New Electricity

Photovoltaic energy, batteries and electricity

Here in the UK, sometimes you can get subsidies to upgrade older property, so a few months ago I had a green energy survey done, and then I had a new boiler installed and much thicker loft insulation – the energy savings for these will pay the cost off quickly.

I could also have joined a scheme where electricity from solar panels would be fed into the grid, and the profit from this would repay the cost of the loan over (say) 15 years (I forget the exact details of how it could have worked). However, the surveyor advised me against this, as I could only fit 5 panels on my roof.

Let’s say that the total cost of the scheme would be  £ 6,000. This would be spent in four equal quarters each of  £ 1,500 –

Ethical Filamant

Ethically produced filament for 3D printers

Protoprint is a new organisation in India that is trying to help the poorest people who work picking  “valuable” waste from rubbish tips. Rather than selling their plastic to merchants, they propose partner urban waste pickers in India to recycle waste plastic to produce price competitive, ethically sourced, 3D Printer Filament for 3D printers, so that every spool of Protoprint Fair Trade Filament translates to over 15 times more earnings for the wastepickers. Visit their website

They also offer India's first Mobile 3D print lab to educational institutions to give their students a first exposure to 3D printing.

Fog Catcher

A Better Fog Catcher

In many parts of the world, mist or cloud rolls in from the sea, and dew forms in the morning, but there is seldom if ever any rain, for example in the Atacama desert in Chile.

A Canadian charity called FogQuest seems to be one of the main organisations active in this field, and they have provided fog nets to a number of projects around the world. The nets catch the water, and it gradually forms drops and runs down into a reservoir, and it can then be used for drinking or for irrigation.

Alternative Technology

Alternative Technology.

Perhaps the main feature of our age has been the advances we have made in technology – so many that it is almost impossible to keep up.

Many of the advances seem almost dystopian – if everyone had one (e.g. a car), it would damage the earth, but others seem like they might be the components of a new civilisation, and I will try and report on some of these.

The initial pages are:-

Projects

Projects

This part of the Registers section is just developing at the moment.

There are amazing projects all around the world in all sort of sectors. I want to try and gather the best of them. Some Sectors ………

Design

I love modern design – one of my highlights of every recent year has been to go to the Design Museum in London for their “Design of the Year” show, where they select about 100 of the best new designs.

Here are some examples - please send more, and I’ll try to think of a way of making a better page :-

Plants and Chloroplasts

Plant Cells and Chloroplasts

About a million years ago, a similar thing happened and the forerunners of plants took in a type of algae call (a free-living cyanobacteria – when it is inside the cell it is called a chloroplast). Again, this provides the energy for the cell, producing sugars by photosynthesis.

We know that symbiosis occurs fairly often with plants – some orchids need their own special type of companion fungus to grow, but that is not the same as internalising another cell.

Animals and Mitochondria

Animal Cells and Mitochondria. The earliest chimera to occur was the combination of the standard cells (eukaryotes, which contain DNA) with mitochondria, which are very similar to free-living, small lozenge-shaped bacteria. This union occurred 2 million years ago.

However, recent research shows that mitochondria do far more than this – much of this is very technical, but some of the more easily understood examples are:-

Chimeras

Chimeras have become very important in science. There are two major examples which I describe in  two seperate pages

Toolbox - this website

Discourse Toolbox – Convergence Lodge - this website

Here is an outline of the Discourse Toolbox, using the individual tools to learn about this website.

Many other answers would be possible in a complete analysis – this page is to show some of the potential of the techniques, applying it to this website.