Archive for October 12th, 2008

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An elderly woman had just returned to her home from an evening of church services when she was startled by an intruder. She caught the burglar robbing her home of its valuables and she yelled, “Stop! Acts 2:38. Repent and be baptized, in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven.”

The burglar stopped in his tracks. The woman calmly called the police and explained what she had done. As the officer cuffed the man to take him in, he asked the burglar, “Why did you just stand there? All the old lady did was yell a scripture to you.”

“Scripture?” replied the frightened burglar. “She said she had an ax and two 38s!”

Source: Bits & Pieces

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Alternative energy is being used in the shipping industry.  In the near future it could become common to see some of the largest ships in the world towed by kites the size of soccer fields.

Alternative energy is being used in the shipping industry. In the near future, it could be common to see some of the largest ships in the world towed by kites the size of soccer fields.

With current soaring prices for marine fuels, the shipping industry is looking for alternative sources of energy to trim operating costs. Kites the size of soccer fields are being used to tow large ships in the open ocean reducing operating costs considerably.

The MV Beluga SkySails, a cargo ship rigged up with a billowing 160-meter sail from SkySails, consumed approximately 20 percent less fuel than it would have without the sail during a two-month voyage. That’s a reduction of 2.5 tons of fuel, or $1,000 a day, in operating costs. Beluga Shipping ultimately hopes to save $2,000 a day with this back to the future technology.

For the first time, the US Navy is using a new breed of sailing ship to deliver military equipment, a move that can potentially reduce fuel costs by 20 to 30 percent, or roughly $1,600 a day per ship, according to the ship’s owners.

The Navy’s Military Sealift Command (MSC) has chartered the “kite-assisted”, fuel-saving 400 foot, MV Beluga to deliver Air Force and Army cargo to from Europe to the US.

The MV Beluga uses a paraglider-shaped, SkySails-System, which supplements its conventional, internal combustion engines. The sail is basically a huge, computer-controlled kite that soars 100 to 300 yards into the air, using the wind to tow the ship at the end of a long tear-proof, synthetic rope.

Imagine a cargo ship that is nearly 400 feet long being powered by the wind.   Obviously, it is not a new concept, as ships used to wind powered.  But they were very different then.   These modern cargo ships are way different.

The sail will be more like a kite as it allowes to drift over 600 feet above the ship.   This clearly will not totally replace the engines, as they are needed for maneuvering and power, but when the sail is deployed during the long journey, the ship can save around 20 percent of fuel consumption, which is not bad at all.

Other companies working on reducing emissions and fuel consumptions on ships include Solar Sailor, which has created sails with integrated solar panels. A ferry with sails already operates in Sydney Harbor. San Francisco may get one as early as 2009.

Yep, wind power is back! I can see a big smile on Al Gore’s face. -)

Source: Navy charters kite-powered cargo ship to deliver equipment – cnet news.com

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