Thursday, November 15, 2007

Electricity: Generating changes

Two from The Economist:

NUCLEAR power is increasingly popular, much to the consternation of many environmental groups. In 2005, 15.2% of the world's electricity was produced by nuclear plants, compared with 3.3% in 1973, according to the International Energy Agency....Chart

China and India have much to offer the world of technology, argues Simon Cox (interviewed
here), but more still to gain from it

TOWARDS the end of the 11th century, while tardy Europeans kept time with sundials, Su Sung of China completed his masterpiece: a water clock of great intricacy and accuracy. Standing almost 12 metres (40 feet) tall, Su's “Cosmic Engine” wavered, it is said, by only a few minutes in every 24 hours.

From twin tanks filled by servants, a steady flow of water was cupped and spilled by a series of buckets mounted on a wheel. The rotation of the wheel turned the clock, as well as an astronomical sphere and globe that charted the movement of the sun, moon and planets. Drums beat 100 times a day; bells chimed every two hours. A replica, painstakingly built with contemporary methods, now turns in Taiwan's National Museum of Natural Science....MORE