Archive for the ‘A little bit of Green Tech’ Category

Peer review of online news articles

Friday, August 21st, 2015

This group climate ( ) focuses on climate change articles but any group could do something similar, using the same platform *

“With so much information available online, trying to figure out which information is credible — and what is not — is a real challenge. When so much of what we read falls outside of our own expertise, how can we know which headlines and news articles are consistent with science?”

“Using the Hypothesis annotation platform, our community of scientists go through a variety of online media articles and provide ‘feedback’ on the scientific accuracy of the information presented. Readers can view these annotations directly alongside the original texts and see exactly where the article’s information is consistent — or inconsistent — with scientific thinking and state-of-the-art knowledge in the field.”

While I support the intent and effort, I’m a bit unsure of the  effectiveness of Climatefeedback approach.  It is useful for people looking for accurate science based information, but if you already lean in the other direction you are unlikely to use it.  Pseudo-science groups with opposing views could set up their own service, entrenching an alternative view.  Then again, that could be useful to teachers teaching critical thinking in schools.  You could have an article and two or three different “authoritative” commentaries.

They certainly picked apart an article by our current government’s climate darling.


The platform is worth exploring.  It might be a way for university academics to raise their profiles by providing timely critiques of current events.

* is  “building an open platform for discussion on the web. It leverages annotation to enable sentence-level critique or note-taking on top of news, blogs, scientific articles, books, terms of service, ballot initiatives, legislation and more. Everything we build is guided by our principles. In particular that it be free, open, non-profit, neutral and lasting to name a few.”

Office Mix – a simple tool for Flipped Learning

Friday, March 6th, 2015

I recently did a presentation on Office MIX which I think is probably the simplest tool for creating Flipped resources.

Office MIX presention

I have edited out the section on creating quizzes and uploading to the MIX site.

2014 End of year – Top Cleantech Buzzwords and phrases

Monday, January 12th, 2015

I think it’s telling that the top 10 includes Solar-Plus-Storage, Grid Defection, and Dirt Cheap Solar.

The One Chart That Shows Why 2014 Was a Breakthrough Year for Utility-Scale Solar in America

As the price of solar continues to slide, the issue of load balancing begins to loom.  Some of the current calculations reckon you’re OK until you hit 35-40%  from solar and wind.  I suspect the top phrases in 2015 will include Small Modular Reactors and Safe Nuclear.  Not that these are actually viable.  Even bog-standard nuclear is about the most expensive way we have to produce power.  But, when compared to the cost of coal carbon capture it starts looking a bit more attractive, particularity if they actually prove to be safe and production can be scaled up to make them relatively economical.

Flipped learning – media update

Monday, May 19th, 2014

MOOC reporting is finally dying down as reality hits the over eager early adopters.

What appears to be taking it’s place is more reporting on online learning and flipped learning.

lecture-theatre flipped

Here are some ‘Flipped’ articles from the last month

6-myths of the Flipped Classroom

How to Flip faculty PD

Prof places herself in Flipped Courses (Generally I’d don’t recommend this approach.  I am more in line with this ‘Sometimes it’s better to be heard not seen’

If you’re a Monash person and want a bit more info about this, drop me line.

2013 Review – 10 Energy Numbers to Remember From 2013

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

These are U.S. figures

“Sometimes energy makes headlines, sometimes it doesn’t. But it almost always has important implications for the global economy, the environment, and our day-to-day lives.

Here are ten energy statistics from 2013 that capture some of the most noteworthy trends of the year — and that will shape the energy world in the years to come.”

I thought this figure on solar was interesting.

After a near record-breaking third quarter, the solar industry is on pace to have installed a total of 4,300 megawatts of electric capacity for this year alone. In other words, this year’s volume of solar additions are approximately equivalent to all the solar capacity installed between the beginning of time and the end of 2011.

Green Tech Media is a good site to subscribe to if you’re interested in the business and industry side sustainable energy sector

Weekend reflection – the logic of climate change action

Saturday, November 2nd, 2013

The Australian political leadership from our 2 main parties in the area of climate change leaves a bit to be desired.  In fact it’s a bit (insert some words that you wouldn’t use in front of your grandmother) embarrassing.

This is a video I recommended all breathing people watch (unless you live on the absolute flat earth, ratbag fringe in which case I’d recommended pushing your head a bit deeper in the sand so you can’t hear it) .


Bitcoins update

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

I wrote about the unofficial digital currency  Bitcoins a while ago, well they haven’t gone away in fact they’re booming.

They had a couple of recent set backs when an online drug bazaar called Silk Road got closed down (an anonymous digital currency used to trade drugs, fancy that) and a the MtGox bitcoin exchange got raided by the US Feds.

But apparently they made a come back during the U.S. Government shut down.

“Similar to the events in Cyprus earlier this year, when the threat of direct withdrawals from citizen savings account led to a surge in the virtual currency’s interest, some believe the current uncertainty in the conventional system is fueling bitcoin’s recent rise even though the ecosystem has yet to find its “killer app.”

“The more stupid things governments do, the more attractive bitcoin becomes,” said Roger Ver, the director of Business Development at BitInstant, and long time bitcoin evangelist. “Bitcoin’s strengths come from its nature. Governments can’t inflate it or seize it at will.”

What happens in the future remains to be seen, some think it’s a bubble waiting to burst, others see it as the new currency for techno hill billy libertarians, and it certainly seems to be gaining ground in the trade of illegal goods.

Something to watch.

Throw away your mouse and grab your Yucca

Friday, August 17th, 2012

BOTANICUS INTERACTICUS”: Interactive Plant Technology

botanicus interactive

Weekend reflection – the worlds cheapest, easiest and most effective solar power device.

Saturday, March 24th, 2012

I’ve been thinking about the CSIRO State of the Climate Report and pondering what action we an take.

In Australia and more particularly in Victoria where we burn brown coal for power, using less power is a smart move.  Anything that produces heat or cold sucks power so, instead of throwing your clothes into the dryer as your default action, use the most efficient solar power device ever invented and hang them out.

hills hoist

But what about in Winter I hear you say?  Well you heat your house don’t you?

Buy a clothes horse.

Don’t tell me you dont have space.  Just have look at your options.

Pavan Sukhdev: Put a value on nature!

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

With our current debate around the Carbon Tax, perhaps it’s worth considering the cash value of the natural world around us and be a bit more informed about the real financial cost of not considering the green options.

putting value on nature