Scalar Energy

Quantum Science, Scalar Energy Pendant, Nikola Tesla & More

July 22, 2014
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Hawaii first state to plug into wave energy

Hawaii will be the first state to connect a wave-generating buoy into a power grid.

Click here to watch Paul Drewes’ story.

Hawaii is already well-known as the place for spectacular waves, where the best test their skills in the surf.
Now the state will also be known as the place to test just how much energy can be created in the waves before they reach our shores.

The U.S. Navy is spending $9 million to expand the Wave Energy Test Site in Kaneohe Bay.

“The potential energy for Hawaii is huge, but the practical problems to make it commercially viable are also huge,” said Patrick Cross, a project specialist for the University of Hawaii.

UH will monitor and measure the impact and effectiveness of a new prototype buoy that will be installed in the fall. The buoy will sit largely below the surface in about 100 feet of water, generating power to undersea cables by the motion of the ocean.

The buoy is just one of two new buoys that will be launched, each different in design and size because researchers are still trying to figure out the best way to get the most power from the ocean.

“Wave energy is where wind energy was 30 years ago. We’re at that early stage of trying to figure out what the viable approaches are to energy extraction,” said Cross.

Coastal areas already have numerous buoys bobbing around, but it is unknown how an array of large power producing buoys could affect marine life.
That is why UH will measure the amount of sound generated electro-magnetic frequency waves and take environmental studies during the testing. It will also conduct underwater surveys to see the durability of the new devices.

Information that could be used as larger, commercial wave-power buoys are produced.

The first prototype could generate up to 20 Kwh, enough to power several homes. More importantly it will also help determine just how much energy can be captured as both big waves and small roll in.

“There is a lack of of data to really answer the question: how much power can we get out of a given wave?” stated Cross.

The first buoy will go in about 3,000 feet from shore. In 2015, the second buoy is expected to be installed just over a mile from shore.

Each of the test buoys will be deployed for a year, then newer designs and bigger buoys could take their place.

July 22, 2014
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Research and Markets: Magnetic Materials (Soft Magnetic, Permanent Magnetic and Semi-Hard Magnetic) Market Report 2013 …

DUBLIN–(BUSINESS WIRE)–

Research and Markets (http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/2rj4l6/magnetic) has announced the addition of the “Magnetic Materials Market For Automotive, Electronics, Energy Generation and Other Applications – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2013 – 2019″ report to their offering.

Magnetic materials are objects that naturally possess magnetic properties or can be magnetized. Based on their properties and end-use, these materials can be classified as permanent or temporary. Different types of magnetic materials such as soft, hard and semi-hard are used in the magnetic materials industry. Soft magnetic materials are further bifurcated into soft ferrite and electrical steel, while hard (permanent) magnetic materials are segmented into hard ferrite, NdFeB, SmCo, and alnico. These materials are used in various applications such as automotives, electronics and energy generation.

The report on magnetic materials provides a detailed analysis and forecast of the market on a global as well as regional level from 2013 to 2019. On the global level, the market has been segmented based on volume (kilo tons) and revenue (USD million) from 2013 to 2019. For an in-depth understanding of the market on the regional level, demand has been forecast based on volume (kilo tons) and revenue (USD million) for a time period ranging between 2013 and 2019. The report includes drivers and restraints, and their impact on the growth of the market during the forecast period. Furthermore, the report encompasses opportunities available for growth of the market on the global as well as regional level.

A.K. Steel Holding Corporation, Arnold Magnetic Technologies, Electron Energy Corporation, Hitachi Metals, Ltd., Lynas Corporation Ltd. and Molycorp Inc., among others, are some of the key players present in the magnetic materials industry.

Report Scope

Product Segment Analysis

  • Soft magnetic materials
  • Soft ferrite
  • Electrical steel
  • Permanent magnetic materials
  • Hard ferrite
  • NdFeB
  • SmCo
  • Alnico
  • Semi-hard magnetic materials

Application Analysis

  • Automotive
  • Electronics
  • Energy generation
  • Others (Including household applications, etc.)

Key Topics Covered:

Chapter 1 Preface

Chapter 2 Executive Summary

Chapter 3 Magnetic Materials Market – Industry Analysis

Chapter 4 Magnetic Materials Market – Product Segment Analysis

Chapter 5 Magnetic Materials Market – Application Analysis

Chapter 6 Magnetic Materials Market – Regional Analysis

Chapter 7 Company Profiles

  • AK Steel Holding Corporation
  • Arnold Magnetic Technologies
  • Electron Energy Corporation
  • Hitachi Metals, Ltd.
  • Lynas Corporation Ltd.
  • Molycorp Inc.
  • OM Group
  • Shin-Etsu Chemicals Co., Ltd.
  • TDK Corporation
  • Tengam Engineering Inc.J26

For more information visit http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/2rj4l6/magnetic

July 22, 2014
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Judge Oks Alex And Ani Suit Over Discount Charm Bracelet Prices At BJ’s

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – Fashion jewelry maker Alex and Ani has been given the go-ahead by a federal judge to sue BJ’s Wholesale Club and others over $1 million worth of charm bracelets it says it was tricked into selling at discount prices.

U.S. District Judge William Smith described the case as a “bewildering ballad of bungled bangle banditry.”

He declined Friday to dismiss several claims brought against Natick, Massachusetts-based BJ’s by Alex and Ani, the Cranston-based maker of what it calls “spiritually uplifting, positive-energy jewelry.” He also allowed to go forward most claims against companies and people who arranged to buy more than 26,000 bangle bracelets from Alex and Ani for about $250,000, a quarter of the retail price.

Alex and Ani says a California-based company, Elite Level Consulting, pretended it was going to give out its trendy bracelets in VIP goodie bags at a film festival and at a dressage competition, or as the judge describes it in his order, “horse ballet.” Instead, those bracelets ended up sold at BJ’s stores in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Providence accuses several people and companies of wrongdoing, including Elite Level Consulting, which said it was going to use the bracelets in goodie bags at the Austin Film Festival and at the Wellington Classic Dressage Challenge in Palm Beach, Florida, but never did.

Also sued are the Colorado-based suppliers to BJ’s, who had asked the California company to acquire the bracelets after Alex and Ani rejected their previous attempt to buy bracelets for BJ’s.

Alex and Ani says BJ’s is culpable because it purchased bracelets from the supplier even after the jewelry maker told the warehouse chain the jewelry had been obtained through fraudulent means. BJ’s has argued it bought the bracelets in good faith.

Elite Level Consulting says there was no legally enforceable agreement that it would not resell the bracelets.

The Colorado companies had argued that they were not involved with the agreement between Alex and Ani and the California company that bought the bracelets at a discount, but the judge found that there was sufficient evidence that they acted in concert to dupe the jewelry maker to allow most claims against them to go forward.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

MORE LOCAL NEWS FROM CBS BOSTON

July 22, 2014
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‘So You Think You Can Dance’ recap by Donna Kauffman

Hello, fellow armchair dance judges! We’re back! We’re down to 18 possible favorite dancers, and the numbers, they are going to dwindle by two this evening. But more important, who is guest judging? I mean, yes, we all know fab ballerina Misty Copeland had so much super constructive criticism to give all of our dancers last week. (Allll of them. So, so much constructiveness going on. All night long. Every. Single. Dance.) And that was great. For the dancers. But, let’s be real. This is, truly, all about us. The armchair dance judges. Am I right? After all, we’re the ones showing up for this shindig, keeping the sponsors spending money on ads. And we don’t need no stinking constructive dance criticism. We need to be entertained. So what I need? I need me some Christina Applegate. Or some Jesse Tyler Ferguson. Or some happening Anna Kendrick. That’s what I need, Show. Bring me some dance, make me laugh, and let’s have a good time!

But, first, we get our opening number… Please, please let it be filled with awesome.

It’s a hip-hop piece that tricks you into thinking it’s going to be a contemporary routine, set on a New Age chess board, with half our dancers in Tim Burton Wonderland white, the other half in Matrix black. Then the music starts and oh. Hunh. Krump. The boys get front-and-center stage early on (shocking, I know), but things do even out as the performance progresses. I’m not sure the girls should be happy about that, however. Given the fact that our Top 18 is largely made up of not street dancers, it is interesting to see how the group in general handles this angry stomping about that is supposed to resemble dance only … not so much the way they do it. Some handle it more successfully than others. And by successful I mean not embarrassing themselves by looking like they’re just flailing about in a really intense and angry way. A very few (cough, Teddy, Emilio) handle it in a way that makes it look like dance vs., well, see: stomping. Also: flailing about. Leaving the costumes to pretty much carry the performance. Mostly it makes me wish that Ja Ja was still around.

We move quickly on to meeting our young couples. The first handful look as if perhaps they were rushed out before they were ready for their 2.3 seconds of show-us-your-please-vote-for-us-look-how-cute-we-are dance moves, as they appeared awkwardly staged at best. But the latter half have more time to get their act together and actually look like they thought out those micro-seconds-of-dance ahead of time. Our last intro is to our newly formed couple, post last week’s elimination, Jessica Stanley. Meet the new power couple. I hope they live up to our expectations. Wonder where they will show up in rotation this evening …

Oh, so this is interesting. The lovely and adorable Catniss Deeley comes out and informs us that our opening dance number? Was choreographed by two members of the crew Academy of Villains. Hmm. That name sound vaguely familiar to you? Well, I can’t blame you for not immediately knowing who they are, but the reason they sound familiar, in that oh so vague, maybe we saw them for, like, five seconds kind of way, is that they are one of the finalist dance crews this season. You remember the dance crew competition? OK, so mostly we’d like to forget it, I can’t blame you. But it seems a little … playing favorites-y to me, does it not? To give them that kind of pimp spot? Wonder if the other crews will be that lucky …

Ah, well, we care not at all, not really. So we’re all humming along now, there has been dance, lots of Mickey Mouse Club-worthy welcoming smiles from our dancers, and … yeah. Suck up that feel-good moment because we’re about to meet our judges, then segue immediately into the Who Didn’t Pull Down the Votes Last Week mood killer. Which is putting additional pressure on the whole guest judge slot, if you ask me. Make me happy, Show.

The camera pans over to the judges panel as I wait with bated breath and … three things jump out at me. One, Nigel is sitting in the middle this week. For the first time ever, I think. Two, Mary Murphy has decided to channel the spirit of Zsa Zsa Gabor with her wig-slash-hairstyle of crazy. (Google: Gabor sisters, then hit images). And, three, our guest judge is … Misty Copeland. Again. Expletive deleted.

No words, Show. No words.

Misty, however, will have many of them. Oh, so many, many of them. Sigh.

So, let’s continue the slide from joy, shall we? Who are our Bottom Six?

Bottom Three Guys: Emilio, Stanley, Teddy

Bottom Three Girls: Bridget, Emily, Jourdan

What do you think? Surprised? Nodding your head? Shaking it in disbelief? I’d ask who you think will go home from this bunch, but we know now that if we just listen to how Nigel judges them this evening, we’ll figure it out for ourselves. The only repeat offender here is Jourdan, and I’ve never connected with her, so I feel that given America continues to agree with me on that, perhaps her time is done? That would be my choice. However, Bridget hasn’t done herself any favors, either, so that wouldn’t be unwelcome. And while I like Emily, she apparently hasn’t managed to distinguish herself with the voters. Of the three, she’d be my first pick to keep, but I don’t think any of those three will make it to the Top 10 this season, so the order in which they leave will not likely matter overmuch.

As for the guys, I wonder if Stanley is in the bottom given that he was so harshly judged along with the doomed Malene last week? Perhaps his performance with Jessica this week will give him a proper boost. Regardless, I can’t see him truly being in danger. Not yet. Otherwise, we have our two street guys in the bottom. I feel one of them is in danger, and his name is not Emilio.

So, I guess I’ve made my choices. Who are your picks? Remember, fellow armchair judges, no changesies!

Our little “intro teaser” to each performance this week is “what is the most surprising thing you’ve learned about your partner?” And my first thought, was, um … everything? They’ve worked together two weeks now. And one pair for only this past week. I can’t help but wonder if because we had that first week change-up with partners being paired up with someone in their dance discipline, which meant last week was our first time to meet our real pairs, if we’re just feeling jerked around and disconnected from all of the dancers to some degree. I think I am. Another reason to let us bond with these guys sooner, Show.

Zach Jacque/Hip-hop. OK, so the show finally throws me a bone and gives me possibly my favorite all-time choreographers, Keone and Mariel Madrid. (If you Google anyone, search them and watch their videos. Also? Cutest married couple ever. Their wedding reception flash mob is made of awesome.) Let’s see how our tapper and ballerina handle hip-hop. We get Sam Smith’s Stay With Me, so the perfect emotional backdrop to a Madrid-inspired piece. It’s a beautiful routine filled with all the classic Madrid quirk. I know these two don’t hit their movements hard or sharp, and there is no telling how much stronger this piece would be if it were being danced by someone with some hip-hop background. That said, the music and their willingness to throw themselves at this full tilt brings its own kind of emotional fulfillment to the routine and, in the end, makes it successful despite not being the best. I worry that going first with this might hurt them in the Will It Be Memorable Enough column, but only time will tell. Judges: You know, unless they have something surprising or controversial to say? I think we’ll just armchair it tonight. Whaddya say? Misty can run her dance clinic for another week and I hope the dancers all benefit from it, but I don’t have to attend. I just want to watch and enjoy. Your mileage may vary.

Marcquet Jourdan/Contemporary. I am a fan of Marcquet, and hope they get handed a routine that better shows off his skill set than their number did last week. Perhaps I’m not alone in that, given that Jourdan had the juicier role by far in that routine, and yet she is the one in the bottom this week. They get a Dee Caspary routine. I hope this bodes well for them. I don’t think there is any natural chemistry there, but I get the feeling Jourdan makes that kind of hard. I’m all about Girl Power, and I admire her strength and her dedication, but at times that can make it more challenging when it comes to connecting. Not for her, but for her partner. The dance is better than last week for them. It’s fluid and shows off her strength as a ballerina and his partnering skills as a ballroom dancer, but while it is visually pretty, it’s not emotionally moving. They don’t really mesh well and the relentless drabness of their costuming and set design helped them in that department not at all. They’re trying, but I’m just not buying. Judges: Given Jourdan is in the Bottom Three and a repeat offender, I was curious here. All three judges pretty much just echo what I said above. It wasn’t out of place or over-the-top and landed more squarely on Marcquet than on Jourdan. So no writing on the wall yet.

Stanley Jessica/Jazz. The new It Couple is up! No pimp spot for them tonight. So far, the evening hasn’t been stellar, so they can really make an impact here. There seems to be natural chemistry here, likely at least in part due to the fact that they are both very highly skilled in the same discipline, so that base level of trust is established straight off. I’m hoping for something to elevate the mood this evening. Also? Stanley is in the Bottom Three tonight, so … no pressure, big guy. And then … oh boy. Tasty Oreo has returned. (Hey, you say Tyce Diorio three times real fast and tell me what it sounds like.) At least it’s jazz and not Broadway, but I’m not sure that’s making me feel that much better. Sigh. So, even though Tyce tells us that they’re in their comfort zone here — and he’s not wrong, not … OK, only sort of — but then he gives them this Arabian-themed magic carpet ride dance of weirdness and … well, if you’ve met Tasty — I mean, Tyce, then you know my concerns here. The routine begins and they are actually dancing on a very (very) large Persian rug. Large enough to cover a decent-size living room, wall to wall, so large enough to do a routine on. But then hardly believable as a flying carpet. Also? Can’t be easy to dance on that rough pile. Oh, Show … you’re determined to make this a strange night. The song is also odd in that it seems to have absolutely nothing to do with the flying-carpet theme, so while the routine is interesting and they, of course, perform it well, it’s hard to get into it or connect with in any real way. It just made me scratch my head, and while I don’t think it hurt them, it didn’t do them any favors. But then, that’s Tyce for ya. Judges: The only important thing is that Nigel was all about the Stanley love, so he’s not going home. Heads up, Emilio and Teddy!

Emilio Bridget/Jive. This was the pair whose performance I largely missed last week due to Mother Nature interference, but what I saw didn’t do much for me. Clearly, it wouldn’t have mattered if I’d seen all of it, as they are both in the Bottom Three. Keep in mind that this is the first week these dancers are in the bottom (or not) after dancing with their newly assigned partner for the first time, so that really didn’t go well for them. I am made much happier when I see that we have ballroom All-Stars Pasha and Anya as the choreographers. Not because I think they’ll necessarily help Emilio or Bridget conquer the jive — though, if anyone can, it’s this pair — but because I get to watch Pasha for a brief, oh so brief, few minutes. Hey, you take your fun where you can get it! And this week? It’s been a little dicey. So I take. And I enjoy. The pair are given the ultimate feel-good song with Pharrell’s Happy … will it help? Now, full credit to these two — they come out killin’ it. They are both very good stage performers — almost too good, they clearly never met a cameraman they didn’t like and they are making goo-goo eyes at all of them here — but this is not a slow dance and they are kicking and flicking with the best of them. A much better showing, technically, than I anticipated. I think the mugging is a bit much, even for a mug-freely dance like jive. The true test will come with whether the judges give love, or taketh away, as that will be the telling truth on who goes home tonight, me thinks. They deserve some love for pulling this off as well as they did. Judges: Mary loves. Misty is all love for a change. But the important one is Nigel — and he makes the love fest complete. He is stymied by their Bottom Three placement. In other words: You’re safe.

Teddy Emily/Contemporary. This is our other Bottom Three pairing this week. And since the previous pair seemed safe, and Stanley is safe, that means Teddy? You’re a marked man. Emily? It could still be Jourdan’s time to walk, so you need to help Dead Man Walking next to you and do something special here. Oh my. They also get Tasty Oreo. Seriously, this is not a stellar week, Show. The Madrids and Pasha can only do so much. All I know is that these two need to be very afraid. Stanley and Jessica they are not. I will say, however, that in rehearsal, they do seem to be very naturally connected to one another, and that will help them here tremendously. The performance begins, and they are actually doing a lovely job of it, but then the show (who apparently hired Stoner Music Dude from Dancing With the Stars … don’t ask) went and gave them this guttural Nina Simone song sung all in French. Making it a challenge, yet again, to fully connect, for this armchair judge. The song is somewhat atonal and really distracting. A shame, because it could have been a “moment” dance for them, and definitely for Teddy, who is out of his comfort zone but doing a very lovely job here. I’ll be curious to see how the judges go on this one. Does he go? Or does he stay? All three guys acquitted themselves well, with Stanley actually getting most of the criticism of the three. Would they really send him home? Hmm … Judges? Nigel explains that the English lyrics to the song were written by American poet and composer Rod McKuen and quite beautifully express the theme of this dance. So … naturally, we don’t get to hear them in English. Seriously, Show? He has all love for them, so it doesn’t seem like they’re going home, either.

Hmm… Show. Hmmm … what does this mean? Will we see the return of Dance For Your Life tonight?

Casey Brooklyn/Jazz. These two were in the bottom last week, but safe this week. Will that hold? Hmm … They get jazz from Bonnie Story (Emmy Award winner from High School Musical). I like her, so let’s cross fingers we get both the good dance and the good music this time. We have four tries left! We get Michael Buble’s This Thing Called Love, so music? Check! Cute jazz routine? Check! Do we love it? Mmmm … check! I think they did a really good job with this. And no Persian rug! So, double jazz bonus! Not my favorite of the night — there’s a lot of pink bubblegum in this Buble-driven jazz number — but a solid, solid entry. Neither dancer is in danger this week, so let’s jump to the next number, shall we?

Rickey Valerie/Viennese Waltz. Yes, we’re back with The Adorables. It’s hard not to permagrin around these two, so why even try to resist? I’m a little thrown when I find out their choreographer for the Viennese Waltz is former SYTYCD contestant and DWTS pro (and Benji’s sister) Lacey Schwimmer. Not that she can’t handle it, but I guess I don’t think of it as being her wheelhouse, per se. So … there’s that. Also, outside both of their wheelhouses as well. So, this could be really interesting. I hope in a good way? I have my hand over my eyes and am a little bit skeered to peek through my fingers. Hold me? Turns out I don’t need holding. Pshaw! What was I worried about? They get Jason Mraz and are costumed in Victorian-themed garb that is both elegant and romantic. And perfection. As are they. Valerie looks truly lovely and far more comfortable than I’d imagined she would, smiling so joyfully, like she is truly Cinderella at the ball. For Rickey’s part, Lacey is very smart to play to his strengths, giving him a few extra spins and turns to add to the elegance factor. Of course, he partners Valerie beautifully as well. It’s all just a lot of loveliness for us to enjoy. And speaking for me? I did. Very much. Favorite of the night, so far. And it was a waltz. Hunh. Who knew that could happen? This is some special chemistry happening here, folks. Sit back and enjoy the ride. Judges? Nigel is standing. Nuff said.

Serge Carly/Hip-hop. The pair gets a Luther Brown routine, and I’m ready for the entertainment to continue, y’all. Carly is looking all beast in rehearsal and even Luther is impressed. Serge is having a harder time finding his inner street dancer with all that ballroom training, but I think this pair could do something interesting here. And then they come out all costumed and made up like skeletons. I know you got an Emmy nom for costume and makeup, Show, but this feels like … a little too much Let’s Play Halloween and not enough organic inspiration. That said, they do a really good job, despite a song that is not a song, and even for rap is so monotone that, after a while, I just wanted to make it stop. Or make them rap in even one other key. Just one. Could have been more brilliant than it was with better costuming and music, but they did what was asked of them. And did it well. Our judges are mixed over it, so who knows where these two land next week?

Rudy Tanesha/Broadway. I’m glad these two get the last slot tonight. They are an energetic, likable pair, so hopefully they’ll close out this kind of oddly uneven night on a really high note. (Yeah, yeah, before the crushing buzz kill of sending two of them home, but still …) They get Warren Carlyle, who I know of not at all, for a classic Broadway number. My hopes, they are … ambivalent. There are props. Just canes, this time, but you know. Props. So I will just sit back and let this dance happen to me, and hope for joy. Or at least no cane droppage. If any two kids were wired for Broadway hamminess, it’s these two. Good things might happen. You just never know. OK, so I kind of know? But I’m hoping for joy. My joy gets its first boundless leap when we learn they are getting the original cast of Fosse singing their number tonight, so, major bonus. And this routine? Is crazy hard. And crazy fast. It also calls for absolute synchronization between the two, which they mostly have — and mostly, in this case, is pretty phenomenal because that choreographer pulled out every last stop. Whoa. Tanesha, you could tell, was having to think it a bit as she performed, where Rudy completely owned his part. Put that boy on Broadway right now. All in all, a very high-caliber performance for a very high-caliber and demanding routine. Well done, you peppy pair, well done. Judges? All three standing. Earned.

We breeze past our musical guest, A Great Big World, so we can get to that part where we find out who goes home tonight. We start with Nigel telling us that they take both America’s vote and their performances this evening into consideration, then he informs us that they’ve decided to honor America’s vote and so are sending home the two who got the least votes overall. Given the evenness of everyone’s performances tonight, I think that’s as fair as it can be, really. How does that translate? For the guys, that means Stanley is leaving, and for the girls, Jourdan is out.

Big surprise for Stanley, for me. A shame the judges were so hard on that phone routine last week, harsher than was necessary, I think, comparatively speaking. It’s cost both performers their slots. So, a disappointment, but then the other two did really well this evening, too, so what can you do? As for the girls, no surprise there and no disappointment for me. Sorry, Jourdan.

What does this mean for us next week? It means Marcquet gets Jessica as his new partner! It also means that since the competition part of our show, which, including this upcoming week, makes four weeks so far … Jessica will have had four different partners. Hard for her … but apparently harder for her partners! Two of them, so far, anyway.

After tonight, any predictions of who will be in the bottom next week? Who will go home? The show was so all over the place tonight, I really don’t know. I feel like Zach Jacque might be in trouble given they went first and might be forgotten. But they did better than many this evening, so … possible. I think Marcquet might be in trouble, that’s two weeks without anything stellar to show for it. Will Jessica be in trouble by association with partners not doing well and also not great routines? The only other pair who might not have translated to votes were Serge and Carly in their Halloween Hip-hop garb. As to who goes home from that batch? Possibly Marcquet and Carly? I don’t know.

Well, fellow armchair judges, we’re through another week! We’re through another sad, buzz-killing elimination round. So let’s turn those sad faces around, shall we? Last week I put a copy of my latest book, Half Moon Harbor, up for grabs, along with a fabulous charm pendant, designed exclusively for this book by the wonderful Joyce Taber of The Cotton Thistle. A huge thank-you to all of you who entered and thanks for those who included a little dance dish along with. I love my fellow armchair judges! Even when you disagree with me. After all, that’s why we have more than one dancer to vote for. Even if, you know, you’re voting for the wrong one. I can say with absolute certainty who the right one is for this giveaway though — because she won it! Come on down, Deborah Dumm!! Your book and pendant prize will go right out in the mail to you. Woo hoo!! Thanks so much for playing.

Now, now, don’t go all glum-faced, all you Not-Deborah-Dumms. Come on, you know me better than that by now. You know it’s only a matter of weeks before the next book in my Blueberry Cove series comes out. Aug. 26 in fact. Yep. That’s when Sandpiper Island will be in a for-real store or virtual store of your choice, so you can race right out and buy it for your very own. I mean, it’s like we’re friends now. So you can show it off to everyone and be all, “I know her. We judge So You Think You Can Dance together.” And they will be so impressed. As they should. Well, because we’re friends, and because you have an “in” now, you could snag a copy of Sandpiper Island even before it hits the stands. I know! Talk about impressing the neighbors! (Hey, I do what I can to up your street cred, you know?)

So, here’s the deal. You drop me an e-mail to donna@donnakauffman.com.

with “We’re friends. You can give me an advance copy. I know you want to” in the subject line. And just like that, you’re in! I’ll draw a name from all the entries and announce the winner here in big, bold digital lights for all the world and your neighbors to see. Don’t forget to check back. You wouldn’t want to miss your moment.

In the meantime, I’m inviting you to come on over and keep the chat going at my Facebook Fan Page. Of course, personally, I call it my Facebook Friend Page, because, you know you are. Swing by, bring an iced tea and pull up an armchair. We’ll dish …

July 22, 2014
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Net-zero energy test home ends year-long study with surplus energy

Braving a harsh winter with snow-covered solar panels, the Net-Zero Energy Residential Test Facility (NZERTF) in Washington DC has come up trumps in a year-long study of its energy harvesting capabilities. Located on campus at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), researchers used computer simulation to replicate the energy consumption of a family of four. At the end of its first 12 months, there was a large enough surplus to power an electric car for 1,440 miles (2,317 km).

The 2,700 ft sq (252 sq m) two-story construction was developed to look like a regular home, but function as a laboratory for clean energy research. Much like the Honda Smart Home, NIST’s effort combines stable ground temperatures with geothermal systems to minimize heating and cooling loads throughout the building. Another factor in overall energy efficiency is a doubling of insulation levels, sealed by special sheeting that reportedly heals itself when pierced.

“The most important difference between this home and a Maryland code-compliant home is the improvement in the thermal envelope – the insulation and air barrier,” says NIST mechanical engineer Mark Davis.

On July 1 2013, the research team began the experiment by moving a virtual family into the home. A computer simulator syndicated the energy consumption with that of a typical American family of four, the inhabitants going about everyday activities such as taking showers, watching TV and charging laptops. There was more at play than a life-sized game of The Sims, however, with the researchers able to gain realistic insights into the energy efficiency and how viable planting such a home into a real-life American neighborhood could be.

The energy surplus and the home’s claim to net-zero living was compounded by a stretch of severe weather. For 38 days through winter, the 32 photovoltaic panels were largely covered in snow and ice, hampering their ability to harvest energy from the sun. But over the 12 month period, the home generated 13,577 kWh of energy. This surpassed the virtual family’s energy usage by 491 kWh, an excess that could in theory be directed toward an electric vehicle or back into the grid.

“We made it, and by a convincing margin,” said Hunter Fanney, the mechanical engineer who leads NZERTF-based research. “From here on in, our job will be to develop tests and measurements that will help to improve the energy efficiency of the nation’s housing stock and support the development and adoption of cost-effective, net-zero energy designs and technologies, construction methods and building codes.”

Despite boasting the aesthetics of a typical suburban house, adoption of the technologies used will largely come down to cost. NIST estimates that fitting out a similar-sized house with all the bells and whistles of its test home would cost around US$162,700. On the upside, it puts savings in electricity costs at $4,373 for the year.

Further research will center on how the measurements of the home can improve its energy efficiency and addressing the difference in up-front costs and long term savings. NIST is hopeful its findings will lead to improved energy efficiency standards as a resource for builders, regulators and home buyers.

The video below gives an overview of the project.

Source: NIST

July 22, 2014
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Global Climate Change in Rural Colombia Is About More Than Just the Climate

A member of ASPROCIG keeps raised crops in his backyard, which was heavily flooded in 2010 (Alejandro Camargo)

The latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reaffirmed the gloomy future for rural areas and global food production under accelerating climate change. Yield declines, prices instability, agriculture and livestock losses, and severe droughts and floods are among the myriad problems that rural producers will experience more intensively as climate change heightens.

However, the agrarian crisis associated with the effects of climate change cannot be seen as a self-contained problem whose roots lie somewhere at the global level. Many rural men and women in the Global South experience the environmental stress of climate change as a new challenge connected with longstanding local agrarian struggles against injustice, inequality, and exclusion. The effects of global climate change in the countryside, therefore, are to be understood in connection with multi-scalar political and economic processes that also impinge upon the vulnerability of rural families and their means of survival.

The place of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) in the development of this looming global food crisis can be alarming, as small farmers produce nearly 70% of the food we consume in the region.

OXFAM estimates that LAC is one of the world’s most vulnerable regions to climate change, which makes its agricultural sector particularly prone to the devastating impacts of climate-related extreme events. In Colombia—where floods and droughts are a growing threat—the intimate articulation of global climate change and local agrarian struggles is becoming rather evident.

Antonio is a 71-year-old campesino living in the lower Sinú River basin in northern Colombia. As is the case with many other campesinos in this area, Antonio actively participated in unprecedented peasant struggles over access to land in the 1970s. Since the 1950s, numerous landless campesino uprisings sparked throughout Latin America as a response to decades of land concentration and marginality. Landless peasants demanded an agrarian reform that ensured a more equitable distribution of land.

In the Sinú River area, these struggles involved direct—and often highly violent—confrontation with powerful landowners, whose cattle latifundios expanded at the expense of communal lands, forests, and wetlands. Thus, violent conflicts and the deterioration of these resources that sustained rural livelihoods exacerbated the marginal condition of many families.

In 1993, Antonio and other campesinos created what is known today as the Association of Producers for the Community Development of the Cienaga Grande del Bajo Sinú, ASPROCIG, in order to unify small organizations and fight for land collectively (see video below). Even though access to land was at the center of this new organization, ASPROCIG faced a new threat: the construction of a dam in the highlands of the Sinú River.

Since the 1950s, the Colombian state envisioned the construction of a dam in the Sinú River to control floods and generate hydropower. It wasn’t until the 1990s when the dam was finally built thanks to a joint investment of state and private capital.

By transforming the hydrological dynamics of the Sinú River, however, this dam produced a socio-ecological catastrophe causing a severe impact on many of the indigenous and campesino families along the river. River bank erosion, fish depletion, and loss of soil nutrients are but a few of the many ecological problems that rural families have been facing since the inception of the dam.

Yet there is paradoxical problem that complicates the situation of rural families in this area. Antonio eloquently explained this problem:

“The dam was supposedly conceived of as a mechanism to control floods and make agriculture a less vulnerable activity to flood-induced disasters. But what we are experiencing now is that floods are becoming more catastrophic and unexpected. Before the dam, floods occurred seasonally and we knew when water was coming, and we adapted accordingly. After the dam, floods can occur unexpectedly and the dam has proved to be ineffective at withholding water when the rainy season arrives. Things are worse now.”

This socio-ecological crisis intensified in 2010, when Colombia experienced “one of the worst natural disasters” in its history. Unyielding rains associated with La Niña phenomenon hammered Colombian territory, thus causing record-breaking floods throughout the country. Floods inundated vast swaths of land, destroyed crops, killed thousand of heads of livestock, and rendered many rural families homeless.

Even though scientists argued that this catastrophe was an effect of global climate change, many campesinos, victims of this catastrophe, find that explanation unsatisfactory. Francisco, another member of ASPROCIG, put it this way:

“We know climate change is making floods and droughts more catastrophic. But we also know that the effects of climate change are more intense because we don’t have forests or wetlands to buffer the impacts of these changes. Also, due to the relentless concentration of land and the violence surrounding it, poor peasants are forced to live in risky areas that are prone to flooding.”

Although the protests inaugurated in the 1950s made land more attainable to campesinos, the problem of access to rural land in Colombia is still troubling.

On the one hand, decades of political violence have resulted in the dispossession of thousands of rural families from their land. Since the 1960s, with the creation of leftist guerrillas, Colombia has suffered the harshness of an armed conflict that intensified in the 1990s, when paramilitary forces were massively organized to thwart guerrillas. The confrontation among guerrillas, paramilitaries, and the army has mainly occurred in the countryside, thus rendering campesino families the main victims of this conflict.

On the other hand, foreign land investments—mainly for agribusiness, mining, and forestry—currently control about 40% of the national territory. These two elements are crucial to understanding why land access and distribution in Colombia is today among the most unequal in the world.

Recently signed free trade agreements aggravate this scenario, as the flow of cheap agricultural products make campesino agriculture less competitive in terms of prices and costs of production.

In August 2013, this economic crisis led to unprecedented national agrarian strikes and protests against agricultural policies and the unfair conditions of international free trade agreements. Therefore, the catastrophic effects of La Niña phenomenon in 2010 on the countryside, along with subsequent extreme droughts, added to a historical agrarian crisis that has spurred different forms of campesino mobilization.

In response to this multidimensional crisis, ASPROCIG’s struggle against land concentration has now broadened its purview to encompass problems such as wetland and forest deterioration, food insecurity, and climate change.

Furthermore, as the violence inherent to the history of land struggles in the Sinú River has engendered more conflicts, ASPROCIG’s members has shifted from violent scenarios to the spaces of agro-ecology as a form of resistance. Antonio, Francisco, and more than 1,200 ASPROCIG families created raised agro-ecological systems and water harvesting infrastructures in their households to tackle extreme weather.

At the communal level, ASPROCIG members have developed a local mechanism of food exchange and commercialization, reforestation projects, and a system of solar-powered local aqueducts. They identify these resilient strategies not only as a way to adapt to climate change, but also as a response to years of struggles against landowners and the dam.

But despite the positive impact of these projects on the quality of life of rural families, the lack of resources and the meager support from the state constrains the possibility of replicating this experience beyond the lower Sinú River basin. Regrettably, many other rural families across the country are still striving to get by in areas wracked by floods, droughts, and uneven agrarian development.

After the 2010 floods, the Colombian state created a national strategy of adaptation to climate change. This strategy is still at its early stage, and has hitherto focused on the recovery of public infrastructures, social housing, and the allocation of agricultural assets.

However, structural problems in vulnerable areas such as the concentration of land, rural violence, and the environmental effects of large-scale projects are still seen as unconnected from the challenges of adaptation to global climate change. Infrastructural works are crucial to prevent future climate-related calamities, but in a country like Colombia the question of adaptation to global climate change in rural areas needs to be a question of food sovereignty, land rights, and environmental justice as well.

In this way, a better understanding of the myriad factors that dramatically shape the local experience of global climate change—as opposed to an exclusive focus on its effects—can provide the foundations for a more transformative perspective in adaptation and resilience policies.

 


For more information on ASPROCIG, contact asprocig@asprocig.org or follow on Twitter at @asprocig. Alejandro Camargo is a Ph.D. candidate in geography at Syracuse University, and an external researcher at the Colombian Institute of Anthropology and History. Email him at alejandro.camargo@gmail.com or follow at @camargh2o.

July 22, 2014
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Artificial spacetime experiment could show tantalizing effects of gravitational waves

(Phys.org) —Although the curves and ripples of spacetime are suspected to be full of intriguing secrets about the history of the universe, they are also extremely difficult to study. For this reason, some physicists are turning to the lab to attempt to recreate spacetime geometries where they can be more easily analyzed.

In a new paper published in the New Journal of Physics, Niclas Westerberg, et al., from institutions in the UK and Italy have proposed a new way to construct artificial spacetime in the lab.

By illuminating a very thin film (such as graphene) with an ultrashort and intense laser pulse, the scientists show that it may be possible to model the periodic expansion and contraction of cosmological spacetime. They explain that this type of medium can be likened to a gravitational wave, a ripple in the fabric of spacetime. Further, the scientists predict through calculations that these gravitational waves may amplify electromagnetic radiation, producing large numbers of photons that can potentially be detected.

“Given the correct boundary conditions, gravitational waves can give rise to the emission of photons,” Daniele Faccio, Professor at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, UK, told Phys.org. “These can then be used to detect the waves themselves.”

Faccio emphasized that the main result of the paper refers to the study of an artificial system, so these gravitational waves in the artificial system are not real. However, he explained that the artificial system could lead to a method for detecting real gravitational waves:

“On the basis of our artificial system, we do then propose a system that could measure real gravitational waves. This is a long superconducting wire that can be excited by a real gravitational wave and will emit radio waves in the kHz region that can then be detected at the wire extremities. This system could, in principle, be an alternative route to detecting gravitational waves and would rely on a fundamentally very different mechanism to that proposed so far in all other detection systems (based, for example, on fluctuating masses).”

As the physicists explain, the new system is a form of parametric amplification, where a laser emits light of variable wavelengths. However, traditional parametric amplification usually consists of a medium, such as a crystal, that is many wavelengths longer than the wavelength of the incoming light. As a result, the oscillation occurs inside the medium, while the medium itself does not oscillate.

In contrast, the medium in the proposed model has a subwavelength thickness so that the medium itself does oscillate. The scientists note that both forms of parametric amplification are examples of the dynamic Casimir effect, in which photons are produced due to an accelerated or suddenly changing medium.

If constructed, the proposed system would provide a platform for researchers to study the cosmological expansion and contraction of spacetime, as well as how photons may be excited due to the ripple-like gravitational waves of spacetime. This analysis could also offer a glimpse into a broader family of quantum field effects in curved spacetimes.

“We definitely have plans for building the artificial system, for example, the graphene film excited by a periodic wave train that mimics the gravitational wave,” Faccio said. “Regarding the superconducting wire idea, this would first of all require a deeper study to evaluate all potential difficulties and pitfalls.”

Explore further:

Rumours fly that gravitational waves have been detected

More information: N. Westerberg, et al. “Experimental quantum cosmology in time-dependent optical media.” New Journal of Physics. DOI: 10.1088/1367-2630/16/7/075003
Also at arXiv:1403.5910 [gr-qc]


July 22, 2014
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You shouldn’t try to pigeonhole quantum physics

Just when you thought quantum physics couldn’t get any weirder, it violates the pigeonhole principle.

No, it’s not about a pigeon in a hole that is simultaneously alive and dead. The pigeonhole principle is a basic tenet of mathematics. It illustrates what the very idea of numbers is all about. And it’s easy to state: If you put three pigeons in two pigeonholes, at least two of the pigeons end up in the same hole.

How can anybody, even a quantum physicist, argue with that? All you have to do is be able to count. Guess again, say quantum physicist Yakir Aharonov and collaborators in a new paper about the pigeonhole principle. “It seems … to be an abstract and immutable truth, beyond any doubt,” they write. “Yet … for quantum particles the principle does not hold.”

The basic idea was worked out in rigorous form in 1834 by Peter Gustav Lejeune Dirichlet, a gifted 19th century German mathematician of Belgian descent. He called it Schubfachprinzip, which means something like the drawer principle. Nowadays mathematicians whodon’t like pigeons call it the Dirichlet box principle. In that form the principle is stated as whenever more than n objects are distributed in n boxes, then there will be at least one box containing two objects.

Dirichlet showed that this seemingly simple principle could be used to prove more complex mathematical propositions. It has become widely used and appreciated among mathematicians for its power and scope.

“It … encapsulates abstract mathematical notions that go to the core of what numbers and counting are,” Aharonov and colleagues point out. “So it underlies, implicitly or explicitly, virtually the whole of mathematics.”

But in the quantum world, it’s wrong.

To be fair, the quantum spoilsports note, it’s not always wrong. But in some circumstances the quantum math shows that upon further review, Dirichlet’s decision must be reversed.

You could demonstrate this point at home yourself if you are properly equipped with the right lasers and mirrors on a perfectly stable quantum optics laboratory table. Or you can just do the math. Start with three particles and two boxes. Prepare the particles so that each one is in both of the two boxes at the same time — your basic simple quantum mechanical superposition of locations. You can now write the quantum equation for the state of all three particles. You can use it to calculate the probabilities for what will happen when you actually look for the particles.

After all, particles can be in two places at once only when you’re not looking. When you observe a particle to see where it is, it acquires a specific position in one box or the other.

Aharonov and colleagues consider situations in which you choose to independently measure the locations of any two of the particles. Depending on how you conduct your measurements, in some situations, you will find that particles 1 and 2 are both in the same box. But in other circumstances, your measurements will find that they aren’t. And applying those conditions gives the same result no matter which two particles you choose to measure. So you can have a situation where you have more particles than boxes, but no more than one particle in either box.

“In other words,” the physicists write, “we have three particles in two boxes, yet no two particles can be found in the same box — our quantum pigeonhole principle.”

Aharonov and friends say that this new quantum conundrum can be of value in providing deeper insights into entanglement, the mysterious connection that links properties of each of a pair of particles even when they are separated by great distances. And it has implications for other quantum processes.

“The quantum pigeonhole effect has major implications for the understanding of the very nature of quantum interactions,” the physicists write.

But perhaps an even deeper implication of the new work is as a signal of further surprises yet to come. As quantum mechanics nears its 90th birthday, physicists are still uncovering seemingly absurd aspects of the reality it describes. Which, like it or not, is the reality we all live in.

So be on the alert for new quantum assaults on conventional logic. You won’t have to wait long. Just go read the Aharonov paper. At one place the authors point out that you can prepare the particles and conduct measurements in such a way that you get another confusing result: Particle 2 is in the same box as particle 1, particle 3 is in the same box as particle 1, but particles 2 and 3 are not in the same box.

Why? Too bad Walter Cronkite is not still alive. He gave the answer every night at the end of each newscast: That’s the way it is.

Follow me on Twitter: @tom_siegfried

July 22, 2014
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Quantum Materials Announces New Outside Directors and Adds Scientific Advisory Board

SAN MARCOS, Texas, July 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Quantum Materials Corporation (QTMM) (QMC) announced today the addition of Mr. Ray Martin and Mr. John Heaton to the Board of Directors. QMC also announced formation of a Scientific Advisory Board chaired by Dr. Ghassan Jabbour, QMC Chief Science Officer and Board of Directors Member, along with Scientific Advisory Board members Dr. Michael Wong of Rice University and Mr. Tomio Gotoh, a pioneer of the Personal Computer in Japan.

Quantum Materials welcomes two new outside Board members, Mr. Ray Martin and Mr. John Heaton who bring QMC the requisite expertise and experience in their fields to help us build new markets. They are renowned for their leadership in semiconductors, batteries and solid state lighting and share with us a dedication to sustainability and energy efficiency,” said Stephen Squires, QMC Founder and President.   

Mr. Ray Martin is currently CEO of Advanced Lighting Technologies, Fremont, Ca., maker of high efficiency LED drivers and Co-Chairman of Sustainable Silicon Valley, a non-profit with a vision for a sustainable future.  Mr. Martin brings extensive knowledge of the solid-state lighting and semiconductor industries with exceptional insight into markets, trends and industries.

Mr. John Heaton spent 29 years in the semiconductor equipment industry, with 10 years as CEO of NASDAQ traded Nanometrics. He is currently Executive Vice President at Advenira, a nanocomposites coatings and deposition technology company. Mr. Heaton has broad management, product development, public company and board experience within the semiconductor and nanotechnology fields.

Mr. Squires added, “The purpose of the QMC Scientific Advisory Board is to add leading scientists in their fields to assist the company in defining new research areas and strategies and evaluating ongoing scientific activities.  They will aid in establishing collaboration opportunities focusing on advancing scientific research. As QMC expands our initial automated quantum dot production phase we are honored to begin our Scientific Advisory Board with three distinguished and true pioneer inventors in materials, process and products.”

Dr. Ghassan Jabbour, a Fellow SPIE and Fellow EOS, chairs the Quantum Materials Science Advisory Board and serves on the Board of Directors and is also Chief Science Officer. Dr. Jabbour is the Director of Renewable Energy Center at University of Nevada, Reno and in addition to leading his own research groups has directed research centers that address a wide spectrum of renewable energy and energy efficiency including solar, bio-fuels, geothermal, energy storage, solid-state lighting and displays, and low cost manufacturing of energy devices. He is the inventor of numerous patents, including a fundamental patent on printing nanoparticles that is exclusively licensed by QMC as a basis for its quantum dot printing technologies.

Quantum Materials is honored to welcome Mr. Tomio Gotoh as a member of the QMC Scientific Advisory Board. Now a consultant for diverse advanced technologies in Japan, Mr. Gotoh is a principal inventor of the NEC TK-80, the first Japanese microcomputer in 1976. He led numerous product launches that made Nippon Electric Company (NEC) the Japanese personal computer industry leader. As NEC’s visionary pioneer, Mr. Gotoh contributed significantly during the dawn of the Personal Computer era with his industry colleagues Bill Gates, Gary Kildall, Kay Nishi and other legendary inventors.

Strategic Advisory Board Member Dr. Michael S. Wong, Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Chemistry at Rice University, Houston, TX., heads the Catalysis and Nanomaterials Laboratory and is the inventor of the patented synthesis for tetrapod quantum dots licensed exclusively worldwide by QMC and subsidiary Solterra Renewable Technologies. His research interests lie in the areas of nanostructured materials, heterogeneous catalysis, bioengineering applications, and developing new approaches to assembling nanoparticles into functional macrostructures.

About Quantum Materials Corp.
QMC develops and manufactures Tetrapod Quantum Dots for use in medical, display, solar energy and lighting applications through its patent pending volume production process. Quantum dot semiconductors enable a new level of engineered performance in a wide array of established consumer and industrial products. QMC’s volume manufacturing methods enable consistent QD quality and scalable cost reductions to drive innovative discovery to commercial success. (http://www.qmcdots.com)

Safe Harbor statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995
This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties concerning business, products, and financial results. Actual results may differ materially from the results predicted. More information about potential risk factors that could affect our business, products, and financial results are included in our annual report and in reports subsequently filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). All documents are available through the SEC’s EDGAR System at (http://www.sec.gov/) or Here. We hereby disclaim any obligation to publicly update the information provided above, including forward-looking statements, to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.

Contact:

Art Lamstein
Director of Marketing
Quantum Materials Corp.
415.609.4969
artlamstein@QMCdots.com

Media:
Rich Schineller
941.780.8100
rich@prmgt.com 

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July 22, 2014
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