Palmas Altas Wind Farm

Living here in Arroyo City, one can’t help but notice all the activity in the area bordered by San Fernando, FM 1847 and FM 2925. Acciona Energy is building a 46 turbine wind farm here, called the Palmas Altas Wind Farm. The office and substation will be on Olmito Road between Taubert and Johnson. Whether you’re a proponent or detractor, wind turbines are here to stay. Acciona have provided a layout map showing the location of the turbines, reproduced here:



Cashing in on nostalgia

Volkswagen appears set to  release a modern version of the venerable minibus or combi as it was known in the rest of the world. At the Paris motor show late last year, Volkswagen debuted the ID concept car shortly after it announced that a string of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) will come on stream in the mass-market scene from 2020. Then, in Detroit last week, VW premiered a second potential BEV in the form of the ID Buzz. This time, Wolfsburg is trying to bring nostalgia into its BEV family with a Microbus-style MPV with three rows of seats. Those of us who grew up with the VW minibus are pleased to see the possible remake. Check it out for yourselves.

And here’s one for old time’s sake:


Countdown to 2017


Bet you didn’t know this about bringing in the new year. 2016 will be extended one second to compensate for a slowdown in the earth’s rotation. The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) will introduce a “leap second” after 23.59:59 on 31 December. The extra seconds are occasionally necessary because of unpredictable changes in the speed at which the Earth turns on its axis. Typically, they are added every two or three years, although the last one was inserted just 18 months ago in June 2015. The NPL, based in Teddington, London, is Britain’s national measurement institute and the birthplace of atomic time. The laboratory is responsible for providing the UK’s national time scale – known as UTC – which is controlled by atomic clocks that are among the most accurate in the world. Peter Whibberley, senior research scientist with NPL’s time and frequency group, said: “Atomic clocks are more than a million times better at keeping time than the rotation of the Earth, which fluctuates unpredictably. Leap seconds are needed to prevent civil time drifting away from Earth time. Although the drift is small – taking around 1,000 years to accumulate a one-hour difference – if not corrected it would eventually result in clocks showing midday before sunrise.” The International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS), based at the Paris Observatory in France, tracks the Earth’s rotation and announces when a leap second is needed roughly six months in advance.

How tough is it to boil water?

We came across this story about technology gone crazy from England the other day:  Given our problems with non-functioning technology (computers, smart phones, remote controls etc.) we identified with Mr. Rittman and his problem. Anyway, we hope he enjoyed his cup of tea.

This looks like his kettle:


This is a kettle we would recommend (and you can get it in other colors too):


$153 to make tea in 11 hours vs. $16 to make tea in 3 minutes – no contest!