Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Sweden plans to break oil habit...

...and fuel its cars with ethanol. The rising cost of oil imports has made Sweden set itself the goal of energy independence by 2020. The country has loads of trees, which are a renewable resource, so it makes sense to use woodchips which are converted into bioethanol. Entrepreneur Per Carstedt is leading the way in the transition process. The Swedes have built a large number of small power plants which can run on wood and will make it easier to change over. Germany, by comparison, has mostly large coal-fired plants. Volvo and Saab are also developing cars that will run on ethanol. At present most ethanol is produced from sugar in Brazil but the Swedes think they can over time cover home demand with wood and other organic matter.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Walking on all fours...

...Professor Mundlos is at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Gentics in Berlin. This is a list of his current projects. His group have done much research on skeletal evolution. Chromosome 17 does have a spoofy ring to it though. maybe it's just serendipity that the programme is going out on the 17th. Say hello to all the regulars at the "Shaggy Sheep."

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Monkey god temple destroyed in Varanasi...

...What sense is there in attacking another person's religion? Today that question must be asked in India. We all share the same planet and breath the same air so why do we need to kill people and destroy their sacred places? Hanuman is famous for his courage and virtue, two qualities we all could do with some more of. May the victims find peace.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Global warming hits Wales... the Senedd is opened in Cardiff Bay. It was snowing as the award-winning building was opened for business by the Queen yesterday. With arctic ice melting at an ever faster pace and the volume of the Gulf Stream current down 30% are we heading for colder winters? It seems paradoxical that as the world is getting warmer Britain could end up being colder. The water melting in the Arctic has a lower salinity than the Atlantic Ocean so the cooler water doesn't sink so easily and thus the Gulf Stream gets cooler. So perhaps skiing holidays in Aberblahblahblah may be possible in the not so distant future.