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How Hydrogen Can Save America

I found this link to Wired Magazine about the pros and cons of moving to a hydrogen energy based society. I’ll summarize for those not wanting to read the article. The author believes that in order for hydrogen to be a viable solution the government has five major obstacles to deal with simultaneously:

1. Solve the hydrogen fuel-tank problem.

2. Encourage mass production of fuel cell vehicles.

3. Convert the nation’s fueling infrastructure to hydrogen.

4. Ramp up hydrogen production.

5. Mount a public campaign to sell the hydrogen economy.

Hydrogen Engines have been around for a while. Their biggest problem is carrying enough hydrogen for 400 miles of driving – the range consumers generally expect. What is the answer to problem number one? $15 Billion in government investing. (I’m not sure how he comes up with this figure).

Mass production of fuel-celled vehicles is the next problem. Again money is the solution. The author feels that the Bush administration should allocate $10 billion in incentive to automakers. Why $10 billion? Well it is a nice round number.

Converting the nation’s fueling infrastructure to hydrogen is another big problem with the same “easy” answer. Throw more money at it. The White House should ask for $5 billion to help gas stations convert to hydrogen stations, and the administration should also set aside $10 billion for interest free loans to oil companies in order to help them make the transition to producing mass amounts of hydrogen.

The next step is to ramp up the hydrogen production by looking at new sources of the element. Nuclear power has made huge leaps in efficiency and environmental friendliness. Using this as a source of electricity and then using the process of hydrolysis to convert water into hydrogen and oxygen.

The last obstacle that needs to be addressed is just a simple matter of advertising their objective to the nation. If the people support it right away, then it will make the transition faster and actually save money in the long run. $25 billion in tax rebates for those using the new technology, and another $1 billion for advertisements. As the author notes, $1 billion is what Nike spends on advertising in a year.

Ok, now for my personal take on the story. The author feels that with massive amounts of spending that a fuel-celled economy is possible within ten years. I think that would be great, if that were actually the case, but it seems to me that it most likely will not happen. I guess a good analogy is the US switching to the metric system. If they had done it when they had the chance, they might have pulled it off, but now they’ve waited too long and everyday it just gets harder and harder to switch. A country like China that has an enormous population but not a lot of gasoline based infrastructure (relative to its population) is in a much better position to implement the new technology. If the US doesn’t act, they may end up behind in technology to China – so maybe if they felt the pressure of losing the “hydrogen race” ten years would be possible.

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Birthday Update

My birthday is going great, Anna-Maria and her roommate Zee are taking me out for dinner. We are all dressed up and should be leaving any minute now.

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News Flash – Elizabeth Smart

In case you haven’t heard by now, Elizabeth Smart has been found alive and well. (And on my birthday too!)

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My Birthday

For my birthday present, Anna-Maria bought me a new wet-suit. I’m going to use it if I get a job at the pool teaching lessens and of course for Kayaking this summer. I’m already really excited to go kayaking with it. I wish this snow and cold weather would go away! Speaking of snow, the other day it snowed quite a bit and it’s one of the first times that I didn’t get around to shovelling the snow that day. Well the next day it was really warm and the snow turned into a thick slippery sheet of ice all the way up my walk. As luck would have it, that evening Anna-Maria came over to my house and while walking up the steps she slipped and bashed her shin! (cue scary music now – dun dun dah!!) She’s ok folks, no worries, just a small bruise and perhaps some injured pride.

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Speaking of Death

When you die, if you get a choice between going to regular heaven or pie heaven, choose pie heaven. It might be a trick, but if it’s not, mmmmmmm, boy.

Also when you die, if you go somewhere where they ask you a bunch of questions about your life and what you learned and all, I think a good way to get out of it is just to say, “No speaka English.”

-Jack Handey

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It’s my BIRTHDAY!!!!

I’ve been alive for 24 years to the day. As a kid I remember thinking that being 24 would be so old. Now I’m thinking, “man 24 is so young, I haven’t even started to live life yet”. But seriously as I sit here and reflect on what it’s like to be almost a quarter of a century old, I can’t help but think only three more quarters to go. I think I will make a hundred. It wouldn’t be that hard. Some of the things that increase your odds of living long are having a pet or getting married. They say that marriage specifically adds 10 years to your life expectancy! However I’m just not interested in marriage yet. Twenty-four is how old Mom was when she got married so it’s not like I’m too young. The thing is, when it comes right down to it, I think I’m happy the way I am. Don’t get me wrong, I really love Anna-Maria and don’t want to break up with her at all, but I’m not ready to settle down and start having kids. If living my life the way I do is against statistics then that’s fine by me. Bring on the Grim Reaper and we’ll stare each other down – eye to eye. I am not afraid to live my life to the fullest and as for statistics – I think they are for wimps.

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Linux Geek Update

As promised here is the report on my evening at the Linux meeting. First off I was surprised at the very high ratio of girls there. It may have been as high as 1 girl for every 10 guys! Ok, it wasn’t as geeky as a Star Trek convention and only one person came dressed up as a klingon. (Actually I’m not sure he was dressed up). Ok but seriously I actually had a good time. I skipped supper specifically because I thought there would be pizza there, but there was such a huge turn out that it was all gone before it was my turn to go up and get some. I did learn a few things though and I’m planning on setting up my own Linux server on the old Pentium 130. I plan to setup a blog server so that we can choose to host this site there (depending on how good the connection actually turns out to be and how well the software works.)

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Disneyland Auditions

Anna-Maria and I are strongly considering going to Edmonton on the 28th of March to audition for a job at Disneyland. I would have to get a working visa first though and I am not sure if that will be possible, given the short amount of time I have to do it. It would be really cool to work at Disneyland though. I’ll keep you updated.

Update: We never we to Edmonton for an audition but we did end up flying down to Anaheim where Anna auditioned and got offered a job at Disneyland. Also of interest — Anna tells in detail what it’s like to wear a Disneyland costume.

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Linux Meeting

There is a meeting tonight at the University that is a hands-on experience learning to install and use Linux. I’m thinking the majority of people there tonight will be short of “hands-on” experience, if you get my drift. I can’t be too harsh because after all I am going. At least if it a major geek fest I’ll still be ahead: free pizza! Anyway this post is just to whet your curiosity and build up suspense for my next post.

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New Video for Download

Ok I kind of like this one (update: video offline), even though the effects are really cheezy. Get it while you can, I’m not sure if I’ll leave these on the web forever.