Thursday, 28 December 2006

DIY Energy

I read in PC Plus this month that several corporations (including Microsoft and Google) have (or are in the process of) installed solar panel farms on the tops of their buildings. Microsoft's provides enough power for 500 homes, whereas Google's will power twice that many.

I say that it's about time!

Imagine if all businesses took that attitude. What would that do for climate change? What if all homes did that, too? Who would need fossil fuel other than for transport? Imagine if some enterprising sub-Saharan African nation (or even Saharan) created a huge solar farm? Of course, you don't just erect solar panels, you build low-cost housing underneath them. Think of it. They get little rain there, so the grid would always be pumping power during the daytime, storing for the night. A network of farms could power the entire continent with no pollution. There would be some with the fabrication of the panels and power exchange, but they'd get years of power with no consumables, other than for maintenance.

Put solar panels on every roof as well as a small (DIY) wind turbines for cloudy seasons, larger ones at the tops of tall buildings. We'd save money on our electrical bills and where there is a surplus, help power other's homes and businesses. We would pay mostly for the upkeep of the grid, and cut pollution considerably.

Then we could seriously consider hybrid cars...and there must be something that could be done to reduce aircraft emmissions.

Wednesday, 27 December 2006


There is much more of this, which I'll post if anyone wants to read it.

Bernould walked aimlessly down 42nd Street. Coming to New York City was the last thing he should have done. Of course, he was free to wander late at night forlornly looking for something to satisfy his hunger, but he still attracted a trail of women who blindly followed him. Some didn’t even realize that was what they were doing. It was little consolation that his trail was shorter and less obtrusive than it would be during the day.

He despised everything about humans: they were filthy, ugly animals that made grotesque noises and ate repulsive food. Bernould could never fathom why his parents had dumped him on this godforsaken planet, especially while he was in heat. He dreamt of being back on Caiea blowing pollen kisses on the wind to nearby females. Unlike most plants, Caians were mobile. They were large and majestic, but moved with a wispy grace, especially the females who emitted a lovely almost trance-inducing scent, which was even stronger when there was a male in heat nearby. A simple touch and an exchange of sap was all they needed to procreate. It was an awesome sight. Bernould was still young, only 100 Earth-years old, and this was his first heat.

They may have been second on Caiea’s evolutionary ladder to the highly intelligent, but immobile, Blumenkas, but they were far more grand in their natural form, much like Earth’s trees, but with feathery translucent bark and tendrils that could easily snare an unsuspecting animal for food. Eating a pognum, a small mammal the size of a raccoon, could feed them for two whole Earth years. More like a giant ghost of a tree, they were very light, with roughly the same body mass as a human, but could reach 130 metres in height at full maturity. Shapeshifting into human form was child’s-play, and Bernould was little more than a child.

Finding suitable food on Earth was an entirely different matter, and further complicated by his heat. Women couldn’t resist him, regardless of their circumstances, especially if he was out in Earth’s bright hot sun. He tanned easily and sweat heavily. The sweat, his sap, carried both his seed and a strong narcotic. A compatible fertile human female could be drawn to him from nearly a kilometre away, and would be impregnated shortly after contact. The more compatible they were, the more addictive his sap was. For a non-compatible woman, the sap was a strong hallucinogenic…in his natural form, that was how a Caian snared its food. Bernould would drug his prey, and then digest it – alive for about half of its captivity, which varied according to its size.

Bernould often thought how easy it would be to just turn down an alley and wait for the women to follow. Like many, in close proximity they would expose themselves trying to impress him. It was an animal urge that was completely unconscious. As they did, he could shift back to his natural form, and one would walk right inside with no realization that she was being eaten alive. She would live in an ecstatic trance for nearly a year before succumbing to death, and it would take a further year for her to be fully digested. She would probably provide enough sustenance for five Earth years. Unfortunately, he would be conspicuous in his natural form in that alley, and the captive woman would be visible to the outside world. Men would try futilely to free her. Other women would continue to be drawn to him like a magnet, and would rub their naked bodies on his bark and either stumble away with their floating pink elephants or leave addicted and possibly pregnant, returning to visit him every day for the rest of their lives. Sadly, he already knew that he would like the taste of them.

Sunday, 24 December 2006


This is a sketch of the beginning of a story, probably a short story. Comments? Suggestions?

Everything about her seemed sideways. That was the only way to describe Fiona. The smile she always wore looped diagonally across her kind face. Even her feline walk leaned imperceptibly to the right as she ambled from shop window to shop window, never in a hurry to get anywhere. She rarely looked anyone straight in the eyes, but when she did, no one could escape the allure of those languid brown pools.

Would you believe it?

AC's started another blog. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it yet. Maybe just daily rambling. We'll see.