What do you think of this?

I've always been curious about the two holes on ungrounded NEMA 1-15 plugs (Type A). There they were, one hole on each blade -- what were they for? When I had to make an electrical connection inside a junction box a few days ago, to power up a little adapter for a network camera, I thought: why [...]

Electricity in Romania

Here's what I keep saying to every friend and acquaintance who visits my house: you definitely need a voltage stabilizer if you live in Romania. Around midnight last night the current started fluctuating wildly. Our UPS units were going crazy, clicking and kicking on and off, trying to contain the power fluctuations and cutoffs. After [...]

The importance of walking barefoot

All of us have probably heard at one point or another that it's good for us to walk barefoot once in a while, either on grass or on the beach. It's the sort of information that we file away and don't remember to do all that often, until we find out why it's important. In [...]

Quantum dots for LEDs

Last month, I wrote about CFLs and LED light bulbs, and today, I found a great video from Economist magazine, which not only talks about a new technology called quantum dots, but also does a great job of explaining the differences between incandescents, CFLs and LEDs when it comes to the light spectrum and lumens [...]

A simpler way to dispense water

Let me show you a simpler, less expensive, more sustainable way to dispense water at home or even at a business. I didn't see this in the US, where the water cooler is practically ubiquitous. I saw this in Romania. You see, here it matters if a machine is plugged in and consumes electricity all [...]

Pitch black darkness

Last night, the power went out everywhere. Completely. I happen to be staying in a village in the province of Dobrogea, Romania at the moment, and just as I stepped out of the house to walk to my car, all the lights blinked out of existence. It was, as they say, a dark and stormy [...]

Thank you Congressman Van Hollen!

This is Congressman Chris Van Hollen, the man that represents our district on the Hill. He's got our heartfelt thanks and gratitude. Do you want to know why? My wife and her students had to suffer for seven months at her piano studio -- without heat in the winter and without air conditioning in the [...]

Ways in which companies waste money and energy

I want to focus in on a few specific ways in which companies waste money and energy. I see the following things happen daily in the workplace. They're not specific to any company. Chances are that if you visit any American company, they're probably doing at least one of these things. Lights are left on [...]