawaii.

Even more disconcerting, telegraph systems worldwide went haywire. Spark discharges shocked telegraph operators and set the telegraph paper on fire. Even when telegraphers disconnected the batteries powering the lines, aurora-induced electric currents in the wires still allowed messages to be transmitted.

“What Carrington saw was a white-light solar flare—a magnetic explosion on the sun,” explains David Hathaway, solar physics team lead at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

Now we know that solar flares happen frequently, especially during solar sunspot maximum. Most betray their existence by releasing X-rays (recorded by X-ray telescopes in space) and radio noise (recorded by radio telescopes in space and on Earth). In Carrington’s day, however, there were no X-ray satellites or radio telescopes. No one knew flares existed until that September morning when one super-flare produced enough light to rival the brightness of the sun itself.

“It’s rare that one can actually see the brightening of the solar surface,” says Hathaway. “It takes a lot of energy to heat up the surface of the sun!”

Above: A modern solar flare recorded Dec. 5, 2006, by the X-ray Imager onboard NOAA’s GOES-13 satellite. The flare was so intense, it actually damaged the instrument that took the picture. Researchers believe Carrington’s flare was much more energetic than this one.

The explosion produced not only a surge of visible light but also a mammoth cloud of charged particles and detached magnetic loops—a “CME”—and hurled that cloud directly toward Earth. The next morning when the CME arrived, it crashed into Earth’s magnetic field, causing the global bubble of magnetism that surrounds our planet to shake and quiver. Researchers call this a “geomagnetic storm.” Rapidly moving fields induced enormous electric currents that surged through telegraph lines and disrupted communications.

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Here is a really good article on it. I am posting a chunk of it not covered above.

http://passingstrangeness.wordpress.com/2009/04/15/the-carrington-flare/

The Carrington Flare

April 15, 2009

As it happened, a second member of the Royal Astronomical society (another Richard, this one the otherwise-obscure Richard Hodgson in London), also saw the flare and so proved conclusively that there was nothing wrong with Carrington’s equipment. By the time this was realized, though, it was already pretty clear that something truly odd had happened—something rattled the Earth’s atmosphere the next day, as described above.

The connections between light, magnetism, and electricity were still incompletely understood in 1859 (James Clerk Maxwell would not entirely coincidentally publish his tour de force on the subject over the next few years), but Michael Faraday had already discovered the Law of Induction. Shorn of mathematics, it provided for the creation of electricity if a piece of metal cuts across a magnetic field or the field instead cuts over the metal. That was the connection between the strange readings at Kew and the telegraphic events around the world. The enormous auroras were symptomatic of huge fluctuations in the Earth’s magnetic field, and those fluctuations were playing across the world’s 200,000 kilometers of telegraph wire. By analyzing the directions followed by wires and comparing them to the effects that occurred at their stations, it was even possible to develop a rough idea of how the fluctuations had flowed around the planet.

Though the correlation between sunspots and the fluctuations of Earth’s magnetic field had already been discovered by Edward Sabine, this was the first really solid evidence that the Sun could reach out to the Earth with something other than light or gravity. Conservative by nature, Carrington himself didn’t commit to a connection between his flare and the electromagnetic storm, but now we know that the Sun throws off coronal mass ejections consisting of protons and electrons (the first having been observed in 1971). We even know for sure that the 1859 event was caused by one, despite the more than a century since it occurred; protons and electrons expelled by the Sun move quickly, but not anything like the speed of light, so that accounts for the delay between Carrington seeing his flare and the beginning of the auroras.

The clincher can be found on one of the charts linked to previously. There’s a “fishhook” shape (marked with an arrow labeled “D: Solar Flare Effect”) in the bottom trace. That’s called a magnetic crochet, and it’s the characteristic bump in the Earth’s magnetic field caused by X-rays from the coronal mass ejection ionizing part of our atmosphere. X-rays move at the speed of light, outpacing the charged particles following them—and it takes eight minutes to get from the Sun to the Earth at that speed. As closely as can be told from the relatively crude instrumentation that drew the track (hours are listed at the top of the same chart), the crochet occurred within the same time frame as Carrington’s closely timed 11:18 observation of the flare. So we have both a delayed effect from the slow stream of charged particles and a high-speed effect moving at light speed; a coronal mass ejection fits the bill exactly.

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The Wikki article is kinda lame:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Christopher_Carrington

Richard Christopher Carrington

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Richard Christopher Carrington
Born 26 May 1826
Chelsea, London, England
Died 27 November 1875 (aged 49)
Churt, England
Nationality English
Fields Astronomy
Known for Solar observations
Notable awards Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1859

Richard Christopher Carrington (26 May 1826 – 27 November 1875) was an English amateur astronomer whose 1859 astronomical observations first corroborated the existence of solar flares as well as their electrical influence upon the Earth and its aurorae; and whose 1863 records of sunspot observations demonstrated differential rotation in the Sun.

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It’s amazing how far we have come…but the Oil Gusher shows how far we have to go..

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It is Jam Band Friday –

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=you+can%27t+always+get+what+you+want&docid=1345780778117&mid=16E7403197023CEB494316E7403197023CEB4943&FORM=VIVR10

Everyone in this country has been programmed by rampant science fiction to believe that everything for the future comes from outer space. So the Japanese launch a press release about using a satellite to beam microwaves back to Earth.

http://www.physorg.com/news172224356.html

Let’s see, first you have to clean up the 13,000 pieces of space debris…then you got to up our payload capacity and multiple the number of vehicles available by at least 1,000. Just to START such a project. Hell we can barely generate enough capacity to keep the International Space Station running  which is 160 volts in DC. Which gets us back to this final meditation on “living off the land”. There are somethings we will have to give up on and the first one is Space Flight. Why? Not because of the money and effort that could spent elsewhere. Not because of the hellishness of the logistics. NASA’s dirty little secret is Cosmic Rays. They would destroy any unshielded human and that is why the International Space Station is not in geosynchronous orbit or higher. Stewardesses and Pilots who regularly fly at high altitudes are exposed to enough Cosmic Rays to have a slightly higher chance of developing some cancers. That is why NASA limits the space station stay for astronauts to under a year. But what is the point of going out there?

GROWTH

If we replaced that with

Quality of Life

As a principle the world would be a much nicer and longer lived place.

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http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=you+can%27t+always+get+what+you+want&docid=1322404807369&mid=9E85A21DF312D9016FDC57CBDDDC180567D96A9A&FORM=VIVR12

For those of you who want what you need and a simpler life there are many resources out there

http://www.livingoffgrid.org/

Tips for Off-Grid Living – How To Live Off The Grid

Off Grid Solar Power ArrayWelcome to our free online resource for off-grid living.
We are here to help you along in the rewarding challenge of living off of the power grid. Whether you are a veteran off-grider living in an RV or cabin in the woods, a seasoned rural farmer, a third-generation rancher – or someone just looking to get out of the rat race – we have the information you seek.

What to look for when buying real estate off the grid >>

Though sometimes a challenge, the many benefits of living off grid make it all worthwhile. How can one describe the feeling of running your house or business off of clean energy sources like natural gas and propane, or renewable energy sources like solar, wind and hydro? Who could explain the effect being out of the city and suburbs has on your sense of well-being? How many of us would enjoy more fresh produce grown organically on our own property?

This website isn’t just about owning property that happens to not be connected to the big power company’s grid. It is about living closer to the land; Being responsible for the culture, values and environment we leave behind to our children; knowing that life was meant to be enjoyed, rather than working in a tiny cubicle to earn enough to accumulate stuff we didn’t need in the first place.

Well, that’s what it’s about for me at least. But more importantly:
What is living off grid about to you?

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_vcFUAUXzY

You can even be a Dad and do it:

http://frugaldad.com/2009/04/05/living-off-the-grid/

Living Off The Grid

Ever wish you could just unplug from your current hectic life?  Maybe quit your stressful job, move to a farm with several acres, and spend your remaining time living off the grid.  Yeah, me too.

The problem is that this type of lifestyle seems so simple, but is terribly difficult to pull off these days.  Why?  Because we have become slaves to our stuff – myself included.  We have our houses, our cars, our expensive hobbies, our electronic gadgets, our new furniture, our designer clothes, etc.

We spend the majority of our lives working to pay for the stuff that keeps us from living a life with more freedom.  Along the way we usually manage to accumulate debt buying more stuff than we can afford.  So then we spend even more time working to repay the money we borrowed to buy the stuff that we work to pay for in the first place.  Whew!  It’s a vicious cycle.

farmhouse040509
Photo courtesy of iLoveButter

How To Break The Chains of Stuff?

So how do we break the cycle?  How do we join others who are living off the grid?  It isn’t easy.  I believe the very first step is to stop accumulating stuff.  Draw a line in the sand (or on your front porch), and vow not to allow anything else to enter your home unless it is a necessity or improves your quality of life in some way.  If something qualifies under those two conditions, you must save for it and pay cash.  No more borrowing!

The second step is to take a look around your house, and your budget.  Are you paying for things that you could really live without?  The $40 gym membership, or the $15 Netflix membership, may not seem like much by themselves, but how much of a nest egg would be required just to cover those expenses?  I mentioned the multiply by 25 concept in a previous post.  The idea is that you can estimate how much of your nest egg would be required to maintain your current expenses.  I used Netflix as an example:

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iX1OVXTplos

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymLRWZG4u24

The movement is not just limited to the US.

http://www.off-grid.net/

Top govt advisor attacks Big Power

Section:

— by Alexbenady, 30 Oct

Simpson: Local hero

Simpson: Local hero

The UK is in the grips of a power cartel, says an insider from the governing UK Labour Party.

That cartel actively hinders the fight against global warming by lobbying for its own narrow commercial interests at the cost of local democracy and the future health of the planet.   It’s an argument that off-gridders and anti-capitalist campaigners will be familiar with. It’s not really what you expect to hear from an advisor to Her Majesty’s Government. Yet it is precisely the belief of Alan Simpson, who occupies a place close to the heart of political power in Britain as  energy advisor to the Secretary of Energy and Climate Change, Ed Miliband and Member of Parliament for Nottingham South.

>>Keep reading Top govt advisor attacks Big Power Your Comments: 0
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http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=you+can%27t+always+get+what+you+want&docid=1346708637036&mid=00EB313253A0B35936F300EB313253A0B35936F3&FORM=VIVR34

Some people even thrive in an “off the grid” living:

http://www.eartheasy.com/blog/2009/06/what-its-like-living-off-grid/

By Greg Seaman Posted Jun 9, 2009

In the summer of 1980, my wife, three-month old son and I moved “off-grid”. We loved living in San Francisco but wanted to live a simpler, more independent lifestyle, and so we bought a small cabin with land on a rural island in the Pacific Northwest. Since there were no services to the island, our home had no electricity. Residents of the island had to create their own electricity or do without.

Now here I sit, almost 30 years later, with the kids grown and their rooms empty, and with some time to reflect on our experience living and raising a family off-grid. But before even considering the challenges and solutions in dealing with our energy needs over the years, one observation seems to leap out: how little things here have changed. We’ve done very little over the years to enhance our energy needs, aside from installing two solar panels last year to power the computer I’m using to write this article. (Alongside my computer on the table here is a kerosene lamp, and a candle for added light.) This lack of change is testament to the feasibility of off-grid living, and my vision for the upcoming years is to keep things pretty much the way they are.

But keeping it simple hasn’t always been simple. We had to learn alternate methods of preserving food, how to build things without power tools, how to cook on a wood stove, how to clean diapers without a washing machine, entertain ourselves without TV, and accept that many common tasks can take longer and be more difficult without electricity. Here are the main challenges we encountered in living off-grid, and how we managed with them.

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For much more:

http://www.emagazine.com/view/?2650

http://www.coyotecottage.com/

http://science.howstuffworks.com/living-off-the-grid.htm

http://www.bringaboutgreen.com/

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Oh yah and the people that made the song famous:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPCRIFLjfPo

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This is Beautiful:

http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/323116main_s119e010286_hires.jpg

space-station.jpg

www.shuttlepresskit.com

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This is not:

http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUSTRE52T5TN20090330?rpc=64

NASA in Colbert conundrum over Space Station

By Irene Klotz

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) – NASA’s outreach to the public to drum up interest in the International Space Station started innocently enough with an online contest to name the station’s new living quarters.

But Stephen Colbert, a comedian who poses as an ultra right-wing news commentator on cable television’s Comedy Central, nosed into the act with a grass-roots appeal that has backed the staid U.S. space agency into a corner.

The comedian’s supporters cast 230,539 write-in votes to name the new module at the $100-billion space outpost “Colbert.” The top NASA-suggested name, “Serenity,” finished a distant second, more than 40,000 votes behind.

Contest rules stipulate that the agency retains the right to basically do whatever it wants, but it may not be that easy.

Last week, U.S. Representative Chaka Fattah, a Pennsylvania Democrat, called on NASA to do the democratic thing and use the name that drew the most votes.

“NASA decided to hold an election to name its new room at the International Space Station and the clear winner is Stephen Colbert,” Fattah said in a statement. “The people have spoken, and Stephen Colbert won it fair and square — even if his campaign was a bit over the top.”

NASA is taking some time to ponder its next move.

“We have a plan and we’re working with some folks and in a couple of weeks you’ll know what the answer is,” NASA’s associate administrator Bill Gerstenmaier said.

:}

Who is laughing now Mr. Colbert..hmmmmm?

:}

:}

Normally I stick to the light commercial/ residential energy consumer markets and grass roots environmental issues. This blog will occasionally address industrial issues especially involving large power generators. The Space Shuttle is so way past industrial that well it’s hard for this blog to comment. I am also very conscious of the 2 we collectively blew up. I lived through both of them and the fire aboard the Apollo 1 space flight testing. That said I think NASA needs to keep flying the Shuttles until they have an effective replacement for it. NASA argues that they don’t have the money or the manpower to do both. I think that is sissy talk myself. The Hubble needs them and so does the International Space Station. We are never leaving this solar system of ours. That’s a fact Jack. Even Asimov said it would take us 100 years to have the infrastructure in place to go to Mars so let’s slow down and get this one right. The first thing we need to do is create an integrated space command so that everyone is flying together.

We need to create reuseable space stuff too. Our orbit is starting to look like a flying garbage dump. We have our stuff scatterred willy nilly over 4 planets besides our own. We have even thrown something out into the galaxy. But throwing stuff away, like Burning Behavior will take several posts.

http://space.newscientist.com/article/dn15145-space-shuttle-is-key-issue-for-obama-agency-says.html

Space shuttle is key issue for Obama, agency says

  • 22:48 06 November 2008
  • NewScientist.com news service
  • Rachel Courtland

Incoming president Barack Obama must decide the shuttle’s fate soon if he wants to keeps its replacement on schedule, the Government Accountability Office says (Image: NASA)

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US president-elect Barack Obama will need to decide soon whether to retire the space shuttle in 2010 or extend its life, a government oversight office said on Thursday.

The space shuttle is one of 13 ‘urgent’ issues that face the next US president, according to a US Government Accountability Office (GAO) list. “These are issues that will require the attention of the President and Congress early on in the next administration,” says GAO spokesperson Chuck Young.

Deciding the fate of the shuttle is particularly time-sensitive, Young says. If the government decides to fly more shuttle missions, it could impact how quickly NASA can move forward with a shuttle replacement, set to be ready to fly by March 2015.

The replacement, the centrepiece of a NASA programme called Constellation, would end a five-year gap in the US’s ability to transport astronauts to space. During the interim, astronauts will have to hitch rides to the International Space Station on Russian Soyuz capsules.

Interdependent programmes

Extending the shuttle’s lifetime means that if “NASA’s budget doesn’t change, it will put Constellation off”, says Cristina Chaplain of the GAO.

But even with more money, NASA may not be able to close the gap in its access to space. That’s because the shuttle and Constellation programmes are interdependent, Chaplain told New Scientist.

The agency needs to free up facilities and personnel that currently maintain the shuttle fleet for work on the replacement vehicle, an Apollo-inspired capsule called Orion that will launch atop the Ares I rocket.

Congress built in time for Obama to decide the shuttle’s fate. NASA is not allowed to take any actions before 30 April 2009 that would prevent the shuttle from flying safely after its scheduled retirement in 2010, according to the agency’s new authorisation act, which passed in October.

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Would you care to bet on that?:

 http://www.hubdub.com/m21244/Will_the_Space_Shuttle_retire_by_the_end_of_2010_as_planned

Will the Space Shuttle

retire by the end of

2010, as planned?

Current forecast: 30% chance

Combining all predictions, the current forecast is that this is 30% likely to happen (unchanged in last 1 day)

The addition of an extra mission to NASA’s space shuttle flight manifest could significantly reduce the chance of retiring the orbiter fleet in 2010 as planned, possibly to as low as 5 percent, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said in a report released Monday [Nov 3, 2008].
The CBO studied risks associated with delaying the space shuttle’s retirement and how that would affect work on the replacement system – consisting of the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle and the Ares I launcher – which is expected to debut in 2015.
The report concluded there was a 20 to 60 percent chance NASA would be able to fly all of the 10 scheduled shuttle missions in the next two years. The addition of an 11th mission to transport the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer to the space station, as Congress has directed, would reduce that probability to between 5 and 30 percent, the CBO report said.
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Then again the way the Orion and the Constellation are going they may have all the time in the world:

 http://www.space.com/news/081104-nasa-shuttle-retirement-cbo.html

 The gap between the shuttle’s retirement and the first flight of Orion and Ares I could widen if NASA cannot keep Orion’s mass from growing during development. Other issues that could delay Orion and Ares I include a longer-than-expected development of Ares I’s J-2X upper-stage engine, difficulties with the Orion’s heat shields and excessive thrust oscillation in Ares 1’s first stage, the CBO report said.

The report also said a $577 million reduction in NASA’s 2007 funding prompted NASA to forego some robotic lunar surface exploration missions, which could delay plans to return astronauts to the Moon by 2020.

The gap between the shuttle’s retirement and the first flight of Orion and Ares I could widen if NASA cannot keep Orion’s mass from growing during development. Other issues that could delay Orion and Ares I include a longer-than-expected development of Ares I’s J-2X upper-stage engine, difficulties with the Orion’s heat shields and excessive thrust oscillation in Ares 1’s first stage, the CBO report said.

The report also said a $577 million reduction in NASA’s 2007 funding prompted NASA to forego some robotic lunar surface exploration missions, which could delay plans to return astronauts to the Moon by 2020.

The gap between the shuttle’s retirement and the first flight of Orion and Ares I could widen if NASA cannot keep Orion’s mass from growing during development. Other issues that could delay Orion and Ares I include a longer-than-expected development of Ares I’s J-2X upper-stage engine, difficulties with the Orion’s heat shields and excessive thrust oscillation in Ares 1’s first stage, the CBO report said.

The report also said a $577 million reduction in NASA’s 2007 funding prompted NASA to forego some robotic lunar surface exploration missions, which could delay plans to return astronauts to the Moon by 2020.

http://www.space.com/common/media/video.php?videoRef=SP_080821_parchute_test

 http://www.space.com/common/media/video.php?videoRef=SP_080721_constellation1

 http://www.space.com/common/media/video.php?videoRef=SP_080721_constellation2

http://www.space.com/common/media/video.php?videoRef=080626-constellation-rock