Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Microrobotics Haiku

This haiku, randomly computer-generated from ‘found’ phrases related to clean energy research, is apparently advocating the use of reactionless drives and fake photosynthesis in the production of miniature robots.

Here's a line-by-line explanation of the terms:

Line 1: reactionless drive: objective of research  to develop an apparatus, such as a gyroscope, which is capable of producing unidirectional thrust without the equal and opposite reaction mentioned in Newton’s Third Law.

Line 2: Artificial photosynthesis is one of the next generation of renewable energy technologies referred to in Lake Water Storage Haiku. 

Line 3: Microrobotics  or microbotics is the study of mobile robots less than 1 mm in diameter.

So far I have no explanation for the haiku as a whole.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Back-to-the-land Haiku

Enclaves of artists and artisans have lived and worked for many years on Hornby Island where – some since the back-to-the-land days of the Sixties. The Town Hall shown here has a splendidly landscaped roof and walls of stackwood construction – not often used for large structures such as this.  This method, also called cordwood masonry, has been revived by the sustainability movement.  Cordwood or short pieces of debarked tree are laid up at right angles to the wall surface with masonry or fireproof and earthquake resistant cob.

An explanation of the haiku on the painting:
Line 1: On a Price/Quantity graph, market is in ­equilibrium where Demand and Supply curves ­intersect.
Lines 2 and 3: Both these concepts are, like Line 1, factors embraced by the sustainability movement.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Most-climbed, least-painted mountain around

Mount Temple
Watercolour and CP
©2019 Charlene Brown

Mount Temple, at 3544 m the highest mountain in the Lake Louise area, dominates the scenery in the Bow Valley, but is painted much less frequently than the other glacier-topped mountains surrounding it. This is probably because the other mountains are more picturesquely situated in hanging valleys with spectacular turquoise lakes such as Louise, Moraine and Consolation in front of them.
On the other hand, Temple is by far the most popular climbing mountain in the area. In fact just about all the information relating to Temple on the internet has to do with climbing it, including tips on how to avoid dying on it. The picture below, a portion of one of the illustrations in a publication, Banff National Park Guide to Mount Temple  says it all as far as I am concerned. The fact that they lead with an explanation of how to signal for a helicopter rescue reinforces my plan to stick to routes where the only special equipment required is some paint and brushes.
Click on picture to enlarge

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Tidal Power Haiku

This fjord, another candidate for tidal power, is even further north than Pangnirtung, which I wrote about last year.

Here is an explanation of the haiku on the painting of the Sam Ford Fjord, above.
Line 1: Additional transportation costs and logistic complications of delivering supplies to such locations make it critical to use everything twice, wherever possible.
Line 3: To build an algorithm means to define the process or set of rules required by a computer to enable it to do calculations or other problem-solving operations. Properly coded algorithms might even enable a computer to execute ­heuristic (interactive, trial-and-error, rule-of-thumb) processes.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Another Synergy Haiku

Relative to the energy obtained from the burning of fossil fuels, non-combustion renewable energy is generally less reliably available exactly when needed.  Because of the intermittent or seasonal ­nature of most forms of renewable energy, efficient energy storage is ­essential.

Line 1: Phase change dynamics is the study of  heat storage in phase change materials, which absorb or release large amounts of  latent heat (heat of vaporization, melting etc) when they go through a change in their physical state, i.e. from solid to liquid and vice versa..
Line 2: The light in a fiber-optic cable travels through the core with total internal reflection. Because the cladding does not absorb any light, the light wave can travel great distances.
Line 3: Combine these concepts for a synergistic total.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Group Access Only

Consolation Lake
Watercolour and oil pastel
©2019 Charlene Brown

This lake is an easy climb up from Moraine Lake, but I haven’t been there since 1971, despite having been to Moraine Lake several times.
 This is because of the Group Access regulations.  Hikers are legally required to travel in “a tight group of four or more” when Group Access is in effect (see map below, left) because of the danger of grizzly bears.

The Consolation Lakes were given this name by someone who had hiked in to Moraine Lake, found it totally unimpressive, and wandered around a bit trying to find something sufficiently spectacular to justify all the trouble he’d taken to get there. He must have arrived in June or early July, when Moraine Lake was newly ice-free and the water level was very low.  At that time of year the lake is sometimes quite small and surrounded by a wide mud slope because the glaciers hanging above it haven’t started to melt. The Consolation Lakes are somehow less reliant on glacier meltwater, and have a year-round alpine fen.


Sunday, June 2, 2019

Reining in greenhouse gas (GHG)

This in another entry in the Transitioning chapter in the Clean Energy Haiku book.

Even though Canada’s contribution to global GHGs is miniscule compared to – say – China, it is unlikely that there is a contiguous population of under 40 million anywhere in the world the emits as much as we do.

And this is an attempt to make sense of the haiku on the above painting of Lunenburg NS.

Line 1: bootstrap propulsion: when operation is no longer dependent on outside power or (GHG-emitting) propellants it is said to be in a self-sustaining, or bootstrap, operation.
Line 2: Tangential economics means applying economic principles to real-world events that may not often appear connected to economics.
Line 3: In the early stages of transitioning to a carbon-neutral economy, while we are still so fossil-fuel dependent, the emission of greenhouse gas (GHG) must be reduced where  ever possible.