Thursday, April 26, 2007

New Power from Old Energy

I recently blogged about the energy that we all produce just moving around and the possibility that one day sneakers might be equipped to harness that energy and store it in battery packs, but then I came across this posting on my new favorite website: Mental Floss about a flexible ramp that Hughes Research has created that can be placed in roadways to harness energy to power traffic signals. Called the "RP190 Power Ramp" (the video can be seen here, enjoy it's wonderful cheesy industrial video-ness and rocking soundtrack). I think it sounds like a great idea, considering it seems like a win-win situation: it calms traffic down while providing free energy. Dissenters however think that maybe wind turbines that are built into freeway jersey barriers (like the photo) might be a better use of funding. I'm kinda jazzed about these new ideas and wondering why they aren't in place already...what's the hold up people!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Earth Day, the Day After

I've been a bad bad girl this year, I allowed both Climate Control Day (or whatever they were calling it) and Earth Day to pass without much fanfare on my part. I had grand ambitions of standing on an overpass with a banner with a slogan that said something to the effect of "Hey you, dumbass, your car is killing the planet." (or something much sweeter and more diplomatic, but I have little energy for either emotion lately). Sigh, I shall try to be more earth-conscious in the coming weeks. I did manage to ride my bike to and from work yesterday (remarkably 28.7 miles, according to the cyclometer... I think it might be a weeee bit off there) so that at least, was something. I have a couple plans to get back on track... most notably bringing my own food containers/plates and silverware to work. I need to be more conscious of how much paper products I use and throw away. When going through the catering line, I hardly ever think twice about taking the styrofoam clam shell container and chucking it 10 minutes later after scarfing about 15 lbs of catered meal. Earth Day, everyday is the mantra... let's see if I can make it happen.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Goals and Aspirations

So I'm not sure how this slightly over-ambitious goal popped into my head the other day, but I have decided that I am going to attempt to ride my bicyclettes 1,000 miles this summer. I'm currently at about 31 miles. Rules of this contest are few, but it's always good to have something to strive for. Looks like the distance between home and new job will be about 9 miles, so if I just ride my bike to work 55 days, I should be all set. Okay, unfeasible, but there are 147 days between now and Labor Day, so chances are I can get a good 20 or 30 trips to work in that timeframe. The financial savings will be fairly minor, since it only costs about .08 cents for me to drive a mile (in terms of gasoline bills) $80 isn't a huge monetary savings. The ecological savings will also be fairly minor, since I only give off minimal emissions as well. Where I'm looking for the most gain is physical- hopefully this will gain me some new strength... somewhere. So stay tuned for the Summer Biking Challenge...

Monday, April 02, 2007

Oh the air outside is frightful...

Here in my little nook of the world, (next to the 5 Freeway, the train tracks and within spitting distance of the Burbank airport, at the base of the Burbank hills) the air quality today is somewhere between 1967 diesel school bus exhaust and Pennsylvania coal mine. Made even more noticeable by how clear and beautiful it was outside yesterday. Alas, I shall have to dig the gas mask out of storage.