Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors, announced Wednesday that the company is working on a new kind of battery that would be used to power homes. Based on Tesla’s lithium-ion battery technology, the new battery is expected to help the company become a leader in the growing home energy-storage market.
At this moment, many solar or wind-powered homes have to remain on a the grid because there has not been a way to store extra power for lean hours. If given a relatively cheap and reliable battery to hold the power needed, building off-grid in the country will become commonplace …
Generation capacity in alternative energy including solar has grown dramatically over the last decade or two. But longer term storage of energy in general remains an issue for designers. Especially in places like this week’s wintery Northeast, where peak energy consumption often coincides with lower levels of alternative production and traditional distribution headaches.
But when it comes to cars and batteries, Musk is not the only one pursuing next generation technology:
New reports suggest that Apple is developing an electric and possibly driverless iCar to rival Google and Tesla. Apple are poaching Tesla employees with Elon Musk admitting Apple are offering a $250k signing bonus and a 60% pay increase. There have also been sightings in the US of Apple registered cars with some interesting tech attached to them.
Graeme Wood at The Atlantic has posted a powerful, comprehensive introduction to ISIS which reviews the nascent movement’s recent history, stated goals, and current status. It is highly recommended for anyone with even casual interest, and especially to those concerned we may we well be in the middle of a real war here shortly. The short cliff-note version is that ISIS is a real brand of fundamentalist Islam working to bring ancient values, from over a thousand years ago, in to all aspects of their modern culture culminating in a war of civilizations. The final battle — or one of the final battles — will occur near a Syrian town near the Turkish border, where Jesus Christ himself will ride to the rescue of the good Islamic guys and join the fight against the evil might of vast Roman armies: [Read more…]
When you live long enough you see the same thing over and over again, sometimes in a slightly different package, too often in the same old wrapper. This is true for human interest stories and it’s the same with the Greatest Threat on Earthtm. Even in the pre 9-11 era, the latter kinds of threat seemed to somehow pop up every few years, although the fallout from Vietnam and a Cold War with a credible adversary kept us cautious for a couple of decades. But after Sept 11, 2001, that caution was long gone. Even the hard-earned second thoughts from the ill-conceived Iraq War has worn off remarkably fast. And these ISIS clowns want us and anyone else they can get in this war real bad: [Read more…]
Predictably, the religious right is shocked — shocked I say! — at Obama’s recitation of the many sins committed by Christianity over the centuries. And it has nothing to do with politics! It just happens that one of the more recent sins, slavery, was egged on precisely by the very confederacy that now makes up an inordinate amount of right-wing opposition to progressive policies and is whining about this. Can someone please assume the martyr position?
Crooks and Liars — Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Sunday declared that all slavery in the world had been eradicated thanks to the Christian faith.
At the National Prayer Breakfast last week, conservatives accused President Barack Obama of comparing Christianity to the Islamic terrorist group ISIS when he observed that many religions had been used to justify violence throughout history.
“So we’re responsible for the Crusades a thousand years ago?” Carlson complained. “Who’s ‘us’ anyway? And by the way, who ended slavery and Jim Crow? Christians. The Rev. Martin Luther King. Christians.” “Christianity is the reason we don’t have slavery in the world today,” he added. “I mean, talk about ahistorical.”
Yes, many abolitionists were motivated in part by their faith. Which is a perfectly fair point to make — and in fact that’s the whole point Obama was making. That there were and are powerful, moderate factions within Christianity, that one of these factions prevailed in the US over southern extremists and sympathizers — who went on to drag the entire nation into a bloody, horrible Civil War in their fruitless quest to preserve slavery, but that’s a story for another day. And that maybe, we can all hope, similar moderate factions will prevail in Islam, preferably with even less senseless slaughter and misery than the Inquisition and Crusades and the antebellum south and whatever else I’m missing. Although imo, hoping Islam will pull that off with even less bloodshed is quite a lot to hope for at this point. But I guess putting those comments in context would screw up a perfectly good chance to fan the flames of Obama hatred, and we can’t have that.
The fact is, slavery was an honorable trade in the ancient near east back when the Bible was written. There’s little in the Bible explicitly condoning slavery, but there’s plenty that seems to just assume it exists and nothing should be done about it beyond calling for a little humane treatment. The Old Testament sure sounds comfortable with the idea, and that fact didn’t escape the notice of some southern preachers back in the say who justified slavery right from the pulpit.
You really do have to wonder who is in charge of PR for ISIS. Because this looks like a sure-fire way to turn everyone against them including fellow Muslims in the Middle East: [Read more…]