Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Could the best kept secrets be our newest hopes?

For the past decade, Silicon Valley has been brewing something other than tech start ups and crashes (and of course, Facebook fanaticism).

Today, Bloom Energy unveiled what it has been developing over the past 10 years, in the Silicon Valley of California; but this time, it's an alternative energy technology so exciting, and so private, that companies like Google and Bank of America already have it (Wal-Mart too, but I'm still on the fence about Arkansas).

Essentially, the issue is this: fuel cells are expensive, and burn fuels and materials that are expensive. This is the most basic way of explaining why they have not been made more pervasive over the past few years. They also are not (as of now, this day) perfected. This is inevitable with a newer technology!

Bloom Energy, a secretive start up headed by an ex-NASA Mars project employee and scientist, supposedly has found a way to allow fuel cells to not only run at higher temperatures, with cheaper materials and catalysts, but also to enable through these changes, a decrease in overall greenhouse gas emissions.

They will be made for businesses and homes, and are meant to decrease our energy bills and costs, both to individuals and the environment around us.

Sound too good to be true? Maybe. We'll have to see over the next day, weeks, months, and year. The thing is, from a publicity standpoint, their secretiveness and their selective interactions were a business development move of genius.

They've already got 3 huge corporations that "power" (teehee) our economy who have installed and currently use the product. They've got a press conference with Schwarzenneger and former Secretary of State Colin Powell. They've got The New York Times covering their unveiling, real time, on its blog.

And with an expected 3 year payback period (hello, that's teeny tiny), I am hoping for some more good things to come from Silicon Valley (besides my new MacBook Pro that I am typing this on of course).

Check out other exciting Green news on the NY Times blog:



Wednesday, February 10, 2010

So I saw an absolutely delectably delicious band perform last night at The Mercury Lounge on the Lower East Side of New York. They were called Hymns.

In stark contrast, their songs had very little religious fervor (rather I believed that one of the musicians in particular had his own special fervor for an energizing drug of sorts), and were like The Beatles meets The Strokes (think Julian Casablancas) meets I don't know, attractive, sweaty, long haired, stupidly smiling, bouncing about the stage men of our generation that we like to refer to as dirty hipsters?

And in reference to the dirty hipsters...I like those. A lot. Add a mustache and I'm done for.

But seriously, I haven't felt myself truly let go to incredible sonic compositions and energy and pure musicality like that of Hymns for about a year now (sad, I know, this is what happens when music starts paying your bills, beware!!).

They've got a killer stage presence, great chemistry together, and a horn and saxophone player sometimes too. What else could you ask for, really? Tight jeans you say? Yep that's there too.

I'll stop my virtual drooling now.

peace from snowy BK


Tuesday, February 2, 2010


What a terrible name for what should be a ridiculously successful, entirely off-the-grid home. Haiti will be needing quite a few of these...look up Michael Reynolds, the architect and creator, who has been doing these for 30+ years in the middle of nowhere New Mexico, and now, all over the world in developing countries. What if you had no power, water, or any energy bills whatsoever? Also, check out the documentary on the whole project, Garbage Warrior, by Oliver Hodge. This Reynolds dude is self-deprecating...just the way I like them.