Retiring Nuke means More Fossil Fuel

I was cruising around the web looking for some information on coal employment(don’t ask), and came across an interesting tidbit of news: After 41 years of operation, the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant  ceased operation and was disconnected from the grid in December of 2014. Continue reading “Retiring Nuke means More Fossil Fuel”

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Read This Book!

In 2008, my Dad published his first book for the public at large. Titled “Beyond Smoke and Mirrors: Climate Change and Energy in the 21st Century,” the book wasn’t about the high energy physics that lead to his Nobel Prize. Rather it was written about climate issues and energy policy. He wrote it because he was ever more frustrated with all the whack-jobs out there who were spewing forth huge amounts of BS. (My words, not his.) Continue reading “Read This Book!”

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WiFi Health and Safety – A Summary of the Mess!

I live in a really wonderful area. We are lucky to have excellent local schools, The Portola Valley School District is a small district of just two campuses. Our community is active, and our district holds lots of events to both inform and poll the parents and other interested parties. During the 13/14 school year, I went to the district sponsored meetings on technology, a hot educational topic due in part of the new infrastructure requirements driven by the Common Core testing changes. I was really surprised that the issue of WiFi health and safety came up at both meetings. In fact, some of the parents in our community feel that this is a very urgent and pressing health and safety issue. While skeptical on this one (I’m a physicist by training) I decided to pretend I knew nothing on the subject and I did some digging…. This not-so-brief write up is the result of what I learned.

Continue reading “WiFi Health and Safety – A Summary of the Mess!”

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Nitrogen in tires, what’s really driving the trend.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed it, but more and more places are offering pure (or more pure) nitrogen for filling your tires. When I dug into the whys of this, I found a bunch of BS, one good reason, and a lot of money… Continue reading “Nitrogen in tires, what’s really driving the trend.”

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Hyper Efficient Audio – 100 W from a single battery!

It’s amazing what application specific integrated circuits can do now. I never stop being surprised at what I keep seeing coming out of the pipeline. Audium Semiconductor recently gave me one such surprise with the hyper efficient AS1001 amplifier that can deliver 100 watts peak power, from a 1.5 volt (read single battery) power supply. Continue reading “Hyper Efficient Audio – 100 W from a single battery!”

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Driving the Nissan Leaf

The Nissan Leaf is an all electric car for the masses. On paper, the car seems to be a much more realistic proposition than cars like the Tesla or the Fisker. It’s a small 5 seat car, with a range of 100 miles and a target price somewhere a bit above $25k. For many, this is a price point that is manageable, even in these tough times. Continue reading “Driving the Nissan Leaf”

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