My wife is getting used to sleeping in a quiet bedroom

I stopped using a CPAP machine to sleep a few weeks ago. After 17 years.

My O2 levels are now solid in the 90’s. And I have to admit losing 80 pounds was key. Walking ~3 miles/day at [a moderate] elevated respiration rate helps, too.

My sleep doc told me I could stop. That I had corrected everything causing my sleep apnea as far as he could determine.

Frankly, I’ve been very happy with the solid sleep I’ve enjoyed over the years with a couple of different CPAP machines over time. Wore the first one out in a decade.

Took a year before I tried this. Love the change.

Revolutionary prototyping with the 2021 Ford Bronco design team


Ford Motor Company

The Bronco design team made their early prototypes out of packing material. “There was a lot of stumbling upon invention,” Wraith says. “We were able to quickly see a full-size, scale car in a matter of a week or so—in much shorter time frames. They were very fast and very cheap. You could just chop off pieces and overlay it with VR [virtual reality]; it was what we needed to show something that was much more realistic than clay models.

The link takes you to an article about 5 “design secrets”. The VR info is #3. I found all of them interesting; but, I’ve been a gearhead for decades. The VR stuff is for geeks as well as folks interested in design.

Climate change stole a Yukon river almost overnight

❝ Its water rerouted by a retreating glacier, the Slims River offers researchers an extreme example of ‘river piracy’ – one with far-reaching implications for northern waters, Ivan Semeniuk explains


Click to enlargeDaniel Shugar

❝ Daniel Shugar knew his research trip was in trouble when he arrived at Kluane Lake last August.

A Canadian geomorphologist based at the University of Washington in Tacoma, Dr. Shugar’s plan had been to study currents at the mouth of the Slims River, which spills down from the mountains of Kluane National Park and feeds Yukon’s largest lake from its southern end.

There was a problem: The river was gone.

❝ In what appears to be a first for the scientific record books, the Slims has become an extreme example of what geographers call “river piracy”: when the drainage of one watershed is stolen by another. But on this occasion the shift occurred virtually overnight.

❝ In a report published…in the journal Nature Geoscience, Dr. Shugar and his colleagues provide a detailed analysis of how an atmosphere warmed by fossil-fuel emissions has led to the river’s dramatic disappearance.

“To me, it’s kind of a metaphor for what can happen with sudden change induced by climate,” said John Clague, who holds a chair in natural hazard research at Simon Fraser University and was a co-author on the report.

While people may think of climate change as a gradual process, its effects need not be, Dr. Clague said, adding, “I think that has important implications for society.”

RTFA. Entertaining as journalism – not the processes which our most ignorant politicians continue to ignore. As one sign said in this past weekend’s March for Science during Earth Day — Accepting science as a fact or not doesn’t change the facts.

Unless you’re a fool. Sorry about that. I know it ain’t polite. But, I’ve been a student of science for several decades. Understanding has changed, knowledge has deepened, even changed direction. Facts don’t change.

Americans have just begun to use the power of rooftop solar

It seems like every few weeks there’s some new measurement of how successful solar power is in the United States. In early March, industry analysts found that solar is poised for its biggest year ever, with total installations growing 119 percent by the end of 2016. This week, federal government analysts reported that in 2015, solar ranked No. 3 – behind wind and natural gas – in megawatts of new electricity-producing capacity brought online…

Which makes you wonder: Is there a limit to that growth? According to a new report from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, a federal research outfit, there’s good news and bad news. The bad news: Yes, there is a ceiling for solar power in the United States. The good news: We’re not even remotely close to reaching it. In other words, solar’s potential has barely been tapped.

The report is the deepest dive on solar’s potential since NREL conducted a similar analysis in 2008. The new report’s estimate is much larger than the older report’s, mostly because of vast new troves of satellite imagery data of the country’s rooftops and computer models that are better able to calculate how much power each panel can produce. The analysis leaves behind policy and cost considerations. Instead, the only question is: How much power could we really get if we slathered every roof in America with solar panels? The answer: about 39 percent of the country’s electricity consumption, at current levels.

It’s important to note that the report looks only at rooftop panels, as opposed to utility-scale solar farms. Utility-scale solar provides about twice as much power as rooftop panels, so the full potential of solar is likely even higher than what NREL describes in this report. Even 39 percent, though, would be a revolutionary change from where we are now; despite solar’s rapid growth in the last several years…Coal, which is still the nation’s No. 1 energy source, commands about 32 percent of the market. So the future that NREL is envisioning here would basically flip our energy makeup on its head.

If Americans were to stand up on their hind legs to battle for democratic representation in our state legislatures as well as Congress and the White House – a big IF – that would be the kind of change in circumstances that could not only bring about this kind of energy change, it would accelerate the process.

Believe me. The stodgiest of political hacks would want to get on board the renewable energy train just to keep their seat.

Frost maps back to 1916 illustrate the history of climate change

LgLastKillingFrost1916
Click through to the article – interactive maps at the bottom of the article
[Interactive goodies may not work on mobile devices]

Published in a 1936 Atlas of American Agriculture, put together by the United States Department of Agriculture, these 1916 maps of the average dates of first killing frosts in fall and last killing frosts in spring were initially intended to help farmers plan their planting schedules. Now, the maps offer a rough gauge showing how much these dates have shifted over a century.

The preparers of these maps, William Gardner Reed, Charles Franklin Brooks, and F.J. Marschner, compiled data from a then-relatively-new network of Weather Bureau stations and agricultural colleges. The trio notes that of 4,000 such stations, 700 were able to offer data that covered every year between 1895 and 1914. Insets show dates of the first and last killing frosts in the year of 1914.

On a website charting indicators of climate change, the Environmental Protection Agency offers a few graphs showing how the growing season in the continental United States has lengthened between 1895 and 2015, with most of the upswing taking place in the past 30 years. While stipulating that a lengthening growing season could have positive effects on yield for some farmers, the EPA notes that “overall, warming is expected to have negative effects on yields of major crops.” A long season “could limit the types of crops grown, encourage invasive species or weed growth, or increase demand for irrigation.”

Of course, a shift in frost dates affects the life cycles of nonagricultural flora and fauna, as well. Longer summers, writes the EPA, could change “the function and structure” of a region’s ecosystems, encouraging some species to reproduce more vigorously, and inhibiting the success of others.

Certainly a major shift in my neck of the prairie. The maps recommend safety from the last killing frost a month later than anything I’ve experienced in the decades I’ve lived in Santa Fe county.