Colbert And The Look Of The Space Station – Got to be careful with the jokes

This is Beautiful:



This is not:

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?



Wind Powered Car – OK so you will not see these on the InterState anytime soon

But the idea is amazing. When I was young a guy converted an Ice Racer to wheels and he could haul ass. Of course on really flat land when the wind was blowing. Turning was a problem too. As John Lennon said, “it’s not just for dreamers anymore”.


Wind-powered car breaks record

Greenbird wind powered vehicle

Wind powered Greenbird reached speeds of 126.1 mph

A British engineer from Hampshire has broken the world land speed record for a wind-powered vehicle.

Richard Jenkins reached 126.1mph (202.9km/h) in his Greenbird car on the dry plains of Ivanpah Lake in Nevada.Mr Jenkins told the BBC that it had taken him 10 years of “hard work” to break the record and that, on the day, “things couldn’t have been better”.American Bob Schumacher set the previous record of 116 mph in 1999, driving his Iron Duck vehicle.“It’s great, it’s one of those things that you spend so long trying to do and when it actually happens, it’s almost too easy,” Mr Jenkins told the BBC.The Greenbird is a carbon fibre composite vehicle that uses wind (and nothing else) for power. The only metalwork used is for the wing bearings and the wheel unit.Sail awayThe designers describe it as a “very high performance sailboat” but one that uses a solid wing, rather than a sail, to generate movement.Mr Jenkins, from Lymington, spent 10 years designing the vehicle, with Greenbird the fifth vehicle he has built to try to break the record.:}But he is not the only chap to get in on the act: NALSA NEWS FLASH- New Landsailing Speed Record !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 3/16/99March 15, 1999 – Ivanpah Dry Lake , Primm, NVYesterday Bob Schumacher (pilot) and Bob Dill (designer/pilot) achieved a new world record in landsailing hitting 108.8 miles per hour (175.5 kph) in 25-35 mph winds. Many runs were made in the 90’s and over 100 with Bob Dill and Bob Schumacher alternating as pilots in the “Iron Duck” solid wing, three wheeled landyacht. This US achievement replaces the former world record of 94.7 mph (152.7 kph) held by Bertrand of France.Bob Dill has been developing the Iron Duck for over 7 years in his hometown of Burlington, Vermont.Measurement team was headed by Kent Hatch, President of the North American Land Sailing Assn. (NALSA).More speed attempts are possible as the NALSA America’s Landsailing Cup Regatta begins March 21-26, 1999 at the Ivanpah dry lake site on the California side of Primm, NV, 35 miles south of Las Vegas, Nevada.(See follow up note.      Editor)Yacht notes may be read here.NALSAc/o Kent Hatch1680 Manzanita LnReno, NV 89509775-825-1530 contact phone775-825-5626 Faxkent@hatchrealty.reno.nv.usReported by Mark Harris, NALSA, American 5 Square Meter Assn., SALA2027 Valencia WaySparks, NV 89434

Speed Ramblings

By Bob Dill  October 2000

The Iron Duck Flies AgainOn Friday, March 31, the last day of the PACRIM we had plenty of wind…too much wind to race.  It started with gusts over 30 and built to gusts over 40.  I took advantage of the big wind to try to beat Bob Schumacher’s NALSA sanctioned record of 116.7 mph.  I figured with so much wind it would be a piece of cake.  It turns out, it was not so easy.  If I had a decent run I could easily get over 110 but the fastest I went was 113.4 (in two separate runs).


Suddenly it has gotten real hip man:



Ventomobile, World’s First Wind-Powered

Race Car, Ready for Primetime

by Jeremy Elton Jacquot, Los Angeles on 08. 5.08

Cars & Transportation


ventomobile image

While electric cars and PHEVs may still be all the rage stateside, a team of German students has already moved on to the next latest and greatest: wind-powered vehicles. That’s right: students from Stuttgart University’s Team InVentus have built the Ventomobile, a three-wheeled “car” which features a 2 meter diameter two-bladed rotor mounted on top.Despite its seeming unwieldiness, the Ventomobile has already proven itself as a potent racing contender — performing impressively during early wind tunnel testing. The airy vehicle weighs in below 100 kg and has an engine power of 6 kW. See below the fold for a video of the construction process.The InVentus team plans on competing in the 3-day, 5.3 kilometer Aeolus Race in Den Helder, Netherlands, against 5 teams from other European universities and research institutions. Here’s a short description from the official website

Revelle VS Dyson – Who wins…Well I guess it was the guy who actually did biological research

See Dyson was a poseur. If you remember all of his stuff outside of his “specialty” of physics was as A Purposeful Heretic. A better name for it would have been obstreperous old penis….He demanded more “biological data” but he never once did any biological field work. He was originally worried about global warming. Wonder what changed his mind? Could it have been his work on JASON?

JASON Defense Advisory Panel Reports

JASON is an independent scientific advisory group that provides consulting services to the U.S. government on matters of defense science and technology. It was established in 1960.

JASON typically performs most of its work during an annual summer study, and has conducted studies under contract to the Department of Defense (frequently DARPA and the U.S. Navy), the Department of Energy, the U.S. Intelligence Community, and the FBI. Approximately half of the resulting JASON reports are unclassified.

A selection of recent JASON studies is offered below.

  • High Frequency Gravitational Waves, JSR-08-506, October 2008
      JASON was asked by staff at the National MASINT Committee of ODNI to evaluate the scientific, technological, and national security significance of high frequency gravitational waves (HFGW). Our main conclusions are that the proposed applications of the science of HFGW are fundamentally wrong; that there can be no security threat; and that independent scientific and technical vetting of such hypothetical threats is generally necessary.
  • Human Performance, JSR-07-625, March 2008
      The tasking for this study was to evaluate the potential for adversaries to exploit advances in Human Performance Modification, and thus create a threat to national security. In making this assessment, we were asked to evaluate long-term scenarios. We have thus considered the present state of the art in pharmaceutical intervention in cognition and in brain-computer interfaces, and considered how possible future developments might proceed and be used by adversaries.
  • Wind Farms and Radar, JSR-08-125, January 2008
      JASON was asked by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to review the current status of the conflict between the ever-growing number of wind-turbine farms and air-security radars that are located within some tens of miles of a turbine farm.


Could it be the high flying polluting US Air Force had a hand in Mr. Dyson’s transformation? The study, Wind Farms and Radar, though I can’t reproduce it here, had Dyson as one of it’s main investigators and Paul Horowitz as another. Michael Brenner was the lead investigator. The neocons were after wind power.


JASON is an independent group of scientists which advises the United States Government on matters of science and technology. The group was first created as a way to get a younger generation of scientists — that is, not the older Los Alamos and MIT Radiation Laboratory alumni — involved in advising the government. It was established in 1960 and has somewhere between 30 and 60 members.

For administrative purposes, JASON’s activities are run through the MITRE Corporation, a non-profit corporation in McLean, Virginia, which contracts with the Defense Department.

JASON typically performs most of its work during an annual summer study. Its sponsors include the Department of Defense (frequently DARPA and the United States Navy), the Department of Energy, and the U.S. intelligence community. Most of the resulting JASON reports are classified.

The name “JASON” is sometimes explained as an acronym, standing either for “July-August-September-October-November”, the months in which the group would typically meet; or, tongue in cheek, for “Junior Achiever, Somewhat Older Now”. However, neither explanation is correct; in fact, the name is not an acronym at all. It is a reference to Jason, a character from Greek mythology. The wife of one of the founders (Mildred Goldberger [1]) thought the name given by the defense department, Project Sunrise, was unimaginative and suggested the group be named for a hero and his search.

JASON studies have included a now-mothballed system for communicating with submarines using extremely long radio waves (Project Seafarer, Project Sanguine); an astronomical technique for overcoming the atmosphere’s distortion (Adaptive optics); the many problems of missile defense; technologies for verifying compliance with treaties banning nuclear tests; a 1982 report predicting CO2-driven global warming; and, most controversially, a system of computer-linked sensors developed during the Vietnam War which became the precursor to the modern electronic battlefield.


Anyway Data and Field Research always will out in the end:

Arctic meltdown is a threat to humanity

I AM shocked, truly shocked,” says Katey Walter, an ecologist at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks. “I was in Siberia a few weeks ago, and I am now just back in from the field in Alaska. The permafrost is melting fast all over the Arctic, lakes are forming everywhere and methane is bubbling up out of them.”

The permafrost is melting fast all over the Arctic, lakes are forming everywhere and methane is bubbling out of them

Back in 2006, in a paper in Nature, Walter warned that as the permafrost in Siberia melted, growing methane emissions could accelerate climate change. But even she was not expecting such a rapid change. “Lakes in Siberia are five times bigger than when I measured them in 2006. It’s unprecedented. This is a global event now, and the inertia for more permafrost melt is increasing.”

No summer ice

The dramatic changes in the Arctic Ocean have often been in the news in the past two years. There has been a huge increase in the amount of sea ice melting each summer, and some are now predicting that as early as 2030 there will be no summer ice in the Arctic at all.

Discussions about the consequences of the vanishing ice usually focus either on the opening up of new frontiers for shipping and mineral exploitation, or on the plight of polar bears, which rely on sea ice for hunting. The bigger picture has got much less attention: a warmer Arctic will change the entire planet, and some of the potential consequences are nothing short of catastrophic.

Changes in ocean currents, for instance, could disrupt the Asian monsoon, and nearly two billion people rely on those rains to grow their food. As if that wasn’t bad enough, it is also possible that positive feedback from the release of methane from melting permafrost could lead to runaway warming……

…….Locked away

The real worry, though, is that permafrost contains organic carbon in the form of long-dead plants and animals. Some of it, including the odd mammoth, has remained frozen for tens of thousands of years. When the permafrost melts, much of this carbon is likely to be released into the atmosphere.

No one knows for sure how much carbon is locked away in permafrost, but it seems there is much more than we thought. An international study headed by Edward Schuur of the University of Florida last year doubled previous estimates of the carbon content of permafrost to about 1600 billion tonnes – roughly a third of all the carbon in the world’s soils and twice as much as is in the atmosphere……

……….Potent greenhouse gas

What’s more, if summer melting depth exceeds the winter refreezing level then a layer of permanently unfrozen soil known as a talik forms, sandwiched between the permafrost below and the winter-freezing surface layer. “A talik allows heat to build more quickly in the soil, hastening the long-term thaw of permafrost,” says Lawrence.

The carbon in melting permafrost can enter the atmosphere either as carbon dioxide or methane, which is a far more potent greenhouse gas, molecule-for-molecule. If organic matter decomposes in the low-oxygen conditions typical of the boggy soils and lakes in these regions, more methane forms.

Researchers have been monitoring the Stordalen mire in northern Sweden for decades. The permafrost there is melting fast and, as conditions become wetter, it is releasing ever more methane into the air, says Torben Christensen of Lund University in Sweden. This is the future for most of the northern hemisphere’s permafrost, he says.


Please read more but caution is required. It could make you ill.

Roger Revelle and Freeman Dyson – 2 old guys argue about the obvious

While the world drowns in people. The problems with greenhouse gases, ice melt and oceanic acidification, often lumped together under the term Global Warming, are really the end result of world over population. We are 7 billion now and before it is all over we wlll top out at 10 billion. The Earth only has the sustainable resources to support about a billion people well. Had we limited ourselves to that number, we would have eliminated most poverty and most disease. To do that would fly in the face of every religion known to man and everyone’s biological urge to reproduce. So we blindly let nature do it for us. I have no idea what a human biological die off looks like, and I do not want to be here for it. It will happen.


My first heresy says that all the fuss about global warming is grossly exaggerated. Here I am opposing the holy brotherhood of climate model experts and the crowd of deluded citizens who believe the numbers predicted by the computer models. Of course, they say, I have no degree in meteorology and I am therefore not qualified to speak. But I have studied the climate models and I know what they can do. The models solve the equations of fluid dynamics, and they do a very good job of describing the fluid motions of the atmosphere and the oceans. They do a very poor job of describing the clouds, the dust, the chemistry and the biology of fields and farms and forests. They do not begin to describe the real world that we live in. The real world is muddy and messy and full of things that we do not yet understand. It is much easier for a scientist to sit in an air-conditioned building and run computer models, than to put on winter clothes and measure what is really happening outside in the swamps and the clouds. That is why the climate model experts end up believing their own models.


In the mid 1950s, not many scientists were concerned that humanity was adding carbon dioxide gas ( CO2) to the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels. The suggestion that this would change the climate had been abandoned decades earlier by nearly everyone. A particularly simple and powerful argument was that the added gas would not linger in the air. Most of the CO2 on the surface of the planet was not in the tenuous atmosphere, but dissolved in the huge mass of water in the oceans. Obviously, no matter how much more gas human activities might pour into the atmosphere, nearly all of it would wind up safely buried in the ocean depths


Global warming

Dyson agrees that anthropogenic global warming exists, and has written

One of the main causes of warming is the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere resulting from our burning of fossil fuels such as oil and coal and natural gas.

However, he has argued that existing simulation models of climate fail to account for some important factors, and hence the results will contain too much error to reliably predict future trends.

The models solve the equations of fluid dynamics, and they do a very good job of describing the fluid motions of the atmosphere and the oceans. They do a very poor job of describing the clouds, the dust, the chemistry and the biology of fields and farms and forests. They do not begin to describe the real world we live in…
As a scientist I do not have much faith in predictions. Science is organised unpredictability. The best scientists like to arrange things in an experiment to be as unpredictable as possible, and then they do the experiment to see what will happen. You might say that if something is predictable then it is not science. When I make predictions, I am not speaking as a scientist. I am speaking as a story-teller, and my predictions are science-fiction rather than science.

He is among signatories of a letter to the UN criticizing the IPCC [1]. The letter includes the statements “The average rate of warming of 0.1 to 0. 2 degrees Celsius per decade recorded by satellites during the late 20th century falls within known natural rates of warming and cooling over the last 10,000 years” and “there has been no net global warming since 1998”. Both statements have been criticised as inconsistent with the data.

He has also argued against the ostracisation of scientists whose views depart from the acknowledged mainstream of scientific opinion on climate change, stating that heretics have historically been an important force in driving scientific progress.


Global warming

Revelle was instrumental in creating the International Geophysical Year (IGY) in 1958 and was founding chairman of the first Committee on Climate Change and the Ocean (CCCO) under the Scientific Committee on Ocean Research (SCOR) and the International Oceanic Commission (IOC). During planning for the IGY, under Revelle’s directorship, SIO participated in and later became the principal center for the Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Program. In July 1956, Charles David Keeling joined the SIO staff to head the program, and began measurements of atmospheric carbon dioxide at the Mauna Loa Observatory on Mauna Loa, Hawaii, and in Antarctica.

In 1957, Revelle co-authored a paper with Hans Suess that suggested that the Earth’s oceans would absorb excess carbon dioxide generated by humanity at a much slower rate than previously predicted by geoscientists, thereby suggesting that human gas emissions might create a “greenhouse effect” that would cause global warming over time.[3] Although other articles in the same journal discussed carbon dioxide levels, the Suess-Revelle paper was “the only one of the three to stress the growing quantity of CO2 contributed by our burning of fossil fuel, and to call attention to the fact that it might cause global warming over time.”[4]

Revelle and Suess described the “buffer factor”, now known as the “Revelle factor“, which is a resistance to atmospheric carbon dioxide being absorbed by the ocean surface layer posed by bicarbonate chemistry. Essentially, in order to enter the ocean, carbon dioxide gas has to partition into one of the components of carbonic acid: carbonate ion, bicarbonate ion, or protonated carbonic acid, and the product of these many chemical dissociation constants factors into a kind of back-pressure that limits how fast the carbon dioxide can enter the surface ocean. Geology, geochemistry, atmospheric chemistry, ocean chemistry … this amounted to one of the earliest examples of “integrated assessment”, which 50 years later became an entire branch of global warming science.

Al Gore mentions Revelle as a personal inspiration in a segment of the Academy Award-winning global-warming documentary An Inconvenient Truth.


What may trouble Dyson most about climate change are the experts. Experts are, he thinks, too often crippled by the conventional wisdom they create, leading to the belief that “they know it all.” The men he most admires tend to be what he calls “amateurs,” inventive spirits of uncredentialed brilliance like Bernhard Schmidt, an eccentric one-armed alcoholic telescope-lens designer; Milton Humason, a janitor at Mount Wilson Observatory in California whose native scientific aptitude was such that he was promoted to staff astronomer; and especially Darwin, who, Dyson says, “was really an amateur and beat the professionals at their own game.”IT WAS FOUR YEARS AGO that Dyson began publicly stating his doubts about climate change. Speaking at the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future at Boston University, Dyson announced that “all the fuss about global warming is grossly exaggerated.” Since then he has only heated up his misgivings, declaring in a 2007 interview with that “the fact that the climate is getting warmer doesn’t scare me at all” and writing in an essay for The New York Review of Books, the left-leaning publication that is to gravitas what the Beagle was to Darwin, that climate change has become an “obsession” — the primary article of faith for “a worldwide secular religion” known as environmentalism. Among those he considers true believers, Dyson has been particularly dismissive of Al Gore, whom Dyson calls climate change’s “chief propagandist,” and James Hansen, the head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York and an adviser to Gore’s film, “An Inconvenient Truth.” Dyson accuses them of relying too heavily on computer-generated climate models that foresee a Grand Guignol of imminent world devastation as icecaps melt, oceans rise and storms and plagues sweep the earth, and he blames the pair’s “lousy science” for “distracting public attention” from “more serious and more immediate dangers to the planet.”

In 1975 Roger returned to UCSD to become Professor of Science and Public Policy. For the next 15 years he taught courses in marine policy and population, and he continued to be active in oceanographic affairs. When in 1978 the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) decided to focus its international efforts on a few selected issues, Roger chaired the AAAS group that identified the build-up of heat-absorbing gases in the atmosphere as one such issue. As a result, the AAAS Board created the Committee on Climate, and Roger served as its chairman for a decade. The Committee was responsible for the first effort to identify the costs and benefits of increased atmospheric carbon dioxide.

He received the National Medal of Science from President George Bush in 1991

for his pioneering work in the areas of carbon dioxide and climate modifications, oceanographic exploration presaging plate tectonics, and the biological effects of radiation in the marine environment, and studies of population growth and global food supplies.

To a reporter asking why he got the medal, Roger (10) said, “I got it for being the grandfather of the greenhouse effect.”

It is difficult to do justice to a man with such broad accomplishments. When questioned about his profession, Roger would reply “I am an oceanographer.”



At this point I return to the Keeling graph, which demonstrates the strong coupling between atmosphere and plants. The wiggles in the graph show us that every carbon dioxide molecule in the atmosphere is incorporated in a plant within a time of the order of twelve years. Therefore, if we can control what the plants do with the carbon, the fate of the carbon in the atmosphere is in our hands. That is what Nordhaus meant when he mentioned “genetically engineered carbon-eating trees” as a low-cost backstop to global warming. The science and technology of genetic engineering are not yet ripe for large-scale use. We do not understand the language of the genome well enough to read and write it fluently. But the science is advancing rapidly, and the technology of reading and writing genomes is advancing even more rapidly. I consider it likely that we shall have “genetically engineered carbon-eating trees” within twenty years, and almost certainly within fifty years.

Carbon-eating trees could convert most of the carbon that they absorb from the atmosphere into some chemically stable form and bury it underground. Or they could convert the carbon into liquid fuels and other useful chemicals. Biotechnology is enormously powerful, capable of burying or transforming any molecule of carbon dioxide that comes into its grasp. Keeling’s wiggles prove that a big fraction of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere comes within the grasp of biotechnology every decade. If one quarter of the world’s forests were replanted with carbon-eating varieties of the same species, the forests would be preserved as ecological resources and as habitats for wildlife, and the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would be reduced by half in about fifty years.

It is likely that biotechnology will dominate our lives and our economic activities during the second half of the twenty-first century, just as computer technology dominated our lives and our economy during the second half of the twentieth. Biotechnology could be a great equalizer, spreading wealth over the world wherever there is land and air and water and sunlight. This has nothing to do with the misguided efforts that are now being made to reduce carbon emissions by growing corn and converting it into ethanol fuel. The ethanol program fails to reduce emissions and incidentally hurts poor people all over the world by raising the price of food. After we have mastered biotechnology, the rules of the climate game will be radically changed. In a world economy based on biotechnology, some low-cost and environmentally benign backstop to carbon emissions is likely to become a reality.


Revelle had made an even stronger statement just a few days earlier, in a July 14, 1988 letter to Congressman Jim Bates: “Most scientists familiar with the subject are not yet willing to bet that the climate this year is the result of ‘greenhouse warming.’ As you very well know, climate is highly variable from year to year, and the causes of these variations are not at all well understood. My own personal belief is that we should wait another ten or twenty years to really be convinced that the greenhouse effect is going to be important for human beings, in both positive and negative ways.”
Revelle’s writings

In the premiere issue of Cosmos, in 1991, Revelle and coauthors S.F. Singer and C. Starr contributed a brief essay, “What to do about greenhouse warming: Look before you leap.” The three write: “Drastic, precipitous and, especially, unilateral steps to delay the putative greenhouse impacts can cost jobs and prosperity and increase the human costs of global poverty, without being effective.”

They continue, “Stringent controls enacted now would be economically devastating, particularly for developing countries for whom reduced energy consumption would mean slower rates of economic growth without being able to delay greatly the growth of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Yale economist William Nordhaus, one of the few who have been trying to deal quantitatively with the economics of the greenhouse effect, has pointed out that ‘. . . those who argue for strong measures to slow greenhouse warming have reached their conclusion without any discernible analysis of the costs and benefits.’”

Dyson’s most remarkable quote is that, “I would rather be wrong than vague”.

To which I would respond, “Sir I would rather be right than dead”.


Hot Rocks Report – Deep well geothermal update – whats up since the Earthquake

It always amazes me how boring the “Feeling Lucky” search is on google. It is supposed to evoke the sounds and site of Dirty Harry “Well, are you feeling luck punk”. But it is about as dazzling as well a good yawn. Hot Rocks – slang name for deep well geothermal energy extraction was once, well, as the name implies HOT. There were two major Hot Rocks projects going on at the time of my last report (I know I know I will put in a track back when I get the chance) sometime last year. But then there was an earthquake in Austria or Switzerland…where ever the European endeavor was and it all got real quiet. The Earthquake was blamed on the Deep Well Drilling, but i never saw definitive proof. So I typed in Hot Rocks at Feeling Lucky and got this:


Hot Rocks Rolling Stones Tribute Show complete with the sound, the look and the energy!
‘Best in the Midwest’ as selected by
Best of  the Burbs finalist 4x in Nitelife Magazine contest

A freaking cover band;

Just to remind everyone this is what the original report dealt with:

Geothermal project shakes Basel again

Related stories

Basel has been rocked by another earth tremor, this time measuring 3.1 on the Richter scale, centred on the site of a planned geothermal power plant.

This time buildings stood up to the force unlike the minor damage inflicted by a small earthquake in December that clocked a reading of 3.4. Nobody was hurt in either of the two incidents.

The latest tremor took place at 08.19 on Saturday, prompting around 40 residents to call the emergency services.

Work on the Deep Heat Mining project stopped last month following a series of tremors and will not resume until at least the end of January when experts are expected to conclude their analysis.


Just to bring you up to what is happening:–35-35–.html

UWI finds no correlation between geothermal project and earthquakes on Nevis
Published on Wednesday, November 5, 2008  
CHARLESTOWN, Nevis: Chief Executive Office of West Indies Power (Nevis) Ltd, (WIP) Kerry McDonald expressed confidence in the University of the West Indies (UWI) Seismic Research Unit (SRU) scientific findings, which corroborated WIP scientific conclusion of no known correlation between the series of earthquakes which recently occurred on Nevis, and the approved geothermal project contracted to WIP.

Chief Executive Officer of West Indies Power Limited Kerry McDonald

In a joint press briefing held on Monday with Director and Manager of the Nevis Disaster Management Office Lester Blackett, Mcdonald cleared the air when he made the following statement and assured the people of Nevis that drilling activities were not linked to the earthquakes, another respected analysis by the regions research institution studying volcanic and earthquake activity at Arc-level.

“The drilling WIP has been doing on the west side of the Island had nothing to do with the earthquake that occurred. First of all, let me say that there was no correlation between the two activities.

“In fact, we were not drilling for over one week on the west side of the Island. As you know, this earthquake was 11 miles off of the eastern side of the island close to the tectonic plate, where all the seismic activity has been and that’s pretty much the same region that all seismic activity that has affected Nevis has been located and that included the 1952 earthquake. This earthquake was at 22 miles depth and this was where the earthquake came from. The deepest well that we [WIP] have drilled is 3,720 feet,” McDonald said.


They seem to be going great guns in Australia though

Clean electricity at competitive rates  

Hot Rock Limited – Clean electricity at competitive cost

The world is poised for a major expansion in geothermal generation.  Geothermal uses natural heat from the Earth’s crust to make electricity.  It is clean and has high growth potential.
We created Hot Rock Limited to be a leader in geothermal generation.  Geothermal is a unique intersection of natural resource development with electricity generation.
Hot Rock Limited is the largest holder of geothermal exploration acreage in Australia.

Otway Basin geothermal project, Victoria, Australia

Hot Rock Limited’s Otway Basin geothermal resources in Victoria are large. They are located in the middle of a large population base of 5 million people with a major 500 kV electrical transmission system nearby. Hot Rock has already completed the largest MT geophysical survey for geothermal to date in Australia over a part of this resource. More

Why geothermal?

The world is readily embracing new clean energy sources. We have seen rapid growth in wind generation and coal seam gas production over the past decade. Geothermal electricity generation is now poised to grow rapidly too. More

Geodynamics is turning Australia’s natural radioactivity into the country’s first geothermal power plants

This is part of IEEE Spectrum‘s SPECIAL REPORT: WINNERS & LOSERS 2009, The Year’s Best and Worst of Technology.

Photo: Geodynamics

Dream Steam: A new kind of geothermal system in Australia’s desert holds great promise for clean electricity generation.

Four kilometers down below the orange earth of Australia’s Cooper Basin lies some of the hottest nonvolcanic rock in the world—rock that the geothermal industry had never seriously considered using to make electricity. But next month Geodynamics, an eight-year-old company based in Milton, Queensland, will prove otherwise when it turns on its 1?megawatt pilot plant here. The company has done more to harness this unconventional form of geothermal energy than anyone else in the world.

Geodynamics picked a place in the middle of Australia with a smattering of trees, a mostly dry riverbed, and a town with a population of about 14. Even in the best circumstances, building a geothermal power plant is a risky endeavor: drilling costs money, and divining what’s going on in the depths of the Earth is still something of a black art. Here, geothermal companies must clear yet another hurdle. The world’s 10 000-MW collection of geothermal power plants exploits existing underground reservoirs of water and steam. Australia’s geoscientists, by contrast, must create their own.

This very experimental technology is known as an engineered geothermal system, or EGS. If it works—and the finances and expertise at Geodynamics’ disposal suggest that it will—heat from deep under the outback could contribute a few gigawatts of clean round-the-clock power, up to 20 percent of Australia’s capacity today. And if it works here, many other countries will want to give it a whirl.

In the last few years, the concept of geothermal energy has undergone a dramatic reshaping to include a broad range of geological conditions not normally deemed useful. In the United States, for example, EGS could potentially contribute as much as 100 000 MW of electricity in the next 50 years, according to an MIT report released in 2006. Today conventional geothermal capacity in the United States amounts to about 3000 MW, less than half of a percent of the country’s total electric capacity. In famously geothermal Iceland it comes to 450 MW—about one-fourth of the island’s total. Australia’s use of geothermal heat is basically nil.


Good luck mates.


Metal Roofs – Do they save money?

Well that depends on your perspective. Americans are so used to not calculating the energy that goes into making things that they act like they appear “by magic”. But they require a lot of energy to make and presented with that evidence people might forgo a bunch of “stuff”, objectives, the old material accumulations, valuable possessions and all that.

So with the Metal Roof you have to mine coal:

1. Coal produces what percentage of America’s electricity?

50%. Coal is a dirty 19th century technology, yet still produces half of our electricity. France, in comparison, produces more than 80% of its electricity from carbon-free nuclear power.


Mine the iron:…/iron_mine.jpg/tpod.html

5  Open Pit Iron Mine, Kirkenes, Norway
After visiting the border we were taken to the site of an abandoned open pit iron mine. With prices increasing, several companies are considering reopening the mine.


Make the steel:…

Steel Mill

Today, 1984, most of the steel mills in the United States have either phased out or merged with foreign steel mills. — A very sad state of affairs, and leaving millions of steel workers unemployed. — The steel mills exploited the immigrants when they came to this country. — The steel mills made their fortunes and failed to modernize their plants. — They phased them out and invested in foreign plants — exploited those workers and then dumped their steel into this country, and making another fortune. — Yes, I know that this is a free country, and corporations can do what they want with their money, but I always felt that there was a moral obligation on the part of the steel mills, (and other corporations) to re-invest in America.


Make the roof:

Produce various steel tiles from the same production

International Roofing - building, and Team Photo


Transport the roof:

Transport steel


And build the roof:

Seal All Fasteners with Kwik Kaulk®
All fasteners are sealed with Kwik Kaulk®, Conklin’s acrylic caulking compound.

photo caulking


I know this seems unfair BUT it is also real.


We Just Bought A Metal Roof – What are the positives and the negatives

We just paid 11,000 $$$ for a new metal roof from the lovely people at Pro Max in Decatur, IL. Thanks Dean! We could have gotten the same roof in asphalt for 7,000 or 8,000 $$$s. Some people would say that is a negative right there. But what is 4 or 5,000 $$s among friends when the life of the roof could easily be 50 years?. Not only that but it lowers your homeowners insurance enough that the payback times must be in like 5 years. Especially with how much it can save in energy consumption:


Reflective Roof Products for Consumers

(Are you a partner? For Partners)

Americans spend about $40 billion annually to air condition buildings — one-sixth of all electricity generated in this country.


Why choose ENERGY STAR reflective roofing for your building?

  • ENERGY STAR qualified roof products reflect more of the sun’s rays. This can lower roof surface temperature by up to 100F, decreasing the amount of heat transferred into a building.
  • ENERGY STAR qualified roof products can help reduce the amount of air conditioning needed in buildings, and can reduce peak cooling demand by 10–15 percent.

During building design and when your existing roof needs replacement are both excellent times to consider reflective roofing. See how much reflective roofing can reduce your building’s energy costs .

What is emissivity and why is it important to cool roofs?

Read more about emissivity and how it relates to energy savings and cool roofs.

How does roof insulation relate to ENERGY STAR labeled roof products?

The ENERGY STAR energy-efficiency criteria do not include a specification for roof insulation. However, in addition to reflectivity, roof insulation (measured by the R-value) plays an important role in building energy consumption for heating and cooling. The colder the climate, the greater the need for a higher R-value to ensure that less heat is lost from the building envelope. To determine the minimum R-value for a given location, refer to the International Energy.


Cool Metal Roofing

by the Cool Metal Roofing Coalition
Patrick Bush, U.S. Steel; Greg Crawford, AISI; Scott Kriner, MCA; Todd Miller, Classic Products; Charles Praeger, MBMA; James Robinson, Architectural Metals Systems; Robert Scichili, BASF; Lee Shoemaker, MBMA

Last updated: 02-13-2007


Photo example of metal roofing

Metal roofing has been available and utilized as a roofing material for centuries. Metal roofing is available in a wide variety of substrates, colors, textures, and profiles. Though diverse in appearance, metal roofing has many common attributes such as durability, recycled content, recyclability, fire resistance, low weight, and low life-cycle cost.

Depending upon the surface finish, cool metal roofing can provide enhanced energy efficiency with its solar reflectance and infrared emittance properties. In fact, the solar reflectance and infrared emittance of a metal roof can be engineered to meet the climate requirements of the building. Cool metal roofing can provide the desired high reflectance and low emittance in climates where heating loads prevail. Cool metal roofing can also provide the desired high reflectance and high emittance where cooling loads dominate. Cool metal roofing easily meets the requirements of the EPA’s Energy Star® program. Cool metal roofing is also eligible for other cool roof incentive programs:}—Common-Myths-Debunked&id=2078869
Metal Roof Cost – Common Myths Debunked
By Chris Xavier

Out of the box, metal roof cost can seem astronomical when comparing it to a traditional asphalt shingle roof. But to just compare absolute material cost and no other factors is not comparing “apples to apples”. Metal roofing does not get its cost effectiveness from its materials. To better understand the expense, we are more apt to examine the differences in an asphalt roof versus a metal one.

Asphalt always looks like a bargain. At approximately one third of the metal roof cost and warranty slapped on the package boasting twenty years or better, it seems clear to the uninformed that an asphalt roof will provide the same performance at a fraction of the payout. Over our time, warranties have become more a tool for marketing than a display of quality. We, as consumers, take it as a company standing behind their product for a specified amount of time but the details are in the small print. Don’t take it wrong, there are a lot of great warranties out there but it’s key to understand their limitations and fine print when taking warranties into account.

Upon further examination, we see that most shingle warranties do not cover the shingles to their claimed lifespan. Instead, the company heavily pro rates the value so if and when you were ever to file a warranty claim, you would not recover the amount of the initial product. Also, these warranties do not cover the cost of labor of the initial job or replacement.

The second biggest myth that homeowners face when comparing metal roof cost to asphalt are the effects of the environment has on them both. Your climate can bring some of the harshest conditions we could ever imagine. Scorching heat, hail, rain, sleet, snow, tornadoes, wildfires, and hurricanes are some of the environmental conditions we face in the United States. As these conditions get more extreme, the more asphalt shingles fail and the more often they will need to be replaced, thus increasing ownership costs and maintenance requirements.


Cool Metal Roofs Help

Put Lid on Rising Energy Costs

A roof has a significant impact on the energy use of a building. As a result, building owners and their architects have discovered that it pays to specify building products such as “cool metal roofs” to help avoid unwanted heat build-up inside the building and to help ensure maximum energy conservation. Buildings consume one-third of all energy and two-thirds of all electricity generated in the U.S. But, commercial metal roofs with heat-deflecting coatings and finishes can drastically lower the energy consumption rate by reducing cooling loads. In the process, these roofs can save building owners up to 40 percent in heating and cooling energy costs, perhaps more if used in conjunction with insulation under the roof surface, according to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

At the same time, highly emissive roofs benefit the environment by lowering urban air temperatures, thereby helping to reduce smog. They also offer a solution for communities searching for ways to control the demand for electricity.

Cool Roof Performance Depends on Reflectance, Emittance

The performance of a cool roof depends on two properties: solar reflectance and infrared emittance. Solar reflectance indicates the percent of sunlight reflected off the roof. Emittance indicates the percent of the sun’s heat re-radiated from the roof to its surroundings.

Available unpainted, with baked-on paint finishes, or with granular-coated surfaces, cool metal roofing can reflect up to 70 percent of the sun’s rays, resulting in less heat transfer to the interior of the building. The emittance of painted or granular-coated metal roofing can be as high as 90 percent.


And for you do it yourselfers out there:

Wasn’t This Worth Waiting For?

Just in time for the rain storm tonight. Tonight’s rain [hence the dreary looking photos – I’ll take better pictures when the sun comes out] will fall on a new sustainable metal stone coated roof. Justin read that this type of process was developed in WWII. The reflective metal roofs on buildings were attracting enemy planes so folks put tar on the metal and over that ground up stone or sand.   Such stone coated metal roofs are commonly used in New Zealand.   Jules’first homestead in the rural South Island (NZ) had a corrugated metal roof which collected and diverted the rainwater into a huge cement cistern.     Now we have an “upgraded” metal roof and we once again plan to harvest the rainfall and it use to irrigate the garden.

For those of you who have been following the roof saga since summer you are probably glad you won’t read about the “R” word anymore. Truthfully, this project wasn’t as easy as you would think – believe me. We spent many sleepless nights and stressful days agonizing over this decision. Looking at the 4? thick folder of all the types of roofing that we looked at Justin would comment “choosing a roof is like getting married, the only thing is you can’t get divorced if it doesn’t work out.”

Time for high fives, pats on the back and hugs all around – time to celebrate !!!!   A friend of ours dropped by yesterday with a bag of goodies to “celebrate your new roof.”   How kind and thoughtful!   Of course he couldn’t help but admire and question in amazement “that’s metal?” Speaking of admiring these last few days you’ll find us pausing as we work in the garden just to admire the roof.


But you say how much energy does it consume vs. a shingle roof. I don’t know, but I will try to find out for tomorrow.

As always please read the complete articles and attachments above for many more details.


Al Casella – What other people had to say

Disclaimer – I got these comments off of the “guest books” both at the SJ-R and the funeral home. They are online. Thus I suppose public. If anyone objects to their comment being displayed here I will immediately take it down.

Claimer – This is not an all inclusive list. I picked people I know or Know OF, and people’s comments that seemed typical. If you wish to add your own please do.


Butler Funeral Home:

I am so sorry to hear about the loss of such an influential person in my life. I only wish I would have known before the funeral so I could have attended. He will absolutely be missed.

Layla Paulus-Slater Mar 18, 2009 Dunlap, IL


 Al was a scientist with a social conscience.What a warm,positive,loving human being!He was always there to lend support when supporters were few and far between.He saw the whole university as his home,not just his program or school.Great mind,great fun-loving personality,great colleague and friend.If SSU was truly a “different” kind of university,and I believe it was,it’s because of people like Al.As he would say,Solidarity Forever! My sincerest condolences to his family. How fortunate they were to have him as their own. Mike Townsend.

mike townsend Mar 16, 2009 springfield, IL


I was very sorry to hear about Al’s death. He was one of my favorite professors. He had the ability to actually help me understand nuclear physics! I will always remember his big smile and friendly personality. Please accept my condolences.dorene gillman campbell Mar 16, 2009 sherman, IL

Thank you, Alex, for your collegiality and friendship.


Jack Van Der Slik Mar 16, 2009 Port Saint Lucie, FL


Al was a good friend…we will miss him very much.

 John and Diane Munkirs Mar 14, 2009 Rochester, IL


If I were not leaving town in a few hours I would certainly be present to offer my heartfelt condolences in person. Al and I worked together on many committtees and projects during the thirty some years we were both on the faculty at UIS and I always treasured his intelligence, generosity,and good humor. I especially remember the good times we had together back in the mid-1980s when we were both on sabbatical leave at the same time and both happened to be in the San Francisco area. He was a fine person who leaves fond memories behind.

Larry Shiner Mar 13, 2009 Springfield, IL



March 17, 2009 I was a student of Dr. Casella’s and am sad to hear of his passing. I had worked with him on “Peace Talks” and through the Heartland Peace Center also. I am also a staff member of the Central Illinois Foodbank and recognized that he has also been a great supporter of our organization. He was a great man and will be missed by many.
Sincerely, Lynne Slightom    Lynne Slightom (Springfield, IL)


Dear Family of Alex,
I wish I could join all of you and all of Alex’s friends for his memorial service. Alex was a dear friend to all and especially to my late sister, Beckie, and late husband, Luther Skelton. I have fond memories of parties on Lowell Avenue–especially the one with Winona LaDuke! My thoughts and prayers are with all of you during this sad time of losing Alex.
Peace and Love,
Bonnie Benard Mar 13, 2009 BERKELEY, CA


Alex was a special man and a dear friend to me and my family. We will so miss him. As I wrote to Chris, Lara, and Niny, I’m certain Dr. Casella is up there right this minute kibitzing with Dr. Einstein. And Albert is loving every minute of it.

Lynn Lyons Mar 13, 2009 Laguna Beach, CA

I  had the pleasure of officiating the wedding of Alex and Niny at Washington Park in 2001. It was a beautiful ceremony. Alex will be greatly missed by all those who knew him. I will never forget “Casella’s Theory of ESP”.

Prairie Eigenmann Mar 13, 2009 Sherman, IL


Thanks, Alex, for being my friend for all these years

Tom Immel Mar 12, 2009 Springfield, IL



March 15, 2009 Susan and I are saddened to learn of Alex’s departure. I valued his leadership as dean and his advice as a colleague. He was a highly active and creative member of our campus community. He was forever launching new initiatives toward the betterment of our campus, our community, and the world. His initiatives strengthened the Environmental Studies Program and contributed to the vitality of the campus. His sense of humor also lightened the tone of sometimes difficult operational discussions. His creativity even extended to the genius of his costumes at our vaunted Halloween parties. He once appeared as the most authentic witch we had ever seen! We want to offer our deepest sympathy to his family.    Wayne and Susan Penn (Walnut Creek, CA)


March 15, 2009 Commiserations from the Lennon family–Michael, Donna, Stephen, Joseph and James. I worked with Alex for many years at SSU/UIS in public affairs activities–he was dean of public affairs for several years–and relish the memories of his energy, humor and commitment to the environment. He was one of the prime movers in establishing Earth Day nationwide and gave of himself generously to many worthy causes. Endlessy curious and open to new experience, he was always fun to be with. I saw him last when he came to Pennsylvania for the funeral of our friend, Ashim Basu. I’m glad he lived long enough to see President Obama elected and the nation begin to mobilize against global warming, but sorry that his laughter will not be heard again–except in memory.    michael lennon (westport, MA)



March 14, 2009 This is terrible news! Al was one of a kind. I remember asking my friends in Carbondale, as I was moving to Springfield after graduate school, who to look up in the capitol city. Al was a name that was highly recommended. We became friends and shared an ethnic background and were both scientists and involved in energy and public affairs. I knew of his work on the Springfield Energy Project as I was active with the Carbondale City Energy Division and Shawnee Solar Project. He made a tremendous contribution to not only Sangamon State University (U of IL), but also the city of Springfield. He led by example in his own home energy improvements and was a huge inspiration to not only students but also the community. He was an expert in energy and environmental affairs long before it was fashionable. I could always count on him to conduct a television interview with political speakers I had brought to Springfield. He was a great comrade and I will always remember his funny laugh. My husband was a student at SSU and remembers well Alex’s messy and very interesting and stimulating office, full of posters, quotes and books. Even his office was an education. My husband’s and my heart go out to his children, grandchildren and wife. We know the Force is with him now and he is marveling at the wonders of God’s universe, now revealed in full without human or laboratory constraints. He is now a student in the ultimate Physics class. May God Bless Him and Keep Him. The world has lost a very good man that enriched all who knew him. Godspeed Alex!    Valeri DeCastris (Rockford, IL)


March 14, 2009

Alex was a great colleague. We felt a strong kinship because of our shared Phildaelphia roots. My condolences to Alex’s family    Harry Berman (Springfield, IL)


Al Casella – Tributes by Bob Croteau and Fletcher Farrar

Al touched a lot of people’s lives. He actually named this organization. More from the people who loved him. Bob Croteau offered this:

There are usually a few formative personalities you meet who have a profound impact on your life, Alex Casella was one of those for me.

I was struggling with direction as I had abandoned my chemistry career with the maker of Alka Seltzer and One-a-Day vitamins, feeling like I was part of the problem rather than part of the solution. I needed to do something with my hands and was doing home remodeling jobs, but that was not fulfilling either and started dabbling in solar energy projects.

My sister Suzanne was attending Sangamon State in the mid-1970s and told me about this innovative university, and a guy teaching solar energy classes. She said I should come down and check it out. I came to Springfield and SSU.  When I first met Al and his students, they were building a geodesic dome and solar collectors to heat it. This was definitely the place I wanted to be where it wasn’t just talk; they were getting down to it. This was where I could blend my science and my “build it” needs.

Alex had a class called Community Energy Systems which led to the creation of a not-for-profit corporation by class members and commuity activists. They hired me and 2 others to do solar demonstration and weatherization projects. In 1984 I was hired by CWLP and just celebrated my 25th anniversary of employment there pursuing my environmental passion.

He also took it to higher levels including a policy changing campaign bringing in the gurus of energy efficiency to Springfield like Amory Lovins and embarking on the Springfield Energy Project that identified all the things with energy policy that we still need to do now, thirty years later, to help save us from environmental and economic mayhem.

Clearly I owe this man of vision, compassion and intelligence my thanks. And so I offer this song to you that I sang for him many years ago because I feel it talks to how Alex lived his life.

(editor’s note: this part was sung, and I can not do justice to that. Bob Croteau has a marvelous voice)


Second Story Window from Rita Coolidge‘s first album.


Live your life however, you want to do whatever, you want to and you’ll never die.

You can do whatever, you want to do whatever, you want to do, and you can try.


And you know who your friends are, by looking in their eyes.

You know so you smile, but they never realize,

What goes on inside of every me and you, keeps on a rolling on, keeps on a rolling on.


Life just lasts a second, you don’t have time to  reckon things that people say and do.

Try to find your secrets, death is just a sequence, to be one day rolling through.

And you know who your friends are…


If you can love then you can, live forever you can, live forever if you love.

You just be a giver and help the poor deliver, it’s something less for something more.


And you know…

You know so you smile, and sometimes they realize, What goes on…           


Thank you Alex

Alex is still with us.


Bob Croteau
MA-Environmental Studies SSU


Bud Farrar offered this:

Editor’s note

At IT we’re sad this week about the passing of our old friend and colleague Alex Casella, who died March 5 at the age of 69. The former Sangamon State University professor was solar before solar was cool, doing most of his scientific work during the last energy crisis in the 1970s and 80’s. He was passionate about sustainable energy, but not just passionate. He was also sensible, making sure he had his facts straight and offering the best argument for the cause of renewable fuels. Al never passed up a chance to make his argument, appearing in these pages as often as we’d give him the chance in letters to the editor, guest columns and features. His tireless commitment to what he knew was right advanced the cause with hundreds of students and anyone who knew him. We’ll have to take it from here. — Fletcher Farrar, editor

Alexander J. Casella – Good bye old friend. It was a great 30 years

I started in the anti-nuke tradition in the Prairie Alliance when I was 14 years old. We marched and protested a lot against Clinton Nuclear Power Plant. When I turned 19 some of us filed lawsuits against rate basing cost overruns. Those suits wound through the courts for years. The first one coming in against Clinton in 1978, the year I met Al at what was then Sangamon State University. The first time we talked and I told him what I was into, he laughed and said, “What does that have to do with Public Policy.” I was a Psych. student then and it kinda pissed me off. But the more we talked the more I saw that it takes Public Policy well implemented to really change how we treat the Earth. Thank God he lived to see Obama elected. God speed Al.

Casella, Alexander J.
SPRINGFIELD – Alexander “Alex” Joseph Casella, 69, died Thursday, March 5, 2009, at his home in Springfield.Alex was born August 10, 1939, in Taylor, PA, the son of Alexander Joseph Casella Sr. and Josephine M. Cesare Casella. He married Thanawan Kohrianchai on July 1, 2001, in Springfield, Illinois.Alex grew up in Moosic, PA. He received a B.S. in Physics from Villanova University, an M.A. in Physics from Drexel University, and a Ph.D. in Physics from Pennsylvania State University. He began his professional career in 1961 as a Physicist for the U.S. Dept. of Defense at the Frankford Arsenal in Philadelphia. In 1969, he became a professor of Physics at Jacksonville University in Florida. Alex embarked on a 30 year career in 1973 with Sangamon State University/UIS as Professor of Environmental Studies and Physics. He became the Director of Energy Studies at SSU in 1975. From 1989-1996, Alex served as Dean of the School of Public Affairs and Administration. In 2002, he became Professor Emeritus, Environmental Studies and Physics.Alex was the producer and host of about fifty, half-hour interview shows on environment/energy issues starting in 1985. He also hosted two weekly interview shows, “Faculty Focus” and “Peace Talks.”Alex was a member of Sigma Pi Sigma, Illinois Environmental Council, American Assoc. for the Advancement of Science, Union of Concerned Scientists (IL Coordinator), Sierra Club, Charter Member of Better World Society and Worldwatch Institute. He served on numerous boards and committees, including Energy Consultants Associates, Earth Week 1990, Springfield Urban League, and Springfield Area Arts Council. He provided numerous testimonies to committees of the State of IL House and Senate in areas of Energy Policy and was the prolific author of articles, papers, lectures, and letters to the editor on numerous and sundry topics.A loyal supporter of the Democratic Party, Alex ran for Alderman of Ward 7 in 1999, victory narrowly eluding him by a mere 8%.

Among Alex’s great and varied interests was a love of photography, gardening, debunking myths with science, movies, the ocean, playing with his grandson, Italian food, sports and writing. He loved the performing arts, and even acted in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Of Mice And Men at the Springfield Theatre Center. Alex’s generous spirit, sympathetic ear, and pragmatic advice touched many people along his way. His children brought him great joy. He was very proud of his grandson, Jonah, and newly smitten with his baby granddaughter, Virginia. Alex also loved traveling and meeting new people. He traveled extensively throughout Europe, Asia, and the United States. It was during one notable trip to Bangkok in the fall of 2000 that he met and fell in love with Thanawan Kohrianchai.

Alex was preceded in death by his parents and by his sister, Cynthia Norton.

Alex is survived by his wife, Thanawan; son, Christopher, Hermosa Beach, CA; daughter, Lara Parkes (husband, Michael), Springfield; grandson, Jonah; granddaughter, Virginia; nephew, Thomas Norton; nieces, Mary Jo Christiansen and Cynthia Warren; great-nieces and nephews, all of New Jersey.

Memorial service will be held from 5:00-7:00 p.m., Monday, March 16th at Kirlin-Egan & Butler Funeral Home, 900 S. 6th St., Springfield. Memories will be shared at 7:00 p.m.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Christian Children’s Fund, 2821 Emerywood Pkwy, Richmond, VA 23294, World Wildlife Fund, 1250 24th St., NW, PO Box 97180, Washington, D.C. 20090, Pattaya Orphanage Trust,, or the charity of one’s choice.

Father, Husband, Teacher, Friend: Alex, we will miss you.

Please visit Alex’s online life story at to offer your condolences.

Published in The State Journal-Register on 3/14/2009