Monday, March 26, 2007

Scarlett Johansson - Speed Painting


Sunday, March 18, 2007

Crops Feel The Heat

Over a span of two decades, warming temperatures have caused annual losses of roughly $5 billion for major food crops, according to a new study by researchers at the Carnegie Institution and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

From 1981-2002, warming reduced the combined production of wheat, corn, and barley—cereal grains that form the foundation of much of the world’s diet—by 40 million metric tons per year. The study demonstrates that this decline is due to human-caused increases in global temperatures.

"Most people tend to think of climate change as something that will impact the future," said Christopher Field, co-author on the study and director of Carnegie’s Department of Global Ecology in Stanford, Calif. "But this study shows that warming over the past two decades has already had real effects on global food supply."

My Rich Uncle

Unlike, say, Sallie Mae--the Microsoft of private lending, with a portfolio of $11.5 billion in 2004--MRU doesn't rely on punitive (and lucrative) fees and penalties to keep margins up. The year-old firm's cofounders, Raza Khan, 28, and Vishal Garg, 28, are adopting the Google mantra: Don't be evil. Their proprietary software predicts student income based on transcripts, school, course of study, and other data; a business student with stellar grades might get a .25% reduction over a pottery student with a spotty record.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Solar Cookers in India

Most popular in India are the box type solar cookers with a single reflecting mirror being promoted by the Ministry of Non-conventional Energy Sources since 1982. These cookers are manufactured mainly by small/tiny industries to a set of specifications developed by MNES, later approved by Bureau of Indian Standards. There is an estimated potential demand of 10 million solar cookers in this country. In India a major portion of the market is covered by box type cooker and a small portion of the market share is taken up by community type box cooker/parabolic type cooker. Manufacturers intending to manufacture and market solar cookers under the subsidy scheme have to compulsorily get the cooker tested and certified by an authorized test center. There are about 40 manufacturers whose combined annual production capacity is 75000 solar cookers.

These cookers have proved immensely popular in the rural areas where women spend a lot of time foraging for firewood.