Friday, August 27, 2010

Worldchanging: Bright Green: Hygroelectricity: A Prospective New Energy Source - Electricity Pulled Out of Thin Air!

Worldchanging: Bright Green: Hygroelectricity: A Prospective New Energy Source - Electricity Pulled Out of Thin Air!: "Recent scientific advancements have led to one innovation that can extract potable water from atmospheric moisture and another that produces synthetic fuel feedstock by removing atmospheric carbon dioxide. Science Daily now reports of cutting-edge clean energy developments that are poised to harvest the electrical energy produced naturally in the atmosphere."
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Rednecks Can Be Tree Huggers (And Vice Versa) : TreeHugger

Rednecks Can Be Tree Huggers (And Vice Versa) : TreeHugger: "Redneck Yacht Club member. Image credit:Redneck Village, 'These R My People.'

Proper treehuggers follow Lloyd's admonition to keep living space down to just what you need to get by. The owner of the pictured 'house boat,' officially a member of the Redneck Yacht Club, gains easy entry to treehugger-dom - at least on vacation. I just hope the center of gravity is low enough to handle any bow waves that come along. Otherwise, second story passengers are going to spill their brewskis. Doing your part to combat invasive Asian carp also might qualify you as a double agent: a treehugger /redneck."

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Electronic Newspaper

ron thomas

Most mornings I get up and get a pot of coffee going and then turn on my computer and then read my email. After that, back to the kitchen to get a cup of coffee then back to the computer to read the newspaper. A lot of you might not know how to do that and it is one of the great joys of owning a computer... getting the morning news, and only the news you care about.

Google news literally searches the world for news stories in every paper and then brings to your computer the stories that the most people have clicked on and it does it as soon as those papers are published. It gives you a synopsis of the article and then lists under it links to what other papers have written. This is handy because maybe you do not like the paper that has the synopsis and want to see what another more trusted source is saying.

Off to the side of every story is a timer that shows you how long ago a story has been published. That is a means of getting your news "Hot off the press".

When you configure the news to your taste you can specify general topics like World News, Sports, Afghanistan, knitting doilies or any broad or narrow subject you like and you can have it fetch stories from your home town... Literally, any article published anywhere, any time. You have a whole range of categories you can put on or you can make your own up.

This the best newspaper I have ever had. It brings me the stuff I want to know about and none of the other stuff.

Want to set it up on your computer? I can do it with you step by step or you can do it yourself. Let me know....

Happy Birthday 19th Amendment

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Computer Idea sharing

r. thomas

For a long time I have been helping folks understand their computers and advocating the change that comes with that knowledge. Mostly, I am concerned with those that were not caught by the computer revolution in their preretirement employment. These folks have slipped through the cracks and have become information starved and remain so because it seems so overwhelming a task to learn how to use one of these new fangled machines.

I tried teaching classes at the clubhouse but that was not the formula that was needed. Probably, because folks start out by wanting to do one thing on the machine and didn't want to use up precious retirement time having to learn all the basics.

So, we had an informal group that met to talk about (show and tell) what we had learned.. That was interesting from a hobbyist point of view. But it only attracted a few people that had laptop computers that they could bring with them to the clubhouse for "show and tell" sessions. That was fun for me and I learned a thing or three too. Wayne Hill (resident) has asked if we could start up such a group again. Sounds like fun but only for some.

Once a lady came to the meeting without a laptop and she wanted to learn how to just do one thing on her home computer... collect and organize recipes. We all spent a lot of time showing her the ropes and I'm not sure we did not confuse the heck out of her in the process. But, she left with the knowledge that what she wanted could be done. Later, much later, the lady asked if I could come to her house and show her how to do something on the computer... I did and apparently, she got it and I haven't heard from her again.

Time marched on and to date I find myself going to neighbors throughout the community and helping them understand the one thing they want to know about their computer. Others have computer glitzes and we try and help get them out of trouble and back on track. Sometimes we offer advice over the phone.

The thing is there seems to me to be 3 kinds of learning about computers here epitomized by the following statements:
  • I just want to know how to do....
  • Hey, let's meet and find out new things to do on the computer.
  • Can you come and fix.....?
I am thinking right now about the long rainy season ahead and wonder if there is interest in having an informal group of laptop people meet at the clubhouse to drink coffee and help each other understand new stuff and folks that just want to know how to do one thing?

On the right side of this page is a poll... Please mark it up to show your interest. The questions are in black and hard to read so I want to know how to fix that.. :)