2017 increased refrigerator and in-wall oven efficiency

Replacement fridge

Old fridge

Fridge set to 3 (5 oC); freezer set to A (-14 oC)

Power demand after reaching target temperatures:

33W closed

98W right and left open

73 left (freezer) closed; right (fridge) open

57 left open; right closed

R+L = 65; R=~40; L=~24 (probably mostly the wattage of the light bulbs)

Power demand with compressor at work:

Watts

330 Compressor starts

300 >30s

298 >60s

292 >180s

290-95 >10min (steady state while working to reach target temperatures)

Watt-up measurements of old fridge:

10.54 kWhr for 60:27 hr

= 174 W

Watt-up measurements of new fridge:

Fridge set to 3 oC; deli drawer set to 3 oC; freezer set to -19 oC (changed to -15 oC on 11/16/17)

5.62 kWhr for 80:15 hr

= 70 W

~ 40% of old load

New oven

The spirits of Jock and Holly Cobb

Driving north out of Albuquerque with my parents last month to celebrate my aunt’s and uncle’s 50th anniversary, we learned from the Internet that our dear friends Jock and Holly Cobb have passed away.  Jock was my god-father and immortalized himself in my mind early on, mostly by convincing me (as a ~6-year-old) that it would be a good idea to rent a very large rock from him at a compounding interest rate, which I’ve done for more than 40 years!  He was always an inspiration — whether reclining naked in the outflow stream of a Colorado glacier when I first met him, or demonstrating the latest prototype of his solar-powered water purifier in the New Mexican sunshine when Annie and I last saw them in the early 2000s.

Both Jock and Holly were wonderful people, full of ideas, compassion, principle, and creativity.  I’m going to take the time to get to know them a bit better this winter.  Perhaps you should do so, too.  Here’s my reading list:

Jock’s book

Jock took some amazing photographs during WWII when he was a conscientious objector working as an ambulance driver in north Africa for the American Field Service.  Thankfully, they made it back to the States and through the decades to be published recently (in 2013) as Fragments of Peace in a World at War.  You can buy the book directly from the Cobb family via

or via the publisher,
or via Amazon.
Jock ends his Vimeo recollections (in ~2011) with this quote from John F. Kennedy

“War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today.”  –Letter to a Navy friend, quoted in Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., A Thousand Days: John F. Kennedy in the White House (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1965), p. 88.

NYT article (2013) regarding the photographs

Obituaries

John Cander (Jock) Cobb II, MD, MPH

1919-2016 (96)

Tribute to Jock in the Denver Post

John Candler Cobb II, known to all as “Jock”, was born July 8, 1919 in Boston, MA. He died June 20, 2016 in Albuquerque, NM. After earning his B.A. in Astronomy from Harvard, he volunteered as an ambulance driver with the American Field Service in World War II. This experience and his association with the Quakers around this time, led him to his lifelong devotion to the cause of peace and to his career in medicine. He returned from the war to earn his MD from Harvard, and an MPH from Johns Hopkins. While in medical school he met Radcliffe student Holly Imlay-Franchot on a skiing trip. They were married for 67 years until Holly died in 2014.

After teaching at Johns Hopkins in maternal and child health, Jock began a career in public health when he moved to Albuquerque, NM in 1956 to work for the Indian Health Service. In 1960, he moved with Holly and their four children to Lahore, Pakistan, where he directed a Family Planning Research project. In 1965, the family settled in Denver, CO, where he became professor and chairman of the Department of Preventive Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Realizing the importance of environmental health early on, he was a member of the task force studying the Rocky Flats Plutonium Plant and Uranium Enrichment Plant, which were shut down as a result of this work. He also served on the Governor’s Scientific Advisory Council, and tackled Denver’s notorious “brown cloud” as a member of the Air Pollution Control Commission. His work with international public health continued with shorter assignments in Indonesia, the Philippines, Togo, and China. He is honored to have his work and papers archived in the University of Colorado Archives in Boulder, CO.

In 1985, Jock retired from the University of Colorado Medical School, and he and Holly returned to live in the house they had built in Corrales, NM. They continued to travel abroad and enjoyed summers at their mountain cabin in Alice, CO. Jock’s inventive spirit and dedication to health and the earth led him to develop a solar sanitation system for water and waste. While active in the world, he also treasured quiet time in nature, played cello, wrote poetry, and took many photographs. In the last decade of his life, Jock revisited the photographs he took while serving as ambulance driver in Italy, North Africa, and Syria. He distilled his dedication to peace in the book Fragments of Peace in a World at War, which includes his photographs, poetry, and narrative.

He is survived by his children Loren, Nat, Bethany, and Julianne; grandchildren and great grandchildren; and many people whose lives he touched.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the American Friends Service Committee or Planned Parenthood.

Published in Albuquerque Journal from June 26 to June 29, 2016– See more at:

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/abqjournal/obituary.aspx?pid=180462254#sthash.OyjcMXsX.dpuf

Helen Imlay (Holly) Cobb

1925 – 2014 (age 89)

Helen Imlay Franchot Cobb was an artist, a musician and a teacher. Holly grew up in New York State, and graduated from Radcliffe College with an AB in International Affairs. She and her husband Dr. John C (Jock) Cobb lived Baltimore MD, Corrales NM, and in Pakistan before settling in Denver, where he was a professor at CU Medical School. She taught art and kindergarten at Graland School. She leaves a beautiful portfolio of paintings and note cards of the peaks by their cabin in Alice, Colorado. She is survived by Jock, her husband of 67 years, her brother Dick Franchot, children Loren, Nat, Bethany and Julianne, and grands and greats. In lieu of flowers, donate to Planned Parenthood or AFSC.

Published in Denver Post from May 16 to May 17, 2014

Archives of Jock’s work

Abstract:
Cobb, Dr. John C. 83 linear feet, 1960-1993
Dr. John Cobb (b. 1919), M.D., Harvard University (1948), and Master of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University (1954), became a professor of community health in the Department of Preventative Medicine and Biometrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in 1965, where he is currently an emeritus professor. Dr. Cobb was appointed by Governor Lamm and Congressman Wirth to the Lamm-Wirth Task Force on Rocky Flats in 1974. From 1975 to 1982, he worked as principal investigator on an EPA contract to study human plutonium burdens in people who lived near the Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Facility. He has also served on several other councils and commissions concerning Rocky Flats and Three Mile Island. The collection contains files relating to Dr. Cobb’s medical career including: plutonium study papers; material on air and water pollution, recycling, bioethics, holistic medicine, and urban health ecology; Rocky Flats and Pakistan radiation studies; and teaching materials, reports, and conference papers. Guide available in Archives.

An example photograph

San Vito, Italy: This fatherless boy, like so many in the war, was searching for something he did not understand and could not find.

San Vito, Italy: This fatherless boy, like so many in the war, was searching for something he did not understand and could not find.

I am a left egalitarian, social Democrat (like Bernie)

I’ve had an evening of political realization, thanks to Benjamin Studebaker, an American PhD candidate in Politics and International Studies at Cambridge.  This post helped me understand that Bernie is my candidate and this next one convinced me that it is strategic to fight now for his vision: “a future to believe in.”  That sounds vacuous, but it’s not because for too long I’ve believed in egalitarianism — without having a name for it — but not seen so clearly how to realize it in a future, more equitable society in the U.S.

Will we defend the now-decrepit monster [neoliberalism] they [the 1%] gave us until they inflict a new and more terrible monster upon us, or will we stick up for our own ideology and put up a real fight against Trump and Cruz [the right nationalists]?

In taking on this fight, it seems advantageous to use the term “egalitarian” to emphasize that we value a more equitable society.  This value underlies some recent phenomena like the WTO protests and Occupy movement.  And it might also be accurate and savvy to call ourselves Social Democrats, rather than Democratic Socialists.

$2M for WA algae industry

State algae industry gets a boost from U.S. Senator Patty Murray

Murray recently helped secure $2 million for the Washington State Algae Alliance, a consortium made up of Seattle area companies Targeted Growth and Inventure Chemical as well as Washington State University. But not every U.S. politician is on board with the $2 million, with U.S. Senator John McCain calling out the algae research project in a Tweet back in October as more “pork barrel” politics.

The algae-ethanol question

This makes me wonder what wild marine phytoplankton might have sufficient sugars to warrant ethanol production, or actually produce ethanol. This article seems to imply that Algenol’s algae are pumping ethanol into water somewhere, but it’s unclear if that is the medium or just water in the cell.
clipped from www.nytimes.com

New York Times

Algae Farm Aims to Turn Carbon Dioxide Into Fuel


Algenol grows algae in troughs filled with saltwater that becomes saturated with carbon dioxide.

Published: June 28, 2009

Dow Chemical and Algenol Biofuels, a start-up company, are set to announce Monday that they will build a demonstration plant that, if successful, would use algae to turn carbon dioxide into ethanol as a vehicle fuel or an ingredient in plastics.

“We give them the oxygen, we get very pure carbon dioxide, and the output is very cheap ethanol,” said Mr. Woods, who said the target price was $1 a gallon.

The company has 40 bioreactors in Florida, and as part of the demonstration project plans 3,100 of them on a 24-acre site at Dow’s Freeport, Tex., site.
Algenol and its partners are planning a demonstration plant that could produce 100,000 gallons a year. The company and its partners were spending more than $50 million, said Mr. Woods, but not all of that was going into the pilot plant.
  blog it

Venter on super-algae

It will be interesting to see whether his team is using genes from fresh or salt-water organisms, macro-algae or phytoplankton… Perhaps in a closed system with no competition, a pure culture of genetically-modified cells really could simple excrete the lipids. It certainly would be nice to simply skim the lipids off the water surface without damaging the productive cells instead of struggling to extract the lipids from the cells as grazers like copepods must do…
clipped from www.xconomy.com
Synthetic Genomics’ team already has genetically optimized an algae species so that almost half of the organism’s mass consists of lipids, a broad group of naturally occurring molecules that include fats, waxes, sterols and other energy storage compounds. Now the team is enhancing the organism further to make even more lipids. Such algae would serve as a biofuel feedstock.

Craig Venter Has Algae Biofuel in Synthetic Genomics’ Pipeline
Venter said “the new algae” is something that “secretes whatever lipid size we want to engineer. This changes algae from what everybody’s been looking at as a farming problem into a manufacturing problem. So we are trying to get algae to go into a continuous production mode, pumping up these lipids, that come out in a pure form.”
Genetically engineered algae needs sunlight and carbon dioxide, and then secretes a liquid that “can basically be used right away as biodiesel,” according to Venter.
  blog it

New incentive for the blue revolution

Unclear when this prize will actually be available, but it’s surely a good thing for pushing R&D forward. Will the rules preclude experiments in the wild (e.g. ocean fertilization)?
clipped from www.xconomy.com

Prize Capital Moves Closer to Creating $10 Million Algae Fuel Prize
San Diego-based Prize Capital said today it has entered the final phase of creating a $10 million prize to encourage advances in algae biofuels technologies.

As part of the final planning process, Prize Capital founder and chairman Lee Stein convened a workshop of 26 leaders to draw up rules and other criteria for what Stein calls the $10 million Algae Fuel Prize. The group met for much of the day at UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and Stein told me during a break he had invited venture investors, scientists, environmentalists, and business and government leaders from across the country. But he was not willing to say how long final planning will take before the competition will be unveiled.

Prize Capital’s announcement is the culmination of work that began more than a year ago, Stein said, when initial planning began at the Washington Renewable Energy Conference
  blog it

A floating airport in the Pacific?

Just learned today of an initiative to expand the San Diego airport by building an international airport in the Southern California Bight.  The proposed semi-submerged moored structure would support two runways (400m long and 300m wide), a terminal, and supporting facilities (including fuel storage in the support pontoons).  A lawyer with experience in maritime legal issues, Adam Englund appears to be the main (and mostly solo?) proponent of the vision.

If Adam and his supporters pull this off, it will be a fascinating experiment in building large structures at sea.  The sustainability implications of the development — its potential impacts and benefits — are fascinating.  Among other things, desalination, mariculture, and wave/current power could be supported on the site.  Adam was even asking about turning kelp into jet fuel.

One might at first be skeptical (I was!), but the testimonials from a naval architects, as well as oceanographic greats like Walter Munk and Fred Speiss are quick to straighten out the initial knee-jerk reactions…  Perhaps the water world is coming sooner than we thought?

Floating landing strips, as proposed here, are not the only offshore structures under consideration. Liquid natural gas, or LNG, terminals are now being designed for locations offshore from Ensenada and the Coronado Islands. Future tankers with 100-foot draft are too deep for existing harbors and will have to be berthed offshore. A rising global sea level will call for reconstructions for many of the world’s harbors. We end this letter with a challenge. In the pioneering spirit of Charles Lindbergh, would it not be wonderful if San Diego would take a leadership role in meeting these global changes?

Mantras and manifestos

After a camping trip with Dave and Russ, just learned about Future in Review and it’s mantra from Mark Anderson.  They have a mantra that should be inspirational to all Americans and members of over-consuming societies on the planet:

“It isn’t about problems; it’s about solutions.

It isn’t about tomorrow; it’s about today.

It isn’t about them; it’s about us.”

So, now I am ready to read and think and talk about solutions.  Why is it so hard to find cogent discourse about them?  Is it all happening at conferences like Future in Review, or within the Board rooms of for-profit companies?

Mark mentions Silicon Valley,  Elon Musk, and Vinod Khosla as actively working to derive solutions.  I’ve read their bios and am excited to learn more about them.  In general, the FiRe participants seem like an interesting group and a potential source of truth and optimism…

For the last few years as I’ve mulled over oceanic solutions to global warming and food shortages, I’ve been yearning for an established mechanism for discussing/deriving the solutions that would automatically ensure the embedded intellectual property would be licensed in an open-source spirit.  Perhaps it’s as simple as filing for a patent from within a non-profit organization.  Is there an extant mechanism for individual inventors and innovators?  What shall be the home of our maricultural manifesto?

Perhaps an answer will come as I delve more deeply into this realm of affluent innovators, largely spawned from and empowered by the start-up technology sector.