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Putting Alcohol In My Gas Tank

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I’ve been reading this really exciting book called Alcohol Can Be A Gas, and it argues that the technology for a sustainable fuel economy is already here, and we can start driving on carbon-sequestering biofuels with our same cars, already today! What’s better news? Because the nautral economics of alcohol fuel produxtion, rhe market will davor small to medium size farms, supporting family farms and young organic entrepreneurs. Not only is it going to instantly turn driving into an environment-healing activity, it’s also already cheaper! (At the pump, if you can find it where you live).

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Now, alcohol fuel, or Ethanol, is a historically controversial issue- the current popular methods of production are literally insane from a sustainability standpoint, only making sense because of the skewed economics of grain subsidies causing resource-intensive and destructive farming methods to dominate our fields. I am in full agreement that we should not be harvesting corn with diesel-powered tractors and petrochemically fertilized soil. It’s stunningly inefficient environmentally. However, taking advantage of the best permaculture techniques, we can build fuel farms capable of sequestering up to 13 times the amount of carbon than the amount that is released in the production and consumption of the fuel. Literally reversing global warming with your choice at the pump. This fuel can be produced locally and organically. We just need to demand it, and it will come…

Farmers can make a lot of money from growing and/or producing alcohol fuel. The integrated production methods described in the book include many different integrated farm business models ranging from raising livestock to fish to sellingĀ  earthworms or animal feed or premium vegetables or compost.

Update: I noticed my engine kind of hesitating when idling. This was when gasoline/alcohol ratio was approximately 55/45 ratio. I’m still looking for a garage that can help me install the kit, also replace the fuel filter on my 2001 Acura CL-S. I could possibly do it myself, but the fuel filter on this car is located in the gas tank, so I need to drop the tank to replace it =… That sounds pretty messy, and it would probably be a lot easier on hydraulic jacks haha. I’m still looking for a garage that can help me with the installation. Please contact/email me if you know someone who could help with this flex fuel conversion!

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Status Report: Fruit Diet

Okay I need to start blogging this somewhere. So it’s a sunny Saturday morning here in Menlo Park. It’s wonderful but I’m feeling lazy because I’m still recovering from the work week: I biked to work two days, played two soccer games, sustained some minor injuries, then didn’t eat enough, or didn’t drink enough water, and did not get enough sleep. Today I’ve had about 5 bananas for breakfast, and I’m about to go for a short (~3 mile) run in a bit, and then have a ton of orange juice (30 oranges) for lunch. And then go for a longer run before it gets dark. And then I’ll eat like 15 bananas. And then maybe a simple low-fat raw vegan salad of some sort after that.

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Gourmet Raw at Google

So there’s a chef in one of the cafes at Google who makes some relatively fancy raw dishes each night. Check out tonight’s menu:

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More after the jump.

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Running in the Desert

Just got back from Phoenix area, Arizona… where my nephew just graduated from High School. Behind their house, I ran up this hill, and took some pictures:

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Email to Dreamhost Support: Funky Email/Subdomain Problem

Just sent this email to Dreamhost support… wonder if they’ll help me with my crazy email problem (not their fault).
(Dreamhost is where I’m hosting this blog, and some other sites)
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Amazing Vegetable Stew

So I’ve been home sick for the past couple days, and had a craving for nutritious food. Beyond taking vitamins and Echinacea, I figure eating lots of fresh fruit and vegetables is likely the fastest and best way to get healthy.

I wanted to make something that I could grow in the garden. Here’s what I put together:
  • 3 red potatoes, diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 3 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 bunch of celery, chopped
  • 1 can cooked/seasoned tomatoes
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • some olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
Put onions and olive oil in a pot on the stove. Let brown. Finish chopping the rest of the veggies. Add everything else, and maybe a few cups of water. Let everything simmer for at least an hour.
Serve in a cup or bowl. The fun part was just being able to leave this on the stove and keep eating whenever I want to. And it tastes magical.
Oh, later, I added some roasted pepper and tomato soup from Trader Joe’s, that made it even more tasty.
Now, this is my first time making something from scratch in a long time, so consider the above recipe a rough draft. I look forward to making this after growing my own vegetables in the near future.
Also, I plan to try different combinations of vegetables and herbs and spices. Please let me know if you have any suggestions!

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The Best Portable Rechargeable Battery Gadget

I’ve been messing around with AA rechargeable batteries for a while now, and I just discovered what might be the ultimate related gadget: a USB power pack that can charge both ways. This is a multifunction device that has the form factor, and same primary function as those iPod/Cellphone emergency chargers, except these can also recharge the four rechargeable AAAs you put inside. These are already available, and cost about $30. Seems like the perfect mobile accessory to me.. (Charge all my portable devices, plus, if I have a device that needs AAs, I can take these out).
I just ordered this one from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Lenmar-R2G802U-Charger-2150mAh-Batteries/dp/B0010XU4IE/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1253802027&sr=8-2, and I’ll update this post with a review after I get a chance to test it out. I’m looking forward to being able to charge my cellphones on the go, plus my iPod, plus my video camera, plus my everything else!

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The Most Powerful Mac Keyboard Shortcuts

The Most Powerful Keyboard Shortcuts On Your Mac

Many keyboard shortcuts are frivolous and easy to forget because you can usually do the same thing with your mouse. There are some however, that you should be careful not to press, unless you know what they’ll do…

ctrl+shift+eject: turn of displays (make all screens go dark)
ctrl+option+eject: ?
cmd+option+eject: quick sleep (*not* safe sleep… great for stowing your laptop quickly when you have to move suddenly)
cmd+ctrl+eject: normal restart
cmd+ctrl+power: force restart

Oh, and a couple bonus keyboard shortcuts:
Option + one of the Brightness buttons: Takes you to the Displays pane in System Preferences.
Option + one of the Volume buttons: Takes you to the Sound preference pane.
etc..

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Buying Photos from Organized Runs

So I just got another email from sportphoto.com, one of these companies that comes to sporting events, takes pictures of you, and then charges and arm and a leg for a small printed version of it. They’re trying to sell me This upsets me, because I don’t even want it printed… I’d be perfectly happy if they let me download a JPEG for like $10 or less. However, they don’t, so it inspired me to write down an idea…

Okay first, this is sportphoto.com, who took photos at this year’s Bay to Breakers in San Francisco, which I ran together with @ryderramona. And it turns out they do allow you to purchase the files… they _even_ have the option to purchase all the photos they detected of me for $60. Honestly, this isn’t nearly as ridiculous as I thought, still hear me out:

So there are alll these spectators that line the course, many of whom are taking photos of the runners passing by. Multiple people took photos of me, but I’ll probably never see those, although they’re probably just as good and more interesting than the “official” Sport-Photo ones. The solution? A web application of course…

Let’s call it “OpenSportPhoto” šŸ˜‰ …
This site will allow anyone to upload photos from an event. The site will use some pattern recognition software to detect the numbers (bibs) people are wearing, and index them. Participants can later look up their photos by their bib number, or even subscribe beforehand. The site can be promoted by runners during the event, handing out a little flyer or info card to bystanders taking photos, asking them to upload.

The business model is quite simple.. Allow photographers to set a price for their photos, or give them for free and take donations. The site takes a small cut (like 10%). Hey look, we just open sourced a business! (All I ask is that you let me know if you build this!)

Update: So I bought a CD + instant downloads for $55. I was going to post the photos here, but the site says I can’t do that without explicit permission. LAME

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Can we make web applications more personal?

Most of the stereotypically “Web 2.0” sites… Digg, Del.icio.us, Flickr, YouTube, etc, are largely focused on the general preferences of the masses… or at least, that’s how the “Popular” content seems to be sorted. I argue that this is a mistake. Instead, these web applications should focus more on trends within our own social group.

I’ll focus on just one example… YouTube. YouTube has some serious challenges. One of the most apparent is comments. For every video that hits the front page, you can expect hundreds of immature and often offensive messages. My solution would be to split up the comments into categories / tabs… “Friends”, “Top”, “All”, … where the default “Friends” tab would show any comments that any of your Gmail/gTalk friends left on that video. Also, you could leave comments publicly, or only for your friends to see.

If we start building websites like this, the web will be a much more personal experience, and welcoming to newcomers. Thanks for listening.