April 28, 2010
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has approved the Cape Wind offshore wind farm project! In addition to giving the go-ahead, Salazar outlined a few tweaks to incorporate the concerns of those who have opposed the project.
- The project will be reduced in scope from the original 170 turbines planned to 130.
- Additional marine surveys will be required before construction to make sure the archaeological heritage of the site can be preserved.
- Other measures will need be incorporated to minimize the "visual impact" of the wind farm.
It's hard to believe it's been nine years since the first announcement of the project in the Nantucket Sound. Some residents of the surrounding area, including Wampanoag Indian tribes and the late Sen. Kennedy, have opposed the project because they believe it would obstruct their views (and disrupt spiritual rituals and ancient burial sites of the Indians).
But environmentalists around the country and five East Coast governors all rallied for its approval, and in the end, the U.S. is finally getting its first offshore wind farm. The wind farm will have a capacity of 420 MW -- enough to meet 75 percent of Cape Cod and the Islands' electricity needs.
Why is this a big deal? Because offshore wind is stronger, more consistent and near coastal population centers, meaning more power generation, less gaps in electricity and no need for huge transmission networks (like those needed to distribute wind energy generated in the middle of the country).
via Boston GlobePrint This Post
April 28, 2010
Japan's solar sail-powered "space yacht" is all set to launch on May 18. Ikaros (Interplanetary Kite-Craft Accelerated by Radiation of the Sun) will be the first spacecraft of its kind to attempt to reach deep space.
The craft's 46-foot sails, outfitted with ultra-thin solar cells, will be steered by mission control from the ground, tweaking the angles to ensure enough of the sun's rays are hitting the craft to keep it powering on into space. Other solar-sailed crafts have gone into space, but none have made it beyond orbit. One reason could be that it's not a cheap mission. The JAXA space program has already spent $16 million on this project.
Ikaros will be launched into space by a rocket along with Japan's first Venus-bound satellite before they separate and Ikaros goes fuel-free for the rest of its journey.
The Planetary Society also has a solar-powered space flight planned for sometime this year. It will interesting to see how the two fair.
via Popular SciencePrint This Post
April 28, 2010
It’s that time of year to begin gardening, and we always seem to encounter a few hiccups after the winter.
In my landscaping business, we specialize in pet-friendly yards and encourage others to use natural remedies to eliminate pests and other gardening problems that you may encounter.
Seven helpful hints to combat common garden headaches
- Aphids (plant lice): Fill a water spritzer with water and two tablespoons of dishwashing liquid. Spray the plant, particularly on the underside of the leaves where mites hide. For large-scale infestations, place up to 4 tablespoons of dishwashing liquid in a hose end sprayer and douse the affected plant focusing on the underside of the leaves. Place aluminum foil at the base of your plants to deter aphids. The foil will reflect light onto the leaf bottoms and scare the aphids away. Plants that discourage aphids are chives, marigolds, mint, basil, and cilantro.
- Deer: Place some soap shavings or used cat litter along the ground to create a boundary between the deer-grazing area and your garden. Also try hanging a salt lick in their path to distract them from your plants. Blood meal also deters them but must be reapplied if it rains or is irrigated.
- Natural herbicide: Vinegar (any type of vinegar) acts like an herbicide. Apply when temperatures are above 70°, and you will see its affect within a week or two.
- Mice: Peppermint, mint or cloves will deter mice and rats. You can either plant mint, (careful, it’s very invasive!) or soak strings in mint essential oils and place around areas where mice frequent. This technique is especially helpful in areas around compost bins. Eliminating food sources will also deter rodents, as will adopting a shelter cat, of course.
- Rabbits: Sprinkle chili pepper around plants (it must be reapplied if it gets wet). Install oven racks around plants. Rabbits tend to dislike their texture and the way that the racks feel on their feet. Thorny or textured plants will also deter rabbits. Choose plants such as, lavender, sage, barberry and evergreens.
- Ticks and fleas: Mint and lavender deter fleas and ticks. Also, install cedar chips in your garden. They smell great to you … but not to fleas and ticks!
- Wake up your lawn with this tonic:
1 can beer (not light beer)
1 cup ammonia, regular household strength
1 cup plain liquid dish soap, not liquid detergent or antibacterial
1 cup any brand liquid lawn fertilizer
1 cup molasses or corn syrup: provides sugar and carbs; molasses also contains iron, which promotes greening process
Combine ingredients in a 20-gallon hose-end sprayer and apply evenly to the entire lawn in early mornings or late evenings.
It’s best to apply after mowing. Applications may be done every two weeks during the entire growing season.
More from ecomii:
- Learn more about the potential of nutritional supplements
- Find natural remedies for headaches
- Does aromatherapy actually work?
- What is your carbon footprint?
- What is a cap and trade system and how will it affect you?
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