The Science website has an extensive article on the life and writings of an academic of Czech descent: “Meet Vaclav Smil, the man who has quietly shaped how the world thinks about energy“.
I guess I’ll have to read at least a single book of Vaclav Smil – perhaps Bill Gates can suggest a good title to start with?

Now, Smil says, the world faces its fourth energy transition: a move to energy sources that do not emit carbon dioxide, and a return to relying on the sun’s current energy flows, instead of those trapped millions of years ago in deposits of coal, oil, and natural gas.

The fourth transition is unlike the first three, however…

You should at least read the article, if only to get confirmation that there is no simple solution to the world’s energy problems of today (and the near future)…


As reported by BoingBoing: “Blogger gave lecture on dealing with trolls, then stabbed to death by a troll“.

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If you like light shows, you may want to have a look at this record-breaking show of drones in China: “EHang Egret’s 1374 drones dancing over the City Wall of Xi’an, achieving the Guinness World Records“.

(Click on the picture to watch the video on YouTube)

This is probably just the beginning of what will be possible with drones in the near future.

In 2015 my wife and I happened to be in Sydney (Australia) at the start of the Vivid light festival, early in the evening. The weather was bad then – it rained heavily by moments – and since we were on a ferry coming from Parramatta we only got a glimpse of what the festival has to offer. But even so it was a great event, something we’ll remember for the rest of our lives – we have a few photos of that evening to keep the memory alive.

And now there is an extensive video on the 2018 version of Vivid on Youtube – it’s enough to make us want to go back there again! The projections onto the Sydney Opera House seem to have gotten even better…

(Click on the picture to see the whole video on YouTube)

Thanks Cory, for pointing us to this video.

Our national meteorological institute claims that June 2018 was a month with above-average sunshine (in number of hours of sunshine), but the electricity production numbers of our solar panels do not reflect that. We got only about 92% of our average production – but at least that’s not the worst score in the June history of our installation ;-)

BoingBoing told me all about it: the “History of Mac startup chimes“.

For the impatient among you, here are the links mentioned over there:

And there are more videos like that, each with a few machines missing, or a few extras. The weird part of this story is that I never noticed the differences, although I have owned many Macs. Probably because I heard that startup sound so often that my brain no longer actively listened to it…

Many moons ago, I managed to publish the picture of a weird but funny motorcycle: the Cowasaki.

The Cowasaki

But two weeks ago, BoingBoing upped the ante and pointed its readers to the_van_man__, an American gentleman who showed off his motorcycle while transporting a horse. OK, he needs a sidecar to do so, but let’s be honest: that’s weirder and funnier than the Cowasaki!

(Click on the picture for the full story as told on BoingBoing)