Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The Fate of Ancient Sunlight

. . . is my new track, featuring samples of Dr Colin Campbell of ASPO. Now available on the new e.p. "The New Ageless" (first track).

Enjoy!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

I Seed it Coming

A few good articles on the web today, one from the BBC News site talking about the design of future cities. It seems that China will have to house an extra 400 million people in the next 12 years (!!!!), and has decided to use the opportunity to build seven new cities from scratch.

The lucky guy who gets to design these cities is doing so right down to the molecular level, integrating all aspects of human life so that the cities are largely self-sufficient and in tune with the environment. Features like methane cooking gas, generated from sewage, roof-top gardens and more, are all included in the design. According to the BBC article, the cities look like gardens of Eden.

The second article is from the Deconsumption blog (which I have now duly added to the index on the right), and is a superb analysis of the singularity which awaits humanity in the not-too-distant future. The author shows our present condition as analogous with the coming of age of a wayward teenager, and posits that, as in the evolution of a single individual, the challenge will 'separate the wheat from the chaff' - the latter analogy once again invoking the imagery of a great harvest from the Revelation of St John.

I was delighted to read that that author thinks it inadequate to describe the coming evolution of the species merely as a spiritual evolution - the spirit (being a person's motivation and disposition) certainly being a part of it, but some extremely material changes are also going to have to take place. As usual, the whole of the change will be greater than the sum of the individual facets to that change.

Finally, a very interesting analysis of wind power from the Institute of Science in Society. It seems (oddly enough) that the wind blows exactly when we need it: "in winter when the wind blows, the chill factor goes up and so does the need for electricity; in summer just when everyone is returning home for their tea in the early evening that’s when the onshore winds obligingly come into play.”

There seem to be a lot of these 'natural homeostats' - another example might be a wood stove. When the air temperature outside the house drops, it creates a greater pressure differential between the firebox of the stove and the top of the chimney, resulting in a greater draught through the stove, which in turn makes the fire burn hotter - automatically, just when you need it. Another example might be a solar thermal collector, which heats your stored water throughout the day during the winter months, giving a maximum base load for the wood stove to top it up when you light it in the evening.

A good day for reading. Plus my solar hot water system gave me my first warm shower today, after only 4 hours of collecting on a cloudy afternoon after power-on!

Santiago Dreaming

In correspondence today with Harry Beer, son of an old teacher of mine called Stafford Beer, I was directed to an old Guardian article about "Cybersyn", a project Stafford was working on back in the 1970s with Salvador Allende of Chile, and which was never finished due to Pinochet's coup.

It was an amazing project, a kind of "socialist internet, decades ahead of its time". Stafford was a remarkable man, and a very influential thinker.

I've written a new dance track on the subject of Stafford, entitled "It's the Beer Talking". It's the third and final track on the new e.p. "The New Ageless" (download link on the right). Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Gone Solar at Last!

At last I have my solar hot water system installed. The electronics aren't wired up yet, but the panel is on the roof, and people are banging around in my loft installing the plumbing as I write.

It looks great. It'll be even better if it works!

Monday, July 04, 2005

Schsorry Guys

I take it all back about Schnews. Today I found an excellent article about making biodiesel on their website - a link from a new web site called Greenpowered, which I have added to the links on the right hand side of this page. Looks very interesting, especially the 'how-to' section where members can add their home-grown alternative energy systems design.

Here is a description of my own wood-fuel heating system, originally posted on Powerswitch:-

I have a 10kW stove with a back boiler for hot water and also central heating which heats my little house thoroughly from top to bottom. I have a radiator in every room.

The DHW cylinder (a large one with a second coil in the bottom for solar when I get it!) is in the room above the stove so it heats up by convection from the stove with no pump. There is an overflow radiator connected to it on the chimney breast in the bedroom.

This is handy because it means that even during a power cut half the house will still be heated (living room\ main bedroom) by convection and radiation and I will still have a full cylinder of hot water.

On the return pipe from the cylinder to the stove is a pipe thermostat set at 70 degrees centigrade which is connected to a pump which pumps water round the radiators. So when I first light up the stove, it heats the water cylinder as a priority, but when the fire goes out at night, the pump to the radiators switches off with the falling temperature, so that the insulated cylinder still gives piping hot water in the morning.

Friday, July 01, 2005

". . . And I Feel Fine . . . "

More Biblical apocalyptic references today, this time in the latest ASPO newsletter. Who would have thought it. But then, as Albert Einstein (someone also fascinated with the relationship energy enjoys with matter and information) famously said,

"Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind".

Meanwhile, the tone of the mainstream British press is getting more and more urgent in regard of climate change, and the Government's message to the people is: "do it yourself!"

"Do it yourself". Now, why on Earth didn't they just say that in the first place?