I was an 8 year old awash in fossils, so I was a tad more generous than this former 9 year old PEI lad with his much more valuable fossil. I donated a lower mandible piece from a ~12,000,000 year old Saskatchewan rhino to the Sask. Natural History (now Royal Sask.) Museum in the 1980s. I too used plastic bristle brushes (AKA tooth brushes) to dust off fossils I collected from the surface of a gravel pit near Wood Mountain, SK. Many more fossils and fossil fragments from that pit have since ended up in cement in the area.
Wood Mountain is one of two locations in Saskatchewan which weren’t significantly affected by glaciers from the last two ice ages. This left glacially tilled soil, rock, and fossil bits in the gravel pits of the area. When I was a boy, I’d sometimes play on the gravel pile my parents had brought in to make cement for our garage floor. I noticed odd rocks, and one that looked like it had teeth, so I set it aside, beside the south wall of the house. A year or two later, we took the biggest fossil to the RSM for them to look at it. They identified it, provided me with a copy of the ROM’s scientific description of the extinct animal, and accepted the fossil into their collection.
A few years later I found a larger fossil from an older rhino, and they assembled it for me.
More Canadian homes need to be built like this to survive coming fossil fuel shortages. It certainly saves a lot of money for the homeowner.
Passive House in Alaska using water insulated in a tank as a giant battery for energy.
The world would have forgotten the Saskatchewan house, too, were it not for a quirky German physicist interested in energy-saving buildings. After studying the Saskatchewan house and a handful of similar buildings, Dr. Wolfgang Feist wrote a mathematically precise — and elegantly simple — criterion for designing buildings that require less than a tenth of the energy of average buildings. He called it the Passivhaus standard.
Feist’s formula has gone viral. There are now more than 25,000 certified Passivhaus buildings in Europe, and thousands more under construction around the world.
I saw the last Hobbit [8/10] movie on Friday, with Jeri. We had food at Montana’s just before. I had the veggie feta burger and it was very good, it tasted just like a meat burger. My distant cousin ended up being seated at the table next to us.
The most exciting part of the movie was in the first ten minutes, but it was overall enjoyable. It was plain that if you hadn’t seen earlier installations of this series, you’d feel a bit left-out. The part of the plot depending upon the Dwarf king’s promise was a bit weakened by the promise not happening in the same movie! “You promised!” OK? I guess, but I as an audience member will just have to trust you over him, because I can’t remember details from a flick a year ago.
Last month James took me for a spin in an electric Rav 4. This week it was the sporty and futuristic Model S by independent car company Tesla.
My job, trying to change the world, is at least twice as hard as a conservative’s. I have to overcome others’ instinctual fear of change and new technology. Monday evening I proposed my condo board “investigate” using solar energy, if the association’s Winter expenses don’t exceed our budget. 2 Board members opposed the idea! The motion passed anyway, but why would someone oppose an investigation of saving money on electricity? They stated it was an opportunity cost. Let’s look how that claim stacks up:
They suggested raising property value by installing carpets as a competing example. If we spent $10K on carpets, property values rise, but owners never get that $10K back to spend again (except, potentially, through selling their condo).
Consider the other way. Buy $10K in solar PV panels. This will unquestionably raise property values. In ~10 years we have ~$10K saved through offset power bills to SaskPower. Then buy carpets & have both new carpets and solar power!
There is some sort of mental or political block involved to recoil from solar energy, and to even call it a “pipedream”, while it’s real technology available on store shelves and roof tops now. It’s no pie in the sky, but it may as well be if we make defensive reactions against smart changes that reduce pollution in our world and improve our energy generation options.
Last Thursday I attended the first CBC Tweetup, which is a gathering of people who’ve connected via Twitter.
I rode around in an Electric Vehicle (EV) today in Regina, and saw a (currently) still rare Tesla Model S in the city right now.
Pick up some excellent EV tips, from a Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada perspective here, as James and I tour the city on electricity:
Find out more about charging stations at Sun Country Highway, Best Western, Delta Regina, and Peavy Mart.