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Saturday, January 19, 2019

Green Ragas Concert

Posted by Admin on Friday, January 15th, 2010

Chinmaya Dunster, a very productive and proactive musician and filmmaker, who inspires environmental awareness with his lovely compositions and lively pictures, will perform with Sandeep Srivastav and the Celtic Ragas Band at British Council, New Delhi on 2nd Feb at 7pm.

The Celtic Ragas Band has gained some fame playing at Paul McCartney’s wedding in Ireland in 2002 (“I love the unique blend of Irish and Indian style music of Celtic Ragas. It has become one of my favourites.” Paul McCartney), but more recently has given a series of multimedia ‘Concerts for India’s Environment’ in India. These aim to raise awareness about the many difficulties facing the natural and human environment in India because of unrestrained ‘development’. These have also turned Chinmaya Dunster into a filmmaker with the film ‘Concert for India’s Environment’, which he completed in 2007. “I spent many satisfying days deep in the Indian wilderness collecting wildlife footage for this, and travelled to some remote places for interviews and shots of the people who live around and depend on the wilderness”, says Chinmaya Dunster about his work

Chinmaya Dunster has a collaboration with Dr Erach Bharucha (his guide and mentor to India’s environmental issues and presenter of the ‘Concert’ film), helping edit his books and spread the conservation message through film.

If you happen to be in Dehli at the time, you are invited to enjoy the event.

Chinmaya Dunster writes:

You are all invited to my performance with Sandeep Srivastav and the Celtic Ragas Band at British Council, New Delhi on 2nd Feb at 7pm. It promises to be a unique mutimedia event. I have compiled an hour of amazing video on the subject of climate change, and we have composed new songs to help inspire awareness of this …and other green issues. Plus we’ll be playing some of my old hits too of course……

To learn more about Chinmaya Dunster’s work and to enjoy some of his beautiful music Videos, please visit his website at:

Fuse it, use it!

Posted by Admin on Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

Can you imagine – a nuclear fusion reactor that would cost half as much to run annually as coal- burning fossil plants, because the fuel is accessible and inexpensive, and because safety measures are minimal due to the greatly reduced radioactivity the reactor would produce. It would require just about 200 grams of boron to run a 100-megawatt reactor per day at a cost of only a few dollars.

The reactor would not produce so-called greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming and Energy in the form of electricity and helium gas would be the reactor’s only products. If complications arose during operation, the reactor would quickly shut itself down.

According to researchers from UC Irvine and the University of Florida the developing safe and cost-efficient new sources of energy is imperative, because existing nuclear fission power plants built in the 1950s and ’60s must be closed down within this decade as their operation licenses expire. A license typically is valid from 40 to 50 years; the plants must be closed due to radiation damage, and many components must be buried due to high levels of radioactivity.

The english news service in its January 11th, 2010 edition has published an article by Pat Pilcher that states such a reactor has been devised by UCI physics professor Norman Rostoker, UCI research physicist Michl Binderbauer, and University of Florida physics professor Hendrik Monkhorst. The principle of this reactor is based on a collision of beams of boron and hydrogen particles that would be sent into a reactor where magnets would cause the beams to bend, causing the nuclei to collide and fuse. The fusion would create energetic-charged particles that could then be converted directly into electrical power at an efficiency of about 90 %, compared with, at most, 40 percent for a traditional coal-burning power plant or a deuterium-tritium Tokamak fusion reactor – which has been a long-planned project for a $10 billion research facility, but which would not lead to a viable reactor in the opinion of the researchers.

The newly proposed technology is the product of five years of investigation, that have been devoted mainly to reactor design questions, instead of focusing on fusion experiments and theory that eventually might lead to reactors, Rostoker explained, and it could be implemented into a commercial reactor – funded by private investors – within 10 years.

The article in the Independent has cited the NZ Herald as source of this information, where the same article by the same author has been published on the same date. Interestingly, this information has been released on November 20, 1997 (not a typo! – also see Science Blog ) and by now we should all have clean, green, cheap energy! I leave it up to you to draw your conclusions, but I feel it would have made a good topic at the recent CO2penhagen summit for fundraising!

Well, obviously it is something that has not been shelved completely and work in this direction is going on, as we can learn from this youtube video (hope it’s not just tinkering with it to keep the students busy…). So we might hope to see it some day.

The comment on youtube for this video reads as follows:

We are a group of students at UMass Lowell that are building a type of fusion reactor called a Farnsworth Fusor.

Fusion has been conventionally done by heating a gas to such a high temperature that the average particle of gas has enough energy to overcome the coulombic repulsion of another particles nucleus so that it can fuse.

Instead we use 2 concentric spherical grids one of which is at a high negative potential to produce an electric field that accelerates the ionized gas to high enough velocities to fuse. The associated technology and cost of operations is many times less that the big budget fusion projects like ITER, while still producing a continuous nuclear fusion reaction.

The system consists of a vacuum system which evacuates our stainless steel vessel. We then use a variable autotransformer to control an input voltage for our high-voltage transformer. The transformer supplies anywhere from negative 10,000 to 50,000 volts to our central grid.

This video highlights our first plasma achieved. No fusion is actually ocurring in this video as the chamber is filled with air at medium vacuum pressure. To actually produce fusion reactions we will fill the chamber with it’s fuel, deuterium gas.

Deuterium gas? – thought it’s just hydrogen and boron… well anyway, please be careful not blow up the lab!

BTW: There are many different private efforts to make this work, here just an example:

Into the new decade – into a new era

Posted by Admin on Friday, January 8th, 2010

The start of 2010 also marks the beginning of a new decade. The last decade has turned increasingly frustrating for many: first terror then war – not only on terror, but on peoples -, the credit- and subsequent economic crisis, the pandemic threat, the climate change crisis…. No matter what your stance on these issues – it surely wasn’t easy. To me it seems that a majority of people are rather fed up with all the gloom and doom and long for some positivity, for some perspective, for the light to show on the horizon – short: for a fundamental change.

Change happens undoubtedly by itself. Exposure and revelations, the stroke of fate or new discoveries happen at any time and give our existence a new twist. We can either look into the future in despair or full of hope and anticipation. It really is a question of perspective. While challenges are a part of our earthly presence we can either perceive them as something “bad” and undesired – or we can accept them as a great opportunity for growth.

The question how we are going to experience the future is really whether we accept the opportunity to learn and evolve through such challenges, or whether we reject the offer and hang on to old ways that have provided us with a certain sense of security in the past, but that have now clearly shown to have outlived their validity. To cling or to release is the fundamental choice of our free will.

I personally trust that truth always has a trick up its sleeve to gain in live affirmative momentum that balances the equation, thus turning any given situation into a stepping stone that furthers our understanding, growth and development. However it might sometimes take routes that at first are hard to follow, and occurrences might be hard to comprehend as their outcome is not immediately foreseeable when they occur. When we look back later though we understand that all this had a certain purpose – even if it was just to break habits and situations that were not really good for us in the long run.

I think by the end of this beginning decade we will look back in amazement over the developments that catapulted the global community into a completely new reality in just ten short years. In bewilderment we will ask ourselves, how ever we could or wanted to live the way we were living only twenty years back, at the beginning of the 21st century.

The following video is a composition of predictions from the “Unknown” for the year 2010 from the Sedona Journal’s December 2009 edition, compiled by Peter Beamish. The soundtrack is called “Amazing” by the band “one Eskimo”.