Monday, December 05, 2005

The Ping-Pong Ball Theory:

I believe that there are tremendous stresses being built up in the Earth's crust due to Global Warming. I further believe that this will trigger numerous earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions, even in volcanoes long thought dormant.

How could Global Warming, heating of the atmosphere, trigger events deep in the Earth, you ask?

Consider the Earth like a giant ping-pong ball. If you squeeze it on two sides with your fingers, the sides at ninety degree angles to the pressure of your fingers bulges out a bit. (The effects are even more pronounced with a ball of rubber or one full of liquid, but hey, The Ping-Pong Ball Theory sounds cooler.) Squeeze the top and bottom of the ball, the middle bulges. Simple, right?

So, what happens when billions and billions of tons of ice on the poles melts? (Your fingers letting go of the top and bottom of the ball.)

Further, what happens when those billions and billions of tons of ice are now water, whose weight is now slowly squeezing the middle of the ball harder as the weight shifts away from the Earth's poles toward the equator.

So you think the spinning of the Earth causing centrifugal force might mitigate this effect to some extent? Have you ever heard The Ice Skater Spinning With Her Arms Close To Her Chest Spreads Her Arms Theory?

I posed this question to Earth Talk a couple of years ago - they had no idea how to answer.

Are there any scientists out there looking at this seriously? Has anyone even thought of this possibility?

What are we thinking???

Consider this story on a small (Comparatively) scale:

Tapei Skyscraper Linked To Earthquakes

Dan Stafford

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Illinois PIRG : Help ensure safe, reliable energy

This week the Illinois Senate will consider the nomination of Marty Cohen to be the Chairman of the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC). 

The ICC needs the leadership of someone like Marty Cohen who has a deep understanding of the issues and a commitment to ensuring a safe, affordable and reliable energy market for all consumers.

Unfortunately, Mr. Cohen's nomination has come under attack by the regulated utilities, which are waging a lobbying campaign to defeat his nomination. Please send a message to your Senators immediately and urge them to support the nomination of Marty Cohen as Chairman of the Illinois Commerce Commission. Then, ask your friends and family to help by forwarding this email to them.

To take action, click on the following link or paste it into your web browser:


The Illinois Commerce Commission regulates our electric, gas and other utilities. The ICC's job is to ensure that companies who provide essential services, companies like ComEd, People's Gas, SBC and others, are charging fair prices and are making basic services available to everyone.

In September, Governor Blagojevich appointed consumer advocate Marty Cohen to be the Chairman of the ICC. Mr. Cohen has spent his career as a watchdog of the commission, making sure the ICC is true to its purpose of providing reliable, affordable and efficient utility services. It would be hard to find anyone more qualified for the job.

Unfortunately, ComEd and other utilities oppose Mr. Cohen's appointment, claiming that his history as an advocate for consumers disqualifies him from making decisions about electricity rates. ComEd, which has donated more than half a million dollars to Illinois politicians over the last two years, is waging a massive lobbying effort to defeat Mr. Cohen's appointment.

The stakes are high for Illinois consumers. Our energy costs are skyrocketing, in part because our utilities have failed to invest in new technologies such as energy efficiency, wind power and other renewable energy sources. Moreover, ComEd has proposed a massive rate increase to take place in 2007. Now, more than ever, Illinois needs strong, independent leadership at the ICC.

Illinois PIRG strongly supports the appointment of Marty Cohen to chair the ICC.

Please send a message to your Senators immediately and urge them to support the nomination of Marty Cohen as Chairman of the Illinois Commerce Commission. Then, ask your friends and family to help by forwarding this email to them.

To take action, click on the following link or paste it into your web browser:


Rebecca D. Stanfield
Illinois PIRG Environmental Attorney

P.S. Thanks again for your support. Please feel free to share this e-mail with your family and friends.

UW-Madison News Release--Galactic Black Widow

Oct. 31, 2005

TO: Reporters, assignment editors
FROM: Terry Devitt, (608) 262-8282,

Unsuspecting prey be warned! Hiding in the darkest corner of the constellation Circinus is a gigantic black widow spider waiting for its next meal.

For decades, this galactic creepy crawler has remained largely invisible, cunningly escaping visible-light detection. At last, it has finally been caught by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope's dust-piercing infrared eyes. See the image here:

The spider is actually a star-forming cloud of gas and dust. In this Halloween interactive image comparison, an hour glass-shaped insignia, typically found on the underbelly of a black widow spider, can be seen faintly in the visible-light image from Digital Sky Survey (DSS). As Spitzer's infrared image fades in, the veil of galactic dust shrouding the rest of the spider is lifted to reveal a poisonous widow.

In the Spitzer image, captured by a team led by University of Wisconsin-Madison astronomer Edward Churchwell, the two opposing bubbles that make up the black widow's body are being formed in opposite directions by the powerful outflows from massive groups of forming stars. The baby stars can be seen inside the widow's "stomach" where the two bubbles meet.

When individual stars form from molecular clouds of gas and dust they produce intense radiation and very strong particle winds. Both the radiation and the stellar winds blow the dust outward from the star creating a cavity or, bubble. In the case of the Black Widow Nebula, astronomers suspect that a large cloud of gas and dust condensed to create multiple clusters of massive star formation. The combined winds from these large stars probably blew out bubbles into the direction of least resistance, forming a double-bubble.

A video clip of the Black Widow Nebula can be viewed on the Spitzer Space Telescope site at

For questions or comments about UW-Madison's email
news release system, please send an email to:

For more UW-Madison news, please visit:

University Communications
University of Wisconsin-Madison
27 Bascom Hall
500 Lincoln Drive
Madison, WI 53706

Phone: (608) 262-3571
Fax: (608) 262-2331
Illinois PIRG Newsletter goes online

This fall's version of the Illinois PIRG Citizen Advocate is now available online at

It's the same newsletter you've always received, but moving to the Web means less printing, which helps us reduce our environmental impact and keeps more of your contribution working toward real results for Illinois.

Top Stories

Illinois Adopts Clean Energy Goals: This summer we came one step closer to having a renewable energy standard for Illinois when the Illinois Commerce Commission voted unanimously to support the measure . . .

Illinois PIRG Expands Chicago Advocacy: We've launched an exciting new program, focused for the first time on winning reforms at the municipal level in Chicago . . .

Featured Articles

Legislative Update: Governor Signs Illinois PIRG bills to prevent identity theft and prohibit use of two toxic chemicals in consumer products . . .

With Congress Slow To Prevent ID Theft, States Pick Up Slack

50 Oil Refineries Pose Risk of Catastrophic Accidents

National News

Shareholders Tell Oil Companies To Save Arctic

State PIRGs Gear Up To Save Refuge

Illinois PIRG's Fears On Campaign Finance Law Prove True

Illinois PIRG Backs Drug-Safety Bill

The Last Word

Springfield Must Lead Where D.C. Fails

To make a contribution or join Illinois PIRG, visit You can e-mail me, too - just reply to this message.

Illinois Public Interest Research Group
407 South Dearborn, Suite 701, Chicago, IL 60605


Rebecca D. Stanfield
Illinois PIRG Environmental Attorney

P.S. Thanks again for your support. Please feel free to share this e-mail with your family and friends.

UW-Madison News Release--Speeding Vaccine Production


NOTE TO REPORTERS: Kawaoka is traveling, but should be reachable by email.

PHOTO EDITORS: High-resolution images are available for downloading at

CONTACT: Yoshihiro Kawaoka, (608) 265-4925,


MADISON - In the event of an influenza pandemic, the world's vaccine manufacturers will be in a race against time to forestall calamity.

But now, thanks to a new technique to more efficiently produce the disarmed viruses that are the seed stock for making flu vaccine in large quantities, life-saving inoculations may be available more readily than before. The work is especially important as governments worldwide prepare for a predicted pandemic of avian influenza.

Writing today (Oct. 31, 2005) in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science (PNAS), a team of researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Tokyo report a new way to generate genetically altered influenza virus. The lab-made virus - whose genes are manipulated to disarm its virulent nature - can be seeded into chicken eggs to generate the vaccine used in inoculations, which prepare the human immune system to recognize and defeat the wild viruses that spread among humans in an epidemic or pandemic.

In their report, a team led by UW-Madison virologists Yoshihiro Kawaoka and Gabriele Neumann, describes an improved "reverse genetics" technique that makes it easier to make a seed virus in monkey kidney cells, which, like tiny factories, churn out millions of copies of the disarmed virus to be used to make vaccines.

In nature, viruses commandeer a cell's reproductive machinery to make new virus particles, which go on to infect other cells and make yet more virus particles. Vaccine makers use a monkey kidney cell line to make non-virulent viruses that serve as the raw material for vaccines.

The technique reported by the Wisconsin team improves upon a previous reverse genetics method (developed by Kawaoka's group in 1999) by significantly reducing the number of plasmid vectors required to ferry viral genes into the monkey kidney cells used to produce the virus particles to make vaccines.

"Compared to other types of cells, which are not approved for vaccine production, it is not always easy to introduce plasmids into the monkey kidney cells, which are approved for such use," says Kawaoka, an influenza expert and a professor of pathobiological sciences in UW-Madison's School of Veterinary Medicine. Monkey kidney cells are used routinely for generation of seed strains for vaccine production because they are not known to carry any unknown infectious agents and do not cause tumors.

According to Kawaoka, "application of the new system may be especially advantageous in situations of outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses."

When a new strain of highly virulent influenza emerges to infect humans, vaccine makers must tailor their vaccines to match it because, genetically, the virus is always different. The process is a race against time and can take months depending on how quickly new strains are identified, genetically disarmed and subsequently generated in the lab for use to make vaccines in large quantities.

The new technique promises to ensure ready generation of seed strains for the production of vaccines required to blunt the spread of influenza. In the event of an outbreak of especially virulent strains of influenza, such as the H5N1 or "bird flu" viruses now being monitored by scientists, any efficiency in the manufacture of vaccines will be important.

The method devised by Kawaoka and his colleagues reduces the number of plasmids required to introduce viral genes into the monkey kidney cell lines used to mass produce the deactivated virus for use in vaccine manufacture. "By reducing the number of plasmids, we increase the efficiency of virus production," Kawaoka explains.

In addition to Kawaoka, the new PNAS report was authored by Neumann of the UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine, Ken Fujii of the University of Tokyo's Institute of Medical Sciences, and Yoichiro Kino of Japan's Chemo-Sero Therapeutic Research Institute. The work was funded by grants from the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the Ministries of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan, and by the Core Research for Evolutional Science and Technology.

# # #

- Terry Devitt, (608) 262-8282,

For questions or comments about UW-Madison's email
news release system, please send an email to:

For more UW-Madison news, please visit:

University Communications
University of Wisconsin-Madison
27 Bascom Hall
500 Lincoln Drive
Madison, WI 53706

Phone: (608) 262-3571
Fax: (608) 262-2331
[awea-smallwind] Digest Number 44

------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor --------------------~-->
Get fast access to your favorite Yahoo! Groups. Make Yahoo! your home page

There is 1 message in this issue.

Topics in this digest:

1. Home & Farm Wind Pavilion at WINDPOWER 2006?
From: Small Wind Advocate


Message: 1
Date: Mon, 31 Oct 2005 15:23:03 -0800
From: Small Wind Advocate
Subject: Home & Farm Wind Pavilion at WINDPOWER 2006?

Based on the success of our first-ever Small Wind Pavilion this past
spring in Denver, AWEA has set aside premiere space in the WINDPOWER
2006 Exhibition Hall (June 4-7 in Pittsburgh) for a "Home & Farm Wind
Pavilion" at the front of one of the main aisles - see booth #s 301,
401-403 & 500 on the Floorplan at (under the
Exhibit Hall links in the left toolbar).

So far Entegrity Wind Systems has already confirmed their
reservation, and Bergey Windpower, Southwest Windpower, Abundant
Renewable Energy, and a few others have expressed interest. However,
firm commitments are needed from at least three additional exhibitors
wanting to locate booths in the Home & Farm Wind Pavilion within the
next TWO WEEKS, with 50% deposits made by 11/21/05 in order for AWEA
to continue holding the space and move forward with plans for the
Pavilion. Full payment is due by 2/15/06.

Most of the other prime space has already been reserved - don't miss
out on this great opportunity to promote your business as part of the
small wind industry! Please click on "Becoming an Exhibitor" in the
left toolbar at
for exhibitor benefits, costs, and how to sign up. A current list of
the 120+ exhibitors already signed up can also be found under the
"Exhibitor List" - over 4,000 attendees are expected!

Plans are also in the works for a pre-conference seminar on "Personal
Wind Systems for Homes, Farms, and Small Businesses: Bringing Small
Turbine Technology to Mainstream Consumers," including a Vendors
Forum to feature Exhibitors.

The Home & Farm Wind Pavilion area still has room for 4-8 additional
booths, but the Exhibit Hall is already 75% sold out and space is
going fast. The placement of the Pavilion is much more prominent than
last year, and will be highly visible with considerable signage. Any
Exhibitors involved in the Home & Farm Wind industry who prefer
locating their booths outside the Pavilion area will be invited to be
included on a map of small wind exhibitors in the WINDPOWER 2005 program.

For any Exhibit-related questions or to discuss your booth
reservation, please contact:
Lori Rugh
AWEA Conference & Education staff
Phone: (661) 821-2149

Don't miss the November 21st deadline to reserve your spot in the
Home & Farm Wind Pavilion!

[This message contained attachments]


AWEA Small Wind News and Alerts:
The AWEA Small Wind News and Alerts list is a timely source for information updates, news clips and action alerts focusing on small wind energy. This list is announcement-only with low-traffic, weekly mailings.


Group home page:

Post message: [message posting moderated by AWEA]

Yahoo! Groups Links

<*> To visit your group on the web, go to:

<*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Keynotes Ecology Center Celebration on Nov. 10

Tickets are still available for the Ecology Center's 35th Anniversary Celebration featuring keynote speaker Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.!

Join us for an inspiring evening on Thursday, November 10, 2005 at 7:30 pm at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor, as we celebrate the Ecology Center's 35 years of environmental activism. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. will keynote the evening, followed by a reception and book signing in the theater lobby.

Tickets for the lecture and reception are $50 per person, $15 for students. Seating is general admission. For more information or to pre-purchase tickets, contact me at or (734) 761-3186 ext. 110.

Hope to see you there!

Stephanie Feldstein
Development Director
Industry Trends and Technologies

Power Engineering

:: News from Power Engineering
:: November 1, 2005


:: Current Issue

:: News and Analysis

:: Issue Archives

:: Buyers Guide

:: Events

:: Classifieds

:: Free Subscriptions


POWER-GEN International
POWER-GEN International
Las Vegas, Nevada
December 6-8, 2005

Teresa Hansen Editor's Remarks

In just a few weeks, more than 16,000 power industry professionals will converge on Las Vegas to attend the 18th POWER-GEN International Conference and Exhibition. The event, which is unrivaled in the power industry, will take place December 6-8 in the Sands Convention Center. It will offer a mix of educational development, personal networking and vendor interaction opportunities, providing an unparalleled chance for industry professionals to upgrade their knowledge, skills and contacts.

Not long ago, talk of new generation meant, almost exclusively, natural gas-fired turbine construction. However, with rising natural gas prices and predicted shortages, power generators are considering other generating technologies, some of them new and some of them tried and true. Because these technologies vary widely, it is impossible to say that one technology can meet all generation needs. In short, the nation needs a mix of generating technologies that, in total, are reliable, environmentally friendly and energy-efficient. That's the reason this year's POWER-GEN International will cover a broad cross-section of industry trends and technologies, including nuclear, coal, renewables, gas turbines, emissions compliance, combustion optimization and the aging work force, just to name a few.

If you've never attended POWER-GEN International, this is a great year to begin. If you are a veteran attendee, I hope you're planning to attend again this year. A visit to the Web Site at will give you a fairly detailed look at what this year's event is offering. I'm confident you'll find something there that interests you.

Teresa Hansen
Associate Editor, Power Engineering


National Consumer Survey Reveals Interest in Renewable Power
Is the World Ready for Coal Gasification?
FirstEnergy Continues Emissions Control Technology Development
Managing Business
E-Fun Archive

U.S. Consumers Are $34 Billion Better Off After Privatization
International Electricity Industry Leaders Plan Climate Change Approach
Siemens to Develop Large Scale Hybrid Fuel Cell for U.S. DOE
U.S. Researchers Help Develop Large Solar Plant

Bruce Power Awards Contracts for Restart Project
Entergy Awards First BWR Fleet-Wide Multi-Outage Agreement
Westar Energy Signs Agreement to Purchase Power Plant
ScottishPower's PPM Energy Announces New 200 MW Windfarm

Rubber Lip Seals Literature
Rugged Flow Meter
Data Logger Software
Asset Performance Management Tools


:: National Consumer Survey Reveals Interest in Renewable Power
While 75 percent of Americans say it's important to extremely important that their electric utility offer power produced from renewable resources, 50 percent don't know whether or not their electric utility does so, according to a national consumer study recently released.
:: Click Here for Full Story ::

:: Is the World Ready for Coal Gasification?
This paper, presented at Coal-Gen in San Antonio in mid-August, discusses the U.S. energy industry's need to build a tremendous quantity of new generation to meet the nation's growing electricity demand. It talks about how coal will play a major role in fueling future generating facilities and looks at the possibility of using integrated gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) as an alternate method of converting environmentally disadvantaged fuels into electricity.
:: Download the PDF document - [115 KB] ::

:: FirstEnergy Continues Emissions Control Technology Development
For several years, FirstEnergy has worked closely with Powerspan to develop and test new emissions control technologies. This article provides the latest on the energy company's involvement in pilot programs, as well as its latest plans for commercial installation of new emission technologies.
:: Click Here for Full Story ::

:: Managing Business
The Skills Behind the Doing in Business Development

Bill Scheessele, CEO/Founder of MBDi, provides insight on business development and ethics in the power industry.
:: Click Here for Full Story ::

:: E-Fun Archive
Office Wisdom by Murphy

Power Engineering dips into the archives to provide a humorous look at the world of engineering, science, business and management.
:: Click Here for Full Story ::


:: U.S. Consumers Are $34 Billion Better Off After Privatization
Liberalization of the U.S. electricity market saved residential consumers $34 billion between 1997 and 2004, according to a new independent study by Cambridge Energy Research Associates.
:: Click Here for Full Story ::

:: International Electricity Industry Leaders Plan Climate Change Approach
The heads of Europe's electricity industry union Eurelectric, U.S power sector association Edison Electric Institute and Japan's Federation of Electric Power Companies met in Sapporo, Japan in October and called for long-term, global, voluntary actions to address the challenges of world climate change.
:: Click Here for Full Story ::

:: Siemens to Develop Large Scale Hybrid Fuel Cell for U.S. DOE
Siemens Power Generation has been given a 10-year, $85 million contract by the U.S. Department of Energy to develop fuel cell technology for large power stations.
:: Click Here for Full Story ::

:: U.S. Researchers Help Develop Large Solar Plant
Researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory have collaborated with Solargenix Energy in the creation of the world's third largest solar power plant.
:: Click Here for Full Story ::


:: Bruce Power Awards Contracts for Restart Project
AMEC and Babcock and Wilcox Canada have confirmed contract wins in the Canadian nuclear power plant restart project announced by Bruce Power.
:: Click Here for Full Story ::

:: Entergy Awards First BWR Fleet-Wide Multi-Outage Agreement
GE Energy has been awarded a 10-year multi-cycle contractual service agreement to provide nuclear instrumentation and associated technical and field services for Entergy Corp.'s fleet of boiling water reactors.
:: Click Here for Full Story ::

:: Westar Energy Signs Agreement to Purchase Power Plant
Westar Energy announced it has signed an agreement to purchase a 300-MW gas-fired power plant from ONEOK Inc. for $53 million.
:: Click Here for Full Story ::

:: ScottishPower's PPM Energy Announces New 200 MW Windfarm
ScottishPower's competitive U.S. energy business, PPM Energy, recently announced plans to build a 200 MW windfarm at Big Horn in the south east of Washington State with completion expected in summer 2006. Approximately $270 million will be invested in the project and it is expected to be immediately earnings enhancing upon completion.
:: Click Here for Full Story ::

:: Product Releases

Rubber Lip Seals Literature
Inpro/Seal, a manufacturer of bearing isolators, just unveiled new literature titled Target Lip Seals that details the use of rubber lip seals in industries. Part of the firm's interactive package on bearing protection, the literature is a valuable source of information and useful tool to anyone involved in management, maintenance, repair and operations of pumps and other types of rotating equipment. David C. Orlowski, Inpro/Seal's founder and president, who is well known for his knowledge of bearings, bearing protection and tribology, authored the literature and much of the interactive package. Orlowski has spent 41 plus years working on ways to enhance and extend the service life of rotation equipment.

Rugged Flow Meter
With a breakthrough flow sensor design, the new Model CMM Coriolis Mass Flow Meter from Fluid Components International (FCI) is compatible with virtually every industrial process fluid in use today. FCI's Model CMM flow meter features the industry's widest standard configuration selection of the industry's most popular and exotic wetted surface materials for service in harsh fluids-from water to acids to corrosives and even hazardous safety sensitive fluids such as phosgene. The CMM flow meter's wetted surface parts are available in nine standard materials that ensure compatibility and long-life. Designed for service in line sizes from 1/8 to 2 inches (DN 6 to DN50), the CMM flow meter is a versatile flow measurement solution for flow rates up to 1,460 lb/min (40,000 kg/hr) that is ideal for use in a wide range of processes. The CMM is accurate to 0.1 percent in liquids and to 0.5 percent in gases (+ reading). For liquid applications demanding the utmost in accuracy, the CMM's optional 10-point calibration service will boost accuracy to a superior 0.05 percent.

Data Logger Software
Onset Computer Corp. recently introduced HOBOware 2.1 for Windows, the company's next-generation software package for HOBO data loggers. The new software combines fast, easy logger launch and readout functions with powerful data plotting capabilities, making it easier than ever for users to analyze environmental conditions recorded with HOBO loggers. An intuitive, graphical user interface allows users to select environmental parameters to display, format graphs, perform analysis, and save projects for future use. HOBOware also makes it fast and easy to measure the grains of moisture per pound of air, and supports one-click export of data to Microsoft Excel or other ASCII-compatible programs.

Asset Performance Management Tools
Invensys Process Systems recently announced a series of unique asset performance management solutions that - for the first time - enable users to monitor, predict and effectively manage both the availability and utilization of their industrial assets to help maximize overall asset value and improve business performance. These applied solutions draw upon technology and expertise from across Invensys Process Systems (Avantis, Foxboro, SimSci-Esscor, Triconex, Wonderware) and its technology partners. Initially, Invensys Process Systems is introducing a family of nine component- and system-level asset performance management solutions, or "monitors." The initial component-level solutions monitor and/or help manage the performance of field devices, process control loops and plant equipment. These include instrument monitor, valve monitor, loop monitor, pump monitor, equipment monitor, alarm management monitor, security management monitor, safety integrity monitor and automation platform monitor.


POWER-GEN International
December 6-8, 2005
Las Vegas, Nevada

POWER-GEN Renewable Energy
April 10-12, 2006
Las Vegas, Nevada

August 16-18, 2006
Cincinnati, OH

Power Engineering Webcasts
Vendor-supplied Content
Search Webcast Library

Featured Webcasts:
The Intelligent Power Plant: Advances in Control & Optimization for Power Generation
In this Q&A type session, Pegasus' Senior Management Team, Gary Nicholson,...

The Road to EAO: Real-Time, Coordinated Combustion & Soot Blowing Optimization
As the first in a series of webcasts focusing on Enterprise Asset Optimization...

Coal-fired boiler with a circular furnace for large power units (300-1000 MW)
Construction of large thermal power plants with power units for 500-800MW and...

Optimize Combustion with in-situ, continuous combustion measurements
Bob Burbage, Senior Project Manager from TVA will describe problems encountered...

*** NOTE *** The GL Zephyr does NOT advocate coal power, however, some technologies referenced may help with cleaning up existing coal plants to some extent, and we do not discourage any improvements over the status quo. ***