Nuclear engineers are never taught about the other kind of nuclear reaction. But a working prototype was built over 40 years ago. "The thick hardbound volume was sitting on a shelf in a colleague’s office when Kirk Sorensen spotted it. A rookie NASA engineer at the Marshall Space Flight Center, Sorensen was researching nuclear-powered propulsion, and the book’s title — Fluid Fuel Reactors — jumped out at him. He picked it up and thumbed through it. Hours later, he was still reading, enchanted by the ideas but struggling with the arcane writing. “I took it home that night, but I didn’t understand all the nuclear terminology,” Sorensen says. He pored over it in the coming months, ultimately deciding that he held in his hands the key to the world’s energy future." [more inside]
Better World Books - Recently recognized by Fast Company as one of the best for-profit social enterprises of 2008, they offer a wide selection of new and used books with free shipping in the US and less than $3 shipping elsewhere. A portion of the profits go to fund literacy organizations such as Room to Read and WorldFund, and their shipping is carbon-neutral. The only thing missing is the ability to import Amazon wishlists.
Cheatneutral. "When you cheat on your partner you add to the heartbreak, pain and jealousy in the atmosphere. Cheatneutral offsets your cheating by funding someone else to be faithful and NOT cheat. This neutralises the pain and unhappy emotion and leaves you with a clear conscience." [Via Gristmill.]
It may feel hip to go carbon neutral, but are carbon offsets real? Now you can find out by reading Clean Air Cool Planet's Consumer's Guide to Carbon Offsets which asseses 30 providers of carbon neutrality and sets out criteria for understanding which are doing the best to help you save the planet. The consumer's guide reads more like an enviro geeks master's thesis, but it quickly becomes clear that the core of the matter is additionality, i.e. to what extent will this investment create emission reductions in addition to those that would have occured in its absence. If this is all too much for you and just want to cut to chase and save the world, you should just take the pledge at Treasure Our Planet. It's pretty simple stuff.