A View of the C

Funny – Inappropriate – Edumacational

Venice Has That Sinking Feeling

venice-under-waterAs sirens blared throughout the city, the Mayor Massimo Cacciari asked prospective tourists to not visit – and advised those already there not to move around unless it was “unavoidable” because of the “exceptional” situation. “Anyone thinking of coming to Venice should think again,” he said.

As the sea surged into St Mark’s Square, arguably Venice’s most famous landmark, it became completely submerged under eighty centimetres of water. In total, more than 95% of the rest of central Venice was flooded and some pontoon bridges began floating away in the rising tide, leaving residents stranded in their homes.

Driven by strong winds and heavy rain, the water rose to 156cm above sea level – the highest “acqua alta” since 158cm in 1986. Sirens sounded as the Venice tide monitoring centre warned that the water could rise to over 160 centimetres for the first time in thirty years.

The worst floods took place in 1966 when the waters reached a record 194 centimetres above sea level, causing devastation to homes, shops and historic monuments and art works. Flooding of 100-130cm above sea level is common in the lagoon city in autumn and winter.

Keep reading more here.

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December 7, 2008 Posted by | Did you know?, Go green | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sponsor A Polar Bear This Winter

They are awfully cute, and they’re looking for a new place to call their own.

November 30, 2008 Posted by | Commentary, Did you know?, Economy, Go green, Inspiration, Politics, Rant, technology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Did Anyone Have a “Virtual” Thanksgiving?

As many of you might have seen during the CNN live elections, they were able to broadcast hologram images into the CNN studio, or as I prefer to say, “beam” them in. Well, just think about where this technology could lead us! No longer will we have to sit in traffic to go to the folks’ house, to endure childhood resentments, and to make fake nice with your sister’s new “beau” that will likely not be around by the time the dishes are washed. You know the situation. 

So, have a look at this video and just imagine the possibilities. You could say something to the effect of, “I know you like Billy more than me and by the way, I did steal that beer in high school and yes, I did have dirty, filthy sex in your bed when you were at that work conference!” And then “CLICK”, you beam out.

hologram

And it’s good for the environment as there’s no travel involved. Genius!

November 29, 2008 Posted by | Commentary, Funny | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Party in Antarctica – Floating Disco Available

ice-hotelIs it another figment of our imagination or is yet another large sheet of ice about to break free in the Antarctic? Perhaps P. Diddy could rent it and have a super-fun White Party or something. I mean, since we’re contributing to the demise of the ice shelves, maybe we can at least have a party while doing it. Pass the glow sticks, the candy rings, and lollipops because I’m ready to roll on down to the dirty south.

Read an excerpt of the very serious story after the jump. Continue reading

November 29, 2008 Posted by | Commentary, Go green | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Vintage Belt Flooring – Very Hipster

Check out tinglondon.com for some cool ideas on what could be with that box full of old belts you have lying around.  Ideas include flooring, mats, wallets, and much more.

ting-vintage-belt-mat

 

gq

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November 25, 2008 Posted by | Commentary, Did you know?, Economy, Go green | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Another ‘Green’ Gift Guide

Courtesy of Green Living Online, go check it out!

grass-blades

Many of the companies are in Canada, but most have an international online presence.

November 23, 2008 Posted by | Did you know?, Go green | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Solar Backpack – I Want One

Check this out, a series of backpacks with solar panels for charging various personal devices AND they’re made from recycled materials. More information down below and check the site if you want to get one. Hey Voltaic, can we work a deal? 

voltaic-backpack2  voltaic-converter

Specifications:

 
Fabric: 600D shell made from recycled PET (soda bottles), UV resistant PU, and sandwich mesh back, inside pockets use PET mesh
Weight: 2.9 lbs (1,300 grams) including battery and solar panels
Dimensions: 18″ high x 11-12″wide x 3-4″ deep (46cm x 27-30cm x 7-10cm)
Volume: 600 cubic inches (10 liters)

  • 4 Watts of Solar Power: From three tough, light weight, waterproof solar panels
  • 4-6 hours of direct sunlight produce enough charge to fully charge a typical cell phone – see charging times
  • Battery Included: 4,400mAh at 3.6 volts Li-Ion battery pack with 3 voltage settings to store solar power
  • When not in the sun, the battery can be charged using the AC travel charger or DC car charger making it just as useful on the grid as off
  • 11 standard adaptors for easy connections to common cell phones and universal plugs
  • Note: It is not designed to charge laptops, it will however charge cell phones, sat phones, PDAs, GPSs, iPods, cameras and most other handheld electronics 

Indicator light inside the logo shows when the panels are generating a charge

November 23, 2008 Posted by | Did you know?, Go green, technology | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Best Gift Ever!!!

bodum_travel_press1You can thank me later but I’ve found what is likely to be the best gift you can possibly find this holiday season.  The Bodum Travel French Press is functional, environmental, affordable, and thoughtful!!! 

If you’ve never tried a french press for your morning brew then I recommend that you pick up one for yourself.  I’ve even tried stank-ol-Foldgers in a french press before and I would have sworn I was drinking the smoothest thing ever.  

I did the leg work for you and the cheapest place to find this item is at Amazon.com (Approx $14 including tax & shipping).  Just be sure you pay attention to the shipping estimate because they appear to be in demand and some of the delivery estimates are weeks rather than days.

November 22, 2008 Posted by | Did you know?, Economy, Go green | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Times Square Goes Green

From MSNBC:

This winter, New Year’s Eve revelers will have a close-up view of Times Square’s first environmentally friendly billboard powered entirely by wind and sun.

But the billboard might not be quite as dazzling as some of its high-powered neighbors along the Great White Way.

Construction on the 35,000-pound sign advertising Ricoh Americas Corp. is to begin this month across the avenue from the building where the ball drops on New Year’s Eve.

Powered by 16 wind turbines and 64 solar panels, the sign is expected to save $12,000 to $15,000 per month in electricity costs. Ricoh, an office equipment and document storage supplier, estimates the sign will also keep 18 tons of carbon out of the environment.

The billboard will be lighted by floodlights rather than light-emitting diodes. It won’t have a backup generator, so it could go dark during a long period with little wind or sun.

A lighting ceremony for the 126-foot wide, 47-foot tall sign is scheduled for Dec. 4.

November 16, 2008 Posted by | Did you know?, Go green | , , , | Leave a comment

New Chevy Volt!

There’s an L.A. 2008 Auto Show coming up and the L.A. Times has some advanced pics of some of the cars featured. What caught my eye (of course, it’s a hybrid of sorts) is the Chevy Volt. Have a look and read the description down below. 

2011 Chevrolet Volt 

Overview: General Motors will be eschewing the glitz and glitter this year, and Chevrolet’s eggs all seem to be in this particular plug-in hybrid basket. This is the production version of the Volt (due some time in 2010), with a 1.4-liter gasoline engine and an array of lithium-ion batteries. For the technical pedants, it’s not strictly a hybrid because the engine only helps to charge the batteries and doesn’t send any power directly to the wheels. 

chevy-volt

November 15, 2008 Posted by | Did you know?, Go green | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Honda Insight: A Hybrid With a Budget Price

Honda (HMC) revealed the look and name Thursday of its new hybrid-only car to go on sale in the U.S. next spring. It is expected to be one of the cheapest cars in the next generation of gas-electric hybrids.

“They will crack the under-$20,000 barrier,” predicts John O’Dell, senior editor of Edmund’s Green Car Advisor. “It’s a new generation of a more affordable hybrid.”

It will be called the Insight, reviving the name of the first hybrid in the U.S., sold here by Honda from 1999 to 2006. A concept version of the new Insight, of which a photo was released Thursday, will be unveiled next month at the 2008 Paris International Auto Show. Continue reading

November 11, 2008 Posted by | Did you know?, Go green | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Give Gifts, Stay Green

This holiday season we’re making green gift giving easier—and helping you save money too. Co-Op America’s Green Gift Guide features special offers from businesses listed in the National Green Pages™. So this year, show you care with gifts from businesses that support people and the planet. And spread the love by forwarding this email to a friend.

Keep reading for a huge directory of green gift-giving options!

Continue reading

November 11, 2008 Posted by | Did you know?, Go green | , , , , , | 7 Comments

Al Gore Has A 5-Step Program


green

Check out the below elements of Al Gore’s suggested plan for the Federal Government to make the U.S. electricity system carbon-free in the next 10 years. He also wrote a great Op-Ed piece in the NY Times, have a look at it here

The five elements of the plan are:

  • Incentives for construction of concentrating solar-thermal power plants in the southwest, wind farms in the Midwest, and plants in geothermal “hot spots.”
  • A $400 billion investment over 10 years to build a “national smart grid” to distribute renewable energy, which he said would quickly offset the annual $120 billion loss from power grid failures. The power grid can be outfitted so that consumers have better tools and information for conserving energy.
  • Aid to automakers to convert to the production of plug-in hybrids. Smart-grid technology that enables the cars to be charged during off-peak hours.
  • A nationwide effort to retrofit buildings, which account for 40 percent of carbon dioxide emissions, to be more energy-efficient.
  • Climate regulations to cap carbon dioxide emissions.

Gore also argued that alternative fossil fuel technologies–notably so-called clean coal, where carbon dioxide emissions are stored underground–are not yet viable options. (source)

November 10, 2008 Posted by | Go green, Inspiration, Politics | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Steal This: Waterwall Design

4-15-2008waterwall5.jpg
Take 50 used Voss Water Bottles (or any kind of glass container), add some decorative grass or flowers or whatever you choose, shelve them in a western-facing window, and you have a beautiful and green display. The water inside the bottles acts as thermal mass, absorbing and storing incoming heat and then releasing it after the sun has set. Cooling in the day, warming in the evening.

I love it! I wonder how long it would take if I use vodka bottles here at the house. More instructions on the shelving are available by clicking the link below.  (Source)

November 3, 2008 Posted by | Did you know?, Go green | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ooh, Pretty Dashboard

From CNET: Today we have news of the hybrid version of the Ford Fusion and the 2010 Mercury Milan, due to hit dealers in the first quarter of 2009. Both cars get a new generation of the full hybrid system currently used in the Ford Escape Hybrid and Mercury Mariner Hybrid. Ford isn’t giving out many details about this new hybrid system beyond the fact that it will get 5 mpg more than the Toyota Camry Hybrid. However, Ford has shown off the instrument cluster for the cars, a new concept in helping driver’s learn about their cars and achieve maximum fuel economy.

We’ve long been fascinated by the power flow animations in current hybrid cars, which show when power is coming from the electric motor of gas engine. Ford takes this idea a step further, placing LCDs on either side of the speedometer. Similar to concept cars we’ve seen at many car shows, the LCDs can be configured to show different kinds of information. Ford breaks the different standard displays down like this:

Ford breaks the different standard displays down like this:

  • Inform: Fuel level and battery charge status
  • Enlighten: Adds electric vehicle mode indicator and tachometer
  • Engage: Adds engine output power and battery output power
  • Empower: Adds power to wheels, engine pull-up threshold and accessory power consumption

The leaves on the right get greener as you get better mileage – cool eh?

October 30, 2008 Posted by | Did you know?, Go green | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment