Posts Tagged ‘Light bulbs’

First of all

Pondělí, Červenec 9th, 2012

At the risk of coming off as unsophisticated, it seems to me that more and more things are popping up in life that we Midwesterners, well … just aren’t ready for.

Not just a mayor in New York who would deny us our 64-ounce Big Gulps. No, read the newspapers there and you will find mention of the $1 million parking space at a Greenwich Village condo project or the hip thing in men’s underwear: briefs that cost $100 a pair, with the added bonus that they cannot be thrown into the dryer. That might strike the average fly-over-country guy as something a little too impractical to have behind his fly.

Or the baby trademarking thing: Jay-Z and Beyonce protected their daughter’s name, Blue Ivy Carter — a step that I’ve found occurs to very few Kansas parents, who probably have already lost exclusive rights to Emily and John. I know, hard to look at your kids as so special now, isn’t it? Their product placement opportunities are practically zilch.

It’s folks like the Zs who are probably the target consumers of baby athletic shoes, 0 to 6 months, now on the market. They come with cleats. Makes it easier for their kids to crawl over yours into that exclusive day care.

We Midwesterners have to admit to ourselves that some things may simply be beyond our sensibilities, such as fusion cuisine at Bryant’s.

Recently came an un-Kodak moment when a photographer took his snaps using an adapted but real 150-year-old human skull. The photos were described as eerie. Ya think? I recommend Missourians stick to their Instamatics.

As one of the taciturn people of the Plains, I’m also appalled at the idea of sitting on planes next to somebody who already knows things, such as your age, favorite quotations and sexual proclivities. We have the Dutch airline KLM to thank for this “Social Check-in” breakthrough in seat selection through shared Facebook or Twitter postings.

Trying to ignore the quotations being hurled from the next seat, you might reach for your Sky Mall catalog. Anyone on an airplane in recent years knows these cater to folks with, uumm, very specific tastes.

I am not bad-mouthing the life-size, zombie head, arms and emerging torso. That worked great in Aunt Edna’s rose bed. It looked very natural, and, ultimately, so did she.

And yes, the wineglass holder necklace does has some appeal, especially after my last white carpet episode with some Johnson County folks who never seem to invite my wife and me back.

But in between the analog day-of-the-week clock wall, floating poker table and the beer can remote is … the Sumo Wrestler Table.

Naturally, the figure wears only his mawashi/belt/thong. Otherwise he’d look simply like one more fully clothed fat man crouched in the living room with your lamp on his back.

“Our table is topped with a … tempered glass top for views from any angle,” goes the sales pitch. Judging from the photos, one of those angles could scar young psyches for a long time.

Do we really need the Eco-Egg Washing Machine (it just looks like an egg, it doesn’t wash them), the Microwavable S’mores maker (a little robot thing holds down the concoction for zapping) or the Waring Pro Automatic Martini Maker for folks who have forgotten how to shake things?

And then there’s the nearly full-size cake that looks like a toilet with a semi-sweet chocolate lid, which is what they’re really selling. “With every Chocolate Toilet Seat order, we will personally walk you through every step it takes to make this unique eye catching cake,” says the ad for Creative Chocolates of Vermont.

Green ideas served up for restaurants

Pondělí, Květen 7th, 2012

Green initiatives are putting greenbacks in the hands of restaurants who take the time to weigh the benefits.

Recycling, of everything from glass and cardboard to cooking oil, can be cost neutral or even put money back into the pockets of restaurant operators, supporters of restaurant conservation efforts say.

Solar-thermal technology, LED lighting, energy-efficient appliances, start-up and shutdown schedules for equipment and occupancy sensors in storage areas can save restaurants money and help conserve resources, said Chris Moyer, senior program manager for the National Restaurant Association’s Conserve Sustainability Education Program.

Something a simple as low flow spray valves can save a restaurant as much as $1,000 a year, the association’s Food Service Technology Center estimates.

“We try to show them that it’s not just good for the environment, it’s good for the bottom line,” Moyer said.

The Conserve initiative, which is being featured at this weekend’s National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago, was developed in 2006 as an online resource for members looking to reduce the cost of running their operations in an environmentally friendly manner.

Conservation practices are being adopted across the board at U.S. restaurants, from quick service establishments to fine dining. One in four operators is asking about recycling, Moyer said, and more than 60 percent of operators are investing in energy-efficient technology this year.

“What we try to do is provide them a place to go and to make it a turnkey solution,” he said.

Moyer said the conservation measures are being driven, in many cases, by younger workers, fostering the creation an entire industry of “eco-entrepreneurs” to support the effort.

In some parts of the country, restaurants that once had to pay the grease man to take used cooking oil off their hands are being offered cash in exchange for the inedible grease.

The oil, which has long been used in animal feed, soap and other products, has become a hot commodity in the biofuels industry.

The Alternative Fuel Foundation and the Association of Restaurant Owners for a Sustainable Earth are working with restaurants to take the fat-based food waste out of animal feed, and out of the human food chain, and convert it into biofuel.

Bob Hiller, director of marketing and strategic initiatives for AROSE, said cooking oil recycling is an unexpected and lucrative revenue stream for restaurants and foodservice establishments, offering a way to feed the bottom line while being socially responsible.

The oil is used to produce fuels that can replace coal and other fossil fuels currently being used for heat generation, co-generation at power plants and for residential heating oil.

Hiller said more than 40 million gallons of used cooking oil is collected each year from the more than 14,000 restaurants that have signed up for the recycling program.

Porsche GT3 Cup Series Races Into Record Books In Qatar

Úterý, Únor 21st, 2012

The Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East will create its own chapter of motor racing history when the region’s headline series makes a spectacular night-time debut at Qatar’s Losail International Circuit next month.

It will be the first Porsche GT3 Cup night racing event staged anywhere in the world since the one-make championship was introduced seven years ago, running initially in Brazil, New Zealand, and the US.

At the same time, a guaranteed starting line-up of at least 18 cars for Rounds 9 and 10 on March 2-3 will be the biggest since the Middle East version of the Porsche GT3 Cup series was launched in December 2009.

The Losail circuit’s permanent outdoor lighting will add a new dimension to the 12-round championship as the 2011-12 season heads towards its climax, and there is plenty of excitement in store for competitors and spectators alike.

“All of the drivers, and everyone else connected with the Porsche GT3 Cup series, are genuinely excited about our first visit to Qatar,” said Walter Lechner, owner of Lechner Racing, who run the championship on behalf of Porsche Middle East and Africa.

“This is something that we’ve been looking forward to ever since we started planning this championship several years ago, and we’re especially pleased to be racing at night for the first time, thanks to the fantastic lighting system at Losail.”

Lechner confirmed that Qatar’s Abdul Rahman Al Thani will make his Porsche GT3 Cup debut at Losail, joining Saadon Al Kuwari and Doha-based team-mates Rob Frijns and Manfred Ender on the starting grid.

While Saudi Arabia’s Abdulaziz Al Faisal looks to be heading for his second Porsche GT3 Cup title success in three years, former Qatar rally champion Al Kuwari, whose son Abdulaziz won last month’s Qatar International Rally, holds a strong lead in the Michelin Silver Trophy for the intermediate class.

The full driver line-up for Qatar will be announced shortly, and it will be headed by leader Abdulaziz, and also feature Saudi drivers Bandar Alesayi and Saeed Al Mouri, currently lying second and third in the championship, and fourth-placed Clemens Schmid, who has three race wins to his credit this season.

“One of the big attractions of the Porsche GT3 Cup series is that we have gold, silver and bronze categories for each driver to fit into, depending on their level of experience and commitment to racing,” said Lechner. “While it’s a series that accommodates professional racing drivers at the top end, we also have two other levels, and the silver and bronze categories are equally competitive in their own right, making it a very exciting and interesting championship overall.”

The “arrive and drive” nature of the series, which means competitors simply turn up at the track, swap their day clothes for a race suit, and jump behind the wheel of one of the latest Porsche GT3 Cup cars, is a major attraction for those who have limited time for race preparation or practice. “We have a first-class team of race engineers, technicians and mechanics, and we’re looking forward to welcoming more Qatari drivers into the championship because we believe we have a great deal more to offer than any other race series in the region,” said Lechner.

LED Lights Set To Make 2012 Bright

Úterý, Leden 3rd, 2012

LED lighting is becoming more and more popular as the years go by, and not only does it emit a very bright light, it is a much more energy efficient light to use which of course is great all round for both us and the planet!

The New Year is upon us. 2012 is coming round quick and fast, and before you know it we will all be at some New Year party singing Auld Lang Syne and getting a midnight kiss from a drunken uncle! This might not be the case for you if you are lucky, or unlucky enough, to be in Times Square, New York this New Years’ Eve.

Times Square in New York is one of the busiest places on Earth, with tourists flocking from all around the world, every day of the year. People from all over will be cramming into one of the most famous places in Manhattan to watch the annual ball drop and it will be packed out with over one million people. This fantastic spectacle is an amazing show to watch. The ball lights up with different colours and displays the digits of the new year once the clock strikes 12 followed by lots of fireworks into the sky.

It truly is an event to behold, although if you hate crowds do not go! I recently went to New York and a policeman was telling me how people have to stay in their spot all day and if they leave for the toilet it would be gone within a matter of moments.

New York is known as the city that never sleeps and it certainly does not on December 31st. It is an amazing city filled with culture, history and development and the New Year ball drop has been a tradition there since 1904 and although the ball has been updated over the years, it has only recently in 2008 been revamped to now use LED lighting, which was in honor of celebrating its 100th birthday.

The ball weighs 12,000lbs which is the same weight as some breed of elephants, and by switching the lighting it now uses 88% less energy.

Have a little touch of the bright lights of New York in your home, and do not feel guilty about your new purchase as this lighting is more energy efficient than regular lighting. Having LED lights, white especially, will brighten up your home with its clear colouring, instead of using yellow coloured light bulbs that can give off an unwanted golden glow.

Two years ago Damron coordinated efforts to repair the leaky roof of the circa 1920 one-time Chesapeake school. Coming up with the money to fix it ran the gamut from getting approval for a portion of a Community Development Block Grant to church-sponsored spaghetti dinners to basketball camps, concerts and ghost hunts. All went together to come up with dollars needed to buy materials for the project.

The next project was installing a better lighting system in the gym where eight LED lights that had been given by an anonymous donor were installed. Then the windows were reglazed.

“We have a lot of kids who need the gym for practice,” she said. “We have Buddy Leagues and Zumba two nights a week.”

Along with the fundraisers those renovations came about when volunteers stepped forward to do the actual repairs and installation or make donations.

“People will just come in to help anytime there is anything to be done,” Damron said.

That’s why the center already has money in its rainy day fund set aside for the latest project.

How to save $579 a year in household utility bills

Čtvrtek, Prosinec 1st, 2011

On Tuesday, we told you how Elkhart Community Schools have shed more than $1 million a year by cutting energy costs.

On Wednesday, NewsCenter 16 left the classroom and entered the average American home, one that spends $1900 a year on utilities alone. That’s a staggering figure for the bare necessities of heat, electricity and water.

While Elkhart Schools’ decision to go “green” is widely respected, the shift is often a lot easier said than done.

After all, most people don’t have the time to caulk dozens of windows, the knowledge to insulate every household pipe or the money to purchase Energy Star appliances.

In effort to push aside the more challenging “green” tasks, Notre Dame’s Office of Sustainability found four very easy steps that if followed correctly, will save you $579 a year.

1.) Despite costing more, experts recommend filling your home with Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFLs), in place of incandescent lights. CFLs use 75% less energy, last ten times longer and can save homeowners $150 a year.

2.) If you keep your home at 70 degrees Fahrenheit, experts recommend lowering your thermostat to 68 degrees during the wintertime and raising it to 72 degrees in the summer. Experts say that small two-degree adjustment will cut $98 a year.

3.) Unplug household appliances and electronics when they’re not in use. That’s because even when powered-off, items like toasters and televisions still suck electricity from sockets. To make the task easier, purchase a specialized power-strip to lessen the amount of unplugging. This will eliminate $256 in annual energy costs.

4.) Wash all of your clothing in cold water. Then, instead of placing your laundry in an electric dryer, hang it on a clothesline or drying rack. This simple step will save you $75 a year.

“We’re talking very small, minimal, you barely even notice it cutbacks. These are types of habitual habits that you can easily change and make a really big impact,” said Sara Brown with Notre Dame’s Office of Sustainability.

Another cost-saving secret lies right in your home’s water meter. The valve comes in a variety of sizes. In fact, NewsCenter 16’s Kevin Lewis’ used to have a one-inch meter himself. That specific sizing cost him $88 a month, whether he turned on his faucet or not.

After contacting South Bend Water Works in July, Kevin downgraded to a 5/8ths meter and now pays $35 a month, a savings of $636 a year. There is however some overhead costs associated with the work. Kevin paid $200 to a local plumber for the installation and $40 to South Bend Water Works for the downgrade.

Kevin says he experienced no drop in water pressure with the smaller water meter, but recommends checking with a plumber before making a water meter downgrade of your own.