Oct 31, 2009 Energy Talks
Domestic tanks are commonly used by homeowners if a mains gas supply is not available in their area. Oil spills from domestic tanks are not very common, but they can have drastic adverse effects on the environment. Just one liter or oil can contaminate up to one million liters of drinking water. An oil spill or leak from a domestic oil tank is often the result of improper installation, corrosion, or overfilling.
Oil spills from domestic tanks can be avoided if precautionary measures are taken right from the start. Most tanks used for domestic purposes are made of steel or composite materials, so they are susceptible to corrosion if left outdoors. To protect your tank from extreme temperatures and harsh weather conditions, it should be installed indoors.
If your tank must be installed outdoors, the location should meet the following criteria. The surface should be even and made of non-combustible materials, like concrete slabs or patio stones. The tank should not block an entrance and it should not be within 50 feet of a well either. Make sure the tank is not placed up against a wall, which can lead to rust.
Most importantly, never install a used tank. You might think it’s a good way to save money, but reusing tanks will only invite problems and can cost you big bucks in the long run.
Up to 1000 liters of oil can leak out of a single pinhole in just eight hours, so inspecting your tank regularly, particularly in winter, is very important. You should check for any signs of corrosion and other damage like cracks or dents. It is also wise to apply rust-proof paint on all parts of the tank to prevent corrosion. Tanks should be cleaned periodically as well. If left unclean, sludge and water will accumulate and lead to internal corrosion.
Oct 31, 2009 Energy Talks
With simple instructions available on how to convert to homemade wind power or DIY solar panels for as little as $200, many people are taking the alternative energy more seriously. When choosing to take on a DIY conversion project the first question most people ask is will one windmill or one large solar panel be enough?
There are too many factors involved here to answer that question for you. But one way to start is to ensure your home is efficient in the first place. In this article we will walk you through some steps that will help you reduce your energy consumption before you start converting your home.
Reducing Your Energy Needs
One often overlooked step in converting a home to green power is reducing your energy needs in the first place. The average home uses inefficient lighting, power hungry appliances, and poor heating/cooling solutions. An important step to reducing your energy needs is to look at the inefficiencies in your current system.
1. Replacing old incandescent bulbs with fluorescents or led bulbs will cut your power consumption from light in half. 2. Replacing old, inefficient, appliances may reduce your energy bills by as much as 30% by itself.
You should also look at your current heating/cooling solutions. For example an electric hot water heater could potentially be replaced by a solar water heater. Maybe that inefficient air conditioner can be replaced with a more efficient heat exchanger.
If you need help choosing more efficient appliances, an excellent resource for this is put out by the Canadian government:Energuide Appliance Energy Usage. It’s called Energuide, and it covers everything power consumption of home appliance to energy requirements of large commercial air conditioners.
Spend some time looking through that guide and calculating how much you can reduce your power consumption in different areas of your home. By simply taking a look at everything in your home that consumes energy, you will find ways to reduce your energy needs before you start.
You don’t necessarily have to go all out and spend $10,000 replacing everything – but things as simple as changing your lighting will reduce your energy needs before you start your conversion project.
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Oct 30, 2009 Lighting Design & Controls
There is a wide variety of different LED lights available out there. These lights come in various shapes and sizes and are used for a diverse range of purposes. These state-of-the-art lights are designed with resistors as low-power LEDs and they are also available as high-power lights for more robust operation. You can choose from 1W to 3W high-power LEDs, LEDs with wire and resistor, wireless LED remote controller, LED car kits, LED sign boards, LED strips, household bulbs and many more. All these models and styles are used for different purposes including home décor and customization of vehicles. The uses of these powerful lights are unlimited and therefore they are appreciated all over the world.
LED lighting is also used for security reasons and as traffic lights. Since these lights consume very little power they are ideal to be used for long operations or where they are required to remain on for an indefinite time period. LEDs are better than incandescent light bulbs or other traditional lights as they do not heat up very quickly. Almost 80% of the energy consumed by LEDs is converted into light and only some of it is dissipated as heat. Because of the same reason these lights last for a long time and are definitely a cost-effective option.
Basically LEDs are available in three categories: LEDs for cars, LED flashlights, and LED bulbs or strips for home. LED tubes with different patterns are also becoming popular in today’s stylish and high-tech world. These lights can be used to decorate almost anything and they come in red, blue, green and ultra violet colors. LED lights are very bright and can be used in cars, computers, motorcycles and snowmobiles. These lights can be recognized easily from a distance and are therefore used on sign displays such as danger signs and as police warning lights.
LED rope light for household use is yet another wonderful light that one can use for home décor. These lights look pleasing to the eye and can be used to outline the boundary of an object such as a coffee table or TV trolley. They come with 36 LEDs per meter in different colors like red, blue and white. They can also be used as outdoor décor items and as hanging lights on weddings and parties. Since these lights come in exciting colors they are used by many stylish people who love luminosity and brightness.
LED car kits are also admired by a lot of car enthusiasts all over the world. These LED lights create an under-car halo which looks lovely. This LED car kit requires 12V power and comes with 2.1 million color output. It has the ability to display one color at a time and the pattern can be chosen according to the terrain or situation. These lights are made waterproof and they last for many years to come. The best thing about these kits is that they are not very expensive at all. You can get a wonderful LED car kit with remote controller and all wiring for somewhere around $200 which is quite reasonable.
LED lights have infinite uses. Ranging from simple 5mm & 8mm LEDs with resistor to high-power multi-purpose LEDs, these lights are strong and long-lasting. They are designed to operate non-stop for long durations because of extremely low power consumption and very little heat dissipation. They are ideal to be used as ambient and architectural lights as well as medical and convenient lights. Par 38 and Par 20 household LED bulbs are very practical and useful. They can be used for bright kitchen lighting and office lighting.
Here is the original: The New Light
Oct 30, 2009 Lighting Design & Controls
zz/ Bloomingdale Road: First Tastings
The menu is designed for the table to share,” our waiter at the new Bloomingdale Road
I look at the list of “snacks” just above “small plates and sandwiches” and “soup and salads.” “How many smoked deviled eggs on the plate?” I ask.
“Three,” he says.
“But we’re four.”
“You can always get two orders,” he responds.
“I don’t need six eggs.”
“Well, they’re big and you can cut them in half.”
“But then I’ll have six halves. How about the suckling pig meatballs?”
“Three,” he says grinning. “I could just bring you four anyway.”
“Bring us four and charge for the extra meatball,” I instruct. “And we’ll have four chowder shots too.”
This is not just another lineup of comfort food. It’s playpen time. It’s the homey and weirdo hour. We have chicken lollipops-Buffalo with blue cheese fondue. Country ham is roasted with Coca-Cola. Everyday fries? Not here. Smoked fries, Old Bay fries and bone marrow fries. The tuna ribs are chili and honey glazed. Country-fried quail comes with biscuits and gravy. This unquenchable exuberance and desperate need to fry up something not yet invented might be inspired by how many restaurants are in countdown phase all over town (especially Fatty Crab and Tom Valenti’s West Branch, imminent not far away on Broadway – which was once called Bloomingdale Road).
I wouldn’t be going into all this today if I hadn’t actually liked some of Chef Ed Witt’s dishes since, I must confess, I accidentally barged into Bloomingdale Road on its first night, thinking it had opened a week earlier. And I wasn’t the only trigger happy Upper West Sider piling in the door as if starved. The duplex, bar and sidewalk tables are jammed with yuppies and yippies, seniors and younglings in startling juxtaposition.
If I’d hated every bite I would have left the place to expire of terminal silliness and possibly come back eventually if it rallied, just to be fair. But the fabulous chowder shooters (not exactly drinkable in their shot glass – we had to ask for spoons), the sensational smoked fries with not-too-much cheddar and the Road Food Warrior’s whole wheat fettuccine with spicy shrimp, grilled squash and marjoram actually live up to Witt’s resume – Rubicon in San Francisco, Restaurant Daniel, Il Buco and the ambitious but doomed Varietal.
We’re all wild about the brioche baked in a tin can – “Watch out,” says the waiter, leaving a small ramekin of herb-black-pepper-honey doused butter. “That’s really hot.” Yoicks! I discover he’s not kidding as I try to pull the puffed-up top free from its baking tin, a lawsuit in a can in this litigious town. “Want more bread?” the runner asks. Even devout carbophobes want more. A second pouf comes in a burning hot ramekin (easier to extract without injury). “I’ll leave this used butter because we’re running short,” says the runner, the same guy who assures us the chowder shots are “chicken.” On the first night it’s almost amusing. (Even Sarah was amusing for 24 hours.) And the ancho-dusted scallops with corn and wild mushrooms are small but good (at least our fussy friend is impressed and her husband attacks the trout on chunks of potato slathered with horseradish cream with unabashed gusto).
The teeny suckling pig meatballs are lost in a smother of chipotle tomato sauce and not worth saving anyway. Mac and cheese Witt style is witless – macaroni cheese soup. It comes with a tripartite dish alongside sporting the crunchiest croutons I’ve ever tasted, bits of bacon and minced jalapeno. “You can run your macaroni over the condiments,” we are instructed. No. No. No. Impossible. (But save the croutons. They’re marvelous.) I’m not sure if it was something my grass-fed cow ate but the barely chewable strip steak smells and tastes spoiled. Still, those fries. The kitchen has them mastered. Well, I hope. Who knows what day 2 will bring?
More crowds, says Proprietor Jeremy Wladis, who knows the neighborhood’s consuming fervor from his two other ventures, Nonna (Columbus and 85th) and Campo (Broadway at 112th Street). But even he is reeling with the demand, walk-ins and reservations, “We fed 200 last night. We’re completely booked for the weekend.” And yes, the menu is still evolving. “We’ve been tasting the food for two months,” he confides, “but it’s one thing to do cedar roasted sockeye salmon for five tasters and another when every table is jammed. Some of our dishes are controversial. One table hates it. The next table loves it. You don’t know what to do.”
At six o’clock on the house’s fourth night Wladis just got handed the sixth version of the menu. I hope they’ll realize how mean it is to the middle-aged among us to have type that small and palest gray. “Order whatever you want me to eat,” our friend Harvey pleaded. “I can’t read the menu.” My guy passed him the flashlight.
Syrupy sweet apricot and bourbon glaze on brioche does not mean “bread pudding” in my book. And I probably should not have ordered peanut butter and jelly tart with marshmallow ice cream, although, like Elvis, I was once addicted to peanut butter and bacon with banana. I guess I’ve tossed that monkey off my back. This is my neighborhood after all. We’ll be back.
2398 Broadway near 88th Street 212 674 7400
Like a privileged first child in an ambitious family with excellent connections, Apiary has a top of the line nursery – slick modern design by partner Ligne Rosset, starring whimsical trompe l’oeil sconces and the company’s own sleekly squared side chairs upholstered in deep jewel colors – garnet, amethyst, graphite, cat’s eye, or shall I say, beet, eggplant, braised veal and chocolate. Managing partner Jenny Moon left Korea at 15 for this destiny – an American education, a degree in finance from Cornell’s hotel and restaurant school, then risk arbitrage on Wall Street, and finally, following her real passion to Restaurant Daniel’s skybox as Boulud’s executive assistant, finally, a stop at Eighty One, even while hatching Apiary.
With Moon as managing partner, Neil Manacle, Bobby Flay’s sidekick of sixteen years, at the stove and Cellar consultant Nick Mautone lining up the bottles (heavy duty alternative action in New York state labels and micro brews), Apiary brings remarkably good bones to the creeping gentrification of Third Avenue below 10th Street.
Should you be a local newbie freeholder just strolling by, the illuminated metal twists in the front window – a designer light fixture suggesting radioactive tulips – would surely stop you. But tonight, on my first tasting with friends, I see fork-tongued foodie first nighters ganged up at the bare black tables have left few spots free for curious walkins. Chatter gets magnified under the low ceiling. It will be noisy when the nomadic screamers move in but tonight, we can lean in and hear at least half of what we’re saying.
Lining up slices of sensational heirloom tomatoes on a thick toasted crostini with feta and arugula doesn’t make for easy bites of crostini but all the parts are delicious, as is the saltiness of Serrano ham played against the sweetness of fresh roasted peaches with shaved goat cheese in a mustardy sherry vinaigrette. But calamari are lost in too thick breading. Summer slaw piled on crab cake distracts from the simplicity of perfect crab. Agreed, the cake looks good, like Sarah the Warrior, with its cabbagey updo. Steamed mussels with sausage in a citrus broth is classic. And there is an elegant purity in giant prawns and sea scallops with cannelloni beans in a tangy shellfish broth. I’m discounting the failure to send out sauce spoons to a serving crew still in boot camp. While we wait for silverware I can scoop up a bit of these citric pools with mussel shells.
I can’t say that quite juicy smoked paprika dusted pork tenderloin or the chimichurri marinated hanger steak are flawed. It’s just that we had sensationally feisty hanger steak the night before at Morandi and the memory makes this version seem quite ordinary. Of course, I’m not surprised that a chef come of age in Flay’s aura overdoes on sweetness. And after all, this is Apiary. Personally, I hate honey as well as fruit vinegars in my vinaigrette. And I’m not going to be happy with sweet’n’sour fruit sauce tainting my spice crusted lamb. A side of spicy eggplant comes cold. That’s a surprise.
Blueberry compote turns out to be sticky purple streaks alongside goat cheesecake with lavender honey (yes, I hate lavender too). But the chocolate cashew tart with cashew ice cream is a hit and the vanilla ice cream on the peach crisp is just perfect. Not sweet at all.
Now how did that happen?
Though I’m betting East Villagers will be thrown by prices that would seem blissful in midtown, I’m not going to judge a chef with these credentials on just one dinner. It’s never easy to leave home and a protected adolesence. I want to believe that the man who Flay thinks is good enough to run his kitchens will grow into his own.
60 Third Avenue between 9th and 10th Streets. 212 254 0888
Author: The New Light