Can someone with better math/engineering skills check my numbers here?
If I’m reading these articles (linked below) correctly, it sounds like Germany is producing 400 watts per person via solar and consuming 861 watts per person. That would mean they are already 46% solar! (They are aiming for 80% renewable by 2050)
NOW, if that’s the case and article #2 is to be believed, that would mean that if every other country in the world collectively averaged solar energy production at the same rate as Germany is today, we would be generating a SURPLUS of energy using solar alone.
However, the US has 3.8 times the population of Germany, 27.5 the area, and about twice as much sunlight per year. If Germany can produce 32,824 MW in a year (400w/p), than the US should be able to produce somewhere in the ballpark of 1,805,320 MW per year, shouldn’t it? That would be equivalent to 5,702 watts per person. 4 TIMES what the average American consumes.
I know these numbers are rough, and many factors such as average roof coverage aren’t considered, but if I’m even in the ballpark… then, well, it just makes that much more of a case for solar, doesn’t it? Panels are only going to get more and more efficient. If we had panels on every roof we’d have more free energy than we’d know what to do with…
1) German solar generation:http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/08/22/2508191/germany-solar-generation-record/
2) Electricity consumption by country:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_electricity_consumption
3) Irradiance map of the US vs Germany: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=653928527961495&set=a.456449604376056.98921.367116489976035
Time lapse sequences of photographs taken by the crew of expeditions 28 & 29 onboard the International Space Station from August to October, 2011, edited by Michael König. Continue reading Earth | Time Lapse View from Space, Fly Over | NASA, ISS
Illustrative as the article was, I especially liked the above graphic, which clearly shows how closely past technological changes have adhered to an exponential curve, which is the foundation for Kurzweil’s main argument.
Oddly, it was not included in the online version of the article, so… here it is.
Incredible (Original Wired article)
I remember seeing my first 3D printer at SIGGRAPH in 2002 and thinking to myself “Holy crap, this is going to be huge”. The ability to simply “print out” digitally designed objects in a single pass is already a clear boon to prototyping & manufacturing, but it’s still going to be a while before we have 3d printers atop every desk, ready to create for us whatever part, toy, or mug that we decide to download or create.
However, there are now two companies that are bridging the gap from “3D printing? What’s that?” to a fabricator in every home: Shapeways and Sculpteo allow users to upload virtual objects and order them as physical 3D objects. Additionally, both sites allow modelers to upload & sell their creations to be printed by others. Sculpteo is currently limited to white plastic and a color compound, while Shapeways adds the ability to print in glass and metal, such as the octopus ring on the right.
So to all you modelers out there: Start sellin your models as 3D objects for the world to enjoy…and feel free to send a print to me if you actually start makin some bucks doing this. 😉
I while back I saw the Bodies exhibition, and man, was I blown away! I had examined cadavers once before while at college, but this was a far better experience.
The bodies are expertly dissected and preserved, and coupled with loads of relevant information and interesting facts. Most importantly, they didn’t stink. (All water is chemically replaced with a polymer that essentially makes the specimens rubber while completely preserving them.)
The result is an absolutely amazing show that is both beautiful and informative. (Just wait until you see the circulatory system room: incredible!)
If you have any interest whatsoever in learning about this amazing and beautiful machine that we all posess, be sure to go and check out the Bodies Exhibition.