Archive for August, 2006

Fastest diesel ever

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2006

350.092 MpH (529km/h) – that is the new land speed record for a diesel-powered vehicle. Andy Green, a British RAF officer set this new landmark this morning with the JCB DieselMax. The vehicle is powered by two 4-cylinder diesel engines that deliver a peak power of 750hp and torque of 1500Nm at 2000 RPM. The […]

Cruisin’ on homebrew

Monday, August 21st, 2006

Yesterday I decided that the biodiesel I made last weekend looked good enough for a fill up. I spent last week washing the stuff in my washtank – first is sprinkled water on it and drained the soapy water from the bottom. Then I put a bubbler in the water below the biodiesel. The rising […]

My first batch of biodiesel

Monday, August 14th, 2006

This weekend I brewed my first 30-gallon/120 liters batch of biodiesel, using the modified appleseed reactor I built in the basement. I used fryer oil from a local restaurant that titrated at 1.6 with KOH, so it’s pretty decent quality feedstock. Saturday, Manfred came over and we did the titration, mixed the Methoxide and started […]

Happy Birthday, li’l ‘puter

Friday, August 11th, 2006

For better or for worse – the Personal Computer turns 25 years today. In August 1981, IBM introduced the PC to the masses. Since then, the little beige box has changed the world and left quite a legacy.

Happy Biodiesel Day

Thursday, August 10th, 2006

Praise the Lard and celebrate the “Good Juice” today! It’s International Biodiesel Day – celebrate VEGPOWER! Transesterification of a vegetable oil was conducted as early as 1853, by scientists E. Duffy and J. Patrick, many years before the first diesel engine became functional. Rudolf Diesel’s prime model, a single 10 ft (3 m) iron cylinder […]

Big increases in biodiesel use in Germany

Wednesday, August 9th, 2006

The use of biodiesel in Germany has increased by two-thirds compared to last year, according to press reports of the latest issue of the Wochenbericht des DIW Berlin. Germans overall drive a bit less, but the Germans who have to drive a lot, are switching to the more fuel-efficient diesel vehicles, which now represent 21 […]


Monday, August 7th, 2006

Today’s Word of the Day was invented (I think) by my boss: picobuckets. We got a good chuckle out of this one during the staff meeting, when he tried to illustrate his consternation at some of the strange measurements of one of his fellow researchers.

Hiroshima Day

Sunday, August 6th, 2006

Sixty one years ago 140,000 residents of the city of Hiroshima died when the United States Air Force dropped a nuclear bomb on the city. Three days later, the Americans bombed Nagasaki with another nuclear weapon, killing another 74,000 people. We may debate over the role of these bombings in WWII, but we shall never […]

Extreme weather last week

Saturday, August 5th, 2006

What a week: Snow and Tornadoes in South Africa and a deadly heatwave in the US. In the US, the Midwest and East Coast were cooking – New York declared a heat emergency with temperatures of up to 38°C/101F and a heat index of up to 110F/43°C. Here in Bahama it was sweltering, too, with […]

VW backs off from Kenyan teenage moms

Thursday, August 3rd, 2006

According to the Global Crafts website, Volkswagen of America has backed off: Volkswagen of America have sent a letter of apology and revoked the Cease & Desist notice. Thank you for your support, I know many of you emailed Volkswagen on our behalf. They have also offered to work with us towards a license which […]

Volkswagen vs. Teen Moms of Kenya

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2006

This is a great example of elephants with sledgehammers protecting a china store: VW of America’s lawyers have sent “cease and desist” orders to the Fair-Trade importers of toys made by the Teenage Mothers of Kenya crafts cooperative: Teenage Mothers and Girls Association of Kenya is an organization working for the rescue, rehabilitation and economic […]