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Found 9 results

  1. Sure we've seen glorified dehumidifiers like this before, but we're a sucker for any aquatic wonder which claims to solve the world's drinking water shortage. The exterior wall-mounted Watermill from Element Four is the latest "water from thin air" contraption and produces up to 3.2 gallons of water a day, pumped through a trusty ultraviolet sterilizer. But more importantly, it offers to hydrate your family of 6 (according to EF) for a mere thirty-five cents a day in power, not including whatever price Element Four decides to sell it for. Or you could just stick a bucket on your roof and be done with it -- we hear it rains occasionally. http://www.gadgetreview.com/2008/09/the-watermill-converts-humid-air-to-drinkable-water.html
  2. Taken For A Ride In Montreal Warning: Loyal reader ripped off by taxi driver at Montreal Airport. by Wendy Perrin Frequent globehopper Joe_Kayaker reports that he was "taken for a ride" when he landed at Montreal International recently: "It was late in the evening, the shuttle bus to the Airport Novotel had stopped running at 10:00 p.m., and none of the taxis would take me on such a short trip. Grrr. I finally found a taxi driver who would take me. As we were driving to the hotel, he said he didn't understand why the Novotel was called an "airport hotel," since it's not really that close to the airport. We drove for quite a while, and the ride cost $30. When checking into the hotel, I asked how much a cab ride from the airport is supposed to cost and was told, 'No more than $15.' I overpaid by only 15 bucks (well, Loonies), but how does one avoid being taken in by unscrupulous taxi drivers? Thanks, Joe" Joe, you paid $15 in what I call "tourist tax." I've been taken on circuitous routes and overcharged by cab drivers in many a city -- Cairo, Beijing, Moscow, New York -- but I have to say I'm surprised to hear of this occurring in orderly and lawful Montreal. Here's my test-driven advice for avoiding unscrupulous airport cabbies: 1) Ask the hotel in advance how long a taxi ride it is from the airport and what the cost should be. The Hotel Novotel Montreal Aeroport's web site says it's "just 10 minutes" from the airport and provides a map of the route (see left). 2) Before getting into a cab, ask the driver how much the ride will cost. If he quotes a price higher than what the hotel told you, offer your price. Negotiate and reach an agreement before stepping into the cab. 3) When you arrive at your destination, if the driver demands a higher price than was agreed to, ask for a receipt with the driver's name on it, write down his ID number (make known to him that you're recording it), and take out your camera to snap a picture of him and the car. Often, as soon as you pull out the camera, the driver will drop the price. One more thought: If the hotel has a doorman or bellman, see if he can hold the cab while you notify the front desk that you're in the process of being ripped off. I've never done this myself, but I bring it up because a few weeks ago a hotel in Madrid happened to suggest just this. When I called the Tryp Atocha a few days before my arrival in Spain to confirm my online reservation and find out what the length and cost of a cab ride from the airport should be, the front-desk clerk volunteered that if the driver tried to overcharge I should tell the front desk and they would deal with him for me. I got the impression that they had done so for other guests in the past. Hope this helps, Joe. Always good to hear from you. http://www.concierge.com/cntraveler/blogs/perrinpost/2008/04/taken-for-a-rid.html?mbid=rss_cntperrin
  3. March 15, 2009 OP-ED COLUMNIST By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN San Francisco If you hang around the renewable-energy business for long, you’ll hear a lot of tall tales. You’ll hear about someone who’s invented a process to convert coal into vegetable oil in his garage and someone else who has a duck in his basement that paddles a wheel, blows up a balloon, turns a turbine and creates enough electricity to power his doghouse. Hang around long enough and you’ll even hear that in another 10 or 20 years hydrogen-powered cars or fusion energy will be a commercial reality. If I had a dime for every time I’ve heard one of those stories, I could buy my own space shuttle. No wonder cynics often say that viable fusion energy or hydrogen-powered cars are “20 years away and always will be.” But what if this time is different? What if a laser-powered fusion energy power plant that would have all the reliability of coal, without the carbon dioxide, all the cleanliness of wind and solar, without having to worry about the sun not shining or the wind not blowing, and all the scale of nuclear, without all the waste, was indeed just 10 years away or less? That would be a holy cow game-changer. Are we there? That is the tantalizing question I was left with after visiting the recently completed National Ignition Facility, or N.I.F., at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, 50 miles east of San Francisco. The government-funded N.I.F. consists of 192 giant lasers — which can deliver 50 times more energy than any previous fusion laser system. They’re all housed in a 10-story building the size of three football fields — the rather dull cover to a vast internal steel forest of laser beams that must be what the engine room of Star Trek’s U.S.S. Enterprise space ship looked like. I began my tour there with the N.I.F. director, Edward Moses. He was holding up a tiny gold can the size of a Tylenol tablet, and inside it was plastic pellet, the size of a single peppercorn, that would be filled with frozen hydrogen. The way the N.I.F. works is that all 192 lasers pour their energy into a target chamber, which looks like a giant, spherical, steel bathysphere that you would normally use for deep-sea exploration. At the center of this target chamber is that gold can with its frozen hydrogen pellet. Once one of those pellets is heated and compressed by the lasers, it reaches temperatures over 800 million degrees Fahrenheit, “far greater than exists at the center of our sun,” said Moses. More importantly, each crushed pellet gives off a burst of energy that can then be harnessed to heat up liquid salt and produce massive amounts of steam to drive a turbine and create electricity for your home — just like coal does today. Only this energy would be carbon-free, globally available, safe and secure and could be integrated seamlessly into our current electric grid. Last Monday at 3 a.m., for the first time, all 192 lasers were fired at high energy precisely at once — no small feat — at the target chamber’s empty core. That was a major step toward “ignition” — turning that hydrogen pellet into a miniature sun on earth. The next step — which the N.I.F. expects to achieve some time in the next two to three years — is to prove that it can, under lab conditions, repeatedly fire its 192 lasers at multiple hydrogen pellets and produce more energy from the pellets than the laser energy that is injected. That’s called “energy gain.” “That,” explained Moses, “is what Einstein meant when he declared that E=mc2. By using lasers, we can unleash tremendous amounts of energy from tiny amounts of mass.” Once the lab proves that it can get energy gain from this laser-driven process, the next step (if it can secure government and private funding) would be to set up a pilot fusion energy power plant that would prove that any local power utility could have its own miniature sun — on a commercial basis. A pilot would cost about $10 billion — the same as a new nuclear power plant. I don’t know if they can pull this off; some scientists are skeptical. Laboratory-scale nuclear fusion and energy gain is really hard. But here’s what I do know: President Obama’s stimulus package has given a terrific boost to renewable energy. It will pay lasting benefits. And we need to keep working on all forms of solar, geothermal and wind power. They work. And the more they get deployed, the more their costs will go down. But, in addition, we need to make a few big bets on potential game-changers. I am talking about systems that could give us abundant, clean, reliable electrons and drive massive innovation in big lasers, materials science, nuclear physics and chemistry that would benefit, energize and renew many U.S. industries. At the pace we’re going with the technologies we have, without some game-changers, climate change is going to have its way with us. Yes, we’ll still need coal for some time. But let’s make sure that we aren’t just chasing the fantasy that we can “clean up” coal, when our real future depends on birthing new technologies that can replace it. Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company Privacy Policy Search Corrections RSS First Look Help Contact Us Work for Us Site Map http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/15/opinion/15friedman.html?pagewanted=print
  4. http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/montreal/What+that+mysterious+boom/9216575/story.html MONTREAL - What was that boom? What was that flash of light? And where were they coming from? Hudson, St-Lazare and towns farther afield were rocked briefly by the sound of an explosion and a flash of blue-green light in the night sky at around 8 p.m. Tuesday. But the source of the big boom remains a mystery. Officials in the off-island towns, as well as at the Sûreté du Québec, were flummoxed, leaving residents who heard the noise to wonder what happened. "No one seems to know what it is exactly, but a friend described it as bright blue flash in the sky followed by the sound," tweeted Kalina Laframboise. "It's been heard all over the region but no details," wrote Greg Patterson. "My opinion is that it was a meteor hitting the atmosphere with sonic boom." "Felt like an explosion, or a 'short' earthquake," Faith MacLeod said on Off Island Gazette's Facebook page. "Stepped outside and neighbours were out wondering what it was." "Yes, was sitting watching TV and I thought one of my kids fell out of bed. It was super loud," added Jenn Ryan Baluyot on the same Facebook page. Residents from Pincourt to Pointe-Claire and Pierrefonds reported hearing the sound. On social media, it was even reported as far away as Ormstown and Cornwall, Ont. St-Lazare mayor Robert Grimaudo said he had no idea what the source of the explosion was. Nor did the SQ, nor Environment Canada. Nothing in the weather patterns in the area could be to blame, least of all the snow that began to fall around the same time, an Environment Canada spokesperson said. Tracy Moore was at home in St-Lazare with her boyfriend and heard and felt something strange around 8 p.m. "It was really freaky — we heard this boom outside," she told The Gazette an hour later. "It sounded like that explosion we had last summer at the fireworks factory here. "It was just this boom. It lasted a few seconds." Moore went online to a local Facebook "community connections" group she's a member of, and wrote: "Did anybody hear the boom? Or was it just us?" "And, like, 211 posts later, people are still talking about it," she said. "People felt their house shaking and thought a tree had landed on it. The dogs were freaking out. My girlfriend in Cornwall, her husband works for Ontario Hydro and he saw this flash of light in the sky. "He says he never saw anything like it before — and he works for Hydro!" Did you hear anything? Let us know on Twitter @mtlgazette or by leaving a comment on this story. For more on this story visit the Montreal Gazette's Off Island site. © Copyright © The Montreal Gazette
  5. Think big, Tremblay urges Montrealers People are too ready to slam projects: mayor By JAMES MENNIE, The GazetteMay 23, 2009 Citing a high-profile scheme for a $1-billion downtown casino and entertainment complex that spectacularly crashed and burned after it couldn't shake off public criticism, Mayor Gérald Tremblay has challenged the city's business community and Montrealers in general to support projects that can offer the city "unlimited returns." "You remember the Cirque du Soleil project?" Tremblay asked an audience of about 400 businesspeople who yesterday attended an overview meeting organized by Montreal's Board of Trade of the city's major development projects. "How many of you, individually or collectively, have said: 'I should have written something (in support); I should have taken a stand'? "If that had happened, perhaps we would have ended up with a different project that would have brought people together and created wealth. "The problem is that we only, or almost only, hear from people who are against something; we rarely hear from those in favour." Tremblay's remarks, coming in the middle of a five-hour presentation extolling the virtues of such projects as the Quartier des Spectacles, the 2-22 project slated for St. Laurent Blvd. and the development of the Université de Montréal's science centres, were a stark reminder of how major projects can collapse because of an apparent lack of public support. The Cirque du Soleil entertainment and casino complex had been the object of public criticism and government study ever since the idea was broached in 2004. When a provincially commissioned report found in 2006 that even more study was needed, both the Cirque and Loto-Québec pulled out of the scheme. A year later, Tremblay found himself in the usual position of asking Montrealers to put aside their "negative attitudes" as he announced the $1-billion Griffintown development project, the single biggest private investment in the city's history. But that project, too, was beset by criticism and has since been put on hold because of the economic downturn. Saying he's "fed up of hearing that we're doing nothing in Montreal," Tremblay yesterday told his audience there are still plenty of other projects out there. "Go visit the city of Montreal's website, you'll see 130 projects with a total value of $60 billion. They told me not to talk about them because it's too ambitious. "But too many people continue to look at the $60 billion as an expenditure rather than an investment with unlimited returns." Speaking to reporters afterward, Tremblay said he challenged his audience because "it's easy to work behind closed doors, but it's something else to say, loud and clear, that you're proud of Montreal, that there are good projects out there for the city and that we want to be a part of it. "It's important that citizens have their say, but once they've done so, a decision must be made, and when that time comes, it's nice to hear occasionally from the private sector." [email protected] thegazette.canwest.com © Copyright © The Montreal Gazette
  6. Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Military+Culture+Festival+starts+with+roar/7174534/story.html#ixzz25Kfon5Z5 It was interesting being in Old Montreal yesterday and seeing multiple CF-18s flying by. Plus I was reading, there was a mini anti-war protest also going on because of this. I saw some comments on Twitter and some news website about, how some people feel bad for refugees that left war-torn nations to come here and to hear fighter planes again. It does suck, but they could have went to Costa Rica or Liechtenstein seeing both those nations do not have a military (I know that is really mean).
  7. I have a question: Why would city officials allow Segafredo to have a cheap terrace blocking half of the sidewalk on Ste-Catherine yet at the same time refuse to allow Apple to pay for 3 less parking spots in front of its store? It dosn't make any sense. Corruption or incompetence? I would like to hear your views on this. Thank you.
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