Friday (the 13th) Shorts: June 2008
When the Cat’s Away
Ann works late some nights, so Tsuga and I have to entertain ourselves. It has been months since I thought about watching a movie from Netflix on the computer–the selection for “watch now” is not particularly appealing, even though there are multiple thousands of choices. But I picked one this week and enjoyed it, so will pass it along: Postman (1997) starring Kevin Cosner (with cameo appearnce by Tom Petty)–a post-apocalyptic story that pits community, sharing and others against self, tyranny and power. Brace yourself: three hours long!
First harvest from the Gulag Garden: Salad Bowl Lettuce and Swiss Chard. Broccoli is coming along leaf-wise, and noticed the first tiny cabbage looper caterpillars hiding on the back sides of the gray-green leaves and will have to hunt up the Thuricide–a bacterial concoction that only impacts the insects. They say…
Well, sort of–I can’t remember if I’ve blogged this before. I’m settling into Evernote for web clips with tagging (still by invitation only, I have 20 if you want one, leave me an email address.) The Mac version (freestanding version download vs the online version with which it syncs) is much more elegant than the PC version though it still doesn’t work fully with Firefox 3 (full release of FFx coming on June 17 btw.) I still miss OneNote, but I’m moving on.
I’ll be doing a little reading at the Montgomery Museum in Christiansburg tomorrow at 1:00 with the general theme of natural history, landscape and place. Since details only came together in the past couple of days, this one will be more casual that some, and I’ll read a few selections from the uncertain “book two” still in limbo as I wonder if the world needs yet another book.
Show on the Road
Speaking of presentations, I received but have not worked yet with iWorks, soley for Keynote that sounds as if it might let me choreograph images, narration and music for a new “visual essay”. Then, given the cost of travel, maybe I’ll look for a way to get that to audiences (and maybe make a little income) from it as a digital presentation or multimedia “book”. We’ll see.
Saved by Pond Scum
I’ve been a proponent of algae as a source of fuel for some time–but for the oils they contain. A new process would create Algenol, ethanol as a product of algal metabolism. The price point for a gallon of gasoline has finally made this a viable alternative, and much more efficient that using edible crops like corn for ethanol:
… Algenol’s process is very different in that the algae are not cultivated. Instead, algae produce ethanol in gas form that is siphoned off from the bioreactor tubes and condensed to a liquid, Woods explained.He claimed that the system can produce 6,000 gallons of ethanol per acre per year, far more than corn’s rate of 370 gallons per acre per year or sugar cane’s at 890 gallons per acre per year.
The Mexican site is located a few miles away from a power generation station. By pumping carbon dioxide from the station into the algae bioreactors, the saltwater algae farm can boost production to 10,000 gallons of ethanol per acre per year, he said.