December 28, 2007

Odd Conversations at Work

At work today I learned all sorts of cool things. That’s what happens when it’s a skeleton crew. You just start talking about things and learn interesting stuff about each other.

For instance, one of my co-workers is into birds and he told me that Cornell University has something called “Project Feeder Watch”. If you have a birdfeeder, you count your birds every two weeks for two days, and submit it to the university. There is a small fee to sign up, but you get a kit that contains forms and posters to identify common feeding birds.

If I EVER get any frickin’ birds, I’m going to do this. In case you were wondering… I’m still only feeding squirrels. Dammit.

Also, St. Lucie County is building a Waste Plasma plant. It uses something called geoplasma, where the trash is turned into energy. Supposedly enough energy will be produced for St. Lucie county to be able to power the plant, and power all the homes in that county, and still be able to sell something like 20% of its extra power. The slag produced is converted and can be used as an aggregate, and I believe there are concrete companies already ready to use it.

There are skeptics of course, but I really really want this to work. Supposedly they’ll be able to get rid of their landfill in the next 20 years. All the possibilities…. Georgia Tech is involved, Westinghouse is a major partner, the Japanese already have some smaller plants that have been working… I just have big hopes for this. How cool would that be to start to end our dependency on oil?

Posted by Boudicca at December 28, 2007 09:38 PM | TrackBack

Cornell and their bird fetish! I have some bird feeders out that i need to replinish. i don't want some kind of Hitchcock scenario playing out on my backporch cuz the cardinals are pissed off that i haven't stocked their sunflower seeds. I have seen some golden finches which are pretty freaking cool. You could make your squirrel feeders a combination squirrel feeder/dog feeder if you put it lower to the ground, save some presidents on the dog food bill.

Posted by: Jay- the friendly neighborhood piper at December 29, 2007 01:52 AM

I was a member of Cornel for many years. I did one of their 24 hour bird counts one year. We have a ridiculous number of different birds in this county. We are having some cool birds come by right now... besides the normal vultures checking out dead stuff.

Posted by: vw bug at December 29, 2007 08:31 AM

I'd previously only heard of Plasma plants in Sim City... ;) I really hope it works!

Posted by: pam at December 29, 2007 01:49 PM

Usually I reckon if you have trees and tree rats you be havin' birds too. I have a tree rat proof bird feeder..just turn a bucket upside down under the feeder ..provided it is mounted on a pole..and the squirrels can't get to it...

that geoplasma sound good and I have no doubt it will work. I figure there is enough available technology to make us energy independent...but is it fiscally feasible? There are a lot of things I could do to save electricity..but saving electricity will not necessarily save me money..not if it takes twenty years worth of saving to ever break even on the installation costs..

Posted by: GUYK at December 29, 2007 05:51 PM

Up here on the Redneck Riviera we still burn coal for our "lectricity". Not only is it expensive, but also our County has the highest number of respiratory ailments in children in the entire state. Asthma here is as rampant as diarrhea during the Korean War. Of course our wastewater treatment plant (read crap factory) is severely out-dated (read stinks) and still located on Main Street, so I fear we are a long way from Geoplasma up here.

When I lived in po-dunk Arkansas, they had Nuclear power (Not NU-KU-LAR, Nuclear, as in the stuff that actually exists) and it was efficient and economical. I know there is a price to be paid with the waste from it, but I do believe it to be more feasible, even if just a stepping-stone to the next generation of innovation.

Personally, I am all for anything that reduces our dependence on foreign governments, period.

Posted by: P'cola Titan at December 31, 2007 11:20 AM