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Archive for April, 2009

Solar Panels Galore

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Solar power in Lorca
When last heading back to the airport after a trip to Spain in April 2009, I took the opportunity to visit LORCA  – a rather large city part way between Galera and Murcia airport. One of the benefits of carrying a sat-nav is that you don’t have to worry about getting lost – so I took a diversion off the motorway and found myself in an industrial estate behind which appeared to be a rather large solar farm…. just how large wasn’t apparent until I found myself wandering along a dirt road that would be well placed in a desert somewhere.

The “farm” turned out to be the largest collection of solar arrays I’ve ever see and after ditching the car in favour of an on-foot reconnoitre I have to say…. MOST impressed – the Spanish really DO take solar power seriously – this is a VAST collection of massive photovoltiac solar panels though no-where near as impressive as this 20MW solar collector in Sevilla, however – if you look in the photo, the panels go almost as far as you can see. According to the blurb it chucks out 2,000,000 KWH annually or put another way about enough to run maybe 100 homes as long as they don’t all run the kettle at once. I’m sure anyone sufficiently interested can Google Lorca and get some more information – suffice it to say it’s well worth 5 minutes out of your journey to take a look. 

Apologies for the obvious photo glitch on the large panel – my camera could not cope with this scene so I had to panorama it from 4 photos.

Professional Persons

I’m in the process of applying for a new passport, having put mine in the wash (don’t laugh, it’s easy to do).

In the process of filling out the two forms to get a replacement I noticed that you have to get the form countersigned by “a professional person or a person of standing in the community (for example bank or building society officials, police officers, civil servants…etc)”

Bankers… they’re kidding, right?

10 Dimensions

For believers it’s probably easy… God created the lot – end of story. For the rest of us, the choices are simple – either don’t think about the origins of the universe and “get on with  life” – or occasionally come back to thinking about the absolute absurdity a big bang, with all the matter in the universe popping out of no-where – “just like that” . How can something “pop out of no-where” – you may as well just say “God created it”.

There IS a better way to at least start thinking about all of this but it does take a little effort. You and I live in a 3-dimensional world – and most of us can’t think outside of that – except perhaps to grudgingly admit that time is the 4th dimension of a sort. So how is it that current theories demand 10 dimensions and how can we possibly imagine that?

“With difficulty” – just as imagining “infinity” can only be done with difficulty – because we are simply not biologically wired to handle such things – what would be the point… Thankfully there are some tools out there to help you get a glimpse of what this might all be about even if they are not perfect. One such example which really has proven an eye-opener for me is “Imagining the 10th dimension”.  Here is a 2-part video I recommend watching twice, or more.. it really does answer some questions.

Pay particular attention to the 2-dimensional flat-lander.

The VAT Change – Did Anyone Notice

Interesting… the government cut VAT from 17.5% to 15% to help boost the economy. No-one thought it would make any difference. The FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) did a survey in which 97% of firms questioned said the cut had made “no impact at all” (I happen to know that stat was accurate as I sent the survey out and saw the incoming results), meanwhile the Centre for Economics and Business Research insisted it led to 2 billion in additional sales.

So it the sales didn’t go to the small businesses… where did they go?