Doin' Good, Part One

>> Monday, March 8, 2010

So, in an effort not to be one of the whiners and blamers and people cursing the darkness as it were, I thought I'd take a few posts to highlight people who are making a difference, addressing the problems, thinking their way to solutions instead.

Besides, I stumbled across this. Thomas Friedman was writing about exactly what I'm talking about, people going forward, not waiting for someone else to fix it.

In this instance he was writing about Vinod Khosla (one of the co-founders of Sun Microsystems) who has been investing in and promote open source textbooks and reduce the cost of education in America, including a company that's developed a process to de-carbon the emissions from a fuel burning plant, spray it with seawater and make CaCO3, calcium carbonate, the same stuff of coral reefs. The calcium carbonate can, in turn, be made into cement. Good stuff. Seems like a fine thing to do as we wean ourselves from our oil addiction.

Vinod has also invested in Bloom Energy, founded by K.R. Sridhar. Sridhar started out making a fuel cell for NASA to use on Mars that would power vehicles with sun and Mars water. When that was canceled, he started working it backwards. The fuel cell developed by his company uses fuels but is believed to be more efficient that standard power plants. In situ, it would convert the chemical energry directly to electrical energy, drastically improving efficiency.

Will it work? I don't know and Bloom Energy appears to be secretive about the methodology. However, if it does work, the potential exists to bring power to where it's needed far more efficiently. And that's good, too.

People keep trying.

I respect that.


  • Jeff King

    I agree... and respect it as well.

  • The Mother

    Anyone who tries to make textbooks more affordable has my vote. My bill for two kids in college averages over $1000 a semester.

  • Stephanie Barr

    Good gracious, the Mother, that's ridiculous. I wish I didn't have to believe you.

    None of these folks, of course, are looking for votes, but I respect the heck out of the fact they are trying to make a difference.

    And I agree wholeheartedly on getting information out there in a reasonable way.

  • Relax Max

    There was a news story a few days ago about how a battery has been invented that never goes dead and never has to be recharged. It is the size and thickness of a postage stamp and is already strong enough to power sensors. Soon cell phones and more. That sounds like it has promise. I would give you the url to read the news story but it is on Fox News. Oh, what the heck:

  • Stephanie Barr

    Interesting batteries. I hadn't heard of them, Relax Max. Making batteries more effective and efficient is a great thing. It's not the same as creating energy from nothing, but it does mean that, if no matter how we make the energy, we can take it where ever we need to.

    That's a good thing.

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