Rallying for a Carbon Tax 5th June

It’s not that common to have a rally in favor of creating a new tax, but today I attended the Melbourne rally in favor of a “carbon tax” [1], it was the second such event this year. The rally was held in front of the state library, there is a reasonable size park there and […]

Ziggy’s Lecture about Nuclear Power

The Event

I just attended a lecture by Dr Ziggy Switkowski (see the above picture) on the topic of nuclear power, for a long time Ziggy has been the most prominent advocate of nuclear power in Australia, so naturally the talk was pro-nuclear. The lecture was free for alumni of Swinburne University and introduced […]

Climate Action Now Rally Melbourne 12th March

This morning I attended the Climate Action Now rally to support a pollution tax [1]. The event was well attended, my personal estimate of the number of people there was there there was definitely more than 3,000 people, and maybe as many as 8,000 or more.

I spoke to an employee of the APS who […]


I have just discovered an innovative Melbourne company that has apparently been running for five years. ReWine is a wine seller that sells bottles of wine and then refills the same bottles for a lower price [1] (a saving of $2 per bottle). There have been many schemes for selling various liquids in reusable bottles, […]

New Lamps for Old – Light Changing and Burglary

A few weeks ago I had a guy from “enviro saver” visit my home to replace incandescent globes with CFLs. Â The original plan was to deliver a water-saver shower head as well but he told me that because I have solar hot water there are no renewable energy certificates in installing a shower head […]

Bad Math at TED is a site that is known for very high quality content. Unfortunately on occasion they do get things wrong.

Rob Hopkins in his talk at TED Global 2009 claimed that 1 liter of oil “contains the energy equivalent of five weeks of human labor by 35 strong people” [1]. Now Rob has made a […]

The Millennium Seed Bank

Jonathan Drori gave an interesting TED talk about the Millenium Seed Bank [1]. The potential for discovering new uses of plants for food, medicine, and construction is obvious, so it also seems obvious to me that we should preserve as many varieties of plant as possible to allow for future uses. As well as those […]

The Future of Electric Cars

TED published an interesting interview with Shai Agassi about electric cars [1]. One idea that I hadn’t heard before is that of moving car batteries between regions as they lose capacity. An old battery for an electric car that can only handle short journeys may be useful in a region where journeys are typically short. […]

Google Server Design

Cnet has an article on the design of the Google servers [1]. It seems that their main servers are 2RU systems with a custom Gigabyte motherboard that takes only 12V DC input. The PSUs provide 12V DC and each system has a 12V battery backup to keep things running before a generator starts in the […]

Inhaling Petrol Fumes

Tonight at 6PM the channel 7 news will have a special report about the dangers of inhaling fumes while filling cars with petrol. I’m blogging now because based on past experience I expect almost no technical content in the report and that the advert for the news show contains everything that is useful.

The advert […]