May 21, 2016

Vertical wind turbines sound promising

Wind energy scientists in Finland are designing vertical wind turbines as an even more efficient mechanism than the traditional horizontal turbines. And quieter too.

Think of attic fans that spin simply by the wind and you'll get the idea. Watch for more on this promising source of wind energy. It appears that they'd also be excellent lightning rods.


May 19, 2016

Chesapeake Bay receives a "C"

Seriously, when is a C grade so worthy of bragging rights? Only when you had a D before.

And when did the bell curve grading system become so deformed that 53% is a C?

But the folks at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science declared that the overall health of the Chesapeake Bay improved in 2015, giving it a C (53%) in 2015, one of the three highest scores since 1986. Only 1992 and 2002 scored as high or higher, both years of major sustained droughts.

Thus, the recent May rains do not bode well for the bay. Many farmers, especially those in the Susquehanna basin, do not fence their cattle out of streams or use no-till methods.

May 7, 2016

Zika battle plan in Cayman Islands

According to Caribbean News Now, "The Cayman Islands Mosquito Research and Control Unit (MRCU), in partnership with the UK-based firm Oxitec, will be releasing genetically engineered male mosquitoes across Grand Cayman in a new initiative to try and suppress the population of the Aedes aegypti mosquito that spreads a number of viruses, including Zika."

These are male mosquitos, so they do not bite, but they will breed with females carrying Zika and Chikungunya viruses. The first release is planned for the West End area of Grand Cayman only. Keep your fingers crossed that this trial is effective.