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csziggy

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Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Leon County, Florida
Member since: Tue Feb 12, 2008, 10:18 PM
Number of posts: 20,386

Journal Archives

Inspired by art, lightweight solar cells track the sun

Sept 09, 2015
Contact Katherine McAlpine, 734-763-4386, kmca@umich.edu

ANN ARBOR—Solar cells capture up to 40 percent more energy when they can track the sun across the sky, but conventional, motorized trackers are too heavy and bulky for pitched rooftops and vehicle surfaces.

Now, by borrowing from kirigami, the ancient Japanese art of paper cutting, researchers at the University of Michigan have developed solar cells that can have it both ways.

"The design takes what a large tracking solar panel does and condenses it into something that is essentially flat," said Aaron Lamoureux, a doctoral student in materials science and engineering and first author on the paper in Nature Communications.

Residential rooftops make up about 85 percent of solar panel installations in the U.S., according to a report from the Department of Energy, but these roofs would need significant reinforcing to support the weight of conventional sun-tracking systems.

More: http://ns.umich.edu/new/multimedia/videos/23109-inspired-by-art-lightweight-solar-cells-track-the-sun


What really scares me about Kim Davis

Her position does not just issue licenses and records documents. Her office is in charge of elections, taxes and the county's finances.

First off, I think that puts too much power in one person's hands. The county clerk will know everything about every person in the county - marital status, mortgages, tax obligations, everything that has to be recorded in that county. While much of it may be publicly accessible records, some may not. I'm not familiar with Kentucky's laws on public records. In Florida most of that information is public but the control of the various aspects of a Kentucky county clerks job are separate in Florida counties.

If by some perverse legal loophole Kim Davis is let out and allowed to run the county clerk office again, what other rights might she deny on the word of her god? While the focus has been on her denial of the right to obtain marriage licenses she could abuse any other aspect of her office to deny rights to any group the voice in her head tells her to. If she wins the right to use her office to inflict her religious views on other citizens, the potential for abuse and denial of rights is unlimited.

Do the unions keep a history of strikes?

In scanning my grandfather's negatives, I came on four photos of what appears to be a strike. Very laid back images - two guys sitting under a beach umbrella and one is holding a sign that says:
Swift Co. Employees on Strike.
I. C. W. U.
Local No. 38
A. F. of L.


If they of the same vintage as the other photos in this group this would have been about 1951, probably in Agricola, Florida. My grandfather was a manager of the phosphate mine in Agricola that was owned by Swift & Company.

He may have been taking pictures to send back to corporate headquarters. Or he may just have been taking pictures since he had for decades. Yesterday I also scanned pictures that seem to be of his training in the Army Corp of Engineers in 1918. Most of those are of them blowing things up.

If the union(s) involved would like digital copies of the pictures, PM me. Eventually I will be posting nearly all of the photos I am scanning online but right now I don't have these ready. But I would like them to get to interested parties for history's sake.

"The Aloha Vet" has died

I just discovered his show on National Geographic Wild Channel (Nat Geo Wild) and have grown to like the man. Now I found out that he died before they could film a second season.

Dr. Scott Sims Goodbye, Aloha Vet
Friends remember Dr. Scott Sims,who died Saturday

Tom Hasslinger - The Garden Island
Posted: Sunday, July 26, 2015 2:00 am

LIHUE — Dr. Scott Sims, a veterinarian made famous by starring in his own reality television show but revered on Kauai long before that, died Saturday at Wilcox Memorial Hospital.

Friends said they will remember a man who was caring, witty and wise — and someone who lived up to his nickname, the barefoot Aloha Vet, while caring for goats, chickens, horses and parrots at any hour.

He was 59.

“He touched so many people on this island,” said Su Haynes, a close friend of Sims since the veterinarian moved to the island around 2002. “There’s hardly anyone on this island that he didn’t touch.”
http://thegardenisland.com/news/local/goodbye-aloha-vet/article_6ba560aa-7882-5c02-a942-2efa88f90982.html


What I found nice about him was that he often helped people work out affordable ways to get their animals treated. I could tell that he really cared about the creatures he treated.

Lionesses discuss snacks

For a lighthearted lion topic.

Vote, then pray your ballot is counted - Daniel Ruth, Times Columnist

A very critical opinion piece about Florida's election head. Well worth reading!

Ruth: Vote, then pray your ballot is counted

Daniel Ruth, Times Columnist

Wednesday, July 29, 2015 2:09pm

Not to be overly simplistic, but the essential skill set to perform the duties of Florida's secretary of state would seem to be the ability to perform this task: one, two, three, four, five …

For the person responsible for overseeing the state's elections, counting is very important.

Ken Detzner has other things to do, like protecting the state seal to make sure it doesn't get lost, fall into a mayo jar, or wind up on Jameis Winston's mantle. But it's the election stuff that is the primary item on Detzner's agenda — when he gets around to it.

Yet on Detzner's watch, voting in Florida has become an abacus adventure as the secretary of state has plotted against voters by engaging in a sloppy, ham-handed purge of voting rolls. Detzner also opposed the use of remote dropoff points for mailed ballots.

More: http://www.tampabay.com/opinion/columns/ruth-vote-then-pray-your-ballot-is-counted/2239194

Anybody have a test program that will stress a computer?

I posted before about my husband's Acer laptop that had been throwing BSODs constantly even with fresh installs of Windows 7 Home and nothing extra installed. I took one of the suggestions and got information from the BSOD which indicated it was a problem with ntfs.sys. Searching that got to pages that said that was caused when a driver forced dumps and one source said to turn off write caching. So I've done that.

Now I want to stress the thing and see if that fixed the problem. I don't have time or inclination to mess with the damned thing myself. I already got my husband a new laptop - nice Toshiba on sale the week before July 4. But if I can get this one to be reliable I can use it for email and browsing when we're on vacation and not have to take turns with the husband using his laptop.

Any test programs you can suggest that I can just start and run for a while?

Amazing sight in North Florida - lots of wading birds!

At least 100 wood storks, a dozen or more snowy egrets, a good number of American egrets and one tri-color egret! Oh, and a great blue heron that kept flying back and forth as if he was trying to claim the entire pond.

I wish I could post my pictures - maybe tomorrow.

The birds were seen today on a pond next to US 19/US 27 between Capps and Lamont. I've never seen that many wood storks at once. They seemed to be chasing frogs or tadpoles - we could hear the frogs closer to the road complaining. Some of the birds were tummy deep, going after their prey.

If anyone wants to drive out to look, watch for a really ratty pecan stand on the north side of the road, the pond was almost directly across the highway from it. It was the first stand if traveling south from Capps, a few miles from the intersection where US 19 leaves US 27.

Welsh Government Responds to UFO Questions in Klingon

Welsh Government Responds to UFO Questions in Klingon
Jul 14, 2015, 12:24 PM ET
By KAYLEE HECK


If people want to know about UFO sightings in Wales, they better speak Klingon.

When Shadow Health Minister Darren Millar submitted questions about UFO sightings at Cardiff Airport, a Welsh government spokesperson responded in Klingon, the fictional language from "Star Trek," according to the BBC.

<SNIP>

Millar also asked if any research was being funded to look into the reported sightings, the BBC reported.

"Jang vIDa je due luq," the spokesperson replied, according to BBC. "'Ach ghotvam'e' QI'yaH devolve qaS.”

More (including a translation): http://abcnews.go.com/International/welsh-government-responds-ufo-questions-klingon/story?id=32442011


Centurylink local trunkline is really really slow right now - Tallahassee Florida

Last week our internet speeds were really, really slow. When I ran the Centuryline speedtest it started out at less than 2 Mbps and dropped to 0.13 - we're paying for 10 Mbps.

I called in to tech support and they ran me through all kinds of tests, reboots, etc with no improvement. Finally they scheduled to have someone come out to check the lines. The guy called and told me to check my speed - it was over 15 Mbps! He said he'd replaced a card in the fiber optic network out our way.

Yesterday the speeds were way down again - 0.71 Mbps. I rebooted the modem and my computer and it got up to 1.49 Mbps. I tried doing a Chat session with their tech support. The first session got cut off; on the second, after a ten minute hold the tech came back and told me I'd have to call in.

So I called. After explaining the problem as a repeated experience for the third time last night, retesting the speed, bringing down an ancient Vista laptop from the attic and hooking it up, testing the speed yet again, the tech finally told me what was going on.

The trunkline that connects the internet for the entire Tallahassee region has issues. The fiber optic card that was replaced last week was an effort to repair it - those card cost $275,000 (!) so they don't want to keep replacing them on the off chance another one is the problem.

They hope to have it fixed by next week but the tech I spoke to was pessimistic. He said they've over sold their high speed internet and the trunkline needs to be upgraded to handle the load.

I'm paying for TV and 10 Mbps broadband coming through those lines. I'm supposed to get at least 80% of that speed. On a good day I can hit 20 Mbps especially if I'm the only one home and I'm watching DVR rather than TV coming in on the same line - with the TV and internet we have we're supposed to get combined 25 Mbps.

TV has been crappy - lots of pixelization and frozen pictures. If this problem continues, I'm going to ask for a partial credit!
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