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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Beautiful Mountain Landscape

Nothing like taking a minute out of your busy life to look at a beautiful mountain landscape. You could almost imagine yourself right there hiking along and turning around to see this behind you. 
The sun is hot on your skin, but there is a breeze that cools the sweat and you take in a deep breath of that fresh, clean air and you feel at peace.

Wyoming Mountains

Friday, August 22, 2014

Backyard landscaping DIY style

Doing yard work is never fun, but it can be rewarding. With a few tools and some hard work you can get your yard space usable and livable. Sometimes you can watch too much of those home network shows and try and go crazy with design plans to over complicate something that should be straight forward and simple.
If you are like me, young dumb first time home owner, then you know that saving money is essential. When I bought this house it had a decent retaining wall...but it was not straight and it was not flat. Eventually I got sick of looking at the bad backyard landscaping and took on the project. 

Here are some Pictures
Backyard Retaining Wall DIY

We straightened the wall and added some plants. Now it looks much better.


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Mountain Landscape Enjoy Nature

This picture was taken when I was finishing my degree for Geology and Earth Science. I was out in the middle of no where in Wyoming with about 30 other students. Most of the time during our day the work was to walk around landscapes like this and take notes. It was quite pleasant most days.
The Mountains of Wyoming

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Moon is Alive

Interior of the Moon
Okay so how 'alive' can any celestial body really be? I don't know how you would define an alive planet but
our Earth is certainly alive and one of the main reasons is because it still has an active core. The moon also still has an active core! The moon is not a cold chuck of rock floating around the earth. There is still an internal layer of the moon that generates heat due to gravitational forces.
How can scientists possibly know that? can you really know anything?
Well since we can't really get a drill on the moon and put a thermometer into the core we can only use data we can measure and perceive. This means measuring the different deformations other gravitation fields have on a particular celestial body...the physics gets pretty intense pretty fast so suffice to say we can measure subtle changes in the shape of the moon as it rotates around the Earth.
This change scientists can measure is called a tide...the phenomenon on earth we generally refer to as oceanic tides. The gravitational forces between the sun and the moon are so powerful we can easy see the water displaced in our oceans.

As the moon deforms its inner layers transform some of that energy into heat. That heat maintains the soft layer within the moon. The softer the layer the easier it is for the moon to transfer energy into heat....see the cycle?

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Simple ways to become a smarter consumer

What does it mean to be a smarter consumer and why do you care?

Reduce Reuse Recycle
First of all being a smarter consumer means you pay attention to the things you buy in an attempt to reduce waste and help lower the carbon footprint of the population. Lofty goal I know, but if we all do a few simple things being a smarter consumer is not hard at all.
Pay attention to all the disposable things you buy and really try to limit their use. Yes it is much easier to just throw away paper plates and napkins...but watch as your garbage fills and fills. Lucky for you there is a system in place that will remove that garbage every week. Try to imagine the heaps that would accumulate if all you ever used were simple throw away things like plates and silverware.
Pay attention to single use and over packaged items. This one is a little more difficult because you will have to make some sacrifices. This sort of thing means not buying the pre-cut vegetables and fruit at the grocery store. Stop paying for convenience and start paying attention to the amount of packaging you throw away. It really is not hard to cut your own vegetables or fruit.
Here is a list of a bunch of stuff you can live without...I promise:

Paper Billing: I don't know about you but I used to get 20 envelopes a month for bills that I already have automatically scheduled to pay. Take 5 minutes out of your super busy life and sign up for electronic billing. Some companies even offer rewards for signing up!

Land Fill Full of Disposables
Anything disposable: cups, plates, forks, knives, napkins, diapers, razors - do yourself a favor and invest in some decent quality stuff that can be reused again and again. This stuff is really not worth the use in the long run, don't be lazy because you don't want to do a grown up and care about stuff.

Tin Foil: I know its easy just to grab some tin foil...wrap up that pizza and go, but that is an obvious waste we can live without. Invest in some good glass/plastic containers instead.

Non-Reusable Batteries: obviously you use them and throw them away...unfortunately these can be considered hazardous waste - try and use rechargeable ones instead.

Bottled water - bottled anything: If you are not going to recycle the plastic water bottle because it is a pain...then please please please use your own water bottle and fill up at drinking fountains.

Cutting out a few of these things will make a difference.

What does Photovoltaic mean and why is it useful

Photovoltaics is the direct conversion of light into electricity at the atomic level. Some materials  
exhibit a property known as the photoelectric effect that causes them to absorb photons of light and release electrons. When these free electrons are captured, an electric current results that can be used as electricity.

The photoelectric effect was first noted by a French physicist, Edmund Bequerel, in 1839, who found that certain materials would produce small amounts of electric current when exposed to light. In 1905, Albert Einstein described the nature of light and the photoelectric effect on which photovoltaic technology is based, for which he later won a Nobel prize in physics. The first photovoltaic module was built by Bell Laboratories in 1954. It was billed as a solar battery and was mostly just a curiosity as it was too expensive to gain widespread use. In the 1960s, the space industry began to make the first serious use of the technology to provide power aboard spacecraft. Through the space programs, the technology advanced, its reliability was established, and the cost began to decline. During the energy crisis in the 1970s, photovoltaic technology gained recognition as a source of power for non-space applications.

Thanks to NASA for putting it so can find the rest if you would like to follow the link.