Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Eye of Quebec

Really Cool lake up in Canada. Found it by accident while looking on Google maps. A combination of Universe-made and Man made,
From Wiki:

"an annular lake in northern Quebec, Canada, the remnant of an impact crater (astrobleme) made approximately 212 million years ago, towards the end of the Triassic period. It is the 4th largest impact crater on earth. The island in the centre of the lake is known as René-Levasseur Island. Mount Babel is the central peak of the crater.

The crater was created by the impact of a 3 mile wide asteroid which excavated a crater originally about 62 mi wide although sediments and erosion have since reduced its diameter to about 45 mi.

The Manicouagan reservoir and René-Levasseur Island
are sometimes called the "eye of Quebec."

The lake was enlarged by flooding from the massive Manicouagan or Manic (Manic 1, Manic 2...) series of hydroelectric projects undertaken by Hydro-Québec, the provincial electrical utility, during the 1960s. The complex of dams is also called the Manic-Outardes project because the rivers involved are the Manicouagan and the Outardes. The lake covers an area of 20,990 square feet. Its eastern shore is accessible via Quebec route 389.

The Manicouagan lake acts as a giant hydraulic battery for Hydro-Québec. In the peak period of the winter cold, the lake surface is usually lower since the turbines are run all the time at peak load to meet the massive electrical heating needs of the province. The surface of the lake also sees record low levels in the extreme periods of heat in New England during the summer, since in that period Hydro-Québec sells electrical energy to the joint New England grid and individual utilities in the United States."

Google maps link Wikipedia page

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Self Portrait

Haven't done one of these in a while...

Thursday, July 12, 2007

3rd world and the 3R's

I think third world countries and countries like India are in a much better position to change then us. The reason of course is because the US is a society of disposability, More and more of the things in our lives are one use only. More and more things last less and less, and more and more advertising encourages us to think out with the old, in with the new. In a way this makes life interesting, it keeps things fresh, allows us to be mobile etc. But in most cases it just creates more garbage and encourages us to want more! more! more! instant gratification. It makes us less patient, less caring, and less creative. The 3rd world has a different mindset. They know the value of things, mostly because they are poor. People in other countries get more use out of everything than we do here. 3rd worlders are more self reliant, they still have skills to build things for themselves, and fix things for themselves. And so I think in the near future, when 3rd world countries make pro-environmental changes, they will have a much easier time of it. It will make sense to them. They understand recycling; and using less to achieve more. For us, it's a totally different mindset.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Auto future

The new highway standard of 35MPG in 2020 is pathetic. We have had cars in the past that have gotten much better mileage than that, and indeed have cars today that get much better mileage than that also. Passing such laughable standards for more than a decade from now is not even trying. My hope is:

1. Gas stays high and continues to go up

2. Viable Plug-in electric cars, and half plug-in half flex fuel cars on the market ASAP.

3. The American public doesn't get suckered into Hydrogen, that we can see that carrot for what it is.

One current obstacle to Plug-in hybrids is there limited range, but I'm not worried about that all, the ranges will grow, the batteries will charge faster and faster in the future, and it can't be hard to set up a "gas" station with everyday plugs and outlets. Take your average gas station design and put solar panels on top of the island and you're almost in business. And even if there weren't enough stations around, I'm sure a alternative would pop up on the Internet. Someone would design a site and practically overnight a community of people all over the country, who would let you charge your car at their house, would be created. Imagine that, no more oil companies manipulating the market, just everyday people deciding what they want to charge. It would be a communal "let us do this ourselves" instead of "let's get fucked over at the local gas station where we have no control" I watched a very inspiring speech yesterday, which was basically about the power of the Internet as a tool for bringing like minded people together on a scale as never before, there are many examples of it; and I think it if our government, our auto companies, and the oil companies continue to make the wrong choices and think they can advertise the common sense out of us, then before you know it we'll have more examples of how the Internet can helps us do things for ourselves.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Top 10 Favorite games of all time

In no order, there were many others that came to mind, and I'm sure I'm forgetting a couple great ones, but these are certainly 10 of my favorites.