Monthly Archives September 2006

A Cheaper Eco-Sport Car

It certainly doesn’t approach the allure of the Tesla Roadster, but there’s another set of high-performance, alternate-technology cars in the works as well: a Brazilian company is poised to launch a line of cars under the name “Obvio!” next year. The low end model, the Obvio! 828, starts at $14,000 for a hybrid version that runs on gas, ethanol, or any mix of the two; it gets mileage of 33 MPG city/44 MPG highway on gasoline (30/40 on ethanol) with a top speed of 100 MPH. It also comes in an electric-only version with a 200 – 240 mile range
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Categories: Eco-nerd and Toys.

Eating Patagonian Toothfish?

You may or may not be aware that the sudden rise in popularity of the Patagonian toothfish (aka “Chilean Sea Bass”) in the 1990s, combined with their slow rate of maturity, led to the near extinction of that fish. Conservationists called for a complete ban on their consumption until such a time as the species’ viability can be assured. Today, I was in Whole Foods; they stopped carrying Patagoinian toothfish over 7 years ago in response to the overfishing situation. But today — today, they had it in stock, accompanied by a big “Welcome Back Chilean Sea Bass!” banner. They
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Categories: Eco-nerd and Food.

It gets weirder than you _can_ think

Every year the great State of Texas holds a huge State Fair. There’s a lot to make this fair unique, but one of the more extreme traditions is finding the wildest fried thing they can convince people to pay money for, and sometimes even eat. At this point, you’re probably thinking fried twinkie, fried oreo, fried pork rinds, but no – those are left for the mundane, unimaginative fairs of other states and countries. Here, folks compete for wierd. Last year you could get a fried peanut butter, jelly, and banana sandwich. One of the winners was fried macaroni and
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Categories: Dear God, Make It Stop!, Entertainment, Food, General, and Silly Stuff.

Full Spectrum CFL Bulbs

For quite a long time, Jean has been extolling the virtues of full-spectrum fluorescent bulbs. Not only do they have better color rendering than other fluorescents; they also purportedly have psychological effects that help most people feel better overall. Unfortunately, the full-spectrum bulbs that I’ve known about have all been either tubes (which I have only in the kitchen) or highly-specialized lamp bulbs (which are of no use to me). I have just recently been made aware of the availability of full spectrum compact fluorescent light bulbs. They’re a bit pricy, but probably worth trying out. I’ll have to order
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Categories: Eco-nerd.

Hypercolor Monitors in the Works?

In an earlier post, I discussed the difference between purple and violet, and explored some of the color limitations of electronic display technology. Phil recently pointed out an article in Wired that discusses the use of adjustable diffraction gratings to produce arbitrary colors. (In practice, the gratings don’t produce the colors; they diffract a white light in such a way that the desired color can be made to pass through a pinhole). In theory, an array of these can be constructed to produce vivid-color televisions and monitors. There’s something I find a bit suspect about the article, though. I mean,
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Categories: Science and Toys.