Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Kite Boating in the News!

Local pioneer Dan Tracy of Kite For Sail was recently featured in the news. Dan got his idea when coming up to an alternative to mast which is cumbersome and time consuming to set up.

Why a kite? Kites are able to harvest more wind to power the boat because they are higher off water and can capture the steadier wind. Also the action of pumping the kite up and down generates stronger forces.

It is great that the local media is starting to pick up on this unique and amazing technology. There are many uses for kite sailing. Everything from commercial shipping to the hobby enthusiast can benefit.

Check out KITV4's news coverage of Dan and Kite For Sail:



Just last week I had another opportunity to join the crew of the Kite For Sail boat and have to say that even with out any sailing experience I was able to easily control the kite and steer the vessel. If I was on a sailboat with a mast and many lines I'm sure I would not have been moving at all.

The set up is extremely simple, involving unfurling a kite and attaching the leading and trailing edge lines as well as a safety fifth line that is used to de-power the kite in high wind situations.

Dan and Kite for Sail have plans to sail from Hawaii to California and back within the next 2 years.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Organics are Better for You!



A recently completed 10 year study of organic fruits and veggies compared to pesticide and artificial fertilizer crops proves that Organics are much more nutritious.

Researchers found that the organic fruits and veggies contained nearly twice as much of the vitamins and minerals compared to conventional farmed ones. Organic tomatoes had a higher content of lycopene the cancer fighting antioxidant.

research in Europe found that organic tomatoes contained more vitamin C, B-carotene and flavonoids than conventionally grown tomatoes.


[link]

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Now I really want to work for Google!


Google the new 600 pound gorilla on the block is throwing its weight towards sustainability without batting an eyelash.

First they start with a one two chest pound including installing over 9,000 solar panels to power 1/3 of their campus (~1000k homes or 1.6 MW) and then they announced they were building a parking garage with facilities for plug in electric vehicles!

Without missing a beat they rounded out their initiatives with a philanthropy project called RechargeIT which has been demonstrating the efficiency and versatility of plug-in electric hybrids. The video below does a nice sum up of the technology and ideas behind it. Basically use America's fleet of plug in hybrids to act as a backup battery for the grid.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Pope Denounces Coal

Pope Denounces Coal
I was checking out the green news today and there are some exciting developments!

The pope denounces coal and vows to go with renewable energy. After the pope was struck by a large piece of coal the Vatican is installing a huge solar array of 1,000 panels which will provide for about 40% of their energy needs.

Finally people are realizing the importance of traditional knowledge.
The ahupua’a system developed by the Hawaiian people long ago is essential to ecological well being. The idea of ahupua’a incorporates the idea watersheds and ecosystems into a system that covers the mountains to the sea. The Hawaiian people would work together for the benefit of the whole system.
Kalani English on the ahupua'a and sustainability

Kite for Sail new video up.


And now for something completely different: Silent Library

Monday, May 28, 2007

Carnival in the Mission District



Colorful and strange!


There were many people dancing around, and even an opera concert at the end. I wasn't so exited about that but at least there are the options.

Alysha and I both went down to the Mission District with our friends. It was very colorful despite the gym sock gray sky. The music was loud and the crowd boring. In a way the parade participants seemed like the weather had nicked their polished and colorful exterior to cast a dismal edge to the whole affair.

And now for a slideshow!


Maybe my expectations were too great. I did watch E! on tv and loved their "Wild On" series. Maybe I expected more booty shaking? Or It could have been that in my mind I had this image of an outrageous whole street moving and dancing parade a la Wild On Carnival. And none of the Girls Gone Wild crew was out there!

I think it was the weather clouding my judgment. Gray skies make me a cynic.
Check out a compilation of colorful parade clips below:

Friday, May 25, 2007

Maker Faire Videos

Cool events all over the place,
I finally got around to uploading the videos from the Maker Faire.

Mentos and Coke Fountain:



Battle Bot competition:


Now this Saturday is Carnival! I'm excited :-D

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

San Francisco

San Francisco has been a wonderful adventure so far. I have the opportunity to spend time with my niece and to really explore the city. There is so much going on in the bay that I feel like a month and a half is not nearly enough.

My best Friend Taylor and I may move out here after we finish up our degrees. I think we'd both have a blast. I know I would only be able to live here for a couple years tops. Otherwise the dull gray may fog over my cheery attitude. At least there are certain areas where the fog is not so thick.

I've got pictures up at http://picasaweb.google.com/MauiChris/SanFrancisco
Please Check them out, I'll update them as I go with the highlights of the trip.

I took my niece and her friend to the Maker Faire and we all had so much fun. Everything from battle bots to flame throwing fire engines to arts and crafts to homebuilt wearable computers.
My eyes were wide with wonder the entire day we were there. It was truly a mind expanding and awe inspiring event. In the future I will make it a point to be out in the area to catch it again.

That same weekend the annual Bay to Breakers Marathon took place. I heard some talk about it and to my amazement my expectations were outdone. The premise is that it is a marathon from the SF Bay to the ocean thus bay to breakers... So the twist is that most people dress in outrageous costumes or wear no clothes at all. I was clothed and as usual had a rather striking pirate costume on. I'm beginning to think that somewhere down the line of my heritage I've got a bit of pirate blood. My grandfather was in the Navy... Heheh. It was a great day to revel in drunkeness and lewd behaviour. I met up with a crew of misfits that had a swashbuckling pirate ship. It was rightly dubbed the ARRRRGASM! and at througout the sail we had a girl on the prow whether topless or not we were sailing in true pirate fashion. There was even a pirate battle! Another pirate ship sailed next to us and we boarded and pillaged their ship.

Most of the time I spend here I am playing "Mom" for my niece and making breakfast lunch and dinner. Dropping her of at school and my sister off at her job. Things are going to get a little harder as she will be on crutches for four weeks after the surgery. I hope everything goes alright for her.

Stay tuned for more pirate adventures ?-)
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