vendredi 26 décembre 2008

Snowy solar panels

Driveways and sidewalks in the winter take on another allure and surely we can thank all those pumping hearts who have heaved shovelful after shovelful of white fluffy snow while braving freezing conditions. And from the time of Charlie Chaplin or before cleaning snow could earn you a nickle as long as you don't just throw it in front of the neighbor's yard!
Today, with the advent of solar panels only the few "low lying" installations are easily accessible for cleaning (and of course just one square inch of snow can shut down those timid electrical cells), and most are hard to get to.

Fortunately, there are newly conceived specially made shoes that enable one today to adhere to the most slippery surface and clean panels at even the highest heights without the slightest risk of falling from high structures be it in Alaska or Nevada -you never know when a freak snowstorm can hit.
However, it is recommended to stay away from electrical devises such as vacuum cleaners to clean the panels; traditional shovels, brooms or squeegees are more than apt for the job. Other solar innovations such as solar jackets, solar bags or solar bicycles need common sense during wintry months: a brush here, a wipe there, and those little panels will be back humming again.
More problematic, it seems are wind turbines ejecting frozen chunks of snow onto bystanders, cows and other creatures.

Here a Hulk figure was passing just under a turbine when he got hit with a lump of snow and went ape against a normally passive Red Devil dinosaur. The FTTWAP is now actively studying

the problem of snow ejections from wind turbines and hopefully a sound solution will blow this way in the near future. All suggestions are welcome.

dimanche 21 décembre 2008

Lithium and Lithuania

Lithium (pronounced /ˈlɪθiəm/) is a chemical element with the symbol Li and an atomic alkali with a silver-white color and it can be cut like a stick of butter.

On a good day it is the lightest metal and the least dense solid element on the face of the earth. Like all alkali metals, lithium is highly reactive, corroding quickly in moist air to form a black tarnish. For this reason, lithium metal is typically stored in vats of cooking oil. When cut open, lithium exhibits a metallic shine, but contact with oxygen quickly returns it back to a dull silvery grey color. Lithium is also highly flammable especially when in contact with bossa nova music which is considered at the antipode of ancient raudos funerary chants.

Today lithium is exploited for its properties in batteries.

And although it was abundant at he time of the big bang, this metal today is relatively rare and is mostly produced in the north of Lithuania

near the site of the holy cross -and where the raudos chants originated

and deer territory
Specially constructed Lithuanian storage facilities have been built. In their characteristic yellow each building can store enough lithium batteries to generate over a million cell phones, 200,000 GPS tracking systems and 100,000 portable computers. The entire building is fitted with one plug to recharge all the batteries.

Worries of a lithium shortage are beginning to be heard with the advent of electric cars and bikes the demand is getting so strained that all eyes are on Bolivia's Salar de Uyuni. But as most chefs know, mixing salt and lithium is no regal recipe.

mardi 16 décembre 2008

Shoes and diplomacy

The manner in which diplomacy is executed has been changing rapidly. Here is a manual to offer the necessary tools to succeed in politics.
Filling a senate seat is now worth negotiating into the millions even though few stand to gain. We recommend the FYl425 shoe horn. Compact, solid, it follows a straight trajectory and you can use it over and over until the candidate offers to cough up the extra millions.

Need to fill a seat in the orient? The FYl425A is a winner! Slightly bowed in a katanas tradition, this shoe horn can is guaranteed to get results without the risk of blood and can easily double as a wide chop stick. The FYl429 and FYl429A should be employed only in small countries that are looking for temporary appointments. They can be flung with ease and nicely concealed but are inappropriate for filing seats of monarchy or royalty.
For more difficult diplomatic situations such as global warming agreements, it is necessary to move up to shoe trees. Only wooden shoe trees have the caliber to break long standing stalemates and impasses that can sometimes last years. Regarding coal emissions we consider the GO3001 (the model in the middle) to have sufficient conviction to shatter the hubris of countries who want to protect their own interests. The GO3002 -on the left- has been proven effective to get all sides to obtain joint rectification on hydrofluorocarbons in record time. Depending on the proficiency of the user, the GO3002 can have a range of over 20 meters making it appropriate for large convention halls.
The Go3003, on the other hand, should be used for those intractable conventions where even the framework is disagreed on. With a range of over 25 meters and the ability to open up on impact discords on CO2 have evaporated in seconds.
Lastly, when it comes to war and peace and dealing with heads of state, as recent events have proved, nothing beats the old standard shoe which can be thrown either from the heel or the toe. Although some negotiators have a sworn preference for l980's models stating that the tassels have and aerodynamic advantage, so far this has not been proven in clinical tests and success has been achieved with models going back to the 50's to today. Although the shoe remains the most effective tool in today's diplomacy it is challenged by the fact that it has a range of just over 10 meters and it takes much greater mastery to use compared to previous models mentioned.

Therefore, before undertaking strategic positioning, warming up is ever important and if one aims to be an esteemed and honored politician in the line of a skilled James Baker or Tony Blair, please don't forget S & R's Muscle Rub Miracle cream. Remember to apply sparingly and rub behind the shoulder blade to get best results.

mercredi 10 décembre 2008

Come party!

You are invited to Milton's 400th birthday pa-pa-par-ty
Where: in Eden
What to bring: anvils, hammers, chains;
A revolving door of new ideas
An ice pack for Lucifer
and an itouch for Adam (who would like to flick Eve with his fingers)
Dress: Cometh as yea are -flesh to flesh, bone to bone
Feareth not the plunge of the fallen angel
For Lucifer will catch him!
Hasten before the party's spirit burns out
Let the weak be smitten
And God create what he has left out.

samedi 6 décembre 2008

loosing teeth

We pull; the tooth has the power to hang on by a thread
We tug; what dangles delivers the spirit the final challenge
An action taken by the self and no other.
Chew or chomp, brush or floss
our mouth is a sea of mutability
Laugh or cry under the heavy pliers
Eyes riveted and the tongue
like a snake, searching for that gap
From Babylon our milky teeth sail
Under the watchful guidance of the silver moon.