Eric Kerby: Photography, Web Design, Programming

Archive for November, 2007

The Chevy Volt is electrifying

November 30th, 2007

After a bit of reading on the web, I'm pretty much sold on the still-in-development GM Chevy Volt. It looks like General Motors can't resist getting back in the battery-powered-car game, despite the outlash from the lousy way they handled the EV1 (watch Who Killed the Electric Car). Fortunately, GM's Vice Chairman Bob Lutz is telling the world that they are very committed to making the Volt a success. So, picture this: a car that runs solely on battery power for up to 40 miles on a charge. That's a great start, but the Volt revs this up a notch by adding an internal combustion engine (as GM calls it, a "range extender") to keep charging the battery and ultimately obtain a 640-ish mile range! Current plans have the vehicle showing up sometime in 2010 with a production run 12 times the number of first-run Priuses. This is certainly a car I'm going to be watching. For more coverage of the Volt, check out EcoGeek's coverage of the LA Auto Show and a series of interviews with GM execs on gm-volt.com.

Go Native, Avoid Invasion

November 22nd, 2007

Many people have heard the concept of "native species" as it refers to the plants in their backyards or the wildlife around their homes. I don't think enough people realize, however, the devastating effects that non-native species can have. An article on "The 5 Worst Invasive Species in the World" by Environmental Graffiti reminded me how bad the problem can become. Luckily, considering native species seems to be more and more common in landscaping projects. Some scientists are also having great luck replacing corn-based ethanol with cellulosic ethanol produced from switchgrass, a native Prairie grass.

Discussing the environment

November 20th, 2007

As I said in a previous post, I want to post more often about environmental topics that I run across. To that end I have been following several eco-based blogs over the past few weeks. Quite often a story catches my eye, so in the future I'll try to post and comment on such items here. To get things started…at the beginning of November the U.S. Conference of Mayors held a summit on climate protection. Former President Bill Clinton gave an hour long keynote address highlighting work of his Foundation's "Clinton Climate Initiative" and showing our country's mayors that being "green" is good for business and the economy. He stressed that our cities need to work together on a local level to push sustainability and green practices as an example to the rest of the world (and to the US Federal government) that being green does not mean losing money. If you have the time (and Real Player installed…yuck), watch his address. I watched most of the speech and have to say that Clinton has not lost his touch for public speaking (of course he was good at RIT, too). I sincerely hope this makes a positive impact on the environmental considerations of our country's cities.

National Portfolio Day

November 12th, 2007

Another gallery on the site: photos from National Portfolio Day 2007 at RIT. This past Saturday a group of us CIAS Honors students sold concessions at the event that garners hundreds of visitors from high schools in the western New York for portfolio reviews. Our honors group was selling food, drinks, and candy to raise money for a trip to several cities in Europe this coming spring. We plan on visiting any alumni we can and studying culture and architecture in Prague, Krakow, and Budapest. In the meantime, it's exam week here at RIT. In just a few more days I'll be heading home for the Fall/Thanksgiving break. It has been a busy quarter, and I have plenty planned for the break…so not much will change 🙂

Birthday photos and Leopard install

November 4th, 2007

I just posted a new gallery of photos I took last weekend. They are of a surprise birthday party we held for my Grandma. To say the least, she was both stunned and overjoyed to see so many of her old friends and family come together for the event. As I noted in my last post, I installed Leopard last weekend as well. I have been running Apple's new operating system on my laptop and desktop for the past week. My initial impressions are quite positive, though I do have a list of frustrations that will be worth sharing when I have a chance. Look for that in the next week or so.