Gheorghe Curelet-Balan Blog

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Christmas Lights mood.

In the 104th year of electrical Christmas lights I'm looking for some National Lampoon style Grand Illumination.

Here it is what I've found:

Different music activated Christmas lights.
100 miles of lights
Voice activated Christmas lights.
Outdoor displays
Toronto's Cavalcade of Lights Festival.
My 2 years old link.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Pearl shot of the day.

We are in a warming trend after last week first real snow.

The Map of the Internet.

Check out this cute map of the Internet Protocol Addresses.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Hiking along Grand River.

Since Sunday was a perfect day for photography I couldn't resist to draw and shoot with my Perl along a Grand River hiking trail in Kitchener. If you want to see my trophies look below and at the 11 pictures starting from this link.

Monday, December 11, 2006

What to do?

After so scary scenarios we could ask ourselves what could be done to avoid them. Unfortunately not too many people care about the global warming. David Archer made an interesting observation that people care more about the life of nuclear waste rather than the bigger problem of climate change.

His answer is to stop burning coal. He reached this conclusion using simple arithmetics:
- we already emitted 300 billion metric tones of carbon from pollution and deforestation
- the Earth is merciful with us if we stop at 700 billion metric tones of carbon pollution (the level that could trigger the 2 degree Celsius catastrophic warming)
- the difference of 400 billion metric tones is equivalent with the remaining oil and gas reservoirs.

So, if we stop burning coal, we are safe. While the solution is simple, it is hard to believe, I think, that it is practical since we all know that the world's energy demands are increasing. Besides the alternative sources of energy David mentioned a technology that cleans the coal. The Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle technology (IGCC) reduces significantly the coal pollution.

Other initiatives, like ecomagination, are targeting the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

I learned also during the lecture that economics principles could be used to control gas emissions: cap and trade (one example I've given some time ago), do multiple small changes rather a sudden big one, transform into internal the external cost.

The Kyoto Treaty is using such principles to control the greenhouse gas emissions.

Ecomagination in the news
Wind energy at GE
Another wind energy link
Solar energy researched at GE
Hydrogen energy
Cleaner Coal
Cleaner Coal video clip

Sunday, December 10, 2006

What climate catastrophes?

If you are wondering what catastrophes could be caused by global warming, just look at the below picture. All red zones will submerge if the sea level raises with 20 meters as result of the increase in precipitation.

David Archer started his PI lecture with the statement that satellites and weather stations agree that Earth is warmer now with 0.5 degree Celsius since 1960 and the trend is steady upward. The difference is more evident (of around 1 degree Celsius) if we compare today's Earth temperature with that at the beginning of last century.

Here there are some other ideas that I've picked up during the lecture:
Even though the current warming looks like the Medieval warming,
by analysing historic climate change patterns it is estimated that the Earth in the year 2100 will be its warmest in millions of years. As a consequence by year 2300 tundra is lost.

The danger is that once engaged in the warming trend there is no easy way back since some percentage of the CO2 released into atmosphere stays for thousands of years before it is absorbed.
If the current fossil fuel CO2 pollution continues it could look similar with the sudden natural CO2 release in paleocene/eocene. As you can see in this picture the warming recovery took 100,000 years.

The raise of sea level could be caused by the debris rafted by the flow of big ice sheets into the ocean. Since it is not well known how water gets through the ice such events could happen much sooner than expected. Unfortunately we have a big proof of water flowing into the ice in Greenland moulins. The question is if we are today at the beginning of a dejavu scenario of sea level increase.

Then there are methane hydrates that are worse polluters than coal. Unfortunately there is lots of methane hydrates (much more than world's coal) below the sea bed that could be released if the ocean temperature increases.

It looks like the Earth is unforgivable if we are messing up with it.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Earth is warming.

This is the message that I've got from last evening Perimeter Institute lecture From Here to Eternity: Global Warming in Geologic Time, presented by David Archer. Catastrophic climate changes will happen if the world doesn't change its pollution patterns. The solution is the use of alternative sources of energy like solar or wind energy. I learned also about a kind of science fiction alternative of having solar cells on the moon and beam that energy to the Earth as microwaves.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Basketball, a Canadian invention.

If you didn't know...

Among very few invented sports, basketball was "crafted" by a Canadian in 1891. Watch also this video to find out why the bottom of the basket had to be cut.

Fiat Lux!

A very well known Latin expression in the academic world that symbolize the immense potential knowledge has to illuminate the mankind exploration endeavors into unknown.

I'm using in this post a close to the ad litteram meaning of fiat lux, ie. let there be light, since it is well known that great photography needs good light. See for yourself below what Fiat Lux means for the Pearl's camera that captured today the first true snow of this winter.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Trivection = the power of 3 energies = better microwaves.

If you were thinking that there is nothing to be invented anymore in the field of microwave cooking, think again. Trivection technology combines the microwave, thermal and air flow energies to make great food and our life easier.

Zipper, a Canadian Innovation.

Did you know that the modern zipper was invented in St. Catharines Ontario at the beginning of last century? It is interesting that initially Zipper was the name of a rubber overshoes line where the modern fastener was used.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Pearl shots.

Check out below links that show Pearl's camera in action:
1. Downtown Kitchener after Santa Parade. Go forward from the picture in this link.
2. Hiking shots along the Waterloo's "paradise" trail (that I partially "covered" with pictures before).
3. Business neighborhood in Waterloo (next 2 photos from this link).
4. One shot from the just closed Festival of Trees in Kitchener City Hall Rotonda.
5. Christmas Fantasy snapshots in Victoria Park, Kitchener, right after marvels lighting (below picture and go forward from this link).

Marathon democracy in action.

Check this out. The amazing race for Liberal leadership during their weekend Convention. A lesson in democracy that kept the main Canadian TV news channels busy for almost all day.