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Behold the future of clean power for the world! Behold the future of clean power for the world!
Image by Ben Shepard courtesy Sky WindPower Kite-like turbines like these depicted in illustration could generate electricity from strong high-altitude winds.

It's a bird. It's a plane. No, it's a high-altitude wind turbine!

I love ingenuity. Especially some around the subject of energy. Well, Carnegie Institution for Science and California State University have done just that by identifying New York as a prime location for exploiting high-altitude winds using kite-like turbines. Tethered to the earth, these turbine systems would fly near the jet streams, approximately 30,000 feet above the earth, and send back over 10 times the amount of power than conventional land turbines provide. This just might be the future of power. This technology would leave the landscape untouched while providing clean power from a virtually endless source—the wind. Learn more about these fresh ideas at ciw.edu and skywindpower.com.

Safer, Smarter Outlets—EFCI

Electricity technology hasn't really changed that much over the last 100 years. In fact the idea originally pioneered from Thomas Alva Edison for the breakers are pretty much identical today. With that said, isn't it time for some fresh ideas? The majority of all electrical fires in homes happen at the outlet with a device that isn't preforming properly. A simple new elegant idea has surfaced thanks to John La Grou, a long-time electronics inventor, audio designer and entrepreneur, who wants to help save lives and more. This new idea takes advantage of RFID tags in the plug of a simple household electrical device and talks to another RFID reader in the outlet. If the device starts to require more power than it should it tells the outlet to just turn off. A simple, cost effective way to stop a potential fire. Not only does this increase the safety but can be used to cycle electricity in new ways and save on energy. As a electrical DIYer I see the need for this change. COME ON Underwriters Laboratories/Government agencies...let's make this happen. Save people, save energy and is affordable? What are we waiting on? You have to see this for yourself at TEDcom, a 4 minute video that needs to be shared.

Power to Spare

If you're like me and consume batteries in all the gizmos you own like I consume ice cream then today is your lucky day. Graveyardmall.com is unloading "cosmetically blemished" AAA batteries in unpackaged lots of 100 for only $8.99. Batteries have expiration dates in 2010-2013 range and are all NEW! Regularly priced these would run close to $90.

Woodworking Safety

I dabble in woodworking and have made several things pieces of furniture. I am also a serious DIYer, having finished a complete basement remodel, including electrical work, myself. I feel like I am, for the most part, a safe person. I recently read a post on WoodNet.net where a father and his six-year-old son were working on a project together and the father tried to show his son how to use a table saw and give him some table saw safety. If you didn't see any issues with the previous sentence let me spell it out...SIX YEAR OLD and TABLE SAW SAFETY. The scenario of those two coming together should never exist. Power tools are awesome and something everyone should be exposed to in life, but please understand that tools can be dangerous and need to be treated with the highest respect. If you have a small child in the house (or even an inexperienced handyperson) please take care to safeguard the house or shop. Lock up power tools if need be. BE SMART!

Electric Radiant Floors

Are you a DIYer looking for electric radiant floors? I have been—and what a confusing product to shop for. I am in the process of finishing my basement and have looked at all sorts of heating systems. My criteria for this system is that it must be: affordable, relatively easy for a DIYer to install and a system that would produce comfortable heat, zone control and more. Electric radiant seemed to fit the bill, but which product to choose? This can be a confusing process since there are so many types—120v vs. 240v, mats vs. cables, programmability vs. no programmability—and the list is long. After shopping and researching for some time, I stumbled across EZ Floor Heat. This site didn't convey a strong brand that I like to see when making a purchase online but the price was right. I decided that I should at least call before ruling them out. What a great experience it was speaking with one of their service technicians. He made this decision a no-brainer for me. With his detailed explanations about the twin cable system (canceling virtually all EMF), amperage usage and electrical needs, analysis of my rooms and the systems that would work the best, I decided to make the purchase. I got all this great service and he didn't even know where I worked. Nice work, EZ Floor Heat. After the installation is complete, I will report back with the results.

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