Day: February 21, 2007

Indian Idol creates Kashmir stir

Not a big fan of reality television, but, there’s no denying the effectiveness of pop culture and mass media in fostering normalcy. Indian idol is like American Idol.

BBC NEWS | South Asia | Indian Idol creates Kashmir stir

Hundreds of young people have ignored militant threats in Indian-administered Kashmir and auditioned for the popular television show Indian Idol.

A large number of girls were among those who turned out for the auditions in the state capital, Srinagar. Indian Idol, based on the popular UK programme Pop Idol, has run for two years but this is the first time auditions have been held in Srinagar.

Militants called the Sony TV programme vulgar and against traditional values. Al Madina Regiment, the militant group which warned hopefuls to stay away from the auditions, has been behind several attacks in recent years.

In recent years, various militant groups have attempted to enforce Islamic values, particularly a dress code, in the region.

Lost in all the legitimate talk about self determination and border politics is the subversion of the Kashmiri struggle by these reactionary fundamentalists who will ensure that even a free/autonomous Kashmir will be a miserable one. Unfortunate. But, let’s hope a Kashmiri woman wins Indian Idol!

Coal Fired Power Plants – Moratorium needed

Cleaner Coal Is Attracting Some Doubts – New York Times

Within the next few years, power companies are planning to build about 150 coal plants to meet growing electricity demands. Despite expectations that global warming rules are coming, almost none of the plants will be built to capture the thousands of tons of carbon dioxide that burning coal spews into the atmosphere.

This is batshit insane and irresponsible. The US of A does not have a carbon policy (other than use as much as you possibly can!), and, only in the last few months have phrases like cap and trade and carbon taxes been used in respectable society. I am not going to get into the policy solutions here, there are much better discussions going on elsewhere.

My question is this. When you know that 150 coal fired power plants are going to have a significant effect on the carbon emissions, how can you even think of approving them unless you have a carbon emissions mitigation policy in place already? If you let them be built, they will somehow grandfather themselves out of the controls. The power of existence is a big deal. Will anyone dismantle one of these once they’re operational? Think of the children!!

There needs to be a moratorium on any large new power plants and other global warming sources until this country has figured out what emission targets it’s going to meet, how it’s going to meet them, and when it is going to meet them. Only then can the market decide which choices are feasible and which ones just don’t make sense. How will I know whether gasification or conventional burning/sequestration is better unless I have the metrics to measure them by? Depending on the emission reduction targets, they could both be economically viable, or neither.

Something tells me that the word “moratorium” and the phrase “coal fired power plant” will never be uttered in the same sentence.


Ionic Air Purifiers may actually Increase Particle Concentrations

Take that, Sharper Image, your air purifiers that you waste tons of paper sending me monthly catalogs for don’t work. The ones that use ozone react with organic compounds in the air, especially your fragrances in cleaning products, air fresheners and perfumes to make fine particles in that crucial 0.1-1 um size range that your lungs don’t clear very effectively.

Not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, especially with other indoor pollutants. But I always thought these air purifiers were a scam, I am glad somebody actually got the NSF to fund this study and get some proof!

Kinetic Analysis of Competition between Aerosol Particle Removal and Generation by Ionization Air Purifiers

Kinetic Analysis of Competition between Aerosol Particle Removal and Generation by Ionization Air Purifiers

Ahmad Alshawa, Ashley R. Russell, and Sergey A. Nizkorodov*

Department of Chemistry, University of California, Irvine, California 92697-2025


Ionization air purifiers are increasingly used to remove aerosol particles from indoor air. However, certain ionization air purifiers also emit ozone. Reactions between the emitted ozone and unsaturated volatile organic compounds (VOC) commonly found in indoor air produce additional respirable aerosol particles in the ultrafine (This model predicts that certain widely used ionization air purifiers may actually increase the mass concentration of fine and ultrafine particulates in the presence of common unsaturated VOC, such as limonene contained in many household cleaning products. This prediction is supported by an explicit observation of ultrafine particle nucleation events caused by the addition of D-limonene to a ventilated office room equipped with a common ionization air purifier.