Science and Technology

Microsoft Windows Cloud – Operating System that runs in the Internet

Posted on October 6, 2008. Filed under: Computer, Science and Technology |


Mr Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s chief executive, has hit the European press circuit in full-on tease mode. He’s talking up a new version of the Windows operating system that will cater to so-called “cloud computing” technology, where people use software that’s running in a data centre rather than on their local machine.

Mr Ballmer has mentioned this operating system, dubbed Windows Cloud, at events in London and Paris. The name-dropping comes ahead of Microsoft’s Professional Developers Conference later this month in Los Angeles.

So what exactly is Windows Cloud? Well, Microsoft won’t budge on exact details just yet.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announces that within a month, MS will release a new operating system he described as “Windows Cloud”—for webapp developers working on “cloud computing” apps like Zoho Suite and, um, Gmail (except not those). Computerworld reports:

The operating system, which will likely have a different name, is intended for developers writing cloud-computing applications, said Ballmer, who spoke to an auditorium of IT managers at a Microsoft-sponsored conference in London.

The Windows Cloud OS is a separate project from the upcoming Windows 7. Sheesh, this fall is shaping up to be a real tech humdinger, what with Google making browsers and Microsoft making light operating systems especially for webapps. Would you be interested in running “Windows Cloud,” or is a light XP (or, ahem, Linux) install with Firefox or Chrome good enough for you? Tell us what you think in the comments.

But Mr Dave Cutler, one of the company’s top software engineers, has spent years working on a project code-named Red Dog that some suspect will serve as the underpinning for the new operating system. Mr Cutler has a knack for developing sophisticated code, and he may have come up with an operating system tailored to this notion of distributing software across thousands of servers and letting customers tap into all that horsepower from their home or office computers.

Google’s vast data centres rely on a modified version of the open-source Linux operating system and the MySQL database. By going with open-source software, Google can tweak code to suit its needs. In particular, Google has been able to create lightweight versions of Linux and MySQL that spread well across myriad machines. Microsoft may now have taken a similar approach with Windows and its own SQL Server database by developing a thinner, faster version of Windows that server makers like Dell and Hewlett-Packard could offer with their systems. Presumably the new version of Windows would also make use of Microsoft’s server virtualization software, which today lets customers run many applications on a single physical system, and will soon let them move those applications around from server to server at will.

“Just as we have an operating system for the PC, for the phone, and for the server, we need a new operating system that runs in the Internet,” Mr Ballmer said during a speech in France on Thursday. “I bet we’ll call it Windows something. We’re going to announce it in four weeks. We might even have a trademark by then. So, for today I’ll call it Windows Cloud. And Windows Cloud will be a place where you can run arbitrary applications up in the Internet.” I’ve done a search through Microsoft’s trademarks, and, as Mr Ballmer indicated, there doesn’t appear to be a name for the software.

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Are your eating habits "Eating Away The Environment"??

Posted on September 27, 2008. Filed under: People and Places, Science and Technology |

Iam a veggie and Iam proud to be one! afterall Iam not contributing to the deterioration of the environment(as far as my eating habits are concerned) . Yes, its a fact and the recent research states that the meat-industry contributes to the 27% of the Global Warming!! Isnt this alarming to know that you are simply eating away your own environment. You might now argue that there are a hell a lot of other issues which contribute to pollution but lemme also put a fact that Only 10% of vegetarians die of heart disease and veggies are known to live longer. Doesnt this make you see yourself a 50 years from now?!! Even as I post this my fellow blog-contributors would get this hard but dear readers this is the Truth of the Day and its High-Time you realize…

Ok, let me advocate you not to go for non-veg on the ground of ethical and human values. Iam not trying to bring about any philosophical issues but rather like to bring about a practical survey..

As we know most of the world is starving to death. One cow consumes enough corn in its lifetime to feed 20 people–their entire life! The gallons of water a cow consumes in its lifetime is enough to fill a Naval Destroyer to its brim! If anyone is in to biology you know the energy pyramid. Even more energy is wasted by feeding, caring , and slaughtering beef. It would be so much more efficient if we all just switched to veg. That’s only counting beef. If we no longer slaughtered pigs, chicken, etc., we could export food to starving nations we could solve world hunger just by switching.
The practice of raising animals is actually bad for the economy. One acre of land can raise 1-3 cows, which are worth much less than an acre of business. We would actually need less land devoted to agriculture because Veggies feed more people on less space.

This is what the Rajendra Pachauri-United Nations Chief Climatic Expert had to say :-

Our appetite for animal flesh is boosting fertilizer production, pollution and emission of greenhouse gases to dangerous levels, Pachauri has told The Observer. Give up meat – at least for one day a week – and we can help to save the Earth, he added.

Nor is Pachauri, the chairman of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, alone in his complaints. A host of campaigners have united to condemn meat-eaters for bringing environmental mayhem to the world. ‘The human appetite for animal flesh is a driving force behind virtually every major category of environmental damage now threatening the human future: deforestation, erosion, fresh water scarcity, air and water pollution, climate change, biodiversity loss, social injustice, the destabilization of communities and the spread of disease,’ the Worldwatch Institute has warned.

‘The average meat eater in the US produces about 1.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide more than a vegetarian every year. That’s because animals are hungry and the grain they eat takes energy, usually fossil fuels, to produce,’ he says

A citizen of UAE eats nearly 100 kg of poultry products and an American consumes 46 Kg chicken per person annually while an average Indian just eats 2.1 kg of poultry products per person per year according to the US Department of Agriculture.

You may find it quite difficult to give up meat-eating right now but lemme suggest you an alternative. Donot eat Non-Veg for at least one day in a week and this applies majorly for the US citizens so that you can contribute something positive for the Environment.

Here is another issue where you might find a point above me saying that if the animals aren’t killed then they ruin the greenery coz there rises the chance of unbalanced Eco-System and if everybody on this planet start eating Veg. then there would be a food shortage. Yes, its true but invest the same amount of resources that you otherwise lay on the Animals to make them healthier and eatable on the Agriculture i.e to cultivate the vegetables and I bet you’ll reap more and can certainly meet the appetite of this World!!


Think…..???

And finally I would like to wrap up the post by thanking Bawa ji for inspiring me to write this article. I was there at the ‘Utsav’ conducted by Mr.Bawa on behalf of YES! at Hyderabad(24-27th Sep 08), to light up the Young Minds who is a follower of Guruji Sri Sri Ravi Shankar better known by the organization-Art of Living.


Further Resources

Are we so Barbaric?? ==> allphilosophy

Is you taste for Sunday roast killing your planet?? read more

Economic Times— Will going veggie help to save the Earth??

Mind Body n Soul

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NASA’s Nuclear Reactor for moon base

Posted on September 16, 2008. Filed under: Science and Technology |


NASA is tip-toeing once again into what was once called the N-word — nuclear — with a technology development program aimed at powering its planned base on the moon.

The goal of the Fission Surface Power Project, which is based at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, is to produce a non-nuclear prototype unit within five years.

NASA’s last foray into nuclear technologies was a project that began in 2003 known as Prometheus, which focused on both nuclear propulsion and nuclear-powered generators that ultimately could be used to support a manned mission to Mars and for deep-space probes, such as a mission to Jupiter’s ocean-bearing moon Europa.

Prometheus was preceded in the 1950s and 60s by the NERVA, Project Orion and other initiatives.

Prometheus ended, but a small-scale effort to develop a compact, highly autonomous fission reactor as part of the agency’s new exploration initiative, Project Constellation, survived. The program aims to return U.S. astronauts to the moon by 2020 and establish a base before moving on to manned missions to Mars and other bodies in the solar system.

Supported at a cost of about $10 million a year, the Fission Surface Power Project this week awarded two contracts for power conversion units, used to turn the heat of nuclear reactions into electricity.

NASA envisions needing a system capable of providing about 40 kilowatts of electricity — about what’s used to power eight average homes in the United States.

It would be launched cold and without radioactive elements until operations were to begin on the lunar surface.

NASA is thinking about burying the system so the lunar soil can serve as shielding.

The converter design by Sunpower Inc., of Athens, Ohio, uses two opposed piston engines coupled to alternators to produce a total of 12 kilowatts of power. Barber Nichols Inc. of Arvada, Colo., is developing a closed Brayton cycle engine that uses a high-speed turbine and compressor coupled to a rotary alternator. It also generates 12 kilowatts.

The ground system would not use any nuclear materials, said project manager Lee Mason.

“Our goal is to build a technology demonstration unit with all the major components of a fission surface power system and conduct non-nuclear, integrated system testing in a ground-based space simulation facility,” he said.

A space-based reactor would have to be much more compact than fission reactors currently operating on Earth and would generate far less power. The agency also is looking at solar-powered technologies, fuel cells and other systems.

Among engineers’ challenges are the harsh, radioactive environments and the extreme temperature ranges of space.

The moon’s 29.5-day rotational period produces long, cold nights lasting 354 hours, which presents a formidable challenge for solar-powered systems. On Mars, the night-time is just 12 hours, but its distance from sun means only 20 percent of the energy that reaches the moon makes it to Mars.

“As you get further and further out, the missions get longer and longer, and you’re going to have to have higher and higher power levels,” said John Warren, who oversees the program at NASA headquarters in Washington D.C. “You’re probably going to have to have nuclear, and I think that will be recognized not only here in the U.S., but around the world.”


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August carries this hoax

Posted on August 23, 2008. Filed under: Science and Technology |

So when have you last seen the Mars-Earth close approach?? But let me remind you that it is not an annual event such as a birthday or an anniversary that it keeps happening every year! Yes it is a matter of fact that during this august there seems the hoaxers are busy forwarding a message which is just not accepted by the space community!

*Two moons on 27 August*

27th august is what the whole world is waiting for…..

Planet mars will be the brightest in the sky starting august.

It’ll look as large as the full moon to the naked eye.This will cultivate on Aug.27 when Mars comes within 34.65M miles of Earth.Be sure to watch the sky on Aug27 12:30 AM.It will look like the earth has 2 moons.The next time Mars may come this close in 2287.

Share this with your friends as NO ONE ALIVE TODAY will ever see it again.

Well.. then that e-mail or an IM must have raised many eye-brows and if you have planned a sky hunt then I am afraid you wont find any spectacular scene. Lemme put some facts regarding this issue just in case you still go with the e-mail. 😀

  • Mars did make an extraordinarily close approach to earth several years ago, culminating on 27th Aug 03, when the Red planet came within 35 Million miles-its nearest approach in 60000 years.
  • And it appeared 6 times larger and 85 times brighter than its normally seen.
  • But it wasn’t as huge as a moon(This was just a wrong interpretation)
  • Mars had another close encounter in 2005 but it was in October not August and the Red planet appeared 20% smaller than it did in Aug 03.
  • It had made yet another closer approach on December 07 but it was still 55 Million miles away from us .
  • Mars has a year that equals 1.88 Earth years and as a result only comes close to us once every 26 months.

So the next time forward a message be sure that u are not following a group of innocents. 😛

Further Info

Snopes.com

Yahoo Answers

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How maglev trains work

Posted on June 17, 2008. Filed under: Science and Technology |

Trains have always fascinated me, I bet this is the case with most of you, I sometimes get a feeling 2 have my hand over to one of those beauties(trains ofcourse!!!). May that be France’s TGV or Japan’s The Series N700 ,, they have always been there to be followed n looked upto, I really wish traveling on one of these.. But the Maglev is something special, A step above, technological feat of the recent times. So, lets have a deeper look at this Maglev….

A few countries are using powerful electromagnets to develop high-speed trains, called maglev trains. Maglev is short for magnetic levitation, which means that these trains will float over a guideway using the basic principles of magnets to replace the old steel wheel and track trains. In this article, you will learn how electromagnetic propulsion works, how three specific types of maglev trains work and where you can ride one of these trains.

Electromagnetic Suspension(EMS)

If you’ve ever played with magnets, you know that opposite poles attract and like poles repel each other. This is the basic principle behind electromagnetic propulsion. Electromagnets are similar to other magnets in that they attract metal objects, but the magnetic pull is temporary. As you can read about in How Electromagnets Work, you can easily create a small electromagnet yourself by connecting the ends of a copper wire to the positive and negative ends of an AA, C or D-cell battery. This creates a small magnetic field. If you disconnect either end of the wire from the battery, the magnetic field is taken away.

The magnetic field created in this wire-and-battery experiment is the simple idea behind a maglev train rail system. There are three components to this system:

  • A large electrical power source
  • Metal coils lining a guideway or track
  • Large guidance magnets attached to the underside of the train

The big difference between a maglev train and a conventional train is that maglev trains do not have an engine — at least not the kind of engine used to pull typical train cars along steel tracks. The engine for maglev trains is rather inconspicuous. Instead of using fossil fuels, the magnetic field created by the electrified coils in the guideway walls and the track combine to propel the train.

The Maglev Train

The magnetized coil running along the track, called a guideway, repels the large magnets on the train’s undercarriage, allowing the train to levitate between 0.39 and 3.93 inches (1 to 10 cm) above the guideway. Once the train is levitated, power is supplied to the coils within the guideway walls to create a unique system of magnetic fields that pull and push the train along the guideway. The electric current supplied to the coils in the guideway walls is constantly alternating to change the polarity of the magnetized coils. This change in polarity causes the magnetic field in front of the train to pull the vehicle forward, while the magnetic field behind the train adds more forward thrust.

Maglev trains float on a cushion of air, eliminating friction. This lack of friction and the trains’ aerodynamic designs allow these trains to reach unprecedented ground transportation speeds of more than 310 mph (500 kph), or twice as fast as Amtrak’s fastest commuter train. In comparison, a Boeing-777 commercial airplane used for long-range flights can reach a top speed of about 562 mph (905 kph). Developers say that maglev trains will eventually link cities that are up to 1,000 miles (1,609 km) apart. At 310 mph, you could travel from Paris to Rome in just over two hours.

Germany and Japan are both developing maglev train technology, and both are currently testing prototypes of their trains. (The German company “Transrapid International” also has a train in commercial use — more about that in the next section.) Although based on similar concepts, the German and Japanese trains have distinct differences. In Germany, engineers have developed an electrodynamic suspension (EMS) system, called Transrapid. In this system, the bottom of the train wraps around a steel guideway. Electromagnets attached to the train’s undercarriage are directed up toward the guideway, which levitates the train about 1/3 of an inch (1 cm) above the guideway and keeps the train levitated even when it’s not moving. Other guidance magnets embedded in the train’s body keep it stable during travel. Germany has demonstrated that the Transrapid maglev train can reach 300 mph with people onboard.

Electrodynamic Suspension

Japanese engineers are developing a competing version of maglev trains that use an electrodynamic suspension (EDS) system, which is based on the repelling force of magnets. The key difference between Japanese and German maglev trains is that the Japanese trains use super-cooled, superconducting electromagnets. This kind of electromagnet can conduct electricity even after the power supply has been shut off. In the EMS system, which uses standard electromagnets, the coils only conduct electricity when a power supply is present. By chilling the coils at frigid temperatures, Japan’s system saves energy. However, the cryogenic system uses to cool the coils can be expensive.

Another difference between the systems is that the Japanese trains levitate nearly 4 inches (10 cm) above the guideway. One potential drawback in using the EDS system is that maglev trains must roll on rubber tires until they reach a liftoff speed of about 62 mph (100 kph). Japanese engineers say the wheels are an advantage if a power failure caused a shutdown of the system. Germany’s Transrapid train is equipped with an emergency battery power supply. Also, passengers with pacemakers would have to be shielded from the magnetic fields generated by the superconducting electromagnets.[more…]

Maglev Technology in use

While maglev transportation was first proposed more than a century ago, the first commercial maglev train made its test debut in Shanghai, China, in 2002 , using the train developed by German company Transrapid International. The same line made its first open-to-the-public commercial run about a year later in December of 2003. The Shanghai Transrapid line currently runs to and from the Longyang Road station at the city’s center and Pudong airport. Traveling at an average speed of 267 mph (430 kmh), the 19 mile (30 km) journey takes less than 10 minutes on the maglev train as opposed to an hour-long taxi ride. China is building an extension of the Shanghai line that will run 99 miles (160 km) to Hangzhou. Construction is scheduled to begin in fall 2006 and should be completed by the 2010 Shanghai Expo. This line will be the first Maglev rail line to run between two cities.[more…]

More on Maglev

wiki link

Maglev System development homepage

Intro 2 maglev

Shanghai’s Official maglev

Maglev’s overview

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World’s longest undersea tunnel–The Seikan Tunnel

Posted on June 16, 2008. Filed under: Science and Technology |

The Seikan Tunnel is a 53.85 km (33.49 mile) railway tunnel in Japan, with a 23.3 km (14.5 mile) portion under the seabed. It is the longest undersea tunnel in the world. It travels beneath the Tsugaru Strait — connecting Aomori Prefecture on the Japanese island of Honshū and the island of Hokkaidō — as part of the Kaikyo Line of Hokkaido Railway Company. Although it is the longest traffic (railway or road) tunnel in the world, faster and cheaper air travel has left the Seikan Tunnel comparatively underused. Its claim to the record will be taken when the Gotthard Base Tunnel, another railroad tunnel, is completed around 2018.

In 1954, a typhoon sank five ferry boats in Japan’s Tsugaru Strait and killed 1,430 people. In response to public outrage, the Japanese government searched for a safer way to cross the dangerous strait. With such unpredictable weather conditions, engineers agreed that a bridge would be too risky to build. A tunnel seemed a perfect solution. Ten years later, work began on what would be the longest and hardest underwater dig ever attempted.

Engineers couldn’t use a tunnel boring machine to carve the Seikan Tunnel because the rock and soil beneath the Tsugaru Strait was random and unpredictable. Instead, tunnel workers painstakingly drilled and blasted 33 miles through a major earthquake zone to link the main Japanese island of Honshu with the northern island of Hokkaido. Today, the Seikan Tunnel is the longest railroad tunnel in the world at 33.4 miles in length, 14.3 miles of which lie under the Tsugaru Strait.

Three stories high and 800 feet below the sea, the main tunnel was designed to serve the Shinkansen, Japan’s high-speed bullet train. Unfortunately, the cost of extending the Shinkansen service through the new tunnel proved to be too expensive. In fact, air travel today between Honshu and Hokkaido is quicker and almost as cheap as rail travel through the tunnel. Despite its limited use, the Seikan Tunnel remains one of the greatest engineering feats of the 20th century.

The Structure

Currently, only narrow gauge track is laid through the twin tunnels, but the Hokkaidō Shinkansen project (which started construction in 2005) will include laying dual-gauge track and linking the tunnel into the Shinkansen network, so Shinkansen trains can traverse the tunnel to Hakodate (scheduled for 2015) and eventually Sapporo. The tunnel has 52 km of continuous welded rail.

Two stations are located within the tunnel: Tappi-Kaitei Station and Yoshioka-Kaitei Station. The stations serve as emergency escape points. In the event of a fire or other disaster, both stations provide the equivalent safety of a much shorter tunnel. The effectiveness of the escape shafts located at the emergency stations is enhanced by: exhaust fans to extract smoke; television cameras to route passengers to safety; thermal (infrared) fire alarm systems; and water spray nozzles.

Previously, both the stations contained museums detailing the history and function of the tunnel, and could be visited on special sightseeing tours. Now only Tappi-Kaitei remains as a museum, Yoshioka-Kaitei was demolished on March 16, 2006 to make way for Hokkaidō Shinkansen preparations.

The two stations were also the first train stations in the world built under the sea.

Some Facts

  • More than 2,800 tons of explosives were used in the construction of the tunnel.
  • One hundred sixty-eight thousand tons of steel was used in the construction of the tunnel. That’s enough steel to build four Petronas Towers!
  • The railway track runs 787 feet below the surface of the sea, making it the deepest railway line in the world.
  • During construction in 1976, tunnel workers hit a patch of soft rock with disastrous results. Water gushed into the tunnel at a whopping rate of 80 tons per minute. It took more than two months to control the flood. Luckily, no lives were lost.

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World’s longest undersea tunnel–The Seikan Tunnel

Posted on June 16, 2008. Filed under: Science and Technology |

The Seikan Tunnel is a 53.85 km (33.49 mile) railway tunnel in Japan, with a 23.3 km (14.5 mile) portion under the seabed. It is the longest undersea tunnel in the world. It travels beneath the Tsugaru Strait — connecting Aomori Prefecture on the Japanese island of Honshū and the island of Hokkaidō — as part of the Kaikyo Line of Hokkaido Railway Company. Although it is the longest traffic (railway or road) tunnel in the world, faster and cheaper air travel has left the Seikan Tunnel comparatively underused. Its claim to the record will be taken when the Gotthard Base Tunnel, another railroad tunnel, is completed around 2018.

In 1954, a typhoon sank five ferry boats in Japan’s Tsugaru Strait and killed 1,430 people. In response to public outrage, the Japanese government searched for a safer way to cross the dangerous strait. With such unpredictable weather conditions, engineers agreed that a bridge would be too risky to build. A tunnel seemed a perfect solution. Ten years later, work began on what would be the longest and hardest underwater dig ever attempted.

Engineers couldn’t use a tunnel boring machine to carve the Seikan Tunnel because the rock and soil beneath the Tsugaru Strait was random and unpredictable. Instead, tunnel workers painstakingly drilled and blasted 33 miles through a major earthquake zone to link the main Japanese island of Honshu with the northern island of Hokkaido. Today, the Seikan Tunnel is the longest railroad tunnel in the world at 33.4 miles in length, 14.3 miles of which lie under the Tsugaru Strait.

Three stories high and 800 feet below the sea, the main tunnel was designed to serve the Shinkansen, Japan’s high-speed bullet train. Unfortunately, the cost of extending the Shinkansen service through the new tunnel proved to be too expensive. In fact, air travel today between Honshu and Hokkaido is quicker and almost as cheap as rail travel through the tunnel. Despite its limited use, the Seikan Tunnel remains one of the greatest engineering feats of the 20th century.

The Structure

Currently, only narrow gauge track is laid through the twin tunnels, but the Hokkaidō Shinkansen project (which started construction in 2005) will include laying dual-gauge track and linking the tunnel into the Shinkansen network, so Shinkansen trains can traverse the tunnel to Hakodate (scheduled for 2015) and eventually Sapporo. The tunnel has 52 km of continuous welded rail.

Two stations are located within the tunnel: Tappi-Kaitei Station and Yoshioka-Kaitei Station. The stations serve as emergency escape points. In the event of a fire or other disaster, both stations provide the equivalent safety of a much shorter tunnel. The effectiveness of the escape shafts located at the emergency stations is enhanced by: exhaust fans to extract smoke; television cameras to route passengers to safety; thermal (infrared) fire alarm systems; and water spray nozzles.

Previously, both the stations contained museums detailing the history and function of the tunnel, and could be visited on special sightseeing tours. Now only Tappi-Kaitei remains as a museum, Yoshioka-Kaitei was demolished on March 16, 2006 to make way for Hokkaidō Shinkansen preparations.

The two stations were also the first train stations in the world built under the sea.

Some Facts

  • More than 2,800 tons of explosives were used in the construction of the tunnel.
  • One hundred sixty-eight thousand tons of steel was used in the construction of the tunnel. That’s enough steel to build four Petronas Towers!
  • The railway track runs 787 feet below the surface of the sea, making it the deepest railway line in the world.
  • During construction in 1976, tunnel workers hit a patch of soft rock with disastrous results. Water gushed into the tunnel at a whopping rate of 80 tons per minute. It took more than two months to control the flood. Luckily, no lives were lost.

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Top 10 Emerging Environmental Technologies

Posted on June 5, 2008. Filed under: Science and Technology |


Just because you’re concerned about climate change doesn’t mean you have to live in a yurt in outer Mongolia. You can be passionate about the Environment, without strapping yourself to a whaling ship or using yourself as a human shield against bulldozers that mow down old-growth trees. All it takes are a few smart, fuss-free choices to make the change you wish to see in the world, while rejuvenating your body, home, and planet at the same time. Choosing green might even save you some green in the process. This list of ten is by no means exhaustive, but it’s a righteous start.


One Bright Idea

If you’re going to do just one thing for the planet, make it the switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). Although they cost several times more upfront than regular incandescent light bulbs, they also last about 10 times longer, which means that for every CFL you screw in, you’ll be saving eight incandescent light bulbs from landfill purgatory. Plus, you’ll save some serious cash in the long run. Because CFLs use 75 percent less energy, swapping one incandescent bulb for a CFL reduces carbon dioxide by 500 pounds a year; replacing 17 has the equivalent effect of taking one car off the road for a year. Just remember to recycle spent bulbs responsibly – CFLs contain trace amounts of mercury, which although isn’t enough to be hazardous to you, could pose a problem in landfills when mercury from multiple bulbs leaches into the ground.

Seeing Stars

The average home can pump out twice as much greenhouse-gas emissions as the average car. Purchasing energy-saving Energy Star-rated appliances, electronics, and lighting can help mitigate that, while slashing a third of your electric bill. (A power guzzler is nobody’s friend.) Improving the energy efficiency of your home could even earn you tax credits from Uncle Sam.

Paper nor Plastic

Eschew plastic bags by bringing your own reusable canvas totes the next time you’re at the supermarket or store. Because petroleum-based plastic isn’t biodegradable, it’s certain to outlive you-by about a millennium or so. Each year, thousands of marine animals, including the endangered leatherback turtle, choke to death on plastic trash they mistake for snackable morsels. Our unholy love for plastic disposables has also bred a swirling vortex of plastic trash the size of Texas in the North Pacific Ocean-not surprising when you consider that Americans run through about 100 billion plastic bags annually, using up an estimated 12 million barrels of oil.

No Soliciting

Deforestation is responsible for 25 percent of all carbon emissions released into the atmosphere, through the burning and cutting of 34 million acres of trees annually. Save some virgin and old-growth forests by opting out of paper catalogs and browsing online, instead. Why did you think Al Gore invented the Internet? Shed those extra 41 pounds of junk mail the average American packs on each year by removing yourself from direct-mail mailing lists; if you need a tad more help, companies such as GreenDimes and 41pounds.org have got your back.

Get Better Mileage

Who knew cauliflower were such globe-trotters? Or that jet-setting tomatoes racked up frequent-flier miles? But it’s true: North American produce typically travels a minimum of 1,500 miles. Grapes can clock 2,143 miles cruising from vineyards in Napa Valley to supermarket aisles in Chicago, gobbling up barrels of crude oil and spewing pollutants and greenhouse-gas emissions in their wake. By buying your produce locally, whether it’s through the farmers’ market or a community-assisted agriculture program, you can reduce your “food miles,” otherwise known as the distance your food has to travel to get from the farm to your plate. Now that’s fresh.

The 3 R’s

Start rolling those Rs: Reduce, reuse, and recycle-and in that order. Let’s face it, we’re mired deep in ecological debt because we’re consuming more resources than nature can replenish. By gorging on more than our fair share of the world’s resources, we’re also diverting essentials such as food, clothing, and water from communities in greater need. So let’s recap: It’s better to reduce your personal consumption than it is to reuse something, and it’s less environmentally taxing to reuse a product than to have it recycled. Separating recyclables from your regular trash, which barely takes any effort, is a no-brainer, of course; recycling aluminum, for instance, takes as little as 5 percent of the energy we’d need to manufacture virgin aluminum.

Get Off the Grid

Opt for clean, renewable energy if it’s offered in your area. Low-impact sources such as wind, solar, and hydroelectric power reduce our dependence on coal-burning power plants, a major source of greenhouse-gas emissions. And because harnessing the power of renewable “fuels” such as sun and wind are free, your electric bill is likely to scale down because of the reduced price of wholesale electricity.

Slay Energy Vampires

You may not know it, but households across the globe are infested with vampires. Energy vampires, that is. Cleverly disguised as innocuous household appliances (psst undead that consume 1,000 kilowatt hours a year per household, while in standby mode: your toaster, coffeemaker, hair dryer, PC, printer, cable box, and cell phone , your television is one of them), their nasty pointed teeth plunge deep into your wall socket, draining power all hours of the day and night, even after you’ve switched them off. (Americans pay $1 billion a year to power our televisions and VCRs while they’re turned off.) Other sleeper agents of the electriccharger. You don’t have to live in a constant state of fear, however, forever checking behind your back for that one appliance you forgot to pull the plug of. Just plug adjacent equipment into power strips with surge protectors, and before you crawl under the safety of your covers-or head out to work-simply flip the switch.

Go Natural

Our chemical arsenal may be able to exterminate creepy crawlies and polish our countertops, but they’re slowly killing us, too. The man-made chemicals we favor are like the obnoxious houseguest who overstays his welcome-an average of 200 industrial compounds, pollutants and other chemicals, for instance, were recently discovered in the umbilical-cord blood of newborns. (These included seven dangerous pesticides, some of which were banned in the U.S. more than 30 years ago.) We’re serving our kids potent chemical cocktails even before they’re born-not quite the head start they may have been hoping to get. Pesticides have also been implicated in Parkinson’s disease, infertility, brain damage, and cancer. So ditch the poisons and choose natural, non-toxic, and equally effective methods of cleaning and corralling pests. You probably already have what you need in your kitchen to get started. Chowing down on organically grown food will cut out pesticides from your diet, as well.

Build it Green

Trees, in a word, rock. They absorb heat-trapping carbon dioxide, hold soil together to prevent landslides, and provide a rich habitat for diverse plants and animals. Choose furniture made from eco-friendly sources such as sustainably managed forests, bamboo, and reclaimed wood. Buying vintage wherever possible, rather than adding something new into the waste stream, is always in style. Also, look for furniture that is durable and likely long-lived-you’ll save money on replacements in the future and prevent more wasted materials from winding up in the landfill. And, if for some reason, that dresser or dining table no longer suits your needs, something in fine shape will always have takers via Craig’s List, eBay, or Freecycle.

Must Visit:

Planet Green is the first and only 24-hour eco-lifestyle television network with a robust online presence and community. Launching in June 2008, on-air content will reach 50 million homes with more than 250 hours of original green lifestyle programming. Both online and on-air, Plant Green’s content is entertaining, relevant, and accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds. By representing a broad range of ideas and perspectives, Planet Green is taking an active role in generating conversation and motivating individuals to take action when it comes to improving the environmental status of our planet.

TreeHugger is the leading media outlet dedicated to driving sustainability mainstream. Partial to a modern aesthetic, we strive to be a one-stop shop for green news, solutions, and product information. At TreeHugger we know that variety is the spice of life, so you can find all you need to go green in our up to the minute blog, weekly and daily newsletters, weekly video segments, weekly radio show and our user-generated blog, Hugg. We also extend our expertise to companies looking for a little green guidance. Past clients include Domino, Sundance Channel and House & Garden.

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Mobile-Cancer Debate

Posted on June 4, 2008. Filed under: Science and Technology |


What do brain surgeons know about cellphone safety that the rest of us don’t? Last week, neurosurgeons told CNN that they did not hold cellphones next to their ears. “I think the safe practice,” said Dr. Keith Black, a surgeon in Los Angeles, “is to use an earpiece so you keep the microwave antenna away from your brain.” Dr. Vini Khurana, an associate professor of neurosurgery at the Australian National University, said: “I use it on the speaker-phone mode. I do not hold it to my ear.” And CNN’s chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, a neurosurgeon at Emory University Hospital, said that like Dr. Black he used an earpiece.

Along with Senator Edward M. Kennedy’s recent diagnosis of a glioma, a type of tumor that critics have long associated with cellphone use, the doctors’ remarks have helped reignite a long-simmering debate about cellphones and cancer.

That supposed link has been largely dismissed by many experts, including the American Cancer Society. The theory that cellphones cause brain tumors “defies credulity,” said Dr. Eugene Flamm, chairman of neurosurgery at Montefiore Medical Center.According to the Food and Drug Administration, three large epidemiology studies since 2000 have shown no harmful effects. CTIA – the Wireless Association, the leading industry trade group, said in a statement, “The overwhelming majority of studies that have been published in scientific journals around the globe show that wireless phones do not pose a health risk.”

The F.D.A. notes, however, that the average period of phone use in the studies it cites was about three years, so the research doesn’t answer questions about long-term exposures. Critics say many studies are flawed for that reason, and also because they do not distinguish between casual and heavy use. Cellphones emit non-ionizing radiation, waves of energy that are too weak to break chemical bonds or to set off the DNA damage known to cause cancer. There is no known biological mechanism to explain how non-ionizing radiation might lead to cancer. But researchers who have raised concerns say that just because science can’t explain the mechanism doesn’t mean one doesn’t exist. Concerns have focused on the heat generated by cellphones and the fact that the radio frequencies are absorbed mostly by the head and neck. In recent studies that suggest a risk, the tumors tend to occur on the same side of the head where the patient typically holds the phone.

Like most research on the subject, the studies are observational, showing only an association between cellphone use and cancer, not a causal relationship. The most important of these studies is called Interphone, a vast research effort in 13 countries, including Canada and Israel. Some of the research suggests a link between cellphone use and three types of tumors: glioma; cancer of the parotid, a salivary gland near the ear; and acoustic neuroma, a tumor that essentially occurs where the ear meets the brain.

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10 Technologies That Will Transform Your Life

Posted on June 3, 2008. Filed under: Fun and Facts, Science and Technology |

Browsing through the articles on the web regarding this subject i found many of them but the ‘Ten’ technologies mentioned below are most common.So take note of them because

Predictions are risky, especially when they concern the future. That said, there are technologies being tinkered with right now that could transform your life – if and when they are brought to full expression.” – Lamont Wood

1.The Hydrogen Economy:

Instead of guzzling imported oil (and being at the mercy of oil suppliers) we could turn water into hydrogen and burn that (or use to charge fuel cells.) Meanwhile, the only byproduct of the combustion of hydrogen is … more water! However, hydrogen storage remains a thorny issue, due to its low density, and hydrogen may end up being only one of many interlocking components that replace the current oil economy.[+more]


2.Therapeutic Cloning:

Forget the stories about generating identical copies of a particular sheep or person. The whole idea behind cloning all along has been to grow replacement organs or tissue in a vat, which the body would see no reason to reject. Cancerous or damaged organs could be replaced by new, disease-free clones of themselves.[+more]

3.Moore’s Law Upheld:

The law, stated by Intel cofounder Gordon Moore in 1965, implies that available computer power can be expected to double every other year. For at least two decades pundits have been pointing out barriers to the law’s fulfillment, and the chip industry has been smashing those barriers. Currently they can’t agree if the law has a couple of more decades of life left, or 600 years. Either way, in terms of available computing power, it’s clear that we ain’t seen nothing yet.[+more]

4.Desktop 3-D Printing:

Instead of going to the store for your next gadget, you might download a design of your choosing and generate it in your desktop 3-D printer. The next step will be to design your own gadgets, post the designs, and sell them, etc. Toys, kitchenware, and decorative household items should be fair game, at least. Cottage industry, here we come![+more]

5.Location Based Computing:

Instead of clicking an icon on a browser screen, you can walk outside, point your cell phone at an actual three-dimensional thing (presumably, a building that houses a business), click the phone, and get information about (or jump to the Web site of) whatever you were pointing at. As well as servers with Internet address, there will be servers with geographic coordinates.[+more]

6.Better,Cheaper solar cells:

The cost of photovoltaic cells (that turn sunlight into electricity) are coming down. In less than ten years the cost of solar energy could be at parity with the cost of electricity from the grid, and solar cells could be standard features in new residential construction. Your house could power itself about a third of the time. (Science can’t do much about night and bad weather.)[+more]

7.Mobile Robots:

The recent DARPA challenge (where robot cars navigated through suburban traffic) hints at what might come. Why drive to the deli to pick up your order when you can just send your car? We may see convoys of robot trucks on the highways. Admittedly, they’ll probably have more initial acceptance in warehouses, handling pick-and-pull chore[+more]

8.Pervasive Wireless Internet:

WiMAX, 3G, 4G, etc., all point to a pervasive wireless Internet, where being on-line everywhere, all the time, will be routine. That implies the possibility of full connectivity between any two random devices. Want to check your burglar alarm from your cell phone? It’ll be easy. Unjacking to get away and relax, however, may not be so easy.[+more]

9.Gene Therapy:

A lot of maladies actually involve inherited conditions-they’re in your genes, in other words. But scientists are working to change those genes and trick defective cells into growing correctly. Perhaps, someday, birth defects will be as treatable as pneumonia.[+more]

10.Digital Libraires:

Having total connectivity is pointless if all you get is the latest gossip about Paris Hilton. But the digitization of mankind’s accumulated works proceeds apace. All of MIT’s courses are now online, for instance, and, if you haven’t done so, check out Google Book Search. The time will come when any straightforward factual question can be answered immediately, online. But, alas, those are always the easy questions.[+more]

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