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Blogroll Review: Beers, Cars, & Responsibility

Less Filling?
Back in the 80’s, there was a great movie called “Back to the Future.” It was about a car that could time travel. There was also something about a boy and scientist trying to change the past …but they not succeed in preventing the Kennedy Assassination! At the end of the film, we realize the car is really from the future. It runs on beer and the future has just arrived.

On this week’s Energy Blog: “Australian beer maker Foster’s is going to generate clean energy and clean water from brewery waste water by using a fuel cell in which bacteria consume the sugar, starch and alcohol in the waste. The fuel cell is expected to produce 2 kilowatts of power — enough to power a household — and the technology would eventually be applied in other breweries and wineries owned by Foster’s. The cell should be operating at the brewery by September.”

All I ever wanted was a car that could talk. 🙂

Go Go Google
Speaking of cars, would anyone drive a car built by Microsoft? Perhaps the software giant has a secret Xbox racer somewhere but it looks like Google is betting on the plug-in.

On this week’s Venture Beat, Matt Marshall writes about Google’s grant to Calcars:

“Google’s for-profit foundation Google.org has given a $200,000 grant to CalCars.org, a group that advocates the adoption of plug-in hybrid electric cars.”

There’s always Ctrl-Alt-Del before you cra…..

Applicious
This next story has nothing to do with cars or beer or cars that drink beer but about responsibility. Some environmental groups have pointed out that Apple is not socially responsible when it comes to the environment. Apple responded.

So does the company get a pass? Greenpeace says sort of:

“It’s not everything we asked for. Apple has declared a phase out of the worst chemicals in its product range, Brominated Fire Retardants (BFRs) and Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) by 2008. That beats Dell and other computer manufactures’ pledge to phase them out by 2009. Way to go Steve!

But while customers in the US will be able to return their Apple products for recycling knowing that their gear won’t end up in the e-waste mountains of Asia and India, Apple isn’t making that promise to anyone but customers in the USA.”

What about a computer that drinks beer?

Frank Ling is a postdoctoral fellow at the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory (RAEL) at UC Berkeley. He is also a producer of the Berkeley Groks Science Show.