Tuesday, October 19, 2021

A DIY (maybe) Solar Photovoltaic Panel

 George Cove seems to have stumbled into a workable PV panel circa 1905.  Sure, the efficiency stinks compared with modern stuff – about 5% vs. modern SOTA around 20% – but if you can crank these out for an order of magnitude lower price using a simple, relatively environmentally benign manufacturing process, who cares?  What's more, we now have a decent theoretical understanding of how this fortuitous accident works, and so can probably tweak it to much higher efficiencies.

Well I'm no solid state physicist, so I'll just refer you to the article at Low<––Tech Magazine.  Also of note, that site runs off a used laptop and is powered by a tiny panel and a none-too-new battery, so you might have to wait until the Sun comes back up in Spain.  Yes, they practice what they preach at Low<––Tech.



Saturday, October 16, 2021

Fall Arrives Today

 With a dry cool front blowing in and a forecast low for tonight of 54F, here is a little more good news:


Wrap it up, I'll take it.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

In which Ritchie wins the internet for 10/13/21.

 In the comment section over at a completely unrelated thread (ok, so he blew that part):

On the Shatner flight – opportunity lost.  While they were aloft, everyone on the ground should have put on lizard suits.

Beyond hearty agreement, I can add nothing to this.



ps: Oh wait, maybe I can.  Link to Wikipedia article on ST:TOS episode "Arena"



Thursday, October 7, 2021

After Midnight: 1966 &1972

The 1966 Demo Version

The 1972 Studio Version

It's interesting to hear the original, but on the whole I vastly prefer the 1972 version.

Compare and contrast with Eric Clapton's 1970 cover version.

OK, I understand why Clapton did the amped-up 1970 cover now.  After growing up on the 1972 version, all the others just sound weird and over-caffeinated.

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Happy Frodo-Gets-Stabbed Day

 You know, on Weathertop.  Details here at Sweating to Mordor.  As an aside, it's an interesting resource.

Only noticed this after lunch, when I finished the Nth (for some value of N ≥ 10) re-reading of Return of the King.

Note to self: Stay away from strange figures clothed in black this evening.  For that matter, in general.

Coffeeneuring 2021 Announcement Posted

 Link here.  If you're new to the concept of coffeeneuring, I'll leave it to you read up at that link.  There's a minor rule change for 2021 to simplify documentation.  You'll no longer need a blog, Strava account, etc., though blogging etc. is still encouraged (and will be done here as in past years).

The fun begins – huh! – week after next on Monday the 18th.  Got to get that new rear derailleur installed.



Saturday, October 2, 2021

Bad News for Fusion Research

 As it turns out, the term "breakeven" as used when selling experimental fusion reactor projects really isn't what one might term "real-world breakeven."  Not even close.  Details in this 12 minute video at Backreaction.

*sigh*  This is not good, both as a practical matter, as well as in terms of academic honesty.