Monthly Archives: January 2009

Parched, but still hoping for a March Miracle

Well, as a farmer, I have a lot of worries, but lately this is what has been keeping me up at night.

California teeters on the edge of the worst drought in the state’s history, officials said Thursday after reporting that the Sierra Nevada snowpack – the backbone of the state’s water supply – is only 61 percent of normal.

January usually douses California with about 20 percent of the state’s annual precipitation, but instead it delivered a string of dry, sunny days this year, almost certainly pushing the state into a third year of drought.

The arid weather is occurring as the state’s water system is under pressure from a growing population, an aging infrastructure and court-ordered reductions in water pumped through the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta – problems that didn’t exist or were less severe during similar dry spells in the late 1970s and late 1980s.

It just kills me whenever I hear folks praising all the sunshine we’ve had. How can people be so out of touch?!?

Mr. Fusion, Meet Ejeep

Seems like we’re getting back to the future in style.


The Climate Friendly Cities is a project of the Green Renewable Independent Power Producers (GRIPP), a local non-government organization. In the Ecopolis episode, GRIPP Chairperson Athena Ballesteros explained that she envisioned GRIPP to address the pollution and noise problems that come with the 250,000 or so diesel-fed jeepneys clogging Philippine streets.

The project’s first component involves the use of electric-powered jeepneys – or eJeepneys. Their diesel engines cause traditional jeepneys to emit a lot of noise and smoke. In contrast, eJeepneys run on electric motors and emit barely any noise and no smoke at all. The project’s second component involves the installation of bio-digesters coupled to gas engines – essentially power plants that would convert organic trash to energy, producing electricity to run homes, offices, and, of course, the eJeepneys. The project’s third major component is a piece of land that will serve as the garage, maintenance area and charging station of the eJeepneys.

(via my friend Pia who is involved with this project in Manila.)

The Anti-GeekDad, Circa 1914


[from my GeekDad post]

Lest we take the modern GeekDad for granted, I submit for your attention this comic strip from 95 years ago regarding the exploits of a ‘lectric-obsessed child and his less-than-supportive father. (Click through for the rest of the comic.)

This was before the first personal computer, before the Nerds took their Revenge, before Superman first flew. There was no Bill Gates to emulate, no William Yuan to envy, no Starfleet Academy to aspire to. Words like internet, blog, and cosplay had yet to be coined, and there were no words spoken in Klingon, Elvish, or Huttese at all. There was no Xbox. There was no Wii.

So in this context, perhaps we shouldn’t be too hard on young Henery’s father. The white-fringed, mustachioed man doesn’t realize he’s trying to hold back the tsunami of geek inevitability with a wooden paddle. He might have lived to see his son’s “fool inventions” land ships on the Moon and recanted, apologizing for putting a pack of cigars and a good night’s before his son’s passion for creating.

Even if he didn’t, he can serve as an example to us, and we can feel good to be GeekDads.

(image from Modern Mechanix, a source of much old-timey awesomeness)