Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Science, news and markets

Sorry about the weird formatting. It's too late to try to fix it. Enjoy! Keeping with the "Weird Science" theme consider this new artificial leaf that's coming out of MIT. "The device is an advanced solar cell, no bigger than a typical playing card, which is left floating in a pool of water. Then, much like a natural leaf, it uses sunlight to split the water into its two core components, oxygen and hydrogen, which are stored in a fuel cell to be used when producing electricity. Nocera's leaf is stable -- operating continuously for at least 45 hours without a drop in activity in preliminary tests -- and made of widely available, inexpensive materials -- like silicon, electronics and chemical catalysts. It's also powerful, as much as ten times more efficient at carrying out photosynthesis than a natural leaf. With a single gallon of water, Nocera says, the chip could produce enough electricity to power a house in a developing country for an entire day." This sounds a bit like those mag-lev train articles that pop up in Popular Mechanics every 5 years but I know there has been a good deal of research going into this field over the past 10 years so hopefully this is a step in the right direction. It doesn't really address the fact that our leaves would be frozen in a block of ice for 7 months of the year in NNY but I guess we'll cross that bridge when we get to it. *************************************************************** Priorities? Top viewed stories on CNN: Parents sue over photos of dead daughter Sources: Bullet put hole in plane in N.C. Eagle ray pins woman in boat Mega Millions winner claims ticket Top viewed stories on Al Jazeera: Gaddafi troops force rebels to retreat US Muslims 'face growing discrimination' Syrian cabinet resigns amid unrest Japan on 'alert' over radiation fears ********************************************************************* The market remains remarkably hard to pin down as bad economic data today (falling consumer confidence and double dip coming in housing) was met with "BUY STOCKS because that means the Fed is coming to the rescue with QE3!!" The ratio of leveraged bets in the market is at its highest levels since Spring 2007. Hmmm, how did that turn out for all of us? However, you can't underestimate the power of the Fed to intervene. Cheers!

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