Monthly Archives: July 2012

On driving and turning left in MA…

You’d think I would have learned this by now, but alas, I have lived a sheltered life recently…

Dear car GPS companies, Please step it up and add an “avoid left-hand turns from side-streets in MA” checkbox option in your software! (I mainly care about living and not crashing trying to get onto that busy main road, but UPS says it also saves gas.) Dear Erik, take some responsibility and use the map sitting there and ignore the GPS if you want to. It won’t kill you (actually… that’s the whole point!!!) to turn right and drive an extra mile to avoid that insane left turn into crazy traffic. RECALCULATING… LINK

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Filed under car, contrarian

What we pay for electricity

Our 6/15/2012 electricity bill was $15.86 even though we made approximately 200 KWh more than we used. That’s because we don’t have net metering here yet. (Yet, as in… I assume some day there will be.)

And it looks like we’ve paid approximately $630 for electricity in the last year. If you pretend we have net metering, then that would have been roughly $630 / (11,000 – 8,400) KWh (used vs generated) = 24 cents/KWh. A bit expensive, but not outrageous for Massachusetts.

What this $630/yr makes me wonder is what it would cost to add a smaller PV array with batteries that is off-grid to power us at night so we’d have even closer to $0 electricity bills.

Eh, money probably much better spent on something practical for the family. Like a pool. Or our kids’ school tuition.

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Filed under erik-green, solar, zero energy home

Neil deGrasse Tyson: “the first step for the parents is to get out of the way”

Stephen Colbert: “Where do you think we need to go as a nation to increase scientific literacy?

Neil deGrasse Tyson: “I’ll answer it two-pronged. One is: what do you do with your kids? And kids need to be able to explore freely and if you look at most households they’re not designed for that, they’re designed to have the kid not explore. The kid comes into your kitchen and pulls out the pots and pans and starts banging on them, what’s the first thing you do as a parent? ‘Stop that, you’re getting the dishes dirty!’ Yet these are experiments in acoustics. Whatever the kid is doing, if it has the chance of breaking something you’re gonna to tell them to not do it without thinking that that’s the consequence of an experiment that they are conducting and every time the kid wants to do something (provided it doesn’t kill them) it’s an experiment. Let it run its course even if it makes something messy. You agreed to have a kid in the first place, fine, clean up after them. When they’re old enough [they will have] those seeds of curiosity that is the foundation of what it is to become a scientist. I don’t want everybody to be a scientist that’d be a boring world. I’m talking about promoting science literacy and so the first step for the parents is to get out of the way. Allow the child to explore. If they start playing in the mud [and you say] ‘Don’t do that in the mud I just cleaned those pants!’ You’re getting in the way of another experiment. If they start plucking the petals off the flowers you just bought from the florist and you say ‘Stop that! I just paid $10 for the flowers”? Had you let that continue they’d find in the middle the stamen, and the pistil and they’d learn something about the flower for 10 bucks that’s cheap!”

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Filed under kids -- freedom and responsibility, person: Neil deGrasse Tyson, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School