Awesome Stories 194

This week Awesome Stories brings you healthy writing, bright futures, grandfatherly lessons, the Pollination Project and beautiful animation.

20 Life Lessons

John Simmons, Awesome StoriesHere are 20 life lessons for his grandson from John Simmons. I don’t agree with him on politics, but there is a lot of wisdom and common sense in his article. I definitely agree with him about the power of listening, following and starting over, though I might need to act on some of this good advice. I hope he gets to teach these lessons to his James and his future grandchildren directly.

 A Bright Future

If Vivek Wadhwa and other futurists are correct, we have a bright future ahead thanks to solar and other renewable energy sources. They are predicting solar and wind to continue expanding rapidly to reach grid parity pricing within 6 years. These predictions are based on the fact that solar energy has been doubling every 2 years. At this rate, there will be enough solar energy produced to supply all current energy needs within 14 years. At that point, the world will be awash in cheap, clean and green energy allowing a reign of abundance as long as we learn to share. 🙂 Interestingly, the author even predicts that large utilities will face likely bankruptcy and/ or the need for subsidies to stay in business.

Beautiful Animation

I hope this short animation by Glen Keane touches your heart like it did mine.

Writing for Your Health

Maybe this explains the popularity of blogging! Researchers are finding many benefits to expressive writing about our traumas and challenges. Even writing 3-4 times over a few months can help improve both emotional and physical health. In a New Zealand study of people undergoing biopsies, founds 78% of the people who wrote about their upcoming surgery healed within 11 days versus 58% of the control group did NOT heal within that time. Another study found that blogging might trigger dopamine release just like running and listening to music! Awesome news. Now I can really write to freedom! XD

The Pollination Project

Seeding compassion around the world, one person, project and step at a time. I love the vision of Ariel Nessel to help individuals make a difference in their lives and those around them with his unusual approach to philanthropy called the Pollination Project. Instead of using his wealth to fund large projects, he believes more will be accomplished by seeding small projects (based on compassion for people, environment or justice) around the world. He is giving away $1000 grants, one a day for a year, to fund worthy projects. Have a great idea? Now’s your chance!

Super Solarthermal solar steam, Awesome Stories

This Australian solar test project has just made a huge breakthrough in thermal solar technology. They have produced super hot steam from solar collectors that can power turbines that previously could only be driven by fossil fuels. This is awesome news that means solar can now replace dirty fossil fuels by powering these huge turbines with free solar energy and zero emissions. The Energy Centre uses a field of more than 600 mirrors (known as heliostats) which are all directed at two towers housing solar receivers (filled with water) to run the turbines. Hot stuff!

Young Irish Stars

These three Irish teenage girls have found a clever way to significantly boost crop yields. They experimented with nitrogen-fixing bacteria paired to unusual seeds that don’t normally have rhizobia bacteria. The results were fantastic; dry crops yields increased by 78% and seed germination occurred in half the normal time. These experiments have incredible potential to boost food production organically while helping to reduce fertilizer use and environmental damage. And they won the 2014 Google Science Fair for their work. Great job!

Remember, we are all everyday heroes. Our kindness can help transform the world, one person and one action at a time.

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15 thoughts on “Awesome Stories 194

  1. A very interesting article on the future of solar energy Brad. I guess I’m a partly a fururist in that I believe technology will go a long way to solving many of our problems. Let’s hope that that ‘future energy’ technologies don’t get sabotaged by vested interests like power companies that use fossil fuels and don’t see light and begin making the change over; there were examples of such behaviour in the link on your post. ‘As long as we learn to share’ – absolutetly, greed is the source of much unneccesary hardship on this planet.

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  2. I totally agree Robert. The good news is that many of the renewable installations are small scale and aren’t controlled by the large power companies, that is part of the reason they fight it! I’m also a fan of tech and futurism, though I don’t believe technology will solve everything. We must shift our human ways to live more in alignment with the earth, fellow creatures and the good of all.

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    • I agree technology won’t solve everything, but it will help if used correctly. We also need to change our inner selves, our consciousness, compassion, love and oneness with all, as you put so well, ‘an alignment with the earth and fellow creatures 🙂

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  3. Brad,

    The perspective on solar technology is indeed interesting, though I don’t know what to make of it. I wonder about things like manufacturing capabilities, material availability, deployment, etc. What I think would make renewables far more competitive would be cost effective means of storing energy. Batteries are still fairly expensive I think– though I know costs there are coming down as well– as are other means of energy storage. It will probably be the “synergy” of breakthroughs in multiple domains that will really enable such a transformation, such as the conversion of solar energy into hydrogen or other synthetic, clean fuels.

    The energy still needs to get to where it is needed, so I’m also not convinced that utility distribution systems will not have their place for a while yet as well. New York City, for instance, probably uses thousands if not tens of thousands of times it’s solar budget, so the energy has to be captured elsewhere and conveyed into the city. This holds for most all major population centers and all heavy industries, where the efficiency of locating many people and businesses in a small area typically far outstrips the local solar budget.

    It will certainly make for interesting times, however, if these costs of solar deployment come to fruition. I think it would be a tremendous outcome, and spur many innovations in the economy like I have noted here.

    The video was great, too! 🙂

    Michael

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    • Thanks for the thoughtful reply Michael. It sounds like you’ve studied and pondered the renewable energy topic quite a bit. It’s a complicated industry that I won’t pretend to fully understand. I do believe it will take a unified effort of business, govt. and people working together on technology improvements, efficiency improvements and maybe energy use reduction or at least using resources more wisely in ways that don’t harm the planet.

      All of which is a tall order, since new technologies require more resources and consumption at least initially, even if they are more sustainable and efficient.

      I’ll leave it to the scientists and leaders while I continue to live as responsibly as I can. 🙂

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  4. Ha, You just can’t resist nudging me onward Diana. 🙂 I’m glad you found some value in my stories. I’ll keep writing, maybe to freedom and fame, or at least a few hearts touched and connections made.
    Lot’s of wisdom from grandad. Thanks for supporting me in starting over. 🙂

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