Tag Archives: energy

Apocalypse Prep: How to Preserve Food Without a Fridge


Photo: Jihyun Ryou

When you bring food home from a grocery store, chances are you toss it in the fridge. Ever stop to wonder if that’s your best move? People managed to store perishables before the era of refrigeration, and if you’re imagining a root cellar full of cans and preserves, you’re only partially right.

Designer Jihyun Ryou has made it her mission to, er, preserve some of those old methods of preserving food, designing this minimalist system for the modern kitchen.”We hand over the responsibility of taking care of food to the technology, the refrigerator,” says Rhyou. “We don’t observe the food any more and we don’t understand how to treat it.”

Are you really treating your food badly when you pop it in the fridge? Well, you’re sealing it in a cold box with a bunch of other food — all of it off-gassing and slowly decomposing. Each item reacts to the chemical composition of the other items, and to the environment itself. Continue reading

“Power the World” Week – Issue #4: African Huts Far From the Grid Glow With Renewable Power


Thanks to this solar panel, Sara Ruto no longer takes a three-hour taxi ride to a town with electricity to recharge her cellphone.

For Sara Ruto, the desperate yearning for electricity began last year with the purchase of her first cellphone, a lifeline for receiving small money transfers, contacting relatives in the city or checking chicken prices at the nearest market.
Charging the phone was no simple matter in this farming village far from Kenya’s electric grid.
Every week, Ms. Ruto walked two miles to hire a motorcycle taxi for the three-hour ride to Mogotio, the nearest town with electricity. There, she dropped off her cellphone at a store that recharges phones for 30 cents. Yet the service was in such demand that she had to leave it behind for three full days before returning.

That wearying routine ended in February when the family sold some animals to buy a small Chinese-made solar power system for about $80. Now balanced precariously atop their tin roof, a lone solar panel provides enough electricity to charge the phone and run four bright overhead lights with switches.
“My main motivation was the phone, but this has changed so many other things,” Ms. Ruto said on a recent evening as she relaxed on a bench in the mud-walled shack she shares with her husband and six children.
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Special “Power the World”-Week to Raise Awareness


When Linkin Park and the UN announced their “Power the World” programme, I was really surprised about how little I know about this issue. That over a billion people have absolutely no access to electricity really shocked me and I’ve read many tweets from other people experiencing the same.
This immediately raised the question what I can do to raise awareness about this issue, and as I have this nice little blog that I can fill with any topic I want (a great experience, I strongly recommend it!), I will post many articles about the problems caused by the lack of electricity etc. during the next week, starting tonight.

It would be really awesome if my readers, YOU!, would join the band waggon and proclaim the upcoming 7 days as “Power the World” week! Help the United Nations, Music for Relief, Linkin Park and especially all the people in the world that have to live without power by retweeting/sharing the articles I post or any other article you find online about the issue. Trend #PowerTheWorld on Twitter! If we work together we could bring “Power the World” to the forefront and make a difference! Empower the planet, power the world!

‘Safety Myth’ Left Japan Ripe for Nuclear Crisis


SHIKA, Japan — Near a nuclear power plant facing the Sea of Japan, a series of exhibitions in a large public relations building here extols the virtues of the energy source with some help from “Alice in Wonderland.”

“It’s terrible, just terrible,” the White Rabbit says in the first exhibit. “We’re running out of energy, Alice.”

A Dodo robot figure, swiveling to address Alice and the visitors to the building, declares that there is an “ace” form of energy called nuclear power. It is clean, safe and renewable if you reprocess uranium and plutonium, the Dodo says.

“Wow, you can even do that!” Alice says of nuclear power. “You could say that it’s optimal for resource-poor Japan!”

Over several decades, Japan’s nuclear establishment has devoted vast resources to persuade the Japanese public of the safety and necessity of nuclear power. Plant operators built lavish, fantasy-filled public relations buildings that became tourist attractions. Bureaucrats spun elaborate advertising campaigns through a multitude of organizations established solely to advertise the safety of nuclear plants. Politicians pushed through the adoption of government-mandated school textbooks with friendly views of nuclear power.

The result was the widespread adoption of the belief — called the “safety myth” — that Japan’s nuclear power plants were absolutely safe. Japan single-mindedly pursued nuclear power even as Western nations distanced themselves from it. Continue reading

Despite Bipartisan Support, Nuclear Reactor Projects Falter


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WASHINGTON — In an effort to encourage nuclear power, Congress voted in 2005 to authorize $17.5 billion in loan guarantees for new reactors. Now, six years later, with the industry stalled by poor market conditions and the Fukushima disaster, nearly half of the fund remains unclaimed. And yet Congress, at the request of the Obama administration, is preparing to add $36 billion in nuclear loan guarantees to next year’s budget.

Even supporters of the technology doubt that new projects will surface any time soon to replace those that have been all but abandoned.

“My gut feeling is that there is going to be a delay,” said Neil Wilmshurst, a vice president of the Electric Power Research Institute, a nonprofit utility consortium based in Palo Alto, Calif. News on Thursday that Exelon Corporation, the nation’s largest reactor operator, planned to buy a rival, the Constellation Energy Group, only reinforces the trend; until late last year, Constellation wanted to build, while Exelon was firmly against it.
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